Sad, Happy, But NOT Sappy.


* This is a post I wrote awhile back on an old blog and figured I’d share.

            I prefer a heart wrenching and tragic ending to a saccharine fairy tale. If that makes me “emo” as the middle school students that I counsel would say- so be it. My favorite color is black. I love the rain. And I heart sad endings. Ambiguous endings work too.

“Legends of the Fall” is one of my all time favorite movies. For those of you that haven’t seen it- SPOILER ALERT- Three brothers fall in love with the same woman (Susannah, played by Julia Ormond) The first brother is her fiance but dies during World War I, the second (Brad Pitt who’s name is Tristan in the movie) pulverizes her heart, and she kills herself while married to the third brother. Tristan writes her a letter from the sea which says “All we had is dead. As I am dead. Marry another.” When he finally returns, Susannah is married to Tristan’s eldest brother Alfred. She says to him “Forever turned out to be too long.”


            One of my favorite poems is “Lady Lazarus” by Sylvia Plath. An excerpt:


Is an art, like everything else,

I do it exceptionally well.”


            Fortunately my musician husband is a fellow “emo” when it comes to music. We chose to dance to “The Blower’s Daughter” by Damien Rice on our wedding day. Patrick made sure to ask the DJ to cut off the last part of the song- “I can’t take my mind off of you…’til I find somebody new.”


           The other day I stumbled upon an online survey- “The Three Types of Novel Endings.” Out of the 1,740 participants, 41% preferred happy endings but only 2.2% enjoyed sad endings. I assume that the rest favored cliff hangers.

Yesterday I asked 19 co-workers if they preferred a happy or a sad ending. Nine of them said “happy,” six said “both happy and sad” and four said “sad.” Several also added that they enjoy “cliffhangers.”

Kelly, a friend and co-worker, mentioned that she “likes endings that are a step up (for the character) from where they were.”

Another friend and co-worker, Kevin, explained that he prefers “ambiguous endings and enjoys discovering what happens to the minor characters based on the actions or inactions of the main characters.”


            Do you prefer happy, sad or ambiguous?


Social Media Quiz

I Like

How much do you know about social media?

* Tomorrow I’m going into a few classes to talk to my students about social media and I decided to create a quiz for them b/c who doesn’t love a quiz on the last full day of school?!  (I found this information on various internet sites including SlideShare, YouTube,, &  HubSpot)

1. What is an internet troll?

A. A mythical creature originally from Scandinavia

B. Someone who sits under a bridge stealing WiFi

C. Someone who posts comments to blogs or internet forums that are calculated to upset, disgust or anger other people. (A.K.A. former actress and wanna-be rapper, Amanda Bynes)

2. What is the most popular social media in the US?

A. Twitter

B. Facebook

C. Instagram

3. What is Foursquare?

A.  A type of pattern on golfer’s socks.

B.  A social network in which users share their locations with friends.

C.  Firm and unwavering conviction; “a foursquare refusal to yield”.

4. Which celebrity has the most Twitter followers?

A. Lada Gaga

B. Justin Bieber

C. Barack Obama

5. How many hours of video footage are uploaded to YouTube every minutes?

A. Seven hours

B. Twelve hours

C. Thirty-Five hours

6. What is the average number of friends that someone has on Facebook?

A. 75

B. 300

C. 130

7. How much time does the average American teenager spend on social media per day?

A. 3.8 hours

B. 2.4 hours

C. 1.5 hours

8. Do men or women spend more time on social media?

A. Men

B. Women

9. What is the most addictive social media site?

A. Twitter

B. Instagram

C. Facebook

10. Which political group of people use Twitter the most?

A. Democrats

B. Independents

C. Republicans

11. What percentage of people ages 18-24 use social media while in the bathroom?

A. 55%

B. 33%

C. 12%

12. How many Tweets are sent per day?

A. 100 million

B. 25 million

C. 450 million

13. How many Facebook users have zero privacy settings?

A. 12%

B. 5%

C. 25%

14. The average Twitter user follows (or is followed by)

A. 51 people

B. 33 people

C. 90 people

15. How many people in the US use the internet?

A. 206. 2 million

B. 305 million

C. 175 million

16. Which athlete was googled the most in 2012?

1. Swimmer Michael Phelps

2. Basketball player Jeremy Lin

3. Football player Peyton Manning

17. Which celebrity or celebrities was googled the most in 2012?

A. Band One Direction

B. Princess Kate Middleton

C. Singer Whitney Houston

18. Which movie was googled the most in 2012?

A. The Avengers

B. Skyfall

C. The Hunger Games

18. Which image was googled the most in 2012?

1. Band One Direction

2. Selena Gomez

3. Justin Bieber

19. Who is the most googled celebrity in the world?

A. Justin Bieber

B. Lady Gaga

C. Rhianna

20. How many people in the US have an internet addiction?

A. 1 in 5

B. 1 in 8

C. 1 in 10

21. Do more male or female teens prefer to shop online?

A. Females

B. Males

22. Which website makes the most money?

A. eBay

B. Google

C. Amazon

23. What is the most popular Facebook game?

A. Candy Crush saga

B. FarmVille

C. Pet Rescue Saga

24. What song lyrics were googled the most in 2012?

A. Boyfriend- Justin Bieber

B. Payphone- Maroon 5

C. Gangnam Style – PSY

25. What song has the most YouTube hits ever?

A. Gangnam Style- PSY

B. Justin Bieber- Baby

C. Jennifer Lopez fet. Pitbull- On the Floor


1. C – Someone who posts comments…

2.  B- Facebook- 58% of Americans have a Facebook account ( 15% have Twitter, 12% Instagram)

3. B- A social network or C- which is the definition of FourSquare

4. B- Justin Bieber – 40 million  (Lady Gaga has 37.9, Barack Obama has 32.2)

5. C- 35 hours

6. B- 300 friends (I’m below average with only 288, ha!)

7. A- 3.8 hours

8. B. Women

9. C. Facebook (23% of Facebook users check their account at least 5 times per day)

10. A. Democrats

11. B. 33% (Is using social media in the bathroom weird? Cause I do this, too!)

12. C. 450 million

13. C. 25% (Yikes!)

14. A. 51 people

15. A. 206.2

16. B. Jeremy Lin

17. C. Whitney Houston

18. C. The Hunger Games

19. One Direction

20. B. Lady Gaga

21. B. 1 in 8 (including me, clearly!)

22. B. Males

23. C. Amazon

24. A. Candy Crush Saga (It really is fun!)

25. C. Gangnam Style PSY

26. A. Gangnam Style- PSY

Birthday Pooh










*This is something I wrote a few years ago. I thought it was appropriate to post since tomorrow, June 12,  is my 33rd birthday 😉 

Sharon, co-worker and friend, recently turned fifty-years-old and our guidance department (which consists of six people) forgot. In our defense, Sharon is the one who plans all the birthday lunches. We didn’t realize our faux pas until an edible arrangement of chocolate covered strawberries, pineapples, grapes, melons, etc. arrived from Sharon’s husband. Co-worker and friend, Terry, asked what the special occasion was. Sharon held up her right hand and formed an “O” with her left hand. Terry said, “you’ve been married 50 years?!”

After work I spent quite some time reading birthday cards. I chose one with a crazy looking bird on the front. The inside read “There’s no bright side to turning 50. On the other hand, there is a bright light but you want to stay away from that.”

Another co-worker and friend, John, signed the card, “Halfway to 100 and you’re still kicking. Love you baby.” We’re a close department.

There’s something special about birthdays that end in an “O.”

Memories of my 10th birthday are melting quickly like the skinny pink and yellow candles on my Jem and the Holograms cake. I had really wanted a Madonna cake but mom drew the line.

My 20th birthday is also fading fast but the Winnie the Pooh cake won’t be forgotten. My then boyfriend bought me a Pooh bear early in our relationship which started a trend. Suddenly friends and family were buying me Pooh stuffed animals. Butterfly Pooh, talking Pooh, large Pooh, small Pooh…you could say I received a lot of Pooh during my twenties.

Last June I celebrated my 30th birthday. Co-workers and I went to Buffalo Wild Wings which is our happy hour hot spot. Since we work in a school, we talk in code while at work. It’s not “are you going to Happy Hour?” it’s “are you heading to 2 H?” It’s not “wow, could I use a beer,” it’s “I’m thirsty for a Sprite.” I wore a paper crown that said “Wild Thing.”

I’ll turn thirty-one in a few months, or as I like to think of it- the anniversary of my thirtieth birthday. Growing older can be tough but it beats the alternative.

One of the most important things that I’ve learned is that you can’t take yourself too seriously.

Another thing I’ve learned is that you have to get rid of the Pooh in your life.

76 of My Favorite Authors


As much as I love the idea of the Thank A Writer Project, I’m doubtful that I’ll be able to chose five of my favorite authors to thank- how can I choose?!

Here are 75 of my favorite authors (in no particular order):

  1. Gillian Flynn- Gone Girl, Sharp Objects
  2. Suzanne Collins- The Hunger Games series
  3. Stephen King- Misery
  4. James Patterson- the Alex Cross series
  5. Khaled Hosseini- The Kite Runner, A Thousand Splendid Sons
  6. Margaret Atwood- The Handmaid’s Tale
  7. Barbara Kingsolver- The Poisonwood Bible, Pigs in Heaven
  8. Jodi Picoult- My Sister’s Keeper
  9. J.K. Rowling- The Casual Vacancy
  10. Veronica Roth- Divergent
  11. David Sedaris- Me Talk Pretty One Day
  12. Harper Lee- To Kill a Mockingbird
  13. Sylvia Plath- The Bell Jar
  14. Lois Lowery- The Giver series
  15. Lauren Oliver- Before I Fall, Delirium series
  16. EmilyBronte-WutheringHeights
  17. J.D. Salinger- The Catcher in the Rye
  18. Augusten Burroughs- Running with Scissors
  19. John Grisham- The Firm
  20. L.M. Montgomery- Anne of Green Gables series
  21. Amy Tan- The Joy Luck Club
  22. F. Scott Fitzgerald- The Great Gatsby
  23. Edgar Allen Poe- All short stories
  24. Charles Dickens- Great Expectations
  25.  Alice Hoffman- The Ice Queen
  26. Kathryn Stockett- The Help
  27. Audrey Niffenegger- The Time Traveler’s Wife
  28. Anne Rice- Interview with the Vampire
  29. Thomas Hardy- Tess of the d’Ubervilles
  30. Frank McCourt- Angela’s Ashes
  31. Malcom Gladwell- Blink, Outliers
  32. Sara Gruen- Water For Elephants
  33. Alice Sebold- The Lovely Bones
  34. Jay Asher- Thirteen Reasons Why
  35. Helen Fielding- Bridget Jone’s Diary 1 & 2
  36. Frances Hodgson Burnett- The SecretGarden
  37. V.C. Andrews- Heaven series
  38. Philippa Gregory- The Other Boleyn Girl
  39. Nathanial Hawthorne- The Scarlet Letter
  40. Hillary Jordan- When She Woke
  41. William Golding- Lord of the Flies
  42. John Knowles- A Separate Peace
  43. Allie Condie- Matched
  44. Margaret Mitchell- Gone with the Wind
  45. Maeve Binchy- Tara Road
  46. John Corey Whaley- Where Things Come Back
  47. Michelle Young-Stone- The Handbook for Lightening Strike Survivors
  48. R.L. Stine- all the Fear Street books
  49. Christopher Pike- The Midnight Club
  50. Carl Hiaasen- Nature Girl
  51. Janet Fitch- White Oleander
  52. Joanne Greensberg- I Never Promised You a Rose Garden
  53. Susanna Kaysen- Girl, Interrupted
  54. A.G. Howard- Splintered
  55. Elizabeth Gilbert- Eat, Pray, Love
  56. Mary Higgins Clark- No Place Like Home
  57. Ellen Crosby- Wine Country Mysteries
  58. Arthur Golden- Memoirs of a Geisha
  59. RichardRusso-EmpireFalls
  60. Jerry Spinelli- Star Girl
  61. Fyodor Dostoyevsky- Crime and Punishment
  62. William Faulkner- As I Lay Dying
  63. Jon Krakauer- Under the Banner of Heaven
  64. Barbara Ehrenreich- Nickel and Dimed
  65. E.B. White- Charlotte’s Web
  66. Vladimir Nabokov- Lolita
  67. Ned Vizzini- It’s Kind of a Funny Story
  68. Juliana Baggott- Pure
  69. Ruta Sepetys- Between Shades of Gray
  70. Francesca Lea Block- Wasteland
  71. Alex Flinn- Beastly
  72. Ann M. Martin- The Babysitter’s Club series
  73. Colleen McCullough- The Thorn Birds
  74. Jeannette Walls- The GlassCastle
  75. Moira Young- Blood Red Road
  76. Amanda Hocking- Switched series

Who’s your favorite author? Here’s a link to find out what your favorite author says about you: (there are only 11 listed, so you’ll have to choose the closest one if yours isn’t listed. Mine is a tie between Fitzgerald and Poe. I definitely fit more with the Poe description!

Thank A Writer Project

ImageI just read a post by Nathan Bransford, (former literary agent, author, and one of my favorite bloggers) about the “Thank A Writer Project.” Bransford and his friend Maggie Mason (aka Mighty Girl) are going to hand- write thank you notes to their five favorite authors, then post them on the Mighty Girl site.

If like me, you think their idea is awesome, follow these easy steps:

  1. Make a profile on Go Mighty
  2. Create a list of authors that you’d like to thank
  3. After you write a thank you, post a photo or the text on Go Mighty with the tag #ThankAWriter

It’s going to be damn difficult to narrow my list to five authors. I almost typed “very difficult” but then I thought of the quote one of my friends recently posted:

“Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very;’ your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.”— Mark Twain

            However, I’m rather fond of the damn in my sentence.

For more info, check out Mason and Bransford’s sites: