Group thank-you’s? Changing plans without hurting feelings

Q.  I am starting a new job and my colleagues at my former company jointly gave me a farewell gift. Do I have to write a separate thank-you note to each of them?   A.  You can, especially if you have a personal message for each person that mentions how nice it has been to... Read More

Take a movie break: Renew acquaintance with Prof. Kingsfield?

Now that spring may be arriving, the weekend movies on television can provide a welcome opportunity to relax after you complete your outdoor chores. Here’s a look at what’s on this weekend.   Summer Stock Of the many musicals starring the legendary Judy Garland, this hidden gem is easy to ...

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The Grand Budapest Hotel: Visually thrilling, emotionally empty

Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel.

If a movie only needs to look good to be good, Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel would be great. No matter what story he tells, Anderson makes every film a visual journey with exaggerated people trying to deal with extraordinary situations. While other filmmakers may explore similar ...

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2014 Volkswagen Jetta SEL: A great car, at a price

2014 Volkswagen Jetta SEL

Volkswagen’s Jetta seems a little more like its real-world namesake these days, thanks to the 1.8-liter, turbocharged Four that has been added to the list of available engines. The 2.0-liter, normally aspirated Four just doesn’t have the muscle to motivate this ton-and-a-half sedan and is now ...

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Some films that are great, and some nearly great

There’s something for everyone on this week’s bill of movies on television and cable, including some classics, a few near classics and a couple of fabulous misses that are great cinema fun. Here’s a look.   What’s the Matter With Helen This mess of a movie wins the week’s prize for being ...

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Noah: New take on old story fails to ignite

Russell Crowe in Noah.

Noah, the new telling of the Biblical story, uses every possible approach to make its traditional tale appeal to today’s audience. While director Darren Aronofsky creates a unique visual approach, he fails to invest enough time in the characters. Instead of a satisfying time at the movies, ...

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The Twice-Baked Twins are thinking of Easter, planning for pie

Nana's Italian Ricotta Pie.

Finally, the beautiful weather seems to be making an appearance, the clocks are set ahead and the days are getting longer. Just one glimpse of the purple crocus peeking through the ground can set off an hour of conversation between us about what flowers we will be planting, what colors we ...

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