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How Monkeyboy Got His Grump June 30, 2003

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Art Crimes at selenasol.com

Monkeyboy, this site’s webgimp, had finally returned from his holiday to the World’s Armpit. He threw himself onto the sofa, a sulky expression on his face. When she states that he was also scornful, sniping, surly and sarcastic, Miss Monica does not even begin to enumerate his newly apparent and perhaps recently developed shortcomings which start with the letter ‘s’.

– World’s Armpit? She inquired. You said that to your mother’s face?

– Well � err � not exactly.

– Ah. Then you said it behind her back. On your blog. To everyone in the Whole World.

– Hardly. I only had 1,098 hits last month.

– Don’t quibble about your intentions!

There was a long silence.

– I have writer’s block, Monkeyboy sighed in heartfelt self-pity.

The same could not be said for the young men and women living in Miss Monica’s neighborhood. In Monkeyboy’s absence, they had spray-painted the formerly terracotta block wall surrounding her front garden with a story book assemblage of colored names and symbols.

– Words cannot express how much I loathe decorating, Monkeyboy snarled as Miss Monica saddled him with brushes, tarps, and paint. He banged the paint cans against the doorway as he squeezed himself through. I hate it! Hate it! Hate it!

It was ten a.m. in Venice. The fog was evaporating into the sky like a curtain lifting on a sunny comedy. A radiantly bronzed man carrying a yellow surfboard walked past them toward the ocean. His summer wetsuit was stripped down to his waist. Surf or die, read a motto scrolled on the bottom of the board.

The cans clattered to the pavement. Monkeyboy, moving at the speed of a three-toed sloth, flapped open a dusty tarp. It flopped loudly over the cans.

– Here, you. Ten dollars if you paint this for me. He begged two teenaged boys who were bouncing backwards against a neighboring chain link fence.

One boy loudly popped a fluorescent sucker out of his mouth and smiled. His teeth were bright pink.

– All right, then � twenty… thirty..? Damn! Monkeyboy threw the cans into the middle of the walkway and his hands into the air. Oh, God! Will no one save me from this home improvement hell?

A tiny old woman rocking in a porch swing across the way offered Monkeyboy her advice.

Monkeyboy mocked her in a falsetto voice. You’d catch more flies with honey, young man�

– Ya never read Tom Sawyer? She asked, glaring at him.

– Can’t be bothered, right? Monkeyboy said. Without turning to look at her, he pried open a paint can and threw its lid in the bushes. The old woman picked up a cordless phone and punched some numbers. Miss Monica’s phone rang.

– Yes?

– A classic of American literature, and he can’t be bothered. Serves him right, then. A voice quavered in Miss Monica’s ear.

And that, dear reader, is how Monkeyboy came to pass the day in sullen and solitary self-confinement. Perhaps he has finished painting the wall by now. But Miss Monica observes that the wall embraces three sides of the garden, and that each time Monkeyboy turns a corner the boys reach into their backpacks and pull out their own portable painting equipment. So perhaps he is there still.

Idle Thought #2: How the Rich Get Richer June 26, 2003

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How it reads: “In an attempt to create parity between stock and mutual insurance companies, the 1986 Tax Reform Act liberalized IRC 501(c)(15), by allowing stock as well as mutual companies to qualify for exemption from federal income tax, and by changing the measure of the dollar ceiling from a gross receipts test to a premium income test. The law now provides that insurance companies (other than life) are exempt from federal income tax if their net written premiums (or if greater, direct written premiums) for the taxable year do not exceed $350,000.”

How it works: We set up Miss Monica’s Pet Surety Company. We insure your Fluffy against a variety of veterinary risks. We make sure total net premiums are less than $350,000 per year. Then we take our vast investment portfolio (did we forget to mention that we own a vast investment portfolio?) and contribute it to the Pet Surety Company (did we forget to mention that we own 100% of the stock?). Thereafter all of the portfolio earnings — interest, dividends, capital gains, etc. — are completely tax free. Oh sure, we might take out a dividend or two eventually, but probably at vastly reduced tax rates.

Completely legal.

A month after a six-month-old article finally got published… June 25, 2003

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…but I finally read it, and this guy’s thoughts on Star Trek are so, so true.

Idle Thought #1: Donuts For Diets June 24, 2003

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Did you know that Winchells had a radio advertising campaign recently, in which they tried to persuade that TWO donuts (TWO, count ’em) have LESS fat and FEWER calories than a scone from that Fancy Tarted Up Coffee Place That Shall Not Be Named in the Advertisement .

The ad featured a Valley Girl type, who said she worked out at a gym that morning, then went and munched on TWO glazed raised at Winchells, while her friend Brittany or Amber or Heather or some other comical name like that went to that Fancy Tarted Up Coffee Place That Shall Not Be Named in the Advertisement and ate a scone. And guess what? Valley Girl LOST WEIGHT but BrAmbHer DIDN’T. (Take *that*, Starbucks.)

Nevertheless, reality was successfully suspended until they lost us upon comparing their Winchell’s drizzle to Starbuck’s eurobrew.

As well, the ad neglected to mention Valley Girl’s real secret to slimming success: she shucked the donuts, coffee, and what was left of last night’s dinner in Winchell’s lavatory after the taping.

Miss Monica read the news today… June 21, 2003

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And more than ever, she agrees with Randy Newman.

Let’s drop the big one.

No one likes us, I don’t know why.
We may not be perfect, but heaven knows we try.
And all around us, even our old friends put us down,
Let’s drop the big one, see what happens…

We give them money, but are they grateful?
No they’re spiteful and they’re hateful,
They don’t respect us, so let’s suprise them,
We’ll drop the big one, pulverize them.

Asia’s crowded, Europe’s too old,
Africa is far to hot, and Canada’s too cold,
And South America stole our name,
Let’s drop the big one, they’ll be no one left to blame us,

We’ll save Austrailia,
Don’t want to hurt no kangaroo,
We’ll build an all American amusement park there,
they got surfing too

Boom! goes London, Boom! Pa-reee,
More room for you, and more room for me,
And every city, the whole world ’round,
Will just be another American town.

Oh how peaceful it will be,
We’ll set everybody free,
They’ll be a Japanese Kimono for you, they’ll be Itallian shoes for me.
They all hate us anyhow, so let’s drop the big one now,
Let’s drop the big one now.

Available for Adoption June 21, 2003

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to Los Angeles-area cat-loving residents only:

two amazingly wonderful kittens.
See bios, below.

Please call:

Santa Monica Dog & Cat Hospital, (310) 453-5459
Monday thru Friday – 8am – 6pm
Saturday – 8am – 2pm

ROMEO FELINI June 19, 2003

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A SCRATCHBOOK EXCLUSIVE! Interview by Miss Monica.

Heartthrob Romeo Felini, on the set of Kitten Caboodle Too

Taking a break while filming Kitten Caboodle Too, the Joel and Ethan Coen-directed sequel to the comic masterpiece Kitten Caboodle, hot new rising star and cuddleboy Romeo Felini looked relaxed and happy as he lounged on his festively-striped beach blanket. Decked out in his finest fur and whiskers, the sweet-mewing star says that nothing much has changed despite his meteoric ascent up the starchart since the surprise runaway success of the first Caboodle. �More people want to say they petted me, maybe,� the actor says. �But I still hang out at home with my brothers and sister and do all the things I used to … pounce, play, eat, sleep … you know.� Don’t get him wrong. Romeo enjoys his celebrity status. “The pat� is killer!” But mostly he wants to act, … and ladies, be warned. He’s in search of his one true love. “I love lap time,” Romeo purrs. “I’m looking for just the right girl to curl up with.”

Romeo couldn�t be happier with his current winning streak, which has come despite recent tabloid reports of all-night catnip binges and gossip that his heart-meltingly good looks far outweigh his acting abilities. �I mean some people have said I’m hitting the ‘nip pretty hard, but I’m like meow, man, I’m only six weeks old! I don’t know anything about that stuff.” He adds that he is taking his career “much more seriously” since yesterday. “In the past few days I’ve been type cast in the cute baby kitten role, but I think I’ve got a lot more range than that. Sure, I may be too young to play a fat cat or top cat, but I score as Scaredy Cat in Haunted! [due out in Fall 2003]… and I’m on track for some hep cat work later this year . So I’m not worried.”

Romeo. He’s got range.

Photo credit: Sandi Kirwin (c) 2003.

Profiles in Courage June 18, 2003

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Name: Sir Edmund Hillary Kitten

Occupation: Mountaineer, Aspiring Beecatcher

Hometown: Los Angeles, California, USA

Age: 6 Weeks

Coach: Miss Monica

Sponsors: MissMonica.org, Santa Monica Dog & Cat Hospital, KMR

Favorite Sports Drink: Formula and cat food smoothies.

Training Schedule: Will climb anything, anywhere, anytime.

Motto: “Because it’s there.”

Most Important Lesson Learned to Date: Always think ahead.

Photo Credit: Sandi Kirwin, (c) 2003.

Groan. June 18, 2003

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Bakker’s Back!

Yes, that’s right. Disgraced televangelist (and when I say “disgraced”, please understand the words “horny”, “avaricious”, and “jailbird”) Jim Bakker is back on TV. And doing very well, thank you.

You Americans. Have you no standards?

Making the Law Illegal June 18, 2003

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Arcata Bans Patriot Act

Yes, that’s right. While over 100 towns and counties in the US had passed resolutions condemning the Patriot Act, last month the town of Arcata, California imposed a fine of $57 on any town official complying with the Patriot Act.

Go liberal Californians!