December 30, 2003

Jeneane's Top Spam Subject Line Predictions for 2004

In honor of the 1,000 emails waiting for me after three days away--FIVE of them from people I actually know--my 2004 spam subject predictions...

Fornicate with hardwood furniture!!! xyldm

Alpha, does your dog fetch? x,fko

Get a smaller box, pleeez your man!!!

NEW Table sex - live webcams

SECRET XX Bin Laden tapes--cave girls

Saddamy, Jeneane, try with your girlfriend

End of world - you have an e-card! xmkod



okay, you next!

home again home again, jiggity jig

Back from the Sandestin Hilton, a nice stay, though cold. Did I say cold? Frigging cold. I'm no more a Yankee. I confess it here. I can't take the cold anymore. When my NY friends here me say I was cold in Florida, which they just have, they can take my yankee card away, strip me of my pizza rights, and color me southern.

Okay, there you have it. I'm a southern frigging belle already. Okay? Are you happy? I said it.

BUT the indoor pool and whirlpool were nice, if not filled with water slightly thicker than I remembered water being, something which distressed George more than it did Jenna and I, until I actually examined the pool water and noticed it looked, well, filthy kind of. But that didn't stop us. Mother and daughter on antibiotics battling bronchitis and sinus infections, what the hell could we possibly catch?

Don't answer that.

So we swam and built sand castles and ate out and -- jenna's favorite -- ordered room service and george went deep sea fishing in 6-foot plus waves. Let him tell you about that. He has a stomach made of iron, and I could make a lot of jokes here, but I won't, so I'll shut up.

I never plugged the computer in. I forgot what the Web was. Didn't care about social networks or weblogging awards or google page ranks. I only cared about finding one of those big peach pool towels as soon as they came up from the laundry because they were still WARM and I wasn't.

Fish is really tasty down there on the Gulf.

That is all.

December 25, 2003

sunnyday

It's this google page rank thing. I see it still at 7/10 and I wonder how little traffic it will take to fall from grace. Yah. That's why I haven't been blogging. Either that or all this frigging cold-n-flu stuff. hack. cough. sneeze.

Went to the doc yesterday. Amazing how quickly i can pack on a case of bronchitis. but, with antibiotics in hand, we are OFF TO FLORIDA for a few days, God willing.

Trying Sandestin this trip. Good hotel deal--one night free. Sand, sun, and at least sixty I hope.

I've never been able to figure out how to get this computer to work on the road. I have bellsouth DSL here at home (fast access) and we go through a router. I don't even remember how to dialup, but I wish i did! Anyway, I'd like to blog from there, but not sure I can figure it out.

Ya'll have a peaceful, easy day.

December 21, 2003

Keep her up past her bedtime and you get to blog it first!

George and I had a lovely dinner with Halley tonight. She was easy to spot in her cool blonde hair and pretty pink wool sweater--She's a doll and looks just like her pictures. Of course it didn't hurt that she was the only white girl in the hotel lobby. The Boston Anglo thing made her a dead giveaway.

One word of caution. If you have dinner with Halley you really should bring your inhaler. I thought that at least once during dinner when she made me laugh so hard I choked. That Halley--she can make an asthmatic wheeze. She's a blizzard of sunshine that warmed me up to about 80 degrees. Halley's so full of energy and animated when she talks that I found myself moving extra in my chair to keep up with her.

I have a new term for this. I call it "Hallisthenics." You find yourself doing these enthusiastic internal jumping jacks automatically when you talk to Halley.

If you've met Halley, you'll know what I mean.

So, I made it two years without meeting a single solitary blogger outside of this house and my job. Now in just a couple of months, I've met two dinner tables full of Atlanta bloggers, The Wonderful AKMA and Margaret, and now Halley. It messes with your head, this meeting of words in the flesh. I don't know what it means yet, but I know my world is richer for it.

Sweet dreams Halley!

December 20, 2003

halley claus

Talked to Halley tonight who has landed safely in our fair and FREEZING city. Hoping to get together tomorrow. Wish us luck--still nursing Jenna through this nasty bug. She's in that phase of not feeling as bad as she was but not feeling well enough to do anything, which to a kid equals boredom. A fate worse than sickness. For a mom too.

Netflix better hurry up with the next delivery. Had to make an emergency trip to Blockbusters to pick up Honey I Blew Up the Baby and Freaky Friday. Hey, whatever gets you through the night.

Everyone's sick down here. We had our first pediatric flu death reported last week. 30 percent of the students at Jenna's school were absent Monday. I didn't ask if things had improved or worsened by the end of the week. Thursday she didn't make it the whole day--I picked her up at the nurse's office sitting with a trash can in front of her ready to... well... you get the picture.

fa la la la la... la la la laaaaaaaaaaaaa.

December 19, 2003

Dr. Mom

Sorry. I haven't been writing much because I've been doctoring the little one.

Today's the last day of school for Jenna until after the new year. I hope she can go for a while because they have a little book exchange party.

Eeeks! Better begin a plan for fun once she's feeling better. Must include sun and swimming--just not sure where.

So what went on while I was away? I hear they caught Osama Bin Laden or something. Wow! Finally. The mastermind behind 9/11 can be brought to justice. What a moment for the U.S. and its leaders!

oh. come again? Sadam? They caught Sadam?

Yes. Well. That's nice.

December 17, 2003

MRSA--don't ask for it by name

Dr. Sessum says that THIS, in a memo released today on the CDC site, is what's REALLy going on with this year's flu that is killing too many young people. It's the resistant staph that's the dangerous piece of the puzzle, not the flu itself.

CDC Says:

Staphylococcus aureus, often referred to simply as "staph," are bacteria healthy people can carry on the skin or in the nose. Staph bacteria commonly cause skin infections. Most of these infections are minor, appearing as pimples and boils, and are treated without antibiotics.

In addition to skin infections, staph bacteria can cause infections in the blood, in the bones and in the lungs (pneumonia). Most serious staph bacteria infections are treated with an antibiotic related to penicillin. However, over the past 50 years, some staph bacteria have become resistant to antibiotics, including the commonly used penicillin-related antibiotics. These resistant bacteria are called methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus , or MRSA.

Persons infected with influenza are sometimes at higher risk for developing secondary infections, such as pneumonia. During the current U.S. influenza season, several cases of community-acquired MRSA infections, including pneumonias, have occurred in association with influenza infection. This has not been reported previously.
[[Bold emphasis mine.]]

Call it a result of the over prescription of antibiotics, call it bioterrorism, call it the End Times. Whatever you call it, watch your kids closely if they get the flu. Staph is nasty and works fast. The best place to be is with IV antibiotics in your arm. I've seen it in action with Jenna when antibiotic-resistant Staph sent her to the hospital after the now-famous cat bite incident.

Stay well ya'll.

Oh, and I'm on a kick now. No eating out til spring. Specially here in atlanta where no one in the kitchens wears gloves.

trying without antibiotics

let this be a lesson to you. Do not EVER not ever enjoy yourself. Do not go for a facial if you have a kid, because you will pay for it. That's where I've been the last couple of days. Paying for it with a sick kid. Ugh. ARGH!

Direct correlation: None
Bad Karma: 25%
Guilt for good time by self: 75%

Anyway, we're trying to get her through this illness without the usual viral-to-bacterial-to-strep=antibiotics treadmill we've been on, which means using any and every weapon against sinus congestion. I've been vapor bathing, I've been vapor cupping, I've been vapor patching, I've been nebulizing, triaminic-ing, and every other ing you can imagine outside of sucking the pleghm from her head with my mouth. Not that it hasn't occurred to me. It has. Geez. I'm losing my mind.

Anyway, she seems to be turning the corner with an RX today for some prescription sinus medicine that's actually working.

Please. All I want is one full night's sleep. Then I'll be ready for whateva.

And I'm sure whateva's right around the corner.

December 14, 2003

Girl Stuff

Last night I had a babysitter come (what an invention!!!!) and I went to get a facial. No rude comments, please. I went to Ulta and got a classic mini. I knew nothing about these things except that my friend went last week and said afterward her skin felt as soft as her three-year-old son's.

I said, HEY! I like that. And they had a special. So I went.

What a treat. They spray your face with warm steam and put all kinds of lotions and potions on your face and neck, complete with what felt like cucumbers on my eyes--I couldn't tell because they were closed--and a hot towel wrap. Just like you see in the movies! The massage part was the best. I never realized how tired my face had started looking until afterward.

Anyhow, the classic mini is on special for $35 right now. And well worth it to have your face feel like a baby's butt.

December 11, 2003

Halushki!

I swear I thought my Czech grandmother made this recipe up until I searched it up on google just now and found proof that it's a Polish/Slovak standard.

We make it a little different. We cut a head or two of cabbage up into thin strips, then put a MESS (that's like almost a stick) of butter in a pan, and sautee the cabbage until it starts to brown and carmelize. This takes a while, and it's an art to get the gas just right so the cabbage gets soft before browning.

While the cabbage is cooking, we boil noodles (shells preferred, so the little soft pieces of cabbage can stick all inside of the shells). We skip the onion. We use lots of salt. When the noodles and cabbage are done, we mix them together and add more salt (and butter if needed, and when is it not?).

Calories: 339,004,005
Sodium: 449,440,000
Taste: Priceless

From the land of scratching backs...

No surprise here. Bush&Cheney will make it all sound okay, and even if they don't, it won't matter because Bush fanatics, like Limbaugh fanatics, could have proof positive shoved up inside their noses, all the way to their sinuses, and they wouldn't buy it. The if-then-else programming is so deeply ingrained that their brains switch to autopilot when threatened with the truth.

see why i stay out of this political crap? it makes my head explode.



Alternative Medicine

If they run out of the batch of flu vaccine they're buying and importing from Europe, I think I'll take this version of the flu shot instead. I'm not sure it keeps you well, but I don't think you much care about having the flu either.

Holy PR, Batman

Check this site out for a slew of good PR links. Must spend some time digging into these.

I SO wish I had stock in Zicam.

Zicam works. And I think it's essential backup with killer viruses sweeping across the nation. I wish I had stock in this stuff. How do I get some? I'm a stock idiot. I have no idea.

Zicam works. I've said that since I first used it.

Get some.

I dunno. It's not the David I thought.

Was reading Dr. David's JOHO a few minutes ago, which I always search up via google by typing in "JOHO," because I always type joho.com (wrongly) and so google is how I get to david.

Anyway, I mistakenly (I guess) clicked on google images for JOHO.

I don't know. There are a bunch of men depicted in images entitled joho.gif, and yet, none of them look like the david weinberger I saw at Publix a month or so ago. Unless he looks very different in swim trunks.

Hmmm. I'm ready for a blog version of What's My Line to find out who the real Sir JOHO is.

Slippers and Parkas

For the first time since we moved to the south, I got bedroom slippers this winter. I've never been a slipper wearer or a robe wearer, and I don't know if it's that I'm older now or just plain Southern, but I can't take this cold. Today I found myself nostalgic for a parka, you know the kind with a hood and the fuzzy fake fur around your face? Yes. Mmmmmm. Warm.

The heating bill's gonna be crazy next month. 75 degrees and counting.

Remember how they owed me money?

Well, they still due [sic]. Two invoices past 60 days, three past 30. Things are getting tight. Again.

Ho Ho Ho,
might as well
become a
Ho.

empty houses are creepy in the winter

Three empty houses on our street. Two forclosures, one unassed. And I hear the economy's getting better.

Yah, okay.

School Germinitis

PTA meeting tonight, which meant 200 or so parents and at least as many kids running crazy through the school, and what is that, 2,000 kid fingers touching, rubbing, grabing, flushing? Oh geez. Time to go disinfect mother and daughter. I already have a headache.

I'm not loving my 40s.

Mosly they've been a pain.

What do you want me to tell him?

So, I'm meeting with this really neat potential client tomorrow who wants to know more about blogging, maybe jump into it. What do you want me to tell him--i.e. what's your one piece of advice to heads of business looking to blog?

I say:

1) Don't do it like this guy.

2) Don't blog from your business card title--blog from your gut and interests and conversation will follow.

3) Be prepared to get pissed off at the medium about every 7-10 days.

4) Take care with your blogroll.

5) Visit here often for cool shit you can use.

Those are the top five things off the top of my head. And you?


who dat girl?



Halley, Is that you behind Dean? Hey, I know you were up there rubbing elbows, but I didn't expect to see your black teddy make the national news.

;-)

December 10, 2003

luxurious interuptus

This evening Jenna had a baby sitter at our house for the first time ever. Yes, that's right. I had the evening to go to therapy and not worry about where she'd be or if my sister would be feeling up to watching her (she just had surgery, so her recovery will take some time) or if my friend who swaps watching the kids with me was over the flu yet.

I was so excited after group to have the luxury of taking an hour just for me. Not rushing home. I was going to go to a store or two, maybe stop at the mall, something. But the worried mother in me wouldn't let it happen. I called home and continued to get the message that someone was on the phone.

So of course, I'm thinking, "WHY is this baby sitter on the phone--she should be watching my kid!" And I call every five minutes all the way home, forgetting about shopping, nagging at myself about the many failures of human beings, only to walk in the front door and find them sitting blissfully playing with stickers in the living room when I got home.

Apparently, Jenna called my cellphone with the cordless phone, which ran out of batteries while she was dialing, which made the "on the phone" message come on since the receiver was never really hung up.

All of this is to say, I raced home for no reason.

I'll chalk this up as a practice run I guess.

Maybe next time... Maybe next time...

Sue Whitey

Were Principal McCracker and the local police wrong?

You bet they were. I imagine this conversation taking place between the Principal and the chief of police the week before the raid:

"Hi. McCracker here. You ready?"

"Yep, we're ready to teach those kind a lesson. If they think they're bringing drugs, rap and jungle love into our schools, we've got a biiig surprise for them. Hey, you got those first floor utility closets cleaned out? I want to hide a few men in there--jump out, pull our guns, and scare the pants off their black asses."

"Yes Chief, the school's ready. Now, all the busses from the ghetto get here at 6:45. So get here early. The good kids don't get here until after 7. Now, I don't want a hair harmed on a single blonde head in this place--you understand that, right?"

"Of course! We all know what the dope dealers look like. As long as it's light enough out, we'll be able to see them--A HA HA HA HA--get it McCracker?"

"Good one. Heh. Yah, well, if you pull your guns, you'll be able to see the whites of their eyes get REAL big! HA! Bring some of your drug sniffing dogs with you--okay? I mean, I know you won't find any drugs, but you know how they h-a-t-e dogs, eh? HA HA HA!"

"You got it. Okay. We'll be kicking some young black ass. It'll be a proud day. A proud day."


If a cop pulled a gun on my kid at school because of some lamebrained principal's inability to run the place, you better believe I'd sue. Sue, sue, sue. Either that or kick some serious behind. I'd show that McCracker black. Yah.... Black and blue.

Al Sharpton has a point, but it's 404.

"I know that Governor Dean and Al Gore love the Internet; www.bossism doesn't work on my computer." -- Al Sharpton

Um, that's because you forgot the .com, Mr. Sharpton.

Actually, www.bossism.com does work. Or as we say on the Internet, that domain is taken.

Fortunately for you though Al, bossism.org and .net are still available--Act Now! Send me $500,440 and I'll register them *both* for you! That's a huge savings!

And I expect a link.

biceps, triceps, and....

Bedtime with jenna, it's always wonderous to watch her mind wind down. Laying there last night, the questions came, as usual:

"What's this muscle called again?" she asked pointing to the under side of her upper arm.

"Tricep?" I answered, having no idea if that was right.

"And this--this is bicep," she said, pointing to her bicep, then down to her tummy: "Abs," then the back of her leg: "Hamstring."

"Yep, I think that's right."

"HAMSTRING!" She said starting to laugh uncontrollably. "HAM STRING!"

She got me giggling.

"You know what I see when I say HAM STRING mommy? I see a ham, you know, with the white lines running through it, and he's got peach arms and long legs, and he's wearing light blue socks and dark blue sneakers, HA HA, and he's got his socks turned down like my school socks, and he's walking on a string, like this, like a typerope, HA HA, and the string is white, you know, with those black stripes that go round and round, and the ham is like WHOA! trying to walk on the string!"

"Yep, I see him too, baby"

"HA HAAAH AHAHAAA! HAM STRING. Get it? Ham on a string!"

Can't help but laugh.

December 09, 2003

Mmmmmmmmmmmmm good

feeling icky still or again--can't tell. Just downed a can of Campbell Select Italian Style Wedding Soup (couldn't find it in those cute microwave bowls). I want to tell you, right up there with my Sicilian grandmother's homemade sauce and meatballs is her chicken soup.

Growing up, we never knew it had a name. Maybe it wasn't a brand 40 years ago. We said it like this: "Grandma, can you make your chicken soup with the little meatballs in it?" My brother called it meatball soup. Oh. It was so good.

Anyway, I just had Campbell Select's version, and you know what? It's pretty darn good. Sprinkle some pecorino romano cheese on top, and you're half way home.

December 08, 2003

Dave on Technology and Politics--AKA, Huh?

"I insisted that politics and technology were inseparable. Hey it's nice to be right."
--Dave Winer

Never has a space after a period begged for more proof.

Technology works best sans politics, actually. Because technology at its best is innovation. Politics kills innovation.

In fact I thought that the best thing about blogging way back when was the obvious lack of politics. The absence of a formal hierarchy. The natural, inherent sideways linkage. It was magnificent. The days when no one really knew how many hits they were getting, much less cared.

As for whether technology can be removed from politics? I don't much care. Politics may move faster, fly higher, or swerve better because of technology, but you can still smell the nasty fumes all the way to the winner's circle.

Shots done

Add Hep A (there's an outbreak in GA) to the flu shot number two and call it a day.

she's shotted. I'm shot.

eeeeeee.

Who's Getting Flu Shots, Who's Not?

Jenna goes for flu shot number 2 today. Apparently if you're under 9 years of age and have never had a flu shot before, you gotta get two. I haven't told her yet. I get to pick her up at school and break the news on the way over to the doctor's. Poor kid has had 10 shots since mid-september. She didn't have a needle phobia before, but she's building up a good one now.

I have the magic cream ready. Parents if you don't know about it, ask your pediatrician to prescribe some before your child goes for their next vaccines. It's a numbing cream that you spread on and cover with a big bubble bandage, let it sit for 30 minutes, and the shot is perfectly ouchless. What an invention!

Magic Cream--ask for it by name. It's not the name at all, but that's what all the hospitals and pediatricians call it.

Unfortunately, Jenna needs only to see the magic cream now to set her shot panic into motion. Kind of defeats the purpose, but it really does work. Afterwards she says, "Was that it? Is it over? That didn't hurt at all!" Wish she'd realized that before kicking the nurses and pinching the flesh off my neck.

This is her first ever flu shot, but with the stories coming out of the southwest, and how sick she's been this year, we opted to vaccinate her vs. the flu. They are saying it offers cross protection even though this year's strain is not the strain they're vaccinating against.

Any adults out there getting the shot? I never have. Should we or shouldn't we? Only the virus knows for sure. Hurry up spring!

December 07, 2003

eminem and the pres.

"In the song, the rapper declares he would not perform only for cash: "I don't rap for dead presidents," Eminem says. "I'd rather see the president dead. It's never been said, but I set precedents and the standards, and they can't stand it!"

I dunno. I don't see anything particularly threatening about these lyrics. Dead presidents refers to money. Eminem's saying that he'd rather see the president dead before he'd rap for money (dead presidents). That's kind of like saying I'd rather have tacks stapled in my toes before I'd work in BigPR again.

Then, of course, he's using the universal (cough) "I" to represent the power of music and art (and, say, blogging) -- the anti-institution stuff -- to set the real standards and precedents of our culture and nation. And that said insitutions, government mainly, can't stand that art is more potent than institution.

At least, that's what I'd argue if I were him and the secret service came a knockin'.

Man, whatever happened to poetic license.

P.S.-- Great PR move by Eminem.

what to do

So what do you do when you have a three-day weekend solo parenting a kid with a nasty GI bug, one who's still well enough to be bored silly but not well enough to go running about having fun?

If you're me, you carefully plan a 30-minute trip to Joann's, timing the run (no pun intended) intricately two minutes after bathroom dash number 23, and 28 minutes before bathroom dash number 24, then you speed through sidestreets to the store, at which time you fill your basked with one box making kit, one embroidery kit, enough colored boondoggle strands to wind around the block twice, and a pack of twist-up crayons, then you speed home just in time.

You're feeling like a professional parent who's ready to rock and roll with the craft projects.

Then you realize you completely forgot how to do a square knot, and that without such knowledge boondoggle making is virtually impossible. Oh well, you think, we'll put beads on the strands instead, and you do, and it looks way cool.

And you have great fun embroidering with your sick child as you put the last roll of toilet paper on the holder realizing there was one more thing you should have gotten while you were out.

Life is such a crazy fun thing. What would we do without it?

Holy Holiday Spam, Batman

I can't tell my good emails from my spam anymore. HAPPY HOLIDAYS GET A BIGGER ____! Listen, if you email me, put blogger or something in the subject line because it seems that EVERYONE who's NO ONE wants to email me this holiday season offering:

a bigger johnson
lesbian love
prescriptions that Rush would love to get his felon hands on
some awesome paris footage
tips for satisfying my woman
a cure for my pain and stiffness
discount registrations
and a lot of just plain HI!s

So, let's make a blogger pact and find some relevant word to use in the subject of our emails that will help us all tell our asses from a hole in the wall.

December 06, 2003

it might as well snow.

I remember still this time of year up north. Even after nearly a decade in the south, I remember being garageless and a full-time worker and what that meant in December in the morning. HOW DO YOU STAND IT? I couldn't stand it. Not anymore. Up there, we'd set the thermostat at 68 in the winter and feel rather toasty, all things being relative. Down here, I have the thermostat set on 75. I'm freezing. Been sick, but still. It's so cold and grey. It looks like up there but I feel like down here. It's all messed up.

At this point, I think we could use a little snow.

Flipping the Switch

The pain of trauma is finally being understood in this generation, and I believe that the current, new, and emerging understandings of the effects to of chldhood truama are among the most important phenomena of our generation--yes, even more important than blogging.

What is known, or at least what is more widely accepted, about dissociation, for instance, has changed dramatically over the last decade, and even half decade. The more accurately we name it, the more often we tell our stories, the more we can heal ourselves and our families--and our world. This is my greatest hope.

Onto DID, and dissociation. Your helpful description and link for today.

be well, ya'll.

Let us Dance

As you know, I've long lamented never reaching the 7/10 google page rank. I've told you, it bothers me. Well, at least that it bothers me that it bothers me. So today, because I know it won't last long, because I'm erratic in my blogging at best, let us take time to dance a jig for my first ever 7/10 day.

Who's going to take the lead?

December 05, 2003

On a related note--remembering Stephen Mitchell

Here's a good review of Can Love Last, by Stephen Mitchell, who died this month in 2000 after the publication of his landmark book.

...romantic love doesn't die a natural, inevitable death: We kill it.

...more reviews here.

too tired to link to the amazon thingy with my code in it. maybe tomorrow.

cultural mysogeny

watch for a post--as soon as we feel a little better over here. It's not the mysogeny we commonly associate with women hating. It's about the fear and outright distain of vulnerability. It's what too many women are wrapped up in. It's the first way I've seen mysogeny used in a way that holds the mirror up to women as well as men. And I'll get to it. Soon as I can.


I'm going to have to read it.

I won't be able to resist reading Jayson Blair's book. Not sure how much is balogna and how much is prime rib, but the cover looks dandy enough to make me peek inside. When there is an inside, that is.

back to stenciling with Jenna.

carry on.

below the radar

or under the weather here. jenna home with intestinal freeforall. mommy not far behind. tis the season. discuss amongst yourselves.

Fun with headlines...

Is this news? I kind of remember all of it that way.

Evaluating RBs Tools



I just downloaded SnagIt from RB's list of tools over at Mandarin, and WOW is it FUN!

Easy, cheap, and lets you look forward to receiving spam so you can mess with it and transform it into post-modern digi-art!

eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!

It was worth waiting for RB to get over the consumption to get the tip on SnagIt.

German Cuisine Anyone?

Holy. Gives new meaning to the phrase: Eat Me.

December 04, 2003

I got caught Misbehaving...

I got a spanking over at Missbehaving.net today. I didn't think I was being snarky, but I was off topic. But I had to be off topic. Because I wasn't able to comment on topic. Because comments got turned off for the post I wanted to comment on. And, maybe it's news to some other blog tool users, like me, but we with YACCS don't get to trackback or whatever it's called. And, well, I wouldn't think to do it if I could have in this instance.

It all started when I commented on a post by Halley on sexual globalization that was a double post from Halley's site. Halley had turned the comments off for her post over on Misbehaving and I was so disappointed when I got the the bottom of reading the post (again) and (again) couldn't leave a comment that I said something. It's still there as I write this, but you never know. Because it's not in the proper spot, under Halley's post. Because I couldn't leave it there. Because comments were turned off there.

Megnut gave me a talking to. And then deleted my next comment, which said basically what I say in the second paragraph here: that it was a double post and I found it frustrating to get to the end of it in a different (and I was assuming more community-based) forum only to be able to not comment again. Then I left a comment saying, "You actually deleted it--eeeks!" That didin't pass the Misbehaving comment monitors either.

Look, if I'm emailing Halley, it's not to talk about sexual globalization but sexual actualization. She knows this.

And, quite honestly, I didn't want to post about her sexual globalization post over here. I wanted to DISCUSS it in the community misbehaving is fostering over on their site. That's a dialogue.

There's a difference between these two modes of conversation in blogging, between posting-with-link and commenting.

One boosts your technorati rating (posting with link) and implies that that the reader-turned-poster was somehow moved enough to action by someone else's voice that they dedicate a post to talking about it with THEIR readers; the other is a sub-layer discussion among equally interested and present individuals (in comments). They both have their purpose, and I don't think it's genuine or smart to limit that sub-layer discussion in a community-blog setting like misbehaving.

Trolls out themselves. Ban them if you don't like the distraction they offer, but don't cheat the reading community out of the opportunity to discuss a post in a forum more aptly called comments.

That's my 22 cents. Paypal it to me.

WHAT? A MUST READ for Bloggers

Or... Rageboy Tutors The(m)asses

Man oh man. I had to endure two years of phone conversations with this guy to learn how he does what he does.

Now, he's given his secrets away free (kinda) over at Meg's Place.

Damn. I'm sending ya'll a bill.

gary's got it goin' on

Gary's thinking big again. Or, little.

His new Nap-Strat templated business napkins are coming soon to a midtown pub or restaurant near you. Fill-in-the-blank charts and graphs are sure to get your next business luncheon off to a quick start. And you know what that means.... Everyone's favorite:

RAPID ROI!

Just don't get so excited you wipe the marinara off with your next million-dollar idea.

outstanding

Shelley always makes me think.

Probably innocent enough to create a category honoring women's writing. But Shelley sees more, beneath the surface. As usual, she makes me think twice. Reading Shelley is like experiencing whiplash. But in a good way.

December 03, 2003

And then...

I made a wish list, complete with the women, fire and dangerous things book that Stu recommended. Can't believe they have 69-cent ramen on amazon now. For that hard-to-buy-for brother-in-law.

It only seems fitting....

Awareness

November was pancreatic cancer awareness month. December was my dad's birthday month. Somehow makes sense to post this link.

I'm getting in touch with this disease for the first time. I've always been afraid to read about it. It is a disease that is largely as lethal today as it was 35 years ago.

Things I didn't know:

The incidence of pancreatic cancer is highest between 60 and 80 years of age, and is only rarely seen in people under 40.

Cigarette smokers are two to three times more likely to develop pancreatic cancer.

The actual cause of this disease is not known, but is thought to be a result of a combination of inherited genetic changes and changes caused by environmental exposures.

A person's risk triples if their mother, father, or siblings have had the disease.

This I knew:

Unfortunately, medical treatment (chemotherapy and radiation) for pancreatic cancer does not result in many cures.

If you were thinking of donating to this blog over the holidays, send a few bucks to PanCan instead in honor of my dad: Alphonse Dimino. And lemme know if you do so I can say thanks.

more later....

December 02, 2003

breaking the rules of fools.

Last night as I tried to fall asleep, I knew it was time to think things over.

My insomnia had to do with something I was pretty upset about.

I was pondering the finer points of grammar, wondering why there are certain rules folks just can't seem get away from.

One of these rules--never ending a sentence with a preposition--is something I just can't get my head around.

That's one rule I've never been behind.

You know?

a good free counter for a web site?

looking for one--pls leave comment with recommendation. or just leave a comment. i'm lonely over here.

loss, losing, lost

...Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall...

I've been thinking a lot about my father this past week. A craving of sorts to go back to the house, the stairs I climbed that day when the earth unfurled on its axis and then put itself back together inside out.

To see his bedroom. To see mine. To see the living room with the picture window where I played the piano with him in the morning before the school bus came.

So much of what I remembered I've forgotten. Need a knock to the side of my head with my hand, refocus my eyes, to know if what I thought I saw was real. Was any of it real?

...Humpty Dumpty had a great fall...

And to go to his grave. It's been years. I think eight, maybe only seven. Who visits now? I haven't seen the plot with 1998 filled in on my grandmother's stone. I remember when all of the tombstones except my father's read: - _____. Now they're all filled in. Room for one more still. I shudder. Wonder who will fill the extra spot. And when.

I remembered today that his birthday is coming up, and his mother's, my grandmother. Hers the 13th and his the 17th? Or is it the 16th?

I want to know if he died alone.

I don't want to pain anyone by asking the question.

Or me by hearing the answer.

...All the king's horses and all the king's men...

I know he went to the hospital a few days before dying. I do know no one told me. I thought he was in his bedroom the whole time. That must have been what they said. Shhhh. Daddy's resting. I knew he was sick. But I thought he was there. He wasn't even there.

If he could have, even through the pain of a fast-killing cancer, he wouldn't have missed these seconds, minutes, years, decades of his children's lives. That's the only thing I know without corroboration. That is a gift he gave me. You are worth it.

oh December.

How must his last birthday have been? To be dead by March, 90 days later, what was that last birthday like for him? Was I there? Did we sing?

Innocence lost.

Either way.

He wasn't here long enough for me to mature, call him Dad instead of Daddy. At five, you have a daddy.

...Couldn't put Humpty together again...

And then, sometimes, you don't.

December 01, 2003

Giving giving giving giving thanks giving.

More on giving. I decided that today's posts would focus on offering ways to help others. With that in mind, check out Network for Good. From helping the victims of the wildfires in California to creating your own wish list that lets others give to your favorite causes, this site is a great one-stop shop for lending a hand.

Today's the Day

It's World AIDS Day. (Thanks to GMT Plus9 for the link.)



Participate in "Link and Think" here.

Bless the good work and wonderful folks at the Community Health Network in Rochester, New York. Co-founded by my cousin, Dr. Bill Valenti, in 1989, CHN provides more than 700 CHN patients with the best HIV/AIDS treatment in Greater Rochester. Dr. Bill is a wonderful, kind, and brilliant human being. High-five for the great work CHN does.

Link and think. It's the least we can do.

Tools to help you sift through what is real

Disinfopedia. Because "powerful business interests dominate government."

Also...

PR Watch spin of the day.

Source: Raj KAJ

Help Find Dru

Have you seen Dru? She disappeared from Grand Forks, North Dakota on November 22nd. Her family needs help finding her.



Found the story at Say Anything.

Post Giving Thanks

That last post of mine gave me an idea. All the posts I write today are going to be focused on helping other folks. Watch. Have a cause, leave a comment. For the next 24 hours, allied is all about giving a boost to those in need.

People Like Us

Before you run through the malls and plaza or donate your credit card to Lands End Overstock, consider buying your holiday gifts from people like us--crafty folks trying to make a living doing what they do.

SusanStars has some pretty jewelry and purses.

Craftastic is retro-cool.

And I can think of a couple people I'd like to buy a tampon doll for.

Check out the artisans linked off of I Buy D.I.Y. and bless a nethead this holiday season.

Thanks to Kiki for pointing out the site.

November 30, 2003

junior insomnia

10 minutes go by. I think she's asleep. Hope. Spine relaxes. And then:

"Mom? Do you have more blood than me?"

"Jenna, it's sleep time."

"But do you? Just that one question?"

"I'm not sure how that works. I guess so."

"Is my blood filled up to my neck?"

"It circulates around your body in your veins."

"Oh."

"Go to sleep Jenna."

"I bet Daddy has more blood than you."

"Probably. Good night."

***two minutes of silence elapse***

"Mom, what if we had the same body temperature?"

"We do, Jenna. It's time to sleep though."

"Wow, really? What is it?"

"We can talk about this tomorrow."

"I can't sleep--can you just tell me what our temperature is?"

"98.6, unless we get sick and have a fever. Then it goes up."

"Oh yah. I remember. What about dogs? Are theirs like ours?"

"I don't know. I think they're about 100 degrees."

"WOW!! They're warmer. They have a lot of fur."

"Yes, now Jenna, you're working toward restrictions if you don't just be quiet and rest. Do you want mommy to go lie down in the other room? I can't sleep if you're going to be talking."

"No. I'll stop. Pigs don't have a lot of fur though. Or giraffes. They have short hair. And elephants--they just have hair on their tails and stuff. I wonder what their temperatures are...."

Netflix Rocks

Netflicks is the Webvan of DVDs. And I mean that in a good way.

Webvan, I still miss ye.

this site is kind of a memorylane.com.

Before eating Wheat Thins

Turn the box upside down and gently tap on the bottom four times. Then turn upright.

This distributes the salt that has settled on the bottom nicely over the wheat thins.

Don't thank me. All part of the service.

Frank means business

Frank wants to incorporate us. Hell, I'll try anything once. Well almost. At least we could get a group health insurance plan? Maybe?

Doc and Shelley are Dizzy

Sounds like Doc's got that nasty flu. Feel better Doc. Just so you know, you blog great while delerious.

Meanwhile Shelley had vertigo but took really good photos and wrote straight and winding prose in spite of it.

Burning Down the House

George does the laundy around here when he's in town. I've never been good at it (hint for all married women--screw up his underwear a few times and he'll bump you to the side in the laundry department). I'm not patient enough to do good laundry. I think grey is a nice color. I don't care if blues aren't bright and white's aren't blinding. So I tend to separate into threes: Whites, Darks, Lights. If it dosn't fit one of those, it goes into to its closest cousin's load.

George on the other hand sorts by hues. Blues/greens, red/pinks, yellows/beiges. The lint in the dryer looks like a single crayola crayon when he's done. Not like my lint. My lint is generally grey.

So today I decided to wash a few throw rugs he's had downstairs forever. I figured he didn't know what hue was best, plus rugs are dirty, so he was probably waiting to wash them all by themselves.

So I washed them.

That wen't well.

Then I put them in the dryer.

That didn't go so well.

I was drying my hair after taking a shower, the laundry humming along downstairs, Jenna painting in the living room. I thought my hair dryer might be on the fritz--smelled kind of like burning hair, then burning cloth. Oh well. I turned it off and sprayed some leave-in conditioner on, got dressed, and went down to check on Jenna. I noticed the burning smell getting worse. Oh shit.

Down the basement steps I flew into the laundry room. No smoke but DEFINITELY a baaaad smell. Opened it up. The lint tray was overflowing. The dryer seemed no worse for the wear.

So I shook the rugs out and brought them upstairs. Checked the dryer over well. I got there in time. No harm done. Except my pride. And except for one throw rug that shrunk from 4'x2' to 2'x1'. It resembles a dish towel now. I bet if it had a tag, it would say Line Dry or something.

So that's why he never washed that rug.

hmmmmm.

DVD city

Not having cable the past year has been great. You don't get great reception without cable, so we've only had a few channels to choose from, thankfully PBS comes in great. We've spared Jenna from the soft teen porn and shoot-em-ups (since we don't watch the news). Now add a DVD and we get to watch just what we want! This weekend it's been Jimmy Neutron, Care Bears, Agent Cody Banks, Sand Lot, and Andy Griffith.

Yah baby!

Elaine's been watching movies too...

Okay, ten minutes til Jenna's bedtime--let's see how many posts I can get in.

Halley wins the first anual holiday blogging award for posting through a holiday weekend when no one else is around. I enjoyed following Halley and Jackson around New England and through the streets of Boston dragging their tree home.

November 29, 2003

good mail day

Well, partial payment from The Client arrived today. WSHEW! I treated myself to a trip to Target and some footy pajamas for Jenna, which, for some odd reason, she's been wanting. She remembers wearing them when she was little and has been whistful for the days of old. Grabbed some new earrings for ME (hadn't gotten any since 'the piercing' a few weeks back) and was out the door.

Dark and cold in Atlanta tonight. People buzz down the roads, through the stores, with a gotta-have-it mania that would frighten me if it weren't so contagious. The Target checkout girl asked if I'd like to save an additional 10-percent. I said I sure would unless it meant applying for a credit card. She frowned. Always a catch.

As excited as Jenna is about the new TV, she was just as excited about the styrofoam in the boxes. We came into the living room yesterday to find a four-foot long boat she had built with the white end foam pieces from the TV box, complete with a mast. She used masking tape, kleenex, chairs, a pillow, part of the box, and the old remote control. It's quite something. She had already designated her little plastic chair as the refrigerator, and had stashed pringles and oatmeal-strawberry bars underneath. She added her change purse (can't get caught on a desert island without it) and set sail while we watched Nemo.

George was off on a trip to record in Florida for a week or so. Today Jenna and I had a girl's day. I washed her hair, and set it with curlers and dippity doo. You should have seen her little head full of pink curlers. Yeeee! It came out great, big loose shirley temple curls amidst her thick crown of dark brown.

It's been a good couple of days.

desperate times

Hey, Desperate Dad, hang in there. It will get better. I can relate. I didn't lose a whole lot of money, but I was making over $100K a year at my last job and where did it go? And what was I thinking? And what when clients don't pay? I hear you. Best of luck on your ebay auctions. Putting a link to your auctions on your blog is smart. I need to start scarfing things from around the house. At one time I was making $400 a month on ebay. Now, there's just not that much left to sell.

Desperate Dad's auctions are on ebay. The scary thing is, I too am looking across the room at a never-viewed copy of A Beautiful Mind, still in its wrapper. What are we afraid of?

November 28, 2003

RB's Thanksgiving Quilt

It's quite beautiful.

TV

I'm bound and determined to get a television today.

I don't care that I shouldn't. I don't care that I haven't been paid. I worked my ass off and I want to spend $100 on a TV.

We don't have cable, and haven't had a working TV downstairs in about eight months. So we rarely watch TV. But we have discovered the coolness of DVDs on the fuzzy TV upstairs. Jenna is having a blast with the extras they put on DVDs--little games, stories on how they made the movie, bloopers. How cool DVDs are!

So, the sales circulars show amazing deals on TVs today, this mother of all shopping days, and I'm on a mission.

Any advice on the best place to get a cheap TV and DVD player, leave me a comment. I'm betting on Circuit City or Walmart.

Doldrums

I can't stand my mailbox anymore. Are we allowed to take them down? The other day I was thinking that bloggers should put their weblog URL on their mailboxes along with their house or apartment number. You know, like this is my street number, but *this* is who lives here. I imagined our mail carrier home at night checking out my blog. I imagined her looking through our mail the next day before putting it in the box, maybe honking twice to let me know the check I've been waiting for is there, or maybe honking once to say don't bother today.

Today I'd like to rip it off the post. Creditor calls are getting closer to knee breaking this month as they scramble to get any spare cash before we might be so bold as to spend it on family and friends over the holiday.

Yes, I got myself into this mess, and I was getting myself out of it, until one client decides that paying me is not a priority. Today the last invoice for them comes due. I'm waiting for $5k that would let me sleep at night. I'm wondering if I'll ever get it.

On that note, if there is a lawyer out there who would write me a persuasive, if not threatening, letter to this client for free or barter, drop me an email. I'm not sure if that's the right thing to do, but phone calls and emails ain't workin' with this client.

Denise Filed Her Brief!!!

Happy Giving of Thanks to Denise and her now family of three!!!.

way cool.

November 26, 2003

misread spam

You know you spend too much time posting when you think the subject line says:

"Want a blogger penis?"

Yahoo IM FIND THEM Feature, Coming Soon.

Isn't interesting the way IM works? It amazes me how my clients are just a buzz or bllliiiinnng away at any time of the day or night.

Isn't it interesting how a client can buzz you out of a good nap to ask you to jump onto a project, BUT when a client owes you money, they can pretend their buzzer is broken.

BLINNGG, BUZZZ. Are you there?

So, I am requesting that Yahoo IM add a "FIND THEM!" button, which dispatches a real live human to a waiting jet that soars to the client's location, through the front doors, up the elevator, down the corridor, and into the client's office, all while holding two big cymbals to crash together in front of the avid avoider's face.

CLASHCRASH CLASHCRASH.

Perhaps you didn't hear me buzz?

sans form

smoke
laps fire
enmeshment
is what the learned
tell me.

But what
when you can't
have one
without the other?

No form to these lines
words
stanzas
step outside
of form
just me
just words
self-reliance
of text
without paper
standing alone
in thin
air.

November 25, 2003

the people on the elevator go up and down, up and down, up and down...

Guess who we met!!!

Today after school, Jenna and I took an exciting drive downtown to the Mariott Marquis to meet AKMA and Margaret. WOW! They are so wonderful. Everything you've read is true. Yes they're that cool. Jenna has fallen madly in love with Margaret, whose image I'll have a hard time living up to these next five days off from school. Because Margaret, it appears, has no fear of heights, she didn't think anything of riding Jenna up and down 47 floors in the glass elevators. The one trip I took to the top convinced me that they should charge admission on those elevators. DAG! That is a long way up. Jenna would have dug it if they'd gone another 47.

AKMA was nice enough to hold onto the twenty items I had to bring with us, including Jenna's dance bag filled with markers, paper, turbo-speller, etc. AKMA looked so calm and collected lugging a girl's green sparkle ballet bag around on his shoulder, complete with a design of pink ballet shoes and bows.

George was home nursing a three-day long (and counting) stomach bug, but got to make an appearance by phone.

Margaret must have given Jenna some post-hypnotic suggestions, because she slept all the way home and is still sleeping now.

WOW!

I am bathing in the serene glow that comes with spending time with AKMA and Margaret. Thank you, you two.

You are wonderful.

Solving the COBRA Premium Problem

I have a plan.

All I need is one of those "print your own checks" programs and this signature I found online:



Let's see, how many zeros do you think he's good for--still six?

November 24, 2003

bad mail day

Again no check. Again $4K sitting somewhere besides my bank account. COBRA due this week or else. And then the mail comes.

Oh, goody, it's the folks that administer my COBRA plan. I always like to hear from them! They make me so happy.

It appears our COBRA premium is increasing from $969 a month to nearly $1,300 a month come 1/1/04.

It appears going postal might be the best solution after all.

When Hilary Clinton talked about the healthcare mandate as first lady, times were pretty flush for us. The dot-com boom was in full swing, and companies were wooing even unqualified candidates to come work for them because of their great incentive packages. Most of us in the technology sector had pretty reasonable health insurance, and pretty good health insurance. We even had extra money to give to the United Way and other organizations that help those and need. I for didn't tune in too keenly to what Hilary was yammering on about.

Now that lean times are upon us, I wish someone who made a difference (AKA: not me) would turn up the volume on the healthcare / health insurance crisis for this next erection. Errr. Election.

The day two forty-somethings and a kid have to pay $1300 a month for health insurance is the day I start getting really pissed off.

This poll from What the Nation Thinks shows that 70-percent of respondents believe the U.S. should have a federally funded national healthcare plan to cover all citizens.

Me too.

Spanning the Monkey Since 1909

Some of my old cohorts from TheBorganization have started a team blog. These guys have deep tech knowledge and a fairly twisted outlook on life, which should make for interesting reading. First glance: I dig the name.

the big blue blog

Frank said this is cool, and he's right.

November 23, 2003

How to Get Fired Because of Your Blog

...With apologies to blogger.

Do you blog at work? Do you surf porn blogs like there's no tomorrow while you're supposed to be problem solving? Do you think management is so stupid that they'd never think to search you up on Google and find out you've been posting photos from the ladies bathroom since you bought your cool new camera phone three months ago? Well, you're probably right. But that doesn't mean one of your pesky co-workers won't blow you in.

These days, many companies are laying off employees by the hundreds, even thousands. You don't have any job security, even if you think you do, so what difference does it make if you blog at work? The fact is, you'll probably be let go next week anyway, so don't give away your intellectual property (your blog and what you know about blogging) with the illusion that anyone at your company will care. Once you've given them a ten-word definition of blogging, that's all they'll need to sound smart at lunch, on the golf course, and at that next emerging technology conference.

If you think your blogging will make you a star at work, start looking at your company's severance policy today!

How to Get More Hits than Your Company's Website

At the same time, your blog can be a powerful tool for making you more powerful than the company that currently pays your salary (the one that provides you with two days funeral leave if your spouse kicks the bucket). It's very common for bloggers who are intelligent, who write every day, and especially who take pictures of the loading dock at Microsoft, to become far more popular and better liked than the companies they work for. Research from Perseus shows that 97% of bloggers land better jobs once they've been shit canned for blogging at work.

You see, there is a God!

In fact, getting fired because of your blog is one of the smartest marketing moves you can make. Straight to the top of Daypop, Technorati--hey, Andrew Sullivan will probably shoot you a link. That's right. You can be out from under your boss's thumb and working for the coolest new startup, or even the Dean campaign, tomorrow. If you play your cards right.

Layoff or Shitcanned: Two Paths to Blog Freedom

The truth is, your position will probably be eliminated on Wednesday of this week. (They like to let you go right before a holiday weekend, to give you some extra family time, let you stuff yourself with turkey and numb your brain with tryptophan, decreasing the likelihood you'll come back Monday and blow away the Human Resource Manager after you pack your little poetry magnets from the last COMDEX show in your take-home box.) It doesn't matter if you're careful with your posts or not. Corporations have the most uncanny ability to overlook talent, brains, and tenacity in favor of ass kissing and the status quo.

With this in mind, you have two options for shedding your current employer: Layoff (involuntary separation), or Getting Fired (terminated, separated with cause).

Both of these approaches have their good points. For instance, getting laid off usually means you get a severance check, which means you'll have a couple week's salary to spend on your first COBRA health insurance premium. On the other hand, blogging something worthy of getting fired for means you'll be famous on the Web, and may land that book deal you've been hoping for. Or at least a spot on Instapundit's blogroll.

Blogging: Just Do It!

Knowing that you won't have a job much longer anyway, we here at allied recommend that you blog everything. Absolutely everything. Blog about your lame-brained boss. Blog about your loser clients. Blog about the accounting department do-nothings who have fine tuned the art of looking busy while instant messaging their pals in prison but can't cut you an expense check until February of 04.

Blog about your mother, your brother, your fat aunt Sally. Blog about your priest and that little problem he has keeping his hands on the prayer book. Blog prose, blog poetry, blog photos, blog jokes. BLOG TIL YOU DROP.

Because if you think you're career is safe the other way, you're just fooling yourself.

TAKE ME OUT OF THE MIDDLE, WHY DON'T YOU!

An Open Letter From The Contractor to The Client Who Doesn't Pay

Dear Client:

Remember when you called and pleaded for my help on this project and that project and this project and that project? Quick turnaround, you said. Tight deadline, you apologized. We have everything you need--we'll send it right away. I say okay. You sounded so sincere. So I put another project aside for you, which I've done before, to bust my ass turning around your project in two days. You loved it. You always do. You seemed so very happy.

So when Net 30 turns to 45 turns to 60, and my COBRA insurance is riding on thousands of dollars your enterprise has failed to pay me--when my kid could lose medical insurance because of your sloppy accounting processes--how do you think that makes me feel?

It makes me want to go postal. That's how it makes me feel.

But I don't go postal. Instead I decide this: I won't be working with you anymore. Don't call me again. I have clients who pay me well and on time. Like you, they like my work. But unlike you, they understand that the fast, quality service you get from a small business comes with one extra little pricetag. No, it's not extra money. It's TIMELINESS OF PAYMENT. It's NOT playing the float with my business, and my life. It's delivering to me like I deliver to you. If you're not nimble enough to deliver, I don't need to work with you.

I have a solution for the thousands of dollars you owe me right now. Why don't you and my creditors talk directly. Wouldn't that be a great timesaver for all involved? Yes, I will simply hook my creditors up with you, and you two can arrange for you to cut checks to them directly whenever it might please you. My creditors have all the time in the world, andn they'll only charge you 600% interest if you're late.

Take me out of the middle. See? I can be more productive and happier not dealing with either of you, and you each get what you want. No intermediary needed. Call it an exchange, a marketplace, a hub. I don't care, but I don't want the job of explaining anymore why I haven't given YOUR money to THEM.

I hope this arrangement suits you. I know it makes me happy.

P.S., I hope you get laid off with six kids at home.

Respectfully,

Your Contractor

November 22, 2003

last night and today... reading and writing in blogland

Last night I was on the bed, looking for something--anything really--to read, when I spied my old English Literature textbook, from eighth grade (sometime after the Civil War, if you must know), which I had dragged up from the garage last week, having found it burried in a box marked MISC. All of my boxes are marked MISC. But that's not the point. I enjoy grabbing my old books from time to time and re-reading what I worked so hard to learn as a schoolgirl.

I started reading the pages, past Ben Franklin rambling along up to William Carlos Williams. My eye drank in the poetry and prose. Being a rather progressive textbook for the time, they even tossed in some ee cummings. Reading this book in eighth grade was the first time I'd seen anything by authors and poets that spoke to me, really touched me. Beyond storytime, this was literature. It was also the first time I realized that I was allowed to write out of bounds, like cummings. It almost made me cum.... ings. I mean, it almost made me declare myself an English Major right then and there. But that declaration would have to wait until college.

All this is beside the point. I think. Or beside some of the point.

The point is that I noticed something I think is incredibly significant. What I noticed is that the writing from the cast of "The 'Best Of' American Literature"--and I'm talking about the writing, the composition, the themes, metaphors, voicie, all of that--is less intriguing to me now, less pleasing to me, less telling, less satisfying, less relational, less compelling, less imaginative... just *less than* the writing of many of the barely known and well-known bloggers I read regularly.

These famous words from these famous writers--many of whom did realize fame during their lifetimes--hadn't moved since eighth grade. The writing felt so rigid. Something about single themes confined to a column or two, a few pages or so, fell flat for me. These were writers I had grown up loving. Some of them anyway. Their writing hadn't changed.

But because of blogging, my ears have changed. All of our ears are changing. Stories and poems are telling themselves in new ways out here, and we like it.

Admit it. You know you do.

Our ear for voice, for authenticity and passion and grief and desire and rage, they are becoming re-tuned and more highly expectant. And every day, there are bloggers delivering astounding passages acrosst the Web. For many, writing is not their career, their work, their life's ambition. They're just regular people telling stories and learning bit by bit how to tell them with more humor, awe, suspense, and magic than the greatest writers I've ever read.

Damn. Ain't we something? We really are.

November 21, 2003

Just as I suspected!

It appears The web *is* a playground after all!

This is good news.

For most of us--those with nothing to lose here--this is splendid news. For Ultra A-Listers and blogging software vendors, maybe not so good. But for anyone who came here to be human, it's good to know we can continue to screw around see what happens.

On my blog playground, it looks like this:


(Pictured from left to right: Laurie, Shelley Powers, and Euen Semple.)


Run, wrestle, swing, lick vanilla frosting from a can, catch bugs, split a pack of cigarettes, smoke them behind the school, set a date to run away from home, write in the dirt with sticks, read, write, dream, forget, remember.



Because we have never had this type of public before, one that combines mass-ness with the ability to keep your name and voice and the possibility of direct connections among individuals and groups, the Web is a playground for new forms of social interaction.
--David Weinberger

tap tap tapping away

I've been quiet in the writing department this week, as you've probably noticed. No good reason. Well a couple--some woman's health issues (I'll spare you the details, this being mixed company and all), but I'm doing pretty well today. Trauma is a powerful animal to be sure. Dang.

Anyway, at the risk of your thinking I've lost my mind, one thing that's helped me this week is this. It's a seemingly bizzare method of reducing fears and anxiety through tapping various places on your body combined with some eye movement techniques. When I first learned about EMDR a year or so ago, I was intrigued, mostly because research shows that it works. No one was saying why, but people who had been suffering from the effects of PTSD were finding quantifiable relief with EMDR.

I never tried EMDR, but I remembered it. So when I came upon EFT it seemed to combine some self-hypnosis stuff with some EMDR stuff with some accupressure stuff. And since the EFT people GIVE AWAY FOR FREE all you need to try it, I said what the heck. Let me start tapping.

I won't say that it's a cureall. But I will say for me it's been a great tool for disrupting my, uh, less than comfortable thinking during some recent stressful times.

Just thought I'd point out the EMO Free site and the tapping technique because there's a wealth of information there, including a downloadable training manual, and it's all free.

Happy stress reduction!

November 20, 2003

I don't want to, but I can't resist

So Michael Jackson's under arrest. Look, I don't know if the guy is guilty or not. In my brain of brains, I think he's deserving of a slew of personality disorder labels, but that doesn't mean he molests children. He could very well be innocent and is most probably impotent.

I don't know if he's completely wacked or not. I suspect he's at least partially wacked, not least of which wackiness can be traced back to the reign of Joe Jackson.

BUT, I also think the DA is wacked , and I think the parents who send their kids to sleepovers at Neverland are wacked too. Would I trust the word of a parent who let their kid sleep over at Michael's crib after the first allegations surfaced? No. Would I trust my child to the overnight care of a celebrity? No. A sick kid? Double No.

Let's recap then: Everyone's wacked. I trust no one.

Can we be done with it now?

On blogging and popularity and gender and voice...

NetWoman was so nice as to interview me a while back. The interview is up today here.

Thanks for caring what this tired old blogger has to say, TK!

November 18, 2003

just nice.

Checking in on smitty's place this evening and found one of those posts that stuck me to that blog in the first place. No one can do one sentence like Gabe.

At school and again that feeling like I am here but not really present, you don't have to tell the truth to them says jr...and joe he says nothing because he is asleep, he came all the way over here just to make fun of your cloths says josh, yep and I am thinking with friends like this...but this is better and at least I feel it some of the time these days like I should, like I did before, I know or I wish I were not so alone, that it was not like this for me on these cold morning dragging myself out of bed and seeing it all so clearly and missing her no not the last one, never the last one always the same one who I can still taste and smell even though it has been years.

Sing it to me, brother

"Amerikans just don't copulate with life any more." Marek takes Amerikan music to task. And he should know. He's a citizen now. The best one we have. Listen to him. Go copulate with life. Like Marek says so. Don't ignore him. He has a gift. No noise, only gold. Marek told me this.

entICEing

Over at the jer zone there are some photos that remind me of Shelley's rocks. (you had to be there.) Makes me want a pond I could leave on all winter to make pretty ice sculptures. Except it hasn't quite hit freezing in Atlanta yet.

In another corner of the blog world, Paige has ice too. And I have no idea why.

November 17, 2003

Meet Up Can Put Its Feet Up

The folks at meetup have some extra cash thanks to ebay's founder. Seems the dean bloggers utilitized meetup right into an indispensible poli-and-social-hookup tool that garnered some attention and a couple million.

So, have I told you I'm building this great new app bloggers love called BreakUp? Yes, it completely removes the necessisity of in-person breakups, AND you can schedule breakups, create reminders, and even invite your new mate to join in on the fun! Should be out by Valentine's day.

Sure could use a couple hundred thou to get the kinks worked out.

Then there's this other beauty called BeatUp. This is great for getting even MORE personal with the folks you meet through MeetUp to whom you take an instant disliking.

Seamless integration with MeetUp means that your next fight can be scheduled for five minutes or five weeks after you first meet a really annoying person through MeetUp. Ding Ding--Your Brawl Is Calling!

I'll take $25 for that one.

Anil says VCs are coming. I say, just in the nick of time!

Scooby Dooby DOH!

Hell hath no fury. And the doofus doesn't even know it.

Brittney, shut the fuck up.

"I probably have more older fans than the younger ones, but I think the reason why everyone talks about the younger fans so much is because the parents are concerned," Spears was quoted as saying. "And in the end they shouldn't be concerned because they should trust their kids and believe in their kids."

Not caring about being part of the machine you're plugged into is one thing, Britt. But, um, please save the parenting advice.

Like, okay?

follow the bouncing link

Over at Frank's Place, during Frank's nice rundown of an interesting post by Ken-Put-It-All-In-Perspective Unconditional-Blogger-Love Camp on what blogging *doesn't* mean, you'll find a comment by Meg who noticed a quote on Frank's page that read:

-Ayya Khema, "Who is My Self?"

I giggled out loud when I read Meg's confession that at first glance she thought the quote read: "Who is My Serif?"

Hey, Meg girlfriend, my serif ain't much to look at, but she's reliable as hell: Times New Roman.

And you?

November 16, 2003

Breaking News Alert........

RAGEBOY HAS COMMENTS BACK!

three pairs of shoes and two peds later

back home safe and sound. Our little girl likes shoes. I don't remember liking shoes quite so vigorously when I was six. She hops from box to box, of course grabbing sandles right off the bat, obviously not concerned that it was in the 30s here a couple of nights ago, and not concerned with the fact that we were there to get school shoes, not beachware.

Unable to decide between the saddle shoes (UGH!) and the black sneakers, we got both, and added a pair of basic black leather buckle-up shoes. The shoe dude was nice, and decided to give us half off the third pair since we'd already used our "buy one pair, get another half off" deal on the first two pairs of shoes.

Is this incredibly boring? Yes! It is! You should have been there with us. Then I'd let you complain.

Anyway, they have these cool new laces out that make me wish I were young again. They come with beads and little girls can spend a joyous half hour beading their own shoe laces.

I for one feel much better that her conservative little saddle shoes, which I remember TOO WELL having to keep clean and tidy, have been jazzed up with these neat little beaded laces.

We got some nifty little peds too--on sale of course. One pair has little lion king heads sticking off the back, and the other pair has little powerpuff girl heads sticking off the back.

Combined with the saddle-shoes-with-beaded-laces, the peds with powerpuff girl heads bouncing up and down as she walks will make quite the fashion statement, don't you think?

Stay tuned for our next installment of "Fun with Daughters" when we go looking for new hair bands, the "ouchless" variety please.

Off to look for shoes for jenna

how is it that kids' feet grow so fast? And then not? If you could predict it, that would be nice. But you can't. They'll go through six months, a year even, and their feet stay the same size. So they wear out the shoes they have, and you buy new ones, and as soon as you do, their feet grow. So you buy new ones a size bigger. And as soon as you do, their feet don't grow for six months, during which time they wear those shoes out and so you buy another pair, but you don't go any bigger because they're just growing into the last pair. And as soon as you buy those, their feet grow two sizes in two weeks.

It makes no sense I tell you.

There'd be money in one of those online calculator that ccould track predicted shoe sizes based on your kid's past patterns.

If not money, there'd be lots of grateful parents with extra money in their pockets.

somebodies love me!



In the top ten on Blogger Forum this week.

I could say I don't care, but I do. Feels good all under.

November 15, 2003

Bad Teen Poetry, Part 3

Paige started it. Laurie dared to add hers. Worthy of a blog of its own, add a link to your bad teen poetry in my comments box. Lucky for me, I think, I was more interested in horses than boys as a teen. So mine's not mushy. I'm still digging for those.

Okay okay. Here you have it--my first ever words published nationally:

The Horse
by Jeneane Dimino
Age 14
Published in Horse of Course Magazine
May 1978

They can run like the wiind, or walk slow and sure.
They can be firey hot, or gentle and pure.
They can be black as the night or light like the day.
They can be a chestnut, or even a bay.
They can be strong and hard or have legs long and thin.
You can ride them for fun, or race them to win.
They can be well taken care of, or left in the stall.
You can love them a lot, or care not at all.
Don't ignore them, they need us so much!
They need our affection and tender touch.
If you don't believe me, go right to othe source,
Don't take my word for it, go ask a horse!


I got ten bucks for it.

Shut up, all of you!

Locke and Load

"Locking and loading and finally going postal from the high bell-tower of a mind at once unhallowed and unhinged."

What are these multi-cortex posts of his, the words and pictures and tables and colors and links, this visual juxtaposition of madness and guffaws?

Something.

November 14, 2003

Oh, she's gonna kill me for this link...

Laurie has a most excellent post that reminds me why I love blogging. She has shamelessly (well, maybe with some shame) unearthed a very "moving" poem she wrote as a high school teenager with a crush on Andrew McCarthy. Oh geeez. If you were one of those incredibly deep high school kids--I know I was--who wrote heavy poetry in a composition book clutched to your chest, complete with far-out doodles on the covers and spine, don't miss this.

Laurie is every girl.

To salute Laurie's courage, I suggest that we ALL try to dig up some high school--or better yet, middle school--poetry this weekend. It's only fair not to leave the lady hangin' out there on her own.

{she pads off to bed giggling softly.}

off to the movies

The Sessum family is looney, but you knew that. We're off to see the new looney toons movie tonight with jenna. I never liked cartoons as a kid (yah, I know, weird), but I'm hoping to enjoy better the blend of real-life characters with those annoying cartoon characters.

that's all folks!

How Spy Sweeper Saved My Life

or at least my laptop. Spy Sweeper from Webroot has changed my life. And I'm not kidding. And they're not paying me to say so. Though I wish they would. Or at least throw in a free subscription for George's limping-along PC. How did I miss all the spying goin' on round here?

For the last few months, my laptop had been getting sicker and sicker. I had no idea what was causing the fluky problems I was experiencing. They were random and therefore not easy to replicate. Some of the things that were haywire included: 1) After browsing about a half-day's worth of sites for work (and blogging of course), I'd start to get pages appearing with broken image links, broken text links, and things would get worse and worse until I couldn't access a page at all. 2) When the browser got completely hosed -- the only page it would bring up was a search page, or a page from my cache that had nothing even remotely to do with the URL I'd typed in -- I would have to shut down completely. 3) Usually on the way to shutdown, things would short circuit even more and the system would hang, requiring a hard shut-down and reboot. 4) Scan disk would activate on startup, and the whole sequence of events would start all over again.

This continued, until it got SO bad this week, I couldn't view TWO web pages in a row without having to restart.

I was ready to throw this thing into the driveway and celebrate its screaming demise.

I started thinking and reading up on spyware, which I knew was out there, but I didn't really realize that it can be more of an obstacle to hassle-free Internet use than viruses. That's what webroot says, and I believe it. I was near insanity, not being able to blog or google or shop or ANYTHING!

Anyway, I installed the trial version of spy sweeper and it located 145 instances of spyware on the ol' Dell and 440 traces, all of which it quarantined nicely.

And I haven't had a problem since--pages come up, no broken links, no annoying search pages begging me to reach inside and strangle them.

If you've been having problems like this, check it out. They seem reputable--if anyone knows any different, please let me know because I think I'm gonna buy the $23 subscription.

Back in b'ness....

-jeneane

November 13, 2003

a boy, his blog, and his mom.

"With the raw materials in my blog, she could actually construct an accurate picture of who I am. This is fucking serious."

the evolution of archetypes

I've been meaning to tell you about the dream I had two nights ago. It referenced the new terrorism archetype we get to pass down to our children as fodder for their dreams. Cool!

I'm walking down the street (not my street or any street I'm exactly familiar with) and all of a sudden I see crowds of neighborhood folks (not my neighbors exactly) who had been talking, maybe having a neighborhood barbeque or something, running for their lives. Screams, oh my god's, and eyes to the sky as they ran back to their given homes. I stood in the middle of the street and saw a man looking skyward, his hand shading his eyes, and even though I couldn't see his eyes, I saw terror.

I looked up and there it was. A plane disguised as a giant rectangular birthday cake, so innocent looking, like one of those planes that pull the silly banners behind them, and out from the bottom layer of vanilla frosting, the plane was spraying something that looked like white flour (but I knew it was poison) over the neighborhood.

oh shit!

I ran to my car with a single mission on my mind--FIND JENNA! I realized at that moment that when the birthday cake of death comes, I won't have time to both duct tape and plastic sheet the house AND go get my kid. There won't be time. I'll have to choose. And in my dream I chose to get my kid.

I woke up with the alarm clock as I was racing to find Jenna. I remember exactly how the flying birthday cake of death looked. I wish I could draw it for you. I now understand that the duct tape and plastic sheeting were a waste of money, because poison flour waits for no woman.

Jung spins in his grave.

computer hell

I didn't just abandon you--please know that. I was writing up a storm when my computer became unworkable. I still don't know what's going on. Although I use virus protection, I think I've been put under the control of alien spyware or some such hijacking phenomena which renders my browser useless. Today I installed some spyware killer utilitiy--we'll see if it helps. I ran a check on my drive and it found about 30 instances of spyware and 400 traces. Whatever the heck that means. So I had it quarantine those buggers and we'll see what happens. I'll be happy if I can visit more than two web pages in a row without a page of broken picture links, lost designs, and generally scrambled up non-workable (even after hitting refresh several zillioin times) pages staring me in the face.

ugh.

anyway, I got a whole post in before the laptop lost its marbles again.

this is progress!

November 11, 2003

ooooh cool.

I've long been anti-aggregator because I think it disturbs the eyeball-to-brain-to-blog-to-comments-to-brain-to-post flow which I think is at the core of good blogging. Then Shelley clued me in to bloglines. Sheesh. Color me a convert.

Pretty nifty and well integrated within the blogging experience. Gimme a week. I'll report back. And let me know if the lil' subscribe button over there on the left works, kay?

November 10, 2003

Authentic Dog*

I think it's risky business when people own dogs they don't license.

Dog licenses are necessary for several reasons, not the least of which is that to get a license, your dog has to be vacinated against rabies, and this practice reduces the incidence of rabies and the associated health problems the disease poses to other animals and to humans. Many wild animals can carry rabies, and leaving a pet--especially a large dog that roams--unvaccinated and unregistered is simply irresponsible.

It is with some hesitation that I point to Frank Paynter's dog, Fang, as an example of an accident waiting to happen.

Fang remains unlicensed and has not been vaccinated. At the same time, Frank has posted about how prone Fang is to roaming, and about how unpredictable Fang can become on occasion.

What if Fang were to happen upon a child collecting pine cones in the woods? What if Fang, having recently killed a rabid raccoon, bit the child? That child would then have to undergo a round of very painful treatments, and just as devastating for Frank, Fang would have to be destroyed.

That is why I am urging Frank to have Fang vaccinated and to get him properly licensed in his township. I also urge the Towns and Counties across the U.S. to do a better job enforcing the laws that are already on the books. They should be following through and fining the scofflaws who refuse to license their dogs.

I'm sorry, Frank, but sometimes an intervention is required.

*

Dedicated to shelley.

further reflections on meeting bloggers in person.

no two bloggers are alike.

all bloggers are alike.

I thought everyone knew me.

Everyone does not know me.

I thought I knew everyone.

I don't know anyone.

Allied sounds weird when said outloud as part of my identity, as in, Jeneane Sessum of Allied.

I don't know whether to pronounce it UHlied or AHlied or AAHlied or even Allaheyed.

I gave little thought to my blog's name when I picked it in 2001.

I think maybe I should have.

Blogspot is viewed by some as the low-rent district.

I'm glad I live in the low rent district.

More people know Blog Sisters than Allied.

I'm glad more people know Blog Sisters than Allied.

What the fuck does Allied mean?

I don't know.

I thought a blog gathering is where everyone hugs and weeps with joy to finally meet siblings separated at birth.

Not all bloggers weep.

Not all bloggers hug.

Not all bloggers were separated at birth.

That's probably a good thing.

Some bloggers are very serious about blogging.

Some bloggers are not very serious about blogging.

I sometimes giggle when I see bloggers handling money.

There is no good reason for this.

So Many Shamans, So Little Time.

I'm a shaman, you're a shaman, he's a shaman, she's a shaman, wouldn't you like to be a shaman too?

November 09, 2003

feeling palley like Halley

When I think of bloggers meeting bloggers, I think of Halley. Who doesn't? My guess is that Halley holds the world record for blogger actually greeted in person by another blogger. Across the country she goes, carrying the blogworld in her designer handbag, having no qualms or reservations about encountering bloggers in their realworld flesh. We are all Halley's friend in that respect.

Last night I channeled Halley, using a tiny piece of her outbound energy to get my behind out of the house--which required asking my sister to watch Jenna overnight, packing her up, fixing her several medicines for the p.m. and a.m., and dropping her off on my way to the Atlanta Blogger's Gathering, hosted by the super-personable Greg Greene at the 5 Seasons Brewery on Roswell Road.

I got there late, something I've consistently been for the last six years, as they were paying the check, but it was fascinating to meet some real, live, in-person bloggers. I only wish I'd gotten there in time for the lively discussion it seems they had.

The best part of the evening for me was meeting John Adams. What an amazing human being John is. Rather than talking about blogging and bloggers and bloggers blogging about blogging, John told me really cool stories. He has a blogger's heart. Conversation with John is musical--you play something, he takes that and turns it around and adds to it, then he passes it back to you to inform with your voice, and suddenly together you've created this amazing dialogue.

To me, that is blogging.

Pleasure to meet you, John.

After that it was off to see George play the late session at Hueys, which has some spicey n'awlins food peppered with sweet jazz all weekend long.

We finally departed at about 5 a.m. Hit the sack at six, up at 1:00 with a phone call from my sister that Jenna was ready to come home, off to grab her, home to the keyboard, with an urge to tell you all that after two years, I met some realworld folks who blog.

Don't worry Anthony--you'll always hold the spot as the very first co-blogger I knew outside our house. Come to the next get together--would be great to see you guys.

See also:

Photdude

Ricky West

Kelley



November 08, 2003

california raisin some questions here...

Shelley thought I raised some good questions in my second comment to her post about the California Tax Board using content written in her weblog as part of the criteria considered when determining how much she might or might not be able to pay them.

That crosses the line in a lot of ways, as did Bill Kearny's uninspired comment in the same thread, which I also reference in mine. So I said this. Food for thought I think:

-------------

...If I see one more blogger using the "oh stop your whining" cliche I'm going to puke. It's a technique for silencing and a substitute for thoughtful prose. In other words, it's LAZY.

Just to clarify something: We're not talking about a public journal being read by the public in this instance. We're talking about what you've written in public within your weblog, which, HELLO, could be fact or could be fiction, being used by the government in their financial assessment of you and what you may or may not owe them.

Not sure about you or Shelley, but I'm just thrilled to know that the IRS is a valued reader of this blog, just as I'll be thrilled to have a chat with the HMO folks over the phone one day, indicating that they've read every sentence I've written about my daughter's asthma, and would like to deal with me financially based on the pixel trail I left behind.

And what if I told you it's all a lie? What if I told you I made it up? What if I confessed she's never wheezed in her life? What if I say, that was all an experiment to guage the interest of my readers on specific topics, or, if I declare that I was doing research? Or, that it was ENTERTAINMENT, not necessarily fact?

If Shelley turned her blog into a novel, the IRS wouldn't be discussing the theme or content with her. They would be interested ONLY in the INCOME she derived from the novel. As far as I know, shelley hasn't made her first million off this blog yet.

Therefore, I believe our blog content is NOT fair game for the IRS research minions. ONLY blog income is.

I'll happily report my latest $11.00.

Hello? Anyone still have a pre-Bush bone in their bodies?

Again, let me say it with feeling this time, when it comes to the CONTENT and CONTEXT of our blogs, there's something SMELLY about being held financially accountable based on what we say (or perhaps eventually what we DON'T say) in our individual post or sentences. Get it?

----------

Good.