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Publisher's Note
by: Yogi

Looking Good

the Yogster During the last month we received some excellent comments regarding the first two issues of the AIH Newsletter. I'm not sure we can top anything we have done so far, however, I can reassure all our readers that the people who have contributed to this month's publication have done an outstanding job once again. Considering that school is out, and that vacations are in season, it is amazing that our editors found any time at all for our little publication.

So, what's in this issue?

Being midwife to seven canine units did not stop Dilbert from giving us a 
peek into how his summer is going.  We are all waiting anxiously for the 
moment when he will become a real grandpa to Sara's baby, which may 
actually be here by the time you read this.
Do you know of any AIH members that you would like to see interviewed? mamasmitty kows a few, and this month's interview is a real winner.
This month we welcome a new face to our newsletter: SmallLady. She tells us all about the perils of the workplace, and what you might expect if you have to leave it. I wonder how she knows all these things.
You might think it's Christmas in July when you read about the things Iceberg does in her spare time. This is her second guest article for us.
And, back with more calisthenics for the brain is Gadfly with his Hiking Problem. I really have to think hard about this one.
We all miss MystycalMage who is on summer hiatus. Fortunately she literally did not leave us hanging, and continues on with her thriller short story.
Are you a gamer? This month we are pleased to have Jiperly's review of an X-Box game called Simpson's Hit and Run. Find out if it's a hit,or if you should run when you see it.
If you didn't get your question answered last month, Fallen_Angel has your answers this month. “Willow The Frickin’ Wiccan.” is one of them.
And, we have some sterling observations from, who else, Sterling.
Were you impressed with Queen_Celine's article last month? Just wait until you read her music review this month. It's unlike any review I've ever seen. I was inspired by it.
Oh, and our Editor-in-Chief wrote something for us too. I think. It must be here somewhere

That's it for teasers. Don't forget to let us know how we are doing. And, if you are interested in helping us out with an article or two, Contact Us

And now, on with the reading. Enjoy.

  - Yogi

AIH: the Community
by: Dilbert

Dilbert Sez

Dilbert Summer is usually a quiet time. Not much happening. People are on vacation and out of the house. This year probably isn’t any different that any other year, but I have been incredibly busy. I’ve been recovering from the back surgery where I had 5 vertebrae immobilized. Add that to the crop of puppies that I am currently working on getting to a marketable age and I am spending more and more time off the computer and more time out in the real world doing real world things. I think everyone has this kind of thing going on during the warmer months of the year. There are a lot of people that disappear from the website and return once summer is over and school is back in session. It’s why you should worry about someone who is missing for a month or so during this time of the year. After all, people need some time to do real world things.

Speaking of the puppies, Freja is spending more and more time away from them. She is being a very good mother, but she is demanding more and more time away from the boob searchers. (She just barked to get in as I typed that) I’m one of those people that are fascinated with new life. The opportunities for a living thing to discover all the things around that are still a mystery to them. It’s as exciting to see an animal discover something new as it is for a baby to discover his toes for the first time.

Speaking of babies, my daughter, Sara, should have had her baby by the time the next issue of the newsletter is published. She is 3 weeks away from her due date and things appear to be progressing very well. It certainly hasn’t helped to have lost her job a little more than 4 weeks before her due date. There is a name for people that would let an employee go just weeks before they have a baby, but I can’t use that word here in polite company.

We are slightly less than 3 months away from the 2004 International Gathering. It’s going to be bigger and better than last year. Please plan on attending if you are going to be somewhat close and not doing anything that weekend. We had a great time last year and there isn’t any reason why we can’t have a good time this year. I would love to see a lot of new faces this year. We had 12 members at the NG in Pittsburgh and 24 last year here at the farm and with the logical progression we should have 48 people here this year. It’s not Mecca, but it’s damned close.

  - Dilbert

One On One
by: mamasmitty

Interview: Rolcam

mamasmitty Hi everyone! This months interview is with Rolcam! He is the second oldest of our family, first position being held by Flogo.

MS: So, I suppose we should start at the beginning of your life!
R: I have lived through seven decades and there are three separate periods that have significance in my life and these relate to where I spent them.

a) 0 to 20 in Malta where I was born. (Valletta, Malta the Capital City)
b) 20 to 25 in London, England.
c) 25 to 73 in Sydney, Australia.

Born in October, 1930 which was not a very bright year from a depression point of view, however ,I had a very happy childhood. I was sent to school at the age of two and a half. The first nine years were very good, By the age of nine I was tri-lingual. Maltese, Italian and English.
In 1939, practically on my ninth birthday World War II started. I remember very well the speech that Mussolini made when he declared war, because this meant Malta was at war with Italy and also Germany. From now forward we were not allowed to speak Italian any more.
My most vivid memory is that we actually had all our lessons in rock shelters underground. The air raids were that frequent that they set up our classrooms in the shelters. Another vivid memory was that we were very hungry and with tokens which I was in charge of we got our meals from the Victory Kitchens as they then called them.

MS: It must have been very scary for you as a child!
R: During the war in Malta we had incessant visitors from Italian and German planes. Sometimes as many as 30 in one day. It was a matter of going down into rock shelters to sleep over during the night.
My school found it more convenient to set up the classrooms in the shelter itself. This avoided the inconvenience of interruptions. At first I was very scared, age 9 I used to wonder when our house was going to get hit,you see all my other family's houses got hit. We had as many as 18 people living in our house. We got used to the air raids in time.
We used to watch planes chasing each other in the air. There was no problem in paying attention in school because it was just like any ordinary classroom ,it was just underground. We had seats, desks blackboard and some good teachers.
1948 year was an eventful year; I tasted travelling for the first time of my life. A 55 day trip of Italy, Switzerland, France and England. This trip included a visit to Wembley Stadium for the 1948 London Olympic Games. Since then having caught the travel bug, I have been to most countries of the globe.

MS: What did you do after school?
R: In 1948 I was introduced to spreadsheets for the first time. I was so fascinated that I finished up writing an integrated software Accounting Package solely based on spreadsheets. This was much earlier than the coming of Windows 95 and the now famous Excel software. I just love computers and now spend an average of 8 hours a day enjoying my favorite hobbies.
Most of my working life from 1955 to 1984 I worked for three world class Life Insurance Companies. English, Swedish and American. I started as a humble clerk and finished as an Assistant C E O of Sentry Life Australia Limited (A subsidiary company of SRNTRY GROUP of Stevens Point, Wisconsin).
After retiring at the age of 54 from the Insurance Industry I opened my own Accountancy firm. I retired from this at age 70.

MS: What do you think is one of the most important or impressive times in your life?
R: An important time period of my life was the period 1960 to 1966. At the age of 29 I decided to finish my tertiary education. I enrolled at Sydney University. I finished gaining two degrees, one in Economics and an honors degree in Accounting. In 1966, I became a qualified Accountant (CPA) and in 1975 I was elevated to the status of Fellowship (FCPA).
Another important period was when I started teaching. I had nine years teaching in five separate Technical Colleges. My subject was Financial Management.

MS: When did you find time to teach?
R: My teaching job was in the evenings between 6:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. I taught in 5 different colleges. The job gave me enormous satisfaction. Over the nine years I must have taught more than 2,700 students. The equation:- 2 classes of average 30 over 5 colleges for 9 years.
This leads me to say that one of my biggest trills in my life was when I walked up to the University Chancellor and received my degree. My parents were there, my wife and my sister. Graduation day was perfect. I still have my photo with cap and gown in my office at home.

MS: Did you enjoy your Insurance career?
R: My Insurance job required a lot of effort. I had four main managers reporting to me daily. We had 350 people working for the Company. The job carried with it a lot of responsibility but it had a lot of good lerks and perks.

1)supply of car with all expenses.
2)good salary
3)very prestigious
4)free lunches,etc...

MS: How many children and grand children do you have?
R: Yes, we have five children ranging from 52 to 39, we have 17 grand children ranging from 23 to 3, and we have 4 great grand children ranging from 7 to 2

MS: How would you describe yourself?
R: By definition I am an islander, however I am a city boy. Islanders are very ambitious. I had a theory that if you are going to do something ,you must give it your best shot.

MS: Do you have a favorite Quote?
R: "Life was not meant to be easy"

MS: What are your thoughts about how the world is today, as compared to when you were younger?
R: Society changes day by day, I was brought up in a good Catholic home with good values. I abhor violence, I am proud to state that I was never involved in a fisty cuff throughout my whole life.

MS: Do you have any closing thoughts?
R: Thank you for asking me to share some of my life's highlights with you.

Rolcam and his family are looking forward to some nice relaxing time in Queensland. A state north of New South Wales. He says "Everything is opposite in Australia,we go north for warmth!!" I hope he brings back lots of stories from his trip!

Until next month, I hope you all find yourselves well!

   -Mamasmitty aka: Kathy

Signs Of Our Times
by: SmallLady

SmallLady’s Guide to Unemployment

SmallLady So you wake up Friday morning with no idea of the monumental occurrence that’s about to happen to you. You eat your bagel with cream cheese, your orange juice and the left over peach cooler from last night. You sit down at your desk with a pseudo smile on your face, just like ever other morning. Then your pointy haired boss with the ego the size of Quebec walks back, “Angela, can I see you in my office please?”

Uh oh.

Now this isn’t the first time this has happened. In fact this happens a lot. Angela I need a coffee, Angela photocopy these papers for me because I am clearly a moron who can’t figure out how to push the big green button on the photocopier. But I digress.

However, today you can tell. You have that odd feeling in the pit of your stomach. You know this is going to be bad. You sit down across from his desk while he finishes up a phone call, with a “ultra cool looking” headset strapped to his head, making it look bigger then it already is. And then the coup de gras.

“Angela, you’re just not fitting in.”


“Angela, I’m replacing you with two minimum wage workers”


“Angela, the website is dying and we’re going to have to let you go.

So after your boss is done stroking his ego for half an hour after telling you that their letting you go. You crawl out of his office feeling like ant. You go and collect your things and other people look sad. Get a few hugs from some co-workers, because truly everybody liked you. You walk out the door with your record of employment and get in the cab to take you and all the crap you collect home. Now once at home things start to sink in. Which I feel can be best described with the 5 stages of grief.

Step 1: Denial
“This can’t be happening to me.” Oh yes it can. Your crying and still in shock. Still not realizing that your source of income is gone.

Step 2: Anger
“Why Me?” or “WTF? Not fitting in? You got along with everybody. And when the office bitch picks on you, you sat there and took it” Your Angry and you let everybody know it. Your pissed off about the unfairness of the situation and what a jackass your former boss was.

Step 3: Bargaining
This is where you start thinking of things you can do for them to take you back. But is quickly overshadowed by your desire of lawsuits.

Step 4: Depression
So your back at crying again, and you think your life can’t get much worse. You start to worry about how you’re going to pay your rent and bills and feed your cat.

Step 5: Acceptance
Once you’ve stopped crying long enough to realize that A) you hated your job. And B) your eligible for employment insurance. You accept the fact that until you find another job, you’re on a paid vacation, where you get to sleep in every morning and drink every night.

My Advice: ENJOY!

Guest Column
Submitted by: Iceberg

Plastic Craft

Plastic craft is just one of my hobbies but just about my favourite one as whatever is made will last just about for ever.
The canvas is quite cheap and for the stitching, which is cross stitch, I use knitting wool.
As you can see in the pictures, you can make many things from home decor to christmas items. These are just a selection of the things I have made.
The only snag I have is that I cannot buy the patterns in England and America and Canada don`t export them either so I have been using the free patterns that I have found on line. My friend who emigrated to Canada, came across a couple of magazines in the shops there and sent them to me.
I took the picture of santa outside next to the bench so that you can see just how tall he is.
Here we have a snowman screen,a snowman to keep nuts etc in and a snowman sweets/candy jar. In the front is a gazebo which I hang a small xmas decoration in.
In the picture,the overalls are for a gardeners greenhouse.The packets of seeds go in the pocket and the small gardening tools go in the box part.
Foghorn leghorn is a recipe box.The dog and duck are picture frames and tweetie Pie is a notelette holder.
I enjoy this craft and I hope you enjoy seeing just some of the things that can be made.

submitted by: Gadfly

Hiking Problem

Previous Problem: Roulette Sucker Bet

You are at the roulette wheel of a casino and someone comes up to you 
and suggests that each of you choose a combination of 3 from red and 
black. The winner is the first one whose combination matches 3 
consecutive roulette wheel spins. You are asked to go first. This is 
a sucker bet.  If, for example, you choose Red, Red, Red, what will 
the other person choose?

The other person would choose Black, Red, Red.  To see that this is a 
logical choice, suppose that Red, Red, Red eventually shows up.  If the 
previous spin was a Black the other person is able to cut you off from 
your winning combination. It turns out that the only way that you could 
win is if the first three spins are all red. To see this, consider the 
first time that Red, Red, Red shows up.  What was the previous spin?  
It could not be Red because then this would not be the first time for 
the combination to show up. The only possibilities are that there is no 
previous spin (this is the first 3 spins) or the previous spin was 
Black, in which case you lose. 

Your chances of getting 3 Reds in the first 3 spins are 1/2 * 1/2 * 1/2 
= 1 chance in 8. Initially choosing Black, Black, Black would obviously 
be similar.  For the other combinations that you could choose the other 
person could always choose a combination to cut yours off. The odds 
against you in these other cases would not be as bad as 1 in 8 but they 
would still be against you.

Hiking problem:
This is a classical recreational problem that yields easily to a little 
out of the box thinking.

A hiker starts climbing a mountain at 5:00 A.M. and arrives at the 
summit at 7:00 P.M. The hiker camps out overnight and starts the 
trip down at 5:00 A.M. and arrives at the bottom at 7:00 P.M.  Show 
that there must be at least one place along the mountain where the 
hiker arrived at the same time for the two trips.

If you know advanced math you are at a disadvantage because you may 
not use any advanced concepts such as functions or continuity.  There 
is a simple demonstration that could be explained to a ten year old.

   The solution to this month's puzzle will appear in our next issue.

In This Issue

Contributing Editors - articles:

Editor's Note
by: TupacShakur

Welcome To Issue 3!

lala fishy The third issue has arrived and we're still going strong! So far, the positive response this newsletter has gotten is very pleasing. Its good to know that you're enjoying it. That makes it all worth while.

I'm sure most of you are sick of hearing this by now, but i cant let it slip your minds. This months newsletter could have potentially crashed and burned. 3 days before the deadline we were scrambling around trying to get some more articles in, which we shouldnt have had to do. I'd like to thank the people who stepped up and came to us with articles before time ran out. Without them, this would only be half an issue..

We'd love to see more regular writers contributing to the newsletter. Once again, if you'd like to help out and write something, please do so. Send all your contributions to If you dont know what to write, or want to know if what you had in mind would be appropriate, dont hesitate to ask.

So, anyway. I hope everyone is enjoying their summer! Sit back, relax, grab a glass of lemonade and read issue #3 of the AIH Newsletter.

  - TupacShakur

Literary Works
by: MystycalMage
MystycalMage Last month, you got to read the first part of this short story, and now, part two. Next month's issue will include the final part of the short story. I hope you enjoy the continuation of this story.
  - MystycalMage

Short Story – The Man (Part 2)

He got ready and went to the office.
"Sara, cover for me.  If anyone needs me, needs me, they can reach 
me on my cell phone.  Anything not important, tell them to call back 
in a week."
"Okay," she said confused.  
"Where are you going?"
"To get my wife and son back."
"I'm going to Arkansas."
"They are in Arkansas?!?"
"I'm not sure, but I think so.  See you in a week."
He walked out of the office with a smile on his face.  He was 
finally, after a year and a half, going to get to see Joanna and 
Thomas again.

As he sat on the plane, waiting for it to take off, he began to think 
about what his son would look like, now that a y ear and a half had 
passed.  He tried to age him in his mind, and de-age him from the 
dream.  He had an idea what he might look like, but his mental picture 
was fading.The plane began to take off and he remembered he was 
afraid of flying.  He was so happy about going to Arkansas, it had 
slipped his mind.  He laid back his chair and got a pillow from the 
flight attendant.  He slept.  To comfort the fear, he slept.  As soon 
as his eyes were closed, he was walking down the road again.  But 
this time, he had already spoken to the boy.

He turned around and looked back to see Tom still sitting on the rock.  
Tom waved at him and smiled.  This made him very happy.  He was still 
looking backwards and not paying any attention to where he was going, 
and he was walking in the middle of the road.  As he turned around, 
there was a car slamming on its breaks.  The car collided into his 
legs, and he fell backwards.  He suddenly awoke.  The drink cart had 
hit him in the knee.  He was relieved that he was not seriously hurt.  
He repositioned himself in the chair to get more comfortable to 
possibly fall back asleep.  He lay still and stared at the no smoking 
light…soon he was drifting off again.  When he returned to his dream, 
he was on the road, walking again, before the car, but after the boy.  
"This time," he thought to himself, "I will walk on the side of the 
road."  He looked back at Tom.  Again Tom waved and smiled.  He turned 
around in time to see the car fly by him.  He noticed the person 
driving was a woman…a woman with midnight black hair.  It couldn't 
have been anyone but Joanna.  
As he got closer to Crag, he noticed the roads beginning to twist and 
turn.  What was that?  A top of a building?  Civilization at last!  
He began to speak aloud, "Finally, I'm here……"
"Sir," the flight attendant said as she shook him slightly, "Sir, we 
are about to land, you need to put your chair in its upright position."  
He was upset that the flight attendant had awakened him from his 
sleep, but happy they were finally in Arkansas.  They landed in Little 
Rock, Arkansas.  That was the only airport.  He had to rent a car and 
drive the 256 miles to Crag.  
When he finally arrived in Crag, he found his way to the middle of the 
town.  Then he decided to go in each direction until he located a 
familiar road.  
He first went north.  There were so many houses that way, he was 
sure it wasn't the right way.  He tried east and south with no luck.  
He tried west and it somehow looked familiar.  The road began to 
curve and as he looked back, he saw the top of the building.  He knew 
this was it.  He continued driving down the road until he saw the big 
rock where Tom had been sitting in his dream.  He saw where Tom 
had pointed, he saw the house.  The house had a For Sale sign in the 
front yard.  He decided to sit there for a while and wait. 

After being there for about three hours, he began to doze off.  Again, 
he dreamt.  This time was different however.   This time, he saw Tom, 
and he was much younger than he had been in previous dreams.  He 
was four or five.  
He was in the same house as in his later life, but this time he was 
playing in the front yard with Joanna.  He walked up to them in the 
yard and called out to her.  
"Ann!  What are you up to?"  Immediately, she rushed Tom inside.  Tom, 
at this point, had not seen his father since he was two years old.  
"Joanna, please, why are you doing this?"
"Who is Joanna?"
"Joanna, why are you playing around?"
"I don't know what you are talking about sir, but please don't harass 
my family."
"Your family?!?  It is my family, too"
"Sir, who are you?"
"I'm your husband, you ran out on me and took our son away."
"I've never been married, I adopted this boy."

Want to see your work here? Email works to: or Amail MystycalMage.

Game Review
by: Jiperly

Simpson's Hit and Run

Jiperly Reviewed on Xbox, Available on Gamecube, PS2 and PCs.

There are some games out there that push the boundaries of graphics, teamwork, fun, and morality. And then there's the Simpson's Hit and Run. This game isn't anything we haven't seen before- in fact, this game is a direct copycat of the hugely successful Grand Theft Auto series- and the only thing remotely oringial is the inside jokes aimed at Simpson's Fans.
You start the game out as one of the Simpson's character trying to figure out the strange occurrences that have been going on in town. As you play, you go through 7 levels, and play as Marge, Homer, Lisa, Bart Simpson and Apu Nahasapeemapetilon. The basic premise behind the game play is you've done so much for the town that everyone should share their car- so you aren't "stealing" cars- your hitching rides. And it seems to be true, since you're in the passenger side despite being in complete control of the car.
Littered throughout the virtual Springfield, there's hundreds of inside jokes, buildings from the show, and the cast from the Simpson's even offer their voices. You can visit the escalator that leads to nowhere, or check out the monorail ruins (oddly missing the anchor, but whatever). You can enter Springfield elementary, shop at the Androids dungeon, jump over the only bridge out of town (ironically which isn't), or play near the Springfield dam. There are hundreds of things that appear in the show that's in this game- Barney's uncles Bowling alley, the Duff Plant, City Hall, Moes, the DMV, the Matlock Expressway, The Aztec Theater, the Power plant, Mr. Burns house, complete with his human sized chess board, and many more.
There are also familiar clothes and vehicles- everything from Homers car that his half-brother made for him, Apu's sports car, and Martins boxcar derby car, to Marge's Police uniform, Lisa's "Floredia" costume, and Apu's American outfit.
Unfortunately, Other than cute inside jokes, this game is very limited. Every map is a complete circuit- unlike the game its based off of, there are no alleyways you can slip into or anything- road only goes one direction, and simply goes back to wherever you started. Also, the cars act funny- They act more like bumper cars than real ones- and after playing GTA, its very confusing that, if you hit another car, your car stops dead in its tracks, regardless of where you were hit.
Also, for some reason, rather than making 7 different maps, you get 4 maps, because the first 3 maps are in the daytime, and levels 4 through 6 are in the nighttime, so you get to visit the same place again. It isn't that inspired, and it doesn't make you wish to continue playing, after all, you worked hard to get rid of that map, and it just comes back with only a handful of differences. Not to mention there never is any reason why Apu gets his own level…
This is a cute game, but I wouldn't recommend buying it. The Game play flaws are too deep.

Ask An Angel
by: Fallen_Angel

Advice To All

Fallen_Angel Dear Fallen_Angel,
I've always pondered how did the Illusionist David Copperfield make the Statue of Liberty disappear
Dear Mr. Wonder
It’s quite simple actually; Copperfield had a setup of two towers on a stage, supporting an arch to hold the huge curtain that would be used to conceal the statue. The TV cameras and the live audience only saw the monument through the arch. When the curtains closed, David waxed poetic while the stage was ... slowly ... and imperceptibly ... turned. When the curtains opened, the statue was hidden behind one of the towers, and the audience was looking out to sea. Voila! The Statue of Liberty has disappeared!
Even if the stage hadn't completely hidden the statue, the towers were so brightly lit that the audience would be night blinded. Copperfield had also set up two rings of lights--one around Liberty, and another set up somewhere else. When the trick "happened," his assistants simply turned off the lights around the statue and turned on the other set for the helicopters to circle around.

Dear Fallen_Angel,
how did David Blane levitate?
Dear Mr. Wingless,
The Balducci levitation is really quite a simple technique where the magician raises his arms up by his sides and slowly appears to rise a few inches off the ground, before returning to earth quickly. The method involves positioning your audience about 8 to 10 feet away at a 45-degree angle. The magician needs to keep the audience small so they are within his field of sight. This is a very restrictive angle trick and it is essential that the angles are practiced, preferably in front of a mirror. The Balducci levitation involves pretending to float off the ground by going onto your tip toes on just one foot (the one furthest from the audiences view) while the nearest foot is raised a little off the ground. This looks fantastic as the foot on your tip toe is hidden by your trousers. This trick is all in the presentation and we all know that David Blaine knows how to present his tricks to an audience!

Dear Fallen_Angel,
Area 51, Bigfoot, The Bermuda Triangle, Loch Ness, UFO's
Is this based in any realm of logic and science or Just mass hysteria going back centuries in some cases?

Dear Urban Legend,
I honestly believe in all of those phenomena. However, the sighting of a UFO isn’t really a phenomenon. A UFO can be anything that’s flying, but you can’t identify it. I think in the future we will understand all of these phenomena better.

Dear Fallen_Angel,
Toronto is currently being overrun by dandelions.
Why did kids use to put a dandelion under your chin to see if you liked butter?
I never understood this one.

Dear Flutter By,
It’s a known fact that butterflies love to sit atop dandelions. There are special butterflies that live inside dandelions because they love the smell so much. When a child puts the dandelion under their chin, the butterfly can tell if the child likes butter or not because they have an innate sense of many things. If the child likes butter, the butterfly will fly out and kiss the child right on the tip of their nose. The butterfly will then flutter back into the dandelion and all of the children will know who likes butter and who doesn’t.

Dear Fallen_Angel,
Do trees like to leave?
Dear Mr. Oak,
No, trees would rather plant their roots where they were planted in the first place and never have to leave. It hurts their roots every time they gather their twigs and set off for another location. Sometimes it’s necessary for a tree to leave. They may have rodents living in the hair and need to get rid of them, plus lumberjacks like to break their beautiful nails. So when they leave all of their pests leave as well. Let’s face it, if you saw a tree moving to another location, you’d leave the area as fast as you could.

Dear Fallen_Angel,
If you could rename Buffy The Vampire Slayer, what would it be?
Dear Couch Potato,
I’ve only watched Buffy when Willow was doing a lot of magic. I don’t particularly like the Vampire part because I don’t get into Vampire type shows. However, if they made a different kind and focused on who I like, I would name the show “Willow The Frickin’ Wiccan.”

User contributions to this column are welcome. Send questions to the Newsletter mailbox, or to the editor directly.

Humor and Quotes
by: Sterling

Time poor

Here's something I wrote in my LiveJournal recently that I'd like to submit for the newsletter.

I've come to the conclusion that I'm time poor. I never have enough time to do all the things I want. I get home fairly worn out and just want to relax. There's not enough time to read, to surf the web, to learn the things I want to know, to write friends, to do LJ entries, and do all the things on my to-do list.
It gets to the point I rebel against my to-do list, because I'm so tired of looking at it. Like I have a date scheduled with the list every single time I get a darn spare 15 minutes. I need to just breathe awhile.
This means it's important to weed out the to-do list to the essentials. Don't pick up books that are only somewhat interesting. Pick up only the best darn ones.
No matter how much money you have, you can't buy time. Those in third world countries may fish for a living and earn $6 a month and live in a mud hut. But they live so simply, they spend all their free time with their family, focusing on them. No tv or stereo or stock market or extra stuff to maintain. As long as there's love in that family, they're relationship rich. Something many NYC millionares wish they were.
Poverty has many definitions. Our rich country is full of people who are time poor and relationship poor. The most important things. The more we get the more we lose.

  - Sterling

Song Review
by: QueenCèline

Deep Down Low

Queen_Celine My life has been beyond crazy lately. Since school has been out, I have been working two different jobs that take up fifty hours of each week. I have been having several different problems with some members of my family that have left me feeling helpless and somewhat powerless, as well. It is very difficult to see people who you love and care about in so much pain all the time. I do not think that is a task anyone would willingly take on. I have also been having some difficulties with a few friends of mine, and that has been causing me so much pain and loss of sleep that I am beginning to lose hope in several people and myself.

I was recently listening to a song that I have never really paid much attention to in the past. From the very beginning of the song, I was hanging on each word, and anticipating the next. All of my thoughts, worries, and fears, and concerns seemed to be somewhat lifted. I listened to the song over and over again, taking in each word as if I had written it myself.

"Everybody says, don't lose your head
You gotta keep that pretty smile upon your face
Well, I did that for awhile, but it just was not my style
I kept ending up in that forbidden place
I'm a happy woman but when I get knocked to the ground
I invite the blues to come around"

How true! I have always thought of myself as a relatively optimistic and happy-go-lucky person. I was beginning to miss that about myself, too. For a while, I felt like I was a stranger in my own body, as cliché as that may sound. I found it difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel, and to stop and enjoy the more simple things in life. I let myself give into the sadness and stress of everything that was going on around me. I felt as if I was being physically knocked down by my thoughts and concerns. Sometimes I felt as if I was watching a train wreck, and there was nothing I could do about it. But I always felt the obligation to put up a front, and never let people see what was really going on, as well as how I was really feeling.

"So don't be afraid to cry
Get down as far as you can go
Let the river rage on by and the wind blow
If you pay your dues in darkness
You'll appreciate the light
'Cause a deep down low makes level feel so high"

That right there just made me break down. To anyone else, that is just the chorus of a song. To me, that was my life. I was living those words each and every day. I felt so comforted and so at home with myself to know that I was not the only one who felt like that. In fact, enough people felt that way that someone actually wrote and recorded a song about it for the world to hear. I decided to take the advice given to me in the song. I just let it all go. I lost control of myself for a few minutes, and then regained my composure. I have to say, when all was said and done, I felt so much better about myself and about my life.

"I put on the saddest song
Ignore the telephone
I go ahead and cry the make-up from my eyes
I let my mind play tricks and then
I let it fool me once again
Into thinking that I'll never be alright
Then when I'm no longer crazy and I'm back to my old self
I realize how good I've always felt"

I learned a lot of things about who I am during that one big cry-fest, and I will take those lessons with me throughout my entire life. A life that I now know will always be full of ups and downs. I realize that I have to endure those hard times and those dark clouds in order to really fully appreciate just how wonderful even the average times are. Once I embraced the difficult times and learned lessons from them, the good times felt like Heaven.

"Let yourself go under
Touch the bottom of the pool
Isn't it strange and don't you wonder
How you always come back up and it's so cool"

I finally allowed myself to get as low as I could possibly and get. I do feel like I have touched the bottom. I touched the bottom of my being, the bottom of my soul, and the bottom of my emotions. My emotional roller coaster had taken me all over places I never even knew existed within me, and there was not a single stop that I missed. I was up, down, and everywhere in between. But when all was said and done, I accepted those feelings and embraced them to the fullest.

I now know that I am a better person for having been through such a rough time. I feel like I have been put to a test that I have ultimately passed with flying colors. It is a time I will never forget, nor will I ever regret. I see things more clearly now, and in a new light. I find it much easier to see the good in people and see situations for what they are, and not what they could have been.

And to think .. Because of one song, Chely Wright's "Deep Down Low", I have experienced more thoughts, emotions, lessons, and realizations than some people do in a lifetime.

  - QueenCeline

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