August 05, 2004

Heat Watch

It's near 90 in here now. Soon, after dark, we'll open the doors and windows like we used to do when we lived up north. It will cool down some, and I'll go outside.

There are cigarettes in the garage.

I'll sit on the green high-back chair in the driveway and I'll think about having a smoke, like I'm thinking about right now.

I don't like the heat. Especially when I'm already hot.

My lungs are burning with bronchitis. I really want to smoke. I want to remember what it tastes like. I want to feel the roughness of the smoke against my throat. I want to cough up all this crap inside me.

I'll think about it. But I won't do it. I won't do it.

No, August is the cruelest month.

We're five days into August and already I've spent them sick, fighting fever along with Jenna, the entire newly-sprung month.

Already our dryer has died and I'll spare you the details on getting a new one. Unless you live in Atlanta, it is nearly impossible to understand how difficult it is to get someone to take your honest wages in return for promptly (as in, this year sometime) delivering the item to you. It just doesn't happen. Retail is like a schoolyard, where only the bullies, brown noses and popular kids get what they pay for when they pay for it.

While George was out hunting dryers today, I noticed the house getting hotter and hotter. Checked our temps. Yep, still running around 100. I guess that's why, but gee it seems hot, I say to myself, and then to Jenna: "Are you hot?"

"I'm so hot," is the answer.

I check the thermostat. Oh no. It's close to 87. Oh no, the air is set at 79. I check the vents. Oh dear. Hot air. Not now. I try a few tricks.

1) turn off the AC. Pray. Turn around three times and click my heels. Turn it back on.

nothing.

2) call the AC guy whose number I have, try to schedule an appointment before December on the off chance that calling him will jinx the AC back to life. Turn it back on.

nothing.

3) cry softly into a kleenex, please we can't afford this right now--the dryer was a surprise, now the AC, please not now. Turn it back on.

nothing.

I made the call to a gentleman who says he actually can come look at it tomorrow. The same day our dryer (number 2--the first delivery people from H.H. Gregg never showed up) is coming. And summer has been basically workless.

Off to bathe in luke warm water so I don't feel like I'm burning to a crisp.

Did I mention school starts Monday?

Calling Dr. Freud, Calling Dr. Freud... Your Slip Is Showing.

Bush's truth telling today is making noise around the net. I think the Prez should be praised for his honesty:

"Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we," Bush said.

Joi put up an MP3 sample here, which is crystal clear and worthy of its own TV commercial. Joi got it from Lauren.

Score one for the cocaine-damaged brain cells.

August 04, 2004

Who Survived?

I have the tune running through my head now--how does it go? "I met an old lady who swallowed a fly, I don't know why she swallowed a fly, I guess she'll die."

And the song continues to build so that each thing has swallowed the other and the next and the next until I don't know who's left.

I think something like that has happened to our pig.

I can't be sure. But I smell a rat. More importantly, I don't smell a pig.

Further clues consist of the following:

    The pighouse/doghouse has disappeared.
    The boxer has disappeared.
    The big headed black labs have disappeared.
    The pig himself has disappeared.
    I have seen no sign of the neighbors.
    The fence is still in disrepair.

I wonder who ate whom?

One Month Down.

This is my No-Smoking anniversary. It's been one month since I quit--and you all were there for those harrowing weeks. Amazing, isn't it? Well, it is to me. Cold turkey baby. Took it like a man.

Except for the bouts of sobbing and throwing rolls of toilet paper at the mirror.

I went to group therapy tonight -- it wasn't until then that I realized I'd made it a month. Leaving cigarettes behind feels like many other losses for me--at first its absence assaults me every twenty seconds. Over hours, days and weeks, the assaults come less frequently, although they remain just as potent every single time.

It is strange being sick with a sinus/ear infection and not smoking. For someone who has never smoked, that must sound pretty stupid. How could any human being who has a head clogged with mucus want to inhale smoke? Where is the sense in that?

And yet, smoking, for me, was a comfort when I was sick. I may not have known how long the illness would last, how painful it would get, whether or not I'd be able to sleep at night, but I *always* knew my cigarettes were there to help me pass the time until I could run around at full throttle again.

In trying to explain it tonight in group, I realized how as a nicotine addict I adapted my every move--even my language--to eloquently justify what makes absolutely no rational sense. The funny thing is, although it's false, it's not really fake. You see the same people who are smart enough to create and pontificate rationalizations in this way actually believe them as fact. Or at least fail to recognize that it just ain't so.

My inner dialogue went this way... I would hear a message: "Smoking is the leading cause of death among women age X to Y," and would translate it in my head to: "Wshew, I'd better quit by the time I'm Y."

I would end up with bronchitis, which obviously doesn't take well to guzzling cigarettes, and I'd smoke just the same. As any smoker will tell you (if you put them on a bed of nails), cigarettes taste like shit when you're sick--especially when you have bronchitis. It's like smoking lit phlegm. Me? I'd rationalize smoking right through bronchitis this way: "Pretty soon when I smoke it won't taste like burning buggers."

It's a wiring problem, it's a trauma problem; it's all of that and more.

There is an upside to my quitting. Once I stopped being angry enough to pull teeth out of unwitting neighbors and family members, I began to realize and appreciate the nuances of the mind, the differences between my addicted thinking and my thinking now, the change in how I perceive myself and the world.

How amazing the human mind is, how flexible, how kind it can be, and how merciless.

Back to School

I know it may sound odd to those of you in slightly cooler parts of the country whose children just got out of school three days ago, but down hea' we start school Monday.

That is my news flash--we've nearly lived through summer! The current plague Jenna and I have notwithstanding, we have had an enjoyable, illness free, sun drenched summer, sprinkled with a newly acquired phobia of tornadoes (jenna) and the very lovely blisters around my now not-tan nose from this sinus/ear/brain infection I caught, quite obviously, at Chuck-E-Cheese.

In honor of next week's big event, I took my clammy, sweaty self, soon-to-be first grader in tow, to Big Lots yesterday to drop a cool $50 on school supplies.

The great thing about Big Lots is that it has big lots of stuff. The bad part is that it has big lots of many random and useless things. We were fortunate enough to find the necessities on the official School List except for a ream of white copy paper (apparently the six year olds will be running off their own dittos) and dry erase markers (which I assume the children will use to track the terror alert level on classroom whiteboards during the year).

I have also decided to get her the best electric pencil sharpener on the market (donations accepted) because I remember my own high-quality sharpener being perhaps my most important tool in all of academia, the 1968 equivalent of a Toshiba laptop.

Plastic sharpeners and the vice-grip kind never cut it for me. After about three months of school, I would decide to short-cut my work rather than struggling with wood shavings and terminally broken points, with walking to the front of the class like a nerd who'd used all her lead already.

Is it wrong for me to want as much for my own child? I don't think so. If I don't make another promise to my kid this year, I will deliver on the electric sharpener.

She can save the story for therapy--later.

Anyway, I was getting to Jenna and what has her most befuddled and amazed about first grade, aside from the fact that she's getting the SAME teacher she had for Kindergarten, who apparently passed the GCAP with scores as good as Jenna's and is allowed to progress to first grade with my child.

(Super. I was hoping for a little variety, new teaching methods, different energy. But on the up side, Jenna knows and likes the teacher, so her transition should be a piece of cake. Especially with that electric sharpener.)

Now, about Jenna's enthusiasm--it's because of her desk, you see. When I told her that she'd have her own desk, she was so surprised--so flabbergasted--that she had to sit down.

"My own desk--MY OWN DESK? You mean, my very own desk?"

"Yep," I said, her teacher having just told me the news on the phone--before CNN added it to its ticker tape panic readout at the bottom of the TV screen.

"Oh my goodness! Oh my goodness! I've seen those desks! They have tops and bottoms, and a little piece that overlaps, and Mom and Mom and Mom--there's an INSIDE!"

"Isn't that awesome! I've seen those kind of desks--in fact I used to have one of those kinds of desks."

"No way.

"Way!"

"You did? And now I will?! MY OWN DESK! I'm SO EXCITED!"

I had nearly forgotten that one of the rites of passage of moving from kindergarten to first grade is leaving tables behind you.

First in Montessori, then in kindergarten, my daughter has been a table dweller. I knew she'd seen desks on TV, and she'd seen them in the older students' class room where she took art after school, but to actually GET her own desk was unfathomable to her. I guess she thought she'd sit at a table forever.

I'm not against tables, mind you. I think children can accomplish a lot working hands on, moving around, completing tasks and assignments independently at tables, which encourage variety and movement when they are used correctly--like in Montessori.

But Jenna's kindergarten wasn't like that. Being stuck at tables meant having to sit next to the boy who pulled buggers from his nose and wiped them on his chair. Being stuck at tables meant snack envy and arm punches and a wiggly writing surface from the ever jiggling knees of the ADHD and the reasonably bored kids.

This Monday my baby girl puts all that behind her. She is backpack ready and desk bound. She's kissing kindergarten goodbye and reaching for the stars--or the nearest bottle of hand sanitizer.

And I know I'll be wiping tears from my eyes as I kiss her goodbye in the car pool line on Monday.

Too fast. They grow too fast.

Where do you get those cute little RSS buttons?

An RSS question from someone who doesn't care how it works but wants to have one of those cute little buttons instead of the word "RSS Feed" on her sidebar---how?

August 03, 2004

God Speed, RB.

RB flies and rides, all for a good cause of course.

ADDED EGR BONUS: Check out the pic below the Daewoo post with RB and Doc. It's trippy.

A post in which I urge you to feel sorry for me

I have a double ear infection, which doesn't mean it's twice as bad as a mono infection, but that both ears are infected, as are my (is my) sinuses (sinus). It also means that noises coming from outside of my own head are muffled, while noises made internally, through various bodily functions, are amplified.

I am tired of my own breathing. When I cough it sounds like a plane crash in my brain. Although the pain is over--it stopped last night when electroshocks turned into complete deafness--I feel like homemade shit.

Today I got antibiotics, sorry natural health fans. This is necessary so that I don't kill the people in my house who insist on MUMBLING at me, or at least that's how it sounds inside of my head.

Unless we're talking about Jenna.

I guess because she once resided inside my body, she got grandfathered in on the internal noise ability. She is the only person/place/thing outside of my own body that is amplified 220 times. Her whispers are shrieks. Her crying = my eyes shattering. Her playing is my root canal.

That's today. This is temporary. Tomorrow will be better.

In the mean time, if you're outside of me, speak up! If you're inside of me, shut up!

Someone please do me a quick loading banner thing

This red thing at the top of my blog is much ado about nothing, isn't it? I don't like that description either. "Get burned by the fire you forgot to light." What the hell does that mean? When did I come up with that crap?

Jeneane Sessum / Allied

Somethin' like that. Purddy. Come on now.

Circa 2001

The Dave Winer who now thinks blogs are journalism used to think blogs were academic writing.

What do I think? I think blogs used to be more journalistic than they are now in the sense that we were writing about original (current, to us at least) happenings in original ways. Now, those bloggers who see themselves as journalists are primarily link factories, putting slightly new spins (if we're lucky) on already-reported mainstream news.

That's not journalism because you're not finding the story--you're merely spinning it, and that makes you closer to a PR flack than a journalist.

I love irony!

Paige Loves Her Husbife...

Paige has decided that her husband is actually the wife of the family--she has plenty of proof. Example:

When my husbife doesn't get his way, he goes into full on melodrama. Example: We're driving home from a party last night and discussing our trip to san francisco. He says we need to get up at 5 in the morning to drive there. I counter with the following thought: 'Why do we need to be in San Francisco at 7 in the morning? What will we DO that early? Maybe we can go at a later time.' His response? 'Fine--if you want to just sit around the house all day, we'll just do that.' Okay moTHER.


Go giggle.

Add Three New People to Your Blogroll Today.

Don't ask why, just do it. Go to Technorati, search on some keywords that interest you--jalapeno peppers, gardening, strep throat, whatever--and check out some of the blogs that pop up with posts discussing your cherished keywords.

Read some of them--especially those not heavily linked to. Look for folks that resonate with you--read some posts, search their site, check out their archives.

Add three compelling new voices to your blogroll today.

Why?

Something to do with velocity and widening circles.

Energy.

Fighting inertia.

blogroll alert

don't freak out if you're not on my blogroll yet. after holding out for year(s), I'm finally using blogrolling.com. I'm getting used to it. Surfing around clicking like a freak.

I used to be a staunch "Prune it yourself" fanatic when it came blogrolls. I thought blogrolling.com was like your boss cheating and using one of those automated performance appraisal packages. "If my work means something to you, can you spend a few seconds to, you know, write something original down?" I actually said this to the CEO I worked for at one company. She was too busy, so she used the software and embellished with a couple adjectives she got out of something I wrote for her.

Now I have an earache and too many people have moved addresses too many times for me to keep up. I give up. I am a blogroll idealist no more. The hand-pruned blogroll is here no more. Long live blogrolling.com

I have to go to the doc now. Leave me a link in comments to remind me where you live. 'Cept if you know I can't stand you. Then don't bother. You know who you are.

[[that's just to get you thinking while I'm away.]]

We are proud to claim him (errrr, most of the time).

Ted talks Gonzo.

Thing about it is that some of Ted's concerns are now reality--they don't feel futuristic to me. They feel like a done deal.

And by the way, the difference between blogging and journalism (and independent blogging vs. corporate blogging) is that most journalists are working for shareholders and report up to someone whose ass is on the line. In blogging, our own asses are on the line. Or at least hanging out the window.

Safeguarding the welfare of the public cannot be the first concern of a large publicly traded media company. Its job is to seek profits.

Big media companies want to eliminate all ownership limits. With the removal of these limits, immense media power will pass into the hands of a very few corporations and individuals.

Politically, big media may again be on the wrong side of history--and up against a country unwilling to lose its independents.

August 02, 2004

Are the campaign buses stopping here?

Well, they should.

I always thought of museums as places that depict what was--a way to capture and keep alive what we have already lived through. The Holocaust Museum is opening an exhibit on Dafur to depict the genocide taking place right now against Africans there. Children and adults are being burned alive. Finally it's not just nobodys talking about it. Finally Important People and Organizations are acknowledging what has been obvious for months--years?--it is genocide.

"Never forget," unless you're busy hunting for oil.

I'm thinking the Kerry/Edwards campaign bus ought to stop by. Since the current administration has at best paid lip service to the crisis, perhaps the challengers can do better.

Have I linked to the Sudan blog yet?

If not, I am now.

Go there, educate yourself.

Help.

Next they pushed Hussein into the fire. "I felt pain in my legs, but there was no blood," said Hussein, running his thin fingers across his right calf.

In quick succession, the other children were thrown in, too. The janjaweed didn't wait to see them die, and when they left, the children scrambled out of the flames, with minor burns, except Hussein, the first one in. His legs were too swollen, and he fell, unconscious. A relative who had been hiding nearby, waiting for the janjaweed to leave, scooped him up.

"Nobody can believe I survived," said Hussein, whose round face is now scarred with blisters the size of marbles.

The burnings are continuing. A few miles away in the Otash refugee camp, seven villagers, all interviewed separately, described seeing children abducted and set on fire when the janjaweed attacked Adwa two weeks ago.



Yeh--makes an ear infection seem pretty insignificant.

The Using the designation for the first time in its 11 year history, the Holocaust Museum called the situation in Darfur a "genocide emergency" --not merely a description but the strongest language the museum has.


Meanwhile we're blogging conventions.

owe owe ouch! owe ear infection

jenna and I are sick. owe. can it be morning yet so i can get to the doc. ouch. oh. my face, my ear, oh. i thought stopping smoking meant guaranteed good health for the rest of my life. you fuckers all lied to me. what gives. what kind of friends are you. you never told me it'd be the same old shit just without cigarettes. you are all fired.

What happened to blogskins?

I've been template surfing over on blogskins, where I found the last template for this site.

In the last year, I think, Blogskins has been overtaken by the younger template design crowd with a penchant for stars and light and bizarre little figures, kisses and nymphs and pinks and precious images yearning to be deep.

Bummer.

template change in progress.

had to do something. no one offered to make it look snazzy for me, so I'll use what blogger has to offer... will take some time to move over the naughty bits from the old one.

Women's E-News Story on Women and Blogging

I have no recollection of talking to the writer, but that's okay. I would have said pretty much what I said, cept for the omitted "how" in this quote: "My fascination with blogging lies in [[HOW]] my voice informs someone else's voice," notes Sessum. [[And I would have added, and how my own voice is informed by them.]]

Elaine, Shelley and I get a mention in Women's E-News in a story called Women Go Blogging.

I apparently sometime said the following, which I vaguely remember saying, though don't remember when or to whom:

"Blogs make it really easy to express yourself," says Sessum, a public relations writer. "It's an amazing tool to help you figure out who you are, what you care about and to connect with other human beings. Plus, it's a place for me to exercise my voice. I've been so busy writing for clients that I've never kept up with my personal writing. Blogging has really helped me refine my voice."

Sounds about right.

August 01, 2004

And you better fucking care that I had a cheese sandwich for lunch.

and burritos for dinner.

Canned Jalapenos mmmmmm

I haven't bought canned jalapenos in forever--til last week. I got a couple cans of these -- with the little pop open tops and the superbowl sunday looking perfect "O" slices on the label -- from my old stomping grounds the other day.

Man-alive yum yum gimme some HOT! YES! I forgot how much I loved topping food with hot jalapeno slices. Sure, sure, natural blah blah not canned blah blah organic blah blah, whateva.

I'll take a wripped-wrappered, dusty-topped can of La Costena Pickled Jalapeno Nacho Slices from my old American Spirit selling gas station any day.

Just had them wrapped in a low carb burrito with pepper jack cheese, black beans, and some vegetables from leftover barley soup. Simply microwave til juices intermingle. Killer. mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

I know--I'm in some big trouble because my tastebuds are back.

Flash Mobs Fo' Real

'Flash mob' makes it into the Dictionary

The English Oxford Dictionary has added Flash Mob into it's listing only a year after the phenomenon started. The 11th edition of the Concise Oxford English Dictionary was published on Thursday 8th July and included other new words such as Vavavoom of which there is evidence that it has been in use since the nineteen fifties.

In the UK, Flash Mobs move from having fun to doing good.

While you're at it...

Read Joseph Duemer's most excellent post on Kerry's speech, Vietnam, and complexity.

I suppose it would have been foolish to stand before the nation & assert that to combat terrorism we must bring a combination of police powers & positive cultural / economic initiatives to bear as we quietly abandon the rhetoric of war.

I suppose such a statement would have been tantamount to Walter Mondale’s admission that he, like his opponent, would raise taxes, but that at least he, Mondale, wouldn’t lie about it. The truth is often not politic—a fact that defines the immaturity of our democracy.

Conflict as business model...

...and American's addiction to patriotism.

Read Jonathon's most wonderful post on U.S. Patriotism and America's obssession with war.

Global savior, heal thyself.


No Comment

I'm having problems with this site coming up. I think it's YACCS, my commenting utility. I've used YACCS since time began and have stuck with them because they took us on when there were few options and lots of "no vacancy" signs for blogs wanting to add commenting capability. They've been reliable and ever-ready for years.

Lately though, my blog has been slow to load and I wonder if it's YACCS. Sometimes when comments are down, it takes forever for my site to come up.

I'm debating changing to blogger comments, but I don't like a lot about that option. AND I don't like abandoning a three-year archive of comments from friends and foes alike.

Maybe there's something I need to upgrade with YACCS?

What's a girl to do?

What's with the border thing?

Maybe they could take some of the security guys who rifle through my tampons at the airport and put them on the Mexican border?