Saturday, September 09, 2006

Off Mode

Sometimes you just gotta shut the computer down, step outside and process life without the aid of Wi-Fi and a beautiful enticing luminous screen...

I worry about living through point-and-click links to others and their point-and-click lives...I worry that our son (the Bird) whose precociousness had him sitting on his uncle's lap playing video games when square-cornered figures loaded from floppy disks ran across little bitty computer monitors that could have been black-and-white displays knows more about connecting to others via electronic hums than he does about just looking up, catching someone's eye and establishing a human link...


I've watched DS and his girlfriend of a couple of years sit for hours...on end...in the same room, facing opposite walls and opposite monitors, *talking* with friends not just around the U.S. but around the world...

and yet when I actually see them across a table whether in our kitchen or a restaurant, put forth a question, simple or complex, involving, I thought, both of them,I routinely get two markedly different answers or blank stares...sometimes both in varying combinations...I just wonder...okay...I wonder and then being the total Alpha I am, I just ask "do the two of you even talk to one another?"


when Bird lived at home, amid much grumbling...yes, that means "outright rebellion and witching"...which I quashed without a qualm...we had Shut It Off nights...oh trust me...Mr G contributed as much on the ORAB front as Bird...and once in a blue moon I would come across something tempting in the t.v. listings and wish Shut It Off night were some other night, too...

But, almost always, once the disgruntleds settled down, the night would be pretty good...aided in large part by a key standing guideline being that take-out or a restaurant dinner was a obligatory check-mark item on Shut It Off nights or other family night events...

a note to self sat firmly in place reminding me that these nights were not to be used for furthering agendas about clean rooms or missed homework assignments...those sorts of conversations could be much more handily pursued while Bird was captive in the mini-van during the morning commute to his school...then I could drop his behind off at the curb , proceed on my way and by the time rolled back around for Bird Pick-Up, we'd both have settled back down...

I realize that technique will probably draw limited rave reviews, but you do what works for you and yours...with two hard-headed mouthy people having to interact with one another to get where at least one had to be (and one, not to point any long bony fingers, decidely not a morning person), mornings weren't generally pleasant anyway so why not use the situation as best possible? Sing-alongs and Kodak moments did not show up regularly on the passenger list for the Mega Mega Mini-Van as it pulled out of the drive...

so I used the already unpleasant times to discuss matters I knew could be guaranteed to bring indignant Outrage, Sulking and General Unpleasant Behavior rushing to the forefront of DS's character...that way, when the afternoons arrived, honestly, we were all better...DS had time to decompress and get over the Injustice of It All and I happily received my darling son whom I would have even more happily pulled over and let out of the MMMV beside the highway earlier that day back into the Realm of Not Hormonally Crazed People...

all of this to say I'm about to enter another one of my self-imposed computer exiles...I'm going to shoot for a week...the first few days are always rough...I think of something I want to check on-line...or I want to check my e-mail...I'm like a caffeine addict...I'm okay for the first couple of hours and then I start to Need It...well, that is only addiction besides pastries that I really have to reference...but after a couple of days, I r.e.l.a.x...my mind stops scampering around from random thought to random thought... I can actually concentrate long enough to think a complete thought that contains more than 5 words...not to say complete thoughts have to be in lengthy sentences to be stunning in their comprehension, but being able to connect complete thought to complete thought and actually move beyond a one-sentence concept is an enjoyable thing...and something I find myself not doing as much of as I'd like when I spend my days pointing and clicking...

Things I hope to do during my Computer Free Days to come:

Bake something...try a new recipe & eat at least 1 piece before heading to the mirror to berate myself about my large, um, personality

Dink around with my sewing machine and the manual (which I downloaded off the internet)...perhaps I can get the whole thread-breaking-after-5-stitches-and-lots-of-profanity thing taken care of...or at least realize the thing needs to go to the shop...

Pursue one of the crafts I enjoy (even if I'm not stellar in any craft area), but am usually wound too tightly from hours of internet use to enjoy...seriously...when I've been on the computer for hours without end, I get wired...*wired* like *wired after 5 or 6 cups of coffee...in the space of about 4 hours...with nothing to eat*...Throw Up Wired...

Read something...from cover to cover...that I haven't read before...and doesn't involve recipes and large glossy photographs...There are about 30 books waiting on me while I spend hours P & C'ing (maybe I'll just call it *Plicking* from now on...), checking e-mails and posting on a board with friends...and checking a few more boards...and then checking e-mail again...and then remembering I wanted to check LL Bean's site for flannel sheets...or the library for a book on Christmas Crafts...or The Weather Channel's site to check and see if that prayer about temperatures in the 60s is being answered in the next couple of days (well, crap...shudda been more specific and requested "daytime temps of in the 60s")...

Right now, as I type this post, I'm also checking out Autotrader for a used Volvo stationwagon (which I obsess about almost daily...)...and which Mr G insists I do not need...actually, he has been insisting that for several years now...I'm considering doing some insisting of my own here shortly...

See? the trouble with having all this lovely information of every imaginable sort right at my fingertips is I get lost in the prepping...I research something to death...like planning a trip so thoroughly I don't really even have to go on the trip...saves some cash, yes, but sorta defeats the whole purpose behind the trip...

You can safely assume this process repeats itself across a broad spectrum of subject matter...

Now...as soon as I check my e-mail again...I'm signing off for the week...I'll leave with a photo of the swan-neck gourd on the deck...there must be 500 miles of gourd vine supporting this one gourd...gotta admire the sheer Over The Top-ness of it all...

4 comments:

Belle-ah said...

I will miss ya! Me and my purple Volvo (where my hinney seems to spend way too much time!)...not a wagon but I love it.

Yankee Doodle said...

Dang, I got to hand it to you girl, there is no way I could go a week without my internet! Just think if we didn't have this beast we would have never developed the loving, caring, totally devoted friendship we now have. Ok....I know we can't be in a room together more than a few hours without the yankee vs southern hairs standing on end on the back of our necks but its the way I'm looking at thing through my rose colored glasses this morning. Its fall here, did I tell ya?

I'll miss you dearly this week but certainly understand your STAND, and couldn't agree more about our children and the world they have grown up in.

PS: My bird house gourds didn't do squat this year, glad you got one!

Beaufort Belle said...

Yankee doodle stated basically what I was going to say. If it wasn't for this dang ole' box, I wouldn't have met you in real life!! And I wouldn't have had you and the wonderful yankee doodle (as well as a few others) as the best roomies of my life for a wonderful beach weekend (that just happened to be mentioned in a SL magazine issue).

However, you are so right! We do have to make ourselves get up and get away so that when the real world comes calling, we know how to properly interact!

Love to you!

sjdecorates said...

Yup, I understand.

it's all about the journey...