Monthly Archives: January 2011

my defriended facebook friend

when i first joined facebook, there were three status choices:  single, married, it’s complicated.  i was separated from stephen and i picked single because it seemed the most sensible.  i didn’t know you had an option to not have a status.  and when more choices were offered, i didn’t know how to change my status.  it was easier to just get divorced.  . . .

when stephen joined facebook, it seemed the civilized thing to do to friend each other.  but that didn’t work out at all.  deeply uncivilized, we made an agreement:

stephen and i were married for over twenty years.  he was married before to carole smith, who lives about six blocks away from my house.  she’s my facebook friend.  occasionally carole, her partner, elisabeth, elisabeth’s husband, grace (she of the fishnets), joseph, eastman and i will get together for holidays.  i think it’s very important for joseph and eastman to have good relationships with stephen’s children — david and elisabeth — from the marriage to carole.  a good enough relationship so that when i’m dead, they’ll have somebody to call to bail them out of the pokey.

next:  a dinner party with three (!) facebook friends including a curious story of a facebook obsession.

connie yonan, f2fb#17, saving the world one hundred butterflies at a time!

the day connie yonan decides to become a hostess for qvc, i want to be her agent.  because fifteeen percent of connie yonan’s enthusiasm is quite enough to keep me in pretty dresses and champagn.

part of her charm is that she has found something she is completely passionate about.  watch her talk about it herself:

the passion she brings to raising butterflies translates into every aspect of what she does:  she’s on a fundraising board of the winnetka community house with me and every time she discusses a new project, her eyes light up, her voice rises just a bit, the smiles are quick and bright.  i have known connie for nearly ten years and i’m not sure i’ve ever seen her feeling down. . . . i want to learn her secret, but i don’t think i want to raise butterflies.

okay, mike castagna, i promise!

mike castagna, facebook friend #3, has devised an ingenius map which is just the sort that indiana jones would carry in his back pocket.  it has thumb tacks and every thumb tack represents a facebook friend.  fortunately, the thumb tacks are imaginary.

and now i have  a problem that is the opposite of defriending–i’ve sworn a blood oath to mike that i won’t add on any new facebook friends, except of course for steve gondorcin my ups guy because he sends all the care packages to reggie, joseph and eastman.  and of course lorraine hara yolles who has been so sweet to invite me to her home for parties.  in winnetka, most people don’t invite single, divorced or widowed women into their homes.  it’s considered bad luck.  so if lorraine and steve are so nice to me, how can i not say yes when they want to be my friend?

my two best friends of my life are not on facebook and, in fact, are dead.  dick and vivian eastman were in their mid sixties when they met the teenager me.  they shared their family with me, which is the greatest gift of friendship.  they both passed within the last several years and i still miss them.

when the grant family says that paige can travel with me on some of my face to facebook trips, they are sharing their most important treasure.  and i’m very grateful.   if anybody else wants to travel with me on any of the legs of the journey, the sign up sheets are posted now. . . .

face to facebook teammates

nothing worth doing does not at first appear to be impossible and meeting 332 people in one year seems impossible.  unless i could somehow persuade all of them to meet me at mirani’s for lunch on successive days.  otherwise, i have to travel to see them!  and today paige grant (face to facebook friend number 15) volunteered to do some of the traveling for me.  particularly the england-italy-istanbul-mumbai junket.

paige is a friend of eastman’s and is an adventuress–i am looking to her for courage and perserverence.  we aren’t sure why we’re friends on facebook.  she’s taking a gap year and most of her friends are from new trier high school.  we related over common facebook experiences.  this was filmed by lori who is joining the team as well:

nothing happens without a team.  i’m starting to see a team come together.

which reminds me. . . i met with peter lind, face to facebook friend 16.  he was in the winnetka northfield rotary club with me but within a few days of katrina, he disappeared.  he was charged with the task of reopening the hospitals of new orleans and he left his family to do that task.  he didn’t return for two and a half years.  his wife, oh so adorable, once saw me in the carpool line at new trier.  i was crying.  i figure you cry in your car nobody can hear you.  i was wrong.  she got out of her car, walked over to mine, banged on the driver’s side window and demanded to give me a hug.  peter is so humble that he wouldn’t let me take his picture, much less video him.  but he told me many stories about what new orleans was like just after the hurricane blew through town.  he had these thoughts about our own emergency preparedness:

1.  always have in your house three days of water and food.

2.  in your car, twenty four hours of food and water (the food probably should be in the form of dried fruit, nuts, slim jims) and a blanket.

i would add to that a proviso that if you can’t muster up those provisions, just stockpile champagne, firewood, cigarettes, and cocktail napkins.  a black market will develop.

peter and his wife live across town but he is the designated community emergency response training dude for his block.  in an emergency, he has said i’m an honorary member of his block.  yippee!!! i’m gonna be okay!!

it had to happen–i am defriended!

poor, poor, pitiful me!  i have been defriended and facebook don’t make it easy to figure out who defriends you.  it’s like they’re a teenaged girl from the cool clique who is trying to spare your feelings but isn’t really doing such a good job.  i checked the facebook friend who had been with my husband when we first separated–no, she’s still my facebook friend.  ditto the guy i wouldn’t date whose posts are so fun and vulgar that i would despair if they didn’t pop up every once in a while–he’s still my friend.  so is that guy i went out with in college and the rapper inda loop.  and alex beh who used to babysit my kid and now dates jennifer love hewitt.   i don’t blame anybody for defriending me–i might defriend myself given a chance.

but before i defriend myself–victory!  i made it back to my cozy home and if i can do a small trip i can do every trip required by the face to facebook new years’ resolution!  i can meet every one of my remaining 331 facebook friends before december 31, 2011.  this is all said in hubris.

the trip began with kankakee where i saw heather for lunch at her job at target.  she’s not always going to work there–in fact, i think she’s “work at a museum” material.  i can’t wait to watch that develop!  then onto champaign-urbana to see john and alice lafond!  they were such fine hosts and the next morning i woke quite refreshed and ready for adventure.

and i got it!  i was lost several times while trying to find the home of andrew pearce.  andrew is a transplanted brit who worked in the railway industry for twenty years.  his passions are photography and trains so this is the result of our visit:

and p.s. the train engine was running.  my butt got really cold.  andrew makes pickled eggs and declined to give me the recipe but i smelled it and decided it could be used as a diet aid as well.  in exchange for those eggs, he gets free beer for life from the local brewery.  i’d like that deal.

then a sweeping tour of bloomington and i am having dinner with my stepdaughter elisabeth and her husband steve.  elisabeth was seven when i married her father.  her brother was eleven.  i was pregnant with joseph.  i was a wretched stepmom.  i never beat her or locked her up in the basement, but i wasn’t too keen on making school lunches five days in a row and i never celebrated her successes as much as i should have.  nonetheless, she has forgiven me.  partly that’s because of grace–being a new mom really makes one appreciate the stresses of your own mom (or stepmom) much better.  here’s some important information on how to make fishnet stocking if you’re a princess and you have to dress in rugged conditions.

i spent the night at the indiana union and got a call from chris redmond, joseph’s childhood friend.  i remember him as a loud, hyperactive, mischievous boy.  the guy who showed up the next morning to work out was a tall, gentlemanly man.  his parents have done all right by him.  he has agreed to be my necessary bodyguard for the asian leg of the face to facebook new years resolution tour and if anybody wants to apply for any other legs of the trip, sign up now!  here, he demonstrates how to train to be a bodyguard:

one thing i’ve learned is that i know some friends who have purpose and meaning in their lives, whether their purpose is trains, raising grace, Jesus Christ, or even just knowing they will have a purpose one day. i hope to find my purpose.  i hope to find my way.  with my face to facebook friends, i am learning. 331 friends, 319 to go!

a face to facebook puzzle

when i finally made it to andrew pearce’s house, i was so glad i recognized him.  i had only seen him once–as the bartender of the marriot in bloomington where i stayed just once.  but he smiles like nobody’s business and that’s how you know it’s andrew.  he invited me in for a cup of tea to brace ourselves for the afternoon’s business–a photo shoot at a trainyard.  in his kitchen i found this. . .


is andrew pearce breeding snakes?i was a little creeped out, but this is a project of adventure.  of learning new things and this was definitely something new.  if you know what it is, leave a comment.

later today, i will post the pictures from the tracks, a video of me drawing fishnets on the cutest gal in all of bloomington indiana and then . . . one more mystery facebook friend experience!

face to facebook modest victory!

there was enough drama that i thought i wouldn’t get out the door, but i own the first leg of the f2fb short trip!  i drove down to the target superstore in bourbounnais, illinois.  heather tyler is my facebook friend–she’s the wife of eric who is friends with john lafond.  heather is 38, adorable, and when she smiles you just can’t have a bad day!  we had lunch and shopped for a present for the princessa of champaign-urbana.

heather doesn’t always want to work at a target store although she’s great at what she does-and she spends a lot of time when she’s not at working playing on facebook:  mafia wars, farmville, etc.  she wants to do something in art history.  i thought maybe she could contact the head of nearby kankakee’s historical society and see if she could work in their museum as a volunteer just to get her feet wet.  heather and i both struggle with internal monologues that are sometimes rather dire.

i nearly cried, right there in the middle of the target food court, because the heather internal voice is strikingly like my own:  you’re a failure, you’re incompetent, you drink too much, you haven’t done anything with your life, you’re fat, you’re not all that.  in fact, i believe that heather and i might actually be hearing from the same entity.  we agreed we have to say “SHUT UP!”

here’s a picture of her just after we ate lunch.

i’m very lucky to have heather for a facebook friend and i’m glad we got to see each other.  unfortunately, her husband eric was at the food pantry and missed me as i sailed off for champaign urbana.  i’ll get to see heather later because i’ll be coming back to kankakee to see eric!

next, it was on to champaign urbana to see the princessa colleen who curtsied when she saw me because she recognizes a fellow princessa!  colleen is a great favorite with the paparazzi and so she knows how to take a good picture.  here’s one that was taken by the star magazine:

the princessa’s parents are john and alice lafond.  john and i went to school together and when i left the patricks when i was a young teen, he hid me in the lafond family garage.  the lafonds are approaching their ten year anniversary.  congratulations to a wonderful royal couple!!!

john and i play scrabble on facebook.  he beats me nearly every time.  and jonathan boyd, his friend, DOES beat me every time.  John also plays Mafia Wars, Farmville, and Sorority Sisters.  I asked “why Sororority Sisters”?   and he said it’s basically the same thing as Mafia Wars just with prettier dresses.  facebook is a hobby.

tomorrow it’s onward to indiana!  i’m doing this!  i’m really doing this!!!  i have 332 friends, including one cat and a guy who’s been dead for over a century–sorry mike i added a few friends, but i have visited with nine of them this year.  this is right around the time that most people give up on a new years resolution–but i had that moment last night.