hit'n it boys
Tuesday, February 25 2003
This morning Gretchen and I took the two cats to the Hurley vet for a checkup and booster shots. The pricetag came to $100 a piece. Truth is, we could just put them down the garbage disposal and go to the animal shelter and get two new cats for that kind of money. Not that we have a garbage disposal. While we were there, Gretchen let it slip that we operate a "cuteness factory" at our house. This was a little embarrassing, I admit, since I only use that term around Gretchen and her close friends. The vet countered with his own cuteness factory, showing us into the kennel, where a baby lama was recovering from frostbitten ears. The lama was only a couple weeks old but already over four feet tall and had eyes as big as chestnuts. Its hooves were altogether different from those of deer or goats. They featured sharp ridges running down the center, resembling the talons of a bird of prey.
I had to get out of the house today and get away from Noah and Edna's nagging or else I'd go mad. While I was out, I went to P&T Surplus and picked up a very small black and white VGA monitor specifically for artistic projects. I also obtained some jumbo LEDs from Radio Shack for other visually-stimulative projects. They have these new red LEDs that produce 5 candela of light each. That's enough to light to read by. I should mention, by the way, that the Hudson Valley Mall Radio Shack is always crowded with befuddled shoppers either returning items that don't work or imperfectly explaining what they need to employees who don't seem to know how to budget their time. The end result is, depending on your attitude, either a queuer's nightmare or a shoplifter's paradise. Personally I recommend the less painful of those two options.
I got home and discovered my bitchin' little monitor displayed everything as a single vertical line of varying brightness. The universe it could describe was entirely one-dimensional. I immediately opened it up and experimented with twiddling all the potentiometers and removing the connectors one by one while looking to see if there were any changes. When the removal of one of the connectors made no change to my one-dimensional display, I quickly determined that a bad connection on this connector was my problem. And I was correct. Soon my new monitor was presenting Windows 98 in all the glory of both dimensions (though chromatically as it would have been documented had it existed back in 1911). This was, by the way, the first time I'd ever successfully fixed a severe monitor problem.
I confess that I get kind of goofy when I'm by myself and I think no one can overhear. I mean, I take those opportunities to do things specifically because they're cheesy and I can get away with it socially unscathed. I'll hear a song on the radio and I'll make all kinds of stupid late-80s guitar noises and lead singer affectations with the music, things like "jigga-jigga-jigga, downalalalall." Then I'll say something particularly cheesy like,
"Hit'n it boys, hit'n it boys." On such occasions I like to systematically put "-ing" on the end of verbs, no matter how grammatically or rhythmically inappropriate. Sometimes I take it a step further and use the "-ington" suffix. Then I'll lapse into the voice of an appalling-patronizing authority figure informing someone that they are about to get a very hard spanking. It gets to the point where I embarrass myself with how stupid I can be.
Then one of my oddball experimental computers will boot up and demand something like the Windows 98 CD, presenting me with a blurb of unhelpfully user-friendly text and a single button saying "Okay." To this my response is always,
"I can see I have no choice in the matter." I think the thing I hate about Windows most is how fucking condescending it is. It really has Macintosh beat on this score.
There's a thread that is me but lately for the first time I'm realizing it's already draped across a long and varied landscape of history. I was just having a bit of a flashback listening to Yes' "Starship Trooper" for the first time since 1989 - and I realized all the phases I'd been through since then. When I last heard that song, I was still an Oberlin College student living in a room whose windows and light leaks I'd managed to seal with particle board and duct tape. After being kicked out of Oberlin, I hung around the place as a non-student on and off until 1995, when I discovered Charlottesville. The experience in that town lasted until 1998 and had five distinct phases, based on the places I lived: pre-Big Fun, Big Fun, Dynashack, Kappa Mutha Fucka, and post-Kappa Mutha Fucka. Out of the soil of that last phase my California-based life sprouted, first in San Diego working for CollegeClub.com, then in Los Angeles working for Launch.com. Then came Brooklyn, September 11th, joblessness, and now I find myself with my own fucking laboratory in upstate New York while our country gradually metamorphoses into banana republic (but without the nice weather).
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