Monthly Archives: February 2011

a shakespeare, an oscar, new york is full of surprises!

i believe that every city that i visit in this year long tour will have treasures of incomparable worth. for instance yesterday i saw what’s called a first folio. it is one of the earliest complete sets of shakespeare’s works.

it is housed at the j. pierpont morgan museum, which is basically the former home of the donald trump of his time. he liked to collect books, although with as many as i saw, i highly doubt he read every one of them. and he had this first folio. which is probably worth about seven million dollars. i reminded the staff that one should never display works of this antiquity (1601, so that makes it four hundred and ten years old give or take a few months) on an angle. doing so causes the paper to ever so slowly pull away from the binding. the staff said if it was such a problem for me, i could take the damn thing home with me. i said i’d have to check it in my baggage and i would prefer them to mail it to me. besides, i couldn’t lug it across town for the oscars presentation. yes, yes, most oscars were handed out in los angeles. but in grand central station in new york, a very special one was reserved for me.

i thanked the academy, of course, but i reserved my special thanks for my facebook friends.

a real new yorker is somebody who knows stuff that’s not in the guidebooks. like the fact that the granite lions outside the public library are called patience and fortitude. (something i could use this year) like the fact that there’s a spot in grand central station where you can stand forty five feet from each other and through a quirk in acoustics, you can hear each other’s whisper. like the fact that the algonquin hotel is where all the greatest writers of the first part of the twentieth century dined.

f2fb friend #58 john r. douglas is a real new yorker. he works for richard curtis and he had a lot to talk about with me. it was the first time we had met in person. we spent a delightful four hours touring the city.

he had a lot to say about america and how it is corrupt and occasionally a mess. but he can say that, in part because he’s canadian.

today, i leave new york and head for princeton new jersey where i will meet two facebook friends, one of them alive and one of them very very dead. i wonder how the meeting with the dead friend will work out? tomorrow i will wake up on the 60th day of the year i will know i have met with 60 facebook friends. which is good because there’s three hundred and thirty five. if there’s three hundred and thirty six, that means i have some time left over to meet brazilians, japanese, and a host of other friends i never expected to have!

yes, i won an oscar, it’s true!

good morning, new york!

on december 30, 2010 a lot of people were making new year’s resolutions. me, too! mine in previous years have generally included losing weight and not drinking and getting better organized. this year, i decided i would meet every facebook friend i have. at the time it was a little more than three hundred.

i work at home, my kids are out of the house. i’ve always had trouble with strange and unfamiliar places. always had trouble with anxiety attacks, particularly when i’m away from home. i would probably turn out to be a gal with sixteen cats and nobody finds my body until three weeks after i’m dead.

i picked meeting my facebook friends because it was a big enough project that it seems impossible (and believe me, every morning i wake up and think this is impossible) and because it would be a public humiliation to give up. i’m meeting facebook friend number 58 john r. douglas later this morning. i’m in new york. i’m doing it. but i can’t say i’m doing it very well.

some of you who have read this blog remember that my trip to tallahassee to visit my father justin (who is f2fb #30) was a disaster because he suffered from a prescription drug induced psychosis. i had to cancel seeing jonathan boyd, dale morgan, sarah loeffel roberts, and sammie scruggs in order to try to care for him. f2fb#32 reggie came and stayed at my father’s apartment to help. at the end, as i was leaving for the airport my father’s paranoia turned towards me. he attacked, i fled, and hours later he was institutionalized for four days.

i will be very happy to be at home soon. i will feel safer. don’t get me wrong. new yorkers are fun. new york friends are great. but i’m wickedly nervous. maybe some coffee at cafe europa will help.

i have been so lucky to get messages, notes, posts, emails, phone calls from friends this week–i really couldn’t do this at all on my own.

i could have been on!

i love reading about celebrities on tmz, radaronline, and perezhilton. and i got this great invitation to a party with real celebrities. including vincent peters–

i woke up this morning with the worst anxiety attack i’ve had in forever. worse than airplanes. probably worse than whenever i will skydive with f2fb friend reggie gholston. i couldn’t leave the hotel room. i was that scared. new york is scaring me, it’s just too overwhelming. i would have spent the entire day under the covers but i was meeting my son joseph. he’s my older boy, one of the five great loves of my life. and he’s having a rough time of things since returning from russia–he’s having girlfriend problems and physical problems. i think you can never be any happier than your kids are miserable.

so i went to bryant park and watched the ice skaters waiting for joseph. he didn’t want to be filmed because he’s physically so beat up. we shared lunch and i wanted to buy him new clothes and a blanket. but first we met up with f2fb #57 vince peters. google him, he’s a real celebrity and he invited me to a party this evening.

i didn’t go. i wanted, no i needed, to spend more time with joseph. and the anxiety attack wasn’t wearing off. i put joseph in a cab to go home and get some sleep. and i came back to my hotel and i feel like a failure because i didn’t follow through on something that would have been a lot of fun. vince is an extraordinary gentleman. and he would have been very kind to take a somewhat bedraggled middle aged gal to a party full of the swank and beautiful.

i fail about half the time at things i try. and i consider not pushing myself this year to be a failure. i failed the minute i said no to this party.

so i just have to ask . . . vince would you promise to invite me to another party? and if you’re mentioned on will you still be my friend?

tomorrow, flash friends party at eleven o’clock at cafe europa on the corner of 46th and sixth avenue. i want to meet new york facebook friends i haven’t had a chance to see. this is assuming of course that i don’t wake up completely scared out of my wits!

gilbert gottfried, we’re supposed to be friends!

gilbert gottfried you’re supposed to be my friend. we bonded on facebook, didn’t we? well, i’m in new york and you’re in new york and for some reason we ain’t connecting. i think it’s because you’re a celebrity. you too, glen thater. but i did discover something about one of my celebrity friends, the rap artist inda loop. . . . it was while i was with mop after viewing the museum of sex–

people play with facebook and play with gadgets in order to express themselves. and it’s changed lots of people’s lives in unexpected ways. i used to write books, mostly romance novels, and now i’m not sure what i do because books are different. one of the first to see that books would be different is my friend richard curtis. he’s an agent in new york and continues to sell my grandfather’s works even though my grandfather fritz has been dead for almost twenty years. when i first met richard he told me about books that wouldn’t be printed on paper. i thought he was really crazy.

i walked from one end of manhattan to the other yesterday because i didn’t realize just how big of a place it was. i wish that richard curtis could create books that communicate smell–you’re walking down the street and the most expensive perfume mixes with rotting garbage and exhaust. i met one man and bought his grocery cart and all his glass and cans. then i gave them back to him because i ain’t never getting on a plane with ’em.

and i talked with some dudes from nigeria who were protesting in front of the consulate. i really hope the naija boys are not involved in this stuff because i do love their music.

i saw a lot of hair salons, like every third store–if everybody in new york were like me the place would go broke. i haven’t gotten my hair cut in four years. at the end of the day i went to ted baker just a mere forty four blocks from the hotel where i’m staying. i wanted to see baba. baba (f2fb#56) used to be in winnetka, he’s originally from japan, and he has a job in retail and is finishing up a stint at starbucks. i was a little tired. . . .

i find new york overwhelming. it’s about as organized as a city can be if it was originally created by handing a kindergarten classroom a book on urban planning and a box of crayons. i am hoping to see my favorite facebook friend and one of the five great loves of my life joseph presser later today. it’s about the only thing that can get me to leave my hotel room which i have now decided is “safe”.

in the meantime, gilbert gottfried, would you please get in touch?

the museum of sex . . . and an invitation

the museum of sex. THE MUSEUM OF SEX!!!! how much better could it be? i got off the plane at laguardia and told the cab driver “museum of sex” which, as it happens is at the corner of twenty seventh street and fifth avenue. my friend richard “mop” furniss works there. he and i once worked on a music video and he got his nickname from having just a wonderful set of hair. we haven’t seen each other in forever. the museum had a lot of latex. lots of videos of women moaning. clamps. plyers. pictures.

as we toured the four floors of the museum, i realized that i was on complete overload. too much information, too much sensory stuff. made me think all fifteen year old boys should be required to work at the museum because it would certainly keep them a lot calmer for the next ten years. some of the stuff was weird, some of it was gross, some of it was kinda fun, and some of it was oddly beautiful.

mop says he’s got a gig on the norwegian cruise line for a little bit and he’s going to start his own internet television station. i’m excited for him. he works a lot of freelance jobs.

we went to the gift shop and i bought a set of hearts that i thought were stick on tattoos but are made of something more substantial. like velvet. i’m not sure what i’m supposed to do with them. there were a lot of condoms in different containers and lubricants both silicon and non-silicon. plus some vibrators but i’m certainly not going to buy a vibrator in mop’s presence. i felt like everybody in the world is having a lot more sex than i am or could ever hope to have.

on the other hand. .. . mop revealed that he knows my mysterious facebook friend inda loop. she’s a black female rapper from manhattan. she has huge breasts, great smile, fantastic braids. i have no idea how i ended up being her facebook friend. i get to meet her tomorrow. . . i’m going to an actual, real, no doubt about it new york nightclub. i might have to take a nap first to stay up that late. . . .

just getting ready to board the plane. . . .

i’m at the airport waiting for my flight, freaking out a bit, no a lot. but i have my lucky flight plan, my two lucky rosaries and i have a lot of good memories of the mc kato concert at my house when every friend gave me their best wishes. one of those friends was ron o’neal. i went to college with ron and we lost touch after graduation–

after some of the guests had left, ron remained to talk with norm eliaser. norm i met only once before, at a rotary lunch. norm is an observant jew who taught me a few things about his views on the religion. my ex was raised as a jew. i used to regard the term shiksa as pretty harmless–now i’m not so sure. . ..

as norm and ron left a little after midnight, i thought “i hope they become good friends because of this party!”

the party was a lot of fun, but there was a serious aspect as well. rich lalley spoke to me about a project close to his heart and one that deserves our attention. jason glaser, you’re in nicaragua–you can appreciate what our winnetka-northfield rotary club is doing!

you know, i’ve been sitting here in o’hare airport thinking about whether i should remind the pilots to fly extra safely because it’s raining. i’ve been thinking this project is pretty dumb and i should just go home. i’ve been thinking that i don’t want a tsa agent to run their hands all over me not one more time. i’ve concluded that there is no way that a tube of aluminum can defy the laws of gravity. especially since i’ve packed on five pounds since january 1–it’s that extra avoir du pois that’s going to take us all down.

but now i’ve calmed down a little thinking about my facebook friends and just how wonderful everybody has been. i’ve met and introduced you to 52 friends since january first. it’s time to go to new york–visit a sex museum, see jue and ruby, and have adventures!

fritz and me

a lot of my facebook friends have entered my life because of my grandfather fritz leiber who was a great science fiction writer. he was the guy who had a story in every sci fi magazine, who put out a series of fafhrd and gray mouser as well as a lot of wonderful horror and fantasy books. federico cenci, who is getting his doctorate in literature about fritz, can tell you more. fede is my facebook friend from italy. he’s going to make me dinner one night.

because i was put up for adoption when i was three years old, i didn’t meet my natural family until i was twenty five. i met fritz at thanksgiving dinner in houston where my father justin lived in 1985.

i think fritz enjoyed having great-grandchildren. he fell ill in chicago on his way back to his home in san francisco from a science fiction convention in canada. i remember fritz holding eastman as if this baby was a treasure of untold value while my husband and i considered what to do in the hotel room fritz had booked himself into. margo, his new bride, wouldn’t fly in a plane. two fans were in attendance and they were flat broke. the hotel concierge was concerned. we sent margo, his wife, home to san francisco. i gave the fans two hundred bucks and said “watch over her”. i called justin, my father, from houston and stephen helped me put fritz in northwestern hospital in chicago. justin escorted fritz home in a plane to san francisco where fritz would later die.

and while we supposed adults–my husband, me, margo, two sci fi fans–worked it all out in the hotel room, joseph, four years old, explained to fritz how eastman worked: his sleep cycle, the things he liked to eat, his ear infection, how you could get eastman to smile. . . . fritz was mesmerized. i was supposed to be sort of in charge of the moment but i was the one who was not paying attention to the most beautiful part of things–fritz was.

a lot of my friends on facebook are from knowing fritz and then knowing me. i’m grateful.

mc kato concert tuesday night

a few weeks ago, my friend mc kato promised to perform a concert in my home to kick off the face to facebook year of meeting new friends.  then chicago got stuck with the worst snowstorm in years–i had a lot of champagne and appetizers i was forced to consume on my lonesome.  tomorrow kato’s going to give it another try and his new album glissando is going to be premiered. . . .  but if you click below, you can have the same experience.  just make sure you pour yourself a nice drink and settle back in a comfortable chair first. .. . .

i head for new york on thursday and my first stop will be to see richard “mop” furniss at the museum of sex.  i have considered the idea of having an “open” time to meet new facebook friends, say at a coffee shop in times square.  what would you think of that?

ole brasil! new friends, old friends, silver and gold!!!

boy, i was momentarily scared by the mention at and at  i felt a little overwhelmed, even a little made fun of. i assumed that i would get lots of snarky, sort of snide messages.  but no, i have been stunned.  new friends are just as wonderful and supportive as older (not in age, just in longevity) friends.

i’m naturally a stay at home sort.  i have been trying to personally respond to every friendship request and every message and i’m not doing a particularly good job, but i’m doing my best.  three hundred and thirty five friends, three hundred and sixty five days–i’m at forty four and although i got a little stranded by two people i was supposed to see over the weekend, i’m still on target. . .

i head for new york on thursday.  a plane–scary!  an itinerary of friends starting with richard “mop” furniss at the museum of sex.  sex???  i’m fifty years old, there’s no sex at fifty years old.  and friends–they are new and old, silver and gold!!!