Friday, June 20, 2008

The Pregnancy Pact -- Writer's Poke #97

For Writers:

Time magazine broke a story about seventeen high school students in Massachusetts who made a pact to become pregnant. Have you ever noticed that entering into pacts never causes anything but trouble? For you historians out there, just think about all the entangling alliances and pacts that brought multiple countries into war over the last two hundred years -- most notably, World War I.

I was glad to hear that most of the girls decided to use their own boyfriends as the studs, but I wonder how many of them bothered to tell the guys that they planned to bring "new life" to their relationship. Probably not many, if any, but hey, I totally understand. Talk about a mood killer! Such a pity that the pleasure of sex has to be linked to the pain of the intended biological consequence, don't you agree?

One girl in the pact apparently did not have a boyfriend, or perhaps she was the one girl that shared her plan with her sweetie, only to see him galloping off on his horse faster than Shane at the end of that old Western. But she was determined to find sperm anywhere that she could come across it, and so when she found a 24 year old homeless man, she thought he had all the necessary qualifications to father a child.

After all, the homeless need love too.

What pacts have you entered into? Which ones did you keep, which ones did you break? Of the ones you kept, which one turned out to the best? The worst?


Imagine and develop a story around the incident of a 15 year old girl asking a 24 year old homeless man to father her child.

"Babies are such a nice way to start people." -- Don Herold

Read My Body -- Writer's Poke #96

For Writers:

KISS recorded a song called "Read My Body," and you can find it on their 1989 album Hot in the Shade. In what are arguably the most inspired song lyrics of all time, the chorus goes:

Read my body
Are the letters big enough?
Read my body
Do you like the book of my love?
Read my body
Turn the page, get to the good stuff

Okay, so while the Beatles have somehow managed to find inclusion in poetry anthologies, you will probably never find KISS in a Norton any time soon; but it's a fun song, and I think it asks playful questions.

Reading someone's body doesn't have to be a sexual act as suggested above. Body language, otherwise known as nonverbal communication, actually accounts for 55% of the message we convey to others, whereas the actual words we use to communicate, if you can believe it, only convey 7%. The remaining 38% of message conveyed, by the way, occurs through voice tone and quality.

So don't ignore the body. Read it. Start listening more with your eyes.

What does your messages does your body communicate to others?

"I'm not into working out. My philosophy: no pain, no pain." -- George Mead

McCain Vows to Replace Secret Service

McCain Vows To Replace Secret Service With His Own Bare Fists

Do you feel luck, punk? Well, do you?

Thursday, June 19, 2008

New Wearable Feedbag

New Wearable Feedbags Let Americans Eat More, Move Less

Would you wear one?

Ameriquest -- Funny Commercial Ads

Good stuff. :)

Trading Stickers for Love -- Writer's Poke #95

For Writers:

In grade school, I was, shall we say, "socially awkward." Of the 60 kids in the two 5th grade classes at Hawthorne, only 4 were ever considered to be "dating." Dating in grade school typically meant just hanging out, and maybe kissing on the swings after school.

Shelley was one of the two girls that "dated," and in one of the periods that she was single, I tried to figure out ways to steal her from her on again, off again boyfriend. The one ace in the hole I had was my prized collection of stickers. Specifically, I had puffy Garfield stickers, and I knew that she liked both stickers and Garfield. It was perfect.

Unfortunately, there was never a right moment to give her my stickers. And, I had a big speech all planned out, too. I was actually going to say something like, "Shelley, as a token of my esteem, please allow me to present you with these puffy Garfield stickers." Yes, I actually thought like that in 5th grade, and I more or less talked like that. As I said, I was not necessarily like other kids.

I knew that my stickers and elequent speech would sweep her off her feet, but as the clock approached 3 p.m. one Friday, I simply couldn't approach her. Instead, I watched her leave the classroom to catch the school bus home, and then I quickly slipped the stickers into her desk.

It was no secret that I had puffy Garfield stickers, and when Monday morning came and she opened her desk, she glanced over at me with a confused look on her face. She thanked me, and nothing more was said. After that, I don't think we exchanged words with each other again until 9th grade.

What is the strangest thing you've ever done to woo another? Were you successful?

"I was about half in love with her by the time we sat down. That's the thing about girls. Every time they do something pretty... you fall half in love with them, and then you never know where the hell you are." -- J.D. Salinger

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Phobophobia -- Writer's Poke #94

For Writers:

In 1933, FDR uttered these famous words: "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."

Fear of fear, otherwise known as “phobophobia,” is a rather silly fear, don’t you think? And apparently Mr. Roosevelt never visited “The Phobia List” web site: That web site lists just about every phobia under the sun, including “heliophobia,” or fear of the sun.

I’m sure that Roosevelt meant well. Americans were dealing with the Great Depression and all that, and I'm sure he wanted to send out a positive message of hope; however, he should have distinguished, as Buddhists do, between healthy and unhealthy fears. Admittedly, saying “The only thing we have to fear is unhealthy fears” doesn’t quite have the same ring to it.

Healthy fears, however, should be recognized as useful. In an evolutionary sense, fear is what has gotten us to where we are as a species today, and I mean that in a positive way.

Today, consult “The Phobia List” web site. Pick one of the fears listed there, and write about why someone might develop such a phobia; or, write about a phobia that you have, and examine whether it falls into the “healthy” or “unhealthy” category.

“In skating over thin ice our safety is in our speed.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Monday, June 16, 2008

Gummi Lighthouses

If these are the lighthouses, then what must the "Gummi Ships" look like??