Precise timeline of disaster:
9:45 a.m. Wake up, plug in laptop to charge while I’m getting ready because I forgot to do so last night.
10:30 a.m. Leave house, with laptop in cute little laptop bag, and go to The Supreme Bean for morning writing.
12:15 p.m. Leave Supreme Bean, go to campus. On campus, proceed to library. Use Memory Stick to print out three stories for adviser’s review.
12:50 p.m. Drop off stories for adviser. Trek across campus and over to Espresso Roma for lunch and more computer time.
1:40 p.m. Leave Roma. Detour through university bookstore. Ask to see external hard drives, because I’ve been feeling very data insecure this week. Hold external hard drive in my hands for a few minutes before deciding to check on prices at Best Buy. Put hard drive down.
1:50 p.m. Go to library. Plug in poor, tired computer to wall. Put on headphones and rev up iPod. Listen to music and work on new writing project and research arson*.
3:30 p.m. Have had enough of library. Shut computer down. While it’s turning off, I decide to add a few more songs to my iPod playlist. After I’ve added four songs, the iPod gives me a sad blank screen and then a message: No power remains, please plug iPod into power source. Spend a few minutes tapping iPod buttons, futzing with wheel. Message won’t go away, and it’s making little skipping-music-sounds through the headphones. iPod: BROKEN.
3:34 p.m. Look up from smoldering iPod to realize that iBook has not turned off, and is instead frozen on a bluish screen with a tiny twirling flower at the bottom. Wait.
3:37 p.m. Impatient with waiting, trying hitting buttons. Finally hold down power key until computer turns off. Turn computer back on. It makes discouraging clicking-groaning noise and takes a long time to boot up; eventually reaches log-in screen, from where I shut it down. Or, I try: computer won’t shut down. Computer freezes again on shut down screen. I try closing the computer lid, to see if that will help. No. Computer stays on — hard drive can be heard spinning, lights on on the bottom. Screen now is black. No response from hitting any keys. Hit power key: computer whirs and whines. Hold power key down: computer shuts off. iBook: BROKEN.
3:40 p.m. PANIC!
3:50 p.m. Go to bookstore; buy external hard drive. Ask for recommendation on where I can take a possibly broken laptop.
3:52 p.m. Donate $5 to Hurricane Katrina Relief bake sale, in wayward attempt at winning good karma. Also, get two cupcakes with sprinkles.
5:15 p.m. At home, new hard drive plugged in, currently backing up desktop PC. Next: try again with the laptop.
Right now, it’s like Schroedinger’s cat: until I look in the box, the hard drive is both dead and alive. But if I try to boot the computer and it won’t turn on…
* Seriously. I was researching acts of arson on university campuses, while sitting in the university library. Yes. Asking lightning to strike me, I know. In my defense: I’m not planning any arson, just writing about people who are.
EDIT 6 p.m. Laptop starts, after a long delay, and is currently backing up to my supercool new lego-ish made-in-Oregon LaCie hard drive.
6:20 p.m. Bought new-to-me Ben Folds album, Supersunnyspeedgraphic LP with videos, off of iTunes to celebrate. Mostly for the song “Learn to Live With What You Are.”