Saturday, March 15, 2014

52 Weeks of Gratitude, Weeks 10 and 11

For starters, I'm behind yet again. It's a good thing I'm not getting paid to write about gratitude, because I can't keep a deadline to save my soul.

For Weeks 10 and 11:  I'm going to combine weeks 10 and 11 into one, and just say that I'm grateful for technology. It's not easy for me to pull away from it. I'm working on that, because I really want to be in the present moment.  Speaking of, my good pal shared this compelling article with me about a man who announces he's getting a divorce, but it's not what you think. Give it a read; you may like it.

Striking the balance between too much technology and using it for documenting the important stuff is tough. Technology gives us the ability to snap pictures of our loved ones, capture videos of moments to share with grandparents, and hang onto moments that matter to us.  Without my gadget, I wouldn't have direct access to all kinds of music that matters to me. There's the dish-washing music (Stevie Wonder, Spanish guitar, Patty Griffin), the wake-up music (James Brown, Pharrel, the Black Keys), the writing music (shuffle all, with a lot of irritated skipping when I get to selections from Sting's dreadful "Songs from the Labryinth" where he whispers creepily for most of the album, and that bad recording of Handel's" Messiah" that I keep forgetting to delete), the running music (Depeche Mode, Duran Duran, lots of dirty rap), the dinner party music (Elliot Smith, Chet Baker, Ray LaMontagne) and the driving music (Willie, Wilco, The Decemberists). How could I possibly make it through life without all of that music?

This morning, I'm particularly grateful for the "notes" part of my phone. So often, I'm in the middle of a conversation or an eavesdropping session and I stop and jot down a note so I don't forget what happened. Usually, it's about something that at the moment, I'm sure I HAVE to write about, but I hardly ever get to it. A lot of the time, I'll go back to it weeks later and have absolutely no clue what it was about. That's funny to me, but it's also a mystery that drives me somewhat nuts.

Here are 20 examples of those notes:

1. This is like drunk dialing! I feel like I need to swallow! I swallowed and wiggled a little. It's okay? This is note I wrote to the dental assistant while doped up in the dentist's chair. There is more, and it's embarrassing. If you know my mom, ask her what I'm like when I'm doped up at the dentist. It's like a drunk confessional.
2. "Rachel, fingers were invented before forks. And you are NOT a vegetarian. You, the kid who ate RIBS her entire life!" This was a pushy mom talking to her college-aged daughter at the table next to us at dinner - I wrote down most of what they were saying in the hopes of turning this into a short story.
3. Nipples in Paris.  I have no idea what this means. I've been to Paris twice, and don't recall any nipple stories except when Tim and I went to Moulin Rouge and bought such cheap seats we were behind a large column, so the nipples on stage were greatly obstructed. Sorry, Tim! Anyway, to try to figure out this mysterious little phrase, I Googled "nipples in Paris" and hoped nobody near me was watching. Evidently Rihanna flashed her nipples on March 4. But I wrote this on January 5. Maybe I should consider a part-time job as a celebrity psychic?
4. 506 as of 2:39 - This was how many emails I had left while working on my bi-weekly email purge. I'm not very good at it, obviously.
5. "Meteoroids puncturing your spacesuit." This was a guy being interviewed on KXAN about travelling to Mars. I liked it so much, and laughed so hard at how hilariously geeky it was that I tweeted it directly to KXAN's Sally Hernandez, because she had a giggle fit live on TV when they aired the clip. Because we're ALL concerned about meteoroids puncturing our spacesuits, right?
6. Fee waived by MSR Isela. - I paid a bill late, I'm sure, and buddied up to the phone rep and asked her to waive the fee. Isela, whoever you are, thank you!
7. Patchouli and Carmex - How an elevator smelled on January 15, 2014.
8. Venture capital backers will provide insight for private companies - Notes from an intimidating training I attended for work on January 16, 2014. I learned a lot that day. I'll write about it eventually.
9. New neighbor- Rick. 6 month old baby Natalia - I'm always jotting down names of people I meet because I want to be that person who remembers names. I don't, but my phone does a nice job of it.
10. "She's a super savage, dope-smoking bitch." - Guy outside of Starbucks on January 17. He was saying this to a friend, but also kind of singing/dancing it angrily. When people are angry and sing, it reminds me of Footloose. I love a movie scene where someone is so angry that they have to go dance in a barn. Hard. This guy was angry signing/talking. It was awesome.
11. The little girl's name is ALOE! - I wrote this note to my daughter, Emily Rose, when I overheard a mom talking to her little kid. What a name! I'm only guessing we were in South Austin?
12. "You Belong to Me" in Portuguese? - I keep forgetting to buy Shazam, so we'll be at dinner and I'll have to stop and jot it down so I can research it later. I cannot find this version and it was really nice. Please let me know if you know how to find it!
13. "The Kids in the Middle, Happy." - Potential book title. I change my mind daily on book titles. I'm constantly writing down ideas for short story titles and book titles and doing nothing with it.
14. "New Sweet Boyfriend of the Mother who Dated Pricks" -  Do you stick around to watch the credits? When I lived in LA for a short time, my sister taught me that in LA, you stay for the credits. If you walk out while the credits are rolling, it's totally rude, because in LA, people you're sitting in the theater with probably made that movie or at the very least worked the craft services cart. Now, when we can, we stay for the credits. This awesome line is from the cast credits from the movie, "Her." I would LOVE to be an actor and have that on my resume!
15. "I love Phil Donahue, and I love his wife." - My friend Candace making me cry laughing at dinner. How long has it been since you thought about Phil Donahue?  And then, as it always happens, we couldn't remember the name of his wife. For a moment there, we were trying to pair him up with Connie Chung. He's actually married to Marlo Thomas, in case you're wondering. Candace says hilarious things like this so often I can't even keep up with her.
16.  How it Feels When You Don't Know the Band Because You Are too Old - Thoughts about that. Because I'm there, and it's weird.
17.  Short story with all dialogue and no descriptions. Just dialogue. - I'd like to write one of those. I'm not very good at dialogue so I'd have to sit in restaurants and steal some.
18.  Ballet Austin's "Videodance" OMG, they teach music video dance classes! For $30, you can sign up and learn the entire "Beat It" dance!  I need the courage to do this. Join me?
19. Hannah - Hannah? And her sisters? I have no idea. I really hate it when I do this.
20. "Tachyons" - A word that was used in our Friday Lunch and Learn at work. I love learning words I know nothing about. Another one that popped into my life that I've missed all these years is "germy." I'm not sure how I lived all of these years without knowing "germy," but it's one of the best words ever.

That's it for this week. I'm grateful for mah gadget. Good times.

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