Monday, November 27, 2006

International Intrigue ...

My *word*, I'm fascinating!

I must be, musn't I? How else to explain that so far today, two - TWO! - brilliant men, one from Europe, one from Asia, have posted comments on my blog?

Of course, I know they're brilliant because they wrote such funny and nice things. Stupid people do not write such funny and nice things. Stupid people govern. Badump bump! Goodnight, everybody! I'm here all week! Try the veal!

First, there was Mike from across the pond. Mike charmed the pants off me from the get-go with this lil' missive about K-Fed's "album": "I heard three of his tracks recently. I really enjoyed them. I should clarify: absolutely dreadful, utterly cringingly hopeless attempts at music....but entertainingly bad, like a Japanese Godzilla movie." Mike's my kinda guy. Mike has a MySpace page and a blog (Fevered Mutterings; never in the oh-so-extensive history of blogging has there been a better title for a blog).

Here's an excerpt from his blog's bio: "In a battered, run-down hospital in Wegburg (Germany), on a dark and stormy night on the first of October, 1971, a baby boy was born to the world. Nobody knew that one day that baby would grow up to be handsome, rich, charismatic, successful and well-loved. That baby....wasn't me. I was in the next bed down the hall. Someday I'll find that handsome, rich etc. guy, and I'll shoot him. I hate life's winners."

Mike is funny. I like Mike. I wrote to Mike to thank him for his comment and to say, "*I* think you're handsome. Screw that baby in the next bed down the hall in 1971. Today, he's probably married to a frigid wife and has three ungrateful children."

And Mike replied. I think I might have a new e-mail pal in the offing.

And then there was Colin Fawell, writing from Thailand: "Hi Beth. I recently discovered your blog, and am just dropping by to tell you that your tomes are a breath of fresh air for me amid the chaos of Bangkok where I presently live. It sounds like you live a perfectly regular life in the mid-west ('Thankfully' is a wonderful write), and I never thought I'd find that so appealing until I discovered you describing it. Be great :) "

Be great. Indeed. I try. I think I usually fall far, far short of "great," but that might just be my humility talking.

Or not. But, yeah, probably.

Then again, how others see us rarely matches how we see ourselves.

Last night, English Teacher Dave wrote, in part and in his best sloppy English:

"And speaking of impressing . . . I'm drinking and eating steak at Krapil's on 111th St. when one guy at the table sez: 'Do you still talk to Beth Kujawski?'

So I sez, 'Yeah.'

And he goes, 'That was the only student who intimidated me, intellectually. She was so far ahead of the other kids in that class.'

And I go, 'Uh.'

And Beth is like . . . well who?

And I'm like . . . I forget, I think.

And you're like, you didn't forget! Who?

John Mikenas, that's who. He's retired now and the social studies teachers get together after parent-teacher night every semester and Mikenas comes to taunt them with his retiredness. He asked about you and went on at length about your intellectual gifts. How about that? Makes you feel pretty good I bet. And it should for sure."

How nice is that?! John Mikenas was one of my history teachers. (And I dig Dave's word "retiredness.")

I replied to English Teacher Dave:

"I'm, like, so, like, amused at your little anecdote about John Mikenas. How funny that he'd ask about me all these years later. My 20th reunion is coming up. I mean, if anyone gets off their butt to make it happen. It won't be me, that's for sure. But 20 years. YIKES.

So thanks for passing along John's kind comments. Funny thing is, I don't FEEL very smart. I mean, yeah, I'm smart, but I don't feel as smart as some people seem to think I am. The whole Mensa thing is a fluke. I was sure I didn't do well enough to get in. Ooh, maybe I'm too smart to realize I'm smart.

No, that doesn't make sense. Anyway, I can thank my parents for giving me the raw materials, and I can thank teachers like you for making me use said raw materials.

Hey, if I'm so smart, why the hell can't I figure out what to do with my life?!"

Yeah, I'm a writer, sure. But I'm sure there's more to my spin around this mortal coil. I'm also a baker. And I'm a singer. And I made an early New Year's resolution to learn guitar, so I'll be a guitar player (to some degree). I can write and bake better than I can sing, but the singing, I must say, is coming along.

I recognize that not everything we do is what we do for money. But I want to wake up every day excited about what I get to do that day.

I guess it all comes back to what Randy, one of my bosses at the Tribune, once said: "You want to be Martha Stewart."

Yeah, I think I do. I like expressing myself in various artistic ways and making the world prettier in the process. (And I, too, have a thing for chickens. Though I don't carry them around. Yet.)

Right. OK then, that's a pretty short to-do list:

1. Become the next Martha Stewart. (I think Oprah is grooming Rachael Ray for that post, but unless I miss my guess, Rach ain't gonna be on the radar for the long haul.)

But before I become the next female billionaire, I need to clean up my office. My desk is a sty. I bet Martha's desk isn't a sty.

Then again, Martha probably has someone on staff whose only task is to keep her desk tidy.


Anonymous Mikeachim said...

*shuffles feet*
Pleased to meet you indeed. :)

3:44 PM  
Anonymous Mikeachim said...

Incidentally, "Goodnight, everybody! I'm here all week! Try the veal!" is my new catchphrase. :)
I'm going to use it at work until people avoid me when they see me approaching.

4:04 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

Do let me know how long that takes, will you, Mike? I work at home, so I can say it as often as I want, and the only person I run the risk of boring is myself.

Which, sadly, happens quite a lot.

Oh, though you don't believe in the concept of boredom. Which I think is a fine way to live life. I'm going to adopt the concept.

4:10 PM  
Anonymous Mikeachim said...

It's a damn fine catchphrase you've invented and it'll take ages for folk to get sick of me saying it.....but get sick they will, because I have a simplistic, dog-with-stick approach to humour. Environmentally friendly, too (I make individual jokes go just that little bit further).
Boredom, yes.
A bad word, a naughty phrase, up there with **** and possibly ******* ****.
In my opinion, boredom is a mental call to arms. Boredom is a little flag going up, saying "you're ready for something fresh and new, and the runway is clear".
But lots of people disagree, it seems, especially a lot of students I studied witha few years ago. 'Boredom' was something to react to, something out of their control, like 'bad weather' or 'tax bills'. Nothing they could do about 'boredom' at all, just get angsty and feel victimised.
Thus endeth the Anthony Robbinsesque rant. Sorry.

6:09 PM  
Blogger OneMan said...

I guess I should feel good that I didn't have him for history since I would not have made an impression.

Then again if Ms. Wherling(sp?) is still alive she would be really surprised how I ended up a Republican.

9:34 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

That woman scared the bejessus out of me my freshman year, which I'm sure was her intent.
I do wonder if she's still with us. She was rather far along when we had her.
And I'm sure you would have made an impression on Mikenas. I was thinking today that maybe it wasn't intellect he was noting, but maturity. I've always been older than my years, and certainly older than some of the chuckleheads who were part of my class. Why didn't we have AP history?

9:38 PM  

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