Jest who in tarnation is Buffalo Mel?

Melanie Bacon
The first time I ever heard the phrase "jack of all trades, master of none", I was eighteen years old and the person being described this way was me. In the twenty-five years since, I've picked up a heck of a lot more trades, while never quite achieving a Master's (graduate schools at which I've accumulated credits but no degrees include The United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities, the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, and the Carlson School of Management).

My youngest child graduates from high school this year, so my main gig for the last couple of decades has been Mom. A few of the other roles I've played have included soldier, book store owner, humor writer, columnist, sign maker, casino change cashier, statistician, and human resources manager; also artist, planning commissioner, foster parent, senate intern, feminist activist, zoning board chair and other sundry personas, some more fun than others. HR Manager paid the best, but I got tired of managing downsizes. I was also a farmwife for a while, but I have to admit I didn't do a very good job; I'm a vegetarian, he's a beef producer--not much chance there, I'm afraid. My latest adventure is giving baton twirling lessons to my taekwondo instructor; in turn, he's teaching me nunchakas. This is way weirder than you can imagine.

I spend most of my time these days managing a foundation and developing web sites; the pay's not so good, but at least I don't have to fire people anymore. My strengths are in writing and art; I have only limited programming skills, and therefore my sites are heavy on fun and imagination, and light on cyber pyrotechnics. You'll find no frames, no sound, and only limited java on my sites, because I consider them either annoying (frames) or too long to load for most surfers (sound and java). I either manage, designed or own the following web sites/web pages:

For other people:

The Not So Big House; I manage this web site for Sarah Susanka, author of this very terrific book:

Maitrhea; a foundation dedicated to recognizing and creating Sacred Space. I'm particularly fond of The Sacred Places Slide Show, a slide show of over 50 images from sacred places.

Joel Cole's Creative Enterprises, showcasing the work of a talented teacher and clown.

Marty Orensten's Signs For Your World, the website of a sign industry genius.

PDW, the writing group to which I am privileged to belong; includes the Declaration of Interdependence, written as part of a writing exercise.

For my own perverse enjoyment:

Hollywood Tarot; the name says it all.

Amerikali, a continuing tale about a very old person, includes Why the Creator needs a press agent.

Buffalo Mel's Wild Web Show, my web design "business" site; includes essays on things that bug me.

Maria's Path, an epic poem about a Hero's Journey along an alternate reality.

Clone Stories; some are funny, some are not, but all demonstrate quite clearly what a Luddite I am. My favorite story is The Harem.

Sonnets For My Sons, a collection of poems that will nauseate anyone who is not immediately related to me.

Bedtime Stories, tidbits of news guaranteed to further confuse the already complicated lives of the youngest generation.

Variations on the Mother of Buddha, who wrings out her hair to water the world; this was my first exercise in animation, using my favorite goddess image, found at a wat in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

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