Author Archives: Jacqueline Damian

Comparative Dylanology

Somewhere around 20 years ago, maybe more, a friend described an article he had read in an intellectual magazine about a Bob Dylan theme party—a sort of masquerade ball where everyone dressed up as a character in a Dylan song. Think of the possibilities. You could go as “Mr. Tambourine Man” or Rubin (Hurricane) Carter. […]

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Lessons from Judge Judy

One day last week I was backing out of an angled parking space at the health food store in Port Jervis. I’m cautious in reverse because, even with the rear camera my small van is equipped with, I don’t see behind me as well as I did in the little Mazda I used to drive. […]

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Remembering Mom in the oddest places

For the longest time, I couldn’t enter Walmart. My inability to step through those wide automatic doors wasn’t a protest against big-box shopping. It was strictly personal. My mother liked shopping at Walmart and she got her prescriptions there. Often I had to pick them up for her, since I was the one who organized […]

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Death in the digital age

Facebook giveth and Facebook taketh away. It brings you back in touch with friends and colleagues from earlier parts of your life—people you might never have reconnected with otherwise. And then—shockingly—it tells you they are gone. Last week I learned that an old, dear friend of mine—a photographer I worked with decades ago, in my […]

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Where everybody knows your name

A friend of mine has an expression she uses for the comfy, cozy garb you only wear around the house—you know, the sweats and stained T-shirts that you’ve vowed to throw away at the end of the season but are still good enough for gardening, or for lying around watching a “Twilight Zone” marathon. “Oldies […]

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Trying to tame the sugar jones

Last night I made a pan of oat squares from a recipe a friend gave me that uses mashed bananas and chopped dates as sweeteners. It turned out pretty well, kind of a cross between banana bread and granola bars. I’ll definitely make it again, since my husband and I are cutting down on sugar […]

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Countdown to Downton’s end

We’ve reached the halfway mark. Sunday’s episode signaled the midpoint of the final season of “Downton Abbey.” Just four more shows (including a “Christmas special”) and we will bid farewell forever to Lord and Lady Grantham, their family, friends and servants, as well as the fictional Yorkshire estate that gives this British series its name. […]

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They won’t stay kittens forever

The kittens are six months old now. Moe, the tuxedo, weighs almost 8 pounds, the size of a (smallish) full-grown cat. His ginger-colored sister, Sassy, is still a wood sprite—dainty and petite at just 5 pounds. Whatever their respective sizes, they are no longer babies. They suddenly look like miniature cats, though their behavior is […]

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Tough to quit smoking, whatever your age

We’ve been binge-watching “Nurse Jackie” on Netflix, and I can see why the made-up word “dramedy” is the only way to describe it. There’s comedy in this series starring Edie Falco as a nurse in a busy ER. But there’s drama too. Jackie is addicted to prescription drugs and will do anything to get them. […]

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Time to tackle taxes

I have a friend who enacts the same ritual every New Year’s Day. It’s not a champagne brunch, a movie date or a plunge into icy waters with the Polar Bear Club. Instead, my friend sets aside January 1 as the day to get her taxes in order. I so admire her discipline. I’m usually […]

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