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small Swiss flag A few days ago I got a long email from W, the Swiss Miss. (As predicted previously, she's getting that spare initial - the Who's Who page has been updated appropriately). She'd like me to accept marketing responsibility for her boyfriend's invention, here in the States. They're offering me 40%... if the product wasn't so silly I might be able to get into this project. What they need is a huxter to man a booth demonstrating the thing at the Whole Life Expo. Not only do these Swiss people fancy me filling that rôle, but also organizing the whole campaign. Please - I couldn't keep a straight face promoting this object - it's a toy for those idle rich with new-age tendencies. I sent back my long answer, not quite a rejection, but a clarification of what I can't or won't do, and what I can and will (which is - not much). Unfortunately, the result may be I never hear from her again.

small blue square Holiday shopping? Although I don't want any compact disk box sets (this entry has more about why I find them objectionable) I would like access to them, somehow. These are what I crave:

  • "Back to Mono" - Phil Spector
  • "The London Singles Collection" - the Rolling Stones
  • "30 Years of Maximum R&B" - The Who
  • "The Byrds Box Set"
  • Not exactly a box set, and they're now out of print, but those two Eno double CDs (vocal & non-)
  • "The Thrill of it All" - Roxy Music
  • "Nuggets"
All contain four disks, and their packaging is huge. If they used the design of the one boxed set I do have (Laurie Anderson's "United States") I'd consider buying these - hers is just a fat cardboard sleeve which holds the four jewel cases in a stack.

small green square The Christmas party was held at work today, and it was tolerable - the karaoke embarrassment of last year<1> was not repeated. Instead we played "game show" - two were simulated, "The Newlywed Game" and the "$25,000 Pyramid". My coworker/supervisor and I were one of the four pairs of contestants in the first game. If you're unfamiliar with the rules (like me) the game's action involves your partner's answering of questions the way you would, pre-game; then during the game you're asked these same questions. Answers are then compared, and matches score. We weren't the winners, but our scores weren't the lowest, either; and the audience enjoyed it - that was the important thing, I suppose. The big friendly manager/supervisor (who got the biggest laffs with an unintentional Freudian slip) came by to congratulate later, because even though we didn't win, my one correct answer got a big roar of approval, due to both snappy delivery and similarity of answer. Afterwards, when most people drifted away, an older guy showed the videotape he'd put together from a couple of his hang-gliding trips over the Yosemite valley. His chosen soundtrack was that familiar Pucini opera.

R&B - Rhythm and Blues
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<1>The strange Taiwanese guy came around pre-party asking me if I would sing. He's the one who "livened things up" by bringing his karoake unit to last year's party. Five volunteers were needed and so far he only had one. Eagerly imploring me, he was saying "You can sing good!" and I thought yes, and it's unfortunate that you know because you're one of the few who heard me last year. Few sang then, and then the top managers felt obligated to humiliate themselves, but the rest of us sat with those wooden expressions we always wore in that large conference room, waiting for another endless meeting to conclude. Afterwards, I was curious and went up to play around with the equipment, since most everyone had drifted away. Browsing through the selection I found an Elvis laserdisk, which upon close inspection had "Blue Christmas" among the tracks. So I put it on, and knowing the words it was easy to do the King justice. Only a few people saw my magnificent performance, thankfully, and nobody key, or I'da been living it down all year and would today have been forced into the center of some ghastly repetition.