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the long goodbye, part II

By 1:27 AM , , , , , , ,

My laptop died on me recently. So, I immediately went to see about a Genius in town.

This was not my Genius. He's a random G from Flickr.
I knew I was typing on borrowed time prior to its sudden death (most laptops have a lifespan of 5 years. I was in my 7th), so I cleaned out the CPU and reformatted the drive in preparation for that over Christmas. But when it actually died, I hadn't backed it up for a month. Doh! The one month that I was the most productive on my script...I was prepared to beg, plead and grovel with an Asian accent, if I had to. Whatever it took for me to get my writings off of the cold and lifeless slab of titanium, I was prepared to do.

Imagine my surprise when I learned that the Genius told me that computer was still alive and well, but death took place here.
Well, we all know that Apple is now somewhat of an (evil) empire and has control issues. A lot of what they do is proprietary and you have to abide or be gone, be it developer or consumer. Apple power cords are no different. Once one dies, there's no way to replace them, because they don't play like that. If you own a recent laptop, you know their power cords are magnetized. But if you own one of these, you are SOL because they don't make 'em, sell 'em, or let anybody else make 'em or sell 'em. They won't even tell you where to get one.

The Genius lent me his cord for a minute, so I could download all the files onto a flash drive. When I was done, he promptly coiled the cord back up and put it away behind the counter and told me to look on EBay. What did he think I was going to do, jump the Genius Bar and make a run with his cord...

This is like having a car, a destination, a full tank of gas, but no key. My laptop is sitting right there, in a permanent sleep mode, still with a little life left in him, but I no longer have the power...

So I did the next best thing. When you're working at a software company, there are computers and peripherals galore, just wasting away. I had three at my mercy and a fourth as a backup at all times.
I am also friendly with the IT guys (as anybody knows in life, you should be nice to IT guys and waiters) and asked my buddy Eric if he has any old cords lying around.

He helped me look through the bins of hardware at Adobe, but I came up short. All of their laptops had long since upgraded a while back. But he said he'd keep an eye out.

Later that week, I was talking to a colleague at his desk. When I leaned on his filing cabinet, I noticed the very cord I was looking for right there by my fingers. He said he wasn't using the computer for now, so I could borrow it for a while.

So, now I have a cord on lease – but I have to return it eventually.

This is seriously turning into a dysfunctional relationship. It's like we know the relationship is doomed but we keep getting back together again. It is indeed the Long Goodbye.

A few weeks ago when I was home sick, hugging my Puffs with Lotion box, I sank into my beanbag and watched my favorite, The Long Goodbye.

You'll notice my list of favorites is quite long, but this one is a special one, Elliot Gould as Philip Marlowe. He's the quintessential anti-hero. He's cynical, meandering, and does not follow the Boy Scout credo - especially that part about keeping physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.

Needless to say, I have a mad screen-crush on this character. But I also love the film itself. It's exactly how I remember my early years in 70's LA. Sunny, fluid and unstructured. And it also shows me parts of LA that I didn't experience as a 6 year-old – depraved, dark and lonely. This is the most straight narrative of all of Altman's films. I know exactly how the supermarket smells that Philip enters at 2AM looking for curry-brand cat food. I can practically taste the air. I also remember PCH looking more shabby than chic back in the day. And people really pulled off 70's fashion, not just as hipster irony.

There's also a choice cameo of the Schwarzen-ator featured as a bodyguard thug who has to strip down to his skivvies. I heard he doesn't ever acknowledge having been in this film. C'mon, Bob Altman's the best director you've ever worked for, admit it.

It famously features the title track of the same name, written by John Williams and Johnny Mercer, throughout the film. It starts off with the Dave Grusin Trio, yes, another of my faves. But then it weaves and bobs through practically every cut. You could easily make a drinking game of taking a shot each time you hear a variation on the theme. Even the door bell at Nina Van Pallandt's beach house plays the tune.

Bottoms up, sailor. The Long Goodbye has just begun.

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  1. okay, i say cut the cord. that bitch is dead to me now. i used to have sympathy, but no longer. she's totally using you, KT. i also think she may be in cahoots with that power cord. two obsolete items getting together for their greater good, not yours. ditch 'em, i say.

    oh, and where can i get some curry-brand cat food?

    1. I find it interesting that you had sympathy for "him" initially, but today you sense that "she" is a manipulative opportunist...

      and they're all out of curry-brand today.

  2. Ummm so you know have a HUGE issue with getting rid of stuff. But this time you might be in luck! I think I might have one of those chargers somewhere. I need to look around for it. If I find it you will be the first to know. I just hope I didn't get rid of it in the great purge of 2007. Stay tuned.

    - robyn

    1. WOW, I will celebrate your "collecting", just this once, Robbie! Please let me know because my days are numbered.

      My pops sent me his old cord, but it was not for a Powerbook, but an iBook. :-( They look alike, but it'll only work if it's a G4 PB. Thanks, babe!

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