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Archive for March, 2010

Mac Cult

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

I had no idea I’d get such a response when I announced on Twitter I was breaking up with my PC (after decades of a monogamous relationship) and hooking up with a MacBook.

@susantran: It happened.  My computer died… and I got a Mac.  Apparently it supposed to change my life.  Today’s blog post… http://bit.ly/a5zIou

This is what followed:

@baugussd @susantran Let me know how you like the MacBook… I’ve been thinking about getting one.
@KenBuck @susantran it will change your life for the better!
@chrismiller_wbt @susantran I don’t know if it’s changed my life. but I’m certainly happy with my Macbook.
@alisha_hord @susantran Had a MacBook Pro for a couple years and absolutely loved it. You won’t go back to PCs.

@susantran Really?! Mac folks r devoted! RT @alisha_hord: Had a MacBook Pro for a couple years and absolutely loved it. You won’t go back to PCs.

@KenBuck @susantran it is cult like and you MUST love it!

@KenBuck @alisha_hord @susantran Once you go Mac you won’t go back!

@stevorevo @susantran Welcome to the other side. You’ll like it here.

@Billystrick Ditto/// @susantran Welcome to the other side. You’ll like it here. (via @stevorevo)

@susantran Y’all are mac serious! RT @Billystrick: Ditto/// Welcome to the other side. You’ll like it here. (via @stevorevo)

@baugussd @susantran Is trading in your BlackBerry for an iPhone next?

@susantran I hope not! I actually do luv my BB. Worried about compatibility tho! RT @baugussd: Is trading in your BlackBerry for an iPhone next?

@CharlotteDateDr @susantran Have to agree with the bandwagon. Apple is amazing. Even put their sticker on my car and I hate vehicle decoration 🙂

@susantran A car tattoo. That’s commitment! RT @CharlotteDateDr: Apple is amazing. Even put their sticker on my car and I hate vehicle decoration 🙂

@JerseyGrl61 @susantran oh absolutely true; you will never go back, once you’re on a Mac.

@baugussd @susantran Seriously, can it be THAT different? You definitely have to let us all know what you think now. RE http://bit.ly/ct6u68

@susantran Ha! Is there an initiation? Hazing for mac cult following? RT @KenBuck: @alisha_hord

@alisha_hord ha! @KenBuck ‘s right. Hazing? If so, it’d probably be broadcast on built-in-cam, so beware. RT @susantran Once you go Mac you won’t go back!

@KenBuck @susantran @alisha_hord actually yes. It involves burning your old PC while pinning a Voodoo doll of Bill Gates.

@jcorl49 @susantran final cut = much better than premiere. Do it!

@coreyanderson @susantran did you go with the iPhone? Please don’t tell me you ordered #iPad

And my lone dissenter!

@AssignmentEdit @susantran The #Mac I got in October has been flaky to say the least… and support from the “geniuses”…flaky at best. I’m with ya! Rocky!

Not everything converted. The geniuses (no sarcasm here, that’s what they’re called!) at the Apple store tell me — it’s a PC thing.  They said the PC programs won’t give up my data without a fight and not to blame my new computer, who’s more than willing to accepted any and all of my files.

Mac and Me, I think we’re in the ‘getting to know you better’ stage in our relationship.  As my best friend said, “you’ve been with your PC your whole life.   You can’t expect to know your day-old Mac the same way you knew your PC!  Give it time.”  I will.  I will.  Hopefully we’ll live happily ever after!

Joy

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

Hubby and I don’t want kids but I will freely admit I find them to be endlessly fascinating.  They’re these little people with unformed opinions who are opinionated.  They demand things they don’t want and depending on the age, they can’t say what they need.  They’re jesters who are timid, bold, quiet and kind.  And if you watch them play, you witness joy that is simple, pure and magical.

I recently spent a week with my best friend’s children.  They were a riot.  Most of the time, I had to withhold laughter, because while they were defiant, oblivious or aware, they were endlessly entertaining.  If you could bottle up that euphoric energy you’d rule the world.

But today, I just want to bask in their joy.  These are just some of the little people in my life I find endlessly fascinating:  Jake, Lauren, Gianna, Ashton, Maddie, Katie, Reed, Chase, Camden, Reagan, Nicole, Sam, Jocelyn, Jarrett, Elyssa, Sarah, Lawrence, Grace, Saddie, Eli, Megan, Cooper, Collin, Marion, Sam, Will, Mia, Soren, Maggie, Jasper, Tucker, Drew, Caroline and Mary.  You guys make me laugh!  Thanks for letting me play with you!

New Computer

Monday, March 15th, 2010

I’m sitting at the library in Uptown Charlotte.  I’m without a computer.  Actually, I have two computers (I know, it’s an Uptown problem).  One is dead and the other, the one hubby just bought me, I can’t get until tonight at 6:00.  And since I wanted to make my self-imposed 3pm deadline, I’m at the library. 

So here’s what happened… after 4 calls to 4 different computer tech people, I learned my little Sony Vaio laptop apparently could not handle all the video editing I was doing.  Not only was there not enough memory but my video card was not able to handle the job.  Of course, all this stuff, is completely foreign to me.  The folks at “Nerd Herd“… I mean “Geek Squad” said I’d be better off with a Mac (especially with all the video editing I wanted to accomplish).

So here I am, waiting on the arrival of my new MacBook and mourning the loss of my PC laptop.  To my little red Sony Vaio, you were my first laptop.  You and I had some great times.  You got me to embrace having a laptop but now I must move on.  Thanks for the memories.

Follow Friday Friend Wade to Black

Friday, March 12th, 2010

I was out to dinner with my friend, @KatieBisbee, one night and we both started laughing simultaneously while checking our BlackBerrys.  And it turned out, we both were reading a tweet from @WadeToBlack.

My wife hates when I watch woman’s curling because she doesn’t like me to get any ideas about her learning how to use a broom.

Some of the funniest things I get on my Twitter stream are from @WadeToBlack.   

Sometimes I fantasize about never having to work but then I remember I don’t like talking to people so I would totally suck at panhandling.

Not everybody wants to rule the world, Tears for Fears. Me? I’d be happy just ruling this couch for the rest of the night.

At the bank, I noticed my wife’s signature is slowly morphing into mine. It’s clearly part of her diabolical plan to bilk me of my hundreds.

If you’re trying to import your own candy into a movie, there are wiser choices than boxes of Nerds. Might as well had maracas in my shorts.

My birthday this year falls on Thanksgiving. I really hate sharing it with a major holiday. Now I know how Jesus feels.

Our pediatrician told us our daughter is trending to be 5’10”. A blond-hair, blue-eyed, 5’10” teenage girl. I’m going to need a bigger cage.

I…like…big…WORDS and I cannot obfuscate the veracity of my proclamation.

Naturally I had to find out what the deal is.  Where does he get this stuff?  Is he making it all up?  What’s with the big words? What’s his secret? 

I found out @WadetoBlack is part of a Twitter community known as FavStar.fm, where twitters compete for humorously notable tweets.  And fans of @WadetoBlack extend well beyond here in Charlotte.

 

Farewell Winter

Thursday, March 11th, 2010

Imagine the snowman as winter and that’s how I felt about him this year.  Freezing cold days and 5 inches of snow (says my friend John Ahrens at WSOC).  Is it just me or did this winter seem relentless?  I was starting to fear a serious Vitamin D deficiency.

Hubby and I moved here more than 3 years ago and thought we’d struck atmospheric gold, when every day appeared to be the perfect shade of blue. 

The good news, there are only 8 more days until spring and 101 days until summer.  But the first sign of spring is Sunday when we change our clocks to Daylight Saving Time.  Winter, it’s been fun, but I’m going to greet spring with a warm embrace!

My Favorite Things

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

I’m a superlative kind of person.  I like using words like: the biggest, best, brightest!  It’s all well and good (for me) but my friends find it a bit overwhelming because I insist on knowing their superlatives.  For example, say we’re having a great meal, I want to know which was their favorite dish.  If we’re traveling or out, I want to know what portion of their day was their absolute favorite part.  I often get an eye roll or guttural response, which gets me to nudge just a little bit more.

In the spirit of superlatives, I thought I’d share a few of my favorite things.  (All things listed are Charlotte based unless otherwise noted.)

Best place to have a casual dinner: Dandelion Market

Best fried chicken: Price’s Chicken Coop

Best bartender ever: Paul at Capitol Grill

Best place to get a pint: Connolly’s on Fifth

Best Vietnamese spring rolls: Lang Van

Best Vietnamese sandwiches: Le’s Sandwich & Café

Favorite diner: Landmark Diner

Best Chinese food: 88 China Bistro

Best places for brunch: Pewter Rose (butterscotch scones), Boudreaux’s (beignets), Lulu (green eggs and ham), Custom Shop (pitcher of mimosa)

Best ice cream: Elizabeth Creamery

Favorite bagel shop: Owen’s Bagel and Deli

Best soup and dessert (I know, weird combo): Amelie’s Bakery

Favorite place for oysters: Capitol Grill (high end), Hickory Tavern (affordable)

Favorite casual places for lunch: PioPio, Kabob Grill

Favorite places to take out of town guests: Mac’s Speed Shop, Panthers game at Bank of America Stadium, US National Whitewater Center, Charlotte Motor Speedway Coca-Cola 600 Race, NoDa, Charlotte Cultural Campus (Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture, Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, and ‘coming soon’ Mint Museum Uptown), Ice skating at The Green (winter only)

Best outdoor festival: Speed Street

Best gift store: Paper Skyscraper

Biggest selection of designer jeans in petite sizes: Belk’s SouthPark

Favorite person at make-up counter: Joseph @ Bobbi Brown, Nordstrom

Favorite mascara: Too Faced Lash Injection (department store), Rimmel Glam’Eyes Mascara (drug store)

Favorite lip gloss: Lancôme ‘La Laque Fever’ Lip Shine (department store), Rimmel Vinyl Gloss (drug store)

Best acne spot treatment: c. booth DERMA 17 Salicylic Acid Problem Spot Treatment

Favorite treatment skin care line: Obagi (high end), Olay (affordable)

Favorite hair guy: Donald, Carmen Carmen

Favorite nail salon: Polished

Favorite sitcom: Modern Family

Favorite reality show: American Idol

Favorite drama: Grey’s Anatomy

Favorite books I read this year: Little Bee, by Chris Cleave // Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, by Jamie Ford

Favorite books I often recommend: American Wife, by Curtis Sittenfeld // The Blind Side, by Michael Lewis

Favorite books of all time: To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee // Joy Luck Club, by Amy Tan

Favorite books non-fiction: Game Change, by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin // The Girls in the Balcony: Women, Men, and the New York Times, by Nan Robertson

Favorite dog park: Fraizer Park

Favorite online shoe store: www.Heels.com (local), www.Zappos.com (everywhere)

Favorite non-profit to donate money: www.DonorsChoose.org

Fundraiser that’s most fun: Mustaches for Kids

Favorite school: KIPP Charlotte

Please tell me about some of your favorite things in the comment section below!

Animal Husbandry

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

Some days – it’s just about a good laugh.  And I think I found something for y’all!  I was going through my computer trying to organize all my videos and I came across a gem.

A few years ago, hubby and I joined my childhood best friends, Carrie and Becky and their spouses for a trip to wine country.  We were in the parking lot and for some unknown reason the talk turned to animal impersonations.  Becky’s husband apparently could produce the perfect pachyderm.  That meant hubby was game to do his version of goofy gorilla.   (Up until this point, I had never seen said primate impersonation, so I was psyched!) 

It’s fair to say that these men in our lives crack us up.  All three husbands have serious jobs and people who depend on them but to us they’re the guys who make us laugh.  And that’s the treasure I see when I look at the video, over and over again.

 

Dogs Rock

Monday, March 8th, 2010

I got Cricket, my Shih Tzu, right after I graduated from college.  I wanted a dog and my boyfriend at the time wanted to appease me so got me a puppy.  We broke up and for a time there was uncertainty as to where Cricket would live.  I think he ended up giving me Cricket because she was a gift and because he didn’t want to appear effeminate walking a Shih Tzu. 

Hubby (before I met him) had Hannah, his Black Lab.  He used to meet many a women with Hannah by his side.  He drove a Jeep Wrangler and Hannah sat in the front.  They were a dashing pair.  Best Friends.

When hubby and I got together there was great consternation about whether the two girls would get along.  I remember getting a call at work.  Hubby declared he had great news, they’re pals.

Hannah and Cricket have been inseparable since.  They’re each other’s best pals and greatest defenders.  Cricket is known to jump on tables and knock down food for Hannah and Hannah will protect Cricket till the death at the dog park (luckily for us there have been no death matches).  But they’re also such different dogs.  Hannah loves to eat, to play ball until near exhaustion, and to roll in anything that’s dead or muddy.  Cricket loves to play ‘I got it’ with the ball, to be around people and hates the rain.   Hannah is super mellow.  Cricket is intense and high strung.  Hannah loves to open presents but doesn’t like to play with squeeky toys as much as Cricket does.

They’re also hubby and my constant companions –moving with us from Utica, NY, to Boston, to Charlotte.

Sadly, Hannah passed away suddenly last summer.  She was 12 years old, on the chubby side (big boned – hubby liked to say), had some arthritis, but healthy.  We took her in one Saturday morning because she looked like she hurt her hip but they found cancer.  The vet called me at work right after my 6:00pm newscast.  I cried (the ugly cry) in an edit bay as I called hubby.  Then after I finished the 11:00pm newscast, I went home and hubby and I cried all over again.

The worst part, days after Hannah was gone, every time we went to walk Cricket, she’d run all over the house and bark up a storm looking for Hannah.  She looked at us with indignation, as if we were so rude to walk her and not wait for Hannah.  It broke our hearts each time we went to get Cricket’s leash.

It’s been several months since Hannah’s been gone.  Cricket has settled in nicely to being the only dog and the focus of all of our attention.  We debated getting another dog but we didn’t think Cricket, who turns 13 this summer, would appreciate sharing her space. 

The good news, some of our dear friends, Ben and Ryan and Tim and Ron, just got puppies. 

We’ll just cuddle with Lola and Patsy for now.

Follow Friday Friend Crystal Dempsey

Friday, March 5th, 2010

If the Charlotte Twitter-verse had a queen, there’s no doubt it would be @CrystalDempsey.  She’s everywhere.  She has 2,351 followers and has sent 13,552 tweets (the number has likely changed by the time you read this, so you should probably just tack on another hundred new tweets).  She’s talked about Twitter on WFAE-FM.

She graced the cover of Charlotte Magazine as part of an article about the “New Social Elite.”

And Skirt! Magazine got this shot when they featured her in a recent article.    

She was an early adopter, starting to tweet in December of 2007.  And when she volunteered to be laid off from the Charlotte Observer in 2009, she knew good things were going to happen, she just didn’t know they’d revolve so much around 140 characters.

She became the face behind Amelie’s Bakery, taking it from a small café in NoDa to a 24-hour hot spot where she says, “Creativity happens.” 

She launched her own communications company, From the Hip; a one-woman show that focuses on new media marketing strategies.  She’s done so well and is so busy with her new company, she’s now only a consultant at Amelie’s Bakery (but no one knows because we all associate her with the place). 

I can see why @CrystalDempsey is so popular.  She’s outgoing, a hoot to hang out with, she has a bounty of ideas and wisdom, and genuinely loves connecting people.  She often uses Twitter to help non-profit organizations like Charlotte Community School For Girls, Dress for Success, and The Arts & Science Council.

She knows many of her journalist friends are at a crossroads or approaching one and she has advice for us.  It boils down to this: change is good.

No Cooking

Thursday, March 4th, 2010

When I recently told my friend, Brian, what my next post was going to be he wondered if this blog of mine was just going to be a running account of all the things I can’t do or am not good at.  I thought about it, and yes, yes indeed I think it is!  I enjoy self-deprecating humor and I have plenty to work with.

Here’s the truth, I love to eat.  I am passionate about food.  I have such affection for how foods are like people; instead of the difference in skin, eye, and hair color – they come in various flavors, textures, and styles of preparations.  But they also have such similarities.  Doesn’t every culture have a noodle dish of some sort, a dumpling, a sausage, a dish requiring the searing of meat over an open flame?

Here’s another truth, I can’t cook (ok, maybe it’s I don’t cook).  I have a short attention span so things are often left boiling over, burning, or just plain bad.  Throughout my 20’s, the valuable marrying-off years, my mother feared I’d be a spinster as my domestic abilities were, at best, substandard.  Fortunately for all of us, I married hubby.  He’s not only a great cook but he thoroughly enjoys the processes.

Now all my friends are quite familiar with the reality of my limitations. They never ask me to bring any cooked items to an event if hubby is out of town.  In fact, if hubby is out of town, I’m often invited over for a meal.  I think they have a fear that my love of Spam and pork rinds will ruin me.

Needless to say when my friend Julianne had a great idea for her birthday recently, there was genuine cause for concern.

That’s right.  I make six things: sausage roll, orzo salad, vegetable beef soup, spicy green beans, hot chicken tits (don’t judge, they used to be called special spicy chicken but hubby, the ad man, renamed the dish, rightly so!), and apple pie.  What I don’t think Julianne hit upon is that I usually only make one of the six dishes at a time, ever.  Her request was to make all six for one event.  Game on.