Saturday, April 22, 2017

It's apt to confuse me

Something went right today. The way things have been going lately, I found this confusing.

Getting online with my ancient little MacBook Pro has been hit or miss. After 3 (count 'em THREE) hours on the phone with Comcast -- a painful experience -- and another 30 minutes with Apple, the problem is diagnosed as not my modem, not my ethernet chord, but the ethernet port. The Apple troubleshooter warned me that this could require replacing the motherboard. Expensive. Very expensive. So I'd have to decide whether to invest more than $500 (probably closer to $800) on this old Mac or spend $2,000 on a new one.

The shop up the street is an authorized Apple seller/service provider. I took it in there to try to get definitive answers and hard numbers so I could mull my online future.

I left with a $30 USB ethernet adapter and my little laptop will live to surf another day.

What I found especially heartening is that the repair tech knew I was open to buying a new Mac. Not thrilled by the idea, obviously, but open to it. He didn't even try to steer me that way. He seemed pleased to have found an efficient and economic fix.

On the way home, this wonderful song kept running through my head. Written by Paul Simon, performed by Babs.

"I swear I can't get used to something so right."

Saturday 9

Saturday 9: Don't Sleep in the Subway (1967)
Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

1) Subways can be bright and noisy. Do you need it dark and quiet before you can fall asleep? I have often dozed off on trains.

2) In this song, Petula encourages her lover to talk it out instead of walking out. Do you usually remain reasonable during a disagreement? No. I get emotional easily. I once had a lover who would say, before disagreements could turn into arguments, "I'm not telling you you're wrong, I'm asking you to be clear." I wish everyone I clashed with took that approach. It really helped stop things from escalating.

3) Petula was a child star in England during WWII. Her BBC broadcasts
were very popular with the British troops, who nicknamed her The Singing Sweetheart. Soldiers pasted her photo onto their tanks for luck as they went into battle. Do you have any little rituals or good luck charms that calm/comfort you when you're afraid? A friend gave me a Guatemalan Worry Doll. I try to transfer my terror to her when I fly.

4) Now 84, she recently told London's Daily Mail that she's surprised and thrilled to have found love again with a new man. Do you believe you'll ever be too old for romance? I suspect I am. I'd be delighted to be proven wrong.
5) Her family is far flung. She lives in London, her middle daughter is in Paris, her son is in Los Angeles and her oldest daughter lives in New York with Petula's two grandchildren. Who is your nearest friend or relative? Which one is farthest away? My closest close friend is John, who never more than a 20-minute cab ride away. The one who's farthest away is in Southern California, 2000 miles away.

6) In 1967, when this song was popular, Rolling Stone published its first issue. John Lennon was on the cover. Publisher Jann Wenner reports that, either individually or as a group, the members of The Beatles have appeared on the most Rolling Stone covers. What's the first Beatle song that comes to mind? "Who knows how long I've loved you? I know I love you still. Shall I wait a lonely lifetime? If you want me to, I will." Judging by the audience participation, I guess I'm not the only one who holds this song dear.

7) In 1967, Star Trek was in its second season on NBC. Who is your favorite Star Trek character? I'm not a big Star Trek fan, but I do get such a kick out of William Shatner. Everything I've seen him in, he's been delightfully over the top.
8) RANDOM QUESTION: When you slip into jeans or slacks, which foot do you put in first? Right.

9) As you considered #8, did you mime pulling on your pants? Yes.

One of those days ...

Broadcast News from Anton Tokman on Vimeo.

I had to have everything in the world done by 5:00 Friday.

I am proud of myself. There are times that I know I'm really good at this job, and today was one of those days.

I'm also filled with anxiety. While I am confident I did the best I could with what I was given, I also know I wasn't provided the proper timing, staff or upfront information I need to do all I'm capable of.

The presentation is Monday. I'll be on the phone from my den -- I told everyone when we began (last Monday at 4:00 PM) that contractors will be working in my home and so I'm taking a long-scheduled day off. My boss is going to present in my stead but he wants me on the phone, just in case someone has a question that he can't answer.

I'm alternately flattered and annoyed. Flattered because, in this industry and our unsure environment, it's good to know I'm important to the process. Annoyed because my regular art director is on a two-week vacation and everything possible was done to accommodate her. I take one day -- ONE. DAY. -- and I have to be by the phone, just in case.