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Unplug and go outside

Friday, June 27th, 2014

It’s finally here. I head out tomorrow – and don’t think I haven’t been singing this in my head all morning – especially the part about “How can I live when we are parted?” (Foxy), and also “Tomorrow we’ll be far away” (except only maybe 20 miles max) and “Tomorrow is the judgment day” (it’s supposed to be 95 degrees this weekend).

In all honesty, I am having all of the feelings I could possibly have. Excitement? Check. Nerves? Check. Trepidation? So much. Gratitude? You bet. I recognize how lucky I am to have this opportunity at all, let alone the support of so many people (this #teamhootenannie thing is wringing my heart like a dishrag). I’ve had this dream for so long, and now I get a chance to try it. With the reality of storms and possibility of injury, I don’t have a guarantee of completing the trail end to end – but I’m going to hang as tough as I can.

If I have any cell service, I’ll be posting occasionally to Instagram. There’s a chance I may post a blog or two when I pass through a town, but this space will likely be pretty quiet. I look forward to sharing stories once I’m back – but until then, it’s time to walk away from this computer for a bit. Have a wonderful July, and I’ll see you on the other side.

unplug_square

Top 10 reasons I haven’t been blogging

Monday, June 10th, 2013

10) TECHNOLOGY
I don’t own a computer – not one that works, anyway. My Macbook is from the year Two Thousand and Six, back when dinosaurs roamed the Internet. It barely turns on. Work has provided me with the privilege (?) of a PC laptop that blows hot air like [insert politician of choice], and when it’s 95 degrees outside and the house I just bought doesn’t have air conditioning, said laptop is the last thing I want to cozy up with. Besides, the wi-fi that I share with two (count ‘em) neighbors is spotty at best. Plus – PLUS – my digital camera is broken, so I can’t even make you a video of the Shotgun. All of these things make me want to pull out my newly dyed hair – which, sidenote, has now grown out to the awkward in-between phase. Great.

9) JUICING
I saw “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead,” okay? And yes, now I’m doing the trendy thing and spending ungodly amounts of money on produce just to distill it into vegetable sewage. The process of juicing is time consuming and the cleanup is a beast, but I’m hoping that switching out a meal or two a day will help me feel like my old self, back when a mere breakup was the hardest thing I’d experienced, before the years of hard living got me down. (But seriously, if anyone knows a fruit/veggie combination that won’t leave me tasting liquid spinach with a celery splash, please let me know.)

8) HOMEOWNERSHIP
Last Friday, I came home from work with big plans of reading a book, relaxing, maybe drinking an end-of-week cocktail. What did I do instead? I set up my newly purchased ladder and, rake in one hand, iPhone in my teeth, climbed onto the roof. I spent nearly an hour filling three turbo-sized garbage bags with leaves, sticks, twigs, dirt, and the remains of a few unfortunate critters. When I’m not spending time on my roof, I’m taking things to the cellar (we can’t even call this hole a basement – the entrance is a HATCH in the backyard). And when I’m not taking things to the cellar, I’m painting my bathroom or running loads of laundry or paying bills or trying to decide if buying a house was a good decision (it was).

7) CROSSFIT
Let’s not lie, I’ve only gone three times. I’m supposed to be there right now. Whoops.

6) NIGHTMARES
Maybe it’s the aloneness. Maybe it’s the book I’m reading. Maybe it’s watching Toad get more fragile. Maybe it’s reading about deaths on the mountains I’m planning on climbing this summer. Maybe it’s just turning on the news, hearing about massacres and beheadings and building collapses and freak accidents. Whatever it is, I’m not sleeping through the night these days.

5) MUSIC
But don’t go feeling sorry for me – I’ve had some great music to keep my toes tapping and my heart humming. Hunter Hayes’ “I Want Crazy” makes me happier than everything. The Band Perry’s sophomore album “Pioneer” is solid – they’ve won me over, despite their hair. One of my favorite writers, Gretchen Peters, came to Swallow Hill a few weeks ago, and I took my mom; sharing the music I love with the people I love is one of my favorite things. I saw David Ramirez at the Soiled Dove last week, and his new EP “The Rooster” is songwriting at its best.

Also, joining a group guitar class 16 weeks ago was the greatest, most life-giving decision. I love the new friends I’m getting to know, and it’s good to have a reason to practice.

4) DATING
Sike. Haha, sucker.

3) SOCIAL MEDIA
If being online wasn’t such a big part of my job, I’d scrap it all. Social media is a major source of envy for me, since it’s easy to read other people’s happy posts and assume that everyone’s life is perfect except mine. We’re bombarded with a steady stream of highlights and never the low points – which makes sense. I don’t particularly want to share my Ugly Cry face, or the moment in which I say the very most hurtful thing – why would anyone else? So we continue to revise our wording, and crop our photos so no one sees the mess, and pretend that everything’s okay when it most decidedly is not.

2) DREAMING
Someday, I’m going to hike the Colorado Trail, record another album, live out of my car, write a book, fly first class, spend quality time with my nephews, hold every one of my friends’ babies, sit still, speak the truth, drive all the way to Alaska, cook a turkey, take an art class, stop guarding my heart and start using it, do something drastic, trust, read so many books, finish climbing the 14ers, stay at a bed & breakfast, and sing to old people in a nursing home.

1) NO GOOD REASON
I miss you. Maybe that sounds weird, since to you I might just be words on a screen – but you (yeah, you) are more than that to me. You are an important part of my community and my life. My posts may be sporadic these days; I suppose that’s the season I’m in. But I skipped doing anything “important” tonight just to write, because that’s what felt important and significant and as necessary as breathing. This space matters to me, and you matter to me, and it feels good just to say hi.

RIP, Google Reader

Sunday, March 17th, 2013

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

If you’re like me, you’ve relied on Google Reader to aggregate all of the blogs you follow into one long list. With the recent (horrible) news that Google Reader is going away, I’m switching over to Bloglovin. Maybe you’ll want to do the same.

If you have no idea what I’m talking about, forget you ever read this.

iPhonetastic

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

I’m kind of a late bloomer.  I was born 2 weeks after my due date.  I didn’t kiss a boy until it was shocking that I hadn’t kissed a boy.  I still don’t know any rap songs.

But this week, finally, years after everyone else, I got an iPhone.

And it’s the most amazing thing ever.

I fought it for so long, telling myself that I didn’t need the bells and whistles, that I could plan in advance and MapQuest directions and write them out on a a Post-It note, that I could text just as well on a Samsung.

But an opportunity came along, as opportunities are wont to do.  And I’m not too proud to admit when I’m wrong.

I was wrong.

But now?  I am so, so right.

I mean, look.  I can use Instagram to make my sad, empty apartment with an ugly air conditioning unit look so… charming and wistful.

I know – effortless evocation.  Aren’t you so jealous of how awesome and romantic my homeless life is?

[Once again, I make my case for a Sarcasm font.]

What will become of me?  I already tracking my calories, and Facebooking on the go, and playing (and winning) Scrabble.  What’s next, geocaching?

Let’s not get crazy.

Phone woe

Monday, December 13th, 2010

My cell phone plan is with Verizon – because yes, I can hear you now.

The best phone I’ve ever had is the LG 8300 – the flip-phone of GLORY, that’s what.  It was perfect – curved naturally to the shape of my face, easy to find at the bottom of a bottomless purse, navigable.

No, it wasn’t as cool as an iPhone.  Sure, I had to text my name “2 – 66 – 66 – 444 – 33.”  Yes, I felt like a loser when I had to ask what an “app” was.

But the LG 8300 was like my 1990 Honda Accord in that, although brokeass and jankety, it never let me down.  I loved it so much that I kept it for 4 years – longer than I’ve ever had a boyfriend or an apartment or a job.  But this summer, it started to freak out, and I knew that it was only a matter of time before it died completely.  So in September, I threw a hissy fit, prayed the Serenity Prayer, and drove myself to the worst place on earth – the Verizon store – to get a new phone.

People.  I have no words to describe how much I hate my new phone.

It’s a Samsung slab of horror.

I hate it more than I hate peas, more than I hate Nashville summers, more than I hate superfluous exclamation points.  I don’t hate it as much as I hate animal abuse, or, you know, WAR.  But it’s up there.

This phone is to me as Toby is to Michael Scott.

The buttons are tiny and hard to press.  The font on the screen is ugly.  Anytime I want to do anything, I have to press two magical buttons to “unlock” it.  It has horrid ringtones.  Anything I try to do, it does the opposite.  It’s too skinny to find in my purse.  Sometimes I accidentally hit a button on the side and it starts talking.  The fact that it even exists makes me want to scream.

And, well.  That’s all.

I guess I’ll go to work now.

Creepy shenanigans

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

Yesterday, my co-worker Molly got a text from an unknown number that said, “I know where you live.”

I have no patience for creepy shenanigans like that, so I had her give me the phone number.  A quick bit of internet/phone sleuthing later, and I discovered the anonymous texter’s identity – a pre-adolescent boy in the Bay Area, most likely pranking random numbers to freak people out.

So I suggested what any gracious human being would: that she write back, “No, Patrick: I know where YOU live.”

So.  Awesome.

And So. Creepy.

- – - – - – - -

Now feels like the right time to publicly declare how much I love and appreciate my co-workers.  I am the only person from my team out in Denver, so I spend the entire day corresponding with my teammates through technological means (IM, video chats, conference calls).  And every day, without fail, I find myself silently giggling at my computer screen.

These people are wonderful.  They make me laugh so hard.  And one of them was in “Ernest Scared Stupid” – I’M NOT EVEN JOKING.

I feel so, so lucky to be a part of a team of people who care so well for each other, who approach each day with a positive attitude, and who keep me thoroughly entertained every single day.

Boring expenditures

Monday, February 8th, 2010

I just got back from the DMV, i.e. The Worst Place On Earth.

Actually, I experienced another place this weekend that would rival the DMV for that title: Micro Center.

I took my fritzy Macbook to the Apple Store on Saturday, and the self-assuredly dubbed Apple Genius told me that yes, I needed a new hard drive, and no, I should not have it replaced in house.  I appreciated his honesty, since his recommendation wound up saving me a couple hundred bucks.

But still.  He sent me to Micro Center.

What is Micro Center?  This horrible, horrible store full of electronics and screaming children.  It’s located in a terribly depressing section of Denver called the Tech Center – a place where every building looks the same, and the only signs of life are a 7-11, a Mexican restaurant, and, well, Micro Center.  They had what seemed like 75 employees, all walking around doing “things,” but I still had to wait in line for close to an hour.  Eventually, I made it out – with a new hard drive, and a desperation for flora, fauna, chipmunks – anything but technology.

I spent most of my weekend coaxing my Macbook back to life.  Just like an episode of “Rescue 911,” the process was harrowing – touch-and-go – and there was that crucial point when the music got solemn and uncertain, and I didn’t know if resuscitation was going to be possible.  But as of today, thanks to my trusty backed-up files, we are back in business.  My iPod overfloweth with Lady Gaga and Ke$ha.

I know.  Just… I know.

Because I hadn’t quite gotten my fill of spending a lot of money on things that aren’t fun to spend money on, and I am also quite fond of torture and anguish, I headed to the DMV this morning on the frozen roads.  $21 later, I am in possession of a wimpy piece of paper that doubles as my “temporary license.” Next up: Colorado plates.

Few things are as joyless as doling out sweet cash for things that bring you no happiness whatsoever.

Musicless

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

I am spoiled, and I am the first to admit it.  Why, you ask?  Well, among many other reasons, I have two identical black Macbooks – one personal, and one for work.  Let’s be real: that is just ridiculous.  More than anyone could ever ask for.

But last week, my personal Macbook went kaput.  It’s broken – broken like… searching for a simile… broken like… my toe?  Except my toe has a fighting chance at mending – and I really don’t think that the computer will be resurrected.  I turn it on, and it pulls up a white screen.  That’s all.  It’s like the moment after Juliette hits the bomb with the rock, except it never skips to the credits.  Eternal nuclear uncertainty.

Get over it, Annie – right?  I mean, I have a WHOLE OTHER COMPUTER.  But my personal laptop held all of my iTunes, all of my pictures, all of my super secret documents that no one is ever allowed to see.  Most of it is backed up on an external hard drive, but I don’t want to put it on my work computer.  So there it will remain – locked up forever.

Mostly this is bad because I want to sync my iPod to my iTunes to get my new music and podcasts.  And not only can I not put them on my iPod, I can’t even access my iTunes at all.  I am SOOOOOOO BORED with my current selection of songs (I only have ninety million or something).  And Ira Glass is saying things that I might never get to hear – which makes me panic.

IRA!!!!  I NEED YOU!!!!!!!!

I had recently downloaded Sara Groves’ latest, “Fireflies and Songs,” but have no way of hearing it again.  Lady Antebellum has a new album released today.  The Handy Graham recommended Sarah Jarosz – and since he was the first one to tell me about eastmountainsouth, I trust him – not that it matters, since I can’t get my grubby paws on these songs.

Today, I have India Arie and Phil Collins on YouTube.  It’s all I have left.

Christmas casserole

Monday, December 21st, 2009

This weekend, Facebook really chapped my ass (a phrase that I have recently decided is very worth using).  I tried to upload pictures from the JAM House Christmas Spectacular – at which we had a fantastic time and packed our home with more people than we ever imagined – but the old ‘Book translated my vibrant images into dull, grey-toned disappointments.

See?

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Why??  Facebook has let me down.  People need to know that my dress was not forest, but EMERALD.

That said, those two gentlemen flanking me?  The one on the left is my new friend Matt (SHOUT OUT), and the one on the right is Paul – or PZC, as he is known on this here blog.  Paul – besides being one that I outright avoided a goodbye with last night because it would have made me cry way too hard and so it was easier to pretend that none of this is actually happening – is the one who made a makeshift vocal booth for me in his closet when we recorded a song back in October.

Now, that song is finished – listen!

Lines of Love by annieparsons

That’s Matty Rineer on lead vocals – isn’t he great?  Actually… I’ve never met him, just recorded backup vocals for this song that he wrote and had already recorded the lead parts for.  So don’t take my word for it – he could be a psychopath.  And didn’t Pauly do a fantastic job with the recording and mixing?

On Saturday, multiple strong and manly gentlemen showed up at the house to help me load my pod.  Let me just say, I highly recommend the ABF ReloCube – as well as having generous and rugged man-friends.  In one hour – ONE HOUR – my entire life was packed into a 6’ x 7’ x 8’ box.

relocube

Day after tomorrow, I leave.  Ice storms are in store.  I hope the Honda makes it.  I hope I make it.  I hope I don’t spend Christmas morning in a ditch.

How I approach my job

Thursday, October 8th, 2009

The secret’s out.

*via Carl – hi, Carl!