Thursday, September 13, 2007

Vampires and monsters

A few months ago my iBook started acting weird. After I'd used it for about 15 minutes, the screen would start distorting and breaking up, and in a few seconds would go dark. Sometimes I could make it come back by closing the lid so it went to sleep, then opening it up again, but that usually only fixed it long enough for me to shut it down.

But since I haven't really been doing any traveling lately, and since I had gotten the eMac fixed, it wasn't really a critical issue, so I just put it away, trying it occasionally to see if it had spontaneously fixed itself. Unfortunately, it never did.

So I decided to take it in to the Apple store and see what they thought it was, and if it would cost less to fix it than it would cost to get a new one (which I wasn't going to do). I took it in last night, and they're pretty sure it's the logic board. The cost for repair (no matter what it turns out to be) is $280, which I struggled with. But I decided that I still like the computer enough, and it is still adequate for what I use it for, and I certainly couldn't buy anything new for less than four times that price. So I went ahead and told them to send if off and fix it.

I had made the decision not to buy the extended warranty when I bought it, because I didn't feel like I could justify the $250 price on a $900 machine. So considering that the repair would be free if I had bought the warranty, it's more or less a wash. And it will be nice to have the laptop back. I miss it. Even though I don't really need it, it gives me the opportunity to be mobile, and it's a shame to have it and not be able to use it.

I listened to Stephen King's Stationary Bike in the car this week, finished it last night, and started listening to his newest, Blaze, this morning. It isn't really a new book, it's one of the ones he calls "trunk novels," meaning that they've been in a trunk for a long time (and the last of the " Richard Bachman" books), but I figure it will be worth listening to, particularly since it's being read by Ron McLarty, who I love! I first listened to him narrating one of his own books, The Memory of Running (and his second book, Traveler, and have searched out other books that he's narrated as well. I was delighted to see this one -- lately Stephen King has been reading his own books for audio, and while I don't have anything at all against him or his speaking voice, in my experience authors don't do a great job reading their own work.

McLarty is an actor, and does, I think, a wonderful job.

I was thinking about Stephen King this morning, and how I've been reading his books for so long. The first this I read of his was an abridged, serialized version of Salem's Lot, in Cosmopolitan magazine. I had never read anything like it, and from then on, I bought pretty much everything he wrote. I've become a little more selective lately, and there are a few that I haven't (and wont') buy or read.--"Gerald's Game" and "Misery" come to mind--because I just don't enjoy that kind of psychological tension. Vampires and monsters, I'm okay with.

I bought Cell to take with me to Mexico a couple of years ago, and that turned out to be a great beach book. I really enjoyed it. And some of his are favorites -- The Stand, of course, and all of the novellas in For Past Midnight (The Langoliers and The Library Policeman especially; I loved The Talisman, which he wrote with Richard Straub, but I found Black House, its sequel, unreadable. And some I had no interest in, like the later Dark Tower installments -- too much fantasy for me.

Anyway, I just think it's interesting. I can't think of another author whose career I've felt so intertwined with; no one as prolific, certainly. And I think it helps that I started reading him so long ago, and through such an interesting way--serialized in a magazine. A nice introduction, anyway.

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