Monthly Archives: October 2011

Flashback Friday: The Great T-Shirt Experiment

If one t-shirt is good, 19 must be really awesome!  As a mom, it’s easy to blur the line between  Things Our Kids Do That Are Wonderful Only To Us versus Things That Have Actual Entertainment Value For People Who Did Not Give Birth To Them.   My undeniable bias aside, I believe this video succeeds in both categories.

This is an oldie but a goodie, made when Henry was only four.  Enjoy!

Leave a comment

Filed under books, movies, YA, writing, comedians, parenting, writing

To Die By Your Side

To all who love bookstores, literary classics, Spike Jones films, felt skeletons, stop-motion animation, references to old Smith songs, and Halloween–

Mourir Auprès de Toi (To Die by Your Side) is for you.  (a collaboation with designer Olympia Le-Tan)

Leave a comment

Filed under books, movies, YA, writing, movies, pop culture, writing

“Waiting On” Wednesday – CATCHING JORDAN by Miranda Kenneally

“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases we’re eagerly anticipating.
This week’s pre-publication “can’t-wait-to-read” selection is:
Catching Jordan

Publication Date:  December 1, 2011

Synopsis (from Goodreads)

What girl doesn’t want to be surrounded by gorgeous jocks day in and day out? Jordan Woods isn’t just surrounded by hot guys, though-she leads them as the captain and quarterback of her high school football team. They all see her as one of the guys, and that’s just fine. As long as she gets her athletic scholarship to a powerhouse university. But now there’s a new guy in town who threatens her starting position… suddenly she’s hoping he’ll see her as more than just a teammate.


Love the concept of a girl on the football team!  Good thing I won’t have to wait too long for this one.  What’s your “waiting on” pick this week?


Filed under books, movies, YA, writing, teenage girls, Waiting on Wednesday, writing, young adult

If Pumpkin Carving is for Kids and Pumpkin Pie is for Grown-ups, Pumpkining’s for Teenagers

If you don’t know what Pumpkining is, chances are you did not grow up in Chelmsford, Massachusetts.  Pumpkining may exist in other towns, but aside from my high school friends, no one I’ve met has ever heard of it.

Maybe it’s because I grew up in the suburbs and there wasn’t much to do on weeknights aside from having a friend over under the auspices of “studying together” when really you just wanted company while you watched “Club MTV.”  But it turns out you could only listen to Downtown Julie Brown’s voice for so long before you needed to find something else to do.

So come October, there was Pumpkining—part Robin Hood, part love letter, part excuse to hang out with your friends on a school night.  Technically, you didn’t have to steal the pumpkins, but we always did—usually from a field in the neighboring town of Concord because we were too young to realize that the local farmer was most likely the exception to our blanket generalization that “everyone in Concord was rich, so it wouldn’t matter.”

Once we had a half dozen or so pumpkins stashed in the trunk, the deliveries would begin.  The most important part of Pumkining was the positioning of the car—not right in front of the pumpkinee’s house, but not too far away to make a clean getaway.   Once parked, the pumpkiner would scrawl a Magic Marker message on the pumpkin.  Something along the lines of “Dear Tommy, Did you know Algebra has the word bra in it?  (ha, ha) Happy Halloween!  Love, your Secret Admirer” or something even less clever.  The main thing was to let the pumpkinee know that you were thinking of him, and that you needed to proclaim these affections in the way only a fruit in the gourd family could express.

If someone had a boyfriend, they got first priority.   Crushes came next, then friends.

The point person for each delivery would then slink out of the car (often, my own Oldsmobile Delta 88) and into the crisp fall air, quietly padding across the darkened lawn (unless they hadn’t raked yet, in which case they crunched conspicuously) until they reached the front door.  Once there, the pumpkin would be placed on the pumpkinee’s doorstep, and the door knocked or the bell rung (with urgency, multiple times) at which point the pumpkiner would make a mad dash back to the car, and the driver would peel out (usually before the person had even managed to close the car door) and often to the screams of “Oh my God!  Did you see that?  It was his Dad!”

For all I know, Pumpkining may still be a tradition in Chelmsford, MA.  Maybe we can make it a tradition in all of our towns.

1 Comment

Filed under Halloween, pop culture, teenage girls

Can’t We All Just Agree? (A new blog series about Things We Can All Agree On, right?)

Hey America, can’t we all just agree that fake kids’ handwriting is stupid?    never fooled me with that dumbass backwards “R” and neither do you, every movie and TV show with a handwritten mother’s day card or sloppily crayoned lemonade stand sign.  How about this, art directors – when you want something to look like a child wrote it, use an actual kid.

Also, America, can’t we all just agree that it’s a waste of our tax dollars to use well-paid, highly skilled policemen and women to direct traffic when this same task could be easily accomplished by folks who work for minimum wage?  Every time I see a cop waving for someone to slow down by a road repair project, I wonder why our well-trained, gun-toting law enforcement officers aren’t doing something more important with their time?

Maybe we could even develop a new lower tier branch of public workers (hello, job creation!) known as Traffic Force 2000.  The 2000 doesn’t really mean anything, but it would make the job sound cooler than it really is.  And there could be cool uniforms, too.  And reflective silver sneakers, for safety.

Leave a comment

Filed under books, movies, YA, writing, pop culture, TV shows

Do you have Antisocial Media Disorder?

eFrienda can help. 😉


Leave a comment

Filed under books, movies, YA, writing, comedians, movies, Social media, writing

Teaser Tuesday: BUNHEADS by Sophie Flack

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Here’s my teaser for  BUNHEADS by Sophie Flack :

“Mai is incredibly thin, and Otto uses her as the model for the ideal ballerina body.  I’ve heard that she only eats once a day, and then only white foods.”

Full confession:  I actually just finished this book but totally adored it & wanted to share.   If only I hadn’t quit those ballet lessons when I was four.


Filed under books, movies, YA, writing, teenage girls, writing

F.U. Friday (a companion to Thank-You Thursday)

Most of the time, I try not to be judgmental, even though it’s pretty hard for a smart-alecky gal like me.  I’ve been called out more than once for my “cruel sense of humor,” and it’s true that I like to tease and poke fun.

However, when it comes to sharing these judgments in the public sphere, I err on the side of caution.  I don’t publically tool on reality show stars for their vapidity or fat asses.  And you won’t see me posting caustic remarks on when un-talented people find success.

But that doesn’t mean I’m not bitch-slapping them in my head.  Because I am.  Even though I attempt to rise above it.  Even though I know that by judging others I am ultimately judging myself.   Sigh.

So in an attempt to be less judgmental and more like Deepak Chopra — AND YET — to still allow for the inherent snarkiness that flows deeply through the very core of my being, I have come up with a plan.  Like the ex-smoker who still delights in that once-a-year cigarette, I’ve pared my list of Things to Mock down to two key topics, which I hereby allow myself to judge publically and without restraint.

They are as follows:

  • The state of Ohio
  • Republicans

Leave a comment

Filed under books, movies, YA, writing, movies, pop culture

Thank-You Thursday: an incomplete list of funny people who’ve inspired me

everyone enjoys a good three-part harmony

(in reverse chronological order)

Louis C.K

Sarah Silverman

Tina Fey

Carrier Fisher

David Rakoff


David Sedaris

Jennifer Saunders

Howard Stern

Jerry Seinfeld

Janeane Garofalo

Kids in the Hall

David Letterman

The Simpsons

Those 3 British guys I met while hitchhiking in Lagos, Portugal

William Goldman

Woody Allen

John Hughes

Bill Murray and Harold Ramis

80’s cast of SNL


Alan Alda in MASH

Eddie Murphy’s stand-up specials on HBO

Bill Cosby

My mom

Leave a comment

Filed under books, movies, YA, writing, comedians, pop culture, writing

Waiting on Wednesday: FRACTURE by Megan Miranda

“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.  This week I’m waiting on FRACTURE by Megan Miranda.


Eleven minutes passed before Delaney Maxwell was pulled from the icy waters of a Maine lake by her best friend Decker Phillips. By then her heart had stopped beating. Her brain had stopped working. She was dead. And yet she somehow defied medical precedent to come back seemingly fine—despite the scans that showed significant brain damage. Everyone wants Delaney to be all right, but she knows she’s far from normal. Pulled by strange sensations she can’t control or explain, Delaney finds herself drawn to the dying. Is her altered brain now predicting death, or causing it?

Then Delaney meets Troy Varga, who recently emerged from a coma with similar abilities. At first she’s reassured to find someone who understands the strangeness of her new existence, but Delaney soon discovers that Troy’s motives aren’t quite what she thought. Is their gift a miracle, a freak of nature—or something much more frightening?

Walker Books for Young Readers (January 17, 2012)

Icy Maine waters & coming back from the dead–I’m already getting shivers!  And maybe I’m just judging a book by it’s (gorgeous) cover, but I have a funny feeling that a lot of reviewers will describe FRACTURE as “chilling.”
What’s your pick of the week?


Filed under books, movies, YA, writing, writing