Category: Uncategorized

Could worry, could deny memory loss. Or could just pay attention.

You’ve probably heard this example of how to tell dementia from a brain blip: If you can’t find the keys, it’s a brain blip. If you can’t remember what the keys are for, it’s dementia. Would that all examples were that clear. I’ve done a couple of things playing Scrabble that seemed really weird. The... Read more »

Pragmatism over idealism — defeating Trump is the priority

I didn’t expect to see the day when the Democratic Party moved to the left of me. Or maybe it would be more accurate to say that I don’t think the 2020 Democratic platform should include such proposals from the left as single-payer healthcare, free public college, and zero-carbon emissions, although I hope they’ll come... Read more »

No apologies for learning about Navajos through Hillerman mysteries

Last week the Art Institute announced it was postponing an exhibit on Mimbres pottery of the ancient Southwest because it wanted more input from Native people. As I read about that appropriate action, my thoughts soon turned from art to literature and the late author Tony Hillerman. Far from being accused of cultural appropriation as... Read more »
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On “helping” students with college application essays

Many Americans had never heard of college admission consultants before William Rick Singer was accused of cheating to get the kids of wealthy clients into elite universities. It’s in recent years that the business of advising college-bound students has mushroomed, with the number of independent consultants quadrupling since 2015, the Chicago Tribune reported. They help... Read more »

Dressing warmly next winter

This winter of record-breaking lows put our cold-weather dressing skills to the test. We all know the drill: layers, hat, scarf, gloves or mittens, insulated boots with good tread. I usually follow it pretty well but still felt cold here and there on exceptionally frigid days.   • If I didn’t wear a scarf over... Read more »

How not to be overwhelmed in a museum

Illinois residents’ annual winter bonanza of free admission to Chicago’s major museums ended in late February. I took advantage of it quite a bit, both for the obvious reason of not paying and because winter is my preferred time to be in museums. But no need for regrets, those of you who didn’t: there are... Read more »
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South Looper looking for a winter hangout

The biggest lack in my condo building is a community room, and the lack is especially felt when we’ve had it up to here with winter. There’s no where to go inside the building when you’re climbing your own walls. On days without plans, I’ve been putting on winter gear and venturing outside to hunt... Read more »

How much penance for youthful follies?

As the long-ago misbehavior of public figures like Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has been exposed, maybe you’ve been recalling regrettable incidents from your own past. I have. Among them are a couple of misdeeds for which I wish I could apologize to two gay men. I can’t remember their last names anymore, and even if... Read more »

When insurance will pay, why not?

Last week I wrote about a misunderstanding with an audiologist at the office that sold me hearing aids three years ago. When the hearing aids came back from a factory check, she asked me to get a referral from my primary care physician. I thought that was because the devices needed reprogramming; she thought I... Read more »
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Wandering in the health insurance maze

We all have stories to tell about hassles with medical practitioners and insurance companies. Stop reading if you don’t want to hear someone else’s. Humana Gold Plus, a Medicare Advantage HMO, has mostly served me well. It even paid $2,000 toward hearing aids. Those hearing aids caused a recent annoyance — not with them but... Read more »