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
Several years ago my friends and I thought it would be fun to come up with personal slogans for ... 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
Mine would probably be wearing a favorite outfit, or something new that I love. more

Laugh So Hard You Scare People

I've been staring at my computer trying to figure out how to explain Jenny Lawson's memoir, Let's Pretend This Never Happened, to people who are unfamiliar with her blog, TheBloggess.com. It's difficult because I've been reading her blog since at least 2007, but I'm going to try. ...more
Yeah I'm finding it difficult to describe too, because it's so different from the books I ... 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
This is really interesting. I can't think of one single thing that unites all the people I feel ... 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'm thinking of the scene in "Jerry Maguire" where he's searching for a song on the radio that ... 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
My brothers & I did not have near the hilarious childhood that Jenny did. One story sticks out ... more

Little Earthquakes: A Good American

If you are like me, when you turn the last page in Alex George's novel, A Good American, all you'll be able to think is "Wow!" You'll find yourself in a bit of a fog as you stop and think back on the journey that you just finished. Of course, I mean all this in the best possible way. ...more
I thought it was pretty accurate to life; these little things add up to make big changes but you ... 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
I read an interview with the author where he said in his first draft the Meisenheimer family ... more

The 10 Year Plan

Before I read Kate and David Marshall's My Life Map: A Journal to Help Shape Your Future I would have told you that 10 year plans give me hives. One of the most dreaded questions in a job interview for me was always one about where I saw myself in five years. I still may not be exactly eager to plan out my life in 10 year chunks, but at least I know how that it's possible to do it in a way that doesn't cause me panic....more
I just liked that long-term planning separated by subject made it clear what areas I want to ... more

Making Play A Priority

I know I've said this but my favorite parts of Kate and David Marshall's My Life Map: A Journal to Help Shape Your Future really were the subject maps. I liked the service map because it made me examine the role charity plays in my life. I liked the learning map because I'm a big nerd....more
If I don't have time to play I get so stressed! I work hard at work, and I devote my time to my ... more