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Summer

We had to do poetry for English class at school, and here was my submission. Mrs. Wolfson gave me a B...

“Summer”

When the days are long and it gets much funner.

When the Corner Confectionary is crowded with people sitting
on the street and eating two scoops, it’s really no bummer.

When the birds are chirping and they wake you up early in the morning but you don’t mind because you want to become a runner.

When there’s barbeques and the smell of charcoal in the air and you go to the beach and you’re tan and relaxed and you come home and watch “Dumb and Dumber.”

When school is a thing of the past and the future and your little brother clogs up the toilet so you have to call the plumber.

In my book, that’s called Summer.

By Becker Drane.

I am finally Iron Man...

It was pretty cool, Robert Downey, Jr was awesome and all that, but he needs a better villain next time. My Dad says they should've gone with the Mandarin, but he seems a little offensive in this day and age. Come to think of it, who is Iron Man's archenemy anyway? Titanium Man? The Crimson Dynamo?

See what I mean?

Getting pumped for the Dark Knight, though...

I am not Iron Man...

Chud fell asleep at 10.

Let's see how it goes tonight...

I Am Iron Man!

My Mom says just this once, I can go to the 12:01 AM opening show at Loews -- IF I promise not to you know what about it when she wakes me at 7AM to got to school tomorrow, and IF Mrs. Chudnick and not her is responsible for picking me and Chudnick and Connell and Crozier up at 2:30 AM. Chud swears Mrs. Chud is in, and since there's still two seats left in the back of her Suburban, there's only one question left on the table:

Who's in?

Orange Can

To all the people who emailed me about that sweet but untitled Orange Can tune on Mission Mix #9, I finally got the goods. The song's called "So Bright 2," and as soon as we reboot the Fixer Jukebox in a couple of weeks, I'll do my best to get it on the rotation. But if you can't wait that long or wanna here more, check out the band at their website:

http://www.myspace.com/orangecanuk

First got turned onto them by my buddy Seth Rockman's brother Matt, the late night DJ at 97.9 WVHP, Highland Park High School's student radio station. Matt (and his show "Tightrope" -- 1-4 AM, Thursdays) also clued me into the Beta Band, Grand National, Gomez, and the Secret Machines, amongst others, and even though it's hard to stay up sometimes, I never miss a show. As they say here in HP, not everyone listens to "Tightrope"...just the right people.

Hopefully it'll be streaming across the world before too long, but in the meantime, take another listen to Orange Can. "Fortified" is already being measured up for Mix #10, and I promise, you will not be disappointed...

The Annual Case Worker's Dinner

Last night I went to a very cool event. About a month ago I got invited to be an honorary “Maitre’ D” at The Annual Case Worker’s Dinner. The Annual Case Worker’s Dinner is this one time per year event (duh), at which all the Case Workers from the Big Building are honored.

It takes place in the Atrium of The Big Building (with an hors d’ouevres hour on the roof!), and there's an amazing buffet and guest speakers. All the Case Workers are there (so there is tons of security) and everyone wears black tie and come with a date – and it’s just a big celebration. As you know, Case Workers in The Seems are majorly important because they are the maestro’s behind helping people on their twisty paths and nudging them in the right direction. You have to be able to juggle many people’s lives in your head and think like 18 Moves ahead (more than in chess!) about how multiple paths, Twists of Fate, Strokes of L.U.C.K., and ordinary everyday events will play out!

Each year, a handful of people from different Departments are invited to be “Honorary Maitre’ D’s” – and we wear suits and ties (with our Badges) – and greet people when they come in. It might not sound like much, but take my word for it, it's a very big honor. I was especially stoked because just overhearing the dinner conversations between Case Workers about possible plans for The World and listening to the awards ceremony (“Nice Move,” “Best Blessing in Disguise,” “Biggest Contribution to The Plan” ) was very enlightening. There was a rumor going around that Danny Sullivan was actually going to show up – he was a famous Case Worker who burned out under all the pressure and dropped off the face of The Seems -- but he was nowhere to be found. Too bad, because they still teach some of his best Moves at the I.F.R.'s course on Planology, and I would have loved to meet him in person. Maybe next year...

Anyway, it was fun because I got to hang out with all the other Honoraries… not to mention the buffet. There was shrimp, salad, a carving station with Prime Rib (all catered by the Food & Drink Administration), and Dazzleberry Pie (my favorite) for dessert! I was even tempted to get a few autographs, and whisper in a couple ears about things I’d like to see happen in The World (Benjamin move into his own apartment on the other side of town??) but I didn’t think it would be conduct befitting a Fixer to do that.

Well, I’d better go because you know how long blogs are? Fun at first, then you’d rather be at the dentist!

LTF/FTL…

Best Sellers

Some people asked me to post the best-seller list of books in The Seems, so here it is! (As reported by “The Daily Plan” – the leading newspaper in The Seems.)

As of this week (hardcover):

#10. “Gnomenclature: The Complete Compendium of Jinxville,” by McGill C. Mudge.

#9. “Profiles in Courage: The ten greatest Fixers of all-time" by Wilamonus Frye.

#8. “A Not So Brief History of Time,” by Permin Neverlåethe.

#7. “Ripple Effect!” by Rom Klansy.

#6. “World Movers: A Seemsian Family’s Story of Life in The World,” by John and Mary Beth Brennis (with Kyle and Erin).

#5. “The Seems: The Glitch in Sleep,” by John Hulme and Michael Wexler

#4. “The Da Vinci Code" by Dan Brown (Personally thought it was one of the worst written books I've ever read, but have to admit, couldn't put it down).

#3. “Happiness Doesn’t Grow on Trees: Turning Your Job Into a Joy,” by Dominic Dozenski with Sarah Musten.

#2. “Radical!: The Inside Story of The Works of Mind, Body, & Soll, LLC.” by Anonymous.

#1. “The Rising Tide: Is The World Broken and Should We Fix It?” by Axel Montano, with a forward by Eve Hightower, Second in Command.

*All titles, Copyright ©Seemsbury Press, The Seems.

Guns N' Moses

I promise this is my last Israel blog, but I just wanted to say one last thing. One of the freakiest parts of Israel that you don’t see in other parts of The World is that there are like guns all over the place. And not just little guns. Like one day we stopped for gas in our IFR Tourbus and there was an Israeli girl who was like 17, wearing shorts, sandals, a white T-shirt and an Uzi (that’s a kind of gun)…strapped over her shoulder. In fact, the strap was embroidered like it was a guitar.

People always look at me in The Seems and then at my Badge and say, “How old are you?” like it’s weird for a 13 year old to be a Fixer, but in Israel you can go into the army at like 17. And EVERYONE who lives there has to go in for at least two years.

Even in some of the state parks we stopped at, the kids would be hiking and the teachers would be following behind carrying machine guns. It was weird, but not to them. I guess people also think it’s weird that someone my age can carry Fixer Tools and operate that kind of machinery. So, it’s all what you’re used to. Here are some pictures of kids like me doing “normal stuff” for them!!!
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Gamia

BTW -- after The Field Trip was over, I stayed an extra day in Israel after checking in with my Me-2, to make sure that everything was ok back at home. My Me-2 was kind of bummed because of the announcement (by the Toolshed) that the new Me-3™ was starting beta testing and in a couple years, the Me-2 might get retired. Tools often get retired when new ones are made and the Me-3 would be just like the Me-2 except it has real blood, more realistic hair, and can stay world-bound without a battery recharge for an entire year. (Me-2’s need to plug in about once a week.)

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So anyway, I stayed an extra day to check out some of the sights and I went to this place called “Gamla.” (These are the pictures.) As you can see, it’s like an ancient city on top of a mountain. It’s way up there because the Jews back then were hiding from the Romans, but the Romans eventually found them. But instead of getting captured, 9000 Jews jumped off the cliff of the city! It’s kind of a sad story but you can hike up the mountain (IF you’re in shape) and actually visit the ancient ruins. All these lizards and eagles live there now – no people – but it’s very amazing to be where all of this stuff actually happened way back in The Day. They have plaques and that tell the story and if you hike off the beaten path you can sit on the side of the hill and watch the eagles fly.

The Holy Land

I recently had the opportunity to join the latest class of Candidates on the annual Field Trip – which this year was to Israel. (In case you didn’t know, Fixer Blaque always takes the Candidates on a Field Trip once during Training, just so they can see the intricacies of The Plan and The World in action.)

Israel is pretty cool because the entire country was designed by one of the leading architecture firms in The Seems – Mind, Body, & Soll, LLC. They’re the same ones who designed The Big Building, Machu Pichu, Stonehenge, and a few other natural wonders of The World. Israel is unique, though, because they have cities, beaches, and the desert.

By far the highlight was getting a chance to swim in the Dead Sea. Some people say the Dead Sea is an example of a mistake by the Department of Public Works or Department of Nature, because they dumped too much salt into the water and now you can’t sink! It’s true – you go in the water and you can float on your back and read a newspaper, all because of the very high salt. I took some pictures of the Candidates reading the newspaper and floating – so when I load them onto the computer I’ll put them in my blog.

The Dead Sea was awesome and we went to the old city of Jerusalem, the beaches of Tel Aviv, and even the Joffa flea market where Fixer Blaque encouraged everyone to walk around and see The Plan in action. I bought a couple souvenirs but since they don’t take SeemsCharge (the credit card they use in The Seems), I couldn’t buy too much.

Fixer Blaque took everyone to an outdoor beach coffee shop on the shores of Tel Aviv and we talked about The Plan, The World, and what it means to be a Fixer. It was cool to talk about these big ideas in such a special place.

Hopefully, I’ll get invited to go on The Field Trip again – but next year it will probably be another Fixer who gets to go. I’m not sure where in The World that class of Candidates will get to go, but probably somewhere pretty cool.