January 4, 2000
Moving In With David


I moved in with David over the weekend.

Electronically-speaking, that is.

In honor of a bright shiny new year (not to mention a bright shiny new century), *His* computer and *Her* computer have morphed into *Our* computer.  And I couldn't be happier.

(Well. That's not exactly true. I could be happier. We could each have a brand-new, state-of-the-art, bells-and-whistles PC of our very own ... AND an apartment big enough to spread out and enjoy them. And that's very likely to happen, somewhere down the road. But in the meantime this seems like the next-best solution.)

And no, this wasn't precipitated by any Y2K-related problems. I am pleased but not-very-surprised to report that we transitioned into the New Year with absolutely zero technological glitches. (The Happy Panda Toaster, thank god, was fully Y2K-compliant. And it's not like we have to worry about our CABLE going out or anything ... grrrrrr.)  It wasn't even a matter of dwindling desktop real estate. Yes, things are getting ridiculously crowded -- every time we add a new toy, like the scanner or the CD burner or a COFFEE MUG, we lose more precious space -- but the truth is that we sorta like being up close and personal this way.

It's weirdly intimate.

I'm just tired of fighting with the Acer. Fond as I am of my funky little computer -- a gift from a friend during an especially awful time of my life -- I have to face the fact that its days are numbered.

In recent weeks, like an elderly grandfather, the Acer has grown ridiculously slow and cranky, makes horrible noises in the middle of the night and stubbornly refuses to cooperate at the most inopportune moments. (Plaintive e-mail from Son # Only, after another aborted i.m. session: "Where'd you go?")  Simple online operations that should take ten minutes, tops -- like changing the message on my index.html page, or fixing a broken link, or uploading another murky, poorly-scanned Polaroid photo of a KITCHEN APPLIANCE to my website -- were taking hours, mainly because everything kept locking up in mid-operation.

It was driving me mad. MAD, I tell you.

So I talked it over with David, and on Sunday and Monday (my day-off) I spent a bunch of hours airlifting files from my crippled Acer to his more dependable Monster PC ... *FootNotes*-related stuff, mostly, plus five years' worth of e-mail correspondence and old journals,  the new résumé,  a bunch of Internet bookmarks, my miles-long list of AOL favorite places ... a handful of True Type fonts I can't live without ... my favorite Razzle Dazzle screen saver ... etc. etc. etc. I was able to transfer a lot of it simply by e-mailing it to myself, from one machine to the other. Other files had to be handled with more finesse, zipping and copying them to floppies and then piecing them back together on the "new" computer. And some stuff had to be jettisoned altogether: no way, for instance, to transfer my illicit copy of Microsoft Image Composer without the bootleg software it came from originally. (Hey. Don't sue ME: sue *Someone* in Oregon.)

By the time I was done, I had transformed David's computer into something we can both comfortably use ... sort of the electronic equivalent of what I did to his bathroom last year. (*My* bath supplies/hairdryer/cosmetics/Aqua Net Extra-Extra-Firm Hold/electric hairsetter/four brands of leave-in conditioner/baby powder/candles/Lady Schick refills/fingernail polish remover/baskets of potpourri on the countertops ... and *his* spare razor stuffed into the medicine cabinet.) The way I see it, this should be enough computer to get us both through the next few months.

Later this week we'll decide what to do with the Acer. Donate it to charity? Cannibalize it for parts? 

Toss it into the bay behind our apartment building?

The interesting thing, to me, is how unfazed I am by all of this. A year or two ago, if someone had suggested the idea of sharing a computer with my Sig Other, I would have screamed bloody murder.  I would have considered it a violation of privacy, a surrender of control, an inconvenience, a big fat pain in the butt ... blah blah blah.  But this is different. This is David. And the truth is that I have no secrets to hide from him. No *dangerous* e-mail correspondence that needs to be hidden.  No archived i.m. conversations I wouldn't want him to read. No triple-x-rated Caribbean journals. 

My life is an open book, where he is concerned.

And David's computer is certainly more reliable than the Acer, even in its fresh-out-of-the-box earliest days, EVER was. It isn't likely to burst into flames when I open two browser windows at once, for instance..

And realistically -- given the cramped conditions of The Castle in general and the desktop in particular -- only one of us can sit there and work at the computer at a time, anyway. 

Taking all of these things into account, it just makes sense to share with him for awhile. And not only am I totally fine with this ... I'm secretly sort of tickled by the idea. It's just one more interesting way that our lives intersect.

(Pretty soon it's gonna be tough to tell where SecraVoi ends ... and DRafterTerri begins.)

I may be the only person I know, amongst my little circle of *cyber acquaintances,* who has actually made a New Year's resolution to spend MORE time online in the coming year.

Most of the people I know -- David included -- are trying to wean themselves away from the online world. I know a couple of people who have cancelled their AOL accounts altogether: I know a couple more who are threatening to do so. Practically everybody I talk to thinks they spend too much time surfing on the Internet ... goofing around in chat rooms ... playing Slingo ... downloading stoopid True Type fonts (oh wait: that's me) ... and generally frittering their lives away in front of a computer monitor.

And then there's Secra, vowing to spend MORE time online in the year 2000. 

I have my reasons.

For one thing -- now that the Tots have their new computer and are back online with a vengeance, I am once again provided with the ultimate method of reaching-out-and-touching my children: with constant, annoying, daily-if-not-hourly e-mails from *Mom* (with Subj. Titles like "Hi! What's For Dinner?" ...  "Finish Your Homework Yet?" ... "So Are You Too Good To I.M. With Your Mother Now?" ... "Whut the Hell is The 'pImPs and pAgAnS' Chat Room?")

I miss my friends, too. I feel I've been seriously neglecting them lately.

There is also the fact that I really, really, really, really, really want to be more consistent about this website. (The hell with quality. I'm going for quantity. Who knows? Maybe THAT will finally get me into The Mandelbrot Set.)

Plus -- and this is sorta important, so pay attention here -- my #1 resolution for the new year is to improve/increase/enhance the amount of stuff going into my head ... in the hopes that it improves/increases/enhances the amount of stuff coming out.

Sort of like "cyber-fiber."

In other words: I want to start reading more. And a lot of the things I want to read are right here on the Internet, including a bunch of interesting new message boards I've discovered -- SARK's Sandbox, Fortysomething, Noncustodial Mothers, The Journal-Writing Journey, Recovery Without Twelve Steps -- plus a handful of new-to-*me* online journals that I want to start reading regularly. (Although I've found that sometimes when I read other online journals, looking for inspiration -- especially when I visit the really good ones -- it has the opposite effect on me: I wind up feeling outclassed and intimidated, and I wind up not writing anything at all. Maybe what I need to do is deliberately seek out some really crappy web journals and start reading those, instead. Something with lots of bad poetry and tacky backgrounds and annoying MIDI "music." Any suggestions?)

At any rate ... part of my Moving-Into-David's-Computer process yesterday included bookmarking a lot of these new message boards and Internet journals, and -- starting tonight -- I'm planning to check them out on a daily basis. I doubt that I'll be anything more than an observer, for a long time ... I'll be that cute loner chick, quietly sitting in the corner taking notes ... but combined with books and newspapers and other *real* reading material, it will all hopefully give me more to think about, more information to process, more to chew on, more material for THIS website. 

And that can't be a bad thing.

So go ahead. Throw "SecraTerri" back onto your Buddy List. She's gonna be online a whole lot more in 2000. (And if she isn't too busy disguising herself as a fourteen year old, chatting with The Tots in The 'pImPs and pAgAnS' Chat Room ... she might even answer your instant message occasionally .)


Some of my other resolutions, quickly ... in no particular order:

  • This is the year I'm going to start thinking about planning to begin considering to contemplate deciding to try and possibly lose some weight.

    Yes, I realize what a cliché this is. And yes, I realize that I've made this exact same resolution before, with questionable results. (We refer you to the infamous SlimFast-and-Rainier-Beer Diet of 1987.)  But this year is going to be different. I have a partner in my efforts now, for one thing ... a partner who is more or less determined to make me eat cauliflower and/or get me into a pair of hiking boots in the year 2000. And that's something new.

    Plus, I'm not going to be supplementing my "diet" with a box of cheap chablis every night, this time around. I'd say we might have an actual shot at success.

  • I have a new motto for 2000 ...
  • ... and it is this: Not every emotion needs to be expressed.

    Pretty ironic, coming from someone who keeps an Internet journal, I know ... but mostly I just mean that I don't have to wear my heart on my sleeve ALL of the time. Especially at the office. Once in awhile it might be OK to stick my heart in my pocket, safely out of sight ... just until I'm out of the office and out of earshot and into the elevator. Then I can scream until my ears bleed.

  • Right now there are forty-plus years' worth of family and personal photographs, jammed into a cardboard box and shoved into the crawlspace beneath our computers.
  • When I ran away from home, I left most of the family photo albums behind. But over the past couple of years I've managed to acquire copies of a lot of my favorite pictures. Plus David and I are camera-happy fools: we add to our photographic archives on a daily (if not hourly) basis. End result? One overflowing box of mismatched photos ... with no place to call *home.*

    My resolution is to get them sorted and into albums in the year 2000. OR, scanned and onto a CD sometime in the year 2000. Or both.

    Or maybe I'll just buy a bigger BOX.

  • You knew THIS one was coming, didn't you?

    I'm going to play the new piano a little bit, every single day.

    I promised my grandma, after all.

So there, in a nutshell, are some of my plans for the New Year.

There are lots of other *little* things I want to accomplish as well ... like figuring out Paint Shop Pro 6 (whut the hell IS the difference between a raster image and a vector image?) ... deciding what to do about my job ... FINALLY FINISHING THE LINER NOTES for the much-ballyhooed Grilla Tape (and mailing the damn thing,  then not suggesting any more *group projects* until at least 2002) ... learning to speak Japanese ... allowing my hair to *recover* from that last horrific self-inflicted haircut, before I do anything else to it, like dying it orange ...

... getting Daughter #2 down here to the Bay Area for her long-overdue visit ...

... etc. etc. etc. 

It's going to be a busy year. But for the moment I'm happy, just sitting here and revelling in the fact that the holidays are OVER. Things can just sort of settle down now, hopefully, and get back down to normal.

Now excuse me, won't you? I need to download some more True Type fonts onto David's -- whoops! I mean, onto OUR -- computer.

self-important blurb #1 will go HERE: how did we spend our new year's eve, you ask? with spaghetti, sex, and sparkling apple cider ... more or less in that order. i fell asleep at 11:40 p.m., of course, but woke up twenty minutes later, just in time to watch the televised fireworks over san francisco bay. [it made me cry. surprised?] and afterwards, at 12:05 a.m. PST, i defiantly picked up the phone -- Y2KMA -- and called tic-tac to wish the tots a happy new year. [son # only's joyous announcement: "dad just shot off the cannon!"]

special *howdy* to: my pal andy/tony, who appears to be MIA at the moment. the *acer* has brought me many months of pleasure and comfort ... and i am sincerely grateful. thank you, always. hope the new year finds you well and happy, my friend.

a year ago

here's where i'll ask a *relevant* question:
what would YOU do with a leftover computer? [seriously.]
besides throwing it into the bay, i mean

amazingly profound thought of the day: "We must read not to understand others but to understand ourselves." ~ E. M. Cioran ~