Don’t Feed Your Laptop Coffee

Apparently laptops don't like coffee

Illustration by Breanna Cooke

My holiday season didn’t start off with a bang. It was more a sizzle. In addition to overstuffing my already-full self, I also fed my computer. Coffee. Don’t do it. Don’t feed your laptop coffee.

I spend most of my waking life in the digital saddle. It’s how I make a living. I have no time or patience for a hiccup in performance. When I asked if there is a trade-in program, the associate laughed.

I Fed My Laptop Coffee

My computer was thirsty. It fried itself. Now on life support, an old, crotchety mouse enables me to continue working until my new beauty arrives. It’s noisy and doesn’t roll straight. I spent more time picking a replacement than I would have selecting a car. I felt pressure to explore all options. Leave no brand unconsidered. And yes, I’m that person at Starbucks who still uses a PC. Say hello next time.

The annoyance, frustration and gargantuan cost — $1,412 all in — got me thinking. This is the time of year that has so many of us going insane. A majority of us — 65 percent — are stressed out during the holidays.

This idea of giving thanks can seem so big. What is world peace? How does healthcare for all come about? It’s overwhelming trying to think about these daunting feats while also being asked about the toy I’m purchasing. “Your son is going to love this. How old is he?”

Actually, no. It’s for my 50-year-old boyfriend.

Giving Micro Thanks?

My geek-self starting thinking about one of the technology trends de jure: microservices. The essence: breaking something down into smaller, manageable pieces. These pieces then can be reassembled in different ways, solving different problems. Think of puzzle pieces that could fit together in all different ways, creating a different picture each time.

Each solution can start with an individual puzzle piece — a micro. Like if I take a micro bite of the dessert, my dress for the holiday party will still fit. If we apply this micro thinking to our thoughts and actions, perhaps we all can find small chunks of appreciation amidst the chaos.

Let’s start with money. It’s the biggest stressor this time of year — at least 50 percent of us are worried. It’s not surprising, considering the average person spends $805 on gifts. That’s 228 visits to Starbucks I won’t be making to order a venti Americano with light steamed soy. If you request “light” they don’t charge you the extra 60 cents for soy milk.

Think of all of times I’ll avoid standing in line, already running late, while the Mannequin Challenge is underway.

Of course, I could continue my coffee habit if I could actually locate a Nintendo NES Classic. A nostalgic dance through my childhood, reliving the secret paths of Super Mario Bros. I dream of the ecstasy I would get screaming “bring it on Donkey Kong.”

But it’s not happening. Nintendo can’t keep up with the demand. Hardly a surprise given the $60 price tag and the sheer volume of us who fondly recall the system debut in 1985. It’s a frustrating Where’s Waldo search that I’ve started to accept I’ve lost. Game over.

My micro thanks? I won’t have to decide if I keep the NES for myself or give it as a gift. I also won’t have to re-live the feelings of my brother hitting the reset button every time I was beating him. Although it’s a shame — it would be much cheaper than therapy.

Then there are the activities and family obligations. What’s a girl to do when she’s got tickets to see the Australian comedian Jim Jefferies on the same time as the company holiday party? Obviously, go see Jim.

But I also remember times when I was left out. We’ve all been there, haven’t we? Those times of solitude are a lovely juxtaposition to an inbox brimming with invites. I am thankful someone thought of putting me on the list. Or at least didn’t delete me.

I need things to feel good about since this is the time of year when we gain weight. Studies show it starts over Thanksgiving. We then add more pounds around Christmas.

Today the extent of my physical activity was lifting up my leg to show someone my crazy striped socks. Which matched my sweater. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that I also opened my yoga mat and was greeted with mold. Yeah, I’m still working on some positive thinking in that arena.

"Coffee is no way to warm up your computer" originally appeared in the Katy Trail Weekly
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