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The $64,000 Question by
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(75 Stories)

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Who was Harold Mendelson? He’s a guy who grew up in the Fillmore District of San Francisco and went on to become a famous actor and game show host. He was also a lifelong buddy of my father’s. You never heard of Harold? But does the name Hal March ring a bell? Even though he…
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Life Off the Fast Lane: Staying Home with kids by
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(75 Stories)

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When I got pregnant with my daughter, I worked at the law school on the UC Berkeley campus, known then as Boalt Hall. I described my position there as “petty bureaucrat,” doing payroll and other administrative duties. It so happened that nine women on the staff became pregnant that year. Rumors circulated among staff that…
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Were We Destined to be Glassholes? by
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(75 Stories)

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(From a blog post I wrote on August 6, 2013, when Google Glass was on the verge of becoming a thing*) I felt inspired to write something about an exhibit I saw at the very wonderful Oakland Museum of California recently. In a little, low tech mock-up garage within the California History gallery, I discovered…
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Table Talk by
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(75 Stories)

Prompted By Manners

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My husband’s aunt was getting married at a fancy country club, and we were all invited. We decided to take the two older kids and leave the toddler at home with my sister. They got new clothes for the occasion and were drilled over and over about proper table manners for the luncheon that followed…
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The Final Cut by
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(75 Stories)

Prompted By Haircuts

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“Do you think my hair is falling out?” my sister asked. After going through a round of chemotherapy for lung cancer, hair loss would not be unexpected. She raked her fingers through her hair as she asked, and we both noticed  the silver strands she now held in her hand. After a moment, I asked…
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Oh, The Places I’ll Go! by
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(75 Stories)

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Last year, the year of lockdown and confinement, I was finally able to achieve a longtime goal: to walk the entire Camino de Santiago–a journey of about 480 miles. And then I decided to climb Mt. Fuji, a short hop of only 46 miles. I am currently traversing the Southern Island of New Zealand, on…
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A Little Dab’ll Do Ya! by
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(75 Stories)

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First, to set the scene: My dad and I are sitting on the couch on a Friday night (a Friday night that we don’t go to the synagogue for Shabbat services), and it’s time for the Gillette Cavalcade of Sports’ Friday Night Fights on TV. My dad, first in his family to go to college…
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The Milliner’s Daughter by
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(75 Stories)

Prompted By Hats

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My mother started making hats right around the time I became a teenager. This was not coincidental, I believe. It was a good time for her  to find something to do. Not the happiest of stay-at-home mothers in the 1960s, she desperately needed an outlet. First she helped form a singing group of PTA mothers.…
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Madam President: The Storm Before the Storm by
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(75 Stories)

Prompted By Good Trouble

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I imagine the smoke-filled room: a group of fat cats sit around a table. Their shirt sleeves are rolled up, they puff on stumpy cigars, their foreheads are slick with sweat. It’s getting late; the hours tick by while the discussion gets heated. Voices get louder and the shouted comments are laced with profanity. Fists…
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The Things We Carried by
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(75 Stories)

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Little Rock, Arkansas is the home of Central High, the Clinton Library—and the only dedicated purse museum in the United States. Although not a traditional art museum, I think the ESSE Purse Museum exhibits a different kind of art: symbols of the lives of women in a one-of-a-kind collection of clutches, crossovers, and cavernous carryalls.…
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