Tuesday, October 31, 2006

I'm My Own Nightmare

Last Saturday night, I dressed up like a crazy disco ho-bag ('tis the season) to join other Halloween revelers for a rare night on the town. I met up with new pal, Karen, at the home of her friend, Doug. He lives in an adorable loft and was hosting some pre-festivity cocktails before everyone ran off to their various parties and events.

Doug was serving a classic drink (circa 1930s) called, "The Sidecar," a delightful concoction he used to make for his great aunt - despite the persistent rumor that he made them for his grandmother. I loved them! A little brandy, a little Cointreau and the perfect amount of lemon juice all dressed up in a sugared rim. Yum.

By the time, we got to the Breckenridge Brewery for their annual canned food-raiser "Brimstone Boogie," I was happily smashed. It was great to be out amongst my fellow Denver-ites; I don't see them nearly enough and miss them terribly.

With everyone in full costume, conversations happened easily. An entire herd of folks came as various emoticons and there was a Catholic priest who was there, very drunk and trying to get as much flesh in his hands as possible - all for the character, I'm sure. (He should have also had a tithing plate and a nervous buddy nearby dressed as a lawyer.) Doug was dressed as a 'chick magnet' with those marshmallow Peeps Velcro-ed all over him. I can vaguely remember a friendly guy dressed as Duffman buying me more drinks, not that I needed them.

At some point, I regressed into an old habit: Storing all my stuff behind the band's amplifier. I swear, I've been doing this since the 80s and even in to the 90s when I was writing about bands for a living. Never had a problem. Keeps me from being weighted down, y'know?

At some other point, I go to my special secret hiding spot and can't find my stuff. I begin frantically searching the entire club but find nothing. Incredulous to my bad luck, I somehow end up in sitting next to soda tanks 'backstage,' bawling my head off and taking inventory of my loss: Cell phone, eyeglasses, house keys, driver's license, ATM card, fancy red velvet gloves, gum, $22 and a small container of silver glitter. Oh yes, and two coats - one to match my wild disco outfit and the other black velvet with red fake fur collars for the neck and wrists. (The coat is so coveted amongst friends that it is actually listed in my Will.)

Thankfully, a kind soul and BB staff member named Doug took pity, fetched me water, helped me look for my stuff and generally worried about my well being. Eventually, we had to give up and he inquired how I was going to get home and what my plan was. At that moment, I realized how alone I was in this new city, which kick-started a new round of tears.

Karen had already gone home and I was left with little choice. I had to approach poor Doug, who I'd only met hours earlier, and ask if I could crash at his place. I had no money, no house key, no coats, no money, no eyesight and, at this stage, very little self respect. Gentleman that he is, Doug agreed.

I slept badly, running over various tragic scenarios in my head - my bank account cleared out, my apartment cleared out, my cat murdered, my car stolen ... my glitter used up. Gak! Up by 7 a.m., I waited patiently for the sun to rise so I could start my horrible day. Thankfully, Doug had a stack of Playboys, fun stuff that I rarely get to peruse. (Question: Since when did full-grown women devolve away from public hair? Brrrrrr.)

I called my petsitter, Mark, who has an extra key, and asked if he could meet me at my house to let me in. I called the brewery and left a pathetic pleading message with my home number. Then, I waited for poor innocent Doug to awaken so I could then hit him up for the $20 it would take to get me out of his life ASAP. He finally arose around 9 a.m. and quickly handed over the cab fare.

All through this, I realize I'm bummed about having lost my 'things' but actually feel much sadder about the idea that one of my fellow revelers robbed me blind. This would leave an indelible black mark on Denver's spot-free record; this incident would mar our relationship while still in its crucial beginning. I mean, if I can amp-stash my stuff for decades in the seedy clubs of Hollywood, Los Angeles and San Francisco without incident - what does that say about Denver? I didn't want to think about it.

I did the feaux Walk of Shame, running into Doug's elderly neighbor in the hallway wearing red glitter boots and not much else, and caught a cab home. Petsitter Mark met me at the door handing over several keys - he'd had extras made on the way over, out of concern. (Now, that's the Denver I love!)

My home phone tells me I have seven voice mail messages, several are from the brewery telling me that they found my stuff, tucked away in a very odd place. (This is when I remember another old habit: Doubting my original hiding spot with each passing cocktail and re-hiding it over and over until ... well, until this happens.)

But here is the fun part: My voice mail included two messages - an amused one from my father, "Hey, honey! Heard you were out drinking last night and lost all your stuff! Way to go!" and a frantic one from my mother, "HEATHER, WHERE ARE YOU??? PLEASE CALL ME! I HOPE NOTHING HAS HAPPENED TO YOU!!!" (This was supplemented by a similar email I later found from her in ALL CAPS.)

Apparently, the staff at the Breckenridge Brewery was so concerned about my well being that they called my parents ... at 2 in the morning. Never mind that I am 40 and legally responsible for myself. Let's even overlook the fact that I partly moved to Colorado so no one would know what the fuck I was up to but let's ask the only question that needs to be asked here: What the hell?

Truth be told, I found the BB's behavior pretty damn adorable. Of course, if I were 25, that calling-the-parents thing definitely would've enraged me. Still, not only did I have my stuff back but my faith was restored in Denver. I tried to imagine a nightclub staff in LA or even San Francisco giving a shit about a drunken weepy loser and I just can't picture it, which makes me fall in love with Denver all over again.

Thus, I'll probably go out again tonight. Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Work, Work, Work

Employment. A necessary evil. I've never met anyone who didn't need it. I fully comprehend that it pays for my life – my apartment, my food, my heating bill, my car, my clothes, my concert tickets. I'll even admit I have it better than most, working from home. I do not deal with a lengthy commute, applying make-up or matching my socks.

My parents represent extreme ends of the employment perspective. My father, age 72, has been retired since age 48. He just travels around the country in his motor home and is pretty much the most relaxed, happy guy you'll ever meet. He worked his butt off as a young man, did well for himself, lost a bunch on various wives, and then organized his life so he'd never work again. When you call his cell phone, his voice message says: "Wonderful day! I woke up this morning and I'm still alive and I think that's just great! Hope your day is going as good as mine! Bye-bye!"

My mother grew up as an only child on a North Dakota farm where she dreamed of working as an office secretary, a job she still keeps and loves. She is 73 and puts in a 40-hour work week with great dedication. It is not just a job in which she excels; it is a large part of who she is. She is a Professional, an old-school secretary that every modern-day executive pines for. Not only is she smart and highly efficient, she enjoys the atmosphere of a structured workplace. I recall her disapproval when I worked at Macromedia and told her I had a big slide behind my desk that went down to a lower floor. This was something more suitable for a playground, she scoffed, not an office.

I remember witnessing her boss say to her that she could work there as long she wanted to. "Even if you're 100," he said. "We'll just build little ramps for the wheelchair." This is great job security but it makes her children nervous – she might just take him up on it. Then again, she says if she quits, she'll afraid she'll rot to death and I believe her, because she believes it.

Trying to pitch her on the idea of retiring (always a failing effort) I suggested she could travel or even … perhaps do volunteer work? She was adorably indignant: "Forget it! If I’m working, I'm getting paid!" I have to admit, I love this part of her that refuses to be some doddering old granny that stays home and bakes pies. She is very much a modern woman and always will be. When the internet boom happened, mom didn't miss a step – she doesn't want to be left behind. We communicate regularly through email while my father brags he's never even touched one. "I'm almost dead. Why bother?" he reasons.

Though I am, in many ways, carefree like my father, aspects of my mother pop up. I still can't bring myself to call in sick unless I am near death. Still, my job does not define me. Hell, I’m not even sure what it is I do for a living. Something to do with the media and technology, the rest is fuzzy. It is very far from the globe-trotting journalist that I always wanted to be and that makes me so sad.

I ponder this because I've just returned home from a particularly stressful business trip and now I'm also expected to work over the weekend. I am asking myself, is this the life I want? Does my job help anyone at all? Make the world a better place? Make me tons of money? The answer is: Sometimes, somewhat, no and no.

As I left the San Francisco office yesterday for the airport, I stopped to gas up the rental car. A man with a squeegee stood at the pump and I groaned at the sight of him. 'I am so not in the mood for this,' I thought. I got out of the car and he asked if I wanted my oil checked, my tires checked, the windows washed, anything at all. I politely declined, telling him it was a rental car and I was about to return it. He nodded and backed away.

As I pumped my gas, I thought about the irony of the situation. I'm told there was a time in the 50s when crisp young men in white suits would perform all these services for free and now, it's up to the enterprising homeless. The man approached me again and said, "You know, I really don't mean to harass anyone. I'm just trying to make a living by helping a little." He was apologizing, for some reason, and I told him I understood.

I returned the nozzle, put the cap back on and, on impulse, reached into my wallet and grabbed a $10 bill. I gave it to him and said, "We all have hard jobs, don't we?" He was amazed and 'God blessed me' many times, something that never hurts for an overworked heathen like me.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Raped Planets and Crunched Scrotums

One of my favorite bloggers, St. Howard, pointed out today that Mother Nature, as a utility company, is about to go bankrupt, eventually leaving us cold/hot, thirsty and gasping for air. There's just too damn many of us and by 'us' I mean greedy Westerners who definitely want fries with that.

As house guests go, the human race is the drunken uncle who came for a weekend visit 20 years ago, refuses to leave, drinks all the booze, eats all the food, hits on your daughter and crashes the car. We are a nasty infestation of mites on the epidermis of the planet and it shouldn't be much longer before She shivers us off like a wet dog wringing itself dry from a bath. I can almost feel the Earth moaning to its GP, "Can I get something for this? Lotion? Ointment? Seriously, I'll even take back the dinosaurs. They were ugly but at least they only took what they needed."

I've noticed that the 'year of reckoning' everyone likes to throw around, 2050, is also used by the global warming folks. Apparently, this is the year the shit hits the fan and the hens come home to roost. If you come looking for me then, I will be the drunk old lady on the porch laughing and crying and saying 'I told you so.'

Furthermore, it looks like cell phones and anti-depressants decrease male sperm. (Guess this puts a halt to the launch plan of the Xanax Flipped Out phone or the marketing frenzy for Prozac Happy Tones – downloadable ringtones available at all mental health centers near you.) I guess all those neurotic investment bankers and hyper-stressed lawyers will suffer a dearth of seed while the happy so-called disconnected fellows will have plenty of mouths to feed. (Hey, did I just accidentally write a modern-day poem? Holy shit, some days, I've got talent shooting in every direction … )

Mainly, I wanted to point out this story so that I could highlight this quote...from a scientist:

"It's these guys that hang out in smoky bars, stressed and crunched up on their scrotum talking on the phone."

So, let this be a lesson to you boys, no crunching of the scrotum. And ladies, no twisting of the vagina, especially when you're on the phone, just to be safe.

Finally, after all this dreariness, here's one thing about the future I look forward to, even if it does combine YouTube genius with corporate marketing, I'll still be there – drunk and on the porch, laughing/crying, just for practice.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

I (Heart) New York!

It's really just that simple. Every fall, I get the urge (among others) to visit Gotham and grab onto that magical third rail of energy that is unlike any other. I am here now and I am not disappointed.

Believe it or not, I do not need to party heavily and go 'clubbing to get this satisfaction. I feel it just walking down the street or even riding the subway – where I wear a ridiculous grin like some tourist goonball. The New York City subway system is one of the great feats of mankind, right up there with Egyptian pyramids and Velcro - truly mind-boggling. Add to this the random live performances of the cello, steel drums, flamenco guitar and the human rivers that ceaselessly flow and you've got one teeming civic miracle.

Despite the widespread assertion that New Yorkers are gruff and grumpy, the reality is that this is probably one of the friendliest cities on earth. There is something about being all packed in together that makes them approachable. I find it very easy to make eye contact and exchange pleasantries here – of course, with my silly grin, the locals probably think I'm mentally unstable. On Friday, I struggled with getting my luggage up the subway stairs, a polite man offered to carry them up for me. "There ya go. Have a great weekend," he said smiling, before he disappeared into the crowd.

Magical experiences never fail to occur here in the Big Apple. Earlier this week, I quietly escaped from my company's Park Avenue HQ to get my hair done. While looking for the address, I came upon a small sign that read: "Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace. National Historic Site. Victorian Museum and Brownstone. Open to the Public." My jaw dropped and I may have emitted a sudden squeal. What unbelievably good luck!

If I have not mentioned it before, let me do so right now – I am a HUGE TR fan. I quickly ran inside to double confirm the facts and found two bored park rangers who found my babbling enthusiasm mildly amusing. I returned the next day to take a tour - just me and a bunch of students. (When the park ranger mentioned that TR would go skinny dipping in the Potomac, one girl asked where that was. "Washington DC" said the ranger, to which she replied, "Yeah, I'm just not that good at geometry.")

Of course, the tour wasn't exactly Graceland, but I was incredibly thrilled to have stumbled upon such a significant landmark amidst the busy hive of Manhattan. I was also happy to let the rangers know about the TR action-figure doll I keep in my office. "He's very flexible," I bragged. They seemed genuinely jealous and I am half-considering sending one to them for Xmas. I could probably even write it off on my taxes as a 'government donation.'

Mind you, if I lived in New York, it would probably kick my wimpy Californian ass - I am happy to love it from a distance. (I'm counting on Colorado to toughen me up.) Nevertheless, whenever I am here, I feel incredibly alive and powerfully drawn into the present moment, something I strive for always. New York City is one of the great, beating hearts of my country and (all 9/11 sympathies aside) it never fails to evoke a great swells of patriotism in my heart. Just by existing, it showcases Americans at their very best.

I've been pondering all this over the last few days, culiminating in a single observation. "This place," I thought to myself as I passed a smiling Fed Ex man on 5th Avenue, "can never be killed."

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Let It Snow!

Today's post was supposed to be about our population hitting the 300 million mark. (I mean, where is everyone supposed to park?) But then it started snowing and all my worldly focus seemed to melt.

Once again, I must point out that I am from California where things like this don't happen willy-nilly. There, such things only occur at far-away ski resorts (often with the help of machines) or on Hollywood sets, where 'snow' is made of salt and Styrofoam. California cities know of no such phenomenon, hence my child-like wonderment.

In fact, I never even saw snow until I was about 9. I think we were in Idaho or Montana, someplace far. My dad pulled over The Voyager, our beloved motorhome, and I ran outside to frolic in the weird, fluffy white stuff. I was in shorts and a tank top and it was awhile before I realized, "Hey man, this stuff is COLD." Seriously, this aspect of snow had never really occurred to me. This is where I am coming from.

Once the magical wintry flakes began falling this afternoon, I nearly leapt out of my chair. I even took Simone, my cat, outside and she was thoroughly disgusted by the situation. Mind you, she is entirely black and may have taken personal offense at the world suddenly going all-white (see accompanying photo for heat-seeking kitty-kat).

Holy cow, I had to celebrate with somebody. I IM'd some fellow Californians and got suitable responses like, "Yay! How exciting! Can you go outside?" "Run outside and make a snow angel!!!" and "Wow! Are you going to make a snowman???"

When I IM'd a friend in New York, I received a muted, "um, awesome." Guess my East Coast pal, a Boston native and former resident of Illinois, is over the whole freezing-ass cold reality of winter.

So, I called my mother at work. Raised in North Dakota, she merely laughed at me. This is a woman who still buys food in bulk - despite living alone in a beach town - based on a childhood fear of being snowed in for months on end.

Yes, I'm weather idiot but y'see, I can't help it. As previously stated, seasons are a magical mystery that I am just now beginning to unwrap. My brother is the same way – we both get extremely excited about thunder and lightning and our eyes light up with every boom, crack and flash. And yes, there is often giggling and a few squeals of delight.

Mind you, I may be an idiot but my brother is just plumb crazy. Living on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi, he refused to evacuate for Hurricane Katrina because he wanted to "experience the storm." What's even crazier is that I probably would have done the same. The Clisbys: We're not terribly bright but we are easily entertained.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a date with a yet-unmade snow angel …

Thursday, October 12, 2006

'D' for Done

After loading up my proverbial pen with scathing venom (I get it in bulk!) to rant about our ongoing national ignorance, I realized that some photos screech louder words.

In case you cannot make out the details clearly, let me explain. This is a Diebold van undoubtedly gearing up for the November election. Diebold is a company that makes questionable voting systems and they are well known for their shady ethics. ("We won't rest!" is their motto.)

For example, days after the 2004 Presidential election, Diebold agreed to pay $2.6 million to settle a lawsuit filed by the State of California alleging that they had sold shoddy voting equipment. In December 2005, Diebold's CEO Wally O'Dell resigned following reports that the company was facing securities fraud litigation surrounding charges of insider trading.

Then, just recently in May, a registered lobbyist for Diebold Election Systems contributed the individual maximum of $10,000 to the election campaign of Republican Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell - whose office approved Diebold's selection as a vendor and negotiated the price of its machines for county election boards. Getting a firm grasp of the slime factor here?

In fact, there are many folks who believe that Diebold can be blamed for W's second term, including my pal, Tamburlaine, who consistently refers to the First Monkey as "Diebold George." If you give yourself about 30 seconds to think about this, you will quickly understand why there are bands out there called Rage Against the Machine.

A Denver pal sent this to me, taken right in here in my new home state - though, really, it could be anywhere. Please note the "Bush/Cheney '04" sticker brazenly demonstrating what happens when you mix rigged voting systems with open bias.

Must be another sticker below we can't see: "Don't Think and Drive."

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Denver Has Arrived

For those in the first two rows, you may have noted the major themes currently running here at ClizBiz:

• Bush & Co. are a pack of raving idiot monkeys actively dismantling our country.
• My disastrous love life – perhaps my butterfly net has a hole?
• My budding relationship with Denver – the honeymoon continues.

Today's post will touch on the latter.

My Denver Crush inevitably peaks when I'm bicycling along Cherry Creek, whizzing towards downtown, and marveling at how this lovely bit of nature has been contained and preened for my enjoyment. This was the case yesterday – a golden, perfect Autumn Saturday - as I headed downtown for the much-anticipated opening of the Denver Art Museum's new wing, The Frederick C. Hamilton Building.

Designed by the now-famous architect, Daniel Libeskind, the new building has been in the making since 1999. (Libeskind is the same genius who designed the Jewish Museum in Berlin and has been named Master Planner for the future of Ground Zero.) The Hamilton wing is striking, to say the least. At first glance, it appears to be several angry ships all caught in a traffic jam, trying to go in opposite directions. With its titanium angles jutting into the sky and its bold silver presence, it seems to say: "I am here and I am important: I house and protect art."

Everyone was there for this pivotal community event. So many folks milling around, gaping at the modernist sight – such a clear contrast to the stately Capitol building a few yards away. Truly, it was a festival atmosphere – music in the air, people posing for photographs, kids playing on sculptures and dance performances on stage. Indeed, any time a city gets a new jewel in their crown, it is cause for celebration. An event like this seems to confirm to its citizenry: "Yes, you are worth it."

Folks happily stood in line for free tickets with their babies, dogs and grandmas. (The museum was open free to the public for the first 35 hours straight.) Walking around, I could see the joy on people's faces – it was a complete and unrestrained civic pride. Better yet, I felt it on my own face.

Later that evening, I attended a Harvest Moon party and 'the DAM' (Denver Art Museum) was on everybody's lips. Everyone, it seemed, had tickets for ungodly hours – the free tickets included 'appointment' times to stagger the crowds. Some folks had an extra ticket for me, so at 1:00 a.m., off we went. (Still used to San Francisco, I suggested we leave at midnight so we could find parking. I was certifiably mocked. We left at 12:15 and were parked by 12:30. Still getting used to this whole …y'know … 'space' thing.)

At night, the new building is even more epic, particularly under a full Harvest Moon and especially when your new friends have encouraged you to imbibe as much herbage as possible. Unfortunately, I hadn't planned for the adventure and was stuck in a pair of painful high heels but again, I was recreationally medicated so I strived for the out-of-body thing.

The place is immense and the insides somewhat resemble the outside with stark white walls at great, dramatic angles. Again, people everywhere, really and truly, enjoying the place. The collection was mind-boggling – so many artists I actually knew! Degas, deKooning and an entire exhibit of my favorite Western artist, Charles Marion Russell.

Innocently rounding a corner, my gang and I came across a massive black and white photograph* – amazingly crisp and clear – of my hometown! I was completely flabbergasted and tried to sputter out its significance while pointing to my mother's house in Long Beach, California. Still, I don't think anyone but me fully absorbed the odd coincidence – as it should be, I suppose.

I then felt compelled to stand by the photograph (which must have measured something like 5' x 7 ') and explain to total strangers that no, this was not Colorado, this was my hometown. It was a weird moment of my first civic love making an impressive and abrupt reappearance during my current metro-courtship as if to remind me, "Yes, I'm sure it is very nice here but don't forget where you came from or Snoop Dogg and the ghost of Sublime will never forgive you." (Duly noted – special kisses go out to the LBC.)

Having no pre-conceived ideas or judgments about Denver, there is little opportunity for disappointment. Still, I am picking up on a tangible feeling that this great Western city is really coming into its own. It warms the dried-up cockles of my heart to know that my timing – in at least one area of my life – is impeccable.

*For anyone remotely interested in seeing this photograph, check out Page 28 of this document:


Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Dick Cheney is a Scrotum-less Toad

Gosh. Today has been a hyper-productive day. Odd too since I slept horribly last night. Perhaps I should make a habit of it.

I got so many errands accomplished that I'm even feeling multi-taskable in my political anger. That's right, I'm pissed in several directions today, instead of my usual one-global-gripe-at-a-time.

Let's take stock:

Fang sent me this mind-boggling headline first thing so I had suitable warning. Otherwise, I may have barfed up my Cheerios had I stumbled across it on my own:

"Bush: Democrats shouldn't be trusted to run Congress"

I've got a zillion zany comebacks for that but really, it's kind of an all-in-one joke wrapped in a headline. Not much needs to be done here, especially when surrounded by headlines about Republican sex scandals, Iran/N. Korea nuclear plans, the terrorist training camp we created in Iraq and Condi swearing on her fully-intact hymen that she does not recall receiving any warnings pre-9/11.

More rage came when the Republicans took the only natural tack they know and blamed the Democrats for Mark Foley's touchy feely Instant Messenger ways. Foley, desperate to hide, took a tip from Hollywood – he checked in to rehab. Next thing you know, he'll be hosting Saturday Night Live.

This one, however, takes the cake, this is the Wile E. Coyote Acme TNT that exploded in my face, covering my day with black soot. With all the other hijinks, this may not make national news, I read it in the Denver Post, so let me enlighten thee:

Back in June, Steven Howards, (from Golden, CO) was vacationing with his family in Beaver Creek when he spotted Cheney in an outdoor mall shaking hands and posing for photos. Seizing opportunity, Howards and his son walked over and told Cheney that his policies in Iraq are "reprehensible." Howards then left the scene, walking his son to his piano lessons, only to then be apprehended by the Secret Service, handcuffed and arrested for assault.

Yes, this is what is has come to, folks. A sniveling worm of a man who takes his paycheck from yours, mine and Mr. Howard's – a feckless coward who lives in public housing – cannot be spoken to in the light of day, in front of God and the Hot-Dog-on-a-Stick girls, without having the ballsy citizen strong-armed into submission. Red-staters, take a hard look - this is your country now. Feel safe?

The fun part is, Howards is suing the SS officer who arrested him, stating: "It's such a blatant attempt to suppress a right to free speech. Such a traumatic event for my son, I couldn't just let it pass." Three cheers for Howard!

God, I can't wait until Dickless Cheney no longer has taxpayer goombas to keep him from getting jumped on the playground. That fat fuck better watch his back next quail season.

Well, my work here is done ... G'night everyone!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Mondays - Still Bad

Today's round of school shootings has me particularly perturbed. Mainly, because it is another reminder that I've grown a hard calloused heart and that what used to horrify my mind, shock my senses and bring nightmares to my nights, merely has me shaking my head, looking at my watch and wondering how long it will take for humans to just hurry on up and go extinct. Nothing personal, but I'm getting pretty damn tired of Us.

Kids, in general, are innocent. Amish kids are something even beyond that so today's mess is an especially disgusting act. These are folks who specifically and willfully reject a world of cars, cell phones and Paris Hilton. Sounds nice, doesn't it? Well, it also means they churn their own butter, grow their own food and build their own homes. In other words, the Amish life is not an easy one and most of us wouldn't last a day. Still, I think some of us look upon them with awe and a touch of envy. They exist in a place and time when things were simpler.

That is, until today.

When did school shootings begin? I see constant references to Columbine but only because it had the highest casualty rate. It certainly wasn't the first and apparently, not the last. Actually, in 1979, sixteen-year-old Brenda Spencer received a rifle for her birthday and used it to shoot kids at an elementary school near her San Diego home, wounding nine and killing two. When a reporter asked her later why she had done it, she replied: "I don't like Mondays. This livens up the day." (The Boomtown Rats jumped on this catchy phrase and made it their biggest hit.)

This is the earliest example I can find and yet, the main ingredients couldn't possibly appear less innocent and idyllic. A teenage girl in sunny San Diego trying out her Christmas gift - just something to spice up an otherwise droll day. The incident did not involve a confused boy obsessed with video games, or any feelings of social ostricization, no decades-old grudges to be squared away. Not unlike the spooky faceless terrorists we 'fight' abroad, we may have to start asking ourselves the same question that keeps popping up around Washington: Are we somehow unintentionally breeding these fuckers?

So, it may have all began with Brenda but the real question is: Where does it all end?

The silicon chip inside her head
Gets switched to overload.
And nobody's gonna go to school today,
She's going to make them stay at home.
And daddy doesn't understand it,
He always said she was as good as gold.
And he can see no reason
'Cause there are no reasons
What reason do you need to be shown?

Tell me why?
I don't like Mondays.
Tell me why?
I don't like Mondays.
Tell me why?
I don't like Mondays.
I want to shoot
The whole day down.

The telex machine is kept so clean
As it types to a waiting world.
And mother feels so shocked,
Father's world is rocked,
And their thoughts turn to
Their own little girl.
Sweet 16 ain't so peachy keen,
No, it ain't so neat to admit defeat.
They can see no reasons
'Cause there are no reasons
What reason do you need to be shown?

Tell me why?
I don't like Mondays.
Tell me why?
I don't like Mondays.
Tell me why?
I don't like Mondays.
I want to shoot
The whole day down.

All the playing's stopped in the playground now
She wants to play with her toys a while.
And school's out early and soon we'll be learning
And the lesson today is how to die.
And then the bullhorn crackles,
And the captain crackles,
With the problems and the how's and why's.
And he can see no reasons
'Cause there are no reasons
What reason do you need to die?

Tell me why?
I don't like Mondays.
Tell me why?
I don't like Mondays.
Tell me why?
I don't like Mondays.
I want to shoot
The whole day down.

Brenda was sentenced to prison for 25 years to life, currently being served at The California Institution for Women in Corona, California. She has been up for parole four times and has been turned down each time. Brenda will be eligible for parole again in 2009.