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Rooter’s Dozen

As a sports fan, I find it much more fun to watch a game that includes a team in which I have a vested interest. But any sporting event is more fun to watch if you are rooting for someone. Therefore, I have developed 12 rules by which I choose for whom to root in…

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I say JoePa.

This is my favorite picture of me (as it was the ’80s, I give myself a pass for the glasses). I did not know it had been taken, until it was given to me as a gift by a dear friend (that’s the back of her blond head) many years later. While I know I…

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The Ezra Chronicles, prologue

I’ve decided to blog about being a first-time dog parent. It’s harder than I thought it would be. Much harder. I plan to be painfully and brutally honest, but please keep in mind: It all works out happily in the end. The Hauptman family does not have a great pet history. To wit: My first…

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Down With Capitalism

Capitalism can be a very ugly thing. I say this with all sincerity, though with no reference whatsoever to economic systems. (Trust me: As someone who had to learn economics using M&M’s, this is for the best.) Why, oh why, do people insist on capitalizing things willy-nilly? Does it make them feel more important? Stop…

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And a Happy Chanukah to you

Please, I beg you, do not wish me a Merry Christmas. No, really. It will lead to unpleasantness: You will receive a lecture, and I will feel bad. And I’m reasonably sure that was not your intent. I’m pretty sure most of you just don’t know how awful it makes me feel. Here’s the thing:…

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For the Last Time

We are pessimists. This is proved (see recent post on proved/proven) by one of the most common mistakes I encounter: the use of the word “last” when it should be “past.” “Last” means last, literally. Use “last” if it is the end of the road, and there is no hope of ever doing/having/being whatever it…

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The Sliver Palate

I love the work I do as a tourism writer. Telling people where to go and what to do is particularly satisfying. Alas, as I perused the menu of a restaurant for which I was doing a write-up (, I came to the realization that my quirky food issues might be a slight impediment to…

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Innocent Until Proved Guilty

Yes, that is how it should read. I swear. Really. Correct: “Innocent until proved guilty.” Incorrect: “Innocent until proven guilty.” Don’t believe me? Here’s the thing: Prove and proved are verbs; proven is an adjective. She has proved herself worthy. It is a proven formula. If only I can convince Law & Order.

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Dressing-Room Optimist

I was in the Bloomingdale’s dressing room. Never mind why I was in the Bloomingdale’s dressing room at 11 am on a work day. Never mind that I came to the mall with the sole and specific purpose of picking up a father’s day gift that was already on hold, with a definite intention of not shopping.…

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Quote Me

I know you all spend sleepless nights worrying about how punctuation fits with quotation marks. Does it go inside? Does it go outside? Where, oh where, does it go? Here’s the deal: Periods and commas always go inside quotation marks. Always. Did I say always? Semicolons always go outside quotation marks. Again, always. Dashes, question marks and exclamation points…

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