Tag Archives: guest blog

Assignment # 1

My friend Gloria is staying with me while she recovers from surgery. To get her up and walking, which the doctor ordered but which she seems loath to do, I gave her an assignment to walk around and take 10 photos a day. So far she hasn’t walked far, but here are some of the photos, more to follow:



Guest Blog: How Judy Gets Blog Views?

Hola to Judy’s readers. Some of you know me here as okcforgottenman, Judy’s (mostly) behind-the-scenes/curtain techie, keeper of secrets, and spotter of misspellings. I also like watching her blog stats daily as I try to figure out what specifically draws viewers/readers in. A few minutes ago I saw that someone out there in cyberspace today found Judy’s blog by typing in an interesting keyword search into some search engine:


In case your screen is too small (or, like me, your eyes are too mature), here’s a closer view:


Might this yield further insight as to how Judy acquires more readers?

Judy? –

(Judy speaking now.) Well, over-60 female viewers might agree that we need to find our thrills where we can find them and a little fermented sugar cane mixed with a cola beverage seems a pretty socially acceptable way to find our bliss.  Do you agree, ladies?

As for forgottenman, you have no idea how many things in stats I would miss if it were not for him. He pointed out a milestone in views reached yesterday, has found reviews of my poems in a New Delhi newspaper and he was the one who spotted the article in a British online news magazine that did a comparison between my stats and Donald Trump’s.  Now how unlikely is that and how would I have ever known? Nice to have someone backing me up on my blog. He writes a pretty mean blog, as well–quality-wise if not quantity-wise.  You should check it out HERE.

He is also the one responsible for fishing your comments out of Spam, where they have unfairly been filed by WordPress.  So let’s give him a big round of applause. okcfm, I’d like to see you do another guest blog on the weirdest search engine terms you’ve seen on both of our blogs.. and challenge others to check theirs out for oddities to share as well.

Ball’s in your court, forgottenman.  –Judy

Denise Brown Guest Blog: “La Manzanilla Tourist”


In addition to being a fine writer, Denise Brown is an accomplished drummer and vocalist who plays several gigs weekly around La Manzanilla–most frequently at Palapa Joe’s. More information about her playing schedule is given after the poem.

La Manzanilla Tourist
…visitors are slightly different

How can you tell a tourist is aqui
Camera in hand bumping into me
Asking poor Lydia for plain white bread
Always looking up never ahead
Laying on the beach in all shades of red
Swimming in water most of us dread

How can you tell a tourist at the bar
Three margaritas goes way too far
You can’t drink like that in the heat of the day
They don’t like what they hear when they hear what I say

Come morning they rise looking so ghastly
Straight to the bano stepping so fastly
And out of the bathroom appearing quite ghostly
They say it’s the street food. I say it’s probably tequila (mostly.)

How can you tell a tourist is aqui
Just look around it’s no mystery.

Denise will play a final gig with Dave and Sally next Thursday, Feb. 25.  She also plays there with the Lounge Lizards on Fridays and will play with Bindu Gross at artis gallery at an event that begins at 4pm on Feb 24.



Denise Brown

Guest Blog by Fred Apstein


Crocodile Contemplates by Baba Rum Fred

5 AM Melaque bus station concrete seat with chipped tile. I feel like I’m in a Kerouac story. Lost boy, I wait for dawn, and an open restaurant. A metaphor for enlightenment and nourishment of the soul, on these lonely streets in the half light of a new day.

Finally, an open door at Posada Clements, a place I connect, with no evidence, to Samuel Clements (Mark Twain). I leave my bag and guitar, go in search of food, and, later, my friend Nathan. He awakes at my knock, and we go for coffee.

La Manzanilla. The Little Apple. A long sand beach, bracketed by lagoons, home to large crocodiles, at each end. The crocs appear to like their freshwater havens. They emerge only unwillingly, when washed into the sea by occasional torrential rains. What ancient wisdom sits in their reptilian minds, eyes and nostrils in the air, bodies and huge jaws below the surface, as they wait, older than mountains, patient, ready to erupt, jaws wide, deadly teeth bared, to rend the life out of a careless bird or dog.

    We frolic, on the beach, and in the town, newcomers, where crocs, palms, and egret lived for millenea before our ancestors walked upright. We share the lizard brain, but our kind has upper lobes, the ability to rationalize. We bite the Little Apple, pretend to know good and evil. We are soft, and vulnerable. But somehow, neither crocs nor fevers have so far stemmed our impatient spread over the planet.

      The crocs are patient. When we have passed through, they will be where they have been. They will wait for whatever bird or beast follows us, as they waited for those that came before us.

       What ancient, simple wisdom did we share, and have we lost?

Since Fred doesn’t have his own blog, I asked if I could feature this piece by him in mine.

Guest Blog by Matt Estes: Three Ways to Bring Contentment, Despite Discontenting Circumstances,

Matt Estes is a graduate student in communications at Auburn University and since I think he has a pretty good take of life and attitudes that often come at a later age and after much more experience, I was happy to exchange guest blogs with him when he suggested it. Since we have very different audiences from each other, we both felt that my older audience would appreciate hearing from his younger perspective whereas perhaps his younger audience would consent to put up with at least one more oldster “speaking from the voice of experience!”

He says this about himself:

“I am an aspiring novelist, and love to blog. I’ve got what I consider to be a pretty cool blog over at  Mars Gone Mad, but then again, I am a bit biased. I do my own writings and photography, so please come get to know me. I also wanted to say a special thank you to Judy for letting me do a guest post on her amazing lifelessons blog. She’s much more popular than I am, so it’s particularly helpful to me. Anyway, she’s doing  a guest post of her own over on my blog, so you should definitely check it out.”

This is Matt’s guest essay :

Three Ways to Bring Contentment, Despite Discontenting Circumstances

Being only 23 (which, from my perspective, is older than I’ve ever been), many people would not consider me an expert on life yet. I think that’s a fair argument to make, as I’m certainly not as seasoned as many of the older, wiser people that I admire very much. I mean, come on, I’m not the one with the blog called lifelessons. I simply haven’t lived enough to give lessons on something I’ve only experienced a third of. Still, being a graduate student, one thing that I am an expert on is pressure. Constant pressure. The pressure that each and every assignment could be the end. Miss one deadline, screw up one paper, fail to make one instructor happy for one day, and suddenly everything you’ve worked on for two years collapses out from underneath you. Everything you’ve worked for, your entire planned future, gone in a flash.

But isn’t that how it always is? Life always comes with its share of stressors, anxieties, and pressures. Like, for every year you are alive, each one comes with its own accompanying tension. It links together like a chain. Puberty, boyfriends/girlfriends, high school, jobs, college, marriage, career stress, failing health. Sure, it changes from person to person, depending on where you live, who you’re with, and sometimes how well-off you are, but it is always there. One problem after another forms the background music for each person in life, and it never seems to end. That’s why “it’s always something” is such a popular sentiment among people especially prone to anxiety.

But there are three things I’ve found that take the focus off the constant strain of life. If you’ll keep these key points in mind when the world shifts into a stressful phase, you’ll have a much easier time carrying contentment around with you while the rest of society admires your unquenchable joy.

  1. Realize the world is not out to get you.

The world is going through a phase where it’s particularly interested in things that are both dark and depressing, and while this may not be anything new – people thought the world wars and Cold War would spell doomsday – this is the first time I can remember that it’s been a running theme in our art. Surrounded by such dark, it’s easy to think the world is out to dispel the hopes and dreams of anyone living. It’s easy to lose that sense of optimism when you’re convinced that life is a fight, a competition, and the only way to live is to win. But people have developed to coexist, not compete. We do things for each other, not to get ahead, but out of an unexplainable sense of love. When bad things happen, that’s just the unfortunate consequence of a flawed universe, not a weapon targeted directly at you. Bad things happen. Good things happen. Both are guaranteed, but neither is fated.

  1. Resist the urge to complain too much.

The thing about complaining is that it merely feels good when you’re doing it. It’s all rocking, with no forward progress, because complaining doesn’t really do anything. All it seems to accomplish is the transfer of negative emotions onto your friends and family. And while they may lend a sympathetic ear, I’ve found there are far more effective ways to bring yourself out of negative situations. First, accepting your fate with intentional humility is an effective tool for growing your own character.

“This has happened to me, and it is not that big of a deal.”

“There are others who have it worse than me.”

These kinds of sentiments carry far more effectively than sounding the alarm. I assure you, the people that matter will notice you plight and try to help you the best they can. I think it’s okay to complain, but don’t take it to the extreme.

  1. Reset your surroundings by basking in the good things.

What I’ve discovered is that life is about the little things. And while it may be our goal and dream to achieve glory in this life, it is not a necessity. The glory will come when you least expect it, and fulfillment of yourself if far more important than the adoration of others. So, despite all the stresses that come with trying to get ahead in the world, it becomes important to take note of the little things daily. The things that provided you happiness when you were a child, before you didn’t have time to stare at a sunset gleaming through the trees. When you appreciated that all you needed was a family, some food to eat, and a great big world out there to explore in order to be content. When you were faster, but the world itself didn’t seem to move so fast.

The problem with an attitude that you must get something done right now, well before it’s due, is that the work will never stop. There will always something else to do, so the finish line is just an illusion. And so a world exists where people never take time to appreciate the little things… to appreciate themselves. They always plan to, but it’s a low priority plan compared to what’s due to your supervisor by Friday. You will simply never find contentment if you’re always sacrificing yourself in the process. So take time daily to just discover what life is outside the walls that contain who you are all the time. That looks a lot of different ways for a lot of different people, but one thing I do know is that it doesn’t involve crunching numbers on a computer screen. It involves getting out there… and it involves looking inside yourself. Those are the places you will find contentment.