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Opinion & Columns

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Exclusive Q&A: Dr. Larry Einhorn on Lance Armstrong

On October 22, cycling’s governing body formally stripped Lance Armstrong of his seven Tour de France titles due to alleged involvement in a doping scandal, and on November 1, the International Olympic Committee opened an investigation into the cyclist’s bronze-medal-winning performance in 2000.

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Editor's Note: November 2012

Call it premature, or irrational, or morbid, but I’m convinced that I’m destined to get breast cancer. I’ve accepted it, figuring it’s better to prepare myself mentally—and take precautions like self-exams—than be caught off-guard like my great-aunt Barbara was, when she was diagnosed at the age of 39. That was back in the ’60s, and even though it was only a small lump, they lopped off her whole breast, so primitive were the treatment options at that point.

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Drug Addict

You can buy chairs at the drugstore. Granted, the selection consists of remote-controlled lift chairs for the old or infirm, but still. They are chairs, they cost $799, and you can buy them at the drugstore. On my last visit, I was tempted to try one just to see how far it would launch me, but I was afraid someone I knew might see. So I moved on to the “walking sticks”—canes, for crying out loud—and blood-pressure cuffs. Those devices I expect to see at the drugstore, but chairs? That blows me away.

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On the Fence

If you haven’t been reading the newspaper or watching the news, you might not realize we’re electing a president this month. It seems like just yesterday that Chief Justice John Roberts, the man in charge of interpreting the Constitution, was bungling the oath of office contained in that document at the last inauguration.

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Winnie Ballard, Colts Fans & More Turn Canal Pink

Rain did not dilute the hue nor the attitude of today’s Pinking of the Canal put on by the Indianapolis Colts and Hard Rock Cafe. For the third year, Colts organization staffers, volunteers, breast-cancer survivors and cure seekers, and friends turned the canal pink to recognize National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Colts cheerleaders, along with the team’s mascot, Blue, and Super Fan Michael Hopson all donned their best pink in support of the event.

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Editor's Note: October 2012

When I read about how ostracized novelist Dan Wakefield felt here after the release of his excellent 1970 debut novel, Going All the Way (“All the Way Home,” in this issue), I was a little surprised. Sure, some of his fellow Shortridge grads were horrified to recognize themselves (so they were convinced) in his sex-crazed, McCarthy-era characters. After all, who wants to be guessed as the hot-to-trot ex-girlfriend who “did it” in the bushes outside the high-school variety show? But the legacy of Hoosier writers—even during the “golden age,” at the turn of the last century—has never been squeaky clean. 

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Art of Darkness

I was reading a home-improvement magazine recently and saw an advertisement for a residential generator. It was being touted as the next must-have appliance, something no respectable household should be without. The ad warned of the perils awaiting the ungenerated—spoiled food, flooded basements, gloom of night, frostbite, heat stroke, starvation, thirst, severed communications, severed limbs, all manner of hazards. The advertisement was sponsored by the local electric company, causing me to wonder if the executives knew something I didn’t about the reliability of our power supply. It felt a bit like Wall Street peddling municipal bonds in anticipation of a stock crash.

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Princess Diary

I fell for it, every last bit. There we were, cherished granddaughter in tow, standing in line at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, Disney World’s excessive tribute to all things princess. If you wanted to be transformed into, say, Cinderella or Snow White, you could buy hairstyling, “shimmering makeup,” nail polish, sash, face gem, and cinch bag for $59.95. But who could settle for such a paltry princess makeover when for $189.95 you got the works—glittery costume, tiara, wand, and all—and a personal photo portfolio? 

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Editor's Note: September 2012

A group of Lucas Oil Stadium visitors shuffled into the Colts’ home locker room, all true-blue carpet and cherrywood shelving, as a middle-aged woman with dark cropped hair posed the question. Our guide gestured to what she called “Quarterback Corner,” the nook where the starter and his backups hang their helmets. Smartphones whipped out, and the 25 of us formed a huddle around the niche. 

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Seams Foreign

When I married my wife 28 years ago, I thought the best part of married life would be the physical part. I conduct a lot of weddings, and every groom-to-be is thinking the same thing—I can tell by the drool. We don’t know what our wives are thinking, and would likely be disappointed if we did. I once read that the male’s desire for sex declines as we age. Fortunately, by the time that happens, we’ve discovered other benefits to marriage, one of which is not having to shop for clothes any longer. 

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Alma Matters: Thoughts on Today's Students

Every year about this time, I get the back-to-school itch. The smell of plastic pencil cases fills the air, and I dream about the days when I broke in a pair of stiff new oxfords, donned an itchy Black Watch plaid jumper, and trudged off to School 84. 

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Over the Rainbow about Carmel

As a committed downtowner, I like to believe that Indy is the state’s cradle of cool. Sure, Bloomington mounts a serious challenge, and lately I keep hearing surprising things about Fort Wayne, but I never considered Carmel—stylish, yes, but not exactly hip—a hotbed of progressive sensibilities. Yesterday, I had to reconsider. Amid the news that the Indianapolis City-County Council has proposed domestic-partner benefits for municipal employees (28 years after Berkeley, California, became the first American city to do so), the Star pointed out that Carmel already has domestic-partner benefits in place. 

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Road to Ruin

My family and I spend a portion of our year on a farm south of Paoli that has been in my wife’s family since the middle 1800’s. The house was built in fits and starts between 1913 and 1945, as funds and circumstances allowed. We renovated it last year and amidst the moving-day hubbub, I moved a table to the back porch, beside the porch swing and washing machine. We writers are in constant search of Nirvana, and though it took 20 years, I have finally found it next to a jug of Tide and a box of Bounce. I spend my mornings there, looking, in between paragraphs, across the field to the creek, then up the hill and into the woods. It is a pleasant arrangement, writing-wise, except on Mondays, laundry-day, when the erratic thump of the dryer upsets my rhythm. But the dryer was here first and has been grandfathered in, so I defer to it one day a week.

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Fear Factor

An alley connects the downtown office building where I work to Illinois Street. Even though the pathway is a nifty shortcut to Panera Bread, where I like to pick up a nice BBQ Chopped Chicken salad, I never walk it alone. Colleagues find my reluctance silly, as no one to our recollection has been assaulted, murdered, or dismembered there. But my thought process works differently: If something bad is going to happen, it probably will happen to me.

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Editor's Note: August 2012

Just two weeks before my first day of work at Indianapolis Monthly, my husband and I were crisscrossing the city at breakneck speed. We needed a place to live, and quickly. Renting was a necessity (at least until our house in Atlanta sold), and after living in gridlock for almost a decade, a short commute to IM’s Monument Circle office was a must.

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