duck-shaped pain

14 August 2001
The Demise of an Electronic Device

Last night was much more successful, sleep-wise. Didn't drink any coffee, steered clear of spicy foods (even refusing leftovers of the malay rending I made the other night), popped some valerian, and settled down to sleep at 9 p.m. Which is very, very early for me.

Woke up about 4 a.m., stirred from my long-deserved slumber by one hell of a rainstorm.

First, there is no rain.

Then there is rain, smacking against the open window, accompanied by 30 mile-an-hour winds. Dim thoughts run through my head.

"Are the plants okay?"

"Glad I'm in here, where it's warm and quiet."

"Oh crap. The car."

Oh crap, the car indeed.

The sunroof on Little Honda doesn't work properly. It performs admirably when you want a hole in your roof, but when you don't, it refuses to cooperate. It shuts about halfway, and then goes on a coffee break. Repeated uses of force, WD-40, and screaming have failed to convince it that finishing the job would be a good idea. Sometimes it surprises me and goes all the way, but yesterday it didn't. There was good two-inch opening in the roof of my car.

Since it's been so rainy lately, I've been covering up the hole with a big plastic trash bag, anchored in place by several rocks not perfect, but adequate.

I'm sure you can all guess the punch line here -- the results for Wind vs. Plastic Bag are always the same.

When I got up, I looked outside, and the bag was gone. Okay, I thought, no big deal. Asses get wet, asses dry. The seats will be fine. Just let them air out a day or so.

Got ready to go to work. Went out to the car, towel in hand -- something to put over the assumedly soggy seats so that I could sit in comfort.

The seats were not wet. Which was good.

What was bad was that the rain had come in at precisely the right angle to miss the seats entirely, but to instead fill the passenger-side floor of the car with about a half-inch of water.

Floating in the middle of Lake Floormat was my CD player. Maybe floating isn't the right word here -- bobbing, maybe. Certainly not playing music or displaying on its LCD or doing anything that resembled working.

I cleaned out the water and patted my CD player dry. Pressed a button. Nothing. No glimmer of movement, no sound emitting whatsoever.

So, guess what I get to go shopping for this afternoon?

It's not a terrible tragedy. My CD player lived a good long life, probably much longer than should be expected for something whose main feature, according to its original packaging, was that it was chartreuse instead of black.

The item in question was one of the things that I bought with my first paycheck from the Denver Post, four years ago. That and my Confusion is Sex T-shirt [1] -- I had all this money all of a sudden and was at a loss as to what to do with it.

So I went to Target and saw it in all its chartreuseness. It was $90, which was a lot to me at the time (still is, really), but I talked myself in to it.

I used it nearly every day for those four years. It went to work, accompanied me on many trips (Denver to Seattle and back, Portland to here and then back again, umpteen trips over the mountains), got jostled around in my bags more times than it probably wanted, nearly got lost in the mud once, and thrown against the wall (not intentionally). Performed like a dream after all that, and then to get done in by a freak rainstorm -- that's just not right.

Oh well. I'm sure I can get one two or three times as nice for the same price now. But I guarantee there will be no chartreuse its moment as an "in" color seems to have passed all too soon.


Solved my high school reunion dilemma quite nicely. I finally decided not to go, and I didn't want to be hanging out in the same town while it was going on. The chances of running into any of Those People at the grocery store or some other place that weekend were much too great. So I decided to just leave.

My original plan was to go to NYC and visit J., but the tickets were too expensive. Actually, they were not expensive up until the point when I was going to buy them, and then the price went up. Quelle surprise.

So now I'm going to Chicago for that weekend, to hang out with H. and her boyfriend S. Which will be a good time in addition to being a good story. Museums and food -- I can't wait.


[1] Which is still going strong after four years. It's softened to a nice texture, faded to a proper shade of off-black, and has well-earned holes in the arm and hem. Which is the most you can ask for in a T-shirt, really.

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