Rohit's Realm

// / archive / 2011 / 07 / 23 / good-things-small-packages

July 23, 2011

Good Things, Small Packages

The clock struck four. I looked up from the book in which I was buried and considered my options. If it was going to happen today, it would have to happen now. Silently, after a moment more of indecision for which we Libras are known­, I set down the book, and surveyed my apartment for what I would need as I traversed the depths of hell. Having found my wallet, keys, and sunglasses, I was out the door and on my way.

It was oppressively hot. The air was still and it felt as though heat was resonating not only from the sky above but also the pavement below. The light and fleeting gusts of wind only brought faint odors of rotting trash and urine. The temperature hovered around 99° F—New York City in all of its summertime glory, in other words.

As I made my way in a northwesterly direction, the pedestrian traffic increased. By the time I had I hit Park and 56th, the steady stream of insufferable tourists plodding along at a snail's pace had given me pause. Was it really worth it? The further I went, the worse it would get.

But it was too late to turn back. Go big or go home. Steeling myself, I was again off, having deftly deflected an entreaty from a bum for money for beer (No.), and skirted past two lovesick fools adamant on holding hands (and blocking the sidewalk), the heat notwithstanding.

Before long, I could see my destination: the Apple Store on Fifth Avenue. Traversing the last two blocks, however, would be no easy feat. The tourist menace was out in full force—obesity and not nearly enough clothing for as far as the eye could see. Darting between and around slow-moving herds, taxicabs, pedicabs, horse carriages, horse shit, dog shit, and maybe human shit, I finally arrived at the door of the Apple Store (shit-free, thankfully) and pushed my way downstairs.

Now, dear readers, some of you may be wondering: why on earth would any sane person ever go to the tourist trap Fifth Avenue Apple Store on a weekend, and that too on one of the hottest days of the year? One explanation may be the one that is quite often put forth on this site—self-loathing. And while unequivocally true, that is not the proximate explanation today. The answer is far simpler: this.

Having been mesmerized by the new Macbook Air when it was released earlier this week, I knew a purchase would be forthcoming. I have long needed a travel computer, given that my workhorse 15'' Macbook Pro (one of the two computers I principally use at home) is heavy and large. The choice had been between a Macbook Air and an iPad, but ultimately, the latter turned out to be a nonstarter; I disdain touchscreen keyboards and did not trust that I would be able to do all that I needed to (especially with respect to work) without a real laptop.

Back in the Apple Store, I quickly checked out the 11'' model that I wanted and flagged down a representative. The purchase was complete within ten minutes of my arrival and I was home in another fifteen, drenched in sweat and as excited as a child who has just received a new toy. As (very) long time readers may recall, this story is not unlike eight years ago, when I stormed into the new Apple Store in Emeryville, CA, and picked up my first Mac—a 12'' Powerbook. Plus ça change, plus c'est pareil, no?

I have only had about an hour with the latest addition to my computer family (now numbering seven), but I'm already in love. While certainly not a machine that I would be inclined to use on a day-to-day basis or to do real work, either of a legal or computer variety, I think it will make an ideal travel companion and device to tool around on the web. It may not be the fastest or most powerful kid on the block, but if my 12'' Powerbook was sexy, this one is a supermodel.

On days like today, I'm often reminded of a quote I read once long ago describing engineers. Slightly paraphrased, it went something like this: engineers are doomed to be thirteen-year-old boys forever, having just discovered girls but not being quite ready to give up their toys. Today was definitely one of the toy-focused days for me; the girls will have to wait, at least until I finish installing X11.



1. Jealous
2. I have already stipulated in my boyfriend's SLA that holding hands a) in crowded areas b) above 85F/30C is not permitted. I suggest everyone adopt the same policy.

My default SLAs usually call for no public hand-holding whatsoever. Then again, these SLAs are usually terminated by the counterparty in 1—3 months, so who knows whether that term is appropriate. I rest assured in the notion that correlation is not causation.

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