Thursday, January 04, 2007

welcome to my webcam

Self portrait, manipulated photograph.

(when I say manipulated, I mean that I used the oil paint filter because I've just figured out what that is. I'm a slow learner. A slow mover, too.)

I took the picture with the webcam Heather sent me for Christmas. In the picture, I'm wearing the brilliant multicolored scarf that Melonie knitted me for Christmas. Melonie got a webcam from Heather, too (and Heather got a scarf from Melonie).

When Melonie got her present from Heather, she opened it right away. Then Melonie called me and urged me to open mine as well, though I kept insisting I had to wait -- no opening presents until Xmas, that's the rule.

We got the same thing, Melonie said. But now I can't talk to you about what I got. So just open it already so you can play with it!

I had no idea what she was on about.

So then Melonie told me all manner of inventive advice to throw me off the scent. "If you're going to wait that long, you'd better put that in the refrigerator. Seriously."
And: "It's a particular kind of mammal."
"What kind of mammal lives in the refrigerator?"
"Never mind, Sharon."

Then I finally gave in and opened it and we were all beside ourselves. We can video conference! We can stay connected! The interstate time differential now means nothing -- and all thanks to Heather. Woot!

I have fantastic friends.

Melonie, despite a crunching schedule and raising six children, pulled off another dang-near-perfect GPA last semester. She's already got a degree and she's going back for another one in education so she can teach. You won't hear her talking about it -- how demanding it is or how well she's done, either one. But I'm saying it -- as usual, she did a tremendous job.

And Heather? Heather is the answer to my prayers. We've laughed more than once over the fact that we've apparently been separated at birth. Heather is like my fraternal twin. Okay, maybe a twin born seven years later, but a twin nonetheless. Only sometimes I imagine that Heather is who I could have been, if I'd been confident enough to study medicine too.

What I wouldn't give to be able to fix people the way Heather can! But instead I mope around hardware stores waxing poetic about how there's a practical solution for every problem - I just don't know what it is. Because that's the kind of wacky, goofball thing I do. (I worry about myself sometimes.)

So sometimes I envy Heather a little bit.

And Laura, when I saw her before New Year's Eve, came over and kissed the top of my head lightly before taking her seat at the table with me and Melonie (we had Heather on the phone). It was such a tactful gesture -- considering how much distance I seem to put between myself and everyone else. (I don't hug. I don't do the social kissing of cheeks. I'd prefer to not even shake hands, but merely nod formally from across the room.) I wanted to say thank you for that, but instead just gulped and looked down at the table.

I don't know what kind of friend I am for them. Probably something on the order of Ralph Kramden, I'm guessing.

I'm spending the morning working at home today -- uploading artwork on my art gallery (not my online store; this is something entirely different) and figuring out how to register my new online gallery for tax purposes. (This is still very confusing for me.)

So naturally I was looking at my webcam instead, and wrapping and re-wrapping the scarf around my neck and thinking about what good friends I have. And how grateful I am to have them.

Given the long-distance between us all, I'm sure Verizon is grateful, too -- but not as much as I am.