Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (review)

Last night was a date night so we went downtown to St Pete’s movie night to see Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children directed by Tim Burton. One of the best movies ever, and definitely runs a very fast second place to Burton’s Alice in Wonderland (my favorite). His work is always so amazing–colorful and dark–and that’s what I really love.

Of course I wanted to know more about this movie, so I looked up the title and found that the original story did start as a book and was written by Ransom Riggs. This story was originally supposed to be a picture book but the vernacular photos he found had made the narrative and it became what it became. Which is so super cool because I used to go to flea markets, see old photos from sitting there collecting dust, and I wanted so badly to find the families to return the photos to! But then again, I also wanted to keep them for myself so I, too, could write a story. Maybe some day, as this film is proof it pays off! 

The jest of the movie is: as the grandson grows up he learns that his grandfather lived in an orphanage for peculiar children. He shares photos and stories as the bedtime story. When he is grown up, he found himself to be in therapy to help him get over it because he no longer believed…until he witnessed his grandfather dying and strange things start to happen. His grandfather gave him some instructions so the main character goes on a round trying to follow them to a certain place. He goes and finds this place, and many, many things happen and that’s really when the story begins.

The best thing about this film/book are the colorful characters. Not so much the evil ones, but the kids in the orphanage. With clothing, the powers they had, and what lines they spoke–all determined and set off the characters personalities perfectly–and it was perfectly. The relationships between certain characters were also extremely sweet. Always have to have a “awwww” spot for those movies who sneak ‘meant to be’ in anything. And, there are moments that tug at your heart. For sure.

My (random) favorites…When the grandson was little he had this quilt that had ocean animals and ships on it. You better believe I whispered, “I want that!” There was a ship in this movie. A big, sunken ship that magically came back to life. You better believe your knickers that I was all eyes and ears at that moment. (The ship is uber important for multiple reasons.) There were skulls and Pirate-skeleton’s fighting for the better good. Oh and there was a crab that showed up. Yep.

This is a definite must-see and must-see-many-times-after-the-movies kind of movie. Must I note (again) that you can definitely tell that Tim Burton made this film.

Oh and guess what?! Parts of it was filmed in Florida!!! Note: the author of the book used to live in Florida too.

(per a news website) Scenes that were shot locally include-

  • Scenes showing the store that Jake works at in the movie was shot at 2333 34th St. South in St. Petersburg. The building is an old closed up grocery store location.
  • Scenes showing Grandpa Abe’s House and his neighborhood was filmed  in Sun City Center and Tampa.
  • Scenes showing the home of Jake and his parents were shot in was in Belleair Bluffs.
  • Driving scenes were shot on the Gandy Bridge.

Overall, it was such a superb movie, and you must see it… especially if you (1) live in Florida to see the Tampa Bay Area make its cameo, (2) love Tim Burton and (3) are also a peculiar child. So there you go.

PS – If you really want to know I haven’t been to the movies since Captain Phillips was in the theatre. (Also one of the best movies ever if you haven’t seen it.) 

The moment when Bass Pro Shops buys Cabela’s.

In the last week or two, it was released to the world that Bass Pro Shops is buying Cabela’s.

As soon as I heard this news I was like, “UH OH. This can’t be good.” Was I the only one that thought that way?

The second thing that popped in my mind was, “There goes someone’s mom&pop start up dream.” But then again, both of these stores are now corporate–once they become that–it’s a whole other game. You no longer are that one store in one location and it’s fair game from there on.

I’m reading around several articles that nothing will change–at least at the beginning and both stores will remain both stores–but we all know that once all of this kicks in there will be changes. There will always be changes at that point.

Should we, as an industry, start comparing the non-dealership retail stores to clothing retail stores? When you add the other places like Dick’s Sporting Goods, Field & Stream, Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s — Could you see them fighting like JC Penny’s or Sears or even Macy’s? If you follow retail news, you saw what has happened so far and is currently happening with those shops right now. Majority of them are taking a huge hit and are closing. Their traditional methods of getting people in the door are too stale, and aren’t changing much, and when they do change, the people aren’t responsive. I already see that the future in the retail world is going to be in trouble as we already have so many different corporate stores that are exactly the same and there are so many within small distances of each other (grocery stores, drug stores, clothing stores). By looking around, each state has a certain number of sporting goods stores, including West Marine.

I really think it goes back to… the way a store targets their market to keep their customer’s attention, who the competition is, and how they are serving their customers differently than the other companies. When new–it is easy to get someone’s attention to try your product if there’s something in it for them. You can entice them to keep trying your brand. However, it’s extremely hard to get them to switch over to yours if they have had a trusted brand they’ve relied on for years.

know that the set up is differently for both Bass Pro Shops & Cabela’s, but if you don’t know the shops individually, you would probably think both of the stores are the same anyway. So maybe this was eventually going to happen, especially if their target market is basically the same and their mission statements go hand in hand? I’ve read some people prefer Bass Pro over Cabela’s, so that’ll be interesting to see what happens in the future. With those customers and with the shop sales overall.

I’m Alice & I just fell down the rabbit hole where there’s nothing but pumpkin spice.

Hello Everyone,


It’s been ages since I’ve written and that’s probably what my issue is. If I don’t write my feelings down when I need to, my brain becomes too full and I get to feeling a little crazy. I’ve boxed myself up yet once again — I’m sitting pretty close to falling deep into a depression, it’s such a shame… after a mind-blowing summer of nothing but excitement, new things, love, friends and finding where I belong. There are so many things that contribute to that, mostly when the major staples in my life stay the same for so long, and never change, or I’m disappointed by something that means a whole lot to me. I keep forgetting about that whole ‘expect nothing, no disappointments’ comment that I was once taught.

I am old enough to know that not everything is going to be amazing all the time. I wouldn’t want it to be, but it’s just awful feeling this way….because it’s a whole other level of sad.

Whenever I get like this all of my projects are mentally put on hold. I do the simple things that I don’t have to think about, I don’t write because I don’t want to ruin it with my mood, but sometimes I pick up a brush to paint or do some sort of design. I haven’t put my energy into that…yet. I also pull away from everyone and stay at a distance because I’m often thinking “well, I’m not sure they really want me around” or “am I bothering them? — I probably am, so I’ll just stay away.” Being alone comes naturally since I’m an only child, and for a year and half I did nothing but work two jobs so seeing or speaking to no one for a long time isn’t anything new. I am trying to work on changing this because it’s incredibly crippling and makes everything in my life just that much harder…especially when there’s a thousand things I want to do, accomplish, and need to be social in order to really accomplish them.

A lot also has to do with the weather. Since hurricane Matthew, it’s been kind of crappy and the sun hadn’t shined as much as it should be in this sunshine state! The reason I even live in Florida is because of the sunshine. Anything else reminds me of my seasonal disorder — especially stormy skies when it doesn’t rain that look like snow clouds — that’s the worst. 

By the way, I am safe. It did not hit in my area the west coast of Florida (fingers crossed that another won’t come by any time soon).


It’s my favorite season right now: pumpkin spice. There’s P/S everything everywhere at almost any given time. Last night I had the sweet taste of P/S coffee from WaWa. If I could write a poem about how delicious it was, you would not think it was about coffee. 😉

I love the anticipation of the rest of the year. You see mixtures of Christmas in with the Halloween decorations where, literally, a skeleton is holding a carved turkey in one hand and a wreath in another with a Christmas tree and presents decorated right behind him. I’m already getting yelled at by thousands of people who hear me say “I want to listen to CHRISTMAS MUSIC and put up my tree.” They find a box, try to coax me inside, so that they could duct tape it shut and send me somewhere else. I never can see where they’re sending me though?! 


We’ve arrived at an event, and I step a few steps to the side because I know what’s coming next. Everyone is just so excited to see him so they huddle around trying to hug him or greet him with a handshake. The first few times I had seen this I watched from the back of the room–when that door opened and he walked in, the Seas of People would follow.  Amazing. That’s the only word it is. 

If only I could be one tenth as amazing as he is, I’d be something. He’s taught me more in the last few months than I’ve gained in a really long time. I’m trying to be a better person. I’m trying to keep to his words: if you’re going to do something, do it well the first time. Every day it is important to finish a task that’s needing to be done. Every day needs tea at night. Dishes that you use that day need to be cleaned. And he’s given me a gift of jazz that goes deeper than the music. 

It’s such a relief that I know I don’t have to worry about anything with this beautiful soul. I admire him to the moon and back. There’s just so much to say, and it’s still been such a short period of time.   


Some time in September, I helped with auditions at the Backdoor Theatre. That play will be produced in November.

We went to see B’s band play at my newest favorite place to go (Hideaway Cafe) and that was amazing!

We attended the film society meeting where they switched over to a new name — a new beginning — and it was amazing that my first meeting was that. It was a sign of a start of me getting involved in that too.

A few weekends back we were invited to be extras in a movie (something from the film society). I am now on IMDB. Small steps!

Our big boat show was back in September and it went really well. I reported “live” on Saturday to the World of Boating radio show.

IBEX was Tuesday last week and for me, for BoatShowGirl, it went pretty well. I’m thinking that this is my brand new start… just need to make a plan. Can’t do anything without one.

We had the Backdoor Theatre’s open house on Friday — which was always so great to be back and visiting with everyone. It’s like a family reunion.

Yesterday we went to see J star in The Red Velvet Cake Wars and it was good seeing her again too!

I feel like this isn’t everything but it’s something! 

Oh. My hair is red again (faded past 3 weeks, but red). Yes, believe it or not, this is an event.


A while ago, I finished two plays but I’m “working on ideas” for a few more. I need to have at least two excellent ones to submit to Gulfport because it would be such an honor to see one of my plays produced on stage, especially a year after getting back into it after 12 years absence. Wish me luck for that!

I redid my entire living room so now I have working space again to be able to work off my computers and write. I’m trying to prepare for the yard sale that’s coming up in Gulfport in November.

BoatShowGirl – after a much needed break, and talking to some important folks at IBEX, I think I may know which route to go with this and hopefully it will get me somewhere.

I’m debating whether or not to do NaNoWriMo next month considering I already have little time as it is…The need to write 50,000 words would make me stop everything basically to be able to do it! (The only NaNo novel I finished in 2010 still sits on the computer untouched. And it’s a 3 part series I have no interest in working on at the moment.) 

I’m working slOoOOoooOooowly on some of my new books that I want to finish and publish sooner rather than later. I haven’t really had the chance to sit down and concentrate but I am working on several of them.

Before I stopped taking photos the last year or so, I was a photo hoarder. I think I have over 20,000 photos and I have gone through so many lately I’m sure I’ve deleted 5,000 or more. It’s exhausting and takes a looooong time!

Well, I know for a fact that’s not everything but I need to wrap it up eventually! Until next time….

Love Always,
Karen Maeby

Day One of IBEX – BoatShowGirl shows up incognito!


Two years ago in 2014, I went to my first IBEX Show. I was at a different point in my life and career, so I was just taking in everything (just like I would an ordinary boat show). This year, I had an agenda, and I fulfilled it to a certain point.

Some pointers as to what happened….

  • Met the Boating Industry folks!
  • Talked to several different professionals who are with companies that might be able to help me in the future, and each one of them gave me great advice, great ideas, etc…
  • Randomly ran into two old friends and ended up walking around with them for a while.
  • Got to see a 3D printer live in action.
  • Met up with my Canadian friend later on and walked with him/his dad.


Once again, this experience was much different than 2 years ago. I will confess as I walked in the door, I was intimidated by the professionals I was surrounded by. If I’m defined by my work, I’m just an administrative assistant (with her hands in every single department) so I really didn’t belong there next to those who run departments, businesses and the like, however, everyone knows how much I want to be something in this industry so I am making my presence known.


Every single show I go to, I have to get a photo of quads. BOW DOWN TO THE POWER.


I was on a boat. *_*


The goods I brought back from IBEX 2016.

Favorite freebee item / gift: 3D prototype that was given to me (I’ll love that thing forever. It opens up & holds something small.) 

Second Favorite freebee: a flashlight pen by Starweather & Shepley.

Favorite product: 3D Printer

Favorite moment: walking up to ABBRA & seeing their booth where people who visited filled out a little tag with their name / company / something about the industry

Favorite “Fan Girl” moment: meeting the people behind the Boating Industry magazine. (Yes, I’m a serious industry nerd.) 

And, so far, that’s it. In the next few days, I’m going to write up some articles regarding today and I’ll post as soon as I am done!

– Karen Maeby