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first things first

Celebrating a first birthday is a life event — for the celebrant and those who rally around with cake, candles, gifts, and oohs and ahhs. So when I realized that my first novel’s first birthday is in a few days, it occurred to me that a party was in order — at least a party […]

piece of cake

I love cake. It’s a little slice of joy. Whether one’s tastes run to the simplicity of a perfect piece of pound cake or the extravagance of a multi-tiered, multi-filled wedding cake, the pleasure is the same. Sweet, satisfying, dare I say soulful. And while I have baked my share of cakes — everything from […]

animal quackers

Remember that childhood game of duck, duck, goose? For the uninitiated, here’s a quick explanation. A group of kids (the more the better — an entire kindergarten class, for example) sits cross-legged in a circle on the ground. One child walks around the circle, tapping each seated child on the head, saying “duck” each time. […]

affogato about it

Raise your hand if you’re friends with caffeine. Me too. Like most people I know, I’ve sipped it for years. Not coffee — I just don’t like the taste. But tea, hot and iced, most certainly; and Diet Coke (more so when I was younger), yes. In fact, the only person I know who doesn’t […]

playing chicken

Foibles in the kitchen are not unknown to me. From a chocolate layer cake fiasco (lucy bakes a cake) to flying salmon (swimming upstream) to ice cream sandwiches that gave new meaning to “beat the clock” (letting chips fall) — all of these previous adventures are familiar territory (along with others that I choose not […]

helio again

Dear Ms. Sun: Here we are. Another birthday of mine in the next day or so, meaning another trip around you. Unlike the rest of us (who all, at one time or another, think the earth revolves around us), you, actually, are entitled to feel that way (you heliocentric being, you). And while this past […]

i’m here all week, folks

They say lots of things about comedy. That it’s harder to pull off than drama. That many a standup comic is crying behind the punchlines. That life is never quite as funny as you’ll see up on the stage or screen. And that comedy is in the eyes of the beholder. But what I’ll say […]

she did not just say that

I was almost 35 years old the first time I ever said the f-word. Aloud, that is. Before that, I’d said it maybe a few times in my head (I was raised to believe that nice girls just did not talk that way, so even the thinking-it number is low), but it never actually came […]

just one look

We’ve all seen it. That look. The one that changed the course of your moment — or of your history. That kept you from making the wrong choice — or pushed you into making the right one. That gave you confidence to leap — or propped you up when you fell. (Or, on a lighter […]

give my regards

One of the wonderful things for me about growing up in New York was the chance to see Broadway musicals. Not everyone’s cup of tea, I know (the idea of characters just spontaneously bursting into song is enough to send some running for the aisles). Some musicals struck me as so wonderful that I’d want […]