The Loh Life is writer/performer Sandra Tsing Loh's weekly take on life, family, and pop culture in early 21st century Southern California.
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THe Me Phone: What a Jitendra!-- part 4

Sandra Tsing Loh explores her new iPhone.

In salute to Steve Jobs-- AND thanks to a one hundred dollar Verizon REBATE- I FIND myself buying an IPHONE.

My children are thrilled -- they couldn’t have been more EXCITED if their MOTHER had suddenly transformed into a six foot tall SUPER model.

To GIVE you a sense of just HOW out of touch I’ve BEEN -- My 10 year old Motorola CELLPHONE, what I call my Czechoslovakian MILITARY phone--? It is SO old the Verizon store STAFF cannot even LOCATE a plug that fits INTO it-- One that would clearly HAVE to LOOK like the FANGS of a pterodactyl.

Since my DATA cannot be transferred, my IPHONE experience BEGINS with my programming 100 telephone numbers INTO it by hand. On the upside, my life INSTANTLY looks more glamorous--

"Edwin Maravilla"-- The white sans-serif words HOVER over a 3-D indigo blue RAINSCAPE-- Is this an internationally FAMOUS fashion photographer, or my father’s male Filipino NURSE? Who can tell? Not I!

90 minutes LATER, my once-PRISTINE glass screen now SMEARY with digital effort--and by that I mean my fingers--I am ready to EXPERIMENT with this marvelous new technology by attempting to place a TELEPHONE call to my FRIEND, sitting five feet away from me.

Furrowing my BROW, using all my inductive powers, what I do instead--and I STILL don’t know how--is SEND him a short, shaky video of me, haggardly typing things into my IPHONE. Thank God it wasn’t NAKED video. And thank God I didn’t accidentally SEND it to my 100 contacts.

Next came an iPhone FIELD trip. It BEGAN with us plugging it into the car LIGHTER to stream a JAZZ station. It ENDED with a FIGHT at the Westfield Mall, TRIGGERED by our INABILITY to locate The Cheesecake Factory with the IPHONE’S google maps/satellite-locator/PIN-thingee (which apparently uses more COMPUTING power than the first Apollo mission).

And because I’ve been USING the phone for everything BUT telecommunication, it is hemorrhaging battery power, AND I have lost the charger, so NOW, it’s back to the Verizon store.

While I wait my turn, I TEXT my friend Erika to explain why I’m running LATE. It’s hard to text with my apparently UNUSUALLY fat thumbs, and middle-aged EYESIGHT--"What a nightmare!" I type in frustration, at which point, I kid you not, the IPHONE CORRECTS the word nightmare and SUBSTITUTES "What a Jitendra!"

Turns out JITENDRA is a common female NAME on the Indian sub-continent. Odd programmer GLITCH, or Steve Jobs chuckling from beyond?

When will I find the answer? With the next Verizon COUPON, I’m sure.