American Standard The Movie
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Announcements From the Flight Deck

by Geoff Wolinetz

Hello, everyone. This is Captain Baker from the flight deck. Today, I’m being assisted by First Lt. John Galvin. You’re on American Airlines flight 674, non-stop out of John F. Kennedy airport all the way to Los Angeles. Looks like…

Sometimes, at Work, I Feel like Maybe I’m Being Singled Out…

by Eric Feezell

Wolfman Taps… Or Something

by Dale Dobson

Dear Diary… You Stink

Polish Fact

Presidents of the Republic of Poland (since 1989)
Wojciech Jaruzelski (January 1, 1990 - December 21, 1990)
Lech Wałęsa (December 22, 1990 - December 23, 1995)
Aleksander Kwaśniewski (since December 23, 1995)

Learn a Foreign Tongue!

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Was ist im Leben am besten? Ihre Feinde zerquetschen, sie sehen, gefahren vor Ihnen und die Wehklage der Frauen hören!
What is best in life? To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of the women!

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Literary Hokum
Thursday, June 22, 2006   |    Fiction

Just Trying to Be the Best Me I Can Possibly Be: Talking Points

by Anthony Jaffe

1. Whatever I do and whenever I do it, I do the very best I can—even if I have no idea what I’m doing. For instance, I now realize a television cannot be fixed with a simple application of margarine and crushed cinderblocks, but I want you to know that I believed with all my heart that it could.

2. Taking stock of yourself can take many shapes. One shape is that of a stock certificate, like the one that was until recently in the top drawer of your desk. Yes, it was me who sold it. And yes, I wagered and subsequently lost nearly all the proceeds at the horse track, and then the dog track, and then I squandered what little was left at a greased-pig-catching contest. Of course I felt terrible, but discovering your true emotions is what this crazy journey we call “life” is all about, right? Believe me, I’m trying my best.

3. I don’t need to listen to so-called fashion experts; hip, overpriced clothes won’t make me feel good about myself. Fact is, I don’t need clothes at all. A thorough application of mayonnaise and pieces of glitter will do quite nicely for any occasion. This will explain why your bed is such a sparkly, fetid mess.

4. I know it may sound corny, but when life gives me lemons these days, I really try to make lemonade! Problem is, I am strongly inclined to add a generous helping of gin to this lemonade, and that’s led to a lot of cursing and vomiting. But guess what? I regurgitated those cufflinks I thought I had lost. Now that’s looking at the glass half full!

5. Please don’t roll your eyes when I tell you about my personal roadmap to life success. It’s gotten me off the highway of negativity and on the road to self-actualization! Of course, this road is not a straight shot: There are more than a few twists and turns, and there are also deer and guardrails that don’t have the good sense to get out of the way, and road-repair crews who act like they’ve never seen a minivan approach them in reverse at 70 miles an hour, much less with a group of senior citizens tied up and screaming in the back seat. I mean, do these guys live in a vacuum or something? Not me. I live in a place where you can drink two bottles of Old Grand-Dad and let the road take you where it may.

6. Being the best me I can be means trying to find beauty in every single day. That can mean enjoying a cool, dewy summer morning. Or a smile from a kindly waitress. Or the way a shaft of sunlight pours through the window and illuminates the steam from your first cup of coffee. Or the look a waitress gives you when she sees you pleasuring yourself with the remains of the breakfast special.

The timely delivery of bail money: That’s another special moment, and I thank you for it. Honestly, it’s the small things that mean the most.

Anthony Jaffe is is a writer in Atlanta.