I am a middle-aged underemployed freelance writer and editor living in DC and NYC. Also a lapsed lawyer and policy wonk who bakes a lot, is neurotically organized, and likes Campari.

On Interview with a One-Time "Betty Crocker Homemaker of Tomorrow"

@iceberg I no longer have grandmothers (or, sadly, my mother) but this reminds me of a time some years ago when my mom, her sister (my aunt) and I spent an afternoon with my great Aunt Winnie, my grandmother's sister, who was in her late 90s.

She regaled us with stories of how she and my grandma came from County Sligo to the US on a boat. On impulse, they decided to go all the way to Michigan, instead of disembarking in Canada as planned, because of some fun people on the boat.

Technically, they were illegal immigrants and a fellow they met at the Gaelic League turned them in (somehow they worked it out and stayed). But I vividly remember her saying, in her still-thick brogue, still deeply annoyed after many decades, "I'd never trust a Kerry man after that!"

Related: Saturday I am going to my husband's grandmother's 100th birthday party...

Posted on June 13, 2013 at 2:48 pm 7

On "Passion" and the Three Economists

@Gulf of Finland You are so right. Been there, done that (literally), wish I hadn't.

Posted on May 10, 2013 at 12:47 pm 0

On "Passion" and the Three Economists

@lucia_engel I'm an Old and I love this blog. I completely agree with Newport's philosophy with respect to passion (ie, that it should not be your focus with respect to work).

I have cycled through a couple of fields/careers and am about to go to grad school (again) to acquire the skills I need to get the kind of job I now want. Not a "dream job," but a job that is stable and pays a decent salary, that I won't bring home with me every day, and that will enable me to pursue interests outside of work.

In my experience, thinking about what you want your day-to-day life to be, and trying to reverse-engineer that toward a job/career that makes it possible, is a good way to go.

Posted on May 10, 2013 at 12:42 pm 0

On Friday Open Thread

@charmcity This came across in an email newsletter today and it looks GOOD: http://www.thekitchn.com/cocktail-recipe-pineapple-amp-ginger-mint-juleps-recipes-from-the-kitchn-188554

Posted on May 3, 2013 at 4:32 pm 1

On Imagining What You Think Is the Unimaginable

@quamquam vivit I agree, and I think it's helpful to try to cut people some slack when they are expressing sympathy, it's so easy to get it wrong.

When my mother died last year after a hideous illness, a lot of well-meaning people said and did stuff that would have really pissed me off had I not been completely spent by everything that had happened. But I was able to let it go and even understand afterward, even though these are not usually among my strengths (quite the reverse), because I realized that people cared and were just trying to be helpful. I never would have expected that I would be able to do this.

I'm trying to preserve this feeling over time, as a tribute to my mother and her strength and patience (which I did not properly appreciate for far too long).

Posted on April 17, 2013 at 1:51 pm 4

On Friday Open Thread

@terrific This is a good time for me to chime in and thank all of the Pinners who encouraged me last FOT to go ahead and adopt Meatball, a large elderly cat. I did and it is working out great, he (a bit chunky) is getting more exercise in my stair-filled house and is unfazed by my other cat's drama (which has thankfully been minimal).

Posted on April 12, 2013 at 5:48 pm 7

On Friends' Relationships, Sex, and the Ones Who Get Halfway Away

@allofthewine @themegnapkin I think this is a "Girls" allusion

Posted on April 12, 2013 at 2:29 pm 2

On A Big Book-y Post

@missupright You guys, why did you hate Gone Girl? I have not read it yet but it is on my list and I'm wondering whether the list needs revision.

Posted on April 10, 2013 at 5:39 pm 0

On Friday Open Thread

@laurel He has been checked out recently and is healthy though a bit overweight (his name is Meatball!). My other cat is 9. I was planning on a middle-aged cat along the lines recommended by @LeafySeaDragon, and I know that makes sense, but something about this cat just clicked. I love animals and had been overwhelmed by all of the cats at all of the shelters, but this one seems perfect for my situation and my situation (house with stairs, lots of toys, time for exercise/play, will monitor food closely) seems right for him.

Posted on April 5, 2013 at 5:17 pm 0

On Friday Open Thread

@raised amongst catalogs leftover chicken barley soup...but also cocktails!

Posted on April 5, 2013 at 5:11 pm 0