The House On The Hill Is Alive With The Sound Of Kitties!

welcome homeI have a wonderful bit of news to share, Modern Philosophers…

I have opened the doors of The House on the Hill to two adorable kitties who needed a home!  It’s been almost a month since Banky left this world, and while I am still processing this loss (which includes crying as I type this), I have been driven mad by the silence.

For sixteen years, I have opened my home, my life, and my heart to stray cats who needed a loving home.  After Banky left, I didn’t think I’d ever be able to do that again because losing those little purr balls was just so hard on me.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve realized that the saying “It’s better to have loved and lost, than to have never loved at all” applies to pets as well as to people.  I knew there were kitties out there who needed someone to love them and save them.  After much Deep Thought, I realized that Banky would want me to open The House on the Hill again.

Not to replace him, of course, because that would never be possible, but to continue the trail of love that has been a big part of my life for so long.

I thought that the first day of my vacation would be the perfect time to adopt some new balls of fur because it would give them plenty of time to adapt to their new home and to me with me here to watch over them.

BHSThis morning, I was at The Bangor Humane Society when the doors opened.  I knew I wanted two kitties, so that they would be able to keep each other company when I was at work, and I definitely wanted to adopt a pair that had come in together and the staff did not want to separate.

As I suspected I would, I cried upon seeing all the adorable creatures in their cages, hoping that someone would love them enough to take them home.  I wanted to adopt them all, but I knew that wasn’t feasible or at all sane.  I tried to hide my tears, but after a while, I simply gave up and just let them flow.  No point in not being myself, right?

I was overjoyed to see that so many of the cages had an “I have been adopted!” sign on them.  That definitely made me feel better.

It became obvious pretty quickly, though, which kitties would be making the trip home with me.  They were Cali, a one year old black female, and Panzier (that name was definitely going to change!) an 8 year old tiger female.   They were the only two kitties who didn’t come to the front of the cage to greet me.  They stuck together, seemed scared, and just stared at me.

Those were the ones.  I knew I wanted to open my heart to two kitties that would have a hard time finding homes.  Keren, the very nice BHS employee who helped me with my adoption, told me that the duo had been there the longest, and that she had fostered them when they’d come to the shelter.  Keren assured me that although they appeared shy now, they were very loving kitties, and that little Cali went a little bonkers when her big sister wasn’t around.

That just sounded perfect.  They have been running around The House on the Hill, checking out their new digs, and sizing up their Kitty Daddy.  Right now, they are both up under my bed, so I thought I’d write about them while they got settled.

I’ve renamed the older one “Luna”.  A little nod to Magic and Harry Potter seemed fitting.

kittyI will post some photos of them once they sit still long enough, in a lighted area, for me to capture them on camera.

Even though tears have been flowing the entire time I’ve been writing this, they are tears of joy.  My house is a home again!  Purrrrrrrrfect!

Posted in Family, Funny, Humor, Love, Philosophy | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Jump Start Your Brain: Vampires or Zombies?

JumpstartHappy Saturday, Modern Philosophers!

I am up early so that I can enjoy as much of my first full day of vacation as possible.  I also have something exciting planned for the morning, but I don’t want to mention it quite yet and jinx anything.  You know how oddly superstitious I am…

I might be awake and excited about being free as a bird for the next 11 days, but that doesn’t mean my brain is quite up and running.  I’m going to give it a jump start.  Does anyone else need 1000 Volts of Deep Thoughts to get the gray matter humming?

Would you rather be a Zombie or a Vampire?  The bite of either would change your life forever, so which path would you choose?  Don’t you agree that the Zombie route is the more ironic one for a Modern Philosopher?  Could you see yourself jump starting your day by eating brains?  Do you think you could handle the slow decay and the lack of Deep Thoughts?  Do Zombies crave brains because they miss thinking?  Wouldn’t an army of Zombies in togas be a cool sight?

Does the Vampire route appeal to you because they seem to be more like Modern Philosophers?  Would you want to live forever, never aging, and spending the rest of your days filling your brain with Deep Thoughts?  Do you think you could stomach the diet of blood and the hunting that such a diet would necessitate?

Would you be able to deal with the fact that you’d forever be an outsider?  How would you handle the notion that the rest of the world would always be out to kill you?  Would you prefer death by a stake to the heart, or by a blow to the brain?

Do you think that society has romanticized Vampires while vilifying Zombies?  If this is true, do you feel like you more relate to one group than the other?  Would you pick the Vampire life simply because movies, books, and TV have made it seem more glamorous?  Would you shun the Zombie life because the same media has made them seem so evil?

Don’t you kind of feel sorry for Zombies?  Don’t you think they’ve gotten a bad rap?  Doesn’t it all seem like a smear campaign designed to make us loathe them?  How much do you want to bet that the Vampires are behind it all?

Interview With The Vampire, Twilight, The Vampire Diaries, Angel, Buffy The Vampire Slayer…these all depict Vampires as sexy and attractive, so doesn’t that make it seem like someone is stacking the deck in the Vamps’ favor?  How could you watch The Walking Dead, The Evil Dead, Dawn Of The Dead or World War Z and think Zombies are at all appealing?  Brad Pitt was in a movie on each of those lists, so do you think he is the key to all this?  He was a Vampire in one and a Zombie killer in the other, so does that mean he is pro-Vampire and helping the crusade to make us hate Zombies?

Now that you’ve had time to ponder all this, I’ll ask you again: Would you rather be a Zombie or a Vampire?  What do your heart and brain tell you on that one?

Yes, I’m in an odd mood, Modern Philosophers!  Hope this Jump Start session has gotten your day off on the right foot (or your evening if you are a Vampire…)



Posted in Humor, Philosophy, musings, Funny | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 34 Comments

Vacate Immediately

closed-for-summerI try

Not to be


But for

The next

Eleven days,

My mind

Will be closed

For vacation!

Goodbye, stress.








This Modern Philosopher

Has vacated

The hustle

And bustle.


Keep asking

Where I’m going,

And I

Tell them

I’m just


My back

On the things

That drive

Me crazy.

I’m going

To my

Happy place.

I’ll be

Doing nothing

Other than

Doing nothing.

The highlight

Of my


Is not having

To go

To work.

I can go

Full Writer.

I will answer

To no one

Other than


And the stories

That clatter


In my head.

Word to paper.

No time clock.

No stress.

No worries.

I am vacating

The world

Outside my door,

To explore

The world

Inside my head.

If you’re lucky,

I’ll send you

A well-written


Posted in Funny, Humor, Philosophy, Poetry, Summer | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 31 Comments

Friday Night Think Tank: Vacation Time!!!

Doc BrownIt’s Friday, Modern Philosophers, and my Summer Vacation has officially begun!

I’m easing into my eleven day weekend by joining you in the Think Tank, like I do every Friday night.  We’re going to keep this week’s Philosophical Adventure cheery and light, though.  I’ve got to set the proper tone for my vacation.

Let’s get this party started!  Wear your most festive toga, and join the rest of us out in the Think Tank.  There’s music, great conversation, and some adult beverages.  See you there!

This week’s topic: What is your dream vacation location?

I know our Think Tank topics have been extremely deep and serious lately, but it’s fun to mix in something that allows for happy, wishful Deep Thinking, too.  Even the Ancient Philosophers kept it light at times.

coven-islandMy ultimate vacation location is my destination for the week: Coven Island.

Those of you who are long time followers of the blog know that I first visited Coven Island last Summer on my vacation, and I have been longing to return ever since.

Well, return on an extended basis.  Blog business does require my making the trip to Coven Island a few times during the year, but my adventures are much more fun when I visit the location strictly for pleasure.

Coven Island is so named because it is the official meeting place of Maine’s largest Coven, which is headed up by my good friends, Waltzing Matilda, Ti-Diana, and Volcanica Ivy.  It is located off the Maine Coast, but does not show up on any maps or radar because of a powering Cloaking Spell that keeps it hidden from those with no need to see it.

I love going to Coven Island because it is totally isolated from the rest of the world.  As hard as it might be to believe, Modern Philosophers, I’m not always a people person.  I like some time far away from the hustle and bustle (hence the move to Maine), and when I go to the island, it’s simply not possible for life to bother me.

I can relax, go for runs, fish, cool off in the ocean, write in peace and quiet, go exploring in the Magical Forests, practice my solo flights on my broom, get Magic lessons from the most powerful Witches in Maine, eat the most delicious meals, stare up at the stars, or simply nap in a hammock.

That is my idea of a perfect vacation destination.  Cannot wait to head there tomorrow.

So what about you, Modern Philosophers?  Feel free to create your ideal destination if it doesn’t already exist.  This is a Philosophical Exercise, so let the creativity and the Deep Thoughts loose!

Happy Friday!

Posted in Funny, Humor, musings, Philosophy, Summer | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 31 Comments

U.S. Facing Ice Shortage Due To Popularity Of ALS Bucket Challenge

ice bucketsThe Environmental Protection Agency and the US Food & Drug Administration held a joint press conference today to announce that the United States was suffering from a serious ice shortage due to the popularity of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

The challenge, which has gone viral on social media, has raised over $40 million for ALS research.  It has also done an amazing job of increasing awareness about Amyotrophic Lateral Scleroris, which is better known to some as Lou Gerhig’s Disease.

“The United States Government is definitely behind the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, and the way it has helped raise money for ALS research,” USFDA spokesperson Raymond Fogg told this Modern Philosopher.  “We’re just worried that the nation is going to run out of ice during the hottest month of the year.”

“We certainly want people to continue to make donations to ALS research, and to learn more about the disease and the people who suffer from it,” continued Wanda Lamont of the EPA.  “We just ask that they stop wasting so much ice and water.  Simply donate the money.  You don’t need to keep dumping ice water on your heads.”

“Not that there’s anything wrong with that!” Fogg added.

falling iceAccording to the numbers provided by the EPA and USFDA, the country has gone through most of its ice reserves.  The government has received emergency requests for ice from 6 states since Tuesday, and they fear that the number will continue to grow.

“It’s wonderful that the country is swept up in this wave of generosity, but people need to remember that ice does not grow on trees,” Lamont pointed out as she sipped a cup of ice free lukewarm water.  “While we are in no way saying that raising money for ALS research is not a priority, there are other more pressing situations where ice is required.”

A toll free number has been set up for Americans who either are in desperate need of ice, or find themselves with a bounty and would like to make a donation.  That number is 800-ICE-4ICE.

Vanilla Ice, the once famous “rapper”, will be holding a benefit concert at Billy’s Bar & Grill in Oakfield, North Carolina this weekend.  Admission is free to anyone who brings a bucket of ice to donate, and $10 for those without ice.  All ice collected will be used to restock America’s dwindling ice reserves, while all money will be donated to ALS research.

confettiThe Harlem Globetrotters have gotten into the act as well.  They have urged all Americans who would still like to do the ice bucket challenge, to instead, use their famed bucket of confetti gag.

Remember, Modern Philosophers, a bucket of ice is a horrible thing to waste.  Please continue to donate to ALS research, but stop dumping ice as part of the process.  If you must post videos of yourself getting wet, record yourself singing in the rain…

Posted in Humor, Philosophy, musings, Funny | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

My Sweaty, Off-Key Moment Of Zen

just runI rarely take a moment to relax and savor my morning runs, Modern Philosophers.  I certainly don’t do it on a work day, when I’m concerned about getting back to The House on the Hill to prepare for another day of being chained to a desk.

This morning, however, I decided to shake up things a bit.  My normal routine when I finish a run is to cool off by walking up and down the block, and then doing my stretches.

As I stepped back onto the porch, though, I decided that I needed a moment to reflect on my morning and center myself for the day ahead.

I sat down in one of the welcoming porch chairs, took off my glasses so that the world was no longer in focus, and just took a much needed long, deep breath.

Ironically, the next song on my MP3 player was “Breath” by Breaking Benjamin.  That tune took me back because it was put on there by the ex-girlfriend about whom I wrote “The Retirement Party”.  She loved Breaking Benjamin and Godsmack, so those bands provided the soundtrack for my runs for a very long time, courtesy of her putting them on my MP3 player, and my not knowing how to remove them.

When The Girl Who Is A Whiz At Technology finally showed me how to put new songs on my ancient music device, I decided to keep “Breath” because it had grown on me.

therapySo I sat there on the porch of The House on the Hill, dripping sweating, blind as a bat, and singing horribly off-key.  It felt quite nice.

I’m not saying I’m 100% ready to take on the day, but I do feel a hell of a lot better after breaking for that sweaty, off-key moment of Zen…

Happy Thursday, Modern Philosophers.

Posted in Fitness, Funny, Humor, musings, Philosophy | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Foods You Can Bring To The House On The Hill

peanut butterI’m trying to be better about what I eat, Modern Philosophers, which means I am siting here obsessing over food right now.

Since I don’t think I’ve ever compiled a list on this blog, I thought now would be the perfect time to do so.  Here’s a list of foods that would gain you entry to The House on the Hill should you bring them as a gift for the Modern Philosopher of the House:

1. Peanut Butter – This is definitely my go to comfort food and treat, Modern Philosophers.  The interesting part is that it can be even be good for you.  I love a peanut butter and jelly sandwich after a run.  Give me anything chocolate peanut butter (ice cream, whoopie pie, brownie…) and I’m in heaven.  If you put a peanut butter gun to my head, I would not be able to tell you if I preferred chunky or creamy. It’s a tie!

2. Liverwurst – I know this is a weird one, but I’m told my love of liverwurst is something I inherited from my Mom.  Since that is the case, I think it makes me love this item even more.  I don’t get it often because I’m tired of the looks and comments I get from people when I eat it, but nothing tops a sandwich of liverwurst and American cheese with spicy mustard.  Yummo!

pizza3. Pizza – How could this not be on a top food list compiled by a Brooklyn Boy?  I cannot even put into words how much I miss New York pizza.  Growing up in Brooklyn, it seemed like there was a pizzeria on every corner along Fifth Ave.  None of those was better than Bay Ridge Pizza, on the corner of 77th St and 5th Ave.  What I wouldn’t give for one of their pepperoni slices right now…

4. Chinese Food – Here’s a crazy factoid for you, Modern Philosophers: I used to hate Chinese Food.  I remember we’d go out as a family to the local Chinese place, and I could never figure out what to get because none of it appealed to me.  Then, when I was working in Connecticut after college, I got turned on to Sesame Chicken.  The takeout place up there made it in a way I’ve never found duplicated in New York, California, or Maine.  The joint up the street from The House on the Hill makes very good Sesame Chicken and General Tso’s Chicken, but it’s the recipe from CT that I really want again.

pluck u5. Chicken Wings – My all-time favorite wings are from Pluck U, which is a place founded by NYU grads that had a location very close to my dorm.  The BBQ ones were the best, and I ruined more than one toga from the horrible mess I’d make when eating them.  My new favorites, now that I’m hundreds of miles from a Pluck U, are the Salt and Vinegar masterpieces from the wings bar at my local grocery.  I know, it’s a weird source for awesome wings, but I dare you to try them and not become addicted.  I’ve taken to making my own Salt and Vinegar wings, but I still haven’t perfected the recipe.

So what about you, Modern Philosophers?  What are your favorite foods?  When do you plan on stopping by The House on the Hill to bring me an item from my list?

Posted in blog, Funny, Humor, musings, Philosophy | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 45 Comments