There are lovers and haters of Facebook. For the haters, it can be more than you ever wanted to know about your adult child who hints he is destitute and then sends out an “I’m having a kick-ass party” status two hours after you sent him “gas money” and has posted pictures of said party on the night he allegedly needed the gas to get to work. It can also provide you more than you ever wanted to know about friends and relatives’ religious and political beliefs. Just ask Joe’s relatives who have “un-friended” me over my rather opinionated rants. Opinions that they obviously do not share and most probably abhor.
Facebook lovers, you can connect with all the members of your family, extended family, and friends. You can connect with colleagues or fans. You can find folks from your High School graduating class with whom you have lost touch. Or you can connect with the “in” crowd, even if you were a Band Nerd like me. Because let’s face it, after 30-plus years most of us get all nostalgic about high school, and forget the caste system that put you in the front hallway, and me walking all the way around the back because I didn’t think I was cool enough to hang with you.
For you haters who prefer your privacy to ‘selfies’ and overshare, or for you the uninitiated, one can set her Facebook page to create a little running “news” section to see what friends have posted on their own pages. The default setting is to put “popular” comments on top. Because after all, the caste system is still important to advertisers. (This week, anyway — the FB folks like to change the way things work on what seems a daily basis.) The default is annoying because you might see a link to an article you want to read, only to find it is old news. Luckily, you can change the setting to put “most recent” on top. These can be status updates, links to news items, blogs, posts or pictures.
Last week I happened to hit the “News” a few minutes after a friend posted a link to her blog. Now this is most surely kismit, because with nearly 3,000 “friends” it is rare I see anything without going to look for that particular friend first. Given the “friends” number, you can tell which Facebook group I fall into. The headline of the blog post caught my interest. I did not even know she had a blog. But she once “liked” one of my aforementioned opinionated rants, so I decided to go check it out. The post was enjoyable. Great writing, funny, to the point with no superfluous ramblings. So, I subscribed.
This morning I got an update — and headed over to read the latest post. It was timely, and everything I hadn’t thought of saying and more. So I read another. That one had me laughing so hard, that it pissed off the cat who had settled into my lap when it had been immobile, and now was being tossed about every two or minutes by my laughter-induced convulsions.
I could not stop reading.
I sat down then and there and read everything she had posted on her blog. Took me three or four hours. The writing is that engaging. Before today, I had done that exactly two times. Before today, I found only two writers whose work could hold my attention for that long.
He Called Himself Oddball
The first writer is Joe. I am not saying that because I am married to him. Or because he created this little project called Another Wine Blog that has garnered over a half-million readers. This was back before blogging, when a few internet-savvy uber-literates put genuinely engaging content on the web, when it was barely a web. Before Al Gore invented it. Before I met Joe face-to-face, I had read everything he ever posted on the web. He made me laugh. It was his writing that made me want to meet him face-to-face.
Pink Bunny Ears by Wine Dog
The other writer is “Wine Dog,” who opines at Pink Bunny Ears. She has the same unapologetic writing style — the one that acknowledges ‘that it is okay to use all of the words in the English language,’ to quote Joe when he is taken to task for what some term ‘profanity,’ but quite often is the only possible word that fits. Wine Dog’s blog gives a voice to what I have been thinking but just have not the balls nor the skill to write. And likewise, I read it all before I had met her. It was the reason that I indeed wanted to meet her. And we have been friends ever since.
…and almost uncandid
So now I have a new favorite blog — called absolutely unsure…and almost uncandid.
Here is an except of the post that started my read-a-thon.
…if we’re going to perch our asses on a soap box and declare English the one and only language to be spoken in this great land built entirely by immigrants, we need to declare the following words unacceptable: spaghetti, pizzaria, croissant, lager, vino, mayonnaise, delicatessen, kitsch, algebra, facade, influenza, lava, television, cinema noodle, pretzel, sparerib, armoire, lingerie, balcony, arcade, artichoke, amaretto, kindergarten, soda, coffee, bologna, liqueur, debris, beige, satin, taco, taffeta, kebab, gabardine, hummus, baklava, pita, burrito, tequila, feta, bog, clan, galore, loch, pet, slogan………And this is only the beginning of a list that goes on to infinity and beyond.
– from Coca-Cola: The International Language by Jamie Rose Kern (posted 02/07/2014)
Now I know what you’re thinking…all her posts must be political. They are not. Some are nostalgic, some are quirky and others you should not be reading while drinking anything at all near your keyboard. One or two even made me cry. All will make you think. I will not tell you in what order to read them, because I think part of what I loved was the discovery. It was as if I was sitting next to her and she was telling me stories — I could see and hear and feel everything she was experiencing. You will probably figure out which one had the cat up in arms when you get to it.
Jamie also is an incredible interior designer with her own company, Design Theory Interiors of California, Inc., that specializes in Hospitality and Residential Design. Go look at the portfolio. Her use of color is stunning. The combinations of textures and styles evocative.
Jamie has been married to the same guy for nearly 30 years. She is an inspiration.
Here is the part that makes me love Facebook, for better or worse:
Jamie and I are both Class of 1980 from Barboursville High School in West Virginia. How did I not know she was so thoughtful, and funny and creative and talented? Even though, according to my dusty yearbooks, we were in the same French Club and Pep Club.(I don’t even remember being in Pep Club). Jamie was a friend-of-a-friend that I never really got to know.
No Thanks, I’ve Had that Wine
The same thing often happens with wine. Based on some assumption, we may choose one wine over the other. We may not venture outside our comfort zone. We may drink only one style of Cabernet Sauvignon. We may skip all the Merlot. We may assume that all Pinot Noir tastes exactly the same, and we don’t like cherry dirt. We never try anything from the Languedoc region because we have never bothered to pair the wines with wild game.
Let’s not sell ourselves short. Venture outside your comfort zone, and rethink your assumptions. You might just find a friend and a wine that you thought you knew, but did not know at all.