May 2000

Okay, I can’t see the keyboard at all, so I’m relying completely on my typing skills for the first time ever.

See, I never actually learned how to type. I was lucky enough to slip through the system in middle school without taking it. Most of the kids took it sometime in seventh or eighth grade, but by some fluke I managed to get away with taking other, less gruelling classes instead.

Of course, over the years I’ve had to type quite a bit (considering that I use a computer to make my living), but I learned to type on my own, without the use of the standard touch-type method. I started with two index fingers, using the “hunt-and-peck” method, but as I got more and more comfortable with the keyboard and had an instinctive desire to type more quickly, I subconsciously taught myself to type with all my fingers without looking at the keyboard.

Until now I never realized just how well I taught myself. Sure, I’m making plenty of mistakes, but surprisingly few considering my unconventional finger placement. My only big problem is going to be finding the “end” or “delete” keys if I need them. I’m using my laptop, and I still haven’t gotten used to their positions on this keyboard.

For years my father tried to force me to use a typing program, “Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing,” to learn to type properly, but I always refused. I argued that I would learn how to type on my own time, when I was good and ready. Apparently I did exactly that. I think Dad would be proud.

10:52 pm Comments Off on Typing

I’m at Cafe Ruba and I’m waiting for Lindsay, Jon, and Juliet to join me.

Lindsay and Jon should have gotten out of class about an hour ago. Juliet just called from work (she should have been off a few minutes ago) to ask if I knew where they were, since they were actually supposed to meet her at work and come here with her after she finished. Of course, I don’t know where they are. I’m sitting here waiting for them.

And just my luck I wore a short-sleeved shirt and it’s breezy. I should have ordered a larger drink to keep me warm longer. My bad.

Meanwhile, my battery is at twenty-three percent, so it won’t last much longer. Especially if I keep typing at this furious pace. (For your information, this “furious pace” mostly consists of hitting the backspace key since I make so many mistakes when I type quickly.)

I’m cold, I’ve finished my drink, my friends aren’t here, and my laptop is quickly dying. Remind me to have two things in my car at all times from now on: a pad of paper and a sweatshirt. Batteries only last two hours (with “normal” usage, which I’m pretty sure doesn’t involve running any applications), but a pad of paper lasts at least two and a half.

Shit… twenty percent. When it gets to ten, loud sirens and flashing red lights go off and the computer forces me to stop working. It’s anal like that. It really likes to save the last ten percent for its own selfish needs, like finding pictures of naked peripherals on the internet.

It’s late. They’re not here. What the heck could they possibly be doing? Don’t answer that. I know what they could possibly be doing. But dammit, they’re not supposed to be polishing chairs, they’re supposed to be meeting me for coffee.

Juliet just called and told me they’ve arrived at her work. They’ll be here in five minutes. Thank goodness, since my battery is at eighteen percent, so it prob’ly won’t last any longer than that. Heck, maybe I should shut it now so it can check out that new PCMCIA S&M site.

10:47 pm Comments Off on Waiting at Ruba

Oy. So all around me there are whiz kids making millions of dollars, and all I have is a cool apartment, a good job, a wonderful girlfriend, a supportive family, and a lots of powerful computer equipment.

Hm. Okay, so maybe I don’t have it that bad. But still, I think I could handle all those things and still have some millions of dollars. And maybe a better car. And less acne.

It’s such a fine line between the things we want and the things we really, really want.

10:12 pm Comments Off on Wants

I’m at my grandparents’ house watching “Wheel of Fortune” and playing with my new laptop.

I just finished buying a wedding gift for my uncle and soon-to-be-aunt at… I like the fact that I can do that from my laptop instead of having to use my grandparents’ computer. My new laptop is ultra-cool. It’s bright silver in color (though made of plastic, of course) and it doesn’t have a touchpad. I hate touchpads. I always end up doing weird “mouse pointer olympics” inadvertently with my palms when I’m typing. It’s terribly annoying. So I specifically sought a laptop with an alternative pointing device.

I’m just an alternative guy like that.

The keyboard on the laptop works really well with my hands. It feels very natural. The only thing that’s weird is the “end” key. I apparently use it quite a bit, and it’s in a weird spot on this keyboard, so I have trouble getting it without looking.

Anyway, I think I’m being antisocial by typing instead of visiting with my grandparents. So my laptop will just have to sit in that lonely, dark bag. Sad laptop… I’ll have to bring it out later when I go for coffee with my friends.

8:00 pm , Comments Off on My Alternative Laptop

I’ve managed to spend four days in Vancouver without ever exchanging or withdrawing Canadian cash.

Granted I was here with my family, so my father paid for most of our meals, but more importantly I was able to use my Visa card at any restaurant or store. My father was even able to pay for parking with his Visa card instead of cash.

It’s nice to be able to use such an international method of payment. It makes travel much simpler. I hate going to another country and coming home with all kinds of unused foreign change. When that happens, I end up having to go to a bank to exchange the remaining money, and that’s frankly a pain in the ass.

11:41 am Comments Off on Eat Your Heart Out, Thomas Cook

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