Time-lapse: Happy Mother’s Day!

Well, I am a people watcher reporting from the bleacher seats! And last weekend I watched a crowd of graduates which included Frood,¹ process their way into an auditorium, receive their diplomas, and process their way back out.

I recorded time-lapse videos of the event — the crowd is in place, the chairs fill; the chairs empty, the crowd pours out. The view from the bleacher seats. Parents, grandparents, siblings, friends, the all of us smooshed into a ceremony in celebration of a major milestone and achievement!

Enjoy! Or not …

I was interrupted during the filming of the procession out, but smacks! Look at that crowd in the bleachers on the other side of the auditorium MOVING on OUT, that yellow of the empty seats pops!

¹ Frood is still not her real name.

The screen between us.

Given to reflection today, I think back on the days of my youth when personal wireless communication devices were a chimerical badge on a Star Trek uniform. And to show you pictures, I found this wonderful to-get-lost-in history of cell phone technology development: 1938 to 2010.

The pictures are a story! Batteries the size of backpacks, Maxwell Smart shoe-size phones, a communication range of a few miles, flip phones; a walk down memory lane with Blackberries, Palm Pilots, and Smartphones, oh no! Just look at all the memory contained in our pockets and our connectivity. We can reach out to our screens and touch almost anyone and everyone anywhere.

Mesmerized as we are by all this sci-fi techno-magic development, that is not the point to consider.

Today, if we see a stranger in anything which looks like distress, we assume they have at their disposal a cell phone and a connection to a lifeline. They can phone a friend. They do not need us. And nine-one-one (‘911’) is always a last resort. We need not pay much attention or take action. Strangers we remain.

We can all carry on about our day connected, just not connected here, to each other in any way other than for observation.

Contrast this to the telecommunication of my youth. One needed pocket change, a dime or a quarter, to use a pay phone in a booth or on a wall. Or you needed access to someone who had a phone plugged into a wall to call and talk to your lifeline — a friend, a parent, a relative.

And texting? Pssht. Texting was not even on my imagination’s radar as anything I’d ever want or need.

And so I wonder at what is subtracted from our public discourse by the assumption that everyone is teleconnected¹ to their lifeline? How much chillier is a society to real and present danger as a result of the desirability and the ability to disconnect from each other, from strangers, from events in real-time? I mean, let’s face it, it is comfortable for me to be out and about and not have to look out for … you.

And then on the flip side of the teledisconnection¹ coin,  I marvel and wonder at the happenings we chose to record with all our pocket memory! Funny videos, tragedies puny and large, misbehaviors, law-enforcement, law-breakers, forbidden sneakily recorded events  … oh, it’s a long list.

And we humans love to watch. We love to watch each other. Just not so much without the benefit of a screen …

Between you and me.

¹ Word mash-up: teleconnected (verb)

telecommunications (tele): “communication over a distance by cable, telegraph, telephone, or broadcasting.”

connected (connected): “bring together or into contact so that a real or notional link is established.”

And so I can’t believe that no one has put these two words together, and prove me wrong, but, teleconnected: connected by telecommunication devices.  

Example: The Prescedense is teleconnected to Twitter through a personal hand-held device.

² Word mash-up: teledisconnection (verb)

telecommunications (tele): “communication over a distance by cable, telegraph, telephone, or broadcasting.”

disconnection (disconnection): “the act of detaching one thing from another.”

Teledisconnection: detached from telecommunications.

Example: Teledisconnection of the Prescedense from his Twitter account could restore some normalcy to the communications expected from the office of POTUS.


The paradox of a tattoo.

The definition of a paradox (noun): “a situation, person, or thing that combines contradictory features or qualities.”

And so we are mesmerized considering the paradox inherent in a skin tattoo.

Although you should love a tattoo design and consider its placement carefully before you get inked — it is part of you for the rest of your life, don’t worry too much.  We don’t live forever.

Tattoo: “permanent artwork on a temporary canvas.”

– Viva E.

News peak cacophonous writer’s block.

I love the name ‘Viva Escritora.’ A live writer. A lively scribbler.

And then things get tricky.  While writing looks like banging out letters at a keyboard or picking up a pen and scribbling away on paper, it is the thinking behind the typing, behind the scribbles which is where the word ‘writer’ gains gravitas.

Everyday there is a new peak in events every where all over and we must have an opinion and we must word our opinions strongly and we should type and push ‘publish’ but then there is so much to opinionize on and we can’t figure out what is most important because there is so much choice between injustices to be angry at or developments to be thoughtful about or intriguing trivia and on and on and so we step away from the keyboard because we are confused. We are blocked. We set the pen down.

And this post — ‘How Information Overload Turns Into Writer’s Block‘ — nailed writer’s block for me with the description — “hallways of the mind.”¹ Each hallway is littered with doors and behind the doors? Well, more hallways. And more doors, but! if you don’t just give up, you might find that golden nugget to blog about. Or a nugget might somehow find you.

And so, yeah! Today’s golden nugget comes in the form of sound — not exactly musical, but music. As I read the morning news, I was reminded of The Most Unwanted Song.² Although the song was written in 1997 for the purpose of annoying people, today it provides a cacophonous mirror to current events — the ambiance and atmosphere for the news interpreted in Muzak.³


Or not.

¹Jackson, Panama. Verysmartbrothas.com. Aside: I read VSB to “seek out marginalized voices and perspectives“.  And smokes.  The VSB contributors can WRITE. And by WRITE, I mean THINK.

²If you take a listen Ann, I encourage you to at least give it until 1:35 when the operatic rap starts. Really.

³My apologies to Muzak.

Diarist: lost (pre)occupations

Whilst a scribbling long-hand in a journal, I came across this quote:

All loss is gain. Since I have become so near-sighted I see no dust or squalor and therefore conceive of myself as living in splendor.

– Alice James (1848 – 1892), American diarist

And I thought, me too! I can live in splendor.  A pedicure lasts longer just by removing my glasses. As viewed from 5 feet away, chips and scratches disappear! Looking off into the distance, the landscape cleans up into green grass and blue sky, weeds-B-gone! Dandelions and gray clouds disappear.

So just who is Alice James?  And what is a “diarist”?

I put on glasses and looked into Alice James the “diarist” and that’s when her history took a dark turn. Alice James is known primarily for documenting her own struggles with mental health. Her famous siblings — Henry James, writer (Turn of the Screw) and William James, noted philosopher and psychologist — may have assisted her mental health problems both as cause and therapy … and for now, I’ll leave it at that, take the glasses off, return to splendor or at least a fabricated dustless image of Alice James scribbling in her diary.

Alice James was an expert at reporting on her own mental health as recorded in a detailed diary.   Diarists take the time to document their life.   Presumably the diarist’s tools are paper and ink.  Or not.

And so I submit that bloggers and blogging are the new diaries and diarists, the new generation of Alice James’.  For this diarist blogger, my tools are mouse, keyboard, and WordPress.

There are lots of us here shouting into the great unknown.  Exploring a new kind of insanity?

Mistaken Identity

Early evening, dusky, we saw police lights rolling out our front windows, the blue and red of coming and going but in this case stopping.

And I thought I recognized the stopped car, but couldn’t be sure — my neighbor who is in high-school and, or his friends?

Certainly something is wrong, is not right when the police did not just stop the car but blocked the street from through traffic. Two black police SUVs and a cruiser. And something is wrong when the police have guns pointed at the car and its occupants.

And I watched as the driver exited the car, hands up, backing up, patted down and cuffed. And then a passenger, and a second passenger — hands up, backing up, patted down, cuffed, car emptied. Hood, trunk, doors opened. All clear.

My neighborhood is bird-chirping quiet. While the scene unfolded in the street, people walked their dogs to the corner and looked, I watched a cyclist stay the course and just pedal past the cruiser. Life goes on after all. And my husband took the dog out and while he did my neighbor came out of her house, her son’s home. What is going on? There had been no sirens, no sound of warning to get her out of the house any sooner.

Today, I wake to the thought of my own identity mistaken. I’ve seen my doppelganger in a photo. And so I do not fault the police. There are bad, evil people out there and we know that the job we ask the police to do — to protect and serve — contains all the right, all the wrong, and all the grays in between. It is not binary. The bad guys have doppelgangers. The good guys have doppelgangers. Based on photographic evidence, it appears I might have been at a Stockholm Motorcycle Fair. I wasn’t. It looks like me, but it wasn’t.

Being presented with a photo of a mirror image of oneself taken across the ocean does not register on the scale of the experience of a physical confrontation with real authority, real weapons, real and present danger while driving in your own neighborhood.

And as I put my little safety pin on today, it looks wretchedly pathetic, a minuscule token of what? Awareness? Insight? Empathy? No, it can’t be. After watching that drama with real police, real guns, real African-American teenagers backed into a wall — all that experience, all that fear, all so young. No, I don’t have nearly enough for anybody.

I’m too old to carry a security blanket and suck my thumb.

The safety pin will have to do for now.