Joel & Marie

Long-distance sweethearts.


Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Ways to keep in touch, part 2

When you are in a long-distance relationship like Joel and I, you have to find a way to keep in touch. Of course, it isn't always easy, due to time difference and personal obligations... But at least you can get the technical things out of the way. Before Joel had his own laptop, he had to share his computer time with his brother, which made it very difficult for me to find a time when we were both available. I remember spending a lot of money on phone cards to call the US, and it was awkward for both of us to block our phone lines just to say "I love you" for 3 hours.... Plus Joel's phone being cordless, it beeped after 3 hours and if his dad needed to use the phone after we had, he would get mad because the phone was dead... Or sometimes it wouldn't be on the hook all day, and when I was sad or lonely and really needed to talk to Joel, he would pick up and the phone would die straight away, which was hard to accept for me because I had waited until midnight to call him. that created a lot of tensions between us, I would sometimes go to bed upset and cry or think it was Joel's fault, and promise myself I wouldn't talk to him for a week until he missed me to death, kinda like to punish him for making his phone beep... Of course, that was wrong, because he wanted to be on the phone as much as I did... So at some point we made a deal that Joel would go to the computer lab and talk to me from school, which wasn't a bad idea per se, but not that good of an idea either, as he would tell his friends he had to meet somebody everytime they wanted to hang out, which meant he would never hang out with them...

Another problem is that, at the lab, all the messengers were disabled... So Joel and I had to go to but then again it wouldn't refresh quick enough and it wasn't easy to use (although their thing is great and stuff, and in our situation it was better than nothing). So we had a great idea, Joel downloaded the Firefox extension called Chatzilla and we met in a room we had made! and it was great cuz the chat window would blink when I talked to Joel and that would solve our problem! Also, Joel had a small headset with like a mic and earphone togehter, very discreet and unnoticeable... So he used it to let me hear what was going on in the lab... Of course since all mesengers were disabled, he had that great idea to download Gossiptel which is a great service (when it works) that is even more competitive than Skype! Unfortunatley, the school seemed to realize what was going on cuz they disabled the mics a few days later... But at least it was a fun thing to try!! I enjoyed hearing the background noise in the lab, made me feel like I was there with Joel!

Also a great thing now is that Yahoo! Messenger lets you send FREE text messages to American and Canadian cell phones (but you have to set your home country to canada or USA in the options). Some people might pay to receive the messages, so ask your friends before spamming them! So does MSN messenger but you have to change your home country in your .Net Passeport profile!

I will soon post a list of all the messengers we like to use and our tips and tricks to talk for free or for cheap! So stay tuned!!


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