Monday, January 31, 2011

To the Tyrants of the World

Abo Al Qassim Al Shabbi 


Hey you, the unfair tyrants…
You the lovers of the darkness…
You the enemies of life…
You’ve made fun of innocent people’s wounds; and your palm covered with their blood
You kept walking while you were deforming the charm of existence and growing seeds of sadness in their land
Wait, don’t let the spring, the clearness of the sky and the shine of the morning light fool you…
Because the darkness, the thunder rumble and the blowing of the wind are coming toward you from the horizon
Beware because there is a fire underneath the ash
Who grows thorns will reap wounds
You’ve taken off heads of people and the flowers of hope; and watered the cure of the sand with blood and tears until it was drunk
The blood’s river will sweep you away and you will be burned by the fiery storm.




Sunday, January 30, 2011

Alice at Seventeen: Like a Blind Child

by Darcy Cummings

One summer afternoon, I learned my body
like a blind child leaving a walled
school for the first time, stumbling
from cool hallways to a world
dense with scent and sound,
pines roaring in the sudden wind
like a huge chorus of insects.
I felt the damp socket of flowers,
touched weeds riding the crest
of a stony ridge, and the scrubby
ground cover on low hills.
Haystacks began to burn,
smoke rose like sheets of
translucent mica. The thick air
hummed over the stretched wires
of wheat as I lay in the overgrown field
listening to the shrieks of small rabbits
bounding beneath my skin.

from: The Artist As Alice: From a Photographer's Life.


Saturday, January 29, 2011

QUOTE OF THE DAY


"If I am made to walk the plank by a pirate,
it is vain for me to offer, as a common-sense compromise, to walk along the plank for a reasonable distance. 
It is exactly about the reasonable distance that the pirate and I differ." 
 
- G. K. Chesterton,
from: What’s Wrong With The World?




Friday, January 28, 2011

Notes from the Other Side


I divested myself of despair
and fear when I came here.

Now there is no more catching
one's own eye in the mirror,

there are no bad books, no plastic,
no insurance premiums, and of course

no illness. Contrition 
does not exist, nor gnashing

of teeth. No one howls as the first
clod of earth hits the casket.

The poor we no longer have with us. 
Our calm hearts strike only the hour,

and God, as promised, proves
to be mercy clothed in light.

from: Constance. Copyright 1993. 



Thursday, January 27, 2011

Something from The Congressional Library


Where else in all America are we so symbolized
As in this hall?
White columns polished like glass,
A dome and a dome,
A balcony and a balcony,
Stairs and the balustrades to them,
Yellow marble and red slabs of it,
All mounting, spearing, flying into color.
Color round the dome and up to it,
Color curving, kite-flying, to the second dome,
Light, dropping, pitching down upon the color,
Arrow-falling upon the glass-bright pillars,
Mingled colors spinning into a shape of white pillars,
Fusing, cooling, into balanced shafts of shrill and interthronging light.
This is America,
This vast, confused beauty,
This staring, restless speed of loveliness,
Mighty, overwhelming, crude, of all forms,
Making grandeur out of profusion,
Afraid of no incongruities,
Sublime in its audacity,
Bizarre breaker of moulds,
Laughing with strength,
Charging down on the past,
Glorious and conquering,
Destroyer, builder,
Invincible pith and marrow of the world,
An old world remaking,
Whirling into the no-world of all-colored light.

from: What's O'Clock. Copyright 1955. 


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

QUOTE FOR THE DAY



This week we saw a white, Catholic, Republican federal juidge murdered on his way to greet a Democratic woman member of Congress who was his friend and is jewish. Her life was saved initially by a 20-year-old Mexican-American college student, who saved her, and eventually by a Korean-American combat surgeon. Then it was all eulogized and explained by our African-American president.

-- historian Allen Ginsberg, 


This is the sort of statement my dad would always follow with,

"Only in America!"



Tuesday, January 25, 2011

BOOKS AS ART . . . Of Course


Check out Jane Mount's Ideal Bookshelf Shop. You can commission a painting of your own personal books or buy a print of an existing set.


I paint people's ideal bookshelves: your favorite books, books that changed your life, books that made you who you are.

Picking your ideal books is not an easy task (try it!). I think of this project as an intimate form of portraiture; a way to illustrate who the subject is on the inside instead of out.

Just a couple of your choices:











Monday, January 24, 2011

BLOGGIESTA . . . ACROSS THE FINISH LINE



Boy, am I tired. 

I'd like to say it is because of my 72 hour blog housekeeping marathon. But that would be a lie.

We took a break last night to check out a friend of ours in his band, Superlicious, and the night took on a life of its own. 

The band is an eighties cover band (you know you like it, admit it) and they were great. We had a wonderful time with friends. And Then . . . . 

On the way home the truck broke down in the middle of nowhere. Our cell phone was dead. And it was a foggy fifty-some degrees.

We had to walk to the call box. Thank heaven it was there! We woke our daughter up to come get us and walked back to the truck. This was after dancing all night. Our daughter got lost and we shivered there nearly three hours with no heat while waiting.

Well, we got home this morning and after some sleep, went back to pickup the truck. So I lost time, sleep, and productivity. (THIS was my starting line post).

What did I accomplish?

I Did some soul searching about my blog and how I would like it to be,
Visited blogs I wouldn't have otherwise and gotten a lot of new ideas, 
Cleaned up my links, 
Made the sidebar more user friendly, 
Drafted and scheduled future posts, 
Bookmarked information regarding improvements I still want to make but haven't,
and
I enjoyed spending time in the company of other bloggers. I love blog hopping.

I also participated in a mini challenge at Word Lilly, called '10 Things Bloggers shouldn't do.' It gave me some direction as well as good ideas.

I went to Website Grader for a report I don't quite understand yet. (But I will)

No, I didn't accomplish all that I wanted. But that's OK. I gained a great deal from the experience, and I thank Natasha at Maw Books Blog for hosting the challenge. And I thank all those who participated for being my teachers and my inspiration.

But now I'm off to bed. Night all.


Saturday, January 22, 2011

A True Poem

         by Lloyd Schwartz

I'm working on a poem that's so true, I can't show it to anyone.
I could never show it to anyone.
Because it says exactly what I think, and what I think scares me.
Sometimes it pleases me.
Usually it brings misery.
And this poem says exactly what I think.
What I think of myself, what I think of my friends, what I think about my lover.
Exactly.
Parts of it might please them, some of it might scare them.
Some of it might bring misery.
And I don't want to hurt them, I don't want to hurt them.
I don't want to hurt anybody.
I want everyone to love me.
Still, I keep working on it.
Why?
Why do I keep working on it?
Nobody will ever see it.
Nobody will ever see it.
I keep working on it even though I can never show it to anybody.
I keep working on it even though someone might get hurt.


Friday, January 21, 2011

Ole! Fiesta Time! Suggestions Welcome!




Well, it's begun.


I know a few things that need to be done with my blog. But some feedback from others would be helpful to get a feel for how it looks to outsiders. Any thoughts would be great.


First, A couple of things that I am quite proud of: 
1). I taught myself how to give my pictures coded descriptions for those visitors who may be vision impaired. Their readers will read the description of the picture to them. I occasionally forget and let one slip by, but I try hard to do this with each image. 
2). I searched high and low for a widget to allow visitors to change the print size to suit their needs. At the time all I could find was some code that I couldn't make work (I am NOT a programmer), but through trial and error I got it to work. What else can I do to ease the use of my blog?

Now to work . . . . 
A. My first task was to comb through my links, weeding out those that no longer work. Question: As time goes on, links in past posts may end up broken, and combing through years of posts seems daunting.  Is there an easier way to track broken links in in very old posts or should I just wait for visitors to point them out?

B. I am reevaluating my sidebar. What needs to stay / go? How can I make it better? What do I need to offer that I don't?

C. SEO, promoting, and networking are big weaknesses for me. I found a TEN THINGS BLOGGERS SHOULD NOT DO mini challenge on Word Lilly (Thanks a bunch Word Lilly!), and evaluated my weak points. These were the top three. I'll be attempting to address them also this weekend.

D. The bulk of my efforts, however, will probably be put toward setting up content for the future. I love being able to draft and schedule things ahead.  I can then drop in current events without feeling rushed. (when I'm actually ahead, that is)


I would appreciate
any suggestions you might have.
Thanks.


Ground Swell

         by Mark Jarman
  
Is nothing real but when I was fifteen,
Going on sixteen, like a corny song?
I see myself so clearly then, and painfully--
Knees bleeding through my usher's uniform
Behind the candy counter in the theater
After a morning's surfing; paddling frantically
To top the brisk outsiders coming to wreck me,
Trundle me clumsily along the beach floor's
Gravel and sand; my knees aching with salt.
Is that all I have to write about?
You write about the life that's vividest.
And if that is your own, that is your subject.
And if the years before and after sixteen
Are colorless as salt and taste like sand--
Return to those remembered chilly mornings,
The light spreading like a great skin on the water,
And the blue water scalloped with wind-ridges,
And--what was it exactly?--that slow waiting
When, to invigorate yourself, you peed
Inside your bathing suit and felt the warmth
Crawl all around your hips and thighs,
And the first set rolled in and the water level
Rose in expectancy, and the sun struck
The water surface like a brassy palm,
Flat and gonglike, and the wave face formed.
Yes. But that was a summer so removed
In time, so specially peculiar to my life,
Why would I want to write about it again?
There was a day or two when, paddling out,
An older boy who had just graduated
And grown a great blonde moustache, like a walrus,
Skimmed past me like a smooth machine on the water,
And said my name. I was so much younger,
To be identified by one like him--
The easy deference of a kind of god
Who also went to church where I did--made me
Reconsider my worth. I had been noticed.
He soon was a small figure crossing waves,
The shawling crest surrounding him with spray,
Whiter than gull feathers. He had said my name
Without scorn, just with a bit of surprise
To notice me among those trying the big waves
Of the morning break. His name is carved now
On the black wall in Washington, the frozen wave
That grievers cross to find a name or names.
I knew him as I say I knew him, then,
Which wasn't very well. My father preached
His funeral. He came home in a bag
That may have mixed in pieces of his squad.
Yes, I can write about a lot of things
Besides the summer that I turned sixteen.
But that's my ground swell. I must start
Where things began to happen and I knew it.


Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Poems I Have Not Written

         by John Brehm

I’m so wildly unprolific, the poems
I have not written would reach
from here to the California coast
if you laid them end to end.

And if you stacked them up,
the poems I have not written
would sway like a silent
Tower of Babel, saying nothing

and everything in a thousand
different tongues. So moving, so
filled with and emptied of suffering,
so steeped in the music of a voice

speechless before the truth,
the poems I have not written
would break the hearts of every
woman who’s ever left me,

make them eye their husbands
with a sharp contempt and hate
themselves for turning their backs
on the very source of beauty.

The poems I have not written
would compel all other poets
to ask of God: "Why do you
let me live? I am worthless.

please strike me dead at once,
destroy my works and cleanse
the earth of all my ghastly
imperfections." Trees would

bow their heads before the poems
I have not written. "Take me,"
they would say, "and turn me
into your pages so that I

might live forever as the ground
from which your words arise."
The wind itself, about which
I might have written so eloquently,

praising its slick and intersecting
rivers of air, its stately calms
and furious interrogations,
its flutelike lingerings and passionate

reproofs, would divert its course
to sweep down and then pass over
the poems I have not written,
and the life I have not lived, the life

I’ve failed even to imagine,
which they so perfectly describe.


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I SEEM TO HAVE INADVERTENTLY DELETED MY POST ABOUT THE 4TH ANNUAL BLOGGIESTA THIS WEEKEND.

 


Bloggiesta is scheduled for January 21st, 22nd, and 23rd
(Did I mention it's this weekend?)


It's hosted by Natasha at Maw Books Blog
 



"The beginning of the year is a great time to evaluate your blog, see how you’re doing, and get re-energized for the rest of the year! 

Some of you may be asking what is Bloggiesta? In short, it’s a blogging marathon.  An opportunity to cross those nagging items off of your to-do list and improve your blog while in the good company of other awesome bloggers doing the same thing. Our awesome mascot Pedro (Plan. Edit. Develop. Review. Organize) is ready to break out the nachos, enchiladas, drinks, mariachi music and whack a pinata or two!  It’s nothing short of an awesome fiesta!"


And you will find many great bloggy consumables if you wander over to the fiesta. 
There are links and hints, 
but most of all there are others to party with; 
so come join the fun.

I plan to tackle some overdue housekeeping.
I also want to stretch my knowledge and skills a bit so I will try some of the hints offered by my betters and scour the many links offered. 
It is also a great opportunity to trade ideas
among the many inveterate bloggers participating.

So, 
see you there!

Workshop

         by Billy Collins
  
I might as well begin by saying how much I like the title.
It gets me right away because I’m in a workshop now
so immediately the poem has my attention,
like the Ancient Mariner grabbing me by the sleeve.

And I like the first couple of stanzas,
the way they establish this mode of self-pointing
that runs through the whole poem
and tells us that words are food thrown down
on the ground for other words to eat.
I can almost taste the tail of the snake
in its own mouth,
if you know what I mean.

But what I’m not sure about is the voice,
which sounds in places very casual, very blue jeans,
but other times seems standoffish,
professorial in the worst sense of the word
like the poem is blowing pipe smoke in my face.
But maybe that’s just what it wants to do.

What I did find engaging were the middle stanzas,
especially the fourth one.
I like the image of clouds flying like lozenges
which gives me a very clear picture.
And I really like how this drawbridge operator
just appears out of the blue
with his feet up on the iron railing
and his fishing pole jigging—I like jigging—
a hook in the slow industrial canal below.
I love slow industrial canal below. All those l’s.

Maybe it’s just me,
but the next stanza is where I start to have a problem.
I mean how can the evening bump into the stars?
And what’s an obbligato of snow?
Also, I roam the decaffeinated streets.
At that point I’m lost. I need help.

The other thing that throws me off,
and maybe this is just me,
is the way the scene keeps shifting around.
First, we’re in this big aerodrome
and the speaker is inspecting a row of dirigibles,
which makes me think this could be a dream.
Then he takes us into his garden,
the part with the dahlias and the coiling hose,
though that’s nice, the coiling hose,
but then I’m not sure where we’re supposed to be.
The rain and the mint green light,
that makes it feel outdoors, but what about this wallpaper?
Or is it a kind of indoor cemetery?
There’s something about death going on here.

In fact, I start to wonder if what we have here
is really two poems, or three, or four,
or possibly none.

But then there’s that last stanza, my favorite.
This is where the poem wins me back,
especially the lines spoken in the voice of the mouse.
I mean we’ve all seen these images in cartoons before,
but I still love the details he uses
when he’s describing where he lives.
The perfect little arch of an entrance in the baseboard,
the bed made out of a curled-back sardine can,
the spool of thread for a table.
I start thinking about how hard the mouse had to work
night after night collecting all these things
while the people in the house were fast asleep,
and that gives me a very strong feeling,
a very powerful sense of something.
But I don’t know if anyone else was feeling that.
Maybe that was just me.
Maybe that’s just the way I read it.


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Reading the Obituaries

by Marilyn L. Taylor

Now the Barbaras have begun to die,
trailing their older sisters to the grave,
the Helens, Margies, Nans—who said goodbye
just days ago, it seems, taking their leave
a step or two behind the hooded girls
who bloomed and withered with the century—
the Dorotheas, Eleanors and Pearls
now swaying on the edge of memory.
Soon, soon, the scythe will sweep for Jeanne
and Angela, Patricia and Diane—
pause, and return for Karen and Christine
while Susan spends a sleepless night again.
Ah, Debra, how can you be growing old?
Jennifer, Michelle, your hands are cold.


Monday, January 17, 2011

Dad’s Face

by Raymond A. Foss

I saw Dad’s Face
In your face
Last weekend
In your yard

I at the ready
To lend a hand
To be his helper again
Through you, my brother
To be close to
Him and you
Working together

Seeing me
In your son
Brings it full circle
The boy I was
And the man I am
Smiles at the symmetry
God’s Design
Played out in us
Visible if we will just see


Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said,


"Life's most persistent and urgent question is:
'What are you
doing for others?'"


Click here to learn




Sunday, January 16, 2011

Take the I Out

        by Sharon Olds

But I love the I, steel I-beam
that my father sold. They poured the pig iron
into the mold, and it fed out slowly,
a bending jelly in the bath, and it hardened,
Bessemer, blister, crucible, alloy, and he
marketed it, and bought bourbon, and Cream
of Wheat, its curl of butter right
in the middle of its forehead, he paid for our dresses
with his metal sweat, sweet in the morning
and sour in the evening. I love the I,
frail between its flitches, its hard ground
and hard sky, it soars between them
like the soul that rushes, back and forth,
between the mother and father. What if they had loved each other,
how would it have felt to be the strut
joining the floor and roof of the truss?
I have seen, on his shirt-cardboard, years
in her desk, the night they made me, the penciled
slope of her temperature rising, and on
the peak of the hill, first soldier to reach
the crest, the Roman numeral I--
I, I, I, I,
girders of identity, head on,
embedded in the poem. I love the I
for its premise of existence--our I--when I was
born, part gelid, I lay with you
on the cooling table, we were all there, a
forest of felled iron. The I is a pine,
resinous, flammable root to crown,
which throws its cones as far as it can in a fire.


Saturday, January 15, 2011

QUOTE OF THE DAY


You need the arts—literature, music, film—as a universal language that allows people to see beyond the walls that separate us. To stop thinking of each other as different religions, or different cultures, or different ethnicities, or nationalities, and start thinking of each other as human beings. As people with the same aspirations, and the same dreams, the same conflicts and the same issues. It’s only through that recognition of same-ness that you really do change people’s minds.... 

- ed. Reza Aslan, Tablet & Pen: 
Literary Landscapes from the Modern Middle East 
(Words Without Borders).



Friday, January 14, 2011

OH HUCK . . .


Take a few moments to follow the links below, read, and reflect. 
You might be surprised by some of your thoughts and insights.


Upcoming NewSouth 'Huck Finn' Eliminates the 'N' Word .

"What he suggested," said La Rosa, "was that there was a market for a book in which the n-word was switched out for something less hurtful, less controversial [slave].
(Emphasis mine)

 &

 

Why the N-word matters.

Finally, the motive for this switch is, ultimately, cowardice. The motive is to avoid tough questions from children who might ask why it was okay for Mark Twain to write "nigger," but it's not okay for them to yell it at the park. It avoids difficult conversations with parents who object to their children reading a difficult word because they themselves don't understand the opportunity to teach means facing horrible truths about our own past. [...] It avoids confronting the truth of our present, where people still use the word in the most horrible of ways: as a means to attack not the actions or views of another, but as a means to attack that persons very right to exist, to stand, to speak.





Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Facing It


My black face fades,
hiding inside the black granite.
I said I wouldn't,
dammit: No tears. 
I'm stone. I'm flesh.
My clouded reflection eyes me
like a bird of prey, the profile of night
slanted against morning. I turn
this way--the stone lets me go.
I turn that way--I'm inside
the Vietnam Veterans Memorial
again, depending on the light
to make a difference.
I go down the 58,022 names,
half-expecting to find
my own in letters like smoke.
I touch the name Andrew Johnson;
I see the booby trap's white flash.
Names shimmer on a woman's blouse
but when she walks away
the names stay on the wall.
Brushstrokes flash, a red bird's 
wings cutting across my stare.
The sky. A plane in the sky.
A white vet's image floats
closer to me, then his pale eyes
look through mine. I'm a window.
He's lost his right arm
inside the stone. In the black mirror
a woman's trying to erase names:
No, she's brushing a boy's hair.

from: Dien Cai Dau. Copyright 1988.


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

On Reading Omar Khayyam


[During an anti-saloon campaign, in central Illinois.]


In the midst of the battle I turned,
(For the thunders could flourish without me)
And hid by a rose-hung wall,
Forgetting the murder about me;
And wrote, from my wound, on the stone,
In mirth, half prayer, half play: —
"Send me a picture book,
Send me a song, to-day."

I saw him there by the wall
When I scarce had written the line,
In the enemy's colors dressed
And the serpent-standard of wine
Writhing its withered length
From his ghostly hands o'er the ground,
And there by his shadowy breast
The glorious poem I found.

This was his world-old cry:
Thus read the famous prayer:
"Wine, wine, wine and flowers
And cup-bearers always fair!"
'Twas a book of the snares of earth
Bordered in gold and blue,
And I read each line to the wind
And read to the roses too:
And they nodded their womanly heads
And told to the wall just why
For wine of the earth men bleed,
Kingdoms and empires die.
I envied the grape stained sage:
(The roses were praising him.)
The ways of the world seemed good
And the glory of heaven dim.
I envied the endless kings
Who found great pearls in the mire,
Who bought with the nation's life
The cup of delicious fire.

But the wine of God came down,
And I drank it out of the air.
(Fair is the serpent-cup,
But the cup of God more fair.)
The wine of God came down
That makes no drinker to weep.
And I went back to battle again
Leaving the singer asleep.



Monday, January 10, 2011

THERE SEEMS TO BE AN UTTER LACK OF UNDERSTANDING THESE DAYS, THAT IMAGES AND WORDS HAVE MEANINGS AND CONSEQUENCES.


“People tend to pooh-pooh this business about all the vitriol we hear inflaming the American public by people who make a living off doing that. That may be free speech, but it's not without consequences.” 
- Clarence Dupnik, sheriff of Pima County, Arizona

"The mouth of a righteous man is a well of life: 
but violence covereth the mouth of the wicked" 
- Proverbs 10:11

"Violence in the voice is often
only the death rattle of reason in the throat."
- John Frederick Boyes

"Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.”
- Isaac Asimov

"In violence, we forget who we are."
- Mary McCarthy

"I object to violence because when it appears to do good, 
the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent."
- Mahatma Gandhi

"If you succumb to the temptation of using violence in the struggle, unborn generations will be the recipients of a long and desolate night of bitterness, and your chief legacy to the future will be an endless reign of meaningless chaos."
- Martin Luther King, Jr.





"And so, to the end of history, murder shall breed murder, always in the name of right and honor and peace, until the gods are tired of blood and create a race that can understand." 
- George Bernard Shaw, "Caesar and Cleopatra"




Lines On Reading Too Many Poets

by Dorothy Parker

Roses, rooted warm in earth,
Bud in rhyme, another age;
Lilies know a ghostly birth
Strewn along a patterned page;
Golden lad and chimbley sweep
Die; and so their song shall keep.

Wind that in Arcadia starts
In and out a couplet plays;
And the drums of bitter hearts
Beat the measure of a phrase.
Sweets and woes but come to print
Quae cum ita sint.



WOULD YOU LIKE TO HEAR POETS READ THEIR OWN WORK?


Try:


It has a lot to offer: 
Resources for teachers, students, and librarians
Guided tours
A children's archive
and more.


Sunday, January 9, 2011

A YEAR OF FEMINIST CLASSICS



From: A Year of Feminist Classics.

The project will work a little like an informal reading group: for the whole of 2011, we’ll be reading a book a month from this list of classic feminist fiction and non-fiction, and each of us will be in charge of the subsequent discussion for three months.





READING LIST

January: A Vindication of the Rights of Women by Mary Wollstonecraft
AND So Long a Letter by Mariama BaAmy
FebruaryThe Subjection of Women by John Stuart Mill and Harriet Taylor MillAna
March: A Doll’s House by Henrik IbsenEmily
April: Herland by Charlotte Perkins GilmanIris
May: A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf - Ana
June: God Dies by the Nile by Nawal Saadawi - Amy
July: The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir - Iris
August: The Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston - Emily
September: The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf - Amy
October: Ain’t I a Woman? by Bell Hooks
AND Third World Women and the Politics of Feminism Anthology - Iris
NovemberGender Trouble by Judith Butler - Ana
December: Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde - Emily


MENTAL ILLNESS ADVOCACY (MIA) READING CHALLENGE


Hosted by: Opinions of a Wolf.



Reading to raise awareness, knowledge, and acceptance of mental illness, both fiction (books featuring characters with a mental illness depicted in a sympathetic light) and nonfiction (from self-help books to academic books on the topic). No book read for the challenge may demonize the mentally ill. 




MY LIST

I'm aiming for ADVOCATE status 
with 12 books.

1. The Pest Maiden: A Story of Lobotomy - Penelpoe Scambly Schott
2. From the Dark Side: The Collected Poetry of Jonathan Schwartz - Jonathan Schwartz
3. Poets on Prozac: Mental Illness, Treatment and the Creative Process - Ed. Richard M. Berlin
4. Sunbathing in the Rain - Gwyneth Lewis  
5. My Lobotomy - Charles Fleming 
6. Bullied: Volume One (ebook) - Christopher Jones
7. Bullied: Volume Two (ebook) - Christopher Jones
8. Bullied: Volume Three (ebook) - Christopher Jones
9. Bullied: Volume Four (ebook) - Christopher Jones
10. Chronicles of Bursts of Light and Shadow (ebook) - Amanda Clark-Williams
11.
12.


2011 FEARLESS POETRY READING CHALLENGE





The challenge is to read just 1 book of poetry. I think I can do that.


Or Serena will be selecting a poetry book for a read-a-long midway through the challenge.


MY LIST

1. Good Woman - Lucille Clifton
2. A Long Rainy Season - ed. Leza Lowitz, Miyuki aoyama, & Akemi Tomioka
3. The Pest Maiden: A Story of Lobotomy - Penelpoe Scambly Schott
4. From the Dark Side: The Collected Poetry of Jonathan Schwartz - Jonathan Schwartz
5. Selected Poems of May Sarton - Ed. S. Hilsinger & L. Brynes
6. A Maze Me - Naomi Hihab Nye 
7. Serenity: Achieving Inner Peace Through Haiku (ebook) - Kiyoshi Hayakowa  
8. In the Spirit of Haiku (ebook) - Kamala Moore  
9. Haiku (ebook) - Toshiyuki Ihira     
10. Isotropes: A Collection of Speculative Haibun (ebook) - T.J. McIntyre  
11. 100 Selected Poems (ebook) - e.e. cummings   
12. No Light Might Escape (ebook) - Joe Hakim     
13. Bullied: Volume One (ebook) - Christopher Jones
14. Bullied: Volume Two (ebook) - Christopher Jones
15. Bullied: Volume Three (ebook) - Christopher Jones
16. Bullied: Volume Four (ebook) - Christopher Jones
17. Chronicles of Bursts of Light and Shadow (ebook) - Amanda Clark-Williams
18. Homeowner Haiku - Jerry Ratch & Sherry Karver    
19. If Not For the Cat - Jack Prelutsky         
20. Haiku for Sociologists - Ed. Kristin Barker & Gary Tiedeman      
21. Women Poets of Japan - Kenneth Rexroth & Ikuko Atsumi, Ed.    
22. New and Selected Poems - Mary Oliver      


READ 52 BOOKS IN 52 WEEKS CHALLENGE


  Hosted by: Robin of My Two Blessings. 
 
The goal is to read one book
(or more) a week for 52 weeks. 






MY LIST
1. Recovering - May Sarton
2. The Cat Who Killed Lillian Jackson Braun - Robert Kaplow
3. The Red Tent - Anita Diamont
4. Finding Your Bipolar Muse - Lana R. Castle
5. The Pig Did It - Joseph Caldwell  
6. The Pig Comes To Dinner - Joseph Caldwell
7. The Short Stories of John B. Keane - John B. Keane
8. Living In The State Of Stuck: How Assistive Technology Impacts The Lives of People With Disabilities - Marcia J. Scherer 
9. A Vindication of the Rights of Women by Mary Wollstonecraft 
10. So Long a Letter by Mariama Ba
11. A Long Rainy Season - ed. Leza Lowitz, Miyuki aoyama, & Akemi Tomioka
12. The Pest Maiden: A Story of Lobotomy - Penelpoe Scambly Schott
13. The Fur Person - May Sarton
14. From the Dark Side: The Collected Poetry of Jonathan Schwartz - Jonathan Schwartz
15. Poets on Prozac: Mental Illness, Treatment and the Creative Process - Ed. Richard M. Berlin
16. Port Mortuary - Patricia Cornwell 
17. Sunbathing in the Rain - Gwyneth Lewis
18. Selected Poems of May Sarton - Ed. S. Hilsinger & L. Brynes
19. The Subjection of Women - John Stuart Mill and Harriet Taylor Mill
20. A Doll’s House - Henrik Ibsen
21. Herland - Charlotte Perkins Gilman
22. A Room of One’s Own - Virginia Woolf
23. The Woman Warrior - Maxine Hong Kingston
24. The Beauty Myth - Naomi Wolf
25. Ain’t I a Woman? - Bell Hooks 

Today's date is March 15.
Ten weeks have elapsed in the challenge.
That's . . . 70 days . . . divided by 25 books . . . or 2.8 days per book!

No wonder I don't accomplish anything! 
I'm always reading!
Actually, I always have a book with me
to fill in all the little holes of my day and it adds up.


26. A Maze Me - Naomi Hihab Nye
27. Cat Cross Their Graves - Shirley Rousseau Murphy
28. Muhammad: The Banned Images - Gary Hall
29. Cat Breaking Free - Shirley Rousseau Murphy
30. Cat Pay the DevilShirley Rousseau Murphy
31. Cat Deck the Halls - Shirley Rousseau Murphy
32. My Lobotomy - Charles Fleming    
33. A Study In Scarlet - Arthur Conan Doyle
34. The Sign of Four - Arthur Conan Doyle
35. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Arthur Conan Doyle
36. The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes - Arthur Conan Doyle

I found all the Sherlock Holmes stories free for my Nook, which was a birthday present from my husband, and am aiming to complete the entire series.

37. The Hound of the Baskervilles - Arthur Conan Doyle
38. The Return of Sherlock Holmes - Arthur Conan Doyle
 Today's date is June 7.
 The 157th day of the year . . . divided by 38 books . . . or 4.13 days per book.

I'm slowing down. Or maybe I'm just busy. Or both.
40. Dexter is Delicious - Jeff Lindsay
41. His Last Bow (ebook) - Arthur Conan Doyle 
42. The Case-book of Sherlock Holmes (ebook) - Arthur Conan Doyle          
43. Serenity: Achieving Inner Peace Through Haiku (ebook) - Kiyoshi Hayakowa  
44. In the Spirit of Haiku (ebook) - Kamala Moore  
45. Haiku (ebook) - Toshiyuki Ihira     
46. Isotropes: A Collection of Speculative Haibun (ebook) - T.J. McIntyre  
47. 100 Selected Poems (ebook) - e.e. cummings    
48. Cat Had a Tail (ebook) - Steven D. Bennett
49. Faith and Feminism - Helen LaKelly Hunt    
50. The Death Clock (ebook) - J. Rock  
51. Short Stories for Short on Time People (ebook) - David Santos Solano    
52. No Light Might Escape (ebook) - Joe Hakim     


Today is July 22nd, and even though I've reached the goal for this challenge, I'm still plugging on.

53. Bullied: Volume One (ebook) - Christopher Jones     
54. Bullied: Volume Two (ebook) - Christopher Jones
55. Bullied: Volume Three (ebook) - Christopher Jones
56. Bullied: Volume Four (ebook) - Christopher Jones
57.9 Lives Stories for Cat Lovers (ebook) - Ahmed Khalifa
58. Chronicles of Bursts of Light and Shadow (ebook) - Amanda Clark-Williams
59. God in the Machine (ebook) - Thea Atkinson
60. Husband Won't Buy Wife a Kindle (ebook) - Franklin Eddy
61. Old Ladies Who Love Porn (ebook) - Franklin Eddy
62. So and Sew (ebook) - Cassandra Pepper
63. The Alzheimers Book Club (ebook) - Jill Zeller
64. Cats in the Belfry (ebook) - Doreen Tovy & Dan Brown
65. Go the F***k to Sleep (ebook) - Adam Mansbach
66. The Thin Man (ebook) - Dashell Hammett
67. The Cat, the Professor, and the Poison (ebook) - Leann Sweeney
68. The Cat, the Quilt, and the Corpse (ebook) - Leann Sweeney
69. The Cat, the Lady, and the Liar (ebook) - Leann Sweeney
70. Curiosity Thrilled the Cat (ebook) - Sofie Kelly        
71. How to Wash a Cat (ebook) - Rebecca M. Hale
72. Nine Lives Last Forever (ebook) - Rebecca M. Hale
73. How to Moon a Cat (ebook) - Rebecca M. Hale 
74. Mystery - Johnathan Kellerman
75. Thinking in Pictures - Temple Grandin    
76. Cat on The Money - Shirley Rousseau Murphy    
77. Curiosity Killed the Cat Sitter (ebook) - Blaize Clement     
78. Duplicity Dogged the Dachshund (ebook) - Blaize Clement     
79. Even Cat Sitters Get the Blues (ebook) - Blaize Clement     
80. Cat Sitter on a Hot Tin Roof (ebook) - Blaize Clement     
81. The Pig Goes to Hog Heaven - Joseph Caldwell   
82. Raining Cat Sitters and Dogs - (ebook) - Blaize Clement      
83. Cat Sitter Among the Pigeons - (ebook) - Blaize Clement
84. The House of Darkness - (ebook) - Ellery Queen
85. Arson Plus - (ebook) - Dashell Hammett
86. Homeowner Haiku - Jerry Ratch & Sherry Karver
87. Sleight of Paw - (ebook) - Sofie Kelly     
88. Arsene Lupine Vs. Herlock Shomes - (ebook) Maurice LeBlanc
89. If Not For the Cat - Jack Prelutsky         
90. Haiku for Sociologists - Ed. Kristin Barker & Gary Tiedeman      
91. Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King       
92. Fur-de-Lance - Rex Stout            
93. Black Orchids - Rex Stout    
94. Women Poets of Japan - Kenneth Rexroth & Ikuko Atsumi, Ed.
95. Working Stiff - Annelise Ryan             
96. Scared Stiff - Annelise Ryan             
97. Hiss of Death - Rita Mae Brown         
98. New and Selected Poems - Mary Oliver      
99. Cat Playing Cupid - Shirley Rousseau Murphy     
100. Red Mist - Patricia Cornwell           




Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Goops


The meanest trick I ever knew
Was one I know you never do.
I saw a Goop once try to do it,
And there was nothing funny to it.
He pulled a chair from under me
As I was sitting down; but he
Was sent to bed, and rightly, too.
It was a horrid thing to do!
 
 
 
The Goops they lick their fingers,And the Goops they lick their knives; They spill their broth on the tablecloth Oh, they lead disgusting lives. The Goops they talk while eating, And loud and fast they chew; And that is why I'm glad that I Am not a Goop are you?




Friday, January 7, 2011

AND I JUST MADE COOKIES FOR CHRISTMAS



Muslims turned up in droves
for the Coptic Christmas mass Thursday night,
offering their bodies, and lives,
as “shields” to Egypt’s threatened Christian community.


flickering candle in the dark



"On this Coptic Christmas eve,
the solidarity 
was not just one of religion,
but 
of a desperate and collective plea
for a better life 
and a government with accountability."



QUOTE FOR THE DAY



"Play is what we want to do.
Work is what we have to do."

- W. H. Auden.



Thursday, January 6, 2011

A REPORT ON FONTS AND EDUCATIONAL OUTCOMES


Abstract:
Previous research has shown that disfluency – the subjective experience of difficulty associated with cognitive operations – leads to deeper processing. Two studies explore the extent to which this deeper processing engendered by disfluency interventions can lead to improved memory performance. Study 1 found that information in hard-to-read fonts was better remembered than easier to read information in a controlled laboratory setting. Study 2 extended this finding to high school classrooms. The results suggest that superficial changes to learning materials could yield significant improvements in educational outcomes.


The Short version:
Setting information in hard-to-read fonts, including Comic Sans Italic, led to better retention amongst research subjects because of “disfluency”. When you have to work harder to read it, you remember it better.

I guess McSweeney had the right idea
in "I'm Comic Sans, Asshole."
Just a taste:

You don't like that your coworker used me on that note about stealing her yogurt from the break room fridge? You don't like that I'm all over your sister-in-law's blog? You don't like that I'm on the sign for that new Thai place? You think I'm pedestrian and tacky? Guess the fuck what, Picasso. We don't all have seventy-three weights of stick-up-my-ass Helvetica sitting on our seventeen-inch MacBook Pros. Sorry the entire world can't all be done in stark Eurotrash Swiss type. Sorry some people like to have fun.



Wednesday, January 5, 2011

IRELAND READING CHALLENGE 2011



Hosted by: Carrie from Books And Movies.

Any book written by an Irish author, set in Ireland, or involving Irish history or Irish characters, counts for the challenge.




MY GOAL
Kiss the Blarney Stone level: 6 books

MY LIST


1. The Pig Did It - Joseph Caldwell
2. The Pig Comes To Dinner - Joseph Caldwell
3. The Short Stories of John B. Keane - John B. Keane
4. The Pig Goes to Hog Heaven - Joseph Caldwell   
5. 
6.



100 + Books CHALLENGE


From: Home Girl's Book Blog.
  


The goal
is to read 100 or more books.






MY LIST
1. Recovering - May Sarton
2. The Cat Who Killed Lillian Jackson Braun - Robert Kaplow
3. The Red Tent - Anita Diamont
4. Finding Your Bipolar Muse - Lana R. Castle
5. The Pig Did It - Joseph Caldwell  
6. The Pig Comes To Dinner - Joseph Caldwell   
7. The Short Stories of John B. Keane - John B. Keane
8. Living In The State Of Stuck: How Assistive Technology Impacts The Lives of People With Disabilities - Marcia J. Scherer 
9. A Vindication of the Rights of Women by Mary Wollstonecraft 
10. So Long a Letter by Mariama Ba
11. A Long Rainy Season - ed. Leza Lowitz, Miyuki aoyama, & Akemi Tomioka
12. The Pest Maiden: A Story of Lobotomy - Penelpoe Scambly Schott
13. The Fur Person - May Sarton
14. From the Dark Side: The Collected Poetry of Jonathan Schwartz - Jonathan Schwartz
15. Poets on Prozac: Mental Illness, Treatment and the Creative Process - Ed. Richard M. Berlin
16. Port Mortuary - Patricia Cornwell 
17. Sunbathing in the Rain - Gwyneth Lewis
18. Selected Poems of May Sarton - Ed. S. Hilsinger & L. Brynes
19. The Subjection of Women - John Stuart Mill and Harriet Taylor Mill
20. A Doll’s House - Henrik Ibsen
21. Herland - Charlotte Perkins Gilman
22. A Room of One’s Own - Virginia Woolf
23. The Woman Warrior - Maxine Hong Kingston
24. The Beauty Myth - Naomi Wolf
25. Ain’t I a Woman? - Bell Hooks 

Today's date is March 15.
Ten weeks have elapsed in the challenge.
That's . . . 70 days . . . divided by 25 books . . . or 2.8 days per book!

No wonder I don't accomplish anything! 
I'm always reading!
Actually, I always have a book with me
to fill in all the little holes of my day and it adds up.


26. A Maze Me - Naomi Hihab Nye
27. Cat Cross Their Graves - Shirley Rousseau Murphy
28. Muhammad: The Banned Images - Gary Hall
29. Cat Breaking Free - Shirley Rousseau Murphy
30. Cat Pay the DevilShirley Rousseau Murphy
31. Cat Deck the Halls - Shirley Rousseau Murphy
32. My Lobotomy - Charles Fleming    
33. A Study In Scarlet - Arthur Conan Doyle
34. The Sign of Four - Arthur Conan Doyle
35. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Arthur Conan Doyle
36. The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes - Arthur Conan Doyle

I found all the Sherlock Holmes stories free for my Nook, which was a birthday present from my husband, and am aiming to complete the entire series.

37. The Hound of the Baskervilles - Arthur Conan Doyle
38. The Return of Sherlock Holmes - Arthur Conan Doyle

Today's date is June 7.
 The 157th day of the year . . . divided by 38 books . . . or 4.13 days per book.
I'm slowing down. Or maybe I'm just busy. Or both.
40. Dexter is Delicious - Jeff Lindsay
41. His Last Bow (ebook) - Arthur Conan Doyle

42. The Case-book of Sherlock Holmes (ebook) - Arthur Conan Doyle
43. Serenity: Achieving Inner Peace Through Haiku (ebook) - Kiyoshi Hayakowa  
44. In the Spirit of Haiku (ebook) - Kamala Moore  
45. Haiku (ebook) - Toshiyuki Ihira     
46. Isotropes: A Collection of Speculative Haibun (ebook) - T.J. McIntyre  
47. 100 Selected Poems (ebook) - e.e. cummings     
48. Cat Had a Tail (ebook) - Steven D. Bennett    
49. Faith and Feminism - Helen LaKelly Hunt    
50. The Death Clock (ebook) - J. Rock  
51. Short Stories for Short on Time People (ebook) - David Santos Solano    
52. No Light Might Escape (ebook) - Joe Hakim     
53. Bullied: Volume One (ebook) - Christopher Jones     
54. Bullied: Volume Two (ebook) - Christopher Jones
55. Bullied: Volume Three (ebook) - Christopher Jones
56. Bullied: Volume Four (ebook) - Christopher Jones
57.9 Lives Stories for Cat Lovers (ebook) - Ahmed Khalifa
58. Chronicles of Bursts of Light and Shadow (ebook) - Amanda Clark-Williams
59. God in the Machine (ebook) - Thea Atkinson
60. Husband Won't Buy Wife a Kindle (ebook) - Franklin Eddy
61. Old Ladies Who Love Porn (ebook) - Franklin Eddy
62. So and Sew (ebook) - Cassandra Pepper
63. The Alzheimers Book Club (ebook) - Jill Zeller
64. Cats in the Belfry (ebook) - Doreen Tovy & Dan Brown
65. Go the F***k to Sleep (ebook) - Adam Mansbach
66. The Thin Man (ebook) - Dashell Hammett
67. The Cat, the Professor, and the Poison (ebook) - Leann Sweeney
68. The Cat, the Quilt, and the Corpse (ebook) - Leann Sweeney
69. The Cat, the Lady, and the Liar (ebook) - Leann Sweeney
70. Curiosity Thrilled the Cat (ebook) - Sofie Kelly        
71. How to Wash a Cat (ebook) - Rebecca M. Hale
72. Nine Lives Last Forever (ebook) - Rebecca M. Hale
73. How to Moon a Cat (ebook) - Rebecca M. Hale 
74. Mystery - Johnathan Kellerman
75. Thinking in Pictures - Temple Grandin    
76. Cat on The Money - Shirley Rousseau Murphy    
77. Curiosity Killed the Cat Sitter (ebook) - Blaize Clement     
78. Duplicity Dogged the Dachshund (ebook) - Blaize Clement     
79. Even Cat Sitters Get the Blues (ebook) - Blaize Clement     
80. Cat Sitter on a Hot Tin Roof (ebook) - Blaize Clement     
81. The Pig Goes to Hog Heaven - Joseph Caldwell   
82. Raining Cat Sitters and Dogs - (ebook) - Blaize Clement     
83. Cat Sitter Among the Pigeons - (ebook) - Blaize Clement     
84. The House of Darkness - (ebook) - Ellery Queen   
85. Arson Plus - (ebook) - Dashell Hammett      
86. Homeowner Haiku - Jerry Ratch & Sherry Karver
87. Sleight of Paw - (ebook) - Sofie Kelly        
88. Arsene Lupine Vs. Herlock Shomes - (ebook) Maurice LeBlanc     
89. If Not For the Cat - Jack Prelutsky         
90. Haiku for Sociologists - Ed. Kristin Barker & Gary Tiedeman
91. Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King       
92. Fur-de-Lance - Rex Stout            
93. Black Orchids - Rex Stout           
94. Women Poets of Japan - Kenneth Rexroth & Ikuko Atsumi, Ed.    
95. Working Stiff - Annelise Ryan             
96. Scared Stiff - Annelise Ryan         
97. Hiss of Death - Rita Mae Brown        
98. New and Selected Poems - Mary Oliver      
99. Cat Playing Cupid - Shirley Rousseau Murphy     
100. Red Mist - Patricia Cornwell