Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Perfect Example

Remember that time I told you I don't really understand computers?

Well, here we go. Round 789 of The Computer vs. Amanda. I promise I'm trying to enable commenting on this blog, but for some reason blogger doesn't like that idea. No matter what I do, it tells me that only registered users will be able to comment. I'm sorry. Because even if whatever you say is stupid, I want you to be able to say it.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

"If" Version 2.0

I have long been criticized for my unwavering use of the word "boys." A great deal of my generation moved on to "guys" long ago, and the shift to "men" is increasingly noticeable. From the same people who are starting to get married and think about children in terms of something you give birth to, not a boyfriend you hope will not do anything gross in public. I, however, have remained loyal to "boys." I am known to occasionally pull out "gentlemen" when it seems appropriate--though this is rare. It's mostly an optimistic gesture.
The reason I am so resistant to change has been attributed to my women's college education. I disagree. I will allow that my sense of complete awe at once again being in a coed world is because I went to a (wonderful) women's college. That's totally fair--I feel like a visitor at the local zoo, pointing at the silly things penguins do and wondering why monkeys behave a certain way. Unfortunately for me, boys understand what I'm saying and aren't isolated in little habitats. They're interactive--more like a petting zoo, if you'll ignore the sexual undertones of what I've said.
But I digress. I'll tell you why I won't call you "guys" or "men." You don't deserve it! 97% of the time, you deserve "boys." AT BEST. When you prove that you can handle it, I'll call you a man. Rudyard Kipling wrote about this, but I don't necessarily trust his judgment, since he probably would have fought me on this issue too. So...

Make a move! Call us! Ask us out if you're interested! Don't ask for our screen name or MySpace address, go for it and ask for the number. We respect a "wanna hang out?" phone call so much more than the same sentiment in e-mail form. Stop making us call our girlfriends to analyze your latest lame-ass instant message! We overanalyze because you suck! You're making us do all the freaking work--we basically have to decide for ourselves if you're interested, then you make us plan something and that only leads to further analysis! And just like Twisted Sister, we're not gonna take it anymore.

So there you have it, future men of the world. When you stop acting like a boy, I'll stop calling you a boy.

You have to earn your "man" status.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Because 2001: A Space Odyssey had a point. Kind of.

Alright, so I don't really understand computers. I know how to do lots of things on them, and I can figure it out if I look around enough. But I don't get them.
My laptop is a man, which might have something to do with it. I learned about his gender during our first year together, in the spring of 2003. He began to do act strangely. Then one day he completely flipped out. I tried calling tech support, but it was all a mystery. After the first call, he worked again--sort of. It only did about half the things I expected of it--just enough to not call for help. He insisted he was fine. When I learned that it was a ridiculous virus, I turned to it and said, "Why wouldn't you just let me call a doctor?!?" Passerby thought I was talking to a boyfriend. I realized then and there that my computer was definitely male. There would be no checkup for this one--he was fine. He didn't need an expert's opinion. Suuuure. He brought home a present shortly thereafter--a NEW virus disguised as some sort of software, which I had declined when a pop-up offered it to me. He brought it home anyway, thinking himself a smart, kind computer. Bringing the little woman a nice gift--and not even on her birthday! Or is it? Oh well, either way. It reminded me of when my father brought home a puppy to my mother--when she had twin infants, an older child, an older dog, and a job to deal with. Nice idea, Dad, but now Mom just has one more thing to clean up after. (For the record, the puppy worked out remarkably well and was loved a great deal. Don't panic.) I appreciated my computer's thoughtfulness in bringing a gift, but it just meant more clean-up for me.
(You might think I named my laptop upon learning his gender and speaking to him as a real person. You would be wrong. A name was too good for him; too good for our love/hate rollercoaster relationship. I merely refer to him as The Bastard in times of hate and nothing at all in times of love.)
I worry that despite his occasional stupidity, my computer knows too much. It's really a trust issue, I suppose. I'm still trying to figure out the source of that. But I'm guessing it might have something to do with his affair with my first printer.

One day I'll tell you about her, and why she's dead now.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Well, we're arriving, but then we're departing.

Open letter to all airline patrons:

I was wrong in thinking that certain things were just common knowledge among those traveling by air. My, was I wrong.
To make my next travel experiences more pleasant, I'd like to give you all some blanket rules to follow.

1. An airplane is an enclosed place. You have to live peacefully with the other people inside from the time you fasten your seatbelt and start chewing your gum as the plane heads to the runway until the flight attendants say "buh-bye now" as you deplane. There is no place to GO during the flight, except the lavatory--and you can't stay there for very long. (First of all, you'd get bored, and second of all, a lot of people are depending on that tiny room.)
I know this seems like a simple idea. But a lot of people forget. Mainly, the people who apply perfume or cologne liberally before heading out to the airport. I hate those people.
We all have to breathe the same air. And your cologne is contaminating and polluting that air.

2. Learn to recognize the universal signals. There are certain things that, even when there is a language barrier, come across loud and clear. The number one airplane signal is headphones. Chatting with your neighbors is fine--I'm going to visit some family; oh, that's a lovely city you'll have a great time; I went to that college too! Awesome. Sometimes. Like, while we're taking off and reaching our cruising altitude. Or reaching our destination. But as soon as your seatmates put on their headphones, you should stop talking. Listening to music is a solitary thing--and I don't want to hear about your daughter's wedding anymore once I'm allowed to turn it on. End of story. And when I turn on my music, turn towards the window and shut my eyes? There is ABSOLUTELY NO WAY you should still be talking! Unless you're saying something important, like, "The plane is going down." or perhaps, "What would you like to drink? The flight attendant is here with the cart." That's it! Even then, keep it to the minimum. When I'm on a plane, I'm like the government--everything is on a need-to-know basis. And your wife's plan for retirement is not something I need to know. I'm not on this plane to make friends.

3. If I see that the sudoku in my in-flight magazine is filled in and you aren't doing yours, you damn well better let me have it. You aren't even looking at your magazine!

Thanks for your cooperation.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

"I'm gonna put you on hold one more time."

Tonight I discovered what it would feel like to be in Hell.
(I have to tell was so much worse than I had anticipated! I mean, I know what you're thinking. It's HELL, it's not supposed to be fun. But like I said--so. much. worse.)

After installing some programs on my computer, I had to call tech support. *scary organ music* I spent two hours on the phone, waiting and waiting and waiting because somehow, my computer came up with a problem that has never been seen before. And while she looked up yet another potential fix seventy-three or so times, I sat waiting, listening to horrible synthesized keyboard jazz on the edge of my chair since the phone cord only reaches so far and I was too stupid to think about the cordless phone. Meanwhile, my father, who worries endlessly about the computer, sat there slowly losing his mind, getting more and more frustrated, asking me questions every 6.7 seconds while I was trying to listen to the poor woman who took my call! After roughly an hour of zero progress, he began pacing the small computer area. Looking through every computer disc and manual we own, which totals somewhere in the low thousands, since we don't throw things away when we should and then forget which printer is the one we got rid of and which one is the one we actually use so let's just keep both CDs and books just in case. Since that was too simple, we reached the highlight of the night--Dad Wants One Specific Manual And Can't Find It So Let's Throw Others And Yell Upstairs To Mom Because She Might Know Where It Is Even Though She Spends Maybe 1.3 Minutes On The Computer Daily And Amanda Is On The Goddamn Phone Right Next To You.

(Yes, that did merit capital letters. It was very important--the highlight! Of the night!)

In the end, my problem isn't even with the company I called. It's someone entirely different! And you can bet your ass I am not volunteering to call about it. I'll be too busy picking up the habits of going to church and praying--because if Hell is anything like tonight, no thank you.