Posts in category "Uncategorized"

Raising my voice against loudness

I saw Jesus Christ Superstar at Lyric Opera last week, just days before it closed Sunday. Reading critics’ overwhelmingly glowing reviews after, I was surprised that only a couple of them mentioned what I thought the production’s flaw: it was too loud. The music drowned out the lyrics. On Chicagoland Theater Reviews Dan Zeff mentioned... Read more »

The Great American Read and other book lists

For a reader and lover of lists, the Great American Read is a double delight. The upcoming eight-part PBS series will feature the 100 novels apparently most loved by Americans. It premieres May 22 on WTTW. The list is already online at www.pbs.org/the-great-american-read, where you can take a quiz to see how many of the... Read more »

Routines: good or bad? It depends.

My favorite daily routine since I retired begins a few minutes after waking up. I eat breakfast, make a pot of tea, and settle into my reading chair with the Chicago Tribune. Lizzy, my cat, usually climbs into my lap. The next hour, give or take, is splendid. The routine was disrupted a week ago... Read more »
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When Trump makes us nostalgic for past presidents

I was no fan of either of the Bush presidents. But while watching a bit of Barbara Bush’s funeral, I found myself wishing they were back in the seat of government. That is how far afield Donald Trump has taken a progressive Democrat. I have to remind myself about style versus substance. It’s dignity I’m... Read more »

Telling people what they don’t want to hear

My niece Ashley recently made her college choice after a long, uncertain process. She’s going to Miami of Ohio, a public university about 45 minutes northwest of Cincinnati and two hours from her suburban Indianapolis home. I first learned about Miami when Ashley’s sister was looking at colleges and liked it immediately. One of the... Read more »

Hoping for better luck next year with DIY tax preparation

It was going on late afternoon, and I was still in my pajamas. Not that I’d been lazy — on the contrary, I’d been very occupied. I was filling out the 1040 using software from the IRS website. And everything had gone badly. “Let Free File do the hard work for you” the IRS site says. Indeed,... Read more »
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I never joined Facebook

Unlike the estimated 58 percent of American adults with an account, I never joined Facebook. I can’t claim, however, to have expected that users’ data would be misappropriated. I just didn’t want to bother. Some friends urged me to join so that we could stay up on one another’s lives. One said flat out that... Read more »

A Meetup group that didn’t fly, and more about meeting people

When you move, whether it’s across the country or across town, you confront the need to make new friends close to where you live. This month marks five years since I moved from Edgewater to the South Loop, and while I’ve made friends nearby, most of my friends are still on the North Side. Last... Read more »

Wordnesia strikes when playing Scrabble

My friend Sandie and I were playing Scrabble, as we do every Tuesday, and I blanked on spelling annul. Two n’s or two l’s? Another time I juggled the u and e in fuel back and forth. I spent my career in the word business and am a decent speller. How is it then that... Read more »
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Deciding about offensiveness: sometimes editors get it wrong

You may have heard that the new executive editor of The Reader survived just one issue. Mark Konkol was fired because the cover cartoon on the February 15 issue showed gubernatorial candidate J. B. Pritzker sitting on a black lawn jockey statue as an FBI agent listens in on his phone conversation. The accompanying headline,... Read more »