This week is awkward, for some more serious reasons that I'll talk about later because I don't feel like it now, and for several others that seems to be piling up like so much FRESH FALLEN SNOW, which apparently we're getting more of soon because Maryland, oh how we love the inconsistent winter.
My tetanus arm still hurts and it's making me cranky, but the real kicker is this typhoid vaccine. It's a four-pill series and you take them a day apart. My body does not care for the typhoid vaccine, not at all. I feel really weird, mostly just nauseous, which I suppose in the long run is preferable to typhoid fever, which sounds completely awesome, but still.
So my arm's sore and I'm weird, which means one thing is different than usual. The good news is that in addition to these afflictions, I'm officially Steve Jobs's bitch. The adapter was the problem with the laptop, at least the most pressing one. $79 for an adapter. Really, Steve? Really? $79! For a power cord! And I pay it, and I'm just all happy again because my computer works. Baaaaahhhh.
I had an appointment at the Genius Bar (so stupid, really. But oh how I do love them, the flock of black-clad, oh-so-serious Mac Geniuses.) yesterday at just after noon, which I thought would be great because who's going to be at the mall on a Wednesday at 12:20? Well, it turns out that no one in this county works, or has any other pressing responsibilities, or maybe is just as sickeningly dependent on their THINKING MACHINE as I am, because the place was packed. A man who had clearly never been there before got all in my personal space as he was walking in the store and unhelpfully bellowed, "There's more people here than in the ENTIRE MALL."
This is when I say things aloud that are going to get my ass kicked one day, i.e., "Thanks, Chief. Thanks for playing." He also had a phone holster. I'm so prejudiced against men with phone holsters.
I was on time, because, right, like I'm going to be late for my Genius Bar appointment, even though I'm late for 76 percent of all of my other responsibilities? No, I will not. I had to wait for quite some time, so I ambled around, checked my e-mail, glared at the Macbook Air, went and hung out with the iMac some more and felt honestly very disappointed that it didn't have PhotoBooth which means I'm insane, and did this really embarrassing, weight-comparison move with the Macbook and the Macbook Pro to see which one would cause me more herniation in my disks as I carry it for 12 straight days in Vietnam.
Please to note that in a previous life I was a very dispassionate shopper, particularly where electronic equipment was concerned. I looked at stuff and I bought it or I didn't. I did very little cost comparing or (God forbid) research. Now, I'm that person, reaching across the table to pick up the other laptop at the same time so I can compare, several times, because the first and second time you can't really tell. It is all silly. But at least I have a hobby, an expensive, addictive hobby. And it turns out that the two laptops, despite a deceptive size difference? Not so different weight-wise.
While I was standing there and they still hadn't called my name, I noticed that the laptop I was holding as part of my experiment was plugged into a power source with a charger. Much like, nay, the same, as the charger I was carrying in my bag that wasn't doing jack crap to make my computer work. So I looked around to see if anyone cared, pulled my computer out of my bag, unplugged the store laptop, and plugged the charger into my own machine.
Hallelujah and pass the ammunition, baby, the little green light went on on the adapter, and I was all kinds of excited. Genius bar, whatever. I was intrepid girl Mac shopper, unafraid to plug something in. There is no end to my super powers, seriously, and I swear...are you familiar with that scene in Christmas Vacation where the lights finally work on Clark's house? I heard the chorus and I wept with joy. Sort of, but that was how I felt inside anyway.
I immediately began reconfiguring the emergency computer-purchasing scenarios in my head into a more long-range, workable plan. And also breathing, and not being so hateful in general as I'd been for the past 24 hours. I also tried to act as nonchalant as I could, like it was perfectly natural to be standing there holding a big old laptop (with a Spongebob sticker, even) that just happened to be mine, plugged into the cord that really belonged to the store computer, while said store computer languished there with no power source.
Mac salesman Robbie S. was having none of this. Did I need help? Hi Robbie S, could you pose a more loaded question? Well, yes, quite literally, and no. I told him I'd been waiting and just wanted to see if my terrible problem was immediately solvable, and why yes it was, but I was going to hang around and take my spot at the bar because there was something up with my cd drive anyway so I might as well get it checked out while I was there. He was happy to sell me the ridiculously priced adapter, and also an extended warranty that I'd never bought (I swear, I kept meaning to, but I was still within the year and I hadn't gotten my fellowship money, so there.) He seemed pretty cool and didn't speak slowly or extra loud to me as some men are wont to do with women in tech environments. It's so aggravating to feel like you have to throw around a little bit of lingo to show you know what you're talking about, and I like that that's less likely to be necessary in an Apple store than anywhere, honestly. I guess that's the carrot they throw you for being Steve's bitch, but whatever.
When I explained my dilemma about computer purchasing to Robbie - that I was taking my only computer to Vietnam, and I felt it was time to have a backup but I wasn't sure if I should get a smaller laptop and make the Pro my home computer or an iMac - he listened intently and earnestly and implied that all of my ideas and conclusions were right and good, but he himself felt quite strongly that I should get a Macbook Air.
Of course he thinks I should get a Macbook Air, with its $1800 base price and its new newness and cachet of being the lightest notebook on the market ever. But the thing is, I don't want a Macbook Air, and I don't really like them. I do not want to own a computer with "air" in the name. Macbook Airs are for, like, dainty people in corsets and white puffy wigs who will type Olde English e-mails with porcelain fingers, not people like me who'll just pound out who-what-where-when-why stories, drop by people.com and drink out of the bottle, thanks.
Seriously? I don't trust it. It's too thin, and I am so totally capable of breaking things just by looking at them. Plus, what if I want to burn a cd? I don't want to deal with external drives and I especially don't want to pay 100 bucks for one when the computer is already pricey. Call me a relic or a control freak, but sometimes I like to put cds in my computer so I can work with music and photos, and for $2000, I really want to be able to do this on my existing computer.
I listened to and then ignored the man, who got all quietly indignant when I said I didn't like to buy first-generation products, which I only really said for kicks to piss him off. Then Adam at the bar fixed my cd drive (I think, I really haven't tested it yet) and he was all competent and genius-like, and I felt infinitely better when I left than when I walked in the door. And I think given the weight issue I'm going to go ahead and get the iMac, because I'm really liking the idea of the display, and the speed, and the storage again.
And I know it might seem silly to go on about computers all this time, but the truth is that if it weren't for these machines and their capabilities I wouldn't be able to do a lot of what it is that I currently do. And what I do is mostly fun, and it makes me happy, and it connects me with a larger world and lots of cool people, so it's a good thing. Genius, even.