THE FOLLOWING ARE HIGHLIGHTS OF MARY ANN'S ARTICLES AND ESSAYS 

THE BOSTON GLOBE: NO ONE IS TALKING ABOUT US

ANOTHER Labor Day has passed, in theory recognizing the dignity of work and the American worker. An actor is shamed for working at Trader Joe’s to help support his family while pursuing acting jobs. I hear former Secretary of State John Kerry on “Morning Joe” talking about 52 percent of the country seeing one percent salary growth and the needs of citizens not being met. Senator Ben Sasse references his concern for the future of work. Listening to reports of record low unemployment and talk of a thriving economy I wonder, “Where am I?” Booming? Really?

THE NEW YORK TIMES: Valerie Merahn and Michael Simon

THE idea of dating someone new is both exhilarating and still, somehow, really, really unsettling. Expectations run high, and who can reckon with chemistry? But none of that mattered to Valerie Merahn. Actually, what she needed was a "Not Date."


REUTERS: Story Nights attract new yorkers like moths to a flame

THERE'S a joke that goes around among prison guards. How do you know when a prisoner is lying? When he opens his mouth.



GANNETT: ABC'S Extreme Makeover 

OUT of the rubble, a house will rise. In just five days.


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THE NEW YORK TIMES: The Accidental Wife 

IT is time to come clean. For most of my adult reproductive years I avoided the mold that life has now rather ironically and unceremoniously cast me in: that of a hausfrau in suburban New Jersey.


THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER: Building Distances at the Shore 

THE footprint for the first casino in Atlantic City had not yet been made. Casel's Supermarket on Ventnor Avenue still sat like a long slice of mint chocolate chip ice cream. And my cousin, who was married to his first wife, owned a vacation home somewhere in Marven Gardens.


THE RECORD: A 10-Year Journey to Make a North Jersey Old House New 

IN 1968, when my family moved into our 1906 colonial — the only house we ever owned — my mother had the kitchen and upstairs bathroom gutted and modernized for $4,630.

We were all about Formica: dark brown faux-wood-grain cabinets and speckled countertops, Armstrong linoleum and matching sink and appliances. Remember the color palette: harvest gold, burnt orange, or my mother's choice — avocado green.