Monthly Archives: November 2012

“like” not being owned

how would i feel about being owned by mark zuckerberg?  maybe . . . creepy?  or maybe like . . . none too happy?  this week, facebook users have had to consider this question

i don’t presume to know mark personally, but it strikes me that he wouldn’t be the sort of dude who could own a woman–or a man for that matter. just a little too geeky. p.s this is NOT a picture of me.

when i made a new year’s resolution in 2011 to meet all 325 of my facebook friends, i was frequently asked if i understood that facebook owns the copyright on all posts, pics, comments of all of its members.  i always thought the original terms of use applied, namely that each member owns the copyright to the content of their profile but that facebook has a license to share that profile information with user’s friends.

but over the weekend, as some facebook users noted facebook’s announcement that it was amending and altering some of its privacy conditions.

this post has been showing up on a lot of timelines, a declaration that the user claims copyright to the profile’s content and that facebook can’t “own” the profile. this seems mainly to concern my american and european friends. copyright has become incredibly burdened by the freewheeling internet.

 

however, mark and facebook haven’t actually amended and altered its policy to change copyright claims.  it would be silly to do so because copyright isn’t something that someone can appropriate like that.  instead, facebook has declared it wants to change voting rights for its users.  facebook has been forced to publicly announce it was never its intention to make any appropriation of copyright.

but the point remains that facebook and mark have been announcing policy changes so frequently that users can’t keep up.  so i gotta ask–

in the meantime, i need to get the visual image of being mark’s sex slave out of my head!


the unintended consequence of thank you

WARNING: GRAPHIC AND SHOCKING IMAGES INCLUDED IN THIS BLOGPOST!!!!!!

so this morning–the day after thanksgiving, the day when i should be out wilding in the shopping mall–i sat down as i always do and wrote down ten things i am grateful for.  at the top of the list was that yesterday my son eastman and his girlfriend drove me downtown so that we might have thanksgiving dinner with my ex-husband and my older son.

under our divorce agreement, my ex-husband and i share thanksgiving, christmas, mother’s day and father’s day.  some people think we’re weird.  i think we’re just playing nice.  besides, who wants to be a kid in the middle of a tug of war between two parents who each have a large, hot poultry as a potential weapon?

i concluded a three month period of not having an official residence (some might say being homeless) with moving into an apartment in kenilworth, illinois.  it’s over an abandoned warehouse and is very flashdance.

the 1983 film flashdance tells the tired and somewhat hackneyed story of an eighteen year old welder and exotic dancer who aspires to be a ballerina. this young lady lived in an apartment in an abandoned warehouse. all i need is a dance and welding double and i’m living just like the movie!

because i’m living alone for the first time in so many years, i have a very girly, all white, pristine, long on white lace and throw pillows bedroom.  this is what i have now (avert your eyes if necessary):

this is the sort of mess that is now all over my bedroom, bathroom and living room. even my car–empties and cigarettes and wadded up bags from steak n’shake.  my son and his girlfriend have been wonderful albeit messy guests!

i used to be the sort of mom who could fly into a rage over this stuff.  and now i say thank you because it isn’t all that long before i have to take him back to school.  so i have chosen to enjoy this visit instead of “pick up those towels and get your clothes off the floor, damn it!”  i mean, after all, i’m going to be the one cleaning this stuff up no matter what i say so why stress?  and i’m having a better relationship with my son and his girlfriend because of that.  it’s been a wonderful thanksgiving weekend!

and i think this joy is the unintended consequence of thank you.


thank you for reading

albert einstein claimed he said it a hundred times a day.  i try to aim for just ten, but then i am not trying to create a unified field theory of the universe.  it is two wonderful words that are so powerful just saying the changes your day, your attitude, your life.  and today is made for those words.  well, i guess every day is.

the words are thank you.

thanksgiving is a november american holiday that commemorates the safety and security of early settlers in massachusetts. it has come to be a holiday of saying thank you for all our blessings but sometimes it is considered a holiday of eating too much turkey, of being with contentious relatives, and the opening bell on christmas shopping.

 

i’m not particularly good at prayer.  i never know what to say to God and i’ve never particularly thought that God was talking to me.  rosaries make me fall asleep.  when a priest intones a prayer at church, i start to fidget.  and when anybody wants to hold hands and pray with me, my hands get sweaty.

but i have stumbled upon a way that i can pray just like albert einstein did.  i say thank you.  i’m not quite sure who i’m thanking but i figure they know who they are.  so every morning i write down ten things i am grateful for.  today my list is

my sons joseph and eastman, my ex-husband stephen, bright red lipstick, diet coke, the pink highlights in my hair, the neighbor making me tacos last night, my facebook friend reggie serving in afghanistan, my garmin gps because i get lost everytime i visit facebook friends, the furnace working, my mini coup, a somewhat inappropriate text that made me blush but was utterly flattering, the gal who works the counter at caribou because i am not good at seven a.m. and the raspberry latte she recommends, the fog opening up to sunshine, my new socks, paper white lilies

weirdly, i’m grateful to facebook and to wordpress for the opportunity to meet new people, make friends, see those friends, and then express what i feel and think about those friends.

today i have dinner with my ex-husband and my sons.  it is written into our divorce agreement that we share thanksgiving, christmas, mother’s day and father’s day.  i am already exchanging texts and messages of thanksgiving with friends (i will work on this all day and never get to every friend)  and of course, this being the modern age, i will post a facebook thanksgiving message.

this is t!he one day of the year i wish i had a twitter account because i would just say “thank you” which is quite a bit shorter than the 140 characters the medium allows

 

and you?  i just want to say thank you for reading.  okay, i might have gone over my ten things.

we’re entering a strange season of excess: thanksgiving an excess of eating, christmas an excess of gift giving and new years an excess of champagne. not that i’m complaining about any of that because they’re all good!

 

 


gravity settings on facebook accounts to change, sun to rise in the west

mark zuckerberg is possibly satan.  at least, some folks feel that way when they find out the terms and conditions on facebook have changed or that timeline is mandatory or that privacy settings have suddenly shifted so that your mother now sees all the pictures of you passed out on your friend’s couch with a case of empties on the coffee table in front of you.

it’s possible that mark is satan because he has defied the essential laws of nature.  including the most basic economic law of supply and demand.

the dismal science of economics’ first principle is that if there is more demand (people want) for any asset (beer, gold, oil) the price of that asset will go up. if there is an increase in the supply (more more more) of any asset, the price will fall. but get out a six pack and look at this chart and you can figure out the implications without having to shell out tuition money to the university of chicago business school.

on may 18, facebook went public in one of the most anticipated initial public offering ever.  this meant that you didn’t have to be a facebook employee or a real not just facebook friend of mark zuckerberg in order to make money on the one billion member online nation.  the stock price on that first day was $38 and when mark zuckerberg wed priscilla chan that same week, it seemed as if everything he touched would turn to gold.

but that spring of his content was made inglorious by the summer’s discontent.  facebook’s stock price plummeted to an astonishing record breaking low of $17.55 per share.  facebook was washed up.  couldn’t compete with other social networks in the mobile device market.  had an eye popping 9% rate of profiles useless to advertisers.  some early investors in facebook, including cofounder paul thiele, sold what stocks they could–suggesting to the marketplace a sort of no confidence vote in facebook.

this past wednesday was predicted to be a bloodletting:  852 million shares in facebook, nearly as many shares as the pre-existing 921 million shares, would be released for sale.  past and present employees and early private investors were not allowed to sell these shares under legal trade restrictions that expired at midnight.  the morning bell at the new york stock exchange was to be the death toll as the shares were added to the already bloated supply of facebook shares.

more facebook shares.  lower price.  law of nature.

instead, wednesday’s trading on the new york stock exchange in facebook shares was as bizarre as if mark zuckerberg had declared that gravity would not be enforced, that one should look westward for the sunrise and that thing where your older brother told you santa doesn’t exist?

better watch out, better not cry!

by the end of trading, the facebook shares were settling into a nice 12% INCREASE to a price of $22.22.  this makes no sense whatsoever.  unless . . . well, sure, the rational explanation is that there is a class of investors who decided they would wait, that they would hold back and forbear until the trade restrictions expired.  smart investors.

and those folks who purchased on may 18 thinking they were in on the ground floor?  suckas!

or perhaps there’s something larger at work.  maybe mark has created something so magical and wonderful that it is beyond everything we have ever seen.  maybe he’s not satan.  and maybe his next trick . . .

or maybe he’s just an ordinary guy who came up with an idea in his harvard dorm room and turned it into a billion nation empire in less than a decade. i could have done it too, but i was using my dorm room for partying, sleeping and playing james taylor on my eight track.


the only alternative is to break up

so you met your one and only (let’s leave polygamists and scoundrels out of this for the moment) and you want to make it official.  it used to be that you’d have to shell out for a diamond  and a justice of the peace, but on facebook, all you have to do is change your status from “single” to “in a relationship”.

when you’re in a relationship on facebook, the two of you get your very own “us” page.  it pulls the status updates, tagged photos of you and all your friends and pools your friends list.  with the new timeline feature (love it or hate it) you  are officially brangelina, tomkat, or bennifer.

two out of those three entities became “it’s complicated” and then the letters of the alphabet were realigned.

bennifer (ben affleck and jennifer lopez) created the 2003 blockbuster hit gigli. whaaaa. . . ? you didn’t see it? the tender love story between a mobster and a lesbian. includes the immortal dialogue about cunnilingus. jennifer: it’s turkey time. ben: what? jennifer: gobble gobble. really, bennifer was robbed of an academy award!

 

so maybe you’ve been listed as in a relationship or even (gasp!) married.  facebook has already created that couples’ page.  log into your own account, then visit facebook/us.  voila!  it’s all there, your entire relationship.

but maybe you don’t want to have a couples page, you want to believe that you can have a bit of your own space to play farmville and mafia wars.  right now there’s only one thing to do–break up.  change your status to “single”. . . there’s going to be a broken heart posted on all your friends’ pages and you’ll get all kinds of texts and messages from friends wondering if you’re all right,  if you’re going to return wedding presents because that lismore crystal was damn expensive, and whether you’re chill with your best friend asking your ex out on a date because there’s always been such good chemistry between them!

 


facebook sex facebook sex . . . you decide

so i’ve been thinking about the great decision that we as americans have made.  particularly the women vote.

no, no, no! not the presidential election. that’s over. here’s mitt having a final peanut butter and honey sandwich on air romney. he was vociferous in the battle and gracious in defeat.

 

the academic and quite erudite journal of sociology cosmopolitan magazine has released a survey of women (that would be me) and their internet habits (uh oh).  an astonishing 57% of their respondents would rather give up sex for two weeks than stop using their internet social networking site of choice.

quel horreur?  no facebook for two weeks?  well, it’s not like i’ve been getting regular sex so my response would have been more like “oh, okay, another two weeks of thinking everybody else is having great sex but i’m the total loser OR i have to give up facebook?”

cosmopolitan magazine was created by helen gurley brown who advised women to sashay out into the world and get it all–money, sex, love, career–AND enjoy it! every month the magazine promises its readers sex tips that will drive a man crazy, how to’s on the perfect coif, and how to get ahead in business. i might be fifty two but i don’t feel too old for this advice!

 

the strangest part of the survey was that two percent of women have actually stopped in the middle of doing the nasty in order to tweet or check their facebook status.  and this study had over a thousand respondents–there’s only four kardashian sisters!

so i have to ask you. . . .

 


my staten island miracle

i was in a hotel in brooklyn.  wrappers and empty bottles of mini-bar extravagances on the bed and my laptop in front of me.  i was furious at mapquest.

mapquest said that it was impossible to go from 235 meeker avenue to the address on 63 westbrook to see my facebook friend michele piersiak if i used a car.  and yet, when i looked at the map, it looked fairly straightforward to me.  cab it to the manhattan ferry station, take the ferry and take another cab in staten.  somehow mapquest seemed to say with a frisson of nearly gallic contempt:  mais non!  i then asked mapquest about public transportation.

“Non, Non, Non!”  mapquest squealed.  “quel horreur!”

so i said please, mr. mapquest, what if i walked to the staten island ferry station and took the ferry and then walked from there to my friend’s house?

“Four hours seven minutes,” he replied.  “Nine miles.”

“I betcha i can do it in under three,”  i said.

i wasn’t figuring on getting lost, sidewalks closed for construction, my feet hurting, my bag heavy, and then there was the williamsburg bridge:

and after i got across the bridge it was just a matter of asking ten different new yorkers where the ferry station was.  ten different new yorkers, ten different answers.  i was starting to think that mapquest had severely misunderestimated (to use a bushism) the travel time.

however, i got to the ferry station and determined that the ferry is a pleasure never to be missed.  and it’s free!

once on the island, i walked through the downtown, through quiet neighborhoods, through little Sri Lanka, past a muslim day school, a golf course, and a river.  by the time i reached my facebook friend michele piersiak’s house, i had done my time just as mapquest had predicted.

i might have regarded this as a failing.  i had destroyed my feet.  i had been stubborn when i should have known that mr. mapquest is always right.  i should have taken a cab.

but now i don’t regard that as a misadventure.

hurricane sandy has destroyed the ferry station.  island residents have no gas, their homes and businesses are flooded, the power is out, there are buildings that will never be rebuilt.  i was privileged to get to see staten island as it was.  so i look back on a miraculous walk.

although next time maybe a more comfortable pair of shoes.


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