Thanks to high winds and storms, my power is flickering on and off, and so is my attention span for work. So I’m going to take a few minutes to talk about the things I want, and not in that holistic, wishing-for-world-peace-and-harmony way. No, I’m talking about physical things I want. It’s all about my materialism.
Because, why not admit it? I’m materialistic. I better be, since I’ve got a house full of crap, and if I pretended like it didn’t matter to me in my extreme Dali Lama-ness, the rest of the world would be fully justified in slapping around my hypocritical ass. I don’t think I like having stuff to such a degree that it runs my life — I don’t sit around with the nagging fear that someone somewhere has neater toys than I. Also, I shop at Wal-Mart and Meijer and Target (an artifact of living out in the middle of nowhere), and it’s hard to get all precious about possessions that are spurted out into the universe in the mighty torrents required to satisfy a discount retailer’s gaping maw.
So: I don’t live and die by what I have. But by the same token, sometimes it’s just neat to have stuff, and right at this moment there’s some neat stuff I just want to have. What kind of neat stuff? This kind of neat stuff:
1. A Tablet PC. And specifically, a Toshiba Portege 3505 Tablet PC. Three reasons. One, my current laptop shows all the signs of a death rattle, including random, inexplicable overheating, and that’s my cue to start looking for something a little less prone to heat death. Two, it has a lot of features I can use, including built-in WiFi, which will let me wander around the house and do work, which will be useful in the next couple of months when I have both a couple of books to top off and a wife who would prefer I don’t spend 20 hours a day cooped up in the same room, away from her and normal family life. At least with a tablet PC I can interact with her while typing up stuff. Three, because tablet PCs are the bomb. They’re like living in the future! And if I can’t have a rocket car to the moon, this would be a nice stopgap.
2. A Palm Tungsten C. This is also the bomb, as it has nearly the same processing specifications as my computer two computers back, and that’s just cool. It also critically has a tiny little keyboard, which is (pardon the pun here) key for me. My handwriting is awful, and if I had to use it to communicate I would probably starve to death.
I have little or no use for a Tungsten C — hell, I already have a Palm Pilot that’s been sitting in its cradle for so long that it’s got dust on it, but let’s note here that the title of this entry is not “I Need” but “I Want.” Want, as many a moral philosopher and/or thief will tell you, often has very little to do with need. Although I’m sure if I got one, I would find something to do with it. I’m just creative that way. And at about $500, I’d feel the financial duty to do so.
3. A Honda Element. After 12 years, my piece of crap 1989 white Ford Escort (pony!) is so close to death that you can hear the motor grinding through the Kubler-Ross stages, and I’m pretty sure we’ve come to “acceptance,” which means it’s time to look at something new. I am inexplicably drawn to the Honda Element. I’m aware it looks like a Tonka Toy, but that just triggers the irony button in me, so that’s not bad (especially if I could get this in Tonka Yellow. That would be sweet).
It also has some practical assets which appeal to me. First, the inside is rubberized, so you can hose it down, which is cool because I’m a slob and that would be an efficient way to deslobify the car; second, the thing is configurable to carry stuff or people, and that’s useful since there’s three of us and a large dog; third, it’s pretty cheap (the model I want is about $20K) which is good for me since, as I clearly admitted with my note about shopping at Wal-Mart, I’m not one of those people who worries about status through possessions. It’s also a Honda, which means I can drive it for at least the next twelve years and reasonably expect it to run. Yes, I’m the car industry’s worst nightmare: I buy cheap and I drive it into the ground. Hey guys: At least I’m thinking of buying new.
Living as I do in the sticks you might think that I would be inclined to buy American, so as not to get egged by the patriots what live near me. But Honda has a big-ass factory in the nearby town of Troy (my brother-in-law works there, even), so Hondas get a pass. Also, we currently tool around in Suzuki Sidekick and no one gives us any crap, because that just wouldn’t be neighborly.
So these are the things I want at the moment. The reason I’m thinking about things that I want is that I’m waiting to hear about a thing. If I get it, I’ll be able to get one or more of these things. If I don’t, then I probably won’t. Since I’m still waiting to hear about the thing, the acquisition mode in my brain is having a full-out war against the economically prudent mode of my brain, which will only end when either this thing happens or it doesn’t. It’s really distracting; it’s one of the reasons, aside from the flickering electricity, I’m having a hard time focusing. No, I can’t give you any more details than that.
In the meantime: I want, I want, I want. Poor, poor, pitiful me.