Rachel Gonzales

I've spent pretty much my entire life hopped up on caffeine, but I have never once finished a cup of coffee -- not even coffee ice cream! I can't stand the stuff, even though I love the smell.

Can I Be That Mom? Saying No to Chick-Fil-A and Boy Scouts

My children -- while they definitely won’t have the problem of having restricted cartoon viewing or lack of alcohol exposure may, despite my best efforts, still come out of childhood feeling slighted. It’s hard to explain to your eight-year-old why you won’t match her in wearing her Susan B. Komen regalia when she thinks it’s so cool. To your ten year old why you don’t want him to be a Scout. To either of them why chicken nuggets and waffle fries have to be passed over....more
i am "that mom" too. i avoid these same groups for these same reasons. i've actually gotten into ...more

Do You Trust the Right People?

Vanessa Williams didn't always trust the right people. She made this clear in You Have No Idea, the book that she and her mother, Helen Williams, wrote together. She mistrusted two photographers much to her detriment. Not many people would have bounced back successfully from being forced to step down as Miss America but Vanessa did. This is in part due to her also putting her trust in the right people. ...more
I am SO BAD at knowing who to trust. My mom and my dad and my husband, and that's about it ... ...more

Do You Ask For Help?

One of the things that quickly becomes evident while reading Vanessa Williams' memoir You Have No Idea is that she has a great support system. One of her biggest supporters is her mother and co-author, Helen. It was interesting to read about the pair of them because they get along well, yet in many ways they are opposites. Vanessa knew she could ask for help when she needed it. Helen wasn't someone who really ever asked for help. I think I fall somewhere between them. ...more
Nope. I don't ask for help nearly as often as I ought to, which is how I get myself into "these ...more

Do You Listen to Your Mother?

From the very first pages of You Have No Idea, you will learn that had Vanessa Williams listened to her mother, Helen, a lot of things might have been easier. Those photos would have never existed. She might not have dated or married the men that she did. Things might have been easier. Well ... maybe. We all know that life isn't as simple as all that. ...more
i followed my mother's rules ... most of the time. the letter of the law, anyway, if not the ...more

The Repercussions of Unanticipated Acts

Sometimes the things that stick with me from a book are the little things -- the throwaway comments and observations that on the surface really don't have a lot to do with the story being told. Yes, I can be a bit random and it's only fitting that one of the things that is sticking with me from Jeffrey Zaslow's The Magic Room: A Story About the Love We Wish for Our Daughters really has nothing to do with wedding gowns, marriage or even love. I am talking about unanticipated acts. ...more
way back in 1993, i decided to go out with my best friend after i got stood up by my ...more

Girl Scout Calls for Cookie Boycott Over Transgender Inclusion

If a 14-year-old girl named Taylor had her way, I'd have said "No thanks" yesterday when my friend suckered me into buying four boxes of Girl Scout cookies. (And by "suckered" I mean "asked." Thin mints? Twist my arm.) Taylor and Girl Scouts USA watchdog outfit HonestGirlScouts want to hit the Girl Scouts where founder Juliette Lowe likely never thought they'd live: a boycott of cookie sales. Taylor speaks at length in a YouTube video about the danger of the inclusion of a seven-year-old Colorado resident named Bobby Montoya in a local Girl Scout troop....more
these "honest girl scouts" should probably go back and re-read the girl scout oath, especially ...more

Is Marriage Obsolete?

In Jeffrey Zaslow's The Magic Room: A Story About the Love We Wish for Our Daughters, he talks about a lot of different aspects of marriage. Why people marry. What people think of marriage. He peppers the book with statistics. One I was surprised he brought up was the idea that some people believe marriage is becoming obsolete. ...more
i'm not really sure where i fall on the spectrum, here -- i mean, i'm married, and i'm glad i ...more

Have You Been to the Magic Room?

The big moments in Jeffrey Zaslow's The Magic Room: A Story About the Love We Wish for Our Daughters might remind you a bit of an episode of Say Yes to the Dress. The bride enters a special room with what she hopes is the dress that she will wear at her wedding. When the dress is right, it's a powerful moment. One that I have not experienced. ...more
when i got married, i spent more time and effort worrying about the flowers and the food and the ...more

Journeys to Unknown Ends

One of the things I loved most about Stella Duffy's Theodora: Actress, Empress, Whore is that Theodora took risks. She wasn't exactly fearless, she calculated her risks carefully, but she let her instinct guide her. Perhaps no risk was bigger than when she left the stage and made a journey to an unknown end. ...more
oh, boy, "journey to an unknown end" is such a beautifully loaded phrase, isn't it? especially ...more

Do You Seek Praise? Or Punishment?

When you look at Theodora as a historical figure it's hard to imagine that an empress and saint would be someone who sought punishment over praise. Yet in Stella Duffy's Theodora: Actress, Empress, Whore she was just such a person....more
the comparison to "pretty woman" is pretty apt, i think, because it's kind of how i look at ...more