V-Day 2020: Cultural References and All the Fixins

Huzzah and Hello, weirdos! Today marks the fifth annual Weird Valentine Gift post here at WriterJax, and this year is a good one. It’s almost as though society in general has, somehow, become more accepting of the fringe.

I kid. Still, as we head toward VD 2020, I give you five contenders for holiday gift-giving. Go forth and browse to your heart’s content!

Don’t Torture Yourself, Gomez.

Send your favorite horror-file, or least-favorite-person in general, a bouquet of Dirty Rotten Flowers this year, like The Morticia arrangement below. Bonus: the testimonial page on this website is gold, Jerry. Gold.

You Had Me at Au Gratin

For the pun-tacular person in your life who’s all ears, I give you the Potato Parcel. This item was actually featured on Shark Tank and has been sending spuds around the world ever since, including those adorned with photos of the recipient.

Couple Goals

No one knows ’til death do we part like Jack and Sally. Let’s celebrate that love with gaudy-ass jewelry.

Put Some Pink in your Drink

This is too pretty not to share: pink chai tea from Lee.

The Rest is Gravy

No Valentines Day is complete without something unctuous, and when it comes to unctuous, I always vote gravy.

The Read My Writin’ Round-up

I’ve been able to write a lot about where I live, recently – in the Berkshires of Massachusetts – so this shameless round-up of my own work is pulled together with a Berkshire County theme.

First, the latest; I wrote a ‘Parents-Eye Review’ for Berkshire Family Focus, upon the opening of the new Berkshire Carousel. Juli was my intern on this project.


Next, on to the world of corporate spa retreats…an actual thing, apparently, and growing in popularity. I used two world-class resorts in the Berkshires to illustrate the trend of spa retreats as part of workplace health and wellness packages.


Finally, a look at the entire region from the point-of-view of the visitor’s bureau and the owner/managers of some attractions in the area, including outdoor recreation spots as well as theater venues (two of the biggies in these parts).




Rest, Relaxation, and ROI

According to the “Global Spa & Wellness Trends Forecast” published by Spafinder Wellness Inc., workplace wellness is one of the top 10 trends in the spa industry for 2016.

The study suggests that this is a direct response to a growing number of businesses across the country taking the well-being of their employees more seriously, for the health of both their teams and their companies’ bottom lines. I was recently able to look into this trend for a freelance article, and while it’s not one that is taking off as quickly as some spa professionals would like, it’s gaining popularity and acceptance in both offices and resorts.

Read more: http://ow.ly/zm6c300QoxC

Photo: Cranwell Resort spa, JCS

Geeks on Fleek: The Art of Nerd Burlesque


Last weekend, we hit up something new: a body-positive, male/female, nerd-themed burlesque show.

Stay with me.

The show was created by Western Mass.-based troupe Bon Appetit Burlesque, which often performs in the Northampton area and is lead by the delightful Hors D’oeuvres, pronounced the way you want to say it.

So let’s break down Nerd Burlesque… It’s the art of the tease mixed with a healthy dose of Star Wars and hobbits.

Stay with me.

The nerd quotient was high among the performers, much to our glee, across plenty of decades of multimedia nerd-dom. In the course of a few hours, we saw Han Solo, Godzilla, Pokemon, and a bound Princess Leia strut their stuff. The costumes were surprisingly elaborate. There was a wide gamut of talent, too – budding dancers as well as seasoned teasers who all had the crowd riled up as they played to their strengths.

Here are some glimpses… This is Baroness Blitzen Von Schtupp in the midst of her Alien-inspired routine…she also performed a Godzilla-themed dance in Act II.

In the ‘boylesque’ category, this is Dale Stones, CFO of the Boston-based Sirlesque. Here, Dale is transforming into Captain America… He also doubled as Link from the Legend of Zelda.

My personal fave of the night was Femme Bones, founder of the Slaughterhouse Sweethearts, who started off as Red Sonja and returned later as Tina from Bob’s Burgers.

 Sadly, the venue we visited, Diva’s Nightclub, is about to close after several years in business. But all of the performers have gigs on their schedules, and Bon Appetit Burlesque is expected to resurrect itself at a new place soon, pasties and all.
Have any experience in the burlesque world? I’m intrigued. Tell us about it in the comments or send me an email at writerjax -at – gmail.