Tuesday, March 13, 2007

in which i welcome technology into my life

Late one night a couple weeks ago, in the midst of what Waspy might call "bar psychosis," I bid on a digital camera on E-bay. To be specific, I bid on a Hewlett Packard Photosmart 735, with 3.2 mexapixels, a 64mb memory card, two rechargeable batteries and a portable photo-printer. And I won it.

To give my story some context, I should tell you that in November of 2003, two months after starting law school, my dad sent me (in the *mail*) an HP Photosmart 735 camera with a 64mb memory card as an extra-good birthday present which was actually a combination of birthday, Christmas and "congratulations on starting law school" presents. My dad, who has a pretty bad track record with presents, had outdone himself.

I loved the camera, used it a lot, and then, one dark and stormy night during the beginning of the end of my bad relationship with the alcoholic CB, I lost it. It was her birthday, 2004, and we were out at a restaurant in SE Portland. Her ex-husband and sons wanted to throw her a surprise party and it was my job to convince her to go w/o telling her why. I knew that an impossible task had been set before me so I gave it to her straight. I said "They're doing this for you, it's a surprise, and we're going, and you're going to pretend to be surprised and pretend to be happy."

She was bitchy all day and it was all I could do to make her get in the car and go when the time came. I was annoyed and disgusted with her, yet I took the camera along and dutifully documented the whole debacle. When it was all over, I got up and left my camera in it's case, hanging from the back of my chair and I never saw it again. Such was my disinterest in ever reliving that bad night, I didn't once think about looking at the pictures or loading them into my computer. Instead, it wasn't until Christmas, two weeks later, before I thought about using the camera again and that's when I realized it was missing.

After tearing apart the whole house and car, I called the restaurant and was told that no one had turned it in. Of course not. I considered reporting it stolen and trying to get money from my insurance company, but I didn't feel comfortable going that route. I've missed my little camera ever since. And I've had to make up excuses every time I've been to visit my family because I just can't bring myself to tell my dad I lost it. Why? For a lot of reasons, but mostly because, when I was about seven, he gave me a camera and I promptly lost that one too! And it hurt his feelings. And I would feel like a real shmuck if he knew I lost this one.

So I've been daydreaming about replacing the lost camera with an exact replica so I can a.) have a camera again, and b.) pretend to my dad that I've had it all along. That's logical, right? Whenever I've had a little extra cash, I've gotten on e-bay and bid on cameras like this, but I have always been outbid. Every single time. So, when I surfed onto E-bay, late one night after studying all day, in a kind of crazy haze, and bid on this camera, I did it without even thinking. I assumed I would be outbid again.

Imagine my surprise when I woke up and found I'd won! Yay me. I didn't feel so excited, though, I felt nervous. I hadn't really thought it through, I hadn't checked the seller's rating, what if I was getting ripped off? Then, when I realized mercury was in retrograde, I really freaked out. I would NEVER have made a big purchase (of something mechanical, no less) if I'd known we were right in the middle of such a shitty astrological circumstance.

One problem surfaced immediately: I couldn't pay. I'd recently cancelled my debit card and had a new one issued, but the new one hadn't come yet. I was expecting it any minute, so I kept waiting. After a few days, the seller emailed me and asked how I was planning to pay. I explained my debit troubles and he said no problem and I kept waiting. When I found out the bank had never actually processed the reissue of the card and it was going to take another 7-10 business days, I went down to the bank and got a cashier's check for the money and sent it.

The camera came yesterday and (crossing fingers) so far so good. It's so cool to have a camera again and now I can finally update my photo collections (aren't you all sick of my lame array of flickr photos? I know I am...). I've been walking around these past few days watching all the buds and blossoms and wishing I could document them. Now I can! My next task is to learn how to post photos on this here blog, then I'll really be in business.


Blogger zuhn said...

I was wondering why you would be buying a 3.2 megapixel camera with 64mb of memory. It all makes sense now, and quite a clever idea to boot.

I can think of quite a few watches, wallets and necklaces that I should start hunting for on ebay for exactly the same reason.

12:48 PM  

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