This site is a continuation of my online novel-in-email, xo bri xoxo me xoxoxo love you christy. Call it a soap opera in email.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

My Characters on Facebook: So, if you've found this site...

...perhaps you have been friends with one of my characters on Facebook and did a Google out of curiosity and ended up here.

I created Facebook pages for my characters for a few reasons. The main one was to practice writing in their voices, in a medium that was interactive, with an element of surprise to it. Meaning: I discovered that I could only take the character emails so far. When you're a fiction writer creating epistolary works in your characters' voices, you're still "writing to yourself." So I created the character Facebook pages.

But I found, pretty quickly, that when the people who friended these characters on Facebook knew that they were fictional characters, the interactions were OFF.

I decided to take a leap. I wanted to see how the interactions would work if people thought that these characters were real people. It was, as I posted in the profile of one of the characters, "a literary experiment."

The main intention was, therefore, to try to create a new type of fiction in a new medium... to see what was possible, if it was possible, etc etc.

The other intention was to put my characters on Facebook so that, when my stories were published, my readers would find them online and get "a little something extra" that wasn't for sale. I wanted to find a way to present free, interactive content that would not be available anywhere else. I get tired of everything in the arts and in literature having a price tag. I wanted to provide my readers something free, unique, interactive and fun that they could never get anyplace else... something that couldn't be bought or sold.

It's unique to Facebook and that's where it's going to stay.

Now, if you've been interacting with my characters and feel duped that they aren't "real," well... my apologies.

Consider yourself a co-creator of this experimental fiction work. Please continue to interact with them.

And keep in mind that this sort of literary experiment is not without precedent:

On Halloween night, 1938, Orson Welles and his Mercury Theater Of The Air produced a radio drama of H.G. Wells' WAR OF THE WORLDS on the CBS Radio Network. Far from being a straight dramatization of the book, Welles' WAR OF THE WORLDS was, as described on Wikipedia (sorry, it's the most convenient reference I have on hand)...

presented as a series of simulated 'news bulletins,' which suggested to many listeners that an actual alien invasion by Martians was currently in progress. Compounding the issue was the fact that the Mercury Theatre on the Air was a 'sustaining show' (it ran without commercial breaks), thus adding to the program's quality of realism. Although there were sensationalist accounts in the press about a supposed panic in response to the broadcast, the precise extent of listener response has been debated. In the days following the adaptation, however, there was widespread outrage and panic by certain listeners who believed the events described in the program were real. The program's news-bulletin format was decried as cruelly deceptive by some newspapers and public figures, leading to an outcry against the perpetrators of the broadcast, but the episode secured Orson Welles' fame. Welles' adaptation was one of the Radio Project's first studies."

At the end of the show, Welles stepped out of character and read the following announcement:

This is Orson Welles, ladies and gentlemen, out of character to assure you that "The War of The Worlds" has no further significance than as the holiday offering it was intended to be. The Mercury Theatre's own radio version of dressing up in a sheet and jumping out of a bush and saying Boo! Starting now, we couldn't soap all your windows and steal all your garden gates by tomorrow night... so we did the best next thing. We annihilated the world before your very ears, and utterly destroyed the C. B. S. You will be relieved, I hope, to learn that we didn't mean it, and that both institutions are still open for business.
So goodbye everybody, and remember please, for the next day or so, the terrible lesson you learned tonight. That grinning, glowing, globular invader of your living room is an inhabitant of the pumpkin patch, and if your doorbell rings and nobody's there, that was no Martian... it's Halloween.

It's not Halloween, but, as with Welles, if anything was destroyed by this literary experiment, you will be relieved, I hope, to learn that I didn't mean it.

Any questions, email me (maxshenkwrites@aol.com).

And please continue interacting with my characters.


Wednesday, February 04, 2009

WELCOME! Read this first...

This site is the result of an ongoing experiment in epistolary fiction writing. A few years ago, I got the idea of writing a novel in email (xo bri xoxo me xoxoxo love you christy), written in real time using messages sent back and forth between email accounts that I created in my characters' names.

The "novel" was completed, but the experiment continues. I like my characters, and want to continue to delve into them and work with them. More than that, though, I like the epistolary format. Letters (particularly email) raise a lot of questions that I suppose I'm trying to answer by writing these messages. What gets said? What gets excluded? How are stories and events communicated (or not communicated) between characters?

And are the messages stories... or can they add up, in aggregate, to a story?

That's what I'm trying to get at here.

Every one of these messages serves as both a FUN exercise in writing and an exploration of the epistolary form. I want to keep writing these messages and see what happens, what I come up with. As I write them, I find myself learning more and more about the characters and their nuances, and of course this in turn informs and enriches my OTHER writing.

I've given up on the notion of trying to make the messages on this page add up to coherent storylines. Somehow I feel like that's not the point. I'm not sure what the point IS, but I feel like the muse is leading me... so I follow...

Hope you enjoy it.

Please read the following...

It never made any sense to me, but on this site, new posts appear at the TOP of the index page...meaning that if you want to read the posts in chronological order, you need to read them from the bottom of the page UP.

An easier way, though, is to click on the links in the UPDATES section (always immediately below this top post). Those links will open the first message of the given thread in a new window; you can then navigate the threads by clicking on the FORWARD-BACK-HOME links at the end of each message. I will also link between threads.

Let me know what you think, and thanks for reading! --Max


February 4, 2009 A follow-up email which continues the thread below. Christy writes back to Margo about Marty and meds: click here for the followup, and see immediately below (February 1) for the first two messages in the thread if you missed them.

February 1, 2009
Super Bowl Sunday. Christy is up, thinking about Super Bowl parties and sinusitis and Facebook... and so she writes Margo, and Margo writes back. Click here for Good morning, I guess.
(As always, see the characters' Facebook pages for related content... and see the previous update below if you have no idea what I mean by that. --m)

January 11, 2009
It's been over three months since I really wrote any new character emails. I haven't been IDLE, mind you; I've done a lot of stuff with the characters' FACEBOOK pages... fitting, because Facebook is a somewhat shallow tool. I've felt, the last few months, like I needed to be shallow for a little bit, step back from the characters, not go too deep. Take a breath.

(Inhale. Exhale. There. That's better. Now, as you see, I write.)

Anyway... I've written this before, but if you haven't done so yet, ADD MY CHARACTERS AS FRIENDS ON FACEBOOK. I'm not saying there's a great deal of CONTENT there, but there are some things on those pages that will be alluded to in the character emails (and vice versa), and if you don't wanna be totally lost, you need to check those pages out. Plus, it's kind of fun, I think, to see status updates for the characters pop up on your HOME page.

Which now brings me to... new character emails. Three, count 'em, three... all of them really inspired by the last four months of HELL I've been through, and the way that I've dealt with it (although, really, that doesn't come out DIRECTLY). Brian, the most un-tech-geeky of all my characters (except maybe their parents) starts the ball and this new thread rolling with this message: Internet.

October 1, 2008 Some things never change. Penn State Football on the tube at Brian's parents' house is one of them. Margo asks Christy Did you hear that?

August 28, 2008 This is the first time I've posted an update consisting entirely of Facebook status updates. A continuation of the previous emails and chat. Some new emails will be coming soon; in the meantime, start out by checking Maura's Status.

August 17, 2008 As I wrote below, "Maura" has gotten four friend requests on Facebook (actually five; one of them has been withdrawn) from total strangers. Everyone keeps telling me to CONFIRM the requests and see what happens. Somehow that seems too strange a commingling of fiction and reality. However, since I have to do SOMETHING with those friend requests... the thread continues... click here. More to follow as I write it...

August 16, 2008 A couple more emails to continue the thread started on August 13 and continued the 14th. This is also the first time, really, that I've used a Facebook status update in this blog. The first message here is a screenshot of Maura's facebook page. (Click on the reduced-size screenshot to enlarge it and read the page; click your browser's BACK button to return to the page. FORWARD and BACK navigation links between emails appear under the mini-screenshot)
Maura's status update is the first new message: Maura Ann Kelly is...

August 14, 2008: Continuing the thread started on August 13th with two new messages: Christy's reply to Maura and Rae's reply to Brian.

August 13, 2008: Lots happening. First of all, I've created FACEBOOK accounts for my characters. If you want to keep up on their virtual fictitious goings-on, friend them! I created a Facebook group called Friends of Brian, Margo and Christy; the easiest way to find them is to click on that group. The Officers list on the right hand side of the page lists all of the characters with pages. You can either FRIEND me to access their pages, or FRIEND one or ALL of the characters to not only access their pages, but to get their "status" updates on your feed-homepage.

Fun. Really.

I have to mention this: I really debated whether or not to give the characters profile pictures or even avatars, but with Rita and Maura and Rae, I found, online, what I thought were suitable public domain pictures that seemed to be in character with what I'd written. Rita is the only character whose face you see; Rae's is (fittingly) blocked; and Maura... Maura, I thought, should have something a little daring and artsy... something in keeping with her established identity (on this blog) as a photographer and model.

I also started registering Maura and the other characters on Facebook groups and fan sites, just to give their pages a little more flavor... and of course, when you post on a page, your profile picture accompanies your post.

Well, apparently I chose the RIGHT PICTURE for Maura. "She" has gotten FOUR FRIEND REQUESTS so far, from people who clearly are not interested in reading my work, but who apparently think she is an ACTUAL PERSON. Probably more than an "actual person," but an artsy, bohemian, freewheeling actual FEMALE who just might... you know... be interested in...

Which Maura unequivocally would NOT be, as they would see if they read her profile. "IN A RELATIONSHIP" should tell them all they need to know; repeated references to "Todd" in her status updates might also be considered tip-offs.

Still, I apparently have created an enticing character, if the message that accompanied the friend request from one Mr. Brenno Thegreat, in Melbourne, Australia, is any indication:

Hi i like your back, wanna chat.

All of this AFTER I posted comments on Maura's page from Christy, Rita and Margo about her picture... AND after I posted a message on Margo's wall, from Rae, saying "yr niece has beautifully defined latissimus dorsi and gluteus medius muscles lol."

I don't know what to do about this. I don't think I'm going to friend them just yet. Part of me feels like what I need to do is tell them "Look, Maura's a fictional character... you aren't going to get more pics, or chat with her, or hook up with her, or have an online fling with her, or..."

But for now, I'll let it pass. It might be interesting to see how many more guys try to friend her.


Meanwhile, I've written a bunch of new character emails and rather than try to make coherent threads out of them, I've just posted them here in the order I wrote them. Start with this one from Maura to Rita: Monday night at Todd's, so peaceful.

July 30, 2008 This is a different twist on my character communiques (although it's one I used in the online novel): I created instant message accounts for Christy and Margo, and, with two IM windows opened onscreen, did a "chat" between them in real time. It's been a few years since I did this, and the first one I tried wasn't entirely successful (I posted it on my Deviantart page). This one, though, works a little better, so I'm posting it here. As I explained in the header of the Deviantart entry, the timestamps are real (this was written in real time); however, unlike that piece, I revised this one a little before I posted it.
I like this format because instead of the characters writing (essentially) letters, they're having a dialogue.
As with their emails, though, Christy and Margo don't use a lot of abbreviations-etc. Neither of them has (read: I HAVEN'T) bothered to learn shortcuts-abbreviations-acronyms-etc. The only ones here, really, are BRB and LOL and LMAO (or, in Fran's case, the transposed LMOA, which is an inside joke to her).
So: Christy is at home in Pleasant Gap, PA; Margo is on vacation at her parents' lakeside cottage in Ontario, with Brian and Becca; they're up in the morning, having coffee, and since cellphone roaming charges/international calls=$$$$$, they decide to communicate via Instant message.

July17, 2008
As I discovered earlier in the winter, sometimes I can't open my mouth and complain directly about certain things, but there's always my characters. Hence this new thread, two messages: Maura hurls Six F-Bombs at Rita, and Rita hurls a couple right back in her reply. Click here to read the first message.

July 9, 2008
Christy and Marty and Maggie visit Maura in Vermont. First message here: Hi from Vermont.

June 18-19, 2008 Sitting here, checking my email, eating Dulce le Leche... and I get an email from the Orioles, announcing that tomorrow night at the Yard is Nick Markakis bobblehead night. And since, in my fictional world, Rita has returned to the Warehouse to work in the Orioles' ticket and marketing office part time starting this week past, why not write an email? Thus my sitting at the computer not having a life, reading junk email and eating ice cream, becomes a new thread: Rita to Margo and Maura, telling them how Senorita gets busted by the intern and then gets the intern BUSTED!!!! with a followup from Margo.

June 3-4, 2008: It's been a long time since I introduced a new character's voice into the email storyline. But... with my novel You Don't Think She Is on its way out the door to agents (Bon voyage, o book!), I have picked up a project that I started in January 2007 and abandoned last fall: Rae, a novel featuring Brian, Margo, Christy, Marty, Becca and Maggie c. 2007. I'm about a third of the way through it, maybe... but yesterday I decided that, in order to get a better idea of what makes the character Rae tick, I'd get her hooked up with a Yahoo account and bring her into the loop.
So... without further ado, meet the title character of my novel-in-progress: Carmen McRae "Rae" Sanchez, 24-year-old former music student of Brian's at Gettysburg. Her first email, to her former prof, is Ted Kennedy surgery a success.

May 27, 2008:
I'm in the process of posting a bunch of new emails, but here's a sample one... and instead of posting the FIRST in the thread, this one is the NEWEST: Maura to Rita. In the emails that precede this one, you'll find out who is Sorry and why. Click here...

March 30-April 6, 2008: First of all, heartfelt thanks, Danita and Jane, for your Facebook "Superlatives" nomination (Most likely to fall in love with a fictional character). These are all the more touching because they were submitted independent of each other.
I appreciate it. Honest, I do.

Now... in the month and a half since I posted the messages in the last thread, I have written (just counted) one hundred-eight (108) character emails. There are getting to be too many messages to post here. I need to find another way to do this, for a lot of different reasons. The physical setup of a blog (oldest messages at the bottom of a single page) is simply not conducive to what I'm doing. I'm going to start looking for a new website or venue to host these things. In the meantime... of those 108 emails, I'm going to post a thread featuring a few recent messages that will give you a hint of what's been going on in my characters' lives the last seven weeks.
The start of this new thread: Margo and Brian return from a visit to see Maura in Vermont, and Maura returns the favor with a trip back to Pennsylvania. There are some things referenced in these posts that happened in previous messages a couple years ago, most notably Maura's "night on the town" in the pickup truck, which I've linked to... uh... in the previous phrase, as well as at the top of one of the messages.
The first batch of messages in this thread was posted on March 30, and I posted followups on April 1 and 6.
So... the first message of this thread is She's here!

February 13, 2008:
Two messages from Maura, about 15 minutes apart... one to her mom, one to her best friend. Start with Mommmmmmmmmmm!!!!!!

February 4, 2008:
Started writing emails this morning with a message from Maura to Rita, and ended up with this mini-thread. Some stuff is alluded to here that happened in the big chunk of emails from December and January that I still haven't finished formatting and posting here. I hope it still makes sense though: Take a look at these.

January 28-February 2, 2008: Yeah, I have a big batch of new emails. Yeah, I've been writing and gathering them since before Thanksgiving. Yeah, I'm formatting them for this website, and yeah, it's a little time-consuming. But sometimes things take time because you're not really into them, as you realize when you write something you really connect with.
Like this morning. I logged into "Christy's" email account and found yet another spam to "her" about the Irish Lottery. I always wonder if these people would feel stupid at all if they knew they were trying to bamboozle a fictional character. (Every now and then I reply in my characters' voices, but I seldom get a response.)
Anyway, that spam to Christy starts this new thread: Batch: 074/05/ZY369, which I started on the 28th.

January 8, 2008: Stay tuned. Big batch of new emails coming soon. I've been writing and gathering them since before Thanksgiving. Formatting them for this website is a little time-consuming but I'm working on it, and hope to be done by week's end. (January 24: Formatting them for this website is EXTREMELY time-consuming; it's taking a lot longer than I'd anticipated... plus I'm writing new ones. So, like I said, stay tuned.)

November 22, 2007: Happy Friggin' Thanksgiving!

October 31, 2007: Life (real, mine) has settled down somewhat since I moved to Stowe, so life (virtual, characters) can continue online... this is the first new post here in over a month: Christy sends Margo online greetings for a Happy Halloween!!

September 23, 2007:
I finally wrote a follow-up from Christy to Brian's e-mail Texting (see August 20 update). This email is not just a message for this blog; it's also in essence a novel excerpt: as soon as I wrote it, I plugged it into a chapter of the novel I'm working on, Rae. So here's Christy's response to Brian's Texting, imaginatively entitled... uh... Re: Texting.

September 8, 2007: The phone rings at Chez Pressley, and Becca has a boyyyyyyyyfriennnnnnnnnnd!!!!

August 23, 2007: One of the first times I've ever posted something on this site that isn't a character email, although it is an email of sorts. I was weeding through some emails in my account at my (soon-to-be-former) job, and came across this rather concise capsulization of the three main characters' traits: About the characters.

August 20, 2007: As so often happens, now these messages are becoming THREADS. I've tried to tie them together.
First, Brian obliquely responds to Margo's email below (August 13) with one of his own, to Christy: Texting. That message links to the first of two follow-ups to Rita's "So who's the baby??"... or you can start by reading Brian's reply to Rita here.

August 15, 2007: New mama Rita has a song stuck in her head: So who's the baby??

August 13, 2007: Margo to Christy: "I'm gonna get him one whether he likes it or not:" Monday

August 9, 2007: Rita's baby! IT'S A... I'M A...

August 7, 2007: "You don't always solve problems by talking about problems..." Three emails between Christy and Margo, about job offers, Maggie's three-year-old fits, and peanut butter toast, starting with: Job.

July 25, 2007: Rita's brush with greatness at the B&O Warehouse. Two messages: Rita's email to Margo, and Margo's reply. The thread starts with... Be jealous!!!!

March 11, 2007: First new content in a while... two threads that sort of lean on each other: first Christy and Margo's Happy Sunday Woman! and then Margo and Brian's The Exam

All contents of this website Copyright © 2005, 2006, 2007 Max Harrick Shenk

Click here to take the M*A*S*H quiz!

Re2: Good morning, I guess

From: Christine Kelly-Morone (christyswims@yahoo.com)
To: Margo Pressley (ledoux67@aol.com)
Date: Wednesday, February 4, 2009 6:55 AM
Subject: Re: Re: Good morning, I guess

Hi Margo, I'm back from my swim and enjoying the early quiet before we get Maggie moving. It's 6:30, right before when things really start moving here, I don't know why I am online trying to write an email. I don't know how I imagine I can possibly get anything of any substance written before things really start to move. Marty is already up and in the shower, getting ready for work, we get Maggie up at around 7 and one or the other of us runs her to school (ideally it's Marty, lol, but as you know the school is one direction and he goes the other, it adds ten minutes to his drive if he takes her, so usually he goes and I take her).

But I clicked the computer on, Stevie sent me some pictures of the super bowl party at mom's and I was looking at them, downloading them, and then of course I have to go on facebook and check THAT, and while I was at it, I realized that for all the times we've talked the past couple days, I still didn't really tell you what happened with Marty and his cold. It seems to have subsided but after we sent these emails back and forth on Sunday I just asked him straight out "Marty, why don't you just go get meds?" and he of course said exactly what I thought he would: "You know I can't stand taking meds. I like trying to heal things naturally." ANd I said "But it's not healing naturally. And you know as well as I do that if you let this drag out it's going to turn into a sinus infection and then you'll HAVE to go to the doctor."

"I know, I know." Getting annoyed with me. So then I got right to the heart of it. "You know Margo said Brian does the same thing. What IS it with you guys anyway?"

So now he REALLY gets his ass up in the air. "What do you mean, what is it with us guys?"

"I mean why don't you just go take care of it. Do you want ME to take care of it?"

"It's MY cold."

"Well I'm glad you're taking ownership of it" lol I thought that was pretty good "but it's driving me nuts too. I don't like seeing you sick and sniffling, I don't want you to get a sinus infection, I don't want you to get sick and maybe give MAGGIE something, and aside from all that, last night I could barely sleep with you snorting and sniffling next to me."


"It's ok Marty, but I just don't know why you don't DO something about it?" And then I asked the question. "DO you want ME to do something about it? Like get you stuff for it, or make the appointment... or kill you if you don't do something about it?" lol.

And he got all bristly, which made me know I'd struck a nerve. "I don't need you to take care of me."

"OK, fine. Then take care of it yourself. But take care of it."

So now he gets all mopey and excusey, as you would say. "I just don't know what to get, that's all. I get all confused by the choices."

So I said "Do you want me to go with you and help you pick something out?"

No he didn't, you sure, no I'll go, well you haven't yet, Marty, let's just stop on the way to breakfast and get you something. OK. So long story short, since I'm looking at the time (6:40), I did what you said, we left for breakfast and the BJC early and stopped at Giant on the way into town, and I took him by the hand and marched over to the meds aisle and just asked him. "OK, what have you tried here that doesn't work? Does Robitussin work?" "For coughs yes, but not on sinus." "Well what about the tablets? Which ones have you tried?" "Sudafed makes me feel whacked." Same as you said Brian reacts. "What about Benadryl?" Anyway it turns out he's used Tylenol sinus before and it worked, so we got that and a bottle of saline spray since he wants to "heal naturally." Maggie loved that. "What do you do with THAT daddy?" "I squirt it up my nose." "EWWWW! Can I watch?" lol. So he took her back to the bathroom at the diner and squirted saline up his nose, and she comes running back out "Daddy sprayed water up his nose and it went all down his chin!" lol.

He said that the saline helped a little but that the tylenol really helped, by the time Maggie and me got back to the game (I was just going to pick him up after our afternoon together but Maggie wanted to go in and see the band so we went back for the second half, so glad we did, it was a big win and we were there, the place was rockin! Was I the one who complained about having to go to basketball games on super bowl Sunday?) he said his sinuses felt almost clear, then he kept on top of it

I'm glad we took care of it, I swear to god if I'd seen him sip one more cup of mint tea. HE DIDN'T EVEN FINISH IT! I said "Marty in order for it to do you any good you need to drink it HOT and let the steam work."

So Monday when he came home he'd gone to the health food store (SAME AS BRIAN!) and he'd gotten some kind of herb tea that his brother recommended. So I guess all I had to do was light a fire under his ass and he did the rest.

Annoying but at least he's not sick and mainly MAGGIE didn't get anything. I know you don't "catch" a sinus infection and there's more chance of her getting something at preschool than at home, but still.

It's 6:53 and I think I'm going to be a good mom and make oatmeal for my family.

Funny. I can see three clocks where I'm sitting. We have a kitchen clock on the wall, then there's the clock on the microwave, and then the time in the corner of the computer screen. The kitchen clock says 6:55, the microwave clock says 6:53 and the computer clock says 6:54. So it's 6:54.

Anyway had to tell you all that.

Talk later today probably! xoxoxoxo love you christy

P.S. thanks a whole bunch for sharing the Stalin comment with Maura, lol. I don't remember ever telling her that, she seemed to think it was funny though so no harm done.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Re: Good morning, I guess

From: ledoux67@aol.com
To: christyswims@yahoo.com
Date: Sun, 1 Feb 2009 7:49 am
Subject: Re: Good morning, I guess

First of all, facebook makes me ADD. Not "add" like add and subtract but A.D.D. As in I go on there and I see all these updates and groups and notifications and messages from people and I want to reply and before I know it, I've spent an hour online on facebook and I not only can't remember what I came online for in the FIRST place... I don't know what I've DONE in that hour that was more important. You know?

I agree that it is good for being shallow, which as you said in some cases is a blessing. How much contact do I WANT with Jen Rice, you know? Or your sisters (Kathy being the exception... I like hearing from her) all of whom friended me.

But the real issue here is...... MARTY'S SNOT!!! lmaaaao.

You KNOW what it's about, just like you know what it's "about" whenever I use to complain about Brian doing the same thing. I don't know what it is about those two with their sinuses and not wanting to just go to the doctor and smack it out of their systems with meds (or like you said even go to rite aid or CVS or bwahahaha Walmart and get something over the counter) (or go to Brian's stupid HEALTH FOOD STORE and get something, did I just call it "stupid," oopsy, baby burped, lmaaao)

(Another aside: YES, IT IS STUPID!! I like healthy food as much as the next person (if the next person is the hamburgler, lmaaao), I am all for natural food, natural remedies, no preservatives or additives, organic produce, garm raised (also FARM raised, lmaaao), free range, etc etc etc etc. Esp when it comes to putting things in Becca's body.

But try as you might and go down that path, SINUS STILL HAPPENS. And when you're there feeling like you have a bowling ball behind your nose and that flaming drippage is going down the back of your palate, who cares if it's NATURAL??? I just want it to WORK so that it ENDS!

What it comes back to for me, if you don't mind my ranting lmaaao, is what I wrote on the board at that Fresh Fields that one time that Brian got so pissed off at me about. I don't know if I told you that. We were at a Fresh Fields down in Philly when we were visiting Tony at school one time, and they had a comment board out front, and I'd just been walking around looking at all this Organic, Fresh, Good For You food that was probably raised the same way as the stuff in the Giant down the pike, but cost TWICE AS MUCH of course. And people just seemed rude, pushy... they looked like they NEEDED something like that. Anyway after seeing about twenty signs with the phrase "Good for you food" on it we checked out and as we left THAT was when I saw the comment board. So I wrote on a card: "If your food is so 'good for you' then how come everyone I saw shopping here looked so pale, pasty and miserable" lmaaao. THAT'S why it's stupid. ANd Brian got pissed that I dropped the card in the box but since then he has come to my point of view, sort of.

"It's like NPR. It doesn't make a person better. It makes them THINK they're better."

He's smart like that.

But when he gets sinus he STILL won't do the smart thing with THAT, which is make an appointment at the doctor's (and Christy, both of our husbands work at colleges... they don't even NEED to go to a doctor's... they can go to whatever free clinic is on campus and just get free meds there).

Marty does mint tea. Brian pounds down the OJ. Which, like you said, just makes him pee. Which is not a problem, because the other thing Brian does when he feels it coming on is takes showers and blows his nose down the drain (a doctor one time told him that was "the best thing to do for sinus" and gross as it sounds, it seems to work). So he just pees in the shower, lmaaao.

But he's the same: pounds down the fluids when it gets really bad, but he won't go for meds. And sometimes the shower therapy works, but sometimes it doesn't.

WHich brings us to what you said about Marty, and your solution, what you said you know will happen. It's a rock and a hard place, Christy. He says he doesn't want meds, and you know whatever you bring back if you buy it for him he will have a problem with. BUT IF YOU DON'T DO SOMETHING, HE WON'T EITHER, AND HE WILL DRIVE YOU NUTS. And then get sick.

It's not the sort of thing you can say "Fine, if you want to suffer, suffer" because as you found out last night, when he suffers, you suffer right alongside him.

So you need to do what I did with Brian first time he got really bad sinus. You have to be the mommy on this one. You need to DRIVE HIM to Rite Aid-CVS-Giant-Target-Walmart-whatever and walk him to the cold meds section and ask him which one he wants YOU to GET HIM. That way next time it happens you will know. Example: Brian can't do sudafed; that's what I get, and it doesn't bother me, but it makes him feel crawly and nuts. So I know that I need to get him something without the med that's in sudafed (pseudoephedrine, I think it's called. This is why I'm an LCSW and not a psychiatrist, lmaaao... I can't keep meds straight).

Anyway, once I did that, we didn't even need to get into the whole argument anymore. When I notice it coming on I just do what I would do with Becca: "Do you need meds? Does what you had before work? Why don't you go get in the shower? You need some saline spray?" Usually it doesn't even get to "You want me to call and make the appointment or are you going to go yourself?" (Have you tried THAT tack? Maybe just the THREAT of you calling FOR him will make him make the call himself.)

THIS is what bugs me Christy:
you know, we ALL had our moms take care of us when we were little and we got sick, but why is it that when we grow up, we MOMS can take care of ourselves but the DADS still want MOM???

Anyway, do it now. Do it this morning. Before breakfast, YOU DRIVE the three of you to whatever pharmacy is on the way and pick out something while he's there. Because if he's sniffling and rattling (coughing?) all night then he is well on the way to a sinus INFECTION. So now is the time to knock it out of his system.

Of course maybe if you slug him in the jaw really hard THAT might knock it out of his face too, lmaaao.

Anyway, after typing all this I tried calling again and your phone is still off. So I'll just hit send.

We REALLY wish you could come down today but I totally get what you're saying. I know what you mean about not wanting Maggie to miss school. (I will ignore your sniping comments about me, lmaaao) And yeah, you and Marty and Maggie are a family unto yourselves, but that doesn't mean you don't want the BIGGER family around on special occasions.

Instead of saying what you know, which is "I wish you lived closer too," I'll ask: has Marty continued the job search or is he going to stay put up there?

Anyway, we'll miss you today. It's barely 7:45 am and already it smells beefy here, lmaaao. Brian has already browned the beef (four pounds) and he has two big pots of chili rollin'. We will have the usual guest list: Danny and Ronnie and their two, Dan and Laura, Mom and Dad, Karen, Roy, Tony and Rita and Dannydan. Should be a blast.

Wait a sec... BRB.

Back. WHen I hear the word FUCK! being hurled from the kitchen, I know there's a problem. Brian soaked the beans overnight but he forgot that you need to COOK them after you soak them. So no biggie. He just has to let them roll for 90 minutes... they'll be fine. But he's like me; any excuse to hurl an f-bomb when Becca's still in bed, lmaaao.

We were just talking in the kitchen... he was thinking he might ask his dad if he wanted to come out early to watch PSU-MSU but I said "Brian, do you want your parents here from noon till 10 pm when the football game ends?"

When the question, or the proclamation, is really "Brian, I do NOT want your parents here from noon till 10 pm when the football game ends!!!" lmaaao.

Anyway, it was a nice thought, but that's not happening.

Anyway... if Brian's f-bomb didn't get Becca moving, we'll get her up soon... the chili's rolling so we'll wait for the beans to cook and then dump 'em in the pots, put them on low and go into town and meet Mom and Dad for breakfast at the Avenue, then come back out and get everything straightened up for the game.

We'll miss you and wish you were here and of course I understand... but if you guys change your mind at the last minute (you did a couple years ago) just call and come down. Like Brian said he told you, you can stay here. But I don't blame you for not wanting to make the drive-have Maggie miss school etc.

Talk later today. Do what I said with Marty and let me know what happens! xoxoxoxo me!!

Good morning, I guess

From: Christine Kelly-Morone (christyswims@yahoo.com)
To: Margo Pressley (ledoux67@aol.com)
Date: Sun, 1 Feb 2009 6:29 am
Subject: Good morning, I guess

Hi Margo, it's early, 5:25 (funny, I always get up to look at the clock, forgetting that there's one right in the corner of the computer) and here I am, up and wide awake. The coffee was a part of that, lol, but mainly it's just like I always say, I am so used to Mon-Sat getting up at 4:30 am to get into the Y that Sundays I can't even sleep in. Esp this morning, or last night, Marty has bad sinus and his nasal passages were rattling all night. HE can't hear it of course but I was right next to him, kept waking me up. So when I got up and saw it was 4:25 I thought "Well at least I can go swim" and then realized, D'OH!!! Sunday.

So I went online and glanced at facebook. You know, that's fun for what it is and it's gotten me back in touch with so many people, and god knows it's a lot less painful to glance at my updates page and see "Mary Ann Kelly Harper is watching THE VIEW! Go Elizabeth!" (one of her actual updates last week) than it is to call Mary up and spend a half hour of my life TRYING to talk to her and getting half answers, half her attention because she IS watching the view, go Elizabeth, blah blah blah.

When I saw "Go ELizabeth" I thought "Why is she calling Betsy by her full name?" I'm just not tuned in.

Anyway for that it's been great, getting in touch with people and keeping in touch with other people who I'd rather keep at arm's length most of the time, God forgive me for saying that.

But I'm noticing that I'm leaning on it too much to keep in touch with some people I really WANT to be in touch with, Maura of course, and a little bit you and Brian. I'm not writing as much and that's what I LIKE to do. THe phone calls too of course but lots of times I don't feel like they're totally convenient. I know you say "call anytime" and you always pick up, but if you're at school I don't like to pester you, and then if you're driving home in winter I just think of you heading down 233 (? I can never remember route numbers) past the fairground and along the creek, just picture you trying to handle the cell phone and dealing with Becca and next thing we know, you're hurtling down through the pines and over the rocks into the icy cold water, lol. Another "worst case scenario" but you know how it is with the phone. It IS like Brian always said: just because you HAVE one doesn't give you license to interrupt someone's life with it. Just because I want to talk doesn't mean it's convenient for YOU.

And I know that the two people I talk most to (well two of the four anyway, along with Maura and Mom) you and Kath both have no problem saying "Chris, I can't talk right now" or "Woman can you call back?" But sometimes I don't even bother making the call if I think you or her MIGHT be busy.

So that's another reason to facebook.

But lately all it seems is we've been trading stupid lists and smartassed comments, which make me laugh but I miss real contact.

And that brings me to what is REALLY upsetting me, lol, here it is, another super bowl Sunday and Mom is having a big party in Fairfield, you guys are having a big party where YOU are, and what do WE have to do? Marty has blue band pep band for PSU Michigan at the BJC.

(I said "Michigan," actually it's Michigan State)

So that ties up the afternoon, and it's an early start time (noon) so we could do what we did a couple years ago and drive down for your party and the game, which was fun but getting back late is exhausting, it's hard to get back in the groove Monday, don't want to call out and have Maggie miss school, she likes school and esp likes MOndays believe it or not because she's been doing all these things all weekend and missing her friends and wants to see them and catch up. I remember that feeling even in high school. You hated getting up but you couldn't wait to see everyone. Even you, lol.

SO all weekend between his sinus and him having to do the band this afternoon I've just been in a pissy mood. I guess that should have been my facebook update huh, "Christine is in a pissy mood." Then everybody could comment on THAT.

As you can see I am STILL in a pissy mood.

ANyway, I would like to be coming down there for your party but we won't be, we will go out for breakfast, drop Marty at the BJC and then go to the bookstore and have a hot chocolate and look at books, I think they might even have storytime this afternoon at 1, then run over to giant and get some things for the game, come back in and get Marty and have our own super bowl party, which is fine, it's family, but there's another thing about facebook, it makes me MISS EVERYONE WHOS FAR AWAY EVEN MORE!!!

Maura posted that list of hers (and that picture composite, did you see that? Had to put her bare boob on there, lol) and I read it and had to call her, it made me cry, not that I was sad or anything, just made me emotional and made me love her, but made me WANT TO GIVE HER A HUG AND BE CLOSE TO HER, AND THERE SHE IS, FOUR HUNDRED MILES AWAY IN FUCKING VERMONT!!!! And Kath down in Harrisburg (she is working today during the game) and Stevie and John and Mom and everyone getting together at Mom's. Marty's parents probably won't watch it, they don't care, I think actually he has a concert tonight.

And then you, my other family, getting together there at your place, which is always fun, or at least it was last time the Steelers went to the super bowl.

And here we are, up here.

That's what it is, again. I love it up here until something is happening where I want to BE WITH people I love, and I feel cut off. Shouldn't Maggie and Marty be enough? BUt I want them to be with people I love too.

ANd now my coffee's cold. BRB.

Back and now it's too hot, lol. I'm like GOldilocks, I want it to be JUST RIGHT.

It is so quiet here, I know you don't want to hear that, lol, given how LOUD you said it was yesterday. THat was kind of how I felt yesterday morning. I was bugged about a million other things (all this that I just whined about) and then Maggie was making noise, Marty was playing records, the TV was going (its funny how no matter how many times I turn it off, it seems to come back on), I talked to Kath and missed her, talked to Maura and missed her. Then Marty and his sinuses, he's just like Brian, will NOT just suck it up and go to the dr and get meds and knock it out of his system, he has to suffer through it, which means we ALL have to suffer through it. I hate how that sounds, it's his cold so it's worst for him, but he could make it easier by just going and doing what I do, or what WE would do for Maggie, just go to the dr and get some antibiotics.

"But I don't like putting that stuff in my system." Fine, be homeopathic, (is that the word I want? No, I just looked it up online. You know what I mean, though, try NATURAL healing. But he DOESN'T. Except for seeing him drinking big mugs of mint tea all day, he doesn't DO anything. Except pee, lol, maybe he thinks it'll drain through his penis, lol, I don't know.

THat's one reason I wish Kath would come up. All I'd have to do is mention it to her and she'd come up with a handful of samples for him.

I swear what it is is that he wants to be babied, and I'm not doing it. He wants ME to call and make the appointment, wants ME to get him some kind of meds or treatment or something. Doesn't want to go to the bother. But instead makes himself miserable and DRIVES ME NUTS AND KEEPS ME UP ALL NIGHT SO I CAN'T SLEEP! AGHHHHHHH!!!

So it took me a half hour of typing to get to the point, but there it is.

I'm going to ask him "Marty, what do you want me to do here? Why don't you just go to the doctor?"

"I don't like going to the doctor. I don't like taking antibiotics."

"Then why don't you just run to Rite aid and get some saline spray and some tylenol and robitussin instead of DRINKING A GALLON OF MINT TEA (which he lets get COLD half the time anyway, which defeats the point) and peeing all day???"

Watch what will happen Margo. THat'll be one of our stops while he's at the game today, Maggie and me, we'll go to rite aid or to the pharmacy at Giant and get him saline spray and robitussin and some kind of antihistimine tabs.

He should get them BEFORE the game.

But if I get them for him, then they'll be wrong. "I can't take that kind, it keeps me up." "That kind doesn't work."


So how are you doing? lol.

ANyway wish we could be there today. Your super bowl parties are always so much fun and I hate to miss it. But it's just too hard to make the drive down and back.

If we were just 45 minutes closer. Wish he could find a job in say Carlisle.

I just looked at my facebook page and saw that Brian is up browning the beef already for the chili. "Why don'tchall come down after the game? You could still make kickoff and stay here overnight if you want."

Let's see... I'll reply "Because that bitch of a wife of yours wouldn't go for it" lol.

I replied but he's not online anymore.

FUnny how facebook also gives you insight into how people are online and when. You are on all day, I click on anytime during the day between 8-3 and you're online. Brian seems to come on first thing in the morning or when he goes to work, and then last thing in the afternoon and maybe last thing at night. Kath's times match her shifts. She does her three 12 hour days ON and then three days off. She is never online those days that she's on at work but then the days off she is sometimes on CONSTANTLY even when she's sleeping. Mary and Betsy and Paul are on all the time, again even when they're sleeping. They just leave their computers on 24-7. Maura goes on for an hour before she goes to work and then maybe when she comes home.

And I don't know what I do, lol.

Wow. Hard to believe it is only 6:25, it seems like I have been typing forever.

I put FRANK SINATRA AND ANTONIO CARLOS JOBIM on thinking that "One Note Samba" was on it and it's not, that's a short album, ten songs but I swear it's not more than 25 minutes long. Anyway I put it on when I nuked my coffee and it's already done playing, now it is totally quiet again. Are you jealous, lol?

WISH WE WERE THERE today and hope you have a good one, a fun party. Maggie and I will have fun while daddy's at the game and then we'll have our own little party up here. Sorry we won't see you, tell your folks and all we said HI.

Talk later I'm sure. xoxoxoxoxo love you christy

Monday, January 12, 2009

Maura's birthday

From: Christine Kelly-Morone (christyswims@yahoo.com)
To: Margo (ledoux67@aol.com)
Date: Monday, January 12, 2009 10:18 AM
Subject: Maura's birthday

Hi Margo, feeling a little sad and lonely today, miss Maura and wish she was here so we could have cake (and then go out for a beer or have a glass of wine) to celebrate together. She is such a great young woman, I am so proud of her, I feel sad for her lately because she is alone, I get the feeling she really loved Todd and just couldn't find a way to make it work. Don't think she really wanted to break up with him. But like leaving the restaurant she had to do it to move forward in another way.

I sent her a card and put money in it so she could go out, I know she had friends up there, I hope she doesn't feel funny that I sent her money. Just love her and wanted to buy her a drink or dinner (she'll be able to buy more than that though, maybe she'll go get some chemicals for her darkroom).

Maggie misses her and last week made her a card at preschool and we sent that too, hope she gets them today. Nothing worse than not getting cards on your birthday, esp when you're far away from home.

I have the feeling she misses it "down here," I would love for her to move back but don't want to tell her that, I'm afraid she MIGHT instead of doing what she wants and needs to do which is trying to establish her own identity in a place of her choosing, not a "home" that her mom picked for HER reasons. (one of those reasons of course BEING Maura way back when)

ANyway that is what I'm thinking and feeling today and what is between the lines of all those things I put on facebook today, just didn't want to post them on a public message board. I mean you see all of the "friends" Maura has? They can read everything we post and I don't want that, I don't know who these people are. I don't think SHE does either, people who like her butt, probably.

Don't tell her this but I'm glad she changed that photo.

She said she got a friend request from someone that said "Are you into porn?" And I said "And???" "I didn't answer it." "Well did you DELETE it?" "Not yet." So who knows what she's thinking?

All I know is I love her and I miss her and feel sad that I can't give her a birthday hug today.

But as Kathy asked me and she's right, "it feels different from all those years you were having trouble with her, doesn't it?" Yeah, so that's nice.

Funny though how I can go online and have this casual contact with people through email facebook etc etc, and I express things I'm feeling, but then when I turn the computer off I'm just as alone, missing them, as I was before. Maybe that's why people turn the computer on and leave it on and check it constantly.

Dryer just buzzed. Yes, I'm doing laundry. Do you want me to wash your snuggie, lol

Talk soon and hope you have a good work week. I miss you too, always makes me happy to see a little comment or message from you on facebook (and of course to talk to you, I'm glad we still are so close, I love you Margo)

Talk later! xoxoxoxo love you christy

Re: Internet

From: Christine Kelly-Morone (christyswims@yahoo.com)
To: Margo Pressley (ledoux67@aol.com), Rita LeDoux (ritaritasenorita@yahoo.com), Brian Pressley (brianpressley14@aol.com)
Date: Monday, January 12, 2009 9:47 AM
Subject: Re: Internet

I waste too much time on here, particularly on facebook, I got so into the habit of having the computer on constantly when I was working at the Y. I'm not as bad as I used to be now that I have Maggie, I spend my mornings usually doing other things while she's at school and in the afternoons we do things together, but a lot of mornings (like today) when I'm feeling a little blue (missing Maura, today's her birthday) I turn it on out of boredom for companionship, just clicking around, and next thing I know the morning's gone and Maggie's home.

Fortunately that doesn't happen too often.

As we've talked about my sisters (Mary and Betsy) are online ALL THE TIME. Like I said, they have it on at work and then come home and turn it on, keep it on all night until they go to bed and are checking it constantly, even when they're on the phone. I call them and I can hear the keys and the mouse clicking in the background. Plus they just get that creepy preoccupied detached tone to their voice like they're hearing you but not really listening, their mind is somewhere else, in cyberspace, except like Kath said once, they're not really paying full attention to THAT either. It's like they don't want to be ANYWHERE.

I just signed on this morning to wish my daughter a happy birthday and now an hour later all I've done is post stupid comments on facebook pages, lol. Not that I think there's anything wrong with that, it's fun. But I don't see how people spend all that time in front of it either, no.

Anyway. Go Steelers, lol. You think it will be a turnpike super bowl? See if it is, they should have the game in Happy Valley, not California or whereever it's going to be. Stevie and I were talking and he said he thinks that they shouldn't announce the location of the game until the two final teams have been determined, then they should put it at a neutral site that is close to being midway between the two places. Something else for our new president to straighten out, lol.

Talk soon all! Or see you online, I have it on all day, lol. xoxoxoxo love you christy


From: brianpressley14@aol.com
To: Ledoux67@aol.com, ritaritasenorita@yahoo.com, christyswims@yahoo.com
Date: Tuesday, January 6, 2009 8:53 AM
Subject: Internet

No, I just don't get it. I hate to sound like the luddite I used to profess to be, but I just don't get it. I just can't sit at the computer like this, clicking and surfing. I was on Facebook this morning looking at "groups" and "pages" for solar, wind power, electric cars, tree farms, music etc, all of the things I'm interested in, and THAT lasted about ten minutes.

Because... I would rather be out DOING those things than sitting at a computer reading about them or writing comments about them.

I dunno. It's just a big bore to me.

About the only thing I like about it is that I can complain easily to you all about it, haha.

Talk later! xoxoxo bri

Wednesday, October 01, 2008


For those of you who don't know, my laptop is currently out of commission. Until I can get it fixed, I'm limited to half-hour blocks of internet time at the public library. Therefore, I'm not updating this site as often as I'd like.

We hope to have these technical difficulties resolved as soon as possible, and thank you for your patience, haha.

In the meantime, FRIEND MY CHARACTERS ON FACEBOOK! The characters with Facebook pages are as follows:

Margo Pressley
Brian Pressley
Christine Kelly-Morone
Maura Ann Kelly
Rita Pressley LeDoux
Rae Sanchez

I've been getting a lot of, uhhh, WEIRD friend requests (particularly from SINGLE MALES who think that Rita and Maura and the other female characters are REAL WOMEN who want to chat, no, I'm not kidding), so to weed these out, when you submit a friend request, just put EPISTOLARY in the message box. That way, I'll know your request is legitimate.

I feel badly that I haven't been able to keep up on this the way I'd like to, but in other ways, it's given me a nice "break" that I think I needed. Every now and then, you just need to recharge your creative juices. Now is such a time, I suppose.

Thanks for your support and keep reading! :-) Max Harrick Shenk

Did you hear that?

From: ledoux67@aol.com
To: christyswims@yahoo.com
Date: Sun, 28 Sep 2008 11:55 am
Subject: Did you hear that??

Or feel a gust of wind from the southeast around the time of that fourth quarter holding call last night?? lmaaao

SO in answer to your question "How was it watching the game at Brian's parents" here's what happened: we go over to Dan and Laura's to watch the Penn State game, and as it progresses and Brian has had a few Circus Boys, he starts to nod off, and of course me, as the designated driver, I am sober and awake and alert, but except for watching-listening for the band to see if I can spot Marty, I am not really paying attention... Laura meanwhile is in her little study, doing whatever SHE does while Dan and company watch the game... but Dan is nodding off too... I looked over a few times in the fourth quarter and his chin was getting heavy... kind of bobbing, you know? But there with the TV sound turned down and Jack Ham doing the play by play through the static on the rahdio.

Anyway... with about two minutes to go, fourth quarter, I am quietly looking at that Washington Post weekly and Brian's asleep and Dan LOOKS like he's asleep, and as I look up from the paper, on the tube, I see the ref tossing a flag, and just as it happens, Brian's dad, I swear to GOd, SNAPS UP to attention and sits STRAIGHT UP and screams "WHAT IN THE HELL YA CALLIN' HOLDING SO LATE IN THE GAME FOR?? JEE-zus CHRIIIIST!!!" lmaaaao

Jesus Christ is right... scared the SHIT out of me... woke Brian up... "Wha? Huh?"

And then of course the capper was: from the other room, Laura thinks he's calling to HER: "What, Dan?" LMAAAAAO!!!

So then Dan gets all agitee... he looks at me and goes "For cryin' out LOUD, Margo, she ALWAYS does that." and then YELLS back at Laura "I'm NOT TALKIN' TO YOU!!! Jeezus..." lmaaaaao

In other words, watching the Penn State game at Brian's parents' was the same as ever.

Didn't spot you or Kathy or your mom on the tube... and how did Maggie handle having the sitter?

And what do you MEAN they tore down the old hospital in Carlisle??? That's where Tony was born!! Did they put up a plaque??? lmaao

FUnny... a few Fridays ago when we went up to the H.A. Milton for hotchis, as we were leaving town I was thinking "We never drive by the old hospital... we ought to go by and check it out." Guess there wouldn't have been anything there to SEE, huh?

Anyway... kind of a chill day. We will be watching the last Orioles game of the season this afternoon... Becca wants to go to the lake. Nope. Nope. And nope. Aside from the homework, all the rain this past week has probably pushed the water temperature down to about 47 degrees... so, again, nope.

Brian says HI and when are you gonna call him? Careful how you answer that, lmaaao.

Chat later woman! xoxoxoxoxo me!!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Status 8

More to follow; stay tuned
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Sunday, August 17, 2008

Sunday morning at Venti Schmenti

From: "Rita Pressley LeDoux" (ritaritasenorita@yahoo.com)
To: "Maura Kelly" (mauraswimgrrrl@yahoo.com)
Date: Sunday, August 17, 2008 11:13 AM
Subject: Sunday morning at Venti Schmenti

OK, Mauramodel, so here's how Senortia's Sunday has gone so far (and I DO mean "Senortia" ): she gets UP first thing this AM at 5:15 to FIVE voicemail messages since 10 pm last night from you, each one drunker than the last... listens to them and can see how your Sat night progressed.... a quick shower and it's off across the hood to the cafe, where I worked from 6-10.... then Tonybaloney and Dannydan met me here at the end of my shift, with snuck-in bagels from across the street at Sam's... watching Dannydan gnaw the garlic and onions and sesames and salt off the everything... now he is on the floor with Tony, rolling a truck.

We pride ourselves on our family friendy atmosphere here at Cafe Venti Schmenti

Anyhoo... first message from you: clouds, cool... yes, yes, you'll scan and send. You're only about twenty photo forays behind on sending me pics, you do realize. Second... of COURSE Jill booked the resto solid right up to 8:45. She is, after all, a DINGDONG!!!! Third message... this is where things start to look foreboding. "Heavyweight Red???" Is that the actual NAME of the vino or just the EFFECT it has. (Judging from your facebook status as I type this --"crushing sulfite headache"-- I would guess the latter.) Fourth message: ok, a loud WE'RE AT THE SHED! SAY HI, MISSY! WOOOOOOOOOOOOO! is always a good sign. But then what's this LAST one... about Darren The Great and facebook and friend requests and all???

Maura Maura Maura... I have wanted to say this for a long time. I admire your artsiness and your boldness... you express and DO things that I (and most people) would just be afraid to do. You're OUT THERE and I like it, admire you for it, even (I hope this doesn't make you feel weird) live a little vicariously through it.


Just like "When you post a profile on Facebook and are a former major league ballgrrrl, guys are going to creep out of the woodwork and try to friend you." That's MY cross to bear.


Back. Dannydan was crying. Tony took him back to change him. "No, no, keep typing Rita." Awwww, and without a hint of sarcasm, too. I's in yuv!!!

ANyhoo.... the point being, guys will try to friend you... guys you don't know... guys who see your picture and want to SEE MORE. Want to see more, want to chat, want to meet, want to god knows what else?

You DID the thing with the privacy settings. That's good.

Now... on the FRIEND REQUESTS... have you noticed that there is a little button you can click, right next to where it says CONFIRM, that says... uhhhhhh... what is the word on that little button... IGNORE?? Is it IGNORE???

Maura, you don't HAVE to reply or confirm these weirdos requests. You can hit IGNORE and be rid of them forever.

Why haven't you, sweetie???

Are you, perchance, given all that you've been telling me about Todd and "not feeling ready to be a married mom of two" (your words) and not wanting "an instant family" (your words) and "not being sure" (your words) and feeling torn (my words, a paraphrase)... given all that, are you perchance seeking attention online? Seeking dalliances?

Want to keep your options open (even if the only people who are taking you up on it are guys who "like your back")????

Mauramodel, if you don't want to be bothered by these guys, DON'T BE BOTHERED. Click IGNORE. They will never bother you again. But you said you still have them on your friend request screen. How come??

Just makes me wonder how annoyed it really makes you?

Sorry... I am psychoanalyzing, I guess... but as the shrink in my family says, you are what you do. If you are annoyed, then be rid of the requests. Hit IGNORE. Ignore them, Maura, and in this case, they'll go away.

Unless... you really don't WANT to????????


OK... Dannydan is about to meltdown. I can see. Tony is not keeping his attention. I need to hit send, log off, and leave NOW!!!!

Want a slightly slobbery everything bagel with all of the stuff nibbled off it??

Annnnnnnnd... there we go! Gotta run! Love you Maura! Bye!

so u freinded me

mauramodel [2:44 AM]: hello!
darinthegreat [2:46 AM]: hi!
darinthegreat [2:46 AM]: so u freinded me.
mauramodel [2:46 AM]: yeah!
darinthegreat [2:46 AM]: cool.
darinthegreat [2:46 AM]: i liked ur back!
mauramodel [2:47 AM]: thx!
mauramodel [2:47 AM]: so where r u?
darinthegreat [2:48 AM]: minnesota, near st cloud
darinthegreat [2:48 AM]: u?
mauramodel [2:48 AM]: vermont
darinthegreat [2:48 AM]: i really liked yr pic
mauramodel [2:49 AM]: i know! u said! :P
darinthegreat [2:49 AM]: no its really hott
darinthegreat [2:49 AM]: is that u in the pic?
mauramodel [2:49 AM]: yeah! who else?
darinthegreat [2:49 AM]: well u know could be sum1 else
mauramodel [2:49 AM]: no its me.
darinthegreat [2:49 AM]: who took it?
darinthegreat [2:50 AM]: self shot?
mauramodel [2:50 AM]: lol no, that would be 2 much work
mauramodel [2:50 AM]: no a photog in wv took, i used 2 model 4 him
darinthegreat [2:50 AM]: do u have more?
mauramodel [2:50 AM]: lots
mauramodel [2:51 AM]: i'm a model, did that about 2 yrs
mauramodel [2:51 AM]: mainly artsy stuff
darinthegreat [2:51 AM]: mainly but some other?
mauramodel [2:52 AM]: some other yeah ;-)
darinthegreat [2:52 AM]: r they online?
mauramodel [2:52 AM]: a few but most not, not anymore
darinthegreat [2:52 AM]: r there more like that one but from front?
mauramodel [2:53 AM]: lol.
darinthegreat [2:53 AM]: seriuos are there?
mauramodel [2:54 AM]: go to aperture.com and search ron snyder, he was the photog
darinthegreat [2:55 AM]: why not just send me sum?
mauramodel [2:55 AM]: damn slow down!
mauramodel [2:55 AM]: dont u wanna buy me a drink first??
darinthegreat [2:56 AM]: lol
darinthegreat [2:56 AM]: sorry
darinthegreat [2:56 AM]: just liked yr pic
mauramodel [2:57 AM]: iknow, you said
darinthegreat [2:57 AM]: so what r u wearing now?
darinthegreat [2:58 AM]: r u like u were in the pic?
darinthegreat [2:59 AM]: hello?
mauramodel [2:59 AM]: brb
darinthegreat [3:02 AM]: u still there?

mauramodel signed off at 3:03 AM

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Saturday, August 16, 2008

Re: Rita Pressley LeDoux wrote on your Wall...

From: "Maura Kelly" (mauraswimgrrrl@yahoo.com)
To: "Rita Pressley LeDoux" (ritaritasenorita@yahoo.com)
Date: Friday, August 15, 2008 12:14 PM
Subject: Re: Rita Pressley LeDoux wrote on your Wall...

Sorry, part of me felt like I just shouldve never put that as my status but I needed to vent somehow and get sympathy!!!! :-) Figured if I put that you'd reply, lol.

It's just this Rita: I KNOW that Todd "comes with the kids" and that there are ways around them being there and all that, ways that we can get together time, etc etc etc all that. What I guess I'm saying is part of me is really feeling kind of weird and scared about Todd, like I LOVE HIM but I DON'T KNOW IF I AM READY TO BE A MARRIED MOM OF TWO KIDS which is what it feels like sometimes when we are together. Makes me feel weird. I don't know, not "old" but like we're skipping over steps or something. I know it sounds selfish but I liked the feeling of him sleeping over at my place when the kids were at his parents down in WRJ.

And sad because when I think about it, it's really not the way things really were you know? He wasn't/isn't a single guy, he's a dad.

Love him so much but that part of the equation makes me feel scared and I don't know why, makes me feel like for as much as I love him I don't want to be with him. But I DO. And it's not like I don't like his kids either, I DO!!! I feel all divided, like it doesn't make sense. I want different things all at once.

Which is why I said people don't get me, but I don't get me either. I'm kind of ungettable right now. It's nobody's fault. Just love.

I am drowsy and was going to take a nap but it is sunny out, as I look out toward Morrisville (kind of northeast) I see spectacular clouds so I think what I am going to do is take my camera and ride out to the notch and take pics. Not working at the resto tonight (Todd is). Think I need to be alone or something.

Hope your afternoon goes well and talk tonight sometime, if not email back when you can! xoxoxoxoxoxoxo love you maura k

MORE to follow; stay tuned!
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Rita Pressley LeDoux wrote on your Wall...

From: "Facebook" (wallmaster+kabrkg2x@facebookmail.com)
To: "Maura Ann Kelly" (mauraswimgrrrl@yahoo.com)
Date: Friday, August 15, 2008 12:00 PM
Subject: Rita Pressley LeDoux wrote on your Wall...

Rita wrote on your Wall:

"Awwwwww whatsamatter???? What don't we GET, Mauramodel????
xo Senorita"

To see your Wall or to write on Rita's Wall, follow the link below:

The Facebook Team

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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Re2: howdy dr p

From: "Carmen McRae Sanchez" (raesancheztralala@yahoo.com)
To: "Brian Pressley" (brianpressley14@aol.com)
Date: Thursday, August 14, 2008 9:42 am
Subject: Re: re: howdy dr p

ok dr p, well every time we talk or u send me a msg, there is 1 THING u say that gets me thinkin n realizin... n this time that 1 thing was n i quoth:

When I started out, incidentally, my answer was I DON'T KNOW! I AM DOING THIS TO FIND OUT!!!

shit! how do i turn the itals off??? im hittin the slanty i button n still its on.
ok, good, i didnt want this 2 b an email ABOUT email, i have ISSUES to discuss n the sun's up, its gettin hot out, i play at the restaurant 2nite.


ne way THIS (or THAT) what u said is exactly how i feel.................

i do NOT know what i want, what "direction i wanna go," what "i wanna do with it." mainly just wanna go deeper in2 it n find out. bcuz what i've done (take a few classes, take lessons, play gigs) aint enough. its fun but its not enough, it just makes me wanna do MORE. makes me wanna delve in2 it n SEE WHAT the direction is.

i feel like theres some way i need 2 go that i haven't seen yet.

long ago figured out that whatever i wanted 2 do, fucking around playing gigs in smelly clubs or even sanitized clean tourist restaurants wasnt it, or wasnt ALL of it. its SOME of it. teaching is SOME of it. composition is SOME of it.

i havent put the pieces together. want to explore it n see what the pieces ARE.

and its like u n yr wifey say: it aint trade school. part of doing school IS to find out what u wanna do. one reason y i took 6 yrs 2 get a degree that shouldve taken me 4.

or 3 since i am a genius haha.

so just that little thing u wrote made me realize..... i felt kinda funny about it, hesitant 2 take th next step n go this fall like i really want 2 bcuz part of me doesnt know where 2 begin.

but yr saying there's nothing wrong w goin into it not knowing.

still think im goin 2 take the fall off, its been a long 6 years n i wanna have more of a vaca.

plus th chad factor, yes i admit, this is a factor. love th asshole n would love 2 be closer 2 him even if we r "just friends." just dont know if i wanna move 2 fucking MAINE. would be easier if he'd move down again so i could go 2 peabody or temple or someplace like that. miss palling around w him.

he'll learn.

but no contact recently, no. keep thinkin hell (hell, haha, theres a great one, i mean he will) send me an email or facebook me but no. n i dont wanna be th 1 2 contact him. n hes prob up there thinkin 'i dont wanna be th 1 2 contact her.' so no idea what hes up2 .

have his snail addy n will maybe send him a postcard.

or maybe not.

so part of th decision is a kind of WAIT AND SEE w him. im not much of a wait n see person, im more of a MAKE IT HAPPEN person. but got tired of slapping him around. n then of course when i really NEEDED him he tra la la'd off.

so n e way....

love th offer 2 come sleep over camp out whatever, labor day it will NOT be happening but maybe th week AFTER labor day, once "the offseason" has started n before im really NEEDED where im gonna be working. i of course am caretaker n so have 2 stay on during th week but on weekends theyll b here so............

its fucking 9:41 n im indoors. no more of this!!!!!

thx for yr email, it made me think n realize n feel better about feeling stuck, which i realize im not as much as i thought i was!!!!!

so over and out for now.... this is CARMEN MCRAE SANCHEZ about to go out into the bright sunny cape may day.........................................

Re: Thanks mom!

From: "Christine Kelly-Morone" (christyswims@yahoo.com)
To: "Maura Kelly" (mauraswimgrrrl@yahoo.com)
Date: Thursday, August 14, 2008 7:17 AM
Subject: Re: Thanks mom!

HI sweetie, I loved talking to you, loved having the phone ring in the car and see it was you, of course first thought when it rings that early is that there's some kind of an emergency but I know you know I'm just up now. This is my ME time, Marty's not up yet, Maggie's either not up or she's up looking at books or playing in her room. After 8 or so is when the shit hits the fan, so yeah, 4:30-8 is the time to call.

I always want to talk to you sweetie so never hesitate.

So as for you and Todd, I know that you guys need privacy to discuss adult things, finances, etc, lol, yeah, that's tricky.

Honey let me give you a different perspective. How did YOU feel when I was seeing Marty (or Brian for that matter those few months we were back in Gettysburg??)?? This will give you a clue to how to act, what to do around TOdd's kids, what THEY might be feeling. That's the answer to "You must've run into something like that." Of course I did but I was the one with the family, Marty was the one who was used to his independence and coming INTO the instant famly as you put it. I know he felt a little awkward, wanted you to like him etc etc.

The privacy thing, well, I can't speak to that, since as you know when Marty and I got married I was still a virgin on our wedding night lol.

Seriously I get exactly what you're saying sweetie. You are used to seeing Todd, being with Todd in a certain way, you want to enjoy that part of him and you two together WITHOUT kids. But honey it's not going to happen, he is a dad, he comes with the kids, he cares for them deeply and puts them first, and part of what you love about him after all IS that he is a dad, just as the part of him that is a dad loves the part of you that is fiercely independent.

Sounds to me like the way you described it that the physical space (their rooms on the upstairs floor, his room down on the second) makes privacy easier. At least if you two are together you do not have to worry about them hearing you move around through the wall or the ceiling if you know what I mean. But yeah it's not YOUR space and you can't drift around naked from room to room with your coffee, the kids are there and you have to deal with them, as you will have to deal with them if you two decide to take it further.

They LIKE you right? And you like them?

Sounds to me like you just want to have sleepovers at your place. In which case I say make it easier for Todd, if you want to have him over then find a sitter and pay for the sitter. But even withut doing that you can find ways around this. They have just moved to town so probably do not have friends there yet they can do things with. Dropping them at the library or at a movie or stuff will give you guys a couple hours. Come on Maura, you remember all the "activities" you had going, friends you did things with at night etc etc. You think Marty and I were sitting reading the bible while you were out?? These are little windows that will give you opportunities for togetherness even if the only togetherness you get is sitting and having a cup of coffee or watching tv etc, doing something where you are you two and not FOUR.

Keep in mind too that SCHOOL STARTS in less than three weeks, they will be there during the day. That means you and Todd will have your days free. He can come over to your place in the morning and you discuss finances and adult things till you're blue in the face, lol. School years have a different feel and flow to them than summer days do. As much as I am sad that Maggie is going off to pre-K half days this year, there's also a part of me that is singing Handel because that will give me four hours every morning where I will have the house to myself, will be able to get stuff done, catch up on things, work a couple mornings at the Y, and THEN when she comes home it will be all the more sweet.

With Todd's kids (still love his son's name, Neil Young) a lot of it right now is that they are new to town and living in what sounds like kind of a remote area, so Todd has to be involved with them, plus like I said it's their summer vacation but more than that it's a NEW HOME for them and they need him to feel safe, grounded, etc.

Probably need YOU too, like I said think about how you felt when I started seeing Marty. How did you feel about moving up here from Gettysburg (a year after we'd moved down THERE from State College?), how did you feel about me seeing this man, how did you feel about him? Did you want him to like you, did you like that I loved him and that he loved me, were you happy for me, jealous, angry, etc etc? Think about those things, remember how they felt to you, and that will give you a key to how they feel and how to handle all these things.

I don't think you're being whiny or selfish WANTING privacy and to be with him "without the kids." You had that and you miss it. And now that they're there, you're just going to have to take it when you can get it, find ways.

Best advice as Margo Pressley would put it would be to JUST FLOW WITH IT. Flow with it and love him and love them, BE PATIENT and realize that as their new lives in their new home unfold and they start meeting other kids and doing other things, stuff will happen.

And be glad he lives in a place where the kids rooms are on one floor and you two are on another, lol. Remember that place we had around the corner from our house now? Your room right outside mine and connected actually by the bathroom? That was a logistical nightmare when Marty would come over. And we just learned to "talk quietly."

I get what you're saying though, you want him to be over there with you. Be patient and find ways to make it happen, sweetie, it will.

Marty is up and now downstairs asking me why there's no coffee. Why it's around the corner at unimart, lol.

Difference between summer and band-football season: in summer, it's "Chris, you want some coffee?" In fall it's "Chris, where's the coffee?"

I probably should have started it but I wanted a cup of tea. He doesn't have to leave the house for another hour, he can get it going. Then I can ask HIM where it is.

I'm going to log off and go discuss adult things with my husband lol. Love talking to you sweetie, I'm glad you feel like you can talk to me, I miss you, so great to hear your voice and more than that to feel like I can help you through things, at least I hope I do.

Thinking of you and chat later I hope! xoxoxoxoxoxo love you mom