November 30, 2002

easy free kitten toys

alright. I know there's a cat owner or two among you. Now that the FAME of last week is over, back to the business at hand. This little fur ball is scratching me and everything we own to shreds. He seems to be teething, which, having had puppies around, not to mention an infant, I can understand.

Why am I so suprised that kittens teethe? It makes purrfect sense after all. The little teeth have to fall out sometime. But they don't sell rawhides for kittens. Can a kitten have a dog rawhide without it killing him?

Being that I'm still garnering funds, thousands of which are sitting in a parked Isuzu looking for a new owner, to get the cat to the vet, I certainly can't be buying a kitty condo.

So what do I give this nusience that will amuse him and his NAILS and TEETH? Mostly he's knocking around Jenna's barbies, pens, and dirty kleenexes. But none of this lasts for long and he's soon climbing the speakers or my jeans.

George made him a 2 foot climbing pole by wrapping boat nylon around a ground stake very tightly. Hunter liked this at first, but now that he's bigger, he seems to understand that 100-year-old piano legs and Acoustic Research speaker cabinets are much more fun to climb. And shred.

Can I let him outside yet?

Of course not--not until shots.

Free, easy-to-make things to amuse kittens? Things they will chew and claw all to hell?

I'm all ears.

Hunter is tired of Jenna's CDs. He prefers vinyl.

The famous Hunter John Willis

my home office, made famous in the New York Times

Spiffy, ain't it?

jenna's morning

I awake to a screaming five year old with a bloody lip.

Huh? Whahappened?

Can't remember what I was dreaming about, but it was comforting and soft, and then some foreshadow of trauma crept in (probably when I heard a thud in the other room), and then my eyes popped open.

She's walking into the bedroom, crying, "Mama, mama, I fell out of bed and cut my lip!"

Well, yes, she did. Not only did she fall out of bed for the first time, but on her way down her lip caught on the corner edge of her dresser. A nasty little cut that we bathed with a cool washcloth while we lay in bed, until it eventually stopped bleeding.

I'm half awake through most of it, once I see that she's okay, give or take, and then she tells me more.

"Someone was remote controlling me."

What? I ask.

"Someone was remote controlling me in my bed. I was in my little corner, I was just sleeping. Then someone remote controlled me, and I turned over and rolled out of my bed."

Oh, is that how it happens? Wow. I'm sorry about your bump.

And I'm laughing all under my skin as I come alive to see the day through her eyes.

And I know how it feels to think that someone is remote controlling me, too.

November 29, 2002

what does numb feel like?

I'd really like to know. Usually I am nothing if not a bunch of charged, freyed nerve endings, tentacles for pain, sometimes laughter.

But today I've been feeling, well, numb. I'm not sure what numb is supposed to feel like. From an emotional perspective, that is. I mean, I've had novocaine. I've had an epidural. So I know what no feeling feels like.

But this is different. Let me use some words and you can tell me: squishy, not pokey, cottony, sponge-like, boxed, flat, thick, vacant, and a little gooey. Maybe I need some sleep.

Ms. Magazine Picks Up Woman Blogger Topic

Ms. Musings a weblog by Ms. Magazine blogger Christine Cupaiuolo may need permalinks, but she's right on top of the story that came out in the Times yesterday on women and weblogging. She also gives Blog Sisters a nod.

Ms. Musings asks readers to contribute a list of their favorite women webloggers to the discussion. I'll show her mine if you show her yours. ;-)

November 28, 2002

not just men and women

So, you get the picture. My real feeling is that the story yet untold is the one about how the net--blogging quite specifically--is changing relationships among humans--that means men to men, men to women, women to women, women to men, individuals, couples, triples, families, just everything, and I mean everything. So, while it's interesting that women bloggers are gaining respect (audience plus linkage = reverb), what interests me is who we're becoming--who we're becoming as individuals and how we're changing within online and offline relationships.

Case in point--The entire Sessum nuclear family blogs. (and I do mean nuclear.) George, our now famous daughter and me. I am her to tell you that it has added a dimension to our relationship that is completely unique, if unnerving. (And it is.)

When your spouse is at work, talking with colleagues, hanging out with friends, generally you are removed from one another. In some ways it's a good feeling. Why? I think it's because you get to try on another voice, it's social, it's usually outside of the walls of your home, but in most cases it's separate from your family.

Enter family weblogging.

I haven't thought this through yet, but I'm writing here anyway and what else is new, but George and I read and write often simulaneously, me in the living room, him in the dining room, Jenna dancing around and when she says something amazing I open her blog and enter it, and suddenly our house is a networked coversation with eyeballs looking in.

But it's tricky. It's risky. It's about voice and sharing that voice with others in a very non-private way in close range of your spouse. It's about wondering if the web that's spinning is wrapping you in different places, or similar places, or if any of it matters in your "offline time" at all. But it does. Because our house is no longer 2400 square feet, it's hundreds of thousands or millions of square feet. And while we sit blogging maybe 10 yards apart, our conversations are spanning continents, as we watch and listen in on one another.

This is one to watch. It's not exactly on topic, but somehow it is. I just haven't quite figured it out yet.

some more of what I said (and wrote out) before the NY Times interview.

behind the scenes with my brain and thoughts... for what they're worth, some thoughts that would have obviously been too long and random for the article. But not for here. ;-)


Blogging is trusting people who are speaking, trusting their voice back to you. As Chris Locke--father blogger to a bunch of us--says, the common thread is the human heart. Sure, there will be bloggers out there taking on false personas, some as experiments and some because they are trying to dupe people. Some I’m sure play with gender too, and that doesn’t bother me if it’s real to them—if it’s a real part of them speaking.

But the folks who try to dupe readers with a hidden agenda won't last long because it's obvious when someone isn't writing around their interests, their passions, their concerns. It’s either obvious or boring. If it's not real to the blogger--whether it's tech or politics or law or love--readers notice. It's too hard to sustain that in blogging. So really, bloggers have an uncanny willingness and need--braveness even--to be real.

The net is a place where we can be real, if that makes any sense. Take risks. Stake a claim. Voice an opinion. Speculate. Irritate. Titillate. You name it.


I've come across some astounding writers in my blog travels--women who didn't know they could write, who still don't think they can write even though they're doing it every day.

The words they choose are usually inspired by genuine emotion, not by years of study in the finer workings of grammar. Their thoughts are free from corporate confines, family confines, authority structure--patriarchy if you will--often for the first time. They are expressing what's meaningful to them--from cat shit to divorce to RSS--in a way that's meaningful to them. It's incredibly energizing.

The way I look at it, we're born with voice--it's the first expression of life from a crying baby. Our young lives are often about repressing/stuffing within family, religion, institutions, patriarchy. For women at least, it seems we get this inkling of the re-emergence of voice when we separate from our family--but that's often short lived as entering institutions like college or corporate world -- and even marriage -- can trigger the dysfunctional family roles for many of us, also patriarchal roles, resulting in the suppression the repression of voice all over again.

Today the net and weblogging are helping women recover their voice. Recapture what they mean, uncover, stop hiding, reclaim their voices. Resound.

In some ways, weblogging is a "Do-over" of our childhood. Complete with a new set of blog brothers and blog sisters. As David Weinberger says, we're "writing ourselves into existence."


What’s great about blogging is that it’s not all about women or all about men. I think the interactions between men and women in Blogaria--between the women of Blog Sisters and the male and female bloggers they read and converse with--are really changing the way we relate to one another gender to gender.

We tend to become mirrors to one another—I know Elaine's life stories, some of hers mirrors mine; I know Shelley's stories and Halley's stories and Mike Golby's and Tom Matrullo's stories and Gary Turner's stories and on and on, with the mirrors to mirrors... seeing our own lives in a hundred connected lives and learning from what we see. It's so powerful. And women are making it okay for men to talk about more than tech and business--many are bearing their souls. And finding out that’s okay. And men are making it okay for women to stand on firm footing and unleash their brilliance. And finding out that's okay.

It's big.


See the blogroll at for a pretty comprehensive list.

-more later.... - jeneane

Jenna and Hunter

Time for a kitty intermission.

This photo was snapped by Tami Chappell who came to our house from the Times to take our picture.

More on that later.

Papa George, get outa those Florida rays and come home soon.

women and weblogs

Today's New York Times Circuits section features an article on women and weblogging: Telling All Online: It's a Man's World (Isn't It?), by Lisa Guernsey. The article gives props to some (I wish more) women webloggers, including Blog Sisters. These kind of articles are always too short to convey what needs to be said, but its the first I've seen focusing on women bloggers--and it is the NY Times after all.

Can I just say I'm so excited that my kid and kitty made the news?

November 27, 2002

Sweat Idea

Ray Sweatman added a Best of the Blog roll over at his place. Ray has culled through some of his all-time favorite posts from a slew of bloggers and put them near his blogroll for safe keeping. Nice idea--especially nice as the memories of those moving posts slip from our brain to make room for all the new posts we're reading. There's a link to a poem I wrote there, which, until I read it on Ray's site, I would have never even remembered writing.

Has anyone counted up how many actual words they've spewed out over the last year? I can't imagine. When is it that we're starting ot get paid by the word around these parts? If that happens, Golby will be one rich blogger.

November 26, 2002

worst practices and happy hour

There's a dandy little review of Chris Locke's Gonzo Marketing book on eDesign. The reviewer, Stephanie Saulmon, does a great job of summarizing gonzo marketing and worst practices in a single paragraph. A snipet:

"As Locke sees it, the Internet has already created forums for conversations between people of shared passions and interests, so businesses should use their employees to become engaged in the market. Real stories from real people about real enthusiasm are at the heart of the Gonzo approach."

My message to management (in the most generic sense of the word): Encourage your employees to blog about what matters to them. Let them go; Read what they say; Stay out of their way; Don't freak out. Take this advice very seriously. I would not say anything to steer you wrong. Well, not this week anyway. Friday is payday.

That's today's gonzo lesson. Now, everyone get to the bar for happy hour!

November 25, 2002

jenna is playing the piano and singing her own lyrics... sa-weeet.

little birdie come inside
gently hold your hand
we will help you from the sky
we will hug you when you cry
gently we will put you back
Make sure to hold your
mommy's hand
Be gentle to your

I want a holiday

I'm missing this place. We go every year and meet friends from around the world at one of the nicest all-inclusive family resorts in the Caribbean. This past June we didn't go. George was in Hong Kong playing at the Grand Hyatt, and I was here taking care of the home base for many months. I missed him, I missed the "normality" of every day life, but when June came and went, I missed that vacation something fierce.

The relaxed feeling of FDR, knowing your children are well taken care of and having even more fun than you, the time you spend with your kids on the glass bottom boat, picnics as a family with your "vacation nanny" lending a hand--it's a rare and special thing for overworked, overwhelmed old people with children.

One of our good friends who we met on our first trip to FDR, Carly Connor Reim, has a letter to the editor here. If you want to learn more about what goes on at FDR, her letter gives lots of details. Meeting Carly, Jeff, and their son Gabriel (Jenna's betrothed) was one of the best things we took away from FDR.

It's a sweet vacation--I gotta get back there SOON. Wanna go with us? Parent bloggers, pack your bags and let's go sit by the bar with a Purple Rain.

And for all the exhibitionists out there, Hedonism III is right down the road.

November 24, 2002

secret journey

And so she says to the one,
Fuck you, fuck you, you motherfucker.

She knows more than she should know
about the present,
like where, what, who, why,
more than she wants to know,
about today, right now,
oh yes you better believe it.

and knowing brings grinding pain and throwing up
and knotted nerves that untangle slowly, 40 years worth,
As those nerves straighten and uncurl,
each movement so sharp
death would be welcome and so smooth.

Out of nowhere, the air rushes in, up her sleeves
they billow and she is bathed in wind, the wind
replacing lies with a sweetness in knowing
that beyond all of this,
beyond now and then, later really,
the clouds will take her, embrace her.

She will wander above
untethered from the chains of caring,
And she will see herself for the first time.
She will say to them all, Go to Hell.
This is how she will forgive herself.

where'd my third person go?

Too many "I"s lately. Even I'm getting bored with myself. (there I go again--d'oh!)

I lost that place where I was writing from and not about. Off to look for it.

new experiments in self coming soon....

Thanks Dean.

the pet thread

In a super post about way more than cats, Dean Landsman tells us about Destiny--the cat and the other kind. It's a moving read.