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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

For the last several years Iíve been stuck to the wall. Thatís how long itís been since my last cordless phone went kerflooey. Those batteries only last so long, and the replacements arenít that easy to come by, so Iíve been using an old-fashioned (I guess they say ďcordedĒ now) phone. Itís almost indestructible, and it works even when the electricity goes out.

Then a few weeks ago my indestructible corded phone stopped working, so I bought a new cordless. I didnít bother to tell the Boss when the corded one started working again. By that time it was too late anyway, and besides, Iíd already ordered some features that would only work with the new phone. The day after I got it, I had call waiting, caller ID, and call waiting ID. Itís only costing me (that is, the Boss) another twelve dollars a month.

Itís actually quite liberating not to be tied to the wall, as anyone who has been tied to the wall will probably tell you. I immediately filled up half of the phone book memory with all of the numbers I could think of. I ran out of friends early on and started putting in the Bossís girlfriends and other numbers that he might call from, so that Iíd recognize the number before I answered. It just seemed to make sense.

But all the speed dialing options donít hold a candle to the one feature I never suspected Iíd use as much as I do. Iím now an almost exclusively speaker-phone talker. When Iím calling someone, I hit the speaker button before dialing. When it rings, I hit the speaker button to answer. As someone who has never had a cell phone, I now think Iím super cool because I can talk to anyone without holding a piece of plastic up to my ear.

Now I no longer have to stop shaving or chopping onions when the phone rings. Sometimes the sound coming in fades out when I put the phone down, because the speaker is on the opposite side from the microphone. I call that a design flaw, but Iíve overcome it. A simple toilet paper roll is just the right size to hold the phone up at the proper height. (Or, if I want it a little higher, I can use a paper towel roll instead.)

Mostly, though, I just like walking around and talking out loud, as if thereís someone in the room with me and not at the end of a tinny connection.

19 November 2006

California Street, San Francisco.

It helps that I live alone, and out in the country where the ambient noise is less trafficky and more crickety. On those rare occasions when I have a visitor, that person can be part of the conversation (or can just listen in quietly) if I have to take a call. And for some reason when Iím talking on the speaker phone, the words come freer and my mood is lighter. I donít know why that is, but Iíll keep on with the experiment and see if I come up with an answer.

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Itís unanimous! The California Supreme Court has ruled that bloggers who post the defamatory writings of others canít be sued for libel. This doesnít have much to do with me, since the opinions here are my own and not all that controversial, but itís good to see free speech protected in a time when civil liberties are being attacked by those in power. Now if only theyíd rule I canít be fired for trashing my boss, Iíd be in really good shape.

For other journal recommendations, check out the links page.
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One year ago: Junk
"I especially like their tag line, 'Your phone will ring, or your money back.' Shudder."

Two years ago: Left Turn
"And thereís a sense that although luck plays a big part in winning and losing, itís possible to make your own luck. I like that."

Three years ago: Aftermath
"I'll try not to obsess about it, but you know me. I'll have sleepless nights anyway, so I might as well be worrying about things that matter."

Four years ago: Wanted
"You can check the classifieds. There aren't any openings for a professional television watcher or a professional novel reader. What a shame. The only things I'm good at, and I can't live off those abilities. I'll just have to go on doing them on company time."

Five years ago: Grounded by Choice
"They come to this country in droves, just to earn minimum wage at airports letting people smuggle nail clippers on board."

Six years ago: Huge orbs, bores hug, shrub ego
"It might get as far as the U.S. Supreme Court before that happens, but I don't believe Congress or the Florida legislature will be put in the position of deciding the election."

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