October 4, 2003

tuning in...

Tuning in to the live BloggerCon Webcast today to catch bits and pieces. Tip: Have your mute button ready--the microphone they're using in the audience has a wild buzz.

So far, it's interesting--especially the live webcast itself. In theory, I mean. Two years ago we were kind of stumbling around finding out who we were. Now we're webcasting live discussions on blogging realtime. It's all rather surreal.

From Montessori to Public School

It's depressing. Ask George. Jenna's kindergarten experience so far has been nothing short of depressing. I don't know if it's her age (september birthday that missed the state cut off for first grade by 4 weeks) or her Montessori experience that brought her too far ahead, but this current kindergarten situation isn't working.

I thought I'd found a good compromise in a school that is not quite a regular public school--one of those new-fangled special schools, but still state funded--and I thought there would be a better chance for her to move ahead (either within her grade, or literally to first grade) at this school. So far, none of that has happened.

The newsletters we receive at home from her teacher suggest activities such as:

Use string to make the shape of an "S" - (she's been reading for over a year)

Let your child write letters in shaving cream - (george did that with her when she was 3. she's been writing for real for 2 years now).

This week, the newsletter said, they learned the difference between a real horse and a model horse.

Well unless someone shipped over some actual steaming maneure for the kids to smell, I don't think Jenna learned much new from that little exercise.

Things like that. There are more examples. Jenna comes home and acts out. When I ask her what she learned at school, she says "It's boring. It's stuff I already did before. And the other kids whine all the time!"

And then she starts.

So we've been attempting to reach the administration to discuss the situation.

It took four in person visits to the school to get the Principal to call us back, just once. She did not apologize for her lack of response. If I hear ONE MORE TIME how busy she is, I promise you, I am going to pop my top. Busy? She thinks her job is busy? Join the stinking club, lamebrain. If I treated my clients like you treat your parents, I wouldn't HAVE any.

Anyway, the Principal promised us during her gracious call that the guidance counselor would call us Thursday or Friday. "I promise I will have her call you Thursday or Friday," she said.

She never did. It took two more calls on our end to chase her down. The guidance counselor gave George a laundry list of benefits from keeping Jenna in Kindergarten, but indicated the choice was ours.

So we thought about it. George more than me. He actually thinks about things. I react. When all was said and done, we decided to have her moved to first grade. We called to tell them to move her, and it was like talking (again?) to a space alien. Did she even remember us? I couldn't tell by the tenor of her voice.

Now, apparently, they don't think she's ready to move.

Ready to move?

She's the only six-year old in her class. If she had been born at 36 weeks instead of 40 weeks, we wouldn't be having this discussion. She's had almost 3 years of Montessori. She reads, writes, and does math equations for FUN--the only one in her class who can. She's sick of coloring already!

She's forgetting what she once knew. She's regressing. She's bored to tears, quite literally. She loves Saturdays and Sundays because she can do work at home. She doesn't want to get up for school.

This is not the Montessori child I knew.

This is not the same the child who used to push ME out of bed to get to Montessori. She knows the continents, she knows the rainforest, she knows how to read chapter books, she always has a pen in her hand.

And now, she's starting to forget. And she says she's forgetting. She'll TELL you she's forgetting things.

I think it's because she's using her brain power to re-absorb and re-awaken what had become inherent. And she's stumbling because of it.

I have no scientific proof of this. But I have something that makes me more credible: the title of Mother.

Stop me before I strangle someone.

The bottom line is we have a meeting with the weenies at the school on Monday morning.

Any words of wisdom on how to approach a very arrogant, very disorganizied, very clueless female Principal are welcome. In other words, what language do these idiots speak????????????

October 3, 2003

The Cherry Garcia of Public Relations

Ben and Jeremy's tastey take on PR messaging is here.

All the cream. Twice the calories.


October 2, 2003

Dr Bill! Dr. Bill!

He's brilliant, he's funny, he's wacky, he's an MD, and he's blogging.

Dr. Bill Koslosky, MD, has joined the party. As Halley would say, "Don't miss it!"

You know, Mercury must really be in retrograde. And I don't even believe in that stuff. Generally speaking.

But last night I looked up at the sky and actually asked out loud, "What the hell is going on here?"

Two more days.

This post makes no sense, I think.

October 1, 2003

The Death of BigPR Part 34

Star talent, senior talent, expendable talent. Ketchum should know that Weber has stolen a page from its playbook.

I know for Michael, the news is still sinking in. It BEYOND sucks. I feel nothing short of righteous indignation over this happening to a pro like Michael. This is an amazingly smart, intuitive, gifted business and PR guy. The problem is, those who fit this bill are not needed INSIDE of BIGAgencies right now. This is maintenance season for BigPR.

And me with my hunting license!

The loosely-joined global PR network gains another node.

Canada present and accounted for. (Okay, so Michael doesn't know I've drafted him yet.)

I have a new term for this whole phenomenon. It applies to both the letter go and the let go. It is directly related to business models that can thrive in this economy and lifestage of the Internet, and those that can't. I now call it, in honor of Michael, getting "Gonzoed.".

Any questions?

where ya been all day?

in the dark. that was today. nothing. because, you know that little issue I've been having with money (like getting used to the fact that it takes 30-45 days to get paid for a project, and let's remember what I was doing 45 days ago--does the POOL ring a bell to anyone? yes, those days). Yes, no secret things were slow in August. And picked up after jenna got out of the hospital. And so I think I'm putting this whole Net 30 thing together. Like Net 30 means in about 45 days you get paid, and then, conversely, 45 days after the weeks you had NO work you are, in essence, broke.

Not totally. You know. We have those extra dollars in the bank for the little things. But since you (I'm supposed to say I, or that's what I'm learning in therapy--to OWN my stuff), I don't have enough for the big things. So that gets depressing, so you kind of forget about ALL the big things, and then before you know it, you forget about the really important things: Like ELECTRICITY!

And so at 10 a.m. when Mr. Gas and Electric himself pulls up and cuts you off, and you (in this case, "I") skip out to the driveway with a check, like, "haha silly me...sorry...here you go," and he says "we don't take payment in the field" and you're thinking, this isn't a field, this is my yard, and motherfucker that's my electric hookup you're fiddling with, and I'm going to have to slap you. And then you look eye to eye, and you realize really, it's not his fault. He has to do what he's doing so someone doesn't drive up to his house and disconnect him.

Well, all that is a long way around saying that it's been 12 hours without power today. George took care of it by charming them (that's the look he uses prior to "the glare") or something around 11 a.m., BUT they never got around to coming back and reconnecting us until a little bit ago. It's really late now.

I had the misfortune of being home all day. By myself. I actually enjoyed the quiet. The darkness. And it wasn't long before I was laughing at this house, at me, at the insanity of it. I began thinking I wanted to better understand Socialism.

In the quieter moments, I noticed the odd things. Being without power is like having your house play practical jokes on you all day long.

Hmmm, what should I wear, oh I know--I'll grab my jean skirt, it's back here in the closet somewhere, just let me turn on the closet ligh..... OH YOU silly house you!! There you go tricking me again--we have no lights!

And then you're kind of hungry and you remember NOT to open the refrigerator, because that would let all the cold air out, so you're feeling really smart for remembering that, and so you decide to have a snack and open the microwave to put the microwave popcorn in and oooooooo--there's that crazy house playing a joke on me again. NO microwave. Sheeesh!! Whadda comedian I am!

Ah well. That's okay. I'm just going to go laydown and... oh that's right, I know I can't watch TV, so maybe I'll take a bath instead, probably enough hot water left for that, ahhhh, yes, nice hot water to fill the tub. Just let me bring the phone in here so I don't miss a ca.....ha ha ha you funny bastard--why bring a cordless phone in to the bathroom--it won't RING goofy! fooled again!

All day long it was like that. Playing GOTCHAs with the house. Saving just enough battery life on my computer so I could get email during my client call at 1:00 (on a non-cordless phone--am I getting smart or what?), only to realize that while the computer can run for a short time without electricity, and DSL works fine without electricity, THE ROUTER DOESN'T.


hahaahahahahahahahaaaaaaaaaaa! snort snort! chuckle chuckle!

Are you laughing with me?

So that was today. 41 years I've managed not to get my power cut off. Oh well. Slapping my head over my own lack of sense, poor time management, and disorganization. Promising myself to begin to get it together TOMORROW!

Thanks for all the b-day wishes for Baby Blogger, by the way. She had a wonderful day yesterday. And Elaine, thank you. The box arrived today, but I'm saving it for tomorrow... you know... since we have LIGHTS now and she'll actually be able to SEE it.

Thank you, and goodnight.

Lights out everyone!


September 30, 2003

What SIX looks like

Happy birthday, sweet Jenna!

Presents wrapped (Big Lots rocks). Cupcakes dropped off at school. Now to figure out dinner and a cake.


til later.

September 29, 2003

what's news?

Really. I haven't heard a thing. I needed to generate about ten pages of copy today (note the word generate--not craft or create), so I decided to make Starbucks my office for the first time. It's amazing what a comfortable chair, some lame music, and three venti-sized cups of super-charged coffee/latte/mocha/java and whatever other things I drank can do for your productiivity. Sheesh! I've found me some new office space. And it's free, if you don't count the mandatory $4 a pop drinks.

Now, I can't get on the net, because I'm a lame old DSL cable chick, but I wonder if I could get one of those fancy wi-fi cards in my old Dell laptop and actually get online while I'm at "the office." That would be cool. Or maybe that would be a distraction. Jury's still out.

Anyway, I did have my T-Mobile Sidekick (you remember, the one that fell off my van going 40 down the highway several months ago) with me, and since I get my email on the sidekick (plus phone calls from creditors) I was highly reachable.

No complaints. Except that they should have some salads and real food available instead of all that sweet stuff. Between the sugar and caffiene, I've been a bitch since 7 p.m.

But I'm a bitch who met two deadlines.

that counts for something.


My goodness. I'm thinking back to the night before she was born, and we knew she was coming since she was a scheduled c-section (thank you Fibroids--NOT!). She was born on a Tuesday at 8:25 a.m. Tomorrow's a Tuesday. I guess that's as close to a precise anniversary as you ever get.

I remember showing up for prep at 6-something in the morning. I remember sitting in our sliver Honda Civic, refusing to get out. I remember how not-ready I was. Not a pain, not a contraction. No reason to go in there. No reason to want her to come out just then. But it was our scheduled day, and it was our scheduled time, and surgeons wait for no man.

I really didn't want to go through the doors.

I really didn't see any need.

I'm quite sure she could have rested comfortably in there for another two weeks.

I think having to walk in pain free and submit to having my baby yanked out of me has something to do with my ever-present warm and fuzzy feeling of wanting her back in there. Where she was safe. When I was safe. Where our family was safe. Before all of everything that came afterward.

Anyway, George finally made me laugh at something, and I finally agreed to go in. I think if he hadn't been at my side, I would have rolled off the table and rolled myself home (see, you can't move from the chest down with an epidural; hence the rolling idea) just to get out of there.

But I didn't roll. I just felt like throwing up when they lifted me off the table with the mightiest of yanks to free her from her nest of fibroid tumors. That sweet little breech baby came out feet first. And George held her for me to see, and I think six trillion thoughts went through my head.

six or seven.

Man. They grow and grow. How do we get to where we get?

Everyone, take off work tomorrow in honor of National BabyBlogger's Birthday. Spend the day kissing your kids. We'll all meet at Chuck-E-Cheese, or the zoo, or Toys-R-Us. No one works. We all play all day. If you don't have a kid, play with someone else's. Or bring your pet to the park for the kids to play with.

For crying out loud, It goes too fast.

Way too fast.

September 28, 2003

monumental six-year-old moment.

Jenna turns six next week.

As monumental is this is for her, I haven't been giving it much thought, or have been trying not to. Some kind of denial thing on my part, no doubt. No party planned, just an inkling of doing something special, maybe the weekend after her birthday. No real liquid funds to do it up big, plus that has never been a real goal in our house. We're looking forward to taking her to the zoo for her very first time next week. She will love that--and since we've never been, it ought to be f-u-n for all of us.

The improvisational approach to her sixth birthday on my part has more to do with my not-so-unconscious desire to keep her my little baby forevere than my busy schedule, I'm sure. But this morning was I got an indication of why milestones are attached to birthdays, or why birthdays truly are milestones, at least for children.

For the very first time in the history of this mother and this daughter, Jenna let me sleep in until 10:30 this morning.

Oh. My. Goodness!

10:sweeeet40 to be exact.

She got up on her own, got her self dressed on her own, went downstairs on her own, did two mixed-media art projects that featured beads, straws, crayons, construction paper, and glue. She didn't make a mess. She made art. I heard her dancing around downstairs, while drifting in and out of sleep, knowing something was different but not sure what.

Not until she came in and said, "Mom, the clock saays 10:40, are you going to get up?" I looked at the clock. No lie. It wasn't 7:30, or 8:30, or 9:30. It was 10:40.

I hugged her and told her how big she was to get up all on her own and do her projects. And then I made her the big pan of french fries she'd been drewling for.

If this is six, I'm glad it's here.

Stunned, but glad.