Penny Rene: October 2009 Archives

Recycle Reuse...

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Prepare yourself for a completely unemotional, yet useful,  post. 

It took me a year and a half, but I finally recovered my dining chairs.

This is what they looked like in the beginning:
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Underneath that ORANGE vinyl cushion was this:


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Clearly, someone had already ruined these fine chairs before they came into my hands via an Ebay seller in Brooklyn.

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So, I took them apart.

















Ah, someone else did have the same idea.  But with a little help from IKEA textiles and some black high gloss spray paint, we can fix this.

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If only laying new flooring could be so easy.

The Facebook Party

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My 20 year high school reunion was this past summer but I didn’t go. Aside from the fact that our family doesn’t have 2K to blow on such a trip back to the midwest, I actually already know what most of my old classmates are doing because of my new best friend –Facebook. On one hand, this is an awkward confession regarding what I do with my free time. On the other hand, one could say I’m pretty clever for saving two grand. Regardless, I am really enjoying this convenient form of communication in a cultural anthropology sort of way. 


These days I don’t have so many friends that I hang out with. This feels like a sad little confession as I type it. But it’s true. I have a cluster of other local moms that I enjoy being with but rarely get to see due to unrelenting teething and napping schedules. I have family nearby who are obligated to be nice to me. And thankfully, there are a couple of women around here who seem to like me in spite of the fact that I don’t heart NJ and I have the sense of humor that borders complete bitchiness. I cannot help but wonder if it is merely coincidence that both those women are British ex-pats. Anywho, you get the point. It can be lonely in the world of diapers, aging iTunes playlists and 8 PM bedtimes. 


But enter Facebook and the world opens up like a popular pub that serves gin and tonics 24/7. I know everyone and I have my own key to the Ladies Room. In Facebook Land I can catch up with old friends across the globe and make new ones all with the click of my hand.


A recent reconnect has been with one of those former classmates, Shelley. We went to high school together for one year, never had a meaningful conversation that I remember, and then she moved back home to Canada. I haven’t spoke to her in ten years. But then I saw her on Facebook and read her comments on other friends’ updates. 

Then I remembered she has a great sense of humor… 

Then she started stalking me.


Ok, not really. Shelley made her way to my website and started reading. When she was done there, she clicked on over to my old site and read some more. That’s a lot of reading, a lot of history about me; ten years of history, at least. After reading all that crap she wrote me a nice email with compliments and witty remarks, and shit. I mean, how could I NOT like her after that? 


So here is this person that I would love to kill some bottles of wine with, yet in high school we were simply not friends. How did that happen? Or not happen, as it were.


There is something about writing a thought down that makes one take notice. Often, what someone would never think to say in person, they will say in a note, a letter, a blog or an “Update”. That is, if you're doing it right.


Frankly, for someone like me who has been at this writing thing for quite a while, the internet is a great gift. It’s as if the entire rest of the world just started speaking my language. A small, albeit snotty, part of me looks at a service like Facebook and says, “Welcome to my world, bitches!” 


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Aside from being able to express myself much easier in the written word, I completely enjoy conversing with people who swear they can hardly form coherent, readable sentences, yet become honest, witty authors of their little FB updates. Not that long ago, another former classmate wrote, “Divorce sucks” as his daily update. Of course, his friends (and strangers listed as Friends in his profile) commented with encouragement. Some even went so far as to say that he should stop focusing on the negative and cheer up. Me – I clicked the “like this” thumbs up. If there is anything I admire more than a sarcastic sense of humor, it’s honesty. Gut level – I don’t give a shit what you think –honesty. 


Of course there are some who use Facebook the same way they used the yearbook staff senior year. You know who I'm talking about. Their updates read like a list of achievements or worse, a motivational speech. You just want to smack, Smack, SMACK them around a little to hear one whimper of evidence that they are human. 


Bejesus, it’s just Facebook. You're not Kate Gosslin and this isn't your doctorate thesis. So stop being so damned haughty about it. You know you love looking up the old boyfriends, checking to see who’s fat, who’s divorced, whose kids are cute and assuring yourself that your kids really are better looking. (Not that I don’t think that your kids are cute but clearly, mine are in danger of being kidnapped and cloned.) Did that girl you dated back in '94 ever get her shit together? I dunno, let's look her up! Is Jeremy a Republican? Let's see. Will Zack remember you? Find out! Friend-ize  them all!


I’m lovin’ me some Facebook. Some time with my face in this book. I like to use Facebook for what it was intended: A SOCIAL NETWORKING site. It's a party, folks. If you walked up to me at a party and you said, "For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have enclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet, Psalms 22:16" I'd be a little confused. Are you flirting with me or trying clear the room? 

"This quiz says my husband will leave me after 4 years." Well, we haven’t spoke in 22 years, but I believe you.

"I HATE Obama." Thanks for sharing.


Here's a tip: Be honest, but don't be a jackass. Pretend you are at a party. A room full of people. Some of us know you, but some of us are only acquainted with you. 


Look who's talking, I know. The chick who lives her life as an open book and publicly posts anything from family photos to random opinions about the war(s). But that's me. It truly is. Believe it or not, I am acutely, painstakingly aware of my "audience". I choose to go public about many things for the conversational factor - the hope that my words will inspire you to talk to each other about what I said. I'm not quite looking for your approval, but I'm not trying to hurt you either. You have to go to my website for the gritty stuff. Ya know, where it would be your choice to read further. Here, it's all just twits and giggles. If Facebook is a party, my personal website is a coffee date where you can decide if I'm actually full of shit or not.


That's what Shelley did. Thank goodness too, because I am not nearly as witty in every single update at this never ending shin-dig. I can't count the number of times I have almost written about my urgency to pee or the effects of a spicy meal. There is a very limited number of you that would be interested in that kind of information, I'm sure.  


Then again, the longer I'm here, the more it really does feel like we're all hanging out at a neighborhood pub. I better go easy on the cocktails. Shelley, can you drive us home?