Monday, June 29, 2015

Mr. Talented

Mr. Shaw said on his blog that he planned to place his neck in a noose tied to an elevator at the bottom of a shaft. The next person who pushed a button to send the elevator up would, he wrote, “murder me without even knowing it.”

Days later, his body was found. It was a sad, violent end to a short, promising life. On his blog, he had admitted to the attacks and had blamed being rejected by Asian women for committing them. He had tried to talk to nearly 1,500 in less than 350 days, he wrote, and none had said hello: “I just couldn’t understand why Asian Women didn’t find me attractive.”

A friend recalled Mr. Shaw saying he had been found to have bipolar disorder, but could not afford the medicine to treat it. Mental health records obtained by The New York Times from 2013, when he was in jail on Rikers Island, did not show him reporting any manic symptoms, only a history of depression.

Regardless, Mr. Shaw lived two lives. In the real one, which he rarely discussed, his mother had abandoned him as a child, family members said. He spent his teenage years in a boarding home. He squatted as an adult in storage areas and the basements of buildings on a seven-block stretch of the Upper East Side. He spent months in jail for petty crimes. In the fictional one, which he shared with most people, he was from Canada. He disappeared for months at a time because he was traveling the world. He rubbed shoulders with famous people.

“That’s why we thought he was so nice, because he was from Canada,” said Holton Desprez, 25, who met Mr. Shaw in 2008. “I felt he was a wealthy black kid, that he was really doing well.”

Article

If you were writing a movie plot, they would say that this was overdone

After a civilian prison employee, Joyce E. Mitchell, failed to meet them in her car, the two men, who displayed cunning inside the prison walls, were forced to run on foot over tough terrain. They found shelter in empty hunting cabins, but left telltale clues of their presence that helped a vast array of agencies — from the State Police to the United States Marshals to the Federal Bureau of Investigation to state Forest Rangers — home in on them over the last week.

It was not clear whether the men remained together the whole time, but they appeared to have been together recently enough that a discarded pepper shaker bearing Mr. Sweat’s DNA was found by investigators over the weekend near the spot where Mr. Matt was killed on Friday.

Mr. D’Amico, of the State Police, said the men possibly used the pepper to throw off the scent of the search dogs, a ruse employed in the 1967 film “Cool Hand Luke.”
Photo
Sgt. Jay Cook

“We did have difficulty tracking, so it was fairly effective in that respect,” he said.

“If you were writing a movie plot, they would say that this was overdone,” Mr. Cuomo said, speaking at a ski resort in Malone that has doubled as a command center.
Article

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Precious Garden: A Quilt of People

I have been so sad that a few of my favorite children are moving away. I am shy about showering them with gifts of my illustrated children's books but on the other hand I want to stay in touch and this might be a way they will remember us. It means so much to me to watch families growing up. The three families that are leaving town are on my walk. My dog Lily and I are "sidewalk friends" with all the kids and their parents.

My community built by walking, is my garden, and the children are my precious plants.

I feel like a piece of red thread sewing a huge patchwork quilt, walking three miles a day for 26 years.

Most Fascinating Faces

There are some faces that you can watch forever. Lyle Lovett is this face for me. I also love his music.

Amy Tan: An Extreme Privilege

Writing is an extreme privilege but it's also a gift. It's a gift to yourself [...]

Amazing interview

African Inspired Black Bean Soup

Black beans rinsed soaked and simmered, wine, olive oil, Adobo, celery, onion, black coffee, more celery, can of crushed tomatoes, more wine another can of crushed tomato, red chili peppers, more Adobo, more salt, chopped peanuts, orange juice.
Delicious!

I do crazy things in the kitchen, improvising and then I Google to see if anyone else has done the same thing, ever.

Local Terrorism

The folks at the high rise are freaking out because there's a weight limit on dogs and some dogs have gained weight.

Yellow Zoomers, Reeds, Pens, and a Lyre

Happy half birthday to me!

Massage for Horses, Dogs and People

The other night on my walk I met a woman in Blackstone who said she is a massage therapist for horses, dogs and humans. How about elephants, I asked. I love elephants.
And zebras, and giraffes?

Small Enough for Gifts of Gratitude

Woonsocket is a city small enough, and cozy enough to bake breads and cookies of gratitude for the police department, city hall, the highway department, sewage treatment plant, waterworks, parks department, animal control, and the beloved public library. Did I leave anyone out?

Marni Rice: Sheer Charisma



De Joux Musique:

Is an independent production company established in 2005 with a goal to create and present musical and theatrical performance works for an international audience, and to bridge the gap between people across cultural and linguistic barriers.

Founder, Marni Rice

Marni Rice is a performer and author of performance works combining music, song and text. Her musical repertoire includes vintage French Chansons, Euro Cabaret Songs and original music.
In June 2008, her Bi-Lingual English-French solo performance piece: 'Contes de Paris/Tales from Paris' was presented at The St-Ambroise Montreal Fringe Festival, Canada and in 2009 at The Tokyo & Kyoto International Fringe Festival, Japan. After receiving an Artist in Residence with MABOU MINES/SUITE with support from the Jerome Foundation and New York Cultural Council, the full French production premiered in 2009 at The Festival Avignon, France and RETIC (International Theatre Encounters of Cameroon). In 2010 at CICACK (Carrefour International Ancient and Contemporary Cultures in Kribi, Cameroon) and in 2011at FITHEGA (International Theater Festival of Gabon).
In the United States she has performed in Regional and Off Broadway Theater productions at Trinity Repertory Company, R.I, and The Miranda Theater, N.Y directed by Tom Fontana, Ann Bogart and Oskar Eustis, at The Bleeker Street Theater, NY in 'Songs of Misery and Love' directed by Vera Beren and as an understudy in the production of 'King Lear' featuring F. Murray Abraham and directed by Robert Brustein at The American Repertory Theater, M.A.
Since 2004, she has participated in the development of Musical Dance Theater works with MUD/BONE; a New York based non-profit theater company with whom she performed in '365 Plays in 365 Days' at The Joseph Papp Public Theater in New York. In 2008 she received an award for 'Original Cabaret Performance' with The Kabarett Kollectif at The Cabaret Awards in New York's Town Hall.
In 2010 she performed in Tamar Kali's "Cabaret Chocolat" at Harlem Stage Company
In Europe, she has performed songs Edith Piaf at the Hungarian National Radio and provided vocal and accordion music for Dance and Theater companies at the Festival D'Avignon (France), Tribuhne Festival in Stuttgart (Germany), The Cultural Festival of Tuscany (Italy), and most recently with Labyrinth Dance Theater at The Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2011.

While studying voice and languages at The New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, she started accompanying herself on the accordion in community kitchens, hospitals, and The Department of Immigration and Naturalization in support of political asylum detainees playing traditional folk ballads she learned from her mother, an amateur folk singer and song collector.
Relocating to Paris, she performed on the streets and in cabarets, singing French songs of the first part of the century and began writing a solo show with monologues and stories about living overseas as a stranger in a strange land. Early versions of 'Contes de Paris / Tales from Paris' were performed in Germany at Rudolph Steiner cultural centers, an Immigrant Residence in Cologne and as the show evolved it received development support in New York at Dixon Place, Chashama, MUD/BONE, and Studio 303 in Montreal, Canada.
As a Chanteuse-Accordionist in New York she has appeared at The Lincoln Center Chamber Music series, Symphony Space, Joe’s Pub, The Bowery Ballroom, The Bottom Line, The Bowery Electric, in private events, restaurants, cafes and community gardens. Her diverse musical projects include; 'Marni Rice & Le Garage Cabaret' featuring original songs in French & English, and 'Marni Rice & The Chanson Chamber Salon' featuring European popular and cabaret songs. Since 2006 she has served as back round vocalist and accordionist for 'Mad Juana' in the US and Europe.

that level of poetry where when you say something it’s actually a physical event

Twenty years ago, just as indie rock started to be called indie rock, John Darnielle formed one of its great bands: The Mountain Goats. The New Yorker called Darnielle "America's best non-hip hop lyricist”; his songs are moody, literary, maybe a bit navel-gazey. But Darnielle's biggest influence isn't Leonard Cohen or Nick Drake. He was, and is, a metalhead.

He got hooked as a kid, listening to his babysitter’s record collection. In Black Sabbath’s "Iron Man" he discovered “the power of these monolithic, iceberg-sized riffs that lodge in your brain. Black Sabbath tries not to hit you in your libido. They hit you in your fists, in your skull.”

Darnielle admits that his own music “stylistically couldn’t really be further from heavy metal,” with its emphasis on lyrics. But he says Black Sabbath inspired him to make his performances similarly visceral. “Even though I work with words,” he says, “I’m always wanting to get to that level of poetry where when you say something it’s actually a physical event … a single physical, bright, burning moment.”

The Mountain Goats’ latest album, Beat the Champ, is out now. Darnielle’s first novel, Wolf in White Van, comes out in paperback in September.

(Originally aired: May 13, 2011)

→ Has a work of art changed your life? Tell us in a comment or by email.

Reginald Marsh

Reginal Marsh: Beach Acrobats

Regnald Marsh

Reginal Marsh Photographer

Brighton Beach by Reginald Marsh

Edward Hopper by Reginald Marsh

Please Excuse our Dust

Alfred Hitchcock: I'm a Writer and, Therefore, Automatically a Suspicious Character

“Puns are the highest form of literature.”
― Alfred Hitchcock

“Ideas come from everything”
― Alfred Hitchcock

“Fear isn't so difficult to understand. After all, weren't we all frightened as children? Nothing has changed since Little Red Riding Hood faced the big bad wolf. What frightens us today is exactly the same sort of thing that frightened us yesterday. It's just a different wolf. This fright complex is rooted in every individual.”
― Alfred Hitchcock

“There is no terror in the bang, only in the anticipation of it.”
― Alfred Hitchcock

“Give them pleasure. The same pleasure they have when they wake up from a nightmare.”
― Alfred Hitchcock

“What is drama but life with the dull bits cut out.”
― Alfred Hitchcock

“The length of a film should be directly related to the endurance of the human bladder.”
― Alfred Hitchcock

“If I won't be myself, who will?”
― Alfred Hitchcock, Alfred Hitchcock: Interviews

“Always make the audience suffer as much as possible.”
― Alfred Hitchcock

“I’ve never been very keen on women who hang their sex round their neck like baubles. I think it should be discovered. It’s more interesting to discover the sex in a woman than it is to have it thrown at you, like a Marilyn Monroe or those types. To me they are rather vulgar and obvious.”
― Alfred Hitchcock

“I have a perfect cure for a sore throat: cut it.”
― Alfred Hitchcock

“I'm a writer and, therefore, automatically a suspicious character.”
― Alfred Hitchcock

“The paperback is very interesting but I find it will never replace the hardcover book -- it makes a very poor doorstop.”
― Alfred Hitchcock

“I can't read fiction without visualizing every scene. The result is it becomes a series of pictures rather than a book.”
― Alfred Hitchcock

“Revenge is sweet and not fattening.”
― Alfred Hitchcock

“Seeing a murder on television... can help work off one's antagonisms. And if you haven't any antagonisms, the commercials will give you some.”
― Alfred Hitchcock

“Blondes make the best victims. They're like virgin snow that shows up the bloody footprints.”
― Alfred Hitchcock

“A glimpse into the world proves that horror is nothing other than reality.”
― Alfred Hitchcock

“We seem to have a compulsion these days to bury time capsules in order to give those people living in the next century or so some idea of what we are like. I have prepared one of my own. I have placed some rather large samples of dynamite, gunpowder, and nitroglycerin. My time capsule is set to go off in the year 3000. It will show them what we are really like.”
― Alfred Hitchcock

“I'm a typed director. If I made Cinderella, the audience would immediately be looking for a body in the coach.”
― Alfred Hitchcock

“There is a distinct difference between "suspense" and "surprise," and yet many pictures continually confuse the two. I'll explain what I mean.

We are now having a very innocent little chat. Let's suppose that there is a bomb underneath this table between us. Nothing happens, and then all of a sudden, "Boom!" There is an explosion. The public is surprised, but prior to this surprise, it has seen an absolutely ordinary scene, of no special consequence. Now, let us take a suspense situation. The bomb is underneath the table and the public knows it, probably because they have seen the anarchist place it there. The public is aware the bomb is going to explode at one o'clock and there is a clock in the decor. The public can see that it is a quarter to one. In these conditions, the same innocuous conversation becomes fascinating because the public is participating in the scene. The audience is longing to warn the characters on the screen: "You shouldn't be talking about such trivial matters. There is a bomb beneath you and it is about to explode!"

In the first case we have given the public fifteen seconds of surprise at the moment of the explosion. In the second we have provided them with fifteen minutes of suspense. The conclusion is that whenever possible the public must be informed. Except when the surprise is a twist, that is, when the unexpected ending is, in itself, the highlight of the story.”
― Alfred Hitchcock

“T.V. has brought murder back into the home where it belongs.”
― Alfred Hitchcock

“Suspense is like a woman. The more left to the imagination, the more the excitement. ... The conventional big-bosomed blonde is not mysterious. And what could be more obvious than the old black velvet and pearls type? The perfect ‘woman of mystery’ is one who is blonde, subtle and Nordic. ... Although I do not profess to be an authority on women, I fear that the perfect title [for a movie], like the perfect woman is difficult to find.”
― Alfred Hitchcock

“There is nothing so good as a burial at sea. It is simple, tidy, and not very incriminating.”
― Alfred Hitchcock

“In feature films the director is God; in documentary films God is the director" - Alfred Hitchcock”
― Alfred Hitchcock

“There is nothing to winning, really. That is, if you happen to be blessed with a keen eye, an agile mind, and no scruples whatsoever.”
― Alfred Hitchcock

“I'm sure anyone who likes a good crime, provided it is not the victim.”
― Alfred Hitchcock

“I have a feeling that inside you somewhere,there's somebody nobody knows about”
― Alfred Hitchcock

“I’m full of fears and I do my best to avoid difficulties and any kind of complications. I like everything around me to be clear as crystal and completely calm.”
― Alfred Hitchcock

“I understand that the inventor of the bagpipes was inspired when he saw a man carrying an indignant, astatic pig under his arm. Unfortunately, the man-made sound never equaled the purity of sound achieved by the pig.”
― Alfred Hitchcock

Hitchcock

Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window

Jail Bait 1954 Film Poster

My Childhood

Pole Dancing Robot

Animation
Another image

Romancing the Robot

Not Uncommon

It is not uncommon in my neighborhood for one of the of the parents or children to be in prison. It is not uncommon to have 20 minutes for an entire family to move. It is not uncommon to have no food in the house, ever. It is not uncommon that all of the furniture and clothes are left behind. It is not uncommon, and it is very sad.

Drawing Time: Art Therapy in Prisons

Drawing Time: Art Therapy in Prisons and Other Correctional Settings Paperback – 1997
by David Gussak (Author, Editor), Evelyn Virshup (Editor)
ISBN-13: 978-0961330996 ISBN-10: 0961330996 Edition: 1st

Phyllis Kornfeld: Cellblock Visions


Phyllis Kornfeld
Princeton University Press, 1997 - Art - 86 pages

"Powerful and beautiful stuff that, once again, makes us question our sometimes stupid definitions of art.... Here is art that evidences deep and personal healing and lasting change." David Byrne"Some of the best prison art I've ever seen." Norman MailerAlmost everyone in prison is either making art or buying it, " notes Phyllis Kornfeld as she uncovers the alternative artworld flourishing today in American prisons. Her book, Cellblock Visions, not only presents some of the most inventive and gripping examples of outsider art, but also offers an unprecedented account of prison art in particular as a subject worthy of serious consideration. Having worked for many years as an art facilitator in jails and penitentaries, Kornfeld is in a unique position to explain how art emerges in the most restrictive of environments and what gives inmate art its distinctive character. From painting to toilet-paper sculpture, the works of prisoners range from awkward attempts to amazing displays of virtuosity. In this book, Kornfeld presents the artists whose works offer freshness and surprise and tells the moving stories behind them.Filled with quotes from men and women prisoners and with Korn-feld's own anecdotes, Cellblock Visions shows how these artists, most of them having no previous training, turn to their work for a sense of self-worth, an opportunity to vent rage, or a way to find peace. We see how the artists deal with the cramped space, limited light, and narrow vistas of their prison studios, and how the security bans on many art supplies lead them to ingenious resourcefulness, as in extracting color from shampoo and weaving with cigarette wrappers. Kornfeld covers the traditional prison arts,such as soap carving and tattoo, and devotes a major section to painting, where we see miniatures depicting themes of alienation and escape, idyllic landscapes framed by bars, portraits of women living in a fantasy world, large canvasses filled with erotic and religious symbolism and violent action. The brief, vivid biographies of each artist portray that individual's experience of crime, prison, and art itself. There is a growing movement to bring the best of prison art to the public's attention for the dynamic immediacy of its form and for the power of its messages. This book is a contribution to that movement and a tribute to the humanity of the artists.

Adrienne Rich, Los Angeles Times Book Section "Why I Refused the National Medal for the Arts"
"Art is both tough and fragile. it speaks of what we long to hear and what we dread to find. It’s source and native impulse, the imagination, may be shackled in early life, yet may find release in conditions offering little else to the spirit. For a recent document on this, look at Phyllis Kornfeld’s "Cellblock Visions:Prison Art in America," notable for the variety and emotional depth of the artworks reproduced, the words of the inmate artists and for Kornfeld’s unsentimental and lucid text."

The artwork in Cellblock Visions was made behind bars between 1983 and 2011, much of it in an era that was a relatively golden age of creative opportunities for prisoners - the goal was actually rehabilitation - a word you don’t hear much these days. I discussed this matter with a convict I know and he was incredulous. "Rehabilitation? Are you joking? That’s the last thing in the world they want! It would ruin the economy!" "They want us idle"- said another man, after his art supplies were confiscated, "so we’ll get in trouble - so they can keep us here."

Popular sentiment has it that imprisonment must not only be long, it must be harsh - severely restrictive - routinely degrading - chain gangs and rock-busting. Many correctional institutions are chipping away daily at the so-called "amenities" of prison life; television, radio, coffee-maker, colored pencils. More and more gates to sanity are being slammed shut.

It is possible to exact justice without vengeance. Vengeance does not heal - not us, not them. It is common sense to help people to re-enter society in better shape than they were when they came to prison. Experiences of dignity and creativity can contribute to that goal. We want them to be wiser, calmer, humbly self-confident, with skills for practical survival within the law - and the inclination to make a positive contribution.

John F. Kennedy
"When power leads man toward arrogance, poetry reminds him of his limitations. When power narrows the area’s of man’s concern, poetry reminds him of the richness and diversity of his existence. When power corrupts, poetry cleanses. For art establishes the basic human truths which must serve as the touchstone of our judgement."

Battering Ram

Battering rams in this urban neighborhood are as common as leaf blowers in the suburbs.
Here's a fascinating history of the battering ram with photos, here.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Manic Depression and Lithium

Article

AN ARTIST (BY THE SAME NAME) BIO GETS REAL.

AN ARTIST (BY THE SAME NAME) BIO GETS REAL.
BY JAIME LOWE

Jaime Lowe is a thirty-something-year-old writer and photographer and terrible painter who is not the same as the other Jaime Lowe, though she shares many of the same characteristics. Jaime Lowe has often been mistaken for Jaime Lowe. She lives in Brooklyn in an apartment with a couch and very little internet. She’s been mistaken for the other Jaime Lowe by readers, friends and by her own brother who once complimented an article written by the other Jaime Lowe thinking it was written by Jaime Lowe. For entertainment, she also watches one of six mediocre rom-com DVDs that she bought for five dollars at Goodwill and also Tootsie. She loves Tootsie. She personally owns three pairs of pants, no furniture, and very few earthly possessions plus many things she has found on the sidewalk and determined to be bed bug-free. How, you might ask? Jaime Lowe has incredible vision and does not care too much about bed bugs. She earned no MFA at any point because when faced with a choice—an MFA or taking a poorly-paid, mediocre job at an airline’s magazine, the in-flight seemed like a better prospect than debt. The other Jaime Lowe did meet and workshop stories with Jaime Lowe’s friends at a liberal arts MFA program, which was funny because they said, Jaime Lowe, you should meet Jaime Lowe! Her photographic work has appeared on her Facebook feed and sometimes Twitter but not Instagram, but let’s not fool anyone—do they even pay anymore? (No.) Her writing has appeared in a bunch of large publications. She also wrote a book about Ol’ Dirty Bastard and boxes at Gleason’s gym and edits a website about animals. She might be interested in shooting your shitty airy campaign, or your new one-word-titled expensive quarterly with Sans Serif hybrid font and white border and the ’70s-looking model on the cover. (Because this Jaime Lowe thinks she has a very good eye, that’s what her mother says.) Gallery owners need not inquire because she doesn’t photograph nubile, naked rich people setting off smoke bombs in the back of pickup trucks in the desert. Jaime Lowe totally will. That sounds fun. And if you ask her if she’s seen the show Girls with a knowing, I-pegged-you look on your face, she’ll probably slap you in the mouth. That’s true. Jaime Lowe would do that but with Jaime Lowe’s boxing background, it will likely be a stiff jab or uppercut.

Are there any other Jaime Lowes? Jaime Lowes of the world unite!

Feel free to follow her on Twitter or Instagram or like her Facebook page so she can achieve some false sense of entitlement and success.

Jaime Lowe, McSweney's

Blight and Fight

Three buildings in the 'hood have no occupants. Two have been condemned. We're having a weekend of blight.

Early this morning I was out walking Lily and I saw a man with a black crowbar running and shouting. That can't be good I thought but I didn't have a phone. I ran into my favorite neighbor A, unfortunately she and I witnessed a violent crime. I stayed away from the action. Thank GOD for the Woonsocket Police. I ran into Sylvia at Rite Aid parking lot and we told each other stories about childhood and laughed ourselves to tears.

A man came up and asked us for a quarter to make a 2 minute phone call to Jamaica. Hmmmm.

I Love Robert Bly's poems

Living a Week Alone

by Robert Bly

After writing for a week alone in my old shack,
I guide the car through Ortonville around midnight.

The policeman talks intently in his swivel chair.
The light from above shines on his bald head.

Soon the car picks up speed again beside the quarries.
The moonspot on the steel tracks moves so fast!

Thirty or so Black Angus hold down their earth
Among silvery grasses blown back and forth in the wind.

My family is still away; no one is home.
How sweet it is to come back to an empty house-

The windows dark, no lamps lit, trees still,
The barn serious and mature in the moonlight.

- Robert Bly from Like the New Moon,
I Will Live My Life. © White Pine Press, 2015.

Summer Breads

My summer breads are a smaller lighter and younger. I bake them on hot dog and hamburger pans.

Saying Hello

I set out with Lily at 5 PM and came home after dark. I had amazing visits with my sidewalk friends walking the 3 mile trip.

My grandfather Nat Olson, was the Mayor of Canal Street according to his friends. He said hello to everyone and took the bums out for breakfast and let them use the bathroom in his tiny store, UNITED BLOWER fans and motors on Centre Street off Canal on The Bowery.

I think about this because I love to walk and greet people. I have more sidewalk friends than any other kind and I love the feeling of community and pedestrian visits.

Tonight while walking to the pond I got to talk to Barb, and then then down at the lake Sandy invited me onto her porch. The sun was setting putting on a magnificent show. We were watching the the swans and drawing pictures with her three grand kids. It was dark when I left. A magical night!

Essay

Friday, June 26, 2015

Pastoral only for Pedestrians and Bicycles

“Like all public space, our parks have a lot of demands put on them,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a written statement. “But traffic shouldn’t be one of them. Our city needs places where kids can run around safely, where people can jog or go for a walk after a long day of work and not have cars racing by five feet away.”
[...]
Syed Haroon, 60, a cabdriver who estimated that he had used the park cutaways a minimum of 5,720 times in his 22 years on the job. “When we go through the park we feel very fresh.” Closing it, he said, will be a blow to cabdrivers’ psyches.

Article

The Riskiest Way to Love

His poetry was terrible, but it was about me, which improved it immeasurably.
Article

Feel the Love

Last night Red and Darlene were out standing in the street and I went out to what I call the "common living room" to say hello. Unfortunately what brought us all outside was a fire truck and ambulance which proceeded to take away a body of a young man who lives above the mini mart. I hope he'll be okay. I hope it wasn't a drug overdose. When the ambulance and fire trucks left we stayed out. It was nice to catch up on the 'hood. Red was telling Viet Nam neighborhood stories to the teenager who lives next door. Darlene ran inside to get the framed drawing she made of her dog Jesse."Tell me your honest opinion," she said. "I love it, you can tell you love your dog!" "her facial markings look like Yin and Yang symbol." Darlene told me about traveling across the country in a 16 wheeler with her ex-boyfriend. Wow, you did that? 'We traveled from Florida to Maine dropping off produce. Did you sleep in the truck? Yes we had a sleeper and those little lights all around the cab. I said goodby and went inside. We were retiring for the night but I had to throw out the garbage. On my way back I walked across the lot to say hello to Stephanie who was out with her son and the neighbor's kids. They were tossing water at each other. I said "Hit me I love to get wet!" They did and I loved it.
"Isn't it beautiful?" I said to Stephanie. "Sure is, she said, now that Alabama is gone. We finally have peace and quiet and a park for the kids." It's so great to see and we all love each other. All we need is a basketball hoop for the boys but right now they climb the fence and use the one next door.

Flying High or Well Trained

I told my husband I have landed on the other side of the moon. I'm in TRANSMIT. Rather than relearn the alphabet and change my routine which is so easy and tempting, I took a shower and changed my clothes just like I do on receive-mode days. The shower felt great. I feel beautiful and energetic electric in transmit. I am going too fast for everyone. "This is why I can't have friends," I said to my husband who was reading the New York Times.

"If you can practice when distracted you are well trained," is written on the chalkboard in the hall. I am distracted all the time by my head noise lows and head noise highs. I can't win. . . but I do. I will. I am educated about my condition. I am well trained in my routine. I am learning from my husband the amazing teacher how to be my best advocate.

"Use it, use it" my husband says. "It's for you, you don't have to give it all away, you don't owe it to everyone like your mother taught you. She wanted you to give it all to her and when you didn't she literally went in after it by employing surgeons to eviscerate me. Pretty scary eh?
Believe me You are well trained. You don't have to bake 19 gratiude breads for city hall today. Another day. Do your work.
He's right.

And I do have friends. I tell myself. My husband Bill is my best friend. My dog Lily is my other best friend.

Gotta Serve Somebody

This is on the radio WICN and caught my ear.

by Bob Dylan

You may be an ambassador to England or France
You may like to gamble, you might like to dance
You may be the heavyweight champion of the world
You may be a socialite with a long string of pearls

But you’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed
You’re gonna have to serve somebody
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody

You might be a rock ’n’ roll addict prancing on the stage
You might have drugs at your command, women in a cage
You may be a businessman or some high-degree thief
They may call you Doctor or they may call you Chief

But you’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed
You’re gonna have to serve somebody
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody

You may be a state trooper, you might be a young Turk
You may be the head of some big TV network
You may be rich or poor, you may be blind or lame
You may be living in another country under another name

But you’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed
You’re gonna have to serve somebody
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody

You may be a construction worker working on a home
You may be living in a mansion or you might live in a dome
You might own guns and you might even own tanks
You might be somebody’s landlord, you might even own banks

But you’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed
You’re gonna have to serve somebody
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody

You may be a preacher with your spiritual pride
You may be a city councilman taking bribes on the side
You may be workin’ in a barbershop, you may know how to cut hair
You may be somebody’s mistress, may be somebody’s heir

But you’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed
You’re gonna have to serve somebody
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody

Might like to wear cotton, might like to wear silk
Might like to drink whiskey, might like to drink milk
You might like to eat caviar, you might like to eat bread
You may be sleeping on the floor, sleeping in a king-sized bed

But you’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed
You’re gonna have to serve somebody
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody

You may call me Terry, you may call me Timmy
You may call me Bobby, you may call me Zimmy
You may call me R.J., you may call me Ray
You may call me anything but no matter what you say

You’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed
You’re gonna have to serve somebody
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody

Copyright © 1979 by Special Rider Music

Read more: http://www.bobdylan.com/us#ixzz3eBCkfCQi

Reverse Gravity

When I was 5 I had a recurring dream that I was flying up through the roof of the family car and no matter how many times I pulled myself down into my seat I'd be pulled back up. This is meaningful to me because today I am living this dream. My life is built around grounding myself. I have reverse gravity half the time and oppressive gravity sucking me down with worms the other half.

Tom Waits

The Piano Has Been Drinking Ginger Ale
A great article about why Tom Waits Quit Drinking.

Article

Favorite Recent Memoirs

These are MUST own books that I will reread a dozen times.

The Answer to the Riddle Is Me: A Memoir of Amnesia
by David Stuart MacLean


On October 17, 2002, David MacLean “woke up” on a train platform in India with no idea who he was or why he was there. No money. No passport. No identity.

Taken to a mental hospital by the police, MacLean then started to hallucinate so severely he had to be tied down. Soon he could remember song lyrics, but not his family, his friends, or the woman he was told he loved. All of these symptoms, it turned out, were the result of the commonly prescribed malarial medication he had been taking. Upon his return to the States, he struggled to piece together the fragments of his former life in a harrowing, absurd, and unforgettable journey back to himself.

The Answer to the Riddle Is Me, drawn from David MacLean’s award-winning This American Life essay, is a deeply felt, closely researched, and intensely personal book. It asks every reader to confront the essential questions of our age: In our geographically and chemically fluid world, what makes me who I am? And how much can be stripped away before I become someone else entirely?

Haldol and Hyacinths: A Bipolar Life
by Melody Moezzi

With candor and humor, a manic-depressive Iranian-American Muslim woman chronicles her experiences with both clinical and cultural bipolarity.

Melody Moezzi was born to Persian parents at the height of the Islamic Revolution and raised amid a vibrant, loving, and gossipy Iranian diaspora in the American heartland. When at eighteen, she began battling a severe physical illness, her community stepped up, filling her hospital rooms with roses, lilies, and hyacinths.



But when she attempted suicide and was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, there were no flowers. Despite several stays in psychiatric hospitals, bombarded with tranquilizers, mood-stabilizers, and antipsychotics, she was encouraged to keep her illness a secret—by both her family and an increasingly callous and indifferent medical establishment. Refusing to be ashamed, Moezzi became an outspoken advocate, determined to fight the stigma surrounding mental illness and reclaim her life along the way.



Both an irreverent memoir and a rousing call to action, Haldol and Hyacinths is the moving story of a woman who refused to become torn across cultural and social lines. Moezzi reports from the front lines of the no-man’s land between sickness and sanity, and the Midwest and the Middle East. A powerful, funny, and poignant narrative told through a unique and fascinating cultural lens, Haldol and Hyacinths is a tribute to the healing power of hope, humor, and acceptance.

Saadi

Human being are members of a whole,
In creation of one essence and soul.
If one member is afflicted with pain,
Other members uneasy will remain.
If you've no sympathy for human pain,
The name of human you cannot retain!
-Saadi

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Tom Waits on Ziti Flow

Well, I wanted - I've always wanted to be curious and provocative, I guess, and interesting, and interested in this kind of sparkling, you know, sapphire we all call home, you know. I always wanted to be mystified by it all - and rather fascinated with life itself. I think maybe when you drink, you're probably robbing yourself of that genuine experience, even though it appears what you're doing is getting more of it. You're getting less of it. And it takes a while, when you've had a rock on the hose like that for so long. It takes a while for the hose to be a hose again, you know, and for things to start flowing.

- Tom Waits

Article

Alice Neel Poet with Paint

Alice Neel's portraits are amazing. A most honest poet with the paint.

Urban Jungle

I'm seduced by north light painting outside in my urban jungle.

A Herd of Studly Men

On my walk today I intercepted 12 guys in matching olive green shirts sweating and studly. Who are they? Beth, the woman I was chatting with yelled " Whoever they are they're good looking" and one guy said " I guess it's paying off" She yelled "got that right!" We watched them from the CVS building. They jogged right into headquarters. This is the new millenium. Gentlemen's Quarterly community policing.

The Tricycles of Cyclothymia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyclothymia

Gut Feeling

Article

Paintings and the Prisoners

Prisoners making making paintings to trade is playing a huge role here.

Unfamiliar Shoes

A Massachusetts woman awoke to a pair of unfamiliar black shoes on the carpet of her upstairs hallway. It turns out they were the shoes of a thief who became exhausted while robbing their pristine Victorian home. The robber, very considerate, decided to take off his shoes before going to bed in the couple's guest room. He was rudely awakened by the husband detaining him at gunpoint while the very observant wife called the cops.

Rainy Parades

Henry Horenstein: Shoot What you Love

Over the years I’ve photographed many different types of subjects, even animals and the human form. But I’ve always returned to my roots as a documentary photographer. More than anything, I like a good story. And I try to tell one in a direct way, with humor and a punch line, if possible. With this in mind, I have photographed country musicians in Nashville, my family and friends in Massachusetts, horse racing at Saratoga, nightlife in Buenos Aires, old highways everywhere, everyone in Cajun Louisiana, South American baseball, camel breeding in Dubai, tri-racial families in Maryland, and much, much more.

For subjects, I prefer older cultures and places, especially disappearing ones. That’s what my history teachers, Jesse Lemisch (at University of Chicago) and E. P. Thompson (at University of Warwick), taught me to do. These cultures and places might vanish, but it is a historian’s righteous duty to make sure that they leave a trace. I also was very influenced by another teacher in Chicago, John G. Cawelti, who taught me (and doubting historians predating him) that popular culture should be taken seriously. One other great influence for me was my teacher at Rhode Island School of Design, Harry Callahan. Harry encouraged me to “shoot what you love,” and to pay no attention to what others are doing. “Even if you make bad pictures,” he said, “you’ll have a good time.” Thank you for that, Harry.

New Web Gallery

Charleston Families: We Have been Taught Forgiveness

“I believe that our God is a god of purpose,” she said.
Article

Elizabeth Gilbert

Seduction is the art of coercing somebody to desire you, of orchestrating somebody else’s longings to suit your own hungry agenda. Seduction was never a casual sport for me; it was more like a heist, adrenalizing and urgent. I would plan the heist for months, scouting out the target, looking for unguarded entries. Then I would break into his deepest vault, steal all his emotional currency and spend it on myself.
-Elizabeth Gilbert,‘‘Eat, Pray, Love.’’ Her new book, ‘‘Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear,’’ Riverhead Books due out in September.
Source

It Was a Tornado

WRENTHAM – An EF-0 tornado with maximum wind speeds of 80 miles per hour whipped through the downtown area Tuesday afternoon, uprooting an 80-foot-tall maple tree in the town common and snapping tree tops and limbs in the brief time it was on the ground.

While much of the Blackstone Valley was spared the brunt of the storm, straight-line wind gusts Tuesday afternoon knocked down a tree and ripped branches from trees on a portion of Milk Street in Blackstone.

A survey team from the National Weather Service in Taunton observed damage in Blackstone, Bellingham, Franklin, and Wrentham Wednesday morning. Aside from the area in Wrentham where the tornado touched down, there was very little damage, according to NWS meteorologist Joe Dellicarpini.

While the storm rode along the border between Blackstone and Woonsocket for a period of time Tuesday afternoon, there “really wasn’t that much significant damage” in Woonsocket, Dellicarpini said.

Woonsocket Call

A Taste of Sweden in RI

Patti Reslow and Nancy Swanson:
Cardamom braided bread. Swedish apple cake. Almond ring. Limpa, Swedish rye bread. Mixed berry strudel. Cinnamon chip scones. Swedish creams. Semlor. A taste of Sweden in Rhode Island
Article
"Do you want to go into business with me?" Nancy asked Patti.

So Swede-a-Licous was born in 2011.

"If you told me 20 years ago I'd be baking, I wouldn't have believed it," said Patti. "But I find it relaxes me."

They cook twice a week in the state-certified commercial kitchen at the Church, and tithe monthly on the gross sales.
Swede-a-Licous.com

"At first people thought it was a porn site," said Nancy.

Howard Norman Novelist

“Friendship is provisional, you have to keep earning it, back and forth, give the gift that's only each other's to give.”
― Howard Norman

“What good is intelligence,' Akutagawa asked, 'if you can't ever discover a useful melancholy?”
― Howard Norman

“In The Highland Book of Platitudes, Marlais, there's an entry that reads, "Not all ghosts earn our memory in equal measure." I think about this sometimes. I think especially about the word "earn," because it implies an ongoing willful effort on the part of the dead, so that if you believe the platitude, you have to believe in the afterlife, don't you? Following that line of thought, there seem to be certain people—call them ghosts—with the ability to insinuate themselves into your life with more belligerence and exactitude than others—it's their employment and expertise.”
― Howard Norman, What Is Left the Daughter

“Anyway, who in their right mind would ever say a person was supposed to be happy? In your life happiness is either cut to your length or isn't.”
― Howard Norman

“Everything I loved most happened most every day.”
― Howard Norman, I Hate to Leave This Beautiful Place

“I can only repeat what I say to myself day and night: I expect nothing, yet life keeps taking unexpected turns.”
― Howard Norman, The Museum Guard: A Novel

“When I returned, I never once walked past the house where my mother, aunt, and I lived together...It was as if the past would judge me. The house would judge me. That merely looking at it would somehow cause me to calibrate my life, and in all aspects of usefulness I would come up short.”
― Howard Norman, The Haunting Of L

“I have always thought a person needs to constantly refine the capacity to suspend disbelief in order to keep emotions organized and not suffer debilitating confusion, and I mean just toward the things of daily life. I suppose this admits to a desperate sort of pragmatism. Still, it works for me. What human heart isn’t in extremis?”
― Howard Norman, Next Life Might Be Kinder

“Yasunari Kawabata wrote: “When speaking of those who take their own lives, it is always most dignified to use silence or at least restrained language, for the ones left most vulnerable and most deeply hurt by such an occurrence can feel oppressed by the louder assertions of understanding, wisdom and depth of remorse foisted upon them by others. One must ask: Who is best served by speculation? Who is really able to comprehend? Perhaps we must, as human beings, continue to try and comprehend, but we will fall short. And the falling short will deepen our sense of emptiness.”
― Howard Norman, I Hate to Leave This Beautiful Place

“I didn’t know you could break your finger just hanging up clothes. God Almighty, you situate your hand wrong between a blouse and a clothespin and everything suddenly changes. What a stupid life this is.” “Did”
― Howard Norman, The Bird Artist

“I NOTICE THAT IT TAKES PRACTICE, NO MATTER HOW CLEAR YOUR THOUGHTS ARE. PLUS WHICH THIS IS A LETTER”
― Howard Norman, The Bird Artist

More About Jane Shore

Robert Boyers said of Shore:

Put another way, there is in the poetry of Jane Shore, a freshness of outlook, even when the dominant instinct is retrospective. The poems seem a vivid refusal of desolation, though there is no reluctance in them, to confront the usual varieties of estrangement and suffering....This is a poet who gives to directness, honesty of emotion and fundamental sanity the good name they deserve.
quote by Robert Boyers (2002). A book of common praise. Ausable Press. p. 96. ISBN 978-1-931337-03-8.

Poetry collections

Lying Down in the Olive Press. Goddard Journal Press. 1969.
Jane Shore. (1977). Eye Level. University of Massachusetts Press (Amherst). ISBN 978-0-87023-246-6.
Jane Shore. (1987). The Minute Hand. University of Massachusetts Press. ISBN 978-0-87023-570-2.
Jane Shore. (1996). Music Minus One. New York City: Picador USA. ISBN 978-0-312-16944-2.
Jane Shore. (1999). Happy Family: Poems. Picador USA. ISBN 978-0-312-20310-8.
Shore, Jane (2008). A yes-or-no answer : poems. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. ISBN 978-0-547-00603-1.

Anthologies

Catherine Cucinella, ed. (2002). Contemporary American women poets. Greenwood Press. ISBN 978-0-313-31783-5.
Robert Pack, Jay Parini, ed. (2002). "Public Service is Rich Enough". Contemporary poetry of New England. UPNE. ISBN 978-0-87451-966-2.

I LOVE Jane Shore's Poetry

I first heard Jane Shore read over the radio 20 years ago and I have been a devoted fan ever since.
This One

By Jane Shore


This One got to keep the Warhol.That One got an S.T.D.

This One left & kept on walking,making That One his Penelope.

Friends at first sided with This One.Later they jumped to That One’s side.

Razor, pills, noose, & tailpipefor This—or That—One’s suicide.

“Fifty-fifty’s fair!” shouted That One.So This One cut their dog in half.

X marks the spot on That One’s cheekwhere This One slapped his autograph.

That One drinks hot tears for breakfast;This One whiskey-on-the-rocks.

When This One got the seven-year itch,That One scratched her chicken pox.

Since This One left, That One’s singing.How should they divide the pelf?

Now This One’s alone & so is That One.Each One wants a couplet to himself.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Three Great Pulp Art Books

Pulp Art: Original Cover Paintings for the Great American Pulp Magazines
by Robert Lesser

H.J. Ward
by David Saunders, H.J. Ward

Norman Saunders
by David Saunders, Norman Saunders

Paul Krugman

So another atrocity has us talking about race again. And rightly so. Nothing about America makes sense without understanding the long shadow cast by the original sin of slavery.
-Paul Krugman

Try Going to Bed with a Mosquito

Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle. Happiness never decreases by being shared.
- Buddha

The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention.
- Oscar Wilde

It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.
- Kahlil Gibran

If you think you're too small to have an impact,
Try going to bed with a mosquito.
- Anita Roddick

Do your little bit of good where you are;
It's those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world."
- Archbishop Desmond Tutu

We make a living by what we get,
But we make a life by what we give.
- Winston Churchill

Be the change you want to see in the world.
- Mahatma Gandhi

The life of a man consists not in seeing visions and in dreaming dreams, but in active charity and in willing service.
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

He who wished to secure the good of others,
Has already secured his own.
- Confucius

Where there is charity and wisdom,
There is neither fear nor ignorance.
- St. Francis of Assisi

Every good act is charity. A man's true wealth hereafter is the good that he does in this world to his fellows.
- Moliere

If you haven't any charity in your heart,
You have the worst kind of heart trouble.
- Bob Hope

Charity begins at home, but should not end there.
- Proverb

Charity sees the need, not the cause.
- German Proverb

May your charity increase as much as your wealth.
- Proverb

He who opens a school door, closes a prison.
- Victor Hugo

The work of volunteers impacts on all our lives,
Even if we are not aware of it.
- Anthony Worrall-Thompson

Good actions give strength to ourselves and inspire good actions in others.
- Plato

An effort made for the happiness of others lifts us above ourselves.
- Mrs. Lydia Maria Child

We cannot do great things on this Earth,
Only small things with great love.
- Mother Teresa

Happiness is not something ready made.
It comes from your own actions.
- Dalai Lama

The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.
- Mitch Albom

Pink Clouds

Last night I finally got out to walk Lily. It was 8PM! Bill gasped pointing. It was the most amazing sky. There were orange-y pink stripes shining up fanning out from the horizon. It looked just like the Tibetan flag. On the horizon was a bank of whipped cream clouds. "That's the second storm approaching," Bill said. "It will be here in about an hour." We crossed East School st at St. Germain and walked behind the baseball field to poop alley. A lone 8 year old girl was on the berm dancing and singing. She saw us and came down to meet Lily. "Lily loves everyone, I said. as she pet Lily's head gazing into her eyes. "I heard you singing!, I said. Bill was holding Lily's leash. I quickly grabbed a few stray paper cups and bottles at my feet. "You pick up trash? she asked. Yeah. "Why?" she asked. "Because look how beautiful it is without it!" I already carry bags for poop. So why not! I said. She climbed the berm and grabbed the trash she saw in the grass. "Thanks so much," I said. "Now look how gorgeous it is." I exclaimed. Everything was green and there was no trash anywhere. That was quick and easy and let's face it's wonderful to see our beautiful city her best. I thought.

A woman's voice called the girl. "Bye!" she said, running away.

A pink-cheeked Elk came out crossing the parking lot to greet Lily, "Beautiful dog," he said holding an open bottle of Budweiser and petting Lily's big head. "Look at the sky," I said, "I know, it's amazing" he chimed in. "I like how it looks with the mural and the yellow and green striped circus tent," I said. Did you know the artist Duzio got the neighborhood kids to paint the mural with him. That's why there's no graffiti on it. "Great idea, smart move," I said.

"We joke about the bronze Elk statue being fenced in." I said. "Do you know why?" he asked. One summer day a woman hopped up on the elk. She was wearing little white shorts and she burned the inside of her thighs. "Wow. Ouch!" I said. "You could fry an egg on his back," I said. That's for sure," he said. The egg would probably drip down, I realized. So that's why they have the bronze elk behind a wrought iron fence.

We continued walking. Eyewitness news van and TV truck was set up across from the police station. "We're doing a story on the weather, and the tree that got struck by lightning on Morin Heights," the young newsman said. "More storms are coming, in 20 minutes," I said, warning him. "We'll be here" he replied. "Be careful." I said as we left not realizing that he probably get the weather updates, after all he's the news.
"Look, no trash," I said to Bill admiring the green-way. "That's my work," I said. It looks beautiful," he said. When we arrived home the rain started. We ran around and shut all of the windows and watched the storm from the little 3rd floor porch. Lightning flashed so bright it hurt my eyes. God's flashbulb! It was over quickly. I climbed into bed and fell asleep instantly.

In transmit, I can't wait to wake up! I wake very early (2, 3, or 4 AM). In the depths of receive I dread morning and oversleep. (7, 8, 9AM)

Watlao Buddhist Temple

I must visit Tom Thipphavong's family at Watlao Thammajadi Buddhist Temple 115 Railroad St, Woonsocket. I have had amazing visits and meals with when the Monks have ceremonies in my neighborhood, at the Elks Hall.

Thunder Cell, Wall Cloud, Funnel Cloud + Funnel Cakes

The radio announcements interrupted the classical music. The city emergency alert warning had come in to my email. My neighbors had TV News on, and it was telling them to STAY INSIDE. Everyone from the neighborhood tenements came out onto the street and held up their pink, blue, and yellow phones. The tornado watch was in effect and we were all watching. The clouds were ominous dark and swirling in a huge dark flat circle above us. I felt like a dust mote on the verge of being swept away.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Pink Shorts

I went out when the fire trucks came. A team of burly firemen in blue shirts rushed in to the building next door with their paramedic equipment. I went out to the sidewalk and admired the big shiny red fire truck. I wondered who was hurt. I went back to my yard and started tearing up weeds while I was waiting. A white ambulance came from Blackstone so I went back down the driveway to see what was happening. Luckily nobody was getting carted away. One of the four fireman returned his heavy blue bag to the side compartment of the truck and noticed me standing there. "Is everyone okay?" I asked. "Everyone is great!" he said smiling, looking like Mr. Gentleman's Quarterly muscular fit and trim in his blue emblemed shirt. "Are you okay?" he asked me. I had just hosed off my head with the garden hose and my hands were covered in mud. "Yeah," I said smiling, "I'm just digging up weeds." "Put them back!" he ordered, and I laughed out loud. He smiled and climbed into the passenger seat of the truck. I smiled too, and turned to go home. I went inside and headed for the bathroom. I took off my slacks, stepped into the empty tub, lathered my legs, and shaved them. I climbed out, looked in the mirror, and decided to put on my shocking pink shorts.

Rock on the Box

I got up at 4AM to go swim and yet I am still at my desk enjoying working with the kitchen windows open. I haven't left the house or yard. Now there's a tornado watch coming over the radio so I'm going to stay home and batten down the hatches. Maybe I'll swim tonight if the pool isn't swept away. Sammy the monkey-boy reached into the cardboard box and took out Gerry's black fireman's uniform tie. It got completely covered in white and orange cat hairs. Oh my god, don't tell Mr. V. I cleaned it with a sponge and put it back and put a big rock on the box.

Direct Dial

I was in the garden when I spotted Father Onisie in a blue Nike T-shirt walking down East School Street. "Onisie!" I shouted. He came over to say hello. His van had broken down and he was on the way to pick it up from the mechanic. "Now I am walking, like you!" he said in his Romanian accent. I invited him into the yard and showed him my tiny garden of four plants. "A friend down the street gave these to me so I could have a vegetable garden. I have two tomato and two squash plants and they are flowering, I'm so excited."

I walked him over to the big side yard. "Welcome to our amazing jungle," I said. "We have a mulberry tree and blackberry bushes and raspberry bushes . . ."
"And a Japanese Maple," he chimed in.
"Yes, a friend rescued it, and gave to us. He's a landscaper from our old band."
"Whats she eating?" he asked, watching Lily.
"Lily loves the mulberries."
"We have a tree like this in Romania," he said. Then he took out his smartphone and played a video of a famous Romanian band from his home town on tour performing in Italy. In the video they were outside in a courtyard and it was night-time in the summer. The music was lilting Eastern European folk music with three fiddles, a keyboard accordion, and a clarinet.
"I love it," I said. "And the singer is like Pavarotti!"
"Yes, he is very good. Maybe you and Bill can learn to play this for our festival," he suggested.
"I would love that." I thought about how lucky I was to grow up with my step-father playing folk music from all over the world.

"Yesterday when I walked down our street I smelled curry, and I got so excited. Someone new has moved in, maybe from India, or Pakistan, and maybe they love to cook too! We got to eat with the Southeast Asian Monks a few times at the Elks Hall. We walked by and they invited us in to eat with them, it was amazing." I paused and smiled. "I know you have direct dial to God. What I believe is this, if we could share food and music we'd have no wars."
"Yes it's true!" he said.
"We have people from everywhere in this little neighborhood."
"I love when the Asian family next door has a big party every summer and they sing and dance all night!" he said.
"Yes, I've heard them."
"Maybe you can come to cook with us and the ladies at the church," Onisie suggested.
"I would love it," I said. "But what about the older ladies in the congregation who were against the idea the last time?"
"We have a new group of people, a new generation. They are all younger than you," he said smiling.
"That's perfect. The new generation seems to like me. I'm the old lady now!" I laughed.
"How old are you? I am 62," he said. "My wife is 60, my son is 36."
"I'm 54, and Bill is 60," I said. "I remember your 50th birthday party, was that really 12 years ago?"

"Look at our peaceful parking lot," I said, waving my arms as we walked back to the gate. "Thanks to the help of our fabulous mayor and wonderful police chief and all of the departments of the city we now have kids playing together, riding bicycles, parents talking to each other. Instead of all that trouble we had with the crack-house and the chop-shop, it's like a park now, a real neighborhood community. I want to make home made ice-cream with the old fashioned hand-cranked machine using ice and rock salt, for the kids out here, and maybe make the pizzelle ice cream cones too. We did it 20 years ago when we first moved in and the neighborhood kids loved it, they still talk about it."

Devon and Mamadou

Devon and Mamdou are best friends and they live in the same apartment house. They had fun this winter on snow days because they can always call on each other. Their moms take turns keeping an eye on them. Apartment living has a lot of benefits for kids!

Physics Picnic with Physics Teacher Bill Calhoun

Video

Medusa with Arlo Guthrie Hair

My husband reminded me that I look like Arlo Guthrie now. I have silver spiral wringlets from swimming the turquoise sea (my local pool). My hair is rotini style (Italian corkscrew pasta) Shirley Temple hair. I prefer the Medusa image of snakes. As I tell the kids in the 'hood I have never dyed my hair it's changing color on its own. I would opt for purple hair, like grapes if I could try it for a day. I hope to have all white hair someday and maybe the spirals will still hold if not I'll tie it in a bun like my pal Anita does. She is 99 and looks like Georgia O'Keefe.

I love looking at huge black and white photos of artists, musicians and dancers faces especially pictures of their maturity when they are in their 70's, 80's 90's. I love how artists faces age. I am fascinated by the face of a well-lived creative life. When I was 11 drew an 'aged' portrait of myself. I have that face now but it is more interesting because I have a life more fascinating than I could have ever imagined. This time around I have love, health, imagination and community.

Kaleidoscope of Kali



My husband reminds me all the time you're a traitor to your class, the worst sin imaginable. I am beginning to see what he means. But I think I am a traitor to the norms and habits of our crazy and strange society.

Last night I said to my husband. The black cloud has lifted a little. I spent the morning looking at pulp art.

I am shifting into transmit mode. I swam at midday yesterday instead of my religious habit of 4:30 PM. These are signs of the shift. I have opened all the doors and windows and turned on all of the fans. I am seduced by images and music. I have forgotten about coffee or tea and breakfast. I am reading. My thoughts are racing but I am taking notes. I should read my transmitty energy-inspired notes in receive mode!

In a few hours all the things that have been plaguing me won't matter. Last night I went to bed excited about waking up. I woke at 4AM ready for life. Good think my wallet is always empty otherwise I might get very distracted by societies baubles. Last night we went to Wal*Mart to by two boxes of my favorite black Micro-Uniball 5mm drawing and writing pens. I also bought a head of gorgeous green celery and white tuna shrink-wrapped together in a 4 pack for five bucks. What a scary place!!! Meanwhile I live like a monk in a bomb shelter. Actually that is not completely true. I love my city where I walk my dog and say "hi" to people as I pick up trash.

My job is to stay grounded and keep on with my kaleidoscope of kali; a life writing, painting, dancing, baking, photographing, blowing the baritone saxophone, swimming, walking, listening to people, reading, practice bravery by learning new songs.
and occasional vacuuming.
visit
Kali
I googled the phrase kaleidoscope of kali as I often google phrases in my head to see what the genie box has to say and I found this blog and landed on writing I loved:

There are so many wonderful movements happening in the world right now - people making new kinds of art, people taking control of technology, new kinds of sharing economies and an enormous amount of social curation of all these things. And yet, there is some kind of melancholy lurking nearby, a deep disconnect that I have felt. Perhaps you have felt the same.

All of this human creation…. art, invention, and commerce - is a sort of attempt to get away from something, something very fundamental. If you are not close to the underlying basis of reality ( not God per se, just the laws of Nature perhaps) you will feel the same melancholy. For me that peace and harmony comes when I am studying the history of science and mathematics.
Kali& the Kaleidoscope

Remind Yourself

You don’t have to do anything. You are perfect and special and beautiful just as you are – just because you’re you.
Source

Miracle-Gro on your Character Defects

“Getting into a relationship is like putting Miracle-Gro on your character defects, because everything is going to come out,” says Laura Young, a Manhattan therapist who estimates that 70 percent of the couples she treats are unmarried. “All your insecurities, all of your flaws. And the question is, can you tolerate it? And can you tolerate this person’s defects? And can you help each other to work on them in a loving way?”
Source

Duct Tape Genius: Formal Wear

Pulp Art: The Conditioned Captain

Another great one! A glammy woman disguised as a robot!

The Wolf-Girl of Joselyn

Cover Art

The Private Eye who Wears Mascara

Meet Miss Donovan, the private eye who wears mascara. She’s easily the most beautiful shamus living.
source

Lurid Window: Tigresses and Temptresses + Sirens and Vamps

She Tried to Be Good: Sirens and Vamps from the Pulp Classics (Pulp Postcard series) Card Book – March 1, 2002
by Prion Books UK (Author)

As America slowly relaxed its moral codes in the postwar era, pulp novels offered an initiation to the previously hidden demimondes of sex and hedonistic excess. While the cover blurbs feigned shock and disgust, the cover art reveled in illicit danger, their titillating scenarios offering a lurid window on America’s suppressed desires. Now, collected here, are 23 postcards featuring tigresses and temptresses in all their reckless glory.

Love was Cheap Life Was High

Love Was Cheap and Life Was High: Postcards from Paperback Cover Art of the 40s and 50s Paperback – December, 1990
by Jay Barry Kaplan Step into the world of sedutive women, violent men, passionate embraces, dark secrets and blood on the page. Here is the first-ever postcard book collection of paperback cover art from the 40s and 50s, the golden age of the pulp era, containing 31 detachable reproductions of the covers from such classics as THE BIG SLEEP, BUTTERFIELD 8, GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES, THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, and such campy titles as BEHIND THE FLYING SAUCERS, MUSK, HASHISH AND BLOOD and THE HAUNTED HOTEL.
Book

Midsummer Night

Tonight is Midsummer Night's Eve, also called St. John's Eve. St. John is the patron saint of beekeepers. It's a time when the hives are full of honey. The full moon that occurs this month was called the Mead Moon, because honey was fermented to make mead, and that's where the word "honeymoon" comes from. It is a time for lovers. An old Swedish proverb says, "Midsummer Night is not long but it sets many cradles rocking."
- The Writer's Almanac

Monday, June 22, 2015

Phyllis Sues: Loving Life at 90


AGING GRACEFULLY

To look good and feel good is work. To look great and feel great is a full-time job. There is no cheating! It's daily! Minute-by-minute, second-by-second. This is the process I love and love to work at. The reward is liking myself and living a creative life. I will turn 90 on April 4 and hope I can still create this in 10 years time.

Life in itself is a challenge and you can either, accept it and take action, or you can sit and do nothing. My advice is there is only one winner: accept the challenge, take action and get on with your life no matter what age.

I'm not aware of being 90. I'm aware of feeling physically as good as I have ever felt and mentally even better. I practice dance and workout every day. This body has to know who's boss and being 90 and feeling 20 is as good as it gets! People ask me all the time what's my secret. I tell them move, learn and listen.

The reward is a healthy body and mind. I'm totally selfish in that me and my body and mind are one. We are partners and we work play and live as one. So if that is so, we can't sit around and think about tomorrow. Our body and mind has to be trained from the first breath, otherwise it's down hill all the way. Numbers and dwelling on age is a trap. There is no age, it's living each moment to it's fullest.

I started my own fashion label at 50, became a musician and learned Italian and French in my 70s, took tango and trapeze at 80 and walked into my first yoga class at 85. So, if you think you're old, think again!

What inspires me is the process of learning. Inspiration creates creativity and creativity creates a better life. I like experimenting and have no fear of trying something new, so flying high on a trapeze at 80 was never a question. Becoming a musician late in my life was not accidental. It was meant to be.

I love to move and exercise, so my work out regime consists of yoga, tango, jump rope, hiking with my poodle Nicko and playing tennis.

Yoga gives you a life you didn't have yesterday. It's a wakeup call to every cell in your body. Every muscle sits up and pays attention. I live to do yoga and I do it to live.

Do every pose as good as you can and then do it a little better. I have arthritis in my spine, but I can do a full back bend, headstand and splits.

Dance has always been my passion. I had my first ballet lesson at 14 and knew then dance would be my life. Four years later I was performing in a night club in Boston and soon after that I was performing on Broadway.

Bloomer Girl, Oklahoma, Brigadoon, High Button Shoes and Kismet. I then went to Rio de Janeiro with the Ballet Russe De Monte Carlo. So from age 18, work was constant and life was and is really good. I'm still working creatively and love what I'm doing and have no intention of changing direction.

I have realized, that anything is possible, if you like who you are and what you do. Yes, anything is possible and even probable.

If you don't train the body every day it withers. If you don't train the mind everyday, you lose it. That's why I learned Italian and French, as learning a language is a great mental exercise. I then challenged myself to write music. I wrote the music and lyrics for my first song "Free Fall," which was inspired by flying on the trapeze. A CD followed with 12 songs: Scenes Of Passion. And then six tangos for Tango Insomnia. I now write short songs daily about things I do.

Tango dancing is a fantastic exercise, as it's physical and emotional. It's the only time, when I turn off my mind and just dance, so I am in the moment. To look effortless in dance is sheer beauty. That's my desire. I'm still performing, as it keeps my body in tune, is good for my memory and it makes my life a joy. A triple Boleo in the air would make my journey complete. Marcos (my teacher/dance partner) says it will take two years. I tell him, I have time!

I admit, I'm driven but I'm driven by desire and that's the formula. Desire is so powerful, like you are propelled as if from a canon. Desire to me is the driving force, but action is the result.

Working and accomplishing something mental and physical makes my day worth living and suddenly there is a break through, another step on the ladder. I don't give up. The sun and moon are there for everyone. The journey is worth it! This trip has been good to me and I wouldn't trade it for all the stars in the universe.

There is a way to beat the clock. Stay fit and enjoy the journey. Accept the challenge and go for it!

That's what I did!

Check out the slideshow below featuring photos of this blog's author.
Article

Hazards of Oversleeping

Headaches. For some people prone to headaches, sleeping longer than usual on a weekend or vacation can cause head pain. Researchers believe this is due to the effect oversleeping has on certain neurotransmitters in the brain, including serotonin. People who sleep too much during the day and disrupt their nighttime sleep may also find themselves suffering from headaches in the morning.

Depression. Although insomnia is more commonly linked to depression than oversleeping, roughly 15% of people with depression sleep too much. This may in turn make their depression worse. That's because regular sleep habits are important to the recovery process. Need another reason not to overdo the ZZZs when you're blue? ? In certain instances, sleep deprivation can have a temporary antidepressant effect.

Article

Swimming is my Tai Chi

Swimming is my yoga, my tai chi, and my way to meditate.

Magnetic Treatment for Depression

At Butler Hospital, magnetic treatment for depression

“I can’t be sure, but I think that it was about the 25th treatment, maybe the 24th," said Bouchard. "One day I was walking out of Butler, walked down the steps, and all of a sudden I noticed the sun and the trees; they just looked beautiful — I had not felt like that for years.”

“It was a beautiful day for me and for my family. I felt like I was 'back' — in my right head, without the fear, the darkness and the self-loathing.”

[...]

TMS uses a targeted pulsed magnetic field, similar to what is used in an MRI. While the patient is awake and alert, TMS stimulates the area of the brain — the prefrontal cortex — that is underactive or disconnected and re-establishes nerve pathways, which can ease depression and improve mood.

Mermaids Frolicking in the Sea by Charles Edouard Boutibonne

The other Urban Mermaid

Writing a Fan Letter to Batman and Robin

When my sister Arlen and I were five and seven we wrote a letter to Batman and Robin. We were thrilled when we got an illustrated letter back and we hung it up in the kitchen. When we got a few years older we learned that an illustrator who in my stepfathers Art Studio named Sam Rockman, wrote and illustrated the letter mailed to us. Thanks dad! I have been writing fan letters ever since.

Dog Park Fundraiser Idea

Article

Can Dogs Swim In Chlorine Pools?

ASK American Kennel Club

Dear AKC: I have two wonderful German Shorthaired Pointers I got from rescue. The older male could care less about our pool but the younger female wants to be near the family when we go swimming. I've heard chlorine is bad for their eyes, bad to drink and causes ear infections. How true are these claims and can I safely take her swimming with us? -- Swimming with Shorthairs.

Dear Swimming: Many dogs enjoy a plunge in the pool with their owners during the warm summer months. Most "pool people" will tell you that chlorine is safe at the levels used in pools. Humans swim in it and occasionally will ingest some water accidentally without great harm. A dog's eyes, nose and ears are more sensitive than a human's and as such may be a tad more susceptible to the effects of chlorine. I wouldn't want the dog to drink large amounts of chlorine. Some dogs think of the pool as one big personal dog bowl to lap up, not unlike the toilet bowl. This behavior should be discouraged. As for the ears, most infections in dogs with floppy ears are caused by water and dampness, not the chlorine in the water.

Some pool owners opt for non-chlorine chemicals like bromine which may be less harmful to pets. To be on the safe side, give your dog a quick spray with the hose to rinse off the chemicals after a swim and give his ears a dab with a dry towel or use a blow dryer to keep them moisture free.

Safety Rules

More important than what your dog swims in is how it learns to swim. Your younger Shorthair may be very interested in joining the family in a round of ring toss, but first you must build confidence in your dog around the pool. Many dogs are fearful the first time they enter the water. Take it slowly and praise your dog each step of the way. Making it a pleasant experience will have the dog swimming in no time. You don't have to teach the dog to "swim" since they are natural swimmers. It is easy to teach a dog to jump in the pool, either toss a toy in the pool or escort her over the side.

However, most dogs begin to panic when it is time to get out for the first time. They are unaccustomed to exiting using the human steps or ladder and need to be taught how to use them. A thrashing dog trying to escape will get tired and may drown. Never leave your dog unsupervised in a pool. They may need your assistance if they are in trouble and can't bark to grab your attention. With proper guidance you and your pet can have lots of fun in the pool and if you are lucky he can teach you the proper way to do the dog paddle.

Article

Emma Coats: 22 Rules of Storytelling

Pixar’s 22 Rules of Storytelling

These rules were originally tweeted by Emma Coats, Pixar’s Story Artist. Number 9 on the list – When you’re stuck, make a list of what wouldn’t happen next – is a great one and can apply to writers in all genres.

You admire a character for trying more than for their successes.

You gotta keep in mind what’s interesting to you as an audience, not what’s fun to do as a writer. They can be very different.

Trying for theme is important, but you won’t see what the story is actually about til you’re at the end of it. Now rewrite.

Once upon a time there was ___. Every day, ___. One day ___. Because of that, ___. Because of that, ___. Until finally ___.

Simplify. Focus. Combine characters. Hop over detours. You’ll feel like you’re losing valuable stuff but it sets you free.

What is your character good at, comfortable with? Throw the polar opposite at them. Challenge them. How do they deal?

Come up with your ending before you figure out your middle. Seriously. Endings are hard, get yours working up front.

Finish your story, let go even if it’s not perfect. In an ideal world you have both, but move on. Do better next time.

When you’re stuck, make a list of what WOULDN’T happen next. Lots of times the material to get you unstuck will show up.

Pull apart the stories you like. What you like in them is a part of you; you’ve got to recognize it before you can use it.

Putting it on paper lets you start fixing it. If it stays in your head, a perfect idea, you’ll never share it with anyone.

Discount the 1st thing that comes to mind. And the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th – get the obvious out of the way. Surprise yourself.

Give your characters opinions. Passive/malleable might seem likable to you as you write, but it’s poison to the audience.

Why must you tell THIS story? What’s the belief burning within you that your story feeds off of? That’s the heart of it.

If you were your character, in this situation, how would you feel? Honesty lends credibility to unbelievable situations.

What are the stakes? Give us reason to root for the character. What happens if they don’t succeed? Stack the odds against.

No work is ever wasted. If it’s not working, let go and move on – it’ll come back around to be useful later.

You have to know yourself: the difference between doing your best & fussing. Story is testing, not refining.

Coincidences to get characters into trouble are great; coincidences to get them out of it are cheating.

Exercise: take the building blocks of a movie you dislike. How d’you rearrange them into what you DO like?

You gotta identify with your situation/characters, can’t just write ‘cool’. What would make YOU act that way?

What’s the essence of your story? Most economical telling of it? If you know that, you can build out from there.

Read More About The Story Spine: Pixar’s 4th Rule of Storytelling
Watch Pixar’s Andrew Stanton Reveal the Clues to a Great Story

The Art of Spontaneous Theater

How to Improvize a Full-Length Play - The Art of Spontaneous Theater
Kenn Adams
Allworth Press 2007 - 16.95 USD

A very interesting but a-typical improv book. The claim it makes it to teach the reader how to do Long Form , but what it really is is an introduction into (possible) structure of (good) stories, followed by an approach to using this understanding into the mechanics of a full-length improvised play.

We would not classify this book as the definite work on improvising plays; it is *one* technique which may or may not be helpful to you. Those of you used to longform structures such as the Harold may find the approach a bit bizarre. Nonetheless, a recommended book.

Story Spine

Description

This is an idea/tool about the spine of any story. The whole point of the tool is to provide a model for a well-constructed story with a beginning that establishes a routine, an event that breaks the routine, a middle that shows the consequences of having broken the routine, a climax that sets the resolution to the story in motion, and the resolution. It goes like:

Once upon a time...
Every day...
But, one day...
Because of that...
Because of that...
Because of that... n
Until, finally...
And, ever since then...

And, here's how the lines correlate to the different sections of a well-constructed story:

The Beginning that establishes the routine: Once upon a time... Every day...

The Event that breaks the routine: But, one day...

The Middle that shows the consequences of having broken the routine: Because of that...
Because of that...
Because of that...

The Climax that sets the resolution to the story in motion: Until, finally...

The Resolution And, ever since then...

This little structure teaches performers to advance a story by changing things. There are hundreds of variations known to this, one of which we`ll present here as well:

The balance: Once upon a time ... and every day ...
The un-balance: But then one day ...
The quest for a resolution: ... and because of that ... and so ... until finally ....
The new balance: ... and ever since that day ....

Origin
The original story spine was created by Kenn Adams who also kindly offered the summary text above to this site. Kenn has a book published on this topic: The Art of Spontaneous Theater .

Laundry Monday

Happiness is an ice cream sandwich with hot black coffee, after hanging up the clothes in the sun.

Concussions

“Concussions.”

His son Curtis had written the paper for a college composition class in 2009, five years before his death. In it, Curtis recalled having been knocked unconscious three times in 14 years while playing soccer, twice after leaping to head the ball, only to — “WHAM” — collide with another player. The continuing side effects, he wrote, included “horrendous migraine headaches.”

“If I feel this way now,” he wondered, “what will it be like when I’m older?” He was 19.

[...]

Curtis began exhibiting behavior now recognized as suggestive of postconcussive trauma. Dramatic mood swings. Depression. Headaches so debilitating he would need to lie down in a dark room.
Article

She Started to Second-Guess Herself

Amid all that, one call stood out.

After the sighting, Ms. Thompson said she called 911 as she bolted toward her house. “I told them I might have possibly seen the fugitives,” she said.

She said the dispatcher told her to lock her doors and windows and call neighbors to warn them. Two State Police troopers arrived within about five minutes, but they waited several minutes for additional officers and dogs before they went looking for the men, she recalled.

She was well aware of the commotion caused by her call. She started to second-guess herself and what she saw, and wondered if there might have been another explanation. Others raised the same questions. Some speculated that she had seen nothing more threatening than a pair of carnival workers returning from a town a few miles away.

But even with those doubts, Ms. Thompson said, there was one thing of which she was certain: She made the right call.

Article

Business Dinner

$1.9-billion CVS-Target deal came together over dinner.

Target Corp. Chief Executive Officer Brian Cornell hatched the $1.9 billion plan to sell the company’s pharmacies over dinner with his counterpart at CVS Health Corp., capitalizing on his relationships from a career spent in retail.

Cornell and CVS’s CEO, Larry Merlo, have known each other for years and are occasional dinner companions, letting them share thoughts about running two of the biggest chains in the U.S. The plan to have Woonsocket-based CVS buy the pharmacies and operate them within Target’s stores, announced on Monday, was “a collective idea,” Merlo said.

“We would get together for dinner from time to time and we always compared notes in terms of challenges, opportunities,” he said.
Article

Mango Cigars

Last night while walking Lily, I found two mango cigars in a package on the ground, unopened. I'm saving these, I said to my husband. We'll light them up when Paula has her baby.

I LOVE this Linguini poem!

Linguini

by Diane Lockward

It was always linguini between us.
Linguini with white sauce, or
red sauce, sauce with basil snatched from
the garden, oregano rubbed between
our palms, a single bay leaf adrift amidst
plum tomatoes. Linguini with meatballs,
sausage, a side of brascioli. Like lovers
trying positions, we enjoyed it every way
we could-artichokes, mushrooms, little
neck clams, mussels, and calamari-linguini
twining and braiding us each to each.
Linguini knew of the kisses, the smooches,
the molti baci. It was never spaghetti
between us, not cappellini, nor farfalle,
vermicelli, pappardelle, fettucini, perciatelli,
or even tagliarini. Linguini we stabbed, pitched,
and twirled on forks, spun round and round
on silver spoons. Long, smooth, and always
al dente. In dark trattorias, we broke crusty panera,
toasted each other—La dolce vita!—and sipped
Amarone, wrapped ourselves in linguini,
briskly boiled, lightly oiled, salted, and lavished
with sauce. Bellissimo, paradisio, belle gente!
Linguini witnessed our slurping, pulling, and
sucking, our unraveling and raveling, chins
glistening, napkins tucked like bibs in collars,
linguini stuck to lips, hips, and bellies, cheeks
flecked with formaggio—parmesan, romano,
and shaved pecorino—strands of linguini flung
around our necks like two fine silk scarves.

- Diane Lockward from What Feeds Us © Wind Publications, 2006.

Graffiti of Sound

The morning is sacred because the graffiti of sound hasn't started yet.

Billy Wilder Quote

An actor entering through the door, you’ve got nothing. But if he enters through the window, you’ve got a situation.
-Billy Wilder

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Kenn Adams on the Story Spine

The Story Spine is both a practice technique for learning how to tell a well-constructed story as well as an outlining tool to help construct a story. Practice with it by simply making up a bunch of different Story Spines as quickly as possible. It’s fun! It’s easy! You can rattle off a dozen as you’re waiting for the bus. Pretty soon, the well-constructed story structure will become instinctual. As an outlining tool, it is very helpful when you have a bunch of great ideas for a story but are not quite sure how they all fit together. By fitting them onto a Story Spine you’ll be able to see what you’ve already got in terms of your structure and, from there, you’ll be able to start filling in the missing pieces.
Article

Kenn Adams has over twenty years of experience teaching, directing, and performing improvisational theater. He is the Artistic Director of Synergy Theater and the author of the book How to Improvise a Full-Length Play, the Art of Spontaneous Theater. Kenn is also a playwright, ghostwriter, and story-doctor.

Swim Champions Nutrition

What Champions Know About Nutrition

6/16/2015
By Jill Castle MS, RDN

Swimmers want to do their best. Not only that, they want to win. Many young swimmers work hard to get to the next level. They log endless hours in the pool, work on their stroke technique, and even tweak their eating to get the most out of their bodies and their performance.

Many champion swimmers know that nutrition is an essential part of their success. In other words, they understand how important food is to their performance results.

Here are a few things that all champion swimmers understand about nutrition:

Food is fuel. Premium fuel is the food swimmers eat. The recipe for success includes healthy, wholesome foods and beverages. Fried foods, sweets, and sugary beverages, although tasty, aren’t the ideal food components of a champion.

Carbs count…a lot. The good carbs found in whole grains, fruit, vegetables and dairy are prime sources of fuel for exercising muscles. Refined carbs, such as those found in sweets, sugary beverages, and snack foods may add too much sugar and fat to the diet and work against performance and health. Champions know to maximize the good fuel, and trim down unhealthy foods.

Protein is essential but can be abused. Too much protein can contribute to dehydration as well as other problems for the young athlete. Eating large amounts of protein at the end of the day, or not eating enough protein at breakfast isn’t the most efficient way to fuel muscles. Ideally, wholesome protein sources like meat, eggs or beans evenly spaced throughout the day is optimal for the young athlete.

Dehydrated muscles don’t work well. Drinking plenty of fluids is a constant effort, as thirst isn’t always easy to identify among young swimmers. If dehydration occurs, it may impair performance, contribute to muscle cramping, and slow down performance.

Recovery is a key to progress. The harder you train the more important nutrition is to your recovery and development as an athlete. For example, eating a snack that contains protein and carbohydrate after an extended training session helps the body heal afterward. When swimmers add recovery nutrition to their training they are able to repair muscle damage, promote muscle gain, and re-load muscles with fuel for training and competition.

You can’t out-exercise a bad diet. No matter how hard you work, the habits of overeating, skipping meals, or under-eating, as well as unhealthy food itself, work against optimal performance. Just like a racing car relies on premium fuel, your body performs its best when it’s given premium fuel (healthy food). In the same vein, when a racing car uses low octane fuel, its performance may fall off.

Eating habits are key to lifelong health. Swimmers may not swim forever, but their eating habits can last a lifetime. Making healthy choices now means a better chance at being healthy later in life.

It's all about timing. When swimmers eat is just as important as what and how much they eat. If a swimmer skips out on breakfast and lunch, how will her body have the stamina and strength to train hard after school? Or, if he eats large amounts of food at the end of the day, staying at an optimal weight for performance may be harder.

If swimmers want to take swimming to the next level, they need to eat like champions.

Jill Castle, MS, RDN is a childhood nutrition expert and author of Eat Like a Champion: Performance Nutrition for Your Young Athlete. She lives with her husband and four children in New Canaan, CT. For more about Jill, go to www.JillCastle.com.