The Blog

Do you have tact?
April 15, 2014

“You know I’d follow you to the ends of the earth.”

That was Katie’s way of saying tickets to a Fleetwood Mac concert wouldn’t enchant. That was my era, not hers.

But can you imagine a sweeter way of telling me? I can’t.

I was glad to take it off the list, then. Nothing spells stressfest -- or “bend over,” as Darrell would say -- like Ticketmaster.

But Billy Joel? At Madison Square Garden? That’s another story.

Watch for it, here. After the sting of the credit card statement wears off!

Nothing beats a good night of sleep to set the tone for a fun, productive day.

It starts with being exhausted the night before because you made the most of yesterday.

It continues with getting to bed in enough time to reflect on that as you drift off.

How do you make up?
April 10, 2014

makeup photoWhen I worked for a big company in the Kansas City office, one of the women asked how I got my makeup so perfect every time. The question surprised me, because she was like almost every other gal in that group. Stunning. We’re talking beauty pageant contestant gorgeous.

We were at an off-site seminar at the time, and the light in the bathroom where I got ready was garish. Bright, harsh, can’t-even-stand-to-look-in-the-mirror awful. So by the time you felt presentable in that light you looked pretty darned good everywhere else. It was the same light I had in my apartment, if memory serves -- hence the question.

Now granted, if you do a good job on your makeup people won’t realize you’re wearing it -- or it won’t be so noticeable they think to mention it.

But who am I kidding? I wear makeup. Sue me.

I’d forgotten the whole natural light thing during our home renovation. I’ve been doing dishes in the bathtub for six years. Having enough light to apply makeup in had slipped down the list of priorities. That is, until we holed up with Katie in her dorm room (oops! residence hall!) for a week while her roommate spent spring break elsewhere. The light in Katie’s bathroom leaves a lot to be desired -- until you feel presentable there. Then everywhere you go when you catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror you think, “Not bad!”

It strikes me how much of getting ready -- for the day, or for life -- involves learning, unlearning, and relearning.

Change the lighting, get so much more out of the time you spend getting ready.

Use your ring finger to blend eyeshadow or whatever it is and it’ll look so much softer and better -- and be so much gentler on your skin. I’d given Katie that tip years ago, and last summer she reminded me what a great one it was -- after I’d long forgotten it. Now it’s my routine once again. Thanks, kiddo!

I don’t where Katie learned about eyelash mites, but ever since she told me about them I’ve never not washed my face before turning in.

Kate’s always had a light touch when it comes to makeup. She’s a natural, so to speak. Add makeup artist to the seemingly endless list of careers she could excel at.

Meanwhile I’ll try to remember what I’ve already learned from her -- and from me!

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photo courtesy of Katie Anderson

WABCIn twenty-two years of radio work, I’d never seen anything like it. The control room at the WABC studios in New York almost brought me to my knees it was that impressive. And the room where the Don Imus show originates? The same.

We inhaled the aroma of the equipment as we followed our host -- who happens to be Geraldo’s sidekick -- out of those studios.

That’s when I thanked my lucky stars for the relatively modest studio where we record our show. It has something the others don’t -- a floor-to-ceiling window behind my perch. The window faces east, so sunlight streams in during those midday hours. It’s magnificent.

I need light. I need light more than I apparently need anything fancy in the way of props. The funny thing is, I never even thought to open the blinds in this place until we’d been working there for weeks. Before I did, it felt a little dumpy. Afterward? Not bad! That’s how important natural light is to me.

Next up, of all things -- makeup tips!

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photo courtesy of Katie Anderson

Darrell and Katie and I recently had three meetings in New York in the course of twenty-six hours.

Our hosts gave us their undivided attention for each one. We’re talking eye contact throughout, nobody on his phone, all the things that signal you matter.

It wasn’t until after we were on the elevator descending fifty floors in a building across the street from Rockefeller Center when it hit me. All three meetings had ended the same way, somewhat abruptly.

Each gentleman had stood up as a sign our time together was over. We’d wound down quickly. It wasn’t unfriendly. To the contrary. There were hugs -- and with the man whose net worth dwarfs Oprah’s, a selfie.

But these were meetings. In New York. With busy people. We had their attention, and now they needed to put that attention elsewhere.

It was a little jarring, being on the receiving end of it -- because in Minnesota you can easily spend forty-five minutes saying goodbye to someone you met with for only thirty minutes. That’s just how people seem to roll.

It was jarring, but I have a lot of respect for it.

Put your phone away, listen with your eyes. We’ll take care of business, and I’ll give you your day back!

You know how when you go to the doctor or dentist she often gives you something to relax so whatever it is doesn’t hurt as much?

A while back on one of those visits I relaxed so much I fell asleep. It wasn’t a deep sleep. It was so light, in fact, I realized I was asleep -- and I knew the whirring I heard probably wasn’t the equipment. It was me.

When I came to I was embarrassed at being caught snoring.

My doctor corrected me.

“You were purring,” he said.

Purring!

Can you imagine how many times we’ve smiled about that, since?

No matter how flat you make a pancake, as the saying goes, it still has two sides. This exchange makes me think no matter what’s happened, there’s always a way to frame it that makes you feel a little better about yourself.

Talk about healing.

“How old were you when you gave up on your dreams?”

I forget where I heard that question, but it haunts me. I think whoever posed it added most of us give up on our dreams in our fifties.

I felt like I was just getting started on the best part of my life the summer I turned fifty -- and I’ve had a heck of a lot of fun since then.

But the question remains: “Are you going to give up? And if so, when?”

If your dream is to take your college basketball team to the NCAA championship game pretty much singlehandedly, sure. There comes a time when that becomes impossible. You get your degree, you’re ineligible to play anymore, whatever.

Let’s change the definition of success, shall we? Let’s not decide the best part of life is behind us. Maybe our stories are only now starting to get interesting.

Let’s at least give ourselves that chance.

It might be fun. It might make you wonder what you thought success was.

“Does she have a thing for Dad?”

That was Katie’s question about an acquaintance of ours after a graduation party last spring. And yes, the woman she was talking about most definitely seems to have “a thing” for “Dad.”

What made Katie’s observation hilarious is that she’d spent all of about -- what? -- ninety seconds talking with the woman. She hadn’t met her until this party. And the gal was with her husband as she waxed smitten on “Dad.”

Some things you just know.

I wonder what kind of life I would’ve had if I would’ve trusted my instincts about people the way Katie does!