Graduate college ✓
Become an Adult ✓
Fight with technology ✓
Get up super early ✓
30-year-old Me laughs right in 22-year-old Me’s face.
I have a dilemma.
I’ll back up a bit. I was at Barnes & Noble the other day, and their 2014 planners were 50% off. I picked up a cute polka-dotted one, but then I stood there thinking, “When was the last time I even used my planner?”
I just pulled it out of my purse. It’s open to the week of October 28.
I love scheduling things and all, but scheduling is so much more straight-forward when you do the same things week after week. My planner was extremely useful when I was juggling three part-time jobs and making sure that I could get to all three of them, and also trying to coordinate seeing shows around the Bay Area. Now that I just go to the one job, and I don’t go out anymore, it’s a lot easier to keep straight in my head where I’m supposed to be. (Answer: work. If not work, then go home.)
Also, Drew and I had a wall calendar this year, which we actually used. And that makes more sense, since it’s accessible to both of us.
I guess my purse planner has been replaced by a combination of kitchen wall calendar and iPhone calendar…which I hate to admit, but there it is. The thing is, I can put appointments into my phone, and they’ll show up on my work calendar as well! Which is very helpful.
So, I guess I don’t have a dilemma, so much as I have a sad fact to face: 2014 is gonna be the first year in many years that I don’t bother buying a planner for myself.
Even though it was $4 at Barnes & Noble, and very cute. Did I mention it was covered in polka dots?
But I didn’t buy it. Instead, I bought the board book version of Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, which I later discovered Drew has never even heard of. So I think it was a good choice. (Chicka Chicka Boom Boom also has polka dots on the cover.)
Happy New Year! Let’s raise a glass to 2014 and to moving on, however (un)willingly we do so.
I spend a lot of time lamenting choices I’ve made: for example, I got in the wrong lane at Target, with the high-maintenance customer at the front of the line. Or, I bought lunch today even though I told myself ten times this morning not to do that. Usually, I took one freeway home when I should have taken the other. Etc.
But sometimes, I do something, and when the dust settles I just feel like I have to throw myself a parade because I MADE THE RIGHT CHOICE.
This is one such thing:
This is an aux cable, which I can use to play music (or audiobooks!) from my iPod or iPhone in the car. Drew and I went to Best Buy like a month ago to buy one, and it was a hassle to park and then to get the stroller inside, so when the only aux cable they had on the shelf was $22, I bought it because I didn’t want our trip to have been in vain.
But when I got home and checked Amazon, they had this baby for $1.57 with free (albeit super slow) shipping. I was like, Sorry Best Buy, and promptly ordered this one, and returned the Best Buy one later that week.
So yeah, this cable took awhile (like 3 weeks) to show up. But it’s perfect, and the cord retracts into the center piece until you pull it out, so it’s not flopping all over the place. I love it. So happy. I MADE THE RIGHT CHOICE.
In high school, I sucked at sports but my friends didn’t. So in order to hang out with them, I kept stats for the softball and girls’ basketball teams. Kind of dorky, but it was fun, and I was good at it, and I have a lot of good memories of away games (and home games too, for that matter).
But things would be very different if I were doing this in 2013. For example, two vanfuls of girls used to drive back from an away game in Ukiah or Willits or Fort Bragg or Colusa or wherever. When we got back to the high school parking lot, the one coach (a father of one of the girls) who had a portable phone would unpack this briefcase so we could all call our parents to come get us. The reception was terrible (likely the fault of the isolated county, and not the briefcase phone).
Oh, the good old days.
An even better example – but one that it’s possible I’m slightly misremembering – is the time we were headed up to Hoopa for a big annual softball tournament. (I think it was softball.)
This was a very exciting event for us, not least because it was so far away, and we would have to spend the night, and we could probably also fit in a trip to the big mall in Eureka. (No mall in our hometown!)
(I loved the Bayshore Mall growing up, but now Yelp gives it 2.5 stars and calls it a “small town mall.” Ouch.)
The way I remember it, we drove all night long, but now that I’m looking at the the driving time and everything…we probably just left early in the morning. I was in a car with our chemistry/physics teacher, beloved by everyone, his wife, and his daughter, who was on the team. Side note: I love everyone in their family. They were and still are awesome all around.
I remember sitting in the backseat in a pile of blanket and pillows, and driving through the dark. Marilyn was asleep in the far backseat. (Like I said, it was like 2am…right?) There was some weird station on the radio and they were playing Dr. Demento and some other similar song, and the only part of it I remember is an increasingly insane “Poppies poppies poppies poppies!”
When the internet first became the thing that it is today, I searched for that song a little bit, but now I think I prefer not to ever find it and know what it is.
It was pouring rain and I guess it eventually got light outside but I don’t really remember that part. I do remember arriving in Hoopa to find out that the fields had been completely flooded and the tournament was canceled.
I guess there was just someone hanging out at the school, telling everyone that it was canceled. And probably, they made some phone calls in the morning when they had to cancel the tourney. But if the only number they had was the school, and no one was at the school…and none of us had cell phones that the calls could have been relayed to anyway. So we made the entire probably 5-hour drive for no reason.
Well…not NO reason. We did go to the mall and go shopping and get lunch or whatever.
And then…we drove back home. I guess.
We were in Lakeport this weekend and so I’m being sweetly sentimental about a lot of late-90s/early-2000s things. But, I’m also very happy to have internet and a smartphone and all the improvements technology has brought into our lives. I’ll even take the complications.
I suck at technology. I’m not saying that in a braggy, isn’t-this-funny sort of way. I suck at computer-related things, car-related things, and iPhone-related things.
At some point I got into my head that I did not want to download the new operating system for my phone. So I just never did. But things started slowly dropping off the map: certain apps wouldn’t let me update them because I didn’t have the new iOS, then there were new apps I couldn’t even download, then I couldn’t even use some of the apps I had. Ridiculous.
So I tried to download the new iOS…and for some reason I couldn’t complete it. I downloaded the new iTunes, I downloaded the new iOS, but my computer consistently got stuck on backing up my phone. I left it plugged in for hours, and no dice. One night I left it plugged in overnight, hoping that when I woke up magic would’ve happened…but apparently when my laptop went to sleep, it shut down the backup. Disappointing.
I knew I needed to just go to the Apple store. But who has time to do that?
Well, finally, one day a couple weeks ago I magically found time to do just that in the middle of the afternoon. I dropped by the Apple store at the Hillsdale Mall and was told that all I needed to do was to make an appointment at the Genius Bar. Which I did. I went back a couple days later, at my appointed time, and spoke to Johnny. He was a delightful and helpful Genius with an assortment of tattoos, including the Apple logo.
I was prepared for the fact that they might have to wipe entire phone to update the iOS, so I had backed up everything the night before. It was still nerve-wracking: I sat there and watched the status bar progress, just hoping that everything would go okay.
A 30-something in a suit sat down next to me and told Johnny about how his phone had stopped charging and he needed to buy another one. Then I felt grateful that I didn’t have to buy another phone. (Then my thoughts started spiraling out of control, and I found myself at the point of “I’m glad I’m just losing my contacts and not my family,” etc etc.)
When I got home that night, I plugged my phone into my laptop to sync everything back up, and EVERYTHING – contacts, apps, photos, texts – repopulated in the phone. A complete success. And all thanks to Apple! Great products and awesome customer service!
(I did end up deleting all photos and videos anyway, because they were taking up all the available space. After I did that, I could update all apps and even download new ones, and start taking more pictures! Life is good.)
I might hate CDs. I feel like they multiply, and they are everywhere in our apartment. But when do I play CDs? Occasionally, in the car. But why play a CD when I have all my music on my ipod? The CD in my car player right now is disc 1 of the PBS “Broadway – The American Musical” 5-disc series. It’s been there for months. I never listen to it. Not sure why I even picked disc 1 and stuck it in there. I should switch to a different one. (For a full listing of all the songs on each disc, click here.)
The down side of going through all your childhood stuff is that, if you’re a child of the same time period that I am, you have collected a lot of CDs. A lot of factory CDs, but also, a lot of CDs with unfamiliar handwriting – The Rocky Horror Show, or Poe’s Haunted, or even non-music CDs, like Mario’s Into The Woods Pics. It’s actually a relief when I flip a disc over and discover that it’s scratched beyond repair, and I can just toss it. Otherwise, I have to sit and think about whether I need a CD version of Poe’s Haunted, when I have the entire thing in digital form.
When I Google “recycled CDs,” I find this website telling me ways I can use old CDs for fun crafts. Here is an excerpt from that site:
Others have used old CDs to make disco balls, sun catchers, wreaths, mosaics, mobiles, party invitations and even bird treats — just coat the disc with peanut butter or bacon grease, dip it in bird seed, attach it to a tree with yarn and watch the birds flock to your yard.
Um, yuck. For some reason, the idea of using a CD for a bird feeder – covered in bacon grease, no less! – just grosses me out. What’s wrong with the good old-fashioned bird feeder, using a pine cone coated in peanut butter and seed?
Anyway. For now I’ve just been kind of stockpiling the CDs that I can’t bring myself to throw away, and chucking the ones that I can justify.
Future generations: You are so lucky (or, potentially, so unlucky in some way that I can’t even fathom) to have everything be digital. It’s so much easier, and you don’t constantly feel like you’re being wasteful. Although it makes me nervous to have everything just be floating around in cyberspace, I can usually tamp down the urge to print out everything and store it in a box for 12 years.
In a crossword puzzle yesterday, a clue was “a button on a cassette player” and the answer was “rewind.” Do you even know what that means, people who were born after 1995?? (A coworker suggested we call them “Generation Text.”)
PS. This is even crazier – I found this:
If I hadn’t already found the bound paper version of this Nanowrimo, that I had printed at Kinko’s back in 2003 (before it was Kinko’s/FedEx), the discovery of this floppy disk would have thrilled me, while also panicking me, as I have no idea where I could even put this thing.
As it is, I tossed it in the trash as well.
So long, past.