DIY podcast (sort of) helps me survive hiatus

I've been a little obsessed with Brené Brown's "Unlocking Us" podcast since I first was introduced to her in February by Tim Ferris on his eponymous podcast (notice a theme here?).

She's on hiatus for several weeks this summer, and I miss her. I've decided to cope by recreating a piece of her podcast here. She concludes every episode with a set of "rapid fire" questions for guests. I've enjoyed listening to their responses and thought it might be fun to write up mine.

1. Fill in the blank: Vulnerability is ____.


And really hard.

I wrote a column last September describing the conflicted emotions I felt after a young man rang our doorbell, hoping to sell me a subscription to the Wall Street Journal as a school fundraiser. He was a young Black man, and I wrote honestly about wanting to believe his request was legitimate while simultaneously knowing it was a scam.

The feedback on my column was not kind. I can't imagine what would happen if I wrote that piece today, given the current climate. But if we can't be open about how we respond to situations, even - and perhaps especially - when race is involved, I'm not sure how we'll ever move forward.

2. You're called to be brave. Your fear is real. You've got to do something but you can feel the fear in your throat. What's the very first thing you do?


3. Something people often get wrong about you.

That I am super-strict.

I am a rule follower, for sure, always have been. And I believe rules are important for kids, adding a sense of structure and stability in their lives.

But that doesn't mean I won't let Ainsley dye her hair blue or shave the side of her head (both happened this summer). I also let her have chocolate chips in her pancakes - and occasionally put some in my own pancakes as well.

3. Last show you binged and loved.

Binged and enjoyed: "Under the Dome."

Binged and loved: "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel." Season four is expected in December!

4. Tell me a movie you will never turn off if you pass it flipping channels.

"Shawshank Redemption"

5. A concert you'll never forget.

The Rolling Stones in spring 1999. We saw a Bulls game at the United Center the following night and couldn't get over two things: 1) How different the air in the stadium smelled from one night to the next and 2) how much less energy the Bulls had than the Stones.

The Stones did not play my favorite song, "You Can't Always Get What You Want." Fitting, I suppose.

6. What is your favorite meal?

My birthday dinner at the now defunct Bistro Banlieue in Lombard: cream of brie soup (yes, you read that right!), grilled salmon with julienned vegetables and mustard sauce and white chocolate mousse for dessert.

7. What's on your nightstand?

A daily devotional book (right now it's "Journey to the Heart" by Melody Beattie.) There's also a lamp, an old-fashioned alarm clock and earplugs for snore protection.

8. A snapshot of an ordinary moment that is joyful for you.

Heading out with Dan and Ainsley to walk our dog, Lizzy, around the neighborhood and stopping every block to talk to a neighbor.

9. What's one thing your deeply grateful for right now?

Having my family together. After living for nine years with a work schedule that took Dan out of town 40 to 50 percent of the time, it's been wonderful never having to ask where he's going next week.

- Pamela Lannom is editor of The Hinsdalean. Readers can email her at [email protected].

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Pamela Lannom is editor of The Hinsdalean