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Deborah Layne
Posted on Sunday, February 16, 2003 - 04:46 pm:   

Welcome to the Polyphony discussion board, everybody, anybody. Thanks to all the guys at Night Shade for letting us have our own little piece of cyberspace here.

Our news of late is that Polyphony 1 made the Locus 2002 Recommended Reading list -- we're tickled about that.

Polyphony 2 will be available by the first of April (or maybe even sooner -- watch this space).

Here's the table of contents for Polyphony 2:

The Same Old Story, Lucius Shepard
The Hanging, Jack Dann
Professor Berkowitz Stands on the Threshold, Theodora Goss
Animal Attributes, Honna Swenson
The Uterus Garden, Alex Irvine
Coo People, Carol Emshwiller
Chrysalide, Beth Bernobich
The Arts of Malediction, Lisa Goldstein
Into the Jungle, Kit Reed
Theo's Girl, David Moles
Andalusian Triptych, 1962, Michael Bishop
Dead White Guys, Bruce Holland Rodgers
Burning in the Montage, Timalyne Frazier
Carlos Manson Lives, Sally Carteret
Dreaming for Hire ? By Appointment Only, Dianna Rodgers
Last Man on Earth, Brendan Day


And, finally, we've received about 300 submissions from all over the globe (including Peru, Japan, the Czech Republic) for Polyphony 3 and it's with a sigh of relief I note that the open submission period is over. Now comes the fun part!

So, I figure any topics about short fiction and the writing and reading thereof are game here.

Cheers!

Deborah Layne
Publisher and Co-editor (along with Jay Lake)
Polyphony Anthology Series
Wheatland Press
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JeffV
Posted on Sunday, February 16, 2003 - 05:16 pm:   

Hi, Deborah. That sounds like a good line up--looking forward to reading Poly2.
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Jim Van Pelt
Posted on Sunday, February 16, 2003 - 06:48 pm:   

Sigh, the fame of Polyphony #1 was so fleeting. Already the bright lights of Polyphony #2 have eclipsed us (we can discuss later how a light can eclipse).

Of course, it does look like an outstanding TOC!
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Shed Boy
Posted on Sunday, February 16, 2003 - 07:25 pm:   

Miz Lane,

This gray little space of yours, so devoid of the decorous, rather like the unvariegated vision of the belladona addict, hardly reflects well on your literary enterprise. One can only hope that the colors of your anthology offer something of a brighter prospect. I'm certain that it will afford one and all a delightful experience.

Let me bid you welcome.

SB


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Stepan Chapman
Posted on Sunday, February 16, 2003 - 07:56 pm:   

Hail, Deborah. Nice to have you aboard.
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Maureen McHugh
Posted on Monday, February 17, 2003 - 05:55 am:   

Thank God for Polyphony. I keep taking stories to my writer's group and having discussions erupt about whether or not they're sf. Polyphony was very forgiving on that subject.
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Jay Caselberg
Posted on Monday, February 17, 2003 - 06:29 am:   

Welcome, Deborah. Loooking forward to further good things.
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Jack Dann
Posted on Monday, February 17, 2003 - 07:30 pm:   

Hi, Deborah,

Just checking in. I loved the first issue...which is why I sent you stuff for the second and third. <grin>

Cheers!

--JACK
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Jay Lake
Posted on Tuesday, February 18, 2003 - 07:08 pm:   

Hey everybody. Just dropping to say...slush! Help!

Jay
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Steve Taylor
Posted on Friday, February 21, 2003 - 08:36 am:   

Question--do you intend to focus on Polyphony and Lake collection or do you have other projects in the works?
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Deborah Layne
Posted on Saturday, February 22, 2003 - 11:41 am:   

Hey everybody. I was away last week (back home in Bama to attend a funeral) and haven't had a chance to say thanks for dropping by.

Jim VP -- Don't worry about being eclipsed, after all, no one forgets their firsts, do they?

Shed Boy -- Polyphony don't have any pictures, it's true, but if you are any good at using you 'magination you find still find somethin' in there to tickle your fancy. My advice is to prop yourself up with a Grapette and a Moonpie and get somebody to read it to you.

Maureen, Jay, Jack and Stepan -- thanks for the good wishes. While P2 does have one spaceship in it, we're pretty much sticking with stories that could go either way. And we like it that way.

Steve -- I do have at least one other project this year -- a story by Jerry Oltion rendered in a children's book format with art by Bob Eggleton. Called The Navatar, it's one of the sweetest SF stories you'll ever read.

Cheers,

Deborah
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Shed Boy
Posted on Saturday, February 22, 2003 - 12:29 pm:   

Miz Debra,

first of all, forgive my misspelling of yr. surname at the head of my last missive. Such behavior on the part of a Southern boy such as myself is atrocious. Unforgiveable. I plan to visit a severe punishment on myself as soon as I finish this message.

As regards your advice regarding Grapette, I will fetch one directly, but unfortunately I have run out of Moonpies and will have to await a time when my supply has been replenished. Soon, I hope, for they are, indeed, a tasty treat.
Many's the night they have satisfied my urge for other fare.

Goodness me! Look at the time. I'm afraid I must to my separate duty go. Until next time, I am most respectfully,

SB



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Deborah
Posted on Saturday, February 22, 2003 - 07:19 pm:   

Dear Shed,

Can I call you Shed or do you prefer Mr. Boy? Watch how you spell my given name, too. It has a couple more letters in it.

I'm pleased to hear that you are a fan of the, from my geographic locale, illusive, moonpie. That confirms my belief that you will find something that suits your taste in Polyphony.

You must be a writer yourself if you are lurking around these boards. And, I'm guessing you're a poet...close? Perhaps you will grace us with one of your compositions one not too distant day.

DebOraH
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Shed Boy
Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2003 - 11:18 am:   

Dear Miz Layne,

My use of the appellation "Debra" was advised, what with my being consonant with the traditional compression of words by folks from your (and my) region of the country. Surely, you understood?

Indeed, I am a writer of sorts, and as regards my possibly gracing you with a composition some day, perhaps I will create something utilzing the title, "Moonpie."

Shed's fine by me.

Au reservoir,

SB
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LeslieWhat
Posted on Monday, February 24, 2003 - 09:57 am:   

Hey, Deborah

I'm so happy to be included in Polyphony 1. I really liked Victoria Garcia's story "Anthropology" and thought several other pieces were wonderful as well.

I look forward to reading the next issue, and beyond. Put me down from a charter subscription.

Leslie
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Deborah
Posted on Monday, February 24, 2003 - 11:19 am:   

Hey Leslie,

Thanks! We were glad to have you in there and hope we'll see something else from you some time.

Hey -- maybe I'll even see you in Eugene some time soon.

Deborah


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Vandana Singh
Posted on Friday, February 28, 2003 - 08:31 am:   

Just wanted to stop by and say hello. It was a great experience contributing to Polyphony 1 and being in such fine company. I'm counting the seconds to Volume 2. And 3 and 4 and so on...

I find it intriguing that (judging from the TOC of both volumes) slipstream seems to lend itself to fantasy more easily than to SF. I'd really like to see this trend challenged. Straight SF is often rife with rather narrow sociological and technological assumptions --- perhaps if more people took to writing slipstream SF it would subvert and change SF in ways we can't imagine yet. Which sounds like fun.

Just my two paisa...

Vandana

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Gator Boy
Posted on Friday, February 28, 2003 - 06:15 pm:   

Dear Miz Layne,

I have taken notice that my unruly brother, Shed, has been fouling your nest. Rest assured such an offense will not be repeated, for I have thrashed him soundly and locked him in the pantry. I can hear him whimper as I write.

You know how to whimper, don't you? You just pucker up your lips and whine.

Yrs,

Gator Boy
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Jim Van Pelt
Posted on Tuesday, March 04, 2003 - 04:05 pm:   

Hey, Deborah. The Chronicle (formerly SF Chronicle) has a nice review of Polyphony in it. If you don't get it, I can send you a copy.
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Deborah
Posted on Wednesday, March 05, 2003 - 07:40 am:   

Jim,

Thanks -- I do subscribe to Chronicle, but didn't see a review -- which issue is it? Maybe mine hasn't made it to the wilds of Oregon yet.

Deborah

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Deborah
Posted on Wednesday, March 05, 2003 - 07:46 am:   

Dear Gator Boy,

Can I call you Gator or do you prefer Mr. Boy? Why do I have this feeling that somewhere your poor sainted mama is asking why the Lord is testing her so? Now, come on, let your brother out before she has to go cut a switch and straighten out the both of you.

And let's not have any whimpering around here, 'kay?

Deborah
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Gator Boy
Posted on Wednesday, March 05, 2003 - 01:53 pm:   

My dear Ms. Layne,

my sainted mama has long since forsaken the lord. I would, if I were able, remove my brother from his fragrant cell, but I must confess that I have to a degree prevaricated. You see, I too am in that same confine. Shed and I are joined at the waist, a medical condition that has been deemed inoperable and is not altogether uncommon in certain sections of Alabama, inclusive of the one in which we reside. In punishing him, I slammed the door on the ridge of flesh and cartiledge that connects us, and as a result we find ourselves somewhat incapacitated. The pain we bear, however, may have some good result. I have noticed a slight dissolution of our bond and it's possible that my punishment of Shed in response to his harassment of your kind self has initiated a process that some day may cause us to be as two. For this, as for all else, we are in your debt.

Yrs,

GB

PS -- I'm sure that whatever appellation you see fit to use when addressing me will be not only appropriate but a kindness of the heart.
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Deborah
Posted on Wednesday, March 05, 2003 - 04:52 pm:   

Dear Bros. Boy,

So, would you call your little sage a "medical thriller" or Deliverance Fan Fiction? It seems to me it could go either way.

Thanks for dropping by and keeping things, um, lively around here. Don't let the door hit you on the way...oh, I'm sorry, was that insensitive?

Yours,

Deborah
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Shed and Gator Boy
Posted on Wednesday, March 05, 2003 - 05:50 pm:   

My dearest Deborah,

from a person of your obvious quality and elevated degree, insensitivity (or, as we might say in Bama, low wit) feels as might mercy and grace dispensed by a less cultured hand.
I would say that "Fan fiction" is not a label to be applied to my epistolary work. I feel I have earned a somewhat higher status. Perhaps in your kind regard, you might look upon it as a token of my/ouah devotion to your various causes... speaking literarily, of course.

You may be interested to learn that my inadvertant act does indeed seem to be effecting a dissolution of the grotesque bond that has since birth joined Shed and myself (it is, I, Gator Boy, who speaks). Though your part in this miracle was unintentioned, we nonetheless feel a deep sense of gratitude for the inspiration you have provided us. Thus my brother has dedicated a poem to you entitled "The Wonder of Miz Deborah," which will be included in his forthcoming volume of verse, "Shed Boy's Songs of Love and Assault With A Deadly Weapon." I myself have yet to fashion a proper tribute, but I have set myself to do so.
In the meantime, I will simply bless your name.

Separately Yours,

Shed and Gator
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Bear
Posted on Wednesday, March 05, 2003 - 06:45 pm:   

Um, Deborah, um....
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Jim Van Pelt
Posted on Wednesday, March 05, 2003 - 08:17 pm:   

Hi Deborah,

It was the Feb/March '03 issue that I came the day before yesterday.
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Michael Bishop
Posted on Thursday, March 06, 2003 - 12:14 pm:   

Dear Deborah,

Glad to see this site up and looking forward, of course, to the next few issues of Polyphony; indeed, I hope the magazine goes on a long, long time.

All the best,

Michael
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Natthew Blimes
Posted on Thursday, April 10, 2003 - 10:58 am:   

Ms. Layne,

My sister sent me your anthology last week (I'm stationed in Fort Bliss), and I have to say I very much enjoyed reading it. She also recommended that I take a look at this message board. Having taken that look, I must say it seems odd to find your portion of the board relatively devoid of butt-kissing. What is this place? Sycophant Central? Man, I thought you had to kiss up to people in the Army, but apparently if you're a science fiction writer, you got to go around with your lips pursed all the time. And that war thread...I'm not sure what's up with that. Some of these people act like the right thing to do for Iraq would have been to go in with a few cans of air freshener and a shipload of Happy Meals.

Anyway, I have a question. Have you considered direct sales to Armed Forces libraries? I intend to get the library on base to order some copies of both your anthologies, but it might do you some good for you to approach other libraries directly. If you need to know how to do that, I can tell you. They'll usually order copies of anything that relates to warfare or US military history, even if obliquely.

Best wishes,

Matthew Blimes

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LeslieWhat
Posted on Thursday, April 10, 2003 - 12:12 pm:   

Matthew, I hope I don't come across as sounding defensive or butt-kissing when I respond and defend the war thread (which I'm quite behind on my reading and may have missed specific discussions you're referring to).

I'm in the camp of being grateful that spirited discussion and disagreement is ongoing; it's been my observation that this is a very civil board -- for a place where people post oppossing opinions. One way to reach consensus is through discussion and dissent.

As for sucking up, I haven't seen as much as you (maybe I'm not reading the right threads). Another interpretation is that a lot of us on this board see one another on many social occasions throughout the year, so even when we disagree with one another's positions, we're sometimes polite about it. I know for myself, I actually like a lot of the writers and editors and fans I've met, even some who stand to the right of where I do.

I'm certain that many writers are reluctant to have negative interactions with people who are in charge of their careers. OTOH, the field has its share of disagreeable and annoying people, and they publish frequently, so being nice clearly doesn't equal being published.

Anyway, you didn't ask my opinion but I guess that's what makes it a bulletin board.
Stay well.

Leslie What
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Matthew Blimes
Posted on Thursday, April 10, 2003 - 01:32 pm:   

Ms. What,

with all due respect, from what I can judge of the war thread, a lot of those who contribute, both pro and con, seem to be addressing the subject from a standpoint that has little to do with realpolitik and rely on journalists to inform their opinons. This strikes me as being not too useful. Certainly we are all free to contibute an opinion to the general dialog -- I obviously have no quarrel with that. I simply wish that people might do some of their own thinking rather than allowing preachments from left and right to steer them. It's been helpful to me to study the history of the region, and though I'm not saying that I am the absolute authority, I feel pretty secure in saying that the moral high ground in all this is held by no one. Perhaps the fact that we live in a world where few people's opinions actually matter causes us to raise our voices all the more stridently; but despite the apparent impotence of the body politic, my feeling is that if we refused to let this issue polarize us, if we focused on the issues rather than whether our leaders are bad or good, if we strived for a deeper understanding of the issues instead of immediately forming two opposing ranks, then that dialog might have more weight.

As to the butt-kissing, I'll accept your characteriziation. Just it has been my experience that when you have a whole group of people telling each other non-stop how much they love what the other does, some of that love just don't stand too much scrutiny.

That said, I enjoyed your story in Polyphony.

Best Wishes,

Matthew Blimes
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LeslieWhat
Posted on Friday, April 11, 2003 - 08:53 am:   

I agree that assessing where we get information would be useful and that rhetoric isn't helpful. (I hope that's what you're saying; I'm summarizing because I sense this is the wrong place to engage in dialogue about this, and don't have the energy to take it to the war topic. So I'm going to drop it altogether and let Deb have her topic back.)

And since you said something nice about my work, I'll have keys made to the secret science fiction clubhouse and send them your way. <g>

PS- just hearing about the memorial service to be held at Fort Bragg makes me weepy. The sense of loss is overwhelming for many of us, no matter our opinions about this conflict. My sympathies to you and the families and friends of those killed and missing in action.

Leslie
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James A. Owen
Posted on Wednesday, November 05, 2003 - 03:01 pm:   

Hi Deborah -

Very nice to see you again, in DC. Just wanted to drop you a note and tell you I think Polyphony 3 is an absolute knockout of an anthology. A very, very good book. Wheatland has shown promise before, but I think you've solidified your reputation with this one.

All best,

James
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Deborah
Posted on Wednesday, November 05, 2003 - 06:14 pm:   

James, thanks for the encouraging words. Great to see you in DC, too.

Argosy looks great, too -- I love the concept of the separate novella. It's a form that is uniquely suited to genre, imho, and deserves that kind of showcase.

Thanks again!

Deborah
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Steven Utley
Posted on Friday, June 11, 2004 - 01:47 pm:   

Well, I figured I'd stop by and say howdy, since Deborah Layne has added me to her list of authors, but it looks like everyone left quite some time ago. Months, in fact.
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Deborah
Posted on Saturday, June 12, 2004 - 09:13 am:   

Hi, Steven, thanks for stopping by. I haven't been very good at stimulating discussion in this space...maybe later I'll think of a good new thread to start. In the meantime, make yourself at home...there are some old copies of Good Housekeeping, Field and Stream, and Car and Driver over there on the coffee table...
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Lucius
Posted on Saturday, June 12, 2004 - 09:19 am:   

You need a controversial topic. Like sex change for cats? Whither?

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Deborah
Posted on Saturday, June 12, 2004 - 11:19 am:   

I could tell jokes...here's one...

What do a tornado in Arkansas, a hurricane in Florida and a divorce in Bama have in common?

Somebody's fixin' to lose a trailer.

Thank you, thank you...I'll be here all week...don't forget to tip your waitresses...
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Lucius
Posted on Saturday, June 12, 2004 - 01:04 pm:   

Tell the one about the three women, the German, the Japanese, and the redneck... :-)
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Steven Utley
Posted on Saturday, June 12, 2004 - 04:04 pm:   

Deborah, do I correctly surmise from that joke that you could scarcely wait to be from the South? Does the Pacific Northwest have trailer trash? Do folks there even know what Grapette and Moonpie are? Do they ever say "ya'll," and do they know the plural form, "alla ya'll"?

I have lived here too long.
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Shed Boy
Posted on Saturday, June 12, 2004 - 06:15 pm:   

Good God! Trailer Trash is everywhere, man. Y'ever hear tell about Kurt Cobain? That's primo NW redneck. But Grapette and Moonpie and Stuckeys and so forth...we have to import. :-)
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Steven Utley
Posted on Monday, June 14, 2004 - 10:42 am:   

Someone over at Ellison Webderland has just told me that I'm not a bad guy, "for a southern cracker." This is a first for me; I'm really not sure how I feel about it.
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Deborah
Posted on Monday, June 14, 2004 - 01:34 pm:   

Steven...get in touch with that Inner Cracker...don't fear it...really...think of all the great Cracker writers...Faulkner...um...Lucius, um...well, that's two anyway.

Oh, and remember, Oregon is the proud home of the reigning Queen of Trailer Trash, Tanya Harding...an accolade she's earned not just for her skating days, but for what she's accomplished post-retirement.

Don't get me wrong, I love the South, but sometimes I love it more from a safe distance.


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Steven Utley
Posted on Tuesday, June 15, 2004 - 05:29 am:   

My story "The Country Doctor," written in the early 1990s, was in part a conscious effort to come to terms with my own Southerner-ness. "My people" are from western Kentucky, which is just barely the South, and I was born in the state -- but on federal property, at Fort Knox. I've always been more comfortable with the label Air Force Brat than with Southerner (much as, during my 28 years in the Lone Star State, I was proud to be an Austinian but never claimed to be a Texan). Growing up with the military -- probably the nation's most successfully integrated institution -- didn't quite prepare me to comprehend (between family excursions overseas) my glimpses of segregated southern society during the 1950s and violence against civil-rights workers in the early 1960s. In my simplistic adolescent way, I decided that the label Southerner carried a lot of baggage, and I wanted no part of it.

In spite of all of which, Faulkner's "Dry September" is one of my favorite stories.
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Deborah
Posted on Tuesday, June 15, 2004 - 08:23 am:   

My family moved from Bama to Cleveland in 1964 when my dad went to work in a steel mill. I grew up with lots of kids from Bama, KY, WV who's fathers were steelworkers and autoworkers (that Southern migration thing that's so big in the history books). The Ohio natives never let us forget we were "hillbillies," which drove my mother to distraction as she considered us Southerners and knew the difference well. I remember one of my elementary school teachers making me stand in the hall because when I read aloud I had an accent. People didn't think much of diversity back then.
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Steven Utley
Posted on Tuesday, June 15, 2004 - 09:00 am:   

I moved in 1997 from Austin, Texas, back to Smyrna, Tennessee -- which I'd scarcely been able to get away from fast enough during the late 1960s -- to be close by my elderly parents. I hardly regret that, though my emotional ties to Austin remain vibrant. I'd probably warm to Nashville if there were more book stores and if it weren't just crawling with Jesus. I do admire Nashville's full-scale replica of the Parthenon in Centennial Park, now complete to a King Kong-sized statue of Athena (my idea of a deity) holding aloft a Fay Wray-sized Nike, Herald of Victory -- but I have to say, it's a damned weird thing to find in a town that's got more churches than laundromats.
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Deborah
Posted on Tuesday, June 15, 2004 - 09:28 am:   

My parents have been back in Bama for a long time now, so I try to visit fairly regularly, and I find I still have that love-hate thing about the rural South. I hit Memphis for the first time back in the spring and I thought it had a good feel to it, but, Nashville would be too much for me, too. I spent a year in Huntsville (mid-90s), which wasn't awful -- it's a weird mixture of About What You'd Expect and NASA engineers, and cotton fields.

In an otherwise unremarkable book, John Grisham's latest (The Last Juror, I think its' called) has several sections where he actually does some justice to the church phenomenon in the South. It gives you the feeling that he might actually understand a thing or two about his homeland.

You are no doubt familiar with the controversy surrounding the Vulcan statue on Red Mountain in Birmingham...it periodically comes to someone's attention that Vulcan is nekkid and there have been various attempts to clothe the statue or remove it altogether, one of which lead a local musician to pen the memorable, "Moon Over Birmingham."
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Steven Utley
Posted on Tuesday, June 15, 2004 - 09:43 am:   

Perhaps if John Ashcroft is out of a job this time next year, he can be sicced on Birmingham's bare-assed Vulcan. Recall his solution to the problem posed by Justice's bare bosom, by which he felt upstaged; now, when he makes a television appearance at the Justice Department, you can be sure of seeing only one boob on screen.
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mike bishop
Posted on Wednesday, June 16, 2004 - 06:51 am:   

Not a Bad Guy for a Southern Cracker -- now there's a book title for you. I envision a montage cover featuring Vulcan, Athena, and Jesus in postures of hierographic benignity and quasi-nakedness.

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