Friday, January 30, 2015

February Holidays

valentine's cookies
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by Catherine Giordano


February may be the shortest month, but it is one of the busiest months.  It is chock full of holidays. And they just happen to be holidays that I have written about.  Enhance your holiday celebrations and observances by taking a look at what I have written. 

Black History Month
First of all, February is Black History Month.    


African American History Book 28 Days
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I have collected some of the best of martin Luther King Jr.’s quotes, organized them by topic, and added my own commentary. His thoughts on religion may surprise you. Also, if you thought Dr. King was only about civil rights, read what he had to say about war and poverty. 


I also did two news print poems--one about MLK, Jr. and one about Black History Month. 


Racism Isn’t History After All

Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year often falls in February, but in 2017 it arrives a little sooner, on January 28. It is the Year of the Monkey. Celebrate with some Chines food and by reading this News Print Poem I did back in 2012 when it was the year of the dragon.

2012 The Year of the Dragon

Groundhog Day
Next up is February 2nd, Groundhog Day. There is a classic movie called Groundhog Day.  See it or see it again. It is about a man who has to live a certain Groundhog Day over and over until he gets it right. It’s about getting a do-over or a second chance. There seems to be a universal longing for do-overs. I wrote about how to get a do-over in real life. 

Celebrate Darwin Day on February 12 to recognize the amazing contributions Charles Darwin made to science. Darwin was a member of the clergy, but he advanced atheism with his work. He explained the origin of species.

What is Darwin Day and Why is it Celebrated Around the World?


Valentine’s Day
Valentine’s Day reminds us to tell our loved ones that we love them. Why not write a love letter or create your own card. You can use pictures from the internet and find some lovely sayings about love in my collection of love quotes. Valentine’s Day is on February 14..

Valentine's Day is one of my favorite holidays because its come to be all about chocolate 9as well as love). If you want some candy to go along with that card, order it now. 
Valentine's Day cookies
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Valentine's Day chocolate
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President’s Day

President's Day book for children
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Finally, we have President’s Day on Monday, February 20th, 2017.  I’ve got a few posts for this one including one for the presidents’ wives. They work hard too.








My Birthday

February
I was born in February
Another reason to like February--February 11 is my birthday










Saturday, January 17, 2015

Flori-duh: Is Florida Getting a Bad Rap?

by Catherine Giordano
florida tourists
Reason #2: Too many tourists

Florida has recently nudged New York out of third place in the race to become the most populous state. According to 2014 census data, Florida is now third in the nation with about 19.9 million people.  (Texas has 27.0 million people, California has 38.8 million people, and New York has 19.7 million people.) 

Florida has a lot to offer--a warm climate, beautiful beaches and other natural areas, theme parks, resorts, and no state income tax.  

Orlando, where I live, is bustling metropolitan region—great universities and colleges, a thriving arts community, great museums, many exciting businesses, fine restaurants, and one of the busiest international airports in the state. We even have a shiny new commuter rail line called Sun-Rail which may help with traffic congestion on I-4. 

I'm glad I moved to Orlando in 1995. But new people keep coming into the state at the rate of about 850 new people a day. It’s getting to be a little crowded. 

So I wrote an article about why people should not move to Florida.  It’s a long list. There are a lot of weird things about Florida that have helped us earn our nick-name of Flori-duh. 

I’m not the first to compile a list although my list is longer than others. This list could have been even longer, but I had to stop somewhere. It's a column, not a book. This is my list of the top 20 reasons people should not move to Florida. 

(Note: It will make you laugh; it is written tongue-in-cheek and meant to be funny.)


 
Jon Stewart recently had a field day making fun of Florida. His jumping off point was the reaction of some of the more reactionary elements in Florida to the legalization of gay marriage in the states.  Jon Stewart Rips Florida

Here is what Scott Maxwell had to say about Florida’s growth spurt in a column in the Orlando Sentinel: Flori-duh? Sure. But People Still Flock Here, for Better or Worse
 
If you want to some more about how weird Florida is, read any of Carl Hiaasen's novels.  Here is his latest:
 
 
Skink-No-Surrender-book-Carl-Hiaasen
CLICK HERE
If you want to move to Florida anyway, here is a book to give you all the information you need.
 
Florida-Move-guide-book
CLICK HERE
 

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Brief Encounters: People Almost Met

by Catherine Giordano


CLICK HERE to look inside
Did you ever have a brief chance encounter with a stranger--a chance encounter with someone that lasts only a brief minute or two, but makes an indelible impression? 

The encounter is too brief for an exchange of names. You may speak to each other or even or touch, but you haven’t really met. They are the people you almost meet.

 After a brief moment of contact, you each go your separate ways and never see each other again. Yet, these people stay with you. You remember them. You think about them.

Sometimes these brief encounters can even be life changing.  Perhaps in just a small way as the encounter gives you a new understanding, but sometimes they can have a major impact. A small thing can sometimes be a powerful thing.

I’ve been writing a series of essays called “People Almost Met.” I’ve been collecting them for a few years, but have only just started publishing them.  Since I don’t know their real names, I gave the people I have almost met fictitious names, since I don’t know their actual names.

Lilly at the Pool
I met “Lily” at the pool, and it is very likely that I saved her life. She was also my second chance. People Almost Met: Lily at the Pool 
 
 
A Porcelain Doll
I met Gemma in the ladies room at Costco. She was as beautiful as a porcelain doll, but very unset. She was crying and I can’t stand to see unhappy children. I tried to cheer her up. I failed.  People Almost Met: Gemma in the Ladies Room

 

A Christmas gift-wrapped box
I met “The Little Elf” on a corner on my way to a Tuba Christmas performance. He gave me a Christmas gift. People Almost Met: The Little Elf on the Corner 


 
Ray in the supermarket
 


make-up-face
Vera at the cosmetics counter at Dilliad's has a message for me about vanity. People Almost Met: Vera at the Cosmetics Counter | The Makeover


Indian Girl
Aanya teaches me about the memories that things from our childhood hold and the joy of giving: People Almost Met: Aanya at the Yard Sale.


People Almost Met Baby Swim Lesson
Pamsy teaches me the value of swim lessons for babies. She may hate it now, but it may save her life one day. People Almost Met: Pamsy in Swim Class 


Each essay is just a little sketch. I hope you enjoy them. If you liked my essay, you will probably also enjoy this interesting book I discovered about people. It’s a photo book, titled People, showing how people are different and how they are alike. See the picture of the book at the top of this post.

And remember, "People Who Love People...


Thursday, January 1, 2015

The Year in Review: 2014

by Catherine Giordano
Graph

I thought I’d collect a few stats about my blogging. They are not much to brag about, but it is a record of my accomplishment so far. But it's getting better all the time.

My newest endeavor is HubPages. I did my first post mid- June 2014. At the end of the year, I had 68 posts and 9,009 views.  My most popular hub (as the posts are called) was Tips for Writers: The Making of a Poem --it got 474 views.  However, that hub was selected as “Hub of the Day” by HubPages staff and that means it received extra attention. The second most popular hub was Motto for Life: How to Use and Choose a Motto, published on 6/27/14, with 409 views.
Blogging for dummies book
CLICK HERE
to purchase at amazon.com

My oldest blog is News Print Poetry 2012, started on January 1, 2012.  I did a poem a day everyday throughout 2012. After that I added poems sporadically. The blog has had 26,163 views and 391 posts. In 2014, I added only 6 new posts. The most popular of these new posts was Poetry Woman, published 8/10/14, with 35 views.   

I started News, Print, Poetry at the beginning of 2012.  This blog is dedicated to commenting on my writing life.  It has a total of 11,358 views and 191 posts. In, 2014, I added 46 posts. The most popular of the 2014 posts was Perseus, Hercules, and the Nip Slip, published 9/15/14, with 80 views.  

The Premium Cable Reviews blog was also started in January of 2012. It has a total of 248 posts with 55,772 views.  In 2014, I added 57 posts. The most popular post was a review of Real Time with Bill Maher named Zombie Lies, published on 7/11/14. It got 805 views.

I added a new blog, Bill Maher Rules (for real), in May of 2014. It has 36 posts and a total of 3,347 views. The most popular post is Fed-Up: An Interview with Robert Lustig, published on 5/17/14. It has 338 views.  

I also added The Dragon Place blog in May of 2014. It has 16 posts and a total of 950 views. The most popular post is Dragon Halloween Costumes, published on 9/19/14 with 186 views.
 
Can a blogger earn money from blogging?  There are two ways to make money from blogging. Advertising and commissions. 
 
Advertising: You can sign up with Google for a program called Ad-Sense. Google will put ads on your website and pay for the number of views and the number of ad clicks. (However, you have to qualify for this program.) Or you can sell space to advertisers directly.
 
Commissions: You can become an affiliate marketer. You promote products on your blog and earn a commission when someone uses your link to buy something. For instance, I am an affiliate marketer with amazon. Amazon pays a commission when someone uses my links to purchase something from amazon (even if it is not the item clicked on).
 
If you want to do blogging, don't do it for the money. Some people make some, or even a lot of money blogging, but very few. Do I make money from blogging? Yes and No.The "No" part is because I'm not sure I can call it earning money when it is just pennies per day. I haven't added it up, but I probably earned around $100 in 2014. Maybe next year.