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In order to stop the spread of the coronavirus, we’re supposed to wear masks in public now, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The agency announced this recommendation toward the end of last week.  You can transmit the virus even when you’re not exhibiting symptoms, and wearing a mask will help […]


The foot of my bed is decorated with the Linström throw quilt from Louise Gray, a Minneapolis-based maker of contemporary blankets, bedding, and other accoutrements of coziness. The company’s website describes the Linström as an “interesting fusion of colors and forms” that “makes for a playful addition to any space.”  I think it looks like […]


I started wearing glasses in sixth grade. That was almost 30 years ago. Think of it: three decades of seeing everything in a frame or seeing everything blurred. Those are my options.  Of course, sometimes there isn’t an option at all, like when you’re swimming or making out with somebody. Glasses are a no go […]

Playing Cards

I used to know a bunch of different ways to play solitaire—stop me if this gets too sad.  I learned five or six versions of the card game from a babysitter when I was a kid. I guess she took one look at my ventriloquist’s dummy and thought, Here’s a person who’s going to need something […]

Water Bottle

I heard once that in order to calculate how much water you should be drinking each day, you take your weight in pounds, then divide the number in half, replace the word “pounds” with “ounces,” and there you are. So, for example, since my weight is about 160 pounds, my daily water intake should be […]


The reasons I’ve heard for why parents in the olden days didn’t want their kids to be left-handed are remarkably similar to the reasons certain parents don’t want their kids to be gay. In both cases, the argument has to do with the benefits of conforming with the majority and/or avoiding wickedness.  Since most people […]


I’ve never met a dental hygienist who didn’t have the skeptical yet sorrowful air of someone accustomed to being lied to all the time. The wives of mid-scandal politicians have a similar demeanor. It’s a look that says, I’m obliged to pretend that I believe you, but we both know that you don’t floss every […]