Archive for July, 2010

Predict This!

I don’t mind getting wrinkles. The way I see it, wrinkles are just a natural part of going through life. I’ve earned the smile lines on my face from seeing the world through a slightly sarcastic wit and with humor. I’ve even earned a worry line or two as I’ve raised my children or navigated my way through any pitfalls and challenges I’ve encountered. I wear my wrinkles with pride.

I don’t even mind too much the fact that on some days my “get up and go” seems to have done “gone up and went” and left in its wake a sore muscle or two where previously I would have been none the worse for wear. I’ve found ways to work around sore backs or the occasional lack of energy when I’ve been overly ambitious and forgotten the day before that even though my mind still THINKS like a 20-year-old, my body works like a 40 something and will loudly let me know when I’ve done more than I should. I just plan for recovery time and keep the Tylenol handy as needed.

For the most part, I enjoy this stage of life very much.

What DOES bug the holy heck out of me, is not being able to SEE anymore!

I’ve never had great eyesight. I’ve been very nearsighted since 5th grade, a legacy from my Mom. I started wearing contacts in 6th grade and have never looked back (so to speak). The fact that I don’t have and will never have 20/20 vision has always just been a constant in my life and not such a big deal. I have slowly come to the growing realization over the past few years however, that I can no longer see anything right in front of my nose without wearing my Dollar Tree readers. I am officially now blind as a bat, without the benefit of sonar. It turns out that aging is not indeed for wimps.

Plainly put, if I manage to somehow wander out into the world without one of my several dozen pair of reading glasses close at hand, I’m a menace to society. At the very least, I’m prone to severe fubars when it comes to deciphering details on packages or when reading menus in restaurants. My grown children have many stories of horror where they have had to read menu selections to Mom in full view of the public.

Now, finally to my problem de jour. Texting.

I’m hip..I really REALLY am. (quit laughing) I was geeky when geeky wasn’t cool and have maintained my stellar dork status throughout my life by staying current with new technology. I twitter. I blog. I instant message with a favorite Yankee frequently. I get it. While I still enjoy reading an actual book over owning a Kindle or iPad, and on occasion still would rather compose an old-fashioned snail-mail letter or send a handwritten card vs. an e-card, I for the most part, love the convenience of all things electronic. I will admit that I do have my own way of doing things and might put my own twist on how I use all these “timesavers”. Nonetheless, I stay well versed in most of the newest and at times silliest trends and innovations that come down the proverbial pike.

Texting, however, has become quite a challenge at times. I sit and watch my kids as they text. The blur of their fingers as they massacre the English language in 160 characters or less, yet can still manage to broker world peace, carry on a verbal conversation AND order pizza at the same time, astounds me. Without a single thought or even a glance most of the time, they can fly on tiny keyboards of varying designs and most of the time, I can even make out the real meaning of what they meant to convey as pertinent information in their texts to me.

Here’s where my individuality (you do remember that dying trait, don’t you?) comes in. My phone has dual keyboards. I love the versatility and many possibilities of it. Not only do I have an actual numerical keyboard to make calls with, I also have a full QWERTY keyboard at the ready for texting or composing my version of War and Peace should I so choose to do so on the flea sized keys. Instead of using the itty bitty “full” size keyboard though, I prefer to use the wonders of “predictive text” instead when I send my pearls of wisdom, edicts from Mom, sarcastic thoughts or purely flagrant flirting out to the world.

This is where the problem begins.

It turns out to my absolute amazement, that predictive text, ISN’T really all that predictive when it comes to putting together words that actually make sense when composing a text message. Who knew?? Apparently everyone but me.

Obviously whomever predicted how most people speak was from Mars (or a man). They also were obviously in severe need of a Magic 8 ball if this is their version of prediction.

Call me crazy, but when I want the word “it” in a sentence, for some reason, I find no rhyme or reason as to why, my phone insists on putting “ht” in as what it THINKS I mean to say. HT isn’t a word in any language I’ve ever encountered, yet my SMARTphone, insists on putting it into everything I write. My shortcoming in not always having reading glasses around when I might need them (insert, all the time) means that anyone receiving my texts has to learn to decipher what I meant to say rather than the cryptic mess of characters they might actually receive. I choose to think of it as creating my own language. Heck, that’s what the kids do with LOL and LMAO and TTFN, so why can’t I invent “senior moment texting”?

Other common words that are likely to be inserted by mistake include, but are not limited to…”nope” for “more”, “of” rather than “me”, “tie” instead of “the” and the ever popular “duck” rather than, well you get the idea. Suffice it to say that I’ve discovered the HARD way that predictive text was not really designed with sexting in mind either.

Most of the time, the people I’m texting are either related to me or are as “mature” in years as I am and have known me a long time, so they are used to whatever might cross their screens and knows what I meant to say and interpret it pretty well. They already know that I use correct grammar and spelling in my texts because the teacher in me will not allow me to use “text-speak” with a clear conscious. Well, I TRY to use correct spelling and punctuation, when I can see what I’m doing and the crack predictive text will let me. On top of it all I think I must type with a Southern accent, so that might lead to a tad more confusion at times when colorful, apparently obscure (for Yankees anyway) phrases emerge from my brain.

Anyway, life goes on and I’m adapting in my own special way. I just simply pretend I MEANT to send whatever gibberish I convey and keep texting. After all, if I can’t dazzle ’em with brilliance, I’ll just baffle them with BS instead, as the saying goes.

One of these days they’ll invent a keyboard that isn’t meant for fingers the size of gnats and a TV sized screen for we baby boomers that might be becoming a bit challenged with our eyesight. That way we can see what we’re doing and keep up with each other and all these young whippersnappers that are coming along behind us.

To paraphrase a movie quote from Kathy Bates in Fried Green Tomatoes, “I’m older and I spend more money”!! I may also be a tad meaner, but that’s an issue for another day. There HAS to be a growing market for those of us that are slightly sight challenged by our years of experience. (we’ll go with that. See, I CAN be politically correct at times!)

As for the attempts at marketing a phone meant for MY parents, the Jitterbug is a dance, not a phone. Please don’t insult our intelligence, however fleeting it may be. I refuse to be uncool, even it if means I keep sending my own unique brand of communications via text. Perhaps my new way of text-speak will become an overnight sensation.

Anyway BOT, IDK much but I’ll BBL and TTYL. CYA!!!

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Sweeping Out the Proverbial Cobwebs


I don’t know what happened.

My entire life, I’ve been known as someone who, while at times shy or reticent, has also been very wordy.

I talk a lot.

I have a lot of opinions on a myriad of subjects. I’m never without some abstract or even ironically stupid thoughts popping into my head as I travel through life. I’ve always put my thoughts, strange and not so strange, down into the written form. I enjoy turning words into pictures in someone else’s head. I love debate. I love the clever turn of a phrase in order to get a point or humor across. I’ve always held the strong opinion that the written word is quickly becoming a lost art.

In short, I love to play with my words.

Then, a year or so ago, I just stopped. No, I didn’t stop thinking or having opinions, but the desire or fire to put it all down for posterity’s sake (read: for my own sake) came to a screeching halt. I’d think of something that would spark my imagination and even compose an opening paragraph that would make Shakespeare proud in my head, then would never get around to composing even a single sentence in written form.

Instead, I’ve been wadding my ideas, opinions, hopes and dreams into a virtual paper ball and throwing them in the figurative trash can of my mind.

I let the weight of the world and chaos of day-to-day life intrude on the creative side of my personality. Nothing earth shattering really happened, although if you heard my hissy fits at times, you might assume differently. I AM a Southern female and a perhaps a tad feisty at times. After all, we can be prone to a having a canniption or two along the way as part of the Southern belle persona. With the changes in the world the past two years, the uncertainty we’ve all been touched by, it’s no wonder that we all have felt some sort of pressure or lack of inspiration. Some days are dominated merely by the oppressive feel of the atmosphere and other attitudes that surround us as we travel through our life.

I’ve come to realize that just when I start to think I’m finally reaching a point in my life where I’m more settled in my own skin, that’s when life throws us another curve as if to say, “oh no, don’t you get too comfortable..you’re not even close to what you’re going to end up as”. When life decided to throw me back into humility, did I decide to take full advantage of the extra, rich opportunities for fresh inspiration being tossed my way? Of course not. I simply stopped and spun my wheels in neutral as far as my writing went. I let my outlet for expressing myself in an unfettered way come to a halt.

I’m under no illusion that anything I put into words is likely to change the world. I write for myself, then if anything I manage to put in coherent form makes someone else stop and think, all the better. One thing I’ve realized is, as life’s journey continues, it’s essential to continue to move forward, adapt and keep your options open.

So, I’m dipping my toe back into the proverbial water…slowly. For me.

Heaven help us all!