Saturday, June 30, 2012

Dogs Will Be Dogs

There was a video on Gothamist the other day of a pit bull mauling a small fluffy dog. They crop up every so often because it's a good, easy way to get traffic and it is news. Unsurprisingly there were all the hallmarks of poor training or encouraged aggression and it was cut so that you couldn't tell if the little dog had been antagonizing the big one (thanks to Stella's male grown up for watching and summarizing so I didn't have to watch it).

I get that it's good business to show that stuff. You have to report what's happening, people need to know which dogs to look out for, and that bad things happen with dogs and people and weather and life, the universe, and everything. I also get sad, though, that no one ever bothers to put out some normal everyday video of dogs being good dogs even when they're being goofy and kind of stupid.

Just call me no one.

With Jen and Sara's permission I took some videos of our dogs being dogs. They're very short and they certainly aren't at all artful, I'm very new to the whole moving image thing, but they give a good flavor of our usual mornings. I hope you enjoy them. There's one here and the other 3 are on my Flickr.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Said the Walrus to the Carpenter

UntitledNow has come the time, I believe, to provide some links and decorate them with funny photos. Don't you think?

I've met Rita Arens a couple of times through Blogher and like her a lot. She strikes me as the kind of person who can get all manner of things done when she decides she wants to. This would be the number one reason I wouldn't want to be the director at her kid's camp right now. As someone who has had surgery for skin cancer I know that sunscreen is serious business and to hear that she's being made the butt of jokes over it makes me furious.

The fact that the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act is big news today. If you're still not super clear on what it does you can start your research with this interactive map.

This beautiful yet terrifying drawing is pretty much why I'm petrified of very big things (whales, cruise ships, mountains).

Bits of a commencement address that Nora Ephron gave at Wellesley are popping up since she passed away this week. Here's a goodie.

Untitled Yesterday was a voting day for me. There were primaries. The only choice I had to make was between 2 potential Congressmen. I'd give you a tiny bit of background but you don't really need it. The soon-to-be-defunct Local Blog on the NY Times talked to some senior citizens about the candidates and they'll set you straight. (Related: I love the old ladies in my neighborhood!)

I can't remember if we've already talked about one young woman's crusade to get "women's" magazines to include just one unphotoshopped photo of a woman in each issue. Here's a quick stat about her valiant efforts.

Another great excerpt from that Ephron speech.

As someone who is fearful of so much I was surprised at how much I love and want to own these pieces showing people in scary situations.

Did you read about how travel sites are narrowing search results when people are booking on Mac products in order to give Mac users the higher priced options? Crafty. Also, evil.

I love this little story, true or not, about Jim Carey using affection to push people away.

Did you know that one woman in history has played in the NHL? Read up on Manon Rheaume.

I want to be able to bring my dog to work. Guess I'll have to gun for a spot on the staff of the Daily Show.

Have you been watching Bunheads, the new show by Gilmore Girls creator, Amy Sherman-Palladino? It's not affiliated with the book series of the same name except in that they both have ballet components. I was not entirely prepared to like it. It has some problems, much like the new Aaron Sorkin show about which I will soon write at great length, but it's good. I think it's going to get even better, too. Check it out.

Interactive Post Ahoy!


I took this photo at random while I was whirling in a useless fashion before the parade. (Could not calm myself down, what the hell?) I have looked at it basically every day since because the lady on the left looks so familiar. Briefly Misti and I thought it might be one of the Grand Marshals of the parade, Annabella Sciorra. I found these shots of Sciorra that day, though, and another pic of this lady marching in the parade and I know that Sciorra was wheeled through in a chariot.

So I ask you to look at her closely and see if you recognize her, too? Do I know her from HS? College? Is she a neighbor? Blogger? TV personality? A mermaid parade regular like us? (5 years makes us regulars, right?)

This is really going to bug me. I hope you can help.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Photo Challenge: SUMMER

Today's the kind of day that I feel pretty fucking lucky to have these photo challenges. The little things nipping at my heels are pinning me down. The freedom and beauty of these pictures have lifted me up. So, as ever, thank you so much for that.

Please give your love to the photographers and scroll down for the next prompt. Anyone can enter. It's easy as pie! (Mmmm, pie.)

he loves to drive
It seems that Our Bethany and I share a love for road trips. I especially like the summer ones where it seems like you can move your own safe little world across the universe. Looks like she's got a pretty trusty (at first I typed that trysty, totally different) pilot, too.

Energy Drain
I'm including this shot of and by Our Lisa because I think it's brave. I don't mean brave in the slightly derogatory sense of "Look at her showing a bright sunlit close up of her face and she's over 19! My goodness, that's brave." I mean it's brave to feel something and decide to capture it and share it with people you don't even know. This is a glorious photo.

Every summer of my childhood is inside this image from Mousepower1. I can feel it, smell it, and taste it. The butter drips down my chin, which is super awkward while I'm trying to type. It's the saddest happy picture ever.

This is one of my regular happy accidents. They don't all turn out this usable. I love that we celebrate summer and Alita in a parade every year and that, even as she gets old and wise, she still loves it.

If you like food you should check in on Our Janet's flickr stream often. She and her Dave make some meals that inspire me to climb into the pictures like Mary Poppins into that chalk drawing.

Sometimes you make the problem your solution, you know? Given my introduction to this post let's use FREEDOM as our prompt. That's nicely appropriate since we're heading into the Independence Day week.

Please add your photos to our Flickr photo pool by 9am on Tuesday July 10th for posting on Wednesday July 11th. Let me know if you have any questions!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


FaveYou always meet some folks at the parade. Usually it's a flyby. They take your picture or you admire each other's costumes and that's the last you see of them. Sometimes you get a second chance, though.

This delicious young lady (seriously, could you not just bury your face in those cheeks and feast?) was milling around with her parents while we were all getting randomly lined up to march. As we stood there wondering what was happening she stared at us in our boney greasepaint and asked her mother, none to quietly, "Can I ask what they are?" Mom said yes so over she walked the 3 feet to where we stood.

"What are you?" she asked each of us individually.

We replied in turn, "A ghost mermaid."

She remained respectfully skeptical.

The halfway point of the parade is on a side street, just past the reviewing stand, next to the Cyclone roller coaster. There's about half a block without spectators where one can regroup or hike up one's descending froth of tulle (ahem) before the boardwalk portion of the festivities begins. You don't want to be underprepared for that.

Untitled A moment after we shook off the confusion of the review I caught sight of our curious friend again. She was not asking questions anymore. She was, in fact, sobbing. Latched onto her helpless father's neck she wailed and lamented in a genuine way, though not yet quite out of control. I don't know whether she'd tripped or been disappointed, or what but at that point in the day I was tired and thirsty and sweaty and discombobulated. The whole collapsing into a heap of tears was understandable.

We had saved back some strands of special silver beads to throw when we got to the boardwalk. I dipped into the stash and untangled one string from the pack. Hurrying over to our flagging fishy fellow I gently touched her back and told her what a good job she was doing. When she looked up, shushing while she decided what she thought this big, toothy buttinsky, I quickly slid the beads over her head and told her something about how we thought she deserved them. Then I told her to come on along and join us because the best part of the parade was right up that ramp.

On my way to catch up to the rest of the ghosts, who were muscling our cart over the curb, a photographer swung by me and quietly said, "That was nice. Well done."

He might be right but I didn't have time to look back and see if it worked. I never saw my 2nd favorite* mermaid again. I'm just going to believe she took the boardwalk by storm.

Imp Mermaid

*Alita will, of course, always be my favorite mermaid.

Quick Run Down

I'll be back later with a Mermaid Story but for now I want to just see if I can get to 10 things with the medicines and supplements I'm taking now. (Let the spam comments flow!)

1. Astelin nose spray

2. Antihistimine of my choice (currently Allegra)

3. Vitamin C

4. Vitamin D3 (8000 - 10000 units per day)

5. Rhodiola

6. Candida Cleanse

7. Grapefruit Seed Extract

8. Acidophilus

9. Garlic Extract

Man, so close. You notice what's not on that list, though? Advil or Aleve. I'm used to taking those fairly regularly and of late they haven't been needed at all. Turns out I never had migraines really, it was just my sinuses trying to kill me.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Downgraded Like Greece

Saving The DaySometimes even the smallest upgrade can make the biggest difference. Pony Express and I share an antique Mad Men-style electric hand beater. I was thrilled to discover I had custody of it last week when it was time to make Alita's birthday cupcakes. I often dream of having a fancy stand mixer but, honestly, when you've tried to incorporate powdered cocoa into a stiff sugary mixture with only the aid of boiling water and a wooden spoon, that little hand mixer is pretty ding danged miraculous! It cut my work load at least in half and I had more fun, too.

Last year at the Mermaid Parade we were gifted with an enormous upgrade. It was like giving a person with a 1995 Sentra a shiny new Prius. The upgrade was named Mark.

Mark is an engineer by education, he's run a theatre company, and he's now a recognized, certified, employable expert in many facets of the IT industry. He's a solver, is what I'm saying. First we couldn't get the birthday candles lit so he pulled up a breath-sensitive lightbulb app on his phone and we held that over a cupcake for the birthday girl. Then he made sure our group number was visible as we marched. He pushed the cart full of our crap and wouldn't let anyone else help even when we went to the beach after the parade. I knew at the time that we were lucky as a death row pit bull meeting Sean Casey but the lesson didn't genuinely slide home until this year's parade.

Untitled For a successful parade for us we need stuff. We need not to be sunburned. We need to be hydrated. We need to be beach ready and dinner ready. We have make up needs and birthday needs and personal hygiene needs. So we need a cart to haul our needs so we aren't obscuring our costumes with purses and backpacks and other saddlebag equivalents. Still, if you're pushing the cart, it's hot, sweaty work and it does obscure your costume to some small extent. It's not exactly the glamor position on the crew.

Also, I like to take pictures. I need to be mobile and have my hands free for that. The parasol I used this year was brilliant for sun protection. Between that and an old oxford shirt for the beach I had one small spot of mild burning but nothing else. It was a personal best. However, it made it hard to take photos, hard to push the cart, and almost impossible to do both.

So I asked the other adults for help but that made me worry. I want everyone to have a good time. Now I know they're reasonable folk and the cart does contain all our stuff but still and all, I worry. At it's origin I think it's that I love tradition. I love that we do this every year and I'm afraid that if everyone doesn't have the. best. time. EVAR. then our tradition will come to an end. Not to mention how nervous it makes me when someone gets mad. The what ifs abound. The end result of the parasol and the camera and the shared cart pushing is that I didn't take as many pictures as I usually do. I felt rushed and weird even though I was having fun and I found it super hard to focus, if you'll pardon the expression, on documenting the occasion. There are a couple of pictures of me, some I like a lot, but the overall effect of the parade isn't in my camera.

UntitledMark had to work this year. Don't think for a minute I blame him for my shortcomings. I am, if possible, enormously more grateful that I have such a great problem solver and all around helpful and enthusiastic dude as a friend. This is all simply to say, you were missed, man, from your cheerful smile to your ingenius hacks. I hope you'll join us again and you won't have to work so hard when you do.

I've got some ideas for how to do better and relieve the burden next year. But that's for another post.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Story Dam


Busy busy weekend. Not enough time to do more than tweet, really. Expect many pictures of the Mermaid Parade this week. Not a few stories, either. We've got the SUMMER photo challenge happening (still time to join!). I've got a busy week ahead, too, with work and singing and being an audience member and selling caramel and making sure my dog hasn't forgotten he has a grown up. Keep the faith. I'll pop up when I can.

I Love When This Happens

Friday, June 22, 2012

Mermaid-ready FeetAs I walked to the train this morning in the hot sun I started composing a post about my friend, Michael, who died last June. He spent the last few years of his life quadraplegic due to an accident. Re-friending him after the accident taught me, maybe both of us, a lot. There's much to say, my side of the story, my story to tell, but I hadn't felt ready to talk about it while he was alive.

A few more steps on I realized I was thinking about him because it was Friday. For almost five years, nearly every Friday, my day centered on whether I was meeting Michael for a movie. I became suddenly resentful that he was gone because if he was here I bet we'd have been watching Brave like half the people I'm friends with on Facebook. Resentful just a moment before I started to cry.

A lot of my friends, both on and off line, have been saying, "I just can't stop crying." One added, "It's like I'm leaking."

2012 has been, thus far, a very heavy year. I stole that descriptor from an actor-friend. He described a recent triumphant role as his "heavy man" and felt the joy of his lightness when the man was gone. This year has been weighty and ponderous. It's like the monster in a movie stalking us all on stomping feet, occasionally swiping at us but never predictably.

Maybe that makes it like any other year.

They all feel new, though, don't they?

So...I miss Michael. I wish my friends weren't crying. Still, though, I'm excited for tomorrow's mermaid shenanigans. My costume is assembled. Our departure time is set. My nails, all 20 of them, are silvered. Birthday cupcakes are nestled in tupperware ready for sharing and bribing and celebrating. We will laugh. We will laugh so long and so loud that we won't hear the steady tread of the monster.

He can't kill our joy.

Thursday, June 21, 2012


Halfway There

She was only a few days into being 10 in these photos. Today she turns 11. Soon she'll be so big I'll be able to make her carry me like I used to carry her.


Happy Birthday my fine friend! I love you.

I know I know

Thumbs UpStarting to get a little warmish, huh?

We're probably going to top 100F in some parts of New York City today. For this I am actually kind of grateful. I was worried it'd never get warm (in between the times I was worried we'd all broil like fish) this summer. You're getting a lot of advice from your journalists these days, I'm sure, and it's good, too. You should drink a bunch of water, not drink alcohol while sunbathing in the middle of Main Street, and check on Grandma frequently. Let me give you a couple of other tips, too, because I believe that, even though you may not love the heat like I do, you can tolerate it better if you quit blowing hot air*.

 - Slow. The fuck. Down. You might be late for some stuff today. You might not get some things done. That's OK. Everyone is moving slower today because it's too hot to move fast. Just do your best. If you go out on a run today and then complain of the heat I will be forced to guffaw in your face. You don't want more hot air in your face.

 - Don't stay in a super cooled environment too long. It's only going to make going out in the heat feel worse for the comparison. It also, according to my unscientific calculations, makes it harder to adjust to the heat. If you're forced to be in a place that's arctic, say it's your office, then make sure to take time to go out in the middle of the day so you can acclimate yourself a little. Walk a couple of blocks and get yourself a treat.

 - Speaking of treats, this is the day you're allowed to have as much ice cream, sorbet, slushie, shaved ice, iced coffee as you want. Don't miss the chance! If you choose small servings you'll be able to finish them before they melt. Then you can choose a different treat!

 - Really do follow the energy guidelines about setting your home air conditioner. I haven't turned mine on yet, and I don't plan to, but when I do I set it at 78F or 80F. Then I use fans to move the air around the room. If you don't move the air it's going to take more work from the AC (and more money from you) to feel cool.

 - You should have at least one fan, preferably oscillating, directed at your bed.

 - Just before you go to bed jump into a cool shower. It doesn't have to be frigid but make sure you spend enough time in there that you get thoroughly wet down, even (especially) your hair. Go directly to bed in front of your (preferably oscillating) fan and do your best to calm your mind and fall asleep before the miracle cooling properties of evaporation wear off.

 - Soak a washcloth in water and ring it out until it's not dripping but just barely not. Fold it up so it doesn't take up too much space in the freezer. Once it's frozen you can bring it out, unfold it, and lay it on any part of your body to cool you off. Bonus cooling when you perform this action in front of your (preferably oscillating) fan. If you're hard core you can also use those reusable ice packs for injuries. I don't recommend frozen veggies in a bag simply because it's a waste of frozen veggies in bag.

 - Think cool, happy, funny thoughts. Lighten up. Let me link you to some things I think are funny in case you need a kick start.

Tweets from hockey players reacting to Lebron James on-court histrionics.
Protest signs from the capital of MI after a legislator was silenced for using the word VAGINA. 
Retail sign possibly arranged by Peter Pan.
No-bake lemon truffles. (Probably won't make you laugh but I bet they take your mind off the heat.)
Hilarious (or possibly creepy) photo of a sleepy giraffe.
I don't know about you but the way these kids are smiling in these presidential photo opps makes me smile, too.
A giggle for anyone who has ever lived with someone who is never ready to leave the house when it's time.
Honestly, this one's more of an Awwwwwwwww than a laugh but still worth the click.
Let me start you down a rabbit hole with this one. It's one of many videos of Lance the Corgi doing tricks. What's funnier than a corgi walking backwards? You're about to find out!

OK, keep breathing everyone. You'll be fine. I promise.

*It's different when I bellyache about the cold because my tears keep me warm, like peeing in your wetsuit.

**Picture of me telling Queen Bee she didn't have to come rescue me. That ocean there is off the coast of Maine so there was a better-than-average chance my feet would freeze right off my ankles.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Theme Week!

AnchoredI didn't plan it this way but apparently I'm just going to talk about happiness this week. This is not because the world around me has been injecting happiness into my life at every turn but more because I keep having Happiness Project-related things speak to me.

"Happiness comes not from having more, not from having less, but from wanting what you have." - Gretchen Rubin

There's so much in there to work on I could do a whole degree in it. My mom wants all her stuff but does she want the stuff or does she want the security of having "enough" stuff? I want all my sentimental gew gaws but do I want the gews and gaws or do I either not want the giver to be mad at me or not want to forget the attached sentiment? Do people who are expert purgers want the space or do they just not want to be reminded of some things?

I haven't even broached the subject of Costco yet.

Let's think about that for a while. If you come up with anything I need to know please speak up.

I'll be back later with a picture or two.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

10 Happy Things of a Tuesday

UntitledIn keeping with my reading material I thought it'd be a good day to list about happiness. I almost listed about adoptable dogs so don't be surprised if you see that, too, before day's end. I wound up doing two lists of 5 instead of one list of 10.

List 1: Things that will make me happy in the long term (and might create some frustration or unhappiness [read: hard work] in the short term. 

1. Becoming a certified dog trainer.

2. Losing a little weight/fitting into my clothes better.

3. Working as a freelancer (dog training, piano lessons, virtual assistant, caramel storyteller, social media maven, blogger, photographer)

4. Solving my recurring health problems.

5. Overhauling my home for maximum pleasure and efficiency.

List 2: Things that will make me happy in the short term ( I thought this would be the easier list to write. It was not. It would only have been easy if I could have made every item food which seemed like a bad idea.)

1. Chocolate.

2. Ice cream. (With sprinkles.)

3. Being given the day off starting

4. Receiving a piece of fun mail.

5. Going outside to sit in the sun.  (Bring on the heat!)

Monday, June 18, 2012

Happy? Now?

Day 144: What I Read TodayLast year at Blogher I saw Gretchen Rubin moderate an inspiring panel with Brene Brown, Mr. Lady, and Gluten Free Girl. If you don't know Rubin she wrote a book about her year long Happiness Project. The project was something that my gut instantly called "NOT FOR ME!" while my brain just held on to the idea and held on to it and held on to it some more.

Back in Brooklyn I wandered my local bookstore and found where they kept copies of the book. I didn't even read the blurbs on the back. I might have ruffled the pages briefly as though they were hair on a particularly sweet toddler. I certainly didn't buy it!

At Christmas I bought and gave one copy of the book on the strength of having seen the intriguing session at Blogher. I thought, well, it's not me and it's not really this giftee either but what if she reads it and it works?

At April's World Book Night party I found myself at loose ends behind the champagne table. That table was right in front of where they keep The Happiness Project. I picked up the lone shelved copy and held it for comfort. I didn't have to buy it, I told myself, I could decide later. With that armor in hand I went out and mingled and met a couple of people and had a fine time. When it came time to leave I was too embarrassed to re-shelve the book and too grateful for the party to leave without buying anything so it came home with me.

The book has hopped around my apartment from pillar to post for two months now. Last weekend I took it to New Hampshire with me just in case I finished my previous book before I got home. I didn't. And I bought two new books at my favorite indie bookstore up there.

When it came time to pick my next book to read, though, I didn't read any of those books. I didn't download anything from the library. I cautiously fingered open the cover of The Happiness Project and started in. I'm about two-thirds of the way through now. If you asked and made me answer I'd probably still say it isn't exactly my thing.

Except I can't stop thinking about it.

Untitled I don't have an urge to do a year-long happiness project for myself with lists and charts and assignments and accountability. I do find myself keeping mental lists and charts based on Gretchen's project, though. Could I be more enthusiastic about a task? Am I giving someone the benefit of the doubt? What would happen if I just smiled instead? When can I make time to clean out my fucking closets?! The more I ask these questions and the more I claim that a happiness project just isn't my cup of tea the more I hear the words in the book when she says all the same things, when she jumps - with varying degrees of success - all the same hurdles.

What I'm saying here is, even though I haven't finished the book yet, I want to recommend it to you. I know it's not your kind of thing. It's not mine either. Totally not. Except for the part where I'm absorbing the teachings into my daily life slowly but surely. Ribin has an interesting support website as well. My favorite part is the Tips and Quizzes section. I've read the "Want To Know Yourself Better" questionnaire probably 4 times now while remaining too afraid of my own answers to write them down.

2012 has been particularly difficult for a lot of people I know. It's been a bit of a slog for me, too. With fear behind me and dread ahead I'm having a tough time living in and enjoying the moment. My now is being tainted. We've got a lot of tough political machinations grinding away that seems to pelt the eyes (and heart) like hail, too. It's hard to stay positive. It's harder to see the good in the people around us. We're constantly being told that now is the time to fight for our little corner of our world. Some might say this is no time at all to concentrate on happiness.

Others might say this is the best time.

Sunday, June 17, 2012



Sometimes the grapevine is a problem. Remember how long we spent redirecting the rumor that Bu was dead? Years after Emily died people still ask me where my other dog is. There's only so much fun I can get out of telling them she's in the living room and she never barks like Eddie does.

Other times it's a blessing. Yesterday Viggo was hit and killed by a car near his country house. One email with a request not to make the humans talk about it and we can use the grapevine to make sure they don't have to.

It goes without saying that every pet and person you know should get treats and love. (But I said it anyway.)

*This is the last photo I took of him. I'm really glad I happened to swing by the stoop that day.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Cool Kids

The Next Generation of E

I've been thinking about the kids in my life. It's summer, they're out and about, some of them are old enough to be on Facebook. It's terrifying.

Then I take pictures like this and all I can think is, "Shit, these guys are so fucking cool."

Thursday, June 14, 2012

What Do You Do?

UntitledI always feel a little weird around the parents days. You know, Mothers' Day and Fathers' Day (I have chosen my own apostrophe placement, take that as you will)? I send cards. I don't send even a little gift because it seems...silly? That's not the right word but I don't know what is. It's a day. Like Valentines Day it's a Hallmark designed holiday but I exchanged cards with my dad for that up until I was about 28 so I'm not totally against those things. Auntie Blanche and Aunt Rena used to send me St. Patrick's Day cards and Halloween cards. I'm pretty much all for anything that means someone receives snail mail. I read about people sending off fancy packages or ordering flowers or planning a gigantic BBQ, though, and I wonder if I'm doing it wrong.

I mean, there is no wrong, there's just what you do and I own what I do but I did feel the need to check in. I don't remember my parents buying big things for their parents on these days. I'm pretty sure there were cards but I don't remember those either so perhaps gift giving happened and I just didn't know it. So I send a card, usually a blank one with a short message written in my own hand, sometimes even a homemade one. I know, call me Martha.

What I'm getting at, though, is this: what do you do? No judgment, I'm just interested.

Now, I have to run. I'm about to miss the deadline for mailing a Fathers' Day card.

*Disclaimer: This is not my dad. I was too busy eating Lobster Frittata to take a picture of my dad last weekend. Oops.

*Explanation: This is my uncle and one of his grandsons.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Photo Challenge: CELEBRATE

Here we are again with more fantastic photos to share. I love doing this, you guys. Thanks so much!

Comment, be free with your love. Scroll down for the next prompt. (We've got 119 people in our Flickr group. Who wants to be lucky 120?)

all of us, celebratin'...
Falnfenix entered this one and another, more formal, one from the same event. I love this stolen moment of hilarity the best. It makes me giggle with them.

Our Suebob is quite the soccer hooligan. I love all the motion she caught in her fellow footie fans.

I think that Our Cindy and her Chris were just celebrating dinner in this one. It's fantastic when that's reason enough.

I'm pretty sure that this is a shot from the last time Our Lisa and I were face to face real life-style. It was a glorious celebration.

Earlier this year we celebrated my friend Cindy (not the one above). She died just over a year ago and is still greatly missed. Our Sara made me this lovely bouquet in remembrance.

early June strawberries
Our Janet has been celebrating everything from weight loss, to summer, to friends and neighbors with pics of fabulous food. I could slurp these strawberries right up!

Well, you know what happens before our next deadline? SUMMER! Officially. I love summer. I crave summer. I want to marry summer and have its babies and if you know me at all you know I don't ever want to have anyone's babies. So SUMMER is our next prompt. I'll show you mine if you show me yours!

Please add your photos to our Flickr photo pool by 9am on Tuesday June 26th for posting on Wednesday June 27th. Let me know if you have any questions!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Heart Vignette

PashMy cousin has an annual lobster bake in Maine. It's attended by a wide variety of folks, many of whom I don't know except as lobster bake folk. I see them all in snapshots basically, even when I don't take their picture.

There used to be a lot more dogs in attendance. Many years ago one couple had a harrowing night in a bed and breakfast with their two Bernese Mountain Dogs after the pups had slurped on lobster shells all afternoon. A jovial Russian dude used to bring his curly coated retriever (I think) Vasia. Suddenly one year I commented on Vasia and he had to tell me that this dog was Pasha. Vasia had been hit and killed by a car.

The above photo is of Pasha. He's 11-years-old. I haven't seen him for two years now. We don't have any special connection except that memory of his first lobster bake appearance and my gaffe. I love to watch him leap around in the shallow waves chasing rocks that the kids can't help but throw into the water. I love to scritch his ears when he's on lockdown after climbing the pebbly beach for so long that his paws bleed.

This year there was no rock chasing. The urge was there, you could tell, but the body couldn't comply. He did some swimming, though, and still refused to sit down and chill until we all settled to eat. I know there's no rhyme or reason to it but seeing him hobbled made me wildly sad. He's a tough guy, I might see him next year. I'm going to be crushed when he's gone. Simply inconsolable.

Monday, June 11, 2012


Sure, I'd like to tell you something delightful about my weekend or perhaps discuss the state of theatre or the movie I think every voter should have to watch. But I'm watching the Tonys on DVR and I'm about to make salad for lunches this week and I'm all sung out after working hard today.


So...have some pictures. Tell me how you're doing.


Take your time, I'm going to be practicing my Tony acceptance speech for a bit.


Thursday, June 07, 2012


Tulle Tuffet

Last night I got down all my old Mermaid Parade stuff and put it together with my new Mermaid Parade stuff. The good news is that the base of the skirt still fits. (HOSANNA! Can I get an Amen? Really wasn't sure that would happen.) Then, of course, I had to begin the process of removing the previous tulle embellishments so I can start creating some new ones. Not sure if I told you but last year my skirt was both professionally sewn and MacGuyverishly stapled. So I used nail scissors (in the absence of a seam ripper) until I got to some staples and then I used my fingernails. It's slow going but I'm getting there. Eventually I had to stop for dinner.

That is apparently when this happened. And that was his resting place of choice all night long. I never have a serious urge to get a puppy. I always feel as though the puppy raising process would beat me down. I wouldn't enjoy the cute little beebee because I'd be exhausted and frustrated and smelling like pee. There comes a time with every dog, though, when I suddenly and painfully wish I'd at least known them as a puppy. I want a photo of Emily with the fuzzy hair and no control over her ears. I want a commemorative portrait of Ed when he could fit in the palm of my hand. I want video of Bobby trying to go down steps when he was so young his ears could flop over his eyes.

Then I remember that Bobby is here now because some asshole never took him out of a crate until he tied him up outside a local vet's office. He was malnourished and developmentally delayed and a hot fucking mess. That makes me feel better. That he's here, not that he was a mess.

Wouldn't tiny puppy Eddie resting on a tuffet of tulle have been awesome, though?

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

NWW: In His Rightful Place


I had a great idea for a post today. It was based on a survey about happiness. Then I started to draft it in my head while I was in the ladies' room and realized that the past couple of days have been too full of facing my shortcomings. Just don't have it in me to do more and do it in public. So here is a picture of my dog. On a pedestal. Where he belongs.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

10 Thingety Thing Things

The Tongue1. Thank you to everyone who gave me feedback on the Italy trip. I'm working on a place to keep all this information so I can use it wisely.

2. I am in love with a wine sold only in Maine (It's the dry blueberry I like). I will be in Maine this weekend for a few hours. I'm working on tracking down some of this wine.

3. I got out the hula hoop for Ed last night. It seems that one benefit of going to agility classes is that he now knows exactly what the hoop is for. He doesn't try to sneak under or around it for the treat anymore. Heck, I can get him to go through one way then back the other way before I give him a treat now. This is impossible to put on video when I'm the only human present.

3a. I am now seriously considering putting "Enter my dog in an agility competition" on my life list.

4. Tonight the accompanist and I talk about the possibility of him actually doing the show with me. If he's amenable we'll talk dates in August. I'm nervous but in an excited way.

Miss Carly5. George Zimmerman's lawyers are saying that he lied to the court about his qualifications for being released on bond because activists made him. That is...ridiculous. I certainly hope the court sees it as such and keeps him safe and sound until trial.

6. Our Sueb0b has come up with a very creative way to decrease the importance of one's internal editor. It's creepy but I think it'll work!

7. I haven't seen the season finale of Game of Thrones so no spoilers, please. This spoiler-free gif made me laugh, though!

8. There's a debate in the Sandusky trial about whether victims' identities should be kept confidential. I should say there was a debate. Shakesville talked about the ruling and why it's harmful to all rape trials.

9. Apparently the other day the New York Times lead off an article by saying that men invented the internet. I pretty much love everything about the woman who told them to get their facts straight.

10. Sometimes I have a lot of trouble reading poems on the internet. It's a different kind of concentration for me, I think. This Adrienne Rich poem posted by Irretrievably Broken grabbed me, though. I'd like to leave you with that. I think my new motto might be, "I am wood with a gift for burning."

Monday, June 04, 2012

We Go Adventuring Eventually

Day 68: Packing AgainPerhaps you heard me groan on Thursday. That's when my card got charged for 3 round trip plane tickets to Italy. If you did I hope you also heard me sigh and giggle that night as I researched (sort of) affordable hotels. The hotel part finally made me excited about the trip.

This is a life list item. It's two actually. I have never been to Italy and want to go and eat and enjoy. I told my mother I would bring her to Italy for her 70th birthday. She's 72 now. My life list contains two items one after the other (in no particular order) and they are, "go on at least one more trip with mom" and "go on at least one more trip with dad." (AT LEAST!) I think it will be wise not to attach dad's next trip to a specific birthday. I'd love it if we could go next year. Cross off the items and go while we can still walk enough to be good tourists. (OK, dad, where do you want to go?) Then we can plan the trip after that!

UntitledOn the evening of September 5 mom, Queen Bee, and I will depart New York for Rome. We will spend a couple of days there then take the train to Florence. We'll spend at least three days in Florence so we can do a day trip to Tuscany before we train up to Venice. I want to see Venice before it sinks. We'll do as many sites as we can stand, because who knows when any of us will get back there, but mostly I want to eat and drink my way through Italy. I want to take photos of food and wine while eating food and sipping wine. I want to snack and taste and consume the country to bring back with me.

It's expensive. I'm trying to make peace with that. My fears about money are cyclical. I have to be careful to catch the right swing or rise for any endeavor. Some days it's just money and you can't take it with you. Other days I'm going to be eating cat food when I'm 65. And not the good stuff my cats eat, the store brand crap that's mostly sawdust. (No, honestly, I spent a dog walk this week debating whether, in this day and age of hoity toity pet care, it would actually still be cheaper to live on pet food. Conclusion: Yes, but only the crap.)

The truth of it is, though, that you can't take it with you and there are no guarantees in life and I can go on this trip right now so I better quit bellyaching and go and enjoy it. While, of course, choosing my hotels carefully. So, anyone been to Italy? Did you stay in a fabulous lower cost hotel? I found what look to be wonderful options on The Rough Guide site but personal recommendations are always the best. We'd like to stay in places that remind us we're in Italy, not just any concrete box, but we'd also like to save more of our pennies for the aforementioned food and wine.

Dudes, I'm going to Italy!

Friday, June 01, 2012

Size Doesn't Matter

Big MistakeI made a mistake today. I forgot some information and made a public comment on the internet that might have hurt some people I don't know very well while they are going through a rough time. I might never have known but another stranger contacted me privately and, extremely kindly, gave me all the right information.

Before we go on, I'm not looking for advice. I did what I'm comfortable with and I'm sticking to it. I thought it'd be a good conversation to have so I offer it up for discussion.

The way I see it I had two options. Ok, three if I we want to allow for me being a complete asshole.

1. Asshole option, do nothing, leave the comment up and either not care about hurting someone or hope that they'd write my hurtfulness off to ignorance.

2. Delete the comment and, either publicly or privately, contact the people I hurt and apologize. If you know anything about dramatic arc you know I didn't choose this. My logic here is that I don't know these people well and bringing up the gaffe again is just poking them in the bullet wound to clear my conscience. That's all very well for me but it's not much for righting a wrong.

Here's an example on a much, much smaller level. A couple of months ago, for the first time in my whole life, someone mistook me for pregnant and congratulated me. Obviously we were both embarrassed. I even said, "Oh no, I'm just fat." Everything I said, though, was in the service of shutting down further discussion of my weight and childfree choices. The other woman, after apologizing, brought up the incident no less than three separate times over the course of the evening. Every time I had more trouble shutting her down. Clearly she felt that, since it was out there, we should talk about it to normalize it whereas I, regretting the slight fashion risk I'd taken, wanted to not think about it anymore and just point myself to the end of the night when I could bury that dress in the hamper.

3. I deleted the comment and said nothing. I wasn't comfortable leaving it out there in the world where, even accidentally skimming the thread, it could cause more sting. I'm not stupid enough to think that this soothes any hurt I already caused but at least it can't cut again. If it's on the radar of the people in question, and it might not be, they have way bigger fish to fry right now, they'll know I'm aware of my mistake and I'm sorry because I deleted the comment. I won't forget I screwed up. I'm usually better than this but nobody's perfect. I'll have to try not to do it again.

Really hard.

Now for the discussion part. What would you do? Have I missed any choices? Feel free to give examples.

Thanks for hearing me out.

*I include this photo because it was an enormous fucking mistake. After a morning of lapping up gross puddle water Bobby was wildly sick. He's better now, though. Not sure he's going to learn from it.