College Search Fun: Dirty Dirty Hippies, Elephant Girls and Walmart Oh My!

There is enough hilarious college slam content in the ether to start a blog devoted to candid student reviewery. But who has time? Some of my favorites today, from Students Review, offer balance to the admissions polish. Oberlin (Boy and I just visited and were wowed by the art museum—Monet, Hopper, Arbus and antiquities—and a phenomenalContinue reading “College Search Fun: Dirty Dirty Hippies, Elephant Girls and Walmart Oh My!”

Beautiful Things Out The Dust

Since I’m eyebrow-deep in thesis finalization, blog writing just ain’t gonna happen anytime soon. In the meantime, this song keeps me going. You gotta love a cello, xylophone and guitar with stripped-down vocals. I hope it soothes you as much as it does me. (See lyrics, below.) “Beautiful Things” All this pain I wonder ifContinue reading “Beautiful Things Out The Dust”

Guest Post From The Tolkien Scholar In My House: English to Orc (Orkish?) and Back

For those of you who wish to learn Orkish, a less-pretty language spoken by Orcs, Trolls, and some Men in Middle-Earth in the Third Age. Orkish dialects were usually vulgar forms of the Black Speech of Mordor, the language written on the Ring. These words are scrounged from what little Tolkien wrote of the Orkish language as well as some reconstructions by Tolkien linguist David Salo.

A Pleasant Day to Be My Kids: How To Throw Off An Abductor—Make A Scene

I don’t know what it is about being sick that sends the mind into the dark places, but moments ago as I drove home my sweet innocent, exercise-flushed daughter from her bball game, and my son from the dropping off library materials (Citizen Kane blu-ray and some evolution art book), it occurred to me thatContinue reading “A Pleasant Day to Be My Kids: How To Throw Off An Abductor—Make A Scene”

Praise Craze Part 2: Us and Them, “Love Take Me-Love Take Me Over,” Especially When Faced With A Smoking Handicap Parking Tag Fraud

So these ideas (you know, from Part 1 wherein I sang Amazing Grace with a naked stranger) began pinging around inside my head the other morning as I tooled around in my car between the bank and Target. In an effort to refocus my thoughts from Twitter, kid worries, my thesis and job woes onto Something BiggerContinue reading “Praise Craze Part 2: Us and Them, “Love Take Me-Love Take Me Over,” Especially When Faced With A Smoking Handicap Parking Tag Fraud”

Praise Craze Part 1: Singing Amazing Grace Naked In the Shower With a Naked Stranger

Certain church types are really into praise music. They engage in a practice that must strike non-churchies as silly, ridiculous, and maybe even a little embarrassing. They—okay, we—have this bizarre habit of singing at full voice, under the steeple with of all the peeple and also within the privacy of our own earbuds, songs to proclaim doctrinal tenetsContinue reading “Praise Craze Part 1: Singing Amazing Grace Naked In the Shower With a Naked Stranger”

Adventures in Parenting Jack: Translating Halldór Laxness (Say HUH?)

I was working on a meditative essay to post on this here writey blog, but the following Facebook status update by my dear son, pictured below (in what I think should be his online dating profile picture, should he ever online-date in his twenties), derailed me. You’ll understand why. Oh, and as any good anglophile, he punctuates the UK way. Also, why do I even try to write? OY, this kid:

Writer’s Block Ain’t No Thang

Writer’s block is bullocks. That’s what I always thought. Plumbers don’t get plumber’s block, that’s what this guy taught me—along with the discipline of writing daily. And also, carpenters don’t wait for a muse, they just pick up the hammer, the nail, and pound. Writer’s block, I have always been convinced even before this guyContinue reading “Writer’s Block Ain’t No Thang”

Those Christians. And These Strip Clubs.

Originally posted on Hello:
*This post was written while on assignment with World Next Door: a digital social justice travel magazine. Check out our website (www.worldnextdoor.org) for more information and download our most recent issue! This blog became an excerpt of this feature story our Las Vegas magazine issue about The Cupcake Girls, published in…

It’s Not Flashy, It’s Not the Himalayas Or Vegas; BUT Giving Back (and not) Can Happen Here and Small

Brooke and Jeff are taking a year away from their real jobs as social worker and physical therapist to travel the world writing and photographing for a social justice travel magazine—first to Rwanda, then Cambodia, Nepal, Vegas and Cuba. Kind of kicks the shit out of the cans of creamed corn and kidney beans I plunked into a grocery bag and placed on my front porch for a local church to pick up for their food drive a few Sundays ago.