“Paintbook” to the rescue

In our peaceful Umbrian countryside, you can go for three days without seeing anyone but the Postina, or the cashier at Conad. We like that just fine, but when we arrive in Paris, we play the contrast for all it’s worth. We rush around touching base with four generations of family, taking in films, going to the restaurant that serves the best confit de canard and garlicky potatoes, to Chinatown to stock up on Asian ingredients, to the optician to get our eyes tested.  We make lists and check things off, walking everywhere. When after a few days the first great thirst is quenched, we collapse for 48 hours, and then it all begins again.

Yesterday is the day I noticed I was running on empty. I walked Jacques part way to lunch with his father, but got no farther than the park in front of the Bon Marché before collapsing on a sunny bench.  I didn’t really feel like sitting around at home on a beautiful afternoon–to do what? Knit another inch of what I swear is the last sock ever? Check emails for the tenth time, look out the window at the little groups of adolescents smoking and flirting in front of their school?

Time management is a subtle and complicated art, whether you have too much of it, or not quite enough.  I confess that having no energy and no plan left me a little pensive. Though I could have gone along for that lunch, I have worked hard to cultivate the image of someone who needs time for herself, and I certainly didn’t want to lose ground! But the truth is, you can forget what it is you DO when you are not in constant motion, but are not ready to go home.

Paintbook to the rescue! I had spent 99 cents on this fascinating iPhone app several months ago, but got sidetracked before really figuring out how it works; so I printed out the user’s manual, and put it aside for a “rainy” day. And there it was in my pocket, waiting for just this moment. What an absorbing way to watch and record the world going by, while posing as someone sending text messages! You can take actual photos of your surroundings (even the pigeons ignore you, thinking you are just playing Angry Birds!), collage them together, add a layer of scribbly lines, a bit of text or drawing, and even shuffle the layers. It is an amazingly sophisticated app, and now that I am starting to get the hang of it, I can’t leave it alone.

Here are my first exercises…how exhilarating it is, having a new toy!

Trust my favorite ten year old to figure it out faster and better; here are Alexandre’s first tries!  At midnight I had to send him to bed to get my phone back, but before breakfast it’s gone again…maybe I’d better spend another 99 cents and buy Paintbook for his family.

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2 Responses to ““Paintbook” to the rescue”

  1. Wonderful, and thanks. All I need is another iPhone app!

  2. Aren’t you having fun!

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