Sunday, August 27, 2006

The Man Who Gave Our Computer Cancer

My family has never been great with computers. It’s not that we don’t like new technology; we were the first ones on the block with Prodigy (or so I assume- God knows we don't talk to our neighbors), but we still refer to our computer as "the box." About eight years ago, we asked an acquaintance of my parents to come work on our box. The goal was for him to install new programs, clean out viruses, organize the computer cords, etc. I think he came once a week for about two years, and he was paid by the hour. Was he successful? Let me put it this way- we will never again call him by his name. We call him the man who gave our computer cancer.

As you can see by the photo of the box's underpinnings, the man who gave our computer cancer utterly failed in his attempt to organize the cords. Did he misunderstand the request? My mom was trying to plug the cord from her new catamaran-shaped fax machine into Medusa last weekend, and we could not 1) find an open outlet and 2) find the cord to the old fax machine.

Even more confusing, the man who gave our computer cancer left his designated area and ventured upstairs to my room. He installed what I like to call the snake hole. I believe he thought that he was making room for cords to come through the wall, when in reality he was just making it very easy for a corn snake to sneak into my room while I slept (don’t pretend like you haven’t seen that episode of Home Improvement.)

Aside from Medusa and the snake hole, the man who gave our computer cancer also downloaded enough viruses to shut down all activity on the box. High-speed Internet became irrelevant; you can’t do anything when opening up a new window causes the whole system to freeze and shut down.

In reality, the man who gave our computer cancer was a genius. Each week, he would cause a new problem that he would return to fix the next week. He made $35 per hour, he got away from his family for hours at a time, and sometimes, we even gave him a glass of water. For free.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Safety gates

A few years ago, my dad told me that, if I so desired, I could live at home forever. I thanked him, laughed, and moved to New York. Two years later, I have returned to the homestead, I am redecorating my room, and I defy you to ever make me leave again.

My parents live in a gated community to protect us all from south Orange County riff raff. My parents used to tell me never to leave the gates, and for the first time in my life, I plan on obeying that order. I am hiding out, moving by the shadows of night. The best way for me to stay hidden is to remain within the community gates, and beyond that, to remain within the walls of my house.

The only problem with this community, besides all of the people, is the community association oligarchy that has obviously made Nazi Germany their model for running things. If we leave our trash cans in the street after the Monday morning trash pick up, we get fined. If we park our own cars on the street in front of our own house, we get fined. At one association meeting (they pretend to be democratic), one board member recommended a rule forcing all skateboard wheels to be replaced with special "quieter" wheels. Surprisingly, it was not enacted. As of September 1, a photo ID will be required to use the community gym or pool, so I had to get my picture taken in front of an enormous American flag. They then tried to insert the 2x3" card into my forehead, but I said enough was enough.

Still, can you blame them? This is Orange County. I need to know that I can walk around my neighborhood at 8pm and not get harrassed by a young kid with spiky hair and a big truck and expensive sunglasses or a hot mom on her way back from a tennis match. It's a dangerous world, and I'm not taking any chances.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Now in California

I have not posted in a while, and I would like to blame the Middle East for it. Actually, I have been extremely busy moving for the 16th time in 8 years, and when things that I wanted to share with you have happened, I have not had a computer right next to me to record the event. For instance, a few nights ago, I was watching The Sound of Music at my grandparent's house in Colorado, and right as I noticed that there were raccoons on the back deck, a yellow jacket stung my toe. Just remember- you heard it here first.