Tag Archives: f2fb

an invitation–short notice but heartfelt

i hope you’ll join me on wednesday april 24 seven p.m. at the book stall — 811 elm street in winnetka, illinois.  i’ll be pleased to share with you the first copies of the new book face2facebook, which you can purchase online at http://www.amazon.com/Face2Facebook-ArLynn-Leiber-Presser/dp/1625630816/ref=sr_1_cc_1?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1366634235&sr=1-1-catcorr&keywords=arlynn+presser

but only if you promise to meet me face to face later!


apple bacon maple

just a facebook friend.  how many of your friends are “just” a facebook friend?  with facebook, linkedin, myspace, twitter we can have friends from all over the world.  friends we never meet in real life.  friends with whom our interactions occur while we’re in our pajamas in front of our laptop or squinting at the smartphone or playing online scrabble (okay, busted on that last one!).  we think we know someone but we only know their atavar.  we can know them deeply with long heartfelt messages but we really don’t know what they’d be like on a road trip, in an emergency, for the long haul.

it’s especially easy to rely on these friendship when the rest of the world seems chaotic, hostile, and just plain scary.  i think a lot of anxiety, panic attacks, agoraphobia and depressions have to do with how fast and furious our interactions with the real world are.

face to facebook (f2fb) friend number #331 lesley riley did me the greatest favor of coming all the way from california to meet me!  we had a wonderful afternoon together and i encourage any facebook friends to say "hey i'd like to come see you on your own turf" otherwise i show up on their turf!

face to facebook (f2fb) friend number #331 lesley riley did me the greatest favor of coming all the way from california to meet me! we had a wonderful afternoon together and i encourage any facebook friends to say “hey i’d like to come see you on your own turf” otherwise i show up on their turf!

i have  been isolated for the past two months and i knew that i really needed to change.  i was lucky enough to receive an invitation from facebook friends jim hellman and connie conley to visit them in bresmere, michigan—right near lake superior.  connie and jim have been my facebook friends for roughly a year and a half.  i have never met them before but they invited me.  and i am never one to pass up an invitation to visit a facebook friend!

tuesday was sunny and bright.   out the door of the bat girl cave by eight o’clock.  according to mapquest, it would be a seven hour drive, which means in arlynn driving time nine hours at least.

i find that every new geography means a new food.  in this case, something that sounded somewhat disgusting but damn, i ate two of them:

i ended up at the americinn of ironwood michigan and was presented with a slight problem:  i had booked my hotel room for monday evening–the day i was online.  i didn’t read my reservation confirmation.  maybe that would have been a good idea.  luckily, i have my own personal hotel clerk.

if you’re going to live out of your car . . .

seriously, no worries.  yes, i’m homeless for the moment but there’s just so many blessings to it. for one, i will never always look with compassion at someone who is homeless, without work, fighting addiction or depression, or just generally having a rough life —  it’s not that i am but i laughed this morning when i ran into a friend i hadn’t seen anywhere except on facebook this past summer and i said “what have you been up to?”  and he said “sleeping in my car a lot.”

laughing, but i could sympathize.  i spent two nights this week sleeping in my car.  we agreed that state parks are good, but not for a woman by herself and that wal-mart — yes, wal-mart — is the kindest to people who park.


in general, i find it preferable to have a large stuffed animal (or, in this case a giant heart) to rest up against.  one can leave it on the passenger seat during the day with a certain insouciance–and your car doesn’t scream “arlynn slept here!”  blankets definitely should be folded up and put in the trunk.  keeping up appearances is important.

i was surprised this week when i realized what an extraordinary thing karma can be.  i sent out a request to facebook friends asking if anybody knew where i could land.  i had a lot of offers but nothing quite worked.  and my “home” was in the shop–i traveled so much last year visiting facebook friends that my tires were balding and my brakes shot.  i felt like my life was completely out of control.  it’s never a plummet to the gutter, it’s always a series of bumps. 

and i have it easy.  two nights last week i slept in my car but two nights i spent at the marriott because i discovered i had so many reward points from traveling last year that it was free.  plus i got breakfast!

then i got a call from facebook friend mike castagna.  well, i mean, he’s my facebook friend and a friend of longstanding.  still, i hadn’t heard from him in a long time.

“if you don’t mind staying with me and matt,”  he said, referring to his son who is also oddly enough my facebook friend as well.  “we got an extra bed on the porch.  it’s screened in, you’ll need some blankets.  oh, and in order to get to the bathroom you have to go through matt’s room.  he has a snake.  stay as long as you want.”

he spoke with such enthusiasm and force that i could only believe that he meant it. 

“i’m so grateful,” i said.

“no, i’m the one who’s grateful.”

and he reminded me of a favor i had done for him and his son matt several years ago.  i felt the whooosh of karma looping around me.

“no, i’m grateful,”  i said to mike.

“no, i’m grateful.”

“no, i’m grateful.”

“just shut up,”  mike said and hung up.


even if i’m living out of my car, i like to decorate for halloween!

living with mike and matt and the snake is a temporary solution and tomorrow i drive out to meet with facebook friends indianapolis and beyond. 


mr. clark, the mascot of the facebook adventures, is happy on the summer porch and will be happy sitting on the pink heart’s lap when i get back out on the road!

the friend i met this morning who has been driving out to state parks to sleep in his car was in surprisingly good spirits.  that’s how you have to be regardless of what life gives you. 




mark zuckerberg avoids transfer taxes! also, incidentally gets married.

what a week for mark zuckerberg!  on monday, his girlfriend of nine years — priscilla chan — graduated from stanford university medical school AND it was his birthday!  he posted “I’m so proud of you, Dr. Chan” during the commencement ceremony.  aww, ain’t love grand?

then facebook shares became available to the public and institutional investors for the first time. it was an incredible payday for the private investors who have supported facebook until now.  the private investors have risked everything on an idea–that ordinary people want to look up old friends, find new ones, play hidden chronicles, and post pictures of their adorable ___ (cat, dog, baby, grandmother, thing they made for dinner).  those investors, and mark, were right.  facebook shares opened at $38 per share and are holding steady as i write this.

mark’s fortune is now so vast that relationship advice expert donald trump opined that a naive young billionaire often makes bad moves, saying “they get married, and then for some reason over the next couple of years they get divorced and then she sues him for $10 billion and she hits the jackpot.  I’m notoriously cheap with these things, I think if she made $1 million, that would be very good.”  that donald, always an optimist!

the movie “the social network” makes it sound like mark was a bit of, ahem, loser with women. actually, he and priscilla have been dating for nine years. they’ve been together during the tough times and the really great times. for my wedding present to the zuckerbergs, i’m going to give them a photo album entitled “my trip to the grand canyon”, a link to a leah silberman music video and a list of all my friends!  oh, wait, they already have that!  p.s. don’t they look adorable pictured here in their backyard at the wedding?

so one day after facebook went public, mark zuckerberg changed his status from single to married and wrote a pithy post:  “Married Priscilla Chan”. . . it has a lot of ‘likes’. . . .

a curious financial note that the donald might not have thought of:  let’s say i’m a billionaire.

okay, i had to have a few moments to close my eyes and think about that one!  back to business!

i’m a billion.  my girlfriend (her name, just hypothetically, is priscilla) is a pediatrician who wants to open up a clinic for underprivileged children.  i want to give her, say, a billion to build the clinic of her dreams.  if she’s my girlfriend, the transfer taxes are awful–the internal revenue service will have an agent on my doorstep asking for their share of the money toot sweet! that’s french for jimmy johns fast–

but if i want to give my wife (again, just hypothetically named priscilla) a billion dollars to open a clinic, it’s what the i.r.s. call a “nontaxable event”.  the i.r.s. hates nontaxable events–if they could figure out a way to make taking a nap on the lounge chair in your backyard a taxable event, they would! personally, i think the world has come out on top.  mark owns all our personal information because we have an implacable human need to connect.  priscilla makes medical care available to kids who might otherwise not be able to get it.  and love reigns!  too bad about the i.r.s.

but i wonder what you think …

and, of course, i wonder–did they invite all their facebook friends?

what a busy day for my facebook friend mark zuckerberg!

i’m not actually friends with mark zuckerberg — or the other founders of facebook, dustin moskovitz, eduardo saverin, and chris hughes.  but i feel like we should be.  after all, mark and his friends started facebook in 2004 at harvard university as a way for students to check out other students–it replaced a paper bound directory that couldn’t keep up to date on everybody’s relationship status.  by 2007, i was posting pictures, tracking down folks i went to high school with and playing online scrabble with facebook friends i’d never met.

about that relationship status.  i was separated from my husband and mark had still not figured out that “it’s complicated” is a good status.  i listed “single” and a few short months later my husband joined facebook, sent a friend request and was pretty darned unhappy that i was jumping the gun on the american divorce court system.  we agreed to defriend each other and although we are very much divorced we are very friendly.  it’s . .. complicated.

but mark, we were talking about mark.  and the founders of facebook and the other private shareholders of facebook. up until yesterday, they were the sole investors in facebook.  with an initial public offering (ipo), those shares are let loose on the public market and anybody can be a facebook shareholder.

ah, the winklevoss twins! they went to harvard with mark and they thought they were part of the creation of facebook. this was the point of two lawsuits between the twins and mark. as part of a settlement of one of those suits, the winklevoss twins own six million shares of facebook. caution: do not invite this trio to the same potluck supper!


so the offering of shares yesterday was a little like the story of goldilocks and the three bears–set the initial price of the shares too low and the private shareholders don’t get as much dough, set the price too high and institutional traders won’t bite and the price will plummet and everybody will think your company sucks.

the facebook shares were initially offered at $38 a share when mark rang the opening bell at nasdaq trading headquarters. after rising and abruptly falling the price of the shares returned to just under $40 per share at the closing bell. does that mean the initial price was just right?


thursday was a big day for mark, the founders, the shareholders, and new investors!  but it was a regular day for facebook employees (many of whom, by the way, own shares in the company).  at one of the company cafeterias at the menlo park, california headquarters, the day began with a breakfast of strawberry banana soy smoothies, coconut mango smoothies, whole wheat cranberry orange scones, sausage and biscuit hash with cream gravy, whole wheat choco-chip pancakes with vanilla whipped cream, whole wheat low fat flax waffles, and old-fashioned buttermilk pancakes.  Meals are always free for facebook employees.  i would totally screw up my diet!

best wishes to mark and facebook!  mark and some other visionaries are very rich now.  so rich that they can’t attend occupy wall street rallies anymore.  but they provided us with a service we needed to keep in touch, to play that scrabble and to share with the world cute pictures of our cat.

last year, i made a new years resolution to meet all my facebook friends. i was a scaredy cat who didn’t leave the house much and i wanted to know who all these friends were! the resolution changed me. i have to say . . . thank you, mark!


panic at williamsburg bridge!

mapquest said it would take me four hours and forty seven minutes.  a fourteen mile walk punctuated by a five mile ferry ride to see f2fb friend #317 michele piersiak.  i sometimes do an eight mile walk around the perimeter of winnetka, so i figured it couldn’t be that bad.

oh how wrong i was.  my theory about new yorkers is that they do fifty three terrifying things and that’s before they get to work.  i didn’t expect to be scared in quite this way.

the williamsburg bridge is the seventy-fifth longest suspension bridge in the world, which makes any american immediately say “pshaw! there are seventy four others that are much tougher!”  still, i got stuck along the 1600 span that towered over the water.  i couldn’t move forward and couldn’t move back.  this happened three times.  each time, i had a vision of me being the homeless chick who lives on the williamsburg bridge, unwilling to leave or to move.  accepting handouts and generally letting personal hygiene take a backseat.  i’d be an object of pity, scorn, and perhaps curiosity.  i’d feed pigeons.  i would have several pet rats who would be attracted by my pungent body odor.  i’d lash myself to the bridge during storms.  i’d lose my cell phone!

i had to get unstuck.  i was so scared my feet had fallen asleep and if i didn’t get moving the legs would be the next to go.  i started saying thank you.  thank you to the rain.  thank you to the shoes i was wearing.  thank you to the guy who had helped when the mapquest directions were just a bit . . . off.  thank you even to mapquest.  i said thank you to my facebook friends, pausing only briefly as i realized the reason i was going across the bridge was to meet f2fb friend #317 who had introduced herself on facebook.  i thanked american airlines for getting me to new york.  i thanked whoever built the bridge (later i learned construction on the bridge began i n1896 with henry hornsbotal as the chief architect and leffert buck as his engineer)

as i approached the end of the bridge i felt an odd exhileration.  and it wasn’t just relief.  it was a sense that i was buoyed up by all the people i had thanked, even by henry and leffert although at that point i didn’t know their names.

and i got off that bridge and found the staten island ferry . . . thanks to five different new yorkers who made me think that new yorkers are the friendliest people on earth!  i thank them too!

i didn’t expect to get choked up by the staue of liberty, so i sat on the side of the ferry that does not get the view of the statue.  but as we approached, i couldn’t help myself.  statue of liberty, dollface, i’m grateful to you!

and so i was wrong.  it could be that bad.  and yet, it also could be wonderful!

how to (finally) make money off facebook!

all those posts about what you’re having for dinner and your position on the election.  all those status updates–single, married, it’s complicated and single again.  all those photos of you at the aforementioned wedding and you tagged at the bachelor(ette) party!  and those links to the song that captured the feel of the relationship status — the power of love, better that we break up, i will survive!

all of that is worth money.  a lot.  like an estimated $86 billion dollars.  that’s what facebook is valued at.  and next week, for the first time, YOU have a  chance to cash in on it.  you oughta get SOMETHING for the time your cousin took a picture of you passed out on the sofa.

i am in brooklyn visiting facebook friends. the neighborhood i’m in is full of folks who are houseproud. sometimes they decorate their front doors with modern artwork!


how do you work this?  how do you actually make money on facebook?  first, get yourself a broker.  fidelity, e-trade, oanda, charles schwab.  tell them you want some.  however, you should know that some brokerage houses are limiting who gets shares.  for instance, fidelity investors must have $500,000 in qualified balances with the company.  td ameritrade is allowing investors to grab some of the action if they have an account valued at at least $250,000.

in addition to seeing new facebook friends, like #316 carolyn quinn on monday, i see facebook friends that i first met last year–like #58 john r. douglas. we were in manhattan, where everything is bigger, faster, louder, taller. . . . i told john this shirt was too big for him!


some brokerage houses are concerned that investors will “flip” their shares and so they are also putting limitations on how long investors have to hold a share. fidelity will punish investors who resell their shares in fewer than two weeks with a bar on investing in future ipo’s.  and investment houses are warning their clients that shares are at such a premium that there’s no guarantee that they’ll get any or all of the shares they want.

so . . . what’s it all mean?  facebook may be a great investment.  there’s also a possibility that it will be all hype and no heft–online coupon company groupon and the radio company pandora bought saw their share value drop by more than 40% after going public.  at that point, get out your wallet!

tucked away in a corner of grand central station in manhattan is the campbell apartment, once the hideaway of tycoon john w. campbell. he supposedly gave wild parties here. most commuters and tourists never notice this door. and i got ushered out of the hallway about two seconds after i took this picture. i pretended i didn’t understand english and allowed myself to be gently led back out onto the concourse.  with much wealth comes many surprises.  i guess mark zuckerberg understands that already!

am i ready for new york?

this morning, murphy my always and forever cab driver picked me up for the ride to the airport.  i had some exciting news for him.

well, maybe we’re going to have to work on our domestic bliss!  i told murphy i was off to see facebook friends in new york–and he wished me luck and took down my flight information so he could meet me upon my return.

one of the most common things for agoraphobes to do is to want to remain in their “safe” place.  that’s mostly their house, but sometimes it includes other places.  in the past, my “safe” place has, at its best, included my house, downtown winnetka, my kids’ schools, and the place where i climb on a stairmaster in the vainglorious hope that i shall look like elle mcpherson one day.  at its worst, my safe place has been my bedroom.  even the walk across the hall to the bathroom seemed iffy.

but last year, meeting my facebook friends in america and abroad, i have learned to make the safe place wherever i am.  it’s a discipline i have to remember every time i go out.  and sometimes it just doesn’t work.  i had three housebound days this week and i was really worried that i wouldn’t get to the airport.  the airport was crowding because a stormline was coming in and flights were being delayed, canceled, bumped.  i aimed for the nearest bar.

an airport bar is actually a great place to create a safe zone.  forget about those big planes outside the window, forget about the people rushing back and forth, forget about the announcements, just find the place nearest your gate and pretend you’re in your own neighborhood.  amongst friends. ..


look!  even mr. clark is making friends!  mr. william clark, as you know is the nineteenth century explorer best known for his travels (1803-1806) through the northwest with merriweather lewis — also known as the lewis and clark expedition.  clark died in 1838 but oddly, he has a facebook profile page, posts daily accounts of his travels and is my facebook friend (f2fb friend #60).  his biographer lanny jones (f2fb friend #59) sent me a Clark doll to remind me to explore fearlessly.  looks like clark’s doing a little exploring of his own. . .

mr. clark getting cozy with a teddy bear who was going home to new york with another traveler. i carry my william clark doll in my bag every flight i take and the back seat of my car? looks like a damn toys r’ us!

cheating at the after party!

the facebook party at the book store was a great deal of fun!  and i let everybody get a sneak peek at the new ibook — face 2 facebook.  but for a week and a half before, i had been a serious atkins dieter.  it’s a no carb diet and i had to give up cupcakes and beer–my two favorite food groups.  i wanted to fit into the perfect dress and i did — although i did not actually breathe during the party.  and the after party. . . .

the book about my facebook adventure is an ibook that you can read either on your mac or on your ipad.  my tech dude o.j. dorson is also creating this in a format that you can read with your kindle or whatever.  but here’s the really interesting technological twist:

o.j. and i are also going to make a book that comes in a format in which individual screens (also called "pages") are made out of wood pulp (also known as "paper")


in this format, a qrl code would be embedded in some pages so that using your smartphone you could upload videos and pictures and whatnot onto your phone to enhance your reading experience.

if you’re a blogger and want to take your blog and create a book, or a writer who’s just about done with that first novel, i’d be happy to tell you more.  but first. . . . i gotta find another cupcake (BURP!)


it’s de-lightful! it’s delicious! it’s de-lovely!

although it wasn't part of the original 1934 production of anything goes, and wasn't added to the show until the 1962 revival, the song "it's de-lovely" best expresses the delightful, delicious, yes, de-lovely feeling of being in love. i've been singing that song all week but not about love. i've been singing it about friendship!


f2fb friend #315 tony tyner is the sort of big strong bear of a man who makes a woman feel petite, pretty and protected.  but of course, i didn’t need protection–we were in the quaint little town of geneva, illinois.  tony endured me trying on hats in a girlie shop and we steered very far away from the candy shop because i’m trying to lose ten pounds by the twenty eighth so that i will believe i look good for the party for my facebook friends!

it was DE-LIGHTFUL to meet tony! turns out we have a lot in common in our childhoods. . . . tony is a single dad raising three children. i admire how he's endured tough times and come out with a cheerful countenance!


after i left geneva, i went straight to the round table books at 572 lincoln avenue.  that’s where the party is–the party YOU’RE INVITED TO!!!!  the party is on the 28th from five to eight in the evening.  and it is a party where we will unveil the first three chapters of the book face 2 facebook.  it’s in an exciting ibook format that allows for embedded videos and photo galleries and smell-o-matic sensors so that you can smell the angel perfume, the breakfast bacon, the cows out in the meadows.  i’m lying about only one of the ibook features.

when i stopped by the shop, owner arthur frank who is generously hosting the event told me that a package had arrived for me.  we opened it and discovered two children’s books.  for the party, i’ve asked guests to bring one new or gently used children’s book to donate to reach out & read illinois, a foundation that tries to put books in the hands of needy children.

howard lovely, jr., who has a blog on wordpress — http://howardlovelyjr.wordpress.com/ — wrote that he would not be able to attend the party but that he wanted to send something anyway.

the two books, both by wayne dyer, express a positive message for children. okay, i'm going to say it -- howard lovely, YOU'RE DE-LOVELY!


i am working hard to finish the three chapters with genius o.j. dorson.  if you come to the party with YOUR blog and book ideas, take him aside and see if he can work with you.  and as soon as the party’s over. . .

i don't know why i'm all panicky about my weight but after the party it'll be anything goes and this cupcake is going to be . . . DE-LICIOUS!!!!