Love Affair

My laptop is my livelihood. I’m a writer and editor, and I work out of my home. If my laptop doesn’t work, neither can I. The great Memphis philosophers Sam and Dave put it best: “When something is wrong with my baby, something is wrong with me.”

I was using it on my radio sports broadcast last weekend, and I never carried it back up to the office after the weekend was over. It stayed downstairs Monday, when I had my receipts and other tax-related papers spread out all over the place. Tuesday morning I carried it upstairs, fired it up, and found that nothing attached to the USB ports—specifically the printer and the external hard drive that holds my music stash—would function. Although that’s a drag, it wasn’t necessarily a disaster. The Mrs. has a laptop I can use all day while she’s at work. Except I quickly learned that hers isn’t powerful enough to run the software I use for the editorial work I do, and it’s equipped with Windows Media Player 11, to which the term “suck” does not remotely do justice. Suddenly, getting my computer fixed took on greater urgency, so when I got it to the shop, I paid the extra $99 for priority service, which would cut the four-day wait for service down to one. It would be ready on Wednesday.

Yesterday afternoon, I went to pick it up. The tech had replaced the USB ports and told me he’d had to remove some spyware, which surprised me because I’m behind a firewall and I regularly fool with software that is supposed to keep me from getting spyware. No worries, though. The laptop and I were reunited. But I didn’t fire it up until this morning, which was a good thing, in that last evening didn’t turn into the clusterfuck this morning turned into. The new USB ports worked only sporadically—a disease they’d apparently caught from the rest of the system. Sometimes it would boot up, sometimes it would hang up without booting up, and sometimes it would boot up and then hang up as soon as I tried to do anything. So back in the case it went, and back over to the shop. “The spyware must have altered your registry,” the tech said. “The only way to fix it is to do a clean install of Windows.” I bit my tongue and didn’t say what I was thinking—that if he’d fixed the hardware correctly yesterday like I asked and left the software alone I wouldn’t be two days behind on a big new project now.

So I am blogging on The Mrs.’s laptop, waiting for the guy to call me back and tell me it’s done. For a while this morning, it was an even bet whether I’d get an ulcer from the stress or just stroke out and be dead. In the middle of it all, there was one thing that made me feel marginally better for a few minutes—when the Spinners came on the radio. Writing this now, it occurs to me that the song was more appropriate than I realized at the time.

“One of a Kind (Love Affair)”/Spinners (buy it here)

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