You would have been proud of me yesterday, the way I resisted. All those things I want and can't have, all those things I've given up, called out to me, like the sea of faces in What Dreams May Come. (You know, I hated that movie so much, it makes me want to see it again. It couldn't have been that bad. I must have missed something.
It was my first real shopping trip since I resolved not to buy any new CDs, books or DVDs for myself this year. I was in Best Buy and didn't even look at the new music and movies. I was in Crown Books and bought just one book - for my cousin Nick, who turns twelve next month. (Of course, I'll read it before mailing it off to Iowa, but I didn't buy it for myself. I was really glad Nick was having a birthday, though.)
But I have to confess that I did spend some money. I was in Office Depot for the usual, copy paper, bubble-pack mailers, that sort of thing. But I knew what I really wanted before I even headed over there on my morning errands. I've been looking at new keyboards for weeks, because my space bar has been sticking. I've run so many words together that I nearly invented a new language.
And I've wanted an optical mouse since I heard they'd improved them. So I used the company charge card and bought us (me, that is) a fairly inexpensive Internet keyboard and a pretty costly mouse. Then I came back home and spent half of the afternoon installing them and programming the hot buttons and trying things out on them. It was like a vacation in one day. It was almost as good as Christmas. I have new toys to play with, and they make my job easier.
In fact, I had no idea how hard the old devices were making my job until I started typing on a keyboard that works smoothly and doesn't make me jam my thumb down on the space bar from about a foot and a half in the air, just so "just so" doesn't turn into "justso." It's like cruise control. It's like growing wings and soaring like a hawk, instead of plodding through the high weeds like a turkey.
And this mouse! There were cheap ones. Some were on sale. But I knew what I wanted. The reason I got the expensive model was for the programmable extra buttons. Right now I've got one of them set on F11 (so that I can toggle "Full Screen" on the browser) and the other one set to "Show/Hide Desktop." Whee! It's a festival of geekdom. (One of the minor festivals, though. It's the Cloverdale Citrus Fair, not World Expo 2001.)
But mainly, I don't need a mouse pad. I hate mouse pads. I've never had one that didn't get all grungy, and I've had only one that didn't cause the mouse ball to stick at the most inconvenient times. Optical mouse: no mouse ball. It slides across any surface that's handy, including the top of my desk and whatever happens to be lying on top of my desk. (Which is a good thing, because there's always a big pile of sludge on top of my desk.)