Kelsey on Kelsey & an offer to all my readers

With a few co-authors in North Carolina</b>

(With a few co-authors in North Carolina)

Nope, this isn’t me talking about myself. Below the cut you’ll find excerpts of a report a girl named Kelsey did on Where Am I Wearing? for her high school Social Studies class.

WAIW has found its way into classrooms in middle schools and graduate-level courses, into book reports and theses, into the hands of students who are studying globalization for the first time and professors who’ve studied it their entire lives.

It’s fun to write something and then have so many people tell you what it meant to them or how they saw it. They bring their own beliefs, world-views, and global perspectives into the discussion. Every reader is indeed my co-author.


I owe them all. If I divvied up my advance or royalties, everyone might get enough to buy a really, really cheap cup of coffee. So here’s an offer: If you’ve read Where Am I Wearing? and you are passing through Muncie, Indiana, I’ll totally meet you for cup of coffee and we can talk about the next book we’ll work on together.


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Goodwill Hunting: A professional outfit for $30

Is it possible to get an outfit that you could wear to a job interview at Goodwill for under $30?


I work with a group in Muncie called Teamwork for Quality Living that matches up members of the community who are trying to get out of poverty (captains) with other members of the community (allies). Together we break down the barriers that can keep someone living in poverty. One of those barriers might be: “I can’t afford nice clothes to get a good job.”

Teamwork teamed up with Ball State University’s fashion department to bust that myth.

(Note: this is about the only time you’ll see me wearing a sports coat.)

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1 of 35 Million living with AIDS

Yesterday was World AIDS Day. I couldn’t get this voice out of my head so I thought I would share it. Susan is a single mother of six. I met her this past spring in Kampala, Uganda. She lost her husband to AIDS and later tested positive herself. Because of funding cuts at her clinic, she doesn’t receive the proper ARV treatment and no longer receives food for her and her children. She’s 1 of 35 million living with AIDS.

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Blue Moose Nuts

They were blue. They were testicles. And they were huge. They swung from the pickup truck in front of us.

“I’m going to call him,” I said, “and tell him that his blue moose nuts make me sick.”

Annie laughed.

I picked up my phone and started to dial the number on the tailgate decal advertising a tree-trimming service.

“Are you really calling him?” Annie asked. I showed her the “calling” screen on my phone.

“Yep, I’m going to tell him how unprofessional blue moose nuts are and how I would never use his service because of them.”

She tried to talk me out of it. I didn’t listen. But when the first ring rang I pictured the fella answering his phone, turning around…

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2010 Engaged Consumer Gift Guide

On Friday the population of the United State doubles. Or at least it seems to in Muncie, Indiana. Starbucks will be crammed with saggy-eyed shoppers selling sleep for a good deal. Target’s parking lot will be bumper-to-bumper, the chaos moving tectonically slow if it moves at all.

Ears will be filled with Christmas music, hearts with joy, credit cards with debt, and fingernails caked with the epithelials of the other shoppers you had to claw out of the way between you and the Chia Obama. Muncie CSI will find them later, but for now you can enjoy shopping.

Chances are the products will be made by someone like iPhone girl, or someone I met on my Where Am I Wearing trip, who works long, hard…

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Chia Obama: Does our consumerism know no bounds?


Nothing says Hope like planting a seed on a bald bust of the President of the United States and hoping it grows.

Enter: Chia Obama

Yes, we live in a world where people will buy a Chia Obama, a Chia Lincoln, and even a Chia George Washington.

I had a Chia lamb back in the day. My grandma got it for me for Christmas. I spread out the seeds, applied the fertilizer, and my sheep appeared to have gone through a long series of chemo treatments followed by being trapped in a burning barn. The grass was anything but even and mostly barely there.

I was devastated. On TV it was magic “Ch-ch-ch Chia” and boom there was a beautiful coat, or afro, or wig. Heck even the…

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Desperate Times Call for Desperate Writers

James Frey, author of “A Million Little Pieces,” whipping boy of Oprah, fictionalizer of facts, wearer of a beard, seer through droopy eyes, wants to publish your book.


He’ll pay you a whopping $250 up front.

Excited now?

$250 is barely enough to buy a shotgun and ammo at Wal-Mart to shoot dead your literary career.

Yet writers are signing on with Frey’s Full Fathom Five publishing company. Frey and his company are profiled in a recent New York Magazine piece, James Frey’s Fiction Factory.

Here’s what Conrad Rippy has to say about the contract Frey is offering:

It’s an agreement that says, “You’re going to write for me. I’m going to own it. I may or may not give you credit. If there is…

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Travelers Give A Shit


I give a shit about the Great (shrinking) Barrier Reef because I’ve chased a turtle around it.

I give a shit about melting glaciers because I’ve climbed on one in New Zealand.

I give a shit about the persisting tension in Kosovo because I’ve played PlayStation and shared countless cups of tea with college students in Pristina.

I give a shit about hurricanes hammering Honduras because I’ve played baseball there.

I give a shit about garment workers in Bangladesh because I’ve taught them how to throw a Frisbee and been to an amusement park with them.

I give a shit about orphans in Guatemala and Nepal because I’ve played Hacky Sack with them.

I give a shit about those…

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