April 19, 2003

laci's song

I've just spent the last 10 minutes listening to this piano piece, from Laurie, which I linked to the other day, while clicking "Auto" on this slideshow linked off of Laci Peterson's site. By adjusting the speed of the slide show up a bit, I was amazed at the power these two unrelated online pieces have when played in concert.

April 18, 2003

Car washes are boring

Flush with Emotion

Images from my last day.

The Silo

This laptop has a much bigger screen than my previous Dell. It’s so pretty and easy to see everything. The only thing that seems weird so far is the keyboard—I may stop back by the store and have them check it. They warranty everything for the first three months, and then Dell picks up the warranty for the next three months. By then I should have given this puppy a major workout!

I can’t believe how big the screen is. Wow!

Hello? You guys must all be able to fit inside this display.

Now I’ll be moving files over again—if I’m slow with posting it’s just that I’m going to have to spend some time getting a bunch of files over to this computer.

Question to you—my work computer had virus protection from work. What do those in the know (that would be you) use or recommend for virus protection? RB says go Norton. Like an idiot I had ordered Macafee before he said that. I think it was causing some problems on the other machine. I don’t want a virus program that is hypervigilant. I don’t want it hogging up memory (I got 128 for now, and will need it). So what are some good options, and does anyone use Macafee who’s happy with it?

This is fun, relaxing. My eyes are closed. I haven’t closed my eyes and typed in a long time. Ahhh. Eyes closed, headed for open space, empty, blue and yellow, purple circles and fonts with no names. This is what it’s about for me. Blogging straight, no chaser. Sink down and let it come, in spasms at first, then in waves, smooth, carrying me.

I go back to the woods beside the barn when I get to this place. The woods where I looked up at the rainy sky in wonder and caught an inch worm in my mouth as it hung agape tilted skyward. Those woods. I don’t know why. I can smell them. I can smell my own four-year-old coat, the blue one with grey trim. A mixture of Johnson & Johnson shampoo from my hair and wet pine.

In those woods, I can look back at the silo. For me, like the Jamaican sea, the thing I can’t seem to get back to. I never went inside that silo. Never got to see it inside out, though I used to think about it a lot. It was a point of great mystery to me. Why was it there? What was it supposed to do? And why wasn’t I allowed to go in it? I can still see that giant white bullet jutting skyward past the barn. One year a storm took the top off. From then on, I guess that silo was just like me, open skyward, in wonder and awe, waiting for something to fall in.

April 17, 2003

For You, Daddy

Jenna was missing her daddy today. When I wasn't looking she swiped some black-and-white photos I had taken of George many moons ago from my dresser drawer and had glued them onto a sheet of white paper. Beneath each photo she had written simply, "Dad."

She said she wanted to show him, so I had the idea of blogging it. He's been online from Germany a few times, so when you see this Daddy, wave back!

Click on the picture for a movie of Jenna showing off her creation. It starts out dark but gets brighter at the end. Over the weekend we're going to try again.

Hello Daddy--we love you!


I love this lady.

I bet you love her now too.

How Do I Say Thank You?

She's here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And I'm so glad. Wow. Unbelievable. I'm working on her now. This is my new refurbished Dell; I bought it from the computer store over by Jenna's school. I eyed it a week or so ago, and began doing my research. In the end, I liked the place, and I think I got a pretty good deal. A 650 MZ, 10 gig hard drive, Dell Lattitude with Ethernet/double modem card, CDRW (swappable floppy), big mo-fo display, already had windows 98SE and MS Office on. As well as some other goodies. I talked them down to $700.

With the help of my good friends here, she's mine. You all contributed more than $500 to the cause! I'm not sure how to say thank you. Really. This is amazing. I'm speeding along again. Clickety clack. Postedy post!

I thought you might want to see her:

And her and me (don't ask about my hair):

And how happy I am (or how much I miss George--you be the judge):

Thank you Laurie, Marek, George, RageBoy, Meg, Tom, Frank, Sheila, Betsy, and Kevin.

If I forgot anyone, please please tell me so I can add your name. I've had three different emails set up on three different computers in the last week and a half, so I'm not zactly organized.

Again, thanks for helping me keep at it. Now I can burn the midnight oil...

You guys make me so happy.

Thank you a hundred times.

April 16, 2003

Holy Shit--Did I Blow it for CNN, or am I Just Brilliant?

From The Smoking Gun Today

From Jeneane Yesterday

Yah, it's happened before, me and my ideas. But rarely fewer than 24 hours apart.

While all news organizations prepare obituaries in advance of the deaths of famous individuals, the folks at CNN inadvertently gave the Internet-surfing public a chance to preview how the network's web site would note the demise of Vice President Dick Cheney, Ronald Reagan, and a few other prominent figures.

The good folks on Fark apparently found the obituaries.

I'm Spooked. Too bad they didn't have Jako.

five years peace out

Well, the check finally arrived today. It buys me maybe three weeks to get it together and see if I can make a go at my own business without having to split again--jeneane the good corporate citizen/jeneane the passion blogger. If there are even any more good corporate citizen gigs out there. I'm beginning to wonder.

Fed-ex knocked on my screen door and left the 9x11 envelope on the floor of my pollen-stained porch. One little package, as thin as a dime, all that's left of a five-year commitment, being among the few with a clue, the celebrated achievers.

I'm old. I know the scene. Been there done it--should be no surprise. Then why do the tears come? Why do I think of all the overnights I pulled at the office, fuzzy slippers and blanket beside my computer, Jenna waking up in the morning wondering where I'd gone, George finding her crying on the basement steps: "Mom had to stay at work all night--she'll be home soon," and where was I? I was getting out the RFPs that would help bring in the biggest wins in the history of the firm. Not once, not twice, but three of them. Never mind two solid years of billing never less than 180 hours a month, usually in the 200s, during richer times.

Never mind. I know.

It's the economy, stupid.

Never mind.

Never mind.

And it's not like I didn't want to go. I could have stayed. On their terms I could have stayed. Was encouraged to stay. But those terms weren't terms at all.

So I repeat my mantra over and over: when you get an offer you can't not refuse, refuse it.

I think. I hope.

Never mind.

Today we're un insured. Jenna's got that look again--sneezing up a storm. Hopefully just allergies. I'm scouring the house looking for my stinking COBRA form, figuring I have to at least start it, then see if we can pay it.

If the government really wanted to stimulate the economy and encourage entrepreneurship, they would figgure out how to make this health insurance quagmire work. I could meet the challenge of starting my own business and running lean for a year or two if I didn't have the added burden of paying nearly $1000 a month just for COBRA health (not dental, not vision, just health).

Why not take that burden off of the new free agents of this economy. Why can't the government contribute to health coverage for those who get laid off and really want to contribute to the economy by starting their own business. Why not unyoke us from the outrageous cost of COBRA, or the alternative of declining insurance and living with the fear that a single hospital visit could wipe you out? Suddenly big corporations would have cost-effective happy free agents providing services; consultants would grow their businesses, teaming up with other smart ex-corporate colleagues, all of whom could focus on moving business ahead instead of tossing and turning at night wondering if their child's next cold will turn into strep.

A thin cardboard Fed-Ex envelope with a piece of paper inside that should have another zero on the end of the printed number. But it doesn't. And I'm not surprised.

Three weeks, maybe.

Nap. Bank. Coffee.

peace out.

Billy Boy, I Miss Ya.

Am I the only one who misses this guy?

Color me silly, but in reviewing the neurotic/psychotic models of leadership, I'd rather have a fiscally responsible sex addict than a pathological narcissist with an unbearable sense of entitlement in the White House.

maybe it's just me.

April 15, 2003

turn the paige

Just found Paige Waehner's weblog, and was immediately sucked in by the great writing. No kidding. Paige apparently kicks ass, not just as a writer, but as a fitness trainer too. I so much love when bloggers blog heart while they also manage to remain respected experts in their careers.

I used to have a career.

No, but really, read Paige. You'll find depth, abandon, sadness, joy. Then look at her published works on fitness. You'll find expertise, technique, control, professionalism. Which makes her, basically, a cool coconut in my book.

In other news, I turn the paige tonight in an hour and 1/2 becoming among the nations uninsured. Shelley tackled the issue recently with her usual sensitivity and insight. I hadn't thought of the even more pressing need for insurance in a time of a global disease pandemic, but Shelley reminded me.

Tomorrow I'm supposed to contact another broker about plans. In the mean time, while we're not really covered specifically, in the event of a catastrophe, we do have the right to pick up COBRA within the next 60 days. As long as we pay the back premiums at that time, which would be about $3K.

Likely. Not.

If anyone knows a great and honest insurance broker in the Atlanta area, email me please. The idiot I'm currently dealing with at BC/BS trying to get information out of is laaaame.

So many other stupid little things going on, I'd need a new blog just to list them. And since I'm too tired to start a new blog called "Stupid things we did today" this week, I'll be going to sleep now.

Thanks to all for the computer fund contributions. More news on that soon. I'm thinking seriously about that reconditioned Dell. I keep thinking about it. This is a good change for me.

Another thing I thought yesterday while I was driving, when I heard that BushCo were seriously thinking of spanking Syria was that before this is over it won't be an axis of evil, it will be an octogon of evil. RageBoy said he heard New Jersey's on the list too.

What rhymes with MOAB? Maybe that's what Paige says when she's fitness training: "MO AB! MO AB!"

I have sufficiently drugged and sleep deprived myself enough for one day.

say goodnight gracie.

the kind of things I think about while I'm driving

I'm not saying this is normal. Understand that right off the bat. But I was thinking today as I drove Jenna to dance that if I started blogging obituaries for famous people who are still alive, and used all the right key words, like "Michael Jackson" "death" "found dead" "today" stuff like that, then by the time the famous person actually did die, I'd probably be the number one hit on google for people looking for information on the story.

And wouldn't they be surprised to see it had been blogged like five years previous.

Mind fuck.

In real world newspapers, one of the first jobs of newbie reporters is (or at least used to be) to write the obituaries. Although mainstream media has the templates ready to go for the untimely deaths of newsworthy celebrities, they can't go to print with them until event and template collide.

But I can.

Like I said... I'm not saying it's a good idea; it's just the kind of thing I think about while I'm driving.

April 14, 2003

In the quiet of uncertainty, a loaded word explodes

In the realm of could things get any more horrific, The Washington Post reports that the bodies of a "headless woman" and a "fetus" which might in fact be Laci Peterson and the baby she was carrying, washed up from the San Francisco bay today.

Another paper reported that the head and legs were missing from the woman's body.

People who have been following the story are leaving messages of hope and sorrow for Laci's family on the guest book of the family's site.

I found myself checking Laci's site over the last few months. Especially when her husband stopped cooperating easily with the police. I have to admit, I was playing junior private detective, seeing if I could come up with clues that made sense of the events.

Woman disappears Christmas Eve. Her husband is allegedly boating. Her baby's due February 10th, according to the family's site. That means she was maybe 7 weeks away from having her baby. I remained stumped. Nothing about this disappearance made sense. And that was what kept me checking back from time to time, seeing if they had any new leads. Any clues as to what happened to Laci.

Whatever the findings are after today, whoever the bodies turn out to belong to, it's clear that we are about to witness the unfolding of a heinous and horrific crime as investigators piece together the evidence, the timelines, the motives, etc.

Brace yourselves.

Full stop.

What caught my attention beyond the details of the story and sadness I felt from those wandering through Laci's guest book, was a single choice of a single word in the Post article.


That word.

The police used it in a quote, and the Post used it in the headline and first paragraph. Interesting, at least to me.

As I've pieced it together, Laci was about 7 weeks away from having the baby when she disappeared, maybe 6. She was, then, 33 or 34 weeks, or 7 1/2 months pregnant, as her family notes on their site.

I beg your pardon, but that's not a fetus, it's a baby.

And if it's him, his name was Connor.

Whoever is responsible for the death of this mother and baby should be charged with the murder of both human beings. And here comes my bold statement: When a 33-week pregnancy ends suddenly, the world hasn't lost a fetus, we have lost a baby.

I sense something going on here. An initial attempt to tell us how to feel. Perhaps.

But it's too early to discern that. I'm not sure what the motivation is on the part of the Police or the Post was in choosing the word Fetus. But I hope to find out in the days to come, watching how mainstream media, investigators, and the family come understand what happened to this "unborn child," as the Post also called the "fetus," and his mother.

Now I'll be silent, because between the not knowing and knowing, that seems appropriate.


'My nerves are bad to-night. Yes, bad. Stay with me.
'Speak to me. Why do you never speak? Speak.
'What are you thinking of? What thinking? What?
'I never know what you are thinking. Think.'

--From The Wasteland, T.S. Eliot

Undone from the mind down, inside in, restraints off, left with just me.

Tired of the battle, I'm thinking, it's easier, I'm thinking, to fight against chains, be fed by the noble cause of revolt, of versus, than it is to win.

What is lost in winning? Voice. What is there to say? Where does it go when there is nothing to resonate against. No purpose, fire, knowing so clearly what is wrong. Nothing left to make right means nothing left.

Without the push pull, the resistance of, the fight against, then who am I? To be here, invisible and inert, I don't exist, no not really.

Still, the odd rhythms pound my head, heart, early in the morning and in the quiet dark, reminding me that I'm not not. Maybe there is something left to say. Or will be.

But where then. And when?

I am thinking I'm not sure.

Thank You

I just logged on to the Prescription Benefits site that I used in my last hurrah to fill 90 days worth of RXs for the 13 different medicines we take regularly, and some not regularly, and found that the order shipped yesterday--just in time to fall under the old (read: good) insurance, which means it just cost a lot less at $400 than it would have if they had filled any of them after the 15th!

Right after that, I rode the positivity wave over to the unemployment site to see if they had bothered to add me to the system yet (they hadn't last week), and there I was! Holy cow, certifying was a breeze. I don't know what any of it means, but I'm just doing what they tell me, one step at a time.

Just a little good news that reminds me someone's listenin'.

NOW I can go lay down and rest.

rip roarin at 2:30 a.m.

Decided to tackle taxes tonight. Nothing makes you feel more useless than kindergarten math that you somehow can't get right. Well, all the pieces are FINALLY together except for one. I suppose most people put those end-of-the-year 1098s from their mortgage companies in a safe place. Where's my safe place? Is it at your house? Cause it's not here. No sireee. Can't find the damn thing anywhere.

Undaunted, I called the mortgage company at 1 this morning. Amazed by my own resourcefulness, I even managed to find our account number and the bank's phone number in my PAYEES section of the online banking site I mangle each month.

Just ONE piece of information away from being done. How excited was I when I dialed the mortage goons, only to try entering the account number six times before realizing we don't exist.

I hate it when that happens.

On the seventh call I got a human being, who explained that their systems were down. See, they still need humans to apologize for machines. Job security.

Call back at 5 a.m. central time, she says. I'm still using my math powers to figure out what that is for me--I'm thinking 7.

Anyway, that's why I haven't written today. Between taxes and insurance (just realizing d-day for health ins is the 15th) and unemployment and actually trying to market moi, I haven't written anything worthwhile in a week.

I am sorry.

But on the good news front, I think I found a refurbished-by-dell Dell laptop at the computer store I never saw before over by Jenna's school. They're asking $799, but I think I can get them down to $700 or so. I told the guy my blogger friends were raising money to get me a Dell and he said, "That's so cool...that's SO cool." You know, so I liked him right off the bat. It has a six-month warranty, it's got 98 SE on it and MS Office. But most of all, when I put my hands on the wrist rests, it felt soooooooo good.

But then I shake myself, say JENEANE! The mail man brought the COBRA information over the weekend. I don't think it hit me until I read the forms that in 1 more day we don't have health insurance.

I guess I thought that COBRA covered you for 60 or 90 (i'm in denial, so I don't remember which) days, but it doesn't really work like that--well it DOES, but you have to pay the premium from the first day after benefits are cancelled onward to get that coverage. In our case, just for health insurance (not dental or vision or anything) it's nearly $1,000 a month. If you're lucky and you don't need your insurance between that day and 60 days later, I think you make it scott free by saving 2 months on the premium before you say, "Yes, I accept COBRA." But if you do file a claim any time within that window, they grab all the back premiums from you as well, so you're out thousandssss. As if!

I started filling out the forms for Blue Choice PPO. In this case, the coverage isn't great, plus there's a 12-month waiting period on pre-existing conditions. So, they can deny you coverage on just about anything for the first year you pay them. That sweet deal is apparently $460 and change per month for a family.

I have boiled these two health plan characteristics down to two simple business models and have translated them below as per your urgent need:

Group COBRA Policy: Get good coverage but get screwed on money.
Individual Policy: Pay less money but get screwed on coverage.

Remember these two different approaches and you will have grasped the business models of health insurance companies in Amerika

love it or leave it.

April 13, 2003

The Leafy Sea Dragon

Yes, this is an actual sea horse, called the leafy sea dragon, because he looks like a floating dragon or twig or something. But he was HUGE! Nealy a foot I'm sure. He was Jenna's favorite.

how cool sea horses are?

can't help missing you so


and forth.

Jenna and I are home; george off to Europe for a couple of weeks' recording/business stuff. Chatanooga was a blast. Here's photo one, Jenna watching the stingrays at the Tenessee Aquarium...

more later.