Saturday, 25 June 2011

Loser, Baby.

My hard drive is dead. Intensely dead. Parrot in a Monty Python sketch dead. This means my easy access to my thesis written under the guidance of Jane Urquhart and my previous work is no more.

The work itself lives on, I hope. I'll be spending the next few days scouring my half-unpacked apartment for any usb keys, my email for sent attachments, and the hearts and inboxes of friends and family for rough work and sympathy. At the very least, I have a hardcover copy of the thesis, so I didn't actually cry when the guy at Best Buy confirmed my fears. I have noticed that since then I have strange aches as if I've been clenching with grief and Luddite rage, which I probably have. The guy at the counter confided his own hard drive had died earlier this week and that he had no less than six external hard drives at home.
On the positive side, once the computer comes back and I obsessively back up my files as they come back / start anew, I have a lot of gigabytes to fill. I feel energized both by my panic and the kick-ass pencil skirt I bought from Weezi in the belief that after paying the equivalent of my rent in repairs and equipment, a) one sweet skirt will probably kick up my words per minute and b)  my budget is reeling drunkenly already, so why not?

In the mean time, I have some outbox scavenging to do, Mad Max-style. I'll give my external hard drive a mohawk to get in the spirit of things.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Writing Desks, Tree Branches and a Cave of One's Own

Sadly, not everyone who writes has a hermitage, so we make do with dens, coffee-shops and frequently in my case, my couch or bed. These last were nominally comfortable, but the longer I wrote the more pronounced the curl of my spine became, so I took the plunge and rolled off the couch. It's only recently that I've made the switch to a desk. It has drawers. It has good light. It looks sturdy enough to support a mug of tea.

My ideal writing place would be a comfortable tree branch, but since my handwriting is messy at best and my laptop and collar-bone are surprisingly fragile, I've decided on this particular perch.

My other options below the level of branches were limited. I have friends who go to write in coffee-shops and university libraries, both of which I find far too crowded and heady with caffeinated people. Having recently moved to an apartment, I'm sadly without a back-yard (inhumane though it would be in winter). My new living room is certainly out of bounds, because my room-mate doesn't to hear that much cursing as she's trying to read (except when I'm playing video games, of course, in which case I howl loud enough for the neighbours to hear). Our kitchen table is covered in plants and I like them where they are, so the desk was my only option. I was unsure at first, as my last foray into desks involved a deep alcove that made me feel like a bat with bad spatial orientation.

There's something romantic about a wooden desk, though, especially a second-hand one. This one has been pretty bumped about for such a little desk and most of the drawers won't fit a regulation printer page, which suits me fine. The drawer handles are bronze-coloured metal and they are so small they will only fit one finger. I picked it up at a second-hand shop in the East Village for $35 and I like to think it's the veteran of the two of us in a writing game.

Then again, if I found an Ikea sticker on the back, I wouldn't be heart-broken. If I can't have a tree branch, I'll swing on this. It's sturdy and most of my printer fits on it.

Upcoming: back on (the) track for derby practice!