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09/01 Direct Link
WHY IS YOUR paper so interested in me, in where I used to hunt? You did say you were from the papers...

— I’m from a collective. We gather the news. We tell it. Paper? I was in the papers. I don’t remember if I’m telling this to a paper. You can trust me. I’ll tell your story truthfully.

Are you from the radio?

— Radio is part of it. All things are part of it.

I ain’t part of it. I don’t get your paper, and I don’t get your signal. Who did you say you were with? What outfit?

— Yes.
09/02 Direct Link
HOW DID YOU know Karen Sieglar?

We were colleagues.

What does that mean?

We worked together. She was in Discretionary, and I was in Mandibles. We worked down the hall from each other.

For how long?

I don’t know. A year? You could look that up.

How often did your work bring you into contact with her?

Not often. We had to compare notes on the Machine, like, once a week.

What does that mean, compare notes?

In a meeting. I represented Mandibles, she represented Discretionary. There were others. This was a big project. Mr. Armbruster attended all these meetings.
09/03 Direct Link
Today for my one hundred words I have to tell you all about Kaycee and what a mess she’s making not only of her life but of everyone she knows. She creates such drama for herself with her choices in everything: boys, what to wear, what to take for classes and what to tell her friends. I wouldn’t say she lies? But she’s an embellisher of the facts, so what you get from her is basically true but it would make you wonder, well, did so and so really say it that way, or is that made up? So exhausting.
09/04 Direct Link
Also another thing about Kaycee I should say that is a good thing is her outlook and general School Spirit. I know that’s not popular and nobody thinks that sort of thing is cool anymore, like it’s not the 1960’s anymore, but she has a lot of School Spirit and is always looking on the bright side and trying to start up activities that help people. I was her best friend from first grade all the way to ninth, and I can tell you she has gone through some Major issues in her personal life that maybe effect her still.
09/05 Direct Link
The last thing I want to tell you in one hundred words about Kaycee is that we each know one big secret about the other that no one will tell ever. No matter what happens, and no matter that she is best friends with Rachel, who you don’t know and is a super conniver and trying to poison Kaycee against me, these secrets will go to the grave. I just trust that so much, and because of that I always know I still have Kaycee as a real true Friend. Anyway, back to dreaming and riding and writing. 100!
09/06 Direct Link
MY OPINIONS

Bluetooth is a bad name for a product, even though it apparently sells.

Bartenders deserve more credit for all the hard work they do.

Women oughtn’t wear makeup; a healthy glow is good enough for me.

I don’t think you should get to be a congressperson unless you can pass a pretty comprehensive test about ecology.

If it’s been in the freezer for more than a year, you should throw it away. You’re never going to eat it.

Apple’s not so great.

I don’t know who’s out there buying all the tapioca pudding, but they’re welcome to it.
09/07 Direct Link
OPINIONS TWO

All this money spent on election marketing would be better spent teaching critical thinking skills, and then we could all just decide.

Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld are war criminals.

Barack Obama could have done more this term, I suppose, but given the monolithic opposition to him from the GOP, he did as well as he could. I blame the Democrats generally for letting the opposition control the message.

Call it stucco, call it popcorn ceiling, but I don’t care for it.

We’re running out of helium. Helium! What’s next, salt? We gotta get a handle on this stuff.
09/08 Direct Link
OPINIONS THREE

I’d like to see someone bring back Vaudeville. I’d attend that.

I’ve never gone wrong with Jiffy Pop. Those guys nailed it.

I used to think tattooed people from my generation and younger would look ridiculous as old people, but now I think they’ll look fine. No one’s gonna care either way.

I think we’re all here to help each other live up to our potential. It’s a shame there’s so much divisiveness and fear mongering.

Parking should be free. Or at least give everyone 15 minutes. ... Then again, it does raise a lot of money. Never mind.
09/09 Direct Link
OPINIONS FOUR

More people should be upset with the banks and insurance companies. I don’t know how these guys get away with it.

My boys know too much about the Transformers, and too little about frogs, Massachusetts and the constellations.

Chaplin was a hell of a talent.

When singers grudgingly, or affectedly, sing a crowd pleaser they popularized a million years go, and that makes the album, that ruins the whole thing for me.

Mickey Mouse belongs in the public domain. Fork him over.

Why not set aside a day for forgiveness? Forgiveness Day. We could have it January 2.
09/10 Direct Link
OPINIONS FIVE

Those projects where a dad photographs his kid every day from birth to 18, and then posts the series online, are cool yet creepy. I’d rather people didn’t do that.

I have yet to see Jack Black in a decent movie, School of Rock excepted. I haven’t seen Bernie yet. Maybe that’s good.

I don’t care for Laurel and Hardy; their Babes in Toyland is unwatchable.

I was certain Bush would declare September 11 a National Day of the Volunteer. That’s what I would have done. Instead we got Patriot Day, and the Patriot Act, and the neocons.
09/11 Direct Link
OPINIONS SIX

I’m glad we don’t have to hear about the Irish Republican Army anymore. I'm just grateful that whole thing’s over. Remember all that?

Muammar Gaddafi, another class act. Everybody struts and frets his hour upon the stage, and then is heard no more. A lesson for us all.

Groundhog Day deserves whatever acclaim it gets.

The people who design and produce those paper tablecloths for kids’ birthday parties are the unsung heroes of the birthday party.

Future sitcoms set in the present day will make much of our overuse of smartphones, Facebook and Twitter. Enough already with this.
09/12 Direct Link
I REMEMBER YOU from the land where I fell.

— Yes, we were there together.

Did you know me then?

— I knew you. I know you. We were there together.

Does that mean we can go back?

— It would be different. Why would we go back? We are here now.

I don’t know this place

— I know it. I am here with you.

This is a gray place. We were in the green.

— It was green. But there are other differences. You would be younger there.

Younger?

— You might not be able to stop. Younger all the time.

No; no more.
09/13 Direct Link
THE HUSBAND OF the woman who provided my kids’ daycare posted a photo of their woodpile. They’re solidly stacked in, ready for winter. Their porch looks like a Confederate fort, all the cordwood.

Two impressions:

— I remember Linus van Pelt fearing the prospect of spiders in the woodpile — or maybe it was only queen snakes?

— How is it I lack the ability to husband my resources? I’m very much the friend of the industrious grasshopper in the story. I’m the ant. It’s not that I’m lazy; I work my ass off. I just work it off on the wrong things.
09/14 Direct Link
WE’RE GOING TO bust our home open like a piñata, and money will rain down, and I will gather up my share of the gold coins in a hat and Chock full o'Nuts cans and whatever else I can find, and scurry away.

But the only —

— wait.

I had that as coffee cans, but wanted the Chock full, so I Googled it just to be sure of things. I never would have guessed the apostrophe would be enjambed, and look at that lowercase f. What the hell is this? Who designed this logotype? What are they saying, “ofNuts”?

Coffee cans.
09/15 Direct Link
CAPTAIN’S LOG, stardate 2626.3.

What a fantastic week! Responded to a distress call in the Gamma Iota sector, and rendered aid to a Denebian freighter delivering medical supplies. It was a simple matter of reenergizing their plasma inducer, and they were off and running, happy as you please.

A couple of days later — that was a Monday, so yeah, Wednesday — we discovered an ancient probe bobbing around in the middle of nowhere, and apparently it’s a bonafide religious relic of the Kzinn Empire. We have it in stasis, and Spock is happily ensconced in studying it.

I love my job!
09/16 Direct Link
CAPTAIN’S LOG, stardate 2626.9

Dodged a bullet! Just as Spock, Ensign Tomlinson and I were about to beam down to science station Euclid 1 — and I mean moments away from beaming — a freak ion storm rolled in and fried the transporter circuits. Massive power surge. I am so relieved nobody got hurt.

Scotty says it’s an easy fix, and he’s on it. One, two hours tops.

In the interest of time, Spock is conducting his meeting with Dr. Nestor Wexler, the station's cyberneticist, over video. I'll chime in and say hi before we break orbit. Another mission in the bank.
09/17 Direct Link
WE FLEW IN swift as we could, cold as space, but they painted us from 90 kilometers downrange, and the atmosphere, when we finally hit it, boiled savagely. They lit us up with phasers, masers, sonics... I threw up, I don’t mind telling you. And I wasn’t the only one. We were strapped in and green, puking and praying. Sulu rolled us hard, I guess he was fighting for attitude, and the goddamn ship groaned. It rang — it cried — with antiaircraft fire. Goddamn, they were shooting us with railguns. Railguns! I didn’t know the Galileo could take such a beating.
09/18 Direct Link
IF THERE IS a Groundhog Day-like element to my life, it’s in making the bed. I flip the blanket, and flip the blanket, and flip the blanket, and it’s always a new day, right around late in the morning; the sheet is rumpled so; the pillow exhausted so; there are some nine new e-mails on the phone; I feel just about as depressed and behind as the day before; and I think ahead to the next day’s blanket flipping, and flip the blanket, and flip the blanket, and it’s always a new day, right around late in the morning.
09/19 Direct Link
CAPTAIN’S LOG, stardate 2626.9.

This week could not be going better. Yesterday we encountered an advanced race of energy beings who probed our minds and scanned the ship, and said, get this, “Well done, humanity. Stay the course.” Can you imagine? They left us these amazing baskets of the most delicious alien fruit. Everybody found one waiting for him in his quarters. McCoy says they’re safe, and I gotta say, that’s a classy gesture from new friends.

This morning Spock said he wrapped up his examination of that phenomenal Kzinn religious relic. He’s planning a paper on it and everything.
09/20 Direct Link
DADDY SAYS THERE used to be the Sun. He touched it.

— No. He never did.

He says he did.

— No. He didn't say that. He said his daddy touched it. Daddy was born here like us.

But Daddy said!

— His daddy. His daddy. You don't even know what the Sun is.

I know too what the Sun is! I do!

— Well, maybe. But not what it means to touch it. Do you?

What?

— Uh! What it means to touch the Sun!

I don't know. Is it in the ship?

— What, the Sun?

Yeah.

— No, we left it behind.

That's because I miss it.
09/21 Direct Link
I'D WATCH HOURS of television those weeks. Popeye, Tom and Jerry, Abbott and Costello. After a good run of shows I'd twist the bottom knob and the image would smash down to a lightning dot, a choked cry dying behind cool, green glass.

Then I'd snap the set back to life and see what else was on.

My grandmother would interrupt sometimes with an apple, a freshly peeled orange, or a Snack Pack chocolate pudding cup with a warm, washed tea spoon and a folded napkin.

"Does your mother let you watch so much television at home?"

Yes, I'd lie.
09/22 Direct Link
SO WE’VE BEEN abducted by aliens.

— Sure looks that way.

I’m Joe.

— Linda.

Hi.

— Hi.

I don’t mean to ... this isn’t a line. Didn’t I see you in Northampton? At Haymarket? You were ordering an iced venti.

— Yeah...

Like, last week. Last weekend.

— Yeah. Wow. Good memory.

You had a nursing book.

— Anatomy. I’m in pre-med at Mount Holyoke. Good memory!

Oh, that’s awesome.

— What do you do?

When I’m not stuck naked to the wall by baby-powder-scented goo? I’m in the planning department at Northampton. Office of Planning and Development.

— Cool! Well, hi again!

Hi again.
09/23 Direct Link
6/25/10 - NEW! - Bronzing of Individual Entries

A new feature has been added to allow bronze relief finish to be applied to individual batch entries. When you are reading a batch, you will see a tiny icon. Click the link to go to a page that displays just that single entry.

You can then order a plaque finished in durable bronze alloy featuring the entry. You will be taken to an external page to complete your order.

This is an attractive method to show off an interesting entry in your own home, or as a gift to a friend.
09/24 Direct Link
SNYDER THINKS OF himself as a “self-conscious” speaker. Seconds before he went onstage, he received a text message from a friend. It read, “Good luck, dude, try not to fuck it up with the whole world watching.” There were eighty thousand people in the stadium, and hundreds of millions watched on television. “That was what I was thinking as I started speaking: Don’t fuck it up with the whole world watching.” In Spider-Man Underoos, clutching his red Peanuts lunchpail, Snyder read his lines. When he finished, a hundred-foot-tall puppet of Pulchrov rose from the stage floor.
09/25 Direct Link
TO-DO LIST

Call Stacy K., embrace TEDx duties

Return to gym

Write Liz S., pull together edu facts for speech

Call Wes R., line up writing gig

Schedule teleseminar

How promote ADV, EFP?

Ask Cathie about new members

Plan for kids weekend

Reheat J.S. lead

Populate MTT website

Send press release K—

Prep meeting Karen R.

Book roundup for Jeff R.

Press on e-book book interviews

Separate AT&T

Dishes

New biz cards — Anne?

Market 123 Weird Facts?

Get binder back from Jeff P.

Toilet float?

Milk // Weekend menu

Call Chris F. — Back on meds?

Edit story for Gotham
09/26 Direct Link
TRIPTYCH

My troubled, special needs kid is like me in many key respects, and my identification with him sometimes prevents me from extending the compassion I deny myself, and which he needs in spades.

I am at times overcome with a sense of my grandparents’ presence. They are loving and forgiving, and I pledge to live in accordance with their values, which I adopt in the moment as my own. This rhapsody passes.

Oten my jaw is so tight upon waking that, an hour later, I have to gently wedge pieces of the bagel in, and my chews are incomplete.
09/27 Direct Link
WHAT’S THIS ONE for?

— I don’t know. Don’t press it.

What does it do?

— I told you, I don’t know.

Well, aren’t you —

— Just leave that one alone. Mr. Samuelenson said not to touch it, so I’m telling you: Leave it alone. You don’t gotta worry about it. Your job is these.

“Samuelenson”?

— What?

You called him Samuelenson.

— Yeah.

It’s Samuelson.

— What?

You thought it was Samuelenson?

— I thought it was. I really don't give a fuck.

You don’t know the boss’s name?

— His name could be “Up Your Mother’s Ass” for all I care. He signs the damn check.
09/28 Direct Link
GET ME MR. Spengler.

One moment...

— Spengler.

Hello, Mr. Spengler, this is Don, downstate.

— Hello, Don. How are you?

Not so good, Mr. Spengler. I’m sorry to say we had an incident down here. An incident in the button house.

— What do you mean?

It’s the big button, Mr. Spengler. I’m sorry. It got pressed.

...

Mr. Spengler?

— When?

This morning, sir. An hour ago. We’re not sure who pressed it. It’s hard to get information, but we’re trying.

— Jesus.

Yes sir.

— How bad?

It’s bad, sir. It’s ... it was definitely the big button.

Who did we have in there?

Charlie, sir. And a new kid: Max.
09/29 Direct Link
PUT ME THROUGH.

One moment, Mr. Spengler...

— Hello, Leonard! How are you? Hold on one sec; I have Cog on two, “teaching” me how to shave fifteen at Eisenhower. ... Go ahead, Cog. Uh huh. Uh huh. Aw, you’re fulla shit. Yeah? Sunday, then, you son of a bitch. Yeah. Let me take this. Yeah. OK. Heh heh. ... Sorry, Len, I’m all ears.

Sir, —

— Say, how’s your hook? You ever figure out how to roll over that driver, or you still choking the chicken?

Sir, it’s the big button, in New York. We pressed it.

— Whoa, whoa.

I recommend response profile Bravo.
09/30 Direct Link
GENERAL WASHINGTON, SIR!

— Yes?

A dispatch, sir, from our “friends in high places.”

— Damn. Read it, please.

Yes sir. ... Ah, the usual stridencies regarding confidentiality ... Ahem. “Dear George, Enclosed, please find a confirmation key for your sequence in response profile bravo, which, as you know, we’d prayed never to deploy. I am sending this personal note by means of apology. I regret we shall not speak again. Keep up the good work. Yours most sincerely, Bryce.”

— “Profile bravo!” Damn. They pressed their button.

Sir, what does it mean?

— Tack Old Nelson. Roust Franklin from Samuel Gettys’. We ride for Monticello.