Category Archives: Recommendations

March Month in Review — QED and Amen

I’m not a huge fan of pranks. Never have been. I find them to largely be mean-spirited, intended to humiliate.

No, I’m not fun at parties and I will not lighten up. You know who else is not fun at parties? Batman. You know who is probably fun at parties? The Wonder Twins.

QED and amen.

Anyway.

Here, the big April Fools’ Joke is that the jokes in my house were pretty terrible because all pranks were largely driven by my kids. They gave themselves the giggles by covering up the last “ps” on the package of Peeps. Hilarious.

To get into the spirit of things and not be permanently labeled “The Parent Where Fun Goes to Die,”  Continue reading March Month in Review — QED and Amen

January Month in Review — Yes, I Can Believe It’s February Already

You know how every time the calendar flips to a new page, there’s always a chipper collective “I can’t believe it’s [month, season, or year] already!”

I can. January was 6,000 days long this year.

Polar vortexes, minor sorrows from the minors, an ill child every so often, returning to routines without holidays to anticipate. You know, the grind.

But not all bad things.

We went to a water park resort for a week, which I’ll post about here soon. I made some peanut butter cookies that I can only describe as “disappointing,” which was pretty flipping weird. I mean, they’re peanut butter cookies.

pbc
Even a nice dip into a ganache spa didn’t elevate them much. (Didn’t keep us from eating all of them in 24 hours, either.)

Oh, wait, not all bad things.

Continue reading January Month in Review — Yes, I Can Believe It’s February Already

Hey 2017 — Later, As in, Later Much

2017 should not let the door hit it in the ass on the way out. I think most people feel this way. The world feels depleted right now.

A friend of mine posted this fun cover on her Facebook page recently, and I admit to watching it with something close to obsession. It’s a little hit of joy each time.

The last week of each year, I hunker down and reflect on the past year. Here are some random thoughts:

  • I didn’t knit enough.
  • I baked more than enough cookies.
  • The nice thing about being the age I am is how much more I respect myself and my boundaries. “No” is a complete sentence and one I owe it to myself to say as needed. I gave love as freely as I could to the wonderful family and friends in my life who took that and held it dear.
  • I have writing ideas now, which for the longest time I yearned for. Now I just yearn for time, and, when I have that, skill.
  • Professionally it’s been a wonderful year, although I still crave quiet and regularity in the process. Soon enough. Soon enough.
  • This year I co-wrote and produced a short film (you can see the trailer below). Never has such a steep learning curve been so much fun. I know for sure that when you work with quality people, work doesn’t feel like a burden.
  • I read 53 books this year – I’m probably going to add one or two more by year’s end. Many were significant and important. My favorites were a slim volume called Heating and Cooling by Beth Ann Fennelly and Circadian by Chelsey Clammer. Both are literary rides that challenged and delighted me.
  • I read a lot of nonfiction. I am cycling back to fiction now, for no reason other than I want to.
  • I have a deep affection for John Oliver. I have an equally deep and entirely different affection for Gumball.
  • Have you seen this Ted Talk with Joshua Prager?
  • Indecent, one PBS’s Great Performances, should be required viewing. I am haunted by its truth and its form and its beauty weeks later. Unfortunately it does not seem to be available on the PBS website any longer, but if you can catch it on demand or indeed live, please do so!
  • My husband and I are in the middle of The Zookeeper’s Wife (I fall asleep during almost every movie we watch at home, no matter how great the film.) It, too, should be a reminder to any fool who forgets that Nazis are the bad guys.
  • My writing had an acceptance rate of about 20%, which is pretty great. I am proud of all the publications which honored me by including my work, especially the second Multiples Illuminated anthology and The Sun magazine’s Readers Write section.
  • One of the highlights of my year (and a true bucket list item) was being part of the Chicago Listen to Your Mother show. When I was submitting and auditioning, I was told that being cast would be life-altering. And indeed it was.

 

2018 holds promise. I am attending the Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop this spring, another bucket list item. My film will be screened publicly. There are some announcements I cannot yet make, but you know that I will return and spill the beans here.

I’m going to start working on a book. Terrifying, that. But it’s time.

And I will continue to enjoy my friends and family, all of whom have wrapped their arms around me this year as needed and have honored me by trusting me with their hearts and experiences as well.

I wish you all a happy remaining 2017 and a joyful, peaceful 2018. I’ll see you here soon!

In the immortal words of Colonel Potter —