Cities, like people, get tagged with nicknames. Milwaukee has her share: Brew Town, Brew City, Cream City, City of Festivals and more. By no authority vested in me, I bestow one more nickname on Milwaukee: Moon Fun City. Moon Fun City is not completely logical—that’s part of the point. Milwaukee isn’t completely logical either. A major contradiction: The city’s population is shrinking but its sophistication is growing. A renaissance is happening here. Twenty years ago, Milwaukee had maybe two theater companies. Today, the city boasts more than a dozen. Foodies now flock (why must foodies always flock?) to Milwaukee’s trendy restaurants.
Continue reading Milwaukee Nicknames: My Kinda (Brew) Town
I started volunteering at Animal Haven, a shelter in Lower Manhattan’s SoHo, a few months after our Yellow Lab, Aimee, died of kidney failure. I figured I could get my “dog fix” without the full-time responsibility, without the drudgery of early morning and late night walks, without waiting for an elevator to ride down 18 floors and back up again three or more times a day. Kinda like getting the milk without having to buy the cow, or so I thought. I got my dog fix, all right. But I also began to really understand the plight of shelter animals. Did you know that . . . ?
Continue reading Spay or Neuter Pets to Keep Shelter Population Down
September has arrived and with it, the new television season. All my favorite shows that avoided cancellation are returning. My most favorite show of all is The Amazing Race.
In Season 21, all eyes will be on the team who wins the first leg of The Amazing Race. That team competes for two million dollars while the rest vie for just one measly million. I’m curious, how often has the team who won Leg
Continue reading The Amazing Race Season 21: Shanghai, China
Brené Brown’s book, Daring Greatly, looks under the hood of the human engine and reveals the vulnerability-shame cycle that drives us all. We all feel shame—it can’t be helped, Brené tells us. Shame is the fear that we are unlovable and that we don’t belong. People deal with this universal shame by withdrawing, becoming too eager to please, or lashing out aggressively to shame others. Daring Greatly dares us to go on a journey of self discovery. If we apply Brene’s tenets to our lives, we can deepen personal relationships, abandon stifling masks, and get along better at work. Her shame resilience tactics can help us when we are making big life changes or figuring out next steps—as I am now.
Continue reading Review: Daring Greatly by Brene Brown
Fact: fast-food restaurants over serve their customers. Knowing how many calories and how much sodium in each menu item when you approach the counter will help you navigate this minefield. I have eaten at McDonald’s exactly once in the last nine years, when a dental problem made eating painful. I got my hands on a vanilla milkshake and it was darn good. Prior to 2003, I saved visits to McDonald’s for severe weekday hangovers. Those hangovers were thankfully rare. I can’t say I will never eat at McDonald’s again, nor must I have the proverbial gun to my head to enter the golden arches. But I would have to have a severe shortage of options.
Continue reading Fast-Food Calories: What to Eat at McDonald’s or Burger King
I may have to walk into a McDonald’s and see what’s on the menu. Or at least, see how many calories are posted on the menu. McDonald’s announced that its 14,000 US restaurants will post the calories in its sandwiches, shakes, fries and other food or non-food products. The change will go into effect next week. The announcement may surprise people, but the decision is logical and smart.
The fast-food chain is already required
Continue reading McDonald’s Will Post Calories in Restaurants
We will always know it as the September 10th diet, but we stuck to it despite—or because of—how life changed the next day. By September 2001, I was fatter than I had ever been (no numbers, please!). I wore G’s discarded jeans every day because they were the only pants that fit. I had attempted to lose weight a few times, but I always caved at the slightest temptation. But by September 2001, G. was ready to join me in losing weight. He found this book, 32 Days to a 32 Inch Waist, and said this was the diet to try. I said I didn’t want a 32-inch waist, but since I needed some shared willpower, I went along.
Continue reading Sticking to a Diet: Find the Willpower
A great, inexpensive Mexican restaurant with locations in the East Village, Chelsea and TriBeCa. Almost every Friday night back in the day, my friends and I ate at Mary Ann’s because it was cheap, the margaritas were good, and it was across the street from another favorite location. When my husband G. came into my life a few years later, I brought him to Mary Ann’s for the first time. Far be it from me to test a new boyfriend, but he and I had a date planned. Then my crazy friends called and suggested we all meet at Mary Ann’s. I knew that bringing G. along would be a test of compatibility, to see how he interacted with my closest friends in my new city. Passed with flying colors, he did.
Continue reading East Village or TriBeCa, Try Mary Ann’s for Mexican
Before I moved to New York, I moved to a new apartment every year. I’ve settled down since—just eight apartments in the last twenty years. I have learned a thing or two about packing along the way. Follow my hard-earned practical packing tips to minimize the inevitable stress when you move: Before a single cardboard moving box enters your home, purge your unused or unwanted possessions. Better to toss on the packing end than on the unpacking end. As you unpack, you will look at old, chipped stuff in your clean, new home and wonder— why on Earth?
Continue reading A Mover’s Guide: Practical Packing
“In a way, every story with Paris at its heart is a love story.” –Kati Marton Paris, the City of Light, is a complex, romantic, and sometimes turbulent city. I’ve only been to Paris once, but Kati Marton has spent a lifetime absorbing the city’s nuances. After reading her memoir, I want to re-visit Paris and walk the streets of the city Kati writes about so vividly. Paris: A Love Story is about Kati’s three loves: husbands Peter Jennings and Richard Holbrooke, and the city of Paris itself. Richard Holbrooke, Barak Obama’s special adviser on Afghanistan and Pakistan, died suddenly in December 2010. Kati’s grief for her beloved husband is woven throughout the book, even when the memoir takes us to life before Richard: her childhood in Hungary, her youthful exuberance as a student in Paris, and her earlier marriage to ABC anchorman Peter Jennings.
Continue reading Paris: A Love Story by Kati Marton