Am I addicted to my computer and to the internet?

InnerSelf.com – Daily Inspiration:

Computers are the new mystical lover. There are many among us who cannot resist the glow of the computer screen or the lure of the Internet. There is so much to do, to see, and to learn. There is so much to explore. There is an endless opportunity for play. You plan to take a moment to check your E-mail or to reconcile your bank account, and five hours later you drag yourself to bed, exhausted but happy, hardly remembering your partner’s name.

We have come to think of the computer as the new mystical lover, a seductive creature who, always awake and available, sings a siren song at all hours of the day and night. No matter what you are working at, it’s good-bye to your partner as your primary linkage shifts to the computer. Once when we were speaking about this as having an almost addictive quality, a computer expert told us he had heard that when people work on computers their brains move into a very satisfying alpha rhythm that is literally addictive. We do not know whether or not this is true, but it certainly seems that way.

There are many levels to this new fatal attraction. Some people have an intermittent linkage problem that does not constantly detract from their relationship. When they are working on their computers, that is their primary linkage but they are capable of returning and connecting to their partners. There are others, however, for whom the connection to the computer, and to the things that they access through their computer, is truly the primary linkage in their lives. To check this out, ask yourself where you have more fun, with your computer or with your partner.

EXCERPTED FROM the InnerSelf.com article:
Can You Keep Love Alive?
by Hal & Sidra Stone.

TO READ MORE of this excerpt, go to
http://innerself.com/content/articles/relationships/general/5250-can-you-keep-love-alive.html
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InnerSelf.com – Book of the day:
Partnering: A New Kind of Relationship
by Hal & Sidra Stone.

Famed therapists Hal and Sidra Stone show readers how to turn their relationships into true “joint ventures” – ones in which partners balance their need for relationship with their need for individuality, relinquish judgment and criticism, improve their decision-making and communication abilities, celebrate their sensuality and sexuality, and include children in their lives without sacrificing their own relationship. The authors offer both general concepts and specific tips that will help couples of all kinds succeed.

For more info or to order this book:
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1577311078/innerselfcom
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A Distinctive American Voice, Ever Yearning for Home Sweet Home

James Taylor on Tuesday night in a gala celebrating 120 years of Carnegie Hall that included other stars and former President Bill Clinton. More Photos »

By STEPHEN HOLDEN
Published: April 13, 2011

James Taylor may be the foremost contemporary composer of what you might call American lullabies. “Carolina in My Mind,” “Sweet Baby James,” “Shower the People,” “My Traveling Star” and “You Can Close Your Eyes,” all of which he performed at a Carnegie Hallgala concert on Tuesday evening celebrating the hall’s 120th year, share the same elusive magic. Along with “Home on the Range,” “Red River Valley” and Stephen Foster ballads, they seem somehow to have always existed.

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Special guests included Dianne Reeves singing the Billie Holiday lament “Don’t Explain.” More Photos »

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Sting performing “Penny Lane.” More Photos »

Especially when Mr. Taylor sings them in a voice that is both astringent and soothing, he conjures the image of a lonely cowboy murmuring to himself by a campfire in the mountains. The sadness and comfort that these songs evoke are two sides of the same coin. Like no one else’s, Mr. Taylor’s music distills a primal American yearning that can never be completely satisfied: the dream of home sweet home.

Because there is a ceremonial quality in everything Mr. Taylor does, the gala felt a little like an upbeat church service at which he presided over his flock like a modest Protestant minister. It was the first of four thematic shows, all featuring Mr. Taylor, called “Perspectives.”

A “Roots” evening next Wednesday will concentrate on music he heard while growing up. “Guitar Conversations” on May 6 will team him with some of his favorite guitarists. And “Quintessential James Taylor,” on May 9, will be an anthology of the songs that Mr. Taylor is proudest of.

Tuesday’s gala, a retrospective of Carnegie Hall’s history, encompassed Broadway, jazz, folk music and comedy. Featured guests included Bette MidlerBarbara CookSteve MartinDianne ReevesSting and two choruses.

A somewhat shaky “There’s No Business Like Show Business,” a song very much off Mr. Taylor’s beaten track, led off the show (directed by Scott Ellis), during which photographs of stars who have appeared in the hall were flashed onto a screen at the back of the stage. A flexible band playing musical arrangements by Charles Floyd negotiated the stylistic leaps from vaudeville to folk to rock with impressive agility.

Ms. Midler channeled Sophie Tucker in a medley that included “Some of These Days,” “After You’ve Gone” and “My Yiddishe Momme.” Demonstrating her stylistic audacity, she leapt from an understated “Pirate Jenny” to a raucous “Sweet Blindness.” Mr. Martin, whom Mr. Taylor introduced as “a banjo-playing fool,” led a bluegrass ensemble through “Foggy Mountain Breakdown” and leavened the evening with sly witticisms.

Although Ms. Reeves performed only one number, theBillie Holiday lament “Don’t Explain,” it was a killer. Paced very slowly with minimal accompaniment, she sang as though she were dragging the weight of the world behind her.

But the evening’s most compelling performance was Ms. Cook’s “Here’s to Life.” To hear this indestructible woman, who is now 83, muse, “I had my share, I drank my fill/And even though I’m satisfied, I’m hungry still” in a voice that has lowered without shedding any of its luster was to receive lines of personal scripture torn from the soul.

The notion of a James Taylor-Barbara Cook duet may have sounded promising in theory. But as they regaled each other with choruses of “Not While I’m Around,” from “Sweeney Todd,” like son and mother, their voices didn’t match.

The show’s only outright failure was its attempt to cover comedy by having Kevin Pollak impersonate Lenny Bruce in an excerpt from a live recording that Bruce made at Carnegie Hall. The impression was deft, but the material hasn’t held up.

The appearance of Sting late in the show, singing “Penny Lane,” gave the evening a sudden lift. From then on it was smooth sailing. And when the Tanglewood Festival Chorus arrived to join Mr. Taylor and Sting on “How Sweet It Is (to Be Loved by You),” euphoria reigned. Who knew, until Mr. Taylor put his stamp on it in 1975, that this Marvin Gaye standard could be transmuted so seamlessly into an upbeat folk-pop chorale?

After former President Bill Clinton made a pitch for the Weill Music Institute’s education programs, a second group, the Young People’s Chorus of New York, trooped down the aisles to sing “Shower the People,” and the collective joy intensified.

Reflecting on Carnegie Hall’s history, Mr. Taylor named Judy Garland’s 1961 concertthere as the hall’s show-business high point, and he sang a tender “Over the Rainbow.”

“It’s what I think of as the anthem of Carnegie Hall,” he declared.