Friday Five

1. Hello, Gorgeous. It’s peanut butter yogurt (yes, you read that correctly) with mini chocolate chips and mixed nut topping. And it’s mere steps from my apartment. If you don’t have a Pinkberry in your area, you may want to move.

image via Wikipedia

2. Where are they now? If you’re of a certain age (ahem) you vividly remember the Brat Pack – that group of young actors who seemed to be in every single movie made in the 80’s. Some of them stayed in the spotlight (Demi Moore, Rob Lowe) and some found their way back to Hollywood (Molly Ringwald), but many of them seemed to disappear into the ether. So it surprised me, in a good way, to learn that Andrew McCarthy is having a great time of it as a travel writer. I noticed his byline recently and thought, That Andrew McCarthy? No. But yes, it’s that Andrew McCarthy. In fact, he won the Lowell Thomas Award in 2010 for travel journalist of the year and he is editor-at-large for National Geographic Traveler.  Here’s a feature article he wrote about Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula for Travel & Leisure and a lovely blurb about his favorite places in Dublin in National Geographic. How easy to put someone in a box and think that’s the whole story when really they have so much more to give.

3. Reggie Makes a New Friend. On a recent late night walk, Reggie started actively sniffing near a car, desperately trying to get under it. It’s not an unusual occurrence, but I always steer him away from the cars. There’s usually an old slice of pizza or box of chicken wings hiding out and I really don’t need to bear witness to that aftermath, if you catch my drift. But this being Brooklyn we have to expect the unexpected. On this night, Reggie wouldn’t be deterred and finally, something scurried out from under the car and up a nearby tree. I didn’t see it – only heard its nails against the bark. Reggie circled around the base of the tree, very interested in the scent, but not trying to hunt it. (Reggie’s too sophisticated for that, you know.)  I snapped a quick pic with my phone – so it’s quite grainy and out of focus. See the little eyes at the top of the photo? Can you guess what it is? Answer at the bottom of the post!

4. May I geek out for a moment? I’m so happy that I stumbled across this clip of Mark Twain. It’s the only known footage of him. It was filmed by none other than Thomas Edison in 1909. Sure, it’s silent and wobbly and he’s really not doing much aside from sipping tea with his daughters, but IT’S MARK TWAIN. In motion.

It made me think for a moment about how much I take this for granted. I can capture a video on my phone for goodness sake. There are so many people throughout history whom we’ll never get to see in this manner: Abraham Lincoln, Queen Victoria, Henry David Thoreau. What a treat to see the great author “come to life” through the power of moving image. Who would you love to see in video if you could?

5. Need more space? Is your house busting at the seams? Tammy Strobel has an idea. Think small. She and her husband moved from a 1,200 square foot condo to a 128 square foot house. You read that correctly: 128 square feet. Your living room is likely bigger than that.

Although I’m sure that I have far more “stuff” than Strobel, I can vouch that living in a small space makes you think twice before buying anything. What is this thing going to add to my life? Can I get by without it? Do I really, really, really need it? (You have to use really 3 times.) Still, living in a space as small as Strobel’s seems like it would be so limiting. But she says it’s just the opposite. “I’m incredibly grateful because simplifying my life has given me the flexibility to make choices I hadn’t considered.”

Would you ever consider living in a tiny house? What is the smallest space you’ve lived in?

Answer # 3: It’s a raccoon!!

Have a great weekend everyone!



  1. After living in pretty tiny apartments for the last 15 years, moving into a house (renting from a friend who’s traveling for a few years) is blowing my mind. I still live small–I hope I never lose that.

    It is nice, however, to be able to take our books out of boxes…and not have to go to the storage space to find a title you know just has to be somewhere!


    1. It must feel like you’ve gone from a broom closet to a castle! It always seems to take a concerted effort not to accumulate too much stuff – even if you live at the Biltmore.

      Would you ever switch to ebooks to save space?


  2. Oh, I LOVED the video. Fascinating. I loved how he walked by puffing away. I kinda wished he’d break out into a little dance, but no luck.

    We live in a small space now (by today’s standards) it’s only 1300 sq. feet. Well, it sure feels small with two little kids who are growing by leaps and bounds. I had tiny apartments when I lived alone and I can honestly say, I liked the cozy space (plus less to clean!)


    1. I’m glad you enjoyed the video as much as I did! (I was hoping for a little soft shoe also, I’ll admit. )

      Isn’t that the truth? I’ll tell you – most of the time I don’t mind that I only have one bathroom. Fewer tubs to scrub. 🙂


  3. My A/C is broke right now and the inside of my house is over 100 (repair guy on the roof as I write) so that ice cream sundae photo really is sweet torture.
    Had a feeling Reggie’s friend was a coon. Those big glowing peepers were the give away.
    Have a great weekend!


    1. I just broke out in a bit of a sweat on your behalf, Cynthia. I hope you get that a/c fixed real soon. I’m going to get another sundae today – just for you. I hope you like strawberry. 🙂


  4. Mark Twain, wow!! That is amazing. I’d love to see footage of Thomas Jefferson.
    That house is really tiny. I wouldn’t like the no shower part at all. Believe it or not, I once lived in a converted broom closet. There was room for a twin mattress on the floor and a chair. I was living in the German Alps, it was temporary and I was twenty-one. You can do anything at that age.


    1. No shower is a bit of a deal breaker for me, too.

      Twenty one is a great age for that and pulling all nighters studying. Two things I don’t think I could do anymore. But waking up to the view of the German Aps would make up for it.


  5. Do you know that Andrew and Molly have books coming out soon?
    Andrew’s is “The Longest Way Home”, and it is being released in September. Molly’s is “When it Happens to You”. I think it was released earlier this month, but I am not certain. They are on my ‘want to read’ list.


  6. Oh wow, can’t remember the last time I heard “Brat Pact”. I used to love those movies. Good for Andrew–I would love to have his writing job. And how cool is the Mark Twain footage. I would give you a list of people I’d like to see footage of, but it wouldn’t end. I’m a history nut so that is dangerous territory. And I guessed it was a racoon.


    1. Given his razor sharp claws and fangs for teeth, I doubt Reggie and the raccoon will be spending too much quality time together. 🙂
      Hey, that’s not a bad idea for a children’s book – Reggie and the Raccoon. 🙂


  7. I have to admit I am fascinated with the whole small house trend. I would love to try — but right now we have WAY too much stuff. One of my goals is to declutter the entire house and maybe live in an Airstream trailer traveling around the country. The smallest space I’ve ever lived in was a studio apartment in college and I loved it. Tiny is the new big, right?


    1. You are reading my mind! Reggie and I will totally join you in that Airstream trailer. (He’s an excellent co-pilot.) I hope it’s those awesome retro silver ones with the rounded edges. 🙂
      And maybe we can make a pit stop at the Giant Ball of Twine.


  8. I think I’ve seen a few of Reggie’s new friends’ friends around lately, too! Well, kind of. These guys are a bit more rabbit-like. Although we did have a family of raccoons that lived by our LAST building. They used to jump out of the dumpster when I’d take the trash out at night… freaked me out when I’d forget they were hanging out there!
    I love the Twain footage, too! Lincoln would be fascinating… just imagine how WILD that would be! Wow!


  9. Peanut butter yoghurt: Yum! I sometimes put a dollop of crunchy peanut butter on my ice-cream or yoghurt and then mix it in. 🙂

    Andrew McCarthy: Interesting to hear that he has other talents. I often wonder what actors who we don’t see much of our doing outside of acting.

    Reggie’s raccoon: Cute! Amazing what wild animals one finds in big cities sometimes.

    Space and stuff: Have definitely noticed that the more space I have the more I hoard and the more messy I am!

    Like your new blog theme! Nice, clean, minimal look.


    1. Peanut butter goes with just about anything, doesn’t it? I never tire of it. What a great idea to mix it in with your ice cream! I’ll have to give that a try.

      So true – the more space you have the easier it is to accumulate more stuff. The best cure for that is to move. 😉


      1. I had to laugh at your comment. I still had 3 boxes left to unpack from when I moved – 6-1/2 years ago! I finally got up the courage to do it a few months ago. Obviously it’s all stuff I could live without. 🙂


    1. Thank you so much! I didn’t see your comment until just now, so I’m sorry didn’t get back to you sooner. It’s so nice when someone thinks enough of this little blog to post a nomination. I’m heading over to the link now.


  10. I was brought up in a very big house, moved to a smaller one, then when we sold that my husband and I moved into a rental place for a couple months while hunting for the house we now have. The rental place was minute. Not as small as the one in the video, but pretty tiny. It had a sitting room leading off to a tiny kitchen. From the kitchen there were stairs to the upper room (one, with a tiny bathroom off it.) I didn’t mind it at first but grew to hate it. (I hope the owners don’t read that but – hey – if you do, sorry – I lied when I said I loved it!) I was always hitting my head on the low beams, and I felt cramped and trapped there. The fact that I’m partially housebound (long story) doesn’t help.

    I think for someone who is a very outdoorsy sort of person, this sort of thing might be fine, but to me it’s claustrophobic.

    It’d be great for hobbitsies! 😉


    1. Oh, those hobbitsies would love a place like that!
      I can see that if your access to outside was limited, you might feel like the walls were closing in on you after a short while.

      I hope you’ve been able to move on to a place with a little more space. Thanks for stopping by Val!


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