Everyone has advice on ways to stay healthy. I’m supposed to eat kale, and huff turmeric. I can eat any old potatoes but nothing other than organic strawberries. No more bacon? Puh-leeze. I walk every day, but now I find out I’m supposed to do this at different speeds to keep my body confused. Well […]

Hello Kitty

When I was a teenager . . . oh, let’s not go there. Suffice it to say that when I was in Japan recently, I was a little taken aback by current teen fashions. There’s no better place to see what the youth of Japan are up to than in Harajuku. It starts at Takeshita […]

Crazy train

A recollection from my youth. My Uncle Jim was coming to visit us by train, so my father took my older brother and sister and me to Waterloo, Indiana (population 2,000), to meet him at the station. I was maybe seven years old; it was some time in the 50s. The train station was small, […]

Eww! He’s nibbling between my toes!

Flesh eating fish. Yes, it’s true. In Japan, you can stick your feet in a pool of water, and tiny flesh-eating fish will immediately swarm over your feet and nibble. The sensation this causes is nearly intolerable at first. Tickly – creepily intolerable.  But once you have endured the first couple minutes, you become entranced […]

You want me to pee in that?

I spent most of the month of May in Japan, traveling from Tokyo to Kyoto, Hiroshima, Osaka, and points in between. We rode on trains, buses, street cars, and boats. We saw villages, and temples, and huge shopping centers. But the most shocking discovery I made? These! That’s right, girls! The women of Japan still […]

I Don’t Feel so Good

You’re burning up. Your joints ache and your muscles hurt—even around your eyes. You lie down because you’re so weak, but then you sit up to cough, and watery snot rushes from your nose. Poor baby. You’ve got the flu. In honor of the virus that has helped me sell millions of books—(well, hundreds)—I thought […]

My favorite rat story

I first realized I had a rat problem when the bread rack in our school’s kitchen was attacked one night. The nasty buggers had gnawed through the plastic wrappers and pigged out on our hamburger buns. For fifteen years, I had been an elementary school cafeteria manager, but this was the worst destruction I’d seen […]