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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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There's more to count than just blessings 

We are deep into the process of Thanksgiving planning, which is always a pleasure.   It’s my favorite holiday, by a wide margin – there’s simply no greater pleasure than cooking for and eating with people I love.   It’s a day to which I always look forward with great anticipation.

But more than anticipation is required:  the meal does require some forethought.   The first order of business, naturally, is ordering the turkey.   The standard rule of thumb calls for 1 lb., or 16 oz., of turkey per person, or…

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Picking up the pencil 

This past Wednesday night, my friend Mary Elise invited me to a Shawn Colvin and Mary Chapin Carpenter concert.   I accepted, with great enthusiasm, and it was wonderful; although I have to admit that they are both musicians who I’ve always found to be pleasant but not particularly inspiring.

On Wednesday night, though, I was inspired.  These women are very engaging performers, really good musicians.   They are fully at ease with themselves and their music.  They seem utterly unafraid of so many things…

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Tricky Treats 

It's my first Halloween in my new urban neighborhood, and signs of the holiday are everywhere.

I couldn't be more pleased.   I adore Halloween; I always have.  I love the goofy exuberance of it all:  the creativity of the costumes, the spirit of generosity, the community around a common purpose (delighting the neighborhood's children):  it honors so many of my most deeply-cherished values.

There was a point when our local elementary school in the town where I used to live decided to stop in-school…

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Reader Comments 

The audience for my blog and my songs is not large; mostly family and friends. Please know that I am grateful for every person who bothers to read or listen.   I am particularly grateful for the folks who take time to leave comments.  My web hosting service does not offer an easy way to acknowledge or respond to these comments.  But please know that I read them all, and many of them make me laugh.   All of them make me smile.

And hey:  this is the Internet, after all; and you never know who might stumble…

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