Friday Five

1. Have you heard of SoulPancake? It’s a website that “explores life’s big questions.” That sounds like a cliche or ad copy, but the creators have come up with an edgy, yet safe online community where people can discuss their ideas or ask questions. Life’s Big Questions encompass those topics that we all think about but don’t always get a chance to talk about. Each week, they post activities that get you thinking. One recent activity was to take a photo that showed something unexpectedly beautiful. Another was to write a paragraph about your relationship to time. Here is an activity from last week: SoulPancake Shout Out (3 min. video clip).

SoulPancake sets up a giant microphone on a busy street and invites people to express gratitude to someone who changed their life. If you had one minute to thank someone who has had a big impact on your life, what would you say?


2. Autumn is my favorite season, not just because of the colorful leaves, but the way the light changes. It’s absolutely magical, the way it drapes itself over the city and makes it sparkle. Now that daylight savings time has ended, it gets dark here before 5:00 pm. Every afternoon I get to see the last rays of sunlight wash the buildings in the most beautiful shade of orangey-pink. Then as the day becomes dusk the sky turns a distinct shade of cobalt blue that only happens in the fall. The lights come on and twinkle against the velvet background. I’m not sure this photo does any justice, but this was taken through my office window.


3. Speaking of fall, this here is apple and pear country. The farmer’s market is overflowing with them and all their juicy deliciousness. I stocked up with Bosc pears this week and made an upside-down pear spice cake. The last step is to brush a glaze on top which is why it looks wet. My co-workers gave it a good review, so I think I’ll make it again.

Do you have any fall favorite dishes? 

4.  The NYC Marathon was held last Sunday. Since the race route passes through my neighborhood, it’s become a bit of a tradition for my friends and I to cheer the 30,000 runners to the finish line. We are at about the six mile mark (10K). It usually goes a bit like this:

Arrive on the sidelines a few minutes after the race begins in Staten Island.

Wait about 10 minutes.

Watch for the arrival of helicopters and police escorts that follow the front of the pack.

Clap as elite runners pass (below) faster than two clicks of the shutter.

Wait another 10 minutes.

Cheer as premier runners pass.

Wait 10 minutes.

Cheer as third tier runners pass.

Wait 20 minutes.

Scream and cheer as the Achilles Runners pass. (The Achilles Runners are a group that aids people with disabilities to participate in sporting events. Some are blind or wheelchair-bound or have a prosthetic limb. In the marathon, they often run with a able-bodied “buddy.”)

Wait 10 more minutes.

Scream and cheer as the massive wave of the bulk of the runners begin. (For the next hour or so, there will be a sea of people from around the world pounding the pavement. They take up the width of a four lane road. Side note: the elite runners are almost at the finish line.)

Go to brunch.

Why, thank you sir, but I'm not running this year.



5. When smart things turn dumb. The (un) Help Desk at my workplace created a web portal that you can access to reset your password if you forget it (your vacation was that good) or you freeze it through too many attempts. You simply go to the portal, enter your name and then answer 4 simple questions to get a new password. You pick the 4 questions from a list provided and the system saves the information.

Problem? Now I have to remember the answers to the 4 questions. If I can’t remember my password, how will I remember the answers I entered to these questions. See, the questions weren’t simple with finite answers: What is your mother’s maiden name? In what city were you born? These were some of the questions:

  • What was the name of your school mascot? (Did I list high school? College? Grad school?)
  •  Name a great adventure you took.
  • What was your first job? (Did I list the title of the job? Or the company name?)
  • What is your favorite city? (So many places, which one did I list?)
  • Who is your favorite author? (For me this is like choosing between children.)
  •  What section of the newspaper do you prefer?
  • How do you get to work?
  • Name one of the Bill of Rights.
  • What is your favorite food? (Finally a no-brainer: N-U-T-E-L-L-A)


Have a great weekend everyone! 





  1. What a wonderful post, Jackie. SoulPancake sounds like a wonderful site. I will check it out. And you commentary on the marathon is hysterical. Six miles in I’d be crawling, bawling, and begging for mercy.
    Have a great weekend!


    1. SoulPancake seems like quite a new approach to me. It’s geared toward twenty-somethings, but it definitely gets you thinking about interesting questions.
      At 6 miles the runners still look fresh and excited. By mile 18, I just want them all to stop and lay down for a while.


  2. Those questions are impossible! I hate it when I need to answer questions like that for passwords — even if I know the answers then I need to remember caps or no caps! Once it was: your favorite movie. And I couldn’t remember what I’d said, especially because I don’t have a favorite movie! Crazy! As for autumn, I completely agree about the sky and light changing — also one of my favorite things about fall. Incredible photo of the city, beautiful!


    1. You totally understand Julia! I have to keep a list of all the crazy passwords and questions because every site has different requirements. I don’t even remember what I ate for breakfast this morning, I’m certainly not going to remember what I typed in as my favorite color 6 months from now.
      Have a great weekend!


  3. Love the Go Jackie sign! He must have missed the memo that you skipped the marathon this year. Funny stuff.
    And the questions to remind you of your password…yes, I run into the same problem, too. Initially, when I create the answers I am confident I won’t forget … then the questions are asked and I fumble. *sigh*
    Happy weekend, Jacquelin!


    1. Wasn’t that sign cute? I saw him out of the corner of my eye crossing the street. Many marathoners put their names on their shirt or wear a distinctive color so friends and family can see them in the mass of runners.


  4. I so resonated with this entire post! I peeked at Soul Pancake – looks fun and thought-provoking! The pear cake looks divine. I will be going out of town for a week at Thanksgiving and baking up a storm. I’ll keep you posted!
    I completely understand about the password dilemma – I’ve been remiss lately and just letting my computer remember. If anyone steals my computer they’re going to have access to everything except my bank account, I think! They’ll be buying plane tickets and ordering books galore! 🙂
    And autumn light – changing from peachy to dusky to that velvety indigo – I get it and love it as well.
    Love your marathon story too!
    Thanks for this uplifting post! 🙂


    1. Fall and winter are great times to bake, aren’t they? I don’t know if it’s the holidays or the cooler weather, but whatever the reason, I enjoy it. I can’t wait to see what kind of delicious treats you make for Thanksgiving.
      Have a lovely weekend!


  5. Oh, that tart looks so yummy! But is it Reggie-approved? (I’ll withhold a verdict until then…)

    Oh, those questions! It’s not bad enough they tell you you’re not supposed to use the same password for everything but then you have to remember the (trick) questions for the 500 other ones!

    Now I’m off to check out Soul Pancake…

    Happy weekend to you, dears!


    1. Is it crazy that I have to keep a list of my passwords in order to remember them all? Now if I could only remember where I put the list.

      Reggie gives two paws up to the tart, but he clearly would prefer a liver-flavor. 🙂


  6. Oh, nice five! Haven’t heard of the web site, but I’m definitely intrigued and will check it out tonight.
    Nice photo of blue hour!
    I like the way you do the marathon. 🙂


    1. Thanks, Carole! I’m trying to improve my photography skills. For a while I was sure it was the camera that was the problem. 😛


  7. Great post jackie. And I love the final pic.
    We used to get the NY Marathon televised here but now it is only on the Sports Programme on Sky (paid TV) and I don’t subscribe to the Sports. So thanks for giving us an update. I love that the (dis)abled get to participate and I have had a couple of friends who ran. What an achievement.
    The pear cake – perhaps I will just get somebody else to make one and give me a slice, otherwise I would eat it all.


    1. It’s such a beautiful building. I think it’s my favorite, even more than the Empire State Bldg. Next time I look out the window I’ll give a little wave at it for you! 🙂


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