In a Letterman-like top ten countdown, I’ll present to you what’s available to do during a computer hiatus or blackout per se. During the course of switching to a new provider and things going wrong, I was forced to withdraw into a primitive state for a few days. I can’t complain too much since it happened right before Christmas when I should be taking a break anyway. In fact, had my husband not said something about it, I wouldn’t have noticed. But since he did say something about it, I wanted nothing more than to have my something back. So what was to be an already computer-free day became my wanting the computer. Badly.
If you are out there and you’ve been denied something and now must take your mind off said something I have the list for you.
10. Stare at the Christmas tree.
Yes, you’ve seen it but have you really seen it? I studied my tree to the point of terror, thinking it was somehow haunted. The formation of green and red lights lent an image that only too much rum and egg nog can conjure. I freaked out and graphed next year’s color scheme. I decided on all green lights next year and even how many strands I’ll need.
9. Stare at the cats.
Yes, of course, I know what they look like. But I never really looked at them before (and this made them very, very uncomfortable, btw). They are such striking creatures with such beautiful markings and magnificent eyes—visual poetry. I also realized they are not human, but actually animals. They really don’t think and speak in the captions I create for them every day, nor do they love me as much as I had previously thought.
8. Shave my legs.
Really, I didn’t, but the threat was there
7. Leave my house.
I had to; I was about to shave my legs.
6. Clean my hall closet.
The dust bunnies in there were enough to create a fifth cat that doesn’t love me.
I always read. I read every day. In fact, I have about nine newly started books. But what I mean is read and finish a book.
4. Go to the library and check out more books that I’ll have to pay a hefty fine for returning only when they were finished and not when they were due.
3. Fire up the Jacuzzi I hadn’t sat in for two years. (Of course it rained heavily the minute I sat down.)
2. Watch TV
I did. I really did. This coming from someone who loves TV about as much as a vegetarian loving The Sizzler steak platter. And since I did and wish I didn’t, I’m going to share with you why I wish the movie industry was as picky about writing standards as the publishing industry.
Exhibit A. Four Christmas: I watched this on Christmas Eve and boy what a disappointment. There was kinky sex in the first minute and it got worse from there with a scene of stupid uncle telling little boy that his dad is really Santa—this is in the company of my 10yr old daughter. You just can’t trust ratings anymore—or movies under a disguise of a family Christmas movie.
Exhibit B. Surviving Christmas: This was just sooo bad I couldn’t finish it. There are no words to describe just how stupid this show was. Ben Affleck, you’ll never work in this town again.
Exhibit C. Because I Said So: This movie won the prize of belonging to my top five worst movies ever seen AND I saw it with my 10 year old AND if you’ve seen it I know you’re cringing. Word of advice: PG or PG-13 only means you won’t see full frontal nudity these days, but that doesn’t mean you won’t see everything else. EVERTHING, people. I used to like Diane Keaton, but now when I see her I just can’t get past her asking her unmarried adult daughter what an orgasm feels like then looking like a happy idiot as she tells her!!! I’ll never look at Mandy Moore again as she was an even worse actress in her pornographic recant of just how good one feels. This mother and daughter movie was a 12 on a scale of 1-10 on yuck factor. Sorry, movie rant review over.
And the number one thing I did while on my blackout: read my manuscript. I printed this puppy out in October but couldn’t stand the thought of reading it one more time. So I let it sit and sit and sit. The longer it sat, the less I wanted to read it. I felt like I’d been separated from my husband and avoided reuniting out of fear I wouldn’t love him anymore. So with great trepidation and sweaty hands, I dug out the ms and began to read until I realized the love is still there, bigger and better than before. I fell in love again.