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My Sex and the City Moment

November 29, 2013

So you’re probably thinking that you’re going to read all about how I met some fabulous Mr. Big of my own, and how we instantly fell in love when we saw each other.

Nope, that’s not what this post is about.

Or maybe you’re thinking that I’m going to be talking about shoes, and how I just dropped $450 on a pair of Manolos.

Nuh uh, not about that either.

This post is about how my macbook died on me during the most crucial time of the year: exams. I know! Isn’t that stressful?

It all started Wednesday morning. I got up bright in early as I usually do, sat at my desk, and wrote holiday cards to people while listening to Christmas music (of course). At around 10 a.m., I thought to myself, I should edit my english paper one last time and then print it out, just in case my laptop decides to spontaneously die right when my paper is due at 11:30 a.m.

So I edited my paper, printed it, set it aside, and got ready to go to class.

At 11:30, I got to class, handed in my paper, and sat down beside my friends. I took my laptop out of my bag and opened it. The homepage was frozen. The professor began to lecture, and I didn’t want to miss a word, so I manually restarted my mac by holding down the power button. The screen went black and a few seconds later, went white again. I didn’t think it was anything.



The screen remained entirely white but now an icon of a blue file with a question mark on it kept blinking in the middle of my screen. Although it wasn’t sad mac, all I could think about was sad mac. All I could think about was that episode where Carrie had lost everything on her laptop because her laptop had decided to stop working.

I was a little confused, so I started the whole restart process again. Still, the file kept blinking. I slipped my laptop into my bag and pulled out some sheets of paper to start writing notes by hand.

I suspect that being  in a classroom full of people and having a more pressing matter on my hands (taking down notes) prevented me and even distracted me from having a full on “Oh my God. No, no, no, no, no” moment, although that did occur 2 hours later at home.

So that was English class. Afterwards, I scrambled home to grab my things to head to my last day of volunteering for the semester. When I got home, I plugged my charger into my laptop thinking that perhaps, it was just a battery problem! After all, my mac had been showing the message: “Service Battery: Replace Soon.” So I plugged in my battery charger and waited ten minutes.

In the meantime, I called NL to get the number for the Apple store in my area. I came back to my desk with all of my lucky charms in tow (as I pointed out to DMC, not the cereal but real objects that I consider as “lucky”… I know, I’m sort of irrational), turned on my laptop, and whispered, “Please work, please work, just please, please work.”

And it did. At first. It managed to get past the white screen, but once again, it froze on the home screen. That’s when I needed to take action. I scheduled a genius appointment at the Apple store for 5:15, right after volunteering. My roommate and her boyfriend were in the kitchen, so I went out and vented about my sad mac problems. My roommate’s boyfriend is in computer science and told me that he could help me extract all the files I needed. I was overjoyed! But in the end, he couldn’t do it. Alas, he’s a PC user.

You see, a couple of things were going through my head when my mac died:

I could totally live without it. I can just go to the library and use the computers there (as I did last week-end)… but wait! What about my notes from the last two weeks??? (I normally print out all of my notes but have just been lazy the last two weeks.) Oh no. I have my Human Motivation exam next Thursday. Oh no. I’ll have to be one of those people who send out mass class e-mails asking for notes. Everyone will think I am lying when I tell them that my mac has died. But oh goodness, my notes are just so good! I need my notes. Hm… do I have anything else on there that I would like to have? My recipes!! But I have some of those hand-written somewhere…. My stories! My writing folder! My folder of ideas!!! I guess I can just come up with new ideas…. Or those old ones will just return to me because I usually have the same ideas over and over again, always forgetting that I’ve already had that idea before and thinking it’s a new one. Anything else…. Yeah, I could totally live without my laptop… I just need my dang class notes! Oh darn it… I won’t be able to Buffy on Netflix in bed anymore.

And that was pretty much what was going on in my head, but now that I think about it, there were other important things that didn’t cross my mind. For example, losing my mac would have meant losing my entire iTunes and iPhoto library, two very important apps that I use on a regular basis. I don’t know why that didn’t occur to me. Perhaps the whole “not being able to watch Buffy in bed” thing clouded my head.

So anyway, after volunteering, I rushed to the Apple store and was eventually greeted by the genius with whom I had the appointment. He was nice, which I was glad. He even joked around with me, and although I played along, I told him, “You’re making me nervous. This is not the time to be joking around with me!” After he looked at my mac, he told me it was a disconnection issue: the wire connecting my hard drive was no longer connected to the rest of my computer.

When he told me that, all I could think about was the brain and what I have recently learned about it in the last three months. I could only think about “aphasias,” especially conduction aphasia. Conduction aphasia occurs when the connection between Broca’s Area (the area in your brain that is basically–I’m grossly simplifying–responsible for speaking) and Wernicke’s Area (basically the area in your brain that is responsible for processing and understanding language) is cut/broken. Both areas can no longer “talk” to each other, and what you will have is a patient who has fairly good understanding, fairly good speech (with perhaps some paraphasic errors) but who cannot repeat words after someone else. Isn’t that strange? That you can speak and understand but you will fail at such a simple task as listening to someone and then repeating what they said? That, my friends, is a connection issue.

So when my mac was being examined and I got the diagnosis, all I could think about was conduction aphasia. The parts can no longer talk to each other. Each part works fine on its own, but they can longer talk to each other. Man, I’m a good student.

The guy told me it would take at least 3-5 days to replace the wire.

Me: 3 to 5 weeks???!!!

Guy: Ha ha, no. 3 to 5 days.

Me: 3 to 5 days??? (I am counting in my head how many more days until my first exam–7.) Is that 3 to 5 business days or 3 to 5 regular days?

Guy: 3 to 5 regular days.

Me (obviously exasperated): Ummmmmmmmm. (Obviously I knew I had no choice but to give him my laptop. What was I going to do with a laptop that didn’t work?) Ummmmmmmmmmm.

Guy: Okay, let me go into the back and see if we even have the parts (and here, I thought he was going to give me good news) because if we don’t, it might take even longer than 3 to 5 days.

Me: What???!!! Okay….

(Guy disappears for ten minutes. The man across from me gives me a sympathetic look. The genius comes back, sets down his iPad beside me, and starts swiping and tapping.)

Me (thinking): Oh no. He doesn’t have the part. He’s not talking. He’s just swiping and tapping. Oh no. What is he doing? He’s ordering the parts.

Guy: How does… TWO HOURS SOUND?!

Me: OH MY GOSH. (I am beaming with delight) That is AMAZING!! (I really wanted to give him a hug.)

(Guy lifts his iPad to reveal a small package beneath it. He smiles. He was obviously hiding it.)

Me: You scared me! This is no time for joking!

(Guy laughs.)

After I filled out the appropriate paper work, I shook the guy’s hand and thanked him a gazillion times. “You are the best thing that happened to me today,” I told him, and it was true. He had saved me in my time of need. I love it when that happens.

Two hours later, I came back to the Apple store and picked up my laptop. I looked for the guy who had originally helped me because I wanted to thank him again, but he was no where to be seen. Instead, I got a guy named Fred who, when I asked why something like this could just happen spontaneously, replied with a long spiel about how awesome Apple products are. Then he told me that I was lucky that it wasn’t my hard drive that had stopped working but that it was just a connection problem. I thought about the brain again as he continued to ramble on about how awesome Apple products are.

I’ll have to admit: I really do like apple products. I was very happy with their service and so glad that everything managed to be fixed within a mere two hours. And I was happy that it only costed me $70 bucks. Honestly, I was ready to slap down a couple of hundreds–anything to get me through my exams.

When I got my mac back, I was pleasantly surprised that they had physically cleaned it. Just a couple of days ago, I was noting to myself how dirty my mac was. I even thought, Hey, maybe I can bring it into the Apple store and pay them to clean it for me. But that would have been ridiculous.

My SATC moment ends on a good note: no sad mac here. In fact, I am currently using it to write this blog post. Yet still, like Carrie, I have learned a valuable lesson: back up your stuff. When I got home, I did two things: first, I dragged all of my important files to my dropbox and then to my usb stick. Then I printed out all of my notes from the last two weeks. I even remember saying to my macbook: okay, I’m done. You can die again if you want to. But of course, that would have been awful.

Then my mom called me, and I told her what happened. She told me to go out and get myself an external hard drive. I said that I would… after boxing day. It’ll be cheaper. It’s funny. When I graduated from high school, my uncle gave me $200 to go out and buy myself an external hard drive because his daughter’s mac had spontaneously died on her too… but instead of doing as he advised, I went out and spent that $200 on something else.

Now, three years later, I have learned my lesson. Back up your stuff people! Although I did not lose any of my files, I was close to it, and that’s not a good feeling. The thing is, I knew I should have been backing up my stuff before, I was just being lazy. That, and also because I felt that I was immune to computer problems. It’s always like that: you always think that it’ll never happen to you.

But now, I have finally had my Carrie moment. It wasn’t anything related to grand love affairs or what have you, and it certainly didn’t involve a Mr. Big or a sweet Aiden, but it did involve a Mac guy.

Did you know that Apple has a term called, “Chimes of Death” to signal a dying Mac? They have Happy Mac, Sad Mac, Startup Chime, and Chimes of Death. Can you say morbid?

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