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The Sick Days: Part 14
"I was sick of feeling like a stupid girl who didn’t know enough to manage her own illness."
By Shelley Page
When the pain came, I carried it on my shoulders as I waded through the polluted, dirty water of Lake Ontario. When I made it to my desk in the Toronto Star newsroom, I wrote the final words on Vicki Keith conquest.
“Five down. None to go.”
I followed her in a boat across Erie, Huron and Superior, Ontario (twice), and almost Michigan, and that’s the best lede I could come up with. But at least it was brief.
My knuckles were swollen, my fingers bunched into fists. They looked like boxer’s hands. I punched gingerly at the keys, wincing. It was like repeatedly hitting a block of cement.
I did not go to emergency, as I had when I was in third-year university. I calmly called my rheumatologist at Mount Sinai and asked for an appointment. His office manager did not see the same urgency that I did, and so she booked me the ...
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Route 1 to the heart of darkness
Jack settles back into the Kennedy cottage where he gets a warm welcome from Bobby and gets a good look at The Grandfather: Joseph P. Sr.
By John Armstrong
It was as quiet as New York ever gets on the way out of the city and traffic was light when we got onto US 1 headed south. The freeway runs over top of what was the original Boston Post Road, three hundred years old under its modern surface and ironically, that cement and tarmac was poured and paid for by the Kennedys at their end and the New York Families at ours, our respective crews meeting in the middle somewhere. I remember that because it was one of the illustrations of how a closed economic system works, back in college. We collect our tribute from the people and in return, we have to keep things working, such as roads. Plus, it’s a basic cost of business. Where would we be without transportation? Or sewers, or whatever.
Say we have a contract to let for 100 miles of freeway ...
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Director Catherine Hardwicke takes us back to Beaches
Toni Collette and Drew Barrymore make sand angels together as best friends Milly and Jess, two women who were slowly drifting apart until a life crisis forces them to reconnect
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A spy heads into Hyannis Port
Jack packs his apartment and bids adieu to Vanessa as the plot thickens with a ruse that takes us inside the gates of the Kennedy compound
By John Armstrong
In the 15 hours since we’d left Vegas I hadn’t eaten anything but pastry and coffee on the plane; now that the adrenaline of the fighting had worn off it was a toss-up whether I could stay awake long enough to eat.
I had a flash and popped into Frank’s office and there it was in the little office fridge, wrapped in foil, the remains of the ossobuco from Rao’s. How old was it? Two days? I peeled back the foil and pried the lid up – it smelled fine. Problem solved.
“Tell Ricco bring a car around, and call this number, ask Vanessa does she want to come for dinner at my place, right now.” I scratched the number on Abby’s pad. “Tell her call my place with the answer, Ricco will come get her. Tell Frank and Meyer I went home to catch some sleep. And please call me there as soon ...
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Eggs in Pipérade
Cracking a bright yellow yolk into a fragrant tomato mélange is just one variation on an old world theme that never gets tired, is easy to prepare and always hits the spot
By Louise Crosby
My Dad was never much of a cook, but in his later years he started making Chinese stir-fries. Shrimp stir-fry was his signature dish, worthy of special family dinners. This was good; it gave my mother a break from the kitchen and it gave him a new interest in his retirement.
Another dish my Dad knew his way around, because he was practically raised on it as a boy in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, was fried potatoes and bologna, with sliced bread and molasses on the side. Good, honest food, I guess. Later, after most everyone stopped eating bologna, he would make his own lunches when he was home by emptying leftovers into a fry pan (hopefully there was potato!), giving it a sizzle, and then breaking an egg over the top.
He was definitely on to something. Eggs cracked over food, ...
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Old money and mirrors
When the interrogation of hostile foot soldiers yields no information, Jack is asked to go undercover at the Kennedy compound in the hopes of getting actionable proof about who's behind the truce-breaking violence
By John Armstrong
It’s hard to believe that anyone actually enjoys torturing a man but by the time you reach manhood you learn that many things are true which you may not care to believe. Fortunately, we didn’t need to tie anyone to a chair and stick things under their fingernails to get what we wanted. The captured gunsels had no reason not to talk.
The ones we’d brought in from Queens were all from the Lucchese Family. I sat in on one interrogation that was more like a friendly chat among guys waiting for their cars to be fixed at a muffler shop. But why shouldn’t it have been, really? They’d done their job bravely, now it was over and we harbored no real animosity to each other. People say, “Oh, they’re so cold. They can ...
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The Sick Days: Part 13
How one young reporter ended up shouting at the Queen Mother from the sidelines of a horse race while dodging the pig sty theatrics of One Yonge
By Shelley Page
When I joined the Star’s downtown general assignment pool, all the reporters’ desks had been shoved into rows as they renovated the newsroom.
It reminded me of a Grade 8 class at an all-boys school.
Loud-talking guys in wrinkled dress shirts, loosened ties, sitting jowl-to-cheek, ego-to-ego, as they pounded out their stories on 1970s computers, in late stages of decay.
I was seated, temporarily, beside a bulldog of two-way man (meaning he both wrote and took photographs), who immediately showed me the collection of girlie photos he’d amassed on the job. He’d somehow convinced numerous women to pose for photos with their shirts off, and kept a file in his desk, mixed in with pictures of his children (clothed).
He showed me this collection, I guess, to see how I’d react.
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People: Phyllis Smith
The veteran star of The Office says voicing the role of Sadness in Disney-Pixar's Inside Out was a joyous experience that continues to animate her life
By Katherine Monk
Finding true joy in sadness is the stuff of self-help books, but for Phyliis Smith, it’s become the defining moment of her career—and she’s still in it.
Speaking over the phone, apparently from the Midwest home she grew up in with her siblings, Smith’s voice is charged with audible enthusiasm as she talks about her time working on Inside Out.
Released theatrically June 19th by Disney-Pixar, the animated feature about an eleven-year-old girl named Riley remains one of the biggest hits of the year, standing at number three for the year with over $355 million in domestic receipts.
Now out on home video today, Smith says the minute the movie premiered at Cannes, people told her it would be a turning point—including executive producer and member of the Pixar brain ...
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War breaks out in the borough
Jack can't believe his eyes as the mattresses come out before the hail of bullets begins, but as newly appointed battle commander, he needs to hatch a strategy that will flush the bad guys from their Flushing stronghold before his men are picked off by sniper fire.
By John Armstrong
From 7th Avenue looking down 33rd towards the Luciano-Costello Building you would have thought you were on the set of a movie: cars and trucks had been parked sideways across the street at both ends, forcing any attack to come though the narrow bottlenecks they left open, a bad idea as there were gunmen stationed everywhere. And I’m only talking about the ones you could see; who knows how many more were watching from sniper posts? The driver delivered us to the front door and I mean, right to the doors themselves, up on the sidewalk with barely room to open them so that we were exposed to any enemy shooters for the shortest possible amount of time.
Inside it was ...