Musings From A Musical Mind

Posts tagged ‘Mobile phone’

The “Un” Review

Yesterday Greg and I had the opportunity to go to the theater in our town and see “Les Miserables”.  I was really looking forward to it – because years ago we saw the stage production at 5th Avenue in Seattle.  I remember the music  being breathtaking if not haunting in its beauty.  The story itself is all about forgiveness and redemption – one of my favorite topics.  My favorite part in both the live version and on the silver screen is the scene where the priest who takes in the fugitive, Jean Valjean (played brilliantly by Hugh Jackman) – forgives and helps when Jean is caught stealing his valuables.  When the police bring him to the priest – the priest simply says, “my friend,  you forgot the most valuable candlesticks here on the table”  It is very moving.   And when the young woman played by Anne Hathaway who through a series of very unfortunate and I can’t help but think, very avoidable circumstances finds herself on the street in dire poverty, cold and illness – sings “I dreamed a dream” – I lost it.  Her performance will win many awards, I’m sure.

New phone

New phone (Photo credit: fd)

But after this point it became apparent to me that I would have to see this movie again some other time – in the privacy of my own home.  You see we were sitting a few seats away from some teenage girls.  The movie was long – they were bored and began giggling, laughing, checking their phones ( a real NO-NO in a movie theater) and when I could not take it any more the girl 2 seats to my right pulled out a noisy bag of CHIPS and began crunching them one by one – each time putting her hand in and out of the bag causing it to snap and crackle every few seconds.  To say it was distracting and disrespectful would be an understatement.  I could have made a stink about it – could have really caused a fuss and made it very awkward for the remainder of the movie – but I chose instead to practice patience and silence.

My silence comes in part to a terrible experience of “shaming” that someone gave me years ago when I was checking an email in an auditorium before a show actually started.  I don’t remember the circumstances except that it was not during any performance but clearly in a place that should not have bothered anyone.  But instead of being treated with grace and tolerance – I was severely reprimanded by a very unkind lady behind me.  I can’t remember exactly what she said – but remember how it made me feel.   I felt like a scolded 12-year-old girl.  I remember hearing this saying from years before: “It is better to discipline yourself to do the right thing than have someone else discipline you” (or shame you) – and I set out to always be conscious of doing and saying the right things as to not offend.  It is no fun to have someone tell you that cell phones aren’t allowed!!

So you can understand my hesitation in “shaming” the young ladies next to me.  Now I know many of you reading this would have said or done something.  And that’s okay.  But most of the time it does not win a friend or go well for either party – and can cause serious division and hurt feelings.  Silence, forgiveness and much grace is needed for some people in this life as demonstrated so eloquently by our leading man in the movie we were watching.  And I will admit to you – I was angry.  Movie tickets are not cheap – and we were really looking forward to this.  And we expect common courtesy and find that it’s not very common at all.  I had to fight my emotions most of the way through the long movie – and almost lost it a few times.  It took everything I had within me not to at least  SHUSH them with a BIG “SHHHHHHH”.  But then I thought, “wouldn’t that be the same as what that lady long ago had done  to me?  How did that make me feel?  Do I really want to be one of those?  But don’t you and I have our RIGHTS? ”   Yes.  But that doesn’t make it right.  Perhaps you are one that keeps order and makes sure that everyone is in “check” – but just make sure that as you feel compelled to do so – that you aren’t wounding someone with your words and actions.  Is your comfort really more important than someone’s feelings?  Is it worth it to burn that bridge?  How awkward would you feel to come across that person in the lobby or restroom after the movie – especially if you had just LET THEM HAVE IT!!  I thought about my silence when I went to the rest room afterwards.  I actually did run into one of the young ladies.  She looked at me shyly and smiled.  And I remembered that as the movie ended one of the girls said rather loudly, “that made me cry”.  I was angry at the time and wondered how she could have been still long enough to get the full impact of emotion – but you never know about some people.  We are all different.  We all process things at different rates.  And just because she was chatty and noisy – doesn’t mean that she didn’t gain something beautiful from the film.  And I hope she did.  Perhaps she will learn to be more tolerant because I didn’t spoil the movie for her by “shaming” her into being quiet – and rising up to my standards.

It seems to be an epidemic at movie theaters – especially taking out cell phones and checking them during a movie.    I don’t think I’ve gone to one movie in the last 5 years that I didn’t have to see someone do this at least once.  A few years back we bought tickets to go see a Christmas concert of Michael W. Smith here in Seattle.  Same issue.  People just couldn’t leave their phones alone.  And then there was a fussy little girl behind me that had to have snacks.  Very NOISY snacks – especially during the quiet moments.  Not fun.  Finally Greg turned around and got the attention of the Mom who didn’t seem to be paying attention to the noise – or was just used to it – and it helped but did not entirely stop.  It’s hard to believe.

I’m finding that I enjoy movies much more in my own home and from now on will REALLY have to love the movie in order to go to the theater.  This is my “un” review – since it had way more to do with people watching the movie, rather than the actual movie!

Happy movie going – I hope all the people sitting around you LEAVE THEIR CELL PHONES AT HOME.

God Bless

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Lost

I have been lost many times. Not because it is fun but because I have no sense of direction. At all.

Usually this happens in the car while driving somewhere. Sometimes I don’t even have to be in the car – but just looking for it.

When my children were small I got lost driving places all the time. Before cell phones I would get exasperated and finally pull to the side of the road and feel like having a good cry, but usually I stopped myself because the kids were in the car and I wanted them to believe that I could do anything even be strong and get them anywhere we needed to go. But they knew the truth. I was simply and hopelessly lost.

In one such comical moment when living in Fort Worth, Texas – I was driving with 5-year-old Ashlee in the pouring rain. We were on the freeway, I missed my exit and was really lost. I remember feeling so annoyed and a little scared too – I mean where in the world was I anyway? I even enlisted the help of my 5-year-old and said, “Ashlee please help me read those blasted signs!” To which she replied, “Mom – I can’t read” Oh yeah – details.

Fast forward to the mid-nineties when we had our first cell phones. I was a sales director in training in those days and did much of my business on the phone while commuting between Kirkland where we lived – and Renton where we went to church. In those days it was not against the law to talk on a cell phone while you drove so I got much done that way with my sales calls. One time because I hate to drive on the freeway in the rain – I chose to take a “back way” home. I got lost. Again. I called Greg from where I was and couldn’t even tell him where I was so the cell phone couldn’t help me!

Fast forward again to the present – where I now own an iPhone with navigational ability. Yeah for me! Yeah for progress! Except….when the maps on the iPhone takes me a “back way” just because – and l end up in a neighborhood that looks nothing like the neighborhood I’m supposed to be in! It was someplace I had been before, but not for 2 years. I thought the map would direct me so I didn’t take along the directions. I was hot, tired and in a bad mood after trying to follow to the letter – the step by step instructions on the map app. Daisy my 8 month old puppy was along for the “easy” drive and gave up on being patient 30 minutes previous to me finally pulling along the side of the road. I thought to myself, “this can’t be happening to me again” and was not a bit funny as I found myself wanting to cry. How silly, I thought. Who cries over being lost? I guess I do.

I called Greg and he suggested that I try mapquest or another map app – and if that didn’t work – I should just go back to the place I remember and the map app would redirect me. If he heard me whining and whimpering (just a little) he never let on. I mean – how bad could it be, right? Except for being hot and cranky and Daisy too – we were still in one piece, had less than a quarter tank of gas and no one needed to go to the bathroom. Yet. I tried the address in mapquest and a funny thing happened. It did not even recognize the address and tried to give me an alternate one. After circling around in that neighborhood a few times I finally found my way out and to the main road. I had to rely on my very bad memory and NO sense of direction to get me to the right street – but I eventually found it.

But a strange thing happened as I perused the house numbers. The house that I knew had to be the house was one number off from the address I had typed into the map app.

Oh brother.

Have you ever been really lost? What’s your story?

God Bless

Instant In Season

Last night I was sitting on the love seat in our living room – getting ready to watch the movie “Radio” with Greg, when suddenly my cell phone rang.

I will back up and give you a little history on that phone call.

We are getting a little Bichon Frise puppy from a lady in the Tri-Cities area named Monica.  She and I have developed an email and phone relationship as she has watched over and cared for our little puppy, who was born very tiny, has been bottle fed every hour and a half for the first 3 weeks of her life, and coaxed and coddled into growing and being healthy.  Monica has been careful to allow me to be a part of the process through pictures and phone calls.  She is a loving person who thinks of her three adult Bichon’s and all their puppies, as her children.

We had planned a trip to go see our puppy tomorrow, when Monica called me at the beginning of the week to tell me she was very ill and would have to have surgery to remove her gall bladder.  Surgery was scheduled for yesterday morning.  I texted and told her we would be definitely praying for her and the family – for a fast recovery and strength over the next few weeks.  She thanked me and I anxiously waited to hear something yesterday evening.  I sent off another text and then went to sit on the love seat to watch our movie.

The cell phone rang.  It was Monica.  She didn’t sound like herself.  She apologized and said, “I’m sorry, I feel bad because I don’t know you very well – but…could you please pray for me?  I’m really sick and I’ve been throwing up every 15 minutes since the surgery.”   I acted immediately – and said, “YES.  Let’s pray right now!”  and I did.  I’m not sure what I said – I was a little stunned, because it isn’t every day that someone asks you to do this – but somehow in that moment the Lord helped me and I was able to pray peace on that situation – and that the doctor would be able to get a hold of the situation and figure it out – FAST.

It was an “instant in season” moment.  You know the kind.  When your called upon to do the extraordinary – in a very ordinary time.  To  be “filled up” with God –  so that in these “moments”  responding is done without hesitation.  Sometimes, if I’m honest – I don’t feel like this.  I feel very inadequate.  But in spite of my weakness – He spoke through me and was strong.

Somehow she knew that I was a Christian – we had never discussed it.  But when she had a real emergency – a real life or death need, she knew who to call and that I would pray.

It was after the prayer that I was able to tell her that we are Christians and that we believe and have a faith that God not only understands us – but that He made our bodies and that He cares.  I told her that Greg was a minister and had been for almost 30 years now.  This was amazing to her – but very comforting in her time of need.  Her vomiting sounded very much like an allergic reaction to the pain meds – because something similar had happened years ago to Greg when having his wisdom teeth removed.  I told her about my hunch – and this morning I received a text from her saying that the doctor discovered that she indeed had an allergic reaction to the drugs. And all is well.

It is certain that the bonding moment that we shared in prayer during that crisis will be a pivotal moment for both Monica and her husband who was in the hospital room with her while I prayed for her on the phone.

Never take little “moments” with people for granted – you never know when you are being placed in someone’s life for their moment of crisis.

Stay close to Him.

Stay “instant in season”  and even “out of season”  because – well… you never know.

Turn your ordinary – into the extraordinary.

God Bless

 

Are You An Early Adopter?

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Image by The Daring Librarian via Flickr

My husband likes to say this about me, “Cindy is an ‘early adopter’ and an ‘early embracer'”  I like new ideas – can move well into new concepts, even if they are somewhat difficult to wrap my brain around.  I love a challenge.  I love new technology.  I will usually be one of the first to jump in.  I will learn it if it KILLS ME!

But I also have a really practical side.  Some would call it “cheap” – but I like practical and careful.  I do my research – am an avid reader and learn all I can about new things.  I love the latest gadget and you don’t have to convince me of anything – except the price.  For example:  I have a free wordpress.com account for my blog, I have a 3G iPhone that I got for $99 a couple of years ago when the latest iPhone came out that summer.  I have two free music accounts on my computer, Pandora and Spotify.  Sure the ads are annoying – but pay for a monthly subscription when I can get it for free?  Never!  I live on Ebay and NEVER pay retail for anything.  And I would LOVE to have an iPad – and I’m looking for a used one for $99 and then I’m IN!!

My husband Greg is a late adopter, and a “late embracer”.  Although I think he embraces things and new people faster than he thinks he does.  He is what I would call a slow processer.  Nothing wrong with that – it’s just another way of  looking at things.  He does not jump on the latest technology right away.  He has to think about it and process things before he decides.  I bought him his first iPhone a few years ago and he has the one that is the 3GS – one step better than mine – so it will do video where mine won’t – a feature that he has used quite a bit.

And he is also very practical – even more so than I am.  So paying for things like computers, cell phones, web pages and music subscriptions do not sit well with him at all.   But being a practical man – who also has a small business, he has had to have two web pages and he pays a monthly fee to maintain both of them.  Because this is for “work” and not “play” he can easily justify it – as it brings him monthly business and that means money.  But I remember this being hard for him – he didn’t jump right on.

I am aware of the “early adopters” – they are all on google+ – the techno geeks and those who are interested in the latest trends in social media.  I was one of the first ones on there as well – and it’s been fun to connect with all the “movers and shakers” of technology.  Some are impractical and have the latest phones and computers – some are practical like me and do not – but we are all in the same vehicle – moving forward and seeing if this generation will be changed by what google is doing right now.

I am aware of the “late adopters”.  I have some in my family and in my circle of friends.  Some are on the internet via facebook and twitter – some are not on either one and use email as their only source of connecting with the outside world.  Believe it or not – some of these people don’t even have a cell phone.  I know it’s hard to believe – but there it is.

So my question is:

Which one are you?  Early or late adopter?  Practical or impractical?  Do you easily embrace new ideas and try to incorporate them into your lifestyle – or do you tend to think about things first and see if it will be useful?  I’d love to hear your story!

God Bless

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