RSSSlice Of Life By Vanessa Renderman

Reporter Vanessa Renderman shares stories from her life and experiences, as well as tales from the reporting field.

REGION RANTS: Paradise found

When I typed "West Beach Recreation Area" into the iPhone map app on Tuesday, I was surprised to see the estimated travel time was 32 minutes.

"Really?" I said to my friends. "It's only a half-hour away?"

I've lived in the region for 25 years, and as much as I brag about our proximity to the beautiful dunes and Lake Michigan, I can't remember the last time I actually drove up there. 

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REGION RANTS: Around and around we go

Most of last week, I started my commute with swear words.

It's my own fault.

A chunk of Cline Avenue south of U.S. 30 is closed to through traffic while crews construct a roundabout at the north end of that stretch. And, I kept forgetting.

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SLICE OF LIFE: Renewing four decades of love

My parents stood before the altar last Saturday, he in a gray suit, and she in an ankle-length pink dress and a cane to lean on.

They first exchanged vows 40 years ago, when he wore a gray tux and she wore a white gown.

This vow renewal--done in the middle of 4:30 p.m. Mass at St. Mary Catholic Church in Griffith--had less fanfare. But, the meaning was still there.

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SLICE OF LIFE: Soldiering through the storms

SLICE OF LIFE: Soldiering through the storms

A package of chicken breasts. A four-pack of chocolate- and coffee-flavored Greek yogurt. A 15-foot section of fence.

Those were our casualties from the recent storms.

All in all, not too bad. It could've been worse. It could've been like Oklahoma.

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SLICE OF LIFE: Teaching life lessons on Father's Day

A grasshopper hops into a bar. The bartender says, "Hey, we have a drink named after you." The grasshopper asks, "You have a drink named Steve?"

I've heard that joke dozens of times. Maybe the name in the punch line is different. Maybe it's Bob or Don or Jim. But the premise is the same.

And anyone who has talked to my dad for more than 15 minutes has probably heard the joke. It's one of his classics.

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SLICE OF LIFE: Golf, the four-letter word

Every time I pull in or out of the garage, I see a piece of my past, resting against the concrete wall.

Under the dust and threads of broken spider webs is a turquoise bag that holds my set of Dunlop clubs. Yes, I once was a golfer.

Let me clarify. There was a time when I golfed. Even then, I never called myself a golfer. That's like saying you're a chef because you throw together dinner every night.

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SLICE OF LIFE: Shattering Powerball dreams

Seven minutes. I was seven minutes late to buy my chance at hundreds of millions of dollars.

It was 9:07 p.m. Wednesday when I rushed into a Schererville gas station and shouted, "Powerball! Is it too late?"

The attendant shook his head.

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SLICE OF LIFE: Emphasis on beauty leads to ugly outcomes

If you watch TV, you've probably seen the latest Dove commercial.

It shows women describing themselves to a forensic sketch artist who cannot see them.

"I would say I have a pretty big forehead," one woman says.

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SLICE OF LIFE: A kid at heart in a grown-up world

In just over a week, I'll turn 33 years old.

That felt like a lie, typing 33. You know who is 33? An adult. And most days, I don't feel like an adult. I feel like a kid, like Tom Hanks in "Big," but without the loft apartment and trampoline.

I'm a kid in a grown-up world, eating Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal for dinner and sliding around the kitchen in socks while other people have a mortgage and read for leisure and jog.

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SLICE OF LIFE: Easter brings a time of renewal

Comedian Jim Gaffigan, a Region native, does a bit about holidays.

His Easter joke is a conversation that goes like this:

"Easter. The day Jesus rose from the dead. What should we do?" he asks.

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