Thursday, December 01, 2005

public terminals

Laptop is dead, and I have been forced to rely on public terminals to continue working on the course design I'm doing and to answer my email and conduct my banking, travel requirements, etc. Every public terminal has its own features and limitations, and they all tend to be cluncky and restrictive of priviledges, timed sessions, and functions. I lack all my little helper apps. I lack my calendar and address book, the archives of past email, my HTML editor, my favorite widgets and music. Not to mention my photo and layout software. This machine I'm on right now at the UW law library has no word processor of any sort. If you want to compose a few paragraphs, you have to do so in the body of an email and send it to yourself.

In other words, I am suffering separation anxiety. My laptop ferries too much of my day-to-day life for my own good. Already I have surrendered to machines, and being offline is a trauma.

Falling offline once in a while is good, though, I'm sure, for it teaches you to back up zealously and reminds you how to cope in the natural world. Akin to being sent into the woods with only a knife and single match.

When I was 19, during the summer after my first year at the University of California at Santa Barbara in the early 70's, I had big plans to hitchhike to see my friend Rusty in Denton, Texas. Two days before my departure, I was bodysurfing in the Pacific, wearing my glasses like a fool, and a wave knocked them off. Of course I never found them.

Putting my trip off was out of the question, and in those days a replacement pair of glasses took weeks, not hours, to receive. So I ordered a new pair to be shipped to Rusty's address in Texas, and I blithely set off from SoCal hitchhiking to Texas rather half blind.

On busy freeway onramps, hanging my thumb out, everything around me a sunbleached haze of fuzzy shapes. Having to reinterpret the world through new eyes. Is that a car stopped? Did it stop for me? At first it was very difficult. The frustration and anger of helplessness lasted a week. Eventually, I came to accept my nearsighted blindness with ease. Learned coping mechanisms. Adjusted.

Anyway, I've got photos I'd like to get up here but I can't right now. So to hell with everything!

Book seems to be doing well. Getting a new crop of reviews, mostly good. One sourpuss so far. Go to my web page for links.


Armchair Anarchist said...

Hello Mr. Marusek; you may remember me contacting you saying I was going to try to get a review into Interzone. Just thought you'd like to know that I have submitted it, and my editor says that (all deities and whatever willing) it *should* appear in the next issue (#202). Obviously I can't *promise* that this is the case, publishing being what it is, but I thought you'd like to know that I've had a go. And congratulations on a mind-blower of a debut novel; I haven't been that stunned by a book in a good few years. Good luck with ongoing touring etc...take care!

Paul Raven

Velcro City Tourist Board

Paul Raven

David Marusek said...


Excellent! And glad you liked it. I regret that I won't have a UK edition, and your interview might alert readers over there to the book's existence. Thank you.