December 31, 2013

2013 - I Did Things

As a new year without a foreseen apocalypse approaches, people around the world are making lists of resolutions that they'll do until they become mildly inconvenient in mid-January. There are always the exceptions of resolutions that survive the winter and help change our lives for the better, but whatever the result, it's always good to have goals to better ourselves. If nothing else, we at least get a year older.

Last year, I was ambitious and inspired after our world didn't implode, so I made a list of resolutions for 2013.  Without a silly omen to worry about this year, I am less inspired to make a list of resolutions for 2014. But since last year's article was mildly popular, I thought I'd reflect on my ambitions for 2013 and see how successful I was. If I didn't fulfill them, I'll make note of something I did instead. I at least got out of bed 365 times and things happened.

December 30, 2013

The World's Most Brilliant Airport

Give me a window seat!
I used to think I liked traveling. I've told people this many times. But now that I travel weekly with Hens on Ice, I've learned that I really just like seeing new places. The act of traveling from point A to B typically makes me want to pull out all my feathers and/or cry. But arriving in Stockholm, Sweden today after some cackles and cries, I witnessed something amazing I never thought I'd be alive to see.

I've observed many common behaviors in people brought out through traveling. After being through countless airports, my patience for poor travel etiquette and behavior is at zero. We turn into a different breed at airports. Suddenly, people are either aggressive, rude, and impatient, or they act as if they have no concept of how an airport functions. I want all these people out of my way because I want to get to point B so I can say I like traveling.

December 19, 2013

Pecking Away the Glam Part II: Hotel Life

Honey, we're home!
On my 3rd tour with Hens on Ice (who's counting?), hotel rooms are my home for the majority of the year. Most hotels strive to make our stay as comfortable as possible, giving us as much of a homey feeling away from home as possible. While hotels are a treat for vacations, it's a different feeling when they are my new, temporary home each week. While there are some perks, like no yard work and no pets and grandparents to feed, some hotel quirks have gotten under my feathers. Before I hen flap hotel staff, I'll just share some less glamorous moments of hotel life here.

December 15, 2013

Beach Day in Polandia

Come December, much of the world is cold, dreary, and possibly snowing. Florida is one exception in the U.S. where it cools down, but it's usually still warm enough to go the beach. Typical Florida "humor" is sadistically rubbing it in everyone's faces by taking selfies at the beach tagged, "Beach in December!" like it's a novel event. It's nothing new in Florida, but it really pisses off all friends and family not in Florida. "Jealous!" really means "Fuck you, I'm blocking your social media posts in winter months."

I moved coups to Florida to escape winter forever and to "get an education." When I finished learning, I got a traveling job. (Calm down, I know one never finishes learning or paying Sallie Mae loans.) Nowhere in my contract did I sign up for winter climates, but my feathers are back to enduring winters.

November 14, 2013

Serbian Hospitality Part I

Adventures with Hens on Ice often take odd turns. We go to destinations from Paris and London to Erie and Evansville, and everywhere in between. Somewhere in the midst of that gamut is Belgrade, Serbia. This is a part of the world I never thought I'd have a reason to visit, and I thought Yugoslavia still existed. But given a ticket and a purpose, I'm glad I've been able to experience this land.
Where's the show?

With only stereotypes of Eastern Europe and outdated geography in my mind, I had very little idea of what to expect. I pictured grey. I pictured cold. I pictured stern faces, and I pictured Yugoslavia still being a thing. Sure, there are still plenty of grey buildings and a few grey faces, but Serbia has been filled with many pleasant surprises. They can't fit in just one Hen article, so I'll start with a truly local experience: the hospitality at McDonald's.

October 31, 2013

A Silenced Cackle: A Little Tribute to Dr. Bob Dardenne

My advisor and professor in my graduate program would tell me how much he loved The Cutting Edge movies in every one-on-one conversation we had, and how they were his favorite movies. With such a dry sense of humor and being such an experienced journalist and professor, I never knew if he was being serious, sarcastic, or somewhere in between. I'm deeply saddened to know that I now will never know the answer for sure with his sudden and shocking passing. But talking about The Cutting Edge with Dr. Dardenne when I really needed legitimate help will always be one of many fond memories from the unique USFSP Journalism and Media Studies graduate program experience. Some fun facts and memories of Bob Dardenne:

October 15, 2013

My Moral Dilemma at Best Buy

I love a moral shutdown.
For many of us, life is a constant battle of morality and values, forming one's standards and trying to fit in as a good hen in this world. For others, life is standing up for one's political party until the government shuts down. Since I am one of the former hens, I am constantly faced with decisions that challenge my moral code and threaten my popularity on social media. These dilemmas can arise at anytime, even on a casual shopping trip to Best Buy.

Since buying a new camera this summer, I've had a $20 gift card for Best Buy. I figured this would be easy to spend since the store is loaded with music, movies, electronics, and refrigerators - some of my favorite items to buy. Instead of spending it immediately on something shameful like Jersey Shore DVDs, I saved it for when I knew exactly what I wanted.

October 7, 2013

Shalom! Part III - Keepin' It IsRael

Hebrew and Judaism aside, there were many moments while in Israel when culture shock grabbed me by the shoulders and gave me a hard shake. It's so valuable to experience cultures outside of our own so we can both learn about a foreign culture and reflect on our own. Even when being shushed in the hotel lobby bar or walking away from a restaurant because I couldn't read a thing, I reminded myself, this is so valuable, this is so valuable... 

Some of my odd experiences were amazing moments that I'll always cherish. Others made me want to curl up, cry, and teleport back to the comfort and gluttony of Florida. Much of my time fell somewhere in between the two. Here are a few select, distinct Israel experiences.

October 2, 2013

Britney's Solid Advice: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly!

It's Britney, bitch! She's back, uncensored, and wise. In Britney's new single and video, she has solid advice for anyone who will listen. Basically, she reminds us that we need to work hard for anything we want in life. But her lyrics are more inspirational than my paraphrasing, so check out the new video, and the good, the bad, and the ugly!

September 27, 2013

Shalom! Part II - The Hunger Games

Coming to Israel, I knew part of the cultural experience would be enjoying the local cuisine. But all that cuisine is wrapped heavily in the country's culture and religion. It is more than what I was prepared for, and I quickly learned how comfortable and fattening I've had it living my life in the USA. Through my travels, I have learned the US is cushy and glutenous, but my Vegas buffet mentality wasn't quite prepared for Israel's Hunger Games. Here are some non-edible tidbits from my survival in Israel.

September 18, 2013

Shalom! Part I - Bienvenidos a Israel

Shalom from Israel! My wings have finally rested enough from the lengthy flight to start flapping at this keyboard again. My bird brain has also needed some time to wrap around the fact that I am working again full time, and I'm also in a middle eastern country. It's still sizzling a little, or maybe that's the heat stroke.
Israeli bird.

Some of you may be wondering, what is Israel like? Some of you may be wondering, what does a hen do in Israel? The rest of you may just be annoyed you've now read "Israel" four times. It's hard to decide where to start with all that's happening, so I'll just start and end with a Hen moment from the first few hours of my time on this soil. This way I can also share my happenings in multiple articles and drag it out into a book deal if I'm lucky.

August 28, 2013

Why The Backstreet Boys Are (Still) Great

Wing pumping!
I recently went to a Backstreet Boys concert and, in all seriousness, it may have been one of the best concerts I've experienced. No, it's not 1999 and I'm not a 12-year-old hen. I had never been to a Backstreet Boys concert in the peak of boy band craze, so I couldn't pass on this reasonably priced ticket while they were all still together and with minimal grey hair. And with DJ Pauly D and Jesse McCartney as opening acts, I couldn't miss it. I'm good at first pumping with my wing.

Maybe the nostalgia had something to do with it, but the concert illuminated that The Boys are defying Father Time and are still great. Here's why:

August 23, 2013

A Roaring Cluck at Katy Perry

Two of pop music's biggest divas came back roaring to the top of the charts with new singles. Katy Perry and Lady Gaga released their respective new singles recently, flooding the radio airwaves with "Roar" and "Applause." While any Lady Gaga video deserves a hearty peck from The Hen, I'm here to take my first peck at Perry. I have a cluck to her roar.

Perry's single, "Roar," has been the number one song on iTunes and roaring on the radio. I was excited when I heard the title. I like powerful animal noises, like clucking. But after hearing it, "Roar" sounded more like a meow from my whiny house cat. It's not a sassy dance jam or a soulful power ballad - it's a run-of-the-mill, mid-tempo pop song trying too hard to be empowering and meaningful. But it's catchy and I can see its appeal, so fine. I'll flap for cover as the next Katy Perry tidal wave heads our way.

August 20, 2013

Don't Poke the Mario Lopez

Keep the lights low.
In an effort to broaden its demographic from the elderly, chain smokers, and/or addicts, The Seminole Hard Rock in Tampa began "Hot Summer Nights Poolside Parties" on Friday nights. Held in the renovated pool area, getting in the pool seems against the rules. Instead, there are drink stands, music, and hundreds of cougars clawing for free drink samples and male attention. But as summer continued to boil, Hard Rock made some strategic changes to its pool parties - add more entertainment and push the time back past sunset to help hide the guests' crow's feet.

Each pool party has had a DJ, and a few added a celebrity guest. Early in the summer, I heard Mario Lopez would be coming, so I marked my calendar immediately for that event. The only other celeb who'd be coming this summer was a former Playboy Bunny. Pass.

August 11, 2013

Home Is Where the Stalker Is

A place for lucky ducks.
While I was in Colorado for my hen friend's wedding, I also had the freedom and free time to flutter around my old pecking grounds. When I did the math, I could hardly believe it'd been 9 years since I moved away from Colorado. Time flies when you have wings.

Like any return to an area we've called home, it's bittersweet. It's joyous to visit some favorite spots, it's sad seeing some beloved places that are changed and unfamiliar, or no longer there. All the sights are filled with memories, both good and bad, but memories from home are strong, and I enjoy revisiting and reflecting. It's also nice that I lived there long enough to not get lost or need a GPS.

August 4, 2013

I Just Wanted to Be Thrifty Part I

I had flowing hair before this search.
This summer has been an ongoing saga planning a trip to my hen friend's wedding in August. Once we flew into June and I knew I could go, I pecked through the entire Internet to find the best airfares and car rental prices. In 2013, we have countless ways and resources to find the best deal and save money. But with that comes a nasty repercussion: we have countless ways and resources to find a deal. So instead of the old days, where I could make one or two phone calls and accept whatever price they told
me, I can spend an entire week pecking through the Internet, visiting the company websites and third party discount websites, checking different dates, comparing what city is cheapest to depart, comparing which city is cheapest to arrive, debating if I can finagle a non-stop flight, wondering if prices will be lower tomorrow, wondering if prices will be higher tomorrow, comparing if it's cheaper to buy two one-ways or a roundtrip ticket, wondering why rental cars are so damn expensive, and wondering how long it would takes for someone to find me after I bash my face into the keyboard.

July 23, 2013

One Direction's Best Song, Like, EVER! The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

One Direction is back with new material for our eyes and ears. The song, "Best Song Ever," hit radio airwaves last week, along with a serious of cruel and confusing teasers for the video. Each day, a new teaser would reveal another character in this music video, with an uncanny resemblance to a 1D member, except fat, bald, gay, or a woman. I had no idea what direction this video was going, but I was eager (and nervous) to find out. Watch the video below before I take a peck at the boys.

July 15, 2013

MeTube! HenTube!

Do you follow The Cackling Hen on YouTube? You probably should. The channel is in its elementary stages, and there's just a handful of videos so far, but The Hen's ultimate goal is world-renowned entertainment domination. That may sound lofty, but what's that expression - something about shooting for the moon and falling in the stars? Whatever that expression really is, it's perfect for me. The Hen may not flap as high as Perez Hilton or The Onion, but hopefully I'll fly into a book deal or a B-list city's newspaper column.

Miranda Sings.
The only YouTube personality I follow religiously is Miranda Sings. Miranda is a character performed by Colleen Ballinger (I also follow Colleen), a talented singer and performer who created this hilariously talentless, lip-stick-wearing monstrosity, poking fun at all the talentless and cocky YouTubers out there. I aspire for The Cackling Hen to reach a similar stardom of Miranda Sings and Colleen, but I still have a long way to fly. Colleen and Miranda are great. Both are hilarious. Their channels have millions of views and hundreds of thousands of followers, and rightfully so. I can't get enough! I'll go on the record and officially endorse Miranda Sings and Colleen. Check them out!

July 14, 2013

Britney with the Smurfs: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

When Britney Spears released "Ooh La La" for the Smurfs 2 soundtrack, I knew it was only a matter of time before her music video, where she'd either a) dance with smurfs, or b) be a smurf. Thank the lord "b" didn't happen, but "a" barely happens. Britney is with the smurfs, but I need to look up the definition of "dancing" again. C'mon, Britney! Here's a look at "Ooh La La's" good, bad, and ugly. 

July 11, 2013

The 4th Hot Dog of July

Bitch stole my outfit.
As a temporarily unemployed hen, my Fourth of July weekend turned into a Fourth of July week. But with hen friends in the coup and enjoying the sights and sounds of new barns and fresh chicken wire, I prolonged my visits and kept cackling. While away from my own farm, I also met a few hens in northern Florida who just didn't understand me. When they assumed, they made an ass of u and me and everyone in between.

For the USA's special day, a few of us hens met at our friend, Erin's house and flapped along to a party at Erin's friend's coup. With the promise of hot dogs and fireworks, I gladly joined. The celebration started in typical cross-group party fashion: one circle of long-time friends each introducing themselves to another circle of long-time friends, and no one remembering anyone's name, including the company we came with. Who's Erin?

July 2, 2013


This summer marks some monumental change for our country on the federal level. The news is filled with hot-buttoned issues, court decisions, and scandals. After eagerly waiting for weeks and months on decisions that affect many of our lives, we finally saw the change many us have wanted for years. Facebook has incorporated hashtags (#s).

Hashtags (#s) have transformed from something weird on Twitter to commonplace in social media. Did I lose you at the word, "hashtag?" If so, read The Cackling Hen's Guide to Twitter immediately. But while hashtag use is on its way to becoming commonplace, so is a nasty side effect: hashtag abuse and overuse.

June 25, 2013

New Miley Cyrus! The... the Bad and the Ugly

Miley Cyrus is back with new music! In spite of the criticism she gets, she's put out some catchy pop songs and I was eager to hear her latest. Sure, she's not Hannah Montana anymore, but that's fine with me. Pop stars always sound a little less like chipmunks when they get off the Disney Channel. Her last album, Can't Be Tamed, caught some flack for being too mature, too provocative, or too slutty for a girl her age. But now releasing the We Can't Stop single for Lord only knows what kind of album, it makes all of Can't Be Tamed seem tame enough for the preschool.

Normally I recommend watching the music video at hand if you haven't already, but I can't do that in good conscience. I'll put links to both the video and just the audio of the new song. I endorse listening to the audio quietly while reading this. Watch the video at your own risk.

June 19, 2013

New Cher! The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Cher is back on The Hen's pecking block, but this time it isn't because of her ludicrous tweets. I tuned in to The Voice finale last night with the promise of big names performing. With Cher's name at the end of the list, I couldn't miss seeing what spectacle the old powerhouse would bring. And a spectacle it was! Check out the performance below if you missed it.

June 17, 2013

New Britney! The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

As summer blazes on, this Monday started with a bang in the music world. Britney Spears is at it again. But her new single isn't the lead for her new album. Instead, it's the lead song on a highly-coveted summer movie soundtrack: The Smurfs 2. The Cackling Hen dropped everything, saving the mess for later, and suffered through droll morning radio conversation to hear the track first. Here are The Hen's thoughts on "Ooh La La." If you haven't heard the new Spears song, listen first below!

June 6, 2013

Weird Things In My Coop Part II

As I become less motivated to keep cleaning my coup, I continue to find bizarre items that inspire me to continue. I've had a few minor breakdowns as tasks that should take minutes take days, but these odd gems are the seeds that keep me pecking for more. Here are a few more of my serendipitous finds.

1. Perfil Magazine's May 2011 issue. I have a feeling a few of you may not be familiar with Perfil, Tucson, Arizona's publication highlighting the Hispanic community's (Okay, the whole city's) events through glossy photos. The magazine is written in Spanish and highlights quincineras, birthday parties, and Cinco de Mayo. It's yearbook style, with photo after photo of big groups wearing all sorts of colorful outfits that scream, "fiesta!" But since I haven't been to Arizona since 2008, I have no idea how Perfil meandered its way to one of my drawers in Florida. Now I want to crash a quincinera.

May 29, 2013

I Make Rash Decisions

After a bender beach weekend with dear friends, a wedding, and more Germans than I'd ever met, I had to return to the reality of my work and temporary unemployment. My hen friend and I had one more fine dining experience in St. Petersburg (Florida) at a gem called Kissin' Cuzzins before I had to flap out of my hangover and hit the road.

I had noticed when I woke up that morning before Kissin' Cuzzins that a minor skin irritation I'd ignored since the final weeks of tour had catapulted into a full-on rash of some variety. And since this rash now hurt, altering my walk and how I put on my underwear, I decided it was time to take full advantage of my health insurance and see a doctor. I had only used my insurance for beak cleanings before, so I was eager to see how good (or bad) my coverage was, and get a glimpse of the American health care system in the heart of Florida.

May 22, 2013

Weird Things In My Coop Part I

Who the hell are you?
The Hens of Ice tour may be finished, but The Cackling Hen never stops flapping its wings. Since returning home, I've been busy getting lost going to the dentist and avoiding unpacking. I at least had the perfect excuse not to unpack - there was physically no space in my room (or the guest bedroom) for my two suitcases of life. Who's been living here while I've been away?! But as fun as it was last night to need a running start to jump over the piles of crap barricading my bed, I vowed it would be the last night I got a mild concussion before sleeping (what looked like a bed turned out to be a desk). It's time for serious spring cleaning, reorganizing, decluttering and donating in this Florida coup!

Maybe it's the fact that I've never cleaned in the spring before, or maybe it's the pot of coffee I drank all day, but I'm buzzed about this spring cleaning and the eventual result of peaceful, spacious living. I don't think spring cleaning will lose the noisy roommates or cats, but one step at a time. And in the midst of scouring every corner of my coup, I've found some bizarre things I forgot I owned, don't need in my coup, or both.

May 17, 2013

Pros and Cons of a Nine-Month Tour

Last night was our Hens on Ice closing night party. While we still have a week of shows ahead of us, we celebrated like we didn't. And while the fatigue of a nine-month tour kicked in eight months ago, any soreness, bitterness or suppressed disorders got checked at the door with out coats. Okay, we didn't wear coats.

Seeing everyone together dressed nicely and enjoying themselves made me nostalgic over this seemingly endless tour. Sure, we've endured many rough patches along the way, but we got through them together. They say what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, so I've felt strong enough to avoid the gym this year. It's been an emotional roller coaster, so I decided to look back at the pros and cons of a nine month tour.

May 2, 2013

#Selfie Overload!

It's been a busy few weeks of work and cackle block, but I'm back with a fresh peck at one nasty side effect of social media: self pictures, or "selfies." There was a healthier time when we all just hated pictures of ourselves, so what happened to that?

When I'm doing research on the internet and looking for Grumpy Cat memes, I don't want to see pictures of my "friends" in a bathroom mirror, acting natural - shirtless and making a duck face.  Facebook's name alone suggests I will see a lot of faces when I log on, but I miss the days of more faces with friends and less pouty, pensive faces alone in a dark room...or the car. That can't be safe at 70 miles per hour.

April 17, 2013

Putting the "Me" in Team

Voting for The Blog Exchange contest is over and thank goodness. While it was a great contest to enter and I hope the judges miraculously choose this hen as a wildcard (I've been called both "wild" and "a card"), I can now get back to business as usual for The Cackling Hen. We'll be back to regular hen promotion instead of daily "vote for me or else" promotion, and that's a big weight off my feathers.

Probably Hen fans.
Since I was close in the running and I have the best following (forget Beliebers!), I knew I had a chance at getting the votes if I spread the word effectively. But although it's free, quick, and not one voter complained (yet), there are only so many creative ways to say "vote for me right now" before it comes across as "EVERYONE NEEDS TO PAY ATTENTION TO ME!" And while clearly everyone should pay attention to The Cackling Hen, I don't want it to come across that way.

April 10, 2013

Same-Hen Marriage

Let's move on.
"Marriage equality." "Same-sex marriage." "Gay marriage." "Grumpy cat memes." All these terms have been thrown around incessantly as the Supreme Court debates on California's Prop. 8, which banned same-sex marriage (but thankfully not grumpy cats) in the state. Since it's such a hot-button issue and I
hate being cold, here's a peck at the matter from The Hen.

As a reasonably educated hen, this heavy debate involving the government, religion, gay rights, human rights and grumpy cats doesn't make much sense. As much as I love warm temperatures, it's gotten far too heated for my liking. The issue of same-sex marriage doesn't personally affect the vast majority of Americans, so why do so many hens have their feathers beyond ruffled?

April 1, 2013

A Foolish Day

It was just the neighbor.
In honor of April Fool's Day, I felt obligated (in a good way) to write something since this is a humor column. If I stayed silent today, it would be like The Pope being silent on Easter or me being silent about Chick-fil-A.

While April Fool's Day is nationally recognized, people's participation is unpredictable. The goal is to fool people, so we need to act natural but scream, "April fools!" when we convince our friends we saw Britney Spears at Costco. I love fooling people, but I've also been fooled, so I'm on guard all day, suspicious of everyone's every word. I thought I was being fooled today at McDonald's, but it turns out they were just slow and incompetent in making my meal. Still, I kept staring deep into my cashier's eyes until my food was delivered and I was escorted out by the manager for "harassing" her.

March 14, 2013

Can I Ask You a Question?

Can I be honest?
I recently spent a few of my days off at home. With just me in the house, it was very quiet (minus the cats) and I enjoyed our peaceful neighborhood on the fringe of Lakeland, Florida. But one morning, as I pushed through the overgrown palm fronds to get the newspaper, I heard a clamor that was neither the cattle mooing behind our house nor me swearing at the ridiculously overgrown palm fronds. It was a grown man down the street having a conversation with another man at a volume the whole neighborhood could hear, except the "conversation" was really just Yelling Man A squawking at Standing Man B. As I pretended to be caught in the palm tree so I could eavesdrop, I realized that we too often ask questions that we don't let be questions.

February 27, 2013

New One Direction! The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

While Britney Spears is The Cackling Hen's favorite for many things, such as musical artist, performer and mom (don't tell mother hen), she is neither a boy nor a band. The Hen also loves (good) boy bands, and One Direction wins this category for me and millions of tween girls around the globe. Sorry, Britney!

I'm not a boy band.

The 5 Eurolads are back again with a new (covered) song and video! Here's a look at the good, the bad and the ugly.

February 23, 2013

Pecking Away the Glam Part I

It is my second year on the road with Hens on Ice. Aside from loving to perform as a show hen, the travel can be a major perk of the job. But like any job, there are good days and bad, pros and cons, coffee and decaf. When I returned from my European tour last year, a few too many people asked me, "How was your trip?" I wasn't backpacking across Europe; I was working! I realized some of my hen friends still didn't understand the bad, cons and decaf of it all. While I do enjoy my work and the places I've been, I also want to bust any myths or delusions that I'm galavanting from city to city in private jets with champagne. We're more of a tequila coup. Here are a few things that suck the glamour out of my life.

February 13, 2013

Tweets from Cher Part I

All went to hell when she found power button.
The Cackling Hen prides itself with being savvy in social media. I even wrote a guide to Twitter! In spite of this guide, it seems like not everyone has read it yet. Keeping up with endorsed celebrities, some stand out more than others on Twitter. Ellen DeGeneres makes me laugh and Snooki makes me wonder why I still follow her, but Cher takes the cake and eats it too. Her use of Twitter makes me wonder if she's really crazy or just has no concept of how to use Twitter semi-appropriately. Here are 5 select tweets from Cher. 

February 1, 2013

Bleeding Love

Someone shovel me.
After having a relatively mild winter last year on Hens on Ice's European tour, we've gotten the brunt of Old Man Winter this year stateside. I thought I was done with winter in 2004 when I moved from Colorado to Florida, where winter is any temperature below 60 degrees. Now that I have a traveling job, I have to bear places with real seasons. Life is hard.

Last year when it dipped below 60, I threw on layers and coats and told myself, "I'm in Europe." Even frostbite wouldn't stop me from taking pictures in Belgium while it was frozen. This year, I tried to tell myself the same thing, but I knew I was a liar. Knowing warm, sunny Florida is just a stone's throw away compared to last year, I've saved my whining only for when it's extremely cold. It's been extremely cold for two months now. "I hate winter" is my new "I'm in Europe."

January 22, 2013


Too big!
Our Hens on Ice tour keeps the roller coaster of worldly destinations going! After a recent day trip to peck at The Big Apple (see video!), I left full and have been digesting back in America's mid-sized cities. I've found that even the seemingly dull or scary cities have had something nice to offer. I imagined Huntsville, Alabama as cockroaches and hate crimes, but it turned out to have a gorgeous, duck-filled park downtown. I envisioned Hartford, Connecticut as gang violence and collapsed factories, but it had a vibrant downtown of sassy restaurants, European architecture and a large park. So, if even Tupelo, Mississippi proved a little something to offer, I changed my initial image of Erie, Pennsylvania before we arrived. My image of a polluted lake and dreary weather had to be wrong - I was ready for a lakefront beach stroll and sassy cafes. Here are some highlights from our stay in Erie.

January 2, 2013

I Resolve Not to Listen to the Ancient Mayans Again

Last year, I avoided the subject of New Year's resolutions by writing a more worldly piece on Britney Spears. I resolved that if we survived the 2012 apocalypse, I'd make some New Year's resolutions. Thanks for the false prediction, Mayans, because now I need to come up with some resolutions. So here we go - The Cackling Hen's first (and maybe last) official set of New Year's resolutions!
Everyone will love it.

  • Write daily in my future best-selling novel. Most of you don't know that I am working on a revealing "tell all" about an undisclosed sport that will sell millions of copies. But when I say "working on," that really means I started it last summer (okay, late spring!) with gusto and haven't written a thing in six months. Sure, it may be following the same pattern of my previous failed book attempts, but this one has the most promise. I'm hoping my writing is at least better now than in my unfinished novel I wrote in 8th grade about Cubans in America on the run.