We're about 5 pounds heavier here. Gravity is taking extreme hold.
I'm sitting at the kitchen table, overlooking the backyard. It's sunny, getting to be afternoon, and across the table I'm burning a bunch of CDs for Cheri with her new screaming Toshiba laptop. She's going to learn how to use it herself, she says.
"Let me start the process now," I say.
"I can't learn it now." Cheri's voice takes on a sharp edge. She moves toward the stairs. "I have to go put my face on."
She and my mom have the same response to technology. As I hover over their keyboards, tapping in information, their faces tighten, their hands ball into fists, their jaws jut. If a screen disappears and another flashes up, they flap their hands at the wrists, like baby birds shoved to the lip of the nest. They're fascinated by technology, dependent upon it, and, at the same time, paralyzed in the face of its fickleness. It can save, and it can kill. Too often, they've seen it kill.
In fact, Cheri's job prospects look glum at the moment because of her inability--a physical impediment--to use a computer for any length of time. Her right hand and shoulder were injured in a long ago car accident; she is bound up, too, by a slow-growing bone cancer that ties her muscles into knots at the joints. She is legally disabled, in other words, but the therapy biz (in which she has 25+ years of experience) doesn't care. It's all automated now. A therapist has to fill out reams of paperwork, none of it by hand. In two recent job interviews, when Cheri added, "You do know that I can't use the computer system. I'm disabled," the interviews ended.
And how about that paper we've slaved over, perfected, the best years of our lives put into it, all that brain power--only, because we're moms and grandmoms, and because we don't think about these things, we forget--hell, we don't even know we're supposed to do it!--to save our work whenever we're dithering in the void? We hit a button, accidentally. Ka-ching! The goddamned thing disappears from the screen. From the computer. From the record of our lives. And we have to start over again, sure that we'll never get it back, that brilliance.
Mom's computer shit the bed because of a torrent of viruses she managed to get as she didn't read all her emails.
Cheri's old laptop blew up right after she got fired. Serendipity? Hence, the new one.
I'm wasting hours and hours looking at the different "skins" for this journal, trying to find the magic bullet that will rocket my thoughts into something resembling significance.
Lizzie's composed "My Christmas List," on the computer--"So you can read it," she said--and the top items are all technology:
3. Avatar the last airbender game for gamecube
4. Transiperian (sic) orcestra (sic) on c.d.
5. Pokemn ranger for d.s.
7. ipod charger (If I get it)
8. D.S. skin
9. Sims pets for D.S.
10. Sims 2 for computer (I think its at take 2)
12. love'n'licks husky
13. colored picks for my D.S.
14. Pokemon dungon blue rescue team for D.S.
15. Tecno robotic dog
I think the underwear is a lovely touch, don't you?
I've got a bunch of pictures from our turkey extravaganza yesterday that I should upload here, more technology, but we're late for our shopping date. As long as Guh's still in residence, I need to get my fanny out there with the credit cards.
Have technology, will travel. And spend, of course.