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© St. Petersburg Times, published May 24, 1999

Live long and prosper


Oh, I do love a good wedding. Even some of my own have been a great deal of fun. The weddings I frequent are mostly boozy, traditional fare with the occasional ethnic slant to keep me on my toes. But I've never attended a Star Trek wedding. Imagine seas of dorks, um, fans dressed in fantastic costumes and offering up a reason why this man and this woman should not be joined in perfect Klingon. I'm not going to go as far as to say I have seen it all, but I have my Greyhound ticket in my hand and I'm expecting the bus to pop around the corner at any minute.



So let us run with this tacky Vegas thang. Far from the madding official Elvis Web site, you'll find a weirder side of fandom, such as this gem. Here the authors pose deep, meaningful questions replete with moralistic undertones: "You make a $20 withdrawal from an ATM machine that goes haywire and spits out $10,000. What would Elvis do?" Lots of funny answers, but my favorite is "he would divide it up among his band, the Attractions."

For the artistically challenged


St. Petersburg is blessed with an absolutely beautiful downtown Arts Center. Now that we have the good art area covered, my soul hungers for a local museum of bad art, such as the one in Boston. Should my soul not get its evil little way, I suppose I have the Web with which to console my demanding innards. I can almost hear the Museum's Kazoo Choir buzzing its way through Jingle Bells as patrons painfully view Vanna White's Hearts.

Martha who?


Yes, it is a site to plug a book or two but that doesn't stop this would-be Martha from having a good time with trash. It is not the kind of trash your mother warned you about hanging out with as a teenager, but honest-to-goodness recyclables. The tips section is updated once a month and looks sane enough to let your kids take a swing at just about any of them. Of course, when kids and glue guns come together, this Elvis will quickly leave the building.

Make money fast!


Some weeks I put together a column and, without knowing it, I have a theme on my hands. I swear it happens only by accident, because my mind has been totally addled by hypertext and the Web. Rounding out this garbage theme, I can think of no greater trash than unsolicited e-mail, or spam to use the trendy term. It turns out your inbox could earn you a $5 credit at online music vendor CDNow if you forward your mail to the Spam Recycling Center. In the interests of paranoia, you have to sign up and hand over some demographic information, which you may not be comfortable doing. Ah, what the heck. You don't have any privacy anyway.

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