Tag Archives: technology

Thank You Lord, for the Death of My Phone

31 May
phone RIP

photo: Judit Kline on flickr

Wow, last week’s post was an emotional knapsack that was unpacked every time a new wave of friends and family read it. Which was kind of the point, I suppose– that’s a lot fewer people who will be upset when I go to the court house or Costa Rica or nowhere at all. It’s also exactly what I had the most anxiety about. (See how I feel when people I know read my blog).

That was a nice fast-track to figuring out how to have those conversations on the daily.

Just kidding; I was terrible at the conversations.

After the last post, my phone had at least three texts each and every day from brand new people with ideas for how they thought I could have a wedding in a way that was low key and palatable for my perpetually anxious and awkward self. I also had phone calls. Someone even took it upon themselves to start asking around about arrangements with the most excellent but terribly executed intentions (Iknowyou’rereadingthis, it’stotallyfindon’tworryaboutit, Iloveyoupleasedon’tcallmeandtalkaboutitmorexoxoxo). And the sweet whisper of elopement echoed ever louder in the chambers of my brain.

I was beginning to groan every time my phone received a new text because it was inevitably about the post – a post about how I wanted the attention surrounding the subject of the post to go away. I realize, now, my naivete and that there is humor somewhere in it all. Regardless, the joke never translated well for me. Or rather it did – but into more of a firey hell rage than schoolgirl laughter.

Admist all the personal backlash, following a particularly serious big-girl-pants day at work, I came home to realize I’m getting too lax about the definition of a week when I say I’ll post “weekly” and that it was time to throw up a post about whatever dried up bits were in the corners of my brain. Just as I was about to settle in to a nice evening celebrating my work wins and anticipating a high five by the end of the night for posting to the blog, I checked my phone for yet another wedding-related text and found instead a sleek, solid black bar where my phone used to be. Dead.

No warning, no reason, no sense. Just gave up the ghost.

I immediately thought of all the many ways this was going to cause me pain in the coming days. I couldn’t take a work call going from one place to another, I couldn’t use my phone to ignore the men hassling me downtown using various pastry references for my body parts, I can’t text my mom in the morning to make sure she doesn’t go postal and burn down the post office where she works. This could get serious.

I immediately made myself a plate of bacon for dinner to come up with a game plan.

Alas, I had none. But as I chewed on the skins of dead swine, it occurred to me that for as long as it takes me to figure out the phone situation, I wouldn’t have to endure the nagging from anyone about wedding-related hootenanny. I could just keep the thing shut down and avoid it all. Hell, I could double down and get off all social media, put whatever I want on my blog, and force people to have to interact with me virtually to tell me how they feel. Perhaps this is the answer I’ve been looking for since I first set out to find a blogland Jackie / real Jackie life balance.

Unfortunately, I don’t have a plan for the in-person conversations yet (which truly are the worst of them all) grey gardens 2except to perhaps fashion a disguise for myself. Some sort of Grey Gardens-esque getup that no one will venture a guess that I’m hiding beneath. Disguised by day, unapproachable at work, and absent on social media: it’s the way to revert to the life I wanted – to have an open space to regale internet-based strangers with the hyperbolic inner monologue of my brain, to sometimes push myself to do something terrifying with the safety net of sharing that humility with people I would never have to worry about meeting or talking to, and to have a healthy online social life in lieu of a real one so as to prevent myself from shriveling up like hermity little raisin.

If properly leveraged, my brick of a phone could open the door to the next big chapter in my life: complete absence from reality. Let us take a moment to thank the Good Lord above for this unexpected blessing – both for the phone’s sudden passing and for the ability to see the silver lining in what would, at first glance, simply be a modern-day mediocre tragedy:

An iPhone Prayer

Thank you, Dear Lord, for the death of my phone

Though at first I cursed this wretched life

For the people who speak to me

For those who recognize me at parties

For those who traversed the space between virtual and true realities

Verily, Thou hast opened mine eyes

To a bright, new world where I can be my truest, most absent self

To the lack of damns I can give to those opinions for which I once deeply felt

To finding the beauty in the hand I have herein been dealt

Thank you, Dearest Lord

For opening my eyes to this unexpected boon

For its coinciding with Season 5 of House of Cards

…And for Dave’s iPad being left at my home so I can binge-watch it all in my room

Amen. 

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Love Letter from a Type A Millenial

5 Apr
No Para Innita

This image that I adore is by No Para Innita. If you like it too, check out their Flickr and MySpace

As I was poring over my blog drafts of Jacklyn Past to support my post-a-week throwdown, I unearthed a few old emails that I wrote long ago and inexplicably saved on my hard drive. ..Sometimes I write drafts of emails in Word before copying and pasting to Gmail because I’m a deeply awkward and burdened person in a variety of constantly shifting and exciting ways. While working my way through this thick brush of unnecessary digital recordkeeping, I found an old love letter to The Dave.  

Sometimes living as a Type A – that is, one type in a personality theory that is characterized by drive, competition, and a predisposition for stress and heart disease – is burdensome. I would very much like to go to restaurants and not notice the plague of spelling errors that descends upon their menus instead of focusing on the detailed descriptions of food. I would like to, sometimes, be able to just shut the hell up instead of coaching myself to breathe and stay calm when someone asks a question to a group that I know the answer to. I would like to, from time to time, not express my deep and unabashed love for my partner in strange and seemingly robotic ways: by compiling organized and tabbed binders of his important papers, by completing detailed agendas and itineraries in advance of our travel dates, or by writing love notes like this one:

Dear love,

When I opened Chrome and went to Gmail on my computer today, your inbox automatically loaded – supposedly you forgot to log out before your last session. I noticed that it was full of unread messages from the same several companies – urban outfitters, banana republic, and a variety of other stores who have captured your email as you’ve shopped – all newsletters that you clearly don’t read which just pile up in your inbox. Meanwhile, notices from the light company that I remember you were hunting last month were buried unread among them.

I imagine it must be daunting. So I went ahead and opened one of each of the generic emails from spammy companies and unsubscribed. I did not unsubscribe to anything that was not a big box store or that was from a group that only emailed you occasionally just in case you wanted to keep getting updates from those.

I then did a filtered search for all the items from those places from which I unsubscribed, and marked all of them as “read” so that your inbox doesn’t look full all the time with things you’ll never read and which aren’t truly tasks. I didn’t delete them; I just marked them as read.

I then reconfigured your inbox into three separate sections, so that the top is reserved solely for unread messages, the second portion is flagged messages, and the third is everything else. Now you can read an email, move on if you don’t care, respond if you do, or flag it if you don’t have time but want to keep it visible. 

I also enabled a coded flagging system so that you can mark a message with two different color stars (which can mean whatever you want), with an exclamation point (I demonstrated this by marking a few with it) or with a green check mark in case you want assurances that you completed something.

Anyway, I hope that you don’t find this invasive and that you’re relieved and this helps your workflow. You’ll see some old messages have moved to the top of your inbox now because once I got rid of all the spam or unread newsletters and marked it as read, it turned out you had very few emails of substance. 

It might be easier to stay on top of things now. If not, I’m truly sorry. Please let me know how you honestly feel about this. I closed out and logged into my email to send this message so my fiddling session is complete.

I love you.

Jackie

For reasons I cannot fully explain, The Dave and I just reached nine years together and are going strong in spite of moments like the one you just beheld. If you, like me, are a Type A, you can take comfort in this artifact and my recent anniversary celebration, knowing there is probably love for you somewhere. Someone out there will translate your sorting of their email inbox into what you intend (butterflies, romance, sparklemagic). Somewhere out there is a partner who will smile lovingly at your madness and try really hard to be grateful for the systems that you constantly force on them through your oddly-formed love language.

And if you’re not one of the burdened in our society and can’t find it in yourself to see the romance in their gestures, I urge you to at least exercise compassion for their painful existences. You’ll only have to do it for a short time; with the stress and heart disease and all, you’re almost certain to outlive us. ♣

The Times They Are a-Changin’

16 Nov

The blog is blue today.  Don’t freak out.

Are you okay? I don’t want you to get too worked up.  Take some time with it.  I know it’s shocking.

Today I have a pretty huge announcement.  Well, huge for me because I stay up until lets-not-kid-myself-I-didn’t-go-to-bed-at-all trying to figure out how in the hell to make a Facebook page.

I’m sorry to call upon the terms of Hades, but holy goodness it takes me a YouTube tutorial, written out instructions, and a few examples of other people’s pages just to get moving on the whole thing.  Not to mention I had to make an image in Microsoft Paint.  Let’s not forget how charming those are:

from "Plight of the Ginger Sperm"

From "Wrestling with a Poltergeist"

From "There Is No Jackie. There Is Only Mindee"

You get the point. 

Oh, I guess I kind of breezed over the whole “exciting news”. 

I have a Facebook Page! 

Like, a fan page.  Not just a Jackie page.  You see, when I wrote a post about giving up Facebook for good, I got a lot of grief from people who don’t want to subscribe but want to click on my posts through Facebook any time they please.  And since I think that’s kind of demanding and ridiculous and they think I should just take what I can get, I’ve decided to compromise by making a Facebook page just for The Jackie Blog.  Now my friends don’t have to get my blog tweets and posts and you don’t have to be my friend to get them. 

I like to think that everybody wins.

Except me, who was up all night fumbling through simplistic code and struggling with the reality that at the ripe age of 25, I’ve already passed the age of comprehension for new developments in technology.

They keep making my brain obsolete.  I have about 60 more years of that to look forward to.

Anyway, I’d be real tickled if you’d click that button on the top right of the sidebar and check out my Facebook page.  Heck, maybe you could even like it while you’re there.  I mean, if you’re feeling ambitious.  I’m not going to beg.

But there is a picture of a kitten.  And a cookie.   Listen, you should probably just go look.

At any rate, I’ve changed the background of the blog to something less… purple.  And I’m gearing up to change that header image soon.  Hopefully really soon.  You know, because I only have like… a month and a half to go before the whole gig is up.  If I’m going to give Yo Gabba Gabba the boot, I need to do it soon.

But it will be glorious, you’ll see.  And until I can make that happen, I’m just changing the background to blue and throwing a Facebook button up.  Because I want to ease you into change slowly and gently, like a compassionate lover.  I understand your struggles.  I have them too.

Which is why today I will be needing a massive vat of coffee. ♣  

P.S. If you don’t want to go all the way up there and click the button, you can just click here.  And if you’re a Twitterer, you can also follow my Twitterage here (also located in the sidebar for your convenience – remember – compassionate lover). Woot for the Interwebz.

My Slow Transition Into Old Fartedness

8 Jun
Old Lady (cropped)

Pic by "Greencolander" Click it to check out their Flickr PhotoStream.

Last night I set up a Twitter account.

You can check it out in all its glory on the right hand side of the page.  There should be some sort of “Tweet Tweet” nonsense I wrote and then some tweets posted and then a little place to follow me.

It took me an hour and a half.

An hour and a half.  No joke.  I’m in my 20’s.  There’s absolutely no excuse for that.

I remember back in elementary school when I got to go to the computer lab and play Oregon Trail.  That was some awesome stuff.  It was cutting edge – right at the tip of the tech-savvy iceburg.  Along with perforated printer paper, making celebration banners, and going to chat rooms.

That was back before they were all dirty.

I remember learning all the different territories in Canada and meeting someone from Canada in a chat room and being SO STOKED that I could tell them I knew all about their country.  I had an early hotmail account and then one of the early gmail accounts when hotmail wasn’t cool anymore.  MySpace, Blogger, blah blah blah. I remember when my college finally got Facebook (back when my parents couldn’t join) and explaining it to other people on campus so that they’d get on and see how awesome it was.   If it was on the magical Interwebz and it was trendy, I mastered it.

But then Twitter showed up.

I didn’t really get Twitter.  It’s really just a bastardized version of the Facebook news feed and I didn’t see the appeal.  I logged on back when it was blowing up the world and I remember creating my account and immediately dismissing it.  What was the point of just reading 140 characters or less about all of these people when I could just go to Facebook and do the same thing but also have access to pics, links, notes, info, and social groups?

But alas, my blog is growing (hallelujah, amen for people who like to read dribble) and apparently I need to Twitterize myself to be more accessible.  So last night I moseyed on over to greet it again.  I sheepishly apologized for dismissing it the first time around and pretended to not still carry disdain as I set myself up with a few modest accounts to follow, a pic, a bio, and my first Tweet.

It took me a hell of a long time.

What if this is just the beginning? What if I start to lose touch with all the new, trendy, young kid things? I don’t mean Bieber and Gaga, I mean actual catalysts for change in society.  I can’t tell you how many articles I had to read in order to understand what a meme is.  Now I know and I feel like an idiot.  I had to read articles to understand what a meme is?!  And when I first decided to fire up a WordPress blog, I can’t even tell you how much I had to read and click and search to put together something half decent.  I’m still pretty annoyed that I’m using a cookie cutter theme, but I’m just too old and dumb to figure out a snazzier alternative right now.  Could this be the beginning of me closing myself off to new experiences in technology and rattling off about the good old days when music wasn’t invisible and we actually had to buy cassettes?  

Yes, I am aware that readers of this blog can go back further than that.  Kudos to you, my friends, for being able to remember albums and managing to follow a blog.

I can only hope I’m as successful as you. 

Hey, while we’re on the subject of old farts, check out my favorite well-spoken old fart blogger at http://crabbyoldfart.wordpress.com. You won’t regret it.

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