Saturday, October 31, 2009

You know it's hard out there for a hard drive . . .

So it took three adults around seventy-five minutes to get one sugar saturated elephant to bed tonight. Bub pulled out all his stops, finding every excuse to come back downstairs. He had to kiss daddy again. He needed to go potty. He needed to hide the Halloween candy from trick or treaters (this after some loud-knocking and tardy trick-or-treaters got his attention), and then he needed to ask me to make some signs. One sign was supposed to say, "No more candy. This candy is for Bub." The other was supposed to say, "Go to a different house." I promised him to make both signs, but it was still thirty minutes until he was settled. I haven't made the signs yet, but I may go with the alternate plan of telling Bub that mommy and daddy hid the candy really well so that no one could steal it (not even Bub!). Just an idea.

I've got lots of cute Halloween photos of our elephant and our alien/sea monster (still not sure what to call Little Bit's costume--the only one for toddler boys left on the rack at Children's Place last week--unidentifiable, but 50% off, NTB). I also have plenty of details to report about our various holiday happenings -- moldy, moldy pumpkins . . . a gas-leaking generator that shut down the bouncy castles at our neighborhood's Halloween fest last weekend, prompting many tears and a visit from the fire department . . . Little Bit's confident belief that he is a "big kid" now as he raced down the street after his costumed big brother . . . a preschool Halloween party where the temperature was around 95 degrees inside.

These posts would all be better with pictures. The pictures are all on my camera. I would upload them to my computer, but I can't because my computer seemed to die on Tuesday morning.* When I turned the MacBook on, all I saw was a grey screen and a flashing question mark superimposed on top of a file folder. Not encouraging.

We knew the laptop was on its last legs and had even begun strategizing some solutions and a potential new purchase. All week I held out hope that when we took it to the Genius Bar on Saturday, they would at least be able to recover my data.

Alas, no dice. The hard drive was completely shot. Who knows how. Who knows why.

The good news is that most everything that matters is backed up elsewhere. Some photos on our separate hard drive. Some on Kodak Gallery. Music on the hard drive upstairs and on my ipod. All my important academic stuff and dissertation on a remote hard drive storage system thing that I subscribe to.

I've lost some personal writing that I might miss a little, some recipes I typed up, a list of all the books I read in 2009, and a bunch of little stuff, most of which I can live without or won't ever remember having.

I'm okay about it, except when I think about the loss of the hundreds of pictures that we have taken using the Photo Booth feature of the MacBook. We started taking these photos when Bub was about seven months old. Sometime last year, he learned how to take them himself. I always wanted to do something with these little shots. A bunch of random glimpses of life as we really live it every day. My heart hurts quite a bit thinking about three plus years of this kind of photo history lost. But, we can start again when the Photo Booth is back in business. We can capture the moments when Little Bit learns how to take his own photos. We can try to cram the whole family into shots when number three joins us in April.

How do I know the Photo Booth will be back in business? Because even though my warranty and Apple Care extension plan had both expired, Apple is still fixing my computer. Our genius today, Rich, came back from the secret back room at the store and gave us the bad news that all that protection stuff had expired, but then said, "But we can cover those repairs for you." So I say, "Do you mean 'cover' as in you know how to fix it, or 'cover' as in you are fixing it for free?" They are fixing it for free. Seems my MacBook was not the only one to have this kind of problem, which kind of pissed me off in the sense of "Hey, could you have emailed me a warning so I would have been a good girl about backing stuff up." But mostly, I thought, "Woo hoo!" They are giving me a new hard drive, double in size from the old one, and promised to fix my wonky, child-damaged space bar to boot.

I can pick it up tomorrow.

In honor of this good news and despite the fact that I have been the worst poster in the world lately, I'm thinking of participating in NaBloPoMo, which is National Blog Posting Month. If you sign up for it, you commit to posting every day in the month of November. I'm going to give it a try. Some of the posts will surely be crap, but I need to get back into the habit of making time for blogging.

Please stay tuned. Also, go back up everything on your own hard drives RIGHT NOW!

*I will add that this past Tuesday was already shaping up to be a pretty tough day when that occurred.

Monday, October 19, 2009

No time to make excuses for not blogging . . .

. . . but enough time to let you know that:

* from 8:58-9:05 a.m. this morning I was furiously dialing and redialing the same number on my home phone and my cell phone. At the same time, I was being pelted by full packages of wipes from the multi-pack just purchased at Costco. I played through and kept dialing like a champ. Was I trying to secure U2 tickets or be the 100th caller on a radio show that was going to pay me lots of money or give me a brand new car? No. I was trying to secure a flu shot for my oldest son. As of 11:15 a.m., Bub has been flu-misted. Little Bit will be clear to receive his second dose of the baby flu shot in two more days. So, I get a break from crazy dialing until Wednesday morning.

* have rediscovered Bit-0-Honey and, honey, there won't be any left for our trick or treaters (not that I would pass them out for trick or treat anyway--they contain peanuts)

* forgot to complete Bub's Scholastic book order by the due date (thrown off because there was no school on Friday and was planning to use the new online ordering feature). This slip-up is stinging more than it should. When will I have another opportunity to secure a hardcover of When You Give a Pig a Party for only eight dollars? I really am disappointed.

* also forgot to pay my Visa bill last month. I had the funds, but I did not pay it. Just plain forgot. This kind of forgetfulness is not like me. Really, really annoyed at myself earlier in the day, but I have recovered.

* have to report that the little shits who first started calling us way back then just called again five minutes ago. Seriously?! It's getting creepy.

* also forgot how annoying it is to wear maternity pants. I spend half the day hoisting the pants up as they continue to slip, but not too far up since most maternity pants do not come in lovely tall styles. I spend the other half of the day pulling down the non-maternity shirts that I try to wear for as long as possible. Wait?! Why are you wearing maternity clothes, MEP? Oh, did I forget to tell you?

More and better later, I promise.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Brown paper packages tied up with string . . .

. . . These are a few of my favorite things (right now):


Still Alice by Lisa Genova -- this book was recommended to me by Mrs F with 4 in the comments section of this NTB post. The novel traces early-onset Alzheimer's disease from the perspective of a fifty year-old woman who has the memory disease. I came away with a new perspective on just how traumatic the disease is on the patients. I feel bad admitting it, but before I had always thought more about the struggles of caretakers of those with Alzheimers. This novel would be a FANTASTIC book club selection. There's a lot of talk about, especially questions of quality and sanctity of life. Please read it.

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins -- A few months ago I posted about The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and noted that it was so awesome that it made me want to teach ninth grade English again. Catching Fire is the sequel, and I loved it just as much or more. Totalitarianism. Revolution. Reality Television. Again, would be a great book club selection. So, go read The Hunger Games, then go read Catching Fire, and then join my hurry-up-and-finish-the-next-book-please-Suzanne-Collins club.

How I Became a Famous Novelist by Steve Hely -- Hilarious, satirical novel about today's publishing industry and readers. The novel's protagonist basically tries to write a bestselling novel by consciously writing the worst novel ever. Laughed out loud several times. Those of you who read a lot, check out book reviews, and pay attention to what's on the Bestseller list and the book table at Costco will especially enjoy this one.

Extra sharp cheddar cheese sliced and placed on my beloved Cracked Pepper and Olive Oil Triscuits

Cherry Cordial Ice Cream -- I'm eating the Edy's brand right now which is actually called "Cherry Chocolate Chip" but the point is that the combination of bright pink cherry ice cream, small chunks of chocolate, and pieces of maraschino cherry is freaking irresistible.

Dominos American Legends Pizza -- Dominos is less than half a mile from my house. If I call, it is delivered in under 20 minutes and thus we eat our fair share of Dominos. I am a master of the Dominos online ordering system with coupon codes, NTB. The two varieties of American Legends pizzas I have sampled are excellent. Do yourself a favor and try the salty and delicious Philly Cheese Steak Pizza or the Pacific Veggie one (request thing crust for that one--yes, Dominos has thin crust and it is quite lovely).

Jim and Pam are getting married. I have cried during every episode of The Biggest Loser this season (plus enjoy the train wreck that is crazy Tracey). Joel McHale and Community are hilarious. This season's Top Chefs are kicking ass (love Kevin from Atlanta, intense Jen from Philly, and the non-twin Voltaggio brothers -- not a fan of the Greek guy). And, I am Gleeful.

Love the cooler temps (but winter, don't get any ideas about arriving early, especially since you tend to overstay your welcome in these parts). Love the smell of Fall, especially when it's windy out. Love that the leaves are changing.

Okay, what are your favorite things right now?
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