Tuesday, July 22, 2008

It's Laptop This, Laptop That

Recently, my husband helped me order a new laptop. He’s my tech guru, and I’d be an even more clueless luddite than I already am without him in my life. So when the laptop arrived, he was like a kid on Christmas morning, and soon hunkered down to get things up and running for me: registering software, downloading applications, setting up the wireless connection, feeding the hamster that's surely running on a tiny wheel beneath the keyboard.

“Try it out!” he urged, so I did. I tried it out big time. I spent an afternoon in the backyard with my laptop, connected to the Internet. Oh miracle of miracles! Checking email while baking my way to skin cancer—could there BE anything more delightful?

So things progressed. The new laptop found a home on the kitchen table. J would return from work with a glint in his eye, a spring in his step: “Did you use your new laptop today?!”

And his face would just crumble if I said no. So he helped a friend order the same laptop, simply to experience the thrill of new technology all over again.

One night last week, J was snoring, keeping me wide-awake…I started with the nudges, then moved to soft kicks, and finally graduated to the hard shove, accompanied by an irritated, “Honey. HONEY. You can’t sleep on your back. It makes you snore.”

He frowned in his sleep but said (rather lucidly), “Even with a new laptop?”

Yes, dear. Even the new laptop won’t prevent you from snoring.


Last year, one of my flower beds looked like this:

Look at that sucker this year:

I don't know how that beastly plant in the middle got so out of control. In a week, it'll be covered in pretty yellow flowers. Pretty yellow flowers with teeth and beady, green little eyes.


Finally, thank you to everyone who picked up a copy of Driving Sideways—your willingness to take a chance on this scruffy, unknown author has just sent the book back to press for a third printing! You? Are all awesome.

This Friday I’ll be posting at The Debs and then I'm leaving for a wedding in Minnesota. I’m hoping for some good blog fodder, so wish me luck.


  1. Good lord, go easy on the Miracle Grow! I just had a Little Shop of Horrors flashback.

    Congrats on the 3rd printing!

  2. Kick ASS on the third printing. Woo hoo! And the laptop? Feel it, own it, let it become you.

  3. Can anyone say, "Viagra for plants?" Hmmm, me thinks so!

    I'm BEGGING you to post a pic of the same plant in a week so I can see the pretty yellow flowers! I bet it'll look like your homepage!

    And YAY for a third print run.

    And you, a scruffy author ...

  4. You're in the big leagues now! A third printing? Congrats!

  5. Congrats on the third printing! That is awesome! And the flower bed looks fantastic. I am seriously jealous.

  6. Anonymous8:25 AM

    Good thing about that third printing, I am planning to buy a copy to take on vacation next month!

  7. Yay on the third printing! Congratulations! I recommended your book to my friend for her book club, they picked it, and met last night. I haven't gotten the details from my friend yet, but I did forward the interview I did with you so they could get to know *you* a little better. :)

    And ohmygosh, your flowers are gorgeous!

  8. just started your book the other night – have heard great things!

    (I also suffer from a loud back-sleeping snoring husband!)

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  10. Third printing! Congratulations!

    Speaking of garden monsters - never ever plant mint and turn your back. It multiplies - profusely.....

  11. First--congrats on the laptop. Changes your life, doesn't it?

    Second--the plants are beautiful. What are the red/yellow things in the middle?

    Third--is for third printing!!! Woot for you! Can't wait to have you sign my first edition next week. Hooray!!!

  12. Since I still am forbidden to drive, I had my hubs drive me this morning to Target with the excuse that I needed to get a birthday present for my son. And I did. But then said, I need to go to the book section....

    GOT IT!

    I am so jealous of your planter. I struggle so hard to get my plants to survive during the Vegas summers. I spend most of my free time going to Home Depot to buy replacement plants for whatever dies during the week. I will now close my mouth, I am stunned that something could grow that much in a year.

  13. Congrats on the third printing!! Love the garden...I need to do the something similar in my backyard!

  14. Congrats on the garden and the third printing! Nice to stumble upon the blog of a real live author ... it gives us dreamers hope for the future. :-)

  15. Holy Mackerel, that before and after of the garden is amazing! You must have a talent for plant care and design, it's very pretty!

    Of course, congrats on the third printing, I see a NYT list in your future!

    May I ask what size laptop you got? I bought a 17 inch laptop a couple years ago and whenever I took it anywhere I felt I was carrying a TV tray. So, I'm thinking I should buy something smaller, like a 15 or even 13 inch screen. Your thoughts?

  16. The last heat wave out here killed my gorgeous 2 year old gardenia and to get even with the sun, I'M NOT BUYING ANY MORE PLANTS.

    Congrats on the third printing!

  17. That's a seriously gorgeous garden you have going there! Well planted, Jess Riley.

  18. I love when men are all hi-techy. I haven't clue what they're talking about- but they look good while they do it.

    You can garden for me anytime.

  19. Just looking at those plants makes me have to sneeze. ;)

    So, no pictures of the new baby? Have you named it yet?

  20. I won a copy of your book from jeff over at veiw from the cloud. I'm on pg 119 and am loving it! I'm going to go read some more when i'm done posting here so i'll type quick and try to keep this short (please ignore fast type spelling errors) :)

    I too just bought a lap top but mine's not home yet. Can i bring it to your husband to set it up? just kidding, but I am technology dumb.

    Congrats on the Third printing!

    Oh and i too dare you to put a picture of the yellow flowers up. do you know what they're called?

  21. Thanks everyone!
    Okay, a photo of the yellow flowers in full-bloom is on deck for next week. I can't remember what they're called, but I'll look into it. They're some kind of out-of-control rudbeckia with green centers.

    Also, the laptop screen--15 inches. It's a decent size.

  22. I love that EVEN WHILE ASLEEP he still was thinking about that laptop - awesome.
    Pretty gardens!

  23. My god, Jess. Your side garden is scary! And gorgeous, of course. But a little terrifying. Wish things grew so well here.

    And a third printing? Mega congratulations! That's amazing. You must be so thrilled.

  24. I love the garden just as it is. :) Yay you on the book! YAY!