sometimes the logistics of this new years resolution get to me. i have friends all over the globe, sometimes they move, sometimes they even move without telling me (which might be a sign of some sort). i have two friends who live in alaska, which sounds like it makes things easier to see them, but they live so far apart in the state that it will take a minimum of three flights to go from one to another.
so i considered f2fb friend #179 brian brethauer. he lives in idaho, and not like ten minutes from the boise idaho airport. i worried how i was going to see him. yet, he seemed to intuit that there might be a problem and he suggested he would be in san diego on july 20 for a tiny little convention for those who love comic books (otherwise known as comicon). thus, the trip to los angeles and san diego was planned with the greatest goal being to meet brian brethauer. i drove three hours from los angeles to san diego.
meanwhile, brian drove eighteen hours from idaho with his two friends dave and ezra who are brothers. brian and i are friends through our shared appreciation of my grandfather fritz leiber’s science fiction. but it was our first time meeting. awkward? absolutely not. a testament to what a great friend brian is.
we boarded the tram for the convention center where the preview party would be held. we talked about facebook.
comicon turned out to be a huge deal, way bigger than i expected and way stranger. everybody was dressed as their favorite character from their favorite alternate reality. i thought it was great that everybody could be exactly who they wanted to be without anybody judging them.
brian has been coming to comicon for ten years now, five of them with dave and ezra. he said that when the convention started, you could order tickets online over the space of a few days. this year, he didn’t even get tickets, instead he agreed to help his best friend jason brubaker sell copies of his comic “remind” and jason was able to score three “exhibitor” tickets for dave, ezra and brian. somehow, jason even got me a pass.
you are not actually “of Winnetka” until you have lived within its borders, preferably on the east side of the railroad tracks, for a generation or more. my mere twenty years here is just that–mere.
i was pregnant with my second son eastman (f2fb #1) and i shepherded my firstborn joseph (f2fb #61) around a town of tudor architecture and new england sensibilities. in the window of the photography store was a display of pictures of their shopping bag on its travels. you see, the shopping bag went to paris, went to london, stopped along the chinese wall, climbed killimanjaro, and sent back pictures. winnetka residents announcing their summer vacations with a bit of panache.
one man even put together a book. .
the store thrives, despite the changes in what it means to take pictures. i do everything with my cell phone and a flip camera. the flip has gone from cutting to obsolescence in the space of a year. still, the skalski family which owns phototronics works with every technology, holding the hand of every winnetkan who says “i don’t know how to make this picture come out of my camera and land in my email account” peter skalski gave me a bunch of phototronic shopping bags to pose along my travels. . . .
i am facebook friends with phototronics (f2fb #152), one of several non-human friends. i did not ask phototronics out for lunch yesterday, but i did take f2fb #12 andrew pearce because he wanted to look at a particular camera. andrew is from bloomington, indiana and drove up so that he could plot out with me the second half of this facebook journey. . . .that was an entire anxiety attack all on its own!
i have a trip out to the northwest, two more trips to the northeast and again to california (where i hope to meet with brian brethauer because brian sure lives the furthest away from anybody i know). i have the southern states–samuel scruggs, jonathan boyd, dale morgan–whom i missed because of the disaster in tallahassee. and i have alaska and the rest of the world (except for mexico city which is well in pocket).
i am humbled to be fifty years old and have all the help i have been given. . . but then there’s f2fb #153 who reminds me that we are all just teenagers inside!