One of my relatives sent an email to some of her other relatives (am I being vague enough) to say she really didn’t want photos of her to be posted on Facebook.

Once I was done laughing (since you can’t really stop anyone except by asking your relatives like she did but which won’t really help for the other 450,000 relatives, friends and/or acquaintances on FB), I emailed her back with some screen shots of how privacy works on FB and the (only 2) photos I know of her that exist on FB, just to give her an idea.

It is pretty Orwellian, but she uses Gmail (which I consider more Orwellian than FB) and suggested also check her Gmail settings and that I could send some other privacy website links, etc.

Later, I went back to FB, got sucked into the vortex and clicked on someone’s friend’s picture (hey – never hurts to look).

For whatever reason (OK I was checking him out) I looked through his photo albums (because I could). To further illustrate my point that what photos you see depends on what peoples’ privacy settings are, I emailed one of the photos I found.

Now I don’t even know this guy, but because he is a friend of a friend who has his photos marked as viewable by friends of friends I ‘get’ to see pix like this.

One relative replied, saying “Oh good god.  I’m guessing that’s NOT making you feel any better <insert requesting relative’s name here>… I know I’m a bit traumatized by it.”

THAT cracked me up.

But then the “requesting relative” sent back the following message: “now I can’t stop laughing.  what the flarg?!?”

FLARG?! Now I can’t stop laughing!!! Where does she get these words?!

So here’s the photo that inspired such reactions. I’d say this dude (the one on the left is whose photos I was looking at) is fully comfortable in his identity and quite not going to be interested in me!!


Sometimes I just don’t know when to quit. I get wrapped up in something I’m curious about and I lose all sense of perspective, time, common sense – whether what I’m obsessing over doing could be done differently, better, faster, stronger, not done at all, or if the real answer is actually right in front of me <see this for a lesson I thought I’d learned already>.

I am like a dog with a bone and won’t, no I can’t give up on it.

Take last night: I spent 1/2 hour effing with my phone’s memory card because the adapter slot couldn’t read it. Duh – that’s what the data cable that came with the phone is for.

Then I downloaded the photos onto my lappy, and proactively (for a change) deleted them from my memory card.

I spent another <who knows how long because I was in the dog bone/geek zone> amount of time “organizing” my photos.

<And then I decided to clean out that sticky ctrl key, which resulted in a blog entry, Are You Retentive?>

All was well until I shut down for the night and realized “hey, I didn’t see my Chicago photos.” Reet reet reet!!! Boot up.

But no, turns out that when deleted some “excess photos” I – oops – deleted some real ones, ones I wouldn’t have a backup for, ones I’d wanted for months (photos of me with Bob in Chicago – entry coming soon, but I’ve had the “Me with Bob” photo idea on my “non-existent but would be great if I ever did it life list” for about a year).

My Bob photos captured a moment in time that I’d looked forward to and enjoyed. (Wait til you see the photos – talk about cheap thrills) But no, I’d deleted the effing images off my phone memory card without a backup. MAN I hate when that happens. It seldom happens that I don’t have a backup, but it does happen. Clearly.

Anyway, the point (if you haven’t gotten it yet) is: I had deleted photos of Bob and me.

So then I was just sad. I’d really cherished this interaction with Bob and was so excited to have photos from it. But I didn’t have ’em anymore.

I remembered I recovered some photos successfully a few years ago with Art Plus Digital Photo Recovery software. But it was really late so I just downloaded the most recent version and decided (finally!) to cut my losses.

Actually I was just worried I’d screw it up more if I kept messing with it, but I finally gave in and went to bed.

Good news though – I recovered 123 photos from my memory card and (most importantly) my BOB photos!!!

I’ll always think about my grandfather Farley on St. Patrick’s Day. Despite his penchant for wearing yarmulkes, he was Irish through and through.

When I think of him, I can’t also help think of Bernie D., the guy below, whom I used to work with, who is also Irish, who has white hair, who’s always smiling, and who reminds me of my grandpa.


I bet my Grandpa would have dyed his hair green on St. Patty’s day too, if they’d had it back then.

But here he is in 1965 with my sister Emily, white hair intact.


No real point here, just a remembrance…

0309081550-medium.jpg 0309081555-medium.jpg 0309081556-medium.jpg 0309081557-medium.jpg


Kin you tayell we are sisters? We hayad brasis but ar orthodontest wuuzn’t licinssd

green-01.jpggreen-02.jpg green-03.jpg

I really, truly thought I had largely overcome my lust for ‘lectronics, my salacity for software, my greed for gadgets. I decided that as fascinating and alluring as they are, I would own my objects and not let them own me.

This thinking was tested again when I recently tried out Verizon’s Navigator, a GPS-like service for your cell phone, and decided I wouldn’t “need” a GPS after all. Not only that but I’d be getting a new phone soon since my “new (phone) every 2 (years)” was due.

Getting the new cell phone with GPS would solve some practical problems (taking circuitous routes, getting another device to figure out and lug around, need for a cell phone), it wouldn’t cost a lot, and would be a new toy to play with. So I got it, committing myself to another 2 years with Verizon in the process.

Then…I saw my colleague’s i-Phone in action and a friend of the Man also showed me his (phone, you perv). Suddenly I “had to have” Verizon’s version of the i-Phone (since I’d just re-upped with them).

Suddenly my cool, new large screen, speakered, mp3-playable, QWERTY keyboarded, expandable memory card-able phone just didn’t seem sufficient.

Gadget envy set in in a big way and what I had just gotten wasn’t enough…ironic since my phone is the enV (pronounced “envy”) model.

So I tried finding another phone within my plan that was “better” and that I could justify and afford getting. But short of the i-Phone wannabe that cost way more than I could rationalize, this was the best phone I could get in my plan.

Acceptance…so I ordered a memory card for it as my consolation prize. The memory card stores music on your phone. Even though I don’t really even use my mp3 players.

But I figured I can also use the card for the phone’s 2 megapixel camera (with flash!) even if I don’t use it for music. I don’t use my real camera as much as I would like, either, but maybe if I had one with me all the time…It’s a lot easier to justify spending $17. than it is (at least) $400!

But if I had acted on this barely-contained lust and had no willpower I’d have

  • a great stereo that was hooked up to a high-end flat screen tv, which had cable and connected to my large-capacity Tivo
  • an iPhone (that didn’t take all year to figure out) onto which I had (easily) transferred my mp3s (that I actually played) and Verizon Navigator (which would negate the “need” for a GPS), a free data plan so I could afford to text , check email, surf at will, and had a normal ringer that I didn’t have to download and spend 4 hours configuring
  • a D-SLR camera that was so incredibly usable that I would remember aperture settings vs. speed settings and not get bogged down by the math, and it’d have a supermicro lens and a fisheye lens so I could try every conceivable type of photographic technique.
  • a wireless printer (or a wireless card for my current one—I like it just fine)
  • I’d suck it up and buy the damn ScanSnap S510 even though I already have a scanner on my printer, because the ScanSnap S510 has an automatic document feeder that can scan duplex and would make all those piles of paper and receipts into a paperless, organized, searchable-PDF wonderland of filed-yet-accessible documents, and would organize my life once and for all.
  • I’d have wireless speakers installed throughout the house so I can listen to NPR from ONE source, instead of turning on the radio in every room I go into.
  • My kitchen, despite having wireless speakers, would have an under-the-counter tv/radio/cd player that tucked away conveniently when not in use.
  • I’d have a flat panel tv in the bathroom too (hidden by a painting I could slide up when I needed the tv) over my fireplace in there. Near my wireless speakers in case I wanted to listen to the radio or music in the morning.

I don’t want to sound greedy so I’ll stop there.

You know, I really thought I was rockin’ when a former boyfriend installed a garage door opener and I didn’t have to get out of the car to put my car away. Then it was when I had a car that beeped when I left the lights on and electric windows and cruise control and a cd player.

I see now that this was just another part of my spiral into gadget whoredom, my never-ending craving for the new, the now, the wonder of “how do I conquer this device?,” the pleasure of the newness of it all.

It’s hard to be a geek in today’s world—so much to lust for, so knowing you’ll never have the fastest, the best, most ideal device, if this mythical device even exists…If I had all that stuff, I wouldn’t own my devices, though. They would own me.

It’s humbling to know that unless you want a huge credit card bill and a pile-o-devices you either don’t use, don’t have time to figure them all out or spend all your time troubleshooting that you have to know when enough is enough.

I think it’s also known as maturity or self-control or something.


pirate-small.JPGIt’s hard to believe that another “Talk Like a Pirate Day” has already come and gone. You plan, you wait, you anticipate, and then it’s here and gone just like that.  <

It was actually weeks ago (already!) but it’s only now that I’m summoning the courage to ‘fess up a family secret that’s (at least tangentially) related to this international holiday.

Every family has at least one secret—everyone knows the secret but nobody talks about it. My family is no different—we have secrets that only we know but don’t discuss, even amongst ourselves.

The secret I’m opening up today relates to my sister’s wedding a few years ago.

At that time, a child in the family informed us that—and this didn’t really make sense then, so don’t worry if you don’t get it now—the bride and groom were going to have a gravy boat atop their wedding cake. We were like “a gravy boat?! Are you sure about this?” Why would you put a gravy boat on top of a wedding take for heaven’s sake?! It just made no sense…

Well, she was sure: It was silver, had something to do with my future brother-in-law’s family heritage, and was a tradition in their family to put it on top of wedding cakes. 

We went with it, of course, and took it to the extreme. Somehow—and the aforementioned child was involved in this too—we decided that we needed to augment the cake topper with pirates. I mean what else but pirates would be in a boat, right?! Made total sense…

In our true family “all or nothing” style we all went to stores looking for pirate “dolls” that would fit in a gravy boat.

Pirate dolls are probably all the rage now that “Talk Like a Pirate Day” is internationally known, but I’m here to tell you that they weren’t the rage a couple of years ago.

I finally ended up getting some Star Wars “character dolls” from Target, printing clip art heads, and sticking them over the faces of the Star Wars pirates.

The lead wedding photographer happened to be my aunt (a FABulous photographer), so we enlisted her help to quickly take photos of the pirates in the boat at an opportune time when the bride, groom and groom’s family weren’t around.

We might be tacky but we aren’t totally insensitive to the feelings of others, which is why it’s taken me 3 years to mention this.  We didn’t want to hurt my bro-in-law’s or his family’s feelings. After all, every family has its weird traditions.

At the reception, with the assistance of a runner (to tell us when the coast was clear), we ran up when notified only to discover that this was no gravy boat, it was a model (?) boat.

She was correct that it was silver, but there’d never been any gravy in that boat, just like there was no way the pirates were going into that boat. The boat might slip, then the whole cake might slip, and then we’d really be in deep doo-doo.

Nevertheless, my family does well in crisis. With the aid of one of my aunt’s photographers (my uncle) and the assistance of several tall uncles (to literally stand cover over the scene) we (and I DO mean “we” as it wasn’t just me) were still able to pull off the following:

pirates-small.JPG<Click on image and tell me what the hell this is—a model? a replica? a souvenir?>

Again, you’ll notice that it’s not really a GRAVY boat. I don’t know what kind of boat it IS, mind you, but it’s not a gravy boat.

<Let this be yet another reminder that what a child is told, what a child thinks she hears, and what she goes and tells people may be different things. Clearly something got lost between her hearing “…boat” and remembering hearing “gravy boat.” It’s the typical “Telephone Game” paradigm. AHEM. >

Anyway, I thought the conspiracy was safe all these years, but rumor has it that my sister has actually known about this for awhile but hasn’t said anything.

As is true with most families’ secrets we don’t discuss it.

<E&C, thanks for being such good sports, and thanks for letting us all think we got away with something.>

This blog started off so well-planned: I had a bunch of stories, a bunch of photos, and funny things are always happening, so it would be a matter of “just” gathering what I had so far, putting it in chronological order, and posting it all as your “starter kit.” Then, in a logical manner, I would add entries from the road daily (along a long- but not well-planned trip to NC), and just continue to add from that point on.

I’d post the long-threatened (not-at-all-anticipated) “Photo gallery of dead (and thought-to-be-dead) animals I’ve had in my house,” some funny stories my mom has told us about her childhood and youth (that I’d call “The Voulez-Vous Volume”), and talk about the funny things that seem to happen every day. Lots of possibilities.

Finally, though, reality has set in…and the current reality is that right now I can’t plan past my next cup of coffee. So instead of organizing the crap out of this site and then posting to it (in another 25 years), I’m just going to start throwing stuff out here. Otherwise nothing will ever see the light of day. I’ll start with my recent trip, interpersed with “Why is she talking about this now?!” entries. And we’ll just see what happens.

The postings won’t always be chronological in nature, you might see stuff you’ve already gotten via email, and I will inevitably move stuff around, so please bear with me and just read along. Instead of being the orderly, organized, well-presented (yet aesthetically pleasing!) site I was “planning on” this is apparently my 2999th reminder from the universe about not over-planning. Welcome to my world…

PS: Just this one entry took 39 minutes, and that’s without excessive editing (or including this PS). This is going to either take more time than I anticipated-and I’ll either love or hate it and post accordingly- or it won’t get updated too much, or I’ll love this more than life itself and dedicate every waking moment to it, or (hopefully) somewhere in between.