Monday, November 28, 2022

A Cheaper Time

I lived at the house next door to this rowhouse in Jersey City for some of my formative years in the early nineties. Marie Alice, Otis, and I paid $950 for a three bedroom duplex. Friends lived across the street at 58 Mercer, others lived down the block or nearby on Jersey Ave, and a guy from the band Codeine lived about three doors down. Friends, bands, and friends in bands were forever residing in the living room of our duplex. 

Marie Alice and I both left Mercer Street for our condo purchases in an old tenement on Avenue B in Manhattan, so don't feel bad for us that our attempt to buy this building didn't pan out. But wow, $4.4 million for the place next door! It has a carriage house and highly coveted parking under an extra apartment.

The Boss

The raccoon rules the yard. He's the big dog!

Sunday, November 27, 2022


Here’s (wet) Petunia cleaning up after the cats in the backyard. She’s a good janitor!

Friday, November 25, 2022

Poor Charlie

We aren’t sure what he ate, but Charlie suffered explosive diarrhea right before I left my mom's house for the airport. Shit happens.

Thursday, November 24, 2022

Border Flashback

I'm reposting this old story from MariesWorldTour 2011, because a former colleague was asking me a few questions about travel, and I went back and read this story about hiking through the mud at the Tibet/Nepal border.

What a glorious day. Absurd day. All the best travel days are glorious because they are absurd. (Except for the submarine, that wasn't absurd.)

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Final Look at Curacao

Here's my last photos of Curacao, and then we'll get back to our regularly scheduled business of raccoons and Bundt cake.

Monday, November 21, 2022


Here's a look at the neighborhood I am staying in here in Curacao. I like it--it's definitely easier to stay at a resort where you have everything you need, but I prefer to be in town where I can wander around.

Sunday, November 20, 2022

600 Feet Under the Sea

Why, you might be wondering, did Marie go to Aruba and then to Curacao if she doesn't like the beach?

Valid question! Aruba was just how I could set up the flights so I was only flying during non-office hours, and then I hung out there a few days to check it out and acclimate to the time zone. Then I flew prior to work hours to Curacao on Friday morning, clocked in at 1 pm/aka 9 am Burbank time, and worked to 10 pm (6 pm in California).

All this was so I could do something I saw my friend Lynne do and it looked so cool, I decided to do it too.

Here are some photos of today's submersible journey to 600 feet under the sea! The deepest I ever got with SCUBA was 60 feet, and that was only when I got certified off Roatan in 1998. (Coincidentally, my Roatan trip was part of the Central American overland truck journey where I met Lynne in the first place. She was going from Alaska to Argentina, and I was on for the Guatemala to Panama leg.)

Saturday, November 19, 2022

To Aruba

On Tuesday, I took home my Bundt cake carrier and got a Lyft to LAX.

I flew to Aruba, where I stayed until this morning, doing work from "home" from a rental apartment. I had a little rental car and used it in the morning to take a GPS/phone tour of the island. I'm four hours ahead of Burbank here, so my job hours are 1 pm-10 pm.

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

2022 National Bundt Day Part 2

Much cake was consumed. Not posting people eating cake photos to protect the identities of the guilty.

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

2022 National Bundt Day Part 1

We're holding the local celebration of National Bundt Day at the office today, like I did in 2018 and 2019.

2020 and 2021 were outside--I am going to miss doing it outdoors because non-DC friends could attend, but at least this way us editors can interact with other colleagues. Sometimes people not actually involved in making the books think we're snobby, when in fact we're just deeply cynical, smartass, and immersed in getting books to to the printer.

I tried making two Instant Pot Bundt cakes and they're just too dense. They don't rise and get fluffy. It's like eating condensed cake, smashed up like a bit of bait. Bait for luring in colleagues who don't understand the creative end of the biz.

The best results came from the regular old from-scratch chocolate cake with cream cheese center. This year's attempt at Tunnel of Fudge was a complete disaster. I tried the recipe on the Pillsbury site, and the results were spectacular, but not in a good way.

Sunday, November 13, 2022

Steamed Jiffy Mix

An experiment is underway with a cheap cake mix and my Instant Pot.

Tuesday, November 08, 2022

Craftsy + Chicken

Here are the finished baby changing pads. 

I didn't have a baby to model, so I used a paper maché rooster.

Sunday, November 06, 2022


I haven't taken out my sewing machine since face masks were back in stock a couple of years ago, but tonight I finally pulled out the Burbank one and worked on baby changing pads for two different editors.

I'll finish them tomorrow night and mail them out by the end of the week.

It was nice to do something with my hands and not the computer for a change.

Saturday, November 05, 2022

Ancestral Yard Sale

In 2016, I visited the Humphrey Museum where my great-grandfather's sister had lived. It was quite the experience, and the museum has since closed, its contents auctioned off. Occasionally, a piece shows up on eBay.

What a strange feeling to watch family heirlooms auctioned off as trinkets. But they were owned by a non-profit and they really are just trinkets.

All I would have wanted were my great-grandfather's elephant figures from around the world.

I wonder if my global trinkets will be doled out on eBay one day. Maybe I'll do it myself at some point, get ahead of this.

Wednesday, November 02, 2022

Halloween in Burbank

Burbank goes all out for Halloween. Here's the scary clown house.