Cartouche's Blog

Writing My Way Out of Something


Someplace, somewhere else, USA
February 09
Mind My Own Business
Artist, former newspaper columnist and restaurant critic. Award-winning author of "In Pursuit of Excellence". In my spare minute I can be found blogging here, on Huffington Post and other places that don't pay and (more often) writing for some places that do. Occasionally I tweet random thoughts and observations as @nonconfromist. I keep the really good ones to myself.


NOVEMBER 9, 2011 11:22AM

My Dangerous Childhood

Do you remember how our parents ranted about the distances they walked just to get to school and reminded us how lucky we were to have shoes on our feet? If I had birthed children of my own, I probably would have been caught saying, “In my day, you got a… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
OCTOBER 31, 2011 2:00PM

My Brilliant Second Career, x2 Squared

I’m not one to look back at, wax nostalgic over or live in the past. If I’ve done it once and didn’t particularly enjoy it (or him) there’s a very good chance I’m not doing it (or him) again. There are always far more interesting prospects for the future to think… Read full post »

What the world mourns now is Jobs, Steve Jobs,

He’s the kind of man that I wish, my father was.

What the world needs now is jobs, sweet jobs,

They’re the only things that there are too little of.


What the world mourns now is… Read full post »

JULY 11, 2011 5:01PM

Six Months to Life

Once every decade, my life undergoes some sort of major metamorphosis. This time around, things happened about a year later than usual. Boy did I make up for that delay. For the past six months, I’ve been doing a lot… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MARCH 28, 2011 1:13AM

Remembering More than a Teacher

My sophomore year in high school, I became part of an organization called Girls Glee Club and Men’s Chorus.  By the time I graduated in 1978, its name had been changed to Heights Singers. Political correctness had just cracked open the door.

For those three years, I had the privilegeRead full post »

FEBRUARY 11, 2011 8:03AM

What I Learned AFTER 50

Now that I’ve had a little more than a year to settle into my current role, I think I can look back upon it with some degree of knowledge and intelligence.  That I am officially part of that horrid demographic known as “50 Plus!” (it’s the stupid exclamation point that ir/… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JANUARY 31, 2011 6:18AM

The Greatest Generation that Never Was

Last Friday, I went to grab a late lunch. I specifically picked a restaurant with TV sets, so I could watch the unfolding events in Cairo.  I know this sounds counterintuitive for someone who admits to rarely watching TV, but since last week, my inner Rottweiler has grabbed onto the bone/… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JANUARY 28, 2011 6:53AM

Egypt is Rising

I was a naïve young woman when I arrived in Cairo in June of 1983.  Of course, there was no telling my then 23 year-old self that.  I was already somewhat worldly and had just left communist Hungary to go on this little adventure with complete strangers.  I was invited as/… Read full post »

JANUARY 25, 2011 10:26PM

Flaw(s) and Order (for Ann Nichols)

In no particular.

I forget more easily than I forgive.  If I remember, it's because it hurts.  If I've forgotten, it wasn't important. Enough.  To him or her.  Pain is an equal opportunist.

I’m methodical to a fault.  I often see the end result and map it out as I/… Read full post »

JANUARY 24, 2011 3:17PM

We the People of OS Versus:

Caitlin Kelly.

The name behind the post that ended one of the longest stretches of time on OS without a dustup to create, (what else?) a dustup.  In case you were solving world hunger, away from OS over the weekend, living your life and/or pretended not to notice, we the/… Read full post »

JANUARY 21, 2011 2:37PM

Seeming is Believing

Every time tragedy strikes or a person snaps, there is someone who will say, “I can’t believe it.  He seemed like such a (fill in the blank:  nice, normal, strange) person.”  “Seemed” is the key.  Time and again, I argue that no matter how well we thi/… Read full post »

JANUARY 19, 2011 11:43AM

Window Shopping for Death

It starts with almost invisible deterioration.  The hearing is slightly compromised.  There’s tentativeness about anything from negotiating a staircase, corncob or a checkbook to remembering what day of the week or time it is.  There’s a shuffle to the step.  The one o/… Read full post »

JANUARY 11, 2011 10:38AM

Enough Said

You’re an idiot.

You’re a liberal.

You’re a conservative

You’re a know it all.

You’re a racist.

You’re a pacifist.

You’re a pot smoking

Bible choking

One size fits all

Every man for himself

Citizen of these United States

Divided by… Read full post »

JANUARY 6, 2011 5:19PM

Seeing Myself in Reverse

In recent months, I’ve had the pleasure of reconnecting with a few people who once played major roles in my long ago life. My ninth grade English teacher whom I adored, an employer who gave me my first taste of the world of radio as a young intern and lastly, aRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
JANUARY 2, 2011 7:43AM

The Million(th) Post March Has Ended!

Well, we did it.  The millionth post appeared on Open Salon last night at 11:31 pm.  Amidst all the speculation and against all possible odds (on a weekend, no less), the post was written by an actual member and not some spam bot!

 A recycled member (I’m not sure what… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
DECEMBER 30, 2010 8:53AM

Painting Over the Old Year

It begins optimistically enough.  Every New Year does.  There’s a sense that we’re wiping the slate clean of the previous twelve months, starting again, rebuilding, taking second chances, forgiving our trespasses and transgressions.  As much of the past as possible gets swe/… Read full post »

DECEMBER 15, 2010 7:37PM

Living Your Life on Purpose

Have you ever wondered what your real purpose is as a human being?  Have you ever questioned the direction of your life or whether or not you have found your true calling?  Have you abruptly surrendered one pursuit to pursue another with complete abandon?  Have you come face to face wi/… Read full post »

DECEMBER 9, 2010 7:12AM

Imagine All the People

I didn’t know him or her.  Chances are, you didn’t either.

People are continuously fascinated by the lives and deaths of people they “loved” or felt they “knew”.  Celebrity illnesses and deaths make for big stories in this “We Are the World”/… Read full post »

DECEMBER 5, 2010 2:03PM

Words We'll Live and Die By

Intellectually, we understand that we are all destined to die.  Oddly, there is no greater surprise in life than the fact that death is part of the collective bargain. We want to believe that things will get better, nobody will die on our watch or that our happiness, insurance policies or/… Read full post »

DECEMBER 3, 2010 9:49AM

Loathe is in the Air

It starts with the turning back of the clock.  The blatant reminder that darkness comes earlier and settles in for the winter is just the beginning. That one single hour shifts attitudes and priorities.  Halloween comes and goes and suddenly Thanksgiving looms on the horizon.  Pla/… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 21, 2010 10:12PM

There was that Thanksgiving......

There was that Thanksgiving the cat almost ate.   The turkey was resting comfortably in the kitchen, minding its own business, awaiting its fate as everyone mingled in the living room. Even as their stomachs growled and their mouths drooled, the adults sipped "Mad Men" cocktails and my sibl/… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 19, 2010 10:10AM

Groping for Truth Behind Airport Security

Less than two months after 9/11, I was at the airport, getting on a plane heading to Muskogee, Oklahoma.  Don't ask.  (Don't tell.)  From the minute I arrived at the airport, I noticed that everything had changed.  Police cars circled the entire area like choreographed water/… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 15, 2010 12:00AM

An Unedited Childhood, 1969

“Observe the events from an adult perspective.  What would you tell the little girl in that situation if you were the observer?” the therapist asked.

“I’d tell her to be very careful,” I replied.   “It will surely happen again."

    … Read full post »

NOVEMBER 12, 2010 10:49AM

The Perfect, Sexy Man and What to Call Him

Maybe it’s because even at the age of 50, I am still capable of having romantic notions.  Maybe it's because I like working with my hands and  my idea of sexy has as much to do with intelligence, razor sharp humor, grace, impeccable manners, charm, natural (not the affected,/… Read full post »

Last winter, I wrote about my evening on the set and eating at the restaurant for the taping of Hell’s Kitchen.  Nine months later, just like a baby, this star episode is finally about to be born.  I couldn’t tell you much about the experience then and I still can’t say/Read full post »