About

A Brooklynite with two toddlers, I started blogging a few years ago when Shon (my husband in nearly every way except on paper) and I lived in Guatemala and traveled around Central America and Mexico. We had the luxury of time and the power of the dollar, and there wasn’t a single car seat, crib, or carrier in sight. How cushy and quaint that life now seems. It calls into question what I did with my pre-kid time, and makes me want to retroactively yell at my younger self: Write a book! Become a doctor! Think up the next Internet!

Of course, old me isn’t listening (she’s drinking beer in Belize and worrying about “bad ombres“), so I yell this (silently) instead at young 20-somethings on the subway, on those blessed occasions when I have the chance to ride it.

“Blessed?” you ask. “Surely you exaggerate.”

No. I love the subway and not just because it usually equates to kid-free time. Yes, the trains can be slow, smelly, and crowded, but…those thoughts don’t really cross my mind. It took insane feats of engineering (and quite a few lives) to dig massive tunnels under New York’s urban wilds, all so people like me wouldn’t have to worry about parking. After a decade-plus living here and having grown up car-dependent in the Jersey suburbs, I’m still in awe of the NYC subway. And still look for mole people.

And… I’m off on a New York tangent.

I like the city, and despite not being cool enough for it, Brooklyn, especially. I’m pretty neutral on bath toys, but I’m fond of two little monkeys, Ben (3) and Jake (1), who adore them–including one “bad yellow duck.” So, there you have it. The formula for the blog: NYC + mini-monsters + some other stuff I love (or sometimes hate), like writing, running, and food (in another life, I attended culinary school and never resorted to meals of leftover baby food. Oh, to live large…). And though we don’t do much of it these days, travel is always the dream.

More generally, I’m a “content creator,” meaning I produce or shape words for different outlets. Meaning I have to create. Something. From blank Word documents. For someone else. As a person often wracked with near-debilitating self-doubt, but who must also still “ship,” well, maybe next time I’ll become that doctor. Blood-soaked bodies over a blinking cursor? Yes, please.

“Bad Yellow Duck” used to be “Not Quite Roughing It,” and much of the content you’ll find here (for now) was generated when we were a bit more far flung. One day, we’ll again be off on crazy adventures, but until then, thanks for reading.

Melissa

mdenchak@gmail.com

4 thoughts on “About

  1. Dear Melissa,

    My name is Joe Pinzone and I’m casting an international travel show about expats moving abroad. We’d love to film in Central America/Caribbean and wanted to know if you could help us find expats who have moved there within the last 15 months or have been there for 3-4 years, but recently moved into a new home. The show documents their move to a new country and will place the country in fabulous light. The contributors on the show would also receive monetary compensation if they are filmed. If you’d like more information, please give me a call at 212-231-7716 or skype me at joefromnyc. You can also email me at joepinzone@leopardusa.com. Looking forward to hearing from you.

    Joe Pinzone
    Casting Producer
    P: 212-231-7716
    Skype: Joefromnyc

  2. I see a lot of interesting articles on your blog. You have to spend a lot of
    time writing, i know how to save you a lot of work, there is
    a tool that creates unique, google friendly posts in couple of seconds, just type in google – laranita’s free content source

  3. Hi melissa, I really enjoyed reading your blog. your life and guatemala sounds very exciting and adventurous.
    With your expertise in cooking and baking I thought maybe you’d be the perfect person to ask your opinion . I made a german chocolate souffle and the middle would just not set up. I baked it in a 10″ springform pan. The recipe calls to bake for 40 to 45 minutes.
    When I checked on it, it was still wiggly in the middle, I kept it in for at least another 15 min.. I let it cool only to find out that it was still very wet.. So I put it back in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes and decided that was enough I was just gonna have to go with it.
    so my question is, did the recipe have it wrong? Are you supposed to baked soufffes an hour and 40 to 45 minutes, or are they supposed to be wet in the middle?

  4. Bravo, Melissa!
    Love your blog!
    Love your writing!
    Had me laughing out loud.
    Keep it coming, please.
    Teresa

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