It was 2007 and I was in class wiping drool off my computer desk. No, I hadn’t just roused from a sleepy stupor moon struck over Johnny Depp. The iPhone had been unveiled. Its lightweight construction, touch screen and revolutionary operating system had never been seen before. It had an iPod built in? This can’t be; I must still be dreaming. But I wasn’t. Fast forward a little bit…
I got one.
Then I suddenly became the Empress of the Universe. Yes, that was my official title. There wasn’t anything I couldn’t do. So, this feeling of empowerment persisted for the years to follow. I learned how to jailbreak the phone early on, crashing through the walls of containment Apple had put in place to display their dominance over the fan club of users that flock to the store year after year to pay hundreds of dollars for the next iPhone with a few new features that all the other smartphones have already been implementing for years….<insert breath here>
I’m still waiting on my commission and bonus checks for all the cellphone users I converted over to the happy, delusional, state of Apple.
I’ve been eligible for an upgrade through my carrier since July of this year. You may have guessed by now that I was holding out out for the newest and greatest iPhone yet…”The biggest thing to happen to iPhone since iPhone,” right Tim Cook? Yeah.
So the phone was unveiled, the frenzy was unleashed, I’m forever unimpressed…and now suddenly “un-empressed.”
So one week ago I did the unthinkable. I strolled into the AT&T store with a grimace on my face, trembling with fear and uncertainty, mumbling and stuttering the words “I’d like a G-g-galaxy S-s-s-3…p-p-please.”
Here are a couple of reasons why I continue to rationalize, justify and reconcile my decision to make the switch…
You know all those peripherals like, um, Bose docking stations, home theaters, items of the like? Yeah, they all came with built in connections to connect iPods and iPhones. Now that Apple has switched to the “Lightning” connector, NONE OF THOSE THINGS CONNECT. Unless, of course, you want to pay the $30 for an adapter and carry that around…which ironically, is about the same size as my iPod Nano, so I may as well carry that around in the event I want to listen to music on any of my other no-longer-Apple-friendly products. So, if there was ever a time to cross over to the dark side, it is now.
My chances of getting struck by lightning are greater than my chances of caving into buying Lightning adapters.
The screen? Still smaller than that of its main competitor, the Galaxy S3. Of course, Apple will have an answer for that, just like they blamed the iPhone 4 antenna problem on the way we held the phone to our faces. Why do we tolerate this degree of insolence and come back year after year to buy a new product from them? Where is our free will? I’ve been using my Galaxy S3 for about a week and there is NOTHING the iPhone does that it can’t do. In fact, I can do the same things with my S3 out of the box that I could do only with a jailbroken iPhone.
Speed? Lightning fast (no pun intended.) Yes, it’s faster than the iPhone.
NFC? Stands for Near Field Communication, and I’ll never use it, but it’s the coolest option ever and iPhone users don’t have it. Ha.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I am no exception to being a creature of habit, and it has taken some adjusting, and I am far from a pro…and after iOS for umpteen years, there is a bit of a learning curve…but darn you Apple, you are not the greatest thing since sliced bread.
So now it comes down to the age-old question, “Is the grass really greener on the other side?” Well, if the grass is bigger, better, faster and less inhibiting, then yes. I rest my case. And thank you to my S3, I feel like an empress…again.
“ All you need for a movie is a gun and a girl. ”
Many moons ago (even more than I’d like to admit, since the recent blue moon) an art teacher once placated my anguish as I agonized over an absurd error that I felt ruined my art FOREVER. Forever seems to be fairly permanent, so I was devastated. On the bright side, her consolation has stuck with me ever since. She said, “An artist never makes a mistake, just as a dancer on stage takes the wrong step and nobody but the dancer is aware.” And man did I take that to heart; I’ve made all kinds of mistakes since then! Mistakes I know about, mistakes I know I don’t know about and mistakes I don’t know I don’t know about. How liberating.
I consider myself to be an artist–I know, a ‘self-proclaimed’ artist, la dee da; but truly, aren’t we all? Every day we wake up and weave another thread into the tapestries of our lives. Every decision we make is a fiber of a different color. The speed at which we work through our lives, one 24 hour chunk of gossamer at a time. Alas, I am not here to guide anyone through some philosophical epiphany that leads them through the congested arteries of fact vs fiction that will eventually illuminate their purpose in life…I’m still looking for mine. I’m here to admit the mistakes I made the other night. I made some huge ones. Grandiose. Irreversible. Unthinkable. And I will gladly show case them right here:
You see, I had the grand opportunity to watch a flamenco show recently, and it was enchanting. I’ve also recently acquired a Nikon D3100, so, every day is a phantastic photographic opportunity. Did anyone know how impossible action shots in low light settings could be? Since I am an ‘artist,’ I intended all the shots to come out just the way they did…
So it took a day or two for the mosquito bites on all my fingers to heal up well enough that I would actually have enough movement in my joints to write a post. It’s been an awfully long time since I’ve written, but if meteors and space debris don’t offer inspiration, then I don’t know what would. NASA mentioned that some of the best times to view Perseids meteor shower would be the twilight hours before morning on Sunday and Monday, so in theory, Saturday and Sunday nights. My viewing location was nowhere near the city or any light pollution, so it must have been a spectacular show, right? Wrong. From what I’ve read, it seems that when one sits beneath the stars, there’s a slight possibility oneth also siteth beneath the clouds…
And that’s how it happened. A calm morning painted with the glow from Citronella candles, the music from my Pandora “Pretty Lights” station (I know, how appropriate) and two Starbuck’s double espresso’s later, the grand tally was 8. Yes ladies and gentlemen, 8 separate occasions of space debris. And I’d have evidence of this, had I received a warning from the divine, 10 seconds prior to a shooting star. Maybe just a light whisper or a change in wind direction? Ha, had there been any wind, I wouldn’t have had mosquitos using me as a landing strip, buffet line and beach bazaar. The only warning I got was this sign here, clearly suggesting I stop my failed attempts at catching an eluding star and go home.
It was enjoyable, none the less. And I fibbed earlier, there was actually 9. On my way home, still listening to Pretty Lights, I actually managed to catch the most fantastic flash of light from my peripheral. I turned my head just in time to see a shooting star, larger than any I had seen earlier, make its way across the sky. It was fiery and ambitious, and a perfect way to end the night.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words and I didn’t feel like typing that much, so here’s what you missed summed up in a few pictures.
There were lots of ales…
…Lots of brewing companies….
…Plenty of cold ones….
…Tons of new brews to try…
…Many you’ll never forget….
…Lots of water bottles…
…Way too much bread pudding…
…And not enough restrooms.
Remember when riding your bike sans hands was the ultimate declaration of control, balance and determination? No? Maybe it was just me. I remember my bicycle, laden with sparkly pink tassles billowing from the handlebars and bright white tires. The neighborhood cul-de-sac was my hamster wheel. If only I could master the suitable speed, the accurate angle and the required rhythm; I could let go of the bars. I eventually conquered that cul-de-sac. Although, ever since, I feel like I’ve been trying to conquer the cul-de-sac in every neighborhood my life has brought me to, however brief the stay. At times I’ve had great success. At times my gears got stuck, my tires went flat or my seat needed to be readjusted. I’m still on the same bike, we all are. It’s not the same pink one I had as a child, or the same neighborhood I grew to know like the back of my hand, but in some shape or form, that bike becomes your life. How you maneuver it, maintain it and manage it determines everything. At times I’ve tried to let go of the handlebars when I thought I was ready, only to find out that I needed more time. At times when going down hill I’ve forgotten how to apply the brakes. At times a slight moment of indecisiveness caused an accident. The truth is, I’m still learning how to ride that thing and I don’t think we ever stop learning; and yes, training wheels aren’t so bad after all.
Due to unforeseen circumstances, I have been recently blessed with the gift of day time hours to do with what I please. It’s somewhere along the lines of, “Be careful what you wish for—” because you’ll get it, and it won’t be nearly as glorious as you imagined it would be.
After six cups of raspberry kisses coffee, half a loaf of banana nut bread and a dollop of Cool Whip, any simple civilian non warrior princess would feel like they could conquer the world…so that’s what I set out to do–probably tomorrow.
For today though, a run to the bank, quick session of retail therapy and a thorough meander through the beer aisle will soon quell this poignant desire to plunge myself into the pursuit of productivity.
I shan’t wish for anything more since, well, I’ll probably get it. Then the simplicity of a quiet day pondering the innards of my thoughts will escape me and I’ll be left with nothing but the distant memory of another week vamoosed from my grasp and nestled neatly into the calendar squares of days past.
Sometimes, it seems that we all need a little extra coaxing. Even when we’re properly trained, resolved and strapped with a parachute, we just can’t bring ourselves to make that jump. Conquering our fears of the unknown, the uncertainty about what awaits us in our landing, or (if you’re a statistician) the probability that our second parachute will malfunction much like the first one. What’s the worst that could happen (aside from certain death)? Well, every now and again it feels like I’m the hesitant jumper and life is the S.O.B. that said, “Look over there!” and then gave a very spirited shove when it was least expected. It must happen to even the most seasoned jumpers, right? The excitement, the anticipation, the dainty arthropods fluttering about our insides–it’s what makes us feel alive, and quite frankly, keeps up coming back for more. It’s these perceived adversities that shape us. As we fine tune our reactions to the unforeseen and polish our most innate instinct of perseverance, we evolve into professionals. No, I don’t mean the big cheese that strokes your pay check, I mean professional survivors. Cunning and competent enough to survive with minor cuts and scrapes even when our equipment fails us or the first aid kit is empty…
As our avant-garde civilization gravitates toward communication at 4G speeds, travel at light speeds, and 30 minute lunch “hours” (if you’re lucky) one may find themselves trekking to the local drug store just to indulge their wants and satisfy their needs. On a recent excursion of mine, I managed to bypass the cosmetics without incident and B-line to the oral hygiene aisle, frozen food section, miscellaneous sand pit and impulse quagmire (unavoidable.) What I learned during my travels is a treasure trove of priceless information that I will gladly pass along to fellow survivalists.
According to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, the most fundamental level is the one where necessities such as food, water, sleep and sex (in no particular order) must be met before an individual can graduate to subsequent levels, eventually achieving “Self-actualization.” This apex is when a person realizes and achieves their full potential.
*Author’s note: If anyone has reached this level, please send me a step-by-step guide with illustrations and foot notes*
Now, there are five levels to this pyramid of needs and I only returned with 4 items, so clearly Self-actualization will need to be purchased at a later date.
In order to satisfy level one (physiological needs), a Lean Cuisine spaghetti with meatballs and mushrooms was procured for later consumption. What was gained from this? Vitamins, calories, protein and a level of contentment that only a lioness feels after she feasts upon the prey she stalked from across the pharmacy and cornered in the freezer section.
Moving up the pyramid we find safety needs: family, health, resources, employment, blah blah blah. This is where Crest Pro-Health Complete with “6 in 1” benefits comes in. I just simply swish 10mL of this enchanted formula and instantly I get: family, health, resources, employment, property and morality.
Well, it did say 6 benefits, but I’m guessing it refers to the reconstruction of enamel, prevention of cavities and an assortment of other mundane dental terminology.
Continue up the pyramid, we’re now at Love/belonging. I did manage to acquire a bag of Kettle Brand natural sea salt potato chips– and according to the back of this bag, and I quote, “simply great tasting, all natural potato chips made by a company that cares.” Bingo. I now instantly feel loved by this company that cares. Next.
Esteem; now this one is a little bit tricky (no pun intended, you’ll see.) In order to achieve a feeling of self-esteem, confidence and respect, there’s no telling how long it may take and whether I have the patience to wait that long. So instead, I picked up a deck of Bicycle playing cards (trusted since 1885) and accomplished esteem by diligently shuffling and bridging my crisp, virginal deck of cards before the eyes of my peers while they ooh-ed and ahh-ed at my sprightly and nimble fingers. Well, there really was no illusory feat here, but impressive none the less.
If you haven’t been keeping count, there’s only one level left: Self-actualization. Within the confines of this triangular concept of true potential we find the words: creativity, spontaneity, lack of prejudice and acceptance of facts. Lacking in all of the above, I will concede that I have yet to reach the attainment of all these truths, but I will accept the fact that I could learn a thing or two from others.
Any of you feel you have achieved the ultimate Self-actualization? If you have, please refer to my author’s note.