May 31, 2012

Pickle Mommy Love.

Pickle Weasels love their lil' baby gherkins.

Some emotions are universal...motherhood is one of them.

May 29, 2012

The Devil's Klout.

Your Klout score won't help you be a better person.

If The Devil had a Klout score, what would it be? What would his topics of influence be? And would he be a Thought Leader, a Specialist or a Celebrity?

May 26, 2012


Yesterday the 12 year old boy and his friend were playing “Sandman” in the park. Apparently this is a game where you close your eyes and try to grab the other players. Yes, the boy nearly became a Darwin Award contender by giggling and klutzing around 6 feet up on a play structure with his eyes shut. Of course he tripped and fell down, landing on the iron bars below.

I’d just uploaded The Birthday Kiss and tweeted out the link when I got ye olde dreaded phone call. It was a woman.

“Your son is hurt, in the park, the ambulance is coming.”

I ran. As soon as I turned the corner I could see the flashing lights. Note to self: start exercising cuz you can’t even run 4 blocks without needing a defibrillator. As I approached the group of people crowded around my son lying flat on the park wood chips, my heart sank. I could hear him gasping for breath and crying out in pain.

The Huz caught up with me just as the paramedics were putting a brace around our son’s neck and head.

"Am - I - gonna - die...?" Tears leaked out of the corners of his eyes.

Lemmeetellya a million fears shriek from the depths of your soul when you are in such a situation. I pushed them all down, and focused on reassuring the boy and staying calm.

Ambulance ride. Trauma unit. Intravenous. Ultra-sound. X-rays. Morphine. The Huz and I held each other, watching our son and waiting...I tweeted at that point I think; and Twitter was amazing with the support.

Finally the doctors told us there were no big fractures, just lung and rib trauma. The boy is now recovering at home with pain medication to keep him breathing deeply so his lung doesn't collapse. He's watching movies surrounded by his pals as I write this. He's going to be fine.

But this story is not about him. This story is really about his friend, an 11 year old girl who showed true bravery and presence of mind in the moment because she called 911. She did so without hesitation as soon as she saw the boy was having trouble breathing. She didn’t call her mom first or get another grownup to do it. She did it herself. Then she stayed on the phone with the Emergency person and relayed directions to the people gathering around the howling gasping boy on the ground.

Stay with him.
Nobody should touch him or try to move him.
A grownup at the scene should call his parents.
Another grownup should flag down the ambulance when it comes in sight of the park.

This 11 year old girl deserves recognition. And so I’m awarding her the very first Pickle Weasel “911 Mojo” Award in acknowledgement of her bravery, quick thinking and calm action. In short: she's got mojo.

She’s a fine example to other kids and grownups of how to behave in a potential emergency. Walk tall girl, cuz You Rocketh.

May 25, 2012

The Birthday Kiss.

Last week my grandmother turned 97. I don't mind telling you that she is really, really old. It's hard to be really hurts. My mom told me that she moved the photograph of my Grandpa so that my Grandma could see it from her pillow. She turned and looked at it wistfully, smiling and nodding, remembering...she believes she'll be with him soon.

But not just yet.

I'll spare you the details of what it truly means to live this long in a body that's giving out, but suffice to say that my Grandma is brave, strong and a real hard ass when it comes to life. She's just not quite ready to let go yet. So the family gathered to celebrate her birthday, and although she was in a lot of pain, she did smile and tell us she loves us. And the youngest of us, my little Nieceling who is not quite two, got up on her tippy toes to give her Great-Grandmother a birthday kiss. Time stood still. The room was spell bound as the two leaned toward one another, the very young and the very elderly; no one wanted to miss the moment by fumbling for their camera.

So I drew it.

UPDATE - June 21, 2012.
My precious Grandma slipped gently away today. She is celebrated, missed and remembered.

RIP Maria Marrelli.

May 24, 2012

#PickleWeasel poses for #TheTutuProject.

This awesome dude named Bob Carey does self portraits wearing a tutu in the unlikeliest of locations. He's made a lot of people smile, including his wife Linda, who has breast cancer. It's called The Tutu Project.

He's raising funds and awareness and others are invited to post images to Twitter hashtagging #TheTutuProject. A perfect fit for Pickle Weasel, no? The image driven stream is inspiring and it's easy to view in SeeSaw.

Spread the word!

May 21, 2012

#DrawSomething - Repeating Words.

It can be kinda annoying to get offered the same words over and over in while playing Draw Something.

I always include Pickle Weasel in my Draw Something games. He was getting tired of posing with the "ruby". What repeating words have you noticed - do you avoid them or redraw them every time?

Start a game with me - I'm The Animated Woman!

May 17, 2012

KLOUT 101 - How to be truly influential.

Yes. YOU are one of the most influential people in social media and can start a trend with a single tweet. Wow, you actually have more KLOUT than Justin Bieber!

But guess what? With awesome power comes huge responsibility. Now that you have this amazeballs Klout score of 101, what are you going to do with it?

Duh. Get the t-shirt, put it on* and then go out into the real world and smile. That is how you will influence real people.

And hug them. Your life will be better.

*T-shirt isn't actually necessary. But it is fun and cool in a geeky kind of way.

May 16, 2012

The Animation of Empathy.

Sometimes I like to geek out with social media people. Yesterday I spoke at the "State Of Now" 140 Conference here in Montreal, or #140MTL. So here's ten minutes of me talking about "The Animation of Empathy" wherein I use my drawings to get the audience to do funny deeply meaningful things.

The 140Conf series was created by Jeff Pulver and they typically attract gatherings of inspirational speakers from across the planet. Montreal's 140 was no exception; produced by Mila Araujo from Ogilvy & Ogilvy Insurance (the main event sponsor), the speaker lineup she curated was nothing less than spectacular. I was actually nervous...I hope it doesn't show.

If you're interested in social media for marketing, charitable causes, business management, human resources, or just want to be inspired, you can check out the videos here. The hi-lights for me personally were the humorous and direct Jeanine Morber's "what do I want to share, who do I want to reach and where are they?"; the impressive Deb Weinstein "social media is 24/7" and what companies should not do in a crisis; and Ted Curtin's disarming "courage to be humble" where he quotes Mr. Rogers' philosophy of 'deep and simple' to describe the importance of authenticity in one's online voice. Beautiful.

Oh and the all new SeeSaw app was launched at the conference, which is a new way of viewing and saving twitter convos and images - it's mesmerizing.

I met (and hugged) some amazing people at this event and I can't wait for the next one.


May 11, 2012

Klout PERKS.

Klout is back on my radar.

"But JC, I got loads of free stuff from Klout! Free this, free that."

Klout perks are not 'free'. Every time someone talks/tweets/posts about their perks they are advertising for Klout the company and its clients. It's my personal view that Klout perpetuates an unhealthy type of advertising/marketing practice which allows the media to prey on human unconscious inferiority complex. This practice regularly tears down the public's self esteem, makes us feel, fat, ugly and poor and generally unworthy so that we will spend money to try to alleviate a perceived void. Klout exploits this human foible in their business model and harnesses whatever influence you have to make a buck.

BTW you're awesome no matter what your score is. Here's a HUG.

May 10, 2012

Motherhood = Nerves of Steel.

Mother's Day comes once a year and it's a day for mom to take some time for her self.

Of course, it could end up being just like every other day. Children are so demanding!

As a mom, I think it's important to consider their demands and make the right decisions.

This is where the "nerves of steel" come in handy.

Kids can say terrible, hurtful things. And in the heat of the moment, they really mean it too.

I never take these insults personally. Instead, I choose to focus on important issues, like respect and honesty.

As long as the lines of communication remain open between myself and my kids, and my reflexes remain sharp...

...I think things will probably turn out alright.

A little patience goes a long way, so we try to give them time and space to reflect on their actions.

And while it may often seem that being a mom is a thankless task... actually isn't.

There's just enough pure joy to be thankful for. Remember folks: every day is Mother's Day.

Confession time! What's the worst insult ever hurled at you by your offspring? Or that you ever hurled at your mom?

May 4, 2012


This is a poem about dogs.

I love dogs.

I drew this on the plane, with Paper for the iPad.

May 3, 2012

England - Cloudy with a CHANCE of showers.

Here we are in England land! Normally we stay with my MIL down in Cornwall, but this time we're here for a funeral so we're staying in a hotel near Ascot (horse races, big hats). This hotel was built in the 1940's and the plumbing is, er...interesting.

Yes indeedy, I have been confronted with some difficult decisions during our stay - to shower or not? I decided to take my chances.

I never did get to rinse the shampoo out of my hair.

The shower experience is a little random for sure, but hey, at least I'm clean!

I drew this one using Paper, on my iPad.