Category Archives: Thursday Thirteen.

Thursday Thirteen: A Revolution in Yin Yang Alliteration.


The social club of Vs. System is shifting gears.  We are undergoing a paradigm update.  Today I am going to describe the revolution with words that tend to clump closely according to opening consonants. 

1. Instead of an authoritative central location, we now have a Humanizing Hub

2. Rather than a completely subjective evaluation of the global output, there is now a Verifying Vote.  (A click for me is a click for thee.  If anyone ever wanted to vote for this site, now is your chance.)

3. Elitism Erodes Exponentially, as we slide into a sort of people’s revolution.

4. Instead of Conquest, Cracked Characters Create Consensus.

5. Dicks Dissolve, and we start to act like human beings again.

6. It feels like there is some kind of dissipation of electricity, as the Power Pours Personally throughout the system.

7. The whole “king of the hill” chest-thumping mentality fades, And An Elegant Equality Gains Glorious luminosity.

8. The truly passionate remain, forming the Core Civiliation that will thrive into the future.

9. We mirror the comic books that our game is based on, struggling with forces beyond our control, forming a Banded Brotherhood of hope for the coming years.

10.  The DIY Ethos Emerges.

11. Personal Pleasure Reigns Rowdy, and things are going to get sloppy good.

12. Our Own hands will build it.

13. There are no more excuses.  We can’t hide behind our computer screens and whine about The Things “They” are doing wrong.  We must do this ourselves.  We Will Win.  Watch us.

I have no clue whether that worked or not, and I guess I never did fit the Yin Yang thing in there.  The original idea was to highlight the fact that we are transitioning from Competitive to Casual, from Conquest to Community, from Elitism to Empowerment, and from Dickery to Delight.  Of course, both sides are neccesary for the dynamic beauty that makes life worth living.  Our little card game community is shifting toward the Yin, but we will always love us some Yang.  Peace out.


Filed under Thursday Thirteen.

Thursday Thirteen: Fortune Cookies in Bed.


We eat chinese buffet as often as we can afford it.  I love checking off the number of different species in my belly when we are done.  Then, the cookies.

Ten or twelve years ago, we started adding the words “in bed” at the end of every fortune.  It is really fun to play in large groups after a good meal.  Laughter helps the digestion.  Today I play with you.  Let me share the last thirteen slips of paper we pulled from our fortune cookies.  In bed.

1. “The stars appear every night.” … in bed.

2.  “Consider gain and loss, but never be greedy.” … in bed.

3.  “This is a good time to consider formally helping others.” … in bed.

4.  “You’ll have all sorts of chances to make a happy encounter.” … in bed.

5.  “You can depend on the trust of the collective.” … in bed.

6.  “Happier days are definitely ahead for you, struggle has ended.” … in bed.

7.  “Rely on your own good judgement to lead you to success.”  … in bed.

8.  “Sincerity is the finest point of communication.” … in bed.

9.  “Set high goals.” … in bed.

10.  “Take the initiative and others will support you.” … in bed.

11.  “The last thing you need sharpened is your tongue.” … in bed.

12. “Aspire to be great, then give everything you have.” … in bed.

13.  “Grasp the opportunities that are coming your way.”  … in bed.

So that’s what happens when the crumbs hit the sheets in our house.  You can grab a fortune online right now by clicking around in here, and then you need to make your own list of recent prophecies and link it to: … in bed.


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Thursday Thirteen: Perfect For Each Other.


(Bottle of Love and Box of Heart, both created by my beautiful wife.)

Nina and I are perfect for each other. It has always been the main goal of our lives, and we have actually accomplished it. Let me count the ways.

1. We both believe that love is a spiritually supernovic ritual for absolute transformation and metaeuphoric magick.

2. We have a common purpose for our rituals: Local Epiphany and Global Bliss.

3. We are both really nice people who can’t stand being mean in any form.

4. We like the same foods and enjoy them deeply.

5. We talk about anything and everything and we keep talking until we have reached common ground, even if we eventually disagree.

6. We laugh with our entire beings together. We do it every single day.

7. We share creative projects, whether co-writing a novel, adding advice and direction to each other’s individual work, or building a custom canopy for our bed.

8. We sincerely appreciate each other, exactly as we are.

9. We never, ever, dwell on the negative.

10. We have the same taste in music and movies and we obsess over both.

11. We comfort each other, no matter what.

12. We reflect on our blessings constantly, taking the lovebird’s eye view to our life as often as we can.

13. We switch bodies.

Happy Valentine’s Thursday Thirteen, Earth Angels. May your life be filled with love.


Filed under Art I live with., Full Body Transplanting, Magick, Thursday Thirteen.

Thursday Thirteen: A Stroll Down Memory Lane with the 1-Cost Army Characters.

wild  starlings 

I need to inject this blog with a heavy dose of Vs. System today.  Clicking on the 13 card names will explain, if you are completely lost.  They will also provide hilarious historical entertainment if you are a member of our kitchen table cardflipping community.  I went into the Archives and started with my oldest articles, working my way forward.  I found some rather obscure little dudes, alongside a few very famous weenies.  I didn’t even get close to 2008, due to my excessive love for our darling mythological superhero squirrels.  Enjoy.

1. Wild Sentinel.  The shiny purple toy that started it all.

2. GCPD Officer.   The only cops I am glad to see in my rear view mirror.  They made Big Spooky’s dreams come true.  Check out the shirt he is wearing.  I painted that.

3. Gole.  Okay, so he is not really an army character.  I just love the memories.  Screaming “Gole!!!” like a soccer announcer?  Pricless.

4. Parademons.  No trip down memory lane would be complete without a re-calculation of the Anti-Life Equation.

5. Soldiers of New Genesis.  Micheal Jacob himself worked with me on the Blue Abuse deck, but I was too stubborn to actually run it.

6. Anti-Green Lantern.  Seeing my wonky way of using these guys, compared to the Tier One deck that they evolved into, is a true headscratcher.

7. Macrobots.  They do cost 2, but they still turn my brain blue.

8. Manhunter Protector.  Kamiza’ Kingdom deserves the same free pass.

9. Weenie.  Hot dog cheats for the win.

10. Creeping Doom.  It’s in there, I promise.

11. Illusionary Warriors.  Jank origins indeed.  I remember this Release Celebration like it was yesterday.

12. Starlings.  Yes.  Seriously.  I wrote an article, and started a playtesting team, all revolving around Starlings.  You must check this out.

13. Multiple Man <> Jamie Madrox.  I did jump ahead quite a few columns to showcase this one at the end.  Usually it is really difficult to pick my own Best of the Year articles for the holiday Greatest Hits week.  This was a no brainer.

That’s my Thirteen this week.  Thanks for bearing with me if you had no idea what I was talking about.  Now make a list of stuff you are obsessed with and link it to:  We will all be enriched.


Filed under Thursday Thirteen., Vs. System

Thursday Thirteen: The Greatest Television Show of All Time.

northern  exposure   

bestever  everbest

There really hasn’t been any other television program to even come close to the magnificent magick that is Northern Exposure.  Yes, Nina owns the actual handmade rabbit coat that Shelly wore for six years.  Yes, we have seen each episode at least twenty times.  Our favorites we have seen at least sixty.  We use it as background music while we draw or paint or write.  We pop it in as a bedtime story, quite often.  It causes good dreams.  Sure, the final season was a major letdown.  But.  Nothing in the history of television is as brilliantly satisfying to our hearts.  Each episode is better than nearly every movie being produced today.  The show is so well written that it echoes the wonderworld inside our own heads.  The pure poetry of those surreal situations and phenomenal character studies is perched at the top our list, and it probably will be for the rest of our lives.  Here are thirteen greatest moments, enjoy.

1. From A Wing and a Prayer, Season Five:

Shelly: But do I get a real priest?   No!  I get this dud.  Some smoke-ring blowing arm wrestler with a rip in his pants! 

2. From Cup of Joe, Season Five:

Joel: Did you just say ‘Who would you eat?’

Shelly: Yeah, if you had to.

Ed: You mean like… ‘Who’d be good?’

Shelly: Uh huh.

Joel: Who would be good to eat?  Well, it’s not an uninteresting question, really.

3. From Slow Dance, Season Two:

Joel: If you don’t dance with me O’Connell, you know what you are doing?  You’re turning your back on reason.  On mankind’s struggle to pull itself out of the mire of ignorance and superstition.  You are saying yes to witchhunters and inquistors, you are slamming the door on enlightenment, and you are inviting back the Dark Ages.  Now I am not doing this for you, O’Connell.  I am doing this for civilization.  What do you say?  Pretty please?

4. From Mud and Blood, Season Four:

Chris: The thing that gets my juices flowing is the whole truffle metaphor thing.  Think about it Maurice, how the dank corruption of the forest floor, the black root of humus becomes this perfect food.  This total gift of nature.  The whole gestalt is just so… Spring.

Maurice: Stevens, is anything simple to you?

Chris: Maurice… Life and death all rolled up in one little fungus.  What could be simpler man?

5. From Aurora Borealis, Season One:

Bernard: It’s my dreams that are keeping me awake… My single biggest nightmare is that I’ll nod off and I’ll fall asleep.  And then I’ll have to wake up, and none of this will be as if it ever happened!

6. From The Body in Question, Season Three:

Elijah the Prophet: Maybe you’d rather turn me into an amusement park, Joel.  Sell autographed cups?  Elijah’s back, Fleishman’s got him?

7. From Old Tree, Season Five:

Holling, singing: Shelly honey, dry your eyes.  Worry not, we’ll harmonize.  In my opinion, talk is cheap.  Who needs to make a speech?  Truth is, my lovely bride.  Sing or talk, I’m by your side.

8. From Get Real, Season Three:

Chris: It seems to me, as you get into the onion of an atom, and you get into smaller and smaller particles, you find that, like, you don’t have any particles at all.

Physicist turned Circus Magician: Correct.

Chris: So subatomic particles might just really be like vibrating waves of energy?

Physicist turned Circus Magician: Right, listen.  No mass, no thing!

Chris:  The essential building block of everything is nothing.

Physicist turned Circus Magician: All is an illusion.  That’s what I hated about the business.  What are you supposed to do with information like that?

9. From Nothing’s Perfect, Season Four:

Holling: You know Maurice, when I was a boy I used to sit in my mama’s washtub, cup my hands, and try to hold water.  No matter how tightly I squeezed my fingers, I couldn’t do it.  The water always dribbled away.  Time is like that.  No matter how hard you try, it always leaks through your fingers.  And I’ll tell you something.  You think about time too much, you’ll go crazy.

10. From Animals R Us, Season Three:

Maggie: So last night I asked.  I asked ‘Are you Rick?’

Joel: You asked the dog whether or not he was Rick?

Maggie: Yeah, I said ‘If you’re Rick, bark three times.’

Shelly: Did he?

11. From Ill Wind, Season Four:

Chris: You and I are bound in ways we can never comprehend.  What happened up on that roof is an extreme example.  We depend on each other every day for a mutual survival and I just… I can’t take money for that.

12. From Ill Wind, Season Four:

Maggie: I mean, when my fist hit your face, I felt, in that brief moment, I knew who I was.

13. From Spring Break, Season Two:

Chris: It’s a time for madness.  A time for our fangs to come down and our eyes to glaze over so that the beast in us can sing with unmitigated joy.  Oh yes, ecstasy I welcome thee.  Ah-oooh!!!

There you go.  A few of the best moments from the best television program of all time.  Beg to differ?  Care to gush along with us?  Hit that comment tab.  And then make your own list to link here. We will still be chilling with good company in Cicely, Alaska.  Forever.


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Thursday Thirteen: The Joker.


(“Pick a Card” by Ed Benes, from Upper Deck’s Vs. System)

1.  Nina and I have been cooking up a short story/novel/screenplay for months, with the myth of The Joker as its focal point.

2.  Yesterday Heath Ledger died tragically, and was quoted in multiple interviews saying his portrayal of the Clown Prince of Crime in The Dark Knight took him to such frightening places that he had trouble sleeping.

3.  The myth has been around for 68 years, first appearing in DC Comics’ Batman #1 in 1940.

4.  Two years ago, The Joker was chosen as The Greatest Villain of All Time by Wizard magazine.

5.  The Joker was created by Jerry Robinson, Bill Finger, and Bob Kane.

6.  He has been previously portrayed by Cesar Romero, Jack Nicholson, and Mark Hamill’s voice.

7.  Yes, Luke Skywalker and The Joker shared a career.

8.  An actor named Conrad Veidt painted his face in a silent film called The Man Who Laughs in 1928.  He was the model for the myth.

9.  Batman once said that The Joker’s motives and actions “make sense to him alone”.

10.  Heath Ledger’s biorhythms were really messed up that day.


11.  The Joker once tricked Mr. Mxyzptlk into giving him total control of reality.

12.  When The Dark Knight comes out this summer, it will be a filmgoing experience unlike any other.

13.  Rest in Peace, Heath Ledger.  Our prayers go out to your family and friends. 


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Thursday Thirteen: Protected By Angels?


(Space Bears by Juvaun Kirby, from Upper Deck’s Vs. System) 

I swear there are forces outside me that are guiding my shoes to step in EXACTLY the right piles.  And then I figure that my self is probably big enough to absorb everything outside of me anyway.  So I scamper off in my mind and discover a whole new corner.  I absolutely adore new explanations of life and how to live it.  Yesterday I saw a bumper sticker that said “Protected by Angels”.  I know the feeling.  Today, again on the way to work, the exact same car was stopped in front of me at a red light.  Sixty seconds earlier or later, and I would have not gotten the same synchronicity.  So I decided to jot down thirteen explanations for the phenomenon.

  1. Angels are formed by swirly vortexes of luck.  Being in the right place at the right time is a skill, if you can follow the invisible connections that join every thing to every other thing.
  2. We have spaghetti straps of love stuck to our shoulders.  This is a little bit like karma.  Everyone who is thinking good thoughts about you is sending you good vibes.  If you build up enough of this positive energy around your head, you will turn to look just in time to see the perfect thing.
  3. Desire attracts.  There is a very interesting theory that we always get what we really want.  Your deepest desires have much more chance of happening, since you want them so bad.  Not many people can understand that, since they don’t really know what they really want.
  4. This is God’s ant farm.  Who knows?  I tend to think we are all wrong, so this one has as good a chance as any.
  5. There is no spoon.  You are a brain in a jar in my lab.  There is no way you can prove to me that you are not.  When you feel angels protecting you, you are having a real good trip.
  6. Our selves play dominoes all over the place.  Like, if there are parallel universes created from the temporal branches proceeding from each moment, then the wings are created by all my other possible actions.
  7. Some people just can’t let go.  Maybe the whole ghost thing happens when someone is too attached to the human with all its exquisite beauty.  Many cultures have believed it, so there has got to be something to it.
  8. The human brain can create its own reality.  We cannot escape the images of the angel in this culture.  The pictures are everywhere.  What we see is what we get.
  9. Rationalization is fun.  Saying “I accidentally stepped out of the way at just the right time” is fairly boring.
  10. Space Bears!  That’s right.  You knew it was coming.  Aliens.  They are everywhere, and when they are not conducting their pointless probing experiments, they are angels.
  11. Animal totems ROCK!  I have merged with squirrels.  Maybe the angels are human/bird hybrids who were really curious about the sensation of flight.
  12. There is a war in heaven.  Tom Robbins had the best version of this in his masterpiece called Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates.  He talked about the neutral angels.  Some of the funniest profound prose ever.
  13. I am an angel myself, and we protect our own.  It always feels good to belong to an exclusive club.  Whatever feelings make you feel best, those are the feelings you should practice.  Give yourself permission to choose the explanation of life that serves up the most bliss inside your little angel heart.  You’ll be glad you did, whether it is “true” or not.

Now you know where angels come from.  As soon as you come down from the heights of inspiration, write your own list of thirteen things you like to groove on and link them here:


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Thursday Thirteen: Another List of Random Search Terms.


(My painting entitled “First Love”, illustrating #1 on the list.) 

Okay, this idea is lifted from numerous sources.  The search terms people use to find our little corners of the blogosphere are an endless source of delight for those of us with access to such an information saturated medium.  Here are my favorites from Full.  Body.  Transplant.  These came in just this week.

1. bliss crotch – It is indeed a primary motivation, but unless you are looking for my psychedelic interpretation of blissful monogamy… you have come to the wrong place.

2. switch bodies – This is the most often clicked search concept for people landing here.  I often wonder if they found the instructions they were looking for.

3. “she can turn into” – Oh how I love experimenting with the conclusion of that thought in real life.

4. teen titan tentacles – Icky ending to #3.  But it does have possiblities.

5. hot love – I chuckle when I realize what this person was really after.

6. body pleasures list ways – Here?  On this blog?  I guess so, if you can read between the lines.

7. say it was a good day – I always do.  It’s the only day we ever have.

8. comfort – Proud to be a part of that number.

9. cow –  What???

10. frozen iguana – Sounds like the name of a slushy drink.  Yum.

11. How to build my Life – Aim to please, and shoot to kill.

12. aquaman effect photoshop –  He.  Has.  Arrived.  A photoshop filter is the crowning achievement of any superhero’s career.

13. count points banana – Hmmm.  I wonder.  This one I just MUST google for myself.

Happy Thursday, you freaky Thirteener you.  Write your own list and link it here.  Do it now.


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Thursday Thirteen: The Modern Myths of Comic Books.


This week’s Thursday Thirteen is especially dear to me, since I have the honor of writing weekly articles about humanity’s modern myths.  Yes, I am talking about comic book superheroes and villains.  When I took a stroll through this past year’s archives, I only got as far back as May before I had 13 favorites.  I absolutely love my job.  I also adore the fact that I figured out how to make proper links so you can click on the name of the character for the full story.  Good times ahead in 2008, click away!

1. Madelyne Pryor.  The girl is red hot, in more ways than one.

2. Shuma-Gorath and Dormammu.  Two all-time favorite bad guys, one with giant tentacles.

3. Mad Hatter.  Did you know that the term “mad as a hatter” came from historical mercury poisoning?

4. Poison Ivy.  Her college professor seduced her and used her for his experiments.

5. Kim Hoshi as Dr. Light.  We should all be so shiny.  She is really good in the game, fueling the best team attack tricks since Teen Titans.

6. Ghost Rider.  My head was burning at the time, I actually wrote the article on my phone by the pool.

7. Domino.  Another experiment gone bad, but she gets lucky.  High contrast beauty to the extreme.

8. Cable.  Since he bodyslides in and out of time, he has more different outfits than anyone in comics.  Maddie is his mom and tried to kill him to take over the world.

9. Indigo.  This one was totally new to me, and I totally fell in love.  She is dying in the pic at the top of this list.

10. Slapstick.  The article is all about comic book clowns, and this guy had his molecules spread out over 3,714 dimensions before he became a cartoon.

11. Destroyer.  A metal suit of armor that houses the souls of the gods.  Cool as hell.

12. Lana Lang.  I knew her from Smallville, but she can turn into any kind of insect with her magic ring?

13. Sea Creatures.  They don’t follow Aquaman because it is their duty, they do it for love.

I could write three pages about each one, but I already did!  Enjoy the links and their rich modern mythology.  Then write your own Thursday Thirteen and link it here.  Have a deeply satisfying 2008. I know I will, with the help of the comic books and Vs. System.


Filed under Thursday Thirteen., Vs. System

Thursday Thirteen: Secrets of the Tarot.

2swords 2wands 2disks 2cups

(The wild deuces of the Rider Waite traditional deck from

Tarot cards are a little set of symbols that have brought big fun to my life.  Their origin is a bit hazy, and the controversy surrounding them is plain crazy, but they are undoubtedly one of the premiere sources for distilled archetypes of the human condition.  Today I will give you a short introduction in 13 chunks.

1. Tarot uses numbers as symbols.  The twos I used for the opening illustration for example?  Well, what does a two feel like to you?  A relationship?  A difficult decision?  A matched pair?  Every number is charged with a parallel meaning, and every individual can figure it out in a personal way.

2. Swords are thoughts.  We think, therefore we are.  Our mental faculties often get the better of us.  The swords of Tarot focus on the immaterial, cold, calculating processes of the brain.

3. Wands are impulses.  We are willful creatures.  We want.  We have urges.  We enforce our power over others.  We dominate the world around us.  The wands bring our hammer down.

4. Disks are physical.  We are born of the Earth, and we return to the Earth, and in between we play with stuff.  Material blessings and curses are represented by disks.

5. Cups are feelings.  We get swept away by emotion.  The cup is full, the cup is empty, and our heart washes back and forth along with it.

6.  As a basic set of symbols, Tarot can be customized.  One of my favorite decks is the William Blake Tarot, by Ed Buryn.  Ed is the coolest of people, he used to live here in Miami, and he translated the traditional suits like this: Swords = Science.  Wands = Poetry.  Disks = Painting.  Cups = Music.

7.  There are some exquisite decks out there.  We adore the artistic interpretation involved in an original version of the Tarot, and every year there are whole new sets of eye candy to wallow in while we randomize the symbols into timeless truths.

8.  Tarot is copyright free.  I like this one a whole lot.  Whoever invented Tarot did it before the age of greed.  And it turned into the 52 card deck of playing cards we use for Poker and Crazy Eights, which is also copyright free.  Lovely.

9.  Someday I will create my own version.  It may not happen soon, or it may be my next project, but I will complete the exercise.  Maybe a superhero version, maybe modern movies, maybe pure metaphysical symbolism.  When it grabs me and sweeps me away, it will be done.

10.  Tarot creates a new profound poetry every time we spread the cards.  We don’t use it to tell the future or to uncover secrets.  We use it for customized interpretations of our place in the Universe.  It is a set of symbols that combines to speak.  Like everything else in life, you can hear it as a wonderful song or as incohesive noise.

11.  Tarot gives people an excuse to believe in magick.  You fake it until you make it.  And then it is as real as anything else.

12.  Tarot trains the brain to see symbolism in every phenomenon.  I love living like that.  Imagine what it would be like to receive enlightened wisdom from a random rock on the side of the road.  There is deep meaning all around us, since all meaning comes from within.

13.  Tarot gave me something to Thirteen!  The number 13 card of the Major Arcana in Tarot is about fresh starts.  Since it is the last entry on today’s list, I guess I better go figure out what I can start up brand new for the first time.   If it is something I can share with you, I will use it for next week’s Thursday Thirteen.  See you then.


That’s the 14, sometimes called Art.  Create your own translation from one dimension to another, number it to thirteen, post it on Thursday, and link it here:


Filed under Thursday Thirteen.

Thursday Thirteen: A Trip to Whoville.


(Cindy glowing, by McFarlane Toys)  

I was surfing around for inspiration this morning when I stumbled upon this:

If you love Cindy Lou Who as much as I do, click around in that link and discover what your name would be if you moved next door to her in Whoville.  I translated thirteen people just for fun.  

1. Romantic Rian Fimaru-Who 

That’s me, and the romantic part is dead on accurate.  I also love the fact that “Fimaru” can mean anything I want it to.  I always try to change my definition every day. 

2. Nurse Nina Wattle-poo-Who 

Nina was a Webb before we married, and she has been healing me ever since.  No matter what brings me down and darkens my mood, she is always there to squeeze it out of me with a kiss or a long talk or whatever it takes.  Even when we need to wattle-poo for the full hermetic effect. 

3. Magnificent Mark Funny-goo-Who 

That’s Mark Fidrych, my favorite sports hero.  He was wacky and wonderful and really good for a short while.  Phenomenal talent with a bizarre personality that made the entire baseball world smile for an entire season. 

4. Aggie Alanis Misty-blue-Who 

I actually resisted Alanis Morrisette when she was popular.  Now I respect her as much as any performer ever, especially after seeing the DVD edition of Feast on Scraps.  Highly recommended, the girl is a beast. 

5. Traveling Tom Ripple-blue-Who 

Tom Robbins is the best writer of our generation, in my humble opinion.  I will always marvel at the way he crams four hundred pounds of truth into a simple sentence that causes a laugh and a crap of the pants, out loud. 

6. Zippy Zazzala Quizzle-moo-Who 

Zazzalla Queen Bee may be a fictional comic book character, and her new card may not be very good, but her honey heats the War Paint.  It may never come off the kitchen table. 

7. Paparazzi Pete Sappy-glue-Who 

Pete Swanson is such a random pick.  He was a kitchen manager when Nina and I were cooking at Rainforest Cafe.  He was younger than both of us.  He made the most disgusting and rude remarks as he walked past, but he made them with love and we always laughed our way through the busy shifts.  I wish all bosses could be that cool. 

8. Suave Sister Alice Joseph Misty-blue-Who 

Sister Alice Joseph Moore was a tiny elderly nun that taught some of my Education classes at Barry University.  She looked exactly like Pope John Paul II, but wearing a habit.  She only scolded you if she saw promise, if you were a loser… she would never say a word. 

9. Barkeep Bradley Nitty-noo-Who 

Bradley Nowell was a musical genius, leaving behind perhaps the best hybrid music ever recorded.  Listen to some Sublime today.  You’ll be glad you did. 

10. Gargling Gloria Ewe-Who 

Another great boss, my life is freaking blessed!  Gloria Evans was the best principal I ever had in my 25 year career.  I would walk through an office full of quizzical looks and hear her say: “He’s an art teacher, they are all like that.  Just leave him alone, he will be fine.” 

11. Fancy Friedrich Nimmy-Nammy-Noo-Who 

Friedrich Nietzsche was a monster.  The kind of monster who affects millions of free spirits with his soul.  The kind of monster we need more of.  Check out the film “When Nietzche Wept” for a modern introduction. 

12. Kettledrum Kate Wambam-foo-Who 

Kate Winslet is the bomb.  Thick and luscious and really smart about the roles she picks.  They used to call her “Combat Kate” because she wore army boots and rolled her own cigarettes.  So. Damn. Gorgeous. 

13. Sergeant Steve Bippity-boo-Who 

Stephen Bauman is the best artist I have ever had the pleasure to teach. He may be the best artist I have ever known.  He is so good that he has a collector who buys everything he paints, and sends him all over the world for inspiration.  Steve came to our school addicted to writing on trains and getting arrested for vandalizing property with spray cans.  I argued with him for four years, telling him that graffiti is just like dog piss on a street corner.  Eventually he got it.  He has moved from jail cells in downtown Miami to the Florence Academy of Art.  I will post one of his recent paintings under this thread in the Forty Fifth Question of the Day.  Good times.

And that’s the last Thursday Thirteen before Christmas!  Make your own list and link it to:

Happy Holidays, to one and all.


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Thursday Thirteen: Simple Pleasures.


(Our neighbor the osprey, with mullet for lunch, from

Life is full of simple pleasures, and these are thirteen of mine.

  1. A good hot bath.  When I was a kid, on a very cold day, my body learned the bliss of total physical pleasure.  All from a simple tub of hot water.  I have spent the rest of my life following that bliss.
  2. Passing someone in the car on the highway.  There is a sweet sense of power that can only be achieved by pressing the pedal to the floor.
  3. Sneezing.  I know some people don’t appreciate the loss of control inherent in the involuntary clearing of the nasal passages, but it is the closest thing to an orgasm for a reason.
  4. Saying “I love you.” I do it as often as possible, to as many people as I can.  And I mean it every time.  Luckily, as a teacher, I have a captive audience.
  5. Collecting cards.  No matter how bleak the world of people and their politics gets, I can always picture my current cardboard obsessions in my mind and turn the corners of my mouth upward into a smile.
  6. Telling a good story.  My life is like a scene from Pulp Fiction, quite often.  I really enjoy the memories that my days have created… especially when I get to share them with new friends.
  7. Crying at a scene from a favorite film that I have already seen at least sixty times.  It just happened again last night with Love Actually, actually.
  8. Laughing until we cannot breathe.  Nina is really good at this.  Sometimes she causes it, and sometimes she gets swept up in it.  Last week we did it during a hockey party, with everyone in the house doubled up in knots on the floor, and we all missed a penalty shot!  Good times.
  9. Getting home from work and shedding the clothes.  A sense of relief and freedom that happens Monday through Friday.
  10. Watching the ospreys fishing in the lake.  Birds of prey are simply amazing creatures.
  11. Realizing how insanely detailed the human organism is.  Imagine trying to build a machine that could decide to reach into your pocket and feel around for a specific object, and then pull it out without anyone seeing you do it.
  12. Paying bills online.  Of course that is predicated on having enough money to pay them.  Lately we have been just barely making it, but it feels real good when I have everything covered.
  13. Comments on the blog!  It may be a bit impersonal, but that does not detract from the fact that there is one big community out there sharing lives with each other.  And that includes you and me.  I love you.  Thanks for stopping by.

(And make sure you visit to get involved in the party.)


Filed under Thursday Thirteen.