Monthly Archives: March 2014

these 4 bloggers blog my socks off

I have been blogging for a little less than a year now, and in that time, I have read so much great writing on wordpress. With this post, I wanted to highlight four bloggers. There are many others I read and enjoy, but these are the writers that routinely blog my socks off.


Signals To Attend: I have praised this blogger’s haiku blog, but never mentioned this one. Signals to Attend is dedicated to longer forms. His flash fiction is always interesting. His essays are often superb.

Little Write Lies: Taylor is a gifted writer of sci fi. Her work is unsettling and original. Some of her work is not sci fi, but still so good. Here’s one of my favorites.

patrickjegan: Patrick writes nonfiction. He has seemingly an endless store of insightful things to say about teaching, travel, and family. Here’s a taste of what I mean.

authormirandastone: I’ve praised Miranda’s writing before, and I’m sure I’ll do it again. She posts very short poetry that packs an emotional wallop. She also links to her fiction, which often gets published, and for good reason. Here’s one called “Tracks in the Snow,” which is a superbly written, humanizing portrait of the lover on the side.

To the writers I mentioned: I invite you to mention in the comments a single blogger that blogs your socks off!


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Nontraditional March Madness Bracketology

Over the years, I have been trying to determine the best nontraditional March Madness bracket strategy. I have been through many, including asking my mother who she thought would win in every game, choosing a winner according to the team name that sounded better on my tongue, choosing based on the school with the superior field hockey record that year, always picking the team who’s name appeared on top of the bracket matchups, picking the team with more players using Twitter than the other, picking the team that more likely had God on their side. This year, I decided to make my picks according to which of the two team mascots might KO the other in a scuffle. I’ll let you know how this method pans out.

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The heat was getting to them

S: Says here 100 years ago this mountain blew its top. 3oo years before that they think there was another volcano.

T: That’s nice. The freezer needs more frozen pops

S: Native Americans musta thought it was the end of the world

T: It’s disgusting in here. You sure the air conditioning is working?

S: I’m pretty sure. I bet they didn’t know their mountain had such secrets.

T: Huh? I don’t remember Shasta last year feeling like this. At least you could swim in those lakes. These sulfur springs you dip a toe in you gotta be airlifted out of the park

S: The lakes were swimmable back then

T: Back when?

S: 400 years ago

T: I’m talking about now OMG–

S: Or maybe this lake wasn’t here at all at that time–

T: And you’re still not listening

S: Honey, God gave us these lakes. Don’t you see?

T: Why would God give us lakes you can’t even swim in?

S: There are cold lakes here.

T: If you don’t mind a little alpine frostbite, sure. You can’t win with this Park.

T: I’m pretty sure God left this place behind a long time ago. And so should we.


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The Lakers Hat (or A Funny Story From School Today)

Third graders aren’t brilliant readers

but you expect one to be able to read the sports team name on their hat

With this in mind…


this afternoon, while we were in a line heading back to class from the library

I made a comment on a boy’s Clippers hat

“Clippers, fan huh,” that sort of thing

The boy’s eyes grew two sizes hearing this

The problem?

He thought his hat read “Lakers.”

Then, as one really must do in these sorts of instances

he asked another adult for a second opinion on the matter

“My hat says Lakers, right?” is what he said with an air of defiance

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My brother’s piece, “A House”

My brother wrote a piece called “A House.” It’s a short collection of flashes that I quite like, and it was published by Word Riot a few years ago. Thought I’d share. Enjoy!

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Recess Time!

the boy left the school office like a horse in the Derby

gliding on the narrow path that connected that building to the recess yard

with the sort of dispatch that can only be achieved when moving toward something desired

not wanting to squander even a minute of play,

he certainly paid no attention to the teacher (who opted not to scold him)


On the bench with a book

seeing this and

trying to remember the last time

he sprinted

anywhere for any reason

aside from his running late to some dumb appointment.

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Rainy Days of California

Yesterday waiting in the rain to be let in to a locked resource room for “small group reading”

my 2nd grade students and I began to drink from the sky to pass the time

it might have been an autistic boy named Lionel’s first time doing that

I think about this and I think about a few weeks ago

on the day of the first rain after so many days of drought here in California –

every body in the shopping center where I occasionally eat my lunch

scurrying around

trying to stay dry

when they really should have rejoiced

as had Lionel

mouth open and

head craned skyward.

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Dance Fever


Whenever “I Gotta Woman” plays on Pandora

while we’re in front of computers in our places on the couch

your eyebrows

like little hairy Fred Astaires

begin to raise and lower, wiggle and straighten

Your neck, shoulders, and hips get to shake-a-shakin next

(the cat scurries off of your lap at this point)

followed soon after by the arms, and finally the legs

the base of this clumsy new being

by the time the sax shows up

all of you has been recruited

and your dancing with every bone, muscle, and joint of your body

grinning dumbly like your some kind of

musical Golem that can’t help himself.

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Racing Mike to the Dairy section

When I go to the grocery, I spend a few minutes in the adjoining Starbucks

making fun of corporate culture

with the help of the baristas. 

“Is there anything else I can get you?”

someone will ask when they’re done pouring my small coffee

“you could read a few pages of my hardcover as I wait for my 

coffee to cool down”

or somedays I ask someone to balance a spoon on his/her nose 

I have asked them to change a tire

recite me Pablo Nerudo poetry

sing me a favorite song

have a staring contest

these requests often go unmet

but once in a while the staff will humor me

on slow days, no doubt

often the grocery store patrons wander over to see what’s going on

like when I told a pale, skinny high school-aged barista named Mike to race me to the milk section of the grocery

corporate nearly fired someone over that

but I talked them out of it

I remember that one clearly

the milk felt a mile away

I took the route I thought fastest

but Mike knew the store like the back of his hand

people had their cameras out 

in the end, Mike won

when it was over he put his apron back on and returned behind the counter to fetch someone an espresso with extra foam


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