For New Year’s this year, I made the usual kinds of resolutions that everybody makes. Eat healthier. Find more time for myself. Get more exercise. Buy fewer shoes. I don’t know whether I’ll follow through on them, but that’s not really the point, is it? New Year’s resolutions are aspirational. They’re not really meant to form the basis of a life plan for the upcoming year, regardless of what O Magazine tells you.
That said, I did make some resolutions that intend to keep. These were mostly tech-related resolutions, which I suppose tells you something about my priorities. Still, they are resolutions, and, I think, meaningful ones. Sort of:
It's Canada Day today. Most Canadians will be celebrating by drinking beer and watching fireworks and stalking the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Me, I'm celebrating by going off the grid.
Well, going mostly off...
I’m often asked how I get the action captures in the photos that I upload to Instagram and that I post here, because everyone assumes that if you’re not a professional photographer using a fancy camera, you must have a secret to getting great photos. Well, I’m not a professional photographer, and although I do have a fancy camera, it’s not the one that I’m using to get those shots – those are all iPhone shots, people – so it’s totally fair to ask if I have a secret. I do have a secret. And it’s a ridiculously simple one.
Here are some things that Jasper and Emilia love: crayons, art paper, paints, marshmallows, bubble wrap, trains, books, the iPhone, the iPad, video cameras, regular cameras, Toady, me, Kyle, the cats, skateboards, anything Disney, Scotch tape, cardboard boxes, stickers, the piano, and cookies. Only cookies with chocolate, though. They know their baked goods.
Why they love these things, I don’t know. I’ve never really thought to ask that question, except in regards to Toady, who is so unusual (and whose continued existence Kyle interrogates daily: ‘can we get rid of him, PLEASE?‘) that his very presence demands that variations on that question – why are you here? what need or want are you fulfilling? – be asked of him, constantly. (Notice that I fall so naturally into calling Toady a ‘him.’ This is disturbing.) The presence of, and my children’s preference for, all those other things goes unquestioned, I suppose because those preferences don’t read as unusual. Who doesn’t love the iPhone? Crayons? Cookies? I mean, really? So, no, I never asked.
Jasper loves the iPhone. Jasper loves the iPhone a lot.
Jasper loves the iPhone with a passion that exceeds my own, which is saying something, because it is only a slight exaggeration to say that I would save my iPhone before my husband if we were in a sinking raft (this was a favorite heuristic device of an old philosophy prof of mine, one that he believed demonstrated something important about the complicated nature of predicting altruistic behavior. I was never able to answer the question – would you save a loved one, a family member, or your pet? would you save a loved one or Brad Pitt? – without deliberating at length. Which loved one? How far is it to shore? Can my loved one swim? Would Brad Pitt thank me? How would he thank me? I would ask. I got an A in that class.)
Jasper would save the iPhone, no question. The rest of us would drown, and Jasper would go on his merry way, playing Elmo’s Monster Maker uninterrupted.