I come home from work yesterday, and the first thing my husband says is, “I’m sorry.”
Few things render me speechless, but that did it for a solid ten seconds before I asked him if he could be more specific.
Turns out, he’d been using my finally scoured, inoculated, and virus-free Netbook that morning, with no problems whatsoever, but when he’d booted it up again in the afternoon, the touchpad wouldn’t work. He didn’t know why, didn’t know how to fix it, and figured he’d turned the thing off somehow.
Sometimes being older than the advent of the mouse is a blessing, so I went through half-remembered key commands until I figured out that the touchpad wasn’t just turned off, but completely unresponsive—apparently, the big red X over the taskbar icon wasn’t a big enough clue for me.
So I got online and found the Asus troubleshooting site, which told me that my driver was probably corrupted. This wasn’t a huge surprise, considering all the viruses my Netbook had so recently contracted, so I let my husband off the hook* and went looking for solution.
But I wasn’t willing to hit the tab key the requisite five million times to get the driver uninstalled and reinstalled and all that. So after dinner, I hopped in the car with my seven-year old and drove to Best Buy to see if I could get a mouse with a USB connector.
Nothing was going to stop me from finishing up my latest chapter and sending it to my marvelous and very patient beta.
While my daughter tried all the nearby display laptops, hoping to find one that would give her access to PBSkids, I looked over the mouses\mice\meece.** A passing salesclerk showed me a display of USB, plug-and-play, wireless, uh, Manually-Operated User-Selection Equipment. In designer colors. I choose purple.
My daughter was not pleased about having to leave, as she had just started an Abby Cadabby activity, so I did a little Father’s Day shopping before prying my complaining serpent’s tooth away from her game.
We pulled into the garage just as a flash storm hit our area. We’re talking sunny skies to Armageddon in under ten minutes. Lightning, thunder, rain, wind, and dire warnings of tornados on the tv–everything except the Four Horsemen, not that we’d have heard even celestial hoofbeats over the storm sirens.
Safe, dry, and victorious, I plugged in my new mouse —and the power went out.
Taking with it the router that supplies our wireless connection. Of course, I did have this mouse, so the driver wasn’t completely necessary, and my Netbook battery have six hours left on it . . .
But I also had two night-lights to jury-rig,***a mother-in-law to consult,^ flashlights to wind, darkness to curse, etc.
So I got the kids to bed and called it a night. I’d write in the morning.
Suffice it to say, the power was still off in the morning, and just as I’d sat down on the back porch with my notebook, pen, and lukewarm diet Pepsi, the kids woke up and discovered that there were no cartoons to be had.
So we went to the Farmer’s Market, the playground, lunch at an air-conditioned restaurant, ran errands (except grocery shopping, for obvious reasons), and finally came home to keep as still and calm as possible trying to keep cool–temperature- and temper-wise.
I could have used that the down time, either longhand or on battery-power, but I didn’t. Didn’t even think about plot-points or dialogue or even sit there and idly judge a single radio song for its soundtrack suitability.
Some writers can’t write without a certain kind of pen, some need to listen to music, some need to burn incense, bow thrice to Hemingway’s grave, or down a shot in memory of Raymond Chandler. I require that I not be sweating to the point where I can’t grip a writing instrument or keep the page dry. ^^
So I shut down the writer brain to save the batteries and took the day off. This goes against many of the ‘rules’ of writing, the greatest of these being “Thou Shall Put Your Butt in the Chair and Write Every Single Day or Thou Are Not a Real Writer™.”
Just as we were debating whether to go out for dinner or play refrigerator roulette with the perishables, the power went back on.
That was three hours ago. The kids are asleep, my husband is watching two baseball games at once, and the air conditioner is humming away.
And I’m taking a break from writing to write about my day of rest from writing.
There’s a certain symmetry in there, somewhere. Or at least a chorus of Round the Mulberry Bush.
And that touchpad problem? Gone as if it never existed. In fact, I used the touchpad to access the Asus driver download page before I realized I didn’t need to.
*That particular hook. I’m still not sure who invited the viruses over the threshold in the first place. And one of the top five reasons to get married is to have a handy usual suspect that isn’t you.
**That’s why it’s called a mouse. The Internet certainly is the info-rich time suck, isn’t it?
***My husband produced two glow lights leftover from Halloween. This is the sort of thing that put him in my list of top five men I’d marry if they asked. Plus, you know, he was the one who actually did, so . . .
^My MIL has lived with us for two years. If you’re thinking uh-oh, you’re both right and wrong. But that’s another post—probably several.
^^ I do realize that this takes me right out of the running as on-site scriptwriter for the Hollywood remakes of Apocolypse Now, Tarzan, and The Big Easy, but them’s the breaks.