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While trying to decide what to post here in Sean’s absence, I started reading through the list of posts on his computer in draft form. I found the following truly stellar work of poetry and thought I, living as I do with him, would be best suited to annotate it for you.

1 I was the shadow of the moon in rain
  falling gently against the windowpane
  I was the running of rivulets—and I
  Drained on, fell on, in the moonpooled light.
5 And from the inside, too, I’d duplicate
  Myself, my pen, my post-its on a crate;
  Penetrating the night, I’d write reviews
  of events sporting and old emcee blues
  until at last I find my hidden muse

Lines 1-4: I was the shadow of the moon in rain, etc.

The image in the opening lines evidently refers to rain running in miniature rivers down a plate of glass. During the last six months of his life, I have been privileged enough to note this phenomenon on numerous occasions on Sean’s very window, since his window is visible from mine. Through this very window I have sometimes glimpsed him writing until the wee small hours of the morning, perchance dozing on the keyboard between drafts.

Line 6: post-its on a crate

An allusion to his creative process, no doubt. To those of you who have long known the Sean Keane, as I have, it will not come as a surprise that he composes most of his highly comedic prose on post-it notes he carried in his wallet or pockets. Lately, he told me, he has made the switch to small wire-bound notebooks, and once while strolling genially to the corner store for his favorite spirits, he swore to me he would never go back. The crate is a reference to his near complete dearth of storage for said post-its. I said once while lingering in his doorway that I had some extra filing crates he might use, and he gladly accepted. His mention of them here is clearly a reference to the great depth of our friendship. Also in his room, Sean has several other exciting articles of furniture. There are, of course, the two bookshelves, filled with only the most exceptional works of the 20th century. In the corner stands a dresser filled with his most personal effects, a sanctuary one might never violate. There is also a rather large, soft bed, covered completely in flannel and smelling of the freshest spring day (Oh to breathe such a scent daily!). In the corner is his most inviolate refuge: the writing desk. Sitting here it is apparent what spark of brilliance must ignite all his writing, inspiration from the surroundings being deficient as it is.

Line 9: until at last I find my hidden muse

Clearly the use of the word ‘hidden’ here is for poetic meter. It could also be to create a sense of mystery and drama, however he cannot truly have found any difficulty in finding his muse. He has long known my willingness to go to any length to animate his gift. What greater pleasure could there be than to arouse the sleeping giant of his talent. When he returns, he shall not be disappointed by my performance in stewardship of this blog. Indeed, he shall return to find me here—admiring, protecting, and waiting.

Wu Who?


When Sean asked if I'd be interested in guest blogging on Zembla this weekend, I jumped at the chance. It's a ballsy move on his part, bringing on an unknown, younger female writer from a competing network. Perhaps that's why he scheduled my spot in between those of Michele and Christine, two more experienced in-house writers. I'm like the fledgling show that gets the 8:30 time slot in NBC's Must See TV lineup; I'm The Single Guy to Michele's Friends and Christine's Seinfeld. You may have heard my name thrown around Zembla before, but you don't really know what I'm about, if I'm going to be very funny, or if I have any hot co-stars. Or perhaps you've caught brief glimpses of some of my guest appearances in the Cementhorizon photo gallery, but you didn't know who I was, or you thought I was somebody else. Usually, I try to correct these mistakes, but every once in a while I'll choose to let it go, either because the conversation becomes too complicated, or because I realize that my life-as-imagined-by-others is much more exciting than my actual life. Take the following two conversations as examples:

At Work
Cassie: (on phone) Good morning, sir. This is Cassie Wu from the auction gallery, and I just wanted to let you know about one of the paintings in our upcoming sale.
Customer: Hi Kathy, thanks for calling. I actually wanted to talk to you about some paintings I was thinking of selling.
Cassie: Oh, I think you might have me confused with Kathy Wong, our Fine Art Coordinator.
Customer: I thought you said you were Kathy?
Cassie: No, I'm Cassie.
Customer: (pause) You're not the Asian one?
Cassie: (pause) Well, um, I am Asian, but I'm not Kathy.
Cassie: Sorry, I mean, there are two of us here named Kathy. I'm the Kathy that's in charge of marketing. You want to speak to the Kathy who's in charge of the fine art. It gets a little confusing.
Customer: So, you're not the young Chinese-American one? From Berkeley? Who studied Art History?
Cassie: (pause) No. No, I'm not.
At Sean's House
Man at Party: Right, I remember now! You're Mark's girlfriend!
Cassie: No...we just know each other from CalSO.
MaP: Oh, ok. Wait, wait, I got it. You live with Dave D.!
Cassie: Yes! That's me! Except we actually don't live together anymore.
MaP: (uncomfortable) Oh, I'm sorry... I didn't know...
Cassie: Oh, no no! It wasn't like that! No, we were just roommates. I mean, apartment-mates.
MaP: Ah, ok. So wait, you're Sean's girlfriend, then, right?
Cassie: No.
MaP: But I saw you two disappear into his room earlier.
Cassie: Oh, well, we were just talking about books.
MaP: That's all?
Cassie: Well, I guess not... I think we might have gotten started on March Madness...
MaP: (throws up hands) Hey, hey, that's ok if you don't want to admit anything... I gotcha. Don't worry, I won't tell anyone.
Cassie: Wha-- No, no, it's not like tha--
MaP: It's cool, it's cool! Hell, if I were getting laid, I'd tell the whole world!
Cassie: Heh. Ok. Yeah. Wait, I mean, yeah!!! Of course I'm getting laid!

As you can see, my pride, along with a strong desire to avoid awkward conversations, does nothing to help clear the confusion surrounding my identity. Unfortunately, I fear the blog execs at Zembla will pre-empt me next weekend in favor of an Iron Comic recap, so it's unlikely that I'll get enough airtime to really set the record straight. Unless somebody else decides to pick me up, if you catch my drift, gentlemen. Or ladies. But that plot point won't be explored until Season 2, at the earliest. Until then, please stay tuned for Zembla's last guest blog post of the weekend, brought to you by Christine. Don't touch that mouse!

In honor of the fact that I’m guest blogging on Sean’s page because he is at a bar mitzvah in LA, I thought I would delve into my amazing store of knowledge (SOK—that’s totally coming back later as a pun) of Jewish customs and traditions.

Bar mitzvahs, as you may or may not be aware, do not involve cutting off any part of a boy’s penis. They do, however entail him becoming a man. Personally I feel this still probably has something to do with the penis because what is a man without one? A woman? Or possibly a eunuch. Bar mitzvahs do not celebrate eunuchs. Possibly castrati. The bar mitzvah boy does have to sing at one point after all. Though it might be considered chanting. It’s in Hebrew whatever it is. Thus, I don’t understand it. I do understand the foot-stomping good time of ‘Hava Nagila’ which I’ve had stuck in my head all morning as I thought about Sean in LA stepping on champagne flutes wrapped in a napkin and being hefted around in a chair with his bride by his side.

The other day I played the train game with two Jews (Jacob and Jason). I was describing to them the newest version coming out from Days of Wonder, the parent company. It’s set in Germany and is called Märklin after some famous mini-train company. The exciting thing about it is that it introduces passengers and cargo to the amazingly intricate play of being a train mogul.

Erica snidely snarked, ‘You know what that cargo is? Jews.’

Jacob said, ‘Och, Germany, the fatherland. Mein Gott im Himmel.’

And Erica replied, ‘Auf Wiedersehen, mein morning message.’

Which has to do with her job as a K/1 teacher and nothing to do with Jews. Or bar mitzvahs for that matter (that SOK pun? Still coming). Jason, the other Jew playing trains, probably said something pithy. Or possibly, he just snorted whiskey out of his nose as he did with tea when I said, ‘HE fancies the cooch.’ while watching Carnivàle. I’m willing to bet that boys who haven’t passed their bar mitzvah yet fancy the cooch even before they can be religiously termed ‘men’. But it’s like Trix™, that cooch, and not for them.

We then made some inappropriate jokes about Knob.

Have you ever considered the fact that Jason is a Middle Eastern Jew and Jacob is a European Jew? Why are they friends? I think we should have a bar mitzvah battle where they fight to the death. In creamed corn. If only they had no penises and were sexy, sexy women.

My SOK needs some serious darning to fill in the holes (PUN!!!). I totally compared bar mitzvah boys to rabbits, didn’t I? Hopefully when Sean comes home to Zembla he will set the record straight about what really goes on at a bar mitzvah. But until that day of post-dating comes, you have Cassie and Christine still to look forward to, folks. And I am out of here. -Michele

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