How a Dehydrator Makes Me Look Like I Have My Life Together

My grandmother was a Garden Master. We even called her such. She always grew tons of great things in her garden. One year we harvested 80 lb of tomatoes and spent nearly a week canning them all. Those were some of my most memorable days (I won’t say fond though, because canning that many tomatoes is probably the most boring thing an 8 year-old could do). Read more

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Phone

She said “Sad that I depend on my phone to remember my work schedule.”

I had to correct her. Read more

The Changing Scene of Photo Boxes

I remember that rubbermade box. It’s in my parents basement as we speak. Full of loose photographs of my childhood. Naked baby pictures that no non-family eyes have seen. Photos of those beautiful and embarrassing child moments that bring tears to the eyes of mothers and cringes to the eyes of those who are the photos subject matter. 
Those were the days though. A simpler time, where photos were developed from negatives via, extremely complex chemical knowledge. When you had no choice but to make physical copies, or risk having none at all. You stored away those little film tubes until you could get them developed. Trying to keep all those memories in little boxes.
Now I keep my photos in memory drives. I have three Hard Drives full of just photos that my computer can’t hold. Some I have backed up in “The Cloud” which sounds like an immortalized and mythical data stream; as if those memories have now since died, but found eternal life in a digital heaven, with some kind of digital god who gets paid several thousand a year to stay pasty white, sleepless, and protect information that he never inspired. I imagine him in his late thirties and wearing hipster glasses, kinda chunky from not leaving his desk much, with a desk full of geek inspired idols of Iron Man, Invader Zim, and bibles about programming and other information technology that goes over my head. 
I often get angry at myself for not taking the time and money to print some of those moment. I have disc drive upon disc drive of moments from college that I wished to have immortalized. Maybe to hang on my wall and remind me of how I wasn’t alone in the world. So I could talk to them on the phone and stare into their smiling it goofy faces. Why didn’t I invest in those kinds of things like my parents did? Why was I missing out on that accomplishment? Even some of my artsy photography never seemed to make it to print. The first time since high school, I printed four photos for myself to hang on my wall. Four. That’s it. In almost 7 years, the last photos I got printed, were four photos from my trip to England! Great photos, I’m very happy to have them, but that was all I have printed. That’s it! 
My parents knew what was up. They knew the importance of capturing and keeping those memories. I just toss them into the cloud and hope they’re there when I decide what to do with them. 
How careless I am with my memories. 

Digital Mourning

It’s only been a few days since my boyfriends grandfather passed away, and I’m already feeling how detrimental the distance has become on our relationship. While I have two weddings I suddenly have to be preparing for this summer, he is mourning a loss I find it hard to feel. Not to say I’m not sad about it, but my perspective is….life goes on. Keep moving. Read more

Cyber Ownership

“So why blogging?” She asked me once. Wondering if there was some kind of secret intention I supposed, but perhaps that was my mind winding around something else entirely. I wanted to give a default answer, “Therapy,” but that wasn’t really it anymore. It was deeper. I eventually just answered her my default answer, but only because I needed more time to think about the question.

I often question my own motivations about things. Blogging was one of those things I actually enjoyed. I could get things off my chest. I could be allowed to “think out loud” and actually get feedback (as some of you have offered so kindly and I appreciate). But more importantly, it became more than therapy. It became a kind of ownership too. The words were mine. The choices were mine. The perspective was uniquely mine.

If you’re coming into this conversation half way, I still live with my parents, already graduated college, kinda stuck in retail while still doing design work on the side. When you live with your parents you realize how little ownership you are able to take, besides your person, your clothing, and the two cats your parents don’t actually like. What that has left me with is very little of my own.

Social networks have certainly helped with that.

Blogging is not my only outlet. Instagram, Flickr, Facebook (sort of), Google+, and Twitter are just about the only things I can call my own. I can customize them. I can contribute to them. I can obtain feedback, and offer feedback, but more importantly, I can take ownership of them. It’s like owning data property, without the taxes (but perhaps small violations to my privacy), the physical demands of owning a home or paying rent.

It’s kinda strange to think about isn’t it? That one can posses the unseeable data. That one can communicate with others hundreds of millions of miles away. That strangers can see you pouring out your life, and that friends and family can shock you when they tell you they don’t read your blog much less show interest in your life (and they never make an effort to call you or hang out much anyway so who cares)?

What is even more interesting is how some view technology as bringing others together, while others see it tearing people apart (a glass half empty, glass half full story).

Technology is amazing. Strange even. Controversial…and deliciously so.