April 15, 2005

A Pox Upon Your House

I posted 14 times yesterday and you hosers aren't going to comment? That's it. I am forevermore using the sweat off of my brow to wash my dishes in peace!!!

Wait til I Show Coco....

click picture for more on the burning man hamster wheel...


From Broken Type:
Bad Business Slang

Let’s give him a plastic cup and see what he fills it with.

I’d like to chain that question to the radiator for a few months.

We need to stop worrying about the low hanging fruit and start going after the injured pack animals.

We’ll look up that skirt when we come to it.

This organization is all chiefs and no plagues.

I’d like to double-tap that issue to be sure.

We’re still feeling our way around the meat locker on that one.

May I add some?

We need a 30,000-foot look at the problem before we flush the toilet on the jet.

Let's float your idea out there and watch it sink like a mobster hit.

Our people are our biggest assholes.

Let me noodle on that while I'm at the porn show.

We turn data into infomercials.

We offer comprehensive benefits that you don't qualify for.

Our foundation is as solid as a muffin pan in a midnight kitchen.

iPod Free

I blow you away when I post with such fervor. Don't I? Is that how you spell fervor?

I still don't own an iPOD.

I don't know much about them except that even Presaccident Bush has one now. And he has My Sherona on it.


My main problem with getting an iPod is that I think you have to plug it into your computer. Or some cradle that plugs into the computer. USB I assume. And I use a laptop. And if there is one thing I hate it's tethering cords. I still haven't gone wireless inside the house. I have the DSL cable and the power cord already. And some days I take pictures on my digital camera, but the thought of connecting it to the USB port with that stinking cable is enough to make me nap.

Doesn't take much these days.

Then I think of actually using the iPod as a Busy Adult Mother. Like, WHEN? The only time I listen to music now is either on my laptop or in the car. I suppose you iPod people plug your iPod's into your car and somehow use it that way.

Well, that sounds sort of interesting.

Did I mention I still have an entire wall of LPs?

I haven't even accepted the CD yet for music.

Some technology I just don't get.

New Neighbors

It's really something how the initial thrill of buying a new house makes you immune to the nuisence you may be causing your neighbors.

Such is the case this early morning with my backyard neighbor to the right (not the PIG neighbor to the left), who moved in a couple of days ago. He has taken a real shine to hammering any number of deck and fence boards in the wee hours of the morning.

I understand. I remember moving in here and blaring the radio in empty rooms as we painted over bright Polish heritige colors with six layers of primer.

I guess I should bake some cookies and drop them by.

And while I'm there, steal his hammer.

A Papal Smear

Really, I was just looking for an excuse to use that Title.

April 14, 2005

"E" is the Easy Way You Hold Me....

Sure a country named Kyrgyz could use another vowel, but why is Rumsfeld giving away the Enron "E"?

Screwing Others is a Time-Honored American Tradition.


Oh Frank. You always get me into one of the situations.

My Unitarian Jihad Name is: Sister Holy Mace of Kindness. What's yours?

Funny thing is, Sister Holy Mace of Kindness is ALSO my given Sicilian name. What are the odds?!?!?

Is Gary Trying to Tell Us His Boss is an Asshole?

Hi Gary. Don't call your boss names. Or if you're going to, do it in someone else's comments. It feels just as good, but it lets you operate beneath the proverbial radar screen, wherever that is.

Or, you could read my Solid Gold Post: How TO Get Fired Because of Your Blog.

This is the advice bloggers need. They don't need to know how to SUCK up. They need to know how to FUCK up.

Worst practices. No?


From me in 2003 and back by popular demand...


...With apologies to Blogger.

Do you blog at work? Do you surf porn blogs like there's no tomorrow while you're supposed to be problem solving? Do you think management is so stupid that they'd never think to search you up on Google and find out you've been posting photos from the ladies bathroom since you bought your cool new camera phone three months ago? Well, you're probably right. But that doesn't mean one of your pesky co-workers won't blow you in.

These days, many companies are laying off employees by the hundreds, even thousands. You don't have any job security, even if you think you do, so what difference does it make if you blog at work? The fact is, you'll probably be let go next week anyway, so don't give away your intellectual property (your blog and what you know about blogging) with the illusion that anyone at your company will care. Once you've given them a ten-word definition of blogging, that's all they'll need to sound smart at lunch, on the golf course, and at that next emerging technology conference.

If you think your blogging will make you a star at work, start looking at your company's severance policy today!

How to Get More Hits than Your Company's Website

At the same time, your blog can be a powerful tool for making you more powerful than the company that currently pays your salary (the one that provides you with two days funeral leave if your spouse kicks the bucket). It's very common for bloggers who are intelligent, who write every day, and especially who take pictures of the loading dock at Microsoft, to become far more popular and better liked than the companies they work for. Research from Perseus shows that 97% of bloggers land better jobs once they've been shit canned for blogging at work.

You see, there is a God!

In fact, getting fired because of your blog is one of the smartest marketing moves you can make. Straight to the top of Daypop, Technorati--hey, Andrew Sullivan will probably shoot you a link. That's right. You can be out from under your boss's thumb and working for the coolest new startup, or even the Dean campaign, tomorrow. If you play your cards right.

Layoff or Shitcanned: Two Paths to Blog Freedom

The truth is, your position will probably be eliminated on Wednesday of this week. (They like to let you go right before a holiday weekend, to give you some extra family time, let you stuff yourself with turkey and numb your brain with tryptophan, decreasing the likelihood you'll come back Monday and blow away the Human Resource Manager after you pack your little poetry magnets from the last COMDEX show in your take-home box.) It doesn't matter if you're careful with your posts or not. Corporations have the most uncanny ability to overlook talent, brains, and tenacity in favor of ass kissing and the status quo.

With this in mind, you have two options for shedding your current employer: Layoff (involuntary separation), or Getting Fired (terminated, separated with cause).

Both of these approaches have their good points. For instance, getting laid off usually means you get a severance check, which means you'll have a couple week's salary to spend on your first COBRA health insurance premium. On the other hand, blogging something worthy of getting fired for means you'll be famous on the Web, and may land that book deal you've been hoping for. Or at least a spot on Instapundit's blogroll.

Blogging: Just Do It!

Knowing that you won't have a job much longer anyway, we here at allied recommend that you blog everything. Absolutely everything. Blog about your lame-brained boss. Blog about your loser clients. Blog about the accounting department do-nothings who have fine tuned the art of looking busy while instant messaging their pals in prison but can't cut you an expense check until February of 04.

Blog about your mother, your brother, your fat aunt Sally. Blog about your priest and that little problem he has keeping his hands on the prayer book. Blog prose, blog poetry, blog photos, blog jokes. BLOG TIL YOU DROP.

Because if you think you're career is safe the other way, you're just fooling yourself.

Papal Dead Air

Tom is watching the media keep the pope on medium low over at his place. Simmer until a new story emerges. Stir Occasionally. Read Now.

Mr. Pricky?

Dave writes about Mr. Picky and Mr. Coward, who seem to be kin to Mr. Gender Spam. Of them all, I am most impressed with Mr. Gender Spam, because I've heard he leaps tall buildings in a single bound. Mr. Gender Spam is a strong man. Let's hear it for Mr. Gender Spam. Let's hear some booooooos for Mr. Picky and Mr. Coward who have re-employed weblgging's time-honored tactis of smear and run.

Let's hear it for the boys!
It's Raining Men in Blogdom!

Humidity's rising
Barometer's getting low
According to all sources
The street's the place to go

'Cos tonight for the first time
At just about half past ten
For the first time in history
It's gonna start raining men

It's raining men
Hallelujah it's raining men, Amen
It's raining men
Hallelujah it's raining men, Amen

Humidity's rising
Barometer's getting low
According to all sources
The street's the place to go

'Cos tonight for the first time
At just about half past ten
For the first time in history
It's gonna start raining men

It's raining men
Hallelujah it's raining men, Amen
I'm gonna go out
I'm gonna let myself get
Absolutely soaking wet

It's raining men
Hallelujah it's raining men
Every specimen
Tall blond dark and mean
Rough and tough and strong and lean

It's raining men Hallelujah
It's raining men, Amen
It's raining men Hallelujah
It's raining men, Amen

From Dave: Observation -- it's pretty gutless to challenge someone's integrity and not put your name on it. And it's pretty stupid to do so and leave a trail back to your desktop that a moderately skilled programmer could follow.

I have also heard of this tactic. It is pretty stupid to do. It is stupid to hack sites also. Really stupid to post anonymously a harrassing comment. Dave's advice is sound. One should be more than a moderately skilled programmer if one is going to challenge someone's integrity.

Words to live by.

The Untold

If you had the chance to hear them
Them the kind of words that change
five minutes before
being one way
five minutes after
being not that way anymore,
would you want
to hear them?

these are the tales
of generations
graves opening like mouths
finger against lips
A shhhh or a scream?

Hush little baby don't say a word
The untelling is its own sickness
a cancer unhealed.

Do I really want to know?

Brick Wall Head Banging

There are certain things in my life that I shouldn't do.

I've lived 43 years by avoiding some of these things.

Some of these things I learned to avoid recently.

Some of these things I avoid are people.

Some people make me not do so good.

Some of these people are family.

Some family scares me.

I love my family.

Love scares me.

Love me.

For Immediate Bloglease

C-LO, C-BLO of Highbeam, points to some serious blogability advancements offered through Highbeam for bloggers like you and me in this Blog Release.

I've been fortunate to be on the Highbeam beta team testing out the service and its use for webloggers. I love love love Highbeam. It's as easy to use as Google, but it cuts through the crap that now clutters Google making it ineffective as a research tool--the paid ads, the unrelated search results, and the changing status of the information delivered based on the popularity of the site your keywords appear on.

Highbeam doesn't put you through any of that b.s. Pure and simple, you get credible source material on which to base your 1.) research, 2.) opinions, 3.) purchase decisions, 4.) marriage mates, 5.) next career.

And I pay more for web hosting per year than it costs to get Highbeam.

Sound powerful?

You bet.

You go try it now.

Feeling zzzzzzzzzzzzzzy.

The first week after my endometrial ablation, I felt great. I was wizzing around on day number 2 feeling better than I had in months.

It must have been the drugs.

Today and yesterday I slept. I want to sleep a million hours. Nothing less will do. What gives? I was feeling groovy. Now I'm feeling poopy. And I don't think it's the baby hamster deaths. Could be I guess.

In other news, it appears that Coco the Canibale is pregnant again.

God's little miracle Hamster. Or Something.

good night.

April 12, 2005

Not All Females Eat Babies...

Some very cool things are going on over at blogher.org, where I'm happy to be on the conference advisory board.

I know--you're saying, WHAT? YOU? CONFERENCE. But this conference has a different feel to it and I think it's going to be a lot of fun, with a lot of real exchange among participants.

Because I don't get to many/any conferences, I didn't know most of the women on the team--except in passing, virtually speaking--until the discussions began regarding BlogHer Conference '05, July 30 in Santa Clara. Elisa Camahort, Jory Des Jardins, Purvi Shah, and Lisa Stone have launched the beginnings of an amazingly comprehensive concept/brand/idea/conference/group/community in record time, with style and class. Congrats to them.

This is one conference I'd like to attend, and I will try. I wish it weren't on the other side of the country, but it sure would be sweet to see CA. I've never been.

Give it a look. Don't forget to check out the scholarships to be given out to selected live-blogger translator/volunteers. That's neat.

A big wind came and swept them away, and then...

When I pick Jenna up, I get to tell her that all the babies are gone.

She's going to want to bury them.

I'm going to have to tell her that the mom already took care of that, if you know what I mean.

And she does, because she saw Marshmallow eat a baby and Coco eat a baby during the surprise birthing fiasco.

"Whoa. It looks like a watermelon without the head."

My favorite Jenna line of the year.

Awe crap. Not only did she make a poster "The Afishel Birth Cert." "Jenna's 13 Baby Hamsters! Marshmallow and Coco, April 6, 2005" and take it to school, and not only did the teacher hang it in the room, but also Jenna had the kids in her class sign up on her hand-made list if they wanted a hamster in a few weeks.

Last night I was thinking about how nice it was having the babies for her to watch--even though it was for a, well, REALLY short time. So I did what any mother would do.

I stuck Coco back in with Marshmallow and watched them hump like hamsters. Muskrat love, baby. I mean, they rocked the house.

In about another two weeks, we should have a new crop of pups. And THIS time I'll know who the mother is.

I'm just not sure if that's a good thing, given the mother's particular tastes......

April 11, 2005

Hello, My Name is Coco...

...and I ate all 13 of my babies!


In honor of McD and others who inquire often about the Pig that lives behind us in Acworth/Kennesaw suburbia, the pig kin to the insurance salesman neighbor who finally used his insurance claim for hail to fix the back fence. AND yes, in Georgia, you can face the outside of the fence into your neighbor's yard. I know--who knew?

So, without further adieu, I offer exhibit A. It should be all you need. He is on their lower deck, next to the jacuzzi.

Any questions?

Can't find the babies tonight.

I hope the mama hamster hid them, 'cause I don't see them in the nest.


In better news, I think I got a picture of the pig for McD and memer. I'm not sure how visible the pig will be, as I snapped the picture off of our back deck, and I don't have any photo editing software to enlarge the "pig" part of the picture, but I'll do my best.

More soon.

April 10, 2005

Who Dat Baby Daddy?

I've always looked at Harry and wondered. Even now as he's grown into a man, I don't see Charles or the rest of the Royal Inbreds in this boy. Not the eyes, not the forehead not the nose not the mouth not the personality not the nothing.

Now, Diana's lover on the other hand... well, it's getting more obvious as Harry gets older...

Who dat is? That's just my baby daddy.

At Least Two Hamsters

Baby sighting today--movement! The weird thing about baby hamsters is they lay on their backs a lot with their legs sticking straight up. So, basically, they look dead. Which is why it's very exciting when you shine a flashlight on them, annoying them into movement.

Which is to say, I saw at two little hamsters in the next when Coco, now re-named Melanie, the mother I thought was the father, scurried out to eat. The babies still look like a pinkie finger, but they were moving! Whether or not the other 8 or 10 are, I don't know, don't want to know.

Meanwhile, I have sat down only to sleep since my surgery. As mildly invasive as the surgery was, it was still surgery and I have not been good about any amount of resting. Spring break after all.

That's why I'm in pain tonight. Nothing 800mg of Motrin, half a Xanax, and a good book won't ease. Tomorrow school starts for Jenna, and work re-emerges in full force. Work people, if you check in on me, I'm hiding out in bed tomorrow. Clients, I need a day of rest.

I'm going into my little makeshift nest for a piece of peace. If my legs stick straight up, call the doctor. Or my publicist.

It could be a blue one--does it matter?

I've put a lid on the hamster co-dependence thing for tonight. Instead I've been thinking about blogging--for which I've developed a nasty disliking lately, despite the obvious. That obvious being that I'm writing in a user interface right now developed by blogger.com, which essentially means I am blogging. I think so anyway.

And what I was thinking is that when it comes to form and function, I see blogging breaking down into two schools. There are bloggers who write. And there are bloggers who report.

The writer bloggers tell stories.

The reporter bloggers tell ABOUT stories.

Some reporter bloggers' stories come from mainstream media. Some come from other bloggers. But reporter bloggers--who often fancy themselves journalists--write about and link to OTHER PEOPLE'S stories much of the time; i.e., stories they did not write.

Story telling bloggers spend the greater part of their blogging writing original stories--of a day, of a moment, of a death, a life, a cheese sandwich for lunch. The majority of story teller bloggers' posts tell stories rather than alerting readers of a story that has told itself elsewhere.

As with all things blogging, there are exceptions/hybrids/rule-breakers/convergences/cross-pollination taking place between blogging reporters and story tellers.

These electric places of EXTREME overlap or EXTREME dissonance are the where innovation takes place, those exchanges, those posts, those weblogs that move us forward into new territory.

What does this have to do with a red umbrella?

Well, I wasn't thinking any of what I just wrote until five minutes ago.

I thought about what I wanted to explore in this post--not politics/journalism/gender-wars/tech/biz/pr-marcom theorizing. I wanted to write about something. To tell a story.

With no ideas nearby, I closed my eyes, opened my mind, and snapped a picture of the first flash revealed.

A red umbrella.

Google it.

Image(ine) it.

In common these things have movement.

In movement these things have meaning.

Under cover we make meaning or seem to. And yet, how fleeting is that sense that we work so hard to make when a single updraft shucks the red umbrella like an ear of late summer corn, or rips it from an uncommitted hand.

I found out today about a friend who lost her lover who was a friend before her lover.

In that moment of her telling, in a flash of pain, a flash I did not recognize until I sat down to write about these things here, was the red umbrella.

Simple in its elegance, posturing as protection, fighting against its own beauty, there is no mix of form and function that keeps us safe enough.

Certainly not the red umbrella.

Certainly not tonight.