Happy Flashback Friday!!! – I would walk 500 MILES (The Proclaimers)

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Overworked (BLW Contributor)

The Conglomerate Lode

So endless the week appears

Five days this task

Eight hours each, two teams of ten

Merchandise shifts, rearranged in Renton, Washington

Dust swirls, the nose overburden

Ah-choo, ah-choo, ah-choo

Final day mini-trip

Local lake I park

Waves slap on shore near and far

Mountains rise the backdrop

Clouds grey and dark the painting complete

Homes, hundreds, eat into

Nevertheless mind at ease

Raft of ducks navigate the tide

Moored boats mimic the ride

Seagulls perch on shore, wind rustles

I am captivated, I am adrift

So serene, yet so alive

For a brief breath of time work aside

Alas, time to go

I back out, to the show

Seagulls block the path, yet slowly part

Will they let me go or attack?

No time work beckons.

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Proud Father Moment…Update (BLW Contributor)

souldaddy

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Back in January, I wrote the great news about my son who was invited to take the SAT as a seventh grader. This weekend, we received his scores. He was afraid to open the envelope because he kept saying he wasn’t confident about his performance. So I opened the envelope for him. This boy…this SEVENTH GRADER…earned a huge 1380 on the SAT. This placed him in the 96th percentile of the other seventh graders invited to take the test, and it placed him in the 93rd percentile of ALL students combined (middle school through twelfth grade).

The score report indicated he met the benchmark for college readiness, so I asked my son “What’s the point of even going to high school?” His answer was “Because of social norming.”

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The Hideous Bonsai (BLW Contributor)

thesixfootbonsai

No matter what I chose to do in my life the going seemed to be tough, like forcing water to run uphill, defying gravity—attempting to countermand the very laws of nature and the manner in which the world works.

Imagine me, a simple girl from rural Michigan wanting to be Japanese. Me, an intensely independent child who cherished nothing more than to be outside barefoot on her grandparent’s farm playing in an unstructured manner, transplanting herself into a too shallow vessel in an ineffectual attempt to morph into a demure, soft-spoken woman.

I had been born a Michigan pine, a sapling lashed by the wind that crosses from Lake Michigan to Lakes Huron and Erie. But I had allowed myself to be pruned and trained in an unnatural way . . . not simply in an attempt to acclimate to new soil for a time. No, in an ill-fated decision…

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Tradition’s Evolution (BLW Contributor)

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Traditions Evolution

March forward, I say
not back.
Reaching out,
discovering another way.
Not for Knowing’s sake,
or even New’s.
For Tradition’s Evolution,
past these Darker Days
now stepping back
to the past,
of failed promises
for those who need it most.
Reach out, march forward
toward a future where
everyone succeeds
and society cares about
neighbors having
all they need
not being judged for
what the don’t.
Unburden yourself from
the past ways of
kings and prophets,
of saviors and charlatans,
for Tradition’s Evolution.

TJ Reed

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Women Crush Wednesday (Throwback) – Lindsay Lohan “Smoke Break” by Ryan Fu

It was another hectic car chase with Lindsay today following her from her mandatory community service at the Red Cross. I always thought chasing someone on the streets was already crazy but successful following someone on the freeway took skills and balls. Especially when Lindsay was behind the wheel pretending it was the Indy 500 trying to get away from us. She wanted to stay out of the public eye because of the recent bad press about her rock star lifestyle. Of course, the media blew it out proportion calling her a troubled lost young adult, not resembling her younger former self. In any case, she didn’t give up all day long which seemed like she wasn’t going to give it up without a fight. 

We were determined to get a shot of her because everyone wanted to know what she was up to and everyone loves a fall from grace story. We carefully navigate our cars in and out of traffic, amazingly not causing any traffic accidents. She thankfully gets off the freeway heading towards Hollywood. We all prepare ourselves for her landing, telling my partner in the other car to get ready. She drives into a residential neighborhood, finally stopping at her assistant’s house. 

We quickly park our rides right in the middle of street blocking incoming traffic. We try to shoot her as soon as she gets out of her car but she puts her jacket over her head running towards the house as we try to get any kind of angle of her face but failing miserably. We then make the cardinal sin by getting on her property but I noticed what we were going and I stopped myself but unfortunately it didn’t stop the others from trying to take pictures of her. Looking at other paps not give a fuck about her private space as they walk all over the assistants Rose garden, shooting her right on her doorstep as she walks in to get away from the savages. 

Most of the paps decide to leave because they all felt like she wasn’t going out anymore because we acted like such animals towards her on the way in. My partner and I were the only ones to stay behind because we didn’t great shots of her going in. We quietly stayed inside of our cars hoping that she would step out again trying to get something for all our hard work today. An hour passes by as I start becoming claustrophobic inside of my own car.

I had to step outside, lighting up a fag. My partner had the same brilliant idea joining me outside as we smoked right in front of Lindsay’s house. As we were trying to relax we hear a faint call in the distance. It was Lindsay asking for a match.

We turn around looking at Lindsay walk towards us as we both don’t react to what was happening. She casually walks up towards us asking for a light again as my partner finally gives her a lighter. There was a bit of awkward silence for a couple of minutes as you would imagine as we both look at Lilo both of us thinking, why the hell we are not shooting the shit out her. She breaks the uncomfortable silence by talking about the weather as we respond with one word answers still in shock to what was going on. We were in the Twilight Show where she was a normal person and we weren’t scumbag paparazzis trying to get a photo.

We were just normal people sharing a metaphorical fire together using the bond of lung cancer. Looking at her carefully smoking her cigarette, she didn’t look like a troubled or lost person. She looked like any another young woman trying to get her shit together but with the add pressure of media. If we were in her shoes we wouldn’t probably handle it as well as she did. She finished her last puff saying it was great talking to us even though we only said a couple of words. It was nice to see we could be normal people if only for a couple of minutes. 

She walked back into her house as we walk back into our cars thinking about how amazing that interaction was between us and Lindsay. A couple of minutes later she came out with her assistant as we start shooting her again, walking towards her car pretending that we didn’t have an incredible bond we made just minutes ago.

But this is what it is, a symbiotic relationship between the hunted and the hunters, but always knowing we were all the same.

Just a bunch of people trying to make sense of this crazy ass world we are living in which all of us trying are best and hopefully we can stop cutting each other down, but let’s face it.

Haters are going to hate. It’s easy to say shit while you’re looking up from the bottom. I say “fuck em,” give them a reason to hate and just do you. Remember not everyone liked Jesus, but it didn’t stop him from being legendary.

RYAN FU

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Germany off the beaten path (BLW Contributor)

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My Random Musings

Have you tried to ingrain something in your brain so hard hoping that it will always be a great memory?

As I whizz past the endless fields,  the cattle and horses grazing, I try so hard to take in as much as of it as I can. I want to always remember these curvy country roads, the random horse-drawn carriage, mountain bikers and the endless motorcycle riders enjoying a beautiful spring day. I turn my head and I see the mountains dotted with houses and the vineyards on one side with a stream from time to time and an old church or castle if I look up in the distance.

The view while riding


Despite the fact that I’m not one for roller coasters or rides of any type, I don’t hesitate to get on the back of a motorcycle with my friend while he speeds down the  curvy country roads.

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When Freed From Its Past, Beauty and the Beast Has Its Own Brand of Magic

When Things Go Pop!

There is no real reason why a 2017 live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast should exist.

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The 1991 animated film is considered a masterpiece by many, the first of its kind to receive a Best Picture Oscar nomination. The characters are iconic, the songs legendary, the artwork exquisite. Even those who find the plot troubling and outdated would be hard-pressed to find that landmark ballroom scene to be anything less than spell-binding. In other words, why watch a remake when you can just watch the cartoon? Disney, equal parts studio and relentless marketing behemoth, has banked on moviegoers ignoring the cynicism to get swept in the nostalgia of their tale as old as time.

Beauty and the Beast tells the story of Belle, a young woman living in a small town in 18th century France who longs for more than her provincial life. That life is upended when her father is…

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Not OK, Oklahoma (The Abortion Bill)

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tiger's eye

SARA BUCHWALD (grade 11)

“OKLAHOMA, WHAT ARE YOU DOING?” was the text that popped up on my phone along with a screenshot, the contents of which were indistinguishable from the home screen. As I unlocked my phone to see what had caused such a dramatic reaction, I was not prepared for what I was faced with. The screenshot was of a BBC article and in a boldfaced black font the words, “A proposal which would force women to get permission from their sexual partner to allow them to have an abortion has passed the first hurdle in Oklahoma” jumped onto my screen. Any humor I had seen in such a seemingly over-the-top text vanished as I saw the severity of the single sentence.

According to Humphrey, the state legislator who wrote the bill, the fathers of these fetuses deserve a say in the decision of a body that…

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Donald Trump Wiretaps America: A Philosophical Question & Stephen Hawking fears Trump

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Stephen Hawking: ‘I fear that I may not be welcome’ in Trump’s America | The Washington Post

“Stephen Hawking says he no longer feels welcome in the United States, now that President Trump is in power. The renowned scientist and theoretical physicist spoke Monday on ITV’s…” ~ Lindsey Bever

Armchair Midrash

Donald Trump

Is something news just because it is mentioned (or tweeted) by the President? As a general rule, the answer is “yes”. What the President does, what the President says is news because he is the President.

The White House takes great pains to set the news cycle by controlling the president’s message and by managing what is said and when it is said. That task has proven more difficult during the Trump administration due to the President’s penchant for tweeting, but the same principles apply. In fact, perhaps due in part to said tweets this administration has demonstrated particular expertise in controlling the media.

President Trump has even taken to declaring what is and what is not “news”.

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