wifi alert on trip

Hello all, Need some help going in the right direction. Need: Arduino monitors input, sends "alarm" via wifi to email/sms.

I'm a complete nube with respect to tcp ip and smtp. Can I mailto right from the code, or does it have to go through a mail server? I basically want a simple way to "alert" my cell phone on condition change and hoping this is possible via email to sms. Is Twitter a better way to go?

Pointing to any code examples would be helpful.

Thanks, Jon