Archived Messages from December 14 - December 25, 1999

Rachel Sat Dec 25 12:02:28 PST 1999

Merry Christmas!

Last night we did the big feast and family thing. No, we did not feast on family, we feasted with our family.

I had some turkey! First turkey I have tasted in about 8 years and I LOVED it!

Jesus - Long time no talk. I guess its only right that at this time of year even a person such as myself should think of you and all you did. Much appreciation is felt and a strong wish I could believe, but hey, I don't believe in Santa or the Easter Bunny. This is not to say I do not apprecaite and love the notion of all of the above. I believe in so much but I will not tarnish these pages with my views. It would be wrong. I value all that the religions of the world have done for so many. For all the hope that they have given.

Hey! I got a new keyboard for Christmas! This is great, the kiddies spilled all sorts of stuff on this one, and it isn't really in top form any more.

Now I am off to make phone calls. It's not easy to get a hold of my family at Christmas. I come from a long line of reverends and obviously they are working today (grins).

Take care all

Jesus/Jon Sat Dec 25 09:05:00 PST 1999

Someone has published CRAP under my name (Dec 25, 00:03). YOU SHOULD NOT STEAL. The bible is not a book to be used in vain. For several reasons: 1. the good translations are copyrighted; 2. most of the versions zealots use are bad translations; 3. zealots, by definition, have not enough intelligence or culture or talent to understand what they read and make a laughable job of quoting; 4. zealots only say what decent people have already trashed ages ago; 5. they are very harmful to the religion they think they are spreading and are therefore a menace to man's soul and to peace in general. WRITE YOUR OWN MESSAGES!

Xavier Sat Dec 25 03:22:27 PST 1999

Ho, Ho, HO...

Or something like that. Well, I know I have not been here often lately, but being at my fathers house for the holidays, I decided to post a quick "Happy holidays".

I hope everyone has, or is having a nice Christmas, and enjoying (as much as you can anyhow) the family and friends that we only get to see around this time of year.

Oh, and hello to "Jesus", and thanks for stopping by on your birthday. Do you think you can put the word in for me with the guy upstairs, I could use all the help I can get. Thanks pal...

See ya...

Jack Beslanwitch Sat Dec 25 00:39:45 PST 1999

We celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve, so tonight was our blowout with mustard and brown sugar glazed ham and all the rest that I mentioned earlier. A good time was had by all. A little too wiped out both food and wine wise to go to midnight mass. Still, I think the sharing of joy with family and friends either literally or virtually is something that brings close to the divine however we choose to name that essence. Well, I guess I will go up and enjoy the new DVD player Fran and my mother-in-law got me and contemplate the exercise mat that Fran also got me. Hmmmm. Could she be telling me something? Take care everyone and consider yourself hugged with great joy and wonder and love. Mery Christmas and Happy New Millenium.

Jesus Sat Dec 25 00:03:10 PST 1999

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.

But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.


Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.

Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.

I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.

Jerry Ericsson Fri Dec 24 21:27:05 PST 1999

Merry Christmas everyone - may the holiday season bring you good cheer.


Allein Fri Dec 24 19:42:10 PST 1999

Hi people. Forgot a quote...

"Everyone loves Pikachu...for breakfast, lunch and dinner."


Jon Fri Dec 24 19:30:06 PST 1999

I'd like to wish you all happy Christmas and to apologize for the language and poor style of my friend Jesus. Please understand, he is still very small. He was born here 3 hours and 30 minutes ago and we feel very happy because we are a bit short of children in this part of the world. I promise to take good care of him and to teach him good English. I offered his mother my CatsEnglish Dictionary (well, I made her a good discount, ten percent). Joseph, his true father, is having a drink with me in this pub. He is a bit sleepy but wishes you a happy Christmas. There are three kings in this pub. They are Oriental Kings. They came here looking for another king. They want to build the greatest monarchy the world has ever seen in the East. I hope they'll pay the drinks.
PS: Pussy has already gone to bed. But she is shouting something from the bedroom. ...? Okay, I'll tell them. She said she wishes you all a wonderful... A wonderful what? Ah, Christmas. I thought that was the word.

Allein Fri Dec 24 19:18:20 PST 1999

Here's a better one:

Santa Claus is coming to town,
Little chocolates,
Lots of CD's,
From the grandparents, lots of money,
Curly haired dolls,
That toddle and coo...
Even a gun to kill pikachu...


Jesus Fri Dec 24 19:16:51 PST 1999

I'm sort of like... embarassed. My English is a bit sort of like, how shall I say, rusty. What the heck is this, Internet? I hate these computers. So, people, what do you expect from me? Words, I guess. English words! When will you, lazybones, learn Spanish? Or Portuguese, the language of Jon, my favorite pen-pall? Methinks you are a funny bunch.

This is a short message just to wish you a happy (what is it called, Jon?) Christmas. Two thousand years ago my mother, ah, they already know the story. Then I grew up, had a little adventure or two (yes, Mary Magdalen, I'll be discreet) until a bunch of cretins crucified me. I did not like it at all and I protested to my father (the other one, the Heaven one). I asked: "Father, why did you abandon me?" He did not answer. This silence has caused me a lot of anguish. This anguish I share with you. We'll probably know the answer one day. Till then, happy Christmas!

(What do you think, Jon? Not too bad for a bloody foreigner, I guess.)

Americo Fri Dec 24 19:15:52 PST 1999

Okay, people (*sigh*): MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

And this is for everybody! Happy Christmas!!! For everyone, Pagans and Christians, Confucians and Muslims, Buddhists and even... (oh, this is too much generosity)... to... protestants (my Catholic tongue is burning). A great Merry Christmas to Hootie, who is a Mormon and therefore belongs to one of the religions I like, as it was persecuted by idiots. Merry Christmas-- now I'll go to heaven-- to the Americans (yes, the Statesians, who else?). Merry Christmas to Eskimos, Australians, Israelis, all Africans including the whites, and even... but this is really too much-- Spaniards! Ya, happy Christmas to Spaniards as well! How about the Chinese? Merry Christmas of course, mainly to those who are going to die tomorrow. The Russians?

No. I cannot wish merry Christmas to a country which has been murdering Tchechenia. But I embrace all the Tchetchenians and cry with them. I also hug the Russian people of good will and cry with them. A special Merry Christmas to Howard and to his father, whose hand I kiss. Father of Howard, bless me.

And now, stand up. My friend Jesus is going to speak.

Allein Fri Dec 24 19:13:45 PST 1999

He's making a list, checking twice, he knows that Allein's been perfectly nice, so she's getting lots of gifts. Big screen TV's, lots of CD's and a large box of chocolate. My halo's being held up by horns...I mean, I've been a good girl all year!! *grin*


Rachel Fri Dec 24 16:41:46 PST 1999

All - Merry Christmas:)

Rosemary - It's nice to see yah. Even nicer to know that you lurk

Take care all

Rosemary Fri Dec 24 16:04:31 PST 1999

Merry Christmas Everyone:
Just a quick note from your most persistant lurker.

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday and gives and recieves just the most wonderful gifts.

It's continuing to be mild in the far southwest and doesn't look or feel like Christmas until you try to get into a Mall.

Good luck and much happiness for the next year.


Allein Fri Dec 24 15:31:34 PST 1999

Howard - I've been sent that joke before, but I think it was last year before I started to post funnies here. Anyway, I thought they were pretty corny.
Merry Christmas.

Howard Tuckey Fri Dec 24 12:14:26 PST 1999

Allein, how did you miss this one?

In each sentence below, fill in the blank or blanks with an expression
commonly used at Christmastide. Answers repose at the end of this

1. On December 24, Adam's wife was known as _____ _____.

2. In Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol, Scrooge was visited
by the ghost of _____ _____.

3. An opinion survey in Alaska is called a _____ _____.

4. What does Santa Claus do with his three gardens?
_____, _____, _____

5. What Christmas message is conveyed by these letters?:

6. When the salt and the pepper say "Hi!" to each other,
they are passing on _____ _____.

7. A holy man bereft of change could be called _____ _____.

8. When you cross a sheep with a cicada, you get a _____ _____.

9. A quiet medieval armor-wearer is a _____ _____.

10. A cat walking on the desert is bound to get _____ _____.

11. People who tell jokes on December 25 might be called _____ _____.

12. An airplane disaster in Israel is a _____.

13. On December 25 actor O'Connor and actress Channing (Hello, Dolly!)
are known as _____ _____.

14. What do Spanish sheep say when they wish each other
a Merry Christmas? _____ _____.

1. Christmas Eve
2. Christmas Present
3. North Poll
4. Hoe, hoe, hoe.
5. Noel, Noel (no l, no l)
6. Seasons' Greetings.
7. St. Nickel-less.
8. Bah! (or Baa!) Humbug!
9. Silent Knight
10. Sandy Claws
11. Christmas Cards
12. Cresh
13. Christmas Carols
14. Fleece Navidad!

Howard Fri Dec 24 12:06:49 PST 1999

Hi again! It is Christmas eve, a time for rejoicing, but also a time for melancholy. My dad is still with us, but is obviously simply waiting to hear his name called -- whispered, I think, softly so that only he will hear it. And he'll smile and be gone.
But the one whose birth we celebrate tomorrow has made it certain that we'll see and know him again. That is the real gift of Christmas -- the gift that truly keeps on giving.


Americo -- I have reconsidered that time poem, and have redone it. The version I posted was the first draft, and I should not have 'jumped the gun' on it. I guess that's what you get when you don't write all the time (I know I should, but I don't). Anyway, I was not comfortable using Chronos as a model -- he was such a miserable excuse for an immortal, even for the ancient Greeks! :-) (You could look it up)
But here it is, rewritten:

Life is a casserole made of hours
layered with darkness and light,
delicately seasoned with leisure thoughts;
spiced with minutes sauteed into crisp surprises,
and marinated in sweet experience.
To accompany it a sauce --
a reduction of memories
having just a hint of tension to mark it,
to set a contrast on the palate.
Such a meal would do justice
to a god.

A very merry Christmas to all!


Allein Fri Dec 24 08:42:16 PST 1999

Here's a funny from Allein. :)


Because of heightened concern over our potential Y2K problem and increased demand on our M.I.S. department, we have determined that there is no longer any need for network or software applications support. (see below).

The goal is to remove all computers from the desktop by December 1999, thus avoiding the anticipated Y2K problem. Instead, all employees will be provided with an Etch-A-Sketch.

This provides three distinct advantages:
1.No Y2K problems
2.No technical glitches to prevent goals from being accomplished
3.No more wasted time reading and writing e-mails
4.Everybody gets the same advanced model

In anticipation of the changeover, the following is a list of frequently asked questions regarding Etch-A-Sketch Technical Support:

Q: My Etch-A-Sketch has all of these funny little lines all over the
A: Pick it up and shake it.

Q: How do I turn off my Etch-A-Sketch?
A: Pick it up and shake it.

Q: What's the shortcut for Undo?
A: Pick it up and shake it.

Q: How do I create a New Document Window?
A: Pick it up and shake it.

Q: How do I set the background and foreground to the same color?
A: Pick it up and shake it.

Q: What is the proper procedure for rebooting my Etch-A-Sketch?
A: Pick it up and shake it.

Q: How do I delete a document on my Etch-A-Sketch?
A: Pick it up and shake it.

Q: How do I save my Etch-A-Sketch document?
A: Don't shake it.

Thank you for your support.


Systems Support

Jack Beslanwitch Fri Dec 24 03:22:07 PST 1999

Hello everyone: Christmas Eve is upon me. As it happens that is the primary holiday in my family tradition. I am looking forward to doing a Christmas Ham, my very special slow cooked carrots and my patented Kitchen Sink Rice Pilaff Check it out. Its one of the better recipies that I came up with on my own. Then we will open presents and later in the evening go to midnight mass. This all means that I will be doing little of anything else, but I will take time in the next several days to transcribe my edits from paper to digital and get them off to Americo. Silly me, should have just done things digitally. Just made an experiment converting mp3 to wav and then turning it into an audio CD. Worked like a charm. That and my first stabs at experimenting with Carrarra - a 3D program I am working with. If I get a chance I will post some experiments. Take care. Have had a couple of beers and am babbling a bit. Off to bed and some Christmas Eve cooking. Merry Christmas and Happy New Millenium.

Joy Fri Dec 24 02:15:39 PST 1999

Just a quick pop-in to say Happy Christmas Eve, Merry Christmas, the Best of the New Year, and may all that "needles" you this season be under your tree. Blessings to all.

Rachel Thu Dec 23 23:08:58 PST 1999

Allein - I am not getting this e-mail you are talking about... I have left my e-mail address above. double check on it. I'm looking forward to seeing those pictures. I wonder can you see the "Oh God, I can't believe I got here, will I ever, ever find my way home" expression on my face (grins). I am so thankfull for the Washington State Police and for the very nice people who worked in all those gas stations. I was pretty lost (Du yuh think - grins). I think I saw parts of your state that you didn't even know were there!

Take care you

Allein Thu Dec 23 20:48:03 PST 1999

Rachel - I sent another e-mail. I hope it reaches you. I got back the pictures from your visit today and I've sent them to you.

Teekay - My mom's been baking goodies today. :) We're giving some to my boyfriend's family.

Rachel Thu Dec 23 19:59:33 PST 1999

Teekay - Oh, I am so happy that I am not the only one who has to start cooking on the 23rd! Dan (my husband) and I have been at the cooking all afternoon. We will do the big meal on the 24th. We need to cook a vegetarian feast and a meat feast. It is really quite the big deal (grins).

Into the deal I don't like to rush around on Christmas Eve or day, so I want to get this all done this evening. Wish me luck!

Take care you

Americo Thu Dec 23 18:06:06 PST 1999

Oh, my God, you guessed! I am Santa Claus. That's why I must travel a lot during this season. And that's why I don't like Christmas: I hate travelling! Moreover, all these presents on my shoulders! Christians are very cruel to OLD MEN . Not to the O.M -- that's one of the best kept secrets of the Notebook -- not even OM knows who he is. I certainly am not: I am Jon, Pussy and the Kawinkidinks -- the three of them. I am also the delightful Impala, but she got married with an African hunter in October and does not want to hear about me anymore.
A propos, the fact that I am not O.M. does not mean that I do not like his/her posts. I do. I think he his the Eternal Father -- do you also have that one in your mythology? In Australia everything must be very fresh and clean. That's my idea of Australia.

Teekay Thu Dec 23 17:52:59 PST 1999

JERRY:- You sure do know some good sites. Thanx.

LONELI ANGEL:- Welcome. Have you sent away for your password yet so that you can enter the workbook? There are different sections where you can enter your work and get feedback on it. Anyway you're sure to have fun here. This is where the kindred spirits meet.

THE OLD MAN:- Have kept wondering about you. The idea has been planted in my mind and now I wonder if you are a figment of Americos psyche. If your not I'm sorry and I think that you are very wize. If you are then I think Americo is very wize.

RHODA:- Well said.

AMERICO:- What do you do???? You seem to travel all over the world. (You're not Santa are you?)

ALL:- Well it's started. The baking and cooking, the stewing and sweating, the wrapping and singing and laughing and fun, and I'm enjoying it thoroughly. Shall drop in
Christmas day to spread a little Christmas Cheer.
Be well and be grateful.

Jon Thu Dec 23 08:59:29 PST 1999

I had a nice chat with the Pope and the Dalai Lama. We met at a coffee house in Via Veneto and a little chap appeared. He was called Jesus and was obviously a foreigner. We invited him for a drink (he chose Russian Vodka) and then we talked and talked. The four of us decided to make a Revolution. So, take care, ye Christians. Jesus is my friend and, more importantly, I also like him. As for the Pope and the Dalai Lama: as intelligent people, they'll support all my initiatives, but cannot do much for the moment because they have thousands of sermons to preach wisdom and true fraternity to the millions of their followeres. I was glad to see that they are also pagans.

Pussy Thu Dec 23 08:51:39 PST 1999

There you are again. Literature first -- Thomas goes out. Politics next-- I go out. Religion now -- and I am going to make some coffee.

Where are you, Jon?

Americo Thu Dec 23 08:48:56 PST 1999

Here in China we are all very inflammed about Confucius. As you know he was the only God, the rest just immitations. I thought that Minerva was the right and only one but, in order not to cause any diplomatic trouble, I decided to convert myself to Venus -- just for this weekend. I'll strangle anyone who disrespects my favorite Goddess: Venus-- exactly like the Christians did to my brethren the Muslims, other Christians and people of different persuasions. To my knowledge (and this is History), Christianism has been the most criminal of all religions. Not because of Christ, who was a good man, but because of the stupid zealots who have soiled and are still soiling the earth with their dark blahblah. It was not me who started this interesting discussion, but I do not mind taking it to the end. The salvation of man deserves a little time and two or three historical truths.

Rachel Thu Dec 23 07:19:08 PST 1999

Allein - I didn't get any other e-mail from you, so if you sent me a note after the one that I sent off to you, you'll need to resend (smiles). I drew you a couple more pictures and now have then in a sealed envelope! We are on our way (grins). Today I'll address it and tomorrow I will mail it.

Take care you

Allein Wed Dec 22 23:31:42 PST 1999

LONELI ANGEL - Hi. Glad you posted. I have to agree with "The Old Man" who said "Practice." Also, before you think of being published, I would suggest waiting a few years. I know you think you're ready now, but I thought so too when I was thirteen. Now I'm almost eighteen and my writing has improved SO much now that I've had some more experiance. If your school or newpaper puts out a literary magazine, I would suggest submitting your work to those to get a start and see where it takes you. Anyway, I would LOVE to read some of your stories and maybe give some advice on how to improve them. :)

RACHEL - Hi you! :) Hope you got my e-mail okay. Just wanted to send you ((((SUPER DUPER HUGGLES, SNUGGLES AND WUGGLES)))). No, I don't know what a 'wuggle' is. :)

The Old Man Wed Dec 22 20:45:46 PST 1999

Greetings and felicitations!

A birthday celebration soon followed by a change in digits. It is enough to be here with you during any bit of it.

Rhoda, Thank you for reminding us all how real suffering was the price of our freedom.

Loneli Angel, A man asked a New York city cab driver how he could get to Carnegie Hall. The cabbie simply said, "Practice."

The world will survive anything we mere humans can throw at it, the same cannot be said for us mere humans.

May the blessings of all good thing be on you all.


Rachel Wed Dec 22 19:19:01 PST 1999

Americo! Yes, yes, yes! I sing, I dance. Shadows is done. It's ready for a publisher.

All - Shadows has been an amazing and exciting experience. It has been full of ups and downs and now that it is done I have mixed feelings. I am happy it is completed and very pleased with the way that it has come out, but I am going to miss working on it. It has been a big part of my life over the past months. I have a happy/sad thing going on (smiles).

Take care all

Jerry Ericsson Wed Dec 22 19:04:01 PST 1999

When your muse hides and cannot be drawn out, try this site, it has several exercises to get back to writing.


Rhoda Wed Dec 22 18:24:34 PST 1999


Christmas is the rememberence of Jesus's birth. But he was a man who not only bucked the corrupt religious system of his day, but to Christians all around the world, he was the promised Messiah. Yes, he died a horrible, humiliating death, but the good news is HE ROSE AGAIN! To my mind, there are no ands, no, ifs, and buts about it. Jesus lives! He is not an earthly king who sits on an earthly thone and passes laws. His kingdom is not of this world. And his kingdom is not ruled by the wisest, most photogenic or articulate of human beings. It is made up of people who are willing to humble themselves enough to surrender their lives to Christ.

The Bible says that "God has used the foolish things of this world to confound the wise." He has used me and redeemed me, the most foolish of all fools.

I also wish to remind you that Jesus never spoke against the ruling Roman authorities, the emperor, or those in secular power. He only bucked the religious crowd.

Anyway, though Jesus was born about two thousand years ago, it is good to remember his birth. On Good Friday, I remember his crucifixion, and on Easter his resurrection from the dead.

I wish everyone here a very Merry Christmas, and I unabashedly pray that each and every one of you may know personally that baby in the hay, Jesus the Christ.

Happy Writing,


Loneli Angel Wed Dec 22 18:21:32 PST 1999

I'm a 13 yr. old female who adores literature. I' really enjoy writing and have a chance to have one of my short stories published in a magazine. I believe emotion and devotion should be put into writing and that if you write for the money then you're not really writing. I would like to know if anyone has any advice for me. Advice on how to improve my writing, how to further my abilities, or how to begin a writing career. I truelly love writing and would appreciate any bits of information you can give me. Thank you.
Loneli Angel

RLH Wed Dec 22 17:38:39 PST 1999

Americo: I hear you Bro and I wish you well. But we are humans and VERY tribal. Your wishes may come true some day...but I doubt it. You see, there are humans, powerful humans who will simply not allow this to happen. To have an Earth of brotherly love and universal peace would interfer with their CONTROL. And that's what it's all about. Humans controlling other humans. A long time ago a Jewish carpenter tried to buck the system. Whether this was part of His mission or random all adds up to the same thing. He was killed... For our sins? Possibily. But He was killed in an inhuman manner by men of earthly power. Only universal acceptance of His message will lead to the world you dream of. If Jesus was here today, in any nation of the world...there would be persons plotting against Him. It's the way we are. Good luck with your work and never, never stop trying. That is what He wants you to do.

Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday baby Jesus.


Teekay Wed Dec 22 17:37:23 PST 1999

JERRY:- I love a story with a twist. All those descriptions did wonders for the diet,yech!

It makes me smile to think of all the emphasis some people put on the new millenium. Especially when you consider that the earth is who knows how many milleniums old already. Ever since man decided to break the cycle of nature into hours, minutes, seconds, nanoseconds he has let time govern his life. The year 2000 is counted from the birth of Christ so I guess to all atheists and non Christians this will probably be just like any other New Years Eve.

Gotta go,
Hope you are all well.
Am finding it difficult to put pen to paper with all these Christmas distractions, but am forcing myself. (Nothing beautiful ever comes of force.)
See y'all.

Americo Wed Dec 22 15:16:28 PST 1999

Jerry E,

Those were the TU DO times and it's good to remember the past. Now it is the TU WRITE times, the best way to preserve those memories.

McArthur and the East? Humm... The best way to deal with the East is to forget about halves and think only about a single Earth, where all men and women are all... well, cousins.

I have just finished "Shadows in a Dream". Now I have to reread the 320 pages of the book and ask somebody to find a publisher. Any ideas for getting publishers in the States?

Jerry A.G. Ericsson Tue Dec 21 20:24:17 PST 1999

Americo, ah yes, I remember the oriental women very well, GOD how I loved them, and the things they knew. I spent many hours in the night clubs on the bases, when in the rear visiting with the lovely ladies. Many of them tried to convert me to Christianity, some even convinced me that I should change my evil ways and begin attending the Church of my choice. The lessons were quickly lost, but the memory of the lovely ladies of Tu Do street will live in my mind, so long as I draw breath.

RLH Tue Dec 21 18:48:43 PST 1999

Eddie: Will comment asap on the brits I knew in southeast asia. I am having computer trouble and the $%@#&^% thing keeps shutting down as I write a post. My computer "Guy" is out of town, but will return shortly.

Americo: General Douglas MacArthur was way ahead of his time regarding the importance of the east. See note to Ed as to why I cannot expand on this yet.

Merry Christmas you'all.


Allein Tue Dec 21 12:33:48 PST 1999

Rachel - You don't think my dad will mind chocolate stains on his seat do you? *grin* I know someone who did steal their parent's car once and he went to Juvenille hall. But anyway, I'm so map illiterate that I'd never find your house. I'll have been driving for a while and then see a sign that says: WELCOME TO MEXICO! :)
(((((BIG HUGS))))) for you,

Americo (still in China) Tue Dec 21 10:37:44 PST 1999

Jerry Ericsson and Laura,

Your stories belong to a world of fiction which is not my world. In my world there are no dragons and comets never shock with the Earth. It's an absolutely stupid world where there are only starving men and women and their passions in broad day or night light. It should be banished from the gallaxy.

With such limitations, I cannot review your stories. There are here people who are interested in dragons and comets shocking with the Earth. I ask them to please read your stories and say what they think about them. One of the things which I never understood in this site is why it is a site for fantasy and SF writers mainly and so little is written in that vein. I am busy trying to convert the Chinese for Christianity and have no intention of doing other conversions at least until Christmas. But I thought that your stories could go into another collection, provisionally called SMX*** only.

Hope you forgive my limitations and appreciate my sincerity.

Rachel Tue Dec 21 09:30:59 PST 1999

Teekay - We had to start disguising the gifts this year. We put them in boxes to hide the shape and then I'll drop in a couple of chocolates to throw them off. All the can smell under that tree is chocolate! Yikes... I can see Allein jumping into her parents car to drive over here! She is going to rip open all the presents under my tree and eat all the chocolate. My kids can smell cloths and books, how is that for weird (grins).

All - I would have to agree that a writer is a writer is a writer be they published or not, but uh, I'll leave it there. Once a topic like this one landed me in a whole world of hot water (grin, blush).

Hi Rhoda, Hi Jai, Hi all you lurkers:)

All - I know this woman, and she is pretty off the wall. She went to see a therapist and the guy told her she was not normal. She challenged him to define normal. He could not. She got up and told him he was nuts and left. I think crazy and sane is all just in how you look at it. I figure we all have some of each (grins).

Take care all

Americo Tue Dec 21 09:00:59 PST 1999

Jerry, we don't want troops here in China. We just need some Christmas carols. I am trying to christianize all these girls and the only way is by singing them something nice. But they are a lot and I need help. Aren't there any crazy girls in the West? How boring!

It seems Jon has convinced the Russians to stop playing the beast game in Thetchenia. I hope I don't need to go there to give a lesson or two to the warriors. My weapon is the cross. I converted myself to Christianity some hours ago. It's very confortable and they say that there is soccer in paradise. So, it was not a bad deal. My pagan gods are also willing to convert to Christianity, but they want something in exchange. What will it be?

I'll read with attention your story and if I like it very much I'll tell you something. Prepare yourself for the worst as usual.

The word is Macau and it belongs to history.

Jerry A.G. Ericsson Tue Dec 21 08:39:27 PST 1999

Greetings all, - a fresh blanket of snow covers the countryside. My hundreds of birds now live in the trees just ouside my picture window, feeding from the five feeders I maintain for them. The temp has dropped below zero last night, but forcasts say it will be up again into the high 40's and low 50's by Christmas.

Americo - just ask, and the US will send troops to China to help you reclaim Macco (I know I can't spell it after all I am a westerner) by the way, I left you a little text in SM**, about time I get back to writing.

Hope you enjoy it.


Tue Dec 21 07:51:54 PST 1999


Christmas is for joy,
For laughter and for fun
For gath'ring round the Yuletide tree,
And watching what will come
Christmas is for sorrow,
For the anger and the pain
For watching as our Savior born,
Should die and rise again
Christmas is for tasting,
For cookies and the sweets
The candy canes and fudge galore,
That now are Christmas treats
Christmas is for family,
For those who gather round
For all that call you brother,
Love is now a crown
Christmas is for laughter,
So gather all and one
Christmas day approaches,
Be merry, 'list the drum!

Merry Christmas all!

Americo (in China) Tue Dec 21 06:16:15 PST 1999


I saw your poem published in "Strawberries and a Moon". That may become the epigraph of the short-story collection. I'll study that possibility when Jon solves the diplomatic problems my coming to China on peaceful holidays causes on international fronts.

A hug to you, friend.

(via ReuterFU-Chi-PIU-PIU)

Pussy Tue Dec 21 06:07:58 PST 1999

And with all this, everybody forgot to say good morning. I think that preoccupations with the East are harmful to our manners. Well, I'm going to make some coffee. Good morning, Westerners!

Jon Tue Dec 21 06:05:02 PST 1999

What's this, a message from Americo? I can't believe. That must be a mistake or a fraud.

Portuguese newspapers report today about the adventures of a handsome Portuguese who, desguised as a missionary, is converting the Chinese to Christianity. Half of China is preparing Christmas for the first time in History. The other half if furious with Americo and the way he stole the hearts of all the Chinese women without exception. I'm afraid this story will not have a happy ending.

In the meantime the Russian embassador in Lisbon asked me if I could have a drink with him this afternoon (Lisbon time) in private. He sounded alarmed at the phone. A diplomatic crisis of world proportions? You'd better prepare your cannons, oh, American friends!

Americo (in China) Tue Dec 21 05:57:46 PST 1999

What's madness? I find more folly in the so-called normal people than in the others. A writer needs a lot of courage to be himself: that's his only madness. He also needs a lot of patience to wait for Jack's editing.

Americo (via Ho-ha-chi-funk especial computer)

Joy Tue Dec 21 01:56:23 PST 1999

Americo: I think it was Danielle Steele who said -- and whoever that is I hear gagging, please stop -- if you write, whether you're published or not, you are a writer. She wrote five novels, she said, before she finally wrote the first one to be published, and never for one day during those 5 unpublished novels did she consider herself NOT a writer. I've been published oodles, yes, but don't consider myself more (or less) a writer than all the other crazies out there (and all you CRAZIES here). And, of course, crazy IS the definitive word here. But as you intimate, being a writing writer my time is limited, so I get up at 4 a.m. to scope the Web and then begin my actual work at six (well ... most times). So I may visit infrequently when my editor gets me revising in the New Year, but I'll always be checking on you. BIG SISTER IS WATCHING!!

Jerry: You're right, of course. But in our lying we often lie to ourselves. Many of our "fictions" are the truths we never realized we knew, or truths buried in the debris of childhood; disguised, of course, but nonetheless true.

Rhoda: They say that only sane people doubt their sanity and the crazies KNOW they are completely sane and everyone else is NUTS. So ... that means that ... WOW! You are an enigma fer shur!

Rhoda Mon Dec 20 19:51:21 PST 1999


Good to see you back. I wondered what happened to you.

Teekay, Rachel and Joy,

It is good to read from other moms.

Welcome to all the new folks.

Rhoda Mon Dec 20 19:48:26 PST 1999

Writers crazy?

I certainly cannot speak for anyone else, but I would agree. I am certainly crazy, crazy even for a writer. Either that, or I am the only sane being in the world.

I feel crazy now, almost giddy. The children are home from school and have been terrors. Perhaps I am crazy not because I am a writer, but because I am a parent. Most of us writers here are parents. We think the writing has done it to us! Ha, ha. Perhaps we are all in denial and don't want to admit that we are nuts because of our children.

Back to the funny farm! Got to puts the children to bed.


Jon Mon Dec 20 18:11:50 PST 1999

I made a serious mistake. The post below signed Americo was written by me. It is MY post. Of course you could recognize it by the style, it is my style. But ... well, good night.

PS. Those who pray mumble something for poor A*

Long love Christmas and the little girl.

Pussy Mon Dec 20 18:08:30 PST 1999

What's Taiwan? Jon is very excited about Taiwan and speaks of conquering Tibet as well. I do not want any trouble with the Chinese!

Americo, please come home. If you cannot, do not forget at least to take your pills.

Is China far from here?

Americo Mon Dec 20 18:05:12 PST 1999

HO-ha-chinFu has just sent a telex to me: "A* be good. No Macau."

And then a telegram from Ho-HA-FuChin (that's the eldest son of the his father): "Me and A* go to mass tomorrow. We sing Christmas carols, very nice. A* is fine, very nice. I am converted to Christianity, quite wonderful, mainly on Carnival. Your compatriot wants TAIWAN. What do you think, Jon?"

I am going to tell the man not to give A* any Taiwan. We have no more room in his garden and I need room for my walks etc. Bloody A* Knowing him, I'll look at a map tomorrow to see if Taiwan is still where it used to be. That A* cannot go to China alone!

What do you think?


Teekay Mon Dec 20 17:21:51 PST 1999

Hi All'

RACHEL:- What fun. I get so excited for the kids sake. My oldest have become so adept at guessing the presents that now I have to wrap them in disguise. Like if it was a book I'd pack it with odds and ends so they wouldn't have a clue what it could be. This is the first year I've done it so they're not suspicious yet. Can't wait!

To All Others Who Think Writers Must Be A Bit Crazy At Least:
I'm not quite sure if you are making this statement seriously. At first I thought I strongly disagreed with this assertion but I started to think about it and ..well.. yeah, you're probably right bub buh buh...

JERRY:- I think rutabagers here are squashes.

JAI:- Good to see you again. I started my holidays ages ago. Not vacation, mind you, just holidays from work.

Okay well take care every body.

Jon Mon Dec 20 15:49:02 PST 1999

At this time A* must be having dinner with HO-ha-chinFu, the great leader. He loves Chinese food so he must be very happy. Let's take advantage of his absence in SouthEast China and sing something civilized. How about one of those beautiful Christmas carols he hates? One, two, three... Little Caroline came home at midnight/She was completely sober/For a change/I kissed her on a dimple/ And she said/Jon...Jon.../Then I died.
(Not all the words of this song can be reproduced here for reasons of Western morality. We are very moral in the Wst. Psst. I hate vowels.)

Allein Mon Dec 20 15:35:29 PST 1999

Rachel - Thanks, I've already responded. But don't worry about responding back. I know you're busy, so just write when you can.

Yes! More funnies! Woman's/Man's haircut:

--- Women's Version ---

Woman 1: Oh! You got a haircut! That's so cute!

Woman 2: Do you think so? I wasn't sure when she
gave me the mirror. I mean, you don't think it's
too fluffy looking?

Woman 1: Oh no! No, it's perfect. I'd love to
get my hair cut like that, but I think my face
is too wide. I'm pretty much stuck with this
stuff, I think.

Woman 2: Are you serious? I think your face is
adorable. And you could easily get one of those
layer cuts - that would look so cute, I think.
I was actually going to do that except that I
was afraid it would accent my long neck.

Woman 1: Oh - that's funny! I would love to have
your neck! Anything to take attention away from
this two-by-four I have for a shoulder line.

Woman 2: Are you kidding? I know girls that
would love to have your shoulders. Everything
drapes so well on you. I mean, look at my arms -
see how short they are? If I had your shoulders
I could get clothes to fit me so much easier.

--- Men's Version ---

Man 1: Haircut?

Man 2: Yeah.

Allein Mon Dec 20 15:14:16 PST 1999

Bob - Happy you could join us. One of my imaginary in my know another Bob. :) I know Fred too. He's a little leprechan.
Obviously I'm joking. :) I'm glad to see a new face around here. I'm glad you liked my jokes - I post funny things here that I get over e-mail sometimes. Occasionally I have to clean it up a bit for the more sensitive ears at this forum. Yeah right - I think everyone here is older than me, but not necessarily more mature. I love the saying "Growing older is manditory, growing more mature is optional" or however it goes. Actually, we are kind of lively.
I hope you stay around with us for awhile. :)
Happy Holidays,

PS: I'm a girl. :)

Rachel Mon Dec 20 13:31:32 PST 1999

Hi all

Allein - Check you mailbox girl! I got an e-mail off to you, can yah believe it:)

All - I just have to tell you something that is so funny. My son knows he is not supposed to touch the gifts that are under the tree, so I just looked up and he started to tell me what he thinks things are. I asked what made him think anything, that he was not supposed to touch the gifts. He told me he had not touched them, but that he had been sniffing them! I have just let them get their little paws on the gifts for the first time. I need to water and vacume under the tree. Now there is much excitement and "accidental" shaking going on as they move the gifts out of the way. Isn't that so funny!? You should see this, they have gone back to the sniffing. I have to go and put a stop to this (grins).

Take care all

PS - Sorry if I made and spelling mistakes, but I wrote this quickly.

PSS - To all the new folks who have come along - WELCOME:)

Jon Mon Dec 20 12:22:52 PST 1999

Americo has gone to China and will hardly be seen again. He wants Macau back.

How about making a party to commemorate his disappearing from our civilized company? A champagne and straberries party. Hiic.

Jerry Arthur Gordon Ericsson Mon Dec 20 12:22:36 PST 1999

Joy, you are quite correct most writers are a little crazy, some more so then others, however have you ever thought that fiction writers are also very good liers?

I was reading somewhere on the web the other day, and the author said this, and is realy quite right. In order to write fiction, we must be able to lie to our readers telling them stories that happen only in our very warpped minds. (at least that is what my daughter told me when she read my story dinner with father.)

Fiction writers must live several lives in their heads at the same time, all the while keeping an eye on the "real world" to insure nothing bad sneaks up from behind and clubs us over the head in our dazzed state.

Just thought I would put in my two bits, on the subject.


Americo Mon Dec 20 12:13:07 PST 1999

The word should be Macau. The English wrongly spell it Macao They also name Porto, the city where Prince Henry the Navigator and I were born, Oporto, which is a big blunder. Webster's Dictionary admits both spellings. CNN adopted the correct spelling yesterday. In some years, when the Portuguese influence will be completely erased, Macau will probably be Ho Chi Ming or something. And Honk Kong will be Fu Man Chu. We'd better start learning Chinese, or rather, Cantonese/Mandarin if we want to survive.
This has no anti-Chinese implications. I admire the East as much as the West. The Chinese (but let us not confound political systems with the people-- the people are very nice) are dreadfully backward in terms of democracy and human rights. But they have an advantage over Euro-Americans: they have no Christmas.
Joy, you sound to me as a writer. How long will you stay with us? Two, three weeks?

Bob Lord Mon Dec 20 09:04:46 PST 1999

Howdy folks! I've been reading your posts for a few days now and y'all are quite a funny bunch (the "take out or delivery" anecdote from Mr. Anderson is undoubtedly my favorite). I am the editor of, a literature and music ezine with a severe satiristic bent. We are hunting for talented, inventive, and downright hysterical writers to contribute; we very much would like to build a connected community similar to what I see here. I'd love for you to check out the site and see what we are up to! Please drop a line and tell me what you think. If you feel that you want to contribute, let us know!

Thanks and have a happy and safe holiday,
Bob Lord

Joy Mon Dec 20 02:48:41 PST 1999

STILLL haven't got all my shopping done and JUST started my baking, though Nolan, my youngest, has already eaten one third of the first batch!

Teekay: But you've GOT to be a schizophrenic to be a writer, AND have multiple-personality disorder -- your mind is always 2whichways and you've got a hundred or more voices inside your head yelling to be heard. Yes, definitely CRAZY -- as they say, "You must be CRAZY to think you're a writer!" Big grin.

Allein: Great fun! and SOOOOO true.

Eddie French Sun Dec 19 21:22:52 PST 1999

Sorry this answer is so late!
I think that you have answered you own question.
You said that you agreed with your critics some years later, (About the lack of depth in your characters.) Ok, so it took a couple of years before you really got to grips with the points that your critics raised.
Perhaps this was due to the time factor involved. perhaps you could have come to the same conclusions just weeks, or months after the first drafts of your works! I do!
Sometimes it is as soon as the morning after, Mostly after I write whilste indulging in a glass or two of a particularly earthy Chardonay, or a tarty Liefbruamilch!
Joking aside, You actually said in your post that you acknowledged this shortcoming. So, what are you going to do about it?
I think that you already have done a great deal about it!!
You have recognised it!
You have (naturally) corrected it!
Of course you have! or you would not have mentioned it!
See what I mean!!!!
The fact that you found the courage to discuss it on this forum means that you are now comfortable with this adjustment which you have already made and are willing to share it with others who may be even now heading in the same direction.
Well done Rhoda, (Just one more hurdle overcome)
We all travel the same path, Those up ahead have a duty to point out passed landmarks to fellow travellers!!

Eddie French Sun Dec 19 20:55:01 PST 1999

We almost met on that hydrofoil ride!
1970....I took that trip. I got into Macao, what a night!!
I have fond memories of the China Fleet Club in Wan Chai HK. One Christmas the Enterprise docked just outside the harbour. (It was too big to come in) The American sailors were forced to come ashore in uniform. (They would not fight wearing the country colours!)
Us brits, (being the animals we were) had no such inhibitions. That was a night to remember at the china fleet!
I could tell you about the pleasures you missed in Macao, but it would have to be by email!
Hk has changed so much over the last twenty years. I will never forget my two years living within the magic of the far east!

Jai Sun Dec 19 19:40:03 PST 1999

Oh yeah,

Rhoda, you asked a very interesting question about the difficulty in seeing your own writing objectivly.

I think this is one of the most valuable assets a writer can foster. But I can't see any easy solutions. I think getting and giving crittiques is a very good learning tool here as well as letting stories lie for a bit before editing them.

Anyone else have any other tips?


Jai Sun Dec 19 18:46:20 PST 1999

Hi ho...

I live. I LIVE!

Hello to those new faces, Joy and all the others I read in the archives and have sadly forgotten.

Well just a quick note to tell you all that I am well, that I am soon going away on holidays and that I have a little more in stall for SM.

Be well,


Allein Sun Dec 19 18:14:36 PST 1999

Hi everyone,
I hope your holidays are going well. I can tell that the holidays are in the air here.
Here are some things that have been happening around my house (kinda funny I guess):

* About a week ago, I was decorating my little Christmas tree in the rec room, singing "Oh Tannenbaum" just to get in the mood. My brother comes in and asks what a Tannenbaum is. Gee, with the English song being "Oh Christmas Tree" one can only wonder.

The stupidity doesn't end there:

* Yesterday, I was at Pizza place and this girl was there as the cashier. She looked like a really smart girl, however it soon became appearent that she was a ditz. It's a carry-out, bake it yourself place. After I told what I wanted, she says: "Take out or delivery."

* Also yesterday, my brother and I were doing laundry (come on, don't have a heart attack on me now). Anyway, he comes into my room and announces that his towel is special because it's green fuzzy and soft. I said "Yeah, well, so's the thing growing in my closet."

* Today, we were doing more laundry and I come down with my jeans to wash and my brother just stands by the washer and gestures to it. I asked him if he thought washing clothes was a woman's job. After he said yes, I said "Well, news flash, I'm not a woman." I wish I'd had a camera to capture the look on his face! :)

Here's a poem I'm working on.

"Twas the night before Christmas and here we see,
Little Allein, high on caffine,
Coffee, tea, and soda too,
She's waiting for you know who.
She's watching the fireplace glowing bright,
She's been waiting around almost all night,
The stockings are hung, all looks fine,
But only one thing will satisfy Allein,
All she wants for Christmas,
Is some of that good white stuff,
No, I'm talking snow,
Not the stuff you snuff.
Three in the morning,
There's no sign,
"Frosty must've retired in Florida"
Says sad little Allein.
Then out of the clouds, what should appear,
but, oh look, more rain,
More rain again,
Washington sucks."

Anyway, that's all I've got so far. I know it's not that good, but never mind the conventions, it's meant to be funny.
It's about time I went away before this post gets too long.
Bye bye everyone.

The paramedics got a call and immediately responded to it. When they got to their destination, they found a man on the steps to his house, having a heart attack. When they asked him what happened he replied: "Well, I came outside just as the garage door opened and instead of seeing my son come out with the car, he came out with the lawnmower."

RLH Sun Dec 19 17:11:54 PST 1999

Americo: In 1969 I had the opportunity to visit Macau. (Macao?) Our ship often visited Hong Kong and one afternoon I asked our Gunnery Officer where the large Hydrofoil boat was headed as it passed our ship at anchorage. Hydrofoil's, as you know are large boats that ski across the water. There are in most countries, but darn few in Texas. I saw one in Auckland and Sydney shortly afterward.

Anyway, the GO informed me it was headed to Macau, part of the Chinese mainland, but controlled by Portugal. He then informed us Macau was taboo for sailors, stay away. Commies were there he said and since we were embroiled in Vietnam only trouble awaited. Now, you can tell a sailor many things and he will obey. But...when you tell one someplace is off limits it's considered an open invitation.

Within hours my buddies and I, in civilian clothes, were on board the hydrofoil, zipping past our ship for a forbidden port and hidden delights. You see, some locations are usually off limits because that's where all the FUN is.

We never made it off the pier. Oh, we made Macau okay but a nattily dressed Chinese official took one look at our military haircuts and clean scrubbed faces and burst out laughing. He was standing on the dock and checking the passengers off loading and spotted us immediately.

"American sailors," he chided in that delightful Charlie Chan accent. "You have no busisness here. Please return to your ship." He then spoke Chinese to a crewmember and we were politely hustled right back aboard. I don't know what he said to the crewmember but we were treated first class on the return trip and furnished a Tiger beer apiece.

So the port of Macau was denied to us, but the 2 hour ride on the hydrofoil was precious.

Merry Christmas, pagan. :) :)
Your friend....RLH

Americo Sun Dec 19 15:23:08 PST 1999

A brief message to wish you all a happy evening.

Portugal has returned Macau to China today, after 442 years of friendly administration. Most of you have a negative idea of European colonization and so have I. But in this case it was not bad : we left there Christianism and a lot of Luso-Chinese babies. Of course I'd rather the Portuguese left there my special and unique brand of paganism, but Christianism can also be good, especially in Christmas time. We are all a bit sad here. Alomost five centuries is a long time.

Well, going to watch some soccer. Please write stories for SM** if you do not want to hear my friend Jon. He is not very happy about the lack of stories.

Kisses to all the girls.

Allein Sun Dec 19 11:14:11 PST 1999

Here is a funny that seems to ring true for me every year:

Thinking ahead ......
Twas the month after Christmas, and all through the house
Nothing would fit me, not even a blouse.
The cookies I'd nibbled, the eggnog I'd taste
At the holiday parties had gone to my waist.
When I got on the scales there arose such a number!
When I walked to the store (less a walk than a lumber).
I'd remember the marvelous meals I'd prepared;
The gravies and sauces and beef nicely rared,
The wine and the rum balls, the bread and the cheese
And the way I'd never said, "No thank you, please."
As I dressed myself in my husband's old shirt
And prepared once again to do battle with dirt---
I said to myself, as I only can
"You can't spend a winter disguised as a man!"
So--away with the last of the sour cream dip,
Get rid of the fruit cake, every cracker and chip
Every last bit of food that I like must be banished
"Till all the additional ounces have vanished.
I won't have a cookie--not even a lick.
I'll want only to chew on a long celery stick.
I won't have hot biscuits, or corn bread, or pie,
I'll munch on a carrot and quietly cry.
I'm hungry, I'm lonesome, and life is a bore---
But isn't that what January is for?
Unable to giggle, no longer a riot.
Happy New Year to all and to all a good diet!

Teekay Sun Dec 19 01:09:26 PST 1999

JERRY:- Hilarious. Thankyou so much for the laugh, I needed it. Definitely publishable material.

ASHLING:- Where abouts in Australia are you from?

JOY:- I used to write a lot of poetry and still do when the mood strikes. Now I'm more into the short stories, but I've got that best selling novel in mind, but it just seems like too much of a commitment at the moment. Also I can't maintain the same frame of mind long enough to maintain consistency in the novel. It would read like the schizophrenics handbook. To all schizophrenics out there, no offence it's called 'descriptive,expressive literary liberation.' Or 'freedom of the press.' Writing has such perks!! No company car though.

Hope every one is getting into the Christmas spirit, or maybe just the spirits.

Sunny day today, absoloutely no sign of snow.

Ashling Sat Dec 18 23:38:17 PST 1999

Hellooo Notebookers.

JACK: Thanks ever so much for the lovely new song. I believe the stocking graphics are your best yet!

AMERICO: I adore Christmas music of all kinds ... All is well again in Musicland, thanks to Jack's magic tricks - I suspect there's a bit of Elf in his bloodline.

HOWARD, JERRY & JOY: Thanks for the vivid descriptions. I'm off to bed now, ready to enter dreamland with visions of brass rings & carousels, birds & snow dancing in my head. One of the things I got my husband for Christmas is a bird feeder - methinks he'll enjoy it tremendously.

Best regards,

Jerry Ericsson Sat Dec 18 08:36:19 PST 1999

Winter is here, thought you might enjoy this little diddy - while it isn't mine, it does express the feelings of those who choose to live in the great northern wasteland called the Dakotas.


December 8: 6:00 PM. It started to snow. The first snow of the season and the wife and I took our cocktails and sat for hours by the window watching the huge soft flakes drift down from heaven. It looked like a Grandma Moses Print. So romantic we felt like newlyweds again. I love snow!

December 9: We woke to a beautiful blanket of crystal white snow covering every inch of the landscape. What a fantastic sight! Can there be a more lovely place in the Whole World? Moving here was the best idea I've ever had. Shoveled for the first time in years and felt like a boy again. I did both our driveway and the sidewalks. This afternoon the snow plow came along and covered up the sidewalks and closed in the driveway, so I got to shovel again. What a perfect life.

December 12: The sun has melted all our lovely snow. Such a disappointment .My neighbor tells me not to worry, we'll definitely have a white Christmas. No snow on Christmas would be awful! Bob says we'll have so much snow by the end of winter, that I'll never want to see snow again. I don't think that's possible. Bob is such a nice man. I'm glad he's our neighbor.

December 14: Snow, lovely snow! 8" last night. The temperature dropped to -20. The cold makes everything sparkle so. The wind took my breath away, but I warmed up by shoveling the driveway and sidewalks. This is the life! The snowplow came back this afternoon and buried everything again. I didn't realize I would have to do quite this much shoveling, but I'll certainly get back in shape this way. I wish I wouldn't huff and puff so.

December 15: 20 inches forecast. Sold my van and bought a 4x4 Blazer. Bought snow tires for the wife's car and 2 extra shovels. Stocked the freezer. The wife wants a wood stove in case the electricity goes out. I think that's silly. We aren't in Alaska, after all.

December 16: Ice storm this morning. Fell on my ass on the ice in the driveway putting down salt. Hurt like hell. The wife laughed for an hour, which I think was very cruel.

December 17: Still way below freezing. Roads are too icy to go anywhere. Electricity was off for 5 hours. I had to pile the blankets on to stay warm. Nothing to do but stare at the wife and try not to irritate her. Guess I should've bought a wood stove, but won't admit it to her. God I hate it when she's right. I can't believe I'm freezing to death in my own living room.

December 20: Electricity's back on, but had another 14" of the damn stuff last night. More shoveling. Took all day. Goddamn snowplow came by twice. Tried to find a neighbor kid to shovel, but they said they're too busy playing hockey. I think they're lying. Called the only hardware store around to see about buying a snow blower and they're out. Might have another shipment in March. I think they're lying. Bob says I have to shovel or the city will have it done and bill me. I think he's lying.

December 22: Bob was right about a white Christmas because 13 more inches of the white shit fell today, and it's so cold it probably won't melt till August. Took me 45 minutes to get all dressed up to go out to shovel and then I had to piss. By the time I got undressed, pissed and dressed again. I was too tired to shovel. Tried to hire Bob who has a plow on his truck for the rest of the winter; but he says he's too busy. I think the asshole is lying.

December 23: Only 2" of snow today. And it warmed up to 0. The wife wanted me to decorate the front of the house this morning. What is she...nuts??? Why didn't she tell me to do that a month ago? She says she did but I think she's damn well lying.

December 24: 6". Snow packed so hard by snowplow, l broke the shovel. Thought I was having a heart attack. If I ever catch the son of a bitch who drives that snowplow, I'll drag him through the snow by his balls. I know he hides around the corner and waits for me to finish shoveling and then he comes down the street at a 100 miles an hour and throws snow all over where I've just been! Tonight the wife wanted me to sing Christmas carols with her and open our presents, but I was busy watching for the goddamn snowplow.

December 25: Merry Christmas. 20 more inches of the !=3D@x@!x!x1 slop tonight. Snowed in. The idea of shoveling makes my blood boil. God I hate the snow! Then the snowplow driver came by asking for a donation and I hit him over the head with my shovel. The wife says I have a bad attitude. I think she's an idiot. If I have to watch "It's a Wonderful Life" one more time, I'm going to kill her.

December 26: Still snowed in. Why the hell did I ever move here? It was all HER idea. She's really getting on my nerves.

December 27: Temperature dropped to -30 and the pipes froze.

December 28: Warmed up to above -50. Still snowed in. THE BITCH is driving me crazy!!!

December 29: 10 more inches. Bob says I have to shovel the roof or it could cavein. That's the silliest thing I ever heard. How dumb does he think I am?

December 30: Roof caved in. The snow plow driver is suing me for a million dollars for the bump on his head. The wife went home to her mother . 9" predicted.

December 31: Set fire to what's left of the house. No more shoveling.

January 8: I feel so good. I just love those little white pills they keep giving me.
Why am I tied to the bed?

Americo Sat Dec 18 06:36:58 PST 1999

Sorry, the beginning of the message below was addressed to Jack.

Was this song (I really love it -- until the 1000th time I'll here it) the one composed by Henry VIIIth? Green Leaves, it it? That's the most beautiful thing of the Anglo-Saxon repertory. I'll switch off the sound of the computer when I feel that I'm getting tired. So far, so good.

I'm afraid Jon is too interested in the little mouse in the sock. Don't forget he is a schizofrenic starving cat...

Americo Sat Dec 18 06:32:54 PST 1999

Jay, Nice to hear from you at last. I was going to publish your photography in all Lisbon newspapers today. With a little legend: "Wanted, alive or dead. His scalped needed for Christmas tree decoration."

These are the last 24 hours of Portuguese administration of Macao. Tomorrow that territory of South China, near Honk-Kong, will be returned to China, after 400 years of Portuguese administration. That's the last remains of Western colonozitation of the East, in the case of Macao a very friendly sort. Anyway, the millenium is really coming to the end.

Good morning, everybody!

Joy Sat Dec 18 01:47:46 PST 1999

It's slightly after 4:30 and SO quiet but for Greensleeves playing from this site. The temperature dropped to 15 below last night -- our first really cold day this season -- and we have a slight covering of snow on the ground. There is something about snow and cold -- especially when Christmas is approaching -- that makes the morning silence almost palpable, like everyone is holding their breath in expectation of something. It gets into you, and you feel quieted also, which is definitely a plus with so few days left before Christmas. The water on the mill pond is beginning to ice over now and just yesterday two flocks of Cnada Geese flew over honking at the top of their lungs, probably saying, "Boy! are we late!" Every thing seems to be coming a little late because of the unseasonably mild weather we have had until now. The seeds still hang pendulous from most of the maples, and so except for the chickadees we have not had many birds visiting our feeders. Some woodpeckers have just discovered the suet, so they will be coming all winter now, but I miss the cardinals and the juncos and snow buntings and purple finches and redpolls that are usually here by December. But better for them that the weather be mild, so I shouldn't complain. All the best, and a Merry Christmas to everyone. And may everyday bring new words and a new will to write them.

Jack Beslanwitch Sat Dec 18 01:25:29 PST 1999


Americo: If you look back into the archives around this time of year as often as not the time just around the holidays tends to see a tapering off of activity. In part measure I added music and graphics to the mix at this time of year to liven things up.

Of course, I hope it does not get too lively here in Seattle. Hearing about the potential terrorist who was caught with nitro glycerine and a hundred pounds of bomb making supplies. Then hearing that he had a reservation for a hotel room right next to the Seattle Center does not make me comfortable. A fear the Battle In Seattle is attracting some of the true believer types with an agenda.

I am looking forward to Christmas Eve with friends and a private party on New Years. Hope others will be having enjoyable holidays. Take care.

Jack Beslanwitch Fri Dec 17 22:38:47 PST 1999

     Americo and everyone else: Yes, I am still alive and kicking. The one thing that happened is that I got hit with two contracts with deadlines, one of which requires me to be do the web design at their location. So I have been a bit incommunicado. And, Jon, yes I am about half done with the edits of SM that I wanted to do and last minute gift buying and other responsibilities have all hit like a train wreck. I find sometimes that when I have too many responsibilities or demands coming at me I seem to dither and not get quite as much done as I would like. So I get bummed and try harder and have more problems. Oh, well. I will try to shove everything into a corner and get to the last half and get it to you only a week later that I promised.

     And I think I will take a moment and redo the graphics and the music for the end run into Christmas. There was a oops in my coding that created the musical confusion. That will be corrected as well.

p.s. cable modems are very very nice. At least, they are when they are working and the place you are trying to connect to is not congested up. Still, I did a download of a program I needed a couple of hours ago that was 16 megs and it gobbled it down without a hitch in a little over 4 minutes. I still shake my head in wonder.

Peace, Joy and happiness to you all. Oh and productive writing as well

Eddie French Fri Dec 17 16:50:22 PST 1999

No, not very often, especially when it is so transparent.

Teekay Fri Dec 17 15:50:18 PST 1999

AMERICO:-Ohmigod, I think I may be one of those 30%. Bugger!
Does your reverse psychology work often?

Jon Fri Dec 17 13:08:41 PST 1999

Just to brighten this page with my white smile.

Americo Fri Dec 17 12:57:52 PST 1999

Hello, Howard!

Nice piece. Why don't you publish it in SM**? It would be a good remembrance of you for the time you can't visit the Notebook. Incidentally, I am doing all my best to preserve something of you in "Shadows". I will never forget that you translated the Portuguese poem into English (and also Spanish). Your translation will be published together with the book if you do not mind. I hope you don't, that chapter is already written and I have no time for more revisions. Mention of your name will be made in the novel of course. You were the only of the Notebookers whose name I decided to preserve intact-- this shows my respect and consideration for you, one of the few people I really miss. I also miss Thomas and ... imagine, Michelle! who did not like me at all. I don't mind that people dislike me when I like them. If they are intelligent I like them, even if they hate me. Of course I cannot see how an intelligent person cannot like me. Actually only intelligent people can like me. (I do not like me very much, but I am only of average intlligence.)

Ashling, why don't you switch off the sound of your computer? That's what I did and life became a little more bearable. "Silent Night" used to be a lovely song before all barber shops of this world started playing it from morning till night.

The Notebook is going through a very uninteresting phase. Perhaps Jack should close the shop instead of letting it die in such a miserable way.

To the collaborators of "Strawberries and a Moon": if you think I'll cancel the project, do not have false illusions. First you would have to prove that you are NOT writers. I am not sure that you have already proved that you are; I need more evidence to know that you do not belong to the 30 percent of the world population that write a lovely peace once a year and then go to sleep for the rest of their lives. These charming people do not deserve the name of writers (and should not misuse this Notebook). They are just lovely readers -- my clients actually.

Jack, hope you are not ill or something.

Rachel Fri Dec 17 12:29:22 PST 1999

Lydia! Hi you:) It's great to see yah. Hope all is going well with your writing.
Take care you

Allein Fri Dec 17 12:20:02 PST 1999

Rachel - I sent you an e-mail. Respond if you can.

Rachel Fri Dec 17 12:05:09 PST 1999

Lydia! Hi you:) It's great to see yah. Hope all is going well with your writing.
Take care you

Lydia Sweet Fri Dec 17 11:52:19 PST 1999

Hi all,

I know I haven't been here in awhile and I'm beginning to believe you have forgotten me. But while I have a short minute I wanted to stop by. I doubt that I will have the time or access to the internet in the next week so I wanted to wish everyone a "MERRY CHRISTMAS".

Hopefully after Christmas I will have my modem and I can keep in touch.

Till then,

God Bless,
God Keep,

Love, Lydia

howard tuckey Fri Dec 17 07:42:12 PST 1999

Sorry -- I dropped a line in the post. Corrected version below:

I yearn for a casserole made
with layers of hours
delicately seasoned with leisure thoughts,
spiced with sauted minutes crisp with surprise,
marinated in sweet experience;
And to accompany it a sauce --
a reduction of memories
having just a hint of tension to mark it,
to set a contrast on the palate.
Such a meal as would do justice
to Chronos.

Howard Tuckey Fri Dec 17 06:59:58 PST 1999

Hi all --
I feel like a kid on a carousel trying to grab the brass ring, only it's never in the same spot and I can't see it quickly enough to catch it, and suddenly it's there but I don't dare reach because I know I won't be able to let go, and the carousel manager will have to stop the ride and everyone will be angry with me, but I want it so badly that I must take the chance...

where did *that* come from?

RLH - WASPs committing atrocities against an indigenous people? What will they think of next? We ought to compare notes sometime. Have you ever thought of contacting Joseph Bruschak? He writes and edits collections of Native American literature -- especially that of the Iriquois Nations.

Americo -- I've been thinking about the concept underlying Strawberries and the Moon, and it led to this -- composed during my morning commute to this pocket of drudgery that supports my meager lifestyle:

I yearn for a casserole made
with layers of hours
delicately seasoned with leisure thoughts,
spiced with sauted minutes crisp with surprise,
marinated in sweet experience --
And to accompany it a sauce
having just a hint of tension to mark it,
to set a contrast on the palate.
Such a meal as would do justice
to Chronos.


Americo Thu Dec 16 13:15:24 PST 1999

I was away from this holy place for over 24 hours. Isn't that amazing? I see that the Christmas tree is still up and blushing. And where is Jack? Blushing as well, probably. (Private joke)

Rachel Thu Dec 16 08:38:38 PST 1999

Jerry - That sounds wonderful!
Take care you

Laura Thu Dec 16 08:37:41 PST 1999

Hi everyone. Just thought I'd say hi before I went to my final today. I have to go but I will be on later.


Jerry Ericsson Thu Dec 16 07:23:23 PST 1999

Greetings and Salutations to all.

Winter has finally arrived here in the Dakotas. In the past two days, the tempratures have plummeted from the high to mid 40's down to single digits. Yesterday we awoke to a small dusting of snow, and this morning, there are at least three inches of the lovely white stuff covering everything. The hundreds of sparrows who have been visiting my bird feeders, just outside my living room window, on a daily basis have now moved in for the winter, staying in near-by trees, and setting on the window sill giving me hell if I fail to fill the feeders daily. Looks like we will have a white Christmas after all, and it feels like home again.

Laura Wed Dec 15 19:45:26 PST 1999

Hi everyone. I'm a little behind in everything. I had a run in with a Virus and have been wary ever since. I have been trying to get my last rewrite of my first five chapters done so I can turn it in.


Ashling aka_Ashling Wed Dec 15 19:29:35 PST 1999

Hi writers!

JACK: While the Notebook page is loading, Crescendo plays 6 or 8 notes of Silent Night, then stops. When I click on the start arrow it plays Little Drummer Boy. Which was nice the first 5,000 times I heard it, but I'm a wee bit SICK OF IT now. If I figure out a way to e-mail you quarters - will you please put another song on the "jukebox"? Please, please.

Pay my irritability no never mind folks... On another message board the computer gods suddenly made me the Moderator ... I got scads of requests in my mailbox for subscriptions, unsubs, fix this, do that - When I emailed the owner for help - the request came to me to handle! Two days later, all is fixed and I'm back to being a lowly Member (Yea!). For a while, it felt like I was screaming underwater (no one could hear me).

Happy Writing (you out there Rhoda?) and as they say in Aussieland -

No worries,

Americo Wed Dec 15 11:01:24 PST 1999

Forgot to sign, sorry.

Wed Dec 15 11:00:16 PST 1999

After their dance Sebastian whisked her away for a moment to stand in a darkened area of the roof top filled with music and laughter. Ten floors below the noise of the New York traffic was a continuous appeal to life, to real life, and that was what Sebastian and Emma were enjoying, already with a shade of the melancholy of the departure for their home countries and forever. He asked her:

"Tell me, Emma, are our fellow writers anything like you expected them to be? Are they still a dream?"

Emma was suddenly moved to tears. She had waited many months to give an answer to that question. She had witnessed Sebastian’s anguish for that answer as well. They had been the only members of the Notebook who knew the real meaning of the word dream in connection with the Notebook’s denizens. No other people had ever realized the magic of souls while they are just words, sentences, wrong punctuation and bad spelling sometimes, but deep aspirations and that immense desire to give which only artists know.

"Yes, Sebastian, they are. They are all still beautiful and fragile dreams. I do not believe I could ever know any one of them from a few beautiful days. They are still only illusions, they still wear their masks. For the most part they are exactly as I expected


Allein Wed Dec 15 06:49:57 PST 1999

Rachel - HI!!! :) (((((BIG HUGS))))) I'm going to my German club Christmas party tonight. Tomorrow I'll e-mail you and tell you how it went. :)

Pussy Wed Dec 15 03:47:31 PST 1999

I'm fascinated with the bulbs at the top of this page. They really excite me. I must be right because even the Christmas tree also blushes from time to time. And the music is divine. Jon asked me to strip tease at the sound of "Silent Night". Christmas always has a strange effect on my husbands behaviour and thought. But in this case he has a point. The bulbs are really something. Does everyone see (and feel) what I do?

Jon Wed Dec 15 03:43:09 PST 1999

I am doing some research to write a story whose action takes place in Jesus's time. Do you know if girls already wore bras? Any information connected with underware in that time is welcome. The title of my story (I'd better not tell).

Americo Wed Dec 15 03:40:11 PST 1999

Jack, are you still alive?

Someone (C.J.?) asked some time ago what "Play Cat" is. It is a fictitious magazine where Jon publishes his true fiction. Not recommended to chocolate eaters, unless they are really vicious. It is based on the formula of "Play Boy" but much more pornographic. The director of this fictitious magazine is the priest of the parochy. Jon asked me to ask you to please subscribe to it ($110 dollars each copy). The magazine is sometimes nightly.

I'm having an affair with the widow of a neighbour who loved Christmas. He was a nice guy. I keep his scalpel as a souvenir. His widow is very grateful to me because I helped her get rid of his Christmas-loving husband. We always pray something before and after breakfast.

Sorry, kids, I am too busy to read all the posts on this excellent Notebook. If you have more questions please e-mail me. By the way, I am not responsible for Jon's antics. I think that cat needs to get fixed.

Joy Wed Dec 15 03:17:41 PST 1999

Hey all. I'm going Christmas shopping today and I hope I FINALLY get everything on the kids lists.

Teekay: I write practically everything -- poetry, short stories (literary, SF, fantasy, mystery, etc., etc.), essays, ad nauseum. My latest short story appeared in The New Orphic Review (British Columbia) and I've got one coming out in The Dalhousie Review (Nova Scotia) -- really sea to shining sea. They are quite different from each other, the one being all about a sexual relationship and the other about a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp during WW2. Poetry appears everywhere and I'm trying my best to submit to the online magazines, but I've only been on the net for one month now. I've submitted some poetry and two SF stories and am just waiting to hear back. What do you write?

Rachel Tue Dec 14 23:38:53 PST 1999

Hi all:o)

Allein - Hey you (smiles and a hug).

Jon - You are one wound up little kitty (grins).

Americo - Hi you.

SKS - If you're lurking... HI!!!! I think the very fact that I worked out the difference between your and you're rates some sort of response (grins and laughter).

Gary - If you're lurking... Hi!!!

Take care all