A few years ago, I was working on a story about a Catholic priest who travels with the Ringling Brothers circus. Cleveland was the closest the circus would come to the Twin Cities for quite some time, so I enlisted my friend Tim to join me, and early one morning we piled into my Toyota for the 14-hour drive across the Midwest. In our attempt to alleviate the tedium of a long drive, we started making fun of everything.
my name changed to protect the … guilty, i guess. i’ve told this story, and others from this two day trip numerous times. mary jo is the kind of friend who you swear was your sister. like you both grew up in the same house, but didn’t know it. so looking forward to seeing my friend/sister tonight.
“It’s Okay to be Neither,” By Melissa Bollow Tempel
Alie arrived at our 1st-grade classroom wearing a sweatshirt with a hood. I asked her to take off her hood, and she refused. I thought she was just being difficult and ignored it. After breakfast we got in line for art, and I noticed that she still had not removed her hood. When we arrived at the art room, I said: “Allie, I’m not playing. It’s time for art. The rule is no hoods or hats in school.”
She looked up with tears in her eyes and I realized there was something wrong. Her classmates went into the art room and we moved to the art storage area so her classmates wouldn’t hear our conversation. I softened my tone and asked her if she’d like to tell me what was wrong.
“My ponytail,” she cried.
“Can I see?” I asked.
She nodded and pulled down her hood. Allie’s braids had come undone overnight and there hadn’t been time to redo them in the morning, so they had to be put back in a ponytail. It was high up on the back of her head like those of many girls in our class, but I could see that to Allie it just felt wrong. With Allie’s permission, I took the elastic out and re-braided her hair so it could hang down.
“How’s that?” I asked.
She smiled. “Good,” she said and skipped off to join her friends in art.
Trace Beaulieu and Mary Jo Pehl, who along with writing for MST3K played Crow/Dr. Clayton Forrester and Pearl Forrester respectively, will be coming to the Wilde Roast Cafe to talk about their new books. For Beaulieu, it’s an illustrated collection of dark and funny poetry titled Silly Rhymes for Belligerent Children, which was published last year. For Pehl, it’s a recently released collection of humorous essays drawn from her life, Employee of the Month and Other Big Ideas.
this is tonight. i’m hosting. gonna be a good time.
anyone else feel overwhelmed all the time? i’ve been trying (mentally) to pare down my commitments, to simplify. but every time i think i’m sucessfully dropping one major project, two more take its place. the time immediately following a meeting is when my mind races with ideas to implement for that meeting’s projects, but before i can, i’m off to another meeting for another project — the freshness of the ideas fades, dulls, and eventually just drifts away. company branding, company fundraising, company programming, other company fundraiser, board development, other org media strategy, marketing brainstorms, content, website redesign, photos, copy, promotional printing, campaign printing, pitch books, show concepts, scripts, other company event planning, video production… all the while not actually doing any of these really well because i’m constantly overcomitted. and yeah, all this is for three orgs i work for essentially for free. this doesn’t include a stich of work i do at my day job.
this isn’t complaining, this is a plea for empathy. i’m not the only one who does this, am i? my only hope is to accept that it will always be this way, or make strides to pare down for real. posting this is a call to hold me accountable. if goals not published only succeed 2% of the time, and goals published succeed 85% of the time … well, then consider this a chance to say ‘neener-neener’ if i’m making the same statements in a year.
A man in Vermont is accused of vandalizing his ex-girlfriend’s car. He would have gotten away with carving the word “slut” into her car, except that he misspelled it as “sult”. The woman identified him as the likely perpetrator, so the police called the man into their station to question him:
Police called Hall into the station and issued him a citation. Hall denied any involvement with the vandalism, but when asked to write the sentence “You are a slut,” on a piece of paper, Hall wrote “You are a sult,” instead. The misspelling matched that of the vandalism.
“Our belief is not a belief. Our principles are not a faith. We do not rely solely upon science and reason, because these are necessary rather than sufficient factors, but we distrust anything that contradicts science or outrages reason. We may differ on many things, but what we respect is free inquiry, open-mindedness, and the pursuit of ideas for their own sake. We do not hold our convictions dogmatically… We are not immune to the lure of wonder and mystery and awe: we have music and art and literature, and find that the serious ethical dilemmas are better handled by Shakespeare and Tolstoy and Schiller and Dostoyevsky and George Eliot than in the mythical morality tales of the holy books. Literature, not scripture, sustains the mind and—since there is no other metaphor—also the soul.”—Christopher Hitchens (via kateoplis)
“We establish no religion in this country, we command no worship, we mandate no belief. Nor will we ever. Church and state are, and must remain, separate. All are free to believe or not believe, all are free to practice a faith or not, and those who believe are free and should be free, to speak of and act on their belief. At the same time as our constitution prohibits state religion, establishment of it protects the free exercise of all religions. And walking this fine line requires government to be strictly neutral.”—
I disagree with so much of what this man did and stood for, but his words here are to be commended.