Wednesday, July 31, 2013

iPhone junkie unplugged... It's not pretty

A month ago, I left my phone in D.C. It came home in this package.
I am an iPhone junkie.
Everyone around me knows it. I have never denied it. Earlier this summer, I left my iPhone 4 on my friend’s bookshelf in D.C. where it was charging. He mailed it to me, but since I left on a Thursday and the phone arrived on Monday afternoon, that meant five days without my phone. 
Monday, while cleaning the bathroom, my iPhone slipped from my pocket and went for a brief swim. As it fell, I reached out to catch it but it was too late. Submerged in water for about seven seconds, the time and my home screen flashed at me briefly before it powered down. I sealed it inside a plastic bag of whole grain brown rice. I'm told I can't touch it for a week. A week!
That was about 50 hours ago. I find it’s not the Facebook or the Instagram I miss as badly as the lack of information. When my husband mocked me for not knowing a 1980s cartoon monkey, there would be no YouTube search. No news makes it into my house. My favorite news sources’ tweets fall upon other ears. No texts from my father. No Facebook messages from work colleagues pushed to the forefront to let me know that extra shifts are mine for the claiming.
No impromptu photography of the ridiculous things my daughter does. No blogging of the meals we eat day-to-day for my recipe blog, My email is limited, as we don’t really have internet in the house. Those job listings I find via the Indeed app each morning... Those are far away. No pedometer to tell me how far I’ve walked or where I walked it.
It’s hard to check my bank balance, especially since I have several accounts at two different banks all of which are more or less empty. When I went to Target to buy my grandmother a new nightgown, I couldn’t use Cartwheel. Read a book? Listen to music? Nope, can’t do that, either. No maps. No easy access to my calendar, phone numbers or addresses. No GPS to tell me where I am. No apps to help me find the nearest bike path or public transports. I can’t even buy a train ticket. 
I’ve been told I can do things via my phone that some people haven’t mastered on their computers. I edited press releases via the Pages app, share them as Word docs and save them to Google Drive or simply email them. I keep PDFs of my resume, favorite samples, portfolio and recent newsletters that I can distribute with a touch of my finger. 
My Instagram followers and Facebook friends may think I’m dead. In a way, I am. I am using my circa 2009 Nokia flip-phone that I gave my husband after his phone went through the washing machine. The kind people who answered at my carrier’s customer service line have forwarded my calls to his line. But that leaves us one phone. For a family of three. And no landline. My daughter doesn’t even remember when we had a “house phone.” Answering machines are alien technology.
The ring tone of my ancient phone is Cake’s “No Phone.” The lyrics remind me, “No Phone. No Phone. I just want to be alone today.” I loaded it as a joke back-in-the-day when I was a newspaper reporter. In the days before iPhones, Twitter and Facebook.
But, hey, the old Nokia has a car charger.

This essay also appears on

Monday, July 15, 2013

Official Web Site

Once again, I've neglected my writing blog for more than a month. I've been working on finding a job, and I've recently enlisted the help of a career coach. I'm slowly implementing her suggestions and some of my own. I decided to try and find as many of my professional samples that are lingering out there in cyberspace. With them found, I wanted an online portfolio. So, with the assistance of WordPress, I've launched  Day by day it will connect my various interests, all my blogs, all my talents and even my fiction and the occasional piece of poetry.

I hope you'll visit.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Baby steps

Why is it that I can blog several times a day for my other blog yet completely neglect this one? UGGH.

I have a bunch of baby steps I need to take during the remainder of this summer. I have my new degree. I've had some exciting job interviews and lost some jobs to some superbly talented people. I suppose that puts me in some good company.

I opened an old project, which was an attempt at a ghost story/romance novel, and it spurred an interesting short story.

I'm on my neighbor's porch blogging, so I'm not making much attention to my editing or grammar. The kids are playing and the neighbors are chatting.

In addition to renewing my commitment to this blog, I'm continuing my job search. I'm hoping to do some communications work, maybe freelance and maybe volunteering, to help me determine what my long range career goals are. And take baby steps toward them.

Another option is the possibility of freelancing writing on some of the topics I enjoy.

Meanwhile, I've done some reading: Laurel K. Hamillton, Charlaine Harris and an academic piece from the early 2000s, Pox Americana by Elizabeth Fenn, I believe the name was. She has an academic background and employment history very scattered like mine. She spent eight years as an auto mechanic! And then she wrote this book.

I'll keep you posted.