Sunday, February 21, 2010

Great reads:

Keeping up with online journals can be tricky.

With printed journals the latest issue appears in my mailbox, signaling Hey! Read Me! I eagerly rip the packaging off and am left holding evidence: a shiny cover with, more likely than not, a cool graphic of some sort; pages that are sometimes creamy colored, sometimes stark white. And the smell! Paper, ink. Glorious! I guess I'm a bit old fashioned in that regard.

I need to find a better system to keep up with online journals. What they lack in real, hold-in-your-hands evidence, they make up for in instant gratification. I can navigate to their site and wham! just like that I can read a story. Or two. Or five. No waiting for the mailman. No garbage to dispose of. No adding to stacks of journals that threaten to topple over with a gust of wind. Something to be said for that.

Here are some great stories to check out, online:

At Night Train: Tattoos Alive by Lydia Ship. I read this almost 2 weeks ago and it has stayed with me. Such creativity!

At Night Train: Watching Stanley Kowalski in the TV Room of Belle Haven by Jeanne Holtzman. Wonderful voice.

At Staccato Fiction: Almost Shaped by David Erlewine. This was published a few months ago but I just stumbled across it recently. Wonderful, tender story. So much is said in such a small space.

At Smokelong Quarterly: What Passes for Normal by Michelle Reale. There's a sad, haunting quality to this story that has stayed with me.

Go on... check them out!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Supernova, Red Giant

I watched a show on the National Geographic channel last night about the Hubble telescope and, man, the pictures it's sending back are awesome. And the things I learned! I know I've heard all this before but, for some reason, it didn't stick. Until now. What I learned:

* The Crab Nebula (who hasn't heard of this, right?) is the result of a supernova that occurred in 1054.
* The stuff flung out into space as the result of a supernova contains the building blocks of new stars, new planets, new galaxies.
* Supernovas occur when a star (like our own sun) runs out of fuel and explodes.
* Estimates are that our sun will run out of fuel in about 5 billion years. Seems we ought to have figured out how to hop a spaceship to another galaxy by then!
*Our sun won't explode, though, because it's too small (supernovas result from stars that are - at a minimum - 4 times larger than our sun). Instead, our sun will turn into a Red Giant: it will heat up and expand outward, causing temperatures on Earth to reach 1000 degrees. As it continues to expand, it will incinerate the planets, one by one, until it engulfs the entire solar system.

I know this stuff isn't for everyone (my husband walked out of the room after watching just 5 minutes!), but it flips my trigger as they say. The possibilities! The things we don't yet know! The things we can't yet see: dark matter (the stuff that holds galaxies and universes together), dark energy (the stuff that's causing the universe to expand). Maybe I should have been a scientist.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Two days ago I was in the family room watching TV. I happened to look out the window and saw a daffodil shoot poking through the soil. I was thrilled for surely that meant spring was coming. Do you hear that loud, obnoxious laughing? Do not be alarmed... it's only Mother Nature. It snowed yesterday for nearly 24 hours straight, dumping 12 or 14 inches of snow (I lost count but, really, does another couple of inches matter at this point?) on us. We had to shovel the driveway 3 separate times. THREE!! My poor little daffodil.

Last year's hydrangea bloom still hanging on...

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


Here are a couple of random musings from the day:

- I was running on the treadmill (okay, running might be an overstatement...jogging? yes, jogging), something that cannot be done without music. Picture original Aerosmith, 90's alternative, vintage REO Speedwagon, Kings of Leon, and this: Jason Mraz's "If It Kills Me." Man, there is something so pure and honest about this song - his voice, the melody; it floors me every time I hear it. And what a marvelous thing music is, isn't it? It's like magic: the way it transports you, immediately and with preamble, to an event, to a person, no matter how many years have passed; the way it instantly makes everything you've ever wanted or needed feel like it's attainable; the way it deposits you in a great place emotionally, makes you feel that all is right with the world.

- Authentic living: I like how this sounds, like the deeper meaning and implications. But. Does living one's life authentically mean sharing all the awful/traumatic/embarrassing/emotional/overwhelming doings of your life with everyone in a preemptive strike sort of way? Does it mean sharing these things only when asked? Perhaps it's a combination of the two - finding a way to be real and open, a way to speak one's truth with grace.