Reentry at different rates

As more of us are vaccinated, we’re noting reports that people are nervous about reentry into something resembling our former lives. Have we forgotten how to socialize? Are we so used to cocooning that we won’t want to go out? Will we back away from people who get close?  Today, my fully vaccinated day one,... Read more »

The overused exclamation point!!!

Everyone who works in the word business has pet peeves about written content. My former colleagues in Northwestern University’s publications office will remember that my big one was the exclamation point.  I had nothing against the exclamation point when used properly, to exclaim. It was overuse that I objected to, particularly to end sentences of... Read more »

Fiction's newest genre: up lit

Five weeks ago I blogged about my favorite television series, Call the Midwife, and lamented that literary novels don’t share its mix of realism and uplift. “Qualities that I think are hard to find in a literary novel — such as hope, warmth, gladness, and change for the better — are present in spades in... Read more »
Advertisement:

Genealogy is an elective

In a recent Zoom chat with a group of my former coworkers, a woman of Filipino descent lamented the difficulty of finding records of her ancestors. I thought back to another chat with coworkers, this one in person, when I gushed about having traced a branch back 13 generations to 1629 New England. Later I... Read more »

Why a city dweller might prefer to vacation in nature

When the Worldwide Greeter Communication Project recently asked Greeters our travel preferences, seven in ten preferred culture and cities to nature. That’s not surprising, since Greeter programs are in cities, and we Greeters volunteer to show off our cities to visitors.  I was in the 30 percent minority. Don’t get me wrong: If I didn’t... Read more »

Surprise: vaccines are on my mind

With “Have you had your first shot?” leading off most conversations these days, thank goodness it’s becoming easier to find an appointment for a COVID vaccination. “I think I’m the only Chicagoan over 65 who hasn’t found an appointment,” a friend grumbled a couple of days before he snared one. He wasn’t really alone; only... Read more »
Advertisement:

Thoughts as senior residences let up on lockdowns

Our 93-year-old mother’s virtual imprisonment in an assisted living apartment for almost a year has to rank among my family’s top stresses of the pandemic.   Would Mom have been better off living with one of us? Didn’t she deserve the same care she gave her own mother at home for 17 years? But when... Read more »

Why can't novels be more like my favorite TV show?

No surprise in a recent WTTW announcement that Call the Midwife is viewers’ favorite show. As was clear when I wrote about it in 2017, it’s an all-time favorite of mine. When I started rewatching Call the Midwife a few weeks ago, it was going to be one episode a day. That quickly grew to... Read more »

An overdue list of pandemic diversions

Since we’re in month 12 of the pandemic, a post suggesting diversions is more than a little late. But until recently, I had not felt bored. Perhaps it’s not only the pandemic but also the usual February doldrums that have me looking for newness now.  Listmaker that I am, I came up with some ideas... Read more »
Advertisement:

Reflecting on my reading habits

On my new computer, I bookmarked NPR, CNN, and other news sites one day and removed the bookmarks the next. Their stories were mostly different angles on news I already knew, and nothing was must-know-immediately. And unless my safety is in danger, what is must-know-immediately anyhow? The depth, analysis, and insight of long-form journalism is... Read more »