What Am I Plugged Into


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I finally broke down and bought myself a gadget last year in October: the black Apple iPod Touch 5th Generation and with some Christmas money I bought a set a accessories to go along with it. I’ve been taking more pictures and even some video, which has been missing in my family’s life for several years. I’m in love with the touch screen and I have a hard time imagining how I kept up with all my social networks before I could quickly access them all right out of my pocket.

Just like any gadget–Kindle, MacBook, iPhone, iPad and even computers–it can be an amazing tool.

It can also be a distracting toy.

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One thing I’ve always hated is looking around in public places–the library, mall, grocery store or the theater–and seeing just how many people are staring down at the palm of their hand. Many of them have this dazed, glazed expression on their faces. They no longer seem plugged into the world and people around them but are plugged into the gadget, as though hypnotized.

And I know not everyone is like this–the messaging, texting and calling is a fantastic way to stay in communication with people, especially on the go: “Come pick up me here” “Change of plans” ect. But I also know that’s not what everyone is doing when they’re holding a gadget in their hand.

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Before I got my iPod, I always fancied to myself that I would never become withdrawn like everyone else, if and when I was privileged to have a device of my own. I didn’t want to miss life’s little moments or just look like another distracted, uncaring and unaware human being wondering the streets like a zombie.

But once I had my little glow box in hand, I at last understood exactly what ‘those other people’ had withdrawn too. As a extroverted, color loving, motion loving person, I was spell bound at the world opened up to me. So many fun, free games with dazzling colors and effects; useful apps for photo editing or chit chatting, and music and Netflix; I actually started using Pinterest because the pinning process had less steps then on the PC because it was a touch and tap away.

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AND THE GAMES. THEY ARE SO FUN. TEMPLE RUN. LE VAMP. MINION RUSH. FRUIT NINJA. AHHH!

I love my iPod. I take care of it, I keep it safe from water and scratches, and I share it with the family at times. Heck, I can read blog posts in my bed without having to actually get out of my warm covers to turn on my computer. It’s fantastic and I now rarely go anywhere without it being safely kept in my possession.

At the same time, I don’t want to become detached from reality. As tempting as my little magic light box can be at times, I want it to be second, not first in my day to day priorities. So I’ve come up with my own rules on how to keep my iPod from replacing my family or reality.

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1. If someone is wanting to talk to me, especially if it is a more serious conversation, turn it off. The most annoying thing in the whole world is trying to share something with someone and feeling like you don’t matter because all they continue doing is staring, tapping, texting or playing away on their device. So, I’ve made it my own rule to give eye contact to people when they’re talking to me so they know I’m listening and that I care. If the conversation is of a more serious nature, I shut the iPod off or I set it down. This keeps me focused in on what really matters and keeps the other people from feeling like they’re wasting their time trying to speak to me.

2. During meal times shared with the family, the gadget should remain in pocket, not on table. Sometimes if I’m having breakfast by myself or happen to be eating lunch by myself, I’ll set my iPod on the table and will scroll through Twitter or Tumblr while I eat. However, if it’s, say, dinner and the whole family has sat down together, I try to remember to leave my iPod in my back pocket. This is (a) simple politeness and (b) keeps the doors open for good conversation between family members.

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3. I’m out in public because I’m trying to achieve something, not to walking about checking for free wi-fi. It’s my own rule that I’ll rarely pull out my iPod if I happen to be out and about with Mom or the family. Sometimes I will take a few pictures, but I’ve not left my house to constantly check Twitter. I’m grocery shopping, I’m browsing through thrift stores, I’m picking up library holds, I’m making fun of the adds playing on the movie screen to make my sister laugh: I’m doing something with someone and that’s more important then the Interent. (Same goes for most car rides.)

4. I will miss life’s special moments if I’m too busy trying to come up with a funny caption for that moment that’s still happening in front of my eyes. This is one of my strongest rules: if I’m at a birthday party, celebrating an achievement with my brother, or at out to eat, I might take some pictures, but my next goal is to not immediately upload those photos to all fifteen social sites with clever captions saying what’s going on, ect, because you know what? I’m still living that moment! I will waste something special that I’m trying to capture if all I’m doing is watching it through my screen and trying to decide which filter I should upload to make that picture better. I want to live those moments and then go back to them later and reflect upon them when it’s all said and done.

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5. Keep it a healthy balance–still have fun! It’s not like I’ve NEVER goofed off with my iPod or that that’s a bad thing! When my sister got her’s, we took pictures of each other and then poked each other teasingly through Instagram’s comments while sitting next to each, giggling. It was great fun and we were still interacting together. Living well is not a just dwelling on a bunch of restrictions OR being, “UNTAMED, NO RULES, YOLO!” ect. You’ve got to be balanced in everything. While I might not do this, that and other with my iPod, it doesn’t mean that I can’t ever not actually enjoy the fun things that come with it! I don’t want to feel guilty for playing Temple Run or Le Vamp–“Oh my gosh, this is such a waste of my time, I’m never going to get anywhere in my life, ugh, this is such a sin, I can’t believe society even created this time waster, America has crumbled!” ect. ect. ect.

The key to a healthy life is a healthy balance. So, don’t let your gadgets consume your life but also don’t let your determination of not getting consumed keep you from having some fun. This is, like, so important guys. :)

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It’s hard to follow these rules sometimes; there have been some days I have failed myself completely so I hope none of you think that I think I’m perfect. I’m not. But I want to constantly strive to keep what’s real as my primary focus… without making myself feel guilty for having bought myself an iPod in the first place. ;)

So, what are you plugged into?

~Jamie

The Internet Smacked These Up the Side of My Head Last Year


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I strongly believe that the internet is not a complete waste; sometimes it can help us understand ourselves better, or understand what we need to do or what we should have learned a long time ago.  These I specially learned this past year. :)

~Jamie

X reasons why I don’t do Jane Austin


Note; to everyone who does read, watch or enjoy Jane Austin–hey, I’m cool with that and I don’t mind if you have different tastes or standards. Feel free to share your opinions if you want and understand I’m not pushing my opinions on you. I just happen to be one of those rare, home-schooled teenage girls who isn’t into the Austin world at all. So. I thought a post about why might be interesting :)

W) First off, my parents aren’t even interested in watching Jane Austin adaptions and they haven’t ever been keen on me reading them either. While I could probably get into them now that I’m older, I personally don’t have interest in them myself. My family doesn’t have much fiction of the Jane Austin sort hanging around my house.

X) I’m not into much romance. Most romance, that I’ve seen, often leaves people with the wrong expectations of how their love life will go and than will be disappointed because–um, yeah, they don’t live in a fictional world. Or, at the very least, the wrong expectation of what their husbands will be like. Besides this, I don’t need help fantasizing about romance anyway. I have enough trouble with that on my own. And, I simply don’t enjoy most romance because it’s can be plain awkward if not handled right. And this goes outside of Jane Austin. (Ie; great romance= Han and Leia. Poor romance = Anakin and Padme.) So, I don’t really want to dwell on fictional romance novels because in my own standards, it can be unhealthy. I get my dose of romance from other stories that I already enjoy anyway.

Note: Yes, I know the stories go farther than romance and that they cover a great deal of things like hard living, poverty, character development, ect ect. However, it still isn’t my cup of tea.

Y) The story plots and the characters do not catch my interest. This is probably not true, but from the things I’ve heard (and I have heard quite a bit) it’s all begun to sing the same tune in my ear. Nothing whatsoever has ever given me the thought of, “Oh, wow, I think I would want to see that.” The same with the books. I’ll read big books, but only big books that pique my interest.

Z) I am not into period drama. I don’t care at all about the clothes (which become plenty busty and embarrassing at times in the films), the culture, or anything of that age, especially when it comes to romance stories set in that time period.  I’m sorry, but it’s not me, whatsoever. I don’t long to live back then (there was no wifi; are you kidding me?!?!) and I don’t want to dress in those types of clothes for fun. Even if at times it makes me stick out like a pin (ie: Titanic celebration–I think Kayla and I were the only girls who did not come dressed up.) So, nothing about period dramas are in my field of interest.

Honestly, I’m in a whole other genre of entertainment than most other girls. But hey, that’s okay. I’m sorta used to being different anyway.

Oh. And Mr. Darcy. Pffft, he’s overrated. Gimme a Luke Skywalker any day.

~Jamie

Deputy Penny Percival: The Other “Me”


This is what you call a ‘unique’ edition to Pretty Picture Tuesday! Anyway, I have a ‘second identity character’ which you’ve met previously in this picture here ^ …. That’s Officer Penny Percival, The Sheriff’s most trusted deputy. Also known as me. Haha! She (*cough*me*cough*) is the subject for today!

I recently pulled together her official outfit for a photo shoot. The pictures turned out awesome. So here is another set of me on the spur of the moment going out in a costume. I actually think they’re just as pretty darn good as the Darth Vader set. Different but darn good.

Kayla took a total of 99 shots but I managed to whittle that number down to under ten. Most of the shots are of my shoes… I’m pleased with the way my shoes look. They go super well with my new trench coat.

My complete costume which I used was my black high heeled boots, my new woman’s trench coat, my wooden handled umbrella, my black glasses, a black hair clip, one of Kayla’s toy handguns and one of our trick cigarettes which, when you blow into them, puffs out a powder that looks ridiculously like smoke. It’s awesome.

Penny’s a real fighter, a real serious character. She’s very sharp when it comes to following orders and doing her duty. Penny saves the day in the small ways, mostly; she remembers where The Sheriff put which papers and which weapons and she juggles the different criminal evidences between her own pockets and his. When it comes to heavy duty stuff, The Sheriff is normally the one to lead the way and Penny is normally behind him with a long range weapon watching his back. She’ll sit where The Sheriff puts her because the ambushes always pull off and he normally has all the good plans anyway and she’ll tackle any big bellowing problem he asks her two. She’s pretty good when it comes to being a trusty lawmen.

Recognize that background? That’s the same sidewalk I walked down in my Darth Vader suit. *insert a sarcastic “ha. ha.” here*

Penny is a lot like my reflection and then she’s very much my opposite. For one thing, while Penny’s moral standards are just like mine when it comes to law, justice, peace and other conservative thoughts, she does not talk very much. Penny only speaks when she feels it necessary or when conferencing with The Sheriff. But mostly, she is very silent. Now, talking of Jamie? Let’s just say talking is one of my the things I love to do–as long as it’s an appropriate time to do it, of course.

Of course, this is Penny taken up five levels. Penny’s normal costume has been mostly a jean skirt, the trusty hand gun… and I’ve used the sunglasses before. Hopefully, soon, anytime now…. she’ll get to wear the trench coat when on duty.

Okay, last shot of my shoes. Bare with me. :P

These shoes are also literal killing machines. That’s why I don’t wear them anywhere, and the reason Penny has not worn them on a single expedition. Would not do to be stalked by Frankie and Scarlett Blood and ALSO have her shoes hurting her. Nope. Would not be good.

Oh. Picture credit to my dear sister Kayla who was willing to go out in the heat on the spur of the moment to take pictures of me. See even more pictures (not as many as my shoes) which she edited herself on her photography blog. She’s pretty cool (keep an eye out for her own cowboy themed picture post later this week!) :D

Officer Percival, signing off.

Pretty Picture Tuesday: Pictures of Interest


It’s actually Monday right now—you’re reading this Tuesday, and I’m making this now because we plan to leave early Tuesday. So, I’m kinda speaking to you all from the past. This is weird. Anyway, for my Tuesday Picture post, I thought I would put up some pictures that are really interesting and neat; especially to me. Because, come on. You’ll never get cooler than Tom who is holding that bird of prey there. That… is just worthy of sharing.

And these too. :D

See? Am I right?

And I need Artoo for my trash can. You do too? Awesome. :)

~Jamie