Friday, February 23, 2007

Secrets and no secrets at all

For the past 3-4 months, I've been using the central time zone setting so that I can make it on the day of, not the day after, when I post late at night.

I think Vermont aged me 10 years prematurely.


8:30am - I slept in. I immediately turn on my computer and the internal hard drive shows up, but the external still doesn't register. I check on dad's pc and it shows up so I do another backup on the new passport HD, though I fear I won't be able to access it b/c of compatibility issues. This is the least of my problems, b/c at
9am - iBook crashes. It's still not okay. Why bother transferring data if this machine is not going to work?? Diatribe below**
12:20pm - Meet Ching-In outside of NYU and lunch at Souen (I had a burdock & lotus root sandwich w/miso soup). I feel my VT bitterness rising up again. But we still have some good laughs. She esp liked the huge peace symbol on the wall in evergreen branches.
2:30pm - Swing by Gavin's to visit the bindery and say hello. It felt like home to see him pasting more leather onlays on clamshell boxes. I told him how I insisted on trying to fix a limp vellum (a book I use as my current journal) on the train from Narita to Tokyo station w/the tip of a ball point pen cap b/c the too-long endbands were haunting me in my sleep. Even he said that I was being too much of a perfectionist. I definitely have work if I want it in NY. What a relief.
3:20pm - Pick Cindy up from work to hit Sports Authority for swimsuits (my next residency has a deal w/a local school where we can use their pool). No deal. Good thing, b/c I found out later tonight from Gili that I don't belong in a lap pool. No one at Oberlin ever explained to me why I am every swimmer's worst nightmare.
4:50pm - Get through the huge MOMA line to see the Live/Work show. Eh. Good to see Lee Bontecou's work again, and some David Hammons, and a really poignant small drawing by Felix Gonzalez-Torres. Realize that framing is the key to making anything look good.
5:30pm - Go next door to see the Martin Ramirez show again at the American Folk Art Museum, meeting Cindy & Ivan & Gili. It was like a sauna in there, and the drawings made everyone kinda sad.
7:40pm - Dinner @ Lemongrass Grill. I start to lose all energy. I accidentally knock Gi's chopsticks so she intentionally knocks my spoon. We should have switched seats b/c I'm a righty and she's a lefty.
9:10pm - Way too tired to catch the movie, so we wander into Filene's and try on bad hats and sunglasses. I somehow make it back to Grand Central, feeling about a million years old.

Re: my transitional, itinerant lifestyle. I am tired of constantly moving around, yet terrified to break that inertia to settle anywhere, even though I know any settling right now would only be temporary (meaning a few years). Any time I ever move someplace new, I immediately visualize moving again, even if I know that I'm staying for a while. And then I feel tired.

But tonight, having my bad ankle flare up again, I realized that maybe I'm just trying to travel enough to get rid of all of my shoes. I want to get rid of all my shoes b/c most of them don't fit right and make my feet hurt. I want shoes that I can walk in for a while and not feel like I'm crippled. I keep walking, hoping that I'll wear them out or find new ones on the way. My problem is that what I really want are custom-made shoes. All I need is a pair of sneakers, which I haven't had since last summer. I'm trying to prune all the useless parts of my life and self so that I can start over. But self-pruning is a bitch.

It's funny how everyone tells me how great my life is and how jealous they are, or how they live vicariously through me. When all I want is everyone else's stability. Or just my own place. Ching-In and I talked about that today. Not having your own space definitely drives you crazy.

**(long-winded speech where I anthropomorphize computers): My iBook is like a boy I once dated. I didn't want it and resisted it for a long time, gave in reluctantly, and was pretty quickly converted. It became part of everyday life. It made my life easier and I felt like I was part of a new club, that people considered me differently. I learned new programs, lingo, and customization. I couldn't imagine life w/o it; we were inseparable.

Then, there was an accident.

It started to unravel. I took it to experts and we tried to fix it. It continued to act out. I was horrified at first, but then just accepted it as flawed, blamed myself, and got used to it being unstable. I was constantly on edge, ready for its possible demise at any moment. People told me I should look into new models, that I needed to upgrade. Weighing the options, I held on, hoping I could get another year out of it. I kept putting off taking it in again for repairs, and instead adjusted my life to fit its inability to operate. Finally, after realizing that I might lose years of my life, I took it back to experts. I thought it was fixed. But secretly I didn't have enough faith in it, and maybe I never did. I feared it would let me down again, even as I hugged it tight and hoped it would last forever. Alas, it started to unravel again. And crash.

What now? I'll take it to more experts in Chicago (actually, Evanston), where I'll drop it off and then shop for shoes at my favorite store next to my old therapist's office. I'm starting to imagine life w/o it, and figuring out temporary storage for my data. I'm wondering if I'm ready to commit to a new one, or if I'll try to slide by with a portable hard drive and the kindness of people who own functional machines. I know I'll have to move on eventually, and that this relationship can't last forever, or even for much longer. But I still have a lot of mixed feelings for this one, and memories of the good life before all the malfunctioning. I've mishandled it, taken it for granted, and some damage is visible. The rest is hidden inside, and I'll never know exactly how I hurt it. As flawed and fallible it was from the start, I wasn't perfect, either. We both did our best, and had some high highs. It's a normal life cycle, this whole slow ending. I don't know what I'll do with it once I've moved on, but for now am just trying to enjoy its company and not expect anything more than I know is possible from a 3.5 yo G3 iBook.


  1. I'm always fascinated by how people project personalities on to their computers, because ultimately it is just a machine. Of course, I'm super attached to mine as well. I just think it's interesting how a relationship and a story emerge.

    You do so much!!! I can't believe that was ONE day.

  2. oh, i agree! TOTALLY fascinating. i swear, being at the genius bar was like being in a doctor's office. all these panicked parents who had no idea what was wrong w/their machines, freaking out, and the experts all checking out the machines, sticking things into them, jiggling pieces, holding them up to their ears to listen to the hard drives, etc.

    a couple next to me had a powerbook that had a faulty power button and the genius came back w/it, fixed, and they both exclaimed at the same time, as if their child had just taken its first step, and then together put it away in its case and thanked the dude and left.

    i felt better putting my computer into their hands than when i put my violin into a scamming luthier's hands. it's better to watch the injection (erase/reinstall) rather than leave the child in surgery and see it on the other side (shortening the neck, new fingerboard, nut, bridge, sound post, etc.).

    the genius talked about how people come in totally crazed and he has to remind them that it's just a machine, not their body or home or family. i tried to then calm down so that i wasn't another annoying, overattached owner. but are you kidding? it IS family!!!! HAHAHAAA.

  3. I really liked the Martin Ramirez exhibit. It's not the kind of thing I would go to or seek out, but seeing it was really great. The only drawback was the possibility of passing out from the heat. I should have done coat check.

    I didn't know you saw a Felix G-T! Which one? I adore him.

    Yeah, you shouldn't be allowed in a lap pool. Especially because of your bad vision. Maybe they have hours that are for beginners. I'm still a fan of taking lessons. I love swimming and I think you might too but I just don't want you in the pool when I'm in it. :)

  4. HAHAAAA!!! i know. cindy almost passed out from the heat when she met me, and that was in the hottest part of the museum - the cafe. meanwhile, i was still in my coat b/c of the rules, and wondering why i'm so good at dealing w/that kind of heat. i think i'm evolving into a strange breed of human that has no tolerance for things that most people have no problem with, and overwhelming tolerance for things that could kill me.

    it was an untitled drawing (t-cell count) that was just a graph paper looking sheet w/a diagonal line from bottom left to top right.

    BE NICE about the swimming thing. i'm the water traumatized daughter of a water traumatized mother. the story is something like her and her mom in a boat in korea washing clothes, something falling in, her reaching into the water for it, and her mom pulling her up screaming that she was going to die. she then was terrified of the water.

    the more i think of it now, the more of a total myth it seems to be.

  5. ellie6:08 PM

    Hi Aimee I'm glad you got home safe and sound an dyou licking up nyc. today there was a big dust storm here and everything turned yellow. litterally. and the roof of our patio outside blew off. nesday says it is a wind massage. maybe we can talk soon now that you are back. what is your next thing? i really really miss california right now. david is in minn. stuck in a blizard i think. your brain has SO much going on in it right now. phew! i think a home for you sounds like a good idea. just only if you knew WHERE. any ideas yet?


thanks for visiting!