Tag Archives: technology

Alexa – Part II

My husband enjoys a traditional late breakfast with his mother and brother on Sunday mornings. Before he leaves, he watches an oil painting show upstairs while I putter around with writing or light housekeeping downstairs.

I usually like a quiet house but I decided to reconcile with the other woman.

“Alexa, play Adam Lambert.”

I can’t find music by Adam Lambert in your library but it is available on Amazon music unlimited.

Yeah, I love Adam as much as the first guy but I wasn’t dishing out any cash unless I was at his concert, so I tried again:

“Alexa, play Cher.”

I can’t find music by Cher in your library but it is available on Amazon music unlimited.

“Alexa, play Bette Midler.”

It was like a broken echo Dot. Skipping and repeating…dot, dot, dot

Okay, okay, I got it. The bitch wanted money and a playlist before she’d grace me with any of my favorite tunes.

Making the requests was easy enough though, so I didn’t stop there. I tried to generalize:

“Alexa, play good music.”

I don’t have any good music to play.

Really? Great Marketing you Amazon chickiepoo.

“Alexa, play classical.”

Turns out Alexa didn’t have any Concertos or Royal Parade music, so she honed in on the root word “classic” and started playing classic rock.

…from Richie’s playlist. He and Alexa are quite the pair now. I was trying to listen to something different for a change.

Richie came down the stairs with a chuckle as I gave in and said, “Alexa, play Allman Brothers.”

Richie seemed pleased with my working selection as he headed out the door to meet his family. He thinks it’s funny that he has the app and I’m ready to kick Alexa’s ass.

I listened to the classics that are so well known in this house and started to make myself a nice breakfast. As I cracked the eggs for my French toast, Alexa interrupted with a bulletin.

Reminder: Donna is a dumbass.

Alexa was mean-spirited and enjoyed saying it. Richie, on the other hand, was humorously telling me to catch up with the technological times. I knew he was laughing in his Jeep.

I begrudgingly grinned from ear-to-ear and cracked up with my egg shells. I was charmed to know he still thinks of me so creatively when he’s gone. After all these years he certainly knows how to push my buttons. I soaked my French toast, set the table for one and hit Alexa’s off button. I had some writing to do in my quiet house.

Alexa my ass

With only two of us left in the house, the dynamics are split 50-50 between doing whatever we want after dinner and not listening to each other when we are in the same room. The way I feel about this flip-flops between marital bliss and frustrating madness. Tonight was worse than the latter because there was another woman.

I’ve been in denial about it since Christmas but tonight she inserted herself into every conversation:

Hubby and I were talking about our daughter that flew out of town this weekend.

“If she’s in Houston, what time zone is that?” my husband thought out loud.

“Texas is Central; she’s only one hour behind us”, I responded confidently based on my business travel days.

“Alexa. What time zone is Texas?”

The lady in the corner confirmed my response in her matter-of-fact tone.

That aside, we sat down to the nice chicken I had baked. On the counter was my clever attempt at, not apple pie, but little apple empanadas. Both dinner and dessert were kind of a big deal because my husband does most of the cooking.

“Why didn’t you look up an apple pie recipe?”

“Seriously, do you know how many fall apple pies I’ve made at this house down the street from an apple orchard?” A little hurt, I added, “The contents are the same. It just looks different. I wanted to try to make some individual ones.”

“Well, Alexa could have helped you with a recipe.”

The problem with that chick was she was just too easy.

I still had some of the little tarts left to bake now that we’d eaten dinner. I put them on a tray and popped them into the oven. My husband watched, I thought in anticipation of a vanilla ice cream pairing.

Rather, “Alexa. Timer. Ten minutes.”

That bitch in my house let my man know she’d do exactly what he asked.

I seethed until my reliable oven timer went off. Alexa could step off. I’ve managed this household just fine for over 25 years. We do not need her technological, electricity sucking, unnecessary two cents every time we do something. “Now that the pies are done, I am going to just go read a book and listen to some music.”

“Alexa. Play KISS.”

They could both kiss my ass. The marital interplay was maddening. I thought it best that we split up. With a grin on my face, I went into our unplugged living room to read – and it wasn’t a recipe book from Amazon.


Life with you is effortless. We float through time in the most beautiful patient way. You’ve given me form and function. All of my being is safe and secure. I can be anything, go anywhere, when I am with you. Together we make sense. It all computes.

Lesson 8 – Oh great!

When Cristina and I saw each other, she immediately hugged me and giggled.

“My blog?”

“Yes, I love it!”

“How much did you read? Did you see all our lesson entries?”


“Well, I love the trees.”

I quickly tried to remember to which Lesson post I’d attached a tree photo?  I came up empty and must have had a suddenly deflated expression.

“You know. Tree. How you say?”

“Yes, tree. I’m just trying to recall the photo.”

“A tree. It has branches and leaves.” She held her arms out for limbs.

Every lesson I get a sense for what it must be like on the other side of learning a language.

“Oh. Yes. I know what a tree is. I’m thinking about which photo?”

“The ones with the smiles? They were so funny.”

That finally translated in my tired, I’ve already put in a full day of work, mind.

“You saw my ‘tree stickers’ too?” I was flattered that she’d explored the blog beyond our lessons. Those were silly outside photos I’d posted after the blizzard.  I was almost embarrassed that she was starting to know how crazy I was.


We had emailed during the week.  That’s how I knew she’d started to view the blog.  I’d wanted to make sure she approved of me documenting our progress before I continued. She was fine with the entries as well as me posting our selfie.  However, I since decided I want to post it as part of a side-by-side at the end of our year together.

Email is a great way for us to make our plans and work on sentence structure.  Cristina’s last email had said she wanted a blog too. I was thrilled that I’d inspired her.  She asked if I could help. Now I was intimidated.

Take one thing you don’t know – like a foreign language – and combine it with something WAY outside your comfort zone – like say, technology – and tell me you wouldn’t at least be a little unsure of yourself.

Ãs Cristina fired up her laptop I told her I’d started a list of words with long vowel sounds for her to practice. I didn’t have them with me but I told her ‘live’ was an example. She’d seen a band live last week, so I was trying to personalize the list. The dual meaning also meant she had to ‘live’ through my explanation.  

A fresh WordPress template was now in front of me in Spanish.

Deep breath.

I know the layout so I could translate the tabs.

I pointed out the pages and the widgets. Those are key to the initial design.

Then I explained that it’s really about preference…and I admitted it took me weeks to get started.

I told her it might take some experimenting.  While I felt like I left her hanging, I told her the basics still apply – saving and trial & error.

Our time was up but I told her I couldn’t wait to see her go live!

Copyright Donna L. Crowe