...the Journal

The Guest
Refrigerator Door

More from Seattle Diane's fridge:

This says "ewe's not fat,
ewe's fluffy"


Someone suggested I add a discussion board, so I have.

If you have anything to discuss, go to this link. Feel free to start a new discussion on anything.

I'm gone--but you guys chat amongst yourselves, please!


Nothing yet. I finished
The Third Pandemic
on the plane.

on the trip I finished

A Heartbreaking Work
of Staggering Genius

and also read

House of Sand and Fog,
Bouncing Off the Moon, and
A Year in Provence


Fell asleep watching
the finale of
Law and Order

That's it for today!


24 May 2001

We were on a bus on Oxford St. heading back to the hotel. Across from us sat a man whose cell phone was ringing with some obnoxious tune. He looked at what I presume was his caller ID and decided he didnít want to talk to the caller, so he ignored the ring. It continued to ring. Then it stopped. Then the caller called again. Three times. He reached a point where he put the phone in his pocket with his jacket on top of it and looked very embarrassed, but he let the phone ring.

This has got to reach new heights of rudeness, not only for the caller, but also for those around the man with the phone, who canít get away from the annoying sound of a call that he refuses to take.

What is it with cell phones? (I remember when it used to be "cel phones." Now it seems to be "cell phone.")

Does everyone remember way back...oh...five years ago, when almost nobody had a cell phone? Now you canít walk anywhere without bumping into someone with his/her head down talking to somebody somewhere else.

This was particularly apparent in London. I swear every third person had a cell phone to his/her ear, or a small microphone hidden in a pocket and earphones in use. And contrary to my own mental gender stereotypes, 3/4 of the phone using cell phones seemed to be men.

As you walk down the streets there are sidewalk booths filled with cell phone paraphernalia. Itís become big business.

I sat in Paddington Station and watched people hurrying across the lobby, heads down, suitcases dragging behind, talking furiously on the phone. When you wait at a bus stop, or ride on a bus or train, everyone around seems to be either talking on the phone or doing messaging on the phone (I canít imagine using a teeny cell phone to type messages into, but apparently thatís the newest big thing).

What did all these people do before we had cell phones?

And more to the point, who in the world are they all talking to?

Yes, a lot of people appear to be business types, and presumably they are discussing business matters. No longer does one work an 8-5 day, leaving oneís work behind at the end of the day. Now work starts while youíre en route to the office and ends long after youíve left it. You can never get away.

But more than the business types, walk down any street in London and see young people--again, more male than female--with phones to their ears.

I once took a young woman to the doctor. I picked her up at her home and as she put her children into the car, she was talking on the phone. She got into the car, ignoring me other than telling me how to get where she was going (it was the first time in all the times Iíve driven for Breaking Barriers that I felt like a real non-paid chauffeur). As I drove through traffic, she talked with someone on the other end of the line about a sexual liaison sheíd had with her cousinís boyfriend. She was totally oblivious either to me, or to the children in the back seat.

She made several phone calls, both going and coming to the doctorís office, including one that she was dialing as we were just feet from the front door of her home.

Cell phones have replaced any sort of interaction with people around you. A good letter to one of the London papers this week talked about how people no longer look each other in the eye on the street, smile, and say "good morning." Now they are so engrossed in their cell phones, they are lost in their own little world.

I donít mind so much people being lost in their own worlds--I am frequently there myself. But I do resent having to listen to the personal conversation of someone sitting next to me, or be assaulted by ringing cell phones in restaurants, theatre, or on the bus.

To say nothing of the cost. I own a cell phone, which I take with me when Iím in the car, and turn on only if there is an emergency or if Iím going to be later than I expect to be. I know itís not cheap just to use the phone as I do. I canít imagine how much it is for people who make countless telephone calls. It seems to have become an "essential" rather than a "luxury" for most people.

Itís amazing how our "needs" can change in a matter of only a couple of years.

Cell phones...do you have one? Do you love it? Do you hate it? Come to the discussion board and talk about it.

One Year Ago:
Family Ties

Some pictures from this journal
can be found at
Club Photo

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Created 5/22/01 by Bev Sykes