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Month: December 2020

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What Made Me Happy in 2020

We are waving goodbye to this year, and a lot of people are saying good riddance. But I’ve been thinking to myself, how can I write off an entire year of my life? Even optimistically, it’s at least 1% of my existence. So lately I’ve been reflecting on all the great parts of 2020. These are some things I have […]

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Where I Was Last New Year’s

We have made it through a challenging year. And now I’m starting to reflect. Lately, I find myself thinking back to where I was last New Year’s, and where I’ll be next one. As this year began, I was walking up the steps of a beautiful shrine in Tokyo, Japan in perfect blue sunlight. Just ahead of me were my […]

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The New COVID Strain Is Now in the United States

The first US case of the new strain from the UK was just reported a few minutes ago by the Wall Street Journal. The case was discovered in Colorado. If we have one identified case, how many unidentified ones are already here? The increased transmissibility of the new strain, along with strained hospitals in many parts of the country, could […]

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The Art Piece I’m Loving Lately

I came across this beautiful art piece recently. It’s a mixed media piece made of acrylic paint, paper, and safety pins. It is in the silhouette of a girl seen through a fence. It appears to be meant to evoke the many people coming to the southern border for asylum in recent years. I spoke with the artist, Amy Putman, […]

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How I Took An Awesome Yoga Class for $1.75

One of the new hobbies I’ve picked up in 2020 is doing yoga. I became a believer when it helped me recover from a painful tendon injury, and I’ve been turning myself into a pretzel (or trying to) ever since. Yoga classes can be expensive, but I’ve found a way to take great classes in person for as little as […]

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What International Travel Is Like Right Now

So I’m a bachelor again…at least until Sunday. On Saturday evening, I loaded my wife’s luggage onto a bus and kissed her through my mask…very 2020! She headed to JFK Airport, bound for her home country of Japan for the first time in a year. Yes, you can travel overseas during a pandemic…if you’re very, very patient. Her flight was […]

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My Friend Just Got the COVID Vaccine

My friend Lidia* got the Pfizer COVID vaccine on Saturday. She is the first person I know to receive it, and her experience was great overall. She said her arm was extremely sore, and she felt feverish for about 30 minutes the day after, but other than that she’s okay. Lidia is 35 and works at a hospital, where she […]

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What Christmas Is Like in New York City Now

On Tuesday, I walked through Central Park and down Fifth Avenue, past Saks (great free bathrooms!) and into Rockefeller Center. I saw the tree, decorated with lights and perhaps more beautiful than ever before. I saw something else too: people loving the tree and each other, and being resilient in the face of the biggest challenge we have faced in […]

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I Found a Secret Gym!

One of the benefits of not travelling in 2020 has been discovering what’s right around me. I’ve made more new friends this year than in the prior 5 years combined. I find myself actually (perish the thought!) saying hello to neighbors! We’re even exchanging baked goods like something out of the 1950’s. And it’s totally awesome. Besides new friends, I […]

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My Favorite Christmas Songs Now

These last few years, nothing gets me in the mood for Christmas more than music. It gives me the warm feeling of the holidays that we need more than ever this year. I love listening to Christmas songs in the mornings while making breakfast or while decorating the tree. I grew up with the classics: Silent Night, God Rest Ye […]

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The New COVID Strain in the UK

A novel variant has been identified which has spread rapidly within the UK. Public Health England Like you, I’ve been hearing about this new strain of COVID cropping up in the UK. I did a little digging on it this morning. Here’s what I found: The new mutation makes the virus easier to transmit. These are still estimates, but this […]

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How I Know Virtual Christmas Will Be Special

Photo: My great grandfathers Will (left) and John putting the world to rights. Connecticut, approximately 1987. My family has always been spread across the country. When I was little, we moved away from my mother’s side in the Northeast to Wisconsin. My father’s side of the family lived in Kentucky. We had no relatives within 500 miles. And for a […]