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.


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........


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.