Here's the story I alluded to at the end of this post.
Bill and I take turns putting the kids to bed, alternating nights, for the most part, and last night was Bill's turn.
I had spent most of my day in the kitchen, baking cookies for the aforementioned post, and baking rosemary garlic bread that smelled soooooo good it made my stomach hurt. Really. I made a lovely pasta-with-red-clam-sauce for dinner, and I did the dishes, ran a bath for Julia, and finally, happily, I gathered my laptop, a couple of cookbooks, a notebook and a pen, and settled myself down on the couch. I reclaimed the tv remote from the kids at 7:30 and switched to the Olympics. I didn't care what sport (or curling) was (sorry, that's a JOKE – please, no rabid curling fans hollering at me here) on, I just wanted a break from whatever the kids wanted.
Actually, it was very nice for a while. Alex wanted to read with me. He's really into reading now, which fills me to overflowing with joy and pride. It's a little bit of me mingling in there with all the Bill things: the guitar playing, the skiing, the really loud burping. So whenever he suggest that we "snuggle together and read," I'm all for it.
He's reading Ereth's Birthday, by Avi, which part of a series Alex was introduced to in school. It's part of the Poppy's Stories series, Poppy being a brave little deer mouse and Ereth's friend. They actually read the second book, Poppy, of the series in his class earlier this year, and after they'd finished that, we went looking for it at the local Barnes & Noble. I didn't even know who the author was, but Alex found the book anyway, and we discovered (to my series-loving delight) that there were a whole BUNCH of books in this series. I wanted him to want to buy the first book, so he could start the series from the beginning. This is because I am a little on the obsessive side about reading things in order. Okay, maybe more than a little. I can read books out of order, but it causes me twinges of anxiety to do so. Alex hasn't inherited this trait, fortunately, and he didn't really want to read the first book. He looked at the others…third book, fourth book, fifth…and was actually leaning toward book five, while I tried to at least steer him toward book three, as it comes right after book two and would be the LOGICAL next step. But Alex wasn't having it. And I backed off, because I could feel myself wanting to CONVINCE Alex that he NEEDED to read book three next BECAUSE THREE COMES AFTER TWO! He chose book four. And I have settled down about it.
So, back to last night. We snuggled on the couch, and we read. Alex read a page to me, then I'd read a page to him. Back and forth we went, through Chapter 8. And then it was almost bedtime, so Bill got the kids all nicely riled up by wrestling with them and flipping them over with his feet while lying on his back on the floor…and then they went to bed.
Ah, peace. I could write my Tuesdays with Dorie post, and maybe the one for the bread, and listen to the Olympics, watch some of the events, and make myself a nice cup of hot chocolate as well. (By the way, I also made a grilled cheese sandwich for Bill with the rosemary garlic bread. Reeeeeally good mix of flavors there.)
So I'm watching (I switched over to NBC which had the Women's Figure Skating short program interspersed with women's bobsled, and ski cross, and whatever else. I really wanted to see the skating, but unfortunately most of it was on much later and I ended up going to bed at ten. Ah well.), and uploading pictures, and typing my little chattery stuff, and sipping my hot chocolate. Bill is watching the tv and, eventually, dozing on the big chair.
And then, just as I was finishing up the TwD post, I took a mouthful of hot (warm) chocolate, started to swallow, but some of it went down the wrong way and I could feel that desperate urge to cough, to get the liquid OUT OF MY LUNGS! BEFORE I DROWNED IN IT! OR SOMETHING! But at the same time I didn't want to cough because I still had most of the hot chocolate IN MY MOUTH. But the itch to cough won out and suddenly I was coughing violently and spraying a gallon (it seemed) of chocolate liquid all over everything – me, the blanket, and MY LAPTOP. OH NO! I couldn't stop coughing. It felt like that little bit of liquid still in the wrong pipeline was STILL THERE and I had to cough it OUT before I contracted pneumonia in my lungs and DIED! RIGHT THERE IN THE LIVING ROOM! So I'm coughing and coughing and coughing – LOUDLY, I might add – and eventually Bill murmered "are you okay" and I don't even know that I answered, because I was still COUGHING and at the same time grabbing tissues and trying to wipe all the chocolate splatter off my laptop screen and from in between the keys because CHOCOLATE KILLS LAPTOPS, DOESN'T IT? and he mumbled "you know I'm half asleep, right?" I suppose that was his way of excusing his lack of concern for my IMMINENT DEMISE FROM COUGHING. It's a damn good thing I wasn't choking on a piece of food because he'd probably sleep right through that. As it was he didn't even turn his head. I could have collapsed right there on the floor, and some time later that night he'd have found us, me and the laptop, completely lifeless and reeking of chocolate. He'd mumble "going to bed now" and head upstairs, probably.
Anyway, I finally, finally, FINALLY coughed the dangerous molecules of chocolate liquid out of the way and I could breath without hacking up any more lungs.
And then my laptop screen went black and the whole thing just shut off.
I tried to turn it back on, thinking maybe, ohpleaseohpleaseohplease, I'd somehow shut it off myself in my frenzy moments earlier. The little lights flickered above the keypad for a moment, and then they went black.
This can't be happening.
I flipped the laptop upside down and shook it hard, hoping to fling any remaining moisture out from behind the little keys. Nothing seemed to come out. It wasn't breathing. I was losing precious time. I had to do something drastic. I had to…TAKE IT APART.
Now me attempting to operate on my laptop is probably a WORSE idea than me attempting to operate on one of our pets or a kid or my husband because while I have a pretty good knowledge of how mammals are laid out on the inside, I have no idea what anything is on the inside of a computer. But so frantic was I to save my laptop, my link to EVERYTHING in the internet world, and repository of pictures I've taken recently that haven't yet been saved elsewhere, and who knows WHAT other VERY IMPORTANT STUFF, I was determined to make the attempt.
So I got a phillips head screwdriver with a small enough tip, unplugged the laptop from its electrical cord, sat myself down on the floor in the living room, and started unscrewing the teeny tiny screws. I laid the screws out on the floor beside me in the same pattern they were in on the bottom of the computer, so I'd be able to put them back in the right spots later. Softie danced into my vicinity with one of her little rattling cat toys, and I grabbed the toy and shoved it under one of the chocolate-splattered blankets on the floor because I didn't want to encourage her. WHAT IF SHE RAN THROUGH MY PATTERN OF TINY SCREWS AND MESSED THEM ALL UP??? THEN WHERE WOULD I BE????
I unscrewed and unscrewed and cared nothing for whoever was skiing on the tv. Bill, however, had perked up and was occasionally commenting on a terrible fall or whatever. Sure, get all riled up about THEM and their silly Olympic event! Never mind that your wife almost asphyxiated! And that she is now frantically trying to save the life of her EXTERNAL TECHNOLOGICALLY ENHANCED BRAIN!!!!! Or something. I just kept unscrewing all the little screws.
And when I got them all out? Thing still wouldn't come apart. Okay, it probably would have if I'd pulled harder, but that didn't seem like a good idea. So, defeated, fearing the permanent loss of this precious piece of hardware, I started screwing all the little screws back in.
I almost cried. But I stopped myself. Maybe, just maybe, while I had the thing upside down, the chocolate had seeped out. I took a look, and sure enough, there were little rivulets of chocolate along the edges of the keyboard and on the monitor (which had been underneath all that while I was attempting surgery). I wiped them up with more tissues, held my breath, and plugged the cable back in. Then, I pressed the power button.
And it came on. OH THANK YOU GOD AND THE ANGELS OF TECHNOLOGY! L'CHAIM!
There was a little error message thing that showed up, too.
Something along the lines of "Your laptop shut down because it was overheated from sitting on pillows on the couch for too long, you idiot, not from a fine mist of lukewarm cocoa. Get a grip and restart this thing and you'll be fine. Moron."