December 11, 2004

I'm hungry.

Pontillo's Pizza in Batavia, NY. The BEST Pizza in Western New York.

Ohhhh. Please. Someone bring me a piping hot pie with thick stringy mozzarella that pulls for a yard and a half!!!

I can smell it.

December 10, 2004

Who Took My Shit (and other mysteries of December)

Who Took My Shit is a story about a middle-aged white woman living in a quiet treed suburban subdivision in northwest Georgia. When we meet our main character, she is wandering through her split-level contemporary home aimlessly, from bedroom to bedroom, then downstairs, then up. She looks confused. More than that, she looks panicked.

The problem, it seems, is that her shit has gone missing.

What shit you ask?

The second good book in two months and a bottle of Biaxin, that's what!

You see, two months ago I was in the middle of a real hair-puller (that's like a page-turner for women) by Jeffrey Deaver, and I was on THE SECOND FROM THE LAST CHAPTER, do you understand me? That's where Deaver always inserts the final plot twist you weren't expecting even when you knew you should be expecting it, and he has this way of zigging when you zagged, and all of a sudden you're like Whoa--there he goes! And of course Lincoln Rhyme knew it all the time and there he comes with his criminologist knowledge and his bad self. HELL that Deaver can spin a yarn.

Anyway, I'm on THAT chapter, and the book disappears. I mean DIS-APPEARS. I mean where the hell did my book go? The same book I've had by my bedside for two weeks? I looked everywhere. I looked under the bed, on top of the bed, over the bed, behind the headboard, under tissues, inside the Kleenex box; I checked the bathroom, the kitchen, the living room, bodily orifices. Everywhere. And found nothing.

So I did the unthinkable. I went out and bought a second copy so I could finish it. That's just wrong.

So imagine my terror last night as I searched for my latest hair puller--The Stone Monkey--right where I had left it, on the night stand, and WTF IT IS GONE! It must have fallen. Nope. I must have taken it with me in the car. Nope. Maybe I left it next to the tub. Nope.

In case I haven't mentioned it, crime novels are my new cigarettes. That's right. I'm five months post-smoking, and instead of lighting up and getting sick, I dig into the twisted sickness of criminology and murder. Really, it's all somehow related.

But the point is: I need my books.

Jenna. It HAS to be Jenna. Wanting attention. That's it.

"Jenna, look, I need to ask you something and I want you to tell me TRUE, okay?" She sees I'm visibly shaking now, my God the piglets are running from The Ghost right now, and they just got made by the guy who rented them the apartment, so SHIT WHERE IS MY BOOK?! QUICK BEFORE THEY ALL DIE!

"No mom. I promise. Which one was it?" She spends the next 20 minutes looking for it with me, showing me any number of paperbacks that are NOT it. Finally, I believe her. Just barely. There was that little incident when she was 3 of taking my new box of checks from the bank and hiding it under her bed. But that was then. Right?

Then tonight, it's the bottle of Biaxin. It was on the dresser. It's gone. Same routine. I've checked cupboards and drawers. WHERE IS IT? We don't have a cat. I don't think we have a rat.

Okay maybe we have a rat--but one that reads and takes drugs? How likely is that?

The whole drama has become a household joke between the two of them and me... "Yah, just like I took the blue and white book, honey--ahahahahhhaaaa! Yah, where's the book, mommy? ha ha ha ha!"

Sure, everyone's laughing. Except me.

Were the heck is my shit and who took it?

I want answers!

I'm calling Alex Cross! That's right, I still have three Patterson books left to read. Ha!

In the mean time, if my Stone Monkey has slipped through the Internet wormhole and landed on your end table, could you please send it back?

Does Jeff know who took my shit???

More about software

Oh dear. You know I need it. You KNOW I do. So how do I get it?

What's the cheapest way to get Photoshop, ya'll. I lost my, um, old version, um that was sort of on my laptop when the laptop crashed. Jeezelouise I just had to buy Adobe Acrobat Big Wig Version That Can Wash The Laundry in order to edit drafts already in layout for one of my clients. That cost like, oh, $400-something. I had to buy Microsoft Office 2003. I've had to buy and buy and buy and now I want a deal!

I have a graphic that just came via spam I'm just ITCHING to play with. It has uncle rageboy written all over it.

Any cheaper alternatives to Photoshop that Windows users love? I sure would like to know.

Got that itch

I want to go somewhere.

I wanna go!!!!

I want a vacation.

Jenna gets out of school next Friday for two weeks.


The thing is, where? I want it warm, I want a modest cost, I want to fish, I want to swim. Sounds like Florida is the nearest venture to offer all of that. Or is it? I want to see more of the south. I want to see Mississippi. Is there a beach there? Can you fish? Will we be lynched? Oh, how ignorant of me! (right?) I want to get a tan. I'm white. My teeth keep breaking. What's up with that? I don't drink milk. I think I need a calcium supplement. I mean, I'm not losing them. They keep chipping though. Which has nothing to do with a vacation. Unless of course the dentist mentions root canal. In that case, no vacation.

Check out this wonderful sounding vacation in Todos Santos, Mexico. The legendary Hotel California is there, except that the Eagles say their hotel was a metaphor. Anyway, this place sounds fabulous, but rustic.

I don't do rustic all that well.

Did I mention that?

So, please, your best vacation spots in the southeast? For fishing, beach, family-stuff, kids?

And, your favorite calcium suplements'd be a good thing too.


How Time Flies.

Reading through my most beloved Highbeam, and can't believe it's only three years shy of 20 years since Buddy Rich died.

Died. Bernard ("Buddy") Rich. (obituary)

Time, April 13, 1987.

via: HighBeam Research

COPYRIGHT 1987 Time, Inc.

That's impossible to believe. It seems like just yesterday he was staring at George's ass on a gig at Rochester's Red Wing Stadium.

The Stadium's gone too.

Buddy played Rochester often. I had a drummer for a brother, and although they usually tried to find a way to leave me home, I saw Buddy play a few times. That Freak.


I'm not sure whether life's too long or too short. One of those though.

Equal Opportunity Disgruntled Software User

I hate Microsoft Excel. Nonetheless, can someone tell me how to do a line return within a cell? Shift+Enter doesn't work, it jumps to another cell, and neither does ctrl+enter, nor of course tab+enter.

All I want is a line wrap within a cell.


December 08, 2004

Ambush Makeover

Who grabbed W. off the street and dressed him like Fidel? Only difference is, W. has his name on his jacket, so's he won't ferget.

Let's Play Name that Dictator!

The Gilmore Boys Take Notes

Doc points to the latest Gilmore Gang , where the boys are celebrating 20 years of Lotus Notes.

Where have I been? All this time I thought using "Celebrating" and "Lotus Notes" together was an oxymoron!

Having been an on (at unfortunate times during my career) and off (blessedly) again Lotus Notes user since 1991, I can say quite passionately that I'm no fan. I always felt that Lotus Notes was the not-quite program of the 90s, missing the mark on usability, openness, and just plain sensible features for normal people.

My most annoying run with Notes was while I was at Ketchum. As part of the IBM team, we and they communicated exclusively via Notes, in that cryptic, screwed up mail address kind of way that Notes demands, as if communicating with a megacorporation wasn't difficult enough. We couldn't receive Notes messages in any other email program. Couldn't send from anything but Notes. Couldn't export Notes messages or documents to, say, a usable application like MSWord, or even Word Perfect. And good luck trying to copy and paste and have the resulting document look good or make sense.

Even better, since I lived among many worlds at that time, I had to regularly communicate via Outlook and my personal email to see what the world beyond IBM was saying. How annoying. Not to mention all the times it hung. I lost more good ideas in Notes than in any other software medium--except Blogger.

I will say that in it's early days, when I used Notes at Kodak, and when I went to Notes Application Developer training (YES! ME!), Notes was an advancement over what the semi-literate technical communicator had access to. At times, I felt Notes was elegant even, making it easy for non-programmers to create and enhance applications and documents like a semi-professional. Giving that ability to a semi-pro is rarely a good thing, however. Especially when it comes to development.

Lotus Notes is sort of good for many things, but not really great for anything. I guess that's my way of saying, so, happy birthday, Notes.

You can dress them up, and sometimes you can even take them out!

We were fortunate to be invited to THE party in Atlanta last weekend and hit the town in our best go-to-town clothes for an evening of amazing food, drinks, talk, people watching--and best of all, some big money raised for a good cause.

We got a baby sitter, told Jenna we were going to a meeting (it's a long story), and took off for The Tenth Anniversary X-MAS PARTY hosted by the Captain Planet Foundation to raise money for several great causes in town and around the world.

Ted was there--we missed him this time. And there were plenty of C-Suite execs on hand. PLUS some of Atlanta's really pretty people--man, we've got a LOT of them. Why do they all seem so young? Maybe because we're so NOT young.

The live auction featured some kill-for-them items, including the one I would have bid on if I had a disposable income--or, well, a sizable income of any kind. Up for bid was Peter Max's talent. Mr. Max would come to your house and paint your portrait, or the portrait of your family, or whatever portrait you wanted portraitized. It went for around $15K. I was ready to pay a thousand. Only one good lotto ticket away.


The best part of the music of the evening was that George didn't have to play. At most events, I try to become invisible so I don't have to partake in mostly-meaningless social banter, at which I suck, while he's on stage. It was fun to banter with my husband in public for once. Two or three rum-and-cokes helped.

The bands of the evening featured "Tribute bands," which I now understand is another word for bands that not only play copy tunes, but actually dress/look/act the part of the bands they are, well, tributing. Of the three (Beatles, Stones, and Hendrix), the Hendrix band -- Mirror IMIJ Experience -- was really worth listening to. They had fun playing good music well. What a pleasure.

We ate and drank and laughed at some of the way-out costumes. And I mean way out. Because the theme, after all, was Peace, Love, One World, which, although it reminded me of the print on a bottle of Dr. Bonners soap, was really quite cool and extremely well executed. Everything from the lighting to the peace-sign necklaces bathed us in happy trancy 60s ambiance. Nicceee.

What a blast from the past. I'm glad the event went so well, that real money was raised for worthy causes, and I'm really glad that we got to go!

Photos by Rick Diamond Photography.

You musta put voodoo on me....

It's a Neville kind of day.

December 07, 2004

Oooo those race mixers.

Rogers Cadenhead had an interesting post I'd missed quoting some fascinating illogic about interracial relationships and their threat to all that is white and good from, a white is right unity group.

Breaking down the sexual barriers between the races is a major weapon of cultural destruction because it means the dissolution of the cultural boundaries that define breeding and the family and, ultimately, the transmission and survival of the culture itself.

Okay, That's how Sam Francis sees it.

Me? I see it a little differently:
Breaking down the barriers between humans is a major weapon against cultural isolationism, which encourages inbreeding and family dysfunction, and ultimately, the destruction of the culture itself.
Of course, I have a pretty biased perspective on this. I've been married to a black man for nearly 18 years, and together for nearly 20. So let's get something straight:

That's a long ass time, I don't care what color you are.

The funny thing is, that I actually agreed with what Sam wrote early on in the post. His premise was that the Monday Night Football incident with blond-towel-dropping and the Eagles definitely-not-white Terrell Owens, was constructed by marketing geniuses in part because Sheridan is a dumb, white, blonde, starved-for-sex American “Desperate Housewife,” and Owens is a muscular, black, younger-than-her, obviously-woman-fucking American athlete.

Yes, Sam, we’re on opposite sides, but that pissed me off too.

Now, Sam won’t link directly to anything that actually quotes Colts coach Dungy's on his opinion that the skit was purposely racially titillating, playing on long-standing stereotypes—and for that reason the coach found the opener offensive.

Sam won't quote Dungy because Sam doesn’t like niggers--unless they sit down and let White Identity rule Amerka like God meant before he sent a bunch of folks to drag the slaves over here.

But I like Dungy fine. So I’ll link to an article here, where the coach with the unfortunate name explains several things:

The ad reinforces the stereotype that a black man will do anything to get a blonde piece of ass.

The ad reinforces the stereotype that black athletes are good for two things: running from the po-lice and sex.

The ad reinforces the stereotype that black men think blondes are better in bed than brunettes (oh wait--I made that one up!)

The ad LEVERAGES the black-man-white-woman stereotype to create BUZZ for the purpose of driving BRAND awareness.

I have a distinct distaste for buzz. Brand awareness too. Oh, and racists. That'd be you, Sam.

The tiny little patch of earth where Sam Francis and I stand together is a patch being inhabited more and more frequently in these days of strong polar opinions and extremes. It is a uniting of two distinctly opposite sides to take on the mainstream--in this case, mainstream television, advertising, and BIG BUSINESS (aka ABC, Disney). It is a perverse meeting of two mindsets that disagree on virtually everything else -- but stand on the same soil when it comes to their perceived right or wrongness of a concept that is highly controversial.

Weird? I know.

Sam thinks the Monday Night Football prank represents the unacceptable moral decay of America.

I think the Monday Night Football prank represents the unacceptable greed and cultural ignorance of Big-B-Bidness.

I haven't figured out if this is a win-win, or a lose-lose.

Mostly I had fun playing with photoshop.

Soukous Radio - Live 365

Listen with us.

What is Soukous? See encarta. Or better yet, Wikipedia.

thanks for traveling round the net with me this evening!

Save our sounds...

The American Folklife Center in the Library of Congress and the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage in the Smithsonian Institution are collaborating on a landmark project to preserve our audio heritage-- irreplaceable recordings of America's music and the voices of her people.

The Save America's Treasures program of the White House Millenium Council has awarded a grant of $750,000 toward this effort, recognizing these recordings as irreplacable American treasures. We have eighteen months to raise $750,000 in matching funds. We hope that everyone, citizens, musicians, and cultural advocates everywhere, will support this crucial effort.

Check out some of the sounds here.

Get your spoons out and play along with The Stanley Brothers.

Other samples here.

Lay down body

Mmmm hmmm. performed by Bertha Smith and Moving Star Hall, of Johns Island, South Carolina.

"I know moon-rise, I know star-rise,Lay dis body down. I walk in de moonlight, I walk in de starlight, To lay dis body down. I 'll walk in de graveyard, I 'll walk through de graveyard, To lay dis body down. 'll lie in de grave and stretch out my arms ; Lay dis body down.I go to de judgment in de evenin' of de day, When I lay dis body down ; And my soul and your soul will meet in de day When I lay dis body down."

For the weary...

Shine On Me

a Negro Spiritual

Shine on Me

Intro (last line of chorus)

Chorus Shine on me. Shine on me.
Let the Light from the lighthouse shine on me.
Shine on me. Shine on me.
Let the Light from the lighthouse shine on me.

Verse 1 I heard the voice of Jesus say,
“Come unto to Me and rest.
Lay down thou weary one lay down
Thy head upon My breast.”

Chorus (ritard at END)

Verse 2 With pitying eyes the Prince of Peace
(optional) Beheld our helpless grief
He saw, and O amazing love!
He came to our relief.


Oh, You Want to Know

I found out more about

To date, he's received more than 32,000 messages. Each one is personal, but most of the people who write in—like the underslept student who started it all—fall into one of a few familiar categories.

There's the overworked parent:

Because I work two jobs and have two kids. My husband is a 13 year old trapped in a thirty year old body. My sister lives with us and doesn't work or take care of herself. My kids are great, but between my other two jobs and this house I'm exhausted. I went to school as a single mom, finished high school with my son, finished college with him. I didn't get married until I graduated college, and I can't find a good paying job without relocating. You can't relocate without a good paying job. It's a vicious circle and it's eating me alive!

The world-weary teen, the site's fastest-growing demographic:

when you're a 16 year old girl who from the looks of things, doesnt have a single pproblem, people think you're strange and maybe even high. I am tired of counselors. tired of hearing about political and economical problems the world has. tired of being expected to put family before friends. SO tired of other females no matter what the age feeling as though every other woman is competition. Tired of my best friends mother jealous of her 16 year old daughter. This, my friend, is only the very tip of the iceberg.

And, of course, the guy who's had a few too many:

I'm sick and tired of all this homophobia shit.
When are we all just going to be people? WHEN?
Also I could get more sleep at night.
I'm drunk.

Who the hell's asking?

Are You Tired? Tell Us Why.


December 06, 2004

I love it when I'm right

"It's NOT a manifesto and it's not revolutionary and it's not particularly moving." --jeneane sessum, Aug. 04, on Seth Godin & Kid's "Change This" 'manifestos'.

I hated this idea from the outset because I saw it as much ado about absolutely nothing--and at the same time I knew that the link hounds of blogland would swoop upon the chance to see their names in PDF.

My gripe with this project from day one has had more to do with the HYPERBOLE describing what's being done than with the format the writing is delivered in. I took issue with SethCo dubbing these downloads as "manifestos" (oh. god.) Just look at the sidebar on the site and revel in the marketing-speak. My responses, one by one, are in blue:

ChangeThis is creating a new kind of media.

No you're not. You're putting PDFs on the Web.

A form of media that uses existing tools (like PDFs, blogs and the web)...

No you're not--this is a non-searchable PDF file that we can download from your website. We've had those for a really long time. And the Web is more than "an existing tool." challenge the way ideas are created and spread.

Simply: WTF?

So now, a PDF by Halley inspired a useful rant about the uselessness of PDFs by Doc, to which Seth--Mr. Listen to Your Customers--says, tough titties.

DOC: I'm in a bad mood today about people breaking the Web. One way they do it is by taking writing off the Web and offering it only as a .pdf "download".

Seth: I know they're not in HTML. There are 6 trillion other web pages to choose from if you want that.
The neat thing about the Web is that pundits without substance can't sustain themselves over the long haul. They out themselves with poor thinking and their staunchness in defending it.

Seth, we have the opportunity to move things f-o-r-w-a-r-d here. You might do well to listen to some folks who've been around. Maybe offer more than one o-p-t-i-o-n for your partakers.... Hmmmm. What a concept. Landmark even.

For my part, I believe PDF's have a place on the web. They are handy for forms, for long documents, for samples, even for books. And of course, using them is your choice.

But please don't confuse breaking the web with a groundbreaking idea.

My other thought: Seth, shut up and listen.