A Piece of My Mind: Seller's angst

Much has been written about the difficulties of would-be home buyers in Silicon Valley. But what about the angst of sellers?

Preparing my mother’s house for sale was like getting an aging movie star ready for her close-up. It’s an older home in a perfectly splendid location – at the end of a cul-de-sac, on a low-traffic street, backed by a natural creek, with a majestic heritage oak tree sheltering a spacious patio in back and other mature oaks and pines in the front yard. The landscaping is low maintenance, and the flower beds are bursting with bulbs.

No Shoes, Please: Bark de Triomphe

Everyone knows that Julia Child enjoyed a good meal. In her girlish tones and sing-song cadence, she praised well-cooked, well-served food, rejoicing as she ate. But behind the scenes, she was no lady. Child would go to any length to get that kind of meal to her table: hack through bone and gristle, decapitate a chicken, ram a blade into the head of a shellfish or, better yet, throw it straight into a pot of roiling water and boil it to death.

My dog, Eloise, feels the same way about socks. Any sock – women’s or men’s, laundered or unlaundered, multicolored or monotone. She devotes herself to the task of retrieving one, straight out of your hand if need be, but more often by dashing into an open closet door, diving into a hamper full of clothing, yanking out a single sock and then racing out of the room like a bat out of hell, seeking out the first person in the family she can find to prance around in triumph with a sock dangling out of her mouth as if it were her first kill on a hunting expedition for small prey.

A Piece of My Mind: After 35 years, Title IX still making waves

I had scattered some literature about the goals of our women’s group around our meeting table. The youngest and newest member of the group picked up a card and read it aloud: “We love Title IX – Fair play on and off the court.”

She looked at me in surprise. “Are we still talking about that? Look at the coverage the women’s basketball and volleyball teams get at Stanford. Isn’t the Title IX thing a battle that has been won?”

Haugh About That?: Four words made all the difference

While conversing with my business coach Julia about the release of my book, “The Promise I Kept,” as well as a class I’m developing to help others write their stories, too, we got down to the usual stalemate in our planning: discussing price.

“Do you realize the minute we talk money, you freeze?” Julia said.

No Shoes, Please: Thawing in winter

It was astonishing to watch a delegation of both South and North Korean athletes entering PyeongChang Olympic Stadium together for the Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony. Notwithstanding worldwide concern over the possibility that President Donald Trump and Dear Leader Kim Jong Un are on the precipice of a nuclear showdown, the Korean Peninsula found a way to communicate and reunite. Amazing.

I’m a sucker for symbolic gestures, though I am aware they often ring hollow. This one, however, didn’t, at least not for me. I thought the South and North Korean athletes looked genuinely happy. Of course, mere participation in the Games is thrilling in and of itself. But as problematic as the North Korean regime has been for decades, and as juvenile and bombastic as the rhetoric between U.S. and North Korean leadership has been of late, I can’t help but think that their jubilation was sincere, and that positive seeds were sown when the host country of the Olympic Games embraced representatives of the Hermit Kingdom as part of the family, indeed, as part of the global community.

The Villaj Idiut: #IWonder about #MeToo

I was hesitant to even pursue writing this column, given its delicate nature and the fact that I’m, well, male.

But the Town Crier is paying me exorbitant wages to have an opinion, so I figured, what the hell, may as well dive into the Me Too topic.

Haugh About That?: Choose wisely

Joking about all of the things I didn’t seem to do right, my 97-year-old father tilted his head and went silent. It was 2012, the year of his passing, and he was preparing to impart his final words of wisdom.

“Why do you do that?” he grumbled.

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