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It is the day after Christmas. I began writing this earlier today. In fact, I completed it in Microsoft Word and was getting ready to upload to my blog. But when I tried to save the document, the computer would not respond. As a matter of fact, I lost everything I wrote. The standard Word 2007 feature of saving a copy after a crash, failed. I spent a large part of the day trying to figure out what was going on. I know that when I returned from Miami last weekend I noted the computer was sluggish, and so I restarted. (We leave the computer on 24/7 for the sake of doing updates.) Upon the restart it said it was completing updates from Windows. Up until then, Word worked fine. Today was the first time since that update that I tried using Word. I actually had to resort to an uninstall-reinstall today but this did not fix the problem either. All the other solutions online did not work, but I learned that many people who use Windows 8.1, like me, have had the same problem. I did find a work-around until the Windows computer wonks admit there is a problem and fix it with another update (which will likely break something else). The work around was opening a Word document that had already been saved, delete the content, and begin recreating. There are many documents on my PC that are no longer needed. I tested this out first, and since it worked, I was in business! Perhaps it is good I have not deleted any of the old documents, in the event that Windows does not get around to fixing the problem for another year – I’ll have many usable files for future writing endeavors.
Now it is dark outside and I shall attempt to recreate what I had once considered to be a masterpiece. What I had reflected upon earlier today was that the day after Christmas leaves many in a down mood. In fact, today I felt like an emotional vacuum had consumed my energy and it was not because of the computer problems. I think many people go through this post-Christmas blues syndrome. Perhaps they did not get gifts they wanted or needed. Maybe someone was down because they wanted that rare, off-kilter, spooky lounge organ LP, Hay! Kelly!, and did not get it. (That’s because I won the bid in the last seconds of the auction on eBay, suckers!)
The commercial marketing of the holiday spending frenzy started at some stores right after Labor Day. Of course, the “official” holiday season begins immediately after Thanksgiving and continues its bombardment of Christmas radio and television ads – even online, one cannot avoid the sidebar seasonal ads on nearly every Website. Community events with holiday themes begin to spring up everywhere. And then there is the ever-pervasive Christmas music. I believe every popular artist on the planet must have felt the urge to perform the obligatory Christmas song or album. Even as a kid, I remember hearing on one of my parents’ Christmas albums Barbra Streisand singing “The Lord’s Prayer” and wondering, “Wait a minute, isn’t she Jewish?” Radio stations dig out some of the decades-old classics like “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas” by Gayla Peevey (1953), or “Dominic the Christmas Donkey” by Lou Monte (1960) and then recycle them over-and-over-and-over.
The air-conditioning made the handshake sweatier than it would have been. I pressed my palm to the bottom of the desk as I took a chair. Outside the closed cubicle was a line that stretched to the staircase, of young men in formals. I shook that thought off as the interviewer put his first question across. Minor stammering aside, I made it to the next question and then the last. Towards the end, as I searched for the perfect combination of words that would impress, I thought about last year’s Christmas party where someone robbed the tree. And I laughed.