Dispatches, thoughts, and miscellanea from writer Jon Konrath

Apple Store, Kwik-E-Mart

I bought a new computer. It is the Macbook, the higher-spec white model, with the 2.16 Ghz processor. I bought it online, which means it hasn’t shipped yet, and now it’s a holiday, so it probably won’t ship for a couple of days, and then it will take a couple more days, so I’m like a kid trying to fall asleep on the night before Christmas. I also know when I get the thing, there will be days and days of moving files, reinstalling stuff, reconfiguring things I redid long ago, and so on. Plus I need to figure out where I will physically put the thing, and how I will hook it up. I’m trying to think of a way I can still use this giant 21″ monitor, and the laptop display at the same time. I don’t know how good Apple’s multiple display stuff is these days. I know it sucked in Windows.

So I went to the Apple store yesterday. I went to Cherry Creek mall, which is gigantic, and is a real mall in every way, not one of these de-malled shopping center strip malls. It’s like Short Hills mall in Jersey, or a bit like the Bellevue mall on the east side of the lake in Seattle. It’s all very upscale and high-end, all Williams and Sonoma and no video arcade. I realized that I have had some sort of seachange where it comes to malls. I used to love malls – ask Mr. Falli, I would go to any mall for whatever reason and spend hours there, even if I hated all the stores and didn’t buy anything. It was something hypnotic about the mall, relaxing. Now that I don’t have money to spend, don’t have that collector impulse anymore, and don’t like to walk as much with this mostly-healed-but-still-recovering foot, it’s just not the same. I guess I get some of the quaalude effect, but it’s also a bit depressing.

Anyway, Apple store. They had a ton of iPhones around, and I played with one for a bit. My first reactions: way smaller than I thought; I can barely read the text; I bet this screen scratches and smudges in ten seconds, look at my iPod screen; how do I get a menu or whatever, it keeps flipping and moving and the interface is weird, I feel like an old person trying to use a mouse; I can’t type for shit. (The best commentary on this in a baseball context is here.) Anyway, no $600 iPhone for me. I seriously use my cellphone about 6 minutes a month, so that’s too much of an investment, even if it does run widgets or a 20×20 pixel web browser. While I was there, I looked at the Macbooks that I ordered but didn’t have yet, which made me depressed, because I was typing away on something I will wait like another week to have. Also, the Apple droids bugged the shit out of me when I was on the iPhone, and then nobody talked to me while I was messing with the laptops, and I really wanted someone to ask me if I had any questions, so I could say “I just bought one of these!” and then they’d be all nice. Or not. Whatever. I’m sure they have tons of homeless people in there all day using their free internet.

The last three submissions to the zine have all been excellent. (Actually 4 from 3 people.) The good part of this is that all of the writing is great; the bad part is that it makes me worry about my own writing, and the fact that I am getting absolutely nothing done these days. Anyway, that has me up to 36,000 words out of 80,000. I think I am going to close submissions of stories shorter than 5,000 words so I can just get a few longer bits in there. I am also writing an article for Slouch Magazine about the production process of the zine, which is largely a huge rant about why I even do this at all.

Oh, I went to the 7-Eleven in Denver that was redone as a Kwik-E-Mart for the Simpsons movie. It was not as overwhelming as the ones I’ve seen pix of in California. The signage was all funny, and they had the Slurpee machines redone as Squishy machines. The one product they had a lot of was Buzz cola, and I bought a 6-pack. No idea what it tastes like yet. I will give a full report and maybe get some pix at a later date. (And no, I am not hording these cans as some sort of collector’s item because 1) soda cans rust over time. 2) I am trying not to collect shit anymore and 3) the cans will be worthless over time, because they made so many, and every Comic Book Guy will be hoarding them in their mom’s basement.)

OK, time for breakfast.