Author Archives: charlesprogers
Post by Tracy Kaler.
When we think of bedrooms by the sea, we dream of blue and white fabrics, natural materials like cotton, sisal, and jute, and nautical motifs such as ships and anchors. But not all beachy sleeping quarters need to be typical or what we’d expect. In fact, some beach houses stray from the norm completely, barely exuding a coastal feel at all. Let’s take a look at five unusual seaside bedrooms.
This vibrant Newport Beach bedroom skips the usual ocean-like colors and goes bold with accents. More often seen in neutral or aqua, the red shell motif is unexpected.
This contemporary bedroom feels so Miami because the home is located in Miami. Notice the shoji-type backdrop behind the bed. A gray and white color palette sets the stage for the water view.
Relaxed and sophisticated, this eclectic bedroom boasts clean lines and classic furnishings but happens to be in a home on the Pacific Coast. Built-ins and an armoire keep the space clutter-free.
Although this Florida bedroom has a big city vibe, it happens to be in a house at the Hallandale Beach Club. A low bed, modern furnishings, and the highway backdrop give the space a cosmopolitan feel.
This Montauk bedroom embodies rustic glamor. The dark stain on the wood floors isn’t the obvious choice for a home on the coast, but works well with the white walls and bedding, a lighter wood ceiling, and navy blue accents. Everything is chic about this room.
Post by Mark T. Locker.
Every Day by David Levithan.
Imagine if you woke up every day in a new body. And not just a new body but in someone else’s life. Sixteen years old and every day since A was born, A has occupied a different person’s body for a single day. The consciousness is A; A is the person with no body of his/her own. Neither male nor female, A is whatever body A wakes up in. From the co-author of Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist comes this wholly unique novel.
We first meet the narrator as a teenager. The first morning A is in the body of a boy named Justin. At this point, A is quite used to being a different person and always goes to great lengths to avoid messing up the life of the body being visited for the day. But when A meets Justin’s girlfriend Rihannon, everything changes. A immediately falls deeply in love with her. It’s clear that Justin is a terrible boyfriend so when he suggests they escape to the beach for the day, she is surprised but happy. The next day Justin will remember what happened, but not why. And A will be another person in another body. But A can’t forget about Rihannon and begins drumming up excuses to find Rihannon and talk to her again, until the day that A decides to spill the beans and tell her the secret of who A really is.
A compelling read for teens and adults alike, Another Day is equal parts fantasy and romance. It’s a totally weird concept for a book, but it somehow works. Another Day approaches the notions of gender identity and physical presences in an unflinching way. A may be a 300 pound friendless kid one day and a gorgeous young woman the next (A always occupies bodies the same age as A) but the mind is always the same. So just what makes a person who he or she is? It’s an interesting question and pretty pertinent for our times.
Post by Mark T. Locker.
Happy long weekend! If your geography is anything like mine, Memorial Day weekend means guaranteed rain. So if the sky opens up and the coal on your grill are hissing from the raindrops, maybe you can run inside, take cover under your blankets, and watch a movie with the kids. And if your kids are fans of scary things that aren’t actually scary (like my kid) you can load up Goosebumps the movie! Goosebumps is an homage to author R.L. Stine and to the menagerie of monsters he’s created over the many years of writing scary books for children. And the premise is pretty weird for this one. Zach has recently moved to a new town. R.L. Stine (Jack Black) is the creepy and reclusive new neighbor, though he is only known as Mr. Shivers. Despite warnings to stay away, Zach can’t help himself, mostly because of Stine’s alluring daughter, Hannah.
So Zach learns the true identity of Stine, who also reveals that his monsters came to life and he had to trap them in their books. Guess what happens? Yup, a creature gets unlocked. And then Slappy the evil living ventriloquist’s dummy, gets out and he releases all the evil on the small Delaware town.
Although filled with CGI monsters and other odd baddies, the movie is not particularly scary. Action, comedy, rampaging creatures are what fill the time. It’s a harmless and entertaining movie and Jack Black usually brings a fun element to movies. Available streaming, Goosebumps is a good family movie to while away the rainy spring evening.
Post by Tracy Kaler.
When we think of bachelor pads, we often imagine colors like black, deep gray and navy blue, waterbeds, sparse furnishings, and, in general, not a very stylish interior. But single men have come a long way with their desire to be fashionable and live in attractive environments, especially when they’re trying to impress a certain special someone.
For our single male readers and their lady friends, let’s take a look at some ultra-chic bachelor pad bedrooms.
This modern bedroom might have a minimalist design, but the space feels fashion forward. Neutral colors blend nicely, and a small bud vase adds just the right amount of femininity for contrast.
Color and pattern decorate the walls of this pre-war bedroom in the West Village of New York City. A 30-something professional lives in the apartment, which boasts a relaxed yet pulled-together design. At 140 square feet, this compact bachelor pad bedroom appears to get plenty of natural light.
Clean lines and colors work well in this contemporary bedroom. A striped accent pillow adds a splash of color. Crisp linens, a mod chandelier, and a small writing desk that doubles as a nightstand finish off the design.
Cuba is the theme in this bold bachelor pad bedroom in D.C. The yellow and green walls and striped bedcovering lend a tropical feel. It’s refreshing to see so much color in a gentleman’s quarters.
This room is anything but subtle and definitely plays on drama. This space is typical bachelor pad with an oversized Chesterfield bed and lots of black and leather. The masculine bedroom takes on a theatrical quality.
Post by Alison Hein.
Memorial Day is fast approaching, and with it comes the unofficial start of summer. At this time of year, I’m always reminded of summers past. My memories are filled with sessions at sleep away camp, days at the lake near my grandparents’ cabin, and of course, trips to the U-pick farm to pick plump, ripe berries fresh from the field.
Coincidentally, my camera club season runs the same as a school year – starting in September and wrapping up in June. Thinking of summer, thinking of berries, thinking of my camera club, I thought – wouldn’t it be nice to bake a summery cake for one of the last meetings with my fellow shutterbugs?
I decided upon a simple cake, made a bit richer and smoother with a touch of sour cream. For the fresh berries, I selected an assortment of blueberries, strawberries, blackberries and raspberries. Feel free to use whatever types of berries (or other fresh fruit) you like. If using strawberries, chop them into bite-sized pieces. And if you think the cake is scantily supplied with berries, don’t be tempted to add more than two cups or the cake will become too moist.
Sure enough, the cake was a big hit with my camera buddies, and the few pieces I held back became a summery breakfast in bed that my husband and I enjoyed the next morning.
¼ cup white sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 cup light brown sugar
½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
2 cups unbleached white flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup sour cream
2 cups (1 dry pint) mixed berries
Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish and set aside. Mix white sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl and set aside. In a large bowl, cream together the brown sugar and butter. Beat in eggs one at a time. In a separate small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
Mix the milk, cider vinegar, and vanilla together in another small bowl. Add alternately with flour mixture to the egg batter, until well mixed. Fold in sour cream, then mixed berries.
Spread batter evenly in baking dish, and sprinkle cinnamon sugar evenly across top. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool 20 to 30 minutes before slicing. Serve warm or at room temperature. Add a dollop of whipped cream, if you like.