Heidi Isern

writer. thinker. whiskey drinker.


The Cookie Plate Journey: A Homey Story for the Holidays

Every year the holidays are chocked full of traditions: exhaustive shopping, caroling children, spiked eggnog, mistletoe parties…and in my family, decadent cookie plates.  From an early age I had learned that the greatest gift you could give someone else is something crafted with your own two hands. Bonus points if it contained high volumes of sugar and butter.  In San Francisco I typically dedicate one day to making multiple types

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Getting a Divorce at Walgreens: Is Commitment Passé?

Do you remember the first time you fell in love?  You naïvely ran through flower fields of bliss, believing your love to be unique, assuming it would last forever.   However as time goes by life often gets in the way.  Career prospects, differences of opinion, and the lure of other people’s bedrooms all too frequently make commitment a challenge. When I was 19 and still naïve I spent a summer

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Anti-Networking: Learning How to Really Connect

I was recently at a business social event when the host interrupted casual chit-chat over canapés to conduct 30 minutes of structured networking. At the mention of the word ‘networking,’ the whole crowd cringed. A few individuals retreated into hiding. Those that remained were instructed to follow the host’s three minute, three-step networking plan. 1- Find people in your industry. 2- Provide your credentials (MBA pedigree, fancy job title, net

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Adrenaline and Adventure: Interview with a Motorcyle Racer

After writing about the power of human connection it was time to live it. If I recall all my life journeys I was happiest when freed from societal convention and exploring other realities. I was also happiest when I walked out of the whirling mechanics of my own mind and entered another’s. Though a writing group, I had heard mention of another woman writer that defied all norms of what

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Get Offline: A Counter to Social Media

Something about dreary weather makes us all a bit melancholy.  On one such dreary day I was lamenting out loud to my sister-in-law.  Even though my online network made me look quite social, offline I was feeling isolated and lost.  Something was missing from my (un)wired world. She thought for a moment and then said, “You know there are these great inspirational stories I read that you may be interested

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Parents as Doormats

My brother and I, both MBA’s, often viewed family events akin to corporate conferences.  We sought different ways to minimize chaos and maximize the quality of our time together.   Although Thanksgiving Day is a prized group celebration, we decided that other days in the long weekend are best split up in smaller breakout sessions so as to have more personal interaction.   Group-breakout-report back. Thus, over the Thanksgiving weekend my brother

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Well, Thanks a Lot! Gratitude from Martinis to Midnight Conversations….

Thanksgiving, as any holiday, is full of die-hard traditions. In my family of hearty eaters, we were always sure to have spiral cut ham in addition to a massive turkey. The stuffing recipe was passed down from generations and could not be altered even by one thyme sprig. Always present was also a suspicious looking marshmallow jello salad; it was always positioned next to the potatoes in hopes it may

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Jumping Ship: Naked and Fearless

As I was researching remedies for both Writer’s Block and the flu I was battling, a friend called to interrupt my desperation.  Someone had seen my Twitter post “Why I haven’t killed myself yet” as a cry for help. “Um, Heidi, what’s up?” “Ihavenoideawhatiamdoingwithmylife…..” “Er, slow down….that was one syllable,” said a voice that had known me for years. “I’m too old for another reinvention!  I’ve had a thousand impulsive

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Why I Haven’t Killed Myself Yet

After coming out of the closet with my metaphor masturbation, the rainbow city of San Francisco finally saluted me as one of its own.  The sun was warmer, the people friendlier.  I stopped driving and started walking, no longer in a mad rush of self-absorption.  I took the time to grin widely at sidewalk pedestrians, finally unafraid of my (emotional, mistake ridden, overly impulsive) self. My laments at things gone

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Las Vegas: The Glitz and the Gritty

Las Vegas is a city to be both loved and deplored.  It’s the city of sin, status showcase and escape.  In a place where everyone is a tourist, new friends and new experiences are givens. My recent visit to the fantasy façade was for a birthday, filled with toasts and laughs. However, I still managed to explore outside the celebration walls to uncover glitz’s grittier side.   Status Someone once

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