May 13, 2005

You have GOT to own a Hamster!

I counted eight babies. Jenna counted nine. Don't ask me--ask Coco.

It appears our litter of baby hamster pups are doing quite well. The little buggers' eyes opened yesterday (they're about 13 days old now), and they're leaving the nest several times a day. They drag one another around the cage, each grabbing the end of a baby carrot. They fall in their food dish. They drag dog biscuits back into the nest. They scurry and hurry. And they are so tiny. Smaller than my thumb. And amazing.

The mama sits on top of the wooden hamster house that covers her nest more and more. She's watching them grow. She doesn't have to pick them up and carry them back inside the nest anymore. In fact, I think she likes it when they're out and about. I saw her teach one of the babies how to use the metal hamster wheel last night. She waited and he got in next to her, beside her, as she walked off her post-partum tummy.

Today one of the little guys got on the wheel by himself. He had no problem making it spin, even though he weighs less than a thimble.

The living room smells, yes. Shavings and nesting material are in corners where they'll likely never be fished (or vacuumed) out. I need to buy more shavings and I'm low on dough. Even the little babies manage to bite. And despite all of that, I can't stop marveling at these magnificent creatures.

Summer in the South

The pool that Jenna and I go to in the summer is open year round. It's not because it's heated or anything. Oh no. Quite the opposite. Because it's an olympic-size pool (it was the largest in the U.S. when it was built in the 1950s), it stays cooooold until about August. Anyway, the reason they leave the pool open all year is that it's too expensive to empty and refill, and no one is stupid enough to get in during the winter. Well, not no one. There are a few each winter who are that brave.

Anyway, today we snuck over and in, and others came too, to enjoy the sun and brave the 60-degree water if you dare. Jenna dared--all the kids dared. I finally dared too. HOLY it was cold. But beautifully cold. Flesh numbing cold against yellow hot sun. The sky was perfect blue, the color of the water's reflection. The throngs of pool goers won't show up until memorial day, so it was quieter than usual.

Before we knew it, we'd been there five hours. Jenna's already tan. I'm red, but it will fade by tomorrow. Tomorrow--when I hope to have the same kind of afternoon as today--except I want to remember some sunscreen and a good book.

The school year ends on Friday. The pool's primed and ready.

Summer's here.


We're doing a great blog-related project for a new b-i-g client. When I can share more I will. In the mean time, understand that they're beginning to understand. They're a little confused. That's good, because we can help. This is all just too fun.

May 12, 2005

Hello, Is This That Lisa?

I talked to a client today in the mid-west--it was an introductory conference call after winning the business (yay!) on which the client had two colleagues join her.

So, she's introducing her colleagues to us, one of whom says that her name is Lisa Williams, and I -- not knowing right off the top of my head where Lisa Williams lives -- found myself choking back a yelp of--"Is this the blogging Lisa Williams?"

Instead, during the call, while still listening attentively, I went to Lisa's weblog and saw references to the Berkman Center and decided, then, that this Lisa was probably not that Lisa.

Still, I was smiling. How cool would that have been?

I want to do what Joi does with his Tags and Google

I like the little box Joi uses to categorize his posts via tags. I have no idea how he does this. How any of you are doing this.

I haven't jumped onto the tag bandwagon for a big reason. It may be a misconception on my part, or it may just be part of blogging too soon. My worry is my archives. I have years worth of posts here--over 2000--and if I start tagging from here forward, I would be neglecting some of my most important writing--the earlier stuff. At the same time, I can simply not imagine going back through 2000 posts to classify and tag what has come before.

The tag angel on my right shoulder says, "You should get on board with the taggers sweetheart, if you're not there, then you're not there." The tag devil on my left shoulder says, "Screw tags. You're a poet." The tag angel on my right shoulder says, "Yes, but will it be any easier when you've got 20,000 posts to go back through?" And the tag devil on my left shoulder says, "Don't worry; you'll be dead before then."

How are you responding to your tag devils and angels today?

May 11, 2005

You with graphical abilities, a pox I say!

Enjoy this poetry unless you are a grafical magician who did not heed my post begging yous to make me a little non-fancy icon for my sessum podcasts ... If that be you, then you must go WRITE two new poems yourself as punishment. AND post them. Here too--in comments. Now Go!

[[Jeff is great, but anna really rocks because she did the work for me!]]



Hamster Notes

They come out of the nest at 10 days and they are blind and so they run around using only smell and they are not afraid. The mother, on the other hand, needs valium. I had to finally change the TWO WEEK OLD BEDDING in the cage today. You can't disturb the nest before 10 days are up. I waited a little longer. HOLY RIPE. We had ants that had found a home in there it had been funked for so long. Anyway, when I put the babies back in, I got to count them.

8 little babies.


The Loneliness Was There Before We Were...

He fights the ticks and the shouts. I feel bad for him that he is alone. But I can't change him nor can I save him, nor can I cure his loneliness by sacrificing myself.

His lonliness goes so deep that it can't be cured.

Tish G. takes us home with herto say goodbye to her mother. Her father's distress becomes palpable.

It's just like this.

PR Practitioners Need Apply

Good discussion going on over at David's place on hypothetical and not-so-hypothetical dilemmas facing PR people in helping clients join existing, risky, and sometimes frisky conversations AND helping them respond to conflict.

Good advice. Chime in you flacks.

wanna make me an icon or two?

I want a graphic (gif or jpg) to use when I am posting a link to a podcast/mp3 so that you valued and valuable readers know you're going to hear my voice, not go hopping off on my latest textual fantasy.

Actually, I'd like two little icons--one that says podcast (are some of these out there already as CC-usable?) And one little icon that says Pod Poem or Pod Poetry to let you know that a reading from allied's poetry library is coming your way.

Okay. So, that's what I want for mother's day.

(Wooops. Late again.)

May 09, 2005

I am a mother

Mother's day feels like whiplash to me.

I perseverate about whether or not to reach out to my mother, who I've been estranged from (read finally erected big tall boundaries between) for three years. The story is too long to tell, and much of it is hers to tell, and so I won't tell it. You see, it's one I can't believe myself, which is why it took me 40 years to tell it to myself.

For now, our relationship has to be this way. Did I say we lived 3 miles apart? Yes we do. It is quite simple. I love her so much. I ran for my life. I'm allowed to do that. She loves me so much. There is more in that. And so I run still. Or maybe I've stopped. I'm trying to figure that out.

I have always been very responsible for my mother's feelings, especially her happy ones, especially since such a focus enables me to completely ignore what I'm feeling or how I'm hurting myself. You do that shit long enough, you get on your own nerves.

So instead of doing what I could never imagine myself not doing, this mother's day I went to a park with Jenna, one of my friends and her two children. I watched geese skim the pond while the children climbed and slid on the playground.

We met an old tiny dog with a bandana as big as he was--one of those teeny tiny dogs that could easily be killed by a single sneaker mis-step, so you wonder, how has he lived so long? He was cool. Jenna almost stole him. She told me she wants a small dog. She will keep it in her Cinderella tent. "Little dogs make little messes, Mom."

And that's when it hits me, it's halfway through the day, I'm half present and half grappling with my own grief over unsolvable problems, when I realize, "Hey, I'm a mother too," a fact that had nearly escaped me in my reverie over The Situation. It's okay to enjoy the sun and it's okay to eat a half of an Ultimate sub with jalapenos, and it's okay to let this one be mine, and it's okay to be alone, away, without, with.

That night, when George got home from work, we met the other couple, with our kids in tow, at the Japanese Steak House for a really happy dinner.

I was interrupted by the heavy thud only every hour or so reminding me of all that I've lost, all that I never had. Remiding me that I can't do anything--nothing--to change the parts of "what is" that I'd most like to change. Reminding me that what makes no sense cannot be suddenly made sensible.

But I am a mother too. And it matters.

If You Were A Hamster's Mother

You would spend day ten after the birth of your children -- a dozen or less, who now break out of the nest two or three at a time about every 5.5 seconds -- picking them up, one by one, and carrying them back inside the nest. In between, you'd grab a piece of dried corn or a few seeds. You would stuff them in your cheek and hope not to choke on them as you drag your still-blind babies back -- over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again.

THAT's what you would do if you were a hamster's mother.

May 08, 2005

It's not going to be the people podcasting...

It's going to be those you trust the most to send you what you want to hear--they will make the difference. In other words, the of podcasting. Set it to BoingBoing Podcasts and know that whatever has been integrated into that feed will make you pee your pants or sweat bullets on the way to work, home, or play.

Because you trust them to be funny and absurd and to serve you up the best of funny and absurd. There is a layer of interpretation that you don't have time to do. That's (make believe) boingboing podcasts job.

I don't want Jeneane, I don't want Adam Curry, I don't want George Burns and Gracie Allen. I want the best of all of them, and I don't need the worst of them, and bring me six more just like them.

Open Media THAT motherfuckers.


it has been a very long time since I posted this gem of a photo that I manipulated to depict the process flow within the blogosphere. I think it's time to revisit.
Originally uploaded by Jeneane.

Calling the MSM

This is Jenna, on the phone with the Times about the turnaround story of everyone's clamoring for: Coco, the infamous "bad mother" hamster, has been rehabbed from a baby eater into mother of the year.

It doesn't happen every day. "Spell that, J-E-N-N-A."

Happy Mother's Day, Baby

Coco (now Melanie) and Marshmallow (now Max)
Sitting in some shavings

Here is the lovely couple.

I believe you have all met the mother in question, Miss Coco Melanie:

Now I would like you to meet Mr. Stud Muffin himself, Mr. Marshmallow Max:

With looks like these, the kids have to be smokin'. AKA: you want one you know you do.

Having Your Babies.... or FREE HAMSTERS!

ALRIGHT--WE ARE HAPPY TO ANNOUNCE IN OUR THIRD TRIMESTER POST-BIRTH, the winners in the Technorati Open Legs Award Category for "Most Babies Eaten in a Single Litter Whose Parents Went On to Produce Real Live Babies!" (I think that means the dead babies win? Or the live ones? Or does it depend what the meaning of 'win' is?)

YES! WE WON! And it was a long road to the winner's circle. But as of today, many (shhh, it's a family secret) of the baby hamsters in litter #2 have survived!!!!

Our babymaking days can now thankfully cease. And with that, we introduce the new brood of Max and Melanie (formerly Marshmallow and CoCo) below:

Aren't they just so sweet!? I KNOW! You simply MUST have one!

Of Blogging

I liked you much better before I knew you.

The whole thing

My instincts are to just let this award hoopla pass, except that I can't because then the people I think should be considered won't have a voice into the Open Media awards/honors/whatever-they-get from .

As for the "Founding Fathers" misnomer, read blogHer to find out who said what. I think Dave Sifry's reply in comments, and his swift category name change to "Pioneers" represent a good way to handle these things. He didn't moan and groan and accuse the world of berating the American White Male. He fixed it. Nice. Whether or not this conversation will affect the grander blogosphere's consideration of women nominees remains to be seen.

Dave Rogers raised the most important questions (gender neutral!) in comments here:
First, what is the basis for believing that AlwaysOn and Technorati are entities that are worthy of bestowing "honor" on anything or anyone?

Second, what indicates a need for "a framework of this emerging industry?" What is the framework for? Who will use the framework and to what end?

Third, isn't the purpose of this list really to draw attention to Technorati and AlwaysOn? Don't those two entities have a need for attention that is greater than any "need" for a "framework of this emerging industry?"

Finally, where's all the transparency here? After all the nominations are submitted, who will decide? Are they really nominations, or votes? What is the process for final enumeration of the list?

I am hoping Technorati and Co. handle giving us answers to these process/methodology questions as elegantly as Dave did handling the Founding Fathers thang.

But the larger questions Dave raises are not unrelated to the discussion over at Shelley's place about blogrolls.


When did we all begin taking this place so seriously?

We need a sensibility transplant in the blogosphere.

And yet, here I am, debating whether or not to give my two cents as to nominees. Or to remain on the sideline.

I think I will list the people I'd like to see in these categories. However, I'm not kidding myself that listing them will mean anything in the long run. And I'm only listing in categories I understand. There sure are a lot of categories they forgot. In ABC Order, I submit:

Rebecca Blood
Christopher Locke/RageBoy
Shelley Powers
Dave Winer

Tool Smiths
Stewart Butterfield
Caterina Fake
Mena Trott
Ev Wiliams

Roxanne Cooper
Aaron Hawkins (posthumously)
Blog Sisters

George Kelley
Liza Sabater
Jason Toney
David Weinberger

The Joi Ito Category.
(Is there anyone else?)