Let Inga Tell You

  • Let Inga Tell You: Generations forward and back

    Let Inga Tell You: Generations forward and back

    LET INGA TELL YOU: I've mentioned before that the problem with living in the same house for 45 years is that one has a tendency not to clean out files in a timely manner. One advantage of this, however, is that in my efforts to finally tackle this task, I came upon a folder of several hundred pages...

  • Let Inga Tell You: Treat or treat or else

    Let Inga Tell You: Treat or treat or else

    LET INGA TELL YOU: Halloween is approaching again — one of my most and least favorite holidays. But before we go further, let me make one thing clear: no matter what your teenager says he or she did on Halloween, they're lying. I'm not trying to cast aspersions on your particular kid but after...

  • Let Inga Tell You: Geek Fest

    Let Inga Tell You: Geek Fest

    LET INGA TELL YOU: It was no accident that the other wives and I were not invited to Olof's college roommate reunion in the Pacific Northwest. This was the ultimate Geek Tour. It's actually fairly amazing that these six physics majors, now 70, have managed to stay in such close contact all these...

  • Let Inga Tell You: Partners in crime

    Let Inga Tell You: Partners in crime

    LET INGA TELL YOU: At my granddaughter's first birthday, her mother tore off a small piece of the baby-sized chocolate cake and gave it to her. My granddaughter ignored it, picked up the cake itself, and buried her face in it. I knew absolutely at that moment that my genes had been thrown forward....

  • Let Inga Tell You: Taking care of business

    Let Inga Tell You: Taking care of business

    LET INGA TELL YOU: I can't believe that after nine years and 300 columns I've never written about toilets. Well, actually I did, but it was about these new high-tech ones that have no obvious flush mechanism, like, say, a handle. In my view, they should be banned from guest bathrooms. But today...

  • Let Inga Tell You: NYT crossword can really be a puzzle

    Let Inga Tell You: NYT crossword can really be a puzzle

    LET INGA TELL YOU: You can always test whether someone is a serious cruciverbalist (crossword puzzle person) if they know the answer to the clue "Bambi's aunt." Also if they do the puzzle in ink. Of course, there is a huge practice effect with crosswords. I initially started doing them because...

  • Let Inga Tell You: Married to Spider-Man

    Let Inga Tell You: Married to Spider-Man

    LET INGA TELL YOU: If it's early fall in La Jolla, there are spider webs everywhere. They seem to be especially fond of my house. I'm not particular bug-phobic. But I've never managed to make friends with spiders. However, my husband, Mr. Spider, is probably their biggest fan. The other night he...

  • Let Inga Tell You: Olof's ultimate worst meal

    Let Inga Tell You: Olof's ultimate worst meal

    LET INGA TELL YOU: Recently I noticed a recipe in AARP Magazine for Kimchi Stew that I cut out for Olof. I noted that Kimchi Stew combined his two least favorite foods — kimchi (popular with his first wife) and tofu — into what would be his Ultimate Worst Meal. OK, maybe penultimate worst meal....

  • Let Inga Tell You: The barbarian invasion

    Let Inga Tell You: The barbarian invasion

    LET INGA TELL YOU: If there is one thing we can observe about our five young beloved grandchildren — fondly referred to by my husband as "the destroyers of peace" — it is that they have just as much energy as they have ever had, but we have way less. We recently had them for a three-day weekend...

  • Let Inga Tell You: Has technology become too technical?

    Let Inga Tell You: Has technology become too technical?

    LET INGA TELL YOU: I've been using computers, printers and scanners for several decades now so you'd think I'd have the hang of them. But every new version becomes increasingly unfriendly and unworkable. Am I just getting stupider? No, don't answer. My personal theory is that technology has just...

  • Let Inga Tell You: Sentimental Value

    Let Inga Tell You: Sentimental Value

    LET INGA TELL YOU: It's really interesting what kids form sentimental attachments to. My parents moved from suburban New York City to Princeton, New Jersey when I was in college. Olof's parents, meanwhile, had their East Bay home eminent domained to make room for an interchange between the 680...

  • Let Inga Tell You: Communication-disabled relatives

    Let Inga Tell You: Communication-disabled relatives

    LET INGA TELL YOU: I was thrilled to see my cousin Sandy's e-mail address pop up in my In-Box. What's Sandy up to? I wondered. Turns out, not much. The e-mail was sent to everyone in Sandy's address book from a friend of hers announcing the date and time of Sandy's funeral. From this, I could only...

  • Let Inga Tell You: Who'd be a mother?

    Let Inga Tell You: Who'd be a mother?

    LET INGA TELL YOU: A friend sent this e-mail: "Ethan totally disgraced me in the Easter play at nursery school. He refused to be a raindrop, didn't sing any of the songs or play his musical instrument or participate in it any way — all of which I could easily accept. What mortified me was that...

  • Let Inga Tell You: A matter of taste

    Let Inga Tell You: A matter of taste

    LET INGA TELL YOU: Olof and I are compatible in so many ways, but not in books and movies. Or more specifically, movies made out of books. Olof loves fantasy stuff — "Harry Potter" (he's read all of them twice), "Lord of the Rings," "Star Wars." Me, I can't figure out how the actors keep a straight...

  • Let Inga Tell You: A solution to short-term rental housing

    Let Inga Tell You: A solution to short-term rental housing

    LET INGA TELL YOU: You've probably been following the debate as to what rules should apply to whole-house short-term vacation rentals in residential neighborhoods. Incongruously, our Mayor is leaning toward favoring wholesale greed over the quality of life of people who find themselves suddenly...

  • Let Inga Tell You: Another world

    Let Inga Tell You: Another world

    LET INGA TELL YOU: Recently, my husband Olof and I made our first official foray out of town since his heart attack in January, to attend Grandparents Day at our grandson's school. Let me say that Grandparents Day is a phenomenon totally new to me. Olof and I and the kids all attended public schools...

  • Let Inga Tell You: To hell and back?

    Let Inga Tell You: To hell and back?

    LET INGA TELL YOU: My perversely curious mind has often pondered why there are loads of books by people who have had near-death (or actual-death) experiences and were sure that they had glimpsed heaven, but none by anyone who has come back from hell. I mean, that would truly be a best-seller, never...

  • Let Inga Tell You: How Times Change

    Let Inga Tell You: How Times Change

    LET INGA TELL YOU: I've said it before: when you live in the same house for 45 years, you don't always get around to cleaning out filing cabinets as frequently as you should. My husband, Olof, who moved every three years during his Air Force years, said that he had a policy that if a box hadn't...

  • Let Inga Tell You: Clearing up a few things

    Let Inga Tell You: Clearing up a few things

    LET INGA TELL YOU: OK, I'll admit I'm a sucker just like everyone else for "listicles," those popular website lists like "seven foods you should never eat" and "12 ways to lose 30 pounds in a week." So it wasn't too surprising that when I saw "10 styling tips that will instantly slim you down,"...

  • Let Inga Tell You: The most expensive Jell-o you never ate

    Let Inga Tell You: The most expensive Jell-o you never ate

    LET INGA TELL YOU: Before Olof even got home from the hospital in January after his heart attack and brain injury (from falling during the heart attack), I already had my spreadsheet set up and my phone log ready. I knew from Olof's 2009 surgery that went awry that my part-time job in 2018 was...

  • Let Inga Tell You: My (very) brief career as a pot head

    Let Inga Tell You: My (very) brief career as a pot head

    LET INGA TELL YOU: My husband and I may be among the few people who went to college in the late 1960s and never dabbled in pot — then or since. We've both always preferred things we could sip. But then came medical marijuana . My older son Rory had mentioned to me that medical marijuana might help...

  • Let Inga Tell You: Trashed

    Let Inga Tell You: Trashed

    LET INGA TELL YOU: If you watch the Environmental Services trucks pick up trash on Monday mornings, it is pretty amazing that the City-mandated black trash receptacles last as long as they do. Our garbage pickup vehicles are seemingly modeled after one of those amusement park rides that yanks people...

  • Let Inga Tell You: The scourge of home ownership

    Let Inga Tell You: The scourge of home ownership

    LET INGA TELL YOU: There are times when home ownership feels like the worst idea ever. Like, for example, when you have a difficult-to-diagnose problem that you just know is going to suck up endless amounts of time and money and still may not get resolved. Such was the case recently when we noticed...

  • Let Inga Tell You: Following up from previous columns

    Let Inga Tell You: Following up from previous columns

    LET INGA TELL YOU: Well, I haven't always been winning friends lately, particularly not among gastroenterologists, environmentalists, and even a few dentists. To follow up: Dental offices: I wrote a column recently called "Down in the mouth" about coming in for a routine teeth cleaning to my long-time...

  • Let Inga Tell You: Inga's all-time favorite quotes

    Let Inga Tell You: Inga's all-time favorite quotes

    LET INGA TELL YOU: Over the years, I've been collecting favorite quotes — way too many to list here. But this week I'd like to share a few, some of which seem truly prescient for their time — especially the first three: "In America, anybody can be president. That's one of the risks you take." —...

  • Let Inga Tell You: For the love of Lily

    Let Inga Tell You: For the love of Lily

    LET INGA TELL YOU: When Olof and I were asked to be dog foster parents a year and a half ago, we were clear to the rescue agency that we were not going to have another permanent dog. We had been utterly flattened for months after the sudden death of our English bulldog, Winston. He was a total...

  • Let Inga Tell You: The last parking place in La Jolla

    Let Inga Tell You: The last parking place in La Jolla

    LET INGA TELL YOU: It is a new era when you select your bank based not on their financial services but on the strategic location of their parking lot. Thanks to them, I always have a half hour of parking in downtown La Jolla. I consider it a mental health move. I used to tell myself during the...

  • Let Inga Tell You: Colonoscopies, Revisited

    Let Inga Tell You: Colonoscopies, Revisited

    LET INGA TELL YOU: I was genuinely surprised when one of the biggest responses I've ever received to a column was to the one about colonoscopies. (The recent column about high-pressure dentists had a surprising response, too, but I'll follow up on that one another time.) I will merely say that...

  • Let Inga Tell You: Water leaks and dyslexic meter readers

    Let Inga Tell You: Water leaks and dyslexic meter readers

    LET INGA TELL YOU: Editor's Note: This column, originally published in June, 2015, addresses the issues of water leaks and misread water meters currently in the news.   It's never good news when your refrigerator suddenly starts sounding like a fountain. We actually have a small recirculating outdoor...

  • Let Inga Tell You: Home and on the mend

    Let Inga Tell You: Home and on the mend

    LET INGA TELL YOU: As I told my husband Olof as they were moving him from the Cardiac ICU to the Trauma ICU, I wasn't that desperate for column material. A week before his recent heart attack-cum-traumatic-brain-injury, I had been wondering aloud at dinner whether after nine years of writing my...

  • Let Inga Tell You: Not the best of times

    Let Inga Tell You: Not the best of times

    LET INGA TELL YOU: Last week, I wrote about my husband Olof's surprising heart attack after he'd just spent a year getting down to his ideal weight, eschewing alcohol and bad carbs, and walking two hours a day. So much self-sacrifice and you STILL have a heart attack? Profoundly unfair. I could...

  • Let Inga Tell You: Down, but not out yet

    Let Inga Tell You: Down, but not out yet

    LET INGA TELL YOU: Sometimes life is truly not fair. As his 2017 New Year's resolution, my husband Olof decided that he would celebrate full retirement by getting himself into the absolutely best shape he could be. And with Olof's signature determination, he began walking two hours a day; swore...

  • Let Inga Tell You: Down in the mouth

    Let Inga Tell You: Down in the mouth

    LET INGA TELL YOU: Like many people our age, Olof and I don't have happy childhood memories of going to the dentist. Fillings were done without Novocaine and neither of us can hear the sound of a dentist drill without feeling pain, even if we have been rendered completely unconscious with anesthesia....

  • Let Inga Tell You: The case for starting school one hour later

    Let Inga Tell You: The case for starting school one hour later

    LET INGA TELL YOU: I was interested to read in a recent La Jolla Light that the issue of whether to change the start time of Muirlands Middle School and La Jolla High is once again being raised. My sons are now in their late 30s, so it’s a moot point. But my vote, if I had one, would be a resounding...

  • 'Tis the season for silly ideas

    'Tis the season for silly ideas

    I couldn’t help but notice in December that my WTF? file of silly ideas was getting fuller. The first, of course, was when we received an e-mail from our dental group alerting us that we had not used all of our dental insurance benefits for the year and advising that there was still time to make...

  • Let Inga Tell You: Happy Holidays from stormy San Diego

    Let Inga Tell You: Happy Holidays from stormy San Diego

    Editor's Note: Inga is on vacation. This is one of her favorite holiday columns from years past.   Dear American and Swedish friends, It is hard to believe that it is time for our annual holiday letter again. As I sit here at my computer on this chill night snuggled in my warmest beach hoodie and...

  • Let Inga Tell You: How an engineer makes cookies

    Let Inga Tell You: How an engineer makes cookies

    LET INGA TELL YOU: Editor's Note: Inga is on vacation. This is one of her favorite holiday columns. Two weeks before Christmas, my recently-retired engineer husband suffered an uncharacteristic attack of nostalgia and announced he was going to make his family's holiday cookie recipes for the kids,...

  • Let Inga Tell You: Thankful for the grandkids

    Let Inga Tell You: Thankful for the grandkids

    LET INGA TELL YOU: We are truly headed into what I think of as the Golden Years of Grandparentdom — all five grandkids are now officially potty-trained, most of them dress and bathe themselves, all of them seem delightfully curious and expressive about the world around them, and none of them are...

  • Let Inga Tell You: Thanks but no thanks, Ben

    Let Inga Tell You: Thanks but no thanks, Ben

    LET INGA TELL YOU: It's not only modern men in power positions who are clueless about women. If Ben Franklin were alive today, I'd love to whack him upside the head with my Susan B. Anthony T-shirt. OK, I'll give him credit for the lightening rod, bifocals, the Franklin stove, and for helping lay...

  • Let Inga Tell You: Inga's Holiday Gift Guide

    Let Inga Tell You: Inga's Holiday Gift Guide

    LET INGA TELL YOU: I was frankly concerned about being labeled "Grammy Cheapskate" for getting my young grandchildren tax-deductible gifts for Christmas, but last year they turned out to be the best gifts ever. Now I think we'd all agree that just making a donation in a child's name to a wildlife...

  • Let Inga Tell You: Are gadgets getting smarter or are we getting dumber?

    Let Inga Tell You: Are gadgets getting smarter or are we getting dumber?

    LET INGA TELL YOU: Every time I see an ad for another "smart" household gadget, the only thing that comforts me is the thought that I am old and will probably die soon. It's all gotten too complicated. I came to this conclusion while having dinner at the home of friends and couldn't operate their...

  • Let Inga Tell You: West Side (of L.A.) Story

    Let Inga Tell You: West Side (of L.A.) Story

    LET INGA TELL YOU: My son and daughter-in-law really thought their extensive kitchen remodel would be done when they booked us four months in advance to babysit our 3-, 6-, and 8-year-old grandkids in L.A. for six days while they went on a 10th wedding anniversary trip. As the time of their trip...

  • Let Inga Tell You: They will come, but will they pay to park?

    Let Inga Tell You: They will come, but will they pay to park?

    LET INGA TELL YOU: On Oct.19, the La Jolla Light ran a story by reporter Corey Levitan titled "Westfield UTC's building it, will you come?" By coincidence, my husband and I had just been up there the week before for the first time since construction began with the intention of making a quick stop...

  • Let Inga Tell You: Life with Paleo Guy

    Let Inga Tell You: Life with Paleo Guy

    LET INGA TELL YOU: It has really been only in the most recent history that humans — well, first-world humans anyway — have had the luxury of deciding what they want to eat. This has led to endless debate and virtually no agreement on what constitutes a healthy food regimen. I know a number of people,...

  • Let Inga Tell You: Hoping for a cure for colonoscopies

    Let Inga Tell You: Hoping for a cure for colonoscopies

    LET INGA TELL YOU: Scientists of the world: Want a guaranteed Nobel Prize? Find an alternative to colonoscopies. Seriously, you will have the world worshipping at your feet. There would be mass rallies of ecstatic oldies dancing in the streets, pouring jugs of GoLytely into sewer drains. For the...

  • Let Inga Tell You: Lost in translation

    Let Inga Tell You: Lost in translation

    LET INGA TELL YOU: Having lived an aggregate of three years in foreign countries whose languages I did not speak when I got there, I am usually the last one to make fun of anyone's English language skills. I can assure you that I have provided many foreigners with a great deal of entertainment...

  • Let Inga Tell You: The curse of smart appliances

    Let Inga Tell You: The curse of smart appliances

    LET INGA TELL YOU: It's getting harder and harder to find dumb appliances. You'd think that with tens of millions of us Boomers descending into incipient senility that appliance manufacturers would be falling all over themselves to create the Jitterbug phone version of washers, dryers, stoves,...

  • LET INGA TELL YOU: The curse of smart appliances 

    It’s getting harder and harder to find dumb appliances. You’d think that with tens of millions of us Boomers descending into incipient senility that appliance manufacturers would be falling all over themselves to create the Jitterbug phone version of washers, dryers, stoves, microwaves and remotes....

  • Let Inga Tell You: In pursuit of creativity

    Let Inga Tell You: In pursuit of creativity

    LET INGA TELL YOU: Everyone has a creative strategy, a time when you can really let your mind go wherever it wants in pursuit of problem solving or the unleashing of artistic energies. Olof's is mulling. Mine is wombing. Olof's prime mulling time is in bed at night before he goes to sleep. Now...

  • Let Inga Tell You: It's a sticky situation

    Let Inga Tell You: It's a sticky situation

    LET INGA TELL YOU:   It's comforting to know that after I'm gone, I'll live on through Post-it notes. Truly, I think Uber and yellow sticky notes are the greatest innovations of modern times. I'm not sure what I did without either. Self-adhesive Post-it notes in assorted sizes have been around...

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