Saturday, October 25, 2014
     

The Generation Gasp

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Jim:

Last Saturday night, I fell through a time warp. I was with family members at Mick Daniels' Saloon on Snyder Avenue in South Philly. Most of Mick's many TVs were tuned to football playoff games. One was devoted to the Miss America Pageant. Sitting at a table in an Irish pub that probably hasn't been remodeled in 40 years, and lacking a mirror to remind me of my gray hair and beard, I might have been 20 again for how little the Pageant has changed in my lifetime.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Claire:

Slate recently ran a piece called "What Is It Like To Be an Adult and Not Have Kids?" Inside, two contributors detailed what their lives without children are like: the first was largely positive - she can go on vacation whenever she wants, she has a niece she loves but whose diapers she never had to change. The second contributor had a vastly different take, and ended the article by saying he plans to go make some babies immediately because his life thus far has been meaningless.

I feel bad for the latter contributor.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Jim:

The Pennsylvania Dutch are credited with "too soon old and too late smart." My own version is "too soon old and never smart enough." As 2013 gets underway, here are a few of the things that continue to amaze and baffle me.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Jim:

I was born two years after World War II ended… on the leading edge of the Baby Boom. "Boom" was the operative word. Our fathers came back from Europe and the Pacific with duffle bags crammed with souvenirs. From our old man, my brother Leo and I inherited a Japanese mortar shell, a combat knife, and many bits of his Navy uniforms.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Claire:

I've mentioned it before: I don't like change. I'm a big fan of tradition, of doing the same things every year at the same time, and the holidays are no different. In fact, I could argue that tradition is most important during the holidays. For almost my entire life, my family has spent Christmas Day opening presents at home and the day after Christmas with extended family at my Gram's house.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Jim:

Once upon a time in America an eccentric Russian expatriate penned a bunch of essays and novels in which she invented her "Objectivist" philosophy. Her real name was Alisa Rosenbaum, but the world remembers her as Ayn Rand. The legend is that she took her last name from her typewriter, a Remington Rand. She espoused laissez-faire capitalism to the max. The rich and powerful were her heroes. The lower and middle classes were fodder to be exploited by the creative, inventive and aggressive, i.e., people just like her.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Claire:

If you're like me, you spent the Friday morning after Thanksgiving in your pajamas, nursing a food hangover and watching daytime television. If you're less lucky, you spent it working. And if you're - pardon my terminology - a little crazy, you may have spent it busting down doors, Black Friday style.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Jim:

When I was a kid, a boy's bike was an extension of his body and his personality. Our bikes took us everywhere. We loved them and modified them to express our inner selves. Sissies rode Schwinns with cheesy features, such as plastic streamers extending from the handle grips. If you were a boys' boy, you removed the fenders - never mind this meant a streak of mud up your back after a rainy day. A playing card or piece of cardboard, stuck where it was smacked by your spokes, made a satisfying "motor" noise. Not even the wimps wore helmets.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Claire:

Last Tuesday marked an historical event. I'm not talking about the re-election of Barack Obama, America's first black president, though that was the highlight of my day. I'm also not talking about the fact that, for the first time ever, voters legalized gay marriage (in the states of Maryland, Maine, and Washington). Tuesday was, admittedly, a day of many firsts. The one that I'm referring to, however, is the legalization of marijuana - for recreational use - in Colorado and Washington.

Yup. It was a good day for stoners.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Jim: