New Poems: From the Book of Grace

A new series of poems for the blues. Have fun!

By, Ashley Ellen Goetz

Dear Diary: I Have the Moody Blues

Portrait of a Cat

You Know It’s True. We All Know that It’s True. 

Un Gatto dans un Chapeau

Never; Comes the Day

One Sunny Afternoon

The Color Yellow

Say Namaste Every Day




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Giant Asteroid to Buzz Earth Tuesday; When and How to See It

Hi all,

Just thought I would share this fun fact with you tomorrow. You might want to check it out! Will probably be a sight to see!

G’night and happy writing, picture-taking, and stargazing,



*Scroll to bottom to see what else happened in 1976, a shout out to Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson, and info on bringing STARLAB curriculum into your classroom.

Space rock as big as 2005 YU55 hasn’t gotten so close since 1976.

Link on National Geographic:

Asteroid picture: 2005 YU55 as seen by radar.

A radar image of asteroid 2005 YU55 taken last April at Arecibo Observatory.
Image courtesy Arecibo/Cornell/NASA

Ker Than | National Geographic News

Published November 7, 2011

An asteroid the size of an aircraft carrier will make a close pass by Earth tomorrow, and astronomers worldwide are ready and waiting to catch the sky show.

Dubbed 2005 YU55, the asteroid’s closest approach to our planet will occur at 6:28 p.m. ET on Tuesday.

That’s when the 1,300-foot-wide (400-meter-wide), roughly spherical space rock will fly within about 197,000 miles (317,000 kilometers)—closer than the moon’s orbit.

The last time an asteroid this big approached so close to Earth was in 1976. (Read about a school bus-size asteroid that buzzed Earth in June.)

This asteroid will be so close, in fact, that amateur astronomers—especially those in North America and western Europe—will be able to see it with moderately powerful telescopes.

The asteroid will streak eastward across several constellations, from Aquila to Pegasus, in just under ten hours.

“If you have a mirror telescope, you’ll need a mirror that’s bigger than about 6 inches [15.2 centimeters] to see it,” said Jon Giorgini, a senior analyst with the Solar System Dynamics Group at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

Many telescopes today have motors that “cancel out the rotation of the Earth, so they rotate at a rate that compensates for the spinning of the Earth, so they can remain fixed on a patch of sky,” Giorgini added.

But 2005 YU55 will be “moving pretty rapidly, so you’ll need a faster than usual motor to keep up.”

(Get more tips on how to see 2005 YU55, including a sky chart with the asteroid’s path.)

Asteroid Flyby a Boon to Astronomers

Professional astronomers have also been interested in 2005 YU55 since it was discovered nearly six years ago by Robert McMillan, using the Spacewatch telescope at Steward Observatory in Arizona.

(Related: “Trojan Asteroid Found Sharing Earth’s Orbit—A First.”)

Until now, however, the relatively dark asteroid has been too far away for astronomers to gather much data.

“Its orbit goes out a little past the orbit of Mars, and it swoops in again past the orbit of Venus. So the last year and a half, it’s been too far away,” for detailed observations, Giorgini said.

“It’s also a very dark object—it only reflects a little less than 10 percent of the light” from the sun.

To take advantage of the close flyby, NASA scientists have been tracking the asteroid with the agency’s Deep Space Network in Goldstone, California, since November 4. The giant radio telescope at Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico will also begin following the asteroid on November 8.

“[Scientists] are going to be studying it thermally to try and figure out how it radiates heat, which will tell them something about the material properties of the asteroid,” Giorgini explained.

“We’re also going to be looking at it with radar, and that’s going to tell us about its shape and the way it spins,” he said.

“We’ll then be able to combine all this information together to get a good idea of what this object might be made of and how it’s constructed.”

Near-Earth Asteroid Not a Threat

The asteroid’s orbit takes it into the vicinity of Earth regularly, but the planet isn’t in imminent danger: The 2011 approach will be the closest for at least 200 years, scientists say.

(Related: “NASA to Visit Asteroid Predicted to Hit Earth?”)

While it’s possible that a manned mission might one day visit 2005 YU55 during one of its near-Earth approaches, there are better candidates—such as the near-Earth asteroid 2000 EA14—that are easier to reach, Giorgini said.

The orbit of 2005 YU55 “is different enough [relative to Earth's], so it takes a bit more energy to get to it,” he said.

“When you’re planning a manned mission, you want something that takes the least amount of energy, and this takes just a tiny bit more than other objects.”

Also see related pictures: NASA Lands on Underwater “Asteroid” >>


Stevie Wonder - 1976 Listening Party – Songs In The Key Of Life

And a little shout out to Michael Jackson with the making of “We Are The World”:


The Last Asteroid that came this close! Space rock as big as 2005 YU55 hasn’t gotten so close since 1976.

Link on National Geographic:

See this Day in History November 8

See the Surprising events that happened on Nov. 8 on Brainy History:

See this Day in History November 9, 1976

See the Surprising events that happened on Nov. 9 1976 on Brainy History:


Fun Related Media

Fun assignment for you tomorrow if you have time, watch “Contact” with Jodie Foster or “Armageddon” with Ben Affleck. Har har.

Science First: STARLAB

Learn how to bring the universe into your classroom; check out STARLAB; download their manual and curriculum, free to the public here:

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Suspended Animation

By, Ashley Ellen Goetz

There is no wind today.
The sky is not painted.
A haze of blue-white particles
stand like a ceiling
above the cold, melting ground.
Red leaves dangle
suspended in animation
over the sad earth.
All mouths are closed.
Eyes glance uneasily
at eachother across a table.
Emotions; unknown.

The sun peers around the corner
inspecting safety.
The hum of jet engines billow above
pretending to be a normal afternoon,
but there is nothing normal
about this afternoon.
The earth has not paused in its spin,
but waits patiently
to breathe.

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A little creativity from my journeys in the valley…

An exploration with stream of conscience flash fiction poetics…

From Betty Smith:

Look at everything as though you were seeing it either for the first or last time.
Then your time on earth will be filled with glory.

On the Bird Sanctuary Bike Highway

On an Elevator in a Hat

To the Girl that Never Came to Ecstasy

Seduced by Sleep

It’s Time to Choose Your Own Adventure

Pond Jumping

Ye Ole Brewing Hole

Don’t Go Away: Poems for the Rain

Dream of Last Night In Flowcharts

How to Tell if Your Plane is Falling from the Sky During the Rapture

Sometimes You Want Everyone Else to Be Right There with You in Every Moment

Love and Hate


Oui. C’est vrai. N’est pas?

I Wish I Had a Spoon 

Said the Boy Who Looked Sad Sitting On a Log Over a Stream Offshooting a Waterfall with His Father

The Good Life 

Infinite Implosions

My Heart on the Table

Oh Deer Head, Mother, Earth

Picked; Chosen.

When the World Stops Spinning Keep Tooting That Horn

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Sounds from Touchstone Farm Part 3: An NPR-Sparked Epiphany


At the end of this episode I have an epiphany about the direction for my novel! #Inspired


Artist: Nick Lowe & Terry Gross
Composer: Ashley Ellen Goetz
Album: Sounds from Touchstone Farm

Again, you may want to turn your volume all the way up to fully appreciate this!

Listen to the full Fresh Air Interview at

Nick Lowe
Source: | Credit: Dan Burn-Forti

Nick Lowe‘s songs have been recorded by Johnny Cash, Elvis Costello, Solomon Burke and Diana Ross, to name just a few. But the English singer-songwriter, who wrote the hits “Cruel to Be Kind” and “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding,” doesn’t only write songs. He’s also recorded quite a few critically acclaimed pop albums of his own.

On Fresh Air, Lowe joins Terry Gross for an in-studio interview and performance featuring several songs from his 13th solo album, The Old Magic.


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Sounds from Touchstone Farm Part 2: The Music and The Walk

Artist: The Music and The Walk
Composer: Ashley Ellen Goetz
Album: Sounds from Touchstone Farm


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Sounds from Touchstone Farm Part 1: The Piano and the Crickets

Artist: Deborah Shokurah and the Farm Crickets
Composer: Ashley Ellen Goetz
Album: Sounds from Touchstone Farm

You may need to increase your volume to enjoy this…

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IRENE vs. KFC: The Online Journal of a Man, His Son, a Hurricane, and an Abandoned KFC

A wonderful use of digital media for creative citizen journalism

I just love this guy and his son, Charlie! It seems almost like a play on Sheen’s Korner, but it’s endearing nonetheless.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

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‘The Tree of Life’ illuminates

Thank you Terrence Mallick for this beautiful gift! I absolutely loved the impressionistic close-up, amplified aesthetic of “The Tree of Life,” winner of the the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival.

This film is succinctly evocative of 1950s Christian American suburbia. But more than just a meditative look at society, Malick literally illuminates the space of this film with light and emotion.

He gives the audience a shoulder-perched view and earshot of not only the O’Brien family, but of every level of life from microscopic views and sounds of biology, which always remind me of the late Madeleine L’Engel and her obsession with mitochondria, to macroscopic images of the phenomenal universe, and the quiet of space (aside from the crushing, bubbling, crashing of meteors and planetary magma).

At every level, Malick gives the subject in the frame a hearty close focus, nearly fish-eye view, like having a camera strapped to a dog’s head.

A surprisingly artistic and ambient film for an all-star cast including Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, and the silver screen naive, Jessica Chastain. With an ambition, it seems, to give today’s young techie generation a glimpse of what many consider to be America’s innocent golden era—post-war, at the dawn of the space age—Malick illustrates the fall of that innocence, creating a harsh contrast with an uber modern present day adult perspective, looking out the top of gleaming skyscraper windows in a pressed suit, to the natural setting of fields and forests and gardens of still rural suburban South childhood.

However dystopian that ideal nuclear family may seem psychologically, there are pieces of the way of life, sans TV and consumerism, that seem inspirational from a Gen Y perspective. From the classic image of boys banging sticks and ravaging the outdoors, to the taste of drinking from a garden hose, it reminds Millennials about the need to get your kids out of the house; let them get dirty and play in the mud; consider the meaning of life; garden; read; love; live with grace.

Whispered prayers and poetic meditations transcend the film through inner dialogue and something more cosmic, heavenly. At the start of the film, Chastain’s character narrates,

The nuns taught us there were two ways through life – the way of nature and the way of grace. You have to choose which one you’ll follow.

Grace doesn’t try to please itself. Accepts being slighted, forgotten, disliked. Accepts insults and injuries.

Nature only wants to please itself. Get others to please it too. Likes to lord it over them. To have its own way. It finds reasons to be unhappy when all the world is shining around it. And love is smiling through all things.

The nuns taught us that no one who loves the way of grace ever comes to a bad end.

I will be true to you. Whatever comes.

The film’s epic fabric stretches our perspective and forces us to awe at the size of the universe and wonder the purpose of our place within it. The irritable force of balance from nurturing to destruction is constantly fating our doom, but Malick seems to believe that the promise of light and the afterlife ultimately await our return.


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Woody Allen’s latest film, ‘Midnight in Paris,’ typical Woody

And I mean that in a good and wonderful sense.

You should expect a little of the cliché melodramatic swapping of hearts in a Woody Allen film, and “Midnight in Paris” does not disappoint. You get adulterous longings reminiscent of Allen’s “Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy” (1982), mixed with a bit of the impossible akin to “The Purple Rose of Cairo” (1985). Though I may be a bit influenced since I secretly went to see this film, for the second time, alone, in the afternoon, in the middle of the theater. Boy did I feel like Mia Farrow.

But something about the writing in this new film feels like it’s reaching to be erudite, rather than resembling a sweet American naiveté.

It probably has to do with Owen Wilson’s writer character Gil’s time travel-partying with the 1920s literati—a very intriguing concept indeed.

When Gil goes for a midnight inspiration stroll, a curious dark cabby elicits him inside, where a dazzled Scott (Tom Hiddleston) and Zelda (Alison Pill) Fitzgerald lure him on to their Montmartre soirée, introducing him along the way to the likes of Ernest Hemingway (Corey Stoll), Pablo Picasso (Marcial Di Fonzo Bo), Salvador Dali (Adrien Brody), and Gertrude Stein (Kathy Bates).

Gil continues his midnight time travel walks as his snobbish fiancé (Rachel McAdams) and her family romp through Paris, elite society style. In the roaring dusk of 1920s Paris Gil journeys to, which has a ruddiness not unlike Hemingway’s Novel, The Sun Also Rises (1926), he falls in love with a dame bohème (Marion Cotillard), and I did too; she is dashing and dark and doing an array of artists and writers. But to his luck, Gil fits her bill, and she takes a fancy with him.

Yet the overarching theme of “La Belle Époque” sarcastically ploys across the brush strokes of this film, and as the characters yearn for the romantic grandeur of the previous centuries, which to them are imbued with the idea of a golden era, the characters, mostly, come to realize that at the present moment in any time, intellect wants us to believe that times that were truly great came before them. But in reality, the present usually has the upper hand in that society tends to move forward, against injustice and famine and disease and war, those little events we tend to forget when we think about a quality of life in the past.

I enjoyed this realization. I too am of the belief that I would have fit in better decades ago, but we only have the present. It is, however, important, I believe, to hold on to a sentimentality for the past, and to keep up and practice simpler concepts of value and quality and beauty in order to not throw away a mindset that great artists and writers and family evolved to. Some sects of society today seem to be going in reverse, but not all. I’ll stick with the new age of hippies longing for nature and pastoral simplicity…

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Dessa, John Jodzio, and David Philip Mullins together tonight at M&Q

Starting tonight at 7:30 p.m., back at Magers & Quinn, a wonderful lineup of writers take stage, celebrating the release of They Could No Longer Contain Themselves, with a reading from Minneapolis author, John Jodzio, also featuring Dessa, Minneapolis hip-hop singer from the Doomtree Collective, and David Philip Mullins’ Greetings From Below.

Dessa will discuss her new book, Spiral Bound, a short collection of essays and poetry, which has been dubbed a “dazzling literary debut” by the City Pages and “witty and desperately honest” by Alive Magazine. Dessa’s most recent album, A Badly Broken Code, was released in January, 2010. Visit for more information.

John Jodzio’s work has appeared in McSweeneys, One Story, Opium, The Florida Review, and Rake. He’s won a Minnesota Magazine fiction. More information is available at

David Philip Mullins is the author of Greetings from Below (Sarabande Books), a collection of linked short stories, which won the 2009 Mary McCarthy Prize in Short Fiction. He is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. His work has appeared in The Yale Review, The Massachusetts Review, New England Review, Cimarron Review, Fiction, Ecotone, Folio, and Gulf Coast. Visit for more information.

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Wise Acre Eatery – A model for sustainable dining

“The shortest distance between the earth, the hand, and the mouth.”

The owners of the lovely Tangletown Gardens store located at 56th & Penn, celebrated the opening of their new neighboring farm-sustained diner, Wise Acre Eatery, last weekend. The Eatery takes up house in the old Liberty Frozen Custard building across from their Garden Store and the Fire Station in Tangletown.

Tangletown Farms, a 100+ acre family farm located outside of appropriately named, Plato, MN, supplies the restaurant with farm-raised produce as well as Scottish Highland cattle and Berkshire Hogs for Wise Acre meat, and chickens for both meat and eggs. They say that since their gardens are ever changing, so is their menu.

The Eatery boasts garage door windows that open up to the outdoor patio, bringing in bright sun and open air, perfect for keeping the plants and herbs alive and well along the indoor walls. Roped construction lights hang from the ceiling over the lacquered wooden tables that shine the sense of farmtown nostalgia from the stables in Plato. Even the garbage here comes full circle from compost to soil.

With a monthly-changing menu, akin to the seasonal growing cycle, the food carries a home-cooked vibrancy with a mix of modern culinary style. The food’s aesthetic is carefully considered, with warm tones from carrot mashers to bright mustard greens and sugar snap peas. The flavors are fresh with unexpected highlights like dill pickled fried chicken, basil whipped brie, and shallot marmalade. The cuisine is richly executed with a wise simplicity, and is perfectly portioned for a dainty serving of decadent custard.

All free-range, grass-fed, organically fertilized and transported from a family farm, Wise Acre really takes the term “locavore” to the next level.

Wise Acre will be open from 7am for coffee, baked goods, and bag lunches, and will serve dinner 5 to 9 p.m. For more information on their farm, or to view their recent menu, visit:

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