April 10, 2003

Lost and Found

As I've been entertaining you lately with the many things I've lost since becoming entirely too stressed out over my recent non-employ situation, you deserve an update:

FOUND! HipTop, underneath the crap in my car. Will try to blog from the Jazz Festival sometime tomorrow.

LOST! The only card in the world where I had my savings account number and jenna's SS#. (yes, in one place, yes together, yes, lost)

FOUND! Old bottle of Xanax.

LOST! My Debit/Visa card. Still.

FOUND! The package of disposable razors I've bought twice now because they've been lost.

LOST! My mind.

Currently procrastinating on: Signing up for new health insurance, Doing taxes, Selling a car.

Currently in progress: Sandwich making and packing for road-trip to Tennesee tomorrow.

Completed! Doctor's visit (we all have meds), Pharmacy. Purchase of N95-rated masks for George, who's flying internationally late this weekend (not to Asia though), along with Cheese Doodles and Frittos for the drive tomorrow. Banking also done.

Aren't you happy I've at least left the house today? I'm tingling all over. It's raining and 30s or 40s here. I hope it's not pouring up in Gore country tomorrow.

Hold down the fort. Behave yourselves, or if you don't, at least blog it.


If I don't blog tonight, I'll try to blog on hiptop nation tomorrow.

best ya'll!

Stupid Brand Moves #2: When PR Is Bad for Your Health

Don't you hate it when this happens? The Smoking Gun reports that just in time for worldwide SARS hysteria, The Hong Kong Tourism Board dubbed the city the vacation destination that "Will Take Your Breath Away."

Ouch, babe.

Maybe they were thinking of Victoria Harbour, which reeks to high heaven, according to George.

Scroll down to see the Gun's scan of the half-page ad, which is appearing this month in some British pubs, including Cosmopolitan.

Apparently, the tourism campaign was in the hopper before the SARS outbreak hit front-page news.

They say there's no such thing as bad PR.

They also say there's a first time for everything.

April 09, 2003

wondering what I'll be when I grow up

I love TextPad. I think I could easily live in TextPad, maybe even forget writing online and just putter around in here all day. The words float effortlessly into the little white window here, like I remember it being with my Dell. Just think and float and fingers will follow.

I'm so glad it's here.

I was thinking earlier today about a lot of things. Like the taxes I haven't done and the phone calls I haven't made. Sleep I haven't gotten. Bills I haven't paid. Cat I haven't neutered. Checks I haven't received.

Stuff like that.

And things I can't remember. Like where I put my HipTop, my last remaining credit card, like gaps in my mind, dissociative states, splitting and other general trauma responses that have caught my interest of late.

Not for me of course. Oh no, I'm dandy.

Just those 6-10 million other folks around the U.S. Sure, you can call it research.

I start thinking of other research I'd like to do. I love to research and connect themes that tell a whole different story when you pair them together.

Then I'm thinking, I need to be working on a book. This is the perfect time. A book proposal at least. I've ended up in this jobless state for a reason, one of which may be to try my hand at the consulting thing. But the other may just be because I have something to say and I've had it to say for a very long time.

Then I come down to what. I've surveyed women and weblogging with the help of my sisters. But what to combine that with? By itself, it's not pumping with life's blood. It need something.

Stumped. It's right on the tip of my brain. What I'm supposed to be writing about, talking about, how to put it all together, or what parts to pull together.

Some reminders I don't want. Some truths I can tell here, but not more broadly.

Some I don't even want to tell myself.

And then what if I'm just supposed to be funny goofy sort of interesting me. Well then, this is the best place to do that.

I think I'm having career issues.

I am also sick of using the word "I" this week.


Pardon Me, Boys...

The Sessum bunch is supposed to head up to Chattanooga this weekend to watch George play at the jazz festival there, and another gig after, after which said gigs we sleep, then drive back here and see him off over the sea for not too long this time. Says me.

Only problem is we're all sick. Not that kind of terrible sick like you're familiar with me going on and on about. I think this is job loss let down sick. Just enough defenses letting down to make you feel like shit without killing you. All three of us have ear aches. I guess we'd better get in to the doc with the $10 copay while we've got it--clock ticking on that. April 15 is the day I won't have taxes done and the day we won't have our good old insurace, etc.

Leaning toward going to BC/BS of GA PPO for a family policy. A couple cons--ONE, no stinking mental health benefits (attention health care smarties--the mind is only, like, the most important organ, or is it a muscle, or in my case it might be bone, in the body). Like zero. Nada. I think they pay $100 a day if you wind up on the inside for your troubles, which makes me just slightly nervous since I always keep tucked neatly in the left side of my gray matter that if worst comes to worst, I can have a one-month vacation hooked up to IV Valium. Just a rest, of course. Nothing permanent.

Call it a fantasy if you will.

SO no mental health benefits, and also some bizzare exclusionary 12-month waiting period for pre-existing conditions, which is basically anything you've ever had, so then unless I wind up with something fatal, which I had a dream last night I did indeed have, but more about that later, you're basically SOL if they decide to be nosing around.

I guess the deal is, insurance companies would prefer that you pay them for a year, during which time they do not to have to cover you for anything, after which time you will most likely be on some sappy employer's plan again, having remained on the first insurance company's plan just long enough for you to not have anymore pre-existing conditions, allowing them to brush you off their crusty lab coats before you cause them any trouble and politely begin your next 12-month waiting period.


Meanwhile, back at unemployment, I haven't appeared in the system yet. Which means I'm not sure what. The lady I spoke to the day I went in said CERTIFY WEDNESDAY OR YOU WILL HAVE COME HERE TODAY FOR NOTHING (Nothing, I tell you! - she didn't say that part, but it felt like she did). After an hour on hold today, another lady said, "Don't even TRY to certify til Sunday."

Ah mixed messages. Just like having a real job!

Meanwhile, I can only claim one week so far because the other week I did indeed work on my consulting stuff.

But hey, you don't see me whining. No more. Nut-uh. Too much to be thankful for.

Like that my dream last night, where I traveled inside my throat--what was I, some kind of surgical instrument?--around to the left, where I saw several polyps and one nasty looking malignancy, or at least I knew it to be such in my dream, because it was black and had jagged edges, and then a weird thing happened, it grew silver around the edges, kind of forced it into a circle, and then it popped up 3-D style. And I was so relieved.

Please tell me it all means nothing. Or at least something good.

Alright then, if you won't I'd best go off to sleep now. Busy few days coming up. If I can FIND my sidekick, I'll take it to Tennessee and blog on HipTop Nation. Problem is, I haven't been able to find it for 24 hours... and I'm getting a little nervous.

I think I'm getting a little less good at handling stress every day. I lose something new every day.

In other and more important news, THANK YOU to the folks who have contributed to my laptop fund. Marek's and my ciphering has the number round/bout $550 (including my little contribution), and I can't BELIEVE the generosity of you ladies and gents. Slowly but surely. I've started nosing around. Looks like you can get some used Dells on ebay for that. But I think I'll hang on a little longer to see if I can get into Powerbook territory.

I can't blog from the blogger window--using this GREAT TEXT PAD application instead. I've lost about six good posts by blogging in the blogger window because the backspace key over here is hooked up to some groovy feature that, whenever it deems proper, turns into a BACK button on the browser, after which jump all your text gone. Hopping forward again reveals blank window. You lose, try again.

But Hey, I'm here and I'm grateful and I'm blogging, and I now have a new text editor to love in TextPad.

okay, sleeeeep well. and thank you again and again and again.

A list of contributors and proper thank yous coming probably sunday when this insane week ends.

mailbox mailbox what might you have?

Before I left my job, I often ignored the mailbox for three or four days at a time. George is an eager mail getter. When he's in town, the mail comes upstairs before noon each day. I always hate to see it. More bills that will sit on the piano. More junk. More news I don't want to hear, know, see, or think about.

Those were the days of direct deposit, when the mail offered me nothing but hassles. Let me tell you, when those days end, you learn to love your mailbox again. Not the bills or junk mail, but CHECKS! Waiting for two checks for my first consulting work. Anxiously. Now I eye the mail box from the living room. Make sure it's still standing. Wshew. Mail lady has to have someplace to put my checks. Hurry mail lady, hurry!

When I was a kid I wanted mail so badly, I joined every free horse association around--paints, quarterhorses, thoroughbreds, paliminos, standard breds, tennessee walkers, shetland ponies, you name it. And every day I'd run to the mail box to see what would come. Every day was an absolute score in kid's terms. I got quarterhorse stickers, post cards on paints, catalogues, newsletters. It helped a lonely kid feel connected, you know.

Now blogging is like that childhood mail box, filled with mail and words from far away and around the corner.

And my REAL mailbox sits on a post out by the road, waiting. waiting. waiting for those checks.

Macro Horrors Redux.

Holy high crimes!

And bloody masacres!

Thank you to Alex and Benjy for the information.

I think.

With 30,000 or more troops done dismantling Iraq, could we do one thing--go in and rescue the children who are suffering? How many parents are dead? Families gone? We Sessums could take care of a couple, heck even a Korean lot of three maybe. We have to get a family health insurance policy anyway.

During the last Middle East chaos, I looked around to see how adoptions worked over there. I don't know if anyone has found anything different, but my research found that Muslim countries don't allow adoptions 1) outside the country or 2) outside of the religion. I'm sure Korea has similar rules. The Congo? I'm not sure. There has to be a way to save the children from the insanity of adults.

Makes me cringe.

enough government

Politics make me sick. I don't like writing about this shit.

It's okay, jeneane, you're allowed to write what you feel about this stuff.

No. It's pointless. These are global events. We have no power over these events. These are the petty things man (and woman) will do to keep from focusing on what is real, what is beautiful, what is ugly in themselves. The aggressor is inside, not out. Understand that and you understand one another. Fucking likely. Not.

Yes, but it's important if you're against the war to say so.

I'm not against the war. I'm against inhumanity. When there's war there's inhumanity on both sides.

Well, it's good to write about these things then--clean out your system.

Yes, it felt good to empty my bowels all over world politics.

Syria, we gon' mess you up.

I can't stand to hear these goobers talk anymore. Now we're going to start with Syria and Iraq. I'm not surprised. Big ole United States of Bubba says, "Let Iraq be a lesson to you, and you, and you" to every other idiot government on the planet. Great.

Let's show these countries how they too can enjoy the American way of liberty and prosperity. (cough). Is there any way for the ancestors of slavery to go back and charge the U.S. government with war crimes? No, not restitution. War crimes. Not money. Jail time. Or worse.

Hey, all you bros on death row, look at Saddam's jail cells. How do they look to you? What? Funky?

Ain't it funky now.

Now that the blood is drying over in Iraq, could the World White Gestapo turn their attention to their own falling-apart-economy for, like, just five minutes? That's all--five minutes maybe?

I should stop reading Oliver Willis. He gets me all crazy 'bout this stuff.

April 08, 2003

Stupid Brand Moves (SBMs) - Number 1

Time, Inc. has quietly decided to yank its online offerings, making websites for its numerous publications unavilable to anyone except AOL users, subscribers, and purchasers of single issues who will be given a special code that will get them onto the publication's site.

How stupid.


John Squires, Time Inc.'s executive vice president overseeing the transition, paints the move in opportunistic terms for the magazine giant. "Our hope is to put ourselves in a position where we get paid for [online] content in the future," either through increased magazine sales, or distribution via AOL or other online sites. (Neither unit knows how many of AOL's 35 million members subscribe to any of the 14 magazines going behind the wall.)

How backward. There are already at least a quarter million weblogs ultimately more interesting than Time's mainstream pubs, which include People and Entertainment Weekly.

What's more, what if journalists who write for these publications already blog or decide to blog? Does Time have a hissy fit because suddenly the value of their cherished content is diluted?


Teen People will begin restricting access today. SI for Kids, Real Simple and In Style follow on April 21; Sunset on April 22; Time for Kids, Coastal Living, Cooking Light and Southern Accents on April 29; Southern Living on May 7; and Parenting on May 20. A date for Health is not yet set.

No one is batting an eye at the move, which in my mind will narrow the audience for Time's publications down to AOL users almost exclusively. Others--like, normal people--will get pissed off when they find these sites restricted and go elsewhere. People will still sell at grocery checkouts, but I doubt many will bother to logon with their single-use code.

"It's not a very high-risk decision for the magazines," said David Card, an analyst with Jupiter Media Metrix. "AOL drives a lot of EW.com's traffic already. Whenever AOL does an aggressive move with a Time Inc. property, the traffic increases pretty dramatically."

Did he just say that this was an "aggressive" move? OYE! The only thing less aggressive would be if the AOL users wrote the magazines themselves, wrote strictly about AOL, and only shared them only inside the AOL cult. Wait, I think that would be more innovative.

BTW, Traffic is another word for eyeballs. And eyeballs don't stare at you just for yucks over the long haul.

With all of its publications and vast online reach, Time is in the position to do something innovative, to reach across venues and audiences, to draw from and contribute to the conversations taking place online through blogs and other sites. Instead, they're doing the opposite, tucking their content inside the AOL vest.

Dumb, dumb, dumb.

11:04 Thought

Even the kitten doesn't know what to make of the mess that is our living room. In tossing bills I meant to pay and junk mail I never meant to read into a widening pile on the floor, suddenly the whole living room is covered in a paper carpet. The kitten is sitting in the middle of the heap, looking this way and that, wondering I'm not sure what. Maybe 1) has she lost her mind? 2) what do humans do with all this paper? 3) I wonder how it would feel to take a dump on this stuff?

10:11 Thought

Bloggers who take their knowledge of blogging into the company for which they work, because that company has expressed interest in how to participate in the "blogging thing," should gather together the interested colleagues in a meeting, and at that meeting, bloggers should ask representatives of the company to sign a non-disclosure agreement before saying anything. Maybe even a non-compete. This is *our* venture. We should at least be able to scare them a little. Get some due pleasure out of it all.

April 07, 2003

steer it up

Tom's been over on Stir doing all this cool shit, and I'm sitting here like some lame team blog wannabe who starts these things and then skips off to beg for a new laptop on her own and adjacent blogs.

Sometimes I'm so goofy I bother myself.

Read Tom on stir - eees good!

Dear UPS

Next time save the money and hire me to breathe new life into your brand. A poofy logo and new identity rollout ain't gonna cut it.

Benjy's got the scoop.

Note: "The entire changeover should be completed by 2009."


Chriminy, they ought to be able to send packages to the moon by 2009!

I second what Benjy says.

tax basket

Phone ringing off the hook today. Incoming work is looking up. Time will tell.

In the mean time, the bean is on spring break--anyone else trying to work from home this week with their kiddies running about? It reminds me of her first four years, from which we still haven't recovered. How on earth did I do that? How? The things that seem real when you're in the middle of them often don't seem real at all later on.

Who else still hasn't done taxes? Anyone? Oh goodness. It's such a process here with George's business. Can't imagine next year--write off city with two sole proprietors in the joint.

We have a little routine around taxes we've been using for years. We have a BIG basket in the closet. All year long we stuff write-off receipts and documents in it. From toll receipts to dry cleaning receipts to equipment, gear rental, plane tickets, books, movies (yes, I was analyzing the soundtrack), you name it.

I don't look at the stuff all year. January through January is simply "stuff it in the basket" mode. Then in January, I pour the magnificent records of the year into a big huge garbage bag and set the bag on the rocking chair in the bedroom. The basket is empty and we start again.

I leave the bag on the chair until sometime in April. Usually right about the second week. I'm not sure what I think happens in that garbage bag between January and April. I guess I figure things will sort themselves out if I just glance at it once in a while.

George looks at it to, but doesn't know what to do with it. He puts his receipts in the basket all year. He strong-arms our accountant. He negotiates. But I do the cipherin'. Ugh.

That damn bag is still upstaris waiting for me. I guess I better go touch it or something. Psych myself up. Kick it into gear.

Or maybe I'll go read a few blogs instead....