Remember the time when I didn’t have internet for more than a week?
That was sheer torture. And yeah, it was kind of sad. How did I become so crippled without the Internet? It really brought home the fact that I’m so dependent on being hooked online 24/7 that I’d forgotten how to function without it.
Remember something called books? Remember something called listening to CDs or watching movies or listening to the radio? Now, what I do is read the news online while listening to Broadway music of Grooveshark while catching up on the latest Glee episode on Hulu while ordering my next Netflix DVD while g-chatting with friends while munching on snacks.
I’m not a good multi-tasker; I cannot perform maximally when my mind is divided into too many activities. But I’m totally addicted to it. Hence, I can never give anything my full attention.
But guess what. As I type this (on my Live Writer), I don’t have my Chrome browser on. I’m not signed on to Gmail, and I’m not listening to anything other than the sound of my own typing. God it feels so strange. But God it feels good to be focused for once.
I’m trying to wean myself off my addiction to online multi-tasking. I’m also trying to read more. I’ve even ordered the print version of the New York Times, got my library card and purchased several new books from Amazon. I really want to try devoting my mind to one thing at a time, and enjoy whatever I’m doing to its full potential.
Hm, perhaps AT&T screwing up several times is really a blessing. Perhaps I should have thanked them instead of bitching at them.
So let me ask you a question: when is the last time you did something single-tasked OFFLINE?
Sad to say, I still haven’t been able to do that since I got my Internet back. Gah, it’s such a simple thing, yet such a struggle! But for me, the last time I did relaxed in a good old-fashioned way was when my family was visiting me.
Like…how long has it been since you went walking on the beach?
My family and I visited two beaches: Venice and Malibu.
The above is Venice…and the below is Malibu:
They’re two very different beaches. I think I prefer Malibu for its peaceful calmness; Venice was quirky but not the kind of place I would feel safe lying down and napping in the sun. Just walking by the sidewalk for half an hour, I came across a handful of loonies and crack addicts.
No seriously, they were crack addicts because they kept asking passer-bys to give them marijuana money in exchange for jokes. But there were also some pretty talented individuals showcasing their different forms of genius: How cool is this sand octopus monster…uh…thingy?
This statue made from scrap metals blew my mind:
According to my brother, apparently it’s from some famous movie. I forget which one, since I didn’t watch it. I think Terminator? Someone correct my ignorance please.
And then of course, what is Venice without hippy skaters?
I was ridiculously pleased to see a rocker chick too. Go girl power!
They also sold a lot of odd trinkets, many which seemed to appeal to the owl and turtle fetish. I didn’t take a picture of them, but of course my brother had to pick up some souvenirs for his girlfriend. Aww…not (I have typical sibling jealousy).
Now for Malibu.
I almost could have lived here. I applied to Pepperdine University and was accepted, but chose USC instead. Visiting the beautiful beach gave me just a flicker of regret. Just a tickle of a regret.
I don’t really know where we ended up, but we found a lovely little cliff to climb for a bird-eye view of the beach:
You know that throaty roar of salty waves crashing into jigsaw rocks and shattering as lacy foam like the head of a well-shaken ice-cream soda?
No? Then you should. I could watch and listen to it all day. Yes, even without the internet or my iPhone. But preferably with a huge-ass mug of steaming tea in my hands though, because it was FREEZING.
I was wearing a thin t-shirt inside a cheap coat with white summer capris, and that really didn’t cut it. So I held fast to my daddy’s big warm hand.
Please excuse the hoards of pictures I’m going to pepper you right now. We were tourists at Malibu right at the time for sunset. You’d go picture-crazy too.
We were an hour early, but we waited until the sun started sinking gradually into the earth.
It really was worth the wait, and the picture didn’t do it justice. Pictures may be worth a thousand words, but actually being there? No word to describe.
I repeat: no justice. The earth that God created is just so speechlessly beautiful.
Speaking of iPhones…even as I as I resist the temptation of being plugged in all the time, I have to say sometimes being online can lead to great things.
Like food trucks.
I found out that there is a Westside Food Truck Central at Culver City while reporting on the city for my print reporting class. I eventually did a broadcast final on it too, by shooting a package on the conflict between food trucks and local brick-and-mortar business owners.
Anyway, I knew I wanted to bring my parents here. After all, I’d argue that food truck is L.A. cuisine. Jane, I’m taking you here too when you come visit.
My parents were at first ambiguous. What? Eat out of a truck? Is that even hygienic? I think unappetizing images of “mystery meat hot dogs” were in their minds. My brother was also dubious, because he’s OCD about cleanliness.
But I’m kind of the Queen Bee in my family. Whatever I say, my family follows. Or maybe it was because I was the one driving. Whatever.
I’m proud because I didn’t really even need to help my parents order. They did it all by themselves with their Konglish!
My mother ordered from the same truck I had my eye on, Danky’s Doners.
She got the Danky’s Original with beef:
Beef kebab topped with lettuce, corn, cabbage, tomatoes, red onions and Danky-Sauce in warm, fluffy pita bread.
I got the Lamb TURK:
Lamb kebab topped with lettuce, corn, onions, cabbage, tomatoes, cucumbers and Danky-Sauce in signature Persian Barbari bread.
Oh wow. Amazing flavors and textures! The bread was the star! Warm and crispy with a sturdy chewy crumb. The Danky-Sauce is really some kind of cool, creamy yogurt-garlic sauce.
Both my brother and dad decided to order from the Krazy BBQ truck, which offers Korean-Mexican-American cuisine. Can you get more L.A. than that mix?
My dad ordered the shrimp quesadilla:
With avocado, salsa, cabbage, cheddar cheese, onion, cilantro and tomato.
His reason for ordering this was because it was a Korean food truck owned by a Korean. He is so patriotic, despite being a missionary to the Chinese people.
My brother got the Krazy rib-eye steak burrito:
Rib-eye steak, onions, tomato, cilantro, salsa, potato, rice and cheddar cheese.
Just like father, like sister, my brother dutifully smothered his burrito with sriracha sauce.
Sigh. I miss my family. Even more so now because I know that my parents are even further away. They are on a mission trip to Southeast Asia. My dad sent me an email this morning saying they are 筋疲力尽 (“exhausted” in Chinese) from their long flight, but excited for their mission ahead.
I worry a bit because my parents aren’t that young anymore. My dad is past mid-50s and my mom is turning 50. But I have to admit, they enjoy life even more than I do at their age.
They’re two of the most focused individuals I know. They know what life is about, and they don’t feel the need to do 1000 things at once. They are incredibly slow-movers, but somehow they get more stuff accomplished than the average person. I may get more stuff done, but…not accomplished. If you know what I mean.
Somehow my brother kind of got that balanced, focused gene. I didn’t. Oh, where art fairness in thy world? He’s got the looks, the gentleness, and the balanced gene?
Damn him. Look at him, all I’m-so-cool-in-the-hot-summer-sun.
Actually, I’m making excuses. My dad wasn’t born like that; he was born like me too: rash and impatient. But he changed. Guess I can too.
I just need to channel the same kind of pure energy I felt at the beach.
Question of the Day: What is one technological device you could not live without?