June 16, 2007
At least the older-than-20 women and men and of tech have seen a few go-rounds of the business cycle--which means their innovations are more likely to have staying power.
But then, who needs staying power. This is Web 2.0!
i was six
and you were dead.
he must have talked to you
he must have said:
she is my daughter,
I will take care.
I will sell our house,
we will move here.
he must have said:
I give you my word,
I will make it okay.
permission for you
to fall away.
the next time my skin turned inside out
it was three weeks later
and he was dead.
routine visit, nothing serious,
one dose, two dose, cardiac arrest.
"a terrible mistake" / "these things happen."
my skin never fit right after.
no feeling when he took me
turned promises into warnings:
didn't he know
I had no words for this?
missing language for something missing.
I will spend my life finding words.
pieces cut away
innocence removed like a tumor.
eyes drink pain
skin on fire.
aware, we are not broken.
alive, we mend eachother,
darn souls like socks
writing seams together
before they disappear
If the only path floods, let's say, or the farthest drive at the oldest cemetery is impassable, can you still take me there? Ahead, rows of pansies in purple velvet and midnight blue are all I can remember. Those and the pines stretching ten year old arms after sleep without dreams. Sound as Sandman.
I see you in his feet now.
Tuesday bruised Wednesday and Thursday took off. Who is there to blame? Between refrains we hit refresh--nothing is missing but everything is gone. Unwinding. What about the cast iron pan. I burned the eggs again: cholesterolism, catholicism, absenteeism, criticism: if they knew would they tell.
Coat the bananas with chocolate and nuts, save shredded carrots for the hamster.
In white sandals, matching cuffed shorts with embroidered flowers, she scans the playground, every inch open--braids wound in hope--eyes blink: Saturday. I see so much yellow. Nothing hurts here.
Remind me what he said just before the sky broke.
I speak listen.
I fly walk.
I move still.
But you already knew.
--from Monkey Joes, GA.
June 15, 2007
The down side that the drug is all-but-guaranteed to become popular, making Alli (pronounced AL-eye) a household word, leading to odd looks and the occasional high five when I say my blog's name outloud. "Yes, I blog at Allied."
I can always pronounce Allied the way Jenna does. She has always said: "Allied, it rhymes with Salad."
And with Salad, we've come full circle.
I noticed these two groups in this article from 2006, "Worker Pleads with Tesco to Honor the Fruits of Her Labor, which South African blogger Mike Golby linked to in his post, "Tell The Truth, Nigga." From what I have read, my understanding is that Gertruida Baartman became a spokesperson for underpaid laborers in her fight to secure a wage more than the three dollars and change per day she was being paid to pick fruit for Tesco.
Awareness of Ms. Baartman shamed Tesco into action on Baartman's behalf. (ActionAid bought one share in Tesco in Baartman's name, giving her the right to speak up at the retailer's annual meeting. The share cost about the same as she earns for her nine-hour shifts.). But what has happened since then?
What are companies like Tesco and Stormhoek doing to make sure that paying wages in the currency of booze (still prevalent on 3 to 5 percent of South African vineyards according to one estimate) stops? What is being done to help displaced workers--when the CSR action of the day is to say: OKAY you sixth generation live-in laborer, you're free to go. (What? No mule? No 40 acres?) What are these companies doing to help reverse the alarming rate of alcoholism and fetal alcohol syndrome that are a direct legacy of the dop system?
Why am I interested in this story? Lots of reasons, because it has lots of hooks for me. As a blogger, I see a company using bloggers to market its product--a product no one really needs but some enjoy--and I wonder if they know how it got to them. Are they being exploited? Do they know? Do they care? As a PR blogger, I see an opportunity for vineyards and wine companies to actually come together as competitors to do something larger than their profit margin or next blog promotion, to help people who ARE being exploited. As a woman, as a mother, and as someone keenly aware of the legacy of slavery in this country and its toxic generational impact, I give a shit.
Stormhoek isn't going out of business because a few bloggers want to know about the practices in its associated vineyards, about its CSR programs, about the laborers who give Hugh a product to glue his cartoons on. But it would do well to address the questions
Mean Kids Disclaimer 230: I am not trying to poke holes in Hugh's project for poking's sake. I am really trying to find out what the current situation and practices are, and -- given the OPPORTUNITY TO DO SOMETHING POSITIVE (all bloggers like Positivity and Higher Purposes, right?), plus the wealth of EXPERTISE in and around the blogosphere ((which incidentally IS Stormhoek's marketing engine)) -- discuss what can and should be done.
For example, do Stormhoek vineyards have a Woman on Farms Committee on site, like Lanzerac, Kaapzicht, Fine Farms, Uitkyk, Blyhoek, Elsenburg, De Clapmuts, Spier, Groenland & Labonheur do? Do they have any representatives on the WOF's District Forum?
I'll stop now. But feel free to continue the conversation. Markets are, you know.
June 14, 2007
"Freshly pressed into the service of the Lord, Paris declared her intention to help Those Less Fabulous. "
On the dead hard drive are the high-def video files of Prince's Super Bowl show from a friendly reader who gave me some better-than-youtube renditions. Oh they were nice. waaah. every day I think of more lost stuff. s'okay. my mood will brighten when mackie's back in town. I got not much to whine about.
No wonder I've been in such a good mood!
Can you ask for much more than that in a specimen of any species? I think not.
That is why we decided--or I should say George decided--that Marshmallow's lineage must be preserved in a new generation. So he and jenna bought Cupcake and brought her home. She is very sweet. When we put them together in one cage, they got along famously.
Wooohooo type famously.
So imagine our surprise two days ago when we found Marshmallow cowering on his back in a corner with Cupcake swiping away at him.
"GET THE HELL AWAY FROM ME YOU NEEDY BASTARD!" she screamed.
"OH CUPCAKE--WHAT? WHAT DID I DO?"
He continued to offer her his underbelly as if to say: I know you could kill me, and I love you for it, but if it's all the same to you, I wish you wouldn't.
Clearly she's hormonal.
Another couple of incidents like this followed until we got the picture: Time to separate them--the blessed event must be getting close.
What I'm saying is, if you listen, women will tell you what they want.
And even if you DON'T listen, women will show you what they want.
And if you don't listen and don't take heed, then they will swipe at you and you will be laying face up begging for them to just not hurt you and maybe to get a cage of their own if that would be at all possible.
Then when they move next door, you go back into your plastic dome house and lay around, just like you used to before they ever showed up.
And that's kind of how it works.
Hamsters are a window on the world.
Coincidentally, I find that I feel better when I embrace the positive and avoid their negative spinnings for fun and profit. (This is a lesson they taught me! Simply ignore what feels icky!) Besides, it is often difficult for me to follow 'whim of the day' link-baiting opinions penned by Technorati's Top Turncoats. Especially when they are poorly written. And they usually are.
However, allow me a moment to celebrate victory.
Today, on the birthday of my Husband, friend to women and 23-year friend to me, I celebrate the death of victimhood among women. I celebrate those who dare to write words on a publishing platform and push "publish."
WOW we really HAVE overcome! We should each one of us consider ourselves Heroines 2.0, righteous fighters of a New Battle! Leaders of a new Land! We who DARE to travel to conferences that are PROMOTED in advance--never knowing who might want to follow us there and maim us. BRAVERY! HEROICS! PASSION! PRECISION! AIRSICK BAG!
How brave are we women who live online! O! Ye of mighty force, shes who dare to tell the world where we are and what we are doing! O! Victory for feminism! Glorious freedom--the battle we fight in blogs and on twitter.com every day! HURRAH! All of the women who have gone before us owe US their gratitude for pushing the battle for equality forward into TEH new age!
I am SO inspired. Totally.
For a while, the nonesense about me and anyone I decide to link to who might be writing something intersting, even if critical, will likely continue. I will trudge on nonetheless, full well knowing that any time I question any thing, that brush stroke is waiting. Whatever. My friends and readers did not contribute to buying me a new laptop (so close--this week or next!!!) so that I would shut up.
That disclaimer having been penned, I give you this, which I find interesting. Period.
In Yesterday's News...
BUSINESS NEWS Call for action against 'dop system'Wed, 13 Jun 2007
A pressure group has threatened to bring a class action against government and the
wine industry over the issue of alcohol abuse among farmworkers.
The Black Association of the Wine and Spirits Industry (Bawsi) called on Wednesday for the establishment of an industry fund to change people's attitude to drinking, and to set up an institution to treat alcoholics.
It said the government and the industry were responsible for creating thousands of alcoholics through the notorious "dop system".
Bawsi President Nosey Pieterse said failure to set up the fund would leave the body with no option but to lodge the class action.
From April 12, 2007:
South Africa's wine country fights alcoholism scourge: Healthcare workers struggle to change binge-drinking culture in a region that has the world's highest recorded levels of fetal alcohol syndrome.---
The habit of binge drinking is now ingrained in South African culture at all social levels, researchers say. In the Northern Cape town of De Aar, the rate of FAS babies is 122 per 1,000 live births, according to recent research by the Medical Research Council in Cape Town. By contrast, FAS levels in the US are between 0.1 per 1,000 and 0.67 per 1,000.
We have experienced the upside of wine – seeing the world, going to great restaurants – but we have to publicly acknowledge that there is a downside to our product," says François Naude, managing director of Beyerskloof Vineyards in Stellenbosch.
"Underaged children have killed themselves driving after drinking Beyerskloof Pinotage. Husbands have beaten their wives after drinking Beyerskloof Pinotage. And women have hurt their unborn children by drinking Beyerskloof Pinotage," says Mr. Naude. "We felt some social responsibility in regard to our industry to do something about this. We don't need to sweep this under the rug."
Beyerskloof Vineyards, the premier winery using indigenous pinotage grapes, is the first vineyard in South Africa to put labels on their bottles – a common practice elsewhere – warning pregnant women of the dangers of drinking. The founder, Beyers Truter, has also established a foundation, the Fetal Alcoholism and Interrelated Treatment Help Fund (FAITH) to raise funds for research, for information campaigns, and for smaller charities that help communities affected by FAS.
In light of recent conversation and curiosity, I looked up stormhoek and FAITH to see if they contribute to this charity and how much. I didn't find anything. Maybe they have their own charity? Maybe bloggers could donate some of their drinking money to help? Maybe Silicon Valley could set upt its own fund? Maybe someone can enlighten me on what this HIGHLY blogger supported company is doing to help in the aftermath--and what many say is still the current practice on small farms--of the dop system.
On the site itself I saw a post about fair trade and its challenges, but I didn't see anything about what is being done specifically around the practice and legacy of the dop system and the incredible problem of alcoholism in South Africa.
OH and: That does not mean nothing is being done by the wine companies. I am not insinuating that nothing is being done. It means that I'm asking. In my own way. What is being done? I don't have to ask with a pretty please. I don't need your permission to ask. And I don't have to be polite. That is not a rule here. Go read Tim if you want rules.
Comments open. Oh, and South African bloggerspondent Golby, what do you know?
[[update: another article on the south african wine country dop situation here.
"The child will typically have an IQ of 75, stunted growth, facial deformities and be prone to hyperactivity. The simplest schoolwork may be beyond the child." ... AND REGARDING DOP: "It paternalised the relationship between the farmer and his labour because they became dependent on him for booze." Even today, Prof Viljoen estimates the dop system occurs on between three and five per cent of Cape vineyards.]]
[[update 2: In chat, someone popped in to say they think the numbers of the telegraph article are high--and wondered how accurate the fetal alcohol syndrome stats are--especially from a teacher. Is there solid data on the fetal alcohol syndrome rates in South Africa? How is the tie in of the legacy of the dop system measured? I'm only asking questions. Answers are appreciated.]]
June 12, 2007
Expert: JedediahDate: 12/19/2004Subject: What is happening?Question-------------------------Followup To Question -------------------------Followup To Question - what is my hamster doing? he is climbing on top of the female's back and biting her fur. Sometimes i see him doing something to her butt. please help me. i really want to know. thank you very much.Answer - Dear Zoe,thank you for your question.Your hamsters are mating. Please get a second cage and seperate them as soon as possible. Hamsters are solitary animals and shouldn't be kept together anyway. Plus there are too many homeless hamsters out there already and they shouldn't be bred accidentally.In case it's too late and the female is already pregnant, you must give her plenty of nesting material for her nest and provide her with animal protein in form of mealworms or at least curd. You won't see whether she's pregnant or not, but since Syrian (golden) hamsters are pregnant only 16-10 days and dwarf hamsters 19-22 days, you will know it pretty soon.They can have 1-10 babies. Make sure you find good homes for them and start searching when the babies are still small, it's not that easy. You might want to get an old tank to house the mother and her babies in because the babies can slip through the cage bars. The babies can and must be seperated from their mother when they are a month old and you should seperate male and female babies because they can breed when they are about 32-42 days old.I hope I was of some help to youJenniferbut she has already mated with another hamster i think. i don't really know if she is pregnant. the hamster she has already mated with has already died.help........Answer - Not every mating attempt results in a pregnancy. She can be pregnant, but you will have no way of knowing for sure until the time of the pregnancy is over. Of course you can see a vet who is knowledgeable about hamsters with her, who should be able to tell you, but apart from that, he won't do anything.I really recommend seperating the hamsters and not putting them together again, not even for a short time. I hope I was of some helpJenniferi think she is pregnant. her tummy is getting bigger.
i'm stumped. (see my index finger flicking up and down in front of my lips to make that clueless bbbbbrrrrbbbbrrrbbbrrr sound).
Let's take it top to bottom.
The scrolling 'play lotto here' looking bar at the top: it makes me car sick. I don't understand the content of the scroll bar. I don't know what I'm supposed to do with the information: find a bomb shelter and take cover or click on some obscure reference to something else.
Maybe I'm dissheveled because my eyes are busy fighting back the shock of the 52 pt heading underneath the scrolling neon green bar thingy. The headline quotes someone who said (in the last user interface) that some blogs have to be good. Dudes: you're preaching to the choir--you're a blog search engine.
Next look over to the right, and there's a tag fest, but no organization/reason to it. Basically, it's a swiki. i kind of expect technorati to leeeeaaad in this area, not put a little square full of tags on the homepage the likes of which you can find on every joe and jane's blog on the internets. And besides, everything seems maybe 1 pt difference between every other tag, which tells me precisely WHAT about how important any specific tag is?
Let's talk aesthetics. Orange and green? Hello color police, we have a 201 in progress.
Onto the main section of the landing page as this is the MEAT of the homepage content. What we get are THREE example blogs from each category (video, blogs, and music). That's all. What happened to lists? Why do I have to dig and I don't know the difference between a favorite and a wtf and a popular. Technorati's ALL about popularity. What do these sub-sections even mean?
Back to basics, allow me to clarify: I come to technorati to (class)...
so please, give me some help in that regard, as a leading blog search tool. that's your job.
do not bury the conversation.
When I visit technorati, I expect to find the latest talk and the hottest conversations. Please, help me find these things.
Technorati, you are a search engine. You can pretend to be other things. But i don't know why you would. Stay with what you're good at. Don't portalize. It's unbecoming on you.
"On New Year's Eve, 1977, we were invited to meet with Grace Jones at Studio 54. She wanted to interview us about recording her next album. At that time, our music
was fairly popular — 'Dance, Dance, Dance' was a big hit and 'Everybody Dance,' although more underground, was doing very well, too — but Grace Jones didn't
leave our name at the door and the doorman wouldn't let us in. Studio 54 was that kind of place. Our music might be playing inside, but the place was packed for New Year's Eve and this was early in our career. Anyway, my apartment happened to be one block away, so Bernard and I went there to sort of quell our sorrows. We grabbed a couple of bottles of champagne from the corner liquor store and then went back to my place, plugged in our instruments and started jamming.
"And since we were feeling bad, we played music to make us feel good. We started jamming on the now-famous riff — Bernard and I were particularly good at making up riffs and jamming together. We were really into jamming and we'd often start writing songs that way, sometimes drawing on ideas that were floating around. In this case, however, the riff was super, super simple, so it didn't have to be pre-planned. It's not like I'd been saving it. It was just something that happened. I had always liked the Cream song "Sunshine of Your Love," and I wanted to do a sort of riff song for CHIC, although not a complete linear riff — that wouldn't be like CHIC — so I incorporated a little linear lick and we started singing, 'f**k off!' [Repeats the lick.] 'Aaaaahh, fuck off!'
"We were so fucked off at what had happened. I mean, it was Studio 54, it was New Year's Eve, it was Grace Jones, and we were wearing the most expensive outfits that we had — back then, in the late '70s, our suits must have cost us a couple of thousand bucks each, and our really fancy shoes had got soaked trudging through the snow. So 'Fuck Off' was a protest song, and we actually thought it was pretty good — 'Aaaaahh, f**k off!' It had a vibe. I was thinking 'This could be the anthem of everybody who gets cut off on the street by a cab driver or any kids who want to say this to their parents.' You know, 'Hey, I wasn't saying it, man! I was just playing the record.' "We really had pretty big designs on completing the song as 'Fuck Off'.
You've got to remember, we didn't think of that prior to sitting down and playing. Once we did sit down and play and started singing that hook, it sounded good; just as good as 'freak out'. In fact, had we not come up with ' off' we would never have written 'Freak Out' and some other song would have been our big hit record. We were screaming it: 'Aaaaahh, f**k off!' Bernard and I usually wrote the hook of a song first, and then once we felt we had a chorus that would pay off, the rest of the song would follow. So, that night we actually converted 'fuck off' to 'freak out'. That was part of the process that first night. First, we changed it from 'fuck off' to 'freak off', and that was pretty hideous. We were singing it and just stumbling over 'freak off', because it was so lame by comparison. Then, all of a sudden it just hit me. For one second the light bulb went on and I sang 'Aaaaahh, freak out!'"
You see, this is where i get into trouble, 'cuz, no. no i'm fraid it's not. for sheltered white westerners sipping wine and sopping up blog juice maybe. but the planet does not begin and end with a full glass of wine.
while you're figuring, read some investigative blogging wherein Madame Levy takes Stormhoek to school on the shady business practices of Tesco, where the wine is being promoted.
Something slightly more informative -- or at least wittier -- than 'sometimes the glass is half full' is deserved in response. I doubt if we'll hear it. After all, things are well with good bloggers everywhere whose glasses are half full--well, probably a good bit more than half if it's half past noon.
i like this:
to blog is to write the ordinary unordinary.
Being in traffic, is like being in a meeting. You are stuck. You’d rather be
We’ve pulled alonside a GO train. Double decker. With the entire side of one car covered in a Clinique ad. Painted on there. Little thought or art direction. Still better than the green and white. Me? I’d paint them a banana yellow.
We’re through The Green Belt now. Farms between two towns. Hay.
A beer and a bag of cashews while loading and unloading passengers at
Then it’s through the Darlingtin Nuclear plant. Thing is the grounds
around the facility are beautiful.
I think I’ve decided that this is where we enter yet another country.
Farms, radio towers, power lines.
I’ve decided that when I get home I am going to weed the garden. The train is flying
over the countryside now. I’ve decided I want to live in Europe.
Most of my ideas are romantic.
June 11, 2007
So after confirmation from a nurse and two pharmacists, I finally called the doctor and described the incision area, deemed to be infected. I got an antibiotic and finally saw one of the doctors (not the busy surgeon) today.
She said something like, "oooooo yeeee" upon my revealing the bullet hole in my side. "You should see the deer!" said I.
She proceeded to cut away dead flesh and make sure the [word i can't remember] was in tact so that when i set off to clean it (as i have been doing non-stop) at home -- now with roter rooter and draino [[just kidding sortof]], I won't slip and go all the way into my GOOD ovary, being that the hole pretty much enters into my very guts and stuff. The red and oozy thing that it is. Nasty hole.
This is your nickel size hole encrusted in angry red flesh.
This is your nickel size hole encrusted in angry red flesh on drugs.
"Tell me when it hurts, because then I know we've hit live flesh," she said cutting. Okay sure. Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope. THERE we go! Let's do that again. That was as fun as the tilt-a-whirl at the mall carnival.
So I go back in a week. In the mean time it's more of the same: open it up, clean it out, close it up. Take antibiotic. No swimming. No baths. No no no no i don't smoke it no more. I'm tired of waking up.
I liked the doctor I saw today. My regular gyn, the in-demand surgeon who apparently is too busy to close his own incisions, was in surgery today.
I suppose hyperspecialists have their place. I just hope I can keep them out of my abdomen for a while.
Did I tell you that both of the two surgeons who operated on me said the same thing when they first saw the lousy job done on the big gaping hole incision? They said: "I didn't close that one."
Color me 'i should have figured there'd be a problem.'
Live, learn, and use hydrogen peroxide.
June 10, 2007
The puppies were supposed to arrive on my birthday, but she had them a day early.
Now it's all nurture and nature, as Susan notes in this heartwarming tweet on Facebook:
"Puppies are here.Working,reading,watching the bitch so she doesn't roll over on them overnight."
Ahhh. Makes you feel good all over, doesn't it?
Sleep not-too-soundly, susan!
Comment: Fourteen dollars for a superannuated scholarly article - or even a brand new one - seems excessive. The internet holds multitudes, and lends itself to micropayments. E.g.: Let's say a library pays $10,000 for a year's subscription to a substantial collection of old journals -- perhaps a few million pages worth. Let's say two million pages, though it could well be more. That comes to $.0005 per page. And that gives hundreds, or thousands, of students and professors unlimited access to the journals. So, why not offer a pay-per-view model that charges individuals $.0005 per page? Granted, single downloads would not add up to much, but over time, as people became aware of the quality, scope and depth of the scholarship, volume would build. I'm not aware that JSTOR would be risking anything here, since its current subscription model would still be intact - there would just be more revenue, to allocate however it might choose. A win-win. (Update: Micro is the new macro)
Smart people are worth listening to.
--Madame Levy on the Two-Faced World of Blogging for Ca$h and Prizes....