Go Away With … Richard Schiff

Richard Schiff says that until “West Wing,” most people couldn’t pinpoint who he was or why they recognized him. Those days have changed. In the past year alone, the Emmy Award-winning actor has worked on multiple films and television series. Schiff just ended a run as an attorney on DIRECTV’s “Rogue” and can be seen in BBC America’s “Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency.”

Chicago (My Kind of Town)

Our kid likes to travel. He has taken high-speed KTX trains in Seoul, played in New York City’s Central Park and fed dolphins in Paradise Island (Bahamas). All of that was amazing. But it’s wonderful having a first-rate destination with skyscapers, museums and all the dining choices right in our own back yard. We’ll be back, Chicago, because we can’t quit you.

“Jae-Ha Kim is livin’ on phat beach”

I never met Aaron Hawkins, but I knew that he occasionally mentioned me on his blog, Uppity-Negro.com. Once, the fansite title on his blog was my name. Granted, this was during a period when he was doing this to be cheeky more than anything else. Hawkins was one of the first African-American bloggers. He was smart, thought-provoking and funny. I used to pop over to his blog every so often to see what he was up to.

Go Away With … Scott Simon

Scott Simon, National Public Radio host and author, chose a subject close to home for his latest book, “Baby, We Were Meant for Each Other: In Praise of Adoption” (Random House, $22). He and his French wife, former film producer Caroline Richard, have adopted two daughters from China and his poignant and witty memoir speaks not only of their family’s experiences, but also those of other adoptive parents, such as “Freakonomics” author Steven Levitt. Simon, 58, resides on the East Coast with Richard and their daughters Elise and Lina. Currently on a nationwide book tour, Simon’s tour dates are available on his website (www.scottsimonbooks.com).

Go Away With … Marilu Henner

Actress and bestselling author Marilu Henner is an avid traveler who isn’t afraid to go away alone, or with a plane full of relatives. These days, though, she enjoys taking road trips with her husband and two sons. “There’s something about being on the road — taking turns putting on different CDs — that really bonds a family together,” says Henner, 57. “You also get some of the best pictures from these types of vacations.”

An organized, healthy lifestyle is the key to Marilu Henner’s positive attitude

Phoning from her California home after her stint on “Celebrity Apprentice” was completed, Marilu Henner is in a chatty mood. Born and reared in Chicago, the actress best known for her work on “Taxi” gives a verbal high-five to her interviewer, whose accent she immediately recognizes as one from her hometown.

Women in the mix: the impact of gender studies

Mention women’s studies and you’re likely to get a mixed reaction. One group may talk about why it’s so important for students of both sexes to learn about women’s historical impact on society. Another may roll their eyes and argue that a men’s studies program would be considered sexist — so why the need for women’s studies in the 21st century?

Please, all Johns keep out: Besides the privacy issue, there are some sights best left unseen.

There’s one thing I don’t ever want to see in a women’s room — a man. Ever since “Ally McBeal” hit it big on Fox, talk around the water cooler has centered on two things: the brevity of our heroine’s hemline and the uncomfortable concept of the coed bathrooms that the attorneys share on the show.

The Baby Myth

When you’re a 20-year-old coed, you can barely hear your biological clock ticking. At that age, most young adults worry about summer jobs, graduating and trying not to get pregnant. But Sylvia Ann Hewlett’s book Creating a Life: Professional Women and the Quest for Children (Talk Miramax, $22) warns women of all ages that having babies must be timed at least as carefully as career choices.