March 15, 2005

Home from monastery

Driving home from the monastery, I kept talking to Monking Friend about how peaceful and relaxed I felt, like this calm patient person who never lost her temper or broke things out of impatience. "How long do you think this will last?" I asked. She shrugged. "A couple of hours, maybe."

I thought for sure she was wrong. I figured the new peaceful me would last until May at least, maybe even September.

But I did not count on the fact that while I was gone, the kids would build a big snow ramp in the front yard out of all the melting piles of snow, and that the little kids, their fingers cold, would decide to get inside my car, which was nice and warm because it was parked in the sun, and that they would decide the car was really a spaceship, which required them pushing all kinds of buttons, including the one that puts the headlights on. The result was that I came home to a long list of errands that absolutely had to be done and a dead battery. The dead battery alone was not enough to shake me out of my peaceful monking mood. I called my husband at work and asked him to come home and jump me. (His response was so eager and willing, no annoyance at all, that it surprised me until it occurred to me that he had perhaps misinterpreted my request.)

No, the dead battery alone was not enough to push me over the edge, especially since it had the side advantage of luring my husband home from the office. No, the thing that made me crazy yesterday was sitting down at my desk, looking at my computer, and seeing the blank screen of death staring back at me. MY COMPUTER WAS NOT WORKING! Frantic calls to tech support did nothing except give me a headache. In the end, I had to pile my computer in the car and bring it to the computer store, handing it over to a tech guy who assured me he could have it fixed in a few day. A FEW DAYS? Few things in life are as frustrating as handing over my computer to someone who looks like he is not old enough to have a driver's license and who clearly does not understand that he should drop everything, everything, and work on it.

I tried to explain to this young man the significance of my computer: "ALL OF MY WRITING is on this hard drive. ALL OF MY SCHOOL STUFF. All of my e-mail correspondence. This computer is my only access to the outside world."

He shrugged. "You ought to back it up more often."

I watched him lug the computer to a table, where it will probably sit untouched for days. "ALL OF MY BLOGGING FRIENDS ARE IN THERE!"

I think at that point I may have been getting a little hysterical. I think it's safe to say that the new peaceful me that had come home from the monastery just hours before had slipped far beneath the surface of psycho woman. At that point I was imagining all my blogging friends, their heads and gravatars on popsicle sticks, popping up and taunting this young man until he fixed my computer. I began to wish for meaner and more intimidating friends. David hugging a baby? THAT'S NOT GOING TO SCARE ANYONE!

So here I am, without a computer, isolated from the world. I am using the kids' computer right now, but that hardly counts because I don't like their computer. The keyboard is weird, it's got none of my stuff on it, and it's in a room that is littered with the dirty laundry of three boys. I cannot write or even think in this atmosphere. And I am still panicky about losing everything on my hard drive. So please, I am begging all my blogging friends who live inside my computer, to please pop out at that tech support guy and remind him (nicely, of course) that he needs to fix my computer IMMEDIATELY. Because otherwise you are never going to get to see the peaceful monastic me. It may be too late already ....


Scrivener said...

Welcome Home! It's so nice to have you back, even if your homecoming was less than idyllic.

I notice that not only did your monastic calm not last particularly long IRL, it took only three-quarters of the way into your first post back to snark at me again. Sheesh, gonna make me long for hte peace and quiet of your absence again ;).

Hope the computer gets well soon. I'll try to upload a new picture for correspondence with the tech guy. I know I've got one of a guy named Bubba around here somewhere.

zipzap said...

I've been checking your blog daily since you've been gone, waiting for your return & some good reading about the monastary, peace and calmness. I hope it (and the computer) returns to you soon.

Dr. H said...

Hi, jo(e).

There is nothing like computer death for putting me into a total tizzy. I experienced that awful situation recently. I sympathize completely, and I wish you full recovery.

I'm lucky if my retreat-time-peace ever lasts more than one day. I haven't had a retreat in a while. Hmmm... I think I should create my own retreat time over my upcoming spring break.

Keep us posted on the outcome of the computer trauma.

Oh, and I totally cracked up @ "I called my husband at work and asked him to come home and jump me." HEE!

Pilgrim/Heretic said...

Welcome back!!! We missed you. Over at Phantom's we were taking bets on how long the monastic calm would last, but we didn't factor in a balky computer. Dang.

Tell us where tech-boy lives - heads on popsicle sticks will be after him. The survival of the blogworld rests on the safe and full restoration of this computer!!

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness. It's bad enough to have those things happen when you are already frantic, but to be jolted out of a relaxed state with this seems like dharmic cruelty. Zoiks. I hope it all comes back for you.

- Sergei (Blogger won't let me in properly, for some reason)

Ianqui said...

Jo(e), I'm sending zen thoughts your way right now.

(See, this is funny because I'm the least zen person you'd ever meet. But for you, i'll pull out the zen.)

AiE said...

So glad you're back, Joe.

I hate it when tech people tell you to back up your computer.

I'm sorry, but the only time I think about backing up my computer is when it's not working! If my computer is working, why do I need to back stuff up?!

Filmmaker is pretty meticulous about backing up his hard drives (i think he has 4 or 5). I should learn from him.

Phantom Scribbler said...

I am sending big threatening computer tech pixies to deal with the situation. Everything should be better soon.

We missed you much, jo(e)! It's just not as much fun around here without you.

~profgrrrrl~ said...

Sending healing thoughts to the computer and zen thoughts to you.

The computer/battery duo would have put me over the top, I'm sure.

Laura said...

I have the Geeky Mom hero woman. She's got a big stick and a Lynx. The Lynx looks mean too. I think that'll work.

I did back up my computer once, but you know what? I'm not sure I'd put everything back on again. Seems too much trouble.

Psycho Kitty said...

Oh, Joe(e), Joe(e)...

Lisa V said...

I once paid an extra $50 to have my computer back sooner.

Hurry up, give jo(e) her heroin back, she is jonesing bad.

dr. m(mmm) aka The Notorious P.H.D. said...

Missed you, jo(e). I hope you had some relaxing good fun. Don't worry, the blank screen is only a sign for you to ease back into the wired world.