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Posts Tagged ‘technology’

I still use a spiral-bound appointment book for keeping track of important dates and appointments

I take most of my writing notes in a notebook with a pen

I do not have an iPhone (Smartphone, Blackberry, etc) yet

as a family, we share one cell phone, an old-fashioned one without texting capabilities

I have never texted and no Twitter for me

I have been on Facebook for 4 years and think every change they’ve made since I joined has been a change for the worse

I have never printed a digital photo

I have never scanned a photo (but Hubby has done this for me)

I still own three 35mm cameras. One of them has film in it from 2 years ago. One, a Pentax, I’ve never used.

I still have fantasies of using my oldest camera, a camera my mother was given before she immigrated to the US in 1958. It is a simple and beautiful camera, a Retina, made in Germany (by Kodak in some roundabout way–follow the link). It doesn’t have a full range of f stops. It came with a hard-cover book for learning to use it. A hard cover, bound book. Can you believe it? The camera is all metal and a bit of leather. No plastic. It is fucking awesome to hold and to behold, to play with, to turn the dials on, to feel the clicks and grooves of metal-on-metal.

I used to use the Retina, even with its limited settings. It was my go-to camera for black-and-white photos. Beautiful. I miss it and I miss real black-and-white photos. I never mastered it as I wished because I switched to a (not so great) 35mm Minolta that did everything for me. I completely stopped using the manual settings even before I had kids. After kids, forget it.

I used to love to hand-crank the film in order to rewind it

Remember flash cubes? I love that.

My family never owned a Polaroid camera as far as I remember, but I confess, I did own a Kodak disc camera in high school.

I love the old black-and-white square photos from my childhood, the date right in the white border. Classy. God I love those.

In college, I took 3 semesters of film in the Art Department with the great instructor and filmmaker, Richard Myers. That was an amazing time. We would all smoke in class. Unfuckingbelievable.

In high school, we had a smoking area outside and we were allowed to smoke on school grounds (I think we needed to be 16 and have a permission slip).

My first cigarette was from a sample pack sitting on the edge of the built-in bookshelves in my father’s office. It was a pack of Kools. I went into the bathroom and watched myself smoke. I remember the cough and the headache, the menthol and the buzz.

Until college, I smoked Marlboro Greens. I eventually became a pack-a-day smoker. I quit smoking, cold turkey, at least 2 times (once for about 4 months, once for 8) until I quit for good many, many years ago. For a number of years before I quit, I had switched to Marlboro Light 100s.

I had smoking dreams for years after I quit. Those were very, very, very satisfying.

This reminds me that I also used to take a bottle of red wine to a lot of high school basketball and football games. I carried a large purse that could fit a whole bottle with ease, would down half a bottle in the bathroom stall and share the other half with my pal in the stall next door. Look, it’s not as glamorous as Larry Craig, but that was me, the budding alcoholic at 15. Where did I get the wine, you ask? Stolen (sometimes given to me by my mother if I was heading to a party, no jive) from my parents’ supply from a constant stock of cases.

I can’t believe I remember this shit.

Yes, thankfully I never had sex in a public bathroom. But did you see a movie called Captives with Tim Roth and Julia Ormond? Because that movie was not good, but it had the sexiest sex-in-a-bathroom scene that I have ever seen. The scenes between Tim Roth and Julia Ormond should convince any heterosexual woman that a man need not be good looking, tall, or have good teeth to be smolderingly sexy. Just try it. Tim Roth makes me melt. He deserves his own twinklysparkles‘ blog post.

I have never seen American Idol or Survivor, nor any of the current reality-dating shows, though I did see about 20 minutes of one once (these have been airing for about 10 years, right?). I have watched a little bit of Dancing With the Stars twice and I liked it.

I do love a good TV show, but I only watch on Netflicks.

Remember I said I would never tire of Led Zeppelin’s version of In My Time of Dying? Well, my kid played it in the car on the way to New Haven last week and guess what? It was once too many and I finally heard all of the silliness of Robert Plant’s singing in the third quarter (or is that the fourth fifth?) of the song (I still love the song and his pleading, but I had an epiphany).

I can tell that the labyrinthine pathways of neural connections in my brain don’t work like they used to. I don’t miss my sharper mind, but I can’t understand math or complicated instructions about mechanical things any more and that I don’t like.

When I took my One-to-One training section with Kevin, the blue-shirted Genius at the Apple store, he told me, “keep learning new things” when the subject of the elderly and technology came up.

Kevin was especially cute and kind, so I will take his advice and will try to learn Italian and fencing, African drumming and African dance. First, I have to get the damn taxes done, finish taking One-to-One classes for my Mac, continue to organize our finances, finish raising my kids (4-and-a-half more years ’til the little one is done with HS), apply for that new, less evil and less expensive credit card, continue my new exercise regimen, build my iron stores, make sure I don’t bleed for the next 6-8 months so help me god….

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Before Thankful Thursday gets into full swing, the management would like to alert you to the fact that several posts are now password protected; I am exploring new avenues for a few of my poems. I am not, however, ready to remove them completely. (There was one poem a few months ago that was and will remain password protected unless I can edit it to protect the innocent; truly, as it is about children.)

I love my blog and I love putting poems up here; I love the comment section if I’m lucky enough to get comments. At times I’m torn between blogging my poems and simply putting together a chapbook.

A blog is both mutable and stable (as long as one has access to electricity at some point…another irony of a blog’s “permanence”); the fact of the technology blows me away sometimes. I puzzle over it. Knowing that it is only in a nascent state makes it even more amazing and mind-boggling.

What I miss sometimes is reading words off of pages. The computer hurts my eyes. I get tired more easily sitting in front of a screen. I miss touching paper, but I love youtube. I love the speed and the tricks and the access, but I also love reading in bed at night propped up on my queenly down pillows with real paper between my opposeable thumbs and fingers.

On to Thankful Thursday. Some time. Later.

Ciao! twinkly

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Dear Readers,

I don’t have an iPod (RIP Steve Jobs) and even if I did, I couldn’t play it through my 2000 Toyota mini-van’s stereo system (see, I used the phrase stereo system, so you know the dinosaur part about me is true).

I bought the new Wilco CD yesterday and I played it in the car on the way to the high school open house I attended last night. I listened to this track twice, once on the way to the school, once on the way home. Wilco played this live when we saw them in Boston last month and it stuck with me…I kept wondering which song was that?

During our 15-minute Geometry “class” at the open house, I tried sneaking reading the lyrics, but no worries, my daughter will probably get an A, unlike me who flunked high school Geometry (or was that Alg II?). Sneaking lyrics wasn’t the only thing I did in high school to get into trouble and I can only hope my amazing, intense, creative, energetic, artistic daughter goes a better way than I did back then.

This song, I don’t know what it’s about, but I think this is the true gem of the album, the one for the ages. There are a couple of lines that kill the hell outta me:

Outside I look lived in/like the bones in a shrine–it’s immediate, sharp and soft at the same time, and reminds me of churches in Prague and I am cold for my father/frozen underground

I’ve lived without my father for so long, lived without knowing him for so much of my life, but I was missing him and picturing him yesterday. I pulled out a bin of old photos.

I forget the damage, you know, the damage of losing a parent when you’re still pretty young. I don’t grieve for him any more, but I am today. How death defines us, underneath all of the geometry and the words and anything else we layer on top.

One Sunday Morning

This is how I tell it
Oh, but it’s long
One Sunday morning
Oh, one son is gone

I can see where they’re dawning
Over the sea
My father said what I had become
No-one should be

Outside I look lived in
Like the bones in a shrine
How am I forgiven?
Oh, I’ll give it time

This, I learned without warning
Holding my brow
In time he thought I would kill him
Oh, but I didn’t know how

I said it’s your god I don’t believe in
No, your Bible can’t be true
Knocked down by the long life
He cried, ‘I fear what waits for you’

I can hear those bells
Spoken and gone
I feel relief, I feel well
Now he knows he was wrong

I am cold for my father
Frozen underground
Jesus, I wouldn’t bother
He belongs to me now

Something sad keeps moving
So I wandered around
I fell in love with the burden
Holding me down

Bless my mind, I miss
Being told how to live
What I learned without knowing
How much more that I owe that I can give

This is how I tell it
Oh, but it’s long
One Sunday morning
One son is gone

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Is it good or bad that I didn’t put my contact info in the little black notebook that I lost this week? You know, the one with my random musings, interesting web sites for future reference, notes on good music I heard on the radio, inspirations for writing, and, gasp, my privatemost poems….(can you tell that I don’t have an iPhone or Blackberry?)

Why do some women’s breasts get smaller after menopause and why do some get larger?

Why can you get the same pimple in the same exact pore over and over?

Why isn’t the local police blotter as interesting as it used to be? This has been going on for almost 8 months.

What kind of paint was used to spray paint the giant penis in the road?

How can one man have this much soul?

When someone tailgates me, which I consider not only aggressive but dangerous, why do I allow myself to get aggressive in return by slowing down even more?

Would you say this post is more testosterone or estrogen?

Can you gently slam on your brakes (or gently slam on anything else for that matter)?

Blue mascara: discuss.

Really, how many rodents can my cats kill in one day (and those are only the ones I see)?

Am I really missing out since I don’t know how to text?

Do you realize that there is a universe of posts 180 degrees in the opposite political direction from yours on Facebook? What if yours is the incorrect direction?

Have you ever looked in the mirror and thought Luddite? I can assure you that I haven’t.

Why do companies discontinue wildly popular products, like the pink marshmallow bunny Envirosax that I recently lost? I am crushed, I tell you, crushed. (If anyone out there has one, please forward to twinklysparkles!)

Do I really have to post a photo of a naked or bikini-clad woman at least every-other day to maintain my site stats? What about Justin Bieber (not naked)?

True or False: I have never watched American Idol.

True or False: I have only the slightest clue who Justin Bieber is.

In the True and False portion of this post, who is I?

Will someone please throw out the last chocolate cupcake? Please?

HIT IT AND QUIT IT!

twinkly loves you baby!

photo: ©kgfarthing2011

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We will be happy to help you as soon as you’re done with your call” –sign at The Black Sheep Deli, Amherst, MA

On Monday, I took my mini-van to Firestone to have the broken housing on my rear-door taillight replaced. This broken housing was one of three reasons my car failed inspection. Now it is all behind us and we can travel together again, my mini-van and I. Actually, we are not legal until we get re-inspected, but the Amherst cops are pretty chill and would probably give me a warning for starters. Technically, I have two months to get re-inspected, but I have the red capital “R” sticker which basically means: YOUR CAR IS GOING TO IMPLODE. Last year, my car failed inspection, too, but it was failure of a milder variety—maybe the sticker was a different letter and color?

The previous week, I also spent an hour at Firestone, having a brake light repaired and getting two new tires put on in the front. The waiting room of the Firestone in Northampton, MA doesn’t really have any interesting magazines if you ask me–it’s all cars, sports, and business, and those aren’t really very sexy topics, are they? There was a copy of Latina magazine and it was pretty engaging, but it wouldn’t have been my first choice.

For Monday’s appointment, I decided to splurge and buy A WHOLE BUNCH of magazines before my car repair—whatever I wanted. I got Cape Cod Life for things to do on the Cape, of course; People, for the trash; Country Living because certainly, though I am in my upper 40s, I will have my dream house and dream kitchen soon; The Wall Street Journal, for the human interest story on the front page and to jeer, mentally, at the letters to the editor.

As I was settling into my comfy couch seat, learning about a descendant of some of the first European settlers on the Cape, I was shocked to hear my waiting-room mate’s intercom-level voice as she blared it into her cell phone. I now know much more about Rebecca than I would like. I know her last name (starts with an “S”). I know her son’s name (starts with a “J”). I know that there was a school committee meeting that night. I know that she had to cancel two daytime appointments. I know that she could not attend the school committee meeting as planned.

She made at least three calls out and received one, though I tried hard to avoid knowing even this much about her goings-on. In a different frame of mind, I might have asked her to go outside or at least to lower her voice, but I refrained. Though it was hard to concentrate on the article about Martha’s Vineyard’s idiosyncratically evolved sign language, I had bought the magazines to engage myself, and I did my best to ignore her.

My experience of cell phones, of late, is that the demographic with the rudest behavior is exhibited by the over-50 set. I think them young’uns are all texting, so there’s no volume, just an apparent disregard for personal safety when crossing the street and a complete lack of knowledge of the fine points of verbal, face-to-face conversation. What I consider appropriate behavior while dining has also fallen by the wayside, with texting being an apparently acceptable form of dinner conversation between parties of two or more.

Last summer, I went to see a movie in the local art-house cinema and, lo and behold, the 60-something woman next to me flipped open her goddamn Blackberry DURING THE MOVIE! I’m kind of thick and slow, but I’m starting to get it. The over 50-set, dinosaurs though they may be, have something in common with the rabble-rousing teens—technology, by gum, and they will shove it in your face so you know that they are important, savvy, and relevant.

I know, Rebecca S, that you and your schedule and your friends and your son and your clients and your car repair and your general fucking life are really important. But next time, so help me God, I will ask you to take it outside.

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