Tuesday, January 21, 2003

Only The Lonely Know The Way I Feel Tonight

I thought about this last night for a long time. I think all of us are a lot more lonely than we fess up to. Blogging is helping bridge that gap as families fall apart, re-form, change, or stagnate. I know I can get so damned lonely. And I really appreciate my friends who pull me out of it. Thanks.

Strangely, when I talk about why I decided to get divorced, I often say it was because I felt so lonely in my marriage, which I did and it is not uncommon. You can find yourself living in a world populated by many living, breathing, live-action, real people but feel rather like your walking through a cemetary of stone monuments for all the life they give off. Again, I don't blame any other parties -- I was dead in my skin too -- but you have to wonder sometimes how it can get that way. When and where does the rigor mortis start? What does it mean to be alive?

Monday, January 20, 2003

Hey Si, As Time Goes By

The fundemental things apply, Si. But you know I've been getting a lot of email from guys your age and up to about 30 who are BIG TIME disagreeing with me and I'm going to blog about that soon. I like what they have to say. They don't think all these games need to go on. I'll send you a questionnaire on this, you can fill in a form for me -- need your input. Thanks for blogging me:

Halley's recent posts on Alpha Maledom have stirred mixed feelings in me. First, the exposure of trade secrets is somewhat unsettling; second, I have a deep-seated urge to find, hunt down and kill the informers; and third, I NEED to direct about half of my friends to read this stuff so they can stop pestering ME. Now if Halley can get up some posts about Alpha Females to take care of the other half...

Poem: Is Yonder The Man?


We fall
again and again
for the wrong him,
for the wrong her,
like As You Like It,
and try to right our wrongs,
by thinking our way through
and turning our backs on a longing heart.

We believe
again and again
that we can contain
a feral love,
like an unruly toddler in a playpen
but our hearts break free,
leaving all asunder,
seeking the soulful source of their delight.

We know
again and again
that if all we have is love,
it's all we need have.
It's all we've come here for
and we should bow before it,
but don't -- so instead,
we are brought to our knees by it.

We pretend
again and again
that we have some say,
that we are the masters and mistresses
of our love's mastery,
but learn we are merely players
in this comedy of haphazard hearts.


Bed & Absolutely Terrific Breakfast

We lucked in with a last minute cancellation near Ascutney, VT where we like to ski. The Millbrook is run by Kay who is just about the best cook I've ever run into. The breakfasts were out of this world -- homemade bread, rolls, pastry, terrific omelettes, eggs, home-made apple sauce, maple butter, on and on and on I could go. Even better at 4:30 when you're done skiing she makes these great soups and other treats -- minestrone w/grated parmesan yesterday, and homemade pizza -- and chile with salsa, onions, cheese, chips the day before.

Honestly, I'd gotten really sick of bed & breakfasts and don't visit many, but with "no room at the inn" in most places for this weekend, it was just a fluke we ended up there and IT WAS TERRIFIC.

Just looked at the title. The bed was great too -- a very comfortable king-sized bed in a romantic and pretty room -- which I shared with my 7-year-old son. How can one kid take up so much of one bed? Another family came with us with their 7-year-old boy as well and took an adjoining room. Remind me, are there any 7-year-old boys in the world who think it might be a good idea to CLOSE THE DOOR behind them, or do they all leave the door hanging wide open so the parents are on display while parading around in various pieces of half on-half off ski long johns?

BTW, Ascutney is a great place to learn to ski or take kids to. I only started skiing LAST YEAR and thanks to my son pushing me to keep at it, I'm getting pretty good.

The Unexamined Life Is Like Totally Not Worth Living

I see Scoble has jumped on the Alpha Male bandwagon with MUCH MORE HELPFUL ADVICE to women who want to get an Alpha Male than I offered here a few days back. I was particularly interested in point number 2, especially his invocation to "Know Thyself."
.
2) Know yourself and what pleases you. There's nothing as dull as a woman who says "I have never masturbated." (And you know Alpha males will eventually get around to asking such personal and prying questions). First off, she's probably lying (alpha males really don't have time for liars or people who play games). Second off, how can you know how to please an alpha male if you don't even know how to please yourself?


Get with it girls. Needless to say, all the really excellent links to good vibrations and other such sites can be found at www.rageboy.com.

Try 22 Degrees Below Zero

Back from skiing in Vermont. Okay, I rushed off Friday, not bothering to check out a certain key piece of data -- the weather report.

On the way up, I'm noticing a lot of ice on the car windshield. My son's in the back seat doing the kind of things 7-year-old boys like to do, drawing on the window, but it's making a slightly weird noise. Like he's scraping through ice to engrave a message for me. The heater's on full blast, the heat of our bodies is keeping us warm and then I suddenly GET IT -- it's not ice just on the OUTSIDE of the window -- there's also a lot of ice on the INSIDE of the window. I think, "Hmm, must be pretty cold out."

We get to our bed & breakfast late Friday night. We get out of the car. "Hmmm," says I, "it's a little chilly." Chilly like you breathe in and you feel like your lungs are getting cryogenically preserved for the next 1000 years or so. Hey, I figure, it's Vermont, it's supposed to be cold up here.

Next morning, I try to start the car to head over to the ski rental joint. VERY SCARY NOISE. I have never heard my car make such a noise -- rather like an animal shuttering and begging not to leave the barn. I think "Damn, now my car's falling apart." I have to warm it up a long time.

Get over to the rental place early -- hate the lines. Weirdly, there is NO ONE there. The local boys in those wool jesters hats are teasing one another about not even bothering skiing today. I ask them what's up. They look at me like I've arrived from Mars -- "Lady, it's 22 below zero." Aha!

Did we ski? You betcha.

Friday, January 17, 2003

Alpha Male: Lesson 8: How To Get An Alpha Male

My email box is full of requests from women asking how to get an Alpha Male. I knew sooner or later I'd have to let all these women in on the secret.

I went directly to the source and polled some seriously Alpha-ish Alpha Males. They all said the same thing.

And I quote, "You don't get an Alpha Male, they GET YOU."

Dark Pink

Dusty rose and dark pink are two of my favorite shades, but learning that Dan Pink's weblog has gone dark is NOT one of my favorite things. I just hate it when that kind of thing happens. Dan, what up?!?

Catch Me If You Can

Go see this movie if you haven't because I'm going to write about it vis-a-vis Alpha Males and you NEED to see it. It's a great movie.

Johnson & Johnson's Baby Powder Snow

Yes, more snow today. I'm calling this one J&J Baby Powder Snow. I like it very very much, since I'm heading out for the weekend to go skiing.

Thursday, January 16, 2003

You're NOT reading Corante?!?! Go on!

Corante has such great coverage of technology and lately has been the place to be when it comes to the Lessig story, thanks to Donna Wentworth's excellent Copyfight blog. But Hylton Jolliffe who runs Corante also does a great column on blogging anyone in the know, should know. And of course, Rageboy (aka Chris Locke) writes there too in his cool Ad Hominem blog.

Wednesday, January 15, 2003

How To Become An Alpha Male: Lesson 7: "Such A Pretty, Pretty Girl"

I really shouldn't even have to say this, but I will. There's one major differentiator when it comes to Alpha and not-so-Alpha Males. It's so simple. It's so easy. And unfortunately, it's so rare. Alpha Males may do terrible things -- they may cheat on their wives AND cheat on their girlfriends AND cheat on their taxes -- but they sure get one thing right. They make women feel beautiful. And how do they do that? Oh, here's the big secret ... they say to their women, "You look beautiful."

Now you would think it would be obvious, but from what I've seen it's obviously a mystery to most men. They rarely come out and simply say it. And I can tell you most women want to hear it. In fact, you wouldn't go too far wrong by saying it twice, even in the same week! I know this is shocking, but it's true.

Not only do they say "You look beautiful" even if the woman they are saying it to is not looking perfectly beautiful, but they also know how much a woman wants to hear, "You are such a pretty, pretty girl." Corny? Oh, yeah. Wonderful to hear? OH YEAH!.

In fact, it's like a little bank account they fill up with gold coins every time they say that kind of thing and then when they do a boneheaded thing and are most decidedly in the doghouse, that little bank account buys they a lot of "Get Out Of Jail or The Doghouse Free" cards.

And even when they're talking sexy and kinda dirty to their women, they remember not to go too far with that kind of talk and they always come back to making their women feel pretty. They say stuff like "you look like the prettiest flower girl at your big sister's wedding." And I know you may be gagging, but it sure beats, "Wanna fuck?!" And the worst part is how often men forget to say this kind of thing.

It's another secret a male friend of mine calls a safe secret, because even if you printed it up on billboards and posted all over the city, only a few men who "get" women will actually do it. And I can tell you, that once a woman gets the feeling that she looks beautiful to a certain man -- she always wants to get close to that man. It just feels too good to resist.

How To Become An Alpha Male, Lesson 6: Alpha Males Have Things

I have an argument with my 7-year-old son nearly every school morning, without fail, at about 3 minutes before the bus is about to arrive and we have tear out of the house. He's dressed, he has his coat on, he has his backpack full of everything I figure he needs for the day. But no. We stop dead in our tracks with NO TIME to waste,he insists he must take something to school to "share." This sharing routine is about to kill me. We miss the bus over it on a regular basis. Or we have screaming matches for all the neighbors to hear as we rush to catch the bus, him dragging a heavy yellow metal bulldozer to take to school I beg him, "please, if you need to take something to school to share, put it in your bag first thing in the morning, or even better, how about the night before?" That never happens. So there is something absolutely drop-dead important about having a thing to take to school. "Sharing" has replaced "Show and Tell" and I miss what the heck the nuance of language is about, but it's some wacky political correctness to keep the kids from "Showing Off and Telling" I think.

The point is, even at seven years old, my son has figured out a basic rule of Alpha Malehood -- Alpha Males Have Things. They have cool things to show to girls. They have Hot Wheels, or candy bars, or GI Joes or Pokemon cards they drag around with them to show girls. Later when they grow up, the Hot Wheels turn into real wheels, the candy bars are dinner at a fancy restaurant in town and the GI Joes and Pokemon cards are any variety of cool things women want to look at, including beach houses on the Cape, trophys from tennis games, mooseheads in cabins, or even your classic girl-getter, etchings. They have things and know how to say, "Hey, you've got to come over and see my _______. (fill in the blank with WHATEVER! )

The ancient joke about "would you like to come up and see my etchings" is based on this fact. It's always good to have things to show girls. If you can lure them into your room, apartment, house, mansion, castle or cave to look at something -- guess what -- they are standing there next to you looking at something. With any luck and a little sleight of hand, you can get them to stop looking at the thing you invited them to look at and LOOK AT YOU. And then, if they look at you and they like what they see, and you have any shred of Alpha Male instinct, and some good Brazilian background music by Joao Gilberto, or Barry White will do as well, you might actually get them to look at a thing that you have, that they don't have. They may tell you otherwise, but most of them want to look at your thing.

So I always think of some early Alpha Male caveman trying to come up with some THING to show his Wilma Flintstone counterpart. He probably tried a lot of things that didn't work, like a tuft of grass -- boring, boring, boring -- or some water. A little more interesting but no great shakes. So then, at his wit's end, he looks over and she's at the door of the cave watching Eohippus gallop by (the dawn horse, of course) and he thinks, "Well, shit! Here I am showing her a handful of water and she wants to look that pathetic Eohippus. How the hell am I supposed to get her over here to stand next me, so I can smell her and she can smell me, and then we can fuck, when all she wants to do is look at that stupid animal?!"

It hits him out of the blue and he grabs some old charcoal from last night.s meat roasting fire and draws a pretty lousy picture of a running horse on the cave wall. And then he's got a pointy stick to show her -- now that's a cool thing -- and a picture. Now he's getting somewhere. And she comes over to see the thing he made. And she likes it and likes the fact that he noticed she was watching the horse out the cave door and understood that he could please her by drawing the horse for her. Maybe, she reasons, as cavewomen were rather savvy I must say, maybe he could please me in other ways. Hell, she thinks, maybe he'd show me that other thing of his. So she stops looking at his etching and turns to look at him ... (and get ready kids, since the two of them are about to start history as we know it).. and she smiles at him and one thing leads to another.

Larry Lessig In Deep Thought

With many other bloggers today, I'm really sorry to read these words on Professor Lessig's blog: "The Supreme Court rejected our challenge to the Sonny Bono law." I'm sorry for him and sorry for us. But as usual, I wanted to write about another angle to the Lessig story.

I've long been absolutely transfixed by the picture of Professor Lessig on his blog. I love that picture. Deep in thought, working like hell to get the words out on the net, pensive, focused, serious. It's just about the most perfect picture of someone in the act of blogging I've ever seen. It gives us something to which we should all aspire, dedicated thought and communication.

Professor Lessig actually reminds me of Betty Grable -- that quintessential pose of the pretty girl with the million dollar legs that every GI had tacked up in his barracks. A photograph with a perfect essence, a perfect expression of a certain time and place. I don't mean anything racy here. I just mean that the picture of Lessig is the perfect knowledge worker pin-up photo.

So thank you for all your hard work and please roll with the punches today, Professor Lessig. With a millon dollar furrowed brow like that, we know you'll be back to win another day!

Our Man Si Is Back

Okay, I rarely yank anyone from my blogroll over there on the left column, EXCEPT I admit I did delete Si Adam when he stopped writing and I wanted to get his attention and make him start writing again. Si is AKMA's son and a good writer and I am happy to mention is BACK.

Tuesday, January 14, 2003

"Did James Bond Have A Lizard?"

My son is in my office here at home reading the new James Bond reference work I just got and asks me "Did James Bond Have A Lizard?" I made broiled salmon for dinner, but he talked me out of it and so I made tuna fish for him instead. In fact, I made two excellent tuna fish sandwiches, he even convinced me to eat tuna and put the salmon away for tomorrow. My secret is Apple Cider Vinegar to give it a kick. We're just hanging out avoiding doing his homework. I look at the book -- it's an iguana, and it belongs to Franz Sanchez, the South American drug trafficker in License to Kill. It wears a diamond collar. And you thought I just wrote about James Bond without doing rigorous and substantive research? No way.

I ask him to read the name of the book, since he's getting to be a great new reader, "James Bond, The Secret World of Zero Zero Seven" he says. No, I correct, he's called "double O seven" These important things must be taught at home.

I Just Hit A Dog

On the way home from work on a skinny dark Lexington road called Hancock near Edgemont (better suited to revolutionary war horses and buggies it's so narrow), a dog ran right in front of my car and I tried ot miss him, but I hit him with a big terrible THUNK noise. The road was packed, I couldn't find a place to pull over safely or easily, so pulled into the next driveway, ran back to see what happened to the dog. I don't have a dog and for some reason in my head I was thinking, "What you do when you hit a dog?" and then I was hearing in my head, "People love their dogs. People really love their dogs." Running back in piles of icy snow wasn't easy and it was so dark, I couldn't see the dog anywhere -- I figured he was lying in the middle of the road dead -- not safe for the other cars either.

And then I see him and I'm dreading even looking -- but what I see is him semi-trotting and swerving around cars and making them hit the brakes -- which is even more dangerous -- and then I whistle for him and he comes over and looks at me with a quizzical look and I check him over and he doesn't seem to be very hurt at all. This is sure confusing. Another local neighbor lady pulls and says, "he lives over there." And I hear myself say, "he got hit" and then realize no, that sounds like someone else did it. And so I say, "I mean, I hit him," which makes me feel sick to my stomach. We call the police and by then, he's run off to the other side of the road and she follows him as I wait for the police. They are pleasant and send a car asap and now the dog has disappeared of course, but the car lady comes back and tells ran home on his own, so he can't be too hurt. I give the police my name and number. Then realize I have 3 minutes to get my son at daycare without being late, so take off and hope the dog and his owner are okay.

Alpha Males Round-up: Lessons 1-6 Links

I keep getting requests for the links to the earlier blog posts of Chapters 1 - 3 of my "How To Become An Alpha Male in 18 Easy Lessons" series, so here are all the links so far:

Lesson One: Getting It -- January 3, 2003

Lesson Two: Giving It -- January 4, 2003

Lesson Three: Why Alpha Males Get Pussy Galore -- January 5, 2003

Lesson Four: Stag Films -- January 7, 2003

Lesson Five: Confidence Game -- January 12, 2003

Lesson Six: Alpha Males Have Things--January 15, 2003

Lesson Seven: "Pretty, Pretty, Girl" --January 15, 2003

Monday, January 13, 2003

Doc Woos And Wins Me

Doc wrote the sweetest stuff over at his blog about my one-year birthday. Especially great is his Alpha Female manifesto. I'm heading that direction, getting ready to write about Alpha Females and all the great stuff they do.

Play Ball!

With all this cold weather and 15-foot high piles of dirty snow in most parking lots, I just can't help fantasizing about Fenway. It will be here sooner than we know. Look at this lovely green wedge of grass!

Check out the schedule. I can taste the hotdogs and the watery beer on a lovely May afternoon when they take on the New York Yankees. We're gonna kill you guys!

Alpha Males Have Beer Wenches

Yes, we know Alpha Males have it all, but the really Alpha-alpha Males have their own beer wenches so they don't have to go to the concession stand at the cricket matches, as reported here! Credit where credit is due, an email friend pointed out this story from Conrad's cool blog called Gweilo Diaries. Leave it to the Aussies to be doing breakthrough reseach in Alpha Male innovation.

This would be extremely popular at Fenway Park. Hey, maybe I could start a whole new business. Calling all Venture Capitalists -- come on guys, give me a few million dollars and you can help me select members of my wenching staff. I'm 100% behind John Doerr's belief that it's all about building an expert team.

[Feminists, don't gag. There will be more coming for you soon. I'm getting sick of this too.]

Sunday, January 12, 2003

Xtreme Selling

Gary Turner, Xtremely funny man in the UK, sent along an email after reading my Alpha Male piece about Confidence Men, mentioning a post he did a while back on testosterone-crazed salesmen. Gotta share it -- here's the link or read below:.
[Note: After discussing Xtreme Skiing and other high risk sports, Gary says] ... Well, I think we should adopt similar approaches to everyday working life. For example Extreme Selling. You can start off gently simply by turning up late to critical meetings with your best customer or just start wearing scruffy, unpolished shoes and continue the process by breaking some more of the classic rules a successful salesman should never break and work up slowly. Congratulations, you have just begun to extreme sell.

After some practice you should be confident that you're still able to get the deals at this basic level and then it's time to crank it up to the max extreeeeeeme selling ....walk in to your customer's office and put your feet up on his desk, be verbally abusive to his staff, double your quote then say in a high pitched alien like voice "Oh sorry I appear to have gotten my figures wrong", then double it again, telling the customer you "don't need his fucking lowlife business anyway", put only the words "KISS MY ASS" on your business cards, every time you email a quote to him attach a sickening porno photograph with your customer's head crudely transplanted onto one (or both) of the participants in the scene, sit in his office and put your fingers in your ears whilst shouting "la la la la I'm not listening" whenever the customer attempts to speak, pick up his desk photos and blurt out that you'd like to "do his wife because she's so damn hot", generously sprinkle cocaine into your coffee in front of him, do greatly exaggerated impersonations of the customer and repeat every sentence he says, take a leak in his fishtank and kill his expensive fish, during the meeting take a call from your Ho in which you say "Yeah baby, just let me get finished with this fuckhead and I'll be right over to wack him, no way is he movin in on my street" and if after all that, if against all the odds you're a good enough salesman to still get the deal signed - congratulations, you have just become an Extreme Salesman.
And do not miss what he did today on The Support Economy.

Awash In Business Books

Yes, they're all over the carpet of my boudoir, it's a dirty little habit ... silken corsets or sexy thigh high stockings? No, no, no. Perhaps you imagined something else entirely? No, I'm talking about business books. That's what turns this girl on.

I'm finishing The Wealth of Knowledge by Thomas A. Stewart, just got The The Support Economy: Why Corporations are Failing Individuals and The Next Episode of Capitalism by Shoshana Zuboff and James Maxmin, also snagged Who Says Elephants Can't Dance? by Lou Gerstner and homework i should have done a year ago, Execution, The Discipline of Getting Things Done (you can see how much I need this) by Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan.

Case In Point

So what's AOL without Steve Case? Hard to imagine.

Saturday, January 11, 2003

How To Become An Alpha Male: Lesson 5: Confidence Game

One of the unforeseen pleasures of writing this series of 18 chapters on Alpha Malehood is the barrage of email I'm getting full of Alpha Male inside info, not to mention guys just walking up to me to tell me their Alpha Male secrets. First, of course, they tell me that no woman should know as much as I do about Alpha Males and I will piss a lot of guys off if I act like a know-it-all on the subject. I instantly explain that in fact, I know nothing, and make no claims to giving advice, but simply have very good sources -- a cadre of "deep throat" type informants -- who know the knowledge needs to get out. They seem all right with this. Then, after telling me that they should NOT divulge their secrets about Alpha Males, they come around some how or another, to sharing another wickedly delightful insight with me. So let me just say, this is much appreciated and please feel free to keep me in on the game.

After taking a few days off to collect my thoughts and try to pick out the next most important subject, I've hit on the subject of confidence. If there is one thing they have in spades, it's sheer, unmitigated, unflappable, nearly arrogant, but simply deliciously masculine Confidence. And they know how to use it. And they know it works. And they know it is an incredible turn-on.

A new friend on email mentioned how many salesmen are Alpha Males and this got me thinking as well. Something they teach you in sales is to "assume the sale." This is especially important with women. Assume she wants to kiss you. Assume she wants to fuck you. Assume you will eventually wear down her high morals and you will get her into bed one of these days. Good salemen assume the sale. They don't have time to doubt their success. They have rock hard confidence. My emailer complained that many of them are so arrogant that surely this did not attract women, but rather women found it replusive. Well, yes, some are just too full of themselves, but even those win more often than they lose.

Confidence is very attractive. It's even amusing. It makes you grin to watch some of these guys. Here's how the really good ones operate. Like all true artists they know that nothing is as successful as mixing extremes. They mix up the big boy slightly-arrogant confidence with surprising bursts of charming little boy shyness and "whoops, I blew it" contriteness. This gets the girl every time, though I think it mostly works because it leaves women completely confused and disarmed. Once you get a woman that off balance, if you have confidence and have assumed the sale all along, you make short work of your prey.

Being confident is incredibly sexy. Being confident is incredibly powerful. Being confident is essentially "efficient" -- it just makes everyone go along with you and saves you time. Don't bother spending a minute doubting yourself. What the hell is that about? There are enough enemies, critics, naysayers and pessimists all around you to take care of doubting you. Why the hell would you waste time doubting YOU TOO? Again, I preach to the converted. You guys know this.

The world is a pretty frightening place. Somehow or other, we get up in the morning believing we can manage to make it through the day. These days there's ample evidence against that notion. This is what's wonderful about men -- they challenge this world view with sheer testosterone and after-shave. They have courage. They have balls. They straighten their ties and get on with it. What Alpha Males know is that everyone needs to feel confidence and that it begins with them. They know their confidence is a gift. They share it with others. It makes it a much better world to live in. It's a confidence game.

The Name is James .... James Bond

A new friend, Ole, from the West Coast writes about a key feature of the Alpha Male I'm can't wait to discuss -- sheer unmitigated unflappable CONFIDENCE. He reports on watching James Bond in action.
> I watched GoldenEye last night.
> Exhibit A of Alpha Maleness.
> I especially liked the part where he
> straightens his tie
> after running his tank over three police cars.

Way to go James. Way to go Ole, thanks for this.

Blogspot Ban In China

Leave it to China to show us how politically radical blogging really is. Check out Dave Winer's coverage of this amazing story.

What A Beautiful Pussy You Are

Well, per usual, over at Gonzo Engaged, the blog that answers the question "Can you ever get enough of the teachings of Chris Locke?!" with an emphatic "Oh, no, never!" they have been beating me to the punch. Marek my Polish Alpha Male Love Slave has reproduced my favorite Edward Lear poem, The Owl And The Pussycat, with a few variations.

What Marek doesn't know is that as a young girl, I was actually given a gift of a 3 foot long wooden pea-green boat, complete with stuffed animal Owl and Pussycat, a little jar of honey tucked into the bow, a little golden sack of chocolate money stowed away in the stern, not to mention a pea-green book of Edward Lear poems. This is a favorite poem of mine, but what with the language now sounding nearly pornographic, you barely hear it anymore. Another book that's fallen by the wayside since modern slang has rendered it slightly off-color is the classic, "Our Hearts Were Young and Gay" to which you can't help saying, "Oh, yeah?!" I reproduce the poem unadulterated below. Any Alpha Male who's in the mood to dine "on mince and slices of quince" which we can eat "with a runcible spoon" should drop me a note, beats dinner at Legal Seafoods any time. I'm even willing to recite the poem which I know by heart, while we dance hand in hand by the edge of the sand, but so as not to disappoint, I warn you up front I do not own a small guitar, but then again, what self-respecting Alpha Male can't get his hands on a small guitar to bring to the party? I leave that to him.

The Owl and the Pussy-Cat went to sea
In a beautiful pea-green boat:
They took some honey,
and plenty of money
Wrapped up in a five-pound note.

The Owl looked up to the stars above,
And sang to a small guitar,
"O lovely Pussy, O Pussy, my love,
What a beautiful Pussy you are,
You are,
You are!
What a beautiful Pussy you are!"
Contemporary Illustrator: Donna L. Derstine

Pussy said to the Owl, "You elegant fowl,
How charmingly sweet you sing!
Oh! let us be married;
too long we have tarried:
But what shall we do for a ring?"
They sailed away, for a year and a day,
To the land where the bong-tree grows;
And there in a wood a Piggy-wig stood,
With a ring at the end of his nose,
His nose,
His nose,
With a ring at the end of his nose.

"Dear Pig, are you willing to sell for one shilling
Your ring?" Said the Piggy, "I will."
So they took it away, and were married next day
By the Turkey who lives on the hill.
They dined on mince and slices of quince,
Which they ate with a runcible spoon;

And hand in hand on the edge of the sand
They danced by the light of the moon,
The moon,
The moon,
They danced by the light of the moon.


Friday, January 10, 2003

Live Action Girls Boys Peapods!

Yep, you've got live blogging going on here. Check it out -- we're at lunch and blogging every god damned word -- NOT really! They're all ordering and I'm going to go hungry. Better give Dan Bricklin his wifi machine back. Here's the pix.

We just called Dave Winer in 650 land to say hi and congrats. Hylton Joliffe just rolled in. More later

Back to my office, so here's a quick update NOT in media res. How bad can lunch be with me and nine brilliant male bloggers! ? It was so much fun. Wayne Becker, Dan Bricklin, Bob Frankston, Steve Himmer, Hylton Joliffe, John Robb, Brian Runk, David Weinberger and Steve Yost. By now, they've probably posted a bunch of pix on their sites, so go check them out!

It Was 30 Years Ago Today

Sargent Pepper taught the band to play. No, wait, I mean, it was ONE year ago today I started blogging -- mostly due to David Weinberger's pushy insistent prodding. Thanks David. Of course, it all started with cars and girls -- thunderbirds and Brittney!

Crimson Blogging

Like Doc and David, I'm thrilled to hear Dave Winer will be a Berkman Fellow at Harvard Law School's amazingly creative Berkman Center for Internet & Society. As big a win as this is for Dave Winer, I think it's even bigger for Harvard, as he will bring his expertise, imagination and vision to the entire univerisity, building new interdepartmental and intra-collegiate killer apps that few of us can conceive of at this point.

Under the radically innovative leadership of Charles Nesson, John Palfrey, Jonathan Zittrain, Diane Cabell and Donna Wentworth*, this partnership will be something awesome to behold. During the weekend in October that Berkman was sponsoring the Digital Identity @ Harvard Conference I kept thinking, "Boy, Dave should be here, he'd love this and they need him." Glad to see that it actually happened.

Dave, the Boston bloggers will miss you today at lunch, but we now reserve an honorary chair for you at all Boston blogging events. Don't forget Route 128 is America's Technology Highway! Welcome!

[*BTW, I'm only mentioning the Berkman folks I've met in person, I know the rest of the group is equally excellent, just don't know them first-hand.]

Thursday, January 09, 2003

Halleyversary Of My Blog

My sweet little blog is one year old tomorrow. I'm putting a pink bow in her hair and making her wear her pinchy Mary Jane's to a party. She's only one, but she can already walk. And, boy can she talk -- she never shuts up.

So anyway ... did I blog this already ... I'm having a crazy week and I can't remember what I've done and not done. So if I already mentioned it, sorry, but if not, here goes.

David Weinberger of JOHO fame is hosting a lunch for Halley's Comment's One Year Birthday, tomorrow Friday, January 10th at 12:00 noon in Harvard Square at that landmark restaurant, Yenching Chinese. The lunch special is $5.95 and you get an egg roll too. David will be there at 12:15. I'll be there at 11:45, trying to guess how big a table we'll need. RSVP me by email if you plan to be there.

A Lexicon of Snow

A new friend emails me with lovely snow news. Brian tells me about his term "whisper snow" and listen to what he says. [Needless to say, I could kill him, as he's now claimed the best snow name so far.]
> > Still snowing up here on the North Shore as well,
> > although it sounds a
> > damn sight prettier than it does downtown.
> > Up here we have what I'd call "whisper snow" since
> > that's the sound it
> > makes falling through the already snow-encrusted
> > trees. This stuff is
> > so tiny you can't see it, just feel its caress as it
> > falls past.

He suggests I just go ahead and write a full LEXICON OF SNOW, this after mentioning that we can probably expect a solid four (Oh no! Say it ain't so!) more months of snow. Brian, you're just trying to scare me and it's working!!! I guess I'll just have to give these Inuits a run for their money. Here's the list so far:

Boa Snow -- Very dry snow with the light and fluffy texture of a feather boa. Sexy and frothy, but dangerously chilly around your neck. While feather boas are best worn with no additional clothing, this snow is not.

Madison Avenue Slush Snow -- As defined below, this diabolical snow, native to New York, is a mixture of 1/2 snow, 1/2 water and 1/2 filthy city dirt. When you're at the corner of Madison and 92nd, you step off into what looks like a grey milkshake of 1" depth, but it's above your ankle before you can escape the excruciatingly icy cold, dirty water soaking your socks. [Brian adds that when you take off your sock, the blue dye in your sock has stained your shrivelled foot an alarming color and you will be tempted to rush to the nearest emergency room with self-diagnosed frostbite.]

Mink Coat Snow -- Slightly damp snow with great velvety, clinging ability. This snow coats the trees like fur coats but does not keep anyone warm.

Shellac Snow -- Start with a heavy, slightly wet snow, then season with a wickedly cold night to create a crunchy plastic layer on top of thick ice. Sheer hell to remove from a car. Plan on being at least a half-hour late to work on shellac snow morningsOn second thought, to hell with work. Go back to bed and take that neighbor with you, the one making lackluster attempts to dig out his/her car while giving you sideways glances in your Dr. Zhivago hat.

Sod Snow -- Much fun for the kids, this is a heavy wet snow, perfect for rolling your own snowman. You can roll up big swaths of it off your lawn, it leaves the green grass showing, as it sucks up everything in its path. Achtung, baby, as trying to move or lift these heavy wet sod snow boulders can result in an instant hernia.

Whisper Snow -- Per Brian, snow so stealthy, the sound it makes falling through the already snow-encrusted trees is nearly imperceptible. This stuff is so tiny you can't see it, just feel its caress as it falls past.

More snow and 18 more snow words

Yes, we had more snow again. And this one I'm calling %@"?#@#$% snow because I'm getting pretty darned sick of it. No, now Halley, control yourself. This snow actually has a name too. It's gotten warmer so it's the consistency of 1/2 snow and 1/2 water. I call it "Madison Avenue Slush Snow", you know the kind -- you're on a corner in New York City, you step off into what looks like a grey milkshake of 1" depth, except it's a clogged drain and it's above your ankle before you realize and you start swearing a blue streak as excruciatingly icy dirty water soaks your socks.

I've gotten a link from a new email friend, Stu Savory, who points me to his list of actual Inuit snow words. I appreciate this very much, but I still like my snow names better.

Alpha Advice

I've been getting a lot of terrific advice since I started writing these 18 easy lessons, from a host of worldwide Alpha Males by email. I may excerpt some bits and snatches after asking the authors for permission. One Alpha asks WHO are my original advisors on all things alpha-male-ish, since he finds what I'm saying is right on and wonders how a woman can so "get it." Well, I'm afraid I can't divulge those secret sources.

Meanwhile, a nice young woman wrote me by email saying she doesn't want to keep reading about how to become an Alpha Male, rather would like to know how to GET one. She asks, "Do you have to be drop dead gorgeous?" I'm not and I don't think you have to be, but of course, it helps. I'll noodle that one around for a while and get back to you. Keep those cards and letters coming!

Wednesday, January 08, 2003

Fur and Feathers

I can't believe we're getting MORE new snow. It never seems to end. It's snowed nearly every day since Christmas. Yesterday, I had to scrape the car in the morning because of new snow, but ALSO had to scrape and dig the car out at the end of the day! Once a day is bad enough but twice! This is really crazy.

Like the alleged eskimos, (opps, I mean "inuits" if I'm going to be politically correct) I'm beginning to have 300 words for snow. There is a funny light and flaky snow this morning that reminds me of feathers -- easy to dust off, but whimsical -- I'll call it "boa snow". It's sexy and frothy. A few days ago we had the furry snow that coats the trees like velvet, I'll call it "mink coat snow". Last week we had that "shellac snow" -- thick with a crust of icy plastic on top -- which makes removal almost impossible. The week before we had a heavy wet snow that rolls into an awesome snow man. You roll up big swaths of it off the lawn and it leaves the green grass showing as it sucks up everything in its path -- I call it "sod snow" .

Please, enough of the snow naming, enough of the winter wonderland, let's go with a spring wonderland, whattya say?

Tuesday, January 07, 2003

Alpha Male: Lesson 4: Stag Films

First of all, go to the video store and casually saunter over to that section where all Alpha Males must eventually go to test their manhood; and don't bring any wives, girlfriends or any other women with you. You have to go it alone on this. Don't be shy, reach up for that stag film of all stag films and take it off the shelf with a confident hand, no trembling please. Check out the front, turn it over and check out the back. The title will appear in big bold letters and yes, other alpha males may spot you as you eye it, it will read, "BAMBI." Okay, now reach for the next one, "BEAUTY AND THE BEAST" and last but not least, "MULAN".

Shocked? You may well be. But now you know the truth. To become a real Alpha Male, one must study the teachings of Walt Disney. Everything you need is in that section.

Let's start with Bambi. If you want to see stags fight for status, this is your movie. If you want to see deer fight for the prettiest doe in the room, again, this is your movie. If you wonder why the heck they called a boy deer "Bambi" well, I have no frigging idea. Still, apart from the name problem, this movie will teach you how to be king of the forest. It's easy and oh-so-Freudian, just kill your dad or any father-substitute hanging around, who might be keeping you from running the joint.

Once you've got the lessons of Bambi under your belt, check out Beauty and The Beast. So now we have the prettiest girl in town, Belle, willing to go live with one mean, hairy ugly beast up in his fancy house on the hill. The best looking guy in town, Gaston, a mega-arrogant French Alpha Male can not seem to turn Belle's head. What's going on?! This is paradoxical to say the least. But here we are in an advanced post-grad course on Alpha Malehood. This movie lays out a very fundamental and encouraging Alpha Male secret -- that Alpha Malehood is an equal opportunity employer. You do NOT have to be the sexy Frenchman to get the girl. In fact, a lot of Alpha Males are a little bit like the beast -- a little rough-and-tumble, the kind of guys girls love to tame and take care of. Girls hate guys who spend more time in the mirror looking at themselves than looking at them. This is Gaston's problem. Also, the beast NEEDS something. He needs Belle's help to tame his beastliness and show his sweet side. This too is appealing for a lot of women. And of course, the Beast is sexy and wild. Always better to be a sexy beast than a French poodle. And he does have a great house.

Once you've made it through those two movies, check out Mulan. The story is simple. When the Emperor of China calls all men to join the army, Mulan runs off with her father's conscription papers to take his place since he has a bad leg and can barely walk. Disguising herself as a man, she has the help of a tiny red dragon, Mushu, in the voice of Eddie Murphy, to teach her how to be a military Alpha Male. Mushu spares no details including back-slapping, belching, passing gas and all other essential male skills. It's a funny movie, until the men figure out that they have this female traitor in their midst, then all hell breaks loose.

Seriously, if you haven't seen it, Mulan says great things about men -- about their strength, their courage, their mysterious deep sexuality. At boot camp as she tries to keep up, the Alpha Male in charge, Li Shang, kicks her ass and is so tough on her, he nearly breaks her. In the end, she falls in love with him and he with her. The song I'll Make a Man Out of You that plays behind a fast-moving animated montage of basic training exercises, (very An Officer And A Gentleman in style) catalogues some of the best things about Alpha Males, "We must be swift as the coursing river, (Be a man), With all the force of a great typhoon, (Be a man), With all the strength of a raging fire, mysterious as the dark side of the moon."

Stag Films: They Came To Town In A Doctor's Bag

Alpha Males must watch stag films. I'll be back later to give you all the dirty details in Lesson 4: Stag Films.

Monday, January 06, 2003

Tina Brown on High Heels

I like this bit from Tina Brown in the Times about high heels. She's "spot on" as they say on that side of the pond.


The lethal shoe is an essential part of the business woman’s armoury. In the morning, you see the Alpha Moms dropping their kids at school all suited up for work. Breastplate: Armani jacket. Shield: Marc Jacobs bag. Lance: Christian Louboutin stilettos. Women over 40 are particularly addicted, perhaps because, whatever the humiliations of the changing room, shoes are the one glamour perk we can always get to fit.

Alpha Male: Lesson 3: Why Alpha Males Get Pussy Galore

When it comes to being "PC", you may have noticed there's nothing particularly politically correct about alpha males -- another reason you gotta just love them. They are the consummate rule breakers. They revel in dashing expectations. They make the game up as they go, writing their own rules on the fly. So when it comes to "PC" they have a different spin on those two letters. Let's introduce two fundamental Alpha Male Vocabulary Builder words -- Pussy and Cock. The P word is key. There's no question that if you want to become an Alpha Male you have to understand the P word and you have to get a lot of it.

Alpha Males get pussy. They really do. They get it and they get it. One Alpha Male told me he would just kill me if I ever wrote about the pussy strategy. Well, I guess I'll just have to lie low and not be seeing him in all the old familiar places, because whether he likes it or not, I've got to get the pussy rule down on paper. It's such a brilliant strategy and actually has applications far beyond the dating arena -- it works at work too.

Nothing improves your tribal status better than walking in with or being seen with the best looking woman at the party. Here's what Alpha Males know -- they know they can get the best looking babe at the party. They know because they've done it many times and they know they can do it again. How do they do it? You might well ask, because let me say many of the most successful Alpha Males are not drop-dead good looking. In fact, they're just average Joes, many of the best of them. You've been to a party and asked yourself the musical question, "Is he really going out with her?" when you see an average guy walking in with a killer babe. Well, you are watching an Alpha Male in action, busy implementing the pussy strategy.

Here's what they know. Most men at the party are just too intimated to go talk to the super model babe, assuming she will shoot them down. They self-select themselves OUT of the top drawer pussy. It happens all the time. Ask beautiful women -- NO ONE TALKS TO THEM. Except Alpha Males who know this fundamental truth, so they know ironically that they have an open field and a very HIGH likelihood of scoring

When I say it works at work, I mean it. It's much easier to talk to the CEO of a company than it is to get a meeting with all the drones that report to him. They're too busy doing what he wants. And so many people are afraid of the CEO, no one talks to him either. And he wants to know what the hell is going on in the world and is often open to talking to a half-way intelligent person.

Which brings me to the second part of the pussy strategy -- the best looking girl at the party WILL talk to most Alpha Males and Alpha Male wannbes -- but you better have something halfway intelligent to say. More on that in the next lesson.

Sunday, January 05, 2003

Take Me To The Emotional Mud Baths

I like Dave's idea that you can go to an emotional spa where they are short on physical treatments and long on restoring your emotional health. I sure underatand what it's like to try and recover from the rollercoaster of taking care of an ill parent. It just about kills you.

So here are the special treatment rooms at the spa -- The "You Are So Adorable" Room, The "Thundering Applause" Room, The "We Can't Manage Without You" Room, and then down the hall there's The "My Hero!" Room.

Ditching Church

Hate to ditch church but we're going skiing with friends and with work and everything else, it's hard to find the time to see anyone, much less get some exercise in the winter. Pathetic justification I know, but hey, I want to go skiing.

Trouble In Mind I'm Blue

Woke up this morning really worried about something and took a big dose of my favorite drug -- and boy do I feel better.


Trouble in mind, I'm blue
But I won't be blue always,
You know the sun's gonna shine
And brighten my backdoor some day.

I'm all alone at midnight
And my lamp is burnin' low
I Ain't never had so much
Trouble in my mind before.


Most pills only take a few seconds to swallow but my big worry drug takes an hour. But it's worth all the trouble. I like all the bright candy colors -- pinks and reds and blues -- 3 lb weights, 5 lb weights, 10 weights. Just do it -- crunches, bicep curls, supine French press, adductor lift, squats, dips, lunges. Top it off with prayer and "oh, yeah, I'm not in charge here anyway."

Consider the lilies of the field,
how they grow;
They toil not, neither do they spin;
And yet I say unto you,
that even Solomon in all his glory
was not arrayed like one of these.

Saturday, January 04, 2003

Becoming An Alpha Male -- Lesson Two: Giving It

[Editor's Note: This is about fellatio -- in a metaphorical sense of course.]

Okay, I have a theory about Bill Clinton. Let me say first off, I don't know him, haven't met him and really don't know too much more than what I may or may not have read in the papers about him. Except, I do know several people who've met him and there is something striking about all the descriptions I've heard of him. Almost all these recollections talk about one thing first -- and it's not sex. They talk about an essential Alpha Male quality -- he's got incredible energy -- and he knows how to give it to others. He's incredibly fun, engaging, energetic, smart as shit and gives as good as he gets.

So here's Lesson Two -- if you really want to be an Alpha Male, you've got to give. You've got to give people pleasure, give people a reason to be near you, give guys a reason to wish they were you, give women a desire to have you, you've got to give and give and give. And as for giving good head, any Alpha Male worth their salt knows they have to get down on their knees now and then, and give another superior Alpha Male -- whether from a larger territory than their own, or simply an Alpha Male Emeritus, or an Alpha Male who dominates another discipline -- well, they have to give them their due, so to speak. Sometimes you're asking for it, but sometimes you've got to be willing to just give it. Don't be shy. You're the guy. You're the man. Just Do It.

Shackleton's Tough Sledding

Now here's a weblog of sorts I'm glad I'm not writing. This was certainly no pleasant day of sledding in the snow.

Don We Now Our Snow Apparel

Wow! We got nearly a foot of new snow here. On go the snow pants, the boots, the mittens, the hats and we're headed out for breakfast in the snow. It's drifted up against all the windows and the trees are bending low with the weight of it here. I can tell my 7-year-old's figuring about a million ways to dump snow on his mom's head -- so I better get smart and ready to duck. The front door is stuck with the weight of the snow against it. Get the shovels. Back later.

Friday, January 03, 2003

Snow Candy

My mom was a lot of fun. She did all the fun sports we did right along with us, for instance, she was a first class pogo sticker. And she loved to do just about anything outside with us. And she loved to play in the snow with us -- doing angels, building snowmen, all of it.

She was also a great cook. She had some sensational dishes and some unusual ones, to be sure. When it snowed she used to let us bring in a pan of clean snow and then we'd put Log Cabin Maple Syrup on it and eat it with a spoon.

Thinking of her tonight as the snow is coming down very hard here in Boston. Might serve snow candy for dinner.

Will Blogging Pay?

Looks like Andrew Sullivan is asking the right question about blogging. Blogs don't necessarily pay, but they showcase work that may eventually pay. Sullivan points us to John Scalzi who serialized his sci-fi story in his blog last month and just got a 2-book deal with a publisher as a result.

Apologies to Sullivan for not linking to his post directly -- can't find his permalinks -- is it possible this King of Bloggers doesn't have permalinks?

Yes, I Love Alpha Males

What's not to love? The rakish tilt of the head, the slightly loosened tie, the 5 o'clock shadow, the striding across the room, showing off that nice male body, to take the podium and dominate the discussion, in an oh-so-humble and self-effacing way, as if they weren't running things. Yeah, I like it. Hey, I'm a woman -- I'm not immune!

A few of you have been emailing me asking if I'm just teasing or I'm actually serious. I'm not getting my tone right I guess. Yes, I'm serious. A pack needs a top dog. A tribe needs a leader. A world needs a hero.

Becoming An Alpha Male -- Lesson One: Getting It

I guess I'd have to say the number one thing all alpha males have and they have it in spades, is that they look like they're getting it. Now, I'll discuss later whether in fact this has anything to do with whether they actually ARE getting it, but that happens to be secondary to LOOKING like you are getting it.

So if you are ever hope to climb up the ladder of the Greek alphabet to Alphadom, all the way from the sad, overpopulated backwaters of Omegaland -- you have to start looking like you are getting it. And what does that mean?

Well, let's start with Pierce Brosnan, or any actor who ever played James Bond, in fact. Guys who look like they are getting it actually look a little post-coital -- hair a little messy, eyes a little tired. They look rather casual about it, even disinterested -- which is why they DO get it -- because they don't look like they're begging for it. And women always go for that -- it's the guy who looks like he doesn't care much if he gets it or not and also looks like he can get it whenever and whereever he wants, that gets you all stirred up -- he's a bit arrogant, he makes you slow down and take a second look. You think, "Well, who the hell does he think he is?" And once a woman's thought that, well, guys you are most decidedly in the drivers seat. She's going to have that burning need to find out about you.

So think of Bond again. He looks like he's got something better to do -- save the world, hang from a helicopter by one shoe lace, use his remote-control BMW to flatten terrorists -- and since he looks like he really doesn't have time for it, he actually manages to LOOK like he's getting it big time -- and in fact, he DOES get it, whenever he wants. Get it?

Gary Turner on Alpha Males

Yes, Gary's got lots to say about whether a woman should, or can, or shall, or ought to write a book on how to become an Alpha Male.

Take The Test For Alpha Males

Hey, how cool. There's already a test of Alpha Malehood. Check it out. I didn't even have to invent one.

Thursday, January 02, 2003

Downward Dog

To the yoga mat I trot, to remind me of the earth, gravity, this strange planet on which we spin around and around and around and maybe I can find a peaceful place to start this morning.

Wednesday, January 01, 2003

For Gary, Fiona, Cameron



I felt a funeral in my brain,
And mourners, to and fro,
Kept treading, treading, till it seemed
That sense was breaking through.

And when they all were seated,
A service like a drum
Kept beating, beating, till I thought
My mind was going numb.

And then I heard them lift a box,
And creak across my soul
With those same boots of lead, again.
Then space began to toll

As all the heavens were a bell,
And Being but an ear,
And I and silence some strange race,
Wrecked, solitary, here.

-- Emily Dickinson

So Sorry

Just heard our friend and fellow-blogger, Gary Turner, has lost his dad. So sorry. And this within a week of he and his wife having a new baby?! Just to remind us nothing in this world is fair or predictable or sensible.

Bloggers Grow Up in 2003

It is much in fashion among fellow bloggers -- and I'm as guilty of it as the next -- to bemoan the fact that the world and big J Journalism don't take blogging seriously. In fact, the people that don't take blogging seriously enough are bloggers themselves. We need to change that today. We don't need anyone's permission. We've seen evidence enough. We can start taking ourselves seriously. Okay, okay, Rageboy, I don't mean SERIOUSLY like that, I mean ... you know what I mean.
A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.
-- Margaret Mead

Job Angel -- Do it

Pick five people you know -- could be family, friends, anyone. You don't even have to tell them you picked them. Commit to helping these five people find jobs if they aren't working or finding new jobs if they're ready to make a move, or if they are freelancers, finding new projects. Help them in any way you can.

Last summer my sister and I had a conversation. I wanted a full-time job after working as a contract person for a long time. She is not a typical corporate person, but rather a painter and a writer. We had a conversation that simply went like this, "You know, I'd really like a full-time job," says I. And she said, "You know, of all the places to work in Boston, I can imagine you liking Harvard a lot." And I say, "Hmm ... that's an interesting idea." That was the whole thing.

I didn't even remember the conversation until months later when I was working at Harvard. Something simple happened there -- she helped me put my intentions into the world and into focus. She helped me think of a strategy. It was a 1-minute conversation -- she didn't know anyone at Harvard for me to talk to, she didn't know if there were any jobs, she doesn't live here, but it made a difference. I really appreciated her doing that for me.

You can do that for five people and you'll see something interesting happen. And some of you out there can HIRE five people and you should. It's my economy now. But it can be yours too.

My 2003 Economy

I've decided the economy belongs to me. That is, all the little things I do - the things I buy, the ideas I have about the economy, the way I think about work, the things I say about the economy -- and especially how I can help other friends find work -- really matter. These small things really make a difference. The economy doesn't belong to them. It belongs to me. And by the way, could everybody stop talking about women using the euphemistic term "consumers" and christ, haven't we had enough of "consumer confidence" which simply means women going shopping.

January - December Mix-up

I don't know what's going on but those last two posts were from last night ... which is to say LAST MONTH ... and now I'm back and it's January. For some reason they wouldn't post last night, kept going to "Future" posts instead of "Current" -- whatever. With this post I should be clear of 2002 and on to 2003.

Drop That Ball

Amazingly, I think I've just about managed to stay up til midnight! Thanks for all the help from my friends. This will be a great new year! Now off to bed with all of you. :-) -- Signed, Ms. Comment

Fading Fast

I've got my purple flannel pj's on with the honeybees that say QUEEN BEE on them, eating pizza and prunes here, swigging blue Gatorade. Party girl!! Okay, guys help me keep my eyes open -- it's 9:45 which happens to be WAY past my bedtime. I just talked to Jeneane on the phone and I have to call her back in a half hour, so don't let me fall asleep.

So let me thank all the folks who blogged me tonight. First, thanks so much to Gary Turner in the UK who wrote "Halley (Who Is Mental) Says 2003 Should Be Rebranded" -- thanks Gare, what do you think that we don't speak English over here or something and I don't know you're calling me a mental case?! Sheeeeesh!

Doc has blogged me too and lucky guy, he's off to some fancy party, dressed like Fred Astaire and with all the pounds he's lost on that Atkins diet, he probably LOOKS as skinny as Fred Astaire.

And Dave, thanks for blogging my KISS post too, but it's generated a ton of international virtual smooches, hope that was your intention. I've gotten e-kisses from the Netherlands and beyond!

Tuesday, December 31, 2002

Can I Change My Mind?

Boy do I sound like a half-empty glass girl! (Just like Jeneane said on her blog tonight.) Can I change my mind and give a different forecast for this new year? Can I tell you how great 2003 will be? I finally figured it out. We get to keep all the great people we've been hanging out with, and blogging with, and working with, and playing with, and learning with, and having adventures with, in 2002 and drag them along with us to 2003 -- so it should be one helluva year!

2003 -- Up For Grabs

Okay, I'll warn you up front. This is one of those "Halley" things -- where I think I have something very figured out and then I realize that my version of reality is completely insane. It's like that post I did about the alphabet where I was so annoyed that they had mistakenly put the two-hump "m" before the one-hump "n" when any idiot could see it should have been set up the other way around. Big organizational mix-up there.

Here's the thing about 2003. We really were never supposed to have a 2003 -- it's just not the right thing. We were supposed to have 2000 -- what with all the Y2K stuff, anybody with half a brain would notice, of course, you have to have 2000. Besides, what the hell else are you going to do after 1999 anyway. Having 2000 just made sense. It was a good idea at the time. (But talk about anti-climaxes!)

So then, since you were kind of stuck with 2000, and it finally rolled around to December of 2000 and you had to follow it with something, and you had that movie, 2001 A Space Odyssey, so why not, just go ahead -- call it 2001.

Well, we know how well that worked. Forget it. The whole year got jammed into one day of infamy and boy, were we glad to get rid of 2001 -- so now, you're beginning to understand my logic, right? With 2001 being such a lousy year and actually feeling like it was only one-day long, we needed 2002 big-time to be done with it. So there were a lot of people behind the idea of 2002 -- we were looking forward to it.

So we had this 2002 year and if you didn't notice -- especially since everyone you knew was either out of work, in massive credit card debt, or just basically grumpy all year, it kindof sucked. I know I'm biased because a lot of bad stuff went down for me personally, but it was kindof a stupid year. In fact, it sucked enough that by now I could really see a reason to give up on all the "Two Thousand" and anythings. I could make a case for going just about anywhere else -- maybe back to 1890 -- or maybe forward to the year 2525 -- but anyone could see this incremental stepping stone thing with 2000, 2001 and 2002 was not going well.

So then, they decide to go ahead and market the 2003 concept. Why did we agree to it? It has little brand appeal, I can tell you. Do we get to drag the best of 2002 into 2003 -- like a disasterous economy and more of the weird non-existent Dick Cheney (is he Bin Laden -- you can tell me, go ahead, fess up) or is he like the mother in the motel in Psycho? and other great highlights of 2002 like airport security stripteases I've had to do. (I can assure you they DO discriminate against blondes in high heeled sandals -- they are ALWAYS pulling me aside.) Honestly, I can't think of many things in 2002 I'd like to bring along to 2003 -- so I guess I have almost ZERO expectations of much of anything good happening in 2003. Wait, I can say with assurance my dad will not die AGAIN in 2003, ... I guess?! Maybe it will be so weird it could have some Ground Hog Day effect and things just keep happening like they already did in 2002. Talk about same old same old. Ugh.

So I want to start a movement about renaming 2003. It's clear the name "2003" has little to offer. I think we might want to consider some other years with really excellent brands. -- like the Summer of '42 turns me on. And there's 1066, people wove rugs about that year, it must have been good. And the year 1492, that was a nice year here in America. Maybe we could just call tomorrow 1493 -- it would be easy for school kids to remember. Please, send your suggestions, because honestly, 2003 is up for grabs.

Kiss Me You Fool

or ... Why Everybody Hates New Year's Eve. Okay, you're reading this. Honestly, if you had ANYTHING better to do, you'd be doing it. But most of us don't have anything to do. There's a very high likelihood you're either alone tonight (like me) or with the wrong person (yikes!) or the person you really want to kiss isn't with you :-( or if you're really lucky, you're with the right person, but you might have kissed them over a lifetime about 5,000 times already and it's not exactly turning you on -- no offense, but honestly, what the hell kind of holiday is this anyway?!

The calendar is changing from one year to another so you have to get drunk and kiss someone?! I'm missing the correlation. Worse, the calendar is changing from one year to another so you stand in a cold windy place, watch a ball drop and get drunk and kiss someone you don't know. Hmm.

As for this kissing thing, there is always the feeling that everyone ELSE is having a blast and you're the only idiot without a date, without a cool outfit, without a place to go and definitely without someone to kiss.

Happy Old Year

There are two babies in diapers running around in my living room, breaking things, making noise and roughhousing with one another -- don't know what to do with them, they're making an awful racket! They are practically stark naked, like little sumo wrestlers.

One's got on a sash from shoulder to hip that reads "2002" and the other one's got on the same sash reading "2003." The baby called 2002 has got to go, she just put her finger in the eye of 2003, she's a devil, but I've got to calm them both down before I can send one packing

Ut-oh! Now 2002's coming straight at me -- better dodge her, but wait, the little tease -- she's giving me a big smooch and a hug. She's nearly knocked me over, we're rolling across the rug. She's been one kicky kid full of energy and moxie. Taught me a lot.

Crash! There goes the lamp and -- oh no -- the goldfish bowl. 2003 thought it would be fun to do a flying squirrel leap on top of the two of us. .

Friday, December 27, 2002

Design

I'm not going to give you all the lnks to this poem's many critics and analysts, check them out on Google. I just like it as a rather mysterious text.


Design by Robert Frost

I found a dimpled spider, fat and white,
On a white heal-all, holding up a moth
Like a white piece of rigid satin cloth --
Assorted characters of death and blight
Mixed ready to begin the morning right,
Like the ingredients of a witches' broth --
A snow-drop spider, a flower like a froth,
And dead wings carried like a paper kite.

What had that flower to do with being white,
The wayside blue and innocent heal-all?
What brought the kindred spider to that height,
Then steered the white moth thither in the night?
What but design of darkness to appall?--
If design govern in a thing so small.


Thursday, December 26, 2002

Frigging Adjectives

Ce n'est pas facile pour nous. It took me three posts to get the frigging adjective "marvelous" in the post below right -- and I'm still not sure it's right. (Jean-Yves, clue me in man!) Start with the French word "chose" for "thing" -- if I'm right, it's feminine and therefore the adjective has to be the feminine (not "merveilleux" but "merveilleuse") and then to add one more annoying point, it's plural, since "choses" is plural, so you have to use "merveilleuses" not "merveilleuse" -- right? What the hell kind of language is that anyway?. I know, I know, all the romance languages have the same deal. Helluva way to start a romance. So damned complicated.

Tremblant

J'ai entendu des choses merveilleuses apropos de Tremblant, mais je ne suis jamais y aller. J'ai tellement envie d'y aller. Ce n'est pas tres loin de Boston a Quebec.

Three Feet!

Good Golly -- check out Albany, if you can find it!

Wicked Game

Got some of the earlier Chris Isaaks disks for Xmas -- I like some of the old songs just as much as his newer ones. I think I like him because he reminds me of Elvis in some way. And I love the dark, wavering guitar -- is it steel guitar ? -- better go ask George.

The world was on fire and no one could save me but you
Its strange what desire will make foolish people do
I never dreamed that I´d meet somebody like you
I never dreamed that I´d lose somebody like you

Chorus:
I don't wanna fall in love no (This world is only gonna break your heart)
I don't wanna fall in love (This world is only gonna break your heart)
with you...with you (This world is only gonna break your heart)

What a wicked game to play, to make me feel this way
What a wicked thing to do, to let me dream of you
What a wicked thing to say, you never felt this way
What a wicked thing to do, to make me dream of you

Chorus:
I don't wanna fall in love no (This world is only gonna break your heart)
I don't wanna fall in love (This world is only gonna break your heart)
with you

The world was on fire and no one could save me but you
Its strange what desire will make foolish people do
I never dreamed that I´d love somebody like you
I never dreamed that I´d lose somebody like you

Chorus:
No I don't wanna fall in love
No I don't wanna fall in love
With you...with you
Nobody else loves no one

Brilliant Day

The snow, stacks and piles and scads and mountains of it, white and sparkling, lines the roads making friends with a bright sun. A veritable resurrection as new life stirs and snowplows dig in. Shoveling seems to be a divine and heavenly activity. The trees are all decorated with white fur coats, as pretty as a bunch of curvy blond chorus girls in white minks rushing down a winter street to rehearsal. The air is electric, charged with a new day, new beginning, new icy brilliance, new possibilities.

Snowy Morning

Wow, serious Winter Wonderland stuff going down here. But yikes! I have to get to work and swap a rental car for my car in the shop even before that. Ugh.

I love the noise in this poem, especially the harness bells on the horse, when he says, "Hey, what's up?"

Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening

Whose woods these are I think I know,
His house is in the village though.
He will not see me stopping here,
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer,
To stop without a farmhouse near,
Between the woods and frozen lake,
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake,
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep,
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

-- Robert Frost

Wednesday, December 25, 2002

Shake That Snowglobe

When we lived in California, we used to take holiday pictures at the Manhattan Beach pier in our Santa hats, sweating it out at 80 degrees. Then we'd put them in snowglobes and send them out to our friends. But my son NEVER saw real snow until he visited Boston when he was 3 and experienced a pre-Xmas blizzard. He was over the moon. He ran out my sister's door, flopped in the snow and just started wolfing it down

He's 7 now and still crazy for snow. And it's snowing like heck here -- looks like they took that snowglobe down from a high shelf and gave it a big shake!

Babyface!

You've got the cutest little babyface! Congratulations on this lovely kid!

First Christmas Not Quite Alone

I heard from so many great people today, I can't really say I WAS alone, so thanks everyone. Actually the first Christmas I ever spent alone was in France when I lived there for Junior Year Abroad and I went cross-country skiiing for two weeks in the Massif Central near Mt. Lozere. Since The Universite de Paris Sorbonne (and Jussieu) closed for the holidays, I had to either go back to the US, go to Greece -- like so many of my fellow Americans did for Xmas that year, or come up with something else.

At the Universite on a bulletin board I saw a flyer for a "Communist Ski Vacation" which looked interesting. The "Communist" part only meant that in order to make the price low, you did group work in the lodge -- worked in the kitchen, served meals, helped out -- more like a co-op than a Marxist-Leninist political get-away.

I sent my money in October and heard NOTHING until about 3 days before Christmas -- I was in a bit of a sweat, not having a Plan B and all my friends joking that my Communist Ski Vacation was just a rip-off to get people to send money. But finally, in the mail, I got a train ticket to the south of France and a big poster of calesthenics and other weight-lifting exercises to put on my wall. This was now 2 days before leaving and the top of the poster read in big French Caps "BEGIN THESE EXERCISES 2 MONTHS PRIOR TO SKI VACATION." So much for that. I was beginning to wonderif my super-cheap great Communist Ski Vacation was such a deal after all. There was also a detailed list of cross-country ski eqiupment, clothes, shoes and something strange called "stop-touts" (roughly translated, "stop everythings" ) -- I never did figure out exactly what those were -- and I was supposed to procure every item on the list before leaving. Needless to say, I didn't get a chance to buy anything at all.

One thing that happens with most kids on Junior Year Abroad is that you realize it's really easy to cheat and speak English and learn no French, and really hard to find a way of getting into French culture and language the way natives do. . Well, that was not to be the case with my Communist Ski Vacation -- it ended up when I finally boarded the train at Gare St.Lazare (don't recall if this was the right station), that of about 80 skiers, I was the ONLY American. This meant I had to speak a lot of French that two weeks, which was terrific.

The lodge was comfortable, the kids were funny, the food was good and the instructors were task-masters. Strangely, the verb in French to "wax" your cross-country skis is "farder" which sure sounds like "fart" so I spent the whole time, half grinning when the instructors continuously yelled at us to hurry up and FART!

The ski instructor or "moniteur" for my group -- surely appropriate for the week of Christmas -- was named Jesus. So I actually spent Christmas with Jesus and the other instructors as we were the only ones left at the lodge when the pre-Christmas week skiers left on Christmas Eve and the post-Christmas skiers arrived on the 26th of December.

It was a very snowy day. I felt very far from home in this ski lodge in the middle of nowhere (imagine the equivalent of the Appalachians in the US -- since the Massif Central is a very underdeveloped mountainous area) and someone had given me a copy of Walden by Thoreau in English on the recto page and French on the verso page. I spent the day in bed reading Walden in both languages. It sounded rough and individualistic in American English and completely nutty in French. I was a long, long, way from Walden Pond that day, but in spirit rather proximate, finding myself out in the middle of nature. And now today, I spend another Christmas on my own -- about 5 miles from Walden Pond in fact -- but glued to that modern and unnatural home away from home -- the laptop.

First Christmas With A Pre-vacation Vacation

My college friend Ruth and her husband Chris, together with their 12 year-old daughter, 8-year-old son and 5-year-old son invited us to share a condo in Vermont and go skiing with them the 4 days prior to Christmas and it was really FUN. Also, it was really a wonderful break from the usual last minute rushing around and feeling so stressed out. Since we left on Saturday and didn't come back til Chrismas Eve, we had to get it done early or not do it.

Ruth and I were standing on our skis, half way down the mountain on Monday both admitting it had been a genius stroke, since it kept the kids busy and happy -- my 7-year-old boy fit right in with the 5 and 8 year-olds -- and kept us far away from malls, shopping, bills, everything. We highly recommend it. Try it next year -- a little pre-holiday disappearing act.

First Christmas Without My Dad

About a year ago, when my dad was in the hospital for a broken hip and often complained that he was simply FREEZING, I bought him two Polartec fleece blankets -- one maroon, one navy -- and spent a lot of time tucking him in, helping him stay warm, helping him stay alive and making what was a miserable last few months a little more comfortable.

I also bought him a grey fleece mackinaw -- an oversized shirt in the same cozy fleece fabric as the blankets. It buttoned up the front, which people who've been caring for patients or have been in the hospital know matters -- since you often can't get something over a patient's head without hurting them.

On the morning he died in the hospital at about 6:00am, it occurred to me that the two blankets and some of his clothing were still at the nursing home where he had been a week before. I had a need to go fetch his last belongings and bring them home to my house to wash them. One sister suggested they just be thrown out, but I had one of those peculiar sentimental reactions to just tossing his clothes --didn't seem right.

On a day you spend the morning helping your father die, you would think it might make sense to take it easy, not put yourself through the unpleasantness of fetching his clothes in a dingy, depressing, nursing home that same day, but I figured "this day couldn't be much worse, why not?"

Well, here's why it wasn't much fun, but still I'm glad I did it. When I got there the only nurse who seemed to know anything wasn't there. I asked for my dad's belongings and they took me down the hall to a room with shelves and handed me a clear plastic bag of his stuff. As we walked back to the reception area, I decided to open it. It contained a pair of heavy old shoes, the leather worn. Also some clothes. They had never belonged to my dad. This was someone else's clothing. I told the nurse and she made a lackluster trot back down to the room with me and handed me a paper shopping bag. No surprise -- these were also some other dead person's clothes, not my dad's. It doesn't take you long to make one painful perusal of the shelves to realize this is how it all ends up. On a dark day, the day grew darker with this realization.

After three attempts I finally got my dad's stuff. I took it home and washed it with lots of detergent and lots of hot water. I gave the blankets away to Goodwill, along with all the other clothes, save the grey fuzzy mackinaw.

This morning my son came tearing into my room at 5:26 am, announcing, "We have to get up, it's almost Christmas," I looked at the clock. "Okay, okay, when's Christmas begin?" I asked. "It starts at 5:27!" he chirped. Boy, I should have seen that one coming. I jumped out of bed to follow him to the living room, but the house was cold, so I went back to the closet to find my dad's mackinaw. I wrapped myself in it -- it was just like his arms were wrapping me in a hug -- and I followed his beloved grandson off to the Christmas tree. Thanks Dad for keeping me warm.

First Christmas With The Blog Crew

Not a few -- okay, let's say EVERY -- blogger buddy of mine has commented on how amazing it is that we've all become fast friends and didn't know one another AT ALL a year ago. (Or two, depending on how long you've been blogging.) There is a sense that the blog crew is my REAL family now and why the hell are they scattered across the country (and world, Hi Gary, Fiona, Mike Golby, Dervala) and not sitting here at my Christmas table (I'd jump to and make a fine dinner for you all) listening to Chris Locke tell some frightening version of the birth of Jesus while swigging Violet Gatorade violently and Dave Winer explaining one more time for the East and West coasts how his totally cool outliner works, and listening to Jeneane tell the truth about taking care of kids and cats, all with great cunning and courage and David Weinberger saying funny stuff and arguing heurmanetics with AKMA and me tugging on the good parson's sleeve to induce him to SAY GRACE, because the table of bloggers -- 75 or so of my favorites -- have all finally sat down to dinner.

Lighter Note

Jesus Christ and Christmas, Chris. You are writing some insanely funny shit over there at Rageboy's Discount All-Sweets Motel. I guess I can't leave town for a minute.

First Christmas

This is the first Christmas without my Dad. The first Christmas without my wedding ring on my left hand (in 13 years). The first Christmas where we shared my son between two households. The first Christmas with my blog. The first Christmas in this apartment. The first Christmas in a long time where I wasn't cooking a Christmas dinner. The first Christmas it's snowed in quite a while. The first Christmas where I went away for a block of time right up to Christmas Eve. The first Christmas I've spent alone in a long time.

I'll try to write about these "firsts" today.

Baby Boom Men Boom, Oh Baby!

I had read that Men's Health was doing very well -- big upward trend in ad pages -- and I finally took a look at it last week. It's really something.

Now they've started a new magazine for "older" men -- whatever that means. I think they're aiming for over 40. It's called Best Life.

But honestly, new baby boomer men are so HOT lately. They seem to be single-handedly, man-by-man, mano-a-mano getting rid of the sagging term "middle-aged" -- it just doesn't do them justice. They are so sexy, so smart, so interesting and so terrifically emotional too -- c'mon girls, isn't that what we've been begging for.?! Well, go check these boys out -- WHOA!

Whoever Called Me -- Thanks

The phone just rang in the other room -- sorry not to grab it but I'm keen on blogging right now. Okay, I admit, I'm addicted. I'll call back soon. Or try me on email -- not that I've check it this morning. I want to write about the magazine Men's Health and their new one Best Life. It's cool.

The Big Lie

Big thanks to Adam Curry for reminding us of his KILLER blog essay called The Big Lie which Wired also linked to. This is the heart of the innovation known as blogging -- networked transparency -- when real people write real words in their real blogs we can begin to create a network of truth that will blow conventional media out of the water. A lattice work of truth-telling. It's the same thing Dave Winer blogged about here. We love these guys.

Whistle Blowers = Persons of the Year

I can't help noticing this intriguing Time Magazine cover and I actually blogged about the notion of women telling the truth and Sherron Watkins almost a year ago.

Funny how women are telling the truth. Not to say that there's anything inherently female about the truth, but maybe it's a truth that hasn't been heard and is suddenly becoming more audible.

It's one of the things I like most about blogging. Because there's no filters -- "Please Mr. White Guy Editor, publish my stuff" -- anymore and women go right to print, they are telling THEIR truth in blogs all over the place and if you read this article, their also telling their truth in organizations that have tried to silence them.

Let Me Blog, Let Me Blog, Let Me Blog

It's all I want to do today. Let the snow fall. Let the words tumble. Let the wind blow. Let the verbs fly. Let the truth be told. Keep reading kids.

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow

So where is the stuff? The Weather Channel is beginning to feel like CNN -- reporting disasters that seem to be in their minds only.

Whatever ... I've gotten everything nailed down (got food at the convenience store, my son's with his dad, car finally totally unloaded from the ski trip to Vermont, bought the NYTimes, Boston Globe, Time and Men's Health Best Life) and I can blog away all day if I want as the washer chugs along.

Tuesday, December 24, 2002

It's Beginning To Feel A Lot Like

Christmas ... Back from Vermont with piles of dirty ski clothes, lots of tired muscles and great worn-out sleep-like-a-log yawns ready for a long winter's nap.