The Arrow

There are no answers; only choices.

Archive for the ‘my parents’ Category

TeamViewer Rocks!

Posted by thearrow on November 14, 2011

First, watch this hilarious short film that captures perfectly how (at least) Romanian parents react when having to turn a computer on and use it to communicate with their overseas kids. Almost everything in it applies to my mom, particularly the fear that she’ll break the computer if she clicks on some button.


If your parents are in a similar situation, TeamViewer is there to help. I never had enough time to show them everything I wanted. With TeamViewer I get access to their computer and show them whatever they need to know. Hundreds of pages of notes would do nothing in that regard because the first thing you need to do is allay their fears that they’ll break something. Showing them how to do stuff is the perfect learning experience!

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Posted in my parents, technology | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

My Cybermom

Posted by thearrow on November 12, 2011

One of the best things I did when I was in Romania was to buy a laptop for my parents; a purchase long overdue. I had not seen them in three and a half years and just wanted them to get on the interwebs so that we could Skype, email, they could read newspapers and explore this whole fascinating world out there. Not a small thing for retirees entrenched in their routines.

They resisted the idea for a while, thinking oh, we’re too old, we’ve never touched a computer, we’re not going to understand anything, etc. I told them I’m not interested in the reasons why they don’t think it’s a good idea.

I spent a few good hours here and there to show them how to navigate folders, how to search on Google, how to send an email and download pics from one, all very carefully documented in tremendous detail in a big notebook. It felt like explaining this to Martians. I wrote stuff like, “in the corner of the window there’s an X; click on it if you want to close the window.” Or, to send an email, click on “Compose Email,” which is even more interesting because Yahoo! has a Romanian version, so my mom didn’t even have to understand a foreign language. I talked to her again today and, because she hadn’t sent an email in two-three weeks, she forgot that she had to click on “Compose Email.” Beginner’s anxiety. Now she has to write me emails regularly. That’s an assignment.

But she’s clearly interested in learning, which is very exciting. Two weeks ago I taught her how to search for funny videos on YouTube, by using the word “funny” (in English,) and she had a blast with it. Last week she said, “I’ve watched all the funny videos I could find, so I’m tired of them now. I want to get to the next level: How can I read blogs?”

I thought I was going to fall off the chair. My mom wants to read blogs?? She doesn’t even know what a blog is! So I told her that, like with Google and YouTube, you have to know what you’re looking for first. Did she have a blog in mind? Turns out she did. So I told her a bit about blogs, showed her how to search for them, and I’m now waiting for my update on where she ran with this in the mean time. She asked me if I have a blog and was disappointed to hear that it’s in English.

Yesterday, she just wrote me the following: “I’m absolutely astonished by how much I have to learn. I noticed that the more I know, the more I want to learn, but I don’t have anyone to show me. You do show me quite a bit, but there’s never enough time.”

I only have one thing to say, Wow! Of course, I’m delighted she’s so into it, which I never expected. I thought she was only going to be interested in Skype. I should get ready for the day she friends me on Facebook.

Posted in my parents | Tagged: | 5 Comments »

Weekend Compliments

Posted by thearrow on October 3, 2010

I always underestimate discount the weather forecast and this weekend I was proven wrong more than ever. At the rally yesterday I had two sweaters while everyone else was wearing t-shirts; my photo gear seemed that much heavier. Today I biked to a friend’s place and said pfft when I saw only 10% chance of rain. That’s zero in my book and I’m usually right. Many times I don’t give much weight to a 50% chance of rain and I’ve been right with that, too. Lately, though, it hasn’t been the case and today I was soaked for 30 minutes on the way home.

That didn’t diminish my confidence; quite the contrary, it made me so much cooler (ha ha!). A chick riding in the rain in traffic like that’s what she does every day. At a big intersection, while I was waiting for the green light, a guy in a truck two lanes over to the left rolled the window down and said, “I wish I could ride out there with you!” I thought that was awfully sweet. Being a sucker for compliments, I laughed and said, thinking of the pouring rain, “I don’t know about that.”

My mom put it all in perspective, though, when she asked me if I’m still drinking a lot of coffee (yes) and told me that I need to cut back (I know!) and eventually replace it with green tea. Because “you’re only a few years from menopause and you need to get a lot of antioxidants.” Say whaaat? I totally cracked up with laughter and I think I’ll be laughing many years from now when I think of it. “Um, mom, I’m not even 40 yet!” “I know, but all I’m saying is that you need to take care of yourself in advance.”

I know she means well and I’m not saying I shouldn’t be careful. After all, I’ve been a vegetarian for 17 years, I exercise, I go to bed early and so on. But with 20 years before I hit that point, it’s just hysterical.

So when that guy said that he wished he had been riding out there with me (in the rain), I should have said, “well, you might want to reconsider because I’m just a few years away from menopause.”

Posted in fun, my parents, Romanian Culture | 2 Comments »

My Parents Have Aged

Posted by thearrow on January 28, 2008

[written on Jan. 23]

Nothing struck me more than seeing them diminished. While still relatively ok, it’s harder and harder for them to deal with the daily grind. What pains me more is that I probably won’t be here when they need me and the geographical distance between us is heartbreaking.

This time I felt their unwavering support more intensely than before. Perhaps because I really need it, hopefully because don’t take it for granted any more, but also because I was so touched to see how they spared no effort in doing those little things that matter so much, like baking cakes and cooking my favorite dishes. In Romania, any little thing requires a big effort; nothing is really little. So it was like chicken soup for the soul. Not that I’ve read the book, but you get the idea.

Posted in Bucharest, my parents | 1 Comment »