Tuesday, August 12, 2003

I Have This Funny Feeling

Woke up worrying about a million little things and then did a STOP. Just did it. Just said, "STOP."

Got back on the right track by thinking ... God does not want me worrying about a million little things. God wants me to do what he brought me here to do. He'll worry about the million little things. Push them over to his side of the desk. Take a long look at him -- try watching his sky, his trees, his not-so-bad world he built all around us. He'll tell you why the hell he brought you here. He needs you to stop thinking about trivial stuff and do something important like love your kid, write some words, kiss the sky.

Say A Little Prayer

I think end of August is always a tricky time. I think THIS end of August is particularly trying. I know friends in Europe are going through a very trying time. The record heat is daunting if not dangerous. I know many people are out of work. I know many kids are going back to school with the bare minimum in terms of shoes, clothes, new notebooks. I think we all need someone praying for us. We all need to say a kind work to one another. Try it today. As I write this, the skies open with another shower of rain. Nothing easy about this day I'm afraid. Back to my knees -- get those prayers going.

Saturday, August 09, 2003

Archives Check

My archives are acting up again. Just republished, off to check on them.

Expiration Date

Started the morning with a big bowl of Special K with Red Berries which I'm crazy for. Poured in a lot of milk. Took one delicious bite and nearly gagged. Checked the milk carton, EXP DATE; JULY 18. Luckily I had a new unopened carton of milk in the fridge I got two days ago. Reset -- bowl one down the drain, wash bowl, start again.

Staring Into Space

I had a lovely dinner last night that I had to leave early and appreciated everyone's graciousness around the table to let me go so soon, but I've been writing fiction and it seems to require a enormous amount of time of simply staring into space. Doing nothing. I thought I read somewhere that Thurber's wife used to say when he wandered around the house like a somnambulist in a daze, "Ut oh, he's writing again."

That's just about the way I get. Spend a lot of time on the floor looking up at the ceiling. I'm thinking about scenes, characters, stealing this limb or head or body from one real person, cutting and pasting it onto a fictional character. Noticing this meal or other, a real-live tuna noodle casserole, neatly inserted into a fictional suburban kitchen, the fictional wife ready to feed the fictional kids who will all bitch and moan about hating tuna.

A House Of No Women


[I'm writing some fiction and this is a very early rough draft. Don't need any advice or critique, thanks. just send flowers, candy and love letters. ]

House Of No Women

This was a house of no women. That’s all she could think. Or rather, all she could feel. This is a house of no women. It was an enormous house. She noticed it as her boyfriend Peter drove her up the long driveway in his new red sports car. He was wanting her to notice his car so much, but next to this house, crunching along this gravel driveway, his toy car was about as impressive as a kid’s tiny metal Hot Wheels car that you bought in the supermarket for less than a dollar. Neither of them had been expecting so much house – so much big stone house – like a mountain you were asked to climb and it had seemed a nice adventure when you stretched the guidebooks and maps out on your kitchen table one night under a yellow light. All within reason, not ominous, but doable. But this was another matter, in fact it was a veritable Matterhorn of a house. In the daylight rising up and looking nothing short of terrifying, anyone would begin to think that maybe this was just a bad idea all around and it was a good time to turn back.

This is a house of no women. She thought it again even though it wasn’t quite grammatical, not particularly good English, something as a writer, she should be able to articulate more precisely, but this phrase rose from her gut – a house of no women – and every part of the house spoke it. Not that it was a masculine house per se, rather it seemed to pull her in, as if needing her feminine nature, as if needing any feminine nature to balance it out. .

What she was feeling was his presence, but since she didn’t even know Vladimir yet, she could not know that. She did not know that his soul was such a powerful black hole, pulling her and every woman around him in, like a bad table cloth trick where the magician fails to leave every cup, plate, knife, fork spoon and candlestick standing as he yanks away the table linens, but instead, Vladimir had a way all pulling whole dinner party tables of place settings and women into his lap, and they could not resist being upended, all within a few quick looks of his from under those bushy dark eyebrows, now slightly graying. Vladimir could cause incredible damage..

Maybe it was knowing the back story – that Titantia, the beautiful Russian dancer/model his wife had died here – a bit of a scandal it ended up being as it splashed through the papers, she and her lover nude in the swimming pool – Vladimir and the the son away. She was beautiful. And even with the scandal and the tragedy, most of the publications had only printed the gorgeous pictures of her – almost unheard of these days – but Vladimir had had a hand in making sure none of the accident details were made public.

The pictures they ran of her were incredible. She was by then more model than dancer and no one was clear if she ever had been much of a dancer back in Russia. Equally unclear if Vladimir had been much of a businessman, or maybe just a gangster. So it may have been a house with women when she lived there, but today, there was the unmistakable feeling that women had been banished from this kingdom.

And the king of this kingdom was as ugly as the former queen was beautiful, But Vladimir wore the odd combination of ugly-powerful-rich in a way that gave him a strange magnetic quality. You couldn’t find too many photographs of him, again it wasn’t clear why. Was he a gangster ducking the authorities or? Papers were in the habit of cropping his face out of the pictures of Titantia and him completely, or often as not cutting his big bear-like figure and face in half as they let her tiny fairy-like shape take center-stage in the photographs of the couple entering the US at Boston Logan Airport, or visiting the Kennedys at Hyannisport or arriving at Kennebunkport to fish with the President.

And Vladimir was as rich as she was poor, the story being that he had attended the ballet in Moscow with a few of his mistresses, his wife refusing to go anywhere with him at that point, and had seen her dance the lead role that night and had sent all the mistresses home, and gone back stage and had just about kidnapped her, but she had slipped through his fingers that night, making him all the more desirous of her. He was rumored to be a man of great appetitie and was not willing to delay his gratification when he saw something he wanted -- be it real estate, airlines, diamond mines, nuclear power plants or women, all of which he owned several of – except for Titania. Once he saw her, he didn’t want any other women, just her. He cleared the decks, wife quickly and quietly divorced, mistresses dismissed. And then he laid traps for her and waited, looking as confident as any man possibly could that. As he had learned in business over and over again, it was just a matter of time and she would yield. But she did not make it easy, and there were more pictures of her with other men in the papers, other reports of Frenchmen with royal ancestors and that billionaire Spaniard, but Vladimir was undaunted. He knew how to outwait this particular kind of butterfly, until she landed, And he was right. He got her.

Peter slowed down, way down, pulled the car over before they were close to the door, under a shady overhanging of green leafy canopy of trees where they would be sheltered in a little privacy. She noticed his nervousness as she reached for the door handle saying “Wait” as she tried to get out, he touched her arm to tell her to wait, then went around to the other side, to let her out and carefully kissed her and said, “Are you sure you want to do this? You don’t have to, you know.”

But she looked at him quizzically, all this sudden overprotectedness was so unlike him, but he must have sensed it too – that this house might swallow her alive. That the man who lived in the house might … well, that something might happen. They never give men enough credit for male intuition she thought to herself. They always sense when another man is ready to pounce on their woman.

“It’s okay,” she said, knowing it would not reassure him. “They said they’d arrange a car for me when I’m done. You don’t have to wait.”
This reassured him even less, but he let her go.
He kissed her hard – an insurance kiss, she liked to call those – a kiss a man plants on you to remind you for a good long time that you belong to him, to insure that you get returned to the rightful owner soon,. She opened the car door for him, since she could tell he did not want to go and it was getting close to 4:00. Sunday at 4:00 that was her appointment time to meet Vladimir.

She walked up to the house and he turned the circle drive reluctantly, heading back out to the road. She turned to wave to Peter, who was waiting for her wave, car stopped, though heading out and after the wave, he threw it in gear and raced out of there, knowing there was nothing to do. She watched him get smaller and smaller as he followed the long driveway. There was so much Peter didn’t know about this. There was so much she couldn’t say. There was the heart-leap she had experienced that same morning when she went to the ATM with Peter before they were getting bagels, to find a surprise $250,000 in her account – the amount Vladimir had offered her for advising him – the amount she had laughed at, surely he was kidding, the amount she had turned down, she thought. How had he even found out her bank account number?

She had only agreed to have tea with him on Sunday at 4:00. She didn’t drive, growing up in New York City and all. He would send a car for her. No, she told him, my boyfriend can bring me out. He should not wait, I’ll send you home in a car. She had said like some silly girl, forgetting her research on him, “Oh, don’t go to the trouble.” He had said, “I go to no trouble. I own the limousine service. Actually I own a few limousine services.” She looked back to where her boyfriend had been and saw that now he was gone. She turned back to the door and rang the bell. It was 4:01 by her watch.

Friday, August 08, 2003

Run Arianna Run Is Right

CNN is so sick. They interview Arianna Huffington's deadbeat husband, who says his daughters begged their parents not to run. What bullshit. He's simply trying to put down his ex-wife because she's so much more on the ball than he is.

And deadbeat CNN has the nerve to show video of him and Arianna CARRYING their daughters -- little baby girls in little baby girl dresses with mary janes -- AS IF THAT WERE A RECENT VIDEO CLIP -- basically trying to make it look like she's a mother abandoning her children. Any idiot will see that Arianna AND her husband, who's being interviewed LIVE, look more than 10 years older now -- and of course, their daughters are NOT young baby girls.

How stupid and sick of CNN to produce such an idiotic interview slamming Arianna as if she were a bad mom. I can't wait for the backlash.

I think she just got every divorced woman's vote in California. If I were still living there, she'd sure get mine.

And does CNN think we are so stupid that we can't figure out that Arianna's daughters are 14 and 12 -- or are they so stupid they didn't bother to search Google to find that out before they put together their cock-a-mamie story?!

Think Twice

It occurred to me when looking over Victoria's Secret's Bridal Collection, that there's something a little paradoxical about marrying a woman who's wearing a "merrywidow" underneath her dress -- what's she got on her mind?

Make sure that pre-nup is airtight guys and don't book a walking tour of the Alps as a honeymoon.

Morality Play

Chris Hartjes emailed me to mention he HATED the ending to the first story in the collection Four Blondes I blogged about below. Here's what he says:
[the idea of the protagonist, Janie Wilcox the model] getting a modelling contract with Victoria's Secret as a reward for years of sleeping around and basically being a gold-digger struck me as an incredibly lame ending.
I agree that the ending didn't really work. The story is about her slow downward spiral from her late twenties to early thirties, using one man after another like Kleenex, and them using her, her money and beauty fading as well. The darkedst moment is when after all the manoeuvering she's done, her younger sister instead becomes the belle of the ball in the Hamptons and snags a guy to marry, a weird guy, but there's a sense at least the sister has a life. The logic of it should end on a down note.

Thing is though, it's not really a morality play, rather some light fluffy girly entertainment. Maybe we should both write a new ending and try them out on our blogs?

Still Having Trouble Getting Over This

I used to live in California. I used to live in LA. I used to eat in his restaurant in Venice -- I even saw him and Maria there one evening. But I still don't quite believe this is happening. "Schwarzenegger announces bid for governor." Of course, we should have all seen it coming, the way they are dragging Gray Davis, bloody and battered, out of town on a rope, tied to one ankle, making him eat dust as they let the horses and wagon tear at top speed,

Work Out Work In

The rain woke me at 4:30 -- what a noise! So nothing else to do but work out. Living room rug, here I come.

Hey Barlow-San

John Perry Barlow sends another great group email today (JP--GET A BLOG MAN!) and this one tells of an EFF party coming up in Golden Gate Park (Sat Aug 9 at noon) and ends with the greatest quote. (All of JPB's emails end with the greatest quotes, but this sure caught my eye.)


"I have always wished that my computer would be as easy to use as my
telephone. My wish has come true. I no longer know how to use my
telephone."

-- Bjarne Stroustrup, computer science professor, designer of C++
programming language (1950- )

_______________________________________________
BarlowFriendz mailing list
BarlowFriendz@eff.org
https://owl.eff.org/mailman/listinfo/barlowfriendz

Thursday, August 07, 2003

Four Blondes

Dave was kind enough to mention today that he thinks I'm a good writer -- thanks, man. And that I should be writing a book ... shhhhhhhhhhhhhhh ... don't tell anybody, but I am ... but I'm also a good reader and have been reading a lot lately and enjoying it so much. I don't think there's any better pleasure than summer reading, at the beach, in a hammock on someone's grassy lawn as everyone around you is doing something else. Kids playing, ants attending picnics uninvited, croquet balls whacking other balls, whatever ...

I've been reading Four Blondes by Candace Bushnell (author of Sex And The City) and it's so great and funny. I can't get enough. It's also a great summer book as it starts with a model who makes a habit of dating rich guys with nice houses in the Hamptons from Memorial Day through Labor Day, then dumping them (or getting dumped) and we watch her age summer-by-summer, lover-by-lover, one more eccentric than the last. Bushnell writes great characters.

A friend suggested I read Sex And The City (despite my protestations that I didn't really like the TV series) but I couldn't find a copy of it, so got Four Blondes instead. There are four novellas (or long short stories if you will) in the book and the second one is about a very unadventuresome man and wife (both writers) who have a totally dead marriage and they both are voraciously unfaithful to one another on the same crazy day, after years and years of faithfulness. In fact, the wife literally tells the husband that evening that she spent the whole afternoon fucking this movie star in his hotel room -- WHICH IS EXACTLY WHAT SHE DID DO -- but the husband figures she's got to be joking, that she would never do that. Besides, he's such a mess of dirty clothes, come, lipstick and booze, he's too undone to even listen to her and heads for the shower. This has a back story -- get ready for this -- the husband's doing an article for his magazine on ALPHA MALES!

The friend who recommended I read Bushnell's work had not read this particular book, only figured I'd find it useful since I write fiction about sex -- and I have a similar style in some ways. He had no idea that it would hit SO close to home. Life is strange.

Meanwhile, I have a story being published in Penthouse in October -- on newsstands next month. If you get a second, check out the cover of this month's Penthouse. It's got a picture of a woman's face -- a lovely blond with pink barrettes in her hair. That's all -- no boobs, no everything else. Jeez -- wish the issue with my story in it had THAT cover -- a rare cover to be sure with the only cheeks showing being the ones on the pretty woman's face! It would be so much easier to show off my story to the neighbors with a cover like that! With my luck, I figure the next issue will have ... well, you can imagine.

Thanks So Much Werner!

Gotta love blogging. Werner from @cs.cornell.edu sent me this email just now to save my Sony! Ah! My Alpha Male Geek Hero! Love these guys with big brains.
Halley,

I also lost some essential keys once and couldn't get them replaced by the vendor. I don't know whether you have tried this already but first line of defense is to pop two useless keys from your keyboard and put them in the place of the lost ones, so that you can at least type again (numlock and pause/break come to mind). It looks weird but at least you can use it again ...

Awfully enough the cheapest way to bring the keyboard back to it rightful state is to replace it. It costs $65 mail-order, but luckily it is rather simple to install (http://www.sparepartswarehouse.com/sony/parts/147723011.asp).



Now if I could just get Sony to pay you for your excellent customer support!

I'm Talking To A Robot

It's taken me half a lifetime but I'm finally trying to get a J key and a C key for my Sony Vaio, which I vacuumed up a few months back. The customer service guy is named Max and he is a robot and I don't like him. He asks me the model number. I tell him what's written on the Sony Vaio "PCG=NV190" -- the robot says "do you mean EXR12?" I say "What the fuck?" He says "Do you mean EXR12?" Christ.

I stop talking ... he says something that lets me get to a human. I talk to some woman from ... sounds like Texas. She explains how she can't help me, I need to call another 800 number. She does clue me that if the computer is less than a year old, it's under Sony's 365-day warranty.

I call the other number -- I get an Indian guy with a heavy accent who tells me although it should be under the warranty, the missing keyboard keys are considered cosmetic damage and that Sony has a special three-tiered level of service for fixing these problems which ARE NOT under warranty. I say, "Wait a minute ... " I ask him to explain why a keyboard is considered "cosmetic" -- he is reading from some script and is getting on my nerves.

I stop him and say "WHERE are you?" He says, "We are not authorized to disclose our location." I say, "What are you on another planet?"

I decide to calm down and back-off for a few more nano-seconds. Nobody's kidding anybody. He's in India somewhere and I can smell curry and cows and other New Delhi smells. Poor guy can't even say where he works. Even Apu Nahasapeemapetilon can proudly mention he works at the Kwik-E-Mart. He's reading about how I can get one the three-tiered service levels for

Basic Damage @ $249.00/hr
Major Damage @ $699.00/hr
Some other thing @ $102.00/hr

Of course, I qualify for either the $249 deal orf the $699 deal. Next he starts reading to me how I must obtain a box and pack the computer and I'm responsible for any damage it might incur when I pay to ship it to them.

I say "Wait a minute ... how did I end up being the computer packing and shipping department?!." He doesn't answer but asks if he can keep reading his script to me.

I say, "I don't think so. Thank you for your help, but I don't want to talk you or Sony anymore. I'm really pissed off. That means I'm mad. Good bye." To be fair the guy DID register my computer which I neglected to do last year when I bought it -- yes, I was a bonehead to not do that.

I'm thinking of repurposing my Sony Vaio. Maybe I could toast bread with it? Maybe line a big birdcage with it? Maybe I could set it on fire in the backyard -- I'm got a lot of marshmellows here -- tis the season -- nothing like a nice campfire.

I know, I know, I was the jerk who damaged it ... but what the hell do you have to go through to get some service or a simple PART these days?

I knew I was dodging the phone call to attempt to fix this stupid computer for a reason. I guess my hunch that trying to fix it would be a gigantic pain in the ass was exactly right -- yes, yes, I was right on the money about that.
-

Pick A Card

Yes, pick a card, any card. I went to a tarot card reader once, all upset about some guy. She started to turn over the cards -- it was before I knew anything about the tarot cards. None were particularly good or particularly bad.

I was so crazy for this guy and he was ... yes, ouch, easy to say now, wasn't easy to admit then ... dumping me. One of those long, slow, "Honey, I'm just so busy now, you gotta understand" heave-ho's that hurt more than the hitting-a-wall-at-60mph-sudden-slam-dumps. Pulling the bandaid off one excruciatingly slow tug at a time.

She got one thing right, "I see a young man." She was no genius. I started to cry, then cry harder, then bawl my eyes out. She kept turning over cards, saying nothing. Her bedside manner sucked. I'm crying me a river and she finally looks up and says, "I sense you are feeling some sadness." Boy, was she gifted!

Strike A Pose

In case you wondered what it takes to be a model. For women, start by being about 5 feet, 10 inches and wearing a Size 4. I've seen size 4 clothing -- it's for dressing up dolls.

Wednesday, August 06, 2003

About Halley's Tail

Oh, yeah, and one more thing before I really go to sleep. Here's a piece about my tail. And a photograph entitled, "Why Halley Flipped" which is very strange. I appreciate it. Even I need to know the scientific explanation behind why I flip now and then.

Good Night

See you tomorrow. And the next day. And the next day. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

Beautiful Beautiful Blossoms

I have a bunch of family in Boston, which I'm so lucky to have. I love to visit my sister Jan and her husband Tom too. They have a lovely store in Newton Highlands called BLOSSOMS right off the Green Line T, where they sell silk flower arrangements and other beautiful things. Yesterday, I got a chance to have lunch over there -- they had just gotten a big shipment of silk flowers in big cardboard boxes, almost as large as coffins. Jan and I worked out back opening boxes and talking in the hot Mediterraen sun as we opened box after box of the most gorgeous burnt orange day lilies, red brick orchids, yellow morning glories, removed their wrappings, got them ready to be used this fall. She found a big black lacquer metal pail to put these bushels of lush flowers in, a riot of blossoms waiting for their day to star in a new flower arrangement.

Inside, Tom manned the store, working on outgoing orders, arranging autumnal centerpieces with russet fruits, shades of fall flowers, great splashes of color and texture. They work in a place of such staggering beauty -- I envy them. Of course they see it so differently -- for them it's a lot of sheer hard work and not all that special. Amazing how we see our lives so differently up close.

The shop is long and railroad car-shaped. Both of them are so creative and they have made a beautiful ecstatic cave of sensualness in that small space, which changes season by season before the new season breaks. Yesterday on a blisteringly humid hot August afternoon, I opened the lovely glass door, already overwhelmed by the autumnal window display and entered an air-conditioned heaven of October plants and flowers. They've got tall silk green trees, willows and ivy, shoots of bamboo. They have flower pots of pink and red poppies -- the pots bricky -- the flowers flirty and scarlet. They've got new ceramic vases of cardomon, cinnamon and persimmon, good enough to eat, with one or two or three simple stalks of fresia or an orchid dipping its hooded head in a lady-like manner in palest beige. They have bowls of autumnal fruits -- they look so real -- yellow gourds and brown pears and tan plums and purple berries -- all fake but simple and life-like. They have a flat golden japanese plate of bright tangerine-colored mandarin oranges.

Doctors should prescribe quarterly visits to their shop -- it's such a restorative treat. And they don't even SEE it. They see all the work of it -- yes, yes, I know, it only makes sense. But it's a heaven on earth. to me We talked about our work. We talked about how few people I know have such beauty in their lives on a daily basis. We talked about the offices my brother-in-law has as corporate clients and the arrangements he delivers to companies around town. Often his flowers are the only beauty in the place and thank goodness someone thought to bring those arrangements into their place of work.

We talked about beauty. I thought about my mother who loved to garden. My sister has created a place my mother would adore. I walked around the shop as they helped customers. All the flowers of my mother's garden are there in full bloom, never to pass away, as she has now. My mother's pale lilacs, her washed denim-colored hydrangeas, her funny pink peonies which I loved to fiddle with when I was about five. The peonies had a sticky covering to their buds which ants loved to eat, so they were always crawling with ants. I would flick the ants off of the big round buds for my mom -- not that she asked, but it just seemed helpful. The bell on the door rings like sleighbells as a customer leaves, breaking my peony revery. It's time for me to leave too -- never easy to do. Two hugs, a few more laughs about this and that, a promise to return soon with my son who loves the place and I'm back out on a hot, humid summer street.

My Sorry Old Ass

I have a sorry old mom's butt. I do. I'm an old lady of 47 with a sorry old ass. It's just a fact. It's supposed to be that way. We have to step aside and let the truly cool folks take over. And those folks -- the folks who are really cool are ... well, dare I say it ... YOUNG. Now, you might argue with me. But read this link Rageboy told me about -- The Merchants of Cool -- and then tell me if there's really room for a brand that's cool AND middle-aged. I think not.

Cool Babes

Oh, yes, and ccooler than cool in hot Atlanta are the cool babes Jenna and Jeneane. I love reading you kid -- you're a fine, fine writer..

Who's The Coolest Of Them All?

Mirror, mirror on the wall ... the guys below are cool, but most cool ... yeah, go ahead and say it, coolissimo ... or is it coolissima ... is Jeannie Cool! She's so cool her blog is private -- like one of those celebrity haunts in LA with a plain wooden door, no markings. If you're lucky, later she'll tell me the URL and I'll post it. [Just kidding. I got the link and it's right up there with her name.]

Big A Art And Coolio Dave

Okay, I get it -- there's an epidemic of cool going on here. Dave Winer is getting quite cool posting pix of cool artwork and sending out kisses. On such a hot day it's great to be cool man, cool.

Of course, BloggerCon at Harvard Law School this October will be unbareably cool. Better sign up. Be there or be square. BTW, I am on the local host committee for BloggerCon.

Cool, Desu Ne?

Wow, looks like August 6th is turning into INTERNATIONAL COOL DAY. Joi Ito's written something cool about being cool -- and hell, who should know better?! Not only is Joi cool but he gives us a link to the piece called Japan's Gross National Cool from Foreign Policy, a must read.

Are the Japanese about to out-cool the Americans? This may be the beginning of the Cool Wars -- I'm sure the cool europeans will have to fight their way into the fray. Some of those Europeans are damned cool and the Brits are increasingly cool. This could get out of hand.

Say What You Will

I must admit famous cool weblogger Chris (aka Rageboy) Locke is an acquired taste, but he's done a beautiful thing today that should not be missed. He's one of the few bloggers who I consider a real Artist -- oh shit, yes I used the big A word -- and one of the very few bloggers, who I can say without reservation, continue to take the medium of blogging into stratospheric places. Rageboy's art could exist in no other medium but the web. That's a big deal.

He's written a story about taking his daughter to a rock concert, with stories and psychological text book quotes and other narratives all embedded within the post. Nobody knows how to embed like Rageboy, take it from me. (Sorry, man, couldn't resist!) But honestly, read all the way down to the KEY and let it all sit in your brain for awhile.

Tuesday, August 05, 2003

Seven More Days? Not 40 Days And 40 Nights I Hope

Just saw the 7 day outlook for Boston on the weather channel. Even I can't believe it.

RAIN
RAIN
RAIN
RAIN
RAIN
RAIN
RAIN

Boy, oh boy am I glad this wasn't my precious vacation week. Yikes!

American Originals

Getting a little moony listening to all these great songs on BeatGreets. I'm crazy for all kinds of music. Hope the links work. Make sure your audio's not on mute.

Weird And Wild Mind Of A Spell Checker

There are some really weird suggestions spell checkers make and I have to say, I'm tempted some days to stop pressing "IGNORE" and just let the beast run free and 'REPLACE" all the words with the spell checker's wacky suggestions. Some are so strange. In the post below, the Spell Checker was rather insistent that "Winer's" should be "Winners" and that "blogging" should be "flogging" and the word "permalink" should be ... get ready for this ... VERMILLION or FARMLANDS or FORMALNESS ... go figure.

BTW, in this current post, they suggest the single noun "Winer" should be "Winery". Dave, do you run a place up in Napa called Chateau Neuf du Dave and you never told us? How cool.

It even wants to replace part of itself -- "checkers" -- with "chokers" "shockers" "chasers" "choosers" and "chiggers." Okay, do you guys know what "chiggers" are -- very creepy.

On Point

Dave Winer's got a good essay on "pointing" today -- just click this link to go to it. There are certainly many points of blog etiquette we all need to be reminded of. Someone should write the Miss Manners Guiide To Blogging and spell them out, just like Dave's essay does.

I don't know if it's good manners, but one thing that's been driving me crazy lately is so many blogs have their permalinks mysteriously disguised or just completely not there. I know I dare not say anything on this score as my permalinks are not working often -- but at least you can FIND them. I often want to link to another blogger's site and I give up in frustration because the permalinks are so hard to find or are so cutesy-wootsey, looking like little kitty cats or something, I just give it up and point to another source that's got an easy and clean link.

The Iron Giant

Are you kidding me? Are you telling me you've never seen The Iron Giant? Are you telling me you don't own it on DVD? Come on, don't tease me. You must have it somewhere up there on your shelf. It's such a knock-out. The drawing is so beautiful. The story is so scary. The giant is so metallic but so loveable. Go get it.

Rumor Has It

Rumor has it that it's a brand new day. A brand new day, like a brand new baby, born into the world early in the morning, open to a brand new life, with a myriad of possibilities. Just about anything can happen today -- good things, not so good things -- but it's a gift. Make the most of it. Or crawl back into bed and do nothing with it at all. Ahh ... ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

Monday, August 04, 2003

RSS and Rain On The Roof

Maybe the rain will put out some fires. Did I mention, thanks to Dave Winer for the pointer to this piece, and all the coverage of RSS yesterday? What a treat it would be if we could all work together.

You And Me And Rain On The Roof

Did I mention ... it rained most of the weekend and it's supposed to rain all week? I'll leave the guitar chords in for Gnome-Girl.

You and me and rain on the roof
A7 D
Caught up in a summer shower
A7 D
Dryin' while it soaks the flowers
E7 A7
Maybe we'll be caught for hours
Em A A7
Waitin' out the sun

You and me were gabbin' away
Dreamy conversation sittin' in the hay
Honey, how long was I laughing in the rain with you
'Cause I didn't feel a drop 'til the thunder brought us to

You and me underneath the roof of tin
Pretty comfy feelin' how the rain ain't leakin' in
We can sit and dry just as long as it can pour
'Cause the way it makes you look makes me hope it rains some more

Yikes! Here Comes The Rain Again

Got out and about to do early morning errands, but plinkity, plankity, plop -- here comes the rain again. What a noise.! This is the funny August tug-of-war in New England where summer and fall fight it out and guess who wins?!

I used to look a little like Annie Lennox, but my hair's a lot more tame now.

Here Comes the Rain Again
-- Eurythmics

Here comes the rain again
Falling on my head like a memory
Falling on my head like a new emotion
I want to walk in the open wind
I want to talk like lovers do
I want to dive into your ocean
Is it raining with you

So baby talk to me
Like lovers do
Walk with me
Like lovers do
Talk to me
Like lovers do

Here comes the rain again
Raining in my head like a tragedy
Tearing me apart like a new emotion
Oooooh
I want to breathe in the open wind
I want to kiss like lovers do
I want to dive into your ocean
Is it raining with you

So baby talk to me
Like lovers do

Here comes the rain again
Falling on my head like a memory
Falling on my head like a new emotion
(Here it comes again, here it comes again)
I want to walk in the open wind
I want to talk like lovers do
I want to dive into your ocean
Is it raining with you



Sunday, August 03, 2003

Don't Get Carried Away

I described a favorite summer game we used to play in rental houses by the beach with all the lights off called "Sardines" but do be careful if you decide to try it. The most famous story about the game took place in Hollywood in the 1940's where David Niven's wife actually took a deadly fall while playing sardines at Tyrone Power's mansion. Turner Classic Movies recounts the situation:

But the usually cheerful Niven was going through his own private hell. Prior to production on The Bishop's Wife, the actor's beloved wife Primmie suffered a fatal head injury; it occurred during a party game of "sardines" at Tyrone Power's house. She thought she was running into a closet, but instead took a long fall down the cellar stairs and died of complications days later.

Games People Play On Summer Evenings

I was trying to tell someone this weekend about the summers I spent as a kid in a really rural place with a gang of cohorts my age, no TV, bikes, rowboats, catamarrans, pogo sticks, Monopoly, playing cards, dogs, flip flops and a lot of penny candy from the general store in town. It's hard to explain -- seems to be a childhood completely lost these days -- one that can never exist again. We had enormous freedom. We were outside all day and a good part of the night. We were relaxed and funny and silly and creative and very lucky to be so.

One thing we spent a lot of time doing was playing "Sardines" -- a game you play in a completely dark house -- no lights on. One person hides in the house, you give them 15 minutes while the rest of you wait in one room or outside. Then if they are ready, you call out "Ready?" and they DON'T answer. No answer means, time to start.

You wander around in the pitch dark, although it's also fun to play on a moonlit evening, in search of the person who is hiding. If you find him/her you go ahead and silently hide with them. If you have not found them, the only word you are allowed to say is "Sardines?" which must be answered by other players still looking for the hidden person. If you start with 20 people, the reply to your question "Sardines?" is quickly offered, "Sardines." "Sardines" "Sardines" you hear from all quarters, which means, yes, I'm still here.

After a bit, you notice the replies begin to thin -- and then you know a bunch of other folks have found the person and are hiding somewhere in the house with them, ready to jump out at the last unfortunate sucker. You know you're the last guy when your "Sardines?!" remains unanswered and then you think to yourself, "Oh, shit" knowing that any dark corner you turn into might have 19 people hiding ready to jump out at you and scare the hell out of you.

Needless to say it's a great game for teenagers as they are "forced" to pile into a small space together, body against body and try NOT to make noises or giggle, which is next to impossible.

A Summer's Day


Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimmed,
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature's changing course untrimmed:
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st,
Nor shall death brag thou wander'st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st,
So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

-- William Shakespeare

Saturday, August 02, 2003

Another Saturday Night


By: Sam Cooke

[Jimmy Buffett version]
Chorus:
Another saturday night and I ain’t got nobody
I’ve got some money cause I just got paid
How I wish I had someone to talk to
I’m in an awful way

I got in town a month ago
I’ve seen a lot of girls since then
If I could meet ’em I could get ’em
But as yet I haven’t met ’em
That’s why I’m in the shape I’m in

Chorus:
Oh, another saturday night and I ain’t got nobody
I’ve got some money cause I just got paid
How I wish I had someone to talk to
I’m in an awful way

Now another fella told me
He had a sister who looked just fine
Instead of being my deliverance
She had a strange resemblance
To a cat name frankenstein

Chorus:
Oh, another saturday night and I ain’t got nobody
I’ve got some money cause I just got paid
How I wish I had some chick to talk to
I’m in an awful way

Chorus:
Yeah, another saturday night and I ain’t got nobody
I’ve got some money cause I just got paid
How I wish I had someone to talk to
I’m in an awful way

It’s hard on a fella
When he don’t know his way around
If I don’t find me a honey
To help me spend this money
I’m headin’ back to key west town

Chorus:
Oh, another saturday night and I ain’t got nobody
I’ve got some money cause I just got paid
How I wish I had someone to talk to
I’m in an awful way

Chorus:
Just another saturday night and I ain’t got nobody
I’ve got some money cause I just got paid
How I wish I had some chick to talk to
I’m in an awful way

-- spoken:
"it’s awful. all dressed up and no place to go. no one to help me spend
My flow. another saturday night. get me the pizza man."

We're About More Than Tea Parties

Hey, if you thought Boston Harbor was only about tea parties -- think again. Or better yet, take the Boston Harbor quiz. I still don't know why they didn't call Memorial Drive East and Memorial Drive West the road that runs on each side of the Charles River. I guess Storrow Drive makes sense to someone, but I think of them as one road that happens to have a river running through it.

Don't Mix Up Those Coolers

This is quite a story -- three simultaneous kidney transplants. Thinking of Dave Jacobs and hope he's getting right up to the top of the list for a new kidney. He's in my prayers.

Joystick Infatuation

Weirdest thing is happening since the Sony PlayStation2 came to live at our house. I'm really getting into it. I really like it -- much more than I thought I would. I'm getting into games big time.

Work It Out Past Injury

This was the first day in weeks I worked out to my old standard routine -- a videotape with aerobics and weight lifting -- since I hurt my foot on July 10th. I can't decide if I miss working out more physically or emotionally. Both are so important.

And it was a dreadfully difficult workout -- since I still can't quite put any weight on my left foot -- so it's slow going. I guess the only good news is, this will prove a great season for my upper-body work and abs work and some of my butt moves. Most of those exercises don't require me to put weight (or much weight) on my foot. Also thank god for Yoga which I've been doing throughout the interim. It's helping me stay balanced, which is hard with a lame foot -- again both balanced emotionally and physically.

It got me thinking about how professional atheletes must have a heck of a time working out despite their injuries. And they have to do it -- they really have no choice I'll bet. I'm going to go research that on the Web. It's a big psychological issue -- because you get so downcast and depressed when you want your body to be there for you and it simply is NOT. I find it so frustrating.

Pleasures of the Flesh

Lately, things have been tough but when I stop to take it slow, I remember there are certain simple pleasures one should give in to on a daily basis. Like tea and little pieces of french bread toast with gobs of butter and raspberry jam which I'm having for breakfast today. Simple. Delicious. Fattening. But what the hell. You have to get back on the track some how or other. You have to get back to happy, one way or another. And tea and toast certainly makes me happy.

Friday, August 01, 2003

Rich Man Poor Man

Tonight over at Barnes & Noble with my 8-year-old and his friend, I was sitting at a kid-sized picnic table as the kids looked at books together, thinking about this community where I live. It's privileged. You could say wealthy. My kid and his friend are dressed in expensive quality polo shirts and shorts, costly sneakers, nice raincoats. They spent the day together at camp learning to play tennis, learning to swim, doing arts and crafts. As I look over, they are sharing books in a clean, pretty, well-lit bookstore. And it made my mind wander to think of what wealthy communities look like, what poor communities look like. What the striking differences are.

There was a grandmother with some grandchildren buying them books nearby. Their clothes were obviously expensive, but what else ... simply on the surface they were in "order" -- not wrinkled, not torn, not old -- and they were clean and pleasant. A poor neighborhood is visually and fundamentally recognized by chaos, noise, dirt, brokenness and a lack of resources. A wealthy neighborhood is characterized by orderliness, cleanliness, peace and quiet, moderation and beauty. These children in the bookstore were, for the most part, unaware of their own beauty, privilege, luxury.

There's something about order that makes a civilization, but can also stiffle one. How we mix up order with a little bit of passion and chaos in art is interesting to me. When one is too conservative and orderly, life feels deadly and sterile. When one is too extreme and passionate, life can feel completely out of control.

I've always thought poverty was mired in a poverty of ideas and a poverty of awareness. My kid and his friend will never feel uncomfortable at a fancy party, or walking a manicured path on the MIT campus, or settling back into a first class seat on a jet heading to Paris. They have a wealth of experience and a wealth of possibilities. They are wealthy in their minds and their community teaches them about a richness of resources others do not necessarily learn about. A poor kid might never even imagine going to Paris, certainly not have the feeling its no big deal, as my son does.

Brokendown cars, shattered windows in old buildings, poorly fitting clothes. The poor are not winning the battle with entropy and time. Every day everything is falling apart a little. In Watts and in Beverly Hills everything is falling apart, but in the wealthy community, they have the resources to keep things mended, new, pretty, in order. Most miraculous of all is a child who starts in poverty and creates wealth for themselves. Like all psychological baggage, it's a major feat to fire your booster rockets hot enough and long enough to escape the pull of gravity -- psychological gravity -- and leave behind a dysfunctional neighborhood, or dysfunctional family. No matter how bad they were, they feel "like home" and to make a new way of life home, is a tricky endeavor.

Okay Dave -- How Big?

Gotta love this picture of Dave Sifry where he's either telling a "fish that got away' story or maybe talking about how big the Technorati database is, or how wide the Japanese computer keyboard is when you toss in Katakana, Hiragana and Kanji characters, or maybe ... well, I'll just have to send him an email about it ... "What WERE you describing?! Thanks Joi for the pix. Looked like a great, fun dinner.

Dinner With 2 Cute Guys At 1 Cute Place

It is Friday night for goodness sakes -- need to kick back, toss some quarters in the juke box and order up a plate of those chili cheese fries. I'm taking my son and his friend over to Johnny Rocket's at the mall. Can't go wrong. And my favorite thing they make there? Egg salad sandwich on whole wheat toast. It's the best and their malteds aren't bad either.

Something Good I'm Reading

Good weekend for reading and thinking about this, that and the next thing. I'm beginning to get the feeling that if we had control freak parents and I did ... well, one was a control freak and one was completely absent ... we have a tough row to hoe when relating to others and particularly our own children. Pia Mellody's books are very interesting. She does workshops too, here in Boston and also out West where she's based, I think in New Mexico or Arizona, gotta check on that. Here's what the Amazon review from Publisher's Weekly says
"The author believes that many children are traumatized by parents who either shame (disempower) their children or force them into a parental role (falsely empower). Labeling both actions as abusive, Mellody provides examples of how children treated this way can recover and function more happily in the adult world. She details here how to erect healthy physical, emotional and intellectual boundaries that will foster rather than hamper intimacy and boost self-esteem. For example, she advises that affectionate approaches require controlled containment, e.g., when deciding to engage others in sexual intimacy, it is necessary to respect their physical boundaries by asking permission. In order to really communicate, people in close relationships should maintain other boundaries such as refraining from giving unasked-for advice, accusing or making judgments."

Thursday, July 31, 2003

Halifax

Where'd I go? Just away for a while. Halley facts -- she just needs to get away sometimes, she slips right through your fingers sometimes, she backs off some days, some nights, some times she just has to. BTW, thanks to Ev, Jason, Eric, Scott, Chris, Jeneane, Joi, Liz, Kevin, Dave, Simon, Tracy, Mike, Nell, Sam and others for helping me find the way back.

Mandalay Bay

Always fun. Here I come. Love the monorail over to the Luxor when I'm feeling Egyptian.

Pismo Beach

It's so easy to take a wrong left turn and end up God Knows Where. See, that's what Bugs Bunny did that time he was just trying to get to Pismo Beach.

Bikini Bottom

I think I'm spending August in Bikini Bottom. Just seems like the right thing to do.

Wednesday, July 30, 2003

We Are Called

As I hold my stone in my hand, turning it over and over and over in my palm, it is telling me one thing plain and simple. We are called to our work in this world. You may think otherwise, but not so. I'm thinking of my uncle who was very unusual, rather a character, and amazingly faithful. He would meet a stranger, a family member, the ice cream vendor with this opening line, "Hi, I'm Charlie. Have you taken Jesus as your personal savior?" Just like he was asking what the weather was. It was off-putting to say the least in thei work-a-day world where talking salvation is about as couth as talking about the stains in your underwear.

He really didn't care if it was off-putting, but if it stuck with even one person once a week, he had done his work. My family, especially my mother, was repulsed by that kind of Bible Belt fanaticism. She considered him a crackpot, I can see her body shutter and grimace form like something unpleasant bubbling to the surface from the bottom of a swamp -- at those words when Uncle Charlie happened to be in her presence. He was my father's brother. She couldn't stand him.

He was a true believer and oddly, so am I, although my religion is surely more wide-ranging, less rigid, less articulated, more upper-middle class shiny clean and unobtrusive. I do believe God calls us to use our gifts and if we don't hear the call, has no false modesty about yelling a little louder right in our face or even giving us a swift kick in the rump. Just like Uncle Charlie, he's not ashamed to remind you of your work on this earth. God won't let you off the hook. Like with me, he's always yelling at me to get my lazy carcass out of bed and put pen to paper. Some of the results might look like the devil made me do it -- not the old man with the white beard, the friendly face -- but whatever the case, you'll see he'll always bring you back around to something you're darned good at (thanks to him) and feels just about as natural as breathing for you. Something very easy for you -- something very hard for you -- something just right for you.

Tuesday, July 29, 2003

Beachfront Property

We all knew Katherine Hepburn was cool. Now we see just how cool. She left a nice chunk of beachfront property for public use in her town in Connecticut. She was terrific.

Titanium Tits

What is not to love about Angelina Jolie as Lara Kroft with those metallic mammary glands?! Holy heck. They mean business. They demand attention. She is stacked with steel. No red-blooded, nor blue-blooded American male should resist the urge to unbutton the hard body bodice and see what's soft underneath. Why isn't this movie doing box-office and land-office business? You gotta wonder. She's a stand-up kinda girl.

Red Sox and Sam Adams

I have this handy Sam Adams beer coaster I keep on my bedside table -- which isn't really a table, but a folding step ladder -- which you might consider a user's reference guide to when those wily Red Sox will be playing baseball at Fenway. Darnest thing is the printing is so small I can't quite figure it out. So if the calendar is all RED and there's a name of a team like NYY ... does that mean they are in town playing the Yankees? The site seems a little easier to read than my coaster.

Whatever ... looks like that's what last weekend was about. I really want to go to a game ... maybe they are in town. Like on August 9th and 10th they are playing someone called BAL and what kind of a goofy baseBALL team would be called BAL? I better go find out. Wonder if I can get some beer out of the deal if I show them my Sam Adams official coaster.

Happy!

Birthday!

Doc!

[No pix, sorry man, I just don't do graphics.]

Lately

Lately, I'm noticing I'm in that careless mode and mood where if I'm not watching carefully I'll write something nasty or just not nice in email and send it to the wrong person. Ever since I took an email break on Sunday, I feel afraid of the stuff. Also it feels so silly and cumbersome, compared to IM and just plain talking on the phone. It feels passe and annoying. And I have tons of it to answer and I wish it would go away.

There's A Point At Which

There's a point at which ... say around 3:22 am ... when some noise in the neighborhood awakens you, and you roll over and notice you're actually awake and if you lie there you'll only start churning you mind over that little thing that needs to be done and this little thing that needs to be done and that little thing that needs to be done and this little thing that needs to be done and that little thing that needs to be done and this little thing that needs to be done and that little thing that needs to be done and this little thing that needs to be done and that little thing that needs to be done and this little thing that needs to be done and that little thing that needs to be done and this little thing that needs to be done and that little thing that needs to be done and this little thing that needs to be done and that little thing that needs to be done and this little thing that needs to be done and that little thing that needs to be done and this little thing that needs to be done and that little thing that needs to be done and this little thing that needs to be done and that little thing that needs to be done and this little thing that needs to be done and that little thing that needs to be done and this little thing that needs to be done and so ... you get up.

Monday, July 28, 2003

100?! I Aiming For 106! No Joke!

Bob Hope died today at 100 years old. Spending a lifetime laughing is a good idea. But I'm aiming for 106 -- it's the next time Halley's Comet comes to visit and I want to see it.

Is It Best To Blow Things Up Before Bedtime?

My son is making major explosions here before bed -- his video game flaring and exploding in full technocolor. Okay, I'm a mom and I worry about these things -- but why wouldn't your head be crammed full of this stuff and your dreams very much infected with it, when you finally hit the hay if you'd been doing it a half hour before? Time for a little seguing away from the video games and into Dr. Seuss I think.

Web Designer Wanted

Wanna make Halley's Comment just a tad more shagadelic? Thinking about logos and coffee mugs and tee shirts and stuff -- wanna help? Drop me a line.

Monday-kinda-day

Guess you could say it's just a Monday-kinda-day. The day everyone's trying to do 100x more than makes any sense. The day everyone's trying to get back into the game. The day everyone's trying to do everything they didn't do Friday. Rather brutal. But I'm putting this baby to bed. Had enough of this one. Just had enough. Today's not about getting it all done, but just about getting through it.

Shhhh

I spent a good part of Sunday silent, but then decided to get back into the world, calling my son who's with his dad this weekend, calling a friend I'm worried about, going to dinner. Best part of no email, no IM, no IRC day -- sitting out on my back porch in my my deck chair. watching the semi-circle of green swaying trees, their leaves aflutter, a green shimmering of foliage and light, mesmerizing really, for more than an hour. They were talking volumes. A summer storm was coming. And also they were whispering about fall -- they are already knowing the September score in July. If I were a person who took drugs, I would say, I dropped some really excellent trees on Sunday morning and I was high most of the day on them.

And with all other stimuli gone -- phone, e-everything, talking, reading, writing -- the simplest things were enormously entertaining and sensuous -- like food. I was swept away on strawberries and tea -- also swept away with sweeping up -- a deep cleaning of my house and things made silent sense. At one point mid-morning the noise of silence was really getting to me. What a roar! Quiet can be so loud, which is to say, so intense and profound. Also strange, with nothing to read, I found myself reading my rock, looking at every contour, and oddly interrogatting my clothes, noticing my funny little girl tight blue jeans looking cheery and cute, wondering why Gloria Vanderbilt came up with that little swan logo on the back pocket, my grey soft rugby shirt with white collar a conversation too -- how'd it get rubber buttons? Something to do with Rugby the sport, Rugby the school, just a mistake? I was asking my shirf why.

Like the slowness I found after injuring my foot two weeks ago, I was tossed into a ravine of total arrest -- stopping dead in my tracks -- to look at everything longingly and take a long time doing it. My foot is much better, almost well. I looked at the wound. I am so glad it's well. Mid-morning I stretched out on my bed, felt my limbs solidifying into stone. They weren't going anywhere. They were taking full advantage of the interruptus. I wondered if I had been glued to the bed, I could barely will myself to move, and then finally able to lift a limb or two, I turned over and felt into a sound sleep, napping for an hour. Old horse, steps slowing, into the barn, my body flopped down in the hay, snooze away.

I missed writing and got the urge a few times -- for pen and ink, not keyboard -- which surprised me. To resist the urge and stay quiet was not easy. Now the time is up and I am up at this ungodly hour, to take each letter out of the box -- alpha, beta, gamma, delta -- cut them out like a hostage note, paste them in place to say, "Being held against my will -- prisoner of silence and melting time, May I come home to words now please?"

Saturday, July 26, 2003

Going Quiet Rock-A-Bye-Baby

In fifteen minutes I start my experiment to spend all day Sunday silent. I'm not optimistic. Many people in my life want my attention are not used to disconnecting from me, nor I from them. I didn't actually stand up enough for myself on this. I should have held fast about not just wanting a day to myself, but needing it and deserving it, in order to make people understand I was serious. I'm not optimistic. In some ways all the considerations working up to this day have been more of a lesson than even the day of silence may prove to be. Just carving out a day has been so difficult.

Heart Felt

If you haven’t been reading Men’s Health Magazine you guys, you’ve been really missing something. This newest issue July/August 2003 has so many great things in it – but especially the sections “Your Heart Will Stop” and “100 Ways to Live Forever” are must reads.

Hey Alpha Male, this is just about the perfect magazine to have in your bachelor pad when a woman stops by – make her read it with you, lying on the floor together. It’s full of great stuff SHE will love and love arguing with you about. Ask her if she agrees with No. 61 of the 100 Ways to Live Forever – “Have More Sex” – it should provoke an interesting discussion.

100 Ways – “Have More Sex”

Yes, in Men’s Health Magazine’s July/August issue, their No. 61 suggestion for 100 Ways to Live Forever is just this plain, simple, wise thought -- “Have More Sex” and I’m guessing here that most of you would agree. Here’s what they say:”
You might think all that grunting and sweating would increase your risk of a stroke, but University of Bristol researchers say the opposite is actually true. Not only are men who have sex at least twice a week less likely to have a stroke than men who have sex less often, but all that steamy exercise may also help reduce their heart-disease risk by up to a third, compared with guys who aren’t getting any.
Mark it in your diary with a big F and start noticing how often your getting it. Probably just not enough. Start thinking of it as Vitamin F and don’t forget to take your vitamins. And don’t miss the picture in the magazine of a very pretty woman draped all oer her guy in a hammock getting warmed up for a steamy afternoon of sex. Never skimp on the kissing guys.

100 Ways – “Buy A Dog”

Wow, now you have the best excuse in the whole wide world. If your wife or girlfriend’s been fighting you about getting a dog – just tell her that Men’s Health Magazine recommends you get one. And if you’re a single guy, good lord man, it’s about the best way to get a girl to walk up to you on the street, kneel down and start stroking … your dog that is.
No. 51 – Buy A Dog – All that love (“You’re a good boy, yes you are!”) and aggravation (“Bad dog! No eat Daddy’s crab dip.) makes your heart more adaptable and better able to deal with the stress that can lead to heart disease.

100 Ways – “Touch Her”


We all need to be held and touched. Our skin longs for it. If you have kids you know how important it is for them. It can turn a tantrum into a cozy sweet quiet moment. No surprise that Men’s Health Magazine puts touch on their list of 100 Ways to Live Forever. Listen girls – reach out and touch that guy you love – he needs it.
Ten minutes of skin-to-skin contact (hand-holding, hugs) with your mate can help keep your blood pressure and pulse from spiking during stressful times, according to University of North Carolina researchers.

100 Ways – “Have a Drink Every Other Day”


To drink or not to drink – that’s always the question, but here’s what Men’s Health Magazine lists as No. 23 in the list of 100 Ways to Live Forever:
A Boston study of 38,000 men found that men who drink alcohol three or four times a week have a 32% lower risk of heart attack than men who drink once a week. Moderate amounts of alcohol raised HDL cholesterol levels and keep the blood thin, reducing the risk of artery-clogging clots. ..”

100 Ways – “Grill A Steak”

You gotta love these guys at Men’s Health Magazine. Their No. 1 way to dodge death in their new article “100 Ways To Live Forever” in the July/August issue is “Grill A Steak” So get that barbeque ready, folks. And that’s just the beginning of the fun. Wait til you read the rest of their advice – guarantees an excellent weekend. What a great list of recommendations – Grill A Steak, Get More Sex, Buy a Dog, Have a Drink Every Other Day – hey, being a healthy male sounds like a helluva lot of fun.
You may think it’s bad for your heart, but you’d be wrong. Beef contains immunity-boosting selenium as well as homocysteine-lowering B vitamins. And up to 50% of the fat is the heart-healthy mono-unsaturated type.

Friday, July 25, 2003

Went To A Garden Party

Lovely evening at Chez Marks last night in San Jose. Cool evening backyard dining with Kevin and family in a wonderful place and the waiters were incredible. Ages 6 and 8 weith handlebar mustaches. More soon. Leaving SF in a minute to fly to Boston.

Thursday, July 24, 2003

Everyone's Off to Gnomedex in Des Moines

So Josh is sitting here and says the same thing I say (sortof privately, under my breath) "Des Moines? What's going on there?!?" Is he's a COASTIST? There seems to be a lot of coastism these days -- if it doesn't happen on the East Coast or the West Coast -- does it really happen? Nah!

But at least Josh used to live out that way and knows it's sometimes ... wait, I'll ask him ... "boring? slightly slow? A little dull? " ... he says YUP and "backwards at best" BUT -- he hasn't been to Gnomedex which REALLY ROCKS and if my foot weren't all messed up and I had the chance, I'd definately be there.

Wednesday, July 23, 2003

Rock In My Sock

Big apologies to everyone I suspected had stolen my rock. Ended up I had put it in my own sock and forgot about it. It was hidden in the cuff of my bobby sock, must have put it there during a boring moment of our meeting. I'm wondering why I'm doing one boneheaded thing after another lately. I used to be a big of an egghead -- now I'm turning into Charlie in Flowers For Algernon.

Little Rock Candy Mountains

These are so cute, little rock candy mountains -- RSS hearts of pink, green, blue -- but why no crimson?

Yes, I've got rocks on my mind -- still haven't found my rock. :(

Lunch w/Dave Sifry

Had a great lunch out in a fogbelt area of Geary w/Dave Sifry of Technorati and Nell Fields of Yaga. Holy heck -- how much fun. BTW, Dave is in no way implicated in the heretofore mentioned rock theft. Just wanted to set the record straight.

Someone Stole My Rock

I think someone just did a mean thing and stole my rock, just to fix my wagon. I'm not happy about it. I hate to think of it in the hands of a stranger or a thief. And Kevin Marks has invited me for dinner Thursday night and was going to take a picture of my rock so I could post it and now ... well, I'm just plain sad.

Metreon Boxing

We had a ton of fun at the Sony Metreon last night too. The video boxing was awesome and I was delivering some serious knock-out punches.

Rock My World

A few people are giving me a hard time about my rock. I'm between a rock and a hard place you might say. Should I just give up on Silent Sunday? Is it silly?

I don't think so. Last night I fell asleep with my rock in the palm of my hand. Had a wonderful dream.

Plouf

What a lovely meal last night at a French restaurant called Plouf in Belden Place, little alleyway in downtown San Francisco. We sat outside -- my fellow sales reps and me -- and had a babe for a waitress from Lyon, in her blue-striped classic French sailor's blouse and tight jeans. Strings of light bulbs hung happily above us. The mushroom soup with truffles was great. The salmon with a lemon butter sauce was killer. Best, the smart, funny people at the table -- great to learn from them -- great to play with them -- great to tease them -- great to sell with them. Nice night.

Tuesday, July 22, 2003

My Left Foot

Daniel Day Lewis looks good. My foot doesn't look as good, but I'm in much better shape since two weeks ago Monday when I gauged my left foot. Not only was Daniel Day-Lewis in My Left Foot but after that he became a cobbler. Boy, I wish he'd make me some shoes. I'm sick of this velcro post-op hard foam weirdo shoe I have to wear.

In San Francisco

Love this town. Three choruses of "I Left My Heart" and all that. Hey, better go check on how Gnome-Girls' Liz Phair concert went last night. Off to the blogs ...

Rock of Ages

I had this conversation with Joi Ito about S-L-O-W-I-N-G D-O-W-N. I threw out a challenge -- spend 24 hours not talking, not emailing, not IM'ing, not IRC'ing, not communicating in anyway. Just a silent sunday -- this coming sunday actually -- for 24 hours.

You do get to use one hand-held device. A rock. Just keep it in the palm of your hand. Get the urge to IM someone -- just tell the rock. Get the need to email someone else -- just think the message through your rock. Get the temptation to talk -- no talking -- just look at your rock.

So far the toughest thing is explaining to people that you will will be incommunicato -- really not available, really out of reach, really out of pocket -- at least in the traditional ways of communicating.

[Keep your eyes peeled for a picture of my rock -- I'll post it soon.]

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.