Budapest Week 15-Year Reunion, Sept 9 2006
Yes, folks, that's right, it's been 15 years (and six months or so) since the first issue of Budapest Week newspaper, and we are seriously overdue for a party!!! To help facilitate the reunion and put people back in touch with one another, Steve Carlson and I have founded an email discussion forum using Google Groups (if you're interested in joining, click that link and request to join; make sure to use your name, not just your email address, and remind us who you are, so we don't start opting in spammers, stalkers and other freaks). Here's how Carlson introduced the list to members:
Rick E. Bruner and I set up this mailing list to bully and cajole you into purchasing an airplane ticket and schlepping out to Budapest to join us on September 9 for the 15th annual Budapest Week reunion party.
Yes, those of you in the know are already thinking 'wait, wasn't our beloved rag launched on March 15, 1991? That is correct. And in order to collect your prize you must travel to Budapest and meet us on September 9th.
Fifteen years after the fact, the definition of 'us' has become distinctly blurry. For example, we've included Bart Edes on this mailing list despite the fact that he was an agent of our sworn enemy, the Budapest Sun (or was it the Post?). I don't believe we ever published Matt Welch or Ken Layne (however much we might have wanted to). Who the hell is Gregory John McIlvaine?
Fifteen years after the fact a LOT of things are blurry. What I am still doing in Budapest? Do I know you? Did we meet somewhere at a party?
Feel free to follow Christian Heppinstal's example and fill us in about those missing years. Where do you work and who are you sleeping with? How many of your friends and colleagues can actually locate Budapest on a map?
I will now count to 'five' backwards. When I reach 'one' you will awaken with a burning desire to immediately purchase an airplane ticket and travel to Budapest to relive your glory days in Eastern Europe following the fall of Communism.
We are waiting for you.
Currently, members include:
Gregory John McIlvaine
Jennifer Clemente (nee Brown)
Joan Stein Schimke
Here are folks we're still trying to find or otherwise cojole into joining the list:
Dave Del Torto
Serge [zany Russian/French]
Susan and Rob Luke
Have we forgotten you? (So sorry! Just drop a note.) Do you know of one of the above people's email addresses? If you're in doubt as to how to proceed, drop me a note at rickbruner at gmail dot com.
Simon Hammer at the Beeb
I got a note today from Simon Hammer after he found our site. He's a producer for the BBC's Today program (or "programme," as he wrote). Google turned this up:
Christian Heppinstall's Alive and Well and Living in Alaska
Just a quick shout out to direct all of your attention to the web site of our long-lost brother in arms ChristianHeppenstal.com. Seems that he's living, acting and directing his heart out in Ankorage, AK.
Good buddy John Nadler writes (admittedly a few weeks ago, at this point) to alert us of a new blog of interest, Contemporary Nomad, written by a group of Budapest expats "to discuss the expatriate experience, expat literature, all literature, and really just the view point of being an exile with a laptop." Obstensibly, the contributors are John, Olen Steinhauer, Robin Hunt and Kevin Wignall, although Olen seems to do the lion's share of the posting, I have yet to see a post attributed to Nadler and for reasons unclear Robin Hunt appears to post under the pseudonym Heath Greene. Whatever. It is in any event a good read.
Photos From Rick's Recent Budapest Trip
Laura Had a Baby!
I'm delighted to share the news that Laura Chappell-Brown is now a mom of this beautiful baby girl! Frankly, I'm a bit hazy on some of the details, like the exact birthdate (about two weeks ago), the baby's name (update: "Isabelle"), whether the baby's last name will be triple hyphenated, and so forth. Laura does send me occasional emails, but she's been writing to an old address I rarely read anymore, so some details are buried in an old computer. I know she married a Danish architect and builder named Carsten (last name unknown), whom she describes as "desperately charming," and that they bought a gorgeous house somewhere north of Manhattan (she sent me a photo and the town's name, but again, it's lost to the old computer). Anyway, what's important is that she's blissfully happy, and who wouldn't be with this cutie to cuddle?
Prague Fest, Expat Party in NYC, Sept. 10
"OBA" (who prefers to remain pseudonynomous due to prying corporate overlords), a one-time writer for Pragnosis and then Prague Post (buddy of Matt Welch and the gang) alerts me that he and some friends are planning a party for East Euro expats in the NYC area on September 10 at the Bohemian Hall in Astoria, Queens. Dubbed "Prague Fest," they've gone so far as to create a web site for the party.
Richard W. Bruner Profiled in the Arizona Star
Here's a nice profile of my dad in the Arizona Star, explaining why he moved to Budapest to get away from Red Amerika and more background on his political awakening after WWII.
Maass on Oil and Dictators in Mother Jones, NPR
Heard the voice of Peter Maass on NPR's Morning Edition the other moring (listen to the interview) talking about the dictatorship of Teodoro Obiang in Equatorial Guinea, propped up by U.S. oil companies, based on a piece he wrote in Mother Jones this month.
Woodard's New Book: Lobster Coast
Congrats to Colin Woodard on the publication of his latest book, Lobster Coast: Rebels, Rusticators, and the Struggle for a Forgotten Frontier (details on ColinWoodard.com and Amazon). As blogger, I can't be bothered to fact check, of course (a sad little joke; Colin is something of a blog cynic in my experience), but I gather from scanning the itinerary of his book tour that it was actually published a few months ago. Sorry I'm late. If I may permit myself such an unsupportable opinion, if it's half as good as his first book, Ocean's End, it should be highly recommended reading. Would make a great stocking stuffer.