Thursday, December 30, 2021

Not One of Us Issue #69


Opal, Everywhere, by Jennifer Hudak
Your Starving Days (poem), by Sonya Taaffe
Frosted Fruit, by Anne Karppinen
Revelations of the Artificial Dryads (poem), by Marissa Lingen
Falling Is What It Loves, by Mike Allen
Song for a Coyote (poem), by Jennifer Crow
Three Wishes and Your Fortune Told, by Alexandra Seidel
Suburban Pitcher Plant, Sarracenia suburbiana (poem), by Jay Sturner
Would That We Were Brownies (poem), by Avra Margariti
Art: John Stanton

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Friday, September 17, 2021

“Thinking Outside of The Box”


Creativity, Survival, and Situational Politics. 

Here’s a hypothetical – let’s say, the boss has asked you and a few other employees to stay late and help out, working off the books. A few hours later, he announces it’s time to go home – but then, he’s frantic – he’s lost his keys. He tells you the route he has taken, and asks you to help find those keys.

You carefully follow the path, looking for the missing keys. You follow an orderly, rational route, as someone of his stature would have taken. Perhaps, he stopped here, to inspect a supervisor’s workstation, for irregularities. No, they’re not there. At the end of the route, you’ve found nothing, certainly not the bosses’ keys. You retrace your path – still not there.

Did you miss them? What do you do next? Did he go someplace he forgot, or didn’t tell you? Or, is this a ruse, to test your loyalty and obedience? Does he know where the keys really are?

You ask if he could have gone any place else. He’s adamant, no.

You retrace the route once more, and still they haven’t magically appeared.

Is he really desperate to find those keys, or is this a test?

The task of obedience would be to retrace the path, again and again, looking for those keys.

Rational solutions would include scrutinizing places along the route where the keys might have fallen into a more obscure setting. Or, something might have absently been laid on top of them.

Still, no keys.

Expand the search radius, but in a respectful manner.


Did he perhaps forget a small side trip?

Does he know where the keys really are?

Then, something occurs to you. In the past, you’ve noticed that dodgy, furtive glance he makes when he passes near the women’s restroom.

You find the keys in a stall, and can guess how they got there.

You tell your boss you found them where they had fallen into a shadow, next to the aforementioned supervisor’s workstation. We can all go home now.

Frequently, social survival is survival.

Sometimes, in order to think “outside the box,” one has to actually climb outside of it and look around.

And, sometimes, creativity is more exercised in the framing of a solution, than in its actual discovery.

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Not One of Us #68


All, by Isa Arsén
The Sisters of Andromeda (poem), by Alexandra Seidel
Gloria, by Andrin Albrecht
Fascination (poem), by Sonya Taaffe
The Moon Held in Her Lap, by Sarah McGill
Paterfamilias (poem), by Sydney Sackett
Morning (poem), by Alexandra Seidel
Sickness and Health, by Mary Crosbie
Wrong Numbers (poem), by J. J. Steinfeld
Art: John Stanton

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Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Spider Moon


One step out the back door…

I was sitting at my computer on the night of August 28, 2017, when Flo opened the back door and let out a bit of a shriek – this critter was busy, zipping about, intricately weaving a web the size of a bed sheet, which extended from the gutter of our roof, down to the rails by our back steps. Our visitor was zipping about so fast, it was difficult for me to get a shot that was in focus, but our arachnid guest was so big, I finally got some, the most dramatic being this one. After I got my pics, I took a spray bottle with bleach, and hit the key support cords in the web, forcing it to collapse. I didn’t want to hurt my subject, and it took the hint and moved on.

Out to the middle of the front yard, with a tripod…

August 22, 2021, the night of the Sturgeon full moon, I took a slew of photos, one of which I used here to complete the final version of “Spider Moon.”

If you’d like to see some more of my work, here is a small gallery, up at Tee Public:

Even if you rarely wander from your habitual haunts, it is amazing what you can find, if you just stop for a moment and take a look around.

Monday, June 14, 2021

Not One Of Us Issue #67



Casual, by Patrick Barb
Narcissus in London (poem), by Sonya Taaffe
Promises to Keep, by William H. Wandless
Quietly Paying Attention (poem), by Holly Day
The Guides of All Things That Die, by Alexandra Seidel
Reincarnation (poem), by Chris Pellizzari
Weeds (poem), by G. O. Clark
Hit Song, by Colin Sinclair
Postponed (poem), by Malcolm Morris
The Damage (poem), by Jennifer Crow
Art: Flo and John Stanton

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Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Where’s George Synchronicity Callback



On May 2, I popped over to Meijer’s for my weekly Covid-bound groceries run; in front of the library at the entrance, I passed a dead cat. It was particularly upsetting, because it looked so much like my pal Jack when he was less than a year old. I went about my errands, aired-up the left rear tire on our car, grabbed some groceries, a utility light I’d been looking for recently, and a couple extra plastic bags, then parked at the library and recovered the body. Of course, it wasn’t Jack – he was in the back yard when I left, and was waiting by the gate when I returned – but May 2 happened to be Jack’s tenth birthday. The cat I found looked well cared-for; somebody loved him. An electronic stud-finder is nothing more than a hand-held metal detector, and the one I had had failed a while back, so I ordered one to pick up at the nearby Home Depot. On the way, I ended up behind a fire truck heading to an horrific accident… a destroyed SUV in the middle of High School Road, another up in the grass. Paramedics and police at the scene, an ambulance on its way from 38th street. Odd thing, just as I got to the accident scene, a big black spider that looked something like a crab, skittled across the dash and hopped onto the steering wheel – didn’t spook me, I blew on him and he fell off, but still… anyway – back home, I tested the cat, and the new stud finder detected metal around the back of his neck. Several times. Tested it on other items – something was in his neck, so I took him to the nearest Vet, who came out and tried to read his chip – but, no results. If it was a chip, which I think it was, it had failed or been damaged in the accident. And, to prove the first rule of synchronicity – no good deed goes unpunished – halfway home from the Vet, I ran over a long yellow screw that stuck into – of course – the tire I’d aired up earlier. Tick tick tick tick, four times per second, all the way home. Still have great memories of the night Tessa gave birth to Jack and his sisters…

Over the next week, I was surprised to find that thirteen-inch tires had become a difficult to find commodity in Indiana; the store that sold me several over the years didn’t carry them any longer, and the manager seemed rather shocked, or distressed, that I’d dared asked for one. He did assure me that a sister store fifty miles away had one (maybe), and I could drive there on my nifty yellow screw. A few days later, his nearest competitor, a block away, managed to scare one up for me.

A couple of days after the purchase, I opened up the utility light – it was DOA, and wouldn’t charge. Busy and distracted, I didn’t get around to returning it until May 16. I expected the purchase price to be refunded via debit card, and was surprised when the clerk handed me cash, wrapped in my receipt. I didn’t look at the cash again for a few days; in between, late at night, I thought about the time I played a little synchronicity game of mine with “Where’s George,” and decided to check my bills – something I hadn’t done for years. I had to change my password; it had been so long since I’d logged on.

Looking at the bills on May 20, I noticed the $1 bill on top had a “Where’s George” stamp on it, so I went back to the website and entered the bill. It had traveled 24 miles in the 154 days since it had first been entered.

Certainly, there are no earth-shattering coincidences here, and nothing prophetic; no predictive value in my observing the oddball confluences in my life. Still, it did take a dead cat on his look-alike’s birthday, a traffic accident and a creepy jumping spider, a yellow screw, a bit of a run-around looking for a tire, a dead utility light and a cash refund, all perfectly chained together, to get me back to Where’s George with a new entry, and the starting point of this silly blog of mine, 14 years since it began. It’s funny, what we notice, once we begin looking for it.

Almost forgot – the day I got my new tire, I wandered around with my camera for two hours, and found, in the grass in front of the tire shop – another dollar bill. Guess I should enter this fellow into the George database.

Synchronicity and Where's George May 2007