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40 days in the desert
want to reach that next level? create your own identity crisis
by joe procopio (@jproco)
topic: general
4.2.10 • CLASSIC

Self-examination is a bitch. Of course, I'm not talking about the physical. There's nothing funny about finding lumps or shoe fragments where they shouldn't be. No, I'm talking about the meta-physical, the mental, the dare-I-say spiritual experience of taking a good hard look at yourself in the proverbial mirror. And it isn't the act itself that's rough - you basically sit around and put on the Cure and mope for a few weeks. One of my buddies in college did this when his girlfriend dumped him.

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must-see, but not on tv
should tv lovers switch off the set?
by jael mchenry (@JaelMcHenry)
topic: television
8.4.10 • CLASSIC

Around this time last year, I mused about watching TV not on TV, all the ways we can see television shows via Hulu and Netflix-streaming and DVD. This year, I'm taking it to the next level. TV off the TV set isn't just an alternative to following the old one-episode-a-week-during-the-season pattern. It's better. We're overwhelmed with entertainment options, aren't we? Books and movies, TV and music, in the house and in the theatre and on our iPad/phone/Wii/whatever. While I don't automatical

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emptying my skeptic tank
on occasion, people can surprise you
by adam kraemer (@DryWryBred)
topic: general
3.9.12 • CLASSIC

I like to think of myself as a skeptic. I know my British readers may be confused by this statement, but that's because they spell it "sceptic." Only part of the reason why they lost the empire.

(I'm fairly certain the rest of the reason was due primarily to a small band of teddy bears on Endor, but I might be getting a little confused myself.)

Anyway, I consider myself a skeptic, largely in contrast with being a cynic, which, while close, I generally am not. It's not that I don't see the dark side of things, as cynics are wont to do, but, rather, that I hope I'm wrong. I have more faith in people, I think, than a cynic generally would. (I also have faith that my friends will have that shield down before the rebel attack commences. If I have to listen to Admiral Akbar yell, "It's a trap" one more time....)

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baby without the maybe
awake in the present moment of pregnancy
by michelle von euw
topic: general
7.12.10 • CLASSIC

I won’t be pregnant forever. This thought turns itself over in my head as I lie awake at some way too early hour, experiencing the insomnia that has been yet another symptom to add to a growing list. As the months ahead of me that have been carefully measured turn to weeks, to days, what this statement means has changed significantly, too. At first, it was a forbidden thought: I was so terrified during my first trimester, so scared that something would go wrong, that I barely allowed myself t

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pandora's box
blue-icidal tendencies
by mike julianelle
topic: humor
5.7.10 • CLASSIC

This past Wednesday I did something unprecedented. For the first time in my life, I got up and went for a run before work. Running through the park early in the morning on a beautiful spring day, I saw a side of it I’d never before witnessed; a quiet, peaceful side, unblemished by packs of howling children, swarms of yelping dogs and that one random guy who practices break-dancing on a piece of cardboard. Not sure the early morning, pre-work run is going to become a habit, but I think I kind o

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portrait of an artist: wendell pierce
art imitates life for a son of new orleans
by tracey l. kelley (@TraceyLKelley)
topic: news
5.30.11 • CLASSIC

Wendell Pierce, actor, producer, and activist, is on set shooting "Lay the Favorite" with Bruce Willis and Vince Vaughn. He talks about his mom. He reveals the details of her cross-city ambulance ride from her home in Pontchartrain Park, near east New Orleans, through the throngs of Mardi Gras celebrants lined up to witness the Bacchus and Endymion Krewes roll on St. Charles Avenue in Uptown. "The ambulance got to St. Charles Avenue and could not cross over to get to Touro Hospital." Methodis

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september 11th, 10 years later
looking back, looking ahead
by jason gilmore (@JasonGilmore77)
topic: news
9.12.11 • CLASSIC

By the time you read this, for better or worse, the 10th anniversary (what is a synonym for "anniversary" that doesn't sound so peppy?) of the September 11th attacks will have passed. All of the commemorations and terrifying flashback footage and heartfelt commercials will be done and we'll be back to our daily reality, whatever that may be.

We are different in so many ways since 2001, in ways that connect to September 11th, and in ways that don't. The technological advances we've achieved in that decade have been phenomenal, and yet, I don't know that we're smarter as a collective. 

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getting in the van ii
my second tour
by jeffrey d. walker
topic: music
3.12.10 • CLASSIC

March 12, 2010: And so it begins, the Rocko Dorsey Spring tour. Last year, when I wrote about going on the Rocko Dorsey Texas run, I was totally psyched. I re-read that column from last year just before starting this one, and couldn't help but laugh. The prophetic moments were: (1) my use of some tense of the word "dream" three times, and (2) the culminating sentence towards the end: "If you see me in the next few days, I'll be the rock star that I always wanted to be." Before that first tou

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the internet is ruining your life
stop letting it
by maigen thomas (@Maigen)
topic: pop culture
1.24.11 • CLASSIC

Like most of my generation, I've spent a great deal of time logged into the world wide web. I wouldn't be far off, I'm sure, if I hazarded a guess that I spent thousands of hours online over the last decade. I first got logged in at the age of 16. I was a junior in high school. It was 1998. Netscape Navigator and Internet Explorer were the only browsers I was aware of at that time, and frankly, I have no idea what business I thought I had surfing the web, but it was fascinating. Rememb

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kicking off operation 2012
mapping out my own set of great expectations
by alex b (@Lexistential)
topic: general
1.16.12 • CLASSIC

Semantics. Sometimes, it's just a question of semantics.

For this year, I've decided to actually take some time to plan a set of goals to achieve. Some can call these resolutions, but I refuse to call my objectives such. Like a fusspot who never grows to like eating cauliflower (but is okay with having it in mashed form), I simply don't like the word resolution. It seems too serious, too Model United Nations, even pretentious.

Above all, I have the mutant ability to disregard it (and anything else that smacks of overly serious dweebs with political anglings).

Still, in spite of my inability to digest the R-word as a fun or tolerable experience, I am determined to experience 2012 with a set of set objectives. I want the kind of year where I hit my milestones instead of seeing them get dust bunnies; I want to be productive.

Therefore, here goes Operation 2012.

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the power to decide
why it’s necessary for women to control their birth control
by sarah ficke (@DameMystery)
topic: news
3.7.12 • CLASSIC

When Sandra Fluke stood up to testify in front of Congress on February 23rd about the importance of accessible birth control for all women, she probably didn’t expect to be called a prostitute. Women probably didn’t think that, in March of 2012, we’d be defending our right to use a medicine that was approved for sale 52 years ago. And yet, here we are again having to convince people – primarily men – that women do have the right to have sex without pregnancy.

We live in a time when men are lowering or erasing the barriers that allow them to get women pregnant (see: insurance-subsidized Viagra), while making it harder and harder for women to prevent conception. While the issue is birth control, no-one is really talking about condoms in this case. Condoms are available on supermarket shelves, they cost less to buy, and they are known to prevent STIs – a definite medical benefit. They also require the consent of a man. The real subject of the conversation is the pill: the birth control method that women control and that women can practice with or without a man’s knowledge or consent.* The question then becomes not just should women use contraception, but should women be allowed to choose contraception on their own? There are many excellent reasons why the answer is – and should always be – yes.

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the great american sameness
a plea for difference
by erik lars myers (@TopFermented)
topic: pop culture
8.24.11 • CLASSIC

A few weeks ago I went on a road trip. My wife and I drove from our home in North Carolina to Minneapolis, Minnesota for a wedding. A smart man may have flown, but that man was probably not transporting kegs of beer to serve at said wedding. During this trip, we went across an amazing array of American countryside.

The trip spanned North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, and finally, Minnesota and it struck me again - as it did when we drove across the country about a decade back - just how vast and variable our country is. To put it simply, it is amazing and majestic.

From North Carolina driving north into West Virginia we drove through the Blue Ridge Mountains, these beautiful verdant green, sheer-drop landscapes. It feels as though the forest is soaring over your head and flowing under your feet as you bend through the roadways there.

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longhair tv
by jeff miller (@jmillerboston)
topic: pop culture
2.24.10 • CLASSIC

My hair used to be REALLY long. Cliff Burton long. Conan the Barbarian long. Born-in-the70's-hit-puberty-in-the-80's long. There was nothing ironic or unusual about this. In my day - and at a burly 38, I feel entitled to an occasional in my day - if you were a young man who knew how to rock and roll all night and party every day, this was barely a choice at all. Growing your hair was as much a conscious decision as wearing jeans or eating fast food. It wasn't a question of should I grow it out

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re: irrussistible
I am not going to read it this time. I do and I just cannot pull myself together to comment. It is a beautiful tribute. I am very glad that you wro...

re: guns don't kill people....
Can we please find a way to heal and protect? I NEWTOWN, Conn. (AP) — A man opened fire Friday inside two classrooms at the Connecticut elementary sc...

re: a year without netflix
I would expect that and especially Netflix. Marketing, baby. They're spending zillions to get new subscribers....

re: everybody poops
What a bunch of crap! :-D Sorry. I tried to let it pass. Butt I'm weak. [edited]...

re: you are on your own heroes journey
Too short. Sigh. Thanks Maigen. I just miss him. I am glad that I can find people who cared deeply for him here. He had such good friends here!...


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