Despite the fact that my sister was homeschooled and my brother homeschools his daughters, I had a pretty cynical and smug attitude toward homeschooling (and to some extent, I still do). What I like about the authors of The Brainy Bunch: The Harding Family’s Method to College Ready by Age 12 is that they are committed to providing the best education for their kids and accelerating the kids’ learning as much as possible. This has resulted in 7 of their 10 kids going to college by the age of 12 and the other three on pace to do the same. Their children include a successful doctor, architect, and more. Their book (which you can buy here) is a fascinating description of how and why they did it, and how they avoided the pitfalls of creating sheltered kids with a limited worldview. I am interested in providing the best education possible for my child, and this book made me realize I have a lot more options than I used to think. Even if homeschooling is out of the question for your family, the Hardings show how to make the most of your time with your kids to help them foster their talents and interests. I think that’s something we should all support!
Just finished reading (and viewing) The Art of LEGO Design: Creative Ways to Build Amazing Models by Jordan Schwartz (No Starch Press). Nothing like a book about a toy to make me feel like I haven’t achieved enough! The models detailed in this book are incredible. It’s a gorgeous book with visuals on innovative uses of LEGO pieces and sets. My nephews (and I assume, one day, my son) are obsessed with LEGOs and have huge bins dedicated to the thousands of pieces they’ve accumulated over the years. Now that I finished the book, I’ve passed it on to them so they can put their skills to good use. I love the Wienermobile construction shown here. That’s my favorite image in the book. If you’re interested, check out the book and the other LEGO design books here.
I try to “Lean In.” I really do. I got a doctorate. I divide the domestic duties with my husband. I negotiate my pay to (hopefully) make as much as my male counterparts. But sometimes when I’m leaning, I lose my balance a bit.
The imbalance I experience isn’t from being poorly treated by men, catcalled by construction workers, or being asked to take on more housework. It’s from perpetual references I see on Facebook, Twitter, and aggregate news sites who refer to beautiful moms as “MILFs” and headlines that tell me that “all moms will shed a tear” when they see such-and-such video. And don’t get me started on this iCloud security breach.
I saw a headline today–that I didn’t click on–that said that whatever was in their article was “a working mom’s worst laundry nightmare.” Do working moms having lots of laundry nightmares of which I’m not aware? And why don’t working dads have the same laundry nightmares (or do they not have nightmares at all???)? Ok, so maybe it’s not fair that I didn’t read the actual article, but I see this type of headline a lot. Clickbait that usually includes a gender-based stereotype. It makes me cringe. Not as much as the video of Janay Rice in that fateful elevator, but still.
As the accompanying photograph suggests, I’ve got a lot going on professionally and personally, but the last thing I need is to worry about whether iCloud is secure enough to handle my extensive library of erotica (and, by the way, those pics weren’t “leaked,” they were stolen). So, ladies, take all the nudes you want, negotiate your pay like a man, and lean in for crissake, but don’t fall for the headlines that make you feel like you should have “laundry nightmares” or that you need to cry at a kitten trying to fit into an extra small box just because you have a vagina.
I met Don Most at a celebrity poker tournament last year in Los Angeles. I’m not really sure how I got lucky enough to be invited, but there were tons of fun people and I was like a kid in a candy store. I know when you’re in LA you’re supposed to play it cool and act like you’re not impressed by celebrities, but I can’t resist. When I met Don, I was bubbling over with excitement–he’s an American icon. I was surprised to see that Don was humble, sweet, and shy–nothing like his famous character, Ralph Malph. He was so kind and lovely towards me, and even allowed me to be his Facebook friend. I am thrilled that he let me interview him about his career, which now includes singing. Listen to the interview at the bottom of this post. Buy tickets to his shows below and watch a clip of his musical stylings here:
Having done seven seasons on MTV’s Road Rules and The Challenges, I know a thing or two about drinking. Most of the drinking on those shows is of the binge variety and not exactly geared towards advanced palates. On The Ruins, which filmed in Phuket, Thailand, a certain female cast member was drinking so much vodka (hidden in a water bottle) that they had to start dying the booze red so production would know who was drinking and how much. Ultimately, an outburst at the end of the season by a male cast member led to the banning of all hard liquor.
I was fine with this ban because I’m a wino. I never met a glass I didn’t like–well, that’s not true, I don’t drink that White Zinfandel crap since I’m yet to see a pink grape. Otherwise, I’m always up for diving into a nice glass of wine. Every so often, though, I get a hankering for a Bloody Mary. You hipsters aren’t the only ones who like to day-drink every once in a while. So below are my tips to a delicious BM, wait, that is an unfortunate abbreviation. Let’s just stick with the full phrase: Bloody Mary.
Some people swear by McClure’s famous Spicy Bloody Mary Mix, but it is not for the faint of heart. It’s sour, spicy, and sassy, and I love it. Unfortunately, it’s hard to find by my house, so I’m forced to work my magic with whatever the local wine store sells (yes, Pennsylvania still doesn’t sell wine in normal stores because of antiquated Blue Laws that make me hate Jesus).
To my mix I add a generous shot (or two) of Absolut Peppar Vodka, two splashes of Worcestershire sauce, a dash of Tabasco, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, and if I’m feeling particularly naughty, a bit of horseradish. My mouth is literally watering right now. Shake with ice and drink. Send me your recipes! I, like Sam Malone at Cheers, must perfect my Bloody Mary recipe, just in case I get into a fight with Gary from Gary’s Olde Town Tavern.
I love Ken Levine. He is clever, thoughtful, kind, and funny. After our first interview did not record correctly Ken not only agreed to re-record, but he allowed me into his lovely Los Angeles home to shower him with praise. His writing (along with that of his partner, David Isaacs) is dripping with brilliance. He wrote for M*A*S*H, Cheers, Frasier, Everybody Loves Raymond, and tons of other shows. He also has a blog, which you should subscribe to here, where he posts insightful and interesting material about show business and lots of other topics. His ability to produce quality content is unlike anything I have seen. Since he isn’t satisfied resting on his laurels he wrote a play, which will be out in the Fall at the Garry Marshall-owned Falcon Theatre in Burbank. Find ticket information here. I’m honored to know him. You’ll love him too. Follow him on Twitter here.
I first saw Todd Glass when I was working as the Marketing Director of the Pittsburgh Improv. He was on the video that preceded each show telling people proper etiquette while enjoying the comedy. I saw that video hundreds of times, and always laughed when he would instruct people to, “Laugh, shut up. Laugh, shut up.” Ever since, I have been a huge fan of his comedy, and was so impressed when he came out of the closet on the Marc Maron show two years ago. He now has a book called the Todd Glass Situation, which you can and should buy here. It is poignant and funny and is a great read for anyone who loves comedy or reading or living. Today I ask Todd about his coming out, his life in comedy, and what’s next for him. Follow him on Twitter: @toddglass and visit his website for tour dates and more info.
Dr. Oliver Bateman–Legal Historian at University of Texas at Arlington–lends his expertise by discussing the Hobby Lobby Supreme Court decision. Please excuse my clear exasperation and disdain for the decision. Click the video below to watch.
Recently I was a guest on Jim Krenn’s No Restrictions Podcast. We talked about Monica Lewinsky, the man with the world’s largest penis, and hard-hitting topics. Click on the title below to listen. Enjoy!
I filmed this last year, but just stumbled across it again (accidentally, on purpose). We talk all things Pittsburgh. It has almost as many views as that drunk guy who did a face plant at the Luke Bryan concert, so I’m pretty proud of that. Enjoy! Susie Meister with YaJagoff