Saturday, August 21, 2010

Pennies From Heaven

I've had my iPhone 3 for two years now.  I think I got it in August 2008 and it has become an integral part of my day-to-day existence.  I'm not saying that I couldn't live without it, mind you.  In fact, there are times when I feel like closing my eyes, chucking it as far as I can, and running the other way.  Fortunately I recognize that this kind of insane move would be misguided blame, but I'd be lying if I said that it hasn't crossed my mind.

I've learned to check my purse to make sure I have it whenever I leave anywhere but that doesn't seem to ensure that I haven't misplaced it.  Over these past two years I've lost the phone at least a dozen times.  Airports.  Restaurants.  Random places.  I got all the way through security and to the gate for my 6am flight last week before realizing that I didn't have it and hoping it was still in the car.  Thankfully, it was.  But getting it almost made me miss my plane.

I'm not addicted to it, at least not as much as some people I know, but there are friends who would argue to the contrary.  It's one of those Catch 22's where I generally have it out so I know where it is but the more I have it out the more chance there is that I'll lose it.  As I said at the outset, the fact that it's still here and hasn't been broken or scratched or worse is really extraordinary.  At least, for me it is.

My phone has more lives than an alley cat.  But with all the photos and music and contacts on it, not to mention the various apps I've got there it truly serves a number of important functions in my day-to-day world.  I know many people who load their phones with games.  I'll admit that I've got a few games but in the next breath I'll defend myself by saying that I don't play most of them.  It probably says something about my personality to admit that the one I play most is a version of the old Minesweeper game that came free with Windows.  I have a copy of Galaga on there, too, but it's not the same without the trackball.  My favorite game from back in those early days was Centipede, though - it'd be cool to find a version of that for my phone although that gets back to the roller ball problem again.  It's just not the same with keys.

The battery life of my phone at this point is like the energy level of a 100-year old with a pacemaker, or an 80-year old on Viagra.  It generally won't last an entire day without an extra charge at some point.  But, by and large, it does everything I need so I passed on the 3Gs upgrade last year.  I expect that I'll eventually jump on to the iPhone 4 bandwagon for a number of significant reasons, most important of which is the ability to take HD video.  I know some friends who enjoy the FaceTime feature which allows you to video conference with another iPhone 4 user during a conversation.  We'll see about that one.

It's like a car, though, in that it's easy to talk yourself into all kinds of expensive upgrades but the underlying need is that it's a phone.  I'll figure it out.  I guess I'm just not in that much of a hurry at this point...

Speaking of unexpected - I am unexpectedly sore after a couple of hours of lifting at the gym with my sister on Wednesday.  I've got a pretty comprehensive workout regimen to stay toned and don't often find muscle groups that escape it.  My sister's fitness center has a couple of machines that I don't usually do that apparently identified a couple of muscles that do.   It actually feels good to be sore.

Speaking of feeling sore, I've been slowly but gradually getting feeling back in a portion of my chin that has been largely numb since April.  I haven't been worried about it because I generally know that these things take time and in this case it's coming back slowly but surely.  My two forehead procedures were the ultimate in getting numb but regaining sensation.  The top of my head was numb for almost a year before the feeling started to come back.  It's strange to feel an itch in an area that's numb and to scratch it only to realize that you can't feel a thing there - the itch is really somewhere else but somehow has been mapped to a numb spot.  Anyway - it's nice to know that my chin and lip are finally awakening.

Another thing my trip did for me is to nudge me to play with my hair style a bit.  I've been growing it out for a while now.  My hair gets a mind of its own when it gets past a certain point so thinking you're going to control it becomes futile.  While I was in Rochester the humidity made it crazy so the past several days I've played with a variety of products and styles.  Yesterday was my best hair day in a long time - I only hope I can recreate it at some point.

It's no secret that I and many of us are passionate about kids.  I got an email from Kim Pearson from TYFA about a project that her organization is currently working:

Those of you who follow my Facebook may be aware that I made an emergency trip to Kansas this week. A school there was refusing to recognize a 10-year old transgender girl's gender identity. They were requiring her to attend school as male and wouldn't budge.

I met with a school across town and they were happy to have her and wanted to learn how to make her school experience safe and productive. We registered her and expected that she would start school later in the week. I flew home to AZ.

Now the district administration has become involved and informed the parents (two moms) that their child will not be accomodated at ANY SCHOOL in their district. The child must present male or gender neutral, must use a male name and male restroom. The reason given is that to do otherwise would "interfere with the learning environment".

We are going to file suit against this school system . TYFA has retained the best attorney in KS with experience in GLBT discrimination. We need to raise an estimated $25,000 (or more) to litigate this case. I am calling this fund raising effort "Pennies From Heaven". Make any donation amount but end it with .01 (example 20.01) so that we know you are donating for the KS Defense Fund. Are you with me here?

It is time to take back our schools for gender variant students everywhere and we are going to start in Kansas.


This kind of stuff makes me crazy...

On the music front one of my favorite singer/songwriters released a new album this past week.  David Gray has been somebody whose lyrics and musical range grabbed me when I lived in Austin and I've enjoyed watching him grow and progress artistically over the years.  I really enjoyed his last album and am glad to see another one.

He's fun to watch in concert.  Here's a video of what I'd consider one of his lesser-known songs.  The title is "Lately" and it's from one of his concert DVD's (which I have and watch from time to time).  If you listen to the lyrics you'll understand why I enjoy his music so much.

Some of the lyrics:
Honey lately I’ve been way down
Load on my mind
Honey lately I’ve been weighed down
Load on my mind

Someone tell me where did it go
Darling I'm damned if i know
I seen that look in your eye
No one ever gave it a chance
I could have said in advance
You saw it all at a glance
And goodbye

Good stuff!

The free song in iTunes this week is by Stacy Clark.  It's another offering well worth the price.

I'm not a "member" of anything on YouTube but one channel I enjoy is by "MakeupGeek".  She's fun and interesting and has a unique way about the way she approaches makeup.  She's got a website, too (visit it here).  One of her current pages is titled "$100 at MAC: What Should You Buy?".  I, for one, really enjoy MAC stuff and found her thoughts to be helpful.  Anyway - if you're interested in this kind of thing it's a good resource and can provide hours of fun.  One thing I've learned, though, is that when you do these things yourself they never seem to look like when she does them, at least not the first time. Still, just having fun with it is part of what makes it all so enjoyable.

It's going to be 110 degrees here again today.  That's a far cry from the 70 cloudy degrees in Rochester.  I think the thing that's most confused right now isn't my thermostat - it's my sense of time thanks to this cross-country thing.  I was awake at 6 something this morning and couldn't get back to sleep which is a real bummer for a lazy Saturday morning.  Oh well - lots to do and the first cup of coffee is working its magic.  As usual, I expect it will be another full day.

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