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Monday, December 26, 2011

Writers @ Florida Intro #3

Ok, I was really out in the wilderness on this one. I don't think I had even had a conversation with Oz, so I was basically introducing a total stranger. I solicited a few personal facts from her by email, but, as you will see, I didn't even see how "Oz" was derived from "Astrid." (pronounced "AHH-strid," not "ASS-trid.") Oz was in the fiction-writing track, not in the poetry group with me, so I didn't know her work, her voice, anything. Hence the random plate-spinning horseplay of this intro. To draw attention away from my ignorance, I made a prop cereal box where her name was the brand—something like "Astrid O'z." She must have like that part, because she wanted to keep the box after the reading.

Oz Spies

"Oz Spies, Oz Spies, Oz Spies, Oz Spies"—if you say it enough times, does it start to make sense?

I don’t get Oz Spies yet. When she gave me some stuff to say about her, she told me, “feel free to embellish or lie as much as necessary to make me sound exciting.” Oh Oz, you are exciting.

Oz’s real name is Astrid. I heard Dr. Losano won’t call her Oz, so I guess he’s left with either Astrid or Ms. Spies. The exciting thing about this is not that one name is weird, or that the other name is weird, but that she changed from one name I’ve never known to another I’ve never known, WITH ABSOLUTELY NO CONNECTION BETWEEN THE TWO. It’s like putting bread in the toaster and getting back a warm TV Guide.

As far as I know, the only thing I have in common with Oz Spies is that she was raised in Littleton, CO, and I wore a black trenchcoat in high school. She’s lived in Seattle, Portland, New Jersey, and Colorado. She’s worked as a law office secretary, a dance instructor, a choreographer, and as an extra in Ernie Bushmiller’s classic NANCY comic strips. After combing through miles of microfilm, I found some of her finest work. Here she is in the selfless role of Miss Cream, always letting the comedic glory go to that gosh-darn prickle-headed ham, Nancy.

Excited yet? You don’t know the half of it. Oz Spies’s name contains the name of one of America’s most beloved traditional desserts, the pie.

Oz Spies occuPIEs the 76th position on the periodic table and is thankfully among the roughly 100 naturally occurring elements. Typically there are more protons than neutrons in Oz Spies.

Oz Spies can ALWAYS hear the ice-cream truck coming up the road, and can identify over 900 distinct ice cream flavors blindfolded.

Oz Spies operates on an apparent solar day of 24 hours, and her equinoxes precess 360 degrees every 26,000 years. One teaspoon of Oz Spies weighs in excess of 12 billion tons.

And if that’s not enough, have you guys tried this cereal? (hold up cereal box)

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