This Week at Gatewood: April 12-18, 2015

roadway

by Rob Colfax

Hello! I hope you’ve all had a great week wherever you are. We’re in the midst of NASCAR madness here this weekend, as you might have gathered from the Tuesday feature, so most of us are managing this by stocking up, staying home, and waiting it out ’til Monday. I hope it’s quieter where you are.

Here are our features for the week of April 12-18:

Monday:Fly With Me,” a gorgeous painting by an artist we’ve featured before, Delawer-Omar

Tuesday:Springtime at the Speedway,” some very humorous and timely poetry by Erin Abernethy that makes it almost like being right there in the thick of it, only you won’t smell like smoke afterward.

Wednesday:Like Me,” a second helping of humor for the week (I thought we needed a double dose!). This short piece by Johanna Rigby takes a poke or two at social networking. We hope you like it. 😉

Friday:Becoming,” our weekly meditation card featuring photography by P.L. Miller with a quote by Anaïs Nin. As a reminder, this can be downloaded for free as a meditation card, or you can use it as wallpaper for your phone or tablet. I like to download the new one each week so I have a different wallpaper to ponder every few days.

Our Special Assistant Dr Nicholas was apparently too busy playing hashtag games to make new memes this week. You can catch some of his efforts (and join in, if you like) on Twitter at #piglit and #geographyanauthor. Don’t forget to follow his Twitter feed to be updated whenever a new feature is posted here.

That’s it for this week at Gatewood. Enjoy your weekend, and visit us again soon!

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This Week at Gatewood: Weekend Wrap-Up for February 23-28

reading newspaper

Photo courtesy of MorgueFile.com.

by Frasier MacKenzie

Hello, and thanks for stopping in! We had some really good stuff going on this week, including poetry from Hugh Mitchell and a piece of short fiction by Patrick Redding that I really don’t know quite how to describe. They’re both surreal, and of course Patrick’s is very funny. You’ll just have to read for yourself.

Here are our features from the week of February 23-28, 2015.

Monday:Choose Your Path,” photography by Boris Brdja

Tuesday:Dimension Dementia,” poetry by Hugh Mitchell with “Going Swimmingly,” artwork by Zengael

Wednesday:How to Cook a Piano,” short fiction by Patrick Redding

Thursday:Three Things Thursday,” post by Johanna Rigby, part of the gratitude/appreciation event started by NerdintheBrain.com. It happens weekly, and it’s open to all, so if you have a blog and want to join in, please do! If you’re on Twitter, the hashtag is #threethingsthursday (with the number spelled out).

Friday:Stone Free Madness,” photography by P.L. Miller, with quote by R.D. Laing

This Friday our photographer P.L. Miller tried out a new twist on a regular feature we’ve been doing each week; we’ve usually posted a photo with a quote as a sort of meditative exercise as we go into the weekend. The difference this week is that they’re incorporated together into one JPG file that you can download for your phone (or tablet – we haven’t tried that yet, but the resolution should be fine). If you like, you can print it as a regular 4×6 photo.

Here are some fun memes posted this week by our Special Assistant @docnicholas:

For more fun and the latest updates, follow @docnicholas on Twitter. If you’re on Twitter, say hello and give him a star or RT. You’ll get the purring without the hair on your clothes!

Speaking of Doc Nicholas, he informed me this week that the top search terms typed in by people when they find our site are “sex,” “tears,” and “religion.” We both thought that was just a little bizarre. I’m not sure what’s going on with that but I hope you’re not terribly disappointed if you were looking for one of those things!

That’s it for the Weekend Wrap-Up for February 23-28. Have a great week!

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Three Things Thursday 2015/02/26

ice crystals

Photo courtesy MorgueFile.com.

by Johanna Rigby

I appreciate the idea of practicing gratitude on a regular basis. It gets you out of yourself, gives you perspective, even makes some slow but beneficial changes in your neurochemistry. Still, I’m not a very upbeat person, and I often struggle to remind myself that there are things that make life worth living (or at least not so crappy).

I wanted to participate in our “Three Things Thursday” because I thought it would force me to really focus and notice these things. It’s turned out to be something more like “Three Reasons Things Could Be Worse But Aren’t.” I’m going to be OK with that. I hope you will too.

#1: The heat went out in the study where I do most of my work. It’s frustrating, and cold, but at least the apartment didn’t catch fire. Judging from the burn marks on the outlet and the cord, this was probably a very real possibility. That would have been much worse.

#2: It has snowed here all week. This could have been much worse; I don’t live in Boston (where they’re shoveling snow off their rooftops) or Maine (where they have to shovel 3-4 times a day just to be able to see anything past the front door). We got just enough to enjoy.

#3: Thanks to Amazon’s subscription service, I didn’t have to worry about driving in the snow and ice to fetch dog food or necessities such as toilet paper. We went out every day for “walkies,” but hiking around in the snow with your dog is a lot different than trying to drive in it.

Things could be worse. How about you?

 

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This Week at Gatewood: Weekend Wrap-Up for February 15-21

Polar_Bear_-_Buffalo_Zoo

by Rob Colfax

Hello, and a good Sunday afternoon to you! It’s been a cold, snowy week here, and it’s brought out the polar bear in all of us, I think. Here are our features from the week of February 15-21, 2015.

Monday: Astrophotography from SLWorking: The Milky Way near Stonewall Mine in Cuyamaca Rancho State Park

Tuesday: Poetry from Hunter MacKenzie: Kestrel

Wednesday: Humor/sketchy advice from Johanna Rigby: 7 Ways to Leave Your Lover

Thursday: Gratitude/appreciation post from Heather Caine-Givens: Three Things Thursday

Friday: Photography/creativity from P.L. Miller: Morning Palette

We did not post a Saturday feature this week. After much discussion, we’ve decided to pause the Saturday Concert Series. This was a very difficult decision, as we love supporting independent music and quirky musicians, and bringing you shows from bands you might not otherwise stumble across. However, the hours involved in researching for this feature take a huge chunk out of our writers’ and artists’ creative time, and we must regretfully let it go for now.

We’ll be moving the Weekend Wrap-Up to Saturdays beginning the 28th of February, and there will be no post on Sundays. This will give us a  much-needed “catch-up” day each week. The rest of our posting schedule will remain unchanged.

Here are some of our favorite memes our Special Assistant @docnicholas posted on Twitter this week:


If you enjoyed these, do follow @docnicholas on Twitter. Whenever he’s not napping, he’ll keep you up to date on our daily posts.

I nearly forgot to mention that we’ve added a new feature to our menu bar: if you go to the Gallery, there’s now a drop-down menu so you can access individual artists without having to sort through quite so much work. We’re still in the process of transferring some of the work there, but most of it’s been moved so you won’t encounter dead links. We plan to do the same with the writers’ work very soon.

That’s it for the Weekend Wrap-Up for the week of February 15-21. Have a great week!

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7 Ways to Leave Your Lover

1024px-Bad_Muskau_-_Berliner_Straße_-_Jakobuskirche_-_Friedhof_-_Machbuba_03_ies

Photo: “Bad Muskau” by Frank Vincentz. Licensed CC BY-SA 3.0.

by Johanna Rigby

While Paul Simon’s song offered up a number of ways to get out of a relationship, there were certainly not fifty, and they were disappointingly vague. “Make a new plan, Stan”? Fine, but making a new plan doesn’t address the immediate issue. “Hop on the bus, Gus”? Which one? What if you don’t live in an area with public transportation?red double decker bus

Here, then, in no particular order, are seven field-tested ways to actually free yourself from a relationship that’s run its course.

#1. The Direct Approach.

Don’t be cruel, but do be direct. A simple statement such as “I don’t want a relationship with a right-wing moron who owns more guns than books” is sufficient. Break up via text or e-mail if possible; it may not be classy, but it’s a lot less messy.

cat#2. The Animal Lover.

If you have pets, it’s important that they get along with your partner before the relationship turns serious. If this seems unlikely, the situation will probably resolve itself without you having to do a thing. Cats have been known to pee on the discarded clothes of unwanted guests – or even the sleeping guest. Dogs can be very aggressive about making their opinions known. You simply have to be clear that your furry friend will always be more important, won’t we, Mr. Snoogum-bunny Babycakes?

#3. The Psycho Ex.

Nobody wants to be in a relationship with someone who has a truly psychotic ex still lurking around. There’s a saying that if you don’t have a psychotic ex anywhere in your history, then you’re the psychotic ex. If that’s the case, just be yourself and watch them run! If you’re that rare person who has no psychotic ex and aren’t one yourself, you probably have a friend who can behave like one convincingly enough for the short time it’ll take to scare off your partner.

#4. The Sick Parent/Sibling.

Attending to a sick family member can be time-consuming and exhausting on every level. Does it make you a bad person to use your brother’s migraines to distance yourself from a jerk? Maybe, but so what?

suitcases

#5. The Midnight Move-Out.

This is a radical break that avoids any sort of confrontation. The goal is to disappear overnight from any place your partner would think to look for you. Have you always wanted to visit Bolivia or Russia? Thought of changing your name? Want a new job? Now is the time to make those dreams come true! Pack your bags and run. Run far, and run fast.

#6. The Cheat Response.

Found out your partner’s sleeping around? Your break-up goal can be achieved with a floral delivery. Use a local florist and explain the situation; many can be persuaded to cut the flowers off the dozen roses and deliver a bundle of thorny stems with a message of your choice.

#7. The Felony Tip.police car

Have you discovered that your partner’s involved in some unsavory activities of questionable legality? Do you know the number for your local law enforcement’s anonymous tip line? Call and turn that sucker in, and don’t look back!

So there you go, seven possible exits. Some may require a bit of engineering (you may have to manufacture cat pee or cast your cousin in the role of an ex) but each of these has been proven to work in at least one case. Why delay the inevitable train wreck when you could both be moving on to happier things?

[Editor’s note: Johanna Rigby is not a licensed marriage/family therapist, and her suggestions should not be construed as legal advice. Neither she nor Gatewood Journal should be held responsible for the zombie apocalypse of your relationship.]

Smaller photos courtesy of MorgueFile.com.

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This Week at Gatewood: Tears & Drool & LOLs (Oh My)

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Photo: “Dog Tired” by Heather Bailey, licensed CC BY_NC_SA 2.0.

by Johanna Rigby

When we did our first Weekend Wrap-Up a couple of weeks ago, there was some hint of dogs in party hats to come, yet not one appeared in the first two Wrap-Ups. The reason for this is simple: Senior Editor Colfax’s dog Mazie is a stubborn bitch. Not only did she refuse to pose for a quick pic wearing a party hat, she refused to have her picture taken at all by even our most talented photographers.

Not that she doesn’t like photographers – to the contrary. One of them is still trying to find a lens-cleaning solution to remove her viscous drool from the front of a lens. Another wishes he’d had the foresight to Scotchguard his suede shoes, as she was so excited she peed on them while she tried to waltz with him. The dog you see in the photo here is not Mazie; this dog is standoffish in comparison.

And so while everyone else regroups and cleans up doggie drool, let’s have a quick look at our posts from this week.

Monday we brought you “Vortex of Sorrow” from digital artist Sean Bourke.

Tuesday’s feature was a very short poem, “Fold,” by Thomas Kent.

On Wednesday, Rob Colfax contemplated whether the universe had a sense of humor in “The Divine Joker.”

Friday’s photography feature from P.L. Miller led us to contemplate “Time and Change.”

The Saturday Concert Series this week featured a rousing show by grassrock pioneers Hayseed Dixie at the Cleveland House of Blues in 2004.

One other thing that might be of interest to you: we’ve started scheduling our daily feature to post at 2:00 a.m. EST, so if you’re in the UK, you can check it out first thing in the morning, and our West Coasters in the US can see it before heading off to bed for the night.

That’s it for the Gatewood Weekend Wrap-Up. Be sure to follow our Special Editors’ Assistant @docnicholas on Twitter to be notified when new pieces are posted.

Take care, spend some quality time with your dogs and cats, and have a great week!

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Sunday Night Fantasy Time with Galavant and The Librarians

by Johanna Rigby

Apparently the Powers That Be in Televisionland have been visited by the Fantasy Fairies, as we’ve been sent not one but two more fantasy-based shows for the back half of the current TV season: Galavant and The Librarians.

The Librarians spins off from the movies featuring Noah Wylie, and he’s appeared in several of the episodes as well. It’s a fun show, and if you’re looking to kill an hour, it beats washing your car in sub-freezing temperatures. Do I sound less than enthusiastic? Well…

Here’s the thing. When I watch The Librarians, I can’t help noticing how much it reminds me of Warehouse 13 with its principles of having guardians of magic or magical artifacts in order to keep it from running amok in the world in the hands of people who don’t know what they’re doing. It’s hard not to compare the two shows, and I really liked Warehouse 13.

It also reminds me of how good King & Maxwell was. This was the TNT show based on the David Baldacci novels; Rebecca Romijn co-starred in it and did much to insure that we didn’t think of her as just another pretty face. Jon Tenney co-starred, as did Ryan Hurst as a quirky office manager with Asperger’s syndrome, and it was good TV. Unfortunately, it got the axe after only one brief season.

Christian Kane is also in The Librarians, and his role isn’t terribly different from the one he played on Leverage (another bygone TNT show), though his character’s a bit more aesthetically-educated in The Librarians. John Larroquette and Matt Frewer are note-perfect in their roles, as always, but I keep recalling Night Court and Boston Legal and Eureka and on and on, thinking fondly of what good shows those were.

I realize that The Librarians seems to be a favorite of critics and audiences (and I certainly don’t dislike it; I’ve seen every episode so far) but I always get the sense of having a hash of leftovers from other, better shows.

Galavant also gives me that sense of having seen much of this before, and frankly, I’m getting pretty sick of that song. It’s a great lark, satirizing the epic quest movie, but it feels dumbed down. There are some hilarious moments, and if it were on another night, I’d probably make more of an effort to like it. But all the musicality and the broad laughs compressed into thirty minutes’ time just make it more or less forgettable, and later in the week when I have time to catch up with it, I’ve generally lost interest. It just hasn’t made that much of an impression on me.

The Librarians wraps up tonight with a double-episode finale at 8:00-10:00 p.m. EST on TNT. Galavant also has a double episode at 8:00-9:00 p.m. EST on ABC.

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