F**king Halloween

To the victims of Hurricane Sandy, my thoughts and prayers are with you.  Forgive me for this stupid post: I hate Halloween.  My husband would be quick to say ‘hate’ is a strong word.  Yeah, well, f**k that.  Costumes for at least two of my three children are the bane of my existence.  I don’t sew.  Neither ‘artsy’ nor ‘craftsy’ is my middle name.  (It’s Michelle or Michele – can never remember how to spell it.)  I do the best I can with felt and Elmer’s glue, and visiting every Target in the … [Read more...]

St. Patrick’s Day: proud to be Irish

I consider myself a redhead still, despite the gradual fade to blonde two weeks after the dye job, notwithstanding the natural gray that comes out of my follicles.  I was a towhead until I was seven or eight, then strawberry for five years after that, but for the next twenty-five years, whenever asked to put down hair color, I always scribbled in ‘red’.  Together with my last name – Egan – I was telling the world I was Irish and proud of it. May you always have walls for the winds, a roof … [Read more...]

Thursdays in the kitchen with Jo: Shepherd’s Pie for St. Patrick’s Day

I’m proud to be Irish but I’ve never really embraced the cuisine like I do Italy’s or Mexico’s.  There are specific items in Ireland’s culinary cupboard that I love – potatoes, for one – but not a lot of dishes that I regularly put together.  Despite a growing number of well-known Irish chefs – Rachel Allen among them – few of us ever say “Let’s go out for Irish tonight.”  On St. Patrick’s Day, however, it’s worth giving the Emerald Isle her due when it comes to answering the question, “What’s … [Read more...]

The New Year’s Eve post: news, books, movies, music, television, and life

It’s the very end of 2011.  Thoughts?  I have several. Busy, busy, busy.  Soccer, writing, and mothering consumed all my waking hours after I finally moved past the January shooting rampage in Arizona and my outrage over guns.  There was little time in the day to contemplate a Japanese earthquake and tsunami beyond “Isn’t it horrible?” and “Didn’t this happen last year in Chile?”  Fortunately, YouTube took care of our emotions, showing us the worst of Mother Nature, while Twitter and Facebook … [Read more...]

Insane (or maybe just average) courage

The husband and I did the dead wife double feature this week.  “The Descendants” left me sad and somewhat empty; “We Bought a Zoo” less so.  In the former, daughters saying good-bye to their comatose mother wrecked me.  In “…Zoo”, she was already gone and we were left with the father finding and fighting his way back, albeit in unconventional ways.  Both films succeeded in shoring up my resolve for the new year, a belief that taking chances regularly is necessary, not only because you never know … [Read more...]

Midnight Mass and other great ideas

Christmas morning, when I was a child, was about as magical as they come until…we had to leave for church.  Walking away from the presents, the toys, the fire, the Christmas music - to get dressed and head to Our Lady of Grace was about as good a way to ruin the holiday as any.  My siblings and I hated mass as much as the next kid and maybe even more.  It wasn’t that we didn’t appreciate the birth of Jesus; we placed Him carefully in the crèche every year.  The Christ child wasn’t the problem.  … [Read more...]