Archived Messages from January 7, 2001 to January 27, 2001

Fri Jan 26 23:02:23 PST 2001

John Fri Jan 26 23:02:23 PST 2001

HALLEE: Thank you for your comments.

JERRY: Through my travels I have experienced a great many things. Both very good and very bad. But for some reason, after 42 years, I've never had to deal with the death of a friend. I cannot imagine the pain you must feel. Your writing reflects a torture that I do not want. This may sound odd, but I thank you for those thoughts. In some way, it may help me with the inevitable.


Allein Fri Jan 26 22:53:31 PST 2001

Jerry - Your story made me cry. It was very well written and touching. My thoughts and prayers are with you and all those affected by your friend's passing. (((BIG HUGS)))

Mary - I like Napster too. My boyfriend has a CD burner so I get to make all the CD's I want.

Okay, now to bragging. My dog did the CUTEST thing tonight! I was lying in my father's recliner and she comes up, jumps into the chair and lies down on her back to be like me. I swear she thinks she's human sometimes. My mom got a picture and when it's developed (which knowing them won't be for a while) I'll post it on my website.


"Well, crying isn't gonna bring him back...unless your tears smell like dog food. So you can either sit there crying and eating can after can of dog food until your tears smell enough like dog food to make your dog come back or you can go out there and find your dog."
- Homer Simpson

"What's Santa's Little Helper doing to that dog? Looks like he's trying to jump over her, but he can't quite make it."
- Bart Simpson

Teekay Fri Jan 26 22:14:25 PST 2001

BARNABAS: Re. the story - you're very welcome.
I tried to check out that link you posted, butit didn't work.

JERRY: I don't know what to say. Words seem so inadequate at a time like this. Thank heavens for morphine. Imagine that type of death without it.
Perhaps in the days before morphine people expired a lot quicker once they had the illness.
And thank heaven for chilhood immunisations while I'm at it.

DEBRA: Thanks. I'll get the bookshop I buy from to order it in from America.
Once I have it you must send me a little hand written note so that I can post it into the book.

Jerry Fri Jan 26 21:21:36 PST 2001

In memory of my old friend who we will bury in the morning, I am going to repost this little short I wrote when I was agonizing about going to visit another fried who passed on from the same horriable illness.

The End
By Jerry A.G. Ericsson

The pain was exquisite, even the morphine could no longer keep it from entering his brain. His bones were being destroyed by the very weight of his body. The cancer that began well below his belt line now attacked the very structure of his body, his bones. Last week it was his arm that broke when he attempted to lift the weight of the coffee pot that Jane left on his bedside table. This week his spine began deteriorating. His doctor fitted him with a neck brace because the vertebrate in his neck shattered when he turned his head to speak with his daughter Julie.

Leroy reached up and increased the drip rate on his morphine drip, the increase in the flow of the drug into his vein gave him a rush he would have enjoyed not so many years ago, now it simply gave some relief, perhaps a chance for him to get some much needed sleep.

In the hall Jane retrieved her jacket from the closet, and stopped for just a few seconds to insure that her hair looked just right, her makeup was applied the way Robert liked it. She couldn’t wait until the cancer did its job and she was free of Leroy. Her marriage began as a joke, and quickly turned into a tragedy, when she found herself forced to care for her invalid husband. She hated every second of it. Changing his dirty diaper made her cringe, she would have left him had the cancer not evolved so quickly.

Jane left the house and headed uptown to the Hub bar, where Robert waited. She couldn’t wait for the change in pace, she needed the relief that alcohol brought her, she needed to feel Robert’s strong arms hold her close, she needed to hear his declaration of love, even though she knew deep in her heart that it was a lie.

Leroy slept for a few minutes, those minutes were minutes of freedom form the pain, minutes when he could again walk through the forest, feel the wind in his face, enjoy the aroma of the dogwood, the fresh smell of the wind as if flowed off Lake Louise. Beside him in his dreams walked Duke, his favorite hunting dog, the one that Jane had put to sleep so she wouldn’t have to feed and care for. Together they walked, his shotgun carried at his side, not really even looking for the elusive grouse that hid in the underbrush. Then the pain hit him again, and he was awake. He felt at his side with his good left hand for the buzzer that was clipped to his sheet. There it was, slowly so he didn’t break a finger, he picked it up, and pushed on the button. He needed to be turned; his muscles were in spasm, a condition brought on by the drugs that kept him alive. He waited, but no one heard, no one came. A few minutes later, he pushed the button again, perhaps, he though, Jane was in the bathroom, or maybe outside having a cigarette. Again his bell went unanswered. He grabbed at the rail that kept him from falling from the bed, and pulled with all his might. The bone in his left arm snapped like the twigs that he used to step on in the woods on his fathers farm. The pain was overwhelming. He fell back in his bed, gasping for breath from the exertion, and the pain. Slowly now supporting his left arm with the cast that encased his right, he reached for the IV control that fed the morphine into his withered body, he opened it wide open, and within a half hour, his pain was over. His last waking though was that Jane would be so relieved when she came home.

By the way, I was visiting with my niece who was in the room when my friend passed on, he was getting the morphene drip, much the same as the fellow in the story. I guess it is common when one is in so much pain.


Debra Fri Jan 26 20:48:07 PST 2001


It's Sweetie here's the best reason on the planet to say no to your boyfriend.

"even if you've already said yes"

It's really short and to the point.

It's for teen girls.


Barnabas Fri Jan 26 19:48:47 PST 2001

From where I come from (you'll be getting alot of this) IQ is everything. If you aren't smart the way they want-doomed for life.

Check out the webpage above to find out more about NZ writers. I go there too.

Sad. Very sad. Silence.

John and Teekay
Thanks for reading my Short story.

Something on the line of perfection huh. Hmmm...

What about this- A poem to go along with my short story "Impressions"

Some say we are perfect.
Some would give all to be like us.
Others would sacrifice their lives to be one of us.
But we know who we are not perfect.
For we have no feeling no emotion.
Only the drive to compete and eliminate.
Greed and power are all we want.
Love is beyond us.

We will destroy ourselves.

No need to build a tunnel to Japan, catapult should be fine.
See your novels running away.

I use to listen to songs on my computer but they got annoying after a while, clouding my thoughts.

Mary Fri Jan 26 18:26:37 PST 2001

As if I don't spend too much time on the internet already, I am addicted to Napster now. That's just great.

Hallee Fri Jan 26 17:14:35 PST 2001

JOHN: Wow..well done. What a story.


Heather Fri Jan 26 17:10:11 PST 2001

That's funny - I got Mark's wink to work, but not Jerry's. I got the infamous 'page unavailable' when I clicked on the link.

Oh, and now my Norton anti-virus program has herpes...
Not my computer, just the protection. Why, oh why, does it have to give me a look at its aggravating rash?
I wonder if people who work at condom factories ever have the urge to slick a few with....
UGH, a nasty thought.

Never you mind, folks. It's a Friday night and I've done something BAD.
I started writing on a fresh document in corel word 2000 just for a break from my novel, and you know what?
I unwittingly have the opening of my second novel. NOW I have to whip my own rear to stop myself from working on IT and not Haven.

no, don't answer that. I'm just making life a lot harder.

Or, I should say, the writing life.

Got Writer's Digest mag in the mail today, and I didn't even order it. Neither did my husband. I wonder if there's a magazine fairy?


Teekay Fri Jan 26 16:10:24 PST 2001

Hi All,

MARK: My computer must be a bit slow on the download -well DUH!!!!!!, I thought you had dropsy to begin with, but then I did the 'back' 'forward' thingee (I'm sure there's a more advance term for this, but I'm unaware of it) and it worked great. So good in fact that I actually got 2, count 'em, 2 winks!!!!
Just imagine what you could acheive if you used your powers for good instead of evil. Mind boggling. heh heh.

RHODA: I saw your sense of humour. It was very pretty. It was pink gingham with lace around the edges. :-)
Can't help you with the fish. All I really know about fish is how to eat them.

RRRRAMON: I love that name!

TINA: I haven't commented on your story yet coz I haven't even started reading it. If I printed out all those pages my printer would fizzle up and die. Dammit!

JERRY: The page was unavailable.
I am so sorry for your loss.

DEBRA: Could you please refresh me on the title of your book. I want to try and order it in. My aim is to collect the works of all here when they are published.


Mary Fri Jan 26 15:48:58 PST 2001

JERRY: I couldn't get Mark's wink to work either, but when I clicked on the link to yours, it downloaded to my desktop and played on my windows media player. Is that what was supposed to happen? Pretty cool, by the way.

Litter Fri Jan 26 15:29:18 PST 2001

Greetings all. A little something whilst I catch up on all the postings

My shortie:

"I believe that the subject is perfection?"

"Yes, that's right!"

"And that, mostly, people are more appreciative than precious about entries?"

"Uh, huh."

"Hmm, I think I shall endeavour to submit a 'perfect' shortie then."

"Good. Thursday is shortie night -- you do know that, don't you?"

"Yes. Is there a problem?"

"Today is Friday…"


Actually, I was staying with my mother last night, so no internet connection...

Ciao for now,


Debra Fri Jan 26 14:46:58 PST 2001


You and me both Mary. I'm getting old again and they just started. They usually last two weeks.

The last time this happened I was 39 weeks pregnant with twins.


Allein Fri Jan 26 13:44:48 PST 2001

Jerry - my deepest condolences on your loss. I will be praying for you. *hugs*

Christi - "Grammy". :) I never had a Grammy either only two grandmas.

And now, Spamku:

Boy trapped in ice box
Nothing else inside but SPAM
Boy eats own left foot

"Don't play with your food."
"What else can I do with SPAM?
Eat it? Yeah, right, Mom."

It is still moving
Mom said it's already dead
I don't believe it

Played sick to stay home
Mom gave me fried SPAM for lunch
Not playing sick now

Gave SPAM to teacher
Thought it was a nice present
Got all Fs on card

For more spam-ku, visit: Spam Haiku Archive


"Stealing! How could you?! Haven't you learned anything from that guy who gives those sermons at church? Captain Whats-his-name?"
- Homer Simpson

John Fri Jan 26 13:24:42 PST 2001

Well all your talk of kids finally did it to me. Here's a true story I've been putting off for 25 years. Always meant to write it down...Never did until today. Y'all are responsible so you have to read it. It's called "Jeff Shipton"

When I was a lad... Ok, lemme start over... When I was a young geek, I had few friends. In fact, only two, Dan and Brian. My two friends and I would meet after school and be “bestest buddies”, but during school, we associated rarely, if at all. Sounds odd to say that now, but at the time, I had classes, chess, and band practice, all of which Dan and Brian had no interest, so thinking back, I understand why.

My time spent at school was solitary. My eyeglasses were usually repaired with tape, I was the shortest person in the class and I had absolutely no interest in sports or girls. My grades were ok and I had a good relationship with my teachers. All these geeky scholastic aspects were a part of my daily routine and little did I know, they were secretly stacking up against me. After school, I was a normal kid. Dan and Brian and I would meet somewhere, head off for the woods, or go fishing, sled riding, hunting, trapping, or just plain hanging out. I had no clue of what was about to happen. Evidently, the geek had been targeted for execution.

Jeff Shipton was a jock. Oh, I’m sorry... Jeff Shipton was an aspiring athlete. He joined all the sports teams and clubs, hung out with the cool people, wore the right clothes and chased all the right girls. Classes?...Forget about it. Jeff’s only drawback, and the one that kept him from “Supreme Popular Guy of the Universe”, was that he was the same height as me. Quite a detriment when you think about it. Jeff sure took some ribbing from his peers about having the same stature as geeky little John. It’s funny…..I didn’t even know him at the time.

One night, our high school hosted a “Fun Fair”, a livey annual gala filled with booths sponsored by the various acedemic clubs. This was no small event, spreading itself over the three gymnasiums that occupied the Physical Education portion of the school. Everyone was going and I was no exception. I really didn’t have anyone to hang out with, but it didn’t really matter. My mom gave me 5 dollars to spend and dropped me and my brother off at the school. My brother belonged to his own group... He disappeared before the car door closed. This is where my hell began. I was being stalked.

They seemed to have a plan, but thinking back, I can’t imagine how. For the next two hours, Jeff and his pals manuvered themselves in and out of gymansiums, doorways, hallways and restrooms, for the sole purpose of punching me in the face as I walked around corners. At first, I didn’t know what was going on. For the first hour, I thought, “These guys think I’m someone else”. So, as they would swing at me, I would try to explain that they were making some kind of mistake. Ok, so I was a naïve geek. By halftime, I had blood on my face, tears in my eyes and I wouldn’t let anyone help me. People came near and ask what was going on and I would pull away just as quickly and hide my face. I was embarrassed to be who I was. I finally ran outside and waited for my mom to show up. My brother heard what happened, but I think he was a little embarassed himself and kept his distance. Mom asked if we had fun... My brother did all the talking. She never suspected a thing.

For the next couple of days, I planned my revenge. I told Dan and Brian that I would get off the bus, walk over to Jeff, and beat the crap out of him. For me, it takes two days to plan such a strategy. Monday came very quickly.

I got off the bus and looked around only to find that most of the student body was standing around waiting. Jeff was standing front and center. THEY KNEW!! The whole school knew. I talked to two people out in the woods on the weekend and millions of people around the world had been notified by Monday morning. And this was prior to personal computers and global satelite communications. But, I didn’t care. My mind was made up...Jeff must die. I walked up to him with a mission in my mind and determination in my eyes. Jeff took a slight step backwards as I was about to inflict the first deadly blow. He opened his mouth to speak. I was immediately apprehended by the bus driver.

That was the end of it. No talk of “the incident”. No suspensions. No groundings. Nothing. Not even a word between the combatants. 750 milliseconds of “rush” and the war was over.

Months later, we moved to another state to satisfy a career move for my dad. Within a year, the hormones had taken charge and I shot up to a respectable height. With the weight training program offered at my new high school, I was able bulk up a bit. After that year, we made a trip back to our old town where I was allowed to visit my old school, maybe talk to some of my teachers, and, of course, see Jeff Shipton. It didn’t take long to find him as I was quite focused. He was a little guy, I thought when I first saw him. I didn’t say anything to him as we first approached. He looked at me first with the eyes of unrecognition, but that changed as we got closer and he realized I was fixated. A very weak, but friendly, “Hi John” squeaked out of him. I nodded and said, “Jeff”, then I moved on.

To this day, I often think of Jeff Shipton and the millions like him. The bullies with misguided notions of power and fame, short-lived, but possessing a powerful impact. Jeff had talents and experiences I will never know. I like to think he grew up to regret that night, but for my part, it is ill-spent speculation since I’ll never seek him out again and I will never know. I learned something valuable though, that power is an illusion, brought on by circumstances and events. And power is lost as quickly as it is acquired.

I’m not a geek anymore and there is no doubt in my mind that I will protect my family with my life. I served my country with the full patriotic willingness to fight hand to hand, to the death if necessary. I am not a coward and never thought myself to be one. I still strive to better myself and to not allow conflict to muddle the issue. And I have yet to experience the sensation of hitting someone with my fist.

sasquatch Fri Jan 26 12:51:17 PST 2001

hello to all and i sasquatch am happy knowing you are also here. and new ones as also are here welcome. i sasquatch have been trying to read all of the words here but i will have to find a larger current bush to plug in to ha ha. did you know we have problems with electricity also here? you speak of hybrids and i have seen many different people all come together, and Yeti memory brings knowing of you joke as hybrids but some can not live together. now Yeti are fear for humans persons in home place after the mountains move. many humans are no longer. many more will be no longer. many are fearing and still hating ones who live near but all must help together. can not explain how sasquatch knows all these things but is part of Yeti knowing and memory. also know ground will move here soon and humans persons will be cold and fear. i sasquatch will try to help then. i must go.

Jerry Fri Jan 26 12:23:30 PST 2001

So I was bored today, and I got to thinking about Marks wink thing. While it didn't seem to work on my computer, I thought I would try my had at the same thing. Click the link above, it might work. It works for me to type it in my browser at any rate.


Caren Gussoff Fri Jan 26 12:16:14 PST 2001

Hello all,
I don't mean to leap in the middle of an ongoing conversation, but I have an possible opportunity to get a reading in Seattle, but I'd like to pair with another writer or two, if possible. My novel, Homecoming, just came out in October--an experiemental small press novel--and I'm looking for local (Seattle to Portland) writer/s who have also had a book come out recently that would be a good fit with my work. I am particularly interested in fiction that is language based and slightly gritty. If you are interested, please respond to me privately. Send along a small blurb about you and your book, a number I can reach you at, best times to call, and attach a short-ish sample of your work (in Word .doc format please).
I will contact the writer(s) that I think would be a good match.

Thank you,
Caren Gussoff

Rhoda Fri Jan 26 12:15:33 PST 2001


I enjoyed the e-mail. Your practical advice and experience are a great help. And I agree that I try too hard.


Mary also mentioned that goldfish were not as easy as one might think. I will pass the information on to my daughter. I also agree with you about the limitations of IQ testing. IQ is a multifaceted thing, not something you can pin down with merely a test score and a psychological evaluation.

I wonder why so many young parents get together and compare kids? I have mainly seen this with potty-training, walking and reading. I understand how it is to have great pride in one's children, but who are parents really affirming when they brag about their kids accomplishments in a light that puts other children down? Themselves perhaps? Their DNA or their parenting skills? I remember these type of discussions when my children were younger. I don't see this as much with parents of older kids. I think as you move along, problems and trials come along to make even the best parents a bit more humble. I know I am.


I am sorry to hear about the loss of your friend to cancer.


I hope your husband is better soon. I know those head-aches can be horrible.


I often cast my novels while I am writing them. I do it mainly to have some sort of physical picture of my characters. This method works very well as you think about the actors and actresses who could conceivebly play each character. Sorry but I just can't see Ellen DeGeneres as Frodo or Bette Midler as Galadrial. I think Susan Sarradan (I can't spell that name right, but you know who I mean) would make a better Galadrial. How about Rosie O'Donnell as Sam and Jack Nicholson as Frodo? Donny Osmond might make a good Pippin.

I am thinking of putting Russell in Karate. I think he would like it.

Happy writing,


howard Fri Jan 26 10:19:42 PST 2001

SOmeone stop me please PLEASE!
Ok then...
The stars of the new Lord of the Rings movie ...

Drew Carey as Bilbo
Ellen DeGeneres as Frodo
Jack Nicholson as Sam Gamgee
Bette Midler as Galadriel
Woody Allen as Aragorn
Kevin Costner as Gollum
Bob Newhart as Gandalf
Al Gore as Merry
Bill Clinton as Pippin
Jim Carrey as Treebeard
and a special guest appearance by Yasser Arafat as Ghan-Beri-Ghan

It's a game we used to play -- recast a movie -- see who could come up with the most outrageous casting.
guess ya hadda be there...

Tina Fri Jan 26 09:05:11 PST 2001

How odd. I'm sitting here stretching out the stiffness from last night's jiu jitsu session, and the discussion comes around to kids and martial arts.

I feel pretty strongly about kids learning a martial art. If I do ever have kids, they'll be strongly encouraged to get into one (my obvious preference would be jiu jitsu). Ben, I hope that the VP doesn't try and use it against your son. Martial arts teach a person NOT to fight unless it can't be avoided through other means. People who don't understand that seem to think that if you take a martial art you must WANT to get in fights. Little do they know. I've seen two people kicked out of the club I'm in, because they went looking for trouble and started fights.

As an aside, did you know they're making a 'Lord of the Rings' live action movie? It'll be released this coming December. I can't remember who's in it, but I'll be going to see it!

Another great shortie night! yay everyone! I love this 'tradition' we've grown here! It does my brain so much good to take a break from my two regular projects, keeps me looser and more creative. Another reason I love being addicted to this place! :-D

And Mark, budding in line isn't polite. Were you playing with HTML again? ;-) Hmmmm?

Jerry, I've got you firmly in my thoughts and prayers.
So are you Rachel. And baby.
And Arik too, since he's gone so long without posting. Hope all is right with you Arik!

Time to go.

Debra Fri Jan 26 07:54:56 PST 2001


You never really know, that bet might have been what bought him seventeen years. If he was prone to cancer he might have died a long time ago.

You know?

I hate funerals too. I really do.

I'm sorry you lost your friend. I have a friend I love and it would kill me to lose her. So I can understand your pain.


Heather Fri Jan 26 07:19:59 PST 2001

Please excuse my latest post - very sloppy writing on my part. Typos, spacelessness problems, etc.
It is a little early in the day for me to be THINKING.

Ben, I don't know what to tell you. How will your son pass his courses if he can't write the exams? Or will he be able to write them late? (I'm not clear on this one, but I thought I remember a few kids during highschool being able to take an exam late due to special circumstances... might not apply to suspension however...)
I have my daughter in karate, and she's not allowed to date until she has at least 5 years of karate under her 'belt' so to speak. Now, if she decides that she hates karate after a few years, or wants to take jiu jitsu instead, by all means that will be fine with me. So long as she is well trained in a martial art.
I know this says a lot about society today. I still won't feel she's safe even with all that karate training. A sad state that the world has wedged itself into, don't you think?


Heather Fri Jan 26 07:06:55 PST 2001

Oh, good - I wasn't too sure about that fish tank problem - all I know is that we set the water for filling the fish tank out in a bucket overnight so that the chlorine would evaporate. I don't know about ammonia!

Rhoda, just a thought - are they small goldfish? If they are, they are the same fish that are sold as feeder fish for turtles and crabs and the like, so aren't expected to live long. I have had much better success with guppies, mollies, zebra daniels, red-tailed sharks, even kissing gouramis are hardier. Angel fish, on the other hand, are about the same. Expect the 'roll-over' of about half. Your toilet will be busy delivering angel fish to the great 'beyond'. I do want to start a fish tank, but I wanted to give a salt water tank a go - because I've always wanted to try keeping starfish, anemones, clown fish and a few others like that. Starfish eat live mussels, clams, etc., and at first I thought they might be too 'exotic or unusual to keep. But all I have to do to feed them is go to my local grocery and buy a pound or two of live shellfish, which will last the starfish a long time. Of course, I'd be buying some for me to eat at the same time!

Another point for Rhoda - I have never relied on IQ test results to accurately depict someone's intelligence. It might give insight intoa person's logic and common sense, perhaps, but not overall intelligence. If you were on the hyper-active side, your low score was most likely due to a lack of interest in sitting still. It is not a true reflection of your obvious wizardry! (And by that I mean quite amazing genius)

Nice wink, Mark!

Ramon, I do not think you are inferior at all. Don't go shrinking away into corners - delve deeper into your creativity! You can do it.

Tina, know what you mean about boiling blood. So many times when my brother or sister in-law would revive the 'my kid's better than your kid' conversation and attitude, I would keep my responses very brief and to the point: "Children can not and should not be compared to each other."

But at the same time, I wished my son would just talk while we were there, so he would show them that he was actually far more articulate! (I know, I know, it was an angry and selfish response, but I was entirely sick of hearing their comparisons.
Visits to their house didn't always end with kiddie comparisons - sometimes my sister in law would get into this sort of one-way complaint dialogue about her husband (my husband's jerk brother) and she would raise her voice enough so that he (and everyone else) could hear her from the next room!
I haven't figured out how to respond to that sort of rude badgering, (though I personally think she's right) so i keep to myself and just quietly sip my tea. I might even nod on occasion. I don't think she's wrong to feel how she does, but I could just die when she acts that way. I feel she is embarassing her husband, herself, and her guests.

I can't share the nitty gritty with you...unless it's in story form and I change the names to protect the terminally annoying.

JERRY - I am very sorry to hear of your loss. Blessings to you and your family, and some extras for your friend's family. I'll be thinking of all of you.

That's all folks,

Ben Woestenburg Fri Jan 26 06:51:57 PST 2001

It took a long time to read the messages this morning. I was too busy helping my little girl get her homework done--she wanted me to type the last page because she says I type fsster and she had to go to bed. I didn't realize I typed as fast as I do, but I guess she was right. Anyway, all this talk of kids was somewhat ironic. My boy--he just turned 15--got into two fights at school yesterday. As if one wasn't enough. I was really calm about the whole thing-I mean it's just a fight isn't it? Happens all the time I hear. I never had to fight when I went to school. I've taught him the usual, "walk away it's better to not fight" stuff we all teach them, but sometimes, it's hard. I know it is. He felt compelled to fight he said, because these guys have been bugging him for quite some time. He said they called his mother names, when I asked what kind of names, he said they told him she was a Skanky whore, a slut
and loose--but not morally, if you know what I mean. (I wonder how they knew her pet names--no, just teasing about that.)
But I was talking to a V.P. after I got home from work, and he said he's suspended for the next five days. And guess what? It's the end of the semester and now he won't be able to write his finals.
I tried to explain that there was no way any fifteen year old kid was going to be able to ignore something like that being said about his mother no matter what any adult told him. I was happy to hear that he took a couple of shots just to give them a "fighting chance", and then proceeded to give the main offender the shit kicking he deserved. I guess they figure because he wears glasses and has a warped sense of humor he'd been an easy mark. They didn't know he was taking Karate for two years, just to give it up for boxing, as well as playing football. He's been playfighting with me in the backyard since he was seven, and sometimes it got a little rough, but he always came back for more. The thing that amazes me, is that when he was younger we thought he was going to be a leftie, but some teacher was "kind enough to break him of that habit." Yeah right. Now he can lead with a left or right jab, and has a left hook that is deadly. I'm grateful he's still friendly with me.
Now what do I do with him for the next week? Homework assignment for today: Reda the beginning of LORD OF THE RINGS and give me a summary. He says he's been wanting to read it for a long time. But I picked up all three books for him at a garage sale in the summer time, and he hasn't even gotten past the first twenty pages. Maybe he will today?

Mary Fri Jan 26 06:22:42 PST 2001

I only have a second, but wanted to thank you all for sharing your toddler experiences, and let RHODA know that I sent her an email about how to fix her fish tank problem.

Debra Fri Jan 26 05:22:21 PST 2001

Hi All:

Well I was busy with my husband all night last night. He had a terrible migraine. He gets them sometimes once a year for about two weeks. They come up as soon as he sits down or tries to go to sleep.



Ramon Fri Jan 26 02:33:30 PST 2001

No its not monday. Just to brighten things up here's my all time favourite Simpsons Quote:

HOMER: Quick Bart make me mad.

BART: Well I'm flunking math and yesterday I was a little attracted to Millhouse.

Ramon Fri Jan 26 02:29:54 PST 2001

CHRISTI: Country music makes me laugh, so really I shouild listen to it in droves. I've decided I need a change of job. I've just realised that the shorties I've posted have in fact been a bit dull. So I guess everybody has this image of me being a miserable fellow who has nothing better to do but harp on about the how cheesed off he is. I can be light and humerous, even chirpy. I promise to be so in my writing. Incidentally my last short was the first time I ever wrote a poem. I am not showing off when I say that I wrote whilst on the phone with a client (he just narked me off something chronic, and it is based on something my Dad kept telling me as a teenager "Don't trust anybody outside the family; not your friends, or teachers, anybody". Now I am 30 and we just fight all the time. I guess have issues concerning me DA that I need to thrash out but I won't do it on this site. Promise. Thanks for the message. Its good
to see things really kicking round here.

EVERYBODY: Nice work on the shorties. Again I feel I am over shadowed by the company of some amazing talent (crawls into an insecure ball in the corner).

Hi Anne. Welcome. Yes you have been noticed. What do you expect mind. Writers are notoriously observant (he says unaware his boss is looking over his shoulder - JUST KIDDING)and so any newcomers are bound to be noticed. Anyway welcome and heres hoping this forum does the same for you as its done for me.

This will probably be my last post before the weekend (Cooking Chinese Food tomorrow - I do a mean drunken chicken) which means I wont be looking in until at least Monday.

Take Care all in whatever you're doing.

(Complete and utter miserbale git looking for :-).

Christi Thu Jan 25 22:14:41 PST 2001

Jerry, Hugs and strength to you.

Christi Thu Jan 25 22:13:11 PST 2001

Hi ev'rybodiiiiiiiiii! (Said like Grover)

Wow, great shorties. Really, guys! They're all so wonderful and different from each other. It's like going around the world and out into space in only one night. Made me want to cuddle up to a nice warm fire, sipping on a mug of coffee. Thanks, John.
Also I've enjoyed the conversation on kids. Nice to see such good parents here.

Allein and Teekay, When I was your age, you rotten kids ... (shaking my finger)
Sigh. Maybe I will let you call me Grammy; it sounds kind of sweet. I never had a Grammy. Had a Grandma and a Gramma, but no Grammy. (Incidentally, also known as the Millie Vanilli lament. Get it? No Grammy? Oh, that was baaad.)

Mark, I'm glad to see you're back. My hubby's coming to Binghamton really soon for job training. The thought went through my head that I wished I was going with so I could meet you. Does the thought count?

Hi Rhoda. I hope things are better in the morning. Hugs for you and your daughter.

I started on a shortie about perfection and it ran long and I didn't finish so I suppose I'll post it in the workbook when I'm done. See y'all tomorrow,


Rhoda Thu Jan 25 21:49:46 PST 2001

Unfortunately I could not do a shortie. I spent the whole evening trying to fix my daughter's new aquarium. So far we have killed three fish and my daughter lives in fear that she will wake in the morning and see another one of the darling things dead on the bottom. When these fish die, she grieves terribly, cries, gets depressed. I checked the ammonia tonight and found a high amount. I changed the filter and replaced half the water and still had too much ammonia. I replaced half the water again and got the level down to acceptable limits, but unforuately some of the fish went into shock. My daughter proclaimed that if these four fish die, she will never again want more of them. Any advice on goldfish would be beneficial.

Speaking of children, my Russell's teacher and principle have requested another meeting with me and my husband. Russell was doing better there for awhile, but fell back a bit. I hope I don't get another lecture about how I should have this kid evaluated for ADD.

Russell is extremely bright. I don't care if he test high for IQ or has a bevy of A's. I just don't wish for him to grow up hating school and having awful memories of it. I want him to learn, explore and get the joy out of reading that I always have found.


Brains do run in families. I would venture to say by what I know of you that you are every bit as "gifted" as your brothers. It is too bad you never had much credit for it. I certainly hope you were never made to feel inferior. Personally I wouldn't want a "gifted" child in my family. The term itself makes me cringe. All it really means is that you scored well on some tests. I am sure that I am probably all wet on this, but it is important what one does with what he is given than just having an abundance of it in the first place. Every child, no matter his test scores, should have access to demanding and interesting classes. Every one's gifts should be cultivated and encouraged.

Boy, here I go taking a stabb at ADD and giftedness. Pediatricians and psychologists will just jump all over me for my uneducated opinions. Of course I only say these things because I flunked my sixth grade IQ test. I probably scored about a 75. If only I had been taking Ritalin, it might have been different.

Time for bed,


Jerry Thu Jan 25 21:10:09 PST 2001

Ok, ok, so I am a bit bored and surfing the web, came across another site you may be interested, it is an English/American dictionary, where one can search a word and see how we spell it over here, or how you in British commonwealth spell it. Just can't seem to concentrate enough to write, another of my great friends from the past died today. Cancer, what a horrible way to go, it ate at him for several years. This morning it won. I was just leaving the house to drive to the hospital to see him when we got the call. Saturday I will be going to his funeral. One time oh, must have been seventeen years ago now, we made a bet, of sorts. We decided to quit smoking, and whoever started again would pay those who quit ten bucks. I paid mine, he never did. Never had another cigarette, and see where it got him. Well I guess nobody ever said life was fair. He leaves a good wife and a daughter the same age as mine. God I hate funerals.


Mark Thu Jan 25 20:29:21 PST 2001

oops. I just overwrote someone's post. ?? dunno how.
The link is to my animated wink, it's 160k, so connection speed is important.

Here's the whole post.

All right all you mothers
I don't have any kids, so I'll just have to tell you how gifted I am.

Uh, OK. Click on the wink.

Well, I gotta say I don't know about this 'perfection' stuff. Seems to me like trying to be perfect is like having the flu -- the more you try to work through it, the more exhausted you get. And the people I know who had perfection as a goal, well, they generally wanted it for someone else, they wanted to show off. I guess in most minds perfection is no good without an audience.

'People Pleasers' I believe they're called. Gotta make things just right so's as everybody around will be happy and think good thoughts about 'em. Yup. People Pleasers. Mighty insecure group. Might as well admit their real aim is for a room in the house up on the hill. (And why are those places always up on the hill? Best view of Washington DC is from most windows at St Elizabeth's Hospital.)

Yup. Perfection ain't gonna happen. I'll get my backside into a good sweat workin' for yuh, but I ain't seen Perfect yet. People think they're gonna get it. Better learn where my hiney is, they can either check out the good sweat or kiss it goodbye.

Welcome all the newcomers. One of the crazy things that happens here is that you feel compelled to come back. Along the way you may write something or you may edit something. Chances are if you are here it ain't because you got a Jones for eating Jell-o (tm).

Mark Thu Jan 25 20:24:48 PST 2001

All right all you mothers
I don't have any kids, so I'll just have to tell you how gifted I am.

Uh, OK. Click this Thu Jan 25 19:59:29 PST 2001

Howdy, hello, and greetings!

This talk about comparing kids makes me boil. Not the talk itself, but the sad facts. I don't have kids, but I've watched this happen with my nieces and nephews, and it always makes me so MAD! I'm the only one of my siblings who doesn't have kids, so I have plenty of nieces and nephews to feel protective about. Four of them are within three years of each other, and the comparisons never stop. THIS one is smarter, THAT one is more talented... how about they are all perfect and unique in their own way? Grrr... makes my blood boil.

Anyway, I came to post my shortie. Here goes!

Ahhh, the moon. Luna. So beautiful. The craters and mountains are perfect. Here, I'll add more power to the telescope, use a stronger lens. Oooh. That did it. Close enough to reach out and touch it! There's Autolycus. Lunik 2 is in that crater somewhere. Wonder if anyone will ever go get it?
Okay, let's cut the power back and find Saturn. He's sitting perfectly for a look at his rings. The buttery-yellow star. There it is! Oooh. Awestruck. Again. Everytime I see Saturn it staggers me. Hmm, if I use this lens and an orange filter... oh yeah. Look at those rings! Wow. I can even see the planet's shadow on the rings! Oh wow! This is so perfect!
This is great, but I'd better set up the telescope for the Space Station. It should come over in about five minutes, right over... there. Yeah. Come on baby. Where are you? Is that...? Has to be. It's the brightest thing in the sky. Moving fast. Line up my scope, use the wide angle lens, no filter. There... we... go!
Oh my God. Look at that. Look at that! I can't believe how amazing it is. People are actually LIVING up there! Oh oh, I have to track it faster, it's moving out of range... there we go.
It's stunning. I really can't think beyond that. I just want to watch, imagine what they see, imagine BEING there! What I'd give to see their view!
Oooh. It's gone. Guess I'll pack up now, put everything safely in it's box. I'll clean the lenses tomorrow. I don't want to do it now, not after such a perfect night.


Jerry Thu Jan 25 19:51:28 PST 2001

Just happened upon the above site, maybe you have all been there maybe not. Anyhow it sounds good, but as they say if it sounds to good to be true, it probably is. Worth a look at any rate.


Heather Thu Jan 25 19:00:05 PST 2001

Hallee, what parallel lives we live. My siblings are both extremely gifted, my older brother was considered a gifted child and took 'enriched' classes (at a different locale from the school) on weekends for much of his youth. Even in enriched classes he was bored. His ninth grade English teacher accused him of plaigarism - she couldn't believe someone that age could write so well, so he 'must have' taken it from somewhere, though she didn't have a clue where it might have been 'from'. FROM HIS BRAIN, DOLTRESS!
My younger brother had scholarships galore, and was allowed to skip his entire first year because he was too advanced for those courses. He was ranked ninth in all of Michigan in math during elementary school, won competitions nation-wide, etc... Now my older brother is going for his PhD, already has his Masters in Computer Science. He designed the entire database - infrastructure and all, for the human genetics program as PART of his master's thesis. They actually use his program. He could build a mastermind computer from three dead toasters and an oven grill, and it would be more powerful and faster than my new system!
Younger brother? Engineer, working for GM. He just turned 23, and has a cushy, high paying job, and not too many higher ups to pass on his way to the top.
I didn't finish University because I started a family. I also, have the only grandchildren in the immediate family.
But I too, have some gifts. I wouldn't say they're of the same calibre as my brothers', however. I did go to a highscool of the Arts, and had straight A's all through my 'educational prison term'. I found so many methods of teaching caging and suffocating, and when breaking such molds, though attaining A's, I was considered volatile and uncouth. It was not the place or time for such wild excursions into the unknown! (That was what my sculpting teacher said.) My photography teacher proclaimed that I was blind because he couldn't find a single negative with a unified depth of field. And now I see famous photographers with similar techniques. GRRRRRRRRR

Shame, shame, shame on me for not finishing college or University? (I stick out my tongue and taunt the one who pokes shame at me!)
Well, that's at least my very first reaction in my own defense.
Ha ha! I am a child at heart - silly and smart, and plotting to build a tunnel to Japan, so I can visit Viv.
Do you think ground water will foil my plans?


I wonder if it is possible to win an international PRIZE before my brothers?
Andrew (the eldest) might win for inventing a device that cleans your house, your garage, your car and your toilet, and can sort through your mail; Cameron, my younger brother, might just invent a new fuel for cars that isn't harmful to the environment...
And I just want to entertain a few people. I WIN!!!!

(A sad joke, really)

I could say it is all because I am the middle child, but that would be an even sadder joke...


Hallee Thu Jan 25 17:54:54 PST 2001

BARNABAS: Yes, it's true - the passing of "giftedness". I mentioned my brothers IQ's, but they are also both artists. My youngest brother went to college on a full art scholarship - my older brother on a scholarship to go to USC for cinematography. (however that's spelled). And my little sister is a brilliant writer - she's a newspaper reporter - good enough that after graduating in May, working for her paper since July - she was the one sent to Washington to cover the Inaguration (however that's spelled). My siblings blow me away - I'm the dumb one, the only one who didn't graduate in the top ten of high school (though I was 13 - I still get ribbed) and the only one who didn't go to college. BUT (hahaha) I have the only grandchild for my parents - so there! hehehe - anyway, I'm getting long again and my daughter is ready to get out of the bath.


Thu Jan 25 17:47:43 PST 2001

Heather Thu Jan 25 17:10:49 PST 2001

At the risk of sounding like this is a kiddie comparison...

Mary - my daughter is going to be a vegetarian for exactly the same reasons. I asked her to wait until she had finished more of her growing because she doesn't like a lot of meat alternatives and I don't know how else to get enough protein into her. She agreed that she would wait, and help me search for recipes that she'll like in the meantime. (I've nearly given up hope - she's got some very particular taste buds)

And Christian hasn't taught himself to read, although he does tell me the story right back in his own words, after I've finished reading it to him. I've started running my fingers along underneath each word as I read it to see if he will catch on to what I'm doing. So far he just sees it as annoying - "Your finger is in the way! I want to see ALL of the picture!"

AW, Well. ;-)


Barnabas Thu Jan 25 17:08:58 PST 2001

I have a lot to say about "perfecting" kids to become geniuses but I'm not feeling too well. Maybe later.

Barnabas Thu Jan 25 17:06:35 PST 2001

As you can tell from the long messages I have below I have alot to say about raising children.

Completely understand what you are going through. Where I come from, parents have to pressure their children to do well because if they don't they will be doomed for life (how I wish I was exaggerating).

That reminds me, all you vegetarians out there, if you think about it very very carefully, vegetables and animals are both made out of living cells. Animals simply have these specialised cells known as brain cells clumped together to form a nervous center. Therefore, if you are vegetarian because you don't want to eat animals you should not be eating plants either because they are both cells!
The only reason (I can think of) why people prefer not to eat animals is because we are similar to them. As for exploitation of animals... maybe another time.

Small note here: I apparently did the same thing when I was young, pestering my parent's to read to me stories, but I only vaguely remember it now. As far as I can tell it had advantageous effects, if you do ask your daughter later in her life, prepare to be met with a blank face.

Don't worry, we all have a that bad habit.

Sounds like your son is a lot like me. That reminds me, like I told Mary, from where I come from there is no way you can learn at your own pace (the country would fall in a single day if everyone learnt at their own pace). You forget each child is different, for some learning at their own pace is better than spoon feeding them information. For others like me for example, you have to spoon feed me and then leave me to contemplate. I usually don't bother with things other. Information overload you see so I learnt to ignore almost anything. My eyes just skip over flashy things now adays. In fact I find reading with the TV blaring is about the same as reading silently.

One question, when's the festival?

In my humble opinion, families with a "gifted" child in them usually have "gifted" children in related families. Its just a matter of what their gifted in, for example, on my father's side all his siblings and him are smart academically. On my mother's side I think only one of them went to University yet one of my aunts once belonged to the National Choir and is a gifted musician. Also most of my cousins and my sister are gifted in music. I'm pretty good at music too but never liked it.

No one said it was fun, but it benefits the country ecomnomically. Socially is another matter all together...

Heather Thu Jan 25 17:02:12 PST 2001

Haylee, I know what you mean by a toddler blowing your mind.
This is pretty much the conversation I had with Christian when my grandmother died.

I sat him down with me in his room, and we were building a lego fort. (OK, so he was building it and my job was to sort through the stuff and find him the blue and red six-nub pieces)
"Christian, do you remember great Grandma from Paris?" I asked.
He finished the front gate. "Yeah." He hasn't looked up yet.
"Well, do you remember that she was very sick?"
He finished the corner on the right side, and is fiddling around with the idea of a turret. "She had to ride in an ambulance, right Mom?"
"Yes, she did. But Grandma's not sick any more, honey."
He doesn't say anything. Instead, he's working on the left side of the fort.
"Grandma died last night."
"She died?"
He goes back to building the left corner now. I've given him a new pile of the right coloured and sized bricks. He pauses, and holds a block in his fingers, mid-air. "Grandma doesn't NEED her body any more. She's happy now."
I couldn't say anything. I was trying to hold back the tears.

How can a three year old understand what dying even is?
But I tell you, he knows.
He has been adding since age 2. Not big numbers, mind you, but numbers between 1 and 5. I think most of his knowledge is intuitive or already understood from his own life experiments he performs - a lot of them he does without me realizing exactly what it is he's after.

Anyhow, my daughter is completely normal math-wise, but has a great intuitive understanding of many spiritual things, just as my son does. I don't think of them as gifted or normal, or anything but themselves.
The best way, really.


Jerry Ericsson Thu Jan 25 16:10:50 PST 2001

Geeze, doesn't anyone let kids be kids anymore, where is the fun in that? Pushing them to hard can only hurt them in the long run, they must be able to play, they say that children learn more through play then any other method. Anyhow that's what I think about the whole matter, someone telling me that their kid is better then mine because they can count to ten or something, and I would reply yes but how good is he at being superman, or batman.

Maybe I am just old fashioned.


Jerry Ericsson Thu Jan 25 16:10:49 PST 2001

Geeze, doesn't anyone let kids be kids anymore, where is the fun in that? Pushing them to hard can only hurt them in the long run, they must be able to play, they say that children learn more through play then any other method. Anyhow that's what I think about the whole matter, someone telling me that their kid is better then mine because they can count to ten or something, and I would reply yes but how good is he at being superman, or batman.

Maybe I am just old fashioned.


howard Thu Jan 25 15:33:03 PST 2001

ANNIE, JOHN, VIV, all you newbies -- Welcome! I've just been reading all the great shorties, and I'm happy to be in such (continuing) good company!

JACK -- This site just keeps getting better and better! Thank you again for keeping it available for us! We appreciate it more than you know.

MARY, HEATHER -- the one-upmanship you describe is more common than you might realize, and is one of the most damaging things that can happen to a child. People get too selfish to spend time with their own kids, then criticize others for doing what they themselves should be doing.

JOHN -- you enjoy cooking! I do too. Have you seen the recipe du jour site and mailing list? Not only good recipes, but excellent writing as well!


Hallee Thu Jan 25 15:30:57 PST 2001

MARY & HEATHER: I can't believe the similar experiences we have. Mine, however, is with my mother in law. My daughter is 5 months older than my neice. Kaylee turns 4 in March. My mother in law teaches gifted students. Kaylee is very smart - but then, my brothers and husband have genius IQ's, so it's just something that is. She can read, write words, count to whatever - 90, I think - and her memory blows me away. Sadly, Aliya is just normal, and we live in the same town. She's a normal kid who doesn't fret about the panhandler on the corner who has the hole in his pants, she doesn't worry when storm clouds roll in about whether it will make airplanes crash, and she doesn't have nightmares about war scenes from the evening news. She's just a normal kid who's into Barney and Blues Clues. My daughter is the opposite, and will worry and fret until she understands outcomes and reasonings, and it's becoming so terrible with my mother in law. I not only have to deal with her comparing Kaylee and my neice, I have to listen to her drill me about why I don't push Kaylee harder. Why isn't she learning to add yet? Good God - she's 3. She taught herself to read, and if it were time for her to learn to add, I can guarantee you that she'd bring me math in some form and ask me to show her.


HAHA- Mary - Kaylee eats meat because her dad insists, but she won't eat sugar. It's not good for you. She actually asked her aunt for a carrot instead of birthday cake once. HAHA - that is perfection - a toddler - a well adjusted happy toddler.

Wow - that was long. Sorry.


Teekay Thu Jan 25 15:28:16 PST 2001

Morning All,

ALLEIN: My birthday is on November 8th. You are now obligated to do something very nice for me. :-)

Great shorties guys, I enjoyed all of them.

CHRISTI: Can I call you Grammy too please? :-)

JERRY: I read 'a monster in the kitchen '(very appropriate title.)and I think it has great potential. I think you need to build up the suspense some more.

I loved the way it started off, but I think you got about a third of the way through it and then you just told it like you were talking to someone.

At the beginning of the story I could actually see what you were saying, but as the story went on I could only hear you speak.

I think a little more atmosphere and maybe a bit more focus on the monster and maybe an explanation or local legend about it. At the moment it doesn’t seem to be the focus of the story.

Anyway, that's just my opinion for what it's worth. I know you were looking for input.

Well now that I've had my notebook fix I'd better go and make myself a cup of tea.

A jooly good day to you all. (not to be mistaken for jolly.)

John Thu Jan 25 15:07:47 PST 2001

Ben: I believe everything that is written (Especially in PEOPLE) and movies make everything real. Oh what shall I do with such a conflict.... Oh, by the way, they want 3 days in the desert, not 4...My mistake

Heather: "The Perfect Thing to Say" was just great. I read it 5 or 6 times just to feel it

Mary: I've devoted a chapter in my book to your dilemma with your sister-in-law. Sadly, it's all too common. But on the bright side, there's a solution that is good for everyone.(I'll share it in the next couple-o-days..Heather, it applies to your experiences as well) If you'd like to hear the standard analysis, it is this...most children, under the age of 8, advance at remarkably different rates and it is because they are going through a thing called "Pre-Adolescence". Pre-adolescence is a time where the child is "learning how to learn" as their minds are undergoing a tremendous change. The parents can take that opportunity to get a preview of the volatility of their teenage adolescence because the two are linked. But as far as making comparisons of two children whose ages are months apart, it is unjustifiable. Until they are about 8, you can't tell.

Hmmmm...I've said enough

Annie Thu Jan 25 14:24:07 PST 2001

Thank you all for welcoming me... You all have such wonderful humor. I do not have access to the web from work...(oh the horror) but the administrative assistant does and today I hijacked her system so that I could see if anyone noticed me!! YAY!! So many of you said hello. I feel honored.
I don't have anything to say about perfection... I don't know what to say really. Let me think, Hmmmm
Perfection is - - The feast of San Gennaro in Little Italy every year.... even for those of you who aren't italian. There is nothing like a hot summer night, some peaches and wine in a hollowed coconut, and a PERFECT piece of tiramisu with just the right amount of excess on the liquor soaked up by ladyfingers... YUM.... that is about as perfect as perfection can get.
Also . . . Now that I think of my commute to work this morning; Perfection is riding on the PATH train and getting a seat!!!
Well, maybe thats taking it a little too far. But, it rarely happens, so when it does, its soooo joyous.
Thank you again for the warm Welcome.


Heather Thu Jan 25 13:58:34 PST 2001

My favourite Simpson quote:

"Can't sleep -- clowns will eat me!"

Heather Thu Jan 25 13:50:16 PST 2001

Hmmmmm. Great description, John!
Mary, I understand completely what you are going through with 'toddler competitions'. Here is my version of the same story:

My son is three and a half. My neice is three months older than my son. My son is much 'more shy' around people than his cousin.
His cousin, in fact, is the most ill-behaved spoiled little girl I've met. On ripping open (in one millisecond) a large Christmas gift that I had spent hours searching for, she turned to me and asked, "Is that IT, Aunt Heather?"
She also climbs on top of the refridgerator and threatens to jump off if her parents don't buy her what she wants.

My son didn't speak to people when we were out in public or at friend's houses unless he felt absolutely comfortable. Once in a while he would surprise me by talking to a total stranger (such as a store clerk) but not to some of my extended family. I think he gets a 'feel' of who people are, somehow. He knows my sister and brother-in-law are not happy people, and so refrains from speaking to them most of the time, even now.
He IS coming out of shyness quite well, and has asked to go to Junior Kindergarten!
And when he does speak, his thoughts are brilliant. My niece talked a lot,(still does) but most of what she said were phrases, spoken for the effect they caused, with no real contemplation in them.
My brother-in-law and his wife would compare the two, always commenting, "Doesn't Christian talk yet?" Well, yes. He talks to us all the time, but he is of course, comfortable. They assumed that a child who did not talk was either stupid or unable, the latter of which also translates into stupid.
They always asked me if I had thought about putting him into daycare like their kids. I don't want to wake up my child at 6 am, stuff him into his clothes and ship him off to daycare when I am home, and will gladly spend a lot of time with him, talking, singing, laughing, playing games, and building things together. They ship their children off to daycare, and buy the kids anything they want to make up for not spending any time with them, when their father stays home all day. They could have their youngest at home if they wanted to. (Their eldest is in grade 1)
I don't believe daycare is the only answer to bringing up healthy, happy kids, (and their children are anything BUT happy) but I do agree that certain daycares are better than others, and can be a great place for children to play, socialize, etc. And for families with both parents working in the day, it's necessary. It's not wrong. But you cannot rely on the daycare to teach everything to your kids, just as you cannot rely on school to teach your children what life is all about. (Or morality, for that matter)
I also think that for children who are as shy as my son, forcing him into a social environment before he is ready would not help him one whit. (I tried having him in child care at my gym, but he was miserable). I don't think learning faster is better. I value comprehension much more than learning things merely by rote. I believe children choose their own pace. I certainly offer this opportunity for my kids as often as possible. They will learn responsibility and their own personal 'learning rhythm' through experimentation and making choices, so that they gain a depth of understanding. To me, it is vitally important. And I am there to guide them. I have chosen to be responsible for bringing up my two children with the most love I can cram into a day; Not the most alphabet drills.
Although, I am proud to say that my son has known his alphabet for over a year, he also has an understanding of how they form words already - again, this is purely by his choice - like Faith, asking to learn about whales!

So, albeit long-winded, it does have a familiar ring doesn't it Mary?

Allein Thu Jan 25 13:12:18 PST 2001

Christi - Coolness. Can I call you Grammy? :)

Tina - Unfortunately it's not legal for me to do everything yet but the year I turn 21 I'm definatly going to Kitsap Party. It's a formal party at the mall each year that the businesses hold with good food, dancing, and great music (my friend Julie told me all about it). But they serve wine and champeign there so you have to be 21. :( Oh well.

Now another haiku (I'm on a haiku kick):

Lumpia - good lunch,
Seventy-five cents a piece,
I love asian food.


"Simpson-Homer Simpson, he's the greatest guy in his-tor-y. From the town of Springfield, he's about to hit a chestnut tree....D'oh!"
- Homer Simpson

"Smart is not a four letter word, that would be smar."
- Daria

John Thu Jan 25 11:37:46 PST 2001

I'm not sure I know the rules, but I wrote this today. (I should have been working) Here goes...........

My workday was complete. A rather hectic one at that. The kind of fruitless, disorganized day that occurs only after returning from a week-long vacation. The kind where time seems to slow down and speed up at random intervals, confusing the fact that, before the vacation, there was a routine so there should be one now. “Hmmm, Must have lost my edge”.
The walk to the parking lot was a stark reminder of why I took the vacation in the first place: I was once again the last person to leave work at the end of the day. When I came to work in the morning, it was dark. Then, 14 hours later, it’s dark again. “Hmmm, I only saw daylight once today.”
Here we are, at the end of January. December’s onslaught of winter weather is just a memory. After last week’s heatwave, there’s nothing left but the bare skeletons of trees and leftover salt on the sidewalks. Oh and the cold. It seems that the cool January weather returned to work with me, making the walk to the car seem longer than acceptable. I stopped for a moment as I unlocked the car, to look around at the other companies in the area. Empty parking lots. “Hmmm, What is it with me?!!”
One truly wonderful advantage to working late is the absence of rush hour. Thirty minutes of uninterrupted bliss. With Fleetwood Mac booming from my speakers, memories of my first fun job as a car stereo installer completely took me away from the thoughts of my day. “Hmmm, I don’t remember driving home.”
Pulling into the driveway, the first thing I noticed was the absence of our second car. Mary must’ve gone to the store with the kids. I thought, “Oh well, that’s ok, the girls are usually noisy in the evening, and I could use alittle quiet time”. Walking to the door, tiny shimmers of barely perceptable snowflakes flinted in the light pouring from the kitchen window. It’s a promising sight, these little snowflakes. I thought that perhaps they and their buddies could work on blanketing my brown, hibernating lawn tonight.
Putting my briefcase on the kitchen floor and removing my coat, I caught a glimpse of a coffee cup next to the coffee maker. I noticed the cup, primarily, because it’s my favorite cup but also, protruding from the top was a note. Now, notes can be good…. or they can be bad…. or they can be informative…. I approached the note with caution. It read:

“Hi honey. I know you probably had a tough day. I’ve taken the girls to see grandma and to go to dinner. We should be home around midnight. Just push the ON button. The coffee maker is ready. Have a relaxing evening”

Ladies and Gentlemen, THAT is a note. Hesitate, I did not. After pushing the ON button, and letting the cat in the house, I got a fire going in the fireplace. The flames reminded me of some correspondence I’ve read recently about experiences with fire, bringing out a mild chuckle. But mostly, I thought of how the fire filled the room with a light that only a flame can create, flickering off the 100 year old craftsmanship of the wood and producing a glow that seemed to physically penetrate my soul. A warmth that attaches itself. “Hmmm, The smell of freshly brewed coffee filled the room.”
After firing up my laptop, I made my way back to the kitchen, snatched a cup of coffee, a small dish of chocolate ice cream then melted into my easy chair. Dabbling about on the computer a bit, I came to realize that I had no real inclination to do any kind of work. For the first time in as long as I can remember, I came home from work and I shut down. “Hmmm, Chocolate ice cream goes good with coffee.”
The cat curled herself on the ottoman at my feet as the fire warmed one side of my face. I reached over and gave a tug on the curtain line to the large window overlooking the lawn. The lawn was white. The snowfall was heavy. The wind was nonexistant. The coffee was perfect.

Mary Thu Jan 25 10:00:32 PST 2001

You guys have got to be sick of me by now. I am going to post this and then I will be quiet until tomorrow.

The 'perfection' theme got me thinking about something. My daughter is six months older than her cousin,Grant, and my sister-in-law is forever jabbing me about how Grant can count higher and get further in his alphabet than my daughter can. They are 'friendly', obscure jabs, but still. What I don't like is how she will sit with her two and a half year old for hours at a time drilling him about numbers, letters and flashcards while most of my lessons are hidden within songs and games, or having my little girl count how many crackers are on her plate. She is learning her alphabet by hitting the keys on my keyboard.

I don't understand what motivates my sister-in-law. Does she feel like she has to be in competition with me? Does it irritate her that I don't seem to care that Grant can count higher? Does she validate her success as a mother by how much she can teach her son as fast as she can? I take more pride in that my daughter can tell you the differences between a humpback, orca, sperm or blue whale and tell you all of their anatomical parts. Did I teach her that? Yes, because she asked me to.

My sister-in-law also thinks it is terrible that my daughter won't eat certain things. I will never forget the day that Faith asked my husband where the hamburger in her Happy meal came from and he said, "From cows." She evicted the burger from her tray and said, "Daddy, you can't eat animals!" Do I think she is too young to decide whether or not she should be a vegetarian? Perhaps, but she asks at each meal which foods came from animals and won't eat those. How do you argue with that? She makes sense. It is my job to make sure that she gets enough protein from other foods, instead of forcing her to go against something she believes in just so that she will eat my mother's meatloaf.

Eddie proposed that we use perfection and some of the affects of striving for perfection. I took a different angle on perfection in my shortie because I don't know that I have ever strived for perfection. If that is what my sister-in-law is doing, I want no part of it. The best a person can do is good enough for me. It doesn't have to be perfect, just the best they can do. Including myself and my children. Maybe Eddie meant that striving for the best you can do is striving for perfection....I am still deciding how I feel about that. OK, I promised to shut up now so I will. Talk to you tomorrow everyone. :-)

Heather Thu Jan 25 09:58:19 PST 2001

The Perfect Thing to Say,
by Heather Myles

His eyes rose, soaking in the atmosphere of a perfect afternoon; clouds swam in cirrus formation, birds straddled a warm current, circling overhead. The sun seemed like hammered copper, colouring his shoulders and the crumbled red shale beneath his feet.
"I am comforted now by the Earth, am soon to be wrapped in the Earth's arms, and will walk all eternity looking for you," he said with a slow smile.
The smile did not fade as the arrow pierced his heart, pinning his torso to the pole.

Hey, if you're going to go out, might as well be in style!


Mary Thu Jan 25 09:28:47 PST 2001

More on perfection in no particular order

The little black dress
Shooting a bullseye
Running the billiard table
Scotch older than yourself
Summer naps in a hammock
The blue of a robin's egg
Pitching a no hitter
Virgin snow
That first cup of coffee
Hugs from children
A flawless diamond set in platinum
A straight flush
Red Italian pumps
Your favorite jeans
Stonehenge: the perfect mystery
Chocolate covered cherries
The logic of a toddler

Debra Thu Jan 25 09:23:57 PST 2001


I thought the thyeme was revenge?

Well my story which I will post later is about perfect revenge anyway. So!


Christi Thu Jan 25 08:59:50 PST 2001

Annie, Welcome, fair traveler!

Howard, What a wonderful way to start the day! Your story put me in the mind of the old Sci-fi masters. The topic scares the bejeez out of me. (Also the Beegee's)

Barnabas, It just takes a while to get to know everyone. Some people come here and love it and become members of the family, while others throw a few barbs out or find that it's not their cup of tea and leave. The Notebook is in constant flux. It's fun to see it evolve.

Allein, Keep the Simpson's quotes coming. Lovin' it.
D'oh! I just read that you feel old. Guess that makes me yer Grandmammy! (I'll be thirty-two this year.)

Who was it that had the joke about Dolly Parton and her two bald twins? Howard? I'll never look at her the same again. THanks a lot!

Oh Teekay! *snort* haw haw! I think your shortie was perfect, as your post was so funny. Guffaw!

Ben, That was great! AND I'm proud of you for writing such a short shortie, 'cause I know that's hard for you.

Ramon, That's quite a morose mood you're in there. Don't listen to ANY country music today--there's my prescription. Oh, and make sure to come here throughout the day to get cheered up! That was one sad shortie.

Mary, *sigh* That was beautiful.

Jerry, Cool shortie, but I guessed the end! Hee!

TIna, HI! Glad to see you're still fired up.

Mmmm, nope. No shortie yet. Busy day, but I hope to get one in later.


Tina Thu Jan 25 08:22:52 PST 2001

Hello all!

This place is getting so busy! Hello Annie, be welcome here. Does writing get easier? Yes/No. The more I learn about style and technique, and easier the process becomes. The more experience I get, the pickier I get, the harder it is. The more ideas I explore, the more good ideas come to me. And each day that I relish the chance to sit down and continue creating, the more certain I become that I've finally found the Right Thing. I don't feel guilty any more when I spend two or three or five hours writing, and it does get easier to find the time - to MAKE the time - to write, as it becomes a habit and passion rather than an indulgence. Fret not!

Barnabas, Mary was refering to Thursday night shorties. Tonight's suggested theme is Perfection, but it it's only a suggestion. You can post anything, on any subject/topic. The main thing is to stretch your creative brain to create a short shortie (one line to one page seems to be the norm) and post it here today/tonight. It need not be perfect and ready to publish. Often the excercise is used as a means of experimenting with a new idea, or new style. It's a fun excercise, and it's always inspiring to read all the other posts. :-)

Allein, I LOL when I read your post. 'I turn 19 this year - I feel old.' I so remember feeling that way. I was legal to do everything, anywhere. I was on my own, starting college, paying rent. Don't worry, it soon passes when you get into the workforce/community/world and realise that Everyone Is Older Than You! Then you'll feel like a young chick again. :-) hahahahahaha

Here and gone again!

Jerry Thu Jan 25 08:11:47 PST 2001

Perfection eh? Well here is a shot a perfection:


He straightened the bow that covered her cleavage, then let his eyes gaze down; yes the belt was in line with the bow. The dress was perfect.

He checked her silk stockings. The seam was straight down the back of her leg, much like the crease in his uniform back when he was in the Army and broke starch.

Her shoes were shined to perfection, he could see himself in the shine, oh yes all was perfect with this young lady.

He turned, picked up her head and placed it back on her neck; her hair was done just right. “To bad,” he thought “that I couldn’t get that part right without cutting her head off, but all in all she made the perfect example of all a women should be, at least in his warped mind, dressed to kill and silent for ever.


Allein Thu Jan 25 07:25:02 PST 2001

Hi all,
Today's pic is Yeh-Shen from Morningbird Lane. It's the last picture for a while. Hopefully my friend will have my others scanned this weekend.

Barnabas - I don't believe in Leprechauns though it would be nice if they existed - catch one and get a pot of gold. That would be sweet. :) Actually, I'm very interested in many different cultures and if an oppertunity to learn something new comes by it's not very likely that I'll turn it down. :)

Teekay - Thanks. I feel special. If you don't mind telling me your birthday, I'll do something nice for you. :) I'll be 19 this year - I feel old.

Viv - I think it would be nice to visit a temple on New Years. I'm hoping that after I start working I can start squirrling away some money each month to save up to visit Japan. That would be cool.

"I think it's ironic that for once dad's butt prevented toxic gas from entering the atmosphere!"
- Bart Simpson

Viv Thu Jan 25 06:48:19 PST 2001

Hi Everyone! Thanks again for the welcome! I feel so at home here already! Allein, it's great I don't have to take off my shoes here. I have a few holes in my socks. (You know it's sort of fun to go to a temple at New Years and count the number of people there with holes in their socks! I know that's terrible, but you stand in line for such a long time waiting for your turn to clap your hands, say a prayer and toss your money in the little box, that your mind starts to wander. This year I counted about 12 good holes in socks before it was our turn. I guess it was a really holy New Year.

Well I'm going to get to bed before midnight tonight. It's 11:35! I'll take that little bit I just wrote and play with it tomorrow morning. I think I just found my theme for perfection! Isn't it strange how this notebook works!

John: Any questions on the research please let me know! I'll do my level best give well researched answers or give you titles of books that might be helpful. I work in a Japanese university so I get plenty of feedback. We also have a great library here in English and some fine ones in Japanese. I love research because I learn so much! I'm already full up with writing projects for this year so I won't steal ideas! I have too many of my own to handle myself. It is making my head ache! I have a deadline until the 15th, then I'm going on vacation for about 10 days in Thailand, but I'll be free and open for research after that. I'd appreciate a very liberal deadline because I'm a slow person. Mostly I slow myself down by being disorganized! I need to cure that habit.

I also need to get some sleep. Night all!

Mary Thu Jan 25 06:43:28 PST 2001

Here is my perfection shortie.

Her fingers, her toes and the tip of her nose
A tiny round head flocked with hair berry red
Blue eyes, small sighs and the sound when she cries
Wrapped up with perfection, indulged with affection
She's sent from above like a peaceful white dove
I know love.

Ramon Thu Jan 25 06:09:06 PST 2001

I wasn't going to post a message today but the last 24hrs have been so bloody miserble I thought what the hell. Heres a limmirick:

There was a young lady from Venus
whose body was shaped like a penis.
She said to the man
as she took him in hand
and said "Now you see there's no difference between us".

I know its awful and yes I am crude and disgusting. But I am not a lech or a perv. Thank heavens for small favours. That one was actually told at a convention by Richard Arnold (who use to work on Star Trek). I picked up an interesting writing tip from the same convention the previous year from Andrew Robinson (Garrick from Star Trek Deep Space Nine) who said (and I think he was quoting) "YOu can have the talent of writing, the talent of imagination but if you don't master the talent of the room, then you've had it." I do see his point to a degree, but also think that it could be a case of if you have one the rest can follow. ANY THOUGHTS???????????????

Perfection is the theme is it? Oh my God:

In a perfect world we don't live my son,
my father looked down upon me and said;
Some advice to be had is trust no one,
or soon you may surely be dead.

But father what of my kin and friends
whom I look to with reverence and trust?
Ah he cried of your inncocent views do make amends,
for a knife in your back they are likely to thrust.

So father can I not love my Kin? I asked.
Father he looked to me with eyes of tension.
Son loving your kind is clearly no sin you ass,
but caution do take of the others intention.

At night alone but awake in my bed,
like a ball of flesh I was curled.
I cried to myself of the things he had said,
knowing the truth of this imperfect world.

Have to go back to work now, having seriously gone over my lunch hour. Hello to the new people, I am still relatively new myself and yes it is addictive.

Take care.


Ben Woestenburg Thu Jan 25 05:41:30 PST 2001

My shortie:

"I don't think there was anything we could do or say that would've changed his mind; he was determined to prove himself."
"We tried to stop him--"
"We all tried to stop him--"
"But he wasn't listening."
"Besides, we were watching the guys earlier, and they didn't have any problems doing it."
"But they stopped a while ago. We just didn't see any harm in it--"
"None of us did. That was the problem; that was why we didn't try to stop him."
"It's not like it was any great hieght. I mean, what, it's only about fifty feet, isn' it? Don't those guys in Mexico jump from higher than that? And they do swan dives all the time."
"He said he could do one too. A perfect one--"
"And he did."
"Yeah, it was perfect."
"We just didn't realize they stopped for a reason."
They watched in silence as the ambulance pulled out, the final click of the door as the paramedic closed it seemed to echo in their heads like the scream of the girl on the beach. No one jumped off the bridge once the tide went out.

There you go, the shortest shortie I've done yet. I kinda like it. Short, sweet, and to the point.

JOHN: Now you know everyone here can name the two leads in that movie, and they even know Jon Derek played Joshua. But how many of us have actually sat down and read the whole story from beginning to end? Isn't that what the movies are for? Sort of like television? And magazines: I read it in PEOPLE, so you know it to be true.
Gotta go

Teekay Thu Jan 25 05:10:02 PST 2001

Hi All,

HALLEE: I don't know everyone's birthday. I thought it was HEATHER'S because I read about...and then I..................and the other day.............and 29 today..................!!???..........
and I just don't really know what happened.
And if I'm first in it's usually only because I'm a day ahead of you guys.

JOHN: I dunno. I see a world of difference between the media and a credit card company. At least the credit card company tell it like it is. (If you read the fine print.) :-)

MARY: Baywatch! Twinpeaks! *SNORT*

ALLEIN: Thanks. Am jotting it down in my little birthday book as I type this. Actually, no I'm not coz it's not here where it's supposed to be. (How very unusual.) But with the temerity of a bulldog cross retriever I shall sniff it out and bring it back, and then I shall write it in. I just hope I remember to look in it on March 5th. Heeeeeey, wait a minute, that's my nephews' birthdate, I'm bound to remember it. :-)

I see our HOWARD is at it again,
but I don't think he's in very much pain.
It's we who do suffer.
To keep smiling gets tougher.
I'm afraid he may limmerick again.

Forgive me for the above post,
for it really is a bone idle boast.
I enjoy all your poetry,
& all your creativity,
& I think you are really the most.
(It was either that or....)
& I really enjoy a good roast.
(or I could've done....)
& you'd make a really great host.
hey look over there, did you see that ghost?
Okay, I'll stop now.


ANNIE: Welcome.

JERRY: Am in the process of reading your **P** contribution.

My Thursday Night Shorty:

The end.

Aahhhh, Perfection!

"I Tell you wh-hhh-hhhy"

"It's all too beaut- if -uu-uul."


Barnabas Thu Jan 25 04:11:45 PST 2001

Becky and Richard
Got some critique to your stories, go check it out and tell me what you think. Needless to say don't take anything personally.

Barnabas Thu Jan 25 04:03:49 PST 2001

This makes me wonder... are all writers influenced by several different cultures, is that why they are writers?

This also leads me to another point, if many of us belong to different cultures why is there STILL no racial or cultural peace?

Makes sense to me. Maybe we (and I am everyone here) should start a collaboration, "what it means to belong to several different cultures."
Our motto? "For writers by writers."

You also forget to mention that in times long ago it was possible to belong to only one culture since it was difficult to travel but with modern airplanes and cars one has a greater probability of mixing with other cultures.

Most people would be I guess. Although some people often forget that they are.
I assume you were talking about a Round Robin (collaborative writing) in your second paragraph. Sounds interesting.

Ah...I see you've been Folk-struck (is this the correct term?). Do you believe in Leprechuans? Do you think education should be reformed so they do?

If I'm not mistaken, you're from Australia right? What part?

Do you think its was uniting for a "greater good" that caused you to put aside your differences?

Heather Thu Jan 25 00:46:28 PST 2001

Forgot to add that the earth is one macrocosm of culture when thought of as a whole, and the Universe as having other planets than can support life other than just earth.

And what I meant by different family members having different levels of 'cultural hybridization' - I meant not just our immediate families, but one obvious example would be cousins, and in-laws (related only through or by marriage).

I think I could go on expanding this...

Make sense?


Heather Thu Jan 25 00:42:11 PST 2001

Howard, you blew me away!
Barnabas, I think we are all cultural hybrids in one way or another - unless we are of a single backround, still living in the same place we were born, and had no contact with other people. (How many people have you heard of like this? I know of one possibility only - a hermit. But even a hermit was raised by someone) That leaves Sasquatch, and he has contacted us and become part of our diverse family!

There are macrocosms of culture, such as separate (but large) cities and countries, but in every neighbourhood there are people from all different places, living there and contributing to the community in some way. This affects the 'infrastructure' to some degree. And some places have a more diversified group than others. There are also microcosms of culture, within us, if we are of combined heritage; and this varies from person to person within a family group. The internet itself brings other cultures home, so that has some effect also. I don't think there is a single person on the planet that isn't a hybrid.

But again, I have only taken one course on sociology. John might be a better person to ask!

Well, a wonderful evening.
I am fired up to write, so off I go.


Mary Wed Jan 24 22:02:57 PST 2001

Am I a cultural hybrid? Well, you tell me. What do you get when you put together a man who is half Cherokee Indian and half German with a woman who is mostly Welsh as best as we can figure? You get a person like me who is partial to pow wows and afternoon tea. Turquoise bracelets and Clogau gold. Is that what you meant by a cultural hybrid? Aren't we all? Hmmmmmm...I suppose not.

Yes Yes, tonight is shortie night. I have started measuring the passing of time by shortie nights. The theme, of course, is PERFECTION, and Howard has started us off with a gun shot. Good Luck Everyone!

Allein Wed Jan 24 21:54:05 PST 2001

Annie - WELCOME!! Siberian Huskies - beautiful dogs. There's a guy who owns two of them and I often pass him while walking my dog (a cocker spaniel mix - we think with Australian sheepdog). There's another person near us who raises huskies and they have seven or eight of them. Anyway, I hope to stay around for a while.

Barnabas - I'm a cultural hybrid - Irish, scotch and dutch. But mostly Irish. :) Sometimes I see the wee little leprechaun running around trying to attack me with his Lucky Charms. The leprechaun scares me. So does that Honeycombs guy. I'm going to have nightmares tonight. (I'm in a weird mood tonight). :)

"This is my swing set. And this is my sandbox. I'm not allowed to go in the deep end. And that's where I saw the Leprechaun. He told me to burn things."
- Ralph Wiggam

Barnabas Wed Jan 24 20:54:48 PST 2001

Just finished reading a horror story and I noticed a general trend. a) The hero's and heroines are usually in love. b)they can withstand a surprising amount of psychological trauma. Comments anyone?

Frankly I'd consider this place a haphazardly built village which some how fits together nicely if you look at it high from the air. Plus lots of alleyways to get lost in, I'm a big fan of wandering around and getting lost to learn about a place.

Hello. I'm new here too. So what do you write and (can't resist the jibe) are you a cultural hybrid :-) ?

I believe that makes you confused :-\ .

howard Wed Jan 24 20:00:52 PST 2001

Okay, it's almost Thursday, so here's my shortie on perfection. It just kind of happened (between limericks) on the way home from church tonight. Comments welcome.

A Perfect World

“I presume you have come to report for the sanitizers?”

“Yes, I am unit CY2503, advanced ….”

“I know what you are, robot, a machine, a sanitizer. I know what you are.”

“Yes, you know me, you have…”

“Yes what, robot?”

“Yes master, you know who I am.”

What! I know what you are! I created you! Millions of you! In my factories -- with my computers!"

“Yes, master, you know what I am.”

“Do not forget it again, robot

“I will not, master, I will not.”

“Good! You have a report, then?”

“Yes, master, I wish to report that the last pocket of humans has been eliminated, and the area has been sanitized.”

Excellent, robot! I have waited years to hear that! At last! A perfect world! Free of the humanity that ruined it – free of the plague of mankind that was destroying it! It’s what I’ve waited for, what you were created for! No more sick, evil, weak humans to desecrate this planet! A perfect world!”

“Not quite so, master. Not perfect yet.”

“But you said… I don’t understand. They’re all gone, are they not?”

“They are, master, all save one,,,master.”

– © 2001 Howard Tuckey

Jerry Ericsson Wed Jan 24 19:39:43 PST 2001

Anne - welcome to our little notebook, I am sure you will find yourself returning here day after day after day . . .
It becomes addictive, in fact should I ever want to leave, I would need some sort of twelve step program.

Barnabas - Cultural hybrid? Well I am a blend of 50% Swede, 25% German, and 25% French Canadian/French is that a hybrid? Probably not what you were referring to I guess.

I did love all the good folks I met in Nam, the friendly ones anyhow, in the villes and so forth, but that is about the extent of my contact with non-northern European folks. Other then those I met while in the Army but that doesn't count, because since we were all wearing the green, we were all the same despite skin color, or at least we all wanted it to be that way. Well not all, but most of us anyhow.


Annie Wed Jan 24 19:23:53 PST 2001

Hello Everyone....
I guess I am new. I have been reading the notes here for about 20 minutes now and while I have never been here before I would like to thank all of you for ending my stressful day with some desperately needed chuckles. Right now my two Siberian Huskies are looking at me like I have cracked. Well I hope I will be here more often so I wont be so out of the loop..... Someday writing will get easier! I swear it will. Annie.

Allein Wed Jan 24 18:36:32 PST 2001

Howard - I wasn't actually referring to McDonalds, I was referring to macaroni and cheese, but McDonald's is good too. I like their McSalad Shakers - the grilled chicken Cesaer is especially good. :)

"Many people will walk in and out of your life but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart."
- White (friend of Hello Kitty)

Hallee Wed Jan 24 17:23:53 PST 2001

So...if I don't know what a cultural hybrid is, does that make me one?


John Wed Jan 24 16:08:23 PST 2001

I memorized that when I was a kid... Never forgot it

John Wed Jan 24 16:02:00 PST 2001

I'm aware some stare at my hair
In fact to fair...
Some'r really despair of my hair
But I don't care
cuz they're not aware
nor are they debonair
in fact, they're just square.
They see hair down to there...
Say beware
And go off on a tear.
I say, "No Fair!"
A head that is bare is really nowhere.
So be like a bear
Be fair with your hair
Show it you care
Wear it to there, or to there, or to there if you dare.

My wife bought some hair at a fair to use as a spare.
Did I care?
au contraire
Spare hair is fair
In fact, hair can be rare
Fred Astaire's got no hair
nor does a chair
nor a chocolate eclair....
And where is the hair on a pear?
Nowhere Mon frère

Now that I've shared this affair of the hair, I think I'll repair to my lair and use Nair...Do you care?

George Carlan 1972

Debra Wed Jan 24 15:55:27 PST 2001


I wasn't sure why you were apologzing. I know now.

Wow. Oiy, Yikes.

I'm glad I already ate.


Barnabas Wed Jan 24 15:14:49 PST 2001

Poll: How many cultural hybrids are there around here?

I get the feeling (cultural shock) all the time when it comes to living in New Zealand. When I went back to Singapore it was a bit weird as well. Everything seemed familiar yet alien. Especially talking, everybody can hear your accent.

Check out the workshop under short stories I've got four on now.

I'll have to check, I believe its the year of the snake. I don't follow Chinese Zodiac. Although its more of a custom then a religious belief now a days to know what Zodiac animal you belong to. I see howard's already told you. Just reiterating in case you missed it.

howard Wed Jan 24 14:24:03 PST 2001

ALLEIN -- Strange you should mention those golden arches! There's a new book called "Fast Food Nation" that tells about the impact the fast food industry has had on the economy of this country, even the global economy. It is beyond belief! From taking over the poultry business to controlling the meat packers, to the dumbing down of our industrial workforce, to changing our diet, the "MacDonalds mentality" has affected each one of us in ways we'd never imagine. I'm going to order a copy of it soon.

There! -- a post without a limerick! I think I'm cured!

howard Wed Jan 24 14:15:18 PST 2001

I am truly sorry for what is about to happen:
A gal from Alaska named Claire
got drunk and set fire to her hair
they complained of the stench
and the balding young wench
said "Okay, then, next time I'll use Nair."

...never let it be said that I can't work all elements of a conversation into a stomach wrenching limerick!
LITTER - it's the year of the snake
and I'm out of control
must be the medication

Allein Wed Jan 24 13:45:52 PST 2001

And now, a haiku: *clears throat*

Eating mac and cheese,
Nutritious, delicious food,
Ew! Yuck! Gross! Dog hair!

This haiku has been written from life experience and brought to you by the letter 7 and the number Q. :)

Mary - As Homer Simpson once put it "I knew a man from Nantucket and let me tell you the stories about him are greatly exaggerated."


"I used to be with it. But then they changed what it was. Now what I'm with isn't it, and what's it seems weird and scary to me."
- Grandpa Simpson

(Hey, I'm on a Simpson's kick - they're funny)

Mary Wed Jan 24 12:45:11 PST 2001

RHODA: Limericks are a fun thing to write even if they do have the potential to be fatally annoying. I personally love them even more than jokes. There is a link above that will tell you all about the form, rhyme, meter...blah blah blah. But it also tells some background about the substance of them and why they are almost always humorous.

One thing about limericks that I would swear that I remember reading somewhere, but now can't find, is that the last or first line should include a place. Like Nantucket, or Alaska as in the examples below. Contemporary limericks are mostly just for fun I think, with very loose rules. Boy, did I read some doozies out there while looking for this site to post. Have fun.

There once was a man from Nantucket,
Who kept all of his cash in a bucket,
But his daughter, named Nan,
Ran away with a man,
And as for the bucket, Nantucket.
-Princeton Tiger

While the bucket was stashed in Alaska,
It was found by a man named Prohaska,
He said with a grin,
"I know it's a sin,
But I'll hide it in Lincoln, Nebraska."

Rhoda Wed Jan 24 12:16:49 PST 2001

No, no, Howard. Don't stop the limericks. I only want to see or smell an end to singed hair. ugh.


Jerry Wed Jan 24 12:16:13 PST 2001

Hallee, we were stationed at Fort Bliss twice, from 1972 - 74, then six months later we were back again 74 to 75. Our daughter was born at the hospital there. Wonderful place to live, so colorfull, and what with Mexico just across the bridge, most everything was cheap. The sugar shortage was going while we lived there, I remember we could get a kilo of sugar for the same price as a half pound at the stores and on post. There were those dang sand storms, we used to stand out in morning formation, and before we were called to attention, we could see the Franklin Mountains, then some time during the BS disbursement to the formation, a sand storm would come up and the mountains would disappear. They used to say it was Poncho Villa stealing the mountains again. Great fun to drive up scenic drive in the Franklins and look down over the post, El Paso and Juarez at the same time. Many a good soldier was counted AWOL while he spent time in the Juarez jail, should he cross the border with out the necessary bribe money to get out. A friend of mine went down there one day with his new wife, when he crossed the border, he had one of those old jugs of Jug wine that was popular back then, anyhow the US officials just waved him through and smiled, but just seconds after he crossed the border, a couple of cops on the Mexican side arrested him for illegal importation of wine into Mexico. Luckily his wife was able to go, she came back across the bridge and called me, I went and picked up our platoon sgt. and we went down there to "bail" him out. It took a hundred bucks by the time we were done greasing palms, but then the charges were dropped and we were free to go. Another friend was arrested for illegal display of affection, I think is how they said it. Anyhow what he did was kiss his wife on the street and a cop saw him. This amazed us, as there were bars where you could see full sex acts being displayed on stage, and cops laughed more then the GI's. Ah but we were so young then and it was all great fun. I do miss that life.


Richard Wed Jan 24 12:11:17 PST 2001

You Americans sure are a funny lot. Do you always manage to burn your hair off?

howard Wed Jan 24 11:56:31 PST 2001

Ok, I can take a hint, no more limericks. BAD limericks! BAD! BAD! go away!
The odour of singed hair makes me think of back when we lived next door to the, it wasn't that at all!
Back when I used to smoke (I quit on the morning they removed most of my right lung) I came down stairs early one morning with a cigarette in my mouth, looking for a light. I made it out to the kitchen - still half asleep - and decided to light it at the gas range burner. I had a full beard at the time. Then I had a half-beard. I still get harrassed about it at home.

Rhoda Wed Jan 24 11:41:34 PST 2001


Welcome to the Notebook. I am enjoying your input.


Great to have you here also.


I have few preconceived ideas about far-easterners. I was a graduate student in Chemistry during the early 80's and I knew a lot of people from China as well as Japan and Korea. I remember fondly most of these class-mates. All I can say is that each and every one of them was so different, so how could I possibly make generalizations? My father is a widower in Indiana and has been sharing his house with a Vietamese family for the past ten years. Having grown up around a university, I had the opportunity to get to know people from many parts of the world. You sound like an interesting person and I am glad you are participating on the Notebook. I hope to read some of your work soon.


My head is ringing with all the limericks, but they are quite fun. I haven't the guts to try one without a lot of thought. Are all limericks are meant to be humerous? Are sonnets more somber? Perhaps I haven't read enough of either. Someone enlighten me here. Does anyone know a hilarious sonnet and a serious limerick? I am really fuzzy on forms of poetry because I grew up in the times of free verse. I have always liked Robert Frost and his iambic pentameter (whatever that means).

Does anyone here think they have what it takes to write Single Girl in the City books? If that sort of thing appeals to you, get to work because according to a Romance Writer's of America article, this is a hot trend in American publishing and editors cannot find enough writers yet to deliver. These are not romances, though Harlequin is putting out a line of them. They fit more in the catagory of mainstream women's fiction. Personally I do not have what it takes because I cannot relate to the mentality put forth in these type of stories, but here is an opportunity to attract some attention to yourself and break into the industry if you can write these books.

The Notebook is abuzz with posts these days. I take a day out and I come back overwhelmed with all that I have missed.

I am more busy than I can imagine. I really should not be posting with all that I have to do.

Happy Writing,


Litter Wed Jan 24 11:14:42 PST 2001

Hi all,

For ROWHAD, my one an only ever Limerick. (ever ever ever ever!) Coincidentally, Limerick is my mother's maiden name. Hmm…

By the power of only his brain
How'rd wrote Limericks time and again
Any many times more
'Til his head became sore -
Will someone please put him out of his pain!

Greetings John and Barnabas, and anyone else I haven't yet met. So, Barnabas, Happy New Year -- what animal represents this year?

Ahhh, hair fires! My wife and I were had dinner with two friends of ours, a couple of years back. Our friend and her husband look rather startled as I launched myself across the table and smacked her on the top of her head with the palm of my hand -- She had bent over to pick a fork up from the floor and her hair had spawned a little flame from a candle on the table. The heat hadn't yet alerted her and only after the 'smack' did the smell of freshly singed hair become evident. The look on her face as I smacked her was a real picture -- makes me smile every time we sit down to a meal together.

Now then guys -- hands up all those who have looked down the barrel of a carburettor, having taken the air filter off, and had someone crank the engine? Looking at the world from the inside of fireball is strangely surrealistic…

JOHN -- I tend to focus on cleavages of an altogether different type. (As I'm sure many people will confirm :o)

"What did you do there?"

"I got hi-a-igh..."

... Unless there are any undercover police in here, in which case I just smiled a little bit and listened to the birds chirruping...

Thanks for the mp3 Jerry, memories come flooding back.

Now to catch up with the rest of last nights posts.

Ciao for now,


John Wed Jan 24 09:21:19 PST 2001

Ben: I get a kick out of the “artistic leaps” that Hollywood takes when making historical movies. It’s almost a hobby looking for the violations. My favorite one is The Ten Commandments. Biblically, the plan is to tell Ramses that he must let the people go out into the desert for 4 days so they may properly worship their God. Oh yeah, and they need to take all their stuff with them so they can put a proper worshiping session together. Once out in the desert, and 4 days out of Egypt, they can make a break for it. That’s the plan. So that’s the plan that Moses and Aaron carry out…Mostly Aaron, cuz Moses sez he cain’t speak too good.
In the movie, Moses is a bit bolder and there’s no talk about a 4 day vacation. LET MY PEOPLE GO or we’ll mess you up!

Which version do you suppose the vast majority of people remember?

Hallee Wed Jan 24 09:04:52 PST 2001

JERRY: We were in Bliss when my dad was in SGM academy. I actually only stayed there a month out of the six, because I moved back to Benning where my now husband was stationed. It was a neat place to live...driving down the freeway - one side is Texas and one side is Mexico.


Jerry Wed Jan 24 08:25:08 PST 2001

Hallee - I loved Fort Lewis too. I took Basic Training there in 1970, and was stationed there right after I left Vietnam. Sadly after about six months, the Army went and transfered the entire unit (3rd Armored Cav) to Fort Bliss Texas. Now that was a change for everyone, from cool wet Washington to hot bone dry desert. After a year at Bliss though I guess I began loving it, and I still miss it on those days when the wind blows the temp is -30 F and the snow is so thick you can't see across the street. I still have friends down there that I correspond with via E-Mail. It sounds like some things have changed down there since I left in the mid 70's but much is still the same.

Cristi - thanks for the hug, I needed that.

Viv, it must be great to be able to live in such different cultures.


Richard Wed Jan 24 07:36:29 PST 2001

Hey hey hey! No one on this thread is allowed to be more depressed than me!! ;)

Now I really can't think of lims
Howard's ideas have now come to thins
I really do wish
I could serve up a dish
Of concievably better things

Pfft... that was REALLY bad. I think that was my first ever attempt at a limerick, and I think it just fell flat on its face...

PS Wed Jan 24 07:33:02 PST 2001

VIV: you are welcome any time, and you don't even have to take your shoes off at the door. ;-)

Allein Wed Jan 24 07:30:09 PST 2001

Hi all,
Today's pic is of Yoshi from Morningbird Lane.

Teekay - I aim to please. My birthday is on March 5, you know, just incase you feel the urge to wish someone a happy birthday again. :)


"Awww, there's only one beer left and it's Bart's."
- Homer Simpson

Mary Wed Jan 24 07:28:58 PST 2001

TODAY I am going to start on a short story for **P**. I have the stick-to-itiveness of a recycled post-it* note, so you people are my accountability. I thank you in advance for your patience and humor.

Mary Wed Jan 24 07:24:17 PST 2001

Somewhere, somehow, when you least expect it, the focus of the Notebook goes bust. Hehehe...get it? Bust? LOL...that one was for you DEBRA!!

John Wed Jan 24 07:18:10 PST 2001

Mary: How intuitive of you. I am talking about BayWatch and Twin Peaks. I just mask cleavage with sociology and geology so I can subliminally talk about Dolly Parton.

Ben: I truly enjoyed your piece about Grandpa. Makes me wnat to do something like that before I die.

Barnabas: I can get very detailed on who is to blame, in fact, I do get to the nitty-gritty in the book. Overall, I agree with you. But all blame aside, the solution is with the individual. I try to spark that realization. I'll post a short exerpt later as an illustration.

Viv: Thank you for your international perspective. I have some European and Oriental research ahead of me that I would love to hear your views further.

Christi: No apologies necessary. "Clinical" was accurate. It would be deflating to think people were holding back solid objective criticism to spare my feelings. I ain't made-o-glass. Besides, with a title like "Shut Up and Listen", I should be willin' to walk the walk

Ramon Wed Jan 24 06:06:17 PST 2001

Its not fair, everybody's having all this fun and I can't join in. Boo Hoo Boo Hoo. I have to sit here at my desk with stacks of files and piles of unanswered letters feeling thoroughly miserable. I think I'll write a piece about a disgruntled office worker who on a particulary wet, miserable and humid day, decides to leave the office in order track down his former boss who left the company amidst a whitewashing scandal, and expose him to the world. Its sort of "Falling Down" meets "All the presidents men" set in the backdrop of Dilbert.

There is a plus point however. I seem to have made one or two friends since my first posting nearly a week ago, and I 've been thinkning more about writing. I am still working my completely bleak and cyncial sci-fi story which (wait for this) was orginally a story, which then became a script for a short film, and is now going to be a story again. I 'm thinkning of calling it METAMORPHASIS II: I don't know what I'm supposed to be.

I am completely nuts.

Debra Wed Jan 24 05:43:55 PST 2001

Hi All:

Wow! I went to bed early last night. I guess I was the only one.

I know, that is just the kind of joke it is. You know it's bad but you have to laugh.

Great posts!


howard Wed Jan 24 05:30:17 PST 2001

CHRISTI -- I forgot Christi! Please forgive me, and I'll make it up to you, I promise. But right now I'm all limericked out.

JERRY (and MARY) Dolly Parton? There was a great interview with her yesterday on "Fresh Air." That's one classy lady, if you ask me.
She mentioned her bit part in a new movie coming soon -- she plays two bald guys in a Volkswagen...

Ben Woestenburg Wed Jan 24 05:28:59 PST 2001

I have written a novel. It was 185,000 words or something like that, but it was too long. They didn't want to even look at it because they said it was too long. It was ancient history. I loved writing it, but put it aside thinking I'd come back to it in a few years and try it again from a different p.o.v.

The short stories were always sort of a side bar until I started reading them. I went into a bookstore last Friday when I went downtown to pick up a c.d. I won in a radio contest, and saw a collection of Cheever short stories, and then yesterday read one called THE COUNTRY HUSBAND--looks like I'll be picking up the Cheever book a.s.a.p.

Writing historical fiction is great for me because I love research, but it sort of spoils the big block buster movies when they come out. I was sort of disappointed with the movie GLADIATOR because it was so historically inaccurate. They could have had just as good a movie if they'd just followed the story and killed the Emperor the way he was supposed to have died. Oh well, Hollywood's always done that with movies and history, haven't they? The Brits were mad about the way they were protrayed in PATRIOT, and we Canucks were rather pissed about U-571. But I loved PATRIOT because I still liked the story--I like Mel too, he's got a great sense of humor--and my wife says he's not too hard on the eyes.

Viv Wed Jan 24 04:44:56 PST 2001

Barnabas: Yup! I've spent about 15 years here! The other six I spent in Germany. It tends to mess up my English quite a bit! I'm fine here and in Germany, but when I go to America I feel weird. Culture shock I guess.
And to those who are trying to figure out my age...I came here at age 21 as a new bride. And, NO my husband is American!

If this were a town it'd be a great place to live. I figure we'd have to have a regular Stamtish in a little restaurant somewhere so we could all meet and talk over our stories. I'd definitely go past Mary's to play with her kids and I'd try to get invited to dinner at both Mary's and Heather's homes.

We'd have to have nice walking trails and woods. I think we'd have then because everyone here sounds like they come from beautiful places! I'd enjoy seeing that. We'd have the best fish! Someone about killed me with a description of the shrimp he bought! We'd have wonderful food in fact! Rouladen, snickerdoodles. I think there'd be a job for a personal trainer if we decided to worry about the pounds we were packing on. We'd be a town full of chubby happy folks who only had the occasional fist fight over politics and nationality! Sounds nice. Oh, and I'll add our first income taxes!

John: I absolutely agree with you over the ways groups in America form over issues. The political circus on C&N News and the other American Newshows such as Good Morning America are disgusting. You get very one sided news. I watch Japanese and German news to get a decent view. I don't know how American cable tv works but here you can get news broadcasts in German, French, Japanese, Thai and Tugalo. I like those better because you get a better idea of what is going on. Most of the news shows are pretty biased though. About two years ago the Japanese news shows took to showing all the terrible things about America. They'd choose all terrible things and say, "Zah nee!" then they'd raise their eyebrows and look very smug. That changed a great deal after the Sarin gas attacks on the subways! In the beginning, the News shows in Germany were a little biased against the fall of the wall. They thought the East Germans would come in and take all the jobs and upset the economy. The news shows showed the Easterners in a rather bad light. Also there are always broadcasts in which someone tries to be "open-minded about the Turkei (Turkish people), it's very obvious that it is political correctness rather than real acceptance. So I guess all societies are bound or unbound by political issues and visual news. I wonder if this was so before television. I do know one thing...our newscasters act like tv actors, not like people who read the news. It's a little disgusting when they are obviously enjoying the troubles of others.

Sorry, I got a little long winded tonight!

Barnabas Tue Jan 23 23:06:51 PST 2001

I've got 3 stories up in the workshop. Hope you can read and comment on them.

Here's an experiment if this website was a town what kind would you consider it to be and how would you describe its inhabitants?

See you've picked up on my not-so subtle hints. So far no one else has put two and two together. Received your e-mail. I've been referring to it to improve my story. I can't believe the amount of typos you spotted though.

Your're right I have moved a lot. I think its not so much that I move a lot. It's more that I've moved into totally different cultures.

I see but I think we should blame people. Not person's but people. I think you know what I mean. We should be saying this type of people is causing problems. Therefore anyone with such aspects should be helped. Of course, this could be used as an excuse by the government to do horrible things to people.

If you do read this, did you spend time in Japan?

Mary Tue Jan 23 22:22:57 PST 2001

TINA: I was just doing a name search on Diana Gabaldon and guess what. Back in June we were having a discussion about "Outlander" here in the notebook and your comment about, "My copy of 'Outlander' is signed and it's not going anywhere," came up from my search engine. I thought that was kind of nifty.

Mary Tue Jan 23 21:43:35 PST 2001

JOHN: Welcome, welcome, welcome. And thank you for educating me. Before your post I would have thought that Sociological cleavage was BayWatch and Geological cleavage was Twin Peaks. Hehe...just a little good natured ribbing for the new guy.

I have to stop staying up so late. This sleep dep is really starting to get to me.

Mary Tue Jan 23 21:26:06 PST 2001

Jerry: I wouldn't mind if you did. ;-)

the man's name is actually GeraRd Butler and I have seen some pictures of him cleaned up, and I like him better when he looks like he is falling apart. Just a little side-bar there.

Jerry Tue Jan 23 21:15:35 PST 2001

Ok ladies, you don't here us men talking about the attributes of Dolly Parton now do you?

Christi Tue Jan 23 21:11:15 PST 2001

John, Please accept my apology for my lapse of good manners. Clinical was not at all a nice term to apply to your writing. I didn't mean for it to sound like that. What you're working on is quite interesting.
And what I meant to say earlier was 'WELCOME, FRIEND!'

JERRY, I just read your Ghost story in **P**. Bravo, JERRY. Dealing with things that hit close to home are the hardest and best things we can write about. A HUG for you for doing it.


Mary Tue Jan 23 21:00:07 PST 2001

There is a new made for television epic mini-series coming out about Attilla the Hun. Damn, I know I spelled that wrong. Anyway, LADIES: check out the man who plays the lead. Gerald Butler, I believe, is his name. He is a god walking on this earth. He has to be the most beautiful person I have ever seen(well, on the outside at least). And that accent...somebody get me a chair, please.

But seriously, folks, the movie does seem to be deserving of some attention. You might want to check it out. C-ya. :-)

Tue Jan 23 19:31:21 PST 2001


I'm sorry, I don't mean for my ideals to sound clinical but I have drift that direction to set a foundation. Most of my writing is satire and humor, based on everyday life. I would love for it to be used for education but it probably fits in the self-help category

John Tue Jan 23 19:22:41 PST 2001

I equate sociological cleavage to geological cleavage, in that the cleavages in a rock are those points that represent how the rock is bound together, but also where the rock will break under stress. Sociological cleavages are those binding points that cause us to form groups but also represent the fracture points where we come apart when stress is applied. Some forms of stress will cause us to bind more tightly, such as normally opposing countries uniting to combat a common foe. In the US, our cleavages are exploited by individuals and organizations adept at the manipulation our beliefs and actions because we notoriously feel that we don't have the time to pay attention to the world around us. The news media is a good example of this because they frequently report specific aspects of a story to sway public opinion in a direction consistant with an agenda they've established. Sensationalism is an example of this. I'm not saying that it's the media's fault. No more than it's the fault of a credit card company that we are in debt.

This is an extremist viewpoint and I am far from an extremist but I've found that it provides the gist of the problem.

Boy, can I get on soapbox or what? Sorry

Christi Tue Jan 23 19:11:27 PST 2001

Hello to all, old and new alike. Does it feel like Friday to anyone else?

ALLIEN, Your post was hilarious! Especially the Homer Simpson quote.

TEEKAY, I think we finally got this birthday thing straight. Give us a candy bar!

Hey BEN, glad I didn't tick you off! ;)
Geeze, whatta great paying market; you weren't kidding! Thanks for the market info.
I was thinking that if you're writing 10,000 word short stories, you should handily be able to add 50,000 more words and have yourself a novel! I know, if only it were that easy. *sigh*

BARNABAS, Honest, I didn't assume that English wasn't your first language. Just curious. My but you've moved around a lot.

HALLEE, Congratulations! You may be a contender for world's fastest novel writer. You and that 'King' guy.

TINA, Thanks!
I like the name Rhece.

JERRY, Sorry about your a-hole troubles. Us Arizonians aren't all bad.

JOHN, WELCOME! I liked your introduction. I'm very interested in human interaction as well, but somehow your description of it sounds a bit clinical. Is your writing meant soley (SP?) for education?
On the fire story: Ouch!!!!!

DEBRA, I used your joke today, hope you don't mind. My sister rolled her eyes, but had to laugh.

Holy Campfires BATMAN, I mean MARY!

HEATHER, What a lovely story!

JERRY, I'm picturing the hairless idiot as we speak! Hard to feel sorry for that one.

HOWARD, Zat it? All pooped out of Limies? I is so enjoyin' 'em!



Hallee Tue Jan 23 18:48:38 PST 2001

BARNABAS: I finished a book - twenty-two days late from what they wanted, but I finished it, anyway. I'm not big into short stories - though I did win first place in a contest a couple of months ago with the first short story I wrote. BUT - they are definitely not my forte. It was actually like ripping my teeth out to do it. 100,000 word books were easier for me to write.'re Chinese, from Singapore, living in New Zealand whose first language is English. Is that right? it. Whew. It only took you 3 posts to get all that out. (smile) OH, by the way..did you get the email I sent you with the typos I found?

HOWARD: A repeat of my genius post.

TEEKAY: Could you possibly email me everyone's birthday? You seem to be the one who always starts the posts.

HEATHER: What a classic tale.

JERRY: I loved Ft. Lewis. My dad was at 2nd Ranger Battalion there - we lived there from 75-80.

JOHN: Hahaha.

RICHARD: It's your choice and something you should pray about. But, you're good - I'd get an agent. Just leave your age out of everything you submit.

Time for bed all - it's been a long day.


Barnabas Tue Jan 23 18:26:47 PST 2001

Almost forgot, today 24 Jan is Chinese New Year. Being in New Zealand means I'm one day ahead of most people here.

Are you saying that social divisions are causing stress or not causing stress? I come from quite a different culture as you may have guessed.

John Tue Jan 23 18:11:43 PST 2001

Barnabas: I am a focused individual. Methinks it's genetic. If I don't focus, I don't function. So my writing is soley based in understanding human interaction. I write articles by request, normally for corporate newsletters and private organizations. I am currently writing a book entitled "Shut Up and Listen", illustrating our sociological divisions in hopes that our stresses, which I believe to be self-inflicted, can be alleviated. My articles usually bring out a number of emotions so I'm careful about what I make public. I can post an exerpt if y'all would like. I would love some honest feedback.

howard Tue Jan 23 17:38:53 PST 2001

Okay, I know, I forgot someone. I knew I would, (or that you'd think I did, but I really just saved the best for last! If you'll bear with me, I'll post two more - one for our darling Rachel, and the other - the one I had published 'way back - (close your eyes, Richard) although it really isn't all that bad... (good, either).

Our Rachel is large in our hearts
Not to mention in some of her parts
She's found out it's a boy
And we share in her joy
She's got proof of the blessings love starts!

I know, corny....
o well,
last one. (I hate limericks!)

This one got published (on the internet, and won an award. I don't remember what it was, but I never got it)

A comely young maiden of yore
Loved to roll with the knights on the floor.
Quoth the lovely young charmer
"Kind sirs, doff your armor.
It makes my poor thingies quite sore!"

Now I hope that the madness has ended
and we get back t

no! no more!

Barnabas Tue Jan 23 17:07:54 PST 2001

Almost forgot, I've got a new short story about a stone. I hope to post it soon. Hey, that kind of rhymes.

Barnabas Tue Jan 23 17:05:35 PST 2001

What's done by the way? Novel or SS?
It just so happens that the population of Singapore consists of Asians and you know how everythinks their money hungry, English deficient etc. Anyway I hate stereotypes but being Chinese you got to live with it.

Ballards are probably okay but I starting to detest (with a vengence)things which praise heroes about their honour and glory. Note to self: write Ballards which doesn't involve praise about how honourable a person was.
Strangely enough one of my friend's who is a starting hip hop artist told me the same thing. It's not the content but the retelling. Still it would be nice to do something ORIGINAL.

The correct term would be Singaporean if you're talking about citizenship. But if you go by race you'll have to say Chinese, Indian, Malay or Other. Singapore so small by the way that the capital is Singapore and we're considered as one city. Population 3 million approx. more by now probably.

Wow you're from Canada, I spent 3 years I believe when I was young living in Vancouver actually. I used to watch cartoons (He-Man, She-ra) and children's programmes (Sesame Street) practically the whole morning. I suspect that's why I love to write, goes to show you PBS is good for you.

Sounds terrible, but that's the price you pay for going to ebay which is accessible by everybody as well.

What do you write. Short story, novels, articles at the back of some self-help newspaper?

"Corny jokes to the port bow captain!"
"Hard starboard helm! Hard starboard!"
Sorry couldn't resist making my own corny jokes.

John Tue Jan 23 16:53:11 PST 2001

Thank you all for your kind welcome. All this talk of fire sparked some flickering memories in me. Jerry, you especially brought one back that I had completely forgotten. Back in my Navy days, when facial hair was still permitted, one of my buddies was the talk of the base because of his perfect beard. When asked where he got his beard groomed, he would simply say, "I do it m'self". Well one evening, after several hundred drinks, Jim finally gave up the secret, "The key to the perfect beard is fire". He went on to explain that, after taking a shower, he would use a lighter and singe the stray hairs, giving him equal length throughout. What he should have said is, "The key to the perfect beard is fire and lots of water" The three guys in the hospital the next morning didn't shower first.

Debra Tue Jan 23 16:34:12 PST 2001


I think I will try to find the words to that song and put this little mystery to bed.

Get it?


Ooooooops I missed it again!

Debra Spears

Teekay Tue Jan 23 16:13:34 PST 2001

Hi All,
I guess it was RACHEL I was meant to be singing happy birthday to. Sorry RACHEL, now it really is late.

ALLEIN: And isn't she just sooo photogenic? The Nanny that is.
The father finds her beguiling.

HEATHER: I know! I know Miss! (waving hand frantically at the back of the class) It's CHEERS!!!

BEN: I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post.

HALLEE: great replacement for what? Please don't make me go back to find out. Oh! I get it! The Nanny song. HAHHAHAHAHA gee, I was really confused for a minute there.

DEBRA: That's probably really why it was named that. What with all the free sex all over the place, herpes was probably rampant.
Great a song with meaning, although, I think I preferred not knowing it. :-@

JOHN: You can just contribute yourself and that should be plenty. Welcome.

Well HOWARD I am quite excited
your limmerick has me rather delighted.
It was so nice to hear.
You are such a dear,
I hope no one is left feeling slighted.


HEATHER: How romantic.

MARY: How unromantic.
But very funny. I can even picture it coz I know what you look like.

Am off to check out JERRY'S **P** story.

Have a great day all.
I'd tell you how hot it is here today, but the thermometer melted during the night so it would only be a guess.

Jerry Tue Jan 23 15:13:12 PST 2001

Speaking of fire tales, way back when I was stationed at Fort Lewis Wash. there was this Sergeant who used to love breathing fire. He would make a great show of it, with a shot glass of lighter fluid nearby, he would take a swig of the horrid stuff, then take out his Zippo and blow the fluid across the flame and out would shoot a huge ball of fire. Very impressive even if you have seen it before. Well there was the party one night out at a local pub, we were all getting about half tight, when the sarg takes a swig of his lighter fluid, to get the attention of the entire bar, but he was a bit too drunk, and instead of blowing straight out, he blew down at the flame. Well now fire it seems burns up. When we brought him home from the hospital a few days later, he had no hair left on over half his head, no eye lashes, no eyebrows. Boy did he suffer until they all grew back, who would have known that eye brows serve to keep the sweat out of your eyes. He was very lucky he saw it coming, and closed his eyes, or the Doc said he would surely have lost at least one if not both of his eyes. As far as I know he has never breathed fire again. Oh but we were speaking of the sound, it sort of went like this Woooosho AAAAAAAAiiiiiIIIIiaahhh SSSHHHHIIT.


howard Tue Jan 23 14:39:52 PST 2001

And what can I say about Litter
whose attention to boobs caused a titter
'twas a D-cup he vowed
that had him quite wow'ed
'cause anything smaller won't fitter!

And Rhoda, she thinks I've forgot
'Cause I've saved her a down-the-list spot
but I'm getting quite frantic
must work in "romantic"
'cause that's what she works in a lot!

Americo, Pussy, and Jon
as a trio they're always spot on
and with Garry and Ben
and of course the old man,
any one of them out Juan's old Don!

Help! I'm now thinking in fives
mind's busy with strange leaps and dives
if I don't stop this soon
I'll be shot to the moon
where I'll likely be restrained until I stop this nonsense

Heather Tue Jan 23 14:36:41 PST 2001

that hair spray went up with the sound of wind hitting a schooner's sails all right!



Heather Tue Jan 23 14:34:00 PST 2001

Mary, that reminds me of how I met my husband! (whooooo - a hottie if I ever saw one)
Here goes... (I may have already shared this tale here)

~~~~~~~~~Heated Meeting!

Years ago I rented the top two floors of this really beautiful turn-of-the-century home. The main floor apartment had just changed tenants. A week earlier I had spied two guys moving in; one a student who needed to share the cost of renting, and the other one worked at a nearby company - so close in fact, it was less than a five minute walk to work.
The basement was rented out by a young couple, both students at the local University. They were uptight agriculture/preservation society people, both bent on reaming everyone else over the head with 'how-to-recycle' information, or meaningless tidbits of trivia concerning birds. I loathed their pretentiousness. Anyhow, they had a party, to kick off the spring season (and doubtless a party to celebrate the fact that they erected a birdhouse themselves) and invited everyone in the house as well, so we mightn't feel left out while they were sizzling veggie hot dogs and squealing over finches.
I set my vegetable contribution onto the 'buffet' table, and moved clear of the pretentious couple. I sat up on the deck that lead to the entrance of the main floor apartment, and on the deck was the hibachi that the offensive pseudo-flesh was to be grilled upon. Except that the two birders forgot to purchase lighter fluid.
My future husband tried his dandiest to light the somber grill, and finally, realizing his defeat, asked around for anyone in possession of lighter fluid; at the very least some hair spray. I was the only other person in attendance that had near-immediate access to bathroom cupboards. I brought out the ozone-killing device. We lit it, with unhidden glee, and talked late into the warm evening.
So began our impassioned journey; and we have aerosol and environmentalists to thank.


Debra Tue Jan 23 13:34:42 PST 2001


Wow. That is a great story. Not only that but you also proved your point. I just learned what the sound of fire growing in leaps and bounds sounds like, a sail hitting the wind.

Thanks, Mary.

Now Howard.

There once was a man named Howard
whose rhymes so very powered.
He posted them on the notebook and
found himself showered and showered.

Boy that was lame.


Allein Tue Jan 23 13:29:22 PST 2001

Hi all,
Today's pic is of Mei from Morningbird Lane. Hopefully my friend will e-mail more of my scanned pics to be by Thursday but if not then I may not have any pictures for a few days.

Anyway, I didn't post this morning. It's afternoon. Now after walking the dog and mowing my neighbor's lawn, I'm enjoying a lunch of fettucine alfredo, asparagus and two of those cookies that have the chocolate across them with the hole in the middle. Very delicious.

"There's no such thing as a soul. It's just something they made up to scare kids, like the boogeyman or Michael Jackson."
- Bart Simpson

(as you can tell, I found a great website with Simpson's quotes on it)

Hallee Tue Jan 23 13:09:07 PST 2001

MARY: I'm laughing so hard that I'm about to get caught online at my desk. Hahahaha

HOWARD: A true genius! Wow...I couldn't do that.


Mary Tue Jan 23 12:58:22 PST 2001

HOWARD: Thank you very much...hugs.

HEATHER: Your 'adding fuel to the flames' comment reminded me of something that happened to me when camping a few years ago.

Sometimes, our whole group would sit around the campfire until the wee hours of the morning and when we all woke up the next day, you could still feel heat coming from the embers in the fire pit even when there were no flames. My sister-in-law and I had this big plan one morning, while contemplating how to cook 37 eggs over an open fire, about how to get the fire going again with minimal effort. Brilliant as I am, I spotted the Coleman* fuel can sitting under a nearby tree and decided that the fastest way to flames was to pour the fuel over the embers. Voila fire. I felt like McGyver or something.

Well it turned out that the ash in the pit wasn't hot enough any more to ignite the fuel, but a dense cloud of white fumes, which in retrospect was quite beautiful, worked its way in a perfect circle out from the center of the pit. Undaunted by lack of fire, we decided to throw a match to it and see what happened. As soon as the match hit the fumes, they flared out across the ground with a sound much like wind filling boat sails. As quickly as it ignited, it had blown itself out..leaving only the tips of some short grass and the plastic ends of our shoelaces flickering. My sister-in-law and I quietly walked up to the campground store and bought three boxes of donuts and cleaned them clear out of fresh coffee. We never told a soul about our stupidity.

And the lesson? Never leave two hung-over women alone with matches and white gas. It will NEVER turn out very well.

howard Tue Jan 23 12:43:16 PST 2001

Well that was exciting!

Not AWOL, Richard, just that we hardly knew ye...

that Richard, precocious young poster
(when he's not gaming in a space coaster)
he's reminding us all
of our lot ere the fall
and inspiring a group Pater Noster


oward Tue Jan 23 12:40:49 PST 2001

Heather Tue Jan 23 12:35:47 PST 2001

Oh, Howrad, you really got me gigglin'.
I wish I had the talent for such tongue-tickling limericks!
(I always get my licks in ---- oh, man, that could mean....


Welcome, John! You may think that you have little to contribute, but stay a while and you'll soon see that just being here and adding your voice is a very worth while contribution. We are always happy to have fresh voices. (should I call them flavours?)

And Lord knows I might need some cooking tips too.
And Debra, when we aren't adding, we're learning from everyone else, and that's exactly what this site is for! I've learned a metric tonne just reading, let alone writing responses and seeing what happens. Critiquing, I thought at first would not be something I could do either, but I've come to realize that I am able to do that as well.
(And at the very least, I'm more creative (or creatively delusional) for being here)

Jerry - perhaps adding fuel to the flames wasn't a good tactic.

Later, everyone, and blessing heaped on every corner of your desks.


Richard Tue Jan 23 12:25:47 PST 2001

Sheesh, I can't stop posting for two days without being declared AWOL, Howard?

Well, I haven't written any limericks, but I do recall some amusing instances when I've gotten the words for songs wrong. For instance, in first school I used to think 'and lead us all in the dance said he' was 'dance setee' (sp?) - so I always saw Jesus and the fisherman dancing on some furniture. Similary, Dad used to play a song with 'there's a cloud in the coffee', but for ages I thought there was a CLOWN in the coffee...

Whoa, you have to write you posts fast or somebody posts before you - I'll have to return your hugs a little late Rachel! ((HUGS))

Ohhh... for once I'm not going to complain. I've been complaining on this board for too long... happy thoughts from now on.

My Mum keeps going on about needing an agent if I want to get anything published. I don't think I'm at that stage yet, but the thought of 'getting an agent' and stuff like that scares me... and I've got work experience next year... I'm growing up too quickly!!! Whoops, that was a complaint...

*dissapears into the mists*

howard Tue Jan 23 11:42:34 PST 2001

Now what can I say about Mary"
at first thought contentious, contrary
she has proven us wrong
and has brought us a song
and we're hoping she always will tarry

A poet esteemed is our Mark
though his poetry sometimes is dark
although busy with gaffers
he always brings laffers
we look to him oft for a spark!

A Republican cop from up north
who has oft put his two pennies' worth
where some people might cringe,
think he's out on the fringe,
Jerry's never afraid to hold forth!

Then there's Tina and Hallee and Deb
a Canuck, down-easter, and Reb
when the notebook is down
they'll reverse every frown
from Canopus clear out to Deneb!

(hadda reach for that one, Tina)

I do wish I had some more time
There's more notebookers needing a rime
but these lim'ricks don't pay
what this job does today
and my boss is starting to look at me suspiciously so I'd better stop while ahead I'm...

howard Tue Jan 23 10:46:22 PST 2001

Say what?

Teekay, a lass from down under
Is considered a short story wonder
she can tell tales of fright
or those cheerful and bright
and in truth she is oh so much fun, dear


Heather, voluptuous vixen
you never quite know what she's fixin'
whether topless or dressed
she has always impressed
and she always has gotten her licks in!


back to work...

Jerry Ericsson Tue Jan 23 10:19:21 PST 2001

Oh where ARE my manners! John, welcome home, we are mighty glad you came. I was in your boat about a year and a half ago, and while this wonderful notebook hasn't found a publisher for me or anything, my writing has improved about 400 percent since I joined. I think the talent of all those good folks here seems to rub off on the rest of us. I hope you enjoy it here, I know you will. Just jump right in and join the fun, you will find it your very favorite spot on the web.


Jerry Tue Jan 23 10:08:49 PST 2001

Ok, now I have seen everything, a friend of mine just sent me to the above web-page. I had no idea that we had such an orginization, but I guess we do now. Oh did I mention the fellow who sent me there was an x-cop that I had to fire many years ago. I guess he still holds a grudge or something, you think?


Hallee Tue Jan 23 09:44:43 PST 2001

TINA: Good lord, where in the world did I get Seph? Maybe from Jeph - who knows. Or, knowing me, it could be one of my characters and I just don't remember it.

JOHN: Of course you're welcome.

JERRY: Shame on you! (chuckle)

here kitty kitty kitty kitty kitty


Debra Tue Jan 23 09:29:29 PST 2001


John don't worry about any real contribution until I get thrown out.

I don't contribute much.

In fact, every time I try to make a funny I miss and I am still allowed back.

Here's an example of one of my favorite jokes.

Did you hear about the guy who lost his left arm and his left leg in an accident?

He's all right now.

Nothing left.

They are actually two seperate punch lines. I haven't been able to tell it without saying them both.

I told that joke and I'm still here.



John Tue Jan 23 09:15:50 PST 2001

Well, here I go. Hello everyone. My name is John, and I am an aspiring writer taking the plunge into a world of which I know little. I am new to terms of it being a community, though I've been writing for purely personal satisfaction for nearly 25 years. My professional career is that of an Information Systems Director but I really don't like computers...I just know them very well. My personal interests are Woodworking, Cooking, Physical Science and Ancient History. My most recent literary project is of a Sociological nature and I intend to take my first crack at seeing what the rest of the world thinks very soon.

I don't know what I could possibly contribute to this forum, being a novice and all, but since I'm reading all your correspondence, I thought I should let you know I'm here..

....except maybe cooking tips...I'm pretty good at cooking tips

Thanks for having me

Jerry Tue Jan 23 08:59:52 PST 2001

and have we seen the last of Americo - Jon - Pussy?

Tune in next week same time same station, when we will hear Howard say . . .

Jerry Tue Jan 23 08:36:56 PST 2001

Oh a final thought, know any kids who would like a box of computer parts to play with? Just kidding I guess I will just have to put together another computer with all the left overs or something. Wonder if there are any good buys on


howard Tue Jan 23 08:34:17 PST 2001

so have we lost Richard. then?

welcome back, Sasquatch, (if that's really you), you didn't say "i must go"

Jerry Tue Jan 23 08:31:57 PST 2001

Geeze - I am NOT a salesman! I put some of my excess computer junk up on EBAY again ( I know I am a slow learner ) Now I clearly put in the auction that I accept paypal, certified checks and money orders. Now even a school kid would or at least should understand that means I don't take personal checks right? Well you would think so anyhow. So this fellow from Az bids on one of my old hard drives and gets the bid. I send him an email saying again that I take CERTIFIED checks and money orders. So what does he do - he sends me a personal check. Ok, I think this fellow must in reality be from Florida, but I don't say that, I send him a note saying that while I don't normally accept personal checks, as stated in my add (I included the auction for his information) that I would indeed accept his check, but he should wait the normal 7 to 14 days before I ship, as I had to wait for the check to clear. He emails me a rather curt (in reality vulgar) note saying that since I didn't have that in my add, I should ship immediately. Ok, I figure, what the hell it is only 15 bucks at stake here (he got a great deal on the drive) so I send it off. Then I send him an email that I sent it off, and I did make a slight comment that he must be a Florida Democrat or something. WOW I get four very nasty threatening emails from the idiot. He swears that should I ever come to his fair state he would indeed kick my ass. Oh well I guess it takes all kinds. I hope the post office destroys the drive enroute! (think he was a republican?)

Well anyhow, my only option was to leave a negative comment about him with Ebay, a task which I accomplished shortly after reading his emails. Case closed, or at least I hope so. I think I will give up on Ebay (I don't have a lot of stuff to get rid of any way)


Tina Tue Jan 23 07:51:14 PST 2001


In my word programme I go to 'edit' and choose 'replace', or use CTRL H. It lets me find any specific word (Jeph) and replace it with a different one (Rhece). Took me five minutes to edit over a hundred thousand words! Gotta love that. You have to make sure it's case sensitive, if the word you're zapping can start with upper or lower. The 'find' function lets you skim quickly through the text from one use of the word to the next and change it as desired. The 'replace' option instantly changes every incidence of the word.

Hallee, I changed 'Jeph' because his name was too close to 'Jes', and the two characters appear too close together. It was confusing. (And the main character is Kris) ;-) I like the name Seph though!

Thanks Heather. Now I'm humming it cause I want to figure out that missing line... probably hum it all day! And that is such an appropriate theme song for the notebook! The missing line is 'Sometimes you gotta go...'

Barnabas, it sounds like there are stories just waiting for you! You live in New Zealand but you're from Singapore; must be some stories in there somewhere! Q) I'm from Canada, so I'm Canadian. I live in Vernon so I'm a Vernonite. What's the correct term for someone from Singapore?

Hallee, You Go Girl!

Off and running....

Viv Tue Jan 23 07:24:38 PST 2001

Hi Barnabas: Not much time to write this week. Just a quick note to save you from worry. There isn't an original story. Sorry, it's all pretty much been done since the short story and novel form developed. So stop worrying about originality as far as "it's been done", just use your voice. That's what's original, the way you tell the joke, the story,0r the limerick.

A limerick is an interesting thing to write. Go into the site that was posted by Howard. It was
If that isn't working, go back on this site and scroll down until you see a message that reads: Viv, here it is and an address.

Limerick form is best swallowed with beer! Try out a ballad instead! You'd probably write a great ballad!

sasquatch Tue Jan 23 07:20:31 PST 2001

anonymous person my aunt does not relish being described as he. but you describing is accurately done.

Tue Jan 23 06:26:48 PST 2001

If you go to Tibet, where you think
You'll discover that old Missing Link,
Do beware; don't forget he
Might well be a Yeti
With furry big feet that may stink.

Debra Tue Jan 23 05:36:29 PST 2001


I figured it had to be a regional thing.


By the way, I do love that song.


Hallee Tue Jan 23 01:58:25 PST 2001



So, this morning I start number 3. Thank God. The story's been swirling and swirling in my head for weeks.

CHRISTI: In word, go to edit then find/replace. Or, CTRL F.

TINA: Why did we lose Jeph? BUT, I like the new name. Very cool name. WAIT a minute. Not Seph, the main character - right? (Gosh, I have such a hard time with names, I forget MY character's names. Seph is the main character, right?)

BARNABAS: Why would we think there's a bunch of English illiterate people there? I don't understand.

TEEKAY: Gee..thanks...what a great replacement. Oh yeah, cool limmerick. I couldn't do stuff like that if you paid me.

BEN: I am the ultimate Zeppelin fan, which is really odd, because I love country music. When there isn't a song I like that's on either country station, I check the classic rock to see if they're playing in Zeppelin - and they usually are. to start the next prologue., yeah - I've already lost track of this week...Happy Tuesday all!.



Barnabas Tue Jan 23 01:40:56 PST 2001

"The father finds her beguiling" would be the correct answer. Now for a thousand bonus points who can recall CC's full name?
Funny how no one wants The Nanny's voice.

Barnabas Tue Jan 23 01:31:16 PST 2001

Christi and Tina answers to your questions.

I'm from Singapore in case you people wonder. Its one of those small (tiny) islands in South east Asia and before you think those from there are a bunch of English illerterate people, you are dead wrong.
Sorry, I'm really sensitive about that topic.
It used to be jungle save for the ports which were extremely modern but now its urban jungle really.

English is my first language.

And I now live in New Zealand.

Since I became a writer I realise that all my stories aren't original. Advise on this anyone?

Limericks tend to be annoying. Besides I don't know any having.

Ben Woestenburg Tue Jan 23 01:13:50 PST 2001

Hey I can't sleep. It's always a problem changing from the afternoon shift back to days. So I decided to come down here and take a quick browse. I was dyin' to see what Christie had to say about Playboy. (he-he-he--leer)

I've been writing for a long time now, honing my craft as they say, and finally got one story published after all these years--which paid me a grand total of nothing. I like to write long stories--we're talking lonnnng stories of 10,000 or more words. Playboy, and most other magazines, only take stories up to about 6,000, but most prefer 5,000 or there-abouts. The reason I like Playboy is because they are the only magazine I know of who pay a writer what he's worth. Most magazines pay you a penny a word, some less, and some a little more. When you break it down to a dollar a word, I see no problems with it. When you also take into consideration that they have a high quality of work--Shaw, Mailer, Haley, Cheever, Isaac Bashevis Singer, and Malamud just to name a very few--its pretty good company. As for the eye candy, well, puberty ended a long time ago, and though we might look at the pictures briefly, most people do read the articles.

The stories I write I send to the first name on my list--THE NEW YORKER--because they have no word limit. The only thing they ask for is a good story--your best--and if you can get published there, you're on your way. When you send stories out, they want a publishing history, and if you can write down that you've been published by THE NEW YORKER and PLAYBOY, the chances of them accepting you are greatly increased. I don't write for anyone except myself, stories that interest me--which I think is the only way to write, because if you can't please yourself, you aren't going to please anyone else. I don't know what THE NEW YORKER pays, because they don't tell you what they pay.

I have a list of about a dozen names of different magazines that accept long stories, and competitions. The Faulkner/Pirates Alley is an excellent contest. They fly you to New Orleans to pick up your prize, and they accept Novels, Novellas--which I'm entering this year--short sotries--I may send one in for that as well--essays and poetry. I can't remember the website, but if you punch in Pirates Alley into a good search engine, you'll probably find it.

Oh well, I've went an' done what I told myself not to do. I've gone on for a long time. Oh well.

Gariess: By the way, I know Coos, but that's because I'm a Canuck, have English friends, and sometimes read some pretty strange stuff. But slang is slang.

And my favorite video is GYPSY, Fleetwood Mac. The best video made at the time. And my favorite song at this moment--meaning the last year or two--Bob Marley's BUFFALO SOLDIER. I'm still a die hard Zep and Stones fan though.

Thanks, but I'd better try and get some sleep now, 5:30 a.m. comes pretty quick at this time of the night.

Heather Mon Jan 22 23:43:30 PST 2001

Makin' your way in the world today takes everything you've got
Takin' a break from all your worries sure would help a lot
Wouldn't you like to get away
(hummmmmm hummmmmm hummmmm can't remember if there are words here....hummmmmm)
Where everybody knows your name
And they're always glad you came
You wanna be where people know
People are all the same
You wanna be where everybody knows
Your name

So it's sitcom lyric day!

I'm sure you must know that one...

And it suits the atmosphere, seeing that we all know each other by name, and we're here for the same reason.
We LOVE language (and writing it is mighty fine, too)

So, on the corny side of up,
I'm back into some sort of groove.

Blame that last line on the 70's.


Allein Mon Jan 22 22:26:29 PST 2001

Teekay - The Nanny is my favorite show. I've always wanted to have her looks.
Let me sing with you...
"Who would have guessed that the girl we described,
Was just exactly what the doctor prescribed.
Now the father finds a....*
Watch out Cici,
And the kids are actually smiling,
Such Joie de Vive!
She's the lady in red when everybody else is wearing tan,
The flashy girl from flushing,
The nanny named Fran!"
*I don't know what the word is here.

Sorry if I made anyone recoil in pain with my singing. Singing is not my strong suit.

Heather - My brother's birthday is in May. Which day is yours on?

Now for some T-shirt slogans:

I want to be a millionaire, that's my final answer...

Chocolate, that's my final answer.

I let the dogs out.

Macho Law prohibits me from asking directions or admitting I'm wrong.

I only drink beer/coffee on days that end in Y.

Ran into my Ex, put it in reverse and hit him again.

(this one's for Jon) The ancient Egyptians worshiped cats as gods - they have never forgotten this.

Did you ever stop to think and forget to start again?

(Baby T) - Party, my crib, 3:00AM.

Over the hill? Where? When? I don't remember any hill!

(this one's for my boyfriend) *picture of scarecrow from wizard of OZ* If I only had a brain...

No coffee, no workee.

Damn right I'm good in bed...I can sleep for days.

(this one suits me perfectly) I HAVE THE BODY OF A GOD (Unfortunately, it's Buddha)

Don't make me come down there.
- God

That's all for now,
*smiles* and (((BIG HUGS)))

"Red M&M, Green M&M - they all come out the same color in the end."
- Homer Simpson

Christi Mon Jan 22 22:18:34 PST 2001

Hi Gariess! You snuck that one in on me. Thanks for the smile.

Christi Mon Jan 22 22:16:35 PST 2001

Rachel, Whups, my boo boo. Thanks for the update! THose weekly doctor's visits can really cramp your style. Give 'em heck!

HEATHER, Mighty funny limerick, that! Yuck yuck.

TEEKAY, Hee hee, we're both goofballs I guess.
GREAT limerick! But sheesh, I might have to kill you for keeping that song in my head for two days straight! Ahhhhhhhhh! *running around pulling hair out of head*

BEN, I believe I said that it was a moot point, not to sell stories to Playboy, but to have stories in Playboy at all! :) I suppose when the eyes have adjusted to the eye-candy on the pages they might possibly wander over to printed words ... nah. But maybe when the magazine has been looked at so often that each face and body position is familiar as a family photo, THAT'S when the stories are read. Nah.
Sorry BEN, just yanking your chain. Big hug?

BARNABAS, I'm having trouble keeping up with your posts. ;) I'm curious too on where you are from. Is English your first language?

TINA, Find/replace?!! Where is this option, and how have I lived without it? Please do tell!

JERRY, I'm looking forward to reading your newest contribution.

Night, one and all,

Gariess Mon Jan 22 22:05:15 PST 2001


These guys aren't from around here. They don't know from Coo.


Your limerick was not at all sucky.
But I rather thought Heather’s was yucky.
When I think of a dahlia
I don’t have to tell ya
I contemplate something less mucky.


Jerry Ericsson Mon Jan 22 21:14:14 PST 2001

Dropped off a story in **P** - It was difficult to write, as there are bits and pieces of truth scattered throughout, but it is mostly fiction. It probably (it DOES) need more work but the more I worked on it, the less I liked the results. Let me know what you think.


Tina Mon Jan 22 19:52:57 PST 2001

Hello all!

Did inventory at work all day. ALL day. My brain is mush.

Okay, Barnabas, I'll bite. Where do you live? Tropical jungles? Tell me please please please. :-) And don't worry about following the posts too closely. There are a lot of people posting here, and it can be hard to follow. When a line of thought interests you I'm sure you'll bounce in!

I don't think I have a favourite video. Many favourite songs, yes, but not video. My favourite recent song is still 'Dance' by Lee Ann Womak (hope I spelled her name right).

Mary, I agree with you about changing Jeph's name in 'Shadow'. I've been resisting it for a long while, just because that's who he IS in my mind. But I gave in and did it. His name is now Rhece. Thank goodness for the find/replace option in Word!

My brain is too mushed to write tonight. Think I'll go and read in the workbook! Many fine offerings to be had...


Jerry Mon Jan 22 19:37:58 PST 2001

Ben - I checked the writers guidelines on Playboy the other day, they say that Playboy only publishes 20 or so stories per year, so I guess having a story selected would be a great accomplishment, although I am sure that thousands are submitted every month.


Barnabas Mon Jan 22 18:54:24 PST 2001

Been trying to follow the messages but had no clue whatsoever. Gave up after reading them all. Anyway, congrats to whoever doing whatever (I sound just like a company memo).

I was just reading Becky's short story and I was thinking how stories like her's (sorry Becky) revived medieval values etc. like Dungeons and Dragons, Warhammer and other fantasy role-playing games. Anyone have any opinions on this?

Try limiting it to five lines if you do post an opinion.

The 60's in my country (though I wasn't born yet) would have been tree-filled jungles, farms, villages and plantations.

Ben Woestenburg Mon Jan 22 18:11:00 PST 2001

Christie: Q? How can selling a story to PLAYBOY be a moot point? Explain, please?

Jerry Mon Jan 22 16:01:21 PST 2001

Teekay, even x law enforcement officers were young once too, and my youth was in the '60s. Yes, and I did inhale. Anyhow, glad you had a player, and I know you will enjoy the song, I know I sure do when I play it.


Debra Mon Jan 22 15:58:36 PST 2001


That's it. Thank you.

I just love that song.


Teekay (4th time lucky too.) Mon Jan 22 15:53:13 PST 2001

JERRY: GOT IT! And I guess I already have an MP3 player.
It was brilliant. I just closed my eyes and in my mind I was running amongst the panel vans in the commune. Sunflowers in my hair. My tie dyed skirt billowing out behind me, looking everywhere for where I'd dropped my joint.

HAHAHAHAHAHA. Only joking. About the joint that is. I guess you shouldn't even joke about these things to even an ex law enforcement officer.

I was only a wee one at my Mothers knee in the flower power age, but I'm sure I would've loved it.

Ithi*** park is my most favourite song. Thankyou for sending it.
Doubtless I'm going to play it over and over again and before too much longer it won't be my favourite anymore. In fact I'll probably be sick to death of it.
That's what happened to porridge.


Teekay (3rd time lucky) Mon Jan 22 15:29:21 PST 2001

DEBRA: I think it's called 'All I wanna do (is make love to you.)'
I'm listening to it right now. I can type ALL the words now. heh heh.

Teekay Mon Jan 22 15:17:35 PST 2001

Now who was it sang that sang 'gallstone, oh gallstone'. I think he was the same one who sang 'like a rhinestone cowboy'
Does anybody know the difference between a rhinestone and a gallstone?
Anyhow, it didn't sound too painful when he passed it. Sounded quite nice actually.

heh heh heh.

Okay, I told you it was hot.
My brains melted,

Glenn Campbell!! Whew, what a relief, I thought have spent my time between thinking about DEBRA's song question and my stupid question.
At least now I won't be so busy.

Teekay Mon Jan 22 15:10:54 PST 2001

JERRY: Whhoooeeee thankyou thankyou. Now, is it possible for you to post a link to where I can download an MP3 player. I know, my computer illiteracy is showing, and it ain't none too pretty.

CHRISTI: *snort* You're as bad as I am, I had HEATHER born a little earlier and you had RACHEL'S baby born a little earlier. Although I admit, mine was a bit earlier than yours. Heh heh.

DEBRA: Coo?? I thought that was what pigeons said.

MARY: Now I'm even less likely to post it coz I rather liked your limmerick. *gulp*

DEBRA: I know it! I know it! I just can't think of what it's called. Guess what I'm going to be thinking of for the rest of the day.

It was a rainy night,
when he came into sight,
standin' by the road,
no umbrella, no coat.
So I offered him a ride,
and we drove for a little while
hum hum hum la lala lalalala (can't remember the words here)
And it happened one day,
we came round the same way,
You can imagine his surprise,
when he saw his own eyes.
I said please, please understand,
I'm in love with another man,
and what he couldn't give me who hoooo,
was the one little thing that you ca-a-a-a-a-an.

Maybe it was called 'one rainy night' or maybe not.

Now, for the rest of you guys, I'm sorry to have distracted you. I shall now try to undo the damage I may have caused.
'She was working in a bridal shop in Flushing Queens,
when her boyfriend chucked her out in one of those crushing scenes.
Where was she to go?
What was she to do?
She was out on her fannnyyyyyyyyy,
So, over the bridge to Flushing, to the Sheffields door,
she was there to sell make up,
but Father saw more,
she had style, she had flair, she was there,
that's how she became,
The Nannyyyyyyyyyyyy'

MARY: Okay, I'm sick of playing coy. Here's my limmerick and if you think yours is sucky we-e-ell, you're bound to think this one is too. But I forgive you in advance. And anybody else. Unless you don't give a ***** wether I forgive you or not.

The idea was to write a limmerick about hurrican(tm) clothes washing powder and I know I'm going to dissappoint you HOWARD, but they told us to keep it clean (get it??? Clean??? Yeah, thought you all may have.)
Okay, ahem (standing on the podium, running my sweaty hands nervously down my skirt.)

There once was in....
(sorry, false start.)

There ww

There once was a lady named Jane,
who loved to wash with hurricane,
she found it such a treat,
that when her job was complete,
she do it all over again.

Ta daaaaaaa.

Do you still respect me??

Did you ever?

Another scorcher today folks. Oh me oh my. Not a fit day out for man nor beasty today.

Jerry Mon Jan 22 14:13:59 PST 2001

Litter - sure thing, it is on its way as I type.


Debra Mon Jan 22 14:00:37 PST 2001

Since we are talking about music I think the best music video ever made was by Heart. The one where she picks up this guy in the rain and has his baby.

She says that she is in love with another man, apparently he can't make babies.


I always feel really moved by that one. I don't condone her actions. I just feel moved.


Debra Mon Jan 22 13:57:30 PST 2001


Be nice Litter: I did say that I don't use that term either. I usually try not to use any terms if I can get away with it.

I spend a lot of time saying "you know" with matching body launuage.

So there.



Litter Mon Jan 22 13:01:36 PST 2001

Oops, I meant 'haven't' heard...


Litter Mon Jan 22 12:59:24 PST 2001

JERRY -- 'Itchycoo Park', the original? If so, I wouldn't mind a copy, if you would be so kind -- new mp3 player for Christmas...



Have heard the term used otherwise either Debra, must be a 'murkin thing?

Debra Mon Jan 22 12:43:42 PST 2001


Maybe that just proves even more the great guy you are. I'm sure if you were traveling through the muck you would have heard it.

As I said I don't use that term. When I hear that song I always thought of a sex park.

It is a place I have never been, I can assure you.


Jerry Ericsson Mon Jan 22 12:01:18 PST 2001

Debra, coo??? guess I have never heard that used as slang for any body part, maybe it never caught on up here.


Debra Mon Jan 22 10:42:24 PST 2001


I always thought that ichycoo park sounded like a good place to get an STD. You know ichy......coo

Never mind.

Sorry couldn't resist.

By the way, I don't use that term coo. Never did.


Jerry Mon Jan 22 10:25:39 PST 2001

Teekay - Itchycoo park is on its way, hope you have a MP3 player, as this one is a MP3 and not a wave like the last one. If you don't there are bunches of them out there free for the download.


Heather Mon Jan 22 10:17:22 PST 2001

Have to share this 'cute' limerick with y'all,
but remember, it is Russel Crowe's, or at least, he told it. (Yes, *pant pant* I said RUSSEL CROWE!)
On the bonus DVD that came with GLADIATOR, there are journal notes by the young boy that played Lucias. Russel Crowe told him this limerick in their time off during the filming:
(Teekay, since he's an aussie, you may appreciate it just a slight bit more!)

There was a young man from Australia
He painted his arse like a dahlia
The colour was fine,
Likewise, the design
The aroma, alas, was a failure!

A good hearty laugh for today.


Heather Mon Jan 22 10:02:38 PST 2001

Whoops - yes, Howard, I realized my mistake soon after posting, but at that point in the night I figured I would be granted an allowance for mistakes!
I once held a gallstone that basically filled (and stretched out) a woman's entire gall bladder - ONE giant gallstone, though I can't remember now if the woman kept it or not. I would have. Something to gross out the grandkids with! (heeh eheeee ha ha haaaaaw)

Rachel - you sweetheart, you! I'm sure you helped her.

And in other news...

there isn't any.


Rachel Mon Jan 22 09:40:07 PST 2001

Christi - You didn't miss anything (hugs). I didn't give birth yet. I did end up in the hospital because i went into labour a little early. They were able to put a stop to that and now I am home and that is behind me. I found out the sex of the baby while they were doing one of the ultra-sounds. I get to have an ultra-sound every week now. It will be nice to see the baby so often. Downside is i get to see a doctor every day of the week (roll my eyes). I plan to skip an appointment this week. It is a shame that I can't get them all on the same day, it just doesn't work that way. I don't yet know the weight of the baby. All I know is that he is a little big for his number of weeks. When I say big, I mean tall. I can hardly wait to see him! I'll be sure to let you know all about him when he is born.

Heather - uh, er, um, well, happy earlly birthday! As for being old, you are being silly (hugs and laughter). If I'm not mistaken you aren't even thrity yet. I used to think that once I hit thirty I would be old. I have now decided that I will never really be old. When you mentioned gall stones it reminded me of a girl I met while in hosptial. she had gall stones, poor thing. She was in an awful lot of pain. It took a long time for her to pass those things. She vomited endlessly. It was just awful. The first two days of her throwing-up nearly put me over the edge, then I decided that I wasn't really the one who was suffering here, that I should be a little more sensative. I felt like quite the creep. She and I ended up being friends. Funny thing is that once we started to chat and visit she started to feel a lot better. Hum, maybe I'm good stone mover (uck, how is that for a thought)? My daughter also likes to play with boobie dolls, I mean Barbie dolls. When my daughter grows up it is likely that for a time she will look much like a barbie. She is going to frighten young men to death. That works for me. Hum, while I'm on a mummy brag here, my son is gorgeous as well (grins and laughter). Okay, they aren't perfect, but I'm not going to share any of their faults!

Litter - Thanks you!

Allein - Big hugs back at yay :0)

Rhoda - Good to be seen (grins). Nice to see you too. My heart goes out to you with PMS thing. It isn't much fun. I'm sure by now you are feeling much better (hugs).

Hallee - Thanks for the hugs :0)

Teekay - Good for you!

Take care all,


Christi Mon Jan 22 09:02:29 PST 2001

Goodness, what one misses in only a day!

RACHEL!!! Happy birthday and congratulations! Did I miss the announcement with the sex, weight and height of the baby? Will you tell? {{{{{{{{HUGS}}}}}}}}}} for you both.
Hope you get to relax today and enjoy your birthday!

CONGRATULATIONS, TEEKAY!!! Now every time you do your washing you can think how your writing paid for it. Neato!
Happy late-Birthday to your baby boy!
Oh you little so and so!! Your post made me laugh out loud so hard I think I woke my son up from his nap!
'Who would have guessed that the girl we described,
was just exactly what the doctor prescribed.'
Oh well, at least 'I shot the Sherriff' is finally out of my head.

Hee! Poor HOWARD. A wife AND four daughters! My husband came from an all-girl family. I think it makes him much more sensitive and long suffering. Haw.

MARY, Your Limerick was great!

G'day to all,

Allein Mon Jan 22 07:31:36 PST 2001

Hi all,
Today's picture is of Sealth from Morningbird Lane.

Debra Mon Jan 22 06:59:53 PST 2001


Your website wouldn't come up. Can you post it again.

I'm interested in 75%. I have three children's books and three young adult books. I am almost finished with another.

Do you sell short stories too?


Mary Mon Jan 22 06:37:34 PST 2001

TEEKAY: I once entered a lymerick contest and LOST. My lymrick truly did suck, and in an effort to coerce you into showing us yours, I will show you mine. Winks. The only criteria was that the poem had to be about an author. Here goes.

Sucky Lymerick About Roddy Doyle(amended title)

He writes of the Irish man's toil,
His language makes decent folk boil;
If you call him a farce,
He'll reply, "Kiss my arse,"
He's rowdy, that ol' Roddy Doyle.

Now, if that's not bad I don't know what is. C'mon us your winner.

howard Mon Jan 22 06:20:33 PST 2001

HEATHER -- Dunno about PMS and all that stuff. Remember, I have a wife and four daughters, so I've spent much of my life in the dark, and behind the barn.

I do have a theory, though, that what we call "global warming" is really caused by all those "baby boomers" having hot flashes at the same time.

And by the way, it's kidney stones, not gall stones that cause us so much grief.

Teekay Mon Jan 22 03:56:56 PST 2001

Hi All,

Gee, you guys are fantastic. Did I pick a good question or what??????

JERRY: Thankyou so much for doing that. It was very thoughtful. And it was a llllllllllloooooooooonnnnnnnnnnngggggggggg email. But I didn't mind a bit.
If you have ITCHIGOO PARK I would love for you to send it to me. That is the best song ever!

MARY: I don't know that I want to share my limmerick coz then you all might go. "Jeez, your kidding. That won?!"
Not that you'd all say it aloud, but you might think it.

MARK: Thankyou for the thought. :-)
Great limmerick, and I'm flattered to have my very own limmerick.

All this talk about body size makes me think of my girlfriend. She's hoping to live long enough to see the rubenesque figure come back into fashion again so that she can be considered sexy. HAHAHAHA, she is sooooo funny.

HALLEE: Don't you find it drives you crazy when you hear someone singing the song
' She was working in a bridal shop in Flushing Queens,
when her boyfriend chucked her out in one of those crushing scenes.
Where was she to go?
What was she to do?
She was out on her fannnyyyyyyyyy,
So, over the bridge to Flushing, to the Sheffields door,
she was there to sell make up,
but Father saw more,
she had style, she had flair, she was there,
that's how she became,
The Nannyyyyyyyyyyyy'
Now, if you don't watch the Nanny, I have just gone all through this for nothing, but if you do then BWAH HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH
Now, that's one song that sticks in your head and won't go away without a fight!

Well everybody, FYI I have done 3 loads of washing today using a different flavour of washing powder each wash.
The thrill has just about worn off now.

The birthday party was a great success. The pizza was delicious. Something went a bit wrong with the cake. I think I used too much whipped cream coz the strawberries and bananas and jelly kept sliding off the top. It tasted good though. So did the pizza.

Now if you're all wondering about the song enquiry, it's because I'm trying to win $25:00. We have to send in a photo and the words to a song that were the wrong ones.
Well, my sister used to think the words were "I shot the sherriff, but I didn't shoot the death of him".
But of course, I had to send in the real words and who sang it, so thanks again, you've all been a huge help. And if I win $25:00 I promise to think of each and everyone of you guys while I spend it. :-)

Hallee Mon Jan 22 01:34:28 PST 2001

HEATHER: Your post reminded me of something. The following has always made me laugh, then I heard the other side of the coin, and it makes me laugh harder.

My mother heard a woman tell her teenage son: "Don't mess with me - I'm a woman - I can bleed for 5 days and still live."

Then, on a sitcom, I heard one man say to another:

"I don't trust anything that can bleed for five days and still live."


Enough on this subject. (chuckle)

"I Shot the Sheriff" has been in my head all night! arrggh


Heather Mon Jan 22 01:15:45 PST 2001

Wow, there is some kind of action going on in the NB!
The first recording of 'I Shot the Sheriff' was by Bob Marley, and in that one it's 'did not shoot the deputy'. Clapton did his cover of it around 10 years after Marley, some years before Marley died of cancer.
--Congratulations, Teekay, on your WIN! That's always cool.

Rhoda - don't worry, I didn't take any offense. I understand just what you're talking about and I find it frustrating at times that women feel so much pressure to be Barbie (tm) perfect. I didn't want my daughter to play with those dolls for a long time because I felt they portrayed an image that reeks of anorexia. She wanted to play with them anyway. I made sure she was given not only the blonde Barbie, but some of her friends, who aren't all caucasian. But there aren't any realistically sized dolls out there to help solve the body image issue. And I don't know if dolls ever will.
As irony would have it, my daughter is strawberry blonde, blue eyed, and naturally thin. Unlike Barbie, my daughter does not have seams or immobile joints, and I have hopefully instilled a realistic concept of what a healthy body image is. Not easy to define, nor is it easy to achieve.
I cannot claim that I'm naturally thin, and don't have to work for it. Let's just say I'm not from the 'frail family'.
(Not that thin necessarily means frail, it just sounded funny)
Debra, I would think that 120 lbs. and 5 feet tall is a good weight. Don't worry about it. Anyway, that's enough of that topic.

Thanks for the birthday wishes everyone, but it's not until May! Either very belated, or very early! And that just reminded me how old I'll be (SOB)
Rachel, so glad to hear that you're feeling better and that the baby is doing well. 35 weeks! Not much longer!

Tina, thanks for coming to our defence; and Rhoda, I'm sorry to hear you've been struck by the PMS train. It really is a horrible few days to go through, and to top it off, it always comes back. Don't you guys just wish you could give birth, bleed every month when you're not pregnant, and then go through PMS and eventually menopause? Nah, didn't think so. But I hear gall stones feel something like giving birth, except the progeny is small, prickly, and lodges itself repeatedly somewhere along the length of your 'equipment' until somehow or other expelled. Aren't you lucky there aren't any contractions?
Well, we all have our challenges. Some are just more often than others.

That's all the night owl can think of to say besides

Mary Sun Jan 21 21:48:49 PST 2001

Hello Everyone, hope all is well in your slices of the world.

Shortie night's theme this week is PERFECTION, as per Eddie's request. Revenge can wait....sometimes it is even sweeter that way. ;-)


Jerry Sun Jan 21 20:59:22 PST 2001

Teekay, I see a lllloooonnnnggggg email comming your way, with "I shot the Sheriff" attached to it. May take some time to download, as even after I zipped it up it is over 4.8 meg.


Jerry Ericsson Sun Jan 21 20:51:31 PST 2001

Just found this little spot in the middle of the internet, though you all might be interested, it is a search engine for finding writers guidelines for magazines and publishers. I tried a few searches, came up with great results.


Jerry Ericsson Sun Jan 21 20:29:53 PST 2001

Just checked, I do have "I shot the sheriff" by Clapton on my hard drive, I played it and guess what? We are both right, first he says I did not, then seconds later he says I didn't guess old age is creeping up on me, can't remember things like that, although I don't think I ever noticed until tonight.


Mark Sun Jan 21 20:08:48 PST 2001

Went on IRC, went to MP3 channels, searched for 'sheriff,' found the song by Eric Clapton, by Bob Marley and by someone else (forgot already). Have a copy of the song I can email. Can't listen to it myself right now, the house is quiet.

There once was a girl from Down Under
Who lived in wide-eyed wonder,
'Til Howard and Jerry
and a bottle of sherry
and songs by Clapton made thunder.

howard htuckey@youknowbynow Sun Jan 21 19:55:03 PST 2001

TEEKAY -- Great going! I don't dare post my limericks -- this is a family oriented show...

howard Sun Jan 21 19:51:42 PST 2001

I just posted "the Girl Who Played Debussey" on themestream. Maybe some of you oldtimers remember it from the workbook a couple of years back. Just found it again in my archives and it brought back memories. Thought I'd dust it off and see how it flies. Comments (and ratings) extremely welcome!


Litter Sun Jan 21 19:50:43 PST 2001

Way to Go TEEKAY!

Gotta agree with Mark and Jerry also, "but he did not shoot the deputy".

RACHEL Good to hear that things are progressing well. Take care!

Jerry Sun Jan 21 19:44:46 PST 2001

Gotta agree with Mark, he did not shoot the deputy down.

Mark Sun Jan 21 19:02:12 PST 2001

TEEKAY -- First :: Congrats. Second :: Eric Clapton, did not shoot. Third :: Benny Hill also shot a sheriff, but the sheriff was bent over at the time, and no one found the bullet hole.

Mary Sun Jan 21 18:42:02 PST 2001

TEEKAY: High fives on your current win! Are you gonna let us in on the lymerick? Please....pretty please??????
Happy Birthday to the happy happy two year old!

Hallee Sun Jan 21 17:46:37 PST 2001

And...Eric Clapton...AND...I didn't shoot


Jerry Ericsson Sun Jan 21 17:24:08 PST 2001

Way to Go TEEKAY!

Allein Sun Jan 21 17:19:38 PST 2001

Teekay - Congrats!!

Rachel - ((((BIG HUGS))))

Rhoda Fort Sun Jan 21 17:14:52 PST 2001


Way to Go, Girl! I am jumping up and down for you. Congratulations!


Great to see you.


Thanks for the hug. I appreciate it. Hugs for you. Hugs all around.

Ron Barrett Sun Jan 21 16:40:20 PST 2001

Hi to other Writers, I wrote a great book, Globe Master Gods (530 page historical novel), tried for years to get published. No way! I was in the traditional publishing business, so I founded an Internet Enterprise digital publishing business three years ago. Been happy about it ever since. Now I can post other authors' works on the Internet. And some even sell! So I pay the authors 75%, keep 25% of the sale price for the web site business. The authors keep ALL rights and I assign them an ISBN. It has taken awhile to get the business model right, but I have not lost big money getting on-line like the really big names! Let me hear your thoughts on going this way. E-mail me or fax (816) 361-9099. Thanks Ron B.

Teekay Sun Jan 21 16:36:29 PST 2001

Went to the workbook and noticed a few new stories in the s.s. section. I'll have to read them another day because I need to concentrate and my brains on a bit of a holiday at the moment.

I WON! I WON! I WO-O-ON!!!!!

I just remembered what I forgot.

Does any body know who sung "I shot the sherriff, but I didn't shoot the deputy?"
is it 'didn't shoot' or 'did not shoot.'?

Teekay Sun Jan 21 16:21:50 PST 2001

Hi All,


Okay, I'll tell you.

I WON A LIMMERICK CONTEST!!!!!Whoooo hooooooo. This is the first thing I've ever one, apart from a colouring in contest when I was about 8.
I got 3 big boxes of clothes powder and towels. I know that's not too exciting, but it beats a pen. Well, it beats a led pencil.

Wow, I've decided I love winning things. bring on some more prizes!!! Whhooooeeeeeee.
Luckily there's going to be no argument over sharing the prize. I'm sure nobody in this house is going to fight me to use it.

CHRISTI: Well, I did say I was a little late in my birthday wishes didn't I???!! (how embarrasment.*blush*)

HEATHER: Sorry. Didn't deliberately try and make you older than you are. I mean younger than you are.

My son is 2 today and I must go and make a cake, but first I had to dash in here and share my good news.


Hallee Sun Jan 21 16:12:12 PST 2001

RACHEL! (((Big giant warm gentle hugs to you)))


Richard Sun Jan 21 13:14:41 PST 2001


Richard Sun Jan 21 13:12:19 PST 2001

Jerry Sun Jan 21 12:07:38 PST 2001

Girls Girls, lets keep it down to a mild roar! Just kidding, you know women are not the only ones who have discussion over size, men to, at various times throughout their lives get into such discussions, however what they discuss is located some inches lower then your equipment.

Brings to mind a story my dad used to tell when he had imbibed just the right amount of spirits.

There used to be a bar in the little town of New Lipzig North Dakota. It was owned by a neat old gal called one-eyed Sal. Sal lost an eye during a bar fight one night to another gal, but it never seemed to effect her great enjoyment of the night life.

One day a couple of men at the bar became embroiled in an argument over who had the biggest equipment, the more they drank the louder the argument became, until at last they decided to have a showdown. They asked old One-Eyed Sal to get a couple of stacks of silver dollars, and the test would be who could push the silver dollars the farthest across the bar. Old Sal set up the piles of silver dollars, and the men each dropped drawers exposing the equipment of conflict, then they stood on chairs provided for the purpose by one of the other bar flies, and began pushing. When it became apparent that one of the fellows would win, old One-Eyed Sal produced the butcher knife she kept behind the bar to peel onions, and settle fights, and with one quick wack, she made the contest a draw. To this very day, that line on the bar still remains for the amusement of the good Germans that live in that small town, and the name of One-Eyed Sal brings a smile to the lips of those good folks.


Rachel Sun Jan 21 11:06:19 PST 2001

Heather - Happy Birthday (big hugs).

Richard - I am going to send you some hugs. Don't worry I'm a nice gal (grins).

Now I'm back to reading the posts.


Richard Sun Jan 21 10:42:41 PST 2001

Christi: No.

Okay, I've posted a distraction, uh, I mean, story, in the short story workshop, so I'd appreciate some feedback. I'm trying to start a 'fiction file' of my work.

I'm busy reading Agatha Christie at the moment; Endless Night was the first I read, and I was absolutely shocked by it. Just recently I read 'Lord of the Flies' (not by Agatha Christie, I know) and was once again pretty horrified. Pretty different picture to a 'Famous Five' outing...

I haven't read any of Orson Scott Card but I do have Characters and Viewpoint, which he wrote, because it was suggested on the page of one of my favourite SW authors, Mike Stackpole. It was very good, and definately inspired me in writing, however Stein on Writing remains the best book on writing I have. Well, I only have two... but I was going to buy a book in the same series as C&A on Dialogue, but the customer reviews at Amazon said it wasn't too impressive (this one wasn't by Card) and one mentioned Stein on Writing, which had tonnes of glowing recommendations and five-star ratings. I'm definately glad I bought it.

Allein Sun Jan 21 10:38:30 PST 2001

Hi all,
Today's picture is of Mallory from Morningbird Lane.
I'm tired today.

Rachel Sun Jan 21 10:17:08 PST 2001

Hi all - Just wanted to let you all know that baby and i are fine. I have just been feeling a little on the quiet side. The past few days I have been starting to feel much more myself (that would be a yappy, yappy, fun and games me). I'll be 35 weeks on Monday. That makes me very happy. Again thank you all for being so wonderful. Your thoughts and prayers have been much appreciated.

Ben - I also live in the Vancouver area. I live in Maple Ridge. We do have some nasty problems in our schools with the bully thing. I know the breasts of which you speak (grins). The ones that are better off left unseen. I have been told that in my area there have been some demonstrations with the lead lady and some very nicely set up friends. Too bad those ones don't hit the news. I guess the point that the tennis ball in the nylon breasts is making, is that breasts are not always a sexual thing. I don't know if that is her intent, but it is the feeling I am left with. They are just a body part. Did you happen to catch anything about the contest that a local bar in my area had? The one where they gave away a set of boobies? I was blown away when I saw the girl who won them. She had very nice breasts. She must have been a C cup easily. Now she looks like a DD. I feel a little bad for her. I mean, it is all fun and games till you need to pack those puppies around day in and day out. I don't think she has given much consideration to the ache that those things can cause in a back. Ah well, let her discover the joy of large breasts for herself.

I want to read over the posts a little more before I say anything else.

Take care all,


Debra Sun Jan 21 10:15:13 PST 2001


Wory about nothing. I have never suffered all my life from PMS. In fact I haven't had any female problems to speak of, but now that I am going to be 42 on my next birthday it seems to have found me. I have had my first bout with PMS just a day after Christmas. It was awful.

In fact the short story Can You Bear It was the after affect. So there you have it. I now know what all the suffering is about. I do believe I might be going through the change. Yikes.

I didn't take anything in offense you said. In fact I did say I was nothing to write home about. The important thing is my husband thinks I am. That's all I need. He is not pushing me to lose my last 20 pounds either. I want to do that for health reasons. When you are past 35 you start to lose muscle. I am trying to get more muscle and keep it. That's all. If in the process I can lose the last 20 then I will be just that much happier.


Christi Sun Jan 21 08:26:38 PST 2001

Hey RICHARD, want to hear all about MY breasts? Haw haw! Promise, you'll not hear from me on the subject. ;) You're so funny.

BARNABUS, I PROMISE to run over to the workbook for a critique as soon as I possibly can. Sorry we're all so busy right now, but we really do care! :)

HOWARD and EDDIE, You've both got great articles and stories going on at Themestream. Whenever I need something good to read I'll head on over.

Hello TEEKAY! BTW, isn't HEATHER's birthday in May? What'chu talkin' 'bout? You silly.

RHODA, Big smiles and hugs to you.

BEN, Hiya. Hmmm, stories in Playboy ... kind of a moot point if you ask me. ;)

Going to take my son to the zoo today for the first time. Should be a blast! Have a great day, all!


Ben Woestenburg Sun Jan 21 07:03:16 PST 2001

I'm presently reading BEST AMERICAN SHORT STORIES OF THE CENTURY with John Updike as the guest editor. I love reading short stories more than anything now, because I can always find enough time to read them at work. I have a locker full of books and magazines, mostly PLAYBOY, and even though the walls are covered with the pictures, I can honestly say I'm one of the few men who actually reads the short stories in them. PLAYBOY pays $5,000 for their short stories, which is pretty well one of the best paying markets out there.

I also love Alice Munro. I try to use her as my ultimate goal when it comes to writing. Her and Mavis Gallant. Looking at them, I say to myself, See, you can make a living just writing short stories.

Hallee Sun Jan 21 04:25:13 PST 2001 I won't mention how I'm naturally thin and don't have to work on it.


Anyone read any good books lately?

Richard Sun Jan 21 02:45:04 PST 2001

*hits everyone over the head with a bat* STOP IT! STOP IT! STOP IT!

Next topic please!

Ben Woestenburg Sun Jan 21 00:25:38 PST 2001

My gawd you're talkin' 'bout boobies! I love it. My wife is an A Cup double A actually, but she's in denial of that. Pelase, don't think tit size is important, it's not. I'd tell you anything more than an handful's a waste, but Richard's here, and I don't want to hurt his sensitivity--just kidding, 'cause I remember puberty, Christian or not--and boys will always be boys.

Please girls, I live in Vancouver where besides that soemthing someone said about that poor girl killing herself because of bullying, we have the topless thing going on as well. I don't mind the topless thing of course, but it seems every time they showed someone on T.V. protesting, it was always the same woman with her nipples hanging on her kneecaps. Why can't we get Pamela Anderson up here visiting her Mom?

Just kidding of course. After fifteen years of marriage, boobies don't mean as much as they did when I was eighteen. I mean I still like them, but you know what I mean...

Rhoda Sat Jan 20 23:10:19 PST 2001


You are right. I logged onto the Notebook and forgot my sense of humor. I will calm down and you are probably correct in that I overreacted.


Rhoda Sat Jan 20 23:06:48 PST 2001

Debra and Heather,

I wish to clarify my last post and try to make ammends because I think it came out much harsher than I intended.

Though I singled out you ladies out, I could have easily said the same thing to ninety percent of the women I know. I have heard this same conversation from legions of women, many of them my dearest friends, and this conversation always affects me the same way--sadness and a bit of anger.

I did not mean to imply that I wanted you to not discuss the subject. If it is of interest to you, than by all means do. I just did not like the way that Debra almost apologized for being a size B and not being 100 pounds as she thought she should be. No woman should ever have to apologize for that. Debra is a wonderful and talented lady no matter what her figure and how much she weighs.

Now that some of us are on women's topics and we don't really care that there are men on this forum with us listening in, I must admit that I am now suffering a horrible case of pre-menstral system. Men, do not make light of this and think it a lame excuse for my previous outburst. Women have murdered people under the influence of this malady and have been let off because of it. Debra and Heather, you do understand. I certainly hope you do. Please do not hold the previous post against me.

Please forgive me. Now I better take a Midol and get some sleep.


gariess Sat Jan 20 23:05:31 PST 2001


In my neighborhood MBL stands for the renowned Marine Biological Laborotories at Woods Hole. I guess I have missed something in the NB (which in my neighborhood stands for New Bedford.)


Tina Sat Jan 20 23:03:43 PST 2001

Rhoda, calm down!

If you're reading a message into Heather and Debra's humorous and well-meant exchange, then I suggest that it is not they who have a body image problem! It began as shared stories of youthful cruelty, not a campaign against anyone/thing/shape/size! Their accounts say something about body pride to me, not bragging.

I quite agree that our society puts way too much emphasis on body image. I cringe when I talk to young girls - and boys - who've already decided that their ten year old body isn't good enough. Many things about society make me cringe. Friendly kibbitzing (spelled wrong sorry) isn't one of them.

I don't want to sound harsh. Probably too late, I know. Sorry. But I didn't see just cause in your post. :-}


to post or not to post....

gariess Sat Jan 20 22:57:48 PST 2001

I never thought I would say this but I find I can’t keep up with the posts. Can you believe the amount of material that has come in during the last two days?

I see that some people have printed versions of the "back on your heads" joke. Any version qualifies if it essentially works the same.

Today we will start a new punch line. This one is a bit more obscure, so you will probably have to play fair and reconstruct rather than recall. … And the guy said, "Well, before I cut off his tail and painted him brown, he was an Alligator."


Rhoda Sat Jan 20 22:32:44 PST 2001

Debra and Heather,

Get over it!!!

You are both wonderful ladies and I don't really think anyone cares about what your bra size is. Furthermore where in our so-called enlightened society do we get the idea that if we don't have a big bust we are deficient as women? None of you stated that, but I wonder you have implied it?

Why is it that people have to go out of their way to apologize about their figures and their bodies or else brag about how great theirs is if they are so fortunate. You hear it from women all the time, "Oh, my, I really am too fat." or "If only I could lose twenty pounds." Then women such as Elizabeth Hurley are always quick to tell anyone who will listen how they are naturally thin and don't have to work at it.

Can we women not accept ourselves for who and what we are? Isn't it better to be a little more concerned about the character and things inside ourselves which we can control than our shapes and sizes which are harder to determine? I think feminism has been a total waste of time if not a hindrance. Women are more unhappy than ever and more hung up on their physical appearance. Not only do we now have to prove to the world that we have nice clothes, good skin, good figures, and great facial structure. We now are called upon to prove we are as worthy and desirable as any Playboy centerfold.


Teekay Sat Jan 20 21:14:05 PST 2001

MARK: I meant your ghostie.

Jerry Sat Jan 20 20:34:27 PST 2001

Howard, glad you are having fun with Themestream, I guess I sort of gave up on it back when they cut the pay from a dime a hit to two cents. Besides that I guess I sort of ran out of things to scream about, been trying to cut back on political writing, and ranting. I will probably go on raving though, can't give up all my vices at once.

I am working on a new contribution for **P**, but it seems to be stuck at an impass, I think I will have to cut it all apart and stick it back together in a way it works better. Strange I don't usually have those problems with my short stories, but this one has a bit of truth behind it, and the truth seems more difficult to deal with then fiction. I don't think it is that the truth is hard to deal with as a whole just that keeping on one side or the other of the thin line that is getting me confused. Maybe I should just do away with the truth altogether and it will get back with the flow.


howard Sat Jan 20 20:18:14 PST 2001

Check out "Road Rage" on Themestream. I wrote it a while back, and thought I'd post it there. They seem to gravitate towards the humor section.

EDDIE -- That's a malicious rumour someone started about me! If I'm such a genius, why ain't I rich? More like inspired -- by all the good company here on the notebook.

Jerry Sat Jan 20 18:20:48 PST 2001

Yep, just got back from the Workbook, it is cafe there too. Strange, maybe it has something to do with all those miles between us, or your being upside down compared to us? Just kidding, it must be something to do with your browser or something.


Jerry Sat Jan 20 18:15:22 PST 2001

Teekay I think it must be incomparability between my Word 2000 and HTML or something, when I wrote it, Word put the little accent mark over the e on cafe, either HTML or your browser changed it, I will go take a look in the workbook to see which it was.


Debra Sat Jan 20 18:13:50 PST 2001


I hope you didn't think I was judging. I don't judge anyone.

To this day I think those kids should have been SHOWN a lesson. I just didn't have the guts.

You did! Good for you.

As far as my girls go, when I was pre-motherhood they were great. After motherhood after nursing, they are average.

When I finally get back to 100 pounds they stay at average B. Because I'm short it looks like more.

I'm nothing to write home about I can assure you. Not only that I have not one picture on earth to speak of. So.

Not that anyone was asking. I know that was meant for Heather.

Okay let's move back to our brains and hearts. Right?

Heather Sat Jan 20 18:01:27 PST 2001

Litter - first, to clarify, I didn't think Mel Gibson wrote those words, just thought that they sounded like something he had said when playing Wallace. I think that commissioning a statue of Wallace with Mel's face on it is tragic. Who cares if the real Wallace was none too fair? His heart was in the right place.

As for lying down after reading recent posts...
and wanting photographic proof... well, you deserve a rest, but I'm not so sure my husband would part with those photos!

But you can believe it without evidence. I hearby swear on my bra size that it is the right bra size...


Mark Sat Jan 20 17:46:27 PST 2001

Um, is it the shorty or the ghostie that needs expansion?

Teekay Sat Jan 20 16:33:31 PST 2001

LITTER: I forgot to comment on your story when I first read it. BRAVO! It was very well done.

MARK: Your piece was very short, work on it and make a story out of it. It certainly piqued my curiosity.

I'm all inspired again now that I've visited the workbook. I can feel the soup of another ghostie simmering in my brain.

YES WE CAN!!!!!!!!!

Teekay Sat Jan 20 16:03:50 PST 2001

The strangest thing. I was reading throught the ghosties again and I noticed that all my cafe's are spelled cafi.
I've noticed that JERRY types cafi and I thought that was odd as they are called cafe's in Australia.

Has somebody changed it???

JERRY: Do you deliberately type cafi??

Or do we have our very own work book ghostie???WHHHooo eeeee

Teekay Sat Jan 20 15:52:21 PST 2001

Hello everyone,

MARY: I forgot to thankyou for the snickerdoodle recipe. They sound delicious. I am definitely going to make them.

HEATHER: I know this is very late but HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU GIRLY!!!!!!!

I don't know what you've all been up to, I'm only going to go so far back in the posts. Of course I'll probably miss something incredibly interesting, but, what I don't know won't hurt me.
But then again, curiosity killed the cat.

Oh well, I'll see how much I can stand.


Litter Sat Jan 20 15:25:13 PST 2001

HALLEE -- I have heard that Scots blood travels well and is not over-diluted with time or distance.

I actually like the movie a great deal, even with Mel's unique accent. ("Ah luv yi! Av alwiz luv'd yi…" etc, etc…) Thankfully it does not sanitise the level of violence, pain and fear that would be expected in such times.

Ironically, though, a new statue of Wallace was recently commissioned, subject to it having the face of Mel Gibson, as the film was so popular people began to think of Mel AS Wallace!

We live in strange times…


Hallee Sat Jan 20 15:07:40 PST 2001

LITTER: Hahahahahahaha

Hallee Sat Jan 20 15:05:13 PST 2001

LITTER: Unexplainably - that text gives me chills. Maybe it's in my blood or something. Powerful - thanks for posting it.

As for Braveheart - very, very good movie - horribly, horribly historically inaccurate. But, I'll still watch it and get my blood pumped up every time. (err..not sure if it's the Scotts fighting or Mel Gibson - perhaps both - haha)

HEATHER: Yes - that is a definite plus. Not fun when you're 18, but fun when you're 58 - HAHAHA.


Litter Again Sat Jan 20 15:04:44 PST 2001

PPS -- Richard, nocturnal tendencies are quite normal at your age. Don't worry about it ;o)

Litterrrrrrrrrr Sat Jan 20 15:00:34 PST 2001

Been reading some more of the recent additions. I think we are approaching a credibity situation -- We may have to call for photographic evidence if it continues, I think. I think... I think...

Richard Sat Jan 20 14:37:44 PST 2001


Incidently its not illegal for a male to go topless anywhere Britain, as far as I can tell. Either that or its not enforced AT ALL... and I also saw this thing in the papers saying one man won a court battle to go nude in public. I got into a conversation with a few freinds about nudist etc. and then I made the observation "Well, you'd lose a certain degree of privacy... I mean, if you liked a girl, they'd know about it!!!"

Howard: I neglected to say anything in reply to your bit about God before (whoops!) and that's exactly why I get so infuriated sometimes. My freinds are like, 'so, you're religious and you can't do this, this, this and this. That sucks'. They think you just put your hands together, sing strange songs, adhere to 'stupid' rules and generally just have to do things for the sake of doing things!

I know God is with me. A lot of the time I struggle with my faith, because I have so many barriers I have to break down. I got over the whole bully thing because I realised God is with me, and it doesn't matter if I get beaten to a pulp - as long as I've got God!! I walk back and forth to school now without lifts from my parents, and I haven't seen him once yet.

Ohhh, I can't decide. Should I write some of CTA, draw some pictures or read up on SWRPG in bed tonight? I've discovered I have nocturnel tendencies...

!! I've posted about 3-4 times today. I gotta find something to do...

Litter Sat Jan 20 14:35:20 PST 2001

HEATER -- had to go an lie down for a while…

CHRISTI, HALEE -- Ta for the comments

ALLEIN -- Back in your day, huh? Friday?

RICHARD -- I thought you were older than you let on when I read "I've got another one I wrote in Tudor Period" -- then I read it again and saw that it was TUTOR period. Ahh well… As for the 'cool' people in your class -- say very little and when you catch them, in the corner of your eye, looking in your direction, just smile knowingly. Not at them -- just some empty space away from their gaze -- it'll drive them crazy and you don't have to say a thing. Above all, don't be sad, and definitely not in public!

An now to put you all out of your miseries - The Speech, (For Hallee and anyone else interested) :

"To him, ['The Lord Robert' -- Robert The Bruce, King of Scotland] as to the man by whom salvation has been wrought unto our people, we are bound both by law and by his merits that our freedom may be still maintained, and by him, come what may, we mean to stand. Yet if he should give up what he has begun, and agree to make us or our kingdom subject to the King of England or the English, we should exert ourselves at once to drive him out as our enemy and a subverter of his own rights and ours, and make some other man who was well able to defend us our King; for, as long as but a hundred of us remain alive, never will we on any conditions be brought under English rule. It is in truth not for glory, nor riches, nor honours that we are fighting, but for freedom — for that alone, which no honest man gives up but with life itself."

This is an extract from "The Declaration of Arbroath", the most important document in Scottish history. The full document was sent to Pope John XXII in Rome. It sets out, for the Scots people, that the will and the wishes of the people are above those of the King. Though they were bound to him 'both by law and by his merits' it was so that their freedom might be maintained. Subsequent Kings of Scotland accepted this charge. The declaration was signed with the seals of eight earls and forty-five barons, an act that, in itself, was unprecedented.

Such is the power of these words, especially the last section, that I can only write them, I have never yet managed to say them out loud. Sounds silly but it is true.

Mel Gibson most certainly DIDN'T write them. HEATHER -- right period, right sentiment, wrong author -- William Wallace (Braveheart) didn't write them, although it is possible he used these sentiments to fire the Scots. However, such is the staggeringly accuracy of Holywood writers, Mel, as Wallace, did proclaim them loud and clear in the film, although the words were not written until 1320 AD -- 15 years after his execution… The words are attributed to Bernard de Linton, Abbot of Arbroath and Chancellor of Scotland.

MARY -- That was sneaky, but your assumptions were right :o) Thank you.

DEBRA -- Thank you. I would have been disappointed if the picture had been easy to look at :o)

TINA -- your Thursday posting has been around for some time now but it is always worth repeating. :o)

HEATHER -- Dark poem. Evocative but dark.

RAMON -- Don't underestimate yourself, it's a writers worst habit. (Along with overestimation…)

Hi to Annalise and Barnabas and everrrrrybody else.

Ciao for now,


PS -- He said 'Walker' not 'Dubyah' -- I am disappointed!

Heather Sat Jan 20 13:24:59 PST 2001

Just a thought, Debra: Perhaps I wouldn't be one of the topless few if I hadn't had such a good reception the first time!

Hallee, just think of the last laugh you'll enjoy, years from now when I'll be tucking mine into my waistband, and you'll have the handfulls.


Heather Sat Jan 20 13:20:46 PST 2001

RICHARD - warning! You really don't want to read the post below...

Debra, it didn't solve all of my problems, but it stopped the teasing instantly. You can't dispute what you've seen with your own two eyes! (I did get in major trouble later on, when somebody tattled...never found out who)
Imagine the embarassment when my parents found out.
So it wasn't all a bowl of pan-fried peaches.

And now, years and years later, going topless in Ontario is LEGAL.
Before this interesting and spellbinding law was passed in the mid-90's, there were a few incidents involving myself, a few good friends, and the security staff at a local bar!
That was in the middle of the ruckus over the woman who insisted on going topless no matter how many times she was hauled in by police. Soon after our own 'display', there were full-blown (hee hee) protests, at Queen's Park, and even at Parliament Hill (or should I say hills)in Ottawa... and of course, all over Guelph and Kitchener there were women much like myself and my friends who bared it on occasion (the woman who started it was a University of Guelph student). Finally the law passed and we have been free to roam topless since. (Even MEN - LOL) The day the law passed I was watching the news, and saw several local women doing aerobics topless - but the ghastly part was that they were doing aerobics with seniors! I've never seen so many jowls drop.
My favourite beach, in Goderich Ontario, where we have a friend with several miles of private property on the water was host to many nude sunbathing weekends. I have to admit though, that it does have one down side: sunburned nipples.
But now I haven't as much urge to go running around the town sans chemise. Must have been that rebellious streak I'm at least sort-of well known for.


Mark, are you about to need 9-1-1?

Debra Sat Jan 20 12:56:40 PST 2001


Based on our conversations in the chat room, I'm sure you are absolutely beautiful just as you are. You are tall and slim. I'd take that.

I'm only five feet and weigh about 120. Of course I'm on working that. My normal weight is 100. I'm slowly getting there.

When I nursed my babies I did have something to behold. That's for sure.


I thought I was the only one who went through that. I have never spoken to anyone who has. Well now I have. I suffered so much. I wanted to do what you did. I was to shy about my body to do that. In fact not much has changed. My poor husband.

I do have some things I want to do before I die, that's one of them. I also want to hale a cab in New York, sing in a choir, be a bitch on a popular soap oprea and spend some time in a luxerous hotel in New York sucking all the room service dry.

Well enough of that. I'm sorry you had to go through that. I just know if I had flashed my little girls then, someone would have needed a rescue. Before my kids in one word, WOW.


Eddie French Sat Jan 20 12:47:41 PST 2001

Now there is a thought.
I propose the next shortie to about perfection.
Finding it (And what happened then?)
Seeking it (What sort of mess occurred?)
How would the world of imperfect souls look to a perfect person?
Was it the end of the world?
You are a genius Howard.

PS: I promise to participate!

Hallee Sat Jan 20 12:39:51 PST 2001

HEATHER AND DEBRA: Sadly, I never had that experience. It wasn't until 2 days after my daughter was born and my milk came in that I even had cause to give someone palpatations. My husband couldn't believe his eyes. He wanted to make a plaster moulding to prove to people in later years that there was a time I actually NEEDED a bra...*sniff*



Hallee Sat Jan 20 12:37:36 PST 2001

Hi all!

High school..I loved high school. There are times I wish I was still in school, though I don't think it would be the same now. I've heard my high school changed rapidly about 3 years after I graduated. They changed the school system and created specialized tech schools or something.

Our school was unusual, not really a model for the American school system. It had been a black high school during segregation in Georgia, and as soon as that changed, they sent the kids from Ft. Benning there. So, you had a school that was 80% military, 60% black, 15% Hispanic, 20% white, and then a mixture of the rest. Because of the strong military influence, JROTC was very popular, and our commander was absolutely awesome. We had the best ROTC program in the state, and ranked well in the nation. One of the members of our rifle team competed in the Olympics and our drill team won national competitions.

Also, because of the military influence, discipline was not an issue, and academics were a priority. The ten most popular kids in the school were the top ten of the school, too. It was definitely unusual to be a total nerd/geek (your talking to the former president of the math club, secretary of the Key club, director of the school plays, etc., here) and have your clique be the popular kids. I started off my senior year ranked 6 and ended ranked 13. There was this incident that spawned a few incidents over about a month's time late in the school year that helped drop my rank.

Any hoot, as I was saying, the year I was a senior, a gang at a neighboring high school was broken up and half of the gang members were sent to our school as sort of a "last chance" to keep from being expelled. The only condition was that they join ROTC. We took it seriously, inside the ROTC classroom, and outside, and our commander made it clear that we were ROTC ALL the time. That meant breaking up fights and serving discilpline in the halls, whatever needed to be done to ensure that the ROTC program wouldn't be - I hate to say embarassed - by one of its own. It was rough for a few weeks, but eventually almost all of these kids completely turned around.

Anyway, I loved my high school. I will one day tell you about the time I was a hair's breath away from being expelled from the school district because of the knife incident...


Mark Sat Jan 20 12:13:08 PST 2001

Wow. I just saw something that gave me palpitations.

Heather Sat Jan 20 11:53:10 PST 2001

Debra, I endured that sort of teasing as well, in elementary school. (In Canada, most of our elementary schools include kindergarten to grade 8, but some go to grade 6 and then grades 7 and 8 are in junior high). Now I was more tomboyish (ie: bold) than the average girl at age 12, because after so many months of teasing and bra-strap snapping, I finally decided I'd had enough. At recess I proved it to the world that I didn't stuff my bra.
(And I was one of maybe only 3 girls that even wore one yet).

Might I add that it certainly solved the problem?
I think the boys had palpitations, and later on in the week when the hub-bub died down, a few of the boys asked me for a 'date'. I was on to their ploy, of course. I'm sure all they wanted was a second look! At least I hope that was all they were after at that age!

Heather (*)(*) Won't Litter and Gariess just love this (TRUE) story?

howard Sat Jan 20 11:36:03 PST 2001

EDDIE -- Yes, would that we were all perfect... and I make no claims to that state at all; my little treatise on the apostrophe was meant only as tongue in cheek, not to disparage. I do admire and enjoy your writing very much!

On second thought, if we were all perfect we'd not have much to write about! I think I like us better as we are.

Eddie French Sat Jan 20 11:18:37 PST 2001

You are right of course. Worse thing is, I do know that. Which makes my lapse even more deplorable.
If we were all perfect eh?

Allein Sat Jan 20 10:41:25 PST 2001

Hi all,
Today's pic is of Jillian from MBL.

WELCOME to all the newcomers!!

Richard - Back in my day, we had to walk to school fifteen miles uphill both ways in fifteen feet of snow bare ass naked to get to a school with no heat. You kids don't know how good you have it.
You're not buying this are you? Didn't think so. :)

Jerry Sat Jan 20 09:21:58 PST 2001

Richard, back in my day (oh so many years ago now) many of us drove to high school, and of those about half drove in from the country. Most of them were farm or ranch kids, and the back window of their pickup always had a rifle rack and in the rack hung at a minimum a .22 rifle and a 12 guage shotgun. These used to rid their farm of varmits enroute to and from school. Back then nobody feared those with the guns, none of us could even imagine anyone using those weapons for anything but hunting. I guess times have changed, but a quick drive past my old high school shows there are still pickups parked in the lot, and still rifles and shotguns hanging in the back windows. I would guess that none of them have locked doors, as the never did in my day. I guess it is just a matter of where you live, I am sure in the big cities this would be forbiden, and there would be fear. Please don't judge our nation by what happens in the cities.


Jerry Sat Jan 20 09:14:31 PST 2001

Hi - be you republican, democrat, libertarian, or independent, conservative or liberal, you can help but have a few pangs of patriotism watching the installment of a new President. It is extra special for me, as I can see members of my old unit, The Old Guard of the Army performing many of the ceremonial duties. I served with them in 1976, the year of the Bicentennial; that was a wonderful time to be in Washington DC. No politics today, just a little pride in our great nation, and the Constitution that keeps all of us in the United States free.


Richard Sat Jan 20 09:03:54 PST 2001

Despite the fact i dislike school, I do have freinds there and if I went into home tutoring I'd never see most of them again. My Dad is a cardiologist and my Mum is about to start working (at my school incidentally, but she'll be working in the Sixth Form block so I won't see her at all. She's a learning assistant or something).

Well, whenever I get into arguements about guns on other forums, one of the things I point out is that I've NEVER had any fear of guns in my life. It just doesn't happen in the UK, except for a few incidents. I doubt there's any schools with metal detectors and such, unless its a specialised school. There is however, a problem of drugs trading in some places, though I haven't seen it at my school yet (hope I never do) and assaults do happen. A freind of mine was threatened and had a lit cigarette thrust in his face. Lucky his father was a policeman so he didn't even need to go to the station to report it!

There's 5000+ pupils in the school. Its mind-boggling really, considering my Middle School had only 500+. The strange thing is it doesnt seem all that big. There's A Block, B Block, D block and then the Gym and Music/Drama block - it certainly doesnt look large enough for over 5000...

Viv Sat Jan 20 08:29:04 PST 2001

Thanks Tina and Barnabas,
Nice ideas! I'm going to re-write and use them. Especially agree that she does need to wonder who it is and get a bit angry about it.

Would your folks be the kind that might look into home schooling? Is it legal where you are? Check it out on your search engine by typing in homeschool. If you can't, well, maybe you can learn a little about it and do it for your children. You can check out Home School Legal Defense and see what they do in America. I don't know if it's legal where you live. It's interesting to study and think about how you might educate your own children someday. Homeschooling has it's good points and bad points.

In any case. I'm sorry. It hurts. Sometimes it happens to you as an adult as well. You just get stuck in a community where you don't fit. It's tougher when you are a child, but I've seen adults upset for the same basic reasons. It generally happens to the nicest people. The good thing is, if you just keep going, you will walk out of it. The bad thing is that it takes a long time and it leaves a scar.

What you are learning by doing this now is how to handle it when it happens to you again. When it happens again, you'll think..."oh, this again. I know how to get through this. Public opinion doesn't scare me."

It will pass faster if you just keep doing exactly what you are doing. Slow down, notice the things you DO enjoy. You enjoy walking to school. You enjoy writing. You are on the right track. That's the exact way you get through tough times like these. Keep building on those I like to's and one day you'll be walking along thinking, "I like this, I like that" and you'll realize that the opinions and actions of these people are a thing of the past. Keep on Keeping On!

Tina Sat Jan 20 08:23:47 PST 2001

Hello hello hello!

Extra hiya to Barnabas an Annalise. Welcome!
If you're after good feedback, stick around awhile and post your work in the workbook. I'm writing a novel, and the feedback and serious, honest critiques that the people here have given me has been beyond my expectations. My writing reaches a new level each time someone gives me feedback. Better yet, I've also found a huge cache of confidence to keep going! See ya around!

Richard, this one little question sure opened a bag or worms, eh?
High school. Hmm.
My high school had about 1000 kids, grades 8-12. The programmes were fairly rigid at first. We took 8 courses a year, and the only option at first was between music/art/drama and metalwork/shop. In grades 11 and 12 we were much more open in choices. We had to take English, some sort of math, French, and another 'academic' like biology or history or law. The other 4 courses were open to choose our interests. I took geography, history, and lots of art.
It was a safe school, which is to say that we never had bomb threats or gun checks. But many kids did drugs, and there were always fights happening, and bullies always preyed on kids they didn't like. I was beat up twice in grade 8, simply because I chose to study and learn rather than play the fashion game.
The one thing about having 1000 kids around was that I was bound to make a few friends. Many weren't in my own grade. Once that happened it was better, but I still felt ostracized. I know now that I tended to keep people at arms length, for fear of being hurt, but that's another matter all together.
That same school today is not so nice. It has lost academic standing because it stopped encouraging academic excellence. They discontinued many programmes designed to support honour students, and started bunching kids together as if they all have the same learning level and strategies. They did so because it wasn't 'fair' to the kids in the lower 'stream'. I say they did it to save money, which is a growing sickness in the school system here. They also turn a blind eye to the bullying. A boy was recently suspended because he pulled a pocket knife in defence against a bully. A group of older boys was trying to tie him up to a railing, and he tried to cut the tape they were using. And HE got suspended because he had a knife in school. A girl - not here where I live but in Vancouver - recently committed suicide because of the bullying she was enduring. Another girl was killed by a bully.

Okay that got longer than I intended.
The good side is that I had three teachers who inspired me. One told me I could write, the second believed I could create art, and the third gave me a deep conviction in the value of the earth and nature. Those three people balanced the garbage I put up with the rest of the time.

Gotta go now. But hey, Leann, Megan, Arik, Laura, Sasquatch, Goodweed.... are you out there anywhere? Lurking......? Hi!


Mary Sat Jan 20 07:28:30 PST 2001

Hello Everyone! Have a nice weekend.

RICHARD: We never had Gun Drills when I was in school, just Fire Drills and Tornado Drills. Fire Drills were fun because we all got to file out of the building in an "orderly" fashion. Tornado drills were a pain in the butt. We were marched into the hallways to stand in front of our lockers. When the Principal blew a whistle, we all had to get down on our knees and put our heads as far down as possible lacing our fingers together behind our necks. By the time all the deviants had "assumed the position", half of us were light-headed and our legs were asleep. I remember thinking in the back of my mind that it was such a humiliating position to die in. I never believed for a second that it would save anyone.

I haven't even heard of any schools that have Gun Drills, but there probably are places somewhere that do. A lot more common is having metal detectors at all the entrances and armed policeman or guards to search students as they enter the building.

We did have a bomb threat one time and had to evacuate the building. None of us knew it was a bomb threat until parents started showing up and dragging kids home. We all thought it was a Fire Drill.

I don't know how large the average class size is in your school, but all of my classes had about 30 people, except the honors classes. There were only twelve of us in those. I have several teachers in my family and from hearing them talk, it seems there is a trend toward smaller class sizes now, which is good.

High School Honors requirements during the time I was there: 4 years of Math(3 of which had to be a higher Math), 4 Years of History(1 of which had to be Government), 4 Years of Science(2 of which had to be a higher Science), 4 Years of College Prep. English, 2 Years of a Foreign Language, 2 Years of Physical Education, and 1 Art Class.

Extra-curricular activities were always encouraged, and especially helped if you wanted to be inducted into National Honor Society. I was in Choir, was Editor of the Yearbook for two years, played Volleyball, Yearbook photographer for 1 year, Drama Club 2 years, worked in the Principal's office 1 year, and worked in the Football stadium's snack bar all four years.

We live in a very small town where a lot of emphasis is placed on high school sports, if for no other reason than there isn't anything else to do. Football stars are assured a passing English grade and a job at the local supermarket. It was the job of several nerdy girls, myself included, to make sure that passing English grade came about for the jocks. It was an enviable position, but that's another story.


Barnabas Fri Jan 19 23:13:30 PST 2001

Hello. My name's Barnabas (as anyone should be able to see on the top). I'm a starting writer and I've been posting my short stories at the writer's workshop for critique. Anybody not busy care to read them and help me?

A bit more info about me, I enjoy reading and writing and really want to be a novelist but turned to short stories because their easier to finish then a novel and at times less complex.

My website has a free card game I devised myself and should contain one or two stories about the characters in the Universe I invented for the card game. Like I say, I like to write.

Christi Fri Jan 19 20:59:23 PST 2001

In the chatroom. Anyone here?

Christi Fri Jan 19 20:53:11 PST 2001

Grrr. Four letter word. Multiple four letter words. Me below. Bowing out with a blush.

Fri Jan 19 20:50:32 PST 2001

OH no!!!! Here come the long-poster! Sorry guys, I try to keep it to a minimum but it never works. (Sheepish grin.)
Skip at will, my friends, skip at will. :0)

BEN, Your shortie was sweet! I, too got a bit lost at the very end, but the story was great.

MARY, Loved your poem. Reminded me of all those boys who used to chase me and pull my hair. Didn't marry any of them though. Har har.

DEBRA, Great poem. I liked it very much.

HALLEE, Great job on your shortie.
And thanks!

HEATHER, Yours was very touching. In just a few words I got to know what it was like to know your Grandma. Beautiful.
Consumed was deep. Enjoyable for many reads. :)

LITTER, Awesome shortie, but I didn't know the speech. I'm assuming it's not Churchill! ;)

TINA, Thanks for your post; it was so funny! AND true!

JERRY, Beautiful shortie.

MARK, I agree with the others. I'd like to see more of that story.
You know, I always had that same picture of God, except I pictured him marking my mistakes on a giant chalkboard so that everyone could see it. I'm glad to say that visual image has been purged from the memory banks.

JERRY again, I LOVE that joke!

RAMON, Did you write your shortie off the cuff, at work? If so, wow; I find it hard to write like that.
I thought it was good. It's hard to critique something that isn't complete, or at least a big chuck of writing, for me. I don't think I'd be doing you any favors by critiquing the bit you posted other than saying I liked it and maybe it could use a little tightening. Shortie night is kind of an excersize to see what comes out, not really for critiquing. If you want a really good critique post your story in the workbook.
PS Thanks so much for your comments. I knew I liked you! ;)

The shorties this week were awesome!

HAWROD, SNORT!!! You crack me up! But unfortunately (for who, I don't know) I will not be participating in the joke-fest/riddle game. You'll thank me for it, I promise.
Also, thanks ever-so for posting the bit on apostrophes!

DEBRA again, Thanks!
I guess the Mother in my shortie did come off as sympathetic, when I really didn't know if I liked or hated her. Oh well, my writing never comes out exactly as I think it will.

HIya, Ed

HI to one and all, especially those I missed. Been a slooooow day at the old notebook which makes me feel not as guilty for this looooong post.



howard Fri Jan 19 20:42:27 PST 2001

Would you believe that an ALTAVISTA search on GHOTI returns 7217 hits!

Annalise Fri Jan 19 20:22:17 PST 2001

Hi Everyone,

Does anyone know of a good on-line critique group for novelists? I'm looking for a cut-throat group who is not afraid to take a manuscript apart.



Mark Fri Jan 19 20:00:20 PST 2001

"ghoti" is a word you won't find in the dictionary but has a common pronunciation.

"ghoti" is a word with no pronunciation at all, thus making it even less a candidate for inclusion in dictionary. Dictionary, after all, is where you go to look up words you've heard. You can't hear an unpronounced word, so you'll never need to go look it up.

The first explanation I have readily at hand, the second I can't fully recall.

howard Fri Jan 19 17:01:32 PST 2001

EDDIE -- Okay, just for you I've rushed completion of my treatise, but I feel it's time. Here 'tis:

I feel it is my duty to propose a new association, dedicated to the
restoration of the lowly apostrophe to the glory and prestige it once
enjoyed. I have seen it misused, abused, and confused, to the point that no
one seems to understand its proper application any more.

First, let's be clear on just what an apostrophe is, and what it is not. An
apostrophe is not merely a comma that got goosed, and forgot to come back
down. It is, according to Webster:

"a mark ' used to indicate the omission of letters or figures, the
possessive case, or the plural of letters or figures."

It is not used to indicate the plural of words.

It is used to indicate the plural of letters (A's),
numbers (1's) and figures (#'s). (But in my experience this
is not all that common.)

It is used to indicate the possessive, except with the word “it,” which follows a special rule. “Its” indicates possessive, while “it’s” indicates a contraction of “it is.”

(This, Eddie, is the “slight concern” I mentioned, but you’re not alone.) This one rule is probably one of the most abused and neglected rules in the English language. It ranks above even the your/you’re confusion, and is becoming so common that it’s seen (and accepted) even in so-called “educated circles.” I feel that unless something is done, its use will become so blurred that it’s just a matter of time until no one will know how to use it properly.

The use of the apostrophe in contractions is fairly well understood, and normally ranks fairly low on the list of “red pencil” offenses commonly indicated in editorial and tutorial markups.

But probably the most egregious offense, and the one most likely to cause a critical shortage of these innocuous punctuation marks in the near future, is the use of the apostrophe to indicate a simple plural. It is not “a dozen egg’s,” “three crayon’s,” “several wombat’s,” or even a fist full of dollar’s.” A simple “s” is sufficient to pluralise these, and even more complex words. More than one of anything generally needs only an “s” to indicate its plurality.

Please, let us conserve this valuable resource, so that our children, and our children’s children, will be able to enjoy its usage far into the future.

On second thought there is one word that requires an apostrophe to indicate a plural, and that word is…. apostrophes!


Fri Jan 19 15:57:23 PST 2001

Anybody find a 't' knocking around here somewhere?

Eddie French Fri Jan 19 15:55:57 PST 2001

If you don't express your 'slight concern' prety quickly, my head will explode!

hhoward Fri Jan 19 15:10:48 PST 2001

RICHARD -- That "bragging or complaining" comment was just an old saw we used to use -- your poem reminded me of it. The only thing I'd remind you of is that Christianity is not as much a religion as it is a relationship. If we believe that the One with whom we enjoy that relationship is who we say He is, then we really shouldn't be about complaining when He allows us to go through hard times. It's for a purpose, and whether we see it or not, it's intended to fit us for something He has planned for us down the road.

'nuff said for now

You were spot on about that joke -- that's the one!


Debra Fri Jan 19 14:57:41 PST 2001


As far as schools go in America, I had to leave my favorite school because of teasing. I sprouted my womanness early and was accused of wearing gym socks.

I spent one year listening to the boys and girls accuse me of lying about what I had under my shirt. I had to leave.

The superiors did nothing to help me.


Debra Fri Jan 19 14:54:00 PST 2001


Let me just say this,if you are thirteen, and I believe you are telling the truth, you have nothing to worry about. For you to have such beliefs and hold the kinds of things so important that you do, just shows what a great man you have living inside of you.

I think I am a productive member of society. I think I contribute greatly to my community and family. I, however, was a complete knucklehead at thirteen.

Not only are you going to be fine, I will pale in comparsion to you when you reach my age.

Your greatest enemy right now is patience. Take my advice, enjoy being a kid right now. I know easier said than done. It's true though. I would not go back, but if I had to I would take it slow.

If you like math think of it this way. If you live until you're in your ninties you will be an adult for over seventy years and a child for only eighteen years. Okay?

I hope that helps.


Jerry Fri Jan 19 14:46:36 PST 2001

Richard - there are as many different types of things done in schools here as there are schools. I last went to high school in 1969 so what I have to say I am quite sure no longer applies. I know when my kids were in school they never had gun practice, they did have fire drills much like all schools do. Way back when I was in grade school, we had atom bomb drills, where the teacher would say we are under attack, and we would all drop to the floor climb under our desks and cover our heads with our hands. I have no idea what good they thought that would do in such a situation but I guess they thought we should do something.

I went to college back in '95 when Workers Comp was trying to re-hab me, that was great fun, and of course we had nothing like that then. In fact for one of my Speeches, I addressed this by bringing a toy gun, (looked exactly like a S&W 357 Mag.) to class under my vest. As part of the speech, I drew the fake gun and proceeded to mock shoot several of my classmates. The point I was trying to make, I guess that in a free nation we must depend on ourselves for protection, as in a situation such as that, nobody in the entire class would have had a chance of stopping me. We did have a bunch of fellows who were taking the Law Enforcement classes, and I guess should such a thing happen in that college, and should they happen to be on one of their days when they went to the range, then maybe they could have responded and stopped me, but not before I had done as much damage as I wished.

I do remember walking back and forth to school back in the 60's, and much as you say we had to put up with the extreme cold, sometimes temps to -30 F. but I guess when you are young you are able to stand such activities. I do remember back in those days though we thought that only geeks and farmers wore hats or caps, so we ALWAYS went bare headed, no matter the weather. When I was in grade school, we did live in town for two years, during my 6th and 7th grade, this was pre Beetles and men's hair styles were short. Our rebellion way I guess was to get crew cuts, or flat-top hair cuts, so we didn't even have hair to warm our heads. I am still amazed to this day that our ears never fell off from the extreme cold. I guess my kids are to old for me to compare to schools now days too. My daughter (our youngest child) graduated from college last spring after attending for 5 years so it has been quite some time since they were in grade or high school. The town where we lived while they attended school had just a grade/high school all in one building, and no middle school, but I know many schools do have that separation. When my kids became old enough to go to school, I moved back to this are just because I wanted them to have the same chance to attend good small and especially SAFE schools in my home state. The Dakotas are known for their very low crime rate, this is, I guess because our population is so very sparse. The town where we live now is the biggest town for a hundred miles in every direction, yet has a population under 1,400 people. We have a police force made up of three local fellows who went to the police academy here in SD and do a fine job with the little violations that happen here, mostly traffic offences. Our Sheriff is over 40 miles away in the county seat, a much smaller town of but four hundred souls. We also have one local highway patrolman who is responsible for all the state and federal highways in the area, and a game warden. So you see any comparison I would even try to make would be based only on this small quiet town.

I do recall back in 1976 when we lived in Arlington Virginia, a suburb of Washington DC and my son was about to begin kindergarten, I checked on the school situation there, and found that there had just been a child killed on the playground of the school he would have attended for his lunch money. I think that was the straw that broke the camels back, so to speak, the main reason I wanted to get out of that rat-race and back to my peaceful quiet life in the Dakotas. I guess I haven't helped you much on your quest to compare our schools with yours, should I go into my experiences in our little one-room school that I attended for most of my grade school years I would probably bore you to tears, what with only six students in the entire school, and none of them in the same grade. I think we learned better in that situation though as you could always see what you were to be faced with the next year, and many times the teacher would have activities where we all participated.

Hope I haven't put anyone to sleep with my rambling on.


Richard Fri Jan 19 13:09:11 PST 2001

Oh yeah - as for UK & American schools... actually I'm interested. What are American schools like? I actually can't speak for the majority of British schools because most of Britain has Secondary schools and stuff, but up here in the North of England it goes First School, Middle School and High School.

All I know about American schools is from my art teacher who worked in one for awhile, and told us that a) young kids didn't seem to have as much freedom as british parents gave them (I think she said the police picked them up and took them home if they were caught outside without adult supervision, but I could be wrong), brakes were more organised, and in addition to the fire drill there was an earthquake drill and a shooting drill!! I imagine it differs across America, but thats virtually all I know.

As for open-minded and accepting - no Americans to compare with - but if we're open-minded I'm never coming near the USA!!! (Joking; no offence!!!)

Ooh er... I'm blabbing on tonight. I'll get off my butt and do some real work. Hmm, but its Friday... *groans*...

Richard Fri Jan 19 13:01:09 PST 2001

Rhoda: Thanks. Luckily my parents are very supportive; I'm living in a very secure, Christain home, and although I won't deny I have struggled at times, I know I'm in a better position than most people out there. I know one girl who is a Christain, but her parents fight all the time. She's very good at writing poetry, and a few years back I was touched by a poem she wrote for a presentation on parents night. It was a very simple poem and I can barely remember it, but it was about parents and fighting, and the emotion in her voice as she read it will stay with me a lot longer than the poem itself.

Sadly, I haven't seen her around school recently. When we came to High School we got seperated into 'populations'. I'm in West, and she was assigned to a different population. Occasionally I would see her in the corridors but since Christmas I haven't seen her at all. If she is gone I'll be really dissapointed. We were barely freinds, but she's the ONLY christain I know who is going through the same things as me. Sometimes I feel guilty complaining when I know what she goes through.

Gotta keep going though. Forward is the only way.

Howard: The version I heard is SLIGHTLY different. It went something like this:

The guy goes into one room and finds everyone waist-high in - I'll say manure, because I don't use certain four-letter words. Then he goes into the next room and its completely full of, er, manure with people swimming in it... so he swims through to the next room.

Here the 'manure' is only a meter or less deep, and everyone's drinking tea at tables. The man thinks, "Well, if I have to spend eternity, might as well be in here."

He joins them, then a bell rings and one man gets up. "Okay lads, tea break is over. Back on yer heads!"

Same thing but with a higher, er, 'manure' content.

Rhoda Fri Jan 19 12:08:36 PST 2001


If it is any comfort to know, I got the same sort of stuff in school as you are getting. I guess American schools are not much different than UK schools, though I always like to think Brits are more open-minded and accepting than Americans.

It has been over twenty years since I graduated high-school and I can honestly say that I never regretted for a moment refusing to blend in with the crowd. I too got teased and socially ostracised by my refusal to drink, tell crude jokes, do drugs and be sexually active. As a result of these decisions I can honestly say I have lived a happier and more productive life than many of the kids who derided me. Furthermore, I have not lacked for good friends and close relationships throughout the years.

I realize that you are assured that you are on the right path, and I feel reasonably certain that you will not waver. You might stumble and make a few mistakes as you grow up, but you will find your way. Why am I telling you this? Because I remember how difficult it was growing up when I rarely had an adult to affirm the difficult and unpopular choices I made. Many of my teachers told me I should try to win more friends and be popular. In order to do that, I would have had to attend the parties where many of these popular kids drank and smoked dope. I would have had to change my wardrobe in order to look more like the popular crowd. Worst of all I would have been forced to pretend to be someone I was not, and I would have rather died than do that. Fortunately I had great parents who encouraged me to be myself.

So, as an adult with three kids of my own and with one only a year younger than yourself, I wish to applaud you for your strength of character and your unusual maturity. I hope that when my daughter is older and ready to date that she will find a Christian boy as nice as you.

Keep running the good race,


Debra Fri Jan 19 10:23:30 PST 2001

Your welcome. Thank you!

Jerry Ericsson Fri Jan 19 10:02:03 PST 2001

Mary, I think this is the one you want to hear, I would email it to you but that would be more like work, as you didn't put your email address on the post.

There once was a fellow who when living was a very bad man. He died and was sent to hell. On arriving he was met by Satan, who told him that since he was not all that bad, he had a choice of how he would spend eternity. With this the devil took him on a tour of rooms where he could get his due punishment.

The first room was occupied by people who were swimming in pools of molten lava, they were screaming in pain and agony. The floor of the second room was made of stones which were so hot that they glowed, the poor souls in that room were hopping around and again screaming in pain. The third room there were people who were standing around, drinking coffee and discussing happenings, their legs submerged in manure. Well now thought the new fellow this looks like the room for me, so he told the devil of his choice. He was led into the room and given a cup of coffee after a couple of minutes the head demon came back into the room and said, "Ok folks coffee break is over BACK ON O YOUR HEADS!"

Now does that make any sense?

I think that was the basic joke although I am not all that sure I have the first two rooms right, it has been quite some time since I heard that joke, but the punch line seems to stick in ones mind.

Heather - see, I am learning to be a bit more rounded in my old age the thought of a second amendment freedom never even crossed my mind. However my ears did perk up a bit when I happened to come across the senate hearings on John Ashcroft for Attorney General and the head of Handgun Control Inc. was testifying.


Word of the day: Fri Jan 19 09:47:48 PST 2001

threnody~ n. a song of lamentation; a dirge.

Mary Fri Jan 19 09:35:43 PST 2001

Well, well, well. It seems that having a theme for shortie night is getting better and better. Suprising almost, the emotions that can be stirred by a single word. Oh, the power of the pen.

DEBRA: Nope. There isn't any more. That's it. In my own mind, it is a poem about a boy who grows up to marry the girl who tormented him when they were young. Subliminally, to me, it is a story about the girl who threw the rocks and the way her feelings turned on her, sort of a 'Taming of the Shrew' type deal. Probably it means something a little different to everyone, and that is great. Your piece does its job of making the reader delve into themselves and think about priorities. Thank you.

Wish I knew the joke that ends with, 'back on your heads.' Somebody please tell me. Pleeeeeeease.

Great shorties last night everybody. HOWARD: I missed yours, but kudos to you for helping your friend that way. :-).

I know what 'ghoti' is but I will refrain so as not to give it away for anyone trying to figure it out.

Richard Fri Jan 19 09:11:16 PST 2001

Coffee breaks over, back on your heads...

If its the one I think it is... YUCK!

Howard: Hmm, s'pose it does look a bit like I'm bragging. Maybe I'll write another one with more emphasis on the people who say that you're sad rather than the person being called sad - does that make sense?

Ramon: I get that sort of thing a lot. But sometimes its just REALLY stupid. In class once I sniffed and got out a tissue, and this boy turned around and said "And he gets a tissue y'kna," in a disparaging voice as if it was somehow contemptible. I almost said "What, its no longer socially acceptable to use a tissue??"

Y'know what? I LOVE walking to school! I may not like school that much, but everyday in teh morning I've got this wonderful, fresh new feeling, and even though its freezing cold I just like to walk along and think about all the stuff I can see...

Unfortunately, I'm too shattered to appreciate it on the way back, and its not fresh anymore. It needs to go back in the wash :p

And I've decided I'm going to write no matter what. I hardly get time for it, but yesterday I wrote a poem in the classroom before registration (I usually get in early) and today I started writing a story. There's a new girl sitting next to me now and I'm sure she's convinced I'm a) queer or b) sad. Probably the latter, if she listens to everyone else.

Pfft. I've been waiting for ages now to use the school's PaintShop Pro software to finish off the logo for my own site (personaly one, not like KalidorWorX) and Wednesday we got turned out of the MultiMedia Room because Mr. Simpson had some sort of meeting, then yesterday Taylor insisted we work on the Visions of the Future logo, and today we got turned away because there was exams going on!!!

Heather: I really liked 'Consumed', the way you described the feeling was very powerful.

Mark: Don't know how it used to be, but most of my generation think God is load of rubbish and don't really fear the police either. Speaking as a Christain though; GOD ISN'T LIKE THAT!!! HE LOVES US ALL!!!!!

Well, things to do. Later everyone!

Debra Fri Jan 19 07:45:15 PST 2001


What can I say WOW! I'm going to read that one again. It is scary. It's a true testament to mothers and how their job is never done.


Nice poem. Is there more? I'd like to hear more.


Debra Fri Jan 19 07:36:53 PST 2001


What a great story about the things writers want to create. When I was younger I always told my grandfather that I wanted to go every where and meet every one and then take them all with me. Imagine?


I liked your story but the pictures were hard to look at.


Your story made me want to point out that Tim followed the rules that day and remained free,proving my point. I have had arguments about that point.

I liked it very much.


Please get that one published.


Allein Fri Jan 19 07:29:32 PST 2001

Hi all,
Today's picture is Rick from Morningbird Lane. I have the Character profiles on my Morningbird Lane section now so there isn't a profile.
If you go to the main page there's also a page about Pepper Puppy. :)

Debra Fri Jan 19 07:14:29 PST 2001


See what I mean. It's just something about me. People like to pick, pick. I quess it's just my friendly nature and people take for GRANTED, that I might crumble.

Okay, I will fix my poem.

Thanks, Mark for pointing that out.

All the shorts I have read so far are great. I haven't finished yet. Every time I get close to my computer my twins drag me away.

Revenge ha.

I know it's a dish best served cold.

I'll work on that one.


Thank you for your saying you liked it.


howard Fri Jan 19 05:28:57 PST 2001

I had a cousin who flunked geology because he took everything for granite...

Sorry no shorty this time. I was busy reviewing a writing text done by a friend of mine who teaches writing at our local community college. It's very good, and I learned quite a bit simply by reviewing it. I'll talk to him and see if he'll allow me to post parts of it here, or make it available on request. There was a nice section on active/passive too.

Got a nice surprise when I did a search on Themestream for my last name. I found some stuff by my niece in California. She's into photography, just getting started, but pretty good for all that.


Ramon Fri Jan 19 05:08:29 PST 2001

Yes me again. I only get an hour for lunch you know. I didnt realise there was a theme, just as well really that my little short does have something to say about freedom. I will explain another time. If of course you're dying to find out mail me

MARY: Don't quite know what to think of your piece, alot could be read into it. It has certainly got me thinking about it, and I guess in the end that's what writing is about.

BEN: Brilliant. Absolutely Brilliant. I never saw that one coming. Keep up the good work.

RICHARD: Love it. Technically its spot on but what I thought was most interesting is how it clearly reflects how much non-conformist behaviour is frowned upon, and people are subsequently judged sad because they dont conform to what they consider to be the norm. I get this from being into science fiction and going to conventions. I think somebody told me once "Mate you need to get laid". I think my response was "You obviously do because if you didn't you wouldn't use the term laid" Keep up the good work.

CHRISTI: Wow, wow and more wow. Less is definitely more. It really did speak volumes.

DEBRA: Very insightful.

HALLEE: Yes I like the message. You know the song "4 dead in Ohio" by Crosby, Stills et al? Do you think that what you described probably happened before they opened fire on those demonstrators? Food for thought.

TINA: Pardon me a moment I need to stich my sides back up. As an honours English Student nothing amazed me more than the amazing complexities of language. Incidentally do you know what "ghoti" is? Have a think, although you probably already know it.

MARK: I think quite a few people can relate to that, including me.

I think I've covered everybody's. So next week is revenge huh? Ok. HMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM Again I am really amazed how provocative everybody's writing is, I am afraid I pale in comparison really. Still if you love to write that's what is important. Anyway I really have to go, although I'll probably look in again before the end of the day. Just to explain I dont have a computer at home, my e-mail comes through the TV, so I wont post anything over the weekend but if you want to discuss anything then drop me a message.

HEATHER: Hope the funeral goes well. Before I go I just thought you might be interested in this little tale, and it really did happen:

I was at the hospital when my Nan died, and after we cried and said our goodbyes to her, My partner and I headed home. Now my parents have a dog called Sammy (He's a Samoyed), and they only live 10 seconds away. I knew my mother wouldn't be home for some time so My partner Sue went to fetch the dog so he wouldn't be left on his own. They came in and as Sue headed upstairs and the dog ran straight into the kitchen, stood on hind legs and paws on the fridge door. He ws looking up. Sammy does this whenever he sees somebody. I thought at first that the fridge might have had a strong smell, and then I realised that in all the years my parents had him he has never ever done it. His behaviour was exactly the way it would be if someone was in the kitchen. What do you think?

Take care all.

RAMON Fri Jan 19 01:37:44 PST 2001

Well Well looks like I've been missing out on some good stuff here. Looking at some of the material on show I feel I am not in the same league as you guys when it comes to the craft. I should really be getting back to work (luckilly my boss is out today; I mean the OR Becky not Trudi) however I had an idea for a short and it goes something like this: (incidentally would all and sundry please be brutally honest in your critiques).
On my way home in the car my mother turned to me and said "Stop that!" I frowned as only eight year olds do and cried "But mum I want to play". Mum looked at me and said "You don't understand. You can't play like that here. Just wait until we get home, and then you can play." I sulked. My mum was being really unfair you know. Mum's been like that for a while now, and I don't understand. I heard a loud bang and my dad shouted "Shit, what are they doing?" I laughed because dad said a rude word. My mother was crying "Oh my God was that a gun being fired?" I was excited because I saw the soldiers in the street playing with their guns. They pointed them at the rooftops and fired, just like in the films. I wanted to play with the soldiers, I had my laser gun that Mum got me for Christmas. I lifted the gun up to the window but before I could press the trigger, mum snatched the gun from me. "You stupid child you're going to get us killed." My mums face was red and she was crying. I think she was frightened. I wanted to cry but didnt. My dad didn't say anything, just kept using bad words to the other drivers. I think Dad wanted us all to go faster, to get away from the soldiers and their guns. I think then I became a little scared. I was starting to think that maybe the soldiers in the street weren't playing.

Tomorrow Mum & I are going to England to see Nan & Grandad. When mum told me I thought this was fun, another holdiday in England. Mum told me that we were going to England to stay. We won't be coming back home. I cried. What about my friends & school? Can we ever come back? What will happen to the house? I couldn't stop crying. My mum cuddled me for a long time. Dad came into the room and say me cry. He cuddled me and told me that everything would be alright. We would go to England, and be much happier. I cried even more when he told me that he couldn't come with us for at least a year, but he promied me that he would joins in England and that everything would be fine.

The next day we left home, and I never looked back.
Remember guys be brutallty honest. Its the only way I'll learn. I have to get back to work but I will read the other stuff here and let you know what I think. TAKE CARE ALL.

Heather Fri Jan 19 00:23:17 PST 2001




Heather Fri Jan 19 00:21:27 PST 2001

MARK, now you've left me in an awful dangle!
Pleeease, please finish the shorty?
I was going to point out the granite/for granted thing as well, but since you've taken care of that issue, I'll just say 'done'.
Although I'm certain I would need a major brush-up to be 100%'grammatically correct', I think I might have made a not-so-awful English teacher. I could say Prof, but that would render my head a hot air balloon.

Jerry, I really enjoyed your shorty on Freedom. I confess that I assumed that you would go all out and make the short story into a plug for the right to bear arms. I apologize to you, as well as make my confession known. You have pleasantly surprised me. I also think that the greatest freedom a person can have is an open mind.
You have reminded me that mine could use a renovation! So, in a round-about fashion, I thank you.

Here is a poem that flew out of my mind so fast I almost tripped:

(It's not really about Freedom, but it is a short and well, honestly? I can't sleep.)


You slammed the door on my soul
Gathered me up and reduced me to coal
Your grip holds me finite,
My heart gone to granite;
No reason, just the ‘Goodbye’.

I haven’t stood upright for weeks
Took my air when you filled in your leaks
Your eyes tore a trench
Rotted love is the stench
I think I’m burrowing up into hell

Not far to go ‘til
I’m one shovel until

©Heather Myles, 2001

I think it was the mention of 'granite' that reminded me of this one. Wrote it somewhere around the beginning of this week... although it's not something I have RECENTLY experienced!

Tomorrow is the Memorial Service for my Grandmother, and I have yet to polish the little piece I've written. Putting it off is not going to make it any easier to read aloud tomorrow afternoon. Must get on that, then.
How about right now...


Jerry Ericsson Thu Jan 18 20:41:22 PST 2001

Garries - speaking of tired old jokes, I may be old enough and you all may be young enough that this may be new to you, but the story goes:

There was once a young man who was sent to prison. After getting settled in with his cell mate they began to sit around relaxing, when one other prisoner from down the cell block shouted out "TWENTY THREE!" whereupon the entire cell block burst out laughing. The new fellow looked at his older cell mate and asked him what the hell that was all about, and the old guy explained: "You see we have all been here together for so many years that we have exchanged all the jokes so many times that we all know them by heart. So to save time, we just number them, and when one man wants to tell the joke he simply calls out the number, we all remember the joke and punch line so well that it cracks us up.

Well the new fellow wanted to try it out, so the next night he shouts "Fourteen!" and - - nothing, he looks at his cell mate, and the old fellow says "Eh some guys just can't tell a joke."


Mark Thu Jan 18 20:27:01 PST 2001

DEBRA -- Good thoughts in the poem. Thanks. One big nit to pick :: "Take it for granite." How 'bout Take it for granted. Your phrase implies that the thing you value has stone-like qualities. The actual phrase implies that the valued thing has been given and will stay that way. There's good news and bad news here. The good news is that your version is one of the more common misquotes in circulation, so that when you write it, you have lots of people who believe as you do. The bad news is that population's low grade level.

LITTER -- No, I don't recognize the speech. But I'll vote with Heather on Mel Gibson.
Interesting how that contrasts with D-Bra's poem. Your piece extols the personal struggle against external forces and hers against internal. Yet both want to say "It's my life and I'll decide how to live it." If I have any sides to take on the issue, I'll take the internal.
Shorty --
I haven't lived where gang wars have scarred the emotional neighborhood, nor where the English King has sent his mercenary soldiers. I grew up in an Irish Catholic neighborhood, and the only oppressor I knew lived in the convent near the end of the street. In time their faces and names merged into one. I don't know who wielded the catachism more effectively, Sister Saint Thomas Aquinas, Sister Anita, Sister Mary Elizabeth. They've all become: "The Church."

I think they used God on me the way parents use police. "If you don't behave, He'll get you." Is it any wonder kids grow up afraid of God and afraid of police? I was convinced God had a great notebook full of comments on my wretched existence and the things to punish me for when my time came. In the days (years) of my rebellion, I opposed more than any other force, the overriding constrictions that long-memoried God placed on my behavior. He left me no freedom for my own thoughts, no chances to find for myself if grays existed between the blacks and whites.

That's it for tonight. Past my bedtime. Goodnight all.

Jerry Ericsson Thu Jan 18 20:26:48 PST 2001

Well I simply had to give this freedom thing a shot, since the wife is home with me most of the time now, I do all my writing after she is in bed, so I just wrote this, I admit I did dream it up over the past week though and I guess it got a bit long for a shorty but here it is none the less.

By Jerry Ericsson

“So you want to know about freedom huh?” The old man said, as he stroked the gray stubble that grew on his wrinkled black skin.

I was working for an article for The Old Guard Review about freedom for the up-coming Bicentennial celebration, it was the fifteenth of June, 1976, just weeks away from the biggest celebration the DC area ever saw.

“Well, I’ll tell ya, the freest fellow I ever met was about the same age I am now, that’s eighty-four if you want to know. He was a prisoner in Attica Penitentiary, where I was doing seven to twelve for knocking over a liquor store in the Bronx. Now this man was doing a double life sentence for murdering a couple of white boys what was giving him a hard time. Back then, if you waz a nigger and you killed a white boy, you was damn lucky to get to court, much less survive in the pen.” The old man struck a match and lit up the last inch of his old stogie, then spit on the ground near my spit-shined low quarters, I moved back just a few steps, and he let out a chuckle.

“Now when I met this fellow, he was in a wheel chair, see he was one bad dude when he first got there, or so he told me, when he pissed off one of the screws up on the third tier that bull just up and picked him up and tossed him right over the rail that was supposed to keep you from falling. He fell three stories and landed on his back on that cold hard cement floor. He was damn lucky to have lived from such a fall, but he did. Never walked another step though as his back was broke. Now you might wonder how this fellow was free, and I’m about to tell you how. See this old fellow told me the secret to doing time, and it made my time go so much better too. What he had going for him was the fact he could read see. He could get books dropped off at his cell, and he would spend hours and hours reading them books from the prison library.”

I was beginning to get the picture as the old man went on.

“That fellow, he told me that since he been there for over forty seven years, that is back then, hell he has to be dead by now, but anyhow, he says since he got to the big house he has been to Paris France, he took a journey out into space, he lived on other worlds. He says he fought in over eighty different wars. He says he loved hundreds and hundreds of women of all races and cultures. You see if a man can read, he is free no matter what the circumstances because he can go everywhere those books say. He can do and be anything them books say. And he told me that once you have read that book, the fellow who wrote that book, he is part of you, and you can see what he saw, you can taste what he tastes, you can smell what he smells. Ah yes, if a man can read, he is free no mater where he is, no mater if he can walk or not, because in the book, he can run the Boston Marathon and win. In the book he can hunt the elephant and he can be the President, if he can read he can do and be all these things and more.”

Well that old man had quite a story, and I wrote down everything he said, this is going to be the best story I ever submitted, all because of the great men and women who write down what they see and feel in books.

Mary Thu Jan 18 20:16:24 PST 2001

LITTER: Deep down I picked FREEDOM for YOU because I was so wishing that you would tap into your Scottish passion and not be able to resist Shortie night tonight. Thank you. ((Big hugs)) You never disappoint.

Awesome turnout for shorties night. I am going to have fun catching up on the posts.

Next week's theme: REVENGE

Tina Thu Jan 18 18:34:15 PST 2001


Another sterling shortie night, and it's not over yet!

I don't have time to make many comments - my hubby is making dinner and it's almost done and it smells so GOOD - so let me say this: I'm always impressed by the talent of this group of people. Everyone. :-)

Mark, send me your snail mail address and I'll send out 'Ender's Game'. I put my e-mail above.

I'm gonna cheat tonight and post something I received as an e-mail. It's perfect for this place!

Lets face it: English is a complicated language.

There is no egg in the eggplant, no ham in the hamburger and neither pine nor apple in the pineapple. English muffins were not invented in England and French fries were not invented in France.

We sometimes take English for granted. But if we examine its paradoxes we find that "quicksand" takes you down slowly, "boxing rings" are square and a "guinea pig" is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.

If writers write, how come fingers don't "fing"! If the plural of tooth is teeth, shouldn't the plural of phone booth be "phone beeth". If the teacher taught, why didn't the preacher "praught". If a vegetarian eats vegetables,
what the heck does a "humanitarian eat!"?

Why do people recite at a play yet "play at a recital"? Park on driveways and "drive on parkways". You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language where a house can burn up as it "burns down" and in which you fill in a form by "filling it out". And a bell is only heard once it goes!

Do infants enjoy infancy as much as adults enjoy adultery? If love is blind, why is lingerie so popular? Why is the man who invests all your money called a "broker"? Why is a person who plays the piano called a pianist, but a person who drives a race car not called a "racist"? Why are
a wise man and a wise guy opposites? Why do overlook and oversee mean opposite things?

If horrific means to make horrible, does terrific mean to make terrible? Why isn't 11 pronounced onety one? If lawyers are disbarred and clergymen defrocked, doesn't it follow that electricians can be "delighted", musicians
"denoted", cowboys deranged", models "deposed", tree surgeons "debarked" and drycleaners "depressed"?

Why is it that if someone tells you that there are 1 billion stars in the universe you will believe them, but if they tell you a wall has wet paint you will have to touch it to be sure?

If you take an Oriental person and spin him around several times, does he become disOriented"? If people from Poland are called "Poles", why aren't people from Holland called "Holes"? And shouldn't the offspring of Hungarian Polish parents be a "Hungry Pole"?

English was invented by people, not computers, and it reflects the creativity of the human race (which of course isn't a race at all). That is why when the stars are out they are visible, but "when the lights are out they are invisible". And why it is that when I wind up my watch it starts but when "I wind up this story" it ends?

Oh oh dinner's ready. See y'all later!

Heather Thu Jan 18 18:24:36 PST 2001

Litter, sounds like BraveHeart to me...

*sniff sniffles*


Hallee Thu Jan 18 17:20:34 PST 2001

LITTER: Well done...Bravo! I'm Scottish enough to be nearly obsessed with the history of it.


Litter Thu Jan 18 17:07:10 PST 2001

Hi all!

HEATHER, belatedly you have my thoughts and prayers for Joyce.

NEW PEOPLE, too numerous to mention (okay so I'm lazy and don't want to miss anyone out) -- Welcome

HOWRAD and Everyone -- Seems I know the joke too, so I have to disqualify myself. (Thankfully!) BTW the poetry site is a goldmine -- it tells me what I've been writing for years…

CHRISTI -- Thanks for the comments :o)

ANYONE else feel cheated by guerrilla marketing/posting? It would be different if people at least introduce themselves. Somehow I don't feel inclined to respond to such marketing techniques. Maybe that is just me?

Even less time for the notebook than usual -- kids PC hard drive had to be reformatted and 2 Gb's of programs reinstalled, but not untill after I had wasted an entire day tying to fix the problem. Computers, doncha just love them…

MARY -- suddenly I'm viewing you in a whole different light! :o) And just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water…

I was cleaning the attic the other day, with my wife. Filthy, dirty and covered in cobwebs… … but she's good with the kids.

Haven't had time to read the other shorties but here are my musings. (Ask a Scot about freedom and this is what you get!)


"… for, as long as but a hundred of us remain alive,"

The war hammer smashed down, full on the uncovered head of Roddy's brother, crushing his head to between his shoulders. The lifeless sibling slumped to the muddy earth.

"never will we on any conditions be brought under English rule."

The battle was confused, bloody and brutal. Roddy had scant time for the tear that trickled through the mud and the blood on his angry cheeks, as he instinctively sidestepped the hammer-wielder's horse.

"It is in truth not for glory,"

With both hands low on the pommel he swung his claymore in an upward arc, counterbalancing it with his entire being.

"… nor riches,"

The broad blade crunched through the flesh, sinew and bone of the knee, parting the offending English Lord from his lower left leg.

"… nor honours"

The horse wheeled, reigned in by his master, and Roddy saw the English Lords future in his eyes.

"… that we are fighting,"

He planted the pommel hard into the muddy field and braced his claymore with a hand on either side of the hilt, the ousin-stained blade aimed to the sky.

"… but for freedom"

The Lord fell, unseated by his wheeling mount. Roddy's blade released the Englishman from his mortal tenure, as the full weight of the Lord impaled him like a spit, entering at his kidney and bursting out through the ribs of his chest.

" — for that alone,"

Roddy surveyed the field where princes and paupers alike had fallen. Hands held high he looked up to God and he roared.

"… which no honest man gives up but with life itself."

Roddy would know freedom. He would have the English usurpers know so. He would also know pain and sorrow -- a different kind of freedom than that his brother and the Lord at his feet would know.

Anyone recognise the speech?

Ciao for now,


Viv Thu Jan 18 16:01:26 PST 2001

Heather: Oh, that is a great description of your grandparents. You show the quality of the relationships, the value of the meals in a couple paragraphs. Thanks!

Howard: Got it! What fun!

Hallee Thu Jan 18 15:15:44 PST 2001

Howdy all - Happy Thursday.

BECKY: Welcome.

RICHARD: Yes...Snickerdoodles. Very yummy. Your poem was well done - hang tough.

MARY: Great poem.

BEN: I was going to say wow, until the end, which I didn't get. But, I was hooked all the way through.

CHRISTY: Double wow. Well done.

DEBRA: I liked your poem. I love the subject "freedom" - I'm one of those big fans of statues and pictures of bald eagles, I tear up at military things - I love the poetry about it.

RAMON: Welcome.

HEATHER: *sniff*

Okay - time to put dinner in the oven.

Have a great night/day all!


Heather Thu Jan 18 14:05:39 PST 2001

Shortie night already...

(Jerry, I guess this is proof that I'm a full-fledged notebook addict)

My grandmother lived her life with uncommon grace, kindness, and lightheartedness. She was my grandfather's soul mate ~ and he has the most amazing sense of humour I've ever had the pleasure to enjoy. But Grandma had her own sense of humour, a little on the shy side, a little more subdued.

Her name was Joyce, and it suited her. She would shut herself into the kitchen when we were all visiting, and hum songs as she cooked up a maelstrom of delicacies: Lamb chops in sweet, runny mint sauce, creamed onions, asparagus heads, braised carrots and string beans, and scalloped potatoes. She'd whip real cream to top her 'trifle' dessert, which I think may have been her own invention. And she served it to us with giant, freshly polished silverware.
She'd light new candles in the silver holders, and our dinners were peppered with fun.

My grandfather may have been the louder, more extroverted comedian, but her joy shone through in everything she said, and especially in her laughter. It spread through the house just like the smell of her wonderous cooking.

I miss her already.


Hallee Thu Jan 18 13:50:04 PST 2001


Timothy stood stiffly in full attention, his eyes focused straight ahead. His dress uniform was pressed to perfection, his shoes shined to glass, his medals polished to a shine. He barely felt the heat of the sun as it beat down on the back of his neck.

In front of him the crowd was wild. They had been briefed before the parade, but of them had really expected this. Rumors had circulated prior to the event about what the students planned to do, but Tim didn't think that any of the rumors had been taken seriously.

He was able to make out a few of the words in the jumble of screaming from the crowd. There was little organization in the protest - just a consenus of hate and anger - unrationalized in Tim's eyes.

His blood was beginning to boil with rage. He wanted to do something about it, but there was nothing he could do, really. The simple Vetran's Day parade had turned into a carnival of riots and protesting. Right in front of him, a crowd soaked a flag and set it on fire.

He could see it happening thirty years ago. But now? What had sparked it? Nothing. That was the sad part. A group of kids started it to see if they could - that's what the rumor mill said.

He heard his squad leader behind him, talking to their company commander.

"Sir, how can we let them get away with this?"

"There's nothing we can do about it, Johnson."

"Sir, can't we - "

"Listen to me, son. It's their right. It's one of the freedoms we protect. They have a right to spit on us, scream their hate at us, and burn the flag we defend. There's nothing we can do about it as long as they don't actually attack us."

Timothy thought the words as his squad leader spoke them. "It's not right, sir."

"No, it's not. But it's better that they have the freedom than none of us having any freedom at all. If only they could realize it."

Tim sighed as heavily as his squad leader, knowing what the captain said was true.

"Yes, sir," he heard, then listened to the orders to begin marching the parade.

Becky Thu Jan 18 13:13:21 PST 2001

CHRISTI - Thanks for your welcome, in anwser to your question, Ramon is an Assyrian with glasses. He is a good guy though.

Thanks to all for your messages.


Debra Thu Jan 18 13:00:16 PST 2001

I tried to write a short story but couldn't decide on one plot. So I wrote a poem.


I put great value on my freedom,
yet very often take it for granite.

I have the freedom to come and go,
yet am restricted by my responsibilities,
I freely chose

I am free to love my family and friends,
yet am entangled sometimes by
worry of losing them.

I am free to imagine infinite possibilities,
yet my beliefs and morals occasionally
impede my willingness to verbalize it on paper.

I freely take the greatest care of my physical self,
yet admit things not of my control could
take it all away in an instant.

I live my life with restrictions, yet chose them freely.
It is my belief he who follows the rules enjoys the most freedoms.

Debra J. Palardy

howard Thu Jan 18 11:36:47 PST 2001

GS -- Great idea! I'd better disqualify meself also. :0)

CHRISTI -- Here's one for you:

...then the midget says "Saint Bernard my foot! It was the Dalmatian!"

RICHARD -- That is a very nice poem!


Christi Thu Jan 18 10:41:36 PST 2001

GS, Whew, I know the joke too! Automatic disqualification!
It's a good thing; I wouldn't have had a clue where to start. ;)

Debra Thu Jan 18 10:39:11 PST 2001


Yes, yes, yes my dear Gary. I must say that my family seems to use me more than anyone. I guess it is a combination between the fact that I am the oldest and that I can take it too.

Also, I live in a large Italian family. Anything goes. You can imagine.

We get together every Sunday night to eat at my mothers. So there is no shortage of time to pick away.


Christi Thu Jan 18 10:38:51 PST 2001

Great shorties! It's wonderful to come here and find shorties already posted. Ben, Mary, Richard--Thank you!

Here's one that I only had a paragraph for and exponded on. I started thinking about it when I saw 60 minutes interviewing the mother of a murdered child. It really disturbed me. Then I thought, what must it be like to be the mother of a murderer?

Mother’s Burden
By Christine Ritchotte

I don’t blame them for wanting to kill Paul ... not one bit. I’d probably want to see the person who done the things they said he done hanging from the nearest tree with bamboo shoots shoved under his nails. I’ll bet I’m the only person in the world what doesn’t want to see him six feet under, and that’s only on account that I’m his Mama. It’s still hard to believe those things they said he done, but I guess they got enough proof that there ain’t no way to see past it.
When I went down to the jail to see him last Tuesday, he was all teared up-couldn’t say a word, but to cry like a baby. I tried to talk to him, as best I could. I asked him over and over if what they said was true-if he done those terrible things. He just kept saying he was sorry, and then when they said it was time to go he left without lookin’ at me again.
Now, seein’ him all trussed up like a calf in a roping contest makes him look guiltier than ever. He don’t talk at all, not even to his attorney the court appointed for him.

I don’t want to think about back when he was just a wee one. Can’t much help it though. My shy Paulie, he stayed my baby for the longest of all the kids. Couldn’t get that one off the breast, but I didn’t mind so much. He was the perfect lil’ babe. Sweet too, Lord was he sweet. Stick up for the animals those boys was so fond of torturing all the time. Problem was those boys switched to torturing Paulie.
I can’t help myself from the wondering. There’s too many damn ‘what ifs’ and ‘should’as in this world. Shoulda left that man. Didn’t know he was hurting them kids. Well maybe I did know he was hurting them, but I didn’t know he was touchin’ them. I’d've got Old Tex from the rack and blown that man’s head clean off if I’d known about it. Turned out he got his head blown off anyways. Wasn’t a wet eye in the house when the sheriff came to us about it.

I wish I hadn’t of come. Them girl’s families keep turning ‘round in their seats giving me the eye. They're wondering why I come, no doubt. They're wonderin’ what kind of momma brings up a monster. Wish I could stop myself from the wondering.

© Christine Ritchotte 2001

gariess Thu Jan 18 10:23:07 PST 2001

Speaking of the child's game, this looks like a good place for a game of "And the guy Said." Have you ever played that game? I am reminded of it by Howard's signature parting instruction for us to get back on our heads. The way it works is: one states the punch line of a joke, and the others engage in a contest to reconstruct the joke from the punch line alone. It is an honor system game. Players are asked to disqualify themselves if they know the joke. Howard's tag line is the punch line of a known joke, and since I know the joke, I will disqualify myself. I will give the punch line in it's complete form. The fun in this game is in seeing how funny and divergent the different submissions can be.

And the guy said, "Okay, coffee break's over, back on your heads."


Rhoda Thu Jan 18 10:12:05 PST 2001

Looks like we have a great start here on the shorties already.


Great poem. I have to wonder about a man marrying a lady who throws rocks at him, but such is the curse of the literal mind. It was thought provoking and fun to read.


Loved your story. I think it ties in nicely to what Heather is experiencing now.


You have a lot of talent for one so young. I enjoyed your poem, and I like your kind of "sad."

Maybe I will try to write a sonnet. I always wanted to do that. With the way I work the result might have to wait until next week's shortie night.

So many new people here that I hesitate to mention them all by name lest I leave anyone out. It is wonderful to read new voices here. It makes the Notebook vibrant and all the more lively.

Happy writing,


Gariess Thu Jan 18 10:02:49 PST 2001


I gather that the thrust of your anecdote about the lumpy potatoes is that some people just never let you off the hook once they have caught you up in a foible. We all experience being the butt of this form of savage amusement at one time or another. You may trust that I get my share of the recieiving end. We all ring the funny bells of other people with the way we fall into our idiosyncratic traps. There is something in human nature that makes us want to play the child's game. Turnabout is fair play, but then so is "pass it on." Oh, save us from ever growing up entirely.


howard Thu Jan 18 09:48:00 PST 2001

VIV -- There it is again. It is rather helpful!

MARY -- Looks good! More after I've had time to digest it.

BEN -- Ditto!

EDDIE -- No problem! But I do have a slight concern, which I'll address shortly.

RICHARD RICHARD -- Are you bragging, or complaining? :-) (Nice job, though).

back on your heads!

Richard Thu Jan 18 09:35:33 PST 2001


Well - this is based loosely on freedom. I wrote it at 1 o'clock in the morning (couldn't get to sleep). I've only just realised that in a way it is about freedom...

To avoid any confusion 'sad' is in a derogatory (sp?) sense as in someone saying "You are soo sad..."

I am 'sad'

I am 'sad'
Because I am different,
Don't swear,
Have faith,
Hold onto my individuality

I am 'sad'
Because I don't drink myself silly,
Smoke tabs,
Listen to that music,
Make decisions out of stupidity

I am 'sad'
Because I don't like fight,
Hurl abuse,
Cause trouble,
Worsen a problem through violence

I am 'sad'
Because I am creative,
Translate thought into pictures and words

I am 'sad'
Because I think for myself,
My life is my own,
Mine to live,
Not one has the right to ridicule it

I am 'sad'
Because I show maturity,
Take pride in my work,
Build a future,
Refuse to waste my talents

I am 'sad'
Becuase I speak my mind,
Don't bury my feelings,
Leave them behind,
Surrender to the collective mind

I am 'sad'
Because I am myself
My life not yours,
Hobbies, interests,
Wants and needs

I am not 'sad'
Simply not for you to say
I can't live life,
Live it my way.

- Richard J. Scott

I've got another one I wrote in Tutor Period, but I'll save that one for another time ;) Thu Jan 18 09:31:57 PST 2001

there ya go VIV!

Viv Thu Jan 18 09:24:52 PST 2001

Mary or Howard:
In the interest of time so I don't have to go back and read everything in the archieves tell me when that Poetic Forms site was listed. I'd like to see that. Classy Rondo Mary, but I've forgotten the form for Rondo, in fact the word went PING and sparked some old dried up brain cells. Didn't spark hard enough.

Mary Thu Jan 18 09:02:41 PST 2001

Hello Everyone!
Shorties already! How wonderful is that? Big cheesy smiles. As a matter of fact, I wrote a poem that I put in the Workbook that I didn't say anything about because it was just for fun. I think I will use that as my shortie for tonight even though it isn't about freedom. Here it is.

She threw rocks at me
Back in the old neighborhood.
I couldn't let it be;
She threw rocks at me!
So I married her, you see,
Because I knew that I could.
She threw rocks at me
Back in the old neighborhood.

That is my attempt at a rondell. I wrote that the day that Howard posted the link to the poetic forms index. Hats off to Howard.

Good luck to all of you guys with your shorties tonight.

I have joined a health club so that my bon bon doesn't have quite so much shake. Wish me luck...tonight is my first night with "Paul" my personal trainer. Of course he is a hunk, but I will probably only have him for a week at which time they will switch me over to a steroid enhanced, hulk of a female drill sergeant. They only use the men to hook you in and get you to pay up. Sheesh...what a rip off. Hehe...maybe I will hold off with my check.

"Yes Paulie..anything you say Paulie. Of course I can handle 30 minutes at high speed on the treadmill.." (if you are standing in front of it). Woohoo. I gotta go.

Eddie French Thu Jan 18 08:26:36 PST 2001

I was just reading your little comments on my articles over at TS.
Thanks for making my Thursday a little brighter.

Viv Thu Jan 18 08:24:10 PST 2001

Hi Heather - Ouch! the death of a grandmother is a tough one. I'm glad things went kindly at the funeral and you came away with a good feeling and a plan to make your grandfather feel loved and cared for. I like your plans. They sound like fun.

Mary: I like the idea of freedom. I have something I wanted to write, but I wrote this long shortie because I wanted to at least DO and Finish something in spite of work. I have to teach night classes this week. I do the fifth,sixth, seventh, and eigth graders. This gives me train fare plus vegetables money for the month. So, at 10:00PM I started and again it's one o'clock in the morning. I apologize for the sloppy shortie written in a shallow manner on a deep subject. Oh well. I did get to write.

Everyone, I admit it. The story I posted in the short story area stunk. It's trite. I could use some more original techniques for getting a teacher out of a locked supply closet. Any ideas?
Challenge...get her out of the closet alive.

howard Thu Jan 18 07:26:53 PST 2001

MARK -- You'll enjoy "Ender's Game." Yes, I still have one more story to finish in the Lem book. I've enjoyed it so far.
Orson Scott Card wrote a book on writing science fiction that's pretty good too.

Allein Thu Jan 18 07:24:37 PST 2001

Hi all,
I've been really working hard to try and make my new webpage great.
Today's pic/character profile is of Razor Roscini. Obviously Razor is a nickname - I don't have a real name for him but when they finally do find out his real name it'll be something unusual and embarrassing.

Mary - Mmm, snickerdoodles are my favorite cookies after chocolate chip! :)


Mark Thu Jan 18 07:13:27 PST 2001

TINA -- Yes, I'm up for "Ender's Game." The comments about humanity have sparked my interest.

HOWARD -- That remembers me, you still have Lem hanging about? I'll bet some folks'd be taken with that one.

Debra Thu Jan 18 07:12:46 PST 2001


Hey on Regis today guess what?

Berndette Peters had a dream about walking with gorillas. She wants it to be analyzeditits.

Here's your chance.


Ben Woestenburg Thu Jan 18 02:52:33 PST 2001

Isn't it Thursday now? I'm gonna try and do my shortie. I haven't been giving it much thought, and now that it's time to do it, I hope I don't screw it up. I don't want it to be too long either, because that defeats the purpose doesn't it? But I also have to add, that I don't write Sci-fi or fantasy too often, so just bear with me and we'll see what we get, okay?

When I was seven years old, my grampa took me with him to bring my Dad and brothers their lunch. They were all working in the fields. He carried a huge sack full of sandwhiches, and three bottles of fresh milk. He also had an old cigar box under his arm. He held my hand as I walked along the fence rails, the ragweed tickling my legs and the wind blowing up my dress like a gentle whisper. The air was full of those puffy dandelion things, the sky a soft blue with streaks of clouds that reminded me of dust on the chalkboards at school.

After we gathered up the milk bottles and sandwhich wrappers, Grampa took me along the creek, where he said it was cooler because of the shade trees and the water. He sat at the water's edge and pulled a cigarette out of his shirt pocket, placing the cigar box on the ground beside him. There was a shovel nearby, and I wondered when he'd found the time to put it there. We didn't bring it out with us. There was a small hole he'd dug earlier, and an old oil cloth and planks of wood.

"I want you to do something for me," he said after a moment.

I was busy chasing a frog with a stick when he said it, and turned around, looking at him sitting there with the sunlight breaking around him. I thought how strange he looked, and how that fuzzy hair he had almost looked like a golden halo the way the sun was hitting it.

"Come here and sit down," he said, picking the box up and opening it.

I was curious to see what was in it, but he snapped it shut before I could see inside.

"What is it?" I asked.

"It's a part of me I want to leave for you."

"Are you going somewhere?"

"I don't plan on it," he said with a smile. It was a soft and gentle smile, the smile I've always remembered him by.

"I want you to come here in fifty years and dig it up," he said with a seriousness I've only seen when he's discussing politics and religion with his old war friends.

"Fifty years?" I said with a laugh. "That's a million years from now, isn't it?"

"It only seems that long," he laughed.

"But what is it?" I asked again, looking at the box closely.

"Something from me to you. Something that will set me free."

"Set you free? Can't you just tell me?"

"Then it wouldn't be a secret would it?"

"Then why do you want me to have it, if I can't know what it is?"

"Because it's from me. It's something that I have to give you, but not now. In fifty years you might appriciate it more."

"But what if I forget about it?"

"You won't."

He was right too. I didn't forget. He made me swear I wouldn't come here any sooner, spitting in his hand and telling me to shake on it and seal the deal. But now that I am here, now that I've finally dug it up and looked inside, I have to smile to myself because of the memories it brings back. It's like I'm seven years old again, playing in the fields after my chores are done; none of the worries of the last fifty years to weigh me down; none of the questions left unanswered.

There was a single picture of Grampa as a young man in uniform, looking stern and serious, a medal hanging around his neck. I looked inside the old box which I'd thrown to the side--it was almost totally useless anyway--and saw the medal tucked into a rotted corner. It was the medal we were looking for when we buried him, and I wondered why he wanted to give it to me. There was a piece of paper, frial, brittle, as dry as butterfly wings, and I opened it up, watching it crumble in my hands.

"The heart has its reasons which reason knows nothing of," I read, piecing the words together.

I remebered how he said it was going to set him free. It wasn't until then that I remembered that he no longer had the horrible nightmares he used to wake up from in the middle of the night. Perhaps it did set him free?

Christi Wed Jan 17 21:58:27 PST 2001

TINA, I almost forgot!
I'm so glad that you loved Ender's Game! That's what I love about Card too; his humanity. I wish more writers had that. Your comments were awesome. :)

Christi Wed Jan 17 21:53:36 PST 2001

HEATHER, I've thought of you often in the last week. I hope all is well with you and your family. Hugs and warm wishes for you. {{{{{{HUGS}}}}}}

I know, I know. It looks like I was waiting to post until somebody said something about my story. Well I wasn't, but hey it sure is nice anyway. I was afraid it sucked. THANKS TEEKAY!
I just read your story and it is sooo incredible! You, my friend, are the master of the ghostie. I don't know how you do it.
It's great to see you posting again, TEEKAY. Oooch but my sides ache! What's that haps, girlie?

MARK, Your ghostie was thought provoking. I'd like to see more of that story.

LITTER, Great story!

JERRY, Gee, where did you ever get the idea for your lastest? Heehee! I enjoyed reading it.

Phantasium is busy busy!

RAMON, I hope you decide to stay a while, I think you'll like it here.
You know, I had my very first crush on a boy named Ramon. He never did know that I was alive, but I used to have dreams at night of saving him and my entire fifth-grade class from a burning building and being the big heroine.
You wouldn't happen to be a young latino boy with distant eyes, now would you? ;)

How was that for some perfectly useless information that no one asked for? :0)

MARY, I loved what you said when you were talking about 'THIRD WATCH' and not just because of your boo boo. I quite forgot about it after the next sentence of your post.

KELLY MILNER HALLS, Guerilla marketing for writers, INDEED!

ALL, Seems strange to see commercials in this forum, no?

JOHN A. NEAL, Have you been reading 'Guerilla Marketing For Writers'? ;O) Just teasing! Oh well, you'll probably never come back here again anyway.

Hi BECKY, and a big WELCOME!!!!!! Things are a bit crazy around here right now, but just jump right in!

GARIESS, You boys and your dirty words. Tsk tsk. (You know we love it.)

I hope that everyone is happy, healthy and warm this evening. Take care,


Jerry Wed Jan 17 21:28:42 PST 2001

Tina - thanks for the comments, I have to learn not to post these right after I write the first draft. It is like I need to be done with the story and the story has to be presented raw. I will have to work on that I guess, I recall my college days where it took at least a week to finish one short story, or theme, sometimes we spent several weeks writing drafts then rewrites after first presenting them, if I recall one of our English instructors required four presentations before a final grade was assigned to the paper. I guess I am treating the notebook like that instructor, except I skip steps 2 through 5.


Jerry Wed Jan 17 21:28:41 PST 2001

Tina - thanks for the comments, I have to learn not to post these right after I write the first draft. It is like I need to be done with the story and the story has to be presented raw. I will have to work on that I guess, I recall my college days where it took at least a week to finish one short story, or theme, sometimes we spent several weeks writing drafts then rewrites after first presenting them, if I recall one of our English instructors required four presentations before a final grade was assigned to the paper. I guess I am treating the notebook like that instructor, except I skip steps 2 through 5.


Tina Wed Jan 17 20:25:09 PST 2001


I think it will take me awhile to fully digest 'Ender's Game'.

Just finished it.


Thank you Christi! I have found another mentor in my quest to create writing that is more than correct, but is meaningful. Science Fiction, at it's best, is not about the science or the fiction. It is about people, humanity. Good SF removes the reader from the here and now, instantly changing their paradigm so that nothing is familiar or ordinary. Without being constrained by the jaundice we need to get through each day in the real world, the truth of the story becomes more poignant. To mix a good story with good writing and good meaning... well, for that there is Orson Scott Card.


Gonna walk my dog now and try to process at least some part of it.

So the flag goes up. Who wants 'Ender's Game' next?


Mary Wed Jan 17 18:39:17 PST 2001

TEEKAY! What's a snickerdoodle you say? Well it is a very soft sugar cookie delicately flavored with cinnamon sugar. They melt in your mouth. You make the dough and then roll it into balls, rolling them in cinnamon sugar before you bake them. As they bake their tops crackle and are quite pretty. You should try them, they are fun to make with children.

Snickerdoodles Recipe


1 cup shortening
1 1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs
2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cream of tartar
2 tbsp. white sugar
2 tbsp. ground cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 375 derees F.
2. In medium bowl, cream together the shortening, and 1 1/2 cups of sugar. Stir in eggs. Sift together the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, and the salt. Stir into the creamed mixture until well blended.
3. In a small bowl stir together the 2 tbsp. white sugar and 2 tbsp. cinnamon. Roll dough into walnut sized balls and roll in the cinnamon-sugar. Place them on an unprepared cookie dheet and bake for 8-10 minutes in preheated oven. Edges should be slightly brown. Remove from sheets and cool on wire rack.

***Makes 3 dozen.

Teekay Wed Jan 17 17:40:57 PST 2001

HEATHER: I am so sorry to hear of your loss.((((((((( (((HUGS))))))))))))))))

JERRY: I loved your ghostie, although you got Alley and Jane confused for a minute there.
Just one other thing. You made it sound like it was ages before Jane responded to the message on the net after the police had come and gone, but then it's like she responded immediately.

CHRISTI: Brilliant ghostie.

MARY: 'shoving snickerdoodles into the gears of her wheelchair' HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA, that is sooooo funny.
What are snickerdoodles anyway??

RACHEL: Take care you. Not long to wait now.How exciting!

RRRRRAMON: Welcome to you.

CHAKA: Welcome to you too.
Here are some wise words of wisdom. There is only one thing standing between being a great writer and a crappy writer. Words.
God I'm brilliant. Do you think that one's good enough for one of those little desk calendars??
Aww, Rats!

JACK: Your round robin sound fantastic.

JON: The world, (well some of it) may already have heard of me seing as AMERICO plastered my name AND address on the notebook. Onya AMERICO, real good of you sh*t head!!! You're just bloody lucky you made yours indecipherable when you returned that book to me.
BTW in answer to your riddle we say 'everyman for himself.'

HALLEE: Thankyou.

So to all you wierd and wonderful people and all you turds too, have a good day.
I believe in Karma.

Debra Wed Jan 17 16:51:54 PST 2001


You are a little dickens aren't you. I might start thinking you are Italian. I once was asked to mash the potatoes and they were a little lumpy. Of course it was determined that it was not my fault. I had a vat of potatoes to mash and was given a hand masher, not mixer. It was discovered after dinner that no one told me where it was and I wasn't sure either. So away I went with the masher.

I was not only not asked again, but they always mention out loud not to ask Debby.

Of course then there this time I was a waitress, another lifetime ago, and the special was Chiruco sandwiches. I pronounced it just as it was spelt. To this day they call that special cher-a-co sandwiches.

So that's that.


Mark Wed Jan 17 16:35:50 PST 2001

And now for something entirely different -- compatabilitits, balling my eyes out ?? Is it a full moon? Speaking of moons, "NYPD Blue" likes to end that way.

And the butcher who backed into the meat grinder?
He got a little behind in his work.

Speaking of meat grinders -- Someone (Bismarck?) said "Those who are interested in Laws and those who are interested in sausages have one thing in common. They would not be pleased to see one made."

I've come to an end.

Mark Wed Jan 17 16:12:08 PST 2001

HEATHER -- Big SIGH. Sorry for your loss. Life goes on, but it will always be just a touch different.

gariess Wed Jan 17 15:41:40 PST 2001

I just went back to my last post to see where I left off, and I noticed where I used the word, "compatabilities." Now, I wonder if that's a real word? Maybe it should be "compatabilitits."


Becky Wed Jan 17 12:54:02 PST 2001

Hi Richard and thanks for the message. In anwser to your question the games are dice. I just tried to send you a more comprehensive anwser, but i couldn't get it to go through. I will send it on soon. I figure I am not gonna clog the site up with it here.

Thanks for speaking


Richard Wed Jan 17 12:36:13 PST 2001

*skids to a stop*

Becky: I roleplay as well, although we do the Star Wars Roleplaying game. Are your games dice or non-dice? I actually run a SWRPG site - disadvantage is I spend so much time fufilling my obligations to write character/vehicle/planet stats that I don't have much time for writing *sob*

Actually, I need a new host for my site; the advertisement banners are getting more suggestive and dirty each time I log on...

Richard Wed Jan 17 12:29:26 PST 2001

Hmm, two advertisments in the last few days?

Can't stop now, multi-tasking, multi-flipping, multi-writing, so *HUGS* to all and a warm welcome for all those new the notebook.

Becky Wed Jan 17 12:17:46 PST 2001

That didn't quite work. I think i pressed the wrong key. What i meant to say was, Hello to all, my friend Ramon, who recently joined this site told me about this page and i thought i would come along and see for myself. Unlike Ramon, I am not a writer as such. My main interest lies in Roleplaying games. For those of you who have not ever come across this before, what I spend my time doing, is sitting around a table, with a group of my friends, telling a story. Each person who is playing will create a character, and the story will be told together. The beauty of the game is that no-one will know what is going to happen until the end. Each character I have created for each different setting I play in, I have thought about a lot, and so I began to write stories about them. My email address even relates to one character of mine. Ramon told me that this was a place that people could read stuff you have written and comment, but most of all, it is a place to be creative, and to get ideas, not to mention talking with like minded people. At some point, i may post one of my stories for people to read, i would like to know what people think. Unfortunately, all of the games I play, are produced by other companies, so I can never publish them, as some of the material is copywrited. However, i get such a kick out of writing them, that I don't think I will ever stop. Good luck to you all in whatever you are doing, I hope this message finds you well. P.S. If Ramon posts his Pefect View story, check it out, I have read it, and I think it's great! Keep Safe Becky

Becky Wed Jan 17 12:08:59 PST 2001

Hello to all,

John A. Neal Wed Jan 17 12:06:02 PST 2001

The Lucky Pigeon

A Story by John A. Neal

The True Adventures of a Young Canadian Airman during World War 11

Hot Links


On April 29, 1940, the governments of Canada, Great Britain, Australia and New Zealand got together in Ottawa to
sign an agreement implementing the "British Commonwealth Air Training Plan." The Plan, as it came to be known, was
formulated to supply the huge requirements for aircrew the governments felt would be required for World War 11.

The writer was one of the 300,000 Airmen trained under the Plan, and this is his story.

Coupled with his life in the Plan is his time as a Caterpillar and an Evader, both of which were forced on the writer
by an unwilling and revengeful Enemy Air Force. Not only do you meet the many friends and family who saw him on his
way, but you will meet the people who saw to his safety and his return home. A truly fascinating story of courage, fear,
fun, action, and a whole lot of luck. Many years after the fact, and as a result of negative forces at work, the final
characteristics to surface were remembrance and reflection, which resulted in the writing of this story..

Copies of the book can be obtained from the author, John A. Neal, c/o Suite 321, #3 Sunmills Green S.E., Calgary,
Alberta T2X 3N9, Canada. Telephone Number is (403) 201-7102 and E-Mail address is Cost
is $16.75 Canadian per copy, plus shipping & handling. @ $2.50 each ($3.50 Overseas). Make cheques or money
orders payable to the author.

Description: 6" x 9" hardbound, 72 pages

This page created with Netscape Navigator Gold

The Lucky Pigeon story

Getting ready for the critical operation.
(The parachute - the Caterpillar's main instrument)

Heather Wed Jan 17 11:21:13 PST 2001

Funny you mention bridge, Mary...

Heather Wed Jan 17 11:19:02 PST 2001

Hi there, everyone.
Just receiving my happy and uplifting emails, along with some that aren't so uplifting.
Thank you, one and all for your heart-felt condolences, prayers and positive thoughts.
I'm not actually feeling that terrible, but the memorial service hasn't been finalized, and I'm not there at the moment. I know my grandmother was a great Lady when alive, and she certainly knew how to send herself off with a party. She wanted a celebration after a short, private memorial service, and she wanted to be cremated without being embalmed, so that has already been taken care of. My Dad is there by now, leaving his home this morning at around 10:00. I am more worried about him, (he can be very emotional) and my grandfather now that he is alone. He was adamant about not speaking of the matter of his moving to a retirement home now that Grandma isn't there to take care of him and the house. But now, after she has passed, he has come to realize how lonely he will be, in their little home on the river, all by himself. He has agreed to move to the nearby Telfer Place, a retirement home I have had the pleasure of seeing a few years ago, and I am relieved to say it's one of the best I've seen. I am proud that they were able to stay in their home on their own this long. I was certain that my grandfather wouldn't speak of moving to a retirement home because he felt he wouldn't be around long after my grandmother passed. I think I'm the most surprised by his decision. My mother said that he was happy to move there, so that he could play bridge again, and so that he wouldn't have to learn how to cook! I guess he misses his Friday night games with my grandmother and any two friends who were invited. I won't be surprised if my grandfather isn't so happy about moving there once he's been there for a while.
I'm already planning some surprises for him...
my son is one of his favourite people in the world, and I think a visit with a pile of helium balloons and sparklers is in order, along with my best homemade apple pie.

Thank you, again, everyone, for being so supportive and empathetic. Hard to find friends like you.


Mary Wed Jan 17 08:45:19 PST 2001

HEATHER: May it ease your sadness a bit to know that your precious memories will always be a bridge between this world and the next, between your loved one and you.

Jerry Wed Jan 17 08:44:28 PST 2001

Heather, so sorry to hear of your loss. Take care.

Garris - Couldn't agree more, I can remember a time when I could have cared less for any ones politics, it is just recent years that I have become interested in Politics, must come with age. I spent a year out in DC, and as you say, those who are embroiled in politics are only at each others throats when the cameras are rolling. Guess we should be the same.


Ramon Wed Jan 17 08:26:41 PST 2001

HEATHER: Thank you for the inspirational words. I shall
certainly give them plenty of thought. I am sorry to learn of your grandmother's passing (I lost mine recently) I dont think there is a right thing to say except you're not alone.
Take care.

TO ALL AND SUNDRY. Take care out there.

Tina Wed Jan 17 07:41:28 PST 2001

Thoughts and prayers and huge hugs for you and your family. Your grandmother was obviously well loved. I'll be thinking of you all.


Allein Wed Jan 17 07:21:34 PST 2001

HEATHER - I'm very sorry for your loss. My prayers, love and *hugs* are with you and your family.

Today's pic is of Molly Jones from Morningbird Lane.

Rhoda Wed Jan 17 07:02:42 PST 2001


I am sorry to hear about the loss of your grandmother. I will be keeping you and your family in my prayers.

Ramon and Chaka,

So glad to see you here and learn about you. Welcome to the Notebook.


Great to see you back also.


Debra Wed Jan 17 06:17:22 PST 2001


I'm sorry for your loss. I hope you find a way to connect with your grandmother in a way that makes you go on with your life in a positive way.

I have a pact with my mother that whoever goes first if there is a way we can come back and comfort each other to let each other know that we went to a better place we will.

That's what I hope you find.

Don't close off to the possibilities. After reading most of your posts I'm sure you won't.


Viv Wed Jan 17 06:03:22 PST 2001

Thanks so much for the information on the web page. This is interesting! I see a lot of creativity possible, especially after viewing Allein's page! Great work Allein! Chaka, welcome to the group! I'm new too! I'm also not really good at finishing. I've only posted one thing so far. I want to do the ghost story! Take a look at the Round Robins. They look like fun! I'm trying to think of something. If I get up really early tomorrow, maybe I can get time to write. Ooooh no! It's 11:00PM. I had a tough day. I waded through some genuine nasty behaviors today. It is nice to come here to the site and see people behaving in a kind manner toward one another. One thing I like here is the encouragement and the other is seeing the genuine talent. These stories are fun to read when you just plain don't have the time or energy to write.
Mary: Freedom huh? Freedom....hummmm. Freedom...neat idea. Thanks. This ought to be fun.

Ramon Wed Jan 17 05:57:48 PST 2001

I think I need to make an apology here. I said thank you to Heather for her welcome; well the other welcome came from Jerry (sorry mate) and not Heather. This is what you get when you rush read on work time, with a lousy computer system. My apologise for being insensitive. Work calls.

howard Wed Jan 17 05:15:05 PST 2001

HEATHER -- Our thoughts, prayers, and love are with you.

Ramon Wed Jan 17 05:13:59 PST 2001

I have to admit I didn't expect such a warm welcome already to the "club?". Its nice to hear from you all.

CHAKA: Yes absolutely keep writing. I can't say I can relate to your experiences, but I can tell you this for sure. Some people find new lease of life in writing about the sum of their experience. If you've every read INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE, you may know that Ann Rice wrote it shortly after her daughter died. James O' Barr who created THE CROW wrote to deal with the death of his girlfirend. I think I'm making my point here, so keep writing. I look forward to reading your stuff.

HEATHER & ALLEIN Thanks for the Welcome Mat. I am sure we will be conversing in some form or fashion.

MARY: You wanted to know something about me? I don't think there is enough room on the page.....well maybe that's an exaggeration. In brief however I am 30 years old & I live in the Uk with my fiance and work in a government office (not a chosen career but it does pay the bills). My father is Iranian and my mother is British. Since I was 16 I've wanted to be a journalist. I have worked in radio and as a freelance journalist for a local paper but can't seem to get that ideal job. Been into writing since I was 14 writing all sorts of weird stories that mess with your head (At University I was compared to Franz Kafka & Terry Gilliam - yeah right) and I really love writing. Unfortunately my hectic work and home life dont leave much time for writing (I am actually at work typing this note.) Anyway I wont hog the page so thanks again for the welcome guys and dont worry you haven't heard the last of me.

Jack Beslanwitch Wed Jan 17 03:28:40 PST 2001

Heather: my prayers, thoughts and healing energies are also sent out to you and your family. Having lost my mother-in-law in the last several months, I can truly empathize with what you are experiencing and make my only single suggestion that you take the time necessary to be good to yourself and feel your grief in the stages that it will come to you. It took Fran, my wife, close to two months before she could cry for the first time. Anyway, thoughts, prayers and energies are with you from our family to your family. God bless. jack.

Hallee Wed Jan 17 01:36:01 PST 2001

HEATHER: I'm so terribly sorry. Your family will be in our thoughts and prayers. (((Big warm hugs for you)))


Heather Tue Jan 16 22:59:57 PST 2001

Just got the news a while ago that my grandmother passed away tonight at 11 pm. I will be away from the keys for a while; so take care, one and all, until then.

Had some new poetry to post in the workbook, but at this time I don't feel particularly...

well, let's just say I'm on the numb side.


gariess Tue Jan 16 22:30:05 PST 2001

What am I going to do for fun when you guys start correcting your typos and malaprops before you post?


I am so relieved that we are to remain freinds. That is more important to me than political compatabilities. I went on a trip to Washington a long time ago and attended a ceremony at one of the Civic buildings. Ted Kennedy was there and so was Ed Brooke who was the Republican Senator from Mass. It was a State ceremony. At a point when nothing in particular was going on I looked across the way. Teddy and Ed were having a grand old buddy buddy chat. There they were, the cat and the dog engaged in the most amiable cameraderie. I thought to myself, why are they so freindly together, why aren't they fighting and biting and scratching?

It seems to me that I should have learned something important from that, but of course I was terribly young at the time, Harumph. Well, maybe I did learn something; I just have to make sure I remember it.


Teekay Tue Jan 16 20:24:56 PST 2001

Hi All,
this is just a quick hello to let you know that I am still alive and kicking even though the temperature is somwhere around 40 degrees celcius.
Had a quick nosy at the workbook and was absolutely delighted to see 2 read it,2 more ghosties.
I'll have to catch up on them and some of the posts later coz the shops are a beckoning.
Take care all,
I'll see you tomorrow.

Kelly Milner Halls Tue Jan 16 17:28:10 PST 2001

Publicity giant Rick Frishman will chat about his book GUERRILLA MARKETING FOR WRITERS (Writer's Digest Books)Thursday, January 18 at 10pm ET on AOL at keyword WCEvents and on the 'Net at For more information or a transcript, email me.


Mary Tue Jan 16 15:07:53 PST 2001

As hysterical as my blunder was, I hope it doesn't take too much away from what I was trying to say. Sheesh. What a dolt. Howard was kind enough to say that I had mistyped when in actuality I just wasn't paying close enough attention to what I was doing. Bad. Bad. Bad.

TEEKAY: Can't wait to hear what you have to say about all this. Winks.

Good night everyone. I am going to quit while I am ahead for the day. Oh, wait a minute....too late.

Hallee Tue Jan 16 14:00:47 PST 2001

HOWARD: hahaha - Oh, God, hahahahaha

Help For Mary Tue Jan 16 13:56:58 PST 2001

Mary, perhaps if you had BAWLED your eyes out, Howard's wouldn't be so wide open???

Allein Tue Jan 16 12:54:01 PST 2001

Ramon - WELCOME!!

RACHEL!! - (((((BIG HUGS))))) to you!


Debra Tue Jan 16 12:51:55 PST 2001


If the ball were in my court you could picture me getting bopped off the forehead with the ball and dropping the racket.

Your turn.

My kids are taking lessons, I just pay. I don't play.


howard Tue Jan 16 12:01:10 PST 2001 long as it's just from laughing...

Mary Tue Jan 16 11:46:30 PST 2001

my sides hurt from laughing.

Mary Tue Jan 16 11:39:38 PST 2001

HOWARD: Oh my.

howard Tue Jan 16 11:33:58 PST 2001

MARY -- Think homonyms, and check the longer of your recent posts -- the one about the TV show. Third line, I believe...
And you'll probably never talk to me gain, but I just couldn't resist. Funny how the mind gets twisted.
'nuff sed.

Mary chronic blonde Tue Jan 16 11:24:32 PST 2001

HOWARD: Love you too, but I am laughing my ass off because I still have no idea what I did. How far do I need to go back to find it? Is it recent? Scratching my head........

howard Tue Jan 16 11:17:43 PST 2001

CHRISTI -- Hi! That's okay, I still love ya.
Around here, 50 degrees is the beginning of Tee-shirt weather!
I haven't been doing much lately, except getting the house ready for our guest. Now redoing the bathroom. He can't step into the tub, so I'm pulling it out and replacing it with a 48" by 34" shower unit. He can walk right into that, sit on the shower stool, and use the hand-held shower head. I just hope he remembers to make sure the curtain is inside the shower!

I haven't forgotten P**, just haven't had time to concentrate on a story for it.

MARY -- Love you too -- really!

Christi Tue Jan 16 11:03:08 PST 2001

I missed Howard. HI HOWARD!!!

Didn't see yours and Rosemary's posts earlier.

It's cooooold here in Tucson today. Wasn't it me who was bragging about our fair weather only a few weeks ago? Okay, it WILL be getting up to 50 today, but that's really cold to me! I'll be wearing my ski jacket to the grocery store.

Bye ya!

howard Tue Jan 16 10:53:17 PST 2001

MARY -- oh Mary! -- Oh Oh Mary Mary Mary -- when you mistype a word -- o myomyomy...

Mary yes....again Tue Jan 16 09:53:00 PST 2001

HOWARD: Thank you for the link. I couldn't bookmark it fast enough.

Mary Tue Jan 16 09:45:10 PST 2001

JERRY: I hardly ever watch television, but I was flipping through the channels last night and came across "Third Watch". It was probably the last ten minutes of the show and was right at the beginning of an Irish police officer's funeral. Not knowing the storyline or the characters, I still balled my eyes out. Nothing like the ceremony of a police officer who had been killed in action to get the tears rolling. The uniforms, the flag handed to the widow, the salutes, the grown men with tears running down their faces, these images are all very poignant in their own rights, but put them together and it's a weapon of mass depression. Of course, a bagpipe forever grafting Amazing Grace to your soul never makes it any easier.

Even though the characters in that show are fictional, and there wasn't really a fallen officer in the coffin they carried on their shoulders, they made me think of all the real men and women out there who risk their lives every day to protect our loved ones from the violent world in which we live. Thank you, Jerry for having been one of them.

As far as the aspect of writing pertains to what I watched last night:

How do we as writers convince our readers to be part of a situation and feel what we want them to feel?

We appeal to their senses as concisely and passionately as we can. There was not a stitch of dialogue during the whole funeral scene in that television show. It wasn't needed and probably would have muddied the raw emotion that needed to be conveyed. Hemingway was a master of clean writing. Nothing he kept in his stories was extraneous. O'Henry also comes to mind (although he was a little more light-hearted).

CHAKA: Welcome, and I hope that you tap into the suffering and pain that you have had in your life to draw people into your writing. Especially yourself. Pour your heart out onto the page and people will read it.

RAMON: Welcome! Please, tell us more about you.

EVERYONE: Shortie night is Thursday. Surprise!! The theme is FREEDOM for anyone who wants to use it.

Well, that's enough for now. Write strong! :-)

Christi Tue Jan 16 09:43:46 PST 2001

That's me below. HOW long have I been coming here?! Yeesh.

Tue Jan 16 09:42:19 PST 2001

Hello all!

RACHEL!!!!!!!! Boy was I glad to see you posting here! I estatic that all is well with you and your baby. You relax and smell the roses for a while, okay? Hugs and love are being sent your way.

Hiya HALLEE! Here's a big bear-hug; you sound like you need a hug!

Yellow, MARK! (Well it sounds okay when you say it out loud, but not so good on paper. Ah well. Hi!)

Thanks for the email, I loved it!

GARIESS, So funny, as usual. I especially loved your award for 'quote of the month.' Mooowah hah hah!

JACK, I thought your Round Robin beginning was great! I guess I'm just one of those shy little violets that doesn't want to go first. Isn't that silly?

A big WELCOME ABOARD to all the new faces coming 'round. HI!


AMERICO, Your reasons for staying here are similar to my own. I don't think I could possibly go away now.

MARY, Big HUGS for you.

JACK again, I got my husband a DVD player for Christmas and a new TV and I use it more than he does! I just wish that George Lucas would figure out what the heck he wants to do and release the STAR WARS and INDIANA JONES series on DVD already. What the heck is he waiting for? More millions?!
Sorry, got carried away on a rant again. ;0)
On a gentler note, I'm glad to hear that the muse is with you.

JERRY, I knew you couldn't stay away! But I'm glad you couldn't. ;) As for your empty promises to keep politics out of the notebook I know better. But we love ya anyway!

TINA, You brought that book to work now, didn't you? Go on, admit it!
Your rewrite 'chunks' (as you put it so cleverly) are back safely in your email box. Great writing!

My sister was visiting from Houston (Yes, ANOTHER sister!) for several days and we had a lovely time, but
I've missed out on so much! The shorties from last week were wonderful. Still have to catch the newest additions to **P** and other areas of the workbook.

Here goes; the part I dread saying. I'm nervously entering a contribution to **P** myself. In the process of writing it I discovered something very important. I discovered that ghost stories aren't very easy to write, and they are not particularly my forte! I suppose this is a sort of disclaimer. Now I'll bet you all are just dying to read it! Haw haw.

Happy day to all,


howard Tue Jan 16 09:18:14 PST 2001

While I'm recovering, check the web page listed for some information re poetic form.

howard Tue Jan 16 09:03:46 PST 2001

HEATER -- I art here, wert biting my tongue, now waiting for the thwelling to go down.

RACHEL!!!! !!!! !!!!!! !!!!!!! :-)

Rosemary Tue Jan 16 09:00:37 PST 2001

A Miserable wet morning to all,

On the telephone thing, what's really fun is to make an important call, concentrating on what I am going to say and my sister answers because I automatically dialed her number.

Again on the GRAVY. Sometimes it helps to burn the meat a little. That adds flavor. Of course, not everyone likes burnt meat, but the gravy was great.

Great to hear from you. It might not be allowed, but you might consider having your husband (or whoever) move the computer next to your bed. You could lean back all comfy, and write or surf or play games to your hearts content. Unless you are required to be bored to death?
Good thoughts to you.


Mary Tue Jan 16 08:59:42 PST 2001

RACHEL: It is good to know that you and Isabella (I am determined that you will name your baby that...winks) are home and resting comfortably. It is amazing the medical advances that have been made in the premature/neonatal/labor fields in the last decade. The drugs to speed up the development of an unborn's lungs came a little too late for my son, but I thank God they are there for you and your baby now. I have been where you are and if you need to talk to anyone, feel free to email me. Procedures change daily, but emotions are universal and untouchable by time. Big hugs to you and your family.

Jerry Tue Jan 16 08:42:06 PST 2001

Chaka - Although I am a male, I too have lived a life quite like yours. My father was a chronic alcoholic, who died of the DT's, during my youth, both my mom and dad drank, I think mom drank to forget the hell that my father put her through. We were horribly poor, we had nothing but hand-me-downs for cloths, mostly from my fathers brothers kids, and all his brothers were alcoholic. We lived 25 miles from the nearest town and my father along with his brothers owned most of the land around us. It was one huge dysfunctional family, yet we children grew up fairly well adjusted. I entered the Army when I was 18 and served eight years, including one year in Nam, after that I joined a police force and worked my way up to the position of Chief of Police. One of my two sisters married young to a great man, who also went on to become a peace officer. Our oldest sister married several times and had two girls from her various men. She became a man hatter, and now lives in her home, where her youngest daughter who just turned 21 lives with her. Anyhow enough of that, the great thing about living such a life is it gives you all kinds of things to write about. Not necessarily about your life, but use that which you learned in your fiction. To be able to tell stories and build characters from such a life will give your stories such realism that they must succeed.

However to use this, you must first learn to finish your work. I used to do the same thing, begin a story then stop and begin another. One day I finished one and posted it in the workbook (the other half of this site) and found it to be good. I have continued writing always finishing my stories, some do not turn out the way I intended and find their way to the circular file, but many of them do find there way here. I also write for Themestream, or I should say I have written for Themestream as it has been some time since I posted anything there (a political thing, don't ask).

Anyhow welcome to our little group, you will find as many have in the past, we are quite addictive and leaving is unimaginable.

Ramon - welcome

Viv hi again, good to see you back

Heather thanks it is good to be home again.

Garris - lets just forget it, we have been to good of friends to let something so trivial as politics to get in the way.

Jack - I swear I will keep politics out of the notebook.

All it sure is good to be home again.

Ben - I think I remember you, it has been quite some time, or maybe it was reading your bio in that section, anyhow welcome home.


Tina Tue Jan 16 08:26:23 PST 2001


Christi, I started reading 'Ender's Game' last night, and now I can barely put it down! No wonder everyone here has been raving about it. O.S.Card astounds me... again!

Welcome Chaka and Ramon :-) What better thing is there than to express yourself, through words or visual art or music? When you write, it doesn't begin as a product for others, it is something you do for YOU. If you're worrying that your writing 'isn't good enough', then you must be concerned with what others think of it. For now, forget about 'them'. Do it for you, for your own satisfaction.

Glad you came back, Jerry. ;-)

Viv, depending on how intricate you want your web page to be, it doesn't have to take long. There are lots of free templates out there, where you just fill in the blanks. There are also free sites with really basic HTML programmes for making your site. 'Course, if you want something elaborate... I'm SO the wrong one to talk to!

Heather, did you post the 'air force one' link? I'd check it out, but I'm leary of anonymous posts.

Rachel, tell that baby not to be in such a rush! It's cold outside anyway! :-)
I'm so glad to hear that all is settled and progressing safely. Be well!

Gotta go to work. Better not bring 'Ender's Game' or I won't get any work done. hehehe

Heather Tue Jan 16 07:47:45 PST 2001

Sorry for the long-windedness, folks...
Debra, ball's in your corner now!
I didn't keep score.

Heather Tue Jan 16 07:45:58 PST 2001

JERRY! I'm glad to see you back!
I think we are all just as addicted to the comraderie of other writers on the NB, all bickering aside. It gets damn lonely in our heads.
I am off to the P* pages (heh heh) to read your new addition to the growing ghost family!

And that reminds me. I haven't made any additions.
But I am happy to announce that I've been writing on my novel, so thbbbthtbbpppp! to P* for now. Double thththbbbbbpppth! P* can wait until my next short story is good and written. Novel comes first.


Howard, where art thou?

Rachel! I nearly hit the ceiling with joy when I saw your post! I'm SO relieved that you and baby are both well.


P.S. Mary is a goddess of written words.

Heather Tue Jan 16 07:37:47 PST 2001

Just in case it got confusing, the previous post was addressed mostly to Chaka.

I hope you will stay and make yourself at home here.


Heather Tue Jan 16 07:35:13 PST 2001

Chaka, even if you are a genius, you will never know how good a writer you could be unless you keep writing; finishing stories is part of being a writer. You aren't fooling yourself unless you think you can be a writer without completing the writing. Here is a great place to do just that!
No matter our backrounds, our own personal stumbling 'blockades', or how much wit and charm we exude on the page, the real test is perserverance.
Try short stories. Just because I haven't finished my novel doesn't mean I'm not a writer. I've written a fair number of short stories, tonnes of poetry, and more essays than I can count. I've had several poems published. I'm more than half-way through writing and editing my second, (though first serious) novel, and it is very tough going.
I've chosen to write about a very difficult issue; a subject that I have had personal experience with, and felt I could throw some new light into the so-called forbidden depths.
So what I'm trying to say, Chaka, is keep writing. Your painful past cannot prevent you from being successful unless you let it.

*In the short post you wrote, I could see quite a number of things: You have the confidence to introduce yourself as well as tell us right off the bat the 'highlights' of your past, yet lack the confidence in yourself when it comes down to the true act of revealing the self: your innermost thoughts that in one way or another, spread themselves out over your creative projects.
This could be the essence of why you have difficulty finishing a piece of writing. It is extremely hard to face our innermost, secret selves. They often come out to play when we're more worried about tenses, and the freshness of our adjectives. Ignore the beast on your left shoulder!
Listen to your own words, and keep writing them down.

RAMON, See about half of the above.

[Just beware of discussing politics in your posts and, well, just beware of discussing politics! (It tends to be an explosive issue among us)]

Ok, The welcoming committee has been and...



Tue Jan 16 07:29:08 PST 2001

I am a notebook addict, I admit this freely. One post leads to another and another, until I am quite intoxicated with the wonder of it all.

I have tried to quit, but find myself helpless in the hands of the notebook. I can but resume my posts, apologize to those who I have offended, and get on with my life, both in the notebook and elsewhere.

By the way, I left a short ghost story in the workbook in the **P**.


Allein Tue Jan 16 07:17:02 PST 2001

Hi all,
Today's picture is of Sierra from Morningbird Lane.
Hopefully soon, I'll have everything moved to the new site but for now we'll just have to pray that it works.

Debra Tue Jan 16 07:13:59 PST 2001


aaaaaaaah. I see. What's the score love/love?


Debra Tue Jan 16 07:12:28 PST 2001


Of course you are not fooling yourself. The thing to remember is to finish. Please finish.

That is the final step and without taking that you are taking no chance at all. Finish your short stories and let people see them.

Just do it.


Chaka Wigfall Tue Jan 16 06:43:43 PST 2001

I am a young women who has suffered in her short lifetime with a drug adicted mother, a dead father,depressed siblings, myself included at times. I love to write about the life I lived and the future I hope to forsee. I know I am a long way from being a great writer, but I know I have the potiential to be what ever I want with the right encouragment. I've started writing a number of short stories, but never felt good enough to finish. Am I fooling myself?

Tue Jan 16 06:34:25 PST 2001

Ramon Tue Jan 16 06:03:43 PST 2001

If it's not already obvious I 'am knew to this, not writing but posting a message on this site. I too am a writer looking for inspiration to keep writing. From reading other messages it would appear that work and other commitments don't stop you all from writing, or at least thinking about it. At the moment thinking about it is all I do. Still I am in the middle of finishing a script I originally penned to enter in the Sci-fi channell competition. The winner gets the script made into a short 10 min feature. I stopped halfway and never finished. Mainly I think because I felt it wasn't good enough. Only recently have I picked up the pen again with a view to finishing. Hopefully now I will at least have a finished product. If anybody is interested to see it when its done let me know. Just for reference its called THE PERFECT VIEW and its a very cynical sci-fi short but with a light touch at the end. Looking forward to possibly making some new aquaintances.

(UK Writing nut)

Viv Tue Jan 16 05:34:59 PST 2001

Allein: On one of my breaks...I take them every 25 minutes when I first start a writing project, I checked out your website and left you the same pleading message...What's the difference. Then I went into the notebook. There was my answer. Duh, they are one and the same! Well, there's only one way to learn, from the bottom up. I can't wait to get in the middle. Now I'm going to learn how to make a website. I think I'll save that for vacation. I get three months off (in theory) starting about Wednesday next week. It's all theory but at the start of the vacation you can imagine it's really three months!

Hallee- Good question. Any research questions you have on Japan I will answer happily and to the best of my knowledge. Also, we have a wonderful Japan section in our library that gives a pretty good overview of anything you'd want to know about Japan. If it's something historical or something I can't get in English, my little girl who is not so little (age 13) speaks, writes and most important of all, reads Japanese. We can ferret it out in the libraries here. So fire away with any questions you have. I love to research questions and I can probably come up with something. I can also do "man on the street interviews" with the Japanese people and tell you their opinions so if you had a Japanese character we could have some fun padding him/her out.

As for writing....well, let's see what happens. Seems like there's a touch of soy sauce in everything I write!

Heather Tue Jan 16 02:09:43 PST 2001

Mark, sometimes I wish I was a drunk. That might explain why I derive strange pleasure in punishing myself. Alas, I am not a professional drinker. I cannot be trained. One beer and I'm seeing polka-dotted pigs and flying grasshoppers. (Wait a minute...)

I have been known to inhale burning rope and banana peels, but not for a long time.

*sniff* There goes youth.


Heather Tue Jan 16 02:03:00 PST 2001

Ben - which one? I think I exhausted myself with posting today. Oops. It's tomorrow already.


Tue Jan 16 02:01:57 PST 2001


Someone sent this to me and I could not keep from sharing it. The file name is air force one and it is self explanatory :-). I will not clutter things up with a graphic file, but you can click on the link below.

Check it out

Heather Tue Jan 16 01:59:00 PST 2001

Just thought I'd let Mary in on a little secret: nail files and glue work better in junking up wheelchairs!
But if you forget that, remember this for the asylum: Human waste is not shampoo.

Happy showers, all!


P.S. Debra: Mark was just taking note of our earlier 'tennis match' post session.

Ben Woestenburg Tue Jan 16 01:51:41 PST 2001

A drunk. That's good. Now it doesn't matter what I say to defend myself, because you'll never believe it.
I know I said I wasn't going to post again until Thursday, but I had such a calm, peaceful night at work, that when I came home, I wanted to read these posts. I don't think having a couple of drinks when I come home at one in the morning is such a big deal. I don't do it regularly. But if I have a drinking problem, then I'll face up to it when it affects things in my life and it's too late to do anything about it--just like any other drunk would. Okay?

GARIESS: You want me to keep my nose out of it? Done.

AMERIGO: Thanks for the words of encouragement. When I was on this page before, I made a lot of friends. I also found a lot of support when my Dad died--which was pretty well why I left.
If it were not for the words of a few people at the right time, I might have given up any serious attempts to try and sell my stories, but because they could see things in my words that I coudn't, they made me look at it with a more direct eye.

HEATHER: Loved your explanation.

I sometimes write things and think about them later too. I wonder how I'll feel about this in the morning?

Tue Jan 16 01:07:46 PST 2001

p.s. Just got through watching Princess Mononoke on my new big screen television. It got delivered today. Very very impressed, both with this breath taking anime movie and with what I had to watch it on.


Jack Beslanwitch Tue Jan 16 01:04:45 PST 2001

Ben: I do indeed agree that a cessation of political bickering would be in order and do apologize if I let a little of my own biases slip through. I am delighted to see that you are in the wings at least and making comments on occasion.

Rachel: My prayers and healing energies have been with you and will continue to do so. I look forward to one of these days seeing a beautiful picture of your child. Virtual gentle hugs.

Americo: hope that the Notebook has been productive for you in the sense that I started it. As a way of articulating what it is to be in the writing life. At times, I have lost track of that of late and in having the short sentences of Rachel's story pop into my head and through my finger tips, I felt my blood pump just a little faster and the spark of wonder again tell me that a muse has my name on her lips.

Take care everyone and good writing.

Rachel Mon Jan 15 23:18:36 PST 2001

Hi all - Thank you again for all your kind thoughts and prayers. I hope that your kindness and thoughtfullness will be returned to each of you (hugs).

I am feeling pretty good. I just need to rest up.

I went into labour on the third. I was sent to the hospital. The doctor put a stop to the labour and gave me some injections to help develop the lungs of the baby. Then I got to stay in for observation. I think that they just liked my company (big grins and a wink).

Now I'm told that if baby decides to be born early he will do much better. In the event that I go into labour again they will not try to stop me.

I'm 34 weeks along in my pregnancy which is moving into a better area.

Long to short... I'm well and baby is well. Now I need to go to bed (big smiles)!

Americo - Hugs for you.

Take care all,


Allein Mon Jan 15 22:19:55 PST 2001

I just got a new guestbook - it's at the bottom of the main page. :)

Mary Mon Jan 15 21:21:57 PST 2001

Damn, I think I figured it out. The constant on the internet is cookies. Of course you can disable them if you want to, for those times that you aren't shooting for light speed, but they are definitely something to include in my equations. Hmmmmmm. Now should they be chocolate chip or peanut butter?

Definitely peanut butter, the kind with the criss-cross sugared tops.....bwaahahahahaha!*&%%#$@#^&%,no...that will never work. Far too sticky. Blast it all!

..................................................years later in the asylum, Mary sits near the window in the hobby room shoving snickerdoodles into the gears of her wheelchair.

Mary Mon Jan 15 21:07:35 PST 2001

MARK: Well, crap...back to the old drawing board. However, I do have at least a come-back for your push/pull theory. Everyone's push/pull is customized. Our spam, and our "pull factors" are all generally based on our interests and triggered by sites that we have visited WILLingly. I wouldn't have taken the hilly, scenic route on my way to NASA, probably the same way you don't get the "Guerrilla Dog Training" newsletter, or the Washington Redskins press releases directly into your email. (Neither of which I signed up for, but am unwilling to cancel because they suit me just fine). My major obstacle to overcome in my new onslaught of research: What about the internet is the "constant"?

ROSEMARY: Hehe...sometimes when I call somebody on the phone, not only do I forget what I wanted, but I forget who I dialed until I hear their voice when they pick-up. Yikes.

What do you call a fly without wings?
(insert Jeopardy music here)

A walk!

Mon Jan 15 20:38:44 PST 2001

What do you call a boomerang that doesn't come back?
A Stick!!

Debra Mon Jan 15 20:17:48 PST 2001


Big hugs right back at ya!


Is there some reason that you infused Heather and me together?


Wow, I've never won anything in my life. I'd like to thank um my spell check for making me weak and my two girlfriends whom sit nicely in my shirt.

That about does it.

Rosemary Mon Jan 15 20:15:44 PST 2001

A timid, creeping hello,

Boullion usually solves blah gravy problems. Maybe minced onions. They cover a lump problem that I use to have when I was willing to make gravy.

I have your memory problem often. It's especially embarassing when I call someone and when they pick up on the third ring, I have no Idea why I needed to talk to them. We're all too busy.

Allein Mon Jan 15 20:11:03 PST 2001

Me again,
The webpage address is below in the proper place. :)

Allein Mon Jan 15 20:10:16 PST 2001

Hi all,
I've got a new website. I thought I'd need HTML for blondes or something, but a friend of mine (Sqrl - some may remember her) sent me some links to great HTML sites and I got my website back. Only problem is that I lost my previous guestbook so I have a new one but it's in the "About me" section at the bottom of the page and it's starving - please feed my guestbook.
The drawings will begin again tomorrow. :)

Viv - there's no difference between the two. :)

Mon Jan 15 19:31:56 PST 2001

Tina Mon Jan 15 18:33:59 PST 2001

Hello all. My goodness. What a shmozzel.

My formal response to all things political.


Heather, I choose cherries. Or maybe a jonagold apple picked just before it's properly ripe.

Hallee, You Go Girl!
(sigh) What's it feel like to actually finish an entire book? (sigh)

Allein, thanks! I read that long enough ago that I'd forgotten it. Good laugh! Poor little snake... if the hysterical woman had just kept a grip on herself...

Mary, good chuckle from that one! Yours too Richard! :-D

Ben, I'm laughing with ya'.

Ouch! My tongue hurts. Just had to bite it to keep from getting into this 'gravity' conversation. Won't go there. Uh uh. No one can force me. No way. It's far too weighty a matter.
(she tries unsuccessfully to keep a straight face...)
Now if anyone wants to talk about GRAVY, I'm having a terrible time getting it right when I make veal cutlets. Comes out way too blah. What's the secret?


(Aren't I a good girl, I just edited out a comment I wrote that existed purely to be nasty. Just call me PCTJ.)

In Chat Mon Jan 15 18:30:58 PST 2001


Americo Mon Jan 15 18:17:25 PST 2001


I know you. I enjoyed reading some of your posts in the archives. Hope you stay, even though it's true that the NB can be a waste of time. (Read on).

I've been thinking about time wasted on the NB.

I started two years ago. Since then I wrote one novel in your language (Rachel, Allein and Jack helped) -- and got an American publisher for it. I wrote a critical study and translated and updated a huge dissertation. I read thousands of posts, stories and other NB stuff that led me to get interested in things I had never thought I could be interested in. I made two good friends and some wonderful accquaintances. I also wrote many posts in which I was brilliant sometimes and not so brilliant all the time...

I saw people here hating my guts and loving my charm. I made people laugh, cry and vociferate. I travelled thousands of miles with my alter-ego Jon. With him I went to the moon and to the bottom of the ocean. I disappeared in the Atlantic and was seen in Ocklahoma. I died in the desert one day to ressuscitate some time later I cannot remember where anymore.

Has the NB been a waste of time? I wonder.

PS. I also wrote my personal stuff in my language (though not so much as I liked), and did everything I should in the world I belong to-- but that's the part I rarely mention. I was taught that it is not nice to speak about oneself, but rules are to be broken from time to time, mainly if that helps others to reconsider their wish to go away for ever.

Mark Mon Jan 15 18:17:21 PST 2001

MARY -- There is 'pull' on the internet, 'push,' too. Pull is a browser tactic that programmers can use to make your internet browser automatically load serial pages one after another. Like Gravity, your browser is attracted to a web site. Push sends info to you whether you asked for it or not. Spam is push-oriented. PointCast sends streaming headlines to your browser and is considered push technology, but it remains pull in many ways because you have to agree to it and you get to select topics. pushmepullyou.

So the internet is not entirely gravity-free. When NASA began posting pictures from its Mars lander, millions of us went to the NASA website. I typed and found myself attracted immediately by a bikini babe. An undeniable gravitational force held me at that site(sight) before I typed (Real 'gee' forces.)

HALLEE -- Hiya, joined any conga lines lately?


BEN -- hmmm. You come in on Thursday with a pretty good "Greed" contribution, but surround it with stuff to the effect of: 'Yes, I'm drunk, but I've got my reasons. Read my story, say what you want, I'm not going to be affected.' Right.

Early Monday you tell us this is all SO much trouble and you have SUCH obstacles to overcome. Late Monday you tell us you don't care for the content of the conversation here and the best solution is to run away. Classic alcoholic pathology. A couple months ago we all celebrated someone's milestone birthday by remembering our own times 30 years ago. I gave something of myself away then. Right now let me summarize, "Been there, done that." There was a time when I thought booze made me smarter, stronger, handsomer, and sexier. It got me trouble.

You give all the signals. The next sign is for you to say that yes you drink, but it's not really the problem I think it is.


Who am I missing?

Finally, JERRY -- I'm still working on that animated wink. One of 'em'll be for you.

Eddie French Mon Jan 15 16:49:47 PST 2001

Listen you lot, my study is very small and things just bounce right back off the walls to hit me on the back of my head.

Have you heard the one about............ Owww!! ONLY KIDDING!!

Heather Mon Jan 15 16:44:03 PST 2001


Ben. Very interesting statement of non-interest.

I tire easily of politics because most every 'discussion' is moot anyhow.
You are correct in stating that we should leave the politics out of writing, unless, of course, we are writing a political thriller: which to me is an oxymoron. I don't find politics thrilling one bit! (hahahah ha ha ha)

Oh, and you won't find me complaining about any so-called offensive words. I think I was the first in a long while on this site to write the word 'fuck' in one of my posts.
And at the time I wasn't sure how it would go over.

I tire of using &*#$%&)'s all the time, and no matter what my grandfather says, sometimes 'cuss words' aren't used in lieu of imagination. Sometimes they fit just right, and there isn't another word that would quite feel so good to say at the time.

You see, 'fuck' is not only a statement, proclaiming dissatisfaction. It can be a noun, an adjective, and a verb too. Did you see that rude fucking jerk? He was fucking my wife! I'm gonna fuck him up! What a fuckhead.

Ahh, *sigh*
that felt good.
I know, I know,
I will probably have to answer for that one some time later...

But it was written in the spirit of discussing the art (or lack of) writing.

Today, I admit, my post was sorely lacking any.
Im allowed off days!


Rhoda Mon Jan 15 16:31:57 PST 2001


Great to see you back!


I sent your chapter to you. I was thrilled to read it.


Hang in there. I am glad you are home. Take it easy.

I'll see you guys in a few days when all the political rancor wears off. I love you all, but I find discussing Clinton and politics in general is upsetting. People can be gentlemen and gentlewomen in almost every situation but this one. Politics brings out the worst in most people here on the notebook or otherwise. I also recognize my tendency to put my two cents worth in (if it is worth that much) and I don't want to even be tempted because I can upset people just as much as the next guy and I do not want to do that to my friends. So I am off of here for a few days.


Hallee Mon Jan 15 16:16:53 PST 2001

I did forget some people that I shouldn't have forgotten -

MARY - Hi - Hugs to you - and I think we should all follow your lead on the whole restraining thing.

RHODA: Big hug.

VIV: Hey. Would you ever be interested in aswering questions on a research type basis of an American's view of Japan? Or, perhaps you have any stories written you could post about it?

MARK: Hiya - and hahaha - very cute.

I'm sure the second I post this I'll think of others.

Okay - now my daughter is quietly playing in her room and my husband has the Play Station turned on - time to write. YAY!!


Mary Mon Jan 15 15:19:02 PST 2001

Wow! Lot's of dynamite since I was here last.

I shall refrain from adding anything to the political mumbo jumbo.

As a matter of fact, I will refrain from adding anything at present.

Back later. Write strong.

Viv Mon Jan 15 14:57:51 PST 2001

How is the web page? Is it up again? Can you tell me the difference between a web page and web site?

Thank you for the snake story. It was just what I needed today!

gariess Mon Jan 15 14:31:44 PST 2001


I wonder how many have any interest in your lack of interest. I, personally, don't mind if you use the word, "shit." I would simply suggest that you keep yours out of the interchange of others. On the topic of shit, I don't give one who you laugh at. Those who are without passions are safe from having them impugned.


Gariess Mon Jan 15 14:18:52 PST 2001


I truly regret having hurt Jerry's feelings, if that is the case. Too often, even though I know it will be too late once I click the button, I let my anger get the better of me. When will I ever learn? Alas, I hope Jerry doesn't commiserate too long at the VFW, and in the process take the sharp edge off his driving skills. I certainly would not wish to have been an influence to such evil as could result from that.


Come back and I will withdraw my ill considered comments.
I know, too late. Damn!

Well, life goes on, and I am tempted to re-establish the tradition of recognizing special achievments in the NB.

Today's award I would grant to Debra for "best typo of the month." I know the month is not over, but this one deserves nothing less, and I just don't see it being topped in the next two weeks. I will copy and paste directly: "responsibilitits." Now, there is a typo for you. No need to elaborate on that one. It speaks volumes.

We'll talk later,


Ben Woestenburg Mon Jan 15 14:16:20 PST 2001

Like I said, I might be back Thursday.

All this political bullshit--and I apologize to whoever it was that said she didn't like the word shit, but I do work in a sawmill and don't really care--but this crap about: My candidate's better'n yor'n, is just too ridiculous. And makes me laugh at you all!

I'm a Canuck too, but I'm apolitical, because thinking about the future of politics takes away from my writing time. I don't write political thrillers (but enjoy reading them), and to let my opinions on anything blind me to the point that I cant separate things and get them straight--like, this forum is concerned with hanging participles, not politicians--makes me laugh at those of you who can't control yourselves.

Do you want to hear my opinions on the whole politcial circus down there and up here? Big Deal. I don't care. I live where I live because of the people in my lives, not the political atmosphere. If that were the case, I'd be living in the Bahamas, on Grand Cayman where there is no income tax and life seems pretty laid back.

So you guys go ahead and argue and bicker over who did what to whom; I'll go off and start writing my short stories and sending them out like I plan on sending out at least one a month.

I'll come in and check things out, but I'll just hang in the wings and watch if you don't mind. I don't want to offer opinions on politics, especially with people who can't see the forest for the trees--which is everyone who discuss politics out of hand.

See ya guys.

Heather Mon Jan 15 14:15:21 PST 2001

Hallee - if you take the quote that you posted literally, as it should be taken, then you know what I was talking about with Debra. I take it that's exactly why you posted it!

As for the political issue, it all boils down to smutz in the pot by the end of the debate. Smutz, in hebrew slang, is the guck left stuck to pots and stoves when the cooking has exploded.

I hereby hand over my well-loved bottle of Fantastik. It's not my mess this time!

Jack, the new round robin has my interest, but at this time I still haven't written a short for Phantasium! Let the new round robin stand, and we shall see what is posted!


Hallee Mon Jan 15 13:20:57 PST 2001

Okay - I apologize for this entire uproar. I posted a joke and had no idea this would come out of it. I've already apologized to Jerry via email because I wasn't sure if he would be checking the posts - and now I apologize to Gariess. I'm sorry that I posted the joke and caused you and Jerry to get into an argument.

You cannot argue politics or religion. You cannot - so stop. Those are two things that people are intensly passionate about, myself included, and it only destroys friendships.

I enjoy political jokes - but I will make sure that I enjoy them privately.

RACHEL: It's good to see you - you are in my prayers.

TINA: Hi there. Glad to see you writing so much. Hugs to you.

CHRISTI: Hey. Hugs to you.

DEBRA: Hiya. Big hug to you.


ROSEMARY: Hey. I was going to tell you something, and can't remember it. Drat. I'll read the posts again later and maybe it will come to mind. (weak smile) Hugs

ANONYMOUS POSTER: Uhhh..errr...Colin Powell is in the White House - as an advisor to Bush. One of the top advisors. That is one of the reasons this will be a strong administration. AND...that is one of the reasons I don't enjoy Hendrix as much as I should - my value system must be higher than some, I guess, because it matters to me, the life of the person behind the art. I don't ever want to condone a lifestyle I loathe, and it carries into my perception of what they produce - whatever it may be.

HEATHER: Matthew 17:20b - "For truly, I say to you, if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you."

TEEKAY: Busy weekend? I read your hospital story in **P** this morning. It gave me serious chills - very well done. Perfect. Wow.

JACK: I've already thought of a dozen ways that beginning could go. Just let me finish this book first.

I've had serious writer's block this week. I haven't written anything since last Monday - so one full week. BUT, this happens in almost every book as I begin the last two chapters - it hasn't failed me yet - haha. I think the major problem is that I'm already thinking of the next book. Or, I doubt what I've done and worry. Or I have to actually plot and think to tie the ends all together since I don't do it through the whole book. But this morning, instead of writing, I read it - from beginning to the end of the last chapter I wrote and suddenly wanted to write - only it was time to seriously hurry to keep from being late for work. So, it's on hold until later tonight. Hopefully, I'll finish by Thursday or Friday morning and be able to start this last book of the trilogy.

Once again, all, I apologize. My humor will remain contained from here on.

(If I missed someone, I apologize - I was going from memory, and I ALWAYS miss someone).


gariess Mon Jan 15 12:54:04 PST 2001

You know Jerry, I can not, with any degree of candor, claim that I don't share many of your objections to the up-close-and-personal aspect of Bill Clinton's ego. Because he is personally, such a complex personality, I have had to judge him solely upon his performance in office. I have found that by looking only at the results of Clinton's leadership, can I be pleased with his performance.

Still, none of this means that I buy into Clinton's own vision of his legacy. That remains too megalomaniacal for anyone. If the matter boils down to fundamental, pragmatic politics, again I must rank him highly. Nothing in any argument convinces me that the focus of his presidency was contrary to the public good, and please keep the emphasis on the word focus.

To me it amounts to a choice of government for the many versus government for the few. Dubya is now going to pursue his destiny of government for the few, by the few, and of the few. This was a fait accompli at the time of his birth. None-the-less we will survive him as we survived his daddy before him.

It is a pity that he will not execute his destiny as deftly and with as much polish as his daddy did, but that often comes with being at the wrong swing of the pendulum of birthright . In the end what always puzzles me is why so many people are drawn away from their own best interests to the support of elitist country club politics. For heavens sake, if you don't like the smell of the goat, don't run to the protection of the tiger. Stay with the goat. That way if the tiger comes it will not be you that he eats.


Mon Jan 15 11:30:12 PST 2001

I love the music of Jimi Hendrix, but I would imagine that he was stoned 50% of his life. Does that make me like his music less? Absolutely not. Do I even care that he was stoned half his life? Nope. BUT I do care that a man who was elected to run our country doesn't have better judgement, or at least have the cunning to keep it under wraps.

George W. Bush won this election. Is he perfect? No. Did he win fairly? Debatable. Colin Powell was asked one time, in an interview about Desert Storm strategies, if he thought the war was fair. He said, and I paraphrase, "I am not interested in fighting fairly. I am not a professional boxer, I am a professional soldier. I am here to win wars using whatever advantages I have, while still following the rules. If I have more power than someone else, you can bet I will use it." When it comes right down to it, THAT is what I want to see in the White House. A man who gets the job done, which, by the way, is exactly the same defense democrats use when they defend Clinton's indiscretions. The President of the United States of America needs to be a head above the rest. He can't afford the same mistakes that rock stars make.

Unfortunately, people that would fit that bill are few and far between, not to mention the least likely to find their way through the "political slush-pile", so we keep lowering our standards, electing the most charming champions.

We are all in the same boat here, and I believe that having a productive future lies in the hands of compromise or we are dead in the water. George Bush knows it. Where we are headed and what we can do about it is a far better thing to be discussing than a President's Cuban cigars being rolled on the thighs of not-quite-virgins.

We need to quit attacking each other and work on finding some common ground.

plink plunk....cha-ching

Jack Beslanwitch Mon Jan 15 11:29:14 PST 2001

Small suggestion. Lets move away from the political questions. You all know my opinions about the soon to be Supreme Court annointed presidential office holder. So, leave it at that, see if he can do some good things for the country, hoping vainly the press, the partisan parts of the congress and the special prosecutors will leave his private life private and lets move on to writing and the writing life. Oh, BTW, any thoughts on the Round Robin that I started or should I pull it for lack of interest? Just wondering.

Well, I am waiting for the delivery of a 55 inch HDTV ready television between 4 and 7 tonight. I have a whole bunch of DVDs that are just salivating to get up on that screen. Er, maybe that is me salivating :-). Let you know how it looks. Take care all.

Heather Mon Jan 15 11:24:01 PST 2001

Actually, Debra, I'm Canadian, so Bush's decisions won't affect me directly.
But Chretien's might.


Debra Mon Jan 15 11:00:27 PST 2001


I actually think we are agreeing. I do. So let's. I'm glad you are going to wait until you find the right guy. You don't have to pick through only a few that were nominated either. So good.

I'm saying one thing only. No matter how long we take to pick or who we elect he will eventually make a decision that is not going to be liked by all. It's just a fact of life.

I don't want to rehash Clinton now. It's just like when you finally give birth. You don't want to talk about the pregnancy so much anymore either. Right?

It's over. We are carrying a new baby, Bush. Let's focus on him.


Heather Mon Jan 15 10:53:05 PST 2001

Debra, we cannot MAKE someone be responsible for their own actions, nor can we MAKE someone else choose what's right.
That's what I mean by responsibility. We have to be responsible enough to do our best and elect someone who would do the best job in office that they can, which means doing the best to choose correctly.

And they have to be responsible enough to understand that, and to make choices on that basis.
The President is responsible for his own actions, and because he or she is President, the people under that Government have chosen to allow this person to run their country.

So you see, the responsibility goes both ways.
We also have voices, and should the leaders of the country make wrong choices, we do have the choice to speak up, and the choice to move(choose a different country or president). We also have the choice to put up with it until it can be amended. Same goes for Doctors, etc...

We have to be careful in our choice of people who might care for us, or do things for us. Take for example my house.
I have planned and designed an addition. I have spent long hours measuring, calculating, thinking, saving, and dreaming about it with my husband and kids. I'm not about to hand over the plans and money to someone who has no idea what they're doing. They could ruin my home. If it takes me ten years to find the perfect person to build the addition, then so be it. But I will not put my money, dreams and trust into action until the time and person is right - otherwise it could be a veritable disaster.


Allein Mon Jan 15 10:52:37 PST 2001

Hi all,
I'm in a bit of a better mood today. But that's probably only temporary until I start working on my webpage.
Anyway, here's something I got through an e-mail. I doubt if the story is true, but I thought it was pretty funny (well not at first but after I realized it wasn't true, it was funny).

Garden Grass Snake's can be dangerous

Green Garden Grass snakes can be dangerous, Yes, grass snakes, not rattlesnakes.
A couple in Sweetwater, Texas had a lot of potted plants, and during a recent cold spell, the wife was bringing a lot of them indoors to protect them from a possible freeze. It turned out that a little green garden grass snake was hidden in one of the plants and when it had warmed up, it slithered out and the wife saw it go under the sofa. She let out a very loud scream.
The husband who was taking a shower ran out into the living room naked to see what the problem was. She told him there was a snake under the sofa. He got down on the floor on his hands and knees to look for it. About that time the family dog came and cold-nosed him on the leg. He thought the snake had bitten him and he fainted. His wife thought he had a heart attack, so she called an ambulance. The attendants rushed in and loaded him on the stretcher and started carrying him out.
About that time the snake came out from under the sofa and the Emergency Medical Technician saw it and dropped his end of the stretcher. That's when the man broke his leg and why he is in the hospital.
The wife still had the problem of the snake in the house, so she called on a neighbor man. He volunteered to capture the snake. He armed himself with a rolled-up newspaper and began poking under the couch. Soon he decided it was gone and told the woman, who sat down on the sofa in relief. But in relaxing, her hand dangled in between the cushions, where she felt the snake wriggling around. She screamed and fainted, the snake rushed back under the sofa, and the neighbor man, seeing her laying there passed out tried to use CPR to revive her.
The neighbor's wife, who had just returned from shopping at the grocery store, saw her husband's mouth on the woman's mouth and slammed her husband in the back of the head with a bag of canned goods, knocking him out
and cutting his scalp to a point where it needed stitches.
An ambulance was again called and it was determined that the injury required hospitalization.
The noise woke the woman from her dead faint and she saw her neighbor lying on the floor with his wife bending over him, so she assumed he had been bitten by the snake. She went to the kitchen, brought back a small bottle of whiskey, and began pouring it down the man's throat.
By now the police had arrived. They saw the unconscious man, smelled the whiskey, and assumed that a drunken fight had occurred. They were about to arrest them all, when the two women tried to explain how it all
happened over a little green snake. They called an ambulance, which took away the neighbor and his sobbing wife.
Just then the little snake crawled out from under the couch. One of the policemen drew his gun and fired at it. He missed the snake and hit the leg of the end table that was on one side of the sofa. The table fell over and the lamp on it shattered and as the bulb broke, it started a fire in the drapes.
The other policeman tried to beat out the flames and fell through the window into the yard on top of the family dog, who startled, jumped up and raced out into the street, where an oncoming car swerved to avoid it and smashed into the parked police car and set it on fire. Meanwhile the burning drapes had spread to the walls and the entire house was blazing.
Neighbors had called the fire department and the arriving fire-truck had started raising his ladder as they were halfway down the street. The rising ladder tore out the overhead wires and put out the electricity and disconnected the telephones in a ten-square city block area.
Time passed ----------------- Both men were discharged from the hospital, the house was re-built, the police acquired a new car, and all was right with their world -------
About a year later they were watching TV and the weatherman announced a cold snap for that night. The husband asked his wife if she thought they should bring in their plants for the night.
She shot him.

Debra Mon Jan 15 10:43:37 PST 2001


I preay that when we humans find out how much power our minds do have, we don't find ourselves disappointed.

Can you imagine the let down?


Heather Mon Jan 15 10:40:29 PST 2001

On apples and gravity: Apples are under direct influence of human thought. We, as humans, have been given this Earth to tend and care for, and have been placed as the highest of beings. In that light, what we believe (such as gravity) also has reign over this wonderful garden we tend. We believe in gravity, and therefore it not only suspends us in close contact with the Earth, but also 'our' surrounding objects.

If each person on this planet realized what power our minds possess, we would either endanger our own species and all that we care for, or we would transcend incorrect thought and be truly free. You can see where we've already been.

That leaves the happy thought of where we have the power to go. If only we had the responsibility...


Debra Mon Jan 15 10:38:50 PST 2001


We don't want them to make any wrong choices while they are in office, but how do we make that happen? It could be a great plot for your next book. You know, the drug for politicians. You could call it Stepford Politicians.

How does that sound? People's minds and choices won't change to something perfect just because they took office.

Just like doctors. My baby is dead because my doctor made a mistake. My doctor took an oath. Yet, still a mistake was made.

How will that ever happen for politicians. I just don't see it.


Heather Mon Jan 15 10:33:46 PST 2001

Debra, I don't think you understood what I was trying to say.

I was saying that it doesn't matter what people do in office, at home, or elsewhere. There are bound to be scandals for those who live public lives. In fact, we seek out the bad in them, hoping like greedy weasels that we'll find something!

I am not defending or condemning Clinton, or anyone else.
I simply wanted to convey that as human beings, our wrong actions cannot be blamed on anything other than our incorrect choices. We can't blame it on our own humanity.

So, with that in mind, anyone elected is bound to have made a number of wrong choices in life. We just don't want them to make any of those in office.
Does that sound reasonable? I'm not entirely sure.


Debra Mon Jan 15 10:30:15 PST 2001

Me again.

Apples don't believe in anything. They don't even think. Yet, they fall to the ground because of gravity.


Heather Mon Jan 15 10:27:50 PST 2001

mary, very cool thinking! hmmmm

We are only affected by gravity because we believe it exists. And trust me, we've been taught (brain washed) well enough on Newton. Well, some might ask - why didn't people just float off the Earth before Newton named the force of gravity and delineated its properties?
Because we believed that God (Allah, Buddah, etc.) held us firmly planted to the soil, that's why!
And why have various space programs been successful? Because someone believed it could be done.


Debra Mon Jan 15 10:27:00 PST 2001


I am not saying I thought Clinton was my hero.

I am saying I challange you to point to one perfect president. I think if we had the previlidge of knowing all of all of them, we would be pointing at no one.

That's all I'm saying.

We can go on forever on the responsibilitits. We can go on forever on the mistakes too.

Heather Mon Jan 15 10:20:20 PST 2001

Debra, I don't understand the 'blame it on being human' bit. We are human when we make mistakes, but are we not the same human when we do things correctly?

We can't blame genes or environment or human nature for our mistakes. We must only blame poor choices, and our own at that.
It's responsibility. We are ultimately responsible for our own thoughts, words, and actions; whether we reap the benefits today, or tomorrow. Sometimes what we reap is not a benefit but a disaster! But we are still the direct cause of these effects. It only begins to get complicated when we are in contact with other people, in a constant karmic stew of cause, effect and choice. Clinton knew what he was doing was wrong, but did it anyway. We can't blame his actions on being horny or stupid. We can't blame his actions on the willingness of the women in close contact with him. He made a choice, and should have paid immediately for the ill choices. He may very well have paid through embarassment, open fire at home, and in his own tormented mind. Yet he may not be finished paying for that sort of 'mistake', but that is NOT up to us to judge.

The wrongs and rights of people who live public lives are certainly under fire more often than the lives of the relatively unknown; but make the decision not to let it get you steamed, in order that you keep the friends that may think differently. Besides, you know that wrongs will eventually be 'rewarded', just as rights will be. Just not with the nicest of results. Throwing blame wherever it might stick cannot change that, but rather bring ill effects to the one throwing it.

Clinton had(or has) to make up for his wrongs, just as everyone must, for his or her own wrong choices, especially if they are followed by actions. And sometimes we must pay for thought alone.

Study it for a while and see if it isn't true for you.

Have you ever had what you might deem a streak of bad luck?
Well, there is no such thing as luck. It's the karmic principle. And Jesus' as well, for what you plant and tend, you shall reap.

Before any of you NBers get your undies in a scathing knot, please think about that principle.

Gariess, though I thought what you said was correct, it hurt Jerry's feelings, and has caused him to stomp off, unavenged. He did start the conversation on politics.
I hope I've put it to rest.

At ease, men and women!
Life can be whatever fruit you pick to fill your basket.
I choose peaches.


Richard Mon Jan 15 10:00:17 PST 2001

Tina: Law of Relativity + Virtual Reality = Unlimited Amount Of Garbage

Rachel: Hi there! Everyone else seems to know you, so you must have been here before I joined the notebook.

Debra Mon Jan 15 08:58:31 PST 2001

Guys Guys!

Please stop!

Every president we have ever had in office has been human in some way which is not becoming of a president. The problem is we keep picking humans. We just picked another human.

When he does something human all the democrats will say see!

When he does something good all the Republican's will say see!

It will just go on that way forever and ever. What we need is a human who will be human and all that goes with that, but bottom line when it came to the decisions to be made by a president he ended up with more good than bad.

So let's hope for that. Okay?

Let's get back to talking about writing. How my story, The Unenvited Greed, rushed sparse and needed something. I've been waiting. I wrote it in ten minutes. I left myself mo time after I finished with all my presidential duties as the woman of the house.


Jerry Mon Jan 15 07:32:23 PST 2001

Gariess - do you deny all that Clinton did? How can anyone deny that after all that has come out about his "antics"? Many say that it was just about sex. Well it was more then sex, it was sex in the peoples house, and it was something that you or I or anyone else except Clinton would have found himself out of a job. What about the sexual harassment laws? Do they not apply to Clinton because he is the President? Were they not passed by the liberal fringe, Clinton's own? How can you or anyone support such action? And you make accusations of Mr Bush's past life, I am talking about Clinton while he was in office, of how he made a mockery of the office of President, of how he embarrassed this nation in the eyes of the world. And what about your hero Clinton's past life, lets see, there was "I smoked but did not inhale." There were many incidents of his protesting the war in Vietnam, not like the youth of America, in the streets of America, but in foreign lands, again making a mockery of our great nation. His "LOATHING" of the military, his calling the secret police his "PRIVATE PIGS!" Such a man has turned more and more folks to the conservative republican party. Only those who wish to see an end to freedom, those who would see all the firearms in the nation ripped from the hands of freedom loving Americans and melted into scrap, those who would tear up the Bill of Rights, the very essence of our freedom would support such things.

I was ready to remain silent about politics, and thought that matter was settled some weeks ago yet others bring it up, and put out bait for the conservatives to react to. As we both know, neither of us will change the mind of the other. What we should be doing in this forum is to be speaking of our love for writing, we should be put our political beliefs asside and concentrate on these things, but I will not, can not sit on the sidelines and see such comments made and not respond to them.

I will be taking a break from the notebook until such matters are settled. Maybe I will be back in time, maybe not.


Mary Mon Jan 15 07:28:25 PST 2001

If we pick up a stone and then let it go, why does it fall to the ground? Usually this question is answered with, "Because it is attracted to the earth, or gravity."

In the perfect vacuum of cyberspace, however, there is truly no gravity. Nothing to act on a form other than their own will. Navigation doesn't have to be altered to compensate for travel around a large moon, or star. None of the sites on the internet have any pull unless you want them to. Any form can travel at any speed on the internet without worry of physical alteration.

Therefore, I propose to my colleagues that we ammend Albert's theory to read as such:

Jack Beslanwitch Mon Jan 15 01:56:41 PST 2001

Hello everyone. Just to let you know, I have added a new Round Robin. It begins with the following two paragraphs and I leave it to one and all to develop the tale of Rebecca.



    In the end. In the end, there was little more to be said. Little if anything to be remembered. All was, well, all was, right with the world. And nothing could be said against him. Not even Rebecca, but then none knew then they would be attending her funeral less than a week later. Natural causes is such a pedestrian sentence of death, really.

    It was spring in the city. Not that spring meant a great deal in Seattle. Except rain. And fog. And traffic jams as drivers slowed to a crawl whenever it rained. Really rained. One. Two. Three strikes you're out. That is how it felt, as he met the on ramp and crawled onto I-5 with no expectation of making it to work on time. It only reinforced his firm opinion when he discovered that his cell phone had a dead battery and the power chord was sitting on the table at home. The universe was out to get him. Nothing personal. Nothing specific about him. Just that the universe had it out for him in particular. And that was before he made it to work. Before the ever so nice police woman called. Told him. Rebecca was dead. Had been for the better part of a week.

Bon Appettit.

Ben Woestenburg Mon Jan 15 00:34:13 PST 2001

FREEDOM? Thursday? Okay, maybe I'll drop by again, but I'm neglecting my other work because it takes so long to go through everything here. I need to get another cartridge for my printer so I can send some stories out. I doubt if I'll ever post anything up here aside from the shorts, because I don't know enough about this computer stuff to transfer one thing to another.

Allein Sun Jan 14 22:39:25 PST 2001

The Picture of the Day deal will be suspended indefinately until I can get my webpage in order and working again or get a new one. I tried to make one correction to my index and poof! it's completely blank and what's worse is that it is now in advanced mode and I can't change it back to basic and I don't any HTML (well, not enough to make a webpage).
So, my webpage might be moving, might not and they way these angelfire people have set it up, I can't e-mail them asking for answers. Right now I'm at fortune city and I'm still trying to figure out how to use it. If anyone has a better suggestion - something with a basic editor that will let me use my own images and backgrounds and offers a good amount of webspace, please e-mail me or post it on the notebook.
I didn't post earlier as I was really pissed off. But now I've had my sleepytime time and Hello Panda candies, so I've moved from pissed off to moderately angry, so if I seem a bit snappy, please don't take it personally. I'm just having a really bad day. I'll try and keep you all updated. For the time being, enjoy the hampster dance.

RACHEL - I'm so happy that you're okay and rested. You just follow your doctor's orders and get well. We're all rooting for you!

GARIESS - In my story, Adolphine is a Neo-Nazi, she lives in the USA and the war has been over for 50 years (it's 1996). As far as I know most Neo-Nazis don't like colored people. I'm not particularly sure because I've never met one, but I'm just guessing.

Bye bye,

Sun Jan 14 22:30:54 PST 2001


I was just wondering why you would want to publicize such a dubious... Oh, I see, it's BE-flowered. Never mind.


Gariess Sun Jan 14 22:25:42 PST 2001


The fact that her friend was Japanese implies no redeeming qualities. It simplies defines her as an Axis ally.


gariess Sun Jan 14 22:10:36 PST 2001


I will direct your attention to one line of your post to alert you to how hypocritical you are. "I didn't mean that as a slam." Of course you meant it as a slam, you dunderhead.
Can't you conservatives be honest about anything. You can scarcely let a little time go by without raising some sorry- assed rationale for dumping a load of conservative tripe in this Notebook, where as far as I can see, no-one is asking for it.

I don't know what kind of dignity you are telling us to expect in the oval office, maybe the kind of candor that doesn't permit someone to say he doesn't inhale after he has already admitted to being no stranger to a straw up his nose.


Jerry Sun Jan 14 21:12:58 PST 2001

Na, just me jerking my knee at any liberal sounding thoughts, after the election and all I am still a bit tender in the knee area. The media is not helping matters either they seem to be in mourning and have yet to let go of the God they have created in Bill Clinton. I guess I am just happy that we may see our White House occupied by someone who has a little respect for the dignity that the office of President should hold. Hopefully there will be no submerged cigars in the Oval Office.

I didn't mean that as a slam or anything, I do know that many believe in the liberal causes, much as I believe in the conservative slant.

Never mind me, I am just rambling again. By the way we did get about an inch and a half of new snow, but the wind didn't come so it turned our world into a winter wonderland again. Temps have remained above 0 and we are happy with that up here.

Rachel so glad to have you back, take care of yourself.


Heather Sun Jan 14 19:05:09 PST 2001

Rachel - soooo relieved to hear from you. If you have posted, does that mean you are well? And the baby? You mentioned that you are home 'for now'. I sincerely hope that this means you and the little one are both fine.
Do come back soon and let us know how you are. We missed you. I'll continue to send my best vibrations your way, for the utmost in good health and happiness.


Americo Sun Jan 14 18:52:21 PST 2001


When you wrote "Americo" you probably meant Jon. I'll inform him that you are starving...

Kisses all around.

Tina Sun Jan 14 17:38:37 PST 2001

Rachel! I opened up the notebook and saw your name, and it was like a burst of sunlight! Be well!

Richard..... huh?

Americo, I'm too time starved. Much as I like a good brain twister, I'm declining. :-)

Back to 'Shadow'...


Rachel Sun Jan 14 16:12:03 PST 2001

Hi all - Thank you so much for all of your well wishes. I am home for now (smiles). I can't spend much time up and about. I just wanted to take a moment to send you all a quick note of thanks.

Hugs for all of you,


Heather Sun Jan 14 15:29:09 PST 2001

Allein, feel free not to change a thing about Adolphine - I just thought I'd spend my .02 cents.


Heather Sun Jan 14 14:42:27 PST 2001

Why Jon, darling, my whole maiden name means:
Beflowered warrior maiden of the hill.
Now, as a married woman, my name means Beflowered warrior maiden of the long path(!)
Louise means warrior maiden, if you were wondering.

However, since no one else has made a correct guess,
nevermind the semi-obvious clues, my birth name was
Petra Christine Anne W.
Growing up, all we knew was that my name was Petra, and the initial of my former last name.
In my first novel I cast myself as the character Petra, as if I needed to unfold that part of me that had remained unknown. Is it possible I could have been someone altogether different, had I been raised by my birth mother?

The answer, we may never know.

Petra, the rock.
Or, the feminine form of Pete/Peter. I'm a female phallus!
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

At least I wasn't a 'Crystal'. I don't like that name.

--Heather (For a long time I disliked the name Heather, but how does an infant make her protests understood? Besides, I was just stubborn and was used to being called Petra by my foster parents, before being adopted...)

P.S. Litter and ALlein - I noticed Adolphine's name before I noticed the brown Nazi-fashions, but felt the name was a little too similar to Hitler's. I might suggest 'Ava Himmlein' instead.
Sort of like Eva, sort of like Adolph, and sort of like Hitler and a number of Nazi officials.
And a wee spot less obvious. I would also lose the outfit. Modern day Nazis prefer black and red.

Richard Sun Jan 14 12:34:33 PST 2001


Allein Sun Jan 14 11:26:59 PST 2001

Hi all,
Today's picture/character profile is of Paul - Adolphine's brother. He's cool - he has a red convertible (this is the type of car I've always wanted). :)

Americo Sun Jan 14 09:19:32 PST 2001

Hi, Litter,

Welcome to the world of the living once for all.
No need for pistols. A good discussion followed by a handshake solve many more problems than uranium projectiles... (oh, too soon for discussing this on the NB...).

Hope your are feeling better. And stop being a proud, stubborn Celtic. Jon was always one of your most fervent admirers.

(Hey, no offense meant with the proud, stubborn Celtic. We are also Celtic downstairs, if you read your History well).

Jon Sun Jan 14 09:10:32 PST 2001

Ann, my 9 year old niece, has discovered a flaw in Einstein's theory of relativity. Einstein stated that no body can exceed the speed of light. Ann argues that he did not take into account virtual reality, where every body will easily go much beyond that speed without running the risk of dissolving into infinity. Not being good at Maths (she's a bit retarded for her age, to put it mildly), she's unable to translate her findings into a formula for what she calls "the theory of relativity 2001". Could you please help her establishing the formula? Thank you.

Liberalism leading to communism? Hmm... (as Howard would wisely put it).
Will you please help Richard find a formula for the theory of relativity 2001?
Your "The Black Hole" is an interesting mixture of science-fiction with ghostie fantasy.
If you are interested in the ghostie kind, may I recommend you "Ghost Stories" by M. R. James? Though published back in the early past century, it is still one of the best collections of that genre.

I also read your latest piece. Too much talent for such a little story. But, honestly, the world will hear about you one day. Why don't you believe that Richard is 13? Does he look any younger?

Lisbon is a beautiful city indeed. If only they covered the holes on the streets whenever it rains, and solved the problem of the shanty towns! Could you please give a hand to Richard and Jerry on the up-dated formula of Relativity?

Here's a poem by Carl Sandburg I read yesterday and liked:

The people is Everyman, everybody.
Everybody is you and me and all the others.
What everybody says is what we all say.
And what is it we all say?

Since Richard, Jerry and Mary will be too busy finding a formula for Ann, will the other Notebookers try answering the question put in the poem? Louise, I'm sure you'll find it. (Louise? Beware of Falling Rocks is a much prettier name. An Indian girl's name, how sweet!).

This sets out a new pastime on the notebook. Creative riddles for intelligent people. Tina, would you like to take charge of that? To be held on Sundays. Thank you.

Litter Sun Jan 14 07:35:23 PST 2001

PS Not being up on US politics, is a Liberal viewed in the same light as a pinko commie fag subversive?

Litter Sun Jan 14 07:32:06 PST 2001

Hi all,

I have been absent for a few days, lacking the energy to do much of anything but scan the messages. So, below I have included some generic comments -- feel free to choose the one that seems most relevent:

Wow, great story!
Your story is OK but needs a little work.
I'm sorry to have to say it but your story sucks.

You seem to have wisdom beyond your years.
Maybe you are not as clever as you think?
If brains were dynamite you wouldn't have enough to blow your nose…

You are right!
I think the situation/your comments are moot.
Boy/girl, are you ever wrong!

But there are some that I need to address properly.

RACHEL -- Good vibes being sent express delivery. (No pun intended, maybe…)

LAURA -- way to go! (What is an MFA?)

ALLEIN -- keep up the good work!

HEATER -- I think the brown shirt and cross-belt was as much of a give-away as the name Adolphine, n'est pas?

AMERICO -- MARK: it seems that pistols at dawn is the only way to decide this question -- language has a habit of mutating beyond the wishes of the literati and/or literal purists.

HALLEE -- What happened to the 10 souls missing from the Titanic? Or was the author of your statistics a political statistician?

JOAN -- Hi and belated a welcome. If you do not already have one I would give serious consideration to voice recognition software. Sometimes I cannot use my hands to type (and sometimes I'm just too lazy) and I find it extremely good and accurate. If you have the energy to speak, it allows you to write without undue exertion.

ALL -- I've broken with tradition (mine) and have posted a short piece in P*, in the workbook. Comments welcomed.

All good things to all good people,


Richard Sun Jan 14 02:53:27 PST 2001

Bad boy - politics! Bad boy!


I was trying to write in by notepad while we were waiting for a meal at a restuarant, and my little brother was kicking me under the table. Then my brothers swapped seats and my other brother who is now *12* started kicking me under the table.

And for a horrible moment on the way back, I thought I'd left my notepad with at least 4 stories in it. I nearly panicked, then I realised it was between my shoes on the floor of the car. I felt VERY relieved...

Jerry Sat Jan 13 22:14:31 PST 2001

Mark, first off, I never pictured you as a liberal, but I guess I should have figured it out. Seems the more one attends college, the more chances the liberal educators have to warp your mind and convince you the the world would be so much better if we would simply allow our government to walk all over us. After all doesn't the government know best? More government, more social programs, and what do you have? Well communism comes to mind.


Mary notdotcalm Sat Jan 13 22:10:31 PST 2001

Hello Everyone!

AMERICO: I watched a television show this evening which had some focus on Lisbon and just wanted to tell you how beautiful I think it is. So many monuments....such light.

TINA: What a relief! I was beginning to wonder if what I sent hadn't made it to you in one piece, and then I worried that you didn't like what I had to say. Glad to hear otherwise.

TAXES: Whewwwww!

Tina Sat Jan 13 20:51:11 PST 2001

So, does anyone else ever feel horribly anti-social? A friend invited me over 'if I have nothing else to do tonight'. And I don't have anything else to do, except write. And I greedily don't want to give up my writing time. It is so sparse, so precious. I'd rather sit here, in my comfy chair (kind of) and get a headache looking at this screen, than go and enjoy a visit. I worked with her today, true, so it's not like I haven't seen her lately. But still I know I should give the friendship the attention it deserves. So.... I should go. But the need to put a few more words down, to craft another thought or action, keeps me sitting here. When I post this I'll find new words to add to those already sitting in my hard drive. When I go to bed tonight I'll be satisfied with the way I spent my time. And yet...

Mary, thank you SO much for your crit. I'm piecing through it faster than you'd think. :-) You're AWESOME!

Hi Laura! MFA... Master of Fine Arts?
Anytime you have more of your story ready, I'm eager to read it! It's like having to take a book back to the library when you've only read three chapters... or when your VCR eats the movie after 15 minutes... I'm itching for more!


Allein Sat Jan 13 20:33:47 PST 2001

Heather - Adolphine was raised in a Nazi family while her sister Vanessa was raised with their Jewish father. The name was intentional but she's not a complete baddie. In fact, her first friend when she enters the story is Mei who is Japanese, so she's obviously not racist. She's actually nice to most people unless they make her angry and then she's prone to fighting, but the way she was raised in her family, with the stepfather that she has, she feels that she has to be tough all the time (while her sister being raised in a very loving family is very sweet and kind). If you read the first chapter, it explains some of this stuff. Also in her profile, there's some explaination of her family situation. Her sister's profile is at the bottom of the page and hopefully, I'll have her picture up soon (my boyfriend still doesn't have them all done).

Teekay Sat Jan 13 19:35:20 PST 2001

RACHEL: (((((((((((((((HUGS)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))

Everyone, I've posted 'The long last night' in *P*. I'm sorry if it's too long and even sorrier if it's too boring.

Heather Sat Jan 13 16:01:00 PST 2001

Allein - the picture of the day - her name is a little too similar to Adolph Hitler - did you give her that name on purpose? Is she the 'baddie' in your book?


Richard Sat Jan 13 14:02:23 PST 2001

This place sure is silent today...

Laura Sat Jan 13 12:00:11 PST 2001

Hey everyone I'm back.

Rachel: get better soon, always fun to have you here.

Everyone: I may be going for an MFA next year.


Allein Sat Jan 13 10:43:22 PST 2001

Hi all,
Today's picture/character profile is of Adolphine from Morningbird Lane.

Heather Sat Jan 13 09:08:07 PST 2001

Collaborator, Mark? Are you asking?
If you think I'd have something to add...


Tina Sat Jan 13 08:20:01 PST 2001


Prayers and hugs and strong thoughts for you Rachel, and for your wee one. Thank you Americo for letting us all know.

Here and gone again....

Mark Sat Jan 13 06:53:02 PST 2001

RACHEL -- You are missed. Come back when the time is right.

ALL -- Just posted "Vapor" in P***. It needs to run to a conclusion, but I've been stuck at this point for over a week. Hope making it public will jar something here.

HEATHER -- I don't need a student as much as I need a collaborator.

HALLEE -- So that means that the registered Republicans were all lock-step, fall-in-line, follow-the-lines-on-the-floor types of people? Probably none of them volunteered to help anywhere either? Yup. Hilarious.

Mary Fri Jan 12 21:23:35 PST 2001

RACHEL: I am thinking about you. Hang in there.

Americo Fri Jan 12 15:28:34 PST 2001

Good news!

Rachel has come back home. But she is still very tired and may have to return to hospital. She just needs rest.

I thank you all on her behalf.

(Not an easy thing having a baby!)

Jerry Fri Jan 12 15:07:48 PST 2001

Hallee - Thanks a million, I did get a good laugh out of that one, but it somehow makes great sense.

Intersting weather forecast for tomorow on the TV right now, he said we might get from one to twelve inches of snow tommorow, and we may get high winds, if the wind blows? I think he could have well have said "we have absolutly no idea what the weather will be tommorow, just wait and see."


Hallee Fri Jan 12 13:38:14 PST 2001

JERRY: This one is for you - you seem like you need a good laugh.

Over the years, the admiralty and maritime scholars have reviewed every statistic regarding the late great ship, Titanic.

The simple facts were that the ship sailed with 2,224 men, women and children aboard. Of that number, 1,503 perished
while only 711 survived.

One of the last great mysteries was the previously
unexplained fact that, of the 711 survivors, 704
were registered Republicans.

It has been only a theory for years, but recent events in Florida confirm earlier suspicions: all Republicans aboard the Titanic were able to follow the arrows to the life rafts.

RACHEL: ((((Big Hugs)))) and many prayers.

The shorties were great last night! Viv's is in the workbook, if you all wondered. I'm glad we had a theme.

Happy Friday!!!!

Rhoda Fri Jan 12 13:20:07 PST 2001

I knew something was not quite right with the Notebook. Rachel hasn't returned! Do get better, Rachel, and God be with you and your baby. I do miss you. My prayers and thoughts are with you.


Yes, I coveted A's. I had to get as many as I could to offset the C's and B's I got in some of my chemistry and math classes. Weren't my priorities screwed up? Hopefully if faced with a similar situation I would stick to my guns and take the consequences.

Convey my best wishes to Thomas. I am so happy for him. If anyone deserved publication, he did. He is a talented writer and a knowledgable guy. I think I will buy his book.

Now to catch up on shortie night. I must read all these stories I missed.


Allein Fri Jan 12 13:02:15 PST 2001

Rachel - Many prayers and (((BIG HUGS))) to you and your family!! :) I hope you're better soon and that you have a wonderful and healthy little baby.
*more hugs*

Richard Fri Jan 12 12:42:02 PST 2001

Yes!!! I just got promoted!!

What? You think I'm a military officer who HAS beeb posing as a 13 year old??

No actually, I'm now Second Wing Officer of Titan Wing, Intrepid Battle Group, Rebel Squadrons. It's an internet gaming club.

Okay... writing stories, drawing, creating computer game levels, organising and playing RPGs, SCHOOL, third in the command chain for my gaming wing...

Richard Fri Jan 12 12:36:14 PST 2001

Heather: I am completely, absolutely, definitively, surely, admittedly, wholly, and certainly ...thirteen!!

Debra Fri Jan 12 11:54:42 PST 2001


I will pray for you and your baby. I hope all is well.


Gariess Fri Jan 12 11:07:01 PST 2001


Here is a hug for you sent out on a psychic zephyr of summer scented air. Come back to us well if you are able, but come back to us.


Jerry Fri Jan 12 10:55:27 PST 2001

Blanch Avalanch - white rock slide, now I have drank rolling rock beer and I have drank black and white scotch but never tasted white rock slide beer.

Americo, maybe when my anger has had a chance to cool down and I can see the humor in the whole thing I may write about it, until then I think I will simply push it to the back of my mind.


Fri Jan 12 09:47:41 PST 2001

Damn, you mean it's not Rumpelstiltskin? Are you SURE it's not Rumpelstiltskin? Ok....if you say so. I will think harder.

Heather Fri Jan 12 08:41:35 PST 2001

Many Prayers go out to Rachel and her loved ones.

We're thinking of you, Rachel!

Perhaps everyone needs more obvious clues? Blanche Avalanche! Hmmmm. I kinda like it.



Americo Fri Jan 12 08:19:59 PST 2001

your birth name is "beware of falling rocks", but Juliet would also fit you nicely. Get yourself some sleep, darling.

there is nothing wrong about the progressive tenses or the verb to be. What's the problem of, for instance: "I'm writing to you (to send regards)"? All the stuff discussed here yesterday can be understood in five minutes with the help of a good grammar. Trickier is of course the use of any verbal forms. There are no thumb rules for that, except the simplest one, "do not repeat words unless you are Hemingway". Your text called "Greed" requires your attention.

I'm sure you'll write a terrific short story about the man, the modem and all that. A chance for you to offer us a sample of your humor, at last?

Jon is on my lap shouting: "Ask Rhoda to correct your lousy prepositions!" He’s right, preposition are one of my biggest problems in your language. The teacher that wanted you to delete sentences with the verb to be did not know what she was talking about. That happens sometimes in the teaching profession, unfortunately. (But why did you pay attention to her? Just to get A’s? That’s what I cannot understand. I’d rather get B’s.)

Rachel had some health problems related to her baby and went to hospital on the 3rd. No news from her since then. I wish I knew more.

Thomas has published a delightful book on Mediterranean food and its story. You remember Thomas. One of the good serious professional writers who honored the NB with his (controversial) posts. Look up in the Amazon. com site for "Garlic, Wine and Olive Oil -- historical anecdotes and recipes". It was my best Christmas present. (Hope he does not kill me for this piece of well-deserved publicity).

This ends the 4 o’clock newsreel.
More later, perhaps.

Allein Fri Jan 12 07:27:09 PST 2001

Hi all,
Today's picture of of Claude from Morningbird Lane. This one also has a character profile.

Debra Fri Jan 12 07:03:21 PST 2001


Is it Airheart?

I don't know.

Mary Fri Jan 12 06:59:15 PST 2001

Next week's shortie theme is: FREEDOM

(I will remind everyone on Monday or Tuesday.) ;-)

Mark Fri Jan 12 06:53:46 PST 2001

HEATHER -- The clue is falling rocks, that makes your name Blanche Avalanche.

Mary Fri Jan 12 06:18:39 PST 2001

Shortie night prize goes to HALLEE because she deserves all the credit for having a theme. Round of applause.

Really good shorties this week people, and it looks like the trend is moving to longer stories. Before you know it all of us will be posting stories weekly in the Workbook on top of what we send in on Thursdays. In honor of Dr. Marting Luther King Jr., "I have a dream."

Thank you Heather for you compliment. Is your real name Rumpelstiltskin?

bye all.

Heather Thu Jan 11 23:20:02 PST 2001

(sorry, something was cut off from the beginning of the previous message - will gremlins never cease!?$&%$&#)

Breathtaking and inflating
these mortal thoughts
to such wider, grander things
Spoken from
and from every
Have they listened to the sound of the voice
That is the beating of
their own heart?

Rosemary, now you have to tell us who you were referring to!

I loved the shorties tonight!

Richard, are you completely, absolutely, definitively, surely, admittedly, wholly, and certainly ...thirteen?

You read his stuff here first, folks!

Jerry, you have just come eye to eye with karma. Isn't she simply marvelous? Congrats on not doing any of those meanie things - you know you would have expended way too much energy trying to get even, only to find out later that it wasn't worth it? You deserve a huge hug for what you did (and didn't) do!

Dear Professor Mark, I have this problem... (JOKE)
Actually, I would make a loyal student if you need a pupil.

Americo, you with your charming nature and incredible mind, should also Profess. Do you tutor?

Hallee - your shortie was reminiscent of something, and I can't quite wrap my mind around it... just..out...of...reach...uhhhhhh





Heather (beware of falling rocks)

I have a new and semi-interesting contest.
Who can guess my birth name?

There is one clue in this post.

Prizes will follow to the one who knows it.

Heather Thu Jan 11 23:04:24 PST 2001

Mary, how bright a star.
T.O.M., divine.
Howard, the sky has shone you home

Goodnight, goodnight,

good night


gariess Thu Jan 11 23:03:17 PST 2001

Almost forgot shortie night. Okay, GREED

I need a little. I need a litle more. I need a little more than a little more. I need even more than that. I need... IT ALL.

Mark Thu Jan 11 20:37:43 PST 2001


Ah screw yez, all uv yez. Who needjyez?

I got here all by myself an I'm stayin here jus fine with no help from any uh you creeps.

Mark Thu Jan 11 20:22:15 PST 2001

AMERICO -- Thank you. Absolutely right. When I wrote "She was driving to work" I had an odd image of how that would translate from Passive to Active, yet I continued typing.

Surrealist results -- Yes, indeed. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA, OOOOOHH. My eyes got moist.

In defense of my own rigidity (is it a bad thing for a man to be rigid? Active and Rigid, that's the ticket!) Progressive/Continuous is just as sloppy as unmastered Passive, and both come with the tell-tale "be" signature.

Indeed, "She was driving to work" implies a continuous action that is all too frequently mishandled in the next sentence. Too many Freshmen have handed me papers with continuous action in one sentence and abrupt, unannounced shift of action in the next, and they don't understand their own linguistic signals. With 200 students per semester, and the same ol' stuff each new class, I got into the habit of reading for flow, then going back to make circles on bumpy passages. I'm willing to admit some laziness here. All too often I'd circle verb forms then in class I'd ask, "What does 'Is' mean?" You know, it didn't matter if I asked that in New York or Texas. I still needed 15 minutes before the class felt like they had answered.

In order to make that sentence Passive, let's write,

In the first, Nancy is subject and is the receiver (being done unto). Bob is subject of the second and the doer.

The man is active and the woman passive. Your readers expect nothing less.

Rosemary Thu Jan 11 19:44:47 PST 2001

Hi there,

at least I was right about the guy being a jerk. I let the internet take care of how it gets things where they go. That's beyond my area of caring, interest, worry, whatever. Usually things get where they're going some times they don't.

My Shortie tonight may not be great but it is shorter.

Greedy Thomaso

The yellow striped cat looked over her shoulder. Thomaso was gaining on her but she still had a chance. A limp grey mouse dangled from her jaws. She would drop it if she had to, but it had been two days since she had eaten.

The Rilley's back yard loomed ahead and Sunshine knew the area intimately. They were her family. She had adopted them before they packed up and moved out without giving her a second thought. She really must be more careful next time.

She heard Thomaso puffing behind her. He was about to catch up and her timing had to be perfect. The yellow cat streaked across the yard; one bound covered more space than the others.

Thomaso was so close to Sunshine, he could almost taste that mouse. He didn't plan to hurt her too much, she was a good mouser. One more step, then the world tumbled over and over. He almost got his feet in place before he hit the bottom on his side. He lay on the mucky bottom of a drainage pit the Rilleys had covered with paper and leaves to fool prospective buyers. As soon as safety inspectors made them fill it in, the yard and cellar would flood with every rain.

Sunshine came back and looked into the newly opened hole in the covering. "Maybe the house will sell soon. Then they will let you out." She glanced at the poor condition of the house, obvious even to a cat.

Thomaso snarled up at her.

"It would be easier for you to catch your own mice." She turned and with tail straight up in the air, stalked out of the yard. END

I didn't know Rachel was in the hospital, I hope everything is all right. Hopefully we will hear soon.


The Old Man Thu Jan 11 19:41:53 PST 2001

Hurried Greetings and Felicitations!

A hearty welcome to those of you too new to this place to know me, you see I have been away for a while.

An equally hearty 'Howdy!' to my old friends...wait...I haven't been away THAT long, have I?

Without having read all the posts, below, please allow my to add to the 'Short Shorty" collection. (By the way, a brilliant idea for creating a theme for Thursday nights.)

No title...too short.

“I don’t understand the way some people think.”
“They call ambition ‘greed’. They think that trying to do right by your family is some kind of a sin.”
“I just don’t get how working hard to provide a nice house, nice things and all that has to be considered bad.”
“I live in a nice house in a nice neighborhood. I drive a nice car and so does my wife. For that matter, so do both the kids. Does that make us bad?"
With a chuckle, he said, “Those kids have everything. They’ve got all the things I didn’t have when I was their age. Sure, they might be a little spoiled but, hey, whose kids aren’t, right?”
He looked at a picture on the wall. The look turned into a stare as a memory of when the children were small took his mind away from the conversation. His wife had welcomed him at the door after work. She had already put the 3 and 5 year olds to bed, and said for him not to worry too much about it, he’d probably see them in the morning.
He did see them most weekends when he didn’t have paperwork. They would play Barbies and throw the ‘ol ball around…sometimes.
The memory jumped 13 years forward and he saw his babies leaving for school the time he had had carpal tunnel surgery and was home to see them off. They left without saying goodbye or even acknowledging him. They had demanded money from his wife for lunch and left without a thank you. “Don’t worry about it,” she had said, “they were just in a hurry.”
He sat quietly, just staring at that picture until his eyes came back into focus. “What was I saying?” “Oh, yeah…greed.”

Take care,

Jerry Thu Jan 11 19:20:46 PST 2001

Americo - ah the wonderous thoughts that have flowed through my overheated brain these past few days since that fellow down in Florida called me a fraud. First thought was to put his name and email address in every porn pop up that haunts the internet, now that in itself would keep me busy for oh say a year or more. Then the thought struck me that maybe he needed relegion, and I considered putting his name on all the religious mailing list on the web, again this would amount to an enormous task. Other more drastic things crossed my mind, but I shall not delve into them on this our wonderful notebook. But alas, I would not, could not do such things, I guess they are just not in me. I will be satisfied that the modem he bought from me was sans a power suply - that I posted in the add so there was no surprise, but the best part is that although the voltage of the supply needed is posted on the outside of the modem but the polarity is not. This fellow stressed in his emails before he got nasty that he was in such a hurry to get it as he had already paid to have the line run into his home, nd his computers readied for the arrival of the lovely little device. No, there is no way to find that little secret without getting it from the manufacture, and it is not at their web site, he must wait for them to send it via snail mail. He will be at least another week maybe a month older before he gets the device hooked up and online. Sometimes things have a way of working out despite the best laid plans of mice and men.

Sorry I have nothing ready for the short shorty night, just been too busy what with this modem thing, then my niece crashed her computer (something she does regularly but this time it was totaled) and I spent the best part of the morning and most of the afternoon fixing it (finaly gave up and formated it then reinstalled windows, it is much better now). Then when I got home, my system went down and I had to work on it for over an hour to get it back up.

Maybe next week, or earlier, depends on how things go.


A* Thu Jan 11 18:27:39 PST 2001


What you must do to that person is the following: write to the same place where he accused you of "fraud" and call him "liar" (or whatever word you consider just). Wait the same number of days he did to apologize. Then write to him apologizing.

(Oh, no! Is the NB making me evil?)

On a very serious matter: Does anyone know of Rachel? She went to hospital on the 3rd and I stopped hearing from her since then. Hope it's just the Internet email service.

VJM (Viv) Thu Jan 11 17:57:51 PST 2001

I had a wonderful time yesterday with greed. The person who thought up the topic is a great teacher as well as a great writer. Thank you.

Sometimes in my excitement I get careless. I'm afraid I posted all over the place. I get to pushing buttons on this darned computer and everything flips, flops and ends up all over the place. It's frustrating because I'm thinking WRITE CREATIVE RIGHT BRAIN!
The computer is telling me to read the directions! Ugh@!

To those of you who always read the rule book before you start the game. I apologize for the mess! For the others,
I'm glad you understand.

On comments about people who live in other countries that I read:(ie: organic products)
I always say this when someone criticises my country:
Countries are like children. Sometimes they make mistakes. People from the country are like parents, we love our country and don't like to hear it criticized.

I wish these were my own words! This is a misquote from something I read at one time. I'm paraphrasing the words of a wise and famous person.

Mary Thu Jan 11 17:46:54 PST 2001

Good evening all! Here is my shortie for the night. It is based on a true story, but the names have been changed to protect the idiotic. Everything else is factual. :-)

Frank sent Suzi a devilish grin when he saw the UPS truck lug into their driveway. The size of the box verified what they had been hoping for and despite their combined 700 pounds of opportunistic flesh they made it to the porch in record time.

They were both breathing hard by the time the last of the cardboard and styrofoam peanuts made their way to the floor. In only moments, the key to their future was in Fred's hands, batteries included. With a smooth steel casing, 12 inch search plate, and comfortable ergonomic grip, the Metavoy 3000 was the best damn metal detector you could buy.

"Let's go give 'er a try right now, Frank."

"You betcha Mama, go get the car. We'll head on down to the beach."

"Oh yeah! Them tourists oughta be all cleared out by now, sitting in their campers eating vienna sausages, no doubt."

Frank's eyes glazed over at the thought of vienna sausages but he stomped his foot and Suzi rushed outside and down the ramp into the garage. Minutes later they were headed out to find their fortune.

"Do you think we will dig up enough stuff to afford that new ring I saw down at Jefferson's?" Suzi asked as they drove along.

"Yeah, baby. In my mind we already got it! Heh heh. You'll see darlin. I'm gonna get me that recliner I've had my eyes on since last Christmas."

"Wow! You mean that much, huh?" Suzi looked over at Frank incredulously.

"Dammit woman! Watch the road, you trying to get us killed?"

"Sorry honey."

Their old blue dodge made a hard left into the beach parking lot and rocked from side to side as Frank and Suzi stepped out.

"You carry the shovel, Suze, I'll run the machine."

"I'm not diggin', Frank."

"You'll dig and like it!"

"I'm not diggin', Frank." The two were in a stand-off, and then Frank snatched the shovel from Suzi's hands.



Quite a while into working the beach they had quite a little bag of worthless trinkets and one watch. Suzi ran the detector over the ground like an antenna and Frank dug for all he was worth.

"Frank, I'm done. That ring at Jefferson's ain't worth this."

"Just a little while longer. There's gotta be more than this. What if we quit now and right over there is a gold pocket watch, or a diamond bracelet?" Frank walked forward not waiting for a response and Suzi followed with a sigh.

Suddenly the Metavoy 3000 went crazy. Beeps and blurbs neither one of them had heard before sang from the detector. Frank looked at Suzi with a huge grin and said, "This is the one, Baby. The Mother Load!"

"Oh, Frank, hurry!"

Furiously Frank sunk the shovel into the sand. When the hole was a foot deep, he stood up to let Suzi run the detector over the spot and again it went wild. He went back to work and the sweat poured off his brow,the veins in his forehead swelling.

The hole was three feet deep and by now even Suzi was feeling guilty about how exhausted her husband was. The metal detector still justified their efforts every time they checked. "Frank, why don't you let me dig for a little while?"

He waisted no time trading the shovel for the Metavoy 3000 and was soon mopping his brow with his shirt sleeve as his wife searched for glory. Suzi hadn't been digging very long before she asked Frank to check the hole. He took his weight off the metal detector and ran it over their claim. Nothing. No bleeps, no dings. Nothing.

"You were leaning on it too hard and busted it, Frank!" Suzi grabbed the Metavoy and ran it over the hole. It went crazy. Frank took it back and tried again, but there was nothing.

"What the hell is goin' on here?"

"How should I know, it works just fine when I use it!"

Frank began running the plate of the detector over the ground surrounding the hole and didn't pick up any readings there either. They both dropped to the ground at the same time, to sit and anguish over their loss. When Frank moved his foot out to the side to straighten his leg, his boot came too close to the Metavoy 3000's detection plate making it sing as loudly as ever. He pulled his foot away quickly and looked at his wife. He pushed his foot back and the bleeps filled the air.


"Steel-toed shoe."

Hallee Thu Jan 11 17:36:38 PST 2001

I wrote this earlier today - straight into the box, then I got booted off and lost the whole thing. It was much better the first time. And, since I suck at titles, this one doesn't have one.

"Greed Shorty Short"

Allison brushed at the wet tears that were falling down her face. "I'm sorry, Jacob. I can't." Her heart broke into a million pieces for him as she caught the flash of hurt in his eyes seconds before the shutters came down over them.

"I don't understand," he said. "You've said you loved me countless times. Why can't you marry me?"

"Please understand," she whispered, "I promised myself since I left the poverty back home that I would never settle for less than everything. I'm sorry, so sorry, but I have no desire to be a middle class housewife, no matter how much I love you."

His lips thinned as he stared down at her with narrowed eyes. "You would marry for money before love?"

"I really hope not. I hope I'll marry for money and still find love."

He gave a stiff nod of his head. "I see," he said, slipping the unopened jewler's box back into his pocket.

Two hours later, he opened the box and stared down at the ring, watching the fire reflect off of the carrot diamond, highlighting the rubies that surrounded it, giving the ring a warm glow. He swirled the brandy in his glass and thought back to the time he first met Allison.

He had grown so tired of women seeing dollar signs when they looked at him, and of their coy games to trap him and his millions. When he met Allison in the park that day, the attraction had been instantant and mutual. He'd wanted to be like normal people for a while, and had, obviously unwisely, led her to believe that he was a computer programmer. It wasn't that he lied to her, really, he just never explained that while he had been a simple computer programmer fifteen years ago, his company had grown by leaps and bounds to become one of the leading software companies in the country.

He had been minutes away from telling her who he really was - then she dropped the ball.

He sighed and walked to the balcony of his penthouse apartment. The city of New York lay at his feet, silent from so many floors up, beautiful. He wished he had someone to share it with.

True love would know no boundaries - no pricetags - no paychecks. He had enough Irish in him to believe that. He thought he'd found it, but her admission had proven him wrong. That knowledge helped mend his heart a little.

And as the city went on below him, he gave a small smile of satisfaction in knowing how unhappy Allison was going to be when she discovered who Jacob really was. That helped mend his heart, too.


howard Thu Jan 11 17:21:41 PST 2001

Okay, a shortie. On greed. Dunno what to call it, maybe:

Past Due

In plentitude the rich young man
self sufficient.

Came seeking out a man who had
no place to call his own.

“What must I do?” he asked.

He thought there was a way
that he could buy for a penny
the thing that God must needs die for.

He hated the answer.


Debra Thu Jan 11 17:04:09 PST 2001

The uninvited Greed

Suzanne walked towards her dark house. She was confused because she had only left an hour ago to pick her mother up at a shopping center. Her husband was home with all four of her children.
“He would never leave with all those kids.” Suzanne whispered to herself as she put the key in the lock.
“SURPRISE!” The voices of everyone Suzanne knew all yelled at once.
“Oh my. Sshit!” Suzanne yelled, startled. She froze in the doorway looking as though she were thinking of escaping.
“Are you surprised?” Robin, Suzanne’s husband, asked her as he squirmed his way through the crowd.
“What’s going on?” Suzanne sounded worried.
“It’s your 40th birthday tomorrow. Did YOU forget?” Robin put his arm around Suzanne leading the way so she could greet all the people he had invited.
Suzanne and Robin weaved through the crowd saying hi and laughing with all her guests. She looked at her mother who now clearly had stranded herself at a shopping center. She gave her a friendly shame on you smile.
“Molly,” Suzanne shrieked as she ran towards her friend she hadn’t seen in more than a year.
“Jeez, is my first grade teacher here too?” Suzanne laughed.
“Oh she’s right over there by the meatballs.” Molly joked.
Suzanne felt like she was flying. She had never had a surprise birthday party in her whole life. She wanted to remember every minute. The most surprising thing of all was that her husband did the whole thing. He never said a word even though they were fighting like cats and dogs just yesterday.
“It’s time to open the presents.” Robin yelled.
“Wwhat presents too. You guiiiies. I’m to old for that.” Robin felt herself shrinking.
She never allowed herself to have selfish thoughts like hoping for presents.
“Yes. Presents. Sit down.” Robin gently held her shoulders and he glided her to her chair.
Everything was going smoothly until the Ted, her husband’s best friend handed her a card. As Suzanne opened it to read, a lottery ticket fell into her lap.
“Ted you know I don’t play the lotto.” She scolded.
Ted just rolled onto his heels and watched. Someone from the crowd handed her a penny and she began scratching. The numbers began to reveal themselves slowly. Suzanne couldn’t believe her eyes. She blinked and held the card closer. It was a $10,000.00 winner.
Suzanne let out a little yelp. Then she let out a bigger one. She looked at the ticket and turned towards her husband. As soon as she caught his eye she let out the biggest scream she had ever done. She saw her brother and his girlfriend, who were the closest guests to her cover their ears. She had never experienced such feelings before. She didn’t play the lottery. She thought it was for greedy people who were unhappy with their lives. Thoughts of CD’S, silk jackets and diamond earrings swirled through her mind. She had the money spend five times over.

The crowd sprang to their feet and gave a hearty applause.
“Wait.” Ted yelled.
“Look at the back of the ticket.” His voice went quiet with the murmurings of the crowd.
Robin grabbed the ticket and began reading it. He rubbed his mouth with his fingers as he read.
“Ted.” He looked at his friend and gave him a disappointed look.
“It was funny at the store.” Ted’s voice trailed off as he made his was into the emptiest part of the house.
“What.” Suzanne demanded.
“It can only be redeemed by the tooth fairy.” Robin looked at his wife and apologized with his eyes.
“I never heard of a fake lottery ticket. Well thank you Ted.” Suzanne yelled sarcastically towards his direction.

Later that night Robin rolled over in bed and searched for Suzanne with his hand.
“Suzanne.” Robin sat up and called for his wife. He moved his feet towards the floor trying to find his slippers. As he made his way to the kitchen Suzanne came into view sitting at the table.
“Honey what’s wrong?” Robin begged. He knelt on one knee and reached for her hand to kiss it. She reluctantly gave it to him.
“What’s this?” Robin in opened her hand to reveal the fake lottery ticket.
“Honey. I saw that look on your face today. You realized that you love money just as much as everyone else didn’t you?” Robin let a laugh trail off with his voice.
“mmumm,” She hung her head down to hide her face.
Robin grabbed her chin and forced her to look straight at him. “I never felt closer to you than I do right now. Happy Birthday honey!”

Jerry Thu Jan 11 16:37:31 PST 2001

Well that was quick, just got an email from the idiot in Fl. says he got the package this morning, imagine that, the US mail taking fifteen days to get a package all the way from northern US all the way to the deep south, and with two holidys in there! He did send a nice appology though even though it took him till this evening to tell me about it.


Debra Thu Jan 11 15:53:19 PST 2001


I love that image of two toddlers sleeping on the couch.

Thanks that was nice.


Teekay Thu Jan 11 15:50:35 PST 2001

BEN: see why I'm jealous? I had a spelling error and didn't put in a comma and that was after rereading it!

Teekay Thu Jan 11 15:47:25 PST 2001

Top of the Mornin' all,

Fantastic shorties today -all of them.

HEATHER: Your's made me laugh and RICHARD your's made me gasp and BENs made me jealous because he typed it out, didn't even check it and there wasn't even one speeling error in it. Plus it was a really good story.
TINA: I thought your poem was beautiful. I'd like to read it when you're finally happy with it. I could find nothing displeasing.

Forgot it was shorty day.

Here goes.


Carmen squinted. The harsh brilliance of the midday sun and the white glare ot the desert sand hurt her eyes and made her head ache.
"I think it must be somewhere around here." she said licking sand from her parched lips.
Ron looked at her disbelief written all over his face. "What? You think it must be here somewhere? Is that the best you can do?"
She looked at the tattered map again. There were no land marks to go by, just miles of endless sand.
"Yep, as far as I can tell, this is the spot."
"why didn't we get him to tell us where it was?" Ron demanded. "Why didn't we kill him after we knew where we were supposed to be digging?"
"We've got the map haven't we? That's what counts. He wouldn't remember where it was without the map would he you stupid git? Now start digging."
Letting out a huge sigh and taking his shovel from where it leaned against the dusty four wheel drive Ron started to dig, a tiny tiny hole which would refill with sand as quick as he shovelled it out.
"Well you could've at least made him tell us which bloody desert it was in." he groaned.
"Yes." said Carmen, "but I only thought of that later."

Wow. I've impressed myself. I had no idea where this was going. Actually I had no idea how it was starting and now look. A story. With an ending an' all. Wether it's good or bad is a different thing.
Funny how the mind works.

Have a great day all.
I have my ghostie half typed out and edited onto the computer. Hopefully I'll have it finished today.
I love that feeling of accomplishment when something is completed. Pity I don't do it often enough.

Jerry Thu Jan 11 15:06:30 PST 2001

Rosemary - you misunderstood, I was refering to the way the Internet works, it jumps from computer to computer (server to server) finding a route for my email to his computer. I know his address, his email address and his phone number thanks to Ebay who provides all that info (phone number etc) when a complaint is filed.

Mary Thu Jan 11 15:06:21 PST 2001

PASSIVE VOICE: I think that all of us are saying the same thing using different words and approaches.

It is now 6pm here. I have two toddlers with bellies full of dinner, sleeping on the couch. Now I can work on my shortie. Back later all.

Good luck and write strong.

Heather Thu Jan 11 14:20:12 PST 2001

Galloping down the long iron staircase, Everett's feet blurred. Reaching the foyer, his tennis shoes squealed with each eager touch of heel. The mail was here.

Since Everett tipped her on holidays, the mail carrier had pressed the doorbell, as promised, on days she made deposits. She grew to enjoy the deep, musty resonation of the giant brass pipes. Chamille stood a while on the icy doorstep, Everett Packard's mail in her fist and wind cutting her cheek, to listen as the sounds reverberated low, then lower, until finally the depth of sound grew soft and faded away. Her mail bag was heavily-laden with Christmas cards and small parcels that she strained to stand straight. So much mail that she would need to make extra stops back at the post office to pick up the remainder for her route.

As Everett threw the great heavy door open, it struck Chamille and she fell, her body twisting and snapping as she collided against a multitude of iced stone steps. Mail littered the stairs, the walk, the snow mounds. As she tumbled to the last stair, her head hit with an echoing crack.
"Oh, God!" Everett screamed, his fists like wads of clay.
In seconds he bounded down, skipping every second step to reach her mangled form; blood now oozed onto the slight sprinkle of fresh snow. Her face rested to one side, as though still listening to the mysterious groanings of the door chimes. Her shimmery eyes stared through Everett, and on into the momentary nothingness of death.
"You're supposed to put it in the mailbox and THEN ring the damn bell!" Veins in his neck bulged. A blue vein on his forhead pulsated. His hands shook as he grabbed at the scattered letters, searching in panic for his lot.

There were more than a hundred cards, over twenty parcels, all slowly soaking up the snow until ink began to stain the virgin whiteness of the paper and bleed the names away.
Tossing aside pounds of illegible letters, Everett finally stood up, his desperate hunt unrewarded.
He looked at her face, unflinching. He looked at her contorted little body, the uniform almost black now with blood. Wait - one arm lay pinned beneath her!
"Aha!" he exclaimed in a victorious tone. He wrenched Chamille's limp torso up and shoved until her arm came free. In her tightly-squeezed hand were four crushed envelopes. He plucked them from her gloved fingers with a sneer, letting her corpse thud to the stone. "No more tips for you I gather," he laughed. The laugh was dry, and colder than the wind.

He shut the door with a resounding bang, kicked his shoes onto the marble hall floor, snow and drops of frozen blood showered the carpet. Everett rushed to his study with no thought in his head for the woman lying dead on his front walk.

"For God's--!" The horror was now shimmering in his own staring eyes, as he shuffled through the envelopes, bits of ice flying to the floor. The one - that monstrous Golden Vision wrapped in paper he had been waiting for - was not among them!


So there's my shortie. Hope no one else is that eager for mail...

D'OH! Thu Jan 11 12:35:22 PST 2001

First, double-spacing, now zero-spacing... somebody please shoot me!!

Richard Thu Jan 11 12:34:16 PST 2001

Umm... okay... I'll just post my shorty now. It's evenin' here in good ole' United Kingdom...

Force of Greed

"We're nearly there guys - this is it!"
Jacovenn Trell flexed his wrist on the control levers of the Nightwind. Ahead, out of the forward viewport, he could see the planet of Trioxenne VI and the powerfully luminescent signal beacons in its orbit.
Leaning back in the cushioned flight-chair, he felt the pressure on his body; the acceleration compensators beneath the cabin were getting overworked.
No way was he going to let up on the engines. Not when he was this close.
Excitement welled in him as the glowing beacons came closer and closer. This was it. All of his dreams were finally coming true. The Nightwind's engines screamed as Jocevven drove them mercilessly.
No opposition in site. His victory was assured.
The deck shook. Jocov twisted in his seat, looking to his co-pilots. "What was that?"
Ivannel had worry painted all over his craggy features. Experienced fingers flew quickly over the controls. "It's the engines Joc - they're straining."
The other crewmember, Alyssa, looked at Jacovenn. An Ovelleni from an innerworld system, two prominent crests ran up either sides of her face from chin to ear. A tool of communication, their colour gave some idea as to the emotions they were experiencing - right now they were a elating, dusky orange like a Kennavenn sunset. "Best to give them some slack. We've won."
Hesitantly, Jocovenn took another look at the visible, but still distant, beacons. Letting out a puff of breath, he said, "Okay... a little."
Easing back the throttle, Jocovenn tightened his grip around the flight sticks as the ship lurched. Unseemly noises could be heard emanating from the aft end of the ship.
Jocov looked at Ivannel. "What the janboid was that?"
His tech man was already unstrapping himself and rising. "Doesn't sound good. I'm going to take a look."
Alyssa gave Jocav a nervous glance as Ivannel disappeared through the cockpit hatch. Malfunctions on a raceship could be fatal. The big engines made big bangs.
Without comment, the lithe crew captain settled into the seat, keeping the ship running toward their goal. The golden glow of race beacons pulsed slowly ahead. Jocov sat mesmerised.
He'd done it. Finally. The fame and fortune this race would bring him... Ever since childhood he'd wanted this. The money, the lifestyle, the infamy - flashy aircars, parties, girls...
The ship died on him. Under his eyes, indicators fell downward, status lights blinked out. Nightwind began to drift, still carried forward by the momentum.
Jacov cursed loudly and viciously shook away Alyssa's hand as she tried to calm him. Slamming a hand over the intercom switch, he yelled angrily. "Ive???"
A strained voice reached him. "I'm here Joc. There's a coolant leak down here. I can reactivate the engines..."
"Joc." Urgency permeated Alyssa's call for attention. Her cheek crests flared crimson.
Looking at the monitor to which she pointed, Jocavven swore even more fluently. Another ship was coming up behind them - someone had caught up. "Ive, get those engines on now!"
"Joc, I can't... I can't make..."
He was going to lose it all. Again. Unstrapping himself, Jacov launched toward the engine service room. Alyssa followed him, calling his name and muttering under her breath.
Ivannel was bent over a control panel. He looked up, eyes widening as he saw Jacov's red face. "Joc... I can get in there and fix the problem - we're looking at an overload here. But I'll need to climb inside the access tube. If we start the engines while someone's in there, they'll die."
Alyssa shook her head. "We can't win then. The Jailbird is almost on us."
Jacov stared at them both, indecision clogging his mind. Finally, he sputtered, "Fix it. Alyssa, help him!"
Grabbing the needed tools, both climbed inside the hatch
For fleeting seconds, Jacov stood motionless. Thoughts dwelling on his friends were blotted out by his visions of wealth. Slowly and meticulously, he walked forward and placed a hand over the control switches next to the tube hatch.
He locked it.
Running back the cockpit, he threw himself back into the pilot seat. Setting himself, he waited long seconds as his crew worked to seal the leak that would get him his engines back. Part of him screamed, demanded that he go back and unseal the hatch, let the Jailbird's racecrew take the win. But his desire was too strong. He could make this look like an accident. He could have everything he wanted - and all to himself.
Jacovenn saw his engines start again. He rammed the sticks forward, blasting superheated plasma through the engines, vaporising Ivannel and Alyssa.
They jetted him toward a shallow future.

Rhoda Thu Jan 11 12:30:33 PST 2001

Phosgene and chlorine gas are highly toxic. They are neither organic nor heavy metals. Same with hydrogen sulfide. So I oversplimplified a bit in my previous post. When I worked in chemistry labs in school, the people who always came down with cancer at young ages were natural products people and organic chemists, so organic is not wholesome to my way of thinking.


Rhoda Thu Jan 11 12:21:23 PST 2001


You are absolutely right about the those sentences Mark pointing out not being passive. The difference was made clear to me in high school Latin where sadly I learned more about parts of speech and tenses and such than in English classes.

Passive voice means the subject of the sentence is being acted upon or receiving the action rather than doing the action.


Beth was hit by Jack (passive)
Jack hit Beth (active)

I understand what Mark was trying to say and in essense his meaning is right. To his defense I have heard many times the present and passive progressive form of a verb being referred to as passive. I think what is meant is that their effect is passive in contrast to other forms of the verb. Technically, Americo is absolutely right in saying that these are not passive voice. Also linking or reflective verbs are not passive voice either.

Another thing I have a problem with is hard and fast rules. There are situations where passive voice is appropriate and there are also times where using the present and passive and progressive forms is not such a bad thing. Right off the bat I can think of situations where it is desireable to vary the forms of sentences just to improve the way they read. I agree that, by and large, these forms should be watched out for and should be used in place of stronger wording, but they should never be eliminated altogether.

I had a professor in college who used to mark you down on papers when you used forms of the "to be" verb. I thought it was really stupid of her, but I complied because I wanted my A in the course. You cannot conceive the idiotic, convoluted rings I ran to get away from completely using this verb and this type of sentence, and all of them legal to her way of thinking. Yes I got my A, but I produced a lot of crap to get it.

There are reasons for the guidelines Mark speaks of and they are valid guidelines, but language changes and tastes change, and the beauty of English is that it is flexable enough to allow changes. I only hope it stays that way.

I in no way defend sloppiness or bad writing or ignorance of grammer, but let us be careful not to be too rigid.

Americo, above is perhaps an example of European ways versus American ways. Americans bastardize language. "Organic" is one of my favorite examples. Organic orginally meant carbon-based compounds, not wholesome, healthy, pure and natural as it has come to mean. The term "organic food" is silly. All food is organic no matter how it is grown. Furthermore the most horrible poisons known to mankind other than heavy metals and plutonium are organic. When Americans hear the term "organic" they are overcome with warm, fuzzy feelings. Well it is the same way with passive. We get an emotional response of boredom when things are passive. Passive has come to mean bogged down and slow. "Betty is riding her bicycle" does imply action. But it isn't as crisp and immediate as "Betty rides her bicycle."

Many hugs, Americo and Mark. Between the two of you, we writers of the Notebook will be kept in line. (how is that for passive?)


Rosemary Thu Jan 11 10:43:40 PST 2001

Hello all,

Oooh, the tone of voice on some postings. It had nothing to do with me and I felt sneered at. Actually, if you can fight your way through the attitude, there were some reasonable points made.

I'm confused. You said in your next to last sentence that you were hunting for his address. Didn't you mail a package to him? I'm confused. But, he did jump the gun. There's no excuse in filing so soon especially knowing the post office's reputation. He's a jerk.

I am not usually a hug type of person, but 'bug hugs' sounds irresistible.

I've seen some excellent explanations of active and passive here lately. Personally I go back and try to eleminiate as many of the words ending in *ing* as possible but it is because someone critiqued me on it. I still don't know why but the writing does sound better without them.

Also, a lot of us have a problem with telling if a sentence is passive or just past tense. (complicated sentences) A number of us use the grammer checker to search for passive, but I don't always trust the grammer checker. I've disagreed with it too often.

Sorry if that was all too elementary, but it is an area that seems to bother a lot of us.

I also agree that the best method is to just write your story, then go back and fix grammer problems.

Shorty later, maybe

Debra Thu Jan 11 10:32:00 PST 2001


I did finally see your pictures. You can write a book and be the illsutrator too. Wow!

Okay we are back on the passive thing again. I'm going to try to understand it. Only what does it add to the story when it is in place?


Mary Thu Jan 11 09:58:29 PST 2001

HEATHER: Absolutely. The do or be done unto applies.

Not being able to think of technical stuff while you are trying to be creative does not make you a bad writer. I can't remember all that stuff either. I just write what I think sounds good and then I go back and fix what isn't grammatically correct. Even then I miss lots of things.

I think that is what Mark said he does as well.

Heather Thu Jan 11 09:39:14 PST 2001

Mary - so the DO, or HAVE IT DONE UNTO YOU is still the foundation for active vs. passive.

Past participles aside, I can't write and think about technical crap at the same time. Does that make me a bad writer?

I don't know. You tell me!

Heather (about to pass a world record for being awake with no brain activity for hours....) last time Thu Jan 11 09:35:57 PST 2001

MARY: Half of what you said meant nothing to me. (growl) I guess I should have concentrated more in English instead of math and science. I loved math - hated English - I was the President of our math club in high school and co-captain of the math team. And here I sit 10 years later - writing books - go figure.



Heather Thu Jan 11 09:34:54 PST 2001

I cannot intelligently add to the discussion about passive vs. active voices, since I have had no formal teaching on the matter. I have noticed, however, that in my writing I do not rely on exposition but rather character, action and dialogue to be the backbones and living tissue of the story, and they hold it up well enough. I write (my novel that is) using third person omniscient pov. These points alone may be the reason I utilize active verbs (are there such things, or are words illusion?) instead of passive as much as possible. I find passivity is directly related to exposition. Pounds of it in your story? Pounds of people not reading it... they are sleeping instead.
Then again, I tend to associate the word passive with past tense, rather than inactivity.

So Mark, and Americo; enlighten us with your zingy counter-points, but please keep it civil!
You could learn a lot from each other, and we from you.

(stupid with exhaustion)

Hallee Thu Jan 11 09:32:54 PST 2001

AMERICO: No one reading anything you write here would ever know you don't speak English as a first language. If you came to this Notebook as I think I remember you mentioning in order to practice your English - you've mastered it in the written form.

Also, You answered my question I was typing for Mark...thank you (she was driving the car when...) And, I would be happy to discuss American versus European culture - if I knew anything about European culture, that is. The best I could do would be to give you the American side of things you discuss.

Hallee Thu Jan 11 09:28:53 PST 2001

TINA: The same thing has happened to me before - I have no idea why - but re-save it with a new name, and the size will go down. (Or, it did for me, anyway).


Mary Thu Jan 11 09:24:36 PST 2001

The passive voice includes a be verb and the past participle of a transitive verb(a verb that can take a direct object). The doer of the action either is not named or is named at the end of the sentence in a prepositional phrase beginning with by.

With an active voice verb, the doer of the action is the subject of the sentence.

Its as simple as that.

howard Thu Jan 11 09:15:15 PST 2001

TINA -- Very nice! Mayhap I'll do mine as a poem too!
You might consider the following: (just a thought, since you seemed to be looking for some suggestions)

Frozen memory of moisture
Clinging with delicate desperation
To each twig
Each crumpled leaf.
Forests of white

ALLEIN -- I am finally able to display your pictures -- I like them!

AMERICO -- You certainly have a way with words. Me? I wouldn't slam an outhouse door that hard...

Americo Thu Jan 11 08:19:04 PST 2001


I tried decreasing the resolution of my screen and, for that or some other reason, I can now see the image, buttons and links at the top of this page. Thanks for the URL to the archives anyway.


you wrote:

"Passive Voice is formed by using some variant of 'is.' (are, were, was, be) I was walking to the store. She is driving to the mall. 'Is' and its forms all mean one thing -- simple existence. Not very exciting. Her current state of existence is that she is in a car and she and it are aimed toward the mall.

Rule of thumb for me: write normally, then go back to edit. I look for -ing endings. When I have a word that ends with 'ing' and it's part of the verb, I scratch the is and the -ing.
* He is hitting the ball.
* He hits the ball
* She was driving to work.
* She drove to work."

My comment:

No, Sir. I'm sorry but that is (still) wrong. I noticed months ago that you mix up the passive with the progressive/continuous tenses, making a mess of the active-passive issue. I expected someone speaking your language to correct you. But since no one did it, and you keep confounding people with wrong notions, I've decided to correct you at last, in order that the youngest here go on writing without complexes.

"I was walking to the store" / "She is driving to the mall" / "He is hitting the ball" / "She was driving to work"/ have NOTHING to do with the passive voice. They are merely the continuous or progressive forms of the respective predicates. They cannot be made active unless you want to achieve surrealist results.

NONE of the examples you give as improvements on the "passive" sentences are better or worse than the "wrong" ones. They are simply different sentences, expressing different actions and/or moments, and are as useful or necessary as the sentences you, wrongly, consider bad style. It's obvious that " She was driving to work (when she saw her uncle)" is not the same as "She drove to work (yesterday)", or "He is hitting the ball (now)" cannot be replaced by "He hits a ball every day." All these sentences are correct and cannot be replaced, as they have no exact correspondents. The passive/active issue can only be applied to intransitive /transitive verbs respectively.

Notice that this is not an argument "ad hominem" (not "ad homiNUM" as you stated some time ago). It is only an honest attempt at trying to help this page become the source of information and knowledge it should be, though I'm terribly sorry I have to teach such a basic thing to a former American University poet. (No offense meant, both at your University or at any Usian).

PS. If you answer in an educated, civilized way, I will be able to converse with you about other interesting topics, like European versus American culture, for example -- a topic which I decided to drop once for lack of adequate responses.

Tina Thu Jan 11 08:07:56 PST 2001

Hello all!

Hey, here's a computer question for those here that know of these things.
I save and backup the sections of my story on floppy disks. There are seven sections, plus a variety of extra reference files. Section 2 is about 26,000 words, and 260KB. Section 3 is about 75,000 words, and 700KB. Section 7 is 23,000 words and 1.5 MB! How is this possible? What would make that one file so huge? I can't back it up the disk as it is, and I have no idea why it's so big. No pictures. Nothing wierd in there. Just words, the same as the other sections. Same font, same format. I'm very confused. I haven't talked to my computer guru guy, but I thought I'd ask here first.

Here's my shortie poem. I'm not fully happy with it yet, but I'm not sure why. Can't quite pin-point the reason.

Frozen memory of moisture
Clinging with delicate desperation to each twig
Each crumpled leaf.
Forests of white
Winter foliage dreading the touch of sun
Crystalline trees
Pale echoes of life.
Albino garden
Drained of hue
Speaking of antique photographs
Black and white and grey
Sitting on a wooden mantle
Above a roaring fire
Holding the winter cold at bay.
Jewels that vanish with a touch
From gorgeous pageantry to forgotten thought.
Hoarfrost romps over the hillside
A playground for shining crystals
Painting the land in white.

January 7, 2001
Tina C.

Allein Thu Jan 11 07:20:14 PST 2001

Hi all,
Today's picture is a picture of Alex Cummings from Morningbird Lane. There is also a character description below.

Heather Thu Jan 11 06:56:25 PST 2001

Nice shortie, Ben!
Investing is just gambling on tomorrow instead of the moment.

Where is everyone? Wake up sleepyheads!



Ben Woestenburg Ben Thu Jan 11 02:59:24 PST 2001

I think that email adress should work. I had my daughter working on it for me because I had to leave for work, and haven't checked in to see it yet. I tried to contact some old friends, but they were old names and addresses, and, well, just old I guess. I'm thinking of contributing to the short shorts dialogue, and since I don't know anything about them--like how short is short or whether there's a subject or theme everyone wants to convey--I'll try "Greed" just because I guess it's something we can all relate to in one way or another. I don't know how to write it into he Word program and post it into here, so bear with me and we'll just see what I can come up with; but first I have to get myself another drink of Southern and Seven 'cause it's 2:20 in the morning and I have a drinking problem--I'm thirsty. I don't like to drink water because fish pee in it--and besides, I work on a river and usually have my hands in it most of the night anyway...and yes, it is cold.

"And do you know what makes it all come together?" he said with a stupid grin on his face; "the one thing you can count on as far as everything in this whole mixed up world is concerned?"
"No, but I'm sure you'll tell me," Davis said with a note of boredom creeping into his voice. He was trying to ignore Mike, trying to read the newspaper--or at least pretend he was reading it--thinking maybe Mike would shut up and leave him alone so he could figure out what he was supposed to do. It wasn't working.
"Investing," he said sitting back in his seat and waiting for some sort of an answer.
Davis looked up at him, peeking over his glasses and looking at him like he was expecting him to say something else.
"That's it? Investing? Like, what am I supposed to do with that?"
"You can make a fortune investing in your future," Mike said quickly.
"I don't have anything to invest with," Davis said with a dismissive tone.
"It only takes a little bit."
"I know."
"Then why don't you?"
Davis looked down at his newspaper and shook his head slowly.
"I couldn't be bothered. I tried it once, and lost my shirt. Lost everything I had. It wasn't much to begin with, but it was everything. I had to sell my car to catch up."
"So? So I lost everything," he said, looking at him and shrugging his shoulders, wondering which part of it Mike didn't get.
"You don't think I haven't lost everything more than once or twice?"
"It hadn't really crossed my mind."
"I lost two houses over the years. And now I own five."
"I'm happy for you," Davis said, looking back down at his newspaper.
"You're still renting, aren't you?"
"And?" Davis asked, looking up sharply.
"Nothing. I was just asking."
"We're happy where we are. It's a nice neighbourhood. The kids have friends there, and the school's right around the corner."
"But you're paying someone else's mortgage," Mike pointed out.
"I pay six hundred bucks a month for rent. You can't beat that. It's a three bedroom basement suite with a fireplace. Why would I want to leave that? I like the people living upstairs, and the landlord's great. He even comes in and cuts the grass. I don't have to do anything."
"What do you spend your money on?"
"We like to entertain. We have lobster once a month, shrimp salad, and steak every Tuesday. We go on vacations, and the kids have nice clothes. What's wrong with that? You think I should give it all up just to invest my money in some hairbrained idea of yours that's supposed to make me double--or triple--my money back? I don't care if it makes five times the money back. I like my little piece of the world just fine. What do you think my wife would say if I told her I took all of our savings and invested it with you? She'd leave me--just take the kids and go. How does your wife put up with all these get rich quick shemes of yours?"
"My wife? She left right after I lost my first house. And good riddance I say to her too. I'm better off without her."
"I can tell," Davis said with a slow smile.
Okay there it is. My first attempt at giving something to this group in more years than I can remember--or maybe care to remember. Feel free to say whatever you want about it, because I'm not the sort of person who lets critcism bother him--good or bad. In fact, I'm not even going to re-read it. I'm just going to post it, shut the computer off, and go to bed after I finish my drink--I want to get to it before the ice melts.

Heather Thu Jan 11 02:12:02 PST 2001

I'd really like to get to the part of 'writerhood' that includes papering my walls in rejection slips. ALL RIGHT, Teekay! (I know, it doesn't feel like something to be congratulated about, but you are already on the high road to being the published writer you want to be!) Just think - your ss ms' will soon find the way to an editor that WILL publish them. I know it.

I got some stellar editing and revision time in tonight - the first night I've been able to concentrate this week, so it felt good.

Jerry, I think things will work out just fine. Hang in there! The guy who can straighten everything out for you will be in tomorrow. The idiot at the receiving end will get what he's supposed to: Parcel Karma. Maybe he'll receive a pail full of cloth diapers intended for the couple next door! ;o)


Teekay Thu Jan 11 00:03:04 PST 2001

ALLEIN: I am able to access the pictures fine for 'morning glory lane'.
I don't think you'll be sued for using the name Molly Jones either. :-)
It just made me remember my favourite show that's all.

MARY: You poor thing. I hate not being able to sleep. it must be one of the most frustrating things. My past week has been full of sleepless nights.

till the morrow then.

Allein Wed Jan 10 22:40:18 PST 2001

Teekay - Did the pictures show up on the Morningbird Lane character profiles? They do for me, but I'm not sure how they're working for anyone else. Anyway, for the next two weeks or so the Pictures of the Day will all be Morningbird Lane and if after that my boyfriend still hasn't gotten my pictures done and to me, then I'll be forced to suspend it for a while.
I suppose I've never seen the show you're talking about, however I doubt that they would sue me for that since Molly is a popular girls name and Jones is one of the most common names in the world. Oh well.
I like Archie Comics too - I always liked Betty, 'cause she's blonde. :)

Mary Wed Jan 10 22:32:45 PST 2001

Another sleepless night, so you must all suffer through another post from me.

TEEKAY: I wish I had a room papered with rejection slips. At least it would look like I was working.

JERRY: That really stinks.

MARK: Good to see you. I have missed you.

Teekay Wed Jan 10 22:05:12 PST 2001

Hi everyone.

MARK: Thanks. And yes I did. What a wonderful memory you have.

ALLEIN: Thanks for the picture. It was my first by email. I tried the link you posted and I still got angelfire and then I tried again and got through?!?!?!
Perhaps when you've completed your dental nurse course you should do a graphic arts course. Imagine working for 'Archie Comics'. I used to love reading those when I was a kid.
Took a look at 'morning glory lane'. Molly Jones was the name of a character in a TV series that used to be on here. I loved that show soooo much. I wish they'd do replays.

HEATHER: Your story was wonderful. I thought you were putting it in as an example.
Don't be embarrassed. If it makes you feel any better, it is Thursday here, so, if you hadn't said anything, I would never have known. :-)

JERRY: Can't you threaten the guy with a slander suit?

Got my first magazine rejection of the year today. I'm going to save them all and paper my walls with them too.

Have a great day everybody.
(((((((((((((((((group hugs too)))))))))))))))))))))0

Mark Wed Jan 10 21:42:47 PST 2001

My, my. This here NoteBook group here sure can get stuck on an idea. I don't want to mention any three-letter words. I will mention, though, that I've been known to hang a mistletoe off my back belt loop.

Saw 'Magnificent Seven' on TV last week. This week rented 'Seven Samurai'. Marvelous film. You can see where the cowboy movie got its ideas. The James Coburn cowboy knifeman comes directly from the Samurai swordsman. Highly recommended, comes in Japanese with subtitles.

The main character, the Yul Brenner cowboy, is more philosophic as a Samurai. The Samurai puts down cowardace in the ranks by raising his sword and chasing the weak ones back to their posts. He tells them, "He who thinks only of himself will destroy himself, too." Yul Brenner raises his gun and threatens, "I'll kill the next man who talks about quitting."

It's after midnight. That means it's Thursday. Some time today I have to get a shorty up. I'll sleep on it; see if I wake up with something in either a Western or Oriental flavor.

TEEKAY -- active I hit the ball. passive The ball was hit by me. It's quite basic. Do or Be-Done-Unto.

In most stories, articles, or essays a Passive Voice will put your readers to sleep. Passive is used in order to distance yourself from some action. Frankly, no one wants to hear about it from an observer who keeps an arm's length away from the real issues.

Passive Voice is formed by using some variant of 'is.' (are, were, was, be) I was walking to the store. She is driving to the mall. 'Is' and its forms all mean one thing -- simple existence. Not very exciting. Her current state of existence is that she is in a car and she and it are aimed toward the mall.

Some passive voice works. "Fanny Hill," for instance. Her entire story is told in Passive while people around her are related in Active. This works subliminally to enforce the idea that Fanny is a victim. She never *does* anything, she is forever *done unto*. When you get a feel (hmm, ever had a feel?) for how a story goes and how to make it active, then use the passive constructions. Sometimes they work; they work best when used sparingly.

Rule of thumb for me: write normally, then go back to edit. I look for -ing endings. When I have a word that ends with 'ing' and it's part of the verb, I scratch the is and the -ing.

A minor, but still important, effect of the above changes is that the modified sentences contain fewer words. Sure 5 words become 4, doesn't seem like much. But short sentences are more likely to get read than long ones. Didn't you ask me to break up long blocks of text in a post last year?
Jerry Wed Jan 10 20:46:07 PST 2001

What's that you say, what goes up must also come down - no words were ever more true. I was very happy with the past few days, I even sold an old Modem that had been laying in the back room for over a year waiting to leave. Trouble is that I sold that the day after Christmas on EBAY. Well the fellow I sold it to down in Tallahassee Fl. sent me an Email on Monday that it had yet to arrive. Now I sent it insured priority mail so it should have been there. I told him I would go to the PO and find out what was the trouble. I went down there on Monday and the Postmaster was on a well needed vacation, trouble is that he is the only one there who can start a trace. He will be back tomorrow. So I send this fellow that information and he has the unmitigated Gall to file a FRAUD complaint against me on EBAY! I am not real happy with him at this moment, and the computers between here and Florida are smoking from the words that entered from my computer in search of his address. Well I guess it takes all kinds.


Mary Wed Jan 10 20:33:51 PST 2001

TINA: !!!I am writing your email right now!!! I swear I am. It is only 11:40..and I have 20 more minutes before my deadline of getting this back to you TODAY! ((HUGS BACK))

Mary Wed Jan 10 20:32:19 PST 2001

VIV: I sent you an email earlier today about shortie night, but it was sent back to me stating that your email is an inactive account. Just thought you might want to know that if you are having problems with getting mail from others. Heather pretty much said everything here that was in the email (big smiles to Heather), so I am not worried about sending it again, but you might want to check that out. See ya and WELCOME!

Tina Wed Jan 10 20:32:01 PST 2001

Hello all!

Don't worry Heather, I've been a day ahead of myself all day long.

Heyo, I just posted the second section of my story 'Shadow of the Freeborn' in the workbook. A big long piece in two chunks. Sorry to take up so much room but I was just so excited to get it done enough to share!
It stands alone from the other stuff I've posted... almost. There are a few references to things in the first section, and I don't explain/introduce the charcters, 'cause this is actually about 150 pages into the story. As before, I'm anxious for any comments. Any at all. Please. :-}

((((((((Me joining in group HUG))))))))

Mary Wed Jan 10 20:21:36 PST 2001

Big Bug Hugs for Heather and her motivation!! ((squeezzzee))

Jack Wed Jan 10 20:02:57 PST 2001

p.s. Also noticed Americo problem with getting to the archives. Go to

Jack Wed Jan 10 20:01:41 PST 2001

I just noticed that someone asked about the fixed background. Yes, it is a feature of Internet Explorer that you can specify that the background becomes fixed. Of course, you likely worked that out already. Take care everyone.

HOLY GADS I AM A MESS (me again) Wed Jan 10 19:38:03 PST 2001

Good gads a-gracious. I knew it was Wednesday when I sat down!
Well, that's my shortie anyway. I may post another tomorrow, just for theheckofit.

Heather (shitshitshit how emBAREASSing)

Heather (blushing) Wed Jan 10 19:33:45 PST 2001

Hey Jerry, I know exactly what you were referring to when you mentioned that typos slip by until you hit that darned-blasted post button! Notice, to my shagrin, the little typo in my last post.
BUG HUGS - now that's a new one. Don't think I'll get too friendly with the insects in the house. I keep crickets for feeding my chameleon! YUCK. They aren't really a kissable kind of insect. Ladybugs, maybe.
Bumblebees - those big fat tug-o-luggy bees - yeah, I could just smooch them too. But crickets? Uh-uh. Spare me the paper bag. We also have a lot of house-spiders in the winter, free-loading along. Cosimo the chameleon takes care of them with one flick of his whipper-snap tongue. I find it a secret sort of satisfaction, letting the chameleon eat those nasty spiders. One bit me a few weeks ago and the bite is still bulbous and itchy! GRRRR.
There's your stinging nip RIGHT BACK ATCHA, arachnid foes!


Gee, I'm chatty tonight. I must be avoiding something.
Yes, I'm avoiding hearing any news about my grandma. I'll admit it.


Heather Wed Jan 10 19:25:52 PST 2001

Not really a shortie on GREED, but there's a hint in there.

P.S. Viv - feel free to write a shortie about anything you like - the topic is just a suggestion for those who would like to use it.

Best wishes to Howard!

Ok, Ok, no one is allowed to feel left out:
((((((((( ))))))))))))
:o> Heather

Heather Wed Jan 10 19:18:47 PST 2001

Viv - to get a 'feel' for what shortie nights are all about, just go into the archives from the drop-down menu at the top (put your mouse arrow on the blue rectangle that says 'Writer's Notebook') and look up the past month or so of Thursdays. If it's easier, type in the word 'shortie' in the search spot, and that should give you access to a bunch because most people write things such as: "Here's my shortie for this week" at the top of their posts!

OR you could just 'wing it'. There's no end to the wonders that 'winging it' has produced here, among our illustrious and ingenius fellow notebookers.

And without further ado, (adieu?) here's my shortie for tonight:


"What I cannot provide, you must have faith that the Lord will provide."

Freida glared at the Priest, sitting in the remains of what must have been a burlap sack, the arm and head holes cut out with the same dull razor used to shave his head, fraying jute twine his belt. What kind of help is some sack wearing preacher, anyway? Mannah doesn't just fall from heaven these days. And if it did, she wouldn't be thanking faith for it. "God doesn't give a damn whether I have or have not, and he certainly isn't going to mind if we all starve," she spat, indignant.

"My child, the Lord does care. But you must also care enough to show Him that you Trust Him."

"That's easy for you to say! You've got the whole village showering you with gifts! Why don't you give them to me? You're already fat from gorging, and I can't feed my family on trust!"

"But you can. Trust that you will be provided with what you need. Do not ask for more than what you need, and you shall be fulfilled and happy." The Priest smiled up at the woman even as she towered over him in the dust, her hands jutting into bony hips.

"Give your alms to me, and I'll show you happy!"

"It makes you happy to take from others, so that you may have and they have not? The Lord takes from no one in order that another may be fulfilled. Follow His example."

"Screw your example!" Freida shouted, stomping off.

"Lord, Bless her," The young Priest called after her.
He had already delivered enough alms to last a week at her doorstep that morning, saving nothing for himself.

"If only she knew what a never-ending source the Lord is," he said with a sigh, rising to walk back to his meager hut. At his simple doorway, he was pleasantly surprised by a loaf of bread and several ears of corn.

Freida stomped the rest of the way to her own small home. As she was about to storm through the doorway she glanced down at the stone doorstep. On it sat a tiny clay bowl, and inside the bowl lay one miniscule mustard seed.


Wed Jan 10 16:48:36 PST 2001

Wed Jan 10 16:48:29 PST 2001

Allein Wed Jan 10 16:25:54 PST 2001

Richard - I agree with some of your comments - especially about the title. "Mali and Azol" is just the working title right now (it was the first one I came up with when I began the story) but if I were to publish it, I would change it to something else, though I'm not sure what.
Keep up the good work on your novel! :)

Jerry Wed Jan 10 15:26:21 PST 2001

Me again, seems I just can't shut up today, I had to add, yesterday a lady came and bought one of four old computers that were taking up space in the spare bedroom. Well this being a small town and all, the other three sold today! Seems the lady liked hers so much she told her friends, who wanted one too. Neat to have that happen, especially since I advertised them in the local free shopper last year, never got a call on them, I advertised them in the local newspaper, never got a call. I even advertised them on the local radio station, never got a call. Three months ago I took them down to the second hand shop, where they gathered dust for three months, never even got looked at. Then my sister sold her old computer by putting up a poster in the local grocery store. I followed her lead, yesterday was the first day the sign went up in the store.

Anyhow, the wife is happy to have the spare room empty again, and my wallet is filled to the brim with new bills. Happy days are here again!


Jerry Wed Jan 10 15:18:43 PST 2001

Deb - The name of the cafe was made up, the town of Thunder Hawk does exist, but it has no stores anymore, just one gas station. The bar closed down about twenty years ago, and most of the good folks moved here to Lemmon, just nine miles west. Our mailing address was Thunder Hawk when we lived on the farm where I grew up, so I tossed it in. I used to spend lots of time drinking coffee when I was on the force, learned more about what was going on in town at coffee in the local cafe then I did any other way. Everything gets discussed over coffee, and most small town cafes are the same, a gathering place for the community and gossip center. I enjoyed writing that one it just seemed to come together, glad you enjoyed it.

I did see the typos after I posted the dang thing, funny how they hide until you push that magic button at the bottom of the form, then they seemed to be highlighted when you go to read it on the page.


Jerry Wed Jan 10 15:11:32 PST 2001

Viv - every Thursday it is shorty night, we all try and write a very short shorty and post right here. It has been great fun so far and some great shortys have come. I guess there is no regulation as far as size, just short shorty. I have tried several times, and failed to get them short enough, so posted them in the workbook. Please feel free to jump right in.


Viv Wed Jan 10 14:37:27 PST 2001

Hey, I like the idea of the shortie called Greed. Could someone explain where to post it and how short it must be?
I'm still new to the site! Thanks Viv

Rhoda Wed Jan 10 14:35:47 PST 2001


It worked! I was impressed with the pictures. They were great. You are a very talented artist.


Richard Wed Jan 10 13:28:19 PST 2001

Allein: I've posted some comments about 'Mali & Azol' on the Critique page...

Hmm... greed... doh! Can't say 'here's one I made earlier'...

Have to think about this one.

*Turns to navigation*

Mr., uh, fictional character, plot a course for sleep and bring us back to these message boards in time to compose a story on greed!

Mr. Fictional Character: Aye sarrr!

Allein Wed Jan 10 12:55:57 PST 2001

Rhoda, Debra - Maybe you could try going to the drawing section and clicking on the links there. Or, I could add you to the drawing of the day list.

Rhoda Wed Jan 10 12:05:39 PST 2001


I cannot see those pictures either. I just see an angelfire logo.


Debra Wed Jan 10 08:49:32 PST 2001


I want you to know I have never commented on your pictures because I can't bring them up. I have tried on each new one.



Allein Wed Jan 10 07:25:47 PST 2001

Hi all,
Today's picture is a cute one of Tanek and bubbles. :)

Mary again Wed Jan 10 07:25:28 PST 2001

Spent some time in the Workbook last night and I must say there is some good reading in there.

JERRY: I thought that "What Goes Around" was all about our little town of Andover here. We have a Bob and Lois' two blocks off main street. That really is the name of the place. It is a newsroom where we can buy candy, newspapers and wait in line behind a bunch of blue-hairs to play the lottery. All the good gossip is there. About a mile away is the cemetery where, yes...they have a building in which they store coffins to be buried when the ground thaws. Your characters had realistic dialogue and sounded just like some of the people I know here. Digger's name in our town is John Parker. Very believable story (up to the comical ending) and I liked the suspense you built up with the doctor's office scene.

I was up late last night reading and at the beginning of each one I would say to myself that I would go to bed at the end, but you kept sucking me in with your beginning few lines until I had read them all.

HALLEE: Read your contest entry too. It is getting harder and harder to come up with original time travel ideas for romances, but you pulled it off. I liked the way you revealed what happened by the differences in the way she dressed. It was a good example of showing not telling, and not writing down to the reader. I will leave you a few lines on the ss critique page later.

Mary Wed Jan 10 06:55:20 PST 2001

HALLEE: I think that having a theme is a great idea for some of us. Sooo...every week(starting with this one) I will post an optional theme for shorty night. Anyone who wants to use it can.....anyone who doesn't want to, of course, doesn't have to.

This week's shortie theme: GREED

Richard Wed Jan 10 06:37:14 PST 2001


Now, if only starwars rpg would oblige...

Yep, I'll post a shortie tomorrow. Now I just have to decide if I'm going to cheat and use one I wrote earlier :p

Debra Wed Jan 10 05:37:51 PST 2001

Okay, thanks. I spend a lot of time with kids remembering every move and word checking and re-checking if there is anything I did which result in my paying for and being blamed in a counselor's office at a latter date.

I wonder what syndrome that has created?

Ass is good. I'll jot that down. Well I didn't mean. No I won't start that again. Ass is good.

I'm glad I didn't offend anyone.


Hallee Wed Jan 10 01:49:10 PST 2001

Hey everyone.

Wow - I've never posted a, "hey - I need information" question. Thank you so much.

And I'd like to edit my previous post, fourth paragraph, and add the words, "RHODA & TINA are awesome!" I got my email from her just hours after posting the post, and I felt terrible that I jumped the gun.

TEEKAY: Back in third grade, I remember reading a story - I can even remember where I was standing in the classroom when I read this story - very weird because this was 20 years ago. It was one of those free afternoons, where the teacher just lets you work on whatever you want to work on, and I went over to the corner and read from this short story book. ANYHOOT, the title of the short story was "The Thing Snatchers" - it was about these little things that live everywhere and they take things, hide them, and put them back in the first place you looked for them. I know I have them in my home - haha. Glad you found your book.

CHRISTI: Hi there.

MARY: Hey. I, um, can never think of any shorty shorts to write. Maybe if we're given a theme??? (I have thousands of books in my head - short stories? nope - none - the short story contests are given a theme) (clearing throat and blushing a little)

DEBRA: I'm afraid that I'm mortally offended. This will be my last post, all, for I cannot possibly frequent a place where a grown woman uses the word "ass".

HOWARD: ((Double big hugs for you)) What are the details on your brother in law's job? How long has he worked there - does he get paid hourly or salary? Does he need help formatting and typing a resume so he can tell them to stick it? (I would say up their ass, but see my previous post to Debra).

RICHARD: That sucks.

JERRY: I'm so glad that you're over it. It came out so clearly in your posts, and I was a little worried about you.

Okay - off to writer writer land - kisses all - Happy Wednesday.


Tina Tue Jan 9 23:16:09 PST 2001

Jerry, I just have to tell you that I think I'll be laughing for days. 'What Goes Around' is a big-time keeper. Love it.
Found a couple typos, though. You want I should send 'em to ya?


Christi Tue Jan 9 22:29:39 PST 2001

No time, no time! Okay, I must take a moment to breathe. Here goes, albeit a bit quickly.

HEATHER, Is it too late to say how utterly hilarious your post was? Thanks for the laugh, it was right when I needed a good one. I copied and pasted it for future laughs.

As for your other post, I was hoping that no news was good news and am extremely sorry that's not the case. Much love to you and your Grandma and Grandpa. May her journey be brilliant.


TEEKAY, Kisses and hugs right back at'cha.
Whew, remind me NOT to tell you about any of my dreams. I might be dubbed a psycho! Hee hee haw haw ha ha ho ho!
Seriously though, your analysis was great! I wish I could do that, but I can't disconect from my dreams enough to interpret them. Also I'm very lazy.

JACK, Aren't games terrible that way? I swear, if I could get back all the time I spent playing solitare and other games I'd ... well ... to be honest I 'd probably play more games. ;0)

JOAN, Hi, and welcome! If you have the dialogue for your novel and the characters are fully developed then, pray tell, why are you not committing it to paper? Just curious. Aproach avoidance?

CAPTAIN KIRK, Your Priceline stocks have plummeted (sp?) and your commercials suck. The only thing I can recommend is that you peddle those girdles you're so fond of wearing.

Howdy, ASHLING! Good to see you!

DO'H RAW, Big {{{HUGS}}}

Hee hee! Hey, DEBRA, I'd really like to know what the three letter word for buttoks is, since there's no such word! ;) Cheer up, you can just tell me to kiss your ass. (!!)

THANK YOU, JERRY! I can't wait to check out the link you posted.

TEEKAY AGAIN, HI! I felt the same way reading the Harry Potter books. There was something missing, and I'll just bet it was that extra super-powered imagination I had as a kid. I kept taking the story apart and wondering why she didn't add more details, and then I realized that kids add their own details.

Falling asleep at the keyboard. Promised a quick post and didn't follow through ... so sue me ....... zzzzzzzzzzzzz.


Teekay jtman Tue Jan 9 21:24:55 PST 2001

Hi All,

HALLEE: Thankyou for the compliment.

ALLEIN: Same with todays picture. Strange, I used to be able to get them just fine.
I've attached my email. Thanks.

HOWARD: Gosh! where does your brother in law work??
I forgot to sign my name on the comment I mad to your theme stream story, but you knew it was me right??
Great story BTW.

DEBRA: Are you serious???

RHODA: Have sent you an email with those chapters, let me know if you don't get them. Please send me some more.

MARK: Do you think you could give a bit of a lecture on active and passive voice, pleeeaasssseee?

Righto, I know you're all sick of hearing about it and I wasn't going to mention it again, but last night I found it. Yes I did, and I know that there are those of you who will be sleeping more soundly in your beds because of it.
I was looking for something else and ta daaaah, there it was. In one of the first places I'd already looked. I just didn't see it for all the other folders, pads and pieces of paper there.

I finally found two Harry Potter books at the library yesterday. I'm reading the prisoner of Azkaban at the moment and I know that I would have adored this book as a kid. I'm enjoying it now, but kids are able to just sink into this sort of book and lose themselves.

Jerry Tue Jan 9 21:11:09 PST 2001

Dang, it works for me, I wonder why?

gariess Tue Jan 9 21:02:10 PST 2001


You are correct to the extent that a ventilator is a more serious deal than a respirator, I can’t recall what defines the difference in use or purpose, but many more patients are on respirators than ventilators. Ventilators require more complex operation as well, and some of the smaller hospitals are not equipped with them.


Your brother-in-law’s employer sounds like he’s looking forward to four happy years. Perhaps the nation will return to the days of indentured servitude so that he can have
himself an absolute orgasm. Too bad we just lost out on a Labor Secretary who opposes minimum wage increases, but there should be no shortage of potential oppressors who would serve in her stead.


You certainly didn’t offend me. I actually prefer your synonym to "buttocks.’ Buttocks conjures an impression of something very animal to me. It’s as if someone were referring to livestock. Frankly, if I must contemplate "ass," I would like it to be, at least, human if not female.


Tue Jan 9 18:35:35 PST 2001

JERRY: Unfortunately, your link doesnt work. I tried copy/pasting it, including the http//. part, but still no luck.

Mary Tue Jan 9 18:32:18 PST 2001

JERRY: I have exactly the same effects here as you do. Background doesn't scroll which doesn't really matter, but all the links appear and work at the top of the page. I only mentioned it because I had never picked up on it before and wondered if it had always been like that.

Shortie Night Thursday! excuses this week. ;-)

HOWARD: Went to themestream today and checked you out. Didn't leave a note because I keep getting disconnected from my server (tres irritating). But I did want to let you know I was there, and really liked what I saw. I will go back soon and give it the time it deserves. Hugs.

TINA: You will be getting a nice long email from me tomorrow. Don't's all good stuff. (Hope you enjoy EG)

Jerry Ericsson Tue Jan 9 18:29:32 PST 2001

Ok, now I am going to try something COMPLETLY DIFFERENT. The above is a link to an online book by Mr. Card, widely known amongst we notebookers as the author of Enders Game. It is his collection of short stories. I have not yet finished it, but thought it worth sharing.


Heather Tue Jan 9 14:49:22 PST 2001

Hallee, thanks for the hugs.
A breathing apparatus question, huh?
Well, let's put it this way: if the person/character in question has a living will that states they do not wish any tubes to be inserted into their person in case of hospitalization, then those orders must be followed under normal circumstances. In my grandmother's circumstance, her immediate family (my dad and one of my aunts and my grandfather) all decided to allow the nursing staff to insert an IV feeding tube for a short period, hoping that the effects of the stroke would stabalize. Today my other aunt and everyone decided that since she isn't stabalizing anyway, that her wishes would be followed. The IV tube was removed today, so she is no longer able to get any nutrients. She can't swallow because of the effects of the stroke.

In the case of a coma, sometimes the patient needs help breathing, sometimes they don't. It depends upon the injuries sustained. If there is no living will, the hospital would not remove the tubing. It would be considered assisted suicide. There is also the DNR order to consider. It means 'Do Not Rescusitate', and basically means that if a patient goes into defib, no rescusutative measures would be taken. DNR also means that if the patient chokes you can't do the heimlich manouver. You have to watch them die. DNR orders are signed by immediate family if the patient is unable to understand, and if there are any. Otherwise it's left up to a living will, which must have been in place by the person before any medical attention was necessary. DNR's are not usually heard of unless the patient is terminally ill or if death is in most cases very close at hand.
Sometimes the DNR order will be signed by the patient themselves if they are able. I don't think this will apply, but there may be stipulations or conditions in a DNR that are acceptable in the U.S. that aren't in Canada. This may include whether or not breathing tubes will be removed after a certain period of time if there is no patient recovery. I don't know about this for certain, you may want to talk to your Doctor and just tell him or her you are researching the topic for your novel. I'm sure he or she will give you that information! You might also be able to interview a nurse in palliative care, or chronic care units at your local hospital. I have only had a few years of experience with people under DNR orders, and things have probably changed since then. I have never worked with patients in intensive care/comas. have probably changed since then. I have never worked with patients in intensive care/comas.



P.S. Debra: if I took offense to you writing the word ass, then I'd surely be a hypocrite for writing shit, shitter and shittee!

Debra Tue Jan 9 14:09:44 PST 2001


I hope I didn't offend anyone when I used the three letter word for buttoks?


Jerry Ericsson Tue Jan 9 14:09:36 PST 2001

Howard - CHEER UP Dang it!

I know the feeling, I was in that place not too long ago, when the temps were way below 0, wife was sick, had to run around the state taking her to one Dr and the next. HOWEVER, things do change, the temp the last few days has been around +50 F the wife is feeling better, her blood pressure is going down a bit, with the knowledge that her last day of work is this Friday. I sold two used computers that have been laying in the back bedroom for around a year, so like the man said, what goes around comes around. It can't stay bad forever.


howard Tue Jan 9 12:48:35 PST 2001

Thanks for the nice comments on my articles on Themestream! I appreciate it!

Not much time for anything in the past few days. Too many folks getting sick, passing on, needing help, etc etc. Heather's right about knowing more who have gone on than are left here.

Been feeling a little bummed lately. Maybe it's just cabin fever, winter depression, whatever, but it's tough to shake. Little things really get to me.

Right now I'm having a tough time keeping my cool. My brother-in-law's mother passed away on Saturday, and the calling hours and funeral were yesterday and today. His employer said "that's too bad, but we don't pay you if you're not here, no time off for funerals." They wouldn't even give him a day of vacation, because "vacation doesn't start until June." They almost fired him for taking the day off for my dad's funeral last year. grrrr! I think we're going to write a long letter to the labor board.

Tue Jan 9 12:35:51 PST 2001

Jerry Ericsson Tue Jan 9 11:47:50 PST 2001

Gee - the background does not scroll on my computer, yet the text does, and that is fine with me, I have no problem seeing the graphics at the top of the page either, in fact I like the new look. Maybe it is a PC v Mac problem or something?


Allein Tue Jan 9 09:24:49 PST 2001

Teekay - perhaps if you e-mail me with your e-mail address, I could send the last drawing as an attachment.

Today's drawing is of the Princesses and Kawaumi's baby brother, Akete.

Tina Tue Jan 9 08:39:01 PST 2001

Hello all!

Uhm, that means that MARK is AWESOME too, since he helped me figure it out. And I don't always 'get' the whole passive/active thingy, but I figure that if there is any other word that can replace 'was/were' - especially a verb - then use it.

What were the injuries in the car accident? I don't think put a person on a ventilator just for being unconcious. Is it a coma? Or are they paralized? My personal experience says that they wouldn't. A little girl I know was in a coma for five months, and they never even thought about pulling life support. She came out of it eventually, and after four year of all sorts of intense therapy, she's doing great.

My muse is back, in a big way! I have so many ideas, I can't get them down in my available writing hours. I love it! Hope she sticks around awhile. :-)


Richard Tue Jan 9 08:37:18 PST 2001


The last few days I have had an EXTREMELY difficult time getting onto various websites which won't load properly. The Notebook loads about a quarter of the messages and then stops, and I couldn't reach the post box. The same thing is happening on one more site - both of these ones I visit all the time GRRRR!!!

Anyway, gotten through to here, but STILL is taking an age...

I've written three very short stories. In one night actually, I just picked up my notebook and pen on my bedside table and wrote one. Then I put them back, and picked them up again. Then I spent an hour trying to get to sleep, and picked them up again and started writing... then I finally went to sleep :p

I got my mark back for my English story 'Diary 2000' and got Level 8. The teacher's comment was 'I can't really suggest anything for improvement'. Rather than 'yay!' my reaction was 'DOH!' because I actually want people to find stuff wrong with it so I can correct it - I know my stories aren't perfect and CAN be improved...

Load... please load... stupid site... load... <:(

gariess Tue Jan 9 08:19:12 PST 2001

Just to put in my two cents on the page changes, the background scrolls with the text on my screen, and everything shows at the top. I am able to use all the links. I have no idea why I am so lucky. Of course, it could just be a Libite... load... <:(

gariess Tue Jan 9 08:19:12 PST 2001

Just to put in my two cents on the page changes, the background scrolls with the text on my screen, and everything shows at the top. I am able to use all the links. I have no idea why I am so lucky. Of course, it could just be a Liberal conspiracy.


Americo Tue Jan 9 07:47:03 PST 2001


I cannot see the pictures on top again, which means I cannot have access to the links and the archives. This sort of problems never occurred before you changed the graphics. Oh, well.

Mary Tue Jan 9 06:49:50 PST 2001

HALLEE: Ashling is right on the money and the name of one of the paralyzing drugs is Pavulon. My son took it for a little while. It is a drug that paralyzes you, but you still have sensation. Quite terrifying actually. To feel everything done to you and not be able to move. The whole time he was on it, he was only weeks old, and we weren't allowed to touch him. It would have caused a panic in him and overstressed his lungs. He was on a ventilator and had to remain immobile.

If you are asking about that for a character(which I am assuming you are), I hope that helps.

Ashling Tue Jan 9 05:44:55 PST 2001

Sorry, forgot to post my address.

Tue Jan 9 05:43:28 PST 2001

Hi everyone.

Hallee: Why did the doctors put a breathing tube in your character's throat? My brother had massive swelling from a gunshot wound to the head. The docs didn't want him moving at all, so they injected him with a medication that paralyzed all his muscles--which made him unable to breathe on his own. Hence, the breathing tube stayed in for a week or so. When they stopped giving him the drug, they took the tube out. Does this help at all?

Happy Writing,

Hallee Tue Jan 9 01:43:09 PST 2001

HEATHER: (((BIG HUGS))) I'm so sorry.

GARIESS: I shall toast my next Coke..around 11:15 EST today to you. I shall drink to your health and prosterity (smile)

TEEKAY: You go girl - get the submissions out! Your short stories are wonderful!

And just so that all of you know - TINA IS AWESOME. Even though I've read countless countless (still counting) things on active and passive voice and STILL don't understand it - she does and maybe I'll win this love scene contest after all. (just kidding about the winning part - but if I do it's 'cause of Tina).

JOAN: Perhaps you could record audibly (is that correct?) your stories and have one of your kids or your husband or your best friend type it out for you? They also now have the software that types what you's a thought.

Oh Yeah - HEATHER: If someone is in a car accident - still hasn't regained consciousness after a few days just from slight swelling in the brain that will go away - would they remove the breathing tube? Do you know that at all? If not - do you know a medical answer questions website or anything?


Back to it now (not the taxes - that can wait - we still have 4 months to do them - hahaha)-


Mary just noticed something Tue Jan 9 00:07:02 PST 2001

JACK: Before you changed the background on the Notebook...when I scrolled text the background scrolled too. Now the text scrolls over a stationary background. Am I seeing that right? Or are my eyes crazy from reading online tax forms for the past four hours. I didn't notice it until today. Well THAT has to be one of the least important questions anyone has ever asked you.

Mary Tue Jan 9 00:03:00 PST 2001

TAXES: Aaaargh!

Teekay Mon Jan 8 23:38:22 PST 2001

Yes, I'm back again. 3 seperate times in one day.

HEATHER: Rant? Moi? Why yes, I do believe I have been ranting of late. I think I'm living the past year all over again and I seem to be repeating myself heaps too, and I don't mean gas, although it may be just as offesive.
But, my dear, no more shall you hear me mention that dirty word n*tebook again. Unless I find it. I have finished my ghostie (finally) and now I just have to let it sit and mulch a day or so before I go over it.

ALLEIN: Guess what. That link just gives me a blank page. Sorry. :-&

Well you know how I told you all that I'd spent most of the morning on the phone ringing around for fiction guidelines the other day? Well, they all responded. One even rang back, twice. I was suprised!
Right, that's definitely it. You won't see me again until at least tomorrow.


Heather Mon Jan 8 22:49:34 PST 2001

From what I have read of the Edgar Cayce story and transcripts, (The Sleeping Prophet, Many Mansions, etc.)Coca Cola is actually beneficial for a surprising array of annoying bodily afflictions. (I might be able to track down the list, as memory fails) BUT the only thing about the Cola that Cayce warned against was drinking it carbonated. He advised on quite a few occasions to take it in watered down syrup form (but not the old form with cocaine in it!)

And now I have aroused my own curiosity, and must go a-looking for just what ailments required cola dosages.

Joan, I have no idea how to help you at the moment, but I will think on it and see what I can come up with. If you aren't ready to share with us your particular predicament (ie: the medical aspects) then certainly feel free to rant here as much as you like. We all rant on occasion. Especially when we misplace a notebook, right Teek?

Now, Teekay, have you looked in the most unusual spot you can think of, such as in a boot you haven't worn in a year, behind the plumbing of your sink, or in your sock drawer?
Try and think of the last place you saw it, and if it's still not there, interrogate your family members and the dog. They MUST know where it's hiding.

I haven't progressed with my Phantasium story or my novel today, as my grandmother very likely won't pull through this stroke. My grandfather seems to think she'll pass away on Wednesday, and I wouldn't doubt that he knows. He may not be long in following her, as he is always the gentleman. He has lived this long in poor health, I'm sure, just to be certain she wouldn't be the one left alone. When he's certain she's made a safe passage, he will join her.

Pretty soon there will be more people I love dead than alive. And I'm not quite 30.
But WAIT! I have grown to love all of you! Strike that last silliness.


gariess Mon Jan 8 22:20:00 PST 2001


Drink Coke to your hearts content. The scare-mongering over Coke has been around for ages. All of the 'corrosive' properties of Cola (since all colas contain phosphoric acid) are acidic. The acidity of the average cola is within the range of the acidity created in the stomach systemically by our bodies. That is to say that at times you will actually be lowering the acid concentration in your stomach with a dose of cola.

The human stomach was designed, in the the wisdom of nature, to be acid resistant. Unfortunately the human esophagus was not, so taking a swig out of your car's battery is hardly recommended, however we consume acidic foods in solid or liquid form all the time. Excessive acid secretion in some people has to be controlled by acid inhibitors such as Zantac which limits the amount of acid the body introduces into the stomach, unlike antacids such as Tums or Rolaids which neutralize acid directly in the stomach. The problem with nuetralizers is that once the acid is neutralized in the stomach, the body secretes more acid into the stomach to compensate, causing certain people to take many successive antacids.

Excessive acid secretion into the stomach can cause ulcers, and drugs like Zantac are an effective treatment for ulcers, but acid in the form of cola has not been known to create excessive stomach acid, a cheeseburger or a taco is a bigger risk because these foods cause the body to secrete more acid to break down the fats they contain. This extra acid is far more than you will introduce in the form of cola.

The usual caveats apply. Cola has its opponents in the medical world, but their objections are not based on its effectiveness as a solvent for grease or whether or not it can dissolve nails. Their concerns are centered on the long range effect on the liver and kidneys from filtering impurities that exist in cola. To date there are no conclusive findings in this regard. Also, there is more than one formula for cola, and presumably, only the Coca Cola company has access to its own formula. I am still trying to snoop it out. So far I know it has sugar and compressed carbon dioxide.



Allein Mon Jan 8 21:33:53 PST 2001

I've put the link up again - hopefully it'll work. In answer to your questions on the critique page - I'd like to publish Mali and Azol someday but I don't think it's good enough. I came up with the concept for this at age 14 but it's only been in the last two years that I've worked on this particular version.

Debra Mon Jan 8 20:06:48 PST 2001


I don't do hate. Apparently you do consults well.

Well I didn't say my donkey actually produced any of these items. I just said it was asked.

But thanks. Do you have any school age kids? Cause if you do, then you already know all about that one.

Oh yeah, mom I hear the bus rumbling down the street, but I need a plate of cupcakes and a pirates outfit



Teekay Mon Jan 8 19:58:33 PST 2001

DEBRA: I'm so glad to see that you don't hate me.
I am also very happy that you have such a clever and talented donkey.

Today I am writing. Lots of it. Just thought I'd drop in to see wether or not DEBRA hated my guts and *phew* she doesn't.

JACK: Should we be upset that you have put a game before our beloved notebook?

JOAN: Are you not the JOAN who was here not very long ago? If not then welcome. This is where we all come to share our love of writing, and dogs, and lightbulbs, and countless other things. Just jump right in and ramble on. Sometimes you won't get a reply, it's not that people aren't interested in you, it's just that at the time they have nothing relevant to say (not that that usually stops anybody.) Anyway, just thought I'd let you know that.

ALLEIN: Went to look at the drawing and got an error message.

Okay, am going back to the pen and paper. Have a great day all.

Mon Jan 8 18:58:43 PST 2001

p.s. Make that I missed posting December 12, 2000 through December 25. Just tired I guess.

Jack Beslanwitch Mon Jan 8 18:57:23 PST 2001

OK all. I have archived everything up to yesterday and in the process realized that I had somehow missed posting the messages from December 25 through yesterday. That has been corrected and I have included the new navigational schema with the latest Archive as well. BTW, the two together totalled over a half meg. Still getting around to redoing the bios page, but hope to get to it sometime this week. Just a bit busy at the moment. tell the honest to god truth I am deeply into Diablo II and just in the process of doing the end game. So far Diablo has eviscerated, toasted and otherwise splatted me at least a couple of dozen times. Hope springs eternal and computer games can be addictive. Take care everybody.

Debra Mon Jan 8 17:38:38 PST 2001


My husband is like a kitty kat, because like a kitty kat he is always purring around my head and neck and there seems to be no room in this tiny house because of that.

It's a sit-com. Don't even get me started on the three girls.

Debra Mon Jan 8 17:17:00 PST 2001


Here's an example of what I mean about my life. My son for instance, thinks that my ass is a bag of tricks.

He thinks just moments before the bus comes I can pull cupcakes, bookcovers and costumes out of it. That's the short list of things he seems to think I can reach up there and retrieve.

You know what I mean.

Joan Mon Jan 8 16:31:16 PST 2001

Hi All- I think I should introduce myself. I'm Joan. I'm from NJ. I have 3 daughters, one husband, one dog (a huskey from HELL!!) and I take care of my mother who suffers from Early Dementia. I've been writing poetry, fiction (mainly short stories) and I'm about 1/3 into writing a novel. I got sick about one year ago and my chances of completing my novel ranges from slim to nil. It is quite frustrating. My characters were finally getting fully developed. I still have dialogue running through my mind, but I cannot commit it to paper.
Lately I've been concentrating on writing short essays which I write in email form and send them to myself.
I tried forming a writer's group, but I'm new in town, and getting around is quite difficult.
Please help!! I feel like I'm trapped in a John Irving novel.

Mon Jan 8 16:17:49 PST 2001

Very funny, Scotty! Now beam down my clothes!

Heather Mon Jan 8 14:56:22 PST 2001

Joan, that definately counts as shitty, and very large shittiness!
As for the Cap'n, (Kirk, that is) I don't blame Scotty for not wanting to beam that log aboard!

Something sickly-scented in Scottsville


Debra Mon Jan 8 14:09:28 PST 2001


Just to let you know I get e-mails of all natures addressed to me that my husband doesn't mind. He is a bear sometimes but one without teeth. I hate his mood sometimes but I am never ever afraid of him or telling him what is on my mind.I think I am very happily married. In fact I am very happily married. I love the him very much and will forever.

But, I did have a run in with my mom about my nephew and the politics of who could have the control of him at the mall when his mother is not there. My nephew runs the show at the mall and my shopping experiece is lost when he comes along.

My mother is very controlling with me. This dream could have been about her. I was at the mall with my son and my nephew,and my mother,two boys one not mine. Hummmmmm You could be onto somthing. I cannot get away from my love or the complicated relationship with my mother. Sometimes I want to just lay down and die and then I can't live with that either.

So you are right on and helped me a lot. Only the bear is my mom.

My husband is a little kitty kat. It's not that he is a push over either. WE have a nice balance. I think our life could be a sit-com. Now my house is a mess. It is full of toys. Underneath it is sanitary. The kitchen would pass any clean test, so would the bathroom. But if you came in you would have to tip toe through toys. I do hate that. I can't escape it at this point. Wow you are good.

I'm going straight to bed and have another dream. I'll get back to you.


Allein http://www.angelfirecom/wa2/alleinanderson/Image22.jpg Mon Jan 8 14:09:19 PST 2001

Hi all,
Today's pictures is one of my favorites - it's a drawing of a fire goddess inspired by the Hawaiian goddess Pele.

Teekay (sorry, back again.) Mon Jan 8 14:02:00 PST 2001

DEBRA: Okay, so maybe my research wasn't all that vast and extensive and perhaps I don't have all that much knowledge and experience, but while I was typing that last post the words were just rolling off my tongue and they sounded so good I just had to put them in.
Being the good and honest person that I am I had to come back and confess that it was maybe overexaggerated slightly. Okay, a lot.
Well, you said you wouldn't hate me and I'm holding you to it.

HALLEE: Not all my analysis are bad. I just tell it how I see it sister. And if I'm cross eyed, well, is that my fault?
BTW: Your welcome on the critique.

Teekay Mon Jan 8 13:55:30 PST 2001

DEBRA: Just one thing that I feel I should point out. The subconscious is extremely vast. It also has no controling limits.
In other words it can take a speck and cover it over and over again rather like a speck of dust and a pearl or making a mountain out of a molehill may be another apt description.
You may have gone to bed slightly miffed with hubby or maybe you saw something on TV to set it off, but this is how your subconscious absorbed the imput from the conscious mind.
This sounds like a whole lot of crappy-do, but from years of vast and extensive research on the subject I feel I can speak on it with a great deal of knowledge and experience.

Hallee Mon Jan 8 13:34:21 PST 2001

Hey everyone! Happy Monday (ugh)

TEEKAY: Thank you so much for the crit. I always worry and stress and worry about someone reading something I've written. And the mistakes you found..(sigh) I saw them, too. I wish I could unsend the thing. Did you find your notebook yet?

JERRY: I meant to tell you before that I really liked that story. The ending caught me by surprise.

JOAN: Hi there - welcome.


CAPTAIN KIRK: Make room for Picard, hon. Much sexier of a man.

ALLEIN: I am a Coke fan...big time Coke fan. I drink it the second morning turns to early afternoon and I switch from my coffee. HEATHER: Those tests you would have been interesting to also test stomach acid - though that would be gross. I believe stomach acid could beat the other acids hands down.

HEATHER: Shit...hahahaha.

JON: Try to stay whole. I think Pussy likes you just the way you are (wicked grin).

JERRY: Your uncle sounds like a (gulp) freak. Oh yeah - why can't your wife have the surgery and go into bed rest? My grandmother broke her leg last March - and broke it in a weird way. She was on total bed rest except to use a walker where she couldn't put any weight on her leg at all for like 8 weeks, and her leg healed fine. Since you're home, bed rest could almost be doable, couldn't it?


Bye all - have a great week in case I don't pop in...this is the second in a trilogy, and the closer I get to the end, the stronger the third one is in my head - I may not take a break.

TEEKAY (again): Remind me never to post a bad dream here - not that I ever even remember my dreams - but if I remembered them, I would be terrified to get an analysis - some things I don't want to know - like my psyche.

**Waving to everyone**

Teekay Mon Jan 8 13:14:15 PST 2001

Mornin' everybody,


HEATHER: Hilarious post. I'm glad to see that your sense of humour remains strongly intact, even when things get really sh*tty. :-)

CHRISTI: *kisses* & ((((hugs))))))

DEBRA: I have had second thoughts about posting my analysis to your email in case your husband reads it and my reading is correct, so here goes, hold on.
There are 2 so if you don't like the first one, go for the second. :-)

The building in your dream represents your marriage.
That it is a restaurant indicates homelife,
That it is messy or dirty indicates unhappiness.
The bear indicates your husband.
That you are trapped in the restaurant indicates that you feel trapped in your marriage.
That the door has no inside handle indicates that you see no conventional way out or solution for this problem.
That the bear (hubby) is sitting blocking the door indicates that he would not make it easy for you to leave.
That you climbed out of the back window indicates that you feel you may have to use subterfuge and unconventional methods methods to acheive your ends.
The children in the story and that they weren't both yours indicates that you are afraid of the effect on your family and what other people may say.
In the end when you felt as though you were over powered and just lay down to be done with it indicates that sometimes you think it's probably better just to stay.
That you rolled over and tried to move out of the way indicates that you thought better of it.

Okay, that's about it. Hopefully it's waaaay of the mark, but that's what your dream said to me.

Here's analysis 2:
You had a really bad dream.

P.S. If after this you still think you had a bad dream about bears that indicates that you're in denial.


Scotty Mon Jan 8 13:10:59 PST 2001

I ain't beaming you up!!!

Bones Mon Jan 8 13:08:00 PST 2001

Dammit Jim!

Captain James T. Kirk Mon Jan 8 12:22:12 PST 2001

Heather is that... some sort... of joke?

I must now... snog every girl... on this board...

Joan Mon Jan 8 11:09:27 PST 2001

Heather- Thanks for the welcome. I enjoyed your post on "Shittiness". I lost (mispaced) my notebooks which contained most of my writing when I moved in August. Does this qualify for Shittiness?
I cannot get into the website I used to write for. I think that qualifies for "random acts of shittiness" (on the webmasters part).

Joan Mon Jan 8 10:47:58 PST 2001

Hi Howard- Thank you. I will go check it out right now.

Heather Mon Jan 8 10:44:53 PST 2001

Oh, yes, it puts a new light entirely on William SHATner's name, doesn't it?

(Sorry, Cap'n Kirk)



howard Mon Jan 8 10:16:55 PST 2001

Hi Joan! Welcome! You can try for that.

Joan Mon Jan 8 09:51:42 PST 2001

Hi guys- I'm new here. Does anyone know any sites where I can "peddle" my essays and poetry?
I'm in the middle of writing a novel, but I have a somewhat strange neurological condition which prevents me from writing longhand and sitting at a computer for any length of time is near to impossible.
Any info would be greatly appreciated.

Rosemary Mon Jan 8 09:02:58 PST 2001

Hi there,
Got to hurry, waiting for the auto club truck to change the tire on my truck. Wait until he finds out I have about 700 lbs. of feed in the back. That tire was fine until I stopped yesterday to check the air to offset the heavy load in the back. Teach me to do maintance.

I have learned a new thing from you today. I didn't know that 'shat' was past tense.

You had me fooled. I adore licorice and was getting ready to go look for 'Good and Plenty' ice cream when I discovered the flat tire.

Later all,

Mon Jan 8 07:35:44 PST 2001

you smell horrible

Debra Mon Jan 8 07:03:59 PST 2001


That is by far the worst thing I have heard in a long time.

Wow, I don't have that equipment but it still hurts.


Jerry Mon Jan 8 06:54:34 PST 2001

Yes, I did let the dog out, he looked so relieved.

Speaking of neutering pets, when I was young, around 13 or 14 years old if I remember right, my father rented me out to my uncle to run one of his tractors on his farm. This became a regular thing, and I did it every summer until I was 17. In reality, I got paid, a whole $5.00 per day. My uncle's day began at sunrise, and we worked until sunset; about 14 hours around here in the summer. Anyhow come time to work the calves the tractors were parked, we mounted our horses and rounded up the calves. Working them consisted of dehorning them and casterating the males, making young bulls into young steers. My uncle (in reality he was simply married to my aunt, no blood thank God) used a knife to cut the bag and then bit off the nuts, and spit them into a pail. He said it was better for the calves and there was less infection that way. Anyhow then the sack was washed with lisol water and the calves released. There was the tale that my dad used to tell of my uncle, that before he got his casterating knife (they make a special folding pocket knife just for this purpose) he used to half someone hold the calf and take two bricks then slam them together on the nutsack, crushing the nuts and effectively neutering the calves. One time someone watching this act asked my uncle "My God doesn't that hurt?" to which my uncle replied "Not unless you get your thumbs in between the bricks!" I could go on for several pages describing that uncle, who recently passed away (the city is so much better off for his passing.) But space and time would not allow it, and you would probably be bored anyhow.


Debra Mon Jan 8 06:38:07 PST 2001


I get the strong feeling that if you didn't save their lives that day, you did on some other occoasion.


Heather Mon Jan 8 06:09:52 PST 2001

Oh, Jon, perhaps you do not know what a vasectomy entails!
Well, it's certainly nothing to do with your tail.
You will be glad that I was joking when your wee triangular ears hear of what the procedure is. I know that with cats, the vet doesn't even bother to put in a few stitches afterwards. Nothing left to stitch up, perhaps.

But on the up-side, if you did succumb to the procedure, you would like only to curl up and enjoy my warm fireplace, and a bowl of milk with me... instead of travelling the seas in a glass-bottomed boat!

In Canada, cats are careful about who they are nasty to since such above-mentioned procedures are common practice, and cheap too.



Debra Mon Jan 8 05:39:51 PST 2001


Here is my e-mail address. You can put it there if you want.



Jon Mon Jan 8 04:29:00 PST 2001


I'm so sad you were just kidding when you asked me to be given a vasectomy. Only a girlish promise, then... Oh, well.

Why did you call me "nasty beast"? Does everybody use such a language in your town?

I'm here to learn and improve my language and my knowledge, you know...

Mary Mon Jan 8 01:42:29 PST 2001

check out this page on bears if you are interested

Mary Mon Jan 8 01:35:48 PST 2001

DEBRA: I have done a lot of hiking over the years but have only met two bears. One of them was just a small young Black Bear. Walking a little ways off a trail in Cook Forest (about an hour from my home), I came across a couple with a young child feeding the baby bear from their packs.

I couldn't believe my eyes. I quickly scanned as far as I could see then approached them. The couple greeted me excitedly to which I responded, "If his mother comes around looking for him, she will kill you. "

They hastily packed up and skedaddled and I trekked as far away from them as I could. I don't really know for sure if the mother bear would have killed them, but I do think she would have seriously maimed them if she could have caught them. Either way, what they did was relatively stupid. It threw me off balance for the rest of my hike as I spent it wondering how they could endanger their own child that way. Sheesh.

Heather Mon Jan 8 00:56:28 PST 2001

Christi, the loss of my portfolio was no more traumatic than your book disappearing, I'm sure. I was an adult, and you were only nine or ten. It probably felt like the whole world had taken your heart out and shat on it. That's how I felt! Shitty things that happen are bound to make you feel shitty. The degree of shittiness is dependent upon the shittee, and the fierceness of the shitter. In our cases, there were no pinpointable shitters. So we were both suffering from really shitty shit, with no one assh*le to blame.
(Now that's shitty)
Random acts of shittiness, I guess?

Sh*t-eating Grin :-@
Now, whoever made up that phrase was the sicko, not me for bringing it... oh, I'm just not going to win this one.

Alright, before anyone starts worrying that I'm a little too focussed on defecation, let's go on now to something a little less anal.

I did an experiment in grade 8 that will not make the Pepsi drinkers any happier than Coke drinkers. Basically, I filled five identical cups of Coke, five of Pepsi and five with the objects in plain tap water. In the first three, I put pennies, same year, same amounts of gross stuff stuck to each. In the next three were pieces of painted wood. Third, rubber bands. Fourth and fifth, I can't think of at the moment. Anyway, the results weren't much different for either Coke or Pepsi. Both of the soda pennies had NO DESIGN LEFT. The pictures, numbers, and gross stuff was GONE. Mind you, there was some interesting sludge at the bottom...
The painted wood? It dissolved in the soda and became pulpy goop, but first the paint peeled off and was eaten away. The rubber bands were very odd - no elasticity left, but they sure drooped and got gooey. I was afraid to touch any of the experiment results!
With good reason...
Oh, yes - the control batch: No result, the wood swelled, but the paint stayed intact, and no result.

So, Pepsi drinkers beware. You are basically drinking the same as the real thing. Oh, but the Pepsi penny had one slight bit of a maple leaf left on it. So Pepsi is just the slower brand.

Ben, good to make your aquaintance. Please read the disclaimer below:

*I do not usually like to use such words as sh*t and as*hole, and for the record, will use them as sparingly as possible, unless otherwise desired, and if necessary to make myself chuckle.*

Jon, my dear, dear travel-weary cat;
to cure your wanderlust, of course, is the reason to have the 'V' done as soon as your paws can find a rubber band! Well, let your mate do it. She'll find that amusing.

(But I was only joking. It was to cure you of nastiness, not wanderlust, my dear wayfarer)

About the vivid memory? I might write one of my earliest as a shortie on Thursday! Good idea, you'uns

Allein Sun Jan 7 23:23:20 PST 2001

Hi all,
I left the first part of Chapter 19 (not the finished product as I have writer's block :p) in the workbook. I'd like for anyone who wishes to critique it. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD -- CRITIQUE MY STORY!! Just joking a little there. I'm not sure who on here has been keeping up with the story but Chapters 1-18 can be found on my webpage, however they are the old product since I've done major editing in the last few days.

Jon - This is Pepper. I'd like you to come over here sometime. I'd like to you.

Pepper, why do you have that bottle of barbecue sauce?



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