Single Gal and Cell Phone Hell

Last week, the unthinkable happened.  My cell phone busted.  For some reason all the keys stopped working and I couldn’t call out, access any phone numbers or get text messages.  When my friends heard that my phone was out of commission, they all automatically assumed it fell in a bar toilet or was flung across a room in a fit of late-night dancing.  I wish I had a great story to go with it, but it just stopped working.  Then, sadly, I realized how dependent I was on this piece of metal I carry in my purse every day and wondered why.

In the three days that my phone wasn’t working, I received over ten text messages that I couldn’t see or return, and had about eight missed calls that I took hours to return.  I have become such a texter that I probably had several people writing me off as a friend, and there are a few others who could have needed me for any range of things. I felt so out of touch with the world. 

Long gone are the times when people could call me at home and leave a message and I wouldn’t get it until I came home for the day.  Why did I think that suddenly there were ten emergencies that I didn’t know about?  And forget about knowing anyone’s number—I knew maybe three, and those were all family members.  I used to have cute ways to remember my friends’ numbers in high school with the letters on the keypad.  Now, I was lucky if I knew their area code. 

After I got over the initial annoyance and feeling that my right arm was missing, I realized how nice life was without a cell phone.  I actually stayed in the lanes in my car and listened to music.  I got work done while at work.  And if I told someone to meet me somewhere, they had to do it because they wouldn’t be able to reach me to change the plans 100 times before we met.  I remembered what life was like in simpler times.  This is Generation X’s version of “When I was your age, I walked miles to school in the snow,” I guess.  Instead, now it is, “When I was your age, we didn’t have all these fancy cell phones.”  Or maybe we did, but I wasn’t lucky enough to have a cell phone in a bag with a shoulder strap back in the 80s! 

Perhaps if everyone’s cell phone broke once in a while—or broke a lot, like mine—we would all take the earpieces out and actually start talking to one another. Maybe Mr. Right has walked by me already and I, unfortunately, was on my cell phone. 

I, for one, am going to try to stop being so dependent—but is it possible?


  1. Whereisthenews, get out from under that rock, and I’m assuming you don’t drive. 

    Don’t you know that NOTHING else in the world matters besides people’s cell phone conversations?  NOTHING???????

  2. #3

    Exactly.  The Mercury News is now useless. 

    I subscribe to both the Chronicle and the Mercury, and there is a world of difference between the 2 papers.  The Chronicle always has interesting non-news stories, written in detail.  Also, they use a smaller font so that more detail can be written about each story.

    Additionally, the Chronicle carries other national news stories that never appear in the Mercury.  For example, the Chronicle, and other papers, carried the story on 5/25/07 of the announcement by scientists gathered at the Faroe Islands for an environmental conference about how exposure of infants to lead, mercury, and other elements/chemicals can harm these children later in life.

    The Mercury is now just frivolous fluff for fools.  Personally, I am really fed-up with the poor quality of the Mercury, and ask myself why I continue to pay for it. 

    And don’t get me started about the poor home delivery of the Mercury where the paper is flung from a car and, might, land just at the base of the driveway, while the Chronicle is placed at the garage door.

  3. Bluefox, it used to be just the opposite with these two papers, especially with delivery.  The Chronicle was always on the sidewalk and the Merc was consistently porched.  The Chronicle was a parody of a newspaper, the Merc actually contained news. 

    Today’s edition of the Merc may not have contained anything on D4 but they made sure to print a piece on the 34 awards the Merc won.  How this paper continues to win awards I don’t know.  It’s hardly an award winning publication in my opinion and things have only gotten worse, much worse, since Media News took over.  Another example of how sharholders (in this case a single shareholder) are running the show in corporate America and ruining the quality of everything from newspapers to customer support to durable goods like washing machines, which used to last a good 15-20 years and are now maybe good for 5-10 at best.  Greed is going to bring this country to its knees while China laughs all the way to the bank.

  4. Read the New York Times and you will know what will be in the Mercury News 2-3 weeks from now.  I have lost count of the articles I started reading in the Merc, getting a strange sense I had read the article before.  I then searched the New York Times web site to find the article had been published weeks earlier in the New York Times. 


  5. Great story in the merc. 

    A guy orders a pizza.  Pizza takes too long, so guy chases away pizza guy from his house.  Guy goes to pizza place and attackes pizza place manager with big knife.

    The police need info on where to find him.  Anyone else see the problem with our keystone cops?

  6. The San Jose Mercury News is the greatest newspaper in the world.

    Hon Lien and Kansen Chu are the most caring, concerned and thoughtful citizens in the world.

    Cells phones are the greatest personal communication devices in the world.

  7. #3 & #5:

    The Merc’s selective news coverage (as what it seems to be) is one of the reasons I give all subscription offers to that rag a wide berth.  I saw more coverage for a ballot measure for development in Monterey County than for today’s D4 election in San Jose.  (As I write this, the D4 election came up at around 8:45am this morning as a “Breaking News” feed story.) Make of it what you will.

    Where possible, I avoid exclusively using it as a news source.  I always use additional sources like the Chronicle or smaller town papers in Palo Alto, Mountain View, or Gilroy for stories in my group’s newsletters.  More of what goes on locally can be found there at times than in the Merc.

    That the paper has to brag about winning 34 Bay Area-based awards given its (lack of) coverage in my book is irrelevant to me.  Were these Pulitzer Prizes, I’d have no problem.  Makes you wonder whether the Merc and/or MediaNews have the Peninsula Press Club in their back pockets, and for how much…

  8. Last week, the Mercury News reported San Jose’s budget shortfall to be $16 million (it’s really $19.9 million!)

    Also in the Chronicle (C.W. Nevius’ column) we read that the “De Anza rescuers” have been harrassed on the DeAnza campus.  Apparently, the girls have been told to shut up.
    The Sherriff’s Department has been out there more than once to issue warnings. Unbelievable.  (If the MERC reported this, I missed it).

    Pete Campbell

  9. As a former employee of a cell phone company, the number one cause of “lost” phones is actually having them fall into the toilet.  Its OK SG, you can tell us you chat away and text while in the bathroom.

  10. Dependent, perhaps Single Gal, but now thru the new technology, I see it as simply a way to communiticate with others, that we did not posses before. I’m not stuck at my desk and can now be on my foundry floor creating sculpture etc. and not miss a single call from my customers
      I may be out at sea fishing and get a call from one of my children on a trip somewhere unfamiliar. They will call me for directions or advice about whatever. For me that is a beautiful way to share the moments that we shared as they were growing up going to Rivers and Lake all over this great State of ours.
      I thank the folks that brained this device.
      I’ll be having lunch at Henrys Hilife and get a call from a customer that is dire need of a casting. No problem! I call my warehouse have the casting shipped direct next day air. All done with in 2 minutes! I sell Happiness!
      It’s the best alarm clock I’ve ever owned.
      I’ve dropped my cell in the same puddle of rain water twice as I get out of my car at the Athletic Club. Each time I simply place it open and battery removed in the sauna window sill 30 minutes later it’s good to go again. Toasty warm and working.
      Just knowing my family and friends are as near as my phone is very comforting. Caller ID is great for screening unwanted calls.
      When an Idea strkes me. I make a voice note to myself. How many times have you had a great idea escape you because you did not make a note or write it down. No Mas!
      My favorite setting is when I can shut my phone down for a private lunch, event or some personal R&R. Yippie!

                    Gil Hernandez

  11. Today is the election for District 4 in San Jose, and we get a post on cell phones?  Did I also miss the postings here by the two candidates?  Oh wait, they were not asked to post……unlike the candidates in District 6.

    The Mercury failed to note the election in the paper today as well.  Amazing, simply amazing.

    Instead of news and politics we get fluff and fillers….one is left to ask where is the beef.

  12. It’s comforting to know that D4 is not considered mayor-producing territory.  The candidates for the latest election there bear me out on this.

    Dem, contain yourself.  It’s just the D4 seat, not the White House.  And Chu better not be looking to Mr. Jew up the road as his role model.

  13. Hey McEnery….looks like we’re beating you.  Hon Lien isn’t doing too well.  Let’s see if she survives through the night. I doubt it though. BTW even us Liberal Labor friendly Democrats are Sharks fan.  Probably more than you.  Go Sharks!!!!!!!  So Chuck as a D4 resident let me tell you, you weren’t a good councilmember.  You were only elected and re-elected by default.  You were only elected Mayor because of your scumbag tactics.  Truth is, us Berryessa resident’s never liked you.  Prepare to lose in 2010.  We will take San Jose back from the Republicans.  And yes Chuck you are a GOP member.  I will never accept you as a Democrat no matter what.  Oh and Vic…….we beat you too.  GO Sharks!!! Booooooo Reed!  Boooo McEnery!!  Booooooo Ajlouny!!! Hey George Green? We beat you!!! Hey Single Gal? We beat you! Hey JohnMichaelO’Connor? We Beat you! Hey Greg Howe? We beat you!!! Hey Frustrated Fin Fan? WE BEAT YOU!!!!!!!.  Hillary will be President in 2009.  We will have a Democratic Governor in 2011.  You Lose McEnery/Reed!!!!!! Go Sharks!!!!!! You want a war guys? You got one!!!!! Go Sharks!!!!!! And best of all..Hon “Thi” Lien……YOU LOSE!!! You will NEVER….EEEVER be a Councilmember in any California City…….AGAIN!  Yeah…..Go Sharks!!!!!!!!

  14. Hey McEnery.  Remember when you make your oh so infamous post tomorrow that we won and you lost.  Kansen Chu is my new District 4 Rep and Hon Lien and Chuck are nothing.  Just remember!!!

  15. Did we have more important things today to talk about than cell phones?  Yes! We had a council seat election, and the Mayor and Council voted to demolish a City, State and National Historic Landmark.  Now that that is all over, I will add this thought about todays topic on instant communication. In 1821 San Jose became part of Mexico, as they gained their independence from Spain.  San Jose didn’t learn of the news until 1822.

  16. #18,
    I could care less if the newly elected council person is a Democrat or a Republican, or even a Martian.  Do they have at least half a brain, do they have a vision on how this City can start respecting itself and can they lead?  If so, good for San Jose!

  17. Steve # 8—After the Murky News picks it up,  the KLIV weekday morning news crew will rip and read the stale Murky News article on the air.  They have a night on air guy that thinks 4:00 a.m. is in the evening.  Then he gets confused, and can’t remember whether to open with “good morning” or “good evening”, so he sputters out both of them.

    #10—satire is reserved for John McE IV’s section of this blog.

    #18—you beat me at what?  I think both D4 candidates are unacceptable.  And, Oh, ease up on the meth, OK? Speed Kills!!!

    CD #27—care to make a wager on that?

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