Saving Private Ryan’s Tombstones

Our final stop of last year’s trip to Salem, Massachusetts was Witch City Consignment & Thrift. I never venture into antique shops because my untrained eye finds the merchandise to be someone else’s old crap that smells like the basement from which it probably came. Since Halloween is my favorite holiday, I couldn’t resist the decorations displayed outside the store, and so we stopped.

Once inside, we found a mish mosh of items, but what caught our eye were some realistic tombstones. The shop owner explained that when he heard 20th Century Props in Hollywood was closing, he sent a truck to procure memorabilia for his shop. The tombstones had appeared in the Tom Hanks film Saving Private Ryan. He had quite a few of them and was unloading them at minimal cost. If we had more room in our vehicle, we would have left with more than the four we bought.

When we visit again this October, we will stop to see if any are still available. In the future I won’t be so quick to dismiss antique shops. They are like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get, and I know another Tom Hanks character who would agree.


Just a Normal Day Walking the Streets of Salem, Massachusetts

Bizarre AC

A newer convention was held June 13-15 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. As a veteran of horror conventions, I decided to attend. I’m not sure if the 4th floor of the Tropicana will ever be the same.

Bizarre AC was an appropriate name for this show. There was almost a carnival atmosphere, with eerie clowns roaming the floor and a host complete with top hat and tails who moved everything along. Not only was horror represented, but there were many steam punk booths as well.

There were a variety of shows to entertain the crowd, including Inked Illusionists and Stupid Shit People Do for Money. Cash was won by eating live worms and goldfish in a manner specified by the hosts of the event. I wasn’t able to watch the competition, but no amount of money would persuade me to participate.

Celebrities were on hand to sign autographs and take photos. I was delighted to meet medium Chip Coffey, who lent his ability to the television show Paranormal State. While he did not have a question and answer panel, we sat through an often hilarious panel with some of the cast of the Kevin Smith film Clerks.


Chip Coffey


Vendors were selling their wares, and you could even get a tattoo or haircut while strolling the ballroom. I picked up a few items including an Alice Cooper Friday the 13th tile and Sharkspeare tee shirt.


An Itzy Bitzy’s Design



So Ridiculous I Had to Have It

Bizarre AC seems to be growing popular, and plans are underway for another show. The event is well run and easy to explore. If you’re into horror or steam punk, or are looking for something different to do, check out Bizarre AC.

Philadelphia Writers’ Conference

            I attended my first Philadelphia Writers’ Conference last weekend and had a wonderful time. It was, as they say, money well spent. I am looking forward to next year’s event with enthusiasm.

            There are a variety of workshops to attend, no matter your skill level or interest. The book fair located in the lobby was helpful in securing an author signature from any of the talented presenters. I had two books signed by Katherine Ramsland, who has worked with serial killers. (If you know me, you know I have a fascination with such things). You could also pitch your project to agents and editors, submit work for critique, or participate in a variety of contests.

            It was a fun three days, even if a bit exhausting. I left on Sunday with a head crammed with ideas and a notebook scribbled with tips. The only thing left is to transfer everything onto my computer. Note to self—bring laptop the next time.



Discovering Pandora

As my dad would say, I’m a day late and a dollar short. I discovered Pandora bracelets after the height of their popularity, just a couple weeks ago. I always assumed they would never fit and be cost prohibitive.

I never wear bracelets unless they are stretch or adjustable. I envy those able to wear arm candy, everything I try slid to my elbow. Not an attractive look. My petite wrists are the problem, measuring two inches smaller than the standard size. “Adjustable” bracelets usually mean larger, not smaller.

One day I ventured into the intimidating Pandora store in the mall. I asked the salesperson about sizes and learned they carried bracelets that would fit a toddler, so they would have something for me. I could at long last buy a decent piece that didn’t look like it came out of a toy machine and cost a quarter.

I told myself I was just looking, which never works out. They were having a starter bracelet promotion, including a bracelet, two clips and a charm. As I prefer yellow gold, I wanted the silver bracelet with a gold clasp. That’s where the cost prohibitive part comes in. After the sticker shock, I settled for all silver.

Charms for the bracelet range in price and can be expensive. If you’re a yellow gold fan, you’ll need to be a lottery winner to build a gold bracelet. I will choose some cheaper two-tone charms so it will better match gold jewelry. Mixing metals used to be a fashion faux pas, but I understand it’s now an acceptable practice, even if the concept is strange to me.

My bracelet consists of only five charms, but on another day I splurged on a black leather bracelet, two clips and a charm. It remains to be seen if these will be classic pieces, but it doesn’t matter. I will wear them with pride just as I do my retro yellow gold initial ring and dog tag. Take that, fashionistas.

My First Pandora Bracelet

My First Pandora Bracelet – A Work in Progress


I Love the Toughness of the Leather with the Sweetness of the Pandora Bag Charm

I Love the Toughness of the Leather with the Sweetness of the Pandora Bag Charm