Monthly Archives: April 2012

cheating at the after party!

the facebook party at the book store was a great deal of fun!  and i let everybody get a sneak peek at the new ibook — face 2 facebook.  but for a week and a half before, i had been a serious atkins dieter.  it’s a no carb diet and i had to give up cupcakes and beer–my two favorite food groups.  i wanted to fit into the perfect dress and i did — although i did not actually breathe during the party.  and the after party. . . .

the book about my facebook adventure is an ibook that you can read either on your mac or on your ipad.  my tech dude o.j. dorson is also creating this in a format that you can read with your kindle or whatever.  but here’s the really interesting technological twist:

o.j. and i are also going to make a book that comes in a format in which individual screens (also called "pages") are made out of wood pulp (also known as "paper")

 

in this format, a qrl code would be embedded in some pages so that using your smartphone you could upload videos and pictures and whatnot onto your phone to enhance your reading experience.

if you’re a blogger and want to take your blog and create a book, or a writer who’s just about done with that first novel, i’d be happy to tell you more.  but first. . . . i gotta find another cupcake (BURP!)

 


a party invitation for you, yes YOU!

i want to meet you!  yes, you!  i want to see you, my facebook friend or maybe my wordpress friend, at round table books saturday evening five to eight, all you have to do is show your sweet face and maybe bring a new or gently used children’s book!  572 lincoln avenue in winnetka–see you there!


agoraphobics have their own anthem now!

i was sent this by david janis, a fellow agoraphobe.  he thought it was ironic that i am about to be a homeless agoraphobic and i thought it was ironic that there’s a new anthem for being housebound.  listen to what he’s got to say. . .

 


Versatile Blogger Award

Versatile Blogger Award.

 

i never thought i’d be so honored but i’m grateful to bargaindiva at fashionablyunderbudget.wordpress.com  many many thanks!


the homeless agoraphobic

the ex-husband and i edge closer to a house sale.  we have come to an agreement with the buyers on price and they’re doing an inspection with their contractor on monday.  tentatively, we’re closing on june 28.  that’s when i become homeless, but in a very nice way.   it’s not like i’m going to be roaming the streets asking people for spare change and telling them i’m an injured war veteran with six kids to support.

nope, we’re going to rename this blog THE HOMELESS AGORAPHOBIC and figure out what to do with the rest of this life.

nonetheless, it’s difficult as someone who has regarded this as my safe place to know it’s not my safe place anymore.

until i was three years old, i lived with my parents justin and aleta. they put up for adoption and the patrick family of western springs took me in. they immediately had me baptized in the methodist faith. this picture was from that happy sunday. my older sister sandra had also adopted by the patrick family. justin and aleta divorced about a year afterwards. i wasn't reunited with them until i was twenty five.

it’s impossible to hide from a three year old that they have been adopted and that they’re sporting new parents.  my name was changed to lynn melody patrick.  i wasn’t allowed to keep anything justin and aleta may have sent with me.  i was in a new place.  and i had new people to call mom and dad.

sometimes i think agoraphobia is the outsized desire to have the world be safe, manageable and unchanging.  weirdly, the world never is.

mrs. jewell patrick was a beautiful woman who was unable to bear children because of a hysterectomy when she was seventeen. she was quite a disciplinarian, sometimes locking me up in the basement or in a closet for misdeeds. then there was the belt. . . .but i started to be cool with being locked up if i could read a book. i think this is why i'm literate, not the public school system.

 

i ran away from home when i was in my early teens.  i was very proud that i could pack everything i owned in a single hefty garbage back.  i still have some of the books that i took with me.  later, i was placed in different foster homes.  again, it was a good skill to be able to keep all of one’s possessions in a tight space and be able to pack at a moment’s notice.

denise was one of my foster sisters. we exchanged class pictures and i keep hers--well, all of my foster sisters and one brother who is now a sister--in my safety deposit box. denise later became a police officer!

maybe last year was a blessing:  i spent so much time in airplanes, trains, hotels, automobiles, on the road, in the air, at the terminal, standing in line at customs, standing in line at security, that i’m going to be okay about this dislocation.

holly was the most beautiful foster sister i had. when i was in the same home as she was, peter frampton had just come out with his first album. holly would sit in a rocking chair, smoking cigarettes and listening to that album over and over and over again. . . if i ever see mr. frampton, i will implore him to not sing in my presence. it was just too much frampton, too much "do you feel like i do?" oh, shoot, now i'm not going to get that song out of my head. thanks a lot, holly!

 

my biological mother aleta did not appreciate having me find her when i was twenty five.  this was before facebook, before the internet,  jeez, i had to hire a private detective.  she didn’t want me in her life.  not when i was three years old.  not when i was twenty five years old.  and frankly. . . not now either.

i found out several months ago that aleta has a facebook account. i sent her a friendship request and a message telling her that she has two grandsons--joseph and eastman. ixnay.

 

in the meantime, i hope you’re looking up 572 lincoln avenue winnetka illinois on mapquest and thinking about a new or gently used children’s book you want to bring to the face 2 facebook party on saturday night.  starts at five o’clock, courtesy of arthur frank the owner, and concludes at eight.  i’ll be unveiling the new i-book “face 2 facebook”. . . .the first three chapters are free to you!  and if you’re a blogger or a writer–this is the future of how books can be constructed — can’t wait to see you there!


the sweetest smelling homeless person in america. . . .

.  . . that would be me!

today, i sold my house.  or rather, my ex-husband and i accepted an offer on the house we own together, the one i live in, the one we raised our sons in.  about a month from now, a new family will move into the house.  it’s a great house for raising a family, for giving parties, for building a life!

every year, stephen and i gave a boxing day party. december 26th, hosting as many as a hundred people. here i am at one of those parties!

 

selling a house is a little freaky.  my ex and i were alternately happy and terrified.  and the next month will be awfully busy for me as i try to figure out where every piece of furniture, book, clothes and dishes are to go. . . and then of course, there’s me.

on december 31, 2010 i made a new years resolution to meet all 325 of my facebook friends by the end of 2011.  i managed 292, exactly 90%. . . . thirteen countries, fifty flights, almost every state in the union.  and now that my “safe” place, my home, is going to be sold, i realize that i am untethered.

it’s alternately scary and exciting.

after we sorted out the details, my ex and i were wrung out. this is a house with so many memories. i don't know--will the smell of angel perfume ever really get out of the house? maybe it will linger. i got angel body lotion after the negotiations were over, sort of an impulse purchase or maybe just a nervous breakdown. i might not have a home, but i will smell fabulous!

 

 


it’s de-lightful! it’s delicious! it’s de-lovely!

although it wasn't part of the original 1934 production of anything goes, and wasn't added to the show until the 1962 revival, the song "it's de-lovely" best expresses the delightful, delicious, yes, de-lovely feeling of being in love. i've been singing that song all week but not about love. i've been singing it about friendship!

 

f2fb friend #315 tony tyner is the sort of big strong bear of a man who makes a woman feel petite, pretty and protected.  but of course, i didn’t need protection–we were in the quaint little town of geneva, illinois.  tony endured me trying on hats in a girlie shop and we steered very far away from the candy shop because i’m trying to lose ten pounds by the twenty eighth so that i will believe i look good for the party for my facebook friends!

it was DE-LIGHTFUL to meet tony! turns out we have a lot in common in our childhoods. . . . tony is a single dad raising three children. i admire how he's endured tough times and come out with a cheerful countenance!

 

after i left geneva, i went straight to the round table books at 572 lincoln avenue.  that’s where the party is–the party YOU’RE INVITED TO!!!!  the party is on the 28th from five to eight in the evening.  and it is a party where we will unveil the first three chapters of the book face 2 facebook.  it’s in an exciting ibook format that allows for embedded videos and photo galleries and smell-o-matic sensors so that you can smell the angel perfume, the breakfast bacon, the cows out in the meadows.  i’m lying about only one of the ibook features.

when i stopped by the shop, owner arthur frank who is generously hosting the event told me that a package had arrived for me.  we opened it and discovered two children’s books.  for the party, i’ve asked guests to bring one new or gently used children’s book to donate to reach out & read illinois, a foundation that tries to put books in the hands of needy children.

howard lovely, jr., who has a blog on wordpress – http://howardlovelyjr.wordpress.com/ – wrote that he would not be able to attend the party but that he wanted to send something anyway.

the two books, both by wayne dyer, express a positive message for children. okay, i'm going to say it -- howard lovely, YOU'RE DE-LOVELY!

 

i am working hard to finish the three chapters with genius o.j. dorson.  if you come to the party with YOUR blog and book ideas, take him aside and see if he can work with you.  and as soon as the party’s over. . .

i don't know why i'm all panicky about my weight but after the party it'll be anything goes and this cupcake is going to be . . . DE-LICIOUS!!!!

 


uh oh, some stupid risks i take and that phone app

mr. anonymous (the 314th facebook friend i’ve met since starting this new year’s resolution) was a bit nervous about meeting me.  well, i can assure him that i was nervous too!  it’s hard to meet someone for the first time and as i drove up to his house (thank you gps!) i had a bit of the acid reflux heart fluttering red hives on my face anxiety going.

i ordinarily never visit someone i’ve not met before in their home.  it’s a safety issue.  but there wasn’t any choice because mr. 314 hasn’t left his house much in the past two years.  he’s able to sometimes go to his father’s house (a few blocks away) and to his church (a little further than that).  earlier this year, when he needed to travel six miles to get his drivers’ license renewed, i was so happy for him. he felt like it was an ordeal.

a couple of years ago, he quit his job because of anxiety attacks that persisted no matter what he tried.  then the “safe zone” got smaller and smaller.  his doctor put him on 25 mg. of zoloft.  when he went back for an appointment and said “this isn’t making things any better” the doctor said “let’s try 50 mg”. . .  it’s become even more painful because his wife has just this past week announced that she has filed for a divorce.  his doctor has upped the ante on zoloft, putting him on a prescription for 100 mg.  there is no way that his next few months are going to be easy.

i just wish there was a way to make sure this man knows that he’s not alone.  even when he’s in his house by himself, he’s basically got friends–okay, sometimes they’re “just” facebook friends–who know what he’s going through because they’ve been there too.  i sort of wanted to say that and i’m not sure i was completely successful. . .

i did ask an enormous favor of mr. 314. a phone app and video developer from los angeles has been working on an app to help agoraphobics.  i put the two of them on the phone together.  i hope mr. 314 will agree to be the first tester of this app!

what qualities would you want if your phone could help you get out of the house?  i know mine better say “put that damn flip camera down and drive!”

 


an anonymous agoraphobic and a question for YOU!

i have been on the road and this morning i am two hours away from f2fb friend #314 mr. anonymous.  well, i don’t actually know that he wants to be anonymous but we’ve been corresponding since the first of the year and everything he’s written suggests that he is worried about publicly confessing to having disabling panic attacks and agoraphobia.

i find this weird, maybe because the past year and a half i have been chronicling everything i have been doing — including those white wine “i feel rejected” benders, the fraught relations with my biological father, the crying jags, the strange and bewildering consequences of youthful tragedies.  but also, i find mr. anonymous f2fb friend #314′s concern about being “outed” as weird because i read tmz.com, radaronline.com, and pagesix.com online every morning.

and i am treated to celebrities confessing to spousal abuse, eating disorders, gambling problems, pill popping, alcoholism, infidelity, sex with minors, sex with family members, sex with . . . whoever happens to be around, being gay, being a man in a woman’s body, being a woman in a man’s body, having a penchant for hookers, dressing up in the wife’s clothes, shoplifting for the joy of it, anger management issues (also known as acting like a damn three year old), and the ever popular exhaustion and dehydration.

vanessa williams just released the book "you have no idea" and it reveals that she was molested as a ten year old by an eighteen year old woman, that she was "highly sexualized" as a teen, that she had an abortion when she was nineteen, and that she trusted a photographer who wanted to do some "art" shots of her. by her own description, she went from the cab to naked with a dog collar in less than an hour. those pictures were printed in penthouse and caused her resignation as 1983 miss america. she's bounced back. but there's a lot of 'fessing up she's doing with this book.

 

i have nothing against the self-disclosures.  i think it’s healthy.  but why can’t someone come right out and say “look, i’m an agoraphobic.”  mr. #314 can manage a few miles radius around his house on a somewhat erratic basis.   but by and large, he’s housebound.  and doctors have done a lot of damage with the usual run of sedatives, antidepressants, etc.  that only seem to make things worse.  and it is worse than it was when we first started corresponding.  his wife is throwing in the towel.  the support systems are crumbling.  several times over the past months, we’ve attempted to set up a time to see each other just so i can learn from him and maybe share my experiences with him.  yesterday, he emailed me to say “i can’t.  i’m too nervous about the prospect of meeting you”  i said please don’t cancel because i have a present for you.

and i do.  it’s not a toy, a piece from tiffany’s (i always like those!) or a starbuck’s gift card.  it’s a phone app.

many people with anxiety and agoraphobia rely on facebook, email and cell phones to keep up with family and friends. one facebook friend who is housebound calls her mother at work. her mother leaves her cell phone on and lets her daughter "be" with her during her work day. my facebook friend calls it "having mom let me be in her pocket". . .

 

with a facebook friend from los angeles, i have been developing a phone app to help agoraphobics and those with social anxieties.  it’s not biofeedback.  it’s not guided meditation.  it’s not haranguing, although i do a great harangue.  just ask my sons.  instead, it’s a companion who will walk with you out the door, to the sidewalk and beyond.  and it’s based on my firm belief that therapy makes you dependent on therapy, drugs make you dependent on drugs.  YOU are the only one who is completely invested in getting yourself the terrific life you deserve.

the app is my present to mr. #314.

my question to you:  would you want that app?

and please, wish me luck.  i last wrote to him that i would be at his house.   i would knock on the door.  if he was too nervous to answer the door i’d wait for a while.  but at least i will try.


the pre-forgotten mother’s day

it is a truth so well acknowledged that it scarcely needs to be written–there are four days during the year that the presser boys cannot forget me.  one:  christmas (who cannot forget that one?), two: my birthday (july 23rd in case you’re in the early shopping mood), three:  valentine’s day (okay, okay, it’s usually associated with romantic love, but i get a pass on this okay?), and then the big kahuna of mom allegiance:

mother's day is huge! it was originally intended in the 1800s as a pacifist holiday and was nationally recognized in 1914. father's day wasn't recognized officially until the nixon administration. i actually am old enough to remember nixon. argh!

oddly, my oldest son joseph was born on a mother’s day sunday in 1988–and please don’t do the math on the date i got married although it is a medical miracle that he was born four months premature but fully eleven pounds eight ounces.

sometimes my sons eastman and joseph both, during their newly minted adult independence, have forgotten or misplaced a holiday.  it’s tough to forget christmas but there’s been occasional lapses on valentine’s and my birthday.  i tend to disown them in my mind. . . . at least until they remember and, in varying degrees of contrition, they have their memory and mother love restored.

in any event, this past year and  a half i have been traveling a lot to visit facebook friends and i planned a visit to new york this coming may 6th in order to celebrate mother’s day with joseph and then to remain in new york so that i might celebrate his birthday on the eighth.  and to visit facebook friends!  maybe even wordpress friends who tell me they’re available!  i fly out to new york on the sunday the sixth and return on the twelfth of may.

there’s only one minor problem which i discovered–

oh, the irony! i get so darned upset if the boys forget mother's day and here i have . . . forgotten what day is mother's day! mother's day is traditionally observed on the second sunday of may. this year it will be the latest date in may that it can occur--the thirteenth!

 

this coming mother’s day, i will be thinking also of my mother.  i have a biological mother named aleta.  i lived with her and my father until i was three years old.  then my parents put me up for adoption.  i tracked them down when i was twenty five years old.  a few years later, my mother aleta cut me off.  she has only seen my older son joseph once and has never met my younger son eastman (who just turned twenty).  i recently sent her a facebook friendship request.

my mother loves animals and lives in washington, d.c. and, like me, she trained as a lawyer. when i sent her a friendship request, my account was suspended for fourteen days because facebook freezes an account if someone you send a friendship request to claims that they don't know who you are.

i am looking forward to seeing my son joseph in new york and visting with facebook friends–even if i have miscalculated. . . .


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