The Feedback Forum!

Dear Viewers,

Blog proprietors (Mike and Val of mikeandvalblogging.wordpress.com) have noticed a decrease in fan-viewership in recent days. Do you, viewer, have any recommendations for stories or blog-related concerns that should be addressed in a witty blog post? Perhaps another chapter in Mike’s mystery saga, or a classic Val anecdote? Please share your ideas in the comment section, and keep it not provocative.

Signed,

Mike and Val blogging

re: re: (no subject)

Dear VALERIE,

Please be aware that between 10:00 am and 5:00 pm on Monday, June 27, JSM Management will briefly enter each apartment to inspect all barstools in the apartment. We apologize for any inconvenience and thank you for your cooperation.

  Sincerely,

JSM Management

 

I’ve never heard “barstools” used as a euphemism.

Fan Mail

Val recently posted a series of emails that she was too afraid to send. I dutifully took up the responsibility to get them to their intended recipients! Here are the responses:

Dear JSM Property Management,
I paid the May utility bill on June 1st. Check your records and please stop harassing me, even if it’s an “automated” e-mail. You say that every time. Also the banana peels outside our door are attracting ants. Please know that room 323 is the culprit, though. Is there some disciplinary procedure that deals with this?
Love,
Val

Re: “This ant problem is bananas!”
Thank you for letting us know about this garbage problem. An exterminator will be called by Monday to deal with the ants and a letter will be sent to room 323. More importantly, we apologize for the repeated emails, but we will continue to send them until the utility bill is paid IN FULL. After receiving two checks of insufficient amounts (which both bounced), you’ve recently sent us what appears to be an “inside-out animal”. Please stop sending us garbage and please send a payment in full or gas and electric services will be terminated by Tuesday.
-J.S.M Property Management
P.S.  We have contacted animal control in response to your actions.

 

Dear Architecture Building,
Good job on the architecture. If I didn’t know it was the architecture building, I would recommend to a dean that it should be. However, a number of exotic-seeming bugs have come to my attention in class and it makes me jittery. One of them looked like a yellow, winged caterpillar that seemed pretty poisonous. Is this a modern art thing? Also, nice library. I hope to study there so long as there aren’t any centipedes the size of my hand. Bye.

Love,
Val

Re: “Just one thing is bugging me…”
Valerie,
Thank you for the pleasant comments about the beauty of the building. We all try our hardest to keep it looking nice. I have informed the Entomology Department about your fascinating findings and they have assured me that they will keep the various insects as safe as possible. They have even offered to give you a free tour of the new Arthropod Wing of the building.
Have a nice day!
-Conrad Veidt, Building Supervisor

 

Dear Girl in My Class Who Likes to Relate Family-Drama,
Do you have any other familial anecdotes? Today I found out that you have a fiancée and a surgeon uncle who was in a shoot-out with the police last year. I was interested to find out that he was a surgeon. Also hearing about your parents’ divorce is awkward and usually always irrelevant. The guy who shouted over you, “That’s an anecdote, for Christ’s sake!” was justified in doing so.
Thanks!,
A friendly classmate

Re: “Tired of anecdotes”
Dear Valerie,
I apologize that I have been speaking about myself so much in this class, but as this is a class on poetry composition and I am the professor, I think its completely appropriate to read aloud our own work. I really want to encourage you to write some poems that relate to your life as well, instead of just writing acrostic poems about oceans. There is much room for improvement and it begins with a positive attitude!
-Professor Acadia

 

Dear Oceans Professor (Commonly Referred to as GEOL 117 Professor),
Do you have any more ocean puns? Trying to think of others inundates me with a wave of frustration! I don’t want to delve into murky waters, but maybe you could set up some office hours so we could talk about this. Nothing fishy though, this is just about the puns. Sediment.
Love,
Val

Re: “I can’t kelp these feelings…”
Dear Valerie,
While I do appreciate your frequent emails and your many visits at office hours, I think that you have crossed a line. Your email was quite sweet, but the included risque photos and the short story about two cephalopods mating were extremely graphic and disturbing. Its great that you enjoy the ocean to so much, but your need to sensualize it and involve me is simply not appropriate. Please do not contact me again unless it is directly related to the class or I will report you to the dean.
-Professor Rigel

Feisty e-mails in my outbox

Dear JSM Property Management,
I paid the May utility bill on June 1st. Check your records and please stop harassing me, even if it’s an “automated” e-mail. You say that every time. Also the banana peels outside our door are attracting ants. Please know that room 323 is the culprit, though. Is there some disciplinary procedure that deals with this?
Love,
Val

Dear Architecture Building,
Good job on the architecture. If I didn’t know it was the architecture building, I would recommend to a

E-mails

dean that it should be. However, a number of exotic-seeming bugs have come to my attention in class and it makes me jittery. One of them looked like a yellow, winged caterpillar that seemed pretty poisonous. Is this a modern art thing? Also, nice library. I hope to study there so long as there aren’t any centipedes the size of my hand. Bye.
Love,
Val

Dear Roommate Who Shall Remain Nameless,
It’s your turn to buy toilet paper. You are a very good/clean bathroom mate, though, and I like that you don’t leave wet towels on the floor. That’s basically just a breeding ground for wet-smelling towels.
Love,
Val

Dear Girl in My Class Who Likes to Relate Family-Drama,
Do you have any other familial anecdotes? Today I found out that you have a fiancée and a surgeon uncle who was in a shoot-out with the police last year. I was interested to find out that he was a surgeon. Also hearing about your parents’ divorce is awkward and usually always irrelevant. The guy who shouted over you, “That’s an anecdote, for Christ’s sake!” was justified in doing so.
Thanks!,
A friendly classmate

Dear Other Roommate Named Jessica,
Thanks for buying me beer last week. Do you mind that I watch Arrested Development at the volume I do? I’m not sure how soundproof the walls are, if they are at all. If they’re kind of thin, I wouldn’t be surprised.
Sincerely,
Val From Across the Hall (The One With Brown Hair)

Dear Public Policy Professor,
What do you mean “No Class/Readings on Thursday”? I have a feeling you’re getting sick of the Girl With Anecdotes, too. Good foresight. Have a nice Thursday.
Love,
Val

Dear Oceans Professor (Commonly Referred to as GEOL 117 Professor),
Do you have any more ocean puns? Trying to think of others inundates me with a wave of frustration! I don’t want to delve into murky waters, but maybe you could set up some office hours so we could talk about this. Nothing fishy though, this is just about the puns. Sediment.
Love,
Val

An Ode To A Friend


Thursday, a friend came in from out of town;
I was elated for his arrival.
The first day did not see one single frown,
for friendship then, there was a revival.

Friday night, however, the mood did sway
as alcohol was consumed to excess.
My own female friend, he yearn’d to persuade
this sweet gal into some state of undress!

Soon, friends left us to sit there in private.
Friend began to puke, for many an hour.
His mess, he left in a shade of violet,
in my bed and my couch and my shower.

For next time, we’ll be easy on the rum
to ensure his delight in Madison.

Deb’s Flag Car: A True Story of Conspiracy and Corruption

Over the weekend, I was driving from Illinois to Wisconsin. About 30 miles north of the Illinois-Wisconsin border, I came across a sight that I’m still struggling to understand. It was a van, driving north alongside me. Here is a brief description:

1. The van had a large decal in the side rear window that read, “Deb’s Flag Car”.

2. Pictured in the decal was a turbine, as one would find in a wind farm.

3. A phone number was beneath the title, ostensibly to inquire about the flag service, with a (618) area code.

4. There were two notifications on the rear window; one warned of sudden lane changes, and the other explained that a fire extinguisher was, in fact, inside the van.

5. On top of the van was an emergency lighting system, as one would find on a police car or ambulance. Behind this was a series of 3 large black racks. These racks were all empty. There was a also an antenna about 5 feet long.

The plot thickened when we called the number and a woman answered who had no idea what “Deb’s Flag Car” was. When “Deb’s Flag Car” was googled, we found only results about how “Deb’s Flag Car” was a certified escort car of Kansas. 618 though, is a Southern Illinois area code. Things are not adding up. I’ve searched “flag” and “wind turbine” together, and the only connections that I can make is that wind turbines are used frequently in Flagstaff, Arizona, and that someone is currently working on a patent to design a flagpole mounted wind turbine.

I don’t want to waste time with crackpot conspiracy theories, so here’s a few likely possibilities for the truth behind “Deb’s Flag Car”:

1. A team of nomads, led by the eponymous “Deb” have been traversing the upper midwest, robbing and scavenging any turbines that they come across. Taking the mantra “hiding in plain sight” to dizzying new heights, Deborah “Deb” Reynolds insists that each heist should be undertaken with emergency lights on. Under the guise of a turbine repair team, the group quickly dismantles the turbine of its precious fiberglass composite  blades. Days later, a traveling salesman with a pronounced bushy mustache (actually Deb’s lover and cohort, the dreaded Stephen W. Knuckleday) will come to the wind farm and attempt to sell the honest windfarmer a new set of blades for a discount price. When the kind windfarmer realizes that without blades, he has no way to harvest the wind, he will relent and purchase this new set. What he will not know, however, is that these blades are made from simple paper-mache. By the time he realizes this, Deb and her team will be at a farm hundreds of miles away, pulling the same grift.

2. After socialist leader Eugene Debs was imprisoned for sedition in the early 1900s, it was decided that America was not truly ready for a socialist President who could rid us of the stench of capitalism. A secret society, American Socialist Leaders (ASL), quickly faked the death of Debs by switching bodies with the conveniently dead Bartolomeo Vanzetti (himself a socialist scapegoat). With Woodrow Wilson’s recent discovery of the Martian technology of cryostasis, Debs was put into hibernation until the United States was ready for his return to power. Soon after Socialist patsy Barack Obama was elected president, the ASL mysteriously decided to keep Debs under cryostasis. Unable to deal with the idea that his grandfather may never return, Debs grandson, Eugene Debs III vowed to break him out. Removing the iron lung from a hidden closet in the Lincoln Bedroom, Eugene snuck the cryochamber into a van through the secret mole tunnels of the White House. Unable to understand the Martian technology that put his grandfather into this situation, Eugene roams the midwest, searching for any signs of aliens, hoping to ask for help on bringing Debs back to life. His main problem is keeping this strange alien casket fully powered. Afraid that the ASL will instantly notice him if he plugs directly into the main power grid, Eugene has been stealing power from various wind turbines that he comes across in his travels. He also gains significant power from lightning striking the large antenna on his car. Eugene no longer cares of politics, he just wants to sit with his grandfather and talk about life as the midwest breeze rolls by.

3. “Deb’s Flag Car” is actually an escort car service which scouts the road ahead for any signs of disruption so a large truck can safely travel the road, probably transporting parts to wind turbines.

While the truth to “Deb’s Flag Car” may never be known, we can at least sit back and observe that there are grand mysteries of the universe to which humans simply cannot comprehend.

Planning your trip via Illini Shuttle

So I’m going home for the first time since Winter Break. I’m really excited, except for having to deal with Illini Shuttle’s totally rando departure times and sassy ticket instructions. Is this for business? Anyway, I’m informed that in the event that I’m unsure whether or not my suitcase is too big… “If you have to ask, it is.” Not really, Illini Shuttle, it’s just a question!