unable to even…

I could not care less about this man’s hair. His orange spray tan is inconsequential. That braying, derisive laugh? Not on my mind…

BUT… I am bothered by the hatred that America, in part, embraced. I am bothered by the fact that a strong and confident, caring First Lady who tried for 8 consecutive years to make a safer and healthier country for our kids is being replaced by a fashion model. One who will do nothing to uplift her husband, the new leader of our precious country. I am bothered that this leader’s default setting is not respectful introspection, but full on tantrum-throwing. And that he now has access to our launch codes. That this leader thinks it is all in good fun to threaten sexual assault on any woman he deems worthy enough…

HOW did we get here? We lost the collective US and focused instead on personal agendas, the very thing we scream at the parties for doing. Instead of uniting to become the greatest and strongest pool of people on the planet, we allowed emotion to get in the way of the issues. Some of us simply didn’t vote, because after all, “we live in a blue state, so whatever.” We allowed our passion for our guns to override common decency. We decided that helping others is not important, but he who can collect the most and keep it is king. We decided screaming is more important that discussion. We decided that it is not just acceptable, but reasonable to want someone else to die or be forcibly removed from within our borders so we can perhaps grasp a bit more of the pie​ for ourselves, to be eaten in the dark by the fistful, of course.

The irony is that most of you reading this voted against this hatred. Am I, therefore, accusing you all of not standing and fighting for what we collectively believe would create a better tomorrow… not perfect by any means, but better than today? Not by a long shot, peeps. We are finally reaping​ what our country has been sowing, and the crop is terrifying to this old gal in the Big Wood.

Do not despair, do not give up, do not feel as if it is over. It is just beginning. This is NOT about a woman in office, this is NOT about party lines, this is NOT about all the bullshit we have been spoonfed. This IS about change,a time of growth that will be painful​, especially​ knowing what we are growing into is not what we would like to be. So what now?

Declaration, communication, education. Cultivate, enlighten​. Strengthen and persevere. But not while screaming, accusing, demeaning. Time to take it back. Do what ancient civilizations and great leaders alike know to be effective. Do it softly, persistently. Speak softly and carry a big stick. If we whisper, they must lean in to hear. If we smile, the burden passes to them. The only way a maligned group rises is through tactical genius and biding their time until that final, bloody campaign. Now is not the time. Checkmate is not possible on the first move. So we must careful consider our strategy, bide our time, stun them with our ability to hold onto grace and peace. I know this is miserably hard for we have been fighting so long, so hard, uphill all the way, and are exhausted by the fight, but know we cannot stop. This is not the time to fight. Slow down and heal. Think what you can offer “the cause,” be it canvassing, educating, listening, creating safe spaces, whatever. You know your​ talents, you know what resides in your​ heart. THINK. BE STILL AND THINK. Then breathe, and then, consider carefully your​ next step. The only strength here is in numbers, so we must do everything in our power to ensure when this cycle begins again in 3 years(but it has already begun)we are amassed.

Loving-kindness and peace, light and love be with you all today. This is not giving up on who you are and in what you believe. This is regrouping. This is smart. And this is the only way we will get through this day without becoming a screaming, incoherent mess similar to the one who now wears the crown.
​​

the reset button…

It was a no good, really awful, bad day in Little house in the Big Wood. Nervous pacing, financial strain, Uni trouble, the death of a classmate, transfer applications, phone meeting with the tax man and scholarship committee…

Frazzled does not even begin to describe yours truly. More like Bill the Cat dancing in a drug-induced haze while in flames. Seriously. My day did not go well.

After breathing my way through anxiety that had me shaking like a leaf, I remembered something that Hubby No More told me. He was cautioning me not to “press the reset button just yet.” I know that in most instances, emotional or knee-jerk responses are contraindicated when trying to make the best decision. But as I mulled this over for a while, I began inexplicably to calm. Running away is not a real option. Or is it…?

“Running away” sounds so juvenile, how about we say instead “relocate?” Would it be so bad to stop fighting and let the tide carry me down south? Sure, it would mean at least a year out of school to establish residence. Sure, I would​ lose a considerable number of credits in the transfer. ​​Sure, it would set me back by 4 years total. Sure, it would​ necessitate breaking it off with the man I love. Sure, it will cost at least thrice what I would​ pay up here. BUT…

It really and for true is the reset button. And now that I see it over there, under the shiny glass bubble, can I persevere and NOT flick up the top and satisfyingly smash my palm down? Push the button or struggle ahead? They both entail a LOT of change, uncomfortable growth, and no small amount of “But I don’t want to…” Of course, what decision in life is nothing but candy floss and sunshine?

I guess what it really boils down to is this: Do I want to start over alone but dependent on family in a place of unlimited growth, or do I stay and fight harder than ever before to hold onto the place I have earned here, standing beside Paul?

Sounds silly, but I would never want to be the one to turn the key and activate nuclear launch codes. Greater people than I have stood at this precipice, wavering with uncertainty in a similar fashion. The trouble is that this is life, MY life, and there are limited do-overs. This is one of those defining moments, and by all that is holy, I do not want to deal with the ramifications of either choice today…

haiku…

Tuesday looms ahead,
Park, walk, vote, hurry straight away…
Exercise your right!

I know, way too formulaic and without a shred of creativity, but brain being utilized now with research pertaining to environmental history; not much else left in there.

I will not presume to tell anyone how to vote. I will not presume to know the path best for this country. I will not presume that I could do a better, or more inclusive, job. BUT… I will say that the citizens of this country have not only rights but responsibilities. I will say that even when we want to hide under the bed until December and hope this was all a bad hallucination, we are RESPONSIBLE for maintaining our current government until such time as we see fit to COLLECTIVELY change the status quo. I will say that if you hate the candidates PERSONALLY so very much, perhaps try to separate​ them from their stance on the issues. Make a spreadsheet, circle those opinions which align with your​ own, tally up the circles, and vote for that candidate. FORGET party lines, personalities, crude remarks, questionable attire, smiles that seem too sincere, or not sincere enough. THINK about what is important to you and yours. THINK of what you hold most dear, and how to either maintain or improve upon it. THEN… if you STILL cannot find a way to get yourself​ to the voting booth, understand that opting out is not an answer, and it might be time for you to put your money where your mouth is. To advocate for change, run for office, support third-party candidates… the list goes on. But by all that is holy and for fuck’s sake, peeps, DO SOMETHING! Because sitting on the couch in your pajamas, eating cheese curls and flinging them at the television in disgust while whining is simply NOT going to create a nation anyone wants to inhabit. Love to everyone, and much respect. Please remember your voice this coming Tuesday, and take one second to be thankful that while we live somewhere imperfect and broken, we STILL have a chance to create a better tomorrow. Namaste!

day 1…

Ok, actually, day 3, but I do not think anyone is counting. Or if they are, they are probably counting hours until we get an extra hour of sleep​ this Sunday, and not about my piddly little blog here. =)

I am in the process of setting up a new account for my school adventures (read: fkn kill me moments)and cannot figure out how to post an “about” page, or get anything to stick. WordPress​ used to be easier. Sighs pitifully.

At any rate, good news to report. I was dreading my group peer review Thursday morning, during which I thought I would have my ass shredded and summarily handed back to me. Surprisingly, after many midnight fits of typing, and many apologies to my team, my research was welcomed with open arms, and I was praised​. WTF just happened…?

Fast forward to today, moments ago. Sitting here, surrounded by my research packets, pages of notes, and a second computer with around 37 open windows, I go thru, line by line, and realize there are far fewer errors that I anticipated. Utilizing the formulaic approach my professor insists upon is a pain in my ass, to be sure. It limits my perspective, stifles my creativity, and does not blend well with my style or expressing myself. But… she may be on to something​.

I have some​ revisions to improve the flow toward another point I want to include. I need to format my Works Cited page. I need to remove any dangling modifiers or misplaced​ semicolons with the real thing, but all in all, things are looking pretty good.

In other news, Alice’s words must have reached the powers that be, as I am finally on the mend and can breathe. Mostly. Time to focus on death and maths. Which are interchangeable​ in my mind, truth be told. I feel quite grown up and proper now that I am focusing on my career here. Ooh… career. =) Nanaste, peeps, old and new. Have a lovely!

true story…

2 inhalers, 2 antibiotics, a shot, steroids, and a medicated gargle. After 5 days of sick, Nyquil-induced, hallucinating-but-mostly-sleepless nights, had 2 Dr. appointments, blood work, and a chest x-ray, leading to the list that began this post. Just so you know I am really sick, and not just taking a day off to bask in the sun…

Emailed a professor to ask for a 24-hour extension on ONE of the papers due in her class this week.  Got a terse “no, but thanks for asking” reply, and was told if she had been “in bed” all week, she certainly would have had time to not only finish paper but email copies to and from the peer review group to which I belong…

Am going to assume the following:

  1. She is an ass.
  2. She has never had simultaneous bronchitis, sinus infection, full body rash due to allergy to first antibiotic.
  3. She has never spent 2 days shaking from the inhalers and steroids, trying to keep car on road without maiming beast or human…
  4. She has never checked out http://www.ratemyprofesor.com

That is all, for I have a paper to write. 2 years down, 3 1/2 to go. Pray for me.

considering a new venue…

You couldn’t think I actually would leave for reals? I am the queen of back and forth here, as you know so well. SO…

I am thinking of starting a new blog. Or rather, changing this one perhaps, or something like that. With a change of scenery and subject matter, as I have beyond used up any interest in oversharing about my ex monster-in-law, Hubby-no-more, privacy driven teen, or sex life. Gee, sounds downright boring when I put it that way. =)

So, am thinking of turning this place into an english major’s journey along the path to her secondary education grad degree, and all the insanity THAT is sure to involve. Such as… have been in the pre-program at a new Uni for exactly 10 weeks and already working on my transfer essay to another Uni for next fall… but I am getting ahead of myself here.

If I have any followers left, or there is anyone new exploring the dusty corners, let me know if this change of topic would be of interest. If so, will work next weekend on updating the space! Namaste, peeps old and new. =)

 

on a jet plane…

“Americans should know the universe itself as a road, as many roads, as roads for traveling souls.” Walt Whitman

“To gain your own voice, you have to forget about having it heard.” Allen Ginsberg

“I was surprised, as always, at how easy the act of leaving was, and how good it felt. The world was suddenly rich with possibility.” Jack Kerouac

“And so love goes. And so And so life goes. And so I go.” Neal Cassady

It is time, peeps. 4 years this small space has swelled under the weight of my little life, and you have ridden the swells and waves along with me as they crashed or melted on the shore, as the case may be.

You have been by my side thru an unexpected divorce, subsequent male attention, and cheered me on as I fell sort of in love, completely in love, and finally, madly and deeply in love… for reals this time. You laughed with me, cried by my side, and held my virtual hand as I worked my way thru the brambles toward daylight, and my muchness.

It has been a journey that I am grateful for, and now I am at the end of this particular path. An immense field of green lays before me, wildflowers beckoning while weaving to and fro in the soft breezes. Namaste, peeps… it has been one hell of a ride…

 

 

reasons to love a man…

Ok, maybe not just ANY old man, but a certain Lineman comes to this girl’s mind in the heat of mid-morning August, whilst relaxing on patio in sweet sunshine. Surrounded by Bee Balm, Apple mint, and flowering Basil, which attract all manner of bees, hummingbirds, dragonflies, and multi-colored finch-like birds, I am in the throes of deep love. The smiling kind, sweet kind, grin-making kind that fills your heart up to bursting, making even his 3 hour snore-fest last night something to chuckle over, rather than throw his clothing out second story window, preferable while engulfed by flames… the clothes not yours truly.

Moving right along, there are many reasons to love a man. Snoring may not be one of the top 10, but with any luck you are dating someone who is so fantabulous that this minor inconvenience will be ignored, or dealt with utilizing the bitch-slap pillow method while feigning innocence…”Hmm, whaaa?… I was sleeping…”

  1. The fact that no matter how much dirt he tracks across the living room and kitchen floors, he always, and I do mean ALWAYS rinses out the lunch containers and coffee to-go mug you packed for him that morning, saying “It’s the least I can do after such a great lunch!”
  2. The fact that he still, after 16 months, manages to look sheepish for tracking dirt across floors. Without shoes 90% of the time, btw. Men… =)
  3. He tells you every Tuesday morning during his commute that while he does not want to go to work, and he doesn’t like Tuesdays (his Monday), the good thing is that he gets to come back here tonight, so it’s gonna be a good day.
  4. He is incapable of folding a shirt… or any article of clothing, actually. Now this normally would be seen as a fault, but to get to the age of 46 and still be completely baffled at how nothing I fold “looks all crumpled like mine does” is rather endearing. This from a man who can rewire the cable in the bedroom, make a coffee, re-pot the crowded tomato plant, and tune up your car before you manage to get all the groceries put away.
  5. He makes sure you… well, YOU KNOW, at least 2-8 times before he does. Every night. Let me say that again, ladies… EVERY NIGHT. I so completely and totally WIN!!!! =) =)  Just kidding, but seriously, when you find someone who takes your pleasure as seriously as his own, and who laughs aloud when you are capable of only laying there  whimpering and says “That a girl, all relaxed now?” is a keeper. As much as I try to reciprocate and allow him a quick night now and again, he says that while he loves the final course, all the appetizers just make him so damned happy. And yes, I do  completely believe him. That grin is too huge to fake. =)
  6. He eats everything you make for his dinners, without complaint, and also with gratitude. While I am a rather excellent girlfriend, my cooking skills for what he loves to eat are less than stellar. I have learned his preferences and am slowly making some adjustments to my own recipes to suit him, but am human and capable of really messing up a dinner here and there. My biggest embarrassment was when I burned the bejesus out of the bruschetta, and we had to saw the bottom 1/2 inch off the bread before we could eat it. To mess up such a simple recipe had me in fits, but he grinned and told me “But I love burnt toast.” Which happens to be a total lie but the man will eat almost anything I put in front of him. No olives or avocado, though.
  7. When you get up to pee at night and crawl back into bed, he reaches for you, folds his arm around you and says “You’re really back” like you had been on an Arctic expedition for the last year. Better still if he has no memory of the nightly line and is sheepish at the retelling. =)
  8. He shows up. Not just for food or sex, but is present. Really and for true… like when you want to talk after sex at 1 in the morning and he is falling asleep but struggles to reply, if incoherently. Or when he has a shitty day and two guys retired and no replacement is in sight and the rain fried all electric lines for miles… but he tells you that you made his day 98% better. How? By being you.

Obviously there is no way to top that last one, so I will let you all go. Have a spectacular day, peeps. Know my life, this man, and our relationship is by no means perfect or without faults and trials. But for all our rough days, there is light and sunshine and love… and for me, that is enough. Namaste, darlings!

 

just a pile of random shit…

It is too hot here to spend much time contemplating real bloody topics, so I am resorting to a list. Aforementioned heat melted brain to the degree that one cannot come up with 10 items that go together in any meaningful way, so I thought I would just toss out some random thoughts, Tish style. =)

  1. If one is looking to change careers with teaching being the end game, consider your state’s liberal arts university. Small class sizes, writing intensive courses and LAC requirements mean one comes away with a more personalized and marketable degree, as well as being hugely prepared for the Graduate level work one will need to complete. The real bonus, though, is that you will have 10 or so PhD holding professors who personally know you and your work ethic… no small thing in a small state!
  2. Paul and I were at the Cape recently, and we decided to “rough it” rather than spending the $600 to do the activities we would have enjoyed, had the coffers been full. Opted to kayak with the seals rather than take the crowded boat ride, and had a peaceful and magical time. Ate the free B&B breakfast, and light lunch of sandwiches/snacks, deciding to go out for one real meal a day… seafood, since it is what they are known for. Saved a bundle and had better seafood than if we had to budget for 3 full meals out. We also got up crazy early so we could park for free at the best beaches and skip the crowds.Hottest part of the day was spent in the outdoor shower then napping in our spacious room, as half the cost of a crappy hotel room, and we were literally .4 miles from the boat launch and beach. We set a budget and found ways to have exactly what we wanted without compromising our wallets. Think you cannot afford to get away for a few days? Ping me for more recommendations! =)
  3. I have read 8 young adult books in as many days… and am now even more grateful for Thoreau than before, if possible. While there were a few glimmers of hope, I now know  why our kids cannot spell or comprehend a complex thought. Just saying.
  4. I am experiencing a weird phenomena, shifted my calories back to heavy lunch and light dinner, added my pervious health shake, and cut out pretty much all crap in the hopes of resetting my system after a long bout of sickness and meds. Have gained 1 1/2 pounds in a week. GRR….!!!!! This very limited exercise is literally KILLING me, and need to do SOMETHING that will not hurt knee that I can do at home!
  5. Kohl’s Cash dollars earned always, and I do mean ALWAYS are valid starting the day after a sale ends. I get it and all, but every time?! How about changing it up once a year, just to keep us on our toes?! Of course, cannot complain too much buck during the sale, I managed to grab two $35 pillows for a mere $#.05 each, by using my coupon and card. Love/Hate relationship defined.
  6. Michael Phelps, golden boy extraordinaire, acts like the lovable dufus he is at any and all moments, appropriate or not. He is revered, and we understand that “boys will be boys.” Gabby Douglas stands still during the pledge, hand not on heart, but silent and respectful anyway. We filleted her and will be serving her over toast in the atrium for brunch tomorrow. Bad Un-American. Other than skin color and gender, can anyone provide a VALID reason for America’s disgust for this girl, and the excuses we make for that boy?
  7. Am officially caught up on Scandal, Grey’s Anatomy, and House of Cards on Nexfilx, leaving me with only The West Wing to enjoy while I am melting to death in the evenings… I suppose this is a good thing with Uni starting back up in 2 weeks, but still, am sad. And a little relieved that nothing new has caught my eye to the extent that i will be tempted to blow off Italian to sneak-watch while kiddo is being good and working on assignments in her room… I would never live that down.
  8. Ever wonder why, 2 years later, you “accidentally” unfriended someone on Facebook? Go ahead, click them back into your life, no really, it will be fine. Not a chance of 13, 899 posts irrelevant to you showing up on your feed 12 seconds later. Sigh.

Well, that’s all I have today, peeps. Heading out to bring the kiddo to DR, grab some groceries, library for a bit. WAY too hot to enjoy outside time; friends tried the lake for an hour yesterday, srsly ONE HOUR, and came away with second degree sunburns, the lot of them. AFTER applying spf 60 liberally. My plan is to pretend we are star-nosed moles and eat watermelon on the couch with shades drawn all afternoon, watching scary movies and sipping frozen-to-slushy watered down Gatorade. Hope you all make it thru the insane weather this week, I do hear relief is on it’s way, and am reminded that I will be longing for such balmy temps come February. Love to you all! =)

i’m gonna write this…

Ah, August… almost half over already… wtf??!! I need to accomplish SO MUCH more before Uni starts again on the 29th. Trying to cram in another few chapters of the “last maths class you will ever have to take,” but hmm… you know I’ve heard THAT before. Technology for the Educator text is 600 pages without binding… sigh. Comparative Lit and History all good, so there’s that. No new computer as of yet, but plenty of post it notes and highlighters. Not so bad after all, I suppose. Just wish there was more time…

So, I am going to write THAT post. You know the one, in which loyal readers disappear as fast as ice cream at a Weight Watchers meet and greet, else they eviscerate you and leave you for dead, gleefully shouting around your larger than desired crumpled form.

As an eventual Professor who needs to feed herself in the interim, I am also a Secondary Education major, doubling in English/Comp Lit and Sociology. This means I will likely spend a few years teaching at the high school level until I can get enough of the PhD completed to warrant a faculty position at an institution of higher learning. This means young adults. With me. In a classroom. Gods help me… how anyone can NOT grasp literature and comprehensively read anything thrown their way at that age escapes me, but THAT conversation is one for another day. I will be in the weeds enough here shortly without opening that can of worms…

So, young adult literature. In my day, when the earth was new and I had to fight dinosaurs to walk to school, uphill, both ways mind you, there was no such genre. We read Dickens, Dumas, Melville, Dickinson, the Bronte sisters, and all manner of others, from Vonnegut to Cather, Hughes to Kerouac and pretty much anything classical or intriguing in between. Sure, we sometimes had to battle the librarian and the principal in order to check out those books if not being read in class, but they only had our best and innocent interests at heart, you remember…?

Now we are inundated with not 1 or 2 or even 4, but 6 shelves of these brightly colored (or vampire and wraith adorned) books in the local library. Out of necessity, I checked out a slew of them, in preparation for the YA Lit class I will be taking this coming January. Anticipating a glimpse into the inner workings of the adolescents I know, you can imagine my surprise at content, story line, and vocabulary level staring back up at me in defiance…

I KNOW, many of you love this genre. I KNOW, many of you would rather your kid read these books rather than comics. I KNOW, some of you are secretly applauding your suspicions that I was an elitist all along, but just listen for a sec, please. I chose them completely randomly, simply by shelf and alphabet, bottom to top. I came away with 14, and have gotten through 8 of them. I may be making correlations where none exist, but I was left a little stunned. Has anyone else noticed that a large percentage of the subject matter seems to romanticize problems such as cutting, anorexia, or pregnancy? One could offer that these books provide a safe space for a child to feel not alone, and to gain hope for themselves. BUT… I saw some alarming trends toward the reinforcement of the “Broken is Best” ideal that this generation seems to be clinging desperately to. One book in particular read like an instruction manual for eating disorders, including calorie counts and purging cycles that best help one attain one’s goals. WTF??!!!

I am also deeply disturbed by the racial implications, surely picked up by this impressionable age group. In three, yes, THREE of these random books, middle class white girls binge and purge, slice happily away at their taut skin, proving to the world, and therefore themselves, their inner strength is immense. The books I read by African American, Latina, and Native American authors had no such subplots. Including the 16 books I read last semester for SOC class on this exact topic, not one eating disorder to the bunch… maybe that is because for the most part, in the books I have read, they are already hungry. Sherman Alexi famously says, and I paraphrase here, that “Indians already have eating disorders… that’s what happens when you can’t afford food.”

So White Privilege rears its ugly head once again… and yes, I am aware that people who scream “ALL Lives Matter, not just BLACK” will take me to task over this. I am just wondering why, when from a cognition standpoint, morality is a social construct and we literally and collectively create the world around us and what we deem acceptable, WHY these themes persist to SUCH a degree in the literature designed for an age group who already is struggling to develop their own identity? WHY does it seem** that we are encouraging our kids to embrace the nasty bits of life, where I was encouraged to break the chains that bound me and FIGHT for every shred of self respect, decency, and moxy I could muster so I could just fucking get on with my life already??!!

**seem to me, and several educators I know, who are of varied racial identities**

I feel the need here to iterate that this post is NOT meant to marginalize anyone struggling with anything I mentioned above, or any other issues. I have my own child who is struggling greatly with identity, and I found out recently that a specific behavior that he and 3 close friends were exhibiting last year came directly out of a book they had to read for health class. Upon reporting that to the principal, I was told that this is “what kids do at this age, they copy behavior that is interesting to them.” Sigh.

I have spent 2 weeks debating the posting of this one, and discussed with 5 professors in 2 countries the trends of what we purposefully expose out youngsters to. Additionally, that is NOT to say there are not great series and single books out there for this demographic. The “Wrinkle in Time” series, for example, or even Harry Potter, that flawed and still great Boy Who Lived. Betsy’s Wedding, To Kill a Mockingbird, Flowers for Algernon, The Book Thief, and Thirteen Reasons Why specifically come to mind. Don’t forget anything by Tolkien, John Green, Douglas Adams, S. E. Hinton, L. M. Montgomery, and Scott Westerfeld, off the top of my head. So why on earth am I even writing this, if there is so much else out there? Because you know as well as I that flash is what gets the attention of adolescents today. And If one small group of girls whisper that this or that certain book “srsly changed my life, kwim?!” and sends the title to a couple thousand of their twitter BFF’s, then by next week Facebook and Instagram will have exploded under their praises…

But I digress. All I wanted to say is that this genre has a collective power rivaled only by the GOP’s. And if we want our young adults to know there is more out there, we have to find a way to entice them with it. And I don’t think Charlie and the wonder-mouse will stand a chance against ways to exert power over adults, get away with bullying, or even how to lie more creatively. Thoughts, peeps? Thanks as always for keeping it real, and if you have a series or book that is exemplary within the YA genre, please chime in… I am already creating my Grade 10 Eng/Comp book list. =)

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