Saturday, April 03, 2004

So Much Stupid Crap, So Little Time

Nothing like a few days that feel like a waste to make you angry at life.

I hate April Fools. The "jokes" are not really funny, and usually, I forget about this little "holiday" until I am brought back to reality and have to disbelieve everything anyone says all day, which is a pain in the ass. In addition, this year, a few remarkably stupid things happened that made me question my sanity.

For one, at work, I found out that the week before, when I'd been doing installs, I had disabled the security program incorrectly, voiding all the work I'd done. This meant 20 machines had to have virus software and security updates reinstalled, a program one class needed had to be upgraded again, and another program (an Excel add-on) that was totally wasted. That one was the worst, because its nonexistence was the reason we learned of my big mistake in the first place. The instructor said they couldn't find the program on any of the machines but the one my boss did. I'd done all the others. And the kicker was we couldn't just go back and install it again because the license codes were submitted online and limited, so once I installed them the first time, that was it: no more licenses. So my boss had to call the company and get them to give us something to work with--another version of the software and new license codes--and made sure I did it right this time. Bleh. It was a pretty big screw-up and I felt so badly. Fortunately, I didn't get in a lot of trouble because my boss is a nice man and I was helpful in righting the situation, or something.

Then I got a call from Rachel (!) who was on campus with her mom for new student weekend--she'll be attending grad school here in the fall. I called her back and told her to swing by my work before 3, so she did. Which was nice. We made plans to see a late showing of Good-bye, Lenin! later.

And then I went home and couldn't find my car keys. I turned my room upside-down, but no car keys. I began thinking perhaps Kevin stole them as some stupid April Fools prank, but he swore up and down he wouldn't do that. Rachel called, and I told her I couldn't make it due to the lack of car keys, so that was sucky.

On the good side of things, we picked project groups (a.k.a., production crews) for my digital journalism class. I'm in a group of five focusing on Islam in Iraq. We have to write two stories, a "breadth" story and a "depth" story, on that subject, and create a multimedia project with a web interface for it. There is an art student and semi-professional web designer in my group, so hooray. The rest of us were pretty well able to divide up the tasks we'd like to learn, which was mostly everything--I'll get to learn a little bit about shooting and editing film, which I'm pretty excited about.

Steph and I were fiending for a lazy but cheesy dinner that night and decided to call a place in Lake City for which we'd received a delivery menu in the mail, addressed to "Resident." We chose cheesy pasta dishes (that came with salad and bread) and phoned in the order. The guy on the phone had the most hilariously stereotypical Italian accent--he actually said things like, "It'sa no problema!" The food arrived quickly and was appropriately satisfying, if not the most health-conscious choice I could've made.

Trouble continued the next morning, when I got up to use the computer and the wireless card was suddenly not being detected. Then the machine froze up, and refused to respond to rebooting requests. This was problematic. Kevin couldn't get it to work and suggested my motherboard might be on the way out.

This meant a painful, two-hour trip to Fry's, my most hated place to be short of maybe Wal-Mart, McDonald's, or Hell, where my credit card took a beating to the tune of $250. I had to replace my ancient motherboard, and of course my processor, RAM, heatsink, and power supply had to go as well. We were going with the cheapest reasonable choices, too. It just sucked. I am grateful for Kevin and Chris, who tirelessly debated my options so I didn't have to, but man, do I hate spending any amount of time at that store, let alone two hours. Or spending so much money I don't really have to spare.

An aside: one of the girls in my project group came to class on Friday and nervously admitted that she hadn't been able to get any research done on our topic yet. I interjected, "Oh, me neither, my computer blew up this morning." Never have I been so glad I chose that metaphor over another common description when she told me her excuse was that her grandmother died unexpectedly last night.

The new motherboard seems to have done the trick, although the heatsink we first bought is about as loud as a jet engine. This meant another trip to Fry's today to pick another (and, of course, slightly more expensive) heatsink that purports to be "quiet."

I also found my car keys. They were hanging on a nail in the wall. So I wouldn't lose them.

Kevin's crazy Canadian friend Simon is in town this weekend, so I finally got to meet him. He's... interesting. And I am now very bored. But I did finish David Sedaris's "Naked" this morning, while being naked, so the day wasn't a total loss.

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