Skin deep

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

Dorothea is on a roll! And aside from the fact that she rolled over my foot (in the nicest possible way) I like what she has to say. I, also, want nothing more than to be valued because of me, of what I am, rather than how I look.

When people look into my eyes I want them to see gentleness, or love, or intelligence rather than their color, or their shape, or the length of the lashes. When they look at my face, I hope they see humor, sadness, or joy rather than the shape of my face or the height of my cheekbones or the width of my mouth and the thickness of my lips. And when people look at my body, I would hope that they see pride and strength and determination and compassion rather than curves and breasts and skin color and height.

Dorothea writes:

Fundamentally, though, redefining pretty is not my fight. I want to be ugly and not have it matter. I want my sexual attractiveness to remain a private affair between myself and my sex partner, rather than being speculated upon by every person who so much as passes me on the street or wants to toss my blog a quick compliment. I want “bonita” and “fea” alike paired with “estar,” not “ser,” and even when the pairing is “estar bonita” I want the reaction to be fleeting and tacit, not character-defining and public.

If I disagree with Dorothea, and I think disagreement isn’t the correct term, it’s on the whole concept of ugly. Am I ugly? No. Well, then, am I beautiful? No. I don’t think there is any standard for absolute beauty or absolute ugliness, so how can I be one or the other? And as for our fit within today’s slide rule of physical conformity, does it really matter? For myself, I like me, and isn’t that what’s important?

Anne McCaffrey, popular Sci-Fi and Fantasy author, has about the best bio I have ever seen, for anyone:

My hair is silver, my eyes are green and I freckle: the rest of me is subject to change without notice.

That about sums all of us up: subject to change without notice.

We are each of us what we are, and we should be happy being what we are, the best of whatever it is we are. I would hope that those who care for me would see beyond how I look –regardless of perceived ‘good’ or ‘bad’ physical characteristics — to what I am and realize to themselves that this is truly what’s important.

Is this the same as Dorothea’s statement:

Permission to be plain, even in my own eyes. That, to me, is the self-acceptance that Burningbird wants to instill in me over coffee.

I think it is.


My mistake in previous readings of Dorothea’s posts, and for which I received gentle chastisement, is that when I read Dorothea’s statements about seeing herself as plain or ugly, I immediately wanted to say, “Dorothea! How can you say this about yourself?” Yet, Dorothea wasn’t making statements about her self worth only her perceived view of her appearance. I mixed the two up in my mind, and I put a value assessment on ‘plain’ and ‘ugly’—the very thing I just got through saying wasn’t important.

Now I think I know what Dorothea’s saying. There are times when you do have to hit me in the face with a wet mackerel for me to get the point.

(And Dorothea, Castilian hot chocolate still works for me.)

Technology Weblogging

Threadneedle meets BlogMD

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

I spent some time today hanging around at the BlogMD discussion group, talking about RDF, RSS, embedding problems, data models and so on.

As much of a lone wolf as I must seem to people, I prefer working these types of problem as a team. There is something about multiple heads working together that can make the most complicated problem seem solvable.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem as if any of the weblogging tool builders are involved in this effort. Too bad. The only way something like ThreadNeedle, or TrackBack, is really going to work is if we can get buy in from, at the least, Userland, Movable Type, and Blogger.


Savage beast spoken here

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

My back felt better today, though my headache remains, so I decided to get away from the computer and do a little shopping—music shopping. I couldn’t find the CD I was looking for, so I splurged on Dave Matthews new CD Busted Stuff. While I was at the register I noticed a group of sale CDs, so Dave was joined by a Nat King Cole’s greatest hits and a 2 CD compilation of Tony Bennett songs.

Out in the car I unwrapped the jewel boxes and added my purchases to the existing selection, which included Coldplay’s Parachute, Bon Jovi’s Cross Road, and the sound track from the movie, General’s Daughter.

A question: am I the only person who has trouble removing the wrappers and all the little seals and stickers from a jewel box? The seals have the words “peel here”, but then you have to scrape the label up at that spot and when you start to pull it, it rips lose from the rest. And just when you think you have all of it removed, you go to open the box only to find it’s sealed in yet another spot.

Regardless of the joys of CD packaging, after I finally loaded the music into the player, I grabbed an ice coffee and went down to my favorite river park for a little quiet time. I sat in the car, windows open, watching the river lazily flow past, listening to the mellow, wonderful tones of Nat King Cole as he sang out “Mona Lisa”, “Route 66”, and the unforgettable “Unforgettable”. That man’s voice was pure creamery butter and whiskey and the best coffee and sweet maple syrup all rolled up into one rich, listening experience.

One very, very fine moment.

I got into a conversation earlier this week with a friend about music, comparing who we like, don’t like. I mentioned I liked the old Beatles but he prefers the Rolling Stones, thinks they have more character. I like the Stones, too, but those boys are beginning to scare me. Well, Keith Richards has always scared me, but Mick is becoming better preserved than Dick Clark, and Dick Clark is kind of spooky.

I love most kinds of music including Verdi opera, Spanish guitar, David Bowie, classical piano, Beach Boys, new McCartney, U2, 40’s music, Madonna, AC/DC, Celtic, country, Alanis Morrisette, Rush, Eminem, Lifehouse, and on and on. About the only type of music I don’t like is cheap Pop (Spice Girls and Backstreet Boys come to mind), Disco (that’s because I’m writing this in public, in private I can still get down and boogie, baby), and the music group America.

I hate America. That’s unfortunate too, because by not liking this group I have put into writing the words “I hate America”. But I’m sorry, I can’t stand this group.

Oh, I’ve been in the desert on a horse with no name
it felt good to be out of the rain
In the desert you can remember your name
cuz there ain’t no one for to give you no pain.
La la la la la….

Pickled tripe. Pure pickled tripe. It’s music like this that led to George Bush being elected president. And the insiduous thing about America is that once you’ve heard tunes such as the dismortal “Horse with no Name”, you can’t get the bugger out of your head.

I really hate America.

But I love music. Especially music from my favorite songbird next door, Shannon Campbell, whose song Blind I ripped from her site for your, and my, enjoyment.

Shannon, nightingale, sister. Pure nightingale.