Every year at this time, my husband and I go south of the border for three days for a little Christmas shopping and some casino fun. This time it was a little different, as we seemed to have an extra passenger with us; an unwelcomed passenger, in fact this little guy had been hanging around me for well over two weeks now. I’ve given him a name over the years, as he always shows up at the most inopportune times. Nobody can see him, as he is not human. But, nonetheless, I know very well when he is around. His name is ‘Murphy’, in fact, only me and my best friend Zan are aware of his presence and we named him together.
Why Murphy? As in……’Murphy’s law’…..you know….. whatever can go wrong, will go wrong? Yup, that’s him. Murphy has taken quite a shining to me lately and I can’t seem to shake him. Now I’m a girl who loves a good challenge, but this guy has been wearing me thin for weeks now. When Murphy’s around, things break, communications get complicated, my computer gets possessed, things get lost. There are delays and obstacles in everything I do it seems. So just to give you a sampling, I’m going to share my mini holiday here.
While I looked forward to my little escape, I was apprehensive about leaving my work behind as my little world had become, just that, for many months, writing and working on my upcoming book, Conflicted Hearts. So I took my laptop with me so I could stay in the loop.
The weather was gorgeous, beautiful autumn temperatures at 68 degrees and the beautiful red leaves in full colour. After a day of power shopping, my legs didn’t seem to have the same stamina of yesteryear. My legs were aching and comfortable shoes, were no longer. Of course that didn’t stop me from fulfilling my addiction for high-heeled shoes and boots.
After dinner and an unsuccessful attempt to win any money, I went up to my room, turned on my computer and felt back in my element when I was connected back into cyber world. It was all in all a good day, considering the bumpy two weeks at home that I seemed to be fighting Murphy off at every turn. As I turned in for the night, I assured myself that things were looking up and Murphy had not followed me to the U.S.A.
The next day I woke up and when I got out of bed, my legs felt as though they had trudged 100 miles and didn’t want to move as fast as my brain wanted them to. My husband went down to bring me up a Tim Horton’s coffee, black, so that I could eat my usual travel breakfast in my room. Because I am gluten and dairy-free, it makes things a bit challenging to eat breakfast out, so I always bring along some gluten-free muffins, almond butter (for protein) and soy creamer for my coffee because I don’t like it black. As I anxiously awaited the arrival of my coffee, I dragged my slow azz over to the mini fridge to take out my food. Usually those little fridges never really get things very cold. My husband returned with the coffee and I eagerly went to pour in the cream which wouldn’t pour because it had froze, along with my baseball-like muffin and block of almond butter. Oh ya, I got that old familiar feeling that my buddy Murphy hadn’t gone too far. As always, I needed to overcome his antics and find a solution to my frozen breakfast.
It was a lovely sunny day and the warmth of the sun had heated the room considerably. I placed the muffin and almond butter on the window sill to try and thaw them, even a tad. As I smelled my delicious coffee aroma, I was determined to find a way to get me some cream. Light bulb idea. I took my cream into the bathroom, placed a Kleenex over the spout to filter it as I blasted the blowdryer on high for a good ten minutes directly on the spout. Oh ya, that’s right! Nobody was going to come between me and my morning coffee. I finally got to drink my cream laden coffee and I ate my semi-frozen muffin with some almost thawed almond butter and got ready for another shopping venture. I had made a list of things to get for gifts and that day wasn’t too successful as it seemed as though anything I was after was either sold out, out of the size I needed or okay, whatever.
After a long day of shopping, I was now in my stocking feet because my feet were killing me. While puttering around my room, I was wishing that out of the three pair of shoes I brought and the five new pair of shoes and boots I bought, I could find something that didn’t hurt while I wore them. But no such luck. So I forced myself to walk down to the casino at a senior pace and play some slots before dinner. No luck. After dinner, I decided that I didn’t want to go back to the casino, I would just go back to my laptop and catch up in my world and watch the Thursday night NFL game. When I washed my face and got into my night shirt, I propped up some pillows, some for my head and two for my legs to elevate, I got out my laptop…….and it wouldn’t turn on. I tried all my usual arsenal of tricks for this sometimes recurring incident that Dell insisted was fixed. Again……not happening. I resolved myself to just take the day off from cyber world and watch the football game. As I flicked through the channels, I found, college football, baseball, tennis…..But No NFL. Par for the course, I thought. At least I found my Grey’s Anatomy and after that I passed out anyway.
The next day we headed home with all my shopping bags and weary bones in tow. When I arrived home, I was eager to get on the computer and catch up on the 176 emails I had piling up in my account. I sat myself down and opened my laptop, only to discover, it still wouldn’t turn on. I gasped. I knew what was to follow and I didn’t want to go through the drill but I had no choice but to call Dell support. I knew from the many calls in the past that this call was going to cut into my evening work time…..three hours worth! While the tech did all the hocus pocus on my computer to no avail, I was flustered and counting down the passing hours that I would once again have to make up after. They told me it was the LCD on my screen that needed replacing. As I felt displeasure at the deduction, I made it clear that I’ve had so many issues that never seem to be resolved regarding this, and that I was a writer who had no time for this or to be sending out my laptop yet again, especially while I was on a deadline for my editor. As she empathized with me she offered to send a tech to me later next week and in the meantime offered to assist me in connecting my old desktop computer’s monitor to my laptop. I sighed heavily as I knew what that was going to entail. She guided me through disconnecting it from my dinosaur desktop. This procedure involved me moving furniture to get access to the back of the desk, leaving me a tiny crawl space and sorting through what seemed 150 wire connections all tangled up. Finally I connected the two and voila, I had a screen. After getting off the phone three hours later, I proceeded to the basement to look for an extension cord. That monitor from upstairs had to be taken downstairs to the family room where all my work was scattered all over the room in piles. So I got an extension and went to the family room, I had to move the couch and the carpet to get behind to the plug. My husband carried down the heavy monitor and placed it on the coffee table, perfectly blocking the view of the television and I went to connect it, except the cord I had found didn’t have a three-prong hole. Duh, ya, perhaps I should have looked at the plug’s connection first. By this time I was ranting with expressed volume as I used some ‘choice’ words. My husband offered to bring in his industrial extension cord from the garage. I was hesitant as I was afraid it may have had too much power and may have blown out the power in the computer, but at that point, I threw my hands up in surrender. He brought in the dirty cord, which I wasn’t about to start cleaning, nor did I want it laying on my carpet. So I plugged it into, yes, the hallway leading to the family room and let it lay across the tiles, coiled looking like an industrial site with the added cyclonic effect of papers all over the floor. Now into the fourth hour, I began working. It was weird and uncomfortable, as I typed on my laptop with the top half closed over the keyboard so I could see the too far away monitor with my not so great vision, but I plowed on through my emails and my follow-up comments to my wonderful blogging followers.
It was about midnight while I was surfing around when I noticed that my laptop had miraculously been showing what I was also seeing in front on the big monitor. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Once again, my possessed computer had shown new life. What happened to the ‘LCD is gone’? Why did I go through all this? Was this yet another temporary appearance of my screen? Should I cancel the tech service call to replace it? Did Murphy leave, or is he playing games?
I don’t know the answers to these questions, but I do know the clock is ticking and I have to get back to revisions!