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Friday, August 12, 2005

Exclamations in Bullet Points

This is all so overwhelming—I’ve neglected you for so long and there’s really no excuse. Well, I did have a somewhat painful bout with pneumonia after the Maximo Park tour, but I could’ve set my laptop on my belly and had at it, I suppose. So shame on me… Shame, shame, shame.

Here are some half-assed exclamation points in bullet points from the past few weeks. (Future updates will be cleverer, promise this I do.)

•Pneumonia! After weeks of coughing and coughing, I finally visit the doctor. At first he thinks I’ve developed asthma, and plies me with a regimen of inhalers and steroids (a variant that doesn’t enable me to hit a baseball incredible distances, unfortunately). He x-rays my chest as a precautionary measure, so my relatives won't sue on the off-chance I die of some other complication. The results: I have pneumonia! Pneumonia! When swallowed with the fact that I broke my hip a year and a half ago and the growing hump in my back, I am officially mature beyond my years.

•Dyan’s birthday! Though I was barely able to sit through the celebratory dinner due to my illness, I’m told the night culminated in fireworks (literally, the really big illegal ones that we smuggled across the Washington border upon our return from the west coast tour), an impromptu swimming party at Professor Wendy’s place, and a threat of eviction by Wendy’s landlord if she is ever to bring such hooligans around again.

•A fight! We were showing some friends from out of town a good time at one our favorite eastside bars when Professor Wendy found a motorcycle helmet on a nearby table. Nathaniel has an uncanny ability to make any headwear look child-sized, and it’s always funny to see him do it. Of course, it wasn’t funny to the group of rockabilly bikers who walked in from a smoke just as Nathaniel was banging his head on the wall, trying to squeeze the protective covering onto his Brobdingnagian head, as the helmet belonged to one of them. And of course, when confronted about it, he points at me. “He did it,” Nathaniel says, in spite of the entire body of evidence resting on top of his noggin. And they believe him, of course of course of course, because, well, I don't know why. My wife, Dyan, and the Professor did their best to diffuse the situation, but in a matter of minutes we were surrounded by upwards of twenty bikers, looking for blood. Fortunately, we were able to shove our way out of there before things got really ugly, the only damage being the accidental shredding of three of Nathaniel's tires in our flight.

•My Birthday! The wife organized a Medieval-themed birthday party and talent show in honor of the occasion. Highlights included “Isadora the Queen,” an original rock opera written and performed by Dyan and Nathaniel, “A Kingly Prison,” a puppet show written and performed by yours truly, a very Welsh cover of “Baker Street,” the Jerry Rafferty classic, by our good friends Richie and Courtney, an adult-contemporary reincarnation of David Kleiler’s band Straight to Video performing Zach’s favorite song, “Tie My Shoes,” and the Professor taught us some magical spells.

Andy Hopkins, Conor Stevens, Amanda, Fukiko Aito, Jon Silverman, Lana Spitz, and Jeremy Tinsley, thank you thank you thank you for your contributions to the page redesign contest! Your mix Cds will be in the mail shortly with some added goodies for being so patient. (UK friends, I’m waiting to mail your packages until we get over there on the 21st in order to save some cash.) Fukiko’s winning page will make its debut before we head out over the Atlantic on August 20th.

This is all for now. Tomorrow I will be smarter, taller, and better-looking.


Ben Lee


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