NOW Whadya’ Say About Global Warming?

Not only is it boiling outside, we have to contend with this view! (Yes ... that is indeed a confederate flag...)

4:16 Friday afternoon. I don’t dare move, because the slightest shift in even a limb seems to increase the temperature inside my tin can.

I felt incredibly lucky this winter, no snow tires on my car, watching as the white stuff caused all sorts of bullshit for friends and family up north whilst I sat out the artic drift between a bunch o’ mountains.

But alas, I am now on the receiving end of what I knew in my forcibly-Catholic-school-girl heart was coming sooner or later: punishment.

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Gypsies & Stick Shifts

When I was a kid, my cousin Mark and I were playing in my grandparents’ yard. While we crashed our bikes into trees or played Land of the Lost, a woman walked onto the front porch and knocked on the door. She spoke to my gram for a little bit, then left.

So we both ran into the house.

“Who was that lady?” we asked, breathlessly.

“It was the woman from the adoption agency,” my mother replied, matter-of-factly. (Though I am sure she will deny this, it is true, trust me.)

“What’d she want?” we asked, a bit scared now.

“Well, if you two don’t behave, she’s coming back to pick you up.”

Horror! Continue reading

Was J-School Worth It?

Interesting HuffPo piece to mention: dude writes about getting a journalism school – or, j-school – master’s degree and whether or not it’s worth it.

I read it, thought it was okay, if a bit short of much more than personal stuff, and then started thinking.

“Sooo, am I glad I got my j-school master’s?” I asked myself.

Well, let’s see – there’s the stuff in the piece, and its comments, about going to this or that school and therefore having connections. Yeah, I got connections, lots of ‘em, with my fancy Syracuse University S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications piece o’ paper, which currently resides in storage, incidentally, along with the equally schmancy BFA from SFAI.

Thing is, the news industry has changed so much – far worse than anyone could’ve imagined – that if I’d ever gone to school, undergraduate, graduate or otherwise, with the thought of the big bucks shining in me peepers, I obviously got it very wrong. Continue reading

Pissed off the Trailer Park

So the trailer park’s pissed at us. Yep, the whole park.

Okay, let me rephrase: the trailer park’s pissed at me. Allow me to give credit where it’s due.

See, we’re parked on the edge of the so-called overnite park, which just happens to be on the other side of the street – more like dirt road – from an actual trailer park.

So imagine big tin can, six-or-so feet of grass, dirt road then trailers. We’re talking actual trailers, with the sheet-metal skirt wrapped around to cover the wheels and flower pots on the big iron front hitch.

Eighteen wheeler-sized trailers. Extended clan-sized trailers with porches all crammed in one-by-one as far as the eye can see.

For some reason unbeknownst to us, the bus stop for the entire park happened to be smack dab on our little patch of grass.

Which means, after falling into fitful sleep at 3 a.m. following a harrowing all-night drive from Delaware, I was awoken five hours later by the sound of teenagers.

the former trailer park bus stop

The former bus stop, thanks to these purty signs!

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The New Mobility

Well, I’ve gotten a few messages lately asking what the heck’s going on, and why do I appear to be below the Mason-Dixon when I’d made a promise, nay, a blood oath, to never head south again?

True, I made a promise nearly two decades ago to never return to the south, thanks to one particularly awful year spent in Charlotte. But times change, and so do people, I suppose.

So for those of you following my previous year in turmoil thanks to a terrible economy and even worse job market in the Tri-State region, it’s been obvious that something had to give. It’s impossible to stay somewhere you can’t work, unless of course you’re independently wealthy or a welfare mom.

Being neither, my choices were limited. So, instead, H. and I are now the proud residents of a 29-foot Nomad travel trailer. That’s right, we’ve gone totally mobile, ready to head toward opportunity and away from the northeast economy. Continue reading