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[about the author]

i actually like speaking in front of large crowds. freakish, eh?

i work crossword puzzles in ink.

i am the american nigella lawson. or maybe the american eddie izzard. can't decide, really.

i would be a really good mom, but i'm cool with being a really good aunt.

i am sometimes more perceptive than i would like to be.

i am fiercely loyal. sometimes, stupidly so.

i never play dumb. never.

i am way too hard on myself.

i am a change agent.

i sometimes cross that fine line between assertive and aggressive.

i am not afraid to tell people that i love them.

i am militantly pro-choice.

i am pro-adoption.

i know a little bit about alot of things.

i typically enjoy the company of men more than women.

i am capable of being really mean and nasty, but i fight it. hard.

i am a lifelong cubs fan. do not laugh.

i have been known to hold a grudge.

i have hips.

i am not my sister.

i am lousy at forgiving myself.

i am an indoor kind of gal.

i am a bargain shopper. to the point of obsession.

i am 32 flavors. and then some.

 
[the ones people ask about]
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[in case you were wondering]

[the blogger behind the curtain]

[100 things about me]



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[all content copyright 2007 by tequila mockingbird. seriously.]


 
1.28.2004  

out like a lamb
many of you are aware of the recent interweb saga of one bryan lamb and his plagiarism of my writing.

the whole dang-blasted internet seemed to be outraged not merely by mr. lamb's theft, but moreso by his defiance in the face of being caught. his indignation when others called on him to do the right thing and apologize. and, so, the incident took on a life of its own, as anyone who has recently googled "bryan lamb" must know.

from the beginning, i was very clear. i wanted only three things:

1. for mr. lamb to admit to what he had done.
2. for mr. lamb to apologize for what he had done.
3. for mr. lamb to remove the plagiarized work from his site.

in the absence of these three things happening, i retained legal counsel and initiated a dialogue with blogger/google regarding mr. lamb's violation of the blogger terms of use agreement by posting my copyrighted material on his blogger sites.

then, last night, i received this:

From : Bryan Lamb
Sent : Tuesday, January 27, 2004 5:06 PM
To : t_mockingbird@hotmail.com
Subject : Just thought you should know

I don't know much about you, and I figure you know even less about me. But that doesn't excuse the bonds of common decency that should be shared between two human beings. Forgetting that is understandable, breaking it consciously is not. For doing so, I apologize.
http://boywonderlives.blogspot.com/2004_01_01_boywonderlives_archive.html#107523855825041816


and, so now i have read bryan's post. and, while i appreciate his post, when i read this:

"For the inspiration I took from you that I didn't deserve, that I didn't have any claim to, that didn't belong to me, I apologize."

i had to smile just a little.

i'm sure it is embarrassing to simply say: "i was wrong. i stole the original work of someone else and claimed that i wrote it myself. and then i acted as though she was lying about it. even going to so much trouble as to make edits to the stolen material in an effort to disguise what i did instead of just doing the right thing by owning up to my mistake and removing it."

but that is exactly what happened. he did not take "inspiration" from me. he stole my words. period. no dressing it up. no draping it in terms meant to imply that i should be flattered by his plagiarism. he was not inspired. he copied and pasted.

but, even so, make no mistake: i keep my word. i asked for a public admission, and i got one. i asked for a public apology, and i got one. and, true to my word, i accept both, and am posting here for everyone to see.

one of my favorite movie lines is this one from vanilla sky: "every passing minute is another chance to turn it all around." and, while i'm sure bryan is a good guy with lots of great attributes, i was stunned that, given opportunity after opportunity, he chose not to turn this thing around. he chose, again and again, to drag this ridiculous spectacle out, incurring the wrath of the online community, flame emails and some rather-amusing-even-if-probably-untrue speculation about his genitals. it's not so much a curiousity about bryan as it is about human nature that makes me wonder what made him finally decide to do the right thing after choosing so many times to do just the opposite. first, to choose to steal. then, to choose to deny that you stole. then to choose to be rude, arrogant and unbelievably self-righteous when accused of wrongdoing. what changes in a person that makes them look at the situation and say, "okay. enough."

for the record, i've told bryan that i accept his apology, but that we still have unfinished business.

those of you who followed the saga know that nothing about the incident enraged me more than bryan's choice to steal a post that i wrote about my cousin who is hiv positive and then claim to have written it himself. then, to throw gasoline on that fire, bryan removed the post, putting up in its place a note that said that his ex-girlfriend about whom he had written the story had asked him to remove it, and he did so out of respect for her.

to my mind, at no point during this three-ring circus did the behavior get any lower than that. while that story is certainly not some prize-winning piece of work, it was important to me.

my cousin lives a life i would not wish on my worst enemy. it is a life of fear. of isolation. of pain. of pills and drug trials. she has never known what it was like to be a child because, just as aids will take her life, the disease took the innocence of childhood from her when she was diagnosed. there isn't anything i can do to make things easier for her. or anything i can do to change the lousy hand she was dealt. but the one thing i'm not-so-bad at in this whole world is writing. and, so, as tribute to her, i wrote. it was for her.

and so, while i do accept his apology, i have reminded bryan that my offer was a three-part deal: admit to what he did, apologize for what he did, and remove the plagiarized material.

and, i am willing to say we're good on counts one and two. but, that leaves us with the third part of the deal. i will speak with my attorney and ask him to bring a halt to our discussions with blogger/google if, and only if, the following conditions are met:

1. he removes the following posts as they are currently written, or extensively rewrite them so they are no longer derivative works:
100 things about me
File Under Conversations I Thought I'd Never Have

2. he removes, in its entirety, the following post:
A Few Words About HIV

these are non-negotiable. and i hope this will be the end of this entire saga.

i wonder if maybe all of this was dragged out because it was fun in some bizarre way for bryan. maybe he got some strange pleasure out of this entire ordeal -- the attention, the site visits, the emails, the internet infamy. i don't know. can't pretend to understand. maybe this was all just some illustrative life lesson about the choices we make, and how every choice is a chance for us to turn it all around. to learn something about ourselves that maybe we don't necessarily want to know. about how we can be defined by our choices, for better or for worse, in the eyes of others. to learn that doing the right thing isn't always easy, but, in the end, doing the right thing with honor and integrity is always, without fail, better than not.

or maybe it was a just a big joke to him. truth is, i'll never know.

but, whatever the case, i accept and appreciate the apology, and i sincerely wish him all the best.

------
note: i visited bryan's site today, and it appears that he has now removed the plagiarized material. i thank bryan, and am glad that we can now call it a day.
| [tell me about it] | [link to this entry]

1.21.2004  

conversations with dmv employees, or "things that make my head explode" - part one in a seemingly endless series
welcome to geico! in order to finish processing your request for a new auto policy, we need the following information:

- your georgia driver’s license number

please contact us with this information so we can complete your request.


huh. my georgia driver’s license number. well. that’s something. my georgia driver’s license number. no idea what that could be.

see, i don’t have a georgia driver’s license number anymore. mostly because i do not have a georgia driver’s license anymore. i have a maryland driver’s license. and, when you get your maryland driver’s license, you have to surrender your old license. that’s the term they use. “surrender.” i love it. it sounds so dramatic. like you’re making some huge sacrifice. surrender! i surrender my license to you, oh lord baltimore.

so, you can see how it might be impossible for me to give them my georgia driver’s license number.

“thank you for calling geico, how may i help you?”

“i received an email from you guys asking for my old driver’s license number. from the state i used to live in. but, i don’t have that license anymore…is that something i can authorize them to release to you, or do you know what i’ll need to do?”

“what state was it?”

“georgia.”

“ooohhh. yeah. they won’t give that to us. Yeah, georgia won’t release that information to us. you’ll have to contact the georgia dmv and get that from them. they won’t release that to us.”

“so, they won’t release that to you?”

what? i couldn’t resist.

“no. just give them a call.”

“okay, thanks.”

now, there are few things in this world that i dread more than anything involving the words “department of motor vehicles.” maybe things involving the word “colon” or “pierce.” but it’s really too close to call.

“georgia department of motor vehicles.”

okay, right there…notice the total absence of any phrase even remotely resembling “may i help you?” not even “how may i direct your call.” not even “what the hell do you want?” nothing.

“i’m a former georgia resident, and i surrendered [so dramatic!] my georgia license when i moved to maryland. i’m getting new insurance, and they need my georgia driver’s license number. so, do you guys have that on record?”

“uh huh.”

“great! wonderful! okay, what will i need to do in order to get that information? i went to your web site but i didn’t see an option to request my driving records online….”

“you need to come in to the office and we’ll just tell it to you.”

i’m pretty sure i mentioned that part where i moved to maryland. and, furthermore “we’ll just tell it to you” doesn’t sound very…official.

“well, coming in to the office might be a bit tough for me…i’m in maryland now. so…”

[silence]

“so…”

[silence]

“so…uh…is there another option for me to get that information?”

“i can mail it to you.”

i’m not trying to be ugly here when i say that i’ve seen the lightning speed with which governmental agencies tend to operate. i’ve been a state government employee. it’s glacial. you can put sod on your ass and grow tulips faster than you can get something in the mail from the department of motor vehicles.

“how about faxing? can i fax the request to you and then get the information via fax?”

“no.”

“no?”

“no. it’s not secure. we don’t have any way of knowing where we’re faxing it to.”

i’m just not up for a fight. it’s the dmv. it’s like the borg in star trek: resistance is futile.

“okay, i guess we’ll just do mail then. is there a form i can print off and fill out and send in?”

“i don’t need a form. just give me your address.”

so, i give her my mailing address, and wait. what am i waiting for? i’m waiting for her to ask me my social security number. or my date of birth. or even the address i lived at in georgia. something. anything.

“okay. i’ll send that out to you.”

“wait.”

and i’m torn. do i ask questions that might antagonize the borg, thereby ensuring that i never receive my information? never. ever. ever. i don’t want to make it angry, or give it the impression that i’m somehow opposed to assimilation, but i’m just sure that she must have forgotten something. i mean, how can she know which one of me i am? like, what if there is more than one person with my name – she didn’t even ask for my middle name.

how can she be sure this is really me asking for the information?

i can’t stand it.

“excuse me, but i’m a little confused.”

“confused?”

“well, sort of, yes. i mean, i don’t really understand how this is more secure than maybe faxing it to me. i mean, i just gave you an address – it could be any address. i could give you a fax number, and it could be any fax number, so i guess i just don’t understand why we can’t…i mean, i don’t understand how this is better. or more secure.”

“so, is that a fake address or something? that one you gave me.”

“no, it’s not, i mean…what i was trying to say was…”

oh, forget it. that’s what the voices in my head are screaming. just forget it. but the voice coming out of my mouth just keeps right on going.

“…and, i guess i also don’t understand how you can figure out who i am. or be sure i am really me. i mean, don’t you need to know something that will help you find me in the system? i mean, all you have is my name…just my first and last name. not even my middle name.”

[silence]

“that’s a good point. okay…how about you give me your georgia driver’s license number and i could look you up that way.”
| [tell me about it] | [link to this entry]

1.20.2004  

i'm hoping there's a gift basket. please let there be a gift basket. please oh please oh please.
so, remember the other day when i was like, "hey, go nominate your favorite blogs for the bloggie awards because there needs to be some new blood on the ballot, and it makes people feel good and stuff"?

well, i know that probably seemed like a very veiled sort of plea for me to get nominated.

but, it wasn't.

really.

i swear.

but, despite the lack of a thinly veiled plea, i've learned that i have, in fact, been nominated. that's right, i received a nomination in the "best kept secret blog" category. which is also sometimes called the "blog you've never heard of" category. or "here are some blogs no one ever reads...pick one at random."

so, i put up a new logo in honor of my honor. it's a bit cheeky. tongue-y in cheek-y. although i have no idea why the bird is wearing a beret. he's so unpredictable that way. has a mind of his own. a bit pretentious. and the smoking? no idea what's up with the smoking.

there is a downside to being nominated [other than trying to figure out where i'm going to store all of the designer gowns that will surely be arriving at my door any day now. annyny day now. any. day. now.]. i'm feeling a little bittersweet because none of the fabulous blogs i nominated made it onto the ballot.

well, with one exception: broken type

and here's the real kicker: he's nominated in the same category i am.

so, uh...is it wrong for me to say that i'm now rethinking having nominated him?

yes?

oh.

i'm thinking about submitting a proposal asking that i be moved to another category since i really don't want to compete with broken type. 'cause he's way better than i am. and will crush me. deservedly, yes, but crush me nonetheless.

maybe best asian blog. or best non-weblog content of a weblog [note: is it just me? is that category totally mystifying to anyone else? i mean, what the heck is "non-weblog content"?! once you put "non-weblog content" on your weblog, doesn't it become, by definition, weblog content? 'cause now it's on a weblog. very confusing to me. very.]. or maybe just come up with a totally new category. maybe "best weblog that was plagiarized by bryan lamb." no, wait...greg would win that one.

okay, how about "best weblog with a title that is a pun on a piece of classic american literature"? or "weblog that doesn't keep up with its links very well"? "best weblog that doesn't link to wil wheaton"? "a weblog that isn't as good as dooce"? uh...okay, how about "weblog that has been around long enough to have its own domain but still mooches off of blogger's free service"?

eh.

okay, best-kept secret it is, then.

unfortunately, there is no write-in feature, or i'd launch a grass roots campaign the likes of which would make howard dean even more angry than he already is and would give the bloggies more of an independent spirit award vibe.

maybe next year.

in the meantime, i'll just say: thank you very much to those of you who nominated me. i'm really flattered. and honored. and honestly surprised. and, at the risk of sounding cliche, it really is an honor just to be nominated.

and, at the risk of not sounding cliche, it's an even bigger honor to win.

what? it is. come on. you know it is.
| [tell me about it] | [link to this entry]

1.16.2004  

oh, it's not over 'till it's over
i received several comments and emails -- all of which were very nice and constructive -- about yesterday's post. some folks said it was too easy to see the denouement coming. it was a bit telegraphed. a tad predictable.

and, i can't argue with that.

i mean, yeah, it's easy to see now. wish it had been easy to see then.

but, see, there's something you didn't know -- couldn't possibly have known. and that is that yesterday's post was only part one.

so, now...here is part two.



the next morning, i felt horrible. i tossed and turned all night after tiptoeing around my apartment all evening. i hadn't wanted the nice family downstairs to think i was insane and loud.

i felt like i needed to apologize to jose. not only for dragging him out in the cold, but also for running away and leaving him there to explain what the hell had happened.

i tried to think of a way i could make the whole thing up to him.

cash?

not possible.

sex?

uh, no.

food?

now, food, i can do.

so, i baked a pan of brownies, wrapped them up and headed off to the office to find jose.

i walked in to find two of the property representatives chatting in the office.

"can i help you?" the perky blonde one asked.

"well, i wanted to come in and tell you what a huge help one of the maintenance guys was to me the other night."

"well, that's always good to hear."

"i got home late, and i was freezing, and i couldn't get into my apartment, and it was just such a relief to walk into the office at 7:00 and see someone sitting there to help me!"

"huh. that's pretty unusual. i mean, the maintenance office usually closes at 6:00."

i thought back, remembering how relaxed jose had looked, chatting on his cell phone with his feet up on the desk. now i felt even worse -- he hadn't even been officially on the clock and yet he came out to help me and ended up in the middle of laverne-and-shirley-grade antics.

"well, that just means i owe jose an even bigger thanks! i baked him these brownies...is he here?"

the brunette in the red turtleneck got up from her chair.

"did you say 'jose'?" she asked.

"yes. jose was the one who helped me."

the two women exchanged glances. they looked confused.

"what? what's wrong?" i asked.

the blonde looked at me.

"i'm afraid that's not possible."

"what do you mean?"

"jose died in a horrible key-grinding accident three years ago ."



oh, you know i'm just having fun with you crazy kids.

---------


in other news, since several of you have asked, i heard back from blogger that they are investigating my dmca claim of copyright infringement against bryan lamb and will be in touch shortly with their findings. if they don't come through, i'll figure out my next step and take it from there. thanks to everyone for your continued support!
| [tell me about it] | [link to this entry]

1.15.2004  

the following story is true. i wish i could change my name to protect the clueless, but it's a little late for that. no animals were harmed during the, uh, creating of this story. unless, of course, by "animal" you mean "my pride." in which case, extensive harm was done.
yesterday was a long day. it was cold. i was cranky. traffic was lousy. overall, just a long day.

as i pulled into the parking garage much later than usual, my cell phone rang. it was someone from my office with a question for me that definitely could have waited until this morning. the higher i went into the garage, the worse my cell reception was getting.

“listen, i’m going to lose you,” i said, trying to focus on making the turn without removing the ass end of the silver saab parked at the end of the row.

“hmand rffsho arunst tomorrow.”

“uh, okay. thanks.”

i fumbled with the phone and the steering wheel and the oncoming car.

“god, i hate people who try and talk and drive. just put down the phone and drive,” i admonished myself.

as i rounded the corner, i found a pleasant surprise.

“shut. up. i guess coming home late has its advantages.”

there was my parking spot – with an empty space on either side. typically, by the time i get home, the two spots beside mine are already occupied. and, with as much charity as i feel like doling out this morning, i’ll just tell you that neither one of the chicks who parks beside me knows how to park a car.

yes, there are two yellow lines. but that’s just for decoration, girls. your car should be inside the inner yellow lines. please. i’m begging you.

so, i was very pleased indeed to see plenty of space for me to slide right into my parking spot and actually open my door in such a way as to be able to get out of my car without contorting my body into a pretzel-like shape. i grabbed my bags and walked across the ramp that connects the garage to the apartment building.

this is one of my favorite things about the place where i live: i have an assigned spot on the same floor as my apartment. where i lived before, i had four flights of stairs. steep. small. stairs. now? no stairs. no fuss. no muss. no worry about finding a spot. it’s parking nirvana.

as i strolled down the corridor toward my apartment – it’s the farthest from the garage – i couldn’t help but smile as i noticed the little snowman on my neighbor’s door.

“man, that nutty lady is even nuttier than i thought she was. she’s so nutty that she actually put a christmas decoration up on her door after christmas. although, it is just a snowman, so i guess, technically, it’s not a christmas decoration. you could argue the point that it’s just a winter decoration. still, though, that is nutty.”

yeah, i talk to myself like this all the time.

i finally get to my apartment and put down my bags. i’m exhausted and cold and i just want to go inside and take a nice hot bath and eat something. i’m thinking specifically of the slab of chocolate layer cake left over from my dinner out with my girlfriends the night before.

as visions of fudgy-cocoa delight dance through my head, i slip my key into the lock and…nothing. it won’t turn. i pull the key out and look at it. why i look at it, i’m not really sure. maybe i thought i had been distracted by my chocolate cake fantasy and had inadvertently stuck the wrong key in the lock. i mean, what else could i have been looking for? to make sure the end of the key hadn’t somehow mysteriously broken off? i don’t know. but i look at it, and it looks okayfine to me. so i slide it back into the lock and…nothing.

“shitgoddamnmotherfuck.”

i can’t believe this. i must be cursed. when i lived at my last apartment, the same thing happened. first, my key started sticking a bit. then, one day when i came home with about $20,000 in frozen foods, i slipped my key into my lock and…nothing. it wouldn’t turn. as a matter of fact, it wouldn’t even come out of the lock. so i sat there, waiting for the maintenance man, reading instyle and watching my bagel bites defrost into a sad gooey artificially pizza-flavored mess.

but, this was ridiculous. what are the chances that one girl would have the same thing happen again?! i grab my bags and head back down the hall, cursing under my breath. actually, over my breath, too.

i walk past my car and straight to the elevator. i get in, press the ground floor button and walk across the street to the maintenance office.

jose is sitting at his desk with his feet up, talking on his cell phone. he sees me come in and hangs up.

“jose! what the hell is up with my key?”

“que?”

key. my key. i know i paid my rent, so it’s not that. i think the lock must be broken. jammed up. or something. i don’t know. jose, i’m tired and crabby, and i want to take a hot bath and eat chocolate cake. can you please come fix my lock?”

so, jose smiles at me and gets up and we go outside. i’m heading back across the street toward the elevator, but jose gestures to me to hop in his little white maintenance truck, and i’m all for bumming a ride.

“this is just so crazy. i just went though this at my old apartment where i used to live. what are the chances that i’d get two bum locks?”

there’s some guy singing in spanish on the radio, and jose doesn’t really seem to be moved by my plight, but i’m still glad to be riding instead of walking.

we make the turn into the parking garage, heading up the ramp. i see my car and, amazingly, both parking spots beside it are still empty.

“there’s my car, right there jose. you can just pull in right here.”

we get out and walk down the long corridor.

once we get to the door, he reaches for his keys.

“wait a second. i want to show you so you don’t think i’m crazy.”

and i take out my key and slide it into the lock. again: nothing.

“there. thank god. i was so afraid that somehow, some way, now that you’re here it would just magically open and you’d think i was nuts! and i’d feel all bad about making you come out in the cold.”

and he’s just staring at me and smiling, waiting for me to finish so he can open my door and fix my lock. and i realize that my little show-and-tell might have exonerated me for making him come out in the cold in the first place, but running my mouth ad nauseum about making him come out in the cold is just making him stand out here in the cold. which sort of defeats the purpose. so i shut up.

“okay. it’s all yours.”

so, he takes out a key and slides it into the lock. i see his wrist start to twist to the side, and then, just like magic: the key is turning.

i hear the deadbolt slide, and he turns the knob and opens the door.

and, at first, i am very confused, because:

1. that is not my furniture.
2. that is not my family sitting in front of the television

the little boy on the floor turns and sees us in the doorway and says something in spanish to his father. the whole family turns to look at us.

things get a little confusing at this point, what with people jumping up and voices getting kind of loud, and a whole lot of spanish being spoken.

jose is trying to explain and the husband and wife seem to be, uh, very excited. and, although my spanish is a little rusty, i’m pretty sure i heard the word “loco” more than once.

while they’re talking, i try and explain that i seem to have made a teeny tiny mistake, but since they don’t seem to be paying any attention to me, i just turn and high-tail it down the corridor toward my car. i get in and head up one floor to find the familiar maroon sebring and blue audi in their usual spots.

yeah.

all i know is, thank god i showed jose that my key wouldn’t open the door so he wouldn’t think i was nuts.
| [tell me about it] | [link to this entry]

1.13.2004  

not enough words
by now you know quite a bit about me. and about my family. you’ve heard all about my dad’s penchant for boy bands. and about his stroke.

you’ve heard all about my sister’s endless acts of brutality against me as a child. ahem and about her cancer diagnosis.

of course, you know all about my grandmother and my grandfather.

you've even heard all about my uncle david.

but you don’t know anything about my mom.

and, reading through the posts, i have to tell you that i was very surprised to find that i haven’t told you anything about my mom. because, really, she’s the most important person in the world to me.

she was 19 when i was born. a catholic girl who wanted desperately to make her parents happy, but couldn’t quite hide the fact that she was a free spirit. it was the 60s after all. late 60s, people. not that i care about that age thing, but it was the late 60s.

i know that, when she found out she was pregnant with me, she told her parents that she was going to have me and raise me on her own. that meant she wouldn’t be going to college and pursuing her dream of being a writer.

but, her parents wouldn’t hear of it. there would be a marriage. there would be a marriage right away.

and, so, my mother married my father. a man she didn’t love. a man who didn’t love her. and they began their life together with no love, no money and a baby on the way.

she was the best mom you can imagine. the hot mom. the cool mom. the mom about whom all the other kids said, “man, i wish my mom was like your mom.”

and so that’s who i thought she was. the mom who encouraged us to be creative. who always had paints and glue for us. the mom who encouraged us to play. who took us to drama classes. and dance classes. and softball practice. and gymnastics. because we wanted to try everything and she wanted us to be able to find our bliss. even at the age of 10. she always found the time. and almost as remarkable, the money.

it was years later when i found the notebooks. page after page filled with my mother’s perfect cursive writing, the product of nuns with very high expectations and wooden rulers. there were poems. and stories. character sketches. essays.

and, at first, i was confused. i had been digging around trying to find her copy of how to make love to a man so my friends and i could sit out under the big poplar tree on the hill and eat pixie sticks and practice french kissing with amy’s brother.

but, instead, i found these…words. so, along with the modern masterpiece from alexandra penney, i slipped out the back door with a mead spiral notebook under my arm. i was so curious and anxious to read them that i could barely focus on amy’s brother all afternoon.

later that night, i sat in my bed with a flashlight, reading under the covers. it was my habit, and drew no suspicions from my mom.

but there, underneath my blankets, a new world was opening up to me.

it felt as though, at the age of 13, i was meeting my mother for the first time.

there she was on these pages. page after page of her life, perfectly written in blue ballpoint pen.

there, i read of her fears. how afraid she was that something would happen to me. and, when i was born with complications, how afraid she was that it had somehow been her fault. she worried that she was too young and might not know how to take care of me.

i read, too, about how tired she was. she worked at a department store. a sales girl in the cosmetics department, working eight hours on her feet every day until the day before i was born. she was exhausted from trying to care for me on her own. although they had married, my father was disengaged. he had recently returned from vietnam, and was restless. the war had changed him. he was closed. quiet. moody. he brought back memories and flashbacks and nightsweats and shrapnel. and he wasn’t ready to be a husband or a father. he was still a kid himself.

i read of her longing to go back to school.

of the man she truly loved – the love of her life. and how she pushed him away inexplicably. a youthful mistake that never had the chance to be corrected. how he loved her still until the day he died unexpectedly. and how her heart broke.

i devoured the notebook. i read it so quickly that i read it twice. i wanted to read it yet again, letting the cadence of her words wash over me and carry me away to the life she left behind. but, i was afraid of being discovered, so i crept back into her room to return it to its place high on the shelf in the back of the closet. and, as i reached up into the dark corner, i felt them. the others. six more. and so, every night, i poured over them, hungry to learn more about her. looking for something. but not knowing what it was.

it wasn’t until years later that i told her i had read her journals.

“let me guess. you were looking for my sex books?”

“you are an amazing writer,” i told her. partly because i didn’t want to answer the question, but mostly because it is true.

“are you disappointed?” i asked her.

“in what? that you were looking for the sex books? or that you read my personal writing without asking my permission?”

“that you never became a writer. is that why you encourage me to write? so i can do what you couldn’t? i mean, don’t you regret everything you gave up?”

and i saw that my words stung her a little, although i hadn’t meant them to.

“when you were a baby, i poured myself into you. i whispered into your ears at night, telling you how much i love you. telling you my hopes and dreams for you. and those hopes and dreams were not that you would become the writer i never did. those hopes and dreams were the same hopes and dreams that every mother has for her children: that you would be happy. that is my hope for you. that you will find happiness in this life.”

and i hugged her.

“not that it would kill you to write a book.”

there are so many things to tell you about my mother.

how she worked two retail jobs just so i could have a pair of jordache jeans.

how she taught me to shave my legs when some mean girl made fun of me in junior high.

how, when i was upset because i had to wear “special” shoes and they weren’t stylish like the other girls’ shoes, she bought a pair of saddle oxfords for herself and wore them just to make me feel better.

how she made me the best cleopatra costume for halloween the year i was in fifth grade, using only stuff we found at yard sales for less than fifty cents.

how she taught all my girlfriends to tie-dye t-shirts and braid hair and do cartwheels and sing joan baez songs.

how she worked when most moms didn’t but still found time to make cupcakes from scratch and be the best homeroom mom ever.

how she would move my legs through the stretches the physical therapist said we had to do every night and how she would cry when i screamed that it hurt and begged her to stop.

but i find myself at a loss.

i know that she will read this. i recently gave her the information about my site. and i know that she will tell me how proud she is of me. of course, she’ll also lecture me about my prolific use of the word “fuck.”

but i just don’t know if all the words i could type would ever come close to telling you about my mother. and about my hopes and dreams for her: that she has found happiness in this life.
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1.11.2004  

as the bloggies turn....
the bloggies are as close to an "official" awards-type thing that you can find for blogs. at least that's what someone told me. i mean, you'll find the occasional award-type thing here and there, but this one -- officially called the weblog awards, is the one that gets the most attention in the blog community.

at least i think it is. again: just what someone told me.

anyway, last year the bloggies were the best soap opera in all of the interweb. there was drama. there was turmoil. there were allegations of things unsavory. scandals. name-calling. and, although no one turned up pregnant with their husband's father's baby, it was still pretty damn fun to watch. in a pathetic "good god, what is wrong with these people?" kind of way.

but one good thing about all the drama was that i paid attention to the bloggies. and, by paying attention, i found some really terrific blogs that i hadn't read before.

and, hey, why don't i say blog again?! gah. i actually hate that word. but, hey, what are you gonna call 'em, you know?

so, i promised myself that this year i'd try and spread the word to folks about the nominations being opened. that way the nominations might find some new blog-blood this year. one of the "scandals" of last year's competition was that the nominations seemed to include certain "blog-cliques." the interweb is a biiig place. need to spread the nomination love around, folks.

the problem for me was that, about the time the nominations opened up, i found out about this whole ridiculous plaigiarizing thing. so, i focused on that for a few days. then, i thought it seemed kind of gross to post about the nominations in the middle of all of the hullabaloo. sort of like, "thanks for coming to express your moral outrage...and by the way, there are nominations being taken for the weblog awards. i mean, i'm not saying you should nominate me...i just wanted to tell you about it."

riiight.

anyway, it seemed gross. but, i have to go ahead and spread the word now or forever hold my peace. well, at least hold it for a year. because the nomination window closes at 10:00 pm eastern time on monday, january 12.

so, you gotta get busy, folks.

and why should you? because the way this thing works, your favorite blogs won't even make it to the ballot, let alone to the winner's circle, without your input. it's sort of a weird process, really, but here's how it works:

general nominations are taken until 10:00 pm monday. then, a panel of 12 will receive a list of the blogs that received the most nominations in each category [note: i have no idea how many are on that list...it's sort of unclear on the site]. then, that panel selects the five from that list to go on the final ballot.

yeah, i know...it seems a little complicated to me, too. but, hey...what do i know?

there are 30 categories -- some as broad as best blog of the year and some as narrow as best article or essay about weblogs. you can nominate up to three blogs in each category. be sure to include the url informaiton where applicable. and, you have to nominate at least three different weblogs on your ballot...so, you can't just nominate yourself, and only yourself, in every category and submit that. well, you can. but it won't count.

and, if you just have to nominate yourself, do keep in mind that the total nominations for your own blog on your own ballot must be less than one third of your total [legitimate] nominations. and, last but not least, there is no limit to the number of categories a blog may be nominated for.

so, ready to fill out your form? yeah, me too. and here are just a couple of blogs that will be included on mine. [note: just because you're not listed here doesn't mean you're not on my nomination form. this is a random sampling. i still love you. don't cry. or, even more importantly, don't send me emails saying that i am now dead to you because i didn't include you here. trust me: i nominated you. all of you. well, except you. and that other guy. the one in st. louis.]

remember: if you don't submit your nominations, it just turns into another year of nothing but texas blogs on the ballot. and no one wants to see that. again.

just a few from my form....

witt and wisdom
geese aplenty
eurotrash
gimcracker
le petit hiboux
off-topic
brightness falls
bryan adams blog
broken type
this fish needs a bicycle
stutarded
autoblography

okay, i'm tired of the whole href thing, so i'm stopping here.

nominate your brains out, people!

[note: okay, so someone emailed me and said "what about the diarist awards?!" and i said "'diarist' makes me giggle!" and they said, "you're such a dork." a statement fraught with truth. so, there are also the diarist awards, which seem to be more focused on writing than technology stuff, which is very, very cool. and they're currently accepting nominations, too.]
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1.09.2004  

coda
although today's [first] post addresses the ongoing saga of copyright infringement that has been documented and discussed here over the past several days, that's not all i have for you today. i have some inane-and-shameless-blog-pimping to do as well. so, stand by for that.

after all, there's more to a blog than simple legal battles.

- as of 11:00 pm last night, bryan lamb must have been tired of your emails because he made a few changes.

some of them are just enough to make it a little harder for me to prove what he did. for example:

my original:
82. i own more than 100 lipsticks and lip glosses. it's a sickness.

bryan's plagiarized material as it appeared on his site on january 7th, 2004 [based on dated printed pages as well as a date-and-time-stamped html file]:
"82. I own about 20 hats....it's a sickness."

and, now, bryan's changed material as it appears on his site as of this morning:
"82. I own about 20 baseball team hats.....can't.....stop......"

so, you can see, this is clearly different.

and, to those other bloggers whose copyright bryan is infringing: he has only changed the material he stole from me. no changes have been made to the other plagiarized material on his site.

and, although he did make those edits and deletions, he has made no apologies. no admissions. offered no explanations. not that there are any reasonable explanations, but you always hope that a person is going to come through and do the right thing. or at least i do. i can be more than a bit naive.

furthermore, the posted explanation for why he removed the plagiarized hiv story left me nauseated. it is an affront not only to me, but to my cousin, about whom the post was written.

but, at least my words do not appear on his page now. and that's probably the best i'll be able to do.

- blogger responded! maybe not as quickly as i would have liked, but, let's be honest: i wanted the plagiarized material down about 15 seconds after i saw it. they sent me with an email explaining their process for filing a notice of copyright infringement with them and requesting the removal of the material in question. despite bryan's edits, i have provided all relevant material to them and proceeded with my formal complaint in an effort to make them aware that this person has displayed a pattern of copyright infringement. blogger coould -- and should -- make this information more easily available on their site, as the issue of copyright infringement is obviously -- and sadly -- becoming increasingly widespread. i will post the information blogger provided to me and provide a permanent link on the left so blogger members will have the information they need to take quick action against those who violate their copyright protection.

- speaking of links, many of you [list to follow] were kind enough to devote space on your blogs to making others aware of this incident, linking to the related posts and encouraging others to speak up. i don't think bryan would have made even the minor changes he has without the pressure that i believe he must have been feeling from the blogging community. i feel compelled to single out sour bob for his in-your-face approach. not only did he display, um...conviction, but he did something maybe even more important: he brought the numbers.

bob gets massive traffic. readership that makes my head spin just thinking about it. big numbers. so, when bob speaks...people listen. and, based on the referral traffic my site meter showed, bob's readers listened in droves. i love you, bob.

in addition to sour bob, i'd like to thank the following [note: if i missed you, believe me it was only an oversight...my referral list was spinning so quickly yesterday i had a hard time keeping up. if i overooked you and you would like me to add you, please just let me know]:

both 2 and
still tilting
digital catharsis
dotopian
gldn
blog on the run
mr. treacher
juliet speaks
girl from another planet
lemonsplash
planet roxy
purple goddess
the renee chronicles
sangria is satan's sauce
willie mcmillen
biker bitch rose
custom deluxe
girly shoes
kebabylon
scam city
sken.be
subliminal silence
tom bridge
prometheus unleashed
prints the chaff
twilight blog

thanks, too, to all of you who sent emails, who posted comments, who offered money[!!], who offered legal services...you overwhelmed me. i've been writing here for over a year now, and, honestly, i love it. some days more than others. but, i have to say that this outpouring of support made me feel more appreciated and more connected to my readership than i have felt in a while. really. just overwhelming. thank you.

- next up: my legal dream team. i know many of you thought i might be bluffing, what with my obsession with poker and all, but no -- i really did have a lawyer. actually, not just one, but two. both of whom now know more about me than i wish they did, both of whom were mad as hell on my behalf, both of whom engaged in mockery and outrage with me in an effort to make me feel better, and both of whom would have been worthy champions had we had to fight the good fight. really, they're both great guys, incredibly snappy dressers, and i'm sure that, if push comes to shove and somehow this thing turns out to be not-so-over-yet...they'll do this pro bono. or at least at a reduced rate. ahem. anyway, you could do me a big favor and go over and visit the personal site of one of my knights in shining armor. it's new. there's not much content...except a really interesting legal analysis of the lord of the rings. no, i'm not kidding. anyway, it would make his day if you'd just click over for even a minute.

- lastly: read more about it. visit these sites to learn more about the protections available to you in maintaining the integrity of your creative work:

creative commons
what is copyright?
lawgirl explains copyright
the us copyright office

if you're interested in exploring the idea of monitoring copyright infringement and plagiarism in the world of blogs, email brendon volpe [fraudblogAThotmail.com].

thanks again to everyone. hopefully, this chapter is closed. but, if anything else develops, know that i'll be sure to keep you posted. and put up a paypal link.

and, now, on with the show....
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1.08.2004  

gut check
first up, as always, a huge thanks to everyone who has sent supportive emails and posted encouraging comments. some of you are famliar faces. others are new to me. but you all came through for me in a big way, and i'm very very grateful.

when i discovered that my writing was being plagiarized, i was stunned. the blogosphere has always seemed to me to be populated with people who celebrate the medium as a way to be heard. to express themselves. to discover and celebrate the talents of others. and, of course, to argue about politics.

as i explained yesterday, i sent an email to mr. lamb asking him to immediately remove the plagiarized material. when he didn't respond, either by reply or by removing the illegally reproduced material, i decided to see if i could catch more flies with vinegar than with honey.

as many of you are aware, it appears that neither honey nor vinegar nor threat of legal action will convince mr. lamb to remove the material which he has stolen from me -- and from others. [please note that i do not presume to speak on behalf of anyone else from whom mr. lamb has plagiarized. the incomparable greg howard is much more laid back than i. plus he's really good at speaking for himself should he choose to do so. because his writing is like whoa.]

however, the vinegar did accomplish one thing that the honey didn't: an email response from mr. lamb.

in his response, received last night, mr. lamb informed me that he has retained an attorney and is considering filing a civil action against me for "slander and defamation of character."

there are a number of things i'm tempted to say here. many of you who know me can probably well-imagine what some of the words are that i'm tempted to type. how i'm tempted to show you just who put the "mock" in mockingbird.

but, instead, i'm going to do something much harder than ridiculing the ridiculous.

i'm going to stand my ground.

it doesn't make sense financially. probably is going to be a logistical nightmare. but there is no way i am walking away from this. i can't do it. it is not in me to walk away from a fight in which i know, without question, without doubt, that i am right. and, at the risk of proving bryan lamb right in his allegation that i am pretentious, i'll tell you something else:

this isn't just about me and the writing on my pages. because if i don't stop him from stealing my writing [and greg's], he'll just steal yours too. and then someone will see that he gets away with it, and they'll start stealing for their site too. and then there's no stopping it. and then people who are creative and afraid of having their work stolen will stop blogging. because what's the point? if intellectual theft goes unchecked then the integrity of the creative process is gone. i no longer have control over my work. i no longer have pride in having created something.

as a writer, and i do claim to be one, nothing is more sacred to me than my words. they are my voice. my contribution -- even if only a very small way. as anyone who writes knows, those thoughts, those words -- they are part of you. sometimes they are born out of hours of anguish and struggle. other times they flow as easily as water downhill. but, regardless, they bear the indelible imprint of the soul who gave them life.

and no one is going to steal that from me.

i had hoped this would be resolved quickly. i'm sorry that it apparently will not be.

after reading blogger's terms of service documentation, i contacted blogger.com and notified them that mr. lamb's sites -- which are hosted on their servers -- are in violation of my copyright. i have asked them to remove the plagiarized materials from their servers. as i know many of you are blogger members, i am sure you are anxious to hear their response, so as soon as i hear from them i will inform you of their action.

furthermore, i have provided all documentation, including copies of my original work and mr. lamb's plagiarized materials, all email communications related to this matter as well as the site visit information regarding mr. lamb's visits to my site, to my attorney this morning. he is reviewing the materials and will advise me of how best to proceed in this matter once his review of those materials is complete.

i have no desire to be a torch-bearer for the blogging community. having said that, i would encourage you to follow the example of bill coughlan, tom mangan and several others who have taken this opportunity to shine a bright light on what has the potential to become an issue of intellectual theft on a massive scale. the more bloggers know, the more bloggers can educate themselves and ask for the protection their intellectual property deserves.

and so it begins. i'm only sorry that it has to.
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1.06.2004  

who’s runnin’ the show now, motherfucker?
allow me to introduce you to bryan lamb.

bryan is 25 years-old. he lives in st. louis, missouri. he went to duchesne high school where he played football and graduated in 1997. bryan is training for a triathalon. bryan’s favorite saying is “runnin’ the show.” thankfully, bryan explains what “runnin’ the show” means on his website no worries, man!:

“for those who are completely without a sense of 'coolness', "runnin' the show" in bryan-speak will mean having a good time, having fun, etc.”


no worries, man! is just one of bryan’s websites. he has three! bryan must be very busy with all those websites! i can barely manage to come up with original posts for one website, let alone three! way to go, bryan!

i know other things about bryan lamb, thanks to his “100 things about me” list on his website boy wonder lives! and he writes too!

according to bryan, this was a really tough piece of writing:

“new post on my writing website: 100 things about me....it was harder than you might think, coming up with that much stuff, so of course a bunch of random shit started jumping out of my brain towards the end.”

here are just a few highlights from bryan’s list:

i think i would be a really great dad, but right now i’m cool with being a really great uncle.(#63)
nothing pisses me off more than a closed mind...(#23)
i love riding roller coasters.(#24)
i love to make out.(#28)
i don’t look like anyone famous.(#29)
i will watch any baseball or college football game.(#30)
i love potatoes…mashed, baked, french fried, you name it.(#41)
i always know whodunit.(#42)
fall is my favorite season.(#43)
i wish i was fluent in french.(#46)
and italian.(#47)
i hate it when people tell me what to do (just ask, it’s nicer!).(#48)
s'mores? oh, hell yeah!(#50)
i am fiercely loyal. sometimes, stupidly so.(#65)
i never play dumb. ever.(#66)
i am way too hard on myself.(#67)
i sometimes cross that fine line between assertive and aggressive.(#69)
i am not afraid to tell people that i love them. (#70)
i am pro-adoption.(#72)
i know a little bit about a lot of things.(#73)
i am capable of being really mean and nasty, but i fight it, really hard.(#76)
i set high standards for myself in all areas of my life, and i often expect others to do the same...without ever telling them.(#83)
i’ve never read war and peace.(#84)
i’ve always had a feeling that i’m going to die relatively young, but i don’t let it interfere with my day-to-day life.(#91)
i worry that i'm "supposed" to be doing something great...like world-changing great. but i have no idea what it is.(#92)
i try and do the right thing. all the time. and it’s hard.(#94)

man, bryan lamb and i sure do have a lot in common! i mean, if you take a look at my 100 things about me list, i think you’ll see that bryan and i are incredibly similar! as a matter of fact, to help you see how similar we are, i put a number after each item from bryan’s list – that number is the number of that exact same item on my list! it’s amazing!

but, wait! there’s more!

i was so intrigued by bryan’s list that i started reading some of his posts. first up is this hilarious piece from no worries, man! take a look:

“yeah, so i watched the two minutes of footage of the capture of saddam hussein....he's one ugly m-f'er!

the funny thing was, at some point, some official or other made the comment that the capture of hussein was the best christmas gift he could imagine giving to the american people.

first off, i'm pretty sure that not all of the american people celebrate christmas.....way to be inclusive there, asshat! but, hey, at least you didn't say it was the best christmas gift we could have given to the iraqi people!

but, i digress.

anyway, while i'm all for ridding the world of sadistic murdering dictators, i just have to say, for the record, that i think a whole lot of us would have also been psyched about an ipod.

then again, maybe that's just me.....”


damn, that bryan is hilarious!

as i wiped the tears from my eyes, i thought, “you know, it seems like i had the very same thought myself!” and, whaddya know...turns out i sure as hell did:

for about three hours this weekend, i watched the two minutes of footage of the capture of saddam hussein.

at some point, some official or other made the comment that the capture of hussein was the best christmas gift he could imagine giving to the american people.

first up, i'm pretty sure that not all of the american people celebrate christmas. way to be inclusive there, asshat. but, hey, at least you didn't say it was the best christmas gift we could have given to the iraqi people.

but, i digress.

anyway, while i'm all for ridding the world of sadistic murdering dictators, i just have to say, for the record, that i think a whole lot of us would have also been psyched about an ipod.

then again, maybe that's just me.


yep. exactly the same thought. and not only did i have the same thought, bryan, but i actually wrote that piece and posted it on my website.

well, except that “m-f’er” part. ‘cause i’ve never ever written “m-f’er.” i much prefer motherfucker. more visceral.

but i don’t want you to get the wrong idea about bryan lamb of st. louis, missouri. he’s not just about the laughs, taking shots at saddam hussein and cracking wise about folks being asshats. no. bryan lamb has a serious side, too. you can tell from this post from boy wonder lives! see, bryan put this post on that site because that site is for bryan’s “writing.” here are a few passages from bryan’s post about hiv:

“if it comes up in conversation, i sometimes mention that an ex-girlfriend of mine from high school is hiv positive (for the sake of her privacy, i’ll call her n). more often than not, the response to the statement is “how did she get it?” i have 2 responses to this question: 1. not from me, and 2. i have no idea. besides, to my way of thinking, it doesn’t matter how she got it. when my grandpa had cancer, no one asked me how he got it. truth is, he got it from smoking. but no one asked me. plus, it didn’t fucking matter. the cancer was terminal. he was going to die from it, and that wasn’t going to be any different if he had gotten it from smoking, or from chemical exposure, or just from a lousy gene pool.


like i said, it doesn’t matter how n became hiv positive. she will die from it. and that wouldn’t be any different if she had become infected from sharing a needle or having unprotected sex or whatever. she will die from it just the same.


…according to the world health organization, aids infected and killed more people than ever in 2002? worldwide, about 40 million people are infected with hiv. of that number, about five million became infected in 2002, including approximately 700,000 children. in 2002, approximately three million people died of aids…about 500,000 of them were children younger than 15.

that’s roughly 8,000 deaths per day, which means that 5 people lose their lives to aids every minute. chances are you don't know anyone who has died from hiv/aids, but how long do you think it’ll be before you do? one every 12.5 seconds....

tick tock....”


see, bryan lamb talks about important issues. just like i do. just like i did. on world aids day. in this post:

“if it comes up in conversation, i sometimes mention that my cousin is hiv positive.

more often than not, the response to the statement is “how did he get it?”

he is actually a she.

and, to my way of thinking, it doesn’t matter how she got it.

when my grandmother had cancer, no one asked me how she got it. truth is, she got it from smoking. but no one asked me.

it didn’t matter. the cancer was terminal. she was going to die from it. and that wasn’t going to be any different if she had gotten it from smoking, or from chemical exposure, or just from a lousy gene pool.


but it doesn’t matter how my cousin became hiv positive. she will die from it. and that wouldn’t be any different if she had become infected from sharing a needle or having unprotected sex. she will die from it just the same.


but, according to the world health organization, aids infected and killed more people than ever in 2002. worldwide, about 40 million people are infected with hiv. of that number, about five million became infected in 2002, including approximately 700,000 children.

in 2002, approximately three million people died of aids…about 500,000 of them were children younger than 15.

that’s roughly 8,000 deaths a day.

five people lose their lives to aids every minute.

tick tock.


powerful stuff, bry. powerful, indeed.

so, as you can see, bryan has been keeping himself pretty busy "writing." and, by "writing," i mean copying and pasting. plagiarizing. stealing my writing and passing it off as his own. infringing on the copyright clearly displayed on every page of this website.

i mean, i’m willing to concede that there are bound to be some coincidences in this world. like bryan’s post titled “it's funny, the things we remember....” you know, the one that uses the sentence “it’s funny, the things you remember” throughout. we’ll just call that one “inspired by” my piece titled “the things you remember.” will that work for you, big bry?

but, come on. let's just call a spade a thief here: bryan isn’t just inspired by my writing. he’s stealing it. and not only has bryan been stealing my work and making some pretty lousy edits to it and then going on at length about how hard it was for him to "write," but he’s been ignoring the fact that he is stone. cold. busted.

see, i sent bryan an email on sunday. i decided to give bryan the benefit of the doubt. i thought maybe he’d never heard of copyright. or plagiarism. or lying.

so, i wrote bryan an email stating, in part:

i noticed several entries which bear more than a passing resemblance to several entries on my own site, tequila mockingbird [http://tequilamockingbird.blogspot.com].


it seems, based on the dates on your pages, that you are relatively new to the blogging community. therefore, i am writing you this email in a constructive spirit. please be aware of the following:

-all content on my site is copyrighted, which is clearly stated every page of the site.

- bloggers adhere to a strict code of copyright respect. for more information, please read the widely used blogger's disclaimer at read me (http://midge.bloggage.com/readme/).

- for information on copyright in general, i refer you the helpful and informative website, what is copyright? (www.whatiscopyright.org) there you will find information on all aspects of copyright, including paraphrasing another author's work or making minor edits to the original material without the author’s permission.

…my work is copyrighted, and has been so since the inception of my blog over one year ago.

as such, i ask that you remove the posts that were plagiarized from my site immediately. i am flattered that you enjoy my writing, but i must protect that work which is mine.

thanks in advance for your cooperation, and please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions regarding this matter.

best regards,

julia


i thought that was more than fair.

at first, i thought bryan must be dead, because not only did he not immediately remove the plagiarized pieces, he didn’t even respond to my email. not a word. not a sound. not a peep.

then, i saw that bryan posted on his websites today. so, clearly, bryan is not dead.

now, you might be wondering just how i came to find out about bryan’s “writing.” you might be thinking, “man, she couldn’t sink any lower. she must sit in front of her computer googling passages from her own writing. what a narcissist. that’s pathetic.”

and, although i am something of a pathetic narcissist, that’s not how i came to find out about bryan’s cut and paste extravaganza. nope. pay close attention, because this is my favorite part. the most unbelievable part in an already unbelievable story. ready? here goes:

see that link on the left over there? the one at the bottom of my list of links to other blogs? the one that says “add your site to list”?

bryan lamb clicked that link and submitted his site – the one containing the writing he stole from my site – to be included on my list of links.

that’s right. not only is bryan a thief, he’s clearly a rocket scientist as well.

part of me thought i should just let this go. he’s only getting, like, four readers a day. let him go on lying to those four people. let bryan go on perpetrating this fraud. let bryan go on living in his pretend world where he “writes” things. let bryan go on saying that he’s "writing" those words when, really, i am.

and, for a minute, i was so lost in thought, wondering what color the sky is in bryan’s world, that i forgot.

i forgot to be motherfucking pissed that bryan lamb is stealing my work. my ideas. my words. my life.

so, i’ve decided that it's not really okay for bryan lamb to continue stealing my work. it’s really not okay one motherfucking bit.

and so, bryan, in case you’re reading this, trolling for more of my writing to steal and mangle and claim to have written yourself, please know the following:

i spoke with my attorney today, and, later this week, he will be drafting a letter to be sent to your email address – which i do believe is fallenhero444@yahoo.com. said letter will probably be sort of long and filled with legalese, and, since i know you’re too busy copying and pasting to read and/or reply to emails, i’ll just sum up for you in two simple words:

cease.

desist.

and, bryan, just so you know: i am not kidding one. motherfucking. bit.
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1.04.2004  

mmm...fudge

it's not you. it's me.

really.

i'm just...in a weird place right now.

i hope you can understand.

before the holidays, it was my crazy schedule that kept me from writing. or from having anything to really say. now, although things aren't really much slower, it's more of a general malaise. an icky feeling.

i don't feel funny.

or introspective.

i don't feel like talking.

or writing.

or doing much of anything.

except eating. apparently, there was some sort of meeting or caucus or some such get-together, and i've been informed that my ass has made an executive decision to extend the annual holiday binge straight through to easter.

and, you know, really, there's nothing like sitting on the couch shoving fudge in your piehole to help you shake your malaise.

i'm pretty sure that last night i actually heard my butt expanding. it was an odd sound. sort of like when you drag your finger across a balloon. we're now talking about acreage over here. that's what it's come to.

buffalo are roaming.

deer and antelope are playing all across the expanse of my ass, making it very difficult to concentrate on sex and the city. clearly the deer and the antelope do not appreciate the fact that now there are only seven episodes left. and, while i'm on the subject, is it just me, or is that whole carrie-and-the-old-russian-guy thing not working for you either? i mean, i know it's baryshnikov. and i've always thought he was hot. but, seriously, there's about as much heat between the two of them as there is between an ice fisherman's butt cheeks. it's just not happening for me.

i'm feeling tired. not-so pretty. rather bloated. a little sad. maybe a touch lonely. but i'm not all weepy and wallowing in my sad-and-loneliness.

i'm just saying.

it is what it is.

the new year is here, and i just keep asking myself: "what are you going to do about it?"

other than fill up all the free space on my new computer with new and totally unnecessary fonts.

and get a tivo. so i can watch even more television.

and, what the hell, get a new tv while i'm at it. if you're gonna lie around and eat fudge and watch television until your eyes bleed and your brain turns to fudgy goo and runs out your ears, you may as well get a nice flat screen.

and, although i'm feeling so out of sorts that i really am ready to embrace the whole fudge-laden plan and change my mailing address to "my couch," i'm trying really hard to make a change. i don't want to get all bridget jones or anything, but i'm a bit fed up with things. everything. all things. my inertia. my lack of companionship. my ever-expanding ass. my whole new-year-same-life do-nothingness.

so, time for a few changes.

first up, at the risk of running into standard new year's resolution territory, i think it's about time i do some exercise. beyond getting up off of the couch every hour or so to get more fudge. or getting up to see if my 2000-fonts-in-one-zip-file has downloaded. yeah, maybe something more than that.

and, it's time to find a date. oh, sure, i keep saying that, but it is time. i've been a big fat chicken up to this point. my self-doubt and fear got in the way. which is okay-fine...except the part where it kept me from going on dates, thus being utterly alone. so...uh...i guess the self-doubt and fear aren't actually okay-fine. right. so. immediately after i enact the getting-up-off-of-the-couch plan, i'll get right on this get-a-date thing.

and, lastly, i was thinking it's about time to do something with this writing stuff. maybe try and publish it somewhere. or maybe a better place to start would be to figure out exactly how one goes about asking someone if maybe they would publish some part of it somewhere.

seems like a decent-enough idea.

so...anyone know of any publications that pay for stories in bulk blocks of fudge by any chance?
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