What's In a (Starbucks) Name?

Amoeba. Armenia. Ambibia. Ar-na-by...what's your name, baby? It's rare for someone to say my name correctly on the first try. It happens, but it's rare. I've been called all of those above and a few others that make less sense. And by less sense I mean less sense of a seemingly normal person who thought Amoeba could be correct. ...more
People just ask "with a 'y' or an 'ie'?" for me. But being married to a dude with a "girl's" ... more

You Know You've Been Blogging Too Long When ...

Remember when the whole idea of "blogging" was fresh and new? When you had to explain to everyone around just what the heck "blogging" is? And when "blogging" always had quotes around it, because no one knew what to make of it? ...more
when every story you tell about "a friend" refers to someone you have never actually met ... more

Considering What Unites Us

While I read Alex George's A Good American I thought a lot about what it means to belong -- to a church, a town, a country, a family. Frederick didn't belong to Jette's social strata, so they had to leave their homeland in order to be together. When they reach America, they do not end up in the town they intended to settle in, but they put down roots there....more
I'm also from a small town in the midwest; I am guessing this is part of why I connected so much ... more

The Redemptive Power of Song

We've discussed how music plays a big role in Alex George's A Good American when we talked about how he described Jette's life as an opera. It's more than that the family just liked music, it was woven into the fabric of their lives. It was what they used to learn about themselves and about life. ...more
I actually have a list I keep of "make me happy or pumped up" songs.  At the top of the list is ... more

Is Your Life an Opera?

In Alex George's A Good American music is important to the lives of the characters and is integral to the plot. Jette and Frederick meet when he serenades her in a park. They find help in New Orleans from someone that Frederick met through music. This same man will come back into their lives and greatly impact their future. Frederick and Jette's sons and grandsons are all singers....more
We have definitely had some Oprah-like moments in our life...lots of emotionally tragic songs, ... more

Gastronomic Mosaics & Culinary Road Maps

Food quickly becomes important to the story in Alex George's A Good American. Before the Meisenheimers ever open the restaurant, Jette finds herself homesick. She turns to the meals she ate in her homeland for comfort. She didn't have recipes passed down from her mother or even a cookbook to turn to. Through a process of trial and error, she made her way through the food in memories until they existed on her table. ...more
It's funny that this is the first discussion because just recently I added recipes to my blog. ... more

Do We Ever Really Leave High School?

Lissy Ryder, the main character in Jen Lancaster's new novel, Here I Go Again, never really left high school. She hit her peak during those four years and stopped growing and reaching. When she discovered there is life after high school it was a complete and total shock. While we may not all be like Lissy, I still see references every week online to things being just like high school....more
In  my experience, most people have left high school.  In the age of facebook, I connect with ... more

Who Do You Want To Be?

When we first met Lissy Ryder in Jen Lancaster's novel Here I Go Again, she didn't know who she wanted to be. She was still focused on who she had been. Her high school days has been her glory days, so why should she want to be any different than she was in her teens? During the course of the novel she learns that if you stay who you were, you'll never become who you are supposed to be....more
20 years ago as a high school freshman I wanted to be anything except ordinary.  I didn't want ... more

Would You Like To Go Back In Time?

In Jen Lancaster's new novel, Here I Go Again, Lissy Ryder is given a potion that can help her right all her wrongs. Being the person she is, Lissy doesn't approach it cautiously. No, she throws it back like it's an espresso shot. When she wakes up and realizes she's back in the past -- back in high school -- she's elated. That would not be my reaction. ...more
I'd want to travel...but more like scrooge did with the Ghost of Christmas Past. As an observer, ... more

Is My Willpower Challenge Over Now?

When we first starting talking about Kelly McGonigal's book The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do To Get More of It, I was intrigued but I wasn't sure how I'd feel about actually doing my willpower challenge. What would I learn? Would be be scary? What if I failed? Well, I've learned and I've struggled. Does that mean I'm done now? ...more
I learned that willpower has the word POWER in it for a reason. It's not something you can just ... more