Saturday, January 27, 2007

It's Not So Bad, Really

The short version:

I lost my cellphone today.

The long version:

I am a pessimist by nature. I expect things to go wrong, or, at the very least, I expect things to go wrong for me. Of course, most things do not go wrong, though I'm loathe to notice. Like most people, I fixate on the few things that don't go as I might have hoped, and ignore the countless things that go pretty much right. What's more, despite the fact that most things do, in fact, not go wrong, I am still likely to be indignant when things go awry.

Well, enough with the preface, and on with the story.

I am on Daddy-Duty this weekend, which means that Mrs. Muzzy is working, and I am getting to spend copious amounts of time with my lovely daughters AE and LK, and I guess that's one of the things that is good in my life.

Both the girls were off school on Friday, so we slept in a bit, got up late, went to McDonald's for Breakfast, stopped by my workplace to show off my girls to my co-workers, took a trip to the well-stocked but not very well-staffed Microcenter, stopped by the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden for a first-time visit (that's right, neither they nor I had ever been there), and came on home for a mellow rest of the afternoon, and evening. We lit a fire in the hearth, AE did some homework, and we had hot dogs for supper. It was a nice day.

This AM we had a smallish breakfast and then headed on downtown for lunch with Mrs. Muzzy. After lunch we headed out 'On Adventures' to the Mall Of America. I had been out there this past Wednesday to Mall Walk in the late AM, and had found the place nearly deserted. It wasn't deserted today.

The MOA is an amazing place. It is not the largest, but it's far and away the most visited tourist/shopping complex in the world, and after ten years of existence, the place is being readied for an expansion. It's vilified by many, both in town and across the land, as a monument to corporate retail greed, but its very success serves as an answer to its critics. Apparently millions of people each year feel compelled to come from across town and across the world to visit its several hundred stores and restaurants, and the indoor amusement park.

We spent the majority of our time at the Park At MOA (formerly Camp Snoopy). AE would probably be interested in some of the bigger rides, but her little sister is scared of them, and so they both did only the kiddie rides today. But the park isn't just for rides. A man-made stream runs through it, from one end to the other, and there are some 10,000 live plants and trees in the park. I assure you, on a frigid Minnesota winter afternoon it's great to be able to walk around without a coat in such a place. We were there a total of about three hours, and then decided to head home.

And then it happened. Well, it probably happened some time before: I realized I had lost my cell phone. Ironically, I'd left it in the car when we first arrived, and had gone back to get it; why didn't I just leave it in the car? Anyway, I looked everywhere - the stroller, my coat, the shopping bags - several times, and came up empty-handed. I even checked Lost and Found at the Information Desk, but was told that nothing had been turned in. What's more, they didn't seem to think there was any use calling back to check again until Monday AM.

Look, it's not so bad, really. I mean, neither of the kids was hurt, my car still runs, I didn't lose my iPod, or my Palm Pilot, both of which I had with me today, also. And I was able to suspend my phone service online when I got home, and noticed that there had not been any activity on my account. (I use a prepaid service, and I have about U$100 in my online account that could have been tapped.)

But what's really got me was that it's a camera phone, and I have a bunch of photos on it that I'd not transferred. If the phone is gone, the pictures are gone, kaput. What's more, all my contact numbers are gone, as well. It's not like anyone could access them, because I have both the camera and the contacts password-protected. But the 40 or 50 numbers in the phone had to be entered by hand, individually, and there's no way to sync this particular phone to a computer. So, as I said, if the phone is lost, all that information is lost, too. Yes, I can enter it again into a new phone, but it would take a good deal of time and patience to do so.

Of course, if I can't find the phone, I'll have to buy a new one, which will cost me around U$80 to replace the same one I lost. I *could* get a different model, or even consider moving to a different provider, but I just prepaid about U$100 onto my account this very month. I guess I'd stick with the same one.

So, I logged into the online website, suspended the phone service, and prepared to gird up my loins and venture out into the elements tonight after Mrs. Muzzy gets home from work, in search of a replacement phone. It was then, and only then - after I'd suspended the service, of course - that I happened to peek into the shopping bag AE picked up at the NASA booth in the Rotunda and saw my cell phone tucked under the NASA poster. I could swear - and swear under my breath, I did - that I'd looked earlier in that bag for the phone, and saw nothing. And why was it in the bag and not on my belt or in my coat pocket? I can't blame AE, because I didn't give the phone to her. I must have put it there. Gah!

So, that's good, right? I lost the phone, I found the phone. All's right with the world? Well, I guess. But I'm annoyed that I'd spent time standing in line at the MOA Customer Service to see if the phone had been turned in, and I'm annoyed that I spent energy and expended effort looking for something that was there all along, and I"m really annoyed that I'm going to have to call my cellular provider later on tonight - and sit on hold forever - to get the phone re-activated. But, you know, what's really got me worried is what I'm going to be like when Alzheimer's really sets in. Sigh.

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