Monthly Archives: November 2010

your ¿facebook friends? and the tin eye

cassian“He’s cute. Hmm. Sultry, even. I’m quite sure I don’t know him,” I thought upon receiving a facebook friend request from Cassian von Hohenlohe. Oh, interesting. He has only six friends—so few, considering he went to high school at the Lyceum Alpinum Zuoz and college at Cambridge University. What fine institutions. What a worldly man. But perhaps he too uses a bit of discretion when accepting friend requests.

Instead of just deleting this questionable fellow, as I usually do, I left him there, awaiting response. After all, he does enjoy surfing, free climbing, scuba diving, marathon running, and flying airplanes. Very sexy. Very versatile. Very believable.

Like most born before 1985, I’m very confused by social networking etiquette. When I used to receive requests from people I didn’t know, I’d reply, “Do I know you?” Until I read, on elephant journal, I believe, that this is a very rude and hurtful practice. Oh. So then, like Kate Miller-Heidke, I simply ignored and deleted these requests. Until Mr. von Hohenlohe, whose unlikely profile brought the Tin Eye to my suspicious mind. I left him there unconfirmed for three months, until I made time to write this. He’s still there, arms-crossed and waiting, now with 57 friends and the same profile pic.

Of course I have younger friends who make status updates like, “I have a facebook friend called Krystal Chandelier,” which I believe implies that she doesn’t know Ms. Chandelier. After reading about how a health insurance company denied Nathalie Blanchard therapy benefits because they saw photos posted on facebook of her having fun on the beach, and how creditors and other busybodies are creating fake profiles with attractive photos to spy on people and hunt them down, I became even more stringent.

Because his request amused me, I downloaded Mr. von Hohenlohe’s photo and uploaded it into the Tin Eye. The Tin Eye is a reverse image search engine. “You can submit an image to TinEye to find out where it came from, how it is being used, if modified versions exist…” (from Try it. It’s fun. (We call it the photographer’s bodyguard.)


Results? It looks like a Sean Patrick Flanery might not be too impressed either. Mr. Flanery was not born in Stuttgart, Germany, but Lake Charles, Louisiana. According to his website, he’s an actor who “attended the University of St. Thomas in Houston, where he took a drama class because of a girl. The girl was a short infatuation, but he found true love in college theater. He moved to Los Angeles and…” No mention of a European start or a penchant for skinny dipping (though it seems he did star as Indiana Jones on teevee).

Please don’t suggest that Cassian posted this photo of Sean Patrick as his celeb doppelganger shot for “Facebook Celebrity Doppelganger Week” (what, you didn’t play?), as it ended six months before Cassian joined. And it’s his only profile pic. And a Google search for “Cassian von Hohenlohe” (with quotes) results in only six links, all to Facebook.

I’ll refrain from wondering who this Cassian character really is and just hope I was selected to be his friend at random. What a fine mixture of creepiness and hilarity.

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This post gets no decoration. Plain text (on blogs) is seldom read, and because this bit is a blurb on a yoga moment, and people’s yoga moments tend to annoy me, it’s only right you not read it. I am posting it, though.

Yesterday morning, in Utthita Hasta Padangushthasana—perhaps my worst pose, because I suck in both standing balance and hamstring flexibility—the teach came over to lift my leg and support me, as he almost always does. When I lifted my leg, my standing leg wobbled. Ordinarily I’d stop and rebalance, but because I knew he was there, I kept lifting. I knew I’d recover balance because he was there.

“Oh. This is what it’s like,” I thought, “to be supported. To keep going even though you’re wobbly. To have the confidence you won’t fall flat, or have to be perfect before going up.”

One might argue, as I would because I’m like that, that I shouldn’t go up if I don’t have balance yet, or how will I find it on my own if he always helps? To that I reply: the body remembers and learns, and does so more gracefully without struggle.

It was a big moment, because it’s such an issue and theme in my life. The one I’ve been promising myself to write about, starting with that day back in Kazakhstan in 2004. I feel lucky to have had it yesterday, that little epiphany. The daily discipline of going there early and doing it every damn day, and coming to trust the teacher day after day, is part of what made it happen.

Last week a friend was talking about climbing a fence and stealing fruit off of trees when he was small. “We didn’t do it because we needed it. We just wanted to do it. It was fun. Nothing ever happened to us even if we got caught. You know, the poor kids didn’t do it though. They never did.”

His point was that they didn’t do it because they needed it, they did it because it was fun. But I heard something else, and replied, “Yeah, because if the poor kids were caught, that’d be the end.”

“Yeah, it’s true. We were just given over to our parents, but for them it’s another story.”

All this is what I mean by the psychology of having and not having, and the risk taking you can do when you feel the world is a safe (enough) place.