Archive-Adventures

100 Years of the Pulitzer Prize

April 2016 marks the 100th anniversary of the Pulitzer Prizes. It holds the reputation as the country's most prestigious awards and most sought-after accolades in journalism, letters, and music.

The Prizes are formally announcement each April, these awards are made on the recommendation of the Pulitzer Prize board.  These awards are perceived as a focus for worldwide attention on American achievements in letters and music as well as an incentive to foster high-quality journalism.

Over the decades, the Pulitzer board has been targeted by some critics over awards made or not made. Controversies also have arisen over decisions made by the board counter to the advice of juries. Given the subjective nature of the award process, this was inevitable. The board has stood its ground and not been captive to popular inclinations. Many, if not most, of the honored books have not even been on bestseller lists, and many of the winning plays have been staged off-Broadway or in regional theaters. In these winning books, letters, and music pages are 100 years of setbacks and progress, 10 decades of cultural scrutiny and literary experimentation, a century of audacious assertions and undeniable genius.

As an award or as a symbol, it has had quite the ride. For its readers, it has presented a journey into a patch quilt world of literature.

What better time than now to reflect on the many recipients works. I invite you to peruse a cross selection of the award recipients works and to choose to read, or reread, ponder over and even admire some of these works.

Those of you more active out there, I’d suggest celebrating by reading an award-winning story aloud, and/or partnering with individuals and organizations to host events across the country. Then again creating your own story to present that may end up in the next Centennial of honored writers is not a bad idea either.

A toast to good writing.

Sometimes It’s Not About Doing It - But Supporting It

The MISSION of Irreverent Warriors is to bring veterans together using humor and camaraderie to heal the mental wounds of war, through therapeutic events and entertainment, and by God, laughter, in order to reduce PTSD and prevent veteran suicide. Their VISION is to provide all U.S. Veterans with a strong veteran based support network, reduce the impact of PTSD, and eliminate veteran suicide.

22 veterans are killing themselves a day. Hiking is an activity of the Irreverent Warriors, Hiking is something that they know, it has been an important part of military culture and training since the beginning of time. Hiking with other Vets gives a sense of mission, and requires them all to endure some mental and physical pain as they achieve the mission; A chance for these veterans to enjoy the camaraderie created during shared misery. It is a way, through the shared pain of the hiking environment, to open these combat veterans up to themselves and to each other about the demons that live inside them. When they speak about their demons, and then someone else speaks about their demons, it creates a powerful amount of support that they   will not find in this way anywhere else. These hikes bring out their best, maybe through hysterical laughing as the pain brings back the nostalgia created by a bunch of warriors banded together, carrying weight on their backs, and marching with a purpose. They are veterans of the US military; Irreverent Warriors have used humor to get through the darkest side of humanity. The men and women who have been prepared to kill and die for our country. They now laugh in the face of death, dismemberment, and the enemies of their haunted past.

Why do they hike in silkies?

As with all Irreverent Warriors events, they want the event to be full of laughter. Thus uncomfortably short and tight silkies on a big strong man will make any man or woman chuckle. Marines and Soldiers have been wearing silkies since at least the 1950s. They are an old military tradition that has been eliminated by the military- that the I.W.  choose to revive because of the nostalgia and the laughter that they create.

These hikes are intended for field combat veterans who can carry 50 pounds for 13 miles; in other words those who at one point carried a lot of weight on their backs and hiked with a unit. This is THERAPY for VETERANS, to give a chance for them to feel safe, and participate in the comradery of brothers and sisters who have the shared experiences in the darkest part of humanity- combat.

So what can you do? Understand, as a civilian the most effective you can be here is to extend knowledge to these veterans that they are not alone, and are supported by more than lip service.  You can contact for more info: http://www.silkieshike.com/host-a-hike/
You could be of service before an event, help set up an event, or Be There at the end of the event by setting up a bar stop for the guys at the finish of the event.

Stop at bars?

Bars have been an important part of military culture since the beginning of time. Warriors have gone to the bars immediately after battles to drink, laugh, and forget about the ugliness of war.

The END RESULT is fewer veterans who kill themselves.

For civilians- The best way to help a combat vet you love, is to tell them to show up to this.

Keeping the hike for the combat vets, let them have their therapy, and meet them at the bars with loving arms, loving women, and pitchers of beer. (No liquor, bad idea)

This post is simply to raise awareness, and to save lives.

 Just a short list known of the 2016 Irreverent Warriors Silkies Hikes

Jun 18       Fredericksburg, VA

Jun 18       Des Moines, IA

Jun 25       Las Vegas, NV

Jun 25       Crown Point Park Mission Bay, San Diego, CA,  

Jul 23        Minneapolis, MN

Jul 30        Grand Rapids, MI

Aug 06       Richland, WA

Aug 27       Long Beach, CA

Sep 10        San Antonio, TX

Sep 10        Destin, FL

Sep 17        New York, NY 

Sep 24        Savannah, GA

Sep 24        Boston, MA

Sep 24        Nashville, TN

Oct 08        Sarasota, FL

Nov 05        Emporia, KS

Nov 12        Greenville, SC

Nov 12        Jacksonville, FL

 

The Urge for New Adventures

2016 - It's a Whole New Year

Hey Guys, Aloha !

This month’s feature story is about the sensations and the exploration of pushing your personal boundaries into territories unknown. Now hold that groaning, you couch potatoes, I am not talking about scaling Mount Everest, so go ahead and take that breathe, that sigh of relieve. But did you feel that surge of adrenaline, when I first suggested pushing boundaries, enacting some goals for 2016. You know, to start to make a difference, would not take some big effort or a lot of time to achieve something new. You could actually make a significant difference by enacting a small change. that could have a ripple effect. The key is to decide that you are going to do an activity that you’d never done before.  I did not say this activity was perhaps what countless other people have done, and really quite often, I said, do what you have not done before. Well yes, I do have some suggestions, thank you for asking.

TAKE A SELFIE…in various poses, place, OR with people that you have not done it with before….I would suggest ‘Nutscaping’ being the last resort and perhaps reserved for only some of you more adventurous prankers.

DOWNLOADING A SONG ON A TABLET OR PHONE…One that you normally would never download, but you sing in your head all the time.

ASK FOR DIRECTIONS…maybe help from a wife, girlfriend, male friend husband, you decide who.

SMILE AT PEOPLE…yup, even folks you don’t know… Yes, there is no telling what will happen, if you do that.

So here we are - me coming along and challenging you to set your intentions, to come up with things to do, things that will extend your personal boundaries, and take you into territories of your unknown.

You know awhile back, at some Halloween party, I found myself in conversation with this guy, talking about Social Media.  I said: “Well I’m on Facebook.”  He said, “Dude, you need to be on INSTAGRAM, on TUMBLR.”  I just let the conversation die, but a few weeks later in the New York Times, there was this story “Web Poets’ Society: New Breed Succeeds in Taking Verse Viral.”  It was about a guy named Tyler Knott Gregson; he was an amateur poet who became a best-selling poet and celebrity, thanks to his combined 560,000 followers on Instagram and Tumblr. According to that November 2015 Times article, Gregson’s first poetry book, Chasers of the Light, had 120,000 copies in print. That’s outrageous! His next book, All the Words Are Yours, had the first printing of 100,000. That is even more outrageous.  The possibilities reel in my head because I’m writing a book and to think of having that many people waiting to buy my book, wow, cowabunga.

Well enough about me. Ideas to move you along or that might inspire you into action might come to you from the days of the week. Such as in March there are some bizarre and wacky things that have been given days to celebrate.  What better month to take action in than the Man’s action month of March! (Well, you did know March was named after the Roman God "Mars"?)
I have a list by the day of some of my favorite wacky days.

March 2016 Daily Special Wacky Days:

1 National Pig Day
2 Old Stuff Day
3 I Want You to be Happy Day
3 If Pets Had Thumbs Day
4 Holy Experiment Day
4 Hug a GI Day
5 Multiple Personality Day
6 National Frozen Food Day
7 National Crown Roast of Pork Day
8 Be Nasty Day
8 International (Working) Women's Day
9 Panic Day
10 Popcorn Lover's Day second Thursday
11 Worship of Tools Day - guys, you can relate
12 Girl Scouts Day
13 Ear Muff Day
14 National Potato Chip Day
14 National Pi Day- Why today? Because today is 3.14, the value of Pi.
15 Everything You Think is Wrong Day
15 Ides of March –  Et Tu, Brute?
15 Dumbstruck Day
16 Everything You Do is Right Day
16 Freedom of Information Day
17 Submarine Day – be original the hero sandwich or the boat??
17 Saint Patrick's Day
18 Goddess of Fertility Day
18 National Agriculture Day (date varies)
19 Poultry Day
20 International Earth Day
20 Extraterrestrial Abductions Day
20 Proposal Day
21 Fragrance Day
22 National Goof Off Day
23 National Chip and Dip Day
23 Near Miss Day
24 National Chocolate Covered Raisin Day
25 Waffle Day
26 Make Up Your Own Holiday Day
26 National Spinach Day
27 National "Joe" Day
28 Something on a Stick Day
29 National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day
29 Smoke and Mirrors Day
30 I am in Control Day
30 Take a Walk in the Park Day
31 Bunsen Burner Day
31 National Clam on the Half Shell Day

So go ahead, give one of these a shot. It’s all about you finding out something new about yourself in a fun way.  It shouldn’t be terribly tough to do, and like Elbert Hubbard, the early 1900’s writer and artist said: “The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.”
 
Aloha . . .

Expose yourself to a One-Hundred-Year-Old

The year-long party is still going on and you can join in at any time. What party you ask? Why the one the National Park Service is throwing. To join in you may need some new duds like boots and shorts, but don’t let that stop you; you can always come as you are!

You ask who is the party for? Well the National Park Service (NPS) of course, it turned 100-years-old on August 25, 2015. The National Park Service has a lot to see and do if you are willing to expose yourself to nature. You might want to bring a friend.

Now you can join in at any of its locations, to experience a side of yourself which you may not have known before.  There are 58 National Parks in all 50 states, and in American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the US Virgin Islands. California alone has 27 National Parks, 36 National Landmarks, and 144 National Historic Landmarks. This party will have a combined attendance of 37,000,000 visitors to these National Parks and Landmarks. Now that is a RAVE event.

Ok, I get it, you don’t like crowds, looking like you look dressed in those shorts and tee shirt I would not want to be seen by any large crowds either. Here’s the thing, most of the crowds are going to be seen in a short list of favorites spots just a handful of big-name parks, compared with the more than 400 units in the Park System probably ones you’ve never heard about – But If you are considering a short hike or day backpacking trip to commune with nature, you probably are unaware of that extensive list of parks, those other locations that are usually overlooked.

Forget about searching out those high-profile trails with the infinitely Instagrammable vistas, there are often less-showy units that allow you a quieter, more personal interaction with the Park System.  Some allow you to hike through seasonal flower-filled meadows and watch condors soar through rock formations on the hills without the noise of other hikers.  Rather than to have to wait in a long line or cars to enter the high-profile Parks, rather you can spend a full day hiking in some smaller National Park without passing another hiker.

For you newbies, that want to start, and are not interested in extensive trail network, you rather a park that you can consider a quick day-stop on the way to something more substantial like the local bar or fast food places, these can be found too, If you know where to look. So where are these gems found? The National Park Foundation has a helpful list of often-overlooked parks called The Places Nobody Knows.  Designed to help you find those hidden, unthought-of gems along the way – especially if you think you already know what’s happening in the park.

So now’s the time to plan that party, or take that walk, or hike in nature, that big outdoor trip (be it ever so small) that you promised yourself one-day, to do, so experience nature on your terms.

Expose yourself!

Need more inspiration? Find a Park

February 29, 2016 - Leap Year

Hey guys, just think about this (especially if you are single): Imagine a day where you could get cards, flowers, condoms, or be asked out for your favorite meal or drink, and even maybe get a whole lot more. Where do I sign up, you ask? Well it’s on the books, 29th of February is the Day, and if you are one of the lucky chosen ones you just might want to be ready. So dress up, smell nice, and wear that big smile. It could be your lucky day.

Hey, you say, February 29 does not come around that often; why that day?  Well, it might be by design. When I was going to Middle and High School this event was sometimes moved to November; the reason will be clear in a moment. February 29 - I remember my parents laughing about the implications of that day, calling it the Jump the Broom Day or It’s Going To Be A Shotgun Proposal Day. In my Junior and Senior High years we celebrated it as part of Sadie Hawkins week, culminating in the Sadie Hawkins Day Dance to celebrate the end of the event. Yet the roots of Leap Year are steeped in history and lore, and its significance has morphed and changed over the decades. The Leap Year event seem veiled in legend and myth. The tales that surround this event are purported to come from 5th Century Ireland when St. Bridget complained to St. Patrick about women having to wait a long time before a man would propose. St. Patrick allegedly said the females could propose on this one day in February during the Leap year. Now this murky story is completely contradicted by the equally murky story of Queen Margaret of Scotland instituting a law fining men who said no to a woman who proposed to them on Leap Day. The substitute month of November, if there is no February 29, is an American adaptation.

The first real documentation of a Leap Year marriage practice dates back to 1288, when Scotland supposedly passed a law that allowed women to propose marriage to the man of their choice in that year. I find it interesting that the tradition didn’t catch on as a practice until the 18th century and really didn’t do much until early 20th century in America.

Which brings me back to the 20th century. We find the American version of this folk event originating off the pages of a comic strip, out of the mind of Al Capp, in the Li'l Abner hillbilly comic strip that ran from 1934–1978. To think I can find a small portion of my life originating from a comic strip! My real-world High School Sadie Hawkins Day and week, when girls sent boys notes and finally asked the boys out to the dance, was all due to Capp's comic strip catching the imagination of high school and college kids across the nation. But what is more telling of changes in American culture is not the Sadie Hawkins dance as much as the story itself.

In the story of Li'l Abner, Sadie Hawkins was the daughter of one of Dogpatch's earliest settlers, Hekzebiah Hawkins. The "homeliest gal in all them hills," she grew frantic waiting for suitors to come a-courtin'. When she reached the age of 35, still a spinster, her father was even more frantic - about Sadie living at home for the rest of her life. In desperation, he called together all the unmarried men of Dogpatch and declared it "Sadie Hawkins Day." A foot race was decreed, with Sadie in hot pursuit of the town's eligible bachelors. She specifically had her eye on a boy who was already in a courtship with a farmer's cute daughter, Theresa. She was the daughter of the area's largest potato farmer, Bill Richmand and, unlike Sadie, had a lot of courtship offers. Stud-muffin Adam Olis was her target, and because the engagement of Miss Theresa and Adam wasn't official he was included in the race. With matrimony as the consequence of losing the foot race, the men of the town were running for their freedom. Turned out Adam Olis was in 4th place out of 10th, leaving John Jonston Sadie's catch of the day. The town spinsters decided that this was such a good idea they made Sadie Hawkins Day a mandatory yearly event, much to the chagrin of Dogpatch bachelors. In the satirical spirit that drove the strip, many sequences revolved around the dreaded Sadie Hawkins Day race. If a woman caught a bachelor and dragged him, kicking and screaming, across the finish line before sundown by law he had to marry her.

By the early 1940s, the comic strip had swept the nation and acquired a life of its own. Outside the pages of the comic strip, the real implications of Sadie Hawkins Day were being explored: issues of equality or, at least, the grappling to understand the feelings and pressures of the other gender through role-reversal. Girls had to take the bold initiative of inviting the boy of their choice out on a date and the boys could only wait and hope to be picked by the girl of his dreams - something almost unheard of before 1937.

In the early 20th century it was common knowledge that women could propose marriage to men during Leap years. Postcards from the 1920s reveal some and negative attitudes about women who proposed to men and of the men who were proposed to.

Dr. Katherine Parkin, a historian at Monmouth University, in her research that entails Twentieth-Century Leap Year Marriage Proposals (published in the Journal of Family History), had found a quantity of cartoonish postcards depicting proposing women as ugly harridans, as fat, unattractive, and domineering - sometimes even violent - and the men they proposed to as scrawny, weak, and emasculated. For example, one of the postcards shows a tiny man squeaking “I surrender” as two gargantuan women, brandishing a total of four deadly weapons, pin him against the wall.

The postcard craze faded by late 1910s, but the misconception of a woman who could propose to man during Leap year lasted until the late 1960s. Fast forward to today and we find that those once strict gender roles have softened and sexual mores loosened; the notion of a proposing woman began to seem less patently ridiculous. And today in America we find ourselves in an era when the likes of both Britney Spears and Halle Berry have proposed marriage to men, showing a marked movement away from the past stereotype that proposing women look like ogres and that their men are weak and spineless.

So, on February 29 be available; be ready for the race, to run that gauntlet, knowing when to hold out, or speed up, or slow down until your version of Britney Spears or Halle Berry beats out all the others and you let her catch you. In America, the egalitarian nature of society now moving towards gender equality brings the knowledge that there are American women of today, women who are bright, attractive and who know who they are and what they want, who will no longer wait up for that ostensibly romantic ritual of the male proposal. As men we need to know that the partner that we want is there and that we won’t have to guess at what we can do to provide for her. Since many a couple does discuss marriage in advance, the progressive women may not wait for her boyfriend to get down on one knee and, in turn, many progressive men feel their right to negotiate a claim for a lasting union before the I dos.

We as a society may be past the point of assuming that man accepts a marriage proposal only at gunpoint, as one postcard from 1908 would have suggested. We’ve seen that Leap Year has been the traditional time that women could express their love passion and drive to be yoked to a man. We will see as we move forward towards equality of the sexes that if a woman chooses to propose to her male lover, she will have an option of not one day in an odd set of years but any of the 365 days of a year to do so, and society will not bat an eye.

Men, until that day drum up some ways to have February 29,2016 - this Leap Year - be a day of unimagined possibilities.

The Prosperos Assembly 2016 - Labor Day Weekend

“A good question is never answered. It is not a bolt to be tightened into place but a seed to be planted and to bear more seed toward the hope of greening the landscape of idea.”
~John Ciardi.

 

2016 for some folks will be a real game changer, in how they view their world and handle momentous events in their lives. Some of those people will be looking for an edge to move their life forward, that’s because they may feel that they are not the smartest or the strongest or the richest of the human species, but they do know they need more out of life than just to survive. They may even come to realize to do that, that they may need a change of perspective, one that is more adaptive and responsive to change than what they are operating with now. Some may find that gaining that perspective is more than they can do on their own.

This fall the Prosperos is offering a platform, they call an Assembly, whereby they are aiming to create through presentations and break-out groups a safe place for you to explore with your fellow companions, the inner issues which are the keys to gaining a broader perspective of your inner growth potential and to be an effective force in adapting and directing your course in the face of a rapidly changing new world. This is key when you consider that changing and actually improving are two quite different skills.

When:  Friday, Sept 02 through Monday, Sept 05, 2016

Where:  Westin Long Beach Hotel, Long Beach, California

Contact:   Send Calvin a message or visit The Prosperos website for more info.