October 31, 2003

My Date Is So Smart

Meg's also got a great comment thread over her way asking how people got to be what they are--by accident or with some kind of forethought or intention. It started with tech, but other career types have chimed in as well.

For me, how boring is this to admit, I had this whole thing all planned, even the blogging part. Yep. When I needed a place where I could write something other than boring case studies for IBM, I decided to invent weblogging. Not accidental--quite intentional.

NO NO--no need to thank me.

The idea first came to me after a visit to the National Game and Wildlife Refuge where I watched the mating of two very horny capra aegagrus. No lie. You see wild goats often have fur balls in their stomachs. The poor sons of bitches were hunted to near extinction by mountain peoples who thought these goo-covered hairballs were ripe with medicinal qualities, providing cures for such problems as impotence.

Anyway, I'm watching two of these hairy bastards engage in their mating ritual up on the jagged side of a particularly treacherous mountain, and I can't quite get over the idea that this somehow signifies something larger, something incredibly important, and as I watch the male just pounding away, crazy like, his flipper tail tucked tight, the female bracing herself and leaning in against him, thinking of the kids she'll have on the way by spring, it comes to me:


You see? Nothing's accidental.

Screw Halloween--I Got an INVITE!

Meg has invited me to the tech woman blog prom! I'm so excited and honored! And me, without a working backspace key. WOW! What shall I wear--all I have is this orange t-shirt and jeans that Jenna wiped bubble soap on 20 minutes ago.

I would assume this is a come-as-you-are, not who-you-wish-you-were event?

Shall I bring my "The Role of the Repository in the Data Warehouse" White Paper, or aren't we exchanging gifts?

So many questions. I'm all a-twitter!

Meg says you can use her invitation to invite your own techy woman date.

I got mine. I think I'm allowed to invite a third. Hmmmmm. Who should it be....


i spy

First of all, my spacebar is acting up again. Nothing drives me more crazy than when the very-faulty keyboard of this dell laptop acts up. Writing with a sucky keyboard is like driving without tires.

I'm sickof backspacingt o fix things.SOthisis howmykeyboardworks -- and yes i am pressingthespace bar between each word, it'sjust that sometimes you get one space and sometimes you get NOspaces and sometimes you getTWOspaces--and thisishowit looks.

SO, you can see that I spend a great deal of my writing time BACKSPACING. I said to george the other day, I spend more time going backwards than forwards when I write on this computer.

Anyway, I didn't come here to bitch. However, $5K for a brand new laptop WOULD make me stop bitching at least for 60 days. On the other hand, morning's here. Maybe I'll try cleaning this keyboard again.

Remind me to tell y ou a bout I Spy (the titleof thispost) after I work on my keyboard.

be back....

like forgetting what you went there for

just had the blogging equivilant of walking into a room and forgetting what I was there to do/say/get.


October 30, 2003


when I check my stats on site meter and look at what keywords folks use to search me up, I get a tickle out of some of the ways people get here.

THEN I see those instances, once or twice a week, when someone gets here by searching up "Jeneane Sessum."

Those are the searches that make my coxis tingle (get yer minds outta the gutter). It's one thing to get here looking up loss, death, and pizza recipes. It's quite another when you know someone's looking for y-o-u.


more later.

October 29, 2003

Writing: Passion or Crutch?

One man's calling is another man's way around having to talk to strange people on public transportation. This makes perfect sense to me. Tomororow, no blogging. I'm taking the bus!

water cooler gossip


Did you hear that Meg snagged Euen's pumpkins?

Happens every day around this place.

Don't tell.

Grafting Photos

I wish that Euen's pumpkins could mate with Shelley's rhodochrosite. Damn, that'd be a feast for the eye.

October 28, 2003

I'll bid $600 just for the item description...

From Sheila Lennon, you may enjoy this cluefilled ebay item description from a husband looking to dump his ex-wife's plushies. I wish this guy blogged. But then, maybe he does...

Shelley's Goods

Shelley has been showing us her jewels, err, minerals, and telling wonderful stories about them the last couple of days. I can't say that I've ever visited a weblog before, as I have with Shelley's mineral posts, and felt as if I were enjoying some completely new kind of medium. Better than a book, better than a blog, better than paper, better than digital, better than acrylic, better than even the experience of the photos featured there would be without the text surrounding and informing them.

In this post, and this one, it is like holding a book with my eyes. It is as close to physically touching a good book or a wonderful painting as I've gotten online, but even better than touching, because without the ability to touch the minerals or the photos of the minerals, I've literally been drinking them with my eyeballs.

Simply drinking. In the brilliance of color and text, I squirm and squint, then my eyes blink, then adjust, then they open wide and say, "ahhh."

Today I decided that from now on when someone asks me what shade of blue I like best, I will say, Shelley's Toxic Chalcanthite, and if someone asks me my favorite shade of red, I will reply, Shelley's Flawless Rhodochrosite.

These are the posts that keep me here. They are stories with layers, layers of stories, and you have to dig, use the hands of your brain and your eyes to take them in, like digging for minerals, each photo and story is a discovery. They are wrapped by writer and unwrapped by the reader alone. They are her gift to us.

Others can dine on politics and campaigns and law and tech. But you'll find me gladly partaking of some mineral water over at Shelley's place.

Book It!

There are probably a few 20-something bloggers who read me who participated in "Book It!" in school. I remember my nephew, now 22, doing Book It, and his excitement over filling up his reading log and getting a free Pizza Hut pizza certificate. Can it really be that now, almost 20 years later, I'm doing Book It with Jenna?


Tonight we finished her first reading log, and tomorrow she'll take it proudly to school and trade it in for a cheese pizza, or a facsimile thereof.

The real story is of course one of those Jenna moments, as she read to me the last two books to fill up the lines: Clifford's Hiccups and My World (Companion to Good Night Moon and a freaky little companion book it is). I was, shall we say, encouraging her to finish up, the bewitching hour of bedtime already having slipped by, and she began explaining to me her process for shutting down.

Jenna: Mama, there's a tower in my body, a very tall tower, and lots of people. The people have to climb the tower all the way from down here (her feet) to up here (the top of her head) at night. When they get to the top, they turn out the light in my brain, and I go to sleep. I can't go to sleep until they turn out the light in my brain. And there are a LOT of people in me, in my body and in my brain.

Me: Okay, well, I think they need to move along. All of them.

Jenna: They are. They're right here (pointing to her butt). They still have a loooong way to go though (using her pointer finger to trace a path from her butt up to the top of her head).

Me: Jenna, baby, it's late, we need to finish up this book and get to sleep. Tell your night time people to move along.

Jenna: I can't rush them. They'll fall. You see, they're very very old.

October 27, 2003

wiping one's ass with both hands

Also over on Gonzo, Marek is exploring Voice among early bloggers (minus the technology). Emerson? No. Something much, much better:

Afterwards, I wiped my ass, said Gargantua, with a kerchief, with a pillow, with a pantoufle, with a pouch, with a pannier, but that was a wicked and unpleasant torchcul; then with a hat. Of hats, note, that some are shorn, and others shaggy, some velveted, others covered with taffities, and others with satin. The best of all these is the shaggy hat, for it makes a very neat abstertion of the fecal matter. Afterwards, I wiped my tail with a hen, a cock, with a pullet, with a calf's skin, with a hare, with a pigeon, with a cormorant, with an attorney's bag, with a montero, with a coif, with a falconer's lure. But to conclude, I say and maintain, that of all torcheculs, arsewisps, bumfodders, tail napkins, bung-hole cleansers, and wipe breeches, there is none in the world comparable to the neck of a goose that is well downed, if you hold her neck betwixt you legs. And believe me therein upon mine honour, for you will thereby feel in your nockhole a most wonderful pleasure....

On His own blog, Marek integrates the self of himself using a common children's game in an uncommon way. For the love of Pete, the man is brilliant:

And now I still want it to be different yet I found a game to play with my brokenness. I play Peekaboo! I found out that to play Peekaboo you need a partner, and what better partner than a broken man. And he and I play. When he covers his face I rejoice for he disappears his ugliness and I see a beautiful world. Then he uncovers his face and I see the ugly world but he gets to see me, unlike himself and I think he really loves it. Then it's my turn to play. I get to cover my face and I am happy that I don't have to look at this ugly broken human being and I can, for few monents, disappear into my imaginary world and I think he is sad at that moment because he is alone. But then I uncover my face and he gets to be happy and I again see the broken man. This game we play is the most fascinating game we have found to keep beauty and ugliness be next to each other. I think he likes this game. I know I do. Peekaboo!

Pekaboo, Marek!

oh jeez, ken did it!

Over on Gonzo, Ken passes the initiation and now becomes an administrator along with the rest of the madfolk there.

Ken, I'll send your certificate forthwith. It entitles you to one free box of baking soda and a can of Kool-Whip. What you do with those is up to you. Just don't get drunk and blow away the blog.

Dean you're an administrator too--it was easier for me to click two squares instead of one. You owe Ken a plunger.

Thank you.

writers and editors, have a chuckle...

...over this post at crooked timber. That's the kind of post I wish I'd have done first. It also makes me wish I could separate my writer and editor selves into two different people, and that my editor self would also be good at cleaning house and being on time.

Has anyone wondered if the California Fires are Terrorism?

Jumping to conclusions is rarely good. But am I alone in wondering how easy it would be for a few terrorists to trade box cutters for Bic lighters and effectively disrupt business, air travel, homes, lives by starting wildfires at the opportune time (i.e., dry leaf season) for massive destruction?

Can't our air force swoop in with some kind of stealth water bombs that would blast good news water over a wide area instead of bad news explosive blasts?

For crying out loud, I sound like Michael Moore. But then....

In the car on the way to school today

Jenna: Mom, is that the right time on the clock there?

Mom: Well, it is now. It was an hour ahead all year--now it's right on time because we set the clocks back an hour.

Jenna: Oh. Okay, so what time is it in real life right now?

Mom: 10:00. It would have been 11:00, but we got that extra hour back.

Jenna: Oh. Well that's good. We need that hour. Does that mean we're not late?

Blogs and Trust

I was thinking about this today--about trusting and not trusting bloggers--an especially interesting question for those of us who haven't met too many of our blog cohorts face to face.

I would trust a number of bloggers with my money, my house, my job, to keep a secret, to stand up for me, and some with my life. When I was thinking about who I trust most in the blogworld, though, I couldn't narrow it down to as small a group as I originally thought when I asked myself that silly question, given rise by much bullshit that's been going down in these parts lately.

Now, if you say you trust AKMA, that's cheating. AKMA is THE blogger's trusted agent, we know that. I'm not sure how AKMA or Margaret feel about AKMA being a "given" in the trust department, but for crying out loud, he's already the Official US Dead Blogger Executor. That, I think, is a gold seal of approval in the trust department.

First, I trust everyone at Gonzo Engaged with my online life. How can I say this? Because about a year ago, I began making every member of that blog an administrator. What are there, like 20 of us now? (Ken gets his nuclear status next week -- after he passes the test of building the world's tallest port-a-potty. That's everyone's initiation. Ken, did we tell you that on the front end? I'm always forgetting details....That stuff's supposed to be Marek's job. Marek, did I tell you that on the front end? I'm always forgetting details...).

Think about that.

Every single person on Gonzo Engaged, the first team blog on blogspot, which I started more than two years ago, has the right to hire, fire, or disembowel any of the others. Including me.

Every single one of us can go in and mess with the template and fonts and the blogroll. (Exhibit A: observe the amazing changing font size. we like to think of that as a feature.)

And it also means that every single one of us has the power to blow away the blog and its entire two years of archives.

Did ya'll know that?

How does that sound for trust?

How does that sound for risk?

Are you with me?

And can anyone back up the archives quick before Frank gets giddy with power and does something stupid?

You know I did that on purpose, right?

HAAAAA! How insane is that. Don't you fucking LOVE IT?

Yeh. Guess what. That's trust.

And guess what else--I didn't choose a single member of that blog. Not one. Didn't make sure they were professionals, or young or old, didn't care if they were known to have popped their cork on occassion or pooped in the street during Fourth of July Parades, didn't care about anything other than their desire to contribute and engage.

It's amazing what happens when you share trust within a community early on. It's freeing. It's anti-hierarchy. It is truly a network within a network. It's joyous. It's hysterical. It's annoying. And it can be tragic. Ultimately, it can be tragic.

So can life. That's what's real.

Let's play here, let's weep here. No sugar coating, no shake-n-bake on the chicken. Just skin and feathers, baby. You blow me away, you blow away all of it. You take it down, and you've cheated yourself. And 20 other angry motherfuckers too.

I don't know. Maybe that blog is more of a posse than a community. Maybe that's the difference. Maybe in an online "community" you can mold and cast members and decorum and protocol. But in a posse, everyone "gets it." No explanation needed. And don't abuse the privilege (and it is a privilege to share blog control with 20 other lunatics) or none of us wake up here tomorrow.

Are we professionals? Well, many of us are tops in our fields. Does that make a difference? Not a fucking ounce of difference. Who's young? Who's old? Are we diverse? I don't know. I haven't seen one of those goofballs up close enough to know if they're men, women, transgendered, black, white, or Bill Gates.

That's the point: It's humanity, it's the each other in the other that opens up the possibilities for creating, innovating, misbehaving, irritating, engaging, and transforming.

It's not the only way. It's not even my only way. But it might just be the right way.

ask yourself

If your community carefully selects its members based on their age, profession, former residence, even race, what type of community is that? A gated community? And what are the people who live in those places so afraid of?

ask yourself...

were you right today?

It's always good to be right.