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Christmases and Change

0 Comments · Wednesday, December 23, 2009
At the end of October, when we were getting ready to move our clocks back an hour, I vented about what I go through during this time of year — especially the holidays. Forgive me, but I have a few more things to work through. I hope you don’t mind playing my therapist.  

Living with Rheumatoid Arthritis

1 Comment · Wednesday, December 16, 2009
One highlight of living with rheumatoid arthritis is watching a syringe puncture my flesh to extract blood or inject medication. No, I’m not a masochist, but those thrilling moments have increased my threshold for physical pain.  

Random Apollo Thoughts

0 Comments · Wednesday, December 9, 2009
My friend and former co-worker Jim has invited me back to his hometown of Apollo, Pa., for Thanksgiving many times in the past, but I’ve always declined. Understand, I’m a smoker and none of his family smokes — but this year I decided, what the hell, I’ll go.  

When Shock Hits

0 Comments · Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Last year, I went to the Cincinnati Entertainment Awards with a friend I'll call Jimmy. This year, on the night of the same event, I went to his funeral. His death was traumatic and shockingly tragic to many. I feel for his family. I feel for his roommate and best friend, a sweet, pale woman who picked out the clothes he wore at rest in the open casket.  

If I Were a Betting Man

0 Comments · Tuesday, November 24, 2009
If I were a betting man, I'd bet the approval of Issue 3 on Nov. 3 points Cincinnati in a new direction. I'd bet that a gambling casino at Broadway Commons makes this city a bit more progressive. And I'd bet Citizens for Community Values will try to keep us from using the casino.  

Unemployed: My View

2 Comments · Wednesday, November 18, 2009
I’m Lucy Plum’s boyfriend. Some weeks ago, you got to read her story in this space about being unemployed. It’s a difficult, if not devastating, situation to be in. I was there for almost two years, and she put up with me, and I’ve been trying my best to put up with her. Neither side is a bed of roses. Sometimes it’s a bunch of thorns.  

Six Years of Watching

0 Comments · Wednesday, November 11, 2009
This past spring, I had a book come out with the same title as this column. This was mainly because a lot of the material in the book first appeared here. This sparked some questions at book signings and in interviews as to how long this column has been around.  

The Waiting Room

0 Comments · Wednesday, November 4, 2009
My car had been making a monster-like noise for weeks. I put on my Super Mechanic Woman Thinking Cap, so I knew it was steering or brakes, and I tried to ignore it, but I was getting worried. Finally, this past Saturday noise was too loud to cover up by cranking up the stereo. Of course, I picked a Saturday to freak out, and my normal garage wasn't open. So I headed to the closest place, a tiny tire joint I'd never even noticed before: Twilight Zone Tire.  

Fall Back

1 Comment · Wednesday, October 28, 2009
I should probably make a note of it somewhere. This Sunday, we turn our clocks back an hour — you know, “spring forward, fall back.” I usually never remember to do it until days later while constantly being confused as to what time it really is.  

I’ve Known Some Soldiers

2 Comments · Wednesday, October 21, 2009
School administrators herded us young boys into a room to listen to two men tell us we should consider enlisting. The images of national guardsmen stacking sandbags to battle against hurricanes and the words “Earn money for college” appealed to me.  

Dollars and Sense

0 Comments · Wednesday, October 14, 2009
At a convenient store on Main Street a few weeks ago, a guy was trying to buy a pack of cigarettes with some coin dollars. He had six of them. The cashier was giving him a hard time about it. The cashier told him he needed real dollars, not the “fake” coins he was offering. Frustrated, the customer threw down the coins, reached into his wallet and pulled out a five-dollar bill and a one.  

Unemployed

3 Comments · Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Getting the news: 4:40 p.m. My manager stops by and says HR would like to see me. No real panic (yet), just curious. Maybe a promotion? As I sit down, a bad feeling comes over me. I hear the word "termination." I visibly shake. Fireworks go off in my head.  

Rikki, Cops and Cucumbers

2 Comments · Wednesday, September 30, 2009
On that Friday afternoon, when the guy awkwardly climbed over the roped-off section to get to the outside tables in front of Knock Back Nat's on Seventh Street, I had a feeling we were in for trouble. Just a few minutes earlier, I had to step around the same guy at the Garfield Market just around the corner on Vine Street.  

Benj Clarke Is Living the Dream

0 Comments · Wednesday, September 23, 2009
I’m sort of playing “navigation lady” with my friend Benj Clarke. We’re both on our cell phones with Benj trying to locate my secluded street in Westwood. It doesn’t take him long to figure out how to get here, but why would it? He was the circulation manager at CityBeat, so he knows Cincinnati’s streets pretty well. He also loves The Beatles, as do I, and I could always tell that music is where his heart is — that being a full time musician was his dream. That dream is now a reality.  

Sit or Spin IV: Trentin

0 Comments · Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Late on July 1, I was folding clothes at the Laundromat when my mom called, and I complained that there were no stories that night. It was quiet. Too quiet. I sat on top of a folding table, my feet dangling, when Mom and I got on the topic of kids. I told Mom that I wanted to adopt a little boy. “If I had a girl, I might send her back,” I joked.