What is Up With Me

Things are pretty grim when I can’t even write a blog within a week’s time. I would say I’ve been really busy, but you all know I’m a housewife, so I won’t even bother. Some of my favorite bloggers start out their blogs by apologizing for not writing for stretches at a time. “I am almost finished with my thesis,” Wide Lawns has written more than once. OK, that just makes us hate you because you’re smarter than us.

No theses here, though. Just putzing around, keeping up with laundry, and inventing new ways to feed my addictions without getting arrested or excommunicated. With my mother-in-law's computer on our kitchen counter, there’s the siren song of Spider Solitaire calling my name and social security number every single minute of every day. I feel like I’m being put to some sadistic test. Honestly, if Satan had fired up a laptop with a game of Spider Solitaire and waved it in front of Jesus’ face in the desert, we might be all on our knees facing Mecca right now.

With house guests, I have spent some time doing some touristy stuff around south Florida. Last weekend we went to the Sidewalk Art Show in Lake Worth. Who knew Lake Worth was so cool and trendy and had so many hippies with dreadlocks? Not me. By the sounds of the name, I thought it was a retirement village with maybe a big Bealls outlet at best.

The following day we went on a boat tour of Palm Beach, where we saw some huge mansions lived in by people whose names make up the New York Stock Exchange. Did you even know that there was a Mr. and Mrs. Richie Rich? There is. He’s 78, she’s 24, and their house looks like something from The Great Gatsby.

Other than that, I’ve been spending a lot of time playing with my new iPhoto updates, which give me the ability to label people (“tag” for you Facebookonians) in all of my photos. This iPhoto brain is so smart and at the same time so dumb, it’s like it’s the ninth grader of the mac world. One minute you’re marveling at how smart and insightful it is, and the next you’re wanting to backhand it and write it out of your will.

Here’s how it works: You attach names to the faces in all of your pictures and after it learns what people look like, it starts to give tentative names to faces. “Is this Diane Fitzpatrick?” it will ask and all I have to do is check the check mark and I’m golden.

Once I label people, I can pull up a directory of everyone I’ve taken pictures of and search. For instance, I can say I want to see all photos of Mike, or our friend Ijaz, or my Aunt Betty and there they’ll be, some on good hair days and some blurry and in the background of the family reunion, chewing with his mouth open (not mentioning any names). If I wanted to follow iPhoto’s lead, I could also pull up every picture of Johnny Depp, because he shows up on Cary’s t-shirts from fifth through eighth grades, and Andrew Jackson, because he shows up on 20 dollar bills that our kids hold up next to their faces on Christmas and birthdays so their aunts and uncles can see how excited they were to get their gift.

Smart? Yes. Dumb? Also yes. Because iPhoto refuses to recognize Jack, even though he has changed very little in appearance since his birth. I’m thinking of changing his name to Unknown Person because it would save me about 7 hours of work on this photo project. Sometimes it doesn’t even recognize his face as a human. It will, however, recognize two kneecaps and a skirt hemline as a face, and will recognize Mike’s homecoming date in everybody with brown hair. “Is this Kate Gilson?” “Is this Kate Gilson?” For crying out loud, we only took three pictures of the girl. What is it going to take to convince iPhoto that those two were not soul mates destined to be together forever?

We got a digital camera in 2001 and all of our photos from that point on are in my iPhoto. I’m up to Christmas 2004 in my names project. It’s been fun reminiscing, but I have to admit I dread when I get to a photo full of faces. At our next family reunion, I won’t be the one pushing for a big group shot. And I’ll never - ever - take a picture of the kids in front of the Faces of America display at Ellis Island. My computer started to smoke a little bit, I swear. It couldn’t understand how Kate Gilson could be in one photo 125 times.

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