There are a couple of cute leftover photos from yesterday’s photo shoot that I wanted to highlight here, or to be more precise, to highlight the setting and situation. Most people spend their weekend mornings sleeping in after a long work week or a wild night out on the town. As for me, I’ve always been a pretty early riser, even on weekend mornings. So on an average weekend morning, you’ll find me like so:
Yep, that’s me, in my bedroom stretched out on my bed and surfing the interwebs on my laptop computer. I’ve owned a laptop for about 18 months now, actually winning it in a charity raffle (it’s amazing what you can get from $10 in raffle tickets). Having a laptop computer is pretty liberating; I can log on and surf or do my work anyplace (bedroom, living room, public place with wi-fi, etc.), although I’m such a worrywart regarding battery life that my laptop is almost always plugged into a power outlet.
If you’re thinking I was a Luddite before owning a laptop… well, that’s not entirely true. It used to be that I did my computer work and web surfing tethered to a big, lumbering PC. If you have a laptop now, odds are that was how you did your web surfing, data computing, and word processing originally. When I lived with my sister in Green Bay way back when, we shared the PC in her room; she used it to do her classwork and work reports, while I used it to surf the internet thanks to one of those America Online installation discs you’d always get in the mail (remember those things?). After my sis moved in with her future husband and I went back to living by myself, my computer/internet use was limited to reserving time on internet-connected computers at the public library. It was the late ’90s, and for me back then at least, internet usage wasn’t as much an urgent part of everyday life as it is now. Even my then-employer (let’s say it’s a big Fortune 500 company) didn’t think too much about the need for PC use by their lower-level employees at the time; we did our work on those ancient internally-networked terminals, which featured Vector-type monitors that sported only two colors, black and green, and limited or no capabilities of communicating with those outside the company, let alone surf the web. It was that way for us until 2000, when our employer
saw the light changed to a production platform that necessitated using PCs; only then were we finally able to surf the web at work every waking moment when our lunch or break time came around.
As for PC use at home, signing up for a class at a local technical college in 2001 (and the work and reports that came with it) meant I finally had a real need for a PC at home and not resorting to reserve time for one at the library. So, my then-brother-in-law set me up with a build-it-in-the-basement PC that he and his father built and that I kept in my bedroom. That PC held up well for a couple of years until it fell apart on me my second year here in Madison, which forced me to have it replaced by a newfangled one from Best Buy. Changing times and technologies necessitated replacing the old PC with a new one every 3-4 years after that. That’s the thing about computers: You want the one you have to last forever, but even the best ones show their age. Having a PC also meant spending my personal computer-and-web-surfing time tethered to the big desk it was kept on, be it in the bedroom, spare bedroom (in the case of my current apartment), or even the back corner of the dining room or living room, which is where an old friend of mine kept theirs. That’s the thing about PCs, too: They may be powerful things and process data in milliseconds, but you need both arms to carry it around (not to mention an extra set of arms for the hardware accessories that go with it).
Luckily, a laptop computer is something that, while not always as powerful as a traditional PC, you can still open up, fold up, stow away in something as convenient as a briefcase or tote bag, and take anywhere you need to be. I’m glad to have one, and I’m glad that it allows me the freedom to be not-as-tied to that spare bedroom. In fact, I think going from a PC to a laptop fits perfectly with the attitude I’m trying to take as a crossdresser: I may not be entirely open or secure of myself, but I want some freedom to express my feminine side. That’s a great attitude to have, isn’t it? There is a little bit of a drawback, however: I relax so much on my bed while surfing so much on my laptop, I tend to forget to do other things… like, say, go to the gym. It’s 11AM on Sunday morning as I write this and I was hoping to have been working out by now. Oh well.
Oh, for the record…. Once I got my laptop a couple of years ago, I cleared out my old PC and gave it to my mom. Yes, she did have her own PC, but it was really ancient; she had for the entire 14 years she owned her own business, doing all her bookkeeping and related work on it. That PC was so old, it still had Netscape installed (no joke). After she sold her business, moved into a new house, and went into semi-retirement, she still hung on to that old PC for the nieces to play on when they came over. But that old PC was always one step away from giving up the ghost, according to Mom, and when I told her I had won my laptop, she inquired if I was willing to give my PC to her. I told her, yes, absolutely, and that Thanksgiving, my old PC became her new PC, monitor and keyboard and all. It still works wonderfully for her, though I do wonder if she heeds any messages to update her antivirus programs and anything else necessary on there.