Technology Rant

Technology Rant

I f##*#ing hate smartphones.  More specifically, it’s a love/hate thing.
Love:
A camera at my fingertips.
Hate:
The fact that I feel compelled to “document” and post everything I/my family/my friends do.
Love:
Google maps. This has helped me out numerous times because I have very little sense of direction. Also, it has saved Joe and me from fighting in the car
“I didn’t tell you to turn there.  Miss Google did.”
Hate:
Absolutely nothing to hate about this.
Love:
Texting as a means of brief communication.
Hate:
Texting as a replacement for actual human connection.
Probably my biggest pet peeve is the fact that people seem unable to engage in contact with others (see above) and/or are unable to sit alone with their thoughts.  Everyone on the subway is playing Candy Crush (or whatever the popular game is these days).  No one seems capable of riding an elevator without staring at their phone. Don’t even get me started about texting and driving.
I admit, I do some of these things too.  During The Whole Life Challenge, that Joe and I recently completed, one of our challenges was to not use screens during mealtimes.  We never do at dinner, but I always seem to be on my phone/computer during breakfast and lunch.  It was absolutely liberating to stop that habit, and I’m trying really hard to continue.  I’m also working hard to not reach for my phone every time I’m waiting for a subway, riding the elevator, waiting for a friend.  It’s surprisingly challenging, but I keep reminding myself that I used to have plenty of “downtime” without constant digital stimulation.
Louis CK seems to be of a similar mind, and he explains it way better than I ever could.
image c/o www. adr-studio.it
 
I know you are shocked to see me back on L2S Slink. I too see the pitfalls of the smartphone in our society but my ranting is more when it comes to kids. I get frustrated when I see tiny little tots playing with their parents iPhones in places where plenty of other things could be amusing them. books, sand, trees, dirt, friends, crayons, etc. But let me follow your format:
Love: all the things you said
Hate: folks using it as a distraction for kids and don’t allow their kids to just “be”
Love: being able to check my email no matter where I am
Hate: people expecting me to respond to my email immediately even when it is not urgent
Love: being able to find my teenager when I need to
Hate: knowing my teenager will always have his phone at his fingertips even when he could be doing other things
Love: the camera
Hate: knowing I have a camera and feel I SHOULD be taking photos. I have been trying to sit with the moment and forget about pulling out my “devise”
Love: auto correct
Hate misspelling things and having the autocorrect mess it up
Love: it’s sleekness
Hate: it’s fragility
Book Club

Book Club

I love to read, and yet, sadly, I hardly ever do it anymore.  I’m not exactly sure why.  I guess it’s because I read so much for work that at the end of the day, reading for pleasure seems like such a chore and mindless TV watching seems so much easier.

But then I read a gem like Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter and I wonder why I’m not reading every night.

I’m not sure how I missed this book last year (it was one of the 100 Notable books on the 2012 New York Times Book Review), but somehow it passed me by.  It’s now out in paperback or on kindle or ipad or however people are reading these days.  It’s romantic and funny and sad and beautiful.  A total page turner.  Great beach read.

There would seem to be nothing more obvious, more tangible and palpable than the present moment.  And yet it eludes us completely.  All the sadness of life lies in that fact

This Milan Kundera quote is mentioned in the book and I think it’s absolutely amazing.  It says so much so succinctly, and it’s something I’ve been trying to work on myself.

Sara Rose “graduated” from kindergarten yesterday.  And as I sat there with all the other proud parents clicking iphones and ipads and cameras trying to capture the moment, I actually put down my camera so I could be there at that moment and experience Sara Rose and her beautiful class as they sang and danced their sweet little hearts out on the auditorium stage.

image c/o trishwriter11.blogspot.com

Chuck It!

Chuck It!

I recently came across an email from The FlyLady (forwarded to me by a friend). Are you familiar with the FlyLady? She is not my particular thing, but many folks find her extremely inspiring. Anyway, with spring approaching and spring cleaning at hand, let’s all take some of these words of wisdom to heart…

I was recently listening to friends lamenting how life is too short and how they are going to start doing things on their “Bucket List.”

I’ve decided to get started on my “Chuck It List!”

Life is too short to hold onto stuff that just drags you down and I’m just going to CHUCK IT OUT!

So here is my “Chuck It List”:

Failed sewing projects-Chuck It!!!

Cut out recipes-never tried-Chuck It!!!

Tight clothes -Chuck It!!!

Empty plant pots -Chuck It!!!

Books I’ll never read again -Chuck It!!!

Old sheets and towels–chuck it! Kitchen gadgets/pots and pans you never use–chuck it!  Expired medication–chuck it! Old makeup–chuck it! Gloves you’re holding on to because you know you’ll find the other one even though it still hasn’t shown up two years later–chuck it! Free at last, free at last.  Amen. 

 

Here is what I added to that list:

Old photo negatives -Chuck It!!!

Stale halloween candy -Chuck It!!!

All other candy people have stashed away and forgotten about -Chuck It!!!

Uncomfortable underwear -Chuck It!!!

Spiral notebooks with only several clean sheets of paper -Chuck It!!!

Unloved condiments -Chuck It!!!

and in honor of Passover –Hand-me-down tablecloths that will NEVER fit my table! -Chuck It!!!

What about YOU?

 

image c/o: http://breather.blogspot.com/2007_01_01_archive.html

Is there a modern version of a house dress?

Is there a modern version of a house dress?

A question worth discussing:

Working from home, does one dress well for the day even though they may never leave the house? Do we dress for the dog, for the possibility of getting to the bank, the grocery store, Kinkos/FedEx, an unexpected guest or delivery? Does dressing for the day develop a better attitude, or in the end, is it just foolishly producing more dreaded laundry? I am not suggesting every day should be declared a jammy day, just wondering what the modern day house dress looks like for others. Do different states have different standards or does it come from within the person and what helps their psyche? I can guess what you think Slink, what about others out there?

image c/o:  http://s152.beta.photobucket.com/user/liebemarlene/media/feedsack1.jpg.html

I love that you think you know what I’m going to say.  Of course that makes me want to say something completely insane, but I won’t.  I’ll say what you’re expecting.  I think you should still get dressed even if working from home.  I don’t think you need to be super formal.  Jeans and boots are great.  But let’s face it, the modern day version of the house dress is the sweat pant, and wearing those (or PJs) on a regular basis just makes a person feel sad. I really wish someone would design a modern day house dress, however.  C’mon Brooklyn hipsters, you heard it here first.
It’s the Little Things

It’s the Little Things

Before we get too far into January, I read about these two ideas that I want to try, and I thought you might want to give them a go as well. I don’t know where the first one originally came from, but my friend, Berta posted it on FB and I just love it:

Fill an empty jar with little notes all year of the good things you do, the things you’re grateful for, etc. Then, read them at the end of the year to really appreciate all the positive things that have happened in 2013.

The second one I read about in one of the billions of magazines I read instead of building my intellect with books or scientific journals that I should be reading for work. Oh shallow self why do you always win?! I’m digressing here, but I really think this a sweet idea and I want to try and do this:

Keep a list of all the accomplishments your kids achieve throughout the year (big and small)–riding a bike, being nice to their sib, etc. At the end of the year, write them a letter letting them know you noticed these things!

image c/o midwesternbelle.wordpress.com

 
Slink, I love these! I really do, especially since I am memory-challenged these days. Think I will try and share the letter with them on their birthdays as it seems like a wonderful gift. Gonna get to Georgetown Flea Market (www.georgetownfleamarket.com) to find some “grateful jars”. Some space will be made for them on our mantel in hopes that others will inquire and contribute. What great modeling of being kind to ourselves and appreciating our lives. Thanks so much for sharing!
Going to the Dogs

Going to the Dogs

It’s Monday morning, the alarm sounds, the dogs jumps on the bed, my husband gets up to go run and I roll over to snuggle into my cozy pillow while the dog snuggles up beside me. Delicious.

Except.

I too long for the endorphin rush I used to crave. I too want to be over 40 and fit. That is where you come in Slink.  I need you to tell me what to do (okay, I admit it, being the youngest, I still enjoy others telling me what to do). Here is the link to my gym http://www.balancegym.com/schedules/glover-park-georgetown#Mon and I sincerely want you to choose 2 classes each week for me to commit to for the next 4 weeks. I will fill in the others, but this will get me started. My hope is that you will see things on the schedule I would overlook or shy away from. A fresh perspective to get out of my comfort zone and try new things…back to my goals for 2013! Time to get my body (and back) strong again. In the meantime, I will be snuggling with Ivy on the couch.

 

Oh, Slinkie.  Words cannot fully express how excited I am about this!  Now I know you’re going to initially say no.  But bear with me.  I think you should check out the Cross Fit option.  Here’s why: 1) It’s fun. 2) They can totally scale the workout and adjust for your back issues, etc. 3) It will absolutely take you out of your comfort zone 4) It’s a great work out and it will totally change your body and help your back and you’ll be so excited and I can’t wait for you to feel strong and be happy about your rockin’ bod!  Speak to the people at your gym.  It looks like you may have to do an all day foundations class first–don’t say you can’t.  DO IT!  Then it looks like there’s lots of options for classes, including M-W-F 6:15 am, which is perfect.  No excuses.  Can you tell how excited I’m getting?!
Diving In!

Diving In!

So, here we are, the last Monday in December and since I committed to posting on Mondays, I am feeling some pressure to post something worthwhile. Something witty, something wise. But, I decided to take the pressure off myself and just go with my stream of consciousness, which really coincides with my 2013 attitude: Just Dive In!

Take risks when they seem scary

Say Yes when I really don’t want to

Get out of my comfort zone daily

Have the courage to be imperfect often

Go places, do things, go to new places, do new things 

Do all these things AND MORE to open new opportunities and changes that could be scary but possibly life changing. I look forward to 2013 and all it has to offer! Happy New Year Slink! Thanks for all your encouragement and friendship over the last (wow!) 30 years.

image c/o http://thesparkleinhereye.com

Slink, I’m lovin’ this post!  It made me cry.  Having said that, I recently cried while watching Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants…seriously…so I’m not exactly sure what that says about me.  Anyway, Dive, Slinkie!  Dive!
What Makes You Smile?

What Makes You Smile?

Family, Best friends, Dogs, Singing, Dancing, Cupcakes, Sunny days, Helping others? “It’s [the holidays], and we want to remind people of the simple things and make them happy and smile not just the material things,” says Massoud Adibpour, an organizer for Make DC Smile. Their latest project, a chalk mural that asks “What Makes You Smile?,” allows residents to take a moment and remember the simpler things that make them happy. What makes you happy this holiday season?

www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/12/what-makes-you-smile-chal_n_2288631.html

 

My daily chats with Slink as I walk from the subway to work!