Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Malaria Strikes Back!

(Kyle, on right, with malaria again)
The memories and photos from our trip to Honduras this past summer have yet started to fade and, apparently, neither have the parasites living in Kyle's liver. I spent the weekend watching my older brother sleep and occasionally shiver with malaria again, partly because I am a caring brother, but mostly because I feel guilty.
As you can tell from the photo above he is (a little ugly) fine. The doctors say that the type of malaria he has could flare up several times before finally going away.
Oddly enough his flare-up occurred the week I published a column titled Have Malaria, Will Travel about his first bout with the illness. Here is an excerpt:
.. But remember that Kyle took drugs and look what happened to him. He’s walking around campus talking to anyone who will listen, “What, you’ve never had a tropical disease before? Oh, I have. It was no big deal. My brother dragged me out to the Honduran jungle. A mosquito carrying a very rare type of malaria was heading right for him. I pushed him out of the way and took the bite. Some would say I am a hero. I think I’m just a regular guy…”
Whether he is trying to place guilt or brag, I’m not sure, but Kyle is quick to remind me of the score:

Exotic Tropical Disease Scoreboard: Kyle- 1 Kelsey- 0

Thursday, January 26, 2006


(In Australia participating in a very complex drinking game)
Happy Australia Day!
Today, Uncle John's bathroom reader desk calendar has a great entry:
Uncle John’s Almanac

Today is Australia Day

In 1954 an Australian college student named Bob Hawke became the “World’s Fastest Drinker” After downing 2 ½ pints of beer in 11 seconds.

In 1983 the same Bob Hawke was elected prime minister of Australia.

In his 1994 memoirs, Hawke lamented, “this feat (the drinking) was to endear me to some of my fellow Australians more than anything else I ever achieved.”
Australians love their drink. I was subjected to their passion for alcohol when I was there in 2001. Here is an excerpt from a column I wrote about a very complex Australian drinking game centered around an awards show:
"I drink a shot of Bailey’s and then everyone turns their attention back to the television where another game’s top players are being announced. When a name is given that we all recognize as belonging to one of our company, we give primeval grunts from the gut and erupt into laughter and euphoric goodwill. Everyone watches as a shot or a can of beer is thrown back. A few cheaters drink when their players are not called, but no one seems to care."

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

The Nature of Monkey is irrepresible!


In the pic in the previous post you'll find a wooden staff propped in the corner of my office. It is not just any wooden staff, but a Monkey King Staff!

I wish I had some great story about traveling to China and being given the staff by some small Kung Fu monk who can break a stack of bricks with his genitals, but alas I don't. I ordered the staff online- not quite an amazing cultural experience.

While in college I studied Kung Fu and I bought the staff when I began learning a staff form. The staffs I used in class were light-weight and capable of flexing. While practicing with them I had a tendency to hit myself in the head and shins- not quite a Kung Fu Expert. When I received the MKS it was heavier, harder, and capable of afflicting nasty bruises. It scared the bejesus out of me to whip it around so I propped it in the corner and it has remained there ever since looking cool.

The original legend of the Monkey King may date back to 600 AD. Make sure you follow the link to the history I found online. It is very entertaining full of passages like, "he was crowned the Monkey King after he proved to be the only monkey on the Mountain of Fruit and Flowers to dare go through the Water Curtain and set up a kingdom on Earth."

His staff, which expanded and contracted on demand, was his weapon of choice. He stored it in his earlobe.

I think mine looks just fine in the corner.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Livin' Large in PJ's

The best thing about writing is reliving past adventures and misadventures while sitting at your computer in PJ's and Scooby Doo slippers. As for the hat...it's more of a thinking cap.

I took this pic this morning while I was working on a story about introducing an isolated island-village to the game of baseball in Honduras.

Take note of the killer amount of desk space. I just rearranged my office and opted for an 8' fold-out table as opposed to the weenie little computer desk I previously used.

I expect a visit from MTV's Cribs anyday. Here's to livin' large...

Thursday, January 19, 2006

What's a Hummel

In my last post I made a reference to Hummels, which confused one Mr. Don Sanchez:

"What the frick are Hummels? And why would I worry about trusting them with anyone?"

Well Mr. Sanchez, Hummels are 3-D works of art (figurines) that capture a very touching youthful innocence (they are ugly). And you should worry about who you trust with them because they are absolutely precious (worth boat loads of money to 75 yr old widower grandmas who on average have 75% of their childrens inheritance wrapped up in their collection).

If you want to start your own Hummel collection, bid on one of the over 6,000 figures listed today on e-Bay.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

People you can trust

There are two things you need to know about ladies who use the word Daggummit:

1. They can be trusted with your most prized collection of Hummels

2. They make great chocolate chip-cookies

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Link of the day

Imagine, someone actually sat down and made this site. And sometimes I think I waist my time on stupid things...

But seriously, check out the racks on some of these guys! Impressively disturbing.

Monday, January 16, 2006


In honor of the best show on television being back on the air, I have broken my own life down to 24. Since my life is somewhat less action-packed than Jack’s I will use years as opposed to hours.

24 years ago I was about 3.

The following takes place between the ages of 3-5: I stop pooping myself long enough to hold the UPS at bay with a simple garden hose and clown-head sprayer.

The following takes place between the ages of 6-8: While sitting on the bus I notice a girl a year older and twice my size. She is much too ugly and I am compelled to beat her up. Overcoming shots to the head by a very stiff trapper keeper, I am able to control the ugly hostile.

The following takes place between the ages of 9-11: I pick up a BB gun, pump it once, hold the barrel to my leg, and pull the trigger. It is the last time I ever fire a gun because they hurt.

The following takes place between the ages of 12-14: Chemical warfare ensues inside of my body. Some call this puberty. Hair grows from my arm pits.

The following takes place between the ages of 15-17: I am running from the law in my Trans Am at 56 MPH. Eventually, they pull me over and ask me if I had been drinking. After further interrogation the police office determines that the drifting over center was caused by excessive dancing to Billy Thorpe’s one, and only rock hit, Children of the Sun. The officer refuses to admit that this is the best rock song ever written. I’m let off with a warning.

The following takes place between the ages of 18-20: I’m shot by a skunk while running. I smell for days.

The following takes place between the ages of 21-23: Having vowed to never touch a gun again I begin the transformation into a lean mean terrorist butt kickin’ machine by studying Kung Fu. Terrorist’s butts kicked by me- 0; my own butt kicked by me: 67.

The following takes place between the ages of 24-26: I am held hostage by Tibetan monks and force-fed four meals a day.

Stay tuned next week.

I have never: been in a helicopter, shot at someone, been shot at, climbed through an air duct, punched anyone out, downloaded any schematics, or said something as cool as, “the only reason you are still conscious is because I don’t want to carry you,” Jack did all of this in the first 4 hours of his day.

Here’s rooting for an exciting 27th year!

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Rewarding Stupidity

(Would someone please take me hostage!)

Sometimes I wish I had less sense than I do. I'm not saying I have been blessed with an overabundance of it, but with a little less, I think I could be a bit more successful.

Take for example Farris Hassan, the Florida Teenager who thought it would be cool to visit Baghdad after studying immersion journalism in a high school class. This kid is a complete idiot. Read CNN's report Florida's 'Ferris Bueller' stuck in Kuwait.

Man, am I jealous! His face is everywhere. I guarantee that in less than 6 months he'll have a book out and it will probably be a bestseller. I could use a platform. I would like a book deal. Maybe, I will summer in Bangladesh this year. They have loads of gangs, militants, and just the right amount of lawlessness to give my writing career a nice little jump start. If I got captured I could really have a bestseller on my hands.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006


(Me and the precious pups Zoe and Scout)

"I should like to spend the whole of my life traveling abroad, if I could anywhere borrow another life to spend afterwards at home."
- William Hazlett

After my mom got two new lab puppies for Christmas I would have to agree with ole' Billy Haz.