Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Isn't There More? Vol. II

Circumstances too odd (or possibly boring) for explanation have culminated in yet another opportunity for you click on something which will allow you to whittle away a small chunk of your life reading words that have been pre-arranged in a mildly satisfying manner.

Monday, January 30, 2006

The Five People You Meet In Hell by Mitch Albom

1. The one who gets a certain sense of self satisfaction from telling you that he doesn't even own a TV.
2. The one who explains what her dog is doing to you by saying, 'oh, he does that to everyone'.
3. Tyra Banks
4. The one who really enjoys John Tesh, no matter what he's up to.
5. The one with bumperstickers that express a point of view about something via Calvin urinating on something else.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

I Don't Like Monkeys Any More Than You Do

Dear Sir:

I just wanted the thank you for taking the time to read over my manuscript. I know you said in your letter that it didn't meet the current needs of your publishing firm, but what I probably didn't make clear in my initial submission is just how flexible I am regarding the content. I am absolutely willing to cut, add, or change any number of words, themes, characters, or chapter titles to better suit your needs. In fact, short of actually having my name appear somewhere on the book (even there I'm flexible, maybe just initials or one of those symbols like Prince uses) I'm not really married to anything you read.

For instance, you mentioned that you didn't find it credible that a monkey could attain such a high level political office or be involved in such a complex love triangle. To be clear, I don't like monkeys any more than you do. In retrospect, I don't even know why I put that in there. I think that somewhere in my head I'd just really gotten attached to the idea that monkeys probably sell books. But it seems clear I was confusing monkeys with something else that sells books, possibly sex. It would have been much better if Bubbles had lost in the primary and then Kathleen had broken it off with him before they ever got tangled up with the magician. I'm working on a draft to that effect right now and could have it in your hands by the end of next week.

You also noted that Kathleen's discovery of the hidden treasure through clues hidden in Norman Rockwell paintings felt like an obvious rip off of The Davinci Code, which is odd because I haven't even read that book. I thought it was a manual for a very old means of communication similar to Morse Code, but in, like, Italian. In any case, I've since read a summary and there do appear to be some similarities in the plot lines. I'm having my lawyer look into it, but since it appears The Davinci Code was published before I began work on my manuscript, he's skeptical that we'll have any legal recourse. Meanwhile, what if instead of burying the clues in paintings, they were woven into reruns of Friends? I really liked that show, and I think a lot of other people did too, and I think tying it in would probably really boost sales. We could even bring Chandler into the narrative as a witty and self deprecating antagonist to the ninja.

Regarding your thoughts on the 'Choose Your Own Adventure' format really being a dead end, I have to admit that my first reaction was that you must be some kind of whack-job. But, I've had a little time to process it and, dead or not, I think the story can function without it. Really, it's probably going to make a whole lot more sense now and we won't even need the wizard character (unless you liked him), not to mention that eliminating eleven of the twelve possible endings will really help to tighten the page count (I agree, 1400 pages was a tad long).

Other suggestions you can anticipate me taking to heart in the draft that will be available next week: numbering the pages, not drawing doodles about my coworkers in the margins, and not attempting to depict the various characters' emotional states with a bar graph at the end of each chapter. While I do feel that charts and graphs are really under used in fiction these days, I know it's hard to lead a revolution and I think it's more important to get published first and worry about changing the world later. As for the numbering and doodles, those were just oversights, much like letting that monkey win the election (seriously, what was I thinking?).

In closing, not only am I more than willing to address all of the concerns laid out in your letter, I'm willing to answer any future issues that might be a roadblock to us working together. What it really comes down to is this: I know a large number of words (which I can also supplement with dictionaries and reference materials) and I'm willing to arrange them in whatever order you find most pleasing, with or without graphs. Also, it would be great if we can get the thing published ASAP because I already told several people at work (you may remember them from the margin doodles) that I had a book coming out and I'm not sure they believed me. Sally from HR (in a LOT of the doodles) actually laughed at me, but I think she'd really change her tune and possibly reconsider my marriage proposal if we could get this thing on the shelves.

Thank you again for your time and expertise.

Kyle Killen

p.s. I have some wicked cover designs in mind as soon as you're ready to discuss that. All I'll say is: bar graph.

p.p.s. Again, sorry about the whole monkey thing.

Monday, January 23, 2006

I Remain Committed To You

Better late than never is what I've heard some people say, usually people who were late for something. Annoyingly late. Avoidably late. These people are terrible and everything they have to say should be discounted and ignored.

However, there is something to say for commitment, the kind of commitment that has me writing this useless entry in the closing hours of this day despite both of us knowing that I have little left to offer. It's been a long one. Well, let's get real, no day is any longer than any other, and people with kids and paralyzed limbs probably have long days, not unemployed writers who wake up when a cat stands on their head. But it still feels like it's been a long time since those furry paws helped me greet the noon day sun.

So I'm putting this out there for my benefit, not yours (it's more for your punishment) because I'd like to continue forcing myself to blather on three days a week. I'm doing it because I'm committed. And you have to be committed if you ever want to see the top of anything without falling off of something else. That's what it's going to say on my tombstone. But I won't be under that tombstone, because I'm going to live forever. Or possibly come back as a cat with a job as some schmuck's alarm clock.

Friday, January 20, 2006

The Cars Driven By Attractive Women

When you see an attractive woman it is okay to ask yourself, 'I wonder if she drives a nice car?'

Most people assume that attractive women drive nice cars. This is because they think that attractive women tend to be married to rich and powerful men, usually the heads of companies or small countries. People who think like this are sexist. Attractive women might also drive nice cars because they get promoted more often that homely women. They may also be singers or supermodels who, you may be aware, do not get out of bed for less than 10,000 dollars.

If you see an attractive woman in a parking lot, keep an eye out for a German vehicle. This is probably hers. Attractive women like German vehicles. This does not, however, mean that they like other German things like Schnitzel or heavy beer.

But not all attractive women drive nice cars. Occasionally you will see an attractive woman get into an American car and you will be confused. There are any number of reasons that this might happen, and all of them are bad. She might be an idealist, unwilling to trade on her looks. She might be philosophically committed to living a spartan lifestyle free of pretentious excess. She might like American cars. In any case, she should be avoided because she is crazy.

Judging people based on how attractive they are, what clothes they wear, or what kind of cars they drive is wrong in the same way that judging a book by the cover is wrong. However, bookstores have an awful lot of books and reading all of them before deciding if you should purchase one is time consuming and tends to result in your eventually being asked to leave. Therefore it can be helpful to eliminate books based on their covers, such as books with pink covers, pictures of buttons, or ones with the word diet on them. You will inevitably miss out on a good read about a pink buttoned diet, but life is made up of a series of tragedies.

The important point is that attractive women mostly drive expensive German cars and don't have much time for reading. If they did, they would only read from really sharp looking books. So if you see an attractive woman get into an American car, it's okay to assume that she's lonely and incomplete, and probably headed to the library, and that her suffering is in some way a penance for the sins of the world. This should make you feel better, and you are free to honk at her and roll down your window, and shout that 'God works in mysterious ways'.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Why I Can’t Go Back To Starbucks

As you know, Starbucks is an evil corporation that supports things like rape and murder, and also does not serve beverages that are smaller than ‘Tall’. I used to like them a lot. But now they don’t like me, and I think the feeling is becoming mutual, though I do still weep a little bit when I think about the times we had.

Starbucks and I had any number of arguments over the years. Nothing serious, just the sort of lover’s quarrels one would expect from a carnivorous coffee chain and an undercover neurosurgeon who likes to bathe in public restrooms and nap on comfy couches while enjoying an eclectic soundtrack and inhaling the intoxicating aroma of coffee that other people are paying four dollars a cup for. In the end, our mutual respect for one another was always enough to help us put our disagreements behind us and we ended each day as we began it, with my arms wrapped tightly around the closed and dark glass of the little building while I waited for it to open up again and welcome me.

But yesterday was different, and I think that everyday after yesterday, including both today and tomorrow, are bound to be different too. It started when someone asked if they could help me. The regular staff and I are well past this, and all of them know that the best way to help me is just to let me sleep it off, or in some instances, put more hand towels in the restroom so that I can get dry. But by now these are things we can communicate without speaking, so it was startling to once again hear a question I thought we’d settled long ago. I assumed that it must just be a new staff member, and I would have to train him like all the rest. I asked him his name and he said Jeff. I told Jeff that it would be very helpful if he could turn down the stereo because I needed to catch forty winks and then in about a half hour I told him that he could start running warm water in one of the bathroom sinks.

It turned out that Jeff was not a new employee, but a corporate stooge of some sort sent to investigate a case of persistent loitering and possible hobo like behavior. I assured Jeff that I’d be on the lookout and tried to get back to sleep, but he continued to pester me. He asked if I might like to order something and I explained that I did not like coffee, and that even if I did, just between him and me, I’d never be stupid enough to pay four dollars a cup. Jeff asked what I was doing here if I didn’t like coffee, and I told him that I enjoyed the ambiance while waiting for pages on my undercover neurosurgery pager. Jeff pointed out that my pager appeared to be a severely damaged garage door opener. I explained that that’s how I remained undercover.

We went back and forth like this for a half hour until the police appeared which at first I thought was incredibly handy. I explained to them that this man, this Jeff, was badgering me and preventing my nap and thus endangering any patients I might have to see later in the day. But Jeff turned out to have the police in his pocket, bribed with big jugs of complicated coffee. There were laws and regulations and some such and apparently I was in violation of them all.

Am I being evicted, I asked.

Jeff told me that I didn’t live there. He said that I was welcome to come back if I wished to purchase coffee, but otherwise I was banned from the premises, and if I failed to comply he would prosecute me. He asked again if I wanted to purchase any coffee.

Long story short, I ended up in the back of the police car after I tried to remove what I assumed must be a tumor in Jeff’s brain that was causing him to ask me the same questions over and over. Sadly, the utensils at Starbucks are all plastic and I was not able to penetrate Jeff’s skull cap before the authorities interrupted. After I was released I tried to go back and inform Jeff that without intervention his problem would only get worse, but I wasn’t even able to enter the building before I was in the back of another police car.

So apparently, I can’t go back to Starbucks anymore, and Jeff’s tumor will just go on growing unchecked until he dies. I don’t wish anyone ill, but if you won’t listen to reason, it serves you right. In any case, I won’t pretend that I haven’t cried a little over the injustice of it all. I’m crying right now. When I close my eyes I’m almost there, the scent of coffee beans in my nose, some inoffensive lite-rock in my ears, and the comfy embrace of a padded bench under my back. But when I open them it’s just this cell which smells faintly of urine and lacks all the aesthetic appeal of my former love. If these painful memories persist I’ll have no choice but to dig them out of my own head, and that’s not the kind of operation you want to take on unless you’ve had a good rest and a bath. Until yesterday I’d have known just where to I could find both.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Isn't There More?

If you strongly feel that you simply haven't had enough, you can always try this.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Excerpt of The Speech I Would Have Given Had I Been Valedictorian

If there’s one question I get all the time it’s, “Why can’t I be as smart as you?

This is a very good question. And one, given your inferior intelligence, that will require a good bit of explanation. However, given your short attention span and limited cranial capacity, I will try to simplify (aka dumb it down) for you.

I am extremely smart.

Some people refer to this as being gifted. This term is misleading. It implies that intelligence was handed to me like a present in a box that upon shaking feels like it might be a video game or the keys to a vehicle with a ‘thumping’ sound system, but which upon opening is just a sweater with an embroidered pussy cat on it which gets you beaten up when you wear it to school three days in a row. Instead, my intelligence had to be earned, fought for, spilled and cleaned up, and constructed through hard labor by foreign workers who were not as smart as me and thus didn’t know to look for better jobs. The blueprints for my genius can not be found in any textbooks or manuals, nor can they be described by the infantile ramblings of so called teachers, professors, or my many assigned and frequently visited parole officers. My brilliance is a tree that grows in the fertile soil of experience, and extends 74 miles into space where it catches passing satellites which not only hang from it’s beautiful branches like multimillion dollar Christmas ornaments, but also impart to my brilliant tree all of their satellite knowledge. This is how I know the license plate and social security numbers of so many young and attractive celebrities, and it’s the only reason, no matter what else you heard. It’s also why you get such great cell phone reception in my presence.

In short, unless your brain is a 74 mile tall tree that catches satellites, that’s the first reason you can’t be as smart as me.

Second, I know the answer to every question that has ever been asked and that can ever be asked. Each and every answer is written on a sort of cheat-sheet that I keep folded up under my watch band (which may sound like cheating, but it’s not because I memorized all the answers when I wrote them down so I don’t ever actually look at the sheet, I just like knowing it’s there). You may ask (and I knew you would because it’s on my sheet) how it could be possible to get such a wealth of information onto a piece of paper that could be folded up and put inconspicuously under my watch band. The answer is lasers. (Lasers are also the answer to almost all the other questions that have ever been asked or could ever be asked, so if you less intelligent folks out there find yourself facing a tough question, try just answering: lasers.) But these are not ordinary lasers, they’re special lasers, that I invented, potty trained, and put through school. And they write their information in a font that I also invented which can only be deciphered by people like myself whose IQ is an infinity symbol.

Some of you may think that you’ve heard me answer a question incorrectly, or you may have a court order that seems to show that from time to time I make a mistake. These apparent errors are not reflections of my lack of intelligence, but merely part of my carefully conceived plan to insure that no persons (or vindictive supernatural beings) ever discover my cheat-sheet. These ‘incorrect answers’, ‘failing grades’, or ‘insuffcient explanations for stalker like behavior’ are merely my fanciful and careless marks on the Scantron sheet of life that allow me to be the smartest person ever without arousing suspicion or incurring further beatings like the savage one visited upon me on day four of the pussycat sweatshirt marathon.

To summarize, unless you can read the infinity IQ font written by special home schooled lasers and happen to have made a cheat sheet containing all the answers to all questions which you keep in your watch band, that’s the second reason you can’t be as smart as me.

There are 847 more reasons why you can’t be as smart as me, but our time is short, and really, is there any point in dwelling on that which you can’t change? (The answer is: no. But if you said lasers you were close.) If you would like more information on your inability to be as smart as me, send a two liter bottle of Big Red, a Whatmacallit candy bar, and a self addressed stamped envelope to Smartest Man In The Universe. You don’t need to write anything else. They’ll find me. The law always does. Reason number 8 involves sticky buns, and reason number 612 details my nightly aluminum foil mummification ritual. They’re all good reading and well worth your investment in time, soda, candy, and stamps.

To conclude, there are 849 reasons you can’t be as smart as me, but you lack the wherewithal and I lack the time to cover all of them now. But my hope is that when you see giant trees extending into space you’ll think of me and my mind, and you’ll want to leap into the branches of those trees and begin to climb, reaching ever higher until you grow too tired and hungry to continue and eventually fall and wonder why you even tried to ascend to the heights of my genius.

If I could say one final thing to each and every one of you, it would simply be this.


Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Wednesdays Are New And Improved

The following are the guidelines for New and Improved Wednesdays:

The first D in Wednesday is no longer silent. The day should be pronounced Wed-nes-day. Also: Favre (Far-ve) will be pronounced Fav-re on Wednesday.

Wednesday may no longer be referred to as 'hump day'. Camels may still be ridden on Wednesday, but their humps must be referred to as 'animal mounds'.

Wednesday now has it's own special cocktail, 'The Wednesday'. It is delicious, invigorating, takes the place of a 55 minute workout, and costs 8 dollars. 'The Wednesday' is available exclusively at TGI Fridays.

All disagreements will be settled with rap battles on Wednesdays. This includes long festering geopolitical disputes (China v. Taiwan, Palestinians v. Jews).

The word 'whimsical' may no longer be used on Wednesday (unless it's tightly integrated into a rap battle).

All financial transactions must be completed in pennies on Wednesday. People who complain about this practice must
a) do so in rap form
b) purchase a 'Wednesday' from Fridays for the person to whom they are complaining at a cost of 800 pennies.

Conversations must be supplemented by charts and graphs on Wednesdays. This applies to conversations of any length on any subject. Even threats. And yellow must figure prominently in all charts and graphs because yellow's birthday is now Wednesday.

Everyone will walk, bike, or use a bulldozer on Wednesdays. Tanks and other treaded vehicles ARE NOT acceptable substitutes. Bulldozers must have a shovel shaped device on their front end. Violators in other types of vehicles may be bulldozed at any time. Also: Obviously all bulldozers should be yellow.

Wednesday now begins at noon on Sunday and ends and 8:37 p.m. on Friday.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Apology From Inside Locker #413


Hopefully this note finds you well and standing somewhere in the hallway between the cafeteria and the library. If you look to the west wall you should find locker #413 about half way down. Likely, I'm still inside.

To the best of my knowledge I've been here eight days. I think there was a weekend in there somewhere. I've lost my voice yelling and I'm now too weak and tired to pound on the locker door. I suppose it's hard to hear me over the din between classes and every time the janitor passes by he seems to be running the floor polisher. If I get out I'm really going to take a moment to admire those floors, because I'm thinking they must be reflective by now.

Speaking of reflection, I've had a lot of time for that lately, and I want to apologize (particularly to those of you who placed me here last week). I know that my personality has rubbed some of you the wrong way . I petitioned to have the football program cut to provide money for mandatory Latin classes (it's a dead language for crying out loud). I fought to have the chess team recognized with it's own pep rally. I often refer to my umbrella a bumbershoot. And I've been told that I am both 'ugly' and 'smelly'.

For the first two or three days, none of these things seemed that egregious. Different strokes for different folks, right? But around day five I had a real enlightening conversation with my coat, which had a surprisingly great deal to say (can't rule out the possibility that this was a result of eating the plastic sack my lunch came in) and my coat suggested that I might spend less time in lockers if I were simply less insistent on being myself. As an object that spends a great deal of time in lockers, I feel like the coat can be trusted on this subject.

So here's my offer. If you'll kindly let me out, the combination is 45-12-33, I vow to fall into line. Haircut, shower, some appropriate attire, and an end to my push for a more challenging curriculum. And I dare you to try to demonstrate more spirit than me at the next pep rally for the football team. I plan to have a foam finger the size of a van (unless that's weird, in which case forget it, I want to fit in remember). What I'm saying is that you really won't be letting me out at all. The me you stuffed in here over a week ago is gone, set straight by starvation, ingested plastic, and a talkative fleece jacket with a broken zipper. So if you'll kindly just open up, you'll find my metamorphosis quite complete, and utterly permanent I assure you. As a bonus you may have all the non edible items that remain in here with me, including my talking coat, and my umbrella. It's just a plain old umbrella now, and I promise that's how it will stay.

Warmest Regards,
Locker #413

[ed. note - all words went into a hat and Amy chose one at random. Feel free to leave a new word for wednesday.]

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Things I Heard Today Which Made It Hard To Maintain My Train Of Thought

Man: So, I don't understand why you suddenly think you're a liberal.
New Liberal: Because I hate Wal-Mart and I wouldn't have voted for Bush.
Man: And that makes you liberal?
New Liberal: I think so. (long pause) I guess I should sell my truck.

Girl: Would you guys rather be able to fly or read minds?
Boy and Other Girl: Read minds. Definitely.
Girl: Me too. (pause) And I'd also want to fly.

Teen: And I also got this calendar. It's a Spongebob calendar. I'm not big on Spongebob, but they won't be getting any more I Love Lucy ones until Monday and I'm going to need to know what day it is before Monday.

[ed. note - Experiment alert. Monday's entry is in your hands. Just put a single word in the comments and somehow that will become Monday's entry. Should keep us all from having to endure any more crap about 'bat people'. If there's no one reading and no one gives me a word I'll just hit myself in the head repeatedly with a dictionary Sunday night until I pass out and whatever word I see after coming to will have to do.]

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Tips For Dining Out With People Who Are At Least Partly Bats

Dining out with people who are at least partly bats can be difficult. While they look much like the rest of us, people who are partly bats navigate mostly by sonar and thus tend to make loud and, to human ears, inappropriate noises, in order to assess their current positions. This can be awkward. Here are some of the ways you can minimize the discomfort and maximize your enjoyment when dining with these special people.

Bat people (not to be confused with Batman, who's just a rich guy with a gravely voice that might or might not annoy you, but which really isn't inappropriate) tend to screech or speak really loudly for the first ten or fifteen seconds of a conversation until they hear their own voices echoing off the walls around them, at which point they tend to realize that they're shouting in your face and begin using their 'indoor voice'. If however, there is a lapse in conversation, bat people will have to perform this recalibration all over again, forcing you to endure more fire alarm like screeching and shouting. Best to just keep them talking incessantly. This may force you to endure all sorts of discussions (bat people are suprisingly keen on talking politics) but it beats having them repeatedly hearing them get going from a cold start. When in doubt, ask for a detailed account of the weather in their area.

When ordering, bat people tend to talk to their waiter or waitress as if this person is deaf. Adding a new person to the conversational mix forces them to perform their sonar related screaming, and often the waiter or waitress is not around long enough to see that the bat person quiets down after performing this check. Instead, the bat person will often scream their order, possibly along with a lengthy series of clicks, and sometimes point animatedly to the menu. Short of ordering for the bat person in your party (they usually hate this, but you may find one amenable) there's little you can do about this. Best to leave the area and place your order separately if possible, thus minimizing the chances it will be dropped on the floor or spit on by a less that understanding server.

If they can be convinced to go the take out route, bat people are extremely well suited to ordering from drive thrus, where their handicaps prove to be strengths, allowing them to get orders through on the second or third try where it would take you or I seven or eight.

If you happen to be dining out with more than one person who is at least partly a bat, and you happen to be called away to say, the restroom, and upon return you discover that your companions have allowed a lapse in conversation to develop, the best thing is to run. With both bat people needing to recalibrate their voices, and a strong chance that their conversation will be political, the table is now a powder keg and you should get out of there before one of them starts screaming and clicking about republicans and the other about democrats.

Depending on the degree to which your companions are actually bats, they may also engage in other 'strange' behavior, including but not limited to, futile efforts at flight, attempts to eat inedible items from the table, attempts to eat condiments, yelling at condiments to determine their distance, and in the case of people who are partly vampire bat, attempts to draw blood from restaurant employees. Knowing these things in advance may not allow you to stop them, but may allow you to choose a more appropriate restaurant, for instance, a Chuck E Cheese, where these behaviors will not be so out of the norm.

Bat people have a lot to offer, and should not be confined to their homes simply because their particularities make them awkward dining companions. That said, it's your job as a dining companion to do your best to minimize the confusion and maximize the fun when in the company of these special people.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Yearly Letter From Editor To Both Readers

My advice would be to stop reading right - now.

I see. You're one of those types, too good to take a little friendly advice. Very well, then please sit still and try not to breath as we welcome 2006 and say goodbye to 2005.

This whole mess started a year ago when I resolved to make one million dollars and attain washboard abs. And to write a blog about it. I did that for about... a week and I realized that I'm horrible at talking about myself. Blogs are mostly like Entertainment Tonight about non famous people. I just didn't feel like anyone really needed or wanted to know about my non adventures. Often I didn't want to know, but my efforts at self induced amnesia have only led to higher insurance premiums. So I stopped mentioning anything that had to do with me and started chronicling the things I observed around me, conversations, actions, all of which took place while I was trying to work, and most of which were more interesting than what I was working on. That drew the interest of someone named Gone Away and some of his pals. Their attention and comments are the only reason I bothered continuing to add to the site. The format got a little stale for me, and since then I've just sort of used it as a place to deposit nonsense, much to the chagrin of those who've bothered to stop by.

But, I digress. The real issue on this one year anniversary is the million dollars and the washboard abs. I'll be straight with you. The ads you see at the top of the page have earned me six dollars and some change, much of that probably through my own 'inadvertent' click fraud. Add that to my other writing income and I achieved .005206% of my goal. As for the abs, sometime around July they were visible under proper lighting conditions and if I was flexed and bent in just the right way. Suffice to say they are less so now.

Many people have resolutions that work out this way, and I can't tell you how often I hear people say things like, 'I don't make resolutions' or 'Resolutions are a waste of time', their reasoning being that these are all just promises that we're bound to break, and after a time there's really no point in even making such promises.

But once you start the whole 'there's no point in this because of that' game, well you might as well just find a nice place to lie down and wait for someone to cover your body. Is there really any point to anything? We're all going to die, etc. etc. So yes, there's a strong chance that this year may end up like last. There's a chance I won't live to the end of this year and whatever I resolve will seem ridiculous and insignificant in light of the horrible plane crash that ends up doing me in. And there's a chance that this time next year I won't have the energy or enthusiasm to make new promises. But here's the key. On this day last year I honestly believed I'd make a million dollars and get washboard abs. It sounded ridiculous, but if you haven't gathered as much, I'm an idiot. It bothers me that it didn't work out, but it would bother me a lot more if the fact that it didn't work out meant that I didn't really believe the promises I was going to make for this year. Luckily that hasn't happened.

This year I only want to achieve two things. I want to dunk a basketball and sell a novel. I should mention that I'm 5'11 and my novel may contain a beaver and Matt Lauer, so feel free to start making your own odds. It sounds pie in the sky, but for some reason I'm sold. Don't expect much in the way of updates for the reasons mentioned above, but do feel free to stick your head in, say hi, and gorge yourself on the letters and sentences which I will continue to arrange for your putative enjoyment.

Until 2007,

Mr. Kyle

p.s. am I the only one who finds it odd that the Blogger spell check does not recognize the word 'blog'?