Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Dean Battle of The Bloggers

The official Dean bloggers are having a fundraising war tonight in Dean HQ in Burlington, VT. I know a bunch of them and it's so funny to read their bat sites and check out their different styles of subtle and not so subtle persuasion.

Kiss Her

Oh Lord, do I have to write a whole new chapter for you Alpha Males for New Year's Eve?!?! I'm sure you can figure it out yourselves tonight. I mean New Year's Eve is all about getting women in sexy little black dresses and high heels drunk, wobbly and kissable. And a lot of us are practicing the kissy part without the benefit of alcohol this year -- uncork that sparkling cider!

I can't resist one hint -- by 10:30 you better have touched her shoulder, arm, wrist or hand at least once -- that will get you ready for the midnight lip and lipstick attack. And don't be on the other side of the room for god's sakes right before the clock strikes 12!

Year Of The Blog

I see someone agrees with what I wrote below. Yes, 2003 was the year of the blog tipping point I think.


Call me crazy, or call me right on, but I'm calling 2003 "Year of the Blog" for sure.

Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Why's Everyone So Mad At Dean?

This story is interesting. Perhaps soon they'll realize a Democratic Party that continues to play "politics-as-usual" is OVER. Perhaps after Dean wins Iowa and New Hampshire and just about every other primary, the other Dems will realize we don't want to elect a politician, we want to elect a LEADER. We've had more than enough of politicians and their nasty habits.

RSVP Big Time

I'm getting so many last minute "Can I Come To Your Party?" requests. It's so cool, because people can find me on the Dean website and quickly drop an email. The answer to "Do you still have enough room for me?" was YES this morning, but now it's getting a little crowded all of a sudden. If you plan to attend, please let me know.

Political Horoscope?

On my Dean House Party day I have the following horoscope, weirdly enough. Be sure to email me for directions if you're coming tonight -- my place is not easy to find.

In general, dear Aquarius, you tend to be critical of the way the government and politicians handle social issues and institutions. Your goal is not just to be critical, however, you would like to see some positive changes in these areas. The aura of understanding and comprehension in the air today helps you to realize that if you want the world to evolve, you're going to have to get people to react.

Getting Ready For My Political Party

Cleaning house, ugh. My Dean House party is tonight. Not easy getting the house in shape with an 8-year-old busy UNdoing anything I manage to do. Ah, the good old days when you could put them in their prison -- I mean -- crib, and actually get something done.

Monday, December 29, 2003

Swiss Dinner

Eggs and bacon for dinner. The perfect comfort food. We call it Swiss Dinner for some reason I can't remember. A family term based on nothing or something I used to know. I love breakfast for dinner.

This Is Not A Drill

The sound of my son's videogame comes drifting from livingroom into kitchen. He's a fighter pilot, the air traffic tower says loudly, "This is not a drill, I repeat, this is not a drill" the music driving and solemn. "Mobius 1, Fox 2." "I've got them in my sights."

The bacon is cooking, making sppsspsppsps noises. The scrambled eggs are ready to go into the pan, not yet though. "Scramble at once." they tell the jets.

The Secret

And when will the real secret get out? I think the men involved in the Dean Campaign don't want others to know. They're being selfish. But the secret's sure to slip. All you have to do is go to a Meet-up or a Dean House Party or any basic Dean event. You'll get it. You'll see us. The best-looking women in the country are Dean supporters -- smart, pretty, funny, young and not-so-young. We're talking the babe party here. Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

Dean Comedy Central

I still can't figure out why this story says it's from the AP -- it's obviously a joke. Was it written by the Onion? Maybe someone like Jon Stewart wrote it -- right? Comparing what Dean did in Vermont with what Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Halliburton are doing in Iraq?!

I have to say the most fun thing about the Dean Campaign is watching the complete meltdown of traditional bought-and-paid-for zombie political journalists. Where will they work when this is done? McDonalds? Wendy's? Bickford's?

Witnessing these jaded journalists falling on their faces as they continue to report idiotic stories like this, is just insanely entertaining. They can not stop reporting this like a sporting event featuring the Delaware Donkeys and the Beltway Elephants. May I say, for people who are supposed to "get the story" they are clueless? Only more entertaining is watching, the Beltway Boys -- both politics-as-usual Dems and Repubs -- who continue to think this is a political campaign when it's a complete overhaul of democracy.

Pin-Up Girls

Here's a page with all the classic pin-up girl artists. They might remind you how sexy women can look with their clothes ON! Seems like we've forgotten thanks to the Net. I think it may be a new trend -- with movies like this -- a romantic sexy story where they leave their clothes on.

Here's one on the phone. And one at work. And here's a girl freshening up. And here's one having fun in Florida. These girls know how to have fun, I must say. Nice life.

2004 Right Around The Corner

Do you know these guys -- Graphique De France -- they make nice calendars. Have you got your 2004 calendar hanging up in the kitchen? Check out this one and I like this too and I'd love to spend some time in paradise here.

Calendar Girl

Did you put up your new 2004 calendar yet? I put mine up. She's my favorite.

Shoes For New Year's Eve

Start with these and believe me, your dress will hardly matter. These shoes assure you won't be able to walk and must cling to someone's arm most of the night. With any luck, your partner will help you take them off as the evening draws to a close. They are completely unwearable he'll explain to you sensibly, then pour champagne in them. I've never gotten the logic here of drinking from someone's sweaty shoe, but this may be a region way beyong logic.

And About Your Car Alarm

Read this. You've got time.

8:51 And Enough Fun For One Morning

Well, I don't live in Boston for nothing. I guess I'm a bit of a Puritan. I'm beginning to feel guilty. It's getting close to 9:00am and I better get to work here. I have a few things I really need to do and really don't want to do.

As I taught my son -- put those on the top of the list under the heading DO THE WORST FIRST. Then if your day goes to hell, or a DVD of Pride & Prejudicce mysteriously ends up in the player and you find yourself watching 4 hours of it, at least you got the important and hateful things done first.

Good Ways To Waste Time At Work

When I taught 1st Grade, the kids had a perfect time wasting manoeuvre -- actually two -- that they employed on a regular basis and I used to smile secretly at all the effort they put into both activities.

One of course was the classic PENCIL. SHARPENING ACTIVITY. This meant you could get up and go over to the other side of the room and lollygag around in the line for sharpening pencils. What I loved to watch was the pre-activity to pencil sharpening, which, I'm sure you're familiar with, is the industrious pencil point breaking. They would go to great lengths to break the points off their pencils and then look as it it they had no hand it in, rather it was a sorrowful fate that had befallen them and must be reconciled immediately.

The second of course was BATHROOM VISITING with a partner. This was way more fun because it meant you got to take a friend to go cruise the hall for what seemed to me like hours some days. It's a teacher's deal with the devil, as the ones who abuse this privilege are most often the ones you are praying would leave your classroom anyway. It would be against the health codes to keep them from accessing the facilities, right?

So finally to the important subject of wasting time at work. I'm not going to do very well on this subject unfortunately. I don't work in offices much anymore. I've worked on contract and a project basis so long, my tendancy is to never waste time at work . If I'm working, I work and finish what I'm doing as quickly as possible and get out of there. I have stuff at home and a son to keep me busy for real in my life. Everything changed once I had a kid. I want to work at work and get home to play.

Let me think back. Oh yeah, elaborate rituals around the making, procuring, sharing, rating and drinking coffee figured into advanced work shirking if I remember my pre-mom days. And on those days when I was pretty much useless anyway, a great deal of office straightening up and cleaning was a good way to make it from the deadly Christmas week through the equally dead New Years week on into the new year with a terrifically clean office. Actually it was probably NOT a waste of time, but a fairly good idea come to think of it.

Don't get me wrong. I'm a great supporter of wasting time at work. I'd just rather be home wasting time at work ... if that makes any sense.

Belligerent Blogging

Yes, I'll tell you the truth. I'm doing all this blogging just to keep you from getting anything done whatsoever if you are at work this morning. It's true.

It's called Belligernt Blogging. Belligerent, from the Latin, belllum, for "war" -- bellicose, belligerent, ante-bellum (before the war) and Blogging from the Latin "bloggeratum" meaning in the state of wearing flannel morning garments, blogging -- to write words in your pjs to waste other people's time.

When You Least Expect It

Strangely joyful things can happen to you in this life when you least expect it. Things that defy reason. Things that defy logic. And these things seem to happen to the most reasonable, logical people, setting them in a direction they would never had anticipated. I guess it's good to remember to take one joyful day at a time, and just as you were surprised to have something unexpectedly wonderful happen to you, you should also let go of any expectations of the future. The older I get the more I realize this is a great front row seat to a much better play than I might ever dream up. Sit back and enjoy it.

Party Plan

Need to guestimate my party attendance and then figure out what to do about liquor, beer, wine. Two very confusing issues. Number 1: This the the first party I've ever thrown where I was absolutely sure I would not be drinking any alcohol; Number 2: It's a political fundraiser, not just a regular party.

Better think about that ...alcohol ... fundraising ... hmmm ... better check on the Dean website for FAQ's about houseparties and ideas on that. They have great resources on their site. Really a knockout. I'm sure they will clue me in.

What's The Big To Do?

Well, my kid's back from his Christmas trip with his dad to California and that means something not unlike a visit from a thousand hungry locusts. Better get some food in this house or I'll be in big trouble. This kid can eat and eat and eat.

Start the TO DO list. Top of the list -- FOOD -- top of the food list -- Gogurt. Also to do ... ugh, I'm not ready to think of that. Thank god house is relatively clean.

Monday Monday Monday

This will be a good one. I know it. I can feel it. Now that first coffee. Mmm, that first tea. How about an English Muffin, yes. Wake up sleepyhead. Did that crazy thing of getting up around 3:00AM, did some writing, did some email, slipped back into bed, fell asleep like a log, and boy oh boy oh boy is it hard to wake up now.

Sunday, December 28, 2003

Religious Freedom And Religious Fervor

Noticed this interesting post by Jonathan Delacour on religion, after writing my "How To Pray" post below. He covers a lot of ground and it's good reading on a Sunday afternoon.

When I was 14 or 15 I incurred my father’s disapproval by suggesting at the dinner table that one religion was as good as another, that the only important issue was whether or not one behaved honorably. A few years later I might have added that, since the religions of the book appear to exacerbate and alleviate human suffering in roughly equal proportions, the best idea might be to have no religions at all. But since that is unrealistic, the Japanese solution—of believing in multiple gods and allowing Buddhism and Shinto to peacefully coexist—is a fine alternative, particularly since it also subtly underscores the arbitrary nature of religious belief.

Robert Scoble, probably the best known blogger resident at Microsoft, for those who don't know him, takes Rob, a young man who wants to put religion back into the schools, to task about his views on religion and the need to force ones God on everyone else. Very interesting post as well.
19-year-old Rob advocates putting religion back into schools, and other public displays.

He says it's war on Christmas and Christians.

There are few ideas more repugnant in today's society than this one.

First, there is a geek angle to this. The reason I'm sitting in the midst of the most powerful conglomeration of geeks anywhere in the world is because of this issue. It is no accident that my wife's family moved halfway around the world to here. They are geeks. Their country was run by religious leaders like Rob who thought that religious and political systems should be one and the same.

An Alpha Male Must-Read

Thanks to Bacchus for this link and Sarah for this interesting view of the world of men and women.

Catch A Lift

If you're holding back from coming to my party because I'm not exactly on the T line, I'm asking some folks to give rides to carless people (you guys are geniuses not to own cars BTW) from the end of the Red Line T at AleWife. Just ask.

Party Getting Started

Even I'm getting excited about my Dean House Party on Tuesday. All these great bloggers I love will be there and a lot of folks I don't know at all. I honestly HATE giving parties and really hate all the fussing and cleaning up required before the party. The problem with parties for me is trying to be hard-working hostess which I find in direct conflict with fun-loving party goer. I'm afraid I don't want to be the first, only want to be the later. That said, it occurred to me yesterday and it burst on me like good sunny weather, a big smile rising on my face, "Hey, all these lovely people I like so much and never get to see enough will be here!" and that suddenly won me over to the whole party concept.

Carol Our Christmas

Carol our Christmas, an upside down Christmas;
Snow is not falling and trees are not bare.
Carol the summer, and welcome the Christ Child,
Warm in our sunshine and sweetness of air.

Sing of the gold and the green and the sparkle,
Water and river and lure of the beach.
Sing in the happiness of open spaces,
Sing a nativity summer can reach!

Shepherds and musterers move over hillsides.
Finding not angels but sheep to be shorn;
Wise ones make journeys whatever the season.
Searching for signs of the truth to be born.

Right side up Christmas belongs to the universe,
Made in the moment a woman gives birth;
Hope is the Jesus gift, love is he offering,
Everywhere, anywhere, here on the earth.

Carol our Christmas, an upside down Christmas;
Snow is not falling and trees are not bare.
Carol the summer, and welcome the Christ Child,
Warm in our sunshine and sweetness of air.

Church Rocks

I forgot today was CHRISTMAS CAROL SINGING SUNDAY. Instead of the usual service, we have some standard service to start then the middle is "Name That Christmas Hymn" -- that is you can call out your favorite Christmas carol and the whole congregation gets into a sing-along. I love to sing and it was great to do everything from classic New Englandy carols to old Englandy carols to carols in Latin and carols in a variety of languages, even an interesting Down Under carol about having Christmas during summer in New Zealand and Australia wihich I didn't know at all and I'll try to find the lyrics and post them.

How To Pray

I was talking to a friend the other day about praying and he said "You know, I don't believe in God" as if this would disqualify him from praying, but I said, "No big deal, you can still pray." I suppose a lot of conservative believers would not agree with me. But I think praying is a verb which can take many forms.

There is a fixed protocol for many types of prayer -- like this one for praying with a string of rosary beads in the Catholic religion. Notice what you do with your hands and how you speak the words is key here.

There are ways of prayer in religions like this, where how you position your body relative to the floor and even relative to the geography of the earth have great importance.

There are times to pray when even non-believers and those who rarely pray reach out for a way to understand suffering in this world. It's hard to imagine there can be a good side to suffering, but as this site mentions, perhaps to be reminded that you live in a world where others can comfort you and you can let them do that is very joyful. In events of terrible suffering like war, terrorist attacks, fatal diseases, car crashes, murder and all natural disasters, I always feel more sad when people take the opportunity to rail against a seemingly unjust God, instead of appreciating the way their fellow men and women rise to the occasion to comfort others in so many creative, loving ways.

When I talk about praying, I am talking about getting into a quiet, meditative state in order to hear the inner wisdom of God's intention and your own quiet heart and belief. With the overabundance of noise in a city, the conversation of people around you or the constant flow of data in your life, whether it be via email, chat, instant messaging, cell phone, tv, radio, videogames, finding a quiet place and a quiet moment is no small feat.

Just keeping in the practice of interrupting all this flow of noise and information, so you can control it and it does not control you, seems to me to be a worthwhile pursuit. Something like a spiritual work-out session at the mental gym.

What do you hear when you stop the flow?

You finally hear that most sweet of sounds -- silence.

You hear nothing if you are lucky. You might hear rain hitting the roof, or that swirl of tree leaves stroking the walls of your house.

You will hear your heart -- both your heart beating and your heart's longings.

You will hear your heart's good sense and wisdom -- an important data feed completely personalized for you and you alone.

You may hear the words of friends and relatives no longer with us, whatever that means. You'll notice when you pray, how they are most decidedly "with us" but you haven't quieted down enough lately to hear them.

Really, I don't know what you'll hear, but I do know you should try to listen now and then.

Saturday, December 27, 2003

Great Day

Got a lot done today, worked out and also had a terrific lunch at a sushi restaurant with a friend. Excellent food, excellent conversation. One thing's for sure. I don't know squat about Japanese food really. I still take forever looking blankly at the menu and for all the tekka maki I've eaten you'd think I'd remember what's what, but I don't.

One time someone ordered this adorable little seaweed that looked like tiny bare tree branches from a winter forest and I missed the name. It took me a long time to find out what it was and order it again. I think it's called hijiki (?)

I am completely addicted to the steamed salty soybeans in the shell, edamame. That's one thing I don't forget.

I ate too much wasabi -- hot horseradish -- today. I don't know what got into me. Living dangerously.


Always a good dance tune. Some oldies list I found and this one from the Go-go's was on it.

Can't seem to get my mind off of you
Back here at home there's nothin' to do
Now that I'm away
I wish I'd stayed
Tomorrow's a day of mine that you won't be in

When you looked at me I should've run
But I thought it was just for fun
I see I was wrong
And I'm not so strong
I should've known all along that time would tell

A week without you
Thought I'd forget
Two weeks without you and I
Still haven't gotten over you yet

All I ever wanted
Had to get away
Meant to be spent alone

A week without you
Thought I'd forget
Two weeks without you and I
Still haven't gotten over you yet

Get Up And Dance

If that didn't get you, try the soundtrack to the Full Monte. Some good dance tracks there:

Hot Chocolate - You Sexy Thing Lyrics

I believe in miracles
Where you from
You sexy thing
I believe in miracles
Since you came along
You sexy thing

Miracles right before my eyes
You sexy thing got me hypnotised
Don't stop what ya' doing
What ya' doing to me
My angel from above lying next to me
How did ya' know that I'd be the one
Been a long time coming only just begun
Doing all the things that makes my heart sing
Keep doing what you're doing you sexy thing

How did ya' know I needed you so badly
How did ya' know I gave my heart gladly
Yesterday I was one of a lonely people
Now you're lying next to me
Making love to me

I believe in miracles
Where you from
You sexy thing
You sexy thing
I believe in miracles
Since you came along
You sexy thing

Only yesterday I was on my own
Just another day later my mind was blown
You sexy thing come into my life
Forever and a day it feels so right
How did ya' know that I'd be the one
Been a long time coming only just begun
Doing all the things that makes my heart sing
Keep doing what you're doing you sexy thing

How did ya' know I needed you so badly
How did ya' know I gave my heart gladly
Yesterday I was one of a lonely people
Now you're lying next to me
Making love to me

I believe in miracles
Where you from
You sexy thing
You sexy thing
I believe in miracles
Since you came along
You sexy thing

Kiss me baby
You sexy thing
You sexy thing

Touch me baby
You sexy thing
You sexy thing

Kiss me baby
You sexy thing
You sexy thing

Touch me baby
You sexy thing
You sexy thing

Kiss me baby
You sexy thing
You sexy thing

Touch me baby
You sexy thing
You sexy thing

Kiss me baby
You sexy thing
You sexy thing

Touch me baby
You sexy thing
You sexy thing

You sexy thing

Take The T-Bird Away

When I do my home girl dance home alone, especially in winter, I have to toss some Beach Boys into the mix. Just gets you going and going and going.

Well she got her daddy's car
And she cruised through the hamburger stand now
Seems she forgot all about the library
Like she told her old man now
And with the radio blasting
Goes cruising just as fast as she can now

And she'll have fun fun fun
'Til her daddy takes the T-Bird away
(Fun fun fun 'til her daddy takes the T-Bird away)

Well the girls can't stand her
'Cause she walks looks and drives like an ace now
(You walk like an ace now you walk like an ace)
She makes the Indy 500 look like a Roman chariot race now
(You look like an ace now you look like an ace)
A lotta guys try to catch her
But she leads them on a wild goose chase now
(You drive like an ace now you drive like an ace)

And she'll have fun fun fun
'Til her daddy takes the T-Bird away
(Fun fun fun 'til her daddy takes the T-Bird away)

Well you knew all along
That your dad was gettin' wise to you now
(You shouldn't have lied now you shouldn't have lied)
And since he took your set of keys
You've been thinking that your fun is all through now
(You shouldn't have lied now you shouldn't have lied)

But you can come along with me
'Cause we gotta a lot of things to do now
(You shouldn't have lied now you shouldn't have lied)

And we'll have fun fun fun now that daddy took the T-Bird away
(Fun fun fun now that daddy took the T-Bird away)
And we'll have fun fun fun now that daddy took the T-Bird away
(Fun fun fun now that daddy took the T-Bird away)
(fun fun now that daddy took the T-Bird away)
(fun fun now that daddy took the T-Bird away)
(fun fun now that daddy took the T-Bird away)
(fun fun now that daddy took the T-Bird away)
(fun fun now that daddy took the T-Bird away)
(fun fun now that daddy took the T-Bird away)

Karaoke Hal Gal

Did you sing and dance today? I spend a good part of every day singing and dancing -- can't help myself.

With my excellent hairbrush microphone and my invisible trio of girl back-up singers in my bathroom, how could I not belt out the oldies and the newies? The mirror loves my half clad gyrations most mornings. Good mirror! Good mirror! And then there's always time for some rug cutting in the living room with the stereo blaring.

Dean New Year House Party

I'm getting really excited about my party. A lot of great people are coming and the girl/boy ratio is getting just right! Thanks to Jay and Sooz for promoting it and giving me good ideas all around for how to throw a great party. Betsy Devine is going to make the scene! So glad she'll be here. I'm trying to get my new friend Renee to drop in. I should call Laura Dwyer. Hmmm, yes...

Wonderful to talk to all the smart, funny people on IRC for party ideas too. It's becoming one of those, "how did we manage without it" technologies for me, much to my surprise. Wish I could have it up and scrolling at my party. Actually I probably could. Have to think about that.

Friday, December 26, 2003

Big Thanks

Hey, Boris, really appreciate your help tonight -- thanks to your general help and encouragement -- MY DEAN PAGE IS UP AND RUNNING. Please feel free to contribute even if you can't attend my party Tuesday night. Read this post too. This is all about democracy and NOT about politics as usual.

[BTW, the official language about political contributions needs to be added here: Contributions to Dean For America are not deductible for federal income tax purposes.]

Dubbed and Dumber

I wrote below about a favorite movie of mine La Nuit Americane which has been hard to get in an American format without getting English dubbing which I hate, because I speak French.

An Amazon buyer explains exactly the problem with a movie that's dubbed when you're a viewer who knows both languages -- especially when it has a star who SPEAKS both languages beautifully.

"My problem with this movie is I saw the dubbed version and of course that is disconcerting because one is constantly trying to reconcile the visualized actor with the dubbed one. To see Jacqueline Bisset who is beautifully fluent in both English and French speaking French while at the same time hearing someone else speaking English for her is just a bit too much to take. I understand that the DVD version is in French with subtitles. I would recommend that you get that and not the dubbed video."

La Nuit Americaine

This is a movie by Francois Truffaut, called Day For Night in English and happens to be my favorite movie. Was just reading a profile of Jeff Jarvis and he mentioned it as his favorite movie -- interesting because it's not at all well-known.

I lived in France and speak enough French to get by and in particular, love to see movies like this in the original. Weirdly, this movie in past years has been really hard to rent or buy without subtitles or HORRORS dubbed English which is dreadful. Since French VHS tapes are not compatible with the American standards, just getting a French version of a French movie has been more complicated than you would think.

I should go dig to see if this is available in French in the right format for DVD. I assume it's the same format as is sold in France? Am I wrong?

[Added a few links which answer some of my questions about formats.]

Tipper At My House

So it ends up Tipper Gore is going to be at the Dean House Party and I just hope she doesn't mind me playing Eminem or something. And I also hope she and I do not wear the same shade of pink. I hate when that happens. Luckily she's attending by conference call with Al and Howard. So even if her dress is like WAY sexier than mine -- she'll be stuck in the phone and I won't.

Girls Getting Ready For The Party

There are a lot of folks coming to my Dean Party! Hurray! Problem is, not enough women! Come on girls, I need you!

Oh wait, here's one getting ready. She sure likes to shave close.

I've asked Jay from MakeOutCity to help me source some babes.

Dean House Party

I have the remedy for that dreaded New Year's Eve problem. You know you HATE going out on New Year's Eve, so why not come to my Dean House Party the night before? Drop me email if you'd like to attend. You can sign up and make a contribution and find out general info here.

I absolutely guarantee it will be a ton of fun. Even Republicans are invited. We serve koolaid and chips and dip.

BTW, this blog post is NOT at all endorsed by the Dean campaign, it's just my pathetic attempt to get this party started.

[BTW, the official language about political contributions needs to be added here: Contributions to Dean For America are not deductible for federal income tax purposes.]

Thursday, December 25, 2003

Powered by audblogaudio post powered by audblog

Then One Foggy Christmas Eve

[Sung to the tune of Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer]

You know Reynolds and Jarvis and Winer and Slashdot!
Allied and Dyson and Rageboy and Fleshbot!

But I know you'll fall,
for the hottest blogger of all!

Barlow's a brand new blogger
He has a very sticky site
He stopped clogging up our email!
He finally got RSS right.

All of the other bloggers
used to laugh and call him names
They never let poor Barlow
Join in aggregator games

Then one foggy Christmas week
Ito came to town

He said, "Barlow with that brain so bright!
Won't you start a blog tonight?!"

Now all the bloggers love him
and they're shouting out with glee
Barlow's our favorite blogger
He'll go down in history!

[And yes, here's me singing it, click the link and then hit the red square, turn up the volume -- it's an audblog audioblog!]

Busy Christmas Filled With Fun And Folks

Last year I felt a lot more lonely on Christmas than I do today, and I wrote about the first Christmas I ever spent on my own in France as a student in a ski lodge reading a copy of Thoreau's Walden. Big difference between being alone and being alone and lonely.

April 2002

My dad passed away on April 9, 2002 and so last Christmas was the first one without him. Time does make a difference, but I still am glad to re-read this blog post and remember him and remember losing him and now feel so thankful my life is moving away from that sad time and begins to feel a lot less raw.

Blogger Buddies In The Flesh

I wrote this last year about my new blogger friends and it's interesting to see how many are still friends and how many I've gotten to meet in the flesh. That's a big blessing and only in the last month or so did I add Dervela, Jeneane and George to the list of people I now know in person. Love you guys!!

Have A Very Merry Christimas, It's The Best Time Of The Year

This is a wonderful Christmas and I'm counting all my blessings. May take me all day.

Last Christmas was just tough, so if you're having a tough one this year, be glad to know there's some holiday karma headed your way and as bad as this one might be, perhaps next year's holiday will be wonderful. Mine is!

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Sins of Christmas Past

I've been very bad in not giving credit where a great deal of credit is due, to a number of men for heroic efforts of Christmases past -- from many years gone by. Excuse my sins and let me make amends.

I've suddenly got a whole new appreciation this year for all the hell all the guys (father, brother, boyfriends, husbands) in my life must have gone through putting up the Christmas tree and keeping the damned thing filled with water. On this last point, I'm am clearly an amateur and find my dangerous forays under the tree to fill it with water are no fun at all. I end up with an early morning beehive hairdo full of pine needles and a few dangerous jabs from low branches in the head, and a few near pokes in the eye, truly frightening, but I have so far managed to dodge anything requiring a trip to the emergency room.

Still, this tree seems to drink water like a ... well, not a fish I suppose ... but like a very thirsty Christmas tree. It's shocking to me. I hate finding it dry and then having to get the courage, once more, to weasel under the tree and lamely attempt to tip a pitcher of water into the holder, wetting the nearby presents if I'm not careful, surely soaking the rug (the damage I'll only witness come the new year) and worrying I'll electrocute myself with one false move where twinkly lights and water mix with disasterous results.

This, sadly, must fall into that category of all the loathsome tasks women have gotten into the habit of expecting men to do with little thanks. Spider killing, tire changing and tree watering are no one's idea of a good time, so I send out a deep thanks to all you guys for doing this general janitorial work with a nod, a "yes, mam" and an enormous amount of unthanked generosity. Consider yourselves thanked.

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Merry Christmas To You Too

Hey, Scott, thanks for the holiday message on my cell. It went from your cell in Boston to mine (en route from Atlanta to Boston -- with a connect in O'Hare). I was climbing the stairs at the end of the underground LSD colored neon lights passageway in O'Hare from C Gates to B Gates when I got it. Thanks so much!

Always The Last To Know

Well, looks like Rod is in the know and I'm not when it comes to chimp farms -- I'm always the last to know about these things. Who woulda thunk it -- chimp retirement homes all over the place. I guess it's because I live in the cold North that I'm not running into many chimpanzee farms. Thanks for the update man.


A friend who blogs here, asked me for my opinion on this. Hope you don't mind, but I'm between planes at O'Hare, so I think I'll let you know what I think later, okay? I'm printing the piece out to read on the next plane.

Grey, grey, grey -- hell, even GRAY, I'd say as we pull into O'Hare and it's snowing. Day before day before Christmas, white snow, orange alert, grey sky. Have to say I love the snow. It's so whimsical a weather. Who dreamed it up? It's completely silly. Babies in the plane paw the windows -- they want that white stuff.

I descended to the audio channel of air traffic controllers cool as cukes, what a job on a day like today. They riddle raddle off the plane numbers America 244, United 2519iner, Delta 223 Heavy. I forget what heavy means. I'll ask a friend.

Holiday Diversification

Interesting holiday season for me -- not the usual to say the least -- but really terrific. First of all, I celebrated Christmas all last week with my son who is now with his dad for another action-packed Christmas week with family in California. (Thank goodness they didn't fly right into the earthquake yesterday, which would have had me worried as heck, but will leave today instead. Ride those aftershocks boys, you're both Californians so I know you'll be cool. It's like surfing on dirt for you two.) When it comes to the kid part of Christmas, my holidays are done and they were a gift wrap rip roaring success. Better still, I get to play with all his toys in a CLEAN house while he's away -- don't tell him.

To make things even more confusing, I was invited over to a friends' house last Friday night, on Chanukah's first evening for a big traditional menorah-lighting Thanksgiving Dinner. I'm not kidding. Since my friends' daughter was doing a junior year in Florence, Italy program this year and missed Thanksgiving at home, they did a little Chanukah and a lot of Thanksgiving all on the same night with cranberry sauce, turkey and famous family tradition of stuffing muffins (stuffing with crab meat inside all baked up into a muffin shape ... did I get that right? ... whatever the recipe, they were excellent.) This added to a diverse experience of holiday celebrating, topped off by watching the hilarious Comedy Central short film The Hebrew Hammer, a tale of an evil Santa who tries to dispense with Chanukah and Kwanzaa but meets serious resistance from the bad-to-the-bone homeboy dressed like Shaft, but is in fact , the very sexy, very Jewish excellent actor, Adam Goldberg, a nice Jewish boy turned vigilante. The movie is funny as hell.

Add to that a quick trip to Atlanta, where I get to swap cold weather with warm, see my brother and sister-in-law (very long time no see), visit blogger pals, hang with witty writers and when you add it all up, I have quite a Christmas portfolio of diversified and fascinating holiday experiences. I head back today to do some traditional Christmas hanging out with my sister and brother-in-law for the big day Thursday. Oh, yeah, and we've also been celebrating heightened terrorism by decking the halls orange. This lets me add one more layer of holiday excitement, that great shared funky feeling with fellow travelers that if we keep alert, I might just get a chance to turn in some unsuspecting guy in elevator shoes and win the "I caught a holiday shoe bomber" award, letting me spend part of the holidays doing photo ops with Tom Ridge.

Born Free And Born Not So Free

Here's a story from AP via the Yahoo News about chimps down on their luck. You thought you had it bad?! How would you like to be born to be a lab experiment, never walk on grass, poked with needles and proded with probes, all in the name of science and then tossed out like an old pair of shoes once you were no longer useful.

This story is about a chimp retirement home being set up in Louisiana, called Chimp Haven. I thought it was a hoax at first honestly, but it's apparently not.
"A lot of young adult chimpanzees have been born in captivity, and a huge number have never walked on grass, climbed a tree or poked a stick in the mud," said Linda Brent, a behavioral primatologist and Chimp Haven's president. "They haven't had the stimulation they need to grow socially, and that will be part of what they'll need to learn at Chimp Haven."

About 1,600 chimps now live in the United States, most in drug and infectious disease research labs, but they lost their research value. Once the tests are done, a chimp's lab career is usually over.

Animal experts say it's only right to provide the primates — whose genetic makeup varies less than 1 percent from man's — with spacious grounds that have facilities to accomodate their high intelligence levels.
I like this story for another reason. If you've come to the end of your rope trying to find a job in this economy and are tempted to throw up your arms and say, there just are no jobs left these days, remember, you can actually get a job running a retirement home for chimpanzees. I'd sure love to see Linda's resume.

Monday, December 22, 2003

Earthquake Halfway Between SF and LA

Thank goodness it's not too populated there -- no where near as congested as San Fran or LA.

CA Earthquake

Whoa! Hope everyone makes it through okay. Sounds rough out there. Boy do I remember those LA quakes we lived through and all the aftershocks in the weeks that followed.

Terrific Day

I had a terrific afternoon meeting up with Kevin Salwen and Anita Sharpe, two local writers and ex-Wall Street Journal reporters who are so full of style and smarts and good ideas. They took me to lunch at Ted's Montana Grill, that being Ted Turner's cool restaurant where they talked me into having a BISON STEAK. Not bad! I mean you need to take a little bit of time and some dental floss to get the fur out of your teeth afterwards, but what the heck.

It was an amazing meal from beginning to end, but as I told them it started with a complete BRAND BLOW-OUT. Here in Atlanta, home of Coke headquarters, they served us Cokes -- real old fashioned Cokes in the green bottles together with big Coke Fountain glasses filled with chipped ice, just like a soda fountain treat and they were so good.

Meanwhile, everyone in Atlanta is so friendly and nice and these two seem to know every single resident. We had so many people come up to us and say hello, it was getting ridiculous. The place was packed too, with holiday lunch eaters and company parties.

The waitress came over and started giving me all the dirt on bison -- she got her first statement mixed up though, assuring me "Bison is very low in calories. It's got less chicken than fat."

I looked at her, "try me again."

"I mean, it's got less fat than chicken."

At this point I asked her if I could have the chicken-fried bison steak, the one that was 100% fat.

Ended up the bison steak, (which IS low-fat) was really good and we had a great meal talking about where this wild economy is going, what the business environment is doing these days and what we can expect in 2004. Sounds very very bullish -- or maybe bisonish -- even better than bullish.

Virtual Intimacy

Been thinking about this and wondering if there's something less real about the friendships we strike up online. Or maybe they are more real as you get deep into head and heart so damned fast.

Oh Hell!

I knew it! I knew Jeneane would out-write me and definately stay up later and get the first blog account on paper. Okay, it's true, I'm a little energetic. But Jeneane is no wallflower either. She is so pretty and smooth and stylish and thoughful. I loved to watch her up close. She has a great wise heart and shares it just right. I was telling her and George about how weird and wonderful it was to meet Gary Turner and how when I first met him to see him up close was so weird when I'd gotten used to flat 2D photos. It was like they'd made this cool blow-up doll toy based on this guy named Gary Turner.

Talking to George about music, how he started playing as a kid, how we wanted every instrument, how he found his way to being a bass player -- very interesting. And musicians see (hear) the world in such a different way from the rest of us, it's always great to hang out with them.

How Lucky Am I!

I finally got to meet Jeneane and George Sessum last night. They are so totally swell and we had just a YUCK-YUCK-YUCK fest. Both are funny and smart and kind and sexy and friendly and great. Only sorry I couldn't meet the famous and fabulous Jenna who's been sick with a cold. I know if Jeneane has written anything about last night on her site it's probably 100% more entertaining. I better go over there and look. They had me laughing and crazy last night.

Small World

The poem below is written by Matthew Epstein, a new friend of mine and a great poet who went to Columbia University's MFA program (master of fine arts) at nearly the same time I did, but we never knew one another there. After Columbia, Matthew worked as an air traffic controller and a pilot, probably a rare if not completely unique skill set for an alum of the writing program (he was in the poetry division, I was in fiction) and has a most interesting background, full of life experiences unlike most poets I know. He also lived in LA, as we figure it, probably about the same time I did. (I love his descriptions of LA roads and canyons in the poem below.) To make a long story short, we ended up running into one another in a bookstore and finding out we live very near one another in the same town, after traveling similar roads for 20 years from New York to California to Boston.

When we talk and when I read his poetry, I find a way to understand, and feel a great sense of homecoming, as to how I see the world. The smallest gesture or an inanimate object in the world is full and ripe with meaning for me often as not. The things of this world hold meaning when the things people say often ring hollow and empty for me. The light on the yuccas and the shaky footing on the docks at Marina del Rey in the poem below say everything about the reality of the world this boy lives in -- despite the words the parents speak repeatedly, "You're safe and loved" when the boy knows this is not at all true.

It's a treasure to know people and make new friends who have a gut level understanding of your way of seeing the world and your work. I don't write that much poetry any more, but a little now and then, but so much of my other writing has this poet's point-of-view, I really appreciate Matthew understanding that and talking to me about it. I hope all people can find friends who "get" the work they are doing and help enjoy and inform the process of their work. It's a blessing.

After My Parents Divorced

-- by Matthew B. Epstein

I’m told I’m safe and loved.

At 11 o’clock on Sunday morning,
my father came late to pick me up
from my mother’s and her new wealthy husband’s
stone and glass-walled house, high up Laurel Canyon,
on top of the Hollywood Hills.

My mother kept my father outside the front door for a long time.
My mother’s new husband was watching the game.
I listened from down the hall over the football noise:

something about late child support.

My father wrote a check
(which later bounced)
and guided me with an encircling arm
to his old Plymouth Valiant without seat belts.

He said I’m safe and loved.

Down we spiraled through Laurel Canyon
to his new wife’s small bungalow
in the flats of Los Angeles.

In the afternoon,
we drove west to Marina del Rey,
stepped lightly on docks lined with sailboat masts,
and strolled out on the stony breakwater.

My father held my hand to steady me
on the uncertain surface.
The sun glared and sparkled off the green ocean.
and he flipped down his clip-on shades,
while my striped shirt billowed in the breeze off the sea
like a drawn curtain before an open window.

Through the Pacific wind I heard
I’m safe and loved.

After dinner that night,
I watched the Disney show on the black and white.

In the kitchen, my father and his new wife
argued about money,
something about late child support.
She spoke clearly above the theme song,
“When You Wish Upon a Star,”

“We only fight when Matthew’s here.”
I listened from the sunken living room.

I know I’m safe and loved.

It was time, at eight o’clock,
to swerve back up the canyon road.
At each curve,
my father’s old Plymouth’s headlight beams
swept the dark yuccas and bougainvillea.

We parked on the steep street
before my mother’s and her new wealthy husband’s
Hawaiian-style house, hunching over Los Angeles.

My father turned the engine off, faced me in the streetlight shadows,
and told me, before he rang the doorbell:
I’m safe and loved.

My mother rushed me in her new house,
greedily, a possession.

No matter what, my mother said
I need to know I was home now and
I’m safe and loved.

Later my mother’s new wealthy husband beat me
with his striped belt:

something about late child support.

My mother watched TV
and didn’t hear me cry
through all of “Upstairs, Downstairs.”

My father was long gone, down the hill forever.

I whispered over and over through tears,
in the dark, till sleep:

I’m safe and loved.
I must be safe and loved.
I’ll always be safe and loved.

Sunday, December 21, 2003

Network Intelligence

The same things Bush doesn't understand about terrorists' networks and cells, he doesn't understand about political networks. He thinks you squash them from the top down. The desire of common people -- a network of common people -- to embrace our own democratic action and to take the power of politics back into our own hands is embedded in the Dean network. We are nodes in this network. If Dean walked away tomorrow, we would still have that desire to take action. We would still act. Just as Frank Rich describes in his great piece in The New York Times today, we're about to witness a battle royale of top-down heirarchical politicians against a broad network of grass roots supporters who are just as sick of George Bush as our forefathers were sick of King George.

Ten Reasons I Can't Have a Dean House Party But I'm Having One Anyway

1. I can't have a house party because my house isn't a house, it's an apartment, because I can't afford to buy a house because I'm a divorced single mom with a kid, barely scraping by and my apartment is small and I don't want to have a party in my small apartment and have a lot of people show up with muddy boots and not have enough room for them or enough food -- which makes me stop dead in my tracks and think, I REALLY need Dean to be president.

2. What would I wear? I guess jeans and a tee shirt.

3. What food would I serve? I guess carrots, celery and nachos.

4. What if it snows? I guess it will even prettier then, I'll light candles and I'd ask everyone to leave their boots outside.

5. What music will I play? Easy, Pink's Get The Party Started.

6. What if some of my Republican relatives want to drop by? They're cool, it's okay.

7. What if a lot of radical weirdos wanted to drop by? Highly unlikely, everyone I've met connected with the Dean campaign so far has been kind, reasonable, generous, funny and surprisingly ordinary. They want what I want, to remember how to be a citizen and take back the country and show our kids how democracy works.

8. What if I don't want to talk during the conference call with Dean because I'm feeling shy? No big deal, I'll just listen.

9. What if I feel awkward asking people for money? Well, I might feel awkward but when I gave money to the Dean campaign before and they asked me for other email addresses of people who might want to give and I gave them those names -- those people actually THANKED ME FOR PASSING ALONG THEIR NAMES. That blew my mind, because I don't give anyone's email to anyone usually.

10. What if I had a terrific time and I was really glad I threw a house party for Dean on December 30th? Well, I guess I'll just have to try it and get back to you on that.

Catch you later. I have to go clean up my apartment and get ready to party.

Saturday, December 20, 2003

Saturday Night Fever

I forget people really do like to go out on Saturday night. I'm much more of a corny stay-at-home girl I guess.

Gone With The Wind

I made it to this lovely southern village which is so big, international and cool, I forgot how much I love Atlanta!


Now this is a great day! Go John Perry!!!!

Off To Atlanta

Catch you over there. Now remind me if it's 15 degrees there.

Something Pretty

Some days you just need to look at something pretty I think. Right, girls? Right, guys?

[Okay, okay, I'm out of the closet and admit I'm a card-carrying heterosexual. Guilty as charged.]

More From The Oil Wars

Gas up your SUV's kids. And don't miss the next chapter in the oil wars. Yes, thanks to Boris for Moore From The Oil Wars.

Draft Oprah

I've been saying draft Oprah for a long time. It's a no-brainer. I think she's the best.

Friday, December 19, 2003

Happy Chanukah!

Mazel Tov from the uber-shiksa! Have a lovely Chanukah!

No More Santa

I passed rather quickly over the fact that this Christmas is the THE CHRISTMAS that my son figured out, at the ripe old age of 8, and announced to me rather woefully, that there is no Santa. It's a big deal and I've been wanting to write about it all week. There's a complicating issue that he feels he must pretend for his dad (my ex) that he still believes in Santa for some reason, which I found oddly touching and poignant.

I want to go to that place in my heart where all the signs are still posted with messages like SANTA LIVES! and a sign that says SANTA HAS A BIG SURPRISE FOR YOU! and SANTA LOVES YOU! as I know that place is still alive and well. No parent or teacher or grinch managed to shut it down in me, whether they tried to or not. I nodded politely when they told me whatever they told me and looked down at my shiny black patent leather Mary Janes shoes and thought, "Liars! Of course there's Santa and of course he's gonna bring me something incredible."

As a grown-up girl (something my son calls me, which is to underline the fact that he knows I'm a girl and don't like to get punched in the arm or rough-house and roll around wrestling on the floor with him like his dad and other boys do, but also I'm a grown-up and not like the girls in his class, all of which he hates now and will adore in about 3 years) I still get that rush when I look into a big red shiny christmas bulb and see my face stretched smiley red and happy, as I dream up some excellent surprise Old St. Nick has up his sleeve or in his big red bag for me. A girl can wish, right?

And I think all grown-up boys and girls should feel that crazy thrill at this time of year that something perfectly insane and wonderful and unexpected can happen. All it takes is a little imagination. All it takes is stepping outside of our usual routine and doing something nice for someone and letting them do something nice for us.

I want to put my finger on that feeling -- what it would feel like to feel indulged, pampered, showered with an amazing love and kindness -- which is what the Santa Thing is all about. It's getting away from the heavy feelings that paying the bills and the mortgage can bring on; the worries that illnesses, loss of jobs, loss of physical ability can dump on us; the regret at opportunties lost to us, or the just plain sadness of friends or family lost. All that worry and worldly weight. We need a few days a year to throw it all off. We need to get kissed under the mistletoe by someone who really shouldn't be kissing us and we really shouldn't be kissing. We need to let our hearts get giddy with glee like kids ripping open pretty packages. We need to remember all of that can happen.

I guess I'm going to have to sit that kid down and give him a piece of my mind. Tell him he's got it all wrong about there being no Santa. Let him know this is the best Christmas ever, because now he's old enough to be drafted into the Santa Corps where we all learn to dress up in red and white outfits and play Santa for one another.

This Flu Business

There is so much confusion and misinformation and semi-panic swirling around this flu situation, I want to take a long slow look at all the facts today and decide whether I need (I didn't get) or my son needs a flu shot. The CDC has issued a statement about the MRSA staph infection problem. Seems there are antibiotic resistant staph germs that give little kids with flu the 1-2 punch and the real problem is not the flu but these MRSA infections. Jeneane writes about it here.

Just about the time I was going to get a flu shot, (which honestly I almost never get and also don't tend to get the flu) they made it clear that this year's flu shot is not the one that's really infecting people anyway -- it's another strain of flu. And yes, yes, I read that it's good to get the shot even if it's not the exact type of flu strain, still the whole thing is difficult to get a handle on.

My tendancy is as little medicine as possible please, whether it be aspirin, pain killers, whatever. I guess you could say I'm antibiotic resistant too.

Thursday, December 18, 2003

I'll Be Home For Christmas

I'll be home for Christmas
You can plan on me
Please have snow and mistletoe
And presents on the tree

Christmas Eve will find me
Where the lovelight gleams
I'll be home for Christmas
If only in my dreams

I'll be home for Christmas
You can plan on me
Please have snow and mistletoe
And presents on the tree

Christmas eve will find me
Where the lovelight gleams
I'll be home for Christmas
If only in my dreams

Hero Miles

Just one more reminder, as I'm sure you've read about this before, that you can donate your frequent flyer miles to help solders get home for the holidays. Here's the link.

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I Want My MTV

I love to watch MTV, also VH! for good solid business trend information and leading economic indicators. Seriously, you see stuff there that you don't see anywhere else. For TV, I think both music channels tell you what's new and what's coming down the pike sooner than anything you'd see on Bloomberg or CNBC. Just watch the ads. They tell volumes.

Sting looks so sexy and thin and yoga-ed out and strong. He's a trend all unto himself. He tells you that guys over 50 looking really fit are about to RULE. I have a personal theory about this -- older men are going to start feeling enormous pressure to look good, the way women have always felt they were being judged non-stop on their looks. The high divorce numbers support this. Older men are in the meat market again and if they don't look good -- it's going to be tough on them. Throw Demi Moore into the equation and know that if your a man over 50, you're competing with young men for all women now. Queer Eye for the Straight Guy is also about getting men into make-over mode.

Lots of condom public service spots featuring older guys too. We want you guys to get the message. Young girls insist on condoms now. Thank god for that.

Christina Aguilera is great. I love her. But she's really fallen off the trashy girl deep end. I think she's a better singer than all the other gal girls in her neighborhood, Brittney, Beyonce but she's got to go off the spectrum in terms of turning her sexuality inside out to get back to herself. Next year she'll be right in her sweet spot.

Nick Cannon's Gigolo rap video is talking about the end of marriage. We're turning into Date Nation -- ask George Clooney. Marriage as an economic institution is over. Love is getting outsourced out of marriage. This means women needing to support themselves, buy financial products, buy their own houses. Charlies' Angels I video called Independent Women by Destiny's Child already spelled that trend out about 2 years ago. Now the economy's back, and the people who get how to connect to women -- Schwabb, Fidelity -- are going to kick ass.

The Brittney/Madonna video might as well be a corporate board meeting. The chairwoman of the board in her sexy 3 piece white suit -- Madonna -- handing over the rock/porno babe industry to the her heir apparent, Brittney. They seal the deal with a kiss. It's not about sex, it's about commerce. And some passing of knowledge from older to younger babe women. The next big thing may be female mentoring and older women crashing open barriers for their younger sisters.

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Kaye Trammell Award Night

Here's a long overdue rave about the now famous blogger Kaye Trammell, who was nothing short of terrific at the BloggerCon conference this past fall. I should have blogrolled her months ago -- so sorry -- and I know you'll all add her to your list and start reading her on a regular basis. Kaye, love your writing and also your pix.


Whoa! Lots going on over there. 8% growth -- not bad. China. China. China.

Talking About Simple Stuff

I was talking with someone today about how much you need someone in your life to just talk to about all the simple stuff that happens during your day. There's really something satifying and necessary about the "Honey, I'm home," conversations couples take for granted at the end of the day.

Warren Bennis Spotting!

Lovely lunch today at Casablanca in Harvard Square with excellent witty company. But also extraordinary was looking over and suddenly spotting Warren Bennis a few tables away. I am a big fan of this USC Marshall Business School professor and author of many books. I couldn't resist going over and telling him I'm his biggest fan.

I heard him speak last year on work/life balance and how this current generation of 20-30 year olds -- and especially young men -- are driving this change in the workplace. He's a great speaker. I must have seemed like a silly schoolgirl begging for his autograph -- which I actually resisted getting -- but I can't get enough of the guy.

You And I Both

words & music by jason mraz

Was it you who spoke the words that things would happen but not to me

Oh things are gonna happen naturally

And taking your advice I'm looking on the bright side

And balancing the whole thing

But often times those words get tangled up in lines

And the bright lights turn to night

Until the dawn it brings

A little bird who'll sing about the magic that was you and me

Cause you and I both loved

What you and I spoke of

What you and I spoke of

Others only dream of the love that I love

See I'm all about them words

Over numbers, unencumbered numbered words

Hundreds of pages, pages, pages forwards

More words then I had ever heard and I feel so alive

Now you and I, you and I

Not so little you and I anymore

And with this silence brings a moral story

more importantly evolving is the glory of a boy

you and I both loved what you and I spoke of

and others just read of and if you could see now

well I'm already finally out of

and it's okay if you have go away

just remember the telephone works both ways

and if I never ever hear it ring

if nothing else I'll think the bells inside

have finally found you someone else and that's okay

cause I'll remember everything you sang

you and I both loved what you and I spoke of

and others just read of and if you could see now

well I'm already finally out of words.

-- Jason Mraz

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Hey Atlanta -- Teach Me How To Party

I'm finally getting a chance to visit a favorite town of mine -- Atlanta! I'll be there this weekend for work/fun/family stuff. Jeneane's got a cold, but assures me she'll be well by the weekend. Drop me email if any of you Georgian bloggers will be around -- and also, what's better Saturday 20th or Sunday 21st for a get together?


I do appreciate it when people drop me email out of the blue, but I always feel terrible when it reminds me that I haven't been keeping up with their blog. Jonathan's been writing some interesting stuff, but I am not au courant. Trotting over there to get up to date.

Courting Delacour

Excellent writer and A-list blogger Jonathan Delacour sent me a very interesting email this morning about this post I wrote, called "Sexual Globalization" and told me it had left him ... pensive ... and that he will be blogging about it. Blog away, sir.

Shave And A Haircut

One of the most interesting details in this unusual wire story on the Chinese Sexual Culture Museum is the suggestion that you can't find a plain old haircut anymore:
The sex industry is thriving as never before. As with elsewhere in Asia, men say finding a barbershop that actually offers haircuts rather than more personal services can be a challenge.

6000 Years Of Sex

Isn't it all a bit much? I don't know if I want the 71-year-old curator of the Chinese Sexual Culture Museum to show me 6000 years of sex. Makes me want to roll over to the other side of the bed and say, "honey, I have a headache."

Monday, December 15, 2003

Naughty Or Nice?

Santa asked me to check with each of you personally. Come on, fess up. You been naughty? You been nice? Maybe you've been naughty and nice? Which is it?

This Is A Joke, Right?

A friend sent this my way today. Hmmm, says I.

Saddam Sims Living Large

So is it true, you can now get the game version where Saddam starts in the palace and ends up in the spider hole? Whoa!

Everyone Gets A Hall Pass Today

This is a crazy day, so everyone gets an excuse today to do something they shouldn't be doing. I'm issuing hall passes for anyone who wants one -- skip any class you want today. I think we're all having a post-Saddam hangover.

Joy Joy Joi

Quitting drinking is very very good. Rah, rah, rah! Joining AA is even better. Remember you have the monolithic Japanese business culture to combat if you decide to stop -- and that's a helluva drinking culture.

Here are some sobering words, Joi. The older I get, the more I see alcohol totally screwing people up. Really smart people. Really nice people. Really creative people. It wrecks them little by little by little. And they put themselves out of business, out of commission, out of a job, out of a friendship, out of a relationship, out on the street.

It's never cool. It's never funny. It's pathetic.

It seems cool at 20. It's workable at 30. It's tricky at 40. It's a disaster most likely by 50. I see it happen every day. I see someone really talented who should have gotten a certain job but they put themselves out of the running because of drinking and someone probably a lot less talented, but sober, gets the job or opportunity or award.

I don't drink very much, I don't like it. I'm very lucky it's not a tempation for me. It's really a serious disease for many people.

Here's how it works with me and why I hate it. If I stay up late for a fancy dinner and get drunk, I get fat from eating too late. I eat too much because I'm drunk. I'm too tired to exercise early in the morning because I'm hung over. I can barely drag my butt out of bed and I lose the whole next day and maybe the day after for exercising. If I stop exercising I feel really lousy and want to feel better so ... you guessed it, I might eat too much and drink. It's a spiral -- DOWNWARD -- instead of the other direction.

If I don't drink, I get up early, I exercise, I feel good, I feed myself carefully that day, I feel better so I don't drink, and since I don't drink, I feel even better, end of the day, I'm tired early because I got up early and since I worked out I sleep like a log.

I'm happy to quit drinking in sympathy with you Joi and you call/email/IRC/IM me any time and I'll teach you how to make my 1/3 cranberry juice, 1/3 orange juice, 1/3 sparling water trompe l'oeil planters punch.

Vanishing Blogrolls -- Selfish UI

More and more weblogs are taking down their blogrolls. What gives? It's a selfish UI to either hide them (inconveniently) on another page or simply get rid of a blogroll completely, especially as more and more new readers are getting turned on to weblogs.

Roach motel thinking -- a reader can check in but never check out. A blogroll-less blogger makes the arrogant assumption they have so much to offer, no one would EVER want to leave their weblog. Yeah, right sure.

School Today

Kids are whining. Parents are saying "Phew!"

The Big Question

School today or not? We've had a pile of weird weather including snow, rain, ice, sleet, you name it. My kid's asleep, but I better flip on the local TV and watch the banner at the bottom of the screen, running school afer school alphabetically, announcing what's closed, what's open and producing happy screams or sad moans in houses all over town.

I Can't Help Thinking

I can't help thinking the "informant" that really sent them to Saddam's spider hole was a WOMAN. Hell hath no fury ...

Doc Round-up

Doc has a great round-up of many of the Iraqi bloggers and websites which really tell it like it is.

Many Gifts

This morning I'm awake and need to remember that even THAT is a gift. But I'm in a skittery-scattery mood. Not good, bothered by many small worries, little things that vex me, Monday things that should have been done Thursday last.

I unroll my purple yoga mat -- I have two, a deep oceany blue, and a royal violet lavendar purple one -- and on that mat do some simple exercises, only a half hour or so of them, but once again, miraculously reset the psyche, remembering all the important things in life, leaving the non-essential behind on the floor. Rememberring my many gifts. My health. My son. My friends. My love of words. My luck. My sense of humor. My sense of fun. My strong body. Actually, I'm battling the "I feel fat" demon. My parents are both gone, but they were there today laughing at my vanity. I feel fatter than usual thanks to winter hibernation, Xmas chocolates and too much sitting around inside and I don't like it. Like a small breeze, I remember My parents' serious worries as they watched me waste away as a kid through many illnesses where I just about died. They see my healthy body of today a little differently. They'd say I was too thin anyway and I should be thankful for a strong, pretty body that keeps me safe and well through winter. Okay, okay, they're right.

One yoga pose has you sitting very still, you have legs stretched out straight. You pull one leg in, wrap your arm around it, turn looking to your right, then further right then even further right until you're about twisted pretzelish, looking behind you actually.

Behind me on my dining room table I see three large round candles flickering yellow light, next to the Christmas tree filled with tiny stars of light as well. The candles on the table stand as tall as the figures next to them, half a wine bottle in height -- roughly carved and painted wise men, angels, a chunky baby jesus. The light is so simple. Might just get one feeling hopeful, thankful, blessed.

My favorite exercise is to roll my mat back up and put it away. I was a bit cranky, a bit worried, a bit fearful when I unrolled the mat this morning, but something else is in the place of that fretfulness now. The day will be fine, if not wonderful. It's all pretty simple. Just be there and be thankful.

Sunday, December 14, 2003

Hillary POV

Andrew Sullivan's essay on Hillary Clinton is worth a second read considering today's events, even if you already read it a while back, or worth a first read if you missed it.

We Got Him, But ...

David Weinberger raises some important points to consider after we come down from our "We Got Him" binge.
But just for the record: Our president systematically lied to us in order to get us to go to war; we were told we were in imminent danger when we were not. We went in without a plan for getting out or realistic expectations about what we were letting ourselves in for. We have sold the official looting rights to the administration's closest friends. It all was a cynical distraction from the failure of our war on terrorism. Our unilateralism sets a dangerous precedent and makes us less safe. And we will not know even if the ends justifed the means for years when the ultimate fate of Iraq and the region is clearer.

$750,000 Cash

Yankee dollars no less. Isn't that a lot of pocket money for an old man who lives in a spider hole to be carrying around?

Bush Speech

Short and sweet. Good speech for the occasion. I found the TV artifice of the door opening silently, Bush stepping out ... speaking ... and then the door opening and Bush disappearing behind the door, to be very stagey and weird.

Saddam Lexicon

I'll fill them all in later. Just want to start a list.

Spider Hole = hidden passage hiding place, but not sure if it must be part of a network of passages -- checking

HVT = high value target

Nuremberg Defense = From the trials of the administrators of Hilter's horrors, the Nuremberg defense is the fairly irresponsible and lame posture that "I was just doing what they told me to do."

British Prime Minister Howard Dean?

Interesting gaffe on the ABC News w/Stephanopolis announcing a statement by Dean and cutting to Tony Blair ... whoops!

Dean Weighs In

Statement from Gov. Dean's blog. Is it me, or do I just go to blogs for the update and not TV anymore? TV is not in any way DEEP enough.

Give Me The Story Mom

I give my 8-year-old a simplified version of the Saddam capture story -- bad guys, good guys -- but he says to me right off, "Well if we think on our side that he's the bad guy, doesn't their side think we're the bad guys?" The complexity of a child's world is not to be underestimated.

Holy Newsroom

Can you imagine the hell breaking loose in TV newsrooms when they got this story -- only an hour or so before the Sunday morning political shows air? Yikes. Thank goodness those shows are used to going live anyway. They may just be the most "live" news these days. Most the the evening news programs are canned.

Network Terror

I think we need to resist thinking that once we've got Saddam, the whole thing is a piece of cake, or a cake walk or we can have our cake and eat it too. No seriously, if you think in a heirarchial way, the notion that you get the big guy and the game is over has some validity. But if you think from a network perspective, this may be a very small and dangerous move on a very complicated chess board. You can take out the king, but get taken out by rooks, bishops, knights, you name it. We are not dealing with heirarchical thinkers. We're dealing with a network of evil intelligence which may be outhinking us every step of the game.

No Sullivan, No Searls on Saddam Yet

Jeff Jarvis and Instapundit are all over the story. No Andrew Sullivan yet, no Doc (it's dawn in PST) -- look forward to hearing their take.

Dead Tree Media Stumped on Saddam

I haven't even had a chance to look, but with the release of the Hussein capture early on Sunday morning, I suspect all the paper newspapers have missed the story. This will make it an even more interesting day for blogging.

Captured And Probably Not Invited For Christmas Dinner At The Ranch In Crawford Texas

Seems they've captured Saddam Hussein.

Christmas Quesadilla

This is just how to make one quesadilla. It's very easy. This is what I like to eat for breakfast.

You need one egg, some bacon (or bacon bits), green pepper chopped up, and some shredded cheese or a square of American cheese, also one or two flour tortillas.

I'm calling it a Christmas Quesadilla for no good reason -- actually because it's red and green if you use the bacon bits and green pepper. You can give up on the green pepper -- it a pain to chop anyway, but don't give up on the bacon bits, they make all the difference.

Everything I cook is very easy.

You need a big flat griddle pan or flat saucepan. Best if it's non-stick.

Heat it up to about medium high -- get ready to make a fried egg.

A little butter or oil if you like that and don't have a non-stick pan. Or no lubricant if you're scared of fat.

Crack the egg, let the yellow break, let it run in a few directions until it's about the same diameter as the tortilla. Put the big round flour torilla right on top of the runny egg. The egg should stick to the tortilla NOT the pan. I press it down with my hand to feel the egg bubbling up and getting glued to the underside of the cool tortilla, which gets hot fast, don't let your hand linger there too long. You can use a spatula for this too. You're just making sure the egg is adhering to the tortilla -- this is key to the whole recipe. Let it cook about a minute.

Take the spatula and dig in around the edges to be sure your egg is stuck to your tortilla. If it's not sticking, it's not ready to flip.

If it's stuck flip it.

Now you have a tortilla on the bottom and a fried egg (still slightly gooey) stuck on top of it.

Add shredded cheese (or a square of American Cheese), bacon bits, minced green pepper.

Semi-circle quesadilla -- run out the door version: If you're not that hungry, you can make a semi-circle quesadilla by just folfing the tortilla in half, so the cheese and egg and everything melt together. Cook about 30 seconds. Take out of the pan, put on a paper napkin or thin paper plate, Fold it again like you're wrapping it in a paper napkin blanket, if you're running out the door and want to take it with you fast.

Round quesadilla -- eat at home version: If you're very hungry, put another tortilla on top of this, so you have a tortilla sandwich of sorts with all the stuff in between. This is the "eat at home on a plate" version. I put it on a cutting board and cut it up like a pizza.

Up Up Late Late Late

Not my usual thing, but it's a lovely night, cold shiny moon out there and finally back home in my warm little joint. Big Xmas party night. I'm tired. Ut oh, it's already Sunday.

Saturday, December 13, 2003

I'll Be Seeing You In All The Old Familiar Places

I still find it semi-astounding that someone can end up on my weblog a few seconds after doing a search on Yahoo Hong Kong in Chinese. What can they possibly think my weblog is about when they arrive at my doorstep ...

Go Rageboy You Little Collaborative Filterer!

Well, it's a perfect day now. I just bought something at Amazon -- a videogame -- and the following message popped up:


C'MON, C'MON -- Sheryl Crowe
DOWN THE ROAD -- Van Morrison

Way to go, man. You sure keep cool company.

Three Pair of Pants

Note to self: ask parents of girls if they are as messy as boys and as messy to be NEAR as boys. It's not even 3:00pm yet and my 8-year-old has now caused enough catastrophic mess near me that I've changed into a third pair of pants since this morning -- rather typical Saturday -- and I wonder why I feel like I spend a lot of time doing laundry. One pair of black corduroy jeans at the bottom of washer covered with yellow mustard. One pair of blue blue jeans with soda poured all down one leg. Third pair of pants on me, but in no way sanguine about them lasting very long.

Also have a bandaid on one finger. Otherwise unscathed. So far.

Never More True

To err is human, to forgive divine.

Thanks to a friend, who just forgave me for doing an utterly boneheaded thing.

Good season for forgiveness. Excellent present, thank you.

Friday, December 12, 2003

The Light Hearts Of Children

Glad to hear Liz is back after a week of mourning the sudden death of her sister's husband -- husband of only six months. Made me think of the time after my mom died and my son was very young, only about 2 and 1/2 and how there was little time to dwell on sadness, but instead toddler needs to attend to.

The babies seem so untouched and during mourning, they can seem almost unseemly in their obliviousness. They cry, they fuss, they giggle, they gurgle along and you resist their light heartedness at first. You can resent how carefree they seem as you suffer. You marvel at their disconnect from time, place, past, future, life, death.

But in the end, I remember being thankful that they restart this weighty loadstone of life rolling again. A meal must be made. A diaper must be changed. A child must be dressed and taken out to the park for a walk. They wear you out and bring solid sleep that others in the same sad house have trouble finding. Before you notice, something sweet and funny they do has you laughing. They levitate your heavy heart with magic little hands these babes. And we think we're wise and they are naive, as to how to live in this world.

Tom Peters' Book Is Full Of It

Really, it's so full of innovation and new ways to see things and so many interesting ideas, it's quite something. I hope you've trotted out to buy it by now, or let your fingers do the clicking. I don't want to keep going on and on about it, but David Weinberger and I got to catch up with Tom last night, since he was here to do a book signing at The Harvard Coop and then we had the treat of being wined and dined by him and his terrific crew of co-creatives.

The book really is an astounding compendium of total wow-a-tude. If you don't know his work (David and I have been fans for way long) and want a good comprehensive jumping in point, get the book. And of course, as wowish as the book is, he's 100% more wowish in person. He makes me feel so old. He's full of good ideas and so OPEN to cool new stuff, he's like hanging out with a goddamned teenage kid. Next time, I'm going to pace myself, maybe bring along a little portable oxygen.

404 Error -- Sorry Clay

I was trying to call someone in Atlanta and looked at my call list in my cell phone of recent incoming/outgoings and saw 404 area code and thought, "That's the one." Nah, got a new friend in Burlington, VT instead of warmer Georgia. Whoops, sorry Clay.

Instapundit Watch

Okay, I just asked Instapundit to put me on his blogroll. It's not the first time -- he's a good guy and he promised me he would. Let's see how long it takes. Synchronize your watches. C'mon, Glenn, just do it.

People Who Curse

They just don't have very good vocabularies I guess. Shame.

Remember Not To Remember This

This Halleyburton story is so much fun. I think I'm going to do a public reading of this Halliburton newswire report -- you know like part of a stand-up comedy routine on open mike night.

But wait, first I have to go fix a little 61 million dollar error in my checkbook. You know how these little things happen.

Ask Book

This is an amazing book I'm reading that I wanted to mention.

Here's the info:

Women Don't Ask : Negotiation and the Gender Divide
by Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever

Lovely Dinner

Wonderful dinner in Cambridge tonight at Rialto. Big thanks to the gracious host. I terrorized everyone when I left telling them I was running home to blog about them -- not so, not so. How uncivilized that would be!

Hilariously smart and funny tableful of folks. Good good company.

Mysteriously at one end of the restaurant, they display plates of food with a video camera hanging ponderously above them. The silent food is splayed nakedly, like poorly paid porno stars to be videotaped in embarrassing positions. You can see right up the skirt of a redleaf lettuce, deep into the crevasses of a starfruit, rawly into seared tuna flesh, breadsticks turgid and erect.

Enchantee de faire votre connassance and off I went, up way too late for my own good.

Thursday, December 11, 2003

10,000! So Are Happy Days Here Again?

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finally hit 10,000 today. (Prelim quote: 10006) But does it mean we're really in a bull market? A lot of people doubt it. Is NASDAQ at 2,000 coming next?

Most Egregious Omission

I don't care much about awards, so when I noticed I wasn't in the WizBang Blog lists AT ALL, not as a male blog, not as a female blog, nothing -- I figured Halley's Comment must simply defy all description and classification. She is simply in a class of her own.

Until Kevin told me he was putting me with much chagrin and many apologies into the "Most Egregious Omission" category, which, of course, was even more amusing. So feel free to vote for me and help me lick my wounds of feeling forgotten. (But don't worry, I didn't really mind, especially when I heard people were so insecure about the whole thing as to CHEAT to win. Give it a break!)

This Flu Might Just Keep Us Home

This flu epidemic is so much worse than one would expect. Golly. Especially bad to hear it's hitting kids so hard. How about a little home schooling this winter? Might not be a bad idea. Any parent with a kid knows how fast kids get sick once they start going to school. It's the big germ factory.

Forget Berkman

I've got better things to do tonight than drop in here. The weather stinks -- it's pouring -- and making a heckof a mess of all the grey dirty snow. Don't look for me there. Betsy's busy, Skadz is booked, hey Redhead, next time, or are you still in Canada?

Cerritos, A Little Slice of WiFi Heaven

This is an interesting development. Sounds like a place worth moving to. Cerritos goes wifi all over town.