New Toy

It’s all Steve Jobs‘ fault.

Apple iPad Event

Apple iPad Event (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yes, I have succumbed.  Yesterday, at the Boulder Apple Store, I lost all common sense and self-control and bought an iPad.  The new one.  The gorgeous shiny, pretty thing I’ve wanted since the first one came out of the mind of Jobs, the design gurus at Apple, and, sadly, the factories of China.  And, what’s worse, I’m not even sorry.

Not only is the gadget thrilling, the experience of shopping at an Apple store is amazing.  Walk in and no matter how busy they are (and they are always busy), within a minute an employee will have approached you and within another minute, the person who will guide you through the purchase has arrived.  You never stand in line, the wonderful widgets are brought to you and, with small hand-held devices, the employees “ring up” your purchase right then and there.  After which, if you like, they set up the gadget for you and answer all your questions.  And the “wow” factor remains.  Even the packaging is magnificent:  sturdy, attractive, of a quality designed to underscore the quality of what is packaged.  (Yes, packaging is evil.  If the actual trivial way in which we chop up the planet just for ephemeral things isn’t bad enough, the layers of plastic and cardboard in which we surround them will be.)  But Apple’s packaging becomes part of the experience of buying.

So, I discovered that the merest touch and gesture would, more easily and elegantly than on my iPhone, move me from screen to screen, app to app.  I found out how brilliant all images are (unfortunately, this also included my own face, which lately I have enjoyed seeing, shall we say, as if through a bit more mist).  I stayed up late (nonsense, early for me) reading a novel on the delicious sharp screen.  Earlier, I synchronized my new toy with all my other Apple toys (iPhone and iPod).  I surfed apps, and I turned it on and off so often that I actually had to recharge it on its first night.  And I’m still enamored.  Although the guilt level is higher today.

You see, I don’t really need it.  No, let’s state it more forcefully.  I do not need an iPad.  I have an iPhone I still do not really know how to use to its fullest capacity, I have two computers, one a Mac, one a Dell and, as I said above, an iPod.  Obviously, I have long since drunk the Kool-Aid.  But if there’s anything Steve Jobs knew how to do, it was to create desire for those shiny, pretty things–desire that immediately becomes need.  Of course, unlike so many other shiny, pretty things, once a person has an Apple gadget, the delight has a tendency to stick around.  Unlike the toys of my childhood, which barely kept my interest past New Year’s Day after being so wanted, so desperately wanted, prior to Christmas, my iPod, my iPhone, and, I’m sure, my iPad (MY! iPAD!) will be used and happily so for a long time to come (at least, they will if I can figure out all their options and mechanisms).

The term “shiny, pretty things” is not mine.  It comes from the antic and gadfly mind of Mark Morford, a truly sane voice howling in our current cultural wilderness.  He was pointing out in his weekly column for the San Francisco Chronicle that our monkey-desire for these shiny, pretty things is gnawing our planet bare.  And it is.  And I’m guilty.  But as he also pointed out in the same column, all of us want ours before the chance is gone.  After all, they only had to make one more iPad so I could have one.  Only one more.   Sort of how I feel about Colorado–glad I moved back here and NOW they can close the gates and throw away the key.

All of which does have a tendency to take a little of the shine off my new toy.  But I’m still glad I got it.  Thanks, Mr. Jobs.

Although, upon thought, I really should have gotten the white one.

Image representing Apple as depicted in CrunchBase


On Monday, my friend Ann and I went to the valley (see my earlier post on the way we Estes people talk) to shop.  Boulder and Longmont, actually.  I had been wondering why, if I had lost (as I have lost), over 55 pounds (at last count) I still looked so, well, bulky?  So, I turned sideways to a mirror after dressing in my best uniform of black knit pants and tunic-length T-shirt and noticed that everything was so loose that I kind of swam inside it.  I looked not only not much thinner but really sloppy.  Hmmmnh.  Although it has been years since I’ve enjoyed shopping (unlike the Wicked Queen‘s, my mirrors have seldom said to me that I’m the fairest of them all), it seemed indicated.  So, off Ann and I trekked, talking all the way about everything and anything from Estes Park politics (always a source of wonderment) to my new more minimal living room (Ann is not yet a fan, and I’m still not sure–see my last post).

English: Daffodils at Longdon Daffodils in the...

Lots of Daffodils--Image via Wikipedia

We had lunch first, and then went to a big and old-fashioned hardware store called, I think, McGuckin’s.  This is a great store, the kind of store where you can find, say, funnels or kitchen tongs just a few aisles away from pretty pots in which to put plants.  It’s not a lumber yard hardware combination, just a real hardware store.  Great fun!

Then, we found that the Macy’s in Boulder is perhaps the only one in the country that doesn’t have a plus-size department.  (I may have lost a lot of weight, but there’s still a lot to go.  Sigh.)  Colorado has the distinction of being statistically the healthiest state in the union, which is probably accounted for by all those residents and visitors in inadequate snow gear hiking up very pointed and steep bits of scenery.  Although I don’t know this for sure (my idea of a hike is from the sofa to the refrigerator), this state apparently has bike races in which the idea is to point the bicycle up the steepest road and/or trail possible and have at it.  In the winter.  Shudder.  Anyway, after that, we went to the upscale mall and a shop called Coldwater Creek.  Which has plus size clothing (at least some).  Of course, this mall in Boulder is not just upscale, but UPSCALE, and has an Anthropologie, a Moosejaw, whatever that is, a Chico’s , a Black/White and, be still my heart, an Apple store.  Ann had to practically physically restrain me from going to the Apple store, because I want an iPad so bad, I’m like a kid at Christmas wanting a Flexible Flyer.  I have no need for an iPad; in fact, I haven’t figured out all the bells and whistles on my iPhone yet; but Steve Jobs got it right, and I simply want it.

But Coldwater Creek distracted me, because I was getting into pants and jeans (jeans!) four sizes below what I had come to think of, with resignation, as “my” size.  FOUR sizes down.  Woo Hoo!  I have to admit, I haven’t felt that kind of joy shopping for clothes for a lot of years.  And the pants I tried on weren’t even “plus” sized, but a regular women’s size.  Quite a rush!  Ann was terrific, finding smaller sizes of everything, and searching for what I wanted.  I finally settled on a pair of red jeans (jeans! me!), a pair of black jeans (ditto!) and a pair of more dressy black knit trousers.  All of which have to be altered because while they fit beautifully, they were all four inches too long.  A very small caveat, and I’ll find someone to hem the trouser legs very quickly.  What a success!

So was our next stop, Whole Foods, which is a store I love.  Blood oranges, Meyer lemons, balsamic roasted beets, quinoa salad, all sorts of yummy, healthy foods, and we were done.  The store was filled with big bouquets of daffodils, such cheerful flowers, and they make me feel happy.  So that’s where I’m going to end today.  The very strange moment we endured later at a Sears store that was closing forever will be for another day’s blog.

I hope all your shopping trips are wonderful ones, filled with funnels and daffodils and the next smaller size!

Yellow daffodils

Daffodils--Image via Wikipedia