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#41 To Be Yourself is All That You Can Do

One weekend when I was 12 years old, Mom and I found ourselves completely on our own. This was highly unusual so I can only imagine that my older siblings were working and that Dad was on his annual boy’s trip to Scranton, PA. I can't imagine why they chose Scranton and what they did while they were there. Maybe a visit to Dunder Mifflin? We spent the time cheating on our diets and going to 3 movies in 2 days. We must have racked up thousands of calories, but it was worth it for the quality time with Mom and the important life Hollywood lessons I learned. Terrifying Illnesses are Rewarded We started with a movie called 6 Weeks, a weepie starring Mary Tyler Moore and Dudley Moore about a kid

#40 I Am Always Amazed Words Can Fill Up a Page

​ First grade. This will be explained below. Sort of. ​I made a promise to myself that I’d write every day in August and that I’d post what I write on the blog. It’s 10:17 pm and I’m just sitting down to write… about what? Surely I’m not OUT OF IDEAS. It’s only day nine. I’ve got plenty of ideas. Right? I almost took the day off. Missing one day isn’t a big deal, right? I’ll do it tomorrow and won’t miss another day. Right. But then I started negotiating with myself. What if there’s ANOTHER day this month that you really really can’t write? Then you’ve blown this totally made-up idea of a free pass on today. Like, what’s so special about today? What if another day is more special? Better? Wo

#39 Find Me a Find, Catch Me a Catch

When did having two glasses of rose and a bowl of popcorn for dinner start leading to hangovers comparable to that time I drank shots of Two Fingers tequila at a Frat House in Central Pennsylvania? Is this 50? I should also add that I stayed up a little a late last night watching Indian Matchmaking on Netflix. I don’t watch a lot of reality tv — I’ve never been into it. Back in the days when Survivor was all anyone could talk about, I just didn’t get it. It all looked so uncomfortable and dirty. Literally dirty — these people were covered in mud and flies 24/7. No thank you. I’m not a Bachelor/Bachelorette fan. I can’t relate to the spray tans and destination dates. The latest craze of sur

#38 Nothing to Do and All Day to Do It

When I decided to leave my job in the middle of a pandemic I knew that I would have no trouble keeping myself busy. And at first, I worked really hard to fill the hours in the days, to be productive. Mostly this revolved around home reorganization projects: color-coding the bookshelves, cleaning out the medicine cabinet, finally unpacking that one dresser drawer that I’ve been ignoring since I moved in 14 months ago. I made sure to keep in touch with family and friends. I wrote cards and letters. I made multiple trips to the post office. And so many trips to the vet via the G train. What I wasn’t doing was creating, which was the whole point of leaving my job in the middle of a pandemic. I w

#37 It's Sure Nice Talking to You

Is it weird that I think about my dead parents so much? I think about them all the time: their voices, their mannerisms, their idiosyncrasies. Stories about life with them are top of mind, always. Some days it feels like everything reminds me of them. I mean, I wrote a whole show about them. It doesn’t feel sad or maudlin. It feels normal. Is it because they’re dead? Did I talk about my family or my upbringing this much BEFORE? I don’t know. I don’t even remember what I was like BEFORE. A couple of years ago I decided I wanted to know if my parents thought about me as much as I thought about them. So, I got a recommendation for a good medium (Is it weird that this is really, really easy? I j

#36 Things'll Go Your Way

In case you missed my last 600 social media posts this month, my friends and I recently launched CANOODLE, a Rom Com Rewatch Podcast. This week’s movie was BRIDESMAIDS which is totally not a Rom Com, a fact that we pick apart ad nauseum in the episode. (You can listen HERE.) I didn't love the move. In fact, by far my favorite thing about BRIDESMAIDS is seeing all the bridesmaids-of-weddings-past pics that are popping up in our Instagram feed. I have 5 siblings and was in a sorority in college so I’ve been to a lot of weddings and have been a bridesmaid at least 4 times that I can remember. I’m almost 50, keeping track of how many times I was a bridesmaid is the least of my concerns. In prepa

#35 Hey Teacher Leave Them Kids Alone

In July, we had a small, beautiful funeral for my Aunt Joan. The Church was bright and airy, different from the dark and imposing churches I remembered from my years in Catholic school. There were abut 30 people, so the service was quiet, every footstep echoed through the building. One thing about Catholic masses is that there’s a lot of standing/sitting/kneeling. It’s all very choreographed and the pews come equipped with kneelers that hinge up and down as needed. When it came time for the first kneeling bit, I was horrified at the scraping, thumping sounds of the kneelers. I thought I caught a look of disappointment on the priest’s face, too. Hadn’t any of these people learned to manage th

#34 You Made Me Leap Without Taking A Look

Penn State is a huge university sitting on top of a very small town, directly in the center of PA. I was there in the late 80s/early 90s when Joe Paterno was still a god, the only mobile phones I ever saw were in movies and almost always in James Bond's cars, and I’d never even heard of email. Once you left the actual town, there was nothing but cows for miles all around. When my BFF Alisha called me on the touchtone landline phone in my dorm and said, “I’m bored. Let’s grab Jimmy and go to Players.” I knew we were up for an adventure. Alisha was the coolest girl I knew and my coworker at Charley’s Bar, a place known for pretzels with spicy mustard and a deceptively potent cocktail called th

#33 Getting Good at Taking Bad Advice

I was listening to Don’t Ask Tig, a new comedy advice podcast from comedian Tig Notaro. If you don’t know who Tig Notaro is, what have you been doing with your life? You can check her stuff out here: Tig Meets Taylor Dayne Boyish Girl, Interrupted One Mississippi Anyway, she recently asked listeners “What’s the worst advice you’ve ever received?” I’ve definitely gotten some questionable advice in my life including, “you should definitely buy a beach condo at the top of the market mere months before the housing crisis of 2008.” But here’s one that really stands out. Back in 2005, my company hooked me up with an executive coach to work on my “executive presence”* and to help me prepare for a t

#32 Come On-A My House

When I was a kid, my mother was always looking at houses for sale. Not to buy, mind you. Just to look. See what’s out there. See what’s possible. My older sister usually went with her; they shared a love of interior design and an innate nosiness. They’d scan the papers or take a drive up to the local realtor’s office down the shore to see what was listed. Sometimes they’d just take a drive around a nice neighborhood and look for Open House signs. Once inside, they’d turn a critical eye to the layout, the windows, the staging — conferring about how they would redo the place if they owned it. “Brown paneling? Ugh, we can do better than that. A coat of paint, at least.” They’d speculate about


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