Tuesday, January 10, 2006

In which Le*h McL*ren sells me a Filofax.

About Globe columnist Le*h McL*ren. She went to my high school, was two years behind me, and I only knew who she was because she was one of the best singers by far in our school's homegrown rock opera version of Alice in Wonderland. She will never have heard of me. As I slogged away in the pit orchestra, she, the Queen of Hearts, strutted about convincingly in a little red dress with a heart-shaped cutout in back. I thought she was damn cool, remembered her, and was charmed, years later, to see that she could write, too. An essay of hers on irony that was printed in the Globe a few years ago is a favourite of mine, and I'd love to read it again if I could find it.

Why have I put asterisks in her name? Because I suck, that's why. I don't want anyone searching for her and arriving at this post. There are too many bloggers who hate her utterly, have erudite reasons for doing so, and write much better than I do. I'm a shallow gal, and I likes me my Le*h, and I might just be ashamed to admit it. I do want to throttle her occasionally, but I'm not a member of the I Hate Le*h McL*ren club by any stretch. Her columns are a guilty treat for me, and I'm damned if I know quite why. Perhaps it's because she appeals to my inner shallow, acquisitive snob, writing regularly about various little indulgences to which I would love to treat myself, if I could afford it. Like hip yoga gear, or a meal at a posh restaurant, or a farm near Cobourg. Or a Filofax.

Oh, I'm bad. A little over a year ago, a cellist friend of mine whipped out her PDA to show me pictures of her cat. Until then, I had never thought I'd have or need a PDA; it seemed a nifty tool for corporate types with money, or for rich, gadget-obsessed teenagers. But here was a poor, freelance musician, just like me, with a PDA! Suddenly, my reality was altered, and the Realm of Possibility opened wide. If she needed one, surely I did too! I had cats, right? I liked playing Text Twist, and with a PDA I could do it on the subway! I needed a personal organizer anyway, for all my millions (ha) of gigs and contacts and stuff. Why not make the move?

So I did. After weeks of painstaking internet research on finding The Best Possible PDA For My Needs, Budget, And Exacting Quality Standards, I settled on a bottom-rung Palm Zire with the capacity to store photos, function as an mp3 player with a memory card, and transform my life into one slick operation.

Over one year and $250 later, I have used it only as a datebook, note pad, address book, and calculator. Not one cat picture, game or mp3 has graced its memory. It's just a datebook that requires constant recharging, and I am forever losing its charger.

Le*h's column this week extols her newest posh accessory: her Filofax. Now, I'm not quite as dreadful an organizer as she, and I have only left reminder messages on my own answering machine once or twice in my life. Generally, if I'm afraid of forgetting something, I'll write it on my hand. Shut up. But she has delighted in going back to basics, and seduced me with the notion of fine, soft leather, posh stylings, and the pleasure of putting ink on paper. Oh sure, any old paper organizer would likely do. I carried a clunky Quo Vadis from Grand and Toy for years, but it never turned me on like the thought of Le*h's Filofax does.

Besides, now I know that she would think I was a dork for having a PDA:

I know lots of people with Palm Pilots, but every time I see one of them tip-tapping the screen with one of those fake plastic pens, I cringe. To my eye, the Palm Pilot doesn't look contemporary at all. It looks clunky and on the cusp of being outmoded.


Well! Sold! Almost. I do like having that calculator around, and it's much more user-friendly than the calc on my cell phone. But it's not like I'll chuck my PDA immediately. I think I'll just go to a store and stroke some Filofaxes until I know what to do. If one of them has a pocket that's just right for a mini calculator, I'm doomed.

Damn, that was long. So sorry. I do take off a bit when I'm avoiding cleaning.

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