Tuesday, June 30, 2015


Flip flop and Matchbox.  Down on your luck.  Open Road calling.  Don't look back.  Let's blow this pop stand.

Honey I Shrunk the Kids Magical Mystery Tour vibe at KC's #TwinTuesday over here.

Making sure your Tuesday starts out with vim, verve and vibes every week of the year.  That's what we're all about.

Monday, June 29, 2015

The Beach Boy

Jasper Johns Corpse and Mirror #2

Love and Mercy is the movie to see, if you feel like seeing Love and Mercy.  It's about Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys.  I saw the movie with Husbandman and I've now spent considerable time reading about every aspect of this crazy fascinating story.  At first I didn't want to see Love and Mercy because I've been wanting to see Spy and/or Andreas.  Let me tell you something my friends.  I will never regret changing my mind to see Love and Mercy.  The entire cast is fabulous, but let's give a special well deserved shout out to John Cusack, potentially one of my best friends. Also, let's shout out to Husbandman whose clarity about not wanting to see the movies I wanted to see led to an unforgettable, unregrettable ,possibly life changing experience.  We'll probably see Spy and/or Andreas later in the week. 

Sunday, June 28, 2015

The Eulogy

Charles Ray
I've watched President Obama's eulogy for Senator Clementa Pinckney several times.  Each time I'm moved by it.  President Obama warns against slipping back into inaction as the memory of this tragedy fades.  I've been thinking of writing about my experience watching this eulogy.  Come to find out, our wonderful nephew wrote brilliantly about the speech  and I very much like the work he's one with his piece, so long story short, I will simply suggest that you head over here to read his text. You'll be happy you did.  

Friday, June 26, 2015

The Wants

I am happy about the Supreme Court's ruling about Obamacare.  The Prez says Obamacare is "here to stay."  I hope he's right.  But I heard on the news that all the Republicans in the land are against Obamacare and all the Democrats in the land are for it.  I would like to volunteer as a navigator and get some Republicans signed up for Obamacare.

We watched Tiny last night, a documentary about building a tiny house.  I thought it was a pretty good documentary which you should see if you feel like it, but I would rather watch a documentary about living in a tiny house with two or three Savannah cats.  The day to day ins and outs of living in the tiny house with large pets would make for a fascinating tale.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Thursday Creativity Share: Dreamland

Our friend Sam Quinones is a fabulous writer and journalist.  Dreamland is his third book and it's all over the place.  Sam's book has been chosen as best book on the planet by everyone who has reviewed it.  And EVERYBODY has reviewed it.  And everybody has raved about it.

So you're wondering why I haven't featured Dreamland here on Thursday Creativity Share yet?  I'll explain this in one word:  jealousy.  I'm jealous of Sam and his success.  I've been struggling to write a book proposal for almost 2 years, and Sam just pops this runaway bestseller out overnight?  No sane person could argue that jealousy is anything but appropriate in this circumstance. Also, truth be told, I'm afraid that when I read Dreamland, I'll start wanting to try heroin and I don't have time for that right now.  In short, I've now ordered Dreamland (easy peasy lemon squeezey action to take) and I'm 110% positive I will love it.  You should read Dreamland if you want to.

Congratulations to Sam.  I'm getting over my jealousy as it's morphing gradually into super huge button popping pride.  DREAMLAND ROCKS.

Thursday Creativity Share is a wrap.  A brilliant book written by a good friend.  So exciting.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Critique

KC and I are doing something kind of neat over on Facebook.  Not every week, but from time to time, we critique our #TwinTuesday photographs.  Because we love our photos so much, our critiques usually consist of high praise indeed for the amazing jobs we've done.

  While KC admired the texture of the pickle in my photograph in our most recent critique, I felt the placement of her pickle product added some tension to an otherwise rustic, yet adventurous, landscape.

I wish all critique played out this way---full of compliments and positive upbeatery.  I think I'm going to spend some time critiquing myself and others today in just this fashion.  Readers, you show up here, roll up your sleeves, and get the grueling job done with spirit and gusto. Husbandman, this is the finest cup of coffee west of the Rockies.  Self, you woke up with energy, ready to let your freak flag fly.  Writer's Wednesday, we're ready for you.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015


I know everyone's sad that 20 Something left today. I myself have been crying profusely. So a postcard and a pickle might bring us all a little bit of cheer.  Probably couldn't hurt, at any rate.  Husbandman bought the gherkins when I really wanted the big pickles, but I understood his point that no one here would eat the big pickles.  I guess the little pickle gets the job done and I do feel grateful that Husbandman went out to buy the supply we needed for this nostalgic #TwinTuesday.  I just wish 20 Something could stay here.  And there's part of me that still wishes for the big pickles.  Just a bluesy big pickle kind of day.

Monday, June 22, 2015

The Towers

 On the way back from the Second City, I finally had time to research how water towers work.  Every time I pass a water tower, I'm like, what's going on with these structures that loom above me hither thither and yon?

  So here's the low down.  Water towers are filled with water.  The height of the tower holding this huge amount of water (think 50 swimming pools) helps with increasing water pressure if and when the citizenry might need some extra water pressure.

The pressure created by the weight of the water in the towers and reservoirs allows gravity to help the water easily move to all points in the city.

At low water use times, (think in the middle of the night), water is pumped back up in to the water tower.  In large cities, many tall buildings have water towers on their roofs to help with water pressure within the building.  Small plane pilots are aided by water towers as landmarks.

I obviously don't know all the ins and outs of these majestic entities, but I think I've given you the basics and all you'll probably ever need to know.  Let's appreciate water towers and pass on this information to others.  I was in the dark for over 50 years about water towers and that's a damn shame.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

The Toddling Town

There's a reason Chicago is called Paris of the Prairie.  The art here is stunning. 

And there's a reason why it's called City in a Garden.  This lily pond in Lincoln Park  is tranquil yet awe inspiring.

Some people call it "The City That Works" and that suits as well.
These jazz cats worked it on Friday night at the Ravinia Music Festival.
I wish we didn't have to leave this windy city because we love this Toddling Town.  We're heading back to B-town.  I'm singing that song, "Tweedle dee dee and Tweedle dee dum.  Look out Btown cause here we come.  We're on our way."  It's an adaptation of a song by the Temptations.  It can really get your day started right.

Friday, June 19, 2015

The Mayor

We saw Rahm Emanuel yesterday, walking along the Chicago River with his daughter and wife and 2 security guards.  He didn't exactly wave at me, but I waved at him with gusto and we did make brief eye contact.

Here in Chicago, people were stoked about winning the Stanley Cup.  There was a parade yesterday and thousands of people in red jerseys.  Sadly, we didn't know about the celebration and we drove into a nightmarish amount of traffic.  We got pulled over by a police officer because we got trapped in the cross walk when we were trying to make a right turn.  Due to the Blackhawk hordes.  The police officer kept us sitting around for 30 minutes and then decided to let us go with a cheery, "Have a good day."  It was weird, but we were relieved.

Later we saw the police officer on another street.  We waved at him and he waved back and we all laughed together.  The police officer seemed genuinely happy to see us.  "Chicago's finest," Husbandman muttered through his forced grin.

So, after seeing the mayor, and the finest police officer in town, we ended our day seeing some comedians on the TrainWreck Comedy tour.  My favorite was Colin Quinn.  I got into the kind of laughing jag that one worries might end up being embarrassing during Colin Quinn's time on stage.  Amy Schumer was also very funny.  Tonight we will see and hear #1 Son playing some original jazz compositions.

In short, Chicago is a rip roaring town.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Thursday Creativity Share

Cloud Gate.  Anish Kapoor makes everyone happy.

Georgia O'Keeffe.  I wish I could follow her around for a few days.  

Charles Ray exhibit at the Art Institute.  I didn't know about Charles Ray, but now I do.  And I love him so. 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The Reunion

Now we're in Chicago.  AKA the windy city.

I'm about as happy as a person can be.

On the way up here, I wrote down words I saw along the side of the road in ABC order.  In effect, forming kind of a travel poem.  Perhaps I'll share it with you later.

Time for Bin 36.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015


Sunscreen and Pasta. Another fascinating #TwinTuesday Pairing. This pairing screams summer fun. Kind of. At any rate, it's unexpected and outdoorsy. In short, we've done well once again.  WordSavvy has a fun back story to this pairing, so definitely click the link.

 I have a question about pasta.  Do you or do you not eat whole grain pasta?  This is a goal I have.  I don't think it tastes very wonderful, to tell you the honest truth.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

The E's

Thankful #9 for lawn ornamentation
I've been reading a lot about motivation lately.  Most of the advice comes down to:  Just go do the thing you don't want to do.  Personally, I don't think that's super helpful. But let's face it, it's probably the best advice you can get when you've arrived at Procrastination Station.  Sometimes with a writing project though, it's hard to figure out what "the thing" is.  I'm not averse to working on my project, but I am  little confused about what I'm doing and having some fears about making the best use of the time I have.  Today I'm just going to hop in to the work.  Norman Fischer, in his excellent book, Taking Our Places writes about the importance of fostering "a sense of ongoing effort and exploration that isn't just conceptual."  Effort and exploration are my guide words of the day.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

The Hop

Thankful #8  Great Gardens

I'm going to put some hop in my step today.  Get some stuff done.  Feel glad to be alive.  Seize the day.

I'm spending a little time first thinking about our beautiful vacation.

I loved walking on all the different beaches.  I don't want to be super negative, but walking around my neighborhood just isn't as good.  But this is where I live and I've got to walk so might as well accept the  present moment with loving kindness.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

The Spool

Thankful for my spine. #7
I'm in the Toronto airport.  On the plane here, from PEI, I finished Anne Tyler's latest novel, A Spool of Blue Thread.

I love Anne Tyler so much.  I love all her books.

  If I met Anne Tyler I would FREAK OUT.  I would probably start silently weeping as I stared into her eyes. I hope I wouldn't, but I'm not going to lie.  It could very well happen.

 I was going to suggest Anne's book for my book club chat, but I decided I couldn't handle it if anyone in the group didn't care for this beautiful book.   When people tell me they don't care for Anne Tyler's work, I change the subject PDQ.  To each her own and all that, but leave me out of it.  Anne Tyler has hold of my heart strings.  If you feel like reading this book, you should, but if you don't, let's keep it on the down low.  Sometimes Husbandman says he doesn't care for some of Anne Tyler's work, but I just remind him that he loves Anne Tyler and we leave it at that.

Thursday Creativity Share

Thankful for Bottle Houses #6
Some people create houses out of bottles. There are bottle houses here on PEI.  We enjoyed the bottle houses, for the most part.

There used to be a famous author here on PEI.  Her name was Lucy Maud Montgomery.  We learned more about her at a museum yesterday.  Husbandman wasn't impressed with Lucy.  "She seemed like a drip," he said as he walked out the door of the museum.

So Thursday Creativity Share is a wrap.  Creativity on a beautiful island.  We're now leaving the safety of this coffee shop and heading to a museum to see more creativity before we leave the island, perhaps forever.  Thanks, PEI!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The Glass

Thanks (#5) for all the martyred lobsters.
This week on PEI has been life changing in 2 ways.  First off, I'm now a huge lighthouse fan.  I like to see a lighthouse or 2 each day if possible.  I know about the fresnel lens. My long term plan is to build a good sized lighthouse in my backyard.  And B., I now collect sea glass.  I have 3 pieces of sea glass.  We talked to a woman who's a member of North American Sea Glass Association and she got us pumped up for this new hobby.  I'm going to start a small sea glass museum as soon as I get back.  So please come over to see the 3 pieces we've collected.

On a sidenote, we saw a yellow warbler yesterday, as well as 2 crows chasing after a bald eagle.  Let's not forget that we've also seen 2 foxes on this crazy island.

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

The Island #2

#4 Thankful for Islands

We've had some wi-fi issues on the island, but overall life is going very well indeed.  

Saturday, June 06, 2015

The Island

Cavendish Beach, PEI
This bald eagle flew down to be photographed.

Thankful #3

Friday, June 05, 2015

Thursday Creativity Share: Brian Rea

I love Brian Rea's illustrations for the Modern Love section of the NYT. Come to find out, he does all kinds of cool creative things which you can check out here.

Today we're heading out for a coastal drive along the eastern shore of Prince Edward Island.  I plan to create some haiku along this drive, for Husbandman's listening pleasure.

Thursday Creativity Share is a day late and a dollar short, but worth every cent, none the less.  We've got the coolest cat in town, Brian Rea, and we've got a plan to create coastal haiku.  Fun times in the summer.

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

The Points

#2 Thankful for Tea. Tea's good.
I went to a weight loss meeting today.  I know diets don't work, but I decided to go anyway because I felt like it. Basically, I do what I want.

At the end of the meeting, which appropriately focused on making healthy food choices while on vacation, I had to stick around with another newbie to get the low down on how the program works.  We started talking before the weight loss cheerleader came over to talk to us and I really liked this young gal.  "How many daily points did you get?" I asked her.  Turns out, fellow newbie got 31 points and I only got 26.  I was realistic about the dilemma that this point disparity was causing me, "26 is not a lot.  I doubt I can survive on 26 points a day."

Fellow Newbie agreed with me shaking her head and whispering, "There's basically no way. 26 points is nothing."

So long story short, I've decided to give myself 31 daily points. Keeping it real, so to speak. Tomorrow morning we leave for a vacation in the north.  We're going to Prince Edward Island.  I'm going to be making some super healthy choices, with my fit bit charged up and my 31 daily points in my point tracker.  People, let's do this.

Tuesday, June 02, 2015


#TwinTuesday brings with it a brand new fitbitCHARGE and a Dixon Ticonderoga #2 Pencil.  The Dixon Ticonderoga is the best in its class.  Technically I didn't need a new fit bit.  But I just loved the idea of real #'s popping up on the screen instead of dots, so I indulged and that's all there is to it.  I didn't like my photo at first, so I messed around with the exposure settings.  Now I kind of love it.  The instagram picture is subpar, so just try to look at this one as often as you can today.  You'll get charged up for sure.

All this is neither here nor there.  The big news of the day is that WORDSAVVY is coming back from hiatus today.  Thank you UNIVERSE!

Monday, June 01, 2015

The Forgeries

We saw a movie last night about Wolfgang Beltracchi.  This guy liked to forge paintings.  He was good at it.  He didn't make an exact replica of a painting.  He studied the catalogs of artists and determined where there were gaps. Then he crafted new paintings, using the artists' styles.  Beltracchi worked with his wife and 2 accomplices to pull off this little stunt.  He made millions.   He eventually did some jail time in an open prison where he could go home during the day and paint and make the documentary.  At night, he drove back to jail, chuckling all the way.  The guy had no sense of remorse.  He seemed proud to have pulled one over on the art world. My brother in law, actor Steve Martin even purchased a Beltracchi forgery.   I wish someone could slap some sense into Beltracchi.  This guy gets on my last nerve.

The Astronauts

 From a Lynda Barry book, I've used the idea to have the Thirdlanders draw self portraits on occasion.  Draw yourself as Batman, a monst...