: mark me absent :

I love Whirly Girl’s voice, and this post (or non-post) displays more of her characteristic, innocent rambling. Check her blog out if you have the chance! Her work usually brightens my mood.

the whirly girl

There will be no post today, seems I’ve misplaced my motivation. Oh, it’s around here somewhere, I just can’t lay my hands on any enthusiasm at the moment. And I really don’t have the energy to go looking for it. Hell, motivation could be anywhere, you know? It’s as slippery and elusive as ideas tend to be. One minute here, the next minute gone  — * poof *

I don’t have a note from my doctor; I wasn’t called for jury duty; I just don’t feel like doing a post, okay? I don’t feel like doing anything, frankly. I need a day to wallow in sunshine, immersed in a book. My only goal at the moment is avoiding reality.

The planet Earth, unfortunately, offers no rest for the weary at present. And I’m really, really weary. Bigly weary. So I’ll take refuge in an alternate reality; do like an…

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Get Back To School With The Official Testing Metagame Guide!


It’s time for school to start… for all you suckers out there! I graduated college in May, so my Augusts can now be stress-free until I’m desperate enough to try for a Masters.


At any rate, I’ve done enough school to figure out how standardized tests work. An English Major like me prefers essays, of course. So I had to learn pretended mastery over subjects I’m not that good at remembering.


If you’re a bad test taker, or you just want to find the most efficient/easy way to study, then I recommend you download the attached guide. It details everything I’ve learned in my decades of schooling, complete with advice, strategies, and a look at my test-taking thought process. Plus, it’s free! How about that! Click on the link below to download.

How to Take Tests

Lending Libraries

I love ‘em! More than that, lending libraries provide a great excuse for introverted readers to get outdoors. I enjoy walking as exercise, especially outside during such a lovely summer. But when you spend an hour and a half of your weekdays walking around the same town, you get bored faster than you get fit. The best way to exercise is to give yourself a goal.


So when I walk, I find as many lending libraries as I can. For the uninformed, here’s how they work. A lending library looks like a little house on a post. They’re often found in front lawns. Inside those little houses, you’ll find various books of unpredictable quality. The policy is simple: if you take a book, you must leave a book. It’s the perfect way for you to clean out your old books without stress, and to find new books without money. It is acceptable for you to take out a Margaret Atwood novel and replace it with a children’s picture book (but if you do, you’re probably the type who puts a basket of those complimentary saltine crackers in your purse).


Each time I found a lending library in my hometown (or in Iowa), I took a picture. 3 months and 15 lost pounds later, here are some of the best!

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Word Salad Spinner’s Favorite Songs (Honorable Mentions!)

I’m not done milking this concept yet! Here are some songs that are as much a part of me as the actual Best 5 and Second-Best 5. However, none of these songs represent a particular favorite musical style or artist… though you will see a few (favorite ‘x’)s here. In semi-random order…

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Word Salad Spinner’s Favorite Songs (Part 1)

So I took an unexpected vacation. Again. Blame serendipity, blame my own capricious nature, and blame my writer’s block. There are several excuses I could give, but who cares, I get to jump in a lake! And these next few weeks provide an opportunity to look back on what inspires my writing.


Last year, my iPod (yes, I still use one) reached the end of its capacity. I listened to each song in my collection, by artist, and rated each tune, eventually deleting the lower ranking singles. The offerings below come from artists who have 10 or more songs I love. You’ll notice a lot of similarities between songs. What can I say: I’m a scrub, and not a music guru. In any case, let’s work our way down to my favorite song of all time!

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Strange People Approached Me on the Streets of Chicago

On my long, tiring, as-of-yet-fruitless search for steady employment, I submitted a writing sample to Cult of Americana. They’re a website that chronicles the amusing tales in ordinary American life. I think this submission was too morose to make their cut, but I still like how it turned out!

The Ramblers of Chicago

Nick Edinger


Loss of innocence has nothing to do with ignorance.

For two summers, I worked as a Ticket Sales Agent for a double decker bus company. I spent each workday selling guided tours of Chicago, shouting sales offers over the din of downtown traffic, calculating new ways to fend off boredom. It was a nice job, provided you applied sunscreen.

My mission as Ticket Sales Agent involved reaching out to pedestrians. Occasionally, pedestrians reached out to me. Of the many bizarre people I met in Chicago, here are three that changed my worldview in minutes.

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