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Showing posts from June 15, 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 hors…

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 e…

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 les…

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: http://www.phobialist.com/. 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 o…

Gummi Lighthouses

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