August 30th, 2009

Truth telling time: I don’t like talking on the phone. That makes it rather a challenge in a long distance relationship when besides email telephones are the only way I have any interaction with Mr. J while he is in his respective domicile.

Even though I totally recommend webcams as a way to stay in touch, both of our computers predate built in webcams.

A few weeks ago I got an email from my mother who had just bought a laptop with a built in webcam. (What on earth does my mother need with a laptop?) And she’s all tricked out with her snazzy built in webcam and an account with Skype. Who knew?

She’s kicking back online talking to her brother and sisters. Then I’m being bombarded with emails from my aunts and uncle full of recommendations on which webcam to buy so I can “get with the times.”

Grousing, I drove to Best Buy and plunked down $45 for a Logitech webcam.

Installation was a breeze and before I knew I was in business. The first thing I thought when I saw myself in the inset window was: Oh. My. God. I look terrible. Scrambling over to my social networking site to grouse about how appalling I looked my friends assured me that everyone looks dreadful on a webcam. Since I don’t have discretionary funds to burn on a plastic surgeon, I decided to believe them.

Once I got past the Haggard Me on the webcam I realized how much fun it was. I could actually see into my parent’s house. It was just like sitting there with them having a conversation with both of them at once. This is way cooler than the phone. I’m totally hooked.

On our weekly call my parents’ cat decided he wanted in the act and jumped up into my father’s lap, effectively getting some “on screen” time.

Hearing a meow coming from my computer, my cat Alex decided to get involved. Up on the keyboard he jumped, claws clicking across my keyboard as he noses the screen.

Then, he is turning and the next thing I know he has provided my parents a full view of his butt. I believe Sharon Stone once called it “seeing all the way to Nebraska!”

“Alex!” I yell as my parents chuckle.

I hear my father’s very southern drawl, “Lara – I don’t know about where you live but sitting in the state that is the buckle on the Bible belt, that sort of thing is illegal!”

Terrific. Just what I need….a fine for indecency from the FCC. On the upside: Alex’s butt was clean and now everyone knows it!

My parting bit of advice about webcams: They are terrific and you should absolutely jump on this bandwagon if you haven’t already. On a cautionary note: be careful that you actually log off once you think your call is complete and/or are fully clothed when you fire up your webcam. You could be displaying parts of yourself (a la Janet Jackson like) that you never meant to.

Anyone have any funny webcam stories to share? I’m all ears (and eyes).

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