June 01, 2002

I Found Her!

Halley, that is. After dimming the lights on her own blog for a time, she's over on Blog Sisters now, exploring connotations and intuitions, language and life. Cool! We'll keep the light on for you, Halley.

May 31, 2002

Help Shelley Get Her UNIX On

Hey, wanna help Burning Bird with a book? Shelley's Looking for Folks who work with Linux (all flavors), Darwin, Solaris, HP UX, FreeBSD, etc. - any version of UNIX - to contribute to the book she's working on. Specifically, send her stories on: SSH, encryption, firewalls, PGP, installing and building software, creating software packages for installation, user and file security, Kerberos, security concepts and tools, preventing security problems, finding security problems.

Flap on over to the bird if you have a story to share. (Shelley, do I get a tim tam for this?)


I'm sitting here tonight letting my mind wander, thinking about digital generations, resurrecting the dead through digital technology. Stuff like that. Because tonight I put on a CD my cousin had burned last year, a CD featuring my grandfather on mandolin, my dad on bass and piano, and my great uncle on guitar, playing, like they did every Sunday of every week of every year, while we children danced and played and sang off-key.

I know the CD. I mean, I've listened to it before. But before tonight, I had never listened to it with my own daughter. Here she is in front of me, almost five years old, the age I was day this family session was taped. I'm looking into her eyes, and I see them all. Every one of them gone, gone long before I had a chance to ask questions, to find out everything I needed to know. And I'm explaining to her that this is her grandfather, and her great grandfather--mommy's dad and grandpa. And she's looking at me, again in her eyes I see each of them. There is my dad, her chin is his chin. And there is my grandfather--her stubborn brow.

And I'm realizing that these oak speakers, yep, these right here on the floor, are resurrecting, if only briefly, her great grandfather and her grandfather. Here we are, four generations, gathered in my living room joined by music recorded in 1967. And I hear myself laughing on the CD, and I sound just like her. It's like an echo of an echo of something so familiar. I sound so happy. I was so happy.

It's all the history I can give her--the music. It's all I have. I was too young when he died to give her anything other than sounds, because those are what I remember. So we share them. And she shares them. And we're happy.

allied health update

still coughing. still blowing. still feeling crappy. still taking my medicines. still a crab. still blogging. thanks for asking, those who have.

nine more days til 40. wow. wowowowow.

Getting Jiggy with Merriam-Webster Online

So I set off today to find out a little about the abbreviation "porn," because lately I've been noticing that some people say "porn" and some say "porno." Cunning linguist that I am, I had a theory: Porn is most often used as a noun: "Do you watch porn?" And porno is used primarily as an adjective: "That was a great porno flick." Now, this alone should have you wondering, is this what she does all day? Well. Guilty.

I set off to dictionary.com, my sole online destination for finding words that stupify me. But the site was down today. It's never down. What's up with that? Did someone stump it, send it into futile, endless cycles? (RageBoy, what were you doing today?). Well, never fear, Mirriam is a click away.

What I find out is that I'm WAY overthinking all this. In fact, Porno is a variation of Porn, which is short for, Class? Yes. Pornography. They are interchangable. My theory is junk.

Undaunted, I decided to click around a little more, and I did find something VERY special on the M-W site. Audio pronunciation assistance!!! Wow. Of course, my mind raced considering the many possibilities. Which word would I most like to hear spoken on this rather elite looking grammar and usage reference portal?

Fuck, of course. Hey, how much you think the dude got paid for this gig?

(Oh, uh, maybe don't click if you're at work. Or maybe do.)

The mailman came

Ah! The package arrived from daddy today. Wonderful wonderful treasures - spoons and photos, buildings of Hong Kong stretching to the sky like oversized dominos, neckaces and coins, an autographed doll made in the likeness of the singer he's working with, a beautiful outfit for our little lady, and more. Wrapped carefully in tissue paper by those strong bassist hands, packed with care and love on the otherside of the world, reminding me why.

May 29, 2002

The Sisters Are Doin' It

I happened to glace at the archives over on Blog Sisters tonight, and I realized we just had our three-month anniversary last Friday. So I'm sitting here. And I'm thinking about that night, when I woke up from one of my usual hallucinatory dream states to say, "I've Got It!" Usually, by the next morning those midnight ideas scare me. But this one seemed special. And as it turns out, it was special. We climbed to number 2 on daypop our first day out, rode daypop for two days, fielded tons of insults from insecure assholes, and got requests to join the blog in a flury that kept me awake nearly 24 hours straight.

It had me thinking then, and it has me thinking now: Wow. You know? Wow. We are changing the world.

Back in March, I hired the very capable Elaine to serve as President of Blog Sisters. You'll remember Elaine. She's the one whose magic nearly killed me last week. Yes, well, in her role as President on BS, Elaine keeps me from getting in deeper trouble than I usually do and adds members faster than a crone can stir a pot. Of course, I think I've fired her and re-hired her six times, but we don't talk about that much in public. She's really good about it when I go crawling back bringing her toads and strands of hair.

But enough about management! Blog Sisters now has nearly 40 women members with posting privileges, and dozens of women who are proud to be on our blogroll. I'm reading and hearing and learning things it could take me a lifetime to fully digest over there.

And I'm hangin' with the sisters, which makes it that much more special.

So, ya know? I had to share.

more on comments

I'm working on trying to get my old ones back. I did a very stupid thing. I have two identities on Yaccs, one for baby blogger and one for my blogs, hoping that this way, when she's old enough to type, she doesn't stumble onto all my profanity, at least not all at once. WELL, I went and added allied to THAT identity at Yaccs, and put that new code into my template. dumb dumb dumb. See? Too many blogs and it's easy to forget who the fuck you are.

SO, now I'm trying to generate the code via my old (own) Yaccs identity. We'll see if that works. Or else, I'll probably have nothing. Which is maybe just where I should leave this mess.

Cross your fingers. toes. ears. nose. panty hose. and stuff.

i am currently in a deep depression...

over my comments being gone.... any ideas? shit. When I went to YACCS they said I had to upgrade, so I did, and let YACCS insert the code, and now look. all those months of witty responses from themasses are gone. help.

May 28, 2002

Venus and Mars (and Halley's Comments)

Standing In The Hall
Of The Great Cathedral
Waiting For The Transport To Come
Starship 21zna9

A Good Friend Of Mine
Studies The Stars
Venus And Mars
Are Alright Tonight.

Come Away On A Strange Vacation
Holiday Hardly Begun
Run Into A Good Friend Of Mine

Sold Me Her Sign
Reach For The Stars
Venus And Mars
Are Alright Tonight.
-Paul McCartney, Venus And Mars - Reprise

Halley's Comment is going dark for a time.

But not before I send Halley a message of my own:

A million miles or more from here,
where wine's water and water's wine,
It must be Mars, baby,
'cause Venus ain't no friend of mine.
-jeneane sessum

The Crone Speaks

EXCLUSIVE.... Frank Paynter inverviews Elaine of Kalilily Time in an exclusive tell all, that, well, really tells all!

and now, for something completely unrelated...


my comments are lost

perfect end to a perfect day.

the diagnosis

You'll all be happy to know I got my ass to the doctor this afternoon. Diagnosis: Everyfuckingthingitis. Yeh, that means acute bronchitis, double-ear-infectionitis, sinusitis, sick-of-carrying-the-world-on-my-fucking-shouldersitis, missing-my-husbanditis, hornyitis, if-i-have-to-do-one-more-bylined-article-i'm-gonna-shoot-myselfitis, pissed-offitis, whythefuckdoIbloganywayitis, turning40in12daysitis, mylifeisoveritis, terribleevilmotheritis, and a few other rare and sometimes-fatal diseases -- something about the coxis. Or maybe I just like to write the word.

But don't worry 'bout me. I'm FINE.

Doc also said this shit goes straight for the eyes. So if you're reading this, it's already too late. Only cure is to fucking COMMENT once in a while.

Shooting stars, full moon, commets. I'm making the t-shirt: "I helped Elaine cure RB, and all I got was this damn disease."

hugs, kids.

May 27, 2002

"Salted Milk"

Cixous writes:

"If we give ourselves over to it, this is because it is a response
Resistance to mourning.
-- Tears of pain
One responded to loss with a flood, a libation
something one gives nobody to drink."

The Fever - 6

Stop, fall.
flush, blush,
cold sweat, chills,
fire, climbing again,
and again,
and then, again,
softness comes to rest,

Sun streams in,
lights dust like smoke.
Gentle strokes,
head to hip,
memory of pain
peace then.

the quiet
rains down.

The Fever - 5

I am realizing that I am on top of the covers, not under the covers. I am realizing that I haven't been under the covers since you left. Under, where I miss you most. The comfort inside, too much a reminder. I rest on top of the covers, and you aren't really gone. I am napping. I am not sleeping. You will be home any minute, and I'll hear your steps, coming up, pausing to lay your keys on the table. I'll wait for you, come home, crawl into bed, touch, sleep.

The Fever - 4

Distraction, protection. Addiction. Hiding. The moment is frightening because the moment is elastic, stretching forward, a lifetime in an instant, and an instant infinite.

Learning to be in the moment, stepping down into the moment, a warm pool, I am so cold.

The Fever - 3

danger, touch, over a bridge, high above the water.

The Fever - 2

No rest. Don't rest. Don't step down. These are roots, these are hospital vigils, unexpected deaths, lost wars against mortality. I will not let death surprise me. Guard up. Sickness is my mind/body keenly alert. Surprise and death, to me, the same thing.

The Fever - 1

A white canvas, a white canvas, and I am wide open. I see my voice from a distance, it is my partner, my other, comforting, and that's what writing is, laying your voice outside of yourself. Laying it down. The vulnerability of love again, when you lay your voice down, outside. You trust, and you risk, and you are at risk. That is the link of writing and love, infecting, affecting one the other.


The fever is gone, for now? But it kept me good company last night. I was somewhere with Cixous, a place I recognized but had never paid attention to before. She writes:

"Fever, which is unbearable, is a defensive phenomenon. It is a combat. It is the same thing for suffering: in suffering there is a whole manoeuvre of the unconscious, of the soul, of the body, that makes us come to bear the unbearable.... Where does this manoeuvre lead us? For example to not being expropriated; to not being the victim but rather the subject of the suffering."

In bed, last night, I am in that place of illness, holding my own vigil, a vigil to me, in that space of perfect physical stillness, as my mind races warp speed. I am a contradiction. I am unwell, but undead. I am dead still, yet still alive with the battle raging inside me. I know whose place this is. I decide to pay attention. In one last heroic effort, I take a rickety walk downstairs, find the tape recorder, and bring it to bed with me. aparitions. visitors. gifts. offerings. Scenes that come and go almost in the same instant, daring memory to capture them. Tonight, I don't want to lose them.

I don't remember much of the night. But I am playing it back now, listening to the stillness, and the pain, reliving the dream as it happened.

May 26, 2002

And then there's this

My face is on fire, the stabbing, jabbing pains of a roaring sinus infection. Fever. Unrepentent energy of a four-year-old buzzing around me, this way, that, asking "mama can I have some..." "mama can I call..." "mama get me some..." make it stop. I am drained. I am done. Got nothing, but nothing left. Exhaustion. The last two months catching up with me. Whatever reserve I had has disappeared. I think some folks ran off with it last night. One wish--put it to good use.

The brightness hits my eye like a knife this night, as I step outside to watch the sun set in the west while my heart beats to the East. I am between; I am not here, not there - entredeux. His day is my night, my night his day, we are half a clock apart, and how many miles. Not even two months. More than a month to go. Tonight nothing seems possible, bearable.

And I know this is the place where my voice is waiting. But I can't go get it. Because I'm thinking about you. I know what you're doing just now. You're getting breakfast, noodles and the rest, to fill you up before you sleep. Turn it on tonight. Don't forget. Late, long nights. The roaring rush of the absence of. Space where nothing and everything happens. Here too. Here too.

A little more than a month to go.

losing myself in you

The way Cixous describes the physical, the sexual morsels of love are exquisite. She speaks of the physical offering and acceptance of love, the deposit of the self, with what I think is a profound and deserving reverence. The physical union of two who would remain foreign from one another inextricably links them for eternity, even when the end result is death/abandonment. The organic part of all of this, the crux, is that in love, we receive ourselves back from the other. Cixous reveals it this way:

"Because in love -- if not there is no love -- you give yourself, you trust, you entrust yourself to the other. And, contrary to what one might think, this is not at all abstract. It is true that one deposits oneself. There is a deposit, and one is deposited in the other person. And if the other goes off with the deposit, one truly cannot recuperate the deposit. What was given can never be taken back. Even if we do not know it at the moment we give; even if we do not imagine that what we have given cannot be taken back -- while most things one gives can be taken back. So in reality, virtually, when we love we are already half dead. We have already deposited our life in the hands that hold our death: and this is what is worth the trouble of love. This is when we feel our life; otherwise we do not feel it.

"It is an extraordinary round: what you give, that is to say yourself, your life, what you deposit in the other, is returned to you immediately by the other. The other constitutes a source. You are not your own source in this case. And as a result, you receive your life, which you do not receive from yourself."

absolute vulnerability

If you have ever loved this way--the way Cixous describes--you know that you have. In other words, if you don't know that you have, then you haven't.

Her words unwrap a gift in me, and I say yes, that is just what it's like. In love, we surrender our vulnerability, an offering to the other, the one we love. This, says Cixous, puts us at risk and removes risk from us all at once. Consider that. It's not until we are fully exposed that we can love the other. And in that full disclosure, we risk everything, including the other's love for us. Absolute vulnerability. No wonder.

Let me let her tell you....

"In the face of love we disarm ourselves, and indeed we keep the vulnerability. It does not disappear, but it is offered to the other. With the person we love, we have a relationship of absolute vulnerability. Why? First of all because we think they will do no harm to us at the same time we think and we have the experience that they are the only person who can do all the harm in the world to us. Through death: either by dying or killing us, that is to say abandoning us. But also, and this is the childlike and magical side of love, we think that the person who can kill us is the person who, because she loves us, will not kill us. And at the same time we do not believe it. In love we know we are at the greatest risk and at the least great risk at the same time."

baby, come home.

Roped Slips Underwear

The best thing about that little site meter gadget is seeing what people search up on google to arrive at your blogstep. Today, I am honored to be 7th most popular return on Roped+Slips+Underwear, and right below some script of an X-Files episode. See? This blogging hasn't been all for naught!

Note to Mr./Ms. Google Visitor: Next time you come looking for Roped Slips Underwear, could you at least leave a comment? That'd be great. Thanks.

great, now i'm sick

Elaine, what did you do? I was fine, and now I'm sick with a cold, sinking lower, worse, can't sleep. I promise I looked at the moon through the toilet paper thing like you told me to. Great. Halley's cavorting around Cape Cod, RageBoy's back to blogging, and all I got is this hacking cough. What went wrong? Who robbed my soul?

Someone make me some stinkin soup.