w.l.s. – kill your inner heckler



Ten years ago, in the midst of chemo for breast cancer, I struggled to find joy and laughter. Hence we went to a lot of unmemorable stand-up comedy. But there was this one guy, super schlumpy, oily, cruddy teeth, a large belly, a funny little fedora, a t-shirt that forgot its job was to dress a human not a mattress, super smart and hilarious. Eddie Pepitone stayed with me. Yes, because I laughed a lot, but also because he hit some really hard truths about the way we treat ourselves.

I wish I was you,” he says to the audience early in. “I wish I was you because I am told that I am so funny and I can’t enjoy it. To me it just my horrific life that I am giving to you. But for you, this is terrific!

And it was. At the end of his 25 minutes or so he talked about how he’s always heckled and he got to thinking, what would it be like if the heckler really knew him, knew his tender spots. Then he put down his mic and stepped into the audience to heckle himself. It was funny. And then it was hard:

Why do you eat pastry in the middle of the night?
Napoleons are daytime food!
You never floss!
Why the hell are you such a slob?
Why doesn’t your mother love you?
You never lived up to your potential!

The audience got quiet. We were witnessing someone in pain. I mean, it was a performance, but it also felt real. And, the thing was, everyone has some part of that pain, right?

Everyone in the room got it. I think that getting it, recognizing it, made us all recast our inner critic as a crummy heckler. Someone we don’t have to listen to. Some voice that’s just trying to ruin our fun.


We’ve been watching WeCrashed and so far, it’s a lot of fun. First off, Jared Leto is terrific. I can’t believe how much he morphs from role to role. Here he is in “Dallas Buyers Club” and “House of Gucci” and “WeCrashed.”

Anne Hathaway as Rebekah Neumann is great as well. We’re only three episodes in and though some reviewers say it gets repetitive, we can’t attest to that… yet.

The third episode, in which we get Rebekah’s backstory, is an exhibition in time manipulation–skipping around with jump cuts, fade-ins and fade-outs, using setting as a bridge to the past, revealing the long arms of pain … I’m going to use the episode as a sample in the workshop I’m teaching on SPRING FORWARD, FALL BACK, TIME IN PROSE. If the workshop sounds interesting to you, check it out, I’d love to be in the zoom room with you.


Jon Batiste’s new album won the Grammy for Album of the Year because, well, it’s fantastic. His joy is infectious!


This guy clearly does NOT have an inner heckler. Here’s a great interview with him on PBS NewshourAt one point the interview asks about his song, “We Are,” saying that in America today people don’t see much WE. Batiste responds:

In schools, hospitals, community centers, across the country,

there is a lot of we. There is a lot of good that goes unnoticed.

There can be a lot more good.And, I’m just getting started.


Check these videos when you need a joy-burst in your day: FREEDOM, & WE ARE, & I NEED YOU


Feel like instagramming your food is a bit ridiculous? You aren’t alone. Sit down, put your phone away, and enjoy the meal —

Pancakes are a snack, right? I made these from THE SMITTEN KITCHEN COOKBOOK the other day, and honestly, they were very snack-worthy! I can’t really call them pancakes, they were more pansconecakes. I’m sorry. I was so excited to eat, I forgot to take a photo. (Thanks, IKEA, for giving me a pass!)

If/When you make these, don’t be deterred by the paste-consistency of the batter. It won’t pour into the pan you must plop it in and then press with the back of a spoon. Next, insert as many freshly washed blueberries as will fit into each little hill of batter.

Blueberry and Sour Cream PanSconeCakes

  • 1 lg. egg
  • 1 c sour cream
  • ¼ t vanilla extract
  • 2 T sugar (I left this out, I mean, syrup, right?)
  • ¼ t table salt
  • ¾ c whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • Butter, for pan
  • pint of blueberries, washed

1. Preheat your oven to 250 degrees

2. Whisk the egg, sour cream, vanilla, and sugar together in the bottom of a large bowl.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the salt, flour, baking powder, and baking soda.

4. Fold dry ingredients into wet, mixing until just combined and still a bit lumpy.

5. Heat your skillet to medium-low. A cast-iron skillet is my favorite to use for pancakes but if you don’t have one, just use your heaviest skillet for best browning. Melt a pat of butter in the pan, and spoon in ¼ cup batter at a time, leaving at least 2 inches between pancakes.

6. Push blueberries into each pansconecake, I used about 6-8 depending upon the size of the berries.

7. When the pancakes are dry around the edges and you see bubbles forming on top, after about 3 to 4 minutes, flip.

8. Cook for 4-5 minutes, until the pancakes are golden brown on the underside and the blueberries are nicely caramelized. If they’re browning too quickly, lower your heat. Transfer the pancakes to a plate in your warm oven  and keep them warm until you’re ready to serve w/more butter and maple syrup


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Please, remember to tell your people you love them. (Even if they are hairy, wet, and in need of a bath!)
Happy Living!xN