Category: Midwest is Best

On Finding a Voice

I have a tendency to slip into foul language when little people are asleep. It’s the side effect of a past life working in the restaurant business where half the employees never escape a room below 110 degrees and only hear the words: “You screwed my order up again” as the nearest thing to praise.…

On the Meaning of Chex Mix…

My sudden craving for Worcestershire sauce-and-butter- encrusted cereal is a hint about my heritage. Maybe in techno-America, the idea of “heritage” is almost obsolete, except that it isn’t. My iPhone 3G will be nostalgia in a year or two, so hearkening back to the “old days” of baking Chex Mix with my sisters for the…

Dinner’s Ready!

I had a revelation whilst reading a recipe suggestion from my friend Jeannie today. Midwestern recipes seem to always involve spraying a pan with Pam and sprinkling Durkee Fried Onions. We’ve been revamping our eating as you might guess to make things a bit more family friendly. Suggestions for dinners have been very “bake and…

Garrison Keillor’s Voice

“You can’t imagine how much a dead man weighs.” – What the grandfather of Gabriel Garcia Marquez often told him. Quoted from “A Writer’s Almanac”, March 6, 2009. I’ve gotten quite taken with the sound of Garrison Keillor’s voice on my Honda Fit speakers. His Lake Wobegone days are too sentimental for me most of…

A Midwestern Crossing

Photographer David Ottenstein Stops Time in Iowa The last thing I expected to see when I went to a gallery meetup at the Ridgefield Guild of Artists on Saturday was HOME. The Radius 2008 Exhibition featured the best of their emerging artists from the last 10 years, and one of those was photographer David Ottenstein,…

Old Boyfriends Die Hard

Or… How to Not Feel Bad When an Ex Won’t Friend you On Facebook Here’s the story about a really OLD boyfriend of mine (a-long-time-ago OLD, not practically-dead OLD) that I think most of you will like. It’s kinda long, but I don’t think bullet points are appropriate, so suck it up. His name isn’t…

Home, Here and There

Whenever I stop myself from trying too hard and whenever I look and see what it is I am searching for, it Is almost certainly the long, wide flat spaces of home, the first. It is easy enough to reason away life in the mid-hinterlands. How can I ever get the culture or the speed…

The Simple Life

Straightforwardness and simplicity are in keeping with goodness. — Seneca Colin and I went to Oconomowoc, Wisconsin this weekend for our friend, Andy’s, ordination. Andy is married to Aimee, my best friend. Aimee and I were maid/matrons of honor at each other’s weddings. After years in London and our life now on the hectic East…

WSHU – A “Very Special Fundraiser”

Interrupting my A.M. snoozing time/Morning Edition listening hour this morning was Kate Remington of WSHU’s classical music morning telling me that she’d gotten to work early this morning for “a very special fundraiser.” Memorial Day weekend marked our one year anniversary back in the U.S., our return to National Public Radio. I love NPR. I…

The Bluest Water

Colin and I like to travel a lot. When we were overseas, you could find us in a foreign country on any given weekend. Our latest adventure, to the Dominican Republic, was thanks to my brother-in-law Jay and my sister Mary. This was their trip, and they asked us to come along. Mary and I…

Why Brett Favre is So Great

Or… The Lost Art of Playing Games Brett Favre is retiring from football. Brett Favre is also stepping down, out of the limelight. He is relinquishing his role as one of the few people left to look up to in sports. It was something he took seriously. There are more than few people we can…

Postcard from Kansas

If you’re wondering where people go when they don’t update their blogs for a few days, it might be Kansas. It might be to visit old friends. To stop and sit on a sofa, holding a fussy baby and wonder “Is this what is meant by vacation?” It might be that time you spend, stopping…

Amsterdam in Three Days

AmsterdamClick above to view Photos At the last minute, Colin and I decided we couldn’t leave Europe without a trip to Amsterdam. This is the sort of trip that makes me wonder about all those OTHER places I haven’t seen yet: what IF? What if I am missing out on the place of my dreams?…

Home for the Holidays

When you go back home, it isn’t quite the same. I drove by 4245 Wyoming today. It was still brick and stucco and the porch that was all mine was still there. Yet it was like an amputated body part, lifeless and still, in the wet December rain. You cannot go back, I think. Even…