Maybe it's genetic. I have no idea. Should I be more self aware of this? Probably. Fact is, Google has officially called me out on it. It's slightly creepy when a non-human entity points out a human characteristic. Okay, so it's not a human characteristic that's considered attractive but still, it's unsettling. I laughed out loud but it was one of those laughs that was part ha-ha, part I-don't-know-what-else-to-do-because-I'm-uncomfortable kind of laughs.
Here's Google's response to one of my blog post titles:
Warning: Title display in Google is limited to a fixed width, yours is too long.
I'm giving the shitty sentence structure a pass. Namely, because I'm completely fascinated by how this non-human "voice" manages to sound so beautifully, snarkily human.
I'm wondering which Google team member insisted on taking off "dumb shit" at the end of that warning?
Just to be clear, I know "snarkily" is not a word. I'm sure Google will somehow find a way to point that out.
P.S Rudimentary, art-house doodle is a self-portrait. And yeah, that's sorta the color of my hair right now.
Just when I thought I had it all figured out, I run into this… [insert emoji of exasperated smiley face here]
Searching for a sign that tells me which way to go. Yet to find one. At this point, I'd settle for a fortune cookie with a perky, inspirational prediction about attaining worldwide success or how I'm loved by people who don't even know me based on the sterling personality that precedes me.
What next? A sign that says Skip the Dresses. You're a Boy??
Damn you, auto correct!
I'm starting to keep a running record of all the crazy shit that's written on my behalf by that absurd algorithm, or whatever the hell you call it. For the love of Pete, I don't even know what an algorithm is! But it sounded like a word that fit. So there.
Algorithm. Yep. It fits.
I scurried off to dictionary.com so I could look up the definition, lest I sound like a complete idiot. There were numerous descriptions. Here's the one that fit the best:
A finite set of unambiguous instructions performed in a prescribed sequence to achieve a goal, especially a mathematical rule or procedure used to compute a desired result. Algorithms are the basis for most computer programming.
Hmmm… "used to compute a desired result."
Frog ether was not the desired result of my text. Which leads me to this…..
How can there can be an auto correct of specific words, but not an auto correct that auto corrects all the shit sentences auto correct creates from correctly spelled words that should never be put next to each other? Yeah, I know. That's a ridiculously long sentence, but I'm totally serious about this auto-sentence-correcting thing-y. Does it exist?
It should. Because I'd love it if that frog text got corrected to what I was really trying to say.
"Wire friending broth erthy"
Sheesh! What does a girl have to do to get a little clarity around here?
I'm a fledgling technology consumer.
According to Merriam-Webster, fledgling can either mean a young bird who has just fledged (what?) or a person or organization that is immature, inexperienced, or underdeveloped.
I'm neither immature nor an organization but I am definitely inexperienced and underdeveloped when it comes to things referred to as devices and all the shit you have to learn to operate them.
Don't get me wrong. I loves me my devices, y'all. I just don't know how to make them work at their full potential and beating them on rocks to bring about aforementioned potential just doesn't work. Trust me on this.
Despite the fact that my self-esteem has been put through a virtual wood-chipper for being completely un-trainable, I put on a happy face and just keep on truckin'. What's my choice?
So imagine my sheer bliss when I discovered - on my own, mind you - how to convert a pdf script back into Final Draft format. This was after fretting for days and days that I'd have to type an accidentally-deleted-because-I'm-an-idiot version of a script word for word from a pdf file.
I had put out one last call for help. One puny, fading sonar beep of a plea.
"Help me Google-wan-Kenobi! You're my only hope!"
And Google brought forth a screenwriter angel. And he was called John August.
And he carried with him a mighty tool. And that tool bore the name….Highland
And Highland was my redeemer. It restoreth my soul and my tattered self-esteem.
Highland! Highland! I shall trumpet your wonders throughout the kingdoms of cyber-space, bear witness through the power of my own voice and …...
Okay, okay! I'll cut the biblical melodrama but I'm here to tell you, this Highland App is fucking MA-JIK. Convert your pdfs back into Final Draft files in two shakes of a lamb's tail. You don't even need opposable thumbs to do it! Just a coupla pointer fingers and you're good to go. It's that simple.
One last little discovery I just have to share! I ran across the most fascinating circular contraption. It's sometimes made of rubber, sometimes metal and it facilitates movement. It's called the wheel.
Some of my most interesting experiences happen when I'm walking my dog. I meet a lot of fellow dog-walkers who are generally nice humans. Except that stern, rod-straight man and his neurotic, uber-focused Border Collie that I've seen every day for the last I-don't-know-how-many years on their way to the beach. Neither of them look happy, if you ask me. The man never smiles, rarely speaks and looks exactly the same every single day. This is not an exaggeration. I could spot that guy anywhere in the world in a throng of identically looking men at any given time. Same khaki pants, same backpack, same hat, same red jacket, same green Chuckit toy. I kick ass at Where's Waldo because of this guy.
I give the man props for taking his furry companion to the beach every day but for the love of Dog give the poor thing some Prozac before he starts licking the walls from too much training!
But this post isn't about dogs or grouchy neighbors. It's about twins.
Twins fascinate me. They always have. It wouldn't be a stretch to admit that I secretly wanted to have one. But that would have been a cruel twist of fate for my parents especially if the cosmos has cursed them with an identical set of me. I'll leave the reasons up to the reader's imagination. To be clear, it's fraternal twins that I'm fascinated by. Specifically, the differences between them. I mean, if would be silly to "compare identical twins", right? Wouldn't that be oxymoronic? (or is it just me?)
It was my recent good fortune to cross paths with a gorgeous set of twin girls. They looked to be about 6 and were drawn to my dog who is a very handsome dude, if I must say so myself. I overheard them ask their father if they could pet him and he replied they had to ask me nicely first. This made me like the dad immediately. I said yes before they even asked. These two cherubs had eyes the color of the ocean behind them and the blonde braids that I longed for in my teen years and still covet as an adult. They were very similar in appearance but their differences were abundantly clear. Cherub #1 was gregarious and talkative and enveloped my dog with brave hugs and nose kisses despite the fact that he was eye-level. Her hands were dirty with whatever it was she had explored on the beach and her braid was coming apart at the seams. Cherub #2 stepped in once she saw her sister getting major face licks. She was clearly more cautious and definitely cleaner like maybe she used a sand shovel to dig for that buried treasure rather than her bare hands. She wore a frilly hair trinket that kept her braids from abandoning ship.
Cherub #1 sported a tattered denim skirt, a stained cotton tee-shirt and fleece camouflage boots. Cherub #2, a feminine tutu and an equally girly-girl top. Her fleece boots were brilliant pink and adorned with a million sequins.
When I commented on their boots, Cherub #1 volunteered they got them for Christmas. When I asked them if they were twins, it opened up a floodgate of information delivered in a spray of machine-gun-fire consciousness devoid of pauses: we're twins and we're going to be six and we were born on the same day but we're not identical and our birthday is August 21st and we're going to have a big party when we get home and we love dogs and we're on vacation and live in Idaho and this is my dad his name is Jeff but my mom could come because she had to work and do you want to know what we want for our birthday?
My head was still reeling from all that information and I was searching for bullet holes in my chest but hell yes, I was dying to know.
"I want a bow and arrow," she said.
When I asked Cherub #2 what she wanted, she replied with a clear and confident voice.
"I...want a wedding dress."
Dad laughed out loud, not the least but surprised by any of this.
"As you can see…they only look alike," he said.
I could tell by the way he looked down at them he was head over heels in love with his angel twins and their myriad differences. He was proud of them and it showed. It made me like him even more.
All I can say is those little nuggets made my day. And even though the encounter was fleeting and random, I'll never look at a bow and arrow or a wedding dress as long as I live without thinking of them.
I told you twins were fascinating.
Or maybe it's just me.
As I was getting undressed on my way to the security line at LAX the other day, I took notice of something. Maybe my magpie-ness was taking a down-for-maintenance hiatus like the ObamaCare Web-site. Or it could have been the sound of a woman colliding with a Sees Candy kiosk while sending a text. It was amazing how many people thought nuts and chews were fair game just because they landed on an airport terminal floor. Jesus, people! Get your priorities straight! Didn't you notice the cans of Toffe-ette rolling toward the escalator?
But I digress as magpies often do. What I noticed wasn't the sugar-junkies scrambling for the candy but rather the ones who were filming it. I had no inclination to film the carnage namely due to the fact that I don't know how to do it on my "device" formerly known as a cell phone. I could probably figure it out if I took a few minutes to learn but I have no desire to learn new things. Besides, I had taken my undressing a little too far and had to put my shirt back on before the device-o-philes got bored with the candy looters and turned their attention my way.
What I'm taking too long to say is this: We have all become magpies. Some, like me, are what I'll call low-tech magpies. Those limited to the shiny objects that pop up on their HuffPost News feeds...like that picture of Kim Kardashian's post-baby ass tweet. And then there are those who transcend even the obvious moniker of hi-tech magpie. It goes beyond that. They're the ones who actually provide the content that filters down to the low-rung magpies like me.
I'm undecided if I envy them or fear them.
I suppose that depends on whether my airport strip-tease ended up on YouTube or not.
This is the first in an endless series...
...unless I suddenly throw all my electronic devices into the sea which isn't going to happen because I get all my news on-line. I'm pretty basic about it: the New York Times Headlines, HuffPost, CNN, Women in Hollywood and my lame, confusing horoscope that tells me things like: "your emotions sink into the deep waters of your subconscious, making the next few days a bit uncomfortable".
So I've got that goin' for me.
But never mind my subconscious. I'm more worried about the crazy shit mucking up my focal awareness and causing me deep and profound personal distress.
How is it that I can be reading a completely serious news article on-line about, say, a devastating tornado...or a crazy suicide bomber and WHAM-O, my beady, black eyes drift to a shiny, sparkly headline like this: Lindsay Lohan Wears Some Seriously Short Shorts.
And I'm ashamed.
I feel like a magpie reading porn in church.
Disclaimer: I am not making fun of religion, crucifixion, defenders of Christ, Romans, Jews, or their countrymen or anyone who sweats in a profuse and horrifying manner.
This isn't about Jesus.
This is about yoga.
Hot yoga...and my warped sense of visual association.
An epiphany struck me yesterday during my Bikram yoga practice which, by the by, I both love and despise with every fiber of my being.
Just before I lifted myself out of that resting pose...shinfeinayana or whatever and just before...parasinvania-something or another, I looked down...
There beneath me in stunning sweat-stained glory was a perfect outline of myself. My soaked, stringy hair, my shoulders (damn, they're a little wide for my frame), my waist (need to work on the love-handles) and my short, circus-clown legs.
All I could think of in my heat-stroked delirium was that it looked like my own private Shroud of Turin.
Somebody roll that boulder away and let me out of this hot box.
My niece's husband has a great sense of humor. He fits in well with our family because we all enjoy taunting each other to see who can get the most laughs at someone else's expense. No one is safe and nothing is sacred in this wholesome Lord-of-the-Flies-meets-a-Don-Rickles-Celebrity-Roast family tradition.
Recently, it was my turn to suffer through the taunts when aforementioned nephew-by-marriage [we'll call him Sean] had control of the conch. He summoned the other family members via a group e-mail and it was game on. He sent a picture of Santa consulting a long list of good children he would reward. All my sibling's names were on it. But not mine. He found it quite amusing.
Little did he know the deep, painful history this would conjure.
A history I will disclose to you now in all its dysfunctional glory...
It all started in The Time Before Cable Television,The 1960s, In other words, four channels in glorious black and white one of which was host to my most cherished memory: Romper Room. It's where I learned to be a good Do-Bee [despite forgetting what that meant during my adolescence and subsequent failed marriages where I engaged in lots of Don't Bees but that's for another time]. It's where my fascinating with entertainment started. I was mesmerized from the start. I wanted to be one of those kids. What star were they born under that bestowed on them such a coveted gig?
Regardless of my misguided envy, I held out hope. Hope that one day, Miss Nancy would speak my name at the end show when she looked through her magic mirror. If I couldn't be one of those privileged kids, at least I might hear my name uttered by the golden voice of my godess-like idol. Each day I would wait patiently for the end of the show, teetering on my Romper Stompers for good luck.
But she never spoke my name.
Each day, I would collapse in a heap of steaming hot despair, gnash my baby teeth, wail to the highest heavens [there's medication for fits of this nature today, but alas, I was behind the curve in those early years]. It brought my parents great distress. My older sisters, on the other hand, would point and laugh and claim I needed a good spanking.
And now, thanks to the man who shall henceforth be called "Sean of the Doom" I learn that my name didn't even make it onto Santa's top-twenty list fifty m-effing years later?! Even after all the years of repentance, all the years of self-improvement, all the years of I'm-sorry-I-was-just-too-young-to-knows...I still can't make the grade.
Come to find out, my name didn't even make it into the Top 100 Most Popular Female Names of the 1960s. Yes...I looked it up.
The number one name was Lisa.
I knew a couple named Lisa during my childhood. I have no good memories of either of them. One tortured me during lunch in the third grade, the other had an aversion to bathing and smelled like urine.
I don't care. I'm going to change my name anyway.
So, please. Next time you see me? Call me Lisa.
My good pal and I - along with a couple of other dudes who love film - just returned from the Sundance Film Festival. I was going to post some cool stuff about it along with a funny story about what happens when you forget to put your glasses on in the morning.
I have to tell THIS story.
For anyone who knows me or reads my blog (thank you, thank you if you do), I am not well-versed on the ways of technology and how to use it nor how it uses me without my knowledge.
Flying home, aforementioned peeps and I were talking about privacy settings on all the devices we lug around like appendages we can't live without. This is somewhat ironic since my girlfriend was just telling me a few nights before that stuff comes up on her Facebook page about where she is or where she's been. She and I both pondered how in the Sam Hill that happens. I told her I don't think that's ever happened to me.
As usual, I was wrong.
I just found out from the Timeline thing that I was at Mission Ranch recently. There was a map....and a little red pin showing the exactly location of the place. Yeah, okay. I was there with a group over the holidays. The relevance of that and why anyone would give a shit is my first thought.
Then I give it a little more thought and my blood pressure goes up and I have to take a Xanax and pace around my office for a while. Not out of fear, I'm just pissed off.
Fortunately, I don't have any stalkers that I'm aware of because Facebook (or whatever device made this happen) put a giant "She Is Here" target on my back without me knowing it. But the worse thing about all this is that I don't have any idea how to control it because of my limited technological prowess. I'm at an extreme disadvantage. I suddenly feel like a patsy in a world of I-don't-know-what.
Advertisers? Marketers? A government experiment? What!!
Naturally, I want to know how this happens but I'm afraid to ask because I fear it involves a learning curve and at my age, I'm pretty set on going straight.
But I don't think I can do that. I have to know because I'm stuck in a world I know very little about soon to become just a speck in a nebulous universe of clouds and hashtags and faceless pings and tracking devices that I don't even know I'm carrying around.
[You do know that the proliferation of technology in our society was what drove the Unibomber crazy, right?]
We saw a film at Sundance called Afternoon Delight where the main character has a meltdown which I identified with immediately.
It was about The Cloud and what the motherfucking hell is it? And what is it capable of? I mean think about it. It's this "area" that we can't touch or feel or see that stores all of our digital belongings. It's not a place. It's not a thing. It's godlike. We have to trust and have faith that It will always be there for us...therefore It merits a capital letter when referring to It.
Just like God (unless you're so inclined to refer to Him as g-d in which case It might need to become I-t for some).
Seriously, folks. I'm gobsmacked by all this shit. It simultaneously fascinates me and repels me. I have nothing more to say so I'll just quote Mick and Keith who had no idea their words way back in the day would have such relevance today:
Hey you! Get off of my cloud!
I have no idea if this cloud thing has anything to do with anything and quite frankly, I don't give a shit. It's too exhausting to decipher. It's all the same to me and I am stuck here. Trapped. I need this stuff and hate this stuff. I consume it, I gobble it up and it threatens to choke me. I try to spit it out but can't.
So I just swallow hard and hope for the best.
P.S. Just so you know, today I'll be in Monterey getting my legs waxed at 606 Lighthouse Avenue at 1:00. Then, I'll probably stop in Carmel for a coffee with some friends at that little place between Areias Jewelry and the Coach Store on Ocean around 2:30ish. Then to Whole Foods at Del Monte Center where I'll purchase some nice baby arugula and some roast chicken. I'll be there around 4:30 if you're in an abduction kind of a mood. Say! How about I make it easy for you...I'll bring the duct tape.