Friday, September 7, 2012

62 and counting

For the last two days, my new internet provider finally displayed my location (on the globe at the top right of this page) as being within the state of Vermont. The only problem is that both of the towns listed (Stowe and Barre) are quite some distance from here. Today I'm showing up as back in New Hampshire. Needless to say, I find this annoying. It really isn't a matter of much consequence, but it is indicative of the state of the world in general that something that should be so simple has become so f***ed up.

Yesterday, I began my 63rd year on life on this planet in this identity and body. Yes, I suppose that's weirdly specific, but ya never know when such clarity will be needed (or useful)... Not that I've ever thought that I was an alien from another world who somehow got trapped here. Well, okay, but that wasn't until I was in my 30s and Reagan was President.

The initial construct of this post - oh, hell, that's tortured phrasing. You see, I have this thing about starting a sentence or paragraph with "I". It's time to get over that one. I originally started this post yesterday, with a note that I was born 62 years ago in a hospital in the southern part of the state of New Jersey. I named names and places. Then I thought that I might be giving away too much information which might lead to identity theft. Not that I have anything much for anyone to steal. I don't want or use credit cards. I have almost no money for anyone to take, although if someone did grab the rent money out of my bank account it would provide me with huge problems which would initiate one of those dominoes falling sequences that would be awesome to behold but no fun to live.  My basic intention was to mention that I was born in a hospital. I may have been the first person in my family to have that experience. My older brother was born at a midwife's house in my hometown.

When I first became obsessed with movies, I was intensely focused on the silent film era. I remember a discussion once with my grandmother about the silent Lon Chaney version of "The Phantom of the Opera". She told me how she had seen it when she was young and how it had frightened her. On reflection, she wasn't all that young - she would have been about 25 when it played my hometown. That memory has popped up from time to time, and at one point in my life started me thinking about the changes my grandmother had seen. She was born on a farm. She once told me that as a young girl on her way to bed each evening, it was one of her chores to trim the wicks of the candles and oil lamps. Her lifetime spanned an era in which electricity arrived in people's homes, to cars, airplanes, world wars, telephones, radio, movies, television, and men walking on the moon. As for my own humble self, I always felt like Rosencrantz and Guildenstern waiting around while nothing much happened - except that they were unaware that they were  minor characters in the story of Hamlet, which was being played out around them.

So, a few years ago, I began to take stock....

Arrrgggghh. I had included Vladimir and Estragon in the text above, but found that it muddied the thought being expressed and deleted them. To make certain that I had the spelling right, I had looked them up and simply cut and pasted the names into this text. They appeared n a different font. I was able to fix that, but every new word typed used the font change and I've now spent at least 15 minutes trying to get things back to where they were with the original settings. None of the choices Blogger has for fonts matches the font being used. Trying the "default" font comes close, but the spacing is different and it is very noticeable - at least in draft mode. When I look at the post in "Preview", the affected text has taken on a different color and can barely be seen. I managed to fix it - the solution was in copying the text, stripping it of control codes, deleting the post, and starting a new post into which I pasted the cleaned text. Something that should be so simple....

And maybe that's my point. I've lived in an era in which great inventions changed the way we live - but each modification since has made things more complex - often to the point that the inventions themselves break and/or become unusable or too frustrating to use.

I think I'd better go do something else for awhile.
Quem deus vult perdere, dementat prius - and all that. Ya know?


Anonymous said...

Not that this has too much to do with what you are talking about (or maybe it does) but for the last four days I have spent very little time on the computer and you know....I didn't miss it. Maybe some of these great techno advances could be lived without. At the moment hotmail is acting up ... my internet connection is spastic ... I think I'll just go and sit on the porch.

sdt (a.k.a. stevil) said...

Did you have a nice sit on the porch? See, don't'cha feel better? I grew up in an era in which tv got started (as did really great rock and roll). People stopped sitting and hanging out on their porches, and more modern houses don't have them now. You're lucky to have one.

Anonymous said...

Believe me, I know it. As I grow older I am more and more aware of how much the small, simple things mean.