#TBT May 2008: Snark, Car Shows, Pasta Salad & Yoga

Note: The following blog posts originally appeared on The Jump in May 2008, when it was hosted at blog-city. They’re gradually being added back into the current blog as #TBTs, so not to overwhelm subscribers.

How Do You Write a Blog Post About Things That Annoy You Without Sounding Snarky or Unbalanced?

4526411483_739e65404b_zYou can’t.

Roll with it.

I will, however, temper every gripe with something I like:

1. I hate it when people try to make me feel, ironically, stupid for using a word, term, or topic in conversation they don’t understand. This goes back to high school for me, but now, as a gainfully employed woman who writes for a living, I’m ready for y’all to shut it already. It’s not like I’m quoting Proust or something. And if you just asked what I meant, you’d know something new you didn’t know before. Trust me- this would make you a better person and probably a lot funnier.

But I do like – daisies. They’re sunny and simple, like nature’s vapid little Homecoming Queen.

2. I hate it when I’m interrupted in the middle of a sentence, especially when the interrupter was not part of the conversation to begin with. It’s not cool, so stop it. You’re not that important.

But I do like – Karamel Sutra ice cream from Ben and Jerry’s. I like it so much I won’t smear it all over your face when you interrupt me, because I would not want to waste any of the delicious caramel core inside.

3. An addendum to number one – people who assume they know everything and go through life saying supposably, expresso, prostrate cancer, and irregardless.

But i do like – espresso with a nice chocolate chip croissant.

4. I hate women who think it’s cute to act dumb or talk like children. You’re setting all of us back decades every time you giggle and twirl your hair and say ‘Iiiiiiii dooooon’ttt knoooowwww.’

But I do like – Falling asleep to a thunderstorm. Serenity Now.

5. Conversely, I also can’t stand children who act like adults. Mostly little actors. The only motivation a 5-year-old should have is Chicken McNuggets or an extra half-hour of Dora.

But I do like – scarves and hats. And playing dress-up.

Published: Friday, 9 May 2008


A visitor‘ left this comment on 21 May 08
You forgot “precussion”

A visitor‘ left this comment on 13 May 08
This is hilarious. I’ll need to remember to mix in my nasties with some lollipops and rainbows. It does make them go down easier!

A visitor‘ left this comment on 13 May 08
Amen. Can I add one to the interrupter? I hate when people interrupt me to finish my sentence — *and* then they don’t even get it right! Arg!!

A visitor‘ left this comment on 12 May 08
Hey, I tend to snark even on things I like (see, for example, my 50 favorite TV shows). But I’ll bite. Irregardless of whether or not you axed, I am so impressed with your list that I prostate myself before it. And a half-hour of Dora would be as welcome on my TV as a half-hour of jellyfish stings or a half-hour of getting punched in the face by Celine Dion in full warble. Chicken McNuggets are OK, though.

Weekend Pasta Salad

“Wacky Mac” multi-colored veggie rotini, ranch dressing, lemon juice, parm. cheese, salt and pepper, balsamic vinegar, yellow pepper, tomato, scallions, and broccoli. The bowl is from Homegoods.

Published: Sunday, 11 May 2008 Tags: pasta salad food

The Horror! The Sandwiches! The Surf Rock! (Very Late Weekend Update)

I didn’t see The Texas Chainsaw Massacre until I was in my twenties. A group of friends and I rented a bunch of horror movies and loaded up on junk food while I was renting a house in Osterville, Mass., and we camped in the living room for hours of paranoid fun.

Everyone up ‘n left immediately after the last tape in the batch ended, with Leatherface waving his chainsaw in the air at the permanently damaged heroine escaping in the back of a pick-up truck.

I love horror movies. But I was shelled. And when I suddenly found myself completely alone in a big house in the woods of Cape Cod, the terror of that sick flick only grew. It still freaks me out – even the bad remakes and sequels and prequels are disturbing.

However, it’s the dawn of a kindler, gentler new day for Texas, Chainsaws, and Massacres. This weekend, back at the Cape to do some event planning, I had one of the best sandwiches I’ve ever had by the same name, at the Box Office Cafe in Chatham, where all of the sandwiches, drinks, and pizzas are named after movies (I blogged about the place once before here).

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre isn’t messy nor does it contain people, so I’m not sure where it got its name, but here’s the lineup: cracked pepper turkey, roast beef, pesto, mayo, tomato, and mozzarella cheese on a toasted ciabatta. Killer.

sandwich box office cafe

Some of the other offerings include The Poseidon (tuna), The Rocky (Italian), The Animal House (meatball sub), and The Caddy Shack (a club sub). As for pizza, there’s the Good Night and Good Luck, for one — described as topped with garlic, garlic, tomatoes, and more garlic — and for breakfast, there’s a selection of sandwiches all named after directors. Where else are you going to walk in and say “Uh, yeah, hi. I’ll have a medium coffee and an Erich Von Stroheim. Thanks.”

Plus, the Box Office has a cute mini-store with mugs, totes, and t-shirts like these:


After lunch, there were other interesting things happening on the Cape of Cod this weekend: we spotted a cruise night sponsored by the Cape Cod Classic Car Club in Dennis, for instance:

cape cod crusie night

And on Saturday night, we caught Earth Junior at Arturo’s. EJ is my brother’s band – a surf rock trio that’s been playing on the cape for more than a decade. They treated the crowd to Sweet Caroline during the seventh inning of the Red Sox game:

My brother told me he hated the rendition, but I had to share it with Red Sox Nation. And besides, it’s not like they massacred it or anything.

Published: Wednesday, 21 May 2008 Tags: sandwich box office cafe texas chainsaw massacre earth junior sweet caroline red sox 12009 cape cod classic car club


Writerjax‘ left this comment on 22 May 08
Really!! I agree the naming of things has a certain je n’ais e quois that really raises the bar for the item being eaten.

That said, a Kevin Smith … I’m going to say at McDonald’s that’d be about the equivalent of an egg mcmuffin. Substantive, with a hint of cheese and a propensiity toward the silent but deadly.

A visitor‘ left this comment on 22 May 08
That’s an awesome idea…I’m now going to name everything I eat…I will insist that the rest of the world comply or at least play along…I’m going to McDonald to order a Kevin Smith right now…thanks

Memorial Day Staycation (Weekend update)

Happy Tuesday as some of us return to the working week … I wish I could recount hundreds of long-weekend adventures for you, but alas it was a pretty low-key holiday for me. And as Stuart Smalley would say, ‘and that’s … ok.’

I started the weekend off, however, trying out a new recipe from Bakerella, the Queen of Cupcakes and all things yummy. I was a little timid after painstakingly creating a braciole from the Good Eats Web site a couple of weeks ago that was more like a salt lick than an Italian delicacy, so I decided to give one of the more simple-looking recipes a try — peanut butter balls.

Success, and my hat off to Bakerella. She’s a culinary genius for World 2.0. The secret is in the Nutter Butters …

and the dipping is relatively easy. Mine aren’t as symmetrical as Bakerella’s but still tasty.

On Saturday, the highlight of the day had to have been a random, huge flea market we happened upon. Apparently Steve McQueen was there before us:

And in the evening, it was off to dinner at one of my favorite places, Cal’s, and then to join the rest of humanity in seeing the new Indiana Jones flick. For what it’s worth, I’m glad we went, and it was good for what it’s intended to be; a transition piece introducing Shia LeBoeuf as the next generation Indy (aka Mutt). Still, it’s no Temple of Doom, but I don’t think anyone expected it to be.

It was around the credits that my second major allergy attack of the season set in, thus setting the tone for the rest of the weekend – sniffly, ears plugged, throat scratchy, ARGH! I muscled through with some craft projects (started repainting the front porch planters, more on that later) and a CSI marathon on Spike TV. Which apparently is the ‘man channel.’ Whatever.

I also pulled out one of my older yoga DVDs, since I wasn’t going to make it to the gym. It’s actually a DVD with a companion book:

…and not a bad 30-minute cycle at all. It’s pretty low-budget – just Yolanda and an Oriental rug, really – but it’s low-stress enough that I went through the cycle twice.

Now, it’s back to the grind … thankful for the short week, though. Meatier posts to come soon, including a 40 under 40 recap and a review of Marie Antoinette: The Journey, which my faithful readers know took me about four and a half years to finish (maybe more like eight months. But still. Eight months? Stop falling asleep with the book on your face, Grandma.)

Taking Candy From Strangers

 I grew up in the 80’s and 90’s on Cape Cod, and I think back to when I was a kid, and it makes me sad how Halloween has died.

Today, most kids have everything, and a lot of them don’t know they should be appreciative for it. They have time with their parents, and have their focus, clothing, homes, food and access to technology at a pretty early age. There are a lot of kids that lack the ability to play, in fear of getting hurt. They always win and never suffer disappointment.

I know, I should’ve let go when I was too old to go trick-or-treating.

There was all of this fear propaganda in the 80’s about hippies that handed out stickers laced with LSD, they put razor blades and needles in candy bars! (the razor blade and needles thing did actually happen- I looked it up on snopes.com.) Anyway, my family wasn’t really into Halloween. My stepfather’s brother was murdered on Halloween in ’87 in Providence, and the rest of my family didn’t really celebrate it.

https://i2.wp.com/static.yourtango.com/cdn/farfuture/Peqwht_LR0naWOSonMtFBRw0GY4X1XF4KgjYPzeSvcA/mtime:1378397686/sites/default/files/image_list/clarissa.jpgI always dressed up like a punk every year, or what I thought that was. I was drawn to that type of anti-fashion by eight years old. It was cheap, fun, and colorful, and I thought I was awesome. Come to think of it, the 80’s and 90’s were a mash-up of disgusting patterns, colors and VESTS. Really, everyone was in a costume for two decades.

When I was a teenager, Halloween was a tradition of petty vandalism. We’d get a bunch of plastic utensils and stick them into people’s lawns. In those scary times with the acid hippies, bad hairstyles and baggy

pants, our parents gave us the freedom to go door to door, leave the house, and make mistakes.

My first experience in Salem, Mass., I was 17 and I was with a group of friends and we decided to drop acid. I don’t believe we obtained it from hippies. We started to peak a half hour upon arrival; we were sitting on the corner of this tire place, and I watched as everything was changing, moving, breathing. This guy from Ireland was with us. He was hired to work at a motel in Hyannis that my friend’s dad managed.

We decided to go to a haunted house. I couldn’t stop laughing because everyone was really animated. I was also completely insane, in my own world having my own experience. We turn a corner, and some rubber masked ghoul thing jumps out and grabs at the Irish kid, so the Irish kid reacts by punching him in the stomach, so we were all thrown out.

Hanging figures, Salem Witch Dungeon, Keith TylerThe trip turned bad for me when everyone was scrambling to figure out who would be driving home.
I was laying in the back seat of some girl’s car and just closed my eyes the whole way home. It was my 2nd trip, and honestly- neither were the fun I anticipated.

The next day, the back pain and weirdness settling in- that I didn’t like the intensity of the trip, and I wasn’t the type that can live in that reality/delusion for long periods of time. It wasn’t something I wanted to do again. (even if I did.) I was just a confused kid, just trying to figure things out in the world. Feeling a little out of place in the world, yet I was so curious about the world. So, I’d seek anything I was told was dangerous, because I wanted to know why. (even if I was told.) Those were my choices.

I’ve lived back on the Cape for six years. I have not seen any trick-or-treaters. Simple fun things like that have become so regimented with Nazi-esque curfews and scheduled play dates with other doting helicopter parents.

Perhaps the parents of today were reckless and criminal at their age, like I was, and they don’t want their kid to get the candy bar with the razor blade or the LSD. I know, it’s your job to protect them, but acid hippies aren’t wearing a special costume to let you know, and they probably don’t use social media.

I think about what it must be like to grow up in today’s stifling world. Growing up with technology, a wealth of information and distraction.

With knowledge comes responsibility.

So, the more we read about mass murderers, abductions, rapists, etc. the more fearful and inward we turn. When in reality, all of these things were happening when your grandparents were children.

1794995043_7306b61c4f_zI’m not saying let them drop acid or take candy from the creepy guy in the van. I’m saying stop policing, scheduling, or taking away kids fun over fear campaigns and your own personal attachment to making sure they always make the right choice. Avoiding everything that may hurt is a stagnant life, and a fearful life. How does a person pick themselves up after a fall and shake it off if you’re always there to prevent it, and how does a person truly have fun when everything is about being controlled, repressed and monitored?

Halloween is supposed to be fun for kids. They can be whatever they’d like for a day and get to eat tons of candy and have fun with their friends. I’ve heard some schools don’t even have Halloween parties anymore. Maybe those people are those hippies that put razor blades in candy bars.

I will always take candy from strangers on Halloween. (especially the ones that leave a bowl of it outside.)


Sara Wentworth is an artist based on Cape Cod. She and her husband Adam are the crazed minds behind Secret Society Art.

Fire in the Mountains: Bring the heat for a fellow photog

Reblog at will… my friend Keith has suffered an artistic and financial loss due to fire, and a benefit party is being held at Springfield’s iconic Student Prince restaurant this month. Details below…

So much to publicize, so little time. The basics are this :

Benefit Fort Fire Party, October 24, 5 to 8 p.m. To be held in the new BIERGARTEN adjacent to the Fort and Student Prince.

Purpose of the benefit: Photographer Keith Sikes had his house and photographic equipment destroyed by fire. While he is covered for his loss, the insurance values artwork based on its frame rather than its content.

Included free at this event: Student Prince pub food, local music by Eagle Eyes, and a silent auction. Tickets available at the door for a donation (minimum donation is suggested at $10). The more we collect at the door, the sooner Keith gets started creating images. There will also be a silent auction for you to bid on great images at bargain prices.

Any photographers who would like to donate art for auction, please call Keith at 413-250-3738.

TSB reaches 300, Let’s do the Twist, and Interview with Allie Larkin, Fun Chicken Memories, Thematic Photographic, more

In 2007, I started Thirty-something Bloggers, and as I say in my About section, it’s one of the greatest things I’ve ever done. I’ve met so many fantastic bloggers and made new friends as we work together to make TSB and our own blogs, careers, and lives better.

Late last week, we welcomed our 300th member — it seems so recent that we were excited to hit 100! The community includes all different types of Thirty-somethings, and in addition to promoting our blogs and projects, we also chat about everything from what we miss about our twenties to how we feel about marriage, family, and kids.

We have t-shirts.

While I want to highlight each and every one of these fantastic people, there’s not enough screen space here for even half of the TSBs. So, in honor of the faithful few who helped me get started, I’m linking to TSBs first ten members, besides me, who’ve been going strong since the beginning. Others have joined since and been very active members, and I’ll highlight them soon too, but for now I thought I’d reintroduce the earliest joiners … some of whom stuck it out for a few months when there were only seven of us. If you scroll down the sidebar, you can also read the most recently updated blogs among all of the TSBs, too.

Here are the inaugural bloggers of TSB:

GrammarGirl – member #2

Keely – #3

Joe – #4

Justine – #5

Shawn – #6

Nanette – #7

A Mental Fracture – #8

LA Blogger Gal -#9

Michelle – #10

The Daily Randi – #11


A visitor‘ left this comment on 1 Sep 08
And just think, in mere months I’ll need to move on to the forty-something bloggers group (if there is one – and if not, I guess I’ll need to start one!) So sad.
Bart‘ left this comment on 1 Sep 08
Hooray for us! I mean, I know I only joined recently, but I’m pretty sure I’ve already seen dividends in the traffic sense, plus found some new reading materiel of my own (including this site rightcheer).

I Give Up.

I realized today that I just keep making excuses as to why I don’t blog about everything I’d like to. Readers who’ve been here for a while know that this blog continues to evolve, but it’s not just a natural evolution of things that k

I realized today that I just keep making excuses as to why I don’t blog about everything I’d like to. Readers who’ve been here for a while know that this blog continues to evolve, but it’s not just a natural evolution of things that keeps it moving — or stalled, as the case may be.

I don’t want to just write about my job as a writer, although that’s a big part of it. I also want to write about being a traveler and a foodie and thirty-something geek. I’ve done fairly well with blending all of this together into one, semi-cohesive blog. But there’s still a good amount missing. A lot that I’m wary or scared to put out there. Here’s why:

Excuse #1 – I still feel like I need some sort of theme and I don’t want to be all over the map here, thus alienating any of my readers. But, I think a lot of people blog about different things, and I also think by the masthead it’s pretty obvious what I do for a living.

Excuse #2 –  As a writer, my full name is pretty much out there. I’m not hard to find, and while this is true for many bloggers, and while I don’t have a particularly controversial blog, and furthermore my employers know I have one, I worry, because of excuse #3.

Excuse #3 – The more information I make available here, the more fodder for the Internet Stalkers. Some of you reading this are saying, ‘Stalkers?’ Oh, we all have those. Who cares if they Google your name three times in three hours?’

Well, I do and I don’t. It’s their prerogative to search their little lives away, but while they are wasting valuable time misspelling my first name and poring over old blog posts, they’re missing out on the beauty that is Web 2.0. Dudes. I can see where you’re coming from. I know how you’re getting here, when, and from what computer.

That last part is what bugs me the most. Some of the Once and Future Googlers live in the same region as me. I wouldn’t give one or two of those folks the time of day in real life, so why share personal bits here? That’s a valid point, but the more I think about it, the more I realize that if they’re spending that much time searching for info on little ole’ me (completely ignoring how boring I am, hello), they probably already know everything that I think I’m hiding.

I am private about certain things, and I always will be. Not because they’re weird or bad or shameful — I don’t have a third arm growing out of my back or anything — but just because they’re mine. 

Still. There are things I’m dying to share with my real readers who come by, maybe make a nice comment (or not, that’s cool too), and who’ve helped me in some way in the last year in particular, whether they realized they did or not. I think about some of the blogs I read regularly, and how their stories about everything from sci-fi literature to redecorating the house to cupcake recipes to Hot Blogger calendars and everything in between are entertaining, informative, and fun. Then, I think about all the stories I haven’t told, and I almost feel like I’m not participating. Like I can’t really be me on this blog until I get over my fear.

A couple of fellow bloggers have made this easier recently by ‘outing me’ on one account. They blogged about something I haven’t blogged about yet, and perspective hit. Why am I hiding this? I thought. It’s not my home address or deep inner-secrets we’re talking about. I know I have a pretty solid core of readers who make me feel more insulated. And in addition, I have a feeling I’m going to hate myself for writing this here, but in five years of blogging, I have yet to get a mean-spirited comment. Granted, I moderate them, so you’ll never see one here unless I blog about it to make fun of its inevitable bad grammar. But I’ve never received one. I’ve gotten mean e-mails, yes, but what journalist hasn’t?

So what I’m saying is I’m going to open up a little. If it backfires, it backfires, and I’ll go back to protecting a little more than I’d like, because I’m a wuss. I’ll tell you one thing, though — WriterJax and The Jump aren’t going away any time soon. I wouldn’t give anyone the satisfaction.

…that said (gulp) here’s what I did with my summer vacation:

…more later.


writerjax‘ left this comment on 12 Sep 08
thanks Dawn, it’s people like you that made me want to open up a little!
A visitor‘ left this comment on 12 Sep 08

Ok, I am back from vacation! (Against my will, but back nonetheless.)First of all: congratulations! What awesome news!! I am so glad you decided to share.

Which brings me to: I know what you mean about keeping some things out of view from the blogosphere. I do the same thing. I am sure I could drop some real bombs on some of my readers–I’m not married though! LOL The thing is, I am a private person in a lot of ways. I don’t necessarily have a stalker issue (although it did come up mildly a time or two) but there are just some things I don’t wish to share with the world at large & Blogger doesn’t allow me to password specific posts. I guess it’s all about finding the fine line that works for you.

It’s funny, as I was reading your post, I was nodding my head but I was *completely* unprepared for the Big Reveal! I am so glad you felt you could share this though & let us celebrate with you! =)

A visitor‘ left this comment on 3 Sep 08
Actually, everyone, the FOURTH arm is growing out of her back. The third one is kind of in the shoulder area.
A visitor‘ left this comment on 3 Sep 08
Ahhh!!! I have to log off & leave for the airport and you share something like that! I have more to say about the post but I had to say *something* before I logged off! Sooo pretty! And happy! =)

Your Useless History Lesson for Today…

In having a discussion about ‘firsts’ in the Oval Office — the potential for the first black president of the U.S., or the first woman in the Veep Seat — ArcherVision and I started wondering if there had ever been a president who was also a P.O.W., as was McCain.

After a little walk through Wikipedia, we discovered that George Washington and Andrew Jackson were P.O.Ws. Washington was captured by the French during the French and Indian War, and Jackson was captured with his brother at the age of 13 during the American Revolutionary War; he was a courier.

Other interesting P.O.W.s include Winston Churchill, Charles de Gaulle, Francois Mitterand, and of course Kurt Vonnegut.


A visitor‘ left this comment on 5 Sep 08
And I’ll bet Teddy Roosevelt knew how to field dress a moose.

C’mon baby, Let’s do the Twist


Twist, an alternative art and craft fair, kicked off last night in Northampton, Mass., and I stopped by to shoot some photos for the mag I work for (and to just check out the scene). Twist is, in a word, radical. It’s a collection of artists, artisans, and crafters, many of whom sell their wares on etsy.

From hand-knitted scarves to blown-glass picture frames to edgy clothing (like these Stank Puss panties, for instance:

stank puss

photo by ArcherVision) Twist had a little bit of everything, and put a whole new spin on the idea of a crafter’s market.

b side fruits

In addition, it was held inside an architecturally awesome building, and featured ‘adult beverages’, a disco ball, and live DJs (not to mention an after party).



It was all an effort to showcase handmade and small-run artists and crafters in a hip setting, and in my opinion it was totally successful. The place was crammed at 6 pm on Friday, just an hour into its two-day run, and sales seemed brisk. I picked up at least a dozen business cards, in hopes of buying more goods on etsy later on. A couple of my favorites include James Anthony, Lexie Barnes, BMW Ironworks, and Whispering Willow. Plus, a second Twist is planned for the spring.

After Twist, we headed to the Toasted Owl for their awesome wings and to watch a little of the Sox game, and took in some of Noho’s colorful storefront windows:

goat woman

dynamite noho


A visitor‘ left this comment on 9 Sep 08
I can’t believe I missed out on this…..Northhampton is awesome too. I’ll have to try and make it next time as it isn’t too far away from me….
A visitor‘ left this comment on 6 Sep 08
I love events/shops that support artists. This sounds like so much fun and the building is amazing. I love great architecture, especially Frank Lloyd Wright inspired windows.

Thematic Photographic #5 and #6 – Faded and Close-up

I whiffed on last week’s ThemPho, but I did in fact have a photo chosen for the theme ‘faded’ :”In Many Ways, Big Boy Never Left” 35 mm photo scanned with HP Photosmart c4800; shot with a Nikon N70, fuji 200 ASA film; 28 – 200 T

I whiffed on last week’s ThemPho, but I did in fact have a photo chosen for the theme ‘faded’ :

big boy

“In Many Ways, Big Boy Never Left” 35 mm photo scanned with HP Photosmart c4800; shot with a Nikon N70, fuji 200 ASA film; 28 – 200 Tamron lens

And this week’s theme is ‘close-up,’ so I chose a macro shot of a Dale Chihuly glass sculpture I found in the Atlanta Botanical Garden while researching for this story.

dale chihuly

“Dale Chihuly’s Art,” Nikon D70 with 18-55 Nikkor lens


Me‘ left this comment on 13 Sep 08
I am constantly missing the theme deadline so I feel your pain. I have never seen a “big boy” but this is exactly what I thought it would look like. Your close up is wonderful. I love glass and the colors are fantastic

TSB Featured Blogger: Allie’s Answers

“I feel like this is like an Oscars speech and I know I’m forgetting people!”

Nominated by: Beej

Blogging since: April 2007

Favorite Post

— Q&A: How would you categorize your blog?

Allie’s Answers is a green blog. My goal is to help people make simple, inexpensive green changes that have a big impact. I think it’s easy to get the impression that going green is hard, or expensive, or involves sacrifice. In going green, I don’t feel like I’ve made any real sacrifices, and while some green products are more expensive, others are less expensive, so it all evens out in the end. I also just started a personal blog.

What blogs do you read?

I just got back from a two week “blogcation” and was so lucky to have some of my favorite bloggers fill in for me: The Good Human Amanda from Come the Revolution Fake Plastic Fish Go Green Travel Green Howling Hill Mark from Chronicle of a Gay Marriage Nancy Pearl Wannabe Mickey from The Prettiest Denny’s Waitress Dianne from Dianne’s Dishes Courtney from Malfeasance did a great guest review for me a few weeks ago. … I read so many blogs. My Google Reader is out of control. Please check out my links page.

What’s your plan to rule the world?

Ruling the world sounds like a lot of responsibility. It would probably give me a headache. What I would like to do, as cheesy as it sounds, is work to make the world a better place. My friend, Neil, has taken it upon himself to raise twenty thousand dollars for The Cambodian Children’s Fund this year. To me, it’s so inspiring that this guy who’s just trying to get by like everyone else, is working so hard to improve other people’s lives. It’s changed my perspective on so many things. I feel like it’s opened me up to thinking about what I can give and how I can help, instead of getting caught up in that daily struggle of all the little details that don’t matter very much when it comes down to it.

What will you say to Oprah when we’re featured on her show?

Ha! I’d love to tell you I’d have something beautiful and witty to say her, but in all reality, I’d probably just make a lot of unintelligible sounds and cry. I’m cool like that.

Former featured blogger:

Helmet, Utah, U.S., of Helmet’s Blogapalooza

Fun Chicken Memories

Do you ever find yourself staring directly into your own past after spying some random person, place, or thing from your childhood?

That’s what happened to me last weekend, when ArcherVision and I went to the Cape for the Cranberry Harvest Festival and to celebrate JaxMum and JaxDad’s anniversary – 51 years!

It was a rainy weekend, and we found ourselves driving up Route 28 in search of cool coffee places. On the way, I pointed out the Zooquarium, a tourist trap in Yarmouth that I’ve never actually been inside before. We swung in with a ‘what the hell?’ attitude and paid the $9.50 to get in out of the rain — only to find that half the zoo is actually outside.

It was a fun time, though. We saw lots of animals indigenous to the Cape, including scup:



and this freaky albino chipmunk.


Outside is a petting zoo with sheep and goats and alpacas, as well as a lot of birds and a couple of snuggling tortoises. ArcherVision and I checked out the magic mirror for a minute

magic mirror

and that’s when I saw it. I don’t remember if it was in the laundromat near my parent’s summer home or the Ground Round near my sister’s college, but at some point in my childhood, I frequented a place that included THE FUN CHICKEN.

fun chicken

This is the deal. The chicken, powered by a mere quarter, comes to life by spinning in a circle and going ‘bawk! bawk! bawk!’ for about 10 seconds. Then, the machine spits out a plastic egg with a prize inside. Prizes are little rings and bracelets and bouncy balls; but if you’re super lucky, you might get the coveted golden egg, which usually has either double prizes or a cooler prize. I think I recall that, sometimes, the golden egg had actual money inside. But this may be a kid-sized urban myth.


The entire experience was damp, but a nice escape into juvenile bliss.


A visitor‘ left this comment on 19 Sep 08
That is such a neat find! I *totally* believe there was money in the golden egg. 😉

Thematic Photographic #7 – Nature

The timing on this week’s ThemPho is great –

fall is my favorite time of year, and nature photos always tend to abound in our house during this time.

I didn’t need to think very hard about which photo to post this week; it’s my favorite shot from a trip to Poet’s Seat Tower, and reminds me of new horizons.


‘It isn’t hard to do;’ Poet’s Seat Tower, Greenfield, Mass., October 2007


A visitor‘ left this comment on 29 Sep 08
Wow… just made me miss Autumn in New England so much.

Get By With a Little Help from my Tweets

I just returned from a Tweet-up held in my honor at the Northampton Brewery, and to recycle an old joke from the old, bull-pen newsroom, ‘a good time was had by all.’

I felt loved to be joined by some of my favorite Tweeps for a couple of brews and paninis, to talk about life, new projects, new directions, and the power of friends.

Who are these wonderful people? Give their blogs a gander.


World 2.0 Adventure

The Constant Observer


Round World Photo

“People first. Then money, then things.” Suze Orman

HeyHelloHigh | Cannabis Lifestyle for Modern Women

Interviews, Recipes, Pro-Tips, and more for the Modern Stoner Woman.

Columbia County Current

Dedicated to all things in and around Columbia County, New York.

Victory Force Options Training, Inc.

LE use of force, leadership, and supervisory topics and discussions.

Why Are the Birds Here?

It must be the food. Maybe the wine. Is it me?

Bucket List Publications

Indulge- Travel, Adventure, & New Experiences

EMS in the New Decade

digressions since 2004

Suzie The Foodie

digressions since 2004

Run Out of the Box

Run Coaching for Strong Women

Nichole's Adventures

telling my story, one adventure at a time

Inevitably Keely

The almost daily postings on life and all it's intricacies as I live it.

Patti Welsh

Writing the Past

Studio Mothers: Life & Art

Meet your creative goals

When I Survey . . .

ruminations, reviews, recipes and rants

From the Curious Mind of Jason Randall

creating my own personal brand along the way

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