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    Random House Trade Paperbacks
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Two Poppys, One EKG

When Jim The Small Child Nephew was about two, he noticed both of his grandfathers sitting side by side on a couch at a family party. He looked quizzically from one to the other, as apparently he had not heretofore considered that they might coexist. Finally he announced, "Two Poppys!", which seemed to settle the matter. He then returned to his busy day of throwing such things as tantrums.

I wish I could have imported his interpretive skills today, because I woke up with the same alarming chest pains I'd gone to bed with the previous evening. The (drug side-effect commercial voice) discomfort started about two days after I began a course of antibiotics, so I didn't think much of it at first, but when the room starts spinning and you're kept pinned to the bed merely by what feels like a bowling ball lodged in your chest, you... start to think much of it.

Let us stipulate that a person with OCD, a scary drug reaction, and an Internet connection are never a recipie for a peaceful day. By noon I was suffering from a pulmonary embolism and ear cancer, complicated by angina. An hour later I was hooked up to the EKG machine at the nearest emergency clinic, listening to the doctor on call prescribe yet another drug for a very severe case of... heartburn, complicated by stress and taking the antibiotic directly before bed and without food or water or uprightness, precisely not as directed.

At least there's only one of me.

may cause... at: mbe@drinktothelasses.com


Ode To the eStack

Who are you, there upon my Excel spreadsheet?

Are you

youngest, eldest, hungry, of divorce, of Microsoft, of gunshot wound, cutting, dumped, newly infatuated?

the quarterback?

in the middle, not applauded, not shooed aside on the bus, the filler on the roster?

the Christian one, always with the "Excuse me, but..?"

fighting to reinvent--grade school, it didn't go too well, and you are already beginning to suspect that you could win the Nobel Prize and in forty years your classmates will see you on the news and go "Dude! It's the kid who always wore the tee shirt with the tiger head!"

the outcast, two different shoes on purpose, with John Adams in her locker-- the me?

pretty to look at, and so the one who decides who lives or dies at the lunch table?

peaking? (Enjoy.)

the one with green hair, journal crammed with pronouncements of death, mentally composed as your mother serves the meatloaf?

the locker-room bicycle?

the one your peers will suddenly realize is missing at the reunion: "Guam? Really!"

the one who can draw, the one who can sing, the one who can run, the one who can make that awesome noise?

Or don't you even know yet?

the Computer Guy, intolerable?

the one making snide remarks re: the Computer Guy, intolerable, although he shall bear the power to reinstate network wireless capabilities?

in desperate need of Life telling you what it is, 'cause it all rolls your way no matter what, and for this, your future college teachers shall pay?

What are your parents telling you about America?

Do you believe it?

I might hear from you later on

for the Presidency, for murder, from Mars

name on the sheet I'll forget in about two minutes forty seconds or however much longer I've got to go on this thing

but all I know... to me... right now...

is that you

are a person

who cannot use a semicolon.

epoetryslam at: mbe@drinktothelasses.com


Event Reminder

On Feb. 28, I'm speaking at the College of Mount St. Joseph On The Ohio (yes, that's all one school, and now you also know why we locals risk the snickering and simply refer to it as "the Mount.") My mother graduated from here in the days when the undergrads were expected to follow a dress code, which mandated skirts of a certain length. Pants, I hear, are now acceptable. Hooray for pants!

Details here. Please wear pants, or a reasonable facsimile.

P.S.: An appearance at my alma mater, Mother of Mercy High School, is also listed, but that event is limited to students only. I mean, you can try to sneak in, but I wouldn't recommend it. Unless you're between the ages of fourteen and eighteen, wearing an issue-only uniform, and a girl, you're at a significant disadvantage.

return at: mbe@drinktothelasses.com


Aunt President

As soon as I gathered a wealth of demonstrable election experience, I considered running for President, and then I remembered that the campaign would last exactly as long as it took a reporter from the New York Times to Google the fact that I have demonstrably failed to manage my own Blogger account. Clearly, a person to be trusted with the nuclear football.

I am at peace with this, however. Once I got past Air Force One (which features a far nicer, larger desk chair than the one in my own house) and the power to be first in line at Disney World and the ability to wear sparkly things at constant state dinners, the grave weight of the job, of the incredible responsibility, would settle in.

First of all, I could never, ever rollerblade again, because I can never rollerblade without windmilling and flailing about at some point, and that is always what Americans like to see in their commander in chief. Also--and I know this isn't as much of an issue, here in the Internet era--but how does the President shop? I need to try on my shoes. I need to wander through a real-life Hobby Lobby in order to make a proper scrapbooking pilgrimage.

I would no longer be allowed to have bad moods. If the President of Zimbabwe is annoying, it's not like I can just sic my pet eagle on him. I'd have to smile and nod and then start off the Easter Egg Roll and then be nice to the Supreme Court and the Vice-President and the Speaker of the House. My preferred habit of dealing with conflict via busting into tears and running away would not serve helpful, I think.

And eating! You guys, the eating! I'm too much of a food princess to be the President. There would be no more of this hurling Trojan Appetizers overboard without declaring war on the entirety of Europe. And where does one stash her Snyder's Cheddar Cheese Pretzel Pieces? Do I really want the entire free world knowing how many bags of those I crash through in a week? It would be four years of nothing but cheese dust all over the carpet of the Oval Office and smears of caramel on signed legislation. I couldn't be buzzed, or wander about naked, or mutter angrily about Faith Hill, or kick people's crutches out from under them, or anything else I do for fun. It is a life of scrutiny, and I go best unscrutinized. For the most part.

great, noble call at: mbe@drinktothelasses.com

P.S. The commenting policy came with me to the new platform. Please review. It likes you already.


Fun With Fallopian Tubes

For the past three days, I have been suffering from a Female Complaint. I am not providing details about it on the assumption that some of you are like Country The Brother-In-Law, who is easily cleared from any room at so much as the mention of the female reproductive system. He once rose from the dinner table when I mentioned that a classmate is studying to be an OB-GYN, and should he and my sister ever produce a girl-child, I imagine he will move out altogether the instant she attains puberty.

Normally, Female Complaints are nothing but terrible for everyone and everything within a 400 mile radius, but it also provided Josh the Pilot with the opportunity to earn several husband gold stars: He went, all by himself, to the Female Complaint Aisle of CVS to make a purchase on my behalf. And then he didn't even buffer it with beer or a Snickers or a pair of corn pads. No, this was not covered during the Hundred Dollar Lunch, and he was certainly aware that there wasn't going to be any physical reward on the other side of it, not with Female Complaint in town.

Such things were never mentioned in the Sweet Valley High books or other shapers of female romantic notions, but they totally should have been.

finding it fairly significant that there is no Male Complaint Aisle at: mbe@drinktothelasses.com