“What starts in Vegas stays in Vegas” has been their mantra ever since the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce decided to abandon the badly-thought-out strategy of making Vegas kid friendly. Evidently, my computer didn’t get that e-mail.

The hotel where I stayed before returning to LA had great internet service.  Unfortunately, it was unsecured. Toshiba Ted brought home 270 of his closest new friends, and has been in the shop since 8am on Monday morning.

Why hotels don’t put a password on their available sites is beyond me. I mean, how much effort does it take? So I’ve been out of touch for the last couple of days……and didn’t miss it.  The first thing I did yesterday when I booted up the computer was find the phone number for the hotel and call the manager. After all, I got so much more for my money than the website promised. Right?

I could go back to legal pads in a heartbeat — except I wouldn’t be able to keep in contact with all my FB friends. That, unbelieveably, I’d miss. Not the pictures of what they’re having for lunch, or how sick they are  (there are a couple who haven’t had a good day since 1931 – sometime before they were born. I could just as easily have inserted 1981, because I’ve got young-uns with the same problem), but for the most part it’s fun keeping up with families, joys, fun times, vacations, and unfortunately, heartaches and the loss of friends — even those I haven’t seen for years. And I love poking back and forth about politics — except for those who aren’t total assholes about it. Most of us understand that politics — and everyone involved in them — are so ridiculous these days that they’re all laughable. We just have to remember to laugh.

And speaking of friends I haven’t seen in years, I was bored at Abbi’s last weekend and started googling random names. Front and center was a guy I dated about a million years ago. If I could go back and change one thing in my life, it would be giving that relationship a chance to go to the next level, but I was too insecure. It’s a long story. But my knees still get a little weak when I see his picture in my college yearbook.

I e-mailed, him, he e-mailed me back, I e-mailed, he e-mailed me back. He’s probably still married, but it was so good to “hear him” again after all these years. We got to laugh back and forth, and it was so much fun. Without the internet, that wouldn’t have been possible. I’ve been smiling ever since.

And without the internet, I wouldn’t be able to communicate with all my college kids — so many of them, or reconnect with high school, college, work friends. And the friends I’ve met through other friends. I still can’t find our military peeps from Hawaii, and that’s sad. But looking up Sharon and Steve Smith…….not gonna happen. Won’t stop trying, though. Those 4 years were the end of my relationship with Bill (though we didn’t divorce until a couple of years later), but I made some great friends. The lady who took me under her wing and constantly re-assured me it was OK I no longer arranged my spices alphabetically by cooking or baking and followed up by offering her kids to babysit with the mini-munchkin Abbi so she could teach me to paint is someone I miss on a regular basis. Every time I look up at a canvas she gave me the skills to create, Rae Copeland jumps to the front of my mind. I’d give anything for another Thursday morning with her. The smell of turpentine, glasses of sweet tea, and the scramble to clean my clothes when a dot of cobalt blue landed on them (cobalt blue spreads into an impossible-to-remove ocean without provocation). And the time we ran into each other in the emergency room and she once again had to re-assure me that Abbi’s eating half a tube of Titanium White paint wasn’t dangerous; just annoying.

And research! How did people my age get through college? Hours in the stacks. Sleepless nights back before campus libraries were open 24/7 during mid-terms and finals. Boxes of NoDoze. Of course, this generation has a lot more information to absorb.

So, I guess I’ll keep Toshiba Ted, and we’ll continue this adventure. It looks like writing the two books that require living in a car for a year has jumped into first place on my priority list. I still can’t leave Cali until the W/C case is over  but I can hit all the Division I campuses up and down the west coast until that happens, and do research so I can map out a trip. And the friends I can kidnap to drink in campus bars with me along the way.

The next step will be to get the nerve to purchase a phone that does more than send and receive phone calls and takes pictures. I had to interrupt a couple making out on the beach to ask them to take a picture of the ocean at Newport Beach to use as a screen saver (is that what they’re called on phones?).

So, if you see a long rope moving in front of your house, it’s me being pulled into the current century.

Until tomorrow, be safe out there. I’ll see you then.