When Life Gives You Lemons, Make It a Liz Lemon Night

For all of us, like Liz Lemon, who thought this was going to be our year and who now find ourselves discouraged that we couldn’t even make it a week, let’s sit back and enjoy this great scene from the opening episode of 30 Rock Season 2. After all, when life gives you lemons, that means it’s time for a Liz Lemon night. Because laughter and asking in a mock-Seinfeld voice, “What is the deal with my life?” make everything better.

Additionally, here’s a wonderful Jack/Liz moment from the end of this episode, while Liz is eating takeout food and sitting on the floor in her wedding dress (which she bought because it was on sale, even though she recently broke up with her boyfriend):

Jack: Good God, Lemon. What’s happened to you? l thought this was going to be your year.
Liz: l couldn’t even hold it together one week. l’m not you, Jack. l can’t have a heart attack and pretend like it never happened. l can’t break up with someone and immediately recover. l’m not you. l’m just me.
Jack: Lemon, don’t ever say you’re just you. Because you are better than you. And l am not going to let you give up. This is going to be our year. Now give me the ham.
Liz: l like the ham.
Jack: Come on.
Liz: $4,000 ham napkin. l look pretty, though, right?
Jack: Don’t push it, Lemon.

Straight No Chaser – 12 Days of Christmas

Every year on Christmas Eve, my extended family sings the 12 Days of Christmas. Each person sings one of the days, and every year we ask things like, “Wait…is it ten lords a-leaping or eleven lords a-leaping?” As a group, we’re generally tone deaf and sometimes miss our cues, but we have fun. And even though every year we say we hope we don’t have to sing this yet again, that pretending is just as much a part of the tradition as the song itself.

Though a few iPhone videos of our family’s rendition of the 12 Days of Christmas have been taken in recent years, I decided instead to share this hilarious and amazing version by Straight No Chaser. If you haven’t heard it yet, or even if you have, you simply must listen. It will make your night.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

Leading Lady of Your Own Life

Losing someone close to you can be an opportunity to rediscover that you are the leading lady (or gentleman) of your own life. When someone who has been a part of yourself leaves you, or your path diverges from theirs, or one of you changes so deeply that you can no longer occupy the same space in each other’s hearts, you can find a new kind of independence and freedom. It’s often painful, especially at first, but as they say, it’s always darkest before the dawn.

This scene from The Holiday reminds me not to see myself as “the best friend.” Even though there are amazing people in my life, I am not defined by them or overshadowed by them. We may have the providential blessing of sharing parts of our lives together, but if that chapter comes to a close, that’s all right because I am the leading lady in my story. Not him. Not her. Not them.

  • Disclaimer 1: I may be the leading lady, but God is the author, director, producer, casting director, etc. Roll credits now.
  • Disclaimer 2: I am not advocating carelessly throwing away relationships. On the contrary, relationships matter to me very deeply. That is why the loss of a precious one can be so painful, and sometimes so necessary.
  • Disclaimer 3: Some relationships, such as marriage, are meant to be lifelong, but even in that case, it’s important to remain oneself and not be wholly consumed by your partner. Though you are meant not to be parted until death, death will, in fact, part you.

Lady Gaga – Instrumental Playlist

I just wrote a blog post about why I write. Here’s a little sidenote on how I write.

I like to write to instrumental music because I find other people’s words to be distracting. Sometimes something classical hits the spot; Shostakovich’s Symphony 5 is one of my favorites. But this week, I’ve been writing (at work and these blog posts) to instrumental Lady Gaga. And it’s been awesome — lots of energy!

Because Who Is Perfect? Mannequins Modeled After People with Disabilities

I love watching this artist gently and painstakingly measure every part of these people’s bodies, taking care to understand every curve of spine or shortness of limb in order to recreate each detail exactly right. What the world would deem imperfect, this artist sees as beautiful. Beautiful enough to set a “standard of beauty,” since that is the way mannequins are typically viewed.

One of the women who had a mannequin modeled after her said in the video, “It is special to see yourself like this, when you usually can’t look at yourself in the mirror.”

I think we all want someone to know in intimate detail our imperfections (whether real or imagined, of the body or of the soul), and still see us as beautiful.

Photo from

Goo Goo Dolls – Bulletproofangel

Have you ever had a moment when you really needed something, and you weren’t sure what it was, but then a song gave exactly that “something” to you? That’s what this song did for me this weekend. I can’t explain it, and I don’t want to. That’s the magic of music.

She hears a secret choir
That sings for me and you.
You know I don’t believe her
But I say I hear them too.

Switchfoot – Faust, Midas, and Myself

“You could have your pick of pretty things
You could have it all, everything at once”

I woke up from my dream as a golden man…
And I began to scream, “I don’t think this is me
Is this just a dream or really happening?”

I wanted to wake up again without a touch of gold

What direction? What direction?
Life begins at the intersection

I woke up as before, but the gold was gone…
What was once routine was now the perfect joy