Written for Petside
Growing up, television was a warm welcoming place. On Saturday mornings I visited with cartoon friends. There was reassurance the characters behaved the way I expected. I knew their laughs, the way their shoulders shook, if their eyebrows tilted up. When they were confused or sad I felt for them but I knew when they were just faking to play a trick. Their flaws were lovable and their cockamamie antics delectable. Here’s my list of seven animated dogs worthy of mention.
1. Clifford the Big Red Dog
This year is the 50th anniversary of Clifford the Big Red Dog, a lovable animated character created by Norman Bridwell. Clifford was created for Scholastic Books and remains their official mascot. Clifford’s life began as the tiny runt of a litter. An eight-year old girl named Emily Elizabeth chose him for her birthday and her love for him was so great that Clifford kept growing and growing until he reached the height of 25 feet. He became too big for Elizabeth and her family to stay in the city so they left to find a new home. I think of Clifford from my childhood days as a happy, friendly, gregarious sort. He was well-meaning and helpful but often got into big trouble because of his size. I wished it was me whenever Emily rode on his back.
Ah, the Muppets. Who can forget Jim Henson’s Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Ernie and Burt, Oscar the Grouch and the Cookie Monster? Here’s a surprise: The first Muppet to reach stardom was Rowlf the Dog, a scruffy brown doggy with long floppy ears. It has been 50 years since Rowlf earned TV fame as Jimmy Dean’s sidekick on The Jimmy Dean Show. Rowlf is calm, no matter what insanity goes on around him, he loves classical music and plays a mean piano.
My all time favorite cartoon dog is Snoopy. In case there is anyone out there who doesn’t know, Charles Schulz created Snoopy the Beagle for the Peanuts comic strip. It was 63 years ago that Snoopy’s life began. He was a regular dog at first but over time, the little guy acquired personality quirks that shot him to scene-stealing status. Snoopy went from living inside his doghouse to lying atop. Schulz credits that as the life changer for Snoopy. A bit of trivia: Snoopy’s name came from Schulz’s mother. When she’d been alive she had said that if the family ever got another dog, she’d name him Snoopy, which comes from the Norwegian word Snuppa, meaning sweetie, honey or baby. Funny though, Snoopy isn’t the kind of guy who fits those exactly. Snoopy is his own man—who could ever forget Joe Cool with his dark shades or The Red Baron, WWI flying ace?
Now let’s talk about Goofy. I’ll always think of him fondly. Walt Disney created him in 1932; that’s 81 years ago! Isn’t it great that cartoon dogs never age? Goofy’s name is perfect for this clumsy, lovable, lughead. I always found it funny that he wore a turtleneck, vest, white gloves and pants that were too short, with shoes that were too big. Goofy came into this world at the same time as Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Daisy Duck and Pluto and that brings me to number five.
Pluto is Mickey Mouse’s dog. As most dog owners feel, Mickey considers Pluto his best friend. The pooch has big feet, big paws, a big green collar, skinny black tail, and animated black ears with signature Walt Disney eyes. Pluto can’t stand cats ever since meeting Minnie’s feline, Figaro. He’s got a supersonic sense of smell and can hunt down anything. Pluto falls in love quickly and often. He fell hard for Dinah the Dachshund but despite that tendency, Pluto’s biggest love is for Mickey.
6. Scooby Doo
Scooby Doo was born at Hanna-Barbera and got his name from Frank Sinatra’s song, Strangers in the Night (doo-be-doo-be-doo). Creator Iwao Takamoto went to see a Great Dane breeder and asked about the desired traits for the pedigree. After getting a full description, Takamoto created Scooby with the opposite qualities. He gave him a hump back, bowed legs, small chin and opposable thumbs. As a kid I delighted in the way he was scared of everything. This huge brown dog with a big black nose would tremble and shake, then jump into the arms of his owner, Shaggy. Scooby had a speech impediment that gave him trouble with the letter “R.” As an adult, I’ve attributed my expression, “Ruh Roh,” to Scooby, but I learned today that I was wrong. Read on…
Astro, also drawn by Takamoto for the Hanna-Barbera cartoon The Jetsons(which first aired in 1962), was the Jetson family dog. Astro is the character responsible for “Ruh Roh.” Interestingly, both Astro and Scooby Doo were voiced by the same man, Don Messick, and both added the letter “R” to words. Astro said things like, “I ruv roo.” Another phrase I adopted from cartoon doggies is thanks to Huckleberry Hound. It was Huck who got me in the habit of saying, “stuff like that there.” Now, getting back to Astro and The Jetsons, every episode ended with George Jetson and Astro walking on a treadmill but suddenly Astro chases a cat, the treadmill makes George fall down, he loses his grip on the leash and gets sucked into the treadmill. No matter how many times I watched the ending, I howled.
Mark L. Fuerst, co-author of 11 books, has just published a guide to Tai Chi titled, “The Harvard Medical School Guide to Tai Chi: 12 Weeks to a Healthy Body, Strong Heart & Sharp Mind.” Fuerst is a member of ASJA and an award-winning health and medical writer. He recently wrote an article on how Tai Chi can improve your writing. He offers wonderful tips like these:“A writer often sits long hours without moving. When I need a break from writing, I often do 10 minutes of simple Tai Chi exercises. This gets me up and moving after hours of sitting. The energy I gain from Tai Chi’s graceful movements not only can help focus my mind but also can energize my writing.”
“You need to be focused and pay attention to your writing to be skillful, precise, and express yourself clearly. Tai Chi can help you be in touch with what you’re feeling to engage in the writing process.”
To read more of this article visit: WriteNowCoach.com
Oy vey, the choices are a bit scarce for movies opening in New York City this week. Here’s the short list of film releases for Friday, April 19, 2013.
“Love Sick Love” stars Katia Winter as the sexy siren and sociopath Dori and Matthew Settle, who plays a handsome and successful New York City businessman named Norman. The dude has no idea what he’s in for and no matter how slick his suits are, nobody would want to be him. This film is campy and fun in a kinda sorta way. Suspense thriller. Rated R. 84 minutes. Playing at the Quad Cinema, 24 West 13th Street. Trailer
“Oblivion” stars Tom Cruise, Morgan Freeman, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Olga Kurylenko. Written and directed by Joseph Kosinski. There’s been very little promo on this big budget flick and that’s for good reason. The production company knew not to waste advertising bucks on a film that just ain’t worth it. Viewers who love special effects but who don’t care about plot won’t be terribly disappointed in this film. The biggest audience will probably be teenage boys.Action adventure sci-fi. Rated PG-13. 126 minutes. Playing at AMC Loews theaters.Trailer
“Disconnect” is a disturbing and cautionary tale of what can happen when you spend too much time online or otherwise digitally connected. This is a timely topic, well written with a talented cast. It stars Jason Bateman, in a serious role. He rarely plays serious and he does well. It also starsHope Davis, Paula Patton and Michael Nyqvist (“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”). “Disconnect” is written by Andrew Stern and directed by Henry Alex Rubin. Playing at AMC Lincoln Square 13, 1998 Broadway and Regal Union Square Stadium 14, 850 Broadway. Thriller drama. Rated R. 115 minutes. Trailer
“In the House” was written and directed by François Ozon (“Swimming Pool”) and starsFabrice Luchini, Ernst Umhauer, Kristin Scott Thomas, Denis Ménochet and Emmanuelle Seigner. This is a winner. Go see it. Yeah, admittedly the ending is weak but thankfully it doesn’t ruin the rest of this absorbing and entertaining film. The great characters and preciously original plot stay with you. Playing at Sunshine Cinema Landmark Theaters, 143 East Houston Street. Rated R. 105 minutes. French with subtitles. Trailer
“The Lords of Salem” is written and directed by Rob Zombie (“Halloween,” “The Devil’s Rejects” and “Grindhouse”) and from the producers who brought you “Paranormal Activity” and “Dark Skies.” This almost-slapstick pure horror flick isn’t very scary but it’ll be fun for fans of this sort of thing… maybe. “The Lords of Salem” stars Sheri Moon Zombie (nee Sheri Lyn Skurkis), Bruce Davison and Jeff Daniel Phillips. Horror thriller. Rated R. 101 minutes. Playing at AMC Empire 25, 234 West 42nd Street. Trailer
“Mud” is an action adventure drama written and directed by Jeff Nichols and starringMatthew McConaughey. It’s also a coming of age film about two boys (Tye Sheridanand Jacob Lofland) who meet a man named Mud (McConaughey) hiding on an island in Mississippi. They befriend him. Then they find out Mud is wanted for murder.
Matthew McConaughey‘s acting career began through a chance meeting in Austin, Texas with a casting director named Don Phillips. Through Phillips, McConaughey met director Richard Linklater, who launched McConaughey’s career in the cult classic, Dazed and Confused. Since then McConaughey has has added over 40 feature films to his impressive filmography.
The most interesting thing about McConaughey, is not his movie making though, it’s his dedication to philanthropy. He founded The just keep livin Foundation to help children transform into successful adults through programs that teach decision making, health, education, and active living. His afterschool program offers kids a healthy start in life and the potential for a happy and healthy future.
“The Company You Keep” stars Robert Redford (director) as Jim Grant, a former Weather Underground activist who is on the lam. Shia LaBeouf plays journalist Ben Shepard who uncovers Grant’s identity. It’s a political thriller with a slew of top actors including Susan Sarandon, Richard Jenkins, Chris Cooper, Nick Nolte, Sam Elliott, Stanley Tucciand Julie Christie. “The Company You Keep” is playing now in New York City at Regal Union Square Stadium 14, Lincoln Plaza Cinemas and City Cinemas 123. Rated R. 125 minutes.
“No Place on Earth” is part dramatization and part documentary about a tale that would seem far-fetched had it not been true. The matriarch of a Jewish family led her loved ones to evade capture during World War II. They hid out in Ukraine caves for a year and a half. Cave enthusiast Chris Nicola came upon buttons, a worn comb, cup and key near what seemed to be crude makeshift furniture. When he saw names scrawled on the cave walls he became obsessed with uncovering the story. Doggedly, Nicola tracked down the people who’d lived there and uncovered this extraordinary chronicle of survival. Janet Tobias masterfully wrote and directed. The film stars holocaust survivors Saul (92) and Sam (86) Stermer and Sonia (79) and Sima Dodyk (74). “No Place on Earth” is playing now at Film Society Lincoln Center, 144 West 65th Street, NYC. Rated PG-13. 83 minutes.
“Simon Killer,” starring Brady Corbet as Simon, first opened at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. Filmmaker Antonio Campos(“Martha Marcy May Marlene”) wrote and directed. Simon, an American sociopath in Paris, thinks he’s a pretty alright guy. Haunted and weak after a recent breakup, he misreads a prostitute’s kindness and thinks she actually cares for him. Simon is a weirdo who puts one in mind of Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro) from Martin Scorcese’s “Taxi Driver.” Corbet gives a brilliant performance and this film noir thriller is creepy. Some will find it deliciously so while others might just get too creeped out. “Simon Killer” is playing now at NYC’s IFC Center, 323 6th Avenue. Not rated. 102 minutes.
“Down the Shore” is a heartrending drama of family, friendship, love, loss and deceit. The amazing cast will blow you away. The story, set on the New Jersey shore, is about three lifelong friends who grew up together. To avoid any spoilers, let’s just leave it at that. James Gandolfiniis riveting as down in the dumps Bailey who drinks. Bailey’s best friend is Wiley (Joe Pope) who is married to Mary (Famke Janssen) and they have a teenage autistic son Martin who is played pitch perfectly by John Magaro (“Liberal Arts”). Jacques is played by Edoardo Costa who is not only soap opera handsome, he is also captivating and we dare you not to fall for him. Let’s all pray Costa does many more movies … and quick! Wow, he is something. “Down the Shore” was made years ago and originally titled, “Kiddie Ride.” It’s odd that the movie was sat-on for so long. Usually that’s a bad sign. Two years ago it did a few festival screenings but gained little attention. Yeah, yeah, it could be accused of being laden down with clichés, but for those who dig sentimental it won’t disappoint. Frankly, this indie is lumps-in-your-throat moving. “Down the Shore” is playing now at the Quad Cinema, 34 West 13th Street. Rated R. 93 minutes. Also available on Blu-ray and DVD.
“In The House” (Dans la maison) is adapted from the play, “The Boy in the Last Row.” The screenplay was written by François Ozon (“Swimming Pool”) who also directs. Fabrice Luchiniplays Germain, a literature teacher who is disgusted by his sea of students who write by dashing off short un-prose-like accounts of their TV watching and cell phones. One student, Claude Garcia (Ernst Umhauer), earns Germain’s interest by writing intimate details about a family that Claude has ingratiated himself into. It’s a story about voyeurism, manipulation, ethics, morals and relationships. It’s a winner! Don’t miss this one. One disclaimer: the ending falls a little flat. The rest of the film is intriguing so the so-so ending is forgivable. Kristin Scott Thomas plays Jeanne Germain, the professor’s frustrated wife. Denis Ménochet plays Rapha Artole père, father to Garcia’s manipulated classmate, Rapha Artole fils (Bastien Ughetto). Ménochet gives an excellent performance and we shall look forward to seeing much more of him in future films.Emmanuelle Seigner plays Rapha’s crimped and bored mom, Esther Artole. The cast gives spellbinding performances and the story is deeply engrossing, and original. We highly recommend this one. “In the House” opens on Friday, April 19, 2013 at New York City’s Sunshine Cinema Landmark Theaters, 143 East Houston Street. Rated R. 105 minutes. French with subtitles.
“No Place on Earth” is a documentary that opens in New York City this Friday, April 5, 2013. It is the previously untold story of 38 Ukrainian Jews who survived Hitler by hiding in caves for 511 days. The four survivors who star in the film are Saul Stermer, 92, Sam Stermer (the “baby” brother), 86, and their nieces Sonia Dodyk, 79, and Sima Dodyk, 74, whose mother is Henia Stermer, Saul and Sam’s older sister.
Last week, Examiner Dorri Olds had the honor of meeting with these holocaust survivors in New York City for an interview.
Dorri Olds: What would you like to tell me about your harrowing story?
Sam: In a way it was a happy story because we all survived; our whole family. We were three brothers, three sisters, my mother, my father, my brother in law, two nieces. We were 11 people and we all survived. After the war, it was one of the happiest things. We were alive. We did it. We never stopped talking about that.
Sonia: The Germans came and took away my aunt. They found our special place underground. They took my aunt and killed her.
Sima: Excuse me. Do you want to hear the whole story? It’s a very long story, a very interesting story.
Olds: I want to hear everything you’re comfortable talking about.
Sima: I’ll let my uncle tell it. Otherwise we’re not getting the whole story, just little bits.
Saul: So, we were all in our town in 1939. We were supposed to go to Canada; this is a different story. The war broke out while we were still in our town. We thought, ‘The Germans are not going to do nothing to us. We are a small family.’ We lived in a quiet little town but my mother, she knew.
Sima: In 1942 a group came to the town and offered all the men jobs.
Sam: The men.
Saul: The men. My mother said, “This is a trick!” My brother in law and my father said, “C’mon, let’s go,” but my mother said, “No, nobody goes.” We have to hide.
Sam: She sent our two sisters out to go look around and see what’s going on. My sisters got near the town and saw people running; 1500 maybe 2000 people were taken away.
Saul: We knew right away anything they told us to do, you shouldn’t do.
Sam: Do the opposite.
Saul: If they say, “Go,” you stay. If they say, “Stay,” you go. They started driving boys my age to concentration camps. This is 1942. They were taken away and never seen again. We were told, “You have to go to the ghetto to survive.” My mother said, “No, we are not going to the ghetto, that’s to the slaughterhouse.” My mother told my brothers and I to go find a place to hide.
Sam: It was October.
Saul: October. Through the winter we were there from I think 1942 to the end of …
Sam: March in 1943.
Saul: It was a Sunday. So we went back to our town. My mother says again to go find someplace; find a bunker. We came upon a guy in the forest. He said why don’t you try going down that way. There is a hole in the ground and go down and see if there is a place to hide. So we went to see what’s there. From the first of May 1943 we found the first grotto [cave]. We had to go down and we looked and there was an opening like a fireplace. We said, “Somebody has to go in.” So who goes in? My brother. My brother I wouldn’t change for all the world. Everyone should have such a brother. He went in tied on a rope to check it out. When he said, “Come in,” we went in.
Sam: We saw a boulder that had come down from the ceiling; a big stone.
Saul: We got to a place a big room, everything stone. We started walking and looking and I remember me, I touched a little stone and it rolled down. Then it went plink and we heard it hit water. So I got down and put my two hands like that. It was very dark you couldn’t see nothing. You put your finger in front of you and you don’t see it. So I went down and found that there was water so we could stay there. That night we went home and said, “We found a good place.” At night we got there and we moved the family to the cave.
Sam: We were there for six weeks.
Saul: Six weeks.
Click here to read part II
Olds: How did you eat in the caves?
Sima: The men went out to find food and we never knew if the men would come back.
Saul Stermer: One day, a Sunday, we said we’re going to go out and bring back some beans.
Sam Stermer: Beans.
Saul: Some farmers there grew corn very tall. So we said we’re going there and get beans. But the sun was coming up and if they saw us they’d kill us right there. We were gone all day, till we got the two bags of beans. This was very stupid. You don’t risk your life for beans.
Olds: I have a delicate question: How did you go to the bathroom in the cave?
Saul: I’ll tell you. I have a granddaughter who told me, “You have to come and tell the story for my friends.” I went. After I told it there were questions and one boy said, “How was it with the toilet?” I told him this is a very important question. I didn’t see a piece of paper for one year. There were three rooms in the cave and we said, “Okay, make this room for that.”
Sima: We were always very, very safe inside the grotto but when the men were outside their life was always in danger and we never knew if they’d come back. I was nine then.
Sam: My mother said, “They’re risking their lives.” We were very scared. What would happen if the men didn’t come back?
Saul: We were in that grotto for six weeks when the Ukrainians came from the village. They’d discovered us. They came with sticks and shovels. We were inside and they were digging and throwing and covered the hole.
Sam: They said any people in there would die but we were specialists.
Saul: One of the boys spotted a hole in the cave like a little entrance and we walked to it.
Sam: We started to dig for three days and three nights. We came out another exit and started to go out of the exit. We came out and found a place shaped like a bell. Some family before us had made a settlement there, you put a cover and on top then you put a stone on the cover. We hid like this for six weeks, until they discovered us. We were like cat and mouse.
Sima: Esther Stermer was a brilliant lady and she was a brave lady. We have to say that our grandmother had intuition what was going to happen to us. She prepared her family and you have no idea what a brave lady this was.
Sam: She knew for the whole year when the moon is high, when the moon is low. She knew the dates of Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashana. She would tell us, “Boys, the moon is low,” and we’d come out and it was.
Saul: She would say, “Boys, it’s a full moon.” We would say, “Mom, we’d been here eight months already, how do you know about the full moon today?” and she said, “Don’t joke. It’s a full moon.” It always bothered me. How could she know? But she knew it.
Sam: She was very smart.
Saul: She was smart and she knew how many days in each month and exactly. My God, she knew. For the holiday we would fast. That’s funny now [Laughs] but it’s true.
Olds: Was there light that came in so she knew day from night?
Sam: No it was always dark. Pitch dark.
Saul: But she knew by counting. She kept it inside until we got out.
Sima: When we were caught in the first grotto, my grandmother… Did we talk about this already?
Sonia: No, nothing with this.
Sima: When the Germans—the Gestapo—came, the person at the entrance ran in and said, “The Germans are here,” and he went under my mother’s bed that Uncle Shula made. My grandmother didn’t sit down and cry. She said, “Children, try to save yourselves.” She got up and went to greet the Germans. Can you imagine such a Jewish woman? Esther Stermer she got up—she was a tall woman—and started to speak to them in German and said, “So you have found us…”
Click here for part III
Sonia: When they’d found us the Germans said, “Get dressed.” My mother [Henia Dodyk] tried to dress me but it was March 1943 and we knew it was very, very cold outside. My mother figured if she looked under the bed they’re going to see Sima and the other people hiding there. Somehow, somebody managed to push the shoe out and the German was standing there with his machine gun and he said, “Why are you even dressing her I can shoot her right here.” My mother begged them not to shoot. They march us out; seven or eight of us. Some were very lucky; they managed to escape. My grandmother escaped, Uncle Sam escaped. Another man escaped but they caught five of us. They brought us to a prison and handed us over to the Ukrainian police and told him he has to shoot us. Somebody knew this Ukrainian police and of course they got in touch with my father and my grandfather and a Jewish doctor who was kept by the Germans and by…
Sam: The Ukrainians.
Sonia: The Ukrainians. He was kept alive because he used to treat them and he was a very good Jewish doctor. He was the intermediary and they got ahold of my father and grandfather and they tried to make a deal. Now, what was the deal? One of the men that was with us, he was a cousin of us. He was a very rich man. The deal was made. It was a bargain. They struck a bargain with the chief of police that they would pay him gold and they would let us go.
Sam: Not only gold.
Sonia: Not only gold. That was a promise. He said that in order to show the Germans he did what he was supposed to do, there have to be five bodies shown to the Germans, should they come back. So, my father and my grandfather and the other men who were trying to help my father they had to go to un-dig a mass grave where people were just shot not long ago and they had to find bodies to replace ours which is the most horrendous thing. This is like the worst nightmare that one would want to face but to save our lives, of course they did it. They took us out the next day…
Sam: To the cemetery.
Sonia: To the cemetery. They told us to lie down and the Ukrainian policeman said he was going to shoot at the air and after that we’re all going to run away. I was very young. I was extremely scared. My mother said, “Don’t be afraid. You’ll see, nothing will happen. They’ll just shoot in the air.” She had a black shawl and she covered up my head with the black shawl and we heard five shots, which is the way it was supposed to be. When we got up my mother started to scream, “Why did you kill my aunt? Why did you kill her son? We had a bargain; you promised you would let us all go.”
Sima: The Germans killed my great aunt.
Sonia: He said, “Run away, otherwise I’ll shoot you and your child.” So we had no choice; we had to run away and in the forest my Uncle Louis was waiting with my father and they took us away and we went to the second brother. In the movie you’ll see and we will give you a book so you can read the rest and we will sign it. You’ll know exactly what happened, how it happened, how they found the second cave. Everything is in this book by my grandmother Esther Stermer and it’s called, “We Fight to Survive.”
The story is about a boy born with microtia and hemifacial microsomia.
It is surprisingly uplifting and a very fast read.
Guest post book review by Sally Wendkos Olds
This #1 best-selling book for middle-schoolers, which has held its top place on the New York Times list for four months, is a wondrous novel that deserves its popularity. One reason for its prime place is the fact that so many adults are reading it. It was recommended to me by one adult – my daughter, who works with the Little Baby Face Foundation, a remarkable charity that provides free corrective surgery for children with disfiguring birth defects. She’d learned of it from another adult. I couldn’t put the book down, and I cried, laughed, and rejoiced in its message of the importance of kindness and the triumph of a boy faced with so many obstacles.
The novel’s central character, August Pullman, was born with a severe facial deformity that, despite 27 operations, still produces horrified reactions from almost everyone he encounters. Previously home-schooled because of his surgeries, his other medical problems, and his appearance, now Auggie is starting fifth grade at Beecher Prep, a mainstream private school. Auggie wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid, but his new classmates can’t get past Auggie’s extraordinary face. The book is reminiscent of the movie “Mask” and the play “The Elephant Man,” and is even more moving since it is a story of a child.
WONDER begins from Auggie’s point of view and then, Rashomon-like, expands to speak in the voices of his older sister and her friends, his classmates, and then comes back to Auggie. The only person we don’t hear from is the class bully – it would have been illuminating to hear how he justified his meanness to Auggie and those who befriend him – but this is a minor cavil in a wonderful portrait of a community’s struggle with empathy, compassion, and acceptance.
One of Auggie’s teacher’s precepts, “When given the choice between being right or being kind, choose kind,” is the overarching theme of the book, and even if you don’t know anyone like Auggie, you will be moved to lead your life with a greater awareness of the need to be kind. The book is also a good, fast, and suspenseful read.
Sally Wendkos Olds has written extensively about intimate relationships, personal growth, and developmental issues throughout the life cycle, and has won national awards for both her book and magazine writing. In addition to her classic, The Complete Book of Breastfeeding, first published in 1972 and revised for its fourth edition in 2010, she is the author of ten other books, including Super Granny: Great Stuff to Do with Your Grandkids, and hundreds of magazine articles for major publications.
A former president of the American Society of Journalists and Authors, she received the ASJA Career Achievement Award in 2010. She is currently writing a book for people whose life partner died a year or more previously. You can find out more about her on her website and blog.