Thursday, December 1, 2011

Twitter: A Writing Exercise

I decided to enter yet another social media realm, Twitter. At first, it was just to see what it was all about andthen I decided it would be a really amazing way to learn how to edit myself down to a mere 140 characters, including spacing and punctuation. Below are a string of tweets sent out to the world before I actually had people “following” me other than one friend who told me that Twitter was a great way to just send your thoughts out into the universe. The exercise was more cathartic that I would have ever imagined. Most of my tweets have become less poetic, but I would recommend what I now call the Twitter Poetry exercise.

Love is like the ocean. Vast, seemingly never ending, gentle rocking like a cradle. Like the ocean it can rage like a northeaster.

Love is like an ocean. Crystal clear Bimini blue with 100% visibility. Like the ocean depths, where no light has ever visited.

Love is like an ocean. It can offer a safe harbor or dash you against a hidden reef. You curse yourself for not seeing the obvious.

Love is like the ocean. You may feel like a seaworthy vessel but the ocean can sink you nevertheless.

Love is like the ocean. Wounds sting but heal quicker.

Love is like an ocean. Sails fill with a nickel of wind but remember you might end up dead in the water again.

Love is like the ocean. Sirens beckon, you are overwhelmed with the mystery of its depths.

Friday, October 21, 2011


I still don't totally understand how I ended up in Texas, or should I say, ended back in Texas. I did take a 2 1/2 year break, but I've been back for 11 years. Once you get here, it gets harder and harder to get out. Texas is a big ass state! It can take a good hard day of driving to reach the closest state border, so I guess you just say awhile. 

When I first arrived in Austin, I pronounced the Spanish named streets like my 8th grade Spanish teacher (Mrs. Morales) taught me. Now I've learned to talk like a Texacan. Manchaca is pronounced Man-Chak. Guadalupe sounds like Gwad-a-loop and San Jacinto? San Jay Sinto... so much for that rule about J in Spanish.

Another amazing first moment made me think that there were no other Jews in the state or someone Jewish had a great sense of humor. I saw a huge red neon sign that said:

I later learned it was a grocery store chain. H is for Henry E. and B is for Butts (I don't think this is a Jewish guy). We still say, "We're going to the HEB, need anything?" BTW. there are a few shelves in each HEB of Kosher food, right close to the other "ethnic food."

Right close? A Texacan thing to say. After so many years, it is a bit alarming that I barely notice the Texacan in my daily speech. I have been known to say, "I'm fixin to..." or the dreaded, "might should.." without blinkin. Oh my goddess, see.. a "g" just slipped away! This, from a woman who uses Yiddish expression nearly every day and still says "Aw-range" and Straawberry like I left New York a few weeks ago.

Another Texacan thing is to brag about how I've managed to survive the worst recorded summer heat in Austin history. As I have previously blogged, weather is easily a 30-minute conversation...with a stranger...while in the HEB check out line... after everyone seems to have gotten out of church gets out on Sunday (everyone is in their Sunday best jeans), after the Friday pay day. It seems like everyone gets paid every other Friday in Austin. The next top ten topic of conversation after weather is High School or College Football, but that is another blog.

I realized a few weeks ago just how Texacanized I have really become. We've been thinking about putting aside some cash for a second vehicle. All of a sudden, I want a wait for it... (Hold on to your hats! Oh right, only Texans wear hats all the time) A TRUCK!!!!

Not an SUV or crossover. A truck. Not to freak out anyone too much, I want a little truck. No big tires for me. I do not want a truck that requires a step extension. No F anything, more like a truck so I can put stuff in the back, like firewood. Small enough so a couch or bed WILL NOT fit. I don't mind helping a friend move boxes but I am not opening a moving business. Big Truck? Kiss your weekends goodbye!

I can hear my friends getting a giggle about this. I am sure a serious intervention will take place. "Really, Why on earth do you want a truck?" I really have no logical explanation. I used to say, "I want a pony" every time my son started his list of "I wants"  and he laughs. Now he catches himself mid list and says, "I know Mom (eyes rolling). You want a truck." Maybe I want a truck because every month is Truck Month at just about any dealership here in the Big State. Or maybe it is the "Texas Edition" that just wins me over.

I'm supposin as a Texacan that I'm fixin to get a small truck right soon enough ya'll!

Saturday, September 10, 2011


It has been one year and four days since I had an internet connection in my home and now... I'm back. I no longer have to type with my thumbs. Imagine trying to type a blog entry of value with your thumbs. At first, we cut the net as a way to be more frugal in our spending (read: so broke I couldn't pay attention)  but then we just kinda decided it did not have enough value. Without internet my son, husband, and I read more than our normal "I love to read" amounts. We played board and computer games. I spent more time trying to complete my knitting projects. I say tried because I am making two blankets made up of squares using whatever yarn I have and neither is finished. 

We also cut off cable/TV. We watched every DVD and VHS movie in our collection and those of our friends. I still love "American in Paris" even though I've watched it more times than I can count before we disconnected and now my son can sing along with Gene Kelly. How can that be bad??? The downside was not having real-time access to the news. But I soon realized that I wasn't watching the real news, just talking heads. I ending up getting my news from NPR and online via my smart phone. 

Now I can sit down when the mood strikes me and actually create a blog post and immediately publish it. Now I can read a whole web page of news without shrinking and enlarging a bazillion times. Now we can watch movies on Netflix without waiting for our one movie to arrive in the mail. Now we can access the PlayStation Network and my son can be sucked in for hours (not really, we allot 40 minute time slots). 

So what drove us to reconnect? Well, the school year started and my guy should have access to research for projects. My husband has a new job and he can work from home. I've been active in reforming Austin's chapter of the National Organization for Women. So it was time for us to rejoin the modern world. However, I plan to have a minimum of three disconnected days a week, once the thrill has subsided. 

Saturday, July 2, 2011

The Hive

Perhaps its been awhile since you have been part of cubeworld. Corporate culture is faced with radical change. Every desk holds a portal to the web... tempting even the most dedicated worker to be sucked in without adult supervision. Personal email, instant access to your bank balance and perhaps Ebay?

A queen cupImage via Wikipedia
Mr. C, also know as The Man, the queen bee, has combated the web with a series of abstract policies to keep their worker bees in check. They have creative names like "Social Media Contract." All worker bees pledge they will mind the hive, each year you you digitally acknowledge your pledge. "I (enter bee  name here" promise to use the web to support and product the honey."

However, this may not do the trick. Unit leaders are compelled to remind their recruits that Facebook has a time stamp for every bee update. I'm sure that Mark Zuckerberg envisioned Facebook to be a  wide open field of clover where a bee can be happy and carefree.

Beeware: The Queen has a dragnet, phising software to rack the net and catch their bees being crazy bees of the clock. Is it just me or is Corporate America becoming our nosey neighbor peeping through the curtains every time you leave for the day? Has the bee voiced their First Amendment right? is it within corporate policy?

Doucing is an old/new name for a new kind of discrimination. I'm a good worker bee, I have high worker bee ethics and I'm grateful for the benefits offered by the hive, a predictable pay check, and benefits.

But! I'm a radical bee after hours. I use the skills that make me a good bee outside of work. I write. My name is Star and I'm a blogger (Hi Star). It has come to my attention through the buzz of the hive that what I have said in my blog may violate the hive policy. Buzzzzzz, I have never, ever identified my hive. There are a few hives right close (yep, Texas, an at will state) to my hive.

So my fellow busy bees, I have defriended my hive workers in the field of clover and would like to remind all bees that your stinger really is in your own ass. So watch where ya sit and stop buzzing around my field of clover.

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Sunday, May 15, 2011

On Friendship

Friendship is like your favorites book. When you are little you had that favorite book that you made anyone read to you until one day you could read it to your Mom or Dad. My son’s favorites were “Goodnight Moon” and “Guess How Much I Love You.” Mine was “Bedtime for Frances.”  

Bedtime for Frances [Book]

Friends are like those childhood favorites. You may not see that friend for months or even years, but down off the shelf they fall, or call out to you. You know each other beginning, middle, and where you left off, not quite the end.

Their words, your shared memories shave off years and you hear the laughter of your carefree youth tinkling again. You clearly remember the people, and places after probing each other’s memories. You suddenly sound like that other person you used to be and you catch yourself looking in the mirror to see if you still look like her… that woman you once were before she became the you that you are today.

The beauty of that friendship is that you don’t have to read the story out loud; your friend already knows it. You being the chapter and they finish it without having to think twice.

There is love, pain, joy, surprise, wounding, healing, frustration, laughter and tears. All shared and they know where you have been because they where there with you. While later chapters were lost or still not written, your friend can catch with fast because the beginning of the book captivated us. A book or two or more may have ended but like my son says, “Maybe it will be a series…” after reading a good one.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Day Book

I haven’t been connected to the internet on my home computer since October of 2010 but this doesn’t mean I haven’t been writing. While surfing one of my favorite websites,, I found this great blog on how to encourage kids to write. The idea is to keep a Day Book, a place to write ideas that will not be graded in any way. So I adopted the idea. First you have to find a journal that is bound and hopefully the kind that you can find again later so you eventually can put the date range on the cover and you’ll have a nifty “series” of Day Books on your shelf. I found a composition book that has this great black and white floral pattern on it at the grocery store. Super cheap since I bought it during tax-free weekend for school supplies. And keeping with the concept, I made a few rules...

1.     No tearing out pages. I have done this with other journals that I’ve kept over the years because I did not want to revisit an experience or thought the writing was lousy.
2.     Write with what you want. This satisfies the office supply junkie in me. I love pens, markers, highlighters and pencils.

3.     Let it flow. No need for complete sentences. Include lists or a word that just tickles my fancy.
4.     Editing is allowed, but no erasers. This way I can still see the original work.

5.     Use of sticky notes allowed. Another way to get at those beloved office supplies!

6.     Glued in elements are encouraged as well as drawings, doodles, etc. I like the scrapbook idea for writing. Found objects are great and I always used to doodle in my school notebooks.
7.     Use both sides of each page. This encourages my eco-friendly side and days flow.
8.     Date each entry so you can remember. Seasonal elements add depth to writing.

9.     There are no bad ideas. If you end up crossing something out, you may just go back and use that idea later on.  

I now have a place to blog without typing, which is not always great since I can type way faster than I can handwrite. I now have a place to store all my ideas that end up on my blog. Hope this helps any inspiring writer of any kind. I’m sure it is not a new idea, but it just struck me as so wonderful that I had to share it.  

Speaking of online writing, if you are interested in publishing unique pieces online, please visit, an online magazine that is accepting written works for its inaugural online edition.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Unplugged 11/12/2010

It may have not been by choice but I’ve been unplugged for just over a month. No cable, no Internet; therefore, the absence from blogging. At first I bummed… missing my shows, Food and Cooking network and football games. I can still access email and FB on my phone.

We watch DVDs that my brother-in-law left behind, the kid flicks, every VHS tape and DVD we have ever collected and I ended up reading more than just before bed.

Book Count:

· 4 Sookie Stackhouse books

· Finished Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest

· Shanghai Girls

· The Piano Teacher

FB games are like crack! Now that I’ve been clean for a month I go to bed earlier, spend more time reading, writing and being with my family. I even have more of the elusive “me” time. I can almost keep up with the New Yorker magazine. I read our Smithsonian mag from cover to cover. I am a reading fan of NPR and Edutopia.

Now the dilemma- if we re-connect. I would like to have access to PDF files and java-scripted content. I’d like to catch up on Weeds, Greys and Private Practice…

I hereby swear to ignore all Zynega applications. Perhaps only the internet will be necessary because I can watch TV on the internet, maybe two nights a week?

Send books and movies !