Friday, December 08, 2006
The Turtles Among Us
Just thought I might point people in Royce's direction. He's thinking about it.
On recommendation, I'm reading R.W. Emerson because sometimes the only reason we do, produce, love these things is to chance upon writing a string of words that we never thought possible. I'm all about Providence; I think that might have something to do with transcendence, perhaps; although experiencing Rudolph with a quirky middle child on the cusp of adolescence can be equally transcendent, provided the BlackBerrys are in the drawer
I don't have one, not enough email, I'm not really consequential in a transactional sort of way. I just thought the WSJ article was somewhat sad. But there’s always stuff that comes between children & parents, sub any substance/item that can spur obsessive & compulsive behavior -- like blogging. And with an ironic eye, we can turn back to Royce our Libertarian, friend in absentia, and wonder if the kid(s) (sorry M'ville, it's not going to change) gave you a sideways glance that said it all. Mine have.
Oh, check out Larry Buell's bio of Emerson; he (Buell) was my 19th century romantic lit prof. A wonderful, focused, quiet man of brillance.
Blackberrys, Porsches, and Lunch with the President.
During my seven-year marital interregnum, as I was crashing wholesale into the brackish pool knows as the "Washington singles scene", Blackberrys emerged as social totems. I had a hot date one night with a woman of great promise (mother from Ottumwa, good norwegian stock, very rare to find in DC). My fancy new Single Guy of Means car broke down, and in truth, I arrived at the date in the cab of a flashing tow truck. Not to worry; though I saw her porcelain features in the cafe window, she was hammering her BB as though there was no tomorrow. So, I wasn't busted, I sent the driver on the way to the ******* dealer, and marched in.
Too bad she wasn't reading poetry, the FT, or even Paris Vogue, I thought.
"Oh, sorry," she said. "I have lunch with the President tomorrow."
Uh-huh, you and 500 other people.
I got the drinks, we did the drill "... and where did you go to school?" "Duh, West High..." (not perceived as funny, but I loathe the "where did you go to college" thing). It was time for more alcohol, and as I returned, witnessed her rather scorching, beautiful thumbs pounding away. I ended the date on the spot. I was interrupting her email. I had a vision, already, of her BB thank you note the next day, poorly punctuated. (I also end conversations when people read the paper or the web, or do email, while we're on the phone.)
"But I'm sorry, I'm having lunch with the ...!!!!" I also threw any of my directors out of the board meetings who would play with their BBs.
In general, I have read that email interrupts lower the IQ 10 points, and it, to a degree, is additive. When I was retired there for a couple of years, I returned email nightly, and just once, each night, and people thought I was ill. No BB, today, for me. Sometimes I even drive (the aged and debugged Single Guy ... car) now with the radio *turned off*.
However, as all interregnums must, I am now happily and fortuitously remarried. My wife, a Baker Scholar (and some of you may know what-all that implies), can thumb a BB with the best of them. I hate the goddamn thing. (Is one allowed to swear here, or does that frighted the elementary school teachers?) It reminds me of VCs. I do not like to associate my wife with the venture capital ethos.
On our honeymoon we took the BB, on a long and adventurous circumnavigation of Iceland, where ... it worked.
My phone didn't.
Actually, it was kinda cool. But ... no, that is a fire I will not attend, yet. Too many other additions to rid myself of, first.
To that end, some years the cooking that comes with this season verges on the cathartic or it could be that my feet tend to numb after standing at a stockpot stirring onions, suggesting catharsis is as simple as acknowledging sore feet.
A change of focus, "my feet hurt", and it's okay, soup's pretty good, too.
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