Technology

conversation.jpgThere are only certain places I can take her.  She is sort of bulky; she never orders anything.  Nowhere too crowded, I wouldn’t feel right taking up a booth with her.  But at the same time, nowhere that doesn’t have the possibility of running into someone more interesting, in case I wanted to ditch her, or at least set her aside for awhile.  Somewhere with just enough scenic beauty to fill a background but not enough to completely divert my attention from her. 

Today I tried a new place that neither of us had ever been to, or perhaps she had, with a former companion.  La Conversation, nestled just under Sunset on Doheny.  I stared over her and people watched, hoping to enter into a ‘conversation’ with someone I had not yet met.  I watched a beautiful older woman accompanied by her nurse and her nurse’s son.  The woman daintily forked her salad while the nurse and her son loudly fought about his day and the nurse gulped down a smoothie.  The woman looked past her dining mates in my direction, although her senility suggested she stared into space and wasn’t really interested in me.

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charlene01.jpgMy husband’s last name is Einbinder.  We’ve always assumed the German translation (one binder) meant that it was the moniker for the trade of bookbinding. It’s a rare name. In fact the only other person we’ve ever met with any connection to that name is the movie director Mike Binder. One day, years ago, at the Pumpkin Patch in our neighborhood, we struck up a conversation with him.  Blank Man, a movie he directed, was absolutely the funniest movie that year.  It still holds up.  David Allen Grier kills in it.  Of course, he always kills. It turned out that Mike’s last name was shortened from Einbinder.  Since then, when we see him places, we exchange that twinkle of recognition of our ‘kinship’.

Recently I decided my copy of The Joy of Cooking deserved better than duct tape holding it together.  Months ago I’d read an article in Daily Candy about Charlene Matthews who practiced the lost art of bookbinding. I put it in my email archives under “of interest”. I’m actually getting things done on my list of long avoided tasks and this was one of them.  What an adventure. 

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ipadminiThe Mini has arrived and it's a big leap forward.

Having used some of the other 7-inch tablets on the market I wasn't really excited when I heard Apple had decided to crowd the market with their version.

Thankfully I ordered one anyway and I'm very impressed by what theyve accomplished. Ever since the very first iPhone, Ive been underwhelmed by Apples annoucement presentations, but overwhelmed when I finally got each new device in my hand.

It is so light that you don't even think you are holding anything. This makes it so much easier to be the around-the-house iPad. Laying outside typing an article like I'm doing now, surfing the web, or reading in bed are perfect activities for this new device.

For daily work I'd still stick with my 9-inch iPad but I can see where this will fit perfectly in my life.

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baguette-incident-5251.jpgThis is not about making a Christmas list, although I should do that, I guess. It is about my need to check and monitor things constantly, as if I were the Chief of the Baguette Patrol for a supercollider. Not all things. I do not monitor the dust balls in the corners of my dining room, the balance in my checking account, or Sam’s grades.

These things I consider on a need-to-know basis; if company is coming, I vacuum, if I get a menacing call from Comcast, I check the bank account, and if Sam claims he has no homework for the third day in a row, I check his grades using the magic of Power School. I know people who are very concerned about one or all of the above, which is why they have cleaner houses, better cash flow and more disciplined children than I do.

The things I am compelled to monitor include my e-mail, Facebook, my blog stats, and (when I am away from my computer) my Blackberry. I cannot walk by the computer without looking at my Inbox, deleting all irrelevant items, and (unless I am dragged away by a raging family member) answering the legitimate messages.

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tattoo1.jpgWhen I got my first tattoo at age 16, I pretty much knew I'd want it gone by the time I was 30. My rationale went like this: the year was 1995, and I figured technology was bound evolve to the point where, by the time I was that old, tattoo removal would be cheap, fast, and easy. Wrong! But I'll get to that.

The first tattoo was a star on my wrist. Not so original nowadays, but we didn't have Lindsay Lohan and Sienna Miller back then. And, sure, you have to be 18 to legally get a tattoo, but this was in the early days of Giuliani administration in New York, back when we were barely carded for anything (especially alcohol, I was elated to learn).

The second tattoo came about during my freshman year of college, and this one really marked some silly adolescent judgment on my part. I knew what I wanted it to say (and it's something so college, so 18, and so earnest that I can't even bring myself to tell friends what it means anymore, let alone HuffPost readers), but I didn't want it to be in English. Arabic, Farsi and Hindi looked too linear, Chinese felt too cliché. So, naturally, I settled on Japanese. I could have lived with the star for the rest of my life, but really, Asian character tattoos are a crime of fashion that should be punishable by law.

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