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  •     The bathroom scale started sending unusual messages as soon as the unusually pleasant and warm fall weather began to turn. I have a pretty small frame, and I’ve kept fairly slim in recent years due to a regular yoga practice, so when my weight varied by a whole 10  pounds on the digital screen one day a few weeks ago, I was more befuddled than alarmed.
        Was the scale broken? Or had I really been, unconsciously, fattening up for a cold winter like a prize goose?

  •     Because I don’t pay much attention to fashion, I didn’t know who Tomas Maier was until the other day when, thumbing through an August edition of Vogue magazine, I learned he had designed a velvet-on-python satchel (read great big handbag) for Bottega Veneta.    

  •     My late dear friend Joanne, who was always with us for Thanksgiving, wouldn’t let anyone else supervise the mashed potatoes, back in the days when we had as many as 30 people, big and small, sitting for dinner. You weren’t allowed to cut the potatoes into small pieces to hurry the boiling along, because they would get watery, you had to cook them to her exacting standard of doneness, and you had to use old-fashioned mashers. I can still see her, hard at work, in the corner of our kitchen between the stove and sink.

  •     My memory for numbers has always been good. I know the phone number at the house we lived in for most of my childhood. Just now, I discovered that it is a working number in the 631 area code. I rang up to see who would answer, but the call was “forwarded to an automatic voice message system” and the number was “not available.”

  • Everybody loses things, right? And we all misplace objects only to have them reappear when we stop looking for them. As you get older, you begin to wonder if such commonplace occurrences are due to age. But last weekend, when my pocketbook went missing, it seemed to be a different story.

  •     My mother’s admonition, and perhaps your mother’s, too, to eat everything on the plate because of the “starving children in [fill in the blank]” — in my case it was China — didn’t make much sense to me when I was a kid. (How would stuffing myself help someone else? Would my gratefulness for having wholesome food increase with each bite?) It makes even less sense now that health experts, and Michelle Obama, are making sure we know that being overweight in childhood can lead to serious medical problems.

  •     Even if Larry Penny, The Star’s resident expert on flora and fauna, hadn’t said so last week, I had already noticed that, as he put it, “In deer culture, learning to avoid cars and trucks is a trend that is gathering momentum.”
        My own observation does not come from data, of the police or wildlife-society sort, but from my interaction with the family of four-footed ungulates that hang out in my neighborhood.

  •     Voting-reform legislation, which  has been proposed in 34 states, brings me back to 2004, when John Kerry tried to unseat George W. Bush.

  •     We’ve all heard of, and possibly heaped scorn upon, stage mothers who push their children into the theater or onto the TV screen. Of course, more recently, stage fathers have been in the news, too, pushing daughters onto the pop charts and tennis courts.  

  •     At dinner with friends not long ago, we got to cataloging all the terrible things abroad in the world, from natural disasters (tsunamis, floods, and earthquakes) to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to severe malnutrition among millions in the Horn of Africa.
        I was reminded of that old saw purported to be an old Chinese curse: May you live in interesting times.