Sunday, February 28, 2010

Playing With Tag/Word Clouds

In between doing the dishes, commenting on blog posts and creating a possible tutorial I'm having a little fun with word/tag cloud applications. I'm not sure if I'm going to enter the Carly Simon Your So Vain Video contest.

I would love to encourage other women to do so, especially if you remember hearing it on the radio. If you don't then do it for mom or your auntie. A bonding opportunity that does not involve bail.

I'm telling you, based on the competition I have seen so far you could have a slam dunk trip to New York. Plus you don't need a camcorder, they have recorded the video footage for you to remix if you don't want to record your own stuff.

There is something cool/mischievous about having permission to play with one of your musical cultural icons.

Tagging Clouds Is A Good Thing

I visited three of tag/word cloud applications. I have also copied the lyrics to the song and some of the interview questions and answers. This does not mean that you will discover the answer.

Last I heard somebody spilled the beans anyway but I really don't care. This tag cloud was make with Word It Out.

Your So Vain Cloud1
And this is one from is from TagCrowd,

Carly Tag Clouds
And the winner and still champion (who may undergo a name change real soon)

Carly Cloud
I used a screen capture program called Snagit but for those fiscally challenged I can recommend on the PC side Gadwin Print Screen. Try to make all of the images the same size and resolution.

Plunk these bad boys into an photo animation software or video editor that accepts photos. Look for a pan and zoom command, that will get you started.

Bada da bing, you've got the glimmer of an idea. But not these three, cuz I've got plans for them. And before you get any ideas read the FAQs and terms of service so that you are clear as to what you can and can't do with these images.

Have fun.

Friday, February 26, 2010

This To Shall Pass on the Finally Friday Freakout

I can count the number of times I have recommended a marching band rendition of a song. This would be a first. But any music video that has a token homage to Swamp Thing is jake with me. And yeah, give the fellas .99 cents cuz this does have medicinal qualities.

I just got finished reading Taddy's post about someone who was mistaken in their belief they had no value. Then he linked to a damn fine post by Jennifer Michale Hecht about two other folks taking the deep six plunge and she is imploring people not to leave ahead of their time.

I want to put in my two cents but I can't sing. You wouldn't want me too either. I leave this to OK Go and the Notre Dame Marching Band.

OK Go - This Too Shall Pass from OK Go on Vimeo.

Where was I? Oh, yeah. Poets, hell no - defy tradition.

Writers - are you kidding me? You don't even have to write; transcribing the idiocy and wackiness of these times will keep you in gravy for years to come. You do have to remember to come up for air. Exercise. Talking to real people who are not afraid of human to human speech is good. Veggies, eat more veggies.

Creators - see above.

Those that have people that love them beyond measure and/or those same people are under 21 years of age. Not an option for you and you know it.

And no, you can't take them with you.

People who think that there is no one that loves them or could love them. I would say that you haven't met the person yet. Hang on, hear me out. You might never meet that person until you love the one within yourself.

If you loved yourself, you wouldn't want you to come to any harm. See how this works? Yes, the pain can be great but love is greater than pain. If you can love enough until you find someone one that can help you deal with the pain that is all that anybody can ask of you.

Hang on until you find the help that you need.

Depression is a powerful hateful monster. You might not be able to do this yourself. Counseling, watching the entire series of Babylon5 or a road trip far, far away from home could give you the space to find and embrace your spirit.

Let me be blunt; this is not the time to go. The ding-a-lings and non-thinkers are gaining traction because those with half a lick of brain are getting disappointed and downhearted.

If you can read a book, paper or electronic, you can't go. Seriously. We need all the cognitively functioning people we can get.

This is the front seat of the roller coaster of life. Yell, laugh or move forward peeping out from time to time behind your hands. Hold on to the bar babe, this too shall pass.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Crisis in Haiti: Panel Discussion Video

A couple of days ago I wrote a short post on BlogHer about my thoughts about Sustainable Architecture and how folks are planning to help with long term building projects in Haiti.

Many folks are thinking about Haiti not just for the short term but the impact of such a disaster for the world community.

This is a video from the Woodrow Wilson School for Public and International Affairs. This is a almost an hour and 30 minute panel presentation that speaks to the multiple issues that Haiti will face.

According to the YouTube Channel page:

The UChannel consortium is led by Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. The other Charter Members are:
  • Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA)
  • Middlebury College's Rohatyn Center for International Affairs
  • The LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Gift of Self-Pleasure - Audio Dramas and Recordings

There is more to life that boom-chicka-boom. What if you don't need to see it but you want something warm and tactile as you drift off to sleep. I may have found a few possibilities that could bring you and your mp3 player closer in the still of the night.

There is audio content for women but it took a while to track it down. Let me suggest to you that if you have a mp3 or media player, a bed and some toys you could find yourself drifting into contentment. This is truly can be interactive theater of the mind.

Here is what I found on the journey so far:

Silken on Sex puts the lit in clitoris entertainment. To sample her work you can visit iTunes and search under Silken on Sex. These are short, imaginative audio recordings that you can listen to on your iPod or for those of us using alternative devices you can save it on your mp3/media player. These are free to access.

You can also visit her site at If you liked what you heard and would appreciate a longer story or something a bit more intense than what is permissible on iTunes pony up for the download or CD version.

You can also listen to Erotica Exploration on iTunes.

Back on the Internet,A Woman's Good Night is what I was searching for but did not know it existed. Good storytelling, vocal acting, sensuality and, for me, male voices telling me a story.

From the web site:
It is our philosophy that all women, regardless of their wide range of tastes and experiences, share the need to approach sex with their head first followed by their body; and if the heart gets involved, all the better.
There is an indication of the level of explicitness, the reader, the author and genre. You can listen to a sample of the story before you purchase.

For the frugal and frustrated there is Literotica where you can find audio stories and poetry for a variety of taste.

Now I gotta tell you, you take your chances here. Some of the recordings are a transcription of actual events, i.e. a person left the recorder on during a lovemaking session. This might work for you or not but I can't call it storytelling. It is more like on the scene reporting.

Other recordings are either sex wrapped in a story or storytelling with sex in it. The poor narration from some of the story tellers takes away from the presentation.

One more for the road. Nobilis Erotica is science fiction based audio anthology for those of us that need a little something more than pleasing Mr. Postman.

The Gift of Self-Pleasure - IFM's Video Site

Part of searching for erotica as opposed to, you know that other stuff, is that you have to be very careful not to pick up spyware, pop-ups and garishly designed web sites. This is where the viral and social media aspects kick into play.

My hat tip for today is JanesGuide, which has been evaluating adult web sites since 1997.

We need a site like JanesGuide because there is no way most women can type into a search engine and not get bombarded with really noxious listings. Many of the sites for a variety of reasons are behind authentication walls or are for profit web sites. Still others are just link bait that attempts to get you to subscribe to crappy content.

On to business. Increasing the temperature from The Netherlands comes a site that has sex, cinematography and self pleasuring in a comfortable short form video package. From the About Us page:

IFM is a project that defies categorisation. Our society tends to draw distinctions between pornography and erotica, art and sex. We desire to allow them to intersect without exclusivity, and we want to cross the borders between these categories to create a holistic erotic experience. Our content meditates on the value of the explicit and the unseen, the realities of everyday female sexual desire, and the beauty of a human lost in passionate self-pleasure.
On the front page you can click an introduction video that will show a demonstration of the contents of the site. If you like it it is $25 a month. There does seem to be a lot of video both produced for the site and by amateur contributors. There is solo, girl/girl and a clown.

No, really a female clown. February 6, 2010.

The videos can be watched on site or downloaded in mp4 format. If you are a visual person or you like to watch other women making themselves happy this might be your kind of place.

Ok, miles to go before I sleep...

The Gift of Self-Pleasure - Thinking Outside of The Polarities

I know that I prefer and desire males as sexual partners and life companions. I don't think it was socialization; I'm real sure it was because I was checking out certain fellas in school kinda confirmed to me where my path was destined.

It wasn't a choice. It is a part of who I am. I can't be programmed out of my preferences that gets my heart beating a little faster. I believe the same could be said for gay, lesbian, transgendered and bi-sexual person.

There is no need to bring shame, guilt or other people's deeply embedded fears into our body, mind and soul.

So to represent an example of allowing ourselves to love within and outside of the binary polarities this is a clip from Barbara Carrellas speaking at the New Life Expo.

As you contemplate the images in your head before you start to stoke the furnace here is a tip. Don't censor. Let your imagination go places it generally have not allowed it go before.

Really, who is gonna know?

The Gift of Self-Pleasure for The Imaginary Box

There is a reality of not having a partner, specifically a sexual partner on Valentine's Day. Now some of you are going to tell me the day is about love and all forms of non-erotic love.

Agape, divine, innocent, and all of that kind of stuff. Yeah, ok. I know. That is not what I am writing about today. Nope. It is about the engagement of sex and sexual energy that needs an outlet that does not involve cleaning, shopping or chocolate.

Ok, maybe chocolate. I don't want to be an extremist.

Ladies, we can be re-active or pro-active. I vote pro-active. On this day I'm adding the gift of self-love and pleasure to the imaginary box. This is not an original idea. Heaven's to Betsy, no.

Many years ago I was inspired by Betty's book Sex for One.

Betty Dodson has been a sex education pioneer who didn't just talk her truth but lived it as well. This is a video with Betty and her colleague Carlin Ross concerning questions about rubbing yourself the right way.

Now you may be long past the point of acceptance but I had to put it out there for those that were told otherwise. It is far easier to create your own meaning and fulfillment for the day as opposed to crabbing about what you have and have not.

You got you babe. Start from that point and move forward.

So, how does a woman construct her own pleasure kit when dang near everything she sees and hears is generally designed for men to get off on? We are not men. Not to say we can't get aroused by male targeted sexual content.

There are portions of that content that are not that bad. But there is other material that is just straight up rank and cruel toward women.

I wanted to make this idea visual and declarative in order to make it easier to find quality content. I really had to find places that would not subject folks to the cyber ickies or spyware and still delivered the goods. I am good at finding content but this was really challenging.

On this day I will find blogs and podcasts that are sexually female friendly, easy to access and deliver the goods. I might toss in a device or two to help facility the blood flow from the 2nd to the 4th chakra. Anything above that and you are on your own.

I'm going for concept. I'm not going to find the perfect examples for you. I can't find the perfect examples for me. What I can do is find various examples to explore for yourself and see if it floats your boat.

Keep in mind. I am not a sex educator, writer, blogger or expert. I can point you to resources but this is just my subjective point of view. I'll try to be open but I am not a refrigerator; there are some things I don't need to read or experience.

Here are three to start with:

How To Get Sexual Confidence talks about Erotic Embodiment

For the Girls is a $25 a month subscription site but it does not seem to be tacky or link bait. You can use the guided tour to check out the fellas displayed or view sample videos. There is content but if you do subscribe remember that $25 a month charge continues until you cancel. Think of it like a self-contained bookstore with audio and video sexual content.

Back on the freebie side of the fence. Not only can we love ourselves but we can love and nourish the earth.

Or your front lawn. If nothing else, this will get your attention or perhaps a smile. Absolutely not safe for work.

Busy, busy, busy...

Saturday, February 13, 2010

What I Learn About Love From A Touch of Mink

You have to question cultural socialization. Ok, I have to question it. It is like this, I used to stay up and watch movies. I could exist on three hours of sleep every other night and it would not phase me a bit.

Damn I miss those days!

Doris and Cary

A Cary Grant movie was like required viewing. It was a reading of how men acted, talked and could be toward women. I did not care if he was scruff or in a tux and tails. He was and shall ever be all right with me.

I didn't learn until later that he was an illusion. I don't care, he was a grand illusion. Special shout out to Houseboat and Holiday with Katherine Hepburn. Oh, and Indiscreet.

So there I am watching this movie in the 70s and the Doris character does not want to shag the Cary dude. I didn't get it.

I thought she was plum crazy. I'm thinking what is wrong with a little making out? The movie continues and I'm getting more steamed. I could hear someone driving down the street in their car with "do it, do it til your satisfied" traveling down the street. Yet this full grown woman is saying nyet to that hair, those eyes and the body in the suit.

By the end of the movie I was cussing her out. I was mad. I would have taken the one perfect night and been dang glad of it. I was so mad I voluntarily refused to watch another Doris Day movie for years.

Hindsight. I am no longer mad at Doris. It wasn't really Doris it was some of the characters that she played on screen. Miss Day is a great singer and a fine actress and no disrespect is intended.

I didn't like this sophisticated form of matrimony game playing. It was the 1962 version of "Put a ring on it."

I can now appreciate a little bit about not bonking just any old body. I even get that it is ok to say you have requirements that you don't want to wavier from for the sake of a slap dash.

Not disagreeing with it and have employed it when my life required common sense approaches to human behavior.

I just didn't like the movie's implication that in order to get the rich dude you had to hold out for as long as possible and then you could trap him. No, no and no. Men are human beings. Not supposed to trap humans.

I knew that at 15 and I still believe it now.

So my lesson was actually the anti-lesson. Not to marry for the sake of sex or having a husband. Marry because you actually love the person and can live with the faults as well as the joys.

Shag him or not, it is your choice and responsibility. Unless he is Cary Grant. Then I say rug burn and be glad.

Friday, February 12, 2010

My Baby Just Cares for Me on the Finally Friday Freakout

I needed Friday to happen around Monday morning. Egad, it was a long day at the Salt Mine. To tell the truth, I have been looking for my Valentine's present.

Yes, I am gifting myself. The only thing is I can't buy a camera or camcorder. I have to go beyond the usual desires. It is one of those conceptual gifts that once I get it I can pass it around.

I know it exist but finding it has been a challenged. Might have to improvise.

So this is a bit of fun from the great folks at Aardman Animation. The vocal is Nina Simone's My Baby Just Cares for Me.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Incomming - Response to the Dodge Super Bowl Ad

First came the Levi's Dockers Male Reclamation advertisement. Now Dodge want to shore up masculine identity.

You've sacrificed a lot, but surely there is a limit to your chivalry. Drive the car you want to drive.

These are the good old days because there is now the ability to respond. Check it out:

They say pick your battles and not fight every war. I say pay attention to the words that lead to war. Then look to the war profiteers.

Make love, not war. Reduce unnecessary consumption. Don't believe the hype.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Gift of Curiosity For The Imaginary Box

Curiosity is my birthright. I am curious, color spectrum; not just yellow. In my teens and twenties I was trying to understand the mechanics. In the thirties it was about energy containment. Later it became an understanding of the creative spiritual nature of sex and communion.

Here I am standing a degree or two away from where I started. I have loved. I have lusted. I have been bone hungry. I have been on sabbatical from the noise of contention.

One thing I do know is that I need to explore. I need to listen (still working on that one) and remind myself that love, communication and sex are all on a continuum.

There is a charge point that is transcendent. You don't need a partner to get there but it is nice not to travel alone. Then again going it alone lets you decide what you want, need and there isn’t anyone around to say no.

Go with the perks.

In the meantime, I open up to the next plane which I am finding is the most challenging; to operate on the innate love within and connecting to, well, whatever you want to call it.

Some folks say resonance, others Spirit and still others don’t have a name for it; it just makes them feel good. This is very hard when people are pumping fear or hate all over the joint.

I go in search of finding the love within.
I place the gift of curiosity inside of the imaginary box.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Love In the Spirit of The Sun Magazine

With that dang book about compromising on a marriage partner still bouncing around and other folks are fighting to get into and out of marriages it makes me almost proud that i am single woman.

Yes. I'm holding out for the relationship thing. I was re-evaluating my thoughts on free range thumpety thump. If it was just the sex we'd all be perhaps not quite so tense.

The Sun Magazine has heart pounding writing. Each and every month there is gold coming out of North Carolina. Sy Safransky is the editor and publisher.

Masthead of The Sun Magazine
Sy has been known to write about his wife and his feelings about her. There is a part of me that wants to be wanted like that I don't think it is buying into the mythology. I'm not hooking up with a bump machine to get a cardboard version of a companion.

I want the real thing and it seems to be possible.

He isn't perfect. He also writes about his dreams that don't involve his wife. This would be ok with me because I understand a vivid dream life.

I read about the curl and soothe my spirit for a time. I needed to remember that there are fellas who feel this way about their partners.

The Sun Magazine encourages solid writing and photography. It is a narrative storytelling that isn't a selling point or a way to establish credibility.

It is my heart to your heart via text and photos.

I long for the day when the magazine will have digital or .pdf copies for sale because the magazine is hard to find at chain bookstores. The few remaining newsstands in Los Angeles are disappearing.

If I could I'd send a copy overseas to show we are not as ignorant and stupid as we appear to be via television.

We are flawed, yes, but there are places where our true spirit lives. This is one of them.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

The Gift of Permission For the Imaginary Box

This is one of those moments that smacks you upside the head. I have had a mental loop of a scene in a movie that comes back to me from time to time. The movie is The Devil in Miss Jones. The link is to the specific scene in the movie and nothing more.

For those on work lock down it or otherwise video prohibited it is the scene where Miss Jones is about to be enroll in the School of Carnal Knowledge. Miss Jones meets "The Teacher."

The Teacher removes the inhibitions that probably caused Miss Jones to take the express train out of life in the first place. The scene has always been my favorite part.

Now I know some of you are not happy that she bowed down to a man and he was the one to remove her blockage. I get where you are coming from really. In 1973, and even much later when I saw the movie in college, the removal of inhibitions was hot stuff.

When you turned 18 and was free to do it but you were unclear as to what it was or how to get going. Truthfully, some of us needed help. So no, I can't do the revisionist history thing. This is how it was expressed at the time.

Did the scene cause me to go buck wild? No.

It does serve as a on-going mental talisman about constructing my own personal spheres of sexual permission. What do I like? What is the about and does it fit with where I am now? What are my boundaries? What is the limit?

The photo below is of modern day Georgina Spelvin. Many years later I find myself reading her web site. She is a real person who writes about how she really did not expect people to see the movie.

Older. A woman with perspective of the path that got her where she is today. Georgina tells a bit of the story in the (NSFW) video. You can click the photo for the video.

The older woman in the video is a hoot. I like her. Does it take away my appreciation for that scene? No. It is more like looking at a painting. That scene and what I bring to it is separate and apart from the artist who created it. One is imaginary. The other is flesh and blood.

So the first gift in the imaginary box for Valentine's Day is the gift of remembering to honor and validate internal and external (if you choose to) expressions of sexuality.

Those with faith based restrictions or who believe that it is only for procreation purposes shouldn't have been reading this deep in to the post in the first place.

For the rest of us, well maybe a reclamation project is in order. For some people try a new stroke or meet a new bloke. For other folks perhaps a time to pull back and review how thin you are spreading yourself around.

On this day, I place the gift of permission into the box.

Prelude to Gifts I Should Remember to Give Myself

I have decided that I'm going to do February 14th differently this year. I was staring to get irritated with the VD ads for underwear, chocolate and the implicit messages, instructions and tutorials on how to please your man. I don't have one, a man I mean. It is not like I can stroll into JCPenney's and flip the racks in the men folk's department until I find the guy that fits.

Now if JCP decided to get innovative and have a registry where you could obtain a vetted and verifiable man of your desires I do think it would brighten the profit outlook of the chain. Then again, the return policy would be a nightmare. The idea needs more thought.

Yeah, like I was saying, I could gripe about this but I want to start transmuting problems into solutions.

There has to be a different ways to accommodate the spirit of love, affirmation, sex, libido without being partnered or insulted. Or offended. A counter balance to the mercantile syrup that passes for reminders of romantic attention.

Because it is not wrong to remind yourself that you are loved. That you have the right to nurture yourself. It is not wrong to buy lacy undies for yourself. Or romantic or sexual literature or 65% cacao powered chocolate.

Still, those things don't do it for me. I'm thinking about considering creating a non-partner intimacy kit. Which is technically impossible because even if you are alone there is another person somewhere that is helping your out.

It is an experiment. Not promising every day but I want to create a kind of memory for people who some day might give a damn.

Friday, February 05, 2010

All Night Long on the Finally Friday Freakout

Keely Smith? I had never heard of the woman until I stumbled into a video. Keely was performing during the transition time between the poodle skirt and the mini skirt. Think of the Mad Man years. In between was Keely.

This is Keely singing All Night Long.

For a time she hung out with a cat named Louis Prima who was a force a nature by himself. This was classic fire and ice and sometimes you had to work out which was which. Usually Keely was the ice as Louis was burning up the joint.

This is their rendition of Don't Worry About Me. Mr. Prima passed away in the 1970s. Keely Smith is still performing. For more info on her check out her Wikipedia page.