29 Things a Birthday Does Not Automatically Convey

  1. The ability to step over power cords with an injured leg without tripping
  2. IMG_3194Growing out of eating frozen vegetables as a snack
  3. The ability to function without coffee
  4. Fame
  5. Fortune
  6. A love of doing dishes
  7. Wisdom
  8. The ability to put on toenail polish neatly
  9. IMG_3193Magical skills on a guitar that you haven’t practiced in weeks
  10. The resolution to separate your whites and your colors
  11. Neat handwriting
  12. Excellence in returning phone calls
  13. The ability to control the coffee maker with your mind
  14. All other superpowers
  15. Motivation
  16. Instant healing of injuries
  17. Good taste in music
  18. IMG_3195Loss of delight over new ways to organize books
  19. A memory that never forgets to water the plants
  20. A liking for even numbers
  21. Carpets that vacuum themselves
  22. The ability to play an F chord in time
  23. Love of taking out the trash
  24. Getting over the delight of finding an unexpected chocolate bar
  25. Growing out of a love of really, really bad puns
  26. IMG_3196Better silly faces
  27. The ability to be okay with pictures that are slightly crooked
  28. The ability to write 10-item lists like normal people
  29. Being normal

Thank goodness for that. Happy Birthday, all you September 4thers!


Lady Sense and the Art of Shaving

Clipping coupons is dangerous if you are even moderately a feminist. Let me explain.

I’ve posted before about my frustrations with advertising to ladies:

Communication Skills

Men and women communicate differently.


Men and women can benefit from seminars targeted to their particular strengths and weaknesses.


Funny thing: “Communication Skills for Men” does not exist. Just sayin’.

Back to the coupons. Let’s begin with a few basic premises:

Screen Shot 2015-04-11 at 10.19.24 AMMen and women shave their bodies differently.


Men and women can benefit from razors targeted to their particular shaving needs.


Now, for the love of all that is holy, can someone please explain to me why the selling points for men are “comfort, closeness, and control,” while having a “scented handle” is the selling point for women???

“Well, I was going to use this other razor that gave me a clean shave and didn’t nick my ankle bone, but, you know, when I’m done shaving, my hand just smells like soap. *hopeless gesture*  How will I ever feel like a lady?”

“Who would settle for shorter prep time? Shaving my legs used to take 15 minutes, but now I’m not satisfied unless I pause between every stroke to sniff my tropically scented razor handle. 30 minutes or nothing, baby.”

“I nicked my knee five times, but I don’t even care because my razor smells so good.”

Said no one ever.

This is why Ellen remains my hero: Bic Pens for Women


I think it’s time for me to give up my coupon clipping and do something a little less controversy-riddled for a while. Like watching the news.

A Little Snark with Your Chocolate?

This, in and of itself, advertised yesterday on the radio, is enough snark to last me for at least another month of winter.

Thank you, Vermont Teddy Bears.



The description. The description is killing me. You have to read it.

Please note the thoughtful disclaimer: “Contains small parts. Not suitable for children.” That–and no other reason–is why it’s not suitable for children.

Happy Valentines Day, lovers of snark everywhere!

Siri Doesn’t Get Word Nerds

This is such a perfect example of my life:

Setting: home; the evening after (yet another) dentist visit

Characters: two lovers of the English language


Siri doesn’t get word nerds.

Interrobangs are awesome.

Ten minutes later: victory to the craving.


All in a day’s work.

5 Ways Getting a Graduate Degree Is Like Buying a Car

One of the highlights of December 2014 was making the last of my student loan payments. I felt like the Genie at the end of Aladdin exclaiming, “I’m freeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!” Now, looking back at my years of student debt, I’ve been struck by the similarities between paying for a graduate degree and buying a car.

And no, I’m not talking about the monetary costs. Please. That Seattle Slew was slain a long time ago. No, the the five ways a graduate degree is like a new car are:

  1. No matter how much they try to regulate the system, exhaust happens.
  2. You will live and die by your brakes [sic].
  3. Your blind spots are always bigger than you think.
  4. Breakdowns are inevitable and often occur during the holidays.
  5. No first-time buyer really knows what’s under the hood.

The 12 Gifts Adulthood Gave to Me

On the first day of Christmas, adulthood gave to me…a dishwasher full of clean plates

On the second day of Christmas, adulthood gave to me…unlimited museums

On the third day of Christmas, adulthood gave to me…hole-free socks

On the fourth day of Christmas, adulthood gave to me…sleeping in ’til 8

On the fifth day of Christmas, adulthood gave to me…paid off student loans!

On the sixth day of Christmas, adulthood gave to me…a root canal treatment

On the seventh day of Christmas, adulthood gave to me…one dental crown

On the eighth day of Christmas, adulthood gave to me…one empty inbox

On the ninth day of Christmas, adulthood gave to me…leftover pasta

On the tenth day of Christmas, adulthood gave to me…free time to vacuum

On the eleventh day of Christmas, adulthood gave to me…warm days (low heat bill!)

On the twelfth day of Christmas, adulthood gave to me…end-of-year giving

…and the funny thing about adulthood is this: these were some of my favorite gifts of 2014.  Freedom!!!!

Paid in full 121214

Nominated for the Pushcart Prize!

From vox poetica:

12.05.14 Posted in today’s words by

It never gets easier, but it still makes me happy! I’m pleased to announce this year’s vox poetica nominations for the Pushcart Prize:

Burning a Hole in Daylight by Harry Calhoun
Holding On by Jeanette Cheezum
Moon by Neil Ellman
Saying please by Susan Sweetland Garay
Dive With the Living Things by Jennifer Greenholt
Because Boots by AJ Huffman

Please join me in congratulating these writers and celebrating the art we produce in the vox poetica community!


This is an incredible honor. I’m so excited for the opportunity to share my poems and hear that they are read and enjoyed! Thank you, vox poetica!

Gabaldon’s Fifty Shades of Red

While movie sequels sustain the box office, so too, book series are at the forefront of the latest crazes: from Harry Potter to The Hunger Games, Twilight to Divergent. Let’s face facts: we like to binge (*cough* House of Cards).

I am no exception. Despite reservations, I picked up Diana Gabaldon’s novel Outlander a few months ago and plowed through the 850-page tome, winced over the last hundred pages like so many fans before me, and by the end, was reaching reluctantly for the next.

About a quarter of the way through book two, I began to realize that other readers who had described the series as “Fifty Shades of Gray in Scotland” were insightful but mistaken: the real connection is not the racy content, but rather the authors’ shared fascination with color hues. (I suspect secret side careers with Pantone®.)

Screen Shot 2014-11-16 at 10.42.16 AMI am speaking, of course, of Gabaldon’s love affair with redheads. Seriously. Someone had it bad for Pantone 8024c and 185u. With no further ado, I bring you a sampling of Fifty Shades of Red:

Outlander (Dell, 1992)

  •  “‘It’s all right.’ But he had gone pale beneath the coppery stubble of his beard.”
  • “Jamie MacTavish ducked automatically as he came through the door, bright hair darkened by the rain to the color of ancient bronze.”
  • “He glowed like red amber against the room’s darkness as the wick caught and the light swelled behind him.”
  • “His back was straight as an alder sapling and his hair shone under the sun like a helmet of burnished metal.”

Dragonfly in Amber (Dell, 1993)

  • “But not the remarkable height, the cascade of waist-length red hair, sparked with gold and copper, streaked with amber and cinnamon, curling casually around face and shoulders like a mantle.”
  • “He noted with approval that the sun lit her thick single braid with glints of copper and gold.”
  • “‘No, I’ll do,’ he said, face invisible behind the tangle of roan and cinnamon.”
  • “I sniffed his hair, where the scent of tobacco lingered among the ruddy waves. The candlelight shot the red with strands of gold…”
  • “I rubbed the lock of hair between thumb and forefinger, splaying the cut ends in a small spray of roan and amber.”
  • “The small, warm breeze stirred the drying tufts of soft cinnamon hair beneath his arms, and ruffled the copper and gold that waved gently over his wrists, where they braced his head.”


**Disclaimer: Despite turning crimson at the thought, I am still reading these florid tales, currently in the middle of book three. Guilty. I do love my PMS (Pantone Matching System). Don’t hold it against me. I work in print production, after all.

Review: Luka and the Fire of Life

51X+98yyn+LLuka and the Fire of Life: a Novel
by Salman Rushdie (Random House, 2010)

Remember what happened when David Lynch and William Blake went out for tea?

Well, now imagine that Salman Rushdie emceed a brunch-time conversation between Neil Gaiman, Norton Juster, Lewis Carroll, and Paulo Coelho.

The result would be Rushdie’s Luka and the Fire of Life: delight-filled and whimsical, linguistically playful and philosophically inquisitive.

This books brings the Magic into Being.