Eclipse Experiences in 5 Regions

20934215_1082763131859241_8233165566228508705_o.jpgMy sister, Kendra, took this photo through a telescope lenses in Muncie, Indiana.


15351.jpegThis photo was taken by my friend Sara’s Dad at a farm in Shawnee, Illinois.


Director of the New Harmony Music Festival, Christopher, took these photos of the eclipse projections in his backyard in New Harmony, Indiana.


20914753_10157532092638647_2388459190941288514_n.jpgMax, scholar and philosopher, was standing on a hill in West Nashville, Tennessee when he experienced the totality. Here is his account:

“This was three minutes prior to totality. Everything had a very surreal silvery-blue sheen, sort of as if you were wearing a certain hue of sunglasses but the SUN IS DISAPPEARING. Minutes later, totality hit. The borders of the sky had a late sunset glow, the hills were washed in darkness, and in the center of it all was this floating ring of light. Deeply strange, totally rad, psychically shattering. No amount of scientific knowledge prepares you for the sense of actually being there.”


Rikky was working at the veterinary clinic in Moab, Utah when the eclipse happened. With ingenuity and questionable visual safety, she viewed the 84% eclipse through old x-rays, which she took these photographs through.


Reflections and Intentions

-Visited the Chicago Field Museum
-Enjoyed a whole week at our apartment FINALLY
-Ate kale every day
-Started a novel?!?!?!
-taught myself poker and rummy

-Continue our Professionals series
-Make a pinhole viewer and observe the eclipse
-Get ready to go back to work

-Run! Bike! Walk! Hike!
-Build new Rituals
-Clean my apartment/ my life

Back to School
5 Podcasts to Listen to on Your Roadtrip
Space is my Jam
5 Questions to Ask Yourself When Applying for Jobs
Book Lists

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I’ve Never Played Poker Before

I’ve never played poker before.

That’s a lie. I think I’ve played poker before, but I barely remember the cards over the loud wine, and I definitely don’t remember the rules. The others, Erin, Jeff, the strangers, they say it’s easy.

You are dealt a hand, they explain, and then you place your wager. Then you make a statement of confidence and offer up your money. I do the math… the twenty dollars I may lose in two minutes were made during one or two long, grueling hour at a job that I hate.

I think of all the times I have heard someone evaluate another’s “poker face.” Everyone is an expert. You have it or you don’t. The poker face isn’t a lie. You want to convince others to match your bet, everyone is claiming a strong enough hand. You don’t want to reveal that your hand is too good, or not good enough. A poker face isn’t any true deception, just a quit calm surface where everyone wonders.

I’ve never played poker (except, maybe once), but I am average at chess. Excellent at euchre. My poker face is probably okay, but my strategizing face is a dead give away.

You know when you play chess and you count 8 moves ahead with your knight on the black square? And if your opponent doesn’t notice then you will have his queen? That strategizing face gives me away every time. Dad always moves his queen.

I played chess online for awhile. There is no frown from counting too long to give you away. No straight face bluff face poker face to cause doubt in your opponent. No face at all, really. What is the point of puzzling against one another in attempt to rob your friends of their dignity if there is no face? No endured faces of forged frustration or glee. No face of fury or disappointment at the end?

Now that I think of it, I definitely played poker once. I can’t forget those faces.


Weekend Pick-Me-Up

It’s warm and sunny and you should go for a bike ride but all you want to do is nap… enter, the weekend pick-me-up! Loaded with caffeine, protein, and a little bit of fruit, this indulgent smoothie will get you up and moving.

Banana Mocha Smoothie

-1 banana
-1/2 c. coffee
-1/2 c. almond milk
-tbsp. cocoa powder
-2 tbsp. peanut butter
-2 tbsp honey

Blend and enjoy!

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Space is my Jam

I’ve been noticing a surprising trend in the news and my feed, lately…

Outer space!

As a lover of science (and admittedly, science fiction) I have compiled the best of each topic here, and added a bonus link-pack for outer space lovers like me. This post is divided between the two main trending space topics: the upcoming eclipse, and the International Space station.



Essay: Total Eclipse, by Annie Dillard

“I had seen a partial eclipse in 1970. A partial eclipse is very interesting. It bears almost no relation to a total eclipse. Seeing a partial eclipse bears the same relation to seeing a total eclipse as kissing a man does to marrying him, or as flying in an airplane does to falling out of an airplane. Although the one experience precedes the other, it in no way prepares you for it.”


Make your own eclipse viewer… or order them now, so it arrives in time! It is important that you protect your eyes on Monday. Why can’t you stare at the eclipse?



NASA has an eclipse page with a countdown and resources for learning about the eclipse and for viewing the eclipse safely. They also have an updated listing of libraries dispensing eye protection.


International Space Station


Did you know that NASA sends care packages to the astronauts on the International Space Station? And that they can now send… ice cream???

“Unlike previous cargo vehicles used by NASA, the SpaceX Dragon capsule has the ability to return to Earth without burning up on re-entry. That means it can bring stuff back. The spacecraft is equipped with freezers to transport medical and scientific samples back to Earth. And sometimes, those freezers are empty when they go up to the station — which leaves room for ice cream!”


You can now visit the International Space Station using Google street view!


And finally: how astronauts wash their hair!


Feeling spacey?

Watch Space Jam for a zero gravity throw-back.

We live in an age where conspiracy is a little healthy: X-Files is still relevant.

I’ve almost finished the Star Trek series “Voyager.” When I’m finished, I think I’ll move on to “Deep Space Nine.” If you like the movies but have never seen the TV shows, you are missing out.

If you are looking for a little bit of non-fiction learning, check out Neil deGrasses Tyson’s “Astrophysics for People in a Hurry.”

And finally, relive your inner kid and join me in ordering a set of glow-in-the-dark stars (I already have a set of 3-D glowing planets!)

Mid-Week Roundup


5 tried and true morning routines of successful people, including Jennifer Anniston and Barack Obama.



It’s back-to-school season, or career change month: here are 18 beautiful laptop cases and covers to change things up.


What I’m reading right now.



I know what I’m having for lunch today.


Are you ready to watch the eclipse next week?



Obama’s response to Charlottesville, a quote from Nelson Mandela, is now the most favorited tweet ever.

5 Questions to Ask Yourself When Applying for Jobs

This post is a part of the series, Professionals.

I have thought for some time that “back-to-school” season only feels like prime time for job applications because I am a teacher. After reading this great advice today, I realize that the fading of summer into fall feels like hiring time because… it is. College grads just finished their wild and free summer and as their friends head back to school, they are looking for work. Seasonal positions leading up to the holidays start hiring, and parents scaling back and changing work schedules to be home when their kids are home create new openings at their place of work. I don’t know for certain that August is a more active hiring season than January, but this time of year is similar in that it is definitely a time for self reflection and personal change.

Here are a few points to think about if you are looking for something different.

  1. What brings you joy?
    Before combing through your qualifications and needs, decide where you want to go. Long term. What would you enjoy? What do you honestly want to do for 8 hours a day 5 days a week? You are spending 40 of your 168 hours a week working, and ideally 56 of those are spent sleeping! Or do you want something with more time flexibility? Also, think about what environment brings you joy. Do you want a collaborative team, or do you work best alone?
  2. What are your needs?
    Do you need a 9-5 structured day, or more flexible time? How important are included benefits or matching retirement plans to you? For me, I have no kids and a Roth IRA, so I feel more flexibility regarding benefits than someone with a family or different retirement set-up might. What salary is livable for you? How many vacation days do you need? Can you settle for less if you really love your job? I also am accustomed to lengthy vacation time and little freedom within the work schedule. I think I would be comfortable with less vacation and a lower salary in order to have more flexibility throughout the year. Sometimes a few part time jobs can fill needs and keep you happy better than a full time job.
  3. What are your qualifications?
    Working qualifications can include a college degree and formal training, but are not limited to that. Specific, evening short term experiences can be surprisingly applicable and relevant. An example: I spent one day volunteering with the National Park Service, in an unofficial capacity. That sounds irrelevant, but that day was spent teaching students about the migratory patterns of geese using an interactive game outside in the national park. Students were in nature all day, no electronics, lots of bugs, and had to use physical clues to act out a migration scenario, playing as if they were the traveling geese. This experience of teaching outside, giving students tools to learn through play, and using materials that cost nothing (one stack of index cards, essentially) gave me a wealth of knowledge and experience that teaching in a regular classroom for a whole year wouldn’t provide. These experiences are best shared in a letter of interest, and should be directly tied to skills needed for the job you are applying for.
  4. What have you already done?
    In many instances, especially in the arts, there is a way to prove yourself. Even if there is not an audition or required sample of your work, take the extra step and create one. They are hiring someone to write about their product line? Look at the writing already done, and do it better. Submit this sample along with your resume and cover letter. Or think way outside the box, like this applicant.
  5. Would you hire yourself?
    Would you hire yourself for this position? Think on this. Convince yourself, write the reasons, envision yourself there. Can’t picture it? Don’t apply. Find somewhere where you feel you will be a great fit, where there is room for growth, and where you and your place of work can have an exchange of reward.



Reflections and Intentions

-I laughed for hours with my family
-Shared banana pancakes with people I love

-Run! Bike! Walk! Hike!
-Build new Rituals
-Clean my apartment/ my life

Make a playlist for my grandpa’s birthday party
-Spend quality time with my family
-Write three new music-centric blog posts*
-Visit this theme park or the Exotic Feline Rescue Center while in southern Indiana

*In Progress

Back to School
5 Podcasts to Listen to on Your Roadtrip
Final Days of Summer
Unexpected Party Playlist
Vacations: Good, Bad, and Beautiful


On Ritual

Rituals We Build

We build a ritual of evening tea, or easier, evening drink;
Rituals of candles, or worse, smoke.
Nightly rites of meditation, of running, or more accurately: of eating, of sitting.

Breaking a pattern of consumption for a practice of reflection, production.
Importantly: My Rituals are My Own.

Halting a custom of 9 to 5 misery and 5 till 9 dread
And building a new habit of morning gratitude and a nighttime celebration of joy.

Once I knew a ritual of music and laughter.
I will know that ritual again.

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Back to School

It’s that time of year! Here are 10 picks, whether you are going back to school or not.

Back to School Standards

Fjallraven Kanken Backpack

Pretty Notebooks


Dorm Essentials

Coffee for one or coffee to share

Perfect bowls

Window Fan

Daybeds are the new futon

My Pillow