Not many people peak when they’re 12, but I did — quite literally.

I was nary a 7th grader when I summited the highest mountain known to my middle school: the Aggro Crag of Nickelodeon’s ultimate physical, mental and spiritual challenge for children born in the mid to late 80s: GUTS.

To onlookers, I’m sure GUTS looked like an obstacle course akin to what you might have seen on What Would You Do? Or Legends of the Hidden Temple.

HA. Let me assure you that although the contestants on every Nickelodeon show shared a sound stage and the same bucket…


Josefstadt Theater

ENNNNNNNNNNOUGH!

Stop stop STOP.

As you all know, I (Dr. Stu Hickey) was named the interim Hamilton Middle School Theater Department Chair & Curator after Mrs. Johnson’s creative direction on this production had gone…south. I wish her well and, despite what today’s scathing op-ed in the school newspaper purports, harbor neither a grudge nor a gripe. And, listen, do I very much hope her violent case of food poisoning resolves itself quickly? Of course I do. But in the meantime, I ask YOU — young thespians of morrow, just exactly what was this woman teaching you?!?!?!

That it’s “okay” to…


I can’t tell with this face shield on!!!!

Image: Washington Post

Hey girl! Ugh, SO good to see you! *Love* a socially-distanced coffee date.

Yeah, I’ve been good! Ya know, hanging in there, just trying to keep my head above — WAIT. Did you see that guy that just walked by??!! Holy shit is that…was that….could it be…did he have a band-aid on his bicep??????? Unless I’m seeing things…I mean in this day and age that can only mean one thing–right? Right?????? He. is. VACCINATED.

Hot DAMN OKAY okay okay breathe…let me just focus for a minute and get some more visual information…


Image via HalloweenCostume.com

2007, 2008, 2009. What do these years have in common?

Besides being sequential segments of time as determined by the Gregorian calendar, these are all years I famously went as a 1920s flapper for Halloween.

Now before you start getting all “judgey” on me, I want to assure you that in other areas of my life, I actually *do* like change, experimenting, and “mixing it up” (this morning, for instance, I added chia seeds to my smoothie when I usually go for flax!).

But when it comes to Halloween, I believe in something called tradition — and by tradition I…


when I said I loved you I meant it

I meant it from the deepest part of me

I meant it from the purest place

Like a quiet prayer, offered almost involuntarily from my spirit to yours

And there was abundance in the simplicity of truth.

Your therapist, an old man, told you it was easy to fall in love if you were paying attention. If you were awake in life. If you walked around with your eyes open.

I can’t say he’s wrong.

Anytime I look with my eyes it’s like I’m showing my hand. That I am a…


I’m not taking questions at this time.

Well, maybe one…

can I keep you?


In 1841, Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote the stirring line, “Envy is ignorance, imitation is suicide.” It appeared in his most famous and widely acclaimed essay entitled Self-Reliance.

No piece of American lyricism would compare until a century-and-a-half later, when the Texas-born, California-raised Ashlee Simpson released her 2004 debut album Autobiography. The 15-track manifesto was a kid-sister tour-de-force, filled with the kind of angsty adolescent energy that could side sweep any bang, dye it black, and sneak out the side door for an evening of canoodling with Ryan Cabrera.

She had stains on her t-shirt, and America was listening.

But what…


They never tell you how hard it is to be a parent.

Hi there. Really nice to meet you. My name is David, and I am a proud father of three. And I’m struggling a lot with my kids, who are plants, but they are also my children.

I wasn’t always living the milk-and-cereal life. In fact, I was quite the casanova back in my day. A regular new-woman-every-night-bing-bang-bop kind of gentleman. But after decades of meaningless sex, I decided I wanted more. …


And obviously, this is spring.

This piece originally appeared in my newsletter, Indefinitely.

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How is everyone doing? I really want to know the answer and hope so badly you’re well or at least okay.

Yesterday I spent about 3 hours making photoshop collages of the 1996 movie Harriet the Spy. They turned out okay, I’m not super happy with them, but I’m glad I tried.

If you have never seen the Film™, it stars a young Michelle Trachtenberg and a 1996 Rosie O’Donnell. The protagonist is like 11 or 12, and she wears striped t-shirts and baggy pants. She…

Liz Fitzgerald

creative person / chicago, il / www.lizfitzgerald.com

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