Friday, May 18, 2007

Musings on a Broken Laptop

Be careful and don't bump my laptop as you read this. There is something very wrong with my laptop. The power cord wasn't connecting, not even if you wiggled it, which meant that I had only battery power. My battery is lame, so I had only about 45 min. until it died. Or, rather, the Jawa and Sandra Bullock had only 45 min. to do research for his California history project while I watched two high school baseball games simultaneously. In the freezing cold at Golden Gate Park, completely oblivious, well, only slightly oblivious of the reality that I would have no computer on which to write my reports of the games, to send to my semi-employer, The San Francisco Examiner.

You can imagine what a happy sort-of surprise it was to find, as I crossed Lincoln Avenue in the wind, that I had no way to get the stories from my brain to The San Francisco Examiner.

Enter the Hammer.

As Hillary Clinton says, it takes a village. For me, and for the good of Bay Area high school baseball enthusiasts, my village was located in the shadows of the University of San Francisco, in the neatly-appointed home of the Hammer, the Wine Guy and their well-behaved son, the Shaman. They set me up at the dining room table, then went about their business while I bashed out a few hundred words on how Lick-Wilmerding held off Stuart Hall 4-2, while Crystal Springs Upland just slipped by University High, 5-4. L-M now faces CSU for the league championship Saturday.

Be there.

Sandra Bullock has been home all week, absolutely disrupting my daily schedule, in anticipation of beginning her new job Monday. Some would spend their first non-job week in 7 years at a spa, on a cruise, or driving up the coast with their husband. Not my bride of 14.7 years. Instead, we've spent this week installing crown moulding in our kitchen and dining room. By "we" I mean that she did most of it. I mostly held up large pieces of wood and measured stuff. In the end, I pounded in a few nails, but I am barred from anything involving paint or primer.

The project should be completed in time for my masculity to be completely compromised.

To pass some of the time I spent standing there, holding a nine-foot long piece of moulding over my head, I made up a song:

Well I was born a contractor's daughter.
In the suburbs, just north of Seattle.
We ate deer every year.
If the pipes clogged, we had no fear.
Just the memories of a contractor's daughter.

My apologies to Loretta Lynn.

Speaking of music, I have now used all $15 of the iTunes card Shack gave me. I used it to download the following songs:

So Sad About Us -- The Who
Telephone Line -- ELO
Fisherman's Blues -- The Waterboys
Put the Message in a Box -- World Party
Dirty Old Town -- The Pogues
Fairytale of New York -- Pogues
two versions of the Byrds' "Tulsa County" -- Son Volt and the Backsliders
Touch Me I'm Sick -- Mudhoney
Speeding Motorcycle -- Yo La Tengo
and then three by Yaz -- "In My Room," "Midnight," and "Only You."

I put 'em all in a playlist and called it "Oldies." They're not all exactly "old," though. The two versions of "Tulsa County" are pretty new.

The rest are old, however. In a world where people still pay three digits to watch 65-year-old men prance around and call it "rock and roll," I feel a responsibility to remind people that, yes, the music of a 42-year-old's youth is "old." I've long since given up trying to ram this stuff down the Jawa's throat, as he has moved onto more contemporary sounds, befitting a contemporary youth. We get in the car and he says, "Are we going to have to listen to country music?"

The Jawa is a music guy. He started out singing along to my Pixies CDs in the car, to my great pride until I realized that the pride I was feeling was coming from the same place that baby boomers go when they brainwash their kids to believe that all worthwhile culture ended in 1970.

Being a music guy myself, though, I started throwing stuff at him, to see what would stick.

The Jawa is also a dancing guy, something he inherited from his mother, so by age 5 I had lost all control of his musical direction. Where I loved rootsy rock and roll made by earnest young men wearing plaid shirts, he went back into the 70s for funk played by 15 guys wearing workout towels and sombreros and singing about the mothership. His long-distance mentor Butter Goats sent him info about djs and electronica, and I just tried to keep up.

The Jawa's last 5 CD purchases:

Cut Chemist

I feel no less proud than I did when he was singing along to my Old 97s CD from the backseat, but this is why my iPod downloads are correctly labeled "oldies."

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go play cheerleader while my wife primes the new moulding.


Blogger Bud and/or Marsi said...

he might like the teddybears.

3:36 PM  
Anonymous the hammer said...

No trouble at all on the computer thing. Glad we could help out. You saw a sanitized version of life at The Hammer's house and offered the Shaman a few useful tidbits for the CHIP. You're on your own for a few days until next week.

12:09 PM  
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