Wednesday, October 26, 2005

a recurring occasional thought

Think about all the hours we spend sleeping.

Midnight. You are out cold, dreaming, REM sleep not kicked in yet. That's the sleep where you do a lot of blinking with your eyes closed and thrash around like Freddy Kreuger. Or maybe it's dogs that do that. I thought REM was a rock band.

1am. Squirrels chewing their way into weak house parts. Mice browsing through silverware drawer. You drooling into your pillow.

2am. Squirrels taking a break. Joining Book Clubs. Mice stringing up small Japanese lanterns for party.

3am. Mice partying with abandon. You, who could easily kill a few right now, are still out cold, drooling on other side of pillow. Kung fu fighting. Or chatting up President Bill Clinton. Or flying. Tons of chores that could be completed just sit there. Leaves lie silently on driveway, waiting to be raked. Nothing is going on ON YOUR WHOLE STREET.

4am. Street still completely quiet. It's like freaking Nightmare on Elm Street.

5am. Mice bouncers getting rid of last revelers in kitchen. In summertime a bit of light by now, but does that make any difference? Nay nay, sloth breath. You wake for a second and drift back to your assignation with unknown handsome movie star, not Freddy Kreuger. Silence fills the house and a little bit more dust collects.

6am. FINALLY the alarm goes off. Kitchen and weak house parts deceptively quiet. Incredibly, you hit the snooze button for MORE SLEEP.

This is another reason I have the Hannaford problem.

Monday, October 24, 2005

the world wants to know

Okay okay, I just want to TELL the world about my Hannaford's visit.


Oh yeah.

In other worrisome news, I think they are trying to discontinue Yoplait Whips. The stock keeps getting lower every week and they didn't have a single carton of chocolate mousse.

I know you're probably asking, well why the f--- don't you shop somewhere else? Because I don't like the parking lot at Stop and Shop, that's why. If I wanted to spend time in a bowling alley, I'd head for Candlepin Lanes.

I'm feeling flu-ish.

Good night.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Invisible with Justice for All

I am invisible at both my jobs.

Away from the classroom, teaching as an adjunct is very solitary. You don't interact with anyone except students and the occasional harried Information Technology person ["why won't my password work? Oh please help me."]

I can walk by someone, a person whose name I know and can spell correctly, and that person has no idea who I am. For a long time I used to say "hello" with a bright smile and they would nod at me, but now I won't.

These people are in three categories.

1) I don't know their names, but I see them in the hallways. Some are high up in the administration. They stride purposefully. We've never been introduced so they are under no social or moral obligation to speak to me. And they don't. They cut me dead.

2) Full time faculty people in the same department I work in. I know many of their names. Our names in fact appear on headers of the same memos. I'm sure it's difficult to keep up with the new faces every year and if I were in their place, well, maybe I'd be the same way. After all, this is only my FIFTH YEAR walking around the place. Occasionally they will speak to me at the copy machine, but then cut me dead later.

During one spring semester I taught in a room next to a gentleman who always wore rolled-up sleeves. He spoke to me pleasantly a number of times as we headed in to our adjoining classrooms and sometimes we even walked out together at the end of the hour. Months after that semester, I was standing in the hallway one day lamenting the fact that the department office was locked. I needed something in there and what was I to do? Rolled-up sleeves walked by and said "can I help you?" [full credit for that] I said I needed to get into the office and he asked me, "Are you affiliated with the English Department in some way?" Sigh. "Yes. I know you. I taught next to you last year, remember?" He did not. That was the last time I put myself out on the clothesline.

Two very agreeable faculty members joke around with each other frequently and I have seen them. I have even gotten in on the high jinks [again at the copy machine], but they cut me dead too. That one hurts.

Someone is usually teaching in a classroom before I go in. It's like being the next act on a vaudeville stage. There is usually a moment or two of pleasantry while one gathers his/her belongings to leave while the other settles in. I have met many faculty members this way and I can confidently say that none of them speak to me now.

3) Service and staff people. These people know my name and keep my mail file updated and my checks paid. Not only do they cut me dead in the hallways, they don't even speak to me when I'm standing right in front of them. I have learned that if they are talking about the Red Sox or Patriots and laughing and telling jokes, there is no point in saying anything. Even if you have something good to offer, they will ignore it. "Hello" is the only thing they will say.

ME: "Hello."
GIRL AT DESK: "Hello."
VOICE FROM OTHER ROOM: "Sara, I tried that recipe for applesauce."
ME (wreathed in smiles): "I made applesauce recently."
GIRL AT DESK: "Did you make it recently?"
VOICE FROM OTHER ROOM: "Yes, just the other day."
ME: "I made applesauce the other day and--"
GIRL: "What kind of apples did you use?"
VOICE: "I don't know."
ME: "I used Empire apples and--"
GIRL: "Do you know any good kind?"
VOICE: "I don't know what they were."
ME: "Mine were Empire--"
GIRL: "I wish I knew a good kind to use."

I've been thinking about walking around with a hand mirror. Every now and then I could put it up to my face and cry out, "Oh my god! I'm really here! I didn't think I was!"

This is probably why I have the Hannaford problem.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

time for thinking

My friend Tom says that I seem Hannaford-obsessed. I don't mean to be. I do think about other things.

Hmm. Don't I?

Is my life dull?

There are six clocks in my life.

The first one is right next to me in bed. I don't mean on a table next to the bed, I mean IN the bed. I like it to be handy so I can pick it up and put it right in front of my eyes in the night. This is why I can't have a boyfriend. Or a husband. I must have the clock. Okay, so let's call that one the primary clock. It's theoretically supposed to be on time, but I think it could be slightly fast. Or it was fast before the last power failure, which after I reset it, I think I forgot to make it slightly fast again.

My alarm goes off at 6:05 a.m. and I eventually end up downstairs, where the second clock hangs on the wall. This is a miracle clock. I have never replaced its battery and it has been my stalwart in all power failures and electrical storms. Though it's been going for years, it's been losing time lately. I think it is about ten minutes slow, possibly approaching eleven. So when I see it, I feel heartened. But almost immediately I remember that it's NOT correct and I check the microwave clock, which would be the third clock. [this is getting like the Twelve Days of Christmas] The third (microwave) clock theoretically shows the correct time, but I can never remember if it is slightly fast or slow. It usually makes me feel tense. At any rate, it's approximately ten minutes faster than the miracle clock on the wall and that has been holding for a while. This all makes sense to me.

Back upstairs as I slump down in front of the computer screen with my yogurt, I see Clock Number Four, the computer clock, which [again] theoretically is correct. It's slower than the microwave clock, though, and I get lulled by it as I sit there and waste my time reading When it says 6:50 I know I have to get up and walk away. That's when I look at myself in the mirror and decide to try on most of my clothes and throw them all on the bed or the floor. There's another clock on the table next to the bed. I didn't mention that one, did I? I don't use it and never set it after power failures so it just blinks all the time. Should it be counted as a clock? I say yes. Clock Number Five.

Finally, I fly down the stairs dressed for the day and pour a big cup of coffee for the road. Most of it gets spilled down the front of my outfit and also into the gear shift of my Honda. Clock Number Six is in the car, of course (did you guess?) and it is reliably three minutes fast. At least I think it is. The best way to get the time is to tune in WBZ.

Good night.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

not kabuki

Yes, that's right. The clerk at Hannaford's said thank you today. It was soft and on the sullen side, but it was definitely "thank you." I was stunned. I could barely walk to my car.

In other news, I made homemade applesauce for the first time. It was okay. The Fannie Farmer recipe said to cook the apples slowly, so maybe that was why it wasn't totally awesome. The apples to start with were pretty close to awesome, Empires from Honeypot Hill in Stow, although not at that zenith/nadir/total tart fulfillment level that I've grown to love and expect from HH. I'm a big time apple snob and my kids are too. It's a curse sometimes.

All excellence is.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005


I made a "mofo" lasagne the other night for the family. It was huge. I broke all the rules of the recipe, all the rules of life, mostly because of its hugeness. One person could barely lift it. I was worried it wouldn't cook.

And it was fantastic. Usually, my dishes are disappointing. No matter what I try to make, it's not very good. Once I slaved over a roast beef pate (what a stooge) and when I served it to guests at Trivial Pursuit night, one said,

"I thought you said you didn't have a dog."


Monday, October 10, 2005

more from Hannaford's

Just in case you were wondering what would happen the next time I went into Hannaford's, it was the same old thing.



The young woman handed me my change. She said nothing and I said nothing.

I left in a rage.

Where will this end?

I'm determined not to speak to these people.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

A Moment of Silence

All cooking must stop, please This means you. That's baking, broiling, frying (yum! the best!), poaching, fricasseeing (and I know it's hard to stop a fricassee).

The Red Sox are eliminated.

Okay, just a little bit longer. Can you stop squirming for one second? Just turn the heat off and stand there, okay?

No more will the crowds throng Lansdowne Street and Yawkey Way. No more will those tempting and very greasy sausage subs be served outisde the park.

Oh all right. Geesh. Continue on. Is something burning?

Friday, October 07, 2005

Cooking Tip #2

You can forget about sifting. Unnecessary. This comes from my friend Christine who is never wrong in these matters. Or I think she read it somewhere. Or we just want it to be true so badly that it is.

Christine says that you should use a wisk (whisk?) to mix dry ingredients.

I say screw the wisk too.

Maybe I'll get back into baking.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Existentialism at the Supermarket

The workers at Hannaford's grocery store in Hudson, MA, don't say thank you. Ever. From habit I sometimes say it to them, at which point they hand me my receipt and say "have a nice day." But they won't initiate it. If I say nothing, we conduct our exchange in total silence. We might be in a pantomime show or a kabuki theatre presentation--Give Me The Change, Grasshopper. I find myself wanting to lecture these twerps. Or smack them. Or at least say in a whiney show-offey way, "you're welcome."

I don't have the nerve, though.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Cooking Tip #1

If a recipe says to grease and flour the pan, you don't need the flour. Someone told me this and it's true. You can totally do without it. Isn't that great?


Wow. Here's my blog. I feel as though I'm stepping off the spaceship onto the moon. That's one small step for mankind, baby. Yeah. I'm here.

Okay, so here's the policy. I will never lie here in the blogosphere. That's my promise. So I guess that means I might avoid a few subjects. Okay, I can live with that.

The Red Sox are in the playoffs. Everything is okay. This is my last day without papers for quite a while. I teach English Comp and most of the time I have papers to grade, so today was great. I drove from friend's house to friend's house trying to find someone watching baseball. They were all watching Patriots. Who lost, I might add.

I chose this title because, well, do I have to explain it?

A bientot.