masthead #66 – birdcages


When I was in high school, I worked at a Ben Franklin, where I tirelessly stocked shelves with Suave shampoo, white sports socks and endless boxes of glue sticks, and basically tried to avoid being wrangled into gift-wrapping purchases, cutting fabric, or helping customers obtain a new pet. We actually had a decent pet selection for a dime store in a town with 2,000 people, offering plenty of fish, gerbils, hamsters and birds.

So: the birds. Whenever someone wanted one, I made them get it out of the cage themselves (which was against the rules, but HELL if I was going to do it). The birds were just tiny parakeets, but their skittery fluttering and herky-jerky head movements creeped me out, so I avoided touching them at all costs.

I’m not afraid of birds (unlike my grandmother, who was deathly afraid of them, but being locked in a closet with one as a kid will do that to you, right?) but I don’t know if I could hold one in my hand, you know?

Do any of you have birds?

masthead #65 – kong!


Oh, man. I looooved playing Donkey Kong. It was one of those games I never tired of playing, no matter how many times I got stuck on the same level or kept making the same mistakes. (Unlike playing Q*Bert, which stressed me out for some reason.)

I also really enjoyed Pitfall and Tetris. I love me some Tetris!

What are your favorite old-school video games?

masthead #64 – paper dolls


Did you ever play with paper dolls? I never really had “official” paper dolls, but I spent hours cutting out people from the Sears catalog, outfitting them with all kinds of clothes and even arranging their tiny hands around lawnmowers, patio furniture and tool sets. When it came to paper doll-making, the Sears catalog was the way to go, man.

masthead #63 – advent


Anyone else want to tear their face off when they hear “Feliz Navidad”? No? Just me?

What’s your least-favorite Christmas song (and your favorite)? My favorite is “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” or “All I Want for Christmas is You” (the version from Love Actually).