Volume 2----Issue #3----December 1998
[Author’s note: portions of this newsletter were taken
from the following letters: Suzy10 and Barbar69.


Change is imminent and imminence is changing.

I have a very important announcement to
make. Well, okay, maybe two. First of all, I do not
plan to ever use this stupid two-column format again;
it’s been a real pain as I have tried to figure it out.
Maybe one day a program will come out that will
make it simpler to use, but, until that day I will not do
this again. I don’t have time for this! But, gall dern it,
I’m going to use it this one time, just because I spent
so much time trying to figure it out, and I don’t want
to render it all a complete waste of time by not using
My other announcement is the more important
one: for those of you who may come and see my
apartment again, please understand that even though
you can’t hear my buzzer ringing from outside when
you’re pressing it for excessively long periods of time
over and over again, it does indeed work. So please,
don’t get slap-happy with that thing. It’s one of the
most annoying things to exist in my world--and there
are plenty; to have that buzzer be near the top of the
list really means a lot.
So anyway, to get to the list--one person who
has been on it for nearly the entire existence of this
newsletter has now been removed from it, at least for
the time being. Jennifer Miga, one of the people to
write to me the least often in the past two years, has
suddenly started writing to me on average every two
weeks! This is because her boyfriend thought I
deserved to be written to--he told her that he would
be irritated if he wrote to her all the time and never
got any response (smart man!). So now she’s writing
to get us “both off her back,” and she told me I could
hold off on the newsletter. A breakthrough! What a
nice token for the holidays--it’s such a magical time
of year, and miracles do happen every day.
Speaking of the holidays, that’s pretty much
all the tone of this month’s newsletter is going to
have to do with. No trips out of state this year; this
time it’s all at one of my many homes, spending
quality time with my friends and family--many of
whom are on the list that follows:

1. Angel Benson (Thanks for the Christmas
card-it was very pretty, and also brought your
correspondence number all the way up to 14, since
May 1990! That’s almost two a year!)
2. Danielle Hunt (I’ll thank you for your
Christmas present now, even though I don’t have it
yet . . .)
3. Darcy Hartley (I was in Olympia again for
Christmas, but of course was only down there for two
days and the holiday made it impossible for me to
even consider coming to see you . . . one day, I
swear . . . )
4. Dawn Adams (It was very nice seeing you
on Thanksgiving . . . it was chilly, though, wasn’t it?)
5. Gina Yarbrough (Thanks again for the
really cool presents you gave me--I really love them
all, and have been showing them to every person I can
think of to show them to . . . )
6. Kim and Sherri McQuilkin (Visits were
wonderful as always, and I am looking forward to
observing the future of MMMinnesota . . . )
7.. Paul McQuilkin (One of these days I’ll
mail you that picture of a baboon . . . I understand
your Best Little Whorehouse in Texas comparison
much better now, but still completely disagree with it
. . . the cassette is at Dad’s.)
8. Raenae Lanning, and maybe Toni Too
(Would sure like to see you get some tabs . . . has to
be at least a month anyway now . . . )
9. Rick and Tammy Benson (I hope I’m
remembering that name right . . . if you like I can just
refer to her as Whatsername for now . . . )
10. Shane McQuilkin (It’s still raining!)
. . . Of course, I still get consistent
correspondence from Barbara, Auntie Rose, Grandma
McQuilkin, Uncle Jim, Jennifer McQuilkin, and now
Jennifer Miga. More and more people are discovering
the endless joys of writing to Matthew, why can’t the
rest of you people? I think it’s because you’re all
seduced and hypnotized by the charm and charisma of
my consistently saying to you all,

a month in the life of a fruitcake

Just refreshing your swiss cheese memory.

-- Beth

I suppose the first semi-significant thing of the
month for me to tell you about would be Barbara’s
third trek over here for a visit, which I insisted on so
that I could show her all the wonderful decorations
around downtown Seattle for Christmas. That started
on Saturday, December 5, and she was here for only
two days.
Barbara arrived around nine in the morning on
Saturday, when I had just barely finished putting my
hair into double braids and applying my make-up. It
was perfect timing, and we had the entire day
together. It seemed like a much longer than normal
day, most notably because I got up three hours earlier
than my usual ten o’clock awakening, in preparation
for Barbara’s arrival.
Barbara wasn’t here long before she decided it
was time we got moving. I wanted her to come over
before the end of the year so I could show her all the
spectacular downtown Christmas decorations, but I
also thought we could look at lobby decorations in
downtown buildings, as I did with Auntie Rose in
December of 1995. I couldn’t remember which
buildings we had looked in, so I e-mailed her and
asked for recommendations--she said her favorite was
the Columbia Tower, and there were also gingerbread
houses at the Sheraton. So these were the places we
set out for, with the Smith Tower on the top of the
list, because I wanted to take her to the observation
Because of construction, though, the Smith
Tower observation deck was not open to the public.
We went into its surprisingly tiny lobby anyway,
though, and heard someone say, “Where are you guys
going?” We had to look around a few moments
before we realized it was a guy sitting on the stairs to
the left of the front doors. We told him we were just
looking around, and I wondered how much that guy
gets paid to sit there and snap at people about where
they’re going.
Something kind of similar happened at the
Columbia Tower -- being Saturday, not much
business was going on. We walked into the lobby and
were met with the inquiry of “Can I help you?” I
asked if it was all right if we just looked around, and
he said it was okay, even though all other floors were
locked off and we could only look around on that one.
There were lots of really cool hanging Christmas
lights that looked sort of like lit walls, which went
down through holes that revealed deeper floors of the
immense lobby, and so we discussed what a great
location it was for someone to jump to their death.
They had a wine exhibit in the back, with a Christmas
tree actually decorated with vines. I found it rather
odd. There were also these big round green ball
things, sort of like a cross between a bush and a
triple-sized volleyball.
We went to Planet Hollywood for lunch. We
only walked around and looked at stuff for a little bit,
but Barbara seemed to enjoy the place.
From there we went to FAO Schwarz, because
Barbara wanted to buy one of those toy dogs that yip
and flip over and land on their feet again. They’re
really cute, but Barbara deemed them not cute enough
for $18. So then we walked over to Union Square and
went through a lobby hallway with lit trees on either
side that seemed to make an arch overhead, and then
we were in the convention center, where we walked
around for some time looking at the artwork. There
was one particularly profound piece, consisting of a
mounted case of two shelves of old glass measuring
cups, behind sliding glass doors. It was called Theory
of Measurement, or something brilliant like that.
There was another one I really kind of liked,
though, these three pictures that made a face. There
was a photo of sperm for hair, two deer footprints for
eyes, and a balloon with a nail in it for the mouth. I
forget the name of it.
Oh, and we also did go to the Sheraton, which
was probably my favorite lobby. I had never seen
such gingerbread creations in my whole life: a pirate
ship, a train running through a mountain tunnel, a
dragon wrapped around a lighthouse (guess why that
piece involved a lot of circular crackers), a rather tall
Christmas tree, even a working grandfather clock -- to
name just a few. It was really cool. We were even
able to vote, though I probably won’t have any clue
when they announce who won. We both voted on the
pirate ship, with marshmallow sails.
We had seen earlier that a downtown church
was having a choir sing The Messiah that evening at
7:00, and Barbara really wanted to go see it, which
was fine with me. Once 7:00 rolled around, we were
on our way over there, and as we were approaching
the steps in the rain, I slipped on a wet metal door in
the sidewalk (not a drain; I don’t know what it was
for, except for making me slip). I did not fall down,
but rather ended up whipping my umbrella into
Barbara’s face, and she let out a very genuinely
horrified “Ah!” in her pain. I pulled my umbrella back
in a jerk, and she was staggering up the stairs, holding
her face. I was beginning to panic: Oh my god I poked
her eye out!
I asked several times if she was okay, and she
always answered yes. It had been a long time since I
had felt so terrible. But she just shrugged it off so
immediately that it almost seemed as if she had let it
go before it even happened. We just walked into the
church, and I almost whacked someone else while
closing my umbrella, which I did not realize at all
until Barbara told me a few hours later.
Anyway, we went up to the table to see if this
thing cost anything, and we heard someone say “Two
please,” which was met with, “Twenty dollars.”
Ten bucks a piece? In a church, no less! Screw
that. Neither of us had the cash on either our persons
anyway, so we just left. In our search for something
alternative to do, Barbara decided she wanted to go
see a movie. We went to see Babe - Pig in the City,
which I saw for the second time, and enjoyed just as
immensely as I did the first time I saw it. Barbara
loved it as well; despite how surprisingly dark the
film is, I really feel that it was brilliantly made, and
was quite surprised by how much I liked it. I think I
like it better than the first. It is because of the second
one, though, that I would now like to own the both of
Once the movie was over, we went over to
Westlake Center to ride the carousel, and Barbara
was able to take some pictures of all the lights, the
big Christmas tree, and the huge star on the Bon
We were both up past midnight that night, but
I can’t for the life of me think of what else we did,
besides talk.
Sunday was nice as well, even though we
ended up watching three movies (one in the theatre,
two that I owned: Mars Attacks! and The War of the
Roses) and I got a little overloaded on that. Barbara
went to mass first, during which I took my shower
and primping. Not long after she got back, though, we
were headed for the Broadway Market theatre to
watch Happiness, one hell of a disturbing picture. I
cannot recall any other movie that was harder for me
to watch, than this two-hour conglomerative awkward
We left the theatre and went to a Jack in the
Box to go to the bathroom. For customers only, so
Barbara spent 65 cents on coffee, and we were both
buzzed into the toilet rooms. For a “secure”
bathroom, I could not believe how disgusting the
men’s room was -- urine on the toilet seat, no toilet
paper, paper towels that came out in crumpled
clumps, and graffiti tags all over the place (now I
know whose turf the Capitol Hill Jack in the Box
men’s room waste basket is, and I won’t go messing
with it!). I told Barbara about all this, and she was
very surprised: “Mine was a pleasant experience!”
We walked from there to Seattle Center to see
all the Christmas stuff there. First we went to the food
court, where they were having some sort of
Philippines program, and the first thing we saw when
we went in were about ten preteen Phillippino kids in
baggy white outfits, dancing to cheese techno and the
Backstreet Boys, among other terrible acts of today.
We found ourselves much more interested in the train
display with all its model houses and the carousel,
and then we went outside to see the lights that go all
over the park to create stunning scenery. I would have
really liked to go up the Space Needle to see how it
all looked from up there, but Barbara was too cold.
We then walked home, stopping briefly at a
small grocery store so Barbara could satisfy her
curious craving for popcorn, and then we came home
and watched those other two movies.
It was a nice visit, and Barbara left the next
morning. It was around then, I think, that I started
trying to get more involved with Business Careers to
find me a job, but that later ended up getting stalled,
which I will get to in good time. First, though, I must
tell about the next weekend, when I took my second
trip to Spokane this fall, this time to visit friends
On Friday the 11th, I flew over to Spokane,
and Danielle came to pick me up and then drop me
off at my friend Lynn’s house. I had dinner there, and
as soon as I came to her front door, she had left me a
note saying that she was gone and I could just come
in and make myself at home. I later told her that I
would never just leave my door unlocked--and I live
in a secured-entry building! She told me it’s probably
not any more dangerous where I live than where she
does, just because she thinks she has nothing anyone
would want to steal--but she is clearly delusional on
the issue. Anyway, I set my gift to Lynn under her
tree, and as soon as she came home with her two
year-old boy, Jordan, he went straight to the present
and started opening it! I taped it back up and set it
high atop a bookcase so the little turd couldn’t reach
Then, later, I made the terrible mistake of
leaving my camcorder unattended on her living room
floor (she lives in a studio; there wasn’t really
anywhere else to put it while I rewound the tape
inside it and went into the kitchen to get some pizza).
I came back to it to find that Jordan had quite
effectively erased every last minute of what I
recorded at Dad’s house on Halloween--save for one
tiny clip of Aunt Raenae telling me not to record her
eating. To say that this left me disappointed would be
an understatement, but it was clear that there was not
much I could do about it. Lynn’s boyfriend and one of
his daughters also came over to visit with me briefly
later, before Lynn gave me a ride downtown to
Barbara’s apartment, where I stayed the night that
I told Barbara right quick about the call I had
gotten that morning--from a man by the name of Bill
Griffin, who owns the publishing company called
Cleaning Consultants (“I don’t recall sending a
resume to a cleaning place,” I said; “We publish
books about the cleaning industry,” he said-- “It’s one
of those not-judging-a-book-by-its-cover kind of
things”). It seems he needed an office assistant, and I
was very happy to make an appointment for an
interview with him the following Tuesday--the same
day I had my next appointment at Business Careers. I
thought then that it sounded great, and it was
interesting to me that it was prompted by the resumes
I sent out last August. Maybe there was something
valuable about that “launch” after all (I even recently
got an e-mail from George Bakan saying, “Have you
dropped off the face of the earth? Do you still want to
write for us?” I wrote back and said yes--haven’t
heard from him since . . .).
That evening Barbara and her roommate
Alisha and I went out to eat at a little tiny restaurant
cram packed with cigarette smoke rather late at night,
and then just went back to her apartment and visited
for a while. This was the first time I ever actually
spent the night at Barbara’s--and, after this weekend,
I decided cramming three friends into two days just
wasn’t cutting it. At least for Barbara and Danielle, I
should make exclusive visits.
Anyway, the next morning I went out and
about with Barbara, and bought a couple of really
cool pins at a store called Boo Radley’s. One says, “I
am the exception to every rule,” which was pinned to
the side of my Santa hat I was wearing on Christmas
Day. Toni Marie (my cousin, for those of you who
don’t know) saw it and said, “Yep, I agree with that.”
It was perhaps the coolest thing that kid ever said to
Danielle came to pick me up at Barbara’s later
that Saturday, and we ended up bringing Barbara
along for a while when Danielle’s mom bought her a
Christmas Tree and we all helped set it up in
Danielle’s apartment. Barbara was later taken home,
and Danielle and her mom and I spent the rest of the
evening decorating the tree, which I got much of on
home video. I flew home the next day after having
breakfast with Danielle.
Two days later was my last appointment at
Business Careers, and I ended up telling them that I
had a promising interview already later that
afternoon, and they would have to just put my file on
hold for a while again. I late went down to Cleaning
Consultants to have an interview, and the guy--Bill
Griffin--ended up putting me to work immediately.
He asked me how much I was going to ask
that he pay for me, and my mistake was to just let him
make an offer. He said, “How about five dollars an
hour?” I didn’t want to sound like a stingy bastard, so
I just said an easy-going, “That’s fine.” I sure was
disappointed to hear that, however. In addition, he
paid me in cash for the four and a half hours I worked
for him that day, and I didn’t think any of it until later
three different people told me that was a rather
suspicious thing of him to do.
Nevertheless, I am still working part time for
the man today. I have worked, so far, a total of six
days there, and I did convince Bill to do my payments
legally, despite his somewhat blatant offer to do it
otherwise (“I can pay you six hundred without
reporting your income,” he said, which was both
cryptic and suspicious--but I like the experience
potential of the job too much to let it get to me too
much for now; at least I got him to pay me legally).
So this is what I do: a sorts of things, from
filing to counting book covers to binding them to
stacks of paper to stapling booklets to trimming
bound books. Much of it seems like factory work,
with the machinery I have to use for the binding and
the trimming. Apparently there is much more left to
train me how to do--and eventually I may be working
more hours and perhaps even doing some
writing-related projects.
Anyway, back to the weekends of recent past.
The next weekend was when Jennifer McQuilkin
came to visit me for three days, from Saturday to
Tuesday, on Christmas week. On Saturday she arrived
with the four other school mates she rode over with
and promptly shoved her present to me into my arms,
saying she was sick and tired of holding the thing.
Then we walked another friend of hers down
to the ferry terminal, so she could cross the sound and
meet her mom in Bremerton. After that Jennifer and I
had lunch on the waterfront, which we followed with
a walk to a downtown theatre where we saw the
mildly amusing You’ve Got Mail. We just came back
home after that.
Sunday was spent mostly with events having
to do with our trip to Tacoma to see the Zoolights.
We caught the Seattle Express bus at 2:30, and got to
Tacoma, downtown, an hour later. We had a
forty-five minute layover there, and we waited in line
at a coffee shop for that entire time to get some hot
chocolate (they were so crowded because there was a
play going on only two blocks away; some of the
people in the shop had on some really funky eye
make-up). We made it onto the local Pierce County
bus to the Point Defiance ferry terminal by five
o’clock. At the terminal we went over to the nearby
restaurant called Anthony’s, where we ended up
waiting for Dad, Sherri, Grandma and Uncle Paul
(Jennifer’s dad; Grandpa had to pass a stone and
didn’t come) for about forty-five minutes. It was
really cool that we got to meet them there and then go
see the beautiful Zoolights together.
We caught the bus back to downtown Tacoma
at 7:39, which Dad and Sherri drove us the
three-quarters of a mile to, and then we rode the
Seattle Express back to Seattle and got home a little
after nine o’clock.
The next day I went to work, and Jennifer just
hung out at my apartment while I was gone. She took
a long bath, which Peng apparently fell into at one
point, and watched one of my movies. After I got
home. she and I went to Capitol Hill to buy cat food
for Batty, and then I lost my gloves. We went into
store after store after store looking for gloves that fit
my picky qualifications and never found any. I looked
for some at Sears the next day, which was within
walking distance of my work, and still didn’t find any
that suited me. Anyway, then we went to dinner at the
Blowfish restaurant, where we sat near an open
kitchen where people can see the cooks making
dinners, and we got to watch two young cooks get
into a number of arguments--or maybe it was just one,
but they were obviously into it for quite some time.
They even had who I assumed to be an assistant
manager (judging by his obvious youth comparable to
that of the two cooks) to mediate. I wrote in their
customer comment card that we were actually
entertained by their fighting cooks. I quite enjoyed
filling that thing out, possibly even more than the
dinner itself. The dinner was actually rather less
enjoyable than the last time I was there, in terms of
how good the food was. I thought maybe it had to do
with the cooks not paying attention to what they were
doing very well, and arguing over something most
probably stupid instead.
I walked Jennifer to the bus station early the
next morning, after I had to re-buy her bus ticket
because hers disappeared after I put it into my inside
coat pocket. And then I went to another day of work.
Two days later, I took the train down to
Olympia for my Christmas visit. It actually snowed
here Christmas Eve morning, but it was all pretty
much melted away by the end of the day by the rain.
That was the first day I wore my Santa hat, and when
I got off the train in Olympia, a guy I passed by said
to me, “Is that what you call the neutral face?” I just
smirked and ignored him; I now wish I would have
said something to him, since his question didn’t really
bother me.
We had only four for dinner at Dad and
Sherri’s house for Christmas Eve--with myself and
Sherri’s mother being the only guests. It was still
rather nice, and later Dad, Sherri and I all opened one
present from under the tree, all of which were from
people who weren’t going to be there on Christmas
morning to see us open them anyway. I opened my
present from Barbara, which turned out to be a spare
pair of binoculars (since I already had a pair),
wrapped in a really cool brochure-type thing that told
population statistics about the world, including a
world map which showed population distribution. I
said I liked the wrapping more than I liked the
present, and Dad said, “Just give him the box and
he’ll be happy!”
Christmas Day was much more hectic--but, all
things considered, a rather successful holiday, I
thought. There were 24 for dinner, so we weren’t all
able to sit at one table to eat. All I had was salad,
mashed potatoes, and a couple of rolls anyway. Come
to think of it, I never even ate any of the pies for
dessert, I was so stuffed from all the junk that was
laid out all over the table before dinner was even
I spent much of my time that day videotaping
about an hour’s worth of all the goings-on. Dad and
Sherri and I all watched it later that evening.
Anyway, on to the presents (which I finished
shopping for quite early this month). For Dad and
Sherri, Grandma and Grandpa McQuilkin, Grandma
Rhoda, Angel, and Gina, I got a framed photo of
Christopher and me, which was taken the day before
Thanksgiving in Spokane. I put other pictures in a lot
of the frames, confusing people like Gina, who
opened her box up to find a framed picture of herself
that she obviously didn’t like much (“Why is he doing
this to me?” she later told me she was thinking to
It was while I was opening my present from
Jennifer--a really cool lantern-candle with a bunch of
rese’s peanut butter cups that now have the faint taste
of the apple scented candles that also spent so much
time in the box with them--that I realized I had
forgotten her gift at home. The reason for this was
that it was not yet wrapped when Jennifer came to
visit me the previous weekend, and so I had hidden it
in a box in one of my closets. When I gathered all my
presents from under my tree on Christmas Eve before
leaving, however, I completely spaced Jennifer’s
stuff. It’s now wrapped and in a box, ready to be sent
out in the mail to her.
I got Aunt Raenae about eight little tiny
ceramic Siamese kittens, which she seemed to like,
and I also gave Toni a CD Christopher gave me to
give her, of a local Seattle band she likes. Everyone
else really liked the pictures, so far as I could tell.
I also got Dad and Sherri something a little
extra: for Sherri, I planted an 8x10 enlargement of a
really good snapshot of her and me together at my
college graduation in her office at work. My original
plan was to have Dad pick me up at the train station,
alone, so we could just drop off the picture at the
restaurant undetected. That became impossible when
it snowed on Christmas Eve and Dad and Sherri rode
to work together; they thus had to pick me up
together, and I had to wait until later to get this done.
On Christmas morning Dad told Sherri that
we were going out to the cafe, and she asked, “Did
you forget something?” He said no (and he should
have said yes), and I put the framed photo on the
stairwell next to the back door, thinking we would be
going out that way to the van in the garage and I
would just pick it up on the way out. Then, suddenly,
Dad decided he wanted to take the truck, which
meant going out the front door. Once out the front
door, I had to go back inside to retrieve the picture,
and then try sneaking it back out the front door.
Naturally Sherri caught on; she just didn’t find out
what it was until the next day, when she went to work
and found it propped up on her scale she has on the
counter next to her computer. She seemed to like it.
It was the next day that I planted Dad’s
picture--of just him and me together on graduation
weekend last May, also a very good picture--in his
office; this one I was able to blend better, setting it
next to other pictures on shelves mounted onto the
As for what I got, I got lots of cool stuff. From
Dad and Sherri I got a share of stock in Minnesota
Mining and Manufacturing, which matched my
initials: MMM. I thought it was really cool--and it
doesn’t matter to me how many stocks I already have.
From Aunt Raenae I got these really delicious
chocolate covered peanuts (thanks again, Aunt
Raenae, they were soooo yummy!), which I just
finished eating while I’ve been writing this news-
letter. Gina, for some inexplicable reason, actually
got me three things (actually four, but in three
packages): the most amusing one being an actual
fruitcake. I told her I’m going to save it and give it
back to her next year, and I’m not sure she believes
me. She also got me this really cool, rather tall,
star-shaped scented candle that turns to different
scents as it goes down to different levels (it’s burning
right now, come to think of it). In the third package
was two stuffed black cats, one rather large and one
rather small--to match the proportions of my real cats,
which I thought was really cool and creative as well.
Those are my favorite kinds of gifts to get: something
I would never think to get for myself, but something
that’s creative and fits my interests in some way, no
matter how indirectly--I always end up loving it.
Apparently I have gifts in the mail from both
Mom and Danielle, but I have yet to receive them; in
only one more day I will be exchanging gifts with
Gabe and Suzy, but I have to finish this newsletter
today because I won’t have any time for it then--
we’re all going to see The Nutcracker.
Anyway, as usual, the day ended with the
following still hanging around: Dad and Sherri, me,
Uncle Paul, Aunt Raenae, and Jennifer. We all
decided to play the Disney trivia game that Sherri got
for Aunt Raenae, and for the most part it was quite
fun (especially since Jennifer and I actually won!).
I took the train home the next day, and when I
finally got home I discovered how dirty the cats left
the bathroom after the two days I left them in there--
they must have had quite a party while I was gone. I
then left rather quickly so I could go see Stepmom,
which was phenomenally good, and I cried through
the vast majority of the film. I then came home and
took some time to answer a letter I got from Jennifer
Miga in the mail that very day.
That evening (last night, as a matter of fact), I
had been in bed for nearly an hour when the phone
started ringing, and it happened to be Danielle. I just
crawled back into bed with the cordless and talked to
her, accepting her thanks for the presents I gave her,
which she loved (of course!). Then, after only about
fifteen minutes, some jerk started pressing on my
buzzer from outside the building--over and over and
over. I was in the dark, and in my failed attempts to
talk to the people outside, I inadvertently pressed the
“door” button and let them in. In no time there was a
knock on my door, and it the jerks turned out to be
Gabe and Suzy--who stopped by knowing full well I
would have been in bed at 12:30 at night. They stayed
for about an hour, during which time Gabe spent
much of looking up pictures of naked Italian women
on the internet with my laptop. Why, I have no idea.
He tried looking for naked pictures of Vince Vaughn
for Suzy (I have no idea why people think that man is
good looking), but couldn’t find any. Anyway, after
an hour they left and went to DV8, which they were
on their way to from the beginning--the dance club
where Barbara and I went dancing that one time
(where I danced with a guy). Once they were gone, I
just got back into bed.
This morning I went to the movies again, to
see Robin Williams in Patch Adams, which is also
quite good. Since then I have been scrambling to get a
million things done, which would include this
newsletter and would also explain why I am rushing
through it and rendering it shorter than usual. That’s
quite all right, though, I’m sure; even ten pages is
long enough for all of you, right?
There’s one other thing I almost forgot to tell
about for this month: I have started an e-mail
correspondence with a girl named Beth, who happens
to be Barbara’s daughter. She is one year older than I
am, and we seem to be really hitting it off. I quite
enjoy my correspondence with her, and I think
Barbara is very happy about this, because even Beth
has admitted a deep jealously of my relationship with
her mother. What I find the coolest about it is kind of
similar to why I so much enjoy writing to my mom’s
dad’s brother, Uncle Jim--it’s like an extension of
Barbara herself, so when Barbara passes on, I will
still have her offspring to correspond with, and in
some indirect way, these people (like my Grandpa
Minor, through Uncle Jim) will live on through the
family members who survive them. I have never even
spoken to this young woman, but I still feel as though
I have made a new friend.
In any case, that’s December--up till now; the
last week of it will be in the next issue--in a nut shell.

the writing history

I hate quotations. Just tell me what you know.

-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

. . . You guessed it! Nothing published this
month! I’m too rushed to think of anything of prose to
show you this month either, so I think I’ll just show
you all my latest poem, which Christopher sure
seemed impressed with. It was just an idea that
popped into my head, and I decided to run with it:

Columbus Was Wrong

So we minister to the natives
Until their skin shreds
Are we sinister to be festive
Right there in their beds
Tell me can we stake a claim
Where does the ownership lay
We never knew what we were headed for
Did we ever know where we were
We saw people fall off the edge of the earth
And we saw the world turn ‘round the sun
Anything was always possible
Just never thought of who we were running
History was always blind
To the fact of it repeating itself
Repeating itself
We’re far past the end of time
And I’m not even aware of myself
Aware of myself
Honey is sweet but slow
Honey pass the sweet-N-low
We live in millennia driven by dreams
We live in a time when nothing
Is what it seems
Sugar is wrong but real
Sugar can you see how I feel
Do you know how this got to the table
I’m still exploring the oceans . . .
In spite of what I left at home . . .
We’ve come a long way, baby . . .
And that’s why we’re guilty,
Right down to the bone . . .
The rate of change was always backed
By boisterous droves of misleading merriment
The building blocks of time were stacked
By people hired through falsified documents
So are we all now well-rounded
In this era of overwhelming firsts
Well we’re sure we’re grounded
In our inverted universe
If nothing else you can tell me that--
Progress is really all you found . . .
If nothing else you can tell me that--
Everything’s better all around . . .
On the contrary,
The world is really flat
On the contrary,
The natives know more than that
Listen contemporaries,
Ours are not the default hands
Our auto sanctuaries
Are on much more distant lands
But on the contrary,
There’s so much less we understand
Than that
Because the world is really flat
I said the world is really flat
I’m trying to tell you
The world is really flat
Someone left it unattended
And now the flavor is gone
Carbonation suspended
Long before we were young
The world is really flat.
(“copywrite” 9:50 pm friday december 18 1998)

. . . Chew on that for a while. (Or, of you
prefer, you can just glean over it and never really give
it a second thought.)
As for the possibility of future publishing, the
best hope was my recent e-mail exchange with
George Bakan, which doesn’t sound very promising. I
am still trying to get myself to sit down and actually
start writing the novel I have in mind. Perhaps when I
get settled into my job, and I get completely
comfortable with it, I can actually get that done.

Until then, I’m still just a person drifting at
sea, waiting for something perfect to just drift toward
me in the deep waters of the real world. Not likely to
happen any time soon--but faith still is a very
powerful thing . . .

this has been presented 2 u by matthew mcquilkin
on behalf of fruitcake enterprises
(read the fruitcake newsletter online at

P.S. Donations accepted.