Tuesday, January 31, 2012

My history with smart phones

All throughout college I had crappy flip phones.  Phones that the hinges broke on and I'd have to figure out a way to super clue pieces back together so they stuck.  My dad was footing my cellphone bill back then so I didn't get new phones until I was ready for an upgrade or he switched carriers, which he did a lot while I was in college.  I think I started with Cingular, then move to T-Mobile before finally landing with Sprint, who since I've always loved.  I haven't had the horror stories with Sprint like so many I know and aside from a horribel Blackberry experience I've always loved my phones with them.

In fall 2007 I had been at my first real job for about 8 months and I was getting comfortable enough to take on my cell phone bill as my own responsibility- that and I'd just received a raise and wanted a cool phone instead of the dying flip phone I hated.  I walked into Sprint with my dad and told the guy that I wanted to transfer the line into my own name and I wanted a new phone.  The Sprint guy asked what I wanted my phone to do and I told him email, calendar and texting.  My dad then jokingly added that it should also be a phone.  What I got was this...

Within hours I was in love.  This was the best thing ever! A Palm Centro! I had never had a smart phone before and this to me was perfect.  It did everything I wanted.  I could text like no one's business, email in a snap and it kept a great calendar.  Yes the internet sucked and getting directions on it was no fun either.  But back when I was 21 and didn't use GPS to the extent I do today or search everything on my phone, it was great!  I had this phone for about a little over a year.  Christmas Eve-eve 2008 it had a very unfortunate accident involving vodka, cranberry juice and more vodka.  I was devastated. I couldn't live without my phone! It had my whole world on it! It was so dead I couldn't even pull the numbers I needed off of it.  

Everyone told me to just get another Centro since I loved this one so much they even came in Pink then, but I wanted to upgrade, I wanted something bigger and better. I wanted something that was made for email and calendar.  I thought I wanted a Blackberry!

I was so very wrong.  I hated my Blackberry cure, pretty much from the moment I turned it on I hated it.  I hated it's lack of color, I hate it's swirly little ball mouse, I hated how it gave directions! I hated trying to search for something.  The keyboard didn't feel gummy and soft, it was hard and plastic.  I hated it.  Two weeks later CES announced the Palm Pre and I knew! I'd have to wait it out with the horrible Blackberry till June so I could get my Palm Pre and be done with this awful creation Blackberry.  

I was somewhere outside of Houston for a wedding on June 6th, 2009 when the Pre was released.  I had resigned myself that I'd just wait till I got back to San Antonio to get it, but then as I sat in my hotel room that morning trying to look up directions to the church on my Blackberry, I realized it was time.  My Blackberry could not get me to the church, it kept sending me to some random parking lot with a liquor store and gas station.  I went to the front desk and asked for a map to the nearest Sprint store.  20 minutes I was there...

Look! They had balloons set out for all the smart people getting new Pres! 

I was number 31! This was the first and sad to say not the last time I paid a ridiculous amount for a new phone.  "Ma'am you contract isn't up till next January you phone will be $5,000" "What?!?!" Just kidding it wasn't $5,000 but at the time that's what it felt like.  Luckily it was totally worth it. 

Look at this beauty! Look at that Palm Pre! Loved it! Not as much as I loved my centro, but the keyboard felt completely natural.  I had every intention of keeping this bad boy for two years, but unfortunately after I started dating Bruce the darn things started breaking constantly and I started having to use my insurance to replace it.  I'm not blaming Bruce for the destruction of a lot of Pres, but I'm just saying you can't argue with timing.

Nothing ever felt wrong with the Pre, it wasn't like the Blackberry thank god, it did everything I asked it to and it did it well.  I honestly had no complaints.  Then that damn January came back and I learned about all the fancy new phones coming out in the summer and I got phone envy.  Then this happened...

6AM on June 4th, 2010 I found myself in line at the Quarry Sprint store!  What happened?  There were no balloons, I was first in line out like maybe 15-20 other people.  The kick stand it totally wat intrigued me at first.  This phone is awesome, I really like it.  Again another step better then my previous phone.  It does everything I need it to (except sync to my UTSA calendar, but there's an app for that so it's cool).  Bruce had total phone envy and after he'd broken his 4th Pre, I'd honestly lost count he eventually upgraded to a cool new Android phone too.

Now it's 2012, no cool CES phone caught my eye.  I'm satisfied with my Evo, it does what I ask I never have problems with it.  But come June what am I going to do? I don't think I'll want another Evo, but none of the other Android phones out right now are piquing my interest.  I go back an forth daily about wanting an iPhone, can I disable Siri if I get an iPhone? Cause that shit scares me.  Are there are new Androids coming along down the pipes?  Where is the next Centro? I loved my Centro, I will always consider it my favorite phone.  Maybe because it was my first, maybe because it was Red, maybe because I don't have a good reason, but for now the Evo will do, maybe I'll hang on to it till something new and cool comes out and just save up my new phone credit.  Who knows...

Friday, January 27, 2012

Year of the Nook

I got my first nook in January 2010.  I initially bought it for use as pictured, for the cruise and for the first vacation I was taking in 3 years.  Between grad school and a job that took up a ridiculous amount of time I barely had time to read for fun.  My first generation nook was a close to $300 investment I was willing to make in order to get back to one of my favorite pastimes reading.

It Sucked and Then I Cried  was the first nook book I read.  I followed it up with Never Let Me Go, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and Shit My Dad Says on the cruise.  The rest of the year I read more bubble-gum books The Facebook book, all the Chelsea Handler books and Kristen Chenowith's bio.  I was instantly in love with my nook.  I loved that I could switch reading a book instantly and not have to carry 5 books with me constantly in case I got bored with whichever one I was currently reading.

In 2011 I read 21 books.  I didn't ready the entire first half of the year.  I was finishing my masters, getting married and buying a house, there wasn't a lot of time for anything extra.  But in July I hit the ground running. In August I read all 7 Harry Potter Books.  I hadn't read them before because I started watching the movies first and didn't want to read the books before I finished all the movies- yes I knows it's usually the other way around, but I like my way better- it also prevented me from having to wait.  Throughout the fall I read the first two Sookie Stackhouse books but didn't get into them so I didn't read the next 5 till December when I had a lot of time of my hand.  Earlier in the summer I read Theatre Geek about theatre camp in the Catskills, it made me super nostalgic for high school.  In mid fall I reread The Hunger Games trilogy for the 3rd or 4th time I've lost count.  Before Breaking Dawn part one I thought it'd be fun to reread the Twilight books...man was I wrong.  I only made it half way through New Moon before giving up because I just couldn't inflict it on myself anymore.  It had been a good couple of years since I'd read them and now I wonder why.  I read a free nook book called Garden Spells that was cute, but nothing too special.  Then in November on a trip to El Paso I read Robopocalypse and decided that the robots were going to come kill me in my sleep if I ever bought an iPhone or drove a car that could drive itself.  OMG it was the scariest book I'd read since I read House of Leaves that one summer at camp. I followed up the scary with the beautifully visual The Night Circus.  This was a sweet book, I loved living inside the circus and could perfectly see everything described.  Before Christmas my fabulous husband Bruce got me a new nook, the nook Simple Touch.  I love it! The first book I read on it was Ready Player One, it was a totally fun read full of 80s pop culture and insight into the gaming world that I know nothing about.  I ended the year reading Sookie Stackhouse Novels and started the new year continuing to read them.

2012- I read the rest of the currently published Sookie Stackhouse books those first two weeks of the new year.  They're addictive, seriously.  I enjoyed the total bubble-gumness of them.  You didn't have to think while you read them you could just enjoy the absurdity of it and the continued stupidity of women when they love vampires.  It's great.  After I finished the 11th book I still wanted more.  I read of a book of short stories about the same characters and the companion book that had a short novella in it.  I was desperate for more Stackhouse universe! It was sad.  I seriously almost freaked out on Bruce when we could find a digital copy of the most recent one.  Yes I have an ebook problem.  Then I read The Thirteenth Tale I frequently describe this book as a good read for people who like good books.  There are a lot of literary references and its a fun mystery.  By the time I finished Thirteenth I was eagerly anticipating the release of a new Orson Scott Card book that was supposed to be an addition to the Ender's Shadow series.  Shadows in Flight was supposed to be released on January 17th, both book and ebook editions.  THE EBOOK WASN'T RELEASED.  It seriously ruined my day.  I was angry.  Everyone knew I was angry and I needed wine.  The ebook will eventually be released, but not in it's entirety till 2013.  To say I'm pissed would be a HUGE understatement.  When I have an extra $15 I'll pay for the first edition hardback, which is fine I have all the other shadow books in first edition hardback anyways, but I wanted to be able to instantly read it everywhere I went and I couldn't.  And it ruined the world.  OK- over exaggerations over. I wanted to read something familiar.  My go to book sight GoodReads has an ebook section you can download books from and it was there I found the James Potter series- yes I know it's fan fiction and can never truly live up to JKs originals, but it was getting really good reviews.  So I read the first James Potter book (you can read it online for free too) and it was really good.  Not great or amazing but really good.  It felt very natural and fit back into the HP world with ease.  I totally cried thinking about all the original characters but I really enjoyed it. I didn't want to read the next one right away I wanted some time to sit so I read Mindy Kaling's adorable book.  It was light and fun and more good bubble gum.

So I'm currently addicted to Goodreads.  It's a great place to keep track of the books you've read, the books you're currently reading and then the books you can't to read.  And beyond that you can categorize the books you have too- I only have two categories right now, favorites and bubble gum. Based on these lists it recommends books to you, it also lets you interact with friends, join book groups and fan authors.  You can comment on what your friends are reading, look at their book lists and more. It's great.

One feature I'm really fond of is the currently reading section.  It lets you track your progress.  Mine is very telling.  I have been reading Sophie's World since I was 15.  I bought in paperback at Half Price Books and kept in my first 4 cars.  Whenever I had a little extra time I'd pick it up and read a little.  Its a cool book about the history of philosophy and I always really enjoy it while I'm reading it, but never enough to keep me wanting to read it as my main book.  I found a digital copy of it so I have it on my phone in case the inspiration to read more of it ever strikes...it hasn't yet.  I started 1Q84 this year and since I only have it in ebook I didn't know how massive it was.  I read the first two chapters and was like wow this is pretty interesting and I went to update Goodreads about my progress and that's when I found out that it had over 900 pages.  I'll come back to that one.  I started the second James Potter book and so far it's good except at the beginning a very beloved character dies and it made me sad.  Loose Girl is a really interesting book so far about all the reason why this woman thinks she became promiscuous at a certain time in her life.  It's really interesting.

I like the reading challenge part.  You get to set a goal for yourself and then work towards it.  Last year my goal was 25 which I missed by 4 books.  This year my goal is 55 but I'm already ahead of where I need to be.  Eventually I'm sure I'll go through my phases where I'll be watching more TV than reading or get distracted and wont be able to find the book I really want to read.  But by the end of January I'm hoping to have at least two more books to that list and I'll have made a pretty good start.

I love to read. I unfortunately sometimes ignore Bruce cause I'm reading so much, but I just get so lost in my books.  I love to completely submerge myself in books.  In middle school I used to drag all my blankets and pillows into the bathroom and pile them all inside my bathtub so I could just lock myself away for the weekend with my books and cd player.  I could stay in there all day reading feeling all nestled in and allow myself to be completely taken over by the world inside my books.