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2018 gave me the gift of a row of blown pixels on my laptop. On New Year's Day evening, I was watching iZombie and making paper flowers alone (like a normal person...). I looked up from my flowers, and there was a row of flickering pixels all along the bottom of my screen. I immediately tried to fix it with a pixel-fixer app, but that did nothing except hurt my eyes and give me a headache. So, it was off to Best Buy the next day, where a "geek" told me that it would cost upwards of $300 to fix. Well, I didn't have $300 sitting around to fix my one-year-old computer, so I called my accident insurance and was told that they only cover accidents. So basically, I would have been better off spilling a Coke on it. Frustrated, I looked back and found that I bought my laptop on January 2nd, 2017. Perfect! The manufacture's warranty still applied! I called Microsoft and, 3 hours and 2 call-backs later, my laptop was dropped off at FedEx to be traded in for a brand new one. All this to explain how I was without a laptop for 10 days. "Big deal!" you say. "It's just 10 days. How dependent are you on your laptop?" Very, is the answer it turns out. So, here are some things I learned from this experience.
1. Sometimes you need a bigger screen. Like most people, I have a super computer on hand at all times - I'm talking about my phone. While that's perfect for browsing Facebook and reading creepy pastas, it's harder to do actual business on it. For example, looking through Backstage.com is much more difficult on a phone than on a proper computer.
2. You can't multitask. I'm the kind of person who likes having noise on at all times. The silence freaks me out. (Also, white noise freaks me out because I start hearing voices in it. Must be those creepy pastas.) When I have a computer, I can have a show on in the background while I answer emails and/or surf the web. That's much more difficult to do with just a phone.
3. A real keyboard is 1000 times better than a tiny one. I have a Blackberry phone that runs on Android and I love it because of its physical keyboard. It's easy to use and more accurate in my experience than any digital keyboard out there. However, when I'm typing a blog post, I'd rather have a full-size keyboard. It's SO MUCH EASIER! Also, you won't get a thumb cramp, which is important (for health reasons?)
4. Everything you own is on the computer. My resume, headshots, dog pictures, important documents - all of them were on my laptop. I didn't realize how many documents I had on that thing! Not to mention all my sheet music, character analysis, calendar, you name it.
5. You need a computer to print things. I mean, I guess you can print things from your phone now because technology is so advanced, but I never got that far. I still plug in my printer to my laptop to print everything. So, because I'm behind on the tech game, I read sheet music off of my tiny phone screen for 10 days straight. That was fun...
6. It made me switch over to paper. I started putting everything I needed to do in my planner all the time. Because of this, I actually didn't need to look at the planner as much because the act of writing it down helped me remember it. I hope this habit will stick and I won't have to rely on reminders anymore. We'll see what happens.
7. The stigma is real (in my head). I feel like when you're on your computer, you're "working." But when you're on your phone, you're "messing around." Nobody actually talked to me about this, but it's just something I've noticed. I realized I apologized more for using my phone and had to justify it by explaining that I'm doing work. It made me realize the different main usages of these devices.
I have my computer back now, thankfully. This total first-world experience made me more aware of the benefit of putting pen to paper and, also, just how reliant on my laptop I was. To everyone I've ever said that "my life is on my phone," I take that back. My life is on my computer. But now, hopefully, less of it will be.
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I watched all 8 of the Harry Potter movies before I even cracked open the first book. My Potterhead friends hated that. They told me, “But the books are so much better! If you don't read the books you won't get what's going on!” My reasoning to them was this: if I read the books, I would always be comparing the films with the books, and I wanted to enjoy the films for what they are before inevitably ruining them with the genius, detailed storytelling the book offers.
My boyfriend, who has a degree in Film Studies and who frequently works on the sets of TV shows and movies, told me that film is a completely different artform than literature and should be treated as such. When I complained to him that it's the little clever moments of dialogue or rhythm in the storytelling that I craved in the movie adaptations, he made a great point that those moments are specific to the reader and it would be impossible to realize all of that in a 2 hour movie (or 7 seasons of a TV show… ahem, Game Of Thrones). It seems to me that movies tell the story of what is happening while books tell us how it happened. Showing Harry’s hallucinogenic dream of Dobby’s heads as Christmas baubles or Sirius singing “God rest ye merry hippogriff”, I'll admit, though reluctantly, does not help move the story along. After all, this is why 2-hour-long movies are wildly more popular in our world which is constantly searching for instant gratification than one-week-long books. And it's true; if you can find out what happens in an entire story in 2 hours, why find out in a week?
For a lot of people, just watching the story happen is enough. You get the jist of the story accompanied, more often than not, by spectacular explosions and steamy kisses between two very attractive people. It's easy, it's quick, and you can move on with your life right after the closing credits (which you should always sit through, post about that coming soon). But if the movie is made well enough, it should act as a book trailer to those who have yet to experience the book in all of its unabridged glory. It should leave you wanting more. And this is often where I find myself: wanting to flesh out the skeleton that is the movie.
Now, for those of you out there (and I know you exist), who argue that the book should always be consumed first so that you can build your images of the characters first without the corruption of popular actors and director’s decisions, I am going to offer another way of thinking. I am a strong believer that knowing something happens doesn't mean you know how it happens. Because of this, the movie adaptations cannot hurt the books. I am also a believer that movie characters and book characters are different people with different motives and needs; think of them as being in parallel universes with mostly similarities and a few key differences. Therefore, it is easy for me to separate the movie portrayal of them and the ones from the book which I've built up in my imagination.
Finally, I would like to offer up some Kathee logic. It is almost always better to go from less to more, be it food, friends, or puppies. Therefore, theoretically, it should be better going from film, which has less information, to literature, which has much more. Just think! By watching the movie first, you'll get to enjoy it as it was intended to be enjoyed without having to constantly compare it to your colorful, vast, personal imagination. And afterwards, when you do decide to pick up the book, you'll be visiting an old friend, and getting to know them better.
For many of us, planners and calendars run the world. From pencil-ing in doctor's appointments to keeping track of our meals, planners are terrific things. They exist on all different platforms, too! And some of them you can even sync them up with all of your devices. But as much as we all love planners, I am here to give you my unpopular opinion on it. Here it is: we like planners so much not because we are getting more organized, but because we want to feel more organized.
Now, I'm not talking about the people who actually get At-A-Glance business planners or ones who use their calendars faithfully and actually complete the tasks as written. I'm talking about the people like myself: the ones who are in love with Kate Spade and Lilly Pulitzer calendars, constantly seeks out new formats, and have never completely filled out a single planner in their lives. We are also the same people who have too many clothes but forget to fold laundry for weeks at a time, who leave our houses in the morning but have to come back three times because we keep forgetting things, who spends so much time looking for our sunglasses before a walk that the dogs fall asleep in their harnesses.
Those of you reading right now are probably having one of two reactions: 1) This is so me right now, and 2) There are people who live like this? Yes, it's true. We don't choose to live like this. This is why we are addicted to planners. This is why we purchase the cutest ones we can find so we can try to trick ourselves into thinking that we may someday change our disorganized ways. It's not that we don't write things down. In fact, we write down the same event or task in our five planners and our Google calendars so we can feel like we are doing something productive with our lives when the reality is so far from that. We are the people who have reasoned out with ourselves that writing things down is as important, if not more important, than doing the actual thing we wrote.
So, if you are one of these people, here's the bad news: no matter how many colorful planners you have, and how filled up each day looks on paper, their sole purpose is to make you feel like you have your life together. No planner will turn your life around. But the good news? If you want to change your life and become more organized, it's all on you. You don't have to rely on anything else to achieve your goals. But until you are ready to make a commitment quite yet, (like me), there are plenty of planners waiting for you at Paper Source.