Monday, September 12, 2011

It’s officially Autumn

Over the weekend, Steve and I took a walk to the Quayside because it was so nice and sunny.  We knew that Summer was slowly but surely moving away from us, but once in a while we still get some sunny moments.  It never lasts a whole day.  By the time we were on the other side of the Tyne River, it was rainy.  We grabbed a QuayLink bus (handy little things) and made our way into the city centre for some shopping.

I has just been looking at shorts and summer weather gear the past few weeks.  Granted, a lot of it was on sale but the shops usually still had plenty of shorts, tank tops and other necessary items to wear on sunny days.  Bringing a jacket is always necessary but wearing sweaters just yet – no.

Today I went to exchange a bunch of my too large sized vacation clothes when I discovered stores full of coats, boots and all-out winter Autumn weather.  I guess in the North East we don’t have much time to get Summer in so we’d better act quick.  I did score some things but there were very few options.  The Fall jacket I found on sale was much more beneficial to the weather we have today – windy and rainy.

So now that Autumn is here, school has started but I’ve not been called in to work as a supply teacher.  I was so hoping for something to put a little cash in my pocket but nope, still no luck.  I’m not even sure if my chances would be much better in Florida either.  Last I enquired, the school board wasn’t even taking substitute teachers anymore, despite the fact that I had been registered when I first graduated college.  No libraries have called me either.  I wonder how many people are applying for the same jobs I am.  I’ve been hearing people say that for jobs that their company’s have posted, they’ll get a hundred applicants.  Yup, this unemployment thing has gotten really old.

But nevertheless, I’ll carry on as I have been.  I can take my sunny weather gear and my windy weather gear and wear as needed.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Where have all the notebooks gone?

You remember notebooks, right?  Not the kind that you plug in and type on while hoping the battery lasts before find a working outlet – I mean the paper kind.  I’ve had notebooks for years but now they’re lying around blank.  Do we even need them anymore?

I see tons of notebooks, journals and all around cute things with endless possibilities of writing in that sea of blank paper.  I use to buy them by the dozen because they inspired such great things to jot down.  But within the recent years I’ve used them less and less because I was using the computer more.

Granted, sending a hand-written letter or postcard is nice.  It’s easy to jot something down and lie it on someone’s desk or post it to a stack of papers for a reminder.  But now I find it less and less convenient to write down anything.  Even my shopping list is online even though we make a preliminary list throughout the week to make sure we get what we need, our basic list is saved online for easy shopping. 

Notebooks also were used as journals that were kept and looked over years later.  Now we have blogs.  We have notepad on our phone.  We have emails that we can send to ourselves when making blog posts (my favorite way to draft these days.)  I wonder if movies ten years from now will show a heroine pouring over an old blog to get the events and emotions from a historical character’s past. 

I know the notebook is still popular and there are plenty of lovely ones at Paperchase or at the grocery store during Back-To-School sales.  But if we’re not working at an office or in a classroom, are they becoming less and less essential for daily life?  I keep one with me at all times but only every so often to I jot down ideas in them while I’m out.  I have plenty of apps to keep me busy with creativity and productivity these days. 

It’s a lovely thing, a notebook, but as much as I’d like to keep them as a top priority, they’re usually shelved after buying them.  I hate dirtying up such perfect, pretty things.

Monday, September 5, 2011

The cat sitter cometh

Today will be my first visitor as a fine, English lady.  I will offer her a cup of tea and introduce her to my sweet Jake.  Now whenever we need to go out of town, we’ll have someone to watch the cat, check on the house, give us piece of mind that everything is fine.  (That is unless Jake decides to knock down some more DVDs in the living room, or something.)

I’m busy playing with Zune that Steve put on the computer in lieu of his Windows 7 phone.  Now that I have Smashing Pumpkins, White Stripes, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Strokes, Interpol, etc. at my disposal I don’t think a lot will get done writing-wise if I keep this thing playing in the background.  I’ve mentioned before on Twitter that I just can’t work with some kind of flickering, noisy piece of technology going on in the background.  Reading while watching TV?  No.  I even have to read with my iPod going while I’m on the stationary bike at the gym and I realize that I’m just glossing over the words. 

This is why I miss having a car – I miss listening to music when there’s nothing else to do.  Just like I miss going to work so I can wear pretty clothes;  the icing on the cake makes the necessary action much more enjoyable.  But that’s just me.  I always had friends who could listen to music before going to bed.  I like quiet.  I’m starting to listen to audiobooks when I do weights at the gym because, honestly, that’s a menial task that needs something to make it bearable.  In the bath, I started listening to podcasts a la my Stitcher app but I really don’t mind the quiet. 

Incidentally, I do my best thinking when I take a shower or wash the dishes. 

Friday, September 2, 2011

The wait is over

I met a personal accomplishment today by jogging 30 minutes straight.  Finally!  I was at 20 forever, then I made it to 25 after getting back into the swing of the sport once my ankle was better.  Today, I watched IAAF World Championships (poor Ortis) on the treadmill and went that extra five minutes.  Now I can feel like I’m doing something.  I’m counting on my ankle holding up as well – it started giving me that warning twinge today so I popped ibuprofen to keep any potential swelling down.

I took pictures with my new phone today to try it out.  All in all they’re pretty good.  There’s a feature where you can click on an area to focus in on before taking the photo.  I liked that a lot.  It’s kind of fiddly though because you have to stay fairly steady before taking the picture, otherwise the picture gets blurry.  Also, as with the iPhone, when you are taking video and get into an area that has more light, the image darkens, then adjusts.  Kind of weird but I still have the little Kodak video camera for such duties.

It was especially nice to get out of the house finally this morning too.  I’d been indoors since Saturday night.  Steve was home for Bank Holiday weekend and then I had to wait on the phone for Tuesday and Wednesday.  I decided that instead of waiting for that phone for two days, I could have done a lot of things.

I could have done everything that I did today:  walked in with Steve, gone jogging, taken my books back to the library, gotten an Americano at the cafe, tried out the new phone camera in the park. I could have also walked to the shopping plaza, gotten a Starbucks, found some holiday clothes on sale, looked for a clock for the kitchen, and all in all walked a few miles which would definitely count as exercise. I could have used Run Keeper but, alas, no new phone.

Tuesday as I waited, I contacted a Scottish guy at customer service who didn't help, wrote a blog post, watched "Frasier", tweaked some writing, contacted customer service again, waited & waited. Yesterday I contacted my Scottish friend at customer service again who said the same thing, "oh it'll come sometime today," or "it will come within three days." I watched more "Frasier", I wrote this list, and I watched Carrie. (I love that movie: Stephen King, 70s, & high school. Plus some young John Travolta always makes a movie cool.) Anyway, the rest of the afternoon was for picking up around the house, some washing and, of course, waiting. It didn't help that every car that went by, I looked out the window to see if it's the Home Delivery Network truck. I figured that by the time the stupid thing got here I wasn’t going to be that excited anymore.

But once I held it in my hands, I was excited.  Technology is great.