My So Charmed Life

The Kittens Get New Nicknames and Pose for Photos







More Mayhem


Mischief & Mayhem

Last Night Iggy Pop Tried to French Kiss Me While Michelangelo Gave Me an Awesome Back-Scratching



Yes, it was quite a night.

Oh, not Iggy the rockstar or Michelangelo the artist… what kind of girl do you think I am? I’m talking about Iggy and Angelo, our two new family additions and the sweetest, most adorable, most funniest kittens on the planet. Pictured above is the entire litter; Iggy is in the middle demonstrating his “all toys are mine” punk rock ethos, and Angelo is on the far right, twice the size of Iggy (and smart, very smart) but a much more pensive laid-back sort of Renaissance cat.

Molly and I adopted these babies last weekend in Adams Morgan at a MetroFerals event we stumbled into on Saturday. There were so many lovely kits that needed good homes, and after pondering it for about 5 minutes that evening over Chinese food, we decided we had to go back the next morning and choose from the “Eenie, Meenie, Miney, Moe” litter, as they’d been temporarily named. Needless to say, neither of us could sleep that night from the pure excitement of it all.
The scene at the foster house on Sunday was a loving four-ring circus! The litter had been so well-cared for by David and Norm (the Cat Whisperer) and we sat on the floor while the tiny ones dashed around the small bedroom in a gray blur of kitten energy! It was sooooo hard to choose.

At first glance the foursome looked completely identical and we wondered how we could ever tell two of them apart from one another. But Angelo quickly stood out as the grayest of the bunch, really beautiful, with no white or beige markings and the only one with a super stylish black nose and black pads on his paws. He was the biggest and super friendly so Molly picked him first.

Iggy and his two look-alike brothers were another matter. But Ig was the tiniest — the runt of the litter — and I’ve always had a soft spot for runts (Rosebud, RIP, was the runt of her litter too). We loved Iggy’s assymetrical white facial markings, and his too-adorable-for-words pink nose and pads, not to mention his joyful and reckless rock and roll personality. Sadly leaving the others behind, we made our way home with two furry creatures in tow.

I’m happy to report, the kitties are doing splendidly. They are really bonding and are sequestered in my bedroom until they feel a bit more secure. It’s been such fun hanging out with them, although I am getting tired of sharing my bathroom! Litter on the floor in the middle of the night and a perpetually knocked-over water bowl… not such fun. But more than worth it!

Iggy and Angelo have been keeping me awake at night too with the loudest purring I’ve ever heard, in stereo, along with this other simultaneous weird chewing/sucking noise that is also quite crunchy and loud! And it’s true, last night, Iggy really was trying to stick his tiny #4 sandpaper tongue into my mouth (ewwww, I love you but where has that tongue been???) while Angelo gave me a seriously awesome back-scratch with his tiny claws.

Kittens just rock, you know? I will try to get additional pics soon and before they grow up (kittenhood goes by SO fast), but thusfar, it’s all just a blurry mess of kitties in motion!

A Photographic Essay on Jersey Shore Cheese Fries. In Reverse. Or, How to Feed Five Hungry Children a Nutritional (Remember, Potatoes ARE a Vegetable and Are You Questioning My Parenting??) Lunch (Breakfast & Dinner Too!) for Under $5!



7 minutes and 45 seconds into today’s cheese fry experience (yes, this is daily, sometimes twice daily) we have evidence of total decimation. Now let’s back up shall we, and see what happened. Who is responsible? How did they do it?!

For Ethan, it’s all about quantity, dude.


Bess, a bona fide cheese fry connoisseur, takes a serious approach to savoring the cheese. And the fry.

Alex, youngest but possibly boldest cheese fryer of the bunch, mixes a little sand in (see chin for details) for that truly optimal beach cuisine experience.

The olfactory angle must not be ignored, as shown by Molly. Remember, sniff your fries!


Jake, a Jersey Shore cheese fry expert, knows that licking the grease and salt from one’s fingers is mandatory.


With 5 hungry kids on deck (you’d be hungry too if you were digging giant holes in the sand all day), you can’t grab those fries fast enough.


Ahhhh, the goods. A gooey box ‘o fries (the CHEESIEST ), piping hot and fresh from the Snack Shack, Ocean City, NJ. Yum yum!

Rosebud G. Kowalski, RIP


Our beloved cat, Rosebud, died yesterday at our home, after several months of a serious, gradually debilitating, but undiagnosed illness. She is lovingly survived by her mom (me), her sister, Molly Bess, Molly’s dad Glenn K., and many friends who loved her. The painting above, by the incredibly brilliant and talented Carrie Mitchell of San Francisco, CA, serves as a deliciously ironic and cherished memory of Rosie in the bloom of her health and plumpy devilishness.

Burial was held on the grounds at Darwin Avenue in Takoma Park, behind Rosebud’s favorite pink azalea bush… beneath which she spent many beautiful sunny days, and quite a few summer nights in peaceful contentment (but with one eye open). A bouquet of roses was provided by our neighbor and a proper gravemarker is in the making. Rosebud was buried with her favorite feather toy, and a small bag of Meow Mix, in case her next incarnation is again feline. If you ask me though, Rosebud’s spirit will return to this world as a dangerously beautiful super model.

Rosebud (nickname: Rosebud Scissorpaws) was a very special kitty. She was born on a farm in Pennsylvania and came into our lives 16 years ago during a Sunday trip to the Takoma Farmer’s Market. We went for tomatoes, and came home with a kitten. Never fully a domesticated housecat per se, Rosebud remained fiercely independent throughout her life, a quality that could be frustrating, but which we ultimately admired greatly. She came to love and trust but a few humans, and those of us she allowed into her circle were treated to many hours of playfulness and snuggling, along with the occasional bite or scratch out of sheer orneriness. Rosebud was in charge and she never let us forget that.

Some of Rosie’s most awesome accomplishments were: Protecting our house from other cats, viciously fighting them off with pride and valour, shredding a valuable antique 1940’s cut-velvet sofa to smithereens, hunting prey–mice and moles, primarily–and depositing these gifts on the walkway to our home, as well as occasionally on the floor by our beds, and maintaining her undeniable beauty well into old age without the assistance of expensive products or surgeries! For these things, and so many others, Rosebud will be fondly remembered in our thoughts and hearts.

Rest in peace, dearest Rosebud… and see you on the catwalk!


Rockin’ Out at CVS



I live in Takoma Park, a historic turn-of-the-century close-in Maryland suburb to Washington, DC. Utne Reader dubbed my hometown: Leftiest burb anywhere. I’ve also heard it referred to as Berkeley East, Tie-dye Park, and The People’s Republic of Takoma Park.

So, as you can imagine, when CVS wanted to build one of their stores, with its humongous blasting signage and Made in China m.o., right here in the heart of “downtown,” there was a lot of hullaballoo, hooha, and ole’ fashioned protestation by the ex-hippie-turned-uber-high-income-earning-big-SUV-driving populace. That’s another story for another time, and I’m not going there right now. But the dealio is, CVS did get built and it’s conveniently located across the street from our office building. We like to stroll over for a soda, to have a private meeting, or just to kill a little time when our brains are aching from too much brilliant creativity.

Besides, I’m a drugstore cowgirl from way back and where else can you score great cheap make-up by the bucketful, the latest affordable wrinkle-cream concoctions, giant tubs of dry roasted peanuts with this really tasty seasoning, and occasionally a bundle of awesome CDs for very silly prices, see above. So what if they give you the wrong prespcription from time to time? Is it gonna kill ya? Oh, and yes, all songs are the original recordings by the original artists. Whaddya think I am??

Thus, if you call my office, designfarm, you’ll be treated to the sweet sounds of Roy, The Byrds, Frank, and the O’Jays on our hold music. So call now and call often! Especially if you have some good graphic design projects for us, ok?

Shut Up!



A month or two ago, I was invited by hipstress editor-in-chief Sahar Vahidi to send a bunch of So Charmed jewels up to NYC for a photo shoot to appear in her super cool magazine, Shut Up! What could be more fun? Off the jewelry went, and here are some of the delicious pix. Next issue of the magazine is due out any minute, both online and in print, so keep an eye on their site. Photos by Samuel Tran.

Above, glam girl Caitlin wears Glory Ascending choker from the Rockstars Collection. Cutie-pie Caroline, below, wears Yes No Maybe So necklace from the Innocents Collection and sweetheart Liz wears signature sterling silver hip-hop necklace You Will Be Mine from the Pirates Collection.


Sweet, Sweet, NYC



I met Susie Stern (below left) and Amy Schildhouse Greenberg (below center) 40 years ago when I was nine and moved to Columbus Ohio. From 4th grade through high school graduation, and now that we are grown-ups with fourth-graders of our own… we’ve had adventures unlimited, apart and together. A more creative gang of girls you’ll never meet; Susie designs handbags for her company Cowbunnies, Amy is a fiction writer and translator, and well, you know me. To celebrate turning 50 this year, we convened from DC, Columbus, and Atlanta at the fabulously funky, cheap and chic Chelsea Star Hotel in NYC for a weekend of shopping, art, trading wrinkle cream secrets, and our special brand of merriment which, suffice to say, words can not capture. As always, I heart NY… and this trip was extra special indeed.


Happy Birthday to us!


Amy and her new boyfriend (sorry Josh), Mr. Kaufman, of Kaufman’s Furs. We just wandered into this famous spot for the sheer fun of it and ended up spending an hour touring the back rooms and factory and pretending we were hip-hop divas. Note to Josh: Amy looked TERRIF in that coat. Note to Clark: One word–Balenciaga.


This is my idea of a good use of fur (if there is such a thing), Marcel Duchamp’s Meret Oppenheim’s (boy is my surrealist face red, and thanks Arlene!) enduring sculpture at MoMA.


Jackson, oh Jackson, how I love thee. I spent awhile in the Pollock room at MoMA.


Looking at the sky and thinking of Molly.

The goddess of self-portraiture, Cindy Sherman at MoMA.

My Office Door, by Jodi Bloom, Boss Lady



I think you can probably tell a lot about a person by what is taped up on their office door, cubicle, etc. And because I want you to know everything about me, I have lovingly photographed the objects that grace my door… which as my employees will tell you, is open most all of the time.

Above is an early work of art by daughter, Molly. As all moms and dads do, I collect my kid’s artwork. And as a woman with “difficult-I-mean-fabulous” hair, I am drawn to Hair Goddess images. I love this collage… it’s visually gorgeous, the colors are great… I love the brown paper skin against the fluorescents and metallics, and I think this is a smashing hairdo. Does anyone know a good colorist?


But there are also scary things on my door, like this image, courtesy of my dear staff who are always looking out for my interests with regard to finding Mr. Right. The post-it asks: Jodi, wanna go on a date with me? There are check boxes for Yes and No. As you can see, I have not decided and still need a little time to think about it.

I love this portrait of me by Molly. The likeness is uncanny and it lets everyone know that this is the Queen’s office.


designfarm proudly accepts Visa and MasterCard for your shopping convenience.


I saved the best for last. This very scientific document depicts an invention by Molly: The Chicken Powered Skateboard. Is my kid a genius or WHAT??!! BTW, the chicken’s name is Elvis (with a creative spelling) and if you look closely you will see that he sports quite a fabulous pompador hairstyle.

Maybe Elvis Chicken would like to meet Sylvia! (see January.) Maybe Molly is going to be a hairstylist? Maybe Jodi needs some more mature office decor. Nah.

Beads beads beads beads beads



For those of you have been reading this blog, you know that as Vessel of the Lord I am about to come into a large sum of money. $26.7 million to be exact.

And that, my friends, is a whole lotta beads. Especially when (professional and/or hopelessly addicted thrifter that I am), many of the very best beads in the world can be had for pennies on the dollah.

The two collections pictured above and below were scored last week and this week and cost under $10 (total) for each group. Above includes a really gorgeous looong strand of either wooden or carved seeds (the ends are very strange), a nice string of black glass rosary beads, and two yummy pairs of beaded earrings. The clusters are probably 50’s (love that palette), the hot pink dangles are 60’s. Just amazing.


This group includes some early plastic candy-ish orange beads, probably lucite, but with incredible opaque creamy swirled inclusions, modern but still useful tiny rosary pearls, and a really yummy strand of mixed stuff including deep emerald glass crystal cut beads and what is known as “sugar” beads (those bumpy ones). I’m loving yellow right now, as well as turquoise… excellent score, eh?

The Lord Has Chossen (sic) You as a Vessel


When I stumbled to my computer this morning, pre-coffee, can you imagine just how very excited I was to find the above-referenced email from one Agnes Samuel there in my inbox? If you can’t, let me tell you, I was soooo happy.

I know this will come as a surprise to some of you out there who don’t know any people of the Jewish faith… but we are not a “Messianic” group. Yes, this means we really do not accept Jesus as The Savior, or the son of God, or anything, and really, please stop wasting your valuable prayers on us; it’s not going to change our minds. We are a stubborn people!

Some would say we are a patient people. See, while most of you are awaiting your second helping of Messianic pie, we await our first. Some of us are more bogged down by this whole waiting-for-the-Messiah-thing than others, and I admit to not being one (of the bogged).

That said, imagine my surprise and delight to find this email (amongst all that Satanic porn spam), as titled above: The Lord Has Chossen You as a Vessel. I hadn’t had my jolt of java yet, so I had to do a bleary-eyed double take… but yes, it appeared that I had indeed been selected. To be. The Lord’s Vessel!!!!!!!! Holy, um, mother of GOD! SHUT UP!!!! Me? Really? Are you, like, yanking my Jewish chain or something?

While I was envisioning a night of hot hot sex with the Lord (you know, so I could be the Vessel and my people could finally be alleviated of all this Messiah stress), I clicked open the mail to get the deets. For example, what would the Lord prefer me to be wearing on this night of our passionate love, etc? Or (and I’m crossing my fingers, please Lord say it ain’t so) is it going to be one of those boring immaculate conceptions? BUMMER!

But wait, this had nothing to do with sex or the messiah at all! Turns out, Agnes (of God? With such spelling issues?) it seems, only wished for me (a God-fearing Christian or maybe even a Moslem [sic]) to accept a tidy sum of $27.6 million dollars which her late husband has somehow managed to get hopelessly tied-up with “the Security & Finance company.” She is indeed ready to deposit this sum into my bank account and only awaits hearing back from me with my account info.

Sex be damned, I’ll take the money! And with that, I bid you adieu, as I must hurry and write to Agnes before she makes this incredible offer available to some other Vessel.

Who knew getting rich could be so easy?!

BTW, as Vessel of the Lord, I shall be hiring a secretary who will answer all of your emails concerning the above Blessing.

Thank you.

And SHUT UP!!!

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