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Sunday, May 31, 2009

This Must Be The All Natural Day Spa

Click on this picture to see a bigger version.

I guess you sit on the stump to get your pedicure. 

Pretty fancy stuff. 

Saturday, May 30, 2009

A Dozen Humble Pies

Until 6 months ago I thought I had it all figured out. I thought because I was close to my family and talked to them regularly and always said I love you, I never took them for granted. I thought I knew which people in my life mattered and which really loved and supported me. I thought I never took any of my friends for granted. I thought because I'm athletic, it meant I was totally healthy. Oh how I could go on about what I thought. 

What a fool I was. How thankful I am that when the clock struck midnight and it turned 2009, life threw me some serious curve balls. Those curve balls have taught me the really hard way how much of a fool I was and how many things I have taken for granted. 

I'm now truly proud of myself for the first time ever and this morning I woke up feeling happy for the first time in I don't know how long. Man does that feel good. I wanted to share this to encourage anyone who might be feeling like they're in the worst spot ever- to keep trucking. That and if you love or appreciate someone for whatever they are in your life, don't let another day go by without telling them. 

I have dragged my butt out of bed extra early every day these past curve ball months when I have sometimes felt like lying there all day. I have practiced and practiced and practiced and tried and tried and tried so damn hard at everything so many times feeling like I was getting absolutely nowhere. While the dragging my butt and practicing and trying has worked, the real reason I have learned and grown, is the love and support I have been lucky enough to have from so many of those people I sometimes took for granted. I know they've shown up for me during this time in my life even though I've made tons of mistakes in the past, because I've done one thing right; Always told them how much I love and appreciate them. (Even if I may have never really realized what that meant until now.)

See, when it all gets laid on the line and things get real, the good stuff happens. When you can be completely honest, look someone in the eyes that you really care about, tell them you think you have probably hurt them at times or taken them for granted, but you really do love them and they are important to you- that is greatness. That's when friends that usually wouldn't call but once a year, now call once a week to tell you they want to be better about being in your life too and you have those conversations with your little brother or Grandpa that you will never forget. 

It seems funny to think that being real with yourself is so hard sometimes. Shouldn't being real and honest be easy? It's not, but when you do find that place or time in your life that being real is how you start to live- the rest feels like a walk in the park.

Thank you thank you thank you heartache and curve balls. Oh the things I have learned from you. Strong Mojo is back!

Thanks Alex

Below is a comment I got from my Memorial Day post. The fact that I'm able to write on these pages and have people I don't even know thank me for it (especially on topics like this) just absolutely thrills me beyond belief. To imagine that I could share my thoughts and experiences like I do and hear back that they could ever make a difference or positive impact on anything or anyone, it's a total dream for me.

To Alex; Thank you for your service. It's an honor you wrote me.

To Alex and everyone who has written me to thank me; Thank YOU. Thank you for supporting me to be able to follow my heart. 

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Erin sent me a link to your blog because she thought I'd get a kick out of your perspective on things, and indeed I do; however, when i came accross your post about memorial day, it struck a different chord with me.

I'm also a Marine, with a little over three years in, and as many service members can attest, memorial day comes with some serious mixed emotions. Most of us know someone that's been killed, or died in training, or ended their own lives (as has become a growing trend amongst Marines and Soldiers)... but many of us have intentionally grown numb to it. It's a part of our culture to act like these things don't bother us.

It's genuinely motivating to know that there are people with my lost friends on their minds, even if they've never met them. 

Thanks for your kind words, and I'm glad someone was there to help :)


Thursday, May 28, 2009


I might be the last person on the planet to know of this Muhammad Ali quote. Better late than never to find it though:

"It's not bragging if you can back it up."

Another quote from Cate Blanchett I read recently and loved:

"Someday I want every single line on my face to speak to an incredibly rich life."

I agree Muhammad and me too Cate. 

Found This Street Yesterday

Bet it would be a fun street to live on. Especially for Saturday brunch.

Hee hee...

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Mmm Mmm Good

I just heard about Crazy Charly and his bbq sauce. Does this guy look like a character or what? I thought it was a joke when I heard he used coffee in the recipe. Can you say yummy? The only thing better than bbq sauce made with coffee would be bbq sauce made with coffee and chocolate. That would be my three favorite things in one jar. 


Time to stock up for all the summertime soirees!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


The start of party, travel and wedding season is upon us. If you're one of those people like me who tries to find fun and non-traditional gifts for any occasion, or you'll do anything to avoid buying that green towel or spatula set in the registry, look no further. I found a fabulous idea:


Here's where you can buy drinks for your friends at a bar when you're not even there. Hook the newlyweds up with a bottle of champagne to help them enjoy a honeymoon evening, get your little bro and his group of buddies a round of shots for his 21st birthday 10 states away, or surprise your girls with some martinis so you can still feel like you're celebrating with them even though you're stuck working at home on your annual girls weekend.

What's not to love about this service? I'm not sure of anyone who wouldn't be thrilled to find out their bar tab was already paid for at the beginning of a fun night out.

Here's a toast to summer!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Hey Crazy- Just Chill For a Second!

I think this is freaking hilarious. It's a little sign taped to the paper towel dispenser at one of my favorite places to eat brunch. 

Wouldn't it be awesome if there were a hidden camera capturing peoples reactions after reading this? I bet most still wave like they're nuts anyway. I did.

I'm laughing...I love it.

Sunday, May 24, 2009


I read last week that the U.S troop death toll since the beginning of the war was 4,300. When I saw that number, it literally made me feel sick to my stomach. I had no idea it was anywhere near this high. I'm not proud to admit it, but I think I sometimes avoid reading these facts because they make me sad. I can't begin to imagine how the families of these fallen troops must feel. 

I decided to take a road trip out of town for this Memorial Day weekend. As I was zooming up I-95 Friday night with all my windows down enjoying the warm air and feeling of total freedom, I couldn't stop thinking of this number. 4,300. That's just this war and just so far I kept thinking. That's 4,300 families who weren't going to be able to have the usual burger and a beer with their loved one this weekend like a lot of us traditionally do. As I was cruising with these thoughts I hit a huge traffic jam. After about an hour inching along, traffic came to a stop so I put my car in park. When cars finally started moving again mine didn't. There I was in the middle lane of I-95 on Friday night Memorial Day weekend with a car that I couldn't get to move. 

Not 2 seconds later, a young guy pulled next to me and ran over with a smile to help. Before I could greet him he was looking under the hood, scurrying around my car to try to find the problem and assuring me that "I'm a mechanic." While I was sitting shocked still in my drivers seat reaching for my AAA card wondering what the heck to do, a woman ran up and asked if she could help too. She then pulled her car behind mine because she "didn't want me to get hit." She literally stood in the middle of the highway (did I mention I-95?!-75 mph traffic!?) waving people around me. I've had my share of car issues in the past and I am used to the AAA call, tow truck- whatever. I am not used to being the middle lane of I-95 on a holiday weekend with two strangers about to be hit, as cars whiz by screaming "Get the hell out of the road." Yikes.

Without going into too much more detail. These good samaritans got my car to the side of the road for safety. The young guy somehow managed from there to get it running and moving like new all within 30 minutes. At that point the guy offers to follow me to the next gas station to make sure I am OK. The woman who was helping must have seen a sticker or something on his car and asked him if he was in the military to which he responded something about 3 plus years Marine and he was headed to DC. She responded something about miltary as well for her and thirty years, then a wave and smile at me (still sitting in my drivers seat) "Good luck and take care!" and she was off. I barely had time to get a thank you out to her before she was gone.

The young guy followed me to the rest stop where I finally was able to get out of the car, shake his hand, introduce myself and thank him a hundred times. (His girlfriend was with him and was equally as wonderful.) His name was Rob. I'm not sure what Rob the Marine was headed to do in DC on this Memorial Day weekend but I could probably guess. I thanked him again, gave him my card hoping he'd email me or be in touch at some point somehow so I could thank him yet again or send him a gift of some kind. I drove off thinking- did that just happen?

You can't make this stuff up people.

I was happily speeding up the interstate, in deep thought on Memorial Day weekend about fallen heroes and what I would write on this very post to give thanks to any and every service person and their family, mid-thought my car breaks down and I am rescued in an instant by two service people?! One who had served 3 years and one 30? 

Anyone who doesn't think things happen for a reason, think again. 

On this weekend when boats, beaches and bbq's are in full swing, lets remember the reason why we can enjoy it all. I won't forget ever again. I'm just sorry it took me this long to really understand the meaning of this weekend.

Thank you Rob the Marine and short-haired woman in whatever branch you are/were in. I'm sorry I didn't get your name. I'm home safe and sound. Hope you are too from your travels. Thanks for being two of America's finest and all your help.

Friday, May 22, 2009

This Guy Is Still Looking Up?

I watched this special on optimism a couple weeks ago. I don't lounge and channel flip much these days, but that nights lounge time turned out to be time very well spent.

Michael J. Fox, and so many others who are living with horrible illness, have made the choice to keep looking up and be thankful for their every moment. Not only do these people have good attitudes, but they create foundations, raise money and help educate. (Wouldn't you want to just sit down and cry? I think it'd be pretty hard not to want to have an everyday pity party myself.) I am so humbled by people like this and as I sit here and type with healthy fingers on a sunny morning, all I can do is shake my head and think, man am I lucky. (That and I need, want and will do more to "give back" to my community.)


What a great thing. 

Bravo to M.J.F and all those people out there who take the unfair cards life deals sometimes and use them to be inspiring examples. Thank you.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Tables, Cheeks and Storm Troopers Oh My

This past weekend in San Francisco was the Bay to Breakers 12k. After viewing some great photos of the event, I'm siting here trying to come up with words for the insane "costumes" (or lack there of) and characters that participate in this race. I'll just go ahead and let the following images speak for themselves. Tables. Cheeks. Storm Troopers. 

Apparently there were an estimated 62,000 participants. (From "serious runners to beer-guzzling revelers." Nice.) That's a huge crowd of half-drunk/half-dressed people to push through and try to make your way back to meet up with friends. Actually, I can't imagine it matters much if you lose your friends in this kind of crowd. I'm thinking that if you've seen (ahem) all of what that guy/girl running next to you was born with, I'm sure they'd be pretty open to sharing some time and conversation with pretty much any stranger.

Supposedly the city enforced some new rules this year in an attempt to cut down on some trash issues and debauchery. Fom what images I've seen and stories I've read, any regulation on this enormous whacky race seem pretty pointless. Can you imagine a police officer blowing his whistle and yelling for someone to "stop!" whatever-ing while 10 hairy guys run by with nothing on but tutus? Poor guy wouldn't have a chance stopping anyone.

You've gotta love the never ending color and flavor of San Francisco. Next May is year 99 of the race, so start sewing your outfit or testing shades of body-paint now. There's some serious competition out there that I'm sure will be ready to give you a "run" for your money!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Smart Pawn Shop

They'll certainly never go out of business.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Calling All High School And College Grads

It's that time of year. Pomp and Circumstance and huh?...what am I supposed to do with the rest of my life and how do I get there? (Don't worry kids, there are plenty of us who aren't quite sure either at 30, 40, 50 and 60 years old.) Somehow if you just to roll with things (in a pointed way of course) and are able to be patient, things just end up working out somehow. For the meantime though, here's an awesome organization that might help open your eyes and thoughts on some options for you:

Roadtrip Nation was started a few years back by two college guys Mike and Nate from California. (By the way if you email these guys, they actually email you back personally. Love that.) They went on a cross-country summer road trip, curious to interview and learn how everyone from business exec's to lobstermen found their "open roads" for their lives/careers. The stories in this book are fascinating and a lot of times unexpected.

These Roadtrip Nation guys have created quite a movement encouraging and providing a way for a ton of young people to travel around the world interviewing and listening to stories of those living their lives based on what they're passionate about. What an excellent thing. Read their Manifesto. Can't argue with it one bit.

Here's to blocking the noise and finding your open road. Congrats class of 2009!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Powerful Advertising

I recently saw these ads from HSBC Bank and had to snap some  pix. I found this bank does quite a bit of intriguing advertising. I think it's fantastic.
These images sure make you stop and think.

Here are some more visual values to check out. 


Saturday, May 16, 2009


One of my favorite things is taking a stroll to nowhere on a sunny and warm day like today, wearing flips flops and just humming pleasantly to myself. I mean, a real doo-dee-doo kind of stroll and humm...
Even better when I walk by those who look much less than fortunate, and right when I pass them and they're about to look away never assuming me or anyone else would pay them the least bit of attention- I look straight at them and greet them with a big fat smile and hello.This stuff thrills me like I cannot explain. I know that smile and hello makes a difference. Those are moments for me. Big ones. And moments that just make me so thankful for my dirty flip flops, being able to walk with two healthy legs, have an overwhelming amount of family and friends that love me and feel that regular Saturday sunshine others might never get to feel.

Thank you sunny Saturday, for letting me walk down your street smiling, making moments and getting lessons I won't forget.

Environmentally Conscious Airports

Bins right before boarding.

Good for you BTV!

Wanna Share?

On the salsa subject- anyone have a great recipe to send me? It really is my favorite "condiment" and I'd love to try a new twist on the traditional. If you want me to, I'll even post the recipe here and share it with everyone to make lotsa belly's happy!

Mmm...chips and salsa, burritos and salsa, wraps and salsa, eggs and salsa...

Friday, May 15, 2009

Get Ready To Stuff Your Face

May is National Salsa Month.

"For Real." 

What better place to feature than a place called Flaming Amy's Burrito Barn. Yum. This place is good eatin'.

So I looked up some info. on this supposed national salsa month and apparently it's true. I'm continually amazed to find out there's a month/group club for every kind of anything. Just found out there's National Corn Dog Day. Love it. 

If some of you like it hot, here's a recipe to spice up your life. If you are stumped for a good gift idea, here's a place to buy someone a membership to the salsa of the month club. What? You want to learn how to shake what yo mamma gave ya? Here's a bit of video help. You'll be a pro salsa dancer before you know it.

Happy face stuffing and shakin' it!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Finish Line Is Just The Beginning

There seem to be too many stories about kids bullying each other and being disrespectful these days. I have a 13 year old cousin and the stories my Aunt tells me about what the girls in her classes say and do these days are baffling. Growing up, at any age (whether you're a boy or girl) is sure not easy. I was fortunate enough to have strong confident women around me to keep me in line. Because of those women I have been able to keep getting up when I've fallen down over the years. They have undoubtedly helped me far more than they could ever know- to find success in my life. I feel so very lucky. (Mom, could I ever really say thank you enough or tell you how much I love you?)

Some girls might not be as lucky as I was/am to have those influential people to give them confidence. Fortunately there are groups like these out there for them. Girls On The Run was created to help girls build confidence and healthy lifestyles. I have such respect for these types of programs, the teachers of the world and anyone who works to mentor young people. What would we do without you?

Thank you Mom, Aunt Peg, Grandma, Traci, all the ladies involved with GOTR and the other wonderful women who work so hard to be positive role models. We really are paying attention and can't wait to be just like you.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A Stranger Named Jerry

I love this story. 

I think this kind of pay it forward stuff happens to us way more than we realize. We're usually just too busy running around like mad or typing on our Blackberry's to actually stop and pay attention to what's going on around us live. (Yes, this means like out your car window, in your office elevator or in the store parking lot.) 

When you take a minute to really engage in your day, with people and what's around you, it never takes long to start to feel inspired to join that guy who just held open the door for that little old lady walking into the post office. Think about it. Last time you were in a moment doing something nice/helping a stranger, didn't you find that other people always jump right in and want to help too? It's contagious.

In this story, a stranger named Jerry did something really nice for Michael and sent him a song he'd been trying to find for ten years. Michael in turn passed on the nice to EAllen4787 who I am sure has passed it on since. That's just how it works. It's awesome. 

Hmm. Wonder who I'm going to get to hold a door open for tomorrow or give an extra smile to. 

What Are They Airplanes?

Or am I missing something? 

Oh road side fun.

Monday, May 11, 2009


Here's a documentary to check out if you want to spark some good controversial discussion during your next visit to the water cooler at work or dinner party with friends. 

Sure will beat the typical tedious small talk about whatever's the latest "cool thing" that you can do on Twitter or who's going to be the next American Idol.

Sunday, May 10, 2009


Here's to all Moms who are the best in the whole wide world- like mine. 


Saturday, May 9, 2009

Who Needs The Weather Channel...

...when you've got the rickety old metal signs at this Mobil gas station in Shelburne, Vermont to let you know?

Showers and 60 degrees today.

Here's to small town America. Totally love it.

Friday, May 8, 2009

I Love A Good Adventure

What I don't love is showing up at the airport and having the smiling, friendly lady at the US Air counter happily say; "That will be $15.00 to check your bag Ma'am!"


Am I the last person on the planet to find out about this heinous bag-check charge? US Air charges $15.00 for the first bag you check and $25.00 for the second! Bah humbug! 

I love you non-charging, extra free snack giving and Direct TV at every seat Jet Blue. Why did I ever stray? 

I'd be a little peeved about this if I weren't sitting here at the airport happily noshing on cheese fries, drinking a cold beer after working outside in the warm sunshine all day and about to hop on a plane for some fun.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Here's Your Shout Out T.

Told you I would.

Bring it.

Mr. Mom

In honor of Mother's Day this Sunday (Yes. This Sunday for those of you have forgotten or didn't realize it was May yet.) I was perusing for some random gift ideas, funny or inspiring stories, you know- something good to share. It didn't take long for me to run into this t-shirt gift idea. 

The only kind of gift this"Mamma" needs is a razor!

Had to share this one right away, but I'll keep looking...

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

It Even Does My Laundry!

Every time I turn around, take a breath, or open any paper/magazine/website/blog there is another announcement about the IPhone. A super-cool and innovative new feature/application or even how it saved a baby from a burning building. (Ok, so that was an exaggeration.) I can't keep up. It's incredible Here's a post from today on how Adidas created a free IPhone guide to street art in Berlin. How cool. Soon enough this Apple creation will be able to cook us bacon and eggs and brew fresh coffee in the morning. Love it.

By the way, if you haven't already- bookmark Springwise. There are a ton of interesting, innovative new businesses and ideas from all over the world on the site. Neat stuff.

I Am Not Necessarily Promoting Boozing, But...

...I thought today's word of the day fit the billboard I posted below with serendipitous timing: 

(I love the word serendipitous by the way. Thought I'd share that too)

Quaff  (verb)

To drink a beverage, especially an intoxicating one, copiously and with hearty enjoyment.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Ahhh...The Sure Sign Summer Is Just About Here

Drove by this billboard a few days ago. Thought it was pretty funny.


Monday, May 4, 2009

What A Character

The USA Network sent world-class photographers across America last summer to take pictures of people from every walk of life to create the Character Project. This project showcases the colorful and wonderful variety of people that make up the USA.

I cannot imagine a more thrilling, intriguing or humbling assignment for these photographers to be lucky enough to work on. I am completely and totally jealous. One of my favorite quotes from the videos of the photographers is from David Eustace; "Everybody does have a story. It's not always a happy one- but everybody has a story." 

How true that is.

There is currently a traveling exhibition of this work. The next showing is in San Francisco starting May 8th, with a few other locations to follow. Take off an afternoon and go check it out if you are in one of these cities. I sure would if I were anywhere close to it.

Bravo USA Network for putting together an amazing project and helping us to see who our neighbors are and what they do. 

Really makes you think about what's beyond main street doesn't it?

Sunday, May 3, 2009

You Know- Regular Stuff Like Cute Kids Singing, Lessons On How To Use A Cell Phone Or Baby Delivery...

We've all been on YouTube to watch things we hear about in the news or from friends. The post your own video site has really made some (and I say this lovingly) freaks and geeks world famous and been the topic of plenty of water cooler discussions. (Here's a little clip that I find so hilarious I double over every time I watch it.) What's not to love about this endless and free form of entertainment on the most random of things. You can pretty much search anything you could ever want to see. It's fabulous.

Here's a story from the NY Times yesterday about a guy with a pregnant wife and why YouTube proves to be quite the helpful tool to some. Yep, Marc Stephens from London was able to deliver his wife's baby when she went into quick labor because he "Watched a couple of clips on YouTube."

Um, yeah-that's what I said.

Oh how times have changed. At this rate, 5 year olds will be getting Kindergarten lessons from their laptops over Cheerios at home instead of over the sand box at school and your brother will offer to "save you some cash" by pulling that pesky tooth out for you because he was "perusing around online last night and they really did say it wouldn't hurt if you used some pliers. Who needs a dentist anyway? Come on sis, don't be a chicken."

Here's to the invention of video. Go on with your bad-self Daddy Midwife!