Tag Archives: Facebook

Always love… hate will get you every time…

It’s so easy, when terrible things happen, to feel hopeless. It’s so easy to think that humanity has gone down the shitter. To think that things will never be ok.

In the face of the ridiculous and senseless bombing at the Boston Marathon, a note from comedian Patton Oswalt has been making the rounds on Facebook. In it he makes the most simple and beautiful observation:

So when you spot violence, or bigotry, or intolerance or fear or just garden-variety misogyny, hatred or ignorance, just look it in the eye and think, “The good outnumber you, and we always will.”

Bad shit keeps going down… or so it seems. In these moments, we become a bit more vulnerable and close ourselves off just a little more. But something wonderful happened with Boston. It seemed that before fingers started pointing and conspiracy theories started flying, we were hearing about people who helped. People who ran towards the chaos and the screams. People opening their homes to those in need. People going straight from the finish line to go donate blood. People who embodied Oswalt’s thesis.

I’ve often said that there are times where I feel very hopeless in this world. I walk around and see the disenfranchised, the greedy, the evil, the broken… and I wonder what the point is. But every time I feel this way, I’ll see someone stopping to help another person who has fallen, or even someone chase another person down to return a dropped glove… and I see a tiny, shimmering bit of hope. I’m reminded of the good in people and that there IS more good than bad out there.

Boston has been a perfect example of this… instantly standing strong and not allowing the fear or despair to take over. The world is truly remarkable… there is beauty and resilience everywhere… the key is to take Oswalt’s words to heart.

 

Blog song title: “Always Love” by Nada Surf


Hey, don’t let it go to waste…

What a weekend…

Spring is in the air -and I’m telling you, there really is nothing quite like Springtime in NYC… especially after a long and lingering Winter. The city is buzzing… itching to get out and DO. And you know, that’s my favorite.

I had a fantastic weekend that started off with crossing something off my 34 before 34 list:  6) Go to an improv show

On Friday, I went with a couple of friends to the Upright Citizens Brigade theater. Having long ago studied the rules of improv, I have to say that I was unimpressed. There were 5 performers and many of them were quite selfish- trying to make the bits work for them rather than “yes and”ing. However, it was a fun time with friends and that was the key. Also, I love the sense of accomplishment I get from crossing things off my list.

The highlight of Friday, however, was thanks to a bit of social media. As we were walking to the UCB show, I checked Facebook and saw that a dear old friend of mine had posted a picture of the Empire State Building. He was here in NYC! So I messaged him and we were able to meet up.

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In 2002… after some adult beverages

Though we hadn’t seen each other in a while, it was wonderful to see a friendly and familiar face in my new setting… and getting to catch up after many years. It’s nice to be reminded of the importance of the people in our lives… I know… that’s a very general statement. But I really believe that we are here (on this earth) to make relationships… to connect to people… and though we may not always be in touch with each other… the connections always remain. And that’s kind of the essence of existence… no?

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In 2013… after some adult beverages

The rest of the weekend was spent out and about… playing softball (a lot of it), watching the Final Four, drinking, dancing, just having a general great time with great people… and even meeting a few new ones.

And not to bring it down, but my mom starts chemo today. I can’t do much for her being thousands of miles away… but I can stay positive. I can remember that life is short and that I need to take advantage of absolutely everything. I’m making an effort to make the most of my life. I’m seeking things to do, and opportunities to get out and meet people and make connections. And this is how I can support my mom… by LIVING. I took a big bite out of life this weekend… just like my mom is going to take a big bite out of cancer. (Good gravy, I know that sounds corny, but please know this is just about the most sincere thing I can say about it right now…)

Blog song title: “All My Life” by Foo Fighters
Photo credit: my trusty iPhone (though the first picture is from a very old digital camera)


Root, root, root for the home team…

About a year ago, I was still fairly new to NYC and jobless and virtually friendless. Networking was my life and before I even moved to the city, I had joined my alumni association’s NY Facebook group. One fortunate day, someone posted a request for girls interested in playing softball… and thus began my life with the Aggressive House Spiders.

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Team Jersey… of sorts

I have never played organized (or disorganized, for that matter) sports in my entire life. Though I wanted to join various activities in my elementary days (oh, how I longed to be part of a team), I was denied by the Folks. Perhaps it was the plight of being the youngest of 4 kids (most extracurriculars had been exhausted on the older siblings)… but I didn’t get to do most of the activities kids did… no Girl Scouts or AYSO soccer… but I had a very happy and fulfilling childhood… so no harm done. HOWEVER, my athletic prowess is severely lacking.

So I decided to get out there and join the softball team. What was the harm in trying? Plus, I figured it would be a great networking opportunity… and fun… probably?

I immediately felt at home with the Spiders. They were welcoming, encouraging, and funny as hell. It didn’t matter that I could barely get to 1st base or that I have no business being in the outfield. I still got high fives and helpful tips to improve. And it was nice being a part of a team… I think I’ve mentioned before my penchant for “belonging.”

I learned that I really do like to play softball… I’m still terrible, but I enjoy getting out there and trying. Even taking a fly ball square to the forehead hasn’t kept me off the field. Yeah, that was awesome. I even decided to invest in a pair of cleats… in hopes of building enough traction to get my slow ass to 1st (at least until I can hit the ball better).

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So legit.

But more than a bit of physical activity every week, I’ve gained a strange and wonderful family… whether it’s getting advice on guys from Grant and Scott, or getting job leads from Danilo, or political lectures from Patrick, or super awesome true-definition-of-friend-ness from Chrissy, or just fantastic post-game conversations over MANY pitchers of Bud Light… these people are amazing and I’m so glad I answered Danilo’s Facebook post.

Tonight, I start my 4th season with the Spiders. And though I see many of my teammates outside of the ZogSports realm (and some players have come and gone – we miss you, Trisha and Octavio!), it will be great to come together as a team after a few months off…. and hopefully string a few W’s together. But if we don’t… pitchers and wings and nachos after the game will be enough for me. We may not always win on the field, but we always win at the bar… GO SPIDERS!

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Walter getting into the Spider Spirit

Blog song title: “Take Me Out to the Ballgame”
Photo credit: Nathalie (my roommate), me, Nathalie again


Time alone is good, I spend my days in the city…

I’ve been so busy with other activities (and other writing) that I have neglected my 34 before 34 list. I have managed to accomplish a few items… technically. Since it’s my list, I reserve the right to determine to what extend these goals are accomplished. And frankly, as long as I’m doing some form of this list I think its purpose is being served. So here – we – go!

8) Get drinks on a rooftop (swanky style)
Back in early February (right as that fun winter storm, Nemo, hit), a friend from California came to NYC for her bachelorette party. We ended up at 230 Fifth – we didn’t stay long and it seemed like we were there for the views and the views only… which were pretty spectacular. Of course, it was freezing ass cold… as is evidenced by the massive red robes they gave us. And as much as I didn’t want to play tourist with the group of girls from out of town, I couldn’t help but get someone to snap a quick picture of me with the ESB in the background…

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It’s all so red…

9) Eat at a restaurant where reservations are required
This was actually not as difficult as I thought it would be. Especially because I went during Restaurant Week. This is a great deal because you can eat at restaurants that would normally cost a week’s salary… My friend Melis and I went to Porter House at the Time Warner Center and ate a delicious 3 course meal for something like $25. Salad, filet (SO GOOD), and cheesecake. We did make reservations… but the place was empty when we got there. It did fill up pretty quickly… so reservations may not have been required but I was glad we had them.

15) Go an entire weekend without the Internet
I’m pulling a technicality here… I previously went a week without Facebook. I think that’s about as far as I’m willing to go at this point.

32) Go to SantaCon (or Pirate Con… or both)

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That’s a lot of Santas…

So I missed SantaCon. I opted to spend time with a friend in Staten Island. I watched some mid-major (kinda) college basketball, drank whiskey in an empty theater, ate some pretty good food, and had a delicious new beer.

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YUM

I avoided the scary crowds and somehow managed to have a good time (hello, the Staten Island Ferry is AWESOME… and free). So I’m crossing this one off. I didn’t do what I set out to do, but I still experienced some new things… and that’s the whole point of this list, right?

I’m still working through my other items… some require the warmer weather of the Spring and Summer… but I’m as excited as ever to get them done!

Blog song title: “Life on a Chain” by Pete Yorn
Photo credits: ME, guestofaguest.com, ME


Got it bad, got it bad, got it bad… [Part 2]

And another preface… I had really intended to express how teaching made me feel… but it’s difficult to put into words. Being a teacher was a surreal and incredible experience. I know the more I reflect, the more I could say. 2007-2011 were 4 profoundly important years for me, professionally… and the students who were a part of those 4 years are forever in my heart… I guess that’s all I can say about THAT for now.

My life has changed so much in the past couple of years that sometimes I find myself thinking, “Oh yeah, I used to be a TEACHER.”

I don’t know if I can explain the exact path that brought me to the classroom. I do know that when I found myself on the campus of my alma mater in 2005, I felt safe and at home. So I worked towards the goal of teaching high school English…

More than once during my first year of teaching, I found myself totally caught off guard and in over my head. But as with all things, it got easier and easier. And my saving grace was always, and perhaps surprisingly, my students. They challenged me and kept me on my toes… and more importantly, I knew I was actually doing something good. I was, in my very tiny way, affecting change.

However, as with most jobs, when your personal life suffers, it can be difficult to hide. And I didn’t believe in keeping anything from my students. Not that I was telling them all the details of my life, but I got increasingly irritable and apathetic in the classroom. I looked forward to my time with them, because they were keeping me entertained… but my life had stagnated and I needed to shake things up.

Moving to New York was about starting over. I was unhappy in California and working a very stressful job didn’t help. I didn’t want to become a bitter spinster-type teacher… and I really felt myself starting down that path. I had developed such a special relationship with my school and my students that I couldn’t see myself teaching in a different environment. So when I got to NY, I didn’t look for teaching jobs.

But now that I’m once again in that familiar world of the Job Hunt, I find myself gravitating back to education. Yes, the time off is a huge factor… but also, it’s a world I know well and a world where I knew what I was doing. I do have a passion for teaching… if I didn’t, would I still be in touch with countless students via Facebook? Would I still be willing to edit college admission essays? Would I still be willing to answer last minute grammar questions? Would I still accept phone calls and texts with questions on how to talk to college professors? Would I still be willing to offer words of support to those struggling with the remaining days of school?

So that’s where the Job Hunt is now centered. Am I ready for all the work? Probably not. Am I ready to handle NYC teenagers? Definitely not. But it’s an adventure I’m willing to take on…

Blog song title: “Hot for Teacher” by Van Halen


So long my friend… (Part 3)

So, without much ceremony, I logged into Facebook for the first time in 6 days. And you know, I really didn’t miss much.

Sure, I had a few boring moments this week where Facebook could have provided a bit of entertainment… if only for a second. But overall, I didn’t really feel like I was missing out on anything. Did I really think the world would stop turning or something? No. I guess I didn’t have any expectations… but I guess I thought I’d have gotten a more meaningful message out of this experiment…

I had said previously that I wanted to spend time actually connecting with people this week… in person. And that’s pretty much what I did. I went out a couple of times and ended up meeting some new characters. Last night I actually bellied up to a bar by myself and met a handful of people while I was there. No lifelong friendships were made, but I had some decent conversations (and delicious craft beers) and it sure beat sitting at home and checking Facebook while catching up on my Hulu queue.

I do know that I want to keep a bit of a distance from Facebook moving forward… my purpose in taking a week off was because I was getting a bit obsessive and I don’t want to start feeling that anxiety again. Besides, the real world is much more interesting.

 

Blog song title: “Under Cover of Darkness” by the Strokes 


So long my friend…

SO, I’ve decided to take a Facebook sabbatical. Apparently this is a thing. Do a simple Google search and you will see countless articles and blogs – even full websites – dedicated to this relatively new phenomenon. Everyone seems to have a reason to do it… mine is that I simply can’t stay away from it and it feels like a problem. I am constantly checking updates and it has started to make me anxious. I’m not sure why… but it was getting bad. Partly this is because I don’t do much at work… but also because my life has hit a bit of a winter lull.

I did have a similar goal on my 34 before 34 list – #15 Go an entire weekend without the Internet. Frankly, I think this is as close as I’m going to get to that one… especially since about 90% of the time that I am on the Internet, I am Facebooking (oh, anthimeria). I suppose this counts as additional motivation for the break.

And so, somewhere around 8 o’clock this morning, I deleted the app from my phone and posted my final status… at least for a few days. I’m not sure how long I’ll be able to hold out… but I will chart my progress here.

Blog song title: “Under Cover of Darkness” by the Strokes


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