Posts tagged ‘iPhone’
One week ago yesterday and one week after my surgery, I joined Lubbock for the weekend, and we went to the North Austin Event Center to pick up her packet for the Capital 10K. Her enthusiasm inspires me. Like me, she doesn’t believe in running, but she is consistent in her efforts to work out, and she walks 2.5 miles every evening.
So, I was inspired enough to want to go with her to Academy where she also talked me into buying fancy shoes. When I say fancy shoes I mean the cool Nike+ iPod running shoes and the sensor that goes along with them. This represents a $100 investment on my part which was offset by $50 in the form of a Visa gift card contributed by Lubbock. I have generous friends. Actually, this was very savvy on Lubbock’s part, as a tool of motivation, since I hate exercise but love technology. I’m like a man about wanting the latest electronic toy. Also, I love that Mr. Landlord is an Apple junkie and a runner, and I was hoping to make him pea green with envy at the next Neighborhood Association meeting.
The sensor tells you how many miles you walked, how fast you were going, and how many calories you burned. It’s like the ultra pedometer. You put it inside your shoe. And the shoes are as light as air. They are without a doubt the lightest pair of tennis shoes that I have ever owned.
After the fancy shoe purchase we went to Town Lake (Lady Bird Lake for you newbies) and walked around for 2.5 miles. I did have to rest a couple times because I’m a total wimp. Well, I would have been totally okay if it weren’t for the fact that we had to take stairs, and it was hot out. Really, if it weren’t for inclines I could have done it without a rest.
After we walked we then synced the information to Nike, and voila! Now Lubbock can keep tabs on whether or not I exercise, which is a good thing because of that accountability thing. I am an inherently lazy person.
Monday Lubbock sent me an invitation to walk a 5K, which is 3.1 miles. Easy stuff. So, I paid my $30 to register, picked up our packets yesterday and walked 5K around some park in Cedar Park to benefit the Williamson County Humane Society. After we finished Lubbock took my picture with her iPhone and “threatened” to send it to my mother as proof that I was exercising.
Then we went to Cracker Barrel and probably ate twice as many calories as we burned.
To walk 3.1 miles two weeks after gallbladder surgery is not too shabby, I think. I can do it in a little over 45 minutes. Maybe I’ll keep this up. I love my fancy shoes. Now if only I could just click my heels together and lose 75 pounds.
Lubbock, who just finished reading the blog post, “Publish or Perish,” made the comment that until I actually got to the part of the blog post about Mapplethorpe and Smith that I made her sound like an ignorant country bumpkin. Well, Lubbock is no ignorant hick, obviously. She’s not as technologically savvy as I am. I like to think that I’m more technologically savvy than the general American public.
After all, I live in Austin. I’ve worked for three large tech companies, all of whom are household name companies that you would recognize. I have generally been the go to girl at other offices at which I’ve worked in terms of fixing computer problems. No, I can’t build a computer from scratch, but I know my way around the software.
I wouldn’t exactly call myself a techie, but I’m really good at that stuff generally. And when I worked for smaller companies, I was always the one who got to interface with the IT guy. Why? Because I know his lingo. That’s why. The techie guy and I, well, we just get each other. We’re sympatico.
However, there are times when even the mighty fall, and to prove that I am culturally sensitive to the fact that I kind of built myself up with my Craigslist skills at the expense of Lubbock, I am going to admit to…technical difficulties.
One of the Mr. Brewsters is an IT help desk guy. A couple weekends ago I was mentioning that I thought I needed to get a new battery for my iPod touch.
Mr. Brewster: Why do you think that?
Gooseberry: Because the date and time are wrong.
Mr. Brewster: What do you mean wrong?
Gooseberry: It says that it’s November 5, 1969. According to my iPod, I haven’t been born yet.
Mr. Brewster: Have you synced it lately?
I don’t have to sync my iPod to charge it. I have one of those “fancy ass” chargers where you just plug it into the outlet, and the iPod charges.
Mr. Brewster: Here’s a cord. Sync it.
I plug in the iPod.
Gooseberry: It’s not syncing. It said it was syncing, but now it’s not.
Mr. Brewster: Why not? What’s the error message?
Gooseberry: Something about only five approved computers, and this computer isn’t approved.
I have had this computer for over a year. I’ve never synced it to my iPod or made it an approved computer on my iTunes account. Yes, I realize that this is sad and lazy and, well, just plain ignorant.
Mr. Brewster: Well, just approve your computer. Go into iTunes…
Gooseberry: It says that I already have five computers with accounts.
Mr. Brewster: Move over. Let me drive.
So, we get that dilemma taken care of, and then I sync the iPod, and…I still haven’t been born yet. That just figures, since I can’t figure out how to get my iPod touch to say the right date and time.
Mr. Brewster: Go into Control Settings.
Gooseberry: (pouting like a 5 year old) I did.
Mr. Brewster: Give it to me.
Five seconds later, my iPod touch is returned to me with the correct date and time.
Gooseberry: How’d you do that?
Mr. Brewster: It’s magic.
Gooseberry: No, really. How’d you do that?
Mr. Brewster: It’s magic.
What was that I was saying about how technologically savvy I am? Oh, yeah. I did eventually figure out how to change the date and time. There’s this magician who shared the secret with me. He’s called The Amazing Google.
Like the photo? It’s a photo of the interior of one of the suites of the infamous Chelsea Hotel in Manhattan. It will make more sense as you read on, hopefully.
Yesterday I went to my knitters and crocheters group and worked some more on the my dog is dead blanket. The knitters and crocheters group is something that I know I’m going to increasingly look forward to the more time I spend with them. These women are smart and funny, and they make things, cool things.
One young woman who was surely in her early twenties was making crocheted “food.” She made a strawberry and an apple slice while we were sitting across from each other. She pulled out some sushi and sashimi from her bag. She turns them into keychains and sells them on the internet, which doesn’t make her any money but does pay for her hobby.
“This is the shrimp,” she said, holding up a wrinkled piece of pink and white yarn. The tech writer, besides making little caps for premature babies, is now making the tiniest of baby bibs. I kinda wonder what preemie babies need bibs for, but they’re cute. Maybe they’re for baby dolls.
Then I went to Lubbock’s and hung out. She’s not very technologically adept, to put it mildly, and she couldn’t figure out how to post an ad on Craigslist to sell her vehicle. The last time I saw her we spent time watching Tosh.0 and trying to figure out if Tosh is gay or not. I’ve decided not. Then she had me show her how she could tell if her iPhone was using wifi or if it was accessing the 3G network for her carrier. I always just assume that people can figure out how to do things like this, but every once in a while I’m forced to acknowledge that not everyone knows these things.
I love Lubbock. She might not know how to post an ad on Craigslist, but she knows how to make a kick ass dinner and a kick ass latte. And she has impeccable taste in books and movies. She loaned me a book written by Patti Smith about Robert Mapplethorpe. I totally love that I know someone who would buy a book by Patti Smith about Robert Mapplethorpe. I totally love that I know someone who knows who Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe are. I would marry her if she were a man.
Speaking of love, I remembered what one of the Mr. Brewsters had said about doing something nice for someone else on Valentine’s Day, and I have a neighbor friend who is a dedicated single mother. I think she’s going to have a secret admirer this Valentine’s Day. I bought the cutest little dancing heart monster from Target. It sings, “You Got What I Need.” I’ll pick up some chocolates and a card and hopefully make someone happy. I’m kind of looking forward to it in the same way that I wish I could actually see the look on some woman’s face when she gets the finished my dog is dead blanket.
This morning I got up and went to church again. It’s the second time I’ve been. I think I liked it even better this time. It’s growing on me. The dog was back, something I was happy about. I met the blogger whose work I like so much, Julie Clawson, and I got to introduce myself. I don’t think the stalker chick routine scared her too much.
But actually, my favorite part of church this morning was that I initially sat down next to this woman who was wearing a Pucci pattern dress and struck up a conversation with her. It turns out that she’s new to Austin and the editor of a trade magazine. I didn’t tell her I was interested in writing for a living. I just listened to her talk about her life for a while. She needed an ear to listen, and it was nice to be able to provide that for her.
I did get to finally have coffee with the head of the editorial department at my workplace. And I found out where he sees his department going and what kinds of writers he’s looking for. I asked him what I needed to do to be considered for a position in his department should one become available, and his answer was to do some freelance writing. Apparently, he wants writers who have been published. Really? Somehow, that seems so unfair.
Actually, that’s my idea of sarcasm. Austin is a city full of professional artists, writers and musicians, academics, and future filmmakers, as well as the best of the best in terms of the semiconductor industry and visual graphics. The point is that he has his pick. I got my foot in the door, and I impressed him enough to get a coffee date, but it would show a huge sense of entitlement on my part to think that a seven hundred word writing sample alone will qualify me over more pedigreed individuals for a job that doesn’t yet exist. I want a highly coveted position, so I’m going to have to bring it. The thought intimidates me, but I know it can be done. I just have to make an effort. And if my recent experience is any indication, there are a lot of smart, competent women out there who just might be willing to lend their expertise to mentoring me towards my goal, but first I have to cultivate those friendships.
This woman is simply frightening. What she knows about foreign policy is nothing, yet she criticizes Obama and his handling of the issues in Egypt. She doesn’t even know what ‘s going on in Egypt. She then blames this on the Obama administration and their failure to dispense knowledge to the American people.
You can bet that Obama knows a great deal more about this than most of the American people do. It’s not Obama’s job to educate the American people on foreign policy or history. Sarah, there is this thing called the news media. I know you think it’s lamebrained, but YOU YOURSELF WORK FOR IT and its job is to inform the American people. Pick up a copy of The New York Times or the Washington Post or the Wall Street Journal. Tune into something other than Fox News. How about trying the BBC, for instance? They have excellent news coverage. And if you’d like to hear about the moderate Muslim take on the situation, you can watch Al Jazeera. They even do an English broadcast. You can download it to your iPhone, Sarah.
And if the media isn’t cutting it for you, then there are these things called the internet and the library. You can read all about Mubarak. You can learn a lot if you can read. Can you read, Sarah?
I don’t have a problem with people criticizing the Obama administration. What I have a problem with is when stupid people who haven’t bothered to inform themselves criticize our President without knowing what the hell they’re talking about. First, learn a little something about the Egypt situation. It’s not hard. All you have to do is take the time to inform yourself. But then that would take you away from your primary concern of pandering to the extreme right news media.
Here’s an idea, Sarah. If you really want to be the President of the United States, then how about rolling up your sleeves and doing your homework. FIND OUT what’s going on and then come up with your own possible solution. Razzle dazzle us with your keen insight and your common sense resolution to our foreign policy dilemma. What’s that you say, Sarah? You’re waiting on Obama to call you back to answer some questions? Don’t be surprised if the phone rings at 3 AM.
The first time I fell in love, well, I almost don’t count it. I was a freshman in college, and the young man didn’t feel the same way. We didn’t even date. He was my best friend. We were both English majors. We worked together. We socialized with each other and had all the same friends. He was funny and kind and smart. He and his brothers used to throw Egg Balancing Parties during the Fall and Spring Equinox. I used to write him letters that were more like personal essays, like this blog, and he kept them in a notebook that he still has, and he treasured them.
We spent nearly every day together. Sometimes it was every day. When I first met him I asked him if he was gay, and he told me he wasn’t. I don’t know what it was about him that made me ask. He wasn’t stereotypically effeminate. Maybe it was a sixth sense and years of socializing with high school thespians.
By the time that I got around to pressing the issue my friend and I had been as close as two people can be without having sex and being close. I was too young to know that if I had to press the issue with a confession of any sort that I could know in advance what the answer was going to be. If you have to tell a guy how you feel about him in order to find out how he feels about you…here’s a hint…he doesn’t.
But he let me down gently. And he was honest about it. He didn’t give me any agonizing details. He didn’t lie. He just said he wasn’t interested in me in that way and that he wouldn’t ever be interested in me in that way. I took a friendship sabbatical and came back, and after maybe a few verbal jabs that he endured with patience and humility, I returned refreshed and renewed and envigored about the friendship. He told me he was gay a year or two later. I should always trust my first instincts with my gaydar.
Now I guess I could technically get upset that he wasn’t completely honest about the gay thing, but I figure that a young man in his early 20s in Oklahoma in the early 1990s can be cut some slack in the honesty department when it comes to coming out of the closet. He didn’t lie about his feelings towards me; he just wasn’t feeling it, and maybe if he were straight he would have not felt the same way.
The second time I fell in love was a little over a decade later. I had just turned 30. I met a guy at a bar who was nine years older than me and was obviously a bad relationship risk on so many levels it’s hard to know where to start. It was a friendship and a casual sexual thing (which I’m not proud of and not terribly ashamed of, either). It wasn’t meant to evolve into anything else other than what it was. And then one day when we were in bed, he told me that he loved me. He clarified so I would know it wasn’t anything platonic, “I mean, I’m in love with you.”
I think that in my thirties, with nearly all my girlfriends having been married, and me having nothing to show for my life and very little in the way of dating prospects, that I was just desperate to be loved. I had worked it out in my head that love was a commitment, and I would commit to this guy.
Surely, he could see that he was getting better than he deserved in me and would treat me accordingly. I really thought that was what would happen; I thought that if I encouraged him and held high expectations for the relationship, that he would rise to the occasion and everything would be moonlight and roses and picket fences and 2.3 children in the suburbs.
Unfortunately, the second time I fell in love, I fell in love with a sociopath. He wasn’t capable of loving anyone, not even himself. He was incapable of fidelity. He was entirely self-absorbed. He was a pathological liar. He couldn’t hold down a job for any length of time. He had no discernible moral code. He’d been divorced twice and had abandoned two children, and I thought he could change because he told me he wanted to be a better person. I could oversimplify the relationship by saying that The Rat Bastard eventually dumped me because he told me he was gay, but the truth was that I had outlived my usefulness to him. The glass workboot didn’t fit.
I actually met Guy #3 before I met Guy #2. I worked with him, and then I didn’t. For a long time. We met up once during this time, and I stopped by the apartment he shared with his brother for a visit. I don’t even recall how this came about, since we had socialized with each other a few times, but we weren’t close.
About two and a half years ago, about eight years after we first met, I ran into this guy at the cafeteria at my work. I didn’t say hello. For one thing, I didn’t recognize him for sure. I thought maybe it was him, but I wasn’t sure. And then there was my crippling discomfort with the fact that I was now eight years older and several pounds heavier. I knew that I would be measured against the yardstick of my cute and skinny self and found lacking.
I looked up his name on the employee directory, and then I sent him an email. And then I waited. I think it took him a week or longer to respond. Obviously, I hadn’t made a very big or favorable initial impression. But eventually he did respond, and he asked me if I had plans for New Years Eve, and I told him I didn’t. So, we made plans for this pseudo New Years date, sight unseen. Well, I had seen him, but he hadn’t seen me.
It was a double undate, and I could get into the details of that night, but it’s unnecessary. He recognized me right away, and he didn’t register any shock or even any acknowledgement of my altered appearance. He kissed me on the lips on New Years, and then I drove him back to his car. That night I had worn some shoes that killed my feet, and I took them off, and he gave me his shoes to wear instead. That glass slipper motif again.
He seemed interested in pursuing a relationship, but what the hell do I know? Maybe he was just trying to encourage me to get out of the house more and get a life. I put him off with the excuse that we worked together and for that reason it would be unwise to date. Later, I added that I couldn’t pursue a relationship with someone who didn’t believe in God, and I stick by that decision. If someone refuses to acknowledge what’s most important in your life and denies its very existence, they can never fully know you.
Over time he became my best friend, and I think I became his. Again, the details aren’t important. In writing this I am breaking a promise that I made to not write about him anymore, but I think that he’s long since quit reading this blog. Also, I don’t want to write about how it all unraveled or my disappointment or what I perceived as his dishonesty. I don’t want to trash him for his failures or his frailties.
The most hurtful things he did or said I’ve kept to myself. Despite what seems to be my complete candor, there are still some secret scars that I don’t share with the world or with him. It’s like the gift that you do not give. I do not give it because I love him. I want to write about what made me love him in the first place…how he snuck up on me and caught me unaware and made me love him.
He was sweet. He was generous. He was kind. He had a great smile. I never went anywhere with him or did anything with him where he didn’t make me feel profoundly safe and provided for. He thought I was smart and funny and even pretty. He took pictures of me with no makeup on and saved them to his iPhone over my protests (I hate having my photo taken).
We could talk for hours. We went out into the world together and snuggled on the couch and watched television. He was a very talented musician. He had these great hands. And he had a quality about him that was fundamentally decent and boyish and vulnerable. It was like he’d grown up with the soft spot on his skull still intact.
You know how there were some experiments years ago about how family members could recognize each other’s unique odor by making these family members wear t-shirts for a day with no lotion and no deodorant? Then afterwards they passed the t-shirts around and each family member could recognize each other by smell alone. I could recognize him by smell alone.
And so I loved him, and one day I decided to tell him, but just like with Guy #1, if you have to be the one to break the news, then you should already know the answer. And his answer was perfect silence, which was, of course, humiliating.
There was an “incident.” There always is. But none of it matters. I was sick, and I couldn’t be in a relationship and still be in my sickness. You know that song, the one that says you only get what you give? He was sick as well. We couldn’t heal each other. We would both have to recognize a problem and then seek help to get well. And for that reason I can forgive any of the other bullshit and just remember that once I was in love.
I hate voicemail. I don’t have much choice about answering the voicemail at work. However, my personal voicemail will sometimes accumulate to the point that I have to empty it because I have no space left. I usually don’t listen to the entire message. Just enough to tell whom it is and then delete it. Yesterday I was listening to my voicemail, and it made me laugh.
I have a good girlfriend that you might actually say is my best friend. I’ve known her for about six years now. She’s amazing. She’s one of those women that you aspire to be but never will. She’s Barbie doll beautiful, super smart, and one of the most generous persons I have ever known. She’s so perfect even her feet are pretty. I met her at a temporary job I was working once. We were both talking about Dennis Lehane’s book, Mystic River, and how much we had liked it. Clint Eastwood had just come out with the movie version, and so that weekend we made plans to go see it. The rest is history.
She’s been my friend since right after the break up with the Rat Bastard when I was still espousing theories on how he was obviously a dangerous sociopath. I’ll call her Lubbock. She’s eaten my mother’s homemade chicken and noodles with both my parents, lugged me around with crutches in her car after my ankle surgery when I was stir crazy to get out of the house and go somewhere, and been the person with whom I get my very first sunburn at the pool every summer. In return, I have lugged her around in crutches after she broke her foot, listened to the stories of previous prospective boyfriends (including the New York City coffee shop heir!) and gone home with her and her current boyfriend, Lineman, for Thanksgiving.
We called that Thanksgiving the trial by fire. We all drove to Houston together, and it was the first time that both Lineman and I had met Lubbock’s family. We needn’t have worried. Well, actually, I wasn’t worried period, since all my friends’ parents have loved me since the beginning of time, being such a “good influence” and all. I can’t help it. I’m like catnip for parents. But Lineman was really worried. He won friends and influenced people by washing the dishes. I spent that same time talking to Lubbock’s eccentric grandmother, Nana. I take it that everyone was actually more impressed with my efforts with Nana than Lineman’s dishwashing, but I got the better end of the deal because I find Nana genuinely charming, and I didn’t have to wash dishes!
To make a long story short, after the Thanksgiving by fire, maybe because we were both the only strangers among family, or maybe, as Lubbock likes to say, because we are both Tauruses and just “get” each other, we bonded, and now Lubbock and Lineman and I are all three the best of friends. When Lineman got his iPhone it was only natural that he would turn to me for help with it since I am generally acknowledged to be by far the most technologically adept of our little threesome. I fixed him up and gave him an iTunes gift card I had. In return, among other favors we exchanged that weekend, Lubbock insisted that Lineman send me a picture by email attachment that he had taken of his penis using his new iPhone. Don’t ask. My friends are weird. But Lubbock is awfully proud of Lineman’s supposedly perfect cock. I don’t remember what happened with this actually, but in the end I did not get an email with a picture of the famous dick.
What I did get instead was a voicemail message some months later. Actually, it was three voicemails. The first one was from Lineman, wanting me to join him and Lubbock for a drink somewhere. The second one was from Lubbock, presumably also inviting me to join them. The third voicemail was from Lubbock again, exclaiming that Lineman had discovered that whenever he dials my number from his iPhone the previously mentioned penis picture pops up on his display and that he was paranoid that whenever I received a phone call from him the same picture would pop up on my cell phone as well. And as I was chuckling over that idea it suddenly occurred to me that maybe I should check my voicemail more often.