Friday, March 19, 2010

Of Snarls and Curses and Murphy's Law





3/19/2010 10:38:23 PM

As I write this offline in my WhizFolders ap knowing I can't post it any sooner than late afternoon or evening tomorrow (Saturday) I am suffering the pangs of a withdrawal from an addiction as powerful as any I've ever heard or read about. It's closing in on 24 hours since our modem died and not having Internet access for that long has me feeling tremulous, nauseated, fevered, headachy, anxious, agitated and not sure whether I feel more like curling up in the fetal position or punching pillows and cursing.

Pathetic is it not?

I've spent most of the last twenty hours fretting--first about what had gone wrong and then, while waiting impatiently for Ed to get up at 6am then waiting for him to troubleshoot and after he'd discovered the 3 year-old modem had died and that the new one Quest is sending won't arrive until sometime Monday even with overnight delivery because UPS won't deliver on a Saturday without tacking on an extra $15, I fretted about whether/how/when I could get Friday, Saturday and Sunday's Joystory posts posted so I wouldn't break a three year streak of never missing a day.

If only this had happened one day earlier!!!! We'd only be looking at one day without Internet and the Phoenix library with its WIFI is open on Thursday.

By 9am Ed and I had discussed the possibility of going to the Ashland library or some other place that had public WIFI but first I needed to get a few hours of sleep. Then this afternoon there was a miscommunication between me and Ed about timeframe and other things. He woke me at 1:30 saying get ready and we'll go to Ashland. He didn't give me a 'leave-by' time and what he meant by 'get ready' wasn't everything I understood it to mean. He meant get showered and dressed so we can walk out the door as soon after 2 as possible. I intended also to get as much of the prep work for three posts done here while in my comfort zone because I knew that my anxieties would be triggered by the library environment I had not been in for years coupled with knowing he would be expecting me to hurry and would have little patience for it taking more than an hour even though I average 3 hours per post on normal days.

I knew that the only way I could get three posts done in approximately one hour would be to have each one planned and as much of the work for them that could be done offline done before I left the house. So I spent close to an hour prepping three posts and an email which included setting up Whiz topics for each to drop notes into, collecting possibly needed links into them, listing a few thoughts and the things that would need to be done to accomplish them. Then I hibernated and packed up my netbook for travel and proceeded to prepare my self for travel and while I did that I continued to compose those posts in my head, especially today's. Which by the way wasn't this one because everything changed when I came out on the porch ready to go at 3:15 only to have Ed tell me it was too late because it was too close to dinner to make the round trip to Ashland plus spend an hour there.

We argued in soto voice there on the porch beside the open front door for twenty minutes before I conceded defeat and accepted his alternate plan to walk up to Jack-in-the-Box which he said had WIFI. It might sound picky, even petty, to most that I wasn't OK with using the near-by WIFI source over the one necessitating a 25 minute drive each way but see, the where wasn't the problem. I would have been fine with any place that gave access to the Internet. My problem was with having the plan changed which made 60 percent of my prep work useless and meant starting from scratch and needing an extra hour of time to get the three posts up.

Because the post I had planned for Friday was the story of the expired modem and the trip to Ashland and visit to the Ashland library for the first time since 2005 topped by a picture of the beautiful, historic, Ashland Carnegie library. The Saturday post I had planned was pics of the several crocheted bookmarks that I have in progress, all begun in the last week. And the one for Sunday was to grab a music video off one of my YouTube playlists for a Sunday Serenity post. And because we were walking up to Jack-in-the-Box instead of taking the car to Ashland, I didn't want to have to carry the crochet stuff with me along with the netbook which meant no pics and thus two out of three post concepts were done for. I couldn't get the pictures ahead of time because the camera batteries were dead so my plan had included sending Ed after batteries and having him take the pictures of the library and the bookmarks while I got busy online.

Another drawback to the change of plan that would also increase time needed to complete the tasks was that everywhere but at the library I would need to run on battery power which meant working with a dimmed down screen or a 45 minute time limit.

So on the walk to Jack-in-the-Box I came up with alternatives for both posts. Friday's would be similar in topic but topped by a tacky pic of a fast food franchise instead of the gorgeous stone and brick library. Saturday's would be a YouTube trailer for the movie Notes on a Scandal which I'd finished watching last night just before discovering that the usual flood of email that comes in between midnight and 2am had not which led, of course, to discovering the lack of Internet connection.

If not for this fiasco, Friday's post would probably have been a Friday Forays in Fiction post with Notes on a Scandal as a topic since it is a story that contemplates storytelling itself.

Anyway its all moot. Jack-in-the-Box no longer had WIFI.

On the walk over I had remembered that last November when I met my family who were traveling south over at the truck stop across the freeway from us, my nephew had gained access to the Internet with his new netbook while we were parked in the parking lot outside the restaurant. So Ed said we'd take the car over there after dinner.

It was after 6pm when I was finished doing dishes and 7 by the time we left.

But it was another wild goose chase. No free access outside the truck stop restaurant anymore.

Ed had one more idea. To drive over to the Phoenix branch library and see if their WIFI was active and accessible from the parking lot while the library was closed.

No go.

So we return home where we sit on the porch discussing my various obsessions--among them the need to not break the three year (as of April 6) streak of daily posts and why I can't just relax into a weekend off, letting the dead modem take the fall for causing the 'dereliction of duty'.

Then I leave Ed on the porch with his cigs and library book while I head inside intending to use the camera freshly loaded with new batteries to take pictures of my week's worth of crocheted bookmarks. But I encounter a massive snarl in my thread--two spools still attached to an unfinished bookmark with over a yard of thread between the spools and the inch long WIP had tangled.

So instead of getting the pictures taken before Ed needed to go to bed, I spent over two hours un-snarling thread. Ed had been snoring for half an hour before I got it untangled. (As I write this paragraph, I realize I should have just gotten the pictures, snarls and all because that would have made an excellent picture to head this post!) Now I can't get the pictures until after he gets up but if I'm at all sane I should be long asleep by then myself seeing as how I got less than four hours of sleep this morning.

Which puts me, upon waking tomorrow, right back in the same position as when I woke today--with no pics to head the planned posts except by then one post will already be twelve hours past due. I'll either have to use time before we leave or after we get to WIFI access (he has either the Ashland library or the Medford Starbucks in mind for tomorrow after he gets home from work) to take the pics and prep them for posting or use the WIFI access time to hunt for pics, LOLcats or videos to head my posts. Which points to another obsession--the need to head my post with pics or vids. Not only does having them increase traffic to Joystory, the ones without now look naked so the hunt for images or vids accounts for over 60% of the time invested in most of my posts.

Which, as I type that admission, I recognize as quite illogical and inefficient of me as well as topsy-turvey since as a writer wanting to showcase my writing I should be putting the bulk of the time and effort into the writing and because the hunt for images often exhausts me I tend to tack on a handful of choppy sentences that are too often apologies for not wanting to take time to write a post even though it probably took me over an hour just to find the image or vid.

So tonight, without Internet access to scavenge off icanhazcheeseburger.com or art.com or youtube.com etc or the ability to take pictures, I put the effort into writing up the events of the day and find that in a similar amount of time and effort I've reached 1700 words which is more than a NaNo daily wordcount quota. But no one ever reads 1700 word posts. And Google image search will never offer up such a post.

0 tell me a story:

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