Tuesday, December 31, 2002
Be safe, and be aware of your surroundings.

If you happen to see these guys, be very careful. It’s just possible that they want to blow something up. It’s what guys like this like to do. Killing people gives them great satisfaction. Especially people who have no control of the events that unfold before them.

Dare I say, innocent people.

They don’t get boners; they aren’t allowed.
They won’t rape you, because they are afraid of women.

They just like to blow stuff up and kill civilians. So be careful.

Even if these guys are not the guys, be careful anyway. They may know some of the guys.

By the way, how did they get into the United States? I can’t seem to figure that one out.
And, “From Canada” is not a valid answer.

Happy New Year.
  quiddity \KWID-ih-tee\, noun:

1. The essence, nature, or distinctive peculiarity of a thing.
My passwords are all over the Internet. You can get to all my information rather easily.
  Collected on the Internet

From: Bin Laden, Osama []
Sent: Monday, November 19, 2001 8:17 AM
To: Cavemates
Subject: The Cave
Hi guys. We've all been putting in long hours but we've really come together as a group and I love that. Big thanks to Omar for putting up the poster that says "There is no I in team" as well as the one that says "Hang In There, Baby." That cat is hilarious. However, while we are fighting a jihad, we can't forget to take care of the cave. And frankly I have a few concerns.

First of all, while it's good to be concerned about cruise missiles, we should be even more concerned about the scorpions in our cave. Hey, you don't want to be stung and neither do I, so we need to sweep the cave daily. I've posted a sign-up sheet near the main cave opening.

Second, it's not often I make a video address but when I do, I'm trying to scare the most powerful country on earth, okay? That means that while we're taping, please do not ride your razor scooter in the background. Just while we're taping. Thanks.

Third point, and this is a touchy one. As you know, by edict, we're not supposed to shave our beards. But I need everyone to just think hygiene, especially after mealtime. We're all in this together.

Fourth: food. I bought a box of Cheez-Its recently, clearly wrote "Osama" on the front, and put it on the top shelf. Today, my Cheez-Its were gone. Consideration. That's all I'm saying.

Finally, we've heard that there may be American soldiers in disguise trying to infiltrate our ranks. I want to set up patrols to look for them. First patrol will be Omar, Muhammed, Abdul, Akbar, and Richard.

Love you lots.

Monday, December 30, 2002
  Thinking of drinking on New Year's Eve?
MYRTLE BEACH, South Carolina (AP) -- A funeral home director is adopting a strategy to shock motorists into staying sober -- free burial for anyone who signs a pledge to drink and drive on New Year's Eve.

When writing Sweet 'N Low, it is important to put the the apostrophe before the N.

This is mandatory, actually, if you're interested in getting it correct.

The Distribution Center will be closed until approximately 2 PM today while we conduct our year-end physical inventory count.
We are unable to process any shipping or receiving transactions while the count is underway.

We respectfully request that employees minimize traffic in the Distribution Center until the count is completed and the auditor has authorized us to resume normal operations. All outgoing shipments will be processed and shipped after 2 PM.

Thank you
Good morning, terrorists, I hope you blow yourselves up today.
Sunday, December 29, 2002
  It's the latest sign, critics say, that presidential advisers are seeking political gain from the Sept. 11 attacks.

By RON FOURNIER, AP White House Correspondent

CRAWFORD, Texas - An internal White House document outlining President Bush's re-election agenda starts with "War on terrorism (Con't)" and homeland security. It's the latest sign, critics say, that presidential advisers are seeking political gain from the Sept. 11 attacks.

The single-page, sparsely worded document titled "Possible '04 Signature Issues" was discussed this month in a White House meeting chaired by chief of staff Andrew Card to fine tune Bush's 2003 legislative agenda, several senior White House officials told The Associated Press.
My brother recommended the following films for rental:

"Not Another Teen Movie"

Saturday, December 28, 2002
  "Let's Have a War" by FEAR

Let's have a War
So you can all Die.
Let's Have a War
We can all use our Brains.
Let's Have a War
Redeem this space.
Let's have a War
We have this place.

Let's have a War
Jack up the Dow Jones
Let's have a War
We can save New Jersey
Let's have a War
Blame it on the Middle Class
Let's have a War
Like rats in a cage.

Let's have a War
Sell the rights to the networks
Let's have a War
Nevermind about that last time.
Let's have a War
Give life a little twist.
Let's have a War
The Enemy's Within......
  Do you really want to fly Alaska Airlines?
The New York Times reports:

One company has gone so far as to make a game out of encouraging its employees to collect fees whenever possible. At Alaska Airlines, employees spent July and August competing for the greatest percentage increase in collecting fees for excess baggage or oversized luggage. The problem was that too many employees were waiving the fees for harried passengers. The carrier said that was not fair, that passengers were complaining about inconsistent prices.

To fix that, the company contest promised $1,000 to the winning team and individual prizes to five customer-service agents. Alaska Airlines said at the time that it wanted to raise fee collections by 25 percent, to $25 million in 2002 from $19.5 million in 2001.
You may say that I should be worried greatly about Saddam Hussein, Iraq and weapons of mass destruction.

You have pounded me over the head for the last six months about this man, his country and his incompatibility with your world.

Yet, you don't talk about that other person anymore. The one with the long beard, the one who is said to have been behind the murder-hijackings of Sept. 11, 2001.
Once, this man was Public Enemy No. 1; now, I never hear you talk about him, where he might be, or what he might be planning.

Why is this? Has he fallen off your radar, or are you just trying to get us to forget about him?

I, for one, have not forgotten.
Friday, December 27, 2002

Back in Washington, the U.S. State Dept. is rushing to put its spin on world events, enlisting its own cadre of creative types.

Earlier this month, the State Dept.'s International Information Programs put out a pamphlet featuring essays written by 15 well-known authors, including Pulitzer Prize winner Richard Ford.

The "Writers on America" publication won't be seen at bookstores in this country, since federal law forbids the dissemination of government-sponsored information domestically. The law was enacted in the late 1940s to shield Americans from U.S. propaganda.
  That's three arrests for Bush

The drunk driving arrest and conviction in 1976 of George W. Bush.
Thursday, December 26, 2002
  Delta Pilot Fails Breathalyzer Test

A Delta Air Lines pilot failed a breathalyzer test for alcohol after he was taken off an airplane Thursday at Norfolk International Airport, airport officials said.

Gary Schroeder, 42, had a blood-alcohol level of 0.07, according to Ken Scott of the Norfolk Airport Authority. The Federal Aviation Administration's limit for a flight crew member is 0.04.

Scott said baggage screeners notified airport police after detecting alcohol on Schroeder's breath when he arrived to co-pilot the Cincinnati-bound flight.
  Dan Quayle, U.S. vice president to Bush the elder

"If we don't succeed, we run the risk of failure."

"Republicans understand the importance of bondage between a mother and child."

"Welcome to President Bush, Mrs. Bush, and my fellow astronauts."

"Mars is essentially in the same orbit . . . Mars is somewhat the same distance from the Sun, which is very important. We have seen pictures where there are canals, we believe, and water. If there is water, that means there is oxygen. If oxygen, that means we can breathe."

"What a waste it is to lose one's mind. Or not to have a mind is being very wasteful. How true that is."

"The Holocaust was an obscene period in our nation's history. I mean in this century's history. But we all lived in this century. I didn't live in this century."

"I believe we are on an irreversible trend toward more freedom and democracy - but that could change."

"One word sums up probably the responsibility of any vice president, and that one word is 'to be prepared.'"

"Verbosity leads to unclear, inarticulate things."

"I have made good judgments in the past. I have made good judgments in the future."

"The future will be better tomorrow."

"We're going to have the best-educated American people in the world."

"People that are really very weird can get into sensitive positions and have a tremendous impact on history."

"I stand by all the misstatements that I've made."

"We have a firm commitment to NATO, we are a part of NATO. We have a firm commitment to Europe. We are a part of Europe."

"I am not part of the problem. I am a Republican."

"I love California, I practically grew up in Phoenix."

"A low voter turnout is an indication of fewer people going to the polls."

"When I have been asked during these last weeks who caused the riots and the killing in L.A., my answer has been direct and simple: Who is to blame for the riots? The rioters are to blame. Who is to blame for the killings? The killers are to blame."

"Illegitimacy is something we should talk about in terms of not having it."

"We are ready for any unforeseen event that may or may not occur."

"For NASA, space is still a high priority."

"Quite frankly, teachers are the only profession that teach our children."

"It isn't pollution that's harming the environment. It's the impurities in our air and water that are doing it."

"[It's] time for the human race to enter the solar system."
Ingredients: Four pork chops
Three beaten eggs
Fresh cooking oil
Salt, pepper and seasoning

Tenderize the pork chops. Place each pork chop in the beaten egg to coat, then dip into the breadcrumbs. Add seasoning to taste. Add enough oil to cover the bottom of the frying pan, and fry until golden brown. Enjoy.
We are awake now, aren't we?

Let's try to change things for the better.

We'll do it together. Grab my hand, and I'll take yours.
Wednesday, December 25, 2002
Merry Christmas to you, and fuck North Korea.

Never should've separated from the South. If they were one country, they'd nearly be on a par with Japan.
So go to hell.

But to those of you not in the North Korean government - and, for that matter, the U.S. government - happy holidays. Be safe, and think a moment of your fellow human.

Tuesday, December 24, 2002
The night Tupac got killed in Las Vegas, I was at the Tyson fight with Bruce Willis, talking about how Demi Moore’d been a pain in the ass since she’d become a huge star with “Ghost.” Bruce and I were drinking Budweisers at The Mirage, in a suite with Steve Wynn, when we heard about the fight downstairs in the casino. This brown-haired woman, Carla I think her name was, told us we should get outta town before something bad goes down, like the natives, she called them, turned on the celebrities.

I told her not to worry, that the only people that wanted to whack Pac were Suge Knight and his squad. Bruce said he didn’t care what we did, and he seemed genuinely bothered by this thing with D. Moore.

I’m not gonna tell you how to do it, man, I said, but look at the bright side: You’re the one whose name is dropped in a Beastie Boys tune, so who do you think’s really got the rep?

Later that night I got a call from a friend of mine who’s the cops reporter at the Las Vegas Journal-Review, and she predicted that the murder would never be solved.

No one here cares, she said.
Monday, December 23, 2002
I just found out the president's dog is named Barney.

Somehow, that's fitting.
Now we're going to fight North Korea?

Gracious, happy holidays.

America the Bellicose, indeed.

And what about the fights we're picking?

You wanna show me some potatoes, how about invading Iran or China?
Our property management company, ____ , provided us with a large box of See's Candies. It's in the main kitchen, so help yourself!
My god, Joe Strummer died.
I’ll admit, when unnaturally handsome, wealthy men phone me and ask if I’d like to make some money, considering some of my past indiscretions, I become a little nervous.
Sunday, December 22, 2002
It's not surprising to me that the three people who have been anointed TIME's Persons of the Year are women.

They were heroic in roles I don't think many men could play.

Let's not forget, though, that TIME gave the Person of the Year award to Rudy Giuliani a year ago.

As if there was any other person who affected the world in 2001 more than Bin Laden.

TIME was gutless and playing to the choir.

It's time to cut Israel loose.
Dear Mr Smith,

Your novel sounds very appealing, but we are sorry to report that our very small agency is currently so busy with the new work of clients whose previous books we have placed, that we are unable to consider material by new writers.

We wish you the best of luck for early publication.

Mildred Marmur Associates Ltd
2005 Palmer Avenue, PMB 127
Larchmont NY 10538
Saturday, December 21, 2002
Dios mio, que paso con Gloria Trevi?
  Text of President Bush's Kwanzaa message:

I send greetings to those celebrating Kwanzaa.

Kwanzaa celebrates the traditional African values of unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith. From December 26th to January 1st, people of African descent gather to renew their commitment to these seven principles, known as Nguzo Saba, and give thanks for the blessings of family, community, and culture. Kwanzaa is also a time for Africans and African-Americans to honor their common heritage by participating in events based on early harvest gatherings called matunda ya kwanza, or first fruits.

As individuals and families join together during Kwanzaa, their joy enriches communities in the United States and across the globe. By uniting people of diverse backgrounds and beliefs, this holiday promotes mutual understanding and respect. These universal principles inspire us as we work together for a future of freedom, hope, and opportunity for all.

Laura joins me in sending our best wishes for a memorable Kwanzaa, and for peace, happiness, and success in the coming year.
Friday, December 20, 2002
It's startling how much personal information I have given to the Internet. If I were the type to talk about black helicopters and a New World Order, I'd be much more concerned about divulging such information.

But I freely offer this, and wish all well:

We're all the same.

Say it once.

We're all the same.
  Remember the terror at the Robert Taylor Homes?

Justice in Amerika has always had two standards. One for the oppressor. One for the oppressed. The system's police beat and shoot, its judges and prosecutors carry out frame-ups and railroads, its prisons are designed to degrade and break--and it's all good to the authorities. But touch one hair of an enforcer--let alone kill one--and the powers-that-be howl like stuck pigs and strike back with cruel vengeance. That ugly truth was recently brought home to hundreds of residents at three highrise buildings at Chicago's Robert Taylor housing project, a massive housing development that stretches two miles through the heart of Chicago's southside Black community.
This rich man is "astounded and dismayed."

Maybe surprised that he was caught and convicted.

And don't forget, get your TV sets ready for war. Set your VCRs if you have to.
Thursday, December 19, 2002
  Dolly Parton
"I look just like the girls next door . . . if you happen to live next door to an amusement park."
  Dolly Parton
"I'm not offended by all the dumb blond jokes because I know I'm not dumb, and I also know that I'm not blond."
  Dolly Parton
"It costs a lot to make a person look this cheap."
  The tail wags the dog
The United States told the U.N. Security Council on Thursday that it considered Iraq in "material breach" of a U.N. resolution over its arms declaration, a term that could ultimately trigger war against the Arab nation.

However, the U.S. is a member of the United Nations, not the other way around.

UNITED Nations.

Not one superpower dictating global policy. That opens a hornet's nest, but that's good for business.

Best of luck, my country.

You're going to need it.

1. Shipping Delays: Please be advised that yesterday’s shipments via Airborne Express and UPS are delayed due to foul weather on the East Coast. Many packages shipped to the East Coast will not be delivered until this afternoon or possibly tomorrow. Please let myself or ____ know if you have an urgent shipment experiencing delay and we will do our best to assist.

2. Personal shipments: the shipping department is currently receiving a heavy volume of personal shipments. We are happy to process your holiday shipments and get them on their way for you. However, we ask that all personal shipments be delivered to the warehouse, with accompanying Shipping Request Form, no later than 2 PM so as not to interfere with shipments to our customers.

Thank you

Director of Operations
Wednesday, December 18, 2002
The president wanted a war

And all the people laughed at me, pointing their flags

When I said, What for?


I will be taking a good portion of the next two weeks off to be with my family. My schedule will be as follows:
I will be here the rest of this week;
I will only be here on Friday, 12/27/02 and Friday 01/03/03.
If you need purchase requisitions, please have them in by the end of this week.
Thank you and sorry for any inconvenience this may cause you.
To All Employees,

Due to high volume shipping demand, Please process all your request before 2 PM to me. As I will be filling in on Michael's behalf.

Thank you for your Cooperation
The simple solution to the Pete Rose situation is to admit him to the baseball Hall of Fame upon his death.
Tell him, Yes, Pete, you're going into the Hall. But only when you pass from this mortal coil.

End of story.

He should be in, but he fucked up, too.

Betting on the sport is the ONLY thing you cannot do.

The only thing. It undermines the entire integrity of the game, like the Royals and Devil Rays do.

When you die, you're in - no apology or admission of guilt necessary.
It’s a Pogues day, so get yer kilts on and keks off!
Happy day, happy day ...

I’m a free-born man of the USA!
Tuesday, December 17, 2002
Of all the incongruous things, the guy at the pizza shop – he of the Howard Stern and Jim Rome and Rock 105 – told me that he’s a rock ‘n’ roll fan but he doesn’t like AC/DC.

I stammered, “You like rock ‘n’ roll but not AC/DC? That’s impossible.”

What is the world coming to?
  Name the author of the following:

The world today is such a wicked thing
Fighting going on between the human race
People give good wishes to all their friends
While people just across the sea are counting the dead

A politician's job they say is very high
For he has to choose who's got to go and die
They can put a man on the moon quite easy
while people here on earth are dying of old diseases

(scroll down for answer)

Ozzy Osbourne, "Wicked World," 1970
Is this a REAL man?
Is the statement REAL MEN LOVE JESUS exclusive, intimating that men who don’t love JESUS aren’t REAL?
Or does it mean that a man who LOVES JESUS is, by association and definition, REAL?

I wonder.

And what exactly defines what a REAL man is, the Zeitgeist? A bumper sticker?

It’s almost offensive, really, the idea that perhaps you aren’t a REAL man if you don’t love JESUS.

I mean, what if you are of another religion – one without JESUS – or not into religion at all?

It’s bullshit. You and I know what a REAL man is, and it has nothing to do with loving JESUS. I venture that you can be a REAL man and LOVE JESUS, but one is not mutually associated with the other.

Like I said, you and I know what a REAL man is.
Good Morning everyone,

As you can see, the floors in the Broadcast Center were waxed last night! However, in the excitement that the crew was experiencing doing their job, they forgot where all of the chairs were located. I apologize for the mix up on your office chairs, but they are located in the BC, probably in the open area. Should you have any problems locating your chair, please let me know.

Once again, I apologize for any inconvenience that this confusion may have caused for you.
Monday, December 16, 2002
  He said:
I can ship it Tuesday morning, from eastern Wa state, if you are on
east coast, media might not make it, you would probably have to upgrade
to Priority mail.
Anywhere else, media will probably make it, but you might want to go
priority just to be safe.
  Christgau, 1979
No one has ever made rock and roll as intense as the Clash is making right now - not Little Richard or Jerry Lee Lewis, not the early Beatles or the middle Stones or the inspired James Brown or the pre-operatic Who, not Hendrix or Led Zep, not the MC-5 or the Stooges, not the Dolls or the Pistols or the Ramones. On a brute physical level, their combination of volume and tempo is unrivaled. Anybody with capital can turn up the amps, of course - the hard part, as an impressed Stanley Crouch theorized after the band’s Palladium appearance, is for the musicians to turn themselves up even higher, something not even Robert Plant and Jimmy Page ever try for more than a minute or two, despite the cushion of heavy metal’s rhinoce-beat. And fast heroes from Little Richard to the Dolls and beyond have known when to slow down, resorting to the change-of-pace much more readily than the Clash, whose dip into "Stay Free" and a speedy "Police an Thieves" induced no one in the orchestra at either concert I attended to sit, although by then simple fatigue had dropped a few. Even the Ramones do ballads and medium-tempo rockers, and the Ramones’ formalistic poses enable them to generate exhilaration music with almost no expenditure of interpretive emotion, while the Clash’s dense and expansive song structures, freer stagecraft, and urgent verbal messages demand interpretation. For the Clash, every concert is an athletic challenge far out on the shoals of expressionism, whence few new wavers return without a mouthful of brine.
Botswana, Denmark and Sweden all spend a greater percentage of their gross national product on education than does the United States of America.
I love the force of nature that is Busta Rhymes, but how the hell do you rock like a piece of linoleum?

That's the difference between Busta and me, I guess - he knows the answer.
Saturday, December 14, 2002
Someone screamed, “John Barleycorn must die.”

I thought we were going to have a riot on our hands. People ran around me everywhere, trying to get into security lines at the airport. Everyone talking on cell phones, queued up to eternity, their suitcases on the sidewalks outside. The cops told them they couldn’t stand there, but they couldn’t stand there, either.

Again, someone cried, “John Barleycorn must die.”

Bono looked at me from TIME magazine on the newsstand. He was wrapped in an American flag. It’s funny, but I always though he was from Ireland. Maybe he just used an accent. It seems that he’s an American, hanging out at the Super Bowl.

My trip was not important for all of that, the frustrated people still complaining about the security at the airport. Maybe the same people who said the airlines should’ve done more, were too parsimonious to protect their passengers.

I left. I didn’t want to be around it.

Later, incongruously, I found out that it was only the title of an old Traffic record:

“John Barleycorn must die.”

I set out to find out why.
Friday, December 13, 2002
Just a reminder that any and all overtime hours must be approved in writing IN ADVANCE by your Department Head. Also, justification of the need for overtime must be specifically stated on the Overtime Authorization form for each such occasion. Overtime hours are tracked and reported regularly to ensure we stay on target.

Thanks to everyone for your cooperation.
El Centro, Calif., native Cher is the oldest female singer to have a No. 1 single in the United States, topping the charts with "Believe" in 1999.
She was 52 years, 9 months and 15 days old.
Good morning, future, today is when we meet.
Bring me another drink and grab a chair.

There’s a war about to start, and the good seats are going fast.

I got some milk in the fridge for our stomach aches. We can eat the neighbors if we have to.
The dog’s off-limits, though his soul would probably serve you well in the next life.

Yep, see you in the next life. Like they said in the movie.

See you in the next life.

Friday the 13th indeed.
Thursday, December 12, 2002
Remember, now, we want the decorative side of the towel facing out.
I always thought it was a little condescending and presumptuous when the utilities here in California doubled our electricity rates a couple of years ago and then launched an embarrassing media campaign urging The People to conserve energy.

They gave us hints on how to use less electricity. They told us how to pay the same amount of money for half of what we got before the rate hikes.

I know that there are politicians in Sacramento – and elsewhere, I’m sure – who rolled over for the big Texas energy companies, but the power companies, to twist an old saying, were absolutely corrupt.

It turns out that the companies only overcharged California by $1.8 billion.

I wonder if the president of the United States or any of his family or cronies and Enron people profited by knifing us Californians in the belly with greedy blades.

I’m sorry that you find me unpatriotic for not blindly supporting The Administration’s blunt agenda, but I was raised to be suspicious of people who don’t give reason and support to their arguments. I’m also wary of Texas politicians – fuck it, any politician – even if their hands may be clean regarding our power crisis.

I know that reasonable debate is dead in this country, but I’m taking back what’s mine.

Barbie cost $3 when she made her debut in 1959.
  RE: Permit Parking
Effective Monday, December 30th 2002, parking tickets will be issued by 5 Star Parking for any violations in the ____ parking lot.

The lot attendant will issue one “friendly warning” notice. Subsequent violations will receive a $30.00 ticket, payable within 14 days, to 5 Star Parking. Non-payment of the ticket in a timely manner can lead to late charges and notification to the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Please park vehicles in stalls specifically stenciled for ____ and ____ respectively. Please do not park vehicles over the lines utilizing more than one parking space. The designated “Orange/____” or “Blue/____” parking permit must be clearly displayed in your vehicle at all times. Visitors are required to obtain a visitor pass from the lot attendant. As an alternative you may provide your visitors with a “Green” visitor pass issued by the Management Office earlier this year.

In the event you receive a Warning Notice and/or Parking Ticket, please forward all questions and concerns directly to 5 Star Parking at (___) ___-____.

We appreciate your co-operation and understanding. Please contact the Management Office at (___) ___-____ should you require any assistance.

Thank you.
  The Word

A generous reader sent:

.....why or shall I say, how could you be God's "lonely" man?

Greater is he that is in me, than he that is in the world.....
Lo, I am with you always, even until the end of the earth....
I will never leave you nor forsake you....

Just to name a few scriptures. Perhaps you may be "alone", but your state should never be lonely.

*I'm not insulting you, just reminding you of who you belong to.....

Be Blessed!
Wednesday, December 11, 2002
Malcolm told me that he wants a mistress for Christmas.
Twenty-five years, he said when I asked how long he’d been married.

Well, what can I do to help? I said.

Do you know any strippers? Or how ‘bout State students?

I told him I used to knew quite a few of each, but that was some time ago. It was back when lawyer jokes we’re still told. I don’t move in those circles anymore. You might say I now move in squares.

“Young women can be very trying, if you recall,” I told him. “Especially the ones who’re naïve enough to think they can change the nature of men.”

“Fighting, beer, football,” he assented.

“Right, but good luck,” I said. “They can be fun, too.”

Older now, he could tell that my heart wasn’t really in what I last said.

“Maybe I’ll just get a motorcycle,” he said.
Tuesday, December 10, 2002
At the end of one of the Jurassic Park sequels, a dinosaur drove a boat and crashed it into B Street Pier in San Diego.

Now, I know about how sophisticated and smart the dinosaurs were, but driving a boat?

I gotta draw the line somewhere.

I've never seen a dinosaur drive a boat, and I bet you haven't, either.
Come on, baby, get in the car with me. I’ll take you for a ride into the desert, where we’ll shoot the stars out of the sky.

Take my hand, and we'll go all the way. Nobody loves you like I do.

Watch me prove it.
Monday, December 09, 2002
That old Pogues Christmas song “Fairytale of New York” was in my mind as I watched her twirl around the dance floor in her dress. Through the dark haze, I could see her glittering teeth and fine neck. It was the company holiday party, but most folks dispensed with the PC and wished each other Merry Christmas.

It was later in the night when I found my old lover on the dance floor. I don’t know if I chose her specifically to go home with – instead of maybe rolling the dice with that 8 from accounting – or if it was just how it was going to be even before the drunken toasts and wishes of continued corporate success bellowed from the higher-ups. Sometimes the familiar is familiar, and that’s what is so great about it.

She had been drinking, too, and my back was to her when I felt the whisper in my ear.

“I thought these things weren't your style,” she said. “It hadn’t even crossed my mind that you’d be here.”

She smiled a little to let me know that it had indeed crossed her mind. It was playful, and since we’d never hurt each other, we operated in a fairly relaxed way and didn’t try to make each other jealous. I guess that's called respect.

Then that Springsteen tune.

“I came for you,” I said, smiling in the same silly way. “For you. I came for you.”

She spun back to the dance floor and said she had to get her “things.” Women under the influence of alcohol often leave their purses in odd spots, company holiday party or no. Maybe I should be more trusting, but I don’t think so. The cold part of me that I so often try to leave behind tells me that it’s fools who trust strangers.

Those pot-bellied bigwigs watched her glide through the room with her coat and bag. They snickered in that country club way that women say reminds them of junior high. The kind of guys who use the expression piece of ass.
As far as I knew, our thing wasn’t public, and really, it was a thing only if once every coupla months qualifies as such.

Monica was her name, one of the last of the kind. As she neared, she raised her eyebrows slightly. I could tell that she was going to pass, that she didn’t want to give them something to talk about. Complicity in a woman is sexier than dirty talk, I swear.

“Yours?” I asked. Hers was about 15 minutes closer, and I thought about taking a run on the beach in the morning. Her condo had gated access to a great part of the beach. My balls tightened just thinking about how cold the water would be this time of year, but the sea air always helps clear the mind.
Telepathically, I apologized to my dog for leaving him out all night. He’d understand, I hoped.

“I’ll see you there,” she said, trailing just a bit of skin cream or perfume or shampoo or moisturizer.

I didn't even respond.

She air-kissed a couple of people on the way out the door. Maybe they weren’t air kisses, but there was a certain formality to them. For a second, I wondered how she’d do with the drive. Her eyes had beamed almost unnaturally.

Why I didn’t think how I’d do is not clear.

There was no hurry to follow.

They like a little time for set up, maybe straighten some magazines on a table. Perhaps even a few minutes for some “girl stuff.”

There were still some sandwiches on the banquet. Too dark, really, to tell what kind. I grabbed what I guessed was pumpernickel bread and headed back to my table. A couple from legal were leaning in close over the camp disco, possibly establishing complicity.

I had time.

There was no rush.

Nothing was going to pass me by. After all, we’re not kids, no one’s gonna pass out, are they?

I sat down and sipped at my not-cold beer. There was a water pitcher, too.

I exhaled, thinking I was luckier than a lot of the other guys here. It’s only a sandwich, I thought, not nine innings of PlayStation.

I took a bite and sat back.


Roast beef.
Mission accomplished.
  From the Big Boss
Dear Activity Committee Members:

On behalf of senior management, I wanted to once again express our pleasure and thanks for all the hard work you guys put into a very successful event Friday. What an enjoyable afternoon.

Your efforts, and the talents of “the band” and Mr. ___, were greatly appreciated.

The positive can-do attitude shared by all of you rubs off on the rest of us in the company.

Good job and thanks again!
Sunday, December 08, 2002
In the early 1950’s, just as you were starting out on the horn, you were drafted into the Army and were all set to go to Korea. But somehow you ended up in Alaska, instead.
How did the saxophone keep you from Korea?

You attended the Berklee School of Music in Boston on the GI Bill and then played the Boston scene before gigging in Atlantic City. You were in Pittsburgh when you got a call that led you out west.
Tell me how you ended up in Las Vegas.

While living in Vegas in 1973, you got in a Volkswagen bug and drove to San Diego for a visit. Please describe your impressions of San Diego and what compelled you to make this your home.
Friday, December 06, 2002
Time to go act like an idiot at the company holiday party.
There, I will try to forget the price of war.
Thursday, December 05, 2002
He's probably the last person on earth who deserves sympathy, but I really feel bad for Michael Jackson and all that shit he's done to his face.

On the other hand, I'm not sad that the guy who invented the Bigfoot myth has died.
If he hadn't done that, I wouldn't have spent countless sleepless nights as a kid waiting for that Sasquatch to march into my bedroom and do me harm. To allay my fears, I convinced myself that every time I blinked my eyes Bigfoot would take a step backward. I'd lie there in the dark flittering my eyes, unable to sleep and unsure that my method was working.

To find out the whole thing was a hoax kinda pisses me off.

At the same time, the guy's classic for pulling it off.
What nobody foresaw was the backlash against all the saber rattling and imperialist invective directed at Iraq. No one prophesized that the people of the United States would tell their government, “Enough is enough.”

Soon, Baghdad became a popular destination for adventurous travelers. There was a spike in the number of newborn children being named Saddam. The black, red, white and green were flown freely and proudly.

Based on the historical apathy of the people of the United States, it was inconceivable that they would turn their backs on a government dictated by family agenda. They wouldn’t allow themselves to choose sides in a real-world Hatfield-and-McCoy situation.

It was Bush I and Bush Jr. against Saddam Hussein. It was not about the future of the free world or weapons of mass destruction, as they’d been told.

The people tuned out the beating of the war drums.
They grew tired of trying to hold the world its beak.

Finally, they did not want Pax Americana.

They wanted to get along.
But it is not a novel of politics. It is a story of our times.

Though at times terribly and terrifically stream-of-conscious, I do not think the writing is self-conscious. It’s thoughtful and legitimate.
This is fresh. Or not.

I’m proud of it.
Wednesday, December 04, 2002
I am so excited to go to war with Iraq because I know that I won’t have to move from my comfortable home with my woman and my friends. It’ll be so good for that evil regime to be changed and the world to be safe from that terrible Saddam Hussein. We should’ve got the bastard all those years ago, when the local radio stations started playing “Killing an Arab” by The Cure.

I disagree with people who say commercial radio is tasteless. Really, what’s wrong with the “Toys for Ta-Tas” fundraiser? I mean, the kids still get presents, so who cares about girls lifting up their shirts for donations?

The truly great thing about this upcoming war is that it can be fought at arm’s length. We like to strike with surgical precision, just blowing up bridges and munitions depots.
Civilians never get killed like they did when we dropped the A-bomb on Hiroshima and wiped out 200,000. We might not even have to send troops into Iraq, though we probably will to ensure stability for the government we choose to install. We can just launch our missiles from all the Aegis-class cruisers we have in the Gulf.

Another good thing about going to war is that it’s inevitable. Even if the hand-picked arms inspectors find nothing of any significance – and how will they after Iraq’s hidden all of its offensive items? – I am confident another justification for war will be found. That’s the good news. War is inevitable.

The country loves a president at war, so the war should likely last until the next elections.

I can’t wait.
I don't care that 83 percent of the Turkish population opposes the U.S. use of Turkey air bases to launch an attack against Iraq.

I just got a new Sony flat-screen TV with awesome speakers, so it should be fun to watch.
Tuesday, December 03, 2002
The security screeners at the San Francisco airport remind me of high school, primarily because most of them have faces florid with acne and appear to be less than 20 years old. Arrested in post-adolescence, they have awkward and pointed bodies that they’re still trying to figure out. They’re all elbows and oversized sneakers, and they look like they’d be right at home working at McDonald’s.
  Ballots are still coming in for the 2002 Employee’s Choice Award!
We have extended the voting period to give EVERYONE an opportunity to have their say. All employees are required to respond by close of business tomorrow with your vote for Employee’s Choice.

Please use the voting buttons above:

With your vote, please provide a sentence in support of your nominee.
If you choose not to vote please indicate ABSTAIN for the record.

Thanks for taking time to vote your choice. Each and every opinion is important to us!
Monday, December 02, 2002
  Word of the Day
wayworn, adj. - wearied by travel

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