The Tweets
The Tweets

The politics of politeness

As big of an asshole as I am on the inside, I guess some of the manners that my parents drilled into me growing up have stuck around on the outside.

Weird start to a post I know, but to be honest I had no clue how to start, so here we are. The funny thing is that I don't know where these manners fit anymore in my world. I was out running errands the other day, earbuds in when I got to the cash at one store. Even though I had paused the podcast I was listening to, I felt compelled to pull out not one, but both of the earbuds in my ear before interacting with the cashier. Being myself, this turned into a bit of a farce as I happened to be laughing at the time--it was a rather hilarious Doug Loves Movies episode--and my right earbud cover stayed in my ear. This happens often enough that I know that people can't see it but I still was compelled to fish it out before engaging in the social situation that was in front of me. Now, I've seen so many people interact with other people with Bluetooth headsets in; one or both earbuds in; sometimes with audible noises coming out of them. So why did I care about an earbud cover that only I knew was there?

I think it's the same reason I still hold doors open for people and smile even when I get stared down. It's hard to turn off who you are, even if it flies in the face of what's acceptable currently. The challenge for me is how to reconcile the two. I've been peer pressured into no longer standing up when a woman approaches the table, but I don't know if I've stopped doing it because it's passé, inappropriate in 2015, or because I feel self conscious doing it. In theory, goo manners are timeless, but as the world changes, it would only make sense for manners to adapt as well, wouldn't it?

The older I get, the more I realize that I have one foot planted firmly in the 20th century and another in the 21st, and I find it more and more challenging to figure out how to make my analog formative years mesh with my digital present. I know I'm probably overthinking it (and everything else), but what else am I going to blog about?

***Fair warning: when I'm feeling more eloquent--it took me two minutes to remember that word--this is definitely going to be re-visited but for now, this is all I can pull out of the haze in my brain***


Nine years and a couple days later

So when I realized that I wasn't going to be able to write about my father a few days ago, the reason was disappointing, but not altogether unexpected. The world tends to creep in and smash the proverbial "best laid plans." What surprised me more was that I hadn't written about him since the year I got married.

After getting over that pang of guilt, I realized that I had spend the last year and a half telling stories about him. Coming up on a decade now, it's easier to talk about him--hell, to steal a bit from a recent podcast, it's amazing to make dead dad jokes to people to see their reactions. That said, he's still a major part of my life and if I pause a bit walking down memory lane, it becomes a bit more real than I'm used to. Even now, a few days removed from "D-Day," my time machine back to that day is still working flawlessly.

But getting back to the world; the one thing that I'm realizing is that throughout all the stress of the recent past, I've been able to stay as steady as I am--with inevitably a few cracks in the armor here and there--for two reasons: the image of my father, and the presence of my wife. I may have written about this before but the biggest regret in my life that I had absolutely no control over is the passing of those two ships in the night. As sure as I can be about anything, I'm sure that they would have been as close as I am with my in laws. He's a huge chunk of who I am and his spirit is a calming presence in my life.

I miss him every day and if I could muster the eloquence to opine about him every day, this section of the blog would break the Internet.

Well that's something to aspire to, I guess.


Collapsing under stress

I don't have the energy to be cute or even make an attempt at wit. The stress of being an adult is getting to me. Real estate is a torturous endeavor, created to make anyone who isn't rich feel small and powerless. Now I know that in the grand scheme of things, I'm doing alright, but I somehow have lost the ability to compartmentalize. The stress I feel is all encompassing and I don't even have a real outlet because I need to be there for someone I love that I happen to be sharing this situation with who is under 100 times more stress than I am. I have no right to complain, but I'll do it here because at this point I have no other wall to wail at, and this place is nowhere near being renovated enough to make a difference.


Hard resetting my dream cycle

So a couple nights ago, I got logic-ed out of a dream. I was outside of my condo and for some reason--because we all do things that are unbelievably out of character in our dreams--left my iPhone on the sidewalk just outside of the main entrance to the condo building and walked inside to say something to the security guard. When I looked outside again, predictably, my phone was gone. In a panic I raced outside and saw someone running away at full speed. I followed after, just in time to see the alleged thief jump into a car. I then snapped a picture of the license plate with my phone (you know, the one that was just stolen), paused for a second to think about what just happened... and woke up.

Still half in dreamland, I immediately looked to my beside table to glance at my phone in real time, only to see that it wasn't there. Now the adrenaline really starts to kick in as I get out of bed, thinking back over my actions of last night trying to figure out if my awake self could be as stupid as my sleeping persona. Then, for no reason that my conscious mind can conceive, I open the door to my walk in closet and sitting on the top of my dresser is that damn phone. Somehow, I had forgotten to put it on its charger after getting ready for bed.

Boring story, right? Absolutely, except that it got me wondering that due to my obsession with my gadgets--and routine--that my unconscious self found a way to say "Hey dummy! You forgot to plug in your phone, so get on it," the only way it knows how.

And I'm not sure if that's terrifying or amazing.


My week without Apple Watch

I never wanted to turn this into a tech review blog, but here we are... hopefully I have more to say in the (near) future.

Last week, I fell victim to the ultimate plight of the early adopter – hardware failure. On an attempted software update, my Apple Watch’s logic board decided to implode. One Genius Bar appointment later and my poor watch was off for a depot repair.


For the last week, I wore—for the most part—my old Pebble. In its defense, my Pebble is the original version (not even the Steel) so I can’t speak to how the Time would compare, but it was almost more of a hassle to have this on my wrist after three weeks with Apple Watch.


Four things became incredibly apparent with Pebble and iOS (again, I can’t speak to Android):

  • Having notifications come through on the watch even if I have my phone open became increasingly annoying. I quickly got used to—and appreciated—the fact that my wrist wouldn’t buzz if I saw the notification come through as I was staring at my phone.
  • Speaking of buzzing, the subtlety of Apple Watch’s “tapping” is not only more silent, but so much less jarring than a vibration while still notifying you that something’s up… and I won’t even mention how great different tapping patterns for different types of notifications are or how you can customize which specific alerts get pushed to the watch.
  • Due to the more intrusive buzzing, I was more aware of the Pebble on my wrist which turns out is a bad thing. I actually took it off when I was home, and went out on Saturday errands without even thinking to put it back on… or caring when I realized I didn’t’ have it with me (as opposed to the heart racing panic—that wasn’t registered by sensors--the one time I forgot Apple Watch).
  • 5-7 day charging is definitely a benefit, but I kept going back to an article I read where every day charging can be seen as better because the habit is formed quickly enough. With the Pebble I have to have a cable with me at all times in case the 7 days turns into 5.5 days on a particular week.


I loved my Pebble for the time I had it. It was a great primer to teach me what I want—and don’t want—in a smartwatch. I’m sure the Pebble Time is another great jump for Pebblers, but I can’t tell you how quickly I got to the Apple Store when I got the notification that my replacement Apple Watch was ready for pickup (Thank you AppleCare+ and the Genius who overstated the repair/replacement time by a full week)!


P.S. I still haven’t tried the OS upgrade… PTSD is still there from last week’s misadventure.