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The Vine

The Tomato Nation advice column addresses your questions on etiquette, grammar, romance, and pet misbehavior. Ask The Readers about books or fashion today!

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Articles by Sarah D. Bunting

The Vine: January 1, 2013
January 1, 2013 – 1:43 PM | 94 Comments
The Vine: January 1, 2013

Dear Nation,
Happy New Year! And welcome to your resolutions open thread: share/gut-check your resolutions; get/give support for everything from new workouts to budgeting to cookie recipes; second-guess your break-ups with Diet Coke and post-10-PM chocolate.
I'll …

The Dark Knight Rises: Armored in our mistakes
December 28, 2012 – 2:59 PM | 9 Comments
<I>The Dark Knight Rises</I>: Armored in our mistakes

It isn't put together very well, the story, but it has such affection for its characters, and it believes uncynically in what it's trying to be, and it is trying to be a sad, beautiful …

The Vine: December 28, 2012
December 28, 2012 – 8:06 AM | 17 Comments
The Vine: December 28, 2012

I could use some help on this, please. It's a short children's story (I think I found it in an English/Literature textbook when in 7th grade) about this fairy/elf-type being whose job it is to …

Small Sacrifices: Inappropriation
December 26, 2012 – 1:00 PM | 5 Comments
<I>Small Sacrifices</I>: Inappropriation

The crime
Diane Downs, a postal worker, claimed a burly stranger had carjacked her and her three children, shooting one fatally and leaving the other two permanently impaired. At least she didn't blame an African-American male…but …

The Vine: December 26, 2012
December 26, 2012 – 10:59 AM | 27 Comments
The Vine: December 26, 2012

I have a bit of an apartment problem. Our upstairs neighbors are stompy walkers. I seriously don't understand how normal human beings can make this much noise when they walk. It's not a normal "all …

Arbitrage: No money down
December 23, 2012 – 5:22 PM | 5 Comments
<I>Arbitrage</I>: No money down

Apparently, Arbitrage is getting some Oscars notice. True, said "notice" may consist primarily of its own PR team, but Couch Baron and I decided to check it out, mostly to see if yet another "high-finance …

The Vine: December 21, 2012
December 21, 2012 – 9:03 AM | 34 Comments
The Vine: December 21, 2012

Since we're all still here, let's track down some books, eh what?
I've searched for this book on Google and came up with nothing. I read this book in middle school (late '90s). It's about a …

The Age of Innocence (1934): Subtraction by addition
December 21, 2012 – 1:22 AM | 4 Comments
<I>The Age of Innocence</I> (1934): Subtraction by addition

The Age of Innocence's 1934 iteration is an interesting prospect. The stymied romance between old-money lawyer Newland Archer (John Boles) and his bland but correct fiancée's bohemian cousin Ellen Olenska (Irene Dunne), recently escaped from …

The Vine: December 19, 2012
December 19, 2012 – 11:20 AM | 34 Comments
The Vine: December 19, 2012

I'm a happily married mother of two young children; my husband and I are both in our mid-thirties. We don't really disagree about much and we have a pretty great life. But even though we …

Blood and Honor: Listening to the Crow
December 17, 2012 – 12:42 PM | 15 Comments
<I>Blood and Honor</I>: Listening to the Crow

"Bruno was the consummate racketeer. Scarfo, on the other hand, was a gangster."
The crime
It's about the self-destruction the Philly mob, so: pick your felony. But implied also is a metaphorical crime, an affront to the …