Found out yesterday that my hard drive is fried - no data can be recovered without resorting to forensic recovery. I sobbed mightily when I first heard, but then I took a breath and thought - K has lots of pictures (the ones from when J was a baby, especially) on his computer and on CD from where I copied them so he could put them on his computer. I have all J's 4th birthday pics on the memory card in my digital camera, and between K's mom and I, we have a ton of actual prints that I can scan. And I've got a bunch uploaded to Shutterfly, just not all. So it's not the end of the world. It just felt like it for a moment.
I talked to the tech for a while yesterday. Forensic recovery can run anywhere from $500 to $1500 depending on drive size and how hard the data is to recover, and they charge $100 just to look at the drive and give you an estimate. So, it's not in the budget right now by any stretch of the imagination. I want to keep my old drive, to have the forensic recovery done when money isn't so tight (after I get a better job and save up a little cash), but if Dell were to replace the drive, they'd keep the old one. Over my dead body. If the local shop replaces my drive, it voids my warranty with Dell, but right now I don't give a rat's ass about my warranty with Dell. They suck rocks. So I told him to go ahead and replace it. They'll put in a new Western Digital 250GB drive (same size as my old one), reinstall Windows XP and all my software, they'll even get my printer and scanner installed if I bring them in. They'll get everything to where it's like a new system, and it will only set me back $200 plus tax. Not nearly as bad as I'd feared, and at least I'll have my computer back then (so I can seriously job hunt!). They're going to store the old drive in an anti-static bag and box it up for me, so I can keep it in a safe place until I can afford forensic recovery. So, it's not the outcome I'd hoped for, but it isn't terrible, at least.
I refuse to think of what pictures I might have lost, though, or even look to see what I do have. That would just make me cry right now, and I did enough of that yesterday.
K and A took J to dinner last night. I had a little time to myself. I talked to Brian for a bit before he went to class, and then it was just me. Usually when I'm by myself, I enjoy the break. Last night was the first time I really felt lonely being alone. I was sort of at loose ends - guess I didn't really know what to do with myself, not having J at a time when I normally do have him.
They brought him home around 8:30, and I got to meet A. She seems nice. She was pretty quiet, but I'm quite in new situations, so that's understandable. I think she and I could probably get along pretty well. J certainly likes her. She got him a little flashlight (it's pretty cool - has a compass and all kinds of cool stuff in it), and he told me numerous times about how A got him that flashlight and he liked A. I'm glad J likes her, but I did caution K about having J spend too much time around her until he has a pretty good sense of where the relationship is going. J does like her, and if K and A can't make a go of it for whatever reason, I don't want J so attached to her that he really suffers from the fallout.
I guess that's one reason I haven't had J meet Brian - I don't know *for sure* where the relationship may be going, and I don't want him to get attached to someone only to have that someone disappear down the road. I figure it's hard enough for him to get used to not having mama and daddy in the same house, much less would I want him to have to deal with having someone else drop out of his life. Granted, I don't guess it would be quite such a big deal with Brian at this point, as I don't see him as often as K sees A (and therefore the possibilities of J seeing Brian are less than of J seeing A). But still, I worry about that.