I sometimes used to riff during Google workshops that someday they was going to hold my data hostage and I would be forced to give them whatever they desire. But I sort of did that to myself this past month.
I blame Citizen Four, the documentary with Edward Snowden. After he scared me good, I basically firebombed my Macbook Air, downloading all sort of anonymity tools in a fit of paranoia.
And then a series of unfortunate events conspired to leave me Google-less.
1. Suffering from election-year neuropathy (seriously, my last flare up was in the summer of 2000), I fall down in a parking garage at UNC-Asheville, breaking my beloved Android Nexus tablet, my favorite ereading device and main entry into G-world.
2. You cannot buy that tablet anymore, for love or money, but there may be a new version soon. So I am down to an iPhone and a laptop for our three week long twenty-year-anniversary trip to Australia and my subsequent IBBY 2016 Congress in New Zealand. Thank goodness I did not take the Chromebook!
3. In Australia, need a text code from my phone to use Google-stuff on the tabla rasa black box Macbook Air. But my phone seems to have run up again the silver compact in my bag, shattering the screen and now only the home button is working. Why I thought putting something the size and weight of a hockey puck in my purse was a good idea is uncertain. I should have just used that front-pacing camera for a mirror like a normal person, obviously. So now I don't even have a camera for travel pictures.
4. Inexplicably, I didn't bring one of my unlocked phones and even the little bag of pay-as-you-go SIM cards that usually lives in my bag. Blame my perpetual quest to always carry my luggage on the plane a la Meet the Parents. And it's winter there, and people kept telling me how cold it is.
5. Evidently, my rescue email is from a job I last had in 2012.
6. No Drive, no Calendar -- almost worse than not gmail.
7. Can't I just restore to an earlier browser and system incarnation? I try it, but still demands authentication code.
8. My husband gets sick. We learn that New Zealand is a medical paradise, inexpensive, patient-centered, and super clean. Eventually, we are cleared to leave the country.
8. AT&T is happy to give me a new phone for two more year's bondage.
9. Success at last! Welcome back to 3,632 emails. And the jetlag from Oceania is no joke. So if you are waiting on an email from me, it might be a few days.