Thursday, August 24, 2006


I finally have time in my studio to write, surf, and blog - and guess what??

My computer is sick. Really sick. Sweet hubby made me pull the plug. He tried to walk me through some patches or fixes or whatever and we discovered that my browser had been hijacked and the spybot search and destroy program was itself devoured by whatever's lurking. Until he can bring home some major diagnostic suite, he had me unplug her to make sure that whatever is going on can't replicate and eat the hard drive or randomly email anyone I've ever emailed. She might need the computer equivalent of chemo. Sigh. I guess I'm grateful that, unlike when the kids get sick, I don't have to do extra laundry.

I spent the first half of the morning moping around, whining (to Wasabi) about how much it sucks not to have computer access. I even railed against the gods of the ether who seem to enjoy sowing obstacles along my blogging path. I resigned myself to cleaning out a huge box of old paper/mail/random crap that's been skulking around since we moved (LAST YEAR!!!)

In it, I found an old address book. As I was trying to decide if I had the energy to sort through it or if I should just toss it, a card fell out. It was a nine year old Christmas card from the sister in my French host family. Twenty years ago (last month!) I stayed with her family and over the next ten years we kept in touch. I never got back to France, but I saw her when she was here. She (and later she and/or her husband) would stay with us or we'd meet her/them wherever they were going. That Christmas card was all about how she and her husband were finally getting to immigrate to the US. A few months after she sent the card, she called me and left me a phone message with her new address and phone number. Before I got around to writing that info down, a huge storm zapped our machine and killed it. We had just moved into a tiny (770 sq ft!) cabin and I was pregnant with Havoc. I couldn't keep any food down; I had two small boys at home; we had NO money (to replace the message machine, much less make an international phone call to her old number to try and get her new one); and by the time I sorted things out - I had no way to find her.

Her old number was dead and my letters got returned. I have mentioned my mad computer research skillz before, right? I tried Googling her a couple (er, well maybe 4 or 5) years ago with no luck. Her name is Roxane and Google would ask me if I meant "Roxanne". Her last name happens to be a past passive participle (? I think) of some irregular French verb. Aside from some odd French websites, I found nothing. When I saw the card this morning, my first thought was how sad I was that my computer was comatose. If my computer was working, I'd try again to find Roxane. I walked into the bedroom, stubbed my toe on SH's office chair, bumped his desk, and eeeked when his computer screen lit up. (RIGHT! That's a COMPUTER!) It's not MY computer, but hey, she won't mind. I have computer access again. YAY! (Go ahead, ask me how much more work I've done sorting through papers.)

I HEART Google! I got two good hits! The first one listed both her and her husband's names and gave their street address (and the name of the realtor who sold them their new house - but I didn't give a shit about that). The second one was her name (spelled correctly) in an elementary school PTO newsletter thanking her for her help with career day (computer science). BINGO! That's MY Roxane! AND the newsletter gave me the zip code so I didn't even have to look that up.

I called Sweet Hubby and bragged about my amazing research abilities (neglecting to mention the role my poor stubbed toe played) and do you know what he said? (Hint: it was NOT along the lines of "Honey, that's great!")
He said, "So did you call her yet?"
I said, "Um, no. I'm going to WRITE her. I have her ADDRESS."
He said, "Why didn't you use that to get her number? "
Aside from the fact that it hadn't occurred to me (and that even now that he's brought it up, I have no idea how to convert the one to the other), I realized I'd be too nervous to call. I think writing a letter is more up my alley. Chicken Street. That's where I live, apparently. Google me and I bet that's what you'd find. (Well, you'd find that and a question about a recipe for lasagna in French. If you want some serious fun (or are just trying to avoid a pile of year old mail on the floor), try having Google 'translate' that recipe into English for you.)

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