The Stories I Tell ~ from The Word Cellar

Stories. Anecdotes. A free round of words for everyone!

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Location: Pennsylvania, United States

I love stories. I'm the one at social functions with a dozen new anecdotes. But I worry about hogging the conversation. Sometimes I tell myself that I'll be quiet and let others do the talking. But no matter how hard I try, my stories insist on bursting out! Here I can let my stories (the classics that I tell again and again, as well as new ones that unfold along the way) run free. I'm a professional writer and editor, and sole proprietor of The Word Cellar. I write for a variety of publications and clients on everything from green buildings and nuclear reactors to entrepreneurship and the arts. If you need words written, edited, or enlivened, I can help. Contact me.


Morning Pillow Talk

James: "I'm hungry. I've been hungry since I went to bed last night.... No, wait, that was two nights ago."

And for even funnier one-liners (or several-liners), visit Things My Boyfriend Says.

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add to kirtsy | 2:46 AM | 0 comments


A House Divided

Jenn James
Bacon CrispyFlimsy
Chocolate Dark Milk
Coffee Leche, no sugar Negro, extra sweet
Cola Coke Pepsi
Bread Multigrain White
D├ęcor Eclectic Traditional
Coolant Open windowsAC
Fabric Softener Downy Liquid Bounce Sheets
Work Style Multi-tasker Single-focus
Life StyleSpontaneousRoutine
Internal Clock Night OwlEarly Bird

In the last post, I mentioned that my husband and I are a house divided. This whole idea started as a joke about the little things: I like my bacon to snap when I bite into it while James likes to rip off a floppy piece and gnaw away. While not a vegetarian, I do love my veggies. And while not strictly a carnivore, James would be happy eating red meat all day every day. It turns out that these opposites aren't so bad. For example, I eat the carrots and broccoli out of his Chinese food and he doesn't bat an eyelash. And although we usually won't share each other's bacon, we won't steal the other person's bacon, either. In other words, we don't compete for the same resources.

But we've realized that our differences run deeper. In some aspects of life, we're polar opposites. He likes routine, lots and lots of pre-planning, and tends to be an "all or nothing" kind of guy. Me? I like to mix things up and will jump into a project just to get started, even if I can only accomplish part of it now and part of it later.

This causes some serious problems when we try to do things together, from cooking dinner to choosing furniture (we have different tastes there, too). And don't get us started on doing projects around the house. We can end up infuriated and exhausted before we begin.

Is it really true that opposites attract? Maybe on a certain level, but I think that to maintain a close relationship, two people must share a basic worldview and core beliefs. Despite our differences, James and I share a vision for our future as individuals and as a couple. We want to live life to its fullest and fulfill our God-given potential in a way that helps others and betters the world.

We're still trying to figure out how to do this in the midst of our differences. The ironic part is that sometimes we argue for a long time only to realize that we actually agree on the end result or main point. But I take comfort in knowing that we're both reaching for the same goals and are committed for the long haul. We're working on using our differences as a source of inspiration and learning instead of frustration. I'd like to think of us as Yin and Yang.

Years ago -- long before I really understood how true this is -- I developed a theory that love is more than something that happens to you. Love is a choice. We may be a house divided in some ways, but our love is a series of choices that unites us.

Photos: Photography by Melinda, 2001


add to kirtsy | 6:35 PM | 3 comments


Bacon Bacon Bacon!

I love bacon. I don't eat it every day, but I think I could -- if I lost all self-control, which let's face it, is not hard to imagine. Especially when it comes to bacon. Bacon is probably the main reason I couldn't successfully become a vegetarian.

I like my bacon ~~extra crispy~~. This is a perfect example of how James and I are a / house / divided. But more on that in a later post. For now, here are two bacon-related products that both of us can agree on. (I found out about both of these from, an apparent kindred spirit in the bacon department.)

First, I give you BACON BANDAGES! These look a little undercooked for my taste, but where else am I going to find wearable bacon? (Okay, apparently, here.) Get your own box.

Wakey, wakey: eggs 'n bakey! Okay, no eggs here, but all we really want is the bacon anyway, right? Check out this bacon-cookin' alarm clock, resembling a cute little piggy, no less. Sadly, it doesn't appear to be for sale.

And while we're on the subject of meat related household goods, get a load of these plush, stuffed meat replicas from Sweet Meats (via MightyGoods).

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add to kirtsy | 2:53 PM | 5 comments


love is more thicker than forget

love is more thicker than forget
more thinner than recall
more seldom than a wave is wet
more frequent than to fail
it is most mad and moonly
and less it shall unbe
than all the sea which only
is deeper than the sea
love is less always than to win
less never than alive
less bigger than the least begin
less littler than forgive
it is most sane and sunly
and more it cannot die
than all the sky which only
is higher than the sky
~e.e. cummings
photo by jenn, outside of a boutique in wexford, pa

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add to kirtsy | 2:57 AM | 2 comments


Understanding Light

"The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it." (John 1:5)
photo by Jenn, boutique north of Pittsburgh, PA

The short winter days grow longer. There's more light in my life in general these days. I feel like I've been sleeping for years and am just starting to wake up again to love, beauty, magic, comfort, adventure and so much more. But darkness has a way, doesn't it? A way to seek out the cracks in the light and push its way in. I'm still scared of the dark. Even more so since I grew up and realized that there is darkness visible and invisible. It's the darkness that others can't see that hurts the most.

Everywhere I turn lately I find common themes: have the courage to admit what you truly want, put it out into the Universe, try your best to go in that direction, and believe that good things will come. Sometimes you don't even have to believe; just wishing is enough. I've seen it here, there, everywhere, and again, once more, and even here. (I'm not sure what my word of the year is, but it may be Pentecost. I haven't committed my Mondo Beyondo list to paper yet, but it's brewing and I'm getting up the courage.) I was feeling happier, more focused, and more enthusiastic than I had in ages.

Then last night I admitted that I'm terrified that it will all come crashing down; that certain life circumstances will overwhelm me with sadness, loneliness, bitterness; that the depression monster I keep so secret will drag me under the bed and devour me.

So I threw an embarrassing fit of despair this morning. I did my best to ruin the whole damn day. But for once, thank God, the light is pushing out the darkness.

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add to kirtsy | 10:00 PM | 0 comments


This Just In: My Husband is a Bastard

James: Local-TV-Anchorwoman was in the store again today with her three kids.

Me: Yeah? She's there a lot.

James: Her husband's phone wasn't working.

Me: Oh.

James: She called me a bastard.

Me: What?! She's Local-TV-Anchorwoman! She can't do that! What happened?

James: She asked me if we have kids. I told her that we're enjoying it just being the two of us right now.

Me: Okay....

James: And she said, "You bastard!"

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add to kirtsy | 4:27 PM | 5 comments