Sunday, January 30, 2011

I've Always Been a Jetson Wannabe

I start the day when my iPhone 4's harp plays angelically in more of a "reassure" tone than an "alarm" tone. And unlike my dusty clock/radio, it doesn't hold it against me when I hit "snooze". Maybe it's because I cuddle with it until it's "really" time to get up. After padding to the kitchen and waiting 30 seconds for my perfectly brewed cup of coffee from the Keurig, I sit down in my office in front of my trusty and beloved MacBook Pro to check email, weather, pay bills online and the like.

As I fire up the television to see what TiVo has to offer from the night before I make some notes in MacJournal or work on a project in StoryMill before hopping on the train. While on my train commute, I pull out my Kindle for thirty minutes of light reading (as I do on the way home.) If I drive to the office, I employ the GPS just for reassurance. Once there I'm reminded about my meetings thanks to Outlook and renew a prescription via an app on my phone.

I might have to order lunch for a meeting, giving preferential treatment to any restaurant that has a web portal or an app, allowing me to not to have to talk to anyone which frees me up to better multi-task (and not get annoyed repeating the spelling of my name...S...not F), yet guarantee delivery in a timely manner. I begin to think of what I'll make for dinner, and then remember, I already selected a menu using MacGourmet and purchased all the necessary grub for it thanks to Grocery Gadget.

The internet and cable went out the other day, and my phone was getting zero reception. It almost became a "situation". I may or may not need professional help for my consumer technology addiction.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

There's Something about Tina

Tina is a buddy of mine who I met back in 1997 while attending training at Second City. I think our friendship fate was sealed on the first day of improv class as he were tangled into a continuous, hand-holding "human knot" and were tasked with unknotting ourselves while not letting go. Shortly thereafter, I found myself behind Tina, hands cupping her......breasts. I was horrified, and she couldn't stop cracking jokes about it--and hasn't to this day.

At that time Tina lives near me in Lakeview so after departing from our classmates after having a drink or two after class, Tina and I would head up north via "L" and stop for a "slushie" at Sidetrack, probably the most patronized bar in "Boystown." Our class ended in the afternoon, we'd arrive at Sidetrack in the afternoon, yet somehow it would always be dark when we left Sidetrack. It was a strange phenomenon we'd try to tackle each time we sat down with a frosty grape-flavored, vodka-enhanced drink.

This week we decided it was time for a trip to our old watering hole in order to catch up--it had been far too long since she and I got some face time. After we met up at our tribal meeting spot, I couldn't help but consider that it had been 15 years since our first trip there together and all the fun times that have ensued. We were a little stunned at the number considering we're both 22 years old, but after a slushie or two that math problem always seemed to fade away.

We share the same a common language and a humor this is wrong, inappropriate and if not illegal, then at least "frowned upon" in most red states. As a result, we were dubbed "the dark hearts" by our "friends." And though the years may have softened our every day delivery, when we get together, I'm reminded how appropriate the nickname remains to be.

As always, the tide of people ebbed and flowed around us, but we didn't really notice. I've found it's hard to see anything through eyes, gushing with tears from laughter. (They are sore this morning, from all briny tear production!) I have wondered what the people around must think--aside from the requisite jealousy--as we tell stories, gesticulate, and laugh to a point of silence because breathing isn't possible.

If your ears were burning yesterday, now you know why.

(Is it me, or does it look like she's talking about me?)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

January Snow Day

I can't say I was looking forward to the holidays ending, because of the doldrums that inevitably follow a fun and busy holiday season. But I figure once we burn through January then we have one less month for potential snow. I took the time today to walk outside and appreciate what was a beautiful snow fall. The snow falling can quiet the busiest street, neighborhood or city. It never ceases to amaze me how quiet Chicago is when I stand outside during a snow. It's a special kind of quiet, broken only by shovels, hacking away at sidewalks, streets and driveways. There is something unifying about it. I feel a kinship with my co-shovelers though I've never spoken to many and never even seen some of them.

As we grow up and our lives get complicated and rushed, we forget to appreciate the snow.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year, New Promises, New Challenges

Another New Year. It's odd to think the New Millennium (the REAL one) was ten long years ago. Time keeps on slippin', slippin', slippin' into the future, right?

I am a Resolutionist! I know many people who pooh-pooh the idea, but I think it's a marvelous time to mark new beginnings--no matter how well you fare at them. New beginnings can start anytime, but there is something particularly appealing about them coinciding with a brand new year, where you can say months later "Oh, I started/stopped/changed that at the beginning of the year."

For the first time in my memory, I've already got a jump on several of my standard resolutions and am excited to keep up the momentum. It certainly makes things a little easier.
  • Every year I always vow to get in shape at the very least. To that end, I'm three months ahead of the game, having started with a personal trainer on on Oct. 1, 2010. Check. (I even got some compliments over the holidays with people remarking that I looked great and had lost weight.)
  • Integrate writing in my daily life--at home and at work. Well, though not as prolific as I'd like, this blog is part of that one. In addition, I'm still working on my NaNoNovel and project with some confidence I can get the first draft done by end of January. Check-ish.
  • See friends more regularly. 2010 has been a challenging year for my husband's health. As a result, he of course, became (and still is) my first priority, but as I am getting acclimated to the "new deal", in addition to giving him the best possible care, I want to reconnect with my incredible network of friends. Check-in-progress.
2011 will no doubt present its share of challenges for me and us--as it does with most of us--but I'm learning to take things as they come. Celebrate the victories--no matter how small they may seem--and not to get overwhelmed by the challenges. Sometimes when I feel a little "overdone" or "undone" or "done-done" I remember Dory's famous words from "Finding Nemo" and I "just keep swimming." And sometimes I repeat it over and over again. It's like Yoga for idiots, but it works.