And so it begins…

9 Dec

For weeks, Zolie was a dirty stinky dog. Last Tuesday, I finally drove her to the groomer’s. She always knows when we’re going there and she’s never happy about it. I have no idea how a 13-lb dog can so accurately approximate 50-lb of weight, but Zolie has this transformation down pat. My biceps are still sore.

After I dropped her off, I took Mustafa (the car) to the VW center. Peyman was able to immediately fix all of my sound system and technology synching problems, which would have been more than enough for me, but once I told him about the upcoming Epic Homeless Vagabond Couch-Surfing Road Trip, he insisted on giving Moose a really thorough review. It would take the better part of the day, he said, would I like a shuttle ride home? No thanks, I’ll walk…

The VW center is about 2.5mi from my house. I was wearing my new flip flops. It would be a good chance to see if they’d be up to the task of serving as my primary road trip shoes. It also would be a good chance to test my new social interaction theory.

Recall that I recently purchased a new iPhone 6+ during a fit of rainstorm-induced delirium. Well, the cash outlay was delirious, but my choice of the ENORMOUS 6+ was actually very calculated. You see, up until I set foot in the Verizon store for this shopping session, I was very much one of “those” — those who chose to devote attention to their ubiquitous, infernal mobile connectivity devices rather than to the ACTUAL activity going on around them (or even allegedly directly “involving” them).

I would routinely (pathologically) “sneak” glances at my phone or “surreptitiously” type out texts while I should have been paying attention to whomever was attempting to engage me in a real-life dialogue. And they, for reasons even more unclear, would LET me get away with this tomfoolery.

Enough already!

I need my device, yes, but what I really need –what we all really need– is to *really connect* with others and with ourselves. I apparently had NO ability to bring this about on my own (cuz I tried, and failed, many times) so I figured: If I get an obnoxiously large device that is very difficult to hold and manipulate without being a conspicuous asshat AND I ensheath it in an obnoxiously garish case, then I’d be very unlikely to resort to using the device on the DL.

I determined that *if* were going to use it, that choice/action would need to be very intentional and conspicuous, and I should be fully aware of and committed to that action. There would be no walk-and-text or dine-and-post “opportunities” unless I was willing to very publicly “own” my device addiction (and admit that I am a terrible companion / social being).

OK then, this was the test: I would walk 2.5mi from the VW center to my home, in my new flip flops, and without looking at/using my iPhone.

What would THAT be like….?!

… It would be awesome/enlightening!

I would see a resident of an assisted living facility chain-smoking on his balcony while wearing diapers over which a belly that looked like it belonged to a 3rd-trimester woman protruded. [If only I were willing to bust out my ginormous device to take a picture of this fellow for you! — sorry, folks, you’ll have to imagine this comi-tragedy on your own…]

I got to help an elderly gentleman with serious tremors find the bookstore that he sought and discover that the store catered exclusively to 12-Step programs. 12 years I’ve lived here and I never once noticed this niche enclave bookstore, which appeared to be very well regarded/utilized at 10:30 on a Tuesday morning!

About 10 blocks away from the 12-step store, I chatted with the proprietor of the Alkolock center (which I’d also never noticed before), about how this time of year is the busiest for him and why he chose to set up shop in West LA.

I closely scrutinized all the lost pet and yard sale and tango lesson flyers on light posts and decide that the multi-colored, professional print-quality one for the “lost parrot, may be hiding in a tree” was far-and-away one of the best pieces of street art ever (even if it didn’t intend to be).

I saw a swarm of hummingbirds fight a pack of pigeons for prime brooding space on the telephone wires, and win.

I heard the sounds–and the silence–of my city in a way I had never before appreciated.

And by the time I got home, I was shocked to discover that all of this (and more) had been revealed to me in less than 40 mins (including the l-o-n-g bookstore finding detour) and that my flip flops had more than held up.

That is 1000% Full of Win!

And I have to say that walking and talking and observing and being are MUCH better than typing and writing. So as I prepare to embark upon my Epic Homeless Vagabond Couch-Surfing Road Trip, I wish to prepare you in advance that my posts may be fewer or more sporadic than we might have all anticipated.

Although this iPhone 6+ makes a perfectly lovely intentional communication device (I’m very intentionally typing to you from it now), I suspect that I may direct my intentions elsewhere over these next 6 months.

Or not.

I’m just as anxious as you to learn how this all might play out.

5 Responses to “And so it begins…”

  1. Amanda December 19, 2014 at 1:45 am #

    Also much safer not to walk and text, though I am sad we didn’t get a pictorial representation of the smoker! Wishing you the best of journeys. A road trip is one of my favorite adventures, and looking forward to seeing you when you’re out this way.

    • T December 19, 2014 at 9:17 am #

      The “real world” is amazing!
      -sent from my Samsung Device

    • justadventures December 19, 2014 at 2:49 pm #


  2. Carissa Barker December 19, 2014 at 4:22 pm #

    I love this! Maybe you’ll start a trend.

    • justadventures December 19, 2014 at 9:49 pm #

      The two 13-year-olds at tonight’s dinner were very favorably impressed by the phone (which sat far away from me, conspicuously unused, on the kitchen counter) AND by my theory, so maybe there is hope for humanity!

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