The Black Screen of Death

This morning started much like every morning. I stumbled downstairs, half-awake, and let the dogs out. Then I waited around for them to decide to come back inside, which took forever because they were doing important stuff out there — like, you know, sniffing individual blades of grass. I then made my way upstairs, stopping off in the kitchen to get a yogurt and glass of water, and then headed into my office to say good morning to my computer. I know, I know. My life is sooooooo exciting. It should be illegal.

As I’m trying to get my brain going, munching my yogurt and checking out a forum or two and my favorite YouTubers, my computer tells me I need to do some updates. I think, “OK, Computer. That’s cool. Let’s do those updates!” Actually, I did not think this with an exclamation point, because I just wasn’t at “exclamation point” status yet. But, anyhow … At the time, I was actually pretty proud of myself for being so responsible and doing the updates. Normally, I am a slacker with updating stuff. I find it annoying that computer-techie things seem to want you to update them every time you turn around. Seriously … what’s the deal with having to update stuff every week or so? Can’t we just use our gadgets and enjoy them? Today, though, I decided to turn over a new leaf, so to speak. I decided to be responsible. I decided I would start being one of those people who are on top of things in their life. Heck, if I kept going along this path, I might even become someone who could find their keys on a regular basis. I could feel the universe opening up to me, as if it was going to pull me to it in a big, giant bear hug.

Here’s the thing: If the universe is giving you a big bear hug, this probably means it’s about a nanosecond from sucking you right down into a black hole of ick. I know this now. I mean, I knew it this morning, too, but I temporarily forgot it. I was still half-asleep! Well played, Universe. Well played.


So I have an iMac. There’s a bunch of stuff on it that I never use, but that (as far as I can tell) I can’t get rid of. Like Garage Band. And Keynote. And Pages. I had to update these things because, even though I don’t use them, they need updating CONSTANTLY. I swear Apple is out to get me with their stupid Garage Band updates. I’m sure, out there somewhere, there’s a person who is all, “Woo Hoo!! There’s a new Garage Band version! Party!!!” That person does not live in my house. I can’t even begin to express how flipping annoying I find it to waste my time updating crap that I am never, ever, ever going to use. Ever. This is why I spend a lot of time ignoring update messages. But I digress.

In amongst the chaff was an OS update. I hit the “update all” button and figured I was good to go. I waited, impatiently tapping my fingers on my desk, because, by now, I was ready to get to work. This whole update thing was becoming more of a  burden by the second. The computer, of course, ignored my impatience. Computers are like that. It whirred and clicked away, making happy computer sounds that led me to believe all was right with the world. It downloaded and (I think) installed all the updates. It downloaded the OS update. And it told me that I needed to restart in order to complete the update. It even gave me a restart button and everything. And so, I clicked the restart button.

Why, oh why (!!!) did I click the restart button? For that matter, why did I ever click the “update all” button, in the first place? Friends, I don’t know. I will never know, but I will eternally ask myself these questions. These are the questions that will haunt me deep into the night, when I lie awake, unable to sleep and staring at the ceiling. Because this is the moment when all the wheels fell right off my happy wagon. Right off.


My computer would not restart. I mean, it sort of started. The happy chime happened. The Apple logo came on, with the little loading bar underneath it. But then, the Apple logo flickered and went away, taking the loading bar with it and crushing my hopes and dreams for the day. OK, so that’s probably a bit dramatic. But I did immediately know that I would need more than a good dose of caffeine to get through what remained of the morning. My screen was black and empty, except for the little cursor arrow up in the very top, left-hand corner. It sat there, blinking at me. Mocking me.

I spent the rest of the morning on the phone with Apple Support. I did the “hard shut down and restart” several times. This sounds very official and important, but it really means just holding down the little power button until the machine turns off and then clicking the button again to turn it on. I tried booting up in “safe mode”, which turned out not to be very safe at all because my computer screen remained black and empty. I tried resetting the P-RAM, whatever that is. It didn’t work. I tried booting up in “single user mode”, which, as it turns out, is “no user mode” at the moment for my computer. At the end of about an hour or so of trying this thing or that thing, the tech finally told me he couldn’t help me. And I felt like I was ready to skip my morning caffeine and head right to a stiff drink.


And so, I am now sitting here typing this blog entry on my ever-so-trusty laptop. Do you know what my laptop told me as soon as I turned it on? It informed me that there was an OS update that I needed to do — right away.

Oh no, Apple. I’m  not falling for that one again. What’s that saying? Fool me once, shame on you … Fool me twice, and I’m just a big old fool. Or, something like that.



2 thoughts on “The Black Screen of Death

  1. I can so related to this….you made me smile but I know you are screaming inside!!! Why can there be an app to manage all of the various updates for us? BTW, I am also on an iMac and a Macbook Air but have never had to update Garage Band! 😉

    • Thanks for your kind comment! 🙂 I think it always helps to try and find the humor in things, whenever possible. I so agree about needing an app to manage all the different updates, although I would probably have to update that app constantly — ha, ha! I’m so jealous that you never have to update Garage Band. Seriously, I’m turning green with envy over here, ha, ha! 😉 Your comment made me think, though … And I’m not sure I’ve ever had to update Garage Band on my laptop, either. Hmmm ….

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