1. my vcr remote. to scroll through the channels i have to use the up button, because the down button doesn’t work. this is one of the only good things about not having cable; at least i only have six channels through which to scroll.
2. the living-room overhead light. if i use the pull-chain to turn it on and off, the chain won’t retract and i have to stand on a chair and push it back in. i use the light switch instead.
3. the dishwasher. the bottom rack doesn’t fit very well, and there’s no silverware basket.
4. my vacuum cleaner. i can only clean one room before i have to turn it upside down and rip all the red, blonde, and pink hairs out of the bristles. i’m not going to get a crew cut, so the vacuum should really just cowboy up and BE BETTER.
5. the usb 2.0 ports on my laptop. they won’t recognize anything new, so if i want to install something i have to plug it into the old usb port first and then move it to the 2.0 afterward.
6. my cell phone. most of the time the call starts cutting out after 15 minutes and then hangs up. the network with the fewest dropped calls, my ass.
7. the microwave, in the sense that i don’t have one.
8. my dvd player. i got it almost four years ago from a friend who didn’t use it anymore, so it may not be newly broken. but if i leave it on for too long or try to play too many dvds in a row, it stops playing. it won’t load most things i get from netflix, and my yoga dvd starts skipping after 45 minutes.
9. my shoulders. is yoga supposed to make your upper back and shoulders tense to the point of aching? that wasn’t what i heard about yoga. am i doing it wrong? maybe it’s good i’m only getting 45 minutes out of it.
10. my sewing machine. i mean, it works just fine, but every time i press down on the pedal it emits a horrible screeching sound that no amount of wd-40 or machine oil will cure. my cocaine-offering neighbor moved out, so i’m not worried about the noise bothering him, but i am worried about it bothering me.
11. the dog. when my sister arrived at my house the other night after seven months in brazil, she said she thought maude was getting fat. is she? it’s really hard to notice changes in a dog you see every day.
12. the tv in my bedroom. the sound’s all fuzzy, on every channel. good thing i hardly ever use it.
13. the cd drive on my laptop. sometimes my laptop knows it has a cd drive, sometimes it doesn’t.
14. the usb port on my laptop. it won’t work unless whatever’s in there is propped up so that it’s pressing on the port at a downward angle. when using my flash drive i have to wedge an empty spool of jewelry wire underneath it.
15. both cd drives on my desktop computer. when one of them stopped working, i installed the other one, and it doesn’t work either. today i brought home a few mp3 cds i burned at work. to get the files onto my desktop and into itunes, i’ve implemented the following process, which is contingent upon my laptop realizing it has a cd drive:
- on my laptop, copy as many files as i can from the cds onto the laptop’s 4gb hard drive before running out of disk space.
- copy a few of those files at a time onto my 128mb flash drive, using the wire spool to prop it up.
- plug the flash drive into my desktop computer and copy the files into my itunes folder.
- empty the flash drive, plug-and-prop it back into the laptop.
- go to a.
16. any and all wireless networking devices that make it into this apartment. i tried to install my new router, only to discover that it wasn’t a router at all, but a range extender. the replacement router i bought is refurbished and came with no software or installation guide; instead there was a note that said these things could be downloaded from the manufacturer. they cannot. when i sit on the patio and write on my laptop (as i’m doing now), i have to write in a text file and transfer it to my desktop using usb-propping before i can post it to my site, as i have no way to access the internet on the laptop.
in a way i’ve grown accustomed to this computer madness. i bought my desktop in 2000, and my ebay laptop (a gift last christmas) was probably made around the same time, so most of these things are to be expected. i cannot, however, explain the usb-propping.
by my count, the only appliances in this apartment that work reliably are my alarm clock, my ipod, and my curling iron. frankly, i fear for their lives.