Where In The World Is Jules Howe?

MapMy 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.

But, no.

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.


Today, like every other day of my life, I stumbled to the kitchen for a cup o’ Joe so I could regain my eyesite, snatched up my laptop and climbed back in bed.  It’s still early, mind you, lest I give the impression I spend my entire day in bed.

Coffee and computer. My two most cherished “C” words.

E-mail came first.  Not much to report except that you can still buy Viagra for super, super cheap from that Canadian on-line pharmacy…and oh, yeah,… those hideous Jimmy Choos are now down to $27.50  from some discounter who refuses to stop stalking me. Nevermind that they really ARE hideous and they’re a size 18.

Off to check in with my Writer’s Workshop to see what’s cookin’ in the minds of my fellow scribes.

Open Safari….

Up pops Google which is my browser.  (Is that the right term? I think so.)

The article that caught my eye on the news feed thingy (probably NOT the right term) was:

“Google Knows Too Much About You.”

Of course I clicked on it because I’ve been seeing all those touchy-feeling messages from Google about how their new privacy policy is “beautiful” and “simplistic” and aren’t you all going to accept these lovely words….smoking us like a swarm of angry bees…eyelids growing heavy as we drift off to the land of…..

“Holy shit”, I say as I shake the images of candy cane trees and rivers of honey out of my noggin.

Yeah. They know everything about you.  Every fucking thing.

And God love ’em.  They reminded me that I’m overdue for my bi-yearly dental check-up and since I’m now 50?  I really need to schedule that colonoscopy and just to be really, really safe even though I do resistance training on a regular basis with kettle bells and pilates, probably a bone density test as well.

Gosh!  Thanks for putting in the time to know me so well, Google!  I feel really, really special now. It only cost me every ounce of privacy I have left in this double-edged-cyber-freak-show we live in.

….as she signs off of her blog, powered by the Internet, searchable on Google, the information she used to get here lovingly stored and preserved for future use in selling her a product or service of some sort.

She says to herself “What a clever blog! I feel like a hypocrit but whatever. It’s all harmless fun.”

She doesn’t believe her own words. Doubt clouds her face like she’s searching for a vague just-out-of-reach memory.

And realization hits her. Her face falls. Her fingers fly up to her Google search history.

Ruh roh.