• airplane sunset
    Tough Questions,  Travels,  UGH.

    The Ugliness of Air Travel, or Travel is Fun!

    As of yesterday, I have had to run through four airports in order to catch a connecting flight, two times barefoot and all four times on the way home. The first time it happened was in London at Heathrow back in 2007. I had been away from my family for more than a week, and my first flight out of Frankfurt left late. I was alone, having left my friend and her family at the hotel because they were going on to Austria without me. I can’t remember how much time I had when my plane arrived at Heathrow, but I do remember how frustrating it was to have to…

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    Another Demographic That Needs to Learn “No Means No”

    You probably already know where I’m going here. I’m talking about those super aggressive men and women who hawk Dead Sea skin care products at mall kiosks and, as I discovered two weeks ago, also in Lahaina, Hawaii. What, weren’t you thinking of them, too? I have encountered these people many times, and my normal M.O. is to walk past them as close to the outer wall of the mall and away from the kiosk as possible so they don’t even see me. When I am in the unfortunate position of having to pass by them in closer proximity than I prefer, I have no problem turning down their offers…

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    Amazing People,  Music

    Sold Out.

    Back in the day, companies had original product jingles for radio and television written by their advertising agencies. It was unheard of to have popular music playing in the background on advertisements for everything from computers to cars to cleaning products. When bands started selling the rights to their music for the purpose of marketing things to the public, it was considered selling out. Of course, money talks (as does exposure!) so over the past couple of decades jingles have become more extinct and pop music, either well-known or not-yet-discovered, is the soundtrack of choice. Musicians are no longer accused of selling out; it’s a point of pride to be…

  • Amazing People,  How To,  Something That Could Change Your Life,  UGH.

    Safety Saves.

    The last 24 hours have been upsetting, terrifying, shocking, anger-inducing, and all kinds of other descriptors I’m too tired to list. Late yesterday afternoon, my husband Jim was riding his bike down a country road in west Knoxville, Tennessee when he was hit by some kind of vehicle. We’re not sure if it was a car or a truck because whomever hit him just kept on driving. They kept on driving. He or she drove off, leaving my husband on the side of the road. He was unresponsive when someone else happened to drive by and notice him lying there. That someone happened to be the pilot of one of…

  • Confessions,  Do I Really Want My Readers To Know This?,  Friends,  Fun in Chicago,  I've Got Mad Skillz

    Just Noh.

    I’m in a mood this afternoon, because I scheduled a workout for 4:30 p.m. and one of my least favorite things to do is drag myself away from whatever I’m doing to go take an afternoon class. I used to do my workouts mostly in the evening or at 5:30 in the morning almost exclusively, so it’s not like I’m new at this, but I’m a creature of habit and changing up my schedule today hurt. I’ve grown quite accustomed to doing my 8:30 a.m. class and then being finished for the day. Actually, the fact that this is bothering me so much really tells me that I probably need…

  • Fun in Chicago,  My Friends Have Mad Skillz,  UGH.

    Survival Skills

    There’s a saying about how Chicago has only two seasons, winter and construction*. My little corner of my western suburb has been experiencing construction year-round for nearly two years now (even through the winter months), thanks to a gutting and extensive reconstruction of a major state route that happens to be one of the few roads that runs through my entire town from all the way north to all the way south. By the way, that state route happens to border my subdivision. The city planners back in the day had absolutely no idea that eventually Naperville would be the fifth largest (by population) city in Illinois and naturally, didn’t…

  • Uncategorized


    You know how you go to your parents’ house for Thanksgiving and you are happy to be able to use their WiFi like you’ve always done in the past but when you arrive you discover that while everyone else can get online with their laptops, YOU can’t get online–with your laptop OR your iPad–and you have work to do and a blog post to write but you end up having to do it on your phone, and then your phone freezes up because it’s a big jerk and then you have to borrow your husband’s laptop to get a crappy post published?? Yeah. UGH.

  • Roxie

    Doggone It!

    See this? It’s a little bit of rigged-up fencing to keep Roxie from going upstairs, a little too late. As it turns out, she’s in one of her “moods” today, meaning that for the first two hours (or so) of my work day she was doing everything she could to get my attention. Usually she just sits on the floor in front of me, staring me down. Every now and then while she stares she’ll let a little whisper of a “woof” come out of her mouth. When I am ignoring her especially well she sometimes comes over to me and pushes on me with her paw. When that doesn’t…

  • Random Thoughts,  UGH.

    It’s Not Us, It’s You.

    There are so many choices these days regarding college textbooks: you can buy used or new anywhere (even Amazon!) (not sponsored) and you can also rent from several different websites as well as—thank goodness they got with the program—the actual college bookstores. What we have done up to this point is rent from one of two textbook rental websites and then buy any books that we couldn’t rent, used if possible, from his college bookstore. Now that D’s college bookstore is offering rentals (yay!), because he was away all summer (I didn’t know what his classes would be so I couldn’t order books while he was gone), and because he’s…

  • How To

    Let’s Talk About Finding A Sponsor, Shall We?

    The pursuit of sponsors is a hot and heavy topic right now because bloggers are smack-dab in the middle of conference season, and the Big One (BlogHer) is coming up in less than one short month. I typically restrict my commentary on finding a sponsor (or sponsors!) to offline conversations with friends, but yesterday I hit my tipping point when I read an especially audacious sponsorship post and now feel compelled to share my view on it. (Hopefully this will provide some education or at least food for thought for those who are new to the scene.) Finding a sponsor to help pay for the costs of attending a blogging…