Back in the Zone


warping out

Urgency Day 151

500 Things Items 346-47: Plastic storage trays

  • History: Ikea bins which have warped and no longer slide
  • Value: Until the inconvenient warping, sure
  • Parting Pain: Wire replacements were $2.50, so not much
  • Un-possessing: In 151 days, they may be going off to the still-to-be-determined college

On May 19th of last year, I asked,

“Where does your blog live?”

For nearly a year, since the demise of my trusty old laptop, my blog and I have been the guests of the Self-Contained Unit and his middle-aged desktop computer. He was an exceedingly gracious host, considering my blog and I brought some serious baggage to his real and virtual spaces:

  • Gigs of picture files and documents
  • Reference books– yes, actual books!
  • Rolling storage bins of office supplies and granola
  • Errant used tissues
  • A certain purple lamp

But most disruptive of all: an expectation of access.

We are writers, Sam and I. We have our routines, our preferred times to work, and our peculiar ways we go about accomplishing our work. His needs include The Clash and a deadline. Mine tend toward classical music and copious lead-time. Neither of us likes hoverers.

I’m afraid we both hovered a bit this year:

<To the one working at the computer> “Can I have the computer?”

<From the worker, resisting the urge to snap, “No!”> “How long do you need it?”

<To the one working at the computer> “Why? Do you need it?”

It was an interesting tango.

But now I have turned in my guest password. My blog and I are back on our own, downstairs in a lovely space I like to call, “My Office.” Aahhhh

With Paul back amongst The People and with a new work computer, I have inherited his laptop. This computer and I are still getting used to one another. This computer upon which I am typing these very words– how should I put this? It is very stubborn. It is pretty sure it knows better than I do what I want. I’ve tried reason; I’ve tried passion; I’ve tried vacuuming its keys and running extra soothing scans. And it continues to, um,


Oh dear. I’ll pay for that.

And still, my purple lamp shines down on me. My dictionary, thesaurus and Fowler’s Modern wait nearby to reassure me. I play my Debussy, gaze out of my window, and work with (somewhat) fewer interruptions. I revel in the small, joyful moments of creativity, remembering old patterns and dormant habits. And I ooze gratitude, especially to Sam, for the patient hospitality he showed me these many months. Truthfully, I know he is glad to be downsizing, too.

And I am trying to open my heart to this new digital companion of mine.

I hope it will soon become a comfortable place for my blog to live.

any chance to show my lamp


6 Responses to “Back in the Zone”

  1. melanie Says:

    First of all, you SHOULD use all chances you get to show off that fabulous lamp. Secondly, that computer should show you a bit more gratitude and respect for those “soothing scans.” The book “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” makes the point that technology is tough on those of us who try fixing technological problems with CHARM rather than (key music from the movie “Jaws” please) LOGIC. Computers are immune to charm. Believe me. I know. My hope is that you and yours come to an equitable arrangement and that Debussy inspires your computer to re-think its stubborness.

  2. Donna Says:

    At the risk of making a suggestion which may be so obvious and mundane as to be laughable, have you tried “control Z”? Not knowing what the stubbornness issues are with you computer, this may be totally off the mark. But until someone showed me “control Z” I was unaware that you could override your computer — that YOU could be in charge. It saved my sanity.

    All right, stop it all of you tech wizards. I hear your derisive laughter.

    • sthibeault Says:

      I love Ctrl+z! No derision here! My issues are just peskier than that. Also I’ve tried “Allons-y” hoping my new computer was a Tenth Doctor fan and we could bond in that way. Where’s my sonic-screw driver when I need it!

  3. boysgonewild Says:

    I bet he misses the granola.

  4. melanie Says:

    Control Z? Really? This is so exciting! I think I have a new mantra for life! Thank you!

  5. sthibeault Says:

    Yes. Ctrl z. Remember it. Use it. It will save you.

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