It watched me like a hawk

Red-tailed hawk in Connecticut backyard

Red-tailed hawk

I spied a huge hawk and turkey vulture in my backyard. Phone in my pocket, I crept back there for a photo.

Turkey vulture and hawk

Hawk tore into the nasty remains of a baby raccoon I had seen it guarding two days earlier. I crept closer and closer. Turkey vulture alighted onto a tree. Hawk just kept tearing into the dead little lump and ignored both me and a cloud of buzzing flies.

(Red-tailed hawk video link: Eating amid a cloud of flies)

When I was within about 12 feet, turkey vulture got upset and with great, scary flaps took off from the tree.

Even though I was close, Hawk just looked at me like, “Hawk don’t care. Hawk don’t give a &#$%,” and I knew that my eyeballs were in jeopardy if I crept any closer. Hawk let out a call that said as much, the screaming “eagle” call that Stephen Colbert plays.

(Red-tailed hawk video link: talking to me)

After about 10 minutes, I backed away slowly, only to go into the house and return with my real camera.

Red-tailed hawk

I had originally planned to keep creeping closer until I recorded video of it flying away, but I decided that I didn’t want to scare it, that I wanted it to feel welcome in my backyard.

Yeah, that’s it, not that I was worried it would attack me and I would lose my eyeballs in pursuit of a sharper photograph of a hawk in my backyard.

Red-tailed hawk in Connecticut backyard

Are you looking at me?

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Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Play Tennis

Watch out for stray balls, US Open

Why are we here?

Is Prince Hamlet well?
(Non sequitur.)

Summoned from oblivion,
entrapped in a play,
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern
play Questions,
trading their tennis shots,
sometimes slices,
sometimes smashes.

What does it all add up to?
(That is the question.)

(Video link)

  • #15 of 42 (Gargleblaster page)
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Fitbit to be Tied

I was only two or three minutes into David Sedaris’s piece about his love for the Fitbit when I knew I had found it — the new gimmick that would motivate me out of my lethargy and get me moving again.

Last year, I had gotten so obsessed with keeping up my streak of walking 10,000 steps a day (for 1,043 days!) that I forced myself to break the streak. Then, my fear that I would instantly become a couch potato again was realized. The couch and I enjoyed our months together, to be sure, but some extra pounds joined us, my mood sunk, and my motivation vanished. All or nothing, how I hate it.

One winter years ago, I had started walking every day on a treadmill, when I relished “Sex and the City” reruns alone in my basement, a little me-time at the end of a busy day.

Who knows how my brain works, but just seeing online that my Fitbit is in transit was enough to get me into the woods, donning my earbuds and stepping over twisted roots as confidently as Carrie Bradshaw traipsing through the streets of Manhattan in her silliest hat.

'Sex and The City: The Movie' film premiere, London, Britain - 12 May 2008(Photo by Rex Features)

I paused to admiringly watch a Labrador retriever splashing in a muddy stream, admiringly, that is, until a minute later when it snuck up behind me and shook itself off all over me. I let out a scream and am pretty sure I looked like that same Carrie Bradshaw getting drenched by the bus in the opening credits.

Carrie Bradshaw splash (Source:

Well, maybe not quite like that, but you get the idea.

At the end of the same walk, my husband and son were waiting for me in a pavilion and saw me bopping by, earbuds still in,  oblivious. My son snuck up behind me and scared me. I screamed, a terrified monster-is-attacking-me scream.

A man in a nearby pickup truck witnessed the whole thing. “I tried to warn you,” he said. “That calls for a punch in the head.”

I declined, but the man had a point.

Why in middle age I had to again relearn that regular exercise has its benefits I will never know, but I am ready to adorn my wrist with a geeky bracelet and wait for the magic to happen.

I’ll just have to be careful not to get a streak going.

Any Fitbit fans out there? Any advice?

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La Fortuna Waterfall Costa RicaLittle fish
circled our feet.

“Piranha,” a local man said.

We laughed,
offending him.

We tried to explain:
No discordant violins
played as a horror scene
turned red.

Our apology lost in translation,
we watched and hoped
they wouldn’t take our flesh.



#14 of 42

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Beyond 101 Things: 13th Quarterly Report

13th quarterly report: April – June, 2014

It was a slow spring, but I had a blast with a Gargle Blaster, a bash on the Brooklyn Bridge, and a smash at a charitable tennis tournament. Plus, who wouldn’t want to pull a fire alarm?

Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge Birthday on the Brooklyn Bridge

Pull a fire alarm safely An Alarming Desire

Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster Ode to the Gargleblaster

Work on a charitable event The Filipek Tennis Tournament

In other news:

I set up two new pages:

The Grid: 101 Things and Beyond

Timid No More . Now in Paperback

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Yeah Write Interview Series

small_ywhustleThanks to yeah write for featuring me in their interview series. yeah write is a great community for “writers who blog and bloggers who write.”

Who’s on fourth: yeah write interviews Marcy of (Don’t Be) Too Timid and Squeamish

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Where Harry Met Sally: That’s All.

Katz's Deli 2007

Where Harry Met Sally Katz's DeliWith a love of romantic comedy
and cured deli meats,
there was a natural spot for me,
Sally’s spot,
where they hoped
I had what she was having.

I didn’t, but corned beef
and a day in Manhattan
were good enough. Almost.

Video: “I’ll have what she’s having.

Katz's. That's All

#13 of 42

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Gurgles at the Engaged Encounter

Randy's hands


When the priest raised sexual relations,
my fiance’s intestines gurgled.

Other couples turned and stared,
so of course we giggled.

The priest reassured us;
some couples find this awkward,

but he didn’t hear the ungodly sounds
coming from my love’s nether regions.

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The Filipek Tennis Tournament

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Photos from the 2014 Wint Filipek Sr. Memorial Tennis Tournament at Copper Valley Club
(Scroll to the bottom to see thumbnails of each image)

It was my pleasure to be a part of the Filipek tennis tournament this year. The tournament gives out scholarships to Connecticut student-athletes, and this year it was hosted for the first time at Copper Valley Club in Cheshire, CT, on its beautiful clay courts and shady grounds.

Filipek tennis tournament at Copper Valley ClubIf you love tennis, make a point to play in the tournament next year, or at least to visit and see some great matches. You can also donate to the tournament, which has given away over $85,000 in scholarships.

As a volunteer, I served as a liaison between the Filipek committee and Copper Valley Club, where I am a member.

Serving on the committee fit in with my goal to go beyond 101 things, in other words to keep growing and trying new things after completing my list of 101 things in 1001 days.

Congratulations to the Filipek committee and Copper Valley Club for putting on a great tournament!

My tennis posts:

Filipek tennis tournament at Copper Valley Club The Filipek tennis tournament at Copper Valley Club Wint Filipek at Copper Valley Club Watching a match Casey serves at Copper Valley Court A player serves in men's doubles at the Filipek tournament Awards at Filipek tennis tournament Sweeping the courts at Copper Valley Club Handshakes at the end of the match Watering clay courts at the Filipek Tournament at Copper Valley Mens A Singles match Courts before the tournament Playing under the lights Wint Filipek tennis tournament at Copper Valley Club Mixed doubled at Filipek Players at the Filipek tennis tournament at Copper Valley Club Filipek tennis tournament at Copper Valley Club Copper Valley Club Spectators and backboard at CVC Meeting the opponents Coming off the tennis court High school boys doubles Spectators at the Filipek tennis tournament at Copper Valley Clu Carl and Randy 19 Grounds at Filipek tournament at CVC High school mixed doubles Brackets at the Filipek tennis tournament at Copper Valley Club Staff at lunch Henry at the Filipek tennis tournament The courts at Copper Valley Club during the Filipek Tournament Filipek tennis tournament at Copper Valley Club Kids day at the Filipek tennis tournament at Copper Valley Club Spectators at Copper Valley Club Filipek tennis tournament at Copper Valley Club Mens doubles Filipek tennis tournament at Copper Valley Club A high school player serves at the Filipek tennis tournament at Mens A Serve Filipek tennis tournament at Copper Valley Club Filipek tennis tournament at Copper Valley Club Breakfast at the championship Randy serves at Copper Valley Court Filipek committee volunteers Lisa and Marcy Players at the Filipek tennis tournament at Copper Valley Club

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A Shutter’s Click

boy at lunch

in a shutter’s click,
the camera sees all the way through,

while life swirls around,
a coursing river of distraction,
and the child keeps changing,
sometimes distant, deceitful,

yet that moment remains,
a record of grace,
a testament of love,


Dan Colorado National Monument

Boy with tiger collage

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