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What my Pop's calls "Hokey Pokey": A Story Of Return.

This month took a big turn for me when I went from blogging about drunken poetry shenanigans in Iowa to becoming very integrated in the recovery efforts and support of one of my biggest idols, Diane Di Prima. Then a few days ago, another strange miracle dropped it's heavy dose in my lap.

I woke up on Saturday and checked my emails on my phone like I usually do in the morning.  On my public email address that's linked with my personal blog Amtam.com, I found an email from someone named Patrick with the subject line: 'Lost and Found".  In the email, Patrick asked me if I had by chance lost an external hardrive a couple of years ago.

I had.

Filled with all my music and poems.

Poems I hadn't backed up.


I wrote back immediately, my hands shaking, my heart hitting the race track.  Was it silver?  Did it have the words "Do Not Disconnect" written in sharpie on it?

It did.

When I asked where and why and how and oh and wow and and and, Patrick wrote:

Where did I find it? To my understanding the story went like this; the portable hard drive was found on the ground at LAX, but the people who found it didn't know what flight or airline that it came from so they just pitched it into the trashcan. A friend of mine saw them throw it away and pulled it out of the trashcan (figuring that he could use it with his laptop, only to discover that his laptop couldn't read it). Much later on, I started teaching my friend about Macs and one day he brought over the device for me to take a look at. Unfortunately, I too was having troubles accessing it, The files were all grayed out, so nothing would happen when I clicked on them. [Not too mention that I was a little hesitant about opening strange files viruses and weirdness and the like. So the poor little drive got shoved into my top desk drawer for a spell, until recently when I decided to take another crack at it.  So I'm afraid your little portable has had quite an adventure, wracked with blunders, peril, and ineptitude, but c'est la vie!

I couldn't believe it.  He sent a picture.  It was indeed my drive.

Did it still work!?

It did.

Was he sure?!

He was sure.


Calm down, lady.


Very thoughtfully, Patrick asked me to verify that I was indeed Amber Rose Tamblyn whose name was on the drive, which I appreciated.  I sent him a short video of myself to prove that it was me and not The Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants Fan Club Member #1.

Patrick shipped the drive off to me yesterday and I should be receiving it soon.  I cannot stop thinking about the items on there that I couldn't piece back together after it's disappearance.  The poems, the catalogs... God only knows what else.

I spoke to my father yesterday and told him of the news, reminding him that this was "that computer brainy thing" that had me crying in my bed in New York like a 6 year old when I'd lost it, clutching my pillow and sobbing "I want it back!!"  It was the thing I was most mad at myself for not only losing in the first place, but not backing up.

"That's good luck, toots" he said.  "That's what I call Hokey Pokey."


Originally Published: April 24th, 2012

Actress and poet Amber Tamblyn was born in Venice, California. She is the author of the poetry collections Free Stallion (2005), winner of the Borders Book Choice Award for Breakout Writing, and Bang Ditto (2015). She self-published the poetry, art, and photography collections Plenty of Ships and Of the Dawn, and...