March 08, 2003

The Net needs a DSM Code

I was telling RB earlier this week how my t-mobile sidekick has put a few new wrinkles in how I use the net. I mean, not just in the obvious ways, like how I can post from the road or get email anyplace/where. But in subtle ways too.

The sidekick changes how I feel, how I move, how I lie down, how I go to sleep--and also how I travel online and where I go. One example: Most nights instead of picking up a book in bed, I now pick up my sidekick.

It's important to me that I hold the sidekick with two hands, just like a book, that I lean back on my pillows, pull the covers up, keep the sidekick in front of my face, about the same distance away from my eyes as a book, and that on more than one occasion I've stumbled around the next morning only to find the sidekick under the bed, just where my books used to land after having fallen fast asleep with them in hand.

Now I curl up with my favorite blogs just as I once did my favorite novel or latest selfish-help book.

So I'm telling him this, and says: "The Web as the endless book."

As usual, I start thinking of what that means to me, and I think yes! Through my sidekick, through anything small and convenient and transportable enough to read and digest in page-by-page fasion with two hands. yes.

Picking up the net when I pick up my sidekick is like picking up the endless book.

But why? Is it the sidekick specifically? Is it me? Is it my level of familiarity with the net? Is it even a diagnosable condition at all?

I don't know, but I will tell you my particular symptoms:

When I reach through my laptop window and touch the net, I'm having conversations, I'm writing with abandon, I'm commenting, I'm laughing, I'm linking to and fro. This is where I really engage.

When I'm in desktop mode, I'm working. I'm searching google. I'm researching, I'm printing, and in between I'm posting, but mostly I search there.

When I approach the net from my sidekick, it is my endless book.

It's my single binding with pages penned by a hundred of my favorite authors, whose stories are separate and interrelated all at once.

So what does all of this mean?

The net is Bi-Polar. It is a tragedy and comedy all at once; it's dark and it's light, fiction and non-fiction all at once. It's everything that has ever been written and nothing all at the same time. It is poetry and prose at once, elevating and degrading, uplifting and depressing. The net is as much about splitting as it is joining.

And if the net is an agreement, it is as much about disorder as it is protocol. It is as much about the schizophrenia of me, myself, and I (and him and her and them and us) as it is about the handshake with the network. It's as much about how you arrive as what you do there, and as much about what you do after you've been as it is what you did while you were there.

Some thoughts for sleeptime reading... the sidekick is charged--see ya upstairs.

March 07, 2003

World of Ends?

I really want to get to World of Ends to see what Doc and David have come up with. From what I've read about the site, I'm assuming I'm going to get really excited and rush off to add the link to my company's Intranet must-reads. Unfortunately, the site must be soaked with traffic 'cause it's down, leaving me, well, at a dead end.

When it comes up, will someone please email me?

Oh, and here:

Broadway's officially quiet.

[[LATER that same night: OKAY! I got there--cool! It's a nice common-language, quotable article on why the net should still interest businesses, who have pretty much shunned anything that starts with a W, N, or I since the bust. 20K in hits and growing, somewhere to point the suits--Hey, it can't hurt.]]

George Calls for a Music-Out

George Sessum knows the insanity of the music business first hand. I know it second hand. Everyone, clap your hands. Okay now stop. Listen. Shhhh. Nothing.

That's how it's going to sound on Broadway tonight, as the pit orchestras go on strike. George tells us in this post that threats to cut broadway ensembles from 25 to 7 weren't warmly received by broadway musicians, a rare subset of working musicians who can eek out a decent living.

SEVEN? Wooo. I'd like to see that performance. My school musicals had larger pit bands.

So tonight the Broadway musicians strike--and as George says, this is a risky proposition: "We can be replaced now more than ever by machines. Don't think producers won't figure out a way to have canned music for Broadway. They did this in Vegas..."

Instead, he suggests another solution:

Maybe there should be a musicless week and I mean:

NO Radio
NO Live Music ANYwhere
NO Pre-Recorded Music of any kind

Computer generated midi music [no samples] is allowed because it doesn't have a heartbeat. I guarantee total insanity and chaos within 48hours.

Hey, I'm in.

THE WINNER in the "Worth Waiting For" Category..... one Chris Locke (AKA "Uncle Rage" around these parts), who has written this rip-roaring testimonial for my praise page. Breaking all the rules for the template he encouraged me to steal, this multi-paragraph tribute made my day.

For anyone wondering, yes he is back, in fact never left, and Gary, he says, "Hey." Marek, he says, "Hey Hey." He also promises to make note of Denise's new blog design very soon, as soon as everyone else has already commented, much as with my testimonials page.

And now, please join me in basking in this Clockean praise...

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I recently bought a Hallmark greeting card that asks,"Weren't robots supposed to be doing all the crap jobs by now?" And in smaller type at the bottom: "What happened?"

Whaddya mean "what happened?"? Take a look at the hackneyed, cliche ridden prose in today's so-called corporate communications. If that stuff isn't written by robots, it might as well be, for all the warmth and intelligence it conveys. NOT. It remains a mystery why so many companies still tend to think of communicating with their markets as a "crap job." It's not. Though approaching this core function with such an attitude assures that the results will constitute a very expensive crap shot.

Gregory Bateson once described information as any difference that makes a difference. There are plenty of people -- even some robots -- that can string words together into sentences. Jeaneane Sessum, on the other hand, can write. And yes, Virginia, there is a difference. Jeneane can write Eskimos into iceboxes, then write them out again. She may be the only person I know who can tell a stranger about rock and roll -- as she demonstrates nearly every day on her weblog. If you're not quite sure what all this means, she'll even 'splain it to you, Stranger. You'll be dancing your ass off in no time!

If your aim is to genuinely inform your markets about what you're up to and why anyone should give a damn, hire Jeneane. You can't go wrong. That's assuming, of course, that you are up to something worth giving a damn about. If not, hire robots. They're cheaper and they don't seem to mind writing crap. Jeneane does mind. Although she has many laudable communication skills, suffering fools gladly is not high among them.

Aside from that, she's a very nice person and doesn't (usually) bite.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Okay--I gotta run. I will attempt to write some eskimos into and out of iceboxes later today. (No offense intended to Eskimos or Intuits, but some offense intended for Frigidaire for poor page design and really high prises. Okay, maybe not offense. Envy maybe.)

....LATER THAT SAME DAY... I was thinking, since I haven't had a chance to add this jewel to my actual testimonials page yet, I should add the proper credits for C-Lo, just as I have for other contributors. Most bloggers know who he is, but for those hard of surfing, the official blurb says this...

Named in the 2001 Financial Times Group survey as one of the "top 50 business thinkers in the world," Chris Locke is author of Gonzo Marketing: Winning Through Worst Practices and The Bombast Transcripts, and co-author of the best selling Cluetrain Manifesto. He is president of Entropy Web Consulting, and editor/publisher of the widely acclaimed and justly infamous webzine Entropy Gradient Reversals.

Chris is a noted industry speaker, having keynoted for organizations such as Accenture (nee Anderson Consulting), the Direct Marketing Association, e- Business Expo, Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein, First Union Bank, Gartner Group, Key3Media, Peoplesoft, The Public Relations Society of America, SAP, Sun Microsystems, Devine Interventures, and Swiss Re. (See details at Washington Speakers Bureau)

Now based in Boulder, Colorado, Locke has worked for Fujitsu, Ricoh, the Japanese government's "Fifth Generation" artificial intelligence project, Carnegie Mellon University's Robotics Institute, CMP Publications, Mecklermedia, MCI, and IBM. He has written extensively for publications such as Forbes, The Industry Standard, Information Week, Harvard Business Review, Publish, Wired, and Release 1.0. His professional work has been covered by Advertising Age, Business Week, The Economist, Fast Company, Fortune, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Wired, and many others.

He has never recanted anything.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I'm thinking if we put our heads together, we could come up with a pretty good unofficial bio too....

March 06, 2003

stomp, stomp off to bed...

"...gotta get my time down....... gotta get my time down. gonna need a stopwatch. ... gotta break 45 next time...."

30 in 30--er... 60

You know, some of my "rush" posts - my attempt at posting 30 posts in 30 minutes (which turned out to be an hour) aren't bad. If you want the full monte on how my mind works, start with the very first one and work your way up.


or get scared.

good night.

The Thirtieth Is the Charm

What this little excercise has taught me:

Posting 30 posts in 30 minutes is hard. SO hard in fact that it took me EXACTLY twice as long as I thought it would to get 30 posts in.

What seemed like 30 minutes was actually an hour.

I have therefore uncovered a scientific truth:

Every two minutes spent blogging = a minute in the real world


It takes twice as long to blog as it does to live.


Do I have it all backwards?

I think it HAS to be close to 30

Good evening fellow bloggers and blog readers. This evening I decided to wake myself, if no one else, up and try to post 30 posts in 30 minutes. I won't know how I did until I push Publish, and even then, with the way Blogger's been acting, there's no telling. But let's give it the old college try and see how I did.....

AH WAIT--I'm one short. AH HA! As I figured, Blogger didn't handle it quite well and this little post is still open.

On to the next.

March 05, 2003

I think I'm over time

No way to tell unless I publish, and I'm not publishing yet...

It just occured to me--will some of these posts end up in the archives, never to have been read at all? THAT would be a flipping shame!

We don't have cable anymore and I'm glad. I played some videos from Jenna we had taped back when we had the soft-porn--OH, I mean Disney--channel. For crying out loud--don't get lulled into thinking that Disney's got any good messages flying into your kids' eyes and ears these days folks. A networked designed to raise "CONSUMERS" and bratty mouthy ones at that. No, it's not self-confidence on these shows and commercials. It's self-centered narcisistic role models intricately designed as to seem harmless to parents after three to six viewings and to be irresistible to kids after a commercial and a half, and if needed, one entire episode of Lizzy Maguire's belly button.

Drop Disney before it's too late.

George told Jenna Mr. Rogers Died

You know, when Mr. Rogers died last week, I let my brain run around for a goodly amount of time on if to tell Jenna, how to tell Jenna, what to do or say if it made her sad, how to approach it in a way that wouldn't scar her--have her waiting for Elmo to die next week, the Olsen twins to die the week after. How to explain why the man's still on TV if he's dead? Too much. I decided to ignore it.

Little did I know a very natural conversation took place in my absense. I know that because I drove Jenna to school today and she mentioned off the cuff, "Kelsey knew that Mr. Rogers died too. She heard it on the news."

I said, "Oh, you know that Mr. Rogers died?"

"Yep. Daddy told me the other day. Kelsey knew too. That's sad."

Then she asked me if I'd turn on her favorite Earth Wind and Fire CD, and soon she was singing along with her favorite track (number 6), and the non event was pretty much just that.

Guess we know our hangups when our kids show us.

stop me if you've heard this one before

So my dad died when I was six.....

oh, okay.

any bites?

Farrago is still fishing.

jerk the line. try new bait. SOMETHING!

who knew?

I didn't know until this little exercise that metaphors were a science.

ain't blogging grand?

the first

the only thing smart about raging cow is that it was the first, and so, is getting lots of lips flapping (or keys stroking). Which, in and of itself, is a home run.

i tried to tell people. no one would listen.

(strike up the violins)

nope, but close

halley was talking about blogs as startups the other day. She's close. In my mind, no, the *network* (community, web, whatever you want to call it) of *bloggers* is an organization. Loosely joined for now, but not for long. It's happening.

It's already done started up. Baby, it's happening. We be in growth mode. Pre-IPO (Insane Power Order) - i.e., the lunatics are in charge of the asylum.

who is he?

Jonathon Mays is a crazy bastard.

Two Classes

Guess what? You know how you've been told the world is made up of two classes--"The Haves and the Have Nots"?

One day, coming soon to a world near you: "The Know and the Know-Nots."

Count on it.

Film at 11.

Why gonzo engaged is the coolest place on the web

because no one knows that it is.

This is really hard

trying to post 30 posts in 30 minutes is really hard. (hee hee--that one was easy.)

more about the farm

Sometimes the horses would get loose. That's the thing with horses: Fencing. Keeping up a fence in those days meant almost weekly repairs. If you forgot, the horses reminded you. Most often by galloping away down Atlantic Avenue headed to who knows where. Ancient instinct telling them, RUN, FIND THE REST OF THE HERD! Only thing is, the herd was now station wagons and trucks. But they didn't care.

I was five and no one believed me when I'd tell them the horses were loose. I was at the kitchen table one day, the only one who looked up in time to see three horses trotting past the picture window.

"MOM! The horses are loose!"

It stinks being ignored as a kid. I saw the looks, "she's trying to get our attention again."

Okay fine. Don't believe me.

Four minutes later the phone would ring--"OH, OH DEAR, we'll be right there!"

And off my sister and parents would go after the loose horses, leaving me in the kitchen at the window waiting for the rest of the action.

what else I liked about the farm

The big thick rope that hung from the top beams of the barn was the best thing about living on our farm. We could climb up on top of the hay loft, grab the rope, and swing forever. We had to be careful not to let go when we were above the trap door though. Once my brother did and bounced down the steps to the concrete below where the horse's stalls were. My mother would always tell me not to let go when the rope was swinging toward the trap door. Once I saw my brother disappear down its mouth, I never did let go. I think I'm still on that rope.


So on our farm we had snakes. BIG honkin snakes. Not little garter snakes, but big big big long long fat fat snakes. That's a special breed that grows on farms. The snakes liked our farm very much because we had oodles of big boulders in the pasture, and because our barn had a stone foundation. Any time you wanted to freak my sister out, she's phobic about snakes you know, anyway, all we had to do was push the boulders around, and out they'd come. Four or five at a time, like boa constrictors etching their names in the tall grass.

My sister would scream and then go motionless. True phobia, I learned very young, is something like paralysis. Then my brother would come with his shovel to our rescue and chop the snakes in half.

Farm life was really cool.

nose bleeds

From the time I was born until after puberty I suffered from severe nosebleeds. Me and my brother both had the problem. I ended up in the ER several times having my nose cauterized, them wondering what's up with this kid with the nosebleeds. They thought maybe I was a hemopheliac, but I wasn't. Turned out that my brother and I both have very very fine blood vessels in our noses that made something as ordinary as, say, sitting in math class a catastrophic event. It's so embarassing to be a kid who has to run out of class holding a bloody kleenex when three seconds before you were cheerily answering, "46!"

cha cha

When I was four I had a pony named Cha Cha that no one could ride. She was so mean spirited we had to hire a jockey from the racetrack in Canadaigua to ride her. I tried several times to ride my pony. I stopped after she threw me into the poison ivy patch. A bloody nose was one thing, but poison ivy was no fun at all. That little pony was a pain in the butt.

Blunt Girl

when I was pregnant, I said whatever I thought at any given moment. It wasn't on purpose, mind you; I think it was hormonal. I didn't realize what I had said and to whom until well after delivery. It's the same hormone that lets you think it's okay to nurse in public, or around your family, or neighbors. There's some hormone that kicks in--I think they call it the "what the fuck do I have to lose" hormone. Because you're losing the life you knew to this new life coming forth, and so, suddenly, there's really nothing left of the old life, and you have no idea who you're supposed to care about, suck up to, be careful around, be nice to in this new world you're entering. The result is that you say whatever you want to whomever you want whenever you want.

it was a great way to live.

it scared the people I worked with.

that was the most fun of all.

rain in spain

falls mainly in my yard. it's a torrential downpour tonight. don't feel bad for me. the northeast is still burried and frozen. i used to live there. I know. I don't remember much. On purpose. Come to Atlanta. The weather's nice. Not many jobs left, well yes, sure there are, but we want to keep them all for ourselves. So stay where you are, on second thought.

Speaking of which

I don't understand how Technorati does its cipherin'. inbound blogs, inbound links, i still don't get it. how do I lose and gain from day to day. where's the grand total live? why don't I ever make blogger's blogs of note? all of this bugs me.


I'm gonna drive technorati crazy with this. hey, look, a gazillion fucking posts in a row. who's your link babe now? HUH??? Who needs focus when you can type like the wind.

non sequitur moment

Today was progress in a month full of illness. I went to the grocery store today and got some lunchables for Jenna, some drinkable yogurt -- her favorite -- and the Schwans man came, our favorite.

Did the chimney always have that many stones on it?

Is this how halley does it?

Sometimes halley breezes through like sixty posts in three seconds. I've always wondered how she does it. This is my time to play, tonight. I'm trying to post 30 posts in 30 minutes, and make some of them actually enjoyable. The only problem is, I didn't figure a smoke break into the equation. That's okay, I'll write extra fast next post. Halley, where'd the juicy stuff go? Halley writes that she's being stalked. The stalker should be afraid of Halley. Very afraid.

no one stalks me. that's okay. I don't want to be stalked. George won't let me.

Should I be making fun of this? See when you decide to try to post 30 posts in 30 minutes, you don't have time to tidy up thoughts that you really shouldn't have in the first place. Perhaps we should all go through life this way.

We really should be reading

google bought blogger and then everybody--well, I--started writing writing writing, I was going to write it into a good thing. And I still am, but I'm going to take some time out tomorrow to READ people. I forgot to be reading. We're not remembering to READ like we should. Reading each other is what keeps us going when times are tough, which, well, these times are, pretty much, yah, I guess they really suck, and Malcolm's convinced me they're about as bad as times get, and Farrago's thinking of going and Shelley's over there perseverating about something.

oh fuck it, never mind.

redneck simile moment

she was as pretty as a shiny new pickup with chrome wheels, oversized tires and a truck-bed cover on her backend.

analogy moment

stretch pants are to models as collars are to dogs.

metaphor moment.

sixteen three by fours stood straight up against the north side of the barn, waiting for the slightest wind or the brush of a farm boy's hand to set the whole stack falling like a box of opened toothpicks from the top shelf.


flaky disinegrating mud pies unyielding to eyes that have yet to open.


(the bada bing part is always Marek's)

no, you first

you first.
no, you first.
no, you.
no, you.
no, you first.
no, you first.
no, you go first.
no, you first.
no, you first.
no, you first!
no, you!
uh-uh, you first.
no way, you.
no, you first.
no, you first.
not me, you.
no, you.
no, you first.
no, you first.
NO, you!
No way, you!
no, you first.
no, you first.

okay, is anybody still reading these things?

need a logo/title thingy for stir

if anyone's interested in playing around with graphics today, we could use a logo thingy for stir.

thank you.

i think jenna's going to go to school today. i think she's getting better. I'm afraid to type these words in black and white. afraid they are capable of erasing reality. please hold good thoughts. this kid (and other asthma kids like her) have had one sick winter.

March 04, 2003

i don't know what it means

thanks to Farrago for the design assistance and moral support. And she better not go away...

I'm sounding a bit unwell, aren't I...

Off to get strep baby's bath and bedtime happening. I think I need to call it a day after that.

Hold down the fort.

I'm still amazed

I remain amazed that doctors aren't doing what the lawyers are doing in blogland. Why are so many skitish--is it the lawsuit potential? Shoot, there are plenty of lawyers out here who could help them out in a pinch! Besides, a simple disclaimer would solve all that--no?

Am I missing it, or are our professional MDs suspiciously missing from this world?

I hate insurance companies and every medical facility who claims to hate insurance companies and uses them as a scapegoat to define policies that enable these facilities to treat only the very wealthy.

Hey, medical world--and all its affiliates--you suck.

Get me any madder and I'm going to start a blog and name names. Try me.

10 Blog Things I Don't Like

I don't like emoticons in blogs. Most of the time. ;-)

I don't like entire blogs devoted to re-posting what other people post without some value ad--I dunno, pop-ups of the original posters with interactive boxing figures that can punch back and forth or something.

I don't like when Shelley tapes a "Do Not Disturb" sign to her blog.

I don't like it when people don't post for a month and then post like crazy and get me all going and stuff and then they stop again.

I don't like that Mike Sanders put me back on his blogroll or that he spelled my last name wrong.

I don't like too many links in one post. I get confused. Too many is more than four or five.

I don't like teeny tiny fonts.

I don't like the the blogs as journalism conundrum.

I don't like when Blogger's down.

I don't like that this doesn't pay. Pay me. Sorry, to clarify, that this doesn't pay *me*.

Coming soon, 10 Blog Things I Do Like.

Stop it. Don't get so excited.

this is a question for the entire U.S.

will this winter ever end?

just wondering.

sicky sticky world

Jenna has been home sick for what seems like 6,000 years. Today I took her to ballet to burn off some asthmatic energy. While she was in her tap class, I watched the baby ballet class, which she was in last year. I found myself crying. Gone. I'll never have it again. Too big. Too tough to absorb. It has to do with being a woman. She grows, I shrink. She voices, I grow weary.

George has the bug too. Finally got him to see the doc, and he has antibiotics.

A sad, depressed bunch of shut ins. And worst of all, I have no time to write. Blog posts fly through my head all day. And then the breathing treatments, and then dinner, and then the medicines, and then the mess, oh yes, and work.

in a word, ugh.

Five minutes ago I had painted in my mind what business will look like in five years. I was going to tell you what I saw, how what we think is bad is actually good, and what we think is good is very bad news indeed, about how if the net has taught us one thing, it has taught us how networks work; I was going to talk about about how small pockets of once-redundant workers are slowly but surely constructing sophisticated roadways among their virtual homes and talents, functioning in many respects like a web across knowledge bases and out to customers--no not an extranet--this is human talent assembling across neighborhoods and buildings, people who owe allegience to no one but themselves (another lesson they've learned); they are practical and organized and nimble and cheap. They are, and this is the good news, unstopable.

but more about that another time--my chicken is burning.

March 03, 2003

it ain't all about text

Finding voice through the backdoor--arriving at voice through imagery. You know, Voice isn't all words. Voice isn't all about text. Sometimes I search google because I'm feeling a certain way--I'm not looking for sites or blogs or healthcare pages. I go straight to the Images tab to see if something finds me there. Tonight that happened.

I searched up "Dark" and found this image:

With the image is voice:

If you have never glimpsed [the darkness], or have forgotten the terribleness of that view, how can you even think to judge those who have lashed out against others, or themselves, in a seemingly mad act of violence or destructiveness?....

The difficult task is not to judge, but to help. Not to condemn, but to reach out. ... And not the least, to remind ... there is Light that is apart from the darkness, which does not judge, does not condemn, does not patronize and lecture, and in which mistakes are forgiven, wounds are healed, and once-forgotten joy can be rediscovered and understood again.

Search and you shall receive.

Tom thinks I'm onto something

In trying to sum up why what we're doing is important, you know, that gyration we all go through time and time again, the new entertainment of metablogging, I posted this in a comment, which tom calls out on Stir.

I think it bears repeating by me, up a level, in a post on my blog. So here:

I have promised to make some VIPS a list of articles and blogs that will somehow wrap the largeness of all of this into a single email. So far I haven't been able to do it. The importance of it, really, is that human voices--nobodies, really--are resonating farther and longer through this medium than the power structures of institutions like corporations, big media, government, religion... It's the bottom up thing that's important. I'm not saying we'll TAKE OVER any of those institutions, but we will penetrate and change them.

try explaining that to someone who wants to know what a blog is. yeh.

It all really goes back to this, which, even he who is the man with the star has said may not be exactly "there" as an idea yet. But I think, as he described it to me more than a year ago, when most people reading this weren't even blogging yet, it is more than there. It's here.

My new club

I know them now by sight. At the grocery store, at the pharmacy, in the driver's seat of their SUVs. They are the women whose jaw muscles are lax--their stares are fixed straight ahead, some kind of zombie determination propelling them through the day, no other reason than to get to the end of it.

These are strep moms. I am one now too.

This is Jenna's second round with strep throat in the last month. This means it is the second or third trip to the doctor's or urgent care in as many weeks. More antibiotics, more new toothbrushes, more nebulizer treatments, more motrin, more soup, more sprite, more popsicles, more videos, more crayons, more thermometers, more bed changes, more luke warm baths, more energetic rebounds, more trying to keep the animals out of the house, more unrest, more sleep-interrupted nights, more triaminic, more throat spray, more lip balm, more kleenex, more phone calls, more trying to work somewhere in between it all, more guilt.

I'm not alone. I see them. Sometimes I talk to them. Like last night at 9:30 at Eckerds. I saw her sitting in the chair by the pharmacy--remembered her from urgent care a couple hours earlier. I say hi. She says, Hi, I remember you. I say, I remember you too--how is your son? She says, Strep. I say, my daughter too. She says he is on round 3 with it, that he gets it so often the doctors want to remove his tonsils. I shiver for her, and wonder when our doctor will lay that one on us--no thank you.

I tell her I'm tired. She says, I know, me too. She is probably ten years older than me, but our faces look just the same. The condition is timeless, ageless. You can be 20, 30, 40, 50 and look just like us. Jaw muscles too tired to show expression. Mouth sagging in an unattractive frown. Downturned lips. Heavy eyebrows. Dark circles under our eyes.

Strep moms. There's no mistaking us.

March 02, 2003

blogging and the two-way mirror

we're nothing if not flashers and shoplifters waiting to get caught. we raise our shades daring the world to look in. we kind of hope they don't. we mostly hope they do.

A few bloggers have written that people who read them say that they're "brave" to reveal themselves this way. And they are. We are.

This week I got a new boss. The boss and I haven't worked together before, and so I thought I'd give her a crash course in who I am. I sent her the link to my credentials which links to all the places I live online, including my home here. She may be reading this. Now. If so, Hi. This is where everything's happening. Don't let it scare you.

Six months ago I wouldn't have done it. I had a boss I'd known forever, and I still didn't show him this place. I wasn't ready to raise the shade all the way. Sure, now and then I enjoyed the thrill of popping it up for a day or so, but then mostly hoped no one would be looking, except George and and my very best blog friends.

Then google bought blogger. Suddenly I'm getting emails from folks who don't live out here. They say, "Hey, that blogging thing is big." And they're reading more blogs, including mine. Probably yours too. Every now and then a friend mentions on the phone, "Oh I know that--I saw it on your blog," and I get that little rush of confusion, wondering what I wrote, about what or whom, certainly not having this particular friend in mind as part of the cast of characters who read me.

Things are picking up. They are looking in. Velocity.

The two-way mirror of blogging is us going about our business out here, and growing numbers of regular people--our friends, family, colleagues--looking in on us. The ones who don't comment. The ones you might get an inkling have come by from looking at your referrer log.

A little disconcerting.

Some bloggers have drawn their shades or moved online households because the risk of showing themselves is too great--isn't worth it, isn't practical. Their careers rely on the very power structures set up to silence them, and they can't afford--not yet anyway--the potential backlash from eyes of weight looking in on them.

Even now, I close my shade sometimes. I pull back and hunker down. And that's fine. Maybe the time will come when it's okay to let the trick-glass slip away, and all of our windows open onto one another. Maybe not.

But this day I'm okay with saying, yes, I write online, in fact, I'm rather more here than there, and so are most of the smart people I know.

So look if you like. And if you don't like it, pull your own shade down. Because no one but me can stop me from moving into the light.

sunday morning with the sessums

me being coy and cute: "When's that party we're supposed to go to? I'm ready to shake my money maker!"

george, shaking his hand above his head: "What, your medula?"

us: "bla ha haha haha!"

me: "I'm gonna blog it."

george: "No, I am."

us: "bla hahahah ha!"

Denise's Got a Brand New Bag

Denise Howell, smart crafty lady and law blogger supreme, has a new look over on Bag and Baggage. Cool-ness!