Monday, May 19, 2003

Are Alpha Boys In Trouble?

Business Week thinks so -- see The Gender Gap -- and as the mother of a boy, I'm interested to read about this, still I wonder if it's not one of those alarmists articles in the "statistics prove ..." category. I think you can use statistics to prove just about anything.

Listen to this:

The gender gap also has roots in the expectation gap. In the 1970s, boys were far more likely to anticipate getting a college degree -- with girls firmly entrenched in the cheerleader role. Today, girls' expectations are ballooning, while boys' are plummeting. There's even a sense, including among the most privileged families, that today's boys are a sort of payback generation -- the one that has to compensate for the advantages given to males in the past. In fact, the new equality is often perceived as a loss by many boys who expected to be on top. "My friends in high school, they just didn't see the value of college, they just didn't care enough," says New York University sophomore Joe Clabby. Only half his friends from his high school group in New Jersey went on to college.:

He'd like To Teach The World To Sing

We all like to have someone kiss our ass, but now and then I really like when someone kicks my ass and makes me laugh at the same time. Niek over at Shutterclog has written a great spoof of the Alpha Male Kissing Lesson, with a guy who would rather spend more time sipping soda than kissing the girl. Chaqu'un a son gout! Don't miss his "How To Become A Soda Male In Less Than One Lesson."

Boy oh boy, Coke in Holland sounds more fun than Coke here, doesn't it? Turn up your audio before clicking the next link, because in the Netherlands they know Life Tastes Good. Kilk hier wanneer cocacola.nl hiet opent.

Sunday, May 18, 2003

How To Become An Alpha Male -- Lesson 16: Power Play

Someone told me they had no idea what these Alpha Male essays were all about. Okay, okay, I'm cool with that. Goodness knows, now that I'm around to Lesson 16 out of 18, I should be able to explain what the heck I'm writing about here.

So here goes. I started writing about the phenomenon called "Alpha Males" back in January because I was really worried that things have pretty much gone haywire in the world of men. I'm thinking of Mutual of Omaha's old TV show, Wild Kingdom with Marlin Perkins. Now there was a man. He wore a safari suit and hat, he showed you wild animals. Cool. You could depend on it. Just like Walt Disney on Sunday nights in those big old square shouldered suits, when I was a kid, he could show you The Wonderful World Of Color and you knew you might find a little Flubber there or maybe that wacky flying car or Hayley Mills (I hated her as she was "Hayley" and I was "Halley" and wrecked my chances at having my name ever pronounced correctly.) mooning around like silly Pollyanna. But you could depend on it. There were things you could depend on. Men and women had roles they pretty much followed. Life was easy to anticipate.

And like the alpha male dogs who fight to elect one guy as the main dog, there was a sense of how men operated, how they could be successful, how they did whatever it was they did. It was a ruled where they felt powerful and they ruled.

Well, I started writing these pieces because I got the idea all of that had just about melted down -- vanished before our very eyes -- and I wanted to think about what would be in its place. Seemed to me men had somehow ended up in a veritable no-man's land, damned if they opened the door for a woman, damned if they didn't. Damned if they didn't diaper their kid, damned if they did ("You have the thing on backwards, honey." -- she to he.) But in fact what we were witnessing was the erosion of male power -- the last days of "men as usual" if you also subscribed to the notion that we've lately seen the end of "business as usual."

We were surely leaving a "I Wanna Girl Just Like The Girl That Married Dear Old Dad." era, to a "I Married A Girl Just Like Dear Old Dad And She's Got A 7:30 Board Meeting." Yes, it was no more "Hi, Honey, I'm Home. What's For Dinner" but rather "Hi Honey, I'm Home And Of Course I Picked Up Junior From Daycare And Got Take-Out Chinese Because You''ll Be Glued To The Computer All Night Doing That Excel Spreadsheet You Didn't Get Done Last Night When I Wanted To Have Sex, But, Oh Yeah, I Remember, We Don't Have Time For That Anymore."

Once I started writing about men, lots of men started talking to me about it -- they told all -- and they thanked me for telling all, because they said they didn't dare spill the beans. They told me it was rough out there. They told me it was no fun. They told me they had a serious Vitamin R deficiency -- Vitamin Romance -- that they missed their partners. They missed having fun with their wives. And the unmarried ones missed having fun with their girlfriends. And the ones trying to date were nothing short of terrified at what they were seeing. And if they said anything about it, they got whacked along side of the head.

They needed massive amounts of Vitamin R. Vitamin Romance, but also, get ready to growl, Vitamin Rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr, that says, I want you baby. They needed to be told they were sexy, they were babes, they had adorable asses. They needed love letters. The love letters needed to say, "Your cock is so great and turns me on so much and I've been thinking about it all day. I want you, boy" They were men but they needed all the romantic wooing that women had grown to expect and complain about if they didn't get. They felt a little put out that Valentine's Day was all premised on what HE would get HER. Anniversaries were the same ... it was always about HIM getting her the big surprise. They wanted to be surprised. They wanted to come home to a woman who wanted to tear their clothes off and love them, deep and wet and messy and sexy and for a long time and then do it again. They needed it, they wanted it, they deserved it.

But what were they getting instead? Well, they were getting downsized and replaced by a woman who got promoted into the slot they expected would be theirs. They were getting "You deal with it, I'm tired," from their wives. They were getting no sex often as not in their marriage beds. There was not a lot of light at the end of the tunnel. A dark time in the land of men. Not pretty.

And I got the feeling that we were coming out of that dark time. Something was happening. A lot of Victoria's Secret lingerie was being purchased -- a leading economic indicator of a new order in the boardroom, in the bedroom. Men were going to be feeling a lot more hopeful. It was going to be a lot more fun. Women were going to love it too. They were going to get a bit more in balance. They were going to keep doing well at work, but they were going to remember you could wear dresses as well as suits to work. They were going to add something essential to the mix ... all work and no play makes Jane a dull girl. They were getting back to being female. They were showing their girl side. They were showing their goddess side. They were combining their new-found-out-in-the-work-world power with their old time girl-power. Yes, we were entering the era of Girlism, and not a moment too soon. We all needed it. So that's what all these lessons in Alpha Maledom were about. They were just a way of saying, "Hang on, man! It's about to get really, really good." We were twisting your arm to share some of your power with us. You were asking us to come home and play with you. And both those things were going to happen. And all of us would be having a helluva lot more fun.

Dyson Getting Jiggy In Blogsville

And now we bow before you, Esther, and admit we were doubting Thomases. We wanted you in Blogsville so bad! But we knew of your world-wide ping-ponging travel schedule and figured you'd never get a minute to blog. But we were WRONG. And we were being rude about it, because we just wanted it so much and we knew, if it happened, it would rock and if it didn't happen, we'd be so damned disappointed.

But hosannah! It's happening! We love it. We want more. She's getting down. She's getting jiggy with it. Go Girl!

Bricklin Revisit

I feel like such a dunderhead, a mutton-headed fool. How'd I forget how terrific Dan Bricklin is? Did a search on something and got the most comprehensive, intelligent exposition on the subject from ... guess where ... Dan's weblog. I have SATN.org blogrolled but not Dan specifically so I am fixing that now. I really fell into a data-vacuuming mode, as I read more and more of his blog, catching up on a pile of interesting posts from the last few months. Sorry, Dan, don't get around much anymore (what with being buried in the Harvard Conference last month, only just coming up for air.)

Speak Up

Really enjoying this book Working The Room by Nick Morgan about how to get some energy and passion into any speech or presentation you give. Morgan is no fan of Powerpoint -- so he and I are brothers/sisters in the movement to make Powerpoint go away. It seems to just about guarantee that the SNORE factor in your conference room will jump exponentially in relation to the number of slides you've made and number of bullet points on each slide -- pretend the bullet points are bullets heading for each person in your audience and pretty quickly, you have NO audience.

We've all seen Lincoln's Gettysburg Address on Powerpoint, but here it is again, and in Morgan's book he writes a very detailed exegesis of the actual Lincoln speech showing why it's just so damned good.

If you've ever made a speech, if you're going to make a speech, if you had made 150,000 speeches, this is still really worth buying. His section on the "story" of a good presentation, including "The Quest" or "Stranger in A Strange Land" or "Rags To Riches" or "Revenge" and last but not least, and a big favorite "Boy Meets Girl" is really interesting. Buy it. read it. do it.

Saturday, May 17, 2003

My Country Is Of We

Critt's started a new weblog called My Country Is Of We to follow politics which he does very well and it's a good one to add to your blogroll. Meanwhile, I wish you could HEAR Critt's voice on his blog -- it's the sweetest downhome mix of southern porches, rocking chairs and homemade lemonade, sweet and sour, you ever heard. I can't think of anything I'd rather do than spend a summer evening talking politics on Critt's front porch, I mean front blog, I mean ... whatever the hell you wanna call it, you just get on over there, you all. Take your old hound dog too. Sit a spell.

But don't be fooled into thinking he's from one place. I met him at Harvard, that Yankee stronghold and as you'll see he's got lots to say about New Hampshire.

Friday, May 16, 2003

Bye-Bye Messenger Service Spam

Hanging at Berkman last night @ Harvard Law School was much fun. Particularly helpful was Critt mentioning over dinner at The Bombay Club how he was fed up with this unsolicited "Messenger Service" Spam and me too, I chimed in. Vishni had the solution and so it was a very productive evening. Liked meeting Sam and Vernica and Jamie and Jessica and Joseph and many others. Thanks Dave for a great evening.

Thursday, May 15, 2003

Boy Do I Have a Strong Vacuum Cleaner

Can't believe I did it but ... I vacuumed up the C and J keys. Diving into a very disgusting dusty vacuum cleaner bag now to try to recover them.

Computer Clean-up

Okay, I'll admit it -- I do eat by my computer and I know I shouldn't but it does get crumbs in the keyboard and after weeks of saying I was going to vacuum my keyboard and desk, I'm finally shutting everything down and doing it. Please send any helpful hints on other tricks to keeping the keyboard in good shape. Back soon.

Thursday's @ Harvard w/Dave

Looks like I'll finally get a chance to make the scene at the Berkman Blogatorium tonight at 7PM. Hey, Dave, is it on, per usual? Same Bat-Channel, Same Bat-Time? Don't tell me there's no Blogs R Us program tonight! Ever get the feeling they picked up the United States like some big sand box and shifted a lot of people from the left coast to the right?

Favorite Sexy Music

Can't get enough of these weird and hard-to-find tunes -- Jeanne Moreau, the french actress DOES sing -- and Jaio Gilberto's Amoroso is oh so amorous, makes me feel glamorous.

Listen to 'S Wonderful ... what great lyrics. And don't get me started on Besame Mucho -- "Kiss Me Much" by my translation, or I'll start talking kisses again and that was yesterday's fare.

As for Jeanne Moreau, one of my all time favorites is Quelle Merveille Ton Cœur. (A woman with her head on the chest of her lover, listening to his heart, singing lovingly of his body, every inch, with sexy samba-like background music. Quite the French male anatomy lesson.) Can't find the lyrics, would love any links or help in that department. I remember a lot of them by heart.

Je sens un fremissement doux,
et la
precisement
sous mon oreille
il bat
obstinement
quelle merveille
ton coeur
ton coeur

quand la nuit l'angoisse
me prend
je te cherche au bout des doights
something something
je me retrouve dans tes bras

et la
precisement ...

Also nice from Moreau,Juste un fil de soie, which you can hear here, I can't find the lyrics to. Excuse my lousy French spelling, even worse than my not-so-good spelling in English:

Je me donne a vous en pature
Mais j'ai revetue mon armour
Vous m'infligerez des tortures
Toute la reste, je le censure

Les horloges sont arrettes
Chaque second est un baiser
La terre a cesse de tourner
Vous avez su m'apprivoiser

(I give myself to you in a pasture,
I take off my armour (?)
You inflict tortures on me
All the rest, I'll just censor.

The clocks have stopped
each second is a kiss
the earth no longer spins
you alone know how to tame me ...)

Sizzle

Oh yeah, it's time to get the barbeque machine up and running. First, get your b-b-q flash cards ready for quick study. Friends in Holland are going shopping for one of these. I'm making sure my Weber's ready for the weekend. Better get some salmon, some hot dogs, some burgers, some steak ready for the sunny weather heading our way. It's time for caveman food!

Wednesday, May 14, 2003

The Kiss

Nothing beats this one. Had to make sure you didn't miss it.

You Must Remember This -- A Kiss Is Still A Kiss

I guess I didn't remember the right lyrics. So here's the song and also some other kissing songs at this link.
This day and age we're living in
Gives cause for apprehension
With speed and new invention
And things like fourth dimension
Yet we get a trifle weary
With Mr. Einstein's theory
So we must get down to earth at times
Relax relieve the tension
And no matter what the progress
Or what may yet be proved
The simple facts of life are such
They cannot be removed

You must remember this
A kiss is still a kiss, a sigh is just a sigh
The fundamental things apply
As time goes by
And when two lovers woo
They still say, "I love you"
On that you can rely
No matter what the future brings
As time goes by


Moonlight and love songs
Never out of date
Hearts full of passion
Jealousy and hate
Woman needs man
And man must have his mate
That no one can deny
Well, it's still the same old story
A fight for love and glory
A case of do or die
The world will always welcome lovers
As time goes by
Oh yes, the world will always welcome lovers
As time goes by

Beautiful Design

This site by Marlies Dekker in the Netherlands is a beautifully designed site I think. Great content too, I must admit. Enjoy.

Tuesday, May 13, 2003

How To Become An Alpha Male -- Lesson 15: You Must Remember This

If an Alpha Male is good for anything, he's good for kissing. And it's the darnest thing, even the best Alpha Males just don't remember what a potent weapon the common garden-variety kiss can be. What an arrow to have in your quiver, ready to be aimed at an unsuspecting target. It disarms your prey. It certainly ends all conversations.

I have noticed that there is often a lot of conversation which proceeds coitus -- too much conversation -- like people going over a waterfall who can see the edge of the water behind them plummeting down, but continue in vain to paddle furiously, lovers who would rather be falling into bed are for some reason spending a lot of time standing around talking. Standing around talking about NOTHING. Alpha Males who are worth their salt know how to deal with this most irksome situation. It can not be ignored. It must be dealt with. Here's a story of how someone shut me up one time.

First of all, the big problem with kissing anyone is that you usually DO have a lot to talk about. If you're getting excited enough to kiss them, they must have been talking to you for a bit, at least a little while, but probably a LONG while. You'd probably been up late on the phone with them, despite being of an age where you should know better, talking all night like high school kids with their first crush. You're on the phone and they are saying all these funny things and they are loving all the funny things you are saying and if you're really excited, you're probably also doing something else ... well, let's say you're also eating Hagen Daz Boysenberry ice cream just to keep things visually attractive around here at Halley's Comment. So you've been using your mouth a lot. Just a whole helluva lot. You've been talking this person up and down and sideways, because they are the coolest thing -- this new play toy that loves your ass.

I was telling you a story of how a really experienced Alpha Male got me to shut up and kiss him one time. Oh yeah, so anyway, I was doing that annoying girl thing. Talking, talking, talking. Both of us were probably having cartoon character bubbles floating above our heads with big smoochy lips drawn like simple cave paintings in the center of the bubble. Both of us were wondering why we were talking and talking and talking. It wasn't like the phone talking you do late at night with the cord wound around your ankle and your foot arching in a sexy way and you both just finding out your birthdays are two days apart, so it must mean something extremely significant. No, it wasn't that kind of talking. It was that empty talking with almost no content, camo talking, camoflaging the fact that you'd really rather be rolling around on the floor making out with the other person. And thank god for his nice direct approach, because I just could not stand talking one more second.

So he says, "Come here," and I wish I could capture the tone.

The tone is everything. It was that tone like, "WHO do you think you're kidding?! We both know you're just doing that crazy pre-kissing talking that sounds like NOTHING and it's just to keep us both from noticing that we're nanoseconds away from some serious lip-smacking tongue-thrusting fun, so just SHU-UT .. U-UP (four syllables)." And of course, I got the message instantly ... who wouldn't and I particularly liked the commanding tone. Yes, I had been called to the principal's office for serious horsing around. I had to stop talking and "come here" or go there from my perspective.

And I liked this part too, because there are some serious logistics about kissing. You are actually going from a certain distance -- usually you're looking at the talker's whole body and for good reason -- to suddenly getting very up close and personal. And this must be negotiated properly. [This is why dancing is so helpful as a pre-kissing activity -- you're coming together, drifting apart, coming back together, spinning your partner out, yanking them back up close, the distance thing doesn't seem so awkward when dancing. It's another matter when standing around talking.]

Yes, the logistics are a consideration, but of course, an Alpha Male is up to the task, at least the ones I've seen. I've never had to park a submarine in a narrow harbor, but I suppose it's rather like that. Actually I'm mixing metaphors here, the submarine parking activity is a later-in-the-evening post-kissing thing, isn't it? So somehow or another, one must bridge the distance between the two bodies and get the lips in alignment. It's really not that easy.

So he said, "Come here," and it said it all. I knew what was coming and I was so relieved that he had the wherewithal to just shut me up. And in this particular case, there was some serious bridging to do, we were not all that close to one another for some idiotic reason ... I'm standing around talking, but get this, we were in a hotel room, he was standing next to the bed -- DID I REALLY MISS WHAT WAS GOING ON?! I'm standing talking about God Know's What acting like we're on some street corner. I'd managed to get all the way across to the other side of the room, near the mini-bar, just short of climbing out the window for some reason -- not my intention, but I guess I was playing hard to get. But you probably wouldn't be surprised to learn, that even with that distance to travel, after I heard, "come here," I got over there pretty damned fast. I wasn't going to argue. And of course you didn't see the sly smile he gave me, he way he lowered his eyes and then looked straight at me with an electric jolt or the sexy way he was holding his body ... he really didn't even need to say "Come here."

I was there. Boy was I there. And it even involved two pairs of glasses to get in our way -- but no problem, they went flying -- and of course then the two awkward noses -- hardly an obstacle it ended up, all we needed was a quick 10 degree head turn on my part -- and it was lock and load.

And this boy was good. He did that favorite thing of mine. You come in really fast, really hard like you'll take the other person out with a mightly WHAM, but you let up just at the end and do the best light teasing kisses -- a real weak-knee-producer and girl-swooning move, I must say. I wanted more and I wanted more fast.

But he was in charge and gave me that "Now, young lady, let's not be greedy." look, so I had to pull back. He was really really expert, acted like it would be some of that chaste elementary school kissy face stuff for a while and I yielded to that descalation, not too thrilled, but not unwilling. We were knocking on the doors of the lips, no big deal, nice, innocent, lovely to notice how soft lips can be, yes, very polite. No big open mouth sucking for such two lovely civilized people as us, standing next to a hotel bed.

I should have seen it coming. I'm being a really good girl doing sweet little goldfish lippy kisses and his next move is a complete toss down on the bed with serious tongue thrusting -- Holy Heck! It's the classic Alpha Male Take Control "Fooled Ya!" strategy and "Now, I'll get my way with you!" manoeuvre.

And I was glad he threw me on the bed, I would have fainted anyway and landed on the floor if I'd been standing another minute anyway. I was truly a goner at this point. Barely breathing and we were in major mouth merge, with his long hard body to roll against. Loved it. Let me count those teeth. Of course now he was ready to start introducing all the other essential parts of the kissing arsenal -- and he had some arsenal.

A few of my favorite manoevers came to the ready -- head-holding. I love that, when a guy just holds your head like some big bouquet of flowers he has gathered into his arms and wants to get a deep delicious smell of. And all over the face kissing. Mmmmmmm. Oh yes, we love that. The good ones are everywhere seemingly all at once. And neck burrowing, yes, get right in there for a little neck nap as we take a little breather, come up for air. And this one did something I really like, gave me his fingers to suck. Oh, yeah, baby.

This one knew some things. I was impressed and having a lot of fun. And this one knew how to break it off suddenly and go over to the mini-bar and get us a Coke and ice ... I can't believe he did that. Got me completely crazy -- I jumped up and ran after as any woman would do, grabbed him by the back of the jeans. And this one turned around, pulled me close to him fast and gave me the perfect, standing up, "let me measure you against my body, see how well we fit" kiss. That's one of those longed-for moments. It's that question you sometimes get to answer early on if you work in the same office and back into the guy, "by accident" and turn and take a measure of the man. Happens all the time. A woman works that way. She thinks, "Oh, yeah, okay, that's how we'd fit together in bed." So that particular kiss is a humdinger. It's a taste of things to come. So to speak.

And then -- I told you this guy was a killer at kissing -- he mixed the very sexy intimate moment with the ordinary, "Let's have a Coke" moment. Good work man. That's the thing -- he knew that great artistic approach to life -- mixing hot/cold, slow/fast, close/far apart, hard/soft. He was good. Mixing rolling around necking on the bed with sitting in chairs drinking a soda -- that was great. He could mix it up. Yes, like Rhett said,"You should be kissed, and often, and by someone who knows how." Oh, yes, he knew how.

So, I'll leave the two kissers there, sipping Coke, since you can surely imagine the rest. Or maybe you can't. You probably figure we ended up in bed once the soda was gone. But this guy was more expert than that. We actually went for a walk and then came back and then ... well, you can imagine how much better anything is when you are made to wait for it. It's always good to wait. All good things come to those who wait.

XOXOXOXOXOXOX H

Kissed And Often

And Rhett knew how: "No, I don't think I will kiss you... although you need kissing, badly. That's what's wrong with you. You should be kissed, and often, and by someone who knows how."

Alpha Male Lessons, 15, 16, 17, 18

Coming into the home stretch with my Alpha Male Lessons. I get email often asking where the last few chapters are. Here's where they are: notice the cranium of the woman in the picture. Yes, they are IN MY HEAD and have not yet come out. Believe me, I'm as eager as anyone to have them be born. I don't know nothin about birthin babies, but I think we'll be seeing four of them born in short order.

Monday, May 12, 2003

Doing My Homework

Having lunch with my friend from EMC and thought I might like to know what they do before I head out their way and put my foot in my mouth during some part of lunch.

Nocturnal Admissions

Dave and Robert are having weird dreams on a night of thunder and lightning, no surprise. I had some interesting dreams too, but I think I'm keeping them to myself this morning. Oh, yes, good idea.

Clanking Striptease

Okay, I finally dug up Betsy Devine's original howler post about the sound effects required for a Russell Crowe Gladiator striptease. Scott aka Fuzzy Johnson added this as well. Very funny. That nagging rusty ring around the collar, you try rinsing it out, you try scrubbing it out ...
Halley left out my addition to this point (#1) and a new point (#2):

1. When you do the laundry, there's a whole rust factor to consider. Maybe Murphy's "Oil Soap"?
2. Just to get the laundry down to the wash, you need maids who look like russian weight lifters.

Then I remembered this poem I had written for Niek a while back, that mentions taking his "armor" off, so I couldn't resist posting it below. Especially as Betsy reminded us on Satuday that she and Niek had sex last week on their blogs. She sure knows how to make conversation. BTW, Niek, what's going on over there in Holland -- you seem to be challenging Rageboy for International Babe Magnet.

Harem -- Scare 'em



In the Harem.

In the harem, they have heard his name whispered
and every wife reaches for her heart
her ample bosom swells at the thought of him arriving
and then she reaches for her perfume;

In the harem, no thigh is dry
but rather perfumed with oil of fantastic
far away scent and her own special scent
as she dreams that he might choose her;

In the harem, it will be a long night
as they await him, the odors of gardenia
and hibiscous and jasmine will fight
with the female scent strongly wanting the man;

In the harem, the younger wives beg the older
for stories of him and the tales begin to unravel,
his kindness, his teasing, his passion, his laughter
The stories make the young girls lips swell;

In the harem, some can not wait the night for him
so girl takes girl, woman woman into
the female ecstacy of mounting tenderness
where they feel his presence close by;

In the harem, she dreses in red gauze trousers below
and red cotton corset half-laced above
to remind him that the choice is easy
and that she remembers how they played;

In the harem, he comes to her, yet nods to
all the others, setting off a cascade of blushes
and rushes of feeling and wet anticipation
as he crosses the room to her.

In the harem, they find private places,
a bed of heaven made for them
and she can remove his armour effortlessly
and he can make short work of red gauze and cotton
as they travel far away, on clouds, wrapped in
one another's arms.

We've Got Lightning. We've Got Thunder


Bob Marley - Revolution

Revelation reveals the truth - revelation.
(revolution, revolution, revolution - oooo-doo-doo-doo-doo)
(revolution - oooo-doo-doo-doo-doo)

It takes a revolution (revolution) to make a solution;
(doo-doo-doo-doo)
Too much confusion (aaa-aaah), so much frustration, eh!
I don't wanna live in the park (live in the park);
Can't trust no shadows after dark (shadows after dark), yeah-eh!
So, my friend, I wish that you could see,
Like a bird in the tree, the prisoners must be free, yeah! (free)

Never make a politician (aaa-aaah) grant you a favour;
(doo-doo-doo-doo)
They will always want (aaa-aaah) to control you forever, eh!
(forever, forever)
So if a fire make it burn (make it burn, make it burn)
And if a blood make ya run (make ya run, run, run),
Rasta de 'pon top (aaa-aaah), can't you see? (doo-doo-doo-doo)
So you can't predict the flop. Eh-eh! (doo-doo-doo-doo)

We got lightning (lightning), thunder (thunder),
brimstone (brimstone) and fire - fire (fire, fire);
Lightning (lightning), thunder (thunder),
brr-brimstone (brimstone) and fire - fiyah - fire - fiyah!
(fire, fire)

Sunday, May 11, 2003

I Want A Mom

If you don't have RUGRATS IN PARIS, you need to get it. It's really a boy meets girl and son meets mom story where Chuckie Finster and his dad meet the mom/girl of their dreams in Paris and have a very happy ending. One of my favorite Cyndi Lauper songs is in it. Happy Mother's Day all.


I Want A Mom by Cyndi Lauper

I want a mom that will last forever
I want a mom to make it all better
I want a mom that will last forever
I want a mom who love me whatever

I want a mom to take my hand
and make me feel like a holiday
A mom to tuck me in at night
and chase the monsters away
I want a mom to read me stories
and sing a lullaby
And if I have a bad dream, to hold me when I cry

Oh, I want a mom that will last forever
I want a mom to make it all better
I want a mom that will last forever
I want a mom that will love me whatever, forever

And when she says to me that she'll always be there
To watch and protect me, I don't have to be scared
O, and when she says I will always love you,
I want need to worry cause i'll know that it's true

I want a mom when I get lonely, to take the time to play
A mom who can be a friend and find a rainbow when it's gray
I want a mom to read me stories and sing a lullaby
And if I have a bad dream, to hold me when I cry

Chorus (repeat twice)

I want a mom
I want a mom
I want a mom that will last forever
I want a mom that will last forever
I want a mom
I want a mom
I want a mom that will last forever
I want a mom
I want a mom that will last forever


Saturday, May 10, 2003

Funny Ha-Ha Yes and Fuzzy Too

What a day! I'm still laughing out loud. Yes, it was a LOL-athon at Woodman's and at Crane Beach. Not surprisingly as I was still recovering from last week NYC Blogger Bash, I had not been heavily promoting this one and was also not sure the weather would be good, so it was a small crowd, which was perfect if you ask me -- just the usual Halley thing, two women, one man. :) Yes, it was me, Betsy Devine and Scott Johnson of Funny Ha-Ha Blog and Fuzzyblog.

I can't even begin to describe it. Me -- at a loss for words - imagine. It was just a terrificaly fun and funny and sunny day with Betsy and Scott and maybe I better let them tell it. No, I'll give it a try. Okay, Betsy for some reason goes into this wonderful thing about watching Russell Crowe in Gladiator chain mail doing a strip tease and if such a thing were to occur, and Russell was dropping one heavy metal garment after another, chain mail, breastplate, sword sheath, how hot would this be ... but wait, how NOISY would this be?! Very noisy. But of course I had to say that a naked Russell Crowe and a pile of chains to play with certainly wouldn't be the worst thing. Scott did the requisite rolling of his eyes back in his head at the two of us going on and on. Thank god he was there to bring us back to earth and talk RSS and Feedster with us. I took a little bow and curtsy after remembering exactly what RSS stood for. (Adoring fans may now clap, I say, "thank you, thank you and you guys in the bleachers, thank you.")

And don't be fooled into thinking Scott was much of a sobering influence -- he's as funny and charming and witty as anyone else there today -- and can be equally blamed for keeping me in stitches. So the conversation went from Russell Crowe to everywhere and anywhere else ... hard to reconstruct, but by the end of a terrific lunch I'd actually talked those guys into going to beach. I guess I'm more serious about the beach than I let on, because I just happened to have three folding beach chairs, a beach blanket, a towel, a pretty orange tulip bikini, a brown plastic bottle of Suntan Oil with SPF0 and another plastic blue bottle of waterproof sweatproof SPF48. I was much intrigued by the mathematics of SPF and wondered if I mixed the two you could get to SPF24. Scott rationally pointed out that one being oil and one being more creamy and water-based it would seem to be an issue of whether the mixtures would even mix, as opposed to the arithmetic considerations.

Off to the beach it was and what a great sunny day. Bit of a problem with that wind. I lathered on the SPF0 oil and proceeded to get sandblasted by a fine, relentless spray of sand for 2 hours. I told them I was fast turning into something resembling a breaded veal cutlet. Kite kids down the beach were equally sand-swirled I suppose, but they were happy to have such a powerful breeze. Later, when I pulled into a gas station to get gas, the money taking guy came to my car looked in, was rather mesmerized looking at my face, then says, "You're covered in sand, lady, it's all over your face." He found it rather amazing. He was grinning. I looked a lot like an emery board, or just an emery woman I guess you might say.

BTW, Betsy is so funny and I said to her, "Betsy, you're so funny." And then she reminded me that she writes joke books. Someone had told me that, but I actually thought they were pulling my leg, but they weren't. Betsy writes books of jokes and is terrifically funny. As I lay down in my bikini and undid the back string, she mused on a seagull making a rather malicious face my direction. I can't even tell you what she said, but it was too funny.

Being Halley isn't easy. Sometimes things just fall out of Halley's mind directly down a chute to Halley's mouth, there are no filters and no restraining devices. One of those things happened this afternoon. After the beach and after a visit to a great apple farm for cider and other treats -- Betsy stuffing us full of home-made donuts they make there -- and photos and then Scott missing the turn to Rt. 128, but then Betsy and I suggesting he go back and HE TOOK OUR ADVICE,, I suddenly hear Halley saying the most shocking thing. Halley's telling Scott, "See Scott, you just did it -- one of those things women love -- honestly, there are two things you can do to get any woman to just stop everything and fuck you and one of them is to admit you don't know which way you are going and actually listen to her advice and do it -- this gets them every time and the other, of course, is playing with young children, looking like a good dad. This also does us in, just makes us putty in your hands. Don't even have to have kids, just play with someone else's kids and women love watching men do this."

One more blogger meeting proving nothing beats the real meet and greet. Kindof sorry more people didn't show and kindof glad they didn't. I know the car thing's tough, so next time we'll do some carpooling and hope no one misses such a great day again. Thanks to Betsy and Scott.

Bloggers Beach Bash

The weather's iffy, but we're on today. A bit of a change in the schedule, so email me to confirm you will be attending.

Friday, May 09, 2003

Rain On The Roof

Got up early yesterday, very early and then later that morning had an appointment around 10:30. I was so tired at 9:00am (was up at 3:00am) I realized that if I didn't go out, get in the car, drive to the appointment and wait outside in my car, I would end up instead falling asleep and missing it completely. So I did just that, drove there, parked there, threw back the driver's seat and had nearly an hour to snooze on a quiet residential street before I had to go in.

Once again, to even find an hour in my day is a bit of a miracle, and that particular "found hour" was luxurious in the extreme. It was raining and I like the sound of the rain in Arlington drumming on the roof of my car when I'm safe, sound and warm inside. Even found a blanket in the back seat and covered up with it. From the low angle I was lying at, I could see out the window, to lush green trees across the street. They had that twinkle color of new buds, nearly electric yellow green, and they were sucking up that rain. Foliage that looks like green pulses of light, not leaves. Ecstatic green vibrations of new growth. They shout out "See Me!" those little nutty new kid leaves.

Focus shift from long-range trees to up close raindrops rolling jiggity-jaggety down the window glass. I was up close memorizing every raindrop's herky-jerky path, like quicksilver droplets trying to find their mates, join forces. I was thinking about the way the rain falls, finding fellow drops. I was a little sad, found I could make rain too. My cheeks the window they would roll down.

Appointment was to see the shrink. I was thinking about my family. Heck call it what they call it "family of origin" sounds so clinical. I was thinking about kitchen tables and office conference rooms. Somewhere along the line, I stopped looking at trees and raindrops -- things that made sense to me, they just are what they are -- and got caught up in family stuff and teams at work.

Learned early at the kitchen table that people lie. They say one thing and mean another. As a writer, even way back, as a writer in a little girl dress with mary jane shoes that did not reach the floor, I learned that families are busy lieing and not telling you the truth, because sometimes, if not most of the time, the truth is a little scary. At the kitchen table I remember thinking as a writer -- if you lie, you're lost -- you lose your way and can't figure a way back, it's dangerous. To tell the truth in a family is also dangerous and you get punished for it. But to start lieing is the END of being a writer. You might as well pop your head off like an overused Barbie doll. Lies. Like taking your compass and mismarking NORTH. It's the big violation. Family lies.

Was thinking you do the very same thing at work. People sitting around a conference room table trying to tell the truth and often lying. The violence of the office. I find it a scary and violent place where nasty deeds are done and no one speaks up. Lying because of power. Lying to those in power that they are cool and smart when they aren't, although if you're really lucky maybe they are. Lying to customers. Lying to colleagues about their future at a company, perhaps, just to make them feel a little less terrified. Lying that there will be no layoffs. And I feel tired, knowing this is the coin of the realm in so many offices. They call it politics, but it's just plain lying mixed up with power. When you call it that, you risk everything. When you stop seeing the truth, however, to my mind, you're dead.

In the car, I'm glad the rain is not lying to me. It's being wet, it's rain, it knows writers get crazy when rain pretends to be dry and sandy. Writers who can't even remember how to spell lying or is it lieing but always know when it's happening.

Thursday, May 08, 2003

Fridge List

You know sometimes you just get a little crazy. You get sad. You get depressed. You get down and you can really fall fast. So Halley's Comment brings you the oh-so-handy-fridge list. Put this list on your fridge. What list? Well, a list of things you can do to get yourself back on track.

We all have those days where it's going along fine and something happens ... an old song on the radio, some harmless (you thought) country & western tune or god knows what ... a girl you see at a Starbuck's that looks just like ... oh, shit, is it her? And your heart falls fast. Christ, man, you could get the bends the plunge is so deep and so fast.

Turn to the handy fridge list. Notice it's strategic location. I'm all for jamming food into your face if you're having an anxiety attack and getting very depressed very fast. You know in the 80's and 90's we were all getting so fucking perfect, we started getting on our high horses about addictions. Give addictions a break. They can be handy sometimes. Jam that food in your mouth. Light up that cig. Pour that glass of wine. A little 69 for the master and mistress of the house never hurt anyone. Come on. Go for it.

So the list includes all the heretofore mentioned pleasures and add these:

Order A Pizza
Prank calls requesting "Prince Albert In A Can" to local drugstores
Ask 10 Friends over and insist on them showing you their driver's license photos
Using food coloring on any food, any drink
Putting ice anywhere on you, anywhere on anyone else
Dressing up like That 70's Show
Other Stupid Stuff TBD

Remember you only live once and why spend it feeling half dead. And yes, it's true blondes have more fun. Way more fun.

Download

I have been working and working and working and finally, I'm done for a while and yesterday I did a most radical thing. Put on a bathing suit, went out in the back yard, Lay there on a blanket. That's it. It was hot, sunny, gorgeous. And something stunning happened. I simply was. I was. I just was me. Just being there.

Or let me say what I WASN'T to make it more clear what I was. I wasn't rushing from an airplane to a taxi. I wasn't in an office. I wasn't writing at the computer. I wasn't paying bills. I wasn't reading The Wall Street Journal. I wasn't thinking about 30, 60, 90 days out. I wasn't wondering if I could take a coffee break after a morning of mind numbing readings, writings, meetings. I wasn't driving to some appointment and fretting about the traffic. I wasn't wondering about a silk blouse at the dry cleaners being ready for a certain day next week. I wasn't flying out of the house with hair still not dry, kid's backpack in tow, file folder forgotten on coffee table, lunch money not easily found, so stashing a $20 in my kid's pocket, rushing to get to that damned intersection in time not to get stuck and be late for a morning meeting. I wasn't cutting a guy off in traffic and muttering about what an idiot he was ... when, of course, I was the rude idiot cutting him off.

I was just on a blanket, my skin the network for a massive download of information. I was downloading sky, sun, trees, breeze, air, light, green, yellow, birch bark, and earthly knowledge. I was. I just was. And it was amazing. I was drunk with it. The sizzle of the earthly wisdom hitting my many square inches of skin. And as the knowledge rushed in, I was swooning with it, going, "oh, yes, yes, yes, I remember, I get it, oh, right, yes, I know, yes, absolutely right, I so agree, mmmmmmmmmmmmm, yes." Returning to self. Returning to the earth. Returning to the ground. Coming home. Yes, I remember her vaguely, very tenuous, she's surfacing, someone named me.

Wednesday, May 07, 2003

Blush!

Jeneane my buddypal girlfriend numberone fan and favorite mom, just blogged the sweetest thing about me. It's scandalous really. She's telling it all at her site today. The word is out. I'm the queen of "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun." But don't let her fool you -- she's right up there with me when it comes to having fun, loving her kid, taking time to play and being a terrific person. I love her.

Just About

It's just about the most perfect day. For one thing, it's now and it's new and this morning, I woke up and I noticed right off .. "Hey! I'm alive!" ... and I'm not one to take that for granted. As a kid I was sick a lot and would wake up in hospital beds. And that's a place where you're particularly appreciative to notice on any given moring when you wake up that you happen to be alive. It's basic, but it's really really nice to notice that you're alive in a hospital. Then they bring you that airplane food and you don't give a shit, because even if it's dreadful food, you're alive and that's great.

So just think of what could happen today. Just about anything. That alone takes my breath away. What a perfect day it is, just about the best day ever, just about the most perfect day. Anything could happen.

What if by accident I got in a cab and went to the airport and flew somewhere, like Los Angeles or San Fran or New York, or London, or Amsterdam or Paris ... that could happen. Or what if I met a friend for a drink in town and we just yucked it up a lot and had so much fun? Or what if someone asked me to speak at a conference that I was really keen on speaking at? Or what if someone sent me flowers? Or what if I heard from a friend in email I was really missing? Or what if I got to blog a silly blog post that was fun to write and even more fun to weave full of funny pictures and ideas? Or what if my son gave me a big hug and said, "Mom, you're the best mom a kid could ever have?" Oh, my goodness, he just did that! I guess this is just about the most perfect day. Hope yours is just as good.

Monday, May 05, 2003

Little League Mom

Trying out this new persona -- kindof a soccermom, littleleaguemom thing -- what do you think, does it suitt me?

Well, anyway, little league moms go to bed at 9:32 which is just what I'm about to do. Busy day.

Dancing Halley Halley-loo-yeah Dance

Thank God! I been writing all day w/a deadline of 6:00PM and I think .... Oh My God ... I'm done. I nailed it. Crank up the disco music. Now! Don we now the pink high heels! Dance! Dance! Dance!


Super Trouper -- ABBA

Super Trouper beams are gonna blind me
But I won't feel blue
Like I always do
'Cause somewhere in the crowd there's you

I was sick and tired of everything
When I called you last night from Glasgow
All I do is eat and sleep and sing
Wishing every show was the last show
(Wishing every show was the last show)
So imagine I was glad to hear you're coming
(Glad to hear you're coming)
Suddenly I feel all right
(And suddenly it's gonna be)
And it's gonna be so different
When I'm on the stage tonight

Tonight the
Super Trouper lights are gonna find me
Shining like the sun
(Sup-p-per Troup-p-per)
Smiling, having fun
(Sup-p-per Troup-p-per)
Feeling like a number one
Tonight the
Super Trouper beams are gonna blind me
But I won't feel blue
(Sup-p-per Troup-p-per)
Like I always do
(Sup-p-per Troup-p-per)
'Cause somewhere in the crowd there's you

Facing twenty thousand of your friends
How can anyone be so lonely
Part of a success that never ends
Still I'm thinking about you only
(Still I'm thinking about you only)
There are moments when I think I'm going crazy
(Think I'm going crazy)
But it's gonna be alright
(You'll soon be changing everything)
Everything will be so different
When I'm on the stage tonight

Tonight the
Super Trouper lights are gonna find me
Shining like the sun
(Sup-p-per Troup-p-per)
Smiling, having fun
(Sup-p-per Troup-p-per)
Feeling like a number one
Tonight the
Super Trouper beams are gonna blind me
But I won't feel blue
(Sup-p-per Troup-p-per)
Like I always do
(Sup-p-per Troup-p-per)
'Cause somewhere in the crowd there's you

So I'll be there when you arrive
The sight of you will prove to me I'm still alive
And when you take me in your arms
And hold me tight
I know it's gonna mean so much tonight

Tonight the
Super Trouper lights are gonna find me
Shining like the sun
(Sup-p-per Troup-p-per)
Smiling, having fun
(Sup-p-per Troup-p-per)
Feeling like a number one
Tonight the
Super Trouper beams are gonna blind me
But I won't feel blue
(Sup-p-per Troup-p-per)
Like I always do
(Sup-p-per Troup-p-per)
'Cause somewhere in the crowd there's you

(repeat and fade)

Otay!

Well, it was fun meeting all the NYC Bloggers but now one in particular is giving me a run for the money. Seems Howard has decided to do me one better by turning my Alpha Male series into the Alfalfa Male series. With a sailor suit and a ukelele, this guy knows how to get the chicks. I mean he's got 4 babes in Hawaiian grass skirts who can't get their eyes off of him. Watch out Rageboy, you've got babe magnet competition. Check it out:

Alphalfa: "Gee spanky, I'm not sure about this Alphafa Male stuff."
Spanky: "But what about your promise to the He-man woman-hater's club?"
Alphalpha: "I'm sorry, Spanky, I have to live my own life."
Buckwheat: "OTAY!"

Definitely

Yes, a few hundred thousand bloggers have wanted me to know that DEFINaTELY is DEFINiTELY DEFINITELY. Sorry guys. She can blog but she can't spell.

Sunday, May 04, 2003

Bikini Beach Blogging

Hey folks, when I set the date of May 10, next Saturday for Boston Bloggers to meet at Woodman's up on the North Shore, little did I think it might actually be warm, sunny and beautiful. Well, if this weekend's any clue -- it might be terrific. Even if the weather stinks, we're on for next week at 12:00 noon on Saturday at Woodman's and then off to Crane Beach afterwards.

No bikinis required but feel free to wear them if the weather, wind, water and spirit move you.

Doc, They Say That Falling In Love Is Wonderful

Lest it be passed over casually, and it MUST NOT BE, I need to mention that I finally met Doc this week for the first time, at the Harvard conference in NYC and like everyone else who knows Doc, you can not help but fall in love with Doc.

It's a given. Some sort of force like gravity and magnetism and ... what's that other force? ... oh yeah ... the strong force. Doc's the strong force. Here's my big fan post, man. Just wanted to say a big thanks for coming to my conference and thanks for being terrific and thanks for being Doc. I am definitely falling in love.

They Say It's Wonderful
By Irving Berlin

They say that falling in love is wonderful
It's wonderful, so they say

And, with a moon up above, it's wonderful
It's wonderful, so they tell me

I can't recall who said it
I know I never read it
I only know they tell me that love is grand
And

The thing that's known as romance is wonderful, wonderful
In every way, so they say

To leave your house some morning
And, without any warning
You're stopping people, shouting that love is grand
And ...

Gnome-Girl Rebirth

Holy Heck, no wonder it's a terrific day, it's Gnome-Girl's official birthday. Go girl go. xoxoxxo H

When I Say Softly, Slowly

Don't even get me started on Bernie Taupin. One of my all time favorite lyricists. Just so damned good. Even if you don't like or didn't like Elton John's early songs, you can't say Taupin wasn't incredibly brilliant.

I was busy dissing the tiny virtual dancing girls featured on Strip Kittens (see post below), but take it all back. Is there anything as beautiful as a woman dancing, whether a tiny dancer in the sand or a virtual tiny dancer on your desktop?

Tiny Dancer
Music by Elton John
Lyrics by Bernie Taupin

Blue jean baby, L.A. lady, seamstress for the band
Pretty eyed, pirate smile, you'll marry a music man
Ballerina, you must have seen her dancing in the sand
And now she's in me, always with me, tiny dancer in my hand

Jesus freaks out in the street
Handing tickets out for God
Turning back she just laughs
The boulevard is not that bad

Piano man he makes his stand
In the auditorium
Looking on she sings the songs
The words she knows, the tune she hums

But oh how it feels so real
Lying here with no one near
Only you and you can't hear me
When I say softly, slowly

Hold me closer tiny dancer
Count the headlights on the highway
Lay me down in sheets of linen
you had a busy day today

Blue jean baby, L.A. lady, seamstress for the band
Pretty eyed, pirate smile, you'll marry a music man
Ballerina, you must have seen her dancing in the sand
And now she's in me, always with me, tiny dancer in my hand

Whatever Gets You Through The Night

I take it back. I take it back. Who am I to say you shouldn't get off on a a Tiny Desktop Dancer? Really. It's alright, it's alright. Whatever gets you through the night.

Whatever gets you through the night it's alright, it's alright
It' your money or your life it's alright, it's alright
Don't need a sword to cut thru flowers oh no, oh no
Whatever gets you thru your life it's alright, it's alright
Do it wrong or do it right it's alright, it's alright
Don't need a watch to waste your time oh no, oh no

Hold me darling come on listen to me
I won't do you no harm
Trust me darling come on listen to me, come on listen to me
Come on listen listen

Whatever gets you to the light it's alright, it's alright
Out the blue or out of sight alright, alright
Don't need a gun to blow your mind oh no, oh no

Hold me darling come on listen to me
I won't do you no harm
Trust me darling come on listen to me, come on listen to me
Come on listen listen

Virtual Strip Kittens

I don't know. Call me crazy. Maybe there's something I'm missing. But really, if you need to resort to a virtual strip kitten to get it up ... isn't it time to just give it up?

Friday, May 02, 2003

Thinking of Eric Raymond



I want to get this right, Eric. I’ve been thinking of what you described in The Cathedral and The Bazaar, I won’t slow down here to say you are an eloquent and gifted writer, but you are. I’m thinking of way you describe programmers working together in the open source fashion, sharing brain power, networking brains, “parallel processing” in their many brains, a peer network of great intelligence and I’m wondering if this might be something writers are doing in blogs.

Maybe blogging has those same dynamics of open source programming, where there is no doubt the networked power of many people taking an idea and thinking it through about 25 iterations in … 25 hours … instead of 25 days or 25 weeks of 25 months or 25 years … maybe that’s what blogging is actually about.

And I’m thinking of this, Eric, because yesterday at the Harvard Conference, Doc and I both had a “Whoa! Aha! Hey!” moment when one of the Harvard Business School professors, Robert Cialdini, was describing a conversation with the DNA guy Watson … or was it Crick? … no, it was Watson who was explaining why they had the breakthrough on DNA and some other more intelligent folks did not.

The reason? He gave a few preliminary ones, but the humdinger was that they chose to collaborate and leverage the power of their colleagues and the other researcher thought that that wasn’t necessary.

If blogging is open source thinking, then that may be why it’s such a turn-on. I mean, really, how much of it is the content – how much does anyone want to read about someone’s cat or whatever … but it’s not about that, I mean the cat stuff is just as cool as any of the rest of it. The cat stuff matters, in that it’s what takes up space in a blogger’s head with everything else.

If you’re “going in” – yes, if you plan to do some cranial scuba diving -- you need to get in deep with the cats, the disappointing dates, the RSS fights, the discussions of freedom and authenticity, the visit to a 90-year-old mom in North Carolina, the thoughts on privacy and homeland security, all of it – because YOU NEED TO GET INTO ANOTHER PERSON’S HEAD. So blogging is parallel processing, one networked brain made of many, e pluribus unum, with feline fur.

Traditional Japanese Breakfast


Green Tea
Dried Seaweed
Broiled Salmon and Pickled Vegetables
Scrambled Eggs
Miso Soup with Green Onions

Now this is my idea of a he-man breakfast. I’m at the Plaza reading the room service menu, starving and reluctant to plunk down $27.00 for “The New Yorker” breakfast, coffee , two eggs, sausage, toast, juice.

On the other hand, for a dollar more I can pretend I’m a Japanese newly wed starting the day with a serious protein packed breakfast and a new husband. .

I am not a Japanese newlywed, but I’ve seen some in Central Park, dressed like twins, taking pictures of one another with excellent cameras, and it seems so irresistibly cute to begin married life dressed alike – I find it touching and naïve in the extreme.

They really do have that tradition of dressing alike on a honeymoon. I’ve seen it. Also, sometimes I’ve offered to take their picture in the park, they’ve let me hold their excellent camera.

Perhaps I’d still be married if we’d taken a page out of that Japanese book and just dressed alike. Perhaps if we had dressed alike, we would have thought alike. Perhaps if we had eaten seaweed and salmon every morning, things would have gone more swimmingly. Perhaps …

Right Coast/Left Coast



Blogger’s dinner at Katz’ Deli last night was a ton of fun, but boy, have I got Coasteremia. It’s confusing to have Dan Gillmor of the San Jose Merc stroll down Houston Street and look like he lives around the corner, but he lives on the other coast. And then Anil Dash, or someone pretending to be Anil Dash pops up and I had him in my mind as a West Coaster too, so this is also confusing to learn I just happened to be wrong about that.

BTW, all the most swell and cool NYC bloggers were in attendance.

And Kevin Werbach is up from Philly, but always makes me think DC and is as likely found on the right coast as the left.
And Doc hosted so that meant his shocking suggestion the night before that 25 – 30 people might show up was of course -- spot on. And he’s from the West Coast, some town called, Hanna Barbera or something.

And if the two coast problem wasn’t bad enough, don’t forget another celebrity spotting – JP Rangaswami from London, so we’re talking Dover Beach if you want another coast.

And then there’s me – the one wearing the “Halley Suitt, Church Council” name plate last night (holding my special Katz Deli Orange Meal Ticket which I only lost 2 times) – there I was, I live in Boston now, visiting the Big Apple these past two days, only three grueling East Coast winters away from my ten-year stint in California, and you can take the girl out of Manhattan Beach, CA, but you can’t take the Manhattan Beach or the Manhattan out of the girl, so I’m in complete coast confusion.

And I don’t need to point out the obvious, but it seems easier to find all you guys online these days than to actually expect to find you in some town. [Big Thanks to Doc and Sebastian for the pix.]

Tuesday, April 29, 2003

NYC Bloggers Dinner

Okay, is he teasing me ... after all my writing about men and sex and alpha males, etc. Doc decides we should do the bloggers dinner on Thursday night at the same deli where Meg Ryan did that scene where she imitates an orgasm ... hmm, now Doc ... you're not throwing down a challenge or anything I hope.

Thursday, May 1, 7 PM, Katz Deli, 205 East Houston Street, see all info here.

Safe As Houses

BTW, in case I did get anyone worried, don't be. I feel safe as houses. I don't know what that means exactly, that odd expression, but I do feel safe and sound. Traveled down to NYC today and it was a piece of cake. I love NYC and I forgot how much I love it. Fun to be here.

Meanwhile, Doc's given us a location for dinner on Thursday night, thank goodness. More about that above.

Let's Be Careful Out There

On September 10th, 2001 I wrote a story .... just a short story about a couple having a marital spat. For some reason, in the first paragraph, I used the language,
"She amd her husband Jim had been fighting all morning, one of those perfect terrorist bombings only a married couple of a dozen odd years could pull off. They had masterminded the thing, blowing to smitereens whatever conjugal peace had been in place for the last few weeks, both of them left bleeding and battered by 10:30 am. At least she had some place to go that morning. She'd pulled herself together, dressing very quickly in her best wool suit, dousing her wounds with perfume, wrapping herself in a Hermes silk scarf, as if such bandaging would speed heeling."

I saved the story, half finished that morning under the title "September 10, 2001" as I often do when I'm just starting a new story. I didn't look at it for nearly a month -- you can imagine why. My family and I were shaken at that time, but suffered no direct losses. Thank God.

I didn't even remember writing it. Then one day, I was looking through my writing on my hard drive and came across it, began to read it and nearly fell off my chair.

Why am I mentioning it? Well, I have a strong sense of intuition. A friend pointed out I've been writing in the past few days about disasters. I hadn't even noticed. So here's what I think. I feel something's cooking. And I feel like we can all do a good job of being AWARE and VIGILANT in the next few days. We can do the excellent job of trusting our intuition just like the flight attendant did on the shoe bomber flight. I don't mean to freak you out. I just feel something and I know it's a good time for us all to be aware and connected and help one another out. I hope I'm completely wrong.

Monday, April 28, 2003

I'm A Survivor

I packed for a trip tonight and FINALLY, now that the winter is over, found my long underwear for skiing which I really needed all winter but could not find. It was tucked away in a knapsack that I had commandeered for an emergency. Something 9/11-ish or something Anthrax-ish or your basic Bioterrorism. I was looking at the clothes I had packed and was unimpressed with my strategy. The clothes were very comfortable, boring, a little loose and not at all sexy.

Of course, the shoes I'd packed were flats. A lot has changed in my life since I packed that suitcase. If I really plan on surviving, I'm going to replace my flats with really sexy stilleto heels in my emergency sack. Just think, how many women will have really sexy high heels in their emergency backpacks? Almost none. So right off, this means you have a rare, extremely attractive barter item, or perhaps you might need the shoes to dress up in and ask for favors. One must never rule this type of thing out. In fact, Sketchers makes high heel sneakers that are perfect for civilian defense. I need to get some. And as for undies, I packed some of my least sexy? What was I thinking?!

SARS

Over the weekend, my 7-year-old son was asking about it -- are we at risk, is it dangerous -- and I feel sad to think how many things in his world are risky. So much more risky than my world was ... or at least felt.

Oh Yes

How I feel today. Celebrate! Good stuff coming our way. Always darkest right before the dawn. And then at dawn, you remember what really matters.

Sunday, April 27, 2003

Going Fibonacci

I'm just going Fibonacci today. It's that kind of a day. Kick back, relax and just let those integers mate. I'm spiral-bound today.

Don't ask. Just messing with your mind. Getting ready to leave Harvard next week, so I'm putting the jaws of life to the old cranium. Hear it, oh yes, racheting open, like an observatory dome beginning to bust at the seams, looking for some vast dark night sky. Telescope peeping into the heavens ... what was that streak of light ... Halley's What?

Saturday, April 26, 2003

Beach Ready... Not Exactly

Speaking of being not at all ready for the beach, as I did below, Shape Magazine has this totally adorable Hawaiian girl on the cover, and notice not only are her abs and butt cute as can be, but she has a great tan. Now, I was getting my hair cut the other day and indulging in a flood of women's magazines and I'll tell you the big word on the street is SELF-TANNING.

But all things considered, it's now becoming the top requested treatment in a lot of spas and one magazine I read had a blow-by-blow description of the many variations on how women can have others spread on the goop that turns them tan. Some places spray you with it like an Earl Scheib car job. Other joints give you long rather torturous salt and lemon exfoliating body scrubs first and then apply the stuff. It takes about 2 hours and costs everything from $25 to $300, depending on the spa.

So all those cute tan girls at the beach are using self-tanners, many not done by "self" but others and all wearing SPF 48 and underneath the paint job, they' re white as ghosts.

Our Seven Month Winter

It's not that one chilly, rainy Saturday is such a big drag, but after the lovely weather yesterday WHEN MOST OF US WERE WORKING and now when we allegedly get a break and a few days off THE WEATHER STINKS, you get a bit down about it. And it's nearly May. Honestly after this winter from hell which could be justifiably described as lasting ... let me see, I know it snowed before Halloween this year ... so from October through April ... go ahead, count it with me OCT NOV DEC JAN FEB MAR APR -- a mere SEVEN MONTHS here in lovely Boston -- well, call me crazy, but it might be nice to have a pleasant temperate Saturday every 1/2 year or so. Crikey! Is that a word?

I was looking at some fat, drab housewives picking up laundry at the dry cleaner and I was thinking, "Yep, why bother, right?" When your slogging through seven months of winter in your L.L. Bean boots or hidden away in your house, the chances of you being bikini-ready by May, well, they are slim to none.

Yes, Make Your Bed

I got a lot of email thanking me for the post I wrote about just getting up and making your bed as a place to start feeling better instead of down. Here it is again. It's funny. Now that my mom's been gone for nearly ... golly, is it 6 years? Yes, for 6 years, it seems her words of wisdom are all the more right on and more alive in my life than ever.

Thursday, April 24, 2003

Walking Sunset

I don't know why I remembered this story. I guess it was because I was emailing a new friend who lives in LA near where I used to live and I remembered this tonight.

I lived in an area right above downtown LA called Silver Lake, next to Los Feliz. When we moved from 14th Street and 2nd Avenue in New York to LA and moved into this neighborhood, I thought it was amazingly tropical and beautiful and beachy ... and it was compared to New York, I guess ... but in some ways it's very urban and for most Los Angelenos is considered a rather "downtown" location -- not beach-like at all. But this was all before I really started to learn about the beaches in LA and it looked so gorgeous to me to see mountains out the window of our little place and there was a big blue reservoir right there we used to walk around at night, just dreaming of what would happen to us in LA. Anyway it was a fun and lovely time, full of opportunity, and I was always coming up with these weird adventure ideas.

My husband and I were recently married, but then I got transferred for my job out there really quickly and to make the move easier, we moved in with an old friend -- he was a cinematographer going to AFI (American Film Institute) and so we had this great apartment with me, my husband and our friend Kev. You have to know the personalities to appreciate this crazy menage a trois (which it wasn't btw), so let me take a stab at that. I'm half hyper crazy zany risk-loving in the extreme and as some folks have noted, one of the most extroverted people in the world. My husband is a counter-weigh of Asian American good sense, patience, understanding, thoughtfulness. Kev, who's a doll, is frankly a worry-wart about everything and rather downbeat about what can happen to a person in the world. Reminds me of Eyore a little. He's a terrific cinematographer, cameraman and writer too.

So I was always coming up with these brilliant ideas (okay, it's very I LOVE LUCY, I know) sans Ethel. And one night, I read in a guide book that a really excellent AUTHENTIC Mexican restaurant was on Sunset Boulevard fairly near where we lived. Of course, anyone who knows anything knows that LA is the quintessential CAR town, but Halley decided --- no, no, no -- none of these adventures would be really fun unless we WALKED instead of drove.

Of course, I managed to talk these poor guys into this expedition and off we marched on a hot night down Sunset Boulevard. If you ever go anywhere with me, you'll note that my map skills leave a lot to be desired. What was supposed to be fairly close by ... well, let's say it was about an hour and a half away. Not only that but it was hot as hell. And not only that, but it was through an area that went from fair to dangerous very quickly. I could read the message my husband and Kev shot back and forth to one another as the streets got more and more gutsy ... "Oh great, we've got this cute blond leading us down the street and those nice guys with the knives and guns might want to take her with them, but we get to save her since we're the menfolk here. Oh, shit!" Now there was much checking by both guys with me on the EXACT address of this joint. And of course, I'm not good with numbers and did that girl thing, "Don't worry, it' probably right up there." Well, it wasn't, but finally we got there.

And I don't know what the guide books definition of "authentic" Mexican food was, but this place, even I had to admit, was a total dump. A total dump I'd just dragged us through hell and heat and danger and a waste of nearly two hours to reach. There was not one white person in the joint. So, I suppose that was the "authentic" part. It was getting dark now, which made the walk BACK even more frightening for my two colleagues. We ordered some food. .

Next to us, there was a rowdy table of Mexican guys in cowboy hats and they were making a lot of noise, drinking a lot of beer and flirting with me. Both my husband and Kev were giving me dagger looks, like "do NOT talk to these guys." It was beginning to look like some bad B movie where they would have to have a fist fight to save my honor if it got any hotter.

The waitress brought us our food, which was very unappetizing and the two guys looked at me like, "Could this get any worse? Who's great idea was this?" Just as I gave one more cheerleader speech, "Hey, guys, dig in! It can't be that bad." and we sit, the three of us with forks poised mid-air, not quite ready to dig in. Suddenly, we turn and see one of the Mexican rowdy guys, who's obviously had too much beer, trying to get to the men's room past our table,. Well, he doesn't quite make it and vomits all over my huband's and Kev's shoes.

Of course, me being the blonde that way too often escapes unharmed, I was spared. And having orchestrated the disastrous evening, even I felt sorry the guy hadn't aimed for my shoes.

Well, if we weren't finding the food appetizing before, the odor of fresh vomit hardly enhanced our dining experience. There was a moment ... palpable to be sure ... when we suddenly realized, these other drunk guys were heading for us and that it was important to be totally OKAY with their friend's vomit on our shoes. And I think both my husband and Kev got up and gestured like "cool, no problem" and then we threw money down for the dinner we would never eat and got out of there fast. I was not asked to plan any more outings for a quite a while, nor did I offer.

Get Outta Here.

Go away. Just go. Yes, get lost. That's just what I like about blog posts. I wrote all this crazy shit here today and now, I can do some more posts and the other stuff goes away.

Go, shoo fly, beat it. Yes, go away, just go, get lost. Silly stuff about spanking and panties. Beat it buster. Here's your hat, what's your hurry. Sigh-o-nara. Adieu. Arrivaderci (spelling?) Cheerio. Get outta here.

Who Writes This Stuff?

I got a chance to read the copy on the Christian Thongs site a little more closely. Don't miss it!

WWJD? When faced with hard situations, sometimes you don't have the strength of will to just say "no." When the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak, let these 100% cotton panties do the talking for you, "What Would Jesus Do?" These words will put a damper on a young man's ardor faster than a bedroom full of stuffed animals.

And what a perfect opening to share your Christian witness! Start with Revelations 3:20, "Behold I stand at the door and knock." Then remind your young man (or woman!) that "True Love Waits." End by asking your suitor to join you on your knees in the sinner's prayer.

Remember, all the angels in Heaven rejoice when another soul is brought to his knees!

As for "asking your suitor to join you on your knees"... seems fine to me to stand by your man in those pretty panties and for him to go down ... on his knees, I mean ... to pray, of course.

Prayer Thongs -- Halley-loo-yeah

Now I've seen everything. Thong panties with Christian messages. I want some.

Blog Spanking

I've been warned that I can not blog at work. If I blog at work I get spanked. Problem is, I kindof like getting spanked ...

Don't tell anybody!

As much as I like getting spanked, I really like doing things I'm not supposed to do.

So, don't tell anybody. Also, don't tell anybody I really wrote this earlier and I'm just posting it now, so I don't actually qualify for a spanking.

Wednesday, April 23, 2003

Boston Bloggers Beach Bash

Save the date. We'll convene at Woodman's on Saturday May 10 at noon, up on the North Shore for lunch and then anyone interested can retire to Crane Beach if you like. Need a ride, drop me an email.

Ray Ozzie Welcome Wagon

As the self-appointed welcome wagon lady of Blogsville, I'm thinking about going up to the North Shore to leave a "welcome back" basket for Ray on his groovy Groove doorstep. This week I have Seth Godin and Kevin Werbach visiting at Harvard Business School and a ton of things to do, but surely I could throw together a little welcome wagon basket for this great guy. Hmmmmm .... thinking. Now if I could just fill it with treats from my favorite North o'Boston hang out, Woodman's!

Thanks to Doc for the update.

Tuesday, April 22, 2003

My Story And I'm Sticking To It

I have this idea. My idea is that we went horribly astray in the 80's and 90's mistaking business for sex. I don't mean anything about sex businesses. I mean, we started to get off on making money even more than on plain old getting off. We were very mixed up. (Go rent Wall Street starring Michael Douglas.) We were beginning to think cash was erotic. And if you want to talk TWISTED -- and many people think talking about sex is a little twisted ... mistaking money for sex is way more twisted.

So here's the weird thing about this new decade. Everyone loses their job, everyone loses their retirement savings, everyone loses it in just about every way lately, but at least we all come back to our senses to realize ... ready ... sex is sex! I'm telling you, it's a big breakthrough for our society. We'd gotten really off track. Even people with jobs don't find them sexy anymore, because god knows you can have one today and it's gone tomorrow.

Some people feel we are awash in too much sex (I don't think so) and too much sexuality (again, I don't think so) and too much porn (with this I do agree). But it's a time of recalibrating the whole system. No, your Lexus doesn't turn me on. No, it's no turn on that you're doing a job you hate for the money. Yes, plain old you and a roll in the hay turns me on.

Show Me The ... er, Money

If you were bored like me on Easter and read the post "Come, Come" below where I wrote a long, fairly dry critique of the idiotic porn spam that defiles my Inbox on a regular basis, you'll love Bacchus' "rebuttal" here. Notice the careful crafting of the answer to stay in harmony with the Easter Bunny theme, delivering up a number of carrots as visual aids. I have now, with Stacy the Starving Bio Major, gotten quite a lesson in anatomy and stand semi-corrected in my naive assumptions.

Bacchus, thank you for so precisely educating me on this subject. I was in serious LOL mode, I can tell you. Still, I wonder if there's a viable business model in all this. Show me the money ... seems like a lot of work for some pleasure and about as much fun as having 10 guys stuffed in a phone booth. Too close for comfort if you ask me.

Monday, April 21, 2003

NYC Bloggers Dinner

Save The Date -- Looks like Doc and I are organizing a NYC Bloggers Dinner on the evening of Thursday, May 1. Details to follow. Let's hope and pray Doc is not whipping up a meal for us from his 1974 Weight Watchers Meal Cards.

Sunday, April 20, 2003

Dancing Queen

I love pop music. And I love this A Teens CD which is a re-do of the ABBA tunes including "Dancing Queen". And I love dancing. And after sitting in my chair blogging for the afternoon, I just wanted everyone to know I've got Dancing Queen cranked up loud and I'm ponying.

The other day at work I overheard someone telling someone about The Frug and then demonstrating The Monkey! Christ! Get your retro dance steps straight. I nearly had to make a citizen's arrest. But instead muttered to myself "Forgive Them Father. For They Know Not What They Do."

Happy Easter All!

Come! Come!

I get the most ridiculous porno email. It starts to make no sense whatsoever. And as a writer who can write about sex fairly well, I find this stuff insulting and totally idiotic. I wish I could rewrite some of it and send it back with editorial comments. I just got one in my email that says, really, check this out.

Stacy is a starving biology student. She said the reason she would take two huge cocks inside her was because "I need the money!" What a whore, but with a DAMN fine pussy.

What the hell is this supposed to mean anyway? First of all I've known a lot of biology students. And most of them were pre-med students. So start with the fact that they are probably not starving -- I mean a lot of pre-med students are having a tough time, true, but many are well-off sons and daughters of doctors. They are NOT starving.

Your basic biology major spends a lot of time in a biology lab where, if things got really dire, there are the occasional lettuce leaves (rabbit food) to scarf down or even a mouse if you were pressed for protein. And if things really when to hell in a handbasket, you could probably swill some agar mixed with a little alcohol in a petri dish and drink that. You would feel no pain at least and the agar is reputed to sustain life, at least until the end of the semester.

So forget Stacy the starving biology student -- very implausible. And then this alleged Stacy does what ... "takes two huge cocks inside her" oh, yeah, that's easy to do. And how many biology students are quick to put "two huge cocks" inside them anyway? They know from germs. Biology students have a much more finely attuned awareness and appreciation for condoms than your ... say, Poli Sci major ... so I have to say again, "No way would Stacy the not-so-starving biology student" feel the need to put two huge cocks inside her. And what is she -- a rather greedy little biology student -- that she insists on TWO cocks. Can't she share? Isn't there another biology student who could use that 2nd cock in their little lab assignment. What's with Stacy asking for two? What else does she want, two pipettes, two beekers, two microscopes, two stools? I'd give her an "F" for teamwork.

And WHY is this alleged biologist-wannabe putting these two cocks in her vagina -- and this makes, I'm telling you, NO SENSE -- the writer tells us "I need the money!" Because she needs the money?. Who, exactly, is paying for this transaction?

Let's posit for a moment that, in fact, she is a bio major who moonlights as a common whore -- a stretch of the imagination dear readers, I know, but stay with me on this. If she were propositioning guys to fuck her with huge cocks -- why on earth would any reasonable man pay to compete with another customer's huge dick for space in Stacy's cunt? It just does not make solid economic sense. Stacy is no business major. So instead of getting two guys paying to fight over what is essentially one parking place, shouldn't she reconsider the whole scenario and take them on one at a time?

I have news for Stacy. If she thinks the "starving biology student" schtick is going to work with customers, she's wrong. At some point these guys are going to wonder about her credentials as a biologist -- she certainly is not impressive in her knowledge of the female anatomy.

And now to add insult to injury (possibly), the writer ends with this inscrutable, unsupported, highly unlikely claim, "What a whore, but with a DAMN fine pussy." Well, I can tell you right off, any biology major moonlighting as a common whore, having two guys sticking two huge cocks in her vagina all night is not going to meet the morning light with a DAMN fine pussy. And besides, she'll find she didn't get much of her bio homework done either.

Eight At One Blow

There was some story with a tailor that sewed a belt with that written on it. You see these hopeless lacunae I'm forced to live with ... the brain decays day by day. Anyway, all I meant to suggest is suddenly, finding a paucity (or is it a dearth), no .... I'll say scarcity of content here on Easter Sunday ... I decided to do a pile of postings and may do 8 or more before I'm through with you. It's a veritable Linotype machine today.

This may mean I've come down with SARS -- Sessum's Acute Ranting Syndrome -- where certain people do more than 30 posts in a single day. It's a frightening disease, except in the hands of a master like Jeneane Sessums. The rest of us untrained professionals should not attempt it.

Cowcatcher My Ass

Am I hallucinating or did it really say that Babbage invented the cowcatcher ... (see post below) ... as well as a few more important things. But I've always thought it was one of your most poorly named devices. Ask any cow. It's that pointy front piece on the head of a locomotive train which is hardly in the business of bovine benefaction, but rather should be called something like a COWPLOUGH as it's sole intent is to peel cows off the track and send them hurtling head-first anywhere but here.

About Bag and Baggage

I mentioned it below casually as the scene of the crime where I got addicted to Vanilla Diet Coke -- Denise loves the stuff and now I do too and of course everyone loves Denise because she's equal parts brainiac lawyer and total babe. Babe and Babbage I think her site should be called every now and then since she does know a lot about all things computerish and she's a babe and should be proud of it. (I'm testing your knowledge of Babbage here ... go look it up if you don't know the reference.).

Anyway, she's got an interesting post today referring to Danielle Crittenden in the LA Times talking about writing serial fiction on the web and selling a book out of it. I've actually sold one of my stories "Melting The Mint" to Penthouse after posting it to my site. Cool, eh? And like the author she mentions, there's something incredible in publishing on a Monday and getting reader feedback on a Tuesday. No writer has ever had such an interactive medium as that. In fact blogging does remind me much more of stand-up comedy in that respect than any other form of published writing.

I Guess I Could Tell You What I'm Eating

Well, I was invited to my sister's house for a big Easter dinner sit-down deal, but after a busy morning at church, and lots to do here at home, I just couldn't do it. One of the big upsides of my mom and dad both being gone now -- and maybe I sound like a rat for saying it -- is that there are no more "command performances" on holidays. And yes, I was glad to be invited, but I just have to get some stuff done around here and have been falling into that bad habit of writing stories out in long hand and need to transcribe some, not to mention do some laundry, roast a garlic chicken on 450 very hot, very fast, the way my Chinese mother-in-law taught me.

And I did tell you I would report on what I've been eating. Thing is, when my son's not here I don't eat a whole helluva lot. I'm just busy doing other things and don't think about it. So this morning before church I ate ... a can of Kirkland (Costco brand) Slim-Fast which they call something else, which is a little more watered down than the regular Chocolate Milk flavor Slim-Fast and I ate it just so I would eat something, because often I don't eat anything and suddenly notice I'm starving at 4:00. So I drank a glass of skimmed milk, drank a Kirkland Chocolate Milk Slim-Fast, drank some seltzer water, didn't eat anything, then took a Dannon Coffee Yogurt with me to church and ate that there in the back room where they'd already set up the Coffee Hour food. I came back here and ate a Bagel Sandwich I got at Dunkin Donuts -- egg, bacon, cheese on a poppyseed bagel toasted -- and an iced-coffee (decaf, milk no sugar) and I also bought but haven't eaten 2 Berry Berry Bagels. I'm not big on sweets but completely nuts for carbs. I could eat my way through a bread bakery -- you can keep the cookies, cakes, pies for the most part. I made my son an Easter Basket of no food, only toys, kites, little cars, gift card to Toys R Us. I knew all the other relatives would completely drown him in candy.

And after trying not to eat any chocolate or candy this holiday, I broke down and ate a few pieces of Cadbury Roses chocolates I brought back from London in February. Couldn't resist. Also, I am addicted (and will admit it here) to VANILLA DIET COKE and blame Denise Howell of Bag and Baggage for that, as she wrote about it last year a bunch and I got hooked on the idea, even before getting hooked on the drink.

At church I ate some cherry tomatoes and celery with dip, and Trisscuits and no wine no wafer today. Oh, yes, also ate a bunch of Garlic Matzos which I'm wild for. They make crumbs all over the place though.

I Guess I Could Just Write Something

I'm dragging my lazy ass or lazy mouse around blogsville here today looking for new and interesting stuff. What are people doing today on Easter ... what are they up to ... what are they thinking? And finding very little. So then I finally come to the connclusion that I could actually WRITE something myself if I feel there's not enough out there. But what the hell would I write?