Archive for September, 2004

I met Denise when I was living in Salamanca. She was a great drinker and we’ve kept in touch a fair bit over the years. I always liked her.

I remember one night at the Chupateria after 5 or 6 shots of absinthe she asked me the oddest question, which is one reason I’ll always remember her: “Elliott, I’m really boring. How can I be cool?”

Anyway, she forwarded me this email and I decided to answer the questions:

Hey guys, Okay, here’s what you’re supposed to do…..and try not to be LAME and spoil the fun! COPY (not forward) this entire e-mail and paste it into a new e-mail that you can send. Change all of the answers so that they apply to you.

Then, send this to a whole bunch of people you know (INCLUDING) the person who sent it to you. The theory is that you will learn a lot of little known facts about your friends. Remember to send it back to the person who sent it to you.

1. WHAT IS YOUR FULL NAME? Kent Elliott Dykes

2. WHAT COLOUR PANTS ARE YOU WEARING? I’m in my underwear.




6. HOW IS THE WEATHER RIGHT NOW? Dark but pleasant.

7. LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE? I can’t remembrer. It seems I’m always talking to answering machines.

8. THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT THE OPPOSITE SEX? It depends on how big her breasts are. If they’re big….that is hard to ignore. Otherwise her eyes.

9. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON WHO SENT YOU THIS? Yes, I need to go visit her….wherever she is living these days.


11. FAVOURITE SOFT DRINK? Nothing in particular. I like Coke, Root Beer, and Orangina. Milkshakes are my favorite.


13. FAVOURITE SPORTS? Basketball and Tennis

14. HAIR COLOUR? What I have left is brown

15. EYE COLOUR? Brown


18. FAVOURITE MONTH? I guess I’d have to say December.

19. FAVOURITE FOOD? Cheesecake.

20. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED? Shawshank Redemption.

21. FAVOURITE DAY OF THE YEAR? Dec 31st. Always a good party.

22. ARE YOU TOO SHY TO ASK SOMEONE OUT? Nope, but I am too tired and/or lazy.


24. HUGS OR KISSES? Depends on my mood.

25. RELATIONSHIPS OR ONE NIGHT STANDS? Relationships ideally, but don’t discount a good one night stand.




29. WHO IS LEAST LIKELY TO RESPOND? Someone who doesn’t read this.

30. WHAT BOOKS ARE YOU READING? The European Dream by Jeremy Rifkin and The Double by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

31. WHAT DID YOU DO LAST NIGHT? What I do everynight (except for the good ones): Sleep.

32. FAVOURITE SMELLS? The wind on the streets in Europe, a baking cake, the lake after a summer rain.

33. WHO/WHAT INSPIRES YOU? My friends, travel, and the future.

34. BUTTERED, PLAIN, OR SALTED POPCORN? Popcorn gets caught in my teeth…..but the butter doesn’t.

35. FAVOURITE CAR? Porsche

36. FAVOURITE FLOWER? Maybe not a single flower, but I remember when I was in Mallorca there were whole fields of flowers so that the entire countryside was a color….mostly red, yellow and purple.



39. FAVOURITE DAY OF THE WEEK? Saturday and/or Sunday. I could do without the rest.


41. WHAT DID YOU DO FOR YOUR LAST BIRTHDAY? Went to see my parents.

42. DO YOU OWN A DONOR CARD? I don’t really know what that is…so I guess No.

43. WHAT WAS THE FIRST THING YOU THOUGHT OF WHEN YOU WOKE UP THIS MORNING? I though of ways to keep from getting out of bed.

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Everyone knows I’m not big on politics. I figure I’ve been voting indirectly ever since I was 20 years old…..with my feet.

That’s what economists say. You ultimately vote with your feet. If people don’t like something they eventually just get up and leave. Voting is for the actively complacent to mildly dissatisfied. The real dissenters go somewhere else.

Anyway, did anyone see that Cat Stevens (now known as Yusaf Islam) is on a government watch list and his plane from Bangkok to Washington was diverted to prevent him from entering the country?

It seems Cat Stevens is a threat to national security! The man sang a song called “I love my dog” for heaven’s sake. So what if he’s grown his hair a little long and wears a robe nowadays? Might as well put all of San Francisco on a government list too if that’s the case.

So what does that have to do with voting? I’m getting really close to thinking that all this has gone too far. I’m certainly not saying Vote Kerry cause I can’t say he’d be any better and I don’t like to give concrete advice…it’s too self-indulgent, but shit….Cat Stevens?? Have you ever listened to his music? He retired and moved to London and raised 5 kids. I don’t see anything all that subversive in that.

He did go Muslim and changed the name….but so what? Prince changed his name to a fucking symbol!!! Nobody put him on a list (probably because they couldn’t figure out how).

I know in the past he has said some public and negative things about the US. Ok. He is a turbinwearing Muslim and doesn’t love the US.

Let’s examine those negatives (because otherwise he is a law abiding father and husband living in London for decades with no criminal record and a history of speaking and singing about peace).

He is Muslim: Freedom of religion. Ever heard of it?
He said negative things about the US: Freedom of speech. Ring a bell?? Maybe not.

Sorry…I got off on a tanget. Don’t let me talk about politics. I prefer to vote with my feet. Anyone know a good emigration lawyer? Leave phone numbers if you do.

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I complain a lot about the pace of my life and the hours I work….actually the pace of my life caused by the hours I work. The two are certainly related.

But the things that fill my life outside of work are largely good things. The pace is a little hectic and I feel overscheduled…but the extracurricular stuff is fun and relaxing for the most part. I definitely can’t say my life would be better without them…..otherwise, of course, I would consider getting rid of them. They are all voluntary. And I would volunteer for more stuff if I could fit it in.

So that brings us back to the first issue….which is the cause of the second: work hours and the pace of those hours that leaves me tired at the end of the day.

Do I hate my job? No. I don’t hate it. I actually like a lot of things about it.

It is very challenging, which makes it easy for me to stay awake, something I’ve always had trouble with. Some of that energy is caused by stress, but I don’t hate stress. I just hate chronic stress.

I never look at my watch during the day and wonder when 5 o’clock is gonna roll around. I remember in high school those big grey round clocks hanging at the front of class over the teachers head, always reminding you how freaking slowly the day went by. 50 minutes seemed like a year. That never happens at work (although I might not mind a few days like that so I could get some rest).

My coworkers are pretty good folks. My managers are workaholic stressballs….but they’re not that bad either. And everyone is pretty smart too. Its always nice to be around people you can trust to do their stuff right.

The company has a line of business that does what I want to do. All I have to do is not self-destruct and I’ll one day get moved. I have a habit of quitting stuff I don’t like. It has always been hard for me to work at something I don’t really care about because I know it’ll get me what I want later, but maybe it isn’t impossible.

On that note I do still apply for other jobs (all in the field I want to move into) and dream of leaving the rat race. Lately I’ve been trying to get in touch with immigration lawyers, although I think that usually means foreigners trying to come to the US, not a US citizen leaving to work somewhere else. I tried to find emigration lawyers, but there doesn’t appear to be such a thing.

I might be willing to drop a thousand bucks if some lawyer could get me a work permit for the EU. They work, on average, 9 weeks less a year than we do. 9 weeks is a lot. Although if I moved there, with all my extra time, I would probably find a place where they worked even less….and then I’d want to move there. I think I’ve figured out my real goal: I want to be a bum. They don’t work at all. Hmmmmm…that doesn’t sound right for some reason.

Anyway…although I joke and complain, I have a pretty good job and don’t hate it. It is just too much of a good thing sometimes.

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I really don’t have anything much to say these days. There is little room for creativity, or spare moments to think of something worth writing about.

On Mondays I play tennis after work, although Monday is my optional day. Sometimes I just leave work (usually at 7 or 8), come home and wash clothes or clean up, or on occasion I even do nothing.

On Tuesdays I play tennis. My apartment complex hosts a free clinic at 8:30 and I get to hit a few balls and talk to the people who come every week. I’ve met some nice folks.

On Wednesdays I have my bowling league. I go straight from work to the bowling alley and drink a few beers and try to destress for a few hours.

On Thurdays I have basketball games. My team is with some people from the office and is a lot of fun. I don’t play that well because I never practice anymore, but no one else does either, so it works out.

On Fridays I usually work late and sometimes go out, but I enjoy sitting on my ass and doing nothing more…so I stay in a lot too. Occasionally on Friday I’ll do some of the personal stuff I didn’t do during the week, like write emails, clean the apartment, read a book, etc.

On Saturdays I usually go to work….at least for a few hours. During the league tennis season, my matches are on Saturday mornings, otherwise I usually sleep till noon….which is one of my favorite times during the week.

On Sundays I try to rest. It always seems I have something to do and so I don’t ever get much rest in, but it is my goal.

People sometimes ask me to do stuff that isn’t on that schedule, but I always have to tell them no, because you see that almost my entire week has already been allotted. It is over before it starts. I just have to show up for everything.

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I predict that in the next 10 years all food will be found to cause cancer. The other day I read about a new, obviously well meaning, group called the Breatharians. Their ultra restrictive diet excludes food altogether. They maintain that human beings can exist on light alone. I maintain that this will be a very short-lived diet plan, no pun intended.

In a related story, life will be found to be hazardous to your health and, despite the bewildering advances of modern medicine, I predict that the death rate of humans will hold steady at 100%.

I predict human cloning. Consequently, after people hang out with their “other self” and find out how freaking annoying they really are, I predict a concurrent rise in clone murder…or would that be considered suicide?

I predict an increasingly accelerating augmentation of the bulk store and supply of utterly superfluous, wasteful and unneeded quantities of consumer market goods and services for the end-user client. I further predict that people will lose the ability to think in complete sentences and will convert to the more “user friendly” slogans, tag lines, and bullet point sentence fragments. People will be paid a small fee every time they can naturally work in a plug for a multinational’s product. I say “Just Do It

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