Opinion & Columns

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A Hair to Remember

I guess you could say that when it comes to my outward appearance, I’ve resigned myself to acceptance. Acceptance and a redefinition of personal heroes. David Foster Wallace has been replaced by David Crosby, Bruce Springsteen with Bruce Willis. Robert DeNiro? Yes, I’m talking to you. Take a hike. Robert Duvall is the new method man in my heart. You too, Captain Kirk. Off to Deep Space Nine; Captain Picard gives the orders around here now. They’re brilliant men all. For they wear their baldness with swagger and style. I only wonder what clipper number they use.

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Editor's Note: July 2012

My fascination with money as an object of beauty started with the tooth fairy. Every time I lost a molar, she slipped a Kennedy half-dollar under my pillow in its place, along with a note written in a script that, come to think of it, looked suspiciously like my mother’s. The morning after, I would weigh the 50-cent piece in my hand. It felt heavy—important. Something to be savored, not spent. And so they came to be tucked away in a box, like rare jewels from the Nile instead of a novelty. 

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The Ride Stuff

Dear Mayor Ballard:

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It Takes A Villain

Just when I think things can’t get any worse in our country, I go to the movie theater and watch the previews of the upcoming shows. They are, without fail, movies about futuristic police forces fighting villains in an American city laid waste by a nuclear bomb. It’s hard to tell the good guys from the bad guys because they both wear black and carry guns. When I was growing up, the bad guys had the courtesy to dress in black so we could tell at a glance that they were evil. Then the good guys changed the rules and started dressing like bad guys. Say what you will about bad guys, at least they don’t flout the rules of apparel.

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Rest for the Weary

Over the course of my lifetime, by virtue of sheer discipline, I have acquired a number of skills, chief among them my ability to relax. The average American works 1,778 hours a year, while Germans work 1,409. The hardest workers are South Koreans, who work 2,193 hours each year. We’re almost halfway in between them: not the hardest workers, but not the laziest either.

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Editor's Note: June 2012

Maybe I’ll text Patrick a picture of myself first, shooting him a dirty look—for old times’ sake.

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Trying Time

Reading other people’s bucket lists is fun, but I’ve never had the desire to compile one myself. Risk-takers yearn to climb Mount Everest and sail the blue Pacific, but boring people such as I are satisfied spending their days bundled up in an afghan while watching reruns of The Big Bang Theory and eating Double Stuf Oreos.

Hanger steak at Late Harvest Kitchen
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Editor's Note: May 2012

Up next on my list will be that succulent-looking Late Harvest Kitchen pork chop. I’m counting on it putting “that orange chicken” to shame.

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Saving Grace

At the end of the year, when our attention was diverted by Christmas, the new owners of our town’s Dairy Queen bulldozed the restaurant’s storage building, which had begun life in 1852 as a house of worship for the Christian Church. It was a modest structure, the Christians not anticipating a wild burst of growth. After they vacated it in the 1870s, it served as a workshop for the town’s tinsmith, a hatmaker’s space, a candy store, a private home, and finally a plumber’s shop, before Pop Logan opened the Dairy Queen in 1953 and used it for storage.

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Map Quest

Some children aren’t satisfied with their names, but I always liked mine: Deborah Lynn Dorman. Or Debra Lynn Dorman—I was never sure, as my birth certificate says “Debra,” and somewhere along the way I decided to use the biblical version because it sounded more romantic. My mother waved away the inconsistency, saying I mattered to her far more than what I was called. Either way, the name had a melodic cadence, and I was proud to say it out loud. And unlike my given name, my surname was certain. Dorman.

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Forms of Punishment

Every spring, I take my shoebox full of tax receipts to Steve Blacketer in Plainfield. I met Steve 31 years ago, and he has done my taxes ever since, keeping me out of jail. Besides a bureaucrat or two at the IRS, Steve is the only person who knows how much my wife and I earn each year. People tend to be secretive about their income, and I’ve never understood why. It is a fairly simple matter to look at someone’s home and discern how much they make. I don’t mind telling you I make somewhere between $10,000 and $150,000 a year.

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Life Support: My Battle with Breast Cancer

On an overcast day this past autumn, I sat across a table at a downtown sandwich shop with my niece Wendy, sobbing. She was there to provide a shoulder and cajole me into eating the chicken-noodle soup that had become my staple since being diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer a few weeks before.

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The Future of the NCAA

On the west side of downtown Indianapolis, just before the sprawl of IUPUI, sits a $50 million temple to amateurism. That’s the headquarters of the NCAA, the national organization that tries to keep the “college” in college sports.

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When Debbie Met Oscar

Our own Deborah Paul was in L.A. for the 2012 Oscars, red carpet and all.

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Front & Center: Rupert Boneham

Rupert Boneham once earned enough votes to win the title of “America’s favorite Survivor.” Can the Libertarian fare as well in his bid for the governorship? We asked a few of his former opponents.