Wednesday, December 14, 2011

UPDATE: Magenta phone comes home

As a postscript to the most recent post, I'm happy (I think) to say that my lost phone is now back in its owner's possession.

I had thought I'd looked everywhere and traced all my actions since the last time I had the phone in my hand, but I forgot something. We went out to dinner last Thursday evening and sat in a booth. My purse was sitting beside me, along with my coat and scarf. At some point I rooted through the pile next to me to get something from my purse. It wasn't the phone, but I'm guessing the phone thought this would be as good an opportunity as any to make its escape. And escape it did. I didn't notice it sitting there, despite its shocking pink color.

When I finally came to my senses and called the restaurant, I was happy to hear, "Yep. We've got it!" So all is well, except...I was going to use my lost phone as an excuse to go shopping for a newer and better one. Maybe I'll do that anyway. In the meantime, I'd better get all those stored phone numbers transferred to my computer before my errant Razr phone decides to get into trouble again.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Where's my #&!* phone???

I lost my cell phone. It's not in my purse, my car, my office, my bedroom, or the refrigerator. (I didn't actually look there for it, but you never know.) I'm not one of those people who hug a cell phone to their ears most waking hours. In fact, of the 500 minutes we have on our family plan, we use very few. But I've become so reliant on it, and now the cell phone is not alone in being lost.

I'm glad it's an old (very old by today's standards) model. A magenta Motorola Razr. It's not even a smart phone. In fact, I've always thought it was rather dumb. (Notice I didn't blame the user...) But it contains precious information: the cell numbers and sometimes home and office numbers of friends and relatives. I kept telling myself to record them in a document so that, if the phone died, I'd have them and be able to retype them into a new phone. Never happened. I add this to the long list of procrastinations that I've become infamous for.

I think I can hear some people saying "We got along fine for most of our lives without cell phones!" But think about it. We were able to cope while being away from home because we could always find a pay phone: in a booth on the street, in a supermarket, at municipal buildings, in the airport. Try finding one conveniently located now. And I know I had many moments when a cell would have made life so much easier. Two cases in point:

  1. We were invited to a dinner party that required a long car trip. Admittedly, we left home a few minutes later than we should have. And then we encountered an unexpected traffic jam. This was Chicago, so "unexpected" is ludicrous on a Saturday evening. I got nervous, as I tend to, concerned that our hosts would wonder why we're not there and would worry about us. At the time, there were phone stations scattered along Lake Shore Drive, but I wondered if stopping to make the call and then trying to weave back into traffic would make us even later. A cell phone would have eased the worry and the angst.
  2. We were picking up my daughter when she lived on a very busy street in a very busy and trendy north side neighborhood. Parking was not an option, so she was to wait downstairs in the lobby and watch for our car. Once again, traffic got the best of us, and we were much later arriving in front of the building than planned. Daughter was, to say the least, irritated. She had been waiting in the cramped lobby, peering out the window, and getting more and more annoyed. (Notice I didn't say "worried"...) Much later, when we had a mobile phone, we would call her when we were a few blocks away, and then she would come downstairs.
It's obvious, I view the value of the phone differently than someone much younger would. You don't hear me whining that, until I find the phone or get a new one, I can no longer text my friends and family, I can't take and email photos, and I can't ask my husband which brand of tonic water I should buy while standing in the grocery aisle. (To be fair, I don't text—yet.) I'm more concerned with those times when a call would alleviate worries, advise people to keep dinner warm, or provide a courtesy to someone who's expecting me.

So where in the world is my phone? By the way, don't try calling it. I had T-Mobile suspend my service for now, lest some unscrupulous person rack up charges for calls to far-away places. Before I give up and buy a new phone, I'm going to keep looking.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Accepting my quirks...finally

I found something else about aging that’s a good thing: I’m confident enough to affirm my strengths and admit my weaknesses. As for those weaknesses, I don’t care what anyone thinks about them anymore! And, by the way, I prefer to call them lifelong quirks. Here are a few:

Yes, I get intimidated by math. So what? I can always hand the dinner check to someone else to figure out or whip out my trusty tip card.

Yes, I have trouble swallowing pills. You wanna’ make something of it?

No, I’m not fond of driving. You can ask me to meet you at the area mall, but don’t expect me to drive into the heart of the city…and like it. I’m especially averse to driving in snow. It terrifies me when there’s an inch or more of new-fallen snow on the ground and, despite ABS brakes, stability control, and an SUV’s handling of slippery roads, I still grip the wheel until my fingers turn white and I dread an impending stop sign or light.

No, I'm not a very good cook. I used to fret over it because I was brought up in an era in which women were supposed to cook and be good at it. My mother made wonderful meals. My grandmother (on the other side) satisfied us with a weekly Friday night Shabbas dinner. Delightfully delicious saturated fat. But now I have a husband who is a good cook and likes it. So why should I sweat over it? For company, we search through a folder of catering menus, although I like to add some home-cooked side dishes. I can handle casseroles and salads.

I've heard and believe that it's never too late to learn something new or change one's outlook. I also believe that the longer one is on this planet the harder it is to do either. So I'm not giving up on improving any of these quirks...even while accepting them. I'm just not getting my hopes up too high.

Anger management is for the birds

You're never too old to learn new tricks. Even if those tricks don't offer anything of value to society or to yourself. My newest trick is learning to be an ace with the slingshot in Angry Birds.

My introduction to this addiction came from one of my twin 7-year-old grandsons. Being a word game aficionado (only crosswords and Boggle for me; I won't touch Sudoku), I never thought I'd get into this wordless app. Then I started playing it. With no strategy or forethought, I moved from Level 1 to Level 2, knocking out those nasty pigs like they were really my enemies. Soon I was hooked. Eventually, I completed all the levels of the first free Angry Birds app I downloaded and had to seek others. Now I'm working on Angry Birds Rio and, of all things, aiming at jeering monkeys!

As I shoot a bird high in the air and topple one little monkey, the critter gets shaken up and teeters on the edge of a wall. I scare myself as I shout, "Die already!"

Will learning this new skill (skill?) help prevent dementia? It seems to be the question on my mind in almost everything I do these days. We'll have to wait and see. I have read no reports of 90- and 100-year-olds with all their faculties who are noted Angry Bird champs.

Update: I completed Rio and have now started on Angry Birds Seasons. I'm still on Level 1, which starts with a winter backdrop—snowflakes falling all around the nasty green pigs (yes, again with the pigs!). Snowflakes, as you may know, put me in a snarly mood anyway, which can't hurt when I'm trying to annihilate a passel of pigs.