February 08, 2002

Nerds Shall Overcome

Blogging empowers, brings confidence. I am who I say I am. Suddenly popularity is bestowed on the braniacs who missed being the life of the party the first time around (unless you were a young Chris Locke passing out your homemade jug of acid to the student body of the UofR and single-handedly changing the genetic makeup of western New York). Aside from those always-bold web personalities, many of us who make up the blog community (and the good folks at google) are just smart, really creative, unassuming, regular people. Not flashy... our messages are our meaning. It's not java script or flash intros that make us say "Ah ha!" It's good thinking, good writing, and good humor. We fight; we make peace. We joke; we laugh. We learn; we link. We create; we appreciate.

And you know, the Real World could learn a lot from us.


If I keep my self-control,
I'll be safe in my soul.
And the childhood belief
Brings a moment's relief,
But my cynic soon returns
And the lifeboat burns.
My spirit just never learns.
-From Genesis - In the Cage

Work hard to recreate yourself. Let yourself be new, brand new.

February 07, 2002


that everything isn't so,
it never was.

between the forms
and shapes
crystal clear moments

where was I then
that I missed them?

hideous, dangerous
monster memories
swipe and slice
lion claws
that leave deep marks
in young flesh.

Unlikely to untangle,
can't you?

the wanting,
the waiting,
the hated
the hating
it was all a waste.

nothing from you
would have been better
than this.

February 06, 2002

Watching the Detectives

This one's a doosey. RageBoy talks of wearing patterns in the carpet of the local bookstore and begins to unravel the many mysteries that make him, well, RageBoy. And of course there's lots of that real smart stuff he's always saying 'bout Zeitgeist and synchronicity and triumphalism and such. Open dictionary.com and give this installment of EGR your complete attention.

Call Gary

Gary Blockstickers Turner has a great post today in his other blog further exploring the notion of "voice" in how we read one another's blogs. You know, the voice you "hear" in your head when you read these things, these personalities, these emoting demons of the net netherworld. Well all this time I read Gary as a cross between an excited Garfield and a resolved Eeyore, and it turns out he's more like Daffy Duck meets Sean Connery! Gary doesn't just stop there--he says this:

"For total authenticity in the future when you read this blog you can call my office voicemail number and hear my dulcet tones on (44) 1536 495482, if you call during office hours I'll likely answer it so unless you want to purposely embarass us both then call some other time. I'm on GMT here. Hell you could even leave me a message."

Gary, you freak, I love it! I am calling. Hey everyone, call Gary. Tell him you love him.

February 05, 2002

Bathing in Bombast

There is a lot to love about The Bombast Transcripts. Chris Locke's brilliant mind, incredible gift for story telling, mixed with his often damn-scary use of idea enhancing self medications, make for a wild ride through the worlds of business, art, love, loss, grief, and discovery. And I'm only half way through it.

What's taking so long? I've been re-reading a lot as I go along. It's a good idea to do this when you're reading Locke. Take any special passage--and there are a lot of them: The first read startles you, the second read brings forth an "Ah ha" (and often a "ha ha"). And the third read is special--it's for soaking in his ideas.

Here's one of my favorites, from page 72:

"What I believe about my writing -- sometimes, when it's not just flatulent exhibitionism -- is that it's a way to turn those headlights on myself. Not to shock anyone, but to cease ignoring, fearing, hating what I am. After half a lifetime doing that, one day fourteen years ago I stopped. And right before I stopped, I got truly angry. It wasn't anger born of fear, for once, but of understanding. Understanding how I'd been complicit with whatever it is we go along with, buy into, lay on ourselves and others constantly: the shameful guilty knowledge that we are licking our own secret wound in private, in the dark, and no one must ever see. No one must ever know."

This is what I've been doing with my blog. And perhaps what many of us bloggers are doing--turning the headlights on ourselves so we can start healing. Start living again, at first within the safety and almost-anonymity of the net. Here we can examine. We can practice. And we can fail.

We start again. We test the waters. Who am I now? And who might care? Start to reveal the wounds. *Speak* the pain. And when the message connects with someone, resonates with them, that very connection begins the heaing. The growing. The becoming.

In this process, I've had gut wrenching moments. Why is it all coming back to me now? Taking me on this personal oddessy? Converging and climaxing around painful memories and a present-tense that feels uncertain? Why is it all at once so painful and so thrilling? And why the hell am I so compelled to share it?

Because it is birth.

Creation, birth, rebirth. It's bloody and painful, it pushes you to the edge and jabs at you until you think it might be better to jump than to take the punishment a second longer. That's what I'm here to do, to give birth to myself, and to maybe do a few things better this time around. Here. With you.

February 04, 2002


My friend Phyllis is telling me a story, my ear drips with sweat it's been listening so long. I hear a thud, bump, thud outside. Damn dogs are playing rough again. They never shut up. Gotta let them in soon. "Huh, he said what to you? No frickin way. Come on." Half hour. Hour. "It's not you. No, you need to stop calling him. Just stop yourself," I tell her. Like she ever listens.

My mind drifts, half listening I wonder where my husband is playing tonight. Somewhere in Boston. Another gig I missed. I wish I were there. Feeling like a band widow and that sucks.

"What? No, you don't call him. You forget him, Phyllis."

Think back to the night I met him. I'd been watching a long time, secret groupie. Daughter of a bassist, looking for the deep dark rush of the low end. Found him when I least expected it. Or he found me.

Now two years later, we are married and in our first house together. Somethings don't change, like Phyllis and her man problems. The rest of my life is, and will remain, one guess at at time.

Finally she's done. We won't solve it on the phone tonight, but as usual, it doesn't stop us from trying.

"Okay, call me later." We always call each other later.

Upstairs I think, he must be back from the gig by now. I think I'll call. Lemme let the dogs in first, get ready for bed.

Nothing prepares me for the shock as I open the back door.

That sweet boy--the most lovable and intuitive of our two mutts--still and lifeless, a single link of his metal choke collar embedded in the fang of our problem dog, Ikea.

I stand there for what has to be a solid minute, bathing in the trauma. "NO!" I try desparately to untangle the choke colar from Ikea's fang. On the other end, Peanut flops lifeless. Ikea in a primal panic bolts and pulls, tighening the chain around his neck until I'm sure it will sever his head.

It doesn't matter. He's been dead for an hour.

These are the lessons we learn.

While we engage in the useless, the meaningless, the profound and often deadly is unfolding quietly just out of view.


If in running past, we miss that big something we should have crashed smack-dab into, who's doing is it? sigh. All by design. To fail to falter is my biggest mistake. Don't let yourself bleed half a lifetime before you look down and notice the wound. It's harder to heal that way. Cut, bleed, cry, rage, stomp, cuss. Do it all right then and there. Delay is nothing but false harbor. No one is safe. Let it wash over you. You are not safe. Accept it, feel it, know it, and push on anyway.

That is my job today.

Clinton Drops Da Bomb

On a related musical note, this just in from the Onion. Actually, it's not just in. In fact, it first appeared during that other little mid-east tiff we had, when Iraq succesfully dodged UN Weapons Inspectors, much to Mr. Clinton's dismay. But look how cyclical life is! This game plan is just as relevant today as it was the third time around. In fact, I'm going to have to run right now so I can fax it forthwith to the asses of evil for their consideration.

Every American should do his part. Funk on...

February 03, 2002

Get Your Funk On

If you've never seen George Clinton in concert, you should ask yourself why not. It's an extraterrestrialfunkified experience that is sure to delight. In the mean time, flip on over to the right nav bar, baby, because it's funky february here on allied. Listen to that slappin bass and groove on with yer bad self. Youssou N'Dour is a stretch for funky february, I know, but since we listen to him every day in the car, and our daughter can almost consistently tell you where "1" is on those odd-metered tunes, he deserves top spot this month.