02 March 2006

Meetez-Vous les Readers, Part 3

Thich Nhat Hanh is probably not reading your mail.


So I'm goin' through some things - life stuff, existential stuff, anger stuff, try-not-to-choke-the-living-shit-out-of-person-x. stuff, knowwhatI'msayin'? - and my wife gets me a book by Thich Nhat Hanh (you know him - short fellah, Vietnamese, spiritual behemoth, Nobel Prize nominee) which is titled The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching. She thinks that given my current psuedo-crisis it might contain something that might do me some good. Long story short it's supposed to be a treatise on the Four Noble Truths and how they can be applied to human suffering. You know, some light reading. Or so I thought. In truth this book makes the Principia Mathematica look like Go Dog Go!

So homey-san breaks open 84,000 dharma dams and tries to flood my white ass with oceans of the nectar of enlightenment, causing me to gurgle a resounding "whuh the fuh?" He cross-references so many Buddhist texts both modern and ancient that I have never even heard of that I just throw my flippers skyward and bleat like a manatee. I figure this book will go down in my personal history alongside precalculus, women, microwave ovens, the square root of negative 1, and Every Other Thing I Will Never Understand.

I am as dumb as a trout, I swear. Either I have to circle back to lesson 1 in Buddhism for Dharma-Tards or I have to read a lot more. Or I have to go to the Zendo in Tacoma. I hear this "Zen" thing has a lot of "nothing" in it, so how tough can the required reading be, huh?

Anyway, I'll let you know how that all works out. In the meantime, enjoy three more heapin' helpin's of your public.

Meet Randy Hughes!

A Google search for "Randy Hughes"
returns the image of this rather
dashing fellow, who is not the
Randy Hughes I know. At least I
think not, unless he's putting 10W40
in his hair nowadays.

Hughes consistently wins Best Teacher In The Universe accolades each year from the Gunn Institute. And he shall do so until I cack. He was my history teacher in high school, is still a high school history teacher (with a brief hiatus in the Iowa legislature), and to this day has not flown into a single murderous rage over the neverending shenanigans of his herd of adolescents. I cannot say the same of myself. Perhaps I shall tell you where the bodies are buried in a future correspondence.

What do they call you back home? Among the many things I am called are: RJ, Randa, Scooter, Baby Doll, Mr. Hughes, Huge, (Mr. Huges is not large, by the way. -Ed.), Current Resident, Sir, and The Old Guy Who Introduces The Wrestlers.
What do you...uh...do? Pretty much whatever I want. (It's true. I saw him give citizenship to a hobo once. Naturalized him right there on the floor of the legislature, in front of Gawd and everybody. -Ed.) Additionally, perform all manner of nutritional functions, share-cook-clean perform other household tasks, walk-run-jump -roll over-irritate the sox of most authority figures; live vicariously precariously, tread gently, cry at Field of Dreams and I mean every time, wish that Jeb Bartlett and his staff ran the country.
What would you like to know about Greg? How is he?

Meet Sally Hamshaw!

Sally's got sauce - and she's not afraid to use it!

Pictured: the shack where she stores her excess
sauce in the winter.

Whether you call her Sally or Pony or Who's The Girl With That Certain Jeanie Say Kwaz, she's got sauce. Buckets of sauce. Way too much sauce for Silverdale, WA which is where she now lives with her (no doubt long-suffering) boyfriend. She wants to know where you live, if you're like me, and if you're gay. Regarding that last part, I don't know if she means gay as in jovial, gay as in homo, gay as in heaumeaux, or gay as in Thaddeus, when did you go all ghey for the football? I suggest you ask your wife.

In her own words: I'm a Seattlite, born & raised with a few living stints in Bellingham in a feminist house that didn't allow men, meat or cigarettes indoors, and I've also lived in Chelan 3 times ~ one of those times (the first one) provided me with my high school diploma and my first lesbian experience. And she had the coolest birthmark....oh wait, I've gone too far.

Meet Barbara Pritchard!

Normally a sharp and clear-headed

individual, Barbara occasionally becomes
befuddled and answers the stapler.

I've known Barbara Pritchard since the turn of the century, or Ought Ought as we old-timers refer to it. That's when I freaked out and realized that I had known Barbara since '87. She worked for the legendary C/Z Records back then, and I worked for KJET and had an 18-inch platinum blonde mohawk. It was a simpler time in Seattle. Lattes were only $17.50. Bill Gates had not yet moved to Medina. And you could still pee on or near the floor at the Central Tavern while getting drunk on or near The Fastbacks or The Young Fresh Fellows.

In all of that time, I have never once seen Barbara freak out. By comparison, everyone else I know, including me, has freaked out at least 36^5 times. This is impressive considering the fact that Barbara has done stuff like manage projects that involve having to motivate sluggards like myself. Sluggards exactly like me. Okay - me. She should also be canonized for helping me pass my programming classes. So when you think of Barbara, think of a giant slice of calm floating in a lake of serenity surrounded by a raging brushfire made of craziness. Nowadays she works for Smashing Ideas, a bunch of very nice creative people who continue to hire me for freelance work, regardless of the blazing mediocrity of my copywriting.

Her advice to you? In her own words: Please tell Gregory that it’s not the squirrels nor is it Bambi he needs to worry about. If there’s marmots around keep your boots on.

If John Muir had taken that advice, he'd be alive today!

Cheers, and give my best to Marie.


Meet The Readers! Part Deux


I prolly oughtta explain that I started this whole "Meet The Readers" thing by sending out a list of four questions to the whole "Dear Gregory" email list. I thought I should "prime the pump" as it were and give people a place to start if they were going to tell me something about themselves.

Oh yeah. And I prolly oughtta explain that there's a whole "Dear Gregory" email list. Greg? There's a whole "Dear Gregory" email list. (There, I explained it.)

So anyways, here are two more honest-to-Church flesh-and-bone people who peep at your mail.

Meet Dave Crawford!

A Google search of the term "Dave Crawford" returns
this image, whereas...

...a kindly-worded email to Dave Crawford returns
this image.

Dave and I went to high school together in Creston, Iowa way back before the InterWeb was invented. If we wanted to surf porn on the InterWeb back then (and believe me, we wanted to), we had to do it the old fashioned way. We had to carve it ourselves out of birch. After graduation, he went and circled the globe and came back. I left and never returned.

I can't possibly top what Dave had to say on his completed questionnaire, so I'll just let him speak for himself - which he does, very well.

What do they call you back home? Crawdad.

What do you...uh...do? Drink beer, ride my Harley and shove Snopes down my relatives' throats by responding all. I lure young women to my hot tub and ply them with alcohol. I killed a gopher with a stick once. (And he also makes music, which you can listen to here. Not the dead gopher. I mean Dave. -Ed.)

What would you like to know about Greg? Why don't you ever write? PCs go both ways (as do some of the hicks here in Bumfuck --- so I've read).

What would you like Greg to know about you? (Please, I draw the line at descriptions of birthmarks.) I know a million jokes on almost any subject. Some of them are funny, like this one: Two muffins are baking in an oven and the first one says "Man, it's hot in here", to which the second replies "Whoa, a talking muffin". I used to be a yuppie but now I scoff at them. Life is too short.

Isn't it ossum on a hot summer night when you put your arm underneath your pillow and it's still all cold under there, like some kinda "coldness magic"? (yes/no) Yes; on particularly balmy nights I may flip the pillow several times to take advantage of the newly-cooled outer edges. The older I get the more appreciative of the thermostat I've become even though I have friends who are all "outdoorsy" and like to camp in the yard or keep their bedroom windows open even when it's obviously the wrong choice. You can die outside. I checked Snopes on that one.

Meet your brother Tom!

Not pictured: rocket launcher, murderously enraged hell-hounds,
beautiful daughters. Posted by Picasa

Long on brass, short on words, and more gold teeth than an Incan mummy: What are three things that describe our brother Tom, Alex? Ding ding ding! It's a Daily Double!

Your (or our, if you count me) brother Tom has a farm - e i e i o - on which he apparently raises opinions, then slaughters and butchers them for consumption on the Web. Think I'm lyin'? Take a look at his blog.

Now for his almost koan-like to-the-point answers to the questionnaire:

What do they call you back home? Define "Home" white boy.
What do you...uh...do? What do you ah do?
What would you like to know about Greg? What's "like" got to do with it?
What would you like Greg to know about you? (Please, I draw the line at descriptions of birthmarks.) Second verse, same as the first. (Readers: at this point, you fully understand Tom. You really, really do. Watch, he's gonna use the term "nukkin futs" pretty soon. I guarantee it. -Ed.)
Isn't it ossum on a hot summer night when you put your arm underneath your pillow and it's still all cold under there, like some kinda "coldness magic"? (yes/no) Are you nukkin futs? (Bingo! -Ed.) That's what they make AC for. Everybody knows it's cold under your pillow because that's where the ghosts live.

Man, this stuff is easy. It practically writes itself! And that's because it does!

There will be more soon. Much, much more. In the meantime, cheers and give my best to Marie.


Meet The Readers! Part 1


A short while ago I wrote you a letter titled People Are Reading Your Mail (or something to that effect). Well to prove that point, I'd like to introduce you to a couple of flesh-and-blood humans who actually eavesdrop (eyedrop?) on your correspondence. And speaking of eavesdropping, one of these guys actually works for the government. Not our government, mind you - that other government, the one that puts the "B" in BBC. Now then:

Meet Luke Keen!

Keen - Before Posted by Picasa

Keeno, Dukester, Lukem Dukem or Scrote. This dashing young denizen of London answers to 'em all. Keen wins his bread from The Beeb (BBC), albeit only scanty handfuls of it owing to it being a government post. Therefore, he is forced to supplement his income by going down to the docks each night to participate in England's Arse for Cash program, which is considerably more popular than the US Food for Oil program. (Keen points out that the term "arse for cash" is also a euphemism for selling things on eBay, and that he unfortunately has no oil to trade to the US. Well, not much anyway, other than what's already in the kitchen. -Ed.)

Keen - After Posted by Picasa

In his own words: "I regularly disappoint myself and working for the world best broadcaster (the BBC) does little to alter that opinion. I think I'm a funny bastard, who's wasted talents strangle me and drag down into the deepest darkest recesses of emotional despair, and I'm too lazy/ lacking in self confidence to pull myself out of it. If I could get a job as Devil's Advocate, I would smash it! I live in London, and love the place to bits!! It totally rocksaws!"

Keen is the genuine article, a stand-up guy with real wit and talent (musical and otherwise) which you can get a taste of right here in his blog.

Matt Meat Lange!

Paging Mister Bag! Mister D. Bag! Posted by Picasa

Everbody calls Lange "Douchebag", which is the self-same sobriquet he distributes widely upon his fellow man. He is employed, if by "employed" you mean "freelancing" - and if by "freelancing" you mean "unemployed". He is a designer by trade, if "by trade" you mean "something to tell chicks in bars so they don't think they're gonna go home with an unemployed guy". He smokes and has at least two thumbs.

What else can I say about Lange, other than he left the writing of this mini-bio entirely up to my malicious caprice? He's the outdoorsy type - snowboards, hikes, pees in the yard - that sort of thing. He recently had a very heated conversation on the phone with his sister which I overheard. As I recall, it came up just short of "I'LL FUCKING KILL YOU WITH MY BARE HANDS!", and it was over something like "who fuckin' drank the last of the fuckin' Sunny Delite?!!". I saw them together after that on Chinese New Year. They were all smiles, and no one was dead.

He's from Buffalo, and is therefore and enormous Bills fan - which in turn means that he is filled with the kind of hope usually reserved for the people who maintain a constant vigil for the Escape Ships that will land Any Day Now.

That's all the introductions I have for now, but owing to my calculations (and the distribution list for this blog), I have about three hundred seventy nine more people for you to meet.

Cheers, and give my best to Marie.