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A Quit Journey
Inspiration if you're
quitting smoking

How I Spent My Fun-Filled Days Offline

Five days. If youíre on vacation, it seems like 24 hours. If youíre offline, itís an eternity. Ask any computer zombie. Youíll get responses that vary, but essentially convey the same emotion. Some will shudder and turn away quickly. Some will cringe openly and hold you in awe at still being sane. Yet others will back away from you, wondering how on earth you could still exist.

Offline for me means no internet access. Offline for my friend means she canít get into chat rooms. We each have our priorities.

Our hard drive went south. Simple as that. We wondered why it had been slowing so fast. We ran a surface scan of the disk and found bad sector after bad sector. Sounds like some hideous Orwellian plot. I cried the night it breathed its last. Only 8 weeks old and itís toast. Needless to say we were on the phone and getting a replacement as fast as possible.

You would think the people working as techs and representatives of computer companies could sympathize when you start to cry hysterically on the phone, blow your nose dramatically every few minutes and outright plead with them to use faster service than five day delivery. You beg them. You make false promises to the gods of whole computers. You damn near sell your soul to Beelzebyte. You scream for mercy. And they promise to have your hard drive to you in three to five business days. You quickly scan the calendar and realize that the delivery overlaps the weekend so you could conceivably be looking at seven days downtime here.

o o O (lots of time for sex)

note to self: STOP THAT!!! youíll give writers a bad name.

Facing a possible week away from the natural course of things I pondered my options. Ok, no email. Thatís the biggie. I knew Iíd be coming back to hundreds of emails to read. I looked forward to it with relish.

I had projects that were long overdue. Not writing projects. THOSE were all online. Erg. Craft projects and household jobs that need attention about once a decade. You know, the mending and such. I had requests for classic little boxes that I make and hadnít filled yet. Such is the life of an addict.

First day went fine. My house got cleaned in gig time. My dishes were done. And had I had a washing machine that worked, my laundry would have been done, too. Needless to say, the family was dually impressed. They had clean glasses to drink from and forks without crusties. They thought heaven had come and gone. I was a hero.

The second day, I started to really feel it. My belly button hurt where Iíd been disconnected. My brain strained with the ideas. And can you ever find a pen when you need one? A writerís home and no pen. May the muses have mercy, we are a spoiled generation of writers. For poetry, I still favor pen and paper. But I do love my computer for writing.

The third and fourth day are a blur. Although I do remember clutching the mouse and my husband trying to pry my hand off of it. I also realized that day that my mouse-pad callus was starting to soften. I could be in trouble here.

The fifth day, we received the hard drive. My husband installed it and made sure all was right with the guts of our baby. We plugged it in, turned it on and voila! A processing error. And a nifty explanation about how other assorted major pieces were now defunct. Mother board and processor were on their way after a brief but emotion filled call to our computer manufacturer. Low and behold, this time they promised overnight delivery. Yeah, right. Weekend yet again. So guess what? Three days. Yep. More little boxes done, more dishes clean. Even the cats were looking at me strangely by this time. They had no kitty food to forage under the counter for. It was all neatly in their dishes. Just not normal.

The sixth day really stunk. I wanted to get online so badly. My fingers twitched and I was in junkie mode. May the gods bless my family; they were so cool about it. Mind you, it helps that my husband and kids are video game freaks. THEY had something electronic to do. So I tried the skate boarding game thingie. I stunk just like the day. But I practiced.

The seventh day rolls around with me fully rested and a clean house. Things just kept getting weirder and weirder. The parts come. No go. A lemon computer as they said at tech central. Such is life. Return it. I have never dialed the phone so fast. Yes, the store said, they had another available. Not the same brand (woo hoo!!) but one comparable. Faster processor even. Does it get better than that? I think not. My husband was up, comp lemon packed and out the door in thirty minutes. Back with our new system in perfect time. We had this thing online before the dishes had a chance to get dirty again.

Breathing a sigh of relief, I opened my email. And closed it again, wondering what on earth four hundred plus emails could contain.

There is always tomorrow. And I was getting pretty good at the skate boarding thingie after all.


Copyright - 2001


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