Sunday, January 04, 2004

Trains, Lego, Laptop

The past two weeks have been strange. The rhythm is all off. Steve has been working every other day, I'm done with the semester mostly, the babysitter is gone, and Jonah's home. The blogosphere has been so quiet, you can practically hear the crickets chirping and see the tumbleweed blowing by. I have no idea what day of the week it is.

We've been using this break to have lots of little adventures and to organize the corners of the apartment that gather clothes for Good Will and old magazines for mom.

Last Friday, we met Steve after work for dinner in Times Square. On the subway back to 181st Street, we sat in the front car right by the driver. My son who is obsessed with trains was talking as he usually does about switches and buffers. The driver must have heard him, because she stuck her head out of the cab and invited him to sit with her as she navigated through the tunnels of New York. Probably breaking every rule in the book, she instructed him on the various levers and dials and showed him how the A train and the D train take different rails at 125th Street. He is the luckiest boy in Manhattan.

Our main project for Saturday was to check out laptop computers. My first new computer in ten years. We went to the Apple store in the Palisades Mall to check out the new gadgets.

I have found paradise and it is the Apple store. Trim and sweet little machines. I love them so. Steve noted that that everyone in the store looked like us. What does that mean, darling? Hmmm. Educated and earthy. Earthy? We're earthy? I don't think so. Maybe artsy. I think we look more like people here than in Comp USA. That went back and forth for a while.

While I bought little slingshots in Body Gap, Steve took the kids to Lego Store, the latest mall craze. A whole store devoted to Lego with little stations for kids to make their own creations. They have a wall of different colored Lego attractively backlit. You can fill up a jar with the Lego of your choice for $8. Steve noted the number of single middle aged guys in there buying toys for themselves and griping that the Lego kits of today are not like the older models. This place, not so much our demographics.

Today, we've been grounded by a bug that is ravaging Ian's and Steve's digestive track. In between changing diaper after diaper, I've been clutching the brochure for the iBook fanticizing about its arrival.

Getting a new computer has all the excitement of a first love. There's the discovery phase of joyously trying out different programs and setting up folders. Lots of stroking and carassing. The first thought of the morning... blogging on my shiny new baby.

Like any love, excitement is replaced by comfort, even complacency. After a couple of years, you stop cleaning each letter on the keyboard and dusting behind the monitor. You stop emptying the trash and organizing the desktop. The unused manuals gather dust taking up precious shelf space. The computer gets a little cranky and only you know the tricks to get it to print. It loses its luster, its charm, and even the cheery bootup chord sounds dull.

And then there will be the sad moment when my old computer will be put on the side of the road with the discarded Christmas trees.

Dear old Power Mac, I'm sorry, but I have to move on. You have failed to grow with me, and I have met another. I hope we can still be friends.

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