Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Why I changed my mind about the Kindle.

In my first-ever blog post, I talked about how I made friends with the bread machine after initially resisting it. Well, friends, technology has won me over yet again, and I am not ashamed to say so. I bought myself a Kindle Fire for Christmas and I love it.

Now, don't get me wrong - an electronical gadget will never replace real books for me. Some books are just better and more useful in real paper form, especially books involving detailed photographs of historical clothing or musical instruments. They're typically oversized anyway to accommodate the graphics. Plus, there is something innately satisfying about cradling a book in your hands and feeling the paper. I can't quite describe it, but I think most of you know what I mean. And sheet music? The Kindle is way too small for that. (Note: I know "electronical" isn't a real word. I just happen to find it amusing, like "strategery" or "misunderestimate.")

The Kindle's greatest attribute, for me, is its mobility. I can take it anywhere. If there's a wireless connection, I can get on the Interwebs. Heck, since I don't have a teevee at home in the bedroom, I can take the Kindle upstairs and stream "Twilight Zone" episodes from Netflix all night long. (what???) I watched the first two seasons of "Walking Dead" entirely on the Kindle. (I don't recommend watching that at lunchtime, though. "Fawlty Towers" is a much better choice.)

And Sweet Fancy Moses, the music. Right now I have about 40 full-length albums on the Kindle, mostly Irish stuff. (Richard Thompson is all on the iPod, along with the Beatles, in case anyone was wondering.) I've had to give myself an Amazon 1-Click budget so I don't go broke. Imagine hauling 40 CDs around with you - not that I've ever done that, of course. Now imagine hauling 40 CDs and about 40 books. That's what I've got on this gadget and the gadget fits right in my handbag. How could a book & music nerd NOT love that? I can read anydamnwhere I want!

To be fair, though, e-books aren't always cheap, and sometimes it's still more feasible to buy a used hard copy. One thing I've really enjoyed about books on the Kindle is the ability to highlight key passages. It saves them all on a Notes page so you don't have to worry about remembering what you highlighted where. This is great for me because I always seem to find myself without Post-It flags when I'm reading a hard copy book. Kindle highlighter? No problem!

And so, this 19th-century girl goes kicking and screaming again into the present, but it's really not so bad. I still don't have The Cable, though.

Till next time --- remember, if you don't change your mind about something once in awhile, you may be dead.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Showing my age.

The other morning, I caught part of an informercial for an anti-wrinkle product. Said infomercial was hosted by actress Minnie Driver, age 40, extolling the virtues of this product and how it made her look so much younger.

Really? You need to look younger at 40? Exactly how much younger are we talking? It ain't like 40 is ancient. When did it become a crime to actually look your age?

They say a lady doesn't tell her age, but I'll just tell alla y'all right now, I'm 45. FORTY-FIVE. I'm not ashamed of it. I'm thrilled that I've lived long enough to experience all the joys of being a middle-aged woman: weight gain, crazy hormones, gray hair, tiny wrinkles. I earned all that stuff, as inconvenient as some of it may be. And it's all MINE. I plan on keeping my hair red as long as I can, and when I can't anymore, it's going gray. End of story.

Now, granted, I don't look what most people think 45 looks like. I'm fortunate to come from a family of fairly young-looking people, so I do have genetics on my side a little. I also have better science on my side than my parents and grandparents did. Because of that, I think many of us in my age group do look younger at 45 than our parents probably did. I mean, we have sunscreen now that will actually keep you from getting a sunburn (unless you're in Jamaica, but that's another story).

Why the fascination with youth? It pains me to see women like Joan Rivers and Priscilla Presley go under the knife so many times they look freakish. What's wrong with owning those wrinkles, like Helen Mirren or Judi Dench or Maggie Smith? The Dowager Countess would look ridiculous if she were all young and smooth-faced.

I have to admit, when I had my last birthday, I did have a little bit of a quandary. It was like, "oh shit, I'm 45, I guess I have to start acting like an adult now." This lasted all of about a week, if that long. I already gave up ultra-short skirts and bikinis awhile back (although it nearly killed me to admit I just wasn't shaped properly for them anymore), but I ain't turning in my collection of skulls, or my quirky t-shirts, or my crazy shoes, or my outrageous eyeglasses. Nope. Not happening. I may be getting older, but I still plan on having fun, even when my hair goes all gray. Heck, when that happens, I may just shave my head and wear turbans all the time.

Till next time --- be proud of your age. Namaste.