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").
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.