Clean ‘slate’

Posted in Kerouac, Life in general, On writing at 6:45 am by Marion

Good morning in Fiction Dailyland from the dashboard of a new laptop. With a new, clean hard drive came an unexpected sense of lightness and freedom, as I leave behind the old one and all that unfinished business.

I overcame my grave fear of major purchases … plowed headlong into the secret, complex, inner sanctum of computer-speak … learned all about things like 64-bit v 32-bit, chips, DRAM, HD, indexing and partitions … and managed to make a decision!

What’s more, rather than keep it in the box long enough for my panic to settle, I actually took it out and began to use it right away.

Things have changed a lot from the early days, when a computer surely meant a headache. There are days when I get quite worked up over some glitch or bug, but it seems the brilliant folks who write programs and engineer chips and the like have done a good job ironing things out.

There were a few scary moments … I had to rebuild my iTunes library … that involved organizing everything on a hard drive, which I should have already done, but let’s face it, not a priority. I had random files of albums … Beatles, Beck, Madonna in one place, podcasts in another, French books yet another place. So I took two or so hours and rounded up all the cattle.

In the process of ordering things, I got rid of Songs of the Week I hated (goodbye, Discovery Singles!) and rediscovered bands I love, such as Boards of Canada. I trimmed away those old playlists and started making a new one.

The best part was saying Aloha to Outlook Express. I downloaded Thunderbird and feel immediately more human somehow. Don’t get me wrong … I applaud the Microsoft folks for their marvelous work creating operating sysetms, such as the 64-bit version of Vista I’m now using. But the human soul needs wildness, a sense of independence, and Mozilla offers a little of that.

Even worse … I had about 10,000 messages stockpiled. I never deleted anything! After a while, it became too overwhelming to start thinning things out, so I created bogus folders such as “2006 First half” and just dumped everything in it.

I’m leaving behind all those old projects … and on this computer, will only keep current projects of the moment. Everything else is banished to the external hard drive!!

Meanwhile, I am closing in on the end of Big Sur by Jack Kerouac. Things are getting bleaker with each page … you can see what’s coming … I remind myself that he not only underwent that breakdown, but then, wrote about it … he had to relive every sorry moment to capture it with immediacy, artfulness and desperation.

1 Comment

  1. podcast directory said,

    August 20, 2008 at 2:59 am

    Well said