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Story Lab: December 20, 2009 - December 26, 2009

Christmas in Washington: Dumplings & a tribute in the snow

Four years ago today, David Chen – well known Tai Chi instructor, noted artist, son, husband, father – died from complications of surgery. Today, his wife and son and father and a former Tai Chi student winded through the...

By Michael S. Rosenwald  | December 25, 2009; 11:01 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Christmas in Washington  
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Christmas in Washington: A Waffle House morning

“Here comes Leonard,” Mike Sykes said. Sykes is on the grill at a Waffle House in Frederick. Leonard Howard is a regular. Howard walks in, shivering. Christmas is one of the year's big days at Waffle Houses across the...

By Michael S. Rosenwald  | December 25, 2009; 9:26 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Christmas in Washington  
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Christmas in Washington: Soulmates in a biker bar/Thai eatery

Somewhere in Mount Airy, Tina Yingling is a happy woman, enjoying Christmas just as she wanted it: Dinner last night at Lu & Joe’s, a combination biker bar/Thai restaurant just up the road, and this morning spent with her...

By Michael S. Rosenwald  | December 25, 2009; 9:21 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Christmas in Washington  
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Pick of the Day: When Christmas is someone else's day

In the news biz, Christmas duty usually falls to a skeleton crew, in many newsrooms composed mainly of Jews and other non-Christians, for whom this is just another day on the calendar. I'm working today, leading a crew of...

By Marc Fisher  | December 25, 2009; 8:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Story Picks  
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Unemployment Diary: I never used to have a problem

This week, The Post's Theresa Vargas presents a series of stories about what unemployed people do now that they've lost the structure that a job lends daily life. Theresa asked about a dozen people who had recently lost their jobs...

By Theresa Vargas  | December 24, 2009; 12:33 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Diaries, More on the story  
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When your book ends up in a suspect's room

Nine years ago today, I first wrote a story for The Washington Post about three young doctors from Newark, N.J., who rose together from poverty, broken homes and troubled childhoods to successful medical careers. The deluge of responses from...

By Lisa Frazier Page  | December 24, 2009; 10:42 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The inside story  
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Unemployment Diary: A resolution & a revolution

This week, The Post's Theresa Vargas presents a series of stories about what unemployed people do now that they've lost the structure that a job lends daily life. Theresa asked about a dozen people who had recently lost their...

By Theresa Vargas  | December 24, 2009; 10:08 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Diaries, More on the story  
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Pick of the Day: How did Santa know about that field trip?

I still don't know how the Santa Claus at the Merrifield Garden Center knew that Kate Nette had been on a field trip in school earlier on the day she went to see the man in the red coat,...

By Marc Fisher  | December 24, 2009; 9:37 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Story Picks  
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Unemployment Diary: My days are no easier

This week, The Post's Theresa Vargas presents a series of stories about what unemployed people do now that they've lost the structure that a job lends daily life. Theresa asked about a dozen people who had recently lost their...

By Theresa Vargas  | December 24, 2009; 8:02 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Diaries, More on the story  
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Unemployment Diary: The whole day feels monotonous

This week, The Post's Theresa Vargas presents a series of stories about what unemployed people do now that they've lost the structure that a job lends daily life. Theresa asked about a dozen people who had recently lost their...

By Theresa Vargas  | December 23, 2009; 12:27 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Diaries, More on the story  
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Build-A-Story: What to cover on Christmas

Are you sick of reading stories about people opening presents and singing carols on Christmas Day, and wonder why we don’t write more about people like yourself who have fascinating and unusual day-of traditions? Send me a note and...

By Michelle Boorstein  | December 23, 2009; 10:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Build-A-Story  
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Unemployment Diary: Companies want complex projects

This week, The Post's Theresa Vargas presents a series of stories about what unemployed people do now that they've lost the structure that a job lends daily life. Theresa asked about a dozen people who had recently lost their...

By Theresa Vargas  | December 23, 2009; 10:09 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Diaries, More on the story  
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Pick of the Day: The cause of happiness

Louis Armstrong's life was, Terry Teachout tells us, "an inspired improvisation." In his new book, "Pops: A Life of Louis Armstrong," Teachout, a longtime critic for the Wall Street Journal and Commentary magazine, takes on all of the caricatures...

By Marc Fisher  | December 23, 2009; 8:35 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Story Picks  
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Unemployment Diary: Finally, quiet time for myself

This week, The Post's Theresa Vargas presents a series of stories about what unemployed people do now that they've lost the structure that a job lends daily life. Theresa asked about a dozen people who had recently lost their...

By Theresa Vargas  | December 23, 2009; 8:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Diaries, More on the story  
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Unemployment Diary: Sometimes I feel very isolated

This week, The Post's Theresa Vargas presents a series of stories about what unemployed people do now that they've lost the structure that a job lends daily life. Theresa asked about a dozen people who had recently lost their...

By Theresa Vargas  | December 22, 2009; 12:38 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Diaries, More on the story  
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Snow stories: Stuck at the mall

I've felt it when I was lost in the woods. It seized me once at a chaotic bus station in Dhaka. But I never expected to experience that rising terror, the feeling you get when all your safety nets have...

By Sandhya Somashekhar  | December 22, 2009; 12:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The inside story  
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Unemployment Diary: When my son sleeps, I pray

This week, The Post's Theresa Vargas presents a series of stories about what unemployed people do now that they've lost the structure that a job lends daily life. Theresa asked about a dozen people who had recently lost their...

By Theresa Vargas  | December 22, 2009; 11:07 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Diaries, More on the story  
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Unemployment Diaries: Tell us your story

For three days, a group of unemployed men and women in the area kept diaries for The Washington Post, detailing how losing their job has altered their routines and perspectives throughout their days. They include an architect, an iPhone applications...

By Theresa Vargas  | December 22, 2009; 8:04 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Build-A-Story, Diaries  
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Pick of the Day: Hearing the colors

The hardest, most frustrating and very occasionally most rewarding forms of criticism to write are music, dance and food. Some of the greatest critics of our age have devoted their careers to explaining film, books and TV, and it's...

By Marc Fisher  | December 22, 2009; 7:35 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Story Picks  
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Unemployment Diary: The tie comes off, UPS brown comes on

This week, The Post's Theresa Vargas presents a series of stories about what unemployed people do now that they've lost the structure that a job lends daily life. Theresa asked about a dozen people who had recently lost their...

By Theresa Vargas  | December 22, 2009; 6:04 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Diaries, More on the story  
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Build-A-Story: Who's not clearing their sidewalks?

It's the law, and it's the right thing to do: In most Washington area jurisdictions, you're required to clear the sidewalks on your property in short order after a snow storm. Yet as anyone who headed out to work...

By Marc Fisher  | December 21, 2009; 10:52 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  Build-A-Story  
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Pick of the Day: Reporting a snowball fight

Today's Pick Story of the Day is a testament to reporting, about as basic and straightforward a story as can be imagined, yet one that performs the ultimate public service. It's a simple narrative built from classic reporting. The Post's...

By Marc Fisher  | December 21, 2009; 8:34 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  Story Picks  
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