July 04, 2003

tanning by the numbers

Sun and water, water and sun. I don't know what it is--I'm addicted this summer. Can't drink enough into my pours--not enough. I sleep it, dream it, float it, drink it, eat it, sleep it, pee it. Maybe it has something to do with starting to understand I have a body attached to my head. I don't know. I think I've tried to avoid this thing that walks my brain around for quite some time. Let it go to pot. Ignored it. Who needs a body to think and strategize and write?

Then it catches up with you. You say, shit--I used to feel a lot better when I knew this thing that my head sits on. Have I ever known it? Maybe once, a long time ago, a different body than I have now. An old friend. I want her back.

In the sun, you know your flesh. In the water, you feel it, swirling, sinking, diving, floating. Your head is the last thing you think about, you can leave your brain under the umbrella, or roll it up in a beach towel. All you need in the sun and the water is skin.

My skin is turning brown and browner. Jenna says, "Mama, you're catching up to me, but I'm getting tanner, so you'll never catch up to me; or maybe I'll turn peach and you'll turn brown. The boy at my school, Jordan, he calls it 'white.' Isn't that silly? He calls peach white."

Skin, pours, veins, flesh, sink in to cool water, submit to scalding rays.

Find yourself there.

July 03, 2003


why am i still up?

went to sleep at 10 two days ago. i thtink it was. i was going to sleep after the last post, but i'm still up. i don't know why. too wired to sleep. can't get on the down escalator to sleep--too tired to put my foot out and step on, too scared to step between steps, and then they open up, you know how they do that on an escalator, and my foot's all half on and half off the step, I'm trying to keep my balance, not fall and tumble all the way down, down.

if someone could just pull the red level for a minute while I step on, I'd really appreciate it.


no one here. no one. not even a comment lately. good americanz are out celebrating the holiday early maybe. so where are the bloggers? down down on the escalator. jenna calls them alligators, and I like it so much I don't correct her.

i do that a lot with her.

so many voices out here--are we paying attention to anyone anymore? i don't know. to ourselves. if that's all then that's something. maybe the biggest thing of all.

i knew if I decided to post, to write with my eyes closed, I would find sleep. And it's coming. I feel it. My eyes are closed and there go my fingers tumbling around the keyboard, glorious. what's behind my eyelids this evening? let me see....


there is a couple, she's in a green blouse and he's in a grey polo shirt, I only see his back, an dhe's shouting at her, an dthen I'm in the uniform store where I just bought jenna's uniforms for school next month, yah, we start early down here.

oil barrels, ponies, glue sticks, shopping cart, let them come, the images behind your eyes, nail polish, carrot sticks, cutting board, mailbox, she had blue eyes. Restorration. reverence, thinkking about that one tonight, that one makes sense, but no tthe carrots.... what else? tube socks on ankles, hairy, a boy's, sixteen or seventeen maybe, flashes a smile leans a forearm against a wrought iron fence. A polka-dot dress on a little freckled-face redhead, maybe she's three, four, digging her pinkie into her dimple and smiling.

You can't beat your own movies.

Okay. I'm going down down...
more later.

July 02, 2003


I had four client deadlines in the last two-and-a-half days. This entailed one all nighter, pulled last night, after which I now feel like milky toast. Pull an all-nighter. I always loved that phrase--used to do it all the time in college. Pull one. Wonder what's to pull about it. Really you push your way through it. Unless you take No-Doze like I used to, write my way through the night on fire thinking I was motherfucking Hemmingway, who I don't even like, but still, he can pull the crap out of a sentence, can't he?

The difference to me, now that I have what is resembling my own business versus pretending to care about the morbid corporate culture of my past couple of years, is that I have to pull more all nighters. Because of the money. Because I can't say, really, gee, no, no thanks, I'm kinda tired and I have three other clients who need stuff done, so sorry--catch you next time! Because you just can't--well, not yet I can't. I am good enough that they would be back. But how soon, that's what I can't play around with right now. I need them as much as they need me. Ain't that a kickinthehead.

It's fun, the work I'm doing these days. Much of it is enjoyable. My clients are all nice people. Otherwise, I would say no. That much I know is true.

Which reminds me, I got that novel by Wally Lamb--I Know This Much Is True--and can he knit a yarn this guy. Holy. It's like 900 pages, and I'm only on about page 50, but he really pulls you, this guy does. He can pull a novel this guy like I can pull an all-nighter.

Too tired to link tonight. Just take it for what it's worth, these pixels. Pixel litter. I made that up a couple of weeks ago. I think I was talking about Meckler's blog, which isn't worth the finger muscles it would take to link to it. Did I make up Pixel Litter? I think I like it.

I can pull a metaphor, can't I?

I couldn't pull a baby bird away from the neighbor's cats tonight though. Shit. I went out for a smoke, yah, I still haven't beat the habit, and I see Chas the tabby from next door batting this poor baby robin around my driveway. The baby robin was, like, hey, I'm not sure what's going on here, but I don't think I like being batted around, tweet tweet! And I'm yelling, Chas, cut it out! go away! and then I see the mama robin.

I felt bad for the baby, and you know the cats who haven't been fed regularly except by me since my neighbor is away in some form of rehab again, but I didn't stop it. I called my brother in law--he works with animals--as the two other cats converged to torture the speckle-chested, no-flying tiny baby robin (hop hop. tweeet! hop hop tweet!). I say, "Unnie--what do I do?"--we call him Unnie cause he's jenna's uncle--there's this baby robin and the cats have him. He's not dead. He's hopping around and tweeting and his poor mother robin is trying to buzz these cats to get them to leave the baby alone. Unnie tells me leave it alone. Go do somethting else. It's nature. It's how it works. It took me a long time to accept it, but that's how it is. And I decide Unnie's sounding wise these days, so I close the door, but not before I take time to watch the mother robin.

fearless as a motherfucker.

she's zooming in cawing like a crow that she isn't--or screeching is maybe a better word--and she's getting so close to the cats' heads, she's using everything she has to save her baby, dodging and diving and ditchcing just in time. and you know what? the cats didn't even look at her--didn't even give her the respect of looking at her, no nod of recognition--no thanks for the baby ma'm--thanks for dinner--no fear from them, like HEY! Watch out for the mother robin! She's after our butts! No. None of that. They didn't even see her. All of her might, all of her instinct compeletely and utterly ignored.

what's worse than that?

And then I left them. To do it.

And now I leave you, because I'm almost there, almost asleep, and so goodnight.

The artist's side of RIAA and file sharing

George has a post I really dig that outlines the thought pattern of the professional musician, or at least this one, about file sharing and the all-seeing-all-knowing RIAA.

I hate to spoil the ending for you, but I have to. It's beautific:

"I am going to analyze in depth how pop music and its machinery have worked...awww forget it. I don't have time for this crusade! I just want to make some music and make enough of a living to keep the lights on. When you guys figure it out, let ME know. I'm going to go practice...."

It's a good thing I'm married to him, because if I were reading him for the first time, I think I would have just fallen in love.

Creation in a Flash

Richard at Peaceful Waters found the perfect project for his first try at flash animation. He used flash to create animation about creation.

Say that ten times fast.

Richard had posted some thoughts about creation, a poem really, a few days back, although the linear nature of a textual post didn't do it justice. So he gave it melding-meaning-swishing-dancing life with flash. I was hoping he would. Nice.

Here it is.

July 01, 2003

Admit you're a fake--I like it!

Anthurian who remains among the living where we once bumped cubicles, has an interesting approach to steering PR clients who want to get in on the blogging thing in the right direction.

Since Anthurian knoooowwwsss that not all clients (read: probably none) are ready to strip naked of logos and messaging and streak through Blogaria in the buff, he's advised them to offer a service that bloggers can get some use out of, and to ADMIT that their blogs are, well, not for real.

SO, the stragegy if I read it right is to offer some help by giving bloggers a service or application they can use in their blogging, but, Mr. Big Corp., as for your own "corporate" blog, don't try to make it into something it's not, something that we'll all see through in a fly's sneeze. (Do flies sneeze? I was trying to be southern.)

No one likes the kid at the party who acts like Mr. Cool bringing the Cool beer and then he walks in with a six-pack of Bud in cans. Generally, that's the kid you give oregano-wrapped-in-rolling-paper joint to so everyone can laugh at him when he starts acting stoned.

Not that I would know. YES, so don't be the fake cool kid. Instead, admit who you are, brand the shit out of your corporate blog, and then hussle us off to some ACTUAL cool places that we'll actually care about. And we might ACTUALLY think kindly of you.

Good, Anthurian. I can live with that. Thank goodness for all of us that you still have a say and a voice in the big-wide-world-of-marketing. Because I know what we could all be in for if, well, some were left to their own devices.


But I can say whatever I want, because it's National Libel Day!


So, thanks to my take on Anthurian's post, we have step-one advice for corporations interested in this hip-new-blogging thing: ask your employees if anyone blogs and let HIM OR HER run the project and the strategy, or at least don't breathe without HIS OR HER (i.e. Anthurain's) say-so.


His name, the one who handed me back my will to live through the next two hours, the one who shocked my nervous system into submission with two different IV pain medications, the one who took away my pain, his name was Skip.

Three times a muffled "help" from me, and no one came, heads moving somehow relating to the voices of one another, that was what I saw, dizzying motion. "This is the busiest Saturday night we've had in recovery." "I think so." voices. everyone's but mine. Moaning from others like me. Why did theirs worked when mine didn't?

I saw him turn, see me, what was it, what my face must have looked like, afraid to move even my lips, afraid it could get worse, not imagining how it could, how anything could be.

He was the first one to come, to tell me to hang on, soon it would get better. Whatever he read in my eyes, since nothing else moved, was something. Tears. Yes. And me eyeing the baby bootie pinned to my gown, maybe.

I was in recovery two hours. After an hour, I could whisper loud enough to communicate. Skip the recovery room nurse (is that what they're called?) told me his name, that my blood pressure was still climbing some, they had to monitor it, and talking to his recovery room colleagues I heard him say, "It's probably the pain," and me, rigid, still wondering if I wanted to bother surviving. Still thinking maybe not.

But once my whisper came back, stronger, and once the first two layers of pain peeled away with the drugs, I choked to Skip over and over, "Thank you." "Thank you. "It's better than it was." "Thank you."

Skip told me jokes, none of which I remember. He also told me he would come see me while I was in the hospital. And he did. I didn't remember his face when he stopped by the room. But I remembered his voice. The voice that took my pain away, that brought me back from my six-hour near-death nap.

Skip, from Recovery at Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta, if you're out there somewhere, and if Google is kind enough, you may see this one day, and if you do, you can hear me say one more time: "Thank you."

There's a little black spot on the sun today
That's my soul up there
It's the same old thing as yesterday
That's my soul up there
There's a black hat caught in a high tree top
That's my soul up there
There's a flag pole rag and the wind won't stop
That's my soul up there

I have stood here before inside the pouring rain
With the world turning circles running 'round my brain
I guess I always thought that you could end this reign
But it's my destiny to be the king of pain

-From King of Pain, The Police

I've said this before, but when it's a rainy night in georgia...

it really does feel like it's rainin' all over the world.


When I read this story on Rachel Lucas' blog, I shuddered, visibly.

Because for me, this kind of pain is not a memory, really, because it never leaves me, the remembering. It may be past, but it is past present. Not a memory at all--this is what I live, churning.

To tell of unanesthetized surgical pain is to tell about longing for death to save you. It is to tell of a grand paradox: save me/kill me. Anything but this. I will barter with my life if you will please make it stop. I will give you all I have--me--to stop this moment, this second, this instant. How can I undo myself. Undo this, undo me.

Understanding this kind of pain requires that you let go of all constructs of time--this kind of pain lenghtens the ticks between seconds. This kind of pain has no voice.

No lights, cold cold cold, blankets like lead weights, where does the table end and where do I begin?

Where do I begin.

With an operation that took more than six hours. With emergency surgery, surgical staff and panic swirling like whirlpools, bringing me down, down to the OR. With wondering, will I ever see my 9-week-old baby again, or will she see me? The pain in George's eyes, mine reflected back.

And none of that even compares to the pain waiting for me when I woke up, still in the operating room, without a stitch of pain medicine in my veins. Them finishing, pulling up the rails, getting ready to wheel me to recovery, a ride I take in my mind again and again.

I can't go any further down into it, not now.

Fire, red orange, yellow hot burning cascading waves.

I can't tell you that the tears in this woman's eyes, the inability to speak, to have no voice left with which to cry out, to whisper only one word, too shallow, no breath, throat raw from tubes: "help." Too softly for anyone to hear, but me. Me recognizing my own screaming silence.

I can't tell you about ears that can't receive the human voice, can't hear "Hang on--we're going to get some pain meds in you," instead ears that speak, because the mouth cannot, don't do that, please kill me. I can't tell you what that's like.

To wait.

In my case, there was no one to blame. I had run out of blood, out of fibroid tumors, and nearly out of time, hung in that delicate dance of anesthesia, between death and waking, too long. It was for my own good that I woke up too soon, you see. "That happens sometimes," the doctor said. "They have to keep it light toward the end. Six hours is a long time."

Six nanoseconds of live remembering of every slice is longer.

And the living memory of that pain doesn't go away, or at least the memory of having no voice to cry out won't go.

In a flash, I am there, me seeing her seeing me, looking up...so bright, oh please, please no:


It's National Blogger Libel Day!

Say something really nasty today. No, it's okay!

Doin' the happy dance over here. We can say ANYONE and ANYTHING sucks! Do I have this right? Can I start writing about ex-employers and nasty-meaning family members now?

Let's see, where do I begin:

Lou Gerstner picks his nose in public.

Lou Gerstner likes to wear dirty underwear.

I heard Big Blue is going out of business now that Lou's gone.

One time, I saw Lou Gerstner kill a baby chick with his bare hands. He drank its blood.

Yah, so, I don't know if any of this is true, but it's fun to say. Just for one day--this day, which I have dubbed "National Blogger Libel Day."

I think this is great, as long as no one says anything untrue or nasty about me. Of course.

More about this later.

Libel on with your bad selves.

June 30, 2003

she leaps, she falls!

Doc obviously wants me to jump.

Doc, I thought you cared.

Thank goodness David Weinberger was included, with some good quotes, to nudge the marketing folks reading this in the right direction. Only thing is, nudges don't work well with marketing folks. A left to the jaw works pretty well most of the time. I'm just saying...

Live Chat Support at Earthlink: Weakening Customer Relationships

All I was trying to do was find out how much I owed them for web hosting. Sounds simple. Can I give you some money now? Really. That's all I wanted to do. Unable to login with either my FTP password or the Control password I set up long ago OR either of our social security numbers, I resorted to Earthlink's Live Chat feature.

It was my last resort. Make sure it's your last resort too.

Here is the transcript of my "mis-conversation" with the Great and Powerful Oz at Earthlink. Mind you, every time I had to wait for him/her/it to answer, it took two minutes or more. By the end, you'll see, I got kind of punchy. ;-)

Please wait for a site operator to respond. While you are waiting, please feel free to begin typing your issue in the box below. Try to be as descriptive as possible. Once an operator responds, click SEND to transmit what you have typed.

'VamsiV' Thank you for contacting EarthLink LiveChat. How can I help you today?

ewriter@bellsouth.net: i was wondering if you could tell me the current amount I owe on my bill--also what is my password?

VamsiV: Sure, I can give you this information.

VamsiV: For account security, could you please verify the secret word/pin number on the account?

ewriter@bellsouth.net: either XXXX or XXXXXX?
ewriter@bellsouth.net: that's what we usually use...
ewriter@bellsouth.net: we don't have email through you--just web hosting.

VamsiV: I am sorry, the information that you gave does not match with that on our records.

ewriter@bellsouth.net: well, where would I FIND my pin? Do you mean our FTP password??
ewriter@bellsouth.net: I can give you that.

VamsiV: I see that the hint for the secret word is SSN, could you please give me that for verification.
ewriter@bellsouth.net: Either XXXXXXXXX or XXXXXXXXX

[NOTE: Decades Pass—Jenna is now in college…]

ewriter@bellsouth.net: hello?

VamsiV: Please hold on for a moment.

VamsiV: Thank you for being on hold.

VamsiV: The verification that you have given matches that we have on our record.
VamsiV: I found that there is amount of $45.75 due on your account.

ewriter@bellsouth.net: okay--when is it due?
ewriter@bellsouth.net: and is this my correct account number: 0000-00XXXXXXX ?

VamsiV: The account is PastDue, you need to pay the amount so that the account is not Inactive.

ewriter@bellsouth.net: can i do this through you?

VamsiV: Your account number is XXXXX.
VamsiV: I found that you are paying by check.

ewriter@bellsouth.net: I have a payment of $46 scheduled for 7/7 through my online bank account... is that too late?
ewriter@bellsouth.net: or should I pay somewhere online at earthlink--and if so what email and password do I use since I don't have an earthlink email.

VamsiV: I am sorry that there is no online payment service.

ewriter@bellsouth.net: SO WHAT DO YOU SUGGEST? can you note that payment with suntrust is scheduled for 7/7?

VamsiV: It is okay, you can send the payment by that date.

ewriter@bellsouth.net: okay, thanks--pls make sure our site stays up. we have some hits coming. THANKS!

VamsiV: Is there anything else that I can help you with?

ewriter@bellsouth.net: yes, how do I log in to the biz control panel--do I use gesproductions.com and my SS? It says my password is wrong, but I haven't tried the SS number yet.

VamsiV: You have to use the password not your SSN.

ewriter@bellsouth.net: what's my password?
ewriter@bellsouth.net: my ftp password?

VamsiV: Please hold on while I give you the information.

ewriter@bellsouth.net: also, can you please verify that this is the account number my check should reference: XXXXX
ewriter@bellsouth.net: thank you

VamsiV: The Password for your account is b92rw7x9 [NOTE: I changed the numbers for security, but the syntax is the same—you get the picture.]

ewriter@bellsouth.net: well, i never would have guessed that one.

VamsiV: You have to use gesproductions.com in the UserId or Domain field.


ewriter@bellsouth.net: Okay. And is my account number correct? Hey, does anyone ever try to make you guys laugh? You know, like knock-knock, who's there, that kind of thing? Or do you have to pick off a menu of responses?

ewriter@bellsouth.net: I mean it seems like someone should brighten your day over there.

VamsiV: Is there anything else that I can help you with?

ewriter@bellsouth.net: IS MY ACCOUNT NUMBER RIGHT? Is this the one I should reference on my check: XXXXX?

VamsiV: Yes the account number is correct.

ewriter@bellsouth.net: okay, thanks. you can go help some other confused user now.

VamsiV: You're welcome and thank you for using EarthLink LiveChat. Should you need further assistance, please feel free to contact us again.

Your LiveChat session has ended. Once you close this window a survey will appear. Please take a few moments to fill this out & let us know how we are doing. Your feedback is very important to us.

[NOTE: the survey never appeared.]

George, your article's up

Here it is. This old PR chick still has her mojo, jo-jo. Actually, the folks at All About Jazz are awesome to work with, and they've set up a fine resource in this site with lots of layers. They like me; I like them. This is what we in the b'ness call a 'win-win'.

later--i'm a busy little spin machine today. must run. ta-ta!

June 29, 2003

George, your mail's down

I keep getting messages bumped back. You better write b-4 you fly. Jenna's been grabing at the keyboard again...

p.s., this called Musik looks like a German(?) Dutch(?) version of your blogname.


This Far by Faith | PBS

I'm watching This Far by Faith on PBS today. Fascinating and amazing stories, and so many things I didn't know. I could blog every five minutes on what I'm watching, but instead I'll be watching.

This show chronicles the African-American journey of Faith, from ancient African religious traditions through the impressions by other religions and clutures--Islam and Christianity for example. Ultimately the show celebrates the distinctly wonderful African-American spiritual core, shaped from all that has influenced it--music, love, loss, hatred, death, pain, suffering, joy, revelation, revolution, rebirth, and more.

Interesting people featured, among them Cecil Williams and Thomas Dorsey.

It's funny how they don't leave you alone

I wonder how long it will take for creditors to find us here. You know, a comment from this blogger and that, and then, sprinkled among the comments, "Jeneane, please call Bank Card Services at ..... This is an urgent business matter." My goodness. Don't tell ANY of them they can reach us here.

I just shivered.

boy, I'll say...

over at what is wrong with me?, a nice description of what it's like..

How long would it take, without blogging, to come across people who voice feelings of angst and rage to one another the way we do here? How long would you have to be friends with someone to hear them utter these words--and would they? Today, my first read of a blog, hearing-relating-understanding happen in seconds.

With the Google Toolbar "blog this" feature, it takes just seconds to share it with the next set of eyes.

Magnitudes of soul-slapping emotion flying and cavorting and crashing.

Falling in love with blogging all over again.