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More of This World or Maybe Another by Barb Johnson

Harper Perennial

0 Comments · Wednesday, December 16, 2009
For the past 20 years, author Barb Johnson has been a carpenter in New Orleans. Luckily for us, the reader, she’s put down her carpenter tools and has picked up pen and paper. In More of This World or Maybe Another, the Bubble Laundromat in mid-city New Orleans serves as a backdrop for nine astonishing stories.  

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.  

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.  

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.  

Fall Back

1 Comments · 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.  

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.  

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.  

Having Talent and Being Competitive

0 Comments · Wednesday, September 9, 2009
One of the things I like about Facebook is finding old friends I’ve been out of contact with. One of those friends is Donita. We went to elementary and high school together, and we both lived in East Enterprise, Ind. Donita still does. She sent me a Facebook message saying she’s been trying to find me. She’s been holding a plaque that my twin brother and I won from a school talent show. I’m guessing the year is probably 1962.  

Tomfoolery

3 Comments · Wednesday, August 26, 2009
I admit that my restaurant of choice, the Applebee's in Western Hills, showed very little imagination on my part, but it was going to be fun seeing my friends Jan and Jim again. Looking at the menu, I asked our young waitress how good the BBQ chicken salad was. "Oh, it's great," she said. "Really?" I asked. "Would you tell me if it wasn't great? Would you tell me if it sucked?" The waitress gave me a surprised, odd look, and Jan and Jim were probably looking at each other, saying to themselves, "There he goes again."