I must have been really crazy, a couple years ago, when I took the advice of several computer magazines, and ordered a laptop from Dell with the model number 5150. If you don't already know, "5150 is a section of California's Welfare and Institutions Code which allows a qualified officer or clinician to involuntarily confine a person deemed a danger to himself, herself, and/or others and/or gravely disabled." It's known as an Involuntary psychiatric hold. 5150 is often used pejoratively in describing someone as "fuckin' nuts".
My laptop model was part of a class action lawsuit because of a major design flaw. The processor was too big for the motherboard and because of where the cooling fan is located air can't circulate properly in order to cool down the processor. This in turn causes the system to overheat and melt the motherboard which inhibits
the charging of the battery and negates the use of the external AC adapter. In short, no power means no computing.
This always happens in November. I've sent my laptop in for repairs for four years now. Always close to the Thanksgiving Holiday which is a shipping logistics nightmare. Take this year for instance-- I sent the laptop out on Friday the 16th. If everything gets repaired I might get the laptop back by Wednesday. But if it doesn't I won't get it back until Monday after the holiday when I get back to work. Ugh.
To compound the annoyance of my laptop being gone this weekend I got an iPhone as a gift. However I can't activate the iPhone unless I use iTunes which is of course on my laptop.
So for now-- except for when I'm at work-- I'm living in a pre-Internet state. Gosh it feels like I'm back in high school again, only this time around I'm not as horny, not wearing braces and I have way better skin.
My parents are naïve about technology. That's the nice way of putting it. The mean way is to write: they're tech retards* which honestly seems more apt. You see, my dad and mom have never been on the cutting edge of technology. In fact they aren't even really in the wake of technology, often way behind on trends because they can't operate the devices made to make life simpler or to entertain.
Twenty years ago, my sister and I laughed at my father's inability to set the VCR clock. The result was him putting black electrical tape over the flashing blue green 12:00. My mother, well she can't even spell VCR.
Upon buying their first answering machine we congratulated them with a "welcome to the 80s!" even though it was already 1992. They didn't know how to use the "message box" without erasing the out-going announcement. My sister and I eventually made them stay away from it handwriting their messages on a pad of paper whenever we returned home.
Around the holidays Melissa becomes somewhat sadomasochistic. She pitches the idea of going in halves on new electronic components for my parent's entertainment center. "How about a bigger TV or the latest DVD player? Or perhaps we should get them a digital video recorder?" Anything with a more advanced remote control, which will confuse our parents, ultimately annoying both of us with endless questions like how to turn the devices on and off. "You mean I can't just unplug it? I've got to turn it off?"
Today I find myself revisiting the Nature v. Nurture debate in regards to homosexuality. I am one who believes in being born gay. Others think I learned to be gay through my experiences and the environment I grew up in. You're probably wondering why I'm bringing this up-- today I discovered my scanner is gay.
It's true, my scanner is gayer than the all the guys in the sauna at Gold’s Gym in the Castro. But was my scanner manufactured gay or has it picked up those traits from me?
To my credit who wouldn't want to be just like me? I live a rather charmed life. I'm better looking than any straight man out there. I have a rockin' body. People I know are always adopting my catch phrases or verbal cadence. I'm super talented and the wit just doesn’t stop. Yes, yes this is all because I'm genetically gay!
With all this gay perfection a little of it could have rubbed off on the scanner. You see, the scanner started out quite gruff showing no gay characteristics at all. In fact upon using it for the first time I was tempted to send it back. It would growl at my requests. But being gay has blessed me with patience. I know I know-- you'd think being gay would make me a diva like Elton John or the gayest drag queen ever seen: Mariah Carey. Heck you have patience being gay-- I mean look how long I'm going to have to wait to get my basic human rights in this country!
The scanner has become gentler. This generally wouldn't send any radar arrows pointing to GAY. But it coos when I'm around. And instead of scanning any of the pictures or documents I need done-- it makes rainbows for me
Or it lets me know what colors gay fashion guru Todd Oldham will be using in his latest collection:
While I may never know if the scanner was made gay or if I just rubbed off on it, what I do know is: I HATE IT. The little bitch doesn’t do anything I want it to anymore. So I’m shipping it out like last week’s boyfriend something this gay scanner better get used to.