Skip to main content


Showing posts from March, 2019

Spring Into a Beer Before Dawn

Back to basics! On St. Patrick's Day, my husband and I and our best party friend Esperanza (maybe, LOL) will meet up at 7:00 a.m. for our old Irish-American tradition of pre-dawn breakfast and beer. We haven't kept up with this tradition after moving out of our downtown apartment (near a lot of bars and taverns) years ago, and we certainly haven't celebrated this way since our daughter was born. But this year, she's eight, and that's a fun age.

Mama will be the DD (I never finish a beer anyway), and our daughter will have gelato with her breakfast instead of beer. We'll celebrate at the massive, rustic grocery store down the street, which has grown into something like a redneck / hipster mall where you can get Guinness on tap at 7:00 a.m., unfettered access to a free coffee bar, free cheese and wine and beer samples, sometimes live music, and hot deals on fruits, vegetables, and bulk dried legumes.

I am also looking forward to purchasing some kind of multi-pur…

Fat Tuesday Flu

I need one of those masks to get through this whole week without scaring anyone. Not because I'm hungover from Fat Tuesday but because I caught a chain of viruses culminating in this year's nastiest flu strain.

But it's okay that I missed the Lenten kickoff revelries. I don't do Lent anymore. I think the only people who really need to give up their favorite things right about now are child molesting priests.

This season, I'm celebrating Girl Scout cookies. Happy Trefoils! Merry Momoas!

Recessionista Genie aka Genie of the Shell, 10 Years Earlier and Later

10 years ago, I started the Magic Nutshell as a blog for the "poor and fabulous." It was a bit like the Mr. Money Mustache brand for people without rich parents. My blog didn't earn money or become famous. It was, however, gloriously silly, so there's that. Over the past 10 years, I've become un-poor and evolved the Magic Nutshell into a catalogue of the thoughts of an aspiring novelist. It is has become a blog for the "bougie and prosaic" during a strange time for our country, when the middle class and normalcy are both endangered.

Now in my 30s, I've made it to a comfortable place in my life, not by investing money so much as investing thought, practice, and pride into the originally imagined American Dream, which financial advice website The Balance paraphrases as "equal opportunity to pursue a personal vision." That's a lot broader, and a lot different, than pursuing wealth and fame to keep up with the Joneses. Or the Kardashians. …