Lifestyles: Columnists

Jun. 03, 2014 @ 10:25 AM

It's in the bag

If our house ever caught fire, after I made sure Petey, The Kid, and our pooch Riker were safe, I’d go after a few material things.
I’d grab my computer, my awesome gray suede boots, and a very special bag.
It’s not a Kate Spade, a Burberry, or even a Birkin bag.  This bag may not be as pretty as any of those dream purses, but its versatility can’t be beat. It’s actually a plastic bag that I keep in the fridge.


May. 27, 2014 @ 10:08 AM

Ooh Mommy

Picture two different guys, say “Star Trek’s” new Captain Kirk, actor Chris Pine, and the new Scotty, accomplished comedian and writer Simon Pegg.  The first face elicits an “Oh yeah!” and the second, “Oh well…”
They both have eyes, nose and a mouth. But there’s something about the size, shape and facial arrangement that makes a huge difference in the overall aesthetic. It’s an ineffable quality that’s hard to put into words, but known instinctively.


May. 26, 2014 @ 02:08 PM

Gazing and grazing at food-centric ‘Agfest’

Let me tell you, Romeo and Heathcliff have nothing on Petey in the romance department.  Friday he took me on a dream date.  We went out of town, and had lunch at a local landmark.


May. 20, 2014 @ 10:40 AM

Contemplating a diet? Experts rank 32 of them for you

Break out the shorts, T-shirts and swimsuits, warmer weather's here and some folks are doing their best to figure out how to be both healthy and look their best.

Here's some assistance.


May. 15, 2014 @ 09:56 AM

Memory and nostalgia in two Stamer exhibits

Damian Stamer (b. 1982) is into nostalgia, not just with his images, but the way he paints those images. His canvases are filled with dilapidated barns and sheds buckling under debris. The surfaces are blurry, hazy and sometimes spotted with what seem to be droplets of rainwater. He insists we see things he remembers from his childhood or things that are slowly deteriorating in front of his eyes. And we must see them as he does, in the fog of memory. In the gallery handout, he writes about returning over and over to his past, that there is comfort in familiarity. “Time passes slowly as things fall apart,” he writes, and painting is the only way to describe these places, which he confesses exist more in his mind than on earth.


May. 13, 2014 @ 10:03 AM

That’s how I roll

I just turned 50 last month, so I now have the legal right to say this: Kids these days don’t know what they’re missing.    

Foods like Hydrox cookies, chocolate-peanut butter Oompa Loompas, Mickey D’s McFeasts, and Fruit Float; they’re all but a memory. 

When I was little, in the freezer section of most supermarkets was an ice cream cake.  


May. 08, 2014 @ 11:25 AM

Tar Heel connections at national Arkansas exhibit

It was the spring of last year. The idea was impossible: Find a young energetic curator to help identify 100 American contemporary artists whose art is exceptional, but have no national recognition; borrow their work and mount a one-of-a-kind exhibition that draws from every region of the United States.  The show will open at Crystal Bridges Museum, Bentonville, Arkansas, on Sept. 14. They found their curator, Chad Alligood, a 29-year-old with super art credentials, and by July 9, 2013, he was on the road.
East of Bentonville, in Durham, in October last year, Jeff Whetstone opened his computer and found a message from someone at Crystal Bridges asking if he would be available for a studio visit in the next few days. In a telephone conversation Whetstone and I talked about that visit. “I have lots of studio visits and I had heard about Crystal Bridges so we fixed a date and after thinking about it, I decided to show my weirdest stuff, so I pulled out photographs and a couple of my videos.”


May. 06, 2014 @ 03:02 PM

Is there plastic in your pills

Q. I take vitamin supplements. Can you tell me about the safety of the plastic capsules I ingest on a daily basis?


May. 06, 2014 @ 09:18 AM

Keeping nouvelle cuisine current and healthy

Michel Guerard, 81-year-old chef and cookbook author frequently is described as a driving force behind France's nouvelle cuisine.
You remember nouvelle cuisine, right? Sure, now "new cuisine" seems like ancient history, but at its dawn in the 1960s it rocked the world of haute cuisine. Nouvelle cuisine is, at its best, a refinement of classic French cuisine. Lightened sauces and delicate dishes presented with artistic flair defined the nouvelle cuisine movement.


May. 06, 2014 @ 08:48 AM

Don’t be that guy

I am confident that you, gentle readers, are the perfect restaurant guests for whom every staff hopes.
But perchance you know someone who might benefit from a subtle refresher course (maybe you could leave this column where they will see it). I’ll be addressing this column to you, but we all know that I really mean “them.”


May. 01, 2014 @ 09:40 AM

Nine graduates with discipline and vision

With shiny new MFA degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in hand, nine graduates have mounted their final exhibition.  The nine -- Ben Alper, Michael Bramwell, Isabel Cuenca, Minjin Kang, Cody Platt, Meg Stein, Lile Stephens, Antoine Williams and Connie Zamorano -- have each mastered one or more of the techniques of painting, sculpture, print making, photography or video and have chosen to use their medium of choice in innovative and unusual ways.  They were putting the finishing touches on their work when I visited the gallery.


Apr. 29, 2014 @ 03:04 PM

Statin for cholesterol-numbed fingers, toes

Q. I have a family history of high cholesterol, and my internist prescribed Lipitor many years ago. It was a miracle drug that kept my cholesterol at a normal level.
After taking the medicine for eight years, I developed peripheral neuropathy in my fingers and toes. The loss of feeling got progressively worse during the next six months, until I couldn't determine if a tomato was hard or soft, and I had no feeling when holding a pencil or opening a bobby pin.


Apr. 29, 2014 @ 10:57 AM

Inventory story

Well, it’s official. The Kid is a bona fide adult. Our little chef has an awesome job in the area, cooking at an amazing restaurant, for an incredible executive chef.

And two weeks ago, my baby moved into a bright, shiny, new apartment.

We would have been overjoyed to have our own grown-up nerd living in the basement forever. But for some reason, living in a dirt-floored, spidery crawl space with expansive 4-foot ceilings didn’t appeal. 

 

Apr. 24, 2014 @ 10:15 AM

Could stethoscopes be spreading germs?

Q. I frequently see medical personnel in their scrubs with their stethoscopes around their necks in the hospital cafeteria or even nearby restaurants. I wonder how often they sanitize those stethoscopes. They seem oblivious to the possibility that they might be spreading germs.


Apr. 24, 2014 @ 09:13 AM

Paying homage to a photographer who saw Durham through his lens

There are a lot of people who love Durham and North Carolina, but no group is more enamored of our area than photographers, and the Will Grossman competition has been organized to encourage that love. This year’s theme was “People, Places and Things in North Carolina.” All photographs must be made in the state.  Beyond that rule, the artists could interpret those guidelines any way they wanted.