December 14, 2002

will the real mike slanders please sit down

RageBoy deconstructs "the hoover" today in a post that left me breathless. If you wondered what happened between Ann and RB and Marek J., all questions are answered for those who are brave and/or talented enough to roll their own hoovers while reading.

While I'm not aligned with RB on his opinions about all his blogger relationships - I love the Crone, for example -- I second his nomination of Mike Slanders of Stop Trying as Blogger Asshole of the Year. (okay, well, I made up that nomination).

To that end, RB unveils an email forwarded by Marek, which Slanders sent trying to enlist support in a war-blogger/peace-blogger coalition to undo RB. Marek, you have my highest respect--like you didn't already--for rolling over Mike Slanders with your own hoover.

The blogsticker to the right is testimony to my particular feelings about Mr. Slanders. I tried with Mike--many of us have. Endless discussions that went nowhere because he is, generally, afraid. But when he suggested that the Blog Sisters should make the first female suicide bomber an honorary member, I said Bye Bye Mikey. Mike has apparently been getting ready to dismember RageBoy with his vintage Knife collection, but his steeley knives are no match for the beast of worst practices.

Well done, Uncle Rage, and thanks for the dedication. I couldn't be prouder.

Standing in the Shadows of Motown

If you haven't, hunt down the film Standing in the Shadows of Motown, now out in select locations--very select, as in, one theater in all of Atlanta. It's worth the drive. It's worth a lot.

These were the men responsible for the Motown sound--responsible for MORE number one hits than The Rolling Stones, Elvis, The Beatles, and the Beach Boys combined--and I bet you can't name them.



They called themselves The Funk Brothers.

Go See It. Then buy the Soundtrack.

December 13, 2002

December 11, 2002

in 39 weeks

this was when we named her
Bean
because the first picture
showed us
a kidney bean
a heartbeat
a mind, tiny buds
in bloom,
arms, legs, toes, fingers
a tulip unfolding

this was when I craved water
to be in it
always to climb
inside of myself and rest
with her
in a ball
jet black curls floating
in blue black,
look at all that hair
they would say.

this was when I took to the tub
five or six times a day
devoured novels one by one
soaking in them
hurried to spend time
with myself
instinct said
it is ending, then,
You will never be one,
will never be two
again.

this was when the blood first came
the doctor said
it will either keep growing
or it won't
no way to tell
and I cried on his shoulder
her father my love
and he held me
and rocked me
said shhh.
it will be okay

this was when we would sit
late into the night
and imagine tomorrows
me saying
what would we be doing
right now, this minute
with a baby between us
how would it be different
what will we do with it
him saying they fit in
all around you
that is the beauty

this was when the doctor said:
it's a miracle you made it...
all of those tumors...
so much bigger than the baby...
you must be in pain, take these pills...
let's schedule a day...
you are an enigma...

this was when I sat in the front seat
of the the silver four-door coup,
arms crossed, not budging
I don't need to do
this, I like things fine
just like they are
no reason to change
everything now
Give me a week or two
more please
because I still don't
want it to be over
and why can't anyone
see that.

this was when I surrendered
to joy
this was when all my
yesterdays stopped

float, dream,
think
what might be
is.


20 more reasons why blogsprogs is groundbreaking

Ruzz asks in the comments below for me to clarify why I think Blogsprogs is "groundbreaking."

Maybe I was waxing a little crazy at 2 a.m. when I wrote this morning's post. I hope I can clarify some of what I think is astounding about this new blog, and why it matters to blogging and humanity as a whole.

1) It's a team blog written (so far) by three men, and only men, about their unborn (so far) children. That's different.

2) It's a team blog written (so far) by three men, and only men, about the the women having their children. That's different.

3) Participating in childbirth is the most intimate experience a man can have--it is the closest he comes to the woman/feminine. It represents something of ends and beginnings and is a profound human experience. Maybe the most profound.

4) We're getting to observe the experience, and its impression on these male bloggers, in real time, or nearly, as it happens. I can't do that anywhere else unless I work on a maternity floor, and then I only get four days tops.

5) It's a blog about love. Big love. The biggest love.

6) These men all live in different parts of the world.

7) These men have never met. Yet what they are sharing will get very intimate.

8) The mothers have never met, and don't (yet) blog that I know of. We don't "know" the mothers except through the fathers' eyes. The same will be so for the babies until they're old enough to blog (or talk non-stop like mine). This is important. It is about strong reflections and how they mirror to our own lives.

9) I just saw the face of the child who's inside of a woman I never met, married to a man I never met, who live on another continent, and whom I love dearly.

10) My husband and I just spent 15 minutes talking about what an endearing name "Sausage" is.

11) Men don't generally sit, three together in a room, at their place of work, each with their respective partners in their 39th week, and talk about things like birthing balls and back pain with maybe dozens or hundreds or thousands of other people, both men and women.

12) This is a moving and intimate extension of the human experience -- these guys are blogging about as close to naked as you can get. There is huge vulnerability and risk here.

13) This is good writing.

14) This is masculine meeting feminine head on. This is creation and re-creation. The birth of a blog mirroring the birth of three human children.

15) This is men showing us their wombs.

16) Imagine the potential. Imagine three babies (so far) growing up together online, their experiences and their parents' experiences represented within a single blog. Imagine them looking back on it 10 years from now, imagine their children looking back. Imagine their children's children.

17) Imagine these babies being the first babies in a new world.

18) I believe that the men blogging on blogsprogs will relate differently to their wives and children because they are doing this.

20) I believe we will all relate differently to one another than we would have because of this.

Be patient. It won't happen over night.

More to come--or add your own in thoughts in the comment box.


Let me explain why this is so important to me.

"We'd be blog building a bridge between generations." -- Michael O'Connor Clarke


Alright. I had my dance around the living room over blogsprogs, where three blog dads-to-be are blogging their babies into being.

And now I'm back again to talk a little more about why this new blog is so important. Three men, now gathered in a blog to talk about the end of the pregnancy of the women carrying their children, about the birth of their daughters and/or sons, the beginnings of fatherhood (one first timer, two back for more), about how they are experiencing these things, right now, real time, with us. These are fathers giving us a womb-side view as they welcome their children into the world. And then, as they grow, we will see children through the eyes of their fathers.

This was the type of thing I was trying to explain in the NY Times interview. Some might think I've babbled on too long about how I didn't focus on "women," in the interview, but tried hard to talk about how blogging is changing us as human beings. As men and women yes, but as humans first. As fathers and mothers, husbands and wifes, lovers, children, parents--redefining roles, crisscrossing who we've been with who we might be, and becoming more.

This is what blogging is about. This is how men and women are changing and rearranging their core by talking about truths that were once better left at home, under the rug or in the top cupboard above the refrigerator, or in this case, discussed by women in the waiting room of the OBs office, sans husbands. Do you see how important this is, and how even more important it is that blogsprogs flowed naturally out of what these men were already writing, thinking, sharing through weblogging? Now you know why I was dancing. These are my brothers and they are talking from the heart.

RageBoy said to me last week that blogging is redefining human beings (and I think he means right down to our DNA), that our "containers don't fit anymore." Crazy? Let's wait and see.

So it's 2 a.m. and I have to go to sleep now, but what I'm saying is: It's not that these three men are or *aren't* talking tech, and it's not that women are or *aren't* talking knitting. It's about what we're doing together. Here. And how it's changing us out there. It's about what we're knitting together. We're weaving ourselves in and out of roles, in and out of love, in and out of lives, in and out of work, and we're doing it right here, together, men and women, and we're writing and picking up the phone and meeting one another and showing one another it's okay to be human.

Good night. blog on. Dads, take this with a grain of salt--no added pressure here--wouldn't want to make you any more nervous than you already are.

-Aunt Jeneane

george explores the joys of soundmen...

George Sessum knows his musical stuff. I'm telling you so not as his wife, but as someone who above all respects his playing and his ear. That's why I especially like it when he tackles the artistry and business of music on his blog. tonight's take on the gaffs of soundmen is worth a read for anyone who listens to live music and wonders. (wonders what? wonders anything at all. because if you wonder anything at all, you were probably listening.)

"Kick drums go BOOOOOOOM! and not 'blip'."
--George Sessum

THIS IS THE BEST THING I'VE EVER SEEN.

ohmygosh, ohmygosh. I'm so excited. Michael O'Connor Clarke just started BlogSprogs, a new weblog to blog the children of our blogfathers-to-be -- Tom Matrullo, Gary Turner, and Michael himself, into the world. The real world. Well, and this world too.

Blogging babies into being. This is the best idea I've seen for a team weblog. As may have noticed, I'm gushing about these dads-to-be and imagining running through the maternity ward decked out in one of gary's blogsticker t-shirts with bubble gum cigars and helium balloons, exclaiming, "I'm the dad-to-be's blogsister, who do you think I am?!" Since I can't do that (can I?) I've been haunting their comment boxes and discussion areas like some kind of a twisted baby stalker. I am just so excited that these great friends and their lovely women are sharing the births of our blognieces and blognephews with us, I could SCREAM.

baby smells. cotton caps. receiving blankets. baby-bathed hair. tiny sweaters washed in that special laundry detergent. mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

bring those babies on.

and one more

a re-post from July 13th based on a request from Ray Sweatman who actually reads what I write. Holy shit, who knew? Ray writes some great poetry over at YouLiveYourLifeAsIfItsReal, which I think is the longest blog name I've ever come across.

And Dean, I hear you too. Somehow a more daunting task. But I'm almost up for it. Soon.

now...

jenna at four

she tells me,
look at that plastic bag
I see faces in it
do you see them?

she tells me,
I hear TV when it's not on
I hear it in my head
do you hear it?

she asks me,
are the bumps
on the road
giant worms
underneath?

she tells me,
I don't want a baby
when i grow up:
how do I not
have a baby?

she tells me,
five teddy bears
flew across my ceiling
in the nightime,
I wanted you
to see them
but you were sleeping.

her mood spikes
and falls with the wind
submits only
to thunder
she tells me,
oh no
I made the storms
come again.

she fills my soul
then wrecks me,
she dances
light and fierce.

two more, because Ray asked.

I hadn't read voicelessness since I wrote it back in July, in blogger, one night. Ray reminded me it was out there, somewhere. I think you could say I blocked. Forgot about it. Don't remember writing it. I remember the hurt when it was coming out, but don't remember actually writing it. Tonight as I read it, I think the words are all just right, however the heck it got here.

And in response to Ray's other request, here's the link to George at 3 a.m.

[best not to let the kids read either one of these.]
[actually, best not to let the kids on to this blog lately.]
[well, maybe ever.]

December 10, 2002

and then I had this idea

I started that journey back tonight, back through my archives, remembering what I was thinking, where I was, what things smelled like, summer nights on the porch, smoking late, big bugs and fighter jets streaking night skies.

I re-read a lot of my poetry. I didn't think it was too bad. I thought some of it was actually pretty good, and that kind of amazed me considering I composed every letter of what I wrote during the past year inside my blogger post window. No forethought. No malice.

I noticed several themes, you know, when I strung it all together. These were, in no particular order: loss, love, voice, birth, chained, untied, child, without, writing, movement, silence.

Tonight I decided to make a book of it.

You know, some of it at least.

So I made a PDF. Of my poetry. Named it "Running out of Rhyme." Turned out to be 35 pages.

I'm posting it here. For you.

Download it if you want to.

thank you,
the manglement


click me

December 09, 2002

wetting myself into existence



Do check out all the demotivators at Despair.com.

(Thanks Denise for making my day.)

i cannot function in RW

i cannot write anything but blogs
i cannot write anything but blogs
help me.
please help.
send help.
remind me why i
must continue to function in real world
getting more and more difficult
being sucked in
living inside blogs
can no longer function in real world
schwans truck came today
eating s'more ice cream
not writing what I have to
can only blog
can only blog
not good
going
going
gone

December 08, 2002

A Reggae Music, mek we chant down Babylon

s'alright

feeling mighty broke today. mighty broke. you ever get to the point where you've paid all the bills that you've decided to pay and you're feeling pretty good, and then your husband's four-night run at the club gets canceled because of the ice storm that never happened and suddenly you don't have $30 to your name, plus a car sitting in a parking lot that ought to fetch $4K except the title, which the DMV said would be here two weeks ago, isn't, and so you couldn't sell the car to the assholes at CarMax, and then you start to look at the cupboards thinking what interesting tuna-related dinner you can make tonight.

You wonder why you paid the DSL. So you can still blog. And get your news, since cable went off long ago. And so you can do the work for your day job, which is ever more important.

And then you think about your day job and ask yourself, "why am I still working part-time? I should go back to full-time." But you don't. And you're not sure you understand why, except that you don't want to because you want the other part of you--the part you've started to free through blogging--to have the time, the peace of mind, to blog and to work on that book and to be a happier mother and wife, which, when she was working 60 hours a week, she just wasn't. But still. You question your sanity.

You order food from Schwans because you know you can post-date the check by two weeks. They are great about that and their food is good too. And you unass some stuff on ebay. And you think about what equipment can be pawned. You're glad you got food for the cat and dogs when you did; you're worried that you haven't gotten the kitten to the vet yet. But you got him vitamins and Iams kitten food and look at him grow, the rest will come.

You figure you'll catch some flack for this--"you're working part time by choice and you're complaining about money? your husband's a musician/producer--you two have chosen this life. just work harder." yes, there's that.

And those comments that come or don't come don't really mean anything today, because you can feel something more important than any of this brewing and you need the time to nurture it, you need to be able to divide your brain between stifling work and this world that is blooming, and babies that are on their way, signifying new generation in blogland, so that makes it all the more important. There's an urgency. You're feeling it.

Then you think about the money you just spent to upgrade the Blog Sisters site on blogspot, and the $10 you just gave Technorati, and the $70 you give Earthlink each month, and the Blogger Pro money. You knock your hand against your head and say you'll tell work next week that you're ready to go back to full time.

And then you start this post. And you decide, not today. You still have some stuff you can sell on ebay.

.

solo

George mourns the loss of an inspiration in the passing of Bob Berg.