Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Too stupid for a smart phone?

Cliff and I are latecomers to this “smart phone” thing, but we finally found an affordable deal with T-Mobile and decided to join the modern age.  Now, you’d think I’d have no problem using such a phone, accustomed as I am to using an iPad.  Probably if I’d purchased an iPhone, the problems would be less, but those things are expensive.  So I chose to buy the cheapest phone T-mobile had to offer, an LG model for under $200.  I’ve promised myself I’ll upgrade to something a little better for my birthday next year; meanwhile, my phone often warns me I need to delete some stuff.  Why?  Because it only has 16 measly gigabytes of storage.  Also, it’s as slow as molasses when I use it to surf the ‘Net.  Cliff’s phone works fine for him, but he isn’t computer savvy at all.  So strange things happen, things he refuses to accept blame for even though nobody touches his phone (or computer) except him.  For instance:  Yesterday morning I was enjoying a few rousing games of Words With Friends, comfortable in the recliner with my dog snuggled against me, when pretty music wafted it’s way from the direction of the couch, the area where my beloved husband spends a lot of his waking hours.  Surely he hadn’t changed his ring tone to something so quiet and pleasant; he can barely hear the tone he’s been using.  The music stopped, then began again.  Well, who wants that breaking into her thoughts at a crucial time of gaming conflict?  Not I.  Trying not to disturb the dog beside me, I slithered carefully off the chair to look into the matter and picked up Cliff’s phone.  The word “alarm” lit up and the song started playing again.  

Now, we haven’t set an alarm in 20 years, except for a few times when I was babysitting and knew Cora would be here before 5:30 AM.  Even then I was always awake much earlier, but I didn’t want to take a chance.  Cliff’s last years of being employed, he worked evenings.  So we just didn’t have to worry about getting up in time for much of anything.  Puzzling over his phone, I saw I could hit “snooze” or turn it off.  Of course, I chose the latter.  

When he got up, I told him, “You’ve somehow set an alarm on your phone for 6 AM.”

“No I didn’t,” he replied.  “I don’t even know how to do that.”

This is how it goes when he hits a wrong key on his computer, too.  I’ll hear a mild curse word, glance at him to see what’s wrong, and he’s scowling at the computer.  It’s never his error, of course.  It’s the fault of the &%!*)$ computer.  I generally tell him something along these lines:  “Oh, you mean somebody sneaked in this house and wreaked havoc on your computer while we were asleep?  We’d better put some security cameras outside and catch them in the act!”

Because what are wives for, if not to make fun of a husband’s lack of expertise?  

On another note, I just finished the book “Small Fry”, written by Steve Jobs’ oldest daughter telling about her life with him.  They had a very peculiar relationship indeed.  Sometimes she was in his good graces, sometimes not.  I did find the story interesting.  I never realized the genious who founded Apple was such a weird, sometimes not-very-nice person.  He left his wife so many billions, she’s now one of the richest women in the world, so I guess he was nice to her.

One thing I like about checking out digital books from the library:  Check out all the books you want, start reading, and if you see you aren’t going to like one, return it immediately and try a different one.  No charge.  I still marvel that I have access to all these books at no cost, and I never have to disturb the dog by getting out of my chair to do it.  

That’s all I have for today... simply small talk.  After that last entry where I shared a video of myself singing a song I wrote, I needed to change the pace.  

Sincerely, Donna

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Writing a song

I’m going to do something I don’t like doing here, if I don’t lose my nerve.  I wrote a song last week. It isn’t the best I’ve ever written, but considering I quit songwriting twenty or thirty years ago, and the fact that I’m not motivated to make an effort to write these days, it’s remarkable in its own way.  Fact is, I’ve only written two songs in the past five years, and both of them were written at one man’s request.  The same man, both times.  I don’t even know him that well, but the first time he wanted his thoughts put in a song, his wife, a high-school friend of my daughter’s, told him I could do it.  This surprised me, since I didn’t figure she knew that about me.

The first time he wanted a song about his best friend.  He gave me what he had written down, and I surprised myself by coming up with something.  Just a fluke, I was sure, and I more or less forgot about it.
This fellow and his boys are friends of my grandson, so I’ve seen him around here a few times.  Three or four weeks ago, he handed me a notebook and said, “I’ve got another song for you to work with.”

“Fat chance,” I thought, but I told him it wouldn’t hurt me to look at it.  He didn’t have much to work with, and although I scribbled a few lines and thought about it briefly, I dismissed it, finally, as impossible.  But about four days ago, I sat down with the notebook, imagined myself in his place in the story, and something began to happen.  Three days ago I got the guitar out, began strumming as I looked at the words, and things started.  I really didn’t familiarize myself with it any more than necessary, just enough to let him hear it; then my job would be done.  Now, here’s why it’s so hard for my to put myself out there singing a song:  First of all, my vocal skills are adequate, perhaps, but nothing to brag about.  My guitar strumming is less than adequate; all I ever wanted to be able to do was accompany myself; I’ve not had people to sing with most of my life.  I sit alone in the kitchen and sing by myself, and I don’t demand much of myself.  Then there’s the fact that I don’t like how I look.  I don’t like my teeth, the circles under my eyes, and these days, the wrinkles.  I don’t even look at myself when I’m standing at the mirror to comb my hair, never did.  I’m just being honest here.  If this entry disappears, you’ll know why.

In case there’s a problem understanding the words in the video, I’m putting the lyrics here for you.

Written by Donna Wood for Jim Walls
October 18, 2018

The passing of time’s made a dreamer of me as I think about days that are gone.
I look around me and all I can see is a vision of those who’ve moved on.
Once there were children who filled up my heart, but the children grew up before long.
That’s how it should be, but it tears me apart, so I’m putting these words in a song.
     Three little boys abandoned their toys to meet the needs Dad can’t supply.
     I miss them so, and they’ll be back, I know, but it’s all I can do not to cry,
     Oh, it’s all I can do not to cry.

I taught them to hunt and I taught them to fish, and I taught them some good country songs.
Me and my buddies enjoyed every day, and I knew I was where I belonged.
But manhood came calling, and here came the ladies, and suddenly everything changed.
I know it’s right, but I don’t have to like it.  Seems like my whole life rearranged.
     We sang and played, we fished in the shade; we made such a wonderful team.
     Now they are grown and I’m here alone:  Looking back it all seems like a dream,
     Yes, it seems like a long ago dream.

Maybe some day they will all settle down and they’ll somehow find time for old Dad.
How can I tell them that time spent with them were the best times that I ever had.
I’ve made mistakes.  Yes, I could have done better, but God only knows how I tried.
Those three little boys brought me so much joy, and a heart that just fills up with pride.
     They’ll be three handsome men when they come back again and we’ll talk about good times we             had.
     By then they’ll have wives and kids in their lives and they’ll have learned how it feels to be a dad,
     And that you never stop being a dad.

Click HERE to hear the song.