Personal Statement

Personal Statement

Monday, November 19, 2012

Bye, Bye, Black(berry)bird

Haven't been posting much lately.  Still having hand problems.  Suspecting the beginnings of arthritis.  Scary stuff for someone who spends 99% of her waking hours drafting legal documents/blogging/painting/drawing/creating stuff with her hands.

Sort of in denial about the whole thing, and waiting for a consult with a specialist, which is going to have to wait until after the Thanksgiving holiday.

Also on my denial radar:  the predicted demise of Research in Motion, makers of my beloved BlackBerry.  One minute, RIM's already dead; the next minute, they are on life support.  The federal government has made the switch, and service providers are pushing every product but BB in stores, so the handwriting is definitely on the wall.  Still, I could not help but feel like I was personally driving the last nail in RIM's coffin this weekend when I accepted my sleek new Samsung Galaxy S3.  See, Friday was "Magenta Friday" at T-Mobile:  S3's were free on Magenta Friday (and Magenta Saturday), except that they weren't really free:  you had to pay $200 upfront, you get a $200 rebate in four to six weeks, and then they charge you 20 $20 installment payments after that.  Translation:  S3's were $400 on Magenta Friday and Magenta Saturday - although I could never get Cheerful T-Mobile Girl to acknowledge this fact:

"You pay a $200 deposit, but then you get your $200 deposit BACK.  Since you're buying three phones, you will actually be getting THREE deposits back.  That's $600.  You could apply $400 of that to your account, and you wouldn't have to make the 20 $20 payments on one of the phones, so that phone would be free - AND you have an additional $200 to spend on whatever you want."

Um, no.  I have my $200 back.  Because I PAID $600.  And I'm getting back that $600, but then I'm paying $1,200.   You aren't "giving" me a phone, and you aren't "giving" me spending money.  I'M "BUYING" THREE PHONES FOR $1,200.  But that's alright, because re-working our plan this weekend still made fiscal sense:  even with the installment payments on the hardware figured in, we will be getting three phones (with unlimited data and more-than-adequate minutes) for less than what we have been paying for two phones under the "classic" T-Mobile plan.  Adding that third phone was a necessity, because Big Kid is turning thirteen on Sunday, and we had put off his "requests" (by "requests," I mean "begging") for a phone long enough.  Also, now that he is (1) attending school across town (versus around the corner), (2) frequently having to stay after school for extracurriculars and (3) allowed to have a little more freedom to roam, and the ability to stay at home by himself for short spurts, it will be RIDICULOUSLY convenient to have him attached to the other end of a phone line.

So a phone for Big Kid was a definite must, and Spouse also wanted new hardware, but it was a game-day decision as to whether Yours Truly would part with her BBB (beloved BlackBerry).  In the end, I pulled the trigger out of fear:  fear that the BB 10 phone would be a bust, RIM would go belly-up, and I would find myself abruptly without phone support, having not taken advantage of the great giveaway not-so-great non-giveaway on S3's.  With the benefit of hindsight, I recognize that this was a totally emotional reaction. If/when RIM does go belly up, no doubt all of the other phone manufacturers, in tandem with their cell carrier partners, will offer scandalous deals in an attempt to capture the BB market wholesale.  Oh, well - a little fear is a good thing, because it pushed me into the 21st century, and my last (last?  yeah, probably last) BB had joined my other BB's in the BB graveyard.  Although I reserve the right to keep it charged, and play Sudoku on it occasionally - just for old time's sake.

As I predicted, the first 24 hours with a touch screen were rough, rough, ROUGH.  I could type 80 wpm on my BB.  After 48 hours of practice, I'm now up to around 60 on the S3, and it's getting easier.  Also easing the sting of the transition:

1) A fully functioning Pinterest app.  Sorry, RIM, but your version kind of sucked.

2) Ditto Facebook.

3) Instagram.  Instagram?  INSTAGRAM.  I thought it was just one of those iPhone things, but NO - I can haz Instagram.  And I DO haz Instagram.  And I love it.

I also had very little trouble setting up my work e-mail account via Microsoft ActiveSync.  Honestly, that was what kept me tethered to my BB (well, other than the amaze-balls keyboard):  the Enterprise Server.  I would not take Spouse's word that the S3 was the first Enterprise-enabled Android phone; I had to research it for myself.  But he was right, and after a couple of minutes typing in domain names and protocols, that bad boy started pushing work e-mails like a mad fool.

I was a little irked that my ringtones and other downloads didn't transfer, but it didn't take long for me to get those set up.  Spouse's incoming calls have always been accompanied by the dulcet tones of Mark Morrison singing "Return of the Mack."  Private joke:  my husband, rather inexplicably, mispronounces our last name "MACK-LINCHey" instead of "Mc-GLINCHey."  Begging the question of whether it's ever a mispronunciation how HE says it, given that it was his name FIRST.  But, any-who, "Mack" came from that.  When I was setting up this phone, though, I decided that "Return of the Mack" ought to get handed down to his progeny (get it?  The "Return" of "The Mack"?), so now Big Kid gets that song, and Spouse is Gnarls Barkley's cover of "Gone Daddy Gone."  Because Spouse and I agree on all things Violent Femmes, and also because he is our daddy, and when he is calling me, pretty much by definition, he is "gone."  Or I'm "gone."  Whichever.

Yeah, I put WAY too much thought into ringtones.  Sometimes I don't put ENOUGH thought into a ringtone, and I still fall bass-ackwards into a good one.  Example:  Friend Robyn is "Shake Your Tailfeather," a song that I selected for her because (1) she likes to dance and (2) I really like that song.  Then Big Kid pointed out that [Robyn] equals [robin] equals [something that, actually, factually, shakes a tailfeather].  At which juncture I responded, "Yeah, I totally was thinking of that when I picked out her ringtone," while mentally kicking myself for not being as clever or perceptive as my tween son.

This go-round, my parents are Sly and the Family Stone's "Family Affair" (because I got tired of searching for their old ringtone - the theme from "The Odd Couple"), and my mother-in-law is Carl Carlton's "She's a Bad Mama Jama."  Yes, my taste in ringtones is straight out of a Solid Gold retrospective; thanks for asking.

Wallpaper was easy:  I remarked that I needed something Batman-themed, Big Kid seized the phone out of my hands, and five seconds later I was looking at a moving wallpaper of Batdroid (pictured above) standing on a cliff, staring at a Batrdroid-shaped signal in the distance, while a bunch of tiny Batdroids and bats with "Batdroid" logos tumble off of said cliff.  Cute.  And, also, done - and done for me.

We actually ended up with four phone lines, because Cheerful T-Mobile Girl assigned me a new phone number before I could tell her that, like Spouse, I was an existing T-Mobile account holder.  Long story short, for one of those reasons that regular people can't understand and that only make sense to phone carrier employees, the new number, once assigned, could not be unassigned, so Little Kid is now on my account, and for zero dollars and zero cents per month, he has a phone number that cannot be called, because his "new" phone (Dad's old Android) has been stripped of all semblance of phone service.  What he can do is access WiFi, so when he's at home or we're at a restaurant with a hotspot, he can get on the Internet, and he can play games.  This is enough for him, sort of.  Last night, he demanded to check out my new plaything.  I was in the kitchen, he was a room away, and I hear him ask, "Mom, where's the game hub on your phone?"  I tell him I have no idea, because, as a BB person, I'm not up on phone-based games (see "Sudoku," above).

A few seconds later, Spouse (who is one room removed from me, and two removed from the Little Kid) asks, "Why are you calling me?"

"I'm not.  Your son must have dialed you by mistake."

Nope; not a mistake.


"Dad, where's the game hub on Mom's phone?  MOM DOESN'T KNOW.  Call me back.  Thanks."

Oy, veh, Maria.  Welcome to the technology age.

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