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Sunday, November 19, 2006

A pack-rat's lament

(Posted in my old blog last August 21st, after discovering that the message inbox that came along that blog was empty! All fifty or so valuable messages lost! *sigh* Suddenly feeling sentimental again today after swimming through lengthy emails from classmates sorely missed, I am reminded of this entry and opted to post this again...)

I’ve had more than my fair share of hard disks crashing, PDA’s resetting, phone sms inbox contents accidentally disappearing, or large-scale online system failing taking along with it months or even years’ worth of blogging and memories.

Each event leaves me feeling as if I have been hit head-on by a train traveling at 1000 kph, dragged for a station or two, and left bloody but still conscious, albeit barely. I mustn’t stay on the tracks though, lest I allow another train to ram itself unto my already mangled body. So I pick up my left ear here, my right femur there, bits and pieces of my brain everywhere, as I try to move on and rebuild my life as a trying hard techie.

I try to live in the same vein that my Lord and Savior did: while He saves, I keep back-up copies of everything. Almost everything. Well, about 50% of my creative output. Of the last 3 months or so. Which amounts to about 10% of my life’s work. In the process of which I ran out of CD-RWs. So I was able to make back-up copies of some folders in my computer. FOLDER to be more precise. Alright, alright. I haven’t learned my lesson.

Immediately after realizing that I’ve lost data from my phone, PDA, or computer, my reaction is to unleash an un-Jesus-like litany that would make a detergent company salesman make his quota with the number of soap bars I have to buy to wash my foul-mouth with. And then I’d be in a state of panic, sadness, and grief- lamenting the loss of contact numbers, photos, essays, messages- memories that I treasured the moment they landed on my brain cells. Now gone.


Well, not for long. My pack-rat mentality would kick in soon enough and my phone’s inbox ultimately gets filled with jokes or sentimental messages or timely Bible verses. I’d eventually churn out journal entries and they’d be uploaded soon enough to provide evidence for my shameless self-promotion (thanks, f, for that unforgettable line). I’d receive text messages from ‘strangers’ who are kind enough to help me update my phonebook by replying to the uber-annoying query ‘Who is this again please?”. New photo ops will present themselves. In no time at all, what I lost would be replaced. And if they don’t get replaced, they are never missed. Except during attacks of melancholy, when I know that I have this person or that person’s number in my PDA’s address book but now I don’t.

Somehow it provides a ‘cleansing’ mechanism. To ease from my life the ‘clutter’ and ‘white noise’ that pervade without me realizing their presence. Wiped out gigabytes leave room where new memories can be saved. And somehow, that’s what I need every now and then. Tabula rasa.

A clean slate.

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