Never Met a Humble Monkey

We are on the road, driving the traffic-at-every-juncture 332 miles between Boston and Paoli, PA for a family visit. Playlists have been played, sandwiches have been eaten, magazines have been read, and now we’re in yet another jam. In New Jersey. No surprise there. (But seriously, Jersey is cool. Just not the highway and 60% of the shore).

There’s an air of manic desperation being circulated by our leaking A/C. We are hitting rock bottom and we’ve still got two and a half hours to go.

Solution #1: Best Dave Matthews imitation. It’s a draw – Matt sounds like a mix between Dave and Jimmy Fallon’s imitation of one of the Bee Gees. I managed a closer approximation of Dave if he was fused with an 90 year old male country singer. Try this with “Tripping Billies” – it’ll get you through about five minutes. Two more if you argue about the winner afterward.

Solution #2: Since we’re already listening to Dave Matthews Band (only the old stuff, please), a long conversation ensues about how monkeys are not humble, even if to say one is serves your song transition. Which in turn inspires talk of
what kind of tweets the Proudest Monkey would post.

Just ate your last banana. #ProudestMonkey

Nailed zookeeper with dookie. Match point. #ProudestMonkey

Poked your mom. #ProudestMonkey

We don’t know how twitter works, but this takes up another ten minutes in traffic.

Solution #3: Fantasy car shopping. If you had to pick one of the 1039 cars within view to be your next car, which would you pick? This takes up another three minutes until Matt almost rear ends a truck. End of game. (But first he chose the blacked-out BMW M6).

Two hours and ten minutes to go. Now what?

Also, how do people road trip with kids? #becauseisaidso


Breaking the Law Never Tasted So Good

A work friend of Matt’s and his wife are harboring three illegals on their property.  They’ve got them sleeping in a shed at night, subsisting on grain, water, and whatever vegetal/grub matter they can scrounge in their little fenced-in area during the day. We get to meet them soon, and I can’t wait, because before they arrived we spent an sunny afternoon building them a nesting box out of scrap wood and sheer luck and the Pythagorean theorem. (I promise you will use math after high school.  But only when your smart phone battery dies).

In reality, raising chickens in your backyard in JP isn’t illegal, just “forbidden.” But our friends made sure all their neighbors were agreeable to a new brood in the vicinity, and confirmed before purchasing that there wouldn’t be any surprise roosters greeting the dawn’s early light. They constructed the most beautiful little hen house out of an old shed. (And in that shed is housed our first and only masterpiece of DIY projects, that mathematically-correct nesting box).

It made sense to give a nod to the illicit nature of owning chickens in Boston city limits by naming one after the half-smile handsomest Law-avoider of them all: The Fugitive.

World, meet Dr. Richard Kimble:

Just like her film star counterpart, Dr. Kimble doesn’t waste no time.  She laid two eggs within 48 hours of arriving at her new home.  Unlike her film star counterpart, Dr. Kimble doesn’t have blend-in-with-the-crowd skills, unless the crowd is composed of lots of brown feather dusters. She’s a bearded black silkie, and if you really want to have an awesome Friday, spend a few times looking at her distant relatives here.

We’re excited for our friends and their new trio of forbidden chickens, who are obviously right at home in their awesome custom-built coop and run. Can’t wait to taste those eggies!

A Lentil and the ABCs

Some of us have been waiting with bated breath for the sequel of one of the better YouTube videos around.  That’s right, folks. Marcel the Shell is BACK.


In a similar vein, I just learned that a video I posted, oh, five years ago, has reached 9,659 hits.  Obviously the Marcel the Shell video got about ten times that many views in its first day alone, but for a rudimentary, pixelated midterm editing project that I shot in my living room with a green sheet, semi-posable art class wooden hand, and the patient help of an awesome, awesome friend, 9,659 hits is pretty great.  Even if they were spread over five years.  The best part about the whole thing isn’t even my juvenile approach to stop motion (for which I earned an A, HA!); it’s the song. You can’t find this video if you search for it with general terms in YouTube.  It’s buried waaaay deep down.  So while I guess those 9,659 people who watched it might be spending a little too much time online, I thank them for their viewership. Onwards to 10,000!


A’s Medical Fact of the Day

Photo from

My sister A, a second-year med school student, occasionally contributes Medical Facts of the Day. Though I’d prefer not to sandwich food posts around information like you’ll see below, these are fun for their shock appeal. Don’t you feel bad that she has to sit in class and absorb all this information?  With a straight face?? And more fun for me – I get to create the most eclectic group of tags ever separated by commas in the history of blogging!  Without further ado…

A’s Medical Fact of the Day:
Lessons from Immunity, Infection and Disease
Activities, places, food, and other things to avoid if you do not want to catch a horrible infection or parasite:
  • walking barefoot
  • spas and pools
  • fresh water
  • brackish and salt water
  • the tropics
  • the town of Norwalk, Ohio
  • caves
  • pine forests and river basins
  • anywhere a saguaro cactus is growing
  • breathing in urban areas
  • breathing in rural areas
  • meat of all varieties
  • sushi, oysters, crab
  • fresh-water fish
  • salt-water fish
  • you vegetarians think you are safe? watercress, water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, spinach, raspberries, snow peas, lettuce, cantaloupes
  • Jamba juice (strawberry)
  • fried rice
  • food at catered events
  • marijuana that has been stored in barns
  • air conditioning cooling towers
  • hotel bedding
  • cruises
  • triathlons
  • 9-banded armadillos, prairie dogs, beavers, bats, reptiles, pigeons, pet birds, dogs, cats
  • bugs with 6 legs
  • bugs with 8 legs
  • centipedes
  • daycares and children in general
Now, go enjoy life! Just don’t buy marijuana from anyone who grows cantaloupes on a cave farm in Norwalk, OH, has kids, and runs triathlons on cruise ships with catered food.

Stuff and The 100 Thing Challenge

There are a lot of things I would buy if I had a little more discretionary income. These include, but are not limited to: A roller suitcase with wheels that actually spin and are free from cracks resulting from curb-to-asphalt … Continue reading

Eat Your Cruciferous Vegetables

Dying, yearning, on the edge of your seat, simply pining to find out why cruciferous vegetables are known as such? No? Well that’s a shame because in the matter of time it took to type that sentence, I overcooked the broccoli (cruciferous vegetable!) to a lovely shade of swamp.

We’re going to eat it anyway, because consumption of (youuu guessed it!) cruciferous vegetables, also including brussells sprouts, cauliflower, kale, cabbage, and bok choy, is thought to lower your risk of getting cancer.

Instead of over-steaming your broccoli, why not try roasting some cauliflower? Wash a head of cauliflower well, quarter, and cut out the thick white stem (edible, just chop into manageable sizes).  Roughly chop the florets into pieces, spread on a roasting pan or two, and drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle on sea salt and your spice of the hour (for us last week it was garam masala; but combinations of cumin and cayenne, sparingly, or even a dash of cinnamon if you want to throw the whole thing in a bowl with some plump golden raisins, is delicious).  Roast at 375 for about 20 minutes, or until most of the pieces are cooked through with brown, crispy edges.

And in case you really did care even the littlest bit about the origin of the cruciferous title, here it is: when in bloom, the flowers of this family of plants have four petals which resemble a crucifer, or cross. Neat-o.