Comments or suggestions: Gerard Van der Leun
Forty Fifth High School Reunion


The last time I saw these guys we were banging around in a 1948 Hudson, chipping in a quarter each for a gallon of gas, cruising for burgers, looking for foolish girls, conning drunks into buying us beer, and -- every so often -- running from the police down along the Sacramento River Delta. It was the summer of 1962.

45 years later it's golf, cocktail parties, and racing very large go-karts somewhere along the Sacramento River Delta. We'd be still running from the police, but one of us is the police so what's the point?

Don't Blink

I turned on the evening news
Saw a old man being interviewed,
Turning a hundred and two today.
Asked him what's the secret to life.
He looked up from his old pipe,
Laughed and said "All I can say is....

"Don't blink...

Just like that you're six years old
and you take a nap and you
Wake up and you're twenty-five
and your high school sweetheart becomes your wife...

Don't blink

You just might miss your babies
growing like mine did
Turning into moms and dads
next thing you know your "better half"
Of fifty years is there in bed
And you're praying God takes you instead.

Trust me friend a hundred years
goes faster than you think
So don't blink."
-- Kenny Chesney, Don't Blink

That's this weekend. More details to follow.

Posted by Vanderleun Sep 29, 2007 10:53 AM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Truth. Can You Handle the Truth?

"I'm not so sure I'd offer the same invitation, but nevertheless, it speaks volumes about the greatness, really, of America. We're confident enough to let a person express his views. I just really hope he tells everybody the truth." -- President George Bush

For days the tom-tom's of the right side of the blogosphere beat out the dulling message, over and over, as is its wont. Columbia University's President Lee Bollinger was a craven boot-licker of tyrants for inviting the death-dwarf of Iran to speak. Dire, dire consequences were predicted for Columbia. It was evil. It was hypocritical. Etc. and so forth. And because many of the people I respect were saying this I became convinced that Bollinger was in serious error, just another liberal tool and fool. And I was compelled to watch the event on television when it came to pass.

Now I am compelled to admit that I was wrong; that I seriously pre-judged the event; that what I assumed would be the truth of the matter, turned out to be false in reality. My mind had been taken over by the sounds (how often we hear them now) of dull old axes being ground on hollow stones.

The reality of the appearance of the dwarf Hitler at Columbia was:


Posted by Vanderleun Sep 24, 2007 3:32 PM | Comments (22)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Bollinger Rope-A-Dopes Ahmadinejad

Not Bolllinger's first rodeo, but it certainly was his best.

"Mr. President, you exhibit all the signs of a petty and cruel dictator."

"Frankly and in all candor, Mr. President, I doubt that you will have the intellectual courage to answer these questions. But your avoiding them will have meaning for us." Bollinger Explains It All for You.

Columbias President Confronts Iranian Leader - City Room - Metro - New York Times Blog

Mr. Bollinger asked Mr. Ahmadinejad: "Mr. President, you exhibit all the signs of a petty and cruel dictator, and so I ask you, and so I ask you, why have women members of the Bahai faith, homosexuals and so many of our academic colleagues become targets of persecution in your country?"

He asked whether Mr. Ahmadinejad was using a nuclear confrontation with the West to distract from his incompetent leadership at home. He also asked to be allowed to lead a delegation of scholars to Iran to speak freely, as Mr. Ahmadinejad can do today.

He confronted Mr. Ahmadinejad over his description of the Holocaust as "a fabricated legend," calling him either "brazenly provocative or astonishingly uneducated." He called Columbia a world center of Jewish studies that since the 1930s has provided a home for Jewish refugees. He called the Holocaust "the most documented event in human history."

"Today I feel all the weight of the modern civilized world yearning to express the revulsion at what you stand for," Mr. Bollinger told Mr. Ahmadinejad. "I only wish I could do better."


I'll be looking for the wave of apologies to President Bollinger. Starting with mine for thinking ill of his motives.


Posted by Vanderleun Sep 24, 2007 11:10 AM | Comments (40)  | QuickLink: Permalink
If you're not reading Morgan Freeberg's....

House of Eratosthenes, you should be.

The 2nd Most Important Issue

The issue that faces us next year, right behind that whole dead-terrorist-bodies thing, is whether the donks benefit from a frayed, fragile, threadbare tethering to reality or whether that tethering has snapped altogether. The donks are pretty emphatic that the real issue is whether or not the current President is a dumbass, which seems to me a peripheral article of history at best. We disagree; should we debate the question, it would be a pretty quick debate but it might get a little messy, gentle as I would try to be. It's the facts, you see; they are not on their side. Next year, they are running — the "moron" is not. That's just the way things are. We don't get to vote on George Bush's intellect or lack thereof — we are obliged to vote on the sanity of the donks, or lack thereof.

Things I Know

222. People who tolerate evil, because of their hidden agendas, fear of consequences or retribution, knowledge of their limitations, laziness, whatever, want everyone else to tolerate it as well. Being allowed to make up their own minds, to opt out of any movement to oppose the evil, to be left alone while braver men confront what they will not, never seems to be enough for them. Always, or nearly always, there is this passion to stop others from doing what they lack the courage to do. They talk about this passion and the resulting frustration a great deal. But they won't explain it. I wish they would.


Posted by Vanderleun Sep 22, 2007 12:36 AM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
I Was A Craigslist Woman Seeking Men

Our Bizarro Brides -- Craigslist Personals' Ad of the Moment


In a "measured" response to this ad relentlessly seeking perfection in "Women Seeking Men" -- Your best behavior is in the beginning - 32 -- we read this takeoff on it: Your absolute perfection is only the beginning. I'll take it from there - 32.....

You might want me but you can't have me because I am unobtainable and cannot be satisfied with anything less that a perfection I can shape in my own image. Yes, I am a mirror addict, but tarry bit while I blow you away with my ineffable essence.

I'm totally busy with a socialist circle of friends, training my dog to lick my feet, working long hours to accomplish little, going to shows (art, music, poetry slams/theater, and other second rate narcissist crapola that passes for the performing arts in this second level city) and recuperating with my weekly reading/cooking shows/football games on my large screen HDTV which cost me a lot on the Mastercard but I'm paying off as I can.

So, you aren't going to just meet me accidentally because God is merciful. You might glimpse me around town and we might even chat, should you remind me of myself, but then I'll be off again before you ever get my number much less the ineffable whiff of my perfection.

And I want to meet you. I really do. Because I know that you are just what the doctor ordered. Because I haven't had it in a way that makes my eyes explode in so long that the Sahara Desert is damp compared to me. I don't need you for your money or your connections, only for your slavish adoration and your throbbing unit. You don't need me to dress you in my clothes (size 10) or mommy you with my mommyness. (but I'm more than happy to help)

On a deeper level I know you are a person who appreciates his existence and what is good and beautiful especially since you don't have me making your life a living hell. You understand I'm trying to do as much as I can with a limited amount of time on the planet and a much more limited amount of good sense, but an unlimited ego that comes only to those who are now among "the formerly cute." You don't hold it against me, but I certainly wish you would if it is wood.

Once you meet me and get to know me, you know I'm the one. You know I am the one with whom your first and last thought should be, "FLEE!" Even when my best friend who is a model is nearby, it's about us and you are into me while she just has to lie beside us, paint her toenails, and wait her turn. (Besides, she tattles and then you're toast anyway; unless I can get seconds.)

You truly like bonfires on the beach with wine and cheese or beer and small puppy dogs turning on a spit. You don't complain about the cold because, well, I'm right there and you know an ice maiden when you see one, so it could be worse. With me you should dress in layers and bring extra blankets even if we're going to Phoenix in July.

You've probably been married or engaged and know egomaniac women like me first hand. You know how much it sucks to lose people you once loved and trusted. So let me be the second, third, or even fourth. But you are an optimist and have learned some valuable lessons. Your glass is half-full and you'd better drink it down down since mine is empty and I'm still thirsty.

You want a relationship with a sane woman. I don't have to talk you into it nor, really, do I have to be it. You pick up the phone after our 8th bankrupting date to say "Hi, I know you have a busy week ahead but I'm thinking of you and can't wait to see you pick up a check for a change."

You hate excuses as much as I do so you'll get none from me if I just blow you off without blowing you off.

The reason you are quite educated is due to the insatiable foolishness of hanging out with intellectually insane women like me. This translates into great sex (you can wait a *little* while... five years or $50,000 in date expenses, whichever comes first.) as we both plumb the depths of our sexual imaginations and I plug in and introduce you to my little friend, "The Cast Iron Intruder." This will make eventual procreation much more interesting, assuming the state will reinstate my breeding license and give my back my previous kids from their foster homes. You think twins are cute and scary simultaneously. You are right and I should know because I am the evil one.

Now that the hormones have done their work, I'm an attractive woman, 5'6.5", green eyes, Nordic features-the girl-troll next door. I like imported Italian brands of shoes and bondage equipment and fleece. I ride my bicycle like an obese Lance Armstrong and drive a European automobile much like Adolph Hitler did. I love views of the dungeon and cherish mine. I'm loyal and wickedly humorous and edgy. So is my collection of Ginzu knives. I speak a few languages poorly, am well-traveled in those places in the world where you can rent small men and children, and know my way around a whine list, as you can see here. I dance like Elaine Benes in that Seinfeld episode, so beware of up tempo music. I am proficient on the tuba.

Not looking for casual-please don't reply if you are. I'm looking for a committed man. Or, if you aren't, you will be soon. Please be HWP, taller rather than shorter, 28-42, ethical, STD-free, smoke-free (controlled drinking ok -- because, hey, as you can see I'm not controlling in the slightest). Please be something that compliments the wonder that is me.

It's kind of hard to find a boyfriend when you're me. Mostly because I am formerly cute but now certifiable. But I know you are out there and moving through life just as fast as I am and twice as insane. Now that you've got my number, I'd like your number. Let's just stop the world for a moment and really see what's in front of us. Someday, you'll look back on this and run into a tree. So, send a photo (No penis shots. I've several of my own here on the shelf already.) and spend a few moments telling me about why you are the ultimate in male perfection that only needs me to make you finally, firmly, and completely perfect at last.

Peace. (I'm liberal, btw, so don't use the word "Republican" or the words "George Bush" in your reply lest I fall into a frothing fit of dementia and be unable to answer for six months when my brain returns from orbiting the moon).

[Semi-Full Disclosure: Earlier today I posted the above item under the original title, Our Bizarro Brides -- Craigslist Personals' Ad of the Moment. The original copy below makes it seem that I "discovered" the ad mocking the ad. Untrue. I wrote the ad mocking the ad.


Partly because I've been rained in on a weekend (again) and was too bored by Hillary, Obama, Rudy, George, MoveOn, and the rest of the runners in front of the dog sled to write about them. But partly because the peeved tone of the original ad (Your best behavior is in the beginning - 32) seemed to me so vain and preening it was begging to be mocked. Hence, I mocked it with Your absolute perfection is only the beginning. I'll take it from there - 32 . Indeed, I thought I mocked it pretty well. It seemed to me to be so over the top that it was obvious as satire.

Was it? Not at all. It would seem that the men who troll Craigslist's "Women Seeking Men" (I only read it for the pictures of pear-shaped and pierced people.) simply cannot read, or , reading, cannot comprehend. So far, I've received 27 emails from men (and one "young fun couple in search of adventure!!" ) offering to date me or have me visit them at a nearby hotel or park (Cheapskates!).

Some are hostile:

No wonder you have jumped on the liberal bandwagon. Brain damage is a common symptom of liberalism or should I say socialism. Maybe u could find a guy in Russia to worship the ground you walk on.

Some are self-promoting if a bit undecisive:

As far as activities go I believe that I like doing pretty much everything, which means outdoor, indoor, travel, stay at home, relaxing/slow and also fast paced high energy type workouts or activities. Thinking of food, I would have to say my favorite type of food is either Chinese or Japanese food, and then coming in a close second would be Thai or Italian food.

Some give you way too much information:

So, why pick me? Well, your post made me think you want someone smart and adaptable, and that's me. If there's no connection on an intellectual level then what's the point? The brain really is the sexiest thing a man can bring to the table, I believe. And I know I can keep up. *grin*

Some give you way, way, way too much information before lapsing into despair:

6'-1" 185lbs, 33 waist, 7.5c hz eyes, s/p hair, 45 yr old, bi male, multi cummer….. Above is the most common questions asked here as far as I can tell, I have been searching here for some time and usually get the girls or couples sending me to their web site or cam site to chat after paying for it.

Some are, ah, 'romantic:'

Oh am I getting too mushy for you? Well chew on this. I really don't care what you believe, what you're into, or what you want to do. As long as we're doing and believing in it together. And we respect that of each other. But the word not spoken? See the other Craigslist category 'Misc Encounters'. See: 'Married. looking for more'. Bite me.

But none seem to have gotten the fact that the whole thing was a put-on. If love is blind, then longing for love would seem to deaden about every sense and warning flare you can send up.

The French have a saying -- Les chiens n'obtiennent pas des plaisanteries.-- which translates to "Dogs don't get jokes." Neither, it would seem, do lonely hearts. I think I'll just print my "ad" out and file it in the back pages of my copy of "A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again." ]

Posted by Vanderleun Sep 16, 2007 2:56 PM | Comments (16)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Sunday Supplementals: From Madonna in Isreal to Osama in English

madonna.jpg Madonna: I'm an 'ambassador for Judaism' You know, it was better for the Jews and everybody else when she was just an ambassador for fellatio.


Posted by Vanderleun Sep 15, 2007 11:17 PM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The New Essayists: A Selection

ESSAY_TEST_COVER2_400PX2.jpgEssay. From the French essayer, 'to try' or 'to attempt'. I love them more than any other literary form because they are "So various, so beautiful, so new." And, like the poem from which that line is drawn, often contain the opposite of what one thought one should think. In a way this is in the essay's DNA spiraling down from Montaigne. Montaigne's method was to ask, "What do I know?" -- with the emphasis on "I." In many, many words over the course of long years he struggled to answer the essayist's eternal question: How do I know what I think until I see what I say?

In deriving that answer, Montaigne is still the standard and his work has proved impossible to surpass on an extended basis. To hold a record for more than 400 years is, you will have to agree, a singular achievement.


Posted by Vanderleun Sep 1, 2007 10:12 PM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
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