Dylan Cormack

Well, it’s happening again. Remember Ed Meese? Remember Ronald Regan? Fuck, man. The gall of the administration in power to lie to our faces is more and more unprecedented every day, and that’s not saying little. These guys lie and cheat and steal and rape and pillage at every turn, and statistically, even YOU can’t be bothered to care.

And that’s the way it is. Isn’t that nuts?

And that’s not even what irks me the most or what drives other, less-restrained lunatics to drive hammers through windshields or the offices of Comcast. No, no. It’s that they do it so tactlessly, blatantly, for the record. They’re not lying to get away with it; they know they will. They’re lying because that’s next on the agenda.

Let me illustrate with a transcript of the questioning of the current attorney general, Mike Mukasey in connection with the allegedly illegal wiretapping of US Citizens without a FISA court approval. Magic that the Congress is actually taking this on, but are they really? Or are appearances just what’s next on the agenda? You decide:

By the way, I recognize that some of my readers may need a little background. FISA stands for Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. It’s an act from 1978 that says that there are special courts that can make a judgment about whether US citizens can have wiretaps planted on them. The provisions were enacted to prevent an abuse of power by the executive branch after the Watergate investigations revealed the nature of some of the data collection methods used on American citizens. Imagine that: checks and balances. Brilliant.

Allegedly, President Bush first tried to circumvent the FISA thing by getting rid of the act, sort of. When that didn’t work, he would’ve simply ignored them completely. This is what the former attorney general, what’s-his-name, Alberto Gonzalez went to see a sick man in the hospital about (the then attorney general, John Ashcroft): to try to get him to say it wasn’t so. Now the senate is looking into this.

Incidentally, here is some more background before the schpeal:

  • Article II powers are those specified explicitly in Article II of the constitution, which describes the office of President of the United States. Listed among these powers is NOT the ability to change laws as he sees fit.

  • Arlen Specter is a Republican Senator from Pennsylvania, and is the head of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

  • Mike Mukasy is the current attorney general. For those that don’t know, the attorney general is like, the ultimate interpreter of the law in the executive branch. He knows his American Law. Or at least, he should.

Ok. Here it is. You judge and decide:

SPECTER: Is there a legitimate argument that the President has Article II powers to undertake such conduct?

MUKASEY: There are a number of concepts in your question, including whether he has authority to undertake torture. Torture as you know is now unlawful under American law. I can’t contemplate any situation where this president would assert Article II authority to do something that the law forbids.

SPECTER: Well, he did just that in violating the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. He did just that in disregarding the express mandate of the National Security Act to notify the intelligence committees, didn’t he?

MUKASEY:I think we are now in a situation where [that issue] had been brought within statutes, and that’s the procedure going forward.

SPECTER: That’s not the point. The point is that he acted in violation of statutes, didn’t he?

MUKASEY: I don’t know whether he acted in violation of statutes.

SPECTER: Well, didn’t he act in violation of FISA? Expressly mandates you have to go to a court to get an order for wiretapping. There’s really no dispute about that, is there?

MUKASEY: It required an order with regard to wire communications, when that was a surrogate for foreign communications — for domestic communications. When foreign communications became something that traveled by wire.

SPECTER: I’m not talking about foreign communications. I’m talking about wiretapping U.S. citizens in the United States. Terrorist Surveillance Program undertook to do that. Well, not getting very far there, let me move on to…

Three things are particularly jolting about this exchange. Firstly it’s that the question is never answered. Secondly it’s that in liu of an answer, Mukasey is given reign to spit talking points that might, to a dumb enough person, make him and the administration look like saints. Thirdly, is the ever-shrinking size of Arlen Specter’s balls that he lets this guy get away with all of this gibberish with a wave of the hand, a “pssshhhh, I’m not getting very far here, let’s move on”…

What? You’re a senator. You own the floor. You’re the chair of the fucking judiciary committee. You have time… no, you MUST take the time to fish it out of this guy; in there, you OWN him. Fucking make it work, Specter. Jesus.

Now, if you’ll permit me (and you will, because it’s MY blog) I’ll go over that again, this time interspersing my comments within the text of the script. If you’re already tired of this instead of so furious you’re ears are burning and your neck might explode, feel free to stop reading and not vote at all. This is clearly not for you.

SPECTER: Is there a legitimate argument that the President has Article II powers to undertake such conduct?

MUKASEY: There are a number of concepts in your question, including whether he has authority to undertake torture (what? who said anything about torture? Mukasey is throwing this in to divert attention from the question). Torture as you know is now unlawful under American law (not that anyone seems to mind that). I can’t contemplate any situation where this president would assert Article II authority to do something that the law forbids.

SPECTER: Well, he did just that in violating the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. He did just that in disregarding the express mandate of the National Security Act to notify the intelligence committees, didn’t he? (note: a direct question)

MUKASEY:I think we are now in a situation where [that issue] had been brought within statutes, and that’s the procedure going forward (you’re not crazy or unintelligent: that last sentence did NOT make sense. This is no accident and is actually quite easy to do. Watch: it’s a matter of unparalleled precedent, sir, to invoke the quantitative acts put forth by the 101st congress that will ensure the continuity of this moment in history. The terrorists would be delighted if we did nothing with respect to the aforementioned invocation and besides, think of the children! Are you against the children or for the terrorists, Senator? See how easy that was?).

SPECTER: That’s not the point. The point is that he acted in violation of statutes, didn’t he? (note: another direct question. Also note that the previous direct question has not been answered and yet nobody has called him on it. This is important)

_MUKASEY: I don’t know whether he acted in violation of statutes. **(keep in mind he’s the attorney general; if he doesn’t know, no one does. Also keep in mind that there’s no reason not to know, and that it’s his JOB to know, and that in all honesty, he DOES know and we all know that he KNOWS.)


SPECTER: Well, didn’t he act in violation of FISA? Expressly mandates you have to go to a court to get an order for wiretapping. There’s really no dispute about that, is there? (very direct question, and simple, too.)_

MUKASEY: It required an order with regard to wire communications, when that was a surrogate for foreign communications — for domestic communications (these guys suck at keeping the record clear). When foreign communications became something that traveled by wire. (that wasn’t even a complete sentence)

SPECTER: I’m not talking about foreign communications. I’m talking about wiretapping U.S. citizens in the United States. Terrorist Surveillance Program undertook to do that. (here it comes… he’s going to condemn him…) Well, not getting very far there, let me move on to…


(… again… WHAT? You’re going to stop there? Who’s paying you to do THAT?)


I don’t know what to do anymore.

Let’s talk about security for a second because at least that’s far enough away from the primaries that I’ll keep the vomitus in. Hidden by the cloud of musty knee-jerk journalism that is draped over other matters, I’ve been reading some miscellaneous articles concerning the new government bureau that is actually hated more than the IRS: the TSA.

Now, the ineptitude of the TSA are numerous as they are nonsensical. Any one who’s ever passed through airport security knows this with no need for background knowledge. But you can’t weasel it out of anyone in charge because… well, because one of the reasons they’re in charge is because they won’t say anything about how it works. That’s what keeps them in charge. Frustrating.

But they keep their operatives in check by rigorous testing, they say, and here I think an interesting point can be made. According to TSA records as partially verified by CNN (not that they hold much credibility with me, but let’s roll with this for now), the standards are rigorous and the testing is often.

Ok. So the testing is good… let’s assume that much. Now let’s talk about what’s real and what’s not: failure rates and false positives.

I might’ve written about this before, but in any case, let me summarize. Some people will argue that catching 1 terrorist in a population of 1 million makes the whole operation worth it. Good for them. Let’s assume, then, that the rate of false negatives is 0%, which it isn’t in real life, not by a long shot: just look at how many guns, swords, components and all kinds of other things that could be potentially dangerous but aren’t get past the net. But let’s assume it is.

That’s not the whole equation. You have to look at the rate of false positives as well, because that will come up much more frequently, and will ultimately disrupt your security system much more. Any disruption in the normal flow of the system will make it more vulnerable during the time it takes to get back on track. So you may catch 1 terrorist in a population of 1 million, but if you’re busy stopping people with toothpaste, water bottles, nail clippers, or even box cutters to the point that the majority of the people you question are released, then chances are you’ve let actual threats through while investigating the wrong targets.

In other words, if you’re spending time catching people who are not a threat, that’s time and resources taken away from catching people who are a threat.

It’s been previously reported that the rate of false positives in the TSA borders around 99 to 99.9%. The TSA might even be good at what they do: but they’re still doing the wrong thing the wrong way.

As a supplement, here is an article by Bruce Schneier that sums up a related theory nicely:


By now you should be coming to the sad realization that a lot of the money we pay into our taxes is either swallowed up by corrupt interests or else largely thrown straight into the toilet.


Dylan Cormack

Things happen fast in this business. I had spent some time yesterday, mulling over the different facets of the presidential primaries – this run for the convention, this horse race of childish antics and outrageous accusations. In doing so I was prepared to call these primaries done and over with. It seemed so easy.

And I will still do this. Later in this post, in fact, so keep reading. But I feel compelled to inform you that much has changed (overnight, no less) and my original reasoning, while sound, will have to stand up and face the recent developments that happened last night, not the least of which are Giuliani and Edwards’ withdrawal from the show.

So let’s get into the meat of the matter: I’m going to call the elections right now. Just get it over with. I’m tired of all the brouhaha and I’d like to get on with my day and if the networks have the results, maybe they’ll go away and bring us back some useful reporting. Or maybe they’ll just go away, which is fine with me too.

I’ll do the republicans first because they’re easier, especially now that John McCain’s buddy-buddy, the cross-dressing-for-money, Donald Trump-kissing Rudy Giuliani has “stepped aside” and made way for the stronger, less divorce-laden, less insane-stare-giving of the two renegades. There is little more to Giuliani’s departure than this. He lost big in Florida and many times before that. His lot was shaky at best, and they never even looked their best. He played a better card than Fred Thompson, that’s true, but that’s only as good as saying that Rob Schneider is better than Billy Crystal because he had a better director. They’re both still the same crap.

And while we’re on Giuliani, the only candidate the south ever favored without being able to spell, let’s talk about that hack, Chris Matthews.

Ever the loud-mouth for no reason at all and laying softies on anything that leans his way, Matthews lost some big ground this week when Giuliani fell out of the race, or tossed himself out, depending on how well-informed you are. And let’s talk about what that means because this journalism thing… it’s not pleasant or forgiving… and neither am I.

Let me make something clear: Matthews is not a lying hack because he leaned and rubbed against the wrong candidate and lost. Hell, you take risks in this business and no one gets it perfectly all the time. Even HST thought George McGovern had a sporting chance in the ‘72 race against Nixon, that Carter would smoke out Regan and that Vice President Bush would never make it out of the White House without handcuffs and that he would win in Aspen under the banner of freak power. But the old GOP boys were one step ahead of him with a move hat despite all previous signs and signals, no one expected: flat out cheating in the very face of the authority of the law, unprecedented incompetence at the caucus level, all out corruption and now as a result of the last 40 years of impotent chimps running the White House and at the climax of our time, a clinically retarded American Public. Which is not what we’re talking about here. Christ.

Matthews is a dishonest hack because he tried to hide his mistake, sweep it under the carpet of the complacency of the audience. He relied on the fact that no one watched him in the first place, so no one would notice his flip-flop. He backtracked on Giuliani the same exact moment that Giuliani announced he was throwing in his towel. He contradicted everything he’s said as a journalist for the past few weeks (at least) and all without a single apology or acknowledgment of his mistake. This is unacceptable journalism.

Having once touted Rudy as “the perfect candidate” and “the person with the best shot to win the Republican nomination”, moments after Rudy announced his end of the chase, Matthews could be heard saying things like “What Rudy Giuliani lacked all along was a purpose, a big idea as to why he should be president,” and “9-11 is a thing of the past.”

Some people don’t realize he does this every day. Some people don’t realize that this is not the first time he does this, but that it is in fact, his strategy, the way he makes his buck: by letting things happen and then explaining them away as if he had said it all along. He’s like a modern day Nostradamus, using vague stories and strange explanations that most don’t understand entirely to confound the people that would otherwise be looking at the man behind the curtain. It’s literary slight of hand, and in the English language we have a word to describe people who can pull this trick on the distracted and willing public. That word is: illusionist. A talented street thief with an act.

The man is a magician with words. He tells you what you want to hear and then he purposefully (as his paycheck depends on it) deceives you. And you let him. You have to let him, you have to want him to deceive you, or else he wouldn’t get away with it. With rubber balls, playing cards and handkerchiefs, that’s fine; that’s the way the game is played. But with the knowledge that gives you the power to make an informed decision about how to be governed, that’s fucking tragic.

Romney’s campaign, by the way, is one loin-cloth away from the mummy and I give the man standing room only because he outspends all of his candidates combined by 53 to 32. But don’t forget that he has 17 million in debt to his opponent’s 2 million. Deficit is, after all, what makes a president these days.

The Huckster, while he looked good on “The Daily Show” a few months ago, has degenerated into a Baptist-spewing lunatic that will not stand well when confronted by the rest of the nation after the primaries are over. Changing the constitution has never been an easy task, least of all to the President, who actually has little to do with the process, but Huckabee wants to use it to pour Bible talk over us all. And it’s not that American’s will not stand for this kind of insurgency – America will stand for almost anything it’s properly told to do. It’s that they’re too used to the idea that saying church stuff in public elicits lawsuits, and no one wants more of those, except the plaintiff’s lawyers, and they’re all on the other side, always. The Republican Party is not so stupid that they don’t realize this. They are, after all, the more political of the two animals.

So John McCain is going to be the GOP candidate. There; I said it. No wiggle room. Either I’m right or I’m not. This could be great. Or it could be horrible.

Great because with someone so inherently contradictory, so violently linked to the former regime, we can’t help but have a democrat in the White House; it would be a beating so ugly it would make Nixon roll in his grave after the Kennedy election. Any one of them should beat the guy by a 15 point spread.

Terrible because America did elect George W. Bush twice running now, and seems poised to learn not a single thing from that mistake. After all that has happened, I will NOT put my money on the American public’s ability to learn history, no more than I would wager that Bush has learned from Iraq and will definitely NOT bomb Iran for reasons even he can’t explain.

For those that don’t know, by the way, John McCain has come right out and said that there will be another war. Mind you, not “more” war; “another” war. He hasn’t specified that it will be Iran he’ll bomb, be he’s not talking about Iraq or Afghanistan, if those even count as “war” because no self-respecting general will spread American forces thinner than they already are. Shit, we couldn’t rake some one’s yard after a drizzle with the National Guard we have now.

Besides, the childish criminal and terrorist tactics of a few disgruntled old men that pass for war these days is atrocious. Men like Churchill and FDR lived in war; these guys are simply creating the largest scale playground bully antics the world has seen to date. They create their own problem. They supply the solution. They subsequently fail. Talk about a systemic monopoly, eh?

And it’s crazy. The man has war experience. He’s got to make more sense than this talk of secrecy and trust us we know what we’re doing maneuvers that the Bush White House has gotten America used to hearing. He’s got to know better.

Shit man, I’ve been to Vietnam, I’ve walked through the gates of the Hanoi Hilton, I’ve seen the place where John McCain was imprisoned and tortured at the hands of the North Vietnamese. It doesn’t make sense, and so much for straight talk.

The Democrats are a little more complicated, but I’m going to call it for Obama, and not because John Edwards, the solid-choice, high-road taking John Edwards has dropped out of the race for lack of funds, or because Hilary seems to have no scruples whatsoever. It’s about a man we all know well. It’s about Bill.

Indeed. Where is Bill?

Where is Bill Clinton these days? Is he standing by Hilary, attracting the spotlight the way he necessarily can? Is he shouting her name and getting American’s from all walks of life to shout it with him? Is he discussing his plans for how he’ll contribute as the first… ladies-man? Well, yeah. Kinda.

But look closer. His heart’s not in it. He’s not standing beside her, he’s near her. He’s not getting people to shout her name, he’s getting people to say it. He’s not talking about his plans about serving as first ladies-man because he’s thinking about his plans for serving in the cabinet or office of whoever does win, and that will be the man he doesn’t disparage. Bill Clinton is the only one playing a clean game in this horse race, and his golden stare is looking straight at Barack.

Not that it matters. Hilary could lose to McCain, that’s true, but not likely. Edwards would’ve made a scene of the man and probably will when Obama offers him a spot on his cabinet. Hell, it could even be close. But there is no way – and I know I’ve thought this before – but there is no way a war president will be replaced by a fresh war president. Especially not one who makes as little sense as John McCain.

And there you have it, readers. And lest you think my arrogance is accidental in this matter I will tell you upfront that I’m just getting to know this business, and from what I see you can’t half-ass this shit. Hell, if you can at least put out something you can respect, that’s more gold than most of the hacks around are doing, correct or not. So long as it’s factual. Clearly label your opinions… so that you know to throw them out later. Maybe I’ll learn to be more understanding or less judgmental, but you’ll start noticing when that happens.

For now and until that day, keep your ear to the grindstone.

Dylan Cormack

We are, all of us, in a hole of shit. I mean, I have my own problems, and you have yours, but as a group, things look dark indeed.

Now look, I can write all kinds of gibberish, from warmongering propaganda to articles on high school volleyball to the demons that hound yours truly.

But today, it’s going to touch on – and I’m going to pull straight from my man Jon Stewart on this one – the 2008 cluster-fuck to the White House.

Yes, indeed. The reason for this sort of turnaround, this regression into the basest kind of political discussions? Disgust. Gleeful rage. Insane loathing for the general electorate.

I mean, election politics? Presidential Primaries? Who needs this shit? But it’s true, and it’s right in your face, even if you’re not paying attention. So look around you, Rube. Feel the burn. What are you going to do? The Titanic is going down, Rome is burning and the only swords within your grasp are the feeble power to vote and the ability to be informed if you want it.

If you want it. In some countries it’s mandatory. At least we still have the freedom to deny ourselves the only power we still have left. Ain’t America grand?

I remember once a flatmate of mine in college told me she didn’t vote.

What?” I implored with confounded rage, as should be expected.

“Yeah, I don’t read the news enough and I don’t feel like I’d make an informed decision. So I don’t vote,” she told me with a look so stolid it made her posture stiffen.

I looked at her in total and complete disbelief and launched into some kind of rant about there being no excuse to not vote, and how others were never given the chance and even others were forced to do it and so on and so on. I don’t know that she listened to me. Thinking back on it, I hope she didn’t.

Had she taken my advice it would only have compounded the problem. America’s issue with voters isn’t just the indifference caused by a large middle class that is too comfortable and therefore too complacent with the status quo. It’s more complicated than that. When you get down to it, there are 3 kinds of voters:

  • Those who are easily stirred into action (i.e. swing voters)
  • Those who are naive enough to care (some of them are informed enough to be angry)
  • Those who are extreme enough in their views to be passionate (dangerous)

The other 55% of the nation doesn’t even show up, so who cares what they think?

Well. It’d be interesting to know what percentage among them fall into the 3 categories of non-voters:

-The responsibly uninformed

-The wholly indifferent

-The informed enough to be angry and too disillusioned to act

I guess there is also the blissfully ignorant and some of these vote as well but they tend to fall into the first category up top. If only the ignorant ones didn’t vote. Then, at least, we’d have a meaningful election (assuming we could trust the counting machines, which we can’t, but that’s another day’s topic). In any case, this does not bode well for the politics of the country. I could get into a whole flurry of why the media is largely to blame since as the 4th branch, they are responsible for informing those who wish to be informed in the first place thereby creating an environment conducive to the principles of a unified and productive democracy… and they’re not doing that. But then it would start sounding like I’m preaching and only a jackass would do that, so what’s the point?

The point, since we’re getting back to it, is that I then told her something I believed in at the time but see now that I didn’t understand entirely. I told her what a lot of people think: that you should always vote.

This is a lie.

The rule is not that you should vote. The rule is that you MUST – without liberty to ignore your duty, without fail to feel the responsibility or the shame to fail – be informed.

After you’re informed you do what you want. Ride a boat upstream into the Congo if you think that’s the right course of action. But for fuck’s sake don’t vote if all you watch is CNN or anything on TV for that matter. Yes “The Daily Show” is included in that; you can’t just watch Jon Stewart. God, I bet he had a fit of fucking desperate terror the first time he realized that he was some people’s sole source of news, and he literally calls it the fake news. Although if you watch both “The Daily Show” AND “The Colbert Report”… well, that’s something…

But seriously, don’t vote if you don’t listen to the radio or read at least 2 or 3 publications, at least one of which is not owned by Rupert Murdoch or Pat Robinson. Don’t vote if you base your decisions on what Oprah or your neighbor says and certainly don’t vote because Mitt Romney thinks you should. Or, just to be safe, anyone from Florida, for that matter.

Pedro Ávila

After many trials, much deliberation, constant interruptions and no less than 3 death threats the search is over. I have new flat mates. And not a moment too soon.

With one Katie gone and the other soon bound for the grey Isles of Britannia, I was left wondering how to replace such characters in my life. That and their respective rent payments. They’d become such dependable friends and I knew I would miss them so.

Remaining-Katie helped me to shed some light on the matter from her usually helpful female perspective. Her reliable company by the window was just as appreciated with our almost mandatory tumbler of whatever alcohol sat on top of the fridge. Already-left-Katie, bless her heart, could do little from the heart of darkness, the war-and-disease-ravaged lands she currently assists in raising to civility. She wrote to me of her daily issues – problems of blatant and rampant racism, crossing war fronts in the line of fire, outrageous palm beaches with hammocks for the evenings, savage kitten-spewing cats, missing pants and large rats that were somehow responsible for the absence of the pants in the first place. Suddenly my issues of not having flat mates seemed pale in comparison.

But everyone has their problems, and large or small, I had to deal with mine.

So let’s get to the hunt for new flat mates. What this city holds in terms of dubious characters and outright weirdos is understood by some and well-known to most. I imagine almost any place on Earth with a large enough population of humans will have its fair share of shady types so know that I recognize that and am not here peddling in insignificant judgments. There’s no need to get all self-righteous or defensive and protective of your own town of wayward freaks. I know they’re everywhere. I’m from San Francisco and I have friends in other strange places like Portland, Manhattan, Las Vegas, Fairbanks, Brussels and Tilburg. I know these things.

But Amsterdam, friends… it’s a housing mess. This is true. Sure, New Yorkers pay 3 grand for a studio apartment in Manhattan and Parisians have to deal with the French – but do they have to worry about squatting mafia connections and large porn kings returning from a 2-year long flight from the cops?

Rhetorical questions, of course.

But seriously, you’d think that for an apartment in the center that is practically a living postcard with canal-side natural light, an absurdly large living space, a large kitchen, a sink in the bathroom and a decently normal flatmate with all of his teeth would attract good people so fast you’d wonder where they had all been living before.

But lo – the oddities of humanity are larger in number, and they love to answer them some Craigslist ads. They came in droves.

The first two girls that replied were from Spain and came as a pair. Ideal, I thought, and they seemed interesting. Red-and-blue-hair-kind of interesting – true – but interesting nonetheless. That is, until they asked about the possibility that I dye my hair green so that the mood would feel more rounded and we could project ourselves better across the continuum.

“What continuum?” I asked, naively. I shouldn’t have.

“You know, the essence of ‘x’,” said one of them.


“Ecstasy,” she corrected me. “It’ll be more soothing when we all do ecstasy.”

It went downhill from there.

All in all I received:

  • 21 responses from people living abroad who wanted the place no matter what.
  • 12 promises to deposit all necessary funds into my own account no matter how strongly I pointed out that we might have mice and maybe they should see the place first.
  • 10 Jesus freaks.
  • 8 propositions of marriage for a visa. Eight.
  • 6 responses from people whose names were so unpronounceable it was impossible to know their sex. 4 of them wouldn’t say. What’s up with that?
  • 6 replies in languages I could not identify.
  • 4 requests that I stop posting ads on craigslist because of global warming.
  • 4 Nigerian Bankers.
  • 2 accusations that I was actually an ex-missionary in Africa who should burn in hell or else pray there’s no afterlife. Apparently there’s an explanation for these on the craigslist website, but damned if I’m going to read it.
  • 5 responses from ex-professional athletes in their late 30′s who did not seem to read the HUGE part about how I was looking for young students/professionals between 20 and 30, and not large ex-linebackers for the Flevoland Flounders.
  • 1 pet chicken.
  • 1 proposition that I help a couple raise their child.

And as I said, no less than 3 death threats.

what? I don’t always know how to react to people.

Along the way I got, of course, numerous tugs on the sleeve and side-lip-whispered rationales and explanations out in the corridor for things ranging from criminal records to massive debt to schizophrenia. Naturally, I’ve left out the handful of otherwise reasonably normal people that I actually let come over and see the place. But even among these I had:

  • 5 exceptionally boring people.
  • 4 cases of clinical B.O.
  • 2 people with interpreters.
  • 1 violent allergy to peanuts AND ketchup.
  • 1 more Jesus freak


Nothing like Tweedledee and Tweedledum, but trouble all the same. I tell you, looking for a place to live or for flat mates to share your own is one hell of an exercise in getting to know humanity, assuming you’re into humanity. So you can imagine my glee when 2 girls of caliber and seemingly normal levels of decency showed up at my door with registration papers, phone numbers, passports and a fun and friendly demeanor. Hold on to them, Pete!

I snagged each of them by the arm, one at a time, and yanked them into the apartment, thrusting the contract and clean dishes at them with promises of respectful living conditions and no more than 1 mouse at a time since, you know, it’s Amsterdam. You can’t keep those little fuckers out forever.

Tibi Dabo, I told them, so long as they didn’t have pet chickens and didn’t set fire to my books.

And wouldn’t you know it? They signed on the dotted line and paid up. Jelena with her thorough accountant style and Maryla with her indifferent nonchalance to anything that might bother her. You can tell high caliber when you see it, I’ve been told. And that night, we all saw it.

Good times lie ahead, I think.

Dylan Cormack

Deeper and deeper we go.

With the proverbial (and actual) hang-over of the new year steadily gaining distance behind us we’ve turned our attention to more important things like retaining gainful employment, fostering meaningful relationships, maintaining steady exercise and continuing the hunt for new flat mates.

Note that following the presidential primaries is not included.

And why should it be? Everyone else seems content to reiterate over and over a hundred times about the lack of experience this and $400 haircut that, and here is The Anti-Christ. And now, Oh My God how could the Nevada Primary possibly go that way? It’s a wonder there’s any news on at all. And then Heath Ledger goes and takes enough sleeping pills to wreck a pony, and now every female under the age of 50 is lamenting another babe gone down to the party beyond, joining the likes of James Dean and River Phoenix, and possibly one of the Baldwin’s, because, why not? They have enough.

Jeez. Slow down. There’s no call for that kind of thing.

Which is true. It’s too soon for that kind of talk. But no dreamy girl will be wed to ol’ Heath, that’s for sure, unless necrophilia makes a turn for the popular, which I don’t see happening. On no tabloids will pictures of Heath and Matthew McConaughey be shown getting out of shallow beaches, abs brimming with manhood and oodles of charm coming out their pores, sometimes mistaken for talent.

Sometimes. Which is a shame. Dude was beginning to make good films, and sleeping pills on a Hollywood heartthrob? Tragically cliche, no?

But there’s plenty to talk about. And yet, the impression I’m starting to get is that news, at least today, is not what is, but a reflection of what people want to hear. Televised politics, a sport in and of itself, like a perpetual Super bowl that no one pays serious attention to. And that’s terrifying given the education, attention span and critical thinking skills of the typical and average yoke in America. And if something as harmfully unimportant as the democratic presidential primaries steals the thunder of any story bigger than Heath Ledger’s suicide, it’s worrisome.

Which is not to say that Heath Ledger is more news-worthy than the election. Just that when the talking heads have been saying the same thing for 3 days on end and can still blot out a tragic actor’s death, then people must be really yearning for the promise that maybe today CNN will give them some meat.

Because, seriously: politically, these primaries mean nothing. Any democrat will sign the Kyoto Treaty, and not a second too soon. Any one of them would almost certainly refrain from bombing Iran. None of them will start WWIII before tackling immigration, health care and Iraq, and not a single one of those has any chance of being resolved in the next 30 years anyways. So as far as issues go, every candidate is identical. The fools who want Hilary because she’s a woman or Barack because he’s black, or even Edwards because he looks like a sitcom character from the 80′s are wasting time and energy.

Remember: there is nowhere to go but up.

But don’t mind my ranting; I’m disenchanted. I’m informed enough to be angry and foolish enough to care. Statistically, though, you’re probably not all that different from the rest of the electorate, so don’t take any of this personally. Just figure out if you’re one of the majority that forms political opinions based on the fluctuations of your heartbeat when you hear Hilary’s voice or if you’re in the minority that make sense when talking about it. If you’re a voice person, consider working on that. Or consider getting neutered. It’s the same to me.

But what’s certain is that it’s insane to discuss the candidates as if any of it mattered, unless you’re high or drunk, in which case either no one will pay attention to what you’re saying. Either that or else they might just elect you into the White House. Not all that far fetched, when you consider what America has done twice in a row now.

And since the rest of our attention is enthralled with things like doing numerous push ups and running countless kilometers every day, making sure my job isn’t forgotten by the payroll department, paying the rent with people that don’t put me to sleep and fueling the fire of passion even if it’s across the mighty At-a-lantic, it’s not altogether surprising that we might miss something like that. We get so tired of the bullshit that we sometimes can’t filter it from the background noise of stupidity. This too, is terrifying, but alas: reality.

Pedro Ávila

Jesus, what a weird night. Things have been hazy in the past couple of days, the return home dropping itself fully on top of me like a large bag of oranges or some other citrus. At first I thought it was jet lag that was keeping me awake through all hours of the night, forcing me to go to bed at 2 or 3 and waking up alert as all hell at 5, knowing that what you need is a 5k run.

Yeah, that’ll do it. What kind of bipolar maniac would think that’s ok? And then be so schizophrenic to wonder why you’re tired as hell come 10 in the morning and again at dusk. 3 days later the pattern continues.

Then someone sent me an article about a drug they’re trying on these monkeys, something that doesn’t just postpone sleep, it replaces it entirely. Fuck, I thought. That’s an elegant solution to my jet lag problem. I could USE some of that.

Then I thought about how the last thing this world needs is another sleep deprived, over-evolved chimp – least of all one who writes in that state. No, we don’t need that.

Now, late into the night, the bottle of Jameson almost gone and the two blunts my flatmate left me still sitting on the table for a lack of a lighter or anything resembling heat in this ancient building, I’m forced into all kinds of complicated things like answering emails about the apartment I’m trying to rent. What hope did I think I had? Craigslist wasn’t made for ads like this:

Death of an Era: 2 rooms available to share postcard apartment with occasionally drunk migrant

That doesn’t work, Pete. You’re only going to attract more degenerates with that kind of talk. Leave it off the papers, man. Get a grip. Sit down. Think. Maintain.

Or maybe just get some sleep.

But how? Later, one of the Katies, due to leave in less than a week’s time says there’s a film I must watch. It’s an oldie, and it’s scary, she says.

Ok. Maybe I’ll get some sleep. Good. Put it on.

“Don’t Look Now”, with Donald Sutherland and Julie something is, for the record of fact, a horribly confounding, twisted and in all other ways terrible movie. Its strangely placed camera angles and scene transitions do enough to trip you out throughout the whole movie, and at one point you start to think that none of it is an accident and that some brilliant art students must be behind all this razzle and dazzle that you haven’t quite understood yet. “I’m sure it’ll all tie together before the end,” you tell yourself.


Imagine that after all the confusion of the 6th Sense it turns out that instead of being a ghost himself, Bruce Willis is actually a Trafalmadorian spy sent to gather toy soldiers from autistic boys. What if THAT were the twist? Would you be pissed off that all the imagery and symbolism had gone to waste. Would you be confounded at WHY any art student would do a thing like that? Would you wonder what sociopath funded a movie of that sort?

Well, now you know how I feel. Sort of.

Because I sat patiently and confused through seemingly pointless scenes that halfway assured me they would make sense later, some creepy shots of blind old ladies and a half hour of a far-too-intimate sex scene showing Donald Sutherland’s hairy white ass. That is NOT a part of well-balanced breakfast.

And for what? The red-coated midget has NOTHING to do with his dead daughter? The murdering old lady dwarf dressed like a European little-red-riding hood and packing a meat cleaver has absolutely NOTHING to do with ANY imagery of the film? Her only purpose is to suddenly turn a drama flick into a horror movie with a single hack of his jugular? What?

Naturally, you’d have to watch the flick to know what I’m talking about in its entirety, but trust me: not worth the time. If you want to waste your time without being pissed off, just watch Transformers with the sound turned off. At least that way you won’t have to put up with Shia LaBeouf’s unwarranted antics and you can enjoy Megan Fox without the winging.

I am understandably upset. I imagine the scene in the meeting room where the art students that made this contortion of images at the moment when things go astray.

Lead art student: Ok people, they’ve cut our due date by a few days, so we’re going to have to wrap it up. No more scene additions.

Gabe: But I had this great idea for this symbol around the red candle that would…

LAS: Sorry, Gabe, we don’t have time for it.

Gabe: Fuck.

LAS: Ok, now we need to finish that scene in the dark and fog smitten building, right? Ok. So the midget in the red coat is standing, facing the corner, Donald approaches her, thinking it’s his daughter, the suspense is building, the music is climbing, she sniffles, he says “it’s ok, baby, I’m here,” he reaches out to touch her aaaaannnnnnndd…


LAS: Mitch!

Mitch: yeah?

LAS: Wasn’t that your scene?

Mitch: Wasn’t MY scene!

LAS: Loni?

Loni: Don’t look at me, man… I did the weird scaffolding scene.

LAS: Joe?

Joe: Nope.

LAS: Really guys? Really? NObody knows what’s under that red coat? The entire movie has to be based on this. NObody?

well, do we at least have any ideas?

Joe: how about an old lady?

LAS: What old lady?

Joe: no, no, the red coat. There can be an old lady under there.

LAS: you mean like the spirit of the daughter aged a century in the afterlife?

Joe: I don’t know. Sure.

Mitch: Won’t work. We’ve been showing a child running through the streets of Venice.

Loni: It could be a midget old lady.

LAS: will you guys listen to yourselves? A midget old lady? Does she look like the blind woman? Or her sister, maybe?

Joe: No, no. Just some scary-looking, creepy old lady with dwarf face.

_Mitch: Are you stoned? What the hell is dwarf face?


Joe: Are you drunk?

Mitch: Shut up.

LAS: Look, I’m not following this but let’s say ok, what then?

Loni: Meat cleaver.

LAS: What?

Loni: Meat cleaver. She turns around, looks at him randomly and while he’s trying to figure out who she is, she hacks his jugular with a meat cleaver.

LAS: Guys, c’mon! We’re artists. We’re better than this. Don’t we have any better ideas?

Joe: Well, Donald Sutherland could undress himself and…

LAS: Meat cleaver it is! Done.

Or something like that. Shit christ. What a terrible experience. Like that time Aaron told me the “Mr. Green” joke.


Oscar Bjørne

“Here,” says Nate, “drink this.”

“What is it?”

“It’s a cheeseburger.”


“A cheeseburger.”

“It looks like a beer. Shitty too, from the smell of it. And what the fuck is that red thing floating at the bottom of it?”

“It’s a cherry; a cherry and a lemon.”

“What kind of mad combination is that to put in a beer?”

“Just drink your beer normally. When you get to the last gulp, I swear to God, it’ll taste like a cheeseburger.”

“… What?”

“I don’t think it works at sea level, but I think we’ve got enough altitude here,” Henry offers. Shak looks suspicious. I’m confused.

“I’m confused,” I say.

Nate nods. “Drink.”

I drink. I chug a bit at first, looking at his pale face turned golden through the horrible bite back of Pabst on tap. God, I needed this. And this shitty, well-lit and mostly empty Portland bar was the place to do it.

I pause about halfway through. “Last gulp, huh?”

“I’m telling you, man. A goddamn cheeseburger. You’ll see.”

Dammit. As if things weren’t weird enough lately. 4 months into my European stint I hadn’t seen as much as a hair toss in any bar in Amsterdam. No drugs to speak of, just loads and loads of lonely whiskey, vodka and pea soup and to boot, a rigorous exercise schedule that had put my gut at sophomore year levels. Sophomore year in high school. Without sounding like a narcissistic bastard, can I say a thing like that? What can a thing like that even mean?

Then suddenly a trip to Spain and Morocco explodes right in my face and it earns more than its fair share of hookups and romances, none of them expected and all of them exciting and forbidden by rules left unwritten in all but the most distant and turbid corners. Friends suddenly came to visit and the craziness started.

“How’s the pot here, man?” Dave asks me.

“I don’t know man, I don’t smoke,” I told him.

“Why not?” he asked. A fair question, especially here.

“Just haven’t.” I said. I don’t like fair questions.

“Never even been curious?”

“Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be gay?” I asked him.

“You insensitive fuck, I AM gay!” He retored. Oops.

“Fine, fine, whatever,” I said. “Have you ever wondered what it’s like not to be gay?”

“Fair question.” He said, and thought about it. “Yeah.”

“Have you tried it?”


“How do you know wouldn’t like it?”

“And what if I did like it?”

“Exactly.” I said, winning the debate.

“What about shrooms?” Brooke offered. “No wait, shrooms won’t work for you.”

“What? Why not?” I asked.

“You’re a shitty drunk, Bird. You talk too goddamn much,” she said. Which was true.

“I usually do anyway.”

“Yeah,” Brooke responded, “but when you’re drunk and someone mentions their weed is from Oregon the first thing you say is, ‘oh, like Ken Kesey,’ and then you launch into romancing the American Northwest and things like hunting wild mushrooms and logging…you weirdo.”

“So what?” I asked.

“Bird, who the fuck besides you, Trevor and Nate even knows WHO Ken Kesey is? And of those who know – who cares? And what kind of shit-faced book junkie would even bring up Ken Kesey at a time like that?”

“So what’s this got to do with doing shrooms?” I asked her.

“Well…you’re also too self-confident with your talents, and possessive too. I’m just saying that, on shrooms, some people light fires, some see the Earth breathe and some people jump off balconies. You’d probably behave like Jack Kerouac and go rummaging through old stacks of paper looking for a long enough scroll to write enough crap on to last you your entire high. And while no one could even read it, you’d claim it a masterpiece until you woke up 2 days later in the Van Gogh Museum.”

“No, you can’t do shrooms,” Dave agreed.

“What’s left?” I asked.

“C’mon,” Dave said. “I saw sign back there that said they served Absinthe.”

“Guys, wait,” I said. “This is the kind of talk that is going to lead to a series of events that will end up with one of us in a Belgian prison while the other one lies dead or worse on the frozen deck of a tourist boat in Budapest.” I know it sounds bad, but I was right, dammit. I know about these things. But that’s another story.

In any case, the friends came and went. Other business trips came and went too and were well enjoyed. All of them yielded much craziness, tempestuous women on the margins of the civilized world and fast shots lit on fire, some of which were absinthe. And I was right.

And _ye gods – n_one of it was a good idea.

But who cares? These are the years for miscreant behavior of this kind, and I’ll be damned if the wild animals of Amsterdam OR Portland were going to stop our golden youthful age. Not these horsemen, sister. A mini-fridge full of fireworks, a perfect mountain covered in fresh snow, a cold city filled with meth freaks and vegan law students and enough scotch and bourbon to wreck a pack of camels, we did the New Year thing right.

Just ask T.

In any case, last year started off like a god-damned… what did I call it? Like a god-damned Dear Abby column. That is NO way to start off a year. Years must be started off with epic tales of surviving deathly hangovers in Oregonian forests of gleaming beauty, with explosions of childish glee, with drunken hordes and merry times, and with friends yelling, “SHIT, NATE SHOT A BOTTLE ROCKET UP MY SHIRT” while their girlfriends stare at them and me with abject terror and utter disbelief.

That’s how this year started, my friends. What could go wrong?


_My girl left me sober

I don’t know what to do

I turn the bourbon upside down

but she’s across the ocean blue_

_These are my At-a-lantic Blues…

Oh Lord, my At-a-lantic Blues…_

_I call her: trans-atlantic

Confusing dusk with dawn

We talk for 20 minutes sexy,

But now my minutes are all gone_

_I’ve got the At-a-lantic Blues…

Yeeaaah, the At-a-lantic Blues…_

_The problem’s geographic,

And understood by few,

I don’t know how I’m gonna solve it,

But I’ll just keep playin’ ‘till I do_

_To fight the At-a-lantic Blues…

Hoooaaaah, the At-a-lantic Blues…_

Pedro Ávila

Waterfalls of warm light fill the room from all corners. Chorals of ancient voices of Nat King Cole and some other white dude pour out from a CD recording in another corner of my parent’s house. The night is eerily clear and a dry and mild chill fills the air outside. Nothing a light sweater won’t fix. The cars are stowed, the garage is closed, the neighbors visited and now it’s time for just us. The heater was cranked up to obscene temperatures that could have had us lying around in shorts, but Dad fixed that quick, as dads always do. So now it’s more bearable. The kitchen hasn’t started going full force yet, but Dad is in there, crushing cranberries for his sauce, so I’m sure it will be soon. I am recently arrived from Amsterdam, my brother from Barcelona, and the rest of the family from their various corners of the Bay.

Christmas at the Avila house is an altogether relaxing thing.

I’m certainly privileged in this respect. If there’s one thing I have an unfaltering intolerance for during this season it’s the bullshit I see many of my friends going through. The topical application of traditions unconsidered and outdated notions such as caroling, Christmas cards, and jingle bell rock are abhorrent to me. The visiting of friends and other family members that are completely out of touch for the rest of the year and now, suddenly, want to know everything about you and your year, and I’m expected to have a quick answer or even care when they start telling me about theirs? No thanks.

These are the people who barely squeeze out the right names when looking at my brother and me next to each other, the ones that have some faint remembrance of some of my ordeals during the year, the triumphs, the stories, the tribulations and so forth… these people don’t deserve details. What they get is: “Things are great, yeah. No, work is good. It’s all adventures out there. No, yeah, it’s totally legal.” But what they deserve is closer to a grunt.

I listen to my friends talking about their conversations with relatives who don’t leave the farm more often than necessary to pick up the mail. I hear others discussing the travels they must undertake to see parents because they’ve up and moved to Florida. I hear the shit people talk about at Christmas parties and I cringe.

Sales tax increase? Are you kidding? Benazir Bhutto has been assassinated and you’re worried about what some politician is promising for a primary that is roughly 6 months away? Well.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m Mr. Holidays – I love putting lights on the house and leaving cookies out for Santa, that ever elusive and nefarious persona used by the conglomerates to their own ends; I love Christmas trees. Never mind that I also enjoy using the lights to design runway patterns on the roof or the front lawn, and that I leave the cookies out myself so that I know where they are and can check on them periodically during the night, and eat them myself in case he takes too long.

No sense in letting that spoil, you know? Waste not unto others that which thou somethingsomethingsomethingsomething… isn’t that in The Bible?

And never mind that Christmas trees are among the most pagan of symbols that they decided to incorporate into Christianity during the council of Nicea back in three hundred something AD. No; that shit is deeply rooted in the minds of Americans now, and it’s as good as red, white and blue.

But, seriously – don’t get me wrong. I like Christmas. I like having family together, eating great food and having turkey AND ham in the same meal. Hell, I’m even ok with being forced to take vacation time, not being able to fly anywhere for a solid period of 5 days and not having the option to NOT drink eggnog at some point during December.

But having to smile to people who might as well be at the bottom of a swamp during the rest of the year; having to give them the time of day and miss even a second of anything else you’d rather be doing; having to pause your Family Guy DVD so that you can superficially thank whoever brought that box of See’s Candies you hate so goddamn much is an affront to my enjoyment of this holiday.

That I still manage to enjoy it is a sign of how unselfish and decent people can be, even if it’s only once a year. Even if it’s just me. I guess that’s good enough.

Merry Christmas, all.

Pedro Ávila

Days of waiting have added up to weeks now. It’s been a cold so bitter and biting that I’m pretty sure my next reflection will show me that my nose is, in fact, no longer present. I suspect the northerly that blows so consistently these days sank its icy teeth and ripped it off sometime last night but without any feeling left in my face, I’m left to speculate. Oh well.

With the nights colder and the days getting shorter, it takes a little more determination to do the things one must do to survive this life of uncertainty and constant travel with no end in sight. Music, exercise, socializing — life. You know.

It takes real effort when the sky is grey and flies drop like weighted-down clumps of lint from the sudden loss of temperature. Sitting down at a desk next to a window to write means taking off gloves, something I’m averse to in an ice age apartment littered with the corpses of frozen mosquitoes. And writing like this takes more than inspiration; it takes determination, a combination of will power beating up on creativity. It takes balls. Also, it takes something I lack at the moment, and that is a space heater.

But discipline is a very valuable thing, and it’s malleable, since you can pound the hell out of it and eventually get results. Creativity, though, is a much larger bitch altogether and you can’t beat her to death with a stick – like a woman that’s worth having, she comes when she wants to, not when she’s called.

But discipline is what’s important and if you beat it for long enough, creativity tends to come out – not as a general rule but statistically the odds are there. Even Mark Twain had to write copy to pay the bills, and HST wrote a lot of shit that would’ve found a more comfortable home in a recycle bin than on the pages of Rolling Stone magazine. And these things are worth remembering in times like this. It builds character and gets you through the troughs. Fortunately, whiskey also works well enough and my friend Jameson always goes to bat for me in the face of desperation.

It seems only weeks ago that I moved to Europe and became stuck in a holding pattern, waiting for my employer to figure out where to send me. Days and days went by with nothing produced but the paycheck stubs…they were rolling in on schedule and as planned, and thank God for that, since it’s all that justified my continued existence for a while.

What amounted to weeks of time went towards facebook, writing blogs for an audience of unknown size or demographic, and planning the end of the year party. Sometimes they blamed it on the  commitment from the sales folk but whatever the reasons, there were those who noticed and took the time to describe my life as some kind of fantasy camp of doing nothing, receiving a steady paycheck and being told that you’ll travel next week. Sounds great, right?

Sure. But if doing nothing persists and next week never comes, the situation  slowly becomes toxic. All kinds of pestilent and toxic things fester in stagnant, standing and idle waters. When no winds blow to dis-branch the leaves and ruffle the feathers, to ripple the waves and spread tourist trash, deadly things build up, and so it is with men. Like a frog in boiled water, it’s easy to adjust to what’s killing you, so long as you’re ignoring it. I almost got stuck in that trap once.

But these people know nothing of boiling frogs. Doing nothing for extended periods of time is an endurance trial; it’s the most exhausting and physically draining activity you can engage in, next to cab driving or soccer.

So I try to endure. Remain dour and steadfast – hold out. Man is a beast of very few actual needs; an incredibly stalwart and resilient animal. Man can survive on astoundingly low quantities of food and water, comfort and shelter; he can push the limits of rest where sleep is concerned, intoxicate his body beyond reason and even watch entire marathons of Kirsten Dunst movies, if it came to that. But he needs validation; he needs purpose. Without it he goes insane with ennui, and that’s just the best case scenario. Sometimes a man will snap, and that’s when you get things like serial killers, tractor pulls and Miss America pageants, and eventually, in extreme cases, Scientology.

I was on the verge of crossing this line.

Yet now, as I continue to observe the city, its people and its tourists, I am reminded that I am not one of them. I may walk among them now, but I am not one of them no matter how much I want to be. And so the old question burns me more than ever.

I no longer wonder whether to move abroad, of course – it’s a little late in the game for that kind of hesitation. I’ve already peaced-out, closed accounts and paid foreign taxes. It’s not about moving because that’s just logistics. And when it’s on the company dime, I eat logistics for breakfast. After all, here I am, sitting canal-side, watching boats go by with “Amsterdam” written on their aft, and admiring myself for having taken the game even this far. But where does it stop? When do you go back?


I’m starting to suspect that it doesn’t stop; that I don’t go back. It’ll go on until I collapse or do something stupid like get married again. And we can’t have that, can we?

No, no we can’t. And now we know better.

I guess the itch, the question in question was never so much about Can it be done but rather: Can I see this through? Can I make this work? Friends, on this side of the pond permanently now, I am that much closer to something that I can describe as redemption & validation at the same time. Stay tuned for a more finalized judgment. But know that Europe and I — we’re working.

Oscar Bjørne

Unthinkable that I’m writing this here. It’s not ready.

I don’t quite understand it yet, but it’s been too long and you people give me no rest when I ignore this place. Rejoice, readers, for I come back to you, if only temporarily, for a teaser. Don’t worry – I’ll impart the details as they become appropriate.

Many things have passed since last I was here. Bear in mind that that last entry didn’t count because I was literally on the run and that story needed to be told in mid-chase or it would’ve lost all sense of priority and urgency. Nevermind that I wrote it in a hotel lobby… it needed to be done. Things like that don’t need a reason. Lot’s of things can happen when you’re out in the wild without a notebook or any other sort of connection to the office. Sometimes you feel like you’re being chased by wild bureaucrats through all kinds of colored streets in the dead of night, and for weeks on end. So there may be a reason after all for those animals not to keep me in touch with the rest of the world, but they certainly didn’t tell me why.

With my electronic notebook in a state of semi-functionality and only pseudo-ability to be useful for more than 60 seconds at a time, I have been left stranded in the isles of no internet and hand-written notes and journal entries. This is not necessarily bad, but it’s certainly inconvenient and puts a damper on my ability to post as often as you’d like me to. So settle down and get a grip. And besides, I’ve had company lately, so you need to know that I’m not ALL yours, you understand?

But rest assured, I’ll catch you up soon. There are tales in the works, real stories that have been my adventures and will soon be your fantasies. There are happenings that were as fun as they were unexpected and may even have been slightly illegal… we’ll find out soon enough. Roughly, I expect, after I post them. And that will come soon. Just give me some time.

Aloha. Yes.