Sunday, January 29, 2006

Tom Tom Yest? Surely, I jest...

Looking up in the night sky, his eyes focus on a constellation just under the belt of Orion. “I don’t remember seeing that there before.” He makes a call to the office to see if anyone else is seeing this. That there. There it is. Do you see it? No. There is nothing there. There is no there. There. Here I am. Where are you? I’m here, goddammit! No. How can this be? There. There. Hush little baby, don’t you cry. There! Watch out! Wha---? There. There. There is no there … there. Anywhere. Any more.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Time won't give me time, Tom Yest. Time is money...

For the eleven years that Sara Krowa was in a coma, she dreamed of washing clothes. First there was separation according to color: black, black, bleu, black, green, green, green, white, black, white, green, bleu, bleu, green, white, white, green, red, bleu, bleu, amour et bleu. That song, in endless cycles, kept repeating in her unconscious head. She always liked to hum while laundering. That lasted four years. Then there was separation according to temperature: hot, hot, hot, cold, medium, medium, cold. What seemed like endless wash cycles lasted another four years. Finally, it was time to load everything in the dryers. Quarter after quarter, until the timer read 1,576,800 minutes—yep! that’s about three years' worth. Drying and fluffing. Fluffing and drying. Until everything spins in its last cycle. Cool down. Click. Buzzer. Eyes open. There were three responses when Sara Krowa awoke from her eleven-year coma: “Hallelujah!” from her mother, “A miracle of modern science!” from her brother, and her husband’s ever-so-quiet, “Oh, shit.”

Friday, January 27, 2006

Tom Yest's pen is mightier than a swordfish. It is written...

After Dr. Janet Slowo sewed back the tiny flap of skin on Barbara Mandrell’s right thigh, she immediately opened the immensely small capsule she retrieved from beneath the mandrill’s skin and placed its contents under a microscope slide. Looking through the magnifying lens, she sees a word written in a language that had not been known to be seen by another human being in more than 4,500 years. It matched perfectly the tattoo on Tom Yest’s shoulder. This is what she saw:


Jebusha Text

Thursday, January 26, 2006

There once was a man named Tom Yest. And then what happened...

Tom Song first met Effe Lajefe at a Boy Scouts camp outside of Missoula, Montana, back in 1972. Of course, Effe Lajefe was not known as Effe Lajefe back then. His “real” name is inconsequential now. They learned to swim in the cold Montana morning. They learned to cook over an open flame. They learned to sew to save their lives for any other reason would have just been too damned girly. They told ghost stories around a campfire. One night, after the flames had been extinguished, Tom and Effe retired to their bunks to dream their respective dreams: one of wilderness, the other of wildness. There was a snapping of twigs and a scraping sound outside the cabin. “You hear that?” “Yeah.” “What was it?” “I dunno know.” “Should we wake the camp counselors?” “No. Let’s just poke our heads out the door and see what’s going on.” “Okay.” They would never speak of what they saw that night. That is, until Effe lay dying on a Santiago sidewalk with a bullet in his head.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Tom Yest, is anyone home? A cat, a nap, a plan…

Blanchot tries to occupy his time until his Big Ones come home. A paper bag. An ant crawling on the floor. A butterfly perched on the screen. There are naps. A dog barks on a nearby street. The floor creaks. The wind blows through the crack beneath the door. Outside there are voices that disappear down the street. More naps. Finally, a car door. Footsteps approach the home. But Blanchot does not recognize the gait. A hand on the doorknob. It rattles. No time to think: hide! hide! Behind the sofa. Must be very small. And still. Do not meow. Do not purr. Wait until his Big Ones come home.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Tom Yest is like a shadow on me all of the time? Turn around, bright eyes...

The freckles on Tom Yest's ankles form a constellation unknown to modern astronomy. They form a word unknown to cutting-edge linguists. They reveal a truth that has not been known to Mesopotamia for millennia. But before more can be said, I must answer the phone.

It was you, thank god! And thanks for reminding me that I've already said too much. Now I really must go: There's a knock at the door.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Tom Yest tells a story? It could've used a vampire...

The relationship between Grampa and Tom deteriorates after Grampa's senility and abrasiveness embarrasses Tom at the elementary school. At around the same time, one of Grampa's fellow-veterans of WWII dies, leaving Mr. Bleu as the only other living member of Grampa's war squad, the Flying Hellfish. In the final days of the war, the unit had removed Germans from a castle when Mr. Bleu discovered several paintings. The group had agreed to place the paintings in a crate, and each member received a key. When all but one of the members died, the final member would inherit the paintings. This type of inheritance is called a tontine. As Mr. Bleu wants the paintings as soon as possible, he orders Grampa's assassination. To escape death, Grampa moves in with Effe and Lupita, and lives in Tom's room, putting a further strain on the relationship. This changes when Mr. Bleu bursts in to take the last key to the paintings' safe. Tom manages to not only keep Grampa's key but also to steal Mr. Bleu's, and the two go in search of the paintings. As it turns out, the safe is buried in the lake, so they borrow the neighbor's boat and retrieve it. Mr. Bleu again shows up to steal it, and throws Tom into the lake. Grampa rescues Tom and gives chase to Bleu, and after the boat hits land, Grampa, who had been Mr. Bleu's superior in the war, gives his rival a dishonorable discharge for trying to kill his commanding officer. Grampa then announces the paintings are his by default. The victory is hollow, however, as a German shows up to claim the paintings, backed by the US State Department, which had been trying to find the paintings for 50 years. The "rightful owner" is a young German late for a Kraftwerk concert in Stuttgart. Grampa walks away with nothing, except new respect from Tom. No, wait: that was an episode of The Simpsons. Nevermind.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

A jig by Tom Yest? He dances before the Lord...

The image of the Jebusite god lies beneath the ruins of the twenty destructions of Jerusalem. When the Babylonians came and carried away the tribe of YHWH with their magic book, the Jebusites returned to Mt. Moriah and danced naked with Babylonian whores and priests. They were of a kindred spirit. More lost/re-covered scripture from the Book of Je-bu-shah--the true name of the people of the Image of the Lord:
In all the names of all the gods
We find the name of our True God
In all the symbols and signs and allegories of God
We find the Face of our True God
Within the face of our Lord
We see the face of all of man
And the images he makes of all the gods that ever were
May His Image be inscribed on our hearts
Reading the name "Jebusite" in the magic book of the tribe of YHWH is no different than hearing a Nazi spit the name "Jude."

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Tom Yest spreads blasphemous rumors? Thanks to small mercies...

Mr. Song and his wife Melody were your typical suburban parents. He was a mechanical engineer, she an accountant. They lived in a MacMansion just outside of Baltimore very near where I-83 reconnects with itself. Driving home one grey and rainy afternoon, Tom noticed what appeared to be a hovercraft overturned on the side of the road. He stopped to see if he could render aid, having spent the majority of his youth in the Boy Scouts. He was always prepared. He always gave a hoot and didn't pollute. He always knew that only he could prevent forest fires. Etc., etc. He got to Sue, who was very badly broken from the crash. He knew she would not live until the ambulance arrived. He remembered seeing a very badly broken deer once when he was hiking and camping in the Ozark mountains. He was overcome with grief and knew that compassion would have to come swiftly from his own hands. Dr. Harkey died just like that deer: not slow and painful but quickly and with mercy. After he made sure that no one was around.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Tom Yest through time? All in good time...

Jebusite - a member of one of the original tribes inhabiting Mt. Moriah and the ancient (hence, lost) city of Sidon. From the lost Jebusite scripture:
When all fire will fall from the sky (glory to the image of our Lord)
Then redemption will be at hand (and the end shall be as it was)
For nothing that is known (and all that remains unknowable)
Is out of sight from the image of our Lord (and the Lord will inhabit the reflection of His image)
And then came the tribe of YHWH....

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Tom Yest is walking? Walking in the rain...

Here are the notes from Professor X's last lecture:


Paris and the Intersections of Urbanity and Humanity

Jean-Luc Godard’s 1960 New Wave film À bout de souffle (Breathless) and Bernardo Bertolucci’s 2003 The Dreamers are populated by characters who self-consciously inhabit mediated versions of themselves, or, more accurately, mediated versions of the types they wish to be. Godard’s protagonist Jean-Paul Belmondo and Bertolucci’s Isabelle and Theo define themselves only insofar as they intentionally reflect characters drawn from the history of film.

Similarly, and also within the Parisian context, the flâneur, who Walter Benjamin identifies as the “alienated man," finds himself as pure reflection (of himself) from the windows he walks past. Because he is alienated both geographically as well as socio-economically—he stands at the margins of both Paris and the bourgeoisie—he exists outside the realm of the real and outside the domain of a politically efficacious class. That is, his bourgeois-ness is negatively defined: not nobility and not proletariat. The only inherent characteristic linking him to his class is not economic but lifestyle; namely, a lack of manual labor. Yet, Paris and the bourgeoisie have called the flâneur into being, for it is only within the urban milieu among so many other men who, like Louis-Phillippe, also have declared Paris their “native city,” and within the non-working class that such a type could exist.

Moreover, his walks about the city are entirely mediated by urban planning; therefore, when he goes out for a walk, it is only within the confines of a purely artificial and manufactured space. This interiority, especially that of the department stores and arcades, informs not only the urban landscape but the identity of the flâneur as well, who seeks “his asylum in the crowd” while concurrently asserting his individuality. He dresses the part of the flâneur and surely encounters others just like him on the streets of Paris, but he remains alone as he blends into the crowd: there is no social intercourse among all these individual wanderers and window-shoppers.

A key factor in the life of the flâneur is that of documentation. Benjamin reminds us that “living means leaving traces." However, this documentation, particularly within the medium of the daguerreotype, was also the reference point at which he completed his identification as flâneur: the camera captures the Parisian street scene, further demarcating that space as that of the flâneur. The medium re-informs his self-perception in the same way as previous films re-inform Godard’s and Bertolucci’s characters. Benjamin himself also plays the role of the self-referential, self-conscious flâneur in his work with its meandering, stream-of-conscious analysis of the arcades, linguistically reconstructing and reconstituting those very same arcades as the site inhabited by the flâneur.


For citations, please send 3 boxtops and proof of purchase.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Tom Yest and Greek tragedy. I am the Alpha and the Omega...

Jan Kropka, having just finished Don Bleu's latest masterpiece, The Duchamp Code, and, at the same time having polished off the last of a bottle of cheap red wine, lies prostrate on the davenport staring absent-mindedly into the bowl of his betta fish Alpha. Alpha was the first of what would become a long line of bettas living in the bowl near the davenport of Pan Kropka. Each would take the name of a letter of the Greek alphabet: Alpha the Betta, Beta the Betta, Gamma the Betta, and so on. As Jan lies there contemplating Alpha, the first, the beginning, he wondered if his plan to have a line of betta fish representing each letter of the Greek alphabet in succession would actually make it to the end, to Omega, before he himself made it to his own end. Or, if instead, the Omega betta, the last, the end, would actually, unknowingly, to Jan or even to the betta himself, be named for a middling letter of the Greek alphabet that no one outside of Greece or a sorority/fraternity pledge class could even remember. Such thoughts of his own Omega troubled his already muddled mind; so, with Alpha watching, Jan Kropka closed his eyes and went to sleep.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Paging Tom Yest. I am calling you...

Barbara Mandrell the mandrill is deep asleep thanks to the anesthesia administered by Dr. Janet Slowo in a makeshift operating table outside a truck stop on a deserted road from Vegas to nowhere. Dr. Slowo makes an incision, and the unconscious body of the primate twitches in reaction to the tickle of the scalpel across her right thigh. In less than 60 seconds, the miniscule capsule is handed to the man from M.O.N.K., and the incision is stitched shut. "I've waited so long for this. I can't believe I--" stammers the man from M.O.N.K. from 1/2 of his mouth. Sitting in a cafe on the outskirts of Baltimore where his shift just ended, the man from K.E.Y. wipes away a tear that seems to have appeared from nowhere. After slipping Ms. Sue Harkey a drug that would cause her to doze off shortly after driving off down I-83, the man from K.E.Y. returns from the men's room, where he washed his hand after doing his half-brother's dirty work. But it is finished: the sorry job is done. And they can go back to being normal once again. As soon as the contents of that damn capsule is deciphered.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

And another thing! Tom Yest plays Cupid, and I'm with stupid...

Max attended a performance by the new music ensemble this afternoon; they were debuting a new work by Philip Glass. Half-way through the first movement, Max saw Sam. He caught his eye and smiled. Sam returned the smile. During intermission they spoke to one another in the lobby while standing in line for coffee. They hadn't seen each other since they split up more than six months ago. It was like old times. They enjoyed each other's presence. The coffee was hot.

Sam attended a performance by the classical music ensemble last night; they were playing the same program every classical music ensemble performs: any boring form of music before 1870. Half-way through the last piece, Sam saw Max. What was he doing here? Max noticed Sam and thought the same thing. Max ignored him and quickly left the auditorium as soon as the last note played. It was weird for Sam to always be bumping into his ex at such events. He wished he'd never see Max again. Outside the snow began to fall.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Is there something I should (k)now? Tom Yest is talking in his sleep...

Tom and Lupita had an understanding: they would never be together for more than 18 months at a time. Tom, after all, already had a relationship with Janet. A home in Oslo. And Lupita had her husband Effe. And a child. With a pet dog. And so many other lovers. Ever since Tom and Lupita met atop the Cerro San Cristobal in Santiago, they (k)new this strange and wonderful thing between them was ephemeral. Impermanent. But it served its purpose as a useful and beneficial distraction for them both. Under the shadow of the Virgin, they swore their part-time love for one another that day. Relieved that best-selling author Don Bleu had been silenced by a Jeep straight into the rib cage, his on again-off again affair with Lupita was just what he needed most at this time since revenge was no longer an option. Tom was happy not to have to dirty his hands, especially with the “demise” of Professor X so fresh in his memory—as fresh as a newly dug grave. So many grave misunderstandings to deal with once he returned to Oslo. But now he needed Lupita. And what she could provide him: Mr. Bleu’s briefcase—the one picked up by her husband after the Jeep sped away and before the authorities arrived.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Don't say it in Russian, Tom Yest! Say it in broken English...

When Maya Dupa was a young girl growing up on the outskirts of Warsaw, she wrote political love songs while walking to the gymnasium every morning. Here are the lyrics to something she wrote a long time ago. Originally, it was intended as a duet between her two favorite singers of the time: Marianne Faithful and Nina Hagen. But she never passed it on to their agents. Instead, she got involved with a boy named Franz K. from East Berlin who stole her words, put them to music, and had his whore of a girlfriend Kandy LiXX sing them on their band's one and only album.

Bad Weather & Heartbreak (A Cold War Love Song)
(a duet for Marianne Faithful & Nina Hagen)

My lover was a spy
For the losing side.
We met in a café,
He met me halfway,
And then he told me goodbye.

Out in the Warsaw rain,
Trying not to complain.
Forgot my umbrella
And lost my fellow.
Ran to catch the last train.

Bad weather and heartbreak
Was all I ever got from this world.
Bad weather and heartbreak—
Storms between a boy and a girl.

Woke up in East Berlin.
Taste of cigarettes and sin.
The sun was shining:
Clouds with silver lining.
Thinking I could finally win.

A chill grew heavy in the air.
Looked for a lover no longer there.
Escaped to the other side.
A hole left gaping wide
In a wall that keeps me here.

Bad weather and heartbreak
Was all I ever got from this world.
Bad weather and heartbreak—
Storms between a boy and a girl.

This war was cold just like your heart.
You had your missiles aimed at me from the start.

Bad weather and heartbreak
Was all I ever got from this world.
Bad weather and heartbreak—
Storms between a boy and a girl.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Oil can? Tom Yest is off to see the wizard...

Fumbling with his coattails, Jimi was feeling very uncomfortable at the post-opera soiree, but he wanted to try to meet the infamous Dr. Slowo. It was claimed that she could heal whatever linguistic ailment afflicted you, be it st-st-stuttering, or lissssssssssping. Or just plain mmmummbbbbling. Jimi's problem, ever since he bumped his head on the doorway while entering the Pussenboat was that he would be talking. And then. There would be these. Bizarre pauses. Between his words. And phrases. At times, speaking Spanish would banish these pauses. But considering most of the people he encountered everyday did not speak Spanish. They. Had to. Endure. The pauses. Jimi sees Dr. Slowo near the punch bowl. He walks across the room. And. Begins. To ask. ...

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

In the beginning? Tom Yest say, Let there be light...

When Jimi was a small boy, he heard one day on the
The important thing is not, or not only, to legitimate
playground that the world would end in fire. God
denotative utterances pertaining to the truth, such
had already, it was understood, destroyed the earth
as "The earth revolves around the sun," but rather
by water. But thanks to His promise as symbolized
to legitimate prescriptive utterances pertaining to
by the rainbow, God would never destroy the earth
justice, such as "Carthage must be destroyed" or
again by water. Next time, it would be with fire. And
"The minimum wage must be set at x dollars." In
somewhere already in the Middle East, that fire had
this context, the only role positive knowledge can
already started. Jimi was not a religious boy; although
play is to inform the practical subject about the
his family attended mass regularly, he marked most
reality within which the execution of the prescription
things concerning religion as something that happened
is to be inscribed. It allows the subject to
a long time ago. And very far away. But he had
circumscribe the executable, or what it is possible
recently heard a news report about the Middle East.
to do. But the executory, what should be done, is
Surely the Middle East had to be nearby for it
not within the purview of positive knowledge. It
to make the local news in El Paso. Perhaps it was
is one thing for an undertaking to be possible and
just across the border. Or maybe it was on the other
another for it to be just. Knowledge is no longer
side of New Mexico. The Middle East now seemed
the subject, but in the service of the subject: its
as close as the wrath of God. Jimi went home that
only legitimacy (though it is formidable) is the fact
evening and prayed to be spared when the fire came.
that it allows morality to become reality. - Lytoard

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Tom Yest vs. a tom cat? A fight to the death...

There was that one restaurant—a café, really—that we used to frequent when we were students. I forget the name. But the waiter was blond and always wore bleu jeans. And looked like he just got out of the shower. I think he must’ve used olive oil on his hair because it never dried, even after sitting there for hours writing in the corner while he served me cup after cup of coffee. Waiting for you. Olive juice. You remember that old trick: I would mouth the words “olive juice” to you across the auditorium, and you always assumed I was declaring my love. Remember? Of course, you don’t. It’s been so long. So long ago. We had some good time, despite the misunderstandings. The misgivings. “Ms. Whatever-her-name.” I still sometimes think I catch something out of the corner of my eye: a movement, a flick, a quiver. Oh, Blanchot caught another mouse last night. Thankfully, it wasn’t in the house! But he left it stretched out as if in state on the walkway. I had to pick it up with a shovel and throw it over the fence. Someone else can take care of it. Damn cat. All the same: he’s the only connection I retain to you. He’s getting old. How long has it been? How long? Oh, why do I bother with it any more?

Monday, January 9, 2006

A nit-picking picnic? Tom Yest, allow to me to introduce you...

Sara Krowa lied about the number of lovers she had had, adding nine to arrive at the figure she told her best friend when they met again after an eleven-year estrangement. Sara was a virtuous lady. Her long-lost (estranged) best friend Maya Dupa also lied about the number of lovers she had had, but Maya instead divided by nine. Maya was a promiscuous whore. Sitting beneath the sprawling oak, they ate their sandwiches al fresco and sipped strong lattes from ceramic mugs as they used to do when they were mere girls. The eleven years since their last meeting only served to bring them closer, and the intimacy between them now was assured. Sara had married shortly after losing touch with Maya; Maya only recently married out of convenience shortly before calling Sara out of the bleu. Sara’s husband was a tenured professor at the nearby university; Maya still did not know what her husband did for a living, and she didn’t care as long as he kept bringing home the cash he used to lavish her with non-essential commodities. It was pure economics 101: supply me with all that I demand! Or else. Later that afternoon, Sara stopped by the university to meet her husband in his office. Finding no one there, she started toward the departmental office, knowing that he would probably be there chatting with the secretary or department chair. No one was there. A chill traced its way from the base of her neck to the tip of her tailbone, causing her to shake uncontrollably. “Are you okay, lady?” a student asked as he passed her by in the hall. “Yeah, I’m fine,” she lied unconvincingly. The next thing she knew, she woke up alone in the hospital eleven years later.

Sunday, January 8, 2006

Haven't we been here before? Tom Yest, there it is...

Dr. Janet Slowo is sitting on her sofa in her cold and uninviting house overlooking a lake in some nondescript suburb. She has 5 more exams to grade before she's completely finished with the semester. She is downing a mug of beer at room temperature--whaterever brand was on sale at the local liquor store. She is dreading the evening. Don Bleu's The Duchamp Code is laying unfinished on the coffee table. The snow begins to fall as she lights a candle. She thinks about St. Lucia. She thinks about the first day of the year as she grabs for the gun next to her on the sofa. Ssshhhh.

Saturday, January 7, 2006

An apology? For Tom Yest, sorry seemed to be the saddest word...

Max Block cried when Professor X was executed by the state. Murdered. Assassinated. Between sobs, he thought of Plato’s stoicism at the death of Socrates. Not a tear was revealed as the verdict was read; not a blink when Socrates refused to live the remainder of his life as an exile—despite the fact that he sought so adamantly throughout his trial to be seen as a stranger to Athens—and finally, not even a sigh as the hemlock was drunk. But afterwards, Plato was inconsolable: wandering around the Greek and Roman colonies, he even entertained serving a tyrant in hopes of mitigating his regime’s cruelty. In order to ensure that no regime would ever put to death its best and brightest citizen. Plato failed. And now Professor X’s body was being loaded into the crematorium after undergoing the defilement of an autopsy and the brutalization of a state-sponsored murder. Within the narrow spaces between spasms of grief, Max reasoned that no democracy could put one of its citizens to death. Again: no democracy could put one of its citizens to death. And since this state murdered his beloved mentor, this was no democracy. There could be no justification for a state-sponsored murder. There could be no limitation of Max’s next step: to respond in like measure. The state would pay for what it did. Max would make it pay. Calling on all the justice of the vengeful god of the Old Testament, Max would ensure that no regime, democracy or not, could silence the voice of Professor X. So help him god.

Friday, January 6, 2006

Call me Tom Yest? For your lover's lover's alibi...

It’s Tom on the other end of the line; he’s speaking—shouting, really, into the mouthpiece. But his voice is barely audible. He’s coming home? He’s moving to Rome? He’s shoveling loam? All seem like possible interpretations of the faint whisper worming its way into Dr. Slowo’s ear. Just then, the kettle on the stove begins its high-pitched squeal announcing the resurrection of Christ. The cat jumps down from her lap as she shuffles hurriedly to the kitchen, housecoat flapping behind her shapely legs. Off in the distance, a dog begins barking. “It’ll be good to have you home.” Or in Rome, or shoveling loam. Whatever it was, it was sure to be good. As long as Tom was going to be there. Wherever. No more trips to South America. No more mad escapades across the globe hunting down quasi-famous novelists. No more secret museums dedicated to pop singers from the ‘60s. And Professor X’s mad crusade had been halted by a single well-aimed bullet from a member of the ISA. All that was coming to an end. Or was it?

Thursday, January 5, 2006

We're gonna party; we're gonna rock? Okay, Tom, just sit back and enjoy the show...

Cat-groomer Gloria Kotka had heard about this new film for the past few weeks. The buzz finally attracted her to the cinematic blossom of Bareback Mountain, a lesbian cowgirl love story. Its main characters were Virginia Manor and Nancy Darrelle, two renegade lesbian lovers who fought social convention spanning the early ‘60s to the present day in an attempt to adopt Asian children à la Angelina Jolie. Gloria bought her ticket and entered the darkened auditorium. She sat in the first seat she could find, right on the aisle. When her eyes adjusted to the darkness, she glanced around, making sure not to appear desperate for love (when in fact she was desperate for love). Gloria had dedicated her life to grooming cats and had not taken any time to have her own pussy stroked. (!) With the previews shown, the feature presentation began. Gloria laughed. She cried. It was better than Cats. She thought to herself, it’s not so much a love story as a tale of woe about a small-town cowgirl who refused to believe she had the possibility of being happy. So many Asian children would remain unadopted. While Gloria was leaving the theater, she bumped into a woman wearing a sombrero. Apologizing, she bent down to retrieve the Mexican hat. It was only then that she realized the woman was no woman but a mandrill. Barbara Mandrell, to be exact. Barbara clapped her hands enthusiastically as a way of thanking Gloria. As she walked away with her slightly limping date, she turned and waved at Gloria exiting the front door. Gloria felt a rush of warm blood to her cheeks. With tickets bought, Barbara Mandrell the mandrill and the man from M.O.N.K. walked into the darkened auditorium to view Memories of a Gecko.

Wednesday, January 4, 2006

Do I know Tom Yest? I hardly knew ye...

Mr. Bleu's response to the first question was, "I don't really feel comfortable helping someone I barely know and don't like." This, of course, led to the second question: "So, does that mean you barely don't like this person? Or that you definitely do not like this person although you barely know this person?" Mr. Bleu's response was simply, "The former. Next question." "I have a question," came from a voice at the back of the room where the press conference was being held; "What are you working on now? And any clues where it will be set?" "Why yes. My next book will be for children. It's entitled The Velour Bunny and is about reality, simulacra, and the meaning of existence as experienced within a positivist mileaux. It will be set in Santiago." "Interesting. How will you do research for this book?" "Tomorrow I fly to Santiago to begin research." After the interview, Mr. Bleu takes a cab to a small cafe off Interstate 83 just outside of Baltimore, where he orders green tea with jasmine. He leaves in another cab, and as he directs the driver where to turn in order to reach his hotel, Mr. Bleu notices the hovercraft in the next lane.

Tuesday, January 3, 2006

Beating out a rhythm on my Tom-Tom Yest? And the beat goes on...

During the two years that Tom taught ESL in Japan, he was involved in an intense albeit difficult relationship with Sue Doku, a woman half his age yet twice as intelligent. Sue was a fireball, a cherry blossom, a calligrapher, a haiku--all rolled up (like a sushi roll) into one. Sometimes they made love on the bed; at other times, they made love on the torn tatami covering the floor of his apartment. They made love everywhere: from Okinawa to northern Hokkaido and everywhere in between: at the base of Mt. Fuji during a Slayer concert one spring, on the Shinkansen from Hiroshima to Kyoto. That was how they joined the "300 mph club." But alas, like all good relationships and ESL contracts, they ran their course and ended when Tom left Japan. Sue was inconsolable. For a while. But eventually she met another ESL instructor--this one from Holland. They married shortly before he was to return to his home in Europe. Mr. and Mrs. Harky arrived in Amsterdam on August 1, 1991.

Monday, January 2, 2006

Seek ye first the kingdom of Tom Yest? A porcupine with jazz hands...

Running the Boston Marathon was always what Jimi Changa had planned to do before he turned 30. However, an unfortunate run-in with a porcupine and a bottle of Becherovka sidelined his career. The bottle of Becherovka was a gift from when his mother toured Europe with the church group; the porcupine was a disoriented visitor from the hills above El Paso. With running the Boston Marathon out of the question, Jimi Changa turned to his mother’s recipes for taco fillings. This turn of events proved fruitful for Jimi’s future when he realized the vast folk culture of the Rio Grande in need of archiving. He began by filing away his mother’s recipes before turning to the recipes of his grandmothers. Eventually, he recorded those of distant aunts and cousins—the tales of his family having been told by the mole. After a long day archiving vast amounts of handmade tortillas and stone-ground corn, Jimi had a vision. Outside his small shop, a waltzing porcupine beckoned him to follow him to the hills. He wasn’t sure if it was a result of the hard manual labor or the handful of hot chilies he had consumed. In the hills, Tom Yest appeared to him in the guise of the Virgin with a flaming sword spinning, spinning above his head. “Seek ye the land of the Becherovka. And while you’re at it, stop off in Amsterdam for some space cake.” Jimi Changa immediately went to renew his passport. All these recipes would come in handy when the Pussenboat broke free from its mooring and sailed all the way to the Canary Islands for Jimi served as the make-shift chef.

Sunday, January 1, 2006

Tom Yest makes a resolution? I hereby resolve...

This. This is. This is the. This is the last. This is the last time. This is the last time I. This is the last time I ever. This is the last time I ever go. This is the last time I ever go to. This is the last time I ever go to the. This is the last time I ever go to the lakehouse. This is the last time I ever go to the lakehouse where. This is the last time I ever go to the lakehouse where you. This is the last time I ever go to the lakehouse where you told. This is the last time I ever go to the lakehouse where you told me. This is the last time I ever go to the lakehouse where you told me that. This is the last time I ever go to the lakehouse where you told me that you. This is the last time I ever go to the lakehouse where you told me that you loved. This is the last time I ever go to the lakehouse where you told me that you loved him. This is the last time I ever go to the lakehouse where you told me that you loved him instead. This is the last time I ever go to the lakehouse where you told me that you loved him instead of. This is the last time I ever go to the lakehouse where you told me that you loved him instead of my. This is the last time I ever go to the lakehouse where you told me that you loved him instead of my father. This is the last time I ever go to the lakehouse where you told me that you loved him instead of my father. Ever.