Adventure, Bucket List, Change, Contest, Humor, Lotto, Opinion, POOP, Winning

You’re a Winner

I have always been pretty lucky. When I was a kid, it seemed that any raffle I entered would be a winning experience for me. One time I won a bike kickstand at Bike Safety Day. My parents would take us kids to the Jersey Shore every summer and we would play games on the boardwalk. I’d come home with a zillion stuffed animals. Actually, we all would. The only difference between my sisters’ dolls and mine were how we won them. While my sisters would play games of skill, I’d play games of luck. I always had a knack for knowing what number to put my dollar down on. I once walked up to a claw game, stuffed a dollar in and instantly won a talking Steve Urkel doll. The claw went down and came up with a tiny piece of his rubber glasses holding on (almost literally by a thread). It’s like I just knew I’d win, so I played with complete confidence. Sadly, my 6th Sense has dimmed as I have grown older, but I do manage to carry some luck around with me every once in a while.


He always made me feel like a winner.

Every time I play the Lottery, I am beyond sure that I am going to win. I immediately start planning my life as a millionaire, convinced that I could buy the entire state of Maine if I wait a few years before splurging and let my money sit and collect interest. When I talk to Captain Clam about it, he brings up all of the places in the world we could possibly live, if even for just a few months of our lives.


Investing in Hope and Chance.

My first purchase would be a new pair of pants to replace the pair that I had soiled upon learning of my amazing luck. Then, of course, I would wear those pants to my new lawyer’s office to discuss what the heck was about to happen to me. I might buy a sandwich or pizza somewhere in between the pants and the Lawyer.  I am confident that I would opt to be paid out immediately, meaning I’d receive a little less that half of the entire sum after taxes (I’m okay with that).


Poop Jokes: Around since the beginning of time.

My next order of business would be typing lessons. If you have ever g-chatted with me, you know I am a drunk kitten on the keyboard. I can remember having maybe one lesson as a child, but never understood how many hours of my life would be spent clacking away at plastic letters, so I never took typing seriously.


Typing = Not Serious

My second order of business would be to move my home base. While the Brooklyn Studio apartment that Le Clam and I share with 4 kitties and 2 beta fish is very cozy, it also totally sucks. I think it’s fair to say that we deserve at least a one bedroom…. maybe even an extra half bath. I don’t know if we’d rent or own, but I would sure kiss this apartment (and most likely Brooklyn) goodbye.


Fit for a Clam Fam.

The third order of biz would be to get the hell out of town. I don’t know where we’d go first (and I certainly don’t want you to follow us there) or how long we’d stay, but I do know that I don’t want to live life without seeing wild zebras or the Pyramids in person. I want to feel small and insignificant (more so than I do now).


Captain Clam might be jealous, but the world will be our Oyster!

A priority would be donating some of the winnings. I would donate to my Alma Maters, SUNY Stony Brook and the Fashion Institute of Technology, and ask that they please design a bad ass bathroom with my name on it. Ideally the bathroom would be one stall with mood lighting and music playing, but that might be overkill (at least at Stony Brook). I would also hold a contest for prospective students who cannot afford school, but really really want and deserve to go. As a former Professional Student, I truly understand the passion for learning and the hunger of a starving artist/business school student. The contest would vary each year and would be the greatest contest of all time.

bathroom Raleigh NC

There is precedence for this request… and that last name is so close to my own…. Perhaps bathroom humor runs in the family?

I’d also like to spend time on making art. It’s an activity that I love doing, but have had to give up for the past few months due to laziness and lack of creativity. I don’t think that money will inspire me, but it might help me inspire myself by giving me the resources to afford to even step out of my house.


The good old days.

Of course I’d make Captain Clam an honest man and wear his pearl and become Lady Clam (if he’ll have the company of course). Then we could settle down and have an animal sanctuary in Alaska or Canada or somewhere cold (maybe even the entire state of Maine!). He has talked about wolves and snow leopards and I am thinking more of babies, but I’m sure our issues would be worked out rather harmoniously (as long as there are cats involved).


Apparently it IS a thing!

Another dream of ours is to own a vintage furniture shop. This dream will probably happen even if we don’t hit it big with 5 lucky numbers. You see, His Clamminess and I are huge furniture nerds. We met in a furniture studio and fell in love while talking about writing tables and chaise lounges (with or without tufting?). It’s all very romantic (as romantic as a Polished Espresso Mahogany finish will allow).


It’s true… Clams included.

I do also think that somewhere between the orders of business 1 and 3 , I would abandon facebook. Sorry, but it’s none of your business what I am doing with my money, and I would just irritate myself if I became one of those people who boasts about how rich they are. Boasting about awesomeness is a different story.


Of course our incredible families would reap from our ridiculous stroke of luck. They deserve SOMETHING for having to put up with the two of us for 30-something years. Clam and I are both the youngest of 3; his family is all boys, and mine is all girls. God Bless both of those sets of parents and siblings (I am at a loss in the picture department. Sorry!).

I have been reading up on winning millions and have come across stories where people ran through their money so quickly. I can see how spending money can become an easy task. I wonder what people spend their loot on, and look to celebrities and sports stars for assistance. It’s all CRAP for the most part. I’d like to think that money would not change me, but that would be a silly thought. I do, however, understand that money will not solve all of your problems, and you can only numb the pain for so long with huge toy purchases and other shit no one actually needs.


I do not need this.

The following things would not be on my shopping list, as I feel no sense of need or desire for them:

Caviar – Please google “caviar” and see how brutal the process of harvesting the caviar is. No thanks.

McMansion– That’s so 2004. Plus, I doubt that we need 18,625 SQFT of inside living space. I am dating a Clam for Christ sake!

Tiny Forks– I don’t understand them, don’t need them, and don’t want them.

Super Duper Cars– I don’t have a car now. I don’t really need one, let alone 6 (can you imagine trying to park in NYC with that many cars!?). If I did buy a vehicle, it’d probably be a little pick-up truck. That way, I can help my pals when they have to move!

$450,000 Crack Party– Tyrone Biggums, as portrayed by Dave Chapelle, lost it all! According to my research, a lot of people who lose their winnings do so on account of alcohol, strippers, and bad decisions made on drugs. I love to throw a party, but I think I’ll stick to wine, beer, and fancy tacos.

Cosmetic Surgery– I don’t want to be any other character but me. I might, however, consider Lasers to permanenty remove my mustache, and also removal of my tramp stamp (since it’s no longer 2002 and I am no longer 20).

Friends– Because that kind of weird shit happens. No thanks. Buy your own damn drinks!

Among the obvious expenses (like paying off student loans and other miscellaneous debt), here is a list of Weird must-haves in my millionaire shopping cart:

An Awesome Sofa– As stated above, Captain Clam and I love furniture. I also happen to work for one of the best Upholstery Workrooms in the universe. I think we could get a bad-ass deal on something beautiful, and even add our personal touches by having Le Clam himself design the rump rester.

A Bad Ass XEROX copy machine/scanner/printer- This is the only thing that I miss from my last job. I still think about it quite fondly.

Instant Photo Booth- Sometimes I get sentimental.

A Tree Farm– I love trees! I want to grow and raise all kinds of wood species so we can built our furniture sustainably. It’d also be nice to eat some home grown apples and other yummy stuffs.

Stained Glass Windows – Because why not?

Wanda Raimundi-Ortiz Painting/Drawing– Wanda is a friend of mine from half a lifetime ago. I met her because she was the previous tenant in my old Loft in the South Bronx. I have a few art pieces that were salvaged (one from the garbage and one was literally chopped out of a wall). I’d like to one day actually pay her for a gorgeous creation.

Well, this post has escalated out of control, but then again so has my imagination. On the eve of one of the largest Mega Millions drawings since the last largest Mega Millions drawing, I can’t help but be psyched. I never play Lotto (except for Scratch-off Fridays with Captain Clam every once in a while (75% of the time I win my money back – at least)), but I have a good feeling… kinda like I had when I walked up to the claw machine and won that Urkel doll. Even if I win my $5 back, I am content. If I win nothing, then I am out $5, but blogged up a storm, so it measures itself out somehow.

I am reading back and realizing that my dreams aren’t so far fetched. I mean, I already own some stained glass and just bought a really nice fancy futon (it has cup holders built in!). My advice to all of you, if any of you ever do win, is to sign the back of the ticket. I have seen too many documentaries about Lottery fraud (okay just one hour long show, but whatever) and I would hate to see that happen to me or you or anyone else (unless they were total dick-holes and deserved to be ripped off).

Mega Millions is 400 Million dollars, the drawing is Friday the 13th, and I’m feeling incredibly lucky these days… I better go find myself a good lawyer and sturdy pair of pants.

Contest, poetry, Short Story

6 Word Stories Contest Extended

Good and Bad news, pals.

6 Word Stories: A Contest has been extended.


Gown removed carelessly. Head, less so.
– Joss Whedon
Automobile warranty expires. So does engine.
– Stan Lee
Machine. Unexpectedly, I’d invented a time
– Alan Moore
Design By Chipp Kidd

I know you haven’t heard from me lately, but I am in the process of winning myself back over from the dark side (and it’s working!). New posts soon, I do promise because I still love you, no matter what.

Now get cracking on those stories and graphics. I will extends for one week, and after that, no excuses (okay, maybe I’ll accept a few excuses, but they better be good or hilarious).

Contest, Short Story, Typography

6 Word Stories: A Contest

When I was a student at FIT, we would have to collect “things” for several classes and keep them in a book. At random, our super adorable Typography Professor would call you up and have you present your findings for the week. Being a collector of stuff (I get it from my grandma Dorothy), I had a billion little bits of paper overflowing out from my “process” notebook. It was not weird to buy a magazine or product just because you liked the typography or design of it. Art students are strange collectors. It was no surprise to me when I picked up the November 2006 issue of WIRED magazine because I liked the cover and wanted to read the article. Boy was I in for a really wonderful surprise.

Of course that week I was called up in Type class to show and tell my findings. All I brought up was the magazine, explaining why I purchased it and what treasure awaited me inside. The article, located on pages 212 -221, is called “Very Short Stories” and is a conglomeration of 33 Writers, 5 designers, and 6 word pieces of science fiction. Not only is the graphic design/typography stellar, the stories are pretty cool, too.

You can find the original content Here: and Here:

I still have the magazine and refused to throw it out when Captain Clam was on one of his cleaning rampages. I wrote a 6-word story about it: Captain Clam Says NO, Stephanie Wins.

I need to rework that a little bit. In the meantime, below are the short stories and graphic designs for your viewing pleasure. I have organized them according to their presentation in the magazine.


Failed SAT. Lost Scholarship. Invented Rocket.
– William Shatner
Computer, did we bring Batteries? Computer?
– Eileen Gunn
Vacuum Collision. Orbits Diverge. Farewell, Love.
– David Brin
Design By Chip Kidd


Gown removed carelessly. Head, less so.
– Joss Whedon
Automobile warranty expires. So does engine.
– Stan Lee
Machine. Unexpectedly, I’d invented a time
– Alan Moore
Design By Chipp Kidd


Longed for him. Got him. Shit.
– Margaret Atwood
His penis snapped off; he’s pregnant!
– Rudy Rucker
From torched skyscrapers, men grew wings.
– Gregory Maguire
Internet “wakes up?” Ridicu –
no carrier.
– Charles Stross
With bloody hands, I say good-bye.
– Frank Miller
Wasted day. Wasted life. Dessert, please.
– Steven Meretzky
Design by Frost Design


“Cellar?” “Gate to, uh … hell, actually.”
– Ronald D. Moore


Epitaph: Foolish humans, never escaped Earth.
– Vernor Vinge


It cost too much, staying human.
– Bruce Sterling
We kissed. She melted. Mop please!
– James Patrick Kelly
It’s behind you! Hurry before it
– Rockne S. O’Bannon
I’m your future, child. Don’t cry.
– Stephen Baxter
1940: Young Hitler! Such a cantor!
– Michael Moorcock
Design by Tomato


Lie detector eyeglasses perfected: Civilization collapses.
– Richard Powers
I’m dead. I’ve missed you. Kiss … ?
– Neil Gaiman
The baby’s blood type? Human, mostly.
– Orson Scott Card
Kirby had never eaten toes before.
– Kevin Smith
Rained, rained, rained, and never stopped.
– Howard Waldrop
To save humankind he died again.
– Ben Bova
Design by Stephen Doyle


We went solar; sun went nova.
– Ken MacLeod


Husband, transgenic mistress; wife: “You cow!”
– Paul Di Filippo


“I couldn’t believe she’d shoot me.”
– Howard Chaykin
Design by John Maeda


Don’t marry her. Buy a house.
– Stephen R. Donaldson
Design by John Maeda

Broken heart, 45, WLTM disabled man. - Mark Millar Design by John Maeda

Broken heart, 45, WLTM disabled man.
– Mark Millar
Design by John Maeda

TIME MACHINE REACHES FUTURE!!! … nobody there … - Harry Harrison Design by John Meada

– Harry Harrison
Design by John Maeda

Tick tock tick tock tick tick. - Neal Stephenson Design by John Maeda

Tick tock tick tock tick tick.
– Neal Stephenson
Design by John Maeda

Easy. Just touch the match to - Ursula K. Le Guin Design by John Madea

Easy. Just touch the match to
– Ursula K. Le Guin
Design by John Madea

Now, there are an additional 59 stories that did not make it into the magazine. You can view those here (and scroll to the middle) for inspiration. These are “Special Web-Only” Edition Pieces.

So… what’s up with my contest? Well, I want YOU to write me a 6 word story. You can include graphics if you’d like, or just rely on your shear genius to tell a story using 6 words and nothing else. Think of it as a haiku, but not.

Please submit your stories to with the subject line: “6 Word Story” by August 16 (My mom’s birthday!). Eventually I will post the finalists and then let you all decide who wins.

Now, what is the prize? Well, since I LOVE TYPOGRAPHY so much, the winner will receive a handmade item from me in the shape of a picture frame


Photo Courtesy of Nick Papaleo
Drawing by Leigh Kosloski
Frame shown is NOT actual prize, but a mere depiction of what will be sent to the winner. Picture is not included, but I might throw a fancy sketch of a cat or something in there for funsies!

You can enter as many stories as you’d like, but please be reasonable. I do have a life (just kidding!). In the event of a team effort (say writer and graphic artist) or two really awesome neck and neck stories, I think I can find it in my heart to give out two prizes. I have a lot of spare time and picture frames on my hands.

Well, I love you all and good luck!