March 29, 2007
...Could be raining...

[Scene from the movie Young Frankenstein: Dr. Frankenstein and Igor are exhuming a dead criminal]

Dr. Frankenstein: What a filthy job.
Igor: Could be worse.
Dr. Frankenstein: How?
Igor: Could be raining.
[it starts to pour]

This past Monday, my faithful laptop "iCarumba" blew itself out. Luckily, the hard drive survived, but the computer was left otherwise completely toast. I've been planning for months to buy its replacement, knowing that the end was near, but I kept delaying. I got almost exactly four years and one month out of that piece of equipment; the longest I've ever kept any one machine as my primary computer. I'd say, "it shall be missed," but that would be a lie. It was underpowered from the day I bought it, but I was too cheap to get the machine I really wanted and too cheap to buy its replacement before it finally forced my hand.

So when that little piece of hardware shrugged off its mortal casing, I ordered its replacement and had it the next day. When I haven't been tugged hither and yon at work or by the kids, I've been spending my time migrating my expletive from the old machine to the new one, and learning my way around the new 'un. It needs a name. Since it runs both Mac OS and Windows, I've been thinking of calling it's respective incarnations "Jekyll" and "Hyde", but which would be which?

This week also struck me with another bout of vertigo. Ah, nostalgia. The first time I encountered this kind of inner ear imbalance problem, I was a grad student at University of Effing Pennsylvania. I've been struck by it several times since then. I don't get sick often, but every once in a while, this ton of bricks lands on my head. Symptoms: if I move my head in relation to the ground, I feel like I've been whacked in the back of the head, I get dizzy, a sudden headache grabs my brain, and occasionally I even feel a little nauseated. In short, it's just like grad school, only all at once instead of being spread out over several semesters.

As we are nearing the end of March, my database clients all have much work they want me to do (very lucrative) and my other business (not yet lucrative at all) has enough orders on the books that, if I were to put in the effort to fill them all, we could close the quarter in a strong position. But demands at home and sleep deprivation and this vertigo thing and my computer... well, today was finally the day I gave up on the hope of having a record quarter.

Alexander cried tonight (I'm composing this on Thursday night/Friday morning) because I wouldn't play Crazy 8's with him after he hit his brother during their nighttime routine. It bums me out when Alex cries, but the idea is for *me* to manipulate *his* behavior, not the other way around. Besides, he needs to understand that hitting his brother is a bad idea. Nolan is very clearly going to grow up bigger than Alex, and paybacks can be a bitch.

Yet for all the deadlines, physical discomfort, and mechanical inconveniences of the week, I approach my 39th anniversary on this planet with my morale intact and a quiet sense of optimism. Sure, I may be fat. And my hair (what's left of it) may be turning from blond to brown -- thereby calling into question the real cause of my vertigo. But I'm doing okay.

After all, it could be worse....

--Allan (in Seattle. Where it never rains.)

Posted by on March 29, 2007 11:50 PM in the following Department(s): Tidbits


p.s. Happy Birthday on March 31. I can't find my calendars - every computer has crashed and I'm staying in a room in a home in Winchester, MA. I'm teaching Animal Law at Tufts this semester which is rapidly coming to a close. It's been a blast - but I don't have a follow up plan for this latest weird chapter. Keep you posted.

Posted by: Lunatic on April 11, 2007 3:36 PM

I thought you weren't telling folks that it "never rains" in Seattle?!

Posted by: Lunatic on April 11, 2007 3:42 PM

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On Apr 11, Lunatic said:
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