Things for Thursday

This is most excellent:
The Pitch this week publishes one of Sa Rah’s blog entries. Look under “Net Prophet” towards the page bottom.

Tonight, there will be a debate-viewing party at Downing’s Grill in KC. Sa Rah hooked everything up and the event is getting a bit of publicity from 96.5, The Buzz.
Don’t internalize this election, folks. Democracy=Community, so come out and have a beer, watch these two rich, white men talk about their plans for our future, your future, and then discuss what’s been said with other civic-minded people.

Later tonight, The Dead Enders are playing at Davey’s Uptown. I’m helping to film this show so if you want to hear some good rockenrole and be part of a local band’s promo video head over to Davey’s after the debates.

Things for Thursday

The Story of my Proposal or, This is Not My Beautiful Fiancée – Epilogue

(Click here for Pt. I or click here for Pt. II )

And that night, we ate a great meal cooked by my aunt Sharon. She made apple crisp from scratch – orchard fresh apples.
Sa Rah and I decided to go for a walk in my grandma’s ‘hood.
Ill-advised to go for a walk in that ‘hood.
Even the animals wear bullet-proof armor.

And the crazy traffic.

The entire mess is intimidating.

Soon, the sun was setting on our engagement day.

And damn if I didn’t run after it to make the day last just a few minutes more.

But then we saw the moon come up, and I felt like the night had something different to offer us.

I think Sa Rah felt it too.

We ambled onward, looking for water.

This gauge was no help.

I thought it looked cool anyway.

And this old tree

Well, this old tree had something to say.
Something timeless, wise, hushed, and utterly fitting.
Something like, “I promise.

We found the water, Sa Rah and I.

We walked along the south side of the lake.
A few fishermen and women populated the shore.
The moon watched us grow pale under cover of its creamy light.
What a fulfilling day.

On the way back to granny’s the old tree whispered again,

“I promise.”


This was very beautiful. Like Sa Rah. I wish many great things upon you guys.

Posted by: panajane at September 30, 2004 07:35 PM

thanks panajane 🙂

Posted by: rubigimlet at October 1, 2004 08:17 AM

The Story of my Proposal or, This is Not My Beautiful Fiancée – Epilogue

Matt takes a moment to offer some love

—-Original Message—–
From: Matt [my never subtle brother – jpp]
Sent: Tuesday, September 28, 2004 10:08 PM
To: jdoublep

Yo!! I just wanted to see if I could borrow the mullet wig again this year??Peace and congrats again fuckers!


I think I love your brother.

Posted by: panajane at September 29, 2004 03:12 PM

Oh, That is not a wise thing to do, Panajane, he has “issues” 🙂

Posted by: CrashAndBurn at September 30, 2004 09:39 AM

Matt takes a moment to offer some love

The Story of My Proposal or, This is Not My Beautiful Fiancée – Pt. II

(Click here for Pt. I)
Yes, the chairs and table were funny.
White trash funny.
Thankfully though, neither they nor the graffiti could ruin the mythical waterfall of my youth.

The entire site was a bit more overgrown than when I’d last visited. But the waterfall was there, the water fell cool, slightly salty, and pristine. We played around the fall for a while, I was biding my time.

We played around the water, smooched each other, hugged and soaked in the ambient sounds. Then I asked Sa Rah to go stand in front of the mythical waterfall of my youth so that I could frame a picture that would include us both.

Timer set.

Positions taken.

We kiss.

I turn my head to notice the camera’s light blinking – 10 seconds to go.

I pull the ring from my pocket and raise my arm up – FLASH!

I always was a few seconds behind…

Sa Rah saw my arm moving before she saw the ring and a look came over her face like, “What? Is there a bug on me?”
“Will you marry me?”
She smiles and buries her face in my neck. We hug and kiss and make some small talk and marvel at how damned good the ring looks on her finger and how I managed to pick out such a nice one all by my lonesome.
“So, is that a yes?”

I’m a fool for taking photos and Sa Rah is my favorite subject.
“Go up by the waterfall and let me shoot a few!” Aloud.

“OOO – look at the reflection on the pool.” To myself.

“I’mma get in the waterfall.”
“Go for it. It’ll feel great.”
So she does.

Clothes and all.

Like an Irish Spring commercial.

Could I have imagined this back when me and the boys were doing the same thing all those years ago?

Could I have imagined this?

And not being able to imagine it made it all the more rich.
We basked in reclusive bliss a while longer then made our return. A loving stroll. Less spider webs to deal with. A turtle in our path.

A circular tree reminds me of what that ring on her finger now means. In a box, it’s nothing. In action, though, it’s everything.

I’ve got a headache on the way back. A bad one. Allergies combined with allergy medicine combined with lack of water – the culprits. None of those stop me from bouncing around like a monkey on crack.

And, of course, one doesn’t cross a river on a one-way trail without having to cross it on the way back. Sa Rah plunges right through the water this time.

I don’t even bother with my shoes. My socks are already soaked so fuggitaboutit.

We pause so I can yet again indulge my memories and work on the resonance.

Can you see the water splash from that rock skip? Skipping rocks is the poor man’s Nintendo.

Now, little did we know how close our engagement location was to the Ozarks’ most famous natural monument, Cat Piss Rock.

I don’t know if any of you are familiar with the legend of Cat Piss Rock, but I challenge those of you who read BB! to leave in the comments section all you’ve heard of Cat Piss Rock. In a few weeks, I’ll gather all the various bits and pieces of the legend, compile them into a whole, post them for everyone to read, AND will take a copy down to Cat Piss Rock itself and create a sort of monument marker. So, tell me what you know of the infamous Cat Piss Rock.

Our journey for the afternoon was close to finished. We trekked back up that gnarly, washed-out road.

We made it safe and sound to my mom’s truck. We went to Sonic for Diet Limeades (mine was cherry). We tried to buff out the scratches. Then, we returned to grandma’s house to share the good news. Our journey for life was just beginning. (That sounds clichéd, but I don’t care.) Proposing at the mythical waterfall of my youth did something for me, to me. Made me realize that, unlike Foreigner, I no longer wanna know what love is or need someone to show me. I know. And I have the best person in the world to show me. (FOR-EN-ER!!! WOOO! \m/ \m/)

So that’s the main part of the tale. There is a brief epilogue that I’ll write tonight or tomorrow. Thanks for sharing the good times with us.

(Click here for the Epilogue)

In other news,

OOO…new Shakespeare bio, by Greenblatt!

Look under Tuesday, Sept. 28th, 2004 “Wedding Bells” (Thanks, Tony.)

tony pierce’s honest blogger’s quiz:
1. which political party do you typically agree with? libertarian

2. which political party do you typically vote for? democrat

3. list the last five presidents that you voted for? nadar, clinton

4. which party do you think is smarter about the economy? democrat

5. which party do you think is smarter about domestic affairs? democrat

6. do you think we should keep our troops in Iraq or pull them out? i think we should rethink our entire mid-east initiative. as regards iraq, if we pull out right away, we leave behind us a wrecked country of our own making. we need an exit strategy foremost, but more importantly, we need to reconsider our position as a world power.

7. who, or what country, do you think is most responsible for 9/11? osama.

8. do you think we will find weapons of mass destruction in iraq? nary a one.

9. yes or no, should the u.s. legalize marijuana? yes. the war on drugs is a war on poor people fueled by misinformation.

10. do you think the republicans stole the last presidential election? stole, not really, they just lied and cheated to get the results they wanted. the situation was shady, even ‘pubs must admit, and a more detailed look is warranted.

11. do you think bill clinton should have been impeached because of what he did with monica lewinski? no. but lying under oath, unfortunately, yes.

12. do you think hillary clinton would make a good president? yes.

13. name a current democrat who would make a great president: i think hil’s a fine choice.

14. name a current republican who would make a great president: mccain

15. do you think that women should have the right to have an abortion? yes.

16. what religion are you? agnostic fence-sitter leaning towards atheism.

17. have you read the Bible all the way through? yes.

18. what’s your favorite book? dune by Frank Herbert.

19. who is your favorite band? the flaming lips.

20. who do you think you’ll vote for president in the next election? kerry.

21. what website did you see this on first? + busblog


i want to a pertinent detail, to me anyway. i recall most vividly driving back down the road, thinking about what had just happened, all that means, so heady stuff. and j turns on the radio to the sounds of terrance trent d’arby singing ‘wishing well’. and one of the things that endears me about j is his great attachment to 90’s top 40. i don’t get it 100% but it tickles me nonetheless. and i thought, i get to enjoy ‘wishing well’ without shame or embarrassment for the rest of my life. how comforting and comfortable we’ll be. i’m trying to say it was poignant somehow. the only time i’m sure a terrance trent d’arby song has ever been poignant.

Posted by: rubigimlet at September 28, 2004 01:46 PM

I lost my virginity on Cat Piss Rock.

Posted by: Bean at September 28, 2004 02:27 PM

Posted by: jdoublep at September 28, 2004 05:25 PM

That’s great… congratulations you two…

Posted by: Brandon. at September 28, 2004 05:30 PM

The legend of Cat Piss RockWhen I was young my grad pappy would tell a tale of a place were the cats of the world would meet to plan their overthrow of the human race… where cats from all around the world would send their delegates to plot and plan.

See cats are a highly advanced alien race sent to Earth to enslave all her inhabits… unfortunately for the cats the Rats of Nimh had all ready staked their claim on this planet… so the “War of the Whiskers” began. Not many remember the war but it was a harsh and brutal time where the great cat leader Catitler lead his vast armies to battle killing thousands of mice and rat. If not for the great allied forces of Mice, Rat and Dog the army of the cat would have surely won the day. With Catitler removed from power peace once again settled over the Earth.

But word on the wind is that the cats still meet and they still plot and wait for their next great leader to rise up and lead them to victory.

Now that is the story my Grad Pappy would tell me, he would say “beware of Cat Piss Rock where the cats plan”. But then again Grad Pappy drank a lot and did his own medical work so you have to take everything with a grain of salt.

Posted by: CrashAndBurn at September 29, 2004 11:17 AM

I’m so happy for you two. The pic’s in this post are gorgeous, too.And we all know Cat Piss Rock is the place where The Old Gods will come back from their resting place, once Yog Suthoth’s eyes open. Duh.

Posted by: Rob Schamberger at September 29, 2004 12:08 PM

The Story of My Proposal or, This is Not My Beautiful Fiancée – Pt. II

The Story of My Proposal or, This is Not My Beautiful Fiancée Pt. I

First, we went to a big barn disguised as a grocery store, gas station, and fried food emporium. We knew something strange was afoot when we encountered a moth from prehistoric times.

But we made it to granny’s safe and sound, despite the eerie flutter of dusty moth wings against the roof of my mom’s truck.
Friday night, we hit rain. I was sure my this would hamper my plans. Not so. The next day couldn’t have been more perfect weather-wise or any other-wise. So we hopped in the truck and hit the road, looking for the mythical waterfall of my youth.

Yes, the mythical waterfall of my youth, the spot where my friends and I would hike during the sweet, thick, oven-baked summers (if you’re not from the area, you have no idea) and swim and try to get away from everything.
On the highway there, we pass by one unmarked, dirt road, then a second. I opt for the second mistakenly. It looks familiar but not so familiar. It’s been 13 years since I’ve been down that road to the mythical waterfall of my youth. This could be that road, treacherous as it is, washed out, and overgrown branches scratching the sides of my mom’s never-taken-off-road SAV. We get to a turnaround spot (thankfully there was one) and step out to hike down the left fork in the road. Nothing but a pretty vista.

I think Sa Rah probably thought I was nuts. To prove her wrong I insist we take the right fork.

But that leads to a rusty, old gate. There were no gates on the road to the mythical waterfall of my youth. We must’ve taken the wrong turn off the highway. Back up the crazy dirt road – thank god for trucks – and down to the second road (the first road if you’re following along at home). This road, dirt, smoother, a few wash outs. This could be it – Sparling Road. The one that leads where I need it to lead.

And it does! The turnaround is virtually how we left it in ’92 – firepit and broken beer bottles strewn about as reminder that this is the once and future party spot for bored, country youth. I made one of my best friends here at Sparling – this was the local high school haunt – along with Frozen Pond, AM, Blue Hole, Steel Bridge, Second Loop, and countless other places where we-d throw impromptu BYOB bashes. I first heard Faith No More-s Angel Dust at Sparling. I shotgunned my first beer here. I listened to The Black Crows ‘Hard to Handle’ and giggled, giggled, giggled while drunk on Purple Passion or Strawberry Hill or OE800. No doubt now – this was the place. The first step on the road to the mythical waterfall of my youth. No cars go past the turnaround. We tried it once. Kevin in his blue Toyota. Didn’t get too far.

I imagine that at one time this road was navigable. Maybe an ATV could do it. We did see some tracks. It’s probably a lot of fun to go 4-wheeling through here. But I liked, and I think Sa Rah did too, taking it slow and easy.

Then we get to our first water-crossing and it’s no big deal, 1-inch deep and 4-feet wide and I know Sa Rah’s thinking she’s not quite prepared but she’s such a good damned sport about it but I imagine it’s hard not to be when you’re surrounded by this:

and this:

but still, she’s a trooper, even when we had to cross the river again but this time sans shoes.

I meant, we take off our shoes to wade through.

But it really is hard to say, “You bastard! How could you bring me out here?” when you’re surrounded by this:

And I lived here. I was in this spot, once a week maybe, swimming, hiking, climbing, exploring. 16-years old, with nothing but time and sometimes school and a job as a bag boy at the local grocery. Now I’m pushing 30, going bald, dragging along with me to the mythical waterfall of my youth the person I look forward to seeing first thing in the morning and before I brux at night. I’m creating resonance here – bringing Sa Rah to my past to create a future. I’m in love. I’m in love with this woman, with this place, with being alive at this very moment. The memories I have of skipping rocks commingle with memories 5 minutes past of helping Sa Rah across the rocks. I’m crying for those lost years I spent in the Ozarks. Crying for the good years to come that I will also someday lose. But Sa Rah doesn’t see that. What she sees is the final leg of our journey to the mythical waterfall of my youth. The road now is blocked by spider web after spider web but we draw near. I can hear the water fall and I ask Sa Rah if she hears it and the excitement builds in me knowing that just around this bend is

a dirty, plastic table and chair set? WTF?
Yup, someone else had apparently fallen in love with the place and decided to renovate.
(Click here for Pt. II)


haha well done baby. though i thought they were charming.

Posted by: rubigimlet at September 28, 2004 11:13 AM

The Story of My Proposal or, This is Not My Beautiful Fiancée Pt. I

Nice, long, engaging weekend

Well…to answer your question…she said, “yes.” Sa Rah and I are betrothed. Yup, we’re going to marry, wed, tie the knot, get hitched. I expect the entire experience to be daunting, fun, frustrating, romantic, and fulfilling. I’m so lucky. I’ll give you the full story on the proposal as soon as I get a chance to go through the photos so the visual can accentuate the literary – and, although a writer of top caliber doesn’t require visual aids to render scenes, a writer that doesn’t use such aids to his or her advantage misses out on an opportunity to further engage the reader. Or so says I.

First presidential debate: 8:00 p.m. C.T., Thursday, September 30
The first time in recent memory I plan to watch television.

Ahhhh…I love a good essay.


it’s all true – i answered with a resounding YES! now let chaos ensue :)

Posted by: rubigimlet at September 27, 2004 12:07 PM

Yeay! Congratulations. May you both be blessed with lots of love and happiness.

Posted by: panajane at September 27, 2004 12:11 PM

the only thing i have to say is – i’m the luckiest sunnuvagun alive.chaos…freak nasty.

Posted by: jdoublep at September 27, 2004 02:14 PM

Nice, long, engaging weekend

Friday AM – Most likely my only post until Sunday PM

We’ve been trying to get down to my grandma’s house for the past few weekends and finally, this weekend, it’s on. So, don’t read this entire post at once. I’m going to break it up into sections so you can spread out the goodness over the weekend. I’ll have the future phone on me though, so check out my flog for updates from the road (trust me – click over there tonight or tomorrow).

First off some nut job threatens Tony Pierce with regard to Tony’s tendency to scrutinize Bush. Retarded. What kind of blogger would bend to this lame attempt at coercion? Not TP. He remains the blogger’s blogger and invites the chump to meet him face-to-face.

Second off – on this day in 1896, F. Scott Fitzgerald was born. We know he was a drunk. We know he had a brilliantly crazy relationship with his crazily brilliant wife, Zelda. We know he’s considered a great, American writer from the 20th century. We know you probably read him in high school or maybe in one of your English classes your first or second semester of college. But have you read the man lately? Have you read The Great Gatsby in the past 5 years? Or This Side of Paradise? Or Tender is the Night? Do it. Just one. Won’t take long. Hell, you could polish off Gatz in an afternoon. So do that. Grab a copy of Gatz, pack yourself some apples and cheese, find yourself a broad, low, shade tree in a nearby park – one with deep, plush grass at its base – and read (and nap, too). Then come back to BB! and tell us what you thought of Fitz having now read him in 2004.

Third off – I hope my grandmother, the Southern Baptist one obsessed with all things eschatological, reads this article and takes the weekend off.

Fourth off – Here’re some photos of how red my eyes were the night after the eye doc incident:

Fifth off – Photoshop class #6 last night. This was a most practical class – mainly concerned with how to retouch photos – so I got a lot out of it. We also played with the Gradient tool a lot. I mutated the kitty photo we were working with once I remembered that the Liquify filter was only a click away.

Sixth off – The Death Clock estimates I’ll die at 74. The Death Clock doesn’t take into account that I have diabetes.

Seventh off – In all my 29 years, I’ve only been in one real fight. By real, I mean the shit came to fisticuffs. This one real fight scared me to death.

Third grade. 8 years old. Some kid named Luke who always wore Dallas Cowboys mesh jerseys. We lived in Cape Girardeau, MO, Luke and I. One day our class got tested to see who might be eligible for the gifted program. (Do they still call the gifted program the “gifted” program?) I made it. Luke didn’t. I’m not sure what Luke expected. Only 4 of us got in and even at 8 years old I could have told you that Luke wasn’t the sharpest tool in the shed. Whatever he expected, the antagonizing began. Luke was athletic and had a big mouth so no one really called him on his taunts, including me. I let him talk his shit because while he was in regular class learning times tables, I was in gifted class doing fun projects like learning about the Revolutionary period in American history by making candles from scratch. So we’re out on the playground one morning, fresh from a game of Kiss Tag or something, and a game of Smear the Queer starts up – all grades can play – but only 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders play. For those who don’t remember this game, the object and rules are simple. You’ve got one red, playground ball (same ball used for kickball or dodgeball). Whoever has the ball is the queer. The queer’s job is to hold on to the ball. Everyone else’s job is to smear the queer. Literally. Until the queer gives up the ball by throwing it before getting smeared or the ball is physically removed by another player (which is funny when you consider that the game boils down to 20 or so pre-pubescent boys all vying to be “queer” while simultaneously trying to harm the current “queer”). Anyway, the game is on and it’s fun. Seriously, it’s a fun, rough game to play. But, as fate would have it, the ball flies up into the air and I catch that bouncy bastard. And I run. I dodge, jump, duck, roll, and otherwise do my best to remain queer. Soon, however, it’s apparent to me that my days are numbered and there are 15 boys closing in on me, all intent on getting my ball. Never much one for avoidable pain, I throw the ball up in the air. Now, the boys who play fair know that this mean’s I’m now off-limits. The ball is out of my hands and I’m safe from harm. But who do I see bearing down upon me? Yup. Dallas-Cowboy-Mesh-Shirt-Wearing Luke. He does a flying tackle and knocks me flat on my ass. He does a flying tackle with a smile on his face and knocks me flat on my ass. The ball was long gone from my hands. Why did he still tackle me? Luke’s still smiling as we both stand up. So I tackle him. Hard. And I straddle him, pin his shoulders to the ground, and repeatedly beat his face with my fists. I’m not punching him. Not like you would punch a bag or your kid brother. No, I’ve got my fists clenched and I’m clubbing his face with them. I raise my fists high over my head and bring them down as hard as I possibly can. I’m doing this because he didn’t play fair. Because he made fun of me for being smart. Because I hate him. I hate him. I can think of nothing but making him sorry for being alive. I can think of nothing but kil – then I’m pulled off of Luke and I realize I’m crying hysterically and have no idea what I’m doing and all the kids on the playground are circled around us and Luke is crying and Luke is crying, too, while a teacher bends over him and a teacher is holding me, shaking me, hauling me off to the principal’s office, where I got in trouble at first, but after someone told that Luke tackled me out of the blue I don’t get suspension. An hour or so later, I go back to class and Luke is there, bruised up pretty good (how hard did you think I could hit as an 8-year-old?) and glowering. But he never again talked shit on me, or anyone else, as long as I knew him.

That’s why I never fought again. I’ve wanted to. Some kid on the bus my freshman year of high school who kept flipping my hat off my head and laughing, which blew Skoal-drenched breath all up in my face. Jay, in Alameda, who threw a switchblade at Allen and me. But I never did fight them because I knew that I wasn’t 8-years-old anymore and that my bloodlust might have some consequence besides suspension.

The moral of the story: If you ever want to fight me I’ll try to eat you because I don’t like to be wasteful.

Eighth off – the above memory puts me in the mind of this.

Ninth off – Go to The Hurricane tonight to catch The Stella Link play with Sleepytime Gorilla Museum then come back to BB! and tell me how it was. We were going to go if we didn’t go out of town and I’m sad we’re gonna miss it.

Tenth (finally) off – This week’s Pitch has an amusing article about our ‘hood. People in KC have some misconceptions of JOCO that are stereotypical and as such in no way do justice to the wide variety (yes, there is variety in suburbia) of the people that live here – the main stereotype being that everyone in JOCO is rich and/or stuck up or somehow uninterested in KC as a whole. We’re not all rich, stuck up, white folks. I’m a lower-middle-class white person, as are the majority of my JOCO friends, yet we all think of ourselves as Kansas City citizens and love going all over the city (and Lawrence). Also – there’s a huge Latino population in JOCO. Huge. And finally, two of the six attorneys I work for (who are, for all intents and purposes, quite well-off) live in MO, not JOCO. (The other 3 live do live in JOCO and 1 lives in Chicago.) I’m not saying that rich folks don’t live here. I know they do because their houses surround my apartment and their big, gas-guzzling trucks and their kids’ drop-top Benzos try to run me over while I ride my bike around. I’m just saying that it’s easy and lazy to assume that’s representative of JOCO as a whole.

And that, dear readers, is what I have for you today and for tomorrow. Have a fun weekend (and remember to check my my flog:)).

Friday AM – Most likely my only post until Sunday PM

More of the story started last week.

Here’s a few more words to accompany last week’s story fragment (scroll down just a bit – 11:54am – to read the first part):

Shari Leadbetter didn’t so much jump from One World’s roof as she did lean over the edge until she fell. That doesn’t make much difference however, because at ground level you couldn’t really say too much about Shari’s pre-impact condition other than she was going for a particular result. (The reader may now ask whether this is true, given the inner speech quote above.) And, although one couldn’t say much about Shari’s condition before the fall – that stopped no one from speculating.

“Do you think it was her weight?” was the most-bandied-about guess.

“Nah, she was having problems at home,” guess number two. “Her husband was leaving her.”

“Because of her weight, right?” The physical trumped the psychological or always contributed to it in some way.

Macy Chi Chian (and a host of others whose offices dot the southwesterly wall of the building) saw Shari plummet. Well, Macy didn’t necessarily see that it was Shari Leadbetter, or even that it was a person who dropped past her window. She saw something – but didn’t know it was one of her employees.

Shari’s falling body did stir Macy from her overstuffed, rolling, leather chair.

“Get up, quick,” she demanded of her secretary, Tony. Tony didn’t right away respond. Either his head and tongue were working to a rhythm he could not control or Marcy’s legs held him so tight that his ears were blocked. “Get the fuck up!” she said louder and loosened her legs.

“What’s wrong, Ms. Chi Chian? I told you it was too early in the morning.”

“It’s not too early in the morning, Tony. Something big just fell past the window.”

An uncomprehending raise of the eyebrow combined with Tony’s glistening face made Macy feel the familiar, giddy rush of control.

“A person?” Tony asked, wiping his face with his sleeve.

“Oh, Jesus, I don’t know. I wasn’t exactly paying attention.” Tony smiled. “Go clean yourself up before the rest of the team gets here.”

Macy’s phone rang. She answered and was quiet. In a surprisingly sincere voice she asked, “You’re kidding, right?” A pause, then she hung up.

“Looks like you’re flying solo today.”

“Wha? Shari’s not coming in? Goddammit, I swear I’m sick of picking up that bitch’s slack.”

Macy glared. “Do you like your job?” Tony nodded. “Do you want to go back to the call center?” Tony shook his head. “Then don’t ever use that fucking word around me again. I fucking hate it.” Her tone shifted from freezer cold to refrigerator cool. “Besides, you’ll be flying solo for a while.” Her glare softened too as she looked out the window. “Shari just jumped off the roof.”


“Look, the media’s on its way and once people see pictures of Shari’s body we’re gonna have a shit storm on our hands.”

Ben Borek exuded cool logic. He should. He’s Senior Vice President of Risk Management.

Macy sat with the other ten members of OWCI’s Board of Directors. She said to the group, “It seems less than coincidence that this would happen on the day of our annual board meeting. Given that we’re already under federal audit scrutiny…why not do some drastic to remind the media and the public of our other issues?”

Ed Vyrtle, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer: “Leadbetter was one of yours, Macy. Did you see this coming? Did she know something she shouldn’t have?” He laughed. “We are working within the bounds of federal and state regulation. The law is on our side.”

Macy spat venom, “I know, Ed. I helped draft the initial proposals, remember? The question isn’t a legal one but one of ethics. If what we’ve planned goes public too soon, I’m afraid the public criticism may be too much for the Company to bear.”

“There is neither place nor budgetary allowances for ethics in business. Ever,” Randall Mayniham, Senior Vice President, Marketing. “You of al people should know that, Ms. Chi Chian. You don’t grow a company to the size of our Company by adhering to ethical standards that don’t accurately reflect today’s business environment.”

The pointed formality annoyed Macy to ire. “Goddammit! Listen to me! Don’t just hear what you want to hear. I’m not talking about personal ethics here. Shari knew about our contractual negotiations with the federal administration. We know it’s legal. Shari knew it was legal. But did you ever think what an employee might do if they thought the business was more than a little unethical?”

“Never that they might jump off the bleeding roof,” Lester Rollins, Senior Vice President, Human Resources. “Wouldn’t just quitting make a bit more sense?”

Macy sighed. “Could we have let her?” She let the weight of her implication sink in to the Board. “Look, I don’t know. It seems quite coincidental is what I’m getting at.”

“We’ll tell the newsblogs and mediacams what we know,” continued Lester. “And what we know is more or less the truth of the matter. Did someone order flowers for the family?”

Macy would have answered but the phone interrupted.

Dan Poppitz, President, and CEO: “This is Dan.” Dan’s jaw dropped and a gassy gasp leaked out. “Of course.” He hung up the phone and turned to Ed Vyrtle. “Ed, it’s Terry. The mail room found her on the back dock. She jumped off the roof.”

Not a paper shuffled. Not a suit stirred.


The Board prematurely adjourned and Macy walked back to her office. Tony caught her right before she entered. He was hysterical.

“Holy shit, Macy! Did they get a hold of you? About Terry?”

“Yes,” Macy snapped and slammed her officer door behind her.

Tucked into her corner she looked out over the southern spread of her city, Zinfield. My city. My company. My employee. Someone banged on her closed door. “What the shit is going on, Macy?” Tony.

She opened the door a crack. “Calm down. Senior management is working on it. Just stay by the phones.”

Tony protested.

“Just do your job and relax,” she repeated and slowly replaced the door between her and Tony. She walked over to window and looked down. A small crowd had gathered around the spot where Shari landed. Is she still down there? Macy watched as the first of a small army of remote-guided mediacams propelled their way to the messy scene. One of the miniature helicopters broke from the pack and rose up alongside the building. Wide-lens eye captured great footage of OWCI’s one female executive, Macy Chi Chian, Senior Vice President, and Chief Information Officer. What am I going to tell the Board? Followed shortly by How am I going to protect the Company? She reached out to push a button that activated the window tint. Losing its subject, the mediacam resumed the search for news and descended down upon Shari Leadbetter’s body.

Another knock at the door.

“Tony, dammit, do what I tell you or the next time you’re between my legs –,” Macy cut herself short when she opened the door and there stood Lester. “Oh…what’s the news, Lester? Where are we headed?”

“May I come in?” he asked.

“Sure, sure. What are we –,” she shut the door. Tony Egga stood up in his ovacle, but lost the last part of what Macy said. He sat back down and dialed Lester’s assistant, Henrietta.

“Human Resources, this is Henrietta.”

“Hen, do you ever take the stairs instead of the elevator?”


“Not unless the elevator is busted and I can’t wait for maintenance to fix it.”

“Shari and Terry were both stair walkers.”

“So, both of them had names that ended in “eee” too. Shit, Tony, so do you!”

“I’m serious.”

“What are you getting at?” Henrietta was chewed on something.

“Just making an observation. Wanted to know if you’d talked with anyone or been in the stairwell, today – that’s all.”

“No, no, and before you ask, no.”
“How do you –,” Tony stammered.

“Tone, seriously, I’ve got phones ringing and co-workers bawling. And I have no idea where Lester is.”

“He’s with Macy.”

“Did he have his Trak Badge on?
“I didn’t notice. Should I get him?”

Henrietta chuckled. “You looking for an excuse to go knockin’?”

Ignoring her, Tony said, “Well, he’s here if you need him.”

“Sure, sure. Look, I’ve gotta go. Take the elevator today,” and she hung up.

Smart ass. “Take the elevator today.” Hussy.

Macy’s door swung open and Tony heard her yell his name.

“Yes, Macy.”
“I need thirteen copies of this.” She met him at her door and handed over one sheet of paper with a small amount of type on it. “Bring them back here when you’re done,” and she slammed the door.

Tony walked over to the copier and hit the button. The copier sucked up the single sheet. Careful. You eat too fast and you’ll get sick. Sure enough, a second later the copier began vomiting paper like a mechanical bulimic. One hundred twenty-six years of the “paperless” environment. The greening of the office. Tony folded his arms to wait for the copies.

Finished, he brought the warm stack to Macy’s door, which opened before he knocked. “JESUS, Tony, you cared me!”


“You’re too efficient. I was just bringing you a revised version that I need copied instead. Here,” and handed him the single sheet. With a thumb and forefinger, Tony took the paper. His other hand clinched the thing stack. Paperless environment. Once again Macy shut the door right in his face.

“He really is an efficient admin,” she said to Lester and sat down. “His head’s always in the right place.”

“Sure, sure. Macy, we need to get someone from Legal up here on this. I don’t feel comfortable releasing any statements without their consent.”

“That’s fine, Les, but we can’t hold onto this for much longer. We need to get something to the Zinfield media and something to Washington. We have to be very careful how we step in DC. And we have to be very aware of who in-house is aware of the transaction. Two Senior’s admins in the same day, Les.”

“I know, I know. Christ, I know. I want Legal in on this statement. The fucking exposure…this could end up terribly for the Company.”

“All right. Let’s get Legal on the phone,” and turned to her phone. “Legal,” she said and the phone rang. No answer. The called rolled out to the assistant. No answer there either. Macy jumped up and threw open her door. “TONY?” When he didn’t immediately respond Macy yelled, “SHARI?” Lester coughed. “Shit,” and clapped her hand to her mouth. “Oh, shit.”

“It’s OK. Hop on the net and page Tony’s Trak Badge.”

“Good idea,” and strode over to her monitor. “No hiding from us, Mr. Egga. Duty calls.”


Tony never wore his Trak Badge. He hated that the Company could find employees anywhere with those Trak Badges. He was stubborn like that plus he liked to shit alone in the knowledge that he was shitting. Well, he and whomever might be in the stalls next door.

Thankfully, the other stalls were empty while Tony enjoyed a painfully pleasurable poop – the kind that stretches you almost to widths you can’t bear for just about longer that you can take before everything’s out and you breeeeathe long and deep like you’re supposed to when the doc hooks you up to the gas.

Done with doo, Tony pulled from his pocket a small, multi-colored, tightly knit, zippered bag. From within he removed a small vial filled with an oily substance, a hard plastic mortar and pestle, and a ball of aluminum foil. The vial he placed on the tile floor and the mortar and pestle he rested in the fold where his thigh met his waist. Then Tony unwrapped the ball of foil to uncover a small chunk of orange and white. This he put into the mortar and ground to dust with the pestle. Then he spit into the dust and pulverized the mixture into a paste. Finally, he picked up the vial, unscrewed the eyedropper top, and squeezed three drops – no, four – into the paste. More grinding. More spit. The end result: a clear, gooey liquid. Tony sucked up the substance into the eyedropper and dropped three drops into each eye. Tears welled and his nose ran. Tony’s eyes turned blue, then purple, before fading to a dull red.

“Yum, yum,” to the overhead florescent.

He shut his eyes and whispered again, “Yumyum.”

“Yumyum,” something whispered back.

I found this over at Yaaarr: Jon Stewart interviewed by O’Reilly
I don’t know how I missed it either, Rusty. (Well, probably because I think O’Reilly has about as much appeal as a moldy sack of panda poop, but still – I figured I would have heard about it before today.)


that was a vivid doodoo session

is tony doing futuredrugs? i like that.

p.s. i gotcha ovacle right here

Posted by: rubigimlet at September 23, 2004 12:56 PM


he may be doing future drugs…

he may just have a case of future fried eyes.

Posted by: jdoublep at September 23, 2004 03:59 PM

More of the story started last week.

Red, red eyes

Almost 24 hours later and my eyes are still fried. I do, however, have my new contacts in and they friggin’ rock. I just wish my eyeballs weren’t so bloodshot, bludclot.

Photoshop class #5 last night: background eraser, masks, pen tool, and using gradients to fade a selection (a trick I thought invaluable). Now the class is taking me into unknown territory (finally). I even feel behind at one point – bloody pen tool. Although, as much as it’s a pain to get a handle on – what precision can be had!

Speaking of class and eyeballs, one of my classmates has a torn pupil. And I thought getting my eyes burned was bad.

Let’s see what else is going on in the world, shall we?

The Womb as Photo Studio (NY Times – password required – but it’s free.)

This guy talks about sports too much for my tastes but I absolutely love his blog’s layout.

Ah, screw it, there’s a lot of shite going on right now in the world and you should probably just check out Google News and get your media coverage on.


My contacts suck, but that’s because I’m in -7/-8 toric lenses. I’m much more comfortable with my coke-bottle lenses.

Posted by: toby at September 23, 2004 09:57 AM

Hey, thanks for the compliment! It’s only during college football season that I write about sports too much because I’m a hopeless addict.

Posted by: Rusty at September 23, 2004 11:58 AM

It’s OK, Rusty! Your site is too slick looking to be shunned by my non-sports appreciating ass! 🙂

Toby – but you can wear contacts? They’re just a pain in the ass?

Posted by: jdoublep at September 23, 2004 12:14 PM

i wear one toric. i don’t notice a difference though.

Posted by: rubigimlet at September 23, 2004 12:20 PM

i had a fun time taking those bastards out at lunch, let me tell ya. spent a good five minutes squeezing my eyeball to get them off.

Posted by: jdoublep at September 23, 2004 12:55 PM

“Can”? Sure, except my scrip is so strong and my eyes so new to the concept that I can only do it for fifteen minute stretches.

Posted by: toby at September 23, 2004 01:35 PM

Red, red eyes

Eye Doc Ballyhoo

first – i go to the doc’s office only to find that my doc had moved to a building 1/2 mile west.
second – i check in at 9:32 for a 9:30 appt and didn’t see a doc until 10:22. that did give me some time to shoot these:

the doc showed up and dilated my eyeballs.
5 minutes after drops:

10 minutes after drops:

third – had to see a different doc to get fitted for contacts. this took another 15 minutes but this box of lenses was sitting there:

looks kinda medieval, no?
four – while learning how to insert and remove said contacts the helper girl used the wrong solution and pretty much thrashed my eyeballs. i had to sit in the office for a 1/2 hour while the docs flushed my eyes. i didn’t get a picture of my bright, pink eyeballs because i couldn’t see straight.
five – the receptionist couldn’t figure out my insurance so i had to sit there for 10 more minutes until she just said she’d figure it out and bill me later.

i have never so much looked forward to being at work.

i did get contacts.

i’m tired.

why does this blog always come back to me? how the hell are you?


i’ve consumed an entire pixie stik. i’m on a sugar high. that’s how i am.


Posted by: rubigimlet at September 22, 2004 02:48 PM

I’m good, thank you. It sucks about the wrong solution though. But… yeay contacts?

Posted by: panajane at September 22, 2004 03:33 PM

It comes back to you because it’s yours… And I’m having a smashing day, thanks for asking.

Posted by: CrashAndBurn at September 22, 2004 03:58 PM

last time I got my eyes dilated you could not see the iris for the pupil. I had to sleep it off, because even the classy plastic sunglasses didn’t help.

Posted by: toby at September 23, 2004 09:56 AM

Eye Doc Ballyhoo