Technology

filofax.jpgFour people asked me what I wanted for my birthday last week and I gave each of them the same answer, “A new Filofax.” All four of them said the same thing. “No, you don’t. Nobody wants a Filofax any more. It’s so old-fashioned. Don’t be ridiculous. iPhone.” My daughter Maia was the harshest. She simply said, “Oh, Mom! iPhone.” It made me feel old-fashioned. It made me feel old.

For the record, I have an iPhone but despite the fact that four assistants over the last three years have religiously promised to transfer all my names and phone numbers into my computer and my iPhone, it hasn’t quite happened yet. And I never seem to have the time.

But I like my Filofax (even though it does sort of look like a truck ran over it.) It feels like a friend. I like it that it has names and addresses and phone numbers hand-printed into it. (Arguably, a few of them are dead, but I’ve learned not to notice. And I can’t quite bring myself to cross the names out. That would seem too final.) I use it in meetings to take notes. Sometimes, I’ll have a thought in the car or a random sentence for something I’m working on and I’ll pull over and jot it down into my Filofax. There are a few haikus that will probably never be printed anywhere else. I can gauge from them how sad I was on a given day. (Haikus are usually sad. The more comedic ones have found their way into my computer.)

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sketchfest.jpgThis past weekend I was in San Francisco for The 8th Annual Sketchfest. This was a two week long Comedy Festival with comic performers ranging from Stand-up, One Person Shows, Improv Groups, Sketch Companies and then there were shows that sort of defied description. Some of those were the ones I took part in. 

I was lucky enough to see a few shows besides our own.  I saw The Lampshades; the best fake lounge act I’ve seen in a long time.  The physical work they do is sublime and hilarious. I took a peek at 2-Headed Dog, but they were doing a sketch that had three men running around in their underpants and little else. They were dancing in a manner that had their peculiar distributions of body fat jiggle in a way that caused me to run out of the theatre.  I’m not saying I’m the Venus DeMilo, but I don’t choose to subject anyone to the sight of my sorry flesh sac.

The Theme Park Improv Show had Scott Adsit from 30 Rock and Oscar Nunez from The Office. They were outstanding, but what was really impressive was two of the performers in the troupe were the event promoters. You just never figure people that talented would have it together enough to pull something like this off. They did some of the best improv I’ve seen in a long time.

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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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boardwalk_pedicabpage.jpg Yes, a pedicab.  That was my ride home last night.  Crammed in the back seat with two friends, and leaving a party far away from downtown, the pedicab, peddled vigorously by a bearded mountain man named Declan, was our only chance of getting back to home base (by the way, I’m now convinced that pedicabs are the most expensive mode of transportation on earth).

We were a few miles away from downtown at a party given by MySpace which featured Nelly as the headlining performer.  The crowd at all convention events always seems to be a mixed bag of ages and enthusiasm, which can make it hard to select a performer who resonates with everyone. I forgot, though, that every Nelly song has been in some sort of commercial and that as a result, even your grandmother knows at least one Nelly song (seriously, try it). 

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As much as I hate to admit it, my husband Dave was right. It hasn’t happened often in our over ten years together – married seven with nary an itch – but it has been occurring more frequently, much to my dismay.

theband2.jpgHowever, I guess even he has to be right some of the time and in the instance of his “insane” (my words) purchase of the video game ROCK BAND last November (2007) I would actually say he was a genius. If you haven’t heard of it you must not have teenagers or been living under a rock. We, like all of our friends’ kids, are completely addicted. In fact, the upcoming release of ROCK BAND 2 has us almost as excited as we were about the iPhone.

What’s crazy about our behavior is we are not video game people. Actually, we both were in the arcade heyday of the 80s, but now most of the games have too many buttons to push and too much violence to lure me into wasting my time. Though Dave’s the King of Technology, except for the Wii, he’s rarely tempted into the gaming world. That fateful day in November changed everything. He suckered me into going to the Best Buy on a Saturday by promising to let me purchase a new game for our Wii console. I don’t know if he was already planning on buying Rock Band, but once he saw they had a few kits in stock, he just had to have one. It was rumored to be the “must have game” of the holiday season and Dave is never one to be behind the technology curve.

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