Tuesday, February 27, 2007

New MySpace Page!

So I've been reading all over tarnation about how anyone who's anyone has a "MySpace page." For a while, I personally didn't see what all the hoo-hah was about, but if I had to list my Top 50 Character Traits, an open mind would be #15. I'm a Man Of the People, By the People, For the People. And if the People dig this MySpace site, who am I to gainsay them?

Without further ado, then, I proudly announce the opening of my spanking-new MySpace page. And I have to say, this website is a pretty terrific networking resource. I've already made inquiries with at least one other subscriber about signing a House Band of My Imperial Ascendancy. This was a big-ticket act, and no sooner had I written them than I had a notice promptly returned announcing that I've become one of their "friends." No answer yet on the House Band gig, but I understand people have calendars and commitments to consult before they drop everything and hitch their tour bus to my rising star.

But at worst, by simply introducing myself I've become close friends with a troupe of seasoned indie rockers. Not a bad payoff for ten minutes' work. Clearly there's something to this MySpace business. All you need is a computer and Internet port, and pow! — you're instantly hobnobbing with political and cultural elites. And for that matter, it seems I'm already absorbing some of the clout and cachet from my rocker buddies: hardly a day passes without some winsome, usually nude twenty-year-old girl leaving me a "message," asking me to "be her friend." That's right, Brothers and Sisters, your Internet Personality has become a bit of a hot property since his MySpace page went up.

In fact, the way things are going, I figure I won't have to hang out with Aldo Nova much anymore, which is a relief. Don't get me wrong — I normally despise social climbers — but Aldo's cool has been slipping for some time. He won't stop talking about his Juvenile Gout Foundation work (see "I Found Myself Going Once . . . Going Twice . . . and SOLD!", Phutatorius, Dec. 2, 2005). He's become a real sanctimonious bore, and because of it there isn't a hot club in Montpelier or even Burlington anymore that hasn't blacklisted him. I have to take the guy to Hardee's now, and he never has any cash on him to pick up the tab. Bees and Esses, the Aldo Nova train is at the end of the line: it was high time for me to take my aspirations elsewhere.

And of course the organizing possibilities a site like this offers are significant. I figure all I need to do is drop a note to Puff Diddy and I could well have half of Harlem enlisted and mobilized Downtown in support of The Ascendancy. Shoot! Thanks to my deffest homey P. Daddy, I could have full battalions storming Wall Street by Whitsuntide.

It may still be the dead of winter up here in Vermont, but things are looking up in Phutsietown, people. Come check out the site. You'll want to "befriend" me early, if you want the plum cabinet appointments and proconsulships.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Contest Finalists "Named"

I've got two finalists in the naming contest. Finding both entries equally brilliant, but in fundamentally different ways, I'm confronted with a difficult apple and orange problem. So at the moment I don't yet favor one over the other. Unless and until I have a breakthrough here — and I won't rule it out — I consider the following entries to be the front-runners:

The first comes from Chumsley in Oxford, a bit of an aesthete, I gather, who framed his entry as a limerick:

A fellow we like to call Linus,
lived for years in his big brother's sinus.
But when he got gangrene,
Bro did not seem so keen:
"When he's out, let no doc recombine us."

I love the poem, but I'm not sure whether the name sticks, outside the context of the limerick. Big points, though, for Chumsley.

Another writer, Magdalena in Mauritius, proposes that I name the Little Fellow "Yul," after Yul Brynner, who of course played the celebrated role of King Mongkut in The King and I. "That commemorates the whole Siamese twin thing," Magdalena writes, "and at the same time it takes note of the fact that he was born during the Christmas season." One thing to keep clear, people: my brother was born — that is, delivered of his mother — right alongside me in September 1973. He was extracted on December 26 of last year. I just want us all to keep our terms clear. Otherwise I'm kind of digging the Yul/Yule pun. Maggie, you're my other finalist.

Now you know what you're up against, people. Hop to!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Aetna Sucks

Ugh. My Piper's in some kind of Customs quarantine, where he'll sit and rot for the next forty days (did you know, by the way, that the word "quarantine" comes from the Latin for "forty?"). They took him off the plane at LAX, claiming he had some kind of infectious tropical disease.

I had thought, at first, that the feds were just hassling us again (see "Stupid &#$@* No-Fly List", Dec. 2, 2005). But PePe called me from a pay phone — it's like an old dormitory, where they've placed him, with a community coin-op telephone in the hallway — and said he really does have typhoid fever. He says everyone in the facility is friendly. The food is good, they show second-run movies in the auditorium, and the medical care is more than adequate. Not a bit like Guantanamo, which is a relief.

Here's the thing, though: sitting in quarantine with typhoid fever really sucks, and this was an avoidable event. Phutatorius & Co. has contracted with Aetna to provide health care benefits to the staff, and you would think — a stitch in time being worth a pound of cure, as they say — that the coverage would extend to immunizations. But when PePe went down to the travel clinic before the trip to Papua New Guinea, they told him Aetna doesn't pay for the shots.

(You know what I think it is? They're cheap bastards, for sure. They're an insurance company. But it's more than that: they're based in like Texas or Oklahoma or something, and they just don't want anybody to leave the country. You know, because there's nothing worthwhile that's not in the U.S. of A. That's Aetna for you.)

So PePe had to go into the middle of the diseased South Pacific wilderness without any vaccines. Not on vacation, not for his own pleasure or broadening of experience: it was a trip for work. An assignment: he had no choice. And wouldn't you know it? Bam! Typhoid. Flared up on the plane. Something ugly, too, as I hear from Dead Eye, who rode home next to him. She was scared to death, scrubbing herself with Purell the whole time. Flayed off half her skin with that stuff.

Now there would be some justice here, if Aetna then had to pay for all the expensive treatments you need to get rid of frickin' typhoid. It might be worth PePe getting typhoid, to make the point to these jerks that they should it's better for everyone if they pay for prevention, rather than cure. But nooooooo. This one's on the federal government, because he's in quarantine.

And Aetna skates. The pricks.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Wait. Wait a Minute . . .

I just had a Moment.

Do you suppose . . .

that the dearly- and overexposedly-departed Anna Nicole Smith (November 28, 1967 - February 8, 2007) might be the Platinum-Haired Goddess from the Yali Prophecy?

And do you suppose some cosmic ordering principle had an agency in the otherwise unexplained circumstance of Ms. Smith's death?

And do you suppose Ms. Smith's death accomplished the "Platinum-Haired Goddess . . . leav[ing] the Earth" precondition for the ascendancy of the Chosen Big Man?

Now before you all start writing me, wet handkerchiefs in hand, to complain that I'm exploiting the passing of an American icon, or that I'm some kind of ghoulish opportunist, let me make clear that I haven't gone around systematically gunning down good-looking blondes in the hope of moving this Prophecy along. Nor have I applied a more literal reading to the Yali chieftain's pronouncement and launched a Supermodels in Space program (not that certain strict constructionist-types in my inner circle haven't advised it). Not my thing, Brothers and Sisters: to be sure, keeping an abundance of buxom blondies alive and on the planet is a big plank in my Geomanagement platform.

But I'd be a damned fool — wouldn't I? — if I didn't take note of the Prophecy when the departure of an obvious candidate for Platinum-Haired Goddess lands in my lap.

Look — draw your own conclusions, people. But I'll be looking into this. Closely.

Betty! See what you can pull together on Anna Nicole Smith.

(Betty's the new Research Specialist.)

I want her Wikipedia entry, printed out. I want biostatistics, accounts from her childhood. Travel logs and itineraries: especially any trips to Oceania. If she had a divine revelation, I want to know about it. I want to know the trade name and chemical composition of every drug she ever took: did she ever do peyote? And photos — for God's sake, get me photos. I'll want to look these over closely: she may have some kind of a birthmark somewhere that sets her off as a Figure of Cosmic Importance.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

I Am Getting Soooooo Tired . . .

of this Anna Nicole Smith thing. I mean, my Gawd. You can't turn on the television without seeing once-serious news commentators going on — as if they're still serious people on a serious subject — about Anna Nicole Smith.

This is the problem of being stuck at home recuperating from illness. Yeah, sure — you might get 500 channels on The Dish, but then some nonevent of a news story happens, and every single stinking one of them abandons its regular programming to cover the nonevent.

So some bleach-blonde beauty queen dies before her time. Whoop-de-doo. It's not like there's some great cosmic consequence to it, right?

Monday, February 05, 2007

My Call, Ma

Add my mother to the list of complainers. She just wrote me on the Blackberry (man that thing's addictive!), asking to have "a word." Turns out she's miffed about the Naming Contest. Says she's the little Sea Monkey's mother, and it's her prerogative to pick a name for him.

Now the way I see it, a mother acquires naming rights over a child in one of two ways: (1) she carries the child around inside her for nine months, which I hear is uncomfortable, and (2) at a certain point the kid comes out of her, which I hear hurts like hell.

All that's well and good, but this is a special case. By either measure, I have a greater entitlement, viz.:

(1) Ma might have carried my brother around for nine months, but I bore the load for thirty-three years. Shoot — even when the little guy was inside her, he was also inside me. So there was never even a moment when Ma had exclusive sovereignty over my brother.

(2) When my mother went into labor with her twin sons, it was the bigger one — me — who brought the pain. Remember, now: my brother was lodged in my head. So as much as it probably sucked to give birth to me (I was a big 'un, weighing it at 8 lbs., 15 oz.), Ma did not suffer any additional pain on the margin in delivering her second son. We both came out at once. And she got all this done overnight. Whereas the pain I felt over Christmas went on for days. I don't know how it compares to labor — and I won't dare to speculate, Sisters — but the headaches I had sure lasted longer, and I'm looking at four months' rehabbing from the surgery. In short, I believe I can confidently say that I went through more hell getting Lil' Bro extracted from my sinus than Ma did delivering him so many years ago.

I'm naming this kid, Ma, and that's that. Don't try writing me again on this — I've reconfigured my spam filter to bounce any further messages on this subject.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Naming Contest!

I've got all this downtime — I need to amuse myself. How about a naming contest? I realize I've been calling my brother "The Little Guy." That can't stick, and I'm hurting for ideas. Any help out there, Bros and Sisses?

Tell you what: y'all can write me with proposals. I'll pick the best one, and the winner gets a TBD prize. Only one name per person. By name I mean set of names — first and middle. So an entry of "Thomas Alva" counts as one name. An entry that says, "how about Thomas? or Alva?" gets disqualified.

That settles it. No deadline for entries. I'll know The Name when I see it.