You would think in a household of two IT professionals you would have very little downtime when a computer starts acting up.

You would think, but you would be wrong.

Because when you work with technology all day long, the last thing you want to do is to have to work on it when you get home. Home is supposed to be where you play with new gadgets and enjoy the wonderful randomness of the internet without worrying about being interrupted by your boss.

So, after a couple of months of living with a slow machine, the Winged Monkey and I tried to fix my aging laptop, Pavarotti. We scanned, we defragged, we root-kitted...and we finally gave up. In a hail Mary attempt to extend poor Pavarotti's life, we finally decided for a complete makeover.

We ditched Windows.

Pavarotti is now a Linux machine, Ubuntu to be specific, and I have to say that the transition has been a bit bumpy. Especially where Dolly Parton is concerned.

You see, last week, a couple of the Mimes and myself went to see opening night of Dolly Parton's Better Day Tour. Why, you ask, did we go to a Dolly Parton concert? Because it's Dolly. And growing up with a mother from east Texas, Willie Nelson and Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton and Barbara Mandrel made up a significant portion of the soundtrack of my childhood.

You can only imagine how excited I was at the thought of sharing the post-concert euphoria with the world in general (or at least the 6 people who still check this thing). You can also only imagine my frustration when I got home and my machine was being backed up and not available. Or the next two days when it was being rebuilt. Or the next 3 days when I was looking or the Linux equivalent of Paint so I could edit some images to put in the post. Or the 2 days after that when the Winged Monkey was trying to get iTunes to run so I could sync my phone and my iPod.

While the iPod issue is still unresolved (my most recent lame excuse for not running in the mornings), I did finally manage to find the program necessary to bring you this image, courtesy of Mime 4's facebook, which perfectly sums up our entire Dolly Parton Better Day Tour experience:


I have decided that Dolly, in all of her rhinestoned-dulcimer glory, is indeed a heavenly being.
*Inhuman physical characteristics? Big boobs. Check. Gravity-defying hair. Check.

*Abnormal aging process? Dolly is aging backwards. She looks ten years younger than she did twenty years ago. It's uncanny.

*Ability to morph appearance? Um, Dolly has a brand new face. And yet she's still Dolly. That's not human.

*Supernatural powers? Dolly's rendition of Sparrow left the audience frozen with their mouths gaping open. That woman's voice is a bit like Piper's power to freeze on Charmed. Time. Stands. Still.

*Unusual results when photographed? Giant, blinding halo in every image we took of Dolly. Just like every photo of a fairy/ghost/angel I ever saw when Unsolved Mysteries was in its heyday.

*Power to unite diverse peoples? Dolly flirted with all the boys from ages 5 to 85 (regardless of sexual orientation), made the rednecks feel at home with her Tennessee Mountain Home stories, befriended all the ladies with Sparrow and her jokes about her hair, reached out out to the stoners with her rendition of Stairway to Heaven (I kid you not), brought in the Christian right with a couple of gospel numbers, and befriended the African-American contingency by laughing at her lack of dancing skills while plugging the new film she co-stars in with her mammographic identical twin cousin Queen Latifah. ALL IN 2 HOURS!
Conclusion: Dolly Parton is, in reality, a heavenly being come to earth to either offer us hope for the future or to herald the end of days. Or possibly to warn us of an impending zombie apocalypse.

Whatever the case, I am happy that I was there to hear her message last week, and that I have a Dolly Parton mudflap concert t-shirt to prove it.


If the end is near, I'm going out in style, and, if the Winged Monkey can ever get my iTunes working so I can sync my iPod, to a soundtrack that includes Jolene and My Tennessee Mountain Home.