Too Dumb For A Smart Phone?

images[5]I finally figured out that the empty squares I received along with texts were pictures my friends had attempted to send from their latest smart phone. Unfortunately, they had sent them to my beloved, but antiquated, flip-phone. Begrudgingly, I decided it was time to enter the twenty-first century, and acquire one of these devices for my own. My main concern, am I smart enough for a smart phone? Historically, me and technology don’t mix. In fact, I had my flip-phone for several years before I figured out that I could send text with it. It’s a known fact that my brother, Rich, got 90% of the tech-savvy in our family, and the rest of us, maybe 10%(and that’s being generous). Sad, but true. Note to young women, marry a tech-savvy/auto mechanic/plumber who can cook–you’ll thank me later. Even if he looks like a Duck Dynasty reject, the first time he fixes your computer, car or toilet you’ll see him in a whole new way–and, in the right light(say the dim light of a computer), he might even look kinda sexy.   Sadly, I did not marry such a fellow, and am left to figure out these things myself.  Boo hoo!

The following “true” account  perfectly illustrates my technophobia.  I was thrilled to procure a position as a paralegal at a prestigious law firm after graduating from college.  Once they showed me to my office, and introduced me to my co-workers, it was time to learn the firm’s phone system.  Graduating Summa Cum Laude, learning a phone system would be a piece of cake.  As instructed, I called the receptionist, who would assist me in setting up my voice mail–something I’d never used before in any previous employment.  I breezed through the first set of instructions, no problem.  Next, the receptionist instructed me to “Pound seven”.   Thinking it a bit odd, but determined to follow her instructions to the letter, I firmly touched the seven key with my index finger, with as much force as I could without breaking my fingernail.  Not getting the result I was supposed to get, I asked the very patient receptionist to repeat her instruction one more time.  So, again she said, “Pound seven”.   With as much force as I could muster, I began poking the seven key, causing me to cramp in my finger.  “Any luck?”  “No–I’m pounding the seven key as hard as I can, and it doesn’t seem to be working.”   First, awkward silence, then, hysterical laughter could be heard on the other end of the line.  Realizing my ignorance, the receptionist, quite sweetly, remarked that “pound” referred to the number(#) sign on the phone’s keypad.  Index finger still throbbing, and pride a bit injured, I finally managed to successfully set up my voice mail.  To her credit, the receptionist never mentioned this incident to anyone–and I decided not to file a Worker’s Comp claim for the finger I injured while setting up my phone.

So, you can understand my aversion to Smart Phones.  Even the name is intimidating.  Bravely, I finally took the plunge, and ordered a Smart Phone, an android smart phone, to be exact.  Sounds like technology from another planet.  As far as I’m concerned, it might as well be.  It took me an entire week to work up the courage to actually open the box once the phone shipped, because I knew that once it was opened and activated, there was no going back.  I decided to learn how my new phone worked on a weekend, so I’d have time to watch some of the “how-to” videos online.  I managed to enter my contacts from my old phone, and could silence the phone.  What else did I need to learn?  So, as usual, I took my son to school, and told him to give me a call when he was ready to be picked up.  Which he did–except for one problem, I kept trying to answer the phone, by touching the green phone icon, but was never connected to my son.  Three more calls, and loads of frustration later, I realized that I didn’t know how to answer my new phone.  Totally embarrassed, I finally headed over to where my son was supposed to be.  Thankfully, aware that I might be having problems using my new toy, he’d wisely come out of the building to meet me.  When I told him what had happened, I asked him to help me  figure this thing out.  Looking at my phone, Zach said, “Mom, I think you need to swipe it.”  Simple as that.  At last I could answer my phone.  So much for Summa Cum Laude.

Not exactly a Smart Phone guru, one thing’s for sure, you won’t find me texting while driving.  Hey, maybe I’m smart enough for a Smart Phone, after all.

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Country-Fied Chick

English: Line dancing at a Country Western Dan...
English: Line dancing at a Country Western Dance Hall and Saloon. Italiano: Esempio di Line dance. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Watching the CMA’s this past week reminded me of how much I love country music.  Here’s how that love began…

Boring.  Dull.  Dowdy.  Not the most flattering descriptions.  A couple of years ago, that’s who I was.   On a typical Friday night, clad in an oversized robe and sweatpants, trough-sized popcorn in hand,  and mesmerized by some news drama, there I sat alone watching TV in our bedroom.  I was about as sexy as a cafeteria lunch lady.  Meanwhile, my husband, nearly as exciting, would be lying across our definitely inappropriately-named “loveseat”, watching one of his favorite manly shows, like Ice Road Truckers, mindlessly chomping on plastic-wrapped faux meat products he’d purchased at the convenience store on the way home from work.  But something happened which disrupted  our routine.   My husband announced that he’d be working in another state for a few months,  with few visits home.  The first week, nothing much changed, and my normal Friday night routine continued except, I started to miss my husband.  Then, I caught the CMA’s on TV. Those country girls with their perfect makeup, beautiful hair, and gorgeous dresses, were absolutely stunning.  I started thinking, what if instead of lamenting my husband’s absence, I used this time to remake myself, and hopefully reignite the passion in our lackluster marriage.

Shortly after my epiphany, I received an e-mail about continuing ed classes at a nearby community college.  Curious, I perused the offerings, and one in particular peaked my interest.  Country Line Dancing.  Sounded fun, no partner needed, and hopefully I’d benefit from some much-needed exercise.  Please be kind, but the last time I danced, it was to the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack.  Disco helped me get in shape in my twenties.  Perhaps, country line dancing would do the same for me in my fifties, albeit a little slower.  Nervous and excited at the prospects, I signed up for the class.  Before signing up, the only “country” I knew was gastronomically, as in chicken fried steak smothered in black pepper cream gravy.  Delicious on the lips, not so much on the hips.  Once I signed up for country line dancing, I not only ate all things country, I was into all things country, from purchasing a cowboy hat and boots, to listening to country music whenever I got the chance.

Walking into my first country line dance class, expecting more of a Blake Shelton look-a-like,  white hair, sparkling blue bespectacled eyes, and slightly pudgy belly,  my teacher looked more like a beardless version of a department store Santa.  In fact, if he’d had on a red suit I might have jumped on his lap and given him my Christmas Wish list.  However, his wife, also in the class, might have objected.  Still, he had a friendly and warm presence, and once he began dancing, it was apparent that his talents were not limited to gift giving.  This guy knew his stuff.  And, it was actually comforting to see a “regular Joe”, or, Santa, in this case, who could dance.  I figured if he could do it, so could I!

Twenty people showed up to the first class.  Most were menopausal ladies, like me, along with a couple of brave men, one young, the other closer to my age.  The young man, looking about my son’s age, wanted to learn how to dance to impress the young girls at the honky-tonk.  The older gentleman, quite admirably, wanted to impress his wife with his new dance skills on their anniversary.  Lucky girl.  Class was only supposed to last an hour.  But, we were having so much fun,  we went over by thirty minutes.  After a good deal of sweat, from rampant hot flashes and exercise, and tears– of laughter, we completed our first class learning two dances along the way.

What a blast!  I couldn’t remember the last time I felt so invigorated.  From that first class, I was hooked.  Unlike some folks in my class, I didn’t pick up the dance steps so quickly.  So, to prepare for my next class I’d practice–a lot.  My instructor posted dance demonstrations on You Tube.  Of course, the more I practiced the better I got, which gave me more confidence.  And, my jeans, always tight, began to loosen.  Yee Haw!

During the course of my lessons I learned a whole new vocabulary, too.  Wobble and Tush Push held new meanings for me.  For instance, I learned that Wobble was more than what a Weeble toy does,  and Tush Push, unlike when you’re constipated, can actually be a fun activity– both providing great opportunities to shake my booty.

I was having so much fun that the time flew by.  Soon, my prodigal husband would be returning.  Wearing my new tighter fitting jeans, tucked into my tan, fringed cowboy boots,  I welcomed my husband home with my best southern charm.  My husband had left behind Granny on The Beverly Hillbillies, and come home to Elly May.  Okay, maybe not exactly Elly May, I am in my fifties, after all.  But, country line dancing had infused me with passion and excitement, and it showed in both my appearance and behavior.  Noticing the change, my husband was eager to know what had happened to me.  Instead of telling him, I let my feet do my talking, and demonstrated some of my best country moves.  Well, one thing led to another, and let’s just say we ended up enjoying some long overdue southern comfort, if you know what I mean.

When my husband finally unpacked his bags, to my  surprise, he pulled out a fairly new pair of size 14 black and red cowboy boots.  Apparently, I wasn’t the only one learning country dancing while he was away.  Turns out, my husband was learning, too!  We’d become such different folks, that my husband said it felt like we were cheatin’.  Oh, that’s another part of my countrification–a made-up word that fits.  When you talk country, you lose the final “g” in words ending in “ing”.  So, lying becomes “lyin'”,  cheating becomes “cheatin'”, you get the idea.  I highly recommend country line dancing.  It’s cheaper than seeing a marriage counselor, and a lot more fun.  And, if you’re lucky, you might just end up doin’ the Cupid Shuffle under the covers with your favorite cowboy.

Ode to Donuts

English: Apack of donut Français : Un paquet d...
English: Apack of donut Français : Un paquet de donuts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Donuts.  You know you’re in trouble when that’s the first thought that pops into your head in the morning.  Plus, I had already gained a little weight recently.  Okay, maybe more than a little.  Anyway, there are some foods worth fudging a little bit on our diets for, like, well fudge for one, and donuts, of course, for the other.  So, instead of feeling guilty over my bad choice, I decided to let destiny determine my fat.  Oops, I mean fate.

I diligently scoured the “coupon drawer” for a coupon for donuts, figuring my financial budget didn’t have to suffer along with my caloric budget.  Ah-hah!  I found one.   And, even better, the coupon was promoting football-shaped donuts.  Since two of my favorite teams were playing football that afternoon, what a perfect way to kick off the day.  And, with a coupon, I could be both frugal and festive(won’t my husband be proud).  Plus, saving money would make me feel a little less guilty about my decadent indulgence.  A little. Except for one minor detail–the coupon expired twenty-four days ago.  (Sadly, this coupon was one of the more current coupons in the drawer).  Organizational skills aside, at least my intentions were good.

Just then, I remembered that I had not looked in yesterday’s paper.  Perhaps, there would be a coupon for my precious donut there.  By the way, my favorite donut is the chocolate long john.  This delicacy defines lusciousness.  Puffy fried dough covered in a rich velvety chocolate blanket.  What’s not to love.  I’m obsessed.  I reasoned that if there was such a coupon, then surely I was meant to eat it.  Eagerly shaking the paper out of the yellow plastic bag, I unfolded it with great anticipation.  It was a miracle.  Right there at the top of the front page was a coupon.  No kidding.  And, not just any coupon, my friend.   No, this was the rarest of coupons–a coupon for a free donut.  Score!  So, I hurriedly got dressed and headed out the door toward  my “donut of destiny”.  There was still one major hitch, however.  Everybody else in town apparently likes these lovelies almost as much as I do.  Whenever my eyes wander toward the pastry shelf, those tasty long johns are very often long gone.  And, under the circumstances, only my donut of choice would do.  If I was going to sacrifice my diet and health, it better be for a very good reason(I absolutely crave these suckers!)   So, only the real deal  would do. Thankfully, this coupon was for a store located on just about every corner of town.  Determined, I would search far and wide, if I had to, for my beloved chocolate long john.  (Never mind that gas prices were at an all-time high;  I had a free coupon for a donut, remember!)

That was not necessary, however.  The very first location I visited was a success–there it was, the love of my life, john, chocolate long john (Sorry hubby, you may have my heart, but my stomach belongs to john).   At last, it would be mine.  I quickly grabbed a wax paper sheet along with a plastic bag to protect my tasty treasure.  Triumphuntly, I strode up to the counter, proudly displaying my conquest, along with the free coupon.  What a coupe.

Sure, donuts have about a thousand calories, give or take.  None of which benefit me physically, in the least.  We all deserve a little indulgence every once in awhile, especially one ordained by a sign from above, like a free coupon.  Besides, I watched a nutritionist on TV talk about healthy eating, and drank a glass of skim milk, while eating my donut.  That’s got to be worth something, right?!

You know you love ’em, too.  So, what’s your favorite donut?