We Are The Frogs

Driving to meet a friend for dinner, I noticed puddles on the main road. Nothing significant, they weren’t deep (yet), but they were surprisingly large given the fairly light rain earlier in the day. Although no more rain was forecast, I began constructing alternate routes home in my head in case the rains came anyway and streets did flood (again).I live in suburban Chicago, not a third world country, not a low-lying coastal town, yet here I was plotting emergency directions home because of a few large puddles....more

Don’t cry for me, guys.

I am a city person.  While I enjoy a walk along the beach or through a botanic garden, I prefer exploring towns and cities. My husband and oldest son love the outdoors, camping, and living among nature.  My idea of camping is a cheap hotel. So every summer when my husband’s family vacations in the north woods, I stay home while my husband and sons join them in their musty, not-large-enough cabin for a week of outdoor adventures, slimy lake water, and bugs. ...more

August 1 memory

The first of August always reminds me of this quirky Harry Nilsson song, Rainmaker.  A Pied Piper-esque tale of a selfish town that refused to compensate a man for his invaluable services, it resonates even more to my adult self. The music and lyrics are fun too....more

November 22

I am among the youngest who remember JFK’s assassination.  My kindergarten class was gathered in our daily circle singing songs and listening to stories when we were interrupted by the principal’s voice over the public address system.  The president had been shot and killed, he told us, and Vice President Lyndon Johnson was being sworn in as President.  I remember picturing Johnson as a younger, handsome man (my 5 year old mind assumed a VP must be younger than a President, and weren’t all Presidents good-looking?) and being shocked when I saw the real new President, a weathe...more

Getting the Politics Right. Or Left.

Charles Krauthammer, a conservative columnist I’ve had the (mostly) displeasure of reading over the past 30 years in publications from The New Republic to TIME Magazine, to the Washington Post, is a writer with whom I almost never agree and I generally find neither compassionate nor insightful. Imagine my surprise – shock even – when I saw him on MSNBC’s Morning Joe last week and he articulated, better than I ever could, my own philosophy....more

The Nice/Smart Matrix

As anyone who provides a service knows, clients can be a pain. While working for my Worst Client Ever, I tried to figure out what made these folks exponentially more challenging than the others. Their fatal flaw, I concluded – and I’m talking about their whole team, not just one jerk – was that they added no value.  They were neither nice nor smart....more

Generation Next

One of the paper photos I still carry with me, even with a lifetime of photos immediately phone-accessible, is of my adorable 3-year old nephew. He’s looking down at his fingers while his bowl of blond hair falls just above his eyes. He was the first person who made me want to be a mom.So how can it be that he’s 30 and about to be a dad?...more

Everyone Doesn't Do It

Everyone doesn’t do it. Frustrated w/the “everyone does it” mentality of politics?Everyone does it.  It’s an excuse I’ve often heard from my three sons.  And one I’ve heard in political discussions since the 70s.I remember when the Watergate scandal surfaced, during the 1972 election, even my fellow middle schoolers knew the argument – “Everyone does it, Nixon just got caught,” they told me.  They believed it, and they clearly failed to understand the magnitude of what they described as “just cheating.”...more