It was August 1998 and ours was a computer-less household. The only notebook in my bag had lined sheets. Every book I owned was printed on paper and board. Dust jackets always off when they were read, so they would remain pristine.
I was/am an avid personal journal writer, as well as a Morning Pages addict. I generally used/use spiral notebooks for both because of my practice of destroying both journals & Morning Pages at regular intervals. This really ticks some folks off – but it is my way.
I had no interest in computers or electronics in general until a friend asked for help with a project. They had an idea for a website and couldn’t handle all the research on their own. I told them no worries, and upon arrival was ushered to a desktop aka a PC.
“I don’t do computers – but I’ll be happy to help in any other way with the research.”
“It’s all online. I need links, and we’ll have to email lots of people.”
“You need what? And “we” have to email lots of people? Seriously, it’s not my thing. I don’t like computers. Tried it once at the library – it was awful, I couldn’t “get online.” I’ll break your computer, and you’ll hate me.”
Suddenly I was pushed down into a chair in front of a glowing screen. They introduced me to search engines like Ask Jeeves – remember him? Explained where and how to type in search terms, and in minutes I was finding links. By the end of the afternoon I was browsing IVillage and other websites for fun.
Within a few days I had my own email, accounts at least a half dozen sites, and was building a free personal website at women.com.
It was the gaudiest home page ever. But at the time I loved all the moving gifs, the thingie that changed the page color every 30 seconds, and the accompanying music.
I happily continued to help my friend with their project. Afterwards I could “play” online all I wanted – a fair trade.
Several weeks later, while walking toward the subway, I noticed a new Dell Store near Union Square.
Wouldn’t hurt to have a look around – would it?
Five days later a tower of boxes arrived at our apartment door. My daughter Josie, then nearly 16, put our first PC together in less than an hour.
These kids are born knowing this stuff.
There was a disk for AOL, and Josie she asked me “my handle.”
“You’re handle Ma – for your AOL mail and messenger.”
“I dunno – what do you think?”
“Well, you’re always at some coffee bar writing, so you’ll be coffeebar…hmm …coffeebarchick!”
“Coffeebarchick? Coffebarchick. Alright – coffeebarchick!”
Josie loved the new PC. That same day she discovered RPGs, and within a few weeks “our” PC became hers, and I bought myself a laptop for my birthday.
Eventually more electronics came into my life; Smart phones, Kindles, digital cameras, tablets…
These days I use my IPhone for just about everything – including this post.
But there will always be a notebook and a few pens in my bag, because journal writing and Morning Pages are always on paper.
My daughter Josie burned her version of the coffeebarchick logo onto a wooden plaque, and added hand-painted details.
The coffeebarchick graphic at the beginning of this post was a surprise gift from Lissa at tea rain dreams.
And here’s Josie!