December 12, 2005

I'm not quite myself.

I've heard it said that everyone is a stranger on the internet. It's true; there's an inherent lack of identity associated with typed words and arbitrary usernames. You can't ever be quite sure with whom you're communicating, whether you're looking at an open message board, a respectable reference page, or, indeed, this blog.

That said, this is getting ridiculous. My university is cautiously refusing to be certain of my identity. Some parts of it may be willing to extend the benefit of the doubt and posit that I am Dianna, a registered student for Spring 2006. Other parts will have nothing to do with such rashness, and those parts are insisting that I am a stranger to them, an unknown, nobody to be trusted.

My bank has jumped on the bandwagon, and swears that it knows nothing of my account number. I am not a valid credit union member, it tells me, or at least it will no longer accept such paltry proof as my account number and online banking password. Password! Pah! We're on to your tricks, "Dianna", and we're not falling for them.

My laptop, caught between these wily institutions and my bewildered protestations, has given up. It crashed catastrophically on Saturday night while I was trying to get my monthly finance spreadsheet up to date. I had two unreconciled receipts left and was zeroing in on that elusive figure, that great answer of life, the universe, and how much money I have in my checking account, when my screen turned to an attractive vertical stripe pattern and could not be restored from it.

Closer inspection of the computer has revealed that it's just the LCD screen that isn't working. When the laptop is hooked up to my old monitor, it's more than happy to do its usual computery things.... barring, of course, running OpenOffice and letting me finish or view my finance sheet. That is, inexplicably, the one function which it will not perform.

There is a common theme of money in the ways in which I'm being stymied. Berkeley is preventing me from knowing anything about my financial aid. My credit union is preventing me from knowing the balance of my checking account, and my computer is preventing me from figuring out said balance on my own. Perhaps the message is that money is no object. It's only numbers, right? It's not worth worrying over.

Either that or the message is that money isn't important because I don't have any of it.

Posted by dianna at December 12, 2005 11:00 AM

what is it with you and computers? i've never had one break on me in my life but your life appears to be a constant stream of broken electronics.

but i recognize you dianna woolsey. you are a person to me.

Posted by: michele at December 12, 2005 12:46 PM

If the problem is that all these computers and the internet don't know if you're really you, maybe they're just trying to figure out if you're the Dianna Woolsey the gods just gave a random million dollars to. I hope you are.

Posted by: katie at December 12, 2005 02:19 PM

Or else some of them know something about your premature demise.

Posted by: Zach S. at December 12, 2005 02:23 PM

Don't say that. If you Google me, you get death notices for someone with my name. It gives me the creeps.

Sadly, you don't find any lottery awards notices for anyone with my name, but I still like Katie's idea.

Posted by: Dianna at December 12, 2005 02:33 PM

you are dead to me, dianna woolsey. dead.

Posted by: michele at December 12, 2005 05:15 PM

Dead, but still a person. You said.

Posted by: Dianna at December 12, 2005 05:18 PM

oh this is rich

Posted by: kati at December 12, 2005 05:35 PM