April 1, 2010

A Blessing (and a Big Ol' Curse)

I lead a bi-polar life.  Oh, I don't mean that way.  But my day-to-day living is quite divided between the arcane and the current.  I recently found out that the "current" part of my life was lagging way behind.

If you regularly read my blog, you know that for the past week I've been taking care of Jo-Jo, my sister's family's doggie.  I love Jo - everyone in my family does.  He is part of the family, which is why Jen (my sister) asked if I would give daily updates on how he's doing (she said it was for my nieces' benefit, but I'm not so sure about that.  :D).

So I said I'd call them with news from the homefront.  But then I told Jen that I thought I could text from my phone (it's a REALLY old phone, because I hate phones and I don't need anything fancy). Well, the texts started rolling in.  And because I don't have a new phone, I don't have a QWERTY keyboard. 

Is it just me, or does anyone else think texting seems an awful lot like work?  Because everyone in my sister's family has a smart phone, they can text like nobody's business.  So they think nothing of firing off one-liners every two minutes.  With my phone, and my lack of texting experience, I would be finishing one text and three more would come in.  I could never keep up!

So finally, I just stopped texting until their texts stopped.  This is the same reason why I don't ever "chat" on Facebook, or why I flat out refused to join the IM network through Gannett.  If it's that important, couldn't it be written in an e-mail?

And pardon me for sounding like Andy Rooney, but when did e-mail become the old-fashioned way of communicating??  I heard a comedian on some TV show mockingly call someone "Grandma" because she e-mailed rather than texted.  Good for her, I say!  It's a pretty telling indicator of how quickly our life moves when e-mail isn't fast enough.  GAH!!!

On Sunday, Brian and I rented "The Fantastic Mr. Fox" (and before you chortle - no, we didn't rent it at Blockbuster or even RedBox - we ordered it through our Playstation 3.  So there).  I am a huge fan of Wes Anderson, the director of the film, and have been so ever since I saw "Rushmore" back in '98.  "The Royal Tenenbaums" is still my favorite movie of his, but "Fox" was a close second.  One of the reasons I love his movies is his very twee way of incorporating disappearing 20th century technology into his modern movies.  For example, in "Tenenbaums", his characters use record players, ship-to-shore telegrams, ticker tape, and have professions like elevator operator and old-fashioned bell hop (and a beaver secretary in "Fox" uses shorthand).  But he uses these examples in such a way that you wouldn't necessarily find them to be out of the ordinary until you really stop and think about it (for me, anyway).  Perhaps it's a phenomenon that is unique to Gen Xers (of whom Wes Anderson is one also), who more than any other generation currently living in the Western world straddle that fine line between centuries - especially those of us with Millennium kids who have both feet firmly planted in the 21st.

I've talked about objects and lifestyles becoming obsolete before; it's a topic that has piqued my interest, especially from a sociological perspective.  So don't be surprised if I'm slow to adapt to the latest and greatest gadget - I'm still trying to figure out how to use our new cable TV system.


  1. Good one, Mel! Eli was the only one in his class that answered a survey question of "How many texts do you send/receive in a month?" with an answer of ZERO! [none of us text] When I was hauling the kids from Illinois Tuesday, two of the boys were texting...EACH OTHER! Cripes!

    I logged into gmail today and thought there was something wrong with my computer because the gmail front page was all garbled up with garbage scrip. I was already to reboot when I realized they were using text speak/shorthand.

    For goodness sake, I'm afraid of etsy!

  2. Oh good lord Sherry! Yeah, I think this texting has gotten out of hand - I caught someone almost off the road on 4th St. today because I know darn well she was texting! I hope it's just a fad and that it goes away soon. Maybe sometime in the near future we'll just be able to send messages through telekinesis. :D

  3. Wow, Mel. Very erudite. I'm going to have to be a follower now. Will you hold it against me if i use an emoticon? ;)

  4. Why thank you, BB. Now why on earth would I hold it against you for using emoticons when my posts are chock-a-block with them? :D