Sunday, December 18, 2016

An American Makes a Contribution to Poetry

A veteran of the armed services during World War Two, Randall Jarrell was by all measures an accomplished artist. Using the meticulous method that is English metrical verse, Jarrell is able to conjure up images that are incredibly real, and yet still fit within the confines of the chosen mode of delivery.

English metrical verse is not exactly known for its ease of reading, which is what makes Jarrell’s work on The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner so incredible. The words manage to carve an image into the mind, of the searing kinds of death that waited for an Army Air Force crewman. All of this is done in five lines of reading. The poem is incredibly short. Why then, review or even bring up a poem that short, even if it does such wonders at evoking mental imagery? Because Randall Jarrell washed out of bomber school and spent most of the war stateside.


For me, as an initiated reader and avid historian, The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner brought to mind an image from a previous experience. While in Newport News, Virginia, serving ironically enough in the United States Navy, the last flying B-29 Superfortress flew into town. Operated today by the Confederate Air Force, it was still taxiing to a stop beside the general aviation terminal at Newport News International Airport as I pulled into a parking space nearby. The crew chief needed help with repairs, and since I was serving as a machinist’s helper in the Navy, I was rather bluntly drafted and put to work.


After replacing an entire radial engine cylinder and oil pump, I crawled out of the number two engine (of four) and got a few instructions about that plane I never knew before. And then the crew chief showed me the lower ball turret. Placed in the belly of the plane, it was able to rotate 180 degrees, and its guns could cover almost all of the space below the plane. There was one problem: if the ball got stuck in an odd position, the hatch that allowed the gunner in and out locked from the outside. A gunner stuck inside would have to break the plexiglas shield and bail out over England, or bravely hope the landing gear would hold up at landing and not squash him flat if the plane went onto its belly and skidded out. That’s a brave hope indeed for a person trapped on the outside bottom of a damaged plane. It’s a lost hope if the turret gunner forgot to take a pistol with him to be able to break the plexiglas shield, or worse yet, was wounded.


Somehow, for me, Randall Jarrell recaptured that lost image of horror. The last B-29 couldn’t do it; it was manufactured two weeks after the war ended. Jarrell captured that image for me in just five lines.


Read it yourself, click the link: The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner


Not content with those five lines, Jarrell further developed a poem along the same lines, in Losses. At a length of 32 lines, also written in the painstaking English metrical verse, Jarrell again conjures images so crisp and clear that the reader is captured by the flow of the work and carried along, to the work’s completion. Jarrell is able to maintain the structure and the flow of the work, according to English metric, with the words rhyming at the right time, and still managing a strong sense of voice for the work. A writer with the ability to use English verse and manage strong voice throughout is quite skilled indeed.


Losses takes us through the journey of a bomber crew during World War II. It begins in training, where everyone is told they are dead men. A veteran myself, I was able to catch what Jarrell was talking about in the poem; because of the training I received myself in while in the Navy. We were told “Training is where you screw up!” and “Get all your dying done here, in training! It takes us less paperwork if you die here! Here we just clean up the mess and move on!” Jarrell’s work in Losses relates the same, except there, it was actual aircraft, which occasionally did crash on routine training missions, and the losses counted against the wartime total. You begin quickly to get the sense of the dehumanization that Jarrell felt as he trained. As you read further, the transition to actual combat duty over Europe happens.


A curious thing happens: the manner changes in which losses happen. In training, losses were accidents. In combat, losses were mistakes. The treatment of the superiors changes, as well, but anyone not a veteran of the service may not catch the change. In training, accident rates rose because of the trainees. It was the trainees fault, not the instructors. It was a classic case of “yours, not ours.” But in the combat zone, when bomber crews died, the leadership called the casualties “ours.” The men were not really allowed to claim their own losses, you see.


As a result, the sense of frustration comes right through from the bomber crews that the leaders stayed at home while the boys in blue went over and burned the cities down. It for me relayed that classic sense of any fighting man: the leaders just give orders, and the grunts do the dirty work. And in the end, a few grunts get medals, all the leaders get medals, and friend and foe alike are left wondering: Why? Why so many losses?


Don’t just take my word for it, a short additional biography can be found at Poets.org, from the American Academy of Poets.


For an experience in poetry, take a moment and open the text of Losses.


Once you have that open, open this audio reading of Losses from a professor and follow along.


April is National Poetry Month, and it’s your loss if you don’t!


Sources for this Article:


Seamus Cooney, A Small Anthology of Poems, http://homepages.wmich.edu/~cooneys/poems/index.html, 2000, English Department, Western Michigan University


George and Barbara Perkins, Contemporary American Literature, pp 367-369, 1985, New York, Macgraw-Hill, New York.


Internet Archive, Losses, Randall Jarrell, http://www.archive.org/download/audio_poetry_174_2007, 2001, Open Source Archive


Randall Jarrell, Losses, http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/losses/, 2009, PoemHunter.com


Labels: An American Makes a Contribution to Poetry

A Psychic Medium - More Than Talking to the Dead

People have always been amazed by the unexplainable ways of the psychic sphere. People who have psychic abilities are quite extraordinary, especially a psychic medium. Most psychics have the power to find lost items, communicate through the mind, see the unseen, and much more. But what makes a psychic medium special, is the fact that they can do more than what any ordinary psychic can.

Though most people cannot explain the reason behind their faith in the ways of the psychic sphere, people are simply drawn to its mystical ways that pave positive results. Take for example, psychic readings. People seek a psychic to get a reading for guidance, and to know about the future. You may ask, how about a psychic medium? Why do people seek one?


By definition, a psychic medium is a person whose extrasensory perception or ESP, is much stronger compared to the average human being. Because of their strong ESP, they are able to see, hear, feel, and even communicate, with entities that any normal person cannot see, hear, feel, or communicate with. Generally speaking, a psychic medium is an individual who possesses both the qualities of a psychic and a medium — not only can they see the unseen, they can also act as the medium to bridge the communication gap between the realm of the after life and of the living.


To be quite specific, a psychic medium can communicate with spirits of those who have passed on. They can also do psychic readings, and they have clairvoyant abilities to see the future as well. But why do people seek a psychic medium? There are actually two major reasons. These are to communicate with those who have passed away, and the second one is to seek guidance for the future.


A psychic medium is a gifted individual, gifted enough to bridge the gap between the afterlife and the world of the living. People usually see a psychic medium when they have intentions to contact or communicate loved ones who have passed away. There might be some people bothered about someone’s passing, and at times, the only way to know if the spirit has moved on or is at peace, is to communicate with the said spirit. In some cases, assistance of a psychic medium is also sought to answer the cries for justice of victims of a crime, or a haunting spirit with unfinished business.


The mind of the psychic medium demonstrates the mental phenomena referred to as mental meduimship. This mental concept comes in different forms such as the gifts of clairvoyance (the ability to physically, see the spirits of those who have passed away), clairaudience (the ability to hear regardless of boundaries, which allows a psychic medium to hear the said spirits), clairsentinence (wherein the medium actually feels the last emotions of these spirits before they took their last breath; such as physical pain like chest pains if they died due to heart attack), clairalience (the psychic medium can smell the scent), and lastly, the gift of clairgustance (the psychic medium recognizes a taste impression from the said spirit)


People seek a psychic medium for guidance because they know they can get better insights through a psychic medium compared to just an ordinary psychic. Aside from the interpretations about the past, present, and the future, a psychic medium can even help you seek advice for what is to come, from the spirits of loved ones who have passed away, your spirit guide, or guardian angel. This is what sets a psychic medium reading apart from a plain psychic reading. Yes psychics can give you a reading, but they cannot communicate with the other side like a psychic medium.


Of course, there are many other reasons why people a psychic medium. The reasons are not just limited to the ones stated above. A psychic medium is a very gifted individual, and the gift of psychic mediumship comes in a blue moon. Yes, you can see any psychic for your concerns. But if you want seek to understand what most people cannot see, hear, or feel; a psychic medium is your best adviser.


Tana Hoy has been giving people psychic readings all of his life. Tana has the special gift to communicate with the other side! He can help you find the answers that you need. Visit his website, www.tanahoy.com to know more about Tana Hoy.


Labels: A Psychic Medium - More Than Talking to the Dead

A Killer Plot by Ellery Adams

If you’ve ever seen the movie Steel Magnolias then you’re familiar with Shirley MacLaine’s character Ouiser Boudreaux. If you read the first installment of A Books By The Bay Mysteries, you’ll probably come to think that the main character, Olivia Limoges is a younger version of MacLaine’s character.


Olivia is the type of person people avoid. She’s not the most friendliest resident of Oyster Bay and due to her wealth she thinks she can get away with whatever she wants. Then again she owns most of the property in the small ocean town so she does get her way.


She lives alone by the lighthouse on the outskirts of town and one has always dreamed of being a writer. Usually on a daily basis she heads into town with her faithful companion, Captain Haviland, a standard poodle and spends much of the day at Grumpy’s where she writes her book, a little diner dedicated to Andrew Lloyd Webber.


On this particular day she comes into the diner and there’s a group of people sitting in her booth. Frustrated, she has to end up at the counter and then eventually finds out the group is a writer’s group, led by Camden Ford. Ford is in town gathering information on the Talbot family so that he can write a bestseller about the secrets and scandals of this family. Unbeknownst to the others, he’s also writes a celebrity gossip blog under a pen name.


Camden and Olivia meet and he confides in her of his plan while they’re at her restaurant The Boot Top. It just so happens that the youngest Talbot (a rock star) and his girlfriend, Heidi St, Claire, an up and coming actress are seated in the booth behind them. Of course, Camden wants to hear what’s going on.


After Camden invites Olivia to join the writer’s group, she sets on a new path. She redesigns her cottage house so that the group can meet there and on the night of the first meeting, everyone is a little upset that Camden hasn’t shown up. One of the group’s members, Millay, tells the group that she saw him going into the bar she works at Fish Nets. The bar would be out of Camden’s league and they all decide to go into town to find him.


They find him alright. Dead in an alley with a haiku spray painted above his body.


The group then try to figure out the clues through the haiku and are stunned when yet another murder happens and another haiku. This is followed by a third, and while the haiku’s reference seasons who will the fourth victim be?


Author Ellery Adams’ A Killer Plot invites us into a charming North Carolina seaside town where the town has become a hot tourist destination and most of the men are fishermen. It’s quaint.


Another positive point is how Olivia reluctantly joins the writers group (and if you’re a writer forming or joining one can be a task in itself) but, I don’t think we needed to “read” chapters of what the writer’s novels are about. It takes away from the story and it was a good idea to include them in the investigation, but as they say, there were too many cooks in the kitchen (as well as characters).


Olivia’s a character I wasn’t vested in and just found her to be plain mean. She does have some good traits but for the most part I wished she would have been killed off. It was a struggle trying to get through the book, mostly in part due to the narrative. There was too much and not really enough dialogue.


I’m hoping that through the rest of the series the action picks up and maybe then I’ll become more invested in Olivia and the others.


Labels: A Killer Plot by Ellery Adams

A Product Review of Jimmy Dean Sausage and Cheese Omelets

I love omelets and I love to have an easy, affordable and quick way to have this delicious breakfast treat! I recently came across Jimmy Dean Sausage And Cheese Omelets in the frozen breakfast section of my local grocery store. I am a big fan of Jimmy Dean ham and cheese omelets so, I felt confident in purchasing this great breakfast item. Here is what I discovered!

Jimmy Dean Sausage And Cheese Omelets cost around three dollars for a box containing two omelets in it. Fortunately, I discovered this product while it was on sale, two boxes for five dollars. Since there are two omelets in each box, that is not a bad deal. A little over one dollar for each omelet. I can live with that bargain, for sure. I absolutely love Jimmy Dean ham and cheese omelets. I was delighted to be given a choice of sausage and cheese omelets to try! I could not wait to taste this product and write a review about it!


The picture of these omelets on the front of the box looked wonderful! They showed lots of cheese and sausage in the omelet which made me drool. I learned that these omelets have Monterey Jack cheese, cream cheese and pork sausage in them. No wonder they tempted me! That discovery was great! To prepare these omelets you only need to cut a small vent hole in the plastic wrapper, place on a microwave safe plate and cook for about two minutes. Then just serve! When I tasted these sausage and cheese omelets, I was delighted! They are delicious! They have lots of sausage and cheese in them! They taste almost homemade and that fact impressed me! I cannot cook homemade omelets that taste better than these! I love this quick breakfast product! When I add grits and toast with jelly along with these omelets, they make a fantastic and hearty breakfast, in my opinion.


Jimmy Dean Sausage And Cheese Omelets are delicious! One omelet has two hundred and seventy calories in it. One hundred and ninety of these calories come from fat. This omelet has twenty-two grams of total fat, eight grams of saturated fat, zero grams of trans fat, two hundred and ninety-five mgs of cholesterol, five hundred and seventy mgs of sodium, five grams of total carbs, zero grams of dietary fiber, one gram of sugars and fifteen grams of protein. This omelet also has small amounts of vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium and iron in it. This product does contain milk, egg and soy.


I rate Jimmy Dean Sausage And Cheese Omelets four and one half stars out of five stars. This product makes breakfast easy for me! This omelet is light, fluffy, hearty and full of great flavor. I will be purchasing this product again. I enjoyed trying this product and writing a review about it! You can find Jimmy Dean Sausage And Cheese Omelets in most grocery stores that you shop at. I discovered that this product is a winner!


Labels: A Product Review of Jimmy Dean Sausage and Cheese Omelets

A Review of Shotgun Skin Dressing by Turtle Island Herbs

This all purpose salve is a favorite in my house. I also keep a tin in my car, the diaper bag and my purse. Shotgun skin dressing is one of the best herbal salves on the market as it is extremely multi purpose which makes it ideal for stocking in your herbal medicine cabinet. This salve can be used for minor cuts, scrapes, bruises, herpes sores, hemorrhoids, rashes, fungus, insect bites, sunburn and infections.

I really like this salve because it helps speed up the healing process. Also I feel much better using shotgun skin dressing then regular antibiotic ointment as I feel it is much more effective and will not help bacteria become antibiotic resistant. I feel like using herbal and natural medicines is not only more effective but also a more responsible choice. This salve is antimicrobial, soothing, astringent as well as an emollient. This herbal salve will help keep infections at bay and speed up wound healing. It is very soothing for burns of all kinds and works well in soothing blisters. I use this salve a lot on my children for small scrapes and cuts as well as insect bites.


The ingredients in this salve are; goldenseal root and leaf, chaparral leaf, marshmallow root, myrrh gum, Echinacea root and flower, osha root, Bloodroot, Wild Geranium, Yerba Mansa root, Almond oil, Safflower oil, Beeswax and Vitamin E oil.


All of the herbs in this salve were chosen for their specific medicinal qualities. The following is a short description of each herb and what healing properties they contain.


Goldenseal- goldenseal promotes wound healing. It is also an excellent choice for rashes and is useful in treating eczema.


Chaparral- Chaparral contains lignans which is similar to estrogen and helps the skin in repairing itself. Useful for rashes, eczema, cuts, etc.


Marshmallow root- Marshmallow is good for wounds that are slow to heal. It also is indicated for use on rashes, bites and small cuts.


Myrrh gum-myrrh is a disinfectant and great for wound care.


Echinacea- echinacea promotes healing. Used topically echinacea can help protect cuts and scrapes from infection.


Osha- osha has antiviral properties. It can also helps speed wound healing and minor skin irritations.


Bloodroot- good in treating rashes, blisters and splinters.


Wild Geranium- Great for healing rashes, poison oak and more.


Yerba Mansa- Soothing and healing to minor rashes, burns and other skin ailments.


This salve is made using the above herbs in a proprietary blend. The salve is then formulated with pure almond and safflower oils, beeswax and vitamin E oil. It is extremely gentle. It has no scent and is not greasy if you don’t use too much of it.


The salve comes packaged in a handy and convenient 1 oz. tin. Generally I can find this product for around $5. It is available through most health food stores as well as some food co-ops and online.


This is definitely one herbal salve that everyone should keep on hand for their herbal medicine regimen for basic first aid treatment. Unlike over the counter medicines Shotgun Skin Dressing is all natural.


Labels: A Review of Shotgun Skin Dressing by Turtle Island Herbs

4 Great, Free Things to Do in New York: The Only Cost is Transportation

The stories that you have heard about this awesome city are totally true. New York is full of bright lights, fascinating people, and so many places to go and enjoy. There is a common misconception that it is expensive and that you have to pay to have fun. Fortunately, this is not the case. You can have so much fun for no cost. I live across the water in Jersey City, NJ so I hang out there a lot. Often times, I do not have any money so I learned to get very creative. Here are some cool things that you can do for FREE:

1. Go to The Village. There are many clubs where you can check out live music for free without a cover charge or drink minimum. You can go to the Garage to check out live bands.


The Garage (FREE):


99 7th Avenue South (off of Christopher Street)


Free live jazz on Mondays!


You can also check out Del’s ‘Comedy for the F@&*! of It for free every Tuesday night at 8:00 pm SHARP! The place stays packed. My sister and I go there just about every week and we are rolling out of our chair from laughter. The comedians are very diverse and it is well worth the trip. Some comedians are from other venues such as Comedy Central but they do this to give back. If you do decide to get drinks, they are VERY cheap (usually $5 Apple Martinis too). New York is not known for its cheap drinks but this one is. Of course there is no cover and no minimum. Go there any Tuesday and tell Del that Angel from Jersey City sent you J.


Del’s ‘Comedy for the F@&*! of It (FREE)


ALIBI Cocktail Lounge 116 MacDougal Street


EVERY Tuesday at 8:00 pm SHARP!


2. Go to the Times Square area (around 42nd street). You can walk around and see lots of people performing. There are dancers, singers, poets, etc. Many of them are very talented and they are outside all around this area. I have seen dancers defy gravity. I am not exxagerating…it is crazy but true and it is very entertaining. In Times Square, you can enjoy the bright lights and the great energy of the people. Another cool thing to do there is go to the virgin Records Superstore. They have three floors of non-stop music as well as people. There is a display that allows you to interact with a character on the floor by stepping on it (I can’t tell you what it is..go check it out and see for yourself :-). You can also check out the hottest consoles by playing them (Playstation III, X Box 360, etc.). Right now, they have a hologram or hologram-like display on the lower level. It is awesome! I do not fully understand how it works but it is worth going to check out. There may be a few clubs where you can just go in and check it out for free but beware of those because they do not often tell you that there is a two-drink minimum per person and sometimes a table fee. One time we went into a so-called free comedy club (4 of us) and they told us about the drinks when we went in. We spent around $70 in drinks alone. To some people that is not expensive but considering the fact that we thought it was free…it was.


3. Go to South Street Seaport. Located on Fulton Street and South Street, this little-known treasure is a great find. Many times, there are performers outside or some sort of display. There is a cool mall there with the Sharper Inage retail store in it which is a nice store if you like technical gadgets like I do. The view is really nice and very romantic if you want to bring your significant other there at night to watch the ships go by or just the water and lights. There are many free concerts there when the weather is nice. One time we went just to hang out and ended up seeing The Sugarhill Gang in concert..FREE! Words cannot completely describe how simple and fun this place can be. If you want to eat DO NOT..I repeat..DO NOT eat there unless you are willing to fork over BIG bucks. You can eat before or after because I learned the hard way to be financially prepared to eat there. Now we just go for the atmosphere in general.


4. Hey, would you like to just watch shows on TV or be in the studio audience for a live taping or even a live show? I have done both. I have gone to The People’s Court with Milian and it is really cool. There were people there that go for almost every taping; I mean…it is free. Just call TKTS or go online and request your free tickets now! I recently did the Wendy Williams show which is on pilot for a few weeks in New York as well. We have such a great time! It was so much fun and we are totally going back for another one of her shows. You must go online to get tickets to her show as well. Of course that is free as well. They normally have their live shows as well as their tapings during the middle or the end of the week depending on the show. There are so many shows that would love to have you in their audience. Some even give away free stuff. Depending on the show, you may get up to 6 tickets for you and friends or family to attend. Do you have a favorite show? Check out their website to see where they are located. If they are in New York, than request free tickets online. Also, if you have someone coming from out of town or you yourself are from out of town, this is one of the coolest things to do while on vacation. How many people can say that they have been on the Wendy Williams show? If you are lucky, you may even get picked to answer questions on TV!! There is nothing cooler to brag about when on vacation, so pick you show and go for it!


New York is fantastic. I suggest that you take a ferry to New York if you have the time in order to enjoy the views. You can also take one of the metro buses or a cab if you are already in New York. We usually take the Path Train from New Jersey to 33rd street. After that we take the N or the R train uptown to the Times Square 42nd street station. Sometimes we just get off at 33rd and walk the rest of the way because we are afraid of what we will miss if we don’t walk it. There is so much to see. Come on down to New York where sometimes the best fun..is free fun! You will be like a kid in a candy store I assure you. It is well worth many visits. There are many more free things to do and as I discover them by checking out the venues, you will be the first to know so add me as a friend and keep checking back to see what I am into next. I am your all-access pass to the city!


Labels: 4 Great, Free Things to Do in New York: The Only Cost is Transportation

A Product Review of Don Pablo's Salsa Con Queso Restaurant Style Dip: Cholesterol Free

I love salsa and cheese dips. There are so many different brands and varieties available, it is hard to choose the best one, sometimes. I recently spotted Don Pablo’s Salsa Con Queso Restaurant Style Dip in the snack and chip section of my local grocery store. The words “restaurant style dip” on the front of the jar caught my attention. I decided to purchase this dip and try it! Here is what I discovered.

Don Pablo’s Salsa Con Queso Restaurant Style Dip is about medium in price range, when I compared it to other brands of dip. There are some brands that are cheaper than this product and there are a few brands that were slightly higher in price. This product is distributed by the Lance company and that company is well known, by me, for delivering delicious snacks that are also affordable. I purchased a one pound jar of Don Pablo’s Salsa Con Queso Restaurant Style Dip for around three dollars. Since there are fifteen servings in this large jar, I considered that price to be a pretty good bargain!


Don Pablo’s Salsa Con Queso Restaurant Style Dip comes from Don Pablo’s Mexican Restaurants and it’s heritage of the recipe originated from the central plains of Mexico. Ranch cooks there used native herbs and spices to create authentic recipes. Now, Don Pablo’s uses these ingredients in their foods, like onion, cilantro, jalapenos , lemon juice and vine ripened tomatoes. These fine ingredients blend perfectly with tortilla chips and many Mexican dishes. Don Pablo’s also makes tortilla chips, too. I was very impressed with amount of information on this product’s jar label. The words “made with real cheese” is prominently displayed, also. That is a good thing, in my opinion.


So, how does Don Pablo’s Salsa Con Queso Restaurant Style Dip taste? Absolutely fabulous! I tried this dip with white corn tortilla chips and it was delicious! The dip is very rich, thick and hearty! It has great Mexican flavor and zest! The tomatoes, Monterey Jack cheese, cheddar cheese, jalapenos, onions, garlic powder and spices were delightful. I loved this dip. It was yummy. I also used some of this dip on my homemade nachos and it performed spectacularly! I could not have been more pleased. I rate Don Pablo’s Salsa Con Queso Restaurant Style Dip five stars out of five stars. I discovered this dip is indeed restaurant style and high quality! You must refrigerate this dip after opening it. This is a tasty cholesterol free dip! Hey, no saturated fat, too! Wow!


Don Pablo’s Salsa Con Queso Restaurant Style Dip has forty-five calories in each serving. Twenty-five of these calories are from fat. This dip has three grams of total fat, zero grams of saturated fat, zero grams of trans fat, zero mgs of cholesterol, two hundred and thirty mgs of sodium, five grams of total carbs, zero grams of fiber, one gram of sugars and zero grams of protein. This dip does have a small amount of calcium in it. I was very impressed with the fact that this cheese dip is cholesterol free! It also has no saturated fat in it! This product is a winner! You can find Don Pablo’s Salsa Con Queso Restaurant Style Dip in most grocery stores that you shop at! I will be buying this product again. It is a crowd pleaser and it sure pleased me! I truly enjoyed trying this dip and writing a product review about it!


Labels: A Product Review of Don Pablo's Salsa Con Queso Restaurant Style Dip: Cholesterol Free

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