What change this lap computer has wrought in my life. 6 months ago I’d be offline for months at a time. My hotmail inbox was an email exile, where communiques were sent to languish in digital solitude. Now I’m offline for 3 days and folks start to panic. I got a nervous text message from BTW, “Are you off the grid?”
Answer: “No, I’m just sweaty and my trackpad’s broke.”
I got taunted in effigy on Breadtruck. I’d post the photo here but I can’t crack Rayburn’s copyright security. Free your photos, H! My mutual blog addiction society, The Enablers, was in revolt.
It was actually refreshing to get “off the grid” for a few days. I got over the vomiting and shakes that first evening and by day 3 was left with only a nagging nervousness about what I was missing. 3 days was a small price for a resurrected trackpad. That thing had become a little demon mouse bent on tormenting me by “randomly” clicking the Move to Trash link as soon as I’d typed something worth posting, or freezing up and then whirling and clicking in a hyper frenzy beyond control- the fingertip version of a mechanical bull.
When I went to pick it up at Charlotte St. Computers I was more excited about the air conditioning than the macbook. That store is meat locker cold. Apparently what’s good for the slaughtered beast is good for the circuitry. I tried to give them perspective on how great they had it in their mac cave. It really is a geek oasis. They’re surrounded by Ipads and big glossy cinematic monitors perched atop curving steel counters fabricated by a local metalworker to match the bridge of a Klingon warship. They even have steel blast-shields on the windows. When I praised the AC through chattering teeth as my sweaty shirt began to freeze solid, they just looked at me with expressions of pity on their unhealthily pale faces. A mac genius outside of a controlled climate bubble? Ridiculous to speculate. Imagine how the motherboards would be compromised!
I used my first day back with the computer to time travel to 1994. There was the Weezer album, downloaded and replayed all day through my headphones as I shoveled dirt, blogged and finally organized the builder’s hell that is my basement. While I was in the basement I started a rental download of The Blair Witch Project (1994) from itunes. I ALMOST had the courage to watch that in my basement with the lights off but I’m just not that brave. It’s not the witches I was worried about but the mold my lungs would be filtering with each breath.
I ended up watching Blair Witch alone in bed on the laptop with my headphones feeding the creepiness directly to my brain. There WAS a scene featuring an aweful basement deep in the woods. I was duly frightened and kept touching the trackpad to cue up how many more minutes I’d have to watch those doomed filmakers stumble around before the witch put them out of their misery. To distract myself I kept noticing all of the 94isms in the movie. In 1994:
-nobody stumbled through the woods with earbuds checking cellphones for a signal
-headlamps hadn’t been popularized so flashlights were held in mouths or tucked between shoulder and neck
-tents were pretty crappy
-folks called each other “man” more
-did I mention there were no cellphones or ipods, no downloads or blogs
Next Saturday I’m setting the dial back to 1984. When Doves Cry was the #1 song and Beverly Hills Cop the top movie. I guess I had more free time b/c at a quick glance ’84 holds no surprises. I’ve seen all ten of the top movies- Splash, Romancing the Stone, Terminator… and I’m not too fired up about downloading Prince or Van Halen. Maybe I’ll do ’74… it’s either Benji or the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, with some funky music.