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Words with Friends

I adore my iPhone. It’s the best. Damn. Toy. Evah.

Sure, I’ve had to have it replaced (I’m on my fourth, but feeling optimistic). And it’s not great when you leave town and find yourself at the whim of the data-roaming packages. And the pictures are lame, at best. But still….I’m a loyal user. A true blue iPhoner.

Unlike those with crackberries, I wouldn’t call myself addicted. I don’t email at meals. I don’t text ‘n drive. And aside from a little show ‘n share with other Mac Daddies ‘n moms, I pretty much have the whole etiquette/right time-right place thing down.

Or, rather, I did. And then a friend invited me to play an innocent game of Words With Friends. And I told two friends. Who told two friends. And so on. And so on. And so on.

And everything changed. Those who know, know it all too well. They understand my pain and longing for one. more. turn. And those who don’t – beware. Basically, it’s Scrabble. Plain and simple. Only instead of sitting across from your competitors, waiting for them to hurry up and play already, you carry on with your day and everyone just plays as and when.

Sounds harmless, right? Riiiiight. Let’s just say that it can be. One of my mates is working nights. In England. So I’m awake while she’s at work. What could be better? But the rest of my games are E.S.T. And they’re getting more vicious by the hour. It’s reached the point where I’m making mental notes about good words to use. I see triple word scores as I fall asleep. I’ve learned that “heeze”, “vag” and “thio” count. “Zoot” does not, no matter how many times I try. “X” and “Q” are always great. Gimme an “I” and it’s points galore. “J” and “K” not so much.

I have friends with whom I chat at least 4 times a day. And we talk about our games. My mother sends me messages mid-game, berating me for not playing faster. Another pal and I stayed up past midnight, desperate to finish our match. Just so we could start another one. Which of course we did, and then proceeded to stay up so we could finish that one etc.

At one point I went rogue – and started up a game with a total stranger. I don’t know which was worse – the feeling that I could be playing with some kind of creep, or the fear that this potential creep would kick my ass. Either way, I got too stressed and ended it after one round. And then returned to my usual suspects.

I went away with a couple of friends and it was all we could do to not play against each other – in the same room!! Instead, we poured a couple drinks and played real scrabble. Sure, it was fun – especially when we used our iPhones to look up questionable words – but it took sooooo long.

I’ve tried to stop, I really have. Sometimes it feels like I’m just making words up, testing the gadget to see if it’ll bust me. It always does. But once in a while, it allows me to get away with words I never knew existed!! Good times! And now my Man has come over to the dark side. He’s gone and got himself an iPad. It’s cool. It’s slick. It’s downright magnificent. He says it’s for work.

I say it’s for Words.

Berg. Orb. Haw. Ugh. Heh.

Game on – gotta run.

3 comments:

Anonymous said…

THIS IS ONE OF THE BEST BEST.. I STAY UP UNTIL 2 A.M. AND AM REALLY AGGRAVATED WHEN I DONY GET A RETURN WORD.
I HAVE BEEN LAUGHING WHILE SENDING” WORDS”
THANKS FOR THIS NEW HAUNTING HABIT
LOVE YOU NUMBER 1 FAN

12:10 AM

Anonymous said…

addicted! what a great way to start my day reading this! one thing……. you forgot to mention that instead of getting up in the am to pee 1st. thing i check my games and make a move sometimes in both directions!!!!!!!

8:45 AM

Anonymous said…

Love the game – but the cheek of it! It seems everyone else (and yes, that means you and for some resaon my cousin) but me gets the software to accept absurd words. And yes, I feel there is a conspiracy when it takes 5 round before i get a vowel!!!!!!

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June 3, 2010   No Comments

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Ssssshhhhhhh!!!

To call or not to call… that is the question.

Yes kids, I feel the need to revisit that little thing called “mobile phone etiquette”. It seems that many of us our lacking it. Big time.

I’m not anti-mobile. Not by a long-shot. I love my iphone. Can’t/won’t leave home without it. I quite liked my old flip-top too. Hello Moto? Hello! I’ve never been a crackberry head – but only because I went Mac instead. So, no, I’m not some throwback who thinks we’d all be better off landed. Au contraire. I’m all over cellular telephones of all shapes and sizes….

Except, of course, when used inappropriately. Then, I have to temper the rage I feel bubbling up inside me. The anger that wants to march over to the offending phoner, smash their cel, and walk away. Without uttering a word. Smash. Leave. Silence.

Time and place, friends….Time and place.

I was at the gym today and I had The Rage. I was sweating to the oldies, ipod blaring, in The Zone. Suddenly I found myself inadvertantly listening to a conversation. A phone conversation. The woman next to me had received a call, and proceeded to talk for 18 minutes. I know because I timed her on my elliptical machine. I concentrated on pushing with my arms, she talked. I increased speed, she talked. I changed directions, she talked. Finally, I began the cool down…Yep, still talking. 18 minutes of discussing whether or not her friend should move in with her new man.

On the one hand, it could’ve been kind of entertaining. On the other….the ol’ Time ‘n Place thing. At the gym? Shoulder to shoulder with other people? Hello? Inappropriate!!! You see, I could hear her through my headphones, over the sound of the loudspeakers and the hum of the machines. You know when it’s summertime and you’re trying to sleep and a mosquito buzzes right in your ear??? It was all I could do to slap her away….I moved on to the free weights, but she kept on going. From the elliptical, to the inner-thigh machine, to the mats. Is it me? Or is that weird? (It’s also quite impressive. She must be in spectacular shape if she can carry on a conversation while workin’ workin’ workin’ it…)

Later this afternoon, I went to pick up my 3-year-old from nursery school. There were parent volunteers manning the parking lots because there have been issues with cars, preschoolers, and blind spots. I was standing with my son, talking to one of these faux-wardens, when another parent turned her SUV into the driveway, and headed straight for us. I promise you without any spice that she stopped about a foot from my friend’s chest. I banged on her window but she was too busy chatting. Exasperated at the lack of parking spots, she finally rolled down her window to start bitching. When the parent volunteer pointed out she’d almost hit her and the young child next to her (mine!) the woman shrugged and said she hadn’t noticed BECAUSE SHE WAS ON THE PHONE.

Well. I. Never.

Is it me? Or are these people, erm, challenged? Who drives through a preschool parking lot without noticing that there might be, oh I dunno, PRESCHOOLERS in it! I’m all for using your phone in the car…If you can handle it. Is talking in the car phone like having good taste? Y’know, everyone thinks they have great taste, but most people don’t. It seems everyone thinks they can talk and drive at the same time…But can they?

Time. And. Place.

There’s a time and place for talking. I know because I’m a chatter. If you need to talk, do what you must. But ask yourself – does everybody else need to hear? NO. If you’re late for picking up a carpool, do you have the right to stunt drive? NO. For those too dim to figure it out, here are some examples of places wherein you may want to turn your ringer off – or get outta dodge:
restaurants, spas, theatres, performances of any kind….The list is endless.

So next time you’re in your doctor’s waiting room, or having a pedicure, or in any other close-quarter situations, think about sending a text before you answer that call. Not only is it rude to subject the rest of us to your convo, but, in a town such as ours, it may be hazardous to your social life. The person next to you pretending to read the Us Magazine is, in fact, listening in. Because he or she has no choice.

Time. And. Place.

So please….a little self-retraint, a little etiquette, and a little quieter up front….for all our sakes….

3 comments:

Anonymous said…

this should be sent to the newspaper so EVERYONE can read it..
I do understand.. when is the LAW comingin?

10:21 PM

Anonymous said…

disgusting. you tell it like it is. thank you 🙂

11:30 PM

Anonymous said…

Have you seen the Curb Your Enthusiasm episode on this? Larry David is alone and sitting next to a stranger at a restaurant. The stranger is on the phone. Larry is pissed so begins talking loudly to himself to equally annoy the other guy. It was funny.

March 9, 2009   No Comments

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Game On

Many moons ago I bought my then-boyfriend a PlayStation for his birthday. I remember shopping for it; salesmen would light up at the mere idea of their lady-loves buying them a video game. One friend of mine warned me I’d rue the day that I handed over the PS2 – it’d sound the death knell of our relationship. Once my man plugged in, he’d never be back.

But I knew better. Those days were the early days of our romance. The days when “staying in” meant, well, you know…wink, wink, nudge, nudge… And I knew no playstation could ever come between me and my man.

That man is now my husband. And after many nights of, ahem, staying in, we have three children. Which of course gives the term a whole new meaning. Now “staying in” means staying home, catching up with our beloved pvr, going to bed early, or all of the above. Or at least it did…

Until last week.

Last week was my beloved’s birthday once again. And I revisited the idea of the gadget gift. No more sweaters, bags, or, erm….sweaters. I was going for fun this time. We were ipodded-out and the PS2 was looking a little sad in its new role as basement dvd player. So I went for it… and bought my man a Nintendo Wii.

Well, my old pal was right. I have created a monster…..ME!

I’m completely obsessed. My man is too, don’t get me wrong. In fact, we now spend our evenings on a World Tour. RockBand, that is. He’s drums, I’m guitar and we vie for the mic now and then. To get to the songs you love (and know!) you need to get past various levels. It makes it difficult, or some addicts may say, impossible, to leave the band hanging without reaching just one. more. level. And while you’re at it, you learn to love songs you never in a million years thought you could even stand. Bon Jovi – where have you been all my life?!

But it’s not just about Rock Band. My five-year old son has a thing for the bowling. And the air hockey. My 3-year old likes to watch the tennis. And my 5 month old likes nothing more than to lie on his playmat, rolling around to the sounds of gunfire.

Yes, gunfire. Loathe as I to admit it, I’m hooked on the shooting game. It starts with balloons, followed by targets, skeet/clay pigeon thingies, and cans. Finally, it ends with a group of characters running around a field being abducted by aliens – which you have to shoot down. And I can’t get enough of it. My oldest and I played for over an hour yesterday. Me, the mother who resisted buying water guns, is now channeling my inner Sarah Palin and going hunting with my child. Sick!

But oh so much fun! And I’ve barely broken the surface of the world of Wii!

The prime demographic for videogames is male, aged 13-25. But not anymore. Teenage boys, move over for Mama. There’s a new gamer in town and she’s looking for action!

GAME ON!

4 comments:

Anonymous said…

we’ve been playing in the garage… start playing medium and hard level sister and we’ll see if you’re really ready for the band.

3:28 PM

Anonymous said…

we’re so alike. but yer so much better.

4:00 PM

Robbie Henry said…

First off I think that all of this Guitar Quero, Rock band crap is retarded but each to his own.

Get your hubby to connect your Wii to your Wireless Network, go to shoppers and buy Wii Points and collect Shoppers Optimum points and then go and download these wonderful games (from your Wii Shopping Channel) that are all under $10…

World of Goo
MaBoShi: The Three Shape Arcade
Tetris Party
Bomberman Blast
Art Style: ORBIENT

They are all Killer!

World of Goo is friggin awesome!

12:22 PM

Anonymous said…

Once again .. informative and very well written
thanks

November 15, 2008   No Comments

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Hello Gorgeous!

The Palm Pilot is dead.

Long live… the iPhone!

That’s right kids. I went for the beauty along with the brains. And now, I am a woman in love. Completely and utterly besotted. With my new device, the new and improved iphone 3G. At last, after years of watching my man develop crackberry thumb, I have a syndrome of my own – iphone finger. And I couldn’t be happier.

Palm who?

Aaaah iphone. It’s a phone. It’s a walkman….I mean, ipod. It’s a filofax. It’s on-line shopping.

It’s a bloody computer and it’s fanf&ckingtastic.

I know it’s not perfect, of course. But I’m deeply entrenched in those early days of the love affair – where everything’s perfect. Or as close as it gets. Apparently these babies break down. Erm, ever hear of “reset”? And they’ve been known to re-send the same email. Over and over and over again. But I say, look on the bright side – it can make the recipient feel ever-so-popular. And don’t even get me started on all the apps! No, really. Don’t. Because I’m not quite sure what apps are, how they work or why I need ’em.

All’s I know is I scream you scream we all scream for…. iPhone. Ok so I’m appropriating a slogan inappropriately. I can’t help it. I’m positively giddy about the whole thing.

And it’s not just me. I swear. Fellow iphoners are equally obsessed. We’re like those loser Jeep drivers who cruise the streets, honking other loser Jeep drivers. Remember those? When I see another person playing….er, working, on an iphone, I feel the need to discuss. And they do too!How fab it is. Which cool shortcuts we’ve learned. Which apps we’ve downloaded. (Or not, in my case. But I play along).

The crackberry mob is quick to naysay: it’s hard to type (not once you’ve practised); it breaks down (it does?); it’s not good for business (huh? what business?)…The list goes on, as they check out the iphone. Many of them have opted for the itouch – iphone sans phone. But I like one-stop-shopness of it all.

I checked out the Blackberry. Curve, Pearl and Bold. I really did. I couldn’t type on it, could barely see the screen and thought it was clunky. In other words, I hadn’t been converted yet. I figured if I had to start fresh, I may as well go for the hot young creative over the staid, ubiquitous business sort. Artistic temperment, and cheesy metaphors, be damned.

And best of all, unlike the other creative types I’ve known, with one touch of a button, I can turn my iphone off!

1 comments:

journey2learn said…

The iPhone rocks! Welcome to Twittermoms.

September 15, 2008   No Comments

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Too Much Information

It’s a sad, sad time for me.

As many of you know, I lost a trusted friend yesterday: my Handspring Visor. Though referred to it as a Palm Pilot, it was actually an offshoot. The unrecognized bastard child of the Palm’s creators. Born sometime in the late ’90’s to compete with the Palm, the Visor was supposed to be The Hot New Thing: a PDA (or, as it was once known – the electronic organizer) that could turn into (gasp!) a phone! Or even (gasp!) a camera! No, no it wasn’t merely another palm device – this was the be-all-end-all in devices. This was gonna blow the old Palm Pilots out of the water.

Or so I was told. And I bought it – the device, the hype, the whole nine yards.

Many moons ago I went on the search to simplify. Being au courant, I figured I’d ditch my beloved filofax and go electric. Afterall, my Filo was getting so heavy and I yet couldn’t bare to edit or (god forbid) tear out old pages. Just in case. Also, it was fun flipping through the calendar and reminiscing. It was a good-looking book too, way nicer than my original rubber one. This one was leather, from that store Bree. Remember that place? Another relic where everything – everything – was light beige leather. The idea being that you’d have their wares forever – bags, suitcases, erm…filofaxes. And the longer you owned it, the more worn and tanned the leather got. It was stunning. At the time.

But practicality prevailed and I ditched it for a Psion. Remember those? The little keyboards that could? It was love at first sight. Until I got sick of it. I figured after several years it was time to upgrade. And thus the search began. First I checked out the old Blackberry – mostly because I liked the name. I friend of mine had one and it looked like a pager. And he was all thumbs. Why would I want that? Besides, I really just wanted an organizer.

So the Visor won. And I lost. Everything. All because I neglected to back it up.

Gone, 10 years of good times and bad. Adios friends, neighbours and services. The only folks who are keepers are the ones whose emails I happen to have. I suppose those are the only folks worth keeping anyway, and yet…..I liked having the numbers of restaurants, florists and my local GP from London. So what if I’ll never use any of ’em? Or if some have closed down? I could still go through, and reminiscent about my old life. Ditto having the address and phone number of my old boss, a hot shot film director who, tho’ we worked together for 5 years, I haven’t heard from in nearly ten. Still, it was nice to have, even if he never answered the last out-of-the-blue Christmas card I sent. Old boyfriends, old hairdressers, old haunts….see you never.

Many of you thought it hilarious that someone who thinks she’s so hip ‘n happening would be caught dead with something as passe compose as a Palm Pilot. It is, after all the ’00’s. Call me old fashioned, but I loved that quaint ole thang. ‘Til it lost my life. Now I’m over it.

Out with the old and in with the new.

But new who? Do I join the other addicts and go crackberry? Apparently Blackberry’s new Bold is gonna be all the rage. Or do I go for the lifestyle and looks of Apple? And if so, i-touch or i-phone? I’ve consulted with some of my pals, boys who like toys and they seem to like both. Sadly, that’s not an option. Not in these unemployed days. But what to buy? And what to do in the meantime? The Apples may not be as practical, but they’re attractive, cute, hot. And the Blackberry? Well, it’s just…not. Tho’ I’ve no doubt I’d learn to love it. Especially the whole v-card thing….

The Bold or the Beautiful? Or back to paper? It’s a big decision. And I can’t even call my advisors….I’ve lost their information….

August 16, 2008   No Comments

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