Thursday, March 31, 2016

It's Official: Plastic Shopping Bags Now Banned In Cambridge

March 31, 2016
The Associated Press

Plastic shopping bags are being banned in the Massachusetts city of Cambridge.

A city ordinance that bans the bags officially takes effect Thursday. The local law also requires businesses to charge at least 10 cents for a paper bag.

Any store that fails to follow the new ordinance faces a $300 fine.

The effort is meant to encourage use of more environmentally-friendly re-usable bags at groceries and other shops.

Similar bans are in place in communities in California and elsewhere. Efforts to ban the bags statewide in Massachusetts, though, have been unsuccessful.
- See more

Writer+Chef Michael Smith: Remember words have no flavour, you have to add your own!

A recipe is merely words on paper; a guideline, a starting point from which to improvise. It cannot pretend to replace the practiced hand and telling glance of a watchful cook. For that reason, this is also an account of what happens when I make this dish, so you’ll understand each step. Of course when you cook it once, it becomes yours, so personalize it a bit. Add more of an ingredient you like or less of something you don’t like. Try substituting one ingredient for another. Remember words have no flavour, you have to add your own!

When you experiment with recipes you will introduce your family and friends to new flavours and turn ordinary recipes into extra special recipes with your special touch.

Deborah Tannen

The option of cutting off a family member who brings you grief is a modern liberation, like the freedom to choose a spouse or divorce one.

“Like family” can mean dropping in and making plans without planning: You might call up and say, “I just made lasagna. Why don’t you come over for dinner?” Or you can invite yourself: “I’m feeling kind of low. Can I come over for dinner?”

Many grown children continue to wish that their parents or siblings could see them for who they really are, not who they wish them to be. This goal can be realized in friendship. “She gets me,” a woman said of a friend. “When I’m with her I can be myself.”

Deborah Tannen is a professor of linguistics at Georgetown University and the author of “You Just Don’t Understand!” and “You’re Wearing THAT?”.

Octavio Paz

“Deserve your dream.”
― Octavio Paz, one of the most influential writers of the 20th c., was born on this day in 1914

No amount of good advice will make a damn bit of difference

In the end, you either have the cojones to write and keep writing, or you don’t. No amount of good advice will make a damn bit of difference. It’s like exercise. There are health experts everywhere who will tell you what you need to do, but unless you have the discipline to make yourself sweat, it doesn’t matter in the least.

-Mark Jenkins

Jesse Tyler Fergusen: They're Performing for You

“I tend to enjoy playing horrible people the most,” he said. “Maybe because I’m a nice guy in real life. It’s gratifying to lash out.”

Still, he said: “A lot of it is theater. If you drop a napkin, it’s folded. If a person’s not here, they put the cloche back over the dish. That’s what I love about these fancy restaurants: They’re performing for you.”

Woonsocket Socks

I wish we had this colorful cotton sock business here in WOONSOCKET.

The Sock Queen of Alabama


The New York Times

FORT PAYNE, Ala. — Nine years ago, when she was 27 and unhappily selling real estate, Gina Locklear went to her parents with a proposition. She wanted to make socks. Not the basic white socks the family had specialized in, but fashionable socks, with organic cotton and dyes.

“I want to get into the sock business,” she told them. “I want to make a sustainable sock.”

Ms. Locklear, now 36, grew up in the business. Her parents, Terry and Regina Locklear, started a mill in Fort Payne, Ala., in 1991. They made white sport socks for Russell Athletic, millions of them, destined for big-box stores and your own feet if you took gym class.

Gina’s younger sister, Emily, recalled the girls going to the mill after school, where they helped their parents sort socks into dozens or played in the bins. Named after the two daughters, Emi-G Knitting bought the Locklears a house, bought Terry a vintage Corvette and paid for the girls’ college educations.

Still, the idea of Gina and her parents making organic fashion socks, or any socks at all, seemed totally crazy, given the time and place.

The mid-2000s was a devastating period for Fort Payne. Nestled in the state’s mountainous northeast, the town of 14,000 had for decades billed itself as “the Sock Capital of the World.” The cushioned sock was invented here, and one in every eight pairs of socks sold globally was said to be knitted in Fort Payne.
A photograph from 1933 of the W. B. Davis Hosiery Mill, or Big Mill, hangs in the museum. Credit Raymond McCrea Jones for The New York Times

At the industry’s peak in the 1990s, more than 120 mills employed roughly 7,500 workers. But cheap foreign labor and free-trade agreements made the town a loser in the game of global economics. Seemingly overnight, the mills closed, and the new Fort Payne became a town in China called Datang. The 2008 financial crisis finished off those who were still hanging on.

“It was like a vacuum cleaner pulled all the people out of town,” Terry said.

The Locklears held on to their mill, but barely. Orders dried up, including those from Russell Athletic, and they cut the work force to almost nothing. Terry’s goal was to keep the lights on, because he knew if he and Regina closed the doors and turned the power off, they’d never start back up.

“We’d just come here and sit,” Terry said. “We would talk, and it was, like, ‘I just don’t know what we’re going to do.’ We still had our knowledge.”

It was during these depths that Gina approached her parents with her idea. While almost everyone else in the sock business was being thrown to the exits, she passionately wanted in. “I was 12 when my parents started making socks,” Gina said. “And the realization that our family business might close made me mad.”

Her parents were skeptical. They knew how hard it was to compete and how much money it would take to start a brand. They didn’t get the whole organic thing. Most of all, they didn’t want their oldest daughter to do something she’d soon regret or tire of.

“But it’s been everything except any of that,” her father said.

Her mother added: “She absolutely loves what she does. She’s on fire.”

When you hear the words textile mill, you may picture a brick building a century old and as big as a city block. You may hear the clack-clack of jittery machinery. But Emi-G Knitting is a modern contained operation in a squat metal building on the outskirts of Fort Payne.

One recent morning, Gina was in her office, working on spring orders. She produces two lines: Zkano, an online brand she started in 2008, and Little River Sock Mill, which was started in 2013 and is sold in stores like Margaret O’Leary in Manhattan.

Zkano’s “crews” and “no shows” are a youthful riot of stripes and colors, while the Little River socks are more refined (the fall line was based on Southern quilt patterns). Both cost $13 to $30 a pair.

Going organic (the cotton comes from a farm in Lubbock, Tex., the dyes from North Carolina) has given Gina a marketing niche. Her socks appeal to millennials, who study labels and like a compelling origin story.

“I’m not sure most customers can detect it, but it’s certainly a bonus that they’re made from organic cotton — it adds a point of difference,” said Billy Reid, the Alabama-based men’s wear designer, who partnered with Gina to make socks based on his designs.

Last fall, Martha Stewart and the editors of Martha Stewart Living presented Gina with an American Made award, which they give each year to a few artisans and small-business owners to provide a boost of recognition.

“Encouraging the American public to buy American-made matters,” Ms. Stewart said. “The more socks she sells, the more people she can employ.”
Continue reading the main story

Besides, “It’s a sensible business,” Ms. Stewart said. “Everyone needs socks. Women are wearing socks as a fashion statement like never before. Turn the pages of Vogue and almost every fancy dress is worn with a pair of socks.”

Indeed, the humble sock is having a moment. Brands like Stance Socks, which partnered with Rihanna on a collection, and Slate & Stone are selling vibrant hosiery, or pop socks, while Miu Miu recently outfitted runway models in marled and argyle socks.

Gina plans to introduce men’s socks to Little River this fall. Zkano already offers them. Tony Hale’s character on “Veep” wears Zkano socks, as does the actor himself.

Gina notices socks everywhere she goes, and in winter wears two pairs, one during daytime, another to bed. Her office décor is entirely hosiery-related: spools of candy-colored yarn on a shelf, mateless samples pinned to corkboards.

She lives with her husband, Al Vreeland, in Birmingham, Ala., an hour and a half’s drive away, and spends part of each week in Fort Payne, staying in her childhood bedroom. Her husband, a lawyer, is “cool” with the arrangement, she said, adding, “It’s been this way ever since we started dating.”

They were married three years ago, during the busy holiday season, at a chapel in Santa Fe, N.M., on a Saturday. “We came home on Sunday,” she said. “And then I went to Fort Payne on Monday. And that’s my life.”

When she’s at the mill, her focus is on the knitting machines and whether they are aiding or conspiring against her. The machines are aqua blue and boxy like ovens. Above them, a halo of metalwork holds the yarn being fed into their bellies. Gina watched a machine work, and after a moment, in a Willy Wonka flourish, a plastic tube spit out an orange-striped sock.

“I love that,” she said.

Pointing to a machine that was noticeably different from the others, she said: “It’s the newest sock machine you can get. It’s made in Italy. It’s like a Ferrari.”

She spotted Vance Veal, Emi-G’s plant manager, and waved him over. When her parents laid off all but their most vital workers, they kept him on the payroll. Mr. Veal, 48, has worked in sock mills since he was 18. His grandparents, mother and brothers worked in the mills, too.

Since Gina came along with her six-color fashion socks, he has made the machines do things no one at Emi-G thought possible, himself included. “We didn’t used to make pattern socks,” Mr. Veal said. “Gina keeps me on my toes. She’s made me better at what I do.”

In a honeyed voice, Gina said, “Vance is the most patient person ever.”

With Mr. Veal’s expertise, Gina can make socks in small batches on site, fine-tuning and experimenting with colors, patterns and materials. It’s a competitive advantage. But running a sock mill in the age of globalization is a “roller coaster,” she said. Her parents’ business making specialty athletic socks now comes in fits and bursts, nothing like the steady, profitable Russell contract. And Zkano and Little River don’t yet sell enough to sustain the mill alone.

Last year, Emi-G downsized its work force from 45 to 30. If there is a customer service issue, Gina handles it herself — in addition to ordering yarn, designing both lines, doing social media marketing, processing credit card orders and lying awake nights with worry.

“If something happened to Vance, I wouldn’t know what we would do,” she said later. “When the sock industry left, a lot of the workers left town, and their knowledge left, too.”

Vance Veal runs the day-to-day operations at the Emi-G mill. When Ms. Locklear’s parents laid off all but their most vital workers, they kept him on the payroll. Mr. Veal, 48, has worked in sock mills since he was 18. His grandparents, mother and brothers worked in the mills, too.

Gina and her parents drove into town to have lunch at what’s referred to in Fort Payne as the Big Mill. Now an antique store and restaurant, the Big Mill is indeed a century-old brick building as big as a city block. It’s where W. B. Davis ran the town’s first hosiery mill in the early-1900s. It’s the building that begot an industry.

Over pimento cheese sandwiches, Terry and Regina recalled their beginnings. Terry’s mother had worked in a mill, and his older brother owned one. When he was miserable selling cars down in Tuscaloosa, it seemed natural to come home and try socks.

Asked if the current building was their original location, Terry, who is 71 and has a bashful charm, said: “No. I’m almost ashamed to tell you. We started in a renovated chicken house.”

There was no air-conditioning. In the summer, they would open the big doors on both ends to get a little breeze going. “Birds would fly through while we worked,” Terry said.

With so few mills left in Fort Payne, Gina and her parents are now the old guard. But with the industry’s diminishment, they carry little of the economic or civic power of the mill owners before them.

Framed portraits of men like Mr. Davis and W. H. Cobble Sr. hang inside the Hosiery Museum, in a historic storefront downtown. The photo of V. I. Prewett, the founder of Prewett Mills, shows a gray-haired man holding a pair of tube socks.

Among the museum’s historic machinery is a brass whistle on a pole that was once used to signal the start of the workday at the Big Mill. In the morning darkness, said Olivia Cox, the vice president of landmarks for DeKalb County, Ala., the mountainside behind the factory appeared “lit by fireflies,” with the workers “walking down footpaths by lantern light to get to the Big Mill before that whistle blew.”

Everyone in Fort Payne was touched by the hosiery industry in some way. That night, Gina stopped for dinner at a barbecue place in town; the young man behind the counter had worked in a machine shop that repaired the type of knitters Emi-G uses. His name was Bo Doeg.

He and Gina got to reminiscing about Hosiery Week, a yearly festival that Mr. Doeg described as “Mardi Gras — but for socks.”

Mr. Doeg shook his head. “This is a different world than it used to be,” he said. “Have you seen the vast number of empty buildings?”

Gina was back at the mill by 8:30 the next morning, logging orders from store buyers and considering ideas for the next Little River line, which she develops with a designer in Birmingham. “We’re thinking about Appalachian florals,” she said.

She talked about the challenges she faces, from getting organic cotton at a good price to wanting a family but not knowing how, since she spends so much time at the mill. “I’ll just be honest, it’s been a struggle,” she said.

But she is determined to keep going, to make Fort Payne a place where socks are once again made by the millions.

“It’s hard every day but I still love it,” she said. “It’s what I want to do forever.”

Stage Performance by Livingston Taylor

Everyone should own a copy of this book. It is a recipe for being on planet Earth with other humans. I can't say enough good things about it. It has changed my life. THANK YOU LIVINGSTON TAYLOR for being an amazing teacher guru inspiration.

Feed Hungry Minds

To Feed Hungry Minds, Afghans Seed a Ravaged Land With Books


I dreamed I was at a dog park at night. Nobody else was there except a Portuguese Water Dog, his body was shaved and his legs were fluffy. He had on a metal choke collar but no leash. I held onto him and walked him to my house wondering how my dog would react. He had a tag: MILK STREET BLACKSTONE MA. I contacted the owner.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Ram Dass: Working Through our Attachment to Money

I have met people who seem to be happy with very little, and I’ve met people who seem very unhappy with an awful lot.

I was teaching a fellow to fly once whose uncle was a very wealthy man. He had billions. We landed at LaGuardia airport and we pulled in and he looked up at this huge jet and he says, “Oh damnit. That’s my Uncle’s plane.” This guy who himself had twenty million, suddenly felt very poor compared to his Uncle’s billions.

I’ve watched what happens to people as they make more money; they shift the context of the people they live with, and it seduces them into more and more. The whole concept that more is better is a very deep sickness in this culture.

Some people come through life with a lot of anxiety about starvation and hunger, passed on from their grandfathers two generations back. And so they need a certain security before they’re free enough of their neurosis, or that panic or that fear to be able to be free to do inner work and be productive. Other people can go right along the edge with no savings whatsoever and seem to ride along with it, there’s no general rule.

When people see money as energy and they see that there are karmic effects to holding onto energy and they also see that those karmic effects backfire, then they start to see that part of the responsibility of having energy is learning how to pass it through, learning how to trust, and to keep giving it away. People, especially in the business world, take money too seriously.

There’s a story about my guru, it’s always kind of stuck in my mind, of the sadhu that came to visit him. The sadhu was an old fellow who had known Maharaj-ji for many years. The sadhu came in and he was quite arrogant and he sat down right on the tucket with Maharaj-ji and all the devotees were very upset that he’d sat there. The sadhu said to Maharaj-ji, “You’ve got this big temple. You’re collecting stuff. You’re really attached. You want so much.” Maharaj-ji said, “Yeah, I guess you’re right.” I mean, Maharaj-ji couldn’t care less, he’d had a water pot and a doti that kept falling off and people would build temples to try to capture him.

The sadhu was sitting there playing with a little shaligram, which is a stone you do Shiva puja with, and Maharaj-ji said, “Oh, look at that shaligram! Could I see it?” So the sadhu showed him the shaligram and Maharaj-ji said, “Oh, that’s beautiful! Can I have it?” And the fellow said, “See? I knew it! You’re just greedy. You want everything. You want my shaligram and that’s part of my spiritual practices. I can’t give that to you!” Maharaj-ji said, “I’ll give you 40 rupees.” This thing is only worth 5 rupees and after a moment the sadhu says, “Well if you need it Maharaj-ji, I’ll sell it to you.” So Maharaj-ji got forty rupees from a devotee and gave it to the sadhu.

Then Maharaj-ji said to the sadhu, “Give me all of your money.” So the sadhu said, “I knew you weren’t gonna let me keep the 40 rupees.” He gave him the 40 rupees and Maharaj-ji said, “No, I want all of your money, the stuff you’ve got pinned inside your jacket.” The sadhu took out another 200 rupees and said, “Maharaj-ji, that’s all the money I’ve got.” Maharaj-ji took the 240 rupees and he threw them into the coal fire and they flared up. The sadhu freaked, “Maharaj-ji! My God! That’s all the money I had!” Maharaj-ji said, “Oh! I’m terribly sorry, I didn’t realize how attached you are!” And he took a pair of tongs, reached into the fire, pulled out all new dollar bills and handed them to the sadhu. Then the sadhu got off of the tucket.

Now if you’ve lived in the world where this is even possible, how does money look to you after that? Maharaj-ji said to me once, “All the money in the world is mine.” Now, is that total psychosis? Sounds like it, doesn’t it. Or is it? Is there some other way of understanding money in which you see it as just this kind of play energy, like Monopoly money. You just play with it.

I have the sense that as your faith gets stronger, you keep needing less and less, and when your faith is flickering, you keep wanting more security. You want to keep hedging your bets against life. But as your faith gets stronger, you just keep letting it go and letting it go.

-Ram Dass

Ram Dass: On Desire Falling Away (Part Two)

On Desire Falling Away (Part Two)

Posted March 22, 2016

(Read part one of this blog Here)

Each time I would come back to the United States, from spending time in India, I would try very hard to hold onto my high.

I would live in the country in a very remote place and just make infrequent journeys out into the world. Despite this, I found that I was still vulnerable to the seductions of the world and I had to accept the responsibility that they weren’t doing it to me, I was doing it to me.

I saw the conflict in my own being, that I wanted to be free and yet I didn’t want to give up my desires. There is a line from a Christian Abbott who said, “I would like to be like the desert fathers [those are renunciates] but I don’t want to be what I want just yet.”

What does it mean, the issue of giving up desires? It actually doesn’t mean that the desires end.

The desires still arise because they are part of the incarnation. They are the nature of karma. What changes is the identification of the awareness with the desire or the identification of the awareness with the emotional states. When you are accustomed to and habituated to intense emotional reactions to this and that, the spiritual awakening which involves letting go of that is a mixed blessing.

There is a period which is a very dark period, when you feel that you are losing the world but you are not gaining the spirit at the deepest level. St. John of the Cross refers to it as “the dark night of the soul”. At the more superficial level, the experience is one of the feeling of sadness as the worldly desires fall away. Things that gave you so much pleasure start to be empty to you. But you’ve built your whole life around wanting them, and it is hard to accept the fact that everything you did up to that point is no longer relevant.

If you have spent your whole life becoming somebody and having something, and then with awakening you turn around and you start the journey in the other direction of becoming nothing, becoming nobody and having nothing. It would seem to make the whole first part of life meaningless or some sort of error. But it’s important to see that this sequence is a necessary sequence, that when one takes incarnation in an evolutionary moment when one is going to awaken, you still have to become somebody and become grounded on earth before you can do the spiritual work.

Part of the experience of living richly has been identification with the desires and emotions, with the passions of life, with the hatreds and the joys, with what I call the “mellow drama” of life. Each of us has an intense drama going on around ourselves. Will we, won’t we, can we, can’t we, should we, shouldn’t we? And with awakening one begins to see the way one has been trapped in one’s story line. But it doesn’t mean the story ends. The Ram Dass story is alive and well. The only question is, who’s living it?

Am I Ram Dass or am I just, “I am.”

-Ram Dass

Ram Dass: Being Free Together

What we offer one another as human beings is an environment. And in spending so much time in relationships, it only makes sense that we try to use them as a vehicle for awakening.

But what does it mean to be a safe space for another human being, to not have an agenda in sharing time with each other?

This process requires a shift in the way we view our relationships, and the function they serve in our lives. In looking through the lens of separateness we see relationships as a means to fulfill desires, reinforce identities, and defend the personalities we’ve worked so hard to maintain.

In extricating ourselves from these desire systems we free the mind and body to be open to the appropriate response within any dynamic. We offer ourselves as needed but avoid getting caught up in the giving and receiving. We learn to honor and delight in the beauty of the intellect without being caught or attempting to trap others.

The Human Condition: Feeling Unworthy

It shows up in all sorts of ways: sabotaging chances at freedom and friendship but it all boils down to this: women feeling unworthy and undeserving of life's joys and freedoms. Where did this come from? Our Mothers. Our peers. Our Fathers.
Men have this too but it shows up as never enough in the achievement department. They too feel unworthy, unworthy of WOMEN.
What a mess.

The Champagne of Drinking Water

NYC has the champagne of drinking water serving 9.5 million people.

Finest Food Memory +I need a Farrier

One of my finest taste memories is Ann Everett's strawberry rhubarb pie she made from home grown rhubarb and strawberries. Today I am thinking why haven't I learned to make stuffed cabbage yet. I have wanted to learn for 21 years from my neighbor Lillian who has passed on a decade ago. I'd also like to learn to make hammentashen. I need to track down a Jewish and Polish grandmother to teach me.

I wear through all of my running shoes in a few months. I discovered there's no knee pain when I run in sneakers that are not worn out. I refuse to buy expensive ones. I get the 15 dollar ones but I am like a horse. I need a farrier!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

ON THE RUN: Running to deal with anger

By Bruce Rychwalski

Hollywood made three movies that readily come to mind which dealt with anger and anger management. “Analyze This” and “Analyze That” with Billy Crystal and Robert De Niro and “Anger Management” with Adam Sandler and Jack Nicholson. All three movies made us smile and laugh. Maybe because one out of five Americans has an anger management problem. Maybe because mismanaged anger and rage is the major cause of conflict in our personal and professional relationships.

I confess. I admit it. I take after my father. I have a type A personality. I am a very impatient person. I was a premature baby and couldn't be brought home after birth but had to spend a period of time in an incubator in the hospital. My mother used to tell me "You were in a hurry to come into this world and you have been in a hurry ever since." I also get angry very easily and quickly. A lot of things tend to make me angry.

Let's start with driving and being on the road. I get angry with: People who drive too slow. People who drive too fast. People who don't use their directional signal. People who drive mile after mile with their directional signal on. People who tailgate me. People who weave from lane to lane. People who can't park between two lines and take up two spaces. People who are able bodied and park in handicap spaces. People who are way over to the right to make a left-hand turn. People who don't move after the light turns green. People who put their brakes on every two minutes. People who don't know where they are going.

Now let's get out of the car and go into the grocery store. I get angry when: Shoppers in front of me have 10 items in the seven items or less lane. Shoppers in front of me go to pay with a credit card or check in the cash-only lane. Shoppers in front of me wait until the cashier scans all their items before looking for their Shopper's Club Cards. Shoppers in front of me don't have the correct size or number of an item that the sales price specifies.

I also get angry when: Someone in front of me at Dunkin' Donuts takes 10 minutes to choose a dozen donuts. Someone in front of me at the bank wants to socialize with the teller. Someone named Too Tall Jones sits in front of me in the movie theater when there are empty seats all around me. Someone calls me at dinner time to sell me vinyl siding. Someone talks incessantly at an outdoor concert. Someone sits in my pew at church. Someone next to me talks on their cell phone while I am on the computer at the library.

Yet people who know me, see me and think of me as a laid back, easy-going person. This is all due to the fact that I am a runner.

Anger is a natural human emotion and is nature's way of empowering us to "ward off" our perception of an attack or threat to our well being. Anger is a normal, healthy emotion, but when chronic, explosive anger spirals out of control, it can have serious consequences for our relationships, our health, and our state of mind. Once we know how to recognize the warning signs that our temper is rising and anticipate our trigger, we can act quickly to deal with our anger before it spins out of control. There are several techniques that can help us cool down and keep our anger in check. One of them is running.

Running is a very effective anger management technique. Running requires a very specific level of focus and can create brain wave patterns very similar to meditation. In fact, if you're a fan of meditation, you have likely heard of the idea of a "walking meditation." Well … running is simply a faster paced meditation. Running can, theoretically alter the state of consciousness. The deep breathing patterns being done in steady-rate exercises such as running allows the brain to be calmer. It mimics the breathing exercises being done in meditation which has a sedative effect on the brain.

According to psychologist Kelly Wilson in her book "Things Might Go Terribly, Horribly Wrong," hundreds of studies have demonstrated that exercise (running) reduces anxiety. Exercise also reduces anger that is the result of frustration or anger management difficulties by burning off excess energy and releasing powerful endorphins that can help improve our mood. Exercise also reduces blood pressure. High blood pressure can make you feel angry, and may also be the consequence of excessive anger.

In conclusion, a surefire way to deal with our anger is to do something physical. We can go for a run. Running is the best physical exercise for anger management. Moving our body provides a physical outlet for our rage. This way, we are taking a proactive stance when it comes to dealing with our anger.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go for a run. I just got back from driving to Wegmans for a loaf of bread.

Bruce Rychwalski, 65, is an avid runner and equestrian. In 2013, he competed in 52 races. He's competed in 40 races so far in 2014. His goal is 50. He also goes horseback riding three times each week and volunteers for Purple Pony Therapeutic Horsemanship.

Women in Prison

"What I'd like is to walk out the door and go for a walk," she said.

"Why don't you?" I asked

"There's too much to do, so I clock myself when I'm going up and down the cellar stairs doing laundry."

"How awful," I thought.

Crazy, tyrant, irrational control freak mother

This is exactly like what I was raised with:
by Anomynous

My mother is a crazy, irrational, tyrant. I have been dealing with her like this for several years, ever since I turned about 12. She will blow up about the smallest things, and I am constantly walking on eggshells with her. She has so many irrational and unfair “rules” and behaviors that I don’t even know where to begin. I will just give you a few examples. A while back I had purchased some posters of my favorite band to put on my walls. So I got home and put them up, and only about ten minutes later my mother came in screaming bloody murder and began violently tearing them all down and yelling very unnecessary things at me. She claimed that she told me ten times not to put them up, when she honestly never said a word. Then a few days later I asked her if I could just hang them on my door. She went ballistic and began screaming and shouting about how “it was going to ruin the door”. I tried to calmly explain to her that lots of people hang things on doors, and it would in fact not harm it. Hanging posters is a fairly normal practice which I thought was innocent enough, but apparently I was wrong. She refused to listen to any rational reasoning. She continued to shout at me how I was “retarded” and how she didn't want to have the conversation. I was baffled about how irrational she was being over a simple request. I had tried to reason with her, but all she did was shout. Finally I became so fed up, I yelled “fucking calm down”. It just slipped out from frustration. I immediately apologized and told her it would never happen again. But she screamed at me and took away my cell phone. I sincerely apologized, and all she said was “it's taking all the strength in my body not to slap you across the face”.

Which brings me to my next issue… She constantly hits me and slams me against walls and such. I try to tell her that it is inappropriate and wrong but she seems to think it is justified. When I try to talk to my friends about this they think I am trying to get attention. But I am not lying and I really don’t know what to do. A few days ago me and my sister got into an argument. She, being younger, is never suspected of doing anything wrong. I always get the full blow of my mother’s rage. Anyways we got into some silly argument, and my sister thinks she can solve anything my hitting me. She slapped me hard in the face and began basically attacking me. I shoved her off of me and she, being the whinny brat that she is begins to cry and runs to get mom. A minute later my mother comes in screaming bloody murder. She runs at me and literally tackled me to the ground as I tried to escape. She slapped me across the face several times and kept me pinned to the ground screaming “HOW DO YOU LIKE IT?!!!! HOW DO YOU LIKE GETTING HIT IN THAT FACE LIKE THIS” she continually slapped me a few more times before I shoved her off of me and ran away screaming for my little sister (who had just caused this) to help me. My mother then stormed off and went to her room. I went in to confront her a few minutes later, trying to tell her that what she did was completely inappropriate, she never even bothered to listen to my side of the story, I was defending myself. She didn’t care. I told her it really hurt me that my own mother would treat me like this. All she said was “you are such a baby” and then said “go call child protective services if you think I’m such a bad mom” she says. She thinks this is normal behavior. She says “if I don’t leave a mark then its not illegal”
Does that make it remotely ok to attack your child like that over something you knew nothing about? No. But she thinks its ok. She doesn’t even realize this is not ok parent behavior.

These were just a few examples of the crazy things my mother does. I have tried to talk to her about it many times, but she thinks that she is a perfectly normal, good parent. I try to tell her that no parent I have ever met treats their children like this. Then she says “then I guess I'm the only mom who has an “out of control” child.” My mother acts like this and does these sort of things day by day and there is nothing I can do. She has driven me to self harm on multiple occasions. It is the only way I can release all of my anger and frustration and sadness she causes. I have even had suicidal thoughts because I just can’t take it anymore. I need help. Whenever I try to talk to my friends about this they don’t take it seriously. I can’t handle my mom being an abusive, irrational, crazy control freak anymore.

Control Freak Mothers: People who feel out of control tend to become controllers.

How To Deal With A Control Freak

Adapted from “Emotional Freedom: Liberate Yourself From Negative Emotions and Transform Your Life” (Three Rivers Press, 2011)

As a psychiatrist, I have observed that relationships can be one of the major sources of exhaustion for my patients. In “Emotional Freedom” I discuss how to deal with different kinds of draining people to avoid getting fatigued, sick, or burned out. One of these is the control freak.

It’s important to identify if you are dealing with a control freak then develop healthy strategies to communicate. These people obsessively try to dictate how you’re supposed to be and feel. They have an opinion about everything; disagree at your peril. They’ll control you by invalidating your emotions if those don’t fit into their rulebook. Controllers often start sentences with, “You know what you need?”…then proceed to tell you. They’ll sling shots like, “That guy is out of your league” or” I’ll have dinner with you if you promise to be happy.” People with low self-esteem who see themselves as “victims” attract controllers. Whether spouting unsolicited advice on how you can lose weight or using anger to put you in your place, their comments can range from irritating to abusive. What’s most infuriating about these people is that they usually don’t see themselves as controlling--only right.

Control freaks are often perfectionists. They may feel, ”If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.” Personally, I can relate to this attitude, though I’m getting better at delegating. Controllers are also controlling with themselves. They may fanatically count carbs, become clean freaks or workaholics. Conventional psychiatry classifies extreme cases as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder--people are rigidly preoccupied with details, rules, lists, and dominating others at the expense of flexibility and openness.


• Does this person keep claiming to know what’s best for you?
• Do you typically have to do things his way?
• Is he so domineering you feel suffocated?
• Do you feel like you’re held prisoner to this person’s rigid sense of order?
• Is this relationship no fun because it lacks spontaneity?

If you answer “yes” to 1-2 questions, it’s likely you’re dealing with a controller. Responding “yes” to 3 or more questions suggests that a controller is violating our emotional freedom.

Use the following methods from “Emotional Freedom” to deal with controllers

Emotional Action Step. Pick Your Battles and Assert Your Needs

1. The secret to success is never try to control a controller
Speak up, but don’t tell them what to do. Be healthily assertive rather than controlling. Stay confident and refuse to play the victim. Most important, always take a consistent, targeted approach. Controllers are always looking for a power struggle, so try not to sweat the small stuff. Focus on high-priority issues that you really care about rather than bickering about putting the cap on the toothpaste.

Never make your self-worth dependent on them.
Don’t get caught in the trap of always trying to please a narcissist. Also protect your sensitivity. Refrain from confiding your deepest feelings to someone who won’t cherish them.

2. Try the caring, direct approach
Use this with good friends or others who’re responsive to feedback. For instance, if someone dominates conversations, sensitively say, “I appreciate your comments but I’d like to express my opinions too.” The person may be unaware that he or she is monopolizing the discussion, and will gladly change.

3. Set limits
If someone keeps telling you how to deal with something, politely say, “I value your advice, but I really want to work through this myself.” You may need to remind the controller several times, always in a kind, neutral tone. Repetition is key. Don’t expect instant miracles. Since controllers rarely give up easily, be patient. Respectfully reiterating your stance over days or weeks will slowly recondition negative communication patterns and redefine the terms of the relationship. If you reach an impasse, agree to disagree. Then make the subject off limits.

4. Size up the situation
If your boss is a controlling perfectionist--and you choose to stay--don’t keep ruminating about what a rotten person he or she is or expect that person to change, Then operate within that reality check. For instance, if your boss instructs you how to complete a project, but you add a few good ideas of your own, realize this may or may not fly. If you non-defensively offer your reasoning about the additions, you’ll be more readily heard. However if your boss responds, “I didn’t say to do this. Please remove it,” you must defer because of the built-in status difference in the relationship. Putting your foot down--trying to control the controller---will only make work more stressful or get you fired.

People who feel out of control tend to become controllers. Deep down, they’re afraid of falling apart, so they micromanage to bind anxiety. They might have had chaotic childhoods, alcoholic parents, or experienced early abandonment, making it hard to trust or relinquish control to others, or to a higher power. Some controllers have a machismo drive to be top dog in both business and personal matters--a mask for their feelings of inadequacy and lack of inner power. To assert territorial prowess, they may get right up in your face when they talk. Even if you take a few steps away, they’ll inch forward again into your space.

When you mindfully deal with control freaks, you can free yourself from their manipulations. Knowing how they operate will let you choose how to interact with them.

Pamela Madison

It becomes time to love our bodies as they are.

Lessons of Childhood

I grew up taking care of my mother's narcissistic and broken emotional life. It was a bottomless toxic snake pit. I may not have realized fully at the time but it is clear to me now. Our mother's mood swings and drug abuse (Narcotic diet pills SPEED and Valium) were hidden under a veneer of suburban living. She wore a mask. The first lesson was I never want to live like this. The second was run for your life. The third was this is not love.

Williamsburg Barbershop Brooklyn NY

Williamsburg Barbershop Allegedly Doubled As Heroin & Coke Stash House
by Emma Whitford in News on Feb 25, 2016 3:45 pm

A storefront barbershop on South 4th Street in Williamsburg, a few blocks east of the BQE, doubled until quite recently as a stash house for a large-scale heroin and cocaine operation, according to an 157-count indictment announced today by the Brooklyn District Attorney's office. The arrest of 18 individuals in connection with the drug ring marks the second sizable heroin bust on Williamsburg's Southside since September.

“Drug dealers peddle poison that kills our neighbors, degrades our communities and frequently leads to violence," said Brooklyn DA Ken Thompson in a statement. "I have no tolerance for these activities and we will continue to aggressively prosecute these important cases.”

The eighteen defendants arraigned on Wednesday range in age from 17 to 30, and the majority of them live within blocks of L&L Barbershop at 336 South 4th—one of several alleged "safehouses." All of the defendants have been accused of possessing and selling cocaine and heroin between August 18, 2015 and February 18, 2016. Four of the group—Armando Baez, Radames Lopez, Juan Perez and Christopher Rodriguez—were allegedly in charge of bulk storage and repackaging, both at L&L and out of their own homes.

According to the DA's office, the group made between 20 and 40 transactions a day (deals were set up primarily through texts and phone calls) moving about $1 million in drugs annually. Defendants were charged with varying degrees of criminal sale of a controlled substance and criminal possession of a controlled substance.

In a second indictment, also announced Thursday, four defendants were charged with selling crack cocaine, heroin and marijuana to undercover NYPD officers between June and January. Prosecutors say the investigation was launched after a shooting in front of 417 Lorimer Street. Two of the defendants, Juan Pedraza, and his son Juan Pedraza Jr., live at the address. Contact the author of this article or email with further questions, comments or tips.

Osprey Cam Chesapeake Conservancy

Master Chef of the Year

“Its a year-round journey,” he said. “I never stop learning. If I had prepared just for the week before the competition, I wouldn’t have had the success that I did. It is an every day journey of constant learning.”

Emotional Eating

I come from a family of emotional eaters.
Emotional Eating
How to Recognize and Stop Emotional Eating
Distracted woman eating

We don’t always eat simply to satisfy hunger. We also turn to food for comfort, stress relief, or as a reward. Unfortunately, emotional eating doesn’t fix emotional problems. It usually makes you feel worse. Afterward, not only does the original emotional issue remain, but you also feel guilty for overeating. Learning to recognize your emotional eating triggers is the first step to breaking free from food cravings and compulsive overeating, and changing the habits that have sabotaged your diets in the past.
Understanding emotional eating

If you’ve ever made room for dessert even though you’re already full or dove into a pint of ice cream when you’re feeling down, you’ve experienced emotional eating. Emotional eating is using food to make yourself feel better—eating to fill emotional needs, rather than to fill your stomach.

Using food from time to time as a pick me up, a reward, or to celebrate isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But when eating is your primary emotional coping mechanism—when your first impulse is to open the refrigerator whenever you’re upset, angry, lonely, stressed, exhausted, or bored—you get stuck in an unhealthy cycle where the real feeling or problem is never addressed.

Emotional hunger can’t be filled with food. Eating may feel good in the moment, but the feelings that triggered the eating are still there. And you often feel worse than you did before because of the unnecessary calories you consumed. You beat yourself for messing up and not having more willpower. Compounding the problem, you stop learning healthier ways to deal with your emotions, you have a harder and harder time controlling your weight, and you feel increasingly powerless over both food and your feelings.
Are you an emotional eater?

Do you eat more when you’re feeling stressed?
Do you eat when you’re not hungry or when you’re full?
Do you eat to feel better (to calm and soothe yourself when you’re sad, mad, bored, anxious, etc.)?
Do you reward yourself with food?
Do you regularly eat until you’ve stuffed yourself?
Does food make you feel safe? Do you feel like food is a friend?
Do you feel powerless or out of control around food?

The difference between emotional hunger and physical hunger

Before you can break free from the cycle of emotional eating, you first need to learn how to distinguish between emotional and physical hunger. This can be trickier than it sounds, especially if you regularly use food to deal with your feelings.

Emotional hunger can be powerful. As a result, it’s easy to mistake it for physical hunger. But there are clues you can look for that can help you tell physical and emotional hunger apart.

Emotional hunger comes on suddenly. It hits you in an instant and feels overwhelming and urgent. Physical hunger, on the other hand, comes on more gradually. The urge to eat doesn’t feel as dire or demand instant satisfaction (unless you haven’t eaten for a very long time).
Emotional hunger craves specific comfort foods. When you’re physically hungry, almost anything sounds good—including healthy stuff like vegetables. But emotional hunger craves fatty foods or sugary snacks that provide an instant rush. You feel like you need cheesecake or pizza, and nothing else will do.
Emotional hunger often leads to mindless eating. Before you know it, you’ve eaten a whole bag of chips or an entire pint of ice cream without really paying attention or fully enjoying it. When you’re eating in response to physical hunger, you’re typically more aware of what you’re doing.
Emotional hunger isn’t satisfied once you’re full. You keep wanting more and more, often eating until you’re uncomfortably stuffed. Physical hunger, on the other hand, doesn't need to be stuffed. You feel satisfied when your stomach is full.
Emotional hunger isn’t located in the stomach. Rather than a growling belly or a pang in your stomach, you feel your hunger as a craving you can’t get out of your head. You’re focused on specific textures, tastes, and smells.
Emotional hunger often leads to regret, guilt, or shame. When you eat to satisfy physical hunger, you’re unlikely to feel guilty or ashamed because you’re simply giving your body what it needs. If you feel guilty after you eat, it's likely because you know deep down that you’re not eating for nutritional reasons.

Emotional hunger vs. Physical hunger

Emotional hunger comes on suddenly.

Physical hunger comes on gradually.

Emotional hunger feels like it needs to be satisfied instantly.

Physical hunger can wait.

Emotional hunger craves specific comfort foods.

Physical hunger is open to options–lots of things sound good.

Emotional hunger isn't satisfied with a full stomach.

Physical hunger stops when you're full.

Emotional eating triggers feelings of guilt, powerlessness, and shame.

Eating to satisfy physical hunger doesn't make you feel bad about yourself.
Stop emotional eating tip 1: Identify your triggers

People eat for many different reasons. The first step in putting a stop to emotional eating is identifying your personal triggers. What situations, places, or feelings make you reach for the comfort of food?

Keep in mind that while most emotional eating is linked to unpleasant feelings, it can also be triggered by positive emotions, such as rewarding yourself for achieving a goal or celebrating a holiday or happy event.
Common causes of emotional eating

Stress – Ever notice how stress makes you hungry? It’s not just in your mind. When stress is chronic, as it so often is in our chaotic, fast-paced world, it leads to high levels of the stress hormone, cortisol. Cortisol triggers cravings for salty, sweet, and high-fat foods—foods that give you a burst of energy and pleasure. The more uncontrolled stress in your life, the more likely you are to turn to food for emotional relief.
Stuffing emotions – Eating can be a way to temporarily silence or “stuff down” uncomfortable emotions, including anger, fear, sadness, anxiety, loneliness, resentment, and shame. While you’re numbing yourself with food, you can avoid the emotions you’d rather not feel.
Boredom or feelings of emptiness – Do you ever eat simply to give yourself something to do, to relieve boredom, or as a way to fill a void in your life? You feel unfulfilled and empty, and food is a way to occupy your mouth and your time. In the moment, it fills you up and distracts you from underlying feelings of purposelessness and dissatisfaction with your life.
Childhood habits – Think back to your childhood memories of food. Did your parents reward good behavior with ice cream, take you out for pizza when you got a good report card, or serve you sweets when you were feeling sad? These emotionally-based childhood eating habits often carry over into adulthood. Or perhaps some of your eating is driven by nostalgia—for cherishes memories of grilling burgers in the backyard with your dad, baking and eating cookies with your mom, or gathering around the table with your extended family for a home-cooked pasta dinner.
Social influences – Getting together with other people for a meal is a great way to relieve stress, but it can also lead to overeating. It’s easy to overindulge simply because the food is there or because everyone else is eating. You may also overeat in social situations out of nervousness. Or perhaps your family or circle of friends encourages you to overeat, and it’s easier to go along with the group.

Keep an emotional eating diary

You probably recognized yourself in at least a few of the previous descriptions. But even so, you’ll want to get even more specific. One of the best ways to identify the patterns behind your emotional eating is to keep track with a food and mood diary.

Every time you overeat or feel compelled to reach for your version of comfort food Kryptonite, take a moment to figure out what triggered the urge. If you backtrack, you’ll usually find an upsetting event that kicked of the emotional eating cycle. Write it all down in your food and mood diary: what you ate (or wanted to eat), what happened to upset you, how you felt before you ate, what you felt as you were eating, and how you felt afterward.

Over time, you’ll see a pattern emerge. Maybe you always end up gorging yourself after spending time with a critical friend. Or perhaps you stress eat whenever you’re on a deadline or when you attend family functions. Once you identify your emotional eating triggers, the next step is identifying healthier ways to feed your feelings.
Stop emotional eating tip 2: Find other ways to feed your feelings

If you don’t know how to manage your emotions in a way that doesn’t involve food, you won’t be able to control your eating habits for very long. Diets so often fail because they offer logical nutritional advice, as if the only thing keeping you from eating right is knowledge. But that kind of advice only works if you have conscious control over your eating habits. It doesn’t work when emotions hijack the process, demanding an immediate payoff with food.

In order to stop emotional eating, you have to find other ways to fulfill yourself emotionally. It’s not enough to understand the cycle of emotional eating or even to understand your triggers, although that’s a huge first step. You need alternatives to food that you can turn to for emotional fulfillment.
Alternatives to emotional eating

If you’re depressed or lonely, call someone who always makes you feel better, play with your dog or cat, or look at a favorite photo or cherished memento.
If you’re anxious, expend your nervous energy by dancing to your favorite song, squeezing a stress ball, or taking a brisk walk.
If you’re exhausted, treat yourself with a hot cup of tea, take a bath, light some scented candles, or wrap yourself in a warm blanket.
If you’re bored, read a good book, watch a comedy show, explore the outdoors, or turn to an activity you enjoy (woodworking, playing the guitar, shooting hoops, scrapbooking, etc.).

Stop emotional eating tip 3: Pause when cravings hit

Most emotional eaters feel powerless over their food cravings. When the urge to eat hits, it’s all you can think about. You feel an almost unbearable tension that demands to be fed, right now! Because you’ve tried to resist in the past and failed, you believe that your willpower just isn’t up to snuff. But the truth is that you have more power over your cravings than you think.
Take 5 before you give in to a craving

As mentioned earlier, emotional eating tends to be automatic and virtually mindless. Before you even realize what you’re doing, you’ve reached for a tub of ice cream and polished off half of it. But if you can take a moment to pause and reflect when you’re hit with a craving, you give yourself the opportunity to make a different decision.

All you have to do is put off eating for five minutes, or if five minutes seems unmanageable, start with one minute. Don’t tell yourself you can’t give in to the craving; remember, the forbidden is extremely tempting. Just tell yourself to wait. While you’re waiting, check in with yourself. How are you feeling? What’s going on emotionally? Even if you end up eating, you’ll have a better understanding of why you did it. This can help you set yourself up for a different response next time.
Learn to accept your feelings—even the bad ones

While it may seem that the core problem is that you’re powerless over food, emotional eating actually stems from feeling powerless over your emotions. You don’t feel capable of dealing with your feelings head on, so you avoid them with food.

Allowing yourself to feel uncomfortable emotions can be scary. You may fear that, like Pandora’s box, once you open the door you won’t be able to shut it. But the truth is that when we don’t obsess over or suppress our emotions, even the most painful and difficult feelings subside relatively quickly and lose their power to control our attention. To do this you need to become mindful and learn how to stay connected to your moment-to-moment emotional experience. This can enable you to rein in stress and repair emotional problems that often trigger emotional eating.

What’s more, your life will be richer when you open yourself up emotionally. Our feelings are a window into our interior world. They help us understand and discover our deepest desires and fears, our current frustrations, and the things that will make us happy.
Stop emotional eating tip 4: Support yourself with healthy lifestyle habits

When you’re physically strong, relaxed, and well rested, you’re better able to handle the curveballs that life inevitably throws your way. But when you’re already exhausted and overwhelmed, any little hiccup has the potential to send you off the rails and straight toward the refrigerator. Exercise, sleep, and other healthy lifestyle habits will help you get through difficult times without emotional eating.

Make daily exercise a priority. Physical activity does wonders for your mood and your energy levels, and it’s also a powerful stress reducer.
Make time for relaxation. Give yourself permission to take at least 30 minutes every day to relax, decompress, and unwind. This is your time to take a break from your responsibilities and recharge your batteries.
Connect with others. Don’t underestimate the importance of close relationships and social activities. Spending time with positive people who enhance your life will help protect you from the negative effects of stress.

How sleep affects cravings and weight gain

Ever noticed how when you're short on sleep you crave foods that give you a quick energy boost? There's a good reason for that. Lack of sleep has a direct link to stress, overeating, and weight gain.

There are two hormones in your body that regulate normal feelings of hunger and fullness. Ghrelin stimulates appetite, while leptin sends signals to the brain when you are full. However, when don't get the sleep you need, your ghrelin levels go up, stimulating your appetite so you want more food than normal, and your leptin levels go down, meaning you don't feel satisfied and want to keep eating. So, the more sleep you skip, the more food your body will crave.

As well as making it harder to fight food cravings, feeling tired can also increase your stress levels, leading to yet more emotional eating.

To control your appetite and reduce food cravings, try to get plenty of rest—about eight hours of quality sleep every night.
More help for emotional eating

Is stress or worry interfering with your diet? FEELING LOVED can help you.LEARN MORE »

Healthy Weight Loss & Dieting: How to Lose Weight and Keep It Off
Stress Management: How to Reduce, Prevent, and Cope with Stress
Easy Ways to Start Exercising: Making Exercise a Fun Part of Your Everyday Life
Relaxation Techniques for Stress Relief: Finding the Relaxation Exercises That Work for You
How to Sleep Better: Tips for Getting a Good Night’s Sleep
Stress Relief in the Moment: Using Your Senses to Quickly Change Your Response to Stress

Help us continue to help you and many people like you. LEARN MORE »
Resources and references

Free Emotional Eating Diagnostic – A tool developed by emotional eating specialist Roger Gould, M.D., that will convey whether you are an emotional eater or not. (ShrinkYourself)

Weight Loss: Gain Control of Emotional Eating – Find out how emotional eating can sabotage your weight-loss efforts and get tips to regain control of your eating habits. (Mayo Clinic)

Emotional Eating – Covers emotional eating, the difference between physical and emotional hunger, and ways to break the cycle of emotional eating. (The Nemours Foundation)

Do Food Cravings Reflect Your Feelings? – According to weight-loss specialist Linda Spangle, people's food choices tend to correlate to the type of emotions they're experiencing. Learn how to identify those feelings and find alternative solutions to eating. (WebMD)

Study Offers Clues to Emotional Eating – Learn about a 2011 study that demonstrates how sugar and fat feed our emotions on a physiological level. (CNN Health)

Personality Types

Dominant Introverted Feeling
INFP & ISFP Personality Types What is it like?

By Danielle Poirier
© copyright Rebel Eagle Productions

Introverted Feeling personality types are usually gentle and kind, they are intense and passionate about their values and deeply held beliefs, which they share with trusted friends. Because of their discreet manner, their enthusiasm may not be apparent. They are sensitive to others' pain, restlessness or general discomfort and strive to find happiness, balance and wholeness for themselves in order to help others find joy, satisfaction and plenitude. They are deeply empathetic.

They live life in an intently personal fashion, acting on the belief that each person is unique and that social norms are to be respected only if they do not hinder personal development or expression. They strive to adhere to their own high personal moral standards and are particularly sensitive to inconsistencies in their environment between what is being said and what is being done. Empty promises of adhering to something they value – such as environmental causes or human rights - set off an inner alarm and they may transform themselves into modern day Joan of Arcs.

They are quietly persistent in raising awareness of cherished causes and often fight for the underdog in quiet or not-so-quiet ways. In a team, they will raise issues of integrity, authenticity, and good or bad, and may to opt out if the team refuses to address the questions raised.

They are usually tolerant and open-minded, insightful, flexible and understanding. They live for the understanding of others and feel deeply grateful when someone takes the time to get to know them personally. They have good listening skills, are genuinely concerned, insightful, and usually avid readers. At their best, they inspire others to be themselves.

Rhode Island rebrands tourism slogan: “Cooler & Warmer”

Governor Gina Raimondo and the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation announced the launch of the state’s new integrated tourism and business-attraction campaign on Monday.

The new slogan, “Rhode Island: Cooler and Warmer” is said to “align the state’s best resources—its unparalleled quality of life, tourism appeal and business-friendly environment—to drive economic growth.”
“Rhode Islanders know our state is a great place to live, work and visit, and now we are moving forward with an exciting plan to make sure everyone else knows that, too,” said Raimondo. “By coordinating our resources and working together to highlight Rhode Island, we will attract new visitors, families and businesses and help make our state a place of opportunity for everyone.”

“This campaign is an important part of our ongoing effort to revitalize Rhode Island’s economy,” said R.I. Secretary of Commerce Stefan Pryor.

“For too long, Rhode Island was inconsistent in telling our story and was not front and center in conversations that determine where businesses decide to grow and where tourists decide to visit,” said R.I. Commerce Corporation Chief Marketing Officer Betsy Wall. “We have conducted extensive market research to develop an innovative and lively plan to reclaim what has always been our story—that of a dynamic place to live, work and visit.” .

“The new branding campaign is an exciting opportunity for all of Rhode Island’s destination marketing organizations to work together to elevate the state’s reputation as an ideal vacation destination,” said Martha Sheridan, president and CEO of the Providence Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau.

“This new campaign, which we support, will help us as a state get back into tourism promotion and showcase all that makes Rhode Island a premier destination,” said Bob Billington, president of the Blackstone Valley Tourism Council.

Added Evan Smith, president and CEO of Discover Newport: “It’s an exciting new chapter for tourism in Rhode Island, and we are looking forward to championing this new campaign.”

Said Lori Harnois, executive director of Discover New England: “In the highly competitive world of destination marketing, this campaign stands out. Every state needs to define and distinguish itself, and Rhode Island is now doing just that.”

The Cooler and Warmer campaign will incorporate multiple platforms, including a new website, paid advertising, including paid search on Google, Yahoo and Bing, as well as banners on TripAdvisor, Expedia and Travel Channel, among others, social media content and paid engagement on Facebook and Twitter, engagement with Rhode Islanders, industry partners, and editorial influencers.

“Our success will depend greatly on our ongoing partnership with the state’s tourism regions,” said Wall. “Local engagement opportunities are extremely important to us, and we’ll be looking to Rhode Islanders to be our best brand ambassadors through events, social media campaigns and more.”
The brand mark of Rhode Island’s new campaign was designed by Milton Glaser, a renowned graphic and architectural designer with a body of work ranging from the iconic “I Love NY” logo to the design or redesign of more than 50 publications worldwide to his work as a design consultant for Target. Glaser’s work is in the permanent collections of many museums, and he is an influential figure in both the design and education communities.

Larissa MacFarquhar: Don’t have too many friends

Don’t have too many friends, and live somewhere cheap. Also: I know a lot of people say you should write every day, but that never made any sense to me. Write no matter what? Even when you have nothing to say and are just going to produce a lot of blather? The idea behind the write-every-day thing seems to be that writing uses muscles that can atrophy, but to me, writing is just another form of thinking. If you didn’t think every day, that would be bad. Maybe it’s different for novelists, but as a nonfiction writer I spend quite a lot of time researching and interviewing and reading before I start writing. I scribble lots of notes, but nothing more than that.

Larissa MacFarquhar is the author of Strangers Drowning: Impossible Idealism, Drastic Choices, and the Urge to Help. She has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 1998, where her profile subjects have included Hillary Mantel, John Ashbery, Barack Obama, and Noam Chomsky.

Faith Shearin Poem

Early Hominids Slept in Trees

by Faith Shearin

This was before they slipped into caves
and painted the drama of the hunt, before
their stone tools and splendid fires,
when early hominids filled the trees
like night. They climbed a ladder
of branches into evening where they
arranged themselves beneath
the applause of leaves. There were
wind storms and lightning and somehow
babies were held and people snored
or turned over. Surely someone was
afraid of heights? And someone
must have secured a place at the bottom,
or slept on the ground, demonstrating
how it might be done? Balanced up there,
in the mythic beginning, they were
safer from predators that walked
on four legs, swishing tails.
They clung to the trunk: felt the world
growing colder, the new power in their thumbs.
Trees were like houses and going home
meant climbing into the sky where words
appeared inside them like stars.

- Faith Shearin, Orpheus, Turning
© The Broadkill River Press, 2015.


Yoga can help many symptoms of depression and bipolar disorder, including mood swings, fear, anxiety, tension, and lethargy. By opening your body and centering your mind, you can balance the ups and downs of bipolar mood swings and change anxiety to calmness, sadness to happiness, and lethargy to vitality. Yoga can help relax the mind and body for those who suffer from insomnia or other sleep problems, resulting in a deeper and more regular sleep. Also, studies show that even gentle yoga exercises done with moderate effort are good enough to put you on track to meet your weight loss goals.
Bianca Zable Tuesday March 29, 2016 from 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM PDT Kearny Mesa Library 9005 Aero Drive San Diego, CA 92123

Carrie Banks: Mover and Shaker

The Child’s Place for Children with Special Needs
Carrie Banks Member Spotlight

Carrie Banks
Supervising Librarian
The Child’s Place for Children with Special Needs
Brooklyn Public Library

When I was a branch librarian at NYPL’s smallest branch, a young boy came in looking for a book for school. We went through every book I thought appropriate and didn’t find one, both of us becoming frustrated in the process. Finally he said, “It’s not your fault. I’m stupid. I have learning disabilities.” I replied that I have learning disabilities (LD) too. We soon found a book. He returned with his mother just before closing and told her, “See, she’s the one, she has learning disabilities and she’s not stupid.” Not long afterwards I moved to Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) and took over the Child’s Place for Children with Special Needs.

It was a defining moment for me: my MLS from Queens College; my work history as a tutor for a child with LD; a psychiatric aide in a hospital and as a special education teacher’s aide; and my personal history all came together. Now as Supervising Librarian, I run BPL’s services to children and youth with disabilities. I oversee a center and four satellite sites that offer inclusive programs for children and teens with disabilities and their families, the Hospital Storytelling program, our mobile children’s library (Kidsmobile) and work in the juvenile detention facilities. I also organize workshops for parents and educators of youth with disabilities, special events such as inclusive theater performances, and work with community agencies to better serve our audience. Finally, I maintain a consumer health collection for and about children and youth with disabilities, their peers, families and service providers. I relied on my work with youth with disabilities when revising and updating Including Families of Children with Special Needs: A How-To-Do-It Manual for Librarians (ALA Editions), which just came out. (Who says people with LD can’t write books!) I also teach Children and Youth with Disabilities in the Library in the Pratt Institute library school and do some consulting.

Our Garden Club Program I am proud to say that our program was recognized as a best practices program by the Brooklyn Developmental Disability Council in 2003. I have also won awards including the 2000 NYU Rudin Community Service Award, and the 2010 Sloan Public Service Award for the City of New York. In 2012, Library Journal named me as a Mover and Shaker.

The most interesting part of my job is the variety of things I do. In any given week, I might do a workshop on early literacy for parents of children receiving Early Intervention services, sit in on a Legos program for teens with and without disabilities, attend the Library’s Children’s Steering Committee and the Brooklyn Children’s Mental Health Committee meetings, host a Music for Autism concert and a workshop on sexuality and teens with developmental disabilities, send Braille books to another branch, find resources for a parent whose child was recently diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and meet with a funder. This can also be the most challenging part of my job—I am never quite sure where I am supposed to be.

Tops and bottoms, sharing a traditional American story BPL’s relationship with the National Library of Medicine (NLM) goes back many years. I often use MedlinePlus in my work. It is flexible and provides information in a way our patrons can use. The video resources, material for new adult readers, and information in a variety of languages all make my job easier. I first got my Consumer Health Librarian certificate through training NLM conducted in the early 2000s. More recently, Lydia Collins (NN/LM MAR) has provided great workshops on consumer health resources for our adult services librarians, among others. We worked together after Superstorm Sandy to ensure access to resources for our patrons and keeping tabs on the status of local hospitals. Lydia even spoke to my Pratt class about consumer health librarianship last spring. We all loved it. My favorite thing about NLM is that it is just nice to have someone to call when I don’t know the answer.

My ongoing professional development has been through programs like the NLM and my involvement in the American Library Association (ALA) and the Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA). I’ve been fortunate to have met and learned from librarians doing both similar and completely different jobs. I have chaired committees, co-chaired a preconference, and spoken at several conferences.

I’m occasionally asked to provide advice to new librarians. As I reflect on my career and personal experience I offer three suggestions:

remember your strengths, interest and passions when looking for the right job fit
get involved in ALA
learn a second language

These suggestions have served me well in my own career and hopefully future librarians.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Cultivating Serendipity

“But you got to balance it. You do belong to the public, ultimately.”

Mayors of New York have long considered themselves the city’s cheerleaders in chief, making frequent appearances at its major institutions and promoting the world-class cultural offerings and only-in-New-York attractions that lure millions of tourists from around the world — and persuade New Yorkers that it’s worth putting up with tiny apartments and high rents just for a chance to live nearby.

Mr. de Blasio, by contrast, is more of a homebody who is protective of his privacy and prefers to spend downtime in his old Brooklyn neighborhood rather than out on the town. Uncomfortable in Gracie Mansion — he often refers to the mayoral residence as a “hotel,” and has complained to aides about feeling out of place in its halls — he can frequently be found in Park Slope, exercising at his old gym and sipping cappuccinos at a beloved cafe.


Mr. Giuliani, in an interview, said that he could appreciate the pressures facing Mr. de Blasio, and that the mayor should not be faulted for taking time to relax in his old haunts, rather than hobnobbing around town. “It makes a lot of sense to me,” Mr. Giuliani said. “Hey, Mayor Koch used to love to go down to the Village, because that was his old neighborhood.”

Still, Mr. Giuliani, who was speaking from Warsaw, where he was traveling on business, said a mayor’s presence at major attractions could be important. “People here in Poland may see a picture of the mayor in Central Park, and that makes them want to come to New York,” he said.

“Even though he and I disagree philosophically, I have great empathy for the difficulty of his job,” Mr. Giuliani said. “But you got to balance it. You do belong to the public, ultimately.”

The Little Red Chairs

The most boldly imagined element of “The Little Red Chairs” is, of course, the positing of an alternate universe in which a Balkan War criminal, the object of an international search for years, turns up in a remote Irish village in the hope of establishing a new, much-­diminished life as a healer-therapist.

Private Equity Executive Accused of Faking Investments


A former executive with a large private equity firm has been arrested and charged with securities fraud, federal prosecutors said on Monday.

Andrew Caspersen, a Harvard Law School graduate and a partner at the Park Hill Group, an advisory firm that up until last fall had been a part of the Blackstone Group’s advisory business, has been accused of seeking to defraud a number of institutional investors out of $95 million through fake private equity investments.

One investor duped by Mr. Caspersen was a charitable foundation affiliated with an unidentified New York hedge fund that had sunk nearly $25 million in the scheme. An employee at the hedge fund firm invested $400,000 with Mr. Caspersen.

“As alleged, Caspersen engaged in a brazen fraud by raising money under false pretenses and simply stealing the funds,” said Andrew M. Calamari, director of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s New York office. “This action amply demonstrates that even sophisticated institutional investors are not immune to financial scams.”

The S.E.C. said that Andrew Caspersen, a partner at Park Hill, solicited $95 million to invest in a shell company.

PJT Partners, the firm run by the investment banker Paul J. Taubman that now owns Park Hill, said in a statement that it had “terminated” Mr. Caspersen and was cooperating with authorities. The firm said that after learning of potential improper behavior by Mr. Caspersen, it conducted an internal investigation and reported the matter to federal prosecutors in Manhattan.

“Since the inception of our firm, an unconditional principle of integrity has been a core value as we build a lasting franchise,” said the statement from PJT Partners. “Our commitment to clients begins and ends with honesty and transparency, and strict adherence to these values is the absolute cornerstone of our firm.”

Mr. Caspersen’s lawyer, Daniel Levy, was not immediately available for comment.

Mr. Caspersen is a son of Finn M. W. Caspersen, a Wall Street financier and philanthropist who committed suicide in 2009, at a time when he was battling cancer and his name had become embroiled in an overseas tax evasion investigation.

Federal authorities said the scheme began last summer and ended only a few weeks ago. The S.E.C. said in its complaint that Mr. Caspersen had raised money through a fake investment vehicle he set up that sounded similar to the name of an actual investment vehicle, which also was a client of Park Hill.

Mr. Caspersen made up email accounts and invented employees and even went as far as to create a fake domain name, the authorities said.

Operatic Housecalls I LOVE THIS IDEA

Anxious? Stressed? A new art project sends singers to people’s homes to ease their worries. Would an intimate performance help our writer deal with his fears about impending fatherhood?
Opera singer Caroline Kennedy sings to Tim Jonze.

Tim Jonze

Sunday 27 March 2016 11.00 EDT Last modified on Sunday 27 March 2016 19.05 EDT

The soprano reaches a dramatic climax, demonstrating impressive lung power as she sustains the dizzying peak note, before bringing Quando me’n’ vo’ to its close. It is a powerful, emotionally draining performance, and one that seems to resonate around the room for some time after she has finished. Which is why I get up off the sofa and ask her if she would like a cup of tea.

This, as you might have guessed, is not your typical night at the opera – and not only because it’s only just gone 11am. It is called Opera Helps, and is a project dreamed up by the artist Joshua Sofaer. The gist is this: contact the Opera Helps phoneline with a personal problem, and they will endeavour to send a singer to your house. Said singer will briefly discuss the issue with you, select a suitable aria that addresses it, then perform it for you while you relax in familiar surroundings: on a comfortable chair, for instance, or even in bed.

It’s not therapy as such – in fact, they are very keen to stress that their singers are not trained therapists – but the project does aim to help you look at your problem from a new perspective and, hopefully, experience the healing power of music.

“It’s about giving someone the space for reflection, the same way having a chat with a friend might give you fortitude to carry on,” says Sofaer, who found success running the project in Sweden before bringing it to the UK. “I remember one woman contacted us because her husband had a terminal illness and she wanted a shared experience that might help her cope with his passing. That was pretty intense, but the feedback she gave us was really moving – it gave her a strength and a space to focus and cope with bereavement.”

Sofaer’s own opera journey also came about in an unusual way: he was working as a barman at the London Coliseum, and would sometimes catch the English National Opera performing during his shift. He found himself “bitten” by the opera bug, but also aware that this music was not accessible to a lot of people.

‘My front room transforms itself the second Caroline puts on a backing track …’ Photograph: David Bebber for the Guardian

“Opera Helps is offering people a way in,” he says. “In my experience, you either respond to the music or you don’t – I don’t think it is based on your musical education or what class you’re from or how much money you’ve got, which is the common perception. The idea that opera needs an expert audience is a complete misnomer.”

This comes as a relief to me, given that my knowledge of opera is roughly equivalent to my knowledge of the economic forecast for Liechtenstein. It is not supposed to an exam, so I focus on finding a suitable problem for Caroline, my assigned singer, to deal with.

Aware that I can’t have a trained opera professional travel all the way to my house just to reassure me about my car boot’s lock mechanism (unable to open on a cold day – genuinely quite annoying), I opt for one of life’s big themes instead: impending fatherhood. It’s not a problem as such – I definitely want to be a dad, honest! – but anything that plunges you so deeply into the unknown is likely to provide various nagging anxieties ranging from “what happens to all my freedom?” to “how many times am I allowed to drop it before social services arrive?”

Our session begins with a few minutes of chat about the issue, in which I waffle semi-coherently about various baby-related fears. Then it’s over to Caroline to try to offer musical balm. I have no idea what to expect: is there an aria about a man who immediately drops his firstborn on the hospital floor? Did Verdi ever score a stirring ode to reassure someone that they will still be able to watch five back-to-back episodes of Don’t Tell the Bride in their jogging pants? Turns out, probably not. Instead, Caroline takes a broad approach. She identifies that my worries seem to stem from a general lack of confidence, and prescribes Quando me’n vo’ from Puccini’s La Bohème from her menu of musical remedies. It is an aria in which the singer Musetta boldly asserts her desirability in order to win back the painter Marcello’s affections, but given that the words are in Italian, what is really important is the emotional impact of the music.

And that certainly comes across. There is something dramatic about the way my front room transforms itself the second Caroline puts on a backing track from her portable speaker and launches into crystal-clear song. The whole experience is extremely intimate – not just because of where it is taking place, and the subject matter at hand, but also, I realise, because there is something almost primeval about the way an opera singer’s voice cuts through and connects with the human soul.

But does it help me with my problem? Certainly, fatherhood issues have never been further from my mind, although I suspect that has less to do with the healing power of opera and more to do with the fact my head is full of new thoughts, such as: “Well, this is certainly weird,” and “I wonder how long before my neighbours try to have me evicted?”

As an art project, the whole thing is enjoyably surreal, an unusual combination of the stirring and the awkward. But as a way to deal with your problems, that probably depends on what works for you as an individual. As Sofaer says after the session, the process is probably quite self-selecting: if you’re the sort of person who calls an opera helpline, it is probably because you think someone singing you a personal aria is going to be of some benefit. Certainly, you can’t argue with his feedback rate – he says around 70% of participants in Sweden sent back response cards, all of them effusive.

It is a response Sofaer anticipated, because opera is something that has affected him positively, too.

“It is a privilege getting to work with people who have trained their voice in this way,” he says. “The power of hearing one other human being, where all they’ve really got is themselves … that’s something I find very emotionally affecting.”

the moment of crisis is critical

Every day, Adams, 38, listens to his radio scanner and quickly heads to the scene of reported drug overdoses. Timing is everything, and engaging with the family and victim at the moment of crisis is critical, he says.

Bakeys: Edible Eating Tools

Edible Utensils Make Your Mouth, Body And The Planet Happy
Spoon, it’s what’s for dinner.

Elyse Wanshel Trends Writer, The Huffington Post

Narayana Peesapaty, of Hyderabad, India, has baked up a brilliant product. Bakeys are edible spoons, forks and chopsticks you can eat with and then eat:

A researcher explains the sad truth: we know how to stop gun violence. But we don't do it.

We'll only make true progress when we realize that we must focus on reducing crime and improving the criminal justice system at the same time, because they're inextricably intertwined with one another. If you only care about one side of the coin, you're doing a disservice to the people most impacted by both of these issues, which is usually people of color living in poor neighborhoods.

But I do really feel that the story of gun violence in the United States is often a story of young men without many choices doing terrible things to one another. And we need to increase our sense of empathy for these young men. I think that's really critical.

CVS Selected as Most Innovative

CVS Health is an American pharmacy and health care company with nearly 10,000 stores in its network. Formerly CVS Caremark Corporation, the company was rebranded as CVS Health in 2014, and its health-focused business includes pharmacy services, retail, in-store health clinics, and its own Digital Innovation Lab aimed at creating smart devices and apps to improve health care. At a time when competitors like Walgreens are closing stores, CVS is looking to grow its customer base with extra services that explode traditional expectations. At its health clinic subsidiary MinuteClinic, patients can get everything from flu shots to cholesterol screenings to a urinary tract infection diagnosis. The first tools from its Digital Innovation Lab in Boston began rolling out in 2015, including an Apple Watch-compatible mobile app, and a new feature that lets users scan paper prescriptions and insurance cards to fill medications remotely and set reminders to pop pills. The chain also added healthier food choices, including fresh fruit and organic brands, in its aisles. The company banned tobacco products from its stores in late 2014 and even introduced its own smoking cessation program. Up next, CVS is rolling out full-service hearing and optical services and, in a bid to further its patient education program, has partnered with IBM to use Watson's artificial intelligence system to predict which customers need interventions to avoid health crises.

Bucket Brigade

Emptying buckets of rain from the roof leak. We call our house the Cruise Ship.


Blind Rats in a cage charted, graphed, and monitored because fun and freedom is not even considered.

A certain ruthlessness and a sense of alienation from society is as essential to creative writing as it is to armed robbery.

“Never sleep with someone whose troubles are worse than your own.”
― Nelson Algren, A Walk on the Wild Side

“Yet once you've come to be part of this particular patch, you'll never love another. Like loving a woman with a broken nose, you may well find lovelier lovelies. But never a lovely so real.”
― Nelson Algren, Chicago: City on the Make

“Chicago is an October sort of city even in spring.”
― Nelson Algren, Chicago: City on the Make

“Any writer who knows what he's doing isn't doing very much.”
― Nelson Algren

“You don't write a novel out of sheer pity any more than you blow a safe out of a vague longing to be rich. A certain ruthlessness and a sense of alienation from society is as essential to creative writing as it is to armed robbery.”
― Nelson Algren, Nonconformity

“Never play cards with a man called Doc. Never eat at a place called Mom's. Never sleep with a woman whose troubles are worse than your own.”
― Nelson Algren, A Walk on the Wild Side

“... Chicago divided your heart. Leaving you loving the joint for keeps. Yet knowing it never can love you.”
― Nelson Algren, Chicago: City on the Make

“...he said, with sort of a little derisive smile, "How can you walk down the street with all this stuff going on inside you?" I said, "I don't know how you can walk down the street with nothing going on inside you.”
― Nelson Algren

“...a city that was to live by night after the wilderness had passed. A city that was to forge out of steel and blood-red neon its own peculiar wilderness.”
― Nelson Algren, Chicago: City on the Make

“The great trains howling from track to track all night. The taut and telegraphic murmur of ten thousand city wires, drawn most cruelly against a city sky. The rush of city waters, beneath the city streets. The passionate passing of the night's last El.”
― Nelson Algren, Never Come Morning

“And money can't buy everything. For example: poverty.”
― Nelson Algren, A Walk on the Wild Side

“There's people in hell who want ice water.”
― Nelson Algren, The Man With the Golden Arm

“It's the place built out of Man's ceaseless failure to overcome himself. Out of Man's endless war against himself we build our successes as well as our failures. Making it the city of all cities most like Man himself— loneliest creation of all this very old poor earth.”
― Nelson Algren, Chicago: City on the Make

“A book, a true book, is the writer's confessional. For, whether he would have it so or not, he is betrayed, directly or indirectly, by his characters, into presenting publicly his innermost feelings.”
― Nelson Algren, Entrapment and Other Writings

“The hard necessity of bringing the judge on the bench down into the dock has been the peculiar responsibility of the writer in all ages of man.”
― Nelson Algren, Chicago: City on the Make

“There is no way of being a creative writer in America without being a loser.”
― Nelson Algren

“To literary critics a book is assumed to be guilty until it proves itself innocent.”
― Nelson Algren

“When I burn please bury me deep
Somewhere on West Division Street
Put a bottle beneat' my head
'n a bottle beneat' my feet”
― Nelson Algren, Never Come Morning

“He was falling between glacial walls, he didn't know how anyone could fall so far away from everyone else in the world. So far to fall, so cold all the way, so steep and dark between those morphine-coloured walls...”
― Nelson Algren, The Man With the Golden Arm

“The Irish 'n Polacks always get along- didn't ya ever notice? Irish 'n Polacks live on p'tatoes 'n got it in for Hitler, that's why they get along so good; all over the world. Never heard of no war between Poland 'n Ireland, did you? No sir, that's cause we're all Cath'lics.”
― Nelson Algren, Never Come Morning

“Without hesitation, Dove chose the nowhere road. For that was the only place, in his heart of hearts, that he really wanted to go.”
― Nelson Algren, A Walk on the Wild Side

“If Jesus Christ treated me like you do, I’d drive in the nails myself.”
― Nelson Algren, The Man With the Golden Arm

“Our myths are so many, our vision so dim, our self-deception so deep and our smugness so gross that scarcely any way now remains of reporting the American Century except from behind the billboards ...”
― Nelson Algren

“The devil lives in a double-shot", Roman explains himself obscurely. "I got a great worm inside. Gnaws and gnaws. Every day I drown him and every day he gnaws. Help me drown the worm, fellas.”
― Nelson Algren, The Neon Wilderness

“I bet you think fellas are the ones to remember a girl -- don't you?"

He shook his head hurriedly, that he'd always thought that.

"Fellas have all the fun 'n she just sees one right after another, so it seems like HE'D remember her, better 'n SHE'D remember him, only it works the other way around. I ain't forgot one single fella, all these years. But I bet there ain't TWO 'd know me from a bag of bananas this minute.”
― Nelson Algren, Never Come Morning

“The farther away you get from the literary traffic, the closer you are to sources.”
― Nelson Algren

“The less he sees of other writers the more of a writer he will ultimately become. When he sees scarcely anyone except other writers, he is ready for New York.”
― Nelson Algren

“Big-shot town, small-shot town, jet-propelled old-fashioned town, by old-world hands with new-world tools built into a place whose heartbeat carries farther than its shout, whose whispering in the night sounds less hollow than its roistering noontime laugh: they have builded a heavy-shouldered laughter here who went to work too young.”
― Nelson Algren, Chicago: City on the Make

“For people never say anything the same way twice; no two of them ever say it the same. The greatest imaginative writer that ever brooded in a lavender robe and a mellowed briar in his teeth, couldn't tell you, though we try for a lifetime, how the simplest strap-hanger will ask the conductor to be let off at the next stop. ...
It is all for the taking. All the manuals by frustrated fictioneers on how to write can't give you the first syllable of reality, at any cot, that any common conversation can. All the classics, read and re-read, can't help you catch the ring of truth as does the word heard first-hand.”
― Nelson Algren, Entrapment and Other Writings