Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Further Adventures of a Phonaholic

I should have known something interesting was happening when I saw the fire truck outside.

Remember what I told you about my granddaughter’s phone dying while we were in Florida? Well she has bad luck with airlines, too. On her trip home from Dallas last year, she got bumped—for two days. This year her flight was delayed an hour, which was an improvement. And not to worry—she had my BlackBerry.

Then at about 11 p.m., I got a text from her. (Remember, hubby was able to supply a charger for her phone, so I was using it while she had mine.) “Plane running late. No response from Mom. Please make sure she knows.”

So I texted her back, which was really texting myself, since she had my phone—kind of surreal, “OK, will email her.”

When I opened my email to send the note, I found a message from my daughter, “Dropped phone one too many times. Please let Crystal know I’ll pick her up as planned.”

After I answered my daughter’s email, I texted my granddaughter to let her know that her mother ‘s phone was broken, but she would pick her up. The next day we drove up to exchange phones and to give an extra we had to my daughter so she could communicate while I checked into getting her a new one. About a week later, she came down to pick up her new BlackBerry Curve, and when we pulled into the parking lot, there sat the fire truck.

Inside the phone store, three firemen were huddled around the closed door to a back room. They were concentrating intently, mostly on the door, but also on controlling their expressions, which occasionally erupted into quickly suppressed giggles. The salesman who had sold me the phone approached us with a smirk on his face. Seems his coworker had gone into the break room to change clothes when he got off duty, and when he closed the door, it locked.

Because it was not supposed to be lockable from the inside, it was not un-lockable from the inside. But neither did the key outside the door unlock it. And because it was also the room where their inventory of phones was stored, the hinges were on the inside, and the door was reinforced with steel.

The coworker had been locked in for about 40 minutes while the firemen tried in vain to remove the lock from the door, the only way to get the door open.  In the meantime, our salesman chortled.

Other customers were asked to return later because all the stock was locked in the room with the coworker, but the phone I planned to purchase had been ordered from another location, so it sat on the salesman’s desk waiting for us.

Just as we finished our transaction, the imprisoned coworker was able to use a tiny screwdriver (one of those designed to be carried in a nerd’s pocket protector—hubby is never without his) to remove the plate of the lock on the inside. He used his phone to take a photo of the lock’s mechanism and sent it to our salesman, who showed it to the firemen. They were then able to figure out how to unlock the door and release the coworker, who was a bit surly, but not in as bad a mood as you might expect after his experience.

When we walked out with my daughter’s new phone, the firemen, still carefully controlling their expressions, were climbing into the fire truck.

copyright Angela Parson Myers 2011

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

First Love--A Postscript

Because my prose usually comes from my slightly off-kilter view of the world, while my poetry usually comes from deep within, I just had to do another post with these poems. I blogged Valentine for Autumn last Valentine's Day, but this is the first time I've published viewpoint.


“Youth and beauty fade away,"
 I’ve heard the poets sing,
 And God, I know it's true.
 All that's left of my youth and beauty
 Now, my love, is you.

 I see the lines etched in my face,
 My mirror tells no lies.
 But love of my youth,
 My beauty clings-
 Reflected in your eyes.     

Valentine for Autumn

Come, walk the night with me
And feel the silken touch of mist
Cool upon the warm bare flesh of arms entwined.

Come, walk the velvet darkness.
Follow sparkling fireflies through the wood
And wade the dewy grass with naked feet.

Come, stay the golden autumn night
Till dawn strokes the sky with nacre pink,
And we will walk together all our nights
Until the winter snows.

copyright Angela Parson Myers 2011

Monday, June 20, 2011

Books, Horses, and a Fullback—First Love

Geeks did not exist when I was in high school.

Well, we existed, but we were called eggheads. Introverted and shy with dishwater blond hair, bad skin and hay fever that lasted from April till the end of October, I really had little interest in boys because they were—well, boys. Seemed like they were interested in only two things, sports and sex. I never cared much for sports. 

But like many adolescent girls, I did love horses. Unfortunately my family had neither the room nor the money for a horse, and that love remained unrequited. So I spent most of my time with books, which I had learned to love even before I loved horses. The result was that I was a pretty good student. That’s why I took chemistry. And the combination of that love of horses and chemistry led to my first real love.

No, really. Chemistry can happen.

All year I had walked into class with a friend and sat down in the second row in front of a contingent of football players who completely ignored us. We had nothing in common with football players, who, I thought, tended to be not very bright and interested in only two things (see above). One day, for some reason I’ve forgotten, my friend turned around to them and said, nodding toward me, “She loves horses, but she doesn’t have one.”

One of the football players I’d noticed a couple of times before, even though I wasn’t really attracted to tall, dark and handsome guys, looked very thoughtful and replied, “Oh, that’s a shame. I can get hold of a couple of horses any time I want, and I’m not that interested in them.”

And this very shy, introverted egghead, blurted out, “Is that a proposal?”

Not long after, he asked me for a date.

We were 16 and 17. He wasn’t intimidated by a runny nose, a few zits, or good grades. He had a wacky sense of humor and a wide-ranging curiosity, and he used up all his aggressiveness on the football field. We were married at 20. He studies science, and I study literature; he leans right, and I lean left; he likes country music, and I like classical. I won’t even tell you how many years we’ve fussed, argued and debated everything from what to have for dinner to the space-time continuum, but I will tell you it’s never been dull, and we’re still married.

He will always be my first love.

copyright Angela Parson Myers 2011

Friday, June 17, 2011

Hello, my name is Angela and I’m a phonaholic

“You’re such a junkie,” my granddaughter told me.

She had just offered me my BlackBerry and asked if I needed a fix. She had it because her simpler phone had died, and I’d loaned her mine because she was on her way to Dallas, where she needed to be able to contact friends for pick-up at the airport. I guess I looked too eager as I snatched it from her hands.

My co-workers used to tease me because they said I had organizers for my organizers. They were kind of right, because I had a detailed work organizer, a detailed home organizer, and a purse organizer to combine high points of the two so I wouldn’t accidentally overlap. It was the best way I knew to CONTROL the coordination of a 10- to 12-hour-a-day job (sometimes six days a week), my husband’s conflicting work schedule, and our kids’ and grandkids’ activities.

Then my employer gave me my first cell phone with a calendar. I was in heaven. Here, in an easy-to-carry package, not only could I keep track of my meetings and appointments, but I could set an alarm to remind me to go. (Then, as now, I tended to get caught up in my writing and forget to eat lunch, attend meetings, etc.)

When I retired, I got a BlackBerry. Now I have a calendar with an alarm, a separate wake-up alarm, and I can check both my email accounts, facebook  and twitter anywhere I have phone service. (When the publisher who has had my novel for five months sends me that acceptance letter, I want to KNOW, baby!) I can carry my to-do lists in my pocket and jot down micropoetry on my note pad. With my phone and my Mac, I have conferred with clients and written and delivered articles while 1,000 miles away from my home office. In Scotland without internet, I was able to post on facebook and twitter and keep track of all my friends, actual and virtual. I am not a cell phone junkie; I am merely in CONTROL.

But for the last week, I have been without my full QWERTY keyboard. I almost missed my hair appointment because it was on my BlackBerry in Dallas. (Thank heavens I had written my doctor’s appointment on my day planner.) I’m behind with facebook and twitter because I can’t check them while I’m waiting to see my optometrist, and I can’t check the weather forecast for next week to plan my wardrobe. My life is out of CONTROL.

I am so looking forward to seeing my granddaughter on Sunday. She’s a delightful, lovely, intelligent and talented young woman—and she has my BlackBerry.

copyright Angela Parson Myers 2011

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

When Do You Say Good-Bye?

The recent announcement of a beloved author's diagnosis of Alzheimer's has touched many of my writer friends deeply. To me he's just another of many who have touched my life to fall to this and similar diseases. I have lost three aunts and an uncle to Alzheimer's and my mother to the lesser known Lewey body dementia. And yes, I worry about myself every time I can't immediately come up with that exact word I was seeking for a story or poem. Because I tend to express my strong emotions in poetry, I wrote "I Don't Know When to Say Good-Bye" when the first of my aunts died, and "A Slow Sinking Downward" when my mother died.

I Don’t Know When to Say Goodbye

What happens to the soul
When light fades from the eyes?

Does it flee the faltering brain,
Leaving the body an automated factory
That makes all the right moves
But produces nothing,
Until finally enough circuits are broken
To freeze machinery?

Or is the soul trapped within,
Imprisoned in a black cell
Where no voice, no light, of reason penetrates,
There to go slowly mad
Before death arranges the escape?

A Slow Sinking Downward

I used to think of death as violent,
Gunshot ripping night, or
Scarlet burst exploding heart
Or brain.

I never thought that death would be
Shedding of memories
And dignity,
One by one—
A slow sinking downward
Into darkness.

copyright Angela Parson Myers 2011