You'll Shoot Your Eye Out! A Trip to the "A Christmas Story" House

Monday, December 9, 2019

As a Jewish kid growing up in an interfaith household, I did celebrate Christmas throughout much of my childhood. But we had a small family & not much to do on the holiday itself, after we'd opened gifts. To be honest, after that, Christmas got kinda boring - so I spent many a Christmas watching A Christmas Story on repeat as it played alllll day long on TNT.

In 1988, TNT started playing 24 hours' worth of A Christmas Story - a whopping 12 showings. It has recently come to my attention that many of my fellow Jews are unaware of the movie, which, to be honest, I find baffling because what else did we have to do on Christmas?! I, for one, entered adulthood knowing much of the film by heart.

But it wasn't until I moved to Cleveland that I learned about the film's local ties. During the holiday season in 2015, I started seeing leg lamps allll over the city. I even did a roundup of them here on the blog!

But I Don't Even Like Pearl Jam!

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Let me start with this: I used to be extremely emo.

Before emo was what it is now - before it was My Chemical Romance & Panic! at the Disco - emo was The Get-Up Kids & Gloria Record & Brandtson & Lovedrug all these bands I still adore.

It's nearly impossible for me to find selfies or solo pics from my emo days, but in addition to the photo above, here's a smattering of the ones I did find - complete with lots of black eyeliner & sweepy bangs & band tees & weird thrifted stuff that I intentionally mismatched.

Livin' the Suite Life... at a Cleveland Browns Game!

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Late November marked the five-year anniversary of my move back to Northeast Ohio - & I celebrated it by doing one of the coolest things I’ve yet had the opportunity to do in this city.

The fine folks at downtown Cleveland's JACK Casino invited four local bloggers to join them for a Cleveland Browns game, getting a firsthand taste of the ClubJACK experience. It was honored to be selected, & I was thrilled that my friend Marisa agreed to join me. We had such a fun day - & the Cleveland weather even cooperated!

What I Read in November

Sunday, December 1, 2019

I didn't read much in November, but I still finished four books - including two of my favorite reads of the year, which I'd say makes for a successful reading month.

Up next? I'm about to finish She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement - just in time to hear author & Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jodi Kantor speak at my work conference later this month!

As December begins, I know I won't come anywhere near my goal of reading 80 books by the end of the year - but hey, sometimes life gets in the way. It's been a good reading year, regardless of the numbers - & I hope to finish a few great ones to round out the year. Stay tuned!

In the meantime, here's what I finished in November:

I Get Knocked Down, But I Get Up Again

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

I come from an athletic family. My grandparents were hikers - they walked multiple miles every day, even into their 80s - & my mom, who was a swimming champion in her teens, is big into biking.

The most athletic among us, though, are her brother & his family. They're exercise people, you know? They run for fun. They do push-ups while watching TV. They travel with workout gear. One cousin has run races all over the world, & the other started a running group in Cincinnati, where she lives.

And me? I'm decidedly not an athlete.

To All the Medical Dramas I've Loved Before

Monday, November 25, 2019

Everyone's got a guilty pleasure... or two... or 10... & one of mine (aside from my deep & abiding love of The Bachelor & all related podcasts) is medical dramas.

I don't know why I love them so much; I'm not a big fan of blood or bones or bodily functions... but I do love over-the-top drama, & medical shows seem to have a lot of that. There's an endless opportunity for story lines because you can literally do anything with these fictional patients: Kid trapped in cement. Two people skewered together on a pole. A massive ferry boat crash. A helicopter that cuts off a doctor's arm.

VoilĂ ! So much drama for ever & ever - & that's not even counting the character drama among the doctors.

Do Good. For Cleveland. (Plus, My Video Debut!)

Friday, November 22, 2019

The beautiful inspiring, & compelling promotional video for #GivingTuesdayCLE dropped on Wednesday - & you may recognize a familiar face in there!

I'm honored to have been asked to take part in this effort to share the #GivingTuesdayCLE movement, which amplifies the voices of local nonprofits & encourage Clevelanders to donate their time, money, advocacy, & passion for organizations that are making a difference.

Here's the video, created by the talented folks at Anthony Thomas Advertising.

Six Months Later: A Check-Up, a Check-In, & a Few New Goals

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

In March, I wrote about how scared I am of going to the dentist’s office. It’s hard to believe that less than a year later, I’ve almost fully gotten over this longstanding fear – but I think I have!

In April, I went to the dentist for the first time in a whopping four years. Or was it five? I’m trying not to remember, honestly, because I’m not going back to that life. Nope. Now I’m a grown woman who gets my teeth cleaned every six months. Seriously. I’ve done it twice already.

I’ll pause while you pat me on the back.

Thank you, thank you.

Anyway. After that first visit, I shared my tips for being less nervous about dental appointments – including a few from my very personable, wonderful hygienist, Sandra at Hudec Dental’s Ohio City location. I’ve been taking my own tips to heart, & they’re working – because last month, I went back for my six-month cleaning & check-in, & I felt totally fine about it. Mostly I was just excited to see Sandra. Now that was an unexpected relief!

I Went to a Very-Uncharacteristic-of-Me Yoga & Meditation Retreat

Monday, November 18, 2019

Even though I now own three decks of affirmation cards, one tarot deck, & multiple crystals, I still don't consider myself into "woo-woo" things. At this point, I'm probably straight-up lying to myself, but you know what? Let me be.

Here's another extremely woo-woo thing for me to have done: At the end of October, I spent an entire Sunday in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, where I was one of a handful of women who participated in Good Karma CLE's RemembHER: A RemembHER Retreat.

It was "a day retreat designed to unearth our stories and reclaim our power; to dust off our bones and greet our truest selves; to release the weight of entombed expectations." And based on that very beautiful but also very vague description, I had almost no idea what to expect of the event.

It's OK Not to Be OK (But It Still Sort of Sucks)

Friday, November 15, 2019

I have not been OK.

I mean, let me back up: I am functionally OK. I am safe, & I am fed & clothed & dry & for all intents & purposes, I am healthy. Yes, even mentally. I am OK on all the fronts that really matter, overall.

But I am not exactly OK, you know?

Life feels really hard right now.

This year has been busier than any other year of my life. To be honest, I don't know exactly why that is, but it is.
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