Connections: In the Stars

I kept hinting to the computer, out loud, that I was lucky to live so close to the office, but the computer didn’t care

   I am not a believer in astrology, but could someone please tell me if Mercury is in retrograde? What a mixed-up jumble of a week I have been having.
    For starters, my computer decided not to accept incoming e-mail when it was plugged in at home; it would do so only when I took it down to the Star office, which is only a couple of hundred yards away. My husband’s computer kept receiving e-mail as usual at home, so I knew the problem wasn’t with our modem. I kept hinting to the computer, out loud, that I was lucky to live so close to the office, but the computer didn’t care. The I.T. man at The Star (a k a, the editor) just shook his head in puzzlement when asked if he had any clue.
    Then, oh joy, the charger slipped a cog — I guess I mean frayed a wire — and called it quits. I had been working, unwittingly, on battery power all day, and the screen went black in the middle of several deadlines. My husband was out somewhere in the car (probably buying strawberries), so I hitched a ride to the Computer Shop in Amagansett, bought a new charger, brought it home, and plugged it in at my usual bedroom desk.
    And then: a miracle. Somehow, the computer seemed placated by the new charger, soothed. It rewarded me with all my incoming e-mail. How peculiar is that?
    It wasn’t only my computer that went haywire in the past seven days. I spent Monday going in and out of the city for a minor surgical procedure. You don’t really want to know the details — it has to do with the second toe on my right foot — but all’s well that ends well. (I was able to put on my own shoes rather than a surgical boot and walk out of the examining room when it was over, which was certainly a relief in this hot July.) Still, the anticipation added to confusion of a gremlin-bedevilled week.
    At work, it wasn’t a normal, straightforward week, either. We have been putting together one of The Star’s Home Book supplements, to be published next Thursday, and, frankly, a couple of rabbits had to be pulled out of a hat to make it happen.
    Planning Home Books is fun. Advertisers like them; readers like them, and I like them, because I get to sneak-peek into all sorts of charming and glamorous places. But it is getting more and more difficult to find exclusive stories, given all the attention from outside media on the East End. An occasional house feature in The New York Times has always been par for the course, but these have never been terribly frequent, and there always were plenty of plum, publishable properties to go around. Now, however, all sorts of johnny-come-lately publications — some free, some not, some well-done, some not — are getting into the act.
    Expecting to do a photo essay on an outstanding house by a local architect for next week’s edition, we belatedly found that Hamptons Cottages & Gardens had gotten there before us. No sooner had we lined up a house by another amazing architect than we discovered that one of his houses had been featured in something called Beach. This latest glossy follows the tried-and-true celebrity formula, but also features house and home, and we sure don’t want to look like copycats. So it was back to the drawing board, pronto.
    Ah, well, an active mind is a youthful mind, and at least all this is keeping me on my toes. (Just not the second toe on the right foot.)