Monday, April 30, 2007

Computer hangups and letdowns

Its been an unsettling week for me as far as my computer goes.

It's the fifth time it's been completely wiped out within six months. Shouldn't a computer be more dependable than that? It's only two years old. I believed in my computer once The Apple Store installed a brand new logic board in it. Now they say it has an unstable hard drive and an unstable power button.

I trusted in my computer like one trusts a friend. I gave of myself with no second thoughts. Pure trust. No cross-examination. No scrutiny. I took it for what it seemed. I believed in it's authenticity.

It's like pouring your heart and soul into someone who you thought believed in the same meaning of loyalty and friendship as you do. Only instead, they take all your hopes and return them to you in an empty paper bag.

How does one learn to trust again?
Should I just go out and buy a new hard drive before I lose everything all over again? Or.. do I ride it out. Backing up everything... preparing myself for the inevitable and final upheaval.

Walking on eggshells is never fun. Eggshells will break in the end.

I collected photos and stacked email letters in neat folders on my hard-drive as if I would have them forever. I created bookmarks to my favorite blogs. I stored my favorite people's addresses that are now lost until they track me down again. Not to mention illustrations and designs I was working on. And, like a friend who has let me down, I blame myself for my own naivete and willingness to trust and my friend for inconsistency.

Two weeks ago, my brother gave me three trees to plant, but I only planted two. And, on Saturday morning as I laid there in my bed in those moments between asleep and awake, I thought of that last tree sitting in an upheaval in a pot between my house and the neighbor's driveway, forgotten and unwatered for two weeks. I went out there to look at it and it was so beautiful and had such a determination to live. So I dragged it into my backyard, dug another deep hole and placed her in it. She is thriving. So happy. I believe she will live for a hundred more years.

A tree that's determined to live against such odds has a long future.

I wish my computer had the same sort of drive.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

You did it again

Just when I started to trust you again.

Just when I believed I could depend on you.

Even though I knew you were probably still unstable, I began to feel more comfortable with you. I believed you wouldn't let me down like you did before because you have good logic which you lacked before.

But. You did it again last night.

Shame on you Mac. You lost your drive.

You've had two logic boards put in you already and now Apple is saying your hard drive needs to be replaced. And you might be losing your power. You are only two years old Mac.

I think you are a bit fat lemon. I just can't rely on you anymore.

You are no longer the Apple of my eye.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

I planted a tree

The first book I ever read on my own as a child was The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss.

My mother let me pick out any book I wanted and for some unknown reason, I picked out The Carrot Seed... a yellow book with a little boy on the cover dropping his little carrot seed into the ground. Maybe I picked the book out, because the little boy looked similar to another book I enjoyed called Harold and the Purple Crayon.

The Carrot Seed is a story of a little boy who plants a carrot seed, despite his mother, his father, and his big brother repeatedly telling him every single day, "I'm afraid it won't come up."

But everyday, he watered and weeded it. And his care, patience, and unshakable belief are rewarded when, one day, up pops the tall leafy green part of the carrot above his head. The final picture shows him wheeling away a huge, dark orange carrot— it has come up "just as he knew it would."

Over the weekend, I actually planted two trees. it was such a spontaneous and major act of commitment to do.

On Saturday afternoon, my brother had three chinese pistache trees growing between the sidewalk and the street of his home and he was pullin' them up to plant maples.

"Ya want 'em?".
"My mom, the tree lover, gasped, "Whaat?! Are you crazy!? Your naked yard needs trees! GET them!!"

So I got them home and quickly flipped through my Sunset magazines hoping to find a backyard that was shaped exactly like mine so I could copy the exact location where they planted their trees. No such luck. I had to actually make a decision. I didn't think I could do it. But I did.

And now they are planted. The photo above shows one of them. It's the prettier of the two I planted since it has some leaves.

About an hour ago, I hammered down the steaks and tied twine around them and the tree to secure them from the strong winds we are having and before long, I will have a canopy of shade in the summer.

Or not.

Someone said to me yesterday, "You didn't plant them in grass did you? Then it won't come up."

Another said, "Make sure you create a ring around the roots so you can dribble water in there twenty minutes a day for two weeks. Otherwise, it won't come up."

"Do you have good organic mulch around it? And those types of trees can't drink just regular city water ya know..." replied another shaking her head feeling sorry for me, when I looked at her bewildered.

I can't help but notice all the happy wild trees that are growing just fine, but I am like a worried mother. Going out there, and watering them with my city water and talking to them and seeing if there is any new growth to the slim tiny twig branches.

Maybe they're right. Maybe my trees won't live. But. They also could grow into fine adult trees. For now I'm doing the best I can without a lot of know-how. (Google isn't helping me much in tree planting). But... I'll keep you posted whether or not... my lovely two trees... will ever grow up. And they just might do that.

Just as I knew it would.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Riding shotgun with the bearded lady

My tow-truck driver was Ronnie. I could see she had been in a few brawls and she hadn't shaved in months.

She told me stories how she likes rough men. Men with missing teeth. Especially those she has kicked out with her own boots. "That's how I like men!" she said in her low, raspy voice. She tosses me a small bag of Hershey's Reeses Pieces. "Here! Eat some candy!"

No way would I insult the driver by declining, so I ate her candy as we travelled thirty minutes down the road while she told me stories of her fast-pitch softball days, her various sport injuries, and life on the road as a Tow Truck driver. She wants to write a book of all the crazy experiences on the road. I told her about the NYC woman cab driver who blogs her experiences and is now publishing a book. She felt inspired by that. "Look at my goosebumps!" she said. Her arms were covered with them.

Driving through town, she pulls over halfway in the middle of the road at a post office. "I'll be right back. Watch the rig..." and she runs in the post office to mail her rent check.

And then minutes later, it was all over. The ride had ended. We were at the shop.

"Take care of the little lady now," she hollers out to the mechanic. She turns and gives me a wink as she lights up her cigarette. "Nice ridin' with you!" she says as she drives off, kicking up a splattering of dirt and gravel on way to her next adventure.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

TMJ is such a pain

Being a pain in the neck is one thing. Having a pain in the neck is another.

And having my face, teeth, jaw and ear ache as well, is a real kill joy. My right side of my face feels like it is clamped tight to a vise. My right ear, oozing of warmth, feels like maybe a sun-drenched jar of mayonnaise is slowly rippling down inside my ear.

Isn't that lovely?

It's been going on since mid October. Some people are claiming it to be TMJ. (TemporoMandibular Joint).

I believe them.

I can barely eat a ripened banana without breaking small pieces off and poking it into my mouth with my finger. And you know that crunchy part of the lettuce? Nope. Can't eat that at all. Too big. And you can forget about a hamburger or a sandwich.

I remember a few years ago I could listen to me chew and think how much it sounded like a bag of potato chips. I sorta got a kick out of it. Wondered if others who sat within ear shot of me got the same enjoyment.

Then there was that fun way I could move my jaw around, as though it was disjointed. "LoOoK what I can do!" I'd happily show off.

Last summer while waiting to board the ferry to San Francisco, I decided to have a sip of my bottled water. In the corner of my eye I noticed some folks near me in line watching me, so I decided to entertain them by drinking it all at once. Give them a bit of a show of sorts.

When I was finished, I noticed my jaw was very sore and I had trouble opening my mouth. I should have known better. I've experienced repercussions before in showing off.

That was the beginning. Though the pain only last a few days, it was intense and most unbearable.

It was sometime in early October when I noticed my jaw was sore again. I think it was right after I chewed a very hard bazooka bubblegum. Though in time, I managed to soften that fabulous pink gum, the texture was thick and difficult to chew. It's now been six months and I still can't even even lick my lips or run my tongue over my front teeth like the seductive young woman did in those 1970s Pearl Drops Tooth Polish commercials, while moaning, "Nnnnnnnnnnn .. it's a grrreeeaaat feeeling!"

I have an appointment with my dentist on April 24th. I scheduled it in December but April was the earliest appointment he could get me in with all his patients.

With that sort of patience, I hope he has time to wait for me while I try to open my mouth for him. The rate I'm going, I could be sitting in that chair for another six months before it opens fully for him.