November 12, 2005
November 11, 2005
When we moved to Atlanta in 1994 we really did arrive in a city that fit its unfortunate slogan: "The City Too Busy to Hate."
You and I both know it takes time and energy to hate, and Atlantans back then had little of either. They were too busy building entire industries from the ground up, and in their spare time shopping or sitting in traffic, or hunting for underpriced real estate. NO spare time for hating. Not that it didn't occur to the average Atlantan. There simply wasn't time.
Talk to the hand--got no time to hate you.
And now, with the Olympics a distant memory, we've grown up. Because we're not too busy to hate any more. We've got the time, the memories of dreams denied, lots of people laid off, the dot-com boom having come and gone. We've got a divided nation. One at war. A war that half the country doesn't think we got into for the right reasons. Atlanta's just a microcosm of the larger American divisions. Our millions of bumper stickers demonstrate the opposing views in this city. "Love it or leave it." "Bring the troops home." "My boss is a Jewish Carpenter." "My right. My choice."
Who can blame our great mayor, then, for deciding that it is time to drop the pretense of brotherly ambivalence and rebrand.
Atlanta is now the city where "Every Day is an Opening Day." And, in the tradition of KFC, we are now officially ATL. That's A-Tee-El.
For me, this conjures an image of a confused city--are we talking about baseball? The open minds, open doors, open hearts of the Methodist Church? Our reputation as a city welcoming of diversity as long as you stay out of certain counties at night? Our strip clubs that are open late? The HOV lanes that are open except when they're clogged with traffic? I'm not sure.
I think about the brainstorms that must have gone into coming up with the slogan. How many Snickers bars were ingested in the name of progress? How many Hershey's kisses? How many stress balls had to die? How many easel pads? Ahhh. Just think about how it went down...
"Okay, what do you think of when you think of Atlanta--"
"traffic" = "a ha ha ha ha"
"pass the candy dish"
"anyone want a Coke?"
"no idea is a bad idea come on..."
"The buckhead murder district?" = "a ha ha haha"
"Dan you've got a client call--sandy's looking for you."
"Okay, Mike Vick?"
"The music--has to appeal to the urban crowd..."
"Smells like Hell in the A-T-L?" - "a ha ha ha"
"Marta's Ashcan?" = "a ha ha ha ha"
"Bob you're being a jerk."
"Okay no idea's a bad idea..."
"Atlantizzle My Nizzzle?" = " a ha ha ha"
"How many of us in here are billing? Is this billable?"
"How about the culture--Cultural Mecca or something..."
"Jesus, why don't you just call it Islamanta!"
"Pass me the candy dish..."
Almost makes me miss home. ;-)
November 10, 2005
So, dear blogger, maybe you might want to put a little field for us to insert technorati tags like simple/dimple. Or maybe could encourage all of the creative folks you know out there where you live to scare up some new templates for my friends. Luckily I had Josh Hallett design my new one for me. Blogger do you like it? Blogger you would like Josh!! He's very creative and his designs are elegant.
So, anyway, I hope all is well there. Guess it's too late to ever get that shirt. No biggie. I'm fine. Just quit breaking shit every time you toss some celery into this soup and not telling us what you're up to.
November 09, 2005
For the many blogziens who have asked over the many years WTF is up with my spelling, I will answer you all at once: my SISTER who was 9 when I was born was tasked with spelling my name. She was learning the rule which I guess they taught in Catholic school in 1962, that the FIRST vowel talks and the SECOND vowel walks.
That's how she got the "ea"
the e talks, the a walks.
In theory I guess you don't need the e on the end of my name, as 'bean' works quite nicely not being beane. But it certainly does provide some balance. The idea of being 'Jenean' makes me feel very jittery.
Like I've been somehow amputated. A name cut short. What a shame. Oh the humanity.
And Jeanne is an entirely different name. Don't call me that. I'm not coming to the meadow.
Jeanne is one syllable. I'm two.
So, that's today's how to say/spell/remember my name.
charred then spark
reminds me, what feels any other way isn't anyway
consider laughing, slashing, grinding you
to maim or hump
tomatos + salt + pepper + mayo on soft white bread
what do you mean by that
lighting the corners of things
heel toe heel electric
your lips razors of flesh
i can hear sound in sound
turn down the air
my ears are
paris is burning
now on the edge of that spoon
soft curves feminine
form plump meat
what was he for halloween
diamonds have edges
seven feet thick
tickling thoughts I haven't
scent, wind clash - the soft silence of without, the dancing of quiet, the marvel of the circus of 'be'.
It was a couple a few sandwiches short of being a picnic if you know what I mean wordcountwise. Word to the wise.
Let me tell you about Ralphie the neighbour boy when I was six and seven and lived on AntrimRoad always dressed in women’s clothing. Huge lobster, perhaps the hugest lobster ever, hung over the fireplace mantle in the playroom. Couldn’t tear my eyes offa it. It figured largely most likely to succeed probably. I feel like I am making this up. I can’t remember if he wore makeup. And another neighbour kid who later lost her arm. And her sister Kathleen (different one JMo and PingLee) and a huge collection of Catholic memorabilia branding me for life. German last name. They drew on their genitals seems weird but it was true.
I abstained. Use your arm while you got it I guess.
Dangerous iceskates hanging from the rafters in the basement. Creepy peeper man next door. Angry brothers on the other side always hurting frogs.
more childhood imagery, and certain themes that appear to be specific
Every note in the music was clear and forceful
(At one point, I saw myself in the mirror and noticed a conventional movement of the hands which did not stem from the music. I rejected it at once. When one side of
the record was over, I turned it over and went on dancing. I felt no fatigue, and movement gave me great pleasure.)
it informs us of the importance of an experience with virtually no personal content
these images light
it’s kindof easy
For the first time, I loved myself.
November 08, 2005
So Jenna's standing at the foot of the bed, reading aloud from her holiday wish list, which she has painstakingly and independently compiled on notebook paper from devout study across three toy catalogs that came by mail.
She's serious about the performance. She recites an entire page of descriptions, prices, and if you ask, she'll sing you the jingle.
Her wishlist got me thinking about what I want. Not just in an amazon.com sort of way, but my macro wish list.
My wishes that are horses with beggars who ride.
And that got me thinking about how we seem to be just one good utilitool shy of having the ability to create our own world wide wishlists.
Break me out of Amazon and Froogle, of ebay and overstock. Let me cross from retail into give-space and back. Let my wishes reflect my dimensions. And know me all the while.
Let me add a donation to MSF from over here, and Golden Pearl Shower Cream from over there, but only while it's on clearance, because if you're going to spend $17, then I'd rather have two of these, because I get the free pink mini dog. I want my wishlist to know that. My wish is that meals on wheels in can keep bringing lunches to my Aunt, and that our Ford gets paid off before they want it back. I'd like some heat for the winter and a health insurance premium or two for when Jenna gets strep. Add in a bottle of Children's Motrin for that. And refill her prescription Singulair at Walgreens if you would. I want a real tire on my car, not a donut, and Tires Plus by my house gives us a discount for having our work done there, so add Two Installed Tires to my wishlist. Let me know when it's time to rotate them. And I could use a copy of photoshop -- that would rock my world. On my world wide wish list you could pay my garbage or buy me a can. And if you could send a paid roofer my way, well you'd blow me down. You could add to my wish list some supplies for Shelley's photography and books for Locke, shipped to their doors, in my stead, because I need them to do what they do, to put a different kind of roof over my head.
You and I are not so different, and very different, at any one time, in need of this as much as this.
I want commerce to become elastic.
intuitively inclusive. an extranet of wants and needs.
let me be buyer, seller and intermediary all at once.
Me the marketer, Me the market, Me the marketplace.
Can you give me that?
And for a little extra, can you wrap it up with an RSS bow?
Hope you enjoyed the ElmiTaste fun yesterday and the introduction of one Mr. Rage Boy as chief chewing officer. Yes, ElimiTaste is a client, but they didn't just find us bloggers by accident. They've been reading blogs and throwing some spare change to bloggers for a while now. They're your mouth's answer to Big Gum, and you know I like answers to Big Anything (Big PR, Big Oil, Big Bang...)
So that's what's up with that.
More news coming on what the fuck I'm up to soon. Soon as I know.
On the hamster front, all is quiet.
We cleaned all three cages yesterday, which has become a family fun day here at the Sessum house.
It involves many materials and hands, including rolls of plastic, garbage bags, George Forman cleaning products, paper towels, bleach, shavings, fluff, buckets, and a range of other supplies. I am so grateful to my sister for bringing the precious little pets into our lives.
I had the bright idea of taking Coco the matriarchal escape artist and switching her cage with the Runt's cage (a nice double-decker abode) because it has those doors that latch shut with a hook. The move was intended to keep her inside the cage. Indeed, she has refrained from escaping for TWO WHOLE DAYS, which in the world of Coco is like 8 hamster years.
I can't say she's happy about it.
She's chewing the bars of the cage like James Brown on an assult and battery rap.
I read somewhere that this is not good for hamsters. I read that their teeth are so long, and go so far up into their heads, that continuous chewing in such a manner can cause their teeth to receed up into their brains, causing brain damage and/or death.
Can you imagine--you've got these long tusks-for-teeth, and you're trying to chew your way out of prison to go see your fuck buddy in the next cage, and all of a sudden BAM! Your teeth wind up in your brain?
Yowsa! That's gotta be worse than going off Effexor.
I thought about giving her some Zapp to chew. But last night I gave her a cracker instead. I thought, maybe something different to chew on would distract her from her mission of gnawing through metal bars. She ate the cracker and attacked the bars with new fervor.
I'm worried about her.
But not worried enough to switch her back to the easy-escape cage, so she can break out and go shit under my stove some more.
November 07, 2005
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Blog hero, Internet fortune teller, and slayer of New Age dragons, RageBoy, has announced his decision to join the ad age by making a partial-subsidization- of-book-buying-habit deal (AKA: arrangement) with the gum guys at ElimiTaste.
Not only can RB now rush to the bookstore chomping on Zapp with some extra cash in his pocket, but he can also talk to the ladies in the "Spirituality" isle of Barnes & Noble without that skanky Starbucks-and-cigarette aftertaste on his tongue, thanks to SmokeScreen.
God bless us, every damn one!
Read more about RB's sellout class hierarchy of needs.
Read more about ElimiTaste here.
And ask RageBoy how YOU can become an affiliate.
Weinberger Real Disclosure Statement: YES ElimiTaste is a client (suggested addition to the Weinberger scale: WWT (work with them).) They are also cool folks who understand how bloggers think, and they intend not to insult us. You can buy their gum online, pop it in your mouth after coffee or a cigarette (ahhhh, those were the days), or hand it out to the kids for trick-or-treat (DOH! I mean after the Thanksgiving turkey). Not to mention, the ElimiTaste folks don't waste your time with things like the juicy fruit blog.
And the gum's damn good too.
To quote RageBoy's evil twin Chris Locke:
"I've been chewing the shit outta the stuff."
....and you can too.
November 06, 2005
One scary thing about blogging is that we become seen as experts on stuff that we're not.
Thanks, Google. I remember the time a man emailed me from Europe because his daughter was in the hospital. He wanted me to know that he found my writings about Jenna's Strep Throat and how I could usually tell it was strep by her strawberry tongue. Strawberry tongue is self-explanatory if you've never seen it. If you have seen it, you know what I'm talking about.
Anyway, this father who had googled my writing about strep wanted to let me know about Kawasaki disease - a rarer-than-strep and often more-serious-than-strep illness that is also frequently accompanied by a strawberry tongue (among other symptoms). The man who wrote wanted me to know that strawberry tongue does not always mean strep--it can be part and parcel of many illnesses, including Kawasaki Disease. Why is this important? Because a delayed diagnosis of Kawasaki's can lead to permanent heart damage, even death.
That's one example of how my sorta-knowledge had realworld impact by NOT being the expertise Google had suggested.
Another example is from today. Luckily I'm a bit more qualified for this one.
Today I got a voice mail from Hamster Guy - HI! - I forgot his name. He was asking about hamster weaning. First, Hamster Guy, let me say congratulations on the new members of your family. (HAHAHAHAH!)
Now, as far as weaning goes, you'll see the little kids start leaving the nest in about 10 days. They can't really do anything much but slug themselves around with their big heads. This goes on for a couple of weeks until they look like real hamsters, but smaller. Between 3-4 weeks old you can separate them from the mom. There's a whole other ballgame involved in telling the sexes apart, and you don't want to mess that up or you'll have more hamsters on your hands. Allow me to include a helpful diagram for the hamster sex newbie.
It took me about two weeks after weaning for me to find homes for most all of them. We still have one - the runt - and the two parents. It's a royal pain in the ass because they're Syrian hamsters and they will fight bloody as adults, so we have 3 separate cages that need to be CLEANED and WATERED and so on. There are lots of good hamster sites. Which in itself is amazing.
I'm sorry I didn't call you back Hamster Guy--my cellphone is in the car, and I just remembered your message. I hope this helps. Have fun with the babies.
Don't bring any over here.
Neither is this post - Compelling. Vulnerable. Beautiful.
One day, when I must have been a particularly meddlesome six-year-old, my grandfather said, "You know, at birth every person gets a certain quota of words allotted to them for life. It's impossible to tell how many words anyone has, the numbers vary widely, but when you've spoken all of your words, you die." This affected me deeply and I immediately resolved to horde my remaining lot. For the rest of the day, I expressed my demands by mumming, pointing and stomping until my grandfather told me that gestures counted even more than spoken words. Foiled, I started to worry about how many words I had needlessly burned through in my careless six years. From then on, I thought, every word I speak had better be really necessary. This is how I learned about economics.
Phil has lived an interesting life - he obviously has had a model of what it means to be interesting. What does it look like? To be interesting? To be someone who gives out little pieces of yourself to others -- pieces so full of meaning that they last like that? I think it is about dimensions, about teaching a little boy the power of language while you teach him about what it means to love someone for close to a century. I think that those are the people I want to know. I want to know all 600 sides of you. Of Phil. Of Phil's grandfather. Don't you?
My grandfather and grandmother were married and inseparable for almost 75 years. She died a year and a half ago and he didn't speak much after that, although I don't think that it was because he was trying to stretch out his days. He died peacefully at the age of 99 and we buried him today.
I do a lot of talking. It's pretty much my entire job. Right now, I'm sitting in the airport departure lounge getting ready to fly for a few meetings and two speeches. I'm going to pare down my PowerPoint decks a bit. Probably not every word is really necessary. I'm going to try to make it last a week this time.
Phil, every one of the words in this post was necessary. Your grandfather would be proud.