The recent Harvey Weinstein scandal has resonated with women everywhere. It’s been amazing to see so many brave women come out in support of each other. It’s also amazing to see sexual assault and harassment in general being brought to light and denounced more so […]
One afternoon in 2005, I was browsing for freelance gigs on Craigslist when one caught my attention.”$18-$20 PER HOUR-EXPERIENCED CATER WAITERS AND EVENT STAFF WANTED. MUST BE OVER 21 AND OWN FULL TUXEDO.” Well I certainly wasn’t experienced and had no tuxedo, but I WAS […]
I had never thought about getting killed at school before Columbine happened. It was certainly a scary thought that I could be sitting in Math class and be dead a moment later.9/11 happened as I started my Senior year of High School. By the time I graduated it felt like America’s innocence had been lost, and I was graduating into a whole new world. If America were a VHS, I would have rewound it into the innocent, naive past and paused there forever. But just like a movie playing, the world moved forward. All of those promises we made after Columbine were lost. America gave thoughts and prayers, said “never again” and “things need to change”.
Many gun owners equate gun control with the idea that their guns will be taken away. This is not the case. The GOP likes to fear monger this idea, and not educate Americans on how these regulations would actually work. This is because they receive a TON of money from the gun lobby. We are talking over 18.6 million on various campaigns. Though 90% of Americans support a simple background check for every gun purchase, the right wing congress values their funding over the lives of every man woman and child in this country. But, not to worry. If god forbid one of your friends or family every get shot, they will tweet their thoughts and prayers for you.
Let’s be clear. Having effective gun control laws in place will not take away guns. Americans will still be able to hunt with them, own & buy them. The laws we need so desperately would simply make it harder to obtain a gun. This means, if you piss off a crazy person, they can’t just walk to the nearest Walmart, buy as many semi-automatic weapons as they want, and massacre you and your entire office staff. I can’t imagine why anyone would be ok with that idea.
So why can’t America grow some balls and follow the lead of other countries who have taken a stand against these shootings?
Lets take a look at Australia, Norway, and Great Britain.
After Australia’s Port Arthur massacre in 1996 which killed 35 people, strict gun control laws were put in place. The new legislation prohibited sale of semi-automatic and rapid fire guns. They required a 28 day waiting period to obtain a gun. Firearm owners had to be 18, complete a safety course, and have a genuine reason for owning a gun. Reasons could include sport shooting, hunting or occupational requirements. The amount of ammunition sold was restricted, and gun licenses could be restricted if evidence of mental illness was found. They also used revenue from a small tax hike to buy back over 700,000 fire arms. By 2012, suicide rates had dropped by 80%. Studies show the laws have not ended gun violence, but have decreased it in huge numbers. There hasn’t been a school shooting
In response to the 1996 Dunblane school shooting, the UK completely banned sale of semi-automatic and pump action firearms. They began to require gun registration, and banned private handgun ownership in mainland Britain. Though the drop in gun violence wasn’t as significant as it was in Australia, the number of killing are still less than 10% of those that happen in America.
In Norway in 2011, a shooter mass murdered 69 people on Utoya Island attending youth camp. Gun ownership and ammunition sales were strictly regulated in response, and a full ban on the type of semi-automatic weapon used was put into place. There are now 32 guns to every 100 people in Norway, and 89 per 100 in the United States.
I think the important thing we can take from these three countries, is that they took action. Yes, everyone knows that taking the same precautions these countries have will not end gun violence. There will always be a way to get guns illegally, even with laws. That old saying that guns don’t kill people, people kill people is true. But a person with a semi-automatic and unlimited ammunition can do a hell of a lot more damage than someone with a knife can. If implementing some restrictions can save the live of even one innocent victim, why wouldn’t we?
Despite what your views on gun control are, I hope there’s one thing I hope we can all agree on. School and massacre shootings are a tragic, horrific thing. They should make you angry. They should make you livid. As an American citizen and human they should make you want to stand up and shout for a change. Because if nothing changes, we will be here in another 19 years still saying “never again.”
Just like the girl in Mamma Mia, I grew up hearing about how I had three possible Dads. Yep, my Mom got around. So when I was born, I was given the same last name as my unmarried mother for obvious reasons. To make matters more complicated, that last name wasn’t actually her family (aka maiden) name. Confused yet?
The story goes, my mother had gotten married at sixteen years old and changed her last name. The guy turned out to be crazy, and ended up becoming extremely abusive to her. She left him a few years after, and at one point he showed up and put a gun to her head telling her he would kill her if she didn’t go back to him. My mother says, she told him to go ahead and shoot her-but he didn’t. She never saw him again.
That relationship ended in divorce a few years later in the late 60’s, but my mother never changed her last name back to her birth name. When I was born many years later, I was assigned that last name from her first husband, which was completely meaningless to me family wise.
Growing up, I would often try to come up with different last names that I liked better. My diary entries as far back as age seven show me signing my last name in over eight different variations. It was very, very obvious that from a young age I was unhappy with my name. Growing up, I hated always having people ask if I was related to so and so who shared my last name, and always having to say no and explain my awkward situation.
By the time I was a teenager I had decided on a few different “stage name” options, but had never thought about legally changing my last name. The process seemed daunting and expensive. So, just like my mother had for so many years, I lived with this last name which had no connection to me.
I did eventually get to meet my real Dad in my early twenties before he passed away, but I didn’t feel the relationship was strong enough to change my last name to his. And since I am very against the patriarchy of women changing their last names at marriage, that was never an option for me to look to in the future.
So there I sat, over thirty years old and still pining away with this last name I hated.
Through my years of searching for a random last name to replace my own, I had never found anything that fit or felt just right. The day my new name finally came to me, it hit me like a ton of bricks. I was going to change my middle and last name to become Renée Nicole Gray.
Gray felt more right to me than any of those other last names I had thought of replacing mine with over the years. Because Gray is my actual blood family. My grandparents on my Mother’s side were Gray’s and it was my mothers birth last name. I had been looking everywhere for something that was right in front of me all along. I knew that if I ever make a mark on the world it would be most meaningful to me to have it be with my actual family name. How had it taken me so long to figure this out?
As I watched the election results roll in on November 8th, my emotions went from optimistic, to hopeful, to completely speechless and horrified. A thick sense of dread came over me when it was announced Donald Trump was officially our new President-elect. It felt like […]
I’ll never forget election day 2008. As I stood in line to vote in Bed Stuy, Brooklyn, I witnessed such raw emotions on peoples faces as they voted for the first African American president. There was such a palpable sense of pride and joy in that gymnasium that it was contagious. At one point while I was in line, an elderly woman hugged her neighbor and started crying, saying “I never thought i’d see the day.” Later that night when Obama was declared the winner, a party erupted on the streets of NYC. People started streaming from bars, cheering, crying, popping bottles and hugging each other. Obama promised hope, and we were all overflowing with it at that moment. It was like nothing I have ever seen, and I am so glad I was alive to witness that historic day.
Tomorrow, we have the opportunity to witness another equally historic moment by electing the first female President in history. As much as people try to argue that gender is not an important factor in this election, it truly is. On August 18th, 1920 the 19th amendment granted all women the right to vote. On that day we gained the right to no longer be voiceless housewives. Tomorrow, 96 years later, we could finally elect a female President, but it took us 96 years to get on a major party ballot, and that is a long damn time.
Though I believe she is the best candidate for the job, voting tomorrow is about so much more than just Hillary Clinton. It’s about helping to shatter that glass ceiling, not just for my generation but for the women before me who fought for equality, and the baby girls who are too young to even remember this election. While visiting a museum of Presidential portraits recently, it stuck me that the walls were lined with the faces of man after man after man, and we just accept it as the norm. It may be what we all grew up seeing, but it’s time that little girls have someone in those rows of Presidents that looks like them.
We still live in an America where gender inequality and discrimination is alive and well. We still live in a America where women have to fight for equal pay, the right to choose, and many face the difficult task of juggling a career with motherhood while facing workplace discrimination. The fight for equality is far from over, but electing a women who fights for it to our highest leadership role is a damn good start. As I check that ballot box for Hillary tomorrow, i’ll be thinking about how lucky I am to be alive in an era with another progressive, historic election at hand. I’ll also be thinking about Susan B Anthony, Lucy Stone, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the thousands of women who spent their lives fighting for equality so that we could see this day.
|“Look at where we are, look at where we started.”–Hamilton|
So let’s all stop trying to act like gender doesn’t matter & electing our first feminist, female president isn’t a really big fucking deal. It’s a huge deal. Tomorrow is bigger than any of us for so many reasons. I hope women across the world are as excited to live through, and celebrate this momentous moment in history as I am.
Despite the many extremely patriarchal and sexist rooted traditions that take place in wedding ceremonies, the most disturbing is when the couple is introduced as “Mr & Mrs Jones”, and everyone claps. It feels to me as if the women has just lost her gender […]
I sent an email, and was asked in for an interview that same week. Upon arriving at the venue, I was greeted by the HR manager, Eric. The 12,000 square foot space was near empty at that point, with some art installations and boxes everywhere. It was also really, really bright white. Almost blindingly so. The HR manager bragged for awhile about how he was a website designer for some C list Broadway stars and I pretended to be impressed.
During the interview I was told that the owner of the museum had become rich from being one of the first pioneers to create HDTV. A few months after the attacks he had become obsessed with paying tribute to 9/11 and NYC, as the city revived itself. The museum he was opening would be based around one main attraction: two 80 seat theaters that showcased a fifteen minute HD film recreating the 9/11 attacks, complete with chairs that vibrated and moved. The interactive film experience was going to be called “Rockin’ 9/11!”
If hired as a host, I would be introducing the film every half hour, as well as controlling the lights and managing possible vomiting from motion sickness. Since the museum was just steps away from the tourist and rubble filled former WTC site, they hoped it would draw in enough people to become the next big NYC tourist attraction. At that point no one had made any kind of tribute space or museum for 9/11, and this was long before the official ones were created. Eric told me that they were scheduled to have a soft opening all Summer, and have the Grand Opening on the third anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, Sept. 11, 2004. The museum was going to be called “9/11 LIVE!”
The first requirement of me getting this gig was making sure I could handle watching the film. I agreed to watch it before leaving, and was ushered into the very creepy theatre all by myself. The film was really intense-especially since the seats moving and vibrating made you actually “feel” the planes hitting. The lights came up and I exited the theatre to find a man waiting outside who looked almost exactly like Mr. Burns from The Simpsons.
He expectantly asked what I thought of the film. “Wow, that was great- certainly life like!” I said. Mr. Burns introduced himself as the museum owner and creator of the film. Before I left, Eric took some notes about my schedule and told me he looked forward to seeing me at training.
A month later, the staff and museum was assembled for the soft opening and I was working about twenty hours a week steadily. Like most new businesses, they were not having an easy time getting customers in. Eric decided that since it was so slow, he was going to send us out to hit the streets and hand out flyers. A few other employees and myself were not thrilled about this new task. Being one of those annoying flyer people on the streets was not really what we had signed up for.
We were each given piles of hundreds of flyers, split into teams of two and told to walk around the Wall Street Bull area, Battery Park City and Ground Zero to hand them out. “Come see “Rockin 9/11!” we would say as we tried to hand flyers to tourists who mostly ignored us. Once in awhile a local would grab one and be like-“FUCK YOU!” After awhile we got fed up and started dumping the flyers in garbage cans, then coming back to work after spending an hour in an air conditioned Starbucks nearby.
|Tourists at the Wall St. Bull|
As the Summer continued, it seemed like the museum space was growing and morphing every time I got to work. Life-sized images of WTC rubble appeared on the towering white walls and new merchandise, like hardcover photo books with 9/11 images arrived daily. One day while bored and working at the merch counter, I sifted through one of the photo books. A color photo of a severed foot with the high heel still attached was staring me in the face. Horrified, I slammed the book shut and never opened it again. I could not get the image out of my head for days.
Soon, some press write-ups brought in a slow but steady stream of customers. I was able to start introducing the “Rockin 9/11!” film regularly, and would often hear rumors that the owner would run upstairs to watch the audiences reactions on hidden cameras that were in the theaters. The staff was required to wear walkie talkies while working, and we soon discovered that not only was Mr. Burns able to listen in to everything we said while at work, the place was also loaded with hidden cameras to monitor us at all times.
With every stream of business came new morbid additions and artifacts, and museum began to take on a creepy life of it’s own. It was often quiet and empty inside which added to the overall eeriness. Where ever you looked you could not escape the tragedy that happened just blocks away, not even three years prior. It was a really depressing place to spend 6 hours a day. When my shifts ended, I would exit the 9/11 sensory overload only to have to walk right past the Ground Zero site to get to my train home.
After a few months working here, experiencing “9/11 LIVE!” started to become engraved into my brain. I began to have repetitive 9/11 nightmares that have continued to this day. In my dreams I was either running from the falling buildings, inside a plane that was about to crash into them, or stuck in an elevator inside a tower. I would often wake up from these vivid nightmares, only to head back to work surrounded by imagery and video of that horrible day over and over again.
With the third anniversary of 9/11 swiftly approaching, more staff members had started to quit. Those of us left started fighting over who would have to do the final walk through at night because we were all so creeped out by the place. On Sept 10th, Eric had a brief staff meeting and told us how important the next day would be to bring in business. It was our make or break day. Because of this he wanted us all out pounding the pavement with flyers and coupons around the ground zero site. We all looked at each other with wide eyes, knowing this might be a really bad idea. Not only were many family members of victims paying respects at the site that day, the place was also swarming with media. None of us really wanted to be seen on CNN advertising a “Rockin 9/11.” We all also needed to keep our jobs. To help motivate us, Eric said we would each get an extra $3 for every ticket sold from a flyer we handed out.
So with our hands full of flyers and coupons, wearing “9/11 Live!” emblazoned t-shirts we headed toward ground zero as a united front of starving actors, clearly willing to do anything to make a buck.
We sheepishly stood around the sidelines of ground zero observing the crazy scene of media, tourists and t-shirt vendors. It didn’t take long before we saw one of the victims family members scream at a guy selling 9/11 postcards. “My brother was murdered here, how dare you make money off of his death?!” One of my co workers who was a go-getter, was the first to try and get some flyers out. The next thing we knew a huge Italian guy had him right by his 9/11 Live! t-shirt threatening him to get the fuck out. The rest of us, who were already not on board with this idea took off back to the museum. Eric was not happy to see us. When we explained that we all might get our asses kicked if we kept trying to hand out flyers at ground zero, he begrudgingly agreed on putting us at another location.
The next day we had our grand opening, and only five people showed up the entire day. We were blamed for not doing a good enough job flyering. The venue still brought in enough income as an event place to sustain a bit longer, but our shifts quickly dried up, and the museum eventually shuttered. I read about the space being sold in 2005. I guess nobody wanted to have a “Rockin 9/11” after all.
By now, we’ve all seen the video and stories. A four year old was clearly not being watched by his loser parents, and slipped into the enclosed Gorilla habitat at the Cincinnati Zoo. This kid had time to get through wires, and over a moat […]
The youngest in the family, Kyle and Kendall Jenner aren’t doing so bad themselves. They have earned over $12 million from modeling, endorsements and creating product lines like Bellami Hair.
Think what you will about this family, but they deserve a lot more respect than they get. In fact, they are laughing all the way to the bank. Viva Kardashians!
Earlier this month Disney World announced that aspiring bridezillas all over the work can now plan to have their dream wedding in front of Cinderella’s castle. For just $75,000, you to can pretend to be a Disney Princess, kiss your prince and live happily ever […]
The first time I made this pie it knocked my socks off, and i’ve been making it every holiday since.
The best part about this recipe, is how quick it is to make. It also bakes on the stovetop which is great if you have a meal or Turkey cooking in the oven. I highly recommend bourbon to pair both with baking and eating this pie. Enjoy!
Renee’s Coconut Cream Piegasm
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Calories: Probably 10 million. Yolo!
Here’s what you need:
1 cup of white sugar
1/2 cup of all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon of salt
3 cups of milk
3 tablespoons of butter
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup flaked coconut
Here’s how to make it!
1-In a large bowl separate your egg yolks from whites. Make sure this is a bowl that can handle heat. You won’t need the egg whites and can toss them, or save them for an omelet the next day like I do:) Beat the egg yolks until fluffy. You’ll need them in a few minutes.
2-Toss a medium size saucepan on the stovetop. Combine your sugar, flour and salt, over medium heat, then slowly stir in the milk. Continue to stir and cook until the mixture is bubbly and thick. DO NOT STOP STIRRING! This part is really important because once you stop, the mixture quickly hardens at the bottom of the sauce pan. I’ve made this mistake before and had to start over. Reduce the heat to low and let cook two minutes more while watching closely to avoid clumping.
3. Pour about 1 cup of the hot mixture into your bowl of egg yolks. Stir together, then pour the yellow mixture back into the sauce pan and bring everything to a gentle boil so you don’t get salmanila. Cook and continuously stir for another two minutes before removing the saucepan from the heat.
4. Stir in your butter, vanilla, and coconut. Pour the filling into the pie crust and boom-you are all done! Like all pie-this is best served with whipped cream. Cover and chill if not serving right away.
I am a coconut lover, so I tend to add additional coconut flakes to the top of my pie. It also makes it look extra pretty.
If you make this recipe, please let me know how it turned out in the comments.
I was a Freshman in high school when the Columbine shooting happened. April 20th, 1999 changed everything about going to school. For the rest of the year, we had emergency drills, and were sent home for many copycat threats that followed. Counselors were on hand […]
Donald Trump. He gives no fucks. He apologizes for nothing and backs down for no one. America loves to hate him, and stupider, crazier shit flies out of his mouth daily. He’s now insulted Mexicans, war hero’s, veterans, and most Republicans. The Des Moines register has called for him to “pull the plug on his side show“, and many think he is making a mockery of the presidential election.
For every person who think he’s an idiot, double that many like his in your face, point blank style. In fact, in the past few days, his number have surged in the GOP polls. As of this week, 24 percent of registered Republicans favor him-gaining the biggest lead of any GOP candidate. Bush, Christie, Cruz and Paul’s numbers have all been steadily declining in “The Donald’s” wake. These numbers are important because they will determine who will qualify for the first Republican debate on August 6th in Cleveland. Only the top ten will be participating. And let’s be honest-with Trump involved, we ALL cannot wait to see the hot mess that will be. Trump isn’t the only mess to throw his hat in the ring though. From a public standpoint, it appears that the entire Republican party has gone off the rails on a crazy train, Ozzy Osbourne style.
In Donald’s speech announcing his candidacy, he spilled some serious truth tea about this country and politics. Though i’m a liberal Democrat, I personally loved it. I found it refreshing, because I love people who aren’t afraid to speak their mind. I even told a few people that he was going to make it to the end of this race, which they of course laughed at. Judging by the current numbers, I might still be right. The fact that Trump is getting more media attention than legit politicians speaks volumes about the current state of America. Every day our culture becomes more hashtag, social media, celebrity, and reality TV obsessed than ever. Everyone loves to watch a train wreck, and comedians are rejoicing in the gold mine of material that this GOP race is providing, all thanks to Trump.
The truth is, Donald Trump is a very smart, very connected man, which leads me to think this all could easily be big act. Trump is smart enough to know that he has a snowballs chance in hell of actually getting into the White House, but no money can buy the kind of press he is getting right now.
No one seriously running for office would be spewing endless offensive bullshit. Instead of having his speech writers police him, he probably has them writing all of this crazy stuff to get more attention. I’m sure he goes home and laughs at the rise in his numbers, as he gets more offensive. His endless money also ensures that he will not have to drop out of the race as many do, due to lack of donations.
If the poll’s continue in his favor, he will likely face Hillary in the general election.
Trump’s obnoxious, blunt style basically insures a win for Hillary, or whoever the Democratic nominee is in 2016. You must admit, the “phantom candidate” is a pretty ingenious Shonda Rhimes, Scandal worthy plot. Only time will tell if it works or not, or if he is in fact, just this oblivious.
Last week I received a mailing at my apt that read “YO SOY NYC es la nueva tarjeta de identificacion gratis para todos los residentes de Nueva York.” Luckily the flip side was in English. This postcard informed me that there was a brand new, […]
With pride months growing in popularity all over the world, the sight of the rainbow flag is becoming ever more present in today’s society.
|the original eight stripe flag|
|The 1.25 mile flag displayed in Key West, 2003|
Baker went on to design many other flags for events like The Superbowl, Democratic National Convention, and for Presidents and Kings of other countries. In 1994 Baker was called upon to create the world’s largest rainbow flag for the 25th anniversary of the Stonewall riots. This was recreated in Key West in 2003, with all original eight stripes and stretched a mile and a quarter.
Lady Bunny once said: “I’m from New York City, where the Pride parade is often viewed as a marketing opportunity for Red Bull and Sprint, who hire straight bodybuilders to dance on their floats. The organizers, Heritage of Pride, have now copyrighted “NYC Pride” and […]
Recently, I read about a daughter and mother banned from a father-daughter dance in MO. A protest party was thrown for the little girl to make her feel better. As a kid my Mom took me to a similar type of dance. but instead of getting a party after, I got traumatized.
It was the early 90’s and as Valentines Day approached, the local radio station 92 Moose was heavily advertising a Valentines Day, father-daughter dance. All the girls at school were talking about going, and what dresses they were going to wear, but there was a major reason I couldn’t join in on the fun.
I grew up never knowing who my Dad was. It was one of those touchy, off the table topics that no one really talked about. Once, my older sister opened a cereal box that had a fingerprint test game to tell you if you were an alien or not. I took it and she started screaming that I was officially an alien who had been adopted. I started crying and my Mom had to calm me down by telling me I wasn’t an adopted alien.
As I got older, in a Maine town of basic, small minded people I certainly felt more and more like an alien who didn’t belong there.
As this Valentines Day dance drew closer, my Mom started conspiring with another single Mom who lived down the hall. I didn’t know the woman very well, but I remember that she still had that six years after the trend, 80’s teased bangs thing happening. Her daughter was the same age I was and in my classes, but we weren’t friends.
One day after school my Mom told me she had a surprise for me. We were going to go to the father-daughter dance, along with the neighbor and her daughter! My Mom was one of the few people in my town not to have a drivers license or car, so just being able to get to a place was a big deal. I was young enough to be excited to go to the dance, but old enough to know that it seemed like a stupid idea. I was sure I would be made fun of, but guessed to them this was some kind of single Mom protest. Why should their daughters be left out? Occupy father-daughter dance! #chicksnotdicks or something.
I was always a daydreamer, so for the next week I imagined what it would be like to go to a father daughter dance with no father. I had fantasies of my Dad showing up to rescue me. He looked like Michael Caine-mad classy, and he would know who I was just by looking at me. Then he would swing me around the dance floor Cinderella style and we would live happily ever after.
On the day of the dance, I got all dressed up and we got ready to head out with the neighbors. I was surprised that when we got to the car, a big dude was in the drivers seat. The apparent single Mom power protest was no longer, because trashy neighbor was bringing her tattoo covered winner boyfriend. I guess my Mom knew he was going because she didn’t seem surprised. We sat in the car while all the adults smoked a cigarette before we took off.
When we arrived at the dance there were lot’s of red and pink hearts, a big dj booth, mood lighting and tables all around. In her anti-social fashion, my mother suggested we sit in the batch of empty tables toward the far right of the room. The girl with me took off to dance with her Mom’s boyfriend, so I sat and quietly drank my Diet Pepsi. I already didn’t blend in as the only girl with no Dad, and now I stuck out like a sore thumb. My Mom kept trying to get me to dance with her, but I was mortified and refused.
There were some raffles and contests throughout the dance, but I lost them all and didn’t take home any prizes or chocolate filled hearts. At the end of the night the DJ announced it was time for a slow dance. The lights got dim and all the Dad’s led their little girls out onto the dance floor. I looked out from my empty table and saw many of them dancing with there feet on top of their Dad’s feet. Even as an adult that memory of the dancing feet is vividly embedded in my brain. It was at that moment that I realised I would never have anybody’s feet to dance on, and that my Dad wasn’t going to show up to rescue me. For the rest of my life I would always be the fatherless daughter, wishing I could join the dance.
During the first few visits, the Apple “Geniuses” told me to try a few tactics to get the phone to work better. I tried turning off location services, deleting useless apps, and doing a full restore to original settings. My little iPhone 5s was still pissed as fuck and refused to work properly.
So, I dragged my ass for a FOURTH time to the Apple store. This time, the “Genius” ran all in-depth diagnostics, told me the operating system was basically crap and that they would replace it. I was super relieved I wouldn’t have to make a 5th trip to the Apple store. I literally would have lost my shit if I had to wait in line with one more tourist trying to buy an unlocked iPhone.
So, genius typed in all of my info and said– “Well, it looks like the wait time to take the phone into the back to take it apart to check it for 3rd party apps is two hours.”
Third party apps?
TWO HOURS!!!?????? My mind was racing for a moment trying to imagine two full hours disconnected from the world.
How would I see how many Instagram likes I had? See what the people I met once on Facebook were doing? See who followed and liked me on Twitter?
This may have been the first moment since the miracle of Easter Jesus invented the iPhone, that I would be disconnected for hours.
I took a deep breathe and deleted all content from my old phone, cuz you know the most entertaining thing those Apple geniuses get to do all day is go through people’s selfies and texts. I handed over my 5s and headed into the world for the first time in years, disconnected.
I opened the glass doors of the Apple mecca and felt the crisp Winter air hit my face. It was like being born into 2003. I was unarmed in NYC. I had nothing to pretend to look at to avoid crazy people, homeless people, perverts, or annoying tourists. I felt naked.
I decided to do some Christmas shopping and errands to kill the time without my phone. Then an NYPD ambulance went by with its blaring sirens. I started to think about what would happen if I had an emergency with no phone. What if I had a heart attack? A stroke? Got hit by a car? What if I got attacked because I had no way to avoid eye contact with crazy street rapists!?
The possibilities of danger without an iPhone were endless.
I had to ask myself some serious questions. First of all, how does anyone survive finding where to eat without the help of Yelp reviews? If I don’t check in on Foursquare, did I actually go somewhere? If I don’t log my run onto the Nike App, do I still burn calories? What happens to my candies if I don’t crush them for two hours? What would happen if Lady Gaga left her house and I didn’t see a photo of what she was wearing within 30 minutes!? Anyway somehow in 2004 with my Nokia 2610, I managed to get around the city without the help of Exit Strategy or Google maps. It’s no wonder I got lost so much.
Going without my iPhone for two long hours made me see NYC in a whole new light. I had to LOOK at people on the subway and on the street for the first time in awhile. I had to know my way around without the use of any Apps. I had to live life without getting instant likes on Facebook and Instagram. This was all a shock to my system. I survived my two hours without an iPhone with flying colors. I had a new zest for life, and felt much more free than usual.
I realized how futile our current reality is, living in this instaworld, where I often see children with iPads as entertainment instead of Little Golden Books. It made me a little sad to think children in our world will never know life without Twitter and Facebook. That they will never get to experience the thrill those of us 80’s kids did hearing the sound of dialup connecting to AOL for the first time. They will never even know what it is like to hold a cassette tape recorder to the radio to record your favorite songs.
When I arrived back at the Apple store, my “Genius” came to my table with a new iPhone 5s, all sexy in its plastic wrap. I connected to iCloud via wifi and my entire life and favorite music was quickly back in order on my tiny device.
I was back, back in the New York groove. And I had actually missed two very important business emails and job opportunities. I left with a new lease on life — as pathetic as that might seem.
So… I challenge those of you reading this to two hours without your smart-phones.
No — this doesn’t mean when you are at home or sleeping and don’t really use it! Actually go OUT into the city, to work, or your town with no connection. See how much more you connect with people and the world around you, and search for a meaning in life that you cannot find on Google.