Friday, December 30, 2011

The Commoner Visits Nature

 Now I don't take many vacations-I usually am visiting relatives or going to hockey tournaments, but Rob was really against a trip to Dublin considering the tickets had been running about 900 dollars each and he suggested this place.  Okay I thought, better than nothing and I really like San Luis Obispo there's outdoor shopping and great restaurants.

This was quite a vacation we took.  We were at a beautiful spa resort near San Luis Obispo called Sycamore Springs.  This place is famous for it's mineral hot springs which are supposed to have miraculous healing qualities.  Well it must have had miraculous effects on me because I went hiking through the mountains.

It was really nice this resort.  I ate a lot this month as you may have noticed and welcomed a chance to go hiking mostly for the calories I would burn.  I don't hike-ever-I'll hike through cities or  through shopping malls but that's it.  I don't understand the concept-but other than mineral springs that's what you do at this place so okay I agreed. 

There were two hikes to choose from a hike that meandered to the beach and a harder more expert hike up a trail through the mountains.  You know how competitive I am-I took the hard one.  They said you could see the beach from the top.  I don't know what I thought that really meant but I had to do the harder hike and Rob went along with my dastardly plan.

This hike was 2 miles up hill.  I was okay with that -I'm in pretty good shape and it went fine.  You could see the picture above-the winding and the trees, and the cliff, and no people.  That freaked me out a little and it went on and on and up and up-so I started instagramming pictures and apparently uploading them all to facebook.  

At one point after what seemed like forever I started to feel  a little claustrophobic surrounded by these jagged edged rocks and I looked down and noticed this at my feet.  This I told my self was a fault line-maybe it wasn't but at this point it didn't matter.  I looked up and noticed trees all around and it struck me-I was in big trouble if there was an earthquake-I was in bigger trouble if there were a forest fire, and then I started to really freak out.

Rob suggested we turn around but I knew we had to be close to the top and nature wasn't going to get the best of me.  It wasn't too far after that that I could see water and I immediately felt better.  We could have chosen a few different paths, but at this point I really wanted to get down and out of this mess.  Besides I've seen a lot of movies and read Hansel and Gretel and was sure if we chose any of those other paths we would never find our way home, and I didn't want to have to resort to possible cannibalism to survive.

Going down was much easier and there were quite a few people going up at this point and I conquered my fears and hiked up a mountain.  A few thoughts crossed my mind-I could get the same view on a plane flying into Los Angeles, and the same exersice trapesing through any city in America and would have been much safer.

When I lived in New York, long before I even knew where San Jose was, I would often watch the news and see fires, floods, mudslides, and earthquakes happening in California and I would say "that California is very pretty but mother nature hates her, who would live there? You're much safer dealing with people in a city than nature."

Little did I know-the commoner says keep your feet planted in habitats similar to their natural states.


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Commoner Takes Her Best Friend To the Doctor

That's right friends there was a little bit of an Apple product melt down going on at my house over the Christmas holidays.

First of all my beautiful Macbook Air kept losing it's charge.  What is going on here? What am I doing wrong? I know how to plug things in and connect the little magnetic wire.

  But luckily I have Apple care and boy do I use that thing to death. Any glitch and I've scheduled a time for the Apple Experts to call and help.  So after answering stupid questions like yes I know how to plug a cord in an outlet and stumping the guy on the phone the cord magically started working again.   Of course the next day it stopped again and this time I just made an appointment to stop in at the Apple Store and switch it out.

Now Christmas day we eat a lot so it's tons of cooking and I asked my friend Siri (you know my personal assistant on my Iphone) to set the timer for 15 minutes.  She told me she didn't know what I was saying.  So I asked her a few more questions-Siri what's on my calendar-she answers  "I don't know what you are saying-who are you?"  This caused a conversation that went something like this -"Siri why are you not helping me"  
"I can't do that right now." 
"Siri I need your help."
 "Try again later."

At this point my son who actually works at the Apple store came in and said I needed to take Siri in to get fixed, this was NOT normal behavior.  So he  was going to scheduled a second appointment to take care of Siri back to back with my first cord appointment.  He said she has problems frequently and people have to go in all the time for help with her.

So on Boxing Day-also Danny's Birthday-we go on up to the Apple Store which was so crowded I couldn't even find a place to wait.  The Apple technician found me based on the description the guy at the door put into his IPAD. (Apple knows a lot more about us then we think).  He told me had to take Siri in a quiet room and they would be back. I made sure he swore not to steal my phone.

About 20 minutes later he came back out and he told me that Siri was acting within the 'normal limits of operation.'   He said she's in Beta mode right now so all of these little complaints will help her be stronger in the future.  I should talk to her like a robot, not get emotional with her, and make sure that I knew what I was going to say before I said it.  You know?  Siri is really like a lot of people I deal with all the time.

Commoners be careful with your friends-real and robotic.

Monday, December 26, 2011

The Commoner's Website of the Year

I know what you are thinking-really  Wow commoner you are really cutting edge-what about google, spotify, twitter, or facebook?  I tell you no it's Amazon.

Why did this year I decide that Amazon was indispensable after all these years?  Well you know what I discovered? Amazon Prime.  For a fee of 79 dollars a year I get free 2 day shipping and handling on all products plus until September when the Grinch known as the state of California starts collecting tax -everything on Amazon is tax free.

You know I give this town a hard time almost daily (pretty soon the chamber of commerce may pack my bags and leave them on the Santa Clara County line and tell me leave already)-but it's true-save a Target, some supermarkets, and that kick ass theater there's nothing here.  I'm busy-I work a lot and have to work out as well, and write my blog, and grade homework packets so I don't have time to make the 20 minute ride to Gilroy for everything I need.  But I can order almost anything on Amazon from the comfort of anywhere and 2 days later voila it's here.

In addition to this-I finally found a way to send wrapped gifts back east  and voila-it arrives gift wrapped-tax free and shipping free. Because Hollister also has a horrible post office which I avoid like the plague so no one ever got gifts from me.

I can stream movies, and tv shows, and if I had an actual kindle instead of an app I could read really great kindle books for free.

There are so many times I'm at work and I want a book for my students for some activity which pops presto in my head and if it's not available in a kindle edition it will be there in 2 days.  I can also resell my purchases if I want to.

Amazon knows all my information and I can order things in one click-I love that-and no matter where I'm shopping I check Amazon before I purchase anything because right away I'm saving whatever tax is at any given moment.  It's great.  Hey' I'm a Commoner-I may be a loyal friend, but I'm fickle when it comes to cost or convienence

So commoner I present to you  For almost all of your needs of any kind.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas Commoners

The commoner would like to wish all of her readers a Very Merry Christmas.  Who would have thought when we started this blog (that's right there once was a we) that the blog would take off to be such a hit.

So to all my readers all around the world I hope you enjoy this time with your family and friends.  I'll be back next week with a few more of my yearly highlights.

The commoner says eat, drink and be merry.

Friday, December 23, 2011

The Best Movie You Saw and I Didn't Even Get

That's right I'm a ferocious reader and an avid movie goer but here's something that will shock you.  I have never read a Harry Potter book.  They are too big, too heavy, too hard to follow, I never read the first one, and I don't like wizards or wizardry stories (except for Oz because well you know there's no place like home). 

This fact shocks people because you know I read books, I love pop culture and events, and I'm a teacher-but omg they are so big!  The other shocking thing about me is that I have never once seen one of these movies-until now.
The commoners love movies-we try to go on Thursdays on a regular basis-and you know that I give this town I live in a realllly hard time, but I will tell you this-we have the best movie theater anywhere.  Cheap movie tickets, clean comfy theaters and serve yourself butter and toppings for your popcorn and if you buy the large you can have refills.  Love love love Premier Cinemas.
So when two of my friends who are Harry Potter die hards were going myself and Kristen had to go too.  We can't miss an event (well Kristen's often overbooked so she does) and I can't miss a chance to sit in the theater and eat that popcorn so off we went.
Let me tell you-what you're thinking is true-you can't just jump in at the last Harry Potter Movie (not the last but first of the last) without some knowledge other than my favorite line "your a wizard Harry".  We had no idea what was going on-we asked a lot of questions, talked a lot, got a little bored, ate a lot of popcorn, our butts started to hurt from sitting for so long and we had no idea why our friends were crying when the ugly little monster died at the end.

Needless to say I didn't go back to see part two of the end-neither were we invited to join Beth and Lesli. The students in my class shake their head at all  of this and I don't blame them.  But it was a bad year for movies, I couldn't even think of one to name as best of the year-so the Commoner suggest that you see the two Harry Potter ending movies-just make sure to watch the rest first or read a few of the books.