Saturday, July 31, 2010

Flying High

I just returned from Rhinebeck, New York where I attended "Trapeze Camp" with my copilot in work and play, Miss Pegged.  We had no idea when we booked the class that it would coincide with Chelsea Clinton's wedding and that our hotel was prime choice for a large portion of her guests.

Signs of well wishes were everywhere! 

Overnight this quaint little town was transformed into a media circus and the buzz only added to our own circus theme. 

I passed Natalie Morales from the Today Show outside our hotel 3 times before I recognized her. 

I should have bought her a sandwich

Because I was still high from the after effects of trapeze, I introduce myself and told her about our escapades.  She was polite and a bit intrigued - remarking that the experience must have been a fun and memorable one.

  halfway into her live broadcast Miss Pegged pulled the plug

She was right of course - for me it's not about doing something dangerous, its about having a collection of memorable experiences.

And Trapeze Class is certainly one of them...

does that safety belt make my ass look fat?

By the time it was over, not only did I fly twenty-three feet in the air, I hung upside down and did a back flip off the bar.  

Sadly, I was told my timing wasn't down enough to do a mid-air "catch" so I pretended I did one.  

Because I was wearing monkey socks and a green monkey tee shirt (a gift from my silver friends) everyone cheered "MONKEY, MONKEY, MONKEY!" 

Notice the intense look on my face - a reminder of just how frightened I was.  My neck is still sore from clinching my teeth.  

Notice the distance from the bar to the net!
My husband would like you to notice how close I came to missing the net!!

ME sliding down a poll - imagine that! 

This made me think about all the memorable moments in my life.  Because I will eventually turn my blog posts into a book, I thought I'd jot some of them down.  I guess you could say this is my version of a completed Bucket List.

Memorable Moments

sky diving with my son
gliding on an ultra light 1,300 feet above Burning Man
attending Burning Man and all the life changing events that happen there
snorkeling in Hawaii and the Caribbean
parasailing in Mexico
climbing ancient Mayan ruins, Sacre Coeur, the Eiffel tower
standing on top of Heavenly Mountain, the Cliffs of Moher, the Empire State Building
riding a sea turtle
flying UNDER the George Washington Bridge in a two seater Cessna airplane
sailing under the San Francisco Bay bridge, around the State of Liberty and between the tiny islands that make up Virgin Gorda
watching my daughter dance during half time at the Pro Bowl
watching my daughter graduate high school
being a featured blogger on SITS
driving a stick shift (for the first time) in Ireland
accompanying my father on his last marathon
completing 3 marathons
running 4 marathons
taking a trapeze class
saving a baby bird
raising and successfully releasing a baby squirrel
finding and marrying my soul mate
perusing art vendors along the Seine with my daughter Lindsay
photographing Carly Simon
meeting David Best
quitting smoking
giving birth to 2 amazing souls
teaching myself how to paint, sew, write
summer camp
hula hooping on broadway
traveling to Europe by myself
addressing Congress
meeting Senator Dodd
Running for local level government office
passing out home made Obama buttons in 6 states
witnessing the inauguration of Barack Obama
witnessing Kermit Ruffin's wedding
enjoying Jazz in New Orleans
dancing to live music
dancing on stage
making my SURVIVOR audition tape 
Getting my security, investigation and detective license
Getting my drivers license (I drove for 6 years without one)
taking a nude sketch class
going to a nude beach
participated in a 20 mile overnight suicide awareness walk
participating in Hands Across America
attending a writing retreat in Paris
flying from Shannon to Kennedy and Kennedy to Shannon

And because I enjoy making lists, I might as well include my To Do List:

get published
go fishing
sail down the river Shannon
trapeze with my daughter
exercise regularly
accidentally bump into Marty on his virtual bar crawl
make a difference in a childs life
make a difference in the city of New Orleans

I'm sure there are many more, but for today, the sun is shining, there is a warm summer breeze just outside my door.  Time to create a memory, or two, or three...

for more scoop on Chelsea's wedding check out: 

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Free at Last!

My husband (lovingly referred to as "Mr. Cooked") is the proud owner of a souped-up Mini Cooper S in British racing green, with white trim and clay red interior.  It's got fancy rims, is overloaded with chrome and has more stripes then a brigadier general.

When he's not driving her, she lives in a "Mini Coop" (like a chicken coop only without the chickens).

Mini's coop is spotless and well organized.  A mat rests outside the drivers side door so Mr. Cooked can wipe his feet before entering.  He wipes Mini down after ever drive and buffs her a bit more before taking her out.  

A Mini baseball cap is on display in the center of the back seat.  On the front passenger side floor are a pair of grasshopper green Piloti driving shoes that have never touched the ground.

Mr. Cooked wears them only when he's driving her.  

I didn't even know driving shoes existed before I met Mini.  

(Is it just me or does it look like she's sticking her tongue out?)

Last month, Mr. Cooked attended a Formula One race in Canada.  It was a boys ONLY week - Mini and I were not invited.  He needed a bigger ride so he took my SUV and left me home alone with Mini.

I'd never driven her before and wasn't sure if she was deserving of all the attention she gets. She's cute - I'll give her that.   And tiny - cute and tiny.   And thanks to all that buffing, she's shiny.  

Instead of whipping out the driveway the minute he left, I settled in with endless episodes of Sex and the City, oreo's and high end chardonnay.

(for those of you who read me regularly, you'll notice this is a reoccurring theme)

The following day I took her on a test drive.  I put both dogs in the front and tossed the driving shoes in the backseat along with the baseball cap.  She handled the twists and turns of back-country roads well but she was stiff on the bumps  and the dogs didn't like being so low to the ground.

Later in the day, I dropped the dogs at the office and picked up my co-worker in crime, Miss Pegged.

Before buckling up, she popped on the cap and shoes.   It felt wrong.  The cap was sized perfectly for Mr. Cooked's head and the shoes.... well, she wasn't driving.

Not only did it feel wrong, it felt bad.  And a big part of me liked that.

As copilot, I put her in charge of the music and the sunroof.

The next thing I knew, the shoes were free.  

Doesn't it seem wrong for shoes NOT to touch the ground?

Shouldn't shoes be going places?

Until Miss Pegged's dastardly deed, these shoes didn't see the light of day!

We spent the week showing them around town.  It was our twisted version of Flat Stanley.

I have a friend who recently documented his time with Flat Stanley after my sister's son sent him one.

Steve's adventures with Flat Ryan in Hawaii  are exhilarating and highly entertaining!

Steve spent so much time and effort on this school project that I felt inspired to do something creative with the shoes.

We considered visiting Steve in Hawaii but neither of us could get the time off work.

We decided there was plenty to see and do in our own back yard.

We started out slowly....

by resting them ON the car.  

And then we took them down to the pier to gaze at calm, blue water ...

Not quite Hawaii, but even so, it was a very enjoyable afternoon.

Miss Pegged pushed the limit when she dangled them off the stone wall.

To relax, we took them to the liquor store to hang in the wine bins ...

but they became enamored by a bottle of Crystal Head Vodka.

So much so that they tried to escape.

After a brief bathroom break...

we continued on our merry way.  

To sooth the lonely sorrow of Mr. Cooked being away, we decided a bit of pampering was in order...

(carpeted entry - STILL not touching the ground)

Ahhh... a fresh manicure! 

And pedicure...


For some reason, Pilot(i) and Co-pilot insisted on a hot dogs from the truck outside the park. 

 It was only a matter of time before we went shopping.

(right heel touching sidewalk - its just a matter of semantics now)

One shop had a cute little army truck in the display.
Not sure if it was the size, or the shade of green...

but Piloti jumped right in!

(dangling from the wall are ultra cool belts - CoPilot and I had to get one - mine is green)

The following day, Piloti took time out to hang with my Dad.

Later that night, we met "My friend Flicka" for drinks and dinner.
(notice how Flicka's eyes and blouse match)

Piloti enjoyed his time in the spotlight...

It's clear someone got a bit carried away here...

And on our final day of play...

we went to church and asked for forgiveness.

The week FLEW by, before I knew it Mr. Cooked was back home.  

Our mouths laced shut, we kept the tales of Piloti to ourselves.  Oh if those soles could talk!

I am, if nothing else, easily entertained.  Especially when encouraged and inspired by my creative friends.  

photo's of Piloti shot on a Droid Incredible.  
Incredibly complicated phone but a great little camera.  

My Turn to Drive
Miss Lucy, Mylo and I take Mini for a spin.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


To date, there are 6,443 (and counting) FABULOUS SITS gals 
and today is my chance to grab as many of them as I can.

SITS is all about support - women bloggers supporting other women bloggers by reading, following and commenting.  Today, I am a featured blogger on SITS (I've waited a very long time for this).

For those of YOU who are NEW
and curious...

WHO AM I?  good question

I am a writer.
A shameless, self promoting writer.

My goal as a writer is to be published.
If I'm going to be published I need an audience.
YOU are my audience.

And Green Monkey Tales is my platform.
YOU create the illusion of an audience
---> ---> ---> 

Sometimes its funny (really funny) and other times its sad (really sad) and sometimes, its sexy!

I live on the Greenwich, Connecticut (Hedgefund Capital of the World).  Here I run a security, investigation, detective company that I inherited from my father.  We've been in business for 51 years  and I've been in charge for about 14 years.  This was my fathers dream but this is not my dream.  I am grateful for the gifts I've been given but I understand the importance of living an authentic life and for me that means honoring my gift of writing.

Green Monkey symbolizes the beginning of my healing.  I write about this in a short story, appropriately called, GREEN MONKEY.  I think this is my best work.  I hope to have it published one day.  It's really important to me.

After all, how many 50 51 year old women do you know who own a (green) monkey suit?

It's about ME (creative nonfiction me) and how the death of my son taught me how to live.  It is about my ongoing connection with him and my commitment to living a true, authentic life.
Well, here are some of my favorites:

Let me make you SMILE :)
7 Seconds of Bliss
Playdate for Dad
Happy Whee Day

You want ROMANCE?  (I need to write more romance)
First Taste of Summer
Meet Fiona

SOULFUL, self discovery, healing
Fancy Pancakes
The Domino Effect of Giving
Write On

If you've read even this much...THANK YOU.  By following and commenting you nurture and encourage my joy of writing! 

Love, Light and Laughter,

Green Monkey

and don't forget to FOLLOW ME 

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Waiting for a Rainbow

It's 8:52 AM on a Tuesday morning.  A thick, wicked sky brews a summer storm and knocks out our electricity.

Sweet Miss Lucy is on my lap, trembling.  With anxious eyes she begs me to make it STOP. Convinced writing is distracting me, she rests her chin on my wrist and licks the back of my hand.

Mylo - my fearless, agile hunter - has abandoned his guard post at the foot of the bed for a dark corner under the bed.  His eyes are shut tight, his head bowed low.  He is panting heavily and with his front paws together, looks as though he is praying for a rainbow.

Kittay is pacing the hallway - back and forth, back and forth - flipping her tail, meowing, meowing. Moments later, perfectly timed with a crack of thunder, she coughs up a hairball and then looks my way as if to say Clean It UP!

In addition to violent storms, Miss Lucy is afraid of the wind - the way it whips the curtains and bends the plants that line our deck.

Kittay is afraid of the birds.  They swoop and dive bomb her - forcing her to take cover in the shade of thick brush until the air is still.  But together, Kittay, Miss Lucy, Mylo and I walk freely.  As a team, we are a powerful force.

Mylo worries he'll disappoint.  A rescue dog, hoboing the highways of Georgia with three similar looking strays, he was the last to be caught and the last to find a home.  It is clear to us that they saved the best for last.

These are my compassionate, comical, loyal, low maintenance, friends. 

They are great listeners and instant mood elevators.  They encourage me to exercise and encourage others to stop and socialize.  

They find me fascinating and follow me everywhere.

They are not afraid of my tears.

In return all they ask for is love - lots and lots of LOVE.  And treats.  They love treats.  And food.  Wet food.  And some of your food.

And on mornings such as this...a rainbow.

My low maintenance friends:

Kittay aka Miss Phoebe

Miss Lucy aka Goosy, Lucy Goosy, Gooseball

Mylo aka Mr. Mylo aka Pete

I tried for 2 days to get them all in the same shot

Green Monkey Tales © 2010 Shannon E. Kennedy

rainbow over daisies courtesy of google image

Friday, July 9, 2010

Mommy Watch Me !!!

Congratulations to Shannon E. Kennedy
Featured Words of Wisdom writer
July 9, 2010

The Writer 
with her laptop, trusty pup, green monkey and goblet of well chilled chardonnay

Photograph by Joan Harrison 
Artist and Author of Doing it with Grace


Last summer, while vacationing in Lake Tahoe, I watched a young boy beg for his mothers attention as he swam in the hotel pool.

"Mommy watch me, MOMMY watch me!" he shouted over and over and over again.

Mommy was too busy balancing a diaper-clad newborn between her hip and breast, conversing with carefree adults and half-eyeing her three OTHER children, to acknowledge her toe-head, sunscreen slathered son, swimming confidently without his water wings

My husband and I were deliberately detached - sunbathing on the far side of the pool - with tall drinks, dark glasses and zero responsibility.

Despite the incomparable beauty of blooming peaks against blue skies, "Mommy watch me" was all we could focus on.

Irritated red and tender to the touch, my husband was about to leave the pool when I express MY desires.

"Will you watch me dive?" I ask
"There's no diving board" he answers
"That's  true... but, if there was... would you watch me?"

Lake Tahoe is our last stop before plunging into the hardpan desert terrain at Burning Man - an annual, non conventional, festival that focuses on radical self-expression and self-reliance.

 Burning Man - Black Rock City
polaroid transfer by Jalinde

This will be my 8th year attending Burning Man and my (third) husband's first.

This Watch Me moment helps me realize that, what I want most from my first coupled Burning Man experience, is for my levelheaded husband to watch me willfully free fall into the pit of 50 thousand like-minded dreamers, doers and abstract thinkers that make up this limit-free, temporary city.

Once we reach Burning Man, I share the story with our campmates (aka "chosen family") and am pleased to discover that we all, on some level, relate to the need to be watched and celebrated.

"Mommy Watch Me" becomes a reoccurring theme throughout the week.  We take it a step further by propping a Watch Me mirror and spot-light chair in the center of our cozy camp.

Watch Me therapy exposes my need to be the focus of my lovers interest - to have him witness me engaged in an environment that make me happy, excited and proud. And perhaps most important, that it is OKAY to ask for his attention (as apposed to "acting out").

When I'm not twirling a baton, hula hooping, costuming, painting, photographing or dancing... I enjoy (crave) having YOU read what I've written. is MY DAY to be seen!  Today, I am a featured writer or "Blogger of Note" for Words of Wisdom or WOW for short.

WOW is a community of writers, readers and photographers, who enjoy thought provoking, insightful writing.

This is just the kick in the ASS that I need!

Lately, I've been more focused on birds than words - as you'll see from my most recent posts.

So please DO sit back...pour yourself a cup, mug, goblet, or bowl of your favorite beverage and watch me WOW you with a few of my favorite posts.

Green Monkey, a short story, tells the beginning of my healing after the death of my son.  The story will be included in a book appropriately called Burning Man Stories by Phil Steele.  This thrills me because THEY - the lovers, dreamers and doers that attend or inspire to attend Burning Man will know that my son, Kerry Ryan Magann, "Lived and Burned" as Kerry once wrote.

Play Date for Dad is about the ongoing, ever-changing connection with my once larger then life, now frail father.  It's light and humorous and I'm told, by those who know me all too well, that my voice resonates clearest here.

First Taste of Summer is a poetically flirtatious remembrance of a young girls first kiss.

Happy Whee Day is classic, silly ME getting sidetracked by my quirky, over active imagination.

Halfway down my main page and also across the top are more of MONKEYS BEST.

I don't post as regularly as some of my favorite bloggers.  Often my over-thinking or over-tweaking gets in the way.  Lately I've been incorporating photo's and art from artists I've found on Etsy and in google searches.  There is a plethora of talent out there!

And speaking of talent...

I'd like to acknowledge Joan Harrison, author of Doing it With Grace.  Joan and I grew up in the same small town, first met in kindergarten when we were 5 but didn't get to know each other until facebook at the age of 50.

When I first saw Joan's blog I was blown away.  She's creative and funny and a joy to read.  She was the inspiration for starting my blog.  Seeing her main page photo and reading her content made me hungry enough to start my own.  Thank you Joan!  And thank you for taking the time to visit and photograph me and sweet Miss Lucy.  Seeing myself in a photograph, labeled as a "writer" makes it seem... more real.

Westmoreland School Kindergarten class
Trucksville, PA
Joan Harrison - second row, far right 
Shannon Kennedy - front row, far left 

Before closing, I'd like to thank Sandy and Pam - the creators and hosts of Words of Wisdom.  If you've never been to the site, do check it out and if you like what you find please consider encouraging other writers, readers, lovers, dreamers, doers and thinkers, to join.


Here's to blue sky's, tall glasses, gentle breezes, lessons learned and.... moments in the spotlight ~

Love, Light and Laughter,
Monkey ME

Green Monkey Tales © 2010 Shannon E. Kennedy

for a great read on Burning Man: 
The Truth About Burning Man

In Honor and In Memory
of my son
Kerry Ryan Magann

You asked that we tell your son the good things about you.
I promise to tell the world. 


Thank You For Encouraging My Joy of Writing

Thank You For Encouraging My Joy of Writing

Shannon E. Kennedy


Photo by Joan Harrison