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.

Powered by audblogaudio post powered by audblog

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.