The seven hells of internet connection

My router has burned out again.

It was just last October that my last router burned out and I had to make a series of frantic phone calls where computer technicians treated me like a moron.

Oh, wait, I was actually acting like a moron.

That’s what technology does to me. At the slightest upset, I turn into Attila the Hun’s half-wit sister. As Geri the Hun, I scream at automated “helpers” who refuse to transfer me because I am yelling “Go on” into the phone. After about 25 of these yell-offs, in exhaustion I whispered, “go on,” and she actually put me through.

Then I tried to read off a tiny serial number that wasn’t a serial number at all and got cut off in the middle of my “help” session.

So I called back, yelled at the automated voice some more and was finally delivered unto Joseph, the calm in the middle of my technological storm.

As we worked our way through to the eventual conclusion that my router could not be saved, Joseph knew exactly how to calm me down.

“I won’t leave you, Geri,” he assured me when I asked after too long a pause, “Are you still there?”

“I’m going to see you through this, Geri.”

Maybe Joseph knew that hearing my own name in the midst of techno babble was calming, because he used my name often. And unlike the other people who thought I should know which black blob was the modem, he explained every piece of equipment quietly and with assurance. I even trusted him enough to do as he said when he asked me to stick a paperclip into a hole in the back of the router in hopes of resetting it.

That’s how much I trusted Joseph.

“I’m afraid it can’t be saved,” Joseph told me when the paperclip trick didn’t work. “But I will help you. I am going to send you an email,” he said, and it would explain how I should proceed.

“But I can’t get on the internet to read the email,” I cried with Geri the Hun volume in my voice.

“Yes, you can,” he replied. “Just unhook your computer from the router and connect it directly to the modem.”

And I did that, and it worked, and that’s why I’m sitting on the floor of my sunroom typing this because my router is located four rooms away from where the computer normally lives.

Joseph, that email better be waiting for me when I finish writing this. I have your name and my support number and Geri the Hun is not afraid to use them.



Baby, you can’t drive my car

I dream a lot but mostly only remember bits and confused pieces of unbelievable dreams in which I figure as the hero, saving babies and fleeing across rooftops.
But last week I remembered a piece of a dream where my sister and I were battling a would-be thief while waiting for the police who never arrived. (They really need to improve those response times in Dreamland Minnesota.)
That was pretty realistic but unsettling because the dream didn’t get to proceed to a victorious ending. Even in my dreams, I think of myself as a winner.
Last night, I dreamed a mostly coherent adventure about the theft of my Toyota Yaris. It wasn’t entirely believable since we found the car, but it did have a happy ending.
In this dream, I am working the night shift at the Tribune with my friend Mare. We met in a journalism class at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Mare ended up teaching English, except for her starring role in this dream where she appeared as the night city editor. I was playing the supporting role as the night reporter.
It was a slow night so she let me go early, because Mare is great like that.
But when I walked out the door, I was in front of the main branch of the La Crosse Public Library where I had parked my car.
Only it wasn’t there.
So I ran back inside and the library transformed back into the Tribune, which is located conveniently close to the Cop Shop. And with a quick call to the cops, an investigator and I were once more magically transported outside the library where my car was still missing.
But when I clicked my key, we could hear it. That’s really strange because I have one of those remote keys that flash lights but don’t make any sounds.
So we followed the sounds to a couple of houses where this savvy policeman discovered my key was making inanimate objects beep. The one thing they all had in common was that they had been purchased a few weeks ago at my vintage sale. (I apologize to any of my customers who were startled by a visit from the police.)
We finally ended up at the American Legion where a guy dressed as Spiderman was giving a speech. When I clicked the key, Spiderman beeped. He bounded from the room but the cop put out an APB on the car and caught both Spiderman and my Yaris a few blocks away.
The moral of the dream is that I’ve been pondering trading in the Yaris for a Subaru. It’s the car I owned before switching to the Yaris and I liked that car so much that when I traded it in I felt like the girl who ditches her boyfriend only to realize he was the best boyfriend she ever had.
In real life, it’s too late to go back to the boyfriend.
But in my life, I think I’ll go back to a Subaru next summer.
Just try to get your web-laden hands on that car, Spiderman.

Going berserk

The Berserker has left the building.

I refer, of course, to my sister Therese, who, like the ancient Berserkers, works herself into a rage as she packs her van to leave for home.

The Berserkers of legend were working themselves up to a blood letting against their enemies. With Therese, the enemy is all the stuff that has to go back into the van. And if you happen to be standing nearby and are not working as hard as she thinks you should, she’ll unleash a little Berserker on you.

So there she was, barking orders, stomping around in the as yet un-collapsed canopy and probably muttering about what a slacker I am.

The problem is that no one I know works as hard as Therese, and certainly I don’t. If anyone could lift tables and boxes into a vehicle with just a fierce stare, it would be Therese. But even she can’t do that so instead she stomps around. slinging things about, and whapping unsuspecting sisters with table legs, rolling carts and whatever else comes across her path.

I admit I do not have her strength, her focus, or her super human willpower. What I do have is a sore back, aching feet and the welcome relief of knowing I don’t have to drag myself out of bed tomorrow morning to go to work.

The Berserker does have to go to work, which is probably why she went a little berserk today as she tidied up the debris of our three-day vintage sale.

The good news is, now that she’s gone we can once again have civil phone conversations.

The bad news is that now that she’s gone, I’m left with all the heavy lifting of getting the garage packed up for the winter.

Where’s a Berserker when you really need her?