thank god for small miracles

Evita in Groningen

And for email.  Said in a deep sing-song voice to the sad (read: hated!) tune from Oklahoma announcing “Pore Jud is Daid,” I’m here to say “My mac is dead.”  The hardware went kaput.  I backup regularly enough, but I haven’t in about a month.  I lost everything.  I had to take her in for data recovery and hundreds of dollars later, I’m hoping the photos and writing were recovered.  Now she’s in the hands of apple.  They’re putting in a new hard drive.  No applications.  No documents.  Clean.  And I feel like I have no real record of my life.  I’ve been stripped of things, of memories, of favorites, of simple applications acquired through friends.  At least I have email, a record of my world, an almost daily account of where my head was.  In combing through them, I ran across the following email titled, “Argentina” I’d sent to a girlfriend:

So it’s the season.  The clocks are literally turning, and people
everywhere are sniffling, smelling only of cough drop lozenges.  And
here’s what I’ve caught… the rejection bug.  I swear to God, every
date I’ve been looking forward to all week has canceled on me.

Tonight, I was supposed to see Spencer, the photog boy born in (gasp)
1980, who I had sex with last week.  Just got an email from him saying
he had to cancel.  No explanation, only a very curt, “I’ll call you

And then, even worse, DAN canceled.  Friday night he was going to
cook me dinner, but since he’s having a Halloween party Sat night, the
people throwing it with him are going to his place to decorate, so he
canceled to hang with them (they’re all married).

Can I just cry?  ‘Cause I want to.  I should host a pity party.  Me and
my big new zit would like to invite you to cry for me.

Email is better than a diary because you get all the same bitching, but it’s directed toward a friend instead of (over)analytics. As distraught as I was by the death of my computer, it was a welcomed break.  Yes, I logged on with Phil’s computer from time to time, but mostly I was forced to write in my red notebook again, and I realize how much I miss that, the diary writing.  The hand-written bitching, the noticing, the cramp in my hand from having to hold the pen just the right way so the ink doesn’t dry up.  I need to write more posts under the category “daily,” where I’m boring, where it’s lists or “here’s what I did today” summaries… because I care.  It doesn’t matter if it’s interesting to read.  I need and want to document it here, without some ultimate lesson, without introspection, just a here it is account.  And while I vow to back-up my system each week once I actually get my blank computer back, I also vow to write more in my notebook, to document their milestones, to remark on my own.  Including my escape from Argentina. 



  1. I know what you mean … last year I started carrying a small notebook in my purse everywhere I went, and as soon as I stopped caring what I wrote down, wanting to wait for the "interesting" or "insightful" thoughts is when I started writing down the things that, looking back now, are by far the best. A random thought while stuck in an glacier-speed elevator. Whatever. Good luck recovering files!

  2. Argh… I had the same thing happen to me. Fortunately, everything was recovered- except my spreadsheet of addresses of every person the hubby and I know. Hopefully Phil doesn't pull the "I hope you learned your lesson" routine like some husbands do… like I am going to backup my laptop regularly. Puh-lease. I claim ignorance when it comes to that department. Kinda like men do when it comes to separating the colors while doing laundry.

  3. I sincerely hope you had a backup copy of Moose?????

    I am finally and definitely going to get this external hard drive for backing up everything on my laptop TODAY. I have been meaning to do it for months but haven't so far, you knoe, as always, as with everything. Being reminded that computers actually DO break completely, got me going!!!!

  4. I know you get compared to "Sex and the City" all the time (until it makes your eyes roll I'm sure), but this is the "Sad Mac" episode all over. Down to the data recovery and the clean hard drive.

    Fingers crossed that "Moose" is saved.

  5. I finished your book on Sunday and have been so excited for a new post, I really really enjoy your writing style and how you piece together a story. I also really enjoy your "daily" entries. Part of what makes reading blogs exciting for me is feeling like I'm being let in to a strangers life, just a little, to see what they see and maybe feel a bit how they are feeling and even more excitingly, relate.

  6. Yay! Even as boring as you might think they are to others, some of us find the what-i-did-today blogs more interesing than the others.

  7. This happened to me last year and I was devestated for awhile. Paying for data recovery was NOT fun, but I was grateful it worked. That's why I love gmail, bc it IS like a diary and the search function is amazing.

    So I work at Barnes and Noble and Serena and I were so excited to see that Straight Up & Dirty had come out in paperback! Congrats:) And it's on our "Paperback Favorites" table, too. I plan on recommending it a lot.

  8. Well I just hope to God you scan your writings in your red notebook for us to read, too!!! : ) j/k – kind of!

  9. Steph, did you know that the Austin Public Library has only ONE copy of your book, which they pass between libraries, when people place a hold on it? :( So, one Straight Up and Dirty… to be passed between, what 19 Austin branches? Argh!

  10. I just bought a MAC and the new .MAC software. You can back up to their virtual server. It seems really easy and you don't need an external hard drive. I haven't hooked the MAC up yet because we're waiting until we get into our new house, but I can't wait to use it! I've always been a PC user.

    I also love email for that reason, I'm constantly bitching to my girlfriends on email!

  11. You know, it's Mercury retrograde right know, which means: "Computers crash, software develops unexpected glitches, traffic jams ensue, telephone service snarls up, letters get lost on the mail, machinery breaks down, new projects fail." That's what they say, and I think there's something about that.

    FROM STEPHANIE: AND… someone sent us a baby gift, and I sent a thank you note, and they never received it!!! Damn, so true. And traffic jam… led to my recent car accident. "New projects fail" is a bit frightening, but I'm thinking I've already got most of the others checked off, so I'm clear.

  12. My mac is down right now too. My power supply died on my iMac and is awaiting time to get to the nearest Apple store. Yesterday my Dh's power supply on his mac laptop died. I get the feeling someone is trying to make us do something else this week? Thank-God we have 5 other computers here to play on. And to think I've asked why we needed all of these from time to time?

    Hopefully you didn't lose a thing and all will be back to normal very soon.

  13. bloody hell. good luck with that recovery. and mercury is retrograding too…

    that journal entry seems VERY familiar right now. unfortunately.

  14. I'm catching up on your blog again and this was the first post I read. That sucks. I've had that happen and it was just so miserable. I lost all my weekly emails to my friends, which was basically a complete journal of my life, gone in an instant. That's when I started my blog, but it couldn't maintain its jornalesque quality. I'm glad yours has.

    I hope you're able to reconstruct more of it.

  15. When is the retrograde over? I'd like new projects to skyrocket, things to work, no traffic, no glitches and unexpected letters! :)

  16. It is the everyday blogs that I relate to most. I've learned that not everything that happens to me is part of some bigger lesson to be learned (and if so, maybe I just don't have the energy to evaluate it as such). Either way, I enjoy and cherish companionship and I find myself feeling this way in the "here is what happened to me and this is how I feel about it" blogs.

    astral-La: what a fantastic explanation to my recent bad luck! HOPING for a change in the planets soon!

  17. lol… I love the "Sad Mac" comparison. Not that I think Stephanie is another Carrie, but I loved that (and practically every) episode.
    My favorite part was when Aiden bought her the new laptop, and he was like, "Here, you can carry this one around, like a purse. It has a handle."

  18. Sorry, I'm confused. Aren't you married to Phil?? You had sex with this Spencer last week?
    Did I miss something?

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