Thursday, July 30, 2009

Melting...

It's very hot today. It's one of those humid, sticky days that suck your shirt against your skin and turn the palms of your hands into clammy slabs of meat.

I woke up hot and cranky. I've been having more and more trouble with sleep, because my airconditioner blows right over my bed (and I can't rearrange my room to obviate this problem--the room's too small); if I put it on low cool, it's still blowing grit and mold over me so that I wake up with a stuffy head, dizzy and confused. If I put it on fan, it doesn't cool me enough to allow me to sleep well AND I still wake up with a stuffy head, dizzy and confused. I've tried going without the airconditioning, and besides the fact that I'm wicked hot, I don't have the white(ish) noise I need to block out the frogs, roosters, turkeys (I'm now convinced there's one of two of the buggers just underneath my window), human beings, dogs and cats that make all sorts of noise well past the midnight hour.

A few days ago, I woke up confused and dizzy, and my ears hurt--prelude to an ear infection? Heaven forbid! The last time I got one of those, the eardrum burst and snot water leaked out all over the place. So this is why toddlers scream, I thought, then, in a haze of sympathy. Their brains are literally melting.

Yesterday, I remembered that I'd brought some over the counter Zyrtec with me and decided to use it again, even if it does make me a little giddy and--I'd actually forgotten until this side effect until this morning--dehydrated. But even with the Zyrtec-clone, I finished my second class today with one of those right-eyeball-jellifying headaches that I've always thought of as sinus-related.

Furthermore, the apartment complex gave us a notice yesterday that today they'd be bombing all the apartments with pesticide, and that we needed to put all our food into the fridge and vacate the premises for the duration of the "treatment." I loaded the fridge to the gills and, this afternoon, while unloading it again, managed to drop the black pepper and break the glass container, so that pepper shot all over the floor.

The point of this long rambling whine is that I'm hot, cranky, constipated, headachy, sticky, and possibly poisoned. Not to mention peppered.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Suicidal Lizard

We had a suicidal lizard on our hands. It jumped off the top floor. At least we think it was a lizard. 

Yes some unidentified jumping object jumped off the top floor right before our eyes and it landed to the ground. We think it was a liz
ard that committed suicide. We aren't sure 'cause it flew by really fast. So I'm going to take this blog entry to commemorate our lizard friend. This is what I believe it would look like.



I don't know why the lizard wanted to go. Maybe it was depressed, I don't know. Maybe if I was a lizard, even for a day. I'd be able to see what was wrong with Shay. (I named the lizard Shay). Having a little lizard friend is fun for awhile. But not to the lizard itself sometimes, pooping on the tile. I don't know why but I have to make this ending rhyme, it only seems better than giving this dead lizard a dime. I hope this lizard is happier wherever it maybe. Whether its floating in the ocean, or sitting in a tree. I just hope its happy up in lizard heaven. If not, I don't know why it jumped off the top floor. 
In honor of the Suicidal Lizard, Shay.

Lizzie :*-(

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Sound of Rain

Lizzie didn't have school today--I think because the president of the country, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (aka GMA), is giving her (last) State of the Nation Address (aka SONA). But it could also have something to do with the hard rain that came around 11 AM. Beng says it's because they want to prevent students from organizing protests during the Address.

But if they're in school, aren't they less likely to be able to organize?

I've tried to capture the sound and sight of rain. Here's this morning's show:


video

Just as I set the movie up to load, it began to pour again. Whenever it rains, the signal strength for the internet becomes iffy. In fact, it just dropped down to a 10th of its speed and strength.

Right now, it's quite busy in the breezeway where we all hook up to the world wide web. A group of women is watching a Spanish movie on a computer at one end; another woman is working on what appears to be a big stack of homework on my other side. The guard and the housekeepers just turned off GMA's SONA (I heard the announcer say "126 applause during the speech" before they switched it off)--they had it going on the TV behind me.

GMA's gown, a brilliant (some might say violent) shade of raspberry, did not flatter her figure. It had stiff, puffy sleeves that rose up on either side of her narrow shoulders like armor plates, and a thick tangly fringe reminiscent of a rebozo in the square cut neck. I know. Yes. I am a shallow, shallow person for fixating on GMA's outsides rather than the text of her speech (I heard her say "they were called to serve their country, but instead they served themselves," and then a wave of applause and a pan of the audience--ringers? I wondered, given GMA's low popularity ratings in the newspapers).

And...it looks as if my upload of the film has been successful. Huzzah!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

My Bus Driver

Here is a personal assignment I have given to myself to tell you all about my bus driver. Enjoy.

My bus driver never ceases to amuse me. His definition of "on time" is usually 10-30 minutes late. And when he picks me up, extremely late, he just smiles and says, "Hi, ma'am!" to my mother and then lightly pushes me into the back of the bus and drives off as if he has done nothing wrong. Usually I'm extremely ticked at my bus driver's poor internal clock. But the thing that amuses me the most is when he has to pick up my bus mate, Princess, he comes at exactly the same lateness as he does when he doesn't have her. When its just me, its later. One time, I was all alone while my mom got her spiffy new ID card, my bus driver came 10 minutes early. What kind of bus driver is this. He can never come at the correct time in which he is supposed to come. I'm glad we didn't have the bus come at 11:30. Or else I would be extremely late for school. I'm also glad that I don't have the same bus driver coming home or I'd be home at 6:30 instead of the normal 5:45-6:00. But once my afternoon bus driver came half an hour late. So this is why I am oh so very glad to be within walking distance of my school. (At home). At least I know my feet won't be 10-30 minutes late. 

Bye peoples!
Lizzie >:-[

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Stage Two

Sorry if I've been a little taciturn lately (in other words, if you've checked for a new entry, expecting my usual verbal diarrhea, and have been disappointed). In truth, I've been struggling with ugly feelings and haven't wanted to share them.

I wanted to embark on this adventure because I knew I needed a change. Perhaps it's the cliched midlife crisis--I'll turn 45 next month and, assuming 90 to be a ripe old age for anyone, that puts me right at the halfway point--and I need to shake up the usual in order to feel as if I'm really living, or perhaps I really did want to get out of Green Bay in order to explore the rest of the world, to feel that I was still connected to it, or maybe I wanted to recapture some of that high school buzz I felt living in Mexico, getting a whole new perspective on the "American" experience.

I wanted, too, to think of myself as cosmopolitan, a woman of the world, to remind myself that I'm not a stodgy middle class white woman who takes her privilege for granted. In other words, I wanted to think of myself as a good person.

But I can't think of myself as a good person when I walk down the streets with a black clot of despair and anger and even repulsion roiling in my brain. And that's what I've been carrying for the last two or three weeks, an intermittent, pulsing center of disgust and rejection, along with waves of homesickness and fear. I remember the Army brats at the American School in Mexico, angry kids who swore and spat out their hatred for my adopted country between long drags on their cigarettes and pulls on the bottle. I never wanted to be like them, mired in self importance and entitlement, full of loathing for anything new or different, "ugly Americans" to the core.

Surfing the internet yields the stages of culture shock: stage one is the honeymoon phase, when everything is exotic, new, exciting. Stage two is the negotiation phase, when 60% of those of us in new cultures begin to compare and contrast, and to reject. We might withdraw into small communities of like-minded compatriots, to feel depression and repulsion for aspects of the new culture, to dream of returning (immediately) to the familiar. This stage is characterized by the fear of doing wrong, the self consciousness of difference, feelings of rejection and anger. Some of us never make it out of this phase, becoming Rejectors. Stage three, if one gets there, the adjustment phase, is either assimilation, or adoption, rejection or cosmopolitanism.

Of course I don't want to be a rejector--rejectors have the hardest time, even when they do go home (reverse culture shock on reentry is the worst for these folks). I don't want to be one of those people who has to drink herself into oblivion, or smoke herself into a stupor, one of those women who barely lives and, because she's so miserable, makes everyone around her as wretched. And I don't necessarily want to disappear into a new culture, to assimilate perfectly. Either way, I don't want to lose myself. I want to be better, bigger, a cosmopolitan, able to sort through all the cultures I've experienced to enjoy them all while retaining a core identity.

But I'm feeling all these rejector feelings (which I didn't even want to admit to you all, which is why I've been reluctant to write anything real down, except in emails to those who know me best). These feelings play themselves out on the level of sight and smell (as, if I'm honest with myself, they did in Mexico, too), but smell particularly. Is that because the sense of smell is the most primal of our senses? In any case, for the last few weeks I've been overwhelmed by smells here: Jeepney smoke, a black pall that hovers over the street; the mold and dust of the air conditioner, sour and dizzying; human excrement; thick woodsmoke; armpit sweat; rotting garbage; overripe fruit; stinging laundry detergent; moldy sink rags; dirty hair; cheesy feet; fried foods; raw meats in the hot market air; cigarette smoke; the skim of snot at the back of my throat. That many of these smells emanate from myself makes little difference--actually, if anything, it makes my feelings of disgust worse.

The other thing that's happening is that I'm keeping my head down. I don't want to catch people (strangers) in the eye. Eye contact feels invasive, dangerous. So I watch my feet as I walk, creating a little world in front of me for myself only. At the same time, I feel the rudeness of my little world, my attempt to put up an invisible shield, and it pains me.

I won't say that I want to come home immediately. It's not that dire. But I am aware that we're nearly halfway through our stay here, and will admit that the thought gives me comfort. Perhaps the knowledge that our visit is only for 4 months makes me more likely to stay in the second stage of culture shock, negotiating, isolating myself, failing to learn much of the new language; knowing that we'd be living in Mexico for at least two years forced me to find my place there, my peace, to see the good. But I did, on reflection, spend quite a bit of time hidden (alone) in my room, reading whatever I could get my hands on--but, particularly, schlocky American novels and trashy romances. And there were smells and sights there that still haunt me, that can't be expiated by poetry, fiction, talk or time.

I guess the worst feeling of this second stage is the self consciousness, the paranoia of the uninitiated, the obvious outsider. I've always wanted to belong, I suppose.

And the flashback to high school. It's painful to feel like that lost young woman again, trying to find her voice in both a new culture and (what she couldn't name) an oppressive patriarchy determined to shape her voice to suit its pleasures. Does anyone out there want to relive his or her high school experience? I hope not.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Reading Jane in Manila

There's probably something perverse in this, but I've been compelled to reread Jane Austen here. I've made my way through Pride and Prejuice and Sense and Sensibility already (and have watched the BBC version of P & P) and am working through Mansfield Park now. On the shelf yet to read, I've got Persuasion and Northanger Abbey. Lizzie bought me Emma for a birthday a few years ago, and it's still sitting on my shelf at home, waiting, so I haven't invested in a Manila copy. Yet. I think I'll crack, though, because the BBC version of the novel waits for me on DVD.

I've always loved Austen, even if some of her sentences leave me scratching my head, and even if the social intricacies of her small, drawing room worlds are as claustral as stuffy old closets filled with Great-great-great Grandma's boots. I'm even willing to forgive Mr. Bennet for his misguided words of caution to Elizabeth, when he suggests that she won't be happy in a marriage with a man she can't respect as her "superior," especially because I know that Lizzy gives as good as she gets, reinventing the term "saucy" even when she beats herself up (unnecessarily) for telling Mr. Darcy where to get off.

What is it about these old novels of manners, set in a country I've never visited, depressingly upper class, marooned in the past, that call to me here? Why do I feel safer when I'm ensconsed in a Bennet bedroom with Lizzy and her self-effacing sister than when I'm walking home, up the main drag, after a rousing class on Zora Neale Hurston or Langston Hughes?

Is this the ultimate escape, the circular story, the talking cure?

Am I trying to lose myself in another century, a forgotten set of problems (marry or not marry = central female narrative), a simpler set of expedients?

Does it help to watch these forgotten women wrangle the social conventions for a little piece of the pie, dearly bought, and realize that my world is so radically different from theirs--that my ability to speak my desire, to set the parameters of my marriage, to work in a job that I love, to teach and to write, to go where I want to go when I want to go there, alone or in company--that I live in a world Jane Austen could never imagine?

If we were to transport Jane here using a time machine, she'd probably blow a gasket. (In Mansfield Park, the heroine is appalled that her family plans to put on a play in the living room. It's so "inappropriate"! Trouble on wheels. As I read these passages, I cluck to myself. I know I'm supposed to think Miss Crawford is a total bitch for wanting to be in the play, and for convincing the hunky male lead to play opposite her in it despite his best moral principles, but I can't help but go against Austen and her priggish heroine as I delight in his shattering conservatism.)

Am I using these novels both to revel in the familiar AND to feel a superiority to these women and their impotence, their inability to navigate or escape the suffocating social strictures of their times? Do I like watching the cultural insiders blow up as surely as I do, daily, as a cultural outsider?

Maybe I'm just clinging to the familiar, the soap opera, the cheap romance--perhaps it's as plebian as that.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Rain vs. Snow

On Thursday, I relearned that Doko ni masu ka? in Japanese means Where are we? And classes where suspended after 15 minutes because it was raining. Fun.

I guess its a nice change getting classes suspended because of rain. I mean if it rained like this in Wisconsin they would just tell us to suck it up. But I bet if a blizzard started when we where in school, the stupid superintendent would say: 'It's safer if they stay here.' Like they do when most kids almost get frostbite walking to school. I don't like this superintendent. He doesn't make any good decisions AND on most days when it's too cold or the snow is up to our calfs and still going strong, we still have to go to school. I think he's trying to torture us. I bet he wouldn't care if we all got hypothermia. I also bet that if it rained so hard that the streets flooded and the rain was still going strong, he would wait until it was too late and our parents/ caretakers/ buses couldn't get us. So we'd all have to walk. We'd get sick. But would he care? No. Just shows what the superintendent knows.  
Sayonara! さよなら!

Lizzie ;-P


Par for the Course

Lizzie and I went with Cynch, her husband (Boying), her daughter (Mika) and her nephew (Miko) to see Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince today.

It was fun to go en masse to the theater (stopping for excellent Greek food beforehand), and thank god for assigned seats, comfy chairs, and massive THX sound. The movie itself was, as far as I can remember, fairly faithful to the 5th Potter novel--lots of teenage romance angst, facistic politics, and dark adult machinations.

After the movie, we stopped by an electronic store and got a cheap DVD player for our apartment (1600.00 pesos, or about $35.00), then had crepes at Cynch's favorite French bistro.

We came home fired up for regular DVD watching--on the TV, in the living room, stretched out on the couch. Until now, Lizzie and I have been huddled up around a laptop (first, her Mac, until it stopped accepting disks, and now my Dell), with headphones in. The good thing is that we can stretch out in a bedroom with the airconditioning on. The bad thing is that, with headphones on, we can't really lie down and get comfortable. And our ears get tired and sore.

The DVD player worked in the store (they test your machines out for you here), hunky dory, but of course once we hooked it up to the TV in our apartment it was a different story. We brought it down to the lobby and hooked it up to the TV here, and it works fine. So it seems that our old apartment TV doesn't recognize anything plugged into it. (This makes me wonder if it's really true that we can't have cable in our apartment--"No hook up, sorry," the manager told me on our first day here--or actually true that the TV in our apartment can't hook up to any cable.)

So we've got DVD (and VCD and MP3 and MP4 and USB) capabilities, but again are prevented from using them.

Sigh.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Unacceptable Anxiety

Lizzie has to travel to her school by bus every day. The bus is supposed to arrive at 11 am. Some days, it arrives at 10:50. Other days, it doesn't show up until 11:25.

It's one thing to have Lizzie with me, waiting for the tardy bus, and it's another to be home waiting for her to be delivered at the end of the day. Usually, the bus arrives for her at the Learning Tree by 5:40 (her classes are over at 5:30). She texts me when she's on the bus.

Today, at 5:50, I still hadn't heard from her. So I texted. The bus hadn't arrived yet. By 6:00, we were both worried, so I called the bus company owner.

"The service is at Ateneo," he said, meaning a school that seems to be on the other side of traffic, lots of traffic, from where Lizzie was waiting for him.

"Is it on the way?" I asked.

"Yes," he said. "On the way."

Well, wonderful. Why isn't it AT the Learning Tree? What's going on? And what can I, stuck here without a car, do about it?

Lizzie texted me at 6:10: d bus not here stil.

I was texting her again, in order to tell her that I'd call the owner again, when my phone rang: Lizzie.

I hit the green button and the phone made two beeping noises and I lost the call. So I called her right back. "The number you have called is not available," the operator said.

AHHHHHHHH! I texted her: I cant get you on d phone.

I called again, hoping that she'd figured out that her phone was off. "The number you have called is not available."

The phone rang. "Hi Mom," she said. Relief! "My phone ran out of juice," she said.

"Oh," I said. "Are you on the bus now?"

"Yeah," two beeps, and she was gone again.

At least I knew she was on the bus. Which made the fear go away long enough for me to start to boil with anger at the bus driver, the bus service, my inability to control the situation, the knowledge that this sort of anxiety is bound to be part of my life here, the irony and irritation of our communication advantages and gaps (of COURSE the phone runs out of juice JUST when we need it most), and the thousands of miles between us and home.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Going Back

I have to go to school today. Which is a total waste because its raining non stop. I wish they would cancel school for the day. That would be awesome.

I went to the mall yesterday with my mom and got two new pairs of jeans. They are probably the best denim related thing that has happened to me since sliced white bread. I got one pair that is purple and the other is pink and black. So I'm wearing my purple pair today, but what's the point if going to school is a total waste. Well, at least I can save my dad from the fear that I will lose two months of what I learned in school. But that's just what Sylvan says. And Sylvan Learning Center is for kids whose parents don't think they are doing well enough in school so they put them in ANOTHER school so they can bring up their scores one grade level guaranteed. Yeah. 

I like school because it gives me something to do. But when I have no idea what to do cause everyone is doing something that the united states schools never taught us how to do I can just tell myself that I'm not getting any grades. That always makes me feel better. And getting a 6 day vacation was nice too. I learn stuff in my school. Like how to say "Gimme the money" in Filipino. Here, I'll teach you people: Akin na pera mo. (a-keen na paira moe). I also learned that there are no silent letters in Filipino and the vowels stay the same. This is going to be a piece of cake. (Hopefully).

Lizzie XD

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Communication Frustrations

Last night, Lizzie and I caught the tail end of an Oprah episode that dealt with simplying life--people who stockpile food and clothing and goods and houses until they go a little crazy and stop functioning for a month or so, just take to their beds and refuse to get up.

Oprah put a family or two on a diet of sorts: told them to turn off the TV and the internet for a week. To limit themselves to 5 toys (there were little kids involved) each and to NOT use the car for anything but essentials. In other words, they weren't allowed to drive the two blocks to school. The five year old boy had tantrums when he found out about the restrictions, but later seemed to perk up as all the choices were reduced and he focused on what he did have.

Lizzie thought the unplugging was kind of cruel. She particularly objected to Oprah's denigration of the boob tube. After all, she huffed, isn't that the medium she's chosen to deliver her reduce-and-be-better message?

Yes, I could see the irony in it. I could also see the sense, however, in reducing the number of stimuli in our lives. It was just yesterday afternoon, after all, that I trudged up the hill through the heat and dirt and exhaustion, back to the apartment, and felt the weight of homesickness pushing me into the asphalt. I'd have given quite a sum, I thought, to fast forward to the end of October and be done with this adventure. I was just tired of being on guard, of learning new things, of keeping myself open, of being dependent on others to get to the store, or the mall, or even the doctors office. Tired of being afraid.

I'm also weary of the struggle to keep up with communication. The in and out internet connections are frustrating: this one is tenuous, for instance. It's "default," and it's coming in right now at a mere 1 mbps, with one bar of intensity. The kapit balay, our official internet connection, isn't working. At all. I never know when my laptop's going to connect in the office, so I've stopped bringing it in--it's heavy, and rains always come down with the greatest intensity in the late afternoons when I'm trying to walk home with it.

Lizzie's laptop is half broken, too. The DVD drive can't spit out a disk anymore. I had to travel through a spaghetti warren of streets to get to the Mac repair shop, borrowing Cesar and the car from Butch and Beng, in order to find out that it's busted. Now she's having trouble keeping a charge on the machine. If my laptop decides to quit working (and it hiccups at times, threatening me), we're done for.

It occurs to me that if I didn't have the expectation of getting on the internet at a drop of the hat, or of watching TV, either over the airwaves, the cable, or a DVD, or movies, then I'd be a happier camper all around. I am happier when I'm on campus without my laptop and can't even try to connect.

So perhaps I'm in favor of slimming down on all the gadgets in my life, and the expectations they set up for me.

*

Who the heck am I fooling? I love my gadgetry.

I'd be happier if I had a better hairdo. That's what.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Sick Day

I caught my mom's cold today. I had a headache, sore throat, and a bad cough. So I stayed home. First sick day in a foreign country. Yay...?

Yeah. I stayed home today. Which stinks, I guess. So I stayed home and watched some comedies. You know the classics like "Meet the Parents" and "Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist". I guess you could call it fun. But guess what happened when I randomly got up to go get a drink of water. I saw the cleaning staff. And guess where I went when my computer didn't have any juice in its battery. I went downstairs to blog but I couldn't! Happy day! But the good news is that I got over my headache and sore throat but my cold migrated down to my chest and now I have a cough that can be heard around the world. Also, it hurts sometimes, and I get this feeling like I have to cough but I can't because if people hear me they might think I'm infected by the A H1N1. So I can't cough in public. Well I could but I don't have a handkerchief to cough into! Lucky me! If my cough survives through the night I won't go to school tomorrow. Oh, gosh, gotta sneeze. Crud. It passed. Don't you people hate it when you think you have to sneeze but then it passes. That happens all the time for me. It bothers me so much. GRRR! Did you know that when you sneeze you make air move at 100 mph! Sweet right?

This goes totally off topic but... guess what I learned! I am a visionary. It's like my 6th sense or something. I can see the future through my dreams. Its like awesome! It happened a lot back home in Wisconsin. Like this one time, my friend got picked for the lightning competition during the 8th grade boys basketball team against some male staff and she told her mom in the car on the way home. (I walk to and from school with her). And then she was explaining the rules and then her mom (to clarify) said, "So only one of you can win?" and then my friend said, "Yeah." then her mom said, "That sucks." And that whole only one can win conversation piece was in this one dream I had had a couple days before or something. It was wicked sweet. (I guess. If you like to be able to do that kinda thing). Yeah. I read this one book and it said a Visionary is someone who can see the future through dreams or something along the lines of that. So I guess I'm kinda like a psychic or something. Cool. 

さようなら!Good bye!

リジー Lizzie o_0

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Awry

I've managed to get myself a cold. It's making my head fuzzy muddled, blocking my ears (and I'm already hearing compromised), and stuffing my nose so that when I lie down at night I water ski over the surface of a really restful, deep sleep, drooling copiously. Meanwhile, the weather here continues to be scathingly hot, the kind of heat that prickles on top of your skin and presses you down into your chair, a wet, smelly mess.

I'm paranoid about the cold. I don't want to get a cough. Then everyone will know that I'm sick, and will look at me as a sick American, a walking germ box, and flutter away from me with horror in their eyes. They may even want me (shiver) to stay home and "take care of myself." I hope this cold doesn't linger.

To that end, I'm drinking lots of liquids, including orange juice, and I've managed to drain our big jug of filtered water in the apartment. I want to flush this thing out of my system. I want to bomb myself with vitamin C.

Yesterday, Lizzie and I went with Cynch to the Trinoma mall (I'm starting to think of that as "our" mall) and, among other things, ate pancakes for lunch, watched Ice Age 3 (Cynch left us off and ran errands while we reclined in the luxurious big screened airconditioned darkness), and shopped for groceries in a massive supermarket sized store.

Along the way, we reloaded with a bunch of DVDs (we've finished, sadly, the two seasons of Buffy that I brought along with us), including the BBC collection of Jane Austen movies (Pride and Prejudice with Colin Firth, yum; Mansfield Park; Emma) and Season 1 of Heroes. That should tide us over for a few weeks. Right now, we're working our way through the British (original) Office.

Now that I've fully described our boob tube affliction, I'm going to sign off before, for some unknown reason, I lose this connection.

Ciao!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Fully Charged

I think I need to give myself at least 24 hours before I panic when little glitches in the system throw me for a loop.

Take this incident with the Dell power cord. Lizzie and I were getting ready to watch Charlie's Angels on my laptop. I plugged it in and heard a loud POP. Lizzie uncurled the cord and said something like, "Ew. There's a bare spot here."

Yeah, a bare spot, very small, on the cord, probably where Ishmael chewed it in one of his lonely furors. Never mind about that, time to watch silly women kicking hyperbolic butt. I loaded up the disc and then noticed that my computer was on battery.

Battery? What? That's when I discovered that the power cord wasn't working anymore.

Lizzie immediately spazzed, thinking that when she unkinked the power cord, she somehow obliterated it. No, there was that POP, it wasn't in my imagination. And the little AC adapter box had been operating hot for the last weeks. So I knew it was dead--but that didn't prevent me from plugging it into a variety of outlets, just to check.

I came downstairs with Lizzie's laptop and emailed Dave and Butch, freaking out about the possibility of dejuicing and having to share Lizzie's Mac for the duration.

Then I went online and figured out that I could probably get a replacement cord here, and have it delivered.

Sure enough, I called the first store I found that advertised one yesterday morning and sorted it all out. By 12:30, a man on a motorcycle putted up to the Balay Kalinaw with a load of adapters. The first one he tried showed that it was plugged in, but then an error message came up: the computer couldn't recognize it. Huh? And the battery, alas, would not be charging.

The man (turns out that his name was Arnold) popped out my battery and hooked it up again. Another, and immediate, error message.

Arnold managed to indicate to me that I should get the original adapter, which I'd left in the apartment, of course, 4 floors up. I ran upstairs and down again.

In the meantime, Arnold had hooked up another adapter--and this one worked. (After Arnold left and I'd walked-run to school for my classes, I discovered that he'd probably tried the wrong voltage on the first go round, because the old box had a label that said 18.5 V rather than the 19.5 I needed. It's nice to have an explanation, rather than the mystical idea that the laptop's "picky.")

So here I am, fully loaded, Friday morning, another crisis averted. If I hadn't gone off and emailed Dave and Butch, it might not even have been a blip on everyone else's radar. I feel a little silly after such mini meltdowns, as if I've run out of the house in my underwear.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Blow Up

The power cord for my Dell just blew up.

Yeah.

So if you don't hear from me as much, that's why. I've got to find another power cord. Who knows how long that will take.

In the meantime, I'm thinking of you.