Columnist: Neil Offen

Jun. 05, 2013 @ 04:42 PM

Pass the word on: I can’t remember

I couldn’t remember my password. I couldn’t remember which password was the right one. I also couldn’t remember the password I had used to get into the place where I had kept all my passwords.


Jun. 05, 2013 @ 04:44 PM

How to be a good houseguest

For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been traveling and been a houseguest at a number of friends’ houses. It is, of course, the only good reason to have friends in the first place. Otherwise, you have to listen to them tell you about their gall bladder surgery.


Jun. 05, 2013 @ 04:45 PM

Weather or not you need it

Here’s your personal weather report, complete with Doppler 5000-Dow Jones 4,873, bottom of the ninth, two men on, radar.


Apr. 21, 2013 @ 07:27 PM

Neil Offen: Not so sure about insurance

My new homeowner’s property insurance policy, No. 684CBGB, is now in place because the premium on the previous homeowner’s insurance policy, No. 732ACDC, was about to go from ridiculous to outrageous.


Apr. 15, 2013 @ 08:32 AM

Neil Offen: Cleaning up a desk job

By the size of the rings around its trunk, I estimated the granola bar as dating from the late 18th century. The ingredients, though, were written in olde English on the wrapper, so it may have been older. Also Englisher.


Apr. 07, 2013 @ 05:07 PM

Neil Offen: It’s tax tips time

Some last-minute tips on how to fill out your Form 1040. Note: these instructions are also useful for Form 8940, Form 1776, Form 1941-1945, WW II, and Schedules 8812, 9692, 89-83 (three overtimes), A, C, E, F, J and SE as well as Schedules SE, J, F, E, C and A, if you’re reading right to left.


Mar. 31, 2013 @ 07:32 PM

Neil Offen: When pain is such a pain

It’s not that I’m really worried about this pain I’ve been feeling in my right hip. It’s that I’m absolutely certain it’s the Ebola virus.

I felt the same way when I had that sort of ache in my left knee. I was pretty sure it was almost-always-fatal dengue fever. Though there was a chance it was a knee-based cardiac arrhythmia.

When I had that thing on my left big toe there was no question, at least to me, that it was not, in fact, a callus. It was the plague, although I wasn’t sure exactly which plague it might have been. Maybe locusts.


Mar. 24, 2013 @ 03:06 PM

Neil Offen: Get that sour look off your face

Never keep sour cream in your refrigerator more than six years.  It’s a lesson to live by, along with avoiding ground wars in Asia.


Mar. 18, 2013 @ 08:26 AM

Neil Offen: A lesson in history (mine)

This day in (my) history —

1946: I am born, which makes me so old I can remember when land lines were just lines and only had a choice of three two digits.


Mar. 10, 2013 @ 01:50 PM

Neil Offen: Where there’s smoke …

I’ve found another thing I can’t fix: a smoke alarm.

I hadn’t intended to try to fix it. I didn’t know that smoke alarms ever needed fixing. I figured that they sort of fixed themselves, like cats.


Mar. 03, 2013 @ 08:29 PM

Neil Offen: A deal, sort of, is finally reached

After a series of late-night negotiations, I am proud to announce that my wife and I have solved our fiscal-cliff-debt-ceiling-budget-deficit-sequester crisis and also improved our score on yesterday’s Sudoku.


Feb. 25, 2013 @ 07:52 AM

Neil Offen: Just the FAQs, please

More frequently asked - but rarely responded to - questions about this column:

How do you start the column?

Generally, at the beginning. Sometimes, we start in the middle, but only when we’re sure there’s sufficient fuel in the tank before turning the ignition. A self-starter, however, is always useful because that would let me stay in bed a little longer on cold mornings. Remember if you’re not a self-starter to get a battery-powered one and wind it up and let it write a few paragraphs before stepping in when it’s time for the punch line and for taking all the credit.


Feb. 17, 2013 @ 02:51 PM

Neil Offen: Rest secure about your personal account

Now that you’ve signed in and finally remembered your password, and recalled that the letter p in the middle of your password is actually supposed to be a capital P, and that you used a # rather than a & at the end of the password, please answer the following security questions to access your account:


Feb. 03, 2013 @ 03:52 PM

Offen: Tasty, with just a hint of presumption

I give this restaurant 3.87 stars.

We began at the bar — a long piece of horizontal wood that resembles a bar — with a cocktail composed of Belarussian vodka, lemongrass and old bits of 45 vinyl records, with a hint of cardamom. At least we think it was cardamom since we have no idea what cardamom is.


Jan. 27, 2013 @ 08:34 PM

Offen: At the beep, please go mind your own business

Hello, you’ve reached the voice mail of Neil Offen.  I can’t take your call right now, but if you’ll leave your name and number and the time of your call and why you’re calling at 3 in the morning and promise to never do it again, I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.