Well, Just Swash My Buckle

While reading about the weekend passing of Bob Anderson I realized he is quite possibly single-handedly responsible for my fascination with the world of fencing.

Sword Fighting
Light Saber (ing)

Just extreme awesomeness!

I have always wanted to learn how to wield a sword (pronounced Sa-Ward since childhood, because I’m cool like that)

I just love it! The grace and agility of two people gliding back and forth in an elegant dance of danger… My earliest Hollywood heels came from Star Wars and The Pirates of Penzance. The ‘clink’ of metal on metal (or the hum of light on light) excites me. It will always be my fight scene of choice.

Every foot step placed, every move of the head, flick of the wrist, every thrust of the sword, has a flow to it that I just can’t take my eyes off. The scene in Princes Bride is my favorite. The way Inigo Montoya & “the Man in Black” move across the ground and the rocks makes an ungraceful girl like me green with envy.

As I child, I would always “play swords” if I was ever lucky enough to get my hands on an empty cardboard roll from paper toweling or gift wrap. I would run about attacking the walls or stuffed animals or the cat. To this very day, if I’m given the right shaped object, I bust out my “Star Wars Pose”. I have also been known to have a go if I happen to find a toy sword in my hand.

Because of the elegance of the sport, I grew up with the thought (and please don’t women’s lib me on this one, I was a kid) I thought it was ‘ok’ to do as a girl, guns were boy toys, but there were women pirates wielding swords for centuries.

When I was in my teens, this belief was further proven to be correct when MTV featured a female cast member on its series The Real World who was a champion fencer. Catherine Zeta Jones in Zorro is another great example of a female Swashbuckler. If I ever decided to take on the double life of a superhero, I would be one of the Zorro variety

Learning how to fence is on my bucket list, if any of you are interested in doing it with me, let me know!

*My extreme lack of grace has also had me eternally longing to be a ballerina. But that’s a blog for another day

Photo 1 Via

Photo 2 Via


Weird Sh!t That Has Happened To Me in 2011 – and other semi fascinating tidbits

• In January, I moved into a haunted house that included the following items:

o One rusty water pump
o One broken Corinthian column
o One gynecological exam chair (no, seriously – see pic)
o Assorted belongings from previous tenant

• I lived in the house a week before my furniture arrived

• I introduced the “Buzzer of Inappropriateness” at work. People get buzzed a lot

• I got a fake husband who I love dearly

• Thing I actually said to a police officer “Well, I suppose. If he had his hand up my ass like that, I’d scream too”

• I got my first Smartphone and a great love affair began

• I marched in the two biggest St Patrick’s Day parades in WI

• Two bands rocked my world “Lonely Island” & “Folk – Irish”

• My (3rd) cousin toured the world performing with Brandon Flowers

• I went to Florida for “workcation” and the following occurred:
o I walked on the beach at sunset
o I rode a Segway
o I dipped my feet in both the Atlantic Ocean & Gulf of Mexico within a 24 hour period
o I ate conch
o I drove over the Sunshine Skyway Bridge and did not die (or wet myself)
o I went to Walt Disney World
o I drove from Ft. Lauderdale to Orlando
o I got to have lunch with a cousin I had not seen in over a decade

• My upstairs neighbors came with a phone booth

• I spent every possible weekend in Milwaukee

• I carried a sheep

• I was an earlier adapter on both Google+ and Pinterest

• I let my geek flag fly

• I live tweeted Oshkosh Irish Fest

• I got to interview Patrick Murphy from Gaelic Storm

• I became very close friends with someone I never thought I’d be this close to

• I had wicked bad car problems

• I was bitten by a spider but did not gain any Spidey sense

• I drank whiskey with the boys

• I discovered ‘professional tug of war’

• I touched a piper

• I spent the night in a hotel with someone I met online (not as creepy as it sounds)

• I had to block a Twitter creeper (IS as creepy as it sounds)

• I worked out at the gym every M-F in September

• I pulled my hamstring & sprained my ankle (not related to each other or going to the gym)

• I bedazzled my cast & crutches

• I was included as a speaker in a panel talking about social media

• I blogged, a lot… just not here

• I participated in four different walks for the Arthritis Foundation 2 in FL & 2 in WI

• I ran hurling drills for a work video

• I had my heart broken

• I did not have a baby (it may not SOUND like a big deal, but with so many of my dear and dear having babies this year, I consider my self to be highly original)

• I made some AMAZING friends, that I have never met in person

• I have removed some toxic people from my life• I have perfected my official picture pose• I took a profile picture I actually like —- >• I accidentally set my self on fire twice within a few weeks time. (side note: I am not a fan of gas stoves)

My birthday gift in response to the fires....

• I finally had the confidence to wear the gold dress from my CA shopping spree (this dress will henceforth be known as the ‘holster dress’)

• I had an awesome birthday cake made to look like my phone!( thanks Julie)

• I spent Christmas day at the hotel my mom works where she was on duty at the front desk and I wrote this blog

• My mom and I both gave each other hats for Christmas

Thanksgiving Thank Yous


Its been a crazy year filled with some wonderful, some sad and lots of normal. When I think of what I’m thankful for, its people.

Here are the thanks I owe that I don’t always say enough…

Seriously, there are no words to express my appreciation for who you are and for all you do for me. You are always my first call when I need help or I want to celebrate. I love and treasure you.

You care so much for those who can’t ask for help, its inspiring to me. You have taught me how to have fun & just not give a damn what other people have to say. Your crazy life lessons & advice are the best. You have helped me show a part of myself I never thought I would. You are the beyotch to end all beyotches!

I don’t know where we are or where we’ll be in the future, but I can tell you what I have learned about myself this year because of you. I can fight for what I believe in & not have to pretend to agree with someone because we are friends. You let me give myself permission to be myself. To embrace the the geek, appreciate my perky, but stand my ground and even let that inner bitch shine when she needs to. I feel smarter for knowing you, and you make me feel pretty.

I think it is safe to say I’ve never had a friend like you, (insert song from Aladdin here). You help me to find the fun, you help me when I’m down & you gave me my confidence back. You are someone I’ve grown to trust like family. The future is wide open and who knows what is next? But my guess is Blues Egg might just be involved.

I would never ever ever say this to either of your faces. I have changed so much since knowing you… I think that’s a good thing. All the little comments that I would just think to myself, I now just say them. I have embraced the side of me that loves to jump the line of correctness. You are both “a fucking genious “. I will never look at beanstalks, black hole or sandwiches ever again.

“Out of Office” Are You Really Ever Anymore?

It’s 5 a.m. and the alarm clock starts blaring, I drag my hand to the nightstand and lift the screaming black bit of plastic. I drag the bar down to stop the sound and look at the phone screen staring back at me. A green light blinks at me from the upper left hand corner and a line of icons beckon me to read them. One by one, before I even put on my glasses, I check each account. Before I know it, the second alarm goes off. I stop the bell, put my glasses on and get out of bed to start my day.

Sound familiar?

E-mail, smartphones, texting, Skype, webinars, Slideshare, Twitter, Facebook, airplane wi-fi, the way technology is going, “9-5” will only be a memory of a Dolly Parton song (and movie, I happen to be a big fan). The question I have is: when are you “at work”? I (and I am positive most of you who are reading this right now) always have my phone with me and on. I check my Twitter feed while I am walking the dog, post status updates on Facebook as they occur IRL, I have even checked my email while I was in line for a ride at Disney World, I am writing this on a Saturday while I have a little downtime at a music festival.


This is a reality that people who are salaried employees have been used to for quite some time now, but technology is making it the norm for everyone now. The constant connectivity is something that took a while to get used to, but now, well – that is something you will hear about from me soon enough….


But tell me – is there a line you don’t cross? When do you log off, tune out and shut down? I’d love to hear from you, please comment below.


From the Thill Blog (5QF)

Five Question Friday is a weekly interview I do at work with employees of Thill Logistics, Inc. on the Thill Blog. I was home sick this last Friday, so I had no one to interview but myself. …

Five Question Friday has a minor change this week, owing to my being out sick from work yesterday, looks like I’m the only one around to interview. And there is a bonus question since you had to wait!

It’ s time to learn a little more about the people here at Thill Logistics. The Friday 5 has now become, 5 Question Friday. The idea is based on the website Formspring and the classic Bernard Pivot questionnaire, just imagine that I am holding my blue index cards and asking the questions in a soothing James Liptonesque tone. The format is simple, five questions. The first 4 will stay constant, (3 work related questions and 1 from Pivot) but the 5thquestion… that is up to you! Please comment and send in questions here on the Thill Blog, or send them to me via Formspring to carrieatthill.

Here are my 5 questions for Me!

What is your role at Thill Logistics? I am the Social Media Developer

How did you get into your field? I had been using social media for a while when I started managing the accounts for a pub, a Realtor & an accountant.  When I saw a “real job” in social media, here at Thill Logistics, Inc. I had to jump at the opportunity!

What is your favorite thing about your field? I love that it is a new field. Everything….

click HERE for the full interview with myself on The Thill Blog

For a virtual visit of Thill Logistics, Inc. click HERE

50 Things you did not know you wanted to know about me

  1. If  I could only do one thing – it would be travel
  2. I want to learn how to speak – French, Gaelic, Italian, Russian & Greek
  3. I love tv shows about ancient history (thru the French Revolution) and about comparative religion
  4.  One item on my bucket list is to play Ruth in Pirates of Penzance
  5. I have had that show memorized since I was 8
  6.  I read the book “Jemima J” at least twice a year
  7.  Every time  I read “Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows” I have to reserve a day for it and read it all at once
  8. I am a wannabe photographer
  9.  I am a terrible driver
  10.  but i sing  like a rock star when i am driving by myself
  11. I have never worn a store-bought Halloween costume, & never will. I LOVE making my  own
  12.  I have a terrible black thumb. I have killed both a chia pet  and a  cactus
  13.  I named the 1 plant I did keep alive (for a while)  Spike. RIP Spike the pothos
  14.  I named a fish Fluffy for the irony (i love   irony)
  15.  My dog is named after my favorite character in my favorite movie (A Christmas Story)
  16. I am definitely 3%  –  5% cuter when i am cold
  17. I love kitsch! I embrace intentional bad taste! (next time you see me – look at my socks)
  18. I have random thoughts that pop into my head and I get sidetracked by them, most of the time it’s a good thing
  19.  I get random songs that pop into my head and don’t go away. most of the time this is a bad thing
  20.  I have had my heart-broken and lived to tell the story.
  21.  My happy place is near a lake or ocean. rivers are an acceptable substitute.
  22.  I startle/frighten easily and react in a way that has caused some of my friends to try & ‘get’ me on purpose
  23.  I got my 1st gray hair at 22
  24.  I look younger than my age – so I’m fine rocking the hair dye
  25.  I try to be a positive presence even though I do admit to frequent wining & venting
  26. I am 4 degrees of separation from Kevin Bacon
  27. I rely on spell check like my life depended on it
  28. Despite the amount of pink in my wardrobe – Yellow is my favorite color
  29. My mom’s nick name for me as a little kid was “Sunshine”
  30.  My mom is my best friend
  31.  I don’t speak to my father
  32. I am disturbingly accident prone and klutzy
  33. Despite that, I can be very graceful
  34. I am more shy than you would think
  35. I can not deal with inanimate object that look like they are ‘looking at me’
  36. Birds and squirrels freak me out
  37. I tend to speak without thinking – so I try to stay very quiet in large groups
  38. I like to quote books and movies – and do it frequently
  39. I don’t like to talk on the phone. I only have a small group I will chat with on the phone
  40. I told people in middle school I was named after the Stephen King book. Really my (given) name is for my grandma
  41. I miss my grandmother more than anything
  42. My 1 regret is I did not have the experience of a 4 year college
  43. I have changed so much in the last 11 years – most of you wouldn’t know the old me.
  44. I am stronger than  knew I could be
  45.  I danced on the bar at Coyote Ugly (Thanks Merry!)
  46.  My favorite teddy bear, Fritz is still around on a chair in the corner
  47.  I am a killer player at trivia and word games
  48.  I played a game of trivia pursuit once 3 vs me – and won
  49. I am completely in love with architecture & could stare at ruins or buildings for hours
  50.  50. I love to make lists

 Me – “Say Goodnight, Ralphie”

 Ralphie – “Goodnight Ralphie”