Video

A hilarious grammar lesson from puppets

As you know, I’m not a grammar Nazi, at all, but this video manages to teach a bit about the English language while poking fun at all .

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Dr. Seuss had a thing with hats (and it’s pretty darn cool.)

tedraisingmoneySo Dr. Seuss, had a thing with hats. Not just regular ball caps mind you but, as is only fitting, whimsical, fantastical hats. He started collecting hats in 1930.  His sister even remarked, ““Ted has another peculiar hobby—that of collecting hats of every description. Why, he must have several hundred and he is using them as the foundation of his next book.”

Now I know what you are thinking. Hats. What’s the big deal. But from what I saw off the website, these hats are pretty darn interesting, and some of them (duh) appear in his work in one shape or another.

Now if this isn’t enough of a reason to go road trip it to Fl or one of the other states which hosts the exhibit, the exhibit also includes some of the secret art of Dr. Seuss.

Below are the current dates for the exhibit:

Dates Gallery Name City Address Contact
Jan. 11 – Jan. 26, 2014 Syd Entel Gallery Tampa, FL 247 Main St.
Saftey Habor, FL
(727) 725-1808
Feb. 1 – Feb. 16, 2014 Ann Jackson Gallery Atlanta, GA 932 Canton St
Roswell, GA
(770) 993-4783
Feb. 22 – March 9, 2014 R. Michelson Gallery Northampton, MA 132 Main Street (413) 586-3964
March 15 – March 30, 2014 Bella Arte Gallery Midlothian, VA 3734 Winterfield Road (804) 794-1511
June 7 – June 22, 2014 Angela King Gallery New Orleans, LA 716 Bienville Street (504) 524-8211
June 28 – July 13, 2014 Marcus Ashley Gallery South Lake Tahoe, CA 4000 Lake Tahoe Blvd (530) 544-4278

This exhibition is comprised of twenty six original hats from Dr. Seuss’s estate, alongside authorized Estate Editions adapted and reproduced from Ted Geisel’s original artworks. If you are lucky enough to be where it is touring, check it out!

My best friend is an awesome artist (that you should watch)

I was lucky. By the time I was 18, I had a core group of friends with whom I’m still friends with today. Amongst them was Ashy, a painter who shared my love of rock and dreams of being an artist.  Over the years we have had a ridiculous amount of fun, planning pointlessly schemes (like moving out to l.a. and living off of contentential breakfast) and going to way too many rock concerts.

ashy_i_paintedart_ashyandidressed upme_ashy

Besides our clear shared  awesomeness (pics don’t lie right?) and our shared love of 80’s hair metal, we  both share our dreams of being  working artists. It has been so helpful to have someone else experience the sames highs and lows of art as I have.  And now that we have put in YEARS and YEARS of work, we are both finally starting to see the payoffs of our labors.

She just (yes i’m gushing!) got into a pretty sweet art show. Unforunately, as she lives in Buffalo and the show is there, I won’t be able to go. So I’m sending some virtual love, and telling all my readers to check out her work at her website Yellow Blazer’s Studios.  And if you happen to be in the Buffalo area check out her work, you won’t regret it!

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First publication of the new year

Good afternoon, Rachael!
 
I wanted to drop a quick note to you with good news!  Your monologue “The New Girl” has confirmed entry into Volume III of ‘interJACtions: Monologues from the Heart of Human Nature.’  Congratulations!
This greeted me in my inbox today!
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I was very excited to have this monologue published. It was originally a short story which I wrote during an exercise at University of Indiana.  It’s a dramatized piece about my experience of switching from a private Lutheran school (15 people in my class, all girls) to a public school.

Hopefully this year will continue to be a productive year for publishing (both indie and traditionally) for me!

Anyway, sorry for the brevity of this post, but I wanted to share the good news!

Pemberley High Part 2 (Pride and Prejudice re imagined )

Ok guys, I’m a couple days late (oops) but here is part two of my for fun writing project. If you haven’t read part 1, read it here.

PART II

Pemberley High was built, if Lizzi were to venture a guess, during the early 1900’s. The town like to claim it was much newer, circa 1970 but its dilapidated, crumbling gothic architecture made her rather suspicious. During her sophomore year, she had launched an investigation into the history, but the Principal quickly shut it down.

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The school was small, almost dying.  For years, the town council had argued that it should be shut down, and the kids shuttled off to other towns to attend schools. But, with most of the parents being rather wealthy (Lizzi’s parents were the notable exception), they were able to pull the political strings to keep the school open. As a consequence, Lizzi knew every one of her classmates and had been in the same class with all of them since Kindergarten.

Lizzi and Jane arrive at school on their matching blue bikes.

“Jane!” a gaggle of girls rang out.

As Jane smiled and greeted them, Lizzi slinked towards the door.

“Lizzi,” Charlotte, a slightly round mousy girl engulfed Lizzi. “ugh I missed you. I almost went insane at my Aunts. No TV. No WIFI. No internet….I was so bored, I learned to knit.”

“That sounds wonderful!” Lizzi said. “My mom had me in modeling sessions all summer.”

Lizzi contorted her face.

“I learned that ugly is beautiful,” Lizzi continued, “and unlike my nearly perfect sister, Jane, who as our coach said, was almost too beautiful to model, I had the perfect amount of flaws.”

Charlotte gasped. Lizzi couldn’t tell if it was shock or if she was a bit envious.

Charlotte and Lizzi had been friends for as long as Lizzi could remember. Their mothers, both stay at home mothers, who worried much too much about their daughters, had quickly bonded over the twos mutual social awkwardness during the great kindergarten Valentine’s day buddies debacle. Lizzi, who had decided by then that Valentine’s day was an over commercialized- consumer driven holiday had refused to participate and instead brought a homemade heart shaped protest sign which read “Love doesn’t come from a store,” to school while Charlotte, who because of a nasty paste-eating habit and cootie scare, had been labeled as “the weird kid,” sat crying over the lack of valentine’s in her un-decorated shoe box.  What started out as a play date to socialize the girls and a chance for the mothers to drink some wine and lament, quickly turned into bff bracelets and secret handshakes.

Though recently, Lizzi worried they might be drifting apart. She had engrossed herself in every art and political outlet she could think of which seemed to bore Charlotte. While Charlotte had joined the school’s flag guard and was reveling in what little social status that seemed to bring her.  

“I even had a few job offers.” Lizzi said, “Of course I immediately turned them down and told my mother that my coach said I was a hopeless case.”

“Lizzi, you’re awful.”

“ What mom doesn’t know won’t hurt her.” Lizzi said with a smile.

“Oh hey,” Charlotte said, she arched her body around Lizzi, “ I’ve got to go say hi to the other guard girls before class. You have first period Chemistry right?”

“Yeah.”

“Awesome.” Charlotte said bouncing away. “See you then.”

——–

A plea to Ted Nugent (and all the other demagogues of the world)

Dear Ted Nugent,

I’ll admit it. I grew up admiring you. You were a drug-free artist who came from a small town and was thought of as crazy. I was a drug free artist who was thought of as creepily smart, possibly on drugs (for my odd behavior) and as an  “odd one”.1545098_10151929481037297_351251612_n

Besides you had long hair, which is my Achilles heal and you were in one of my favorite bands, Damn Yankees.

What’s not to love?

Mind you, this was before the age of widespread Googling and I became aware of your political beliefs (diametrically opposed to mine) and your past with women and girls.

But that’s not what this is about today. It isn’t about Obama. It isn’t about gun control. It isn’t about the questionable past-times of you or I or anyone else.

It’s about what you say, how you say it, and why it so desperately matters.

You see, language shapes our world-views. If you really want a crash course in this, I suggest you check out this crazy cat named Derrida.

I’ll give you a quick crash course. For example, using he in a text when it referring to both a male and female inherently devalues the female. She is relegated as not as important as the male counterpart. The more widespread this becomes, the more inherent the thought that the female is second becomes, so much so that we don’t recognize it as an opinion but a truth and as that becomes a truth it bleeds into other parts of our lives.

But maybe this is too abstract. Let me illustrate from your own words how language can shape people.

You recently called the President and various politicians as well as their supporters (via facebook), subhuman mongrels.

Sub-human, really?

What Teddy has just done here is labeled the President, most politicians, and well myself (as well as other Democrats supporters and gun-rights control advocates) as “the other,” inherently inferior and by definition less than human.

But why does this matter?

Because simply you are creating a system where by people see themselves as superior to other people. As our history has shown, when one group tends to think of another as not as good, not as human, not entitled to the same rights, violence, enslavement and bigotry ensues. In short, you are by you words, making a schema where it is ok to disenfranchise others. It is ok to hate others. It is ok to believe that certian human beings are not as good as you and not worthy of the sames things that you deserve.

What someone doesn’t believe what I believe!

Well they simply aren’t a good/human as I am, so what does their belief matter?

What you are doing is hurting America.

You have almost 2 million followers on facebook. Instead of engaging them in debate, perhaps trying to find the solution to our problems, or a compromise, or at least providing evidence to why your solution may be betters than others, you instead polarize your fracture, making them resistant to debate, compromise or change; all the while, you fill them with hate towards anyone who thinks differently than you.

I’m tempted to call you out on the hypocrisy of trying to uphold American ideals of freedoms while demeaning and shaming all those who think differently than you.

Ok I just did it.

And for those who think I’m cherry picking a quote, I invite you to follow his facebook page, or check out some of the other awesome quotes he has had throughout the years.

Ok one more link, there are just too many.

The worst part, is, though you aren’t the only one.

Pundits on both side who have millions of viewers, millions of people who’s world view are partly shaped by their words and interpretation of the world, continue to act in a devious  manner, skewing and sometimes just plan making up facts to fit their own political agenda. All the while these pundits bash and trash the other side. Instead of having a rational factual debate. They label anyone who opposes them as “the other“, the enemy.

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t protest. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dissent. But there is a helpful way to do it, one that works towards a solution to our problems, and there is one that comes at a cost to all mankind.

I’m going leave you with a quote from one of my favorite TV shows, LOST:

If we can’t live together, then we’re going to die alone.

We all have a choice in the words we use. And there are consequences to them.

A former fan (fine I still really like Damn Yankees),

Rach

Video

Video killed the literary star……

An open letter from Walter Kirn. It’s hilarious and yet rather interesting critic of what is lost as writing becomes more glamorized and more open to the “fluff” of television. Also I might be a bit biased towards this because I’m not a fan of James Franco. Regardless of if you agree with all he says, it’s worth a listen.

 

Pemberley High, a series (part 1)

Ok guys as promised, my for fun online series! Look for a new one each Thursday and let me know what you think

PEMBERLEY HIGH

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It is universally acknowledged that high school is a form of medieval torture invented by embittered adults to retaliate against the inconvenience youth had caused them. This was never truer than for an outspoken, sharp-witted junior named Lizzi.  Her unconventional dress, and various charity causes, including most recently, her “What are men compared to mountains: A weekend of Womanhood and Nature Retreat,” earned her much notability and scorn amongst the jocks and cheerleaders that roamed the halls of Pemberley High.

Today was the first day, of, what, her mother dubbed, “the search to find a homecoming date (and of course potential husband).” Her mother, who Lizzi thought worried entirely too much about the social lives of her five daughters, was convinced that if Lizzi could procure a reputable male to escort her to prom, it would vault her social status to that of head cheerleader. After a suitable courtship, aka the day after Lizzi graduated high school; she would be proposed to and taken care of for the rest of her life.

The idea made Lizzi want to vomit.

“Lizzi,” Her mother’s voice floated up the stairs of their two story farm house. “Did you see the outfit I laid out for you?”

Lizzi had indeed: a pink micro miniskirt and sea-foam green crop top.

She was currently trying not to vomit at her image in the mirror.

“It doesn’t look that bad.” Jane replied.

Jane, Lizzi’s older sister, a current senior in the same high school, had apparently escaped their mother’s fashion wrath. She was dressed in a mid-length blue dress with white accents. Of course, Lizzi thought, Jane could pull off wearing a paper bag.

Jane was in many ways was Lizzi’s opposite. Fair, blonde, cordial, and almost delicate, she was the head of the fashion club as well as the service club in her school. Well-liked and popular, she had, to their mother’s joy, throughout her three years in Pemberley High, dated the caption of the football, baseball, and basketball teams. Though, at times, the relationships looked as they would go the distance, each in eventually fizzled out, on good terms, of course, for Jane would have it no other way.

Lizzi personally was glad. Those shallow, meatheads had nothing of substance to offer her sister.

“Your outfit is so hot!” Lydia, Lizzi’s younger sister, who was a freshman this year, squealed as she popped her head in the doorway.

Lizzi wondered if Lydia would be able to sit down, or if the sheer movement would split apart her skin tight jeans. Still the outfit, their mother picked for her, a bubble-gum pink shirt which said, “Sexy and I know it,” and jeans managed to make Lizzi jealous.

“Now I know it’s awful.” Lizzi moaned.

“Mom,” Lydia screamed, “I wanna wear what Lizzi is wearing. This totally isn’t fair.”

With that, Lydia huffed down the stairs.

“I look like a hooker,” Lizzi said, “and a blind one at that.”

Lizzi flung her dresser open. It was empty! Her mother had struck again.

“Mom’s just trying to help you….. “Jane sweetly tried to say.

“I guess it’s kind of impressive, if you think about it,” Lizzi said, “she was able to sneak into our room in the middle of the night, steal all of my clothes, without waking either one of us. She’s like an evil Cupid.”

Sighing, Lizzi rummaged under her bed. She managed to find and slapped on a pair of ripped up tights and her white leather Guns n Roses jacket.

“Let’s go.” Lizzi said, “before mom notices how I altered her vision.”

when creative writing isn’t fun anymore…..

Last week, as I finished my second play in as many weeks to send off to a competition in addition to sending off some poems and essays, I sat down and called me mother:

“writing these just wasn’t fun…..”

I was going to write today but my cat wouldn't let me

I was going to write today but my cat wouldn’t let me

An odd statement for me. I’ve been a writer for as long as I can remember typing away awful stories on my mother’s Apple 2. I wrote two novels in high school which probably will never see the light of day because well it was fun.

But as I finished last week, I realized that I was so stressed with perfection and trying to give my work the best chance it had to win and/or be published, that there was absolutely nothing fun about it.

So to remedy that, I’m starting an online series of pure fluff. I might self-publish it when I am done (have to one day turn this hobby into a job one day) but I’m not putting any pressure on myself. It’s just going to be like I’m back in high school, writing to express myself and entertain others!

Now what is this project? As many of you know, I wrote a short piece, Pemberley High which re-images Jane Austin’s classic in a modern high school. It was a very short piece, 500 words or less. I’m going to expand on it and turn it into a novella. The first installment should be up tomorrow unless something drastic comes up.  I’m not sure yet, I’ll probably post it to my main page then archive it under a tab.

I hope you enjoy it my readers! It should be a fun project 🙂