Thursday, April 29, 2004


For years I have stepped back from the American passion for peanut butter. I never cared for the stuff and was appalled at the idea of having it with jelly.
Then, one day, I was lured into eating some Reece's Pieces. "You won't be able to eat just one," said step-daughter, Cathy. She was right. Peanut butter and chocolate, for heaven's sake. Disgusting idea. Delicious result.
Now I've succumbed to cheese cracker biscuits with peanut butter filling. Yum.
Where will it all end?

Friday, April 16, 2004

Here comes the sun

The last night of frost tonight, says the weather forecast. The sun has come out. Crocuses are peeking up. Squirrels, looking plump and fluffy in their winter coats, are vigorously foraging everywhere. The female Canada goose on the lake has made herself a little downy nest on the shore and sits patiently while her male cruises up and down bullying the ducks away. Green buds are bursting on the first trees.
My days are passing terrifyingly fast. I am busy as anything - and yet I don't feel productive. Many hours vanish on email alone. I just filed two columns - and still I feel as if I have not done enough. Stircrazy, perhaps?

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

With time to read

Rainy days help. But it is a treat to be able to sit down with a book during the daytime. I've never been good at it. Almost any time I sit down with a book I am consumed with guilt and mental listings of things I really should be doing - as if reading is some sort of self-indulgent sin. And, within 15 minutes or so, I am usually up and doing some chore or other. Always as a quick preface to the reading session, something I will just get out of the way now there is the chance. I do some of my best housework whenever I try to read a book in the daytime.
But here we are with some real time and most of the chores done. That's the big plus of apartment living. I have finished the books I am reviewing and have come to the magic moment when I get to choose some reading matter.
First choice was Richard Clark's "Against All Enemies". What an engrossing and disturbing read. But this is the moment for such a book. This book fills in many of the spaces in the jigsaw of media coverage - by going under the skin of events, behind the scenes of bureaucracy and politics. It teaches and reminds one of the history of recent years - spreads out a decade of interlocking events and makes it all make sense. And it leaves one even more worried and frustrated - but at least advisedly so.

Saturday, April 03, 2004

April Fool's Day

The year's April 1 marked 19 years of my working for my paper. Nothing funny about that. Scarey - the years rolling by so easily, busy weeks skittering from beneath me. I don't regret. It has been richly interesting and, in many ways it has defined my identity. Of course there have been frustrations and times of stress. Hell, the job, by deadline definition, is pressured. But it also has been fun - none more, I realise, than in the days when I was the one who played the April Fool's Day pranks in the paper.
In these earnest years, April Fool pranks have gone out of style. Howard Stern played a doozey this year, removing himself from the air. And John Kerry's team did a lovely mock press release announcing that George Bush was outsourcing the national debt.
They reminded me of my favorite prank - the year I declared, with particularly ugly artist illustrations, that the city's handsome old Town Hall clock was going digital.
There was a wonderful outcry of indignation among those who had not noticed what day it was. The switchboard was jammed. The Lord Mayor was ropable. He was out for my hide. was a most successful jape.
Those were the days.