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Acer Horowitz

January 9, 2009

My husband really needed a new computer, and the little Acer was on sale and I urged him to buy it. It’s so adorable; pearl-white, the size of a slim $40 novel, just over two pounds, and more memory than our full-size laptops, it arrived today in a box within a box, surrounded with plastic air pillows. He let me click in the six-hour battery and open the lid. Such compelling cuteness in small plastic genius. He commenced the set-up sequence and had to assign the computer an identifying network name. He typed in “Acer.”

“How about Acer Horowitz?” I suggested.


“Sure. It’s unlikely there would be another Acer Horowitz on our network.”


I just liked the name Acer Horowitz. Who knows how these things rappel down the cliffsides of my mind?

Acer Horowitz is the only one of our four living computers to boast a built-in video camera. We are medievalists at heart and never saw the point. But Acer Horowitz can take pictures without flash, and flash causes my Cat to squint his eyes; and so, Acer Horowitz became the new family photographer. Note how the low resolution actually gives the photo an extraordinary painterly look.

But Acer Horowitz cannot cut hair. Neither can my husband. I can, but not my own if I want to leave it long. I cut my own hair for a while, quite short, a coup d’tete I dubbed my cute deloused phase.

I would like a haircut but I don’t like to get them. I don’t like people to handle my head while talking about their very weird lives. I have been anxious, wondering how long I will remain despondent over my hair but not have it cut.

I did a search for “how to cut long hair.” My husband and I watched a three-minute video. He said something about the calculus of haircutting; the stylist in the video referred to triangular parting of the hair, and my husband tried to put this in terms of spherical geometry.

I just sat there, hopelessly confounded. I could not believe I have been cutting my husband’s hair for as long as I have known him, and never contemplated it in terms of mathematical logic.

There was a joke in law school, if you didn’t make it, there was always beauty school. Ha, I thought. If you didn’t make it through beauty school, there was always law school.

But after watching the video and its sequel of someone with hair much shorter than mine, combed into tripartite sections and cut, my husband the lawyer felt no closer to the goal of trimming my hair. I the lawyer think seriously of the ponytail-and-machete technique.

But back to Acer Horowitz, the small cute computer on whose screen all eyes at oikos mou were fastened this evening. The Cat is not one to be outdone by a small cute rival object. Did he perceive Acer Horowitz as his rival for our eyes?

I looked up “cats who make noise,” found a site that had wave files of various cat sounds, and played them for him. He was riveted, but not impressed. I searched “what else do cats do” and learned that when cats scratch and bite while being handled, they are expressing their preference not to be handled. Their retentive memories are 200 times longer than dogs’ memories, which likely accounts for the duration of the grudges they hold. I did not want Coolidge to suspect that Acer Horowitz was his rival for my affection, so I mauled him. He perfunctorily scratched and bit me.

I accept necessary change, but I love what never changes.


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