WASHINGTON -- A few weeks ago, I wrote about getting a solicitation from the AARP, a fine organization that makes you feel ancient and decrepit every time you hear from them. As always, it took me a few days to recover, but eventually I deluded myself back into thinking I am a rare specimen of middle-aged health, vitality and vigor, which is ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- I was at the market, shopping for lamb chops. All of them had crew cuts -- they were trimmed super close. Also, there was no marbling. These were round and plump and uniformly red, like Julia Roberts' lips.
"Wow, they're really lean," I said to the butcher.
"Yeah, I know!" he said, smiling.
"But fat is what makes meat ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- One of the more difficult-to-answer questions is said to be: "What is your most embarrassing moment?" That's because the brain tries to forget particularly humiliating things and, over time, it often succeeds. Unfortunately I have no problem answering the question, because my most humiliating thing happened just a few days ago.
Editor's note: A version of this column originally ran in 2001. Note the nature of quoted language in 12th and 13th grafs.
WASHINGTON -- I once attended a 10-hour personal empowerment extravaganza by famed self-help guru Anthony Robbins. It changed my life.
I have learned the value of perseverance -- namely, that no matter how bored one...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Like most of you, I have health insurance. Like most of you, my health insurance says it covers dental work. As with most of you, this is basically a fiction. Insurance companies are famously stingy at the dentist.
Whenever I leave my dentist's office, he and I follow a ritual. He solemnly informs me he will first bill my insurer,...Read more
WASHINGTON -- As this is June, I have decided to write a respectful column about the hallowed institution of matrimony -- specifically, the glorious event that occasions it, The Great American Wedding.
I know that in the past I have been less than charitable about this topic. For example, I once described big weddings as "anxiety-laced, ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- The United States is fighting to deny a trademark to the Washington Redskins, and to an all-Asian dance-rock band called the Slants. The government contends both names are offensive and should be changed.
The Justice Department claims this is not censorship, and does not violate the First Amendment, because the band and the ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Behold the birth of what I call a "poke,"
Which is poetry that tells a corny joke.
(Yes, you're right, I've done this quite a bit
But now's the first time I am naming it.)
Today's, perhaps, are risky, just a smidgen.
They're on the tetchy topic of religion.
The Two Beggars,
retold as a Shakespearean sonnet
In ...Read more
The Mystery of Jessica BensonC.K. Laurence
Jessica Benson is hot, beautiful, bisexual and dead. Her life and death intersects the drama of a professional football team and the detectives who are on the case. The author has been a student of crime activity and weaves an exciting story of mystery and intrigue, ...
WASHINGTON -- I have a confession to make. By all rights, it should get me fired.
For the last 25 years, in my writing, I have been using the adjectives "epistemological" and "ontological" interchangeably and without actually knowing what either means. Sure, I have looked them up, but their definitions are so gauzy and academic that they are ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- The other day I watched my dog steal second base. Murphy was romping on a high-school baseball diamond, and she sprinted the 90 feet between bases. True, she stole second base from third base, but we are not discussing her baseball acumen. We are discussing speed. At a dead run she seemed faster than a baseball player, which then ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- I have a major apology to deliver here. It is particularly galling to me, and it's going to get messy.
There's an oddity of spoken language that I first noticed around the beginning of the George W. Bush adminishtration, pronounced like that. It was as though the new president had issued some secret directive to pronounce str- ...Read more
Sandra Collins (used to) fight the cellulite battle for as long as she can remember. The odd thing is she has always been fit and healthy, going to the gym for the last 10 years, lifting weights and following gym programs. However, her cellulite never seem to go away no matter what until she came across...
WASHINGTON -- I just stopped working on something important because my professor friend Gina Barreca said she had something to discuss "on an emergency basis." Here she is.
Gina: I have a new book coming out, and my publisher said that since I am 59, I need to have my jacket photo professionally done. ...
Gene: What a crude, sexist thing to ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- When I walked into the men's room of a restaurant the other day, a 30-ish man was there, looking furtive. The room had one stall and one urinal, and both seemed unoccupied. He was using neither. Legally, he appeared to be "loitering." We made eye contact, but he could not hold it. He looked down. I think he sensed my discomfort ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- A few weeks ago, The Huffington Post asked its readers to come up with brutally honest wedding vows for the modern couple. The results were amusing, if a little predictable. ("I promise to stop answering your question of 'Where should we go eat?' with the question of, 'I don't know, where do you want to go eat?'")
After consulting...Read more
WASHINGTON -- To: The General Assembly of the Student Government of Bowdoin College
Re: My confession, atonement and plea for punishment
Dear earnest young adults:
I am looking at what was, until recently, one of my favorite family snapshots. Now it is a source of shame only.
It is of my daughter, taken on Halloween 1984. Molly was 3 1/2. ...Read more