The Good: Vol. 5

It's Friday! That right there is some good news! Well, good news for people who "work outside the home" and less newsy for people who "spend their days at home in sweatpants in front of a computer waiting for a decent hour to make nachos." But I did have a busy week (and no nachos), so, I'm going to allow myself some excitement about it being Friday.

So, what's been good this week?

1. Auditions started for our 5th Listen To Your Mother Twin Cities show! That means that I've been able to spend a lot of time with my friend and co-producer, Galit, listening to stories. It really doesn't get much better than that. In honor of that, I'm sharing one of our funniest stories to date. You may have seen it here before but it never gets old (at least for me). 

2. Lisa Page Rosenberg is doing a happiness series of her own over at her blog. I was catching up on it when I saw her post on learning new things. She suggested learning to draw a bird and I mentioned that I'd like to learn to draw a fox and she sent me a link to a video on drawing a little fox. And then I drew one! Is it the best fox? No. Am I quitting my day job as Eater of Nachos to pursue "my art?" No. Did it make me happy? It did. I think she's onto something - maybe we should all learn to do something new. (Here is my fox with a complimentary shadow of my big head.)

3. Over the weekend, in St. Louis, a Jewish ceremony was vandalized. Over 170 tombstones were knocked over and/or damaged in an act of pure hate. Two American Muslim activists then started a fundraiser to help pay for the needed repairs and restoration. The message on the fundraising page was this:

Through this campaign, we hope to send a united message from the Jewish and Muslim communities that there is no place for this type of hate, desecration, and violence in America.

To date, they have raised over $125,000 and, in the process, restored a tiny bit of my faith in humanity.

4. Last Friday, the kids were home from school and wanted to bake something. Their past baking endeavors have yielded mixed results and, at times, have caused epic fights. So, when they ask, I generally want to say "no." I didn't, however, and much to my surprise they cooperated and made these incredible cupcakes from scratch. Vanilla sponge cupcakes with fresh ginger buttercream frosting and a chocolate ganache drizzle. They also cleaned up after themselves. Amazing.

5. I grew up listening to classic country music. We listened to Loretta Lynn, Conway Twitty, Tammy Wynette, George Jones, Waylon and Willie and yes - Dolly Parton. As a kid, I loved Dolly because she had a great sense of humor and didn't seem to take herself too seriously, which is rare in celebrities specifically and people in general. As I got older, I came to appreciate her self-acceptance, her support of the LGBT community, and her talent as a song writer.  I don't listen to Dolly's music but I do listen to Brandi Carlile, who is releasing an album of artists covering her songs for charity. Dolly Parton is one of those artists and just happens to be singing one of Brandi's greatest hits (and one of my favorite songs) - The Story. For me, it's like my past colliding with the present. Plus, it's always interesting to hear artists interpret the work of others. I can't seem to embed the video here so head over to Vevo and give it a listen

Happy Friday! It's nacho time!