mad in pursuit journal


Bye-bye, Vaio

Sony VaioI spent all afternoon Saturday and most of Sunday morning preparing my old Sony Vaio "sub-notebook" computer for auction on Ebay. It was a sentimental journey.

I don't want to sell it -- but, face facts, it is a Windows98SE, 2GB-hardisk, 64MG-memory antique. It still works fine in its quirky Win98 way. And it's wonderfully tiny: less than an inch thick and only 8 x 10, but with a great keyboard for touch-typing. All the advantages, none of the oomph. Sorry, old girl, I need oomph in my devices.

I bought the Vaio in July 1998 and paid $4000 for it. I had to have it! The latest and greatest! Perfect for someone at the height of her busy career tooling around the universe.

But we got off to a rocky start. I'd just get deep into something and the bitch would turn off. I eventually had to send it back to Sony for a fix. We were alienated.

We didn't really reconcile till after Jim and I got back from our 1998 trip to Ecuador. My trip journal was full of angry feelings about work. It worried me that in the glory of the Andes mountains and the Amazon basin, I was still whining and snarling about my damn job. That's when I decided that maybe I better keep journaling as a mental health outlet. Either that or start writing novels again.

The little Vaio became my tool for sanity. I could sit in my Stressless easy chair, feet up, with the computer on my lap, and type away. I devised new plots for novels never written, but mostly I wrote memos to myself about the insanity of work. When I got the bright idea of going online with my journal, it was designed on my lap in the heart of my Vaio and uploaded via dial-up connection.

She went to Mexico with us in June 2000 -- to San Miguel de Allende, a gorgeous old silver-mining town in the Sierras that had become an expatriate haven. I was having fantasies of fleeing Rochester and settling there.

And to San Francisco in October 2003, where I was presenting my 5-minute movie to the United Nations Association Film Festival and again in November of that year when Jim got his lifetime achievement award at the American Public Health Association. My liberation from my career at the Institution was only weeks away. Jim had emerged from his own dark night of the soul in overcoming liver disease.

Ah, the little Sony was like my lover during those 5 angry, stress-out years, always ready to go for a ride, always ready to help me escape.

Maybe she won't sell. I'm asking at least $200. No one will understand her true value


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