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Jul 16 2014

I Downloaded Israel’s “Red Alert” App & This is What Happened

By at 3:04 pm


For the past week and a half, my phone has been emitting siren sounds thanks to an app called Red Alert [also called Color Red in Hebrew]. While it is meant to alert Israelis to the very real danger of incoming missiles, many in the diaspora, like me, have downloaded the app as a way to obsess stay informed.

And I have chosen to keep on the audio.

Now, I know that having my phone bleep isn’t the same when my life does not depend on my ability to locate and get to a miklat (shelter) with my kids within seconds. Or, if we were at home, get to our mamad (protected room). Hearing the sound doesn’t strike fear in our hearts or give us nightmares. Read the rest of this entry →

Oct 2 2013

Your Kids Shouldn’t Have to Compete with Your Phone

By at 9:50 am


The line was almost out the door of the coffee shop, and when I got to the front, I found out they were out of pumpkin flavored coffee, even though fall hadn’t even officially begun. Needless to say, it was an annoying start to my morning.

The guy in front of me also looked peeved. He stared moodily into his iPhone as his two adorable little daughters tried desperately to get his attention, running circles around him and tugging on his legs. “Daddy, watch me! Look at this!” they called. He only looked up when they knocked over a rack from the display case, and then he halfheartedly admonished them before returning immediately to his phone. He probably missed their weary, crestfallen faces, but I didn’t.

And I tried not to judge, because we’ve all been the people who shot dirty looks at people with their screaming toddlers in the grocery store, wondering why they couldn’t get a handle on these pint-sized humans–and then we became parents, and understood. And I’m also cranky before coffee. But I watched for 10 minutes on line, in testimony to the desperate lengths I’ll go to for that caffeinated jolt before work, and he stayed on his phone the whole time, only looking up once or twice more to snap at his daughters when they strayed too far or got too loud. When he finally reached down to pick one of the girls up, who was literally climbing up his torso to be held, he looked not depleted, but simply bored. Read the rest of this entry →

Nov 8 2012

My 4-Year-Old Knows All About My iPad

By at 2:57 pm

While I somehow managed to keep her in the dark for nearly a year, my 4-year-old found out about my iPad.

Like all responsible parents, we aim to keep our child as unplugged as possible, and while we do sit her in front of the TV on occasion (every morning is an occasion), we limit her to PBS programming, and this makes us totally virtuous. In the end, though, I freaking love my iPad and I don’t want her Cheez-it fingers all over the screen. Read the rest of this entry →

Oct 10 2012

Baby #4 is Due TOMORROW but I’m Not Ready

By at 12:30 pm

due date baby pink shoes on calendarMy due date is tomorrow.

I remember those halcyon days when I was pregnant with my first child in New York. I left work a month early to “get ready.” Since I had no kids, “getting ready,” entailed long lunches with friends and family, museum visits to exhibits I’d read about in the New York Times, and putting together a registry that included now-banned items like crib bumpers. Livin’ la vida loca! I was so excited to give birth. “ANY DAY NOW!” I’d excitedly chirp to doormen, shopkeepers, and random pedestrians. Read the rest of this entry →

Oct 25 2011

Sorry iPhone, I Was So Wrong

By at 10:57 am

Taken on my iPhone.

Often, if you think about it, we expect more from our children than we do from ourselves. “Tell her you’re sorry,” we tell our kids post-whatever-the-latest-problem-was, expecting them not only to feel badly about what they’ve done, but to have the natural inclination toward grace and equanimity as opposed to pettiness and grudgery. And I don’t know about you, but I can be pretty petty and grudgy, and I’m allegedly an adult. Like you, possibly, I also hate to admit it when I’m wrong.

So here goes: I. Was. Wrong. And. I’m. Sorry.

I wrote a post here about the ills of smartphones. I hated the little know-it-alls. I hated the way they reduced their owners to Pavlovian puppies who jumped at their little buzzing noises to check stupid e-mails. I didn’t see the need to immediately Google various idiocies.

I’m not sure if I would have gotten a smartphone had destiny not intervened. And by “destiny,” I mean “my dumbphone falling out of my sweatshirt pocket and into the toilet.” My husband likes to tell people that this is the fourth time this has happened to me. The more I think about it, though, the more I am convinced that it is only the third time. So there.

So we went to Verizon and I showed the unusually nice and well-informed guy there my phone. “Can I get another one of these?” I asked him. He looked at me with the look you reserve for someone who tells you that they can’t get their computer to work and it’s largely because they haven’t turned it on, i.e. “I don’t think so, Most Clueless Person Ever.” Apparently, my little dumbphone was discontinued right around when Charlemagne came to power. Read the rest of this entry →


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