Tag Archives: facebook friends

so you say you want a resolution. . .

i am so in awe of my friends.  in 2011 i made and delivered — more or less — on a resolution to meet and spend face to face time with my 325 facebook friends.  it was harder than i anticipated and way more rewarding than i expected.  in 2012 i made and sort of delivered on meeting new facebook friends.

my facebook friend lesley riley is someone i wasn't blessed to have as my friend in 2011.  she came to the bat girl cave from her home in california in order to say "hey, you're not just a facebook friend!"  i admire her a lot and think she's adorable!

my facebook friend lesley riley is someone i wasn’t blessed to have as my friend in 2011. she came to the bat girl cave from her home in california in order to say “hey, you’re not just a facebook friend!” i admire her a lot and think she’s adorable!

so it’s getting to be that time again.  i think all of us start the year with optimistic plans to lose weight, quit drinking, give up smoking, be more organized.  what’s your new years resolution?

 

 


A is for ativan, W is for withdrawal

A is for ativan.

B is for benzodiazepam, its drug classification.

C is for calming when taken.

D is for damned, which is what i have felt like for the last three weeks.

i could go on like this for another 22 letters but except for the W i think i will stop. i have been experiencing ativan withdrawal and it’s like having all the anxiety attacks i have avoided or weaseled out of with ativan have been waiting to be unleashed when i say enough.

ativan

ativan is a drug used to control anxiety and panic disorder.  i have been taking ativan for nearly seven years.  every time i get an uptick in my anxiety level, my doctor puts me on a higher dosage.  three weeks ago, i was taking three milligrams a day and it wasn’t making me feel particularly calm.  but if i didn’t take it, lordy, was i a wreck.

in 2011 i had a new years resolution to meet all 325 of my facebook friends wherever on the planet they might be.  i stopped being afraid of things because i was forced to do things i was afraid of every day of the year--fear of flying, of meeting new people, of leaving my own house.

in 2011 i had a new years resolution to meet all 325 of my facebook friends wherever on the planet they might be. i stopped being afraid of things because i was forced to do things i was afraid of every day of the year–fear of flying, of meeting new people, of leaving my own house.

three weeks ago i made a commitment to quit, which started as a drop down to one milligram and then two weeks ago became a dive off the cliff.  every phobia i have possessed has returned.  every inclination to not leave the house.  and sleep?  fuggedaboutit!  i even felt a fear of posting a blog.  just because i stopped doing it everyday.  i have the shakes.  i have had hideous asthma attacks.  all side effects of withdrawal.  i have given my ativan to a friend who is both close enough that i can get to the ativan in the case of a real emergency and someone i trust to not take all of them.

i can’t wait to tell my doctor that i don’t need a refill, thank you very much.


dear alcohol, we need to talk

dear alcohol,

it’s never good when a girl says “we need to talk”.. . . and this isn’t going to be good. but i have to do this.  i really do.

no question, you’ve been there for me all through the years. in cans, in crystal glasses, at parties, at bars, and sometimes when no one else wanted to be with me. best friends forever, you’ve always said!

i went to florida two weeks ago with some high hopes, and i didn’t think you were going to get so . . . . well, aggressive.  i was going to visit with facebook friends in tallahassee, tampa, and orlando.  i was going to bring my dad justin along with me.  we were going to bond.  you were going to be just something i had with dinner–or before flights.

bonding with my father is an ongoing process. he and my mother placed me for adoption when i was three years old. this is a picture of me and my new mother on the morning i was baptized, a few weeks after the adoption became final. i met my father and mother when i was twenty five years old–using a private detective to track them down.

 

the day before the trip, my dad texted me and said he didn’t feel he was up to traveling with me from his place in tallahassee to the other cities in florida.  i would stay with him and his wife on sunday evening, rent a car and sally forth throughout the state, returning on friday to catch a plane back to chicago.

but when i got to florida, i was surprised to discover that my father justin’s wife was going on a business trip.  and that justin was a lot sicker than i had ever imagined.  and that he was undergoing provenge treatment over the course of the week and the clinic wanted someone with him.  that person would be me.

i cancelled all the facebook friend visits outside of tallahassee. my friends were so understanding. i was going to bake a cake with jennifer in tampa and she said “no problem” and made the cake on her own and posted it on my wall. the cake tells the story of my visits to see facebook friends all over the world. thank you jennifer!

 

the first phase of the provenge treatment went well.  justin and i watched television while his blood was taken from one arm, processed through a machine and reinserted (minus white blood cells) into the other.  he was weak, he slept most of the days, he had no appetite.  he slept in the master bedroom, i slept in the guest room.

his wife came home on wednesday evening.  i volunteered to take justin to phase two of his provenge treatment on friday before my flight.  he would be given a very high dose of benadryl and his own white blood cells–new and improved by some mysterious process–would be reintroduced to his body.  he needed to have someone help him get home.  also, it’s just good to have someone be an advocate for your care.  especially since provenge is still in its experimental phase.

justin is actually the first person in tallahassee to get the provenge treatment. it went well, by the way, and he says he feels better. he will get two more treatments.  i’m not sure what happens after that.

the next morning my stepmother’s first words to me were “you need to get a hotel room because i can’t sleep with justin.  he snores and he disturbs my sleep.  he has to sleep in the guest room.”

i felt the hostility.  it’s always been there lurking beneath a surface of tight smiles–and it dates back to the total shock it must have been for her as a newlywed to have me show up saying “hi, i’m justin’s daughter!”  i sympathize.  i really do.

i sat at the dining room table.  she woke justin and an argument ensued between them, with each hushing the other as  if they believed i couldn’t hear.  she wanted me out of there. right then. it went beyond a desire to not sleep with a snorer.  and yes, i heard every word.

i felt rejected, belittled, demeaned, and exactly like a three year old who doesn’t understand why she can’t go home again.  to her real home.  why she has to be thrown away, because that’s what adoption meant to me.

and i would have left right then, walked out of the apartment and said “good luck to you guys”  but i was scared of leaving my dad.  she went to work.  i sat on the couch with him.  i said “this is exactly the horrible feeling that makes me want a drink.”  and he said “me too” and he got up, went to the refrigerator and we drank two beers.  it was nine thirty, alcohol, a little early wouldn’t you say?  but you were there for me.  and for him.

but that feeling, that wretched feeling followed me out of florida, back to illinois, everywhere i am, everywhere i go.  rejected, belittled, a failure, a wreck.  i’ve lost friendships, i’ve lost the respect of people i respect, i’ve lost love–the very things i have always wanted but you’re always there, aren’t you?  ready to console me.  ready to tell me it’s all right.   ready to tell me i’m pretty and witty and funny and i mean something.  and you keep saying you’ll never never leave me and i thought that was a good thing. what i’ve always wanted to hear.

but coming from you, maybe it’s not such a good thing.

i’ve tried breaking up with you before.  white knuckling it.  alcoholics anonymous.  a chinese acupuncturist who also threw in a few extra needles that were supposed to make me lose weight in addition to sobering me up.  nothing worked.  you always came back and always when i really need you and can’t resist you.

this time i’m getting outside help.  i’m scared.  i’m crying right now as i write this.  you have been a reliable friend.  but i can’t do this anymore.  i’m breaking up with you.

and really, it’s not you.  it’s me.

when i made a new years resolution to meet all my facebook friends, i met quite a few who have made the same decision, who have had the breakup talk with you.  some have been successful.  some not so much.  some have done it on their own.  some have needed what i’m about to do.  i hope all my facebook friends, all my friends, all my family can understand.  alcohol, i never meant for our relationship to be so . . . monogamous.

my biological mother gave me this picture when she met me. alcohol, this was a gal with promise and potential and i want to get that back.

 

 

 

 

 


if you don’t have something nice to say. . .

or even if you do . . . . there is always a negative aspect.  which somehow will become all that is remembered.

i left my father in tallahassee and his provenge treatment went well.  i met two new facebook friends–william taylor and ron winegar.  i wasn’t able to meet others i was scheduled to see, most particularly jennifer brand clair from tampa.  jennifer built me a facebook cake to celebrate what would have been our first meeting.

the cake is like an open book, with one page about facebook and twin laptops–hers and mine. the other page has an airplane flying down to florida to meet jennifer. she sent me the cake as an attachment to a message. buttercream frosting doesn’t taste as good when you’re trying to lick it off your screen.

 

i flew from tallahassee to charlotte and from there to chicago–the t.s.a. were definitely more attentive and they’ve implemented the “second look” policy at the gates.

this morning, i was surprised to find the following article.  i had forgotten that more than a week ago, a reporter called and wanted to talk about my new years resolution to meet all my facebook friends.  he kept focusing his questions on the negative. . . things that went wrong, friendships that weren’t good, unfriending, disaster.  and i think i sound like i am a more negative person than i think i am.

your thoughts?

oh, here’s the link:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2012/sep/14/unfollow-unfriend-on-facebook-twitter

can i add this to the article? can i tape this to my front door? can i tack this onto the bulletin board at the starbucks? because i think words really affect us.

 


when i’m gone. . . . this is where i’d like to be

get up in chicago, pile into the airplane and sit.

and sit some more.  our airplane had a problem, the pilot explained, one that required bringing a technician onboard to disable the lavatories in the “aft” compartment.  i’m not great on my aeronautical terms, but i figured out pretty quick that “aft” meant that the first class passengers still had a bathroom but the rest of didn’t.  and then, forty five minutes later, we took off.

i am in tallahassee where one of my facebook friends, my father justin, lives.  he is experiencing meta-fan-tastic prostate cancer and will undergo the experimental treatment provenge.  provenge is a one time only treatment that costs $90K and man, i sure hope it works.

it’s a good thing that i’m here, because justin’s wife had a business trip so she’s gone.  and tomorrow morning  justin and i show up for the treatment which involves all his blood being sucked out of his body and the white cells taken out to be sent to north carolina where they will be genetically altered and reinserted into his body in tallahassee on friday.

my plans of meeting facebook friends all over the state are a bit compromise.  nonetheless, i was so grateful that facebook friend william taylor, er, bill, came to visit me and my dad.  and took me to my favorite place in tallahassee.

in the old city cemetery in tallahassee, there is the monument to elizabeth budd graham who died in the late nineteenth century. some people believe that she was a witch because the inscribed face of the monument faces west. (please remind my sons joseph and eastman to face my monument to the east so that there’s no misunderstanding, although certain ex-husbands and boyfriends may beg to differ).

because we were meeting for the first time, bill brought a birthday cake that was a symbol of all the birthdays that we had missed as friends.  he transposed the numbers.  oops!

bill got a little confused: a twenty fifth birthday for moi? no, i’m actually fifty two but a gal can remember can’t she? i was grateful–and i was happy for his upcoming birthday in october! maybe when friends meet for the first time, they should celebrate the birthdays they have missed! and for bill and i that’s a lot of birthdays!

 

tomorrow i have to cancel some plans, some rentals, some tickets, but the most important thing is to take care of my father.  but the most placid picnic ground in tallahassee. . .


in order to succeed. . .

in order to succeed, a million things must go right.  in order to fail, only one thing has to go wrong.  i admit that on the morning of august ninth i was thinking there’s going to be that one thing today.  four friends coming together for lunch at laconda verde in new york city.  one coming in from japan.  one from brooklyn.  one from staten island.  and me?  i get lost everywhere.

i just didn’t think it could happen.

facebook friend #316 carolyn quinn woke up on that morning and had a completely different mindset!

on may 9th of this year, i met michele piersiak of staten island.  she is the 317th facebook friend i have met with since i made the new years resolution to meet all my facebook friends.  so often, we have friendships and partnerships that exist online, on the phone, on facebook or twitter or instagram–and it’s important to supplement those interactions with real time.

michele followed the progress of my resolution because she shares a characteristic with me–we are both agoraphobic.  we both have awful panic attacks and tend to look for our “safe” zone–and that zone can expand and contract.  in my case, it has expanded considerably because of my facebook project.  in michele’s case, she had been nearly housebound for more than a year because leaving the house affords too many opportunities for panic.   but she’s just too young and pretty and bright and with so much to offer . . .  it’s a darn shame to take that away from the world.

i’m a believer in tackling small goals and in doing so creating courage for tackling bigger ones.  for michele, a big goal is to become a doctor to help others with this condition.  a smaller goal was to have lunch at laconda verde.  i said if she could make it to the restaurant in manhattan,  i would fly out and take her there.  she’s been working on getting out of the house and this morning she would get on the staten island ferry.  we picked her up at the station.  she was accompanied by her boyfriend anthony.

michele did something that is really important.  she planned what she was going to bring.  as someone who now lives out of her little orange bag, i totally understand.

we got off the ferry and took a cab to the restaurant.  we were met by facebook friend #326 azusa watanabe who had flown in from japan a few days before.

the second most wonderful thing about lunch was dessert! the most wonderful thing was being with friends! after lunch azusa, carolyn and i went to have our auras photographed. michele and anthony went home to staten island. i think michele can do anything she sets her mind to!


girls! girls! girls! a brooklyn-ish strip club!

i returned from staten island to brooklyn, where my son joseph lives.  i went to a hardware store and got him some new stuff.  i took him to dinner.  we said goodnight and goodbye.  and then i had a surprise.

for some people, hopping on a plane, train or pulling the automobile out of the garage is a casual thing.  for f2fb friend #57 vince peters, it’s just like that.  he’s a rapper, a music executive, a west point graduate, a government contractor.  i met him when i directed the video for his hit single “girls in da club”. . .

one of the things about this project is not just to meet a facebook friend once and be done with them–it’s to get to know my friends a little better.  vince strolled into the hotel le jolie lobby about a quarter to eleven.  an hour i would ordinarily be found in my pajamas with a bit of drool coming off my lips and a very ladylike snore. . .

i said one drink.  just one drink.  there was a bar next door called joy cocktails.  trendy.  impossibly trendy in that brooklyn we’re too cool to be trendy kind of trendy.  the guys wore super tight jeans and carharrt’s boots, flannel shirts, disheveled hair.  the girls?  both vince and my son joseph pointed out to me that from behind, a brooklyn matron of sixty and a hottie of twenty six are indistinguishable.  black leggings.  flats.  polka dot sundress.  shapeless cardigan.

true enough.

but after a few tequila shots sent over to the trio giggling and ogling vince p., conditions changed.  sweaters came off (not mine!) so that all that was left was a shimmering sea of polka dots.  and there was some lolling on the pool table (again, not me!) until the bouncer had to come over and say “please get off the table”.  then the girls did a great shimmy where they threw their hair in front of their faces, jumped up and down and gave the bouncer the middle finger.  it was quite a show.  then i looked at my watch and realized there was a reason there was light coming in from the windows. . . i left him on the sidewalk.

i haven’t done something that irresponsible in some ages.  it was fun.  i don’t know what vince p. did next–but if there’s some girls in brooklyn who are happy because of my facebook project so be it!

the hbo series girls tracks some twentysomethings living in the greenpointe neighborhood of brooklyn. they have a lot of bad sex on the show. i hope that life does not imitate art and vice versa.

 

then i jumped in a cab and headed for jfk airport and home!  i got to see the shuttle parked at jfk!  astronauts are allowed to shop at the duty free shop only if they have a ticket for a nonstop flight to mars!

at jfk airport, i got to see the space shuttle which is temporarily docking here in new york.  astronauts may purchase items at the duty free shop only if they can produce a ticket that shows a nonstop flight to another planet.


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