Lifestyle - Off The Beat

  • Off The Beat | February 09, 2014

    Grandma’s house could’ve told some tales

    Dendurent1

      Work has begun on Manhattan Public Library’s latest addition — an expansion of the library’s children’s area. When the addition is finished it will be filled with stories in the form of books, DVDs and other media.   But the house that used to

  • Off The Beat | February 02, 2014

    The perils of escape

    Bethany047cut.phatch

    I’ve tried to escape to Kansas several times in the past eight years. Let me start by saying I left the state in 2005 as an unwilling 14-year-old and came back last July. I spent the last eight years in Nebraska, where I went to

  • Off The Beat | January 26, 2014

    A love tale of many Bryans

    Brian mug.phatch

    The month of love approaches. February provides the opportunities to express your love for that special person in your life during Valentine’s Day or for black people during Black History Month. If that special person in your life is a black person, this month

  • Off The Beat | January 19, 2014

    Fight stress, watch a sunset

    Bauman-cut

    This is a special day for you, loyal Mercury reader. I’m going to let you in on a little secret. It’s a secret I’ve discovered long ago, but don’t like to talk about… until now. Are you sitting down? Good. Well,

  • Off The Beat | January 05, 2014

    Memories of smooch planting

    Corene047color.phatch

    Family traditions are wonderful things, since they accompany such fond memories. My family had a tradition of eating black-eyed peas, boiled cabbage and corned beef on New Year’s Eve. While I enjoyed the peas and corned beef, I must admit I hated eating the

  • Holidays |Off The Beat | December 22, 2013

    Still a pretty sweet gift

    Last year, right after Thanksgiving, I embarked on the most involved cooking project I have ever undertaken. It was also probably the most involved gift I have ever given. If you knew me, you would know that means it was pretty darn involved. I made

  • Off The Beat | December 15, 2013

    Old shows on new tech

    Dendurent1

      I like to watch videos on YouTube, and lately I’ve been viewing a lot of clips from two of my favorite TV game shows when I was a kid, “What’s My Line?” and “I’ve Got a Secret.”   Both shows originally ran on

  • Off The Beat | December 08, 2013

    ‘Nerd movie experience’

    Kristina.phatch

    I love “The Hunger Games.” I read all the books of the series in three weeks. Now that the movies are being released, I’m reminded of how interesting the story is. Despite my love for the series, I waited an entire week after the

  • Off The Beat | December 01, 2013

    It’s OK to be alone

    Brian mug

    I spent Thanksgiving alone. This isn’t a column looking for sympathy. I’m just stating what happened. I actually enjoyed the day. I didn’t work. I watched football. I talked with my family on the phone. However, spending Thanksgiving or Christmas by yourself

  • Off The Beat | November 10, 2013

    Grievances against a fortune cookie

    Brian mug.phatch

    As should be very apparent by now, I’m an extremely petty individual who feels strongly about insignificant things. I hope I’m delivered from this evil spirit in my life one of these days. DEAR CEO of the fortune cookie company, “You will be


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