Who are You?

images-2In my day job, I’ve been doing a lot of reading recently about personality styles and response traits. What makes one person respond one way and another a different way? Same circumstances. Different responses.

So, of course, I started to think about me and how I respond to things. A memory comes to me. I’m in the sixth grade and I’m eleven. It’s winter. I finished swim practice (Lake Erie Pepsi Cola Swim Team; freestyle, back and breast strokes). It’s six thirty p.m. and very dark outside. I am standing waiting for my mom to pick me up. Everyone comes and goes, and then I’m the only one left. They lock the building and I’m standing there, with wet hair, freezing. And, I wait. I have no coins for the pay phone; cell phones aren’t even an idea in some smart person’s head yet.

I’m not sure how long I wait. But in the end, I start walking and trudge home with frozen hair crackling and tears running down my face. Maybe it’s a mile. I would like to say it was five miles, but that would be a lie, so we’ll say a mile.

Here is what I realized. There were alternatives. Walk up to a house on the way home and ask to use their phone? Jeffrey Dahmer was not on anyone’s radar back then. Stop a car and ask for a ride? Wait? Eventually, with my big mouth missing from our family dynamic, someone would have realized I wasn’t there, right? But I chose walking myself home. I don’t remember weighing any alternatives. Mom not there. I’m freezing. Walk home. Would others weigh the alternatives and then decide which was the best course for them in that moment? These are questions that keep me up at night.

Basically nothing’s changed. I live alone contentedly. Run my own company. Very independent. Rarely ask for help, not because I’m the martyr type, but rather, it just never occurs to me. I sort of like that about me. Let me tell you what I didn’t like way back then. When I arrived home that night fifty years ago, no one thought it was such a big deal. “Oh sorry, we forgot.”

Halloween Decorations


I have to move. I have come to realize over the past few years that you must surround yourself with people who elevate you, who make you feel good about yourself, your accomplishments, and your potential. This doesn’t mean you should never be challenged by friends, co-workers, and acquaintances who may outshine you; but the distance between you cannot be akin to the miles between the sun and the moon.

But I’ll come to the

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Lobsters and Me

As is our phone custom, my beloved Aunt Molly and I were catching up on nothing important, when her doorbell rang and her neighbor dropped off two lobsters, fresh off the boat.

“Two lobsters?” I said. “Are you having someone for dinner?”

“No,” she replied. “I’ll cook them both, eat one of them tonight, and then the other tomorrow.”

“In a sandwich?”

“Yes, that is the best part. Lobster sandwich.”

“Really?” I said. “So you

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My Friend Lorie

May I take a moment to tell you about my friend Lorie? She has known me a very long time. Since college. Neither of us has done anything remarkable really. She stayed in Nebraska after college and I came east, so I guess the most remarkable thing about us is that we have stayed friends all these years—best friends, really—without having much in common in our day-to-day lives, beliefs, or interests. Oh, there were years

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Donald Trump's Fifteen Minutes of Fame

I am so sad about our country and the discourse around the presidential election coming before us in a short year and a few months. These are serious times, and all I see in the media is that which is beneath the discourse I’m hoping to hear.

So, of course, in my typical fashion, I go to the screen.

Here is the fabulous speech for The American President, written by the great Aaron Sorkin, and

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Those who know me well know that I’ve wanted to get a tattoo for a long time. If I were allowed to blog about fabulous daughter Sarah, I would say that she made it very clear that if I got a tattoo my motherhood status would sink to zero. Since I never wanted her to dye her hair and she hasn’t, I have steered away from the parlors that beckon.

When asked what I want

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Father's Day is Over

It’s over. Thank God. It’s the second Father’s Day without my dad, but this one was awful. Not that I spent many Father’s Days with my dad, or even sent a gift. It was a phone call holiday and often rushed. But with everyone posting this and that about their fabulous fathers, I felt lost.

So here it is. A day late, and for sure a dollar short, because I never said anything kind to

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Return to Normandy. Colonel John J. Wessmiller's Story

Through my podcast, Screen Thoughts, in which Emily O’Toole and I (using the alias, Justine Hollister) talk about all things on the screen, I was invited to a rough cut screening of Return to Normandy, a short film about Colonel John J. Wessmiller’s return to Normandy, more than seventy years after he landed there on D-Day. You all remember D-Day—we learned about it in high school. We learned the date when it took place, that

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Kayla Mueller


There are those that travel parallel roads to ours that show us another way – a singular lifetime dedication toward helping others. Kayla Mueller was one of those people. When I read her letter to her family, I realized I’d heard the sentiment before. Anne Frank wrote much of the same.

“In spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart. I simply can’t build up my hopes on a foundation

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Brian Williams & You & Me


I really like Brian Williams. He’s very cute. His daughter, Allison, reminds me of my fabulous daughter about whom I’m not allowed to blog. He’s very funny. I especially like him on David Lettermen. The two of them combined are like what you want your dad to be. When I heard last week about his demise – his fall from grace surrounding his exaggeration of his exposure to danger in the middle east – I

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