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A creative blog by Tracy Larrua on The Whole 9

Tracy (or Trace, as friends call her) Larrua lives and works between Hawaii and L.A. A seasoned pr/marcom specialist who has worked primarily in the hospitality and entertainment industries, she enjoys teaching her “Get The Word Out” pr workshops and volunteering her time with non-profits. When not glued to her sassy MacBook, you can find her relaxing at the beach, enjoying live theatre, or at a BBQ with friends.

“My Life-Long Love Affair with… my Laptop”

I know.  Pathetic right?  But it recently became the subject of conversation when my friend’s laptop recently died.  It was such a sad day.  It made me think, “What if something were to happen to my beloved laptop?”  I mean, my life is basically in that thing.  I mean, her.  Yea, her name is Trixie.  She holds my brain (stop laughing) within her little black case which goes everywhere with me, and I do mean everywhere.  As an example, I brought Trix to a few meetings with me.  When they were done, I went to run a few errands.  When most people will leave their laptop in their car, I do not.  Trix is right there with me, in a sling bag that is snug next to my body.  One pal joked with me and said, “Are you kidding?  You can’t leave it in the car or the trunk?”  My answer, “My entire life- ideas, writings, musings, thoughts, promo ideas, press releases, etc. is in this thing.”  My pal’s answer, “Forget I ever mentioned it.”

My life-long love affair goes waaaaaay back.  Remember when Apple first came out with the MAC duo-dock?  Yea, most don’t.  That’s how far back my laptops and I go.  I mean, I’ve had desktops before and they are great if you are stationed at a desk all day.  But I’m a mobile person working between two cities and my laptop needs to come with me wherever I go.  Especially with what I do for a living, I need to be able to put together a press release or write a memo at a moment’s notice or jot down an event idea, from wherever I am.  Inspiration and ideas do not sit and wait for you to get back to your desk or cubicle, as I have found.

Right now, I am currently dwelling with “TrixieTres” (Trixie Three in Spanish) as she represents the third laptop I’ve had the pleasure of partnering up with over the years.  And, it doesn’t stop there.  I am getting ready to purchase “TrixieShi” (Trixie Four in Japanese) so that I always have a sister for TrixieTres, and of course, a reliable back-up.  Each of my laptops have had very special cases which showcase their own personality and have all had unique bags to live in when they are not permanently attached to my lap, or lying in bed with me, or sharing a cup of morning coffee on the outdoor patio table.  To some, it may sound funny, but I had a friend who used to have her laptop sit upon a beautiful piece of red velvet fabric, treating her laptop as though it was the Queen of Sheba, before she got to work.  And I get that.  Why?  Because that piece of technology is the roadway to expression for most of us pr folks, writers, artists, etc.  To me, that laptop is an extension of me, my brain, my thoughts.  It’s like an extended family member or even a pet.  

“Pet Trixie.”  I don’t think she’d like that name.  I better keep that thought to myself.

  1. Although I have had 2 laptops – I gave the first one to my son because he lives in an apartment in NY that is so small, either he could have a family or a desktop computer – I never fell in love with it mainly because of the keyboard which is not built for anyone having a wrist less than 6 inches long before it becomes a forearm. I am a writer and I need to feel the solid edge of a support rail on the desk.

    I blame the bank failures and the real estate crash on the existence of laptops. If all the smarmy little shitfaces who work on Wall Street and try to convince everyone of their importance by laptopping on trains, planes and in automobiles had kept their hands in their pants where they could have done some good, I do not think we would have had this recession.

    No good ever came out of working in a moving vehicle unless you are a bank robber and the vehicle is in getaway mode. Come to think of it, there is little difference between a bank robber and a Wall Street Broker except for the fact that the robber is more honest about his wants and needs.

    Of course, it was this very crash that allowed me to buy an oceanfront condo in Miami Beach earlier this year. The market was so bad that they were giving them away with lifetime subscriptions to the Miami Herald … and you get to keep the condo even if you cancel your subscription. Imagine me, the universal and eternal street kid living in the 5700 block of Collins Avenue with all the shitfaces who are losing their condos because they thought they could buy high and sell higher. And I thank the one who put in the new granite kitchen before she went belly up … although I could have done without the pretentious wine rack built in over the stainless steel refrigerator. Thunderbird don’t need no racks!

    Lollipops and unicorns

  2. My laptop does not have a name, neither does my car. Hell, I don’t know if it’s a boy or a girl. I don’t even know where to look. Not sure I want to know but that’s my issue. I live in denial…am quite comfortable there. It doesn’t matter if it’s the IRS, my retirement or the necessity of an oil change. Those things only matter after the bank levy, the shopping cart is being filled ( with my life) or the car is making quite unexpected noise, at which point I yell back, just as loud. My relationship with my laptop is quite disfunctional. I use it for everything ( my photography, my music and my links to the outside world). We are so close…..I touch and caress it more than anything or anyone I know. I rely on it for everything yet I treat it poorly. When my faithful G4 became soiled from neglect, I decided I would finally clean it. After all, it was once white. After a scrubbing of ‘bug and tar’, my laptop now feels like suede ( at least that’s what I’ve convinced myself. I think my friends would say that I treat them a bit better. At least I hope so.

    Let me get back to the story. In my fantasy world, my laptop would always be there. I can load my entire life on it’s back ( good AND bad) and I expect it to be there, answer my questions and solve my problems when I ask. I see it as a vault to safeguard my art without question ( after all, people don’t have a backup Swiss bank acount…except bernie matoff).

    Then it happened. I turned on my always faithful servant but this time it appeared it was asking me a question. As I waited for the screensaver and dashboard to appear, much like the sunrise, I saw something else. My Mac was showing me a monitor with a flashing ?…….even I knew this could not be good. Was it telling me it didn’t recognize me? Was it saying it didn’t understand me? Perhaps it just didn’t like my attitude. What about the mac ad that it had always been there and would always be there…beyond the end of time. Then I realized that was something I had heard in Catholic school, not a Mac ad ( the all-knowing part may be from both).

    My life began to slip away from me. It was like coming home to find half of the closets empty or to find that your savings ( and checking) account now had a zero balance, courtesy of the federal goverment. My pulse raced and I felt ill. Your wife (soon to be ex) no longer cares and the IRS will snicker in your general direction. The person who WILL care is your geek friend. He comes over and after reminding you of approximately one million geek comments, will tell you about start-up discs ( which I don’t have in my expansive record collection) and recognizing something or another and after a few short minutes has brought my life back to life.

    My artwork is now backed up shortly after it has been created. My mp3’s have all been burned to discs. Any vital information is stored on flash drives and portable hard drives ( who knew they had such things). You CAN teach an old dog new tricks. I just wish I knew a $600 per hour geek in a $4,000 suit who can network with the IRS.

  3. Hernando Conwi

    Thanks for this article, Trace! I’m gonna print it out and let my girlfriend read it. She has never understood my passion for, and kid-glove treatment of, my MBP. It too, is rarely far from me and never, ever, stays behind in the trunk. She thinks I am overly paranoid and OCD when I insist she lock her front door when we go for short walks if my Macbook is in her house.

    ‘Course, I don’t really play dress-up with it, either… :-)

  4. thanks for the comments! yea, its interesting huh? the laptop has become an extension of ones arm. i treat it with kid gloves. its never in the sun, it has a beautiful perch to sit up on with a cooling device under it, it has an extended keyboard for hours and hours of creating, and i keep it clean with a special cloth (i have a black macbook- its notorious for finger prints).

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