July 20, 2002

and the world turns

Getting back to normal family life here, which means Jenna is getting sick, I'm pretty tired, and George is off to do the business thing and show off his hands tonight. We haven't been apart since he got back. Feels odd--to have the old routine coming back slowly, elation subsiding, replaced by something resembling comfort, though it's vaguely unsettling, because I forgot how to feel plain old comfort. The last four months have resembled something more like manic depression. Now life is going and coming. Our default. Memories are giving way to real life. Live or memorex? I'm somewhere in between.

And in the middle, Shelley Powers signed off of blogging, I hope not forever, but with her usual style, she gave evidence that was hard to argue with on why it was time to go. Still, she remains one of my blogger heroines and role models, and I hope she shows up in my comment box every once in a while, as the spirit moves her.

And in real, real life today, we bloggers have a new granbaby courtesy of Elaine's daughter--YAY!!! And I guess that means we have an Uncle Bix too. Bix, I got a copy of the free book too. Whatup? I never look a gift book in the mouth. Three free books in one day is about as good as it gets (the two Perseus blogging books and Nexus). I will be reviewing something about them soon.

Today was a day of go, come, end, start, disappear, appear, and so it goes.

just another friday night

We set out to Dave and Busters tonight as a family. Jenna loves the place--nothing but loud music and a thousand games, some better than what her imagination could conjur, and great prizes at the end when you turn in your cup full of tickets. For the adults, it's even better. Alcohol, smoking, and decent food--nice hot wings, pretty good salads, and did I mention drinks and smoking?

There's always a million people (give or take 999,000) running around the place, playing this game and that, and on Friday I knew it would take a team effort to get a table. George kept Jenna busy with the games while I scoped out the booths, waiting for someone to slap the tip on the table and stand up--and there I am, grabbing that red plastic booth seat before you could say daily double.

I'm feeling pretty good--it's 9:00, we just came from Mars where George had to say hello to a bass he's been eyeing for six months, and I haven't heard him play since before he left, and he tries this fretless out and I'm bowled over, because when he told me his hands were back, I didn't realize he meant all the way back, but yes, they are.

And when we're leaving (sans bass because they wouldn't meet his price) we're loading Jenna into the minivan from hell and we hear some crazy motherfucker singing across the parking lot only to find out it's Nathaniel, one of the guys George was playing with in Hong Kong, who'd just arrived back in Atlanta two weeks prior--and Nathaniel doesn't even live here; he lives in Tennessee, so you see, the thrill of watching these two guys laugh and embrace and share war stories with the look of survivors of a long fought battle, the thrill was quite nice.

So I'm sitting in the booth rethinking the night that was, rather minding my own business as I have a smart tendency to do, when this amazing looking blonde woman at the booth next to me strkes up a conversation. "I'm from Nebraska," she tells me, and she's smoking, so I figure she can't be all bad, though the makeup was kind of killing me by then--plastic perfection wears on me after like five seconds. "Oh, wow," I say. (I don't talk like I blog.)

And from there I was sucked into the whirlwind that is Sharlene, who glommed onto me I think because her boyfriend is black, and that's not the half of it.

Because over the next two hours, George and I in varying degrees and of alternating stamina, heard so much more. More than we ever wanted to know about Sharlene and Ron.

She starts crying pretty much right away, and she's in my lap--well she might as well have been--in our booth within the first half hour. She's needing some loving. She's had a hard day.

You see, this morning while Ron, who lives here, not in Idaho, went someplace--might have been church since she says he goes to church a lot and has Bibles all through his house--and Sharlene was left at his house with time on her hands. So what does she do? Gets on his computer. And what does she find? Porn. Plenty of it. And more. Guys, let this be a warning: Platinum blondes with really large breasts CAN figure out your passwords.

And when she figures them out, she finds...

conversations...

lots of them....

of her man with a woman from another state, offering to make a visit and show her, as Sharlene says, "His Big Black Cock." By now our daughter is off playing on a game with Sharlene's five year old girl (from another man, another time). I am quite literally thanking my lucky stars. George and I are wide eyed, smiling, laughing at the absurdity that's playing out across the table.

"And there were pictures," she tells us. "Lots of them! Pussy--all this pussy with stretch marks and right up in my face. I was SO angry, and hurt," and I'm pretty much stuck in the booth, and Sharlene who it now appears is pretty much wasted, is now my best friend. At once point I'm pretty sure she's grabbed my boob instead of my arm by mistake, but I'm still not completely sure, and George and I are exchanging looks like, "How do we get out of this?" since Ron is now entertaining our daughter and hers at a nearby game.

"Now I had a webcam, sure," she tells us. George's eyes perk up. "But that was BEFORE I met Ron. I can't have my daughter exposed to all this--I can't trust him; he says he's going up there to stick his-----(you get it)----into her, and what, now I'm supposed to believe him when he tells me it's just 'entertainment.'?"

George and I have a code phrase now. It's "A-B"

[CONTINUED HERE.]

July 19, 2002

keep the good thoughts coming for Aunt Penny

She had her open heart surgery as George was touching down from Hong Kong. She is out of intensive care now but has a long recuperation both in and out of the hospital ahead of her. Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers.

It's odd, or maybe not so, that every joyous occasion in my life has been coupled with a parallel and simultaneous traumatic happening. It's something I've gotten used to. That's why it didn't surprise me when George's touchdown coincided with my second-mom Aunt Penny's surgery time.

This time I tried something different though. When the worry and the pain would start to sink in, I'd push it away. I'd hear Marek and Tom, and Elaine telling me to keep this moment sacred, to just--for a couple hours--forget the possibility of the omonous, of me walking out of the airport to a cell phone call saying Aunt Penny hadn't made it. Forget how likely it is to be smacked in the face by tragedy at the moment of building joy--forget carrying the sack of get well cards from your kindergarten classmates home to the person you love most in the world only to have someone tell you--too late; he's dead.

Maybe it's not surprising that I've never been good at pushing those catastrophic thoughts away, agreeing instead to let them rule the moment, spoil the moment. Sometimes EVERY moment.

But this time I won. And it was quite literally the voices of bloggers--your voices--in my head telling me: You deserve this. You deserve this reunion. You deserve it to be a happy occasion. You can't control the cut of the surgeon's hand, so leave it. Put it down and leave it there. Go greet your lifelong love with a light heart. You might just be surprised.

And I was. I felt joy. Very surprising. Disorienting.

I've been tossing around ideas on why I was able to do it this time--to enjoy a moment for a change. And I think it has a lot to do with blogging--with these connections--with feeling maybe a dozen, two dozen people cheering for me, for us. And maybe it's because our voices are so wrapped up in one another here, in our growing community. Maybe your voice is in me now, and mine is in you, and maybe sometimes I can summon the healthy bits of you that you decide to show me, and you can summon the healthy bits of me that I show you, and somehow these twisted and paired emotions and thoughts are together greater than our own individually.

I'm still thinking about it. Marveling. And, somewhere, waiting for the other shoe to fall. But not the same way. More like a gnatt than a ten-ton elephant. More like a whisper than a wind.

thank you.


July 18, 2002

Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

Don't wake up George.
He's sleeping.
I love him.

Just for the record

I think Gary Turner is the funniest fucking blogger in all the kingdom of Blogaria. Gary, you bring my blood pressure down, you make me laugh OUT LOUD. You are amazing, inspiring, tireless, kind; You are a turkey sandwich with lettuce AND tomato.

Gary, you bastard, you.

that is all.

I miss you all--so many memes going around, I'm dizzy, help. Send Coffee!

I am still so busy. SO happy. I have nothing to say, nothing to complain about, nothing to bemoan, and nothing to declare at this time. Meanwhile, George will blog for me while I rest.

The coolest thing is watching my husband fall in love with blogging. He's telling me who's doing what as I'm finally paying attention to my life, getting back to work, resting, playing with Jenna who has suddenly calmed down, as if a storm has rolled on by.

George shows me Gary's parody parade. He says, "Look at these!" and I laugh at b!x's cover, then notice Elaine. I say to him, "You know, Elaine is b!x's mom." He says, "NO! Really?!" And he's just digging on all these relationships, and I'm thinking how cool is it that I have someone to tell this stuff to--someone who cares about it? MAN, I know I am one lucky lady. In more ways than twenty.

I'm off to give Jenna her bath--maybe write some more later. Amazing how the muses take a nap when you're happy, huh?




inquiring minds...



Damn paparazzi!

(stay the hell out of our bedroom, Gary!)

July 17, 2002

the weight of the world

If you haven't read Gary Turner's interview over on Frank Paynter's site, go do it. Right now. That Porridge Boy is amazing. Looky what he made today. I'm laughing myself sick over here. And I never even knew the Turners shared the Sessum's love for Glengarry Glen Ross. Ah, well, read the interview for the famous exchange between Alec Baldwin and the sales team.

Speaking of Love, he's home. He's really really home. And as I tried to figure the right thing to blog about it today, I decided I can't capture it in one post. I can't tell you in one post what it was like standing behind the recently-installed spectator galley (well that's what it feels like) at the top of the escalators at Atlanta Hartsfield, where everyone and their Asian brother was waiting for Korean Air Flight 032 to arrive. I can't tell you how many times I had to say, "Jenna, be patient," as for more than two hours she fidgeted and looked expectantly at every tall-dark-and-handsome who rose into view from the belly of the airport, coming up the escalator from down below where the trains run.

She waited, sat, stood, shuffled, jumped, ran, sat, stood, shuffled, whined, picked, sat, stood, swayed, stomped, shrugged, and I think kicked a couple of times. I stood at the ready with digial camera in hand, wondering if he would ever come, if the plane had even landed. Minutes turned to a half hour turned to an hour turned to an hour-and-a-half, and some two hours after starting our vigil it happened: I saw that forehead I know so well, the eyes, then the face, chest, "JENNA LOOK!" she was already on the run. Into his arms. Me snapping a couple of shots before attacking him myself.

The biggest gift of marriage is familiarity and comfort, something that can turn into complacency so easily. Don't let it. Because the gift of comfort is picking up exactly where you left off. It's him standing in the kitchen saying, "I can't believe I'm finally home," and me saying, "I can't believe you were ever gone." It's sleeping next to the familiar rhythm that you're not sure isn't there until it's back. It's skin touching skin it knows. It's voice within voice, I hear myself in him.

It's waking up this morning without Jenna shoving me out of my dreams, instead coming to peacefully, hearing her downstairs on the computer with her father laughing at the chutes and ladders game and knowing I can close my eyes again for the first morning in nearly four months. It's coffee with lots of sweetner and cream. It's driving and talking--stories from there, from here--later, after Jenna's asleep, it's more sharing and laughter, it's hugging the pillow I'm laughing so hard. Then it's quiet and skin touching skin that feels like home.

For one day I feel like the weight of the world has been lifted from my shoulders. Like my best friend just came to my side to lift this heavy burden onto his shoulders for a while, or at least to share it with me so I can sit down on a rock once every now and then, catch my breath, and just look at the sky. It's me stretched out on the couch feeling like lead and air at once, because I can. No, it's not forever, because the responsibilities of this world won't let it be, but for today I had no burdens. Only joy.

July 16, 2002



He's home.

July 15, 2002

"Way down Upon the Swamee River."

I didn't even know!! My Husband's blogging his way home from China and I thought he'd stopped posting on Friday. WOW!

After gafawing at the musak in immigration, he shows his true colors. So many people have cried on this man's shoulder in his lifetime, I can't even tell you. I'm always the one who warns him not to trust. My pitbull instinct trying to keep the world from hurting him any more than it already has. It's not always a good thing. I know I've squelched something very human and innocent in him by teaching him to keep his guard up. Mind you, he's lived a tough life. If you've had it happen to you, it's probably happened to him too. But through it all, he's never lost empathy or compassion. I'm sorry I've doused it as much as I have, but even so, in this world a dose of "wait... think... what do they really want?" isn't such a bad idea. Sure sucks. But not a bad idea.... Now for an excerpt from the HK airport:

"Her friend is dying in London, the airport may have sent her to the wrong gate and she is so flustered she forgets how to use the computer. So I help her type to another friend in London telling him she's on her way and will find her own way to the hospitol. She thanks me, I tell her to breath deep and to put her shoes on. She doesn't. She throws them into her baggage cart and speeds away with a very gracious thank you to me. Jeneane, I gaurded my stuff but I was able to help her out without it screwing me up."

I'm proud of you George. You handled it better than I would have in so many ways. Now, if you read this, can you let me know if this means your plane will be late??

And for others, let this be a lesson to you: Check your spouse's blog often!


In good company

George Partington is at the bottom of the blogging checkmark right now. You know, you've been there. You've been writing a long time anyway, for a living and/or in your head, on paper, wherever, and you come to weblogging and you are all kinds of HOLY SHIT! And your life changes before your very eyes, a brand new addiction, or something like that.

Next you're screaming out your window, into the wind, "LOOK AT ME GO--I'VE GOT SOMETHING TO SAY! YIPEE FOR ME!" And then you find a couple of other trees blowing nearby, echoing back encouragement and right ons. In George P's case, Chris and I were blowing "Yah, mans" back at him.

Then like any good day, the wind dies down, and you hear something like this:

__________wooosh_________________

Right? That's the bottom of the checkmark. Some bloggers never start the climb back up. It's just not for them. Nice try. Yeeesh, what's the big deal. What's everyone so excited about?

Then there's George Partington. He's got a great voice and a lot to say.

There's been lots of talk lately about becoming ho-hum about our blogrolls--then comes blogrolling.com, which I checked out but don't use. I like to use mindrolling.com, which is, for those who are wondering, my brain. I like clicking around until I find someone who matters, then taking the time to find a particular post of interest, highlighting the URL of that post, making the EFFORT to cut and paste it into my template, then talk about it in a post.

I don't want my blogroll to be an organized catch-all. I want it to be semi-random, small pieces joined by me.

Somedays I find no one. Some days I find five. Today I found Greg Greene in my comment box, and learned he's from Atlanta. It dawned on me that George Partington is too. And Anthurian. Plus me, plus George Sessum (did I mention he's coming home tomorrow?). So I'm fiddling with my blogroll and figuring, hey, why not call out some props to my hometown gang? Let's take time to water, grow. Experiment. Toss some seeds in the ground and see what happens.

So what was I saying?

Yes, George Partington has a good weblog. Check it out. Here's a snippet from his recent post talking about cleaning his child's room:

"I had a pile of trash and crappy, unnecessary toys out in the hall. I had a place for everything and everything in its place. It felt good. And I looked around and said, damn, I need to do this with my whole life. My life is cluttered, too. Books, CDs, magazines, bills, newspapers, post-it notes to myself, shoes, socks, unread New Yorkers. I need focus too. Then maybe I’ll get somewhere, and that sense of satisfaction will grow into something resembling a feeling of well-being."

George at 3 a.m.

Exhaustion has taken your place.
With it comes peace
deep slumber
numbs and protects me
from missing you.

All the places you aren't
hands wrapped around
the neck of your bass,
indentations in linens,
and your man smell.

I sniff, sleep with
your pillow against
my cheek
breathing you home.

Is it a dream that
rolls me over
in sudden
sharp darkness?
I can barely tell
that it's you.

Remember you
wanting
me that bad,
stirring me
from sleep
to part my legs
and greet me
with desire?

I wake slowly, wonder
how did you get here:
I fell asleep alone.

Stretching and
coming awake
you're tasting me
telling me, "I love you."

When we join in that
sudden darkness
we are the sparks
that light the moon
the stars wait
for our charge.

Love me electric
play me,
squeeze, bite, moan,
and bring your love inside.

Let me hold you
and move you in circles,
show you how
you make me
glad for the night.

Climb up with me
onto the roof
lay across the peak
envision summer heat
as our blanket.

Take me as close as you can to the sky
before you bring me home.

July 14, 2002

a note to daypop and blogdex visitors

I guess I'm confused again. I thought there was an unwritten code of conduct for traversing blogs through daypop and blogdex--a code that says visitors who happen upon a new blog should leave a note in the comment box saying--"Hey, just passing through. Cool blog (or, this sucks). Check me out sometime." I do this. When I wind up at an interesting blog through a daypop link, I leave a little something for the blogger--throw my quarter in the tin cup--a few words of encouragement as a comment or discussion post. Sometimes add them to my blogroll.

FOR CRYING OUT LOUD! I've been on Daypop and Blogdex for three days, with 300+ visitors a day (my average is 91). Do you think anyone has passed me a folded up note saying, "psssst. cool. check out my blog." Not one. This, my friends, is depressing. This is anti-conversational. This is not cool.

This is not to take away from my buddies--my brothers and sisters of Blogaria who HAVE commented, who already know me and some of them even like me. I'm talking about the new folks--some who may want to join our discussions. Or maybe they don't.

Yes, blogging is surfing and "reading" and exploring, but it's also communicating--otherwise, what's the incentive to make our blogs public rather than private? Communication and relationships are what we're IN THIS FOR.

I am reading the trite poetry that is my referrer log, singing. "What's it all about, Alfie?" Where'd I go wrong? So many people. Such little conversation.

No, this isn't another "Jeneane whining about the lack of comments" post. This is pure amazement at how none of the 600+ extra passers by felt inclined, invited, or inspired to say hey. I wonder which it is--Am I boring? Am I intimidating? Are you just busy? Were you hopping for cat pictures? WHAT?

As I plummet from my few minutes in the limelight, it's not too late. I'm always looking for good blogroll candidates. If you happen upon this place, let me know you were here, huh? It'd be just plain neighborly for you to say, "Hey."

DID I MENTION...

That my husband, the master bassist*, is leaving Hong Kong and will be home in TWO DAYS!!!!???!!?!?! If I'd ever done it before, I might just paint my toes like jelly beans.

But then, my plain old toes have been his toes for 18 years, and the metallic glare might scare him. So instead, Jenna and I are gonna tape streamers all over the house and hang up a gold and red "HAPPY BIRTHDAY!" banner because we never did find one that said "WELCOME HOME!"

Travel safely--can't wait to hear all the stories from the road!

[*Further proof that no living soul in the northeast knows how to mix bass.]