The Villaj Idiut: Post-it notes

There has been a lot of talk over the course of the past few months about The Washington Post, primarily because of the release of the movie “The Post,” starring Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep and directed by Steven Spielberg.

I will admit, I have a soft spot in my heart for the movie during the awards ceremonies because The Washington Post was where I started my journalism career.

A Piece of My Mind: That's entertainment:

My mother loved to entertain. By that, I don’t mean she would sit at the piano and sing torch songs or tap dance around the living room. Hers was the old-fashioned idea of entertaining, where one invited a mix of people to enjoy good food and drink in an attractive setting, and hope to generate lively conversation, a good bit of laughter and some warm memories. The mix would include some old friends who could be counted on to maintain the conversation and the party mood, and some interesting new acquaintances who might become friends (and usually did, after attending my mother’s parties).

These days, when we have friends over, it is almost always a potluck where everyone brings a platter and a bottle to share. 

Haugh About That?: If not now


Pulling the four freshly minted cards out of my wallet in Walgreens, I found myself flummoxed. Being new to this game, I looked at the pharmacist and sheepishly asked, “Which one do you want?”

Other Voices: Marketing metrics meets its match

Today’s sports world has fallen head over heels for advanced metrics and analytics as the go-to measuring mode of everything from advertising campaigns to zone defense efficiency. The advent of virtual reality, augmented reality, immersive reality, artificial intelligence and other technological wonders is forcing sports marketers to re-evaluate their sales strategies to maximize revenue.

The conundrum that continues to defy the pivot table, algorithm, code line and headset-wearing, ear-budded brainiacs is the bobblehead. How do you measure the emotional attachment to an 8-inch tall piece of polyresin?

The Villaj Idiut: When the cameras leave

The smoke and embers are gone from Napa and Santa Rosa, but so too are the cameras and news reports – which means, generally speaking, that everybody not living there thinks everything is OK.

Meredith Eggers knows better. She knows the devastation firsthand. Not as well as somebody there who has lost everything, perhaps, but she has seen the effects, the lasting impact.

No Shoes, Please: Must-see TV in 2020

Before Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump became their parties’ nominees for the presidency in 2016, I wrote a column about how delightful it would be to see a Donald Trump-Oprah Winfrey smackdown. Television personality versus television personality. Lack of government experience versus lack of government experience. Wealthy business person/celebrity versus wealthy business person/celebrity. It would have been a mano a mano contest, but with huge fault lines running along race, gender and, dare I say, character and compassion.

I wasn’t all that serious about it, but over a year later, here we are: Trump will be up for re-election in 2020, and serious people are discussing Winfrey as a viable candidate to run against him. Who’da thunk? We really have become a celebrity culture, through and through.

A Piece of My Mind: Can we still learn from history?


Browsing along my mother’s bookshelf, I found “The Greek Way” by Edith Hamilton – a name I recognized as the translator/curator of a book on Greek mythology I had read for extra credit in junior high. The volume was attractively packaged as a “Time/Life Book Selection,” and I took it home for bedside reading.

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