The Daily News

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Monday, February 23, 2009

My Life in Vignettes

For the past few days, my computer has been grunting at me while I'm trying to sleep. The first time it happened, I assumed that I hadn't shut it properly therefore, it wasn't going into the usual dormant mode. The second time it happened, I assumed my computer was trying to tell me to write. The third time it happened, I decided to update my Norton anti-virus software that I had allowed to lapse.

And, for the love, I had the skankiest computer in the world.

Norton couldn't stop telling me about the viruses it was finding. It was practically gleeful, yanking out Trojan after Trojan. But my computer still wouldn't stop grunting so I loaded Ad Aware and it found about 80 more pieces of malware on my computer. Every time we ran it, it would find more and more tracking cookies and viruses. It took my father all day to clean up my computer (thank you, Daddy). Finally, at night, I closed the cover and went to sleep. And my computer didn't grunt.

*******
Um...if you've let your anti-virus software lapse, I'd renew it. And I'd download Ad Aware and clean up your computer. It's sort of shocking if you knew how many cookies your blog tries to leave on a computer. Yes, I'm talking about you--where do you think I got the viruses? Most of the cookies that your blogs try to load are fine, but some of the malware came unknowingly (meaning, I know it wasn't the blog author's fault, but it was a widget they had loaded on their sidebar) from blogs.

*******
I was thrilled that Sean Penn won for Milk (as well as the writer, though I wish it had won best picture). In an amusing aside, a long time ago, I had a dream that Kate Winslet gave me her email address and when I woke up, I wrote it down and placed it on our refrigerator where it remains to this day.

People often come into my kitchen and as we're talking, I can see their eyes wandering to the note behind me that says "Kate Winslet's email address." And they finally ask: is that really her email address? Hairwrist@4boys.com? And I have to answer no, but wouldn't it be fantastic if it were?

*******
My own personal spoiler prediction for Brothers & Sisters (don't read if you don't want my opinion):

I have a terrible feeling about the upcoming Brothers & Sisters episode so I'll state it here in case you feel like being warned too. The commercials are pointing towards someone dying and from the images, it would appear to be Rob Lowe. But I don't think it will be him. I think he will have a heart attack (we see the paddles in one second of the preview) and we will think that he is going to die, but in the end, it will be the expectant mother's baby that will die.

Brothers & Sisters has done way too much child endangerment (Kitty's miscarriage, William's death, Lizzie's liver transplant) and I fear that is the route they're taking here. I'm warning myself in case we start getting clues of this story line, so I can snap it off before the end.

*******
I just finished the second proofing of the book. I will get to see it one more time before it is entirely out of my hands, but this final time won't be a true proof, it will just be checking the corrections.

I get simultaneously very excited and very sad around each step. It is so close to being on the bookshelf--just another step or two--and that is certainly exciting. It will be bizarre to hold it in my hands and you better believe that I plan on camping out in the fertility section of the book store and saying to people who enter the aisle, "whoa! What is this new, excellent book? Navigating the Land of If? It sounds fantastically helpful!"

And, at the same time, it feels like it's yanked cloth and it is stretching away from me, about to drop into the abyss. Does that make any sense? It probably doesn't. I should add that I have gotten sad with almost every milestone that the twins pass--even if it's a skill I want them to learn. But with each milestone, they grow farther away from me, more independent of me. And that is sort of how I feel about this book too. It's about to leave me and go out into the world and I won't be able to control what others say about it or how they treat it (you wouldn't use it as a door-stop, right?). Will I feel sad if I see the library copy graffiti-ed? Or if I see a mangy copy of it years from now being sold in the 10 books for a $1 bin at the used bookstore?

I have so many cool, fun things planned for the book once you can hold it. And I'm excited about that stuff too. But right now, I'm this strange mixture of emotions and not really sure what to do with myself.

29 comments:

Kristin said...

AVG Anti-Virus free version...it has worked better than Nortons ever did for us.

Zone Alarm is the BEST firewall...completely customizable.

Adaware is fabulous.

projectkjetil said...

I love the image of you camping out in fertility book aisle. Imagine the new friends you'll make!

Nicole said...

Mel...if there is a mangy copy in the 10 for $1 bin at a used bookstore, then you can be happy because hopefully someone or someones made that book mangy as they used all of its knowledge to help them through the land of IF. And now they don't need it anymore since they have what they started out trying to find!

Congrats on the progress!

Life in Eden said...

Okay -- I think the same thing about Bro & Sis -- heart attack and still birth or other. I just don't see him leaving the show.

As for the twins leaving you -- just wait until they start kindergarten. I've found my boy needs me more than ever.

And the book will be GREAT!

Life in Eden said...

Okay -- I think the same thing about Bro & Sis -- heart attack and still birth or other. I just don't see him leaving the show.

As for the twins leaving you -- just wait until they start kindergarten. I've found my boy needs me more than ever.

And the book will be GREAT!

luna said...

I can understand your feelings over each step that passes, each milestone, because it means that something you nurtured from nothingness is now one step closer to independence. yet it is a testament to YOU and your creations that they will have a life of their own and do amazing things...

soon, with the book at least, it will be time to step back and let it go. you have given it wings, and soon it will fly away and spread its wonder and plant new seedlings of support where it is needed. and that is a beautiful thing. you should be proud.

I've never watched that show but I've wanted to. yet those ads lead me to think stillbirth and I can't deal with that kind of TV drama -- I get enough IRL and blogland. hope at least it treats the subject with respect and realism -- or is that too much to ask for TV?

bleu said...

The easiest thing to do with regards to anti-virus and spyware is to GET A MAC. For goodness sake you are a published writer Mel!!!

OK all kidding aside I made the switch a year and a half ago and I cannot believe how much better it is and how much easier my life is without the constant virus and spy scanning.

Vee said...

Or you buy a Mac and don't have to worry about viruses ;)

I don't think you will have to stand in the aisle, you will get there and they would have sold out ! Can't wait to get my hands on one.

Amy B. said...

I like how Kate's e-mail address is "@4boys.com" Too cute!

Io said...

I have been reminding my husband every week that he needs to have preordered a copy for me. And I will keep and treasure it.
So like your kids will grow up and away from you, it will be a part of them going out into the world and touching other people's lives, just like your book will do.

Cara said...

Adaware is soon part of my computer's make up!!

And- totally skipped the Brothers and Sisters thing cause YOU got me hooked - yes YOU - then my local, rural "we only carry what makes us money" video store stopped ordering seasons!

So - I've only managed to watch season one and I'm in withdrawl!

Dora said...

Never had anything but a mac. NEVER EVER had a virus. Not that I'm bragging or anything. ;-)

Can't wait for my copy of the book. Of course, I'm hoping I'll have a nice sized belly by then.

Oh, and I agree with Bleu, you're much too creative not to have a mac. My last 3 were refurbs. Great prices, and great resale value (especially if you sell it loaded). Upgraded last 2 times for tax purposes. Sold the last one for nearly what I paid for it. Cash in hand. Craig's list rocks!

sassy said...

That's a neat place to be - as far as the book goes?. I go through that when I finish a painting, I want to finish, I want to see it, but at the same time I don't ant the time I've nhad creating it to end.

I guess that's the hard thing, and the nice thing. I mean, you definitely don't get such sentiments from mundane tasks like cleaning toilets now, do you?

Callie said...

I can't wait for the book to come out. I'll pitch a tent beside you in the fertility aisle and will conspicuously flash the book cover while saying "this one looks great."

I'll check out your recommendations for the virus stuff. I'm afraid of what we I might find. Perhaps, as your commenters have suggested, I'll use this in my never ending campaign I'm waging against my husband to finally get a Mac.

Kathy said...

I second the kudos for AVG Anti-Virus free verion, Zone Alarm firewall (also free) and Adaware. I would also add Spybot Search & Destroy to the list (another freebe).

Very exciting about your book! But I get the bittersweetness as it leaves your hands and enters those of your readers.

Enjoyed your Kate Winslet story and fun that you still have her email on your fridge!

Rebecca said...

We have AVG and it works amazingly well for us.

As for the book...and this is just my outside opinion...it seems like you're dealing with a sped up version of empty nest syndrome. Seriously. You conceived the idea, nurtured it, delivered it, saw it "born" into reality...and now it's running off to college without giving you the opportunity to have it home with you as "just yours" for the years inbetween. It's amazingly exciting and nerve-wracking all at the same time.

I for one am very excited to see the book out on shelves! You can rest easy knowing that when I do pick up my beloved copy, it will never, ever end up in the bargain bin!

As for camping out in the fertility section...if you ever find yourself in St. Louis on your book tour (!), I'll be the cute one in the front of the line waiting for your autograph! :)

(((HUGS)))

Wishing 4 One said...

I swear by adAware love it! I feel so good after it scans and cleans all the junk out.

I am going to have someone bring me your book this summer when they come to Cairo, I can't wait! I just know its going to be fabulous!

loribeth said...

I agree with the "empty nest" theory above. ; ) I can't wait to get my hands on it either!

I was glad Sean Penn & the writer won for "Milk" too. It's been a long time since an Oscar speech made me cry & the screenwriter's did it for me.

BagMomma said...

On the Brothers & Sisters show... I thought it was Balthazar Getty who is dying. It's already been front page fodder that they were killing off his character because of his personal shenanigans....

Oh, and being in the tech industry I have lots to say about virus protection/spyware. I use Adware and Spybot religiously... they are great free tools. My personal favorite for virus/firewall is Trend Micro PC-cillin.

Clio said...

guess I should at least update my mccaffe....
thanks for the tip...
I looove the story of Kate Winslet's email address. That's hilarious!

JamieD said...

Oh goodness, yes! Never let your spyware expire. I learned my own lesson over the summer when my spyware was a mere 45 days expired.

I didn't think I was ever going to get all that crap out of my fingerboard.

Somewhat Ordinary said...

You could be right about the baby on Brother's and Sisters. I don't think it will be Rob Lowe, but I was originally thinking it might be the birth mother?

Jen said...

I have totally been planning on standing in the bookstore on our birthday and telling everyone to buy your book. :)

serenity said...

I'm with Nicole. If you see your mangy, dog-eared book in a $1 bin in the future, it means it was used. And loved. And it HELPED people.

Probably should update my spyware, eh? *sigh*

Lori said...

I'm with Kristin about AVG.

I sooooo hope you're wrong about B&S.

You know, the birth of your book will be greated with joy by all its Aunties of the Internet. ("Auntie Netties?")

Doorstop, indeed. What an unthinkable travesty. I am willing it never to happen.

ms. c said...

I fear that I agree with you concerning Brothers and Sisters.

(Further to that... I think that you and I and my mom are the only 3 who watch the show. I swear I have never heard anyone talk about it but you.)

Raggedy Ann said...

I'm so excited about you book, Mel!!! Can I write about it on the blog of my association (Portuguese Fertility Association)?

Luv,
RA

Bea said...

Kate Winslet. Hahaha. I'm going to laughing at that one for a little while.

Bea

Carrie27 said...

I'm a huge Brothers and Sisters fan as well. I didn't even think anything would happen with the baby, I was thinking that something would happen to Kitty's brother (as in he was trying to protect Rob Lowe). We'll find out in about 8 hours! AAAHH!