Monthly Archives: February 2011

Live a Little #12: Read a book cover to cover without stopping.

Surprise (or not), the book I read from cover to cover without stopping is SoulPancake.

When I first got it I went through every page in just one sitting, and two cups of coffee later I finished it. I really wish I had a more mind-blowing answer for you, my apologies.

I’m actually much more interested in what books you have read from cover to cover.

Comment with your answers!



Filed under death & living, SoulPancake

Blackout Poet II

Below is my second and third pieces of Blackout Poetry. These words were also taken from J.D. Salinger’s Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters.

The first is called, “Page 24” … (before reading, let the creativity of the titles wash over you….)


know something,


my gosh.

Cued the rest,

finding something.

Spunky justice,




absolute murder,

suspended, bolstered, empathy,


You can’t just barge through life hurting people’s feelings whenever you feel like it

The second is called, “Page 74″

Some time,

in gracious solitude,

wondering which I’d picked.

My first good idea,

drop into much more thought,

then drop.

God knows,

rampant, wildly jumped,

fate before jumping,

with you.

Slipped into little messages.

Again, not bad. The possibilities for blackout poetry seem endless! Maybe next time I’ll actually blackout and see what prose I can come up with (kidding, Whitman didn’t touch four loko, neither will I).


Confused? For the original Blackout Poetry Post click here.

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Filed under art & creativity, SoulPancake

Live A Little

“Have you really lived if you haven’t faced a full spectrum of experience?”

On the final page of SoulPancake there is a list of 52 ways to live a little more.

Listed are 52 tasks, one for each week of the year (guess I missed that New Year’s resolution opportunity, huh?). I will list half on this post, and half on a later post, and relay my experiences to you.

Please play along and comment, hopefully we can finish the entire list collectively.

I’m trying to make Andy Dufrense and Mr.Keating proud by getting busy living and Carpe Diem-ing (see what I did there? That’s a ‘call back’).

So here are the first half…

  1. Get Punched.
  2. Tell a friend a truth they don’t want to hear (this may help you achieve the first item on the list).
  3. Burn a book you hated.
  4. Eat something that challenges your gag reflexes.
  5. Jump on a bus without knowing the end destination.
  6. Grow something.
  7. Walk barefoot all day.
  8. Hit something hard enough to break it.
  9. Stand on the edge of a rooftop.
  10. Stay up all night.
  11. Don’t get out of bed for an entire day.
  12. Read a book cover to cover without stopping.
  13. Feed yourself for a week with only 7 dollars
  14. Cleanse your hands in soil.
  15. Take a nap on a park bench.
  16. Stand in the pouring rain. Get Drenched.
  17. Spend a day with the oldest person you know.
  18. Go to the concert to a band you’ve never heard of.
  19. Don’t use utensils to eat all day.
  20. Shower in the dark.
  21. Take your neighbor a cup of coffee.
  22. Climb a tree.
  23. Feed a stray dog or cat.
  24. Double tip your server.
  25. Read a book that makes your brain hurt.
  26. Give a stranger a sincere compliment.
  27. Skip, don’t walk.


Filed under death & living, SoulPancake

Blackout Poet

“Every block of stone has a statue inside it, and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it.” – Michelangelo

Your Task:

Step 1: Grab a marker. A black one. Don’t sniff it.

Step 2: Find a single sheet of newspaper or tear a page from your favorite magazine, book, maybe even a memo or old homework on your desk.

Step 3: Black out what doesn’t belong. Chisel away a word at a time until you reveal your poetic masterpiece.

SoulPancake (pg.38)writes… Michelangelo believed that the statue was waiting in the stone– it was the sculptor’s job to chip away the parts that didn’t belong.
Maybe the same is true about poetry. If you look long enough at a sheet of words, you can find rhythms, patterns, brillance.
The reward? The poem within. It was waiting there all along…

J.D. Salinger is one of my favorite authors so I flipped to a random page in one of his books. This page, ironically, mentioned poetry (and yes, I know it’s in blue marker, not black, sue me.)

Most poetry, any poetry,

marked “influence”

verses bare, ungarnished.



accidentally poem plotting

detached collection

strictly moment

never naturally

wondered why.


Young bite,

bothered business

slanderous passion

struck unpoetic

frankly certain



I’m no Frost, but I don’t think it’s half bad.

Now it’s your turn! Send me your own blackout poetry by commenting below or emailing it to

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Filed under art & creativity, SoulPancake

Art At Arm’s Reach

One particularly slow evening my roommate and I took on this art and creativity challenge. Neither of us have any artistic ability so I was interested to see what we’d come up with. We took to the kitchen and grabbed some random supplies we found around the house…

The Task:

Step 1: Scavenge around your desk, barstool, couch cushions for anything handy. And we mean anything: paper clips, poker chips, fake eyelashes, junk mail, bullet casings.


Step 3: Bask in your artistic brilliance. Repeat as desired.

(Courtesy of SoulPancake pg.32)

Kahlil Gibran describes art as what arises when, “the secret vision of the artist and the manifestation of nature agree to find new shapes”

… apparently my “secret vision” resides in south jersey and it’s manifestation is an Essie nail polish not-so-ironically named Short Shorts.

Behold, Snooki art. If only I had some rhinestones for her purple sunglasses but, no such luck.

I call this art, “PARTY’S HERE” By Me.

Unfortunately, my roommate completely upstaged me with this nerdy tribute (she is a math major after all).

Meet Einstein-go, or Mang-stein. We call this “E=Mango ²” By Olivia.

Now it’s your turn!

Grab whatever you have around you, look in your desk, your purse, wherever and MAKE ART.

(spoiler alert: its an excellent way to procrastinate!)

Send me your art at or add them as comments!

Yours in Waffles,


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Filed under art & creativity, SoulPancake

What is Your Weird?

rit·u·al [rich-oo-uhl] –noun

1. any practice or pattern of behavior regularly performed in a set manner, religious or otherwise
2. a prescribed codes of behavior regulating social conduct, as exemplified by the raising of one’s hat or the shaking of hands in greeting.
3. Psychiatry. a specific act, as hand-washing, performed repetitively to a pathological degree, occurring as a common symptom of obsessive-compulsive neurosis.
(courtesy of:

SoulPancake asks us…

List 3 of your rituals that set you apart from the rest.

When I saw this question I thought back to an old Sex and The City episode, where Carrie realizes she has certain rituals she feels uncomfortable performing in front of her boyfriend who had recently moved in. She dubs these, “secret single behaviors,” and investigates. Listen to what she finds…

Moral: It’s weird, but it feels great!

After some thought these are some of my ritual behaviors:

1. Whenever  I go into a bathroom  I always lock the door.

1b. If that bathroom has a shower, I always look behind the curtain.

2. I only eat food at their proper temperatures: Cold pizza? Warm milk? I’ll pass.

3. I paint my nails constantly, and as soon as there is a chip I have to chip off all the polish on that nail, and then all the polish on that hand.

See? 3 down, 7 to go.

I showed you my “weird,” now show me yours…

What are your rituals?

Yours in waffles,


Filed under introspection, reflection & identity, SoulPancake, the brain & the soul, virtues & vices

How Do You “Carpe Diem”?

Some incredibly cruel employee of Marist College Career Services devised a plan to irritate all seniors year after year, without fail, by strategically placing graduation countdown clocks throughout campus.

Today those clocks have reached 100.

(I think the best senior class fundraiser would involve this countdown-loving individual, hot lava, and a dunk tank, but I digress…)

The past three years of school I had disregarded these timepieces, thinking myself lucky to be unconcerned with their sick game. Now it’s February 10th of my final semester, and my time here seems so brief.

The December before last I had really hit a wall in my life, a deep rut, for lack of a better term. My “carpe diem” moment? Studying abroad in Florence, Italy. The places I went, the people I met, the marvels I saw, and the new start I was allotted really helped me put living into perspective and taught me how to seize the day.

Carneval in Venice? Prague for the weekend? Dance on the beach in Barcelona? Hike Cinque Terre? Catch a sunset at Port de Nice? Three Five scoops of gelato?

C A R P E   D I E M .


With this finite number staring me in the face, taunting me with its ticking and toking,  I look to fictional characters for life guidance, a winning approach, I know.

Andy Dufrense:


If my words haven’t inspired you, hopefully those of the leading men in my two of all-time favorite films did.


How do you live? How do you carpe diem?




Yours in waffles,

My SoulPancake Inspiration:

My lava-dunk-tank Inspiration:


Filed under introspection, reflection & identity, SoulPancake, the brain & the soul