Bassbuds Review

Note: this is a compensated review, in that I received the pair of ear buds. 

So, I got offered the chance to review ear buds and I agreed, because ear buds are one of my essential tools.

Why does a writer need ear buds?  The main ways I use ear buds are to talk to clients and to teach classes.  I also use them to listen to teleseminars.  When I first got my smart phone, I was a dedicated hold-the-phone-up-to-my-ear-and-talk type.  Headsets and ear buds seemed unwieldy to me, awkward to don when the phone rings–"Wait, wait, let me put my earphones on!"

But then I started listening to teleclasses through the phone, and soon it became clear that I needed my hands free to do other things while I listened.  And then I started getting more clients, and talking to them on the phone, and I wanted to be able to take notes. The clincher was when Oregon passed a hands-free law.  If I wanted to talk on the phone while in the car (I really don't all that often) I needed ear buds.

And now I'm totally hooked on them.  I can barely stand to talk on the phone in the traditional way.  So getting a really cool pair of ear buds to review seemed like an excellent idea.

And the Bassbuds are really cool.  They come in a snazzy box that contains all kinds of goodies–like extra rubber rings for the actual buds.  And they are gorgeous.  Mine are white (though multiple colors are available), with a Swaroski crystal decorating them and a silver, anti-twist cord.  They are comfortable, too, resting delicately in the ears.

The problem is, I can't hear very well through them.

Yeah, I know.

The times I've used them, I've been dissatisfied. I talked on the phone for a few minutes this morning and the call seemed muffled and distant. The person on the other end could barely hear me.  When I switched to the cheap original ear buds, the clarity was fine.

I have a feeling that the issue has something to do with me, because if you go google Bassbud Ear Bud Reviews, you'll find glowing testimonials to how wonderful they are.  Also I noticed that most of these people were using their ear buds to listen to music, so that might make a difference.

I'll try them again.  In the meantime, call me befuddled.

Friday Review: Female Nomad and Friends

Female Nomad and Friends:

Tales of Breaking Free and Breaking Bread Around the World

by Rita Golden Gelman

I leaped at the chance to review this book because I was familiar with Gelman's first book, Tales of a Female Nomad and was happy to hear she'd written another one.  To understand the premise of the second book, you need to know a little about the first book (though you certainly don't have to read the first to appreciate the second).

At the age of 48, on the verge of a divorce, Gelman, who at the time led quite the privileged Hollywood-style life, decided to chuck it all and begin traveling.  Now, she lives all over the world, carrying what she needs with her, living serendipitously.  As she puts it, "In 1987 I opened my life to otherness; it became addictive.  I still have no fixed address and hardly any possessions."

And how does she manage to finance this lifestyle?  Through writing children's books.  Her first adult book, which detailed her adventures, also did well.  Well enough that readers clamored for more.  But Gelman didn't really want to write another book, she was too busy having fun.  Part of that fun included trying new and different things and she wanted no part of writing a sequel.  Still, readers clamored.

And thus Female Nomad and Friends was born.  Gelman hit on the idea of using the many stories that readers, inspired by her adventures, had emailed her.  Plus she decided to add recipes. So the resulting anthology has 41 stories and 32 recipes, all of an international bent.  Perhaps the best part of it all is that evey single penny of the proceeds from this book goes to Gelman's current pet project, which is funding vocational educations for high school graduates from the slums of New Delhi. 

For that reason alone you should buy this book.  But you'll also want to buy it for the stories and the recipes.  Its the kind of book that you can have on your bedside table and read one a night, in order if you are that type of person.  Or you can do what I did, which is to pick it up, close my eyes, and choose a story at random until I had read them all.  It is much more fun that way.

Here's a sampler of the stories you'll find in the book:

Breakfast in Malaca, by Wendy Lewis, about a delicious–and surprising–meal in Malaysia.

Chapati Love Remembered, by Jean Allen, probably my favorite story in the whole book, about making chaptis–and love.

Thanksgiving: A Different Perspective, by Ana Maria Bradley, in which a foreign exchange student comes to appreciate an American holiday.

And here's a taste of some of the recipes:

Latvian Piragi

Ginger-Cumin Roasted Chicken (I'm trying this one for sure)

Charred Sugar-Crusted Salmon

Vietnamese Soft Spring Rolls

Mousse au Chocolat Truffee

And many more…

Reading Gelman's story, and the many stories in the anthology, has made me ponder if I could do the same as her–live without a home base anywhere.  Now, I love to travel and actually wish I could do more of it.  But somehow I don't think I could live without a permanent address.  I love Gelman's lifestyle and appreciate that for her, it is all about being open to the other and making connections throughout the world.  But I want my own little house to come home to after I've been away–my pets, my art, my funny little things.

What about everyone else?  Could you travel the world without a permanent home?

While you ponder the answer to that question, here's a bit more information about Gelman and the book:

Rita Golden Gelman is the author of Tales of a Female Nomad and more than seventy children’s books, including More Spaghetti, I Say!, a staple in every first grade classroom. As a nomad, Rita has no permanent address.  She is currently involved in an initiative called Let’s Get Global, a project of US Servas, Inc, a national movement deigned to bring the gap year to the United States. Learn more at:

We invite you to join us on the Female Nomad and Friends virtual tour. The full schedule can be seen at You can learn much more about Rita Golden Gelman and her work on her website –