Thursday, January 12, 2012

Ramble and Rant

A tiny dusting of snow fell last night, not even enough for pictures. Fearlessly, I drove Logan to school this morning for his 6 A.M. weight training class. Normally I freak out if there is even a hint of the possibility of slick, icy roads, but this morning I packed the car with blankets, a two week supply of food and water, a change of clothes, several flashlights, a fully-charged cell phone, a full tank of gas, two teen-aged boys, and outfitted in arctic gear, I bravely traveled three miles round trip to school. And survived! And the Martin Luther King holiday seems secure. The holiday is rarely observed here because it is typically our first snow makeup day. But, so far, we really haven't had any snow. I'm hoping for a mild winter with no snow days so school will be out for the summer early enough for us to get to Massachusetts for Nichole's graduation, if she's able to pull it off. She's had trouble scheduling her last two required classes. I'm hoping she's able to work it out somehow!

Logan takes a weight training class three days a week and attends  brutal off-season football training two afternoons a week -- he is so buff. He also is becoming even more interested in debate. They've had one tournament already this year and there's a lot more on the calendar. On his own initiative, he watched the Republican candidates debate and was keenly observant. I love watching the boys develop their own interests and forge their unique paths.

Ben has been spending extra time practicing music -- he stays after school most afternoons to put in time on the marimba and is getting quite good. He also loves choral singing, but is very shy about solo work. He is looking forward to participating in Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir 3.0. I have instructions to be out of the house with Logan while he is recording his contribution. He also spends time at math club and with the National Honor Society. You know these interests are their own and not pushed by me -- math and debate are about as far as you can get from any of my strengths or interests. Once again, I'm truly grateful for teachers who encourage and give hours of their time, clearly out of love and dedication, because there's not much money in it!

I continue to spend my time reading and quilting, and lately, attending to health maintenance issues. I'm finding that as I age it takes more and more "routine" screenings just to know that I'm OK. Bone density, mammo, EKG, carotid artery ultrasound, etc., etc., ad nauseum. And of course, it's all different doctors, different days, and different sets of the same form to fill out. Right now I'm wearing a halter monitor to validate that my benign palpitations are indeed benign. I'm hoping it picked up a blip when I was on the phone explaining to the insurance company that their system was screwed up, that in fact, my statin drug is covered under the plan. It took 37 minutes, 36 of them on hold or negotiating a phone tree, to get them to see things my way. The user end -- the social cost -- of these aggravations is never factored in when they set them up.

I like phones less and less every day. I no longer use or answer my house phone. The batteries are all dead on the hand sets and I have to access it from the console. I have no interest in replacing it. Before long, I will have it disconnected. I am finally coming to love my mobile phone(s). It allows me to be in touch with the kids wherever they are -- texting is terrific for that. I'm not crazy about talking on the phone. With my hearing loss, I struggle to hear, so  I much prefer face-to-face, email, facebook messages, or texting. All of these occur at the convenience of both parties, not dictated by the one who does the dialing. There are a couple of exceptions -- I do like appointment reminders and I love getting calls from my far-away friends and relatives. I love caller ID and never answer calls I suspect are from telemarketers. This communication evolution is fascinating to me -- newspapers and mail are nearly obsolete, even regular e-mail is showing signs of waning, while "social media" and texting surge. I suppose we will have implanted communication devices before long.


  1. I often use the earplug/microphone while using my iPhone when I talking to people I really want to converse. Eases the need to keep the phone in exactly the right place to hear and be heard. Also keeps it away from my head and all that electric stuff away from my fragile brain.

  2. Sounds like a good solution -- I am not interested in "hands-free" driving/phoning (I don't answer my phone while driving), so hadn't seriously consider mike/ear buds -- but you make a good case.