“The first duty of a revolutionary is to get away with it.”
― Abbie Hoffman, Steal This Book
A long long time ago in a galaxy far far away….
Okay, it was 1971. American anti-war activist Abbie Hoffman wrote and published Steal This Book. As intrigued as I was at the time – by the “counter culture” and social activism of the late 60-s – mid 70′s in general, and by Hoffman’s cheeky chutzpah in particular – I declined to pilfer Hoffman’s prose. Stealing anything was not something I was inclined to do. I also did not buy his book, because how in good conscience could I lawfully purchase a book that was, essentially if puckishly, advising me not to do so?
Thirty-three years later I find myself wondering: who, if anyone, bought that book?
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Spam question of the week: Why is “Nicholas Cage” sending me these emails: Your nasty herpes gone forever – the cure released.
Nic, it’s over. Thanks for releasing the cure; now, please release yourself from this obsession. I’ve moved on.
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The evil illness infecting me (mentioned in last week’s thrilling post) has moved on to MH and Belle. I find myself reflecting upon the classic advice to the rhinovirus -afflicted.
GET PLENTY OF REST AND DRINK PLENTY OF FLUIDS
Not possible, in my experience. Rest or fluids; you must pick one to plentify. If you drink plenty of fluids your plenty of rest will be interrupted by plenty of pee trips.
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The Cerebral Discourse Continues
UPS delivered a sturdy, large, thick, cardboard shipping box from a pet supply company. Printed in bold, black, TAKE ME SERIOUSLY letters on the outside of the shipping box is this instruction/warning:
DO NOT OPEN WITH A SHARP OBJECT.
The box is heavy, massive, and contains cases of canned cat food –nothing even remotely possible of being considered fragile. I don’t think my dullest butter knife is going to do the trick. What non-sharp object do those-who-printed-such-inane-advice think will open the shipping box – a spatula? A shoehorn? A banana peel?
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Belle leaned against the doorway to my office, respectfully but insistently reminding me that I’d agreed to donate copies of two of my books (my short fiction collection This Here and Now and The Mighty Quinn) to her friend A’s senior project…and…uh…A needs those books, now. Up in the attic, searching for a box for the books, I remembered I had copies of another book of mine – “mine” in the sense that my writing was in it, even if my name wasn’t on the cover – to donate.
Feminist Parenting: Struggles, Triumphs and Comic Interludes (The Crossing Press, 1994) – has it really been twenty years since its publication? My contribution to the anthology was an essay  wherein I juxtaposed the naming of my soon-to-be firstborn, K, with how I chose names for my fictional characters. I was honored to have my contribution included along with a variety of essays, stories, and poems – selections from literary luminaries like Robin Morgan and Anna Quindlen  and literary ordinaries like…well, like me.
The publisher-arranged publicity for the book consisted of readings by the anthology’s contributing writers, held at select locations throughout the country. There were enough contributors from the Pacific Northwest to do a reading in Oregon, which took place one stormy January evening in Eugene, at the erstwhile vanguard of independent feminist bookstores, Mother Kali’s. 
MH, sitting in the in audience with our son K on his lap, later noted that I was the only one of the speakers F-parenting in what (used to be) the normative child producing/rearing relationship: I was a woman married to a man with whom I was raising our child. There were four of the anthology’s contributors present: One lesbian mom, two divorced/single moms, and moiself mom.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
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Related to my previous musings re Abbie Hoffman’s book: In my ongoing if intermittent effort to understand and contextualize the zeitgeist  of my formative years, for the past few months I assembled and viewed my own film festival, of sorts.
Selections ranged from the absorbing, insightful, thought-provoking 2002 Academy Award-winning feature documentary, The Weather Underground  to the pedantic and flat out boring docu-interview-athon, Underground; from historical, archival footage-enhanced documentary (Berkeley in the Sixties); to a fictionalized political thriller (The Company You Keep) and a mildly amusing but ultimately inconsequential “home movie” of the times (F.T.A.) … and a few things in-between, including
The Weather Underground came from my own collection; the rest were courtesy of Netflix and PBS. My incisive, four-part review of the festival:
(1) everyone should watch The Weather Underground (I think it should be required viewing for high school civics/government/US History classes)
(2) no one with a pulse should watch Underground 
(3) fans of The Grateful Dead and/or Lawrence Welk might enjoy F.T.A.
(4) you think I’m kidding re (3)? Get a load of Lawrence and the gang groovin’ in all their yellow sunshine  sartorial splendor:
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May your pastel polyester pantsuits be bad-trip-free, and may the hijinks ensue.
Thanks for stopping by. Au Vendredi!
 Fancy-pants word for the most common viral infective agents that cause, in humans, the common cold.
 “What’s in a Name? Ask My Pal, Barry.”
 I particularly enjoyed Quindlen’s essay, “What About the Boys?”
 I know, I know. The bookstore was named in the 70′s, okay?
 Save for hopeless insomniacs, who might find it a side-effects-free substitute for Ambien.