Tag Archives: meeting friends

it’s aural, not oral, photography!

“jeez, get your mind out of the gutter,”  i said.  “i’m not a kardashian sister!”

i was explaining to maximillian my photography adventure with facebook friends carolyn quinn and azusa watanabe.  it’s not oral it’s aural–a form of photography that is meant to capture the inner essence of a person.

“it’s meant to capture the subtle color radiances that surround a person,”  i said.  “also called the life field.”

“uh huh.”

“we went to a place that did aural photography right after our lunch at laconda verde.”

“how was the restaurant?”

“well, the food was middling but expensive and the atmosphere was chaotic, but otherwise. . . ”

laconda verde is a restaurant in manhattan owned by robert de niro. my facebook friend michele persiak has agoraphobia but so wanted to go to this restaurant that she managed to get out of her house, take the staten island ferry and come to the restaurant with us. at his morning staff meeting, mr. de niro no doubt was determined that his waiters and waitresses deliver the highest standards of new york service. mr. de niro starred in the 1976 movie taxi driver as an angry, depressed, homocidal young new york man. but a taxi driver, not a waiter.

after lunch, michele went home and i hope she is aware that if you can have lunch at laconda verde, you can make it anywhere!  but i wanted to spend a little more time with carolyn and azusa.  i was particularly intrigued by azusa.  we became friends in february of last february.  a japanese social media site mixi.jp did a story about my facebook new year’s resolution.  when azusa was traveling in the united states this summer she made a point of contacting me and figuring out when we would be in the same city.  i really appreciate that!  azusa is a teacher of conversation english in tokyo.

the new york lunch bunch–carolyn, azusa, me, and michele. none of us would be friends without the help of facebook. so thank you mark zuckerberg!

carolyn suggested that we go to china town and get our aural photographs taken.  she has done so before and it turns out she is what is termed an “indigo girl”. . . which means that she has a great degree of creativity and spirituality.  we went to a small little shop that sold crystals, jewelry, herbal supplements.  each of us sat for our picture.  the photographer was a little strict.

as it turns out carolyn again was revealed to be an indigo girl!  which meant that her picture was a fuzzy melange of purple-ish tones.

carolyn is hard to see with all that life field around her!

azusa and  i turned out to be sort of yellow and red, meaning we had a great deal of creativity and verve.  oddly, all three of us were advised by the photographer that our chakra showed that we needed some sleep.  well, azusa was jetlagged, carolyn has bronchitis and me?  i hadn’t slept the night before because i was starting to worry about how i was getting home.  and i had a right to be worried!

taking facebook face to face

last year, i very briefly visited austria.  when i say brief, i mean four hours.  a layover in between success and certain disaster.  in my around the world trip to visit all my facebook friends i had put a lot of effort into meeting claudia klose in dortmund, germany.  i wasn’t quite sure how we knew each other.  we had two mutual friends in common–both of whom had worked with my son eastman during his very brief movie career.  i assumed claudia was a producer, makeup person, lighting director. ..  and that i just couldn’t connect face and name.

claudia and i exchanged a bunch of messages about my trip.  she was very reluctant to see me and said she didn’t like meeting new people.  especially since she said her english was very poor.  i admire people who can say that their english isn’t very good because whatever language they speak i can’t say more than “hello” “goodbye” and “where is the bathroom?”  and i can only do all three in french after two years of high school french.

nonetheless, i won her over and she agreed to meet me.  and with a precision that confirmed my sense that germans are way more organized than the rest of us, it was to be at the dortmund train station hb 7 gate tuesday november 1 at 6:30 p.m.  we agreed we would have coffee and engage in the universal activity of female friendship–shopping.

on the thirty first–the first halloween i had spent outside of the country–i was in italy visiting a facebook friend and i decided to reconfirm.  oh, let’s not call it reconfirming.  let’s call it what it was–re-re-re-re-confirming.  we had just been in touch not a week before.

i tried to send her a message and discovered i was not only defriended but blocked.  and she had defriended our two mutual friends.  i was stunned.  i wanted to change course.  get out of going to dortmund.  but changing flights, hotels, the itinerary was to expensive to change.  if i was going to meet the next friend on my trip, i had to take a train to the rome airport, fly to vienna, fly to dusseldorf and take a train into dortmund so that the next day i could fly into luten, england to meet the next friend on my facebook friendship itinerary.

i had a wonderful time in dortmund.  got laundry done.  drank beer.  saw the christmas tree (man, the germans get it going on about christmas earlier than anybody–maybe they need a stopgap holiday like halloween or thanksgiving!)

maybe it was great to just chill out.  but i thought about how i approached my new year’s resolution to meet all my facebook friends.  there were some who just didn’t want to meet me.  who wanted to keep things online.

i think it’s important for friendship to sometimes be extended beyond the virtual.  and there’s another friend of mine, from austria, who agrees with me.  andrea warmuth wrote to me with this:

I´m impressed by Arlynn´s story, so I want to tell you mine.

I´m no agoraphobic, but Arlynn is an inpiring example for me too!!!!

As she visited all of her FB-friends, I managed to visit 2 of them.
Regina Jauk and Edith Garcia Chacon.
Regina I would call my soulsister and I visited her october 2011 in Sollenau, Lower Austria
and I visited Edith this June in Kassel, Germany!

Both of them are one of sweetest and nicest persons I´ve ever met!
I´m very lucky to say that I was very welcome and always felt like home!
I´m planing to visit more of my FB-friends and hope to know them all in real life!

This is my story and I was glad to share it with you.

we became friends in january of this year when andrea reached out to me after hearing about my facebook adventure. maybe you can’t see every facebook friend this year, but what if you made a commitment to see two or five or ten? i really hope to make it to austria for more than the four hours i was in the airport waiting to go to dortmund because i would like to meet andrea!

andrea has 817 friends to meet and that’s a daunting task.  i have a similarly daunting task of figuring out how to get to new york tomorrow because i am re-connecting with a facebook friend i met earlier this year.  michele persiak is an agoraphobic who lives on staten island outside of new york city.  she wants to broaden her horizons and she will. . . and i’ll be there to witness it!

i get a facebook friendship challenge. . . with a phone call to follow!

a facebook friend sent the following message to me and a few others.  i was terrifically flattered and also very humbled.  i have never met this facebook friend but i am looking forward to getting a phone call in the next couple of weeks!


Dear Friends,

Hi everyone, (Warning: personal sharing to follow. Proceed at your own risk.)  🙂 As you may or may not know I freelance/consult from my home office. Thankfully, this year has been very busy. That includes everyday including most weekends. This past month I put in 30-40 hour weeks working at McDonald’s corporate headquarters while handing my own clients on nights and weekends. The McDonald’s gig is now complete and I see open space in my calendar. Why this info? I feel stuck. I’ve concentrated so much on work that I’ve left my friendships by the wayside. I haven’t actively been pursuing any lunches or coffees etc. Also, After 3 months  of walking 3 times a day, I’ve now gone 3 weeks without any form of exercise. Just sitting  here and doing nothing isn’t working 🙂  So it’s time to act. I’ve been inspired by a Facebook friend whom I have never met but heard about on the radio and have since been following her Facebook accounts and blogs. She suffers from agoraphobia and decided to visit all her Facebook friends around the world in person. Her name is Arlynn Leiber Presser if your interested in reading about her. She has inspired me to action because she stepped right through her fears and phobias and did it and continues to do it. Reading her blog I think I’m at home now more then she is. 🙂 So why am I writing this? To face a fear of mine? Picking up the phone and calling someone to plan something hasn’t been my style. I’ve always waited for others to get the ball rollling. Waited to the last minute. Going to the cave is great but it gets old after awhile. Well you know what? I’m getting to old for this shit! I’m not putting this out there to fish for calls. I’m am putting it out to the universe and to my friends and just to let you know I will be calling!  🙂 Peace and love, Mr. T


mr. t, you have my phone number!