Teeth cleaning to music and words

Have you ever heard anyone say she likes going to the dentist? Didn’t think so. To say that Dr. Joani Tarsitano makes the experience fun might be an exaggeration, but she does entertainly distract patients from what’s she’s doing in their mouths.  When you sit down in the examining chair, Joani — the formal Dr.... Read more »

Soccer prompts thinking about immigrants

Last Sunday afternoon was a bad time to walk to the grocery store. Crowds swarmed out of the Roosevelt Road el station to go to Soldier Field for the Gold Cup game between the men’s national soccer teams of Mexico and the United States. A sea of green shirts and Mexican flags overwhelmed me as... Read more »

Caring less about looks: are women making any progress?

Three women about my age, all slim, recently told me that they won’t be seen in a swimsuit. I don’t recall ever hearing a man say he would not wear swim trunks in public. I’m not criticizing my gender but the societal norms that still make appearance so important for women. Donald Trump’s weight falls... Read more »
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Deciding what to do with the RMD (the what?)

Along with when to start social security and which Medicare plan to choose, retirees who have tax-deferred savings plans have another major decision to make: what to do with the Required Minimum Distribution.  In case you’re not old enough to be aware of the RMD, neither was I until a few years ago. When my financial... Read more »

Say it ain’t so, Atticus

So, all lovers of To Kill a Mockingbird — I know there are a lot of us; it placed first on PBS’s Great American Read last fall — did you realize that not everyone admires Atticus? Learning that Atticus Finch, the book’s hero, has critics came as a surprise after I finished my umpteenth reread... Read more »

Purpose ≠ cause (ongoing topic)

Following a post titled “Busy but still missing a purpose” two weeks ago, I’ve been pondering the topic and decided to share some thoughts that might be helpful to others as well. This post isn’t going to wrap up with a tidy conclusion; indeed, there may be future posts that contradict it. The search for... Read more »
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On architecture and two lighter topics

What do architecture, spelling, and window cleaners have in common? Not much, except this post. Snippets solve the dilemma of not having enough to say on a single topic. ***** ARCHITECTURE FOR ALL OF US Without featuring all kinds of skyscrapers in a city known for its architecture, my Chicago Greeter tours of the Loop... Read more »

Busy but still missing a purpose

Nancy Pelosi is 79, Bernie Sanders 77, Joe Biden 76, and Donald Trump almost 73 — all older than I. There has been plenty of commentary already about whether they’re too old for the jobs they have or want, and this isn’t going to be another one. If seventysomethings have the energy, more power to... Read more »

Pinochle really is what I want to play

I suppose I’m naive, but I was shocked when the ad I published on Craigslist looking for pinochle partners was misinterpreted. Quite a few people thought I was looking for partners for something else. The ad said: PINOCHLE ANYONE? We are two South Loopers interested in playing pinochle and looking for two more to make... Read more »
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Book group gives Moby-Dick a go

Ah, Moby-Dick. Revered by many as the Great American Novel. Reviled by perhaps as many as unreadable. My book group was split down the middle about reading Herman Melville’s 1851 novel: Half of us were interested, the other half ambivalent at best. At our discussion last week, one person said she gave up about halfway... Read more »