Yesterday was a day of mistakes. First, I was at my gig at Wheaton Library performing my show Pets at the White House that I do with my friend and colleague, Elizabeth Doyle. Our Pets show is completely innocuous, politically speaking. We sing and share fun and interesting anecdotes about the roles pets have played in the lives of the First Families, everything from the fact that Thomas Jefferson had a pet mockingbird who sat on his shoulder while he worked to George and Barbara Bush walking the … [Read more...] about A Day of Mistakes: Adele and Me
What Bike Riding Taught Me About Goal-Setting
I clipped into my bike. I had 12 tough miles in front of me--over hills, up and down a mountain, and slow-going terrain through sand and mud. But I was primed. It was a beautiful day, I could hear the beat of the music in my ear, and I felt good that I was taking on this challenge, knowing how much stronger I would feel physically and mentally when I was done! Ok. So there weren’t really hills and a mountain and sand. It was just going to feel that way. Actually, I was at spin class sitting … [Read more...] about What Bike Riding Taught Me About Goal-Setting
A Little Spice is Nice!
Growing up, there was only one kind of chocolate chip cookie in our house--Toll House. When my mom made them, she always let us eat the dough. Oh, joy, the good old days when we never gave salmonella a second thought. I can still remember digging my spoon into that mound of dough dotted with chocolate chips. I would almost make myself sick eating the dough--but it was worth it! By the time I was in fourth or fifth grade, I could whip up a Toll House batch by heart. No need to even look at the … [Read more...] about A Little Spice is Nice!
Turkey Day Chatter Tips
All right. I'm going to cut to the chase. In just two days, you're going to be gathered around a Thanksgiving table peopled with your family members and friends. Here are some "tiny tips" and book recommendations for boosting conversations and for creating family harmony to make this your most memorable Turkey Day--for the right reasons! As Ina Garten said, "It doesn't really matter what the occasion--big or small--it's the connections that we have with people we love that nourish our souls." … [Read more...] about Turkey Day Chatter Tips
Thanks for the Feedback–NOT! (Well, maybe.)
It was my first real teaching job. I was fresh out of grad school with an M.A. in English, when I landed a full-time tenured-track position teaching English at a little community college in Harrisburg, IL, about 6 hours downstate from Chicago. Harrisburg has a population of about 10,000 and a small-town vibe to match. I once ate in a restaurant there where I oohed and aaahed over the peanut butter pie, and the next day the same waitress hand-delivered a piece of that incredible pie right to … [Read more...] about Thanks for the Feedback–NOT! (Well, maybe.)