Tag Archives: women baby boomer writers

Goodbye Siri

Sadhvi
Sadhvi

I thought I could be strong and keep my silver Motorola phone with the flip top forever.

But after getting an email from Verizon saying that I could get the latest iPhone for free, (with a 2 year contract), I caved in and thought, why not?
I was not totally convinced that getting one was such a good idea since I had returned the awesome “iPhone” twice before, because I didn’t like it.

Once I entered the Verizon store, I was hit with a song blaring from Michael Jackson’s Thriller album.  It turns out they were playing it in its entirety.  I could immediately tell that the very young, happy and bouncy salesperson was not  there for me, but for the sale.  And by the time I left the “party” I had spent almost $200 on my free phone.

Then the work started: it took 2 hours to synch it with everything else, and then another hour or so, adding “apps” to it so that I was capable of doing just about anything.  From now on, I would never get lost, I would always be able to find a great place to eat anywhere, and I could see what the weather would be from a dozen sources.  But most importantly now I had “Siri” to help me with anything that I wanted to know, do, or calculate.

To tell you the truth, I don’t get lost much (I like to take maps with me on long car trips), but if I do, I ask for help at gas stations and I really don’t have any trouble finding food to eat when I am away from home, but I figured it was time to be hip and keep up with the times.

At first it was fun asking “Siri” things and seeing how she seemed to understand me.  Then I realized I could ask her to call people.

With the time, “Siri” and I seemed to become friends.

That is, until the day that I was stressed out with driving in traffic and work, and asked her to “Call Mom!”  I was surprised when she asked me, “Which number for Bob Smith?”  I repeated “Call Mom”.  “Siri” responded, “Shall I call Bob Smith’s number for you, Sadhvi?”  I said NO!  All right, to be honest, I yelled, “F**K YOU SIRI!”.  To which “Siri” replied, “Now Sadhvi, I wouldn’t talk to you like that!”

After that, our friendship kind of fizzled.  She was not responding the way she used to.  She often answered, “I’m really sorry, Sadhvi, but I can’t take any requests right now!”
I guess I had crossed the line, but really, wasn’t she just part of my iPhone’s operating system, with no emotions, just there to take my commands?

That is something I’ve been thinking a lot about, especially since seeing the movie, “Her”.  The whole idea of artificial intelligence, and its ability to morph and grow and develop is kind of scary.  That movie really disturbed me, while my techie husband thought it was just great.  Hmmm.

I do confess that I’ve started to check my email at red lights.  Now who would be so stupid to do such a thing?  Then I saw this clip, and thought really hard about the whole “keeping up with technology” attitude that is out there, and I finally came to the place where I will go back to the phone that I felt comfortable with, my silver flip-top Motorola – soon.

I kind of like dropping out of the whole techie scene where one has to keep up with all the latest stuff (that is not cheap by the way).  I never wanted to be part of the status quo anyways.  So yeah, you don’t have to bother texting me, emailing me, or sending me a FaceBook message.  If you want to contact me it’s easy, try picking up the phone and calling me, I’ll call you right back!

Oh, if you get a moment, let me know what kind of phone you are using these days, I am really curious how many of you are in love with what you are using. 🙂

I Love Snow!!!

Jane I love snow, in an illogical, childish sort of way.  I can’t seem to get over it, even if I am 60 years old.  When I wake up in the morning, and there is snow all over the ground, I never think things like, “the roads are going to be terrible today” or “I bet that important meeting will be cancelled, and it’s going to be hell to reschedule it.”  Nope.  I think, “SNOW!!! Wow!  Maybe school will be cancelled!” None of this makes any sense.  I’m not in school.  I have only one child still in the kind of school that gets affected by a snow day.  But I feel an excited rush when I start hearing the list of school closings.  I always want to be the one who goes into my daughter’s room and announces, “Snow Day!” (I have to say that smart phones have taken away a lot of the fun, since my daughter almost always gets her little instant message from the school or the radio station before I can get to her.)

The Beauty of Snow

The other thing I like about snow is that it seems to slow things down, to make you

feel like the day can creep slowly by instead of roaring ahead.  It makes me want to curl up on a couch somewhere and read a good book, while sipping hot chocolate.  It reminds me that there are things in life that are a whole lot more important than deadlines, emails, and voicemails.  It reminds me to look around and see beauty all over the place—since nothing looks ugly when it’s covered in fresh snow. 

It’s snowing right now, outside my window. 

Life is good!

 

Remembering Lou Reed

SADHVI
Sadhvi

I grew up in the 60’s and 70’s, where music ruled my life.  Singing along to Lou Reed’s, “Hey Babe, Take a Walk on the Wild Side” back in Novemeber of 1972 when I was 14 years old, I remember feeling like I was as cool as Lou Reed sounded.  Lou Reed died on October 27th, almost 41 years to the date of the release of the Transformer album that had that song on it His wife, Laurie Anderson, wrote a piece for the Rolling Stones that touched me.  Click here to read it.

Aile Shebar, a wonderful writer and friend, allowed me to share what she remembers about Lou Reed.  It touched me as well, and I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did. 

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Hershey’s Milk Chocolate, Screen Test by Andy Warhol (1966)

Lou Reed was a few years ahead of me in school when we were kids in Freeport, NY, and I was in 7th grade.

He gave me my first smoke, a Camel cigarette, one day when we both ditched classes, an innocent moment that was so memorable… smoking became an addiction of mine for 30 years!

He was always in trouble – walking on the wild side in junior high, given to mood swings… a rebel and an iconoclast – but he was very bright, and was accepted at Syracuse University in spite of ‘behavior problems’ that became the cause of being ‘treated’ by ECT as a teenager, and the subsequent song, “Kill Your Sons”.

At the time, Syracuse was a prestigious university for a Long Island Jewish boy to attend.  Although he considered himself Jewish, he said, “My God is rock’n’roll.  It’s an obscure power that can change your life.  The most important part of my religion is to play guitar.”

I went to all his party gigs with his first (local) band, the Jades, and even a couple of bar gigs, well before I was of legal age to get in – Lou got me false iD – and with enough make-up, and high heels I passed for 18.

In those days, my nickname was ‘Hershey Bar’.

In more recent years, according to my cousin, who was one of Lou’s friends in high school and who had kept in touch, Lou had been seriously ill after years of drug addiction and alcohol, and as a result required and underwent a liver transplant. The cause of death is presumed to be a result of complications connected to the transplant.

Lou was always unusual… of course that was more noticeable in school, because he dared to be himself, regardless of the times we grew up in and his conditioning. His bi-sexuality was something he explored and celebrated, even though he was ‘tortured’ for being himself in his teens.  He was always someone who defied all conventional labels and by being himself, which included horrific behavior at times, and soft, tender behavior at others, he gave permission to others to explore their shadow sides too.

I often felt his pain, as a young person, when kids mocked him or worse, but he had enormous creative power to express himself in spite of, or sometimes because of, the pain he was in… and to transform it into art.  In the end he had the last laugh on our schoolmates, most of whom found another form of oblivion in which to live.

May he RIP, in Rock and Roll heaven, bringing the dark side to light.. and may he continue to Walk on the Wild Side with us all.

Aile Shebar is the founder of “Writing from the Heart”; A gifted Facilitator of Creative Writing, Coaching Writers, and Compassionate Editing.  She is also the event producer at One Heart Productions, bringing wonderfully gifted and enlightened ones to the public.

Aile Shebar
Aile Shebar