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Who is that masked woman? 

I am back to making masks. 

In April, when the CDC announced that masks were a good idea, after all, probably, my younger daughter and I went full-on Little Women, stitching supplies for the beleaguered Union troops.   Our first masks were made of whatever fabric bits we could scrounge around the house:  bandanas, Japanese gift cloths, a few disastrous efforts involving tea towels.   

Some of our early attempts were less than expert.  We call this one “Loving Hands, Made at Home,” after a favorite…

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Today's the day for a new song! 

Here you go -- latest Song of the Plague:

Words, music, instrumentals, video editing and what have you by yours truly.  

If you've missed the other three Songs of the Plague, you can find them on the Videos page.  

What to Wear to a Pandemic 

Despite the devastation of the pandemic, we are all, always, looking for the silver linings.   Yes, there is illness and death and mind-boggling economic dislocation – but look how many people have discovered the joys of baking with sourdough!! 

Here is another silver lining:  after 55 years of hopeless frumpiness, I am finally having my fashion moment. 

I just read an article in the New York Times Magazine entitled Sweatpants Forever, about how the fashion industry is collapsing and everyone, with nowhere…

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The Obvious Explanation 

Last week, I received a fat envelope, postmarked from Arizona, from the Department of Economic Security.   Never having heard of the Department of Economic Security, I nearly tossed it; but opening it on a whim, I found the cutest little B of A debit card, festooned with cacti. 

The explanation was perfectly obvious.   A couple of weeks earlier, I’d sent in the paperwork (there was a lot of it) to transfer to me and my brother control of my recently-deceased mother’s bank account.    B of A had…

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Are You the One? 

Song of the Plague #3!   Featuring the inimitable Julia Ansolabehere on the clarinet.   Other stuff done by me.  Special thanks to Steve Ansolabehere for filming the action sequence.

COVID Confessions 

Sometimes when I’m washing my hands I only get halfway through the second “Happy Birthday.” 

Sometimes I only sanitize my hands before or after I touch a door handle – but not both.  

Sometimes, when I get home from the grocery store, instead of washing my hands first thing when I walk in the door, and then washing them again after I take all the items out of the paper bags, and then washing them again after I recycle the paper bags, and then washing them again after I put everything away, I only wash…

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The Right Number 

  • The right number of extension cords:   four 
  • The right number of plastic buckets:  one 
  • The right number of reusable shopping bags:   eight 

We have just moved, out of a rental apartment in Boston’s South End and into a condo just a couple of blocks away.    Our last move was almost exactly a year ago, when we sold the rambling Victorian in suburban Newton in which we had lived for 21 years.   We got rid of a ton of stuff at the time – about 2/3 of everything we owned.   We put some things in…

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Mourning in the Time of the Plague 

Mortality has become the stuff of daily discourse in the age of COVID.  Yet the US Postal Service does not know what to do with death. 

My mother, Inge Gould, died on Friday, March 13th.

I have been trying to get her mail forwarded ever since.   The USPS website is quite explicit:   you cannot process such transactions online.   You must bring a death certificate and proof that you are the executor to a post office branch, preferably the home post office branch of the departed.   Unlikely at the moment…

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Imposter veg 

It is unseasonably warm day in late February.   It’s been a mild winter, but a long one:  November brought bitter cold and snow typical of January, and while we haven’t had much in the way of snow or ice since the beginning of the year, it’s been a long, gray slog ever since.   But today the sun is shining; there is the promise of the spring awakening to come.  Naturally my mind turns, as it always does at this time of year, to the question: 

What the f#&! am I going to do with all these turnips? 

If…

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Germs, germs, germs 

I’m usually not big on New Year’s resolutions.   I do periodically resolve to change something about my life:  I might vow to eat less refined flour on, say, May 19th; or to do daily Kegel exercises starting on November 12th.   I might find it convenient to abandon those efforts on May 26th and November 19th, respectively.

But this year I decided to make an actual New Year’s Resolution, on actual New Year’s Day:  I vowed to clean my cellphone once a week.  This will be a departure from my previous…

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