Just Go Google Yourself!


“Only in very, very dark moments, moments of pure self-loathing, do I type my name into Google.” – Reese Witherspoon.

When was the last time you Googled yourself, your family, boyfriend/girlfriend, friends, or even your latest crush?   I ask, “when” rather than “have you ever”, because we’ve all done it. We are curious to know what will come up. In this day and age, we Google everything.  In fact, to google is becoming an accepted English verb

I admit, I have Googled myself. My name is unique. Not many people spell my name the way I do. I was surprised to see just how much my name dominated the results. Apparently, I’m a very talented sports/travel photographer. However, don’t be fooled. While, I like photography, that isn’t me.  I used to not come up until the second page.  However, since starting my blog and joining Twitter, my search rank has increased. But I recommend checking out the other Caryn’s stuff. She has an awesome portfolio. But do be careful not to get us confused. It appears she is on Facebook and Twitter too.  I also found someone with my name in Florida with a felony charge against her. I don’t want to be mistaken for her!

I googled Mr. Boyfriend and he is MIA in the cyberworld. He is a CPA and not active online.  When he has more professional accomplishments or owns his own company, I think then he would want to be found. But for now, it is better for him to be under the radar. For this issue, I think career industry matters.  In media/technology fields – I think it is important that something (positive) appears in the search.  Is it important for accountants, garbage men, government workers to be found?  Is it always a good thing for individuals in all industries to be searchable? 

Everyone has an opinion these days and there is just so much negative out there.  Robert Downey Jr. loves Googling himself. At the Oscar roundtable this year, he said, “some people overstate their support, like they know you. Other people are busy doing something else and just want to go on this chat site and say some despicable character assassination…” If I were a celebrity I would be curious, but probably hesitant to search for myself.  Ultimately, I think I would only sporadically search myself.  The tabloids say some crazy stuff. 

If you don’t Google yourself, someone else will – Reasons to Google yourself:

  • Professionally: Companies should Google their own Web site to identify and monitor any potential information that shouldn’t be public.
  • It is important to Google yourself before you start applying for jobs so that you know what your potential employee might see. Because let’s face it, there is a good chance that they’ll Google you.
  • Personally: Never put anything personal, such as your social security number on a resume or on the Internet; not even temporarily.  It is scary when you find your own very specific personal information coming up. I have a huge problem with websites that advertise my address, phone number, family information and other private information without my consent. 
  • Any information you find online, can also be found by hackers. We cannot take Google for granted. We search for anything and everything and so can the bad guys. Criminals can easily access our information with just a simple search. The internet is a playground for crooks.
  • You might have filled out an online form and not realized the site was not as secured as it should be.
  • There may be more of you out there, and he/she might have been in trouble with the law. Check out this crazy story about a guy wanted for murder.
  • I read somewhere that you shouldn’t stop after the first few search pages. Look at page 6 for the juicy stuff. (That’s where I found my fellow Caryn with a felony charge.)
  • If you find there are duplicate you’s – you can change your online persona from Bob Smith to Bob G. Smith to narrow the findings.

What to do if do you find unwanted personal information on the internet:

  • Try changing your username, sometimes this will change your results.
  • If you do find information about you on a Website you don’t control, contact the site owners to remove that data immediately.
  • If the website will not remove it information, it is up to you to create and manage content on various other sites so that the undesired material will gradually fall lower and lower on the search results. But please note, this can be a slow process.

What happens when you Google yourself? Were you pleased or surprised by what came up?  If you were a celebrity, would you Google yourself? Please share!

Love, Caryn

L5: Sci-Fi Miniseries.


When we were young, some of us knew what we wanted to be when we grew up. For others, the future seemed like a foreign land of unlimited possibilities, whose dreams changed periodically from time to time.  And some people still don’t know what they want to be when they grow up.  My good friend Tom, was that kid who knew he always wanted to be a director.  In high school, I was lucky enough to be Tom’s date for our Senior Prom. He is one of those rare gems in this world.  He reminds you that there are good-hearted, genuine people out there, and that if you dream it, you can make it happen.  I remember in high school being in awe of his directing talent. We working on this “Say No To Drugs” video using clips from Requiem For A Dream (disturbing!) for one of our school clubs.  He had such an eye and passion for editing. After hours of editing and hard work, the video turned out fabulously. I actually wish I had a copy of that presentation…  Since college, he has been living in L.A. to pursue his dreams. He will be the next Spielberg. Guaranteed.

I want to share with you a project that Tom has been working recently. It’s a Sci-Fi series called L5.  Right now, he is running a Kickstarter fundraising campaign for some elements of post-production. I had no idea all that went into a project like this! He needs to raise $2500 by May 12 to proceed with the project.

Feel free to take a look at the page, and if you like what you see, pass it on to people who you think might be interested. I am NOT ASKING YOU TO CONTRIBUTE! I am sharing this with you so we can help spread the word! 🙂 I am so proud of Tom and his accomplishments.  Click here: L5 to check it out.  Thanks for sharing and checking it out! 

Good luck Tom.  I can’t wait for my DVD!

Love, Caryn

Finding Serenity on a Sunday Afternoon



I always told my self I had outdoor induced asthma and that was why running outside and I never got along. Usually I have trouble running outside and find myself coughing for hours even after the run is over. But Sunday was different. It was one of those days that you can only dream of where you wake up with no responsibilities, no chores to do, no phone calls to make and no one to report to.  It was one of those rare days where running actually came easy. On Sunday, I was lucky enough to not be dreaming.

Despite being woken up around 9am because Mr. Boyfriend had to go to work, I managed to get a little more sleep and laid in bed until noon.  I remembered it was supposed to be our first warm summer-like day so I looked outside for confirmation and saw people in shorts and tank tops.  I debated staying home and just relaxing on my balcony (which doesn’t get sun until later in the afternoon) or laying out on the patio downstairs. Seeing the shade on my balcony and no chairs on the patio, I decided not to be lazy. It seemed like a lovely day for some outdoor alone time, away from the apartment. So I got dressed, grabbed my iPod and headed out. What was initially my intention to just walk along the Lake Michigan waterfront path turned out to be a full days adventure! 

I don’t like leaving home without my phone, money or keys because I am always thinking that, What if something happens to me?  So I carried a teeny-tiny backpack. As I walked and watched people practically skipping with happiness, I thought about the blogs I had read like the Girl With the Red Hair or Bun & Burrows, and how they are always talking about their positive running experiences. (Thanks girls for the inspiration!) I thought about how I kind of went on a running hibernation over the winter, as I focused a lot on core and yoga classes, but didn’t run as often as I could have.  But something about the sun shinning, people playing and me being alone, lost in thought, listening to music on an absolutely gorgeous day made me oddly at peace.  So I started just running north along the lake path. I can’t say I ran the whole time, but I ran a majority of it. I am guessing that it was about a 2 mile path, in each direction. I saw a dog swimming in the lake, people playing volleyball, bikers, rollerbladers, runners, people running on a mission, and people strolling just taking in the day. When I got to the end of the path, I started heading back, ran into my neighbor (hi!) and then continued on.  I saw a friend running on a nearby path, so out of nowhere, this energy built up and I chased after her. I didn’t think I had it in me to sprint but I was motivated to catch her. I made it possible.  She was heading in the direction I just came from so I turned around and we ran/walked a bit together.  Since I had already done this path there and back again, I suggested we walk back through the zoo which is parallel to the lake front. ( I love animals so I am a sucker for zoo’s, even though I don’t like that they’re caged.)   We walked back through the zoo, through the park and then headed home. After we said goodbye, I met up with my neighbor again and we walked over to Whole Foods.  My feet and legs were tired, but I just kept walking. After a great workout, shopping for vegetables just completes the healthy feeling of the day. I bought a couscous and cranberry salad that was to die for! 

All in all, I was outside for three and a half hours and covered about 5-6 miles. I went out for some me time and came home completely rejuvenated and sunburned. I did not expect to get burned in April! But LOVE that we finally had summer weather!  Walking is bit rough, though I am not as sore as I expected. The second full day is always the worst, so I will not be surprised if I move a little slower than usual/waddle tomorrow.  

I never thought I would find peace and serenity running but Sunday turned out to be absolutely perfect. Just me, doing what I wanted to do.  I had no time restraints, no responsibilities, no worries. I was able to just be alone with my thoughts, my music and go at my own pace. We all need some alone time from time to time.  Maybe it was a mix of being the first warm day in months or having the freedom to follow my feet wherever they lead me, but it turned out to be the perfect Sunday afternoon!

How do you find time for alone time? What do you do that helps you find serenity?  

Love, Caryn

Just Call Me Betty Crocker

When I heard that Borders filed for bankruptcy, I immediately went online to use my gift cards before they officially closed all their doors. While I got a personal reading book or two, I also got four cookbooks, and Today they arrived in the mail!

I think I covered just about all topics and bases.

  • The Best of Baking (Better Crocker) 
    • Baking sweets, breads and more- Check
  • Hungry Girl 300 Under 300 (Lisa Lillien) 
    • Healthy meals under 300 Calories- Check
  • The Best of 30 Minute Dinners (Better Homes and Gardens) 
    • Meals that can be whipped up in a hurry – Check
  • New Cookbook (Better Homes and Gardens) *came with a free magazine subscription too!
    • It should be called the Plaid Cooking Bible as it is a staple in nearly every mothers’ cupboard because it has been passed on through the generations.  It literally has EVERYTHING- between covering cooking basics, how to formally set the table, techniques and tips, refrigerator/freezer storage pointers, nutrition, and every recipe category you could possibly need and more- Check.

I enjoy cooking or baking but usually I stick to baking while Mr. Boyfriend does the the cooking. I am lucky, because he knows his way around the kitchen!  We compliment each other very well.  However, I want to be able to be a good girlfriend, one who can cook for her boyfriend.  I would love to sporadically surprise him with a delicious dinner ready on the table when he gets home from work. I want to be able to host a cocktail party and serve my own food, bring homemade delicious platters to pot luck parties, or help cook for family gatherings.

So many choices now, I don’t know where to start! Have you tried any recipes that are in these books? Any suggestions I should try first?  The recipes in these books look absolutely divine!

I am really excited to fire up the grill, turn on the burners and get my hands dirty!

Do you have any recipes that you absolutely love?!  If you would like to guest post and share your recipes please let me know!  

Love, Caryn

Drinks, Dinner and Dragons

In college, I had my share of Thursday nights where I would go out as if it were the Saturday, because lets face it, not having to go to class on Fridays, was pretty much amazing. But there were also many Thursday nights where I would stay in.  Sure, now I go out for happy hours, dinners with friends, and the occasional activity, but as I have gotten older, those Thursday night crazy adventures have dwindled down to just about slim to none (except during softball season for work, those stories to come later…).  So when the opportunity arose to get drinks with a friend and go to a concert last minute, I decided to embrace being spontaneous.

Earlier in the week, I was given a gift card to The Signature Room.  I thought it would be fun to grab some (overpriced but free, thanks to the gift card) drinks with a very dear friend.  In case you aren’t familiar, the Lounge is on the 95th floor of the John Hancock building and it overlooks the entire city. It is known for its expensive drinks and breathtaking views. At least the views are free.  We both ordered a Peach Martini and watched the sunset. Doesn’t it look like the sun is an enormous explosion over the horizon? The photo on the right is a view from inside looking out at the lake from the 95th floor.

I do not think I’ll be having sushi for a while. We had an hour to kill before the concert started so we walked around and of course the only place without a long wait was a sushi restaurant. Now, usually that wouldn’t make me think twice, except I already had it twice this week. Oh well. At least it was a sushi restaurant I hadn’t tried before. Bonus points for trying something new. We had a dragon roll, sweet potato roll and of course, spicy tuna. Nom! Nom! Nom! When we’re together, there are always lots of laughs.

Earlier this afternoon, I received a Facebook invite for a show tonight featuring this local band called I Fight Dragons.  I have been a longtime fan, so I called my friend up, told her about it, and we decide it would be fun if we went after drinks to hear some live music. As I said in a previous post nothing beats a live concert.  The music of IFD combines pop/rock songs and electronic sounds using Nintendo game systems. That’s right, an old school Nintendo NES rock band! How clever and unique!  And they actually have the game controllers set up and play on stage. The group recently signed with Atlantic Records and have been working on their new album called ‘Cool Is Just a Number’ for about a year now. Three of the members are from my home town (actually one from a neighboring town) and are some of the nicest and down-to-earth guys around.  Packy, one of the guitarists/vocalists, who actually reminds me of John Lennon,  is one of the most talented guitar players. *Flashback time*  I vividly remember this one talent show in elementary school where he played the drums so passionately and intensely that his glasses flew off of his face in the middle of a set.  He finished the song without being able to see.  (FYI – He had the Harry Potter glasses many years before the books were ever even written.) We all knew at that moment, he was destined to go places with that talent.

Tonights show was so much fun and had a really good turn out.  I even ran into some old friends I haven’t seen in a while, so that was great to catch up with them. The music is awesome and you can tell they are having fun on stage. The crowd was chanting IFD, IFD, IFD. The two story venue was small but a great place to see a band play. I am in awe at how talented these guys are.  It makes me wish I could play the drums or guitar.  Too bad I’m tone deaf, have no rhythm and I can’t sing to save my life. I think there is something to be said for guys who can play instruments and sing.  When we were younger, if you played in the school band, your peers thought you were dorky.  Now if you play in a band, people think you are sexy. (If you are reading this, and you are in a school band – good for you! Keep it up!Do not give in to peer pressure or take your peers seriously. Someday your talents will be appreciated! )

Here are some songs from I Fight Dragons. Money / Welcome to the Breakdown / The Faster The Treadmill.  Check out their website, and if they come to your city, I highly recommend you go to their show. Mark my words, I have faith they will make it to the top.

Sometimes the best nights aren’t planned. Here is to having an awesome, spontaneous night on a random Thursday.   Do you go out often on Thursday nights (post college)? Do you know of any bands that are undiscovered or not household names that you love? Please share the music love!

Love, Caryn