Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Everybody's Talking At Me…

I don't hear a word they're saying.
Only the echoes of my mind…

“Hello, this is Sandy Johnson from Coleman Company. I’m following up on the order you placed yesterday. You didn’t receive confirmation? I apologize. Yes. I’ll check on it and get back with you.”

“No mom. Yes it’s delayed, but it’s okay. Don’t worry mom. Yes, I have some money. Mom. There is food here. I’m safe. Mom. I’ll be okay.”

“Oh yeah, I’m on the road. What? No. Oh it’s not too bad. I’ve been across 12 states just today. Ha ha ha ha ha. But business is booming!”

“That was some party! Oh, bro, did you see Jaxon? Ha ha. Yep, fell right in the floor. People be stepping on that fool. I guess he be okay.”

“What? No! I thought you were still with him. No! When? I need the details girl!”

It’s a cacophony of words, laughter and voices. I’m reminded of the old days, eating in the school cafeteria with all the little kids busily talking at the same time. I look around and it seems that everyone is speaking into a cell phone. Actually it seems like they are all screaming into a cell phone. I decide to count how many people are around me. I count 22 people, 3 of which are texting and 16 of which are having conversations with someone. Maybe. I’m hearing what they call “halfologues”. That means only one side of the conversation can be heard.
I read not too long ago that a lot of people fake cell phone conversations in public places to get attention. If Joe Salesman is bragging about how much money he brought in last month then Michael Marketing may pull out his phone and brag about how much more money he brought in. They both may just be talking to the time and temperature number or nobody at all! Why? I mean, really, who cares?

Another thing the article said was that people tend to talk louder when on a cell phone than on a regular phone or in a face to face conversation. Really? There was actually a reason for this. With a regular old fashioned telephone, or landline, there is a microphone in the receiver. This mic amplifies your voice into the ear piece so you can hear your own voice, loud and clear. Cell phones don’t amplify your voice into the earpiece, so the only sound you hear is from your mouth. It doesn’t really seem like it would make a lot of difference, but hearing your voice through the air into your ear and hearing it from a speaker pressed to your ear creates quite a variation in volume. Weird, huh! I just thought the other party of the conversation was hard of hearing! Another reason? Some people, especially with smart phones, can’t see where or what they are supposed to be talking into so they yell, just in case. Funny!

Now they say there is a direct relation to how well you can concentrate on what you are doing or are supposed to be doing, when someone is talking on a cell phone near you. The part of your brain that processes speech is trying to make sense of the pattern you are hearing. Since you can only hear half of a conversation, your brain is trying to figure out how the other half is going. Therefore, we become distracted, because we are listening, trying to decipher, whether we want to or not, because supposedly, the average person isn’t able to block it out!

People watching has always been an interesting way to pass the time. When I travel I usually get a chance to do just that. Most of the time I knit while I wait, because, unless it’s something complicated I don’t have to look at what I’m doing so I can look around. It doesn’t require concentration. It also gives me something to do while I sit that’s at least a little bit productive. I’ve tried reading a book but I always get distracted. Now I know it’s because I’m really people listening as much as watching!

People stopping, staring.
I can't see their faces.
Only the shadows of their eyes…

So what is knitayear? It’s a project I read about in a tweet. The recipe is basic; cast on some stitches, knit at least two rows every day using a color that fits your mood or feelings that day. If you want, you can journal or blog as a kind of documentation of your feelings, creating a personal record of the year. I thought it sounded interesting, so I decided I was going to do it. And I still am!
The last far.
The whole time I was stuck at the airport last week, I had my knitting with me. I felt so bad, though, I didn’t get much done. It was Bryce’s scarf. I ended up taking it apart because it seemed to be pulling on the edge with the two yarns. I started it again and it doesn’t seem to be pulling like it was but I’m not happy with it. I think I’m going to end up doing it lengthwise instead. I started another cowl. I don’t know why but I really like those things. It’s simple and I’m kind of making it up as I go, using a little bit of a couple of patterns. Pretty color though, even if I end up taking it apart.
Making it up as I go.
Love the color.
 Knitayear is still going well. Day 312, February 6, and I’m pretty unenthusiastic about this trip. I’m still tired, still sick and I’d just rather stay home. But I don’t. I choose a shiny gray yarn. Maybe it’s my silver lining. Day 313, February 7, isn’t a bad day. I’m conscientious, making sure I do my part, simple as it is. And I’m enjoying the company. I really like this group of people and I’m glad for the time I get to see them. I choose old gold. Day 314, is February 8. I’m finally feeling rested. I am catching up and I feel refreshed. I’m getting more rest and even skip going out with the gang, much as I wanted to. I chose a light purple velour. Day 315 is Wednesday and it’s cold and wet again. It’s February 9, and I’m getting nervous as to whether I’ll get home or not. So far there are no delays and I’m crossing my fingers. I choose a bright variegated rainbow yarn. I wait with my dear friend Mindy and we people watch and listen because we can’t help it. And all goes well and we get home.
 I'm going where the sun keeps shining,
Thru' the pouring rain.
Going where the weather suits my clothes.
Backing off of the North East wind,
Sailing on summer breeze.
And skipping over the ocean like a stone.


  1. Hi

    I'm so glad you found my blog, thank you for leaving a comment.

    I always wondered why people shouted on cell phones! I travel an hour each way for work and always knit. We have a quiet coach on our trains where people are not allowed to use phones so my journey is quite quiet but I am waiting for someone to complain about the clicking of ny needles!

    I love the idea of a knitted year


  2. Seriously, people pretend to be on the phone? Why, to look cool? That's mad. I love the teal blue shade of your yarn, the project looks great so far!

  3. @Catherine...How nice to have a place with no cell phones for your commute! I commute as well but I have to drive myself. I haven't quite got knitting and driving down. ;) Thanks for stopping by!

  4. @Sinéad...I never ceases to amaze me on what money is spent for research on things like people pretending to talk on the phone! I'll look up the link. It said some did it to draw attention to themselves and make themselves look good. Strange!