From the monthly archives:

December 2008

Re-gifting is always a sensitive subject. In fact, aside from discussions about Israel or abortion, you’re unlikely to find a more divisive topic to discuss around your holiday dinner table. Proponents of the regift promote it as efficient and harmless, a Bentham-esque, utilitarian approach to holiday presents, while detractors slander it as tacky, cheap and […]


I’ve just returned from a few days in Ottawa where I was attending a conference on Canada-US relations. While the conference was excellent and Ottawa was as passable as ever (albeit obscenely cold), the travel back and forth was positively soul draining. With the possible exception of medium security prisons and Wal-Mart on the weekend […]


MGL Takes a Guitar Lesson

December 4, 2008

I sit in a bright, sterile common room, a waiting area in an old house that has been converted to a music school, home to carpeted and acoustically padded rooms in every nook. A girl who can’t be more than 10 sits across from me, her legs swinging as she fumbles with the black instrument […]


Most people hate to think about those finance issues related to death, such as estate planning, funeral arrangements, and life insurance. Not me, though- perhaps years of drafting wills has numbed me to the chill of confronting one’s own mortality, or maybe my affinity for Six Feet Under has hardened my sensibilities. Heck, maybe it […]


When I was little, the beginning of December always meant that my mother would sit my sister and I down to help us write our letters to Santa Claus. The letters were always predictable: Dear Santa, I’ve been a good little boy all year…. blah blah blah…. Please bring me blah blah blah… Please remember […]