Thursday, January 24, 2008

I Miss You. Come Back.

I hate my keyboard. Until recently, I had a really great keyboard that even had a special button you could push to bring up the computer calculator without having to go to "Start" and scrolling through all that mess because I'm too lazy to work out my checkbook on paper. There were lots of other fancy buttons that did stuff on my old keyboard, but I hadn't had a chance to figure them out yet. I was still honeymooning with the calculator key.


On my birthday, MY BIRTHDAY, I'm balancing out my checkbook and clearing off the (top layer of) debris on my desk. I'm feeding stuff into shredder and feeling good because (a) my shredder is a stripper and not a cross cutter and therefore I can recycle my shreds and (b) Discover, Geico, Clearwire and some sleazy mortgage company won't be getting any love from me. Then I hear a terribly grindy noise. Bad. Things stop working. Now let me preface this by saying that my shredder is under my desk in the dark. It's a cat-hair-lined cave under there, and no one goes there unless something computer-related goes terribly, noisily wrong. And occasionally to dump out the recycling bin which also lurks under there. What I'm saying is, it's dark. And bad things happen in the dark.

I shredded the cable from my keyboard to my computer.

I sat there, dumbfounded, one shredded wirey end of cord in each hand. I poked at the keys on my keyboard thinking perhaps it'd developed some sort of psychic ability and didn't actually need this cable. I considered trying to rejoin the wires like I was a surgeon and my keyboard was a drunken farmer who'd just stuck his hand in the combine. Or, alternatively, some kind of farm machinery that could take off a limb; I don't know a lot about farming. I put the keyboard on ice and wondered what to do.

Hey, that keyboard had sentimental value: Toasty bought it for me. It made the perfect clicky sounds and required exactly the right pressure to register a keystroke. It seemed to understand what I meant, even when I couldn't type the words with my fat manatee fingers. I miss it.

This keyboard, this fourteen dollar craptastic keyboard, is to REAL keyboards what Romper Room fat plastic keys are to the things that start your Jaguar. This is not a great comparison, I know. I blame the crapboard. It misses letters all the time. You have to strike the keys hard enough to cause sparks, and then you get six gggggg's or nnnnnn's in a row. This isn't just a no-frills keyboard, it's the keyboard the gods send you when you've been so foolish as to shred your last one. This one's an "Ativa." That's not even a word. It was probably supposed to be a word like "Activate," only most of the letters didn't register.

I hate this keyboard.

I'd tell you about my temp job, but I really hate this keyboard.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

One of these things is not like the others

So: new temp gig. (Being a freelance writer means you get to use words like "gig." Along with the big bucks, it's one of the perks.) I'm going to be doing some writing for a major retailer. Let me say that again: I'm going to be doing some writing for a major retailer. You know those stores that OTHER people go into and come out $500 lighter but looking fabulous? Yeah, one of those places. I get hives just walking past the place. They don't even deign to spritz me with perfume when I walk past the counter, obviously thinking there's nothing they can do to improve the stench of the poor and fashionless.

I don't get it. Out on the street, Seattle is crowded with fleece and dull colors, like we all live on the Scottish moors or something. But you walk in there, and it's all these gleaming, sleek cat-people. Where do they come from? Where do they go? And how do they lick their own heads to get their hair to shine like that?

I fear for my future. I don't know what this stuff is. I only recently figured out the difference between a turtleneck and a "mock" turtleneck. (One chokes you, the other makes really bad soup). What if they hand me a pair of trousers, and I call them "pleats" when they're really "tucks" or "fat alignment corridors" or something?! I mean, I don't claim to have any expertise in fashion, nor do I really want any, but I'd rather not make a fool of myself.

So wish me luck, dear readers (both of you). If nothing else, I should get some good blog-fodder out of it. But if you walk into a major retailer's in the next few weeks to find my head on a stake and a sign around my neck warning other pretentious, ill-informed and poorly dressed freelancers to stay away, give me a pat, smooth my hair a bit, remember I've gone to a better place.