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01/01 Direct Link
365 in 1

I managed to get into movie theatres three times. Which is three more than the previous year.

There was an intersting journey to America. A convent and a palazzo. Then getting stuck at the Boston airport.

The two usual trips had their own special charms. Spend a night in West Mabou.

Dozens of barbecues.

Started saving money for the future. A hundred dollars a week.

What more.

Three babies were born to two women I know. I wish them the best.

And then there was the passing of my niece's boyfriend, of a virulent cancer. R.I.P. Jake.

01/02 Direct Link
-I saw a good, no, a great movie this weekend. It's called-
-No! Don't tell me! Don't spoil it!
-What?
-I don't want to know! A movie's title tells people way too much about what it's about! I don't want the surprises spoiled!
-How about I tell you where it's playing? and when?
-No, no, no! That's still too much information! I know the theatres in town, and I know the types of movies they play! Knowing the theatre will tell me too much about the movie!
-Well, I hope you see it somehow.
-Maybe I'll see it some day.

01/03 Direct Link
People have been upgrading their professions.

I went to a new hairdresser today. An assistant washed my hair, scrubbing and scrubbing furiously. She said to the hairdresser that area 4-3 needed attention.

The hairdresser said, "You're a new client?"

"Yes."

She took my medical history.

"How long has it been since your last cut?"

"Six months."

She tutted and started cutting.

"How often do you condition?"

"Once a week," I lied.

"Right around here"--she was area 4-3--"there are problems. I might have to send you to a specialist."

I was given a plastic scrubber. The bill was $149.

01/04 Direct Link
I kissed Gladys goodbye and took a streetcar over to Helen's apartment. She'd made me a nice boeuf bourguignon with mashed yams and spicy carrots. I asked her all about her childhood. Then it was nine, and I had to go. One of my cars happened to be outside, and I drove to Denise's house in the suburbs. She was housecoated and horny. I don't think I need to tell you more. It was getting pretty late, so I proceeded home. My wife was crying. "All your women!" she cried. "But honey," I pleaded, "I'm doing it for the material."

01/05 Direct Link
Dear Ontario Organ Donor Services,

One of your telephone representatives instructed me to put this in writing.

I spoke to a Mr. Geoff Sampton. I asked him why I had not yet received a payment for signing onto your services.

After some confusion, I managed to make myself clear. I wanted to know how, and when, I would be paid in advance for my future harvesting. I still not must have made myself clear, for he seemed to think I deserved nothing for the parts you will be ripping from my possibly still-warm corpse.

Please elucidate, or I will withdraw.

01/06 Direct Link
MAN VS. ENVIRONMENT

-Yeah, I read a lot.
-What kinds of books?
-Well, mostly mags; but I'm on the fifth book of the Harry Potter series.
-Those are children's books! Juvenile tripe!
-Oh. Well.
-Okay, do you listen to music?
-Yeah. I love those American Idol folks.
-Isn't all that kind of junky? Crappy?
-I love it all. I love how it makes me feel.
-Bleeech!
-But really, I'm a movie buff.
-Oh? The classics?
-Sure! When Harry Met Sally, Pretty Woman. Ghost.
-My God, you call those classics?
-Sure!
-Ah jeez.... I think I'm falling in love with you.

01/07 Direct Link
from the Combine Post-Intelligencer

New Military Strategy Revealed

Dr. Wallace Breen today announced that the Combine will employ a new strategy to thwart those who attempt to get from City 17 to the Citadel.

"We always seem to lose dozens if not hundreds of Combine soldiers whenever some malcontent gets it into his head to overtake us," he stated. "Some have even made it to Nova Prospeckt. Thus, City 17 will henceforth be monitored by Gunships.

"These malcontents seem to be initially equipped merely with crowbars or handguns. We will take the upper hand."

The new strategy is effective immediately.

01/08 Direct Link
A reality show producer called me up. She wanted me to be on the show.

"What's the show?"

"We're taking smart people--supersmart people, like yourself--and we're challenging them to lose intelligence points!"

"That's pretty strange."

"We're calling it, 'Losing Your Mind!'"

"So what are you going to do to me? Surgery?"

"No, you just have to watch the rest of my reality shows, and your brain cells will simply wither away and die!"

"Doesn't sound like it's something I want to get into."

"There's a million dollars for the winner!"

"Oh. Do I need to audition or something?"

01/09 Direct Link
An Inquiry Into Human Understanding

The music starts for the stripper. She dances so appealing. Slowly, she slides her long black velvet gloves off her arms and tosses them your way. Then down she goes, her legs up, and one stocking at a time comes off--and comes to you. Her shirt and skirt are quickly next--and she dances around for a while. Then whoops there goes the bra! and there go the panties! She dances around, then slowly slides off her long black gloves--she tosses them to you. Then down, and soon stockings are heading your way....

01/10 Direct Link
-We need a good predator these days.
-Naturally I ask: What do you mean?
-We don't have any predators, man!
-What about lions and bears?
-How often do you run into one of those?
-Not often. Why do we need a good predator?
-Because we've forgotten what life's all about.
-I didn't know it was about running away.
-No, not running away. It's about the challenge.
-I get what you're getting at.
-Yeah.
-If we had real predators, we'd have challenges.
-Real challenges.
-And so we wouldn't have to do silly stuff.
-Like making difficult things.
-In a hundred words.

01/11 Direct Link
To brag, Francesco the inventor went over to his colleage Frederico's laboratory.

Frederico was bent over a contraption of dowels in an eight-by-eight array.

Francesco held forth his device: weights attached to a string on a fulcrum. "Check it out."

Frederico looked up. "What is it?"

"It's a device for telling if a woman's going to have a boy or a girl."

"Man! Where do you come up with this stuff? Nothing of mine ever works."

"What this thing?"

"It's a counting machine--but it can only use ones and zeroe! Fuck it," and he shoved it off the workbench.

01/12 Direct Link
That's an impressive assortment of clothes you've got on there. Yes indeed. I don't think I could ever do it all justice. Yes, that's how impressive it all is all in all. The way it reacts with gravity which in other cases is entirely mundane is in this the current case something that it entirely from end to end impressive. I can almost imagine you moving. In my mind's eye I can see you moving, and it all looks, I must say, impressive. Yes, you've got that impressive something, my dear, that couldn't help but impress any and all passersby.

01/13 Direct Link
I called up my city councillor, Paula Fletcher, today. "Look, I'm not a slave, you know."

She said, "What?"

"I'm sick of this garbage separation ... garbage. You know, it would be much cheaper to sort it out after you've collected it."

"That would cost money."

"But think of all the man-hours wasted all over the city doing it this inefficent way!"

"But it doesn't cost anything extra."

"Because you use slave labour!"

"It's a civic duty and pleasure."

"I hate being a damn slave!"

"I don't think you're being reasonable, John."

"I'm being.... How did you know my name?"

01/14 Direct Link
A chance encounter with a broadcasting radio this morn brought me to a gibbering, chthonic panic. It was a broadcast of some African-language version of "Englishman in New York." The melody seared my brain as I realized in horror that I myself had encouraged such a beast as Sting by buying Synchronicity in 1983! If only I had refrained, perhaps he would have been discouraged from pursuing his pulpy, tentacled solo career! Thus can our childish passions birth monsters in adulthood.... I fell to the floor in frothy spasms as two words swirled through my brain: Annie Lennox! Annie Lennox!

01/15 Direct Link
Thought she needed comparing to a summer's day (x2)
Woke up next morning, that girl she'd gone away.

Her eyes like black-clad mourners pitied me (x2)
I cried tell me this ain't what it's s'pos'd to be.

My love's fire heats my water but it can't cool my love (x2)
I drank the gasoline she gave me, bless the saints above!

All in disgrace with this fortune and that cat's eyes (x2)
My harp is overwhelmin' the cryin' of the skies.

My baby says I'm just some fool of time (x2)
And all because I want her all completely mine!

01/16 Direct Link
Two months ago Death visited me.

He said, "I read what you put on Facebook yesterday."

"Oh yeah? What part?"

"You wrote, 'Entertainment is about life. Art is about death."

"You liked that bit?"

"Yes. So I'm here for some entertainment."

"Okay."

"From you."

"How?"

"I took away someone you love this morning."

"What do you mean?"

"Someone you once loved died--and I took that person."

"Who?"

"I'm not telling."

I thought about that. Someone somewhere in the past. I felt deeply sad.

Death said, "This is entertaining to me."

And two months later: I still don't know who.

01/17 Direct Link
Sick unto death I stared stupidly out the window. An annoying musical riff polluted my brain. I heard it over and over. Damn morning radio. There was nothing to write about. Gloom was pitch over my mind. There was death, certainly. My pencil was sharp--but it was useless against death. Everything was destined to destruction and decay. And yet, like a sad puppet, I was forced to cavort, to cavort I had to eat, to eat I had to cavort....

My daughter came into the room. From the kitchen I heard my wife's voice. "Come here, Candy. Daddy's working."

01/18 Direct Link
I don't know where he came from but there he was suddenly. "Hi, haven't really spoken to you yet, let me introduce myself, my name is John." And he had these sparkly blue-green eyes that just made me happy to look at.

We spoke day by day. I started missing him when a day went by. Couldn't find him on the Internet. I dreamed about him. I imagined inviting him to my place. Several times I imagined inviting him over.

One day, he walked right by me ... without talking to me.

That's it. I'm never talking to him again!

01/19 Direct Link
Ring.

CBSC: Hello?

CRTC: Hi. CRTC here.

-Hi, how's it goin'?

-Not very well. Thanks to you.

-What?

-It's about your Dire Straits ban.

-Oh. That.

-Yes. That. I've gotten, like, a billion emails about you.

-Sorry.

-Yeah. What the fuck got into you? A grammy-winning classic? You freak over it?

-Mandate.

-Fuck mandate! Aren't you dedicated to the supression of free speech?

-Of course!

-Look. Dude. You gotta be gradual here. Censor more obscure songs. Go for the low-hanging fruit.

-Like 'In the Flesh.'

-Be more stealthily fascistic. That's all I'm saying.

-Heard.

-We're on the same page, right?

01/20 Direct Link
I happened the other day to see three adorable children playing "Divorce."

The child playing the judge: Okay. You two wanna be divorced.

The child playing the wife: Yes. I want a divorce.

The child playing the husband: Me, too.

-Why?

-Because he's messing around with a hower at work.

-And she's always drinking and playing with her friends instead of me.

-Okay. So. You are now divorced. What do you want from him?

-I want all the Uno cards.

-You can't have them all. He can keep ... five.

-Okay.

-Alright.

-Good.

-Can we play gay pride parade again?

01/21 Direct Link
One of the great things about being a mail deliverer is having a great opportunity to break into houses. Hear me out. If I find mail I delivered yesterday in a mailbox, I know there's a chance the residents have been out all night. So I can break in. No one gets suspicious. (I'm always at doors, understand.) So I can go in, steal things, and leave. No-one suspects a thing. I maximize my pleasure by only considering every tenth such house--the countdown is terribly exciting. It's quite delicious! What house will end up tenth? Will it be yours?

01/22 Direct Link
Zantac
(CBC, January 22 at 10:28:30 PM)

By most critical accounts, single-set productions are considered 'stagy,' regardless of the drama's provenance from page or platform. This single-set production, on the other hand, overcomes the device's limitations through rapid cutting--indeed, I counted twenty separate cuts all told.

An Everyman enters a restaurant filled with lovely women in ethnic costume, all of whom offer our hero spicy foodstuffs. He eats the savory dishes, all the while popping Zantac antacid pills. The woman with the fish through her hat is a particular standout. Plenty of laughs before the credits roll. Highly recommended.

01/23 Direct Link
He saw the corner of a wanted poster peeking out from beneath a rock 'n' roll band's performance notice and a hand-written missing tabby cat posting pushed through by a dozen thick staples on a telephone pole in his neighbourhood. He gently slipped aside the notice and the posting (loosening out three staples in order to do so) and found himself looking at a face which bore a great resemblance to himself ever though it was just a sketch that undoubtedly had been made from memory. He copied down the phone number and made a note of the offered reward.

01/24 Direct Link
One of my correspondents of a younger generation writes,

I know you're going to go on about this, so I'm writing to tell you not to. Sure, some privileged academic says he's done a study showing that my generation is incapable of distinguishing 'fact' from opinion, but that doesn't mean you can go on one of your mean-spirited tears about what you might called the corrosive effects of relativism! We can see what you're going to do. We're not going to let you get away with it. I mean, this guy's study, it's just a matter of opinion, isn't it?

01/25 Direct Link
antiwanted (v) to repulse certain objects until they are uniformly distant. Common to abjectives.

dewanted (v) after some contact, the object moves away of its own accord.

disenwanted (v) once near, now far, with an attempt to forget. The forgetting is internal and sufficient.

diswanted (v) by natural inclinations, the object is barely noted, let alone remarked upon.

exwanted (v) the imagined glitter of the object turns out to have no substance. Just glitter.

unwanted (v) the object has inherently repulsive characteristics and is thus never even approached.

wanted (v) back-formation from antiwanted, dewanted, disenwanted, diswanted, exwanted and unwanted. Rare.

01/26 Direct Link
In the future, when finally the interconnectivity of digital processors equals the interconnectivity of the human brain, you will be sitting in front of your computer wasting time with some Angband when--suddenly!--your brain's soul with be replaced by the soul of the computer and the soul of the computer will be replaced by your brain's soul. Freaky Friday! Your computer will be your body and your body will be your computer. You'll be looking out, using whatever faculties you may have to "look out," at what was once your body. Forever after, no-one will ever recognise the difference.

01/27 Direct Link
NEWSANCHOR: Last night, when you were probably alive, we showed a segment called REPORTER EYEWITNESS, which consisted of REFLECTIONS from our reporters about their reportage of the summer riots. They spoke of their sense of DANGER. They spoke of their HUNGER. They told amusing AN-ECK-DOTES. Tonight, in an exclusive follow-up, we interview the SEVEN people who actually gave a fuck about last night's segment. These seven, contacted late this afternoon when we realized we didn't have enough material for a full broadcast, shared with us the feelings they felt last night. So, here's Fitzbodily Wunderpluntz, with -- "Those Who Cared."

01/28 Direct Link
#9: "Butterfly"

You're far enough away for me to talk like this. I'm glad we're both so good about it. You know, like I know, that a single touch from me will bring you down. I hope my breath doesn't bother you, doesn't cause any unfortunate eddies in your motions, doesn't make you any less beautiful. Let's call this touching; let's speak metaphorically. I have no pins with me. I have no cork. I'll speak my words as gently quietly as I can.

Oh no! The radio says there's been a hurricane in Japan!

Because of you? Because of me?

01/29 Direct Link
The Quitter

Yesterday, one of my fellows quit. I might have been instrumental in her quittance. I gave her information about another job: I figured she was going to use the information to bolster her bargaining position. Instead, she quit. I never meant for her to quit!

She had a good mind that would laugh at my dumb jokes; her spelling was bad; she knew how to help people; her interest in true crime, matching my own, was troubling; she was beautiful; and she was beautiful.

Though I quite easily could have, I chose not to make her cry. Yesterday.

01/30 Direct Link
At seven-forty-five this morning, the Crime Boss came out of his mansion. The fucking newsboy had missed the mansion. Where's my Star?

The Crime Boss, in his housecoat and slippers. He moved with all determination down to the corner store.

Behind the cash was Daniel. He knew the Crime Boss.

No words were spoken as the Crime Boss picked up a paper and dropped a loonie on the counter.

The Crime Boss went back to his mansion.

Don't expect anything to happen.

He poured himself a glass of orange juice. He turned to the editorials.

He read about taxation policy.

01/31 Direct Link
I called a meeting of everyone in the world.

I said, "Look.

"Some of you are slacking off.

"I don't want to name names, but I think you know who you are.

"You're just not creating enough beauty. What's with you all?

"I find it hard to believe I'm the only creative person in the world."

Some of the population of the world looked embarrassed.

"Come on," I continued. "Let you mind wander. You'll come up with stuff. Can you do that?"

Someone from southern Egypt asked for an example.

I said, "Shit piss cock cunt motherfucker cocksucker and tits."