Mermaid Memories: A Fairy “Tail”

Mermaid Memories: A Fairy "Tail"

“Hey, Mom, quick! Look at me swimming with my legs and feet together! Who am I?” If you were a filmgoer in the 1980s, you probably paddled like a mermaid at least once. Perhaps you were channeling Daryl Hannah in Splash (1984). Likelier still—and I suspect this is the case for most of my contemporaries—you…

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Monsters and Marshmallows: The Allure of Breakfast Cereal Characters

Monsters and Marshmallows: The Allure of Breakfast Cereal Characters

I miss my favorite vampire. No, not Edward Cullen or Bill Compton—I’m in Count Chocula withdrawal. Ever since this chocolaty breakfast cereal became a seasonal specialty at my local supermarket, I’ve spent 11 months per year convincing myself not to purchase a 12-pack online. It’s a somewhat irrational love, isn’t it? Count Chocula has never…

Funny Papers: Spoofing the News

Funny Papers: Spoofing the News

Playing with words and images can be funny: joke-telling, trickery, and satire allow us to be subversive without the repercussions that may accompany more malicious behavior. At seven or eight years old, my best friend and I produced a fake weekly newspaper. We pasted school portraits alongside our bylines and painstakingly crafted gossip columns, “horror-scopes,”…

Ever the Crafty One

Ever the Crafty One

They say that the best things in life are free, and that concept definitely applies to my creative endeavors. I’ve always been a scavenger (and hoarder) of craft materials too pretty or unique to pass up. I picked up the habit at summer camp, where I spent as much time as possible on arts and crafts. Half the fun of those projects was in dismantling them later for parts.

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I’m NOT a Bozo: My 15 Minutes of Fame on Children’s Television

I’m NOT a Bozo: My 15 Minutes of Fame on Children’s Television

I remember the roar of the crowd as I confidently gripped the ball and took aim—the way the noises faded as I focused on my target—and the broad smile on Bozo the Clown’s face during my successful run on the Grand Prize Game. Though I am competitive, I’m not well coordinated or graceful. You probably…

Under Scrabble’s Spell

Under Scrabble's Spell

ZA is a perfectly good word. You know, like PIZZA. While you probably wouldn’t use (or eat) ZA in a formal social setting, it’s a two-letter word that might help boost your next Scrabble game. Surprised that ZA is a legal word? Don’t be. The entire world of Scrabble terms can be pretty surprising. From…

The Time of My Life?

The Time of My Life?

I snagged my prom dress off the Macy’s sale rack for $26. What was wrong with that? Nothing, I suppose—until my mother discovered that I’d mentioned it in an interview with the local newspaper. Apparently, I should have kept my mouth shut when told that I looked like a million bucks. But whether you were…

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