A year in photos

2012 was one of my busiest and best years yet. It was also my most photo-filled, so what better way to sum up the year than with a few of my favorite shots? Some 2012 highlights: John and I took an epic trip to southern California that even a phlegmy, hacking cough couldn’t ruin. I got bangs and then spent the rest of the year growing them out. I took on an internship (which led to a part-time gig) at Urbanite magazine on top of my other job until the magazine folded. One of my bestest friends got married, and although I couldn’t convince her to let Bill Murray (their sheep) be the ring bearer, I did get to be a bridesmaid. I attended a number of musical events—the most memorable (and painful) being Firefly Music Festival. And most importantly, I amped up this here blog by putting in more writing time, launching an interview series, and getting to know you guys better. When my hard work was recognized by the Baltimore Sun thanks to your votes, that felt pretty darn special. Thank you for that.

So while 2012 was arguably one of my best years yet, I’m prepared to say the same about 2013 a year from now. There’s a lot I have planned that I can’t wait to share with you guys, and I’m lucky to have people who care to read about my adventures. I hope your own plans and adventures are equally as thrilling—and if not, why aren’t they? There’s no better time to come up with some dreams than right now.

Oh, and psst…

Nikon D3200

I got a fancy new camera. Don’t worry, I’m not done with film photography. But I WILL be taking a lot more pictures. See you in 2013!

California coast

Highway 1 Hollywood sign Baltimore architecture Baltimore drinkery

Clipper Mill

self portrait girlies the mutts the mutts the sisters the sisters Ocean City desk girlfriends


kitteh party time believe New York City autumn light family in Tennessee Patterson theatre Baltimore

Mobbies at Creative Alliance

Mobbies at Creative Alliance name in the sand

So much win.

Cassie Paton Mobbies award

(All photos by Steve Ruark, courtesy of Baltimore Sun)

Welp, guys, you did it—you voted Witty Title Here for Maryland’s best personal blog in the Baltimore Sun‘s Mobbies awards, and I am touched. Truly. Seeing as I’ve never won a popularity contest in my life, I now understand the ego boost, excessive pride, and illusions of grandeur that come with such a bestowment as this. You may all now start referring to me as Madame Cass of Wit. I’ve explained to my loved ones that they shouldn’t be offended if I snap at them when they interrupt my writing time. It’s just that Madame has an award-winning blog to maintain, and the pressure of delivering her readers witty, insightful, and thought-provoking content on the reg is all-consuming. Leave my dinner tray at the door.

I jest, of course. In all honesty, the day of the Mobbies awards, I went back and forth between imagining what a victory blog post might entail if I won and what kind of entertaining online pity party I could conjure up in the case of defeat. I knew I stood a chance based on how many kind people told me they (and their moms!) had voted for me, but there was still that voice of self-doubt telling me not to get my hopes up.

Luckily, I would have the chance to tell that little voice she’s an asshole. On Wednesday night, John and I drove down to the Creative Alliance, where the awards party was held. We checked out a funky art exhibit as we snacked on some delicious free food and drank very reasonably priced Flying Dog beer.

Mobbies Creative Alliance

I knew that several people I follow on Twitter would be there. But, like, it’s kind of weird to introduce yourself to people whose faces you’ve only seen in a filtered 81 x 81 px profile picture. When I finally mustered up the courage to say hello, I felt more at ease.

After some boozin’ and schmoozin’, the awards ceremony kicked off in the small theater area next to the gallery. I didn’t have much time to be nervous. After a quick introduction, the presenters launched right into the awards, and Best Personal Blog was the very first category! At least if I don’t win, we can sneak right out of here and maybe take some food with us, I may or may not have thought to myself as they prepared to call the winner.

But you already know who the winner was. When they called Witty Title Here, I excitedly handed over my camera to John and walked up to the stage. Earlier in the day, it was announced online by the Mobbies Twitter account that winners would get a one-line acceptance speech. This was one thing I didn’t over-think. I knew exactly what I would say, and after accepting my certificate and not-entirely-flattering-but-still-awesome-Mobbies-hat, I delivered the following (and quite dramatically, I might add):

I’m just a girl standing in front of a guy asking, “Do you smell that?”


Yup. I reeeeeally said that. And people laughed. It was one of my proudest moments to date, and I don’t even care if that’s kind of ridiculous to admit.

accepting a Mobbie

I was so elated by my win that I didn’t hear them call the Best Photography Blog award that came after mine, though I would find out later that I placed second in that category. (Pressure’s on to keep taking lovely pictures for you folks!) The rest of the awards ceremony went by pretty quickly, and several other winners gave funny little one-liners. I was met with many congrats from friendly Twitter friends and strangers, and John was super-excited for me, which meant a lot.

And that is IT! This is what glory feels like. I can’t thank you guys enough for coming out in droves to make this blog here a winner. Whether you’re one of the people kind enough to leave comments letting me know you enjoyed a post (which I ALWAYS appreciate), or someone who reads regularly but remains anonymous (which I appreciate JUST as much), or even just an occasional passerby (hullo!), I am grateful for your business… I mean readership. Despite all the self-doubt I am prone to from time to time, I never doubt whether writing this little blog is worth it. ‘Cause it sooooo is. And that very first picture up top? SERIOUSLY makes me look like a wistful President-elect straight off the campaign trail. See you in 2016.

Mobbies winners

I didn’t forget I offered hand-written thank-you notes to those who voted for me. Want snail mail? Send your address to wittycassiehere [at] gmail [dot] com. It’ll be great. Think that’s kind of weird? Download this token of gratitude instead. Print it out. Hang it on your wall. You’re welcome.

The campaign

2012 Mobbies awards

For those of you who aren’t down with modern-day acronyms, that’s Witty Title Here for the win. And this is no presidential election. It’s much less life-altering than that. It’s the friggen Mobbies. And I’m pro-awesome.

Let me explain: The Mobbies are a competition for Maryland’s best blogs hosted by The Baltimore Sun, and it’s all in the name of bragging rights. This year, Witty Title Here falls under the Best Personal Blog and Best Photography Blog categories. I nominated myself, and I’m very honored.

Last year, I ranked fairly well in my category considering I had about half as many page views and a slightly irregular posting schedule. I’m proud to look back at the archives and see how far I’ve come since then. With a much more aesthetically pleasing design and a stronger, more developed voice, I wouldn’t be mortified if a (hypothetical) prospective employer or first date told me they’d already perused my blog. (Note: I’M NOT IN THE MARKET FOR EITHER, PEOPLE. In case you were about to bang down my door, because why wouldn’t you?)

Because I really want bragging rights, fame, and the chance to give an acceptance speech, here are a few reasons why you should vote for me—daily:

– I love you.
– I’ve probably made you laugh at least once, and possibly even out loud.
– I show restraint with the poop jokes. Most of the time.
– I produce original, thoughtful, and relatable content.
– I try to write stuff even boys would like.
– I’ve introduced you to all sorts of creative types who share their passions.
– I talk with you, and not just at you. I comment on your blogs, but I also really read them. And I respond to your comments here.
– I take pretty film photos and share them with you, unedited.
– I’m not afraid to be vulnerable. I strive to portray my honest-to-goodness self.
– I make lists.

…Need I say more?

So. Instructions.
Voting is open through November 9th, and as mentioned above, you can vote daily. Before doing so, you must login using one of your various social media accounts like Facebook, or you can use your email address and create a password. (These things take mere seconds.) Once signed in, make sure you vote for Witty Title Here under both the Best Personal Blog and Best Photography Blog categories. They are conveniently listed right next to each other, so you can just scroll right on down. When you’ve selected both categories, click the giant red button that says “Cast Your Vote!”

Mobbies voting

To be fair, I encourage you to check out my competition. They’re pretty rad, too.

I’m trying to come up with ways to thank my voters. Personal, handwritten thank-you notes via snail mail on pretty paper? Simple, yes, but let’s not forget the beauty of the written word. And, I’m pretty sure ACTUAL gifts or giveaways would be considered a bribe. And even if they weren’t, I’m not rich. So take what you can get. And I do love you all a very normal, healthy amount.

Thanks in advance, and have a spooky Halloween!

Via McKenzie from Oliver and Abraham’s


Eye on the eye


Is it just me, or does anyone else have “Oh Sandy” from Grease stuck in their head thanks to the giant monster hurricane headed our way? As annoying as that is, I might just have to ditch my original Halloween costume plan for the sexy number above. Think it’s waterproof? Knowing me, I’d probably squeak while I walked. WHY-iy-iy-iyyyy?

Although the weather sucks (and the power keeps flickering), I’m lucky to be in Baltimore today instead of stranded in the Nashville airport. My mom and I spent a much-needed mother-daughter weekend together while she gave a speech and presentation at a conference for Tennessee school librarians just outside of Nashville. They put us up at the beautiful hotel where the conference was, and we enjoyed room service wine and a day off from work. Her heartfelt 30-minute speech was truly inspiring, and plenty of people let her know. Librarians in general are wonderful people. Southern librarians perhaps even more so. They were so genuinely friendly and welcoming to the point where I self-consciously wondered if came off as friendly enough. I might technically be below the Mason-Dixon line, but we Marylanders can be a bunch of Yankees. Oddly enough, I pick up a southern accent very easily.

The second half of the weekend was spent visiting family we hadn’t seen in three whole years. It’s weird that you can go so long without seeing people you’re related to. And considering how much time had passed, our visit was way too short. Much of Sunday was spent monitoring the weather and our flight status. Turns out, ours was the last flight to Baltimore that wasn’t canceled. Had we booked a later flight, we’d still be in Nashville until at least tomorrow morning. Even as we boarded the plane, I wasn’t convinced we’d make it all the way home. The connecting flight from Baltimore to Providence had already been canceled, and right before we were supposed to take off, someone apparently just up and got off the plane, and the crew had to check that out “for security reasons.” I suspect this had some people spooked, as another guy picked up his stuff and made his way off the plane, too. Everyone applauded when the plane FINALLY started moving, and again when the plane made touchdown in Baltimore after some dicey turbulence.

Tennessee family

me and the family

Now I’m soaking up yet another day off from work thanks to Sandy. But I’m not literally soaking. Yet.

Now for an announcement:

Baltimore Sun is hosting the fourth annual Mobbies awards for bloggers, and Witty Title Here is in the running for Best Personal Blog and Best Photography Blog. I’ll post more about the Mobbies this week (which might include some incentive), but you can get in your vote early by clicking here. Vote daily, and for both categories! Stay safe and dry!


Click here to vote for my blog ... early and often