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Stop Calling Me Surly

Visions of a celebrity city

“To be famous, you really have to know who you are, because you’re getting this barrage of mislabeling and stuff coming at you,” singer/songwriter Joni Mitchell recently told inte

Stop Calling Me Surly

Write your own obit

I was already agonized, de-cluttering my living space, when I learned that friends were mourning the unofficial death of Burrell Farnsley.

Stop Calling Me Surly

Therapeutic music

Mandolin virtuoso Chris Thile’s earliest musical memory is listening to “The Girl from Ipanema” in a diaper.

Stop Calling Me Surly

Why I divorced Cordish

I don’t like dress codes, discrimination, greedy profiteers or nontransparent public-private partnerships.

Stop Calling Me Surly

Glimpses of meth hell

Among all the drug traffickers I’ve interviewed in 30 years, the most memorable series was with a meth dealer with a moral dilemma. “I can’t do this much longer,” he said.

Stop Calling Me Surly

Hosing firefighters and taxpayers

Dear Mayor Fischer:

Stop Calling Me Surly

Clarity on soulful public educators

There is no more spectacular a tutorial on great teaching than Ella Fitzgerald in her element. Behold her 1979 performance of “Make Me Rainbows” on YouTube.

Stop Calling Me Surly

A beloved chef’s last supper

Beyond the womb, no place on Earth was safer than inside Joe Gadansky’s embrace. His famous hugs surrounded and enveloped — and held us close enough to feel his heartbeart.

Stop Calling Me Surly

Downtown, we’ve got a problem

I don’t get downtown much anymore. I may go to pay a parking ticket — or get yet another. But I’m learning.

Stop Calling Me Surly

Smackdown, interrupted

Let’s suppose you’re a young, bright constitutional officer who is ripe for higher office and who thinks there ought to be a law. The stakes are stellar, so you mustn’t stumble.