Crack-a-licious Smart Phone

I got an awesome early Christmas present from The Big Guy.  A swanky-pants new smart phone.  Now, I’m struggling with the magnetic pull to it’s shiny back-lit screen.

My old phone was only replaced because some of the numbers no longer worked.  (Thank goodness for speed dial or some people would have NEVER heard from me.)  It was a phone that lasted me over 5 years of daily use.  It was a flip phone.  It had no internet access.  It easily fit into my pocket.  It was great for talking – but sucked for texting.  I liked my little phone.  However, it was CRAZY outdated and starting to die.

Enter – The Gift.

I knew which phone and service plan I wanted.  (My old plan was so old it cost a fortune for very limited services.  I pay basicall the same now – but with a LOT more services.)  However, I did NOT want to have to shell out for the phone.  Ouchie to the bank account.

So, The Big Guy stepped in.  Sooo awesome!  But – he’s totally created a monster.

I was able to withstand “The Pull” for about a month.  Then, as I was sitting in my normal evening commute – waiting to move forward my 6 inches during my fourth trip through a certain traffic signal’s cycle – I felt “The Pull”.  Anyone who has a smart phone probably knows what I’m talking about.  You know it.  The little magic device sitting on the seat RIGHT NEXT TO YOU that’s calling your name and whispering sweet nothings in your ear.

“Hi there.  Look at me with my entertaining interweb sitting right here.  Come on.  Pick me up.  WHAT are your friends doing on Facebook?  I can show you.  Just. Pick. Me. Up.”

I never had an issue with illegally using my phone in the car before the smart phone.  But now the endless cycle of traffic signals and stopped vehicles was pulling me to the dark side.

Then this morning I started checking my email while the coffee was brewing.  Oh, the opulence!  Read, delete, next email!  I was multi-tasking before 5am.  Now THAT is what I’m talking about.  Then, I realized I’d been standing there for 20 minutes.  The coffee was done.  I’m now running late for work.  Crap.

So, the new smart phone has crack-a-licous power.  I should have known.  Too many times I’ve seen people at dinner where everyone at the table has their phone out and no one is even making eye contact.  Who knows – maybe they’re texting each other?  Anything that has that type of power probably does not need to be in my purse at all times.  It’s a little dangerous.

I’m totally enjoying myself with my new toy.  Now I just need to keep it away from my itchy fingers while I’m in the driver’s seat.

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Evil, Evil Traffic

So, in stark contrast to my last post where I waxed poetic about the beauty of a string of tail lights before me, today I will whine about the vast amout of traffic I encountered this morning on my way in to work.

I have several “normal” areas of intense stop-and-go traffic both going in and returning from work each day.  However, this morning that stop started earlier – and was a true stop.  No go.  Just stop and wait.  This continued for several minutes – never, ever a good sign. 

(I’m sure the few of you reading this are both nodding your head AND thinking – why does she even bother writing what is so blatently obvious?)

But, I digress.

After sitting stationary for several minutes I turned on the radio to listen to the traffic update only to find that there was an *already cleared* accident ahead of me about 5 miles that was screwing with my ability to move forward.  I immediately went into rant mode.  The accident is ALREADY cleared?  Why am I not moving?  Did they close the freeway?  (Repeat, repeat, repeat.)  All in all, it took me almost 40 minutes to traverse that 5 miles.  That made my commute clock in at 2.5 hours.  Any time I go over the 2 hour mark I start getting cranky.

Let’s just say I’m not all that happy this morning.  Here’s to hoping that the ride home takes slightly less time.

The Ribbon

I like ribbons.  I especially like them when there is a gift nestled inside one tied in a bow.

However, this totally isn’t about a gift.  It’s about traffic.

I’m not a huge fan of my commute in the winter when it’s dark both coming to and returning from work.  However, there is one highlight – the view of tail lights on the freeway/country roads in front of me miles in the distance.

I realize to many this may just be stressful.  LOOK at all that traffic!  I’ll never get home!

But, for me, who spends about 50% of my non-working and non-sleeping time in the car – I’ll take any bit of beauty I can get.  I love cresting a hill and seeing a ribbon of red stretching out before me miles in the distance surrounded by darkness and twinkly white lights.  I think it’s pretty.

Then, when I reach the 20 mile twisty country road/ death trap throughfare at the finale of my commute I can use this same ribbon of light to gauge how long I’ll be sitting in stop-and-go traffic up a big hill.  (Seriously, whomever decided to change the lanes on this road to make the longest bit of stop-and-go be on the uphill slope of a giant hill needs to drive a stick shift for awhile.  Grrrr….  At least my clutch skills are improving!)  I can see this hill for just a moment on the approach as it peeks between the summits of two pastures.  In the summer when it’s still sunny I don’t have the ribbon of light to tell me if there is a backup here.  I’m not yet close enough to gather if there is traffic on that bit of blacktop in the moment the road is visible.  See – the ribbon of light is both pretty AND useful!

(I’ve really wanted to try and take a picture of this ribbon.  There are several places on my commute home where I have a great view.  But – I don’t car pool.  I’m just guessing me trying to take a picture of traffic lights while piloting a car at 70 mph in heavy traffic isn’t the best choice.  I’ll just have to hold off on that one for awhile.  Please use your immagination to picture the beauty.)

Here’s to taking a moment to enjoy the little things in life.  Beauty really is everywhere.  Sometimes you just have to put the road rage aside for a moment to realize it.