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Archive for July, 2007

R Kent

Vélib: Making Paris’ Streets Less Congested and a Whole Lot More Fun

July 31st, 2007
by R Kent


Bertrand Delanoë hates cars.

He hates cars like Bush hates science.

Like Tour de France cyclists hate drug tests.

Like Detroit hates public transit.

As the Mayor of Paris, he’s in a position to do something about it.

Since Delanoë took the reins in 2001, one of his main objectives has been to reduce the amount of vehicular traffic in Paris.

Following the installation of bus-only lanes, a new tram line, metro station upgrades and steep parking prices, Delanoë’s latest plan, named “Velib’,” went into effect the day after Bastille Day, July 15.

Velib’, a combination of the words vélo, meaning “bike” and liberté, meaning “freedom”, is a network of bike stations providing Parisians and visitors alike with the choice of making short trips around Paris on bikes owned by the city.

For a yearly subscription of 29€, you can borrow any of the 10,000 gray, three-speed bikes from stations found everywhere in the city, and pedal towards a cleaner, less trafficky tomorrow. (more…)

Kip Tobin

His Own Private Galician Workshop

July 31st, 2007
by Kip Tobin


A man in the the early afternoon of his life (approximately 1:00 to 1:30 pm) hops a plane to the Northwestern corner of his host country, the one he sometimes calls home, and dials a number, speaks a popular foreign language, writes down an address, says thank you, until soon, ends the call, looks at the clock on this cellular phone, opens a map and directs himself toward a hotel.


Elizabeth Saas

Auntie Bina Says To Stop All the Babyhatin’

July 31st, 2007
by Elizabeth Saas



(Bina is what my nephew Shane calls me. It’s his interpretation of B.A., which is what my sister calls me, which is a shortening of Betty Ann, which is what my parents call me because Ann is my middle name and Betty is a nickname for Elizabeth.)

Having recently met my niece, whose five-day-old foot is pictured above, I explained to her that no one truly arrives on the planet until he or she is featured in a TNB story.

She stared at me blankly, and my sister, who knows a lot more about these things than I do, said, “All she really cares about right now is eating.”


Emma Ashwood

Thanks For Nothing, Spiderman

July 31st, 2007
by Emma Ashwood


Dear Peter
Hi. How are you? I mean, well, presumably, what with that spider DNA and everything. I hope your aunt had a happy birthday. Considering she’s been frozen in time for 45 years as a pink-cheeked old lady, I’m going to go out on a limb and guess she’s ok too.


Paul A. Toth

Let My Angels Go

July 30th, 2007
by Paul A. Toth



I am moving to Florida; Sanibel, Florida, to be exact, an island just west of Fort Meyers. Robert Rauschenberg and (how’s this for contrast) Dan Brown live on the adjacent island of Captiva. Several other known writers live there, too, like Barbara Kingsolver. Luckily, it’s not the home of Dave Barry. “Count your blessings,” they say. One.


Reno J. Romero

Put Down the Dirty Rice, Darlin’, We’re Going to Okfuskee County - Part 1

July 30th, 2007
by Reno J. Romero



A couple of weeks back we (wife, me, and pooch–the glorious Moonie Romero) went on vacation to Oklahoma. Okemah, Oklahoma. It’s a very small town off of I-40, around an hour east of Oklahoma City.



Rebecca Adler

Introducing My Youngest Sister and the Tale of How She Survived Years of Being Stalked by Mormons

July 30th, 2007
by Rebecca Adler


There was a time when my little sister, Kati, and I were practically inseparable.

Kati loved coming to my house because she got all of the attention. There weren’t seven other kids battling for love and affection. Just her and me. (more…)

Rich Ferguson

With This Kiss (The Music Video…of Sorts)

July 30th, 2007
by Rich Ferguson



With this kiss
There are revelations tattooed upon our lips
Revelations more easily read
On account of this silent pact with recognition
Where I’m beginning to see that we are slowly becoming healed

And this is not some medicine show down by the river
I’m not faking it, mistaking it, trying to rake in the bucks
From selling you some snake-oil of unfortified conviction

Just listen


Steve Dupont

An Extraordinary Thing Just Happened, Which I Feel Compelled to Describe for You

July 29th, 2007
by Steve Dupont


So I go to the farmer’s market this morning and get a big ‘ole basket of Chilton County, Alabama peaches. If you can find a sweeter, juicier more pleasurable peach to eat, well, congratulations.

That’s one peach of a peach you’ve got there.


PD Smith


July 29th, 2007
by PD Smith


“Look, Dimitri, you know how we’ve always talked about the possibility of something going wrong with the bomb?”

It’s a classic moment in movie history: President Merkin Muffley (aka Peter Sellers) has just called the Soviet Premier on the telephone to tell him that in the next hour, 34 US bombers will each drop 40 megatons of H-bombs onto his country. As the Premier delivers a withering blast of Marxist-Leninist abuse down the phone line, Muffley looks pained: “Well, how do you think I feel about this?”


Kaytie M. Lee

The San Diego Comic-Con International, or, How I Braved an Unfathomably Large Crowd to Ogle an Anthropomorphic Slice of Toast

July 28th, 2007
by Kaytie M. Lee


The strangest thing someone said to me on Thursday was, “Excuse me, can you hand me a bacon?”

I did, in fact, hand her a bacon.


Sean Carman

In Praise of the Poker Report

July 27th, 2007
by Sean Carman


In St. Petersburg, Russia, four gypsies stop me on a footbridge that spans a stone-walled canal. They shout in Russian and lift me up. I think maybe I’m going into the canal, which would be bad, but then Stephen Elliott lunges into them, demanding they put me down. After they run away with my wallet Steve makes sure I get home safely, and he also stays up with me until I calm down.


Dawn Corrigan

“Why Are You So Small?” A Post in Two Voices

July 26th, 2007
by Dawn Corrigan


Why are you so small?


You are hardly there at all.


R Kent

Please Don’t Make Me Guess Whether I’m Supposed to Kiss You or Not: The Art of ‘La Bise’

July 25th, 2007
by R Kent

by R Kent


The digital clock overhead read 0:05.

She stood on the tram platform with me, each of us mentally counting down the minutes until the next tram would arrive.

We chatted awkwardly about Paris apartment rentals.


She recommended a good agency where I could rent mine out while I’m away from the city for a few months.

I nodded, trying to hide my nervousness. (more…)

Greg Boose

Walking Around Naked With Thousands of Other Naked People Is Totally Fine Until You’re One of the Last Searching for His Clothes

July 23rd, 2007
by Greg Boose


It’s been just over two years since I posed naked with 2,753 other people on the edge of Cleveland, Ohio.

It’s been just over two years since I stood shivering in the middle of a park behind the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame where I pulled my T-shirt over my head and dropped my pants and boxer briefs for a couple of hours.


Meghan Elizabeth Hunt

Cold Shadows, Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies, and Warm Smiles: An Ode to My Mom

July 23rd, 2007
by Meghan Elizabeth Hunt


For a year now, I’ve been writing articles for this site, filling them with my own sarcastic brand of humor and accounts of everyday randomness.

It’s amazing just how much has happened in a year - I’m on my third job, I can run a 9 minute mile, my younger brother graduated from college, my parents are living a life free (sort of) of children, and the freckles on my nose have tripled.


Lenore Zion

Women, Breast Health Is Important, Even If Maintaining It Means Tarnishing Your Reputation

July 23rd, 2007
by Lenore Zion


Sixty seven minutes into a painfully monotone guest speaker’s lecture in my class on couples therapy, I was fighting the urge to jump up, punch the guest speaker in the face, and run out of the classroom screaming “I HATE PSYCHOLOGY AND I’M DROPPING OUT!”


Paul A. Toth

We Are Parking Lots

July 23rd, 2007
by Paul A. Toth



Lately, I feel like a Student Mover with “Sisyphus” on my label, only I’m not rolling a rock up a mountain but building a mountain…for Student Movers. What shit I buy when bored; only my taste in books bears well the poor judgment of my shopping sprees. A few of the DVDs reveal true mental disturbances: Candide, the Musical? I’ve never even opened it. And then there’s the appliances, like the juicer; it juices, all right: me. It’s a tube-free enema.


Elizabeth Koch

St. Petersburg: Fetal Abnormalities and Ugly Women in Hiding

July 20th, 2007
by Elizabeth Koch


(To read the intro to this entry, click here.)


June 16, 2007

There has been a delay at the airport, a scandalous delay that began with lost luggage and lead to someone from our group being ushered into a glass chamber by Barbie-looking security guards who, for mysterious reasons, refused to accept his passport.


Jennifer Duffield White

How I Got My Tattoo and Why It’s Way Better Than Yours

July 19th, 2007
by Jennifer Duffield White



To properly tell this story, I must first make a few confessions:

1. I find most tattoos to be “velvet Jesus painting at the truck stop” type tacky.

2. I took the Grey’s Anatomy Quiz to see which character I was most similar to. The result: Cristina.

3. I have no sympathy for the man on Main Street whose every gesture bleeds blue ink in the faded scroll of a now-obsolete woman’s name.

4. I did not ask my mother to pack fiddleheads in my bag lunch for the 3rd-grade class trip to the Boston Museum of Science because I wanted a green vegetable. (more…)