Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Renovations Underway

It's been an amazing couple of weeks: I flew to Virginia Beach to connect with a famous family (who blew away all my preconceptions about how and who they'd be), and took a train to Princeton University to speak to some awesome students (and watched with happy surprise as a bunch of college seniors--men!--carried off copies my book with the girly pink cover. My new literary motto? Real Men Read Pink!) THAT DOG has either lost her hearing or is faking it astoundingly well (which might be sad but has created a great game where we can sneak up from behind and surprise her) and I'm in the kickoff phase of launching my next book, A MAZE OF GRACE: A MEMOIR OF SECOND CHANCES, which comes out in June.

In the midst of this, I'm plotting a fun overhaul of the digs here at Trish's Dishes...pulling together videos of some of my talks on relationships & spirituality, and some new material for here & over at my website. It won't take long, but for the next few days, please excuse the sounds of demolition, construction, and (of course) redecorating! If you're looking for me, I'll be the one wearing the Ann Taylor hard hat :)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

ITSERA--Freedom By Design

I'm off on another adventure tomorrow! I get 5 hours on the train (which to me means "writing retreat!") and then time with my friend A.J. who you'll meet in my next book.

And I'll be meeting the amazing woman in this video (can you believe she's a college student?), hearing about the organization she started, and talking with some of her friends about how our big dreams in life intersect with questions of faith and love. (If we can fit in a conversation about the Olympics, we'll have all my favorite topics covered...)

Check it out:

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Go For The Gold: Create Your Own Olympics!

How do I love the Olympics? Let me count the ways!

I'm a total Olympic dork, from the opening ceremonies (even though that whole bit with the kid flailing in the air over the plains for 20 minutes was a bit strange) to every random ice & snow event those athletes come up with. It's bizarre, actually, given how I hate being cold, was a total skiing fiasco (the term "yard sale" was coined just for me), and never quite had the balance to skate without falling (although I blame my parents for this: they had us learn to skate on my older brothers' hockey skates...which were made in 1942...with no ankle support...on a pond that might or might not have been all the way frozen. Granted, the water was only 5-6 inches deep beneath the ice, but we didn't know that! Just imagine what feats of Olympic greatness might have happened had our little ankles been stable and our little minds been free of the terror of the deep?!?)

I've been cheering across national borders for the past two days, celebrating with teary eyes along with a Canadian mogul skier, a Dutch speed skater, and the Chinese couple who won last night's pairs figure skating gold. It's fun to watch really talented people succeed.

But it's also fun to feel like I'm part of something bigger than myself. A Twitter friend pointed me to this article in the New York Times about the long-term benefits of playing team sports, and I was captivated. Partly because my own mediocre attempts at athleticism have served me well, but more because I wonder if that sort of team experience isn't something we long for later in life, too? Isn't this sort of what book clubs are? And writing groups? And even (although this is a stretch) following along as Jennifer Weiner live-tweets The Bachelor? It's part identity, saying who we are & what we care about, and part experiencing something together. I dig that.

So let's create our own Olympics! Tell me this: If you were to compete for the gold in some newly created winter "sport" what would it be? (And let's keep this family-friendly, limited to things that can be shown by ABC in prime time!)

Me? I'm in training for 2014, where I'll compete with the world's best in Speed Dressing, where you dig an entire outfit from a bin unfolded of laundry. Go team!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

In need of Zzz's

I need sleep. Not sure what's going on lately, but my body has decided that it's only going to sleep every other night. And on non-sleep nights, my brain just spins. You can almost hear audible whirring sounds, like my mind is a computer that needs to crash/reboot but can't quite get there.

In Mac terms, I'm spending long, lonely nights with the endless rainbow wheel of doom.

What do you do to sleep? I'll try (almost) anything. Well...anything that's legal, and doesn't require a 2am sprint through the darkened streets of the city. Or weird animal parts mixed into a potion...

Ideas? Tips? Suggestions?

Monday, February 08, 2010

Fun Relationships Talks...Starting Tonight

Happy Monday!

I'm hosting a FANTABULOUS talk for women here in Greater Boston tonight! It's called A MAZE OF GRACE: CONVERSATIONS ABOUT SPIRITUALITY & RELATIONSHIPS. If you live nearby (or can get to Cambridge by car by 7:30 tonight...) you should join us! Here's what we'll be talking about:

One of the things that has struck me since I started hanging out in Jesus-ey spiritual places is how we tend to divide up our relationships conversations: there are separate events for singles & marrieds, different gatherings for discussing friendship than for talking about work and colleagues... It seems a little silly to me (not to mention socially schizophrenic) I like the idea of being consistent across all my relationships, and I think spirituality has something to offer here. So that's what I'll be talking about tonight--and every 2nd & 4th Monday through the Spring--if you'd like to join me.

Here are the details:

A MAZE OF GRACE: Conversations about Spirituality & Relationships
Ladies: Join Trish Ryan author of He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not: A Memoir of Finding Faith, Love & Happily Ever After, for a series of fun talks about Love, Men, Dating, Friendship, Marriage & Life...

2nd & 4th Mondays of Each Month, beginning February 8, 2010

Greater Boston Vineyard

Ministry Center Library, 2nd Floor
15 Notre Dame Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02140
(Parking lot accessible via Rindge or Middlesex)

Tonight's topic: Lori Gottlieb's polarizing/inspiring/infuriating/utterly devastating book: MARRY HIM: THE CASE FOR SETTLING FOR MR. GOOD ENOUGH. As you might guess, I have some thoughts... :)

(And if you can't be there tonight, we're hoping to get these talks up on video on YouTube soon...so stay tuned!)

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Adventure Calls

I'm off on an adventure tonight, traveling to a place where it's a whole ten degrees warmer than Cambridge! My suitcase is stuffed with an outfit for every possible contingency (save a party with a 1950s theme, which I would boycott on account of there being so many other cuter decades). There will be important gatherings where I'll meet new people with exciting things to say, and many adventures to share when I return. My guess is that it will be a fun combination of this: And this:

(And no, I haven't been invited to the Hall of Justice yet. But I'm working on it...)

Have a great week!

Monday, February 01, 2010

Happiness: Pushed Out of Hibernation

It was one of those great weekends where I did all sorts of things I wouldn't normally do. We had friends visiting from out of town (I'll call them MUSEUM GUY and THEATER GIRL). Normally, I'm the world's worst tour guide. Wherever I go, I'm much more about people and conversations than historic sites. It's just the way I'm wired. If you visit my hometown in Maine, I can give you directions to the beach and a couple of great restaurants, but I have no clue what the current population is, or if a certain historic-looking building is of actual historic interest (unless it's in the Historic District, and then I can say for certain that it can't ever be painted purple or magenta). It's even worse here in Cambridge/Boston: I drive visitors around while attempting to appear knowledgeable, but my tour basically consists of: "Um...look! There's the Charles River, Harvard, AND MIT! And Fenway Park is over there on the other side of the river under the giant Citgo sign!" It's dismal.

But MUSEUM GUY and THEATER GIRL had specific requests: they wanted clam chowder, and a tour of the Sam Adams Brewery. That I could work with. The brewery was great...totally worth the the sub-zero temps we braved and the long wait to get in. As was the restaurant that served us clam chowder and perhaps the finest shrimp/crab/artichoke heart dip of my lifetime so far.

Here's what I learned (besides that I need to advise all visitors that I need specific requests to be of any use at all...) Both of these experiences are things I wouldn't get around to without a little push. It is good for me to be pushed. I'm a nester by instinct. I like to curl up in flannel PJ's on the couch. Hibernation is my natural winter state. But one's world gets mighty small with too much of that. And I want my world to be big.

How about you? If I visited your town or city, would you love to show me around, or hand me a map to the most obvious landmark and wish me luck?

And on an unrelated but important note, THANK YOU for your awesome encouragement about A MAZE OF GRACE! I'm grateful to have blog friends to celebrate with :)