Friday, August 26, 2011

Blasted bloody HELL

Lack of proficiency on this blasted bloody machine makes me feel miserable, embarrassed and even afraid. And it happens regularly. I click on "something", usually to try to make things better, to solve a specific problem, and nine other problems suddenly pop up. My well-meaning but SLOW SLOW husband comes into my office and hunts and pecks for two hours, then tells me, "I can't resolve the problem." I sit down and find each problem now has at least three more problems. They have grown organically, and soon will take over the already-hectic garden of my mind.

And oh, DON'T go on a "help" site, for you'll get stupid useless wads of information from "users" telling you all sorts of Byzantine, acrobatic ways of NOT solving the problem. All done in gobble-eze, so you feel even more stupid. It's like being seven years old and standing on the playground and EVERYONE else has learned a secret language except you, and the reason you haven't learned the secret language is:

(a) they don't want you to, and/or
(b) you're incredibly stupid.

So I flail around, speaking broken English and gesticulating madly while others speak fluent "whatever", going so fast I can't pick up even the gist.

The ultimate solution is calling my son, a techie by trade who has never yet been defeated by any sort of computer problem (including the time years ago when the screen was swirling like something out of The Time Tunnel. He looked at it for a half-second, said "oh, that's the bananasplitzonefurtwangler," hit a key, and all was resolved.)

But this time, some of the problems at least were things I blundered into myself. Soon my ankle was caught in a rope, and the more I pulled the tighter it got, and the stupider I looked. I put my own name down as a follower, completely by mistake, and now I can't get out of it, though I can block any other follower on my modest list. I can't post YouTube videos, and I can't post links to articles in papers and magazines. It just doesn't work, though the appropriate box comes up.

Dead boxes get me, dead icons, little dead arrows, things that are supposed to "click" and just sit there mocking you. (Oh, there's Margaret. Qulahgoinagzapadoodlefromfromjaggajagaboo.)
I wasn't born for this, except that email was a breaktkhrough and an energy-saver from the 15-page letters I used to hand-write. Manuscripts, yes, they became a lot more manageable, no more whiteout or carbon paper (yes, I do remember carbon paper, and even Gestetner stencils with correcting fluid like nail polish). And etc. etc. etc. The internet flung open a door to millions of other doors, and I revel in learning from it. Yes. All that is good. But the price seems to be my self-esteem. I feel like such a bloody idiot for not KNOWING all this stuff, for making blunders that seem to be permanently stuck in Krazy Glue. For hitting keys I, ohGodforgiveme, NEVER meant to hit, so can I pleaseplease get out of this thing now??

The answer is no. I have no gadgets, barely have a thing that passes as a cell phone, don't WANT to "tweet" (and why are all these gadgets given such appallingly stupid names? What's a "skype" anyway, and COULD the name be any uglier?). My husband has a kindle or whatever it is, kindling? He reads off of it. He's ahead of me in some ways, not being so afraid. But I stumble, blunder, and feel humiliated when I make something go wrong or come up against a blind wall.

Though I suddenly can't attach YouTube videos or links, which I could easily do before, and which are the bread and body of this blog, allofasudden a couple of my gifs seem to work (?). I can't remember them ever working before. It seems like an illusion, frankly, and I know by the time I post this, they will have stopped, remembering who they are, or maybe who they belong to.

My tool bar for the internet has disappeared, and now I can't do anything. All this came about because I dared to run an innocuous-looking Windows update on my hopelessly dated computer, a Lugblunk from the early '40s. (I bought it used from the Twilight Zone Museum of Failed Technology.)

I ran this update because I could no longer play audio clips from my kiddie record site, the one I rhapsodized about a few posts ago. They just stopped. When I ran the update, they started again, along with a zillion obnoxious pop-ups for things I didn't want. When I tried to get rid of them, everything fell apart.

Oh, I know I should delete this useless rant, I am in a bad mood, very bad, because every problem I try to solve spawns so many more (worse) problems. This takes me back to the very beginning of email and search engines (I used one called Jeeves: whatever happened to it?). I couldn't and didn't catch on to anything, so I don't know how I got this far. And I don't know how I developed such a deep dread of missteps. Maybe I think it'll all be taken away from me (especially all my novel manuscripts: poof! Fifteen years of work, gone.)

If the gifs work, you'll be seeing a lot of them. But I doubt it. The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away (e. g. my YouTube/all my other links), but mostly taketh away and dumps into the "hopelessly irretrievable" bin so that only a techie who never gets out of the house (the one who works for the cops, along with Criswell the psychic) can pull it back from certain oblivion.