April 30, 2003
April Omnibus

29th - Good gravy, I havenít written much in April. Iíd better fix that.

28th - Stumbled onto the first episode of Manor House while trying to find acceptable teevee chatter as background to this eveningís workout. It is the unholy union of Upstairs, Dowstairs and reality television. Apparently the higher up you are, the easier it is to justify the hierarchy, and the self-satisfied ignorance of the served is startling. I am completely addicted. I will watch it loyally, always entertaining the hope that the showís pay-off will be the demotion of the lord and lady of the house to hall boy and scullery maid.

27th - Today it was warm and sunny enough to sit outside by the water for hours and hours, so thatís what I did.

26th - For years now Iíve been planning to buy really, really, really good knives, but Iíve been trapped in Consumer Reports paralysis. Two months ago I was at last ready to commit and ordered a set from Amazon. After stringing me along with Shipment Delayed messages, they finally canceled the order last week. Today Ė because I had serious chopping to do Ė I decided to just go buy a set, dammit. Wept with joy when the 10" chefís knife slid through an eggplant. I canít believe Iíve been using such crappy knives all these years.

25th - Surprise potluck for S tomorrow night. I was going to make pasta salad with roasted vegetables, but forgot about the whole Atkinís thing. Must come up with something more interesting than a pile of roasted vegetablesÖ

24th - Posted an entry about my smashed finger.

23rd - Jessica has started her own website! Itís nifty!!

22nd - Posted an entry about spam thatís an awful lot like an earlier entry about junk mail. I wonder if anyone will notice. Considered calling the entry "Epistle-Packing Mama", but that sounds too Biblical.

21st - Tomorrow is Secretaries Day. If only Vanities Day had caught on instead.

20th - Posted an entry about a non-sunrise Easter service.

19th - Spent most of today in a snit. "Snit" sure is a funny word.

18th - Alright, I admit it: I did not have a good time in Florida. I believe this makes me an ungrateful brat, but there it is. I was desperate for some time to myself, and I thought the trip would be perfect for that, but instead it was mostly about Mandatory Socializing. Iím even having difficulty pointing and laughing at the things worth pointing and laughing at, which sucks, because I thought at least I would come back with a tan and some good material. Instead, I am pasty and bitter.

17th - A blur.

16th - The guy on the jetway, into his cell phone: "Somebodyís find themselves getting sued, I mean sued. Weíre talking serious litigation. Okay, buddy. Bye, buddy. Iíll see my buddy later."

15th - Grumpy in Florida.

14th - Grumpy in Florida.

13th - Posted an entry announcing Iím in Florida.

12th - 7:45 a.m. flight to Orlando. Blur, blur, blur, shuttle to hotel, hey look - that sign says, "Kissamee Next Right". Ha ha ha. Blur.

11th - Good company, tasty food, hot tub. Happy sigh.

10th - Posted a link from M about Three Letter Acronyms.

9th - Blur.

8th - Posted an entry about a stabby clown.

7th - Posted a quiz.

6th - I am, for some reason, eating something called a Jolly Pop, which I acquired at last nightís party. Iím having a tough time placing its artificial cola flavor. Iíve got it narrowed it down to childhood...oh, yeah: anti-nausea syrup.

5th - Party for Cís 40th birthday. I have configured my Dora the Explorer party hats to look like a double hennin. The Jimmy Neutron napkins attached with toothpicks by J make a good veil. Sís stuffed tomatoes are amazing. The pigs look happy in their blankets.

3rd - Blur.

2nd - Blur.

1st - Posted a link to the Swiss Spaghetti Harvest.

April 24, 2003
D m ge

L tely Iím more in the mood to re d th n write, nd lso my left pinky looks like s us ge with finger n il (somehow my hunting nd pecking evolved into hybrid touch typing; I h d no ide until I noticed th t it hurt to type left of "s"). Itíll be fine - just little ccident involving piles of l undry on h rdwood floor nd full-length mirror not s tt ched to door s one would hope. On the bright side, the mirror didnít bre k, nd neither did ny bones, nd I p ssed the CRT test. Hoor y!

April 22, 2003


I am sure that this letter will not come to you as a surprise, since you contacted a friend of your father who is working at the Chamber of Commerce in Dubai to assist you to seek for a reliable, honest and well-established individual that has business foresight, and he then gave you my contact as the person he believes will do a fair transaction with you.

I know only one person who works in the Dubai Chamber of Commerce, so I must assume it was he who recommended me. I find this remarkable, as I havenít seen Jamil since the unpleasantness in Monaco. I am delighted to know that he is prepared to let bygones be bygones, and, moreover, that he is publicly acknowledging my honesty. Quite a change from his behavior at the baccarat table in Monte Carlo, I must say! Still, if Jamil is willing to forgive the admittedly severe wounds I inflicted on his person, I will forgive his ill-considered attack on my character.

TANKO, I am deeply saddened to hear that your father, Osman Yakassi, former Director-General of the Government of Gold and Diamond Office (GDDO) in Freetown, was attacked by rebels of the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) in Kono, Eastern Sierra Leone. How tragic that he survived the bullet wounds and was hospitalised at the Connaught Hospital in Freetown only to later die of internal bleeding. You must find it small comfort that before he died, he revealed to you that he has US$ 35.MILLION in an Iron Crate which he lodged in a security company for safe keeping in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Before our falling out, Jamil often spoke of your fatherís legendary foresight, so I am not surprised at your news that he registered the contents of the box as gold and diamonds which belongs to him and his foreign partner, and that he also confided in you that he kept the certificate of the deposit and the keys of the box in his safe.

Your ability to trace the address of the security company in Dubai is indeed a credit to your fatherís memory. And while it is a shame that the Director of the security company was not willing to accept merely the receipt for collection of the box, you must have been glad when he agreed for the release provided you can come along with the foreign partner who is involved in the transaction.

Your proposal that I come as the foreign partner concerned so that we can retrieve the money from the security company is an interesting one, and your decision that for all assistance and inconveniences, 20% of the total sum would be mine, while the rest of the remaining balance will be put into investment opportunities in any profitable areas I might suggest in my country or any where else I trust is truly generous, and of course the frequent flier miles I would accumulate through round-trip travel to the United Arab Emirates would be icing on the cake.

Unfortunately, I have business interests in Guatemala that demand my immediate attention, and, lacking your fatherís uncanny foresight, I cannot guess how long I will be engaged. As you have already indicated the urgency of your request, I certainly donít expect you to wait until I have concluded my business in Mazatenango.

But, TANKO, do not despair, as I have I proposition sure to please all parties involved.

I was recently contacted by DR. GEORGE IBRAHIM, a top official of a Cote díIvoire Federal Government contract review panel who is interested in importation of goods into his country with funds which are presently trapped in Cote díIvoire. In order to commence this business he solicited my assistance to enable him transfer into my account the said trapped funds.

Dr. George also solicited my strictest confidence in this transaction, which by virtue of its nature as being utterly confidential and TOP SECRET, but as an associate of his assured him of my ability and reliability to prosecute a transaction of great magnitude involving a pending business transaction requiring maximum confidence, Iím sure he would trust my judgment in proposing your involvement.

The source of this fund is, Dr. George has indicated, as follows: During the last regime of General Rorbert Gaui in Cote díIvoire some government officials set up companies and awarded themselves contracts which were grossly over invoiced in various ministries. The government set up a contract review panel and they have identified a lot of inflated contracts funds which are presently Deposited in a BANK in Abidjan, Cote díIvoire.

However, by virtue of his position as a civil servant and member of the panel, he cannot acquire this money in his name. He has therefore been delegated as a matter of trust by his colleagues of the panel to look for an overseas partner into whose account they would transfer the total sum of USD $25,500,000.00 [TWENTY MILLION, FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND UNITED STATES DOLLARS].

Perhaps youíve already guessed where Iím going with this, TANKO.

Dr. George has agreed to share 20% of the money with the account holder, and Iím sure would also be so grateful for your assistance that he would gladly travel to Dubai to serve as your foreign partner.

In order to commence the transfer of these funds into your account in your country without delay and also to open an account in your name, Dr. George requires only the following information from you:

Your personal telephone number and fax numbers,
Bank account/sort/aba/routing numbers which the fund will be transferred to, and
Your bank address, telephone numbers/fax numbers.

I would be happy to assist Dr. George, but unfortunately Iíve never been very good at distinguishing a routing number from an account number, and as his business is clearly of significant import, I hesitate to create unwarranted delays.

Please feel free to contact Dr. George directly regarding this matter at dr_george2001@hellas.net.

Wishing you both a mutually beneficial business arrangement,


April 20, 2003
This Could Be Heaven Or This Could Be Hell

So, um, the last item on this makes me think that if Dante were still around, The Divine Comedy would have a canto set in heavenís vestibule, where people who insisted on going to something called a "Sunrise Service" at 10:30 a.m. are eternally served a light breakfast as they watch a videotape of the people actually in heaven.

April 13, 2003
Remote Entry

Here I am in Florida, specifically Orlando. I'm attending a conference for work, and will be here through Wednesday.

I've never been to Florida before, let alone Orlando. Maybe Orlando isn't weird - maybe it's just the very small piece I've been exposed to. But this piece is weird. Weird weird weird. Weird in the way that only a place built almost exclusively to serve man-made tourist attractions can be.

I would tell you all about it, but right now I have to get to a reception before someone else eats all the shrimp cocktail.

April 10, 2003

Courtesy MTC, an APB for TLAs.

April 08, 2003
Send in the Clown

Heís an Emmett Kelly kind of clown with his arms full of balloon animals. He grumbles quietly to himself as he heads to a garbage can and starts stuffing the balloons inside. He looks behind him to make sure no one is messing with his folding chair and industrial-sized bucket of uninflated balloons. He turns back to the trash, takes out a pin, and begins popping what could be a giraffe. A little kid whose eyes havenít left the balloons since before they hit the garbage keeps watching over his shoulder as his mom pulls him along behind her.

April 07, 2003
Putting the lip in solipsism since 1985

Iíve been thinking about doing one of those "one hundred things about me" lists, but I donít figure Iíd have the attention span. So instead, hereís something shorter and more interactive - The Jane Quiz!

True or False:

1. Jane can always spot an Ionic column, but has a devil of a time telling Doric from Corinthian.

2. Jane knows her moon sign.

3. Jane thinks doughnuts are overrated.

Multiple Choice:

4. Jane finds writing about herself in the third person to be:

a. a refreshing change.
b. creepy, but sometimes necessary for narrative coherence.

5. Which does Jane regret more?

a. Leaving a Ph.D. program to take an MFA instead.
b. That time when she was coming home from the airport, carrying a big shoulder bag, and some skate punk came at her and ducked down to skate under her bag, and she didnít have the reflexes or the presence of mind to drop the bag right front of him before it was too late to turn, so he would fall off and she could point and laugh and say, "Eat pavement, you little punk!!"

6. How does Jane order her whisky?

a. "Neat."
b. "Straight."
c. "Gaily iceless."
d. Jane is a teetotaler.

7. What is Janeís bowling average?

a. 291
b. 191
c. 91
d. Jane? In rented shoes? Youíve got to be kidding.

8. Which of the following directions was given by Jane during a rehearsal?

a. "Louder. Faster. Funnier."
b. "What this scene needs is a conga line."
c. "Whatís your motivation? If you donít, Iíll kick your ass."
d. All of the above.

Extra Credit Essay:

Jane throws like a girl. Discuss, including appropriate references to Title IX.

April 04, 2003

Itís been a busy, stressful week in Cube Land. Iím standing at the photocopier, trying to convince it to stop beeping and get back to spitting out my copies so I can get to yet another meeting on time. Thereís a line forming behind me. Unhelpful Man says something about toner, even as Iím loading an empty, beep-inducing tray with legal paper. Unhelpful Woman asks if Iíve noticed that the hem has fallen out of one of my pants cuffs.

"Of course," I say, and she takes it as a response to her question.

April 01, 2003
Beware Spaghetti Weevils

Today I am, of course, interested in the Swiss Spaghetti Harvest.