Friends, Acquaintances, and People I Know

The #1 fear I had when I bought a house up in BFE Baltimore (that’s an accurate assessment from anyone in DC, including myself when I was down there) was that I’d lose a lot of friends.  I was used to hanging out with folks on the regular, constantly getting asked to attend this or that, and being able to do so.

Nowadays though?  With my health deciding to take a nosedive, my finances deciding to wrap themselves around my house, and friends moving farther away/getting their own lives on…that’s kinda what’s happening.  Am I getting asked to attend stuff?  Absolutely.  Am I able to make as many of those as I’d like?  Absolutely not.  And that stinks.

So I took a moment to consider; does it matter?  Is attendance at every soiree mandatory when friendship is on the table?  Five years ago I’d have said yes.  I thought the more you saw your friends, the deeper your friendship is.  As I began to settle in up here, my mind shifted a bit; no, you don’t need to be there all the time, but it’s nice to get your face seen.  A kind of tribute to the love you have for those who matter.

This year though, I’m a bit more whiny philosophical.  What is friendship, and how is friendship shown?  As a bit of a social/personality chameleon, I have friends of all types:

* The lifelong, who are basically family.  No wait; they ARE my family.  The ones who will drop anything and help me, no matter what.  The folks I’d do the same for, no matter what.

* The exes, who have been up for the role of Significant Other, but found their way to lifelong friends that call/text/FB weekly, offer help, and are there (sometimes with their real SOs) to grab a beer, or hit a Fest, anytime.  Which is a win, IMHO.

* The new, who are constantly surprising me with hidden depths, unwavering loyalty, and wonderful silliness. They make me up my game, get off my butt, and enjoy life.

* The pick-up-where-we-left-off, who I don’t see as often as I like (or often at all), but whenever we get together it’s like we’ve never spent time apart.  They help me remember who I am, who I was, and we guide each other into who we’ll become.

* The surprise friendships; people I’d never thought would click with me, but ended up being people who ground me, geek me out, or just plain-ol’ get me.  I learn new things, and engage in ways I’d never thought I’d be able. They also help me politely disagree, and find my personal compass.

* The gang; groups of friends who make any time spent with them an adventure.  They’re up for anything, their happiness is infectious, and are always up for a hug-a-thon.

There are also friends who were thisclose years ago, but for some reason have distanced themselves.  And I’m quite sure I’ve done the same to others.  People who I couldn’t go a day without getting a call/text/e-mail from, but who are now out of contact, and out of reach by their choice.  It’s strange when that happens.  Dialing the clock back is an option, but who wants to do that?  Y’know, besides getting the great skin I had back in the day.  Ahh, mem’ries.

Then there are The Others.  People who are wonderful, awesome and amazing, but not necessarily friends.  Not the folks you could call and chat with, but would gladly spend hours talking to you at a party.  Acquaintances, friends of friends, people I know but have never one-on-one’d with.  Beautiful, talented, intelligent folks that I’ve never had the pleasure of digging in with, or who haven’t offered.  Which is fine; there are only so many hours in the day, and I’m hella lazy.

They’re all wonderful.  And for years I tried to give all of these “levels” the exact same attention; Family Level.  Any wonder I’ve failed?  And it pisses me off that I haven’t been able to be all that I’d like to be to all these people.  But as the years roll by, I finally realized:

I DON’T HAVE TO BE.

Levels of friendship are to be expected.  And it’s okay to give more to some than you do to others.  I can nurture those who nurture me, and simply enjoy time with others who are wonderful enough to spend brief moments of their life with me.  Friends are Friends, Others are Others, and that’s okay.

So from now on?  Friends get top priority.  Others get my love, respect and adoration…but visits will have to be reciprocal.  If it comes down to spending time with people I know love me, or people that think I’m cool but it doesn’t really matter if I’m available on X Day?  I’ll spend quality time with the latter when we can both really enjoy it, rather than try to bulk up quantity where it’s simply me as another body in the room.

And I’ll start to ask more friends to come up and visit.  And those that can?  Wonderful.  Those that can’t?  Well, I’ll try to visit them when I’m able.  And I’ll no longer feel guilty about it, because my door is always open.  If folks don’t understand that “but you’re so far away!” goes both ways?  Well, then I’ll see you when my health, finances and time allow.  Because you probably won’t care that I’m busting my hump to get to you. And again, that’s okay; levels are levels.

It’ll be rough, and I’m already feeling the guilt of being a friendship hardass.  But by the end of this year, I’m hoping I’ll have a better handle on visiting, friendships, and time management.  Goals!

Back surgery balderdash.

Yesterday I got home from my “right lumbar discectomy”. Whazza? It’s when you have a herniated/ruptured disc in your spine (in my case, between the) L4-L5 vertebrae), and your doc has to trim out the herniated part.

Yes, it’s exactly as much fun as you’d expect. Luckily the hospital I went to – Good Samaritan – rocks hard.

I’m up & around, but still on “oxycodone”, which I think is French for “you’ll never think clearly again”. And also, bleah with the dry mouth. Yuck.

I’m shocked by the fact that I’m able to walk around; I begged a friend to come up for the first 24 hours, and said friend has ended up putting in my kitchen ceiling fan since I’m not completely bedridden. (More on that later).

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got a TON of recup to do, and I can’t bend, twist or lift/carry anything over 10 pounds. The fact that I don’t have hideous shooting pains down my right leg? I’m fine with the recup. Small price & all that.

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I'm a baked potato!
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Red Jell-O and Shark Week. How did I not think of this before?
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Early the next morning: up and at'em!
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I haz achievement!

White Marsh goats. Are awesome.

So, I often head up to White Marsh for movie screenings. But with a back surgery looming (see: my “whining like a little bitch” post recently), I’ll be on recuperative house arrest for about three weeks or so, starting next Thursday. You know what that means?

Goat Time!

Yes, there’s a small roadside farm on the way to the AMC in White Marsh. And it’s so groovy. Why take my word for it? TADA!

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You wanna feed us. Because we're adorable.
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Begging for another visitor's treats
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How YOU doin'?
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We are also cute. Is that crabgrass in your hand? Are you gonna eat that?

Kittenness!

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And a momma that helps me with a typing.

Weights have gone up, some have gone down (and I’ve freaked), but all are adorable.

Everyone has a URI (upper respiratory infection), and a few kittens have conjunctivitis (poor things). But there are medicines that they get – and love. Sorta – so I have the whole positive vibes thing happening.

Sunday Shot: The Walking Dead

I love horror movies. And horror stories. And horror comics. Basically anything scary. Halloween is my favorite time of year. (It doesn’t hurt to have the main colors of the season be orange and purple, my favorites.)

So when Tommy’s Downtown Tavern decided to start having The Walking Dead viewing parties? I’m so totally in.

Hooray for zombies, beer and a group of folks who enjoy both!

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A little bit of The Governor….

The Today Show hit Baltimore!

No, nobody got mugged. Though I came close to rushing the food table. Mmmmm, Smith Island Cake!

Pictures. I got ’em.

Go Ravens! Be sports like an do football!
(Yeah, I don’t know much about the football.)

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Foooood. All Baltimore faves!
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Hooray for the National Aquarium!
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And the award for coolest dog of the day goes to....
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The National Aquarium puffin gets Purple with it

Failure to sleep = attraction to the shiny

Well, I feel it’s time to head out into the great big 21st Century. What better time to do that than when I’m trying to figure out how to get to sleep?

After the SOPA/PIPA blackout earlier, I bumbled around the Googles like I do, and found out that WordPress has an Android app. Who knew? Besides every tech savvy person on the planet. I immediately downloaded it. Shiny new toy! Does this app make me look thinner? Lie if you have to.

To make this a post that’s more than a test of the app, I figure why not crank out a few of my current design/DIY ideas? Here goes:

* ditch the banquette near the slider, replace with a high-hung (installed? Set? Whatever.) shelving unit with see-through doors. Under this shelf thing, the IKEA foldable table in white. So I can….
* Put in a “built in” bench unit that starts at the other side of the slider and then pulls a 90° angle til it hits the end of the bump-out area/the stove. Voila! Cool bench seating. Maybe even with storage & cushions. I’m a wild child!

Okay, enough thinking at 1:30am. Time for a cute picture of ZoeB. G’nite!

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(Man I hope this app thingy works. Here goes….)