The Pencil vs. The Smartphone

Fact #1) I love pencils. I love the word pencil. I love the name of the brands: Ticonderoga, PaperMate. I love the sound the pencil sharpener makes when I sharpen them. I love the way pencils smell, the way they write. The way they are so inexpensive these days. The way they remind me of those tests in high school, and then later in life, the little blue essay books in college. A pencil is the perfectionist’s playground, a thought can be scrawled, a graphic etched, only to be erased away with just those college-ruled blue lines remaining when all is said and done. pencils

Fact #2) If someone is having an important meeting on their phone while ordering their meal THROUGH ME, their server, at a restaurant, I am still stuck-up enough to take it more drastically than I should, and want to rudely come up with reasons to speak loudly enough for them to get the point that I think their behavior is unacceptable. This is a problem of mine I am working on. They hopefully are working on theirs too. More than likely though, they have not become aware that it even IS a problem and likely never will. Which I suppose, makes it not their problem, but mine.

Fact #3) I don’t know three facts that pertain to what I am writing about.

Onto the matter at hand, or in hand, if you prefer me to be precise. I just got a fancy new phone. Don’t worry, thanks to the mail-in-rebate, it was free. And I didn’t get an iPhone, though now I am wondering if that was the best decision. One can never know in the heat of the moment. The phone is so incredibly spiffy that it has Facebook, Words with “Friends”, my Gmail account, it can sing and dance, tell me my future, and so many other features that my head is bursting just thinking about it! So, now I find myself like Pavlov’s dog himself, hearing the “chimes” that tell me a message has come in, someone “likes” me and my new haircut on Facebook, or someone is defaming my Twitter page (That I don’t actually have, due to lack of TWEETing bones in my body).  The phone is smart, it can tell me what I want to type before I type it. But is it making me dumber? Rather than circle a city aimlessly for hours finding new back roads to the nearest Bojangles, I usually just end up Googling it or using my GPS on my smart phone. This eliminates the chance for me to use my noggin’ to expand my horizons and rather, stick to what the talking British woman inside my phone tells me to do. Even if she tells me to make endless U-turns and go in circles, I will devote my afternoon to her relentless commands.

Should I revert back to my daytimer and pencil and having no contact with the rest of the world? Was lifting that rock I was previously hiding under a wise move? I’ve made a list of pros and cons regarding SmartPhones, iPhones, cPhones, bPhones, and iKnowledgy. See bewlow.

Rock

Fixation. Because of my Smartphone, and the fact that my mom can text me her grocery list, my boss can update my work schedule and I can read it instantly, and I get job interviews in my email on demand, it takes me a lot longer to run errands. I have to stop in the grocery aisles and respond to my friend about going to the concert Friday. I have to pull my car over and accept the wedding invitation from Amber, and I am constantly pausing in the middle of taking people’s orders to play my Scrabble word. Ok, so that last one was a joke, but I have checked my phone at work and gotten distracted and swept off my feet by a news article or something completely stupid and pithy. I’ve even dropped dead weights on my toes at the gym because I attempt to strengthen my biceps while “liking” that picture you just posted. Not healthy. Point is, I check my phone too much. Those darn “incoming message” chimes pique my curiosity every time. And as with all things, if you don’t keep up with it, the backlog of messages and repercussions is enormous.

Swype Tpye. All thanks to my new phone, I have more misspelled words in my text messages, emails, and updates than ever before. In fact, if Scrabble let you misspell words, I would do it there too for more points. Swiping out words on my phone, allows it to decide what I am going to say, and often this results in people thinking I am wanting to go out for toffee instead of coffee. I’ve been doing a lot of “living” rather than “loving” and I can’t spell the word “if” to save my lif. The sad part is, I just allow these typos to stay rather than meticulously going back and changing them all to be correct. If I had a pencil in hand, I would never allow this type of behavior. Spelling, grammar, words, these are my passions, yet I allow the phone to express them for me like a bumbling idiot.

Expanding My Consciousness. Despite the fact that juggling my phone and the apple I’m eating has made me slightly more clumsy, I am in the crowd that thinks this phone is actually bringing us together as a civilization. I am able to talk to my friend in India on my ride to work, I can see how my stocks and bonds are doing before bringing someone their breakfast, and I can send pictures that are out-of-this world to anyone at anytime. However, we hear it time and time again, about how we should not allow these devices to pervade into our day to day interactions with colleagues, loved ones, friends, and the gas attendant. We must now work even harder to be ever-aware and present, and of fixed mind. It’s like a constant meditation. This phone might actually be making EVEN ME even smarter! Oops, I just mixed cyanide into my water instead of honey because I wasn’t paying attention while brewing my tea….

Personalization. One thing I really dig about all this technology is the power to personalize. To make it feel like this phone was created JUST for me. I am the only one who has a phone like this. I record myself belting out obnoxious tunes and play them back and then save it as my ringtone. I can snap a picture of something inspiring and make it my background. I can put my contacts in with funny names and profile pictures. Basically, I feel famous and important 99% of the time. Even if it’s only to myself. You gotta start somewhere?

What is the answer? A fine balance. I’m not about to burn my notebook paper and pencils anytime soon, but I also kind of like having the ability to be connected. Times are changing, and it is what it is. People don’t have to dig through my dresser drawers after I die to find those rusty manuscripts for the masterpiece I am writing. They can just go to my blog and read all my incredible mind-blowing insights LIVE. We can see the Presidential election unfold before our very eyes, while we’re in the bathtub if we want. I’m sure when I am buried in the woods, cozy in my lake house, tucked away in the folds of the mountains, I will change my mind and be wishing things were a little less “wired”. But for now, I just have to remember that I am innately, human, primal, pure, and see the beauty of the animalistic minds that have developed such technological masterpieces. Hopefully, as a culture, as a human race, we will be SMART enough to use this for the betterment of ALL.

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Today in Pictures….Or Was it Yesterday?

Just because I can. Because I don’t know what day it is. Because I am stressed out and just realized that I finally feel that living here, a feeling which I previously did not have. Because of all these factors and because I have no I decided to take some photos of things that have happened recently, or been visually to me mentally, emotionally, physically, or otherwise. I’m not sure why the captions I typed so neatly and carefully did not show up. But I will let you make up your own captions in this case.

Random.

I know it’s highly unprofessional, disorganized, and completely obnoxious to entitle this blog “Random”, but it had to be done. It’s also a lie, because we all know that NO thoughts that go through a woman’s mind are RANDOM. They all have a completely logical pathway as they wind their way from spaghetti that they are cooking for dinner to a bunion on their toe, to a complaint about how you left your shoes in their way when you came home from work the other night. All of our thoughts are intricately woven together and connected.

Needless to say, every day it’s the same way. I begin my day with a thought, I ponder it a bit, perhaps move on and come back to the original for a little munch until I’ve had my fill, or bitten off more than I can chew. Either or. Then later in the day, when I hear someone else mentioning something along the same vein….or for that matter, a completely DIFFERENT capillary or artery altogether, it sends my mind reeling back to MY thought and “Oh, my God! I was JUST thinking about that this morning, this is coincidence is just TOO MUCH!” And thus begins another rapidly firing ammunition of garble and mumbo jumbo that no one wants to hear and would’ve been best left in my notebook and with the opening line, “Dear Diary…”

My body has been spinning in a similar way this week, going from one thing to the next, rest looms in the distance, taunting me with it’s relaxed recliner and delicious slumber. But no, duty calls, and I must go on. I do the rain tap dance of energy, and it pours over me until I’ve somehow mustered enough to get through each and every moment, with undying fervor. This week, as I’ve gone about embarking on this wild ride, I’ve gained some valuable little nuggets, be it random as they are, and I would like to share them with my ever-faithful audience. Even though, I know there is only one of you. And that just makes you all the merrier.

1. I can change my mind to feel a certain way about anything. Is this true or is it a lie? This is a thought experiment I am still working on. For example, if I decide my stomach is going to stop hurting, if I decide it will stop defeating me, taking over my pleasant little happiness, and ruining me with it’s anxiety-stricken ways, will it? If I wake up with insomnia, can I think my way back to sleep? Can I believe happy and positive things about myself and will they come to pass?

2. Looking at my empty inbox, I count the number of job applications I have sent in the past three months. Hundreds. Literally. How long does it take for a wish to come true? Am I mentally doing something to block it? Is it the Great Depression? Is my resume ugly and bad? It’s making moving forward feel like I am running through quicksand. I sit on the floor in my parents home, typing a blog about it. What’s that? What SHOULD I be doing instead? What is everyone else doing?

3. Waiting for the Huffington Post to find me. Someone to tell me I am hilarious. A prodigy. Epic. Grand. Smashing.

4. Even those who I thought were Supermen are not. I thought my boss’ boss was Superman. I thought he ate completely cleanly and ran like the wind in marathons. I would not think he would walk at the end of a race, or that his legs would cramp to a point that he could not move. I wouldn’t think he had regrets or problems. I thought my boss was Superwoman. I thought the apron she wore around at work was secretly her cape. I thought she was a fountain of joy and had it all straight, with all of the answers. I thought she worked out everyday and ate and drank to perfection. I thought her skin glowed like porcelain and her marriage was perfect. I think people’s imperfections make them even more beautiful as human beings.

5. Today on our run, we saw 6 deer crossing the road right in front of us. Graceful and beautiful.

6. Is it time to let it all go? Is there a fine line to walk, to balance, between letting it “all” go, and letting “most of it” go? Does it even suit us to let most of it go? How do we in actuality “let it go”? Has anyone figured this out yet. Do I begin by asking forgiveness? How can I hear the answers? What if I can’t trust the soup? If I were only shorter. Everyone likes short people.

 

 

 

I warned you it was random. But you followed it all, didn’t you?

Can You Puke Up THIS?

Ever look at your checkbook at the end of the month, or your empty wallet for that matter (because, let’s face it –who balances their checkbooks anymore? Besides of course, me, that is) and wonder where all that hard-earned cash money went? We all have a list of the big, breath-taking, awe-inspiring, usual bills and expenses. Cars, gasoline, food, running water, heat, electricity, smart phones, internet, cable, shoes, credit cards, paying back your student loans, dentists, dog food, downloading songs on iTunes…the list goes on. But then there are things that we spend money on, little things here and there, that go virtually unaccounted for. Coffee at Hoity Toity Latte, a 12th plain black tank top to add to your collection, because you walked out of the house wearing the wrong thing (not that I know this from personal experience), a Field and Stream magazine that catches your eye while in line, extra stuff you purchase at the grocery store because you went shopping while hungry, a movie you decide to rent because you have nothing else going on a Wednesday night, all those drop-in yoga classes that have you standing on your head whilst pondering why money is falling out of your pockets, and of course, a glass of wine, a bottle of wine, or a dozen Krispy Kreme donuts, because what else does one do when “The light is on” and the donuts are fresh and hot??

Without using any actual examples of what a person may frivolously spend money on, so as not to offend my audience and potentially hinder them from continuing, I’ve given you this list to try to explain and prove my point that often times, it’s the littler things that take a BIG chunk of our payday (and I don’t mean the candy bar, although that could probably be added to the above list). Because of this, we put off things that we may really want and love. I personally, have needed a purse and a pair of sneakers for over three months now. I could just break down and get these items, but for some reason, I wait until the end of a week and then find I have no money left to make these purchases. I always seem to have money for a random trip to the chiropractor, a CD I want, a book I need to read, or gas to attend some unplanned event. I put other things first. For me, it’s raw-vegan-delicious-delights from work, or a REALLY expensive cold-pressed juice, or another pair of colorful tights so I can feel 16 instead of 26. My boyfriend has also noticed this recent phenomena in his search for a mid weight coat. All of the ones he looks at that he is enraptured with, he finds too expensive to just throw the cash down for. But if he just had that extra forty bucks….

Consequently, the other evening, we were out to eat at a restaurant that will remain unnamed, in a city that will remain RALEIGH anonymous. We’ve been there before, without trouble, and this time we each ordered a tofu dish. Mine: broccoli and tofu, his: Pad Thai. Forty dollars later, we saunter out, none the wiser. Let’s just say that the restaurant was a CaTHAIstrophic experience and had our digestive systems feeling like a TYPHOON was racing through them for the next several days. Food poisoning? I’m not sure. But, I called the restaurant to let them know that neither of us felt as HOT as our dish was SPICY after eating there, and it was highly abnormalish to be throwing up while at work the next day after eating at a restaurant. The woman was very apologetic and offered to reimburse us (she also offered to send us a gift certificate, but I don’t think my body can handle losing another 5 pounds on the unsafe food expulsion diet). So, we have a check coming in the mail for the dinner we ate, and ba da bing, just like that….our careful budgetting error, and dining error, has been reset. Although, I can’t say the same for my stomach, check back with me in a few more days.

Not everyone can say that their girlfriend puked up a new winter coat. And yes, we learned our lesson.