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Were You Really There?


Upon the Firing

Newly posted on Redleg Nation: "I can barely manage myself, and this very day stopped at an ATM and then panicked because it had not dispensed my cash despite the demonstrable fact that $20.00 was, in fact, in my hand."


Preparing to Strugglebus

All aboard: :I was committed to seeing what might come out of the laptop speakers next, perhaps background explosions and SWAT team announcements." 


Moral of the Story

Concerns have been raised that gadgets which are now our lifesblood provide far too much information to outside entities. It does freak me out, in a way; I really don't want Google knowing, down to the bathroom stall, which forsaken strip mall I'm currently occupying and which battered tee shirt of which indeterminate age I'm wearing. But if that same technology can get me out of the strip mall and to the nearest purveyor of vodka, I welcome the hovering of the Great Internet Eye.

It's an odd position for an English major to take. Those of us bred and fed on 1984 ought to abhor such surveillance, particularly when we also take up a poli sci major, but some of us also trend to the absentminded, and often Big Brother can serve as a kindly de-escalator of everyday crises. If I'm in that bathroom stall, chances are I'm not going to be able to figure my way out of it, let alone to the liquor store unaided.

This means the most-searched question on my laptop is the current location of my phone. Josh The Pilot is the most-often received number on my phone, not because he is my husband, but because I'm wandering past him on a minute-by-minute basis, asking him to call it for location purposes. I lose my phone in my couch, in my purse, in a different part of my purse, directly next to me on the desk, and in my hand ("Where's my phone?", in addition to being a frequent refrain, has more than once been answered with "In your hand.")

So the locator URL of FindMyIPhone is forever sighing when I log in, because yes, it's me again, and my latest howdy to the cell phone towers of Greater Cincinnati took place last night, when the phone wasn't in my purse, or the other part of my purse, or in a coat pocket, or in the coat pocket from yesterday's coat, or the car, or the garbage can (this is a go-to search location), or charging, or in the couch, or out of the couch. I assumed I'd left it behind at my mother's after dropping off groceries, but as there's nothing 78 year old widows enjoy more at 10 PM than people crawling around their lawn and the doors of their home banging open with zero warning, I double-checked the phone's location.

The ping came back not at my mother's, but at the public library. I had not been in my branch of the library for at least a week. I had, however, been outside of it, within the hour, actually, leaning into the after-hours return door to fling in a book which crashed to the parking lot when I failed to successfully insert it. The phone, I guess, fell out when I opened the car door to fling, because in addition to failing in all other elemental adult activities I can also barely navigate my way around a giant airport lot, let alone close enough to a book return niche to manage a basic civic duty without having to open the driver's side door. And as I opened the driver's side door to retrieve the book, I also said "*#^%," because the situation really was *#^%, but this meant I didn't hear the phone drop onto the blacktop.

So props to the app developer, because it not only indicated that my phone was at the library, but precisely in which part of the parking lot it was sitting, awaiting destruction from the next passing car. My reaction to this intelligence was to sigh and put the remainder of my evening snack of Lincoln Logs in the fridge for later consumption, because really, this was Blonde Life as usual, and certainly a more pleasant retrieval option than the underside of a train platform, which of course I have also undertaken. This, then, was no emergency.

The phone was miraculously untouched, just a bit cold and angry, and when I reported the situation to Carah The BFFE, I suggested that this was yet another confirmation of my decision to not burden no child with me as a mother

"Children don't usually fall out of cars while you're returning library books," she pointed out.

Well, I mean-- not her children, in her car. Mine would probably find a way, and in the process I'd likely try to cram them into the book return slot while I was at it.

MORAL OF THE STORY: do not become an English major.


Good Morning, Gimmick

Behold the post which took about as long to write as it does to get tired of.