‘Secret Santa Protocols’ by Christine Sneed

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Interoffice Memorandum  Date:   December 1 To:      All Quest Industries Employees From: Upper Level Management Subj:   Secret Santa Protocols It’s once again the time for one of our most beloved Quest Industries traditions: Secret Santa week, and this year’s exchanges will take place from Monday, December 11 through Friday, December 15. A couple of minor adjustments have been made to the Secret Santa guidelines, as noted below.  We have also answered several questions that came to us from some of last year’s participants. The longstanding $5 maximum per day/gift has been raised to $5.32, which we believe is […]

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Donald Trump Reviews Ingmar Bergman’s ‘The Seventh Seal’

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Stars: 10/10 Bergman. You know, people said he wasn’t as good as Dreyer. They said it. They said he couldn’t do it. He did it, though. He really went and did it. I mean, people are worried about death. Capital-D Death. They want answers, they’re dying, they’re not happy. So this guy, big handsome-looking Norwegian guy, European guy, you know, he plays chess with Death. Death doesn’t know what to do, he’s like, “I’ve never seen anything like this before.” It’s true, folks. Never before—no one’s ever seen this before. They keep playing, they’re on a beach, it’s great. There’s […]

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Frida & Diego, or Among Musicians Only

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Willy Lizárraga was born and raised in Peru and arrived in San Francisco as a teen. A teacher at Berkeley City College, Lizárraga is also a novelist. His novel in Spanish, Mientras Elena en su lecho, won the 1995 Letras de Oro Literary Prize, University of Miami. Frida & Diego, Or Among Musicians Only appeared in the Winter 2010 issue of ZYZZYVA. (You can get a copy here.) The following excerpt gives a strong sense of Lizárraga’s vibrant English prose, as well as his powerful depiction of place. Here, San Francisco’s Mission District is a “cemetery” after midnight. “Why aren’t they flooding the streets of this supposedly world-class city, me cago en Dios?” a character asks. “Why isn’t everybody enjoying the night como gente civilizada, hostias?” (If you read Spanish, the story is also joyfully profane.)

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