Musings

Phone tech that makes life easy and better

I’m typing on my phone and I was playing around with some speech functions and now my phone is robotically repeating what I type. I am constantly amazed by technology but I have to admit this is getting pretty annoying so I’ll be right back!

It’s nice to know that feature exists, though. I’m realizing how little I know about the capabilities of my phone and it’s just a little bit scary. The one thing I do like about writing on my phone is how it completes the words I start typing. I feel like there’s probably even a setting where I could speak my blog post into it and it would simply type it as I speak but what would be the fun in that.

Sometimes I even play around with sentences where I choose from the auto fill words below. I lead a pretty exciting life, huh. But hands down, the coolest feature for me is that it delivers music and other audio directly to my hearing aids. This is especially awesome for phone calls because it brings a whole new meaning to hands free. My hearing aids are not easily detectable so if you don’t know I have this superpower you might think I’m nuts when I seem to be talking to no one.

Technology is great for everyone but it makes life for people with disabilities (although I’ve never really thought of myself as having a disability) pretty awesome.

What astounds you about the technology we have today?

MC

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Musings

Tackling Monday like a boss

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Do you know anyone who schedules dentist appointments for Monday mornings, first appointment of the day? That would be me. Many, many years ago I learned about what happens when you schedule any sort of appointment for the middle of the day. I once waited in a doctors office for nearly two hours and it wasn’t for a “slot me in as soon as you can appointment” either. Things can go horribly wrong in anyone’s schedule but I usually find that first thing Monday mornings are not it. That’s when I have my car serviced, teeth cleaned or anything else I have a modicum of control over scheduling.

Continue reading “Tackling Monday like a boss”

Musings

10 Minute Blog: Magazines

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The other day I decided to make another go at a new vision board and after looking through the small pile at home, realized I needed to pick more up on my next trip to Target later in the day. I puttered around the store for a while and finally made it to the rear where the books are found. Side note: how come Target keeps rearranging their stores so we can’t find anything? I wheeled the cart around the book and electronics area a few times but couldn’t find the magazines. It seems they no longer have a large selection like I remembered.

I finished my shopping and finally found a couple magazines near the checkout but for a vision board, you need a bit more variety than was offered there. Later in the day I was at my neighborhood drugstore for a couple items Target didn’t carry. Again, I looped around the school supplies and greeting card area where they are usually found. The magazine section was gone aside from a paltry few offerings by the prescription checkout. The young woman behind the counter gave me a quizzical look when I asked where all the magazines were.

When did this happen? And when did individual issues start costing 5, 6 and 15! dollars? I remember when a subscription for a year was $12 and to buy them in the store was generally under $2. I guess I am deeply out of touch with the magazine industry although it really shouldn’t surprise me since the newspaper industry (which I spent 20 years in) has gone the same way.

My last hope is Barnes and Noble. I generally browse the magazine section there and last I checked they had a pretty robust offering. The question is will it break the bank!

Do you still read magazines?

MC

Musings

The Junk Room

 

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Did you think I’d actually post a picture of the junk room?

I refuse to keep a junk drawer. When we re-did our kitchen last summer, it was the first thing to go and I’m pretty vigilant about making sure those extra random things do not end up in the silverware drawer. But a junk room I do have. Do you have one? A room where all the miscellaneous stuff we collect over the years and no longer use or need ends up? And also the stuff you use infrequently?

I came face to face with mine today and it wasn’t pretty. When I first became jobless a few months ago, I dove headlong into decluttering and then got stalled when it got to other people’s stuff (mainly my husband’s). I am not good with throwing out other people’s stuff because I don’t want to be blamed if something crucial goes missing. I also have not found a good way to motivate them to do their own decluttering. All ideas are welcome!

Continue reading “The Junk Room”

Musings

Yummy Mummy!

Did you ever tumble headlong into a world you had no idea existed? I was looking for something to pass the time last week and after visiting a few YouTube pages and finding little to entertain, I opened up the Netflix app on my phone and clicked on a title called Yummy Mummies. I thought back to the period just after I had my son and I would watch TLC (The Learning Channel) for hours on end. I particularly loved shows about pregnancy and babies and thought about this nostalgicly as I settled in to watch a show about some pregnant moms-to-be from down under. This was a rabbit hole I didn’t climb out of for many hours: it was ridiculously addicting.

It was also unlike any other reality tv show I have ever watched and I have a couple of seasons of RHOBH under my belt. These ladies (particularly Maria from Adelaide) take diva to a level that makes me fairly uncomfortable as they nest by accumulating designer baby gear (Dior bottles, Versace receiving blankets, matching baby and mum Burberry pajamas), peruse for “push” gifts (diamonds, Rolexes and Range Rovers) and plan babymoons on the Gold Coast. I live in a completely different world where Michael Kors and Coach are the highest of my designer aspirations and where my kid grew up in clothes from Target and occasionally Macy’s.

I admit I was completely taken in by these characters and couldn’t stop watching (my favorite was Rachel). There was a bit of a feud/competition between the Melbourne moms (Lorinska, Jane and Rachel) and Maria (mostly on Maria’s part) about who would have the better baby shower, etc. They would constantly make fun of each other and I guess the entertainment value was to find out who would do what next. Maria’s mom (mum) was, just, WOW! I can’t even find the word for it. She certainly had a hand in raising her daughter to be the narcissistic diva she is today.

The other ladies were fairly tame and reminded me of the characters from Sex and the City if they had kept going and all had babies. They dressed to the nines as they shopped for their push presents and induldged in lunches, pampering and more as they got ready for motherhood. I’m not saying this has been the best way to pass the time, but it sure was an eye opener about how the other half lives. I was never happier to settle into bed in my Target pajamas at the end of the day.

Do you have any guilty pleasures reality tv?

MC

Musings

Bingeing

Over the past couple of years I’ve gotten away from watching television. There seemed to be no time to keep up with all the shows people were talking about: Game of Thrones, This is Us, Big Little Lies. And Grey’s Anatomy is still on! The last shows I properly binged on were Downton Abbey and Breaking Bad, two shows so good but as different as could be.

Instead I was reading every chance I had and you can see the numbers of books read climb as my TV watching diminished right up to last year where I managed 83 book. Now I have all the time in the world and I’m finding it hard to focus on one book for very long. I had always loved movies so I started going again and have seen The Favourite (astonishing) and On the Basis of Sex (this calls into question what am I actually doing with my life) in the past week. And since I’m solo here in Florida, I turned on Amazon Prime and was delighted to see Lady Bird on there, a movie I had hoped to see in the theater. It is exactly the kind of quirky movie I love. The next night I watched Beautiful Boy, a heartbreaking movie about a drug addicted son that I wrote about here.

This brought me to yesterday. I am trying to go between the books The Alice Network and The Gifts of Imperfection but cannot stay focused. Instead I perused a few YouTube channels I follow but still nothing held my interest. I cleaned around the house and by 6:00 I found myself collapsed in my chair and started looking for something on Netflix. After the requisite 30 minutes of scrolling I settled on You.

I am now properly hooked after binge watching the first four episodes. I don’t know whether it is good fortune or bad but there are only 10 episodes right now so it won’t be a situation where I’m bingeing for days in a row. While You is no Breaking Bad, it is definitely keeping me entertained and surprised.

What are you watching?

MC

Musings

Where are my glasses?

 

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Several years ago I realized a dream I didn’t know began in fourth grade when I was sentenced to using eyeglasses on a daily basis. It took me a while to get the hang of them and I’d often arrive at school sans glasses not realizing my error until I was squinting at the blackboard, unable to determine what was on it. This being the late 70’s, glasses for kids were pretty damn ugly. I hid them as often as I could – at recess, playing with friends and even while reading, preferring to stuff my nose in a book rather than suffer the indignity of being called four eyes. What was the dream? Lasik surgery!

But let me back up because that wasn’t the first dream of bespectacled me because as soon as I heard about the existence of contact lenses, I knew they were for me. I begged for them. Honestly I begged at every chance and mom would always say maybe when you’re older and more responsible. When I graduated from eighth grade, I was suddenly old enough and responsible enough and I couldn’t get to the eye doctor soon enough. This was bigger for me than turning sixteen and going to get your driver’s permit.

Continue reading “Where are my glasses?”

Musings

A Billion Dollars

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I did not win the $1.6 billion lottery last night. That’s ok because I didn’t even buy a ticket as I was hoping to ride my husband’s office pool ticket to a win. Do you ever imagine what would happen if you won a big lottery pot of gold? I must be a glass half empty kind of girl because my mind always goes to the stories where people’s lives are ruined by a big windfall. The ones where everyone is fighting over the money. The money is spent in a grandiose and spendthrift manner and is gone in the blink of an eye. I don’t like drama in my life and I think where there is big money, there is big drama.

If I were to win some money, I would only want enough to pay off all our debts (which are not huge at this point in my life) and those of my family. Maybe it would be nice to win enough to quit my job and pursue my dream to write full time. I don’t think I’m cut out for a life of leisure. Spa days and shopping jags are fun but an occasional splurge is all I can handle. Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about retirement (objects in mirror are closer than they appear). I wonder what I’ll do with my days as I’ll no longer have a kid to launch into the world which takes up about 80% of my free time.

I try to bring my mind back to the present when I start to look so far into the future. I have to stay grounded in today and not worry so much about a future that is hazy at best. I’m plugging away day by day. Trying to create memories for my family and myself that will be waiting for me when I’m old and gray. There, I did it again. Bringing it back to today.

MC

 

 

 

 

 

Musings

Dorm shopping: today vs three decades ago

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I was working on a blog post of the things I didn’t grow up with when I stumbled on a post from Real Simple called The Ultimate College Packing List – 26 Things Every College Student Needs. I passed right by it and then scrolled back up a minute later because, really, I AM interested to see how much things have changed since I went away to college 32 years ago. Let’s go through the list and compare! Continue reading “Dorm shopping: today vs three decades ago”

Musings

Mamma Mia, Here We Go Again!

*spoiler inside*

Film Title: Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again

Today is all about light and happy (it’s my Birthday!) so I thought I’d say a few words about that new Mamma Mia movie. I am a fan of ABBA from way back and feel like there is nothing better than a little ABBA Gold, their greatest hits album, to pull anyone out of a funk and I’ve been in a serious one lately. A couple of my friends saw the movie was out last week so we made plans to see it on Monday night. Guys, the theater was PACKED! I haven’t been to a theater so packed and on a Monday night in ages.

So a little backstory. Back in 2002, Jim and I visited London and the Cotswold area of England which had been a HUGE bucket list item of mine. When I met Jim the year before, I had been in the midst of planning and saving to take this trip on my own and he ended up surprising me with tickets for Christmas. Mamma Mia, the musical was a fairly new phenomenon and he got us tickets. It was icing on the cake. A cherry on the sundae. The play was amazing and fun and I ended up seeing it three or four more times over the next several years. One of those was a girls’ trip to New York and it’s with this group I saw the first and then the second movie.

While I saw the trailer, I did not read any reviews or other articles about the movie so as not to spoil it. The week before I watched the first movie on Netflix so I was primed to go. So I was completely taken aback when I learned Donna was dead. What?! No Merryl Streep in Here We Go Again?! But really, they made the best of it. They flashed back to Donna’s younger years from when she graduated from college and found her way to the island that would end up being her home for life and how she met the three men who were the questionable dad to her daughter Sophie. Lily James who played the young Donna has an amazing voice and screen presence. It was fun and cheesy and ok, it was a little sad.

The preview seemed to highlight Cher as an addition to the star-studded cast but she didn’t come in until nearly the end and I have to say she was a little weird. To be honest I’m not a huge fan and thought she upped the cheese factor significantly with her rendition of Fernando (played by Andy Garcia who was also weird in this movie).  There were definitely some drawbacks and it didn’t really measure up to the first because, most notably, Streep’s absence until the very end of the movie when she ghosts/sings a song to her grown daughter. It was a low note to end the movie on. The montage as the credits rolled was somewhat redeeming.

Overall, it was a fun movie and I will likely see it again when it comes out on DVD.

MC