February 15th, 2003


Gay men with sledgehammers are "in" for February

(EVENT) For the single and/or lonely and/or recently dumped, Valentine's Day can be a yearly lesson in misery, which is why we here at the ever-caring Stranger have thrown our Pre-Valentine's Day Bash at Re-bar for the past five years. The premise is simple: Single folks bring mementos--be they gifts or CDs or copies of Geek Love--from failed relationships to our little soiree, and our own Dan Savage mercilessly destroys them on stage in violent and sick ways. The result is a cathartic, hilarious evening, filled with tales of woe and possible lust. Possible lust? Yes, since the event is, after all, intended for singles. If you are alone this Hallmark holiday, bring an item from a past relationship and come on down to help with the healing. And who knows? You might just get laid. (Re-bar, 7 pm, $5--or free with a filled-out Stranger Personals ad.)

I didn't have to werk the next day, and I seemed the poster child for the above: Recently dumped? check. Lonely? check. Hoping to meet Dan Savage? check. Want to see destruction on stage that doesn't involve Gallagher and watermelons? check. So off I went.

I got there a bit late, but Dan was already in top form. The schtick went: Dan calls you up, holds your object, asks you tell how you got it, how the relationship ended, and how the memento should be destroyed. Along the way, he heckles you about your ex and encourages the crowd to give you sympathy while you tell your tale of woe.

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Oh, baby, I love your way.

Poll #102918 High fidelity

Which "High Fidelity" record store clerk are you most like?

Rob (John Cusack)
Barry (Jack Black)
Dick (the quiet one who hooks up with Sara Gilbert)
I have not seen and/or read High Fidelity, so I have no clue how to vote.

The ambassador has too much cash

A few weeks ago at the library we got a package and form letter from Ambassador Faith Whittlesey, former US Ambassador to Switzerland (81-88) :

Dear Librarian:

..We are pleased to donate the following English-language volume, entitled Credit Suisse Group Banks in the Second World War which is an abstract of a major research study published in 2001 in German --Zwischen Bundeshaus und Paradeplatz. Die Banken der Credit Suisse Group im Zweiten Weltkrieg.

The intention of the study...was to provide a description of the relationship between the Swiss federal state and its official apparatus on the one hand and the Swiss business sector on the other during WWII and to place this relationship in the context of crisis and war....

We trust this volume might add to the database of information you already have on Switzerland and World War II for those interested in research.

We are a medium sized public library. It is doubtful that, if one of our patrons was actually researching the role of the Swiss banking industry in financing WWII, that they would want an abstract of a translation of a German study. I chuckled about the deep pockets of the Swiss embassy and their cluelessness about the difference between public and university/research libraries.

This was a few weeks ago.

Today, we got ANOTHER identical copy of this unwanted book in the mail from the Swiss. Obviously, the Swiss came out of WWII with lots of spare cash with which to harass libraries in blue-collar towns in the Pacific Northwest with no discernable Swiss population.

It's like the library book equivalent of "1000 free hours!" AOL CDs. Except with linen-textured letterhead instead of a clunky altoids-ish tin.
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