Archive for March, 2015

Today is the third annual United Nations International Day of Happiness. I was going to write about a U.N. study’s findings that Social isolation is as potent a cause of early death as smoking, and the epidemic of loneliness is twice as deadly as obesity.” But that seemed a bit too depressing and scholarly. So […]


On Sunday we “sprang ahead” by setting our clocks forward one hour. For most Americans, the switch to Daylight Saving Time is a sign of spring. But in Minnesota it usually seems like a cruel joke: The evenings may be longer, but the sun is still feeble and purely ornamental. Just one week ago, in […]


A couple of years ago our house flooded and we had to rebuild everything — right down to the bathroom tile. Our tile-setter was a frenetic Russian named Alex. At first I had mixed feelings about him: He could be charming one second, with his lilting Slavic-English, but moments later he would fly into a […]