The agony of defeat!

Ok, maybe I’m not impartial, but I think I got robbed.

A few weeks ago, I blogged about how I entered the “Cumberland Farms #1 Fan” contest.

Here is my video to refresh your memory :

At the time, I believed I was only one of 2 entries.  I checked all the hash tags that were required to enter the contest on instagram and youtube.

Well I was surprised to learn that I lost to this guy, who only posted his video yesterday (October 17th)!  In the contest rules all videos had to be posted by October 4th, 2017.

Here is the guy I lost to:

What? Really?

Maybe I am partial, but come on! I had a least a little bit of production value in my video.  Of course being from Rhode Island, I have to believe this guy is related to the judge. Maybe he is splitting MY coffees with one of the judges.

That is the thing with competitions where there is judging.  If it was running, the fastest time wins. (People who know me, know I will never be winning or entering a race)  So you are subjected to personal preference.  And the judges preferred this two note song with words you can’t hear over my submission.  Total bummer.  I know in my heart I am Cumby’s #1 fan, I still am even after this horrific miscarriage of justice.

As far as competitions, I am one win and one loss on the year.  I won the PVDonut Hascon tickets and lost the Cumby’s #1 Fan competition.  The sad thing is I can’t even support PVDonuts for the next eight weeks because my wife is doing a 8 week diet and exercise program, and donuts aren’t exactly “clean eating”. But, the competition I lost…I will still be going to Cumby’s two times a day, supporting them.  That coffee is my crack.

Pronk

On Monday we went to Pronk.  From the website :

PRONK! (the Providence HONK! Festival) presents a heartfelt antidote to mainstream culture by inviting people from all walks of life to come together for a day set aside for the celebration of music. We aim to blur social boundaries between audience and performers as well as between musical genres, resulting in a joyous reclamation of public space.

We have been going to Pronk for the past few years.  We love music and performance.  This year it was raining a little, but we still got to go and enjoy the performances.  We wouldn’t let a little rain ruin it for us.

 

It is great to see the bands that travel from all over to participate. The event reminds me of Pride, as you get to see people from all different backgrounds….and a whole bunch of different family structures.
Combine cool people and cool music, I look forward to it every year 🙂

This year we did have one incident. Sidney was dancing (aka splashing in a puddle) with her juice box. Randomly she put her juice box down and bent down and put her face into the puddle. Of course I screamed, jumped towards her and pulled her away by the first thing available to grasp…her hair (sorry).  Luckily I got her before she actually got a drink from the puddle. We were in a parking lot of the Hot Club, there is no doubt that the puddle consisted of rain, dirt, cigarette remnants, and urine.   There were a group of young kids walking by and they saw the whole incident happen, they all laughed and for the first time in her life Sidney experienced embarrassment.  She put her head into my stomach (She is 3 but she is sooooo tall and is the size of a 5 year old) and cried.  I felt horrible, and so did the kids walking by. They said “Sorry, we didn’t mean to scare you” but you could tell she was embarrassed.  For the first time in her life, my little ferrel child felt embarrassment.

My love for Cumby’s

I work for myself. I spend quite a few hours a day in my store, by myself.  I like it, not having a boss and stuff, but I do miss having “fellow employees”.  I have a pretty strict routine.  Everyday (weekday that is) I get up, go to the gym, go home, then go to work stopping at cumberland farms on my way.  I also go to the post office everyday to ship my orders from ebay, etsy, amazon, etc. You name it I probably sell on it.  So these people are basically like my co workers, only I don’t tell them what to do, and they don’t tell me what to do.  Almost like “single serving friends” as the term coined by Fight Club.

But these are my daily single servings.  I see the same people all the time.  The people who work for the post office and the ones who work at Cumberland farms.  Everyday, the same people at the same time.

So these single serving friends have become a part of my routine, and I actually look forward to seeing them every day.

It is strange, because every Cumberland Farms I have been in, all the employees are friendly.  I only ran into one Cumbys where the one employee was a bit rude, but she was old and I felt bad she was still working at her age.  Every other Cumberland farms I visit, they are all so friendly.  I have been to some so many times they know my name.  It is like the tv show Cheers 🙂

So Cumby’s had a competition to see who the #1 fan was.  Of course I entered the competition because I actually think I am perfect for the title.  Here is my submission:

I don’t have much of a singing voice, so I went with the filter.  There is only one other submission I can find, and that is this guy:

I love his video too 🙂 I can relate to this guy, we both love cumby’s, and we both have great spelling skills. This guy could be my single serving friend anytime. (Also, I still don’t know if it is Cumby’s or Cumbies)

So hopefully I won, I love free stuff and can use the gift card 🙂

Macaroooooooon

I am 41 years old.  I have traveled all over the US and the world.  I would consider myself a foodie, I have tried many types of foods.  I can remember being in the Virgin Islands at a buffet and filling my plate and not even asking what things were.  My father, a strictly meat and potato Irish man, asked about each dish.  After I had eaten half my plate, my Dad said “Tara, did that taste good?  Do you know what it is?”  I said “It tasted fine, it is chicken”  and my dad said “Sort of, it is bird”  So I asked “what do you mean bird?” and he pointed to a pigeon not far from where we were sitting.  He said the woman who was filling the buffet told him it was bird, and when he asked the same question as me she said “No, it is bird” and pointed to the same pigeon he was now pointing to.

Until a few days ago I could say, I have eaten Pigeon but not macarons.  For some reason I had never tried a macaron, and I didn’t know what I was missing.

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A man I do business with brought me a box filled with assorted macaroons. He gave them to me as a gift for my girls.  It was just their birthdays (3rd and First birthday) so he brought in a “Rainbow of Macrons”.

I brought them home and gave one to Maxine (my 1 year old) She smooshed it into her mouth, dropping half on the floor.  I picked it up and popped it in my mouth.  So my first macaroon was a floor macaroon.

It was nothing like what I expected.  I always passed on getting macarons because I figured they would be a nilla wafer consistency with frosting in the middle.  I like nilla wafers, I always ate them at my grandmothers house. (That house always had nilla wafers, jelly beans, and assorted licorice….aka old people deserts)

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Im not a picky eater, I will try almost anything.  (I actually think the only thing I won’t try is dog) If I saw them in a bakery I would pick something else, because I had prejudged them.

So it took a free box of macarons to get me to try them.  Forty One years, and now I know what I was missing.   I wonder what else I might have prejudged and what I missed out on.  I can tell you a half eaten macaron from the floor  is better than buffet pigeon any day of the week 🙂

 

Update:  I was just told that Macarons were gay oreos, so now I am into them even more!!

Hascon

This week we stepped away from yard sales and did a family event…Hascon.

Billed as a “The Premier Hasbro FANmily event”, the three day event took place in Providence, not far from us.

We live right behind the Hasbro factory….I could throw a My Little Pony and hit the building from my front door.  Luckily we won a family four pack of tickets, so I actually felt like we were living a 2017 version of Willie Wonka’s Chocolate factory!

We won our tickets by getting a special “Pinkie Pie” donut at PVDonuts.  We posted pictures of Sidney eating the donut and we  were chosen!Screen Shot 2017-09-12 at 10.45.55 AM

We decided to go to the show on Saturday.  Saturday was a big day for my family.  Sidney had her first soccer game and Maxine had her first birthday!  We left the soccer game, went home to change (we tried to dress up a little) and then we went to PVDonuts. We wanted to thank them for the tickets…..and of course devour a few more donuts.

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The Hascon event was great.  Because there is a My Little Pony movie coming out, there was a ton of MLP stuff.  We didn’t get to see all of the exhibits, We probably only saw 25% of what was offered, but we had fun.   I give major props to Hasbro because the event was not just about pushing their toys, they also had a social message.  They had kids take pledges to not bully and to be inclusive.  They also had kids pick toys to donate to Toys for Tots.

As a Rhode Islander, I am happy to see success for a home grown company that does so much for the community.   Last week when I was driving home from the gym I saw a bunch of people with Hasbro Shirts volunteering, doing the landscaping in front of the junior high, creating a seating space for the kids waiting for class.  A great example to show how a successful business can give back to the community they come from.

Check out the video below to see the inside of Hascon.

 

So I fell behind a bit….

I started this blog / vlog with a goal of one video a week on the hustle.  Then I changed the focus…to more than just the hustle.  Now I see I have fallen behind on my original goal.  It has been one heck of a summer.  I am actually enjoying the summer, not just working.  I guess my goal this summer was to fill my memory bank and not my financial bank.  To that end I have been successful.  I had 3 family trips; Niagara Falls, Family Week in PTown, and a short trip to New Hampshire.  I still haven’t gotten through all the pictures or video on those trips, but before I left I was a subject of someone else’s video.

It is strange to be in front of the camera, and I usually don’t put myself there.  I had to when I got a call from Nick Marcoux.  I can’t say no to Nick.  I feel like Nick is the father to my first child….that child being the film we made together.  Happy Endings? a feature length documentary about Korean Massage Parlors in Rhode Island while prostitution was decriminalized.

Nick is a freelance videographer and a teacher as Trinity Academy for the Performing Arts (TAPA)  He came across an opportunity to do a demo with a Panasonic Varicam LT.  Nick put the opportunity to work, filming sun up to sun down.  I was one of the short features he did.  It blogged about the day back when it happened in Blessed

The first edited footage has been released and here it is.



The profile on me will be finished in a few weeks. What a great opportunity to be part of this demo. When it is done I will link it here.

Get your shotgun???

I am just like every other mom in this world.  I think I have some gorgeous girls.  I know I am biased, because I also think my fur baby “Birdie” is the cutest dog alive. Here is a picture for reference:

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We get stopped a few times by people who tell us we have a pretty baby.  We constantly get told we have a “cute son”, our daughters are often mis gendered.  It does not bother me, I am used to it.  People comment on their hair and eyes and dimples.  Sometimes I do get annoyed or caught off guard when someone asks “what are they” or “what is she”, so I usually answer “A Virgo”.

We were on a bus in Niagara, I was sitting with Sidney (the almost 3 year old) and across and a little bit up April was sitting with Maxine (almost 1 year old).  A older gentleman was sitting next to April and Maxine and kept complimenting Max on her beauty.  He said, “She must be a daddy’s girl” April responded “She is mommy’s girl”.  He went on “Oh no, that must be daddy’s girl.  I hope daddy has a shot gun”  April just responded “She is mommy’s girl”

A few days later when we were driving home, we stopped at a rest stop.  I waited in the car with Maxine who was sleeping and April took Sidney inside.  April came back and said while she was waiting in line another man started a conversation with her.  He also said “She must be daddy’s girl. I hope daddy has a shot gun” April used the “She is mommy’s girl” response once again.

I know a day will come when the girls will respond for themselves that they have two mommies.  I have no idea how people will react, I just hope for their sake they react positively.

Although we are just back from a vacation to Canada, tomorrow we leave for another mini-vacation to Provincetown. (I have entered a point in my life where making memories is more important than making money)  PTown is a gay mecca.  It is one of my favorite places in the world. Every week of the summer they have themes. Everything from  Women’s week, Bear week, gay pilots week, you name it you can find in in PTown.  This week is family week.  Hosted by The Family Equality Council, family week is s big gathering of LGBT families, where there are lesbian moms, gay dads, transgendered couples with kids, every combination of gender / sex / ethnicities and race are represented.  It is amazing the combination of families.  I love going there and being surrounded with families like mine.  I love having the girls be able to be with other kids that have similar family structures.  It is a place where you just feel 100% comfortable, no questions asked.  Best of all, I know I won’t be told “That must be daddy’s girl, daddy better have a shot gun!”

Niagara Falls Vacation

I am just back from vacation.  We went to Niagara Falls and camped at Jellystone Park.  When I say “Camped”, we were in a Trailer and ate s’mores every night.  I am not a camper by any stretch of the imagination. I actually have a “NO CAMPING” clause in the pseudo prenup that I always remind my wife about.

We went and hung out with our girls “diblings”.  For those unfamiliar with that term, that is the word some people use when talking about donor siblings.  There are a bunch of families in Canada, so we decided to do a trip up there and meet some.

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There are a great number of varying perspectives about children meeting their diblings. Some moms want nothing to do with donor siblings or the donor.  I can understand that point of view, but I want my girls to be able to grow up knowing their “Family”.  They do have a unique set of circumstances within their family, and I want to raise them so see all types of families and appreciate the differences.  And I feel lucky that I ended up in this group of “sister moms” because each are incredible people.  There are “SBC” Single by choice mothers, heterosexual couples, lesbian and transgendered families…every type of family structure you can imagine.  The one thing we all have in common is we all had to try extra hard to have our children, and all our children are loved.  I can’t see a problem with wanting my girls to be surrounded by love and unquestioning acceptance.  And there are so many role models for my girls (and for myself).  A large percentage of my sister moms have Master’s Degrees, Ph.Ds, and many are career focused.

As for Canada, I loved it.  I have to say, I am impressed with Canadian women.  We met two Single moms there, one was actually camping in a tent with her two daughters!  Now that is some hard cord stuff.

Other things I noticed about Canada:

  1. Canadians are really nice.  I was driving and obviously unfamiliar with the road, and at one point I had to cut over 4 lanes. Not one driver honked, yelled, or chucked the bird my way!
  2. Canadians are honest.  I had brought a few coins from my shop that were Canadian,  I didn’t know if the coins were ok, because they were old.  When we first got there I went to buy a fry at McDonalds, so I asked the woman at the window. The woman at the window said the coins were fine, but I over paid!
  3. Guacamole is free.  FREE.  I added guacamole once when we were ordering something and I didn’t get the usual “THE GUAC IS EXTRA” and when I checked the bill, there was nothing added.
  4. Canadian Hershey chocolate is better.  We went to the Hershey store and they had a separate section for Canadian and for American chocolate.  The Canadian Hershey Chocolate was creamier.  I never knew how waxy the American Chocolate tasted until I had a comparison.
  5. American Water is better.  I think they add vitamins or something to the water.  I drink a ton of water, but when I was there I didn’t like the taste.

Anyway, that was my trip.  I had a few strange things happen there, but I will save that for the next blog post 🙂

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Jewelry Trends….

I just got back from Brimfield.  I usually go to all the shows, May, July, and September to shop at least one day per show, sometimes two days.  I have worked many shows, for a few different dealers until I set up myself.  What is interesting about Brimfield is how you get to see trends.

I can remember a few years ago, everyone was looking for goldfilled watch fobs and chains.  Then there was the year everyone was looking for garnets.  Then mourning jewelry.  Amber and bakelite was very popular a few years ago too.

It is a strange phenomenon, you will have 10 different people come to your booth from 10 different parts of the world (you can tell by the accents) and all will ask for the same items..verbatim!  “Do you have watch fobs”  “Do you have articulating charms” etcetera.  After every show, I would run back to the shop and list anything I might have in the shop that matched what trends I saw.

This show I didn’t set up, I only went to shop, so I don’t know what people are asking for.  It is strange that when I returned home, I had two very similar items on two different platforms sell.  Both were mosaic style earrings.

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This pair of earrings (above) sold on etsy, after initially getting listed in 2013.  This was relisted 11 times!!! Today it was purchased.  (On a side note etsy gives you some great stats to look at)

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This pair of earrings also sold, but on eBay. Unfortunately eBay doesn’t give you the great stats that etsy does, but I know these were most likely listed for as long as the other pair that sold on etsy.

Both sold for around $30.  It is just strange that they are both “mosaic” earrings that had been listed for such a long time, and they both sold on the same day.  Maybe this style is the new / next trend?

Duct Tape Bike

This week I did go to a few yard sales, but the most fun I had was from what I found in the trash.  Of all the things I find in the trash, one of the things I find the most is bikes.  I didn’t have a bike, so I figured I would keep this one and “customize” it.

When I got it, it was in horrible shape.  Rust all over it, flat tires, cob webs, kick stand missing.  I really wish I took a picture of it back then. I brought it over to cousin Julies house and had her son fix it up for me.  I had him change out the seat.. I wanted a big wide seat because my butt always hurts when I ride bikes. When I got the bike back it was perfect, but I decided to customize it.

I did a time-lapse video because time-lapse videos are my favorite.  The whole project took about an hour, but that is because I was stopping and taking a picture after every piece of tape was placed.  If I wasn’t filming, I am sure I could have finished in 20 minutes.

 

 

I think it looks cool. I even fixed up my daughter’s helmet from a lame Disney Princess one to Spike Mohawk Rainbows, with Mac & Cheese, Cats, and trailer park motif!

You can buy a huge lot of duct tape and do one yourself. Click the picture below to get started!Screen Shot 2017-07-10 at 11.54.00 AM

Thanks for checking out my project. Please like, subscribe and comment.

Happy Hunting 🙂