Werner Herzog: Develop your own voice

Clouds

Via Jason Kottke: 24 pieces of life advice from Werner Herzog

Paul Cronin’s book of conversations with filmmaker Werner Herzog is called Werner Herzog – A Guide for the Perplexed. On the back cover of the book, Herzog offers a list of advice for filmmakers that doubles as general purpose life advice.

1. Always take the initiative.
2. There is nothing wrong with spending a night in jail if it means getting the shot you need.
3. Send out all your dogs and one might return with prey.
4. Never wallow in your troubles; despair must be kept private and brief.
5. Learn to live with your mistakes.
6. Expand your knowledge and understanding of music and literature, old and modern.
7. That roll of unexposed celluloid you have in your hand might be the last in existence, so do something impressive with it.
8. There is never an excuse not to finish a film.
9. Carry bolt cutters everywhere.
10. Thwart institutional cowardice.
11. Ask for forgiveness, not permission.
12. Take your fate into your own hands.
13. Learn to read the inner essence of a landscape.
14. Ignite the fire within and explore unknown territory.
15. Walk straight ahead, never detour.
16. Manoeuvre and mislead, but always deliver.
17. Don’t be fearful of rejection.
18. Develop your own voice.
19. Day one is the point of no return.
20. A badge of honor is to fail a film theory class.
21. Chance is the lifeblood of cinema.
22. Guerrilla tactics are best.
23. Take revenge if need be.
24. Get used to the bear behind you.

Good stuff. (There’s a photo of Herzog with a bear behind him on the book cover jacket, which explains #24)

Posted in Inspiration Tagged with: , , ,

Recently Read: Preserving Artist Mary Nohl’s Home

Mary Nohl House

Via Hyperallergic: A Single Woman Is a Witch: Battling to Save the Art Environment of Mary Nohl

Over a period of 50 years, the artist Mary Nohl transformed her yard as well as the interior and exterior of her cottage into an environment that stands in conversation with the surrounding land, lake, and her childhood memories. Almost immediately after the first cement sculptures materialized in the 1960s, she became known as “The Witch.” Elaborate myths grew from her industrious acreage. Stories of murder, mayhem, and longing were broadly considered fact by a cross-section of the local populous. Nohl worked alone, from her home. Lacking a husband and prescribed social role, she was a very suspicious character, indeed.

….

Over four decades, Mary Nohl kept making and building. Stories took hold, about how she’d murdered her family and buried them under the sculptures, or how her husband had been lost in the lake and the sculptures were to beckon him home. All the stories inserted the “missing” husband and children. The cottage became a frequent late-night stop for teens drawn to the counterculture strangeness of the place. Others came and left notes of gratitude in her mailbox.

Nohl died in 2001. She left nearly $10 million dollars (her attorney father had invested well) to a foundation to award yearly fellowships to individual artists in Milwaukee and nearby counties. She donated her house and all of its contents to the Kohler Foundation, which preserves art environments. Thirteen years later, however, little has been done to secure the site. The Kohler ran into opposition from Nohl’s wealthy neighbors — they objected to even the most restricted use of the house as a museum or study center. The building fell into disrepair and with each new winter has become increasingly fragile, weathered, marooned in uncertainty. Then, in March of this year, the property’s current owner, the John Michael Kohler Arts Center, issued a press release stating that it had given up preservation efforts and will move the house and yard sculptures to Sheboygan County, where it is located. The center will sell the land to fund the move.

Sad that the foundation charged with preserving the house has just given up.

Mary Nohl House Fireplace

Posted in Arts & Crafts, Feminism & Women's Issues Tagged with: , ,

First snow of 2015

A few inches of light, fluffy snow.

Posted in My Photos Tagged with: , ,

Myers-Briggs Personality Test Result

Myers-Briggs Test Result

INFP

I don’t remember getting this test result in the past, but I’d have to search my Facebook timeline for the last time I took it to see.

Who knows how long that test page will be around, so I’m copying the whole INFP results here:

INFP PERSONALITY

INFP personalities are true idealists, always looking for the hint of good in even the worst of people and events, searching for ways to make things better. While they may be perceived as calm, reserved, or even shy, INFPs have an inner flame and passion that can truly shine. Comprising just 4% of the population, the risk of feeling misunderstood is unfortunately high for the INFP personality type – but when they find like-minded people to spend their time with, the harmony they feel will be a fountain of joy and inspiration.

INFP personalityBeing a part of the Diplomat (NF) personality group, INFPs are guided by their principles, rather than by logic (Analysts), excitement (Explorers), or practicality (Sentinels). When deciding how to move forward, they will look to honor, beauty, morality and virtue – INFPs are led by the purity of their intent, not rewards and punishments. People who share the INFP personality type are proud of this quality, and rightly so, but not everyone understands the drive behind these feelings, and it can lead to isolation.

All that is gold does not glitter; not all those who wander are lost; the old that is strong does not wither; deep roots are not reached by the frost.
J. R. R. Tolkien

WE KNOW WHAT WE ARE, BUT KNOW NOT WHAT WE MAY BE

At their best, these qualities enable INFPs to communicate deeply with others, easily speaking in metaphors and parables, and understanding and creating symbols to share their ideas. The strength of this intuitive communication style lends itself well to creative works, and it comes as no surprise that many famous INFPs are poets, writers and actors. Understanding themselves and their place in the world is important to INFPs, and they explore these ideas by projecting themselves into their work.

INFPs have a talent for self-expression, revealing their beauty and their secrets through metaphors and fictional characters.
INFPs’ ability with language doesn’t stop with their native tongue, either – as with most people who share the Diplomat personality types, they are considered gifted when it comes to learning a second (or third!) language. Their gift for communication also lends itself well to INFPs’ desire for harmony, a recurring theme with Diplomats, and helps them to move forward as they find their calling.

LISTEN TO MANY PEOPLE, BUT TALK TO FEW

Unlike their Extraverted cousins though, INFPs will focus their attention on just a few people, a single worthy cause – spread too thinly, they’ll run out of energy, and even become dejected and overwhelmed by all the bad in the world that they can’t fix. This is a sad sight for INFPs’ friends, who will come to depend on their rosy outlook.

If they are not careful, INFPs can lose themselves in their quest for good and neglect the day-to-day upkeep that life demands. INFPs often drift into deep thought, enjoying contemplating the hypothetical and the philosophical more than any other personality type. Left unchecked, INFPs may start to lose touch, withdrawing into “hermit mode”, and it can take a great deal of energy from their friends or partner to bring them back to the real world.

Luckily, like the flowers in spring, INFP’s affection, creativity, altruism and idealism will always come back, rewarding them and those they love perhaps not with logic and utility, but with a world view that inspires compassion, kindness and beauty wherever they go.

Famous INFPs:

William Shakespeare, J.R.R. Tolkien, Björk, Johnny Depp, Julia Roberts, Lisa Kudrow, Tom Hiddleston, Homer, Virgil

Fictional INFPs:

“Frodo Baggins” from The Lord of the Rings “Anne of Green Gables” “Fox Mulder” from X-Files “Deanna Troi” from Star Trek “Wesley Crusher” from Star Trek

Posted in About Me Tagged with: , , ,

Smithsonian’s museums of Asian art available for download

The Ramayana (Tales of Rama; The Freer Ramayana), Volume 2

The Smithsonian’s Freer|Sackler art galleries put more than 40,000 works of art online that are downloadable for non-commercial artistic purposes.

With a new year, the Freer|Sackler launches a new initiative: Open F|S. We’ve digitized our entire collection and today, we’re making it available to the public. That’s thousands of works now ready for you to download, modify, and share for noncommercial purposes. As Freer|Sackler Director Julian Raby said, “We strive to promote the love and study of Asian art, and the best way we can do so is to free our unmatched resources for inspiration, appreciation, academic study, and artistic creation.” More facts and figures about the project can be found in the infographic below.

Posted in Arts & Crafts Tagged with: , , , ,

Woody Guthrie’s New Year’s Rulins

Song writer Woody Guthrie’s new years resolutions as written in his journal for the year 1942. #19 is my particular favorite.

Woody Guthrie's New Year's Rulins

Transcript
NEW YEAR’S RULIN’S

  1. WORK MORE AND BETTER
  2. WORK BY A SCHEDULE
  3. WASH TEETH IF ANY
  4. SHAVE
  5. TAKE BATH
  6. EAT GOOD – FRUIT – VEGETABLES – MILK
  7. DRINK VERY SCANT IF ANY
  8. WRITE A SONG A DAY
  9. WEAR CLEAN CLOTHES – LOOK GOOD
  10. SHINE SHOES
  11. CHANGE SOCKS
  12. CHANGE BED CLOTHES OFTEN
  13. READ LOTS GOOD BOOKS
  14. LISTEN TO RADIO A LOT
  15. LEARN PEOPLE BETTER
  16. KEEP RANCHO CLEAN
  17. DON’T GET LONESOME
  18. STAY GLAD
  19. KEEP HOPING MACHINE RUNNING
  20. DREAM GOOD
  21. BANK ALL EXTRA MONEY
  22. SAVE DOUGH
  23. HAVE COMPANY BUT DON’T WASTE TIME
  24. SEND MARY AND KIDS MONEY
  25. PLAY AND SING GOOD
  26. DANCE BETTER
  27. HELP WIN WAR – BEAT FASCISM
  28. LOVE MAMA
  29. LOVE PAPA
  30. LOVE PETE
  31. LOVE EVERYBODY
  32. MAKE UP YOUR MIND
  33. WAKE UP AND FIGHT
Posted in Culture, Music Tagged with: ,

New Year’s Resolutions – 2015

New Year's Cats

My theme for 2015 will be “Simplicity.” My goal to shed clutter in all areas – streamlining, simplifying, focusing on the important and finding a state of zen. Some things I hope I can accomplish:

  • Be more active – painting, cleaning, organizing and discarding are activities that will help.
  • Finish writing and figure out how to market my novel
  • Do a lot of reading
  • Get siding repaired & house painted
  • Get the guest room organized
  • Rip ALL the CDs!
  • See my sister and her kids
Posted in Journal Tagged with: ,

2014 Year in Review

For our household, the year 2014 was overshadowed by Stephanie’s mother passing away in mid-May from cancer. She didn’t want an obituary, funeral or memorial service, but I’m unable to let go of the year without acknowledging the kind of person she was. This song makes me think of her.

Stephanie’s mom was well-read and very connected to literature and political issues, had a strong sense of empathy, justice and equality and cared passionately about making the world better. We lost a guiding light for how to observe and attend to the moral arc of the universe.

Cecily

2014 did have some wonderful and bright moments during the year. My younger brother got married in June in Jamaica and we traveled with the family to attend, which was much needed vacation and happy event with family.

We spent some time riding on the cultural trail and enjoying Indianapolis, which is really coming into it’s own as a creative cultural space. We saw several local theater productions that I really enjoyed. I stumbled across The Art Assignment and fiddled around with doing some creative works for that, although I never had much time to get it done.

Our own marriage because officially legal this year in our home state as same-sex marriages were legalized in Indiana and many other states as well. To celebrate we went downtown to hand out flowers to couples who were able to get married for the first time.

Stephanie delivering flowers for same-sex couples getting married

My nieces and nephew are getting a bit older and more entertaining (that’s what they’re supposed to do, right? entertain us?). In the fall my dad and step-mom Carol came to visit Indiana and we all stayed at the West Baden Springs Hotel in southern Indiana, which was a real treat, and visited Holiday World Theme park. Stephanie’s niece Raven came down to see us with her BF Chris and we took them to the Zoo and Dave and Busters.

Stephanie got a mostly full-time editing job at the end of the year that will go through March and hopefully beyond that if things work out well. She seems a lot happier and more fulfilled, which is awesome. Stephanie also knitted a bunch of hats this year to sell and a friend’s clothing shop, which kicks all kinds of butt, and she’s been working in a retail position for a friend of hers that does makes and sells homemade goods, which means Stephanie has continued to be introduced to cool people who are doing creative and entrepreneurial things in Indianapolis.

Stephanie at Pride

I finished NaNoWriMo again, for the fourth straight year, thus proving I can write a lot of stuff down. I took some writing classes at the Indiana Writer’s Center, went to the GenCon Writer’s Symposium, and a took a one day writing workshop put on by Writer’s Digest. I feel like my writing is vastly improved, and I hope what I’m working on now will actually turn into a real thing.

The end of the year started looking up, and we were able to spend time with friends and enjoy ourselves.

We had a funny happy problem in October and November – we had a mama kitty and four kittens living under our deck. This is the second time we’ve had this issue (the first we never caught them and they moved away.) This time we succeeded in catching all the kittens and mama kitty, and we found homes for the kittens with our friends. Mama kitty got fixed and is in a swanky heated kitty shelter on our front porch, complete with heated water dish and regular food.

I really enjoy what I’m working on at work these days, and I think it will have some impact on how our company does, which I hope is a good thing. I traveled to Denver and Chicago for work this year, and Stephanie went with me to Chicago to enjoy the town.

On the personal designing stuff front – I sold an absolute TON of stuff in my Redbubble online store – and I pledged to donate everything I made from the LGBT collection to the Indiana Youth Group (I’ve done this the past two years). This year my LGBT store exploded and I made almost $200 bucks that will be passed along to that very cool organization.

Looking over last year’s resolutions or “goals” – I did much better than I expected. Aside from these:

  • Get siding repaired & house painted
  • Get the guest room organized
  • Rip all the CDs – we’ve had our music library in a state of limbo for years. It’s time to get this done.

I did very well at most of the goals I set last year. And there were household things that came up that we accomplished that we didn’t expect – we had the deck rebuilt when part of it collapsed, and I rebuilt the grill because it needed new innards. And we did lots of other fun stuff around the house, including gardening, knitting and caring for the pets – Spike, Huckleberry, Dru, Annabelle and the fish.

Posted in Journal Tagged with:

Annual “Best of” Lists for 2014

A small selection of “best of” lists from 2014.

The Man Booker Prize – 2014 Finalists
— awarded to The Narrow Road to the Deep North: A novel by Richard Flanagan

Pulitzer Prize – The 2014 Winners Fiction Finalists
— Awarded to The Goldfinch: A Novel by Donna Tartt

Newbery Medal Award 2014 Finalists
— Awarded to Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures by Kate DiCamillo

PEN – Literary Awards Winners 2014

New York Times – 100 Notable Books of 2014

New York Times – The 10 Best Books of 2014

The Washington Post – The ten best books of 2014

Publisher’s Weekly – The Best Books of 2014

Amazon – The Best Books of 2014

Good Reads – Best Books of 2014

Autostraddle – Top 10 Queer and Feminist Books of 2014

Mother Jones – The 19 Best Photobooks of 2014

MotherJones_2014-Dec-23

New York Times Sunday Book Review – The Best Book Covers of 2014

All Our Names

Buzzfeed – 24 Movies You Probably Missed This Year, But Should Totally See

Buzzfeed – The 39 Most WTF Moments Of 2014

Reuters – Best photos of the year 2014

Wall Street Journal – Year in Photos 2014

Photo of Year 2014

Nasa on Instagram

NASA on Instagram 2014

IO9 – The Most Amazing Science Images Of 2014

Science Photos 2014

Mubi: Best Movie Posters of 2014

Frank Movie Poster

Rolling Stone – Rob Sheffield’s Top 25 Songs of 2014

Posted in Culture Tagged with: , , , , ,

NaNoWriMo 2014 Winner

NaNoWriMo Winner 2014

This is my fourth consecutive win. It sort of feels a little less-satisfying that the others. For one thing, I’m writing something that’s intensely personal, so I kind of felt pretty drained by it. Also, there was a lot of research involved because it’s historical fiction, so even when I wasn’t writing, the topic was all-consuming of my time. I have a bibliography with 20+ titles on it, and links to hundreds of websites. I have a web folder full of images, maps, and two different pinterest pages, one for the novel and one for one of the main characters.

Another reason I feel drained is because it isn’t done – and I have two other unfinished novels that I haven’t been able to get past the 75% mark. This novel I plotted out far more than the others, and I feel like it has a better chance of having some resonance, but the last two days of writing were excruciating and involved me basically throwing junk on the page. I’m so far off my outline it isn’t even funny, and I definitely need to regroup.

NaNoWriMo is great for getting a ton written in a short amount of time and staying motivated. It’s terrible for causing burnout. And all my efforts to pick up the threads and try to finish at a less punishing pace in the months that follow NaNoWriMo have fallen into failure in the past.

I’m committed to changing that scenario this year and getting the book to something readable to others. But I also need to take the month to do some reading as well.

So basically, I’m optimistic, but dazed. Which is probably normal for me, right?

The running tally of my word count this year. Compared to last year, I was far behind most of the time, rather than ahead. I didn’t plan my resources properly and I let a lot of distractions in the door this year, which didn’t help.


1. 1,667 - 4218 (4218, +2551)
2. 3,334 - 1691 (5909, +2575)
3. 5,001 - 1060 (6969, +1968)
4. 6,668 - 1701 (8670, +2002)
5. 8,335 - 1051 (9721, +1386)
6. 10,002 - 126 (9847, -155)
7. 11,669 - 1031 (10878, -791)
8. 13,336 - 3922 (14800, +1464)
9. 15,003 - 1817 (16617, +1614)
10. 16,670 - 1762 (18358, +1688)
11. 18,337 - 0 (18358, +21)
12. 20,004 - 0 (18358, -1646)
13. 21,672 - 0 (18358, -3313)
14. 23,338 - 0 (18358, -4980)
15. 25,005 - 4720 (23078, -1927)
16. 26,672 - 3747 (26825, +153)
17. 28,339 - 1837 (28662, +323)
18. 30,006 - 638 (29300, -706)
19. 31,673 - 0 (29300, -2373)
20. 33,340 - 161 (29461, -3879)
21. 35,007 - 366 (29827, -5180)
22. 36,674 - 4782 (34586, -2088)
23. 38,341 - 2268 (36854, -1487)
24. 40,008 - 440 (37294, -2714)
25. 41,675 - 4656 (41950, +275)
26. 43,342 - 1734 (43684, +342)
27. 45,009 - 813 (44497, -512)
28. 46,676 - 23 (44520, -2156)
29. 48,343 - 2733 (47253, -1090)
30. 50,010 - 2747 (50179, +179)

Posted in My Writing, Writing Tagged with: , ,

The Naming of Cats

by T. S. Eliot

The Naming of Cats is a difficult matter,
It isn’t just one of your holiday games;
You may think at first I’m as mad as a hatter
When I tell you, a cat must have THREE DIFFERENT NAMES.
First of all, there’s the name that the family use daily,
Such as Peter, Augustus, Alonzo or James,
Such as Victor or Jonathan, George or Bill Bailey–
All of them sensible everyday names.
There are fancier names if you think they sound sweeter,
Some for the gentlemen, some for the dames:
Such as Plato, Admetus, Electra, Demeter–
But all of them sensible everyday names.
But I tell you, a cat needs a name that’s particular,
A name that’s peculiar, and more dignified,
Else how can he keep up his tail perpendicular,
Or spread out his whiskers, or cherish his pride?
Of names of this kind, I can give you a quorum,
Such as Munkustrap, Quaxo, or Coricopat,
Such as Bombalurina, or else Jellylorum-
Names that never belong to more than one cat.
But above and beyond there’s still one name left over,
And that is the name that you never will guess;
The name that no human research can discover–
But THE CAT HIMSELF KNOWS, and will never confess.
When you notice a cat in profound meditation,
The reason, I tell you, is always the same:
His mind is engaged in a rapt contemplation
Of the thought, of the thought, of the thought of his name:
His ineffable effable
Effanineffable
Deep and inscrutable singular Name.

from Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats

Smudge Kitten

Noro, Truesdale, and Purl

Posted in House and Home, Poems Tagged with: , , , ,

Transgender Day of Remembrance 2014

Transgender Day of Remembrance

Transgender Day of Remembrance is observed to memorialize people killed by prejudice against transgender and gender-variant people. It also raises public awareness of hate crimes committed against transgender people – an action the media doesn’t do well, as we saw during the reporting of Indianapolis resident Ashley Sherman’s death. Day of Remembrance publicly identifies (where possible) and honors victims of violence, especially those that might be forgotten due to living in marginalized circumstances or due to deliberate or unaware misgendering of the victim after their death. We recognize that transgender people are sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, parents and friends.

81 transgender people were murdered around the world in 2014, the vast majority of them women of color, including one woman, Ashley Sherman, who was murdered here in Indianapolis, Indiana last month. Her killer is still unknown. In 2003, Indianapolis resident Nireah Johnson was murdered as well; fortunately her killers were brought to justice and incarcerated for her death and the death of her friend Brandie Coleman.

Ashley Sherman

Posted in Feminism & Women's Issues, GLBT Issues Tagged with: , , , , ,

M.r B Natural – a MST3K short

“Is that Liberace’s Mom?”

IMDB: Mr. B Natural

Posted in Funny Videos, Movies Tagged with: , ,

NaNoWriMo 2014 Book Cover and Current Word Count

Every Word is True

The working cover I made for my 2014 NaNoWriMo novel. (Spoiler alert: some words might not actually be true.)

Also, a handy graphic that updates with my word count so you can see what I’ve got going. I’m at 8670 words, above word count for day 4, and I have a pretty good idea what’s coming next. I hope.

Posted in My Writing Tagged with: , , , , ,

Benny – Little Game

Posted in Feminism & Women's Issues, GLBT Issues, Music Tagged with: , , , , ,

The Boston Electric Protective Association

From Boston: Its Commerce, Finance and Literature (with Illustrations) 1892

Boston Electric Protective Association

A bit of research I’m doing for this year’s NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo Participant 2014

Posted in My Writing Tagged with: , ,

Another black trans woman murdered, mis-gendered & mis-named in Indianapolis

ashley-tajshon-sherman

The body of Ashley (nee Tajshon) Sherman was discovered on the east side of Indianapolis on Sunday evening by a police officer who was making a traffic stop in the area. Ashley was a black trans woman who identified as female according to family members, and called herself Ashley according to co-workers. She had been the victim of numerous cases of harassment and abuse, and was a runaway at age 12. Police later updated their reports with the information that Ashley had been shot in the head. Neighbors in the Tudor Park Condominiums report hearing a shot around midnight that evening.

Initial coverage of Ashley Sherman’s death was complicated by the police and local media mis-gendering her as male after initially identifying her as female, and mis-naming her as her birth name instead of her chosen name. Misreporting trans women’s murders by mis-gendering has been linked to problems with tracking murders of trans women nationwide and hampered police investigations of those murders. Mis-naming murder victims contributes to lack of police evidence as they attempt to speak to friends who might have known the victim by their chosen name but not their birth name.

GLAAD’s guidelines on trans people call for media to correctly identify and name trans people in news stories by their chosen names and gender markers.

GLAAD Media Reference Guide -Transgender Issues

GLAAD Media Reference Guide - In Focus: Covering the Transgender Community

Fox 59’s coverage currently mis-genders Ashley and mis-names her – Homicide investigation underway after officer finds body near road on east side (originally: Woman’s Body Found Near Road on City’s East Side)

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (October 27, 2014) – A man’s body was found near the road on the city’s east side early Monday morning.

An Indianapolis Metropolitan police officer was driving near the Tudor Park Condominiums near the intersection of East 38th Street and North Mitthoeffer Road around midnight when he looked out his car window and saw the deceased person. The officer had just finished a traffic stop nearby.

Officers collected evidence from the scene and removed the body. Detectives say the man, identified as 25-year-old Tajshon Sherman, had been shot in the head.

Sherman was listed as a runaway at the age of 12 and has been mentioned in dozens of Marion County police reports since then. Several of those cases list Sherman as the victim of harassment or abuse. Others list Sherman as the suspect in prostitution and commercial sex arrests.

The exact cause of death will be determined following an autopsy. However, police said they are investigating this as a homicide.

If you know anything, call Crime Stoppers at 317-262-TIPS.

Initially Fox gave Ashley correct pronouns in the video report, but “corrected” their written story after police identified Ashley and “updated” their report. Evidence of the initial story remains in the link to the news item: http://fox59.com/2014/10/27/womans-body-found-near-road-on-citys-east-side/. In addition, the sensationalism of noting Ashley’s arrests for sex work contributes to discrimination against her, as evidenced by the comments on some of the news reports about her.

The IndyStar similarly reported and then misreported Ashley’s discovery, as can be seen in their news story – Body found on Far Eastside ruled homicide

Police have identified the person whose body was found late Sunday night on the Far Eastside as 25-year-old Tajshon Sherman of Indianapolis.

Sherman’s body was found in the 3600 block of Tudor Park Drive about 11:40 p.m. Sunday, said a dispatcher with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.

That is the area of Tudor Park Condominiums, which are east of Post Road and south of 38th Street.

Police have ruled the death a homicide.

The body was found outdoors in a grassy area along a road by an IMPD officer who spotted it as he drove past the area after making a traffic stop, IMPD Sgt. Kendale Adams said. Police originally identified the body as a woman’s but later said it was a man’s.

The body appeared to have sustained severe head injuries, Adams said. Police are unsure where or how the man was killed.

Anyone with information that could prove helpful to investigators may call Crime Stoppers at (317) 262-TIPS (8477).

WISH-TV’s coverage is mixed on identifying Ashley as she identified. They mention that she identified as female but neglect to mention Ashley’s chosen name and use her birth name instead – Mother calling for justice in Tajshon’s murder

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – An Indianapolis mother calls for justice after learning her child was found shot to death near the side of a road.

Deshea Sherman is pleading for whoever is responsible to come forward. Late Monday afternoon the Marion County corner identified the victim 25-year old Tajshon Sherman.

“That was my son. He had a life like everybody else did. He didn’t deserve to have to die like this,” Sherman said.

You could hear the pain and heartache in Sherman’s voice. She’s grieving about the tragic death of her son Tajshon. Police found the 25 year-old’s body lying under a light pole outside Tudor Park Condominiums. Investigators said Tajshon was shot to death.

“He didn’t deserve to die like that; no body deserves to be shot and killed,” said a family friend.

Family and friends gathered at the crime scene to console one another. They said Tajshon lived as a woman. The lead detective on the case was also on the scene looking for more clues into Tajshon’s death. He said right now they are not investigating Tajshon’s death as a hate crime.

“Everybody knew what he was and what he was about. That was still my child,” said Sherman.

“Shon was like a brother to me; he called me brother. He stayed at my house,” said family friend Kenneth Hearn.

Marleeta Wilcox lives in the east side neighborhood. She didn’t know Tajshon, but brought this small brown teddy bear to the scene.

“It’s just sad that (it) took someone’s child, somebody’s relative. Somebody loved that person and now they are gone,” Wilcox said.

“Not only did you hurt our family, but you hurt your own family for the crime that you have done,” said a family friend.

“You was wrong for what you did, you could have just let him go,” said Sherman.

Sherman said she will always be proud of Tajshon.

“Still proud to be his mother to this day and I love him no matter what and I just want justice done for him,” she said.

Police are not sure if Tajshon was killed where the body was found or if the body was dumped there.

It was after midnight when an officer on patrol doing a traffic stop found the body.

Anyone with information that could help police should call Crime Stoppers at 262-TIPS.

Tuesday at 5 p.m., the family will hold a candlelight vigil in the same spot where Tajshon’s body was found.

WRTV-6 has done better about telling Ashley’s story, although identifying her as trans might help police investigate her murder and they aren’t using her chosen name – Woman’s body found in east-side yard

INDIANAPOLIS – Indianapolis police are investigating the death of a 25-year-old woman whose body was found Sunday night.

The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department said the woman’s body was found in the yard at 3752 Tudor Park Drive, which is near the intersection of 38th Street and Mitthoeffer Road on the city’s east side.

The body was later identified as Tajshon Sherman, 25, of Indianapolis. Her death has been ruled a homicide.

Police spotted the body during a routine patrol of the area.

In 2003, 17-year-old Nireah Johnson, a black trans woman was murdered after a man she was interested in found out she was trans. Nireah was killed along with her friend Brandie Coleman. News coverage of the two young women’s deaths was complicated and sensationalized by the mis-gendering and mis-naming of Nireah, which continued long after her death. She is currently buried at Crown Hill Cemetery under her birth name, Gregory Johnson.

Posted in Feminism & Women's Issues, GLBT Issues Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,

Publisher’s Weekly: The Top 10 Essays Since 1950

From Publisher’s Weekly: The Top 10 Essays Since 1950.

Robert Atwan, the founder of The Best American Essays series, picks the 10 best essays of the postwar period. Links to the essays are provided when available.

Fortunately, when I worked with Joyce Carol Oates on The Best American Essays of the Century (that’s the last century, by the way), we weren’t restricted to ten selections. So to make my list of the top ten essays since 1950 less impossible, I decided to exclude all the great examples of New Journalism–Tom Wolfe, Gay Talese, Michael Herr, and many others can be reserved for another list. I also decided to include only American writers, so such outstanding English-language essayists as Chris Arthur and Tim Robinson are missing, though they have appeared in The Best American Essays series. And I selected essays, not essayists. A list of the top ten essayists since 1950 would feature some different writers.

To my mind, the best essays are deeply personal (that doesn’t necessarily mean autobiographical) and deeply engaged with issues and ideas. And the best essays show that the name of the genre is also a verb, so they demonstrate a mind in process–reflecting, trying-out, essaying.

James Baldwin, “Notes of a Native Son” (originally appeared in Harper’s, 1955)

Norman Mailer, “The White Negro” (originally appeared in Dissent, 1957)

Susan Sontag, “Notes on ‘Camp’” (originally appeared in Partisan Review, 1964)

John McPhee, “The Search for Marvin Gardens” (originally appeared in The New Yorker, 1972) (subscription required).

Joan Didion, “The White Album” (originally appeared in New West, 1979)

Annie Dillard, “Total Eclipse” (originally appeared in Antaeus, 1982)

Phillip Lopate, “Against Joie de Vivre” (originally appeared in Ploughshares, 1986)

Edward Hoagland, “Heaven and Nature” (originally appeared in Harper’s, 1988)

Jo Ann Beard, “The Fourth State of Matter” (originally appeared in The New Yorker, 1996)

David Foster Wallace, “Consider the Lobster” (originally appeared in Gourmet, 2004) (Note: the electronic version from Gourmet magazine’s archives differs from the essay that appears in The Best American Essays and in his book, Consider the Lobster.)

Posted in Writing Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,

Thirteen Ways of Looking at Greg Maddux – SBNation.com

Thirteen Ways of Looking at Greg Maddux – SBNation.com.

Posted in Brain Food Tagged with: , , ,

Ebola Cola Unfortunate Ad Placement

I clicked on an NBC story on ebola, and before they video played, they showed this coke ad… unfortunate.

Ebola Cola Ad Placement

Oops.

Posted in Current Events Tagged with: , , ,

100 novels everyone should read – Telegraph

Another “books you should read” list, this time from the telegraph. The one’s I’ve read are indicated in italics. This is actually a pretty good list – mostly classics, not a single Ayn Rand title on it.

100 novels everyone should read
The best novels of all time from Tolkien to Proust and Middlemarch

100 The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkein
WH Auden thought this tale of fantastic creatures looking for lost jewellery was a “masterpiece”.

99 To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
A child’s-eye view of racial prejudice and freaky neighbours in Thirties Alabama.

98 The Home and the World by Rabindranath Tagore
A rich Bengali noble lives happily until a radical revolutionary appears.

97 The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
Earth is demolished to make way for a Hyperspatial Express Route. Don’t panic.

96 One Thousand and One Nights Anon
A Persian king’s new bride tells tales to stall post-coital execution.

95 The Sorrows of Young Werther by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Werther loves Charlotte, but she’s already engaged. Woe is he!

94 Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie
The children of poor Hindus and wealthy Muslims are switched at birth.

93 Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John le Carré
Nursery rhyme provides the code names for British spies suspected of treason.

92 Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons
Hilarious satire on doom-laden rural romances. “Something nasty” has been observed in the woodshed.

91 The Tale of Genji by Lady Murasaki
The life and loves of an emperor’s son. And the world’s first novel?

90 Under the Net by Iris Murdoch
A feckless writer has dealings with a canine movie star. Comedy and philosophy combined.

89 The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing
Lessing considers communism and women’s liberation in what Margaret Drabble calls “inner space fiction”.

88 Eugene Onegin by Alexander Pushkin
Passion, poetry and pistols in this verse novel of thwarted love.

87 On the Road by Jack Kerouac
Beat generation boys aim to “burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles”.

86 Old Goriot by Honoré de Balzac
A disillusioning dose of Bourbon Restoration realism. The anti-hero “Rastingnac” became a byword for ruthless social climbing.

85 The Red and the Black by Stendhal
Plebian hero struggles against the materialism and hypocrisy of French society with his “force d’ame”.

84 The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas
“One for all and all for one”: the eponymous swashbucklers battle the mysterious Milady.

83 Germinal by Emile Zola
Written to “germinate” social change, Germinal unflinchingly documents the starvation of French miners.

82 The Stranger by Albert Camus
Frenchman kills an Arab friend in Algiers and accepts “the gentle indifference of the world”.

81The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
Illuminating historical whodunnit set in a 14th-century Italian monastry.

80 Oscar and Lucinda by Peter Carey
An Australian heiress bets an Anglican priest he can’t move a glass church 400km.

79 Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys
Prequel to Jane Eyre giving moving, human voice to the mad woman in the attic.

78 Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
Carroll’s ludic logic makes it possible to believe six impossible things before breakfast.

77 Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
Yossarian feels a homicidal impulse to machine gun total strangers. Isn’t that crazy?

76 The Trial by Franz Kafka
K proclaims he’s innocent when unexpectedly arrested. But “innocent of what”?

75 Cider with Rosie by Laurie Lee
Protagonist’s “first long secret drink of golden fire” is under a hay wagon.

74 Waiting for the Mahatma by RK Narayan
Gentle comedy in which a Gandhi-inspired Indian youth becomes an anti-British extremist.

73 All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Remarque
The horror of the Great War as seen by a teenage soldier.

72 Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant by Anne Tyler
Three siblings are differently affected by their parents’ unexplained separation.

71 The Dream of the Red Chamber by Cao Xueqin
Profound and panoramic insight into 18th-century Chinese society.

70 The Leopard by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa
Garibaldi’s Redshirts sweep through Sicily, the “jackals” ousting the nobility, or “leopards”.

69 If On a Winter’s Night a Traveller by Italo Calvino
International book fraud is exposed in this playful postmodernist puzzle.

68 Crash by JG Ballard
Former TV scientist preaches “a new sexuality, born from a perverse technology”.

67 A Bend in the River by VS Naipaul
East African Indian Salim travels to the heart of Africa and finds “The world is what it is.”

66 Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Boy meets pawnbroker. Boy kills pawnbroker with an axe. Guilt, breakdown, Siberia, redemption.

65 Dr Zhivago by Boris Pasternak
Romantic young doctor’s idealism is trampled by the atrocities of the Russian Revolution.

64 The Cairo Trilogy by Naguib Mahfouz
Follows three generations of Cairenes from the First World War to the coup of 1952.

63 The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
Stevenson’s “bogey tale” came to him in a dream.

62 Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift
Swift’s scribulous satire on travellers’ tall tales (the Lilliputian Court is really George I’s).

61 My Name Is Red by Orhan Pamuk
A painter is murdered in Istanbul in 1591. Unusually, we hear from the corpse.

60 One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez
Myth and reality melt magically together in this Colombian family saga.

59 London Fields by Martin Amis
A failed novelist steals a woman’s trashed diaries which reveal she’s plotting her own murder.

58 The Savage Detectives by Roberto Bolaño
Gang of South American poets travel the world, sleep around, challenge critics to duels.

57 The Glass Bead Game by Herman Hesse
Intellectuals withdraw from life to play a game of musical and mathematical rules.

56 The Tin Drum by Günter Grass
Madhouse memories of the Second World War. Key text of European magic realism.

55 Austerlitz by WG Sebald
Paragraph-less novel in which a Czech-born historian traces his own history back to the Holocaust.

54 Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
Scholar’s sexual obsession with a prepubescent “nymphet” is complicated by her mother’s passion for him.

53 The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
After nuclear war has rendered most sterile, fertile women are enslaved for breeding.

52 The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger
Expelled from a “phony” prep school, adolescent anti-hero goes through a difficult phase.

51 Underworld by Don DeLillo
From baseball to nuclear waste, all late-20th-century American life is here.
READ: The best books of 2014

class=”checked”50 Beloved by Toni Morrison
Brutal, haunting, jazz-inflected journey down the darkest narrative rivers of American slavery.

49 The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
“Okies” set out from the Depression dustbowl seeking decent wages and dignity.

48 Go Tell It On the Mountain by James Baldwin
Explores the role of the Christian Church in Harlem’s African-American community.

47The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera
A doctor’s infidelities distress his wife. But if life means nothing, it can’t matter.

46 The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark
A meddling teacher is betrayed by a favourite pupil who becomes a nun.

45 The Voyeur by Alain Robbe-Grillet
Did the watch salesman kill the girl on the beach. If so, who heard?

44 Nausea by Jean-Paul Sartre
A historian becomes increasingly sickened by his existence, but decides to muddle on.

43 The Rabbit books by John Updike
A former high school basketball star is unsatisfied by marriage, fatherhood and sales jobs.

42 The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
A boy and a runaway slave set sail on the Mississippi, away from Antebellum “sivilisation”.

41 The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle
A drug addict chases a ghostly dog across the midnight moors.

40 The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton
Lily Bart craves luxury too much to marry for love. Scandal and sleeping pills ensue.

39 Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
A Nigerian yam farmer’s local leadership is shaken by accidental death and a missionary’s arrival.

38The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald
A mysterious millionaire’s love for a woman with “a voice full of money” gets him in trouble.

37 The Warden by Anthony Trollope
“Of all novelists in any country, Trollope best understands the role of money,” said W.H. Auden.

36 Les Misérables by Victor Hugo
An ex-convict struggles to become a force for good, but it ends badly.

35 Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis
An uncommitted history lecturer clashes with his pompous boss, gets drunk and gets the girl.

34 The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler
“Dead men are heavier than broken hearts” in this hardboiled crime noir.

33 Clarissa by Samuel Richardson
Epistolary adventure whose heroine’s bodice is savagely unlaced by the brothel-keeping Robert Lovelace.

32 A Dance to the Music of Time by Anthony Powell
Twelve-book saga whose most celebrated character wears “the wrong kind of overcoat”.

31 Suite Francaise by Irène Némirovsky
Published 60 years after their author was gassed, these two novellas portray city and village life in Nazi-occupied France.

30 Atonement by Ian McEwan
Puts the “c” word in the classic English country house novel.

29 Life: a User’s Manual by Georges Perec
The jigsaw puzzle of lives in a Parisian apartment block. Plus empty rooms.

28 Tom Jones by Henry Fielding
Thigh-thwacking yarn of a foundling boy sewing his wild oats before marrying the girl next door.

27 Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Human endeavours “to mock the stupendous mechanism of the Creator of the world” have tragic consequences.

26 Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell
Northern villagers turn their bonnets against the social changes accompanying the industrial revolution.

25 The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins
Hailed by TS Eliot as “the first, the longest, and the best of modern English detective novels”.

24 Ulysses by James Joyce
Modernist masterpiece reworking of Homer with humour. Contains one of the longest “sentences” in English literature: 4,391 words.

23 Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
Buying the lies of romance novels leads a provincial doctor’s wife to an agonising end.

22 A Passage to India by EM Forster
A false accusation exposes the racist oppression of British rule in India.

21 1984 by George Orwell
In which Big Brother is even more sinister than the TV series it inspired.

20 Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne
Samuel Johnson thought Sterne’s bawdy, experimental novel was too odd to last. Pah!

class=”checked”19 The War of the Worlds by HG Wells
Bloodsucking Martian invaders are wiped out by a dose of the sniffles.

18 Scoop by Evelyn Waugh
Waugh based the hapless junior reporter in this journalistic farce on former Telegraph editor Bill Deedes.

17 Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
Sexual double standards are held up to the cold, Wessex light in this rural tragedy.

16 Brighton Rock by Graham Greene
A seaside sociopath mucks up murder and marriage in Greene’s literary Punch and Judy show.

15 The Code of the Woosters by PG Wodehouse
A scrape-prone toff and pals are suavely manipulated by his gentleman’s personal gentleman.

14 Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
Out on the winding, windy moors Cathy and Heathcliff become each other’s “souls”. Then he storms off.

13 David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
Debt and deception in Dickens’s semi-autobiographical Bildungsroman crammed with cads, creeps and capital fellows.

12 Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
A slave trader is shipwrecked but finds God, and a native to convert, on a desert island.

11 Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Every proud posh boy deserves a prejudiced girl. And a stately pile.

10 Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
Picaresque tale about quinquagenarian gent on a skinny horse tilting at windmills.

9 Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
Septimus’s suicide doesn’t spoil our heroine’s stream-of-consciousness party.

8 Disgrace by JM Coetzee
An English professor in post-apartheid South Africa loses everything after seducing a student.

7 Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
Poor and obscure and plain as she is, Mr Rochester wants to marry her. Illegally.

6 In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust
Seven-volume meditation on memory, featuring literature’s most celebrated lemony cake.

5 Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
“The conquest of the earth,” said Conrad, “is not a pretty thing.”

4 The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James
An American heiress in Europe “affronts her destiny” by marrying an adulterous egoist.

3 Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
Tolstoy’s doomed adulteress grew from a daydream of “a bare exquisite aristocratic elbow”.

2 Moby-Dick by Herman Melville
Monomaniacal Captain Ahab seeks vengeance on the white whale which ate his leg.

1 Middlemarch by George Eliot
“One of the few English novels written for grown-up people,” said Virginia Woolf.

Posted in Reading Lists Tagged with: , , ,

Boxed In: Employment Of Behind-The-Scenes And On-Screen Women In 2013-14 Prime-Time Television

As Long As Women Are Not Free

From the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film: San Diego State University, the annual report on women in television

The report is available in a downloadable PDF file: Boxed In: Employment Of Behind-The-Scenes And On-Screen Women In 2013-14 Prime-Time Television

In 2013-14, women comprised 27% of creators, executive producers, producers, writers, directors, editors, and directors of photography working on prime-time programs airing on the broadcast networks. This represents a decrease of 1 percentage point from 2012-13. On screen, women accounted for 42% of all speaking characters, a decrease of 1 percentage point from 2012-13. This year’s study also reports the findings of an expanded sample including programs airing on the broadcast networks, on basic and paid cable channels, and available through Netflix.

Posted in Feminism & Women's Issues, Television Tagged with: , ,

East of the Sun and West of the Moon

Wikipedia: “East of the Sun and West of the Moon” is a Norwegian folk tale.

1024px-TheodorKittelsen-KvitebjørnKongValemon(1912)

The White Bear approaches a poor peasant and asks if he will give him his youngest daughter; in return, he will make the man rich. The girl is reluctant, so the peasant asks the bear to return, and persuades her in the meantime. The White Bear takes her off to a rich and enchanted castle. At night, he takes off his bear form in order to come to her bed as a man, although the lack of light means that she never sees him.

When she grows homesick, the bear agrees that she might go home as long as she agrees that she will never speak with her mother alone, but only when other people are about. At home, they welcome her, and her mother makes persistent attempts to speak with her alone, finally succeeding and persuading her to tell the whole tale. Hearing it, her mother insists that the White Bear must really be a troll, gives her some candles, and tells her to light them at night, to see what is sharing her bed.

The youngest daughter obeys, and finds he is a highly attractive prince, but she spills three drops of the melted tallow on him, waking him. He tells her that if she held out a year, he would have been free, but now he must go to his wicked stepmother, who enchanted him into this shape and lives in a castle east of the sun and west of the moon, and marry her hideous daughter, a troll princess.

In the morning, the youngest daughter finds that the palace has vanished. She sets out in search of him. Coming to a great mountain, she finds an old woman playing with a golden apple. The youngest daughter asks if she knows the way to the castle east of the sun and west of the moon. The old woman cannot tell her, but lends the youngest daughter a horse to reach a neighbor who might know, and gives her the apple. The neighbor is sitting outside another mountain, with a golden carding comb. She, also, does not know the way to the castle east of the sun and west of the moon, but lends the youngest daughter a horse to reach a neighbor who might know, and gives her the carding-comb. The third neighbor has a golden spinning wheel. She, also, does not know the way to the castle east of the sun and west of the moon, but lends the youngest daughter a horse to reach the East Wind and gives her the spinning wheel.

The East Wind has never been to the castle east of the sun and west of the moon, but his brother the West Wind might have, being stronger. He takes her to the West Wind. The West Wind does the same, bringing her to the South Wind; the South Wind does the same, bringing her to the North Wind. The North Wind reports that he once blew an aspen leaf there, and was exhausted after, but he will take her if she really wants to go. The youngest daughter does wish to go, and so he takes her there.

The next morning, the youngest daughter takes out the golden apple. The troll princess who was to marry the prince sees it and wants to buy it. The girl agrees, if she can spend the night with the prince. The troll princess agrees but gives the prince a sleeping drink, so that the youngest daughter cannot wake him. The same thing happens the next night, after the youngest daughter pays the troll princess with the gold carding-combs. During the girl’s attempts to wake the prince, her weeping and calling to him is overheard by some imprisoned townspeople in the castle, who tell the prince of it. On the third night, in return for the golden spinning wheel, the troll princess brings the drink, but the prince does not drink it, and so is awake for the youngest daughter’s visit.

The prince tells her how she can save him: He will declare that he will not marry anyone who cannot wash the tallow drops from his shirt since trolls, such as his stepmother and her daughter, the troll princess, cannot do it. So instead, he will call in the youngest daughter, and she will be able to do it, so she will marry him. The plan works, and the trolls, in a rage, burst. The prince and his bride free the prisoners captive in the castle, take the gold and silver within, and leave the castle east of the sun and west of the moon.

Posted in Brain Food, Literature Tagged with: ,

Helpful Animated Gif Post

Because you can’t post these on Facebook the way you should be able to.

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Brand New Ancients On Film

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

More about Kate Tempest

Posted in Brain Food, Poems Tagged with: , , , , ,
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