The Internet-Free Life

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After a few days of living like a character from The Brady Bunch, there are no words for how happy I am to be “connected.”  Because of a glitch in our phone service, we were without Wi-Fi access for the past few days.  Hard to explain, but trust me – not worth trying. The Comcast guy just left, and after I let my husband and son know that we are back in business, I began to answer e-mails.  It turns out that, because of the holiday weekend, I mostly missed “end” of summer sales notices!

Of course, without the computer time, I was able to read a lot. Mostly, I caught up on my magazines. No easy task. For the past few months, I’ve been stacking them up next to my computer planning to go through them over the summer. As it turns out, if you “unplug,” the pile goes down much faster.  Among the pages of articles, this is one I particularly enjoyed from the July/August issue of The Atlantic.  If you grew up reading novels by Beverly Cleary, you’ll enjoy this insightful article by Benjamin Schwarz.

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2011/07/my-ramona/8553/

From an article in May 16 issue of The New Yorker, I learned that Pixar employees have access to a cereal bar!  Anthony Lane, in his article “The Fun Factory,” writes: “when I asked where the spiritual core of Pixar lay, everyone directed me, without hesitation, to the cereal bar on the right side of the atrium – a row of your favorite cereals, on tap, anytime you want.”  How great is that! I can only imagine how much a cereal bar would increase productivity and happiness. 

A month or so ago, looking at magazines at Barnes and Noble, I picked up a copy of Martha’s Vineyard, a magazine published a few times a year by The Vineyard Gazette. I purchased it after looking at the amazing photographs of Marc and Laurie Brown’s home and studio on the Vineyard. There are now 66 million books in print about Arthur, the 35-year-old aardvark – he even has his own iPad app!

The magazines have now been either put aside for friends or into the recycling bin, and I have 20 pages left of Patti Smith’s memoir about her life with Robert Mapplethorpe. Just Kids was also on my summer “to read” list, and thanks to this weekend’s step back in time, I was able to concentrate more fully on Smith’s National Book Award-winning book about New York in the late 1960s – when there were so many bookstores!

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