Happy Birthday, Jeff “Old Man” Long. Uncle Junior is wearing a party hat and not much else.

Dan, I miss you. Please come home soon.

Al, if the B-52’s can write a love song to a wig, so can you.

Rebecca, I cannot wait to throw down at your wedding…but how will we ever top the “Muppet Blowjob“?

AB, I love you, and I need you to follow me around and take pictures of me wherever I go. You understand. Vince will understand.

… so I almost got hit by a bus at the exact minute of my birth, 32 years later. And Dan saw it happen. I really, really, really almost got hit by a bus. Like, we couldn’t talk for a second because we had to take in the fact that I wasn’t dead, and Dan kept telling me that my hair had been parted down the middle from behind from the sheer windforce of the bus jamming past me, missing my body by less than a foot or two. … I want that to be a meaningful experience, because it seems like some kind of message from above, but I still find a way to complain about the little things, as if I haven’t been given a second chance at life. I had about one day of “Isn’t life amazing and the universe such a gift?” and then went right back to, “Can you believe this place charges eight bucks for a vodka tonic?”

This past week, when AB and Allison were in town, we were at IKEA struggling with a gigantic collection of boxes necessary to put together the bitch-assiest bookcase of all time. Three grown women were heaving and weeping, trying to haul this three-part monstrosity into a cart, and at one point I shouted, “Be careful! We’re going to hit that man!” And Al got flustered, and I think muttered something about how “that man” should at least offer to help, and I said, “This wouldn’t be happening if we were in the South!”

Putting together that bookcase took all the strength and determination the three of us could muster. At one point AB was inside the bookcase, holding onto three different shelves with all of her limbs, Allison was at the far end of the bookcase, and I was bracing myself against the top of the bookcase with my body, leaning against the wall, shouting, “Just push it as hard as you can! Don’t worry about me! Just use my body! I’ll be fine!”

Allison actually called an official break to the building, saying, “Pam, your face is so red, I’m worried you’re going to have a heart attack.”

But somehow we did it, without the help of them mens, and it’s really a pretty, pretty bookcase. And forever it will remind me of what three women can do when they’re pissed off at the notion that they can’t do something. (Ladies, next time you’re here… maybe we could try to do this. (What? Just do it.))

And lastly, it is always a greater loss than can be imagined when the world loses another writer. Kurt Vonnegut, you will be missed.