Thursday, May 5, 2011

Cellular Entertainment

(google images)
I went to medical yesterday.  Like the good little sailor I am, I arrived 15 minutes prior to my 1300 appointment.  All around me people were staring at their cell phones, someone was even playing solitaire on his cell with the teeny tiny cards.  AFN was on the TV, which was playing Dr. Oz, a show that I had never before had to experience.  At 1302 they finally called me back to get my vitals and start my appointment.  I waited 25 minutes on my provider to finally come in, I even had time to lay back and get in a few quick moments of rest/napping in.  I allowed myself some shut eye after reading the blood contamination "what to do" form 2 times through.  I was soooooo bored.  Finally the provider came in, he wrote a new migraine pill prescription for me.  Then it was time for me to endure the waiting area once again while I waited on my prescription to be filled.

This time we were watching Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?  FLEET WEEK!  Rah.. /roll eyes.  As all the ironic moments in my life, the contestant on the TV was a sailor.  I was being tortured by the tv, which is a normal occurrence when I visit medical.  20 minutes longer I had to endure AFN programming and commericals (which are a level of special that most non-military related folks will never experience).

When I went to medical the week prior to the William/Kate Royal Wedding it was on some morning talk show and I had to endure 2 blow out bimbos talking about the wines that were going to be served at the wedding, which of course included a taste test and 2 options that they had to choose which wine would be served.  WHO THE FUCK CARES?!?!  Apparently millions of Americans cared.  Siiiiiiiigh.

And I considered a solution to this common problem, entertainment.  Everyone around me was staring at their little entertainment nuggets, aka their cell phones/idevice.  Where was my cell phone?  Everyone who knows me, knows that Teh Megan always has a cell phone.  Well, I work in a place that doesn't allow cell phones, so often, my phone is either in my car or at my apartment (when I'm at work).  And then I thought, what about the iTouch?  Well, it, too, was in the car, because my work place doesn't allow removable media either, and bringing it to the building to put in a box for the day means the possibility of forgetting it at work.. and after 12 hours of being at work, then the 5 minute walk to the car, if I forget the touch, I ain't going back to get it, and that means 2 trips (although short) without muzaks, and thats the dumps.

There was a point in my life that I didn't BREATHE without the aid of my cellular device.  Since high school, I sleep with my phone beside me.  Mostly due to the fact that my cell doubles as my alarm clock, but also because Teh Megan was is always accessible.

See how the phone is laying on me? 
That's the way it should be.
My first phone was awesome, before all these new fangled camera phones..  It was a flip-down phone.  It had pretty awesome games, including one where you shot down enemy planes.  Verizon made me upgrade though, because the phone was so old, and I got a phone with blackjack AND it had speaker phone, woah.  Then I was inducted into the camera phone club.  The games on that one sucked.  I got several upgrades (to include a phone that you could put a micro SD card in) before I finally became a real adult and got a Blackberry, but because I was still fighting it, I got the Pearl, which was amazing because no one knew how to use the keyboard which meant they really couldn't use my phone.  I survived bootcamp with no cell phone, and the entire time I would hear phantom text message sounds, it was VERY freaky.

After I got to a/c school in VA Beach, I wasn't allowed to have my phone with me during school, so it got left in my room or in my car (when I could drive).  It was a very hard separation process, but my phone was always on me when I could have it.  Crackberry?  Yes, I had a problem. 

Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (google images)
Then GTMO happened.  GTMO barely has usable internet, cell phone service was available, but you had to pay a ridiculous amount for it per month and you often had bad reception and sometimes you couldn't call from one end of the base to the other because of reception issues.  No cell phone was to be had.  It was crushing.  Suffocating actually.  How would I communicate with people?  Gmail.  How would I research things while I was at the store?  You don't.  How would I entertain myself while I was waiting on something like for an appt or dinner to arrive??  You bring someone with you.  WTF?!?! 

Apparently, land lines were the way of my backtracking future.  And I learned something..  I didn't have to be available all the time (Teh Bear really likes proving this point while I'm cruising TFLN during dinner).  It was ok.  I could miss calls and I could survive not being in constant communication with everyone I know.  How many hours of my life had I wasted on checking my cell for text messages that weren't there?  How many upset moments had there been when someone hadn't called me?  I learned to live without the Crackberry, until I went on leave and got addicted all over again.  But getting back to GTMO life resumed in its normal landline way.  Asking to borrow someone's phone to call someone who you needed to talk to.  Or even just going back to my room to call the Ginger or Miss Reflective and the rest of the brunch gang on Sundays after mass.  It wasn't really all that complicated.  Actually, it was better.  Nothing was bothering me when I didn't want to be bothered!  :)

Then came Bahrain.  Because we're such a big deal here, everyone has to have a working recall number.  You have to answer the phone when someone calls you.  Otherwise, you aren't accounted for, and thats UA, shipmates and battleships and homies.  I hate having a cell phone now, and not carrying it with me where ever I go is a relief. 

But I was bored as hell in medical, and I had even stooped low enough to endure watching morning talk shows and game shows involving kids.  It made the relief of not having an electronic device, whether it was the cell or the itouch, maybe not so much worth it.  Are there actually people who choose to watch Dr. Oz or Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?  If so, whyyyyyy?

me after enduring AFN programming (google images)

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