Friday, March 12, 2010


Luddite: According to the Google online dictionary, to call someone a Luddite is to criticize them for opposing changes in industrial methods, especially the introduction of new machines and modern methods. 

I've been acting like a Luddite lately, it's true.  I've gone two and three days in a row without checking my email or even turning on my computer.  I decided to avoid the lure of the mindless joy found on the Internet.  I haven't been reading anything other than Vanity Fair, and even that with mild disinterest.  Even though I had a very high score and 118 badges in Shape Shifter, I haven't written a word in months.  I've barely even blogged.  My house wasn't up to the standards I wanted it to be, but I spent plenty of time reading about dead celebrities, fooling around on Facebook, and in general, doing a whole lot of nothing.

I thought a lot about how much of ourselves is easily accessible online.  How much of me is out there, because I've been around a long time online.  It kind of creeped me out. I've been thinking about taking this thing private.

I made a conscious choice to to take a few steps away from the Internet.

When we got our income tax refund, I ordered a stack of books I've been wanting to read from Amazon and also had a brief spree in Half-Price Books.  I've read:

In The Name of Love; Ann Rule
Pretty typical of her true crime files books; interesting cases; think I'm getting Ann Ruled out.

The Best American Crime Reporting 2009; edited by Jeffrey Toobin et al
These have come out every year for several years and are always a great read.

On Writing; Stephen King
  My second copy of this book; I loaned the first to someone (I've forgotten who) and never gotten it back, which is quite all right.  It's the Bible for Writing for me.

Too Much Money; Dominick Dunne
 I didn't want it to end.  I adored Mr. Dunne and savored everything he's ever written.  Great dish; the characters are easily recognized as their true life counterparts; the ending, alas, isn't up to his usual.

Half Broke Horses; Jeannette Walls
Her second memoir, this one a "true life novel", whatever that means.  She's a lively, wonderful storyteller.  I look forward to more of her writing.

Methland; Nick Reading
About a small town in Iowa that is devastated by meth.  Not a happy read but well written and topical.

The Innocent Man; John Grisham 
 His first non-fiction and it's full of Grisham-isms like heavy sarcasm done well and perfectly chosen adjectives and a conflict on every page.  I'm in the middle and so far, it's really pissing me off.  One of those cases of "You Are Just Plain Effed" justice, like the disappearance of Adrianna and Jennifer Wix or the case of David Camm. 

I've also watched a few movies, some good, some awful.  Stay away, in particular, from the snooze fest of Australia.  I kept getting up throughout it, doing chores and coming back and asking, "Isn't this dirge over yet?" and no, no it wasn't because it's about 4 hours long and nothing at all happens.  Even cute Hugh Jackman doesn't make it watchable and he's one of those guys that I generally want to see in anything, even a toothpaste commercial, and I'd still think he was handsome.  Although I do fear he may be short.

Speaking of which, (handsome actors, not short ones) I can't wait to see Andy Garcia on the Martha Stewart show.  I've actually watched Martha a couple times lately, and it's unintentionally hilarious.  She's so snooty and superior and when she tries to be funny, she just sounds like some over bred WASP-y condensending type with a stick up her ass. She's not warm or maternal at all and let's be real, the only reason why she has time to do all those stupid crafts is because she obviously has live-in help. Can you seriously picture her loading her dishwasher and picking up dog poop? Well, she did start a trend by knitting ugly shawls in prison, so I guess it's possible. She was giving away some really "amazing", as she said, trips yesterday but she's just such a snot and so anal and perfect. She packs a lunch when she flies, a little insulated carry-on of potato/ bean salad and tabbouleh that she whips up the night before her trip and puts them in Chinese carry-out containers that fit so nicely in her insulated carry-on lunch bag for those 26 hour flights to Bangkok.  Oh, and the bean/potato salad had tuna in it, which she assured her audience wouldn't smell and offend other passengers since it was Italian tuna. Who does that sort of shit? Seriously? If we take a road trip, my family is happy if I pack a couple sandwiches and some chips and remember some juice boxes; you can bet if we fly anywhere they will be happy to get plane pretzels and lukewarm 7 UP or maybe if Mom is really on the ball, a piece of fruit. Martha's guests all were yakking it up about their favorite places to travel to and it was Galapagos, climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, some country in Asia that starts with a B I'd never even heard of, that sort of thing. 

I guess I'm just not in her demographic because these days, I'm pretty happy to get back to the Mitten a couple times a year.  And the night before my trip to anywhere, I certainly wouldn't be in the kitchen mucking around, except to finish off that bottle of wine before we leave.  I'd be running around like a lunatic throwing crap in suitcases, like any normal person would be.

I finally broke down and went to get my eyes checked.  I knew they'd gone way wrong recently because I was a having a really hard time seeing to read anything and it was damn annoying.  Welcome to the wonderful world of bifocals.  I have new glasses, no line bifocals, and while it's wonderful I can see so well, I'm not knocked out by the frames.  Choices in frames tend to be limited when you want the ultra light lenses, and no line bifocals.  Or you know, you can wear Coke bottles with huge magnified parts on the bottom that weigh about five pounds.  I am so grateful glasses have come so far.  I can even get contacts to fix this, which I'm just waiting for. 

I think I'm out of my complete Luddite phase, which let's face it, wasn't a total cutoff, I snuck peeks of my email on my phone and read the news and kept up with a few blogs but I know I'm an addict and I accept that.  Cutting down makes me feel like I got a lot accomplished.  My house is looking much more like the way I want it to and I did a fierce de-clutter on our bedroom and got new linens. It was nice to take naps and watch Cold Case Files and bad On Demand movies. I've missed reading, getting lost in a book. It feels good writing this, I feel inspired after reading some fine writing. 

I'm setting a certain goal for myself as far as writing and a part of that, is to start writing something here every day for at least a month.  I need to get back in the habit of writing everyday and this is a good baby step to start with.

* You will note that I didn't link stuff in here I could have.  I'm too lazy and I figure if you really want to find that stuff, you are perfectly capable of using Google all by yourself.


Nadine said...

Love it that you're back!

loretta said...

I should probably clean my house.

judemiller1 said...

Well I am real glad you are back because I've missed you--teeny comments on FB just don't get it for me, I need your blog.