Monthly Archives: August 2011

i love the nightlife i’ve got to boogie on the disco . .. .

maybe i don’t like the nightlife.  i’m an early bird special girl.  five o’clock is quite late enough for dinner and pajamas at seven seems de rigeur.  dinner at eight?  what is that all about?

however, i have spent the last three nights out on the town for the purpose of fulfilling my new years resolution to meet all (at the time) 325 facebook friends.

so tuesday night was baseball–specifically the sox versus the cleveland indians.  i thought baseball was nine innings but these guys were having so much fun that they extended the game to fourteen innings.  at that point, well after one a.m. and as near as i can interpret the action on the field, the two teams shook hands, patted each other’s asses and agreed that the sox won.

wednesday night i went to the wonderbar (650 n. rush) to see lonie walker, but more specifically, my facebook friend f2fb #196 downtown tony brown.  i got there early, which in bar scene is not cool.  being anywhere late, particularly the next day, is cool.  but i saw how lonie and the bad ass company band of which downtown is a member plays when the band outnumbers the audience.  they still rock it as if they were playing for a thousand facebook friends!  after the first set, i bought downtown a few buttery nipples.  it’s a drink, not a condition.  so here i am at downtown’s lunch break–

i was careful to explain to the drummer that he was the fourth best drummer in the world–right behind david presser (my stepson who is not a facebook friend but is nonetheless quite wonderful), joseph presser (#61) and eastman presser (#1).  a good drummer is able to play on the third floor and make the ceiling fixtures on the first floor quake.  and give me a migraine.  the drummer from bad ass offered his bona fides.  i said maybe another time.

last night–continuing my string of out of the house nights–i went to a botox party.  it was an event at the elyssian hotel sponsored by a plastic surgeon dr. dayan.  there were a lot of women, many of whom were on their way to auditions for the remake of the movie brazil.  and aestheticians, one of whom applied enough glitter on my eyes that i don’t ever have to do that again.  she was a professional who has several times done kim kardashian–in a makeup way.  she gave me this exclusive–


this struck me as strange because when i was growing up in the sixties my adoptive mother mrs. patrick was quite unhinged over the fact that i had a butt.  a big butt.  that suggested i was of a “lower” ethnicity.  i did exercises to reduce my butt.  i could have donated my butt to the kardashians!

one gal at the party asked my age.  i said that i was seventy.  she asked how long i had been a patient of the kindly surgeon.  i said that i was on a diet of white wine and glitter and hadn’t yet needed his services.  she agreed that it was a good diet.  because even though there were hors d’oeuvres they were passed about as if all the guests were of an aleutian family on an ice floe about to shove off mom.

the boy scouts arrived and were thrown out.  every documentarian should have an “i was thrown out” moment and i was so proud for them.  but i didn’t forget to have some time with f2fb friend #197 terri wojak.  i didn’t know how i knew her but i think it’s because i’m fifty one and i could be somebody who could benefit from her course on skin care.  it’s only $295 dollars and there’s five weeks of intense training on how to make the best of the epidermis.

terri is the gorgeous one. i'm the gal who just got glitter on her eyelids.

i left the party, mostly because i didn’t know anybody besides terri who needed to talk to the other guests.  and the glitter eye shadow was migrating to my retinas.  i am old.  i don’t mind that.  i was surprised at the frenzy of the party–we want to avoid the aspects of age but we are happier growing old than dying young.  and i was reminded that the previous night i had seen lonie walker and her band–and she wears the grey hair quite proudly beautifully.  please if you are ever in chicago go see her at the wonderbar just to see her beauty.

i have resolved to tell everyone that i’m seventy.  lying upwards about your age gives you a lot of street cred,  and as for showing up at a downtown tony brown concert.  .  . no matter what band he’s fronting, just buy him a buttery nipple.  or stop at the 7-11 before you see him and show him a buttery one!

patti needs a tim crawford day every week!

f2fb friend #195 patti schmidt is probably the single most consistent family friend to my boys joseph and eastman.  she works at the winnetka community house devising programs to keep children entertained and educated.   when my boys were growing up, they might run into patti four times a week and every year we do the haunted house together!  i am VERY good at spooking little kids.

i wanted so much to go to one of the fantasy dance classes or the little miss tea parties she devises, but she told me that, at 51 years, i was just forty six years too damn old.

instead, we had our toes painted.  she got blue, i did sparkly silver.  i told her about f2fb friend #73 tim crawford who makes once a week a “tim crawford day” with some attention to grooming, car care, relaxation.  with tim, i had a pedicure too–and he suggested that more people should take one day out of seven to totally devote themselves to themselves.

patti lives at her parental home and her mother has alzheimer’s.  her mother’s disease has progressed so much that she doesn’t really recognize her family members and she can’t care for her personal needs.  patti’s devotion–the devotion of the entire family–is predicated and motivated by the memory of all that mom did before.  the care she gave.  the dinners she made.  the sicknesses she nursed her children through.  the time she took to teach patti and her siblings how to tie a shoe, to ride a bike, to weather a first romantic upset.

patti cares for her mother weekday nights after work and also gives up at least one weekend day for fulltime care.  would i do that for my mom?  my mom put me up for adoption when i was three–if she appeared at my doorstep?  maybe.  and that’s a very soft maybe.

patti needs a once a week “tim crawford day”.

frenchie was the daughter of f2fb friend #99 cristina persico who lost both frenchie and frenchie’s father in the course of one year.  the entrance of the community house has a reminder of the persico family, but also of the entire town’s ability to rally for its citizenry.

i had a great time giggling and gossiping with patti, but i realized that i need to do it more often.  patti gets one hour a day for lunch and sure it’s great to head out for some pampering in her circumstances.  but it’s me who needs it.  i need that friendship.  so i’m making a commitment to seeing patti more often.  if only because OPI sparkle me silver nail polish won’t last forever!

a link, an itinerary, and a lagniappe

so today i have three nice surprises to share:

1.  an article explaining the f2fb project.  the writer wendy donahue does a better job of explaining me and the photographers chris walker and benjamin gonzalez make me look a lot better than i am in real life.,0,4059760.story


2.  an itinerary of sorts:

a.  atlanta, huntsville, tallahassee on the 20 through the 24th

b.  montreal the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth of september

c.  alaska on the thirteenth through sixteenth of october

d.  (gulp) from the eighteenth of october through the fifth of november–korea, taiwan, india, united arab emirates, turkey, italy, germany, and england

somehow i have to squeeze in the northwest and southern california before the october fly out.  i am starting to get just a little dizzy.

3.  a lagniappe–one thing i’ve learned this year is that if you have a clipboard and any sort of laminated pass that says “media” you can get in anywhere, whether a san diego comicon or a chicago half marathon.  so here’s a media pass–

print this, laminate it, and put it on a lanyard. carry a clipboard or a camera. now you can get into anyplace on earth!


i was at the chicago rock n’roll half marathon with f2fb friend #194 rett britt this weekend and he had an extra pass so i was able to look all official.  i really admired the athletes because everything that they have done to prepare for the race was done with the encouragement of friends and family–the race itself was just the let go and enjoy the ride time.  these athletes do amazing things!

tomorrow i hope to see f2fb friend #195 patti schmidt!

a f2fb friend who captures the moment when the hard work has already been done!

this year has been like a marathon–and i’m at slightly more than thirteen miles into the 26.2 miles.  there’s a certain amount of pacing, a certain reliance on others to either encourage me or to promise to see me, and there’s the times i just feel like i’m ridiculous.

which i have felt every day except yesterday when the chicago tribune published an article in its sunday supplement about my new years resolution to meet all my facebook friends!  so just this one morning, i woke up and didn’t think “what a ridiculous enterprise!”

i got up early, five a.m. and went downtown to chicago’s rock and roll half marathon.  these athletes have already done the hard work of preparing and training and i wonder if some mornings they have thought about not getting their training done because they have doubted themselves.  today was their day to enjoy the fruits of their hard work.   my day will be december 31, 2010 when i will visit the 325th facebook friend!

i filmed this while wearing a media pass.  i got it through my f2fb friend #194 rett britt.  rett is a business consultant but he has a wonderful avocation:  he photographs athletes at that moment of triumph, that moment of realizing they’re within reach of their goals.

this is a gal who has trained for this moment for a long time!

unfortunately, the pictures i took didn’t come out.  thank goodness nobody was relying on me.  still, you can see some of the other pictures rett took that morning at: and




stats for the dog days

f2fb friend #193 cindy dillon can't drive anywhere in her sidecar without someone wanting to take a picture of her guys with "dog-gles"

december 31, 2010–a new years resolution to meet every facebook friend

december 31, 2009–a new years resolution to lose five pounds

weight on december 31, 2009–138 pounds

possible fate if this new years resolution left uncompleted–will stay at home and eat chocolate, watch movies, and drink white wine until i’m three hundred pounds

friends on december 31, 2010–according to facebook, 325

weight on december 31, 2010–138 pounds

weight on august 12, 2011–140 pounds (okay, what-evs!)

facebook friends i have visited this calendar year–193

facebook friends i will meet before december 31–132

facebook friends i have defriended–1 (gilbert gottfried)

facebook friends who have defriended me–2

facebook friends i had never met before this calendar year–9

facebook friends whom i have never met before and who have made it a condition of meeting them that i come to their home by myself (preferably with a bottle of white wine) –2

facebook friends i might actually not ever meet–at least 2

ativan refills–too many to count

days i wake up and think that this is the stupidest new years resolution ever–223

facebook friends who have asked for complete anonymity–1 (friend #88)

facebook friends who are actually dead–1 (#60 william clark)

facebook friends who are actually cats–1 (#95 nipper castino)

facebook friends who have confided or announced they are or have been in a twelve step program for alcohol, drugs, gambling or sex addiction–24

casinos i have visited during the year–1 and it was omaha and i was horribly overdressed and don’t think i could ever work up an addiction to gambling if it’s going to include slot machines and women with t-shirts announcing “world’s greatest grandma” when i want it to be all rat pack and martinis

airports i like–charlotte, north carolina and laguardia, new york

cities i overused my asthma inhaler in–mexico city, houston, new york

cities where i brought tornadoes–cedar rapids, chapel hill, blue springs, kearney (in kearney i waited out a tornado in a beer locker, that wasn’t so bad!)

times i have flown without either alcohol or ativan in me–once, and i still haven’t cashed in on the bet that made that happen

airline i will never use again–spirit

airline i like–united

facebook friends who have confided that they are or were sleeping with another facebook friend of mine–14

facebook friends who have confessed they have an expired sticker on their car–1 and i totally understand that, i have gotten two tickets because of that

facebook friends who have prayed for me in a laying on of hands–5 and in both the christian and the reiki healing tradition

hospital visits for anxiety attacks this year–2

new skills i have learned from facebook friends–boxing, opening champagne bottles with saber swords, weight lifting, painting fishnet stockings on one’s legs with magic markers, zumba, opera singing, hoisting a main sail

f2fb friend #193 cindy dillon was given her sidecar as a present by her husband--i am not as cute as a dog with "doggles"

facebook friends i have regretted meeting–3

facebook friends who have regretted meeting me and have asked me to delete a post–1 (and i did and we have rescheduled seeing each other)

facebook friends who are relatives–5 (6 if you count ex-wives of ex-husbands)

new years resolution for december 31, 2011–i don’t know but whatever it is, i believe i will accomplish it because i have discovered about myself that i am stubborn and while i will probably never lose the five pounds i will finish what i have started which is something i never thought about myself before.

living responsibly includes thinking about the small things

when i was a child, nobody lived responsibly.  i’m not just talking about the three martinis and a cigarette routinely consumed by pregnant women.  or throwing the mcdonald’s bag out to the curb.  or disposable diapers.  or raking the leaves and burning them on the front lawn.  plenty of people were opposed to equal rights for women and even african americans, and the notion of gay marriage?  uh, no.

we watched movies in social studies classes about the dangers of littering and smoking.  then there were boycotts organized against california grapes (out of concern for migrant workers), hershey’s (they sent formula to third world countries which, when mixed with bad water, would hurt children), and different states that wouldn’t pass the equal rights amendment.  celebrities came out of the closet and we learned a new vocabulary of tolerance.

i met f2fb #192 jason glaser as a complete fluke.  he divides his time between new york, chicago, sometimes europe and a lot of time in nicaragua.  he is working on behalf of workers at sugar cane farms who are developing kidney disease at an alarming rate, possibly because of poor workplace practices.  jason had a lot to say about why i shouldn’t eat bananas.

jason also has some concerns about anything that is based on sugar cane.

i try my best, but i think that it’s hard to keep track of what i can do and what i should do.  jason is an admirable friend because he does what should be done.  you can talk to him yourself about how to help the workers in nicaragua —–he’s been involved in lawsuits targeting the big united states corporations that bring us bananas and that has put himself in danger.  he has sometimes wondered about having some protection and i volunteered to be his body guard, but in the end, he knows that if a company really wants to bring him down, it will.

one of my friends zeeb peterson and his wife beth rosemarie live in a manner that takes very little from the earth and returns much–most of their artwork and furniture is made from found objects and they couldn’t help looking around my yard for things that would be workable.  i think that’s the best kind of recycling and responsibility.  i saw them this week.  i hadn’t seen zeeb for many years–it was a high school reunion!

my friend zeeb and his wife beth live in environmentally and socially aware surroundings--perhaps because of their pagan belief system

i am disqualified from being a theater critic and i worry

on sunday i drove to the steppenwolf theater for a staged reading of the bill thomas elizabeth doyle musical “duo: 1 is 1; 2 is math”.  i was taking with me f2fb friends #190 and 191, naomi koppelman and nicole kupper.

both naomi and nicole had worked with my sons in theater a few short months ago.  okay, maybe a year or two ago.  all right, when we added it up, it became clear that six years had gone by.  in that time, both women had found long term boyfriends, had had children (naomi one, nicole three) and had wrestled with whether to marry (naomi will do so in october, nicole is not so sure).  i thought “wow,  if i only keep up with my friends on facebook, i’m not getting the whole story” — like the fact that nicole’s baby daddy is a musician from ghana.  or that naomi’s fiance is a boat captain.  or that naomi was in tony and tina’s wedding, only the funnest show in chicago theater. or that the economy worried them so much.  well, that last part was an easy one, since EVERYBODY is worried about the economy.

nicole kupper

the play duo was about an older, middle class couple looking back on their marriage.  there was no dance number, there wasn’t any secondary character who steals the show.  there wasn’t much of a plot, as near as i could tell.  just a lot of sondheim-y kind of music–the sort that makes me think “are they offkey?”

naomi was briefly retired from the stage but is auditioning again--i wish her luck!

as i was coming home, i was feeling melancholy about my own failed marriage.  it failed because of me, because i wasn’t as good of a wife as i could have been.  i feel bad about that.  and then i had a wonderful surprise:  my friend from high school, zeeb peterson, had recently contacted me on facebook.  he and his wife beth would be in town.  they parked their van outside my house.  they live in it when they travel and they are always together, sharing the pagan lifestyle and their artwork.   i am very happy for them!

much of the year, the petersons live in this van and drive it around the country promoting their line of fairy furniture and artwork . . . go to

i also was quite worried.  a facebook friend i had visited with a week and a half ago had left me a phone message sometime while i slept.  she was worried that a video we had made of her somehow cast her in a bad light.  i wasn’t sure what video she was referring to and i asked her to call me back. i delete anything that people don’t like.  one f2fb friend didn’t want it to be mentioned that she had been a man at one point in our relationship.  and although i think every single person who knows her knows the whole story, i changed mine so that it never happened.  another friend told a funny story about her ex-husband but then decided he might get upset.   so far i haven’t figured out what my friend wants to do–she hasn’t called me back.  but i worried if i have hurt anyone with this project when all i’ve wanted to do was fulfill my new years resolution.

i think nicole was happy after the theater because the show reminded her that she has the talent to create great musicals.  naomi was happy because stephanie hurovitz added her to a general mailing list stephanie sends out with audition notices.  stephanie was happy because naomi was going to set her up with some gentlemen callers.  zeeb and beth were happy because a woman stopped her car next to their van and wanted to buy some of their artwork.  and i was happy because i had seen my friends!