Sunday, December 28, 2014

iDivorce You If Only I Could

I've been on the damned computer all day trying to work out kinks in my transition from my iPhone to my Galaxy s5. I didn't really have anything against Apple when I changed. I loved my iPhone, but I needed a better camera. I did. And frankly, Mike wanted one of us to try an android, so I was his guinea pig. I would rather it have been him trying out something new. I was good at using my iPhone. He's just better with new technology. I, on the other hand, have gotten adept at asking the Internet questions about how to do those techno things I just don't want to have to learn on my own.

But after doing everything that everyone said I should do, I still cannot text Mike. He can't text me either.

I keep hoping that iMessages will finally let me go. I turned it off on my iPhone. I turned it off on my computer, which informed me that it had already been turned off. And throughout it all, I sent Mike a bunch of messages:  Anything? Anything?

And then I realized that I had a whole new set of emoticons. I could send the little smiley face, the little smiley face embarrassed, the face confused, then crying, zoned out, exhausted, and then finally dead with little x's over her eyes. I sent a whole series of these guys.  Nothing. I could walk over to the couch and check Mike's phone. There were, under my label, a whole bunch of messages: test, test, test. Creative much?

The Internet finally told me that it might take Apple a week to catch up with it's own information that I have been unregistered from iMessages.

A week?

A week without emailing any of my friends who happen to have iPhones instead of something else? Except for Mike, I haven't paid attention to what kind of phones people have. I don't really care. I figure it doesn't much matter because we have all this technology to hold us together. And yet I'm decoupled from Mike. I'll never again see those little dots telling me that he was composing his reply. But I don't want to be decoupled. I depend on those texts to Mike. I depend on that technology, on those companies that provide it.

And yet the technology fails us, not because they can't manage the 'complicated' task, but because they're like divorced parents. They don't have any interest in cooperating with each other and with me when I'm trying to coordinate something with the other. I'm in the middle, the one who needs to have conversations with each of them. I get nothing but he-said-she-said. It's his fault. It's her fault. There are no clear answers. There is no concern for the feelings of the one in the middle who still needs the two controllers to work together to get something done.

Damn it, if I could divorce you both, Apple and Samsung, I would at this very instant. But I'm sure it would take at least a week for either of you to acknowledge it.

Thank you for listening, jules

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Whose Club Is This, Anyway?

It's a good night to tell you about something I hated, right?

It's just a day after Mike's birthday and a few days before Christmas? Good day for fury, isn't it?

First, I wanted to tell you that I had a good day. Tonight, I sang with my church choir and we nailed it, sang to the rafters. I might have been a little pitchy on one note, but it was short and I'm not sure anyone else noticed. Our church even has three bell choirs that played. That's a lot for a tiny church like ours. The group of little kids was sweet, the adults had come a long way since they started last year, and the college level group, the one that drops in from wherever they've been to play bells on a whim, always blows me away.

So why am I so pissed off, you might ask?

I wasn't mad this afternoon either. For three hours at Starbucks, I worked with a friend of mine who has written a really good young adult book. I mean, this thing reads like it's a movie playing in my head. I just finished editing it and he and I sat over coffee to go over my notes. Oh, I found a few things he could work on, but not anything significant. I was so inspired by our talk, I just wanted to come home and get to work on my own projects.

Nope. I wasn't aggravated by this meeting with my author friend. I was glad to offer him some confidence, to walk away from our meeting knowing that he's just got a little more work to do before his book is ready for print. I can't wait until I have permission to tell you what it is. I can't wait until I'm handing him a copy of my project to edit. No, I'm not fuming because of that. Okay, I'm just a tiny bit jealous, but let's keep that between us. He really did write an amazing book and that bit of jealousy only informs me that I need to get cracking on my own stuff. That wasn't what ticked me off.


Tonight, when all my work was done, and there was prodigious work, Mike and I sat down to a movie he'd gotten from his hold list at the library. I had earned a movie. I was ready for a movie. I picked up the movie case.

"Where'd you hear about this movie?" I asked him as I looked at the title, 'God's Not Dead.' It wasn't his usual action flick or drama. It wasn't a kid movie either. Mike is a thinking man. He's read Nietzsche, Dostoyevsky, Camus, C.S. Lewis, Nabokov. I've never read that stuff. But I hadn't thought he was thinking about God. Hell, I don't mind if he thinks about God. That's his path and I generally leave him to it. He supports me on my path, even got me back to going to church years ago though he described himself as an agnostic at the time. He walked past me and sat down on the couch, patting a spot next to him.

"It was in the theaters about a year ago," he said. "I figured I'd watch it."

"Did you watch it yet?"

"Not yet." And so I slipped it into the disc player and sat down next to him.

First off, the movie was set up so you couldn't skip the previews for the next 'God's Not Dead' movie. Cheap trick. At first, I just thought it was a low-quality production, but I held out hope that it could be interesting. At least, there were a couple of names I recognized in the beginning credits and the premise described on the back of the case sounded interesting - a student debates the existence of God with an atheist. Cool! Debate away, I thought.

But there was all this bad acting and a contrived script. The girlfriend tells the boy to stop standing up for God or she'll leave him. Who says shit like that?

"This is bad. Should we keep watching?" I asked Mike.

"Sure. We have to see if they pull it out at the end or if it's bad like this all the way through."

And then the Muslim character beat his daughter for not sharing the same belief that the rest of the family did. Wait! Don't Muslims embrace Jesus as a prophet? Don't we share an early part of the Bible in common?  That's when I got pissed off. This movie was insulting to a whole group of religious people to portray a typical Muslim family this way. In this storyline, the Muslim father was abusive, the Chinese man was too important and busy to listen to his son, an atheist was aggressive, abusive, and lost, and a whole slew of non-Christians acted intellectually superior toward any Christians that they met. Really?

Well, shit. I've never been treated that way by Muslims, Chinese, atheists, or any other non-Christians when they find out I'm Christian. Okay, once I saw disappointment on my barista's face when I said I was headed to church, but that was just a transitory look and maybe she was afraid I was going to tell her she was going to hell if she didn't join my church. I've been told that I was going to hell too, never mind that I was already going to a different church at the time.

Can those of us who believe in God but don't have any intention to go out and 'preach the good news' go by a different title than Christian? I'll be honest - I'm embarrassed to be defined by people who insist everyone else is going to hell if they didn't pick my church. I'm embarrassed to be defined by people who spew hatred for vulnerable young girls at the doorsteps of a Planned Parenthood. I'm mortified to go by the same name as people who malign anyone who falls in love differently than I did. Can I call myself an Alternative Christian, the way the odd rock band goes by the name of alternative rock? Can I be Christianish, or EquiChristian, or an Evolutionary Christian? I do love evolution and science too. Does that make me a heretic?

Once, a woman told me I wasn't a Christian at all because my beliefs didn't line up with hers, mostly because I don't like selling God on people's doorsteps. Maybe I'm not Christian after all. Wouldn't that be a kick in the ass? Would it be heresy for me believe that Allah and God are the same being? Maybe the fact that I can believe that someone's Allah is wonderful kicks me out of the club.

Maybe so. Whose club is this anyway?

Thank you for listening, jules

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Sisyphus and Crocheting Toilet Paper Cozy with the Plastic Doll Head

It's sunny out, but I don't want to go walk the dog. I still have Christmas presents to buy and to make, but I don't want to. I have presents to ship tomorrow. I need to catch up, clean up, edit, shop, and get my act together, but my act is a wreck and I don't want to fix it.

I want to sit in a room and read a whole book. I want to watch a marathon of Dr. Who episodes, the ones with Eggleston and Piper, the slightly mismatched pair who were perfect together. I want to sit with my tea and my chamomile neck cozy warming my shoulder. I want to quilt crazy pieces of abandoned fabric together to make ugly little doll quilts like old ladies are supposed to do.

Did you know that? Did you know that old ladies are supposed to make ugly little things that they can barely give away. They don't crochet those pink and green toilet paper cozies with plastic doll heads because you need them or they would make your bathroom prettier. Nothing will make your bathroom prettier. It's a bathroom. They make those ugly pink and green toilet paper cozies with plastic doll heads out of abandoned pieces of yarn in their yarn basket because these women want to sit and be quiet while the TV is blaring some inane show that they never get to choose, because they don't want to accomplish one more productive thing, because they don't want to get their act together, but they don't want anyone to realize just what a wreck their act really is.

And slowly, over decades, their husbands realize, and then their children and their grandchildren and nieces and nephews and friends and casual acquaintances realize, as they futilely try to refuse one more ugly pink and green toilet paper cozy with a plastic doll head when they already have three tucked away deeply in their linen closets, that this old woman has lost her gourd and they just now realized just how lost it has been for all these years since she began crocheting them.

And by now, there is nothing to be done for it.

Thank you for listening, jules