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Archive for May, 2010

a dear friend of mine was stranded at the airport yesterday and is crashing on my couch until she can resolve her travel dilemmas.  yesterday was the first time she had ever been to my house. she had never seen my beautiful sunshiny kitchen, my spare but homey living room, my warm, sand-colored walls.

my roommates had made lemon sangria blanco (a friend informs me that clarico is the argentinian term for sangria made with white wine, which i think is lovely: clarico de limón).  we feasted on cheese and crackers and kettle chips and annie’s bunny grahams (which i insist on calling “honey bunnies”), and drank ourselves silly.

my guest was overjoyed.  “your life is amazing,” she told me.  “this is paradise.”

she caught us at a particularly good time; we don’t make fancy drinks with limoncello every night.  but i am completely, breathtakingly humbled by how fortunate my life is.

my heart races when i think about how pretty my home is, how challenging and rewarding my job is, how filled with love my life is.  my family and friends are healthy and happy and extraordinarily supportive.  i have enough money.  i have my health.

really.  what else do i need?

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a few years ago, when i was indescribably sad, this place made me indescribably happy.

i’d like to get back there soon.

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i won’t go on a long tirade about how obnoxious the recent facebook changes are.  although it does drive me crazy that it entirely squelches any iota of creativity in how i talk about myself.  but that’s not my biggest beef.

i don’t usually get all up in arms about the privacy thing, but this is a problem.  i can’t quote verbatim, but here is the gist.  “if you do not link to any of these pages, these sections in your profile will be blank.  by making these connections, you are making them public.”  so if i want any information to be displayed, i have to make it public to EVERYONE.

i liked the old customization.  it was a disastrous, misleading rubik’s cube, but i pretty much had it figured out.  got people you feel socially compelled to be “friends” with on your profile but don’t really want them to know everything about you?  put them on a list and customize.  that’s not possible now. leaving aside that maybe i really only wanted my close friends to know what music i like and where i work, this has some actual concrete consequences.

how about this one: somebody who’s just left an abusive relationship?

before, that person could have continued (for simplicity’s sake, let’s say “her”) social networking in a pretty uninterrupted fashion.  block the old (for the sake of simplicity, let’s say “boyfriend”) and all of his friends and family, or put them on limited profile and customize her privacy settings and move on.

now, if she wants anyone — her own friends, her family — to know her interests, the name of her job, or for god’s sakes, her CURRENT CITY, she has to “like” that “page.”  and that information is publicly available, not just to all of your friends, but to everyone on facebook.  she can’t use facebook at all without the constant fear that awful mcwifebeater is breathing down her neck.

i recognize that this is a first-world problem.  she can just leave facebook.  but doesn’t that kind of suck?  zuckerberg has claimed to be all about privacy, but i think we know it’s all crap. it’s just too bad he’s completely gutted what was kind of a useful and interesting tool.

eta: in her comments below, vividprodigy points out some helpful privacy functionality that hadn’t yet kicked in for my profile after the changeover. so i will amend my above complaints to simply: it’s an extraordinary limitation on creativity and originality, and it sets an expectation that facebook ought to be product- or interest-centered instead of centered on the individual.  and if facebook isn’t good for navel-gazing, then what the hell IS it good for?! 🙂

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