Sunday, January 16, 2011

New Beginnings, All Around

And it is with a sad heart I say farewell to this blog.

Alright, not that sad. After all, life is change, and not even blogs are exempt. I've taken on a new challenge this semester, participating in a MOOC (massive open oline course) in digital storytelling, and the first assignment was the creation of a cyberinfrastructure. I almost quit before successfully staking my claim in cyberspace, but now, thanks to the patient and steady guidance of Jim Groom, I am the proud owner of a piece of cyber realestate called

The string of sunny, relatively warm days has me feeling hopeful again. Spring will return, and with it comes more changes, all of which I'll discuss when the time is right. I'm excited to start classes tomorrow and to see another semester unfold, even more so with the creative shock therapy that will be Digital Storytelling. My mind is wandering to uncharted lands. Won't you join me?

Thursday, January 13, 2011


So, for our first assignment, we are suppose to write a thirty-second story about...something. Thirty seconds to tell a story??? It took me over two hours to pick a freakin' domain name, and after all that I went with-- wait for it-- my name. Domains. Web hosts. I am so not in Kansas anymore.

As I embark on this adventure (if I call it a class I'll get dizzy and break out in hives. It's not pretty) I feel like the kid we all knew in school, the one who always asked the teacher to explain things over and over until we wanted to plunge a number two pencil in our temple. Sorry. I'll try to restrain myself. Here is my feeble attempt at creativity for now:

This, folks, is me at this stage of the game.

Truthfully, I'm looking forward to learning whatever I can, and who can resist Jim's admonition: "it's time to make some damned art already."

Sunday, January 9, 2011

On Metaphors and Anger - Tucson, Jan 8th

This will be just one whisper in the roar of voices concerning yesterday’s events in Tucson. I usually avoid political discussions because I call friends those whose beliefs lie on the right and the left. But this isn’t a political discussion, really, is it? It’s a discussion of what we plan to do now.

Yesterday, when six people died and numerous others were injured, including Representative Gabrielle Giffords, I watched the country light up in fury. When that eased, the voices of reason began to emerge, those who would remind us that whether the 22-year-old shooter was acting from a political agenda or mental illness (or both), the time has come for us to look at who we are. Of course it matters why Jared Lee Loughner shot. Analyzing his actions will not reverse yesterday’s events, but we crave answers. More importantly, however, is where we go from here. What we choose. Will we continue down the path of decisive, polarizing hatred, or will we decide that enough is enough? Will we decide that the only way this country should be run is by engaging in discussion that allows us to express our needs but requires us to acknowledge the needs of others? Will we decide there is NO place in our conversation for metaphors of death? That incorporating anything that hints at handling our differences with bloodshed is wrong?

I would ask any of you reading this to move your attention away from Giffords and the political firestorm of the events. Look instead at the youngest victim—9-year-old Christina Green. You want a metaphor? There she is. Born on September 11, 2001, she symbolized all the hope of our future. I could get all poetic and talk about her precious light being extinguished, but let’s call it what it was. She was murdered in cold blood. She was shot in the chest and everything she could be, would be, ended. THAT is what we should be furious about, folks.

Please. Let’s become who we are meant to be. The United States has its problems. Some of those problems seem insurmountable, but when I think about Christina Taylor Green, I cannot accept that we will just continue to dissolve into a pool of acidic hatred. Be angry, yes. There’s much to be angry about. But be angry in a way that will be productive, not destructive.

My words are too gentle. What my anger moves me to do is grab each of you—whichever ‘side’ you favor, left or right—by the collar and shout in your face “This must stop!” Pain calls for action, and the easiest action is often to strike back. Then I look at a picture of Christina Green and think about how her birth on the saddest day of our generation should have been a symbol of hope for the future. On the day she was born our country was attacked from outside. On the day she died, the attack came from within. Is that metaphorical enough for everyone?

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Practice practice practice

I am excited to be embarking a new adventure-- digital storytelling. We shall see how this turns out. For now, this is my attempt to fulfill the first step.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Year in 2010: Lyrics

We can't technically get things started this year until we finally give up making lists about last year. So, in the spirit of clingy things, I am opening up a poll to all eleven of our readers (please leave a comment, Mom). I need to choose an appropriate lyric to represent the year of 2010. We had some brilliant work from some brilliant minds* and it is impossible to boil the work down into a single Best Lyrics by myself. I need help.

And the nominees are...

Katy Perry, "Firework"
Do you ever feel like a plastic bag drifting through the wind?

Lady Gaga, "Alejandro"
You know that I love you, boy- you're hot like Mexico.

Justin Bieber, "Baby"
And I was like, "Baby, baby, baby, oh! Baby, baby, baby oh!"

Ke$ha, "We R Who We R"
We're dancing like we're dumb-dum-duh-duh-duh-dumb.

We need to crown a Best Lyrics of 2010. Please help. I'm leaning toward Ke$ha, or throwing in a surpise- Miley Cyrus is a scene-stealer, you know.

*excellent lead in to my documentary, Misunderstood Genius Syndrome.