Pass the Donuts


After convincing friends Tony and Sheryl of my crush on Chicago playwright Tracy Letts, we caught a Royal George Theater production of his play “Superior Donuts” yesterday. I’m happy to say that they were equally charmed with Letts’ story by the time the cast took their curtain call. Sure, I give props to Letts’ Tony Award-winning “August, Osage County,” but the Donuts story — about the unlikely relationship between a young kid and the despondent donut shop owner – exemplifies, in my opinion, magical storytelling. And, what’s not to like about indulging a donut craving without ingesting a single calorie?

Be Still My Heart …


I do believe that I’m now officially a codgerette, having consulted my first cardiologist in pursuit of a diagnosis for some heart irregularities, but I also believe my second EKG was iffy because I’ve got an adorable, young cardio guy with dimples whose reading favorites include murder mysteries by Jonathan and Faye Kellerman. Since my McDreamy’s going to be looking out for my heart in the foreseeable future, I must be respectful of his training and experience, but having a little eye candy when I show up for good or bad news makes for a perfect appointment, don’t you agree?

Of Politics and Cupcakes

cafe Nordstrom

Friend Susan called it an unlikely meeting place for progressive Democratic women, but Café Nordstrom proved an ideal venue for Julie, Laurel, Pat and I to discuss the state of women in Illinois politics and why females need more power in Springfield a few weeks back. Surrounded by ladies who lunch and take tea, we fit right in. The food was yummy and the conversation lively. This was my first Café Nordstrom visit. I’d go back to discuss political and nonpolitical subjects any day – but next time, I’m saying “Yes” to the nonpartisan chocolate cupcakes in the display case.

Cliff’s Notes


When kids act out, responsible parents send them to their rooms and make them stay put until they admit to wrongdoings. When juries can’t agree, judges sequester panels until they reach consensus. Can’t somebody please sequester Congress until they agree on a fiscal cliff plan? Put ‘em in a big room — the floor of either house. Ask everyone to bring PJs and lock them in ‘til it’s a done deal. Sure, tight quarters could bring some to blows, but let them have at it. Eventually, everyone will grow so weary of take-out food, they are bound to yell, “Uncle [Sam]!”

The Whole Tooth


It came as no surprise when one dentist diagnosed a root canal and the other confirmed it. Some people celebrate the New Year by jumping into icy waters, signing on with Jenny Craig or buying a gym membership. I begin new years with a freakin’ dental procedure. Apparently, God doesn’t want me to end my 10-year relationship with the folks kind enough to give me interest-free financing on my work. Call me quirky, but it’s comforting to know that I’ll start off 2013 exactly as I have in years past: Staring into the eyes of a dude wielding a drill.

New Year’s Resolutions


I always include the same two items when I write up my New Year’s Resolutions: Write more; eat less. Sure, I recall the past and how I lusted after buckets of money, a romance so remarkable, I’d be too exhausted to face another and the usual list of pricey possessions. But tucked amid Resolutions du Annee were always my top two: food and words. Both have gotten me into big trouble. Both scare me for different reasons and perhaps that’s why they intrigue me so. Maybe I’ll pay homage to both on my tombstone: “She ate. She wrote. She died.”

Families As Quilts …

The kids

Grandson Ryan attends an evangelical church because that’s his mom’s faith and in the eyes of Judaism, his father’s religion doesn’t count. Grandson Jareth considers himself a super Jew and has a Star of David tattoo and collection of Israeli hip-hop music to prove it, but his son Westley would have to convert if he decides to practice ‘cause his mom’s Christian and lineage emanates with mothers in our culture. Great-grand Akira is my most exotic offspring: Her dad’s Muslim, her mom’s Jewish and her name is Japanese. Diversity? I don’t have to look outside my family to find it.

Well, That Explains a Lot


According to the Boston Globe, Mitt Romney didn’t want to be president. Now you tell us. What if the guy had been elected? Would he have phoned in his countenance? For a party painting itself as ultra conservative, there are some strange birds in the flock. Sarah Palin couldn’t get enough attention. Like the ubiquitous Jesse Jackson, she showed up whenever a camera clicked on. Now son Tagg says Mitt is attention-averse and would have welcomed anyone else stepping up to the plate. So, why not pay someone to step in, Mitt? It’s not like you don’t have the cash.


If It’s December, It Must be January


I watched clerks cram over-sized plastic storage boxes onto store shelves yesterday, even though holiday trim has yet to be placed on the altar of the closeout gods. The calendar says December, but it’s January in Retail Land. Having worked in the giftware/holiday industry for decades, I get it – which is why I don’t bat an eyelash when I spot Dollar Store clerks unpacking Valentine’s Day hearts and plush even before last-minute Christmas shoppers purchase their first gift. It’s odd — but typical of our peculiar brand of holiday celebrating style. Wait! Did I just see a sequined Easter bunny?

The Last Supper


I question the barbaric practice of giving prisoners on death row a “last meal” of choice. What’s the point? Who wants to lie on a gurney awaiting a needle or sit in an electric chair with a horrific case of heartburn? That stated, I decided on a last meal for myself as an homage to the Mayans. Hannibal Lecter may prefer a nice Chianti and fava beans with his main course, but I’m going for nachos, Pino Grigio and chocolate chunk ice cream. It won’t be the first time I have regrets the morning after I believed someone else’s malarkey.