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We dissolve stuck and rewrite patterns. We apply radical playfulness to life (when we feel like it!), embarking on internal adventures (credo of Safety First). We have a fake band called Solved By Cake. We build invisible sanctuaries, invent words and worlds, breathe awe and wonder.

We are not impressed by monsters. Except when we are. We explore the connections between internal territories and surrounding environment to learn what marvelously supportive delicious space feels like, and how to take exquisite care of ourselves. We transform things.* We glow wild.**

* For example: Desire, fear, worry, pain-and-trauma, boundaries, that problematic word which rhymes with flaweductivity.

** Fair warning: Self-fluency has been known to lead to extremely subversive behavior, including treasuring yourself unconditionally, unapologetically taking up space, experiencing outrageously improbable levels of self-acceptance, and general rejoicing in aliveness.


Item! It is definitely Wednesday again!

Fluent Self Item!A somewhat goofy mini-collection of stuff I’ve been reading, stuff I’ve been thinking about and oh, some completely random crap.

Basically the stuff that never gets mentioned here because I’m not the kind of person who can just make some teeny little point. Not into the whole brevity thing, as the Dude would say.

Actually, I’m under the strict compulsion to write ten pages about anything on my mind. So this is me. Practicing brevity.

Oh boy. Way too much stuff to link to.

I actually had to cut out a few bits to not completely overwhelm you.

It’s not my fault I know so many smart, interesting people who constantly seem to be thinking about (and writing about) smart, interesting things. Oh, alas, woe is me, etc.

*faints delicately on the daybed*

But if it’s all too much, you can just hang out with me in the comments bit and we can talk about typefaces and grandmothers and whatever else comes to mind.

Also, I include links to Twitter handles too, when I can. If you’re not a fellow Twitterite, here’s my post about why it’s so great.

Item! Post No. 19 in a semi-ongoing series that lets me not be all deep and meaningful for one day a week.

Item! Watch out for the grandmas!

I love Sparky Firepants. I love his illustrations and really, I love everything about him.

And even though I know his real name (David Billings!) and have met him in person (hi, Mr. Pants!), I insist on calling him Mr. Pants.

Because really, with a name like that, how can you not use it?

Anyway, he left what might be the best comment in the history of comments on my Friday Chicken a couple weeks ago.

About his grandmas being constantly in his head. Since mine try to do the same thing (yes, will write about that someday too), I totally identify with this.

Anyway, I bullied him into writing more. Actually, he was probably going to do it anyway. It’s really, really good.

Grandma Dolores is the “Everything you do is art” voice.

Grandma Kernik is the “Are you sure you won’t get trampled by elephants?” voice.

Grandma K: I’ve heard that plastic absorbed through the scalp causes premature baldness. Do you think that’s what happened?

Grandma D: Well, I think you look very distinguished with that shaved head. Like a teacher.

The post is called The grandmas weigh in, and you absolutely have to read it because it’s brilliant.

He’s @sparkyfirepants on Twitter.

Item! Speaking of me making people write posts …!

I’ve been going on and on about how the brilliant (and fellow goofball!) Cairene has been helping me restructure my business so that it works better for me and is more fun for me and lets me be a pirate queen.

She’s really helped me understand what a difference it makes when I let the rest of my pirate crew know how I like to receive information, and why I need it in the form that I need it in.

So … I like to deal with all travel/itinerary things at the same time. The people setting things up for me like to group them by event (here’s where you’re teaching in Taos, here’s North Carolina) when they share information with me. Now it happens my way, because I’m the pirate queen.

It’s not that my way is better. It’s just that it’s better for me and if I’m going to be figuring out where this ship needs to go, my clear-headedness needs to be top priority.

I learned that from Cairene and it is changing my freaking life.

And with her help I’ve realized that ohhhhhh, I prefer a few buckets with lots of things in them to many buckets with a few things in them. Symbolic buckets, yes?

Anyway, she wrote a super useful post about how it’s not you, it’s your systems — that you should read.

And she’s teaching a course on this systems stuff really soon. I’m taking it too because I am just soaking up whatever she gives me. Because it’s that great.

She’s @thirdhandworks on Twitter.

Item! Yarn Sprites!

This got me extra excited for some reason.

Who doesn’t want a Yarn Sprite?! Just look at her. Yarn sprites!

They’re from Endless Knot on Etsy (yay, Etsy!) and I heard about them via our own Twitching Grey.

Read this delicious post about how she (Twitching Grey) transformed her work space, with the help of Jen Hofmann (yes, the same Jen Hofmann I’m always telling you about). The pictures are AMAZING.

Twitching Grey is @twitchinggrey on Twitter. Jen is @inspiredjen.

Item! Gah! I got linked to by Arutz Sheva!!!

Okay, this one won’t interest anyone who isn’t Israeli, but honestly, the last thing I expected to see in my incoming links was something from the Israeli Channel 7 news.

It’s a boring article. The link is completely random. The whole thing could not be more surreal.

But the crazy part is that the article itself was about Avri Gilad (and I used to have the biggest schoolgirl crush on him and would blush uncontrollably when he was on television (which was pretty much all the time), and then my husband and everyone else I knew would make fun of me mercilessly).


Item! Two things for typophiles!

Despite my occasional rantiness, I must say that I’m not really a typographical fascist. I just play one on the internet just spend a lot of time (cough, understatement) with designers and appreciate their mishigas.

So if you are a typeface fetishist or really just someone who enjoys visual anything, I give you:

1. A delightful carrying case for an ampersand.


2. Oh god more ampersands but this is just so cool you have to look at it.

I can’t remember how I got to either of those, but of course probably through Twitter.

That is all.

Happy reading.

And happy Blustery Windsday. See you tomorrow.

19 Responses to Item! It is definitely Wednesday again!

  1. At least there is a nice name for this classy character in the english language. “Kaufmännisches Und” (commercial and) in german sounds pretty silly. It’s not reserved for businesses, the ampersand is for everybody!

  2. clr
    Twitter: clr

    OMG! Avri Gilad! I cannot believe the grey hair.

    He used to help us with producing mixes (when I worked for Hed Arzi) and my neighbors’ kids would always beg me to get them autographs.

    He has aged nicely :)

  3. christy
    Twitter: twitchinggrey

    Wow! Wow! Wowee! Wow! Havi linked not just to me but to the Yarn Sprites! Wow! (grinning like a fool)

    Thanks, Havi! Honored (almost) beyond words.

    Yes, the Yarn Sprites have invaded our house.

    BTW, you totally made Jessica’s (Endless Knot) day with the linkage. And she needed it. She’s flying today, and thus had to deal with the TSA. So this week’s Item list was a great gift to her! Yea!

    christys last blog post..A Dip in the Collective Inkwell

  4. Barbara J Carter
    Twitter: barbarajcarter

    Love your bucket analogy! I think I’m the other way around. I need lots of small buckets with fewer things in them. What a fun revelation!

    On a related note, the realization that filing cabinets do NOT work for me was very liberating. (I’m an “out of sight out of mind” person.) There ARE alternatives. You just have to be creative about adapting stuff for different uses.

    Barbara J Carters last blog post..Come to Calabasas for some art

  5. Havi Brooks
    Twitter: havi

    Hey guys!

    @Michael – I owe you bigtime. The word “Kaufmännisches Und” is the highlight of my day. And now I won’t be able to stop saying that.

    In fact, I will pretend that I work at some fancy design firm and have terrible ideas that I insist on everyone else implementing. This is too much fun.

    Wir könnten ja irgendwo noch ein kleines Kaufmännisches Und reinstopfen, oder? Was denken Sie, Herr Firepants?

    And so on. AWESOME.

    @clr – Right? I’m so glad it’s not just me. Because Avri Gilad is so completely hot. Still.

    @Christy – YAY! Loving the yarn sprites. I can easily imagine how they might take over your house/life/everything and how that could really be a good thing.

    I might need to find out if my Angel Refueling Station needs any …

    p.s. your new office = gorgeous.

    @Barbara J – fabulous. What a useful thing to figure out. I can’t do filing cabinets either. Ugh.

    (I still think of you as Barbjara, by the way)

  6. yael
    Twitter: yaelwrites

    Have you checked out any of the Systems thinking books or sites? They are fantabulous! In a sort of geeky semi-scientific way of course…


    yaels last blog post..Mixed Martial Arts Interview Archive

  7. Lucy Viret (aka randomling)
    Twitter: lucyviret

    Havi, I want to pop and say that a) you rock and b) keeping hold of the very, very most basic of your techniques really helped me get through a sucky day today. This has nothing to do with your post, I know, but even when I can’t do any more, grabbing onto the “just notice what’s happening” thing really helps me.

    Sparkyfirepants really sounds like someone I should read!

    Lucy Viret (aka randomling)s last blog post..Things that are hard.

  8. Lucy Viret (aka randomling)
    Twitter: lucyviret

    Pop IN, even? Oh, grammar, why so hard?

    Lucy Viret (aka randomling)s last blog post..Things that are hard.

  9. christy
    Twitter: twitchinggrey

    Yes, Yarn Sprites are a good thing. There’s one in particular that keeps showing up on my keyboard. I think she wants to move in, but she makes typing a challenge.

    If your Angel Refueling Station needs some Yarn Sprites, I know just the amazing artist to fix you up! :)

    And yes, I love, love, love my new office! I want to be there ALL of the time. Sadly, I’m currently sitting in a bright yellow office far far from my friendly blue one. But at least I have a dragon to protect me.

    christys last blog post..A Dip in the Collective Inkwell

  10. james Parker says:

    O thanks for the lovely laughs, Havi! Especially the carrying case for the ampersand. Sehr gemutlickeit! (that’s most of the German I know).

    Und danke, Herr Pants, for the grandmas! Ja.

  11. Alexia says:

    Speaking of ampersands: I bought a big orange one the other day… http://www.flickr.com/photos/emberlexi/3492518000/ :)

  12. Wendy Cholbi says:

    The comments section on the ampersand book yielded a site that sells ONLY t-shirts with ampersands on them, which I naturally have to share here:


    Sadly, the one I want is not available in my size at the moment. But my desired typeface is the same one represented by Jennifer’s ampersand jewelry above, so I’m considering whether it would be OK to mix fonts in my wardrobe and accessories.

    What a delightful dilemma…thank you, Havi darling, for making it possible for me to have it!

    Now, does anyone sell an hourglass with an ampersand on each bulb, so as to enable jokes about the ampersands of time? No? (covers head to avoid being squashed by rotten tomatoes)

    Wendy Cholbis last blog post..When competition isn’t, really.

  13. Havi Brooks
    Twitter: havi

    So so great.

    @Wendy – “Like ampersands through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives …”

    I’m out of tomatoes.

    @Lucy – oh good, I was afraid you were just going to pop. That’s a relief. Yay, Lucy’s still in one piece. :)

  14. Josiane
    Twitter: kimianak

    Thanks for linking to Cairene’s post, it nicely complemented the one you wrote the other day. Very interesting.
    And speaking of you making people write posts… you know, that blog midwife thing… well, yes, there’s a new fledgling blog out there. Thanks for helping with the delivery.

    Josianes last blog post..Extra-curricular learning

  15. Meredith says:

    You do know about the movie on Helvetica? Just in case: http://www.helveticafilm.com Astonishingly, it is riveting – (blush)at least I thought so. (OMG – someone else loves fonts!!)

  16. Havi Brooks
    Twitter: havi

    @Josiane – yay!

    @Meredith – hey sweetie! I miss you. Thanks for the film link. Very cool.

  17. Terri says:

    Hello, you fool. I love you.

  18. Becky says:

    Not trying to bash him or anything, but I think Avri is the biggest MESHUGA ME’OD ever, especially when he hosted the “Kef Kefel” DVD…but of course I mean that in a good way (like he was really funny there).

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