Between the Issues

The World Through a Food Truck

“Just don’t tell Baba our chicken is better.” It’s the only request Ryah asks customers who stop by to visit Leena’s, the food truck she operates out of a ’91 Chevy Step Van that began its life delivering the Pittsburgh Post-​Gazette.

On Karoshi, Part II

The word “karoshi” was invented in 1978 to describe an increasingly common phenomenon: Japanese workers, mostly the venerable salarymen, were dropping dead of heart disease in the prime of life. There was a reason it all happened in the 1970s. The shocking — to the Japanese — and humiliating loss in World War II

Seeing the World Through Music

Nietzsche famously castigated Euripides for killing the tradition of the chorus in Greek tragedy, because the audience no longer had music to inform its comprehension. He even felt that Euripides caused the death of tragedy itself by trying to make it too Socratic, too rational.

On Karoshi

“Karoshi” is a Japanese word that means, literally, “death by overwork.” For nearly half a century it’s been quite common for Japanese workers, usually the legendary “salarymen,” simply to drop dead, almost always from heart problems, after working long hours for many years. Other Asian cultures, especially, South Korea and…

Exploring the Work of Damianos and Mulcahy at the Westmoreland

To paraphrase a new friend, director general of the Pakistan National Council of the Arts Jamal Shah: in celebrating life, art follows the inquisitive human mind in its desire to delve deeper as it challenges the established reality and surprises us with new realities. It challenges us to deepen our…

The Illusion of Control, Part III

In my last post I pointed out that, contrary to the claims of Modern Portfolio Theory, families who own businesses aren’t at all uncomfortable with the “single stock risk” they are taking. (I’m not counting startup companies, which mostly fail.) I also pointed out that, once a family sells its…

Miraculous

I found the miraculous in the dim lamp that hung above your head, swinging.

Seeing a Garden in a Pile of Debris

Julia had fired up the chainsaw because she had been bored, really. Retirement had been fun for an hour or two, but she needed something to do.

The Illusion of Control, Part II

When I was writing my last book, Family Capital, my objective was to make it appealing — well, tolerable — for people who didn’t care much for investment issues but who knew they really should learn something about them. Adult children, for example. But also spouses, cousins, attorneys, accountants, bankers, trustees and others who…

Thanksgiving in Greensburg

Childhood expands and does not measure. Adulthood counts and contracts.

The Illusion of Control

“Tell me, sweet lord, what is’t that takes from thee/​Thy stomach, pleasure, and thy golden sleep? *** In thy faint slumbers I by thee have watched,/And heard thee murmur tales of iron wars.” —From Lady Percy’s soliloquy in Henry IV, Part I

The Kindness Meter in Various Cities

Returning home last Monday from a weekend trip to visit our newly transplanted daughter and her family in Seattle, we had a delightful conversation with our Uber driver, a native Pittsburgher, on the way back from the airport. He had recently retired from his full time job, but enjoys meeting…

Happy 200th Anniversary! Part IV

In celebration of my 200th blog post, I’m blogging about blogging. Last week I talked about my (mostly boring) writing habits. This week I’m answering this question:

Homewood Cemetery

My husband and I walk its paths at dusk in the lessening light when heat and humidity ease.

The Puzzle of “E”

If you didn’t read my first piece, I was prompted to consider writing this blog by my own passage through late middle age to advanced middle age. I can see the end of the road, career-​wise, through the haze. My younger, more energetic colleagues are assuming more of the responsibility…
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