On Second Glance

Karen O’Keefe has been a freelance writer in Atlanta, GA and Montgomery County, MD, since 1984. Prior to that time, she worked for a committee in the U.S. House, a public relations firm and as a Congressional press secretary.
Since 2003, O’Keefe has been a regular news reporter and columnist for The Town Courier, an independent biweekly newspaper based in Gaithersburg.
Her blog, “On Second Glance,” explores everyday life and current events with insight, grace and humor.

Partner Blog for On Second Glance

"Car Talk" Sadness

This 2003 Toyota Echo makes noises that would have engendered a funny Car Talk show. discussion.

I lost a friend Monday, November 3, when Tom Magliozzi one of the “Tappet” Brothers, the car experts who for 25 years, hosted the call-in/talk show, “Car Talk” on National Public Radio, passed away. Complications of Alzheimer’s, which I didn’t know he had, brought about Tom’s death at age 77. The show stopped production two […]

Read more

Congressman Delaney: Get Politics Out of Ebola Response

John Delaney

U.S. Representative John Delaney is calling for Congress to reconvene in order to engineer a bipartisan, collaborative approach to the international and national Ebola crisis. Delaney, a Democrat, represents Maryland’s 6th Congressional District, which includes a portion of Montgomery County and western Maryland. On Friday, October 17, I asked Delaney how bringing Congress back to […]

Read more

Grandpeople Power

"Wait one minute! Isn't this Nana's apron..."

I attended a candidates’ debate the other evening – a wide-ranging discussion between incumbent County Executive Ike Leggett (D) and his Republican opponent, Jim Shalleck. It was a serious event, as these things always are. They agreed on some things, and disagreed on a lot: the transportation needs of Montgomery County were one area where […]

Read more

Gaithersburg Book Festival Here Again on Saturday May 17

Hear about the dreams of writers -- follow your own at the Gaithersburg Book Festival, May 17

Where has the time gone? Here’s some good news — another Gaithersburg Book Festival is coming up – and this is number 5 – the fifth annual. This is significant because the people who have been putting the festival together, so far, have made it better every year. Mark the calendar for May 17. Circle […]

Read more

Plow My Street

12:15 p.m. Friday, Feb. 14

Don’t have any special place to be, but the novelty of snow has worn off Friday morning, as I sit at my desk, looking out my second-floor window. In the distance, up a hill and between houses and trees, I can see a tiny stretch of Quince Orchard Road. Cars and trucks are zipping through […]

Read more

Massacre Coverage: Same Show, Different Day: Part 2

gun photo

In September, I wrote a blog on things that bugged me about media coverage of the September 16 Washington Navy Yard shootings. This blog is about things I found disturbing in media coverage of the January 25 shootings at Columbia Mall. On January 25, a gunman in Howard County’s Columbia Mall murdered two young employees […]

Read more

Romanticizing the Bank

It s A Wonderful Life bank run   YouTube

The other day my bank sent me a new check card, along with a letter explaining that Target had reported to them (though not to me) that mine was among  the 40 million credit and debit cards whose information was lifted into the cosmic IT ether by thieves in December. The thieves took my name, […]

Read more

Massacre Coverage: Same Show, Different Day


“Our thoughts and prayers are with…” — fill in the blank. Watching the coverage today of a gunman or gunmen shooting innocents at the Navy Yard, I am struck by sameness, by the familiarity of the coverage. On CNN and MSNBC, you have your Wolf Blitzer, your Pete Williams, with supplemental commentary from a recognizable […]

Read more

SNAP Challenge Days Four and Five: The Hunger Blog

Karen O'Keefe of "On Second Glance"

I know my experience this week is not comparable to many people who survive with the help of government assistance for food. However, there are bound to be some commonalities.  “The end of the month was really hard.” One of my friends shared that with me a few days ago as she remembered the time […]

Read more

SNAP Challenge Day Three: Supplies Dwindle, Awareness Grows

Karen O'Keefe of "On Second Glance"

After three days of five, out of the $50 John and I had to spend, we have almost $10 left. In three days, I have eaten a lot of celery with peanut butter. Tonight my husband John had the leftover brown rice with black beans and chicken thighs casserole. He also had a salad of […]

Read more
View archives »