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Kali the Destroyer: Cereal Killer Version

March 30, 2013

Did you ever do something so absolutely wrong, so insanely stupid, that it actually shocks you into believing you dreamt the whole thing?  That secretly you’re convinced when you wake up in the morning, everything will be back to normal?

Yeah, this is what my laptop still looked like at 8:00 this morning:




Yesterday, while getting my PA system ready to take to a party, I dropped the PA head on my laptop.  Holy f***, yes I did.  It hit the screen AND the edge of the keyboard.

Panic and hand-wringing ensued as I shuffled – stunned – through every room in the Treehouse, wondering what the f*** I was going to do, and beating myself up for my clumsiness. Laughing bitterly, I remembered that it was only an hour or two ago that I’d written my post about the Hindu goddess of creation, preservation, and destruction.

“I AM Kali the Destroyer!” I shouted down the hallway.


About a year ago, I started using my PA every day in the Treehouse.  It’s useful enough to me, both as a musician AND as a fan of music, to keep it set up in the living room.  Not only do I plug my microphones and instruments into it, I can also run a CD player, my laptop, or my iPod through it.

But I didn’t put much serious organizational thought into the set up.  In fact, I kept the PA head on the bottom stair of a step-ladder, and slid the top of my music stand behind it to hide the power bar underneath.  The music stand’s post just kind of stood there, pointlessly in the middle of everything and tangling up black cables in it’s three huge feet.


pa old


Really, I should know better than to test my luck around electronics.  This is my fourth laptop in twelve years.  I destroyed the first three with liquid things, like bowls of cereal and cups of coffee.

This marks the first time I have ever destroyed a laptop with a PA, though.


With the laptop cradled in my arms, I walked into my housemate’s room and repeated the words, “Please, please, please, holy s***, please, you’ve got to help me,” until he woke up from  his nap.

We couldn’t tell if it was just the screen or the entire laptop that was on the fritz – there wasn’t a lot he could do until we could access another tech friend’s equipment.  Bless my luck and my housemate’s heart, though – a few weeks ago, he spent an entire day tinkering with a once-totally-dead, 9-year old laptop of mine (which I actually did kill with cereal) until it worked again.  It needed an external keyboard, but it would get the job done if I were stuck.


not portable


Kind of took the portability out of the concept, though.

Even worse:  I was supposed to bring MY laptop with me to the party that night.  I needed the music stored on it. Which of course wasn’t backed up.  (You never do it either, admit it.)

We had NO way of retrieving any of my files until the next morning, at the earliest.


It wasn’t just the music that was causing me so much grief.  All of my photos, years and years worth of photos, were not backed up anywhere.  My writings, bits of songs I’d recorded…so many of my creative activities are documented on my laptop.

There was wailing and gnashing of teeth.  I was having a pity party for myself, and I sounded like a sad-donkey Eeyore.


I had to acknowledge that my luck won out again, though, when a friend and co-worker stepped in at the last minute to present me with her laptop and iPod.  (I probably should have mentioned that I also recently killed my iPod with a glass of water – but it would have been useless anyway, because it’s all full of prog rock.)  Her laptop saved the day!  She even offered to loan it to me for a couple of weeks, till I got mine fixed.

My spirits were starting to lift a little.  I really do have awesome friends.  They would trust me with their electronics even though I can’t even manage coffee cups.  🙂


The party was a big going-away bash for a mutual friend of ours.  I will be writing about that friend very soon.  The fact that she IS going away, though, has bearing on this story:  she has been purging the contents of her house before the Big Move.

I was the beneficiary of her garden benches a few weeks ago.  And she had been saving this table for me to pick up this weekend:




When she heard my tale of misery and woe (and believe me, everybody had to hear it about three times), her face lit up and she said, “Why don’t you take the monitor that’s still at my house? I don’t want it.”

I was really still feeling pretty Eeyore-ishly ungrateful about the whole thing:  “Oh, well, thank you, but I dunno. I don’t even know if the hard drive is even gonna work.”  Gnaw, gnaw, gnaw.  Poor girl – it was her picnic and I was the rain cloud.

But being the generous person she is (and a woman who’s really sick of moving stuff), she insisted I take it.


even more not portable


The good news is, my laptop still works – it’s only the screen that’s trashed.  \m/  The bad news is the options for portability are even more decreased than ever.  (Plus I have to do this weird thing where I’m typing with the lid hovering a couple of centimetres over my knuckles.)  I will need a laptop that will actually go mobile at some point.

Still, I haven’t thought out anything out farther ahead than having a working computer in the Treehouse.  I can’t afford to think about it right now.  So f*** Eeyore, I’m going to be all fiddle-dee-dee Scarlett O’Hara about it now. I am just going to think about how lucky I am to have such great friends, and how lucky I am to still have all my data and a working computer.

Plus, new table!


I’d been thinking about using my friend’s table as a potting bench on the Treehouse balcony.  It’s one of those ones that fold down flat – or one that WOULD fold flat, if it were not held together by metal drawer rails that someone added on at some point.  (I would have taken them off today but I need to borrow the tool I need.)

Once I got the table home, though, it seemed awful short.  And I couldn’t see anywhere on the balcony it could fit.  I was sure I could still find a use, though, even if that use was folding it away and bringing it out when it was needed.

It wasn’t till this morning when I had the flash of brilliance that I really needed to get my gear in better order before I killed something else with it.  And that I happened to have a table that would fit perfectly in that corner.


amp corner


Today, I had to set my PA back up again, and also deal with the cabling for the new monitor. It seemed like the opportune moment to just pull everything out of the corner (Goddess of Destruction!) and put all the pieces in one-by-one (Goddess of Creation!)

The cubby hole underneath turned out to be the perfect size for my baby Marshall bass amp, which has been skulking in my room for lack of space anywhere else.  The music stand got banished in its stead.



Small space living truly is like a full-time game of Tetris.


Kali the Destroyer might bring destruction and devastation in her wake, but she doesn’t know who my friends are.  They could kick her ass any day of the week.

Moral of the story:  back your s*** up, and trust your friends to have your back.


Dodie Goldney

PS:  this is my first post under!   I’m a dot com now!  Annnnd…it’s kind of ironic that my first dot com post is about my stupid computer problems.  😉

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.related posts by Dodie Goldney:

Kali the Destroyer

Women’s Work is in the Home (Renovations)

Manifest Headboard

Looking at the Overlooked

Mission Control


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