After 30 years as a reporter, feature writer and columnist for The Toronto Sun, Sandy is now a freelance writer, public speaker, mental health advocate and Seneca College instructor. You can learn more about Sandy here, and contact her here.
"Blessed are the cracked, for they shall let in the light." Groucho Marx
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Hi there. I wish I could say I wish you were here, but you wouldn't want to be where I've been for the last week or so! Quite frankly, I don't know if the fish were biting or not.
Here's the story.
You may recall, about 10 days ago, I decided I needed a break. So I signed off for a week, hung out my Gone Fishin' sign, and signed off.
The next day, my iMac froze. Completely. Off it went to my Apple specialist where it stayed until Saturday and I had to do all the other things I do in my life without my computer.
Believe me, there are a lot of other things I do demanding my computer to help to keep this ship afloat.
So, it meant I had to use my husband's computer. We're hitched and so are our iMacs. A wireless network.
That meant that he had to put his life on hold for a week for me. He's a writer, too.
Every time I started to walk into my office, which I do automatically, I saw my empty desk. Sans computer. Sans external backup. Just my sleek but orphaned Chiclets-style Apple keyboard lying on my desk, its wires straggled amidst papers and pens and my dead little white mouse.
A sorry sight.
Meanwhile, my "other" life carried on. I had to continue teaching my Seneca Collegewomen's studies course sans computer. Lesson planning. Emailing with my 18 students. Marking their online journals. I had to write their final examination. All sans mycomputer.
I was not entirely handicapped. I have an iPhone, so I could read my email. On my husband's computer, using his identity, I could respond. I could Skype, being him. (Talk about an "out of body, out of mind" experience.)
I was able to work, but every time I went into his office, he had to leave. It wasn't the relaxing week I had planned, although he was absolutely darling about the whole affair.
Want to test your marriage? Share your spouse's computer for more than a week. Especially when your spouse doesn't like you fooling around with the configuration of the files on his desktop.
Mind you, he has more than 6,000 opened emails in his inbox and I had access to them, to all his correspondence. That didn't bother him a bit. Talk about trust. We have two rules in our marriage:
1. No secrets. No lies.
2. I cook. He cleans.
And now a third. Computer Sharing.
We have a blissful marriage and will be celebrating our ninth anniversary in exactly 18 days.
But living without my computer was no fun for either of us. I couldn't read any of my RRS feeds. I subscribe to about 55 blogs and other websites. I felt cut off from the world. I do more reading on line than in hard copy. I don't yet do much reading on my iPhone – I'm still learning how to use it – so the only advantage it had for me, besides email, was having my calendar at my fingertips.
To the best of my knowledge, I didn't miss any important appointments.
I don't Facebook on my iPhone, so that part of my life died until yesterday. I don't Tweet on it either.
Now my iMac is home and once again fully functional – or almost – there are still a few little glitches.
That's to be expected with a new hard disk.
That's what happened. My hard disk died. My computer needed a heart transplant.
It wasn't a very happy time, last week. I was stressed out every day, calling the hospital, checking on its progress.
Two complete backups were needed. Diagnosis was difficult. Finally, the problem was found. It wasn't software, but definitely hardware and in the hard disk. Couldn't be fixed. The whole hard disk had to come out and be replaced.
With what model? The same one it had or an upgrade? We decided on an upgrade, but the one we wanted wasn't available, so we went with the top of the line. One that had to be removed from one of my computer doctor's other Apples. A double transplant. Not brand new, but tested and working well. A better option.
Meanwhile, I wasn't allowed to visit and for long stretches of time couldn't even locate the doctor. He's busy. I had to be patient.
Have I ever told you that I'm not patient? That's not one of my virtues. Doesn't exactly fit with my perennially hypomanic mindset.
So. For more than one week, my fishing trip was aborted, but I was gone. Really gone. Out of cyberspace, practically.
All this to let you know that I'm taking this week off, too. I need a week of relaxation. I don't know where I'll be. Just away.
I hope you'll understand, but I feel I need a little more time. Just one more week. After all, its summertime – and the livin' is supposed to be easy, isn't it?