Thursday, September 18, 2008


I'm writing this blog entry from my own, beautiful, lovely, working laptop computer. It appears everything is functioning pretty much perfectly, and all is well in the world.

By far my highest level of anxiety during this ordeal (and believe me it was an ordeal!) was about my database/contact management system, which is command central for my life. It's got all my contacts, my calendar, my to-do lists, everything. I realize now that since I depend so much upon it, I need a second system like a PDA so that if I'm ever in this situation again, I can still function.

Thank you to Steve at Riverdale Mac for his expertise and patience (and for cleaning my computer off!). I've spent the whole day playing on my computer and feeling enormous affection for it's little white keyboard and tinny speakers. It's a nice warm and fuzzy feeling. I never thought I would become so attached to a computer, but it's true. I feel like I should name her. Any suggestions?


My Life By Memory

My computer is still at the hospital. They have been able to retrieve all my data, but they still haven't figured out what went wrong. The hard drive seems to be okay-- it may be a operating system problem or some kind of problem with the hardware in my iBook. I should get a more definitive answer tomorrow.

In the meantime, I've been having a very different kind of week. Since my entire calendar was on my computer, I have to rely on my memory of what I'm supposed to be doing at any given time. It's quite possible I have stood people up or forgotten important deadlines, but if so I haven't heard about it yet.

Every afternoon I have music students. Some days the lessons start at 2 pm, some days at 3 pm. So each day this week I have made sure I'm at home at 2 pm, and then I wait for a student to knock on the door. Sometimes I remember who is coming, but other times I have no idea. There's a certain "happy accident" quality to each afternoon which has been an unexpected treat. I have had to be more spontaneous with each student since I haven't had a chance to prepare for them. Most of them have also been very sympathetic about my computer woes, which helps.

When I don't have students, there is barely anything productive I can do without my computer. So I've decided to give myself a break, and just enjoy the enforced down time (Yes, yes, I know, I could be cleaning or organizing my papers or any number of useful things, but somehow I can't bring myself to do any of those things.)

This is my life by memory. I hope it doesn't last too much longer!


Monday, September 15, 2008

Am I Turning Into a Cyborg?

Yesterday my laptop started having weird problems. First I started seeing that spinning rainbow wheel that Mac users sometimes experience when the computer is busy -- except that it was starting at strange times and lasting for agonizing lengths of time. And then finally, the rainbow wheel became a "spinning rainbow wheel of death." My computer was truly frozen. I couldn't close programs, and I had to manually turn the computer off with programs running (ouch!). When I tried to boot it back up again, my happy Mac smiley face was replaced with an ominous question mark, and that was that. No computer. Nothing. Nada. Zip.

Ironically, one of the top priorities on my list this week was calling my computer doctor to set up my backup system. I have been trying to regularly back up my data, but I don't have an automatic system, and I'm not convinced I'm saving all the really important stuff.

Needless to say I got on the phone as soon as possible to computer doctor, only to find he's away right now. But being a responsible computer doctor, he's left some other people in charge and I quickly got a call back from Ernie. Ernie came over and plugged in his implements to start diagnosing the problem. But, yikes! None of his software could locate my hard drive. The conclusion? I may have a defective hard drive (I just had this hard drive installed in June).

So, it's off to the computer hospital for my computer. And now I'm waiting for the news. Is it fatal? Will I be able to recover my data? Stay tuned.

In the meantime, I'm a basket case. I've been on the verge of tears all day and I can't stop thinking about my beloved computer. And I've discovered that I am completely useless without my computer. My entire life is on that thing!! I can't even call any of my friends because all their phone numbers are stored in my contact management program. I feel pathetic!

And it's making me wonder: is my relationship with my computer unhealthy? Should I be a little less dependent? Am I turning into a cyborg?


Sunday, September 14, 2008

Small Places - Amnesty's Global Arts Jam

Amnesty International is celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by launching a new campaign this fall called Small Places. It's a "Global Arts Jam," a call to artists and creative types of all stripes to speak out about human rights issues. There will be events happening all over Canada, and all over the world, spearheaded by ordinary folks who want to make a difference. Anyone who wants can create a small places event.

Check it out at
Read the current newsletter here.

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Saturday, September 13, 2008

OK, OK I'm Back!

Dear Friends,

I sincerely apologize for my recent absence from the blogosphere. I was kidnapped by aliens and despite my best intentions, they wouldn't let me update my blog.

'Nuff said. I hope to be posting more often now that the aliens have returned me to earth.