Monday, May 10, 2010

Computer Murderer

I had about three blog posts typed up and ready to post yesterday . It would have been glorious. One of these posts was about how unsteady my life has been recently. I have terrible mornings, then teaching is great, then something goes wrong in the afternoon. A day starts off wonderfully, then something terrible happens, then it ends well. For example, I had written about when I went to my alternative junior high only to realize that the library was closed. I thought that meant I had a day off, so I went home. Then I learned that though the library was closed, the school had been open on its third floor. In the original post there was a lot more wit and self-deprecating humor, along with a transcription of my thoughts (goig home had made sense at the time) and the conversation I had with my supervisor on the matter. Up and down, up and down. Don't worry, I still have a job. 

You may wonder why I'm telling you about a blog post rather than post it. The reason, good friends not only explains why I wasn't able to call my mother on Mother's Day, but also is related directly to that rollercoaster ride of emotions, the battle of Good Day, Bad Day. Yesterday started off well. I went to Paulette's shakohachi performance, I had TGIFriday's for lunch, church was great, then I learned I had won a "color changing fiber light" in a raffle at the morning's performance. Much needed for my home disco parties, to go with my lava lamps, glowsticks, and supply of Hallucinogens. Then, in an accident of devastating proportions, my laptop got wet last night. I was carrying the device while attempting to multitask (wash dishes, do laundry, bathe, make lunch for today) in preparation for a busy week. I got too close to a tub of water. In a nightmarish, fumbling, slow-motion moment of horror I lost my grip on my laptop and dropped it into that tub. It shut off immediately. I haven't cursed like that since I pursued the guy who stole my purse, back in college. Thank the Lord that I had just backed everything up on my external hard drive.

I did not give up, friends. I happened to have my blow dryer and a vacuum with a hose nearby, so I suctioned and heated and prayed. I remembered that Margaret had not yet returned from her trip to Australia, so I used the spare key to break in (I felt like such a creep) and use her computer to search the term "save waterlogged laptop." The internet told me it could be done by popping all the keys off the keyboard, drying it as best I could, and packing it with desiccants. Another suggestion for waterlogged iPods and iPhones suggested immersing the device in uncooked rice, which would absorb the moisture trapped inside.

I had both rice and desiccants. I spent about thirty minutes removing the keys from the keyboard, vacuuming at every step. Then I grabbed some bubble wrap and dumped rice into a pile. I smushed my laptop into that grainy bed, scooped more rice around the sides, put desiccants packets on the naked keyboard and put rice over that, then sealed the whole thing up and left it overnight.

Perhaps this technique only applies to computers that haven't been dropped into water. As of 7:00 this morning there was no sign of life. I spent another thirty minutes standing outside of Paulette's apartment to access her WiFi through my iPod, just to make sure that no urgent emails awaited, and to find out if it was going to rain or not.

To top it off, I left my pencil case with all of my flash drives inside on the bus this morning. I have one green pen on my person. There's a chance it will turn up at the lost and found, but I need to research how to ask for it, first. Basically, Bad Day has been winning since 10:24 p.m. on Sunday, May 9.

1st Addendum: I just read a testimony from someone whose laptop revived, slightly handicapped, after drying for three days. I've decided to see if I can Lazarus my computer. There maybe hope.

2nd Addendum: About two hours after I had finished writing this, my junior high got a visitor. While this wasn't unusual I was nevertheless startled to hear my name. The pricipal of the elementary school next door had brought my pencil case, which the bus driver had left with her in case one of her students had dropped it. Yes, I ride a schoolbus to work sometimes. Though the event was embarrassing it seems as though Good Day hasn't given up fighting just yet.


  1. Glad to hear Good Day's putting up somewhat of a fight. Sorry, mang.

  2. Hey Laurel,

    This is Ken, that one asian guy from Louisiana who stayed in Kyoto for a few months working at the church. Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that I discovered your blog about a month ago and have read every entry you've put up from the beginning. I'm pretty much in love with the way you write and how your humor, personality, and daily life come through in your writing. I hope you're enjoying Japan, regardless of all the crazy happenings, and I hope to see you again soon.


  3. Dear, I'm so sorry about your computer. There's hope yet. Good thinking putting it in rice!