Saturday, May 17, 2008

My (lap)Topless Week and a book you MUST read

I've never been one of those people tied to technology. I still have an old fashioned calendar--one of those little notebook-y kinds of things where I turn pages and write dates and appointments with a pen or pencil. I don't use the timer on my coffeemaker. I'm not a luddite or anything, but I like real books, real newspapers, rather than reading on-line. I tease my husband about his blackberry addiction (in a lame effort to be funny I refer to it as his "huckleberry").

But.

I can never be quite so smug again. I had to live without my laptop last week and it was more than a bit frightening to see how tied to it that I have become.

I was relegated to using the ancient desktop (which, by the way, is not a Mac. Eeek.) to check my e-mail. Which meant I had to log-in. And remember passwords. And all my bookmarked blogs are only on my laptop. So, I'm now trying to catch up. Sure, I could visit them through the desktop--but I couldn't comment, except as anonymous, because I'd have had to re-register and I couldn't remember how to do that. What would I do in a land without cookies (the computer kind, not the kind in my pantry)?

I now have to admit I am utterly under the power of my iBook. I feel like I need to walk into a room filled with folding chairs and bad coffee and say, "Hi, I'm Judy and I'm a lap-macoholic." And everyone will nod and say, "Hi Judy."

I guess I should be embarrassed, but I'm not. (And, hey, perhaps the embarrassment should have started when I patted my sick little laptop last Saturday at the Genius Bar in the Apple Store and whispered I'd miss him and please get better soon. Oh, and please don't forget anything. But, I felt no shame.)

I have pledged to never again leave the power cord in when I'm sprawled on the couch with it--because I injured the poor little guy tripping over the cord, oh, perhaps 247 times. That bent something inside which had to be replaced. I take full responsibility. And I never again want a week of laptoplessness.

My week was not completely bleak, however. I read a beautiful, luminous, amazing book which you must run out and get. The Painter from Shanghai by Jennifer Cody Epstein.



To call this a historical novel doesn't begin to capture the magic of Jennifer's story. It's a love story, a survival story, a political tale. The prose is lush and true. Jennifer re-imagines the life of a real woman--Pan Yuliang--who was sold into prostitution as a young girl and became one of the most important painters China ever produced. I can't say enough good things about this book other than to go get it and lose yourself in the world of Pan Yuliang and Jennifer--a world of beauty and horror and revolution.

11 comments:

kristenspina said...

Ah, welcome back!! I can so relate to your mac-laptop woes. I am thinking of buying a new one, just to have a spare.

Thanks, too, for the book recommendation. I am finally getting around to reading again and have been lost myself these last two days in The Septembers of Shiraz, by Dalia Sofer. Beautiful.

Gail said...

Thanks for adding my link! I can't even imagine a week without my laptop and I also still keep track of appointments by hand on a calendar. I feel for you!

Judy Merrill Larsen said...

Hey Kristen-It sure was a weird week! And I'll have to check Sofer's book out.

Gail--Thanks for the sympathy. It's a little scary how happy I am to have the old laptop back!

Janet said...

Ah. This is why I force myself to type passwords in, and why I set up a google page with all my favourite blogs on it, so I can access it from any computer.

I shouldn't be too smug though. Every now and again I forget to write a password down for when my memory fails me and I've lost an important one. Yikes.

Elizabeth said...

I love a good historical book, thanks for the referal, I've written it down.
I have also just read a fab memoir called Driving with Dead People. If you have not already read it, give it a go, see what you think.

Judy Merrill Larsen said...

Janet--I really need to find a way to keep track of everything--that's one of the lessons learned this past week!

Elizabeth--Happy to pass on a great read! I'll have to check out that memoir.

Larramie said...

There must be something in the air, Judy, as my connection keeps "cutting out." Happy to know you're up and running again.

Carleen Brice said...

My laptop was acting up today too. Hmmm. Think the machines are on to us?

Thanks for yet another book recommend!

Judy Merrill Larsen said...

Larramie--I suppose we need to give these poor little guys a rest at times.

Carleen--I'm there for you, girlfriend!

Daisy said...

Ah, the cookies. Not the chocolate kind of chips, either. I have myself set up with three sets of passwords/logins. One for work (school), one for my own family email and related items, and one for anything related to blogging. The hard part comes when someone else uses the name Daisy before I get there and I have to think of something else!

debra said...

We are members of the Mac family as well---we have 4. When I have to use a PC, I get confused and need a refresher. Then it crashes, and it is like riding a bike: I know just what to do. Starting with swearing...