“Hey, Stella,” I said. No response.
“Stella.” A little louder, same result.
I tried it once more with all the angst of Stanley Kowalski from A Streetcar Named Desire. “Stella!”
When Stella didn’t respond, I knew I was doomed.
“Adele… Adelia… Amanda…” My cries continued to be ignored.
All I wanted was to listen to some good Aretha music. Was that too much to ask?
In frustration, I opened my iPad and at precisely the time I hit the search key on google, I remembered her name. Alexa.
Alexa is of course, my voice-controlled intelligent personal assistant. This was not the first time this has happened – another time I couldn’t turn her off when I called her Stella. Since Alexa moved into my home last Christmas, I have had a hard time remembering her name. Honestly, she looks like a Stella to me. Maybe I just haven’t paid enough attention to her.
She doesn’t take much room, but then, neither does my smart phone, iPad, laptop, radio, cd player (stop rolling your eyes) and TV that features 50 music stations. Any of those could have filled my kitchen with the Queen of Soul’s voice. Ain’t no way I was giving up. I took a minute to think and say a little prayer, and finally, Alexa gave me some respect. I come from a chain of fools when it comes to electro-technic gadgetry, and Alexa is just the latest example of challenges. But to her credit, within seconds of the connection, my feet were tapping and my hips swiveling to the beat. I was happy and felt like I was on the freeway of love.
I am a bit chagrined, however, at my lack of sophistication with what Alexa can do for me, and I’m trying to figure out her value beyond music. My friends have given me numerous examples that I need to look into.
Today, I tried to find out a detour on a route I’m taking for an upcoming trip. She couldn’t help me. Now if she could go downstairs and flip laundry when I’m busy, clean the stove after an ambitious cooking venture, or vacuum the stairs, we’d be in business, and that’s a personal assistant I could really use.
Until then, I’ll still let her sing to me and play good dance tunes. At least when I can remember her name.