Author: Robin Conte

Robin’s Nest: Packing cubes are no panacea

Back in the dark ages before there was an internet, backpacking students got around by using a revered guidebook called “Let’s Go Europe.” You’d go to a youth hostel and you’d find sections on Rome or Vienna that had been ripped out and left there by travelers who had seen those cities and wanted to lighten their load or share information. The book was filled with excellent tips on cheap places to eat and sleep and how to get from point A to point B without a car and what to appreciate once you got there. But there was...

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Robin’s Nest: On Mother’s Day, remembering what your kids will forget

To all you mothers of youngsters out there — you brave women in the trenches — a word from a veteran: You won’t remember a darn thing. You might recall a few snippets from your child-rearing years, but what you remember and what your children remember will be entirely different. Because memory is a fickle thing … so fickle, in fact, that Barbara Streisand sang a song essentially glorifying its fickleness way back in the ’70s. A tattered old cat had a long run on Broadway singing about it, too. Alas, the curious tenet of memory is that you...

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Robin’s Nest: Assembling the worst superhero team ever

As the superhero story goes, the X-Men are a group of people with various X-gene mutations that give them EX-tra powers, and (while battling an assorted bunch of X-rivals) they endeavor to use these powers for the good of humanity. I have noticed that a bit of X-gene activity seems to have occurred in my own family, but our genes have mutated to powers of questionable worth. We are a bunch of the worst X-Men, ever. My youngest is Massive Toe-Gap Boy. You could park a car in the space between his first two toes. He uses this Massive...

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Robin’s Nest: Wake up and smell the truth about a good cup of coffee

My high school social studies teacher once led a class on types of government and explained a theory posed by someone (Aristotle? Machiavelli? Elton John?) that the potentially most perfect form of government, when corrupted, could become the worst form. I’m fuzzy on the details, and I’m not getting political (step away from your keyboards!). I only want to say that this is exactly the way I feel about coffee. It’s the best of drinks and the worst of drinks. When it’s good, it’s very, very good, and when it’s bad, it’s awful. You get my drift. In the...

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Robin’s Nest: Celebrating the Super Bowl with a ‘Snackadium’

This is not about the game. I don’t have a favorite, and I’m not going to talk about it at all. This is only about the accompaniments to the game — that is, the props, the décor, and specifically, the food that complete the experience and make the recreational viewing of the game so enjoyable. This is about an architectural feat so grand that I must make mention of it in this column, even though I did not have a hand in its creation. This is about Snackadiums. And this is about my friend and neighbor, Cathy. Cathy was...

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