Randi Lynn Backall holds a Journalism degree from Temple University. After graduation, she spent several years in advertising as a copywriter and producer on the McDonald’s account, before switching gears and going into non-profit as a Hebrew teacher and Youth Director. Her next move was to open an award-winning lingerie and clothing boutique. After fourteen years, she closed her business to return to her first love, writing. Her memoir, Loud and Clear: Scenes from a Dysfunctional Family, will hopefully be published soon.
18,987. Eighteen thousand. Nine hundred. Eighty-seven.
That's not the cost of my first car, nor the amount of my first salary. 18,987 is the number of days I have lived. My father did not get as…many. I realize my Rain Man-like exactitude may seem like I have too much time on my hands. And, to be clear, I'm not writing my own version of the iconic Rent song, “Seasons of Love,” asking how to measure a year (or years, for that matter.) For me, this number is symbolic because this… >> Read More
Apparently, I can change my life and the world simply by making my bed.
If only it were that simple.
A military hero named Admiral McRaven wrote a 2014 commencement speech about making your…bed, which later became a bestselling book. I understand his point, I am even a little envious. But in my case, it is just too late. Fifty-one years of faking it--not making it--is a little hard to undo. Admiral McRaven states that his hedge against stress is making the bed. My hedge against stress is… >> Read More
I grew up with two refrigerators and three freezers consistently stocked with 27 bars of Philadelphia cream cheese and 10 half gallons of Breyers ice cream.
There were also eight containers of…cottage cheese, a 64-ounce jar of mayonnaise, six jars of pickles, nine salamis (plus the three hanging in the pantry), a sleeve of 96 slices of Kraft Velveeta, assorted bags of Lender’s Bagels, seven varieties of mustard, five boxes of Tastykakes and 14 cans of frozen orange juice. I’m barely exaggerating here. This was for… >> Read More
Every summer, I see my dead parents walking on the Atlantic City Boardwalk. I cannot figure out why the apparition happens here, and not in so many other familiar places: at synagogue. At Costco. At…my kid’s college graduations. But there they are, smiling, hand in hand, in all their glory, even though it has been many years since they walked anywhere together. The sun, beating down hard and furious causes me to blink and then squint, trying to make out their faces in the distance. Maybe it’s not them.… >> Read More