Essay

Essay: My Two Milestones

Jan 22, 2016
Hugh O'Neill / Fotolia

Lake Effect essayist Jerry Huffman recently turned 60 years old – and he already has already surpassed two big milestones for 2016. He reflects on how growing older has given him challenges not only professionally, but also physically after recovering from a stroke. Huffman explains how those events have changed his very definition of living:

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Does it feel to you like all the international news comes with a side order of doom and gloom?  Lake Effect essayist Art Cyr says there are reasons to keep our collective chin up:

“Nattering nabobs of negativism,” is probably the most enduring of the many alliterative pronouncements of Spiro Agnew, Vice President in the Nixon administration until forced to resign because of corruption. This particular phrase, penned by Nixon speechwriter William Safire, derogatively denigrated diligent reporters for placing bad news above good.

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Some might look wistfully at a picture of urban decay in their hometown like the images photographer Eric Holubow has captured in Milwaukee.  However Lake Effect essayist Christianna Frtiz has given quite a lot of thought to her personal idea of home:

Essay: What Is it Worth?

Jan 13, 2016
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Have you filled up your car at the gas station recently?  Really, if you’ve filled up any time in the last few months, the trip feels like a walk down memory lane, at least when you pay the bill.  But Lake Effect essayist Avi Lank says gas prices need to be viewed in a larger context:

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Lake Effect essayist Elaine Maly's birthday is tomorrow.  But as she looks ahead to the next one, she also looks back at a notorious one from her past:

Essay: Christmas Gifts

Dec 23, 2015
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Tomorrrow is Christmas Eve – or maybe more accurately, tomorrow night is Christmas Eve.  Some among us will open their presents at that juncture, while others will wait until Christmas itself.

For Lake Effect essayist Elaine Maly, the timing of the gifts isn’t really the issue:

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Playwright and Lake Effect essayist Alvaro Saar Rios has told many powerful stories through his work over the years. But it was a play he didn’t write that guides his work today:

Ten years ago, when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, I was living in Texas working on commission for a new play. My first draft deadline was weeks away and I still had no idea what the play was going to be about.

No. That’s not true. I did have a title.

Cari Taylor-Carlson

Today is the day before Thanksgiving. Friday is the day after, known in the retail world as Black Friday. Where will you be on that day? Just as significantly, Lake Effect essayist Cari Taylor Carlson knows where she won’t be:

In my opinion, REI, a purveyor of outdoor equipment and clothing, got it right when they announced they would close all one-hundred-forty-three stores and pay twelve thousand employees to take Black Friday off. They call it #OPTOUTSIDE. I say, instead of shopping, go find a micro adventure.

Lynn Friedman, flickr

For almost a hundred years, the descendants of a German immigrant owned the meat company he founded in Chicago in 1904. But the Oscar Mayer company was eventually sold – several times – and is now owned by Kraft Heinz. Its headquarters are currently in Madison. But as Lake Effect essayist Avi Lank notes, that, too, will soon change.

Essay: I Just Think About Not Thinking About Baseball

Nov 13, 2015
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Lake Effect essayist Jonathan West is not our regular sports contributor, and here’s why:

Truth be told, I can't every imagine being interested in uttering the words, "I think about baseball," to explain a clever tactic to tamp down some lusty passion. And with another World Series tidily wrapped up and put away for the season, you could say that I hit for the cycle once again.

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We’re approaching the Thanksgiving season, a time when we give thought to the abundance of food on our tables.  Lake Effect essayist Mark Siegrist knows there are some who can’t take that abundance for granted:

She stands by her mother as the grocery cart is wheeled in their direction.

A beautiful child about 7-years of age.

She has meticulously braided hair.

And a smile that stops you in your tracks.

The grocery cart is full of promise.

And she knows it.

Essay: Oprah & Me

Oct 29, 2015
Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

Have you ever thought about your personal brand? How you present yourself to the world?  Probably not, but then again, as essayist Joanne Weintraub points out, you’re not an iconic TV star:

How do I love thee, Oprah Winfrey? Let me count the ways.

 

You’re a self-made woman who’s conquered New York and Hollywood by way of Milwaukee and Nashville, and who gives her hard-earned money away by the fistful,  including something like half a billion dollars to educational causes alone. I love you for that.

 

Essay: The Day Bacon Died

Oct 28, 2015
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The news that World Health Organization scientists linked bacon and other processed meats to cancer shocked the world this week...or maybe it didn’t. 

But it saddened many carnivores, among them Lake Effect essayist Jonathan West:

Years from now, dour faced people will huddle around piles of roughly chopped kale and ask one question.

“Where were you the day bacon died?”

This week, bacon is begging for a do over. 

pixonomy, flickr

Earlier this month a potential seismic shift occurred in the restaurant world. American restauranteur Danny Meyer announced he was eliminating tipping in all thirteen of his restaurants.

Lake Effect contributor Kyle Cherek wonders if this heralds the end of the world as we know it:

KatLevPhoto / Flickr

If we’re very lucky, one of our enduring memories is being read to by one or both of our parents. Lake Effect essayist Joanne Nelson was fortunate enough to have that experience:

At night my mother and I would crawl into her bed with potato chips and a bowl of her homemade dip between us, the family dog at our feet, tail thumping, always hopeful. We ignored his begging and concentrated on our reading material; me with my Little House books, Mom with her Good Housekeeping and McCall’s.

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