Archive for September, 2011
not a fan of the new facebook newsfeed at the top, blah blah blah, thing. as a comment on this article says:
“I’m not interested in fb deciding which stories I want to read and which ones I’m not interested in. That’s my job. I want to chose which friends I want to have, and which ones I don’t want to have. I want to decide who sees what I post, and who doesn’t. In short, I want control over who, what, and when; like it used to be in fb.”
the commenter goes on to talk about moving to google +, which doesn’t excite me too much right now. though i should actually check it out today to see if there are more posts today than there usually have been.
it is a cold, drizzly seattle night. we are standing outside of a pub that reminds me of chaucer, where i’ve just had the first beer i’ve ever enjoyed, and we are discussing the differences between seattle, portland, and olympia, in preparation for friend twenty-one’s impending move. i am in love with seattle, not wanting to be anywhere smaller, but friend twenty-one, who i will refer to here as “alissa nielsen,” is talking about how portland is a great blend between seattle and olympia, in her opinion, just the right size. i am skeptical.
the reason we’ve been getting together is to be part of a small writing group of people who are part of the building where the zine library is located. we’ve jokingly all decided we will be the next bloomsbury group, except, sadly, the group will disband after only a few meetings. friend twenty-one will move to portland, and the next (and last, so far) i will see her is at a poetry reading at evergreen, where she gets to read from her very own chapbook. i am oddly quite proud, beaming at her as, with her poetry, she tells us tales of her life, including the one about how it’s hard to follow jack kerouac’s example when you are a young woman, how different it is, and how much more it can suck.
friend twenty-one has kind, bright eyes with distractingly pretty eyelashes that make her open smile seem extra genuine somehow. she is thoughtful and real, and one of the smartest people and best writers i know. she’s definitely in that category of facebook friends that i wish i was still near in real life so that we could be closer friends. at the same time, while i don’t think “intimidating” is the right word for her, my admiration for her writing talent has made me shyer than i’d like to be.
i knew friend fifteen, who i will refer to here as “alicia m.,” best our senior year of high school. examples of interactions include:
* wandering around the halls trying to get people to clap if they believed in fairies.
* exchanging personalized burger king birthday crowns on our shared birthday.
* antagonizing our world religions teacher who we thought looked like a cross between yoda and keith flint with annoying questions to get him off track and call religions other than the big five “cults.”
* actually hanging out downtown after dark. this was about the coolest thing ever to me.
good times. really good times. when i think of my adolescence as fun, or at least bearable, i think of friend fifteen.
friend seventeen, who i will refer to here as “alison c.,” and i have one of those typical bay area and/or grown-up friendships of the “let’s hang out!” “yes, let’s!” … “we should really hang out!” “yeah, i’d like that!” … etc. types.
we met one time at a big group outing organized by a mutual friend. the plan was to go to the grease sing-a-long in san francisco, and our friend who organized it brought together a bunch of people for dinner out beforehand. i ran late to the dinner and wound up sitting next to friend seventeen and her partner and being charmed by both of them. as the group of people at the far end of the table away from the host of the whole thing, we kind of formed our own little club because shouting across the room was hard. we talked about fascinating things like the way that the restaurant plated foods beautifully. on the walk to the movie theater, we talked about commitments and babies and things like that, a little bit deeper than my memory of the dinner conversation. it was nice. there should be more. she’s smart and funny and thoughtful, all things i find important in friendships.
it also turns out that we have a mutual friend in another city, so that’s fun, too. besides genuinely liking friend seventeen and the potential for our friendship anyway, her friendship with the mutual friends we have makes friendship with her seem like it would be quite valuable.
i’m not sure who started it. but at one point, i was living one of my dreams with friend twenty, who i will refer to here as alison r. the dream was the dream of random packages of things being dropped off at each other’s door. it only lasted a minute, but in that minute i became a proud owner of a padded manila envelope filled with a chair wheel, stickers for macheezmo burritos, a tiny notepad and matching pencil, and other treasures, that had appeared at my doorway after the sound of running feet and a car door slam. in my dream world, i would interact with everyone in this way.
we were both part of a crew of young people doing service for even younger people in olympia, washington. neither of us had done much of it before and our tales were about epic screwups and hilarity ensuing.
it is the middle of the night when i write this and i think it’s a little choppy. and it’s embarrassing, just a little bit, because i also associate friend twenty with literature. during a dark time (literally, because it was olympia and those winters are fuuuuuun-ky, and emotionally), she loaned me a sark book to remind me of ways to get through. and during a training that she co-led, she brought us through a visioning sort of exercise using calvino’s if on a winter’s night a traveler.
she’s a good one– a smart one, a goofy one, a sincere one, one with a giant smile and saddish eyes, and one who cares a whole awful lot.
i’ve written twenty of these profiles now, and published about half, maybe less, but here’s another question for y’all. how do you filter your friends list?
i’ve been noticing posts on my newsfeed about changes in the ways that facebook does its newsfeed, but i haven’t noticed anything. every few months, a post goes around about how now facebook only lets you see the people who you’ve recently interacted with, but the first time i saw that i changed my settings so that i see everything. i’m not sure why it gets posted again, what is exactly going on, and if i’m actually missing out on some stuff still, but i don’t think i am. it’s all very odd, the way information about facebook gets spread on facebook. it’s murky and chain letterish… and yet i stay.
anyway, my privacy settings are such that anyone can see my interests, where i’m from, and where i live, and that’s about it. my friends have access to pretty much everything. i don’t have any filters (sometimes irl, as well as online). i don’t limit who of my friends can see what i post, and i read everything that everybody posts… if i have time.
that reading pattern is what i’ve been doing since livejournal days and it works. i start from the most recent post and work back. when i’ve reached saturation, time limits, or the page not loading i stop. when i say i read everything, i don’t mean i read every word and click on every link, but i scroll through it all. i generally read all status updates, glance at links and photos to decide if i will click on them, and skim over new interests, friends, changed profile pics… but if you’ve written words and i am on the internet within 24 hours afterwards, i will probably read it. if it’s longer than 24 hours i might miss it.
it’s odd to me that people would have facebook friends whose posts they then don’t read. i’ve used an analogy of facebook as a blanket before– these friends covering me and keeping me safe, and this method of reading about people’s lives adds to that metaphor (which is actually slightly physical for me– similar to the creepy way that i feel like i’m actually carrying things i’ve “cut” around on my finger until i “paste” them)– the people who post a lot of rich interesting posts and links make the blanket feel thick and substantial and the people who have abandoned facebook or have a more lurker status make it feel lacier and more fragile in patches. (is it like that for anybody else at all?)
i suppose/know that it’s also got to be odd for other folks to read about how if something is over 24 hours old i might not read it. how can i be actually interested in people’s lives if i don’t read further back than a day? i mean, usually i’m around daily, so there’s that, but there are definitely things that i miss. but i think i read somewhere between 50-75% of everything that gets posted, which is okay for me, given the time and energy i have.
what about you? tell me tell me tell me (how you do that facebook trick).
this is sort of the first “i actually feel close to this person and i don’t think i’m imagining it” post. everybody else i’ve posted about are people i like and who like me back but it’s a lot more about friendship potential than friendship actuality. the more i’m writing this, the more i’m worried that i’m dismissing the friendships i’ve mentioned thus far, but i don’t mean to– i adore those people. but i worry that the adoration is one-sided.
anyway, friend eighteen. we started undergrad together, two of the few people from the area. we always got along, but it wasn’t until one of our last years there that i discovered myself to be somewhat smitten by her verbal wit and snazzy dressing. suddenly, for a good month or so, my life was consumed with zooming back and forth between hanging out with friend eighteen, who i will refer to here as “alison,” and then rehashing every moment with my other friends, a particular fabulous queer boy in our set wanting to hear all the details via AOL instant messenger:
mE: we talked! she had an ethnic wrap!
fAbqb*!: LOL! on her head!?
mE: WHAT? no!
fAbqb*!: LOL! brb
mE: it was this vegetarian thing. i don’t know. it made us laugh. we were in the anthro lab. it seemed appropriate.
fAbqb*!: oh! LOL!
anyway, culturally appropriative food and/or headwear aside, we had lots of fun times. there were lots of field trips with my friends off campus in the middle of the night. ihop, drunkenly ordering “biscuits and gravy with no gravy” which was hilarious because it sounded like it came with a side of nongravy, after having sat on the floor of the hallway outside her dormroom, talking for hours. applebee’s all night happy hour specials that claimed to give 2 drinks for the price of one, though they were smaller than their usual drinks.
it was after a few too many grasshoppers (i actually just typed “grosshoppers”) that the crush confession was made. and in my usual style, i got drunk, confessed my crush, rejected myself, and probably cried a little. and then eventually i got over it, and we’ve stayed friends this whole time.
she’s married now and SOOOO pregnant (so pregnant that i’m worried this post, like so many others, won’t be posted for a long time, because some big baby thing will happen before she can read it and give permission). her husband’s great, they’re supercute together, and i’ve found about a dozen + crushes since friend eighteen, and i am, of course, happily coupled now, myself.
we live on opposite sides of the country, which is actually physically closer than the two years she was in japan. we comment on each other’s facebook posts pretty regularly, and she’s on a facebook group message i have as a support network. we’ve cracked each other up tons of times and she’s been there for me during some tough things. friend eighteen is a good one. no more giddy conversations in the anthro lab, but i like our friendship anyway.