Tag Archives: iPhone

My Favourite Thing

It’s a nuisance. A distraction. A menace on the roads. A depressing sign of the times.

It’s also my window to the rest of the world. A handful of technological wonder in an otherwise menial and isolated day. A life, and sanity, saver.

Yes. I’m that mom. Smartphone never out of reach. The ubiquitous 5th child in my already busy brood. One more to keep track of, keep safe, keep an eye on at all times.

I’m not blind to the downsides of this strange love affair. I’ve debated each point ad nauseam, with the critic in my head. I can get downright philosophical about it.

Since humanity first harnessed the power of fire, split the atom and pioneered the worldwide web, we’ve shown an incredible capacity to use our fancy new tools for both good and evil. It’s in our nature. It’s in my nature.

This is Mommy’s security blanket. The smooth contours nestled perfectly in the palm of my hand. A solid, sure weight in a tumultuous world. A little piece of control safe in my pocket, in the place of honour at the top of my purse… if all else fails, tucked under a bra strap next to my skin, inches from my heart.iphone pocket

In the course of a day it is my trusted advisor, personal assistant, teacher, counsellor, biographer, court jester, emergency response system, flashlight, calculator, alarm clock and immediate connection to friends, family, help, encouragement, entertainment, poetry, news and much-needed-perspective.

Sometimes, it’s a hero. When our son choked on a cookie this weekend, it was my iPhone that I turned to; typing “foreign object aspiration” into the search engine to find out what to do now. I had weather forecasts, road conditions and a friendly GPS voice on hand to help me around heavy snowfall and road closures on the way to the ER. It kept an anxious Daddy and sisters in the loop, worried friends apprised of the situation and a miserable, scared little boy distracted with games and movie clips. I can’t imagine living through that day without it.

But, it can be overwhelming, so much information and connection hovering in the background. Reluctantly I pry my fingers off my friend from time to time. Pull the curtain. Focus on the here and now. Find silence and solitude again.

Until life and family intervene. The punishing momentum of needs and routines and our very own brand of chaos. A world within a world.

So I reach for Mommy’s best helper. 4.9 ounces of synthetic comfort for the modern woman.

This is my favourite thing.

So here’s my entry for the
Word Press Weekly Writing Challenge: Object.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/02/24/writing-challenge-object/

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Friday Favourites 34

I told my husband that I would DEFINITELY post something upbeat and life affirming this week. So far I’ve managed insecure/neurotic and angry/confrontational. It’s not looking good.

This afternoon as I rocked an extra-tired boy in my arms for Nap Attempt #3 (his first nap was interrupted by an impromptu field trip to pick up sick big sister from school and his second by the aforementioned sister coughing/crying/calling for Mommy)… anyway, there was rocking and wiggling and he decided that I just HAD to take a turn sucking on his soother (which smells strongly of spit but is nevertheless a very sweet gesture). He’s a giver.

We were having a moment there, when he started coughing so hard he puked. A half liter of curdled milk all over me, the chair and the once-upon-a-time-cream-coloured-carpet. As I scrubbed and laundered and bathed, I have to admit I wasn’t feeling all that upbeat or affirmed.

But then I realized how good I’ve got it. Hubby worked from home today so I wouldn’t miss my lunch date with my aunt. Sick boy is extra snuggly and I am well within my rights to keep him in footie jammies all day long. Sick girl is content to lay on the couch and reacquaint herself with the Wiggles (just in time for their big concert on Sunday, at which point she WILL be healthy, she WILL). The big girls have playdates, fun activities at church and sleepovers, quite happily leaving us home to enjoy early bedtimes and whatever the grownups want to watch on Netflix all evening long.

It really is a wonderful, messy, difficult, meaningful, smelly, exhausting, worth-it-all life!

How’s that for upbeat? Now here’s some random stuff that makes me smile.

Quote

“Behind every great man is a woman rolling her eyes.”

~ Jim Carrey

Marketing Gimmick

Make something pink, add the tag line “for her” et voila: a whole new product. If it’s pointless enough Ellen, will promote it on her show.

App

Earlier this week I was reading a book, blissfully unaware of the world around me when out of nowhere a car careened around a corner, hit a blockade, flipped over and over and over and landed RIGHT ON TOP OF ME!

The next day I was caught in a fiery explosion while talking on the phone. The girls found Action Movie FX and I can’t help but get caught in the crossfire. You can add all kind of disasters to whatever you happen to be filming with just a click of a button.

Apple Maps Parody

So here’s the thing: I love apple products. And like most people who do, I am strangely loyal/obsessed/fangirl about them. But apparently Google doesn’t feel the same way. In fact, Apple and Google broke up last year. And Apple was all like, “I don’t need you anyway, I’ll make my own maps, better maps… You’ll rue the day!!! Mwhahahaha…”

So, the latest iPhone and, thanks to automatic updates, ALL of our phones, now have Apple Maps. And it is Terrible. But, there’s always a bright side; this one is that now we can all make fun of it. I bet Google is feeling pretty smug right about now.

So here’s me: I smell like vomit, the snot on my face is not my own, but who’s to say this isn’t life affirming?


Friday Favourites 8

Insert witty and/or interesting comment here. Then segue into random list of favourite things.

Or, lie on the couch and fight off stomach bug. Blergh. Good enough.

Quote

I do my thing, and you do your thing.
I am not in this world to live up to your expectations
And you are not in this world to live up to mine.
You are you and I am I
And if by chance we meet, it’s beautiful.
If not, it can’t be helped.
– Fritz Perls

Music Video

That’s right, the song you’ve been waiting your whole life for: “Smells Like Teen Spirit” as a cello duet. Every bit as weird and compelling you are imagining.

Totally rethinking my choice of clarinet for grade 6 band.

Blog

Ever flip through a catalog (or wander through Ikea) and wonder WHO lives like this. Wonder no more… Catalog Living is “a glimpse into the exciting world of the people living in your catalogs.” Meet Gary and Elaine from Anytown, USA and the hilarious commentary on their “catalog life”.

Now available in book format: Decorating Takes (Wicker) Balls by Molly Erdman

Take a peek, you won’t regret it!

iPhone/iPad App

The most I’ve ever paid for an app at $4.99, but worth every penny. Insta-paper lets me click “read later” whenever I come across an interesting article or blog post.

I don’t have time to sit down and read everything I stumble across while surfing the web or scrolling through my twitter feed. When I do find the time (say, a day spent lying on the couch sipping ginger ale…) I can read my personal “newspaper” of articles at my leisure.

Book

I’m doing a project for my Psych class on adolescent deliquency, which has awoken the need to re-read an old favourite: The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton. The movie was okay (hard to go wrong with that much star-power), but as usual, I’m going to vote for the book all the way. Maybe it’s just fond memories of childhood or because I totally had a crush on Ponyboy Curtis when I was 13, but I’ve always loved it.

So here’s me, ignoring piles of homework so that I can cry over a bunch of greasers. Be cool, Sodapop.


Friday Favourites 5

Learning to Shut Up, High Tech Family Time and British Melodrama

This week I’ve gone back to school for the first time in 17 years. I was a bit of a keener back in the day, but it’s a whole new ball game now. I like to sit at the front with my friend Beth, and I try – I really, really try – to bite my tongue and play it cool.

But we’re talking about childbirth and parenting styles in Developmental Psychology. We’re discussing the school system and learning disabilities in Life Writing. It’s fascinating. It’s controversial. It’s Totally My Area of Expertise.

Today the prof was talking about stereotyping, something we tend to do upon first impression.

“For example,” she says,

“I usually peg students in that first week: the quiet one, the shy one, and

(turning to look right. at. me.)

the one who does all the talking.”

My New Motto:

“‘Tis better to be silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt.” ~ Abraham Lincoln

Blog:

Although we may differ in opinion about the inherent creepiness of snakes, Becoming Cliche is one of my favourite blogs. I’m sure Heather has deep, deep, important thoughts… but the rest she puts online to make me laugh. On a bad day, she makes me smirk; on a good day, I’m reaching for the Depends. You can also find very important information there; for instance, the Comprehensive Guide to Passive Aggression.

iPhone/iPad App:

This Christmas, we spent a lot of time passing iPads and iPods around the room. After a few days of her wondering what on earth was going on, we managed to get Great Grandma in on it. Board games have been born again!

No more lost pieces, no more dishonest bankers taking unauthorized “interest payments” (you know who you are), no more table-clearing brawls over who gets to be the top hat, and no more heated debated over the word Q-A-T (yes, that is a real word). Board game apps are the best thing since sliced bread – not absolutely necessary, but a whole lot less work! Our favourites are Scrabble, Monopoly and Risk.

Video:

Getting tired of weepy celebrities pimping sad, sad stories of the third world? Slide shows of dying children set to makes-me-want-to-slit-my-wrists soundtracks? There’s been a lot of talk lately about poverty tourism and condescending attitudes within charities. This video represents a new way of doing things. It brightened my day and made me excited about giving again – as a partner, not a patron. Plus, I love the tagline: Keep the Pity; Unlock the Potential.

Cheesy British Series:

For the past three years, BBC’s Robin Hood held this place in my heart. It petered out in the third season, but we had a good run. I was content.

THEN, my sister-in-law Erin introduced me to Downton Abbey. And now I see it everywhere I turn around. This Jane Austen-style soap opera is strangely addictive. Honestly, I have important things to do like housework, studying, talking to my husband, maybe even sleeping. But instead I’m glued to the screen desperate to find out if Lord Grantham can break the entail or if that weasel of a footman is promoted to valet. All that Regency-era historical fiction I read in my teenage years is FINALLY paying off. I knew it would some day!

Book:

Things are busy and I’m feeling overwhelmed. As much as I’ve been enjoying “A Life-Span Perspective on Human Development” (and who wouldn’t) there may come a time when I have a spare moment… I live in hope. When that moment comes, I will spend it with a familiar old friend – Valancy Stirling. Literary comfort food for hectic times in the form of The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery.

Valancy is unloved and unwanted, a spinster by age 29 (we’ll call that the bad old days), who gets some alarming news and decides to reinvent herself. You can’t help but love her and hate pretty much everyone around her. I have read this book at least once a year since puberty, and you should too.

So here’s me, playing my new game: WWDCD? What would the Dowager Countess Do? It involves a lot of sniffing disdainfully and saying things like, “We can’t have him assassinated… I suppose.”


Friday Favourites: Rachel Held Evans, LaDiDa, Post-Apocalyptic Fiction and more

I have a lot of favourite things! Enough to keep me going on these lists for a while. Here are some random favourites.

FYI, I am Canadian, so YES this is the correct way to spell “Favourite”. If you disagree, the first entry is for you.

Favourite Quote: “The truth will set you free. But first, it will piss you off.” Gloria Steinem

Favourite Blog: This was the first blog I started reading regularly. Rachel Held Evans explores deep topics with enough humour to make it entertaining, and the eloquence to make you really think. I also love her book Evolving in Monkey Town and not just because I’m a sucker for a clever title (Rachel grew up in Dayton, Ohio – site of the famous Scopes Monkey trial). If you are intelligent, open-minded and appreciate dry wit, you will love this blog.

Favourite waste of time on YouTube: “Because two minutes in heaven is better than one minute in heaven.” Thanks to my pastor for sharing this classic with us. Not in church, mind you; that’s what staff parties are for.

Warning – do not call your children to gather ’round to watch Business Time by Flight of the Conchords. It is for married people. I don’t mean that in the x-rated sense… exactly. Calm down mom. Never mind, you’ll see.

Favourite iPhone App: When my nephew was born a few months ago all the girls gathered round the iPhone to sing him Happy Birthday. With the LaDiDa app you simply sing a song and it will add a beat and accompaniment to your voice. Then you wow the masses (a.k.a. the grandparents) via e-mail, Facebook or Twitter. They call it reverse karaoke. We prefer “rhythm synth pop” style, but “tasty breaks rap” is cool too. Only $2.99, but worth the hours of fun my girls have had playing around with it, especially since we discovered it will also create a video of you singing.

Favourite movie about/for teenage boys: I have nothing against teenage girls. I was one. I plan to have 3 myself, buuut… the boys crack me up. It’s one of my favourite genres. In the grand tradition of Stand By Me and the Goonies, I thoroughly enjoyed stinky teenage boys punching and insulting each other while trying to save the world (and get the girl) in Super 8.

Favourite post-apocalyptic book series: This is definitely my favourite “read for fun” book genre these days. There is something fascinating about society remade.

About this time last year I started reading Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. It is a dark and disturbing world where children are enlisted to fight to the death to both entertain and appease a corrupt ruling class. Not for the faint of heart, but very intriguing.

Also, an honorable mention to The Uglies by Scott Westerfield about a tightly controlled world where everyone is forced to undergo drastic plastic surgery at age 16.

So here’s me, wondering which post-apocalyptic world is more horrifying.


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