Tag Archives: Netflix

Worst. Magician. Ever.

I want magic powers. I bet you immediately thought of wizards and witches and fireballs and, just maybe, nearsighted preteen Brits with weather-related scars. I totally admit that would be awesome — flying on broomsticks, unlocking doors with a few spoken words, and playing with baseball cards that move. The thing is, in all those stories, those magic-doers have to battle evil or some garbage. Screw that, man. If I had magic powers, I wouldn’t fight evil or feel compelled to save the world. Nope, I would end up being one of those people who need a crane to be lifted out of their house. I would use magic to become the laziest person alive. Hey! I wouldn’t even need the crane! I could just levitate myself!

That’s right. Gone would be the days of having to get up and fetch that cake from the fridge. Never again would I have to reach over and pick up a ringing telephone. Say goodbye to needing to pay for heating oil. Instead, that cake would come to me. I would communicate telepathically with whoever called. I’d throw a fireball so hot, it would melt the neighbors’ house. Wait! It would be so hot, it would melt the neighbors! That’s what you get for judging the morbidly obese, Bob. Suck on my mystically enchanted sulfur balls…of flame.

See, the benefit to being a magician is that I could do whatever I want. At the top of the list? Nothing. In fact, please don’t bother me. That’s what I want most of all. I realize I could do amazing things to help the underprivileged. I could eliminate hunger, ease human suffering, and help those less fortunate pick themselves up by their bootstraps. The thing is, what about my bootstraps? Do you honestly expect me to lean over and grab ahold of my shoes when I could just magic them into my hands? Just because the underprivileged can’t manipulate space, matter, and time with a simple thought doesn’t mean it becomes my responsibility. Do you have any idea of the type of focus necessary to guarantee nothing but green lights every time I leave the house?

Shut up, Uncle Ben!

I imagine being the most powerful human being alive would allow a lot of time for little pet projects. Have you ever seen the movie The Rocketeer? I’m pretty sure magic is the only way you don’t become a torso with flaming stumps for legs. What about Star Wars? I would totally call myself a Jedi. Let’s see if Han still thinks “hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a trusty blaster at your side” when I use magic to turn that blaster in a rabid bantha in heat. Also, I would create pretty much anything in Back to the Future II. Hoverboards are freakin’ awesome.

The classic mistake.

There’d be no rules to hold me back.There’d be no one to stop me. No force in the entire world would give me the slightest pause. I realize this sounds like the start of every villain story. At first, his intentions are good. He alone sees the one true path to universal peace. He alone can save the human race, just so long as all power is forfeited to him. I know what you’re thinking. This is exactly what would happen to me. All my good intentions would buckle under the weight of all that power. In no time at all, I would be a despot.

Well, you’re totally wrong. You have wildly overestimated my motivation to do anything except sit on my couch and watch Netflix. I realize I could do all sorts of amazing, powerful, unstoppable things. I just wouldn’t want to. I would, at most, sit around with servants to wait on me hand and foot. I would surround myself with sycophants who inevitably would become my entourage. They’d get me all my food, provide entertainment, and basically run my empire (which would be completely dedicated to making me even more lazy). Basically, I’d be a Jedi version of Jabba the Hutt.

Before you freak out, I already know that Hutts cannot be Force-sensitive. Don’t get your Twi’leks in a bunch.

Maybe this is why there is no magic in the world anymore. (Let’s not quibble over the existence, or the practical realities, of magic. For the sake of this discussion, let’s assume magic is real. Don’t be a Bob, okay?) Maybe all the magicians in the world got into a huge war over resources. One especially powerful magician was able to horde all the food and servants, while the other magicians starved to death. Then the reigning magician choked on a mutton sandwich, the food blocking his airway and thus preventing him from being able to call for help. Quite tragically, he forgot he could just magic the food away. It was just too delicious.

Or magic doesn’t exist. Shut up, Bob!

Joe is an amateur magician. So far, his magical abilities consist of waving his hand in front of an automatic door and making it open. He does not have a neighbor named Bob…anymore.


In Defense of My Dumbphone


I live in the North Country. For those of you for whom this has no meaning, not only do I live in the part of New York that is not within commuting distance to NYC (or the greater metro area), but I actually live in upstate NY. It’s a trek to get anywhere. My closest grocery store is a Walmart ~12 miles from my apartment. The McDonald’s at the base of my lake closes in the winter from lack of year-round denizens. I can’t flush my toilet within an hour of taking a shower if I want my well to help produce pressure enough to wash my hair. No joke, last week my shower stopped mid lather because a house guest was in my kitchen getting a drink of tap water.

Although, I do know people who consider Westchester County to be upstate.

Although, I do know people who consider Westchester County to be upstate.

We do have some modern conveniences. My WiFi connection is strong enough that I can marathon the latest Netflix Original Series or host multiplayer online games on Steam (if it’s not windy), and if I walk a few paces down my street (beside my garden gnome next door neighbor’s crops) I have enough cell phone service to send and receive text messages–picture messages are another story.

I’ve been collecting people’s outdated Androids as hand-me-downs for the day that I can actually use them. I have one currently set up solely as my instagram box. I am the master of the #latergram. “Look! I saw a thing a day and a half ago that I thought you also needed to see! Share my experience! Now, feel free to validate me!”

Allegedly there’s a cell tower coming to town…eventually.

4G in the Adirondacks....EVENTUALLY!

4G in the Adirondacks….EVENTUALLY!

But at this point, a data plan doesn’t feel like a wise investment. I have internet access while I am at work, home, the market, the ice cream store, the bar, the gym…all I am missing is the distracted driving that comes from trying to connect to Waze. And texting my friend to let him know that I am omw. And confirming that location tag on Facebook. And replying to that comment on Disqus.

My life didn’t start in the mountains, and I won’t be here forever. And I’m not even trying to put down the wonders of the modern cell phone–I know that my iPhone inclined Brooklyn friends swear by HopStop to get into Manhattan without running into unplanned detours, and that Google/Siri are the direction-giving gas-station attendants for Millennials. But, DAMN, a data plan is expensive.

After I had been handed my third deemed “obsolete” smart phone, I started getting antsy. Is it acceptable for me to not be plugged in at all times? Hell, I know a guy who chose to be evicted rather than to terminate his iPhone contract. I made my way to the website of my wireless provider. It should be easy, I told myself. How many commercials about the awe-inspiring nature of UNLIMITED DATA have interrupted my online viewing pleasures? I was met pretty immediately by the paywall (and the beyond frustrating enigma of the Verizon Wireless site map). As a young professional who is currently living paycheck-to-paycheck, I don’t have $70/month to spend on a measly 4GB. I have a car to insure and gas up! I have birth control to buy! I’ve also been known to eat meals every so often.

And so, I’m back on the merry-go-round. When I get off, I’m where I started: surrounded by the pointed pines and the brilliant birches that dapple those 4G blocking majestic mountains. I’ll continue to take a break from the internet when I’m swimming in the lake or blazing a trail, for I know that I’ll be moving downstate soon enough, where the salaries meet the higher cost of living, and after-hour work emails reign supreme.

Om is where the heart is.

Om is where the heart is.

EEK is wrapping up a two year contract in the stunning Adirondack Mountains of New York state where she has learned the wonders of alone time, leaving your pipes running in sub-zero weather, and hosting budget-conscious house guests each weekend of the summer.