Sunday, July 20, 2003

Heading to SF Tomorrow For The Week

I leave for San Francisco tomorrow morning, Monday and will be there the week. I looked up the weather online but it still is hard to figure out ... sounds like highs of 60 by the shore and 90 inland -- heckof a range. I suspect it will be one of those bone-chilling summer weeks in San Franscisco Mark Twain was so good at describing.

Can't Get These Guys Out Of The House

My son and his friend are so into this video game, Jak and Daxter, they can't be pried loose. I swear. I'm here in my bathing suit, keen on taking them to the pool, but that sure doesn't look like it will be happening soon. They told me they're on Snowy Mountain -- perfect for a hot sunny 85 degree summer day, boys -- and don't want to leave.

Prayers

Off to church. Email me if you want me to pray for you. I love to pray. I have a list of folks to pray for.

Saturday, July 19, 2003

My Fair Lady

Off to see My Fair Lady tonight. I must admit I love all the fighting and bickering between Eliza Doolittle and Henry HIggins and how they are so busy convincing one another how much they loathe the other while they are hopelessly falling in love. In the end, he knows he's hooked.


I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face

I've grown accustomed to her face
She almost makes the day begin
I've grown accustomed to the tune
She whistles night an' noon

Her smiles, her frowns
Her ups, her downs
Are second nature to me now
Like breathing out and breathing in

I was serenely independent
And content, before we met
Surely I could always be that way again, and yet
I've grown accustomed to her looks
Accustomed to her voice
Accustomed to her face

-- Lerner and Loewe

Saturday Groove-All-Night Song List

Came across this list when I was looking for something else. Oh, yes, very fun. Now slip out of that bathing suit, slip on the party dress and get down tonight.

Do a little dance, make a little love
Get down tonight, get down tonight
Do a little dance, make a little love
Get down tonight, get down tonight

I'm Bushed Just Reading About White House Email

Don't miss this one. Doc is describing the idiotic and complicated new abusive user interface for sending email to the White House. Don't miss it. Since it required a return verification of several hours (or days?) we're watching the process on his blog in real-time which is really amusing. Real time or just real slow time?

Admit it though -- some ecommerce interfaces are nearly as bad and they are actually trying to sell things. If you've enjoyed trying to pay Verizon by their ecommerce site you know what I mean -- you can spend nearly a 1/2 hour trying to pay a bill, entering endless redundant information, only to find they do not accept over $200 electronically, or some other ridiculously low ceiling. You can't help but swear, "so why the hell didn't you mention that on THE FIRST SCREEN!" I'll go check this again -- I may be getting mixed up with their equally impossible "pay by phone" user interface.

Tennis Time

Off to tennis lessons with my kid. Unlike Serena Williams here, no fashion statement will be made. We're barely able to get going this morning, much less dress to impress, after a big thunder storm woke us last night at 3:00 and made it tough to get back to sleep. And unless Reebok makes a cool shoe for injured feet -- I'm still most unfashionably attired in this.

Friday, July 18, 2003

Big RSS News In A One-Horse Tech Town

On a rainy thundering afternoon in Boston, the news that Dave Winer has given his RSS intellectual property over to the Berkman Center at Harvard gives me pause. In this one-horse tech town dominated by MIT, it's fun to think what this might mean. Winer's act might have a much more profound legacy than he knows. Are we witnessing a new intellectual home for technological innovation being born -- Berkman @ Harvard -- as well as a shift in high-tech thought leadership from toolmakers to those who interpret the social ramifications of those tools?

Wondering what Clay Christensen might think about all this, as he is the resident Harvard innovator over at Harvard Business School. If I see Dave and Clay eating lunch at Legal Seafood @ MIT, then I'll know they've really thrown down the gauntlet.

Here's the Winer announcement and Dan Gillmor's coverage.

When We Met That Summer

I'm loving this funny rap song by LFO from a few years back about girls hanging out with boys in the summer. Wish I could play the music for you. Go dig it up and then dig it -- it's a funny song.


Summer Girls

Yeah, I Like it when the girls stop by
In the summer
Do you remember?
Do you remember
When we met that summer...

New Kids on the Block had a bunch of hits
Chinese food makes me sick
And I think it`s fly when girls stop by for the
summer, for the summer
I like girls that wear Abercrombie and Fitch
I`d take her if I had one wish
But she`s been gone since that summer,
since that summer

Hip-hop mama layed Spic & Span
Met you one summer and it all began
You`re the best girl that I ever did see
The great Larry Bird, jersey 33
When you take a sip, you buzz like a hornet
Billy Shakespeare wrote a whole bunch of sonnets
Call me Willy Whistle cause I can`t speak baby
Somethin` in your eyes went and drove me crazy
Now I can`t forget you and it makes me mad
Left one day and never came back
Stayed all summer then went back home
McCaullay Culkin wasn`t home alone
Fell deep in love, but now we ain`t speakin`
Michael J. Fox was Alex P. Keaton
When I met you I said my name was Rich
You look like a girl from Abercrombie and Fitch

New Kids on the Block had a bunch of hits
Chinese food makes me sick
And I think it`s fly when girls stop by for the
summer, for the summer
I like girls that wear Abercrombie and Fitch
I`d take her if I had one wish
But she`s been gone since that summer,
since that summer

Cherry Pez, Coke, Crush Rock, Stud Boogie
Used to hate school, so I had to play hookie
Always been hip to the b-boy style
Known to act wild and make a girl smile
Love New Edition and the "Candy Girl"
Remind me of you because you rock my world
You come from Georgia where the peaches grow
They drink lemonade and speak real slow
You love hip-hop and rock & roll
Dad took off when you were 4 years old
There was a good man named Paul Revere
I feel much better baby when you`re near
You love Fun Dip and Cherry Coke
I like the way you laugh when I tell a joke
When I met you I said my name was Rich
You look like a girl from Abercrobie and Fitch

New Kids on the Block had a bunch of hits
Chinese food makes me sick
And I think its fly when girls stop by for the
summer,for the summer
I like girls that wear Abercrombie and Fitch
I`d take her if I had one wish
But she`s been gone since that summer,
since that summer

In the summertime girls got it goin` on
Shake and wiggle to a hip-hop song
Summertime girls are the kind I like
I`ll steal your honey like I stole your bike
Boogaloo shrimp and pogo sticks
My mind takes me back there oh so quick
Let you off the hook like my man Mr. Limpit
Think about that summer and I bug cause I miss it
Like The Color Purple, macaroni and cheese
Ruby red slippers and a bunch of trees
Call you up, but what`s the use
I like Kevin Bacon, but I hate Footloose
You came in the door I said it before
I think I`m over you, but I`m really not sure
When I met you I said my name was Rich
You look like a girl from Abercrombie and Fitch

New Kids on the Block had a bunch of hits
Chinese food makes me sick
And I think its fly when girls stop by for the
summer, for the summer
I like girls that wear Abercrombie and Fitch
I`d take her if I had one wish
But she`s been gone since that summer,
since that summer

In the summer girls come and summer girls go
Some are worthwhile and some are so so
Summer girls come and summer girls go
Some are worthwhile and some are so so
Summertime girls got it goin` on
Shake and wiggle to a hip hop song
Summertime girls are the kind I like
I`ll steal your honey like I stole your bike

New Kids on the Block had a bunch of hits
Chinese food makes me sick
And I think its fly when girls
stop by for the summer,for the summer
I like girls that wear Abercrombie and Fitch
I`d take her if I had one wish
But she`s been gone since that summer,
since that summer

Don't Know Much About The Middle Ages

I could have sworn there are lyrics to the Sam Cooke song, "What A Wonderful World" that said something like "Don't know much about the Middle Ages, Just looked at the pictures while I turned the pages" but maybe I got that all wrong. And talk about cultural bias -- when I say Middle Ages, most Westerners think of the European Middle Ages, don't we? But what about this -- sounds like way more fun than all those scribes in monasteries in drafty cold Europe.

The Middle Ages was a decisive time in Japan's history because it confirmed the country's national identity. New forms of cultural expression, such as poetry, theater, garden design, the tea ceremony, flower arranging, and illustrated scrolls, conveyed a unique sensibility -sometimes in opposition to the earlier Chinese models followed by the old nobility. The World Turned Upside Down provides an animated account of the religious, intellectual, and literary practices of medieval Japan in order to reveal the era's own notable cultural creativity and enormous economic potential.

-- Synopsis of The World Turned Upside Down: Medieval Japanese Society

Ten Things

Below I posted a list of ten things I'm happy not knowing. If I took the list in one hand and the Web in the other I could probably find out all ten things in about ten minutes. In fact. I could repubish the list with each item linked to an information source, like this:

1. Most of the chemistry periodic table;

2. Basically anything about cricket and what the heck they are running between two posts doing exactly;

3. How to tie a bowline;

I guess there is one item that would be hard for me to really know about, no matter how inspiring the link.

Don't Know Much

Here's Sam Cooke's great song -- which could not be written now for a number of reasons -- primarily since Sam Cooke has passed away, but also because with the Web, there's really nothing you can't find out about. No one's got much of an excuse for not knowing something these days. With the Web, you can find out just about anything. But maybe there are some things you are just fine NOT knowing.

And sometimes I wonder, as the web grows larger and I know all that's out there, if my knowledge actually grows more and more shallow. I may have to call this Suitt's law -- the better you get at finding information on the web, the less information you store in your own brain -- also known as Web Dumification Syndrome. Perhaps this web is dumbing us all down to perfect nitwits?!

(WHAT A) WONDERFUL WORLD
(Cooke/Alpert/Adler)

Don't know much about history
Don't know much biology
Don't know much about science books
Don't know much about the french I took
But I do know that I love you
And I know that if you loved me too
What a wonderful world this would be

Don't know much about geography
Don't know much trigonometry
Don't know much about algebra
Don't know what a slide rule is for
But I know that one and one is two
And if this one could be with you
What a wonderful world this would be

Now I don't claim to be an A student
But I'm tryin' to be
Oh maybe by being an A student, baby
I can win your love for me

Don't know much about history
Don't know much biology
Don't know much about science books
Don't know much about the french I took
But I do know that I love you
And I know that if you loved me too
What a wonderful world this would be

------ lead guitar ------

But I do know that I love you
And I know that if you loved me too
What a wonderful world this would be


Ten Things I'm Happy to Die Not Knowing

1. Most of the chemistry periodic table;

2. Basically anything about cricket and what the heck they are running between two posts doing exactly;

3. How to tie a bowline;

4. Why trucks have to go jump on the scale and get weighed when they drive over US state borders;

5. A single Unix command or bit of syntax;

6. What dessert wine to eat with Baked Alaska;

7. What the heck Baked Alaska even is;

8. What it feels like to have a penis and jerk off and improve my odds of NOT getting prostate cancer;

9. When to use a bit router;

10. What it's like to die.



What A Wonderful Web This Would Be

Ever get the feeling you can find just about anything on this Weird Worldwide Web? How about the weekly births from Marlin, Texas in October of 1962? Yes it's all there for your viewing pleasure. And what a wonderful world this actually is.

Georgia Peach

Recognize any of these long-ago baseball heros? Check out Ty Cobb -- the Georgia Peach -- On July 18, 1927, he managed to come up with his 4,000th hit. closing out his Major League Baseball career two years later with a grand total of 4,191 hits. He was the all-time leader until Pete Rose surpassed his record, in WHAT YEAR? Let's see who's up early and knows the answer.

Thursday, July 17, 2003

Tonight

"We go to a party and everyone turns to see
This beautiful lady that's walking around with me.
And then she asks me, "Do you feel all right?"
And I say, "Yes, I feel wonderful tonight."

-- Eric Clapton

My Left Foot

It's been ten days since I injured my foot and what an education. Today I was thinking about how much I hate feeling weak and vulnerable. I was driving home from an errand and turned on rock and roll and was sort of bopping along with it and suddenly noticed it's the first day I've felt good enough to do anything like that since I was injured. And it reminded me how strong I feel most of the time -- and how arrogant I am -- and how "damn the torpedoes" I can be. Some of this attitude is good, but lots of it is just too much, and strangely, this injury has shown me a new strength in my vulnerability.

For one thing, it's showed me how I disconnect from people who are not strong like me. I really do. I don't want to see them or think about them or be near them. I don't want to feel broken. I want to feel like Wonder Woman, just shapely and invincible and perfect and able to leap tall buildings ... wait, that's Superwoman I'm thinking of or maybe Superman. But I learned more in the past ten days being hobbled than I've learned for months. We have a quiet grace in our weaknesses that makes us real and human. Also makes us open to the flaws in others and much more forgiving.

I've also realized I never could have managed without the help and kindness of countless people in the last ten days. I feel like I've been given an e-ticket to a Kindness Amusement Park. I can't believe how helpful and kind perfect strangers have been to me. Curbside at the airport in DC as it began to rain and the porters wheel me out of the weather, into the terminal. In the hotel where I was staying when I hurt myself, there are a multitude of helpful people. My friends called when I was home offering to do errands for me. People brought me treats -- silly little stuff, but it really cheered me up. I've started living in the most wonderful world. I never slowed down to see it before. It's wonderful and truly stunning.

We really are so boring until we have to face tough situations. Life is strange that way. We needn't be afraid of anything and this experience has remnded me of that. We needn't be afraid when there are so many nice people in the world. I am so lucky.

Wonderful Tonight

Went to a wonderful wedding tonight. What fun. The bride was a Thai nanny. Now she's a married lady. The groom is my good friend's son. I forget what he does for work. It doesn't matter. They are beautiful and 23 and 24. They fell in love. And tonight we all fell in love with them and wish them the best. The evening was warm and breezy, not too humid. The bridesmaids' dresses were floor-length lilac chiffon, tightfitting in the bodice, spaghetti straps, actually made the army of other Thai nannies -- her friends -- look lovely. Sometimes you need a wedding to remind you that wonderful things happen on a daily basis.

The food was phenomenal -- lemon grass soup and other wonderful Thai dishes. The music was a local DJ -- and really terrific, 60's,. 70's and 80's dance music -- we did the Macarena and all the other corny and not-so-corny stuff. I haven't had so much fun at a wedding in quite a while. I was held back by my foot -- couldn't really let loose, but in a week I've gone from wheelchair, to crutches to a hard shoe with velcro straps, so I feel pretty lucky. I LOVE to dance and -- no surprise -- am quite a show-off. But not tonight. I took a back seat. And there's a lot to be said for taking a back seat sometimes.

Maybe it had nothing to do with it or maybe everything to do with it, but as I stepped out of center stage, something incredible happened there. My son stopped being shy and got up and danced and I mean REALLY DANCED -- he is a terrific dancer and at 8 years old, was a show stopper tonight. My kid is growing up and how amazing to witness.

They did a wonderful slow dance under the tent, the flaps open and trembling with the breeze, candles flickering as Eric Clapton sang,

RSS Help

I know a lot of folks who know a lot about RSS and only one who gave me this helpful info -- so you know who you are and I send along a big THANKS! It think it should be working now. Talk about Alpha Males -- Tom you rock!
Halley,

I noticed that after Blogger upgraded things a couple weeks ago that my blog was no longer sending RSS feeds. Looking at your actual web page, I see that you are still posting, but I haven't gotten anything for weeks from you!

If you look at your RSS subscription, that last post it generated was on 7/3/03. So no-one that reads your blog via strictly RSS is getting anything from you right now.

I had to go into my Blogger settings and manually turn the RSS feed back on. For some reason the upgrade turned it off, and I imagine that has happened on yours too.

To fix this, go into your Blogger editing page, click the "settings" tab, then under that page click the "site feed" tab and make sure that "publish RSS" is set to "yes". Make sure you save all your changes before you exit out.

That oughta do it!

I have to get my Halley fix...and it's soooo much work actually going to your page and reading it!!! ;-)
My hero! Hope this came through loud and clear.

Summer Cocktails

Oh yes, not a bad idea. I'm going to a wedding this afternoon. Summer afternoon, summer cocktails on a hot afternoon. Not a bad idea at all.

Take Me Now Wow!

One more reason to keep Scott ("Feedster") Johnson's Fuzzyblog on my Daily Reads list -- so I can steal great content and links from his site. But get a load (or download) of this. Finally something useful in a high-tech user's e-manual department. Jodie Gastel, the genius behind Score Brownie Points.com, is going right for the SCORE part with her new e-book on how to get a girl naked. And you thought it was simply about a few blouse buttons, two bra straps, and one low-rise jeans zipper, obviously there is more art to the software and hardware than you realized.

Dave Is So Right

Blogs are so beautiful, despite or maybe because of all their imperfections and their honesty.

Wednesday, July 16, 2003

Girlism's Good Guy

In both movies, Legally Blonde II and Charlies Angels II, the good guy who is dating or marries these Alpha Females is a guy who is really okay with them being powerful women. In the first movie, Reese Witherspoon play's Elle who's beau is a Harvard Law Professor. He doesn't mind her interrupting him in class to tell him she's booked Fenway Park as their wedding location. He doesn't mind her being a big wig lawyer downtown in a big law firm. He doesn't even mind when Elle decides she must leave Boston and go to Washington DC to enact legislation to stop cosmetics' companies practice of testing mascara on pets. He's right beside her, even when they move the wedding from the Fenway to DC. He's not threatened by her notoriety or power. His male ego is in check.

In Charlie's Angels, Natalie (Cameron Diaz) has a boyfriend who is really okay that Natalie has to run off and kill people sometimes on a Saturday afternoon, even if they had planned to stay home and smooch. He is supportive and not threatened by her occasional karate toss which lands him on his back in the dirt. Male ego -- well, yes, but it never gets in the way.

Who are these modern post-alpha male miracle men? Here's the darnest thing -- they're the same guy. I don't know why or how it happened, but both movies cast the same actor -- Luke Wilson -- to star as the powerbabe's beau. Yes, Luke Wilson is the post-alpha male, take a look at him ladies and gentlemen.

Girlism's Bad Guy

In both movies, Legally Blonde II and Charlies Angels II, the bad guy is a woman. An older woman. A woman that looks a lot like ... dare I say it ... yes, a feminist. In the first movie, Sally Fields plays the powerful woman senator who is a sell-out. Her dirty deed? She turns on her own staff to make a selfish, self-serving deal behind closed doors that later gets revealed. How does the younger woman slay this monster? By using her all-girl network to bring her down.

In the second movie, the three angels go up against another woman bad guy -- this time Demi Moore -- a former and fallen angel. Also a feminist-type character. What's their grievance against her? Well, she has done some out-and-out evil deeds, but in particular, she's turned against Charlie and against other women. She has a dialogue with Natalie, played by Cameron Diaz, mentioning that Charlie's not her boss anymore, she works for herself. Diaz's reply, "Your boss sucks." At the very end of the movie, the two face off alone. They take it to the mat and it looks like Demi Moore is about to kick Diaz's exceptionally cute butt. Then the tables turn as Diaz tells her, "I've got something you'll never have!" Moore looks bored, "Oh, yeah, what?!" Diaz delivers the news, "FRIENDS!" just as the other angels creep up behind Moore, arriving on the scene in the nick of time and the three of them take Demi Moore out.

In both movies, the younger women call on a network of their girlfriends to save the day. In both movies the older feminist woman falters by turning her back on her friends and colleagues. If Girlism is about anything, it's about women getting their power from loving their women friends and loving men.

King Solomon

Been thinking of this story lately and just read it again this morning. Been thinking about wisdom. It's something better than the passions of the heart, better than the cold reason of the head, it takes both head and heart into account but also understands the big picture. When Solomon asked God for wisdom, he really knew what he was talking about. Wisdom. I'm hoping for the same thing.
Two women came to King Solomon and stood before him. One woman (#1) said: "My Lord, this woman and I dwell in the same house, and I gave birth to a child while with her in the house. On the third day after I gave birth, she also gave birth. We live together; there is no outsider with us in the house; only the two of us were there. The son of this woman died during the night because she lay upon him. She arose during the night and took my son from my side while I was asleep, and lay him in her bosom, and her dead son she laid in my bosom. when I got up in the morning to nurse my son, behold, he was dead! But when I observed him (later on) in the morning, I realized that he was not my son to whom I had given birth!"

The other woman (#2) replied: "It is not so! My son is the live one and your son is the dead one!"

The first woman (#1) responded: "It is not so! Your son is the dead one and my son is the living one!"

They argued before King Solomon.

King Solomon said: "this woman (#2) claims 'My son is the live one and your son is the dead one, 'and this woman (#1) claims 'Your son is the dead one and my son is the living one!"'

King Solomon said, "Bring me a sword!" So they brought a sword before the King. The King said, "Cut the living child in two, and give half to one and half to the other"

The woman (#2) turned to the King, because her compassion was aroused for her son, and said: "Please my Lord, give her the living child and do not kill it!"

But the other woman (#1) said: "Neither mine nor yours shall he be. Cut!"

The King spoke up and said: "Give her (#2) the living child, and do not kill it, for she is his mother!" All of Israel heard the judgment that the King had judged. They had great awe for the King, for they saw that the wisdom of God was within him to do justice. [I Melachim 3:16 - 27]. The woman was rightfully awarded custody of her son.
Here's the interesting source where I got this story -- a lawyer's website.

That Pesky Lake Monster

Just when you thought it was safe to come out. Yikes. This world is a scary place. I just hope this is not China's answer to Korea's nuclear arsenal.

Tuesday, July 15, 2003

Close-Up And Personal

I've had cataracts in both eyes since I was 16, maybe before that but they were first diagnosed at that time. I'll have surgery for both this summer. I'm glad I'll be able to do it this year, it's high time.

There's something unusual about the surgery. They ask you to decide whether you want really excellent close-up vision or really excellent distant vision. They can actually give you one or the other and then glasses to assist with the opposite vision. The surgeon explained for someone like him, it's a no brainer, he'd pick close-up vision, since doing surgery requires it and it's what he does most of the day. He'd get glasses for his faraway sight.

Still I found it really tough to decide whether to get excellent near vision or excellent far vision. It's not that one precludes the other, it's just you need to think of your life and what you do more of -- looking out at the crowd and the sky and the world and the sun -- or looking up close at work right at arms length. In the end, I had to chose the big picture. To see my son playing in the park, to see the beach, to see a room full of people at a party, to see a movie easily, to be in the largest world possible. So when it comes to up close, I might need glasses on occasion, but to see the big picture -- I'll be able to take it all in.

I think the most exciting part of the whole thing is to have ANY vision at all, as my eyes are really lousy. I can't wait. The surgery and recovery process sound interesting. Your vision goes in and out from very far to very close until it rests at the place you requested. A new friend described his surgery and the days post-op when a most unusual thing happened. As his eyes adjusted to their eventual focus, at one point he could see with incredible far-sighted precision and actually saw the thread-thin legs on a spider perfectly from more than 10 feet away as it crawled up the wall on the other side of the room. Spooky. Now that would be something to see. The itsy-bitsy spider.

Monday, July 14, 2003

Alpha Males Use Overture To Control Their Sexual Destiny

In case you wondered why Yahoo bought Overture ... here's my real live home grown example. I just saw a search in my referrer log for Alpha Male done in the Yahoo search engine. The first result is a paid-for result -- an advertiser who pays for the top slot on the term Alpha Male. Here's what you get:
SEDUCTION SCIENCE: Never Before Revealed, Proven Methods of Becoming An Alpha Male Through the Power of a Scientific System for Results, Regardless of Your Looks… That ANY Ordinary Guy Can Use To Control His Sexual Destiny. How Would It Feel Like To Be An Alpha Male And Have Beautiful Women - The Kind Of Women You Only See With The Rich And The Famous - The Kind Of Women You've Always Wanted But Only Dreamed Of ...
And what do you get if you just ask for the number 1 unpaid reference to Alpha Males out of 577,000 references? Something called Halley's Comment, weird eh? Check it out.

Prayers Across A Universe

Our prayers shoot like stars, across this network of heaven.

Sunday, July 13, 2003

Girlism

It will hit you so hard. It will be SO under the radar. It's already here. It's over.

Legally Blonde 2: Red, White and Blonde

I'm sure I won't be the first to call this Lethally Blonde, but I say it with the highest praise. I loved this movie. Can I mention ... I TOLD YOU SO ... that Girlism was coming on fast and furious and there was no way to avoid it. And this movie is a training film (along with the next two I mention) on Girlism In Action.

Let's call this movie Exhibit A of Girlism -- and I'll define it for you new visitors who didn't read my diatribe on "What Ever Happened to Feminism" last fall. Feminism is oh-so-over and in its place, put Girlism. Girlism is all the power of feminism, but mixed with all the power of feminity -- it is truly a lethal combination. We're taking everything we learned at Harvard Law School (like the heroine of this movie, Elle Woods) and combining it with all the tradional female powers -- our innate ability to be wily, beguiling, mega-networked, intuitive, multi-tasking, sexy, cute and girl-smart.

Charlies' Angels II: Full Throttle

You must see it. And don't miss the first scene where the three girls save a kidnapped U.S. Marshall, take on a few hundred Manchurian warriors and quickly kick their asses, as well as drive their armored military vehicle off a bridge, while dodging heat-seeking missles, into a plunging concrete dam and waterway, only to be saved by a helicopter, neatly tucked inside the truck for just such moments, I guess, which they must adroitly land on, while in skidiving free fall after bailing out the windows of the truck . And don't miss the dialogue between the U.S. Marshall [Robert Patrick] they've rescued and Natalie [Cameron Diaz].
U.S. Marshall: "I'm afraid I underestimated you guys."

Natalie: "Yeah," shakes blonde ponytails back and forth, "that happens a lot."

Girlism at its finest. Yes, you can save lives in white thigh-high stockings and a white faux fur mini-parka. Guys, stop underestimating us. Very bad idea.

Whale Rider

Another movie about women leaders. Another movie about women being underestimated. Another movie about the gigantic cultural shift taking place. Another movie about Girlism.

I have this little problem. How to explain ... well, to start with I've got pretty good intuition, although that might be an understatement. I have a way of feeling the pulse of the world and I'm not a big snob about capital A Art versus capital P Pop Culture. All the signs are there. In art, in pop, in movies, in music. It's the next big thing. Women taking their place next to men to lead us into a new world. Holy Joan of Arc, is all I can say. If you haven't seen this movie WHALE RIDER I really wish you would. Here's what The New York Times wrote about it:

NEW YORK TIMES
Friday 6 June

MOVIE REVIEW
A Girl Born to Lead, Fighting the Odds
By ELVIS MITCHELL

The stoic mysticism of Niki Caro's cool-handed charmer Whale Rider — in which the young Pai must overcome resistance as she tries to assume her destiny as the leader of a tribe on the New Zealand coast — is wickedly absorbing. Much of the film's power comes from the delicate charisma of Keisha Castle-Hughes, making her acting debut as Pai.

Ms. Castle-Hughes lacks the traditional resources of an actress, and instead communicates her feelings through a wary hesitation. It doesn't matter that her voice makes her sound a little lost, still trying to find her way into a world that disdains her. Her intelligent, dark eyes are so expressive that she has the piquant confidence of a silent-film heroine. Her instinctive underplaying gives Whale Rider an added gravity, with the lush remoteness of the landscape serving as an entrancing contrast to the sugar-rush, you-go-girl empowerment of programmed pandering like "The Lizzie McGuire Movie," whose tweener heroine flails her arms and bats her eyes as if she were sending distress signals. The director demonstrates a class and tact that brand Whale Rider, which opens today in New York and Los Angeles, as more than a time-filler for young moviegoers or an ironman competition for adults accompanying them.

Pai's natural rectitude — the way she plays both pride and hurt — is even used by Ms. Caro as a hereditary trait. Pai's prickly grandfather Koro (Rawiri Paratene) displays a contempt for her that is like a deadpan force of nature itself. Koro, the tribal chief, wanted a grandson to take on his mantle. But Pai's twin brother died in a difficult birth, which also took her mother's life, and her father, Porourangi (Cliff Curtis), has deserted the family for a career as an artist. Koro treats his granddaughter as the living embodiment of a curse. When he bothers to pay attention to her at all, it's through a sharp cutting of his eyes in her direction.

Tradition dictates that the first-born grandson step into the role of chief, but Pai — named Paikea by her father, after the tribe's ancient ancestor, who legend says arrived in the village on the back of a whale — is all the family has. Her patient grandmother Nanny Flowers (Vicky Haughton) encourages Pai to give things time; Nanny Flowers also refuses to crumple under the galling chauvinism of her husband. But Pai has endured the suffering for all of her 12 years. And though she has a plucky physical assurance — the firm hand of her grandmother has helped keep her demeanor strong — she still wants the nurturing she feels is her due.

Ms. Caro treats the material with the calm of a silent film and exploits the extravagant beauty of the location for its majesty. Each shot of the vistas in the breathtakingly lovely village is presented with an even clarity; Ms. Caro and her cinematographer, Leon Narbey, let the audience be seduced by the daunting power, rather than overwhelming viewers with it. With a deft hand, the director bridges the disconnect between the modern touches in the village — like the hilarious, cranky chatter over card games — and the determination to cling to traditions. It is evident that tradition is the way the Whangara tribe maintains its spirituality, which defines it.

The critical moment comes in a set piece that has the potential to send the film off into florid, find-your-bliss sentimentality: a whale cruises too close to the shoreline and needs to be steered back into deeper, life-sustaining waters. Ms. Caro refuses to over saturate the film with anxious hyperdramatics. It is a moment in which she must show that she trusts her young star, a faith that pays off with a disarmingly touching climax.

But you will have surrendered to Whale Rider long before then. The film shows strength by tightening the rhythms of the scenes; be warned that the longueurs that surface in the first 10 minutes or so may make demands on your patience. Ms. Caro and her editor, David Coulson, obviously wanted to dissipate any feeling of forced pathos that might accompany the intense tragedy experienced by Pai's family. It's a welcome exercise of taste on the director's part.

Mr. Curtis's total immersion in the role of Pai's father rescues him from the typecasting of his previous work — playing dark-skinned bad guys of indeterminate ethnicity. His excitement alone adds a charge to the picture.

Ms. Caro's attempt to fight the mawkishness inherent in the film's opening by setting a tone of emotional tidiness makes the rest of Whale Rider distinctively efficient; this gamble makes the first section seem distended and a little drab. Still, there aren't many filmmakers who would have fought that initial heightening of heartbreak. Too flamboyant an opening would have left the movie with no place to go and embarrassed us with so early a claim on our sentiments. Bear with Whale Rider: once the picture kicks into gear, it has the inspiring resonance of found art.

Things You Never Think About When You're Well

You should see me hop, crawl and swear around my kitchen. Thing is, my usual meal preparations which are never terribly complicated, are so challenging, by being lame on one foot. Try making a hot cup of tea and then hopping with it into the dining room -- no can do. All my Starbuck's travel car cups are coming in handy this week. Try putting two blueberry english muffins with butter on a plate and hopping them into the living room -- great, there they go, butter-side down onto the rug, of course.

So after a while, you get the message and adapt. Crutches are almost as useless in a house. If you need to carry anything -- you can't do it with crutches which require both hands to be free. Not only do crutches require both hands but they require strong arms -- thank god I lift weights is all I can say. I can't imagine how people in bad shape manage at all. I'm in pretty good shape and this is a heckof a challenge getting around. I even do yoga and have relatively good balance and I keep falling down when I get out of balance.

Bottom line -- I spend a lot of time on my bottom. It's just easier. Dinner the first night took enormous energy to make and transport to the table. Lovely dinner, but was it worth all the work? Dinner the second night -- I sat on the floor in front of the fridge, pulled a few things out, poked through the shelves, ate the four essential food groups -- [easy to reach, easier to reach, easiest to reach and milk from the carton] and made the linoleum my linen tablecloth for the evening.

And Also With You

Christ be with you ... and also with you. Made it to church this morning, despite my hurting foot. Really good to be there. I like my church friends and miss them. I have to say though, just getting ready and dressed and made up and hair done with a bad foot is a challenge. Boy am I getting a lesson in how hard it is to live in a wheelchair and crutches in a regular runaround world. The great slowing down of Halley Suitt. Not that I didn't NEED to slow down, but this is a revelation. I certainly take my physical fitness for granted.

Saturday, July 12, 2003

Emotional Awareness

"Before the stroke ..." PBS program on how our brains help create emotional awareness -- memories and the emotions that go with them. Study of a man who suffered a stroke and now has no emotional memory. Very strange. His wife, "I'd give everything up ... to have him back, emotionally."

Emotions are a navigational tool, help us go one way or the other, make decisions Emotions let you plan future actions -- happiness, sadness --- etc. You want to get more of that good thing that you got before.

With fear and anger, the body readies itself to rapidly get you out of danger. They are absolutely necessary and appropriate. Fight or flight.

Home Shopping Network -- Jackie's Cross To Bear

Yep, they're selling crosses that Jackie Kennedy used to wear -- and they're showing you the four that Andy Warhol sent her ... known as the Four Jackies ... I mean they're selling reproductions. "This looks like a million dollars," the television sales lady says. I can't stand HSN, but sat through a case study of the network at Harvard Business School one morning and HSN really knows how to do business. She says, "How gorgeous is that!? Simulated pearls and faux gold!"

Pool Party

Two women champs playing pool on Saturday afternoon TV. Man, all the stuff I've been missing! "She had too much draw there," the announcer says. No idea what they're talking about. Last month I had the first pool lesson ever. I almost get the idea. Allison Fisher seems to be kicking Helena Thornfeldt's butt. Direct from the Vieja's Casino in San Diego. I love San Diego.

Venus & Serena Williams -- Hey Sister

Great bios on the sisters on CNN People. Yep, I'm actually watching TV. I have a bunch of sisters ... I can't imagine having to directly compete with my own sister. Yikes.

Hop To

I'm getting so sick of hopping around with my bum foot -- and I'm not too crazy about these crutches. I'm wearing white flannel PJ pants drawstring-type with baby blue tiny snowmen on them -- the air conditioning is on too high -- and a Reebok tee-shirt, my big silver cross on a black cord, green jade on gold necklace, got my hair doing a Dharrma thing with a barette holding my bangs back.

Knocking around my house alone for the whole weekend -- surprising people who call when I'm just plain here and pick up. Eating salmon and pickled ginger -- perfect pink dinner. My laptop's sitting on my fanny lifter in the livingroom watching tv. My computer doesn't like watching TV, she's whining about it. "It's too noisy, it's stupid, it's not easy to get any real information from it," she says, "Yeah, maybe," I say. I'm drinking Vanilla Diet Coke. I'm looking over at my son's SonyPlaystation2 lustily ... my son's with his dad this weekend ... maybe I should ... hmmm ... he'd never know, right?

Let's Try Voting Next Time

Watching BookTV on CSPAN and listening to Jamin Raskin, author of "Overruling Democracy" discussing how we might get a President Elect in the next election instead of a President Select like Bush. He's debating Richard Posner.

Cape Escape

I go to the Cape starting Monday for a week with my family. Can't wait.

What Matters

I am visited in a most delightful season by strong spirits who fly to my aid to remind me what maters.

I mean, lately, what matters and what doesn't matter are doing little Noh plays before my very eyes -- such clarity is delivered upon my sorry head and mixed-up soul and sometimes it takes such a fog-lifting to make what is simple and obvious, simply obvious. So I welcome it. I heartily thank god and goddess for it.

One thing is for sure -- how much really doesn't matter at all. If much of it could be washed away tomorrow, all that would be left would be a simple soulful inventory, starting with love and friendship.

Friday, July 11, 2003

Reading The Cards On A Friday Night

Sometimes on a Friday night, you just want to hear some good news, sneak off and let the gypsy lady tell you what your future holds, let her deal the cards out in front of you. Like this.

Je Ne Regrette Rien

My favorite Edith Piaf song. And I really don't regret much of anything ... but I probably would have had more kids and more kids earlier ... but I suppose that's an odd thing to say -- we never know how things will turn out. When I finally got around to it at age 39 ... it was just about the best thing I ever did and I was good at it, something I didn't expect.

Still Stuck On The Year 2013

I have to say, I'm still thinking of the post I wrote last week about what will we be doing in ten years? It comes so much faster than you would think. Just like April 15th Tax Day. Just wake up one morning and THERE IT IS. And I want to really get a handle on this 2013 thing. I want to really put my ducks in a row. Was talking about it with a girlfriend tonight. I said, "who will we be making dinner for in ten years?" Got us both thinking.

SuperNova Howdy And How Do

It was a great conference IN THE ROOM, but it was even a greater conference OUT OF THE ROOM, if you know what I mean. Just great to meet people like Cory Doctorow -- who I was beginning to think was imaginary, like a Disney character -- and Mena Trott who was very sultry and fine -- and Jason DeFillipo, who you can't help flipping for -- and even meeting up with friends I didn't particularly expect to see at all -- like John Jordan from Cap Gemini and David Weinberger from down the street and Anil Dash, who I was teasing but I think is A+ and smart, smart, smart and if I said the A word it wasn't about him at all. .

Fun Baseball Chat

Good fun to talk about baseball with Dan Gillmor and David Isenberg

Conference Meat and Greet

There were a lot of great folks at the SuperNova Conference -- lots I knew and I was so glad to meet up with again, many I did not, and it was great fun to finally meet them. Sure was weird to spend most of the event in a wheelchair. I finally get why Dean Kamen designed a wheelchair that let's you stand on eye-to-eye level with your colleagues, instead of always being belt-buckle level.

Meeting Joi

Meeting Joi Ito was very fun. I can't remember if he made the joke about High Heel Hari Kari or about RSS = Red Stilletto Syndrome. Next time we meet I will NOT impale myself with my own high-heeled sandal. Don't want him thinking this is how East Coast girls like to distinguish themselves from the rest of the women of the world.
Well East Coast girls are hip
I really dig those styles they wear
And the Southern girls with the way they talk
They knock me out when I'm down there
The Mid-West farmer's daughters really make you feel alright
And the Northern girls with the way they kiss
They keep their boyfriends warm at night

I wish they all could be California
I wish they all could be California
I wish they all could be California girls

The West coast has the sunshine
And the girls all get so tanned
I dig a french bikini on Hawaii island
Dolls by a palm tree in the sand

I been all around this great big world
And I seen all kinds of girls
Yeah, but I couldn't wait to get back in the states
Back to the cutest girls in the world

I wish they all could be California
I wish they all could be California
I wish they all could be California girls

I wish they all could be California
(Girls, girls, girls yeah I dig the)
I wish they all could be California
(Girls, girls, girls yeah I dig the)
I wish they all could be California
(Girls, girls, girls yeah I dig the)
I wish they all could be California
(Girls, girls, girls yeah I dig the)

The Beach Boys

I Wrote All Night

I feel like writing a lot tonight, but I know that's a bad idea. But maybe this is a good idea.
I Drove All Night

I had to escape
The city was sticky and cruel
Maybe I should have called you first
But I was dying to get to you
I was dreaming while I drove
The long straight road ahead, uh, huh

Could taste your sweet kisses
Your arms open wide
This fever for you is just burning me up inside

I drove all night to get to you
Is that alright
I drove all night
Crept in your room
Woke you from your sleep
To make love to you
Is that alright
I drove all night

What in this world
Keep us from tearing apart
No matter where I go I hear
The beating of your heart
I think about you
When the night is cold and dark
No one can move me
The way that you do
Nothing erases the feeling between me and you

I drove all night to get to you
Is that alright
I drove all night
Crept in your room
Woke you from your sleep
To make love to you
Is that alright
I drove all night

Could taste your sweet kisses
Your arms open wide
This fever for you is just burning me up inside

I drove all night to get to you
Is that alright
I drove all night
Crept in your room
Woke you from your sleep
To make love to you
I drove all night... to hold you tight

© 1989 Billy Steinberg Music and Denise Barry Music (ASCAP)

Daredevil

Problem with these crutches is they kindof lure me into doing really wreckless stuff. I'm being a little too crazy on them. I like to balance on one and try to clean house, or whack someone on the butt with the other. I need to curb my enthusiasms, stop my experiments. They are great for covering distance fast. My arms will soon look like Popeye's however.

Crutches Seem To Have Side Effects

Come girls, fess up. Don't crutches make you look a lot more busty!? Hell, I feel like Marilyn Monroe singing Happy Birthday to JFK ... except she wasn't on crutches, but maybe these crutches won't be so bad after all.

Grey And Black Bed And Bath Linens

These sheets are so nice, but so NOT for women and so for men. Or tell me I'm wrong. And same with these towels. Very newly divorced male demographic I think.

New Silver Crutches

Doctor gave me a new pair of silver aluminum spacey-age crutches today. Now I travel in style. And all you folks who know who to use crutches well -- my hat's off to you. They aren't all that easy.

Pears, Plums, Peaches, Nectarines

Ever since I hurt my foot Monday evening and I can only hop around my house, I've started to s---l----o----w down a lot and notice simple things. Like a beautiful bowl of summer fruit on my table. Great reds and purples and pink blush colors. July fruit.

Read This

Jeneane totally disagrees with the Emerson thing. Very interesting,.

Thursday, July 10, 2003

Out Sick Today

Calling in sick today. My foot's a mess and I need to rest and heal up, which means, in my case, heel up. Go read this if you want to look at something interesting: The Power of Full Engagement

Wednesday, July 09, 2003

Weinberger on Digital Identity

Weinberger's speaking at SuperNova. Digital Identity? He hates it. It has ZERO user-driven demand. It's coming from top down - from "they" -- that there is the SPAM issue and the credit card fraud concerns, but that still doesn't convince him that we need it.

In World of Ends -- Doc came up with the term "repetive mistake syndrome" -- failure to understand where the web's value comes from. End-to-end network, stupid network (Eisenberg), let the innovation stay at the edges, including something like Digital ID.

Both Acrobat and Flash are proprietary systems which have entered the center of the network and required to for instance, use the IRS site, to deal with the government. He doesn't like that.

We can become "Internet Amish" if we decide to opt-out of ... (forgot what he was saying) ... DRM sounds "perfect, fantastic, great ".. how can you argue with it? It's all great on paper -- it's not exactly the way it's working. But what if it requires me to have "trusted computer" and "trusted program" PROBABLY BOTH FROM MICROSOFT ... locks me out of my own pop culture if it's the only way I can get music, movies, etc.

It could result in a bifurcating of the web -- one you must be "authenticated" to be a part of - one that's more like the current public web. An open messy web. Perhaps the companies that participate in the open webby mess, will be a little less controlling, to be a lot less controlling.

The way this authenticated web looks -- like a corporate intranet -- boring. IM swept the web because it's funny, flirty, wild. Now it's part of corporate surveillance -- checking to see if you're at your desk, if you're instantly interruptible.

NOT FINISHED WILL ADD MORE LATER.

Tuesday, July 08, 2003

My Heros

Big big thanks to my friends Liz Lane and Paddy Holahan who helped me get back to the hotel in a cab, came up with a kleenex to staunch the flow of my bloody foot, to ask me ten times "When was the last time you got a tetanus shot?" They were swell. Always invite them along for a disaster.

And Liz, oh my lord, she took me to the ER at 11:00 and sat there through hours of Jay Leno in the waiting room and even late reruns of Jay Leno as I was getting triaged.

She is wonderful and I can't imagine how she could be so kind and supportive after a long day of travel (including getting drenched earlier in the day) and knowing she would barely get any sleep and be completely wiped out today during the Supernova conference. But hell, she's a mom and that's the most wonderful thing in the world. Always have a mom around when the shit hits the proverbial fan. And if you have to pick a mom, pick Liz!

Ouch

Red dresses and belly dancing seem to lead to no good. I ended the party at Supernova last night in an ambulance, followed by 4 hours at the ER in Arlington, VI. I've got a deep puncture wound on the bottom of my left foot. How did it happen? I stepped on something very sharp in the dark while I was barefoot.

The tetanus shot was ouchy but nothing compared to the three shots in my foot before they used their sucker vacuum to clean the wound. Great suction, I think they took a few of my tooth filings out with everything else. Ugh.

Best of all -- they told me stories, way worse than mine -- about the morning of 9/11. They were one of the closest hospital to the Pentagon. They were cleaning up serious wounds, much more life-threatening than mine.

Wheelchairing is very interesting. I'll write about it -- the kind way people treat you, the truly lousy accessibility handicap folks must deal with on a daily basis. Big eye opener.

Sunday, July 06, 2003

What's A Weblog?

People are still asking ... which is great, I guess, but here's an old post I did in November 2002 on the subject and now I think they've changed so radically since I wrote it, it doesn't even come close to explaining the notion of a weblog.

Rafat You're So Cool

Rafat of PaidContent.org won the Best News Weblog of The Year award at the NetMedia Awards 2003 in Barcelona.

[Disclaimer, yes, my new company, Yaga.com advertises on Rafat's site and we think he's great.]

Lucy Liu And My Girl Drew, Cameron D and Destiny

Yep, that's how the theme song for the last Charlie's Angels movie started. I'm off to see the new one. Full Throttle. [Notice how this site looks a lot like a blog.]. BTW, here's some of the songs from the new movie soundtrack.

"Feel Good Time" - Pink Featuring William Orbit
"Saturday Night's Alright (For Fighting)" - Nickelback featuring Kid Rock
"Rebel Rebel" - David Bowie
"Danger! High Voltage" - Electric Six
"Livin' On A Prayer" - Bon Jovi
"Any Way You Want It" - Journey
"Surfer Girl" - The Beach Boys
"Working For The Weekend" - Loverboy
"A Girl Like You" - Edwyn Collins
"Nas' Angels...The Flyest" - Nas featuring Pharrell
"I Just Wanna Be Your Everything" - Andy Gibb
"This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)" - Natalie Cole
"U Can't Touch This" - MC Hammer
"Last Dance" - Donna Summer

Get Out Your Weapons of Ass Destruction

Bush can beg for funding to stop the war on criticism but blogs may prove to be the perfect nuclear high colonic this administration sorely needs.

Hey Mena, Kim, Liz, Beth, Ellen, Amy, Sarah and Adina!

Is it for real? Joi Ito's Monday night party at Supernova seems to be about 60 men and 10 women. Talk about Alpha Male Summits! I'll be there. Don't worry, we'll balance them out. Maybe only a handful of women -- but what a handful!

[Sorry if I left anyone out.]

Gnomedex Will Rock

Hey, speaking of killer conferences ... is it true ... I just read both Gnome-Girl and Scoble will be at Gnomedex! Now I have to get out to Des Moines. Don't want to miss it.

Supernova Strong Suitt

It will be fun to see all the old familiar faces (and some new ones) at Supernova in DC this week but better still is the bottom line that makes or beaks any conference for me -- workout facilities:

Work Out

Off to work out. Can you say JUST DO IT in French?

Ten Years From Now

Look ahead ten years. Answer some of these questions honestly. May get you thinking.

And then in 2023, will we look back and say "Ah, yes, 2013, the good old days. "

1. How old will you be. [I'll be 57 -- older and wiser I hope.]

2. If you have kids, how old will they be? [Mine will be 18, just leaving home I expect.]

3. If you want kids, how many will you have by then? [I guess I could have another, but boy would I be tired. And is it fair to have a kid at 47, knowing when they are 20, you'll be 67? I tend to think NOT.]

4. Where do you see yourself living? [Will I be battling Boston winters, sweating the humid summers ... ugh, sure makes California look good.]

5. Set the dinner table, how many plates, who will you have sharing your meals, what will you talk about? [This is a tough one. I used to think I wanted a house full of people. Not at all sure of that any more and enjoy my time alone.]

6. In your work, what will you be doing, what will you have accomplished? [I want to think long and hard on this. My ten-year plan is all about words.]

7. How's your health? [I hope I'll be strong and fit like now, if not stronger and more fit. It gets more important every year, to keep my mind and body in shape. Moderation in all things. Especially in your 40's and 50's, you see a lifetime of bad habits -- smoking, drinking, bad eating -- come slowly after you and your friends, taking one after another of you out. Glad I saw it in my parent's illnesses. Both smoked and it ultimately undermined their longevity.]

8. Finances -- what will you be living on? [I expect to keep working, but that's more about being healthy, less about finances.]

9. Who will be president? [It will be a woman, but I'm not sure who.]

10. Will you have a mate? {Tricky one again. Maybe that's something you really can't plan ... but read the post below about a friend's fateful meeting with her soulmate, ten years back, and how it changed the answers to all of the questions above ... except no. 9, I suppose.]

Ten Years Ago

I liked reading this post from Liz Lane Lawley. Her life turned on a dime when she met her soulmate. Ten years ago.

Saturday, July 05, 2003

Provincetown WiFi

Okay, someone knows where you can get good WiFi in Provincetown. I'll be there not this week but the week after so any help in that department would be appreciatged. Thanks!

Get Your Bike Out

If you have a Target near you, you can get a great bike cheap. Makes the summer a lot more fun. Get your bike out and take an early morning tour.

The New Tan

Even I have to admit it's a little crazy. Elle Magazine suggests the new tan is one you PURCHASE, not one you get at the beach for free. Go figure.

You Know It's Hot When ...

You know it's hot when you look at the Elle Magazine site -- plastered with a bunch of near naked models -- and none of them look as delicious as the the Starbuck's icey drink.

That Blonde Thing

I've got to think about the blonde thing -- why it gets them going. It's disarming, as it looks innocent but proves more often lethal. Reese Witherspoon articles lately show the brilliant Alpha Female behind the Clairol shade.

Stay Wet and Wild This Weekend

It's just so darned hot in Boston ... wish I'd enjoyed those three days of spring ... the ones after a 3 foot snow melted and the 100% humidity 90 degree days started. Get your surfer dude duds on.

Legally Blonde Legislation

Had to see the movie Legally Blonde 2 tonight, couldn't resist. You can think it's silly fluff, but there was a lot to it. I've got to let it sit in the hopper for a while before voting on it -- but I'll go public soon and write a full review. That the movie gets Elle Wood, our favorite blond babe Harvard Law School grad to Washington, DC in this year before the elections is no coincidence.

Fireworks

Glad they think it's so easy to photograph fireworks. I don't think so.

Stars And Stripes Forever

Can't go wrong with this song this weekend. John Phillip Sousa, man was he jiggy and cool and hip and hop and didn't stop.

Real Alpha Babes Don't Tell

Rageboy's telling tales out of school. He knows I used to lean against the brick wall in the recess yard and let boys steal a kiss and even try to make me smoke cigs, but I never went all the way. Never inhaled. And all their secrets are safe with me.

American Life

Do I have to change my name? (Uh)
Will it get me far?
Should I lose some weight? (Uh)
Am I gonna be a star?

Missy and Madonna boy, ain't nothin' better
Hotter than fat bitches dancin' in a sweater
Madonna am I okay skinny or fatter
When I rap on this track *sniff* all I smell is cheddar
You and I together, yo' we're tougher than leather
Make pop artists scatter when we talk chit-chatter
It really don't matter what time of day or weather
Or who's ass really fatter, my kadunk-kadunk badder
A rap so sick, won't stop, won't quit
All on my dick, like my name was 50 Cent, G-Unit!
I come with the heat, see my hits
Sound so sweet, Missy ain't pissy
Is you dizzy, is you with me
Tip me when you see me, 'cause you tryna get with me
Madonna bring the drama, oh mama that's trauma
Tougher than armor for your papa and your mama

I tried to be a boy, I tried to be a girl
I tried to be a mess, I tried to be the best
I guess I did it wrong, that's why I wrote this song
This type of modern life, is it for me?
I'd like to express my extreme point of view
I'd like to express my extreme point of view
(A Madonna exclusive)
So I went into a bar, looking for sympathy
A little company, I tried to find a friend
It's more easily said, it's always been the same
This type of modern life, is not for me
This type of modern life, is not for free
Do I have to change my name? (C'mon)

American life (American life)
I live the American dream (American dream)
You are the best thing I've seen
You are not just a dream

I tried to stay ahead, I tried to stay on top
I tried to play the part, but some how I forgot
Just what I did it for, and why I wanted more
This type of modern life, is it for me?
Fuck it
Ah, fuck it
Ah, fuck it
Ah, fuck it
Ah, fuck it, uh-huh

[Chorus]

This is, a Madonna exclusive
This is, the American Life, fuck it

[Madonna Rap]
I'm drinking a Soy latte
I get a double shoté
It goes right through my body
And you know I'm satisfied
I drive my Mini Cooper
And I'm feeling super-dooper
Yo they tell I'm a trooper
And you know I'm satisfied
I do yoga and palates
And the room is full of hotties
So I'm checking out the bodies
And you know I'm satisfied
I'm digging on the isotopes
This metaphysic's shit is dope
And if all this can give me hope
You know I'm satisfied
I got a lawyer and a manager
An agent and a chef
Three nannies, an assistant
And a driver and a jet
A trainer and a butler
And a bodyguard or five
A gardener and a stylist
Do you think I'm satisfied?
I'd like to express my extreme point of view
I'm not Christian and I'm not a Jew
I'm just living out the American dream
And I just realised that nothing
Is what it seems
What it seems (C'mon)

[Chorus]

[Outro: Missy Elliott]
This is the American Life, FUCK IT
American Life

Thursday, July 03, 2003

How To Become An Alpha Male In 18 Easy Lessons: Lesson 17: Love Letter To An Alpha Male

I love you. There -- it's so simple -- easy to say, hard to say, must be said. I'm watching you. From close up, sometimes from far away and I love what I see. You make me grin, secretly, I dare not say how much. Much too much.

In the morning, I love to pretend to be asleep when you have to leave early and I steal a peek at your bare butt heading towards the bathroom. I like to hear the rittley-rattley noise of your showering, your shaving, your general banging and bumping about. You think you're quiet -- you're not -- but it makes me laugh. If I do the same to you, getting up at the crack of dawn and make the slightest noise, you're a grouchy bear, or worse (and better) you take your furry paw stealthily, out of the covers, I never see it coming, as I tiptoe by, seconds from making it out the door -- all dressed, hair done, make-up done -- you grab me, strongarm me right around the waist back into bed, bottoms up, high heels flying, me protesting weakly, all my morning clean-up efforts for naught as you kiss away fake blush and lipstick, leaving real blushing and sexy wet lips in their place. Where the hell did you get that strong body, it surely makes me swoon. We make a battlefield of the bed, my ironed blouse, my smooth skirt, soon a wrinkly pile. You love to make me late.

We pretend it's easy to part. We go off. You have projects. I have things to do. Things to get. People to see. We think we'll talk at day's end, but hardly. We are thirsty for one another within the hour -- but hate to admit, so resist the urge to call. Within two hours there's something I just have to tell you -- something I read, something someone said -- I have to share it. Can't wait to hear what you think. And you, there's that thing you had to tell me, something silly or something serious, but it can't wait until later. People out in public overhear our chatter and they know -- all the while, we pretend there's nothing to it.

There's some strange arithmetic to you, alpha male. Two plus two doesn't necessarily add up. You do the most unexpected, risky, crazy things and they work. You have nerve. You are nuts. You have balls. Bottom line, I like it. I don't even know why. Sometimes I wish I didn't, it would be easier. I could run away. I could escape if I didn't like you so damned much. But I always come back for more.

Evening stirs me ... no matter how miffed you might have made me during the day ... I will turn to see the sunset, my skin fitting just right, my hips remembering you, I sigh and smile to see evening coming. Twilight and I know the warriors must put down their weapons, erect their tents. There is a table for food -- I want to fill it for you. There are candles -- I bend down to light them. I let my hair down, slip off shoes, pad around on the cool floor feet naked. I had a notion to tell you how wrong you were about something in the hot light of mid-day, but it's gone, blown away now by the same evening breeze that lifts the hem of my skirt. I yield to the mystery of the night. Reminds me of the mystery of a man. The mystery of you.

Happy Anniversary

I love a good wedding story. Congratulations to Betsy Devine!

Bathing Beauties

Enjoy the beach this weekend like these bathing beauties of yesteryear, years gone by, this year, years to come.

America's Best Beaches

How many of these top sand spots have you visited? I have to say. I've only been to two on their list. Key West and St. John.

Be vewy vewy quiet. I'm hunting wabbits.

My kid and I are watching Elmer Fudd Comedy Capers video. Just found out this one is out of print and a collector's item, no less. Can't get enough of Bugs Bunny in "The Barber of Seville" and "What's Up, Doc?" where Bugs lounges poolside at a Hollywood Hotel in a chaise lounge, recounting his struggling actor story from vaudeville to the big time, to a gossip columnist is the ultimate. Chuck Jones must have been a riot.
"

Perfect Holiday -- Independence Day

The cover of the The New Yorker Magazine says it all. A guy roasting hot dogs on the grill -- a blue and white spatula with star holes -- red stripes of the dogs -- all lines up into a make-shift American flag. Even better, in the front section of the magazine, The Talk of the Town, Hendrik Hertzberg,reminds us why the 4th might just be the perfect holiday -- sorry in advance to my British friends.
The Fourth of July is one of the best holidays around: fireworks that get better every year, no gift-giving hassles, not too much commercial exploitation, nice weather (usually), no religious test for participation. And, no doubt, throwing off the yoke of perfidious Albion is something to celebrate. Still, every now and then a small regret intrudes that we weren?’t able to work out a peaceful resolution of our differences with the mother country. God knows we tried (?“We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble Terms,?” the Declaration of Independence notes sadly), but George III wouldn?’t listen to reason. A little less taxation, a little more representation, and, presto?—two hundred and twenty-seven years later, we might all be Canadians. Would that be so terrible?
Hertzberg goes on to wonder about whether we might not be better off as Canadians, writing on their recent legalization of same-sex marriages, their thumbs down on getting involved in the Iraq conflict and reminding us of their treasure trove of comedy talent (Martin Short, Dan Aykroyd, Jim Carrey, Mike Myers, Martin Short) that hails from the North.

I say YES, let's go Canadian, as long as Mike Myers is President/King of our new nation. I mean why not start with a presdent who's political platform is a fur-covered rotating round bachelor bed and slogans include "Do I Make You Randy?"

Knee High By The 4th of July

Yep, we're getting down home here at Halley's Comment. Going out back to check on my corn crop. It better be knee-high or I won't be shooting off any fireworks.

Hey, wait a minute, these farmers say I should stay inside and use a computer to grow my corn.

Wednesday, July 02, 2003

Wow Post

Joi Ito just posted an amazing response to my post. Talk about growing up in an Alpha Female Empire ... very interesting long line of strong women in his family tree.

Alpha Male Next Brewing

That little writer in my head who sits at her desk scribbling all the time while I'm walking around town, eating dinner and sleeping, just sent me a note -- on yellowed parchment with quill pen scrawl -- to let me know she's got the next chapter of the Alpha Male series pretty much figured out and will let me transcribe it soon. Thanks, tiny writer lady, much appreciated. What about a title? Oh, says she, do you HAVE to know? Yes, says me, tell me. Okay, okay, says she, it's called "Love Letter To An Alpha Male." Mmmmm, says me, I like it

Hey, Joi, Here I Am

I've been getting to know Joi Ito -- finally -- and reading his blog about IRC and Salaryman Suicide (yikes) and all sorts of things. When reading about his new IRC community of friends, it touches something deep in me. It occurs to me that people have a gigantic interest in knowing one another, as well as knowing about one another. Admit it. Everyone does. You want to know all the stupid little details about how other people live and what they do and what they eat and what they think, don't you?

So here I am. I am sitting at 5:11am in my red plaid cotton Old Navy pj's at my dining room table, typing on my new Vaio that they gave me at my new job at Yaga.com which btw is really a great place to work -- it happens to be a great place to work for a lot of reasons -- but it's literally a "great place" to work because it's in my house -- right here -- I work out of my own home -- with HQ in San Francisco. I just started and it's so exciting because the people I work with are terrific and amazingly smart and interesting to work with, learn from, think through things with. It's a blessing to get connected to them.

What really turns me on about my job -- and it occurred to me in a meeting in NYC last week -- is after years of working on white papers and books and other great projects ABOUT ecommerce -- I was finally back in sales, as Director of Client -- wait, I forgot who I was there for a minute -- had to go into my office, take my new business cards down from a high shelf and read them. Oh, yeah, they say, "Halley Suitt, Director, Client Development" which is what I am now.

Anyway, I was sitting in a meeting in NYC at a very big publishing company and I realized and it was like finding CANDY IN YOUR PURSE YOU FORGOT YOU HAD -- I was so excited, I thought, "Oh my god, I'm not writing something theoretical about ecommerce here -- I'm here really trying to help these guys sell stuff on the web." May not turn you on, but it sure turned me on. And our Sales Support Engineer Josh was doing a terrific WebEx demo for us from SF and my boss Nell was doing a kick-ass presentation and it was really terrifically exciting. (Apologies to all there, I had gotten up SO EARLY to take the Acela train to NYC from Boston that I was both excited but also semi-falling asleep in the meeting.)

So here I am -- back in my dining room. There is the most exquisite vase -- a glass cylinder my sister gave me -- sitting on the table next to me -- filled with lavendar, purple, violet, grey, lilac colored silk pansies -- just lovely. Also big square pale bone white candles -- that look a bit like big office buildings in some far away city -- with black wicks from last night's dinner when they glowed yellow, my little office suite. I have five candles and I could write "Building One" through "Building Five" on them and then tell people on email or IM when I'm working here next to my purple pansies and candles that , "Yes, come on over, I'm working in Building Four today." It would sound very believeable.

But back to Here I Am-ville. I guess I was trying to tell Joi Ito who I am ... I guess I am Halley Suitt, Director, Client Development in my plaid pjs with a mop of blond-hair, looking a bit like Einstein did my coiffeur, only thing about his head and mine that we have in common, a crazy pile of hair. (Bugs Bunny: "Welcome to my shop, let me cut your mop. Yes, you're next, you're SO NEXT.) And if I had any more boxes of business cards they might read, "Halley Suitt, Mom" as my son's asleep down the hall, all cozied in -- I just checked on his blankets being tucked up around his neck instead of kicked down to the bottom of the bed. And then there's my business card "Halley Suitt, Tea Drinker" as I flip the switch on my Russell Banks Electric Tea Kettle, no wait, Russell Baker, no Russell Hobbs Electric Tea Kettle. I take the box of Twinings English Breakfast out of the cupboard, thinking with a smile that Gary Turner's breakfast, as well as Euan Semple's are probably long over as it's five hours later there. Niek and Adam in Holland are an hour ahead of them. Sunny day, maybe off to the beach? Holland has some lovely beaches. And Joi is close to dinner in Japan I figure. I hope Gnome-Girl is snoozing in SF. Vince Nunsequitor too. Even most of Boston is asleep. I love the folks in my uber-village. Wish them well.

The tea kettle clicks. I'll make a pot in a black tea pot I bought around Christmas time this year and then walk down the main corridor of Building 2 -- it's the big one on the end under the shade of that explosion of pansies, aka, forget-me-nots.

Holy Conference Guacamole

Doc explains how three big conferences are all taking place at nearly the exact same time next week! Read about it here. I'm heading to Supernova in Washington DC and looking forward to finally meeting Joi Ito. David Weinberger is headed that way from what I understand. Also Anil Dash. Also ... well a lot of cool bloggers should be there.

BTW, if Kevin Werbach offers me a slot, I'd be happy to read a new chapter of "How To Become An Alpha Male in 18 Easy Lessons" at Supernova. It's the last chapter.

Tuesday, July 01, 2003

It's A Mom Thing

Okay, I have to admit, I broke down and got my kid a SonyPlaystation2 for his birthday against all my best intentions, but GEEZ it's fun. I'm here doing email, cooking gyoza dumplings, throwing in laundry, chatting with friends and my kid is stuck with Jax and Daxter (or some game I got him) and getting all upset because he can't line up some cross-haired device with some glowing orb or something -- I don't get it at all, but he asks for help, knowing all along that I stink that this kind of thing.

I take the controller, move it quickly into place and blue beams start shooting from blue bulb to blue bulb and I've done exactly what was needed in 2 seconds. He screams, "How did you do that Mom?!" "I don't know," says I, "but I couldn't stand burning the dumplings so I just did something." He is still stunned, and stuck in place. I fly into the kitchen and find the gyoza dumplings are just right -- not stuck to the bottom of the pan. Multi-tasker, thy name is mother.

Frankly Frank

Yep, Frank Paynter does it again. He guessed the quote below was from Henry James' Portrait of A Lady and he WAS RIGHT. He even sent me this link -- did he buy me a teaset from eBay? Oh, Frank you shouldn't have.

Name That Tune -- I Mean Book

Your name in lights -- RIGHT HERE. Whoever emails me the name of the book this is from -- be first, be famous.
"There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea."

Tea Time

ICED tea time that is. Eating pretzels and iced tea on a lovely afternoon. The humidity finally broke and we're having a lovely sunny day. I might even be a little sunburned in some places from going native in the backyard with WiFi and some Coppertone.

Expense Reports

Time to get the little shreds of paper all together in a pile and try to make heads or tails of them. Don't you just LOATHE doing expense reports. Ugh, ugh, ugh.

Hey Vito, Is My Car Ready?

Yes, believe it or not, that's the name of the nail polish I'm wearing. Actually it's called "Hey Vito, Is My Car Red-y?" It's just one of the O.P.I nail laquers.

O.P.I. is the porsche of nail polish and the names of the colors are really out of this world. They launched a terrific line of colors in the spring while we were all freezing our butts off in Boston called their Las Vegas Collection -- check out a favorite of mine called "Taupe-less Showgirls" Made me want to jump right on a plane for Las Vegas.

And then there was the European collection last fall and winter. How terrific is Amsterdamsel In Distress? And hell, who wouldn't want to get all painted up in "Kinky In Helsinki" and of course, as all European women know, "It's My Prague-ative" when it comes right down to it.

They are co-branding with the next LEGALLY BLONDE movie with three 4th of July colors called Red-y For Anything and Blonde Date, among others. They just know how to have fun these O.P.I. folks. I love their marketing attitude.

With A Thong In My Heart

A rather mild-mannered mom friend asked me why I like to wear thongs and weren't they really uncomfortable. Hmmm .... said I. Thought of the song lyrics,"It's like tryin' to tell a stranger 'bout-a rock 'n' roll."

I couldn't tell her how hot they make ME feel, not to mention others who get to take peek at them. I couldn't explain how great it feels to have your jeans or anything else you're wearing rub against your bare butt, I know that would have made her blush. Why do I like to wear thongs ... I tried a different approach. "Well," I said, "Let's just say they keep me on my diet."

Go Figure

Maybe some day I'll understand. Like round about when I'm 95 or something. Maybe someday I'll really understand why it is people can say the most insulting things to you, do the most dreadful things to you, drop the nastiest email into your inbox and then expect you to play nice with them. What am I missing? It's hard enough to understand why people think being insulting is a good strategy for maintaining any shred of a relationship, but how they get around to the notion that they can insult you and everything will still be happy-happy-happy-all-the-time-time-time and we can all be friends ... well, I just don't get it. Go figure.

Breathe -- D'uh

Two types of exercise still just about kill me. Push-ups and abdominal exercises of every type. But someone gave me the most important hint -- I can't remember if it was a fellow worker-outer, or a trainer in a health club, or someone on a fitness tape, but it CHANGED EVERYTHING.

They said most people just down BREATHE enough when they do ab crunches and it really matters. So I started making a conscious effort to breathe and wow, what a difference it made. Same thing when it comes to push-ups.

Flat Abs

Shape Magazine is all about flat abs this month. Big surprise -- your belly will look better if you're eating lots of fiber like grains, beans, prunes and those rough-and-tough green vegetables like kale and collard greens. Of course, water water water is their other secret recipe.

Working Out/ Working Back Up

I was sick for more than two weeks and haven't been exercising. Working out these past few days has been so tough. Working back up to the level of fitness I was hitting before getting this cough and cold is so difficult. But that's the thing -- it's about working back up to it. I want to be right where I was and can't seem to get my head around the fact that I've lost a lot of wellness and fitness.

I had an interesting conversation with my sister about this. In so many areas of life, if you fall off the wagon, getting back into the groove is so hard. It's really an important thing to be aware of. Realize you will have trouble coming back. Realize you have to deal with it. Realize that things DO change and vary and nothing is fixed -- it's all static. Your level of fitness or expertise or ability falls off -- things change -- but it's just that very fact that means you can CHANGE from less fit to more fit, or less rich to more rich, or less patient to more patient.

I see it all the time in business and over the years it's begun to hit me that the most successful people are the ones that fall on their faces a lot AND GET BACK UP FAST. That key time of recovery makes you or breaks you. That painful moment where you face the facts -- I'm out of shape, I'm out of money, I'm out of gas, whatever -- and then face the problem head on and do something about it, that's what separates winner from loser. Open up that messy closet, rip it apart and clean it up. Even just one small corner of it. Get down on the floor and start doing those push-ups again -- even if you can only do three or four. Pull out those bills from that crammed drawer. Pay one. Just one, but pay it now.

Monday, June 30, 2003

Think About It

Do you have a kidney you can spare? Do you have a donor card in your wallet next to your driver's license? I do.

Sunday, June 29, 2003

Party! Party! Party!

My tiny baby son is 8 years old today! How did THAT happen?

Saturday, June 28, 2003

Dying To Tell You Our Stories

I was talking with Dave Winer about what happened at the Jupiter Conference when Tony Perkins, former editor of Red Herring Magazine and now CEO of AlwaysOn.com spoke. Everyone was very tough on him. The A list bloggers in the audience wanted to give him a message -- you are NOT one of us. There was a very antagonistic crowd listening to his keynote and the Q&A was very contentious. I don't have a thing against the man, and in fact, he may be a lovely person, but he became a lightning rod for an issue which is fundamental to blogging. I don't know what to call it, but I'm going to talk about it. Let me start by saying, Tony Perkins is NOT Anne Frank.

Anne Frank was a young girl writing a diary, falling in love, hiding behind a bookcase in a tiny apartment in Amsterdam, during the Nazi occupation. Later she was dead and only a diary. Ironically, Anne Frank ended up living on a bookcase shelf. Many bookcase shelves, all over the world. The life she documented was simple and lively. The difficult circumstances under which she lived exalted her writing. She was simply telling her story. And, as you've probably guessed, I think of Anne Frank as a blogger.

Dave and I were talking about an often overlooked aspect of blogging. Blogs are not simply online diaries. They are not simply a new form of instant publishing and group-think. Many are written by people who have been to hell and back.

On June 25, Andrew Sullivan, opinionated blogmeister supreme and brilliant writer, wrote about his ten-year anniversary of finding out he is HIV positive and how he's managed to survive. On June 14, 2002, Winer's blog went black for a week when he had unexpected heart by-pass surgery. As he recounted the other day, we were wondering how his friend Brian Buck, who is battling cancer is managing. We all sit on the edge of our seats routing for him and wince when he does not post on a regular basis. Much of my early blogging was about my father's downward spiral into illness and finally his death last year on April 9th.

Am I saying you have to turn your blog into General Hospital to get readers? Not at all. I'm saying that many of us have been through personal crises that have given us new wisdom, new clarity about what matters and what doesn't. These difficult circumstances have the positive aspect of elevating our writing. The bloggers who lived through and recounted September 11, 2001 also share this legacy. It's the blood and guts of blogging. It's a life and death thing. It's not casual. We have some skin in the game.

The life and death bloggers aren't writing casually. They are writing for their lives. They are writing to stay alive. They are writing about what it feels like to be alive -- knowing that all that will be left behind is their words. They are writing because it really, really matters. Tony Perkins is not Anne Frank -- nor does he want to be, nor should he aspire to be. But like Tony, anyone who wants to join the party needs to be aware of the tradition of this medium --- enter this inner sanctum with head bowed, hat in hand. Tread lightly in this place. Show us your real self. We're naked here, are you? We're alive here, but we're also dying. Dying to tell you our stories.

Thursday, June 26, 2003

Air Conditioner

It's hot as blazes here and I knew it was coming and I warned a friend to buy an air conditioner last week. Last week it was 50 degrees, so it was hard to imagine there was much urgency to the task. But around about Monday when it went from 50 to 90 in one day, my argument proved more compelling -- that owning an air conditioner would not be a bad idea.

Have you ever installed an air conditioner? It's no fun. I had done it with my dad and I knew a little bit. I'm not the kind of person you would consider terribly technical, in fact, this friend who needed the air conditioner didn't expect me to know anything at all about installing air conditioners, but that was where he was wrong.

We took the thing -- a heavy thing -- out of the box. I dove for the instruction manual. "I used to write these," I explained. I really do believe if you read the directions enough times and look at the wacky little diagrams you can figure the thing out. I read the thing cover to cover like a smutty novel while he rummaged around for a Phillips head screwdriver. I could tell he doubted our ultimate success on this already hot and humid evening. "How long do you think it will take?" he asked. His tone was not optimistic. "About 2 hours," I said. "Do you think we can do it?" he was not sanguine. "Yes," I said.

It would be so easy to spend the next two hours, hot, sweaty and biting one another's heads off with such a task ahead of us, but that did NOT happen. I think he was shocked to see I could be methodical, persistent and rather resourceful in the face of this big heavy slab of metal coils, fan, housing unit.

I told him stories of my dad and I lifting these monsters into old windows, him asking me to hold onto the cord, explaining its importance, then slowly angling the thing down a bit so the water from condensation would drip away from the unit, then watching it delicately balanced in the window, only to suddenly tip backwards just a little too far and start a suicidal slide down the roof, saved by the plug which I gripped for dear life in my strong girl hands. My dad and I would laugh as he cursed the bloody box with a mind of its own. "Halley Biz, you saved the day!" he'd say.

Back in the hot room, we were painstakingly reading the directions again. "Before we start anything, I want to tell you the story," I announced closing the manual. "Here's what they are telling us. They want us to take the whole thing -- all the guts -- out of the housing unit -- weird, eh? Then the heavy part can sit here, while we install the housing in the window. Much easier than the old days where you had to deal with the whole damned thing which weighs three tons. Then once we get the empty metal box in, we have to add these side accordian panels and make the window fit around it. After that's all snug, we put the guts of the machine back in and screw it all together."

I always like to start with the "what the hell we're doing here" overview. He was impressed. Over the next two hours we did exactly what I described. When he wanted to jump ahead and use the wrong piece in the wrong place, I calmed us both down and re-read the manual. When I got fed up and wouldn't let a certain term or direction sink in, he showed me how to be patient. We pulled it off and best of all, this spanking new air conditioner came with a remote control. I loved the idea of an air conditioner with a remote control. He thought it was bogus as any air conditioner to his mind, should just be cranked up to full blast and left on all summer. When we were done, I grabbed the remote control, pushed ON and the baby started up like a dream. We cheered! "How did you ever get so good at this?" he asked and I knew he was really surprised.

I told him my secret. Men in my life have taught me how to do things. The most important thing they've taught me is what men learn as boys. They learn they CAN'T GIVE UP. I hate to say it, but at least for my generation, as little girls we were taught WE COULD GIVE UP, that we could get emotional, throw up our hands and say, "I give up, I can't figure it out!" There was something diabolically "feminine" and "cute" about that. It's often called "learned helplessness" as girls learn that appearing helpless gets them more positive attention, and often as not, attention from men who want to help them, playing to the worst of alpha male stereotypes. I've since learned that this stance is truly insidious. I've learned from men that if you start with the premise that you MUST solve a problem, it's much easier to solve. Men have taught me to be resourceful and NOT to give up. So have women. My sister-in-law and I once had a blast installing a dimmer switch. She was good, but not typical of most women I fear. We let our girls off the hook all too often. We need to teach them how resourceful they can be.

You should have seen me install my new Linksys Wireless-B Broadband Router with no male assistance, this week. Got that baby humming too. Even after the boneheaded manual writers referred to the WAN port on the back of the thing -- and there WASN"T one labelled that way -- and were guilty of the most imprecise and sloppy language in their "fast start" booklet. Just gotta use your head and keep on plugging.