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Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Too-Connected Life

...and I'm not talking about marriage or Torah study....no, I'm talking about the fact that I barely have time for either of these important aspects of life; it's a challenge to find time to walk the dogs (0530 seems to work best or late at night); I haven't seen a gym or pool since October; I now need to schedule coffee with friends; and why is this?

Because I spend eight to nine hours a day on a computer doing work. I'm not complaining--Thank G-d I have work in this economy! But when I'm done, I need to pay bills, answer emails, fax personal documents, and update Facebook.

Yes, Facebook.

I've been Facebooked. This started out as a harmless way for several ulpan friends to stay in touch when we all ended our class together. It's Mona's fault! No, really, Mona was kind enough to set me up on Facebook and show me the basics. Then others showed me how to upload photos. Then I connected with some old friends and they have mutual friends, and that led to more connecting with other friends......and now I have pictures, and they have pictures, and I get to see my friends' vacation pictures, follow my stepdaughters' travel adventures and baby pictures, keep in touch through pictures and brief notes with people Far Away.

Think Harry Potter-like photo album with constantly changing messages and pictures in real time.

Neat, huh?

And exhausting. And it's all done on computer. I owe emails to about 12 people; I owe my family more quality time; I owe myself a break from the screen.

I enjoy reading Other People's Blogs -- travel, politics, culture, books, life in (insert name of country here)......but who has time?!

I can't even find time to post on my own blog.

I'm not a big fan of lying by a pool in a deserted desert spa setting.....but recently, between work, bills, Facebook, blogging (or not), keeping up with other bloggers, receiving and sending emails.....I feel like I have my own power cable attached to the electronic contraptions on my desk and they're eating their way into my brain.....

Resistance is Futile....I'm being assimilated.....and I suspect sitting by a desert pool for a few days without anything electronic to do might be The Cure.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Water. Thank G-d.

Every time it rains, I still say "Baruch Hashem!" Every time one of the family starts to complain that it's raining, I say "Baruch Hashem!"

Want more beautiful pictures of the north? Go visit Jameel's site , from whence I lifted this photo.

It's beautiful, Jameel-thanks for sharing.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Happiness Is Getting The Computer Back

My stepdaughter recently decided to live without a cellphone due to its ubiquitous demands on her time. I thought this was very brave, although I don't get so many phone calls, so it isn't the same thing.

Then, the computer went kerploot -- and into the shop.

I had never realized how dependent I had become on this little mechanical device...emails, communication with family, daily news reports, all the blogs I read, checking the bank account (oh,no!), paying the bills online (oy vey!)...and The Husband keeps in touch with friends and baseball team on the computer, and this isn't even touching Facebook. I have a Facebook page. I mostly have it because my friends from ulpan use it as a way of us keeping in touch and posting pictures but it, also, has expanded. It's nice to see pictures of my friends' children, and what they're up to. It's nice to get pictures of my cousins' place in the winter, and photos of Yosemite from my girlfriend. The Boy uses the computer for multiple things mostly involving Star Trek and computer games...

You would think we were all heroin addicts in this household. The daily question was, "When will the computer be fixed?"

With the computer in the shop, everyone has been irritable.

We're disconnected from the World Wide Web. We're disconnected from our addiction to whatever it is the computer gives us: connection to blogs, to news, to emails, to message boards, to chat rooms, to Facebook, to cyberspace's ubiquitous siren call.

It was irritating, but also liberating. I may need to answer emails but I couldn't; I needed to pay bills but I couldn't; I wanted to catch up on news and blogs, but I couldn't. The fact that I couldn't also meant that there was NO pressure to do these things.

But today, the computer is back (thanks, Yossi!)and we're back on the 'Net. For better or worse.

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