Controlling the Daydreaming


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“People were always telling Sam to focus. When they did, he felt frustrated, sad and dumb. Sam’s dad knew he wasn’t dumb, so he brought him to a doctor…And then one day Sam got to school on time with his homework!…He also wrote a really great story that day”

-This Morning Sam Went to Mars: A book about paying attention by Nancy Carlson

Note: This book is about a child who has trouble paying attention in school due to his love of daydreaming. He also loves writing fiction. The ‘cure’ is a change in diet, a clear schedule (including sleep) and help (from mom, dad and teacher) with little things like organization and keeping to a deadline. There’s no mention of medication – pro or con.

Environmentalism and the City


Urban Bestiary on

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Cities, ill-planned messes as they might currently be, are the places that the bulk of us will have to live if earthly life—both human and wild—is going to have any chance of flourishing.”

Well-planned urban density is the most ecologically promising mode of human habitation, allowing our homes to cluster, to be built alongside and on top of one another. This clustering encourages a sharing of resources, tools, energy, ingenuity, transport, and pavement that keep humans in one walkable/bikeable/busable place instead of sprawling out and further fragmenting the open spaces, wetlands, and woodlands that support wild creatures and systems.

-The Urban Bestiary: Encountering the Everyday Wild by Lyanda Lynn Haupt

From the introduction: “My intent was not to be all-inclusive, but rather to treat species that are common in most urban places and those that have a particular lesson for coexisting with wildlife that can be extrapolated to other species, including the many that are not directly considered here...nearly everyone reading this book will be able to say, “I wish she’d written about __________.” But my goal, my dream, actually, is that this is just the start of a huge, earthen bestiary, an invitation to wild intimacy, written daily by all of us, through attention to the creatures in our midst.

Standing Up For Yourself


Calling Invisible Women

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“When I look back on my life, I was invisible for so many years before I became invisible. I never did stand up for myself. If you don’t stand up before you become invisible, what chance do you have of making people pay attention to you when you aren’t there?”

They’ve trained themselves not to notice things because the less they notice the more we’ll just take care of it for them.

-Calling Invisible Women by Jeanne Ray

Masks, Skin and a Chance to Just Be


It’s 1947. American women had been granted the right to vote less than 30 years earlier. In twenty years, they would be talking about liberating themselves. But for now, women would have to be content to put on scanty costumes and assume a disguise in order to act like themselves”

They had been forced into the roles of well-mannered daughters or girlfriends, and a secret life gave these women a chance to be themselves. Putting on a cape and mask liberated these women to live the kind of life that they dreamed of—one where they could help make their world a better place.

-The Supergirls: Fashion, Feminism, Fantasy, and the History of Comic Book Heroines by Mike Madrid


Ethics and Compliance


End of Ethics

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“Business and personal ethics are no longer an integral part of global corporate cultures. The reality is that ethics has been dumbed down to mean compliance. Compliance is generally seen as a “back office,” ineffectual division of a corporation or investment bank. Managers simply don’t want to know of ethical dilemmas or failures. The new normal is to simply know just enough to stay out of courtrooms and, potentially, jail. Best practices, doing the right thing, or building lasting bonds of trust have become reduced to an idealistic goal, not the actual reality.”

-The End of Ethics and A Way Back: How To Fix A Fundamentally Broken Global Financial System by Theodore Roosevelt Malloch, Jordan D. Mamorsky

Halloween Capital

halloween capitalAnoka Minnesota puts on a huge Halloween celebration every year. While I have not had the opportunity to participate, I have heard about it and driven through the town during Halloween week. It’s a big deal. Really. Big. Deal.

Halloween and Community

While browsing my public library for books on the upcoming Halloween holiday, I ran across this local history text and found a few fun quotes about Anoka and Halloween. Perhaps the most striking aspect to the history of this celebration is the amount of community building that it provides – even during difficult times like the great depression.


For most children in the early decades of the twentieth century, Halloween was a night for troublemaking. The children of Anoka and their friends from the surrounding communities took this idea to a whole new level.”

On the morning after Halloween, 1919, early risers in Anoka, MN were greeted by an astonishing sight. Cows, it seemed, had taken over the town! Bovines were browsing September of 1920 the citizens of Anoka turned to influential men in the community to see how to best avoid a repeat of the previous year’s trouble.

The following decade of the economic depression that devastated the nation affected Anoka, but the hard times did not dampen their spirits when it came to Halloween. The 1930s brought a series of new events to the Halloween celebration, including an activity that acted as a form of group therapy, the burning of Old Man Depression.

GLBT Controversy

In the interest of fairness, I must mention the tragic events leading up to the Anoka Halloween parade controversy. In 2012, bullying of GLBT students in the Anoka schools lead to several suicides and a lawsuit, which made big headlines. It also spurred the creation of an Anti-Bullying task force and the non-profit Justin’s Gift. Unfortunately, Justin’s Gift was denied entry into the parade of 2012. According to the group’s website Justin’s Gift is hosting a Halloween party (no mention of the parade) in 2014.


Justin’s Gift still had a presence at the 2012 Grand Day Parade. The organization had a booth set up in the parking lot of a church on the parade route where they sold t-shirts, buttons, bracelets and other items. Floats from other cities also showed their solidarity with the group by mounting signs next to their waving princesses that read, “We Support Justin’s Gift.”

“Justin’s Gift was able to proudly walk among its community members in the 2013 Anoka Halloween Parade. The group was met with cheers and support from onlookers.”

-History and Hauntings of the Halloween Capital by Roxy Orcutt

Natural Modification of Memory


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“I strive for complete honesty on the page; however, I have no faith that recollection ever produces an absolute truth. Memory is never perfect, never static, and as far as I can tell, it evolves constantly with age. I’m grateful for that.”

-Animal, Mineral, Radical: Essays on Wildlife, Family, and Food by BK Loren

Insignificant Soul


Fire Logic

Fire Logic

It was a small thing, insignificant beyond notice, that the fall of the House of Lilterwess had severed Emil’s soul, separating the scholar from the soldier, leaving his heart on the steps of the library while his duty called him away to war.

-Fire Logic (Elemental Logic) by Laurie J. Marks

The Rose Is Your Conscience


Women Heroes of WWII

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“We will not be silent. We are your bad conscience. The White Rose will not leave you in peace!”
—from the fourth White Rose leaflet

On February 22, 1943, Sophie Scholl, her brother Hans, and Christoph Probst were executed just hours following their trial. There would be more arrests, imprisonments, and executions of those who had been involved, but as of that sad day the work of the White Rose, as it had been, was no more.

-Women Heroes of World War II: 26 Stories of Espionage, Sabotage, Resistance, and Rescue (Women of Action) by Kathryn J. Atwood