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Karen Stabiner

Entries by Karen Stabiner

Let Them Eat Cake -- The Anti-Fad Diet Manifesto

(15) Comments | Posted April 18, 2013 | 7:19 PM

True confession: I have made a great brisket from the same recipe every Passover for the past 28 years. I've made my daughter the same birthday dessert for 23 years, the same latke recipe since the beginning of time, and my lattice-top rhubarb and strawberry pie is the stuff of...

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The College Insider: Admissions Freak-Out Countdown #18: I've Just Been Fakin' It, Not Really Makin' It

(1) Comments | Posted May 24, 2010 | 1:38 PM

What better way to end this season's college admissions sweepstakes and sign off for the summer than with the story of Adam Wheeler, the collegiate James Frey, a man who seems to regard reality as nothing more than a canvas on which he can paint his allegedly embellished...

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The College Insider: Admissions Freak-Out Countdown #17: You Say Good-Bye, and I Say Hello

(3) Comments | Posted May 11, 2010 | 1:02 PM

The true process of acceptance has begun. Not the emails or the fat/thin envelopes or the mailing of deposits or the twisting in the wind known as wait-lists. All but the most determined or self-deceiving of you, depending on your point of view about tilting at windmills, have moved on....

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The College Insider: Admissions Freak-Out Countdown #16: Living Happily Ever After

(7) Comments | Posted April 26, 2010 | 5:17 PM

In the past week I've met a wait-listed law school applicant who can't decide whether a homemade videotape is an appropriate expression of desire or overkill, an otherwise unflappable doctor who is fretting about the prestigious public university that wait-listed his son, and a mother who already has her 10th-grader...

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The College Insider: Admissions Freak-Out #15: Fall Into the Gap (Year), But Check the Price-Tag First

(4) Comments | Posted April 12, 2010 | 11:12 AM

Call them teacups, call them eggs, admissions officers use either nickname: The pressurized lives some high school seniors have been leading can take a toll; they maintain their perfectionist momentum for the first year of college, or two, and then little cracks start to show up in the facade. Maybe...

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The College Insider: Admissions Freak-Out Countdown #14: Much Ado About What Felt Like Something at the Time

(1) Comments | Posted April 1, 2010 | 11:21 AM

So now you know.

You got what you wanted or you didn't, but isn't it strange, whatever you got, how quickly that polarity smudges into something fuzzier, like relief that the whole thing is over?

That seems to be the way extended anxiety works, whether you're waiting for admissions notifications...

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'Getting In': Temporary Insanity? Parents On The Brink Of College Admissions

(31) Comments | Posted March 16, 2010 | 8:30 AM

"What's your novel about?"

"Five L.A. families trying to survive the college admissions process without losing their sanity or their sense of humor."

It took me a while to reduce my novel, Getting In, to a concise answer. And it's too concise, really, to begin to describe the nationwide college...

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The College Insider: Admissions Freak-Out Countdown #14: Acceptance, Rejection, and Coping -- a Parents' Handbook of Good Behavior

(3) Comments | Posted March 15, 2010 | 12:14 PM

Now here's a fantasy dinner party: You, your rejected high-school senior, the late comedian Lenny Bruce and his equally late film biographer Bob Fosse, and Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, author of the 1969 "On Death and Dying."

What on earth will you...

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The College Insider: Admissions Freak-Out Countdown #13: Deja Vu All Over Again, As UCs Protest

(2) Comments | Posted March 1, 2010 | 10:31 AM

Pete Seeger recorded "Turn, Turn, Turn (To Everything There is a Season)," his musical rendition of a passage from the Book of Ecclesiastes, in 1962. Judy Collins covered it in 1963 and The Byrds re-covered it in 1965, providing a nice set of musical brackets for one of the Sixties'...

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The Philip Roth Reader: Putting the Ire in Satire

(5) Comments | Posted February 23, 2010 | 11:18 AM

An angry writer is a wonderful thing, because he or she can better express what the rest of the population is thinking. Think of the best chicken dish you ever ate in a restaurant, prepared by a professional chef -- and then consider your own best effort. I don't care...

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The College Insider: Admissions Freak-Out #12: What A Long, Strained Trip It's Been

(6) Comments | Posted February 15, 2010 | 10:23 AM

None of what I'm about to say is implausible: A senior in high school started SAT prep in eighth grade, took every advanced class offered him or her, racked up extracurricular activities like any number of guys racking up steroidal home-runs, slept way less than eight hours a night for...

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The Philip Roth Reader: Both Of The Great American Pastimes

(4) Comments | Posted February 8, 2010 | 12:01 PM

Who are the great baseball writers? Roger Angell, Bill James, George Will, whose politics we will ignore because being a lifetime Chicago Cubs fan has to count for something. Oh yeah - and Philip Roth in Portnoy's Complaint.

I hear snickering, and...

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The College Insider: Admissions Freak-Out #11: Why Is Everyone's Top 10 List The Same?

(20) Comments | Posted February 1, 2010 | 10:33 AM

At first glance, the results of the most recent Princeton Review college survey suggest that families are starting to regain their sanity. Lots of them say they care most about finding a school that will further a student's career goals, a smart strategy if you happen to have an 18-year-old...

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The Philip Roth Reader: Softball, Sex, Portnoy And That Whole 60s Thing

(4) Comments | Posted January 25, 2010 | 11:47 AM

You can't take Portnoy's Complaint just anywhere. Or rather, I can't, or I haven't, yet. My copy of the original hardcover is in Los Angeles and I'm in New York, so I ducked into a Barnes & Noble to buy the paperback, and then I took myself out...

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The College Insider: Admissions Freak-Out Countdown #10: Nowhere To Run, Nowhere To Hide, As Test-Prep Puts The App In Applicant

(1) Comments | Posted January 18, 2010 | 11:07 AM

I don't recall the product (sorry, ad agency), but I do remember the pitch: A mom was thrilled to realize that the cell phone her son wanted would enable her to track his movements on her computer, at which point the son wasn't quite so sure he wanted it anymore.

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The Philip Roth Reader: When He Was Good He Was Very, Very Good -- and Something of a Feminist

(0) Comments | Posted January 11, 2010 | 4:36 PM

Ah, the Sixties. The dawn of the modern feminist movement, the awakening of an entire generation to possibilities beyond home and hearth, a societal sea change documented by such icons of gender enlightenment as Betty Friedan, the Boston Women's Health Collective, and Philip Roth.

For who is Lucy...

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The College Insider: Admissions Freak-Out Countdown #9 - The Post-App, Pre-Notification Sounds Of Silence, Unless You're A Junior.

(4) Comments | Posted January 4, 2010 | 9:36 AM

The soundtrack in my head is Roy Orbison singing "It's over, it's ooooooover," and it doesn't matter that the "it" for him was a love affair and not a college app. Plaintive heartbreak is plaintive heartbreak, and any parent or senior obsessed enough to have invested wholeheartedly...

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The Philip Roth Reader: Who Cares What Kind of Husband He Was?

(2) Comments | Posted December 28, 2009 | 12:25 PM

A man I know who is old enough to have multiple grandchildren still gets whiplash if a pair of long legs in high heels walks by. This is fine by me (okay, slightly less than fine if I'm in the middle of making an astute comment when his attention wanders)...

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The College Insider: Admissions Freak-Out Countdown #8: Bah, Humbug, Tax Forms And Early Deferrals

(2) Comments | Posted December 21, 2009 | 3:05 PM

Ah, the holiday season. The familiar aromas of traditional festive meals, free shipping, sales that seem to start earlier every year, reunions with loved ones, mysterious new air travel fees, hot chocolate and egg nog.

And early-decision deferrals.

And the official start of the...

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The Philip Roth Reader: Hanging On To "Letting Go" for as Long as Possible

(2) Comments | Posted December 16, 2009 | 11:56 AM

In truth, I have let myself down too often, book-wise: When you read a lot for work, collapsing with a good book after dinner can feel like something less than a holiday. After a long day at the computer, I yearn to do something else - make a pie crust,...

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