solution is clock radios
Friday, February 7 2003
I spent four hours today resurrecting a woman's Windows ME computer. It was in terrible shape after her son got through downloading and running a mish mash of pornographic executables on it. From the way she described her son's reckless behavior and her difficulties reaching an understanding with him, I thought he was a teenager. But he was actually a 25 year old man.
The woman was an unemployed postal worker, trying to brush up on her computer skills sufficient to put together a resume. She also had a dog and cat she'd adopted from an animal shelter. So I took pity on her and charged her a little over half of my normal rate.
Now that I'm starting to develop patterns of normal behavior in my house, I've realized several things: I like to listen to the radio. I like to know what time it is. And I usually can do neither of these things while in most of the rooms that I frequent. The solution is clock radios. Several clock radios. Yesterday I got a cube-shaped Sony "Dream Machine" at Target, but its clock display was too small for me to see across the expanse of my laboratory, so today after my housecall I set out to get one with the biggest screen possible. I went to the Hudson Valley Mall, a place I'd rather boycott in favor of real Kingston merchants, but (like everyone else) I'm a hypocrite. I was famished at the time, so I waded through the herds of sharp-dressed Friday night teenagers to the food court. I guess Kingston teenagers aren't big on Chinese food, because the Chinese food stand was the only one without a line in front of it. So I sat down at a Hudson Valley Mall food court table and ate Chinese food all by myself while little kids ran shreiking backwards and collided with my table. Why do little kids never look to see where their trajectories are taking them? Teenagers, on the other hand, seem to pay far too much attention to where their paths are leading, but only in the most literal sense. The clock I ended up with today featured a huge green LED display and was manufactured by GE, a locally-based company whose most persistent legacy will probably be the carcinogenic fish of the Hudson River.
Gretchen and I were going to drive out to Rosendale tonight for bluegrass music at the Rosendale Café, but somehow we got mired in an ice hole in a driveway (there'd been a light snowfall last night and it had obscured the tracks). With considerable effort, I managed to dig the car out. Towards the end there I just wanted to get it out of the puddle of icey water so it wouldn't freeze in place and be rendered imobilized until spring.
By then we'd decided the car's getting stuck was a bad omen (much like the scattering of the space shuttle across Texas), so we stayed in tonight. Together we fabricated a delicious homemade pizza. That's the sort of thing Oberlin couples do together when they're in their thirties and live in a big house in upstate New York.
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