Machines fail me

I dropped my motorola phone one time too many yesterday and it stopped working. This is a year-and-a-half old cell phone, not my precious iPod John Henry, but the loss is quite upsetting nevertheless. The cellphone has been my primary phone for several years, even if this model only has been with me a short while. I am due to upgrade in March, and AT&T makes it difficult (expensive) to do it any sooner.

The problem is, I didn’t want to upgrade. For the first time, I haven’t been counting the days to upgrade time, obsessively reading reviews and researching what my next phone will be. This mahogany-colored Motorola V9 has met all my needs, which are few:

  • Make calls
  • Receive calls
  • Make and receive small numbers of text messages
  • Wake me up
  • Play ringtones
  • Take photos in a pinch
  • Display pictures of my dog
  • Has speaker phone

I have used it to check email, but only in emergencies. I want my phone to feel like a phone, not an iPod. No sliding keypad, just a flip phone. I liked that it had a bit of weight because it was easy to find in my bag. I don’t need any fancy data-using features.

I went to four AT&T stores, Walmart (I know) and Best Buy yesterday. I also searched Amazon and AT&T’s sites. Apparently no one wants Motorola flip phones anymore. You can’t get them new anywhere. You can get an international “unlocked” version, but those are very poorly rated on Amazon.

I seem to have found someone on Freecycle who is going to give me one for free. (All hail Freecycle.) Plan B is to spend $100 at eBay on a used one. Aside from free, this is probably the least expensive, since AT&T will charge me a $75 early upgrade fee…and based on the available phones at the moment, I don’t even want to upgrade with them in March.

I was in a pretty good mood yesterday before I destroyed this link to the outside world. I was set to drive to Olympia for two nights, to attend work meetings. I had my new iPod, my new laptop and my trusty Motorola. Without a functioning phone, I felt isolated and alone as I drove in the rain, getting used to the company car’s windshield wiper settings and trying to find the perfect intermittent speed.

The best thing I did yesterday was shop for handbags at the outlet mall. I’m not totally into labels or anything, but Kate Spade bags were the rage when I was first out of college, and they are quality. I went to the outlet mall specifically to go to the Kate Spade store, and was faced with yet another disappointment when the store wasn’t listed on the directory. I went into Coach and almost bought an $89 bag before deciding to shop around a little more and stumbling upon the Kate Spade store. I picked out a $99 bag, which rang up at an additional 40 percent off, so I went back to Coach and got that one too!

I got a green tea latte from Starbucks, which was for some reason spiked with espresso. It tasted sort of interesting, so I drank it anyway, not feeling like turning the car around to complain. The upside was that I didn’t fall asleep on the drive and I was able to get work done until 11 and watch Conan at 11:30 (Is NBC really putting Leno back on at 11:35? Quelle horreur.) The bad news is that I slept two hours, woke up with the hotel TV still on, and tossed and turned for another three hours before finally falling asleep, only to wake up an hour early having dreamed about worrying that I would oversleep.

Meeting with my department was productive and fun, but the day was soured with the discovery that I may have lost practically every photo I have taken for work in the past two years. My external hard drive had been failing, but I thought we’d be able to retrieve the data before it spontaneously combusted. Not so, it seems. Many of my best photos exist elsewhere, because they have been used in publications and someone else has a copy of the file. But it’s an organizational disaster and very depressing. Note to self: It’s not a backup if you don’t have the files saved somewhere else.

My old work computer was overtaxed, and I thought it would die before the external drive. Now, I can get files off of it, but not the external. Unfortunately, I stopped saving the raw photo files on the computer all together.

Sigh. New year, new start, right?

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