All posts in essays

Easy A hug MaryAnn

Give rejection the awkward hug it deserves

Think about the time we spend engaged in debate: pleading, proving or otherwise bargaining for ourselves and our perspectives. At work. At home. In the classroom. In our own minds. On social media, especially. Sometimes we offer a point of view rooted in our most cherished beliefs, our deepest convictions. More often, though, we might find ourselves frothily insisting that, yes, we are sure we refilled the goddamn printer paper.


your fear is boring

Elizabeth Gilbert on creativity and fear

After Elizabeth Gilbert’s Cleveland appearance this winter as part of the Cuyahoga County Library Writer’s Center Stage series, I had pages of notes demanding full-on essay treatment.

That was November.

In the little notebook I carry in my purse, there are four scrawled pages crammed between cabinet measurements for our kitchen renovation and notes from an early morning school levy campaign meeting. No essay. No grand reflections. A few stolen moments documented from a folding chair.


watts and her red gloves

What d’ya do with your hands?

I open with the best kissing scene in all of John Hughes history. Better than Sixteen Candles [snooze]. Better than the passionless pecks in The Breakfast Club. Better than any Brat Pack liplock involving Andrew McCarthy. Is it the soundtrack? The juxtaposition of sex and oil pans? Is it the badassery of Mary Stuart Masterson as Watts? No matter. It’s a cocktail of PG-sexy awesomeness.

Behold…the Kissing Lesson from Some Kind of Wonderful.


water ripple droplet

‘No’ leaves room for ‘hell yes!’

A few weeks ago, I read an article by Nadia Bolz-Weber, ‘The Spiritual Practice of Saying No.’ The title invites an immediate shift in how we view our commitments, boundaries and pleasing impulses. Do we say yes because we are afraid to say no? Afraid of disappointing the asking party? Afraid of not doing our part?


steinem its not fair sign

10 stunning quotes from Gloria Steinem

When Gloria Steinem walked onto the Severance Hall stage in Cleveland Tuesday night, I screamed like the fan girl that I am.


dog in wind LJU photo

Topdog on holiday

There are cookies in the pantry…and the voices begin.

“Ooo, I so want this. This will taste so good. This—THIS!—this will make me feel better.”

“Do you know how bad that is for you? You’ll get fat. You get grumpy. You’ll just shove more in your face in a minute. Goddammit. You constantly do things that are bad for you. You make bad choices. Let’s be clear. YOU.CANNOT.HAVE.THAT.”

“Oh-ho-ho, really? Watch me.” *om nom nom*


tea cup colorful

Living the slash/minding the gap

Puttering is my dominant activity of late. Not in the curious, playful way your dad used to putter in the garage on Saturdays. I putter with purpose. That purpose is avoidance.

When I updated my Facebook profile with ‘work’ [aw, that’s cute, love], it was absolutely no accident that I identified myself as Writer/Procrastinator.


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