• Confessions,  Fun in Knoxville,  Random Thoughts

    My Refrigerator: In Constant Evolution

    I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about my refrigerator lately. I remember when I was in college: my roommate and I had one of those tiny dorm refrigerators. We had typical college dorm stuff in there: leftover pizza, pudding, cheese, cans of pop…you get the idea. When Jim and I got married, he was in the Navy and out on the ship a lot. We were also on an extremely tight budget so as I recall I had the following in the refrigerator: cheese, jelly to go with my peanut butter sandwiches, ketchup, bread, and milk for the endless supply of Kraft macaroni and cheese I kept in the…

  • Random Thoughts,  Something That Could Change Your Life

    Always Remember, Never Forget.

    In 2012, I started a new personal tradition for the National Day of Remembrance. I had visited the National September 11 Memorial when I was in Manhattan for BlogHer ’12, and was extremely moved by the experience (massive understatement). It occurred to me that, rather than passively watch the televised tributes and read what the rest of the internet had to say about 9/11, each year I would involve myself by actively remembering and learning about a couple of the victims of that terrible day. Luke G. Nee worked in municipal bonds operations at Cantor Fitzgerald. He married his wife Irene on September 11, 1982 and they had a son,…

  • Random Thoughts

    The Chalk Writing on the Wall

    Not too long ago, a married couple walked into a Barcade for an evening of drinks and Ms. Pac Man. And Galaga. And Donkey Kong. And Centipede. And…well, you get the idea. After a while, they tore themselves away from Defender for a bathroom break, agreeing to meet at the bar afterwards. Minutes later, he approached her and said, “Oh my gosh, did you have a bunch of chalk writing on the walls in there???” She did. Actually, she took pictures to share later because when you have a situation where women can write on walls with chalk, the results are usually fun and fascinating. Some of the writing was…

  • Fun in Chicago,  Random Thoughts

    Bring Your Favorite City Home With Modern Map Art

    The fine folks at Modern Map Art (affiliate link) provided me with a Chicago map poster in exchange for this post. All opinions are, obviously, mine. I’ve been furiously collecting Chicago-themed stuff lately. It’s for my new home office: I intend to surround myself with items inspired by my hometown. A few weeks ago I went to the One of a Kind Show and Sale at the Merchandise Mart with my friend Natasha, bringing along all the great intentions of buying holiday gifts for loved ones. Somehow I ended up with just a couple of gifts for others and three–THREE!–Chicago-themed things for myself. Oh well. With my eye and adoration…

  • Random Thoughts,  Reflections on Parenting

    For the Children

    I was at Target the other day, and for some reason my ears honed in on all the kids that were there. I heard so many statements, questions, and stories straight from the mouths of babes that I wondered if I were in some kind of Twilight Zone. It’s unusual for me to pay attention, for sure: after all, my own “kids” are 21 and 24 and the days of taking care of every single need they have are long gone. These days I’m terribly good at ignoring children (not to be mean, mind you: I just tune them out because I focus on other things). On the occasions when…

  • Confessions,  Random Thoughts

    On What’s Important in Life

    Warning: Ramble ahead. There has been a lot of loss in the world in 2016. That in itself is a massive understatement so let me try again. 2016 has been a monumental year for loss. In fact, 9 out of 10 of my friends will tell you that they’re thrilled it’s almost over, and if given a choice, would end the year immediately because of the fresh start 2017 promises. Let me start with some of the celebrity losses that cut us deeply in 2016, not that any one life is better than another but the deaths of some icons hit many of us in the gut, collectively. Prince. David…

  • How To,  Random Thoughts

    Actively Remembering on the National Day of Remembrance

    In 2012, I started a new personal tradition for the National Day of Remembrance. I had visited the National September 11 Memorial when I was in Manhattan for BlogHer ’12, and was extremely moved by the experience (massive understatement). It occurred to me that, rather than passively watch the televised tributes and read what the rest of the internet had to say about 9/11, each year I would involve myself by actively remembering and learning about a couple of the victims of that terrible day. First Responder Officer Paul Talty had been a member of the New York City Police Department for nine years. He had worked as an electrician…

  • Random Thoughts

    #StreamTeam Summer Catch-Up

    I am a member of the Netflix #StreamTeam and will be happily sharing monthly tips and stories about how my family uses Netflix on a regular basis. (Okay, that’s an understatement. I should say CONSTANTLY. We use Netflix CONSTANTLY.) This post is sponsored by Netflix, of course! While you might think that my level of activity would ease up after the curtain comes down on LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER CHICAGO right before Mother’s Day, the season of summer is also conference season, and work actually ramps up in a direction that approaches complete insanity. It’s for that reason that I have to make really good viewing choices, because the time…

  • Childhood Memories,  Confessions,  Random Thoughts

    Garage Sales. Don’t Get Me Started.

    Garage sales. Sigh. I’m not a fan of attending them, and I’m not a fan of hosting them. When I was a kid, my mom hosted multiple garage sales every year, and I wasn’t enamored with the process at all, to put it lightly. Sure, my sister and I got to be the creative geniuses behind the signs, which took hours thanks to my mom being an evil genius (story here), but we also had to do the work of going through our stuff, helping to price it, and sitting outside watching strangers pick through it all. Of course I completely get that many people LOVE garage sales as a…