Score One for the Flying Spaghetti Monster!


As some of you know, I am a Pastafarian and 
member of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

I was touched by His Noodly Appendage.

So in light of the current crop of ridiculous blather about "religious freedom"
in the United States which is code for "freedom for Christians" 
(religious freedom sure as hell doesn't apply to Muslims),  
this admittedly old news from Austria made me very happy.

Short version: a man named Niko Alm learned that the only headgear 
allowed in Austrian drivers' licenses was confessional headgear.
Mr. Alm said that because he is a Pastafarian,
he should be allowed to wear a pasta strainer on his head.
Authorities required a doctor's note saying Alm was mentally fit to drive
and then issued him the driver's license. 

Doesn't he look great in that colander?


Touched by his noodly appendage


I take a certain amount of glee
in answering questions about
why the back of my car
is adorned with this:

The Flying Spaghetti Monster

Especially when the person asking
was raised to doubt evolution
and, instead, touts creationism.

I tell the truth, though,
since I am a proud Pastafarian.

And you know what? 
Wildebeest’s friend handled my explanation just fine.         


New World Order

I’m a huge fan of Get Your War On by David Rees.  It started as a strip that uses clip art but
it’s now in video format.  Here’s one that’s a nice follow-up to my post yesterday about guns
and the radicals’ reaction to the Obama election.

Warning:  there are a couple expletives in here AND if you’re freaking out about
Obama’s victory, you probably won’t find this funny.

Otherwise, enjoy.

Team Captain

The LJ Goddesses are smiling down on me today, allowing me to finally post these photos in honor of linbinwriter.  You see, Linda is the captain of Team Vinca.  In May of 2007 I posted a plea for good thoughts as I ran the Bolder Boulder 10k and I was humbled by the responses.  Linda let me know she’d be wearing her Team Vinca t-shirt in honor of my race.  I don’t think she knows how important that image was to me as I struggled to finish the race but I thought about it as I huffed and puffed along the course, and it motivated me to keep going.  Fast forward to May 2008 when I needed another round of good thoughts for the race.  Linda promised to wear her Team Vinca shirt again.  And again, that image helped carry me across the finish line. 

So imagine my joy when I opened a package a couple weeks ago and discovered this shirt (look closely for the tiny vinca blossoms drawn around the letters):

But the shirt isn’t just about Team Vinca and my running support network, it’s also a call-out to the Denver Cycle Sluts who raised money for the weekly spaghetti dinner for the homeless.  Go Sluts!

As for Venn Diagrams?  Linda is humoring me because she knows I like them and like saying the words aloud: Venn Diagrams!

But it wasn’t just this great handmade t-shirt in the package.  Linda also wrote the most beautiful, kind note to me regarding running and writing.  And the timing could not have been better.  I was suffering a crisis of confidence (on several fronts) that day but when I read the words penned by a writer friend many miles away, I cried tears of gratitude.

I’m very fortunate to have your support and camaraderie, Linda.  Thanks so much for being my friend and the captain of my team.  


Making Every Word Count

Last  night as I listened to this, one of my favorite Billy Bragg songs, it occurred to me the song’s like a mini-YA.  Everything you need for a satisfying story, right here.  In just 267 words.


I’ll never forget the first day I met her
That September morning was clear and fresh
The way she spoke and laughed at my jokes
And the way she rubbed herself against the edge of my desk

She became a magic mystery to me
And we’d sit together in double History twice a week
And some days we’d walk the same way home
And it’s surprising how quick a little rain can clear the streets

We dreamed of her and compared our dreams
But that was all that I ever tasted
She lied to me with her body you see
And I lied to myself ’bout the chances I’d wasted

The times we were close were far and few between
In the darkness at the dances in the school canteen
Did she close her eyes like I did as we held each other tight
And la la la la la means I love you

She danced with me and I still hold that memory soft and sweet
And I stare up at her window as I walk down her street
But I never made the first team, I just made the first team laugh
And she never came to the phone, she was always in the bath

In the end it took me a dictionary
To find out the meaning of unrequited
While she was giving herself for free
At a party to which I was never invited

I never understood my failings then
And I hide my humble hopes now
Thinking back she made us want her
A girl not old enough to shave her legs

** This video ends before the song’s finished but it’s the best quality version I could find on YouTube.  Just a taste….


I’ve mentioned the Monday spaghetti dinner.  We’re a 100%-volunteer organization that’s fed the homeless and working poor for the past sixteen years.  We rely on donations to keep going.  Every December our local newspapers highlight different non-profits and collect donations on their behalf.  Last year I requested an application but there was a mix-up on my end and we missed the deadline.  When I bought my 2008 planner, I put sticky notes and reminders in it to keep me on track with this year’s application process.  I was determined to get Grant Avenue Street Reach into that program so we’d receive funding.

Street Reach is registered as a non-profit but because our gross receipts are so low, we don’t have to file with the IRS which means we don’t have formal financial records.  We use whatever money we have to buy what we can (and rely on food donations for the rest).  Yesterday morning I made last-ditch attempts to pull together enough financial information (990-N filing status, accounts receivable statements from our food service sources) to satisfy the Application Gods.  Well, the Application Gods told me it wasn’t enough, that we wouldn’t even get an application because we didn’t pass the screening process.

I was very upset. 

But I pulled myself together and went downtown to help out.  We’d finished serving the meal and were cleaning up the kitchen when a soft-spoken man arrived.  He told me he was with a local group that worked to help non-profits get funding.  (huh?)  He said they’d helped us last year and had intended to contact us again but hadn’t because of an oversight. 

Then he said, “Our group is the Denver Cycle Sluts and we’d like to give you all the money we make at Bingo this Friday night.”

That’s right, friends.  The corporate machine couldn’t help our tiny non-profit feed hungry people but a bunch of drag queens designated Grant Avenue Street Reach their charity of the month (and did so last year, too) and will raise money to help us out. 



Day Four: JoNoWriMo+1.5

The work was fine today but not so much in the way I’d anticipated. I ended up adding fewer than my 400-word goal but that’s okay for two reasons: One, my count was more than 400 yesterday and combined with today’s word count I’m still on schedule for my final goal. Two, I figured out all sorts of stuff about the story and wrote three pages of notes.

I finally know the story with G’s mother! She’s not dead! She’s alive, she’s alive!
I understand why Mr. E is such a prickly personality when he’s around T.
I realized which character is the real rat bastard of the story.

Best of all, I found some needed inspiration while reading I’M A LEBOWSKI, YOU’RE A LEBOWSKI: LIFE, THE BIG LEBOWSKI, AND WHAT HAVE YOU (a fan book written for those of us who can’t get enough of the Coen brothers’ movie). It’s not rocket science but it was the perfect time for this particular slap upside my head (plus it came from an interview with the real-life Dude who inspired the character and movie). So what is the Dude’s explanation for the cult success of THE BIG LEBOWSKI? He points out that in all great comedy the situation gets progressively worse for the character(s).


Apparently Joel Coen writes a scene and makes it as difficult as he possibly can for the character. Then Ethan Coen rewrites it, making it worse. And then Joel makes it worse again.

Thanks. That had not occurred to me, Dude.

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
13,113 / 38,000

Kurt is up in heaven now

“Being a humanist means that you try to behave as decently, as honourably, as you can without any expectation of rewards or punishments in an afterlife. When we had a memorial service for Isaac a few years back, I spoke at it and said at one point, ‘Isaac is up in heaven now’. It was the funniest thing I could think of to say to an audience of humanists. Believe me, it worked – I rolled them in the aisles. If I should ever die, god forbid, I hope people will say, ‘Kurt is up in heaven now’. That’s my favourite joke.”                                                                              
                                                                                                                                                                      — Kurt Vonnegut

Thank you, Mr. Vonnegut, for all you gave.