Judy was shocked when I came back through the swinging doors from the Blue Colony Diner’s bathroom laughing uncontrollably and sat back down at our booth.

“Ummm, Lease?  Weren’t you crying when you went back to the bathroom?”

I nodded, unable to speak or even breathe.  Unable to stop laughing long enough to explain.

My sister was clearly afraid that I had gone over the edge.  And of course she had good reason to worry.  You see, I had met her at the Diner hours earlier than planned, straight from a pre-surgical appointment with my doctor – my surgeon — in Baltimore.

He had, well, upset me.  I cried for the three hours it took me to drive the normal four-plus hour trip.

At the Diner, I told Judy that the surgery I was facing with abject terror in just over a month was going to be two operations,

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Bill McCurry

I’m writing this with a tequila bottle in one hand and a five dollar cigar in the other. That’s not totally true, I guess, or even true at all in the technical sense. But I could be writing with booze and smokes in my hands if I wanted, and every writer in literary history would envy me. Today for the first time I’m attempting to use speech to text software to write a real thing that real people might read.

I’m trying this in anticipation of a neurological rebellion that might hold my hands hostage, like socialist guerillas occupying a power plant, but I’m finding it a problematic exercise. For example, in the prior paragraph the speech to text software thought that the word “for” should be “from.” When I tried to edit the word, the software obtusely led me on a Maypole dance through four or five incorrect commands…

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Joshua Ryan Ziefle

Last night America had the chance to watch Vice-President Joe Biden and Congressman Paul Ryan engage in a wide-ranging debate as they represented their respective tickets for the November election.  It was, for the most part, a rather serious evening…and far from the “fun romp” I had characterized yesterday.  For this, perhaps, I ought to apologize.

I took some notes during the debate, and the following represent my thoughts about the “second-in-command” contest:

  • Martha Raddatz, the debate moderator, did a TERRIFIC job.  I thought that she was tough, focused, and willing to push both candidates on the issues of the day.  I’m not sure if that is what her role was supposed to be, but for what it is worth, I liked her approach.
  • Coming into this debate, I would have almost certainly told you that Biden would have the edge in foreign policy (he’s an old pro) and…

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Sweet Mama M

Blog Action Day is an annual event, that has run since 2007. It’s aim is to unite the world’s bloggers by posting about the same issue on the same day, in order to raise awareness and trigger a global discussion around things that impact us all. This year the focus is on “The Power of We”, a celebration of people working together to make a positive difference in the world, either for their own communities or for people they will never meet half way around the world. I’ve chosen to profile Shocking Pink.

Founded in 2011 by two young women undergoing cancer treatment, Shocking Pink has been established to provide a point of contact, knowledge centre and forum for young women with breast cancer. They also work to raise awareness and highlight research of breast cancer in the young and represent the unique views and concerns of young women with…

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Reflection and Choice

During my undergraduate days, I took a few semesters of fencing to earn my physical education credits.  I took that and ballroom dancing.  I guess I figured both would come in handy if I were to apply for a job as Zorro, a pirate, or one of the Musketeers.   For the record, I was a terrible fencer.  Also for the record, I was the most sought-after partner in the ballroom dance class.   What can I say?  I’m a lover, not a fighter.

Competitive fencing is nothing like swashbuckling or the swordplay you see in the movies.  There are long periods of deliberate, measured, uneventful maneuvering until somebody sees an opening and lunges.  Bam.  It’s usually over before the buzzer stops buzzing.  The VP debate last night reminded me of all the fencing matches I competed in, and usually lost badly.  Both Ryan and Biden chose their words carefully, circled each other strategically…

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