p.s. It's hard to keep up with all this outer space stuff when you're busy planning to take over this planet.
February 01, 2003
This from Joseph Duemer, who is more demure than I, and far more eloquent. I don't think he'd keep pieces of the shuttle if it landed on his land like I admitted I would. Instead, Joseph touches on the essentials about why the Columbia disaster doesn't really move my grief meter.
Too much sorrow in the small crevices of the earth. Too much nearby, under the heavens. I can't buy into the "national mourning" mandate of the media. When risk of death is inherent in a profession, and that risk is realized, then I say, sad, yes, and I move on.
I post this finally because I've been leaving comments over at Shelley's place, where I littered too much pessimism. Shelley did a wonderful tribute to the space program and its meaning for her (and many). Rather than leave any more of my negativity over there, I thought I'd have my final say here about today's news: They risked, they lost. God bless their children.
If you're looking for a personal touch on this global story, hop over to something Fishrush blogged more than a week ago about astronaut Kalpana Chawla. I like it because it's not piggybacking on the post-explosion news. It's something he was thinking and writing about while Chawla was alive.
That, more than anything I read today, gave me pause.
Posted by Jeneane Sessum at 11:50 PM
Found this neat Science Blog this morning while I was looking for news on the Shuttle Columbia crash. It's a pretty cool blog and has interesting stories beyond the crisis of the minute.
I don't have much to say about the disaster, except I'm hoping none of the folks on the ground are harmed by the debris now raining down. I was looking at Drudge Report this morning at the minute the story broke. I chose not to blog it then because, now this is going to sound cruel, I didn't care much about it. Folks who get aboard a ball of fuel that can fly from Texas to Florida in 16 minutes, to my mind, realize that they can die from said adventure. Unless a regular Joe, or a Marek, gets hurt by a chunk of metal dropping from the sky, my heartstrings aren't tugged.
I found myself thinking instead that when the Challenger exploded, I was working at the University of Rochester, sitting at my desk in the editorial department of the Journal of Policy and Analysis, working in DOS and that horrible aberration of a word processing program better known as WordPerfect, cranking out words from overpaid egomaniacs for minimum wage.
Man, I'm selfish.
Turning off the news now.
Posted by Jeneane Sessum at 1:47 PM
January 31, 2003
Posted by Jeneane Sessum at 6:19 PM
don't know what it is.
not expecting it to last.
but still, it's kinda nice.
(she says looking skyward for that other shoe.)
Posted by Jeneane Sessum at 6:17 PM
Sound like a bad movie title? Coming soon to a war theater near you: Shock and Awe.
This just in from David Weinberger, who go it from smh.com. au, CBS News, and CommonDreams. To be expected? Wshew.
On the topic of looming war, Shelley just turned down a good defense industry job and says why. Whether or not you agree with the war, to my mind, there is no disagreement about someone consistent in her principles. Another Wshew from me.
Putting a smile on my face now to go pick up my own precious little human life from school. Feeling a little more than down about the seemingly unsolvable problems of this world.
Posted by Jeneane Sessum at 1:46 PM
Check out my placement on Yahoo and Google for the Sarah Kozer story. Yesterday (two days ago now?) I pointed to The Smoking Gun's outing of Kozer, its story replete with soft-core bondage photos from Sarah's earlier dabbling in "entertainment."
I just saw the story run on Entertainment Tonight, said George, Bloggers and Net Dwellers scooped big media again, and we laughed. Later, I happened to look at my referrers list and saw a HOST of curious surfers finding my blog in their quest for sweet sarah's dungeon.
Sorry folks. Mostly she wears preppy turtlenecks and duct tape. Nice if you like preppy turtleneces and duct tape.
Otherwise, pretty lame. Good luck on your search though!
Posted by Jeneane Sessum at 12:41 AM
January 30, 2003
I picked up Jenna after school and decided to stop by McDonalds to use some coupons I'd been saving up. One was a "free sandwhich" card--a card I got because the skilled technicians at the drive-thru window didn't deliver the breakfast goods in 30 seconds or less--and two coupons were from my Atlanta Entertainment book.
Generally, I'm not a coupon kind of gal. I should be. But I'm not. So I was pretty proud of myself for scoring a dinner for three for under $7.00 with these coupon things.
I pulled up to the "shout your order" menu board and told my story, that I'd like two Big Macs, but I had a buy-one-get-one-free coupon, so charge me for one BigMac.
Grasp of English on the other end of the two-way speaker was not great. But so far so good.
Then I asked for a Fish sandwhich for Jenna (her favorite) and said I had a card to get that free (the 30 seconds or less card).
"Oh, only one coupon. Only one per visit," returns the voice.
"I figured as much. I'll pull around and drive through again then."
It was an annoyance to pay, get the BigMacs, and pull around again, but rules are rules.
So I wait my turn, get back up to the "shout your order" board, and say, "It's me again. Can I get the free fish sandwhich? I have a card for that."
"Okay, drive up."
Trip two done. I'm a little annoyed but understand that I was asking a lot of them--that I'd never get them to understand why it didn't make sense that they couldn't hand me the fish sandwhich for the 30 seconds I wasted last time. In essense, I just lost my 30 seconds all over again. hmmm.
Oh well, at least I got the free fish.
Now, one more. The buy-one-get-one McFlurries that Jenna's been clamoring for in the back seat since we pulled into the drive through 15 minutes prior.
Around we go again to wait our turn.
Up to the order board finally. Now I'm feeling stupid, but oh so thrifty. Dinner and desert for next to nothing.
"Hello. I have a buy-one-get-one-free coupon for McFlurries. Can I have one M&M and one Oreo?"
"Drive up." The formalities are long gone.
I pull up to my now-familiar order/money taker and hold out my final coupon. "This is it. Thank you."
She takes it and disappears into the back, or the freezer, I couldn't tell which. I figured she had to visit some kind of freezer to get our McFlurries. I was wrong.
She walks back to the window and hands me my coupon back.
"You have to wait two hours to get these."
"Um... Two hours?"
"Uh huh. Two hours until you can use," she says pointing to the coupon.
My first thought was: Two hours before I can eat again--what, am I swimming home?
My second thought was, are you worried that my arteries need those extra 120 minutes to soften before I put more of your crap food down my cake hole?
My third thought was, WHAT?
So I say, "What?"
She shrugs her sweet South American shoulders.
Now understand something. There are three McDonalds between our house and Jenna's school. This is not po-dunk North Dakota (apologies, ND bloggers). This is the metro area, where McDonalds sprout from the clay about every 15 feet.
I point down the road--the next nearest golden arches are almost visible. "Well, I guess I'll go to that McDonalds and use the coupon."
She looks at me with a worried expression, glancing down the road toward the other McDonalds.
Again with the shoulder shrug, she says: "That might work."
That might work.
That might work.
Yes, I would think that might work. You stupid idiot. I didn't hate you, but now I do. Now I think your boss is back there snapping a picture of my license plate to zap over to the fucking data warehouse at McDonalds corporate, where McDonalds #2 is immediately alerted that a blue minivan is on the way, looking for McFlurries without waiting two hours.
Yes. That might be happening.
If trailers could fly.
Instead I say, "I think that will work."
And I drive off with Jenna crying for her McFlurry, and me explaining that we have to take a fourth trip through the drive thru tonight because mommy is saving money and McDonalds is stupid, and she tells me stupid isn't a nice word, and I say yes, but that wasn't nice to make us go through the drive thru four times because we had coupons. Then I agree not to call the lady stupid anymore.
Up the road, at the next McDonalds, sure enough, it does work. They didn't know me or my mini-van. They didn't know about the two-hour rule. The nice kid at the window handed me two McFlurries, charged me $2.00 and a few cents, and even gave me napkins. He looked happy to see the coupon.
And all the way home, I'm thinking, McWTF?
Posted by Jeneane Sessum at 10:53 PM
Michael O'Connor Clarke need some help. His baby is in the hospital, yet his life ticks on and he's slated to do a speech on corporate Intranets next week at the Corporate Communication & Technology Conference. As you can imagine, he doesn't have a lot of extra time to dig up information--he's spending a lot of time at the hospital. If you have any research or information to help him out, jump over and leave it in the comment box. Already left mine. And leave a warm prayer for Ruairi while you're there.
Posted by Jeneane Sessum at 10:08 PM
I'm still trying to find out if I laugh so hard because I have a HipTop, or if it's just that much fun. Learn what bloggers with little teeny tiny cameras and a T-Mobile Sidekick do all day.
We fly, we drive, we can't get out of bed, we attend lots of meetings, we drive some more, we eat food, we take pictures of food, we take lots of pictures of signs, we take pictures of stuffed animals, we take pictures of real animals, we don't mind looking silly, we actually enjoy looking silly, we make fun of ourselves, and we don't interact with one another on this team blog.
We just write and post pictures of really wierd and sometimes very mundane stuff.
That's why I like it so much.
Just wait though, I'm going to start drawing these hiptopers into conversations with one another, or at least with me. You'll see...
Posted by Jeneane Sessum at 8:08 PM
In response to my post below about my days writing about b2b marketplaces (exchanges, hubs, digital marketplaces, which by any other name have still sparked and died out), Kevin Marks asks if our emusicXchange concept is similar to his mediaAgora, (beyond our use of a fancy capital letter in the middle of the name).
While I see interchange among the two concepts, emusicXchange, in our mind was a real, dynamic marketplace for the business of music. A better (for everyone) creative process and creative works (in the way of music) would be the result of making the business end of music easier and cheaper. The business of music is a necessary evil and almost always the pitfall for great artists. Our exchange was going to be about enabling everyone within the business--from musicians to composers to studios to engineers to venues to promotors etc. etc.--to have a gathering place online where they could conduct business.
Not so different from polymer plastic, huh?
I commented back to Kevin in my original post, but thought a picture I dug off of an old disk might help illustrate. Remember, this was 99-00. Be gentle.
And Kevin, I'll be back to talk about it more after I dig into your site. Duty calls.
(click image for larger picture)
Posted by Jeneane Sessum at 4:12 PM
January 29, 2003
Our biggest blogsprog is sick and in the hospital. His temperature's down, and that's good. Michael and Sausage are waiting to find out what's made the baby sick. They're awaiting results from the battery of tests performed at the hospital.
There aren't words to express the anguish and worry they must be feeling, but through Michael's words both fear and love come across loud and clear. Michael, he'll be okay. We're thinking of you and your family and our special little blogsprog.
Posted by Jeneane Sessum at 10:49 PM
Any medical bloggers out there want to tell me if this kind of thing is common?. With three abdominal surgeries under my belt--or should I say uterus--I am feeling quite faint at the prospect of a Texas A&M logo branded on my most private of privates.
Thanks (I think) dearest for the link.
(cross-posted on Blog Sisters)
Posted by Jeneane Sessum at 9:41 PM
sleazy is as sleazy does. It appears that Joe Millionaire finalist Sarah Kozer revealed herself as a money chasing harlot long before stepping onto the set of JM.
According to The Smoking Gun, she starred in a series of fetish films before making her debut on FOX.
Posted by Jeneane Sessum at 4:01 PM
ComputerWorld reports today that ebay's getting into the small-business emarketplace business.
Knock me over with a feather.
In the boom of 99-00, I spent a lot of time studying and working for clients who ran, participated in, or otherwise deified digital marketplaces, B2B exchanges, emarketplaces, e-commerce hubs, and any other name you want to give a genre of e-business that was ahead of its time or maybe never should have been at all.
Learning the difference between catalogs, auctions, reverse auctions, and real-time exchanges, learning the needs and preferences of buy-side and sell-side marketplace participants, learning the schematics of hubs, what made them tick, and ultimately why big business wasn't ready for them yet, was a study of technology and good ideas come too soon.
Procurement processes were vehemently hard-wired within big businesses, whose cast of procurers wasn't about to stop ordering goods the old fashioned way--even if that old way was as inefficient as faxing and phoning. Yes, supply chain efficiency was being embraced or at least given lip service to, but moving the trade of goods and services to an online marketplace was a big leap of faith to make.
In retrospect, making the grand leap into an online marketplace wasn't worth the potential return for most big businesses. Even if it meant those products would be cheaper and that they would arrive on time. Whether the "it" was paper clips or tractor engines, the leap looked pretty dangerous to the guys standing safely on the sideline. One reason for the lack of adoption was that trading in traditional procurement processes for participation in real-time exchanges dared to put a lot of jobs on the line. Usually the case when a business improves a process, whether that process hits only one link along the supply chain or traverses it.
This CFO article from 2001 explains a bushel of problems digital marketplaces began to come up against when the money-givers of the net began to shun the one-time darlings of e-commerce.
In the midst of it all, I watched a lot of really smart people and companies disappear. Some of the people I studied with then (and it was like going back to college) thought this was a pretty good idea when I had it nearly thee years ago. Unfortunately, it was an idea of many during a time when money was becoming scarce, even if ideas and dreams were getting cheaper.
The failure among businesses to adopt online marketplaces wasn't good news for me. Not for my dreams, not for a technology and business model I really thought could change the world. Not such good news for these guys either:
...to name a few. These were all clients of mine, or competitors of clients, back then. VerticalNet is still around, but my how their language has changed!
They now provide collaborative supply chain solutions. Rather than use the word emarketplace, they now use lots of words to say the same thing. This, I guess, makes their customers less nervous: "Verticalnet is a leading provider of Collaborative Supply Chain solutions that provide customers and their trading partners the unmatched ability to see and manage spending, inventories, forecasts, plans, negotiations, contracts, orders and supplier performance so they can identify, realize and maintain savings across the extended supply chain."
Jokes on us?
The irony in all of this--or maybe it's not irony at all--is that in the time it took emarketplace companies to rise to stardom and fall off the planet, ebay's simple consumer-to-consumer auction model sailed along. Ebay has continued to turn consumers into businesses, and businesses into consumers. We're neither and both. We're just people who want to buy and sell stuff.
And now small businesses are people too on ebay.
Ebay's batch of small business marketplace participants are selling:
tractors and irrigation equipment
sensors, controls, and relays
disinfection, sterilization, and imaging equipment
motors, transmissions, and switches
and a whole lot more among the dozen industry marketplaces now represented there.
Ebay keeps erasing the boundaries for buying, selling, and trading anything online. It's cheaper. The specs are right. You get it fast. It's just what you needed. How much does it cost, can I get it by this date, how much if I buy 12, is it within tolerance? Sure.
Ebay was always closer to an exchange than anyone wanted to admit. Small businesses for now, but you know ebay.
All bets are off for how far they'll take it.
Posted by Jeneane Sessum at 2:14 PM
Diva's a 12 year old mutt we've had since she was eight weeks old. She is by far the best dog we've ever had--and we've had plenty--welcoming a flock of strays into her domain over the years and mothering them all.
It's hard to watch her get old. Can't see like she used to, her occasional lameness, the life slowly ebbing from those old eyes.
But she's not done yet. Yesterday and today, she's found a new way to escape from our 1/2 acre fenced back yard. However she's doing it, her younger, boisterous male companion and designated pain in the butt, Bando, hasn't been able to keep up.
He barks from the backyard, letting us know that old Diva's run off without him again.
It takes a while for her to come home. I think about how in her younger days, in my younger days, I would have run off looking for her, worried about what could happen to her out on the streets.
But with age comes a certain amount of freedom. Every ten minutes or so, I step out onto the front porch and call her name. She doesn't come when I call her. Too deaf to hear, or too old to care, she comes back when she's ready.
And I see life in her eyes these last two days that I haven't seen in a long, long time. She bounds up the front steps, tail wagging, leaping at my sleeve as if to sy, "Hey, I had an great run; you should see it out there!"
I say, come on in old girl, give her a pat on the head, notice that her eyes look five years younger.
Posted by Jeneane Sessum at 12:56 PM
January 28, 2003
This just in from Ruzz... who chose to remove me from his blogroll tonight because of my non-expressive tick-click post below:
Ruzzzzz says, "I don't want to poo poo her positive energy but I also don't want to read countless posts proselytizing a movement that is nothing more than a simplified means for expression. Somebody needs a reality check and I'm not reading, nor referring till that happens. Shes got talent too, mispent as it is. IMHO, great bloggers don't talk about the greatness of blogging --They blog great."
Okay. Lemme see what happened... my fear of quitting smoking, did I tackle that one? Yep, check, wrote that one. Lemme see, did I remember to start my mobile blog over on hiptop nation? oh yep, that's right, I expressed myself over there. Let's see... daycare, child rearing, death, parenthood, work, illness, hmmm. seems I remembered those topics this week...wha-happened?
OH FUCK! I FORGOT TO BLOG GREAT!
I hate it when I do that.
Posted by Jeneane Sessum at 10:37 PM
Every now and then I unmuted him. I heard the following: Blah blah taxes bad, blah blah seniors good, blah blah children good, blah blah medicare good, blah blah alternative fuel good, blah blah partial birth abortion bad, blah blah cloning scary, blah blah blah AIDS prevention good, blah blah AIDS bad, blah blah going to spend money on drug rehab programs, blah blah...
[...drug rehab programs? $600 million for drug rehab programs? Did I hear right? what, his daughters can't get into someplace for free?]
blah blah Saddam, blah blah terrorism, blah blah freedom, blah blah military, blah blah disarm him.
Posted by Jeneane Sessum at 9:36 PM
I've lately been harping about one single element of blogging that amazes me. It is, in my estimation, the simplest and most complex blogging truth: blogging is fluid.
Blogging is motion. Your blog is a full-length movie with an unwritten end, ticking frame by frame, simultaneously and with interwoven the plots of others. Blogging is a window into the present moment, and as our archives stretch into years and decades, a window into our headspace of the past opens. Of our triumphs. Of our mistakes. Of the space in between.
THAT single truth is what makes blogging a medium for growth like no other. Your growth, your change and transformation is taking place in parallel with other bloggers who are growing and changing.
Blogging is humanity exploding into the future.
Because blogs are also becoming part of our pasts.
The passage of posts is mostly silent. We don't notice that part. Tick. click. tick. click.
But look back. You'll see it. If not now, then a year or two from now. And if you don't see it, you probably won't be bothering to post a year or to from now.
I'll use myself as an example.
I wrote The Hyperlinked Mom a year ago to the day yesterday. I didn't know that when I opened it up today. I mean, I didn't know that this was the one-year anniversary of that blog's moment in time. It seems like three years ago. It seems like a dozen years ago in some ways. I'm not sure what made me go look at it again, except that I was thinking about blogging and fluidity. How that was a blog that "never went anywhere."
Maybe I was also looking for proof that I am not this day the person I was then. I am changed. Sure, our core beliefs and traits sustain. But something about me feels physically, emotionally, and spiritually different from having revealed parts of myself this past year and a half, here.
Revealing yourself. That is a big thing.
And sometimes the Revelation doesn't come until later, when you find out you weren't revealing yourself to others; you were revealing yourself to yourself.
Back to the hyperlinked mom thing.
In that short-lived blog I wrote this about the challenges and joys of raising our daughter at home her first four-and-a-half years, as we both worked out of the house. Our child-rearing-in-tandem-with-full-time-work, I now understand, zapped every ounce of patience and self-composure we thought we had then. This is what I know now.
Then, I saw it this way:
Today, I am virtually a full-time teleworker. While it's not for everyone, this lifestyle does offer women a way to merge work with home, and home with work, in an interesting--and often bizarre--way. With the advent of the Internet, physical distance and asphalt highways no longer separate work life and home life. Instead, within the networked landscape of the Internet, individuals, businesses, and customers are seamlessly connected. Technologies like Instant Messaging--which allows my clients to pop up urgent questions, and the occasional good joke, on my screen in real-time--erase distance. Here is there, and there is here, all at once. I can do research for the articles I write at night, when the house is quiet, from my couch, at the global library that is the net. For many, this infringement of corporate life into the home is unsettling. To my family, and to me, it has been a blessing.
Plain and simply, the Internet has enabled my husband and I to raise our daughter at home. Having her with us during these early years has been nothing short of amazing. These are years we will cherish--watching her grow, change, and shine. At the same time, teleworking has also kept us afloat financially and kept me engaged in a craft that I love. In a daily hyperlinked state of being, I jump between reading "I Spy," writing articles on e-business hubs, playing with our new "Bob the Builder" walkie-talkies, browsing the latest marketing theories on the Web, and teaching my daughter her numbers and letters. She even has her own blog now, which we try to update every day or two together. It's clearly not the life of choice for everyone--but it can be especially appealing to new moms as they weave their way through the challenges and options motherhood sets at their doorstep.
It sounds blissful, doesn't it?
Does it sound like the me you know? Shit no.
I wasn't real with myself then. I couldn't afford to be. You can't understand. Can you?
Yes, you can.
The headspace I was in then was the only headspace I could afford to be in. We made the decision that we were not going to send Jenna to daycare, and the rest of it was pure improvisation. The last five years, essentially, just happened. Or did they? Who's driving? Who's guiding us? These are the things that only unfold when you look back.
The biggest motivator in our decision not to send Jenna to daycare was the horror my step-sister Christine went through. Because of the unending grief she has lived each day since her daughter died at four months old, died in an esteemed and highly-recommended private daycare. And while the legal term for Alexa's cause of death is "neglect," the realworld explanation of her death is that no one, and I mean no one, is a replacement for a child's parent.
Again, that word is: no one.
This is not an anti-daycare statement. Back then I would have proudly proclaimed that it was an anti-daycare statement. But not anymore. It remains, however, fact.
A parent's love for a child is the connection that rings a bell when something is amiss in another room, another part of the house, that something is wrong, that it's too quiet, too noisy, too still, not still enough, that maybe you should walk ahead or behind them, that something could be wrong while your child is supposed to be sleeping.
We don't always get it right. Being a parent in charge of your child does not guarantee success. The "I should haves" and "If only I hads" can happen anyway. The key word there, though, is "I".
In Alexa's case, while the other children at the daycare were having their Mother's Day photos taken, she was placed in another room, for safe keeping, right, sure, in her car seat, on a bed, on a water bed, and when the carseat tipped over--this is what Christine lives with--when the car seat tipped over, no one was there. No one was there to stop Alexa from suffocating to death.
The same age as I, born 11 days apart, my step sister went before me into the world of motherhood. Before I knew what it meant to be a mother, Chris suffered the most agonizing terror a parent can suffer. Chris' experience changed the course of how we would raise our daughter during her early years. If not for Chris, and Alexa, we may not have given the idea of sending Jenna to daycare a second thought.
But we did. From somewhere, somehow, from her precious presence and the agony of her absence, Alexa guided us in that decision.
Today I can tell you, this: I no longer judge a parent's decision to send their child to daycare or to raise them at home or to use some combination of things to keep themselves afloat. I know only this--what happened to Alexa steered us on the course we took. It didn't guarantee us success. It didn't guarantee us happiness. It wasn't righteous. It steered us.
Looking back on the results, the outcome of that decision, I have mixed feelings. It was not all flowers and roses. It was so hard. It did not make me the the best mother I could be. Maybe the worst. The days when I went into the office and greeted my child at the end of the day were the easiest days. I was refreshed from not having to care for her day in, day out while juggling work. To have your child at home or to go into work and create things with adults: which is easier? Work. Which is more rewarding? Home. Which is better, worse, right, wrong, here, there, smarter, sillier--that is no longer a constant in my mind.
But one constant remains for me. Christine today is someone I admire--admire beyond the words I say to her, or that I said to her then. Beyond any words I have ever said to her. I admire her for being a giving person. For growing up in the same household as I did. I admire her because she didn't lie down and die. Because she made a difference in the world of children. In the world of children in daycare. Because she did something with her grief. She didn't give in to guilt; that would have been the easiest choice.
And because she didn't quit, Chris and her husband now have two beautiful children who have benefited from having their mother home with them.
And now she has started blogging.
Who knows where she will take it. I see her entering it slowly, bouncing around a bit, finding her voice.
But wait. Let's watch.
What does all of this have to with fluidity and blogging?
I've drifted, haven't I.
No, not really.
I look back on that old hyperlinked mom blog of mine, and I think it was me not being real.
Me not saying, I'm afraid to send my child to daycare because I'm afraid something will happen to her. Me not saying, if you can't work from home and keep your kid there with you, then do what you can. Do what you have to do. Only you know if you're making the right choice for you and your child. Only you know if you're making the only choice you can, which, is not a choice at all. Which is what too many parents in America face. Especially single mothers.
That the Sessums had a choice, that George and I had careers pre-dating Jenna which allowed for flexibility--not easy flexibility, but flexibility still--was more accidental than purposeful. I didn't start writing one day because I intended to be a work-from-home mom. I started writing. Was blessed with a child. And made the best of it.
That's all. The aura of self-righteousness in the in-between was just that, an aura.
The last two weeks full of snow days, and the two weeks' Pre-K vacation before that, reminded me of what it was like to be home, to try to bill 40 hours a week, with a one-two-three-four year old tumbling off the bed, torturing the dogs, running over my DSL cord, with Jenna wanting me to close my laptop and play just as I had formed a sentence my client would like, then completely forgot said sentence, glaring at my little girl who thought she wanted a mommy who didn't work from home.
We do the best we can, and sometimes we do the worst we're capable of, and we blog it into the future.
And when we reach the future, we look back at where we were.
If we're lucky, if we're listening, if we dare to be real, we learn something. Something that changes us.
That's what I'm talking about.
Posted by Jeneane Sessum at 8:18 PM
January 27, 2003
Disclaimer: To the in*surance company lowlife plants, who I'm sure are monitoring what we say here to use for their own purposes--i.e., to rape us of our benefits when we need them the most--I claim that the following post is completely fictional. I am not a smoker. I don't use Nicotine. Never much cared for the stuff.
How to quit smoking? It's time. I quit once for four years, quit during and after pregnancy, but me and butts go way back. I mean way. And now I need to wean myself from this addiction. Again. The last time I quit for any substantial amount of time was when Bill Clinton won his first term as President. Bill Clinton didn't influence my decision to quit. I miss him, though.
But about smoking. Bill Clinton's winning the White House didn't make me quit. It was more, well, I don't know, I woke up and figured I'd always remember the day I quit by marking it with the Presidential election. I also assumed at the time that he and Hilary were health nuts--healthcare nuts--and that the personal freedom of smoking would go up in smoke as quickly as the price of cigarettes would skyrocket. I was right about some of that. I'm not sure which part.
I found seven benefits from being a non-smoker after a long long stretch as a smoker:
1) Freedom: No more having to remember to bring a pack with me. No more running out at 11 p.m. to get a pack because to wake up without one was just too much of a stretch for my imagination. No more buying lighters. No more running to the ATM to get money to buy a pack or a carton, depending on the week and my particular level of stress.
2) Acknowledgement of the "present moment": Smokers escape the present moment by smoking. They live outside the moment every time they light up. Smoking is a welcome distraction from what is actually happening in your life, in the world, in your head. Smoking allows you to be "half present" at all times. This may seem like a benefit. Well, it is. Yes. Oh yes. But it is also a challenge within the confines of human relationships--like relationships with people who don't smoke, like your children. To step outside for a smoke when a child wants your attention is to abandon that child a dozen--or twenty--times a day.
3) Key Realization = It's "Okay" to do one thing at a time: When you smoke, you are always multi-tasking, even if the other task is simply thinking. You are making all the physical and psychological movements it takes to smoke, and you are almost always doing something else in tandem: talking on the phone, walking to the mail box, looking at the stars, calling your shrink. Quitting is admitting, it's okay to only do one thing at a time. I can survive if I slow down. That's hard.
4) Health: This is redundant. The physical benefits of not smoking are a matter of record. Breathing in and out being one significant health benefit.
5) Smell: You don't smell like smoke if you don't smoke. You save money on perfume and breath mints; your skin is not so dry because you aren't washing your hands every time you're going to meet with your boss or HR person.
6) Social Conformity: When smokers were forced to take their dirty little secret outside, a sub-culture sprang up. We are the sidewalk dwellers. We are the cool kids grown up. We share a common bond as thick as a tobacco field. When smokers go outside--whether we've ever met before or not--we like each other. Smokers are really nice people. Sorry, but that's a fact. We've grown nicer and nicer as we've been humbled and humiliated and sent to the dungeon to complete our sacred rites with our own kind. Somehow, that only makes us nicer. Because we feel good about the rest of you when we smoke. But when you quit, you are allowed back into average society. It's not the place any former smoker chooses to live, but life is a lot sunnier up there on the second floor.
7) Financial savings: Yah, well, there's that. Baaah.
As I read the benefits I've carved out above, I think that maybe I am ready to quit, again, and let blogging replace my smoking habit. Because a blogging addiction can replace many of the comforts smoking offers:
1) No Freedom: Having to remember to bring your hiptop with you--putting off going to bed at 11 p.m. because you have to get one more post in, being "stuck" on vacation without a connection and the ability to partake.
2) Living Outside the Present Moment: Blogging lets us do this. I don't pay attention to anything much when I'm blogging. I can ignore my family, friends, and animals. I can live and bounce among hyperlinks and remain completely distracted there.
3) Key realization = It's "Okay" to do twelve things at once. When you blog, you are always multi-tasking. You can be answering email, cutting HTML text, talking on the phone with work colleagues, and adding people to your blogroll all at the same time, without missing a beat. This helps to reinforce #2.
4) Health: This is redundant. Blogging offers many health hazzards to help shorten your life, or at least make it more painful. Carpel tunnel, eye strain, back problems, and let's not forget about the very act of sitting still for hours at a time--we are becoming blogpotatoes. These are all very important health detractors that blogging offers.
5) Smell: Why take a shower when I can post a blog entry instead?
6) Social conformity: Bloggers are the cool people of the net. We've taken our nasty habit and our dirty conversations outside the walls of business, family, religion, and every other imaginable social construct.
7) Financial drain: DSL, hosting, hiptop, graphics program, phone bills--blogging is a fine new money pit.
So, on second thought, maybe I'll quit blogging and keep smoking. I'm still not sure which one will be my final undoing.
Posted by Jeneane Sessum at 11:00 AM
January 26, 2003
sunideus is about to get very, very cold.
And for a very good cause!.
Check out these crazies, and if you have a spare dollar for the Special Olympics, send it her way. She's legit and I trust her. You can see Suni and her work friends jumping in last year.
Since I live in Atlanta and have lately been complaining about the kind of cold I used to roll my eyes at up north, I can certainly spare $5 for those whose challenges humble me.
Posted by Jeneane Sessum at 9:38 AM
Raising Hell: a new genre in parenting. Yahoo picks says, "This isn't an advice rag, and it won't tell you what your baby should be doing at three months or two years. Instead, the writers present new twists on parenting with liberal doses of wry humor that even singletons will enjoy."
How did I miss this site?
Thanks to madman for the link.
Posted by Jeneane Sessum at 8:42 AM