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Archive for November, 2007

Rebecca Adler

Paranoia About Toxic Shock Syndrome and Fear of Calling For Help In the 21st Century

November 30th, 2007
by Rebecca Adler


It’s three o’clock in the morning and I’m panicking.

I woke up with the worst pain in my abdomen.

To be more specific, it feels as though someone has reached inside me and is squeezing my innards as they attempt to rip them from my body. (more…)

Brad Listi

For Some Reason, I’m Not Feeling Lucky, Even Though a Pigeon Just Defecated on My Face

November 30th, 2007
by Brad Listi


Money apparently buys happiness. According to University of Illinois psychologist Ed Diener, very rich people rate their level of life satisfaction substantially higher than do their impoverished counterparts. Adds Andrew Oswald, an economist at the University of Warwick in England: “There is overwhelming evidence that money buys happiness.”

The only remaining point of debate, then, seems to be: To what degree? And naturally, some people harbor serious doubts about the aforementioned notion, including yours truly. I’m not entirely convinced that money alone makes people happier. I think it’s much more complex than that. (more…)

Rebecca Schiffman

On the Highway to the Alpha Zone Shrimp is a Speedometer

November 29th, 2007
by Rebecca Schiffman



I was a late bloomer.  Drinking never appealed to me in high school.  Maybe it was because I was shyand/or depressed.  I was always filled with contempt for people around me who were loud, horsing around, unaware of the circumference of their waving limbs, bumping into me, stepping on my toes, totally unapologetic about having more fun than I was having- right in front of me. 

However, after a long, calculated process of overcoming my shyness through various personal tests that I created for myself (I’ll go into these shortly), having settled upon and embraced Welbutrin as (more…)

Jennifer Duffield White

When the Bliss Ends, What Do You Do?

November 28th, 2007
by Jennifer Duffield White


I should have known this might happen.

I should have known those blissful days might end and nameless evenings of camp fires and star gazing would give way to a time with harsher edges. (more…)

Meghan Elizabeth Hunt

Gray Skies Framed By Barren Trees…Monday At Its Finest

November 26th, 2007
by Meghan Elizabeth Hunt


Today is…dreary.

I woke up with my alarm and peeked out the roman shade to see what the world had in store for me.


Megan Power

The Scar of Misfortune

November 26th, 2007
by Megan Power



He climbs my stairs like Tigger, full of bounce and light.

I’m waiting in the kitchen drinking wine, the ceramic tile smooth and cool under my bare feet, the anticipation of him hot and prickly.

He grabs me roughly and we kiss until our lips throb. He gets a hard on, steps back for assessment purposes.

Nice, I say sincerely.

Like that? he asks.

Of course, I reply. It’s so difficult to find a guy with a big cock and a big vocabulary.

He spits out a laugh. Is that right?


Reno J. Romero

Had My High School Counselor Suggested Becoming A Porn Star I Would Have Never Left California

November 26th, 2007
by Reno J. Romero



I’ve worked many jobs. I’ve pushed a broom through a supermarket. I’ve sold shoes. I’ve poured booze to old men and young men with the shakes. I was an English teacher.

But I’ve never been a porn star like Nick Manning.


Brad Listi

Open Letters to Individuals Who Have Somehow Had an Impact on My Life

November 21st, 2007
by Brad Listi



An open letter to Julie, the girl who dumped me right after the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded:

Dear Julie,

We dated briefly in the fifth grade, and on January 28, 1986, you broke up with me. We were sitting in the Presentation Area, adjacent the library, and we had just finished watching the Space Shuttle Challenger explode. It ascended from the launchpad at Cape Canaveral, and seventy-three seconds later, the whole thing went up in a massive fireball, killing everyone aboard. The room was silent, and our teachers started crying. And then (more…)

Rich Ferguson

Hollywood Boulevard Hasn’t Seen This Much Action Since The Santa Parade (Or My Day Out On The Boulevard With The Striking Writers)

November 20th, 2007
by Rich Ferguson



I played hooky from work today to support the striking writers.

It made perfect sense.

Besides being a writer myself, I’m also a teacher (the California Federation of Teachers supports the strikers).

That meant I had to ditch the classroom to support my brethren.


Rebecca Adler

Day 7 of La Grève and Everybody’s Getting In On the Action

November 20th, 2007
by Rebecca Adler


Waiting at a stop light the other day, I saw a bus stop and begin letting people out even though there was no bus stop marked at that corner.

A group of about 20 business people got off and began crossing the street in front of me. One by one they began to gain speed, until they were running en groupe to the other side of the street where they all made a right turn and continued to run, holding their scarves and hats against the wind.

Just as the light turned green I saw what it was they were all running toward. (more…)

Dawn Corrigan

Turkeys, A Thanksgiving Poem by D. Corrigan

November 20th, 2007
by Dawn Corrigan



The wild tom
shakes his red comb:
he’d like to make this hen a mom.


Lara Hopwood

You May Go Shopping for a New Computer and Discover You Also Need a New Face

November 18th, 2007
by Lara Hopwood


I finally bought a new computer.

The old one was giving me problems.

At any possible moment, and with increasing frequency, it would freeze and shut down for no apparent reason.

The Blue Screen of Death would pop up along with a ‘fatal error’ message.

Then the computer would refuse to reboot until it could rest for a few hours.

I patched and repaired and upgraded the six-year old computer as best as I could, but I had to face the fact that it was becoming obsolete.

It was time to go shopping for a new one. (more…)

Sean Carman

Do the Right Thing

November 17th, 2007
by Sean Carman


I never got Alberto Gonzalez. The way he sat there, in those Senate hearings, and told the Senate Judiciary Committee that prisoner abuse wasn’t torture until it caused the failure of a major internal organ. It wasn’t so much that he said those words with a straight face, but that he did so without showing any trace of human feeling. To watch those hearings was to be both fascinated and appalled. Appalled at his words; fascinated he could say them with so little apparent care. (more…)

Paul A. Toth

I’m Okay, You’re Crazy

November 16th, 2007
by Paul A. Toth




Like almost everyone these days, I’ve been diagnosed as bipolar and with OCD.  Big deal.  It confers no status on me, has no effect on whether I consider myself a good or poor writer.  Perhaps the OCD suggests a propensity for an intensity of thought, while being bipolar indicates a tendency to better understand the depths and heights of existence.  On the other hand, I wonder if reality itself is not obsessive-compulsive and bipolar.  In that case, and by that measure, those not bipolar and experiencing OCD are maladjusted.  I am both honored and disheartened to discover myself normal.


Reno J. Romero

Here’s To All My Bitches and All My Dogs; or Man’s Best Friend

November 15th, 2007
by Reno J. Romero



Life has been a bittersweet ride for Duane “Dog” Chapman. A life full of good ol’ boy drama. Failed marriages. Batches of kids. Jail. God-preaching and bounty hunting.


Alexander Chee

WWTCS (What Would Tom Cruise Say): Some WGA Strike Conversations

November 15th, 2007
by Alexander Chee



A few weeks ago I checked out a copy of “Happy Together” at my Hollywood Video store, and then when I went to return, found a shut store, with a notice announcing a close-out DVD sale.

I went to my Netflix and found that they now offer streaming video over the internet.

Around the same time, I found that I couldn’t buy The Office on iTunes anymore, as I had all last year. It was on the website, like most of ABC’s content is, though ABC both sells ads and makes its shows available on iTunes, at 1.99 a pop. It’s a tough call whose making more money there.

And then the WGA announced it was going on strike, and it all came together for me. (more…)

R Kent

Stop Thinking and Try Not to Drown: Twenty-Five Kilometers on the White Nile, Uganda

November 15th, 2007
by R Kent

By R Kent


As my body flailed about under the water, like a crushed bug flushed down a toilet, I did not have the chance to think.

I could not hope nor pray, nor did my life flash before my eyes.

I simply waited.

Waited for daylight, which eventually came as my head broke the surface and I discovered I was still in the middle of the rapid.

Instincts took over, and I got onto my back, stuck my legs out in front of me and gasped for air before the next wave knocked me back under.

Just seconds earlier, I had been in the raft, along with the others, but now I was just so much flotsam at the mercy of the White Nile. (more…)

Brad Listi

The Odd Implications of Wearing a Bigfoot Suit in the Wild

November 14th, 2007
by Brad Listi


Last night, my wife and I were watching a show about Bigfoot on the History Channel. They played the old, grainy stock footage. The classic Bigfoot tape. Super-8 at a distance. Bigfoot in the wilderness, walking into the trees.

“That tape is horseshit,” I said. “That’s a guy in a Bigfoot suit.”

“I know,” said my wife.

“It’s obvious,” I said.

“I think it would be fun to wear the suit,” said my wife. “I’d love to put it on and go walk around in the woods.”

“You’d get shot,” I said.

“I probably would,” she said.

“You’d bump into some hunters and that would be the end of you,” I said.

“Yeah,” she said. (more…)

Paul A. Toth

Socialism Isn’t Dead

November 13th, 2007
by Paul A. Toth



For years, now, socialism and communism have been declared dead and capitalism the winner of the economic systems lottery. Yet capitalism has abandoned its roots or, equally possible, returned to its roots of snake oil sales.


Martha Kimes

Martie Loves Chachi

November 13th, 2007
by Martha Kimes


Scott Baio was my first true love, and that bastard doesn’t even know it.

I was ten years old, and my bedroom walls were adorned with various posters of Chachi (for those were the days before he was Charles In Charge) purchased, undoubtedly, at Spencer Gifts. I saved my meager allowance and bought every issue of Tiger Beat magazine hoping to catch a glimpse of my beloved, and I was rarely disappointed.