They Were Making Fun Of My Son, So I....Did Nothing

Where I live, I get the best of both worlds. I'm in a small town riding the edge between the far suburbs of a major US city and the very rural farmland that stretches to the west. I only have to drive an hour and my kids can have museums and touring exhibits and Broadway road shows and concerts and all kinds of culture. ...more
This was a beautiful story! more

Swept Under the Rug: Sexism in Computer Science

I think I lulled myself into a sense of security about being a woman in computer science –- I can handle the awkward guys, and the ones who think they know more than I do, simply because they’re guys, and I honestly thought that that was all there was to it. You get used to the comments and brush them off and prove them wrong and call it a day. I’ve even been trying to propagate that attitude in the women in my local WICS chapter, convinced that half of the problem is that women make too big of a deal about being a minority....more
As another reader commented I think you need to go into more details about the actual situation ... more

Permission To Be You

The road to self-acceptance can be a rocky one with lots of twists and turns. When I think back to some of the paths I attempted as a teen I kind of cringe. In her memoir, Let's Pretend This Never Happened, Jenny Lawson got some help on that path thanks to her father, a turkey named Jenkins, and an incident in the public school library....more
I tend to be shy so it's difficult to be myself in social situations like parties, but among my ... more

What is Your Confidence Wig?

There are days when we all need a little help -- a confidence boost. When we are in a situation that makes us nervous or anxious a little thing can make big difference. Jenny Lawson has found things that help deal with her anxiety disorder. She documents many of these in her memoir, Let's Pretend This Never Happened, and one of my favorites is something that we can all do in our own way -- confidence wigs. ...more
I don't have a confidence wig of any type. I try to build myself up before a scary event by ... more

Bowls Versus Trash Cans

When you begin sharing your life with someone, you discover differences in family traditions. Sometimes they are foreseeable and other times they take you by surprise. Jenny Lawson recounts many of these in her memoir, Let's Pretend This Never Happened, including the time she discovered she had been sitting on couches wrong....more
I remember using a bucket as a child and later a trash can. I don't understand the bowl idea. Is ... 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
The simple human experience. Those little interactions that occur on a daily basis. Smiling at ... 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 like teeny-bopper songs that you can belt out at the top of your lungs. Call Me Maybe, Teenage ... more

What's Your Favorite Funny Childhood Memory?

In between laughing at Jenny Lawson's recounting of her childhood memories in her memoir, Let's Pretend This Never Happened, I found myself comparing it to my own childhood. We didn't have raccoons in the bathtub, but my uncle totally had a raccoon for awhile. Alas, no one thought to make it jams. It did make me remember a few other childhood memories, particularly those involving wild animals....more
The funniest thing I can remember was having a slumber party and laughing so hard my friend ... 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
My life is pretty tame. I think it would be a romantic movie with a happy ending. more

Finding Beauty in a Harsh Existence

I spent a lot of time while reading Lisa Gardner's newest book, Touch and Go, trying to figure out Libby. She was broken but she also showed a resilience and strength that surprised me, as I believe it did her kidnappers. I appreciated the glimpses of her past that we received, particularly the one below:...more
I find beauty in simplicity. Those every day moments like my son giggling while he eats lunch, ... more