Tuesday, April 20, 2004

My laptop fell victim to spyware. Not just any ordinary spyware either -- this was ADWARE, which I find doubly insulting given my former (or dormant) occupation.

I have no idea how it found its way onto my laptop--but it morphed itself as my home page and took over my browser. I couldn't stop it either and by the end of the week last week, I had no choice but to wipe my laptop and start over again.

It could have been worse but I did manage to lose a few things---items that I overlooked and didn't move onto our network server before doing a system wipedown. Sadly I lost pictures of Peter's first easter egg hunt; but thank god my writing files remain intact.

Having your laptop hit with spyware is a little like date rape. You willingly go with a trusted source and then you get screwed against your will. I have no idea what site I visited that offered spyware to do a drive-by attack, but I can only guess it was something attached to an RSS Reader program (the last thing I downloaded).

To further the date rape analogy, I feel somewhat violated. I mean I have no idea what this fucking program "saw" on my hard drive. Does it have my passwords? Can it see our mortgage account online? I guess only time will tell but I'm not ready to put myself into a witness protection program and stop using online billing as a way of life. It IS my way of life, which is pathetic but true. I've done everything online except meet a mate; and if I hadn't met my husband the "old fashioned" way, I probably would have found one the way everyone else does these days.

So folks BEWARE of SPYWARE. I can't put it much plainer than that. Like a parasite it will find its way in your system and make your laptop very sick. First my browser died; then Outlook; then Power Point (POWER POINT?) Things went so far south, my systems admin took my administrative priviledges away from me. Not to worry though! I still have my PC to download porn! ;-)

Thursday, April 08, 2004

So I've been trying to figure out why I haven't been able to touch my manuscript when suddenly this dawned on me:

How can I write about something so sad, painful and horrifying when I am filled with low-awaited joy and contentment?

Several years ago, I read an essay written by an artist who specialized in capturing very dark moments in life through photography. She was bipolar and she believed that once she went on medication to control her illness, she was unable to continue with her work. She became frustrated and ultimately stopped taking the medication so she could feel her emotions once again and resume her photography.

While I'm not anywhere near the point of abandoning my beloved manuscript, I do believe that a lot of the pain I had experienced over the last four years helped me to write about something so horrifying as the Holocaust. I'm not a self-proclaimed "tortured artist" by any means; but studying the Holocaust all of these years has opened my eyes and heart to human suffering and any of the struggles I went through personally has helped me write from a suffering person's point-of-view with more feeling than I might have had without having had these experiences. Though the suffering is incomparable, I believe we all have pain thresholds and that the way in which we cope with bad experiences throughout life directly correlates to how much pain we feel as individuals.

For once in my life I feel so fulfilled and it's very hard to want to go back to something as haunting as a little boy eating maggots in a ghetto to survive.

I'm so close to finishing this draft. Maybe there is a part of me, too, that isn't ready to complete it. Maybe for now I'll just enjoy the sunshine. I just pray it doesn't take another string of bad experiences to get me to finish the book!