Archive for December, 2005

In Which I Am (Mostly) A Good Father

December 30th, 2005 1 comment

Yes, I went to see Cheaper By The Dozen II. No, I did not enjoy it. Yes, I pretty much kept my mouth shut. Yes, I lied egregiously when my youngest daughter (who picked the film) asked me if I thought it was really fun.

Sadly, the movie made me laugh about a half dozen times. “Sadly” because it pointed up how badly it wasted the rest of the hour and a half. The plot (and thankfully I don’t have to spend a lot of time on this) goes: Childhood rivals wind up spending Labor Day weekend on opposite sides of a lake, awaken their rivalry and almost alienate their families. Eugene Levy owns a trophy wife. Bonnie Hunt, for some reason, keeps letting Steve Martin impregnate her.

And yet, listen to this brief snippet of dialouge:

Trophy Wife to Bonnie: Kudos!
Bonnie: Oh….thanks.
Trophy Wife: That’s my word of the day!
Bonnie: Ah. It’s…good…to use words.

It’s a great little scene – underplayed and almost thrown away. Oddly out of place in such a pratfall-y farce full of crotch-crunch jokes. Almost as if someone got called in to punch up the script. Naaaaaah. They wouldn’t do that.

One of the daughters is pregnant. My wife rarely predicts plot points, but even she figured out halfway through the movie that preggers would deliver the first of her Baker’s Dozen during the big Family Competition finale. The two families tie with the tie to be broken by a canoe race. Levy insists that everyone participate. Martin, having learned his lesson about competition and family, bows out of the race to protect his unborn grandchild and, I guess, his daughter. But Preggers will have none of’t. “You’ve just pissed off an extremely hormonal woman,” she crows and you can hear in her voice just how happy she was to be given a line like that to say. The families jump in their respective boats and the race is on.

Parents learn pretty quickly how to whisper so that even a child sitting next to you can’t hear. In was in just such a whisper that I leaned over to my wife – “Whaddaya wanna bet that she loses the baby during the race, hemorrhages and almost dies?”

“Oh…my…god,” she moaned, “I don’t think that’s going to happen. Honestly!”

“But it’d make a great scene, though.”

Alas, no one dies, but people do cry in a hospital room because the baby is born with a large dent in his skull and missing an arm.

Damn. I gave the whole thing away.

At least I saved you a couple of bux.

Oh, and although movies in Columbia are slightly cheaper than Boston, the concession cost just as much.

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In Which I Post Some Advice

December 28th, 2005 No comments

If you’re too poor that someone else has to buy your plane ticket home for Christmas and you give unwrapped duped CDs as presents, DO NOT under any circumstances buy yourself brand new CDs at the record store particularly in front of the recipients of your cheap-ass “gifts”.

This, in the parlance of psychology, makes you look like a selfish, freeloading cunt.

You’re welcome.

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In Which UsAir Defends Christmas

December 27th, 2005 1 comment

On Christmas Eve, we heard the following from the gravel voiced pilot on our flight from DC to Columbia, SC

Gooood afternoon, ladies and gentlement. My name is Capt. Merril and I’d like to welcome you aboard Flight 574 from DC to Columbia, SC. We’ll be taking off before too long. Should be a pretty smooth flight down there to Columbia where it’s 58 degrees and pretty sunny. On behalf of myself and the flight crew, I’d like to wish a Merry Christmas. And, yes, I did say Christmas. We ain’t gonna let the ACLU ruin our celebration.

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In Which The Annual Christmas Meltdown Occurs

December 23rd, 2005 No comments

Yes, it’s that time of year when, shortly before Jesus’ birthday, humanity looks deep within its soul and says, “Oh, born two thousand years ago to take on the sins of all mankind? FUCK YOU! WHY CAN’T I FIND A GODDAMN IPOD NANO??”

And so…

Stressing in my car
In the Target parking lot
If this bitch don’t move
She will soon get shot
Triple parked outside
Pulling on a blunt
Oh my god I can’t believe she’s such a selfish cunt!

Christmas stress
Christmas stress
Soon they’re gonna pay
Oh, what fun with my shotgun
When I blow them all away
Christmas stress
Christmas stress
Soon they’re gonna pay
Oh, what fun with my shotgun
When I blow them all away

Standing in a line
Behind some smarmy dick
Talking on his phone
I’m going to be sick
Making booty calls
Telling lots of fibs
Then I’ll take my little shiv
And shove it in his ribs!

Christmas stress
Christmas stress
Soon they’re gonna pay
Oh, what fun with my shotgun
When I blow them all away
Christmas stress
Christmas stress
Soon they’re gonna pay
Oh, what fun with my shotgun
When I blow them all away

Kids are running ’round
Like they’re high on crack
Maybe God was right
They need a good hard smack
Blood pressure is high
And I’m yelling, “Please
Who the hell I gotta blow
To get some Christmas peace?!”

Christmas stress
Christmas stress
Soon they’re gonna pay
Oh, what fun with my shotgun
When I blow them all away
Christmas stress
Christmas stress
Soon they’re gonna pay
Oh, what fun with my shotgun
When I blow them all away

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In Which They Cingularly Suck

December 23rd, 2005 1 comment

I’m an idiot.

As soon as Cingular told me that, no, I couldn’t add my daughter to my cell phone plan without switching to Cingular, I should have bolted. But, as I said, I’m an idiot.

Service Weasel: You’ll need to get a new contract with Cingular and get new phones.
Me: Huh? So, you’re telling me that I have to choose a new cell phone carrier.
SW1: Well, no, sir, you just have to switch the account to Cingular.
Me: And choose a new plan and get new phones.
SW1: Yes, sir.
Me: How, and maybe I’m a little confused about this, is this different from choosing a new cell phone carrier.
SW1: Well, you’re just switching your account to Cingular.
Me: But if I went to Verizon, wouldn’t I have to choose a new plan and get new phones?
SW1: But you’re switching to Cingular.

That should have been the tip off. But, again, I’m an idiot.

A full and true accounting of this abortion of what should have been a simple transaction falls somewhere between In A Goddadivida and War and Peace. You don’t have time to read that and I don’t have time to write it. I’ll try to stick to the high points

Me: I run my business from my phone. I’ve got a fair amount of money tied up in it. You’re telling me that I have to just throw it away?
SW2: Sir, that phone will not work on the Cingular system.
Me: So I lose because Cingular bought AT&T.
SW2: The phone you have is not compat-
Me: Because usually when companies merge, you want to take care of the existing customers. That’s not the case in this one, I guess.
SW2: The Cingular network does not support that phone.
Me: So I eat a couple hundred bucks for choosing poorly.
SW2: Sir…

We went on like this for awhile with the continued descant of “You’re switching to Cingular“.

I called back a few days later after talking it over with my wife. Verdict – Stay with the evil you know. I hate Verizon. I considered switching earlier in the year and they couldn’t have cared less. “The benefit you get,” the Service Weasel told me verbatim, “is that you’ll be on Verizon.” Nope. That’s how the auto industry failed in the ’60s. My wife hates Sprint for some reason that I honestly don’t understand.

Me: (after a highly-biased recap of the story)…so I have to switch to Cingular.
SW3: Really? I’m pretty sure that you can add on to your existing plan with AT&T.
Me: Huh?
SW3: Yeah. I think that’s the case. Just a minute, sir. Let me transfer you over to the AT&T side.
Me: O-ok.

If you know anything about dramatic structure, then you know what happened. My only regret is that written English can’t properly simulate the sound of a dial tone.

Back on the phone.

Me:(Agitated) …and apparently I CAN add on to my AT&T plan so put me over to wherever I was going when I got hung up on!
SW4: I don’t know why he told you that, sir. That’s just simply not the case. You’ll need to upgrade to AT&T.

At this point, I began to channel Col. Klink doing a Sam Kinison impression.

SW4: Which phone do you have, sir?
SW4: Just a second, sir….Sir, apparently you can use that phone on our system.
SW4: Sir, it looks like you can use the Sony Ericsson T616 on the Cingular network.
Me: Really?
SW4: Yes, sir.
Me: Well…ok, then.

So they shipped the two free phones for my wife and daughter and a piece of shit phone for me. The plan – take the chip out of the piece of shit phone, put it into my old phone and put all this behind me.

If you know anything about dramatic structure, then you know what happened. My only regret is that written English can’t properly simulate the sound of the primal scream that shook the horsehair plaster off the ceiling of our house when “the plan” fell though.

Me: I was TOLD that ALL I had to DO was REPLACE the CHIP and it would WORK!
SW5: Sir, I’m not sure why you were told that but –
Me: CANCEL THE GODDAMN ACCOUNT! I’ve been lied to twice. I’m done. Over. Finished!
SW5: Sir, I’m very sorry this has been so frustrating for you.

Shit. That’s the last thing I wanted to hear because it was the only thing I wanted to hear. Throughout the entire ordeal none of the Service Weasels said the magic words “I’m sorry” and “frustration”. She listened. She sympathized. I (stupidly) calmed down.

We worked out a deal where I would choose the phone I wanted and they’d rebate me $200, effectively paying for the phone and a little extra to keep me happy. However, this was on a Saturday. Add in the whole phone-sales-doesn’t-talk-to-web-sales-who-doesn’t-talk-to-whoever and it became obvious this wouldn’t end today.

SW6: Sir, if you can give me until Monday, then I can get this whole thing taken care of.
Me: Monday by 1pm. I want the phone on my doorstep by Tuesday.
SW6: Sir…ummmm…I’ve got training from 10-2 on Monday.
Me: You know what? I’ve got customers today through Tuesday that can’t get a hold of me because I have no phone!
SW6: Sir, I understand that. Let me check with my supervisor and –
Me: I’ll give you until 2pm. Just get it done.
SW6: I just need to let you know it’ll take a few days for the phone to get to you. It comes from another warehouse and…
Me: Whatever. Just get it done.
SW6: So we’re talking about the Treo650, the Audiovox 5600 and a Blackberry 7100g, right?
Me: Right.
SW6: I’ll just put a note in the log that these are the phonese we discussed. 2pm, sir.
Me: Great.

I gave her my wife’s cell phone number and stuff the phone in my jeans. After doing the research, the Audiovox looked like the best bet. Was all this worth a new toy for free? I wasn’t sure.

2pm came and went. I chalked it up to time zone. Shortly after three, my wife’s phone chimed that a voice mail arrived. How in the hell did that happen? It was right next to me! Yes, it was her telling me to call and finish things off. She didn’t leave a direct line, though.

Me: …and so I need to end this nightmare.
SW7: All right, sir, let me just look this up…it shows that you want a Treo650 and that –
Me: No. We talked about a couple of different phones and I want to go with the Audiovox 5600.
SW7: Well, the only this that I have, sir, is the Treo 650.
Me: That’s not what I want.
SW7: Sir, it’s what in the log.
Me: Look, (long angry diatribe recapping the entire abortion in sharp, unvarnished detail).
SW7: Sir, but –
SW7: Could you hold for a moment, sir.

Three days later, my new phone showed up. If you know anything about dramatic structure, then you’d be surprised because it actually worked…after quality time with tech support.

And I was happy. I had a new phone, a $214 credit on my Cingular account and life started getting back to normal.

Voicemail: Please call Cingular about some important information regarding your account.


This came about ten days after my phone arrived.

SW8: It shows you have an outstanding balance on your AT&T account that you terminated.
Me: I switched to Cingular.
SW8: Sir, there’s a balance that has to be paid on the AT&T account.
Me: Good lord! Are you guys loan sharks or something?
SW8: Sir?
Me: I switched to Cingular ten days ago and you’re already concerned that I’m going to duck out on my bill?
SW8: Sir, there’s a balance on –
Me: Whatever. My wife’s paid it and it’ll be there soon. I hope you guys don’t go broke in the meantime.

Two weeks ago, I went to pick up my daughter at school and was told that she had Brownies, which I didn’t know. I called my wife to confirm.

Message: Your Cingular Wireless account has been disconnected due to non-payment of your bill. Please call (whatever) from a landline to resolve this matter.

Fuck. You.

Me: Hi. What the hell is going on?! I have a credit of $214 on my account and you’ve cut off my cell phone service?!!
SW9: Wow. That doesn’t seem right, sir.
Me: No. It doesn’t, does it?

In the end, she told me that the credit would pay off the AT&T bill and would not charge us the reconnection fee.


Well. Perhaps I have written War In A Goddadivida. Sorry about that. I got going and –

Huh? Oh, yeah. Last Wednesday.

Voicemail: Please call Cingular about some important information regarding your account.

SW10: It says that you have an outstanding balance –
Me: I am going to kill someone. GODDAMN IT! All I FUCKING wanted to do was get my kid a cell phone for Christmas! I am so GODDAMN tired of dealing with you people! Fuck it! I’m cancelling the account. I’m ready to kill Christmas for my kid rather than get another FUCKING phone call from you people about some problem that’s not my fault!
SW10: Sir, if you could just hang on for a moment….What we can do is write you a check for the credit amount and give you half off your current bill. Just pay the balance on line. The check will make up for it.

What’s going to happen next? Who knows. Perhaps I will never have to pay for cell phone service again. The question is – is the trade off worth it?

Oh, and Merry Christmas

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In Which I Might Have Actually Breathed

December 22nd, 2005 No comments

Merciful fucking jesus!

The past week and a half…well…”sucked” doesn’t quite cover it because not all of it was sucky. There were plenty of high points including three great shows and not one but two well-respected comics complimenting Mr. Neck on a job well done. (“It’s like a redneck Spinal Tap,” said a Premium Blend comic.) All of this late-night jetsetting, though, translated into a string of five-hour sleeps which clashed up against nineteen-hour days when my work phone just did not seem to stop ringing. The Monday Christmas show at the Connection found itself imperiled by a blue-screening server which bumped up against dead motherboards and home clients anxious and confused as to what the phrase “renew your virus update subscription” meant when it popped up on their computers.

Why did all this happen? Because I’m going to South Carolina for Christmas. It’s an almost immutable law – When one sends an email announcing one’s departure for any length of time, all hell will break loose.

Almost immutable.

It’s not my going away that causes it. I’ve gone (and don’t tell anyone) surreptitiously out of state for several days and had no problems at all. Not one. I keep checking my cell phone thinking that at any moment I’ll get a call and have to admit that it’ll take me four hours to get in because I’m in Connecticut or New Hampshire.

And, generally, while I’m gone nothing happens. The guy that used to cover for me sounded downright peevish about it after I got back from summer vacation.

It’s only the lead up to my departure that causes this frenzy. Whatever. I got two six-plus nights in a row. Tomorrow (and I’m jinxing myself to say this) looks open. Perhaps I’ll even get the last present I need and return some hardware before the return date is up.

Just kidding. I’ll get a call while I’m on the air tonight from 6pm to 8pm.

Tune in, if you read this with in an hour. It’s the Last Temptation of Christmas – a battle of the Christmas songs with Robby Roadsteamer as the judge.

It oughta be good.

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In Which She No Longer Needs Page 10

December 22nd, 2005 No comments

You don’t want to laugh, really, but when an anti-abortion advocate’s announcement to unseat Satan’s High Priestess Hillary Rodham Clinton turned into an abortion itself, well…you have to laugh. Click the link, watch the video, use the 32 seconds of silence to ask yourself – “Could she actually recover from something like this?” and find comfort in the fact that you were right. Already her website bears the sign of defeat – Under Construction.

Godspeed to you, Jeanine Pirro. We should all give you a rousing chorus of High Hopes

Just what made that lil ole aunt
Think she’d recover from a face plant
Everyone knows an aunt can’t
Recover from a face plant
But she’s got hiiiiiiiiiiiiiigh hopes!

And while looking for the video, I ran across what’s become one of my favorite newspaper quotes of all time.

Even Jeanine Pirro’s reputation as a social moderate in New York, a state trending steadily more Democratic, hurt as she tried to round up Republican support. She supports abortion rights and favors an assault-gun ban and preserving Social Security. None of that pleased upstate Republicans or the politically influential Conservative Party, which wields much influence in Republican circles.

Reached in his liquor store in Brooklyn, Conservative Party Chairman Michael Long said he likes Pirro, but not as a Senate candidate. “The press was looking at a catfight between two powerful women, okay?” Long said. “But I’m not looking for cats, I’m looking to elect conservative people to statewide office. I told her she’s not a natural fit.”

Maybe you’ll get some free booze out of it all.

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In Which They Keep Trying To Pull Me BACK IN

December 18th, 2005 No comments

Yes, I am Al Pacino in the The Godfather III – Maybe She Can Direct, Instead.

Really. I tried to leave all the Natalee Holloway stuff behind. After Blogs For Natalee (as if the topic could sustain more than one) blocked my IP address, I jumped right back on via anonymous proxy and began typing a reponse sharper than the teeth of a shark chomping down on a coed’s torso. But then, something happened. As the keyboard clacked away, I head a voice. The voice of my mother. (She’s not dead or anything…nothing mystical like that.) And her voice said to me, as it so often did during my childhood, “Paul, honey, how many times must I tell you this? Never make fun of the retarded unless there’s a HUGE payoff at the end of it. You won’t change their minds because they’re incapable of understanding it. You’re only doing this for your own self-gratification so you might as well jerk off instead. And don’t look at me like. I do your laundry.”

And, after much self-examination and a vague, Freudian sense of shame, I closed my web broswer and went to bed, resolved to let it go once and for all. Sure, it came up every now and again. I rented Jaws, Jaws II and Jaws III 3D and laughed all the way through them. For a few days I mispelled -ly words with -lee. I listened to a lot of Sterling Holloway and Conway Twitty records. Bit by bit, the whole thing slowly digested inside of me, absorbing into my blood stream and eventually expelling from my body.

And then just as my life got back on track THIS shows up in my inbox.

Please copy and paste the below message into your email and send to all in your address book.
This mass email was written by Forum member Aristotle. Please sign the bottom of the petition before you send it on. Be sure to copy the addresses to the cc: addresses before you forward….
Thank You… Debbie 


We are writing as concerned citizens, from many countries, to DEMAND a proper investigation into the disappearance of Natalee Holloway and the Arubian Government’s handling of her case. She could have been any one of us, our daughters, sons, brothers, sisters, or children. NO family should be denied a proper investigation into the disappearance of a loved one. Aruba proclaimed that it had “no crime” early on, so it is clear they do not possess the capabilities to properly investigate this case. Yet, despite these proclamations, it refused to accept the helping hands of the FBI and other investigative teams. This is NOT just about Justice for an American, this is about INJUSTICE to ANY tourists and their families.

We DEMAND to know WHY. What is it that Aruba has to hide? Now they state that Aruba will STOP the investigation in January if there is no new evidence, while stating that police stopped looking after Karin Janssen was investigated. So how will they find this new evidence if they are not looking? And what are the test results on the evidence that has been handed over but is sitting on a shelf at the police department. Rumors on the island state that the police are corrupt and know what happened. Who is going to investigate them? WHEN, will Vanderstraaten be questioned? When will the boys and Paulus be interrogated by trained investigators who know how to ask follow up questions? When will Steve Croes be asked to tell the truth?


WHEN will the other states in the United States follow suit and join the boycott to show support for a missing girl who could have been from ANY state? When will other countries follow in suit to show support? HEAR US NOW, TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE.

You can sit and do NOTHING or you can affix your name to this email and forward it on so that one day YOU can vacation and have confidence in knowing that if YOU were MISSING we’d look for YOU too. Let our governments demand answers or boycott.

GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS, we the people whom you represent command you to reach within your souls and further our cause. DEMAND ANSWERS OR BOYCOTT.

Please sign below by typing your name and forward this to ALL of your friends and family who you would hate to see have to experience this horrific display of INJUSTICE. At the same time, please cc this HOOFDOFFICER@OMARUBA.AW and and so that the Aruban government and US government, (add your own country’s government) will hear our plea.

We thank you for your support and urge you to DEMAND TRUTH and RESPECT.

Luckily, anonymous proxies are a dime a dozen.

Administratively, banning someone’s IP address only does half the job. You should also delete their account AND their email address from your database. Otherwise, you wind up sending the cutest emails (HOW MANY MORE PEOPLE HAVE TO GO MISSING BEFORE SOMEONE REALIZES THERE MAY BE A PROBLEM? – as if millions of other weathly, drunken prom queens go missing in Aruba every month) to the wrong people. And then they get cranky and find an anonymous proxy server that allows them to post snarky, though non-profanity laced, comments such as this one. 

“This is NOT just about Justice for an American, this is about INJUSTICE to ANY tourists and their families.”
YES! For God’s sake! Too many Americans stay at home, pale and frightened, afraid to take a vacation to Aruba! Americans have a right to drink umbrella drinks delivered by cheerfull smiling colored people and not feel afraid! Dear God, please help us solve this case so that Americans can once again send their children on drunken, sex-filled vacation without fear!

Sorry. I honestly never meant to come back.

Gotta run. The US Military is spying on me without my knowledge. Compared to the Natalee thing, I know that’s pretty unimportant. I’m selfish that way.

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In Which I Post The Headlines

December 15th, 2005 No comments

With both Derek and I stressed out of our minds, this evening’s Hbee Inc. Radio (from 6-8 on WMFO 91.5FM or promises to be the grumpiest two hours on radio.

Investigators claim that twelve prisoners found in an Iraqi prison were beaten and tortured to the point where they required immediately medical attention. A spokesperson for the prison issued a statement denying the abuse, claiming that all twelve prisoners had tripped over the same coffee table during Backgammon Night a few days earlier.

Proving yet again that Republicans really do care about the middle class, Bill Frist announced that Congress would not finish the changes to the Alternative Minimum tax by the end of the year. As a result, millions of middle class families who used to receive rebates, will, for the first time, owe the government money. Said Frist, ?we tried really, really hard to get this done by the end of the year. Between hearings on steroids in baseball and trying to save Terri Schiavo?s life, some thing?s just had to go to the back burner.?

Washington DC stationary stores saw the biggest one day increase in recorded history today as Republican lawmakers and Joseph Lieberman discovered their purple inkpads from the last Iraqi election had dried up. In a related story, hundreds of Congressional aides and interns applied for jobs at the same stationary stores when their bosses found out that no hollow photo op had been scheduled to show off their shiny new purple fingers.

Geologists now report that what they took to be a massive earthquake that shook the entire United States was, in fact, the entire population rolling their eyes at the recent MSNBC report accusing the US Military of spying on private citizens. An Hbee Inc, Radio poll asked respondents for their reaction to the report.
43 percent replied ?duh?
28 percent snorted derisively
29 percent yawned
And one aging hippie in Berkeley, California expressed mild annoyance until a friend passed him a joint at which point he said it was all groovy.

On the lighter side, Butterstick, the adorable little panda bear that?s captured the heart of Dour DC sweetly mauled two of his keepers with his darling three inch claws sending them in sparkling ambulance to a quaint downtown emergency room. An aide to Tom DeLay who was fortunate enough to witness the event gushed, ?oh my god, it was the cutest thing you ever saw! When he swept that precious little paw across that hunky guy?s face, it was like the sweetest thing in the world?

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In Which My Readership Is Decreased By One

December 14th, 2005 No comments

This afternoon I got an email from Sarah, sounding slightly cryptic but resolute about going offline “for a good long while” and saying that more info would be available on her blog later in the day.

Sarah and I met here in late March of this year when she took me to task for suggesting that her own family was a little…how best to put this…fucked up. She stuck around and argued with me and I, her. She became a constant reader and commentator until I showed her how to set up her own blog and off she went.

Sarah always struck me as fairly religious but doubting. I don’t remember why I suggested reading Philip Pullman’s His Dark Material trilogy, but she did and turned downright anti-religious (which is different than not believing in big G God).

I always felt kinda guilty about that.

And she loved the radio show, which I feel even guiltier about.

Tonight she posted this


Just to let you all know that this will be my last posting on this internet soliloquy of mine; Things are happening and taking me in such a direction that even staying on the Net will not gain anything. You see, I have hinted but not gone on about it, but I have got a life threatening illness and I don’t know how long it’s going to keep threatening before it acts so I’m shutting everything down in the cyber world, coming off line and concentrating on travelling, my writing,my family and few friends and that, etc. I’ve had my Year In The Internet and it wasn’t as I expected and I’m letting my contract run out and seeing how things go living life outside the cyber yard. . .
Thanks to all in the past for supporting me, either by carrying me across the threshold or giving me a much needed kick up the arse. You know who you are!
So. . .
Goodbye and thanks for all(?)the hits.
May your god(less attitudes)go with you.
And. . .
As always,
All the best.
Sarah Lindley Nield

And that’s it. Gone. I won’t know when she dies. I can’t send flowers or a card.

My wife said, “How do you mourn someone you only knew in cyberspace?” And I don’t know.

But, here’s to Sarah! Let’s all spill some digital ink on the curbside for her and send her off right!

Cheers, ducks!

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