Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Caren Explains Stalkerbook's Predictive Power

I just loaded Facebook and got this notice in my "News Feed":

JANE DOE just joined Facebook.
You both went to the same university. If you know JANE DOE, perhaps you should add JANE as a friend.

Creepy, right?

But, see, Facebook already knows that I know Jane Doe because of its algorhythms and such... it knows that we have 35 friends in common and had the same major, so the likelihood that we know each other is quite high. More so than creepy, this is just Facebook trying to be sneaky... kind of like a romantic comedy plot line where OUTGOING GIRL is trying to set up SHY GAL with HOT GUY...


OUTGOING FRIEND and SHY GAL arrive at the party. SHY GIRL looks around nervously. She has been stalking HOT GUY but has never talked to him. OUTGOING GIRL assures her that he is at the party and that she will introduce them.

SHY GAL - Are you sure about this? What if I say something stupid!

OUTGOING GIRL - Relax! You'll be fine. Just go with it.

OUTGOING GIRL approaches HOT GUY, who is standing at the bar. SHY GAL stay a close distance behind.

OUTGOING GIRL (to HOT GUY) - Hey, what's up? I'm surprised you're here and not at the game.

HOT GUY - I'm TiVo'ing it. (to BARTENDER) Amstel Light!

OUTGOING GIRL - I don't know anything about football... but my friend, SHY GAL, keeps trying to get me to watch. Do you know her?

HOT GUY - Who?

OUTGOING GIRL (to SHY GAL) - Hey! Come here! (to HOT GUY) This is my friend, SHY GAL.


HOT GUY - Hey. We've got a class together right?

SHY GAL - Yeah, I think it's "The Science & Myth of Baseball in the Early 20th Century"

HOT GUY - Oh, right.

You get the picture.

So I wonder... at what point will Facebook be able to make other deductions about my life?


MARY is online. You live at the same address as Mary. Perhaps you and Mary are roommates.

LAUREN is sad that her Kitty is sick. You took care of Kitty while Lauren was in France. If you care about her, perhaps you should give Lauren a hug.

4 of your friends went from "In a Relationship" to "Single." Perhaps you should set them up so they aren't so heartbroken.

8 of your friends are attending the event "BAR EXAM" this month. If you want to be a good friend, perhaps you should send them free drinks using our HAPPY HOUR application!

and my favorite...

JOHN DOE added "Nickelback" to his "Favorite Music". Perhaps you should un-friend JOHN DOE.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Caren Explains Her Pre-School Homework

Now that I'm done traveling, I'm jobless and waiting for school to start. My own private purgatory... maybe "holding pattern" is more appropriate, though Rachael calls it the "River of Tears."

To keep from going stir-crazy I've been staying out of the house and instead rotating from one coffee shop to the other... this is mostly so that the baristas don't realize how much I'm taking advantage of their free Internet and refills policies.

I go to these coffee shops so I can complete some pre-school, pre-orientation homework. So far there are two key takeaways from this series of math "tutorials":

1) I feel smarter already.
2) I want to slam my head against a wall.

The makers of these tutorials have a sense of humor, though. Occasionally there is funny clip-art animations, like the one below, which is apparently illustrates the consequences of over-staffing a hotel and having idle bellhops (take note, Dad!):

Welcome to the next two years of my life!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Caren Explains Her World Travels

(Me at Dogfish Head Brewery in Delaware)

I've been traveling for 19 days now and have visited 18 cities and two countries... this includes Becky and Marc's awesome wedding!! This has been exhausting, stimulating, and exhilarating. In the process, the boulder on my shoulder has become the pebble in my shoe... in other words, I'm getting better by the day, coping with what I'm confronted with.

The best thing I've done these past weeks was to visit the town where my great grandfather was born, in Ireland. I spent a rainy day holed up in Ireland's National Library, going thru microfiche records, and found that most of that family's lineage originated in Millstreet, Co. Cork. So Lauren and I went there and found evidence of my ancestry... street signs, tombstones, familiar faces.... It was so touching. We went to Saturday night Mass at the church where my great granddad was baptized and I felt so humbled and happy. Some things transcend time and trends.

Where will I go next? Take a guess! Delaware and Ireland are not allowed as guesses!