html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" xml:lang="en" lang="en"> From the archives: give short, sharp corrections to get attention

Sunday, May 13, 2007

give short, sharp corrections to get attention

You know what was really, really convenient when I found out about my towed car? My new magic phone. Yeah. My cell phone. I finally caved. Last weekend. For a bunch of reasons. Back when I was nagging Anand to move to California, I swore that I would get a cell phone the day he moved here. He moved, so I had to make good. And there have been times when I was going back and forth to Oakland that it would have been really handy to have a phone. Well, I have one now.

I’m still not sure about it. There’s a lot to learn and I don’t want to. There are lots of menus and choices, and I pretty much hate them. Anand made words appear on my phone the other day, which was kindof neat. But they weren’t words that required any action of me, and I already knew Anand thinks of me occasionally, so I don’t know that getting them was any different from not getting them. If they had been “MEGGIE! THE BLACK HELICOPTERS!! THEY’RE GETTING CLO--” , I would have known what to do, but it was something about his travels or something.

He called me Friday, but my phone was off. When I called him back, he asked if I’d turned off my phone. “Why yes!” I said brightly. “I didn’t need to call anyone, so I turned it off!” “Oh no, Meggie. That’s not how it works.” “It isn’t?” “No Meggie. You leave the phone ON. Does the prisoner just take off his shackles? Does the horse step out of her hobbles? No no, Meggie. The tether stays ON.” Oh.

There are some things I don’t want to adjust to. I WILL still remember everyone’s phone numbers. I don’t know what to do about the fact that the cell phone will also tell me the time, in direct contravention of the oath Teddy and I swore in 11th grade to never wear a watch. Teddy says his cell phone isn’t a watch, but I say the point was that we wouldn’t be slaves to the time and not all of us are big fat oathbreakers. Teddy. I am, however, looking forward to the actual talking on the phone. Oh friends of mine who hounded me for years, I will talk on the phone. I will talk on my shiny red phone all the time. I will talk on my cell phone in your car and in your living room and at the restaurant and the café and in the movies. I will call you, too. I know you are looking forward to that. I will call you. I will call you and my half of the conversation will go like this: “Hi. Oh, nothing. Just walking. In the parking lot. WHOA! A car just passed me. A blue car. It is parking now. Next to a tan car. A guy is getting out. Now I’m at the door. I’m inside now. I guess I’ll have lunch. It is lunchtime, after all. I don’t know. I haven’t really decided. Maybe a sandwich. A salad sounds good. Remember when I had that salad I really liked? I might get that. Or a sandwich. What sandwich do you like – huh? No a salad, I think. They have ranch and vinaigrettes and blue cheese. Maybe blue cheese. On the side, or on the salad? On the salad, I guess! Living large, hah hah. Maybe I should get a brownie for dessert. What do you think? Or no brownie?” You made me get this phone, my friends, and I will call you.

18 Comments:

Blogger Dubin said...

Wow. This is serious. Megan gets a cell phone. I bet you feel like I felt after I finally and tardily saw Star Wars - I had no claim to fame anymore, and my identity was compromised. But it'll all be ok...

So Anand moved? Where? How? Why, just because you asked him? How nice!

6:32 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

No, of course not because I asked him. I've been nagging him to move for YEARS. No. He moved because his company closed his division and the jobs in Austin and Germany didn't come through, so he is FINALLY in the South Bay.

Yeah, I do sort of feel lost.

7:52 PM  
Blogger jens said...

So what DO you do about those black helicopters?

Always wanted to know?

9:38 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

That depends on the mission.

9:45 PM  
Blogger alison said...

Just set the time on your phone wrong.

5:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Alison, many (most, possibly) phones take their time from the network and only allow you to set the time if you're out of contact with the network. That isn't particularly useful.

On the other hand, you might be able to change the settings to not display the time. Or, possibly hack the phone to not display the time (what is the make/model).

Oh, and congrats on the phone. I resisted for many years on the cell phone thing, but gave-in in 2001 or 2 after almost being stranded at an airport unable to find the people I was supposed to meet up with. The sting will fade. I just took the "Hypocrite" label off my phone late last year. Embrace the phone; love it. Anand could probably even teach you to text and use the web on it. :-D

As for the Big A and his move, that is awesome! We should all plan a big party at his new place (once he finds one and moves into it). Em will be attending Stanford in the fall so I'll be up in that area occasionally.

Cheers,
Tim.

8:49 AM  
Blogger Megan said...

At the airport, you just page your friends. People forget the old ways, but they worked too.

8:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had a wonderful time last weekend, out of the country, phone off the whole time. Amazing!

I also still love going skiing, when we don't bring phones, and meet up at predetermined set place and set time for lunch. No calling, no "I'm on this side of the building, where are you"ing, and only a little "um, he's really late... should we get in touch with ski patrol?"ing. And no ringing - leaving us free to give the other ski-lodge and chair lift cell phone holders dirty looks and eye rolls. Oh, our superiority!

10:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

heh, so would you classify yourself as a neo-luddite then? Amazingly enough when I got the cell, I discontinued the landline. The quest rep. was confused, 'but sir, don't you NEED a phone?' "er, yeah, but that's what the cell phone is for." 'Oh.' In 3 years I've never looked back... but then I don't use the phone much anyway. Just on the weekends when everyhting is free... I'm probably on some bad list because I talk to people for hours on the weekends for free, but don't use the phone otherwise.

Perhaps I'm an anachronism, I call people with the sole purpose of talking to them, rather than as a filler when I'm in the grocery...

People talk on phones incessantly, on the ski lift, or a gagle of high schoolers, all talking on their own phones, at the stop light, walking out of the movies. Is there really that much to say... we wonders...

D
ps. welcome back ;)

10:59 AM  
Blogger Abby said...

Congrats on joining the herd! While totally hypocritical, it is secretly fun to chatter in inappropriate public places about the hot date last night.... Also getting into the strange etiquette of what kinds of conversation to whom merits a call, an email or a text.

11:14 AM  
Blogger lil miss dubin said...

ok, i'm just saying. one of my friends (you know who you are, mexican architect girl...) refused to get a phone for years, and it was a strain on the people who lovd her. also, she has a nasty, seemingly unbreakable habit of arriving at SFO 10 minutes before a flight, and then realizing it's really leaving from OAK. a cell phone helps and you will soon embrace it. and then, flash forward a while, and you'll have a treo in a pink case with a pink dangly flower charm hanging from it. no wait, that's not you, that's...someone else.

12:45 PM  
Anonymous Erik said...

Don't learn the options and crazy menus. That way you will never feel a need for the coolest new gadgets that everybody wants, and you'll save lots of money. My phone can't even send or receive texts, let alone surf the web, play games, or download fancy rings, but it was free and I love it.

It does have an alarm feature that occasionally comes in handy.

2:32 PM  
Blogger alison said...

"Alison, many (most, possibly) phones take their time from the network and only allow you to set the time if you're out of contact with the network."

Oooh, I didn't know that - must be a US/UK thing, because mine certainly doesn't.

I like texting better than phoning. Is it true that in the US you have to pay to receive texts?

5:41 PM  
Blogger Jacqueline Passey said...

Welcome to the 21st century, where phone numbers go to people and not to places.

7:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You need to be careful. First it is a phone, then texting, next thing you know you have a blackberry and are walking down the street bumping into people as you frantically read and compose email.

And while I hate to admit defeat (I usually get the connection eventually) I cannot figure out the title versus the subject on this one. Someone help?

2:12 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

I always called my ex's phone "the leash". "Don't forget the leash, hon, so I can reach you."

4:31 PM  
Anonymous scottb said...

For dubin, I still haven't seen Titanic. I _think_ I'm the only one. Well, and my wife hasn't seen it either.

For Megan, I'm really sort of a Luddite for a technologist and all. I tend to be an early, early adopter, then I dump whatever it was when it doesn't do my bidding or make my life really _really_ better than it already is.

I'm currently down-migrating from a real, grownup cell phone to a pay as you go plan which will turn out a lot cheaper since I never use my cell phone. Once in a while, someone calls me, but mostly it's for emergencies or missed connections.

I always wondered what all those people were saying on their cell phones all the time. Thanks for clearing that up for me.

One last thing...Please, _please_...all your imaginary friends are begging you not to talk on the cell phone while riding your bike. Unless you have the hands-free setup, of course. And are singing into the phone to the delight of your many friends.

10:56 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

Hmm. All the cool kids talk while riding on their bikes. What if I want to be cool like Ali or Chris, whom have both called me from their bikes? I'm hoping that I won't have it with me as I ride around Sac. It should be for going back and forth to Oakland, no?

11:28 PM  

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