Category Archives: Technology

Disney Project 2014: Bolt

Movie: Bolt

Release year: 2008

Do you remember this movie? About the dog who thinks he’s a movie star? And his voice is provided by John Travolta? And his owner’s voice is provided by Miley Cyrus? And her name is Penny? Which is the same name of the girl in Inspector Gadget, who also works closely with a dog sidekick that’s smarter than a regular dog? And Bolt thinks he has to save her from the Green-Eyed Man’s evil henchmen?

Okay. So that is basically the rundown. Or at least, that’s what I know of the movie, because around 1:10 into it, the library DVD started skipping, then froze, and we feared it actually broke our DVD player. We did get the disc out eventually, and I wrote a note to the library about the giant gash in the DVD, and we returned it, and Drew just read the plot synopsis for the final half hour that we missed.

It was basically exactly what we had guessed it would be. Which wasn’t satisfying, because the whole experience was so frustrating…haha. So, this is just not one of our favorites. No recommendation!

On the other hand – look how cute!

IMG_8174

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Filed under Children, Drew, Movies, Technology

La Cenerentola at the SF Opera

Last night I did something really cool – I went up to the SF Opera for a dress rehearsal of Cinderella (or, La Cenerentola) as one of their live tweeters. There were eight of us in one box (and at least one more box full of people somewhere else), tweeting our thoughts throughout the 3-hour performance. SO FUN! I would definitely do this again.

Below is a selection of my tweets from last night. (If you like this, check out twitter for the full account…)

My biggest takeaway from this experience was that I had a hard time keeping up with what was going on, while also looking down at my phone. During the first Cinderella/Prince scene, I noticed someone else had tweeted something about “one song together and they’ve already kissed? scandalous!” I was like, “They kissed?!?” I completely missed it while I was commenting on something else.

It’s a grand life lesson – you miss a lot when you’re staring at your phone! Live tweeting is a double-edged sword! (?)

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Filed under Awesome, Music, Technology, Theatre

Throwback Thursday: Graduation

Graduate college  
Become an Adult  
Fight with technology  
Get up super early  

30-year-old Me laughs right in 22-year-old Me’s face.

tbt graduation
So cute. Enjoy it (everything) while you can, 22-year-old Me!

 

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Filed under Memoir, Nonfiction, Sentiment, Technology, Writing

Your picture frames have changed, and so has your name

I’m suffering from this new dilemma. It has to do with Facebook. (Doesn’t everything?)

This isn’t about how the Facebook newsfeed is now all shared articles, video ads, or people sharing photos attached to recipes. (Where are the pithy status updates of yore? I never thought I’d miss them, but I do.)

This is a relatively new dilemma. Here it is: I’ve started seeing photos where, even when I study each face, I have no idea who anyone in the photo is.

Sometimes, while scrolling, I’ll pass the header telling me “So and so is tagged in a photo.” Then I stare at the photo and try to figure out which one of these people is my friend. When I can’t figure it out, I scroll up, go, “Oh yeah, wow, she’s really changed since middle school” (or whatever), and then go on my way.

But it makes me wonder what is the point of being friends with people if:

a) I never talk to them;
b) they never talk to me;
c) I can’t recognize them in a picture; or
d) there are more than 2 degrees of separation between us.

Not to sound exclusive or anything, but if I’m going to waste time on Facebook, I’d prefer to waste it on people I actually know in real life and care about. (Along those lines, I guess I should also excise those people I’ve hidden and thus forgotten about.)

Oh Facebook…what will I worry superficially about when you’re no longer a thing?

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Filed under "Other people", Friends, Memoir, Nonfiction, Not awesome, Technology

Out with the old, in with the new

I have a dilemma.

I’ll back up a bit. I was at Barnes & Noble the other day, and their 2014 planners were 50% off. I picked up a cute polka-dotted one, but then I stood there thinking, “When was the last time I even used my planner?”

I just pulled it out of my purse. It’s open to the week of October 28.

I love scheduling things and all, but scheduling is so much more straight-forward when you do the same things week after week. My planner was extremely useful when I was juggling three part-time jobs and making sure that I could get to all three of them, and also trying to coordinate seeing shows around the Bay Area. Now that I just go to the one job, and I don’t go out anymore, it’s a lot easier to keep straight in my head where I’m supposed to be. (Answer: work. If not work, then go home.)

Also, Drew and I had a wall calendar this year, which we actually used. And that makes more sense, since it’s accessible to both of us.

I guess my purse planner has been replaced by a combination of kitchen wall calendar and iPhone calendar…which I hate to admit, but there it is. The thing is, I can put appointments into my phone, and they’ll show up on my work calendar as well! Which is very helpful.

So, I guess I don’t have a dilemma, so much as I have a sad fact to face: 2014 is gonna be the first year in many years that I don’t bother buying a planner for myself.

Even though it was $4 at Barnes & Noble, and very cute. Did I mention it was covered in polka dots?

But I didn’t buy it. Instead, I bought the board book version of Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, which I later discovered Drew has never even heard of. So I think it was a good choice. (Chicka Chicka Boom Boom also has polka dots on the cover.)

Happy New Year! Let’s raise a glass to 2014 and to moving on, however (un)willingly we do so.

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Filed under Books, Endings, Fashion, Holidays, Humor, Memoir, Nonfiction, Not awesome, Sentiment, Technology

Throwback Thursday: Engineering

For the most part, I’m useless with fixing things. In particular, I think of how helpless I am whenever my computer or my car starts to show problems. I can put oil or windshield washer fluid in the car, I know generally where things are under the hood; and with my laptop…I’m a master of Ctrl-Alt-Del and I know how to remove the battery, I guess?

But sometimes something just clicks for me. One such instance is when our Baby Einstein Nautical Octopus suddenly stopped playing music. Unlike almost every other Baby Einstein product, this one has no easy access to the battery pack. So this broken octopus just got moved around the living room, back and forth, for months, until finally, inspired by the physical presence of my parents and my desire to show what a capable, initiative-taking mom I am, I decided to Do Something About It.

I used a seam ripper (owns a seam ripper, +5 pts; knows where it is, +5 pts) to cut open the underside of the octopus, and pulled out some of the fluff. When it became apparent that I couldn’t get the music box out of the opening I’d created, I used a pair of scissors to just chop up the rest of the underside (used clunky giant scissors for delicate surgery, -3 pts). I got the box out, found the right size screwdriver to open it up (+3 pts) and discovered that the octopus needed 3 watch batteries.

For a week or so, I looked for the right size batteries everywhere I went, but never found them. Finally I decided to check Amazon, where I found a 3-pack of LR44 batteries for $1.77 with free shipping (+10 pts for luck!).

Finally, on Tuesday morning, I got around to replacing the batteries, which didn’t immediately fix the problem. But I decided to see this project through to the end, so I stitched up the octopus, held my breath, and pulled the purple fish cord…

…and it erupted into bubbles! And then, when I did it again, into nautical-themed music! And then bubbles again! And then different music!

octopus 1

Recovering from surgery

octopus 2

Reunited and it feels so good

==

The throwback aspect of this post is that this reminds me of a time back in 2003 when I lived in the dorms, and I had to Save the Day.

Some friends and I went to the local movie rental place and picked up a VHS copy of Orgazmo, a 1997 film by Trey Parker and Matt Stone, creators of South Park. We got it back to our dorm room, where we had already borrowed the TV and VCR from our RA (my roomie and I didn’t have one of either). It had been quite a hassle to move it down the hall, so this was kind of a special night for us.

But when we tried to play the tape, it just whirred and whined. And when we popped it out, the film inside was twisted around one of the reels. But on the outside of the tape, there was a sticker across the seam, so that if you opened up the case, They would know, and then They could fine you.

But then in a flash of brilliance, I realized that I could just take out the screws, crack open the tape like a clamshell, keeping the sticker firmly attached to each side of the opened case, and adjust the film.

Which I proceeded to do, proudly, while purporting modesty. I put the whole thing back together and we popped it in the VCR, and then we enjoyed 95 minutes of NC-17 comedy.

orgazmo collage

==

Ten years later…and I still have these Orgazmo pictures on my computer. Crazy.

Also, I’m still a freaking engineering genius.

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Filed under Awesome, Humor, Memoir, Nonfiction, Sentiment, Technology

Back in my day

In high school, I sucked at sports but my friends didn’t. So in order to hang out with them, I kept stats for the softball and girls’ basketball teams. Kind of dorky, but it was fun, and I was good at it, and I have a lot of good memories of away games (and home games too, for that matter).

But things would be very different if I were doing this in 2013. For example, two vanfuls of girls used to drive back from an away game in Ukiah or Willits or Fort Bragg or Colusa or wherever. When we got back to the high school parking lot, the one coach (a father of one of the girls) who had a portable phone would unpack this briefcase so we could all call our parents to come get us. The reception was terrible (likely the fault of the isolated county, and not the briefcase phone).

GCScover

 

Oh, the good old days.

An even better example – but one that it’s possible I’m slightly misremembering – is the time we were headed up to Hoopa for a big annual softball tournament. (I think it was softball.)

hoopamap

This was a very exciting event for us, not least because it was so far away, and we would have to spend the night, and we could probably also fit in a trip to the big mall in Eureka. (No mall in our hometown!)

(I loved the Bayshore Mall growing up, but now Yelp gives it 2.5 stars and calls it a “small town mall.” Ouch.)

The way I remember it, we drove all night long, but now that I’m looking at the the driving time and everything…we probably just left early in the morning. I was in a car with our chemistry/physics teacher, beloved by everyone, his wife, and his daughter, who was on the team. Side note: I love everyone in their family. They were and still are awesome all around.

I remember sitting in the backseat in a pile of blanket and pillows, and driving through the dark. Marilyn was asleep in the far backseat. (Like I said, it was like 2am…right?) There was some weird station on the radio and they were playing Dr. Demento and some other similar song, and the only part of it I remember is an increasingly insane “Poppies poppies poppies poppies!”

When the internet first became the thing that it is today, I searched for that song a little bit, but now I think I prefer not to ever find it and know what it is.

It was pouring rain and I guess it eventually got light outside but I don’t really remember that part. I do remember arriving in Hoopa to find out that the fields had been completely flooded and the tournament was canceled.

I guess there was just someone hanging out at the school, telling everyone that it was canceled. And probably, they made some phone calls in the morning when they had to cancel the tourney. But if the only number they had was the school, and no one was at the school…and none of us had cell phones that the calls could have been relayed to anyway. So we made the entire probably 5-hour drive for no reason.

Well…not NO reason. We did go to the mall and go shopping and get lunch or whatever.

And then…we drove back home. I guess.

We were in Lakeport this weekend and so I’m being sweetly sentimental about a lot of late-90s/early-2000s things. But, I’m also very happy to have internet and a smartphone and all the improvements technology has brought into our lives. I’ll even take the complications.

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Filed under Beginnings, Being a girl, cars, Friends, Games, Humor, Memoir, Sentiment, Technology, Travel