I got a dozen roses from my husband today. They are so beautiful. I cried.
April 30, 2005
No, she hasn't eaten them, but she has HAD a new litter. She took to her nest about four days ago, and I glimpsed some pink in there yesterday. We are all holding our breath and walking on eggshells. George jokes around in the kitchen--"Somebody sneezes in this house and the hamster's like..." [he mimics Coco devouring her babies]. I say, "Stop it--she's just being, what do the call it in the hamster forums?--"merciful."
Hopefully this time Coco had all the pre-planning required to refrain from eating her young.
I told ya'll what Jenna said after viewing the carnage first hand, right?
"Wshew. At least I'm not a hamster baby."
Posted by Jeneane Sessum at 11:12 PM
I have a friend who has a baby boy. He is the sun and the moon and the stars. I was there for his birth. I watched him come into the world, full of boy and life and piss and vinegar, and eyes for his mother the likes of which I have never seen. His was the kind of birth I wish I had been able to endure instead of my epidural+c-section version. I am not complaining, no, I am blessed. My sweet sweet Jenna. I am not complaining, but I am grieving, and there is a difference.
In taking two growing, giggling girls to Chuck-E-Cheese tonight, I watched dozens and dozens of children pass by and through and around.
Without knowing what I was doing, I started watching the boy children. I have realized, in watching my friend's son grow and thrive over the past eight months, that boy children and mothers have a whole different thing going on.
Boy children are different, approach things in a way unfamiliar to me, observe in a way that is not better, not worse than girl children--but different. Special. They smell differently, move differently, have learned to manipulate differently--covert and effortless. George remarked to me once, "It takes a lot to grow a man." I thought, that's a man's perspective--of course. It takes so much to raise children in these times, period. But lately I've been watching. I've been watching adult men and how they think, act, behave toward women. I've been watching boy children, how they perceive, calculate, process. And I wonder at the process as a mother that moves them from boys into men.
So I watch these Chuck E. Cheese boy children move, grab tickets, pull friends by the elbows. I watch the beige boys especially, the ones that could be ours--who look like Jenna's brothers--I catch their eye, smile, nod my head, some odd woman in a booth by herself, and they look back as if to say, "oh, ma."
Since my surgery three weeks ago, I am accepting the fact that I can't have anymore children. Chances are, it would have been a disaster had I tried before the surgery. Then again, it might have been fine. No way to tell according to the doctors. And so I wasn't going to. We were done, really. We both knew. The last thing we could handle would be another child. But deciding and having decided are different altogether.
And so I think and I wonder and then I let it go. And it catches me sometimes by surprise. We are so so so amazed by and in love with our daughter. She is life.
And at the same time, I grieve for the son I will never have, miss him. I have lost him, I have lost my father again in the lost son I can no longer grow inside of me, and that is what the tears were for, me looking rediculous, tears quiety running down my cheeks, in the booth, by myself, among joyous children playing, my own daughter laughing, having the time of her life, at Chuck-E-Cheese tonight.
Posted by Jeneane Sessum at 10:03 PM
April 29, 2005
I've got my iRiver. I've read any number (lots) of articles and posts on podcasting. I could be up and running with a professional sound (with my new iRiver and what George has in his studio) in a few hours. But I'll probably stick with simple on-the-go recording for now. The iRiver's built-in mic has surprisingly great sound recording capabilities.
I think I understand the genesis and the conflicts around the Podcasting the concept, the term, and the technologies that support the medium--at least from a historical (like six months) perspective.
Now onto what I believe.
It could have been called mp3casting, but that would have sounded weird.
Because Podcasting doesn't require an iPod per-se; any mp3 player will do. Podcasting does NOT require RSS. Subscribing to podcasts does. In other words, ANY mp3 file that in some form mimics broadcast is, to most users who are downloading, a podcast. It's the name they like. It's so, well, "blogging."
If I, for example, have an mp3 file I want to make available--i.e., broadcast, I can do this in several ways. (1) I can have a weblog setup with an RSS 2.0 feed (Blogger makes this easy), make my feed available to bloglines or others, and people who wish to can subscribe to my podblog and get convenient/automatic downloads. You can sleep while technology makes sure you get the latest podcasts loaded onto your MP3 player for morning drivetime.
(2) While RSS makes podcast RECEIVING easy and seamless, it's not the only way to listen to your favorite Pod Personalities. And a burgeoning base of corporate fans are listening to podcasts on their PCs by, well, CLICKING ON THE LINK within the weblog. (3) And for those podcast surfers, who might find one or two podcasts worth downloading, you can usually save the file down and copy it onto your MP3 player via a USB connection.
So what's really new here?
Not much and everything at the same time.
What is new is the perception. The perception of many companies and individuals is that podcasting is the next weblogging. It's the next big thing. It's a must-do.
And so, it is. Thanks to a catchy name, some quirky talented new-era broadcasters who've been living online for a while, Adam Curry, Dave Winer, and the whole technology debating team, as well as the ability of the masses to subscribe to podcasts for easy downloading, podcasting really is the new big thing.
My prediction? It's about channels--it's about getting what you want from the net in the way that's most convenient/relevant for you at the time. If that means clicking a link and listening on your PC at work, then you're listening to a podcast. If it means you download podcasts from 16 blogs you subscribe to every night, then you're downloading podcasts.
In six months, the podcasting "brand" will likely refer to the program format (i.e., anything that resembles a radio broadcast will be called podcasting) NOT how the program is delivered (i.e., currently any mp3 file made available through an RSS 2.0 feed in a weblog can be delivered to subscribers). In six months, an interview on Microsoft's site between Bill Gates and Scoble (it could happen!) will be called a podcast, even if it's simply an mp3 file sitting on a server and linked off Microsoft's homepage for anyone wanting to click the link.
And that's okay. It evokes the same debate we've been having for years in blogland: "What is blogging." Some say its community. Some say its journalism. Some say it's just writing.
So what will podcasting be? Some will say its personal radio. Some will say its broadcast journalism. Some will say it's just mp3 files.
And, just like with blogging, we'll all be right.
Posted by Jeneane Sessum at 12:43 AM
April 28, 2005
April 27, 2005
If you were appointed dictionary Czar for the day, and you could remove one word -- and one word only -- from the language, strike it from the dictionary, and wipe it clean away, which word would you choose?
I was thinking about this, after finishing some Ramen Pride horrible, salterific, substitute-for-real-food dinner. And I decided on "always."
Always is frequently (not always) misleading. Cloaked in connotations of security and timelessness, of the endless forever of time, always is basically a crock.
There is no forever, no until the end of time, no fairness in things, no lasting.
When I was growing up, I believed with all my heart -- and had it reinforced by my family -- that when I grew bigger and older, my mother in turn would grow littler and younger. I thought, in essense, we would trade places.
How well I understood my enmeshment. Not.
I should have seen through the facade. If not me, then who? I watched my father die, I watched him shrink and disappear before my eyes. And yet, I grabbed onto the the "when you get little and I get big" myth with all I had.
"When you get little and I get big," I'm going to wear as much makeup as I want.
"When you get little and I get big," I'll stay up as late as I want and put you to bed at 7:00.
And it's sort of true--as we grow, our parents shrink, the ones who aren't larger than life that is.
So, it wasn't really a lie. Not really denial. Misconception maybe. Not stupid though. Resourceful actually. The realities we construct to make sense of things, or perish.
Except that I believed it literally.
I believed in always and forever.
I believed in the justice of the ebb and the flow, the fairness of life, -- the smallness, not the disappearance. The leaving and the coming back.
The losing without the loss.
I really thought when I grew up, life would flip. Would turn upside down. Would reverse what had taken place.
There would be some grand scale of justice.
Some just desert.
Sense would be made of the unfairness and I would make it.
And the world made right would last.
No more surprises.
No more bad news.
I thought that there would always be always.
Posted by Jeneane Sessum at 9:53 PM
April 26, 2005
PLANE DIVERTED AFTER MAN WITH MP3 PLAYER, LAPTOP WIRES...
A spokesman for the Transportation Security Administration said two passengers reported that another one appeared suspicious. The man was carrying two vials of medicine, an MP3 player and wires for his laptop computer, the spokesman said.
Doc, did you make it home okay?
Repeat after me: Podcasting on the plane is not cool.
Posted by Jeneane Sessum at 11:34 PM
We really can't extract or create an accurate picture of a weblogger -- what he or she stands for or believes, what kind of voice we can expect as a visitor to this blogger's site -- without factoring in that blogger's unique voice and its evolution over time.
I think expectations today are that each post stands alone.
I think that can't be true.
Melanie has wrestled with this question and in response has developed her own Contextual Introduction to give readers who find her through one of many avenues a better up-front flavor of who she is, and who she isn't.
I like it, as much as an exercise I should put myself through for my own thinking and assessment as a tool for readers to understand what to expect here. I might also link to some of the posts I've written that I feel tell the most about who I am in the context of this blog.
Interesting idea and well done. Now, I wish someone would do it for me, because while I'm full of ideas these days, I'm a bit short on execution........
Posted by Jeneane Sessum at 8:33 PM
Jessica at Daughter of Opinion has a moving post that she paints with language-layers of loss and pain and hope. A tear is on my right cheek just now, one that I needed to shed. Thank you, Jessica.
I watched as they led old people, young people, babies even, down to the black water and into the waiting arms of the preacher. I watched them be dipped backwards, some of them plugging their noses, and I sensed the emotion that seemed to coincide with their emergence from the water - their hair slicked back, their faces shiny with wetness. I watched them take my cousins, all four of them, down one at a time but they never came for me. I remember feeling hurt by this. I remember standing on the rocky bank and thinking that I was not acceptable - simply not good enough - because my mother was sick.
Brave and wonderful.
Posted by Jeneane Sessum at 8:24 PM
-Okay, what businesses are doing blogs right?
-What businesses aren't?
-I'm looking for fun, edgey, but not insane. I'm looking for relevant, compelling, topical.
-I'm looking for blogs you've gone back to -- that you've visited more than once.
-Please leave links.
Person with the most relevant links left in my comments gets a $7 amazon gift certificate. Yah, I know, $7 isn't much. Jenna's 7 and I'm broke, so I picked $7.
[[Research assignment ends at 9:00 a.m. US Eastern Time Wednesday (tomorrow) morning.]]
Posted by Jeneane Sessum at 3:00 PM
DON'T EVER START!! (Oh. wait. that's smoking.)
Elaine is going to be on a panel addressing young people and weblogging, at least at some point or another. She wonders what we think she should tell kids about blogging. Leave your comments here and help her out.
Posted by Jeneane Sessum at 10:20 AM
April 25, 2005
No way am I doing 30 posts tonight. What was I thinking? I planned on 30 and got 2 done.
I think I have to rethink my challenge model. In the old days, 30 in 30 was something to shoot for. Remember when we had the all-night blogothons for--was it charity? I don't even remember. I think I did one. I don't even remember what it was. There were a number of 24 hour post-a-thons in the old days. That's when I got into trying to post 30 posts in 30 minutes. I had wicked fast fingers in those days. Now I think I have carpel tunnel. In those days, I could get 30 posts done consecutively, but it ended up taking me a couple of hours each time.
A post a minute? That ain't happening. I was in my 30s then. I'm in my 40s now. With age comes discretion.
I can't afford a couple of hours right now.
Posted by Jeneane Sessum at 9:40 PM
He wouldn't mind me telling you I suppose: George does the laundry in our house. He always has. Except when he's away. And then it's laundry bedlam time.
But the thing is, when George does the laundry, he really DOES the laundry, which involves color sorting by hues. As in, blues/greens go together. Pinks/reds go together. Yellows/oranges go together.
He's not altogether right. But his laundry looks damn good. If my husband were a search engine, you'd find just what you're looking for.
He tells me that hue-sorting is important because the colors come out much brighter this way. He tells me that my way results in a single hue: Grey.
I tell him I shouldn't have to wait three weeks until he gathers enough orange/yellow clothes to get Jenna's yellow ruffled socks back.
When George goes on the road, one thing secretly thrills me: Unlimited access to the laundry room. MY way. My sordid, non-bright, dingy-grey approach that divides dirty clothes into three categories: white, not white, and dark. I don't use softener. I stuff the dryer with two loads of wet wash. I go hog wild.
It's just another thing we do.
Posted by Jeneane Sessum at 9:33 PM
As relationships online move closer and closer to the individual, each one us, I feel like the next big adventure will be crawling inside your skin. I mean, thanks to having met you here, and having met some of you in the flesh, I've already gotten skin close. I've gotten to know more about you than you ever thought you'd tell me. So, next, you know, I want to know you molecularly. What is your blood pressure? Pulse? What if I crawl into your eye sockets--will you let me? And once I'm in there, can I post as you? It's a square dance. We'll all move over one node on the network and take it over. You become me become him become her.
I think it has possibilities.
Posted by Jeneane Sessum at 9:30 PM
Heard this today and remembered hearing it back then. Mmmm.
I hope the day will be a lighter highway
For friends are found on every road
Can you ever think of any better way
For the lost and weary travellers to go
Making friends for the world to see
Let the people know you got what you need
With a friend at hand you will see the light
If your friends are there then everything's all right
It seems to me a crime that we should age
These fragile times should never slip us by
A time you never can or shall erase
As friends together watch their childhood fly
Music by Elton John
Lyrics by Bernie Taupin
From the soundtrack Friends
Posted by Jeneane Sessum at 8:26 PM
Me? I know when I'm suddenly posting in too many places at once, and my personality, usually so well-defined and dogmatic in its certainty, splinters into a million different parts.
It doesn't hurt when that happens, but I hear from a friend that vicoprofen rocks. So maybe I should say it does hurt.
In fact it hurts very badly.
Maybe some doctor will wishlist me a bottle of vicoprofen.
Because I do have a bad right shoulder.
And regular ibuprofen doesn't work so well anymore.
But a hit of vicodin would be worth a looksie.
You know what else? My kid's a riot. "OH THE WAY THAT YOU SEEEE...." for oh say can you see. I love it.
So what's new in your world?
Posted by Jeneane Sessum at 7:07 PM
With the ability for RSS 2.0 and, I guess eventually other syndication tools, to grab mp3s enclosed in a post and deliver them to the device of our choice, "broadcasting" may not be the only -- or the most compelling -- model for audio and business.
Narrowcasting - me to you through audio content - maybe hold even more possibilities.
I'm working on a statement of work right now for an existing client who needs a flash script. Can I tell you how much I hate statements of work? But they put necessary structure around the client/vendor relationship. They serve a purpose. Among other things, they are a textual handshake around specific parameters of a project.
For most companies, there is a whole process around getting to that handshake. And beyond the handshake, of course, client/provider communications exist across the entire specrum of the client relationship.
So with podcasting on my brain, I'm thinking, I wish I didn't have to WRITE all of this and confine it to a template that only tells part of the story. (Mind you, I'm a writer, so if I'm bucking the textual system around content, then the sky's the limit.)
And I'm thinking, what if I could narrowcast communications via this same technology to individual clients.
So instead of organizing the Statement of Work by deliverable, I can literally talk to the client about the project and deliver the audio drafts of the SOW to some extranet/intranet spot where we BOTH talk back and forth about expectations and deliverables. With With Podscope and audio search technologies, the structure of audio content is even searchable.
"Tim, you said you wanted us to handle the art direction too--it's in the signed SOW." [Signed SOW hyperlinks to the spot in the audio SOW discussion where Tim The Client says, "I want you guys to handle the art direction."]
Hard to argue with that, eh?
What about delivering a proposal this way. What about proposals and RFP responses that are STORIES, not boring copycat documents of everything that came before them.
What if we interview our happy existing clients, for whom we've done similar work, and include their audio stories in our narrow-podcast mp3 deliverables. What would it mean if I interviewed David Weinberger on the importance of creating content a conversation with your customers, and I include that interview as a podcasted attachment to a written RFP; i.e., demonstrating the power of voice through voice.
I don't know. I'm mixing and melding existing client relationships with prospective ones here, but either way, the ability to seamlessly deliver audio from my desktop to the preferred devices of my clients/prospects has me excited.
I can see the use for narrowcasting in terms of letting prospects know WHO I AM AND WHAT I'M ABOUT before I spend much physical time with them, and in terms of carrying relationships of multi-dimensional communications forward (in-person, copy/text, recorded audio) with existing clients.
Just some thoughts to get my brain going this morning.
Posted by Jeneane Sessum at 9:26 AM
April 24, 2005
Here. They'll have to run fast to catch up, but it looks like they're up to the challenge. Doc points to the BizWeek article on weblogs here.
There really is too much reading to do now in the blog circle.
I'm looking forward to voice taking on part of the job through podcasting so that I can bring the spoken word with me when I'm away from the laptop.
Posted by Jeneane Sessum at 9:55 PM