Category: Uncategorized

Book group takes on a GAN

You’ve probably heard of the Great American Novel. (Yes, it’s capitalized, and some people even use the acronym GAN.) With my turn coming up to suggest a few novels for our book group to choose from, I looked at books that have been thought worthy of the title.  From visiting a half-dozen websites, I learned... Read more »

Differences about what we’ll do now

My friends and I agreed about those who weren’t treating COVID as a serious health threat. But now that we’re vaccinated, we diverge about reentering seminormal life. The differences have made me feel defensive on occasion.  Did I detect a self-satisfied tone when two vaccinated friends said that they intend to keep their masks on... Read more »

Recalling a disappointing meeting with an icon

If you listen to WBEZ, you know that National Public Radio celebrated its 50th anniversary this month. The names Susan Stamberg and Bob Edwards are familiar to those who go back to the beginning with public radio. They were cohosts of NPR’s flagship daily news show All Things Considered until Edwards moved to its morning... Read more »
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Visit an unfamiliar museum and pretend you’re traveling

Favorites like the Impressionist paintings at the Art Institute and everything at the Chicago History Museum are always a pleasure to revisit, but as the new normal loomed, seeing unfamiliar museums allowed me to indulge the pretense of traveling. 21c Hotel Museum I had never heard of the 21c Hotel Museum until my friend JoAnn... Read more »

Resumed activities fall short: bad luck or a bad omen?

During the pandemic, my friend Sandie and I have played Scrabble online twice a week, double the amount we used to play in person, and my book group has met via Zoom. The activity that I missed is Chicago Greeter, where I’d logged almost 1,000 hours giving tours to out-of-towners. Chicago Greeter resumed operation in... Read more »

Lessons from eight seasons of container gardening

It’s the time of year when Chicagoland gardeners have to restrain ourselves from planting annuals outdoors yet.  “Too early,” I keep repeating while eyeing the annuals I impulsively bought Saturday. They’re safe indoors for now, but whether I can wait until Memorial Day weekend, the target planting date, remains to be seen. In eight previous... Read more »
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What I’d like to say to someone who refuses a vaccine

Maybe you also know someone who doesn’t want to get a COVID vaccination. There’s a good chance that someone isn’t in the Baby Boomer generation. Eighty-five percent of us are or intend to be vaccinated, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. One in four adults under 30 are wait-and-see or definitely not. The person I... Read more »

Being alone is a choice for many older women

Interviewed for the April issue of Harper’s Bazaar, 83-year-old Jane Fonda said she was through with romantic relationships.  “I don’t want to be in a relationship, a sexual relationship, again,” she said. “I don’t have that desire.” Three-quarters of my women friends of my generation are single, with the single numbers equally split between never married... Read more »

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 »
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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 »