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Tracey E.Schelmetic

Dot Com Commerce

BY TRACEY E. SCHELMETIC
Managing Editor, CUSTOMER INTER@CTION Solutions


[June 13, 2001]

Tech And The Single Girl

In light of all the attention stream-of-consciousness novels about modern, working women have been getting lately, and having just seen the film version of Bridget Jones' Diary, I have resolved to remedy the fact that none of these fictionalized so-called modern women are particularly tech-savvy, despite Bridget's ubiquitous mobile phone and e-mail flirtations. Have therefore resolved to write diary of professional Girl Geek: just as dysfunctional and chardonnay-fueled as the more famous fictionalized women, but with far higher telecommunications bills.

June 7, 2001, 5:45 pm
Percentage of disk space used: 81
MP3s: 1,479
(will do something about this immediately after Law & Order)
E-mails in inbox: 327
(ouch)

Horoscope came in on cell phone's Web browser this morning on way to work. What a surpriseanother poorly rated day, particularly in the "friendship" categoryonly a 4 out of a possible 10. Have come to the conclusion that Tauruses are a miserable lot. Have made note to self on PDA to visit StarCharts.com to see if there's any wiggle room. Depending on variations in time zones and minor planetary drift over the last 30 mumble years, I might discover I'm actually a much more cheerful and fun-loving Gemini instead, allowing self to no longer be doomed to lurking in corners at parties, petting the hosts' cats and trying to avoid the temptation of the Mexican seven-layer dip on the buffet table.

In the meantime, will e-mail all friends and apologize again for being so low-rated as a buddy. Have gotten into the habit several times per weekcan't figure out why so few friends respond anymore.

June 8, 2001, 11:12 pm
Time spent on hold with help desks: 1.75 hours
MP3s: 1,556
(v. bad)
E-mails in inbox: 183
(feeling smug)

Having a major battery crisis today. Thought I had worked out the perfect system by keeping the AAs in the glove compartment for the MP3 player, and the AAAs for the Handspring in office desk drawer in case unit craps out during synching process. Had a crisis moment earlier when DVD remote control broke down just before viewing of Pride and Prejudice (may be a geek, but am still a girl and Colin Firth in a wet shirt looks just as good digitized as in old-fashioned VHS format). Had to swipe batteries out of stereo remote to avoid having to put down glass of cabernet, find slippers and go downstairs to parking lot of condo to fish batteries out of glove compartment, all the time trying to avoid running into weird Gerald from the condo next door, who smiles like one of the Blue Meanies in the freakier sequences of Yellow Submarine.

June 9, 2001, 9:24 pm
Percentage of disk space used: 83
(v. bad)
Hours spent online: 4.2
(will find more wholesome hobby next week)
MP3s: 1,555
E-mails in inbox: 372
(totally unacceptable)

Giant increase in e-mail in inbox can be blamed on enormous overnight influx of spam hawking super weight loss herbs, super gambling winnings, super-low mortgage rates, super reliable hair regrowth products, super sex pills, super deals on cruises and super exercise tapes. Am beginning to wonder how, before the advent of e-mail, anyone had hair, lost weight, got dates, went on vacation, made money or bought houses.

The loss of one MP3 from my home computer can be attributed to having surprised self by discovering a Gordon Lightfoot song among music files. Am unable to remember what the hell it was doing there, unless it was that late night working at the computer and cruising Napster while listening to a Discovery Channel program about the shipwrecks of the Great Lakes. Have eliminated "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" from my collection before anyone finds out about it.

Spent a half-hour before dinner cruising Cosmopolitan.com's "Spring Runway Report." Pacified self by thinking that on a computer screen, the infants they get to model clothing look even more like creatures out of a Dr. Seuss book with small stick bodies and giant heads wobbling around atop skinny chicken necks. Shared catty hour-long MS NetMeeting session with old high school friend regarding weight versus IQ while browsing site together and sharing sympathetic nods into Web cam. Unfortunately, lost all cable service (modem and TV) suddenly, leaving self to try and find a print magazine to read that was less than six months old. Failed utterly.

June 10, 2001, 11:01 am
Percentage of disk space used: 78
Number of reboots: 3
(argh!)
MP3s: 1,499
(feeling virtuous)
E-mails in inbox: 162
(feeling fantastically virtuous)

Voted in the Webby awards. Needed to make sure Expedia.com gets punished both for stupid TV commercials with John Cleese-wannabe voice-over and the fact that they won't let you browse their site if your cookies are disabled. Power to the People! (Oopsbrowser crashed.)

Tried to call parents at their vacation home in Vermont on Net2Phone to hear about planting of new hostas in the side garden, only to discover that the cats have chewed through the cord on PC headset. Forget a better mousetrap, am waiting for pet-proof technologies. Am considering purchase of CyberPounce -- specialized, interactive software for cats who like to chase cyber grasshoppers.

June 11, 2001, 2:27 pm
Percentage of disk space used: 79
MP3s: 1,509
(couldn't help itmanaged to squeeze Hannibal soundtrack off Napster for Dad, all the time wishing that Hannibal Lecter would pay a real-life visit to the Recording Industry Association of America, as had to search for the tracks I wanted by typing them into the search engine in Pig Latin.)
E-mails in inbox: 249

Had effective afternoon meeting with co-worker via instant messaging. We had much to discuss, as he sits in the cubicle right next to mine and is also bothered by the sound of the landscaping guy's weed whacker outside the window. Have put note to self into PDA to e-mail the landscaping company and ask if they can PLEASE do that another time, as opposed to the days when I have deadlines encroaching.

6:37 pm
Dropped PDA into foot bath of pedicure chair during weekly trip to nail salon. As haven't synched with Outlook in three days, lost information regarding to-do list, next weekend's plans, the month's family birthdays (with gift ideas), and recent ATM withdrawals from checking account. Chose "Wicked" for toes, though. Looks nice.

June 12, 2001, 8:13 am
Percentage of disk space used: 74
(not too bad)
MP3s: 1,409
(have discovered I really don't like Thelonious Monk and have therefore wiped all files off hard drive, even if it makes me uncool at coffee houses.)
E-mails in inbox: 0
(Instead of lighting fast "shift-delete" keystroke to eliminate one message from Outlook, accidentally executed keystroke to "select all" before hitting shift-delete. Good news is I will be spared receiving the omnipresent Neiman-Marcus cookie recipe e-mail from neophyte Internet-user friends and family members for at least another week.)

Have resolved to call Verizon Wireless to get a new cell phone number, as previous owner was apparently named Dodgy Mambo and failed to tell his/her/its friends that he/she/it got a new number. The first 15 calls were funny in the same manner of flatulence jokesam not finding them funny anymore. Used cell phone to call home voice mail to leave message to self.

12:31 am
Have discovered that new memory expansion card does not work in MP3 player, leaving self consigned to listen to same four songs over and over again while running on the treadmill at the gym, only underscoring hamster on exercise wheel similarities. Am tempted to discover whether or not solid whack with very large, low-tech hammer will cure MP3 player's expansion card problems.

June 13, 2001, 10:06 am
Percentage of disk space that contains information pertaining to the survival of the planet, the harmony of the universe, true happiness and the acquisition of the perfect little black dress: 0
MP3s: N/A
E-mails in inbox: Unsure

In preparation for upcoming vacation during which am planning to leave home cell phone, PC, laptop, cable modem, PDA, Web cam, MP3 player, DVD player, CD burner and stereo, am trying to wean self into new, stress-free analog mode. Have discovered that speaking face-to-face with co-workers often gets things done faster, parents appreciate phone calls without the latency, most of the e-mail I get is drivel and my own organic memory can often be relied upon to startlingly accurate effect. Now, if I can only stop quivering from digital withdrawal.

Readers (except weird Gerald) may contact the author at tschelmetic@tmcnet.com.


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