lextopia

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Archive for the ‘iPhone’

“A Vision In A Dream. A Fragment.”

January 20, 2011 By: admin Category: Boston Beats, Family, Filmmaking, Going Home, Happiness, House, iPhone, Living, Love, Meditation, Michael, Unemployment, Video

This will be a very “meta” post, as I originally wrote part of the below in an email to my aunt, and then added to it a preface that I then, along with the email, published onto Facebook. It now here, in it’s entirety, with yet a new preface. A Pre-preface?

Anyway, I think the message contained herein should be shared far and wide, and so I’m publishing on the interwebs in the two places where I know it’ll do the most good. :) Enjoy.

“Hey everyone. This is my first FB note. It’s actually an email I wrote to my aunt who is a dream worker. I am adding it here because my situation is universal, and I thought maybe some of you are feeling the same way. I thought sharing might help some of you to not feel so alone and scared–as I do sometimes–and might help me let go of some of the hope I have that I will be able to keep my sweet, safe life exactly the way it is right now: sweet & safe. I’ve been studying Buddhist meditation and philosophy for over a year and have been resisting the concept of impermanence since the beginning. :) I guess sharing this note is my way of finally accepting it.

Anyway, I hope you can get something out of this. This is a terrible, terrible time for so many of us, but something I’ve learned recently is that the love in the artist community here in Boston is a-s-t-o-u-n-d-i-n-g. You all have helped me so much I almost don’t know what to say except that I am grateful. You are all so beautiful it actually brings tears to my eyes as I write this, and makes it sooooo clear to me why I’m a filmmaker: I have a classic excuse to stare at all of you FOR HOURS, and have the skills necessary to help share your beauty with the world. :)

Enjoy, and thank you so much for your grace and vulnerability. We are giants. :)

With love,

Alexia

“I had an intense dream the other night that I haven’t been able to forget. Thats impressive for two reasons: 1-I haven’t been dreaming much in the last few weeks, and 2-I think I can count on one hand the dreams that have lingered in my mind days after having had them.

The dream is very simple in imagery: my iPhone broke. That’s it. Here are the details…. I was talking with someone about the iPhone being very rugged, and that I’d dropped it a lot and had only incurred minor scratches and cracks. As I was talking I accidentally (truly an accident) dropped my phone. It crashed to the floor and looked fine from my vantage point of just bending my head to look. But then I bent my whole body to pick it up, and when I grasped it I saw that it had been split in two, vertically. This is almost completely impossible for an iPhone. In order to achieve this kind of break, you’d have to put the phone between two vice grips and forcibly snap it. Even then, you’d never get the straight-up-and-down break that I got.

I picked up the phone and rose. The edges of the breaks were jagged, but I could still push the pieces together and have them fit. So I did just that, and what do you know, the phone still worked. I had to hold the pieces together very tightly, but my friend and I thought it was pretty amazing that it still worked even in that scenario. Still within the dream, as I looked down at the blinking, broken phone, I thought to myself, ‘Well, there it is, I have to get the new iPhone 4.’ 😉

That was the end of the dream.

There was an ominousness to that last thought, however funny, about needing to get the new phone. This thought has it’s origins in my very scary economic situation… For two years I haven’t been buying anything. At all. Food and gas and the occasional beer. That’s it. I haven’t gone out to eat, haven’t gone to the movies, haven’t bought a book, haven’t gone to see any of my friends’ bands play if there was a cover charge. The only times I’ve left the house, actually, have been when I was able to arrange for several meetings and events to occur on the same day so I wouldn’t waste gas. You get the idea… My current iPhone-a used one given as a gift to me from Michael (my brother)-has been testy and slow for over a year. I have needed a replacement for a long, long time, but haven’t dared spend $300 to get it for fear of not being able to make the following month’s mortgage payment. This is a fear that’s been with me for a while. It’s no longer a paralytic fear, but still there none-the-less.

Anyway, the fateful day has finally come: it’s January 20th and I don’t have enough money to pay for February’s mortgage so I have to open up one of my retirement accounts. I only have two and the one I’ll be opening was started for me in 2003 when I was at Harvard-Smithsonian. They contributed to the fund, I never did, so, in a sense, all the money in there is “free.” Taking any of it out, though, before I’m 65, will incur a tax penalty. So for something like $4000 I have to remove $5000 and lose $1000. Again, as this is essentially “free money” I’m not stressing too much. I AM stressing about what will happen if I don’t get a job before April 1st. Because if that happens, then it will mean that I have to go into my second retirement account, the only one I have left, the one I’ve been adding to and growing since I was 23, and the one that I hoped would be my nest egg. If I have to go into that one, then the small life I have come to know, the tiny life here that I have worked and saved so long to build around me, will slowly evaporate.

In the dream, when I looked down at my phone I thought: ‘If you hold it together very tightly, it’s definitely still a phone, but you can’t ignore that if you let go… it just won’t work any more…’ “

Ode To A Woodstove

January 07, 2010 By: admin Category: Abandonment Journal, Body, Faith, Fire, Food, Happiness, Health, House, iPhone, Living, Meditation, Unemployment, Valet Battleship Parking, Yoga

This coming March I will have been unemployed for one full year, the longest I’ve ever been unemployed. And so, I straighten the books on my coffee table.

There are “prospects” of jobs on the horizon, but there have been for almost all of the last nine months, and so I vacuum, and vow that when I come into my house from outside from now until Spring, I will change from sandy/snowy hiking boots to slippers so I don’t track mud everywhere.

Every day I troll the interwebs for a job suitable for someone who wants to stay in the town where she lives and not have a commute longer than two hours, and so I jump rope, do yoga, and meditate to keep from going insane. The thinking is that taking this time to “improve” myself in other ways will somehow show the universe that I’m worthy of employment. “See? I just lost three pounds, and I don’t as angry as I used to! Hire me!”

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The one thing I can actually pride myself on is that I haven’t actually gone crazy in this time, but yesterday nearly brought me to it… I went to the Apple Store to participate in a “hiring seminar.” The exercise was fun, for the most part, but the overall feeling from the group of applicants was buzzing desperation. We were all ages and all freaking out. This was, for most of us, it felt like, The Last Resort. Retail. Yes, I am applying for a job as a “Creative”–someone who teaches customers how to use Macs and their associated programs–but I think in order to ascend to that lofty position you have to “work the floor” for a few weeks, or maybe even months. I did retail. The Hard Rock Cafe. In my early 20s. The honeymoon wore off quick then and I don’t think I can resurrect the love for it today. That said, if they call, what choice do I have…?

This time of economic depression, like the famous one before it decades ago, will be marked by the bodies and souls it leaves behind. If it’s assumed that most of us will come through this one alive, it’s also possible that many will be letting go of pieces of ourselves that, whether sentimental or destructive, good or bad, given our new weaknesses will simply be too heavy to carry into the next phase of our lives, a phase that will begin with us nervously rebuilding our senses of self. I can already feel that creeping in to me. Yesterday, during the seminar, I was in my element–I understand Macs and their software, own an iPhone and iPod, a Cinema display–but despite this couldn’t help but feel that the woman who was co-running the seminar along with a male counterpart had a thing against me. Every time I spoke up or answered a question when they asked for responses from the group she glared at me disapprovingly or dismissively, I couldn’t decide which. Now, was all this in my head? The damage left by nearly twelve months of self-esteem-crushing unemployment? Or did this chick really just hate me without knowing me? These days every little reaction from a stranger in a position to alter the course of my life sends me into a stock car race of abusive self-analysis. And so I chop up wood in my workroom and reposition the hand-me-down leather sofas in the hope that soon I’ll feel relaxed enough to sit by the fire…

Imminent India

December 07, 2007 By: admin Category: General, India, iPhone, Mom, NewsQuake!, sustainability, Video

My mother never missed a chance to say a word in Spanish. One of her favorites was “pa-sa-port-ah” for “passport.” *head shake, smile* She certainly had a unique charm about her…

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Plans for India are going well. My renewed passport finally came, so I guess I’ll have to wait on that heart-attack, and the visas are easily filled out online, although I did have a mini heart attack when I realized I hadn’t sent them via trackable method. After getting the smog check done on my car I ran back to the postal place and redid the passports to be sent via certified mail. Dodge a bullet. The visa process is actually surprisingly easy. Fill out the form take a couple of mugshots, send it in. Everyone is upgrading to online…

Also just found out today that we’ll be going to SXSW Interactive Fest for work! Very cool! I’ll be running around trying to get ideas of how to expand the site. We’ll see. I’m currently exporting one of my videos using Apple’s “for iPhone” compression settings. I want to see how well original video looks on the iPhone so I can have a couple of the Sustainability videos to show folks at SX what we’re doing…

Bull In A China Shop

December 06, 2007 By: admin Category: Angus, Gadgets/Tech, General, iPhone, Living, Randomosity

How many times have you dropped YOUR iPhone…???

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This is why the phrase “resale value” has no meaning for me. I’m a dropper, and a slammer-into, and a glass breaker. M and I have a joke that’s no joke at all: I’m not allowed to touch the wine glasses. ANY wine glasses, actually. And I wonder, since he always drank wine from a square-bottomed “water” glass, if my father doesn’t also suffer from The Affliction. I wonder, but I don’t think so. My father is the parent who gave my brother his coordination. You can literally not knock Michael over. Ever. He’s a stone. Or a cat. Whatever, he has SICK balance. (The same, actually, can be said for his spirit and psyche, but that’s another post altogether….)

So, I’ve dropped my iPhone a lot. Just now it was in a Starbucks in Los Feliz. I’m all the way in the back, sitting comfortably in a cushioned chair, with my feet up, listening to ranchero music and drinking really good coffee. My life is AWFUL. Thank god I drop my iPhone, otherwise things would be too perfect.

I actually don’t have shitty balance at all. I’m not the acrobat my brother is, but I’ve got some game. My problems come with forgetting–like that I have my iPhone in my lap when I stand up and not in my pocket–and with impulsive passion. I swing my arms around or throw them up into the air when I’m excited.

I’m painting kind of a circus-monkey image of myself, aren’t I…??? Oh well… what is is what is.

07.07.07: My 40th Birthday!

July 07, 2007 By: admin Category: Cooking, Fatblogging, Food, iPhone, Mom

This was a wonderful day. Spontaneous mixed with Expected layered in Joy.

The first birthday surprise actually came on July 5th. I was helping Michael and Laura finish up some moving and had found the one Apple store left in the Boston area that still had 8GB iPhones in stock. After a quick work meeting, I was going to drive up to the semi-far away store and get the goods. But the meeting went longer than I expected and so I started to panic. I called Michael and Laura, as they were going to drive me, and let them know that I would be later than expected. He must have heard the disappointment and worry in my voice because in answer to my question “Where are you guys?” Michael replied, hesitantly, “Uh… we’re on our way to the Apple store.”

At first I was ready to flip out, then I realized what they were doing. “Oh, no….” I said. “Yeah…” said Mike in a happy, “you got me” drawl. “Guys,” I said, “You just bought a house. You can’t afford this!!!” He suggested that they would split the cost with Dad and I agreed that that would be acceptable. On the phone with Dad later I told him the whole story and he said: “Oh sure, I’ll get it.” “Well, no,” I said, “You only need to pay for half.” “Oh no,” he said, “I’ll get the whole thing.” I was blown away.

The morning of my birthday M and I had a lot of cooking prep to do. I was making empanadas in honor of Michael and Dad’s birthdays–as the dish is a favorite of theirs and all of our birthdays are so close–Sarah was making the salad, and M was making 2 apple pies. We needed to shop, prep, and cook while still inserting some time for the beach.

At the grocery store I used my iPhone to pull up my blog entry with the recipe/ingredients for empanadas. I felt like the coolest person in the world even though no one asked me: “hey, is that the new iPhone?”

Next, we raced over to The Green Room in Vineyard Haven, a kick-ass clothing and hardgoods (surfing & skating) store run by our good friend Elaine. Laura’s incredible Mom, Pat, and the rest of the Stanfield clan had pitched-in to get me a MASSIVE gift certificate that I promptly spent on really, really wonderful running shoes. This is something I’ve been looking to buy for a few weeks now as my running has improved a lot and I’m still enslaving myself to these old Sketchers that I’d gotten for a buck at a thrift store. These new shoes and the iPhone were EXACTLY what I needed and wanted from this birthday!!!

After shopping, we raced home and prepped the food for baking after the beach. During prep my cousin Eduardo called and surprised me by saying that he was on the ferry and would be docking soon!!! I haven’t seen Ed in 2 years–at Mom’s Peruvian memorial, actually–and so this was a bonus I couldn’t have dreamed of. M and Ed got along super-well, and after some additional food prep we all went to the beach. Ed told us about his plan to go to Peru for 2 years and M and I decided then and there that we would visit him and use that trip as the one where I will travel to Bolivia to lay Mom’s ashes next to her brother, Walter.

After the beach, the hits just kept on coming. Michael arrived and the four of us–M, Mike, Ed and me–had a great time chatting in the kitchen. It was the first time Michael had had a chance to just sit. All week he’s been moving himself and his friends into his and Laura’s new house, while working full-time as well. So, he was exhausted and brain-fried and in need of a break.

The last of our guests, the Blacklows, arrived just in time for the empanadas to be cool enough to eat and so we all sat down and went to it. Sarah’s salad of various greens went over so well we finished it, and M’s pies were the hit of the evening. Dessert was the only time everyone stopped talking. 😉

The hilarity that ensued during and after dinner can be exemplified by the following story told by Winnie Blacklow, an avid Red Sox fan… Several years ago she was having her will drawn up and asked her lawyer to add that she should be kept on life-support until the Red Sox win the World Series. You can imagine how that went over: her family was desperate and her lawyer thought she was crazy. “You don’t want to do that,” he siad to her. “Write it down” was all Winnie said back, sternly, pointing to the will.

Then came 2004. The Red Sox won the series and around 1:00am on that fateful day Winnie got a phone call. It was her son: “You’re gonna diiiiiiieeee……” he said all sing-songy. Back at my birthday, we all fell over laughing… :)

All I’d wanted from this birthday was exactly what I got: family, good company, and good, simple food. I didn’t expect the iPhone or the shoes, or the copy of Shake that M got me, but they are all the perfect gifts for me at this point in my life as is the Family Tree DNA kit that Vince & Irene got me. In a few weeks, after scraping the inside of my mouth, I will know where my genetic ancestors come from. I’m hoping for Bolivia and Peru on Mom’s side. Just want to SEE that proof, ya know…?

To all of you who sent well-wishes and cards: THANK YOU! I am very much looking forward to what feels like Phase Three of a multi-phase life. I have a supportive family, the best relationship in the world, and a job I enjoy very much. And now I also have toys. :)

You are all in my heart.

Much love,

Lex