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What the what?

Three years ago, I bought a laptop. Her name is Stella and I love her. Except. Oh, except. She’s very hot and I don’t mean in a sexy way, though she is rather sleek. She runs very hot and I’ve bought three fans for her. Also she started going “grey screen” on me whenever I ran itunes and did something else. Or tried transferring files off of her after she went all “vertical blue/green corduroy lines” screen on me. All of these little quirks have made it very hard to love her.

The vertical lines screen is what pushed me from, “ok, I’m probably going to need a new laptop within the year” to “SHIT! I need one NOW because I don’t know when this thing’s going to blow and if it wasn’t for the fact that I’m going to school ONLINE I’d just let it go for a while.” And sure, some may argue that I could just use Matt’s computer downstairs but those people can shut up because it’s cold in that basement and Matt usually plays on his computer when I’m doing school work. Mostly the cold thing.

That previous paragraph is the very definition of “First World Problems.”

So I researched and researched and researched some more and decided on a Dell because I’ve heard great things about them and they’re reasonably priced. Then somehow Matt and I started discussing buying a desktop for me instead and the research for that took place. Then last week I ran into a completely asinine problem on Sharepoint and I threw up my hands and said, “That’s it! I’m going Mac!”

However, I couldn’t just go buy a mac. Those things are expensive and we’re planning a trip to Disney World and we ain’t exactly doing laps in a money bin for a fun Saturday Night. Last year Matt’s grandmother passed away. She really was a neat lady and I wish I’d known her during her younger years because I heard some great stories about her at the funeral. She left her children and grandchildren a nice chunk of change. Matt and I put some of it aside on the off-chance we needed to pay taxes on it this year. Last Saturday we finally got the tax form for that account and Matt ran off to do our taxes. Good news! Big tax return and we don’t have to pay taxes on the inheritance!

Sunday we dropped the kids off at my mom’s* and went shopping. God forbid we just sit on the money for a while.

First we went to Guitar Center for what Matt swore would be a short trip because he knew exactly what he wanted and only wanted to look at one other thing.

Word of advice: going to Guitar Center with a musician is NEVER a short trip. To be fair, this wasn’t entirely Matt’s fault because what he wanted had been discontinued and the newest and prettiest model wasn’t available in stores so he had to order it but then there was this thing involving a coupon and the store’s computer and…looking back I’m thinking we should’ve just had Matt order it from home except for the coupon which was for $100 if we spent so much before taxes. It wasn’t anyone’s fault, really, and there wasn’t anything we could do but I did tweet this at one point:

“Guitar Center needs a ‘significant other’ area where we can sit and drink coffee and access free wi-fi.”

But we ended up saving $100 so I can’t complain too much.

Off to Best Buy! Matt found an ad in the paper for a 3TB external hard drive for $199. WELL, we found a different one for $149! But then we found Lego Star Wars for the PS3 and a Blue Ray/DVD/Digital Copy of To Kill a Mockingbird so we didn’t end up really saving anything but whatever.

Off to the Apple Store!

It’s so shiny in there and everyone was so nice and helpful. We barely had time to even look at the iMac we were directed to before Justin the Helpful Sales Rep greeted us and answered the two or three questions we still had after all the research we’d done. I decided on the 21.5 inch 2.5GHz model and traded in the 4GB RAM for 8GB (let me tell you, I felt so awesome and smart when I told him I wanted to do that and then he said that’s what he would’ve recommended we do.) and Matt ordered his new ipod (his died a long time ago and he’s been so good about not rushing out and buying a new one right away, especially considering what a music nut he is and how much time he spends on the bus now). The whole “sale” took about 15 minutes. Justin told us it would be about 30 minutes to install the new memory so we could just hang out or go get some coffee or whatever and they’d call us when it was done.

“Sweet!” we said smiling and nodding. “What a painless transaction this is!” I stupidly thought.

Justin totaled up everything (including my student discount which saved us about $100), showed me the total cost, I fought the urge to faint and handed him my bank card. He ran it and…

It was declined.

“Say what now?”

“Yeah, it didn’t go through.” Justin said, still being super friendly and being an absolute angel about not embarrassing us. “But here’s why: your bank has a daily spending limit and I’m guessing this isn’t your first stop today.”

“No, we went to Guitar Center earlier…” Matt mumbled.

“Dang it!” I was just plain angry and embarrassed. “The money’s there! I just put it there this morning!”

“I saw it!” Matt agreed (because our word would be enough to magically make the card work, right?)

I muttered some more and said, “Matt told me to call the bank before we left to let them know but I was all, who’s going to be open on a Sunday?”

“The bank,” Matt and Justin said in unison. Justin handed me my card back and told me to just call the number on the back and they’ll take care of it. So I did. Except my stupid phone didn’t want to place the stupid call. So I used Matt’s phone and Matt and Justin bashed T-Mobile for a while.

After I finally go through to a person, she explained that she can certainly increase the daily spending limit. I told her how much I needed and she said that she needed to increase the limit to $Z and there was only $Y in the account. And I said, “But I only need $X.” “Yes, but you need $Z in order to increase the limit.” Getting more furious by the minute, I asked if I could get a Direct Deposit Advance (THAT I DIDN’T NEED MAY I JUST POINT OUT AGAIN???? I had plenty in the account even after the Apple Store purchase just not the necessary $Z). She processed it and said it should be good to go. I asked her to stay on the line while Justin ran it again.

And again.

Three times. Not accepted.

Bank lady put me on hold for a good 10-15 minutes (possibly more, time lost all meaning at this point.)

Meanwhile, Justin and Matt were talking about Garage Band and other small talk while I silently fumed to the sound of smooth jazz piano playing over the phone. Bank Lady comes back on and passed me off to Bank Dude. I explained to Bank Dude the whole thing about the limit increase and the direct deposit advance to get it to the magical $Z amount I needed. “OK, good, I think I see the problem. Just give me a couple minutes and I’ll get it straightened out for you.”

Two minutes later, I hear:

“Ok! I—“

I look at the phone. I put it back to my ear. “Hello? HELLO??”

Matt: “What’s wrong?”

Me: “EFFING PHONE!! It dropped the call!”

Matt: “Are you freaking kidding me?”

Me: “No! But he did say “ok” like whatever needed to be done was done.”

Justin: “Shall I try it again?”

Me: “Yeah, go for it.”

Justin swiped the card while Matt and I held our breath.

“It went through!”

“Oh, thank god. I was about to lose it,” I say.

Justin hands me back my card and says, “I’m glad it went through because I saw a four-letter expletive on both of your mouths.”

“Oh, it was ready to fly!” I laugh, relieved and still so unbelievably embarrassed. We both thanked Justin for being so patient and he was still so awesome about the whole thing. And two minutes later, up walked the service guy with my shiny new computer with its 8GB of RAM.

That evening, Matt plugged in the computer and turned it on. Jaden’s head popped up and said, “Hey! That’s the sound Wall-e makes when he wakes up!”

“Oh yeah, it is, huh! Hey! Should we call it Wall-e? Or maybe Eve because it’s so sleek and shiny?” I asked.

Jaden thought about it and said, “No, I think its name is Wall-e.”

And Wall-e it is.

Epilogue: I have no idea how to use Wall-e. If anyone has any suggestions for converting my brain from PC to Mac, I’d greatly appreciate it.

*Upon arriving at my mom’s to pick the kids up again, Jonas announced that he “was so much good today!” Apparently, he used up all of his good because by the time we got home he was throwing a fit that we were going home, not to a restaurant, and that he didn’t like us. Later he threw his bowl of soup on the floor because he was playing with it instead of eating it. Oh, Three. You’re just full of surprises, aren’t you?

2 Responses

  1. Yay for Mac-itude! I can help you with some of the new Mac stuff that you need to learn, because I have to make the transition pretty often (since I’m an art student, I’m one of maybe four people in my entire program who uses a PC at home and all we have at school is OSX). Honestly, the hardest part for me was learning that when you try to do something in OSX, usually it is so incredibly easy that you waste a bunch of time trying to figure out the more difficult PC-style answer. For example, installing programs was so easy (just drag the program from the disc to your applications folder and it’s installed!) that I spent hours trying to figure it out. “But how do I get it to show up in the registry?” “There isn’t one.” “But where does it install the program files? I don’t see a ‘Program Files’ folder like in Windows?” “There aren’t any, that icon is the whole program.” “But how do I fully uninstall it so that there aren’t a bunch of random files cluttering up my hard drive?” “Just drag the icon to the trash can and you’re done.” “No fucking way is it that easy.” and so on.

    I’m so excited for you! I wish I had a new iMac to play with! Editing photos in Photoshop on an iMac is a joy compared to doing it in Windows! And Garage Band! I hope you really enjoy it!

    Also, I totally hear you on the bank shit. When I bought my old iMac a few years ago, I ran into that same crap. I got so frustrated with the phone stuff that I just drove over to a bank and got the money order. I wanted to scream at them. Same thing happened just a couple of months ago when I was getting a new studio light. “You’re over your daily limit!” and when I asked to increase it temporarily, they told me that they could, but that it would take at least two days to take effect, which made me want to swear at the poor lady. Finally, I talked to the company I was ordering from and they were nice enough to break the payment up into two amounts and run them on consecutive days, which got around that bullshit, and still got my light out that next day. One of the many reasons that I recommend Paul C Buff to everyone for their studio lighting needs.

  2. Funny you should mention the program files. I spent way too much time looking for the Word equivalent on this thing. Then I found it and I was like…wait this is it? I don’t have to chose a damn template for a simple text file? The program files thing is totally tripping me out. I’m glad you said something because I would’ve been lost. The thing that’s REALLY taking some getting used to is the lack of a Right Mouse Button. I opted for the “Magic Track Pad” and I thought that since I have a nook color, a smart phone, an iPod touch and Matt’s tablet using this track pad would be a sinch…yes and no 🙂

    Anyhoo, you should bring Inara over some time to play with Jaden while you teach me some tricks.

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