Call for Artwork: Jellyfish Magazine

Jellyfish, a poetry magazine, is looking for some collaboration for the layout design issue of ISSUE 15.

Designers, artists, makers, creators — we’d love to see your work!

What do you get? Full credit, of course, a feature page in the issue, and any social media promotion/Jellylove you could wish for!

Deadline for Submissions: July 31, 2017

Submissions should contain the following:

  • Project Title
  • Photo(s) or a link to download or view photos (make sure the photos are high-res)
  • Description
  • A website for contact information

Complete submission guidelines can be found here.


Woman to Her Attacker At His Sentencing

It took me this long to read the letter to Brock Turner at his sentencing:

How old are you? How much do you weigh? What did you eat that day? Well what did you have for dinner? Did you drink with dinner? No? Not even water? When did you drink? How much did you drink? What container did you drink out of? Who gave you the drink? How much do you usually drink? Who dropped you off at this party? At what time? But where exactly? What were you wearing? Why were you going to this party? What did you do when you got there? Are you sure you did that? But what time did you do that? What does this text mean? Who were you texting? When did you urinate? Where did you urinate?

When Turner was released from the San Jose city jail, he asked to be allowed to exit from the back of the building, where his lawyer was waiting.

His request was denied. He had to go out through the front, where all the reporters were. They made him face them. And he had to do it alone.

Thank God they didn’t let him get away with the coward’s response to duck and run.

“Rufino” from Self’s Collection MAYOR OF THE ROSES

There were fourteen years before self’s first and second book.

The first was published by Calyx Press in Corvallis, OR.

The second was published by Miami University Press.

The third, The Lost Language, is only available in the Philippines.

The fourth is an e-book published by Vagabondage in Florida.

There’s also an anthology she co-edited for Calyx Press: Going Home to a Landscape.

Recently, she got an email from writer and teacher Susie Hara, who said she had liked the story “Rufino” in Mayor of the Roses.

It was the last story to be included in the collection. She threw it in at the last minute.

Rufino was a real person.

Here’s an excerpt from the story:

Towards the end, he couldn’t wear any clothes. They had to cover him in banana leaves.

It was in July he died — I couldn’t believe it. A voice on the phone told me.

“Rufino died na.” It was my mother speaking. Naturally, she had to be the one to break the news.

I was staying in a friend’s house in the Santa Cruz Mountains. In the mornings, fog blanketed the hills. We heard the mournful mooing of invisible cows. One or another of us would look east, toward where we heard Neil Young had his ranch, wondering whether we’d catch a glimpse of his pink cadillac that day.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.


#amreading: AMERICAN GODS, by Neil Gaiman

pp. 7 – 8:

Shadow knew that the phone companies whacked a three-dollar surcharge on every call made from a prison phone. That was why operators are always real polite to people calling from prisons, Shadow had decided: they knew that he paid their wages.

“Something feels weird,” he told Laura. That wasn’t the first thing he said to her. The first thing was “I love you,” because it’s a good thing to say if you can mean it, and Shadow did.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Quote of the Day: San Francisco Chronicle (26 January 2017)

  • “We’re still a sanctuary city.”

— Ed Lee, Mayor of San Francisco, quoted in a San Francisco Chronicle Editorial on Immigration Policy (“His wall won’t work”)

The Link to The City of 10,000 Buddhas

Self went to school with Shari Epstein, who teaches in the City of 10,000 Buddhas. She’s been wanting to see this place, forever and ever.

Last year, when self was staying at the Mendocino Art Center, she called The City of 10,000 Buddhas in Ukiah, and got the number of Shari, and Shari and self spoke!


But self never did make it to Ukiah. Because once you get into Mendocino itself, you enter a different state of mind. It’s like Brigadoon. Everything just floats away, so mesmerized are you by the sight of Ocean! Ocean! Ocean!

Since Rogue One is out, and self is planning to see it, and because she can’t stop worrying about Princess Leia and refuses to give 2016 the pleasure of even one more death, she is wondering whether she should really make one last effort to see Shari Epstein.

This morning, she calls The City of 10,000 Buddhas and is told that if she wants to enroll in a course on the Buddha mind, the course is three weeks. Starts January 8.

Self has known for the longest time that she needs a good mind cleanse. A three-week course on Dharma Buddhism might not be a bad thing.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Apple Care Customer Service

Apple Care gets Five Stars!

She was on the phone last night with a young woman named Kanisha who patiently walked self through all the procedures and helped self download stuff that she didn’t even know she needed. The entire call took over two hours, that is how clue-less self is about the latest software!

She decided to call Apple because of her extreme frustration with Hewlett Packard customer service. They pass you on to a third party provider, which is pretty common nowadays but unfortunately that third-party provider started harassing her.

Seven voice mail messages in one day? 10 e-mails in one day? Not to mention the invasion of privacy from the viewcam they switched on without self knowing? It was horrible: self had to change all her passwords and cancel all her credit cards because those vendors were able to get into her laptop so easily, no telling what kind of information they were able to steal before she caught on to the viewcam. And the calls were all like: We just want to make sure you are happy with our service; please return this call. SEVEN TIMES, and plus e-mails. She ended up having to call Verizon and have three numbers that they were using blocked. She also googled the numbers: two were 855, but one was a New York City area code. Go figure.

She thought of telling Apple she’s been a loyal customer for decades and all she needs to do is figure out how to print from a new laserjet printer. She’s had this MacBook Air since 2011 and it’s definitely out of warranty, but she decided it was worth a shot. Maybe they could help her figure out how to connect to a Hewlett Packard laserjet?

The first thing Kanisha did was ask what operating system self had, and that was sooooo out-of-date Kanisha couldn’t even. Kanisha showed her how to download a new operating system, then learn how to navigate it, and that took over two hours.

Self told Kanisha, “I’m sorry I’m really not tech-savvy. This must be the longest customer service call you’ve ever been on.” And Kanisha was so sweet. She said: “No, ma’am. Not by a long shot.”

And today self is so happy because not only can she print (finally!), she also has a brand new operating system that makes her screen so much sharper and everything’s so much more efficient, and when she asked Kanisha how much it would cost for the downloads, Kanisha said, Nothing. No, what she actually said was: It’s free.

It’s free are possibly the two most beautiful words in the English language. Especially at this time of year.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Hewlett Packard Customer Service

Self has only ever used, her whole life, Hewlett Packard laser printers. So fantastic. Spit out high-quality pages at superior speed.

Last Saturday, self was getting a new printer set up, went on the Hewlett Packard website, spent a whole day going around different areas for “community support” (aka NO personal support), finally got a live person in India, was so happy, and so was he, because he said:



He took his time, and after half an hour (or, could have been forty-five minutes, until self said she had to go) nothing was done.

This person kept calling back on Sunday, and Monday. Left 7 messages on her cell.


Self called back, finally, and HOLY COW the man was a heavy breather. Like, really heavy breathing. So self said, “Wait a minute. Are you viewing me right now?”

Instantly, all breathing stopped, and then the call continued at normal breathing, HA HA HA HA.

But self kept thinking about that call, so last night she called the San Francisco Police. And the man on duty said, “Can you come in? Bring your laptop with you. In the meantime, get a hold of Hewlett Packard. Talk to a manager.”

Which self did, half an hour ago. Apparently, they already knew about self’s name etc etc (self had spoken to someone in Costa Rica this morning, who said he’d get back to her “in two minutes” but after two hours she decided she was never going to hear back from this person).

This time, lo and behold, she actually spoke to a live person named Barbara in Hewlett Packard Corporate in Palo Alto. And the first thing Barbara tells self (non-recorded call, too bad; Barbara said she was taking everything down as we spoke, so self decided to cut it short, because mebbe she thought self was threatening to sue HP? Seriously? Self is only trying to report that somehow, someone trying to use the Hewlett Packard website will get directed to a Heavy Breather in some foreign clime)

“That’s nothing to do with Hewlett Packard,” is the first thing she tells self.

Oh really? Because self has a $600 Hewlett Packard laser printer, she has always used Hewlett Packard laser printers, and —

“Sounds like you were scammed. You should always be careful with online scammers. They’re everywhere,” Barbara says. (Self is para-phrasing. She is sure Barbara got everything down exactly, but Barbara wouldn’t give self her last name). “Next time, be more careful.”

Ma’am Barbara? Self is a Stanford graduate. She was a Fellow in Creative Writing. She wants to let the world know that Hewlett Packard DOESN’T CARE. Or maybe they do, not just today. Because if you are ever so stupid as to go on the Hewlett Packard website, and find yourself talking to someone in India, you should know that that person is up to no good, and you should hang up right away.

And self finally had to say, “You know, I have no intention of suing HP — ” which absolutely sent Barbara into a tizzy, as if self were in fact THE SCAMMER from India. And this was part of a con. Self only said that because of the weird way Barbara was acting. AS IF self’s ulterior motive was to set up HP.

You know, San Francisco Police never questioned self, when she called. They told her to COME IN.

Self had to change all her credit cards (which means, all the gifts she paid for on Paypal will not be delivered) and she had to change all her passwords. It’s been such a LOVELY day.

Self told Barbara all the numbers she had stored in her cell, apparently Barbara is such a whiz at multi-tasking that she was calling the numbers as self spoke, and she said: None of those numbers are good. As if self was LYING!

Well, duh. Okay. The point was not to catch those thieves (as if that were even possible), but Dear Barbara was acting as if self was so stupid.

Barbara, you are a woman, yes? So maybe you’ve never been panted over on the phone. Maybe you have lived such an ordered, pleasing life that the possibility of even getting a call from a scammer in India will never be on your event horizon. Do you have to make the caller (a fellow sistah) feel stupid? And self knows for a fact that Barbara made her feel stupid. How does she know? Because self felt obligated to tell her that she was a Stanford grad. When self has to go to that length, she is struggling for some shred of dignity or respect or whatever. And she did not get it from Barbara today.

So, self ended up saying (Amazing! She’s not usually so hung up on the Stanford thing), “Barbara, I am a writer. Not only am I a writer, I’m a Stanford graduate. Not only am I a Stanford Graduate, I was a FELLOW IN CREATIVE WRITING. So please, I am not stupid. Okay, so I’ll never call those numbers again. But I think you should know, because I got into this situation because I tried to get Customer Service from Hewlett Packard. And there was NONE forthcoming.”

Self is sure Barbara is googling her right now! Barbara made self spell her first name and her last name (and it’s so easy, she’ll probably land on this post, right away! Well hello there, Barbara! We meet again! Such a pleasure!)

Stay tuned.


America is not, and can never be, an isolationist country.

We are not this, okay? We are not.


Isolation breeds extinction.

Samantha Power, US Ambassador to the United Nations:

  • “Are you incapable of shame?”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.



A few years ago, self received a puzzling phone call from United.

“Ma’am,” the caller said when self answered the phone. “Are you xxxxxxx?”

“Yes,” self said.

“We have your Bible. It got wedged into a crevice at the baggage carousel. Can we have your address so we can mail it to you?”

Self said, “I don’t own a Bible.”

The United guy said, “But it has your name on it.”

Self was having a moment.

“But that can’t be mine.”

Even if self owned a Bible (She does recall having one), she wouldn’t bring it with her on a trip.

But the guy kept insisting it was self’s, because it had her name on it. She actually came very close to believing that she did own a Bible, that she wrote her name on the front of it, that she lost it at SFO because it got wedged in a baggage carousel . . . was she losing her mind?

She doesn’t recall receiving any sort of Bible via snail mail. If it arrived, then where is it? Because after a conversation like that, you can bet she was looking out for it.

Just a few minutes ago, she remembered this call. And an explanation finally finally occurs to her: There must have been another woman with her exact same name on a United flight that day.

Yes, that’s it. That’s the most likely explanation. The Doppelganger explanation.

Dear blog readers: What. Are. The. Odds???

So now she can say she had her very own Haruki Murakami/magical realism moment.

The other she (the doppelganger) carried the Bible around with her. Got off at SFO several years ago. Lost this Bible at the baggage carousel. So it had to have been out of her bag.

Can you imagine someone holding a Bible in her hand at a baggage carousel? First of all, don’t you need two hands to pull off your suitcase? But maybe this woman was traveling with others, so she didn’t have to worry? If that were the case, and she didn’t have to pull her luggage off the carousel, why was she just standing around with the — (Self, can you quit with the de-construction? Because this post is getting very loooong!)

It’s crisis time for the Democrats, Hillary was just diagnosed with bacterial pneumonia, which is actually much more serious than viral pneumonia, and here you are worrying about strangers losing their Bibles?

And isn’t Trump such a lucky son-of-a-gun? His whole election campaign was a high-stakes gamble. He just went for it. And now the only thing standing between him and the presidency is Hillary. And this is such a crazy scenario that self can’t even.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.


« Older entries

Rantings Of A Third Kind

The Blog about everything and nothing and it's all done in the best possible taste!

Sauce Box

Never get lost in the Sauce

GK Dutta

Be One... Make One...

Cee's Photography

Learning and teaching the art of composition.

Fashion Not Fear

Fueling fearlessness through style and inspiration.

Wanderlust and Wonderment

My writing and photo journey of inspiration and discovery


Decades of her words.

John Oliver Mason

Observations about my life and the world around me.

Insanity at its best!

Yousuf Bawany's Blog


Any old world uncovered by new writing

unbolt me

the literary asylum

the contemporary small press

A site for small presses, writers, poets & readers

The 100 Greatest Books Challenge

A journey from one end of the bookshelf to the other

Random Storyteller

“Stories make us more alive, more human, more courageous, more loving.”― Madeleine L'Engle

Rants Of A Gypsy

Amuse Thyself Reader!

FashionPoetry by Val

A blog. My blog


Just another weblog

Jean Lee's World

Finder of Fantasy & Adventure in Her Own Backyard