Friday, December 17, 2010

How to: Increase your blood pressure in an instant

The night started well - I had my usual spot in the dining hall right next the electrical socket. Laptop was plugged in, headphones on, Pandora rocking my world with whale songs and ocean sounds. It was the night before a final exam and I was determined to study until midnight, go to bed, and awake the next morning bright and shiny and ready to go. 

Sometimes, life gets in the way.

And by that, I mean sometimes, you spill en entire cup of Sprite Zero on your laptop's keyboard. And sometimes, the screen goes black and the machine turns off. And sometimes, you suddenly realize that your seven page hand made study guide lies within that very black screen. And sometimes, you turn it upside down and liquid drains out of the POWER BUTTON. And sometimes, you come very close to a panic attack.

Okay, that's an exaggeration. But it was just as terrifying. 

It's a classic case of having the worst timing ever for a disaster. Welcome to my life. I can't seem to go more than a few months without falling into some sort of technological disaster. But the night before my exam? Really? Clearly, this is a punishment. I've been doing something wrong lately, and the universe is telling me, not so subtly, to knock it the hell off. Picture a small, already finals-stressed, now semi-hysterical, sweating girl yelling about the end of the world and frantically pulling an entire tree worth of napkins from the dispenser. Picture chaos, personified.

Mmm yep, I pushed it. 

 Everyone is staring but NO ONE IS HELPING. I have mopped the entire keyboard several times, and allowed the power button to drain until the soda river stopped running. It's not turning on. Oh god, it's not turning on. I am approaching point of hysteria and decide that I must remove the laptop's bottom. Immediately. But my Swiss army knife's (yes, I have one) screwdrivers are too big. Must recruit the help of boys with toolboxes. After trying five more screwdrivers, I come across one that fits. Talk about Cinderella and the glass slipper. Gosh. Approximately 20 screws are removed and the bottom will not detach. It will still not turn on. 

This is me. Picture credit: Edvard Munch

Yes, I am a crazyperson, despite being fully aware that hysteria is not cute. I'm cursing more than a sailor receiving a tattoo on the main deck in the middle of a typhoon. I'm sweating like it's a hundred degrees outside. My eyes probably have the crazed glimmer of a wounded animal in them. I cannot fix this.

After approximately three hours of this behavior, combated by the tolerance, help, and patience of friends, my laptop returned to the world of the living. It's seen the white light and returned. My HP has shunned the technological grim reaper. I want to sing hallelujah and dance a merry dance. Just kidding. I actually just want to pass out because my adrenaline levels have been spiked so high for so long now. 

Lessons learned
  1. Laptop areas = covered cup zones. Or a 6+in space between computer and liquid.
  2. I have poor crisis coping mechanisms.
  3. I have marvelous friends. 
Great big thank you to everyone who experienced my crisis, helped to revive (read: totally fix) my laptop, and told me that contrary to my beliefs, the world was not about to end. This list includes but is not limited to:

Yes, this list is alphabetized. I do that sometimes.


  1. This is great. My old computer was severely water damaged a while back so I used the Matthews computer lab as per your advice while I was waiting to get a new one. Today (like 2 months later) as I was about to take it to the sci center to get the hard drive removed for break, I turned it on and it worked!

  2. Reminded me of this commercial: