Friday, November 30, 2018

Life in Chaos

All I've been thinking on constant loop for like two months is, "Serenity NOW, Serenity NOW!" The photo above is what I imagine I look like. I wouldn't know because I can't even say I've really looked in the mirror. That's the last thing on my priority list. One of these days, I'll get around to shaving my legs too. Or really, what I'm hoping is that, like an old tanning salon boss I had, my leg hair just ends up rubbing off from being encased in leggings for so many days in a row.

I'm BACK. This time I wasn't on hiatus because of politics getting to me or whatever. Politics is going to get to me until the White House changes hands, and I've resigned myself to the wait. However, I was on hiatus because I HAD NO LAPTOP. "What?!", you say? That is like you not having an arm! I KNOW.

September rolled around and school started. About two or three weeks into September, swim team was starting for E, at a new pool, in a substantially bigger pain the behind location for me. It was going to be fine though, in my head. I took him to his first practice, on a Friday at around four o'clock. I got there in FOURTEEN MINUTES. I thought - wow, this is going to be a breeze. Oh, no no. I quickly found out, it COULD be fourteen minutes, or it could be FORTY. I forgot what it was like to drive this route, as I did daily, for work, before we moved our business to the town we live in. If you get caught at either or both commuter trains, and/or the freight train, you're screwed. I realized I was going to have to sit there the whole two hours. At three or four practices a week, those are two hours at a clip I need to be doing other things. Laundry, doing work, EATING.

Along with a venue change, the time for practice changed to earlier, which just makes my life more hectic. Then, the sitting for two hours, and the rushing to get homework done, get food for E and me for some cobbled together dinner, it was making me so unorganized, like I've never been in my life. I was missing doctors (and other) appointments. I missed dinner plans with a friend. I sent a BLANK CHECK to someone. Totally, completely, BLANK. Luckily it was someone I know well. She sent me a text, "Hey, thanks for the blank check. I bought a YSL bag with it. Hope you don't mind. Haha". Also luckily, I know I'd never have enough money for a YSL bag in the checking account anyway, but I was mortified. Apparently I hadn't filled out the paperwork that went along with the check either.

I was turning into a flake, the quality I can't deal with in others. I'm pretty sure one day I just sat in my car and cried from not sleeping, being unorganized, and having no time to get anything done.

There were also really messed up things going on, which I'll just give to you briefly:
-Our health insurance was erroneously saying we were canceled for like a week. A week I'd just happened to have three appointments. Two for me, one for E. Appointments that couldn't easily be rescheduled.
-The credit union who held the lease for my previous car was telling me I owed them money I didn't. Which still isn't fully resolved. #AffinityCreditUnionCanSuckIt

Then, as luck would have it, I notice something wasn't right with my laptop. The AC adapter thingy on the end wasn't staying in and my laptop wasn't charging. A piece fell out where the adapter plug goes into the laptop and it's not something easily replaceable. The laptop would seem to be fine, I'd be typing, then it would just shut off. It wasn't bad enough that for some reason at work, I'd get bounced off the internet, just on this particular laptop, sometimes ten times an hour, sometimes ten times in four hours. But now, I had to start rigging the wire by stuffing business cards and Post It blocks underneath it to secure it into place. For awhile that worked. Until it didn't.

Let me backtrack and explain a little. In the early 2000's I'd had a laptop given to me from work. I used that and it was fine. Until it wasn't. The screen went but I just hooked it up to a desktop monitor and made it work. When I met B, I don't remember exactly how it happened, but I sort of remember Sony having a store and for some reason we both got Sony Vaio laptops. We bought those in 2005 or 2006. They were great and I was used to that.

I use the LIVING SH*T out of my laptops. I'm old school. I'm online all the time, and I'm on social media like Facebook, Blogger, and a little Instagram, but even my social media is old school. I don't use Snapchat- I don't know how, and I'm not really technologically savvy. I know my way around Windows, Microsoft Office, etc. But when the technology goes awry higher than my pay grade, I don't know what to do.

Apparently appliances, laptops, and pretty much everything, is supposed to have a short shelf life these days. Laptops aren't supposed to last ten years or whatever. I get that. So, in September of 2009, when my 2005/2006 Sony Vaio was starting to slow down, get viruses, and just not work, I went to the Sony store in Garden State Plaza and got a new Vaio. I'm loyal to a fault. I've been going to the same hairdresser for over twenty years. I got my nails done at the same place for seventeen years. And I WANTED MY VAIO. I got their credit card with free financing for like a year and probably spent like six or seven hundred dollars for what was then, a teenager kind of model. That is a lot of money, but I knew I'd use it, so I closed my eyes, bit the bullet, and signed the credit card slip.

Well, that 2009 Sony Vaio lasted until around January 2017. That's when I found out Sony cut laptops and Vaio loose. No more Sony Vaio laptops. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!! I'm not good with change!!

What do you mean I can't get a new Vaio. Well, I could, but not by Sony, and for a ridiculous expensive sum of money. Nope. What could I do?

I went to eBay. I ended up purchasing a refurbished Vaio, on eBay, in a newer model than the one I had, but very similar. I bought it, for three hundred dollars, from some guy in a rural part of Texas, who wasn't the easiest to deal with, but it seemed to work fine. I was happy. It was still the size and weight of a giant Porterhouse steak but I didn't care. I wasn't used to a light, on the go, laptop anyway. I'm no MAC person with their thin light Whatever-Books.

I got about a year and a half out of the refurbished laptop, when the adapter area fell apart & crapped out. But it was the end of September, beginning of October. I thought I could rig the adapter enough and wait until Black Friday to get something. It's not like I had or have the budget for a laptop. So I was going to wait for a deal and just try to do something with no interest payments again. But then the screen just died or the whole thing just wouldn't power on, and our computer guy told B it was a goner. I had no choice. It wasn't just about jimmying the adapter, I couldn't SEE anything.

We'd joined Costco through some Groupon deal so I get their flyers in the mail. It looked like they were starting their Black Friday deals early. They had an HP Envy x360 for a really good deal. I took it. I couldn't wait any longer. My calendars weren't syncing, I had no way to check certain credit card payments because I had no usernames and passwords. I just can't even explain how much I rely on my laptop. Right or wrong, old school or not, I don't care. I need it.

Of course, I had to order it online. The deal wasn't in-store, it was only online. I got it. OF COURSE IT WAS DEFECTIVE. The short version is that it wouldn't connect to the internet. I looked it up and this was a common problem for this version of the laptop I guess. I try to return it in-store. More problems. Yadda Yadda, they figured out how to give me back my money in some unorthodox way.

I went to Microcenter (a discount computer store with only 3.5% tax) on someones recommendation. That didn't work out. I wasn't in the head space to be there after the debacle at Costco and I didn't feel the guy knew what he was talking about. I ended up just going on Ebates, then to HP through there, ponied up & ordered their flash deal for a better version of the defective one. That was November 13th. Guess when I got my laptop?

YESTERDAY. They never said it was coming FROM CHINA. Directly from China. I don't know why. So, from Costco, I could order on a Friday, and get one, albeit defective, by Monday. I order it directly from the manufacturer, and it took over two weeks. I also forgot to have it shipped to work instead of home. I used PayPal Credit to get the six months free financing deal and it defaults to my home shipping address. FedEx, unfortunately, is no Amazon. Amazon texts you that your stuff is x amount of stops away. FedEx is like the cable company. They give you a window of- Anytime from eight in the morning to eight in the evening.

I did get a text saying they thought it might come between 12:35p and 4:35p so I had a better window by the time I got to work. I told B that at twelve-thirty I was going to get in my car and stalk FedEx trucks around town. I walked out the door of work at twelve-thirty, drove to my street and the streets around it and didn't see ONE Fed Ex truck. But, then, on my way back towards work, I saw one come out of the strip mall where we have our store, turn up the main street, and park in front of the pharmacy. I waited from the Fed Ex guy to come out of the pharmacy and asked if he had my package.

HE DID. He let me sign for it right there and take it. I FINALLY GOT MY LAPTOP.

And I LOVE IT. I made what I think is a smart choice, so far. I got the HP Spectre x360 i5 13.3" something. I can't give you all the specs. The defective one was a 15.6". I didn't know what that was going to look like, then I opened it, and it seemed HUGE. I think my Sony was considered a 14" but it had a thick rim around the screen so it seemed smaller. My Spectre is not the newest or fastest model because I got it for WAY less money than I see them priced at normally at retail stores. Maybe it was also a good deal since I was going to be waiting till some new gray hairs come in for it to arrive. I don't really understand or need to know/understand all the specs. I need to be able to go on the internet, social media, and use Word, Photo Manager, and Excel. I don't know how much space it has, or anything.

What I DO know, is that it's super thin and light- it has no dvd thing. It doesn't have some loud hot fan like my Vaio, and it CONNECTS TO THE INTERNET LIKE I NEED IT TO DO. I've been on it typing this for the past forty-five minutes and I haven't once been disconnected from the wi-fi at work.

Now I just have to figure out how to get all my angry letters, finial orders, and brisket/kugel recipes from my old hard drive into this laptop, but there's time for that. Right now, I just want to get my calendars back in order, order E's lunches for school for the month, and make sure I have websites, usernames, and passwords saved somewhere else. And for the record, I worked the swim team thing out too. One word, carpool. I never had a reason or events to carpool anywhere really prior, but now I surely know the value of that. So, I'm back. And I have plenty to say. Stay tuned!

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