Saturday, December 18, 2010

"To do" Lists


Some time in October I realized that I had an awful lot of "to do" lists. As I pondered why I had the propensity to constantly have the need to generate a list that keeps me busy all the time - it occurred to me that this need is a terrible habit that must be stopped. Having a running "to do" list means that you are perpetually busy. Is this a good thing? (No) and who is responsible? (No one but me. What a dummy.)

First realization, then much pondering, and (as I always do) there can be no pondering without a fomulated idea, and putting that idea into action. The decided upon action was to implement a "Just say No" campaign. So (hold your breath) I decided that I was going to chuck my "to do" list out of the window and try to live without one. At first this was very liberating, and relaxing. It was very odd. This relaxing inactivity state, “take it as it comes” attitude, “respond to the need as it arises” bearing was not really in my genes. I come from a long line of "busy babes". My mother is constantly "busy". Her mother was constantly "busy".  Her mother's mother was busy, and so on and so on... Centuries of very efficient and very busy women. (But I digress.) Once the luxury and enjoyment of my newfound mental state started to wear off, I started to struggle with my need to "be prepared" and to "use my time wisely" in anticipation of all that was to come.

(Damn this was hard.)

I vowed that I would not have a "to do" list (and I was sticking to it) but not writing it down (I'm a visual type of gal) meant that I had started keeping the list in my head. Keeping a mental list was just too much. Before my brain fried I tossed that "to do" list out. Finally I had reached a state of mind and being where I was just reactionary. Again liberating.

(But was it?)

Now the holidays were approaching and this was a major "to do" list time for everyone. Was I going to survive through November into December unscathed? Perhaps this no "to do " list thing was a bad idea? (Yup.) Boy, did I struggle. I know I don't have to inform you that I lost the struggle. Yet I did not struggle in vain. I have a "to do" list, but it is a more of a "if you want to list".

I found that not being constantly proactive and filling up my time with chores, that I had time to relax more and not worry about things. I also found that I gained some downtime, and the urge to fill it up with activity waned. It was not that I was unbalanced (I'm not that nuts) it was that a "to do” list that is constantly demanding of your energy and time is not worth it. I am not preaching that it is ok to be lazy. What I am preaching is that it is ok to focus on other things like leaving the shopping for another day and going for a walk with your significant other, or biking with the kids, or to go get coffee with a friend. If you are not doing these life activities with those you care about than the problem is not the "to do" list itself. The problem is that you have written the wrong things on your list.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Manners and Movies don't Mix

Last week my family and I braved the crowds to watch Harry Potter.  I was looking forward to this time together. Once inside the theater I started hoping I was not going to regret that decision.  This was not based on my family’s behavior, but the behavior of others.  I am happy to report that while there were indications  (prior to the movie starting) that the audience would have ill-mannered members it actually behaved quite well (all except some idiot with a laser pointer. )

The idiot with the laser pointer was tame compared to some of my theater experiences.  Seems like manners and movies don’t really mix these days. (Though many of us would agree manners in general have been on the decline.) I thought I would compile a list of offenses (none that should be new to you) that usually send me scrambling for the movie theater manager.  (That’s right this woman is a tattletale.) And some ways I handle these situations that may work for you too.  

An infant in the movie theater
Get a babysitter!  (I adore babies and children, but even I draw the line here. )

Under aged children watching inappropriate movies
Poor parenting skills, selfish, ignorant and unaware? 
(Dare I say… all of these?  Yup – I dare.)

Talking during the movies
What about this situation makes you think you are at home? Go to the nearest
Startbucks if you need time to verbally socialize.  (I have been known to yell “ENOUGH – BE QUITE NOW” in my best angry mommy voice. This usually works. Even my husband trembles.)

Cell phones or texting
I must admit with the whole texting craze cell phone are not ringing. I don’t mind this actually, but should my kids (or group) I am with start texting -  I use my best dirty looks.  (I have perfected my dirty looks to academy award level acting. Watch our Merle Streep.)

Kicking a chair or putting feet up on the chair you are sitting in.
Don't parents raise their kids to keep their feet off the furniture? 
(Only solution is to pull an Ace Ventura Pet DetectiveStand up, turn towards the person behind you, wave your hand in front of your face (like there is a bad odor) and yell,  “PU!  Your feet smell like crap! Could you please keep them down and away from me!”  Works everytime. Makes Jim Carrey proud.)

Laser pointer
Someone thinking it is amusing to project a laser onto the screen while the movie is on.
(I would have loved to have taken that laser pointer and shoved it up a certain unmentionable orifice. Fortunately for the laser owner I could not triangulate their position.)

Leaving trash.
This sloppy, shocking behavior can be attributed to the decline of western civilization.
 ( It’s either that or these people live in filth homes, and have never heard of trash cans and personal responsibility.)

There you have it. 

At least 7 annoying activities people do in the movie theater to drive us (or possibly just me) crazy.  If you have more activities to add to the list please share. And if you have crazy stories to tell – DO TELL!  (Best story gets 2 free movie passes to AMC)


Monday, October 11, 2010

Saving the Planet - Reporting In

Back on April 14, 2010 I reported that my husband and I decided to save the 
planet and install solar.  I promised to report back and so here I am.


Yeah - I know. I could have reported back sooner, but I need to confess that 
while our solar company Sungevity installed in a timely manner there were 
other unexpected delays in the process.  For example the city permit 
approval process added some time, and PG&E took the longest to install a
special meter for solar (roughly 2 months).


So while we installed solar on our home in April it was not until August that
we really began saving the world.  I can't tell you how many times my husband 
and I walked outside to watch the meter run backwards. (Exciting!) Or how we 
watched the mail for our utility bill. (Yes, we are strange.)


Then yesterday we received our much anticipated bill from PG&E. After one 
full month of solar - I am very happy to report that our wildest dreams 
have come true.  (OK, well, maybe not our wildest dreams.) Our electric and gas bill
(prior to installing solar) was $250+ a month.  The bill we received in the mail
was a grand total of $45.49!  (I just love it when a plan comes together!)


Now I look around at all the roofs around and wonder why are those roofs so bare?
(Perhaps I should start a new crusade?) I would like to invite you to save money 
and help the environment too.  


Now for the shameless commercialism - 
Check out Sungevity.  There are several companies that do what they do, and there 
really is no reason why everyone (especially in California) should not have solar.  I like 
this company for several reasons they deliver what they promise, the price is right,
and they have outstanding customer service. (I am really into customer service.)  


And if you do check out and use Sungevity and given them our referral code #24995.
Using this code will get YOU $500 of your lease or purchase agreement, and my new
crusade/cause will be on it's way!


PS. Even the White House is going solar.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Act your age? For me - Heck no!

Ok – confession time.  I am just over 50 and quite frankly I am not sure how I got to be this age.  I don’t feel 50.  I find myself contemplating how my age affects every aspect of my life. (Is this middle age or just my latest obsession?)

Quite frankly age never has been an issue for me except maybe when I was growing up, and looking forward to those milestones. You all know those childhood milestones – dating age, drivers license, drinking age, etc… In fact when you are younger time just seems to drag by.  Then you hit that mystical age when all of a sudden time speeds up and in seemingly in a blink of an eye you are middle aged. (How in the heck did that happen?)

(So what is a young at heart woman to do?)

Well, for a start come up with a plan. Operation Young Babe.*

First part of my “young babe” plan was to observe the 13 to 20 year old female set: how they dress, what they wear, their current pop culture and trends. (Easy enough. I know quite a number of them.)

Next (and hardest part) will be to implement the most popular aspects of the younger set and VIOLA! (twenty years younger!)

Here’s my plan…  (Want to join me?)
Have a crush on Zac Efron(He’s pretty cute. Don’t know who he is? Go back and do your homework. You may be old, but you aren’t dead!)
Become a Twilight Fan. (May be a little tough. At our age one can’t stand all that brooding. Though I could be on “Team Jacob”. I like dogs and six packs.)
Listen to techno, hip hop, rap, and pop music (You might get a headache, but learn just enough of the first verse so you seem cool when you start to sing it.)

Appropriate Attire  (Tight, below navel jeans, with g-string underwear (must be seen) , padded bra with an outrageous color (red is good) and make sure it can be seen through the fabric of your (almost sheer) very tight shirt. Note: Bra straps MUST be seen.

Plug in and join the X & Z generation (get social!)
Learn to text and the lingo involved (less typing means your carpal tunnel wont flair up and this is important at our age!) Create a facebook page. (Its free and you can hook up with over 250 of your closest friends!)   
        
So there you have it. A quick “Young Babe” plan to roll back the years. 
Try it and let me know how it works for you.  

(By the way... I’m totally loving my black bra and see through white tee look!)

My apologies to my daughter, her friends, my Girl Scouts, my nieces,and the more sensible modest young ladies I know.

Monday, August 23, 2010

MOVIES vs REAL LIFE


Every summer my family and I look forward to summer movie blockbusters. These expensive well-publicized movies usually mark the beginning of summer, and give us something to look forward too. This year there just did not seem to be any movie that really stood out and got us excited. (It's what we call a "total movie bummer.")

A week ago I published an industry blog about the reality that one views in movies versus the reality in real life.  I thought it would be fun to share some of the differences once again here on the Whiner’s Club for you all to ponder. (Naturally on this site I am adding my own humorous touches) however, next time you go to the movies look for more to add to my list below.

·      Groceries look great in that perfectly crisp brown grocery bag.
            (Look for that perfectly placed French bread, celery or 
             carrot tops sticking out of the top of a perfect grocery 
             bag. I don’t know about you but my food doesn’t look  
             that great, my bags are torn and broken. 
            Where do these people shop?

·      They always find a parking space in front of or across the street of 
      the building they are going to.  Especially in New York.  (Go Figure.  Who get’s that lucky in a very busy big city?  That certainly has never happed to me, but if it ever does I’ll be looking around for the movie crew and cameras!)

·      Plain girls become pretty simply by removing their glasses and   
                              rearranging their hair. (I have tried this for many hours in front of 
                              the mirror. I’m still waiting. I don’t think it works.)

·      A single bullet can explode a car instantly. (No kidding.  I think maybe this is for Mythbusters to try.)

·      All bombs have very large numerical displays so you know when they will blow.  (This is always good to know should you find such a devise.  I personally worry about such things.)

·      The ventilation system of any building is a perfect place to hide.
(Not only that, but you can move throughout the system easily finding your way around to where ever you need to go, and never get lost.  Imagine that. Simply amazing!)

·      A man will show no pain while having a very physical tough fight, but will wince when a woman tries to clean his wounds.  (What a baby.)

WANT SOME MORE?

·      Any lock can be picked by a credit card or a paper clip in seconds.
(This is a skill I hope one day to achieve.)


·      Computer screen instantly “wake up”, instantly find what you are seeking, and download complex/heavy files amazingly fast. (I wish computer manufacturers and web capacity gurus would take notice of the nanosecond speed. They could learn a thing or two about computers and the web.)

·      If you start to dance in the street, everyone you bump into will know all the steps. 
(This one is true. I have proof. Check this out!)

Well… I think you get the picture. Next time you are watching a movie look for those scenes where the reality is different – it is such a fun game to play.  And please feel free to share your observations.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

I did not think I was one of those Types of Neighbors (Part 2)

Last blog entry  (posted July 29th on the Whiners Club) found me recounting some of the 
“creative issues” in my suburban neighborhood over the last 17 years, and how I came to realize that my tolerance of exterior individuality and expressionism was not the norm.  I also revealed that our home has caused the latest neighborhood drama.

My husband and I own/run a business, have three active children, and are involved in the community.  I would have to say that we are extremely busy, and I must confess that the
shape of our yard is not on our list of priorities. (My apologies to my friend Whitney. Whitney by the way is a great gardener.)  On any weekend you will find many of our neighbors (even if they have gardeners) out grooming their yards.  While I appreciated the results of their efforts (and sometimes feel guilty that we aren’t out there “doing it” as well) quite frankly we have better things to do.  (Though I do admit that there may well come a time when my husband and I will most likely join them.  But the time is not now, and I digress.).

Ok.  By now you must be wondering about the state of the yard.  It isn’t full of weeds, dead grass or an abundance of parked vehicles.  My husband and I practice the gardening form of Benign Neglect.  I know many of you master gardener types know what I’m talking about.  (No?)

Benign Neglect – To tend and promote well being by paying slight attention to the proper care of your plants, while ignoring the impulse to prune and cut.  The art of letting your plants “do their own thing”.

It takes nerves of steel NOT to constantly trim your bushes, keep your grass at a certain height, and to prune those trees into submission.  I really do like a plethora of plants and a more “natural” look (that and the manicured look takes way too much energy and time).

So we were practicing the art of Benign Neglect (and doing a great job too) when a letter arrives from the City.   THIS IS NOT A BILL (thank goodness) is printed large on the paper.  On the top by the letterhead large text states that we have received a WARNING NOTICE.  (What the heck?)  In short my husband and I have VIOLATED a Municipal Code (heavens). Seems our bushes and a tree have been naughty, and have overgrown to the point that they are “obstructions.”  (Ok… perhaps we have taken this Benign Neglect thing a little too far.) 

OK – ready for the whine?  (Almost a qualifying rant.)  
If my neighbor/s had a problem with a couple of bushes and a tree (instead of calling the City) why in the HECK (I apologize for the bad language) did they not come to our door to talk to us about it?  My husband and I are reasonable nice people (take my word for it).  I am not denying that our tree was partially blocking a street sign, and that our bushes had over grown onto the sidewalk.  What I am bitching about is that someone (instead of being a mature adult, ran whining to the City.  This action represents a last resort type of effort.  An effort that indicates perhaps this neighbor talked to us and that we told the neighbor to …  well, you get the picture).  Since no one came to our door we were surprised instead with a code violation letter that comes with a “Code Enforcement Inspector”, a picture of my offending plants, a possible fine, and written in a tone I don’t take kindly too.  (Yeah. I’m not a happy girl.)


Here is a copy of the letter and one of the pictures of “our ”offending” bushes!  Please note that on the day of the inspector’s visit our solar panels were being installed and the pallet of the sidewalk was removed within hours. (Just in case you really think we are slobs.)
I have been doing quite a lot of “stewing” concerning this situation.  Who reported us?  Was it the couple next door?  How about the nosy neighbor down the street?  I pondered this question while taking a walk one evening with my husband.  I came to the conclusion that I would never find the culprit, but I had a startling revelation.  I could make myself feel better.  How you ask?  By becoming the very person/s I despised – I would become the “code violator reporter.”  The more I thought about this the happier I became.  (Just thinking of the chaos I could cause is bringing me great joy.)  Just think of it!  Hundreds of people scratching their heads and wondering what heck they did to make someone “report” them?  (Yes, this will take some planning, a measuring tape, a copy of the City codes, and lots of walks.  I feel better already.  Hope you don’t live in my part of the city.)

SO… there you have it.  I have now become (twice) “that type of neighbor” I thought I would never be.  First - I became the neighbor that everyone complained about (damn those bushes and my tree). Second - I will now become that anal retentive “pain in the butt” neighbor who will report everyone for the slightest of code violations!  


And for good measure I am going to paint our house with crazy colors and erect a large sculpture. (What fun!  I feel better already.)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

I did not think I was one of those Types of Neighbors (Part 1)


I must confess that at first this blog was going to be an out right rant, however; I had to remind myself that I was a seasoned whiner and, therefore; above that sort of behavior.  I usually read the newspaper and wonder in amazement at the petty disputes over property.  I marvel at the stories of wealthy citizens of our community complaining about the constant roar of leaf blowers in their park-like expensive neighborhoods. (My goodness, don’t these people have anything better to do?  I know if I had their type of money I certainly would.)  Occasionally my neighbors will complain about how someone keeps their yard, or the number of cars one has parked on the street, but by all accounts I thought my small well-kept quiet suburban neighborhood was somewhat tolerant.  In hindsight I was mistaken.

My first clue was a small one.  When we first moved into our neighborhood and my husband and I were introduced around - we were introduced has “the couple down the street with the teal colored door.”  (Ok, nice way to know exactly where my house is.  Guess everyone really likes the color.  Think again.)

Neighborhood Modern Art
Then the second clue that perhaps my neighborhood was a little “uptight” happened quite a number of years ago.  A local artist (who happens to live behind us and by the way is amazingly talented) placed one of his sculptures in his front yard.  By the commotion he caused in our suburb you would have thought that this sculpture depicted shocking and disgusting imagery. (It did not. The sculpture was red, and was made up of large geometric spheres and shapes.  Quite nice actually if you like modern art.)  What all the brew-haha was about was that he had the nerve to place something so large and so different in his yard.  I listened to my neighbors complain and criticize, but did not participate in this type of chatter, because quite frankly I appreciate fierce independent streaks (especially those that are artistic or creative in nature.) 

Another inkling (of uptightness) came a few years ago, when a house down around the corner painted the trim on their home a bright golden yellow.  The neighbor chatter began once again.  (Oh, how shocking!  Didn’t these people know that the trim color was too bright and unacceptable?)  I am proud to report that this time (when I heard the neighbors talk) I stood up for the color-misguided house painters.  I am not sure of my exact words, but I said something to the effect that usually people hide their individualism inside their homes, and that it was refreshing to see someone express their creativity outside.  (That remark instantly stopped all conversation.  You could have heard a pin drop.)  I found out then that my tolerance of exterior individuality and expressionism was not the norm.  (Oops – the veil covering my rebel attitude has shifted, and my true self is showing.)

Now this brings us to the most current drama in our neighborhood.  (And guess what?  It involves us.  Surprised?  We were.)  We should not have been surprised because, those “ creative issues” in my suburban neighborhood over the last 17 years, should have been a warning.

I would have liked to tell you that my family expressed its individualism on the outside of our home, but alas that is not the case.  (I would have been proud about that.)  No this drama involves something much more mundane. Unfortunately you will have to wait for my next posting to see what commotion we caused and how we responded.

Please stay tuned for part two…

Monday, July 26, 2010

My World is Rocking and Rolling


Yeah baby – you read it right my world is rocking and a rolling, but it isn’t what you think.  Our family vacation plans landed my family and I in Alaska.  The idea was to take a leisurely trip through that great wilderness State, however; after reviewing our planned itinerary (and the various modes of transportation) our trip was beginning to look like the movie Trains, Planes, and Automobiles (of Steve Martin & John Candy fame) and cost about just as much to produce!

With our limited vacation fund was definitely an issue.  Upon review my husband suggested that while we could not camp, and transport ourselves into the far reaches of the largest U.S. State we still could get a great “bang for our buck” if we took a cruise to Alaska.  (A cruise as a perfect family vacation. Wish I had thought of that.  Oh wait I did!) 

I do want to tell you about how beautiful Alaska is, but then I can’t whine.  I want to tell you the places we visited and the wildlife we saw was amazing, but then I can’t whine. (So what’s the point?)   What I do want to tell you about is why my world is rocking and a rolling (and no this isn’t about my sex life, and I get to whine!)

I wish to proudly state that I have an iron clad stomach.  I don’t get motion sick nor do I get sea sick (none of those silly little patches behind the ear for me) however, mother nature has decided to punish me for my prideful ways by making me suffer.

Our vacation is now close to a week over, but my world is one of constant motion - yes, my friends I have Vertigo.  (Go figure.)  My world is constantly on the move, my balance unsteady, and my stomach occasionally queasy.  This is not fun.  (I am quite sure it isn’t supposed to work this way.)

Perhaps I should have not walked around that cruise ship so smugly smirking at those patch-wearing tourists.  Perhaps instead I should have silently amused myself while watching my fellow travelers load up their buffet plates at dinner.  Or even taken more pride as I chose to take the stairs up to dinner instead of the elevator.

My instinct (however) tells me that if I was prideful about my lack of seasickness and now I am, then if I were to have been prideful about my lack of weight gain, then I would now be 10 pounds heavier!  (Thank heaven for little things.)  I promise never, ever to walk around a cruise ship smugly again.  In fact I will try not to walk around smugly ever (no promises).  Now… does anyone have a patch for my land sickness?  Please?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Point of No Return Rule


Yesterday I thought a nice bowl of cereal would be tasty, and when I reached for the box and took a look inside I was surprised to find that there was roughly 3 tablespoons of Multi Grain Cheerios left. Ok. I really don’t need to be eating cereal anyway.

Then this morning I reached for a carton of milk, or what I assumed was a carton of milk. And guess what? There was an empty carton of milk. Well… ok, it wasn’t exactly empty it had at least a fourth cup of milk inside. (I guess cereal really isn’t in the cards for me this week.)

And then to add insult to injury (while the refrigerator door was still open) I reached for my box of See’s Candy (which was unusually light) and much to my shock and dismay it was full of paper and no chocolate!  (And no- I wasn’t going to eat candy for breakfast.  The box was just placed in a weird position in the shelves.)

So where am I going with this whine? Well, quite simply while I do appreciate the considerate thought to share with others, there comes a time in the amount of a consumable item that is (quite frankly) “the point of no return.”

Why don’t people understand this?  Is it the need to not feel like one ate it all or an attempt to be polite?  Why not just use the last of a food or drink up, just call it like it is, and confess  “Hey I drank the last of the ice tea”?  I feel that placing an item back with an amount that is not useful and no good to anyone is rude.  Not polite at all. This action breaks the “point of no return rule” and sets up an individual for an enormous let down. 

First there is the anticipation…“I’m in the mood for chocolate ice cream. Hope there is some left. “  Then there is a build up… “Oh good. The container is here.”  And then the let down… “Who put this back with nothing really in it? Damn you whoever you are!”…

After giving this some thought it dawned on me that perhaps it wasn’t that my family was being polite (though a mother would like to think so).  And it wasn’t that they were breaking the  “point of no return rule” (because I just thought it up and haven’t announced it yet).  It was that my family was actually trying to set each other up for a disappointment.  It was a game.  Oh, I get it.  (We are a playful lot.)   It is definitely a  game.  Well… I like games ...

I watch out of the corner of my eye, quietly washing the dishes at the sink. Waiting.
My husband approaches the refrigerator.  I watch and wait. He reaches for the container holding the left over pasta.  He opens the container, and then… “Hey, who ate the last of the pasta and left four noodles?”   I innocently reply, ‘I don’t know.”
He leaves the kitchen disgruntled.  “Ha. I WIN!”  

Monday, June 14, 2010

Shit My Kids Ruined

A while back a friend (Carl S.) sent me a
link to a website and recommended that
perhaps I use the website's theme
for my blog. When I went online my
mouth dropped open, and I was
amazed at the photo's that parents posted
on that site. Some made me laugh so hard
I cried. Boy, did it bring back memories.
I'd like to share some...

If you have children you know nothing is safe. Nothing.
Of course this situation begins as soon as your sweet child becomes
mobile. The minute that kid starts to walk and grab - your things are
not safe. For example - If you visit our home the first thing you will notice
is that there are no lamps. Every lighting fixture in our home is mounted on
the ceiling. Why you ask? Because our youngest broke every single lamp
in our household. Naturally it wasn't just lamps, but the poor lamps took the
brunt of the destruction. After reviewing our household budget we realized
that we really could not afford to subsidize the destruction, and so my
husband and I decided that the best defense was an offense, and so our
lighting was moved up and out of the way.

Then there was the time the my youngest and my middle child decided that
painting was a great form of expression. I went out in the yard to find two naked
kids running around covered in paint, as well as the play structure, house, patio furniture, tree, dog... (You get the idea.)

Ok. So we all know small kids can ruin stuff.
We all know that the younger crowd can reek havoc, but how about older kids? Does the destruction magically stop? Is it just a phase?
Do they hit ten years of age and stop? Nope. They just get sneakier about it.

Just this weekend I was dusting my home when I lifted a cute little
statue and the head dropped off. Now, how in the heck did that happen?
When? And who the heck was responsible? Now, don't get me wrong.
I can be very accepting of accidents, but to break something and not
say a word? Who raised these kids? Is it just too much to ask your
children to just come up and say "Sorry, I broke it?" (Apparently it is.)

And it is these little things (the not being told when things break) that
start to get my mommy blood boiling. "Who put a hole in the wall?"
No answer. How did door frame break off the wall? Blank Stare.
"Why is the vase cracked and leaking water on the floor? Watching
TV ignore mode. (Grrrrrr!)

My parents had it right.

When I was growing up we had furniture (just not as fancy as some
of our friends). I had a theory that my parents had bad taste. But then
when my brother, sister and I went off to college we returned to find the
house transformed. Walls painted, new floors, stylish furniture, beautiful
accessories. Then it hit me. My parents did not have bad taste.
My parents had kids!

I guess that no amount of "whining" will change the fact that in life
things break, or get a lot of help from your children. Either way when you
look at this website Carl found, you will most likely smile and think how
fortunate you where that no one in your house did some of the stuff you will
see. I know I am.

Friday, May 14, 2010

A Slave to Technology

Think technology makes your life easier? How about convenient?
How about affords you more free time? Improve the quality of your life? Think again.

I find it curious that so may people are wired and connected like never before, and yet no one seems to realize that technology does not set you free. What it does is make you a slave. (Yup, that's what I said. YOU are a slave to technology my friend. Did I mention you may also be obsessed?)

Technology makes you constantly accessible no matter where you are (and call me old fashioned) but there is something to be said for "quiet time" and the mystique of being "unavailable".

Don't get me wrong. I like the convenience of technology, but only when I want it to be convenient. Having your cell phone with you and constantly ringing does not set you free. It makes you a slave.
Feeling the obligation to answer and talk (no matter where you are or what you are doing) does not make your life easier.  (It may also make you rude too. Depending on where you are talking.) And let's talk email.  How many times a day do you have to stop and check your email? Once, twice? I think not.  How about when your home server or host goes down? (If you panic or rant on the inconvenience it is causing and you don't have the time to deal with the "situation" then you are a slave.)  So many people are addicted (and slaves) to their technology devices that now we have laws limiting when and where people can use their technology. It's like common sense (and let's not forget manners) have gone out the window.


I like to play a game in my mind occasionally. It goes like this... 
A terrorist drops an EMP (Electro Magnetic Pulse) bomb and all the technology stops working. Phones, computers, cars. Everything.  And panic ensues. I however remain calm and cool. Know why? Because I am not a slave to technology. I still remember how to write and address a letter. I can communicate with a handwritten note, and I actually do remember life without email. I will survive. (Will you?)

It's just not healthy being connected and wired to be available at a moments notice (for the most inconsequential things). Just as it is not healthy to be on Facebook, or playing games on your iPad for 10 hours at a time. I mean really. Stop being an addicted technology slave. Quit surfing the web, quit playing those games, and stop chatting. Get a life. Go outside. Read a book. (And I don't mean on a Kindle.)




Friday, May 7, 2010

I don't get it. (I'm old and confused.)

In my quest to be relevant and up to date with the latest "social communication tools" I have stumbled on a terrible realization
that why I am on Facebook (with hundreds of my closest friends), and I can tweet (so that the whole world can following me) - I just don't get it.

Don't get me wrong. I love a great "viral" video (YouTube), and I love getting those little gifts on my Facebook page. It is just the constant and nonstop social chatter that has me stopping and scratching my head. Why?

What is it about the technology and the sites that makes people want to tell total strangers what they had for lunch or that they partied so hard they vomited. Now that is certainly something I find interesting! (Please note: written with a sarcastic tone.)

So what is it that drives these people to communicate at such a
personal level? Could it be that the sites are for free? (Well maybe.) Could it be that people need to be heard to believe that their lives are relevant to others? (Possibly.) I have giving this much thought, because I don't get it.

Then late one night (last week) when I was reading an article about marketing strategies written by a "hip, young Stanford grad" I was struck by the realization that I wasn't going to be hip and thirty again. (Yeah, I know it is surprising to you that I was hip once.) There it was. As plain as the anti-wrinkle cream on my face. Damn - I was old! I wasn't hip. I can't stay up late enough to party (let alone drink till I puke), and I don't want anyone to know what I am really up to (because I would be embarrassed.) Wow. Talk about "enlightenment." There was nothing to get.

But....I don't need to get it. I am old and confused!