July 31, 2004

This is how a blogger attends a convention

John Perry Barlow has a good plan for attending the Republican Convention. I hope some of the lanyard-wearing bloggers will be suit-donned and participating, or at least transmitting some real-time pics.

And may I recommend, at precicely the right moment, a little something from President (of Funk) Clinton to hasten the pant wetting?

More from JPB:

I don't want to confront the Republicans. I want to discombobulate them. I don't want to argue with them, which would only convince them further, I want to throw them off their game. I don't want to be aggressive in my discontent. God knows there's been plenty of that on all sides. I want to be genial. But disconcerting.

So, to that end, I propose the following: I want to organize a cadre of 20 to 50 of us. I want to dress us in suits and other plain pedestrian attire and salt us among the sidewalk multitudes in Republican-rich zones. At a predetermined moment, one of us will produce a boom-box and crank it up with something danceable. Suddenly, about a third of the people on the sidewalk, miscellaneously distributed in the general throng, will start dancing like crazy and continue to do so for for about a minute. Then we will stop, melt back into the pedestrian flow, and go to another location to erupt there.*

Now this is how bloggers cover conventions.

* Idea Stavros and Sessum certified organic.


I have now stopped smoking for 27 days, 1 minutes, 12 seconds. That translates into 459 cigarettes NOT smoked, for a savings of $97.53! I have increased my life expectancy by 1 days, 14 hours, 15 minutes, 4 seconds.

[[courtesy of sharemeter]]

A question Mr. President?

Fun little time waster. Once you ask all your questions or enter your favorite keywords, don't forget to try bin laden, michael moore, and laura bush...

Pope Blames Feminists for Gender Confusion

According to a leaked extract, the document accuses feminists of "blurring the biological difference between man and woman".

For instance, the Pope noted, Priests frequently mistake little boys' rectums for women's vaginas.


Stavros' folks place is still for sale?

I'm telling you, this place is blogtopia. What are we waiting for? 200 bloggers at a grand a piece. We time share in bunches.

I have dibs on summer!

Oh, and don't forget to read Stavros' convention blogging.

July 30, 2004

Jimmy, Won't You Come Back?

I've gone on about Jimmy Carter here before. There is something about living in the south, a short drive in no traffic from the Carter Center, which is a peaceful place of historic writings and images, that puts Jimmy in context. And once Jimmy's in context, his true greatness -- his heart and his brilliance, in that order -- are overwhelming.

A man of incredible integrity, Jimmy is unlike any other Presient. I think everyone can agree on that. People overuse the word integrity these days. It's all the rage in self-help circles, a cherished prize for the self-actualized who have managed to get their needs met, in the passive voice of course. Active voice is simply too aggressive.

But I digress. When Jimmy uses the word integrity, he means integrity.

Kalilily has a link to Jimmy's speech from the convention, which is worth a read if you didn't hear it on TV or if you were in the Blogger's Box at the convention. ;-)

Elaine calls out this quote:

You can't be a war president one day and claim to be a peace president the
next, depending on the latest political polls. When our national security
requires military action, John Kerry has already proven in Vietnam that he will
not hesitate to act. And as a proven defender of our national security, John
Kerry will strengthen the global alliance against terrorism while avoiding
unnecessary wars.

Ultimately, the issue is whether America will provide global leadership
that springs from the unity and integrity of the American people or whether
extremist doctrines and the manipulation of truth will define America's role in
the world.

At stake is nothing less than our nation's soul.....

Thanks for pointing this out E.

A topic I know a thing or two about...

...you know, when I'm not dissociating.

Semantically Yours...

Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce you to the new number one google search result for the word "Credentialed".

surprised? not me.

The thing that bothers me most about the credentialing of bloggers for this past week's democratic convention is how the bloggers willingly participated in a PR mega-event that had been brainstormed about, strategized about, met endlessly about, project managed about, account managed about, and congratulated over by what has to be hundreds of PR flacks across multiple organizations who really don't give a rats ass whether bloggers covered the event or not.

This was a corporate event and credentials were bestowed like tickets for a ski-doo raffle, finalists made up of the lucky few who stuck business cards with the right combination of words on them (i.e., no troublemakers, left-leaning) in the bowl on the trade show floor. Ooooo--maybe I'll win.

Yah, if life, business, and government worked that way.

It doesn't. That's why we came here--remember?

I will state my personal position again: Anything that seeks to professionalize weblogging, I am against. It's power depends upon its non-professionalization. Stop letting them bully you into stepping and fetching it, guys. And yes, guys, I'm talking to you specifically, because you continue to bite every time.

I wish I lived closer to a convention. I would not be credentialed, but I would cover it, on the street, in the 'tweens, from a boulder on the grassy knoll. Covering politics is talking to people, not following the cued plan of PR pros. I'd go wherever they weren't--anywhere they weren't.

Here is a conversation I imagine has already taken place between public affairs PR flacks involved in the event, the Kerry launch at the DNC convention.

PR Flack 1 (PRf1): Credentialing bloggers--great idea wasn't it?

PR Flack 2 (PRf2): "Sure was. I don't know how the whole thing got started, but it was the best thing we coulda done to show how the 'voice of the people' counts... That 'be not afraid' of john q. public...' Embrace him even!

PRf1: Yeah, without letting them get close enough to cause any trouble!

PRf2: Hey, those guys don't leave their laptops for a second--It was easy to keep em penned up. Can you believe they didn't riot when we saw how far away they were? No way they could hear or see anything--making like it was their war room up there--haaaa!

PRf1: Did you see them typing the whole fucking time?

PRf2: No shit--what the hell were they writing about? Carol King--how many words can you write about her -- she sang for fifteen minutes.

PRf1: I saw this one blog guy get his credentials--his eyes were so big you think I he just got the Nobel Peace Prize.

PRf2: sheeeeeesh!

PRf1: I thought they'd be all over the balloon mishap--Jesus the stage manager that had Mischer that close to Blizer is so canned.

PRf2: The bloggers were all gone by then--there were like two of them up there. I guess they got the picture that the terrorists weren't coming--"Nothing to see here boys, go ahead home..."

PRf1: hhhhaaa! Yah, "The real journalists have it covered--why don't you all go buy some ink cartridges for your printers!"

PRf2: Now the Bush team is all about how to leverage the webloggers.

PRf1: Yeah, well, give 'em Bush Cheney signs and tell them to get drunk like everyone else.

PRf2: I think if you give 'em fancy lanyards they're yours for life.

PRf1: blahahaha!

(and on and on).

Are we worthy of the jeering? Naw. Doesn't matter really. But we are responsible for not letting ourselves be manipulated in the name of blogging. At least I think so.

So you credentialed few--cover the next convention somewhere where it's not expected, scripted even. And if you get detained or kicked out, tell us about it. There are plenty of folks who can talk about healthcare and not having insurance to take their kid to the hospital and who have had relatives killed in Iraq. There are plenty of folks who rely on those tax cuts to power their corporations, who demand we close our borders and torture prisoners of war to get the answers we need.

Start a conversation with one of them.

And you don't even need a fancy lanyard to do it.

The Spiridellis Brothers--Two Guys and a Computer

Just read a good article on the Spiridellis Brothers, better known to us as JibJab, the creators of the now legendary and hysterical This Land Is Your Land lampoon. It's great to see a couple of guys who know what to do with the net get mainstream recognition from a really good piece of work. Hysterical even. Hopefully they can use the noise to drum up sales for their new book, Are You Grumpy, Santa?, which looks awfully cute.

In the meantime, the brothers are under fire from the publisher who holds the rights to Guthrie's song. At the heat of the debate is whether the use of the song qualifies as infringing satire or protected parody.

If you really want to dig into the conflict, Corante has a thorough rundown of what's gone down.

Kinda takes the fun out of two guys and a computer.

July 29, 2004


We all need a few more balloons...
by Don Mischer
DNC Convention Director
No confetti, no confetti
Go balloons. Go balloons.
More Balloons. All balloons.
All balloons.
Come on guys,
Let's move it
We need more balloons.
I want all balloons
to go, goddamn!
No confetti. No confetti.
No confetti.
I want more balloons.
What's happening to the balloons?
We need more balloons.
We need all of them coming down!
Balloons. Balloons.
What's happening!
They're not coming down.
All balloons.
Where the hell
Nothing is falling. 
What the fuck
are you guys doing
up there?
We want more
balloons coming down.

More balloons.
More balloons.

PTSD - 1: Lullaby

rock-a-bye baby
down by the lake,
when the wind blows
your world starts to shake,
when the storm hits
your world starts to break,
and crap starts flying around smashing into you and busting your head wide open until you bleed into the streets and passersby look down wondering what the hell is wrong with you and kick you and tell you to get up and be productive you useless sack of shit,
'til it's all you can take.

PTSD - 2: Grandpa

They wept more for you
I never understood
because you were murdered
and he was supposed to die.

Just three weeks apart
my daddy, my grandpa
who loved me more
no matter

I watched them weep for
you grandpa
wondering why
I didn't see them cry that
hard for my father
your death a tragedy
his a relief

your death
and his
are alive for me
in the corners of the
kitchen where I opened
the door to tears and moans,
on the far wall of my bedroom
where I watched shadows
at night instead of understanding
that nothing was the same,
on the school bus where looks
of pity wrapped me in kind blankets
that I grew used to wearing.

That is where I keep you.


PTSD - 3: Intermission

Wind washes me
dirty dirty
grandma said
you put panties on
when you sleep
or I'll tell your

Rain washes me
dirty dirty
grandma said
those dolls have
no clothes and
you drew on
their dirty
parts now
I have to
tell your

Fire washes me
dirty dirty
grandma said
look at that
I can see
that girl's chest
rip it up now
or I'll show
your mother.

Earth wash me clean
of their shame
show me where
to bury it.

PTSD - 4: Move

His hooves make prints
paint the ground in u-shaped echoes,
the hard autumn runway
where waves lap sand.

We gallop through foam,
icy lake water
splashes my bare calves
rubbed hairless on
the insides
from holding on
his belly wide and strong,

Remembering ends
the day they took him away.

But not my skin,
every inch of flesh
a memory of touch--
thighs, calves
heels, hands--
of movement
of silent conversation.

Of losing him.

PTSD - 5: Birth

I open like wings
from me flies
new life,

I warm her skin
against my chest
she me,

I terrify them then
blood everywhere
eyes close,

I open again for them
they save me
I know,


PTSD - 6: Dance

To know your face
so well
to trace the lines above
your eyes
to have found all
the secret flaws
to love you

To be destroyed,
ripped by words that
shred like shards,
blood drips milk
deceit and despair mingle,
currents of
spoiled innocence
real and pretend.

How do I parse
real or
what was so
never was.

To love again.

7 more posts until my 2,000th here.

I shall endeavor to ring in the new millennium with a spree of on-the-spot poetry.

Please enjoy.

Or Else.

Oh No, No, NO!

They've killed him! They've killed him!


My B Key Makes Prime Time

Thanks to Mike for posting my story on my Hiptop/Sidekick and the faulty key of B over on the Hipshake site.


Edwards (Mrs.) for America

I've been saying for months that I really like John Edwards' wife, Elizabeth. Just read another article about her--I didn't know they'd lost a 16-year-old son or that they have a 22 year old and a 4 year old. I didn't know she was a devastatingly good lawyer, had a baby when she was 50, or looked like a real person, sans botox.

"Elizabeth Edwards' intellect was termed 'a weapon of mass destruction' by a former courtroom rival."

I love complexity. This pair's complex.

Can we elect her?


Glaze Flavored Drink? Ouch. Brain Freeze

Thanks Mike for the news on future blood surgar spikes around the nation from the new drinkable Krispy Kreme donuts.

My sweet tooth has been satisfied for a month, and I haven't even tasted them.


July 28, 2004

More on Obama from Chris at Afro-Netzien

This is a great blogger's-eye view post from the convention on Barak Obama's speech and its aftermath. Nice.

((I'm following the convention followers because I got nothing good to write about right now. A good dose of meta-blogging ought to cure me of my writer's block.))

Convention Blogger Challenge!

I was thinking that one use for blogs during the convention is an interactive treasure hunt! In other words, we, your valued readers, tell you, the convention blogeneers, what items we want you to hunt down and take camera-phone pics of then post to your blog!

I want to see:

One conventioneer with a funny hat.
Someone walking around bearfoot.
One man sleeping.
David Weinberger doing any of the above.
One half-full latte.

Extra Bonus: Get close enough to Theresa Heinz Kerry to tell me what genre of alcohol is on her breath.

On your mark, get set, GO!!

This is good...

They give you a razor, which you couldn't have brought in with you, once you get inside?

This must be so you can slit your wrists from boredom?

I like Jessamyn's posts and pics.

The meta-ness discussion was 'specially cool.

July 27, 2004

Yes, I saw him.

Did you?

Where are all of our blog reporters on the guy mainstream media and a great part of the viewing audience says made history tonight? Obama anyone?

So far meandering through the blogs covering the DNC I see lots of middle-age white guys writing about how a lot of other middle-age white guys are hard to hear.

Boys, boys, boys. We pack you up, we send you off to tend to the Important Duties of the Nation, and this is what we get?

I want a refund.


David Weinberger says "Shove It" to a Pulitzer-Prize-winning Journalist

Well, at least he's not running for First Lady.

Every once in a while, David utters these immortal quotes that make the sides of his readers' lips turn up, down, or all around. This one, from the USA Today today, made me smile so good:

"Objectivity is a worthwhile objective,
but it needs to be recognized that it can't be reached."
--David Weinberger

If nothing else comes from the DNC, and I suspect nothing else will, this article and David's quote on the illusion of objectivity was worth weblogger participation. He got to say, well duh BigMedia--you've never been what you claimed to be.

You Go, David.

Dr. Bill K is Way Kool.

Dr. Bill Koslosky is one of those neat geeky docs I like so much, the ones who embrace technology with gusto because they understand it can make our lives better. I owe him some notice because he keeps me up to date with emails, and as I mentioned below, I have become really sinfully bad about dealing with email since I quit smoking. (okay since before that.)

First, then, you should be keeping up with Dr. Bill and his blogging here at wireless-doc, and here.

When I wrote recently about MSF (doctors without borders), Bill wrote and gave them kudos and me a thanks for mentioning them, then told me about the kind of things some other organizations are doing to help build communities, assist the ill, injured, and others in need around the world, especially using technology.

The sites he mentioned include: Bridges,  Voxiva, One World Health (a non-profit pharmaceutical company!?!), and DNDI (which is working with MSF). These sites are all worth reviewing, and their efforts supporting. Most have donation areas if you can and choose to de-pocket some cash.

These are important links for folks who want to help others, and to help others who are helping others, extending the reach of your resources across borders and oceans and cultures. Read about the ever worsening disaster in Sudan from those who are there. This ought to make you sick. It ought to make you cry. If you're anything like me, it ought to bring outrage. It ought to make you not give much of a shit about which bloggers are covering the DNC or what happened at the Dogone Blogon conference last week.

Recently Dr. Bill sent an email on stem cell research, an email I subsequently lost (I know--me and my emails...). The good news is, David has the info over here.

Thanks Dr. Bill for continuing to inform me and remind me of global needs and global accomplishments through caring people using technology and their own two hands to make a difference. Keep sending and I'll keep posting. 

Thanks especially for writing even when I don't write back.


Spam Headline Poem from My Current Inbox
With Love


Why would you?

Immobility uranus
mennonite dynamite
fun for you both.

How is life, Ginseng?

You've been pre-approved
the deal of the century:
legal Tylenol 3 with Codeine,
Valium, popular software.

Regain your youth,
I'm waiting for your call.

except for me
our little secret

You should tr.y this new phar.m--
forget the doctor
stay hard longer.


Home invasion,
get cash out of your house.
Unidirectional grail,

The midwife
50 curses...
Was it you evil hamal?

All I wanted
is better now, chivalry lawsuit.
All I wanted
brought salmonberry
health, happiness, and fortune.

Long time no see, babe,
'bout time you emailed me back.


Email is like Snail Mail: An Apology in One Part

I remember when email felt fast, amazing, wonderous, when I waited for an email from a colleague in the early 90s back at Kodak like I used to wait for the  postman to bring my American Quarterhorse Newsletter as a kid.

Oh, email was something. Oh, email was everything.

I don't feel like that about email anymore. In fact, it now takes me more time to manage (and mostly delete) incoming messages than it takes to go through my snail-mail bills, and I have A LOT of bills.

That's what I do now. I use all of my email energy to manage incoming crap, and I reserve my outgoing messages for files and communications that I need to send to clients.

In other words, I just don't email people back anymore.

And that sucks. I'm wrong for that. I know it.

I have at least two dozen messages (bolded to to make me feel guilty--tagging them as "unread" even though I've read them) that I haven't responded to. From GOOD PEOPLE. From FRIENDS. From people who even LIKE ME.

And yet, I can't bring myself to go through the envelope-sealing, stamp-licking feeling that overwhelms me when I think about writing and sending emails these days.

It was different when I had "work email" and "home email." All my good stuff came to one address. Even with SPAM, I knew there'd be treasures and I cherished that space inside my home email.

Now my homeplace is where I work, and my workplace is my home and I have Clients, Friends and Spammers knocking on my door, and I CAN'T EVEN SMOKE TO KEEP FROM GETTING CONFUSED.

Blog it and send me a link. That's all I can think to say. If you do that, I'll come across you on my ordinary and extra-ordinary routes through the net, and we'll jam out there.

Just for now. I'm sure my mind will get better. One day.

I apologize for my lack of communication. I am sorry I  hate email so much.  But I do. And I'm so tired.

Laid off from WHAT?

I had a dream a couple of nights ago that I got laid off.

In the morning when I remembered it I started giggling at the irony. Laid off from what, exactly? A layoff? Can you be doubley laid off? Yah, sorry, you're involuntarily separated from your involuntary separation.

My guess is that the dream was a result of the panic that sets in this time of year when business simply dries up. Thanks to summer vacations, July-August is always a nail biter. Same with February, which is simply payback for December-January.

You would think I'd know this, maybe plan. But I don't plan, and I don't remember until it happens.

The layoff dream then isn't so suprising, then, given that I've laid off cigarettes, that my business has let up, and that I wish everyone around me would lay off.

On the other hand, when I went to see George in Tambourines to Glory in midtown with Jenna on Sunday, I parked in the Ketchum parking garage in the area where I parked for five years.

There's always that.


Who Dat Is?

Sometimes I want to know who searched me up through google using a certain string because I know that we'd be fast friends. The person who came here by searching up Cixous and entredeux, drop me a line. We must talk.

Bloggers' Late Summer Reading List

From my comments, here are some reading recommendations from my Valued Readers. I thought others might want the info too.

Now, someone go add all of these to my Amazon wishlist, huh? ;-)


Two minutes to write something before I take jenna to gymnastics

I can't believe I haven't been here. I've been busy. With what, I don't know. OH I know, it's been reading fiction, my new salvation to keep me off cigs. I think it was Andrea who said she always had a book in her purse. Well, that's me. I walked laps in the pool a couple of days ago reading as I went. Put it down on the side and actually made it a couple of laps swimming (it's an olympic-size pool; gimme some credit). Picked it up again. Read it at my sister's. Read it waiting for Jenna at gym. Panic set in when I forgot it on the kitchen table, realizing the error only after I splashed into the pool on Friday.

The obsessive fiction run reminds me of house shopping. I now have several characters from several different books and several plots merging into a twisted and confusing mega story of my own. I toss authors and titles out the window preferring to spend my non-reading time trying to remember which murderer was it who used the toy cat in the ally and was it the guy detective or girl detective who grew up without a father. Then I give up trying to sort out which book was which and let the stories re-tell themselves all mingled in my imagination.

I guess there is life after smoking. Even though I've traded one "must have" for another. I've managed, so far, to make it not food, which is good, because I've been punished with that enough.

SO, I'm okay, but reading, and thinking about reading and writing and the stories we tell here and why they're not enough for me and how I used to read blogs with the same appetite as I have for a good novel now, but that you don't find people's stories on blogs the way you used to, and so I have to spend $6.95 at CVS to be sure I'm not without my fix.

okay, more later...