Thursday, June 30, 2005

pitcher tuck by buddy don: the lazy squirrel

i kindly wish i could join this lil feller out in the park on a counta how thursdy is the hardest day of the week at wurk. but after we git past that weekly ops meetin (i gut to cunduck it), thangs will be lookin up. i wuz a'lookin up whenever i tuck this pitcher.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

pitchers tuck by buddy don: statchoos in the park

they gut a passel of statchoos in central park, witch i tuck a walk thru on saturdy n snapped a gigabyte of fotos. heres sum of them statchoos i tuck pitchers of.

furst, ye gut yer scots, startin with robert burns (above) n sir walter scot (fergut to take his pitcher).

n christopher columbus.

n whoever this mite be.

bes of all, sum of them statchoos kin move.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

bad mornin of buddy don: wasted oppertunities

i wuz on the way to take my shower sos i wood be reddy early to try to rite the nex chaptur. twuz a lil after 4 am, witch thats when i generly git up. i had dun started them erbs a'cookin. befor i could git inny of that a'goin, the fone rung n twuz a relativ wontin to to tell me bout a encounter with a used-book seller. dint mean nuthin. thay wudnt no point to the story.

but the fone woke up miz bd n she wuz not happy to be awoke so early. so she calls the relativ to splain n the relativ hung up on her. long story short, now tiz time to go n i aint had a chants to start bloggin.

sum days yer tin, sum days yer gold
sum days yer the frog squashed flat on the road
sum days yer the bug that the windshield dun smashed
befor ye git started yer best plans git trashed.

guess im in a bad poetry mood. pall gies to ye all.

Monday, June 27, 2005

pinions of buddy don: sumthin fishy

ye purty much eggspeck yer gummint to address the most importunt problems the people have, startin with the most importunt n then a'wurkin thar way down to thangs that dont hardly matter. thats why thays sumthin a lil fishy with whut our house of preresentatives is up to. lemme see ifn i kin count sum problems that mite rank high in the peoples bizness:
  • alaskas meltin so ye better git thar befor thay aint no glaciers lef fer ye to look at:
    Alaska is changing by the hour. From the far north, where higher seas are swamping native villages, to the tundra around Fairbanks, where melting permafrost is forcing some roads and structures to buckle in what looks like a cartoon version of a hangover, to the rivers of ice receding from inlets, warmer temperatures are remaking the Last Frontier State.

    That transformation was particularly apparent at the visitor center here, where rangers were putting the finishing touches on a display that sought to explain the changing landscape of the country's northernmost state. The sign said, "Glimpses of an Ice Age past. Laboratory of climate change today," and it explained how the Exit Glacier has been shrinking over the years, and what scientists are learning as the state heats up.

    Out in the fjords, kayakers paddled into bays newly opened by other receding glaciers. They came to see the ice, a tour guide explained, to paddle around something that had been moving toward a tidewater destiny for thousands of years. And many of them were in a hurry. Glacial pace, in Alaska, no longer means slow.
  • them thats spozed to perteck us frum thangs lack mad cow disease dont wonta use the tests that wurk n wonta delay reportin when they find mad cow:
    Although the Agriculture Department confirmed Friday that a cow that died last year was infected with mad cow disease, a test the agency conducted seven months ago indicated that the animal had the disease. The result was never publicly disclosed.

    The delay in confirming the United States' second case of mad cow disease seems to underscore what critics of the agency have said for a long time: that there are serious and systemic problems in the way the Agriculture Department tests animals for mad cow.

    Indeed, the lengthy delay occurred despite the intense national interest in the disease and the fact that many countries have banned shipments of beef from the United States because of what they consider to be lax testing policies.
  • the amazin publickin deficits is threats to us all:
    The biggest risk we Americans face to our way of life and our place in the world probably doesn't come from Al Qaeda or the Iraq war.

    Rather, the biggest risk may come from this administration's fiscal recklessness and the way this is putting us in hock to China.

    "I think the greatest threat to our future is our fiscal irresponsibility," warns David Walker, the comptroller general of the United States. Mr. Walker, an accountant by training, asserts that last year may have been the most fiscally reckless in the history of our Republic. Aside from the budget deficit, Congress enacted the prescription drug benefit - possibly an $8 trillion obligation - without figuring out how to pay for it.

    Mr. Walker, America's watchdog in chief and head of the Government Accountability Office, is no Bush-basher. He started out his career as a conservative Democrat, then became a moderate Republican and has been an independent since 1997.
  • publick broadcastin is under attack n bein cunverted to bein a piece of the publickun propoganda machine:
    That doesn't mean the right's new assault on public broadcasting is toothless, far from it. But this time the game is far more insidious and ingenious. The intent is not to kill off PBS and NPR but to castrate them by quietly annexing their news and public affairs operations to the larger state propaganda machine that the Bush White House has been steadily constructing at taxpayers' expense. If you liked the fake government news videos that ended up on local stations - or thrilled to the "journalism" of Armstrong Williams and other columnists who were covertly paid to promote administration policies - you'll love the brave new world this crowd envisions for public TV and radio.

    There's only one obstacle standing in the way of the coup. Like Richard Nixon, another president who tried to subvert public broadcasting in his war to silence critical news media, our current president may be letting hubris get the best of him. His minions are giving any investigative reporters left in Washington a fresh incentive to follow the money.

    That money is not the $100 million that the House still threatens to hack out of public broadcasting's various budgets. Like the theoretical demise of Big Bird, this funding tug-of-war is a smoke screen that deflects attention from the real story. Look instead at the seemingly paltry $14,170 that, as Stephen Labaton of The New York Times reported on June 16, found its way to a mysterious recipient in Indiana named Fred Mann. Mr. Labaton learned that in 2004 Kenneth Tomlinson, the Karl Rove pal who is chairman of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, clandestinely paid this sum to Mr. Mann to monitor his PBS bête noire, Bill Moyers's "Now."

    Now, why would Mr. Tomlinson pay for information that any half-sentient viewer could track with TiVo? Why would he hire someone in Indiana? Why would he keep this contract a secret from his own board? Why, when a reporter exposed his secret, would he try to cover it up by falsely maintaining in a letter to an inquiring member of the Senate, Byron Dorgan, that another CPB executive had "approved and signed" the Mann contract when he had signed it himself? If there's a news story that can be likened to the "third-rate burglary," the canary in the coal mine that invited greater scrutiny of the Nixon administration's darkest ambitions, this strange little sideshow could be it.
  • the army caint fill its ranks with volunteers:
    The all-volunteer Army is not working. The problem with such an Army is that there are limited numbers of people who will freely choose to participate in an enterprise in which they may well be shot, blown up, burned to death or suffer some other excruciating fate.

    The all-volunteer Army is fine in peacetime, and in military routs like the first gulf war. But when the troops are locked in a prolonged war that yields high casualties, and they look over their shoulders to see if reinforcements are coming from the general population, they find -as they're finding now - that no one is there.

    Although it has been lowering standards, raising bonuses and all but begging on its knees, the Army hasn't reached its recruitment quota in months. There are always plenty of hawks in America. But the hawks want their wars fought with other people's children.
  • the communist chinese kin buy n sell us:
    There's nothing shocking per se about the fact that Chinese buyers are now seeking control over some American companies. After all, there's no natural law that says Americans will always be in charge. Power usually ends up in the hands of those who hold the purse strings. America, which imports far more than it exports, has been living for years on borrowed funds, and lately China has been buying many of our I.O.U.'s.

    Until now, the Chinese have mainly invested in U.S. government bonds. But bonds yield neither a high rate of return nor control over how the money is spent. The only reason for China to acquire lots of U.S. bonds is for protection against currency speculators - and at this point China's reserves of dollars are so large that a speculative attack on the dollar looks far more likely than a speculative attack on the yuan.

    So it was predictable that, sooner or later, the Chinese would stop buying so many dollar bonds. Either they would stop buying American I.O.U.'s altogether, causing a plunge in the dollar, or they would stop being satisfied with the role of passive financiers, and demand the power that comes with ownership. And we should be relieved that at least for now the Chinese aren't dumping their dollars; they're using them to buy American companies.
corse thays pleny more a'goin on, but ye git the idee. so whut is the house spendin its preshus time a'doon? thar takin keer of a problem that has been plaguin us fer years, a problem so bad that ye probly caint even member the last time ye saw the problem happen. whut problem? desecratin the flag! the solutshun frum the house of representatives? desecratin the furst amendment to the constitushun! heres a editorial eggsplain whut i mean.

tiz a fishy thang to do, witch i reckon they wonta proov how dimcrats dont luv the cuntry on a counta how they wonta perteck the ideals we stand fer n not the cloth symbols that represent us. (corse, this ignores how the proper way to dispose of a old flag is to burn it! "WHEREAS, The approved method of disposing of unserviceable Flags has long been that they be destroyed by burning").

fishy, firshy, fishy. reminds me of a cuple critters i tuck pitchers of this weekend. red top, the furstn, is frum a tank i have at wurk, witch a feller give it to me whenever he moved back to texas. secunt one name of new blue is frum the tank at home. bet ye kin figger out witchn is witch!

Saturday, June 25, 2005

pitchers tuck by buddy don: lucky shots

me n miz bd wuz walkin in the park whenever we seen sum kids a'playin basketball so i tuck a few pitchers. i dint even notice whut i had tuck till we gut home n loded them pitchers onto the computer n seen how the kid in the blue shirt wuz hittin a nice shot. i wuz verr lucky to catch it in the net, but far as i kin tell, the kid hit the shot by usin talent.

pitcher tuck by buddy don: nite sky n day moon

i know i dun cumplaind a lot bout blogger software n how frustratin it kin be, so tiz only fair to add mitt when they dun sumthin good, witch seems lack they dun a lotta good by improovin how ye upload images. ye kin pick whar twill go cumpard to yer text n ye kin choose fer it to show up small but then git big whenever sumbidy clicks on it. ye kin try it with inny of these pitchers, witch as ye kin see, i gut lots to larn. miz bd is larnin me bout pitcher-takin fast as she kin, witch shes a grate jurnlist who larnt pitcher-takin durin her long career ritin fer newspapers lack the la times.

Friday, June 24, 2005

pitchers tuck by buddy don: shootin the moon

me n miz bd jes luvs our new camera on a counta how it kin take differnt lenses n all. tiz a sangle lens reflex camera, witch that means ye kin shoot pitchers bout as quick as ye lack, even usin a drive featchur. we gut a long way to go in gittin a good understandin of it, but its been fun so far. fer todays eggzample, heres the bes pitcher of the moon i ever gut so far in life, even tho taint as good as i wood lack.

we gut plans fer the weekend, witch i have to wurk sum on saturdy mornin (with grate playshure n without them astin me to on a counta how i wurk at a grate cumpny that has been verr good bout supportin me even tho i been sick. so givin em a saturdy aint nuthin much, but tiz bout all i gut. but twont be the hole day, witch miz bd plans to join me round lunch time (she has a meetin of the d.a.r., bleeve it or not) n we kin go to central park to take sum more pitchers. or mayhap twill be a nuther park, but witchever, should be fun to git sum pitchers of folks. aint no better subjeck to my way of thankin!

Thursday, June 23, 2005

ramblins of buddy don: this n that

sum thangs make me wunder whuts really a'gone on.
  • fer instunts, thays this articull bout funds that wuz spozed to be spent fer the iraqi peoples benefit. turnt out twuznt dun till the las minute. did ye ever stop to thank how hard twood be to move $2.4 billions? ye kin read bout it in a articull name of U.S. was big spender in days before Iraq handover:
    Most of these funds came from frozen and seized assets and from the Development Fund for Iraq, which succeeded the U.N.'s oil-for-food program. After the U.S. invasion, the U.N. directed this money should be used by the CPA for the benefit of the Iraqi people.

    Cash was loaded onto giant pallets for shipment by plane to Iraq, and paid out to contractors who carried it away in duffel bags.

    The report, released at a House of Representatives committee hearing, said despite the huge amount of money, there was little U.S. scrutiny in how these assets were managed.

    "The disbursement of these funds was characterized by significant waste, fraud and abuse," said Waxman.
  • corse, spendin all that money mus mean tiz wurth the investment, witch ye gut to wunder when tiz a'gone pay off. sum of them negativ folks thanks it aint fer sum reason. they git upset on a counta folks not findin them wmd. they dont lack how folks caint proov inny cunneckshun twixt saddam n osama. but at lease, we gut us a central frunt on the war on terror. that means we mus be gittin safer, rite? this articull name of Iraq May Be Prime Place for Training of Militants, C.I.A. Report Concludes splains all bout it:
    WASHINGTON, June 21 - A new classified assessment by the Central Intelligence Agency says Iraq may prove to be an even more effective training ground for Islamic extremists than Afghanistan was in Al Qaeda's early days, because it is serving as a real-world laboratory for urban combat.

    The assessment, completed last month and circulated among government agencies, was described in recent days by several Congressional and intelligence officials. The officials said it made clear that the war was likely to produce a dangerous legacy by dispersing to other countries Iraqi and foreign combatants more adept and better organized than they were before the conflict.

    Congressional and intelligence officials who described the assessment called it a thorough examination that included extensive discussion of the areas that might be particularly prone to infiltration by combatants from Iraq, either Iraqis or foreigners.

    They said the assessment had argued that Iraq, since the American invasion of 2003, had in many ways assumed the role played by Afghanistan during the rise of Al Qaeda during the 1980's and 1990's, as a magnet and a proving ground for Islamic extremists from Saudi Arabia and other Islamic countries.
  • mayhap i missed sumthin, but seems almos lack that thar war aint a'makin us safer. but is them insurgents a'larnin innythang? turns out they are larnin at lease one thang, witch thats how to make better bombs. ye kin read all bout it in this here articull name of Iraqi Rebels Refine Bomb Skills, Pushing Toll of G.I.'s Higher:
    WASHINGTON, June 21 - American casualties from bomb attacks in Iraq have reached new heights in the last two months as insurgents have begun to deploy devices that leave armored vehicles increasingly vulnerable, according to military records.

    Last month there were about 700 attacks against American forces using so-called improvised explosive devices, or I.E.D.'s, the highest number since the invasion of Iraq in 2003, according to the American military command in Iraq and a senior Pentagon military official. Attacks on Iraqis also reached unprecedented levels, Lt. Gen. John Vines, a senior American ground commander in Iraq, told reporters on Tuesday.

    The surge in attacks, the officials say, has coincided with the appearance of significant advancements in bomb design, including the use of "shaped" charges that concentrate the blast and give it a better chance of penetrating armored vehicles, causing higher casualties.

    Another change, a senior military officer said, has been the detonation of explosives by infrared lasers, an innovation aimed at bypassing electronic jammers used to block radio-wave detonators.

    I.E.D.'s of all types caused 33 American deaths in May, and there have been at least 35 fatalities so far in June, the highest toll over a two-month period, according to statistics assembled by Iraq Coalition Casualty Count, a Web site that tracks official figures.
  • but shorely we good amurkins is a'gone give em time to git the job dun, rite? this here naysayer name of thomas oliphant dont seem to git it on a counta this articull he writ name of Patience running short on Iraq:
    THERE IS A reason why President Bush's aides are scrambling to come up with fresh justifications for the violence in Iraq, which mocks the latest protestations from the top that all is well.

    Bush has not just had a run of lousy polling results on his presidency, leadership, credibility, and his handling of the war. The political byproducts of three years of propaganda contradicted by the hard news of ceaseless insurgency are now coming as well from a Republican Congress that is beginning to stir.

    Earlier this month, with virtually no notice, the final version of the legislation sending another $85 billion to support the continued fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan contained an intriguing instruction to the administration to report on a list of ''measurable objectives" that would produce the beginning of US troop withdrawal if they are met.

    The instruction was noteworthy because it came from a proposal by a Democrat, Jim Moran of Virginia, but made it into the final report by House and Senate negotiators because it attracted considerable Republican support and there would have been a stink had it been dropped.
  • ye gut to wunder why thangs turnt out thisaway. didnt we have a grate plan a'gone in? member our vice presdint splainin how good thangs wood go? heres a quote frum him (amung otherns) in a articull name of A turning point at home:
    June 23, 2005 | On Tuesday, network newscasts reported that the Pentagon claimed that 47 enemy fighters had been killed in Operation Spear in western Iraq. Last month, the Pentagon declared 125 insurgents killed in Operation Matador near the Syrian border. "We don't do body counts on other people," Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld stated in November 2003.

    On Jan. 29, the day before the Iraqi election, President Bush announced it was the "turning point." On May 2, 2003, he stood on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln behind a banner reading "Mission Accomplished," and the next day he proclaimed that the "mission is completed." Three weeks ago, on June 2, he declared, "Our mission is clear there, as well, and that is to train the Iraqis so they can do the fighting." Last week, on June 18, Bush retreated to his ultimate justification: that Iraq had been invaded because Saddam Hussein was involved with the terrorists behind the Sept. 11 attacks, a notion believed by a majority of those who voted for him in 2004: "We went to war because we were attacked."

    On March 16, 2003, Vice President Dick Cheney had prophesied, "We will, in fact, be greeted as liberators ... I think it will go relatively quickly." Last month, on May 5, Cheney assured us that the insurgency in Iraq is in "the last throes." Yet on June 18, Gen. William Webster, the U.S. commander in Baghdad, said: "Certainly saying anything about 'breaking the back' or 'about to reach the end of the line' or those kinds of things do not apply to the insurgency at this point."

    Now the war has reached a turning point -- not in Iraq but in the United States. Every announcement of progress heightens the rising tide of public disillusionment with the war. Every reference to Sept. 11 strains the administration's credibility. Every revelation of how "the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy" for war (as in the Downing Street memo) shatters even Republicans' previously implacable faith.
ifn ye been a'readin this blog fer a while, ye know i gut a bruther thats cunsidderd insane due to skizofrenia. one thang i dun larnt durin a life a'studyin him n mental illness in genrull is this: when a person gits to bleevin his own lies, thankin them lies is ackshly true, then insanity is thonly possibull result. makes me wunder whuther our method of fitin terror aint a lil on the insane side of thangs.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

hopes of buddy don: nuther visit with ackupunkchurist

yesterdy i gut to wurk but wuz feelin verr ruff to whar my boss seen me n sed i orta go home till i really felt better. i dun jes whut she sed. i had dun called bofem docters, the westurn feller that gives me zomig, the easturn feller that gives me erbs. nuthin seemed to wurk, so i wuz gittin despert.

i never herd nuthin back frum the westurn docter, but i gut a call in the afternoon frum the assistunt to that practishuner of tradishunull chinese medicine name of frank butler. he is a grate healer fer minny reasons, but one of the mane ones is how he gives ye hope that ye kin git well agin.

but his methods were a lil sprizin. after i had dun been eggzamined by abby, witch thats the name of his assistunt, he cum in n sed he needed to talk to me bout sumthin he generly cuvers rite up frunt. he wuz verr serious, lack ifn he wuz about to suggest surgry or sumthin.

but twernt that. twuz diet. fack is, he sed i need to change the way i eat, to start eatin sum red meat three times a week (small porshuns), to eat fewer carbs n more fats n proteins. twuz a sprize on a counta i aint et red meat nor innythang else besides dairy that cums frum a animull ceptn fish fer over eight years.

he sed the thang is that whenever yer wurkin with a payshunt, ye gut two mane thangs to wurk with: the payshunts constitushun n the payshunts lifestyle. he sed he wuznt talkin bout lil thangs lack whuther ye wuz mistreeted as a child nor nuthin lack that. he wuz talkin bout thangs lack diet n sleep n wurk n such. big thangs thats obveeus. he sed tiz thonly way to git well. he also splaind that a vegetaryun diet (even with fish) fer a persun who cums frum a north europeon hertiage aint lackly to wurk on a counta near everbidy that cum befor me et meat n such. he even pointed out how sum folks that eats sum meat lives longer than them that dont.

i aint gut much to lose now, so i figgerd i wood give it a try.

so i am back to hopin fer the best. corse, he give me a nuther treetment of ackupunkchur, witch that always putts me rite fer a lil while.

this mornin i gut up n had whut he suggested fer brakefuss: boiled egg with butter, piece of bread with peanut butter, orange juice. lunch is a cunundrum at the moment, on a counta he sed it should be sumthin cooked. i lack to have a salad mos days, so i dont know whut ima gone do yet. but tiz a better problem to have than the black hole of zomig.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

mizry of buddy don: recuverin

that is, i hope i am recuverin. seem lack i jes caint kick this thang. mus i start usin botox? beta blockers? seems lack thays danger with each of em.

but whut ima gone thru aint purty neethur. i started gitin sick on windsdy, only twuz jes the tender patch on my scalp. i wurked windsdy n thursdy n even started a'wurkin on fridy, but i gut sick befor the day wuz well underway n cum home to take zomig n drop a nuther day of life into that black hole.

on saturdy i felt a lil better, that hollow feelin i git the nex day. i gut to feelin a lil better as the day went on but never felt grate. still, when the kids tole us on sundy how they wonted us to cum to man hattan fer a lil celebrayshun of fathers day, we went. tuck sum pitchers on the way. dint eat in no restrunt n figgerd that wood hep avoid eatin the rong thang. et cheese n crackers n sum stuffed olives.

maybe twuz them stuffed olives, mayhap i jes wuznt over that las attack. innywho, the urge to vomit woke me up at 2:30 am yesterdy n i tride to cunvints myself i wuznt havin a nuther migraine till twuz impossibull on a counta twuz one of the mos intents i dun had. i finely give up n tuck zomig n give up a nuther day.

today i figger ima gone make appointments with bof kinds of docters, east n west. i gotta find sumthin sos i wont lose so much life to this awful thang.

meanwhile, almos by acksident when we wuz walkin down to jessicas apartment, i gut a purty good pitcher of a bumblebee:

Monday, June 20, 2005

mizry of buddy don: horrbull migraine

woke up vomitin. caint do much today.

Friday, June 17, 2005

mizry of buddy don: thangs ye kin read in sted

i been fitin a migraine since windsdy mornin. gut that tender patch on my head, growin lite show, ye kin name it, i gut it, all but the nausea. so i been wurkin n hope i kin today, witch miz bd alreddy dun tole me aint no way ima gone make it. mayhap i kin proov her rong.

innywho, i caint hardly type at the moment, much less rite sumthin new. so heres sum thangs ye mite wonta read in sted.
  • most dismissive n ugly thang writ bout congress at wurk. dana millbank hits a new low in a articull name of Democrats Play House To Rally Against the War. case ye dint catch it, rep conyers gut moren half a million signutchurs on a petishun to have a investigayshun of them downing street memos, witch the party in cuntrol wont allow nun of that.

  • looks lack it mite be time to take a harder look at whuts really a'gone on in iraq. heres a articull by hds greenway name of Facing facts in Iraq, witch sumbidy needs to splain to mr greenway bout how them facks is biased.

  • not that thars a'gone be no pall gies fer the awful thangs sed n dun durin the terry schiavo fiascko, but heres a articull by ej dionne jr name of Where's The Apology? Bending the Facts on Schiavo

  • corse, ye caint let nobidy git away with claimin that global warmins a problem. to 'fix' that problem (tiz kindly lack 'fixin' the intelligents round the deecishun to go to war), furst ye gut to git ye a good editor, witch ifn he dus ye a good job modifyin the facks to fit yer pall ticks, mayhap he kin git im a good job. ye kin read all bout it in a articull name of Ex-Bush Aide Who Edited Climate Reports to Join ExxonMobil.

  • corse, ye caint stop thar whenever yer addressin sumthin as importunt as global warmin, so ye gut to git sum editin a'gone on the agreement everbidy is speckted to make at the g8 meetin cummin up in scotland. lucky fer us, we gut sum folks on the job, witch ye kin read bout how good they dun in a articull name of U.S. Pressure Weakens G-8 Climate Plan; Global-Warming Science Assailed.

  • aint no wunder ye gut such good ratins frum the people whose bizness yer takin keer -- or is that the people yer givin the bizness to? ye kin read bout how good thats a'gone in this here articull name of Bush's Support on Major Issues Tumbles in Poll
i pray i dont have to git sicker befor i git well, witch i gut a chaptur thats beggin to git writ. have a grate weekend!

Thursday, June 16, 2005

nite life of buddy don: lil concert

las nite me n miz bd wuz tuck to a john prine concert by her daughter loretta n lorettas boyfrien paddy. twuz a gift loretta give miz bd fer mothers day n finely twuz time to enjoy it.

favert lines:
Have you ever noticed
When you're feeling really good
There's always a pigeon
That'll come shit on your hood

Or you're feeling your freedom
And the world's off your back
Some asshole from Texas
Starts his own war in Iraq
(frum 'Some Humans Ain't Human,' only thems the ackshull lyricks he sung, witch he gut a standin ovayshun whenever he sung em).

then thays thisn:
But your flag decal won't get you
Into Heaven any more
They're already overcrowded
From your dirty little war.
Now Jesus don't like killin'
No matter what the reason's for,
And your flag decal won't get you
Into Heaven any more.
(in the middle of thisn he stopped fer a lil chat whar he splaind how he had dun quit sangin thisn back in the 70s n had im a taxidermist to stuff it n thar twood be ferever ceptn he had a reequest frum mr bush to brang it back out n sang it, witch he add mitted twuznt no die-reck reequest, but that mr bush wuz still astin fer it.)

he sung a passel of songs n kep it up fer nigh onto two hours. ye woodnt thank he could keep a'pickin so hard so long, but he wuz on fire. amung them songs he sung (besides the ones i give lyricks to) wuz:
Ain't Hurtin' Nobody
All The Best
Angel From Montgomery
Dear Abby
Fish And Whistle
Lake Marie
Mexican Home
Other Side of Town
Sam Stone
Way Down
corse, he gut im minny a standin ovayshun n dun 'Paradise' fer his oncore.

mayhap ye lack this feller n mite wonta buy one of his albums, witch heres whar ye wood go find out all bout it.

miz bd has one of the bes daughters ye ever met, witch fack is she dint much keer fer john prines musick whenever she wuz a'growin up, but thangs changes with time. she shore knows how to make her mama happy, witch she n paddy also bought miz bd a lil momento of the concert. ye kin see it in this here pitcher, witch that yeller handle blongs to the fly swatter.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

pinions of buddy don: playin with shadders

ye mite thank this kinda thang is importunt, witch it cums frum a articull in the la times name or New Memos Detail Early Plans for Invading Iraq
British officials believed the U.S. favored military force a year before the war, documents show
LONDON — In March 2002, the Bush administration had just begun to publicly raise the possibility of confronting Iraq. But behind the scenes, officials already were deeply engaged in seeking ways to justify an invasion, newly revealed British memos indicate.

Foreshadowing developments in the year before the war started, British officials emphasized the importance of U.N. diplomacy, which they said might force Saddam Hussein into a misstep. They also suggested that confronting the Iraqi leader be cast as an effort to prevent him from using weapons of mass destruction or giving them to terrorists.

The documents help flesh out the background to the formerly top-secret "Downing Street memo" published in the Sunday Times of London last month, which said that top British officials were told eight months before the war began that military action was "seen as inevitable." President Bush and his main ally in the war, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, have long maintained that they had not made up their minds to go to war at that stage.

"Nothing could be farther from the truth," Bush said last week, responding to a question about the July 23, 2002, memo. "Both of us didn't want to use our military. Nobody wants to commit military into combat. It's the last option."

Publication of the Downing Street memo at the height of Britain's election campaign at first garnered little notice in U.S. media or other British newspapers. But in the weeks that followed, anger has grown among war critics, who contend that the document proves the Bush administration had already decided on military action, even while U.S. officials were saying that war was a last resort.

The new documents indicate that top British officials believed that by March 2002, Washington was already leaning heavily toward toppling Hussein by military force. Condoleezza Rice, the current secretary of State who was then Bush's national security advisor, was described as enthusiastic about "regime change."
mayhap this is more the kinda thang ye thank matters, witch tiz frum paul krugmans articull name of One Nation, Uninsured:
Let's ignore those who believe that private medical accounts - basically tax shelters for the healthy and wealthy - can solve our health care problems through the magic of the marketplace. The intellectually serious debate is between those who believe that the government should simply provide basic health insurance for everyone and those proposing a more complex, indirect approach that preserves a central role for private health insurance companies.

A system in which the government provides universal health insurance is often referred to as "single payer," but I like Ted Kennedy's slogan "Medicare for all." It reminds voters that America already has a highly successful, popular single-payer program, albeit only for the elderly. It shows that we're talking about government insurance, not government-provided health care. And it makes it clear that like Medicare (but unlike Canada's system), a U.S. national health insurance system would allow individuals with the means and inclination to buy their own medical care.

The great advantage of universal, government-provided health insurance is lower costs. Canada's government-run insurance system has much less bureaucracy and much lower administrative costs than our largely private system. Medicare has much lower administrative costs than private insurance. The reason is that single-payer systems don't devote large resources to screening out high-risk clients or charging them higher fees. The savings from a single-payer system would probably exceed $200 billion a year, far more than the cost of covering all of those now uninsured.
or ye mite even git wurried bout whar we plan to git them soljers we need to keep up the fite in iraq n afghanistan, witch bob herbert rites about in a articull name of They Won't Go:
The Army reported on Friday that it had fallen short of its recruitment goals for a fourth consecutive month. The Marines managed to meet their recruitment target for May, but that was their first successful month this year.

Scrambling to fill its ranks, the Army is signing up more high school dropouts and lower-scoring applicants.

With the war in Iraq going badly and allegations of abuse by military personnel widespread, young men and women are increasingly deciding that there's no upside to a career choice in which the most important skills might be ducking bullets and dodging roadside bombs.

The primary reason the U.S. went to an all-volunteer military in 1973 was to ensure that those who did not want to fight wouldn't have to. That option is now being overwhelmingly exercised, discretion being the clear choice over valor. Young people and their parents alike are turning their backs on the military in droves.

The Army is so desperate for even lukewarm bodies that it is reluctant to release even problem soldiers, troops who are seriously out of shape, or pregnant, or abusing alcohol or drugs. And it is lowering standards for admission to the junior officer ranks. For example, minor criminal offenses that previously would have been prohibitive can now be overlooked.
but mayhap ye need to git thangs back into perspecktiv, lack this lil gurl dun here n here.

deb of sugarfused ast bout whut kinda camera we bought, witch tiz a canon rebel xt. them two pitchers wuz tuck usin the drive funkshun, witch i ackshly snapped off a good 10-15 fotos in a sangle burst. i aint near as good at takin pitchers as fletch over at no direction home or south knox bubba, witch ye orta go over to his site in enjoy all them fotos he tuck durin his long road trip vacayshun ifn ye missed it, but i hope to larn a lil more n i count my blessins on a counta havin such a grate place to take the kinda pitchers i lack bes, witch i lack takin pitchers of folks.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

pinions of buddy don: feelin lazy

i caint say why, but lately i jes aint been as innerested in bloggin as i wood lack to be. mayhap thats part of gittin the novel a'goin agin to whar i druther wurk on it than innythang, but i caint be reddy to rite a chaptur everday. so on off days lack today, i aint hardly gut no idee whut to blog bout.

but heres sum stories that ye mite wonta catch, ifn ye missed em.

furst, tiz a fack that the folks in this cuntry is gittin sick of the war, witch seems lack its gut to the same point the vietnam n korean wars gut to bout this far in, whar yer everday folks wonts to brang em home n tham that sent em over thar is arguin bout how we caint leave now.

corse, ifn we plan on brangin em home we gut to leave sumbidy in charge, witch that means gittin them iraqi forces reddy. thays a cuple articulls bout that wurth a read. furst thays this story frum the washington post name of Building Iraq's Army: Mission Improbable; Project in North Reveals Deep Divide Between U.S. and Iraqi Forces. ye orta read the hole thang, but heres four grafs that purty much splain the problem:
The reconstruction of Iraq's security forces is the prerequisite for an American withdrawal from Iraq. But as the Bush administration extols the continuing progress of the new Iraqi army, the project in Baiji, a desolate oil town at a strategic crossroads in northern Iraq, demonstrates the immense challenges of building an army from scratch in the middle of a bloody insurgency.

Charlie Company disintegrated once after its commander was killed by a car bomb in December. And members of the unit were threatening to quit en masse this week over complaints that ranged from dismal living conditions to insurgent threats. Across a vast cultural divide, language is just one impediment. Young Iraqi soldiers, ill-equipped and drawn from a disenchanted Sunni Arab minority, say they are not even sure what they are fighting for. They complain bitterly that their American mentors don't respect them.

In fact, the Americans don't: Frustrated U.S. soldiers question the Iraqis' courage, discipline and dedication and wonder whether they will ever be able to fight on their own, much less reach the U.S. military's goal of operating independently by the fall.

"I know the party line. You know, the Department of Defense, the U.S. Army, five-star generals, four-star generals, President Bush, Donald Rumsfeld: The Iraqis will be ready in whatever time period," said 1st Lt. Kenrick Cato, 34, of Long Island, N.Y., the executive officer of McGovern's company, who sold his share in a database firm to join the military full time after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. "But from the ground, I can say with certainty they won't be ready before I leave. And I know I'll be back in Iraq, probably in three or four years. And I don't think they'll be ready then."
corse, this is a story that made the rounds over the past few days, mayhap on a counta how folks is sick of the war. heres a articull frum the frunt page of the new york times frum yesterdy name of As Iraqi Army Trains, Word in the Field Is It May Take Years, witch its verr long n aint verr optimistick, even ifn the insurgentsy is in its last throes. heres four grafs of that story to give ye a lil taste in hopes ye wonta read the hole thang:
Despite the Bush administration's insistent optimism, Americans working with the Iraqis in the field believe that it could be several years, at least, before the new Iraqi forces will be ready to stand alone against the insurgents.

A few days before the Mahmudiya raids, Iraqi soldiers at a local checkpoint apparently fell asleep in the hours before dawn, and the checkpoint was ambushed by insurgents. They tossed a grenade into the building, then stormed in and executed those left alive, killing at least eight Iraqis, American soldiers said. Since the attack, American troops have been conducting nighttime patrols to make sure the Iraqis stay awake.

The American command has already created military transition teams of soldiers to work with Iraqi troops, and there are plans for up to 10,000 Americans to be attached to Iraqi units at every level from divisions down to battalions and companies, with up to 10 men at the battalion level, and 2 with each company.

"I just wish they'd start to pull their own weight without us having to come out and baby-sit them all the time," said Sgt. Joshua Lower, a scout in the Third Brigade of the First Armored Division who has worked with the Iraqis. "Some Iraqi special forces really know what they are doing, but there are some units that scatter like cockroaches with the lights on when there's an attack."
corse taint everbidy that thanks thangs is gone bad. we gut a cheerleader leadin us on with lots of happy talk, witch ye kin read bout im in this article frum salon name of The revenge of Baghdad Bob. heres a lil taste of thisn, witch it cums with attitood but lots of evidents as well:
Bush's ludicrous statements about Iraq are increasingly reminiscent of the propaganda spouted by the former spokesman for the Iraqi regime -- except that they're not funny.

By Juan Cole

June 9, 2005 | The sheer dishonesty of the Bush administration whenever it speaks about the situation in Iraq was on display again during Bush's Tuesday press conference with visiting British Prime Minister Tony Blair. In recent weeks Bush has repeatedly expressed wild optimism, utterly unfounded in reality, about the political process in Iraq and about the ability of the new Iraqi government and army to win the guerrilla war. He has if anything been outdone in this rhetoric by Vice President Dick Cheney. This pie-in-the-sky attitude, which increasingly few believe, degrades our civic discourse, and it endangers the national security of the United States.

With Blair at his side, Bush trotted out his usual talking points on Iraq, speaking of freedom and remarking, "This is the vision chosen by Iraqis in elections in January." Bush added, "We'll support Iraqis as they take the lead in providing their own security. Our strategy is clear: We're training Iraqi forces so they can take the fight to the enemy, so they can defend their country, and then our troops will come home with the honor they have earned." He again trumpeted his alleged policy of spreading democracy in the region as a way of combating the "bitterness and hatred" that "feed the ideology of terror."

The two leaders were finally confronted by the press corps with the leaked Downing Street memo, which reported that Sir Richard Dearlove, the head of the British intelligence agency MI6, had returned from Washington in July 2002 convinced that Bush had already decided on war. The notes of his report to Blair and British Cabinet members say, "Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy."
i reckun folks has dun had a nuff of that, so they orta git back to breathin argon!

Monday, June 13, 2005

pitchers tuck by buddy don: beeyootifull mornin fer 2nd anniversry

today marks two years i been keepin this here blog. i had hoped to use a new template by now n even to move frum blogger, but we gut distracketed this weekend by havin a lil upgrade in our camera, thanks to finely gittin our taxes dun.

innywho, tiz a beeyootifull mornin here in the nyc area. heres a pitcher i tuck with that new camera.

also, ye mite notice the new wandering hillbilly logo at the top of the blog page. twuz dun by a feller that calls hisself tennessee jed, witch ye kin see lots of his other creayshuns here. the mans a artist! i hope to make it wurk a bit better once i git my blog moved.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

obsesshuns of buddy don: home sangle malt scotch tastin

me n miz bd dun a lil tastin at home not long ago sos we could comparr two whiskys frum one of our favorutt distillries, laphroaig, witch we lack it so much we bought sum property to rent em: laphroaig 10 year agin laphroaig 15 year.

furst, thays yer laphroaig 10 year:

ye mite member hearin me carry on bout this here sangle malt scotch n thays a good reason fer that: tiz one of the best known n mos amazin tastes thay is in all tham sangle malt scotches ye gut. this is so unushunall to whar durin prohibishun, they wuz able to brang it into the cuntry by claimin twuz medicin n whenever folks gut em a snout full of that peat n iodine or even a mouthfull of that rich smoky flavor, mayhap they figgerd twuz medicin. innywho, they let it cum in.

ifn ye aint tride ye nun, i urge ye to git ye a bottle. here in the new york ciy metropolitan area, ye kin git ye a bottle fer $32.99 at either warehouse wines n spirits or astor place wines n spirits.

tuther week or munth we purchussed a bottle of laphroaig 15 year:

thisn dont cum so cheap. we gut it on sale at astor place fer $52.99 but we seen it higher minny a time. so we gut to wundern wuther the exter money wuz wurth it n thats why we had us that tastin.

furst, we cumparrd em side by side. as ye kin planely see, thay aint much differnts in how they looks. bofem has that rich amber color n when ye slosh em round in the glass, they gut em sum fine laigs on em. so next thang ye gutta do is sniff em n taste em.

i pored, so i knew witchn wuz witchn, but miz bd wuz drankin blind, so to speak, on a counta we wonted to git the truest response possibull. twuz innerestin how we cum to purty much the same conclushuns, even ifn i knew whut twuz we wuz a'drankin.

ye kin see whar this glass has sum ritin on it, witch i pored the laproaig 10 year in thatn n pored the 15 in a glass that looks eggzackly the same only it dont gut no ritin on it.

innywho, we found the nose of the 15 a lil liter than the 10. the 15 is cumplex whar the 10 is a thick blend of iodine n peat n smoke n mayhap seaweed or sumthin. the 15 is a lil easier to sniff but harder to pin down. thay aint near as much peat, witch tiz a hallmark of laphroaig to have em a rich peaty nose n taste.

as fer the tastin, we found the 15 to be a lot sweeter. the peat is more refined n ye dont notice it near as much. ye kin git more of them other tastes, witch i caint say whut they are but vanilla cums to mind with thisn jes a lil.

as fer the 10, tiz a classick taste, a dense eggsploshun of peat n iodine n seaweed. tiz such a grate taste, speshly ifn ye hold it in yer mouth fer a spell n open yer jaws with yer mouth shut n jes breeth in all them rich scents of the peaty amber spirit. thay aint much in the worl to cumpeat with it.

taint that thays innythang rong with the 15 year old. tiz a fine spirit n we woodnt never turn nun down, but when ye figger yer a'gone half to spend at lease $20 more fer a bottle, lots more in sum places, thay aint no reason to doot. yer 10 is bout as good as sangle malt scotches gits.

lessn ye dont lack peat!

Friday, June 10, 2005

life of buddy don, chaptur 140: dont bitch on me

tiz a fack me n emily had us a spate of fussin n fitin over whut job i wuz a'gone take, but once we deecided twood be kc, we give up all the fitin. twuz one of emilys minny fine qualties how once ye dun made up yer mind about sumthin, ye dont go on n on fussin n fitin bout it. ifn ye cum to her to fuss n fite bout sumthin that wuz dun settled, she wood say, 'dont bitch on me.'

twuznt long after the new quarter wuz to start that i wuz to have my 31st birthdy. i tole emily how i wonted to make a book out of them stories i had writ fer the group n call it 'beyond tijuana' n have it open with that poem, 'beyond tijuana.' twuznt eggzackly a new idee. bud rankin had made a simlar colleckshun n give it to me n jake dawes n johnny mayhew n billy stewart, witch bud called it 'Everbody Starts Somewhere.' i lacked the idee on a counta i wonted to do sumthin to mark the end of one period of life, that part whar i rote short stories, n git a nuthern a'goin, witch i dint have no good idee whut that wood be, but i wonted to do sumthin else.

as a way to make the dividin line publick, i deecided i wonted to give that book to a few folks i wood invite to my birthdy party. it tuck me a lil while to cum up with sum purty clean manuscrips, witch twooda been rite nice to have computers back then but we had to make do with typeriters n twuz hard to type a purrfeck manuscrip. but i scraped together twelve of em n put em together with 'beyond tijuana' sos i wood have thirteen titles, witch i always had a thang fer the number 13 bein as i wuz born on the 13th of januwairy.

corse ye caint hardly git nuthin fer free, so we gut to calculatin how much twood cost to make them books. turnt out we dint hardly have a nuff money without gittin into our savins n i knew bettern to start that fuss n fite on a counta emily dint bleeve savings wuz ever to be tuck out, jes putt in. but i had me sum grate friens, startin with billy stewart, witch he sold copiers n tole me he could take keer of the copyin costs.

then cum the bindin, witch i found i could git paper bound (leatherette, they call it) fer $2.50 per book n i had ten books to make, witch i called mama n tole her i wonted to borry a lil money but i couldnt say why on a counta how i wonted to sprize her. she give me $35 n sed she wooda give me money fer my birthdy innyway, so we could call it even. but billy wudnt satisfied with that n tole me he wood pay the differnts to git em hard bound, witch that cost $5.20 per book, so he putt in the exter money to git it dun.

my birthdy fell on a thursdy that year, so we skeduled the party fer the follerin saturdy, witch so happend we had a group meetin the nite befor n that ment we had two events at our place on two suckcessive nites. at the group meetin i wuz sprized to have a cuple thangs writ bout me, a poem by jake dawes name of 'The Entrepreneurship of Bud Duncan' n bud rankin red a poem name of 'The Doctor's Birthday.'

nex day wuz a purty tipicull day fer us. emily woke up n gut herself into a state by worryin whuther she could git everthang dun on time. i tuck my seat in a huge wing chair daddy give me n she crawled up in my lap n gut to crine. i held her fer a while n stroked her hed n talked bout how ifn she wuz to git a lil wurk dun that day, i wuz willin to bet she wood git to feelin better. after tellin me that woodnt wurk since she couldnt even git herself to go outdoors, she agreed we could go git us a bite at smokeys palace. once we wuz thar, twuz easier to go by the graduwait liberry than twuz to go home, so we went thar n she gut to checkin a cuple thangs in the refernts room n then she gut a cuple idees n purty soon, i could see i wuznt needed.

i gut dun jes in time to meet johnny n billy at the aquatick center sos we could wurk out. twuz a good day fer me on a counta i finely bench pressed 75 pounds, witch that dont sound lack much, but i only weighed 130 pounds n when i started, i wuz humiliated to larn that i couldnt bench press moren 50 pounds ten times in a row. so even tho taint lack them fellers that bench presses double thar weight, twuz a sine of my progress to git so hi. i wunder could i do that much now? i doubt it.

after we had finished thar, billy cum by our place whar we burnt us a cuple numbers n shared sum grate conversayshun bout marrg n such. then he drove me down to pick up them bound manuscrips. i spent the afternoon pagin em n makin sum las mint correckshuns. then i kindly cleaned up a lil n gut myself cleaned up n made a lil dinner once emily cum home, witch she had been wurried bout the house bein a mess, so twuz a grate thang i had dun tuck keer of that. she wuz a'lookin fer sumthin to wurry bout so i ast her could she go thru one of them manuscrips, witch she found a few more errors that we 'fixed' by ritin in the correckshuns.

the party gut started round 7:30 pm n seem lack mos everbidy gut thar at the same time. we had us a bunch. mama n daddy, witch they wuz sprized we wood have em over with our friens. millicent n willy bohr gut thar nex, witch i woodnt never have invited em but emily dun it befor i could tell her how i druther not have milly a'ruinin my party, but twuz too late. i dint have no cumplaints bout the rest of em: bud n ginny rankin, johnny mayhew, randy fox, martha townsend, jake dawes, virgil n mj, billy n lauren stewart n corse, me n emily. twuz a fine party, witch we listend to ut lose thar basketball game, eggchanged presents (i wuz sprized to find three bags of theevil weed rapped up in a poster of steve carlton), played bof the dickshunairy n poetry games, witch daddy wuz good in bof em but mama dint wonta play, drunk beer n smoked sum of that reefer, witch bud rankin rolled up bout half of it, n herd sum stories. i red 'slave of desire' n 'beyond tijuana' by request n bof jake n bud red them poems they writ bout me.

corse, twuznt all sweetness n lite. thay wuz a ugly moment whenever milly made a point of sayin to martha how nice her breast enhantsments had cum out, witch martha knew fer a fack that thonly person she had tole bout that wuz emily. twuz a hard thang to watch them two fussin n fitin when they had been such good friens fer so long. after a bit martha cum over to me to sorta flirt with 'the birthdy boy' n give her a chants to ast me whut had emily tole me, witch the sprize wuz i hadnt herd nuthin bout no breast enhantsment till milly purty much tole everbidy bout it.

martha wuz mad as a hornet till billy stewart joked with her n johnny n bud n me over a joint bout how milly dint have nuthin to enhants. he figgerd she wuz jealus bout how everbidy always wuz sweet on martha, witch quick as he sed it he cummenced to blushin till lauren wonted to know whut wuz a'goin on. johnny sed billy had add mitted bout how everbidy had a hardon fer martha, witch lauren laffed n sed she could see why ceptn she never had one. that made everbidy laff harder n purty soon milly lef n tuck will with her, witch mama n daddy tuck the oppertunty to leave out thar ownself.

ye mite could thank me n emily wooda had us a fuss n fite after that, but turnt out she dint lack milly tellin on her thataway. i count it as one of my grate moments of prudents that i dint pile on or say nuthin agin milly, even when martha joined the conversayshun. turnt out emily wonted to make it up to martha n they gut to talkin till martha wuz the last one to leave n befor she dun it, we had us a lil group hug, witch befor nuthin could happen martha joked bout how twuz a'gittin too hot in thar fer her. then whenever she gut to the door, she turnt round n sed to emily, ‘i never told a one of your secrets to anyone.' then she lef.

i wuz tempted to ast emily bout them secrets but furst i had to go pee n by the time i gut finished, emily wuz in the bedroom with the door clozed. i figgerd thay wuz truble ahead. i tapped on the door n tride to open it, but she hollerd at me to wait jes a mint. twuz wurth the wait on a counta she cum out a'wearin her pink dress. i wuz a lil sprized n tole her i had been about to ast her sumthin, but i couldnt recolleck whut twuz. she kissed me n ast me dint i wonta open my birthdy present, witch once i started untyin the bow to that dress i cumpletely fergot whut i wuz a'gone ast her.

we wuz up mos of the nite n seem lack we couldnt hardly git a nuff of each other. twuz one of them high points of life, that nite, but thangs turnt purty quick. i dun splaind how i tuck the full time job over at knoxvull collidge, but i dint real eyes till twuz time fer my febuwairy pay that i wuz whut they call 'temp full time,' witch that ment i woodnt git paid till the end of the quarter in march. dr streeter could see how it made me mad, so he promissed to git me sum money n he wuz as good as his wurd, ifn 30¢ on the dollar is yer definishun of sum money. as ye mite magine, thay wood be a fuss n fite whenever i splaind that to emily, witch she dint know when we wuz spozed to git paid n figgerd i wood tell her direckly.

befor i gut a chants to do that, i wuz attendin a staff meetin of the humanties department. i larnt i wood be able to move to a offus upstairs, witch that wuz nice. turnt out they needed my offus fer a nuther peeano practiss room, but it still seemed lack dr streeter wuz a'trine to make thangs rite by me.

but then he gut to sayin how the presdent of the collidge wonted a dramatick produckshun in the colston center fer the performin arts. as he wuz splainin that, i kep lookin round at everbidy in the room. dint look to me lack thay wuz innybidy to do no drama in that bunch. thay wuz mr larch, a white teacher of speech n sociology, witch mane thang he luved in life wuz jazz. thay wuz mr white, witch he wuz a white musick teacher n he had tride to git me to march agin aborshun with im n splaind how god wuz a'gone punish amurka fer murderin all them babies. it made im made whenever i sed i dint real eyes life begun till the breath of life wuz breathed into the baby once it cum out. i had a bible verse or two bout it, but that jes made im madder n he woodnt let me finish. but he kep after me even ifn he figgerd twuz a worthless cause. thay wuz dr tucker, witch he wuz a black histry teacher n dint agree with nuthin nobidy ever sed. thay wuz perfesser will the relijun teacher, witch the mane thang i member bout him is how he had such thick tufts of hair a'growin outta his ears to whar twuz amazin he could hear much of innythang. corse thay wuz miz esther james, witch she wuz the choir die-recktor n i figgerd she knew more bout thee-ater than innybidy else in that room, but she wuz a'shakin her hed to whar ye knew she had her anser reddy. thay wuz a few more, the voice teacher n the peeano teacher, but ye knew they wuznt a'gone do no thee-ater.

but befor the questchun gut anserd, the phone rung n purty soon dr streeter sed, 'let me put on mr. duncan. he is the most appropriate choice.' i wuz a bit sprized. mos appropriate choice fer whut? i tuck the phone n on tuther end wuz a woman name of wanda joyce, witch she tole me thay wuz a group of students that wonted to start a drama club n they needed a sponsor. she tole me she preciated me agreein to hep out. i wonted to say i hadnt agreed to nuthin. wonted to splain how i had read sum plays but never acted nor dun nuthin with thee-ater. i wuz tempted to splain how i had gut jes two b pluses in grad skool, bofem frum the same feller n fer the same reason, witch he dint lack how i treated the plays we wuz a'readin lack they wuz poems to be read n not plays to be performd.

but i dint say nuthin. i figgerd ifn thay wuz innythang that could git me to permanent full time n a reglar paycheck, twood be me showin how i wood hep out. so i ast her when wuz thay wontin to meet? she ast me whut i thunk bout meetin on saturdy afternoon? i tole her twood be fine.

then i had lots of splainin to do. emily dint know bout how our paycheck wuz a frackshun of whut it wuz spozed to be. she also had plans fer us to go with milly n willy bohr to the flea market out on alcoa hiway on saturdy. so i splaind the hole thang all at once, puttin the bit bout heppin out with the thee-ater longside the 30¢ on the dollar as part of my plan to git permanent full time. she flew mad whenever i sed our pay wuznt whut twuz spozed to be n then she wonted to fuss n fite bout me takin on the drama club. she sed a few thangs bout how ifn i had tuck full time at ut we woodnt be havin that crisis rite then. i reminded her how i wuznt a'gone git full time at ut n she reminded me how even with jes three classes i wood be makin more or at lease gittin paid more besides witch i woodnt be doin no drama club. i let her run on fer a bit befor i putt my finger on her lip to ast her to be quite jes sos i could say sumthin. she ast, 'whut?'

'dont bitch on me.' twuz the furst time i had ever sed such a thang n it tuck her by sprize till she had to laff.

n thats how i cum to be hed of the drama club, witch we named it the skool of hard knox theatricull players.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

blogroll of buddy don: innerestin new blog

i dont publish moren one post most days, but i wonted to make shore ye dint miss a new entry on my blog roll at the lef. tiz that beelongin to mountain gurl n name of the blog is Life Is A Comedy For Those Who Think. looks lack thisn will be wurthy of a read mos everday.

mizry of buddy don: nuther migraine

i dint wonta add mitt i wuz a'havin one on tuesdy mornin. i gut up at 3:45 am as usual n cummenced to cookin my daily erbs, witch i used the newest ones n not the classick erbs that so far kin stop a migraine near ever time.

but i knew i wuz feelin awful. dint have no energy to post much of nuthin on my blog, so i putt in sum pitchers i had tuck over the weekend. then whenever miz bd gut up, we gut to fussin n fitin over near nuthin, witch thats a nuther sine that ima gone be sick.

but i still dint wonta add mitt it. i wonted to thank i had dun gut over em n woodnt be havin a nuthern ever. so i gut out n onto the bus n kep my eyes clozed lack i wuz sleepin till we gut thar. fack wuz, i couldnt take the brite sun, witch i orta know better, but thays a point whar a bidy wonts to know ifn hes gut the willpower to stop such a thang.

i dont have that much willpower. i did git to wurk n tuck a cuple bites frum a sesame bagel with cream cheese n tuck a cuple gulps frum a cup of coffee, but purty soon i had to go to the mens room sos i could dry heave. on my way, i passed a feller that wurks on my team, witch the instunt he seen me he sed, 'you gonna be sick?'

so after dry-heavin i gut a nuther feller that wurks fer me to send a note out bout how i wuz a'gone home sick n i went home, tuck the suicide shot of zomig (seems lack suicide on a counta how yer disabled n lose a day after ye take it, but lease ye dont vomit no more) n slept mos of the day.

even tho miz bd ast me ever time i gut up ifn i wuz feelin inny better, i couldnt say i wuz feelin inny differnt. that aint a good sine on a counta when ima gone git better, i generly wake up at sum point in the day n know tiz all over. that dint happen till yesterdy evenin after i had tuck them classick erbs agin n then slept mos of the day.

as fer whut mite coulda triggerd this attack, bes thang i kin cum up with is a veggie burger i orderd frum a deli across the street frum whar i wurk. i hadnt never had one befor n twuznt no boca burger, witch i know they dont bother me. so mayhap they had em one with msg in it.

to be fair, that aint whut miz bd bleeves wuz the cause. she thanks its gut sumthin to do with the verr long hours i wuz wurkin leadin up to the attack, witch i wurked 15 hours on fridy, wuz on call all day on saturdy (with wurk to do) n wurked sundy, gut off, but had to go back to wurk later in the afternoon. mayhap thats it, mayhap tiz bof thangs, mayhap tiz a nuther thang we aint gut figgerd out yet.

i jes with twood stop a'happenin. i truly wish nobidy never had to read nuthin bout me havin no migraines ever agin. so far, that wish aint cum true, but im still a'hopin n prayin fer it.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

pitchers tuck by buddy don: sprang walk

me n miz bd tuck a walk thru man hattan tuther day on our way to pick up my erbs. heres sum pitchers i tuck, only i figgerd to make yer page lode faster i wood only putt in lanks.

furst thang we seen wuz folks flirtin at the madison in hoboken.

they wuz flirtin over in washingto square park, only the feller in the blue shirt wuznt a'gittin no whar, witch purty soon that gurl in the red shirt found her a nuther place to sit.

thays other new york games to play.

ye probly dun herd bout plastick people in new york. heres a plastic wizard readin his book.

corse, ye herd bout plastick luvers, witch thays a'plenty to see.

sum folks lacks to read, even lyin down.

sum lacks to sit in the sun ...

... or have a bite to eat ...

... or jes a lil drank of water ...

thay wuz luvers a'spoonin in the grass.

thay wuz performers, lack this folksanger ...

... or this cuple of bikers ...

... n whar thays a show, thays folks n more folks to watch it.

i wuznt thonly one takin pitchers, witch these folks is plannin thar nextn.

finely, by poplar deemand, heres a pitcher of a squirrel.

Monday, June 06, 2005

legendairy fish of buddy don: r.i.p., cutty shark

bout a year or so ago, me n miz bd gut a cuple new fish fer our tank. they breed lack crazy so ye gut to add a lil new blood ever so often to keep yer tank healthy. we gut a few of em, but one of thonly ones that survived wuz a beeyootiful fish that wuz bout the orange color of a cutty sark label. generly when ye see a africun cichlid with such a brite color, tiz a male, witch we figgerd twuz so with cutty.

cutty dint cum out much n we wuznt sure she had survived atall, witch lots of the new fish ye putt into a tank wont make it past the furst week or so. when she finely did cum out, ye could see she had her a mouthfull of lil fishes, witch me n miz bd calls that 'pouched' on a counta how it looks lack the mother fish has a pouch under its mouth. inside that pouch is whar them lil fry grow till thar big a nuff to live outside thar mamas mouth, out in the tank.

we had jes had a skool of fry let out by a nuther mama fish name of esther. she had three of em that survived. after she had let em out, they wuz a'gittin big. thar father wuz a fish name of lucky n lucky had tuck over as big fish of the tank. i tole the story bout how bidshicka survived lucky taken over by playin ded here.

innywho, lucky gut to whar he woodnt hardly leave esther alone till she finely turnt on im n killt im. we have dun witnessed that kinda thang three or four times now, meanin whar a mama fish kills that father of her fry. this time twuz differnt. we aint shore who fatherd all them fry that cum frum cutty, but it seemed lack the hole tank turnt on cutty n hounded her to death, literully to death. tuther mornin we found her batterd bidy a'floatin at the top of the tank.

we shore hated to see her go. miz bd wood talk to her n root fer her n make shore she wuz eatin, but tuther fish kep her chased into a corner whar she couldnt hardly do nuthin. they had dun et off most of her caudel fin (tail) so she couldnt hardly git away whenever they cum to pick on her.

but in a way, cutty gut the last laff: at lease fifteen of her fry has survived, mayhap more on a counta tiz verr hard to count a bunch of movin fish. but tiz a nuff to say thays more 'cuttlets' (as we call em) in that thar tank than inny other kind. so she has dun lef behind a grate legacy.

r.i.p., cutty shark!

Friday, June 03, 2005

life of buddy don, chaptur 139: do whut ye kin do

by thanksgivin the quarter wuz a'windin down. that ment i wuz wurkin hardern ever on a counta how my kc students tuck me up on the offer of re-ritin thar failin essays. twuz a grate thing to see triple the papers i speckted on inny given day, but twuz also quite a chore to git thru em all.

twuz a nuff to make me thank i wuz lucky how mama had gut daddy to give up the house n move into that lil apartment over on the west side of oak ridge. that ment we couldnt have no huge thanksgivin with all the ants n uncles n cuzins n such. thay wuznt room fer nobidy but the nukular fambly. thay wuz a few exters thar.

fer eggzample, brew had im a new gurlfrien name of lita rodriguez, witch that wuz short fer lolita but she dint wont nobidy to call her that on a counta she figgerd twuz a insult on a counta that book by nabokov with the same name. she wuz a true beauty n ye had to wunder why brew wudnt no happiern he wuz, but he wuz sad bout how liza dint seem to wonta give im no affeckshun. twernt that she wonted to brake up or nuthin, but she wuz jes a verr cold natchurd persun. lita wuz in luv with im n mayhap he dint wont sumthin he could have. corse, lita wuz a verr close frien with mama on a counta she wurked in a dress shop n they spoke the same lingo bout fashun n such, so could be brew dint lack that.

sides that, maizie had tuck up with a tall feller name of eddie meyers n seem lack they wuz gittin on the seryus side. he had a hi voice n lacked to tell jokes n make fun of folks, witch i never much keerd fer that kinda humor but twuz hard not to laff when he tole a joke bout daddy litin a cigarette when he dun alreddy had one lit or mama porin herself a new drank when she dun had one with ice a'meltin in it.

but outside of them two n emily n roenas fambly, twuz jes the lil fambly n no exters, witch that ment we dint half to wait moren half the day fer everbidy to git thar n that ment we dint spend but three hours on thanksgivin. bof me n emily wuz verr happy bout that since she had papers to rite n i had papers to grade, so we gut home early n dint do nuthin but wurk on papers near the hole weekend.

i wuz a'cummin up to a big deecishun i had to make. dr streeter tole me i could have a full lode of classes in winter quarter, witch that ment i wood have four classes n git paid ever munth. they paid $800 a class a quarter, witch four times that is $3,200 fer the quarter n that wood cum to over $1,000 a munth ifn i tuck that job. over at utk they couldnt give me no moren three classes, but each class paid $1,000 a quarter, sos ye kin see how i could git jes bout the same pay fer less wurk. fack is, we wood still be in purty hi cotton ifn i jes gut two classes at utk, witch i figgerd ifn i dun that, i wood be able to spend the rest of the time a'ritin.

i dint make up my mind rite away n dr streeter tole me he wood need to know my anser by no latern new years, witch the thang thar is how ye wood thank that wood be too late on a counta how the new quarter wuz set to git a'goin on januwairy 4 of 1983. but i tole im i wood let im know as quick as we gut back frum our christmus trip to looseburg.

that trip wuz made a lot better when i gut paid all the quarters money frum kc all at once on the 17th of deecember, witch they owed me $2,400 n after taxes n all we gut a check fer near $1,900. ye mite not thank thats much money, but twuz a lot fer us, speshly to have it all in one place. it ment we wood be able to do sumthin nice fer emilys mama maureen fer a change, witch she had dun been verr genrus with us n we wonted to git her back. turnt out her friend polly wuz a'wontin to git her sumthin speshul on a counta how she had finely give pete smith his walkin papers n wuz feelin rite good bout herself. so we teamed up to git her sum jewlry, wtich she gut her the ear rings n necklace n we gut her a rang with a lil diamon n a lil pearl in it, witch they wuz all a good match.

turnt out that nanny, witch in case ye dun fergut, nanny wuz whut everbidy called maureens mother -- nanny had dun tuck it into her mind that maureen needed her a garage door opener, witch she wonted us to git together with milton n his good friend red wilson, witch everbidy tole ye rite away how the mos innerestin thang bout im is how he wuz over in japan after wwii n gut marrd to a woman name of miko.

innywho, the plan wuz how we wood git together to put in that door opener durin the week n then whenever nanny cum overn fer dinner, she wood sprize maureen by openin the door. corse, thay wuznt no way ye could do sumthin lack that without maureen a'noticin, so it turnt into a party, witch i hated how we all gut purty juiced up befor we gut to wurk. lucky fer us, red wilson wuz a genyus whenever it cum to makin mos innythang with yer hand n he could hold his likker lack nobidys bizness, so twixt him n me we wuz able to do the job.

milton wuz a nuther matter, tho. he wuz drunk as a skunk by time we went downstairs to the basement n gut to wurk. he kep up a runnin commentairy bout whut we wuz a doon n makin the same ole jokes bout miko n whut sex with a yeller woman must be lack, that kinda thang, witch ye mite speck red wilson wood git mad but he never dun nuthin but laff n tell bigger tales. gary ast im did red have truble fittin his pecker into her on a counta he figgerd a woman that could use dental floss fer a blindfold mus have a verr tite pussy. but red wilson cum rite back by sayin, 'taint that, milton, witch tiz better pussy n yew ever dreamed bout gittin on a counta how tiz sideways.' that gut milton to laffin even ifn me n emily couldnt make no sense of it. thats jes a eggzample of the kinda talk they had n i figgerd they musta wurked out most of them jokes over thar years of bein bes friends n seem lack they wuz a'puttin on a show fer us.

but twernt the funniest thang of the nite. durin one stretch, me n red wilson had to put up sum brackets that wuz a'gone hold the wurks that moved the garage door, so we wuz up a huffin n puffin trine to git thangs to fit. finely we had it reddy n ast emily could she reach us a number 2 bolt, witch they wuz all numberd. bout quick as he ast her, she tuck to laffin n we looked down to see whar milton had lined up ever nut n bolt in order in the neatest lil line ye ever seen. emily a'laffin made us wonta look n whenever we dun it, we dint have a wurd to say. milton wuz a'sittin cross legged on the ground n a'swayin with whiskey, but he closed his dead eye n looked up at us with his goodn n saw how we wuz a'lookin at that line up of nuts n bolts n sed, 'do whut ye kin do.'

that made us laff on a counta twuz purty clear how even that wuz a challenge fer im. but i never fergut that one statement. 'do whut ye kin do.' he knew he couldnt do much of nuthin to hep us, but he wuz reddy whenever we ast fer a number 2 bolt or a letter b nut. n thang wuz how everthang went purty easy once we figgerd how red wilson dint even need to be a'readin the instruckshuns on a counta milton wuz a'doon whut he could do, witch he could shore read im sum instruckshuns n git the nuts n bolts lined up.

by time we had that job dun, twuz near dawn so milton insisted i take a drive out to the graveyard with im. i ast im not to pee on his mamas grave n he ast me whos grave wuz he spozed to pee on? so we went over to his mamas grave n talked till he cride n then he peed n then we went home to lay down bout the time the sun wuz a'cummin up. seem lack we hadnt but barely closed our eyes till twuz time to git up n go over to nannys fer dinner, witch thats whut ye call lunch ifn ye cum frum looseburg. corse she had made a pot of coffee n twixt that n the good food, i gut thru the hangover i had without suffern too much. i dint ever feel lack i had to keep up with tuther drankers, so i wudnt near as hungover as eethur maureen or milton, witch they dint cum to no dinner at nannys.

corse we made the rounds after that, a'goin out to the cuntry to watch sum soap oprys with emilys other grandmother n then have a nuther big meal. we also had to make a trip up to columbia to visit pete smith n his fambly, witch i used to wunder why since thonly thang we ever dun wuz watch tv while pete wuz a'gittin drunk, but lease we dun it in the same room.

by far the bes moment of that trip cum whenever twuz time fer nanny to sprize maureen with the garage door opener. the idee wuz we wood go pick up nanny n she wood have the remote cuntrol, witch we had tuck it over to her a lil earlier in the week. whut a moment twuz whenever we pulled into that gravel driveway n maureen stopped the car n sed, 'bud, wood ye be so kind as to open the garage door?' but befor i could git out of the car, nanny lifted that remote n pushed the button n everbidy gasped whenever the garage door tuck to openin up by its ownself. thang wuz, we hadnt seen it doot frum outside our ownself so twuz a bit of a sprize. but thonly one that wuz really sprized wuz nanny on a counta she had bout half figgerd we wood all jes git drunk n not do the job. so when the door opened up when she pushed that remote, she cackled lack a ole cuntented hen.

durin the drive home we gut to talkin over whut wuz i a'gone do? should i wurk at utk? i kindly lacked the idee of havin two classes on tuesdys n thursdys n havin the rest of the week off. corse emily lacked the idee of me teachin at utk since thats whar she wuz a'wurkin on her docterutt only she wunderd ifn i couldnt git full time thar, witch she sed we wood be able to save us a lot of money ifn i dun that. that led to a lil bit of fussin n fitin on a counta dint she wont me to have time to rite? dint we wonta make that a priorty?

'whutever happend to that student of yers that gut raped?' she ast me, witch i wuz caught a lil off balants by that. i sed, 'cassandra?' she ast me did inny of my other students git raped? i tole her i dint know of nun, witch seem lack she wuz a'gittin madder by the mint. i tole her cassandra had jes started cummin back to class. she never sed nuthin more bout whut happend n dint seem to wonta talk. i reckon i carried on a lil long on the topick till she cut me off by sayin, 'ye dint rite much of nuthin whenever we wuz in frankfurt, so i dont see why havin time to rite is germane to the discusshun.'

i wonted to anser back with sumthin smart on a counta she had to be purty riled up to use the eggspreshun 'germane to the discusshun,' but she wuz rite. i dint do no ritin whenever we wuz in west germany n i dint have much of nuthin else i had to do. so i could say whutever i lacked, but havin free time dint lead to me doin no ritin.

so i ast her bout the idee of me takin sumthin full time at knoxvull collidge. whut did she thank bout that? she dint lack it much on a counta she dint thank they wuz payin reglar n ifn i could make almos the same money fer three classes at utk as i wood be makin fer four at kc, then why wood i make such a choice? then she ast me did i thank cassandra wood be cummin back fer winter quarter n i sed i dint have no idee n whut differnts did it make? so she ast me agin wuz i a'gone take that job? i dint have no anser, lease not at furst.

thang wuz, i wonted to larn more bout whut i had been a'larnin over at kc. it seemed to me lack i wuz larnin as much bout amurka over thar as i could larn at skool. n i wood half to add mitt i wuz kindly curious to see how thangs wood turn out with cassandra, witch i dint know why she kep astin bout that n wonted to ast her bout it, but i jes sed i wonted to larn all i could n fack is, i dint know bout no class whar i could larn whut life in the black communty wuz lack. emily dint lack that hole 'black communty' thang, but i tole her twuz how they referrd to it. she sed sumthin lack, 'once ye go black ...' n i ast her did she thank i woodnt never cum back? whut wuz she a'trine to say?

we wuz jes gittin home n parked daddys car in the parkin garage of our buildin. i turnt off the motor n ast her agin, but she turnt it around on me n ast me whut i wuz a'trine to say. i couldnt thank of nuthin. so she sed, lack twuz a forgone conclushun that she dint lack, 'so yer a'gone take the kc job.'

fer a long mint i couldnt thank of nuthin. then i knew i had to. thay wuz too much to larn, too much to do. but i wunderd how to splain it, wudnerd whut did i wonta do. finely sumthin cum to me, the echo of a drunken voice in my mind. i turnt to her n sed, 'do whut ye kin do.'

twernt whut she wonted to here, but it made her laff. we bofus laffed n sed how funny twuz the way milton had been a'sittin in the dust of that garage with all them nuts n bolts lined up. we laffed n laffed n then turnt to kiss but paused n together we sed, 'do whut ye kin do.' then we laffed sum more.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

teachin of buddy don: the readin list

at the end of my furst year teachin at knoxvull collidge, i give out this lil readin list. odd thang bout it is how sum of my students has menchuned this to me minny years later, speshly the last lil bit name of "A Few Things to Remember." ifn i wuz makin it today, twood have a lot more wurks on it, but this is how twuz back in june of 1983.

A College Reading List

Benjamin Franklin: Autobiography of Ben Franklin
Washington Irving: The Sketch Book
James Fenimore Cooper: The Last of the Mohicans
Nathanael Hawthorne: The Scarlet Letter, Twice Told Tales, House of the Seven Gables
Herman Melville: Moby Dick, Billy Budd
Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens): Huckleberry Finn, Tom Sawyer, etc.

Edgar Allen Poe: short stories
Harriet Beecher Stowe: Uncle Tom’s Cabin
Frederick Douglass: The Autobiography of Frederick Douglass
Bret Harte: The Outcasts of Poker Flat
Stephen Crane: Red Badge of Courage

Henry David Thoreau: Walden
Ralph Waldo Emerson: essays, especially “An American Scholar: and "Self Reliance"
Henry James: The Ambassadors, Washington Square, The Turn of the Screw, etc.
Frank Norris: The Octopus
W.E.B. DuBois: The Souls of Black Folk, The Autobiography of WEB DuBois

James Weldon Johnson: The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man
Theodore Dreiser: An American Tragedy, Sister Carrie
Upton Sinclair: The Jungle
Edith Wharton: Ethan Frome
Sherwood Anderson: Winesburg, Ohio

Willa Cather: O Pioneers, My Antonia
James Branch Cabell: The Cream of the Jest
Sinclair Lewis: Mainstreet, Babbit, Elmer Gantry
Thomas Wolfe: Look Homeward, Angel
F. Scott Fitzgerald: Tender is the Night, The Great Gatsby

O. E. Rölvaag: Giants in the Earth
Ellen Glasgow: Vein of Iron
Kate Chopin: The Awakening
Richard Wright: Native Son, Black Boy
John Dos Passos: USA Trilogy

William Faulkner: As I Lay Dying, The Sound and the Fury, Absalom, Absalom, etc.
Ernest Hemingway: The Sun Also Rises, A Farewell to Arms, For Whom the Bell Tolls, short stories, etc.
Nelson Algren: A Walk on the Wild Side, The Man with the Golden Arm
James Hilton: Lost Horizon

Margaret Mitchell: Gone with the Wind
Henry Roth: Call It Sleep
John O’Hara: Appointment in Samarra
Ayn Rand: The Fountainhead, Atlas Shrugged
John Steinbeck: Grapes of Wrath, East of Eden, The Winter of our Discontent, etc.

J. D. Salinger: Catcher in the Rye, short stories
Robert Penn Warren: All the King’s Men
Carson McCullers: The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter
A. B. Guthrie: The Big Sky
Ralph Ellison: The Invisible Man

Langston Hughes: The Big Sea, Not Without Laughter
Flannery O’Connor: short stories
Joseph Heller: Catch 22
Norman Mailer: The Naked and the Dead
Bernard Malamud: The Assistant, The Fixer

Dalton Trumbo: Johnny Got His Gun
Saul Bellow: The Adventures of Auggie March, etc.
Vladimir Nabokov: Lolita
Walker Percy: The Moviegoer
John Knowles: A Separate Peace

John Updike: Rabbit, Run (the whole Rabbit series)
Ken Kesey: One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Sometimes a Great Notion
Claude Brown: Manchild in the Promised Land
Robert Gover: The One Hundred Dollar Misunderstanding
William Styron: The Confessions of Nat Turner, Sophie’s Choice, etc.

Kurt Vonnegut: Cat’s Cradle, Breakfast of Champions, etc.
Maya Angelou: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, etc.
Alex Haley: Roots
Malcolm X (with Alex Haley): The Autobiography of Malcolm X
Martin Cruz Smith: Gorky Park

Raymond Chandler: The Big Sleep, etc.
Ross MacDonald: The Chill, The Goodbye Look, etc.
William H. Armstrong: Sounder
Jean Toomer: Cane
Sylvia Plath: The Bell Jar

Philip Roth: Goodbye, Colombus, etc.
James Baldwin: Go Tell It on the Mountain, No Name in the Street, etc.
Dick Gregory: Nigger
Eldridge Cleaver: Soul on Ice
James Agee: A Death in the Family

John Irving: The World According to Garp

Daniel Defoe: Moll Flanders, Robinson Crusoe
John Bunyan: A Pilgrim’s Progress
Jonathan Swift: Gulliver’s Travels, "A Modest Proposal"
Laurence Stern: The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Esq.
Tobias Smollet: Roderick Random, Humphrey Clinker
Henry Fielding: Tom Jones

Jane Austen: Pride and Prejudice, Emma, etc.
Charles Dickens: Great Expectations, David Copperfield, etc.
William M. Thackeray: Vanity Fair
George Eliot: Silas Marner, Middlemarch, etc.
Thomas Hardy: Return of the Native, Jude the Obscure, etc.

Charlotte Bronte: Jane Eyre
Emily Bronte: Whuthering Heights
Wilke Collins: The Moonstone
Sir Walter Scott: Guy Mannering, etc.
Joseph Conrad: The Heart of Darkness, etc.

James Joyce: Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Ulysses, etc.
D. H. Lawrence: Women in Love, Sons and Lovers, etc.
W. Somerset Maugham: Of Human Bondage, short stories
Virginia Woolf: Mrs. Dalloway, To the Lighthouse, Between the Acts, The Waves, etc.
Aldous Huxley: Brave New World, etc.

Joyce Carey: The Horse’s Mouth, etc.
Graham Greene: The Heart of the Matter, The Burnt Out Case, etc.
John Fowles: The Magus, The French Lieutenant’s Woman, etc.
J. R. R. Tolkien: The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings
William Golding: The Lord of the Flies

Nevil Shute: On the Beach
Agatha Christie: Curtain, etc.

Emile Zola: Nana, Germinal
Guy de Maupassant: short stories
Victor Hugo: Les Miserables, The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Rabelais: Gargantua and Pantegruel
Stendahl: The Red and the Black
Gustav Flaubert: Madame Bovary

Honore de Balzac: Pere Goriot, etc.
Jean-Paul Sartre: Nausea
Albert Camus: The Stranger, The Plague
Andre Gide: The Immoralist
Antoine de Saint Exupery: The Little Prince
Collette: The Complete Collette

Thomas Mann: The Magic Mountain, etc.
Franz Kafka: The Trial, Amerika, The Castle
Günter Grass: The Tin Drum
Heinrich Böll: Group Portrait with Lady
Robert Musil: The Man Without Qualities
Hermann Hesse: Steppenwolf, etc.

Erich Maria Remarque: All Quiet on the Western Front

Ivan Turgenev: Fathers and Sons
Nicolai Gogol: The Overcoat, Dead Souls, etc.
Fyodor Dostoevski: Crime and Punishment, Notes from Underground, The Brothers Karamazov
Leo Tolstoy: War and Peace, Anna Karenina, etc.
Boris Pasternak: Doctor Zhivago
Alexander Solzhenitsyn: One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovitch, etc.

Mikhail Bulgakov: The Master and Margarita
Arthur Koestler: Darkness at Noon

Nikos Kazantzakis: The Last Temptation of Christ, etc.

The Bible
Homer: Iliad, Odyssey
Plato: Republic, Symposium, “Death of Socrates” dialogues, etc.
Aristotle: Metaphysics, Rhetoric, Poetics, etc.
Virgil: Aeneid

Augustine: Confessions
Dante: Divine Comedy
Chaucer: Canterbury Tales
Machiavelli: The Prince
Hobbes: Leviathan

John Locke: Second Treatise on Government
Montaigne: essays
Shakespeare: complete works
Cervantes: Don Quixote
Milton: Paradise Lost

Voltaire: Candide
Rousseau: Confessions, etc.
Bacon: scientific methods
Descartes: methods of inquiry, doubt
Adam Smith: Wealth of Nations

Goethe: Faust
Christopher Marlowe: Doctor Faustus
Darwin: Origin of the Species
Karl Marx: The Communist Manifesto
Adolph Hitler: Mein Kampf

Sigmund Freud: Interpretation of Dreams

A Few Things to Remember
Educated people are readers. When you read, you expand your mental horizons and train your brain. All good writers are good readers. The more you read, the more you want to read; the more you want to read, the more you want to know; the more you know, the more you know that you don’t know everything -- you begin to realize how little anyone really knows; knowing that you don’t know everything humbles you and makes you a better, less narrow-minded person.

A brain that is not challenged by reading is like a muscle that is never used: it soon becomes weak, useless and lazy.

The best that has been known and thought by mankind is recorded only in the world’s great literature. You won’t see it on TV. It won’t be made into a movie. You won’t hear about it from a friend. You won’t find it in newspapers, magazines, comic strips, or sports pages. And you won’t find it without a struggle. But as every weightlifter knows: no pain, no gain. Becoming a truly educated person is not easy; that’s why so few people bother with it.

The three most useful abilities to any employment that requires more than the use of hands and backs are (1) the ability to read with good comprehension, (2) the ability to write clearly, and (3) the ability to communicate verbally with others. Reading improves all three abilities.

Remember that no conscious effort can ever be wasted in this universe. Every conscious effort you make makes you stronger, even if it doesn’t get you an A or a raise or appreciation from someone else.

Mankind’s memory is stored in books. If you don’t read, you are like a person with amnesia: you don’t know where you came from, who you are, what your beliefs mean, or anything else that happened before yesterday.

And don’t forget to make and keep good habits. As I’ve said many times, habits are easy to make but hard to break; good habits make you; bad habits break you. Good habits include: reading every day, exercising your body and your mind, keeping a journal or diary of each day’s events (not to mention your thoughts, hopes and dreams), writing and mailing letters, and loving your neighbors. Oh, and most important of all is loving yourself: make your present self an embarrassment to your future, better, stronger, smarter self.

Good luck and have a great summer.

-- Mr. Duncan