Check…check…check one, two, four. Is this thing on? If you can hear me, clap once. If you can hear me, clap twice. If you can hear me, invite me to your Christmas party so I can taste test your food and compare it to the food at other bloggers’ Christmas parties and write a review about it.
How cool would that last idea be? I would get to awkwardly meet all of you, not talk to the other people at your party, eat the food, and hide in a storage closet until I can leave. It would be a Nightmare on
Elm 34th Street.
Anyways, this post isn’t about that.
If you’ve noticed me missing from WordPress for the last few days, there’s been a reason. And if you haven’t noticed my absence, shame on you!
Okay fine, it’s only been about 4-5 days, but in Paul years that’s about 83 years.
I think I might be on the verge of a rant right now, so make sure you’re ready to stop, drop, and roll.
On Saturday – maybe it was Sunday, I’ve lost track of time – I decided to install the latest Safari updates on my computer.
We live in a world of perpetual updates.
“Update this update to update the update you just updated because that update didn’t update properly.”
It’ll never end. Can we not make a perfect product and just let it be? I’m always wary of updates on my laptop or phone because I’m not convinced they’ll make anything better.
People like to say, “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.”
What we should really say is, “If it’s not broken, don’t break it!”
Anyway, so the updates go through relatively quickly, but it was all a red herring. The internet did not feel like it had been updated. It felt like it had just sat in the waiting room of a pediatrician’s office and watched as sick children with sticky hands roamed around and touched every toy and fish tank in the place, as their parents sat idly by.
That reference was brought to you by my childhood. I was a perfect kid, so I sat still like a normal person, as the chaos around me ensued.
I’ve done computer updates before where it takes a few hours for my computer to adjust to the changes and get back up to speed, so I wasn’t too worried…
…until I tried to access WordPress and was met with a blank screen with a blue bar at the top, and the WP logo in the middle. It was like staring into en empty pizza box. Where did it all go?
I couldn’t access the reader, my stats page, my blog…nothing. All I got was a blank page with the logo.
I’ve seen that page before. It normally means that the page can’t load all the data properly, so it stalls. I imagine it’s like a clogged toilet.
Sunday comes and I’m out to lunch – literally, out to lunch – and don’t get home until later in the day. When I do, my internet is still slow and tracking the score of my fantasy football matchup became a frustrating ordeal.
Fast forward to Monday and I’m about to hit the panic button.
I still can’t get into WordPress! It’s the only website that won’t grant me access.
So I search Google, looking for some solutions. It tells me to delete my browser history and clear the cookies. I’m very good at clearing cookies (omnomnom), so I did just that.
BUT WHAT DID THAT DO?
It signed me out of WordPress.
Okay, fine. It’s not like I could get passed that blank page with the WP logo. Thou shalt not cross! I’ll just sign in again.
I go to the WordPress home page…click Log In…AND THAT STUPID BLANK PAGE SHOWS UP AGAIN.
So I try and outsmart the system. I type into Google, “WordPress Log In”, hoping it will take me directly to the Log In screen.
And it does! Success!
NOPE! In wrestling, this is called the “hope spot”.
The text box where you type your username/email was greyed out. I couldn’t click on it. I couldn’t type in it. I was stone walled. If only I had a chisel…but then I would’ve also needed a hammer, so this point is moot.
I was so frustrated, I could’ve kicked a bag of milk.
The worst case scenarios were going through my mind.
“Oh no, I’m going to have to blog via the app. What a nightmare, though I’ve been meaning to try it just to say I’ve done it once. But still.”
“What if I never get access to my blog ever again? I can’t start a new blog, every button I click just leads me to a dead-end page. My readers are going to think I died. What happens when I do die, 70 years from now? Who will tell them? How will they know?”
It was then I realized just how meaningful everything about this blog is to me. It’s as they say: You don’t know what you got, until an internet update takes it away from you for a few days.
On Monday, I decided to update my operating system to Mojave because when you’ve been burned by one computer update, all future burns are no longer felt. It’s math.
That update took about four hours. Say QUOI?
When the computer says, “About 54 minutes remaining”, what it really means is, “We’re lying to you and hope you take a four-hour nap, so when you wake up, it’s done and you don’t know it took four hours.”
The update finally completes and I should have this brand new computer in front of me. Nope.
It was slower than a mall walker who has given up on Christmas shopping.
I couldn’t do anything, without waiting five minutes for a new page to load. Scrolling through Twitter was impossible. WordPress still wasn’t letting me even see a log in page. It was a disaster.
Tuesday comes and I have had it up to HERE. I’m not normally an angry person. People often tell me they can’t picture me mad. My anger is normally directed internally, or at inanimate objects.
If I get mad at someone, they’re just going to get mad at me, and then nobody wins.
As my laptop was still trudging along slowly, I tried to think of a million ways to rectify the problem.
“What if I blow on the keyboard and dislodge some dust that may be under the keys?”
“Hmm…the back of the screen feels cold, what if I rub my hands on it to warm it up, maybe it’ll operate faster?”
That seemed to work! Before I knew it, I’m applying heat all over my laptop via my hands. Weird? Very. Effective? YOU BET’CHA. I was breaking new ground here.
But that only worked for so long.
“What if I sit to the side of my laptop, rather than directly in front of it?”
Wouldn’t you know it, the web pages started loading. It was as if the monkeys inside my computer were spying on me through the camera and thought, “He’s gone! Let’s move!” Very much like how the toys in Toy Story only move when people aren’t around.
“What if I go to that dreaded blank page with the WP logo and press refresh a million times?”
That didn’t work. I was probably 15 more clicks away from carpal tunnel.
By Tuesday night, I was missing my blog and all the bloggers I interact with on a regular basis.
In a cheesy sort of way, we’re like a family – minus everything a normal family does – and this is our house.
Just let me back in my house! I’ve already planes, trains, and automobile’d my way home. Don’t make me break a window to get in!
I tried to put positive thoughts in my head and told myself this won’t last forever and eventually, some day, I’ll regain access to a log in screen that allows me to type in the text box.
I don’t know if this is weird, but in life, I’m a big believer in the idea that we all have to see/go through/experience something before we can advance on to something else, whatever it may be – big or small. I see it as the universe revealing something to us.
Late last night, I gave up on clicking around the internet after I was finally able to update my fantasy football team. I went over to Netflix and watched Ellen’s new comedy special.
As I was watching it, I realized that she sets up her jokes and tells stories in the same sorta way that I do on this blog. The way she weaved in and out of sentences and threw in callbacks to something she said five minutes prior, all felt very “relatable”, which is probably why her special was called, “Relatable”.
And I thought to myself, watching this is the thing I needed to experience before regaining access to my blog. Is it crazy to think that? Absolutely.
Her comedy special ends and I click away to Twitter, or some other website.
Immediately, I notice my internet is moving at break neck speed. So for the 4508th time in four days, I go over to WordPress and click “Log In”.
AND IT TOOK ME TO A LOG IN SCREEN, WHERE I WAS ABLE TO WRITE IN THE TEXT BOX AND WAS GRANTED ACCESS TO THIS SITE.
It was a (6 days before) Christmas miracle.
As of today (Wednesday) my computer is back up to full speed, as if the updates didn’t turn it into a toddler trying to crawl through caramel.
It’s good to be back. Nay. It’s good to be home.