Announcing My New Blog Series: COOL PEOPLE I KNOW

I found this meme on Facebook the other day, and I screen-grabbed it immediately. In one sentence, it sums up how I live. You see, as an ENFP, I believe everyone has an interesting story, from every walk of life — from CEOs to ex-cons. I’m at my most hyper-focused when getting to know a total stranger. This is why my grade school friends have christened me “The White Oprah.” I don’t mean to interview people, but it’s like breathing for me. They fuel my curiosity.

The Meme That Best Describes Me

The Meme That Best Describes Me

Cool People I Know: My friend Rohita Shah, born in Zambia, now owner of an award-winning Mathnasium in Wisconsin, with 1 new Brookfield location opening soon.

Cool People I Know: My friend Rohita Shah, born in Zambia, now owner of an award-winning Mathnasium in Wisconsin, with 1 new Brookfield location opening soon.

I have to wonder if my genuine interest in people is somehow invisibly telegraphed when I’m out in the world. My friends have all witnessed it. Total strangers love to ask me for directions, how to fix their iPhone, or whether they should buy the outfit they’re trying on in a department store. No, I’m not arrogant enough to think my opinion matters one iota, but it’s weirdly consistent that they do. This bizarre people-magnet vibration I exude might explain why, when I merely entered an empty gas station to pay for my petrol — literally saying nothing but my pump number to the cashier — she unburdened herself, sharing the story of her recent abortion. Or why, when I went to the DMV with Darlene, my BFF since kindergarten, I knew all about the DMV eye examiner man’s divorce during the 5 minutes of getting my test. Or why I leave restaurants more often than not with the phone number or email address of the waitress or waiter to follow up on some conversation. I consider it an honor and privilege that someone trusts me to listen to them. I don’t judge. I just listen. I think people appreciate that someone is actually present and in the moment with them in this distracted, ADD world where they are accustomed to getting ignored.

When I first met Dave, he was extremely nervous about exposing me to the massive enclave of fandom at his San Diego Comic-Con booth. He needn’t have worried. I thrived on it. Unlike introverts who find it a psychic drain to deal with the public, I get energized by being around people. They recharge my batteries. Today, 16 years later, those San Diego fans visit our home, chat with me at least three times a week on Facebook private messages, and have become some of my best friends. I feel blessed to have met these many interesting people from literally around the world, whose paths I would never have crossed in my ordinary, Northern Illinois life.

An apt description of ENFP's.

An apt description of ENFP’s.

As women, we all have stories of telling our spouses about their friends’ medical issues and life dramas, as our spouses look on dumbfounded, replying, “He never told me anything about that!” But I take it about three steps further. I walk away knowing about their UFO encounters, their politics, and their funniest pranks. My conversations with people are always organic. I never know where they’ll meander, but they’re always interesting. As I was interviewing a VP on Friday for a B2B article on his company, I learned all about his Chicago cop relatives, and their take on the current gang situation in Chicago. It was a counterintuitive perspective I could never have guessed, and it became fodder for my hands-and-feet card game last night on the Mag Mile (And btw, GO CUBS!!!! FTW!!!).

So…aside from the ghostwriting I do in my career, I’m starting a new series on my blog, maybe once a week, called “Cool People I Know.” These interviews will be with people from all walks of life, and you will learn things you would never have guessed, about topics you probably have never considered before. I hope you have as much fun reading them as I have doing the interviews! Let me know, okay?

So I guess my Myers-Briggs score explains my career choice...

My Myers-Briggs score explains my career choice…

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For Chicagoans, Segregation Means Sox or CUBS? Which are you?

As you may have gathered from my upper case CUBS, I’m the latter. You’ve never seen the purest and most breathtakingly vibrant green grass outside of Ireland until you’ve been inside of the “friendly confines” of Wrigley Field and cast your gaze upon that perfectly manicured, verdant ball field. I’ve actually been lucky enough to stand on Wrigley Field when THE POLICE did their reunion tour a few years back (and yes, THAT reunion tour was AMAZING).

Chicagoans have an inherent bias towards one ball team or the other. For me, CUBS fans are always the “lace curtain Irish” of the North Side whom I tend to relate to the best, and the Sox fans? Well…no need to go into stereotypes. Living in the Midwest makes us hearty stock, and frankly, we have to be optimists in order to survive the harsh winters here. Spring is always around the corner, and we just know there’s a CUBS World Series win next season.

My favorite Bleacher Bum, Aunt Karen (the one with the McDonald family farm where Jack and I fish, camp, cross country ski, and go four-wheeling) was there this week for the grand opening of the new bleachers, and CBS Channel 2 News caught her on camera:

My Aunt Karen, enjoying her Mother's Day present from her son-in-law--a CUBS Game in the bleachers.

My Aunt Karen, on CBS Channel 2 Chicago News, enjoying her Mother’s Day present from her son-in-law Sean–a CUBS Game in the bleachers.  

Video of Aunt Karen here: http://chicago.cbslocal.com/video/11484923-bleacher-bums-return-to-wrigley-field/

And then, as if the CUBS couldn’t be more perfect, Eddie Vedder sang the 7th Inning Stretch the other day at Wrigley Field. If I didn’t already love Eddie Vedder for the Pearl Jam song “EVEN FLOW,” which is right in my vocal range for karaoke and the most hauntingly understanding song about the homeless, my heart was ready to burst at the thought that he, too, along with Bill Murray (who merely needs to look at the camera funny to crack me up) were fellow CUBS fans.

So without further adieu, here’s my fellow CUBS fan & rock idol captured on CBS Channel 2 News:

http://wxrt.cbslocal.com/2015/05/13/eddie-vedder-sang-the-seventh-inning-stretch-at-the-cubs-game-last-night-watch/

Eddie Vedder Singing the 7th Inning Stretch Inside of the Friendly Confines

Eddie Vedder Singing the 7th Inning Stretch Inside of the Friendly Confines

It’s a new season for the CUBS. A time for fresh optimism. Life. Is. Good.