When I wrote Livvie Owen Lived Here, I lived at a boarding house in western North Carolina. The house was shared by the landlady, her daughter, two local fellows, my partner, me, six cats, and five dogs, and we all -- well, all the humans anyway -- shared one computer.
So when my landlady's daughter offered to sell me a laptop with a broken screen for $25, I bought it in hopes that I would be able to fix it, or at least plug it in to an external monitor and make do.
A month of saving, an Ebay spree, and a YouTube tutorial later, I installed a new screen. The laptop has worked beautifully ever since, save for one crash last year that was quickly resolved.
So, okay, my partner and I like to throw snowballs. I mean, is that a crime?
According to my 20-pound Rat Terrier, it is. When a stray snowball hit the window this afternoon, Lola apparently darted under the desk, clotheslining herself on the power cord and smashing the computer to the floor.
Don't worry. It still works. If it didn't, you would not be reading this. And I'm so relieved that the screen didn't break, because, without my partner's help, I would never have been able to get all those tiny screws into all those tiny holes to put the laptop back together the first time, and I didn't fancy going through that again only a year later.
The problem is, one of the ... hinges, I guess you'd call it? Broke. Now the screen sort of ... wobbles around. I have to line it up right to get it to close. There's a jagged edge of plastic held on by one of those tiny screws I can't get undone, and part of the frame sort of ... popped loose and won't pop back.
There are many who would turn to a professional. But I'm broke, I've got no car, and there's a blizzard on.
Okay, so. Duct tape? Nope. I don't seem to have any. Electrical tape? Seems to have all gotten used when my cousin installed our baseboard heat. Superglue? Dollar Tree brand, which I'm not putting on my computer.
Aah, yes. Painter's tape.
When we moved into this house, we had high hopes and big dreams. We bought complimentary colors and began painting with gusto.
Six hours later, we were permanently done. Not the house, I mean. Just US. The trim still hasn't got painted. In fact, there's still painter's tape up in my office, framing the unpainted trim that I've just never gotten around to. Luckily, there are also still six unused rolls of painter's tape out on the porch.
And half a roll holding the screen onto my laptop.
I love this little machine, though. It's a trooper, that's for sure. It'll be a sad day when I actually have to replace it.