Tag Archives: Oxford Mississippi

No Cellphone? Yeah, what of it?

I do not own a cellphone.

There, I said it.

I realize that puts me in the overwhelming minority of Americans, but I’m really okay with that. I can’t tell you, though, the number of shocked and surprised looks I get when this information comes forward. Many react like I’ve told them I don’t own shoes and they simply can’t comprehend what I’ve just said. Of course, it isn’t unusual that folks can’t comprehend what I say. “I” sometimes can’t comprehend what I say.

It’s not that I’ve never had one, I have. Twice.

The first time I owned a cellphone I enjoyed it. It was during those brief months when I worked selling academic furniture (yeah, I know—long story THERE, too!) and traveled the states of Tennessee, Kentucky and Arkansas. I wasn’t usually gone for more than a couple of days, but I spend considerable time on the road and it was good to have to speak with university representatives, my bosses, and—of course—my family.

This was in the days before the smartphones (that’s one word, right?) and so my biggest concern was actually getting a signal. The “can you hear me now” commercial often applied to my experience. This would have been 2005, nearly ten years ago now.

After that job disappeared, the phone went with it. No, “I” paid for it—but I didn’t see a need for it once I stopped traveling.

Fast forward to 2011 when I took a job in Orlando, Fl., but still owned a home (and a family!) in Oxford, Ms. So, I got another one so that I could keep my family posted during my drive/commute and while I was away. The first year of my employment saw me a week here, week there, etc., so there was a lot of driving. On top of that, eldest child reaches the age where “everybody else has a cellphone, I should too,” wah wah wah. And when she started driving, the idea sounded a lot better.

Fast forward once again just slightly to 2012 when the entire family decides to get on “a plan.” Yep, they sold it to us that way. So, we all got smartphones except for the youngest. Except, this time, I didn’t really see a need for it. We kept them for several months until the entire family finally joined me in Orlando and the provider we had did not(and still does not, I think) service the area. So we got out. But the family wanted a new “plan” in Orlando.

Except I opted out.

Yep. S’true. While I found the smartphone a fun gadget, I didn’t really “need” it (what I needed was to sell my house in Oxford—but that’s another story!) and so I was having a real hard time justifying the expense.

The only time I really regret the decision is when wifey sends me to the grocery store and I find myself staring at product labels. Only then would I really like to have a phone.

Maybe I should try to get one of those Obama phone?

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Eventually, everything breaks

An old friend of mine used to always tell me that computer hard drives have a 100% failure rate. I’m not sure if it was originally his or not, but he was fond of saying it whenever we talked about computers. Initially, I had a hard time wrapping my brain around that—“but I just bought this hard drive, how can you tell me that there is a 100% chance it will fail.”

To date, he’s been absolutely correct. For computers, I just move my information from the old one to the next and keep going.

But I’m finding that there are a lot of other things that possibly fall into that category, particularly anything that uses electricity.

I missed blogging last week because we loaded up a 26foot Uhaul and then spent 2 days driving 750 miles with it packed so tight I was sticking things in with a half-open (or was it half-closed?) door. Then I had to put it all directly into a storage because we still have no place to move to yet.

But the point is that BJ and I had this lamp that I’d wanted for some time before we actually got it. It was my favorite. Those of you more astute writers have picked up on the past tense. The lamp wasn’t fancy, nor was it really that expensive. When we got our sectional sofa (eighteen years ago), I wanted one of those cool lamps that spread out into five different pieces so it would light up every spot on the sofa—I could read anywhere I sat. So we got it—and I loved the lamp.

The sofa is now gone, too. We decided a few months back that after eighteen years, the sofa would not be making the trip to Florida with us.

The lamp DID, though.

After I put everything in storage…tired as all get out, I put the lamp in the back of my truck to take it to our tiny apartment (it’s a one room and VERY temporary) so that I could continue to use it.

When we pulled up at the apartment the kids grabbed armfuls of stuff and headed in because we were all tired. When I went to take the lamp out, I saw the base had a piece broken off. When I actually picked it up to take it out of the truck, the base just…crumbled. Crumbled into so many pieces. I didn’t realize it until it broke that it was a concrete block base wrapped in some thick plastic/rubber material.

There was nothing to do but toss the entire thing.

I guess that’s why the really “old” things go in museums.

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Normalcy? What’s that?

Okay, so I’m still struggling to find some normalcy in my life as far as time goes…and while one of my more smart-aleck readers noted that if I have time to blog I have time to write, I view writing here as writing. That’s part of the problem—I’m not having much time for either! Ack! On the positive front, my new class (Writing for Comics and Animation) is in high gear and I’m enjoying the heck out of it. I mean, I’m getting to teach something I really enjoy! My ground class will begin in August and I’m a little apprehensive about it, but still anxious for it. I’ll miss my colleagues in the MFA program…but, not really because I haven’t moved my desk and none of them have changed seats so they’re all still in the same place and I get to see them just like I did before. Unless there’s been a decision of which I’m unaware, I’ll still be reading comic/graphic novel theses for the MFA program when possible.

We’ve still not sold the house in Oxford—so please; if any of you know of someone looking for a home to buy (or RENT at this point), please point them our way. Four bedrooms, wood burning fireplace, nearly three acres, good community. We’d love to just pick it up and bring it with us…but you know how that goes.

We’ve started looking in the areas around Full Sail and have seen some interesting homes. Nothing that really sang out to us and said: This is it! So we’re still looking—we want to make sure we get a place that will be in a good school district for Brett. Brittany has decided to go to Full Sail University—yep, where I teach. Yep, was a surprise for us, too. I think she likes the idea that FSU focuses on what the students want to do and doesn’t waste time with a lot of fluff classes. Man, I wish I could undo some of those ridiculous math classes I was forced to take in college. I can honestly say I haven’t used anything I learned (or didn’t) from the math classes. What a waste of time!

On the writing front, I hope to post about some of the comic projects I’m working on soon. For the most part…I’m waiting on the multi-talented artists to clear their schedules and get some stuff done. Ah…the life of a comic writer. I still can’t say anything about the secret project graphic novel I’m in the middle of writing, but as soon as I can, y’all will be the first to know! I’m also working on a short story for a project—well, I’d better not mention it yet, either, because I don’t know if they want me to yet.

And, if you haven’t picked it up yet, don’t forget I have a short story in the anthology Southern Haunts! Here are SouthernHauntslinks to various editions. If you get the print copy, I’m happy to sign it for you the next time I see you! 🙂

Print (softcover) and kindle editions:

http://www.amazon.com/Southern-Haunts-Spirits-That-Among/dp/1937929124

http://www.amazon.com/Southern-Haunts-Spirits-Among-ebook/dp/B00BWUXMX4

Nook edition:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/southern-haunts-alexander-s-brown/1114845597?ean=2940016185934&itm=1&usri=southern+haunts

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