December 31, 2006

i love you, Google Alerts.

Google. We're just so fucking smart.

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You are Catwoman

You have had a tough childhood,
you know how to be a thief and exploit others
but you stand up for society's cast-offs.

Click here to take the Superhero Personality Quiz

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December 30, 2006

Lemur Heads the Z-List

Because Kathy Sierra Tucson is actually an A-Lister posing on Seth's Squidoo z-list, I hearby disqualify her from the Z-List list, which in itself makes little to no sense, because if you make it to the top of the z-list, then you're not really z-list at all. You're maybe Y-List. And in the end, who the fuck cares.

As Frank says about this squidooey thing, Seth does his usual coopting of memes to create 'a thang' which he will later monetize. And I'm happy to see Frank and I and Anne Z challenging the Lemur for the lead.

HA! LEMUR! watch it there you rascal.

In truth, I am officially B List, which means I probably don't belong on the Z-List either, unless you assume there is simply one A list, and everyone else makes up the Z-List. Then I qualify. But Kathy Sierra definitely does not.

Join me in helping Lemur knock the A-Lister off the top, and while you're at it, boost the rest of us remnants up on a list that makes no sense, because once you rank the z-list..... well, I think we've ridden that pony already.

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nothing like an eviction before new years

my friend called yesterday to let me know that some friends of ours in her neighborhood were being evicted. As evictions go, this was one of those in-denial-little-warning kind, where the sheriff shows up with the eviction team and the family shakes and stammers while they try to figure out what to do as they watch their stuff pile up with a thump on their driveway one early afternoon in December.

It's not my business to know how it got so bad--been close enough to bad to know how it can sneak up on you even when you should have been able to see it coming with a blindfold on. Apparently the couple once owned the house, then it got bad, then they quick claimed it, then the new 'owner' sold it, and you know, sometimes bad goes from bad to worse until a twelve-year-old girl shows up on your porch and asks if you know any one with a truck.

We all helped out yesterday, massive box taping and packing--or shoving stuff haphazardly into cartons, more like--in the middle of a suburban driveway in the middle of a middle class++ neighborhood on the Friday before New Year's. The neighbors, their church friends, the eviction team. Everyone except the Sheriff, who I suppose isn't there to help but to enforce. He was there to make sure that the new stove the mom got for her birthday stayed with the house under protest, and the new fridge the couple bought to replace the one that wasn't working stayed with the house, over much insistence otherwise. Le's say: They fought the law and the law won.

What I noticed among the literal rubble was the importance of simple things in an emergency--like a few rolls of packing tape. Like a neighbor's saved boxes from their move-in six months ago. Like a case of bottled water.

The other amazing thing was how fast their church stepped in to help. I don't know the church they attend, but I mean, they mobilized fast, not just with helpers for packing and loading, but with keys to a house, with heat and water and beds and linens, that someone in the congregation was moving out of and selling. By nightfall, we were at that house, hanging the family's clothes in the closets, making a temporary home for five people without one.

Of course, there is always more to the story--like the denial that brings the bottom to us when we most need to hit it but don't want to, like the antidepressants that don't take away the need to feel better as we medicate by whatever means--even spending and hoarding--and like what happens when the walls fall in and we wonder how they got so weak to begin with, like how the middle in America is disintegrating. You could ponder it for hours.

But when someone's kid's Baptism dress is laying in a heap on the driveway in front of you, none of that matters. What matters is assembling collapsed boxes as fast as you can, trying to decide what to shove in them, taping them up and passing them toward the truck. What matters is the bottled water you grabbed on the way over to give to the guys loading the truck. What matters is the quick thinking that gets shelter for a family with no place to go. What matters is friends.

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December 28, 2006

peter piper picked a peck of posts - payperpost acquires performancing

i have been a vocal payperpost supporter, versus the blogerati who trash talk PPP as "payola" (please--you ought to be in the music business and see how payola really works--p.s., watch your knees). Although I haven't gotten into using PPP, I did sign up and do an experimental post and think it's a good idea and a solid tool.

I think the folks behind payperpost, and I don't know them, are smart. I think they're doubly smart today for acquiring performancing. Apparently they are not acquiring the blog editor part of performancing, nor the ad engine, but instead the analytics engine and classifieds exchange.

Now I would think acquiring the blog editor and ad tool would have made sense. But it probably would have been too costly. I don't know. I suspect the devil is where he usually is, in the details.

Neat development.

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Microsoft Is Asking the Mostly Male Bloggers Who Received Free Laptops (loaded with vista) from the PR Gurus at Edelmen GIVE THE LAPTOPS AWAY or send them back when they are done reviewing them.

and to that end, Gentlemen (and Barb), Give-Away Laptops Should Be Sent To:

Jeneane Sessum
4430 Wade Green Road
Suite 180
Kennesaw, Georgia 30144
(please give me a call so I know my pre-reviewed laptop is on the way!)

Think I'm kidding?

Marshall got this email, destined to be a classic in the PR-screwups-in-Blogaria saga. (BTW, in my opinion the giveaway wasn't a bad idea, but very poorly executed. Sending out the following email, however, was really-really stupid):


No good deed goes unpunished, right? You may have seen that other bloggers got review machines as well. Some of that coverage was not factual. As you write your review I just wanted to emphasize that this is a review pc. I strongly recommend you disclose that we sent you this machine for review, and I hope you give your honest opinions. Just to make sure there is no misunderstanding of our intentions I’m going to ask that you either give the pc away or send it back when you no longer need it for product reviews.

Thanks for your understanding, and happy reviewing,

Aaron ***

Oh, Edelman. You silly kids! Next time, won't you consult with the professionals at KHM first?

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If you're here looking for info on President Gerald Ford (who died for real this time)... have learned by now that I don't know anything worth your while. I just wrote a funny press release once. So, you might want to check out funeral information on the late President Ford here, or at CBS News, or at Newsday. Looks like the official mourning and funeral begins Saturday. I'll see you there.

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December 27, 2006

5. Have never used, and will never use, the term "arsy-varsy." -- TomM.

Tom got tagged. And Kia eats fish heads.

...and OMG Kia, but I also threw up all over my aunt-and-uncle's bathroom in 1970. It was after we came back from the Kodak Theater matinee movie one Sunday, where I had gone with my aunt who worked at Kodak and could get us in to free movies on the weekends, and I had eaten Milk Duds at the show, and simultaneously I must have come down with the stomach flu, because I was feeling really queasy when we got back to my aunt's house where I was supposed to spend the night, and this particular Italian couple's remedy for my stomach upset was to have me smell a bowl of minced garlic, after which I barely made it to the upstairs bathroom in time to vomit and have diarrhea all over their shag carpet and commode cover.

a damn small world, I'd say.

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top google searches for my blog today

gerald ford dies
free hamsters

you do the math.

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santa didn't bring any linden dollars. :-(

Do you know that as much as I love my tie-dye t-shirt in second life, if I had some extra linden loot in my stocking, I would have spent it on some of this stuff (body ink most likely)...

Yeah, I know; I ain't right. ;-)

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Gerald Ford Dies, For Real This Time

In 2004 I wrote a press release on Gerald Ford's death that was sort of--errrr--a shot at humor, not completely at Gerald Ford's expense. Since then I've gotten visits daily from folks wondering if Gerald Ford was still alive; in fact thousands have come upon my parody press release searching Gerald Ford Dies. Mostly because I'm the fourth hit on that phrase on Google.

Well, may Gerald Ford rest in peace, because he has now officially died, and I can only wonder what people searching for information about his death think when they read my old release from June of 04.

90-Year-Old Gerald Ford Dies - Nation Says, Tough Doo Doo.


WASHINGTON, D.C., June 13, 2004 -- Gerald Ford, 38th President of the United States, died late Sunday evening at the age of 90 from natural causes. Sources say wife Betty was at President Ford's bedside at the couple's home in Ann Arbor, Mich., when he died, shortly before 11 p.m.

Sources close to the family say that the President, who served from 1974 to 1977, had been recuperating from pneumonia and had insisted on attending President Reagan's memorial services last week with the other living American Presidents. Speculation has arisen that attending the Reagan memorial events may have been too much for the ailing President.

"Now what the hell are we supposed to do?" asked one White House source, referencing the recently-completed period of national mourning for President Reagan. "We just closed the banks, the libraries, shut down the whole government -- people aren't even back to work yet! Are we supposed to do this whole shebang again? What timing. We're at WAR you know."

Customers at Tom's delicatessen in Washington had mixed reactions when told of the news.

"Well, I think if they just get him in the ground quick, we'll remember them both at the same time, and since they're both republicans, that seems pretty fair," suggested Ted Nielsen from nearby Herndon, V.A. "No sense closing down the country one more day for another dead President. Besides, he was clumsy and he didn't look as good as Ronnie. He couldn't act for shit either."

Margie Wilson sees it differently. "CNN's been war-war-war since 9/11," she said. "Me? I like to break up the monotony of war with a good two-week memorial fest, topped off with a romantic hillside burial service. It's the least we can do to honor our dead presidents. And those who've died in the war. And, well, everyone else who's dead too. For goodness sakes, our dead are national heroes. Really, who knows better than the dead what our country needs right now?"

The passing of Presidents Ford and Reagan raises the issue of the aging crop of Presidents: President Carter turns 80 this year, while President George Bush Sr. marked his 80th birthday today by skydiving in front of thousands of onlookers at Texas A&M University. It appears only President Clinton will escape a funeral within the next five to ten years.

"I was sorry to hear about Gerry," President Clinton said. "And Ronnie," President Clinton said again. "And the thing that really blew me away was that Ray Charles died, and you didn't hear jack about that. You know? Here you have dead Presidents, and, now don't get me wrong, I was a President, but you see we're representatives of the people, and we are paid as public servants to do our jobs. And we have done our jobs. President Reagan did his job. President Ford did his job. And I did my job. But NOT ONE of us could blow like Ray Charles. Not one of us had the soul, the hot ache from the pit of the gut like Ray did. Shit. Awe, shit. Ray's the one I'll miss the most."


ok. the net truly is wonderous.

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December 22, 2006

shark jumping 101

i think the time magazine "YOU" thing is stupid. i don't like those change-out images which feel pretty stereotypical (give the asian dude the keyboard, right, stick a mic in the brother's face), and since when does you = web 2.0 because a lot of YOUs aren't us, and everyone probably wrote about this already, but it's all news to me. did everyone love it or hate it? i think it's stupid. okay then.

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My how time flies!

Can it really be 9 days 'til dave winer stops blogging?

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roundtable with myself

Jenna's doing well. Her scabs are almost off, the final step in the post-surgery healing process for the tonsillectomy. The voice has a ways to go before it sounds like our girl again--(thanks to the adenoidectomy and sinus procedure)--how cute that it's gone up a few steps, but can I have our Jenna back? Minnie Mouse doesn't suit her so well. And the drainage issue is still, well, wow. But she's breathing better and bopping around, so THANK YOU for the prayers and good karma. It is working. We are bathing in it. Trust me.

And let me tell you, we were bathing a plenty as George and I recovered from the plague we picked up at the hospital. I haven't felt that helplessly sick since my own surgery 9 years prior, and it took me back -- the whole experience did -- tumbling back in time, past all of the traumatic speed bumps of the last decade and more.

Weee! Racing through the snow, in a one-hearse open sleigh, o're the landmines we go, puking all the way, ho ho ho...

What I should have known, and will you please remind me next time, you know there will be a next time, friends, is that I must remember to keep hold of the coping mechanisms I've worked so hard to keep on hand in my Mental Health Emergency Kit. Because all of that is gone as soon as I enter the doorway to panic. By the third second of terror, I don't even know my name, and I'd fly from the sound of it if I heard it, as every slice of solid ground slips away: so immediately I am swallowed. Eaten whole by the churning, burning eternity of agony that slows every second into seven lifetimes.

The problem with panic is that you can't see out the other side. Four walls without windows, it is always right now, and right now is always.

It Wrecks Me.

It's like that.

But in the end, I came out the other side, mostly rebuilt by physically mending and getting well, a process that took some good antibiotics and time, and tears and talk, and doubting and waiting, and believing again.

PLUS some warm thoughts from some good friends in the land of the blogs.

Thank you, all.

p.s. j. brotherlove--Should we start calling you uncle brotherlove now or later?

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Tish Digs In

Is something rotten in the state of blogmark? Uh, mebbe so. Tish Grier has uncovered some potentially not-so-funny business going on with a company selling bloggers' URLs for profit. Things that make you go, WTF?'s bad enough that our mailing addys are sent to whomever will pay for them. And it's so bad for our teleophone numbers that we had to start a National Do Not Call list.

But *selling* our URLs??

Okay, maybe it's only going to be the URLs of "influential" bloggers, and the rest of us schmoes are out in the cold...

but still...Umbria is selling our urls! not their service! Which means we may be dealing with more spam than we already get.

IMHO, this is NOT how social media works and could ultimately black-eye a company that misuses Umbria's info. It could also open the door to other kinds of rip-off,splog-related efforts.

I would love to know if anyone knows more about this--and thanks to Tish for the scoop.

p.s., I'll sell you Tish's URL for $4,999.

p.p.s. Tish, shhhh--we'll split the profit.

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GoJuice: Ken Camp Jams on Alec Saunders New Presence

I enjoyed reading Ken Camp's thoughtful take on Alec Saunders' post about the "New Presence."

In his post, Alec ponders important points on the intersection of mobility and presence, reflecting on who we are becoming around what mobile devices, who we are when we are here and there (or no place in particular) with attached devices that connect us to other devices, systems and humans, when we want them to and when we don't, and all of that stuff.

"The intersection of presence and mobility is where the subtle politesse of telephone etiquette breaks.   Today’s presence metaphor, tied as it is to the device, is fundamentally broken in a mobile context.  What does it mean to be present when mobile?  My phone is on, and it’s not in use.  Am I available?  Maybe, and maybe not.  Where am I? Is the topic of the call suitable for discussion in a public place?  How about on an airline?"

As we bounce around social networks, collaborative spaces, and various message platforms online, we simultaneously bound across geographies, roles, and tasks offline; we have become mobile-squared, more dispersed and dis-integrated as our legacy systems once were. How the telecommunications industry and innovators deal with the scattered us is for experts like these folks.

What interests me is the future of online communication platforms that can keep me "whole" and allow me to dissociate identity-wise as I traverse the net, the same way that wireless networks and devices can keep me connected as I move about in the physical world today.

Part of the reason I've been posting less here, beyond the tugs and turbulents of family responsibilities, is that I've been writing and posting more within other roles I'm exploring in what I (sort of) joke is my "Third Life" experience. This is living across online social spaces through connected stories and dramas in tandem with others doing the same -- for example with Kat and Jeremy of Kat Herding Media (KHM), and their most recent practice of Clientology(TM).

My mobility goes to the very core of who I am, and then some. I want to play with who I am in the in-between spaces online and off. My identity is mobile. Nothing human is fixed; only devices on hips are.

Ken Camp is grappling with these concepts and more when he considers how we should parse the ideas of presence and mobility, deciding that we should call it nothing or at least call it something completely different... the Absence of Presence, as he describes here:

The problem isn't with the concept. The concept is sound. The problem is with the words. I suggest we abandon them all and start fresh. There's no benefit in continuing on a path that hasn't been thoroughly evangelized, isn't filled with latent demand to fuel a revenue stream, and has an 800 pound gorilla obfuscating the situation.

"I'm sort of inside the industry, and I definitely want to get my mojo on with presence, availability, relevance and context philosophically.  But I wouldn't take a job as a marketing manager promoting it. And I sure wouldn't take a job as a sales manager making quota from it. It's not an enterprise initiative, and not likely to be one any time soon.

"Call it mojo. Call it karma. Call it my Web 2.0 Aura if you like. My fear is that until a spin doctor steps in a really steps it up a notch, we'll continue to flail around the absence of presence."

I don't have enough depth to have an opinion on what to call the ideas these folks are knocking around, but I think you should take some time to read Alec and Ken, and see if they don't help get your GoJuice on.

Now I have some new presents to wrap. ;-)

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December 21, 2006

We're ok. Jenna's mending. George and I got an infection from hospital, got so sick, got meds, got better. Thank you.

so a lot of what i've been sitting with around this being sick and not feeling able to take care of myself or my kid, coupled with feeling like i was gonna die, you know it all goes back to that abandonment depression thing, of course, doesn't everything? yes.

but i am -- between panic and sadness and confusion -- at least this time aware intermittently of what the feeling feels like (that is when it doesn't feel like my imagined seconds before death)...

...clarified for me as I called a couple friends who were not there or busy -- to find someone to just help me (do what i don't know, make sure i didn't die and take care of jenna for me with george dragging his sick self through 5 performances....)

someone to promise me it would be ok who i could believe, and aside from the UNRELENTING pull of wanting my mother and knowing that wasn't going to happen, not because she isn't "there" but because i can't let her be "here" right in here, and how will it be for me when i'm old, and all of that...

and what if and what when and what if and what when...

...that bright, shining serrated edge that kept glistening was a single word: helpless.


what am i doing: knowing i would wreck the world to make it ok for my kid.... to give her the tools to not feel this way -- i don't feel like i have them. not today. even after ALL of this LONG process, i still hit that space  -- whether it's live or memorex --  that's precisely helpless,,,,,,,,,,

                no one, no where: help me?

never we never forget the way there; the trips are less frequent but the gps is always on....

              where does the world go in that racing paralysis: the memory of before and hope of what's next dissolving.

.... how do i ever know it's ever going to ever end ever?

...that and then the whiplash: jenna coming out of anesthesia and her moaning - 'are they gone? is it over? is it done? are my tonsils gone?' and tears down her cheeks when i say yes honey, they're gone it's ok its all done,' and sleeping and waking and asking with the same mix of emotions, mommy, daddy, are they gone, is it over i don't get it?

...I don't know how to process it.

echoes come in layers, and I'm coming out of anesthesia when i almost bled to death and all of that mess is


and then all of my father's dying and death and sickness is like coming home. the cool white cotton sheets -- she took such good care of me

i still don't get ANY of it or how to make it better for me or my husband or my child or my family, or how to make it stop or how to make it start, and i already know i can't, and that's where this show began.

i guess i'm back.

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December 19, 2006

this is not my beautiful house

i've been grappling with real-world stuff that's had me using the web more for research than for writing. like the old old days before i blogged, when finding stuff and finding stuff out was what made my brain zing. then blogging came, then writing to the web, then sharing ourselves, then NOT sharing ourselves, and here we are.

boring boring boring--we're a mass of boring twittering webbugs who care more about what's being said about whom than all of the whos we are.


i'll get over it. probably.


that's all.

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December 08, 2006

Globe for Darfur

December 10th is Human Right's Day. We can't do much, but there are some things we can do.

People around the world will be join together to denounce the use of rape and sexual violence as a weapon of war in Darfur and to show solidarity with the women and girls of Darfur.

Get Informed

Read and Support POTP

Sign a petition

Find an event near you

Use tools to send letters or start a meeting where you live.

More things you can do

What I'm Not Writing About

What I'm not writing about is everything that matters to me.

I'm not writing about how sick Jenna has been, and how it's down to the wire as to whether or not she'll have her T&A (tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy) on Tuesday, how the first antibiotic didn't work, and how this one is working, but her asthma's kicked up, and it's been nebulizer treatments and pills, and trying to get her to school because if you miss 15 days (we're just about there--whoopie!) they have this great rule where they send social services to your house to chat you up, I guess to make sure you're not holding your kid hostage in the closet--OH WAIT NO, they miss all of those cases because they're checking up on the asthmatic strep-infected kids who really need schools to give a crap about the air quality in the buildings and maybe not put them in pre-flooded basements with no windows so they have a fighting chance.

I'm not writing about how she's gotten all As in spite of this health stuff, and how that makes me cry, and how weak I feel when she can't do the things she likes to do.

I'm not writing about the trips to Walgreens and another $500 in maintenance medicines this month, and I should write about the three baskets she made in her game last Saturday even though she had to sit out every 20 minutes for a toke on her puffer waiting to stop coughing.

I'm not writing about how behind I am at blogging about business and communications over at BlogHer.

I'm not writing about Jenna waking up today vomiting--the latest virus I'm assuming for now--and holding the throw-up bowl. I'm not writing about the 4:00 appointment I have today for her chest x-ray to be sure there's no pneumonia or else surgery's off.

I'm not writing how short it makes me as a mother, all of this sickness, and how useless I feel at my inability to fix anything, and how yelling at her out of frustration makes me hate myself.

I'm not writing about the $624 insurance premium we have to come up with each month--and how that only covers six sick visits (no well visits) each year, which Jenna breezed through in the first half of last year, and how we're into the $2,000 deductible now, with everything out of pocket until we give them $2,000 (plus the $624/month premium), and then, best of all, we get to pay 30 percent of all the other costs since BCBS oh-so-generously covers 70 percent.

I'm not writing about wondering how much the chest x-ray today will cost, and I'm trying not to even think about money because people with sick loved ones shouldn't have to think about money over care, so I don't think it and I don't write it.

I'm not writing about all of this because I make part of my living in this space now, and that means I have to be at the top of my game.

How can she be at the top of her game with a sick kid--that is how Business thinks and business is right. Business is right that I am not at the top of my game--I don't have 17 hours to work every day, only 11. I don't have time to blog and do the work, I only have time to work. I don't have time for community, only for strategy.

I have no doubt I can help you achieve your goals even with a sick kid and a coughing fit of my own. But don't expect me to have a personality, or a deadline might slip. The blogging world isn't about me or you anymore--at least not for tech sharpshooters, nomads and writers. It's about looking sharp and being sharp and talking sharp and thinking sharp. It's about showing what you've got and about NOT stopping showing it.

Out here, among the blogs, where there are no throw-up bowls to hold, I'm not feeling sharp. In fact, I'm feeling very, very dull.

That's what I'm not writing about.

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December 06, 2006

no no.

hoping they're wrong and the body found thought to be James Kim is actually him, breathing and ok.

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Twitter for the Rest of Us

I enjoy twittering. I really do. I think the people I follow are swell. I really do. I'm already sick of hearing my own mediocrity, though. Trying to make meaning of life in snippets when so many are living non-fiction horror stories every instant of every day. How do we capture more than the surface in a ubiquitous IM setting where dozens of lines of chatter are crossing continuously. And if we don't try to capture more, are we cheapening how we relate to each other? I dunno. Just thinking. Of other twitters. Outside of the Valley.

deciding whether to bounce a check for groceries or medicines.

pawning grandmother's jewelry

feeding the kids Motrin for breakfast so their fever won't show up at daycare until I get off work.

scanning for the softest impact spot in case my bad brakes fail.

rent or food? rent or food?

walking the back roads. not for exercise.

taking back birthday presents.

turning the heat down to 62. happy to have heat.

diabetes. self insured. panicked.

looking for enough money to get the gas to get to work.

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December 05, 2006


...the most relevant-to-blogging thing I've run into in, say, 5 years?

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November 30, 2006

so fast so fast

they grow before we know.
Originally uploaded by thtstudios.


You are amazing, your parents are amazing, and your dog.... why... simply adorable. Happy THIRTEEN Pippa!!
October 15, 2006 -- After
Originally uploaded by AKMA.

November 29, 2006

TypePad Posting and Ad Insertions just got breezey eeeasy with Qumana

Good news from the blog over at Qumana, sponsors of my past travel to SXSW and nearly BlogHer, and all-around smart, good people. The Qumana blog editor and Q-Ads tool are now offered to typepad bloggers, who will dig the easy tagging, posting, editing, offline-composition, and ad insertion capabilities. Have fun TPers!

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Recognize anyone on stylefeeder's featured faces? (hint--not my mug.)
What pizzazz! What taste! What Style?

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Presto, More than a comment....

Ronnie Bennett gave such good feedback on the Presto product/service, that I thought I'd post it here so that -- in case anyone involved with presto searches, they might find it and take some of her advice...

Take it away, Ronnie:

Oh, dear. There are so many things wrong with this it's hard to know where to begin.

In no particular order:

THE PRICE: $150? What kind of inflated ripoff is this. I have an HP printer/scanner/copier that cost just $89. And we all know how much those HP ink cartridges cost, the ones that seem to have less and less ink each time you buy them.

And $10/month just to receive? Full dialup connections can be had for that price. And they haven't even mentioned the cost of the paper.

OPERATION: Computers and their offspring are supposed to simplify our lives, not complicate them. How long will it be before this service becomes a pain in the butt to son or daughter with constant phone calls from mom or dad to please add another email to the approved list. (Elders don't stop making new friends just because they're old.)

Add to that, that friends will change their addresses and inevitably, email addresses will get screwed up from being passed on verbally, ending in arguments while mom and dad wait impatiently for their kid to update the list. It's too cumbersome.

ATTITUDE: Throughout the Presto site there is a subtle but definite assumption that mom and dad are too dumb to use a computer, but I'll spare you Crabby Old Lady's rant on that.

HOWEVER: It is true that some elders will never learn to use a computer because they are 1. not interested, 2. stubborn, or 3. not capable.

Still, we all know what a pain it has become to communicate with friends and relatives who don't use email, and printing and snailmailing grandkid photos seems, these days, to be more work than necessary now that we're accustomed to email, Flickr, etc.

SO THIS GIVES ME AN IDEA: (Some more tech-savvy sorts than I am can tell us if it is viable):

What if HP built this with a keyboard and small screen? Just that, no other computer capability.

Then, turn the service into a limited
dialup connection for email only. No need for computer-phobic people to learn all the ins and outs of computing and the internet, but the communication could then be two-way and eliminate the need for son or daughter to constantly update for mom and dad.

It could include a simple form for adding email addresses, but that's it. None of other even basic bells and whistles of email clients like Outlook, Thunderbird, etc. except choosing email addresses to write to. Just simple two-way email.

A huge added value in doing it this way would be that computer-phobic elders would become accustomed, over time and probably quickly, to using email. They would come to see how simple it is, enjoy the fast communication and it would ease more of them into computer use. Think of it as computer training wheels - one step at a time into full computer use.

BOTTOM LINE: For a few people, this is a solution. But overall, too expensive and not forward-thinking enough.

PS: The Presto website breaks more than one rule of elder usability.

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November 28, 2006

Presto! Grandma Receives Tommy Lee's Penis via Email without a Computer!

Web 0.5 is here. Mike has the details.

Apparently, with this HP printputer and a service called Presto, helpful loved ones can set up the (probably older) people in their lives who don't own a computer to receive email as hard copy.

My first reaction was Mike's: EEEKS! Penis Spam!  But Mike says you have to accept friends (using... uh... a computer) before anyone can send mail to your email address. But that means you need someone else managing your friends, which is probably no big deal, except that it's another roadblock between the recipient and the communication. And it requires...uh... a computer.

But for people who are reticent to use computers themselves, or use them now but are sick of--or maybe they've been bilked by--ruthless creeps and their dicks--Presto's an option, and it's faster than snail mail.

Never mind spammers. Keeping salivating marketers from crawling directly out of the printer cartridge into grandma's waiting lap is going to be a lot harder to do.

The $10 per month for the service is probably a little more than most folks spend on stamps, but not much.

I predict good success.

I want to know what Ronni Bennett and Elaine think.

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the stories on techmeme lately are really boring.

could someone fire someone? or leave a job? or call someone out? With pictures, preferably?  Maybe I'm just missing the old valleywag.

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Don't Wait til Christmas

J. Brotherlove gives his 27 things. Maybe if enough of us overlap on some of the items, we can work together to get $mmm in financing and make them happen -- or sit at home and eat popcorn and watch VH1 since we'll have $mmm.

(oh wait, that's what i'm doing and i don't have $mmm.)

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November 27, 2006

Confession: I'm hooked on Breaking Bonaduce.

"You don't have a show if I don't crash."
--Danny Bonaduce

What can I say. I don't watch TV but I can't stop watching Breaking Bonaduce. Of course, I'm a year late to the show. From last season, Slate looks at the two schools of thought on the appeal of the VH1 reality series, which follows a not-so-ordinary but not-so-unordinary celebrity (or at least notorious) family through the land of addiction and trauma.

Some critics hold that the show unforgivably cheapens the real-life traumas of addiction and domestic violence (though Bonaduce never, to our knowledge, hits his wife, he torments and bullies her incessantly). Other viewers, including many in the show's growing cult of fans, claim that the show has gone beyond exploitation to become a raw and moving documentary of one family's collapse. I started out in the former category, and now, six episodes in, have migrated uneasily over to the latter. If there's a more dramatically compelling show than Breaking Bonaduce currently on television, I don't want to know about it. No, seriously, I don't. Watching this one—much less liking it as much as I do—feels morally compromising enough.

You want to root or Bonaduce. At least I do. Been through the darkness. Familiar with the endlessness of feeling so bad. I can't help but hope he makes it through the landmines his father left for him.
In addition to being a recovering alcoholic and former crack addict who once lived in his car behind Mann's Chinese Theater in Hollywood, he admits to being addicted to sex, exercise, and steroids (in Episode 2, we see him shoot up some 'roids before heading to the gym to pump iron). His impulse control is near nil, and his judgment is terrible; in last week's episode, he freely admitted he was too drunk to drive before getting behind the wheel anyway, telling his producers, "You don't have a show if I don't crash." (In the end, the cameras were turned off while the producers wrested the keys away.)

And yet he tries. As hard and haggard as his face is, as insane as his antics seem, as manic as his smile is, it's his eyes that get me. Eyes looking fiercely for the love he never got. Looking, stop looking. Looking, stop looking.

I tell ya, I got some tears invested in this one. What can I say.

[Hey, if you need a t-shirt or want a book, I see they have a website. Imagine wearing one of those to the next bloggercon. ;-)]

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Best in ALL THINGS to Marshall -- and Anne Zelenka!

A pro, a nice guy, a blast to have come to know. He's leaving TechCrunch to do other cool things. Marshall, go now and twitter - 'twiddling thumbs.... not.'

Seriously, Marshall leaves with a bang up post on how to do feed reading "without breaking a sweat." Now when he figures out how to feed read AND break a sweat ON A BUDGET, I will pay hard cold cash. (And don't send me the link to that new techy tread mill. I can't afford it).


OOOh, more good news on the job front from Anne Zelenka, via Shelley. Yeowsa! Awesome, Anne!

When I'm gonna get a gig? ;-)

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going on about twitter

I'm going to go on some more about what I think is good about twitter, beyond my prediction that Ev will get double-bought by Google, therein being re-employed for a couple more years at Google, after which -- and I'm speaking from personal experience here -- it would be a wise idea for everyone to unass the platform because Google will digest it and it won't taste good anymore.


But I digress.

What's not great about twitter is obvious -- no pun intended -- and welcome. It's the usual "huh's?" of nearly-live product enhancement. Like a few of us not being able to figure out how to do stuff that should be doable--but hey that's what 'direct messages' are for. Like can it scale and still be meaningful to me? How? Like what about spam? Like the culture of following and friending is not as intuitive as it might be. Like the ego-parade nature of twitter transmissions, more chicklet than conversation--how do I engage my friends?

But leave it to the guy who gave us a place to go last time we were bored online to come up with a new place to go when we're bored online, a place where our bored friends can go too. A place that doesn't demand the commitment of a post or a link--twitter: the one-night-stand of online conversation.

Can twitter be the bridge between social spaces? Maybe.

There's not only room for twitter, there's a need--especially in the current low-attention-span culture of the net, where blogging has become part of the 'job' for may of us and we're looking for new escapes that we can do on the sly (i.e., not second life). Twitter's where we can go to fuck off. The enterprise isn't there yet. The first white paper on "Corporations and Twitter: Maxi Results from Mini-Buzz" has yet to be written.

Thank you, queue the chorus.

Funny thing though--the insta-brainpower sitting idle (at least from the corporation's perspective) on twitter is oh so seductive. Change the question from "what are you doing right now" to "what should we be doing for you right now," and you've got insta-opinion (though count on some of it to be brazen and funny and deservedly mocking of the organization).

I'm not saying that businesses should crash the twitter talk.

I'm saying businesses will start asking HOW they can crash the twitter talk. And so we should tell them so they don't come screw it up. A few ideas:

See what Smith Mag did on twitter with the six-word memoir contest. A case study in good taste. Unobtrusively offer opportunities for twitterers to be creative, and reward them for that creativity. Nice.

Get a funny bone.

Make it possible for us to create more, do more, be more. Don't be afraid to create other zones and activities for twitterers to do (online and in real space). There's the open API, after all. ;-)

You could leave us alone and ask to thank you for doing so.

Ah, it's all new, so we'll figure out more as we go.

Right now I'm trying to figure out how to write my book on twitter.

Don't steal my idea.

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November 26, 2006

It's a Monkey is NOT Lindsay Lohan

...but she does get hit in the ass a lot.

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27 things i want right now.

new laptop
stop hurting
a magic wand
$1000 amazon spending spree
protected forests
Sudan safe
cordless skype phone
cordless battery for laptop
more baskets and bins
less dust
50 less pounds
a food saver or rival seal-a-meal
to stop bleeding
a solution
my 800 LPs on CD instantly
to write a book
Bills in the superbowl
the new season of Flavo-FLAV
guitar lessons
clean hamster cages

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The Cultural Creatives

...If you're not one, you're not changing the world!!!!

I'm being sarcastic.

Can you tell?

The Cultural Creatives: Coming to a Web (2.0) Near You...

Person-Centered: This dimension is largely unchanged from variables that originally created the Cultural Creatives classification. It is not especially New Age, but rather a mainstream concern for relationships, altruism and idealism, plus a concern for personal development over the whole adult lifecycle that includes both psychology and spirituality.

You will know them by their love of The Earth. By their Spiritual Auras. You will know them by their links. You will know them because you're not in the club.

(Watch for them--they suck you off while you sleep, and when you wake up your genitals are gone.)

sweet dreams,

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November 25, 2006

I agree with Dave!

I would take 10 Docs 200 days a year too.

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JP, Euan, and Stowe did it.

Martin Luther King
Martin Luther King
Martin Luther King
Martin Luther King
Martin Luther King
Martin Luther King
Martin Luther King
Martin Luther King
Martin Luther King

thank you, Euan, JP and Stowe.

and thank you to Doug Alder for fixing my links!

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Twitter: Ubiquitous IM? Social Network Bridge? Best Web App Since Blogger? Smart Mob Enabler? Nuisance?

All of the above.

With Twitter, I think Ev may become the first person to get bought twice by Google. The way I see it, Twitter is the reason Ev bought back Odeo, Inc.

The Recipe (variations based on taste): Buy Odeo, Inc. back for $2 million; rebrand; take your least-understood product and take it to market hard; aggregate the curious and their friends from across web-based social networks; get them co-communicating on a realtime platform via the web, IM, and cell phone/SMS; acquire a couple of companies or organically build in powerful local/regional/commerce capabilities; and let users make rev off of ads too 'cause that makes for more users; create the power of completely engaged smart mobs; improve offering; get amazing press; add a pinch of cumin and get acquired by Google.

maybe twitter will let you group friends soon.

maybe I'll create an Atlanta twitter group.

maybe I'll twitter: "At Big Lots where the Bratz Sushi Bar is on sale for $15--there are three parking places up close."

maybe it's tags, not groups.

maybe one tag is atlanta, another is geeks, another is work--i self-organize my twitter network.

maybe i get paid to twitter.

maybe a sponsor wants me to twitter a road trip.

maybe I make a new friend.

maybe jenna twitters while she's out.

maybe the web isn't the only place we publish.

I'm having fun.

Dave doesn't see the point in the praise.

(Of course, Dave has yet to be acquired by Google, although December's right around the corner and doesn't that mean his blog-retirement party ought to be in the works?)

Do I have any idea if there is even one spermatozoa of merit in the speculation on Ev getting double-acquired? Hell, no. I don't have a clue. Maybe Ev grows twitter and odeo and decides to stay put as Obvious. Maybe twitter gets incorporated into an even bigger idea. Or maybe it becomes profitable within a six months. Then maybe Google offers $25 million--or $100 million. Then maybe Ev says yes, ok.

And that's when Ev makes double history and Dave gets it.

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November 23, 2006

Best Non-Profit PSA Placement Ever: and the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

UPDATE 2: Join the discussion at

Feasts, floats, sponge bob's the biggest square float ever, hannah montana, marching bands, confetti, macy's, mittens, sesame street, build-a-bear, cheers, chrysler building, big apple -- thanksgiving day images parade across the tv screen.

Commercial break: BAM!

Then: The Save Darfur PSA, Voices from Darfur, where people on the street tell the juxtaposing story in the words of sufferers in the horrific genocide in Darfur, made all the more powerful against the backdrop of the NYC celebration.

I wish I could find the specific PSA on youtube, but I haven't been able to. If anyone tivo-ed the parade and puts up the segway from parade into the Darfur spot, pls let me know if you put it on youtube.

There is no way those stories will leave my heart today.

UPDATE: The video of the ad campaign JUST went live on the Save Darfur site.

And on YouTube:

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November 19, 2006

Hey Yoono, Cingular just called...

...they want their logo back.

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Vaspers Just Touched His Inner Blogger

And he owes it all to Kat:

I am not and will not be compensated, paid, stroked, flattered, nor will I be given "favors", "special treatment", product discounts, consulting fee waivers, or otherwise incentivized for making this, or any future, announcements or endorsements for Kat Herding, who happens to be, beyond any debate: The World's Most Perfect Blogger.

Kat, who is both beauty and brains rolled up in one energetic package, has taught me, just by reading a few of her astonishing posts, how to Be the Blogger I Was Meant To Be. She, with gentle prodding of "teach by example" karate, has helped me get in touch with my Inner Blogger, who is eternal and perfect, like her.

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third life - social drama

he's watching her watch him while they watch her.

November 17, 2006

You've got a friend... (and maybe more)

OMG OMG OMG - KAT!!! Whoa.

Jeremy Outerbridge's Facebook profile

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New Social Marketing and PR Shop - Kat Herding Media - Makes Its Debut

Already advising global clients like Wal-Wart and others, and with a penchant for the sizzzzzle of web 2.0, Kat Herding Media is Busting the industry Wide Open.

Putting the Kat in Kat Herding, Chris Locke has more on KHM over on


Marshall Kirkpatrick of TechCrunch: "I'm scared."

Jonathan Peterson of WayNu: "Such shallowness takes talent."

Robert Scoble: "Fun. But is she real?"

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November 16, 2006

Thank Yourself for Not Smoking Even If You Still Want To.

Mike Rodriquez has a moving post today about quitting smoking, not quitting smoking, death, and not dying. At the end is a pretty heavy video. I try to tell my friends who do a lot of unhealthy things to themselves--as I have done and do--that it isn't the dying that worries me; it's the being sick and stuck in a hospital. That shit scares me silly.

After being hospitalized that time with my womanly problems for 10 days, I have to do what I can to NOT go back anytime soon. So, I gotta try harder. We all gotta try harder to be well. And that's why I'm still managing not to smoke even though I want to so very very much.

Congrats to Mike who's still smoke free after lots of quits, just like me. I started at 12, quit at 14, started at 18, quit at 25 started at 27, quit at 30, started at 34, quit at 35, started at 36, quit at 42.

Keep giving up what you've given up that you know's bad for ya--kay? wwwoooorrrrdddd.

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November 14, 2006

growing up girl

The thing is, I'm basically a homebody who would rather sit--or lie--in front of my laptop doing what I love to do making pixel-words on the screen, or maybe taking a drive to the store with Jenna, going to a movie, or going watch George play. The point is, I opt to do pretty much anything in place of that painful physical stuff better known as exercise.

I love going to the Y to swim. I love it more once I'm there. Other than that, though, I'll skip if given half the chance.

Except when you put a ball in front of me.

Doesn't matter if it's a football, kickball, soccer ball, or volleyball -- if there's a ball and someone who wants to beat me by doing something with that ball that I'm supposed to prevent, then I. Am. On. The. Case.

(You notice I didn't include golf. Golf doesn't count. I do mano a mano.)

Blame my brother for my obnoxiously competitive spirit. Seven years older than me in a home without a dad, he was my sports mentor. Or maybe the point is, I was his only teammate, and although it happened that I was a girl, that could not change anything about the game at hand--especially the game of football. If I got the wind knocked out of me, he added  padding. If my nose bled too often, he'd put a helmet on my head. He taught me the plays of the day, drawing them on his palm--and if I didn't understand, drawing them on mine--like a fortune teller. I knew them all--from the statue of liberty play to the flea flicker, to the Hail Mary.

He had no qualms about sending this girl to do a man's job. And I did it. And if it hurt too bad, I asked him to stuff some pillows up my shirt so it would hurt less. And he would.

Getting back to that physical sacrifice is crucial for me.

It's a going home of sorts, a way of thanking my brother for playing with me, for suffering my gender on the field, for knocking me into the boards at the hockey rink just the same, for believing in me enough to sail a spiral into my waiting hands.

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excuse my while i scream in pain

I actually did it. I played 3 games of co-ed volleyball tonight--a total of nearly 2 hours of getting blasted by the big boys over a stinking regulation-size net, in games that actually had RULES (like you have to set the serve--wha?) and very little pity on the new girls. Three women, 10 men. Much aggression.

Oh. My. Aching. Everything.

But I hung. This out-of-shape, non-smoking, non-diving, good-digging, fine-setting, non-spiking, high-fiving lady actually hung. I made every serve. I aced two. Sure I screwed up probably half of the plays I was in on, but I'm prouder of the half I unexpectedly made. Come on stella, you can get that groove back.

Four ibuprofen, jenna asleep, George at a cast party for the 1940s Radio Hour, which he's in through December, and ME IN A HOT SHOWER NOW!!!

In case anyone is wondering, getting in touch with your own flesh is a painful process.

        Next Year: Mud.

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Fo' Shizzle My Amandizzle

Vlogging pioneer Amanda Congdon makes a biiiiig announcement today -- see her talk about it here. Here's my rundown:

Amanda will become the first video blogger for ABC News.

Amanda will appear on ABC News Now as an Internet Correspondent -- popping up on Good Morning America and such.

Amanda's developing at TV show for HBO -- both for the web and TV and the space in between.

Amanda will keep blogging at

Hmmm. I wonder if she'll make techmeme, being that she's missing a penis and stuff.

Alright on you, Amanda!

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November 13, 2006

the alders...

in a winter wonderland...

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Mary Clarifies What Dabble Is and Is Not

Mary Hodder would like you to know that Dabble is not a host--Dabble is video search, and they're doing just fine:

While I absolutely love Flickr, Dabble is *not like* an image hosting site. Just to be absolutely clear, Flickr, Odeo and Podshow either *host* or *make* content. They do not search all images, or all audio, or across video or even the web. Sites that would be comparable to Flickr include YouTube, VSocial, Revver,, and the other 300 hosting sites for video that Dabble searches. There is a very big difference between a site that creates or hosts content, and search engines.

Dabble searches all video content across all hosters, as well as other sites on the web, and we continue adding more results to our search engine every day.

So to set the record straight, Dabble is video search -- it's neither a host or content engine. It is not odeo or flickr or youtube. apple, apple, apple, orange.

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danah defines social network sites

...and she's better at this shit than any other human on the planet, so I'd go right ahead and etch this one into stone:


A “social network site” is a category of websites with profiles, semi-persistent public commentary on the profile, and a traversable publicly articulated social network displayed in relation to the profile.

To clarify:

  1. Profile. A profile includes an identifiable handle (either the person’s name or nick), information about that person (e.g. age, sex, location, interests, etc.). Most profiles also include a photograph and information about last login. Profiles have unique URLs that can be visited directly.

  2. Traversable, publicly articulated social network. Participants have the ability to list other profiles as “friends” or “contacts” or some equivalent. This generates a social network graph which may be directed (“attention network” type of social network where friendship does not have to be confirmed) or undirected (where the other person must accept friendship). This articulated social network is displayed on an individual’s profile for all other users to view. Each node contains a link to the profile of the other person so that individuals can traverse the network through friends of friends of friends….

  3. Semi-persistent public comments. Participants can leave comments (or testimonials, guestbook messages, etc.) on others’ profiles for everyone to see. These comments are semi-persistent in that they are not ephemeral but they may disappear over some period of time or upon removal. These comments are typically reverse-chronological in display. Because of these comments, profiles are a combination of an individuals’ self-expression and what others say about that individual.


Has anyone called danah boyd the mother of social networks yet? Okay if not I just did.

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Ray Sweatman, Tearin it Up.

Consistently, year after year. Ray.

REPRINTED without the express, written permission of Sir Ray, but with immeasurable respect:

Monty please, Door Number Three

November 5th, 2006 ·

I am nothing more than the dreams that dream me.

Inventing games under the cover of innocent trees,

cashing a paycheck, working the latest gadget,

walking down the aisle, smiling for the cameras,

comparing the different boxes of instant rice

falling from the ceiling of the supermarket,

getting stung by bees, trying to cover my

naked bumps down an empty corridor

of footsteps and bells banging from

the inside of a locker Let me out. 

There are three dreams that dream me. 

Minus the one where we are holding hands,

our circle the sun in a foreign land our differences

a celebration at the apex of the union the rails

of the balcony come loose we say goodbye

to each other and spend the rest of our time ducking. 

But this is not the one.  The first is (and of course

these have no order; they come when they do

like Variations on a Broadway tune

played by a drunken Master after the bars

are closed from Chicago to Paris

in the space between the needle

and the rush in the breath of an open cork)

the one where the mushrooms turn sinister

and we’re chest deep in red liquid, the cheese

is wrapping tightly as we grow smaller and

smaller, our arms flapping and flailing.

We wake to the usual alarms but there is no escape.

And there’s the one where you’re hanging

by your feet from the top of a lamp pole

inventing Bungee jumping with your own

shoestrings with all that you’d believed in

at the bottom in a heap.  The neighborhood cats

are rolling their eyes and the dogs are salivating

though they don’t know whether to bark,

lick or fuck you. It’s the one then

where it’s just you and the horses

following the sound of the creek

reminiscing about how insecure

she was in the mirror.  Just you

and the horses navigating the darkness.

An empty flask broken off from the narrative. 

A place where home has no map.  A place

where you don’t feel here.  And even that glimpse

of where you thought your senses knew it.  

The one how light looks through black iron bars

and the shadows she left after she was long gone.

The one where leaves are hand-me-downs

from generations hibernating. You mark

it down as just another delusion of an

estranged mind.  And now then the third one

(how we like to impose order, how we like

to simplify the world into something we

can understand like the mozzarella inside

our heads) is the one where I’m trying to

get home (yes the way she gives herself

after all the years of gorging on poppies

we thought were the other. The way

her voice sounds the first, the last, every time)

and I’m trying to get home (one here on earth)

but I can’t find the way and though she’s

left the crumbs I’m still a wolf

trespassing through gates and

covering my fingerprints, when

they (the keepers of the Neighborhood

the ones that insure that their property

values remain their highest, the

keepers of the civilized world)

round me up and put me in the Van.

There they proceed to shave me from head to toe. 

Tickle my Feet.  And laugh and laugh.

And go.  And there alone in the cul de sac

where the signs say No Outlet,

I realize I shall interpret light no more.

I will no more interpret silence.

I cannot interpret them

any more than I can interpret you.

Rather we shall lose ourselves in it.

And when they come that’s how

they’ll find us.  They will come

with their notepads and measuring

sticks and they will make what they

will of us depending on their mood.

A brooch, a hat.  A religion.  A crime.

They may even call it love.

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