So, as mentioned before, my roommates let the internet account drop for a few days. This time around, it was to pay for Mysty's vet bill. I like Mysty, their dog; she's taught me that living with a small, lively dog isn't automatically awful. She's adorable and fantastically well-behaved.
But what's fired me up is that they've done this for most of my time here, and it has cost me opportunities. They did it for several months after I moved in, then were good about it for a while, then started doing it again these past few months. My ad asked for stable internet; I asked for it during the initial meeting and showing; I was told it'd be fine and then it got thrown right out. They don't even ask me if I can do without, or warn me, I'll just be working on something internet-based, Metlife stuff or bills or Khan Academy classes and suddenly BAM no internet.
I bought a laptop. I went to FreeGeek Chicago, a non-profit organization that tries to help bring tech to low-income people and get people educated and excited about computer tech, building and maintaining your own machines and learning about non-Windows operating systems... you can read more about them at freegeekchicago.org... and I revamped my budget for the rest of the month down to the wire, I bought a laptop, and then I went and pawned something dear to me to make sure I could make my crap budget work.
How am I gonna get what I pawned back, you ask? That's an excellent question! I don't know! YAY!!!
... but people seem to think I was being frivolous about needing this stuff. I'm not. I've explained why I suddenly felt I needed a laptop, and I think my reasons are extremely good and valid: it allows me to access this stuff and work on it from PS1's wifi in ways I just can't do on my phone. I can write stories, do blog posts, look up recipes, study math and engineering at khanacademy.org, have blueprints immediately available for projects I work on at PS1... it's not just amazingly useful, it's almost a necessity at PS1. It will change how I do things. That's not a joke.
I'll be honest... I was hoping someone would offer me one. Free, or cheap, or as a loan, I was really hoping someone would help me out. But this... it's not on anyone, my hand was forced by this internet fiasco, and having it turns that mess from a dragon's den into a hobbit hole. However, I couldn't wait any longer, and, thankfully, the wonderful people at FreeGeek were helpful and answered questions I had about XUbuntu (which it has instead of Windows). These systems are cleaned up and rebuilt by their volunteers using tested parts and their volunteer program and I'm comfortable with that. Now, it's mine, and I'm comfortable with taking care of anything that might go wrong because there are people at PS1 that would probably lend a hand and their know-how if I just asked.
But I wanted to make this point, that I have so Globdamn little and still sacrificed something I really didn't want to risk to make this happen, because I needed it and feel that, given the balance of the two, this is more important. If I lose what I pawned, I'll deal.
But I still need help. If you can help, I can still use that help. That's still out there, and I'm not too ashamed to take it back. If anyone has a surprise up their sleeve, I'll be grateful.
Be excellent to each other.
Jonny friggin' Panic