I live in New Jersey

Friday 5: Nonstrosity

Happy Saturday! I was feeling under the weather for most of the week so I didn’t get to blogging when I wanted. But no more guilt about that. My blog, no advertisers, no rules!

This morning I came downstairs and the dogs were already outside. WM let them in and they joyfully ran over to me, tails wagging. Murphy proudly dropped a gray hairy blob at my feet — it was a long-dead mouse. HOORAY!

After I climbed down from the ceiling, we went to Wawa (where most busy Saturdays start), a yard sale, the post office, the Collingswood Book Festival, the Haddon Heights Fall Fest, Paper Source in Marlton Evesham and back home by noon. Yeah. I wore my Reading Trumps Ignorance shirt, which got no comments at the Book Festival, and a small comment from a vendor in Haddon Heights.

She: What’s your shirt say?
Me: Reading Trumps Ignorance.
She: I’m a Trump fan.
Me: Okay!

By then I already had purchased something from her, so hey, whatever. I’m sure this lovely older woman is happy she’s making America great again by selling decorative lawn flags that were made in China.

I also fell hard for this apple basket decorated to look like a pumpkin. I hate fall but the decor sure is pretty.

When we got home I spent the afternoon sitting outside in the 85-degree weather, and then I cleaned all of the dog poop out of the yard. My glamorous life!

Tonight we saw the lovely Kristen (and my the rest of the fam) for her birthday dinner and I filled my belly with pasta.

But rght now, it’s time for the Friday 5. This week’s theme is Nonstrosity. Let’s get to it!

1. What’s a good movie for October that has nothing to do with monsters or Halloween?

As I’ve said many times, I’m not a movie person (though the reserved recliners at my newly-refurbished local movie joint is slowly making me rethink that). But I’m a HUGE fan of the movie “You’ve Got Mail” and one of the memorable lines is “Don’t you just love New York in the fall?”

2. What’s a good couple of songs for October that have nothing to do with monsters or Halloween?

Eh. How about O New England by the Decemberists?

3. What are some reasons to love October?

The beginning of hockey season. (Devils win 4-1!) Oh, how about climate change? Look at this beauty!

I know this is fundamentally wrong but … I’m not going to complain overly much.

4. Radio stations sometimes call this month Rocktober, doing special playlists or giveaways in celebration of rock music. What would be a better rhyming name for this month, and how might it be celebrated?

Cocktober. Glocktober. I could have sworn that at one point there was a “Proctober” where people urged men to get prostate exams, but I can’t find anything about it. It probably was pinkwashed out and replaced by the eyerolling Movember movement. But I think it’s a good idea.

5. What would be a good holiday to establish in October for those U.S. states not commemorating Columbus Day?

Indigenous People’s Day and Leif Erikson Day are already becoming things, and I am fine with that.

Friday 5: In your head! In your head!

Happy Friday. Today was one of my Summer Fridays off from work AND it was sunny AND THINGS are mildly under control so for the first time this summer, I went to the beach.

A few years ago I went to Margate, NJ for the day on a whim and it was a beach gamechanger. Mostly because I don’t have to take the Garden State Parkway to get there. It takes me a whopping hour and 20 minutes to go from driveway to beach chair.


Because there is no boardwalk, it’s a lot less crowded than other South Jersey beaches. Ocean City will always have my heart, but it’s so crowded and people seem to be taking more and more space. Me? I travel with a beach bag and a chair. No beachspreading here.

Gah. It’s beautiful. I was there from 10:30 to 1:30, read some more of Console Wars, had a snack, and got some color. All without having people closer than 10 feet to me. I have one more Summer Friday in 2 weeks. If the sun shines, then you’ll know where to find me.

I also got to see my Favorite Kid today, which is always a highlight.

And now for the Friday 5. Today’s them is In Your Head, In Your Head and …



DAMMIT that’s just cruel, Scrivener. 😉

1. Which mythical monster would you most enjoy discovering (first- or second-hand) is real?

Definitely the Loch Ness Monster. Big, rare, sea-bound and far away from me. WM says Sasquatch.

2. When did you last exhibit monstrous behavior?

I don’t want to pat myself on the back, but I’ve been trying really, REALLY hard to be a pleasant person, so I don’t remember last time I really lashed out in anger. (I’ve defended myself, but that doesn’t count.) A couple years, maybe? The downside of that is if you’re typecast as a pleasant person, even the smallest negative gesture or even a raised voice will be interpreted as snapping at someone. Maybe I should be meaner?

3. What do you think of monster trucks?

I guess they’re okay. I saw some at a NJ raceway maybe 20 or so years ago and all I remember is being coated in a layer of dirt by the time we left. Relatedly, Monster Jam is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year and Grave Digger is STILL a player.

4. If you like monster movies, what’s a monster movie you dislike? And if you dislike them, what’s a monster movie you like?

Not a fan of monster movies, but Sharktopus was an absolute delight. WM is a fan of monster movies, but dislikes the alien movie subgenre.

And also, Sharktopus had a great theme song!

5. What song about a monster (or with the word monster in the title) do you really like?

THIS was a struggle, but I’m going to go with One Eyed One Horned Flying Purple People Eater, and to try to cleanse my brain of the frigging CRANBERRIES THANK YOU FRIDAY 5 I’ll counter with the Chipmunks version.

Have a fantastic weekend!

NJ Renaissance Faire and my first zipline!

This weekend, WM and I headed north to Liberty Lake Day Camp in Bordentown to attend our third New Jersey Renaissance Faire.

This gorgeous and majestic creature is “Sir Angus.” And his horse.

If you live anywhere in NJ and have yet to visit the New Jersey Renaissance Faire, please go give it a try. And you’re like, “Yeah, yeah, Kim. We go to the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire every year and it’s huge and amazing!” I know! It is! We go too.

But the NJ one only runs for 3 weekends a year, and it will charm the pants/kilts/pantaloons off of you. It’s smaller, but because of that it’s easier to see everything and catch more performances. It’s more immersive – there are dozens and dozens of costumed staff members along the pathways who will interact with you, if you’d like. It’s less commercial.

For those 3 weekends out of every year, Liberty Lake Camp is transformed into English village of Crossford. What makes Crossford different than your average Shire is that it’s located on some sort of time wormhole that brings different historical personalities there each year. This year Italy’s Borgias made a visit. Last year it was Brunhilde and Vikings, the year before it was Blackbeard, etc.

This gorgeous and majestic creature is Jacques Ze Whipper.

Two years ago we funded their Kickstarter to give them a permanent office and to make the Faire 3 weeks instead of 2. It was probably the best Kickstarter we supported.

We visit, we wander, we attend some performances, we usually watch a blacksmithing demo because BLACKSMITHING!, we buy something stupid, and we come home.

This majestic and gorgeous creature is my amazing husband.

But this year we saw a zip line. I have always wanted to try zip lining. So without much thought we coughed up $15 each and got to zip across Liberty Lake. Despite the woman in front of me’s tale of woe about being stuck on one in Mexico because she was too light (sigh) and someone slamming into her on the way down, I was clipped to the wire, took a tiny step of faith off of the platform and HAD A BLAST!

Video proof, shot by WM:

Ziplining at the NJ Ren Faire from Kimberly Russell on Vimeo.

I felt like I could fly! The straps were comfortable and I felt completely secure the whole way. I am so glad I took that chance. The best part was we got to zipline back across the lake so that we didn’t have to walk allllll the way back to get our stuff. Those were screams of joy, by the way.

This year’s stupid purchase was this tiny axe. I don’t know what to do with a tiny axe. It’s not even sharp.

It’s not sharp so I can’t toss it at things.

Next year, if you’re a proud New Jerseyan (or even a curious Philadelphian) go visit the New Jersey Renaissance Faire.

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