One morning before work a couple of weeks ago I was sitting here typing when I bumped the desk slightly and the monitor went out with a soft pop. I hit the on/off button to no avail, and in fact the comforting little light behind the on/off button was, well, off, so I concluded that the monitor was dead. It’s a very old monitor, and because of its age I doubted it could be fixed or revived (insert horrible “Christian Science Monitor” joke here). So a couple nights later I went to the big computer superstore and very thoughtfully chose a fancy flat-screened model and brought it home. I was very pleased with myself because these new-fangled LCD thingies are light and sleek compared to my old monitor, which is basically an anvil block encased in plastic. I couldn’t wait to get the stupid hulking thing off my desk.
So I brought the new monitor home and crawled under my desk to unplug the big old dead monitor. But when I tugged the cord at the outlet end, the other end plunked down to the floor, as if it had been loose all along, and not plugged in to the back of the monitor. Hmm, I thought, and I tried, just for the hell of it, to re-connect the cord. And the old monitor went ping and came to life. Evidently the plug had been loose and the cord had slipped, and ha ha ha, it was all a little misunderstanding. I could’ve just returned the new monitor unopened the next day, but I resented the old monitor for messing with me, and after more than a week of deliberation I decided that yes, I would open up this fine new sleek monitor, because it was fancy, and surely it would hurl pixels at my eyeballs even faster than the old monitor. So last night I set up the new monitor. And after about ten minutes I hated the new monitor. I don’t know what it is–both monitors are the same brand but on the old one things clear and smooth and lovely and on the new one, every letter is rendered crudely, like an Atari asteroid, and the screen looks like it’s smeared with Vaseline. And then I couldn’t find a brilliant autistic child who could navigate the picture control buttons for me. So I’m returning the new monitor tonight, and I’ll stick with the old monitor and not care that it’s the size of a trailer and has cathode tubes and is powered by coal. Moral of the story: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, and if it looks broke, maybe it ain’t, so don’t fix, ’cause it ain’t broke. Got it?
I forgot to mention that I visited my high school last week. I spoke to a classroom of seniors who were born sometime around the year I graduated, and of course that fact wigged me out, because you never stop thinking that you’ve only been gone five years. But the kids were very nice, and I wonder if any of them read the site last week, when the most recent entry consisted mostly of butt jokes. One of the students asked what the school was like when I was there, and it was both comforting and alarming to say it wasn’t very different. I mean, it’s a really old building and it’s full of things that remind you of how old it is, so nothing’s changed except the oldest reminders, which, in my day, were the wooden and iron desks bolted to the floor in some of the classrooms. I mean, they were old then, and now they’re gone. And now I sound really fucking old to say I remember them, which is a cruel, cruel trick. But I’m young enough that a few of my teachers are still there. One of them definitely recognized me, and then another–well, he said he remembered me but I’m not convinced he did, but then again, that might be for the best.