Silly E-mails (and Phone Calls) from My Mom’s Mom

The next installment in the silly e-mails from my mom series.

By now you must have figured out that I am a pretty silly and dorky person. As you know, silliness and dorkiness don’t just spring from anywhere. Sometimes it stems from a father who tells too many puns, a mother who sends you a Valentine’s Day eCard featuring jazz playing hamsters (the other C knows what I’m talking about), or especially enthusiastic grandmothers. In the past I’ve shared examples of ridiculous e-mails my mom sends me from time to time. Lately she’s sent some more serious e-mails so you’ll just have to wait for the next gem. However, I had a pretty amusing interaction with my grandmother the other day, which I thought was worth posting about.

Two days ago, my grandmother left me a voice message explaining a dilemma she’d fallen into. She started watching the Korean TV drama, “I Really, Really Like You,” which she had rented in DVD form from her local library. She’d finished Volume 1, headed back to her library, and discovered that they didn’t have Volume 2. So she headed to the Google to see what she could find. Although she’s 86 ot 87, she is pretty resourceful when it comes to the internet. The only version she could find cost $50 on Amazon, so she decided to call me to see if I had any suggestions for her.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a cheaper DVD for her, but noticed that Hulu linked to another site that offers it for free online. As a result, I may have created a new Hulu addict…oh dear. After I e-mailed her the link, she sent me one response this morning. In it she said:

The episodes on the 2 set would be from 17 to 34. See if you can find the DVD since I would prefer watching it hat way. However, If that is not possible I will just watch it on the computer. Each segment lasts about 45 minutes and there were 3 on each disk.

Less than an hour after she sent that e-mail, she sent this reply:

It is really episode 19 that starts the last part. I was able to get it and started top get hooked watching it. I had to quit or I will never get anything done today. Grandma

This may not seem that silly to you, but it most certainly is to me. I mean, my grandma is obsessed with a Korean drama and may now spend all her time online watching episodes of it, heehee.

For previous posts about my ridiculous family, click here.

Pwned

Move over regular computer users, I’ve got me a CR-48 Chrome Notebook.

A couple months ago, my friend Brendan received this nifty little computer in the mail. He informed me that it wasn’t just any computer, but a CR-48 Chrome Notebook, which is more of a “browser with wheels”, to use the other C’s words. You can’t download programs, change your desktop background, or play DVDs as you would with a normal computer, but you can do a ton of sweet stuff online!

I decided to apply for the Pilot Program but didn’t really expect to be accepted. All applicants have to describe themselves a bit and explain how they’d be able to use a Chrome notebook. If we received one, we’d have to agree to provide feedback every now and again. Well, I somehow got one and now I’m typing on it! It’s pretty snazzy. Not only do I get a cool new computer, but I also get a two year data plan that includes 100MB per month. That might not seem like much, but it’s apparently pretty easy and cheap to add a pay as you go plan if you need to use more than 100MB/month.

I am pretty excited to see how much I can do with this computer. I imagine the times when it will be most annoying to have will be on airplanes that don’t yet offer WiFi. You should totally go apply for one immediately! Fo realsys!

Totes gonna pwn all them folks at my local hipster coffee shop with my sweet new doodad.

Is It Really Only January?

This post is the result of not having had my daily dose of coffee yet.

I ask the question in the title not because I have done so much this month that I can’t believe we’re not halfway into 2011 yet, but because people seem to have forgotten that we are in the dead of winter! Yes, I am one of the lucky souls who chose to move to the West Coast, where our “winter” was made up of two months or so of horrible drizzle, gray skies, and poorly insulated buildings, which now seems to have come to an end. Each day I look outside my window and notice that it is once again somewhere between 50-70 degrees and sunny.

However, I was not always so lucky. The last two winters I spent in London with the bone-chilling cold and never ending dark, before that I was in Boston, and before that in Hartford, Connecticut. I understand the pain of having to wake up early to start your car 10-15 minutes before it’ll function properly, to scrape off the windshield with only one glove on, and pray that some idiot won’t skid off the ice into your car because you could only park on a hill.

I say this because it seems as though everyone, and I mean everyone, who lives in a wintery state, especially in the Northeast, seems to have forgotten it’s January. I can’t even count the number of Facebook status updates or tweets dedicated to the topic of the “snowpocalypse,” “snow again?” or “gahh! cold!” Really, people? Really? No, the snow won’t end. No, the cold won’t go away. You know why? Because IT’S JANUARY! Sigh. I suppose I have another 2-3 months of whining to put up with because that is how much longer it will be cold and snowy!

In my experience, this is how winter and corresponding social networking site updates go:

December
Winter: Cold with the first signs of snow- Christmas and New Year’s are coming!
Statuses: “OHEMGEE! I love snow!” “This is my FAVORITE time of the year! No really, winter is the best!” “Snow and snow days are the best!” “I love walking to school/work in the snow!”

January
Winter: Somewhat colder and stormier than December. The holidays are now over.
Statuses: A blend of “Snow is pretty!” and “Gahh! Save me it is cold!” “Please, winter end! We’re through, don’t touch me!” “Snow stop immediately!” “I won’t go to school/work because it is too cold/dangerous!”

February
Winter: Snow is perhaps not as frequent but it is always gray, dark, and miserable. It is, of course, still cold.
Statuses: “Seriously, is winter over yet? Ughhh!” “I won’t go to school/work because I’m too depressed.”

March
Winter: Rain, some cold, no where near as much snow, a little bit of sun.
Statuses: “Hooray!!” “Spring is here! No more winter!” “:) :)” “Can we have a rain day? lol.”

April
Winter: You thought it was done, didn’t you? Somewhere in the first week it will drop down to the 30s and snow the shit out of everyone and everything. Mark my words, this happens every year. Then, beautiful spring time mixed with wind and rain.
Statuses: “Are you FREAKIN kidding me?!!!!” “Snow, again?!” “WTF?” “What the hell is wrong with the weather this year?!” “I’m not going to school/work because I need to enjoy the sun, which I haven’t seen in like a year.”

The people who aren’t complaining about the snow are posting pictures to boast that they got more snow than anyone else.

Ugh, I think I’ve gotten it out of my system. Excuse me while I go enjoy the Sunshineadise that simply won’t go away!

My Mom the Social Media Guru

The next installment of the Sillly E-mails from My Mom Series.

You may have noticed that it’s been a while since I’ve updated this series. Well, that’s because I spent a couple weeks with my mom over the holidays so haven’t received as many e-mails from her. Of course she said some silly things, but it’s just not the same as what happens in e-mail form. I should note a pretty ridiculous quote of my dad’s, “Hey Caroline, I just got this great new Macbook Air! It has 250 memory dudes!” Whoah! Memory dudes!

Since I’ve come back to San Francisco, it seems as though my mom has entered the world of social media consultancy for local shopkeepers. I received an e-mail from her the other day entitled, “Need tweet idea.” Here’s what she wrote:

I stopped at a store where Jenna can predict the weather because of titanium in her leg. I told her to tweet this to advertise the store and the weather forecast. Do you have any suggestions for how she should tweet this to take advantage of her abilities? Maybe she needs a name like “titanium_jenna”.

She also forwarded me a bit of her correspondence with one of the shopkeepers in which she advised her to begin using Twitter and Facebook to advertise the store.

I think “titanium_jenna” is a pretty good twitter handle, although perhaps a bit long. Does anyone out there have any suggestions for my mom? If so, please leave a comment and I’ll forward them on to her.

For previous posts in this series, please click here.

More Reasons to Love SF: Proximity to Monterey Bay

An attempt to keep up the blogging this fair year of 2011

I promise (at least to myself) that one of these days I will post more frequently than once every 10 days or so. WordPress started a challenge for 2011, which involves either posting every day or every week in 2011. Well, it’s now January 12 and this is my second post of the year, so clearly the every day challenge ain’t gonna fly. But! I could most likely do the once a week challenge. Let’s hope I make the January 2012 Caroline proud.

Anyways, on to the post. As I’ve mentioned before, living in San Francisco is wonderful. Not only is it a beautiful city filled with some of the best tasting and freshest food on earth, but it’s also incredibly close to fantastic places. Need a taste of winter? Drive to Tahoe. Want wine? There’s Sonoma and Napa for ya. Want something a tad warmer by the sea? Hop on the beautiful Highway 1 and head to Monterey Bay, which is exactly what the other C and I did this Sunday. I should add that we spent Saturday in Chinatown being charmed by an elderly Chinese man in the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory (awesome place).

It took us about two and a half hours to drive to Monterey. Monterey itself is fairly touristy and filled with rich retirees, but the nature surrounding it is spectacular. I’ve been to a fair amount of aquariums in my day and I’d definitely say this one ranked up there with the best of them. If you’re close by and have a few hours to spare, I’d definitely recommend it. I’ve included some of my fave photos for the day. The rest can be found on my Flickr page.

Who knows where I’ll head to next.

Two Thousand Eleven

A brief return to technology.

Why yes, my little blog, I have missed you. However, it has been incredibly freeing to barely check my e-mail or go online over the last week or so. I almost regret beginning this blog entry but it is simply too late to abandon it now!

I don’t do resolutions but I do like to reflect a bit on what happened over the last year and think about what may be different by this time next year. So now, a quick recap of 2010- an overall awesome year.

-I totally failed my goal of reading 50 books. I think the count came to a pathetic 20, unless I allow myself to count a book I mostly read and a couple others I’m halfway through. Haven’t decided if I’m going to keep up a count this year.

-Applied for many jobs and got many rejections- it was, in many ways, a very tough year.

-Ran my first 5k race, realized I could easily run 10k, then wound up in physical therapy for months because of shin splints.

-Reconnected with many friends from middle school, high school, college, grad school, and beyond.

-Visited the Netherlands and Oregon for the first time.

-Went to Nevada five times.

-Decided to move to San Francisco and apply to law school.

-Made it to Cleveland three times to visit family.

-Went to two weddings- one in Pittsburgh, the other in Texas.

-Finally made it back East, if only for a couple days and with barely any time to see anyone.

-Tried learning a little html and CSS.

-Picked up more contracting work, which makes life a bit more exciting.

-My favorite thing: started dating the other C.

-Had the best New Year’s Eve ever (fireworks, ski shots, laughs and smiles)

Overall I’d say this year has been filled with much uncertainty. The stress that comes with not being able to find a full time job, despite trying pretty much everything, is incredibly frustrating. When I return to San Francisco in a few days, a lot of that uncertainty will remain, which scares me. But I don’t regret anything that’s happened over the last year. I’m happier now than I have been in a long time. Not only am I always happy to go back to San Francisco, but it also feels like home to me now. I’ve taken the time I wouldn’t have had otherwise to get closer to people, learn new things, and repair my legs.

My hopes (not resolutions) for 2011:
-To get into an awesome law school and to not have that kill me.
-To find an internship and some more contract work.
-To design my own website.
-To visit another new state and country (or international city)-this is pretty much my goal every year.
-To get back into martial arts.
-To reconnect with other old friends who I have been horrible about keeping in touch with.
-To properly visit the East Coast.
-To keep being happy.

Woop woop

Dreaming of Mince Pies and Christmas Cake

Somedays I wish I could live near everyone at once.

Ever since my parents moved to London in 2003, I’ve spent a bit of time in Northern Ireland visiting relatives right before Christmas most years. Now that I’m in San Francisco, NI is a bit too far away to manage a weekend trip. Although most people would probably claim that June or July would be the best months in which to visit that region of the world, December may just be my favorite. Yes it gets dark there (and I mean pitch black) certainly by 4 and probably closer to 3:30 at this time of year, but there’s something magical about the quality of light and the crispness of the air. It is so peaceful and quiet. In the evenings we’d eat mince pies, read a book, knit a scarf, and listen to the waves crashing outside the window- knowing that our warm beds were close by. Here are some photos I’ve taken in the past few years of the region close to where my Granny lives.

For another take on a Northern Irish Christmas, watch this video from the Belfast Giants hockey team.

UPDATE: My Mom (Sorta) Learns How to Use Screenr

The latest installment in the “Silly E-mails from My Mom” series.

A couple weeks ago, I posted an e-mail my mom had sent me about her latest discovery: Skitch. It included an amazing screenshot of herself and my cat. Then, last week I wrote about tutorials for Screenr– a website where you can create screencasts- and screenshots. My mom decided to try making screencasts for herself and is sending them to family members. They must be shared with the world.

What she wrote in the e-mail (addressed to my uncle and myself):

Caroline just taught me how to do a screencast. I went to Pages (iWork) and looked for some templates. They had a sailing template, so I tried a screencast using it. It’s only five seconds, but I thought you might have some fun with this. I’m sure Caroline would love to help. Might start a new career!

Here’s the link: http://screenr.com/Daq

To learn how to do this, and a few other things, go to www.carolinedickie.com.

You could have the girls do a Christmas greeting for their grandmothers.

Screencast #1

Screencast #2

Mom- some tips:

1) A screencast should actually do something because they’re meant to be used for tutorials. In your Skitch screencast, try moving your cursor over the text you’d like to point out rather than mentioning that there’s text on the screen.

2) You have a full five minutes to record your screencast so don’t rush!

Check out the other installments in this series here.