Reader’s Digest and Dentists’ Offices

The publisher of Reader’s Digest is taking the company into a Chapter 11 bankruptcy as part of a restructuring effort.  The readership of Reader’s Digest has fallen significantly, so the company is cutting back.

Fortunately for dentist’s offices and other medical offices throughout the country, Reader’s Digest will continue to be published, just less often.  This is extremely important news, because Reader’s Digest is a crucial component of the reading material available at any anonymous waiting room, along with Highlights for Children, National Geographic, and months-old editions of People and Sports Illustrated.  Indeed, you could argue that Reader’s Digest is the single greatest waiting room literature source ever conceived.  Its articles are always brief, well suited to being read during the average wait before your appointment.  The articles also are literally timeless, which is why it won’t make any difference to your local health care provider whether Reader’s Digest is published 10 or 12 times a year.   You might read a heroic story about a hiker who was lost in the wilderness, or an article about a dedicated detective solving a crime, or the latest study on childhood development, and none of them have any kind of hot-off-the-presses urgency.  You could pick up a Reader’s Digest from 1979 and the contents would be pretty much the same as they are now, except that the ’70s edition might include a few chestnuts in Laughter, the Best Medicine about disco dancing or leisure suits.  Even better, the articles are sufficiently bland that they won’t raise anyone’s blood pressure just before their annual physical.

When I go to my dentist, I usually look first for Highlights for Children, because I’ve always had a weakness for the subtle moral lessons taught by Goofus and Gallant.  (“Goofus uses a magnifying glass to cause ants to die a horrible fiery death.” “Gallant helps his ant friends to build a better anthill.”)  If all of the Highlights for Children are taken, however, Reader’s Digest is my clear second choice.  It is a classic slice of Americana packed into one slim volume.  If Reader’s Digest goes belly up, dentist’s offices throughout the land would be the poorer for it.

Heck of a Voice

When I got off work at Windward on Saturday night I went over to Spuds to meet some friends and have a night cap. Saturday night is Karaoke night at Spuds and I’m not big fan of Karaoke as most of the people who sing do the same songs over and over week after week and some don’t have a very good voice. 

Kim is one of the girls that typically sings, but she is different then most because she does a variety of songs plus she has a pretty good voice. She told me that her mom used to play Carpenters albums over and over when she was younger and that she was going to sing one of their songs, Superstar. 


The Carpenters were a brother and sister duo during the seventies with Karen playing the drums and her brother Richard playing the piano or keyboards. Karen Carpenter was the first girl I ever had a crush on. Not only was Karen beautiful in my eyes, but she had a simply amazing voice, the voice of an angel. 

I suppose the Carpenters were probably not considered mainstream, but I had one or two of their albums. Some of their best hit songs were We’ve Only Just Begun to Live, Close to You, Hurting Each Other, Goodbye to Love, Rainy Days and Mondays, Let Me Be the One, I Won’t Last a Day Without You, For All We Know and Only Yesterday.   



Its only my opinion, but I think Karen Carpenter has to have one of the best female voices I’ve ever heard and her voice stands the test of time. I have included three of my favorite songs that I found on You Tube and hope you enjoy them as much as I did and still do. 


Urban Living

Richard has moved into an rehabbed apartment building on Spring Street in downtown Columbus, about three blocks from the Ohio Statehouse. It will be interesting to see how he likes it. Urban living can be a lot of fun, but it also has its challenges.

View of Capitol from East Capitol Street

View of Capitol from East Capitol Street

Kish and I lived in Washington, D.C. at 1019 East Capitol Street, right next to Lincoln Park. You could walk out our front door, walk into the middle of East Capital Street, look due west, and see the Capitol dome looming over the tree tops, ten blocks away. To a 23-year-old recent college graduate, this seemed very cool. We lived in a very small apartment on the third floor of a walkup “brownstone,” and Michigan Senator Carl Levin was one of our neighbors. It was great to be able to walk almost anywhere you wanted to go, and if it was too far to walk you could take the D.C. Metro. Some parts of living in D.C. were a hassle, however. If you came home after dark there was a distinct possibility of getting mugged, and shopping at the convenience store nearby was a lesson in the law of supply and demand. (The store owner had the only supply within a six-block radius, and he could demand whatever price he wanted for his goods.) If you walked farther, to the Eastern Market Safeway, then you faced the logistical issue of how to get the groceries back home.

When you live in a suburb, you fall into ruts. You buy groceries at the same place, eat at the same places, and tend to drive anywhere. Urban living gets you out of that rut and into new ways of thinking and acting.  That process is another thing that makes urban living interesting.