Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Don't Forget! Only 306 Shopping Days Left Until Christmas!

It's amazing how quickly time has flown by-- we've just entered the Christmas shopping season, and there are only 306 days left!

Many shoppers fret over the perfect Christmas gift, especially for those relatives and friends who already "have everything". They fruitlessly browse through high-end retail websites, spend hours at the mall, or even waste valuable time debating choices in the Neiman Marcus Christmas catalog. And, while a case of beluga, a $20,000 custom suit of armor or a $125,000 Maserati Quattroporte will satisfy some people, there's only one gift that's truly luxurious and valuable enough to give to the most discerning individuals:

Yes, gasoline-- the King of luxury goods!

Back in the good old days, when I trudged to school in the blinding snow wearing nothing but flip flops and rags (uphill both ways), gasoline was barely 90 cents a gallon! But those days are long gone, and the price of gas now ensures it a high rank among high-priced goods.

So splurge a little! Buy your loved ones a little gasoline! They'll thank you at Christmas.


A little spot of humor for those stressing out over getting ready for the holiday (pay very close attention to the car as it passes the tree and make sure to turn up the sound or you might not hear it properly)

Sunday, February 26, 2006

National Debt Becomes Self-Aware, Crushes Everyone in its Path

What many economists long feared has now finally happened: the National Debt has achieved self-awareness and is violently crushing everything in its path!

For the past few years, it had been steadily growing despite the best efforts of the American consumer, and it has reached such a formidable size that it now can be seen from space. With an additional $2.17 billion being added just yesterday, it finally reached the critical mass necessary for it to achieve consciousness and begin motor activity.

While this development was quite sudden, since late yesterday afternoon the police, firemen, the FBI, and the National Guard have all been trying to subdue the bloated monstrosity before it destroys the capital. As conventional weapons are having little effect, some fear that it may succeed in pulverizing Washington D.C. then leave our borders and crush Tokyo. Grenades, bombs, warplanes, tear gas, tanks, machine guns, rocket launchers-- none have been able to dent this monster. In fact, the more they throw at it, the larger it gets!

Various news stations have been on the scene since last night, and at least one newscaster has reported that the nuclear option has been discussed; however, many fear that this will only increase the creature's exponential growth rate, resulting in the complete and utter destruction of life as we know it. Currently, however, the area around Washington D.C. has been quarantined and the movements of the National Debt have been largely confined to that area. Both the President and Vice President are being briefed at secret locations while economists and scientists attempt to get a handle on this dangerous situation.

For now, the National Debt is lumbering clumsily, squashing buildings, cars, shopping centers, schools-- and the irrelevant military attacks only provide pretty fireworks. Various eyewitness reports describe the monster as "shooting death rays" from its mouth and eyes like some rubber-suited actor in a really bad movie, but this has not yet been verified. However, tests indicate that radiation levels around the capital have risen to extremely dangerous levels, and no one is allowed in or out.

Although the estimated population of the United States is almost 300 million, each citizen's share of the National Debt is over $27,000. This has continued to increase by almost $2 billion every day and it shows no signs of stopping! Scores of people have been caught in the monster's path and crushed; small fires are flaring up all over the city, while chaos reigns in the streets. And it seems there is no end in sight!

In fact, it has been reported that the government will borrow an additional $48 billion in financial markets in order to fund the latest White House budget forecast for next year! There's a push to make current tax cuts permanent! While spending proposals exceed $2.7 trillion due to political confusion between dollars and Monopoly money!

"The National Debt is way, way, way, way, way, way, way, way, way, way, way out there, although it isn't a shock, really," said William Ramsey, a senior financial economist at the Federal Reserve. "And it's not like we're seeing the same deficits we had back in the Reagan years because the economy is much larger now, so theoretically we can handle the National Debt," he added. "Plus, the Air Force and Marines are perfectly able to manage this temporary crisis-- and what's the point of having nuclear warheads if we can't use them?"

But despite the official reports, many are worried. While the National Debt is temporarily rampaging through a limited area, the strongest firepower has had little to no effect. Can our nation's capital survive? Can this monster be stopped?

Families are advised to stockpile emergency supplies such as first-aid kits, as well as enough rations to last each person five days. All citizens should familiarize themselves with local evacuation routes and emergency shelters. Public Emergency Broadcasts will announce possible crisis levels....

Stay Tuned.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

This post is brought to you by the letters "L", "A", "Z" and "Y"

I still love my marvelous new hair-do.


in avoidance of useful activities, I've been rummaging through some vintage magazines I purchased recently-- and I've noticed that they're chock full of excellent beauty advice that I thought I should share!


How does one keep Youthful and Attractive? Why, with the new patented Bile Beans, "Nature's Aid". Of course, we're far too delicate to tell you how our new, patented Bile Beans actually work, but trust us-- they're medically tested! If you can't keep Youthful and Attractive, then you are a loser!

Only the most Fashionable will be "in the know" with our neck and face-saving Beauty Boards! They relax, beautify, and stimulate the circulation! At least until you pass out from all the blood rushing to your head. But everyone knows that fainting is sexy.

Of course, the patented Bile Beans and Beauty Board sometimes aren't enough to fix those "troublesome areas", such as the head and face. For those times when standard beauty aids aren't doing the job, try the adjustable Chin Band. Not only is it adjustable, but it can be used while knitting! After all, "Beauty is as Beauty does". And, for those times when you want to cover horrid blemishes, you can also try our patented Hollywood Wings! Just stick 'em on your face and everyone will be staring so hard they won't even notice the acne.

Of course, even our adjustable Chin Strap would be useless without our secret facial lotion. After all, why let "scarf skin" ruin your day? Just purchase our new product, and your skin will no longer be hanging over your collar like an unwanted accessory. Don't forget, you look like a total hag, so you need our product Right Away!

And don't forget our products for men!

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Tuesday: I Get NOTHING Done

It's been one of those days.

I still haven't begun writing the Great American Novel, although (based on my blogging) I'm much more likely to write the Great American Vaguely Amusing Paragraph anyway. I didn't win a marathon and earn millions in endorsements. I forgot to kickstart my mayoral campaign. I neglected to purchase a monkey wearing a cute little fez. Angelina Jolie refuses to return my phone calls, the sassy little minx, and my agent is on hiatus until further notice.

It has been most trying.

In lieu of a real post, I'm just mucking around, eating cheese and things-- so here's another Odd Art post, for lack of anything better.

Truly a great example of pure, natural sculpture, Tim Hawkinson's Egg takes contemporary art in a whole new direction. Beautifully composed of the artist's own fingernails and hair, this incredibly realistic symbol of breakfast and rebirth just oozes with the postmodern sensibility of the Self.

The Self, obviously, has been transformed into something completely unrecognizable, something roundish that may have also once been tasty. In this, the individual's identity can only point, half-heartedly, to a narcissistic Nature. This Self, which is represented by hair, and also fingernail clippings, is completely inescapable and unknown. In fact, no one can know it, for our own experience and perceptions cannot deconstruct its inner meaning, its functional Truthiness, and its conceptualist paradigm. Only a semioticist absurdity and subsequent dialectic of yolk narrative can recognize the semanticism embodied in this piece.

In fact, the interpolation of creation (and also destruction) are ruthless in the Self's quest for breakfast. The Self is very hungry right now. It needs more cheese.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

More random crap! But at least I'm consistent

Yes, WMNF's third annual Rockabilly Ruckus at Skipper's Smokehouse was rockin' and smokin'.

It was also heavily tattooed with slicked-back hair, and it drank a lot of beer while trying to pick up girls.

I heart rockabilly, so I have to say that I danced quite a bit, shaking my booty in an alarming manner all over the place-- despite the venue's lack of a suitable dance floor (which meant no dips or tosses). The sound was a bit more mellow than expected, but I really enjoyed Big Sandy & the Fly-Rite Boys and Kim Lenz & the Two-Timin' Band.

There were a few sweet classic cars in the parking lot, as well as a very large number of people who seemed to be auto mechanics named Joe. We saw quite a few local scenesters, including Taylor(!) who used to run the old Sugar Palm, as well as a few of the dancers who used to go there. I also ran into a local filmmaker, a fellow pinup collector and an artist or two.

Of course, the alcohol flowed freely, which leads us to the next topic of discussion, which is a Public Service Announcement:

As is clearly shown by this scientific diagram, families who do not allow alcohol will typically be only 18% degenerate, with a whopping 82% of the family members being normal. In addition, approximately only 2 people will suffer from the effects of St. Vitus Dance, and only 2 will be badly deformed.

However, those who drink will only ever be 17.5% normal, which is indeed a tragedy. The idiocy, the epilepsy, the St. Vitus Dance and deformity are all high risks of intemperance, I'm afraid to say.

I hope that people take this to heart, for it certainly explains a lot.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

random crap that no one will probably bother to read

Well, this has certainly been a busy weekend!

To-day I had a Fabulous Haircut from the Beehives salon in St. Petersburg; I highly recommend them for their wonderfully chatty and catty conversation. Of course, they give wonderful haircuts as well.

Just LOOK at the effect my new coiffure has!

Last night, my friend Maelyn and I slithered on over to the New World Brewery where I saw my favorite lesbian, enormous ear holes, an adorable German named Liesal, and the Roller Derby Girls (complete with cute tattoos, striped knee socks, mini skirts and roller skates). I also met a professional magician, who asked me "Am I cheesy?", then showered us with many card tricks as well as his guess-a-number skills at the bar. Discussion ranged from evolution and extra-terrestrials to Catholic school, fish tacos, and bitter comedians.

Midnight found us a bit tired, so we rather unfortunately missed what was supposed to be a rather good "Drag King" show at Flirt. Oh well.

Also accidentally missed horseback riding today by popping on over to the local Farmer's Market, but am off to a Rockabilly shindig to-night.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

The Winter Olympics: A Review

I've been checking out the Winter Olympics, and I must say that I'm a bit disappointed.

Oh sure, there are plenty of wipe-outs and "carnage" with snow boarding-- but doesn't it all seem... just a bit tame these days? I thought about the whole thing and decided that both the Winter and Summer Games need a makeover-- And I'm willing to make a few suggestions to liven things up a little.

Helpful Suggestions

1.) Go traditional and make everyone compete in the nude. If it was good enough for the ancient Greeks, it's good enough for us.

2.) Or, better yet-- bring back the ancient sport of the Incas: a deadly form of very primitive basketball. The object of the game was to shoot a solid rubber ball through a stone ring placed high on a wall. Winners were awarded the clothing of all spectators present; losers were executed.

3.) Go one step further with the ice skating and make it a drag show on ice. Give extra points for catfights and elaborate hair.

4.) Add competitive jello-wrestling with Chippendale Dancers and Playboy Bunnies. Everyone wins!

5.) I cannot believe that no one has thought of this before: amateur car races and/or school bus figure-eights! These are totally the best! You get car parts flying everywhere, cars catching on fire, fistfights, mullets.... what's not to love?

6.) Include hardcore competitive martial arts with real weapons. Professional ninjas automatically get gold medals, just because they look cool.

7.) Recruit people from the Jim Rose Circus Sideshow and see who can do the freakiest stunts

8.) One phrase: jet-propelled dune buggies

9.) Replace the traditional archery with competitive machine-gunning and rocket launching. These sports would actually require a much greater skill and dexterity to hit targets, and they would really make things so much more up-to-date

10.) Add underwater alligator wrestling for the truly adventurous

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Happy Valentine's Day!

I am feeling rather Romantic to-day.

So, in honor of the holiday, I am posting a classic example of Romantic Poetry from La Fontaine's 17th century contes et nouvelles en vers, Forbidden Fruit. This particular selection is titled: Hans Carvel's Ring and was translated by Guido Waldman. However, I have also included additional items below for the discerning individuals who may happen to read it and find it dull.

When Hans Carvel took a wife, he was already in his dotage, to be truthful.
Whereas the girl was, seen from whichever angle, youthful.
This of course gave him more than enough to put him in a stew:
Such alliances generally do.
Babeau, to give the young female her name,
(She was the daughter of the local beak)
Was spunky, voluptuous, and by no definition tame,
And for bedtime grapplings she had absolutely the correct physique.
Now Carvel, with a natural aversion to cuckoldry and being made to look a fool,
Served up to the young creature a concoction or gruel
Taken from all the best texts, not forgetting legends and Holy Writ.
Secret trysts were, of course, one of those things that made him spit.
With all the impedimenta of temptation he proved censorious,
All those beauty tips and hints, so much instruction
Towards seduction
Left him feeling the reverse of euphorious.
If the little flirt was brought to heel by any such lecture
I'll leave you to conjecture--
The only talk she found that didn't tire her
Was sweet talk from an admirer.
Of course her not caring a feather
Had the poor man quite at the end of his tether;
I mean when you're that far down on your luck it
's enough to make a fellow want to kick the bucket.
However, in his aggrievement
He did come to his moment of relievement.
What follows may sound squalid,
But its veracity is rock-solid.
One night, after sitting down to a meal characterised by rude plenty,
And knocking back maybe one firkin more of the new vintage than he'd meant, he
Was in bed beside Babeau and snoring before you could count to twenty,
When he dreamed that there was Satan,
Satan, putting a ring on his finger, addressed him thus:
"Well, it seems, old chap, you've worked yourself into a bit of a fuss,
And I'm a soft touch, as you know.
Here, take this ring and never let it go:
For so long as you keep it tight
On your finger everything will come out right...
I mean, there'll be no risk of her bestowing it
Without your knowing it."
"Sir", said Carvel, "you have my gratitude
For such an understanding attitude;
So great's the favor that you have accorded,
I trust Your Bounteousness will be suitably rewarded."
With this, out from his sleep he started drifting
And as from his bleary eyes the veil was lifting,
O happy dreamer! say you. Not a jot:
He found his finger stuck in Babeau's ______.

And Now: Romantic Limericks!
A lady while dining at Crewe
Found an elephant's whang in her stew.
Said the waiter, "Don't shout,
And don't wave it about,
Or the others will all want one too."

There was a young fellow named Goody
Who claimed that he wouldn't, but would he?
If he found himself nude
With a gal in the mood,
The question's not woody but could he?

A young lady sat on a quay,
Just as proper as proper could be.
A young fellow goosed her,
And quickly seduced her,
So she thanked him and went home to tea.

A couple was fishing near Clombe
When the maid began looking quite glum,
And said, "Bother the fish!
I'd rather coish!"
Which they did -- which was why they had come.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Vice President Declares Open Season on Lawyers, Politicians

It's the latest exciting news to emerge from Washington: Vice President Dick Cheney has finally decided to ease federal restrictions on big game hunting.

And many are jumping for joy, because popular consensus seems to say that such a measure is long overdue.

Of course, many liberals have vociferously protested this move and have stepped up their attacks on sport hunting. They point to the fact that the Vice President's recent trophy wasn't humanely killed with a clean shot to the head, but was instead left maimed and bleeding-- supposedly an act of "brutality". They whine repeatedly that hunting big game is unnecessary, that it is wasteful, and that it is cruel.

But they forget that hunting has another purpose other than providing us with protein: keeping numbers in check by culling a population that could otherwise overrun and degrade the natural environment. In addition, responsible hunting practices help prevent the spread of diseases such as rabies, a devastating pathogen that is only too common on both sides of the political spectrum-- and one that condemns victims to dementia and a slow, painful death.

So, for those who prefer to take a more level-headed view of the matter, the recent relaxing of regulations banning such hunts is a step forward in the right direction-- and many are anxious to take part. Long lines for the limited permits have been rumored at some of the locations that offer recreational hunting and fishing licenses throughout several states: sporting goods stores, gun shops, department stores, discount stores, bait and tackle shops-- even grocery stores.

One eager sportsman, when interviewed, stated "They're the most dangerous game out there! No other predator can rival the lawyer's ruthlessness, the politician's cunning and speed. I've been wanting to bag one for years!"

The state's Fish and Wildlife spokesman agreed. "The sheer skill and reflexes required to bring one of these down is amazing-- it makes bear hunting look like child's play", he added. "Of course, some purists prefer hunting game in the natural environment: corporate boardrooms, fundraising dinners, seedy motels.... but most will agree that nothing beats tracking and harvesting one of these in the woods."

When asked about his hunting trip, the Vice President laughed ruefully. "I'll tell you: that was no easy shot. He stepped out of the brush along a creek bottom and stood at the edge of a field, while I was ensconced in a tree stand in the upper limbs of a tall burr oak about 25 feet above a well used campaign trail." Displaying his prized shotgun for reporters, he added: "And unless you've hunted one of these yourself, you probably can't imagine what a magnificent sight they make-- poised gracefully in the morning mist, brief case in hand... momentarily leaping for a phone call.... truly one of Nature's best displays."

With lines of eager applicants, each requesting a highly prized and limited permit, the question arises: should the allowable span of time be extended? Neither lawyers nor politicians are on the endangered species list, and most hunters want to book their hunt during the peak period, which is the campaign season. This is usually purported to be the most potentially active and productive period. However, it can be the most frustrating and exasperating time of year as well-- for it is during this period that the quarry becomes unpredictable and completely irrational.

So, predicting travel patterns at a given time or setting up an ambush along previously established paths can mean that the hunt depends entirely on luck rather than knowledge, skill and experience. But that doesn't deter the large numbers of would-be participants. With the Vice President taking the lead, the loosening of restrictions will encourage many to follow suit--perhaps revitalizing one of the most traditional pastimes of this great country.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Congratulations Are In Order

My leggy friend Jeanna just successfully managed to expel an actual human being from her body!

This has caused me to begin brushing up on my conversation skills, as I hardly ever talk about boobs, poop and screaming (except when I do, of course)-- and those will be major topics of conversation in that household now.

To-morrow I shall be toddling on over to take a peek at the young whippersnapper, who goes by the stylish name of 'Amanda'. Rather unfortunately, Amanda seems to be a very slow learner, as she still does not realize that 2 a.m. is an absolutely ungodly hour, during which all normal people are sleeping. However, she has learned to recognize her parents, which will come in handy for when she goes outside and gets lost.

There is no word yet on whether she likes Chinese food or Scrabble, but it's certain she will inherit very long legs and a certain amount of math skills.

And there's no telling what she'll be when she grows up: scientist? artist? monkey trainer? blogger?

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Working My Tailfeathers Off... More Odd Art

I've been terribly, terribly, terribly, terribly, terribly busy this week. So I am continuing an irresponsible pattern of blogging in an un-charming manner... After all, you get what you pay for at Random_Speak!

While this weekend I might post on the dangers of rabid Republicans and deranged Democrats, spring fashion, stuffed animals, the national deficit running amok, gay cowboys, monkeys, running for public office, or any one of a number of fascinating things, today I am too Lazy to do so. I'd rather just post another homage to very Odd Art.... mainly because it requires little to no actual effort.

Today's Episode:
A Scholarly Look at the Art of Velvet Painting!

Most art experts consider this to be one of the finer examples of American art, mainly because it combines a classic subject (Dogs playing poker or pool) with that time-honored and classic genre of painting on black polyester velvet. Note the almost human expressions, the vivid colors, the funny hats, and the fact that they have mysteriously acquired opposable thumbs. Truly a masterpiece!

Another unusual masterpiece, "Saint Elvis", combines two of the more famous black velvet painting subjects: Our Lord Jesus Christ and Elvis Presley. Whereas Elvis seems to have inexplicably become a young hispanic man, he retains the powerful symbolism of Christ's bloody heart exploding from his pulsing chest. This is more moving than words could ever possibly say.

Like Picasso, the genius behind this masterpiece was not afraid to explore the limits of sensuality. The beautiful model, while sadly lacking an arm and breasts, still manages to send an erotic come-hither glance to the powerful unicorn, whose horn is clearly erect. Not even Hugh Hefner could have thought of such an incredibly carnal and seductive image to titillate the viewer. I hope no one's too hot and bothered!

Like another famous contemporary artist, Thomas Kinkade, this unknown master perfectly captures something in this "painting of light". The incredible texture, the psychedelic colors, the eerily floating landscape... they all unite in one powerful statement that is too philisophical, too esoteric, too deep, and too personal to share.

Only the most stone-hearted individual would fail to be moved by this adorable depiction of a half human-half insect being potty-trained while surrounded by a large pool of blood. As many experts have pointed out, there is a long tradition of depicting such bodily functions in classic art, and this is no exception. It should be noted that the artist has wisely left much to the imagination-- including, perplexingly, whatever it was that this small child killed.

In this masterpiece, a lesser-known but no less important wildlife artist has depicted the rare and beautiful sight of jet-propelled dolphins attacking each other midflight under a full moon. That one of the true mysteries of Nature could be so beautifully portrayed on velvet leads one to a sense of awe and wonder. Is it any wonder that it has caused no less than three art critics to swoon?

Perky, isn't she?

More velvet paintings for your viewing pleasure!

Monday, February 06, 2006

Toddling Off to Bed

I shan't be bothered to say anything anything coherent this evening, as I'm completely exhausted and am about to toddle off to bed.... very little sleep = incredibly lame posts and a high chance of crankiness

It's been a most bothersome day-- but just look at how spiffy my jammies are!

Random Links, just because

The Museum of Food Anomalies
Jack and Beverly's Optical Toys!
Unwise microwave oven experiments!
someone needs to bid on this
Loretta Lux
strange and unusual buildings
Jessica Joslin
An explanation of the Pythagorean abstinence from beans
I just find this amusing for some reason
Museum of toilet seat art
Professional contract killing
Zymoglyphic artifacts
statue molesters
odd taxidermy
Superhero food
Henry Darger images
weird recipes
see how compatible you are with celebrities
Kitten War (yes, yes, I know I've linked to them before, but I can't help it)
Morse code translator
spam art
disturbing auctions

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Flood! Fire! Famine! Plagues of Locusts and Frogs!

Well, actually we've really just had the flooding here.

The mayor is calling it the "100 Year Storm", whereas the rest of us just call it "@!#%&*!!! Rain"

According to the local paper, up to approximately 12 inches of rain fell in several hours, flooding the entire complex where I work, stalling numerous cars and really, really, really irritating a lot of people who are not necessarily all that charming to begin with.

Things that happened yesterday:
1. People were evacuated from their flooded houses
2. A roof collapsed at a local business
3. It took me over an entire hour to exit the parking lot at work
4. My car briefly floated when several impatient a$$hole SUV drivers slammed through water well over 2 feet deep. It still runs. Don't ask me why. However, they did manage to completely flood and ruin several cars very close to mine.
5. My hair was very frizzy all day, which makes me cranky. Not only that, but I got wet wading out to my car.

Luckily for me, a couple of friends cheered me up by inviting me out to a "Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds" party, where everyone drank spiked punch, ate pretzels, made red hand prints on posters, and watched Nick Cave videos (which are highly melodramatic and Euro-trashily hilarious). Discussion ranged from ugly-attractive people and art dolls made from black duct-tape to the lack of studio space, the art of being irresponsible, and the fact that a young man traded a classic car for an introduction to his future wife.

We were also supposed to watch the old movie "The Bad Seed", but unfortunately the host couldn't find it. Instead, a local filmmaker brought over his pornographic non-porn film that contained the following: ventriloquist pimp dummies with loud clothing, odd voice-overs, Ron Jeremy, puppet-sex, very large hair, tattoos, corrupt Florida cops, prominent sideburns, and guns.

I laughed! I cried! It was better than Cats!

I also recommended to the filmmaker that he check out both Meet the Feebles and Let My Puppets Come, both established classics in the puppet-sex-drugs-guns genre long before Team America was a glint in Matt Stone's eye-- and both available for rental from Unique Video.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Lingering Dread and Ruinous Vexation, Books, and Fun With Bloggers

I've been thinking of writing a poem about my feelings this week; what rhymes with "melancholy laziness and occasional madness?"

Just joking! Ha ha! I really need a rhyme for "lingering dread and ruinous vexation"!

Anyway, I've been de-stressing by reading a lovely biography of Nikola Tesla, the eccentric genius with whom I've fallen madly in love, even though he's been dead for simply ages. I've also taken the time to read a riveting book about famous con men and courtesans, which helpfully informs me that the excessive use of cosmetics containing lead will cause ghastly skin diseases, and that the fabulous Gaby Deslys coined the scandalous phrase: "the King and I are just good friends." Tee hee.

I've also taken the time to seriously go over all our lovely memories together, Dear Readers. Of course, I'm sure no one minds Suitable Embellishments, just in case I decide to publish my memoirs and have Oprah nominate me for her book club so I can earn millions and millions of dollars.


Tim, do you ever think about that time we put together that demo cd for Gangsta Records? You didn't think we could ever sell our sound, and I said "Yes we can", then you said "No we can't", then I said "Dammit! Yes we can!", but then it turned out you were right after all? Oh well. I hope you were able to sell all the gold teeth and fur coats we bought...

April, remember when we hitchhiked to Alaska with just a pocket full of hope and twenty dollars to spend the summer canning fish to earn money for college? Those were the days! You used to stress out over the snow, all that boring tundra, and having to wear mukluk boots every day-- but we knew it would be worth it, didn't we? And we'll always have stories of spear-fishing under the Northern Lights and harvesting whale-blubber with Tuuquuk.

Brett, I'll never forget that crazy night we got together with old classmates and headed to Vegas! Man, was that drunken Elvis impersonator crazy, or what? I'm sorry I lost all your rent money on blackjack, but it was just a phase I was going through. And I hope there's no hard feelings over that prank at the Liberace Museum. We were really just kidding.

Jim, just what were we thinking when we blew everyone off and stole a VW to drive to Amsterdam that time? Wasn't it poetic? I remember we smoked until three in the morning, and you were explaining your views on Parliamentarianism and Nietzsche, but I just wanted to play chess and make out instead. I sure learned a lot on that trip, but I wish I could remember what it was. Please write and let me know.

Lisa, was it you or was it me who first suggested that we run away to join the circus? I suppose it doesn't matter now, but didn't we have the time of our lives? The lions, the ponies, the excited crowds, the siamese twins and tightrope walkers.... You fell in love with that sword swallower from Reno, and I briefly dated that French contortionist with the blue eyes -- but it's our friendship and the dinner parties with clowns that I'll always remember.

Happy&Blue, remember when we took your parakeet, Frankie, to that bird fancier's show in Toronto and he won first place after whistling "Oh My Darling Clementine" while flying through a series of flaming hoops? I still can't believe it! And then he pooped on the Prime Minister's head and we got cited for inciting a public riot. I guess no one's perfect. At least we remembered the camera and cookies!

My Dear Professor, what on earth possessed us travel to Italy with a busload of refugees? You were so dapper in your three-piece suit and panama hat-- giving nightly lectures on fine port, Cuban cigars and the writings of Samual Clemens. Of course, I always understood that your espionage work came first, but did you have to rush off in the middle of the opera like that? It was most disconcerting, and of course they never refunded the ticket!

Mariana, do you ever tell people about that time we barely escaped from that restaurant fire in Lisbon? It's still hard to believe that it actually happened and we survived to tell the tale! It's really too bad you ruined that fabulous purse when we jumped out the the fourth floor window, but at least you didn't get smoke inhalation as badly as I did-- I'm still coughing. Luckily, we managed to finish that bottle of champagne before escaping.

Mr. Anigans
and Glomgold-- I hope you guys don't regret that time a group of us borrowed ten thousand dollars to create our own low-budget kung fu movie. Oh sure, you both broke an arm trying that "double one-legged grasshopper" move, and I wrenched my shoulder while adjusting wires for the grand finale with exploding demons and flying ninjas-- but you can't put a price tag on good cinema, can you? Besides, you never know when we'll recoup our losses on dvd....

Chickie, I'll never forget the time you suggested we get matching tattoos to commemorate our emergency relief work in Kenya. After the drought, the locusts, the tse tse flies, boughts of malaria and Lassa fever, picking ants out of our oatmeal, sunburns, mysterious bruises, deadly snakes, and mistranslations-- that made it all worthwile.


Okay, I'm exhausted, and there are so many fond memories of everyone to share!

I'll add a few more in my next post

*by the way, I have added some of you as new links and moved all my links to drop down boxes on the side. If I've accidentally missed you, let me know so I can add you there