Columns

Bruce the Blog

On the face of it, the conceit behind award-winning stage musical “Urinetown” seems absurd: Citizens are required to pay for the privilege of relieving themselves at public urinals. To baby boomers, charging people to use public restrooms is neither absurd nor unthinkable. True, there were no coin-operated urinals when we were young, but there were stalls that required a dime to be inserted before the door would unlock. As “Urinetown” begins, we learn that an oppressed citizenry is forced to subsist in the face of ...

Diversions

New York State’s primary election is the same day that this edition of the paper will be in your hands, and I’ve been giving it a lot of thought. It’s no secret that I am a political junkie but not in the partisan sense; rather, as an informed and engaged citizen. I am genuinely interested in the opinions of each “side” and am happy to have a healthy discussion, regardless of whether my views are popular or not. What does concern me, and is not at all appealing, is the current state of polarized politics. I am ...

Dr. Linda

Dear Dr. Linda, I am in second grade and have a problem about math. My teacher just keeps giving me homework and it’s driving me crazy. Because she keeps giving it to me on weekends and spring and summer breaks. And it’s only one level and it’s too hard. But the other people who have special needs get to be moved into a higher or lower group and they learn even more because it’s their level. I’m feeling very overwhelmed. Emi Dear Emi, It’s not that often that a second-grader writes to me. Thank ...

Life, Health and Politics

Did you watch “Roseanne” last week? The reboot of the popular show from the ‘90s opened to huge ratings. So huge, in fact, it earned the highest ratings of any network program in the last six years. More than 18 million people tuned in to watch both of the first two half-hour episodes. That’s quite an accomplishment for a show that had a terrible final year and then took a 20-year hiatus.  I am just going to put it right out front. The reason for this huge opening is that both the character of Roseanne Connor ...

Life, Health, Politics

I feel confident in predicting that 2018 is not going to be a drought year. Don’t laugh, dear reader. At the moment, that’s barely a stretch. But I admit to having had a few predictions of the weather sort go ludicrously wrong this year.  In mid-winter, I thought the mild weather we were enjoying at that point presaged a mildish spring. On that particular occasion, the weather turned before the week was out, before my article even made it into print. The winter immediately ceased being mild.  Then it felt like spring ...

Lost In Suburbia

Most people I know gain weight over the winter. Just like polar bears, they eat for warmth and hide their weight under a layer of fur or, in this case, velour tracksuits. But I’m different (so what else is new?). I tend to gain all my weight during the summer when we travel, and go to lots of barbecues and picnics, and drink ginormous, high-calorie slushy drinks to cool off. By the time Labor Day arrives, I usually look like I’m about to go into labor. It’s not even a good look for a polar bear, much less a 53-year-old ...

Organizing Wisdom

I go through this every month: “Clean up, company’s coming!”  I run around the house in a panic, picking up all my projects and spend hours just putting away my stuff before I can clean the house or my husband can clean, whose fault it is anyway for inviting people over!  What’s the matter with him?! Every month, my husband invites people over for wine and cheese. I hate it and I love it. It forces me to “pick up the house,” as my mother says, and get things put away.  If my husband ...

Parenting, Issues, Education

It’s that time of the year again. The flood of campers and kayak-toting cars dwindles, replaced by yellow buses and frantic parents in SUVs. Let’s start this school year right. As you get your routine and logistics in check—bedtime, school supplies, clothes, equipment, driving and bus times, help, activities, lunches and snacks—keep in mind that this is the time to fortify your kids. This year, try reversing some of the roles of caregiver and child. Although it may scare you to think of a time when your kids might ...

Seasoned Words

I certainly have not been a supporter or a friend of President Donald J. Trump. But even though I publicly called him “a liar, a louse, a crook and a bum,” I have never accused him of being a coward, but now I see that Trump has backed down on his proposal to limit gun sales to people 21 years of age or older. Wayne LaPierre, the leader of the National Rifle Association, objected to any limitations on gun sales even for the deadly war weapon, the AR-15 assault rifle. Mr. Trump obeyed Mr. LaPierre and withdrew his proposal. Trump ...

Seasoned Words

President Donald Trump reportedly called Attorney General Jeff Sessions “a dumb Southerner” in Bob Woodward’s new book, “Fear.” I won’t comment about the reasons why Mr. Trump made this remark, but when I served in the U.S. Army in the 1940s I certainly met a lot of people from the Southern states. The Armed Forces are where you meet a lot of men and sometimes women from the South. A lot of them were commissioned or non-commissioned officers or corporals like me.  “Y’all ordered to fall ...

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