December 31, 2002

good ridance 2002


I hate new year's eve. I find it an incredibly depressing holiday--at least I always have. Growing up I think I cried every new years eve--even as a kid I knew the feeling of regret. Why have I always used New Years Eve to represent regret instead of hopefulness?

Glass half empty.

I can't count all the things I regret, the things I wish had happened differently, in 2002. Too many. Too deep. Old ties broken. Separation of family. More loss. A year of irrepairable damage. And of opportunity? I hope.

In short, I'm glad to see this year end. And I am equally pissed at myself for saying these same words for as many New Years as I can remember. I tell myself shut the hell up. Be grateful that you all skated through the year with your health and the health of your loved ones mostly in tact. What else can anyone ask for?

So let me refocus my energies, through the posting of these words, on things I'm grateful for in 2002. Of course, my daughter, husband, house. Somehow my house always makes my list. Having somewhere to live, a house you like, is an amazing thing, one I never take for granted.

Beyond the obvious, I think about this place we're building online. And I think 2002 was a year of a different kind of love. A different kind of family. A kind of rebuilding, re-creation. Somewhere I said that blogging is a do-over of our childhoods. Getting the family thing right. Getting love right. Even getting anger and arguments and resolution right. I think this past year has proven those words true for me. Something is healthier in here.

There's dysfunction here, sure. Wars of words between bloggers. Hurt feelings. And sometimes a way to see the repair process. The recovery process at work. Since everything's sped up in the blogworld, maybe we're getting glimpses of what healing looks like from start to finish. Snippets of birth, life, death, rebirth all networked together through not-so-neatly-packaged links. Here there's always movement foward. Always forward. Something I just haven't been able to sustain--that propulsion--in the offline world.

So I guess 2002 is the year I'm glad I blogged.

Thanks for letting me say these things--things that don't even make sense to me but were somehow waiting to leap out of my fingers.

Happy New Year's. Be safe everyone.

December 30, 2002

for example

Some of Jenna's art from the last couple weeks...


self portrait

sunflower and house

abstract one


painting loss

Jenna's been spending the day painting. I'm posting this to remind myself to snap some pics of her latest artwork. Gotta do that. Soon.

She said to me after finishing a drawing with colored pencils today, "Mom, when I draw something, I wish I could make it come alive. I want it to come alive."

I said, "It does--in my eyes. It does come alive."

That was one of the nicer things I said today.

I've been an absolute crab. A bear to self, to husband and child. It has something to do with being sick. And some wierd Greek coffee that was all we had in the house in the way of caffine today. I told George, I get goofy when I drink this stuff. So I did. Drink it. And get goofy. And grumpy.

When I'm sick (have an ear infection), I'm not easy to console. I want to be under the covers by myself, but being a mother, it's hard to get the child to understand that. Even when dad is occupying her, it's not long before she sneaks upstairs onto the bed with words that go something like this: "I'm not bothering you mom. I'm just checking on you." Then you get rolled on and laughed at and sat on and asked a million questions, the last one being, "So, I'm not bothering you, right?"


You want to say, PLEASE go away. Just pretend to be invisible for an hour or two. I'm so sorry I'm such a terrible mother, but I don't want to be a mother today. I don't want to be a mother when I'm sick.

I want to be mothered.

And therein lies the problem.

My mother once told me that no matter how brave, how strong, how tough a person is--even if he's a grown man--when that person is dying, they want their mother. When a man is in pain, he cries for his mother.

I realized she had seen this first hand. More than once. I remember the moment she imparated this knowledge to me to be quite profound. And quite terrifying. And it never fails to cross my mind when I'm sick. It's not consoling to me. It's frightening.

She didn't mean it to be. She meant it to be comforting, I think. To show me that everyone--not just the me who used to be so much more insecure--wants their mother in times of ultimate chaos and pain and torture.

But there's something else to it.

Something primal.

Something terrifying.

Something ....

some thing to do with loss. I don't know.


when logic sets in

I stumbled across this great post from Joker on the Run that pegs pretty well how I feel. Our families are the same size, three humans (one little), and three furry pains in the butt. I often think the same things that Tracy says here. WHAT IF number two were to come along. How different would it be--and how much more difficult. You ask parents of broods and they say, after one it's all the same. Or they say everything changes. Or they say it's easier. More opinions than kids on this topic.

But the reminder that any women or man can end up raising the kids alone is sobering. It's the logic that sneaks in and gives us just enough pause for our biological clocks to run out. The same logic that makes people put off having kids until they're "ready," (big news flash: you never are).

Having done solo parenting for many months over the last year, I won't soon forget the exhasution. I thought what Tracy thinks. How the hell do single parents do it? How the hell did my mother, widowed at 34 with three kids to raise, do it? How do people do it every day?

My own short-lived experience showed me just how tiring it is. Freeing in some ways--it's your way or the highway--but equally tiring, and hard. At least it was to me. I felt like I had to be so many people at once--mom, dad, teacher, entertainer--just to get through the day. The sweet reward was laying down with her at night knowing we'd made it through another one--that we'd even had fun along the way.

But more than one? I don't know. Just don't know. I can't imagine how the dynamics change.

And while I'm on the subject, props to all of you doing it by yourself. Like Tracy says, especially with more than one. I'll buy you lunch since she's buying you dinner.

December 29, 2002

family goings on...

Last week we went to Chuck E. Cheese, where a good time was had by all. Some pictures of Jenna enjoying the rides.

An update on the Kitten front--Hunter went for his shots, got prodded, probed, poked, tested for all those nasty kitty diseases, de-wormed, the whole nine yards. Except for de-nutting, which will take place at 5-6 months. The vet estimates him at 3 months, which makes the bloggers who guessed he was four weeks old when he stowed away under my van right on target.

All is well--a healthy kitty. The vet, who has cats of his own, remarked that Hunter has the makings of a good cat. "You've got a good cat," I think were his words. Something profound like that. "I spent time with him in the back, he's a good one. I can tell."

No going outside until after the third series of shots, says the vet. So he's still king of the roost, torturing us with nails and teeth, immune to the squirt bottle already. We're glad to have him around. He is a special creature. Thanks to all of you who encouraged us to make a go of it with the little bugger.

Movie night

We went to the video store to rent some movies last night, but they had a deal where they were selling pre-enjoyed movies 4 for $20. Given that I've never yet returned a video on time (the $15 in late fees waiting for us are testimony to that), this seemed like a better deal than renting. So we got four movies and watched one last night. The Caveman's Valentine. How to describe it? It was intense. Very. If you can get it for $5.00 or rent it, it's worth it.


And the trailer.

Farrago, do you need a new home?

Seems FARRAGO has been having trouble with her hosting provider or something I'm still not sure I understand. For now, go here to read FARRAGO, and while you're there, it looks like there's two drinks left from the big blog party last night. I'll race you there!

December 28, 2002

today for two hours I was a girly girl.

Growing up I was never the kind of girly girl my mom wanted me to be in my shiny black party shoes and tights and furly whirly dresses. That was the 1960s, when moms of the 50s dressed their girls like, well, girls.

By the time I was four we lived on a farm and all hope for my being a darling princess was buried under the manure pile for good. How my mom always looked like a million bucks, how her white tennis shoes stayed bright white, I still don't know.

An older brother, a horse-loving sister, and me, grass stained and ripped, patched, then ripped again slacks. I liked being a tomboy. As I grew, I became my brother's little brother, complete with pixie haircut that made me, for at least a year, undistinguishable from a boy. "Hey, cute little brother there," his friends would say, me following behind him the obligatory 20 steps, just so no one would know his kid sister was with him. Those were the days.

He'd dress me up in shoulder pads and a helmet and we'd sucker the neighborhood guys into a football game. We lived in suburbia by then, my dad gone. They'd all be afraid to nail me, Frank's little sister. So he'd toss me the winning pass every time. And I'd catch it every time.

Then they got wise. Me at 7 getting leveled in the front yard by two boys twice my size. Me at 8 getting checked into the boards on the hockey rink. By my own brother. Adults mostly in horror. Me at 10 playing basketball with him on the bed, the hamper our net, socks our ball, my teeth into the bed frame, blood pouring out of my mouth, "I'm telling Mom!" (Did I mention I was a brat too?)

Then my own horse.

There's always something under my fingernails. The smell of Absorbine and pine tar. mmmmmm. Still works.

I cared for makeup only briefly, during my shoplifting days when I thought it was fun to steal. Mostly I liked the packaging. I wore bright blue eye shadow in the 70s with every kind of foundation I could hoist. But it was mostly the game of taking it, not about wearing it to be pretty or feminine, that jazzed me.

It's probably no suprise, then, that today at 40 I had my first manicure. I got a gift certificate from my mother six months ago and decided to use it. Got my nails manicured, got the blonde highlights from three months ago out of my hair, with a new shade of mahogany red. A nice trim. Bangs again. Not bad.

It was fun. Pretending for a couple hours that I care about this stuff. Seeing myself through my mother's eyes. Thinking I looked, for once, "together."

For a while I felt pretty high from it. I grabbed (and paid for) a new coat before I headed home. New coat, clean nails with some pretty polish, and new mahogany hair.

I looked in the car mirror and I saw myself a week from now, hair floppy again, nail polish all cracked and haggard from struggling to get Jenna's jeans on, cleaning the litter box, fussing with the dog bucket.

I don't know how nails work. And I didn't even get fake ones put on. (Hey, guys, THAT'S how they do it! They get fake ones glued on over their regular nails. Gross, huh?)

I can't help it if I'm a 40-year-old kid sister. I'm just me. Never was a girly girl. Never cared for them as friends. I was some kind of mix between tough kid / smart kid / bad kid / good kid. And I guess as an adult, I still roll around among those same rolls--I'd still rather have a pitch fork in a stall than color painted on my head any day.

So, I'll enjoy the fluff for a few days, think how cool it is to not look like myself for a while, but when the gray starts to peek through my hair, and my bangs get long, and the nail polish is all peeled away, I think I'll smile just the same.

At the old me shining through.

a father daughter talk over Trouble

Mr. Rogers is on. Jenna and George are playing Trouble after finishing up a game of Checkers. Fathers don't always let daughters win. More fun is the conversation I get to spy in on:

Daddy: Did i tell you about the time I went to Mr. Rogers' neighborhood and I saw all the castles and trollies?

Jenna: Can we go there?

George: He's retired now. He's very old. He doesn't do the show anymore.

Jenna: He doesn't do television? Is that his home on there?

George: Do you still know where he lives?

Jenna: Where?!

George: Pittsburgh.

Jenna: Can I see, please?

George: There's not much left. It's far. Too far. It takes a day or two to get up there.

Jenna: I really want to go.

George: It's not my favorite place. It's in the hills. It always drove me crazy driving up and down those mountains.

Jenna: It's going to be FUN going up there! I LIKE going up and down the hills! Wee wee wee wee wee!!!!

anyone noticed?

i've been adding to my blogroll by leaps and bounds. I don't even know. Maybe I'm going for the longest hand-made blogroll record. No for me. These blogs are hand picked. This is love. This is reading and absorbing and copying and pasting and alphebetizing badly and little brackets and close-slashes and pushing publish. No shortcuts. jumping, grabing, linking. That's what blogrolls are madeof.

hey, where'd everybody go?

I thought we were having a blog party tonight.

Gary's jumping in and out of my comment boxes all day, pretending to be me. Farrago's site's down then up. We're all chatting up a storm. Then it gets quiet. HEY YOU PEOPLE ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WORLD, WAKE UP!

I'm here. No one else is around. Sheesh. I'm going to sleep.

December 27, 2002

the hour of lead

This one's not mine. Though it could be, at another time, another place, by another hand. It's Emily Dickinson's:

After great pain, a formal feeling comes

After great pain, a formal feeling comes--
The Nerves sit ceremonious, like Tombs--
The stiff Heart questions was it He, that bore,
And Yesterday, or Centuries before?

The Feet, mechanical, go round--
Of Ground, or Air, or Ought--
A Wooden way
Regardless grown,
A Quartz contentment, like a stone--

This is the Hour of Lead--
Remembered, if outlived,
As Freezing persons, recollect the Snow--
First--Chill--then Stupor--then the letting go--

bloggers have lots of condiments

Well, Gary started it. He's apparently at work behind the scenes making something out this web fridge project - Here's Gary's Fridge, just before being eaten by its own trifle.

Farrago jumped in - Here's that catlover's Fridge.

And here's the Fishwrap's nicely appointed Fridge.

I can only add this. Our fridge is not nearly as neat and organized as these. I would not let any of you look inside. Just you wait, Gary, until Cameron is five and you have to hide everything good and adult on the top shelf, and her smeary hands decorate the empty shelves, until you give up and put everything in the freezer. You'll see.

The only other comment I have is that bloggers seem to use lots of condiments. There is as much to sprinkle and drink as to eat. That must mean something.

blogging sans work

man, if I didn't have to work for a living, if I could retire at 40, I would spend all of my spare time--when not traveling to warm spots with oceans--doing this. As if you couldn't tell, I've been off work this week, and most of next too, and some the week after (hopefully heading to Florida for a few days).

It's so nice to blog without feeling distracted, without a hand on your shoulder, without knowing you have to catch up on the more important matter of a dayjob no matter how long that takes. So it's been a relief. To just be blogging. Blogging and being. Playing and writing. Well, and trying to shake this ear infection I have. And the nervous twitch I'm re-developing. I've got meds for the ear now. Not sure what's needed for this eye twitch. Maybe less blogging.

Word of the Day: Toink

So Jenna, by virtue of her five-year-old stamina, and with help from her father's gaming prowess, wins 1400 points at Dave and Busters two nights ago. She picks this great Coca-Cola soccer ball--like a real soccer ball--as one of her prizes. She's been having, pardon the pun, a ball with this ball. She tells me this about it:

I know what's inside of this ball, mom.

Oh you do?


Toink? What's Toink?

You know, Toink. Feathers and fluff and small paper. That's what's inside, filling the ball up.

So that's Toink--feathers and fluff and papers?

Yep. That's Toink. It's inside this ball.

Toink--Your word of the day. Courtesy of the babyblogger.

Airport Security Under Water

Courtesy of George.

grieving for the undead

Ann weighs in on grieving children -- she makes me see how living with a dead parent can be as bad as watching a living parent die. Caution: Heavy Sledding.

blogpalm part 2

Kieth points to Danger, Inc's HipTop in response to my plea for a blogpalm. I can say this--as soon as I have the dough, I'm getting it. See? I knew if I posted someone would tell me it already exists. Beautiful. Soon to be mine. Thanks Kieth!

Farrago's blog is down

Farrago, I miss your blog. What did they do to you? This is now your own special place. The comment box is all yours. Post away. If you want I'll let you in to this blog. You can post here until you're all fixed up. Let me know.

guess i should have announced it...

I'm blogging again.

children's grief

I was okay with this chapter--admiring the process--really, one I experienced, though differently, until it got to the part where the mother shared with her young daughter, right after the child's father's death, that she would look for a new husband and a new daddy for the child. She shared with her the "dating" process. What's up with that?

I think of how I would have felt if my mother said that to me. You know? Your daddy dies and I'll find another one. Men -- fathers/husbands -- are replacable. Is it my stunted emotional growth that makes me cringe at this? My mother remained single for six years. Didn't date much initially. Certainly didn't tell me about it. Some mothers never remarry. Fine if they do, but is this something you share with the child before you know as a woman in which direction you're going? I don't know.

I also didn't dig the stressed finality of the child's father's death. No, he's not coming home, but is he with us? This mother makes it pretty clear that no, he's not. I wouldn't say that to my child. I'd say he's in me and he's in you and he's all around us. But not like before. When I heard the "he's in heaven" angle at six, I didn't buy it. It didn't mean anything to my daily existence. But to say he's gone, he's in a box in the ground and he's not coming back, wow. Process that one, will you?

This definitely resounded with me - becoming allergic to loss - can I take sudafed for this? "Children who experience early loss may overreact to future losses much like the body responds to an allergen. The strength of the reaction is probably influenced by a child's temperament, previous life experiences, and the quality of the surviving parent's support."

Anyway, it's interesting reading, even if I don't agree with all the approaches or conclusions.

I wonder if there's been a book done in the words of both young children and grown children who've lost parents? That's a project I'd enjoy. Jonathon, you in?

the living dead

the posts I like the best are the ones that remind me of something I forgot I ever knew. They put words in my brain. Like Jonathon does.

"If it were up to me I would have a quiet 30 min meditation and throw some ashes out. I would laugh. I would wonder about the influence that is to be played out based on that person's life. I would make little bets about what would change."

I would make little bets about what would change. Wow. Wow. Yes. Looking back who would have known. Everything changed direction just then. And, is that so bad?

"My frustration shouts out when we don't allow those people to have present influence. It kills the person all over again. Only, no murder is proclaimed. It seems ok to kill someone who is already dead. It isn't."

That is double death, isn't it? At my house we didn't talk about his death. We didn't talk about his life. We just missed him and didn't talk about it. I perceived it too painful for my mother to mention his name, to utter the word "dad". It didn't roll off my tongue anymore as soon as he was gone. I didn't know what killed him until I was in my 20s. The only things I know about him now are the parts of me that don't feel like her.

That's the thing when your dad leaves you so early.

Jonathon mentions Halley's post about her dad's presence. I wish I felt my dad around me, wish I could access the parts of me that remember touching him, hearing him. The parts of me that knew him. By the time I was seven, adults would ask me, "Do you remember your father?" I told myself then not to ever ask a kid with a dead parent that question. Of course you remember them. You remember everything about them. They're still there in many ways. You hear them all day long in your head. You've only been alive seven years and six of those were spent with this person in your life every day all day. Do I remember him? I used to want to punch people who would ask me that.

A funny thing happens on your way to adulthood. Suddenly you've been alive longer without them than with them. Suddenly you wake up and remember very little. That sucks more than anything. I think what Jonathon says is right on--families kill the dead over and over again by keeping them so dead.

Jonathon's post is worth studying. I can't wait to see where he takes it. Perhaps onto God and theology -- he says this is a big part of what he's doing here. I want to hear more. I can't quite pinpoint where he hangs out in these areas. What makes him tick. So I'll let him take this back. In that direction. For now.

December 26, 2002

comment hopping

Now that everyone in the entire blog universe has comments except him, and him, and her, I am having a whole new level of fun just hopping around blogs off of blogs off of blogs--the ones I wouldn't otherwise find my way to--and chatting up a storm in the comment boxes. It's like taking going on vacation from my own blog. Hopping on over to Europe and down to Florida and over to California.

I love blogging today.

But I'd love it more if I had my blogpalm.


In 2003, can someone give me a handheld device geared to blogging? I want all the cool little blogging-related apps and a quick browser and maybe a little resident help tutorial on all the HTML codes I could ever want, and a really easy way to type my posts in wherever I am?

Maybe I'd want email too. But not necessarily. I don't want it to be complicated or mixed with extraneous MS Office crap or anything. I just want it to be small enough to fit in my purse, to be called something like blogpalm or another cool name that identifies me as someone who's so cool I blog. And I want it to be a cool color. Or colors.

It could have those icons on the sidebar where I can one-click my favorite blogs to read.

Will it let me save my posts until I connect later?

I want something small to take with me so I can blog anywhere and not be distracted by palm-pilot-like excess capability. I just want to be able to have a browser window for surfing the web, reading blogs, and a browser window to post in, and some blogging-related apps, and a way to preview my posts before publishing so I can see what my post will look like once I connect, later, if I'm not connected while I'm writing.

I will pay up to $499 for my new blogpalm.

Not that I have $499 to pay. I'd prefer to pay $99-$299. But I'd save up for it if it were $499.

Now, someone leave me a comment about how this already exists, and please include a link to a site where I can buy it.

As always and as if I had money,

I hear you hear me

Jonathon answers my call bravely, in an answer song that resonates with me. The wandering around inside of yourself wondering why you didn't feel worse than you did.

The me at six pretending to be grieving on the school bus, looking out the window, distant, hearing other kids say, "Her dad died. Wow." Me, not really sad that day. Me, glad for the attention I had to share while he was sick. His was focused on me, and then later on breathing, while pancreatic cancer ate him from the inside out, the pain, I understand, unbearable. So, once he was gone and I knew he was gone, well, then, what does a kid do? You get on the bus and you go to school just like you did while he was well, while he was dying, just like always. But you get more attention.

At first I liked it. The hugs from the teachers. Then it embarrassed me. Then it tortured me. Then I began hiding. From the cancer. From the spotlight.

I know Jonathon, the aftermath. When family members swoop in and take your dead parent's stuff, when people can't look you in the eye because it mirrors their worst fears, when they say, "I'm sorry," and you're thinking, sorry for what? Stop saying your sorry. You can't fix anything, and don't be sorry for me. Be sorry for you, you gutless spineless weasel here to steal my father's 1953 Fender Bass, and you, you lowlife here to steal my father's VW Bus, and you, you scumbag, come to get the upright bass. You sorry motherfuckers. Don't be sorry for me. Be sorry for your sorry lives.

I hate the words I'm Sorry. They batter me. They batter me because they are the first expressions I received from adults in my world who let me down. They let me down by letting him die. They let me down by pretending to care. They let me down by pretending it would all be alright. It wouldn't be alright. It would never be alright again.

I hate watching parents in the playground, their sons whacking one another in the stomach, "Tell Billy you're sorry." "Sorry, Billy." Turn around, he wacks Billy again. Sorry means you won't let it happen again. And you can't ever not let it happen again. So stop saying it. Do it.

I'm sorry doesn't cut it with me.

Say nothing.

Shut up and prove it.

And if you can't act, let me have my pain. Or let me go play.

Jonathon knows how it is when things bother you: "I hated that. All worrying what people thought. All wanting not to hurt someone's feelings. All caring about it," he says.

I know.

Oh, fuck, I'm the one without a dad. Everyone wonders. Their parents feel bad, ask me to father-daughter dinner dances. Please, the attention I wanted at six, I don't want anymore. Guilt? It sucks being uncomfortable over something you didn't do. It sucks being embarrassed about something you didn't cause. It sucks feeling bad for people who feel bad for you.

So you start to change.

You get an edge.

Jonathon knows.

And you kick yourself when you realize you've left yourself vulnerable, so you don't anymore. And then you kiss yourself when you realize you've left yourself vulnerable, so you do it again. And then you learn that you don't care. It is freeing.

To not care, to not have nerve endings on your outsides anymore; it's freeing.

Even if it is all different tomorrow.

December 25, 2002

Tom Matrullo's a Papa

Sawyer James, born 12/24 at 12:17, 8 pounds 13 ounces. Happy, healthy, hooray. Looks like he's ready to kick back on a beach towel and catch some Florida rays...


December 24, 2002

Go Read Jonathon

Read Jonathon's answer to my call. I got some stuff to say about it. Too heavy to post while babies are being born. Gonna have to wait a day or so. But it's brewing. Yes, J.

December 23, 2002

Proxybloggin' for Matrullo

I want to scream. I want to scream, Tom!, we're here! we're not on the way to Florida for vacation yet! Call me back!

I am failing at my first attempt at proxyblogging.


You see, Tom asked me to proxyblog while he and Wendy were busy having a baby. Needless to say I was honored. Too many words need to go here. Can't fit them all in right now. Next paragraph:

In the mean time, Wendy camped out at the hospital on Sunday with little action in the dilation area. Tom sent news that they'd probably come home for a few days and try again on Thursday. I emailed Tom yesterday letting him know that we might head out to Florida this week for vacation. But I wasn't specific. I didn't mean TODAY! I meant, you know, in a few days.

Problem is, I keep MISSING Tom's calls and emails. So now he thinks we're on the road to Florida when in fact we're here in Atlanta on pins and needles because of this news from Florida!!!

Blogsprog number 3 is on his way, ladies and gentlemen. I remain in a confused state, wishing Tom had a cellphone and I had his number. Along with blessings of a speedy delivery and health for baby and mom, I send a wish that Tom gives me one more chance to live up to the proxyblogging he deserves. Tom, I promise I'll pick up the phone. Call back. I don't think we'll sleep so great tonight here in Atlanta on our bed of pins and needles!!!

Come on Baby Matrullo. The blogworld is waiting to welcome you.


meg's squares and bloghopping possibilities

You know those little icons that Meg at Mandarin Design makes? I love them. See her "Blogs We Are Reading Today" area if you don't know what I'm talking about.

and are good examples.

How'd I get one? I begged poor Meg to make me a little square since she'd had George's face up there for a while. And she did. Meg is nice. And talented. And she knows begging when she hears it. I love what she does for us with the Mandarin site. (Although, I think George has become a tad obsessive since Meg showed us how to change font size and color.)

HERE'S MY POINT IN ALL OF THIS. My point is about Meg's square icons. I like them. No, I really like them. I want to be able to put these little icon buttons in my browser toolbar. I want squares for the top 20 blogs I visit everyday, and I want them on my tool bar or down above my status window so no matter where I travel, my favorites are a click away. I want to blog hop without going back to my blogroll or some like-minded blogroll to remember who I wanted to visit next. I will pay $10 to the first person who makes this easy to do.

I am getting old and can't remember things.

I love technology.

December 22, 2002

Well, What If I Don't?

Jonathon says I said something radical the other day, with my, "and what if I don't care?" option in my list of ways I could feel if one of my blogging friends perceived that another blogging friend slammed them, and if the other blogging friend perceived that they were slammed by the first blogging friend first, and I didn't defend either one of them. Jonathon, of course, says it in a way that's more organized and enticing:

"I dig Sessum for that. So very freaking true. Right and Wrong. Words that have contained zero meaning for to long. Well, they have been spoken to long. We are on the verge. The verge of freeing the big-big thing. The big thing that says we get to question those sacred no-nos. Not just question but throw them out. The things that make no sense. The junk that Bush says or Gore. The thing the fundamentalist pushes or that the liberal endorces. We are moving to flip out at tolerance calling for something deeper. Engaging eye-to-eye conversation. Me listening. You pouring. No converting you. That blew up the towers."

Fascinating read on what I was getting at. Just what I was looking for. Jonathon emailed me and asked for more. He said this:

"Damn. I mean DAMN. YOU HAVE to go on about this. More. Feed me. Stick the needle in. I don’t care what it costs. Push it."

It can cost a lot. It is a risk to drop the drape and show who you are--that you're not anyone's reflection, you're not a version of someone else, you're not even yourself most days. You don't know yourself when she stumbles in at 2 a.m., you don't know what you believe, sometimes you do, but days go by and you're not sure. You're not sure if believing in anything is even worth it.

The lines between love and hate, between loyalty and empire toppling are blurred. You can build a mountain on Monday and rip it down on Wednesday. You don't know how you built it or why you decided it had to go. It is passion sometimes without direction, unleashed, looking for a reason, looking for someone else out there to receive you, and if the wake of your voice pulls someone else under on it's way, then what's wrong with not caring about that?

What's wrong with setting a fire and watching it burn?

Some days I care. Some days I will roll your motherfucking soul over if you don't see it the way I see it.

Some days I want you to love me. Pretend if you have to. Bring me into the fold, welcome me into the cult, where do I sign, how do I pledge? Forevermore I'm yours.

Some days I love you unconditionally, I wonder how I lived a day without you in my life, can't live in the realworld anymore, moving to the compound in the woods so we can all cook together, read together, blog together, live together.

Some days I don't care if you live or die. I don't care about you, or you, or you. I only care about me.

Some days I don't care about me.

And what does it matter? When the music comes on and we're all listening and jamming, I'm your girl. I'm the one that'll keep it in the pocket. I'm here to hear you. To power your groove.

I wonder if you're there to hear me?

I know what it means to be real. This is who I am. I'm not who you need me to be. I'm done sweating and toiling for that. If you don't like me, I'll live. If I don't like you, I'll leave.

Does that work for you?

Take it away, Jonathon.

December 21, 2002

I took a lie detector test and PASSED!

Please state your full name.

Jeneane Dimino Sessum

Your Date of birth?

June 9, 1962.

Are you an "adult child"?

A what?

Are you an adult child of any known psychological grouping?

Oh shit.

Yes or no answers please. Are you an adult child of any known psychological grouping?


Ms. Sessum, are you a member of any cult, psychological, personality-based, or otherwise?

No…. I mean, what does that mean? I’m not sure. I hear this Kennedy and Hitler thing—I don’t know what the heck this even means.

Yes or no. Ms. Sessum, are you a member of any cult?


Is the leader of that cult RageBoy?

By leader, do you mean he links to me and calls me on the phone a lot?

Yes or no. Is the leader of that cult RageBoy?


There was an altercation on the web last week between RageBoy and Kalilily. Do you know of the incident?


Were you involved in the incident?

Not until she dragged me into it.

Were you involved in the incident, yes or no please?


Was the nature of your involvement to defend RageBoy?

No, the nature of my involvement was that I got dragged into it and then pissed on for being mindless and inauthentic.

Was the nature of your involvement to defend RageBoy?

Yes and No.

That’s either Yes or No, please.


Was the nature of your involvement to defend Kalilily?


Was the nature of your involvement to chase Mike Sanders off the net?


Do you believe RageBoy has done anything wrong online over the last six months?

Do you mean, like, when he didn't post for five days at a time, or do you mean when he made the vampire pictures of his ex-girlfriend? Or that weird flash thing where her face flipped all around? Or do you mean all the porn he’s posted? Or that he called himself a babe magnet? Or that he slammed bix for calling him a nasty shmuck? Or which thing do you mean, exactly?

Again, yes or no. Did you believe RageBoy has done anything wrong online over the last six months?

What do you mean by wrong? Do you mean immoral, illegal, useless, or lifewasting?


Well, it’s not that simple. I can’t give you a yes or no. We’re only just getting started. We’re not finished here. My personal prediction: RageBoy’s been tied up in a basement for the last six months and Frank Paynter’s been posting all this stuff. It's a joke. Or maybe it isn't. What if a year from now we read in the Rocky Mountain Times that teeth marks have been found in the necks of several dead men in the southwest. Or, what if laying around naked all day, finding your own ass with both hands, becomes the default? Or, what if none of this happens to be true? What if it’s all true at once? Better yet, what if I don’t care? What if I really don't care if it's wrong?

Ms. Sessum, let me restate. Do you believe RageBoy is doing anything wrong in regard to women, men, transvestites, or children online?

I don’t know what he’s doing. That’s why I read him.


I’m not trying to be difficult. I don’t know what shmuck means.






Only if your name is RageBoy.


Thank goodness THIS IS OVER. Elaine, I'm not hurt. I'm fine. Don't fret. Relentlessness doesn't phase me. I'm Sicilian. Why does everyone keep forgetting that?

My only problem with all of this is that you haven't heard me.

Such is life. Let's blog on!

December 19, 2002

December 18, 2002

The Day Mike Sanders and Jeneane Sessum Agreed

Mike Sanders says he's giving up blogging. I wonder what I'm supposed to say here. But see? I don't care what I'm supposed to say. The truth of the matter is what I speak: I don't have the capacity to care what Mike does about weblogging--he burned that out of me long ago with his nasty emails and moral battery. In short, whatever.

I do agree with Mike, though, that the time we spend blogging could be better directed. He's onto something there.

So, you be well too, Mike. And know that we have another thing in common--I'm taking some time off from blogging too, but I plan to be back. Something tells me you will too. See you on the flip side?

December 17, 2002


One of the most amazing things about blogging, to me, is its fluidity. What we are doing, saying, thinking are typeset blips on a virtual timeline. This is important. It's important because we as humans are fluid, or we are dead. Our insides are circulating, regenerating, morphing, or else rigor mortis begins to set in. We are dynamic or else we are static.

This is why my archives are becoming more important to me. I want my archives to take on a personality. I don't want them arranged simply by weeks or months. I want to be able to tap into where I was--my headspace, my heartspace. I don't my archives to be just chronological; I want them to represent who I was, where I was, why I was, while I was writing. To be my living brain, my living heart, tracing back into the me I was so that I can learn more about the me I'm becoming.

To think that you are the same person you were when you landed here a year, a month, a minute ago--and that you will be the same person a year from now--is shortchanging yourself. If weblogging is one thing, it is movement forward. One post at a time, one eye ahead and one back.

That's why I've never pulled a post. Not to say I never will--I may feel the urge one day. But the reason I haven't is that I WANT to be able to look back and see the way I hopped from one thought to the next, the way I vibed off of others and myself, what triggers me, what inspires me, what shuts down my voice, what makes me grow.

I want a record. I just wish it could be chronological *and* emotional, that it could track the days of the year *and* the moods of the mind, that it could link back in time *and* back into my heart.

Carry on.

let the record show

In the comments section of Elaine's blog there's a whole lotta accusin' going on that I am a cult member in good standing, a mindless drone to Massa Locke. Much of the accusations of such mindlessness have taken place in comments, here, and elsewhere. You know what? I don't want to lose those comments if YACCS ever decides to take a powder. They're too important. I want them so I can look back in five years on what was said. The whole story. That's how we're really going to grow from all this. So here's a rundown of what's gone down:

the post that started the chatter unveiled an underhanded attempt by Mr. Slanders to summon folks onto his anti-RB bandwagon, namely Marek, who blew the whistle. In the post, Locke also mentioned bix's recent callout of RB as a "nasty shmuck," saying this: "As to b!X, a boy with a handle indistinguisable from line-noise, he posted his nasty schmuck remark on his mommy's blog. Brave lad. Rather than have words with this insignificant weasel, I deleted him and his croney dame from my blogroll and good riddance."

A not-nice slam for a not-nice slam.

I posted this, an explanation of why the above post was dedicated to me--the answer to which is that I called Slanders out his name a long time ago. In said post, I stated that I don't lump the Bix/Crone team together with Slanders (or I didn't) when I wrote this: "While I'm not aligned with RB on his opinions about all his blogger relationships - I love the Crone, for example -- I second his nomination of Mike Slanders of Stop Trying as Blogger Asshole of the Year. (okay, well, I made up that nomination)."

That's when the fun began. Let's relive it, shall we?


Starts out pretty nice...

"Tut. Tut. Poor little boy got his feelings hurt by mama Crone and her progeny (who, btw, contributes a hell of a lot more to making the world a better place than the poor little rageboy.) Locke IS a nasty schmuck. But that never stopped me from reading his weblog or keeping him on my blogroll, which I will continue to do. And it never stopped me from being able to separate his adolescent attitudes toward women and relationships from the often brilliant and usually amusing mentally verbal calisthenics. I guess I'm just a better man than he is (and, believe me, there's nothing manly about me at all!) I'm beginning to think that not only is Locke a nasty scmuck, but he's pretty much a lost soul, a lost cause, and a general all-over life-waster. Sorry, Jeneane. I know that he's your blog mentor, but his life seems pretty much useless otherwise."

Things are going pretty civil so far. A constructive dialog begins. Though I think calling someone "life-waster," a "lost cause," and "useless" is pretty much like saying someone's worth as much dead as alive. That aint' so nice.

"Elaine, I've logged probably 200 hours of real time conversation with Chris over the past year, during which he's helped me in countless ways. It hasn't been a one way street. Both professionally and personally I've learned from every conversation, plus we've laughed a bunch at times when neither of us had a reason to. He's friend to my husband, uncle to our Daughter. His brother and my husband are longtime musician friends that go back 20 years. The Lockes are part of our family. Who knew? Nasty shmuck? No. Abrasive and intolerable? Sometimes. He is brilliant--that's evident in what you mention above...the stuff that keeps you coming back to read him. He understands more about what we're doing here than I think most peple will realize until (my personal prediction) 5 years from now. He has an amazing capacity to understand and love. Yes, he's aggressive and stubborn too--qualities I find endearing in *MANY* of my blog friends (het-hem), even when they butt heads with one another. In short, I love you both. Bix, I'm still trying to figure out!

Still pretty civil. Okay. Cool. Agree to disagree. That's what makes the world go round. Then Frank Paynter chimes in some good stuff--which if I included would take too much room. He's seeing all sides, as he usually does. And wittily so. Okay, onto the next comment.

(1.) I don't always understand b!X either, but at least he's out there in his community trying to make the world a better place for someone other than himself. (see I guess it's a matter of personal values. (2.) I have nothing against tortured artists and/or brilliant minds that try to make a name and a living manipulating the artificial construct of the world of commerce, even if it's couched in the interest of honest conversation. Something good is likely to come out of anything that urges speaking from the best parts of the heart. I do have something against schmucks who publicly harass former "beloveds" and who can dish out invectives out but can't take them. And, I have only pity and sympathy for narcissistic might have beens who seem to make a great effort to make sure the world at large sees them as emotionally stunted and psychologically deformed (by choice or circumstance -- it really doesn't matter) and then complain that people see them as emotionally stunted and psychologically deformed. In other words, as nasty schmucks. Obviously, RageBoy can't tolerate anyone who doesn't idolize him. To those who do, he bestows his good graces and frequent links. If that isn't narcissism, I don't know what is. I wrote Mike Sanders off a long time ago, but now I find that RageBoy has relegated me into his ousted company. While I'm not too happy about that, I'm very happy to suggest that those who idolize RB should perhaps check out his enormous clay feet and his consistent contradictions to his purported humanity. Someone should tell the emperor that his bare ass is hanging out. No one's got the guts."

Oh dear. The beginings of the CULT accusations are taking shape.... "Idolizing" and such. Followed by Elaine again:

"uh. well, if there's one thing that gets my cauldron roiling nastily is unexpected and unwarranted verbal attacks. I didn't start the fire. However, I'm not afraid to stir the stew. Boil and bubble. Lililth rises. Kali smiles."

"Elaine, I'll speak for myself here--let the other "cluetrainers" as you've referred to them lately speak for themselves. To suggest that I "idolize" Chris, that I wouldn't have the "guts" to tell him what I think about any given topic, and that any linkage that goes back and forth between us are based on his "good graces"--a return for said idolization--is more than wrong, it's insulting. There are about eight hundred reasons why, and a comment box probably isn't the right medium to list them--more on that elsewhere. What you write here is like saying, "Poor souls; they don't know they're just being used to feed an out-of-control ego." Wouldn't it be interesting if that were the case. Suggestion: Twist it, read it backwards, and see if it makes more sense. It would be nice (in some ways) to be able to boil all relationships--both in and outside of blogging--down to black and white, to never waver from absolute right and wrong, to be Pro A and anti B or vice versa. To hold to the "Mike Slanders line of absolute Truth As I Say It To Be." To draw thick lines with magic markers and never waver. But that's not where the human heart lives, it's not HOW the human heart lives, and it's not what we're doing *here*. From all the discourse I've seen flying back and forth in emails and posts over the last several months, the fire didn't start yesterday. And it wasn't lit with a single match or piece of paper in Boulder. Look deeper. Stir longer. Blog on."

Next Mike Golby chimes in and I'm not sure I still understand his comment, but it's something about hate the sin not the sinner. Then Tom, with his usual wit and charm. Again, they state their view, try to diffuse a bit with humor. To which I say the following:

"Okay, Mr's Golby and Matrullo, I'll lighten up if my Crone mother will. The deal is, I don't have a problem with Elaine (or anyone) vocalizing their less than favorable assessment of Dr. RB's behavior if that's what they feel. I have a problem with the notion that somehow RB's butt is hanging out and I/we wouldn't have the balls to tell him, which, I tell him quite often, and, when is the case, he tells me. Not sure what ya'll think friendship is about, but in this case it's definitely peppered with, you ass, fuck you, that's not the way I see it, and you're the best. I'm able to do that. That's what makes me so damn charming. ;-)"

You know, I'm glad I'm who I am.

"Yes. I just verbally behaved like a nasty schmuck. I tend to shoot back from the hip and then have to stand there and take the returned fire. Yes, I did NOT deserve Locke's blogattack. Neither did I deserve the vitriolic email he sent me that I won't repeat here. But I will back off on how I said what I said about Locke. And I thank Golby and Paynter and Sessum for reminding me. We are all human, with all of our faults and indequacies and mistakes. I don't condemn the human being; but I do condemn nasty schmuck BEHAVIOR. I feel the same way about Sanders and a lot of the other warbloggers, which is why I made up my mind to ignore them. Locke has a habit of behaving like a nasty schmuck. I have a tendency to return nasty schmuck behavior. We both need to lighten up. Only time will tell whether history views Locke as a cultural pop hero. I hope it does. As a matter of fact, in case it does, I'm going to save his vitriolic email (in which he calls me a passive-aggressive bitch) in case it might be worth something someday. Sorry Chris, I don't intend to 'fuck off.'"

Truth be known, I've seen many emails. Regardless, I notice here that again, Elaine seems to be looking forward to Chris' death--one might assume from the recent toungue thrashings flying about cyberland that she should get in a long line. Still, I'm content to let it rest. Who the fuck cares. I could see this personality clash coming a mile away. There's no winner here except Slanders. My worst fear realized. Then bix chimes in with his penny and a half.

"I have no earthly idea what in the Hell this entire latest dose of claptrap is event about, but since I was dragged into it be the rabid Locke/Sanders tagteam, I'll just say this: Locke was at one time an unavoidable genius talent. But then he decided to react to a crash and burn lovelife as if he was a spiteful and vengeful pre-adolescent of the worst sort. And ever since then, I've been hard pressed to find any actual brilliance in there anymore. Just bitter pretension. Sorry if I don't see the appeal of that."

Well let's not stop there. Tell me what you really think.

"Oh, wait. Hold on. One other thing, since Locke and his alleged genius felt that it would maligningly amusing to say this: he posted his nasty schmuck remark on his mommy's blog. Brave lad. FWIW (and it's worth little to most of those who still wallow in Locke's bootstrapped cult of personality), it was posted there because there was a thread of conversation there about Locke. How dare I! The gall! To participate in the conversation! The matter of whose site said conversation was on is irrelevant, and Locke's making some sort of bizarre point out of it only helps illustrate the nasty schmuckiness in which he's been mired for what seems like ages now. I suppose he merely wishes I had said it on my own site, so that he would receive just that little bit of more traffic."

THERE WE HAVE IT! "The Cult of Personality" accusation takes form. With eleoquent words from Bix, including "claptrap," Remind me--was this a bad Duran Duran song, or Boy George--I'm pretty sure the last time I heard it I was someplace that I left puking. Bix has been doing this kind of thing a lot lately. Pissing in other people's comment boxes and then acting rather surprised--read: really really angry--when people react to what he's said. Funny how that works. BUT WHY STOP THERE? Let's here some more Bix. You're getting to know me real good now. Piss in my comment box some more. It's not full yet.

"This -- and the bit that follows it, about people drawing black/white distinctions -- is a load of bollocks. Someone from the Christopher Locke Cult of Personality explain to me why Locke can be brutal, savage, and vitriolic, but then if someone should bother to state in public, and perhaps harshly, just what sort of person that behavior describes -- well, explain to me why the cult goes out of its way to circle the wagons to defend Locke even as he moves onward to try his hand at savaging his critics. If such group dynamics don't lean towards "idolatry" as an explanatio, then someone had better come up with a good alternative. Because they haven't explained it here yet."

Okay, the whole cult worship thing has really grabbed hold here. I'm pretty sure Elaine's going to run with it.. So I figure I should say something first. Cut the whole thing off at the pass. Stop it now before it gets worse:

"Bix, get a grip. "Claptrap," "Nasty," "idolizing," "Bitter," "Pre-Adolescent," "vitriolic": pot calling kettle much? Learn to read--I said whatever anyone says about Locke, say it. I don't jump to his defense. I don't care. He's a big boy--he knows how to speak for himself. I'm speaking about what is accused of *me*. Don't you dare imply that you know my story, what I'm doing here beyond what I've written, my story with RB or your mom, or that "idolitry" is what any of it is about. Easy, black-and-white Mike Slanderism is what that is. I'll be happy to talk about the big picture with you when you grow up. Hopefully I'll still be around. Til then, -j."

Wshew. Glad that's over with. Now bix can get back to work saving Portland. But no, he clearly thinks he's onto something with this "Cult of Personality" mantra. Hey, when you're throwing around some heavy meaningless words, run with 'em! That's what I always say!

"Of course he knows how to handle himself. By dumping on other people. And then when people call him treating people that way, only they seem to get dismissed. He gets called some sort of Warrior Hero of Showing Us Humanity. They get disparaged for being mean. That, my friends and Romans, is a cult of personality."

To which Tom Shugart pops in to say, Go Elaine. RB is a nasty shmuck. To which RageBoy makes an appearance saying, hey, this was all staged--me and mikey knew what we were doing from the get-go.


And that, my friends, brings us to the end of 20 comments worth of bickering. Like a true blue blogger, I try one more time to clarify what I think is going on here in a post two up -- my permalink to that post is broken. Smart permalink. The result is another rash of cult accusations I'm actually too tired to pull out right now. Maybe later. I have a real job I better get back to.

I'll leave you with a comment from Elaine over on her site in which she details what's really going on with me and the mind control mojo massa Locke has cast upon me:

"And Jeneane, you have a very special relationship with him; it has always been obvious that you are one of his annointed ones. (That's how a cult personality functions.) And, you look at him as your mentor, so it's understandable why you would come to his defense (as the unconditional-love mother figure). That's commendable. But, I'm just been a blogger who tries to question the validity of people who have set themselves up as cult figures, the assumed right, of some of them, to be nasty. Just because he has had to demonize me, doesn't mean that you have to, but I understand if that falls under your definition of loyalty."

What's left to say? How do you respond to that catch 22?

Have you stopped beating your wife? Hey, have you broken loose from that Cult yet?

Loyalty. Yep, that's me. The loyal and faithful servent who would never speak my own mind in public. I can't say what I think because I need people too much and the potential of their rejection of me would be too much for me to bear. Instead, I choose to posture behind my broad strokes, blending magical colors across the canvas that is allied, moved by an inner strength that only I can know, only I can touch.

Now, if you'll forgive me, I think there's a rolled up newspaper over by the couch with my name on it. I better high tail it outta here. And quick.


December 16, 2002

I Tank My Luky Stars

Tonight i tank my luky stars abov. I thank thos good stars dat i have this here real smart biness man to do my thankin fer me. I wdnt know wha to say without hm. i can barly type withot him tllin me how to thank or writ. i herd it's his persnality that got me all culted up an stuff. oooothankgodalmighty fer that, i kin tell you becaz without dat man i wldnt have a goo job an stuff or dis her blog or nuthin.

but lately i thank wha he's sayin bout dat woman a his is jus plain nasty. yeah nasty. usully i like nasty. but not dis. i wish i culd tell hm he shnt do that to the nice blond ladie. oooooooo but i'm so fraid o hm. i'm so fraid to tell hm wha i think bout anyting. ooooooo lawd what wd he do to me if i tell him he all nekid an stuff. oooooo.

1-720-304-8077.... ring.... ring...


hallo boss masa. hows yer throne empera boss, and can i com by and clean it fer ya?

Well sure. I just took a piss in it. wait. lemme flush. there. yeah. if you want to. Can you bring your own lysol.

ooooo sure will sir empora. whadever you say. an so ar you cold in dem mountans caus i kin bring you some aminal skins to put on kuz some pepel say yer big white ars is hangin out.

No, really. Keep them. My arse is fine. Hairy, but fine.

okay den boss. i'll be by wid da lysol to clean yer throne. but.... uh.... boss.... uh... uh...

What is it? What's up?

well.... um, i don mean no disrespec. you no boss, it's not like me to tell you whad i thank bout stuff, but i can't keep my ol mouth shut bout dis. see boss, i don like what yer writin bout femails des days. i think it's right nasty. you not goin bout thangs the rite way no more.


uh. well. boss, the thang is, you gotta find nother way to xpress yerself bout this pain bein that it's been six monts and i think you got lil problem wit dis here depressin stuff. i mean, isn there anoder way, you no, you keep... well... pepel startin to wonder if yer okay. i mean those nasty wrds and pcturs... not that i wld ever tell you not to.... caus you know i'm fraid of dose reglar beatins.... but... i got an idea if you wan lisn to me.

Hey, I'm all ears. What you got?

well i thin you shld, you know, gather some powrfl minerals, make a potion.

Make a what?

You no boss, go down to dose geese by yer pond down yonder and get some fethers from them birds. Den get you some coppar pennies you find down by da noody bookstor down there by 18th, then grab you sum toilet paper, wipe undaneth the rim of da john over at the ladies sport club. Bring all dat back and start a pot boiln with some necktar of honey an sum melon seeds, and stir in the fethers an the pennies an the toilet paper. let it boil, bubble, you no, get real hot, real hot like a lady waitin in her bed late at nite time fer her man ta com home.

Okay, let me see if I got ya: geese feathers, copper pennies, toilet paper from the women's gym, nectar, melon seeds. Boil it. Hot. Very hot. And, so, what am I supposed to do with this?

OH LOR, you don no the power dis brew has. Incantations. Mojo. Voodo. Dey call it sometin else dese days. Somethn like knew age. But that shit sure do beat words an pictures fer gettin back at people been botherin you, ooooo you don no the power of it.

Hey, cultster, thanks MUCH for that. I'm heading out right now--the pond, adult bookstore, gym--gotcha. Thanks. Skip the throne cleaning this week. You gave me one valuable motherfuckin lesson. These words and pictures are for the birds. What have I been wasting my time for? I shoulda got me some knew age a long time ago.

OH no prolem boss. tanks for tellin me how to read n right all dis las year. you know without dat personality yers tellin me how to behav, i don no what I woulda been tellin pepel. ooooo thank ya so kindly fer dat. Thank ya so kindly.

No problem. Hey, want to swing by and help me pluck the geese?

Sho nuf. Sho nuf.

cameron came

welcome Cameron.

welcome, Cameron.

December 16, 2002, 03.24 GMT, 7 pounds 3 ounces.

All is well.

Congratulations to Gary and Fiona. God bless you. Peace, sleep, dreams.

December 15, 2002


round my corners
shave away my edges
make me smooth
as polished stone
let me skim your skin
slip me in and out of the wind

search results I'm proud of

Yes, there are visitors who arrive here from google search results that I'm none to proud of. Anyone with a blog knows what I mean. Chin Porn is one of the tamest queries that apparently pops this blog up (thank goodness, not on the first page of results). I'm not sure what chin porn is--although I have a couple of guesses. Needless to say, I was a little jittery when the person looking for information on said subject found me.

What a pleasant surprise today was. Today I was happy to see three visitors who came here via google search results that, well, made me feel glad I could help. The winners are:

Digiorno Cooking Instructions
Norlin Streaker
Negative Introject

So there. If I've helped someone cook a pizza without the cardboard, find out what Eric Norlin does at nationally televised football games, or get a handle on that little voice inside your head that says you just can't do anything right, well then I've done my job.

Search on, googlers.

Happy Birthday Grandma Dimino

I was thinking about you on the 13th, your birthday. I was going to blog something for you, but instead I've been fishing around over on this site. And with Dad's birthday tomorrow, maybe today, right in the middle, is the best place to post this.

Of all who've gone, I miss you most. I miss you in your flowered dress and black shoes, that great big house of oak and plaster, of tall ceilings and loud pianos, I miss clomping up the front steps and flipping open the mail slot so I could be the first one to smell the fresh sauce and meatballs; I miss your orange soda and hugs, me singing/you clapping. I miss my cheeks never not hurting from all the love pinches, your laugh, the way you raised your eyebrows and shook your hand with an "Eeeeee!" that said ten words with one syllable.

I miss you on the phone with me at night after the late news; I always knew you'd be up. Yours is my late night gene, and that other gene, the one that reminds me of love every time I think of you, and I think of you then with hair teased high, your long gloves, beautiful, and I think of you long after your knuckles buldged, after your body bent and your knees gave way, beautiful. Your 93 years too brief.

I saw the boat you came over on when you were just one. I wanted to put it here:

I saw your name on the ship manifest, and your mother's and brother's names. I know that your other brother died two weeks before you were born; I know he didn't make the trip. But you did.

Yours is a family of long journeys, of rough waters, of welcome arrivals and sudden departures.

And today I miss you more.

Thanks, Tom.

Tom Sugart breathes fresh air into this place. Go see this movie. Get outside yourself and inside yourself all at once. Music can do that for you. So can a story that matters. This story does.

Dare you, Dare me.

If he stopped pushing the edge, then the edge would be a lot closer in. Our words would be much safer, much less interesting, less meaningful. Does moving the line in the sand mean that you have to step across it sometimes, kick the shit out of it sometimes, erase it completely, start over, say, "what line, where?" Sure.

So? Grow.

More than anything else, he has, by example, encouraged us to give ourselves permission to risk, to be outrageous, to be kind, to show our hearts and our messy guts. Our "blood-intenstines," as Jenna would say.

Now, we're off to take the Bean to the zoo, with a heartfelt thank you to another blog of heart.

Lights Out

Okay, kids. Put the tin cans and strings away, take the flashlights out from under your pillows and hand them over, stop the giggling, and turn off that light.

It's past your bed time. Yes, I know Gary will be getting up soon. That's all well and good. He can get breakfast started. But the rest of you, get to sleep this instant!

goodnight johnboy.

December 14, 2002

will the real mike slanders please sit down

RageBoy deconstructs "the hoover" today in a post that left me breathless. If you wondered what happened between Ann and RB and Marek J., all questions are answered for those who are brave and/or talented enough to roll their own hoovers while reading.

While I'm not aligned with RB on his opinions about all his blogger relationships - I love the Crone, for example -- I second his nomination of Mike Slanders of Stop Trying as Blogger Asshole of the Year. (okay, well, I made up that nomination).

To that end, RB unveils an email forwarded by Marek, which Slanders sent trying to enlist support in a war-blogger/peace-blogger coalition to undo RB. Marek, you have my highest respect--like you didn't already--for rolling over Mike Slanders with your own hoover.

The blogsticker to the right is testimony to my particular feelings about Mr. Slanders. I tried with Mike--many of us have. Endless discussions that went nowhere because he is, generally, afraid. But when he suggested that the Blog Sisters should make the first female suicide bomber an honorary member, I said Bye Bye Mikey. Mike has apparently been getting ready to dismember RageBoy with his vintage Knife collection, but his steeley knives are no match for the beast of worst practices.

Well done, Uncle Rage, and thanks for the dedication. I couldn't be prouder.

Standing in the Shadows of Motown

If you haven't, hunt down the film Standing in the Shadows of Motown, now out in select locations--very select, as in, one theater in all of Atlanta. It's worth the drive. It's worth a lot.

These were the men responsible for the Motown sound--responsible for MORE number one hits than The Rolling Stones, Elvis, The Beatles, and the Beach Boys combined--and I bet you can't name them.

They called themselves The Funk Brothers.

Go See It. Then buy the Soundtrack.

December 11, 2002

in 39 weeks

this was when we named her
because the first picture
showed us
a kidney bean
a heartbeat
a mind, tiny buds
in bloom,
arms, legs, toes, fingers
a tulip unfolding

this was when I craved water
to be in it
always to climb
inside of myself and rest
with her
in a ball
jet black curls floating
in blue black,
look at all that hair
they would say.

this was when I took to the tub
five or six times a day
devoured novels one by one
soaking in them
hurried to spend time
with myself
instinct said
it is ending, then,
You will never be one,
will never be two

this was when the blood first came
the doctor said
it will either keep growing
or it won't
no way to tell
and I cried on his shoulder
her father my love
and he held me
and rocked me
said shhh.
it will be okay

this was when we would sit
late into the night
and imagine tomorrows
me saying
what would we be doing
right now, this minute
with a baby between us
how would it be different
what will we do with it
him saying they fit in
all around you
that is the beauty

this was when the doctor said:
it's a miracle you made it...
all of those tumors...
so much bigger than the baby...
you must be in pain, take these pills...
let's schedule a day...
you are an enigma...

this was when I sat in the front seat
of the the silver four-door coup,
arms crossed, not budging
I don't need to do
this, I like things fine
just like they are
no reason to change
everything now
Give me a week or two
more please
because I still don't
want it to be over
and why can't anyone
see that.

this was when I surrendered
to joy
this was when all my
yesterdays stopped

float, dream,
what might be

20 more reasons why blogsprogs is groundbreaking

Ruzz asks in the comments below for me to clarify why I think Blogsprogs is "groundbreaking."

Maybe I was waxing a little crazy at 2 a.m. when I wrote this morning's post. I hope I can clarify some of what I think is astounding about this new blog, and why it matters to blogging and humanity as a whole.

1) It's a team blog written (so far) by three men, and only men, about their unborn (so far) children. That's different.

2) It's a team blog written (so far) by three men, and only men, about the the women having their children. That's different.

3) Participating in childbirth is the most intimate experience a man can have--it is the closest he comes to the woman/feminine. It represents something of ends and beginnings and is a profound human experience. Maybe the most profound.

4) We're getting to observe the experience, and its impression on these male bloggers, in real time, or nearly, as it happens. I can't do that anywhere else unless I work on a maternity floor, and then I only get four days tops.

5) It's a blog about love. Big love. The biggest love.

6) These men all live in different parts of the world.

7) These men have never met. Yet what they are sharing will get very intimate.

8) The mothers have never met, and don't (yet) blog that I know of. We don't "know" the mothers except through the fathers' eyes. The same will be so for the babies until they're old enough to blog (or talk non-stop like mine). This is important. It is about strong reflections and how they mirror to our own lives.

9) I just saw the face of the child who's inside of a woman I never met, married to a man I never met, who live on another continent, and whom I love dearly.

10) My husband and I just spent 15 minutes talking about what an endearing name "Sausage" is.

11) Men don't generally sit, three together in a room, at their place of work, each with their respective partners in their 39th week, and talk about things like birthing balls and back pain with maybe dozens or hundreds or thousands of other people, both men and women.

12) This is a moving and intimate extension of the human experience -- these guys are blogging about as close to naked as you can get. There is huge vulnerability and risk here.

13) This is good writing.

14) This is masculine meeting feminine head on. This is creation and re-creation. The birth of a blog mirroring the birth of three human children.

15) This is men showing us their wombs.

16) Imagine the potential. Imagine three babies (so far) growing up together online, their experiences and their parents' experiences represented within a single blog. Imagine them looking back on it 10 years from now, imagine their children looking back. Imagine their children's children.

17) Imagine these babies being the first babies in a new world.

18) I believe that the men blogging on blogsprogs will relate differently to their wives and children because they are doing this.

20) I believe we will all relate differently to one another than we would have because of this.

Be patient. It won't happen over night.

More to come--or add your own in thoughts in the comment box.

Let me explain why this is so important to me.

"We'd be blog building a bridge between generations." -- Michael O'Connor Clarke

Alright. I had my dance around the living room over blogsprogs, where three blog dads-to-be are blogging their babies into being.

And now I'm back again to talk a little more about why this new blog is so important. Three men, now gathered in a blog to talk about the end of the pregnancy of the women carrying their children, about the birth of their daughters and/or sons, the beginnings of fatherhood (one first timer, two back for more), about how they are experiencing these things, right now, real time, with us. These are fathers giving us a womb-side view as they welcome their children into the world. And then, as they grow, we will see children through the eyes of their fathers.

This was the type of thing I was trying to explain in the NY Times interview. Some might think I've babbled on too long about how I didn't focus on "women," in the interview, but tried hard to talk about how blogging is changing us as human beings. As men and women yes, but as humans first. As fathers and mothers, husbands and wifes, lovers, children, parents--redefining roles, crisscrossing who we've been with who we might be, and becoming more.

This is what blogging is about. This is how men and women are changing and rearranging their core by talking about truths that were once better left at home, under the rug or in the top cupboard above the refrigerator, or in this case, discussed by women in the waiting room of the OBs office, sans husbands. Do you see how important this is, and how even more important it is that blogsprogs flowed naturally out of what these men were already writing, thinking, sharing through weblogging? Now you know why I was dancing. These are my brothers and they are talking from the heart.

RageBoy said to me last week that blogging is redefining human beings (and I think he means right down to our DNA), that our "containers don't fit anymore." Crazy? Let's wait and see.

So it's 2 a.m. and I have to go to sleep now, but what I'm saying is: It's not that these three men are or *aren't* talking tech, and it's not that women are or *aren't* talking knitting. It's about what we're doing together. Here. And how it's changing us out there. It's about what we're knitting together. We're weaving ourselves in and out of roles, in and out of love, in and out of lives, in and out of work, and we're doing it right here, together, men and women, and we're writing and picking up the phone and meeting one another and showing one another it's okay to be human.

Good night. blog on. Dads, take this with a grain of salt--no added pressure here--wouldn't want to make you any more nervous than you already are.

-Aunt Jeneane

george explores the joys of soundmen...

George Sessum knows his musical stuff. I'm telling you so not as his wife, but as someone who above all respects his playing and his ear. That's why I especially like it when he tackles the artistry and business of music on his blog. tonight's take on the gaffs of soundmen is worth a read for anyone who listens to live music and wonders. (wonders what? wonders anything at all. because if you wonder anything at all, you were probably listening.)

"Kick drums go BOOOOOOOM! and not 'blip'."
--George Sessum


ohmygosh, ohmygosh. I'm so excited. Michael O'Connor Clarke just started BlogSprogs, a new weblog to blog the children of our blogfathers-to-be -- Tom Matrullo, Gary Turner, and Michael himself, into the world. The real world. Well, and this world too.

Blogging babies into being. This is the best idea I've seen for a team weblog. As may have noticed, I'm gushing about these dads-to-be and imagining running through the maternity ward decked out in one of gary's blogsticker t-shirts with bubble gum cigars and helium balloons, exclaiming, "I'm the dad-to-be's blogsister, who do you think I am?!" Since I can't do that (can I?) I've been haunting their comment boxes and discussion areas like some kind of a twisted baby stalker. I am just so excited that these great friends and their lovely women are sharing the births of our blognieces and blognephews with us, I could SCREAM.

baby smells. cotton caps. receiving blankets. baby-bathed hair. tiny sweaters washed in that special laundry detergent. mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

bring those babies on.

and one more

a re-post from July 13th based on a request from Ray Sweatman who actually reads what I write. Holy shit, who knew? Ray writes some great poetry over at YouLiveYourLifeAsIfItsReal, which I think is the longest blog name I've ever come across.

And Dean, I hear you too. Somehow a more daunting task. But I'm almost up for it. Soon.


jenna at four

she tells me,
look at that plastic bag
I see faces in it
do you see them?

she tells me,
I hear TV when it's not on
I hear it in my head
do you hear it?

she asks me,
are the bumps
on the road
giant worms

she tells me,
I don't want a baby
when i grow up:
how do I not
have a baby?

she tells me,
five teddy bears
flew across my ceiling
in the nightime,
I wanted you
to see them
but you were sleeping.

her mood spikes
and falls with the wind
submits only
to thunder
she tells me,
oh no
I made the storms
come again.

she fills my soul
then wrecks me,
she dances
light and fierce.

two more, because Ray asked.

I hadn't read voicelessness since I wrote it back in July, in blogger, one night. Ray reminded me it was out there, somewhere. I think you could say I blocked. Forgot about it. Don't remember writing it. I remember the hurt when it was coming out, but don't remember actually writing it. Tonight as I read it, I think the words are all just right, however the heck it got here.

And in response to Ray's other request, here's the link to George at 3 a.m.

[best not to let the kids read either one of these.]
[actually, best not to let the kids on to this blog lately.]
[well, maybe ever.]

December 10, 2002

and then I had this idea

I started that journey back tonight, back through my archives, remembering what I was thinking, where I was, what things smelled like, summer nights on the porch, smoking late, big bugs and fighter jets streaking night skies.

I re-read a lot of my poetry. I didn't think it was too bad. I thought some of it was actually pretty good, and that kind of amazed me considering I composed every letter of what I wrote during the past year inside my blogger post window. No forethought. No malice.

I noticed several themes, you know, when I strung it all together. These were, in no particular order: loss, love, voice, birth, chained, untied, child, without, writing, movement, silence.

Tonight I decided to make a book of it.

You know, some of it at least.

So I made a PDF. Of my poetry. Named it "Running out of Rhyme." Turned out to be 35 pages.

I'm posting it here. For you.

Download it if you want to.

thank you,
the manglement

click me

December 09, 2002

wetting myself into existence

Do check out all the demotivators at

(Thanks Denise for making my day.)

i cannot function in RW

i cannot write anything but blogs
i cannot write anything but blogs
help me.
please help.
send help.
remind me why i
must continue to function in real world
getting more and more difficult
being sucked in
living inside blogs
can no longer function in real world
schwans truck came today
eating s'more ice cream
not writing what I have to
can only blog
can only blog
not good

December 08, 2002

A Reggae Music, mek we chant down Babylon


feeling mighty broke today. mighty broke. you ever get to the point where you've paid all the bills that you've decided to pay and you're feeling pretty good, and then your husband's four-night run at the club gets canceled because of the ice storm that never happened and suddenly you don't have $30 to your name, plus a car sitting in a parking lot that ought to fetch $4K except the title, which the DMV said would be here two weeks ago, isn't, and so you couldn't sell the car to the assholes at CarMax, and then you start to look at the cupboards thinking what interesting tuna-related dinner you can make tonight.

You wonder why you paid the DSL. So you can still blog. And get your news, since cable went off long ago. And so you can do the work for your day job, which is ever more important.

And then you think about your day job and ask yourself, "why am I still working part-time? I should go back to full-time." But you don't. And you're not sure you understand why, except that you don't want to because you want the other part of you--the part you've started to free through blogging--to have the time, the peace of mind, to blog and to work on that book and to be a happier mother and wife, which, when she was working 60 hours a week, she just wasn't. But still. You question your sanity.

You order food from Schwans because you know you can post-date the check by two weeks. They are great about that and their food is good too. And you unass some stuff on ebay. And you think about what equipment can be pawned. You're glad you got food for the cat and dogs when you did; you're worried that you haven't gotten the kitten to the vet yet. But you got him vitamins and Iams kitten food and look at him grow, the rest will come.

You figure you'll catch some flack for this--"you're working part time by choice and you're complaining about money? your husband's a musician/producer--you two have chosen this life. just work harder." yes, there's that.

And those comments that come or don't come don't really mean anything today, because you can feel something more important than any of this brewing and you need the time to nurture it, you need to be able to divide your brain between stifling work and this world that is blooming, and babies that are on their way, signifying new generation in blogland, so that makes it all the more important. There's an urgency. You're feeling it.

Then you think about the money you just spent to upgrade the Blog Sisters site on blogspot, and the $10 you just gave Technorati, and the $70 you give Earthlink each month, and the Blogger Pro money. You knock your hand against your head and say you'll tell work next week that you're ready to go back to full time.

And then you start this post. And you decide, not today. You still have some stuff you can sell on ebay.



George mourns the loss of an inspiration in the passing of Bob Berg.

December 07, 2002

for crying out loud, could I focus on something?

I just looked back at my blog over the past many days (as far as you can scroll). As I did, I realized quite suddenly that I don't focus on anything in particular. In fact, I really don't know what the heck I've been talking about for the last couple of weeks. I don't remember writing about half of these posts.

This cannot be good. I've talked about, in no particular order, childbirth and children, hospitals, friends, cats and kittens, blogging, blog evolution, sleeping, AKMA, college, turtles, George, bills, death, ice storms, holiday party humor, men and women, women and blogging, bloody lips, hate, love, grief, being a parent, Jamaican vacations, catching a worm in my mouth as a kid, driving while aroused, and various other unrelated topics.

I need to find an area of expertise.

blogging babies into existence

Tom Matrullo and Gary Turner are going to be fathers any day now. Yes, that's right:

This Guy:

and This Guy:

A year ago I didn't know either of them. Now I count them among my best friends, best friends I've never met.

Having not met them, only spoken to them by phone, doesn't mean I don't know them. The more we blog the more we know. I think about Gary and Fiona, about Tom and Wendy, several times a day; pray for them. I send them all the good wishes I can muster, knowing that within a matter of days, more or less, they will be welcoming into the world their children, and I'm feeling as much an aunt-to-be this week as I've felt in a very long time.

But we're not in one another's real world. So I can't go barging onto the maternity floors waving stuffed bears with helium balloons trailing behind. Can only just wait, with everyone else who cares about them in Blogaria. Wait and bite my nails.

Some words of encouragement--Jenna was breech and I had a c-section. Something I didn't want either. If the Turner turns again, or the Matrullo fails to matriculate, though, fear not. A c-section is not the worst thing in the world. It's over quickly. No trauma for the baby. No labor pains. No special pillows to sit on afterward. If you need advice, Dads, on where to look and what to say, and where to not look and what to not say, in the event of the rather daunting task of assisting mom-to-be in the OR, email George. He handled it all very well. Something about not looking in the reflection of the window.

God bless.


I've never had a kitten this little before. This kitten is becoming tame, little by little, against all his better judgment. His instincts tell him not to let go--to lie for a while on my leg, but not to relax all the way. As soon as his eyes start to close, he jerks to full alert and bites my hand. Every time. He can't override his instincts. It has been this way consistently until today.

Today he's fallen asleep on me twice. As I type this, he's sleeping on my arm, purring away. Earlier he fell asleep on my leg. I never knew how relaxing a purring kitten sleeping on your arm is. I am likely to fall right back asleep. Again. Lazy day. Sweet kitten. He's right by my cheek. I'm looking down at him, his ears splayed sideways, beyond even purring now. He's sound asleep. He finally let go.



Slept all day today. Remembering back to college days when I never had a class before 11 a.m., wrote all night long, and slept Saturdays away without a second thought. Feeling like beer, pizza, some wings. Feeling like I have a paper brewing. Feeling like writing the night away. Feeling like making spaghetti in a crock pot and sharing it with the girls in the dorm, waiting for friends to bring the pepperoni and Italian bread.

Looking at this house a mess, bills unpaid, animals and family unfed. Missing my 20s.

Happy Anniversary, AKMA

I've met a lot of priests in my life--some of the best people to have touched my life, during my high school years, happened to be priests. I also abhor many of the past and present practices of the Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church, and rather decidedly ditched Catholicism in my 20s. At any rate, I know a caring person, a good dad, and an empathetic and passionate human being when I read one. AKMA is all of those. Happy 16th, AKMA. Many more to you. Christianity and Blogaria definitely need you.

(p.s., although I finally ate your peanut brittle, I changed your URL on my blogroll. am I still in good standing?)