I am grateful for cool, dark rooms

Hand opening black curtain

I’m of the firm belief that one of the greatest inventions of all time is the air conditioner. You may disagree with me, but come July, you’ll know your wrongness.

Another wonderful invention for the working vampire? Blackout shades.

I have these sun blockers on no less than eight windows in my house: three in my office, one in the downstairs bathroom, two in the hallway and two in the master bedroom. In my home, light shall not penetrate any area where I may be present during daytime hours.

Over the weekend, I picked up another blackout shade. The front door has an east-facing window so when dawn breaks, I get blinded by the sun’s wretched rays.

No more.

Ra’s efforts to burn my brain shall be thwarted again. Take that, you evil star!

5 true confessions of a jaded mind


* There’s a Calvin-esque part of me that emerges after rain storms. I see a big puddle and I just feel the need to jump.

* There’s another part of me that hopes for some sort of time or place travel to occur when I splash into dark puddles.

* I can’t kill bugs that crunch. Doing so just creeps me out.

* I like hot tea and iced tea, but I don’t like when hot tea goes cold.

* Two years ago, my eye doctor said I needed bifocals. Despite my reservations (which foolishly involved me feeling old), I took her advice and bought a pair. When it was time to renew my prescription, I explained that my eyes had never really adapted to the bifocals and that I wanted straight specs instead. Turns out, she was right and I was wrong, and that’s why I’ve spent the past year squinting and removing my glasses to read anything.

“She was the final word on so many lives.”

Granary Burying Ground in Boston header

alana baranickHeartbroken to report that award-winning obituary writer Alana Baranick died on April 10 from cancer. She was 65.

For those of you who didn’t have the pleasure of knowing Alana, she was a talented journalist who spent 16 years working at The Plain Dealer in Cleveland. During that time, she penned nearly 2,000 obituaries. She was also the founder of the Society of Professional Obituary Writers, the co-author of “Life on the Death Beat” and a dear friend.

Here is the lovely obituary that appeared on the front page of The Plain Dealer’s website. Read it and you’ll know exactly why I adored Alana.

I will miss her so much.

Free Money, Finders Keepers?


A Brinks armored truck was traveling on Interstate 20 in Weatherford, Texas, on Friday afternoon when other commuters noticed something odd: flying money.

Apparently, one of the truck’s side doors opened and loose cash flew out, scattering along the highway’s runway and median. As you can probably imagine, people in nearby cars immediately pulled over and started gathering the greenbacks.

“There was a lot of money flowing around there. Some people had hand fulls and it was all crumpled up,” Joel Aldridge, who shot video of the scene, told CBSDFW. “It looked like an Easter egg hunt. They were bent over picking up stuff.”

It is unknown just how much money blew out of the truck between mile markers 410 and 413, but a statement released by authorities described it as a “substantial amount.” Police are now urging drivers to return the funds. Which begs the question…

New York City, food, books, friends and love

New York Public Library header

M and I recently had the pleasure of taking a very quick trip to New York City. We celebrated the 9th anniversary of our first date by enjoying a long walk through Manhattan, eating real pizza, splurging on ice cream sundaes from Serendipity 3 and generally just loving every second we got to spend together.

Other things that happened:

* We tried two new restaurants — Five Napkin Burger and Polpette — both of which were excellent.

* According to his Fitbit, M walked more than 70,000 steps. Because he’s insane.

* I walked about a third of that and still managed to develop huge, squishy, debilitating blisters on both of my feet. The last two days of the trip were spent hobbling, which made me feel old. Very old.

* We had the opportunity to see movies in the morning and late at night, neither of which we can do in New Hampshire.

* The company of friends was thoroughly enjoyed.

* A rousing game of Cards Against Humanity ensued, one that will be forever remembered for its hilarious use of tentacle porn and corn starch.

* M turned me around on a hot button political issue.

* A fictional president fired his wife.

* I finally learned who Castle’s father was.

* We went on a shopping spree at The Strand. Here’s what I’ll be reading in the months and years to come: