31 March 2009

Our Planets Disappearing Drinking Water



By Yogi @ flickr, a Canadian photographer, of beautiful Canada

Our Planets Disappearing Drinking Water:

"Scarce Drinking Water

Do you take your drinking water for granted? Water companies deliver it daily. It's inexpensive and readily available - but for how long?"

By Denny Lyon

From Denny: I found a lot of exquisitely beautiful photography to go with the information on this article. It's more interesting than you would think to write about something so simple yet so needed, what we all have in common in life: water.

Note: For any of you who are using this Zemanta software for posting, it just underlined my last name of Lyon. So, out of curiosity I clicked on it and sure enough it takes you to the ancient homeland of my family name: Lyon, France. One of these days I will visit!

Of course, the family made a stop off in Scotland along the way of getting chased out of France about 20 years before the French Revolution. Seems there was a bit of a dust-up with the three Lyon brothers aristocrats trying to convince the King he ought to allow the regular folks a voice in their government. Guess the family finally wore thin on the French king and he banished them.

Of course, then they wore thin on the British king too. Two of the brothers went on to America immediately but my stubborn ancestor and his 16-year-old son decided to stay and make a nuisance of themselves. Something about my 16-year-old ancestor killing the Crown's tax collector. Now that's a real ooops! moment... His older brother sneaked him out of Scotland and on a boat to America. Probably with the admonition: "Go bother your uncles in Boston." The fire brand became part of the American Revolution.

Genealogy can be such a great resource for colorful stories. I always get a charge out of other people's stories of their ancestors. People. You gotta love 'em!

(Scratching my head... now what did all this have to do with an article on water...? Absolutely nothing! It IS Cheeky Wednesday coming up tomorrow... That's my story and I'm sticking to it...

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

30 March 2009

Humor Blog Escape!



Ouch Outrageous Obnoxious And Odd blog has escaped out of the barn like a naughty puppy in need of obedience school training. Sigh... such is life!

Like any puppy this little humor blog only has a few post puddles (got to keep that exuberant puppy metaphor going!). Plenty more to come!

This blog seems to have taken on a life of its own. I believe I am being mocked by my own creation! ;)

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Roundup of Late Night Shows' Funnies



Photo by chucklin @ flickr


Obama's New Slogan

The Tonight Show

Leno: President Obama's so upset that he changed his slogan from "Yes we can" to "Oh, no you don't."


The Late Show

Letterman: They're giving bonuses to executives, the same people who wrecked the company. They're getting bonuses for doing a horrible job. Well, hell, I ought to get one of those.

Real Time

Maher: Wall Street says the 90 percent tax has finally broken them up, they get it, they realize that what they have to do in the future is give out much bigger bonuses.

The Daily Show

[Obama on camera, coughing and very calm]: "Excuse me, I'm choking with ang…er anger here." Stewart [puzzled]: That is you when you are mad?

Jimmy Kimmel

Kimmel: What I really admire about Obama is he doesn't just guess who he thinks will win, but he does something about it. [Video of player on court with announcer]: It looks like the game might be over for Butler Johnson here, with a nice shooting stroke counting on both of the free throws going in-- [Obama figure comes onto court , blocks and waves finger] -- out of nowhere, Barack Obama blocks a shot!



Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

29 March 2009

12 Breeds of Client and How to Work with Them



From Denny: This is pretty funny. It's also true of more than just free lance writing. It holds true for most industries be it a corporation or a developing artist.

People are people and react in a certain predictable manner for their personality types when feeling under pressure. Some people handle pressure well and others, well, don't!

No matter what your industry you can find this useful, especially if you are in sales.

"There are loads of different types of clients out there and chances are at some point you’ll get to meet all of them. So let’s take a look through some typical clients and see if you recognise a few of your own in there!"

By Jack Knight

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

28 March 2009

Video: WordAhead.com Review







Above are examples of the humorous vocabulary-building word cell videos from WordAhead.com

From Denny: Can I tell you this is a free fun video site? Who knew studying for your SAT or ACT, learning a second language or just refreshing your vocabulary could make you laugh and learn at the same time!

This site is also beneficial for anyone who has suffered short-term memory loss such as from long-term stress, a car accident, sports concussion or gradual aging just to name a few. Rehab centers might want to include this site on their link list. This site offers an easier method for re-learning vocabulary than the limitations of memorization.

This little site is just pure delight and keeps you engaged. More importantly, the video word cells, each a contained story in itself, keep you entertained while you are benefiting from a whole-brained teaching approach.

Are you someone who learns best by auditory learning? No problem. Are you someone who learns best by conceptual and visual images? No problem. Are you someone who learns best by the security of organized structure? No problem. And, lastly, are you a person who learns best by an emotional visual story? Again, no problem. Each word cell contains all four brain styles of learning!

The creators of this site are constantly adding new words to the list. They also would like to enlist your help and suggestions of how to improve the navigation of the site. Especially if you are a teacher, are there any study helps which would prove valuable you think they should include? Please take a little time to visit WordAhead.com and feel free to offer up your ideas! They are user-friendly and very glad to hear from you!

BTW, I’m not affiliated with or paid by WordAhead.com. Occasionally, someone contacts me and asks me to review their site. This site happened to be a good complement to The Social Poets, so I was happy to oblige. Besides, when you enjoy playing over at someone else’s site the least you can do is tell the world how much fun you had at their place! :)



Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

27 March 2009

Libations Friday! 27 March 2009

From Denny: To wind down your work week, here are some funny photos and art work, a funny coffee prayer, a coffee poem, and yet another coffee recipe with chocolate ice cream.

I love chocolate ice cream and right now it’s a pollen-filled Spring time in Louisiana while Colorado gets stacked up with snow! Hang the pollen; eat ice cream! It’s the weekend. And I’ve got pollen head right now and just can’t be too serious. I knew pollen was good for something; now I know…

***

From INeedCoffee.com comes a funny from Todd Zapoli:



There is also The Falling Dream cartoon site to check for smiles.

Then there is Bad Bob's Screaming Man on Coffee graphics if you haven't seen them yet or wanted to know who was the artist.



***

Now for the new coffee recipe from VolcanicaCoffee.com!

Mocha Cinnamon Shake

Ingredients:

1 cup brewed gourmet coffee at room temperature

1 cup chocolate ice cream

1 cup milk

1 cup crushed ice

2 cinnamon sticks

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


Directions: Combine the gourmet coffee, ice cream, milk and crushed ice in a blender. Blend it until it is all combined and serve. Pour into two mugs and add cinnamon sticks. Makes 2 servings.

***

Now for an amusing prayer by Anonymous:

The Coffee Prayer

Caffeine is my shepherd; I shall not doze.

It maketh me to wake in green pastures:

It leadeth me beyond the sleeping masses.

It restoreth my buzz:

It leadeth me in the paths of consciousness for its name's sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of addiction,

I will fear no Equal (sugar substitute):

For thou art with me; thy cream and thy sugar they comfort me.

Thou preparest a carafe before me in the presence of Juan Valdez:

Thou annointest my day with pep; my mug runneth over.

Surely richness and taste shall follow me all the days of my life: and

I will dwell in the House of ....... for ever.

***

Coffee Quote and Poem from CocoaJava.com

*** Nancy Astor: "If I were your wife, I would put poison in your coffee."

Sir Winston Churchill: "And if I were your husband, I would drink it." ***

***

From Denny: And since I live in Louisiana, and it’s been raining like a flood lately, here is a poem from the French Quarter in New Orleans where he really has captured the coffee moment in the culture:



Photo by ercwttnn @ flickr

Stopped for a cup in the French Quarter

The ceiling fan above me twirls languidly, dangling…

swaying from the embossed tin ceiling from a century ago

loping shadows cut the muted fluorescence from twelve feet

The resulting flickering makes the scene into a silent movie

piped-in, ancient, scratchy, re-mastered piano jazz heightens

the noirish ease of an afternoon latte, a cloudy, dreary

day in the old part of the old town; caffeinated history

real and imagined, sip after black and white sip

Rain begins to pelt the arching, aching windows as I reach the

bottom of my cup and a dreamer, coffee drinker’s dilemma;

sit for another cup, watching the time and life brew, or

head on out into the rain with a self-promise to return

Unlike the movies, such an answer is not black and white,

simply a compromised black; a cup of French Roast – to go.

And go I do, stepping onto the cobblestoned street, right hand

warmed by the cup, left hand in my pocket, rain dribbling off

the flattened out brim of my hat, I take a steamy sip, and smile.

By Mark Lucker

(Mark is a writer, employment counsleor and coffee junkie!)

Check out the other coffee poems at this site!



Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

26 March 2009

Human Interest News: Cane-Fu Fighting for Elderly



From Denny: Now this is an interesting development for the elderly. They are learning how to use a walking cane, especially designed to be effective against attackers, as a new style of self-defense martial arts.

Here are a few excerpts from the article:

"At the helm of the class is one of the country's most recognized cane fighters, Mark Shuey, a slight man who, at 62, has hair and skin starting to show signs of age. He has traveled from Lake Tahoe, Nev., to teach this group of 16 how to protect themselves from attackers.

"He calls it Cane-Fu.

"Cane fighting classes have popped up all over the country, in part due to the influence of Cane Masters, the company Shuey founded that sells wood canes made of harder, thicker wood, to sustain wear and wider crooks to fit around an attacker's neck. Now, it's being offered at dojos and increasingly in senior centers and retirement communities.

"'You don't have to be powerful, you don't have to be fast,' said Gary Hernandez, who runs the dojo here northeast of Tampa where the session was held and where he teaches cane fighting classes himself. 'It's a piece of hard wood. It hurts...'

"Fitness alone won't ward off those who might hurt them, though, and Shuey talks briefly of recent attacks on elders. His hazel eyes look severe as he points to the cane and delivers his message.

"'When you put this little crook around someone's neck, their whole attitude changes real fast,' he said...

"It takes years to master cane fighting like Hernandez or Shuey, but they say they can teach a senior several crucial moves in an hour. Perhaps more importantly, though, it gives them confidence that can help them escape a dangerous situation...

"It isn't an entirely new use for the cane. In ancient Rome and Egypt, canes were used as weapons. In the 13th century, swinging a cane before a member of royalty would assure your beheading. In the 17th century, canes required a permit.

"'Things changed 200 or 300 years ago. You don't want to take a cane to a gunfight, so the cane became a crutch and it's been visualized as that for the last couple hundred years,' Shuey said. 'Today when you carry a cane, they think you're a gimp.'"

By Matt Sedensky @ AP
Photo by AP




Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

25 March 2009

Cool Pets Award: Willie the Parrot Saves Child!



From Denny: Time to create a new category called the Cool Pets Award. Found this while searching for something else. You can always run across cool articles while researching so I thought I'd share!

Isn't it interesting how this little bird probably only knew a few words - and yet - he knew exactly which two words would get his message out.


Parrot warns owner girl choking on food

DENVER (AP) - A parrot whose cries of alarm alerted his owner when a little girl choked on her breakfast has been honored as a hero.

Willie, a Quaker parrot, has been given the local Red Cross chapter's Animal Lifesaver Award.

In November, Willie's owner, Megan Howard, was baby-sitting for a toddler. Howard left the room and the little girl, Hannah, started to choke on her breakfast. Willie repeatedly yelled "Mama, baby" and flapped his wings, and Howard returned in time to find the girl already turning blue. Howard saved Hannah by performing the Heimlich maneuver but said Willie "is the real hero."

"The part where she turned blue is always when my heart drops no matter how many times I've heard it," Hannah's mother, Samantha Kuusk, told KCNC-TV. "My heart drops in my stomach and I get all teary eyed."

Willie got his award during a "Breakfast of Champions" event Friday attended by Gov. Bill Ritter and Mayor John Hickenlooper.

Story from the AP as carried on the SunJournal.com
Photo by CBS4Denver

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Video: Silliest Cat Rap

If you haven't seen this - it really is cute. Over 2 million people have viewed it. Someone had waaaay too much time on their hands at the graphics studio one day... :)

Funny Mythology


Godchecker.com

From Denny: This has got to be the funniest, yet accurate information, on mythology and ancient religion I’ve ever seen. It will have you laughing so much you will fall off your chair. Definitely a place to visit again and again when the work week gets dull or stressful. These guys are a regular laugh riot!

Here’s a sample of what they had to say about Satan on their page: Satan


"Gods from Middle-Eastern Mythology

Also known as DEVIL, PRINCE-OF-DARKENSS, HA-SATAN, ACCUSER, DIABOLOS, OLD-NICK, STAN

SATAN: The Devil — Mr. All-round Evil Genius and the Adversary of GOD — particularly the Christian variety JEHOVAH.

A rebel angel, he was originally the team leader of the spiritual world, possessing great power and responsibility. But he turned nasty and tried to set himself up as a rival to GOD. As a punishment for his rebellious pride, he was cast out of Heaven, along with a rabble of other rebels.

Now SATAN rules the infernal regions of Hell, with an army of demons to do his bidding. Out of pure malice and vengeance, he aims to overthrow the established order by turning humans against GOD. Using every trick in the book, he spreads evil whispers, plants the seeds of doubt, and tempts the unwary to fall from grace.

SATAN relishes his role of troublemaker and tempter. And let's face it; he's pretty good at his job. No wonder JESUS called him the Prince of this World.

What does SATAN look like? Answer: anything he likes. According to legend, his appearance ranges from the demonic to the smart. He can have the traditional horns, scales, a forked tail, the head of a goat, cloven feet — or turn up as a smooth dude in the latest Italian suit. But there's always more to him than meets the eye; his own eyes can glow like red-hot coals.

As with most things in Christianity, older legends and rival religions had a strong influence on the concept of SATAN. The Persian baddie AHRIMAN was sucked in — and popular Gods such as BAAL were twisted into evil versions such as BEELZEBUB.

This also happened with PAN, a very popular God whose sexual antics horrified the Church so much that they labeled him the Devil. That is why SATAN has goat's legs and horns. If PAN could sue for libel the Church wouldn't have a leg to stand on.

Because the Old Testament has little to say on the subject of SATAN, the early Christians were free to speculate as they formulated their new theology. What wasn't already present in Jewish tradition they could plunder from elsewhere or downright

A rebel angel, he was originally the team leader of the spiritual world, possessing great power and responsibility. But he turned nasty and tried to set himself up as a rival to GOD. As a punishment for his rebellious pride, he was cast out of Heaven, along with a rabble of other rebels.

Now SATAN rules the infernal regions of Hell, with an army of demons to do his bidding. Out of pure malice and vengeance, he aims to overthrow the established order by turning humans against GOD. Using every trick in the book, he spreads evil whispers, plants the seeds of doubt, and tempts the unwary to fall from grace.

SATAN relishes his role of troublemaker and tempter. And let's face it, he's pretty good at his job. No wonder JESUS called him the Prince of this World.

What does SATAN look like? Answer: anything he likes. According to legend, his appearance ranges from the demonic to the smart. He can have the traditional horns, scales, a forked tail, the head of a goat, cloven feet — or turn up as a smooth dude in the latest Italian suit. But there's always more to him than meets the eye; his own eyes can glow like red-hot coals.

As with most things in Christianity, older legends and rival religions had a strong influence on the concept of SATAN. The Persian baddie AHRIMAN was sucked in — and popular Gods such as BAAL were twisted into evil versions such as BEELZEBUB.

This also happened with PAN, a very popular God whose sexual antics horrified the Church so much that they labelled him the Devil. That is why SATAN has goat's legs and horns. If PAN could sue for libel the Church wouldn't have a leg to stand on.

Because the Old Testament has little to say on the subject of SATAN, the early Christians were free to speculate as they formulated their new theology. What wasn't already present in Jewish tradition they could plunder from elsewhere or downright
invent. This was especially popular in medieval times, when cataloging the attributes of demons and angels was virtually a career. You could almost get a government research grant for it.

Case in point: SATAN is also known as LUCIFER. Why? Lucifer is a Latin word meaning Light-Bearer. St JEROME (4th Century) used it to denote the Greek word Heosphoros when he was translating the Bible into Latin. But Heosphoros means 'morning star', and the Biblical passage in question (Isaiah 14) is really just taunting the King of Babylon. ("You think you're as bright as Venus, but God's gonna get ya!")

Still, the name stuck and legends of Lucifer sprang up all over. From Light-Bearer to Prince of Darkness. Poor old VENUS should sue for libel too.

SATAN seems to inspire an eerie fascination and turns up in the most unlikely places. In his devilish guise he leaves bits of himself all over the landscape. Devil's Elbow, Devil's Footprints, Devil's Hollow, Devil's Chimney, Devil's Dyke... We think he just likes to be noticed.

SATAN: The Devil – Mr. All-‘Round Evil Genius and the Adversary of GOD – particularly the Christian variety JEHOVAH."

From Denny: Who said religion can't be fun? Extensive site on all kinds of ancient mythology and religion facts, help for students too. Humor is an effective way to teach ancient history!

Besides, to hear the Pentacostals tell it: Satan hates to be laughed at as that is the way you gain power over him! Laughter rules! Goodness wins the day through laughter. Works for me!







Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Cheeky Quote Day! 25 March 2009




Hey, it’s Wednesday and time for some amusing quotes here at The Social Poets!

Do you enjoy creating your own quotes? Sometimes they just pop out of your mouth, don’t they? Pets are a never ending source of amusement for us and one of my Hurricane Katrina cats is no exception.

Here’s one of my own quotes I came up last month one morning at breakfast with my husband while observing my warrior kitty Miss Black Pearl:

“You know your cat is getting old when she quits hunting in the back yard. Now she hunts at your dinner table.” - Denny Lyon

And in honor of Mother’s Day coming up in May: “Don't forget Mother's Day. Or as they call it in Beverly Hills: Dad's Third Wife Day.” - Jay Leno, comedian, TV host

And wondering if I can keep my General Audiences rating…

“Don't stay in bed, unless you can make money in bed.” - George Burns, American vaudeville and TV comedian

And one of the few things this comedian ever said that could be called General Audiences rating:

“Electricity is really just organized lightning.” - George Carlin, American comedian

Photo of the Blues Brothers dance by smellyknee @ flickr
(you gotta love the names these guys come up with over at flickr!)


Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

24 March 2009

Twitter and Poetry



From Denny: Now I'm remembering why I quit trying to post in real time... the internet is clogged and have been waiting 30 minutes just to post this little note!

I try to make sure at least one post is up per day by scheduling it in the middle of the night when things are quieter on the internet. That doesn't always work as when I wake up to check if things posted correctly I still have to manually publish some posts on various blogs that didn't go up like they were supposed to. It's more fun to post in real time!

Anyway, on to Twitter. Still learning my way around there as it's like walking into a Marti Gras crowd at the height of the season! :)

I learn a lot every time I log on over there. What makes it easier to keep from getting overwhelmed is to get the free software TweetDeck that is still in beta (a work in progress, creating improvements). If you don't have it; get it as it's free too! You can tweet from your own computer without logging on to the Twitter page, saving time and frustration. Simple and very user friendly.

Also, learned a new tidbit for navigating around there: Go to the Twitter search area and type in the hash mark, #haiku, and up pops all the tweets about or done in haiku poetry! What fun! Give it a try!

New Blog Roll listings!



From Denny: Whew! The past week or so I've been busy searching and reading a whole lot of cool blogs all over the world to list over here. So many great choices, so little time... Be sure to scroll down past the posts to view them as I'm sure you will enjoy visiting them too.

What a pleasure it is to be able to write in real time for a change! Though my spelling and typos need work as I would have had this post out 20 minutes ago but for errors editing, sigh... :)


WRITING BLOGS addition:

From the Inside Out - creativity in both writing and painting from a cheerful productive person.


MUSINGS BLOGS:

Square-Peg Reflections
- square peg living in a round hole world. Amusing, mellow writings on a range of subjects.

What I Just Read - book reviews and book lists, thoughts about authors.

a view to inspirations - jump starting your creativity!

A Year in Manhattan - photos and commentary of life in NYC.


SOCIAL ISSUES BLOGS :

Social Hallucinations - from Denmark on a range of interesting thoughts. The title alone is a grabber!




LIFE COACHING BLOGS:

Wings4You
- geared to women

Acapella Soul Journey - creativity inspirations, more thorough take on developing your creativity.


TRAVEL BLOGS, a new category:

Tongue in Cheek - stories collected from a Californian American, married to a Frenchman and living in the south of France.

paris breakfasts - NYC artist on her trips to her beloved Paris, France. Lots of yummy abstract art to see!


Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Roundup of Late Night Shows' Funnies



Earmarks and Bailouts and Fraud, Oh My!

From:
ABC News This Week with George Stephanopoulous


The Late Late Show

Ferguson:
Here's how bad the economy is. "Sesame Street" has had to lay off 67 people. Now all the characters are living in garbage cans.


Jimmy Kimmel Live

Kimmel:
The president said we can't stick with the school calendar that was created during a time when most Americans were farmers. He is right. We need a new school calendar for a time when most Americans are unemployed.


The Tonight Show

Leno:
Citigroup showed a profit and had its best quarter since 2007. They made $8 billion in profit. That just goes to show you, you give a company $45 billion in government bailout money, and they'll show you how to turn it into $8 billion.

The Colbert Report

Colbert:
Today he announced he is ending the abuse of earmarks! [Cut to graphic bill.] Then, to show he means business, he signed an appropriations bill containing nearly 9,000 earmarks... Now, the bill was written months ago and the president signed it reluctantly. You can tell by looking at his signature [full screen signature with a big frownie face in O of Obama].


Late Night

Letterman:
Bernie [Madoff] and his wife, Ruth, have been in the penthouse. They got together and said we have $69 million. We'd like to hang on this $69 million. They said are you nuts? This is not fraud money. This is money we saved by switching to Geico.

23 March 2009

Developing a New Blog




Ouch Outrageous Obnoxious and Odd is the new blog's title. "Do ya think?" you can guess what it's about? :)

I keep finding outrageous humor everywhere I turn so I thought I'd start collecting it into one spot. Humor really does take the edge off the work week!

It wll be released out of the barn in a few weeks, so stay tuned. Trying to collect enough entertaining goodies to keep things interesting for you.

And if you have some favorite funny sites and pages you would like me to include, please pass it along! Glad to hear from you!

You can email me: Denny Lyon - warriorspearl@gmail.com.

Have a great day everyone!

The Dancing Man



Matt Harding around the world known as The Dancing Man. Photo by jonklinger @ flickr

From Denny: From my friend, Christoph over at his blog, The Crusty Curmudgeon, comes a delightful post about how Joy can transform your life if only for a moment - and how long lasting that wonderful feeling really can linger beyond your expectations.

Check out this amusing post from a tough New York City writer:

"It’s a different kind of day here in The Curmudgeon Offices, as, for a change, we are reporting on a happy story. That’s instead of my normal negativity and cynical observations and thinly veiled sexual references. Today, we are celebrating The Dancing Man. First we walked the walk, then talked the talk, and now we are dancing the dance. And it is a delightful, goofy dance...

... Take a look at it. It is short and captivating. I called a full-staff meeting this morning and showed everyone the video, and then I did the dance for them. They loved it of course, to see the big boss being so silly, but they wanted to do the dance too. And they did."

By Christoph Reilly @ The Crusty Curmudgeon

***

And for more of that good feeling, here's a "post again" from last week:



The Joy Makers: Feel the Love:

"Improv group brings joy to surprised thousands

Stop here for free joy, hugs, love and a happiness high that will last for days!" 9 videos featured to lift your spirits for sure!

By Denny Lyon

From Denny: For just a little while, forget about job loss, the economy and all your worries. These funny videos done by some terrific improvisation folks is well worth the laughing time!

I pulled them all together into one article as your go-to place when you need cheering up from a lousy day or when your thoughts turn to depression. There is no way to stay depressed after watching these great YouTube videos.

Photo by -Gep- @ flickr

22 March 2009

Stress Relief

Wow, just what you need on a Monday morning - or after a work day. The stress just slides right on out like it was never there!

Ten Quotations for Writers, and other Creators



From Denny: Below is a snippet of a recent post from life coach Bruce Elkin. Check out his blog for more quotes and great advice!

Ten Quotations for Writers, and other Creators

"If there's a book you really want to read but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it." ~ Toni Morrison

"Vitality shows in not only the ability to persist but the ability to start over." ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald

And my personal favorite!

"Writing is an act of generosity. Just turn the 'M' in 'Me' over and make it a 'We'." ~ Annie Dillard

21 March 2009

Seven Deadly Sins: What To Avoid When Writing Poetry



Seven Deadly Sins

"Although you can take many steps to strengthen your writing and to make it captivating, some easily avoidable mistakes can detract from or possibly destroy any positive effect your efforts may have. We have chosen seven of the most destructive mistakes that you should avoid at all costs in your poetry. These errors—or the 'seven deadly sins' of writing—will do enough harm to your verse that no amount of formal perfection will counteract them."

From Denny: Poetry.com has some good advice for veteran writers who may have fallen into a rut of their writing. It's also simple and good advice for those aspiring writers looking to improve their craft.

20 March 2009

Libations Friday! 20 March 2009



Photo by once and future @ flickr

***

It's TGIF again! Time for a new coffee recipe. And a poem - this one an original I finally finished revising this week.

This new coffee recipe site I found is delightful! Pay a visit! There is more going on than just coffee drinks. Robin has an interesting section of "brain food." What a good tie-in to drinking coffee.

With all that caffeine stimulating our brains might as well do some higher brain function with it, right? There are links to puzzles, informative sites, IQ sites, you name it. I will be checking them out and linking some of them here for your convenience. They should prove useful for research and writing.

This coffee recipe is new to me and sounded really good, especially since there is still cold weather around the nation this week.

***

Mediterranean Hot Coffee Recipe

From:
Robins Coffee Recipes

Yield: 8 servings.


Ingredients:

8 cups strong coffee

1/3 cup sugar

1/4 cup chocolate syrup

Tie spices into cheesecloth to contain:

1/2 teaspoon aniseed

20 cloves

4 cinnamon sticks

***

whipped cream

orange and lemon twists


Directions:

Place coffee, sugar, chocolate syrup, aniseed, cloves and cinnamon into a sauce pan.

Heat to 200-degrees F. over medium heat.

Strain into mugs.

Top with whipped cream and twists.

***



Photo by Thelma1 Divient @ flickr


On to the poem. Let me set the scene for you.

Hurricane Katrina


Hurricane Katrina happened 29 August 2005. At that time half of New Orleans ran for cover and came in like locusts to the next largest and closest metro area in Louisiana: my town and capital city of Baton Rouge. Our population swelled fast and furious. With it came a host of problems.

Our grocery stores looked like bombs had gone off as the people came storming in so fast and so desperate that they raided the shelves without thought. They just grabbed at whatever was closest to them they were so traumatized. Fortunately, people like me anticipated that move and stored up our pantries for a month with dried and canned foods.

It was weeks getting properly supplied again for both food and gas. Every time we went to a gas station it was pumped dry. It was perplexing. Where were all these people living? They bought up every house in Baton Rouge and the real estate market bumped up for a while with their demand. (Then it went down again, hurting the market 3 years later when the New Orleans folks went back to their old home, unable to make the transition to living somewhere new. Old habits die hard.)

New Orleans drivers

For months after Hurricane Katrina they drove like maniacs on the roads causing hundreds of accidents daily. It was a real art of zigging and zagging in and out of bizarre traffic just to make it two miles down the road to the grocery store. It was like bumper cars without the fun.

Body shops were running at full capacity because these guys didn't know how to drive safely and their high stress levels didn't help the situation. They drove like that in New Orleans so they thought they could drive like that in orderly polite give gap and take gap Baton Rouge. The two cultures didn't mix well to say the least.

It was the norm of the day for me to avoid at least 8 accidents just going to the grocery store. One day I counted 18 near misses, all for a 10 minute ride. I knew sooner or later my number was going to be up as the percentages had to run against me eventually.

Four months later my car accident

When my time came, 2 Jan 2006, about four months after the hurricane, it didn't matter how much skill I had in defensive driving, I was boxed in with no where to go to get out of his way. An elderly man on medication passed out briefly and rammed into me as I was sitting still waiting to turn left into my neighborhood. I saw him in my rear view mirror.

It's amazing how fast your brain can calculate various scenarios and none of them were good. Every one of those scenarios dictated that someone was going to die or end up severely injured. I had my husband on the passenger's side and he would have been badly injured at best if I took a chance on that left turn.

We were on a curve, on a highway with no shoulders and the speed of people coming at us was 55 mph. There was oncoming traffic, a ditch next to my husband and a high brick wall if I took the chance of turning. It didn't help any that a young mother and her 7 year old in the front seat were that oncoming traffic.

So, the best thing to do was the thing I and no one else would want to do: take the hit. I told my husband to brace his head and then I prepared myself to keep the car on the road when I passed out. It's pretty cool how you can get your brain to program your kinetic memory to take over when you need it.

Make the best of a bad situation, minimize injuries

What did I do? Took my foot off the brake to lessen the impact with the idea that the impact would push the car ahead slowly so I could get to a small patch of shoulder to pull off the road. I moved my foot away from the gas pedal and poised it above the brake with the idea that as I passed out and fell forward from the jerking motion my foot would come back down on the brake to stop the momentum of the car's advance to keep us from drifting into oncoming traffic. In short, I did pass out for some time but all the preparations worked. My husband turned to me after it was over and told me what a good job I had done only to realize I was out.

The old man was going at least 50 mph when he hit. Fortunately, it was a German car and a uni-frame so the energy that felt like a freight train was circling around and around until the shuddering finally stopped. I thought for sure the car was going to split in two but it didn't.

Three year journey to full healing

Anyway, it was three years to heal completely of the nerve damage, something doctors always tell you can't be done. Well, I did heal completely. It did take 9 months just for my brain to wake up all the way. Then it took time for the bone fractures and nerves and muscle spasms to finish healing.

The stages the brain goes through are, well, just plain bizarre to experience. The short term memory loss is frustrating. Eventually, I retrained my brain and remembered most of what I had collected over decades since it was now stored in new places since the old pathways to my brain's info files were forever changed.

The reality is for the brain is it's a lot like a cyclone went into your house and threw all your books off their shelves. Some you can figure out where to put back, others are a mystery and others are lost forever. Sometimes you don't recognize familiar places or foods, all kinds of crazy things. In time the brain rights itself but the process is spooky.

Spiritual development integral to full recovery

The smartest thing I ever did was spiritual development years ago. With meditations and the like I was able to cooperate with my brain to help heal everything. I also could watch internally just what all the brain does when it has free rein. My brain went and did a complete diagnostic and methodically went through each body's system and re-calibrated everything.

It was an agonizing slow and long process yet I came out the better for it all. And no, I'm not angry at the guy who hit me. Forgiveness and jettisoning anger is the very reason I was successful in a complete healing.

Every day people experience brain injury whether from a car accident like I had, maybe something else. Our soldiers in Iraq experience worse brain trauma.

First attempt to describe what the brain experiences
The following poem was my first attempt at trying to describe to you what the experience is like when the brain is healing from injury. This is what goes on internally on the spiritual level of perception. Most of how I view the world is from the inside out anyway. I've always been a spiritual person, a mystic.

***



Photo by muha... @ flickr

***

The Art of Waiting


Opening the quiet inner dark
Deafening silence creeps onward
Surrounded, cradled by softened glowing light

Skimming Mind graces
Circling ever expanding horizon
Surrounded, vast ocean gently rocking the open boat

Lifted slowly on murmuring waves
Passed side to side by unseen hands
Rippling outward infinite horizon

Bright light not searing
Deep water not threatening
No shore from or to

Hours tiptoe
Months encircle
Years feel weepy yearning

Resting motionless body
Mind restless, fitfully unsettled
Awake but not quite

The Art of Waiting

Until one day Time defined
Nine months had passed
Exact to the day

My brain woke up to real Time
No longer half-asleep, not performing repairs
I awoke complete, renewed: healed

There is an Art to Waiting


Denny Lyon
Copyright 1 July 2008
All Rights Reserved

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

19 March 2009

Natasha Richardson mourned as a 'wonderful woman'



"Tributes have begun to pour in from across the show business generations for Natasha Richardson, the Tony Award-winning actress who died after suffering a head injury on a ski slope.

"She was a wonderful woman and actress and treated me like I was her own," said Lindsay Lohan, who as a preteen starred with Richardson in a remake of "The Parent Trap" in 1998. "My heart goes out to her family. This is a tragic loss."

Richardson fell during a private lesson Monday at a ski resort in Quebec. She was not wearing a helmet. The 45-year-old actress was seemingly fine afterward, but about an hour later, she complained that she didn't feel well. She was hospitalized Tuesday in Montreal and later flown to a hospital in New York.

Alan Nierob, the Los Angeles-based publicist for Richardson's husband, Liam Neeson, confirmed her death Wednesday without giving details on the cause."

By HILLEL ITALIE @ AP

From Denny: Her passing sure is surreal. What is even more strange is this business of the collective soul awareness. I scheduled a poem on Monday to appear for Friday where I wrote with a forward about, you guessed it, brain injury, this time my own suffered from a car accident where I couldn't write for over two years.

The poem for Friday is what it's like to suffer a brain injury and how you perceive experiencing a 9 month long ordeal for the brain to awaken to full consciousness. I'm extremely lucky to have fully recovered considering the high velocity impact when the brain is only geared to sustain injuries at 15 mph. See my latest post on The Soul Calendar blog for that article about brain injury.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Natasha's family, especially her young children, and friends. She will be missed by many yet welcomed into Heaven. I always enjoyed her hearty laugh for it was so genuine and contagious you couldn't help but laugh with her. Natasha, you are a class act!

***

Comment from Patrick:

The Lasting Tribute website has updated its memorial pages to include Natasha Richardson: LastingTribute.Co.UK

It's a respectful memorial to Natasha and somewhere to pay tribute to the family's fortitude at this difficult time.

EVERY comment is monitored so that nothing offensive or inappropriate is published.

March 19, 2009 9:02 AM

***

From Denny: Thank you for this information, Patrick, much appreciated!

Louisiana Culture: Sicilian Tradition of St. Joseph's Altar



Louisiana Culture: Sicilian Tradition of St. Joseph's Altar: "This is a lesson from hundreds of years ago, still celebrated today, of what it is to give to others even when you are in your time of need. The act of gratitude has been with us for generations. 9 recipes."

From Denny: I started out writing this for the recipes to place on my Comfort Food From Louisiana blog as just a post. Before I knew it I was researching a centuries old tradition of gratitude and it morphed into an article!

18 March 2009

First Family To Plant White House Veggie Garden

Will the Obama veggie garden planted on the White House grounds look like this hanging garden?



Photo by me'nthedogs' @ flickr

Or will it look like this of a more formal attire?



Photo by Joe Shlabotnik @ flickr

From Denny:

Hey! This IS Cheeky Quote Day at The Social Poets blog! What's better than a real news story?

Went looking over at flickr creative commons for regular veggie garden photos and then the humor bug poked me so I put up these cute photos. Thanks to the great photographers over at flickr's creative commons for making their photos available to online writers like me!

"ABC News' Brian Hartman Reports: President Obama's latest shovel-ready project is close to home -- in fact, right in his own yard. In an effort to promote healthy eating, the first family will be planting a vegetable garden right on the White House grounds.

ABC News' Ann Compton and Sunlen Miller report that the new White House vegetable garden will be dug up and planted on the South grounds of the White House -- near the fountain but out of view of the main house.

Though the 16-acre complex is maintained by the National Park Service, one worker who preferred to remain anonymous assured ABC News that National Park Service staff won't do the sowing and planting. The White House residence staff will handle that.

As first reported online by food writer Eddie Gehman Kohan, who reports on food issues related to the Obamas, First Lady Michelle Obama told Oprah Winfrey's "O" magazine, 'We're … working on a wonderful new garden project.'

In the April issue of the magazine, Mrs. Obama tells Winfrey, 'We want to use it as a point of education, to talk about health and how delicious it is to eat fresh food, and how you can take that food and make it part of a healthy diet.'

A variety of organic food and sustainable agriculture advocates have been pressing the Obamas to plant such a garden."

Roundup of Late Night Shows' Funnies



Lampooning the Budget Blues

The Tonight Show

Leno:
They're leaning towards the Swedish model for banks. You know, I've got a better idea. How about opening banks with all Swedish models. That's how banks should go.


Jimmy Kimmel Live

Kimmel:
The spending package passed with almost no Republican support, but Obama said he's focused on bringing real bipartisanship to government. He sent every Republican a jar of peanuts, which I thought was nice.


The Late Show

Letterman:
Here's how bad things are California. They've canceled the next three mud slides. That's how bad…

The Late Late Show

Ferguson: It was very bad news for Sarah Palin. Good news and bad news. The bad news was the IRS says she owes thousands of dollars in back taxes. The good news is she now qualifies to be in Obama's Cabinet.

The Tonight Show

Leno: California lawmakers have been pulling all-nighters, trying to pass the budget. They're literally sleeping there. [Video of lawmakers asleep, with voiceover: "As night stretched into morning, the building lockdown turned the Capitol into an unwilling slumber party. Democratic leaders seeking a breakthrough for this historic interest..." (Leno sneaks in to puts sleeping lawmakers' hands in warm water).]

Cheeky Quote Day! 18 March 2009



Photo by brokinhrt2 @ flickr

From Denny: If it's Wednesday, it's Cheeky Quote Day here at The Social Poets blog! Enjoy!

The folks over at flickr continue to amuse me so I thought you might enjoy some chuckles, giggles and pure silliness too! The cat in the sink is named Fatso by his owners, a sweet kitty who just loves to sleep in the bathroom sink.

I've known a few kitties like that in my lifetime as cats are always expanding and exploring their territories, sort of like humans, hmmm... When was the last time you humans slept in the bathtub? Probably not since your college days and pledging some club! Cheeky Quote Day is back again this Wednesday to keep you going through the work week, enjoy!

***

“Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac?”

- George Carlin, American comedian, actor and author, especially noted for his political and black humor and his observations on language, psychology, and religion along with many taboo subjects.

***

“Oh, you hate your job? Why didn't you say so? There's a support group for that. It's called EVERYBODY, and they meet at the bar.” - Drew Carey, American comedian, actor, and game show host.

***

“Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you criticize them, you are a mile away from them and you have their shoes.”

- Jack Handey, an American humorist best known for his Deep Thoughts, a large body of surrealistic one-liner jokes, as well as his "Fuzzy Memories" and "My Big Thick Novel" shorts.

Many people have the false impression that Jack Handey is not an actual person, but a character created by Saturday Night Live or a pen name used by National Lampoon.

***

“If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments.” - Earl Wilson, American athlete

***

And... from the crabby lady herself:



The cartoon is from: Squiffy's House of Fun & Laughter for Multiple Sclerosis. If you are able to donate $1 or more to their cause please do so, thank you! They offer lots of funny cartoons in the hopes you will donate.

17 March 2009

Forms of Poetic Expression: Haiku



Photo by morbuto @ flickr


"Three unrhymed lines of poetry, which have five, seven, and five syllables respectively, compose the haiku, a form that usually presents seasonal, natural imagery in a minimalistic but meaningful way.

At the same time that Shakespeare was writing his sonnets and plays, the form we call haiku had begun to take root in Japan. Haiku evolved from the initial verse, or hokku, of longer, linked verse called renga na haikai, which was written jointly by poets at social gatherings or on ceremonious occasions.

One poet would start the verse with a few lines, then another would contribute the next few, and so forth. Renga na haikai written during ceremonies might contain thousands of verses contributed by many different poets in turn.

The hokku, often striking in its imagery, consisted of three phrases; eventually, people began to regard this initial verse as a poetic form in its own right, distinct from renga na haikai. By the nineteenth century, the word “haiku” (a hybrid of hokku and haikai) had come into use.

Traditionally and ideally, a haiku presents a pair of contrasting images, one suggestive of time and place, the other a vivid but fleeting observation. Working together, they evoke mood and emotion. The poet does not comment on the connection but leaves the synthesis of the two images for the reader to perceive. -- Merriam-Webster’s Encyclopedia of Literature."

16 March 2009

Roundup of Late Night Shows' Funnies




From ABC News' This Week with George Stephanopoulous


Tonight Show

Leno: We gave them $165 billion. Now we're giving them $30 billion. You know what AIG stands for? "And It's Gone!"


Colbert Report

Colbert: I get one of these every month from my broker, all right, this is looking okay. This is -- oh my god!! [portfolio bursts into flame].


Late Night

Letterman: The guy is saying it's a good time to buy stocks. So here's what you do, instead of that latte you buy in the morning, pick yourself up a thousand shares of GM.


Tonight Show

Leno: The Obama family finally getting their dog. Kevin: Oh, great. Jay: They're getting their dog, yeah. They say they're getting a Portuguese water dog. Kevin: Really? Jay: And today Rush Limbaugh said he hopes the dog fails!


Real Time

Maher: No wonder Obama has gray hair. That was the big story in the paper yesterday. Did you see that? Obama now has grey hair. Wow, now his hair isn't black enough!


Colbert Report

Colbert: He got Sasha and Malia a new swing set on the South Lawn. Adorable. Jimmy, put this on a full frame. It's got a climbing wall, a tire swing and in the back there's a slide so you can pretend you're the Dow Jones index.

The Joy Makers: Feel the Love



The Joy Makers: Feel the Love:

"Improv group brings joy to surprised thousands

Stop here for free joy, hugs, love and a happiness high that will last for days!" 9 videos featured to lift your spirits for sure!

By Denny Lyon

From Denny: For just a little while, forget about job loss, the economy and all your worries. These funny videos done by some terrific improvisation folks is well worth the laughing time!

I pulled them all together into one article as your go-to place when you need cheering up from a lousy day or when your thoughts turn to depression. There is no way to stay depressed after watching these great YouTube videos.

Photo by -Gep- @ flickr

New Funny Fad



Offbeat News from EnvironmentalGraffiti.com:

Russian ice bungee jumping! What will they think of next? These folks have been cooped up inside the house too long this winter...:)



15 March 2009

Desktop Theme: Twinkling Teal Twilight



Desktop Theme for St. Patrick's Day and Spring

St. Patricks Day without the cheesy holiday stuff – lots of intense green but classier. Makes you think of Ireland and Spring time!

From: aathemes.com


Reblog this post [with Zemanta]
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Recent Posts and Archive