Why Call the Midwife is great television

Back when we were all gaga about Downton Abbey, another BBC drama was winning me over. Call the Midwife didn’t get the fanfare of Downton Abbey, but I came to think it was a better show. Make that is a better show — Call the Midwife is still going strong in its sixth season. It’s... Read more »

Doctor’s orders: back to low-fat diet

You may recall the reports in the last couple of years about low-fat diets being oversold. If they are so healthy, critics said, why are Americans more overweight than ever? I paid attention to books coming out with titles like Eat Fat, Get Thin because I was having trouble controlling my appetite. The authors made... Read more »

The more or less of real estate comparisons

When did you last have a conversation with someone who is buying, selling, or remodeling a house or a condo, or thinking of buying or selling? Bet not too long ago. As various commentators have noted, we Americans have real estate on our minds a lot. Now, I’m as prone to oohing and aahing over... Read more »
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It's not your hearing — actors mumble

Much of the time the questions Marilyn vos Savant answers in her Parade magazine column are brain teasers — fitting for the person with the highest IQ ever recorded (228). An Ask Marilyn column a few weeks ago, though, appealed to more people than the puzzle lovers. The questioner wondered why the dialogue in movies... Read more »

Consulting the calendar is a cure for absentmindedness

As we age, it’s common to stew about where to draw the line between “senior moments” and the first signs of dementia. Last Thursday I had back-to-back signs of growing forgetfulness — and was troubled. I arrived at my dentist’s office for a 10 o’clock appointment and wondered why the receptionist was smiling like the... Read more »

Give up cheese? No way

“Your dairy vice has been vindicated,” the headline said. That seemed reassuring, since I not only like dairy but also rely on it for a good portion of my daily protein. The headline suggested that dairy is like eggs; for years we were told to avoid eggs, especially egg yolks, and then eggs were reevaluated... Read more »
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Loyola art museum deserves to be better known

If the key to marketing is finding your niche, the Loyola University Museum of Art has nailed it. But marketing is also about letting people know about you, and LUMA can improve on that score. I never hear people talk about going there. Since my to-do-in-Chicago list includes visiting little-known museums, I went to LUMA... Read more »

A ministep in getting rid of stuff

Before moving into my current condo four years ago this month, I dejunked a lot but could have done more. Decisions about many “keep or toss?” items were left for the unpacking stage. Anxious to stop looking at boxes once I was here, however, I stashed everything away. In the last few weeks I finally... Read more »

The IRS help need help

A check from the IRS for thousands of dollars arrived in the mail last week, and I wasn’t happy. I sighed and shook my head, knowing that I would not cash the check and would be on the phone with the IRS for too long. The check was for $4,524.71. Aside from an enclosure promoting the... Read more »
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20th-century "literary heirs" of Jane Austen

A Jane Austen fan, I’ve been checking out novelists who are regarded as Austen’s literary heirs. We Janeites are always looking for something to read when we need a fix and have recently reread her six novels. A few weeks ago, I wrote about the writer who reminds me the most of Austen, Barbara Pym.... Read more »