Me and Miles

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Miles Davis was not perfect.

It is the one thing he and I have in common. Miles was brilliant, of course, although I’ve heard it said, by Dizzy Gillespie, actually, that Clifford Brown, who died young, would have been the greatest trumpet player, but who knows? For me, it’s Miles, and the fact that we have something in common makes it more so.

I, like Miles, am not perfect.

I see you’re shocked. I was, too, a long time ago when suddenly I awoke to the fact that, “My God, I’m not perfect.”

It was, I think, shortly after I exited the womb.

Reminders of this lack of perfection assault me every day, the latest coming after I purchased a new desktop computer, a Gateway, because I’d worked on one at my aunt’s in Florida. She had an awful, awful computer and Cousin Nancy finally got sick of it and ordered two for her – one for her home in New Jersey, one for Florida – and I arrived to find the latter device still in its box. I wanted no part of it, but five minutes on the old computer and I opened the box. It took less than five minutes for me to realize that there were far too many wires and plugs attached to the old computer plus my aunt kept kvetching that if I unplugged … I don’t know, something or other … her phone would shut down.

So I called Second Cousin Will who is child to Cousin Nancy and Will, who knows, I think, everything about computers, said, “Just pull the plugs and unplug the wires. You really can’t hurt anything.”

Clearly, Second Cousin Will had no idea who I was, but I did as he said and he was right: Nothing bad happened. So I called him back and reported that and then said, “OK, now what do I do? Plug the other stuff in?”

I think I heard him turn to his mother and ask, “Is Second Cousin Michael an idiot?”

I didn’t hear her reply.

Well, I plugged it all in and darned if it didn’t work, so I had a good time during my 19 days in Florida using a very fast computer.

When I got home, I fired up my 13-year-old Mac and within five minutes knew it had to go. I bought the Gateway but couldn’t remember anything I’d done to set up the one in Florida so, rather than bother Second Cousin Will again and chance ridicule, I asked Friend Wendy to come over and help me set it up. She’d helped to set up my printer (and by “help” I mean she did it) and in return I made her breakfast.

A computer being, it seemed to me, a more difficult project, I offered to buy her breakfast, so she came over on Friday and “helped” me to set it up and by gum, or whatever it is one says when one is aging in New Hampshire, it works.

Almost like a charm.

There are mysteries about it and I’ve been unable to solve … well, most of them. First, I couldn’t figure out how to set up desktop folders but fortunately Sara, my daughter, has a Gateway laptop and was able to figure that out for me.

But neither she nor I can find spellcheck. Friends, those of us who admit to imperfection DESPERATELY NEED spellcheck and particularly dynamic spell check, that thing that underlines in red one’s embarrassing misspellings. Can’t find those things.

Thus, I hope to heck somebody’s checking my spelling before you get to read this because, well, I don’t want you to think I’m not perfect despite the fact that I’ve already admitted I’m not.

Which is what I have in common with Miles Davis and I’m sorry to say that’s all. Well, I’m glad our commonality doesn’t extend to being dead, which he is and which I only sometimes wish I were, like when I can’t find spellcheck.

Oh, and word count. I suddenly realized I can’t find that, either. And Norton keeps asking me to sign up for security things, but I already have Norton on my laptop so do I need it for this computer, too? And pay again?

Nor can I figure out why control W doesn’t close a file.

See what I mean?

I’d call Second Cousin Will but A. I think he thinks I’m a moron and B. I’ll see him at Easter when I will approach him with a WRITTEN list of questions about this computer and say to him that because it is Easter, he must be forgiving.

I can’t wait.

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