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8:00 p.m. - 2010-08-31
NINE Days?????????

In which Mick makes a Friend in Pakistan and a Russian Geek Arrives Unexpectedly to Save The Day.

So? Who missed me?

My God, the horror! I have to confess that for many years now I'd been surfing without a condom. I don't go to porn sites or chancy weird places. I rarely click links unless I know exactly where I'm going. I hated those damn anti-virus programs. They grind and grind and grind doing their crappy mostly useless 'scanning' and slowing everything to a crawl. They bust in at the most inconvenient times wanting to do systems checks and begging you to click little boxes for updates and quarantines. Randomly restarting the computer right when I've been going blazing hot with the good words and hadn't saved yet. In short, anti-virus suck! So I did my careful tiptoeing around the cyberverse without protection for lo many years and all was well. But…sigh…last week my luck ran out and I got an infection.

Well, my machine did and, brother, it was a bad'un.

My poor HP was well and truly fucked. Paralyzed, redirected, boxed in, totally, totally fucked.

And because I am a complete technotard I had Mick call the Geeks and make an appointment. The soonest they would come without a bribe (double-overtime rates, like, hello? I could buy a NEW machine for what it would cost me to have them come within 24 hours.) So being ashamed of my folly and financially prudent I agreed to have them send someone a week from never, which was actually today, but when your computer is screwy and won't let you do ANYTHING, not even a pathetic 'reset to an earlier date' and your husband would rather you use his toothbrush to scrub the driveway than use his computer, well, eight days is a looooooong time to wait.

At first I tried to be cheerful. I did a hella lot of the fall cleaning. I read 5 books. I cooked elaborate meals and did strange time-filling things like ironing the kitchen curtains. I was bound and determined to be A Good Sport.

By Day 4 I started to go runny around the edges. I worried that my friends would think I was ill or had gotten a case of the ass with them and had gone all passive-aggressively silent. I'd cleaned everything on the entire first floor of my house by then and really didn't want to start on the bedrooms. I picked a fight at group, not actually because of my computer, I loathe this one twat anyhow, but I know not having access to my friends and the wider world at large wasn't helping. She totally deserved the drubbing, btw, and even the counselors were rooting me on (in a therapist sort of way) because they loathe her too. But this was just another thing that had gone fubar. Wolf spent the time alternately burying himself in video games and dragging around after me moaning about how much school was going to suck this year and why, why, why didn't I DO something about it? I bit the insides of my cheeks raw and bloody trying to rein in my wayward temper…then I got my period. Even the knowledge that this might be the second to last, possibly even THE last of the deluges couldn't bring my fury into check. How could I celebrate this one last horrific period when I had no computer????

Mick, who has really shaped up since those bad months at the new year and has dedicated his life to being My Hero (short of loaning me his computer, of course), saw my distress was reaching epic proportions and on Saturday spent over 2 HOURS on the phone with some guy in fucking Pakistan trying to rid my machine of its illness. After paying him $49.95 Dewash the Pakistani wunderkind managed to bifurcate my computer, establish a new user account, save my data, and remove most of the virus from my woebegone hard drive, but failed to completely clean or fix it. I had all my stuff (files, bookmarks, life's blood) in one half and access to the net at large (including a temporary anti-virus) on the other. I couldn't update more than a few sorry SOS's on FB as the connection sucked and all my writing programs had gone back to default and the *coff* helpful Dewash had set the new account's homepage to AOL, added a Yahoo toolbar, and made my default browser Google (fricken) Chrome.

I couldn't bear it.

Now here's where it gets really weird. Mick had called the Geeks after his marathon with the Pakistani HP tech dept and tried to cancel the appointment. Whereupon he was informed the appointment had ALREADY been cancelled. Okey-dokey. No Geeks were coming and LA had to make do with her shitty schizophrenic machine. Tough titty, girlfriend, this is what you get for being a dimwit without anti-virus protection. You plays, you pays.

I tried. People, I swear on my child's life, I TRIED!

Last night after the umpty hundredth time trying to connect my old user account to the net and being denied, and after trying like a good little trooper to use to the new user account sans bookmarks, files, or even a functioning Word program and reestablish my entire online life and getting nowhere I staggered upstairs, crawled into bed and cried all over Mick. My darling man sat up and made me swear I would call the Geeks today and make a new appointment. He didn't care what it cost, his baby was NOT going to live like this. His poor, poor darling marooned from her pixel life, cut off from her creative work, unable to self-medicate with Bejeweled Blitz sprees, stranded without the NYT and the HuffPo. Forever lost from her friends and their now inaccessible blogs. Shut out of her own damn blog for want of a functioning Word program and having to do without (for the first time in a decade) the easy comfort of her cyber kitchen table coffee klatch.

Then this afternoon I was showering in preparation to take my gagging offspring to go pick up the new game that he'd pre-ordered and paid for with gift cards leftover from his birthday and Mick barges into the bathroom to announce that the Geek was here.

How? I hadn't even called to make a new appointment yet!!! How on Earth did this Geek manage to arrive sans an agreed upon time slot and a promise via MasterCard?

A miracle. A bloody miracle.

Oddly enough I'd taken my clean underthings and my sundress into the bathroom with me, something I never do, preferring to don my housecoat after my shower and going upstairs to dress in my street clothes only after I've put on my make-up and had time to thoroughly dry off. While Mick stalled the Geek I hurriedly finished my shower, dried as best I could and threw on my clothes. Fully dressed but without hair Viagra and maquillage I escorted him to my pathetically half-fixed machine and begged him to make it go.

Dmitri, a lovely young man with the rough edged grooming of the woman-less hetero guy, clicked and tapped and had my HP running like its old self in no time. He was very forthcoming about my incomplete clean-up job and what had been neglected by the English-challenged (and probably paid $1.00 an hour) Dewash, and what I needed to do to inoculate my computer against any new infections. He cleaned everything up, startled over my hearing his faint but unmistakable Odessan accent, willingly told me his life story, and nicely turned down my offer to adopt him on the spot and eventually fix him up with a Nice Girl who'd give me proxy grandchildren.

After writing a hefty check to the mysteriously appearing Russian Geek and sending him on his way with hearty thanks Mick turned to me and demanded to know if I'd twinkled Dmitri into showing up. I protested my innocence. Witchery doesn't work for personal gain. At least not the variety I practice. Though I couldn't be blamed if my need went out over the cosmic consciousness and I was heard and thus saved. I'd had nothing overtly to do with the mysterious Russian Geek coming to my aid. It was a glitch. That's all. A handy, delightful, oh so necessary glitch that brought that nice young computer savior to our door.

So, my darlings, I'm back online. Back among you good people and your cyber homes. Back to having my old set up with my Chris Van Allsburg wallpaper and my straight-up Word text. I have my bookmarks and my files and my passwords and my life completely and totally restored to what it was.

Only now I will always and forever use a condom.

Blissfully protected via Trend Micro and damn pleased about it, ~LA the Inadvertently AWOL

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