Wednesday, November 30, 2005

A Positive Thought about the Holidays

I love the democratic effect of the holidays.

You have to be at the airport, though, to appreciate it.

Think about it. When you're traveling, spending your time in the airport and on your way to LA or Chicago or a big city, you get to stride down the wide open concourse, walk past the sophisticated boutiques, the plentiful restrooms. Starbucks is yours. Everyone seems well dressed and educated. They read books. They have good haircuts and thick watchbands. When you travel to East Podunk, you have to hang a left out of the main concourse and hike 300 yards down a dark bowling alley-type tunnel to find your boarding area. People sit on the floor. They have bad haircuts. They eat Cheet-o's. There's no air conditioning or heat or food or rest rooms. You know you're going to a place where Nielsen doesn't even have a family.

But during the holidays, people go home. They go back to East Podunk, East Overshoe, Poplar Bluff, Grand Rapids. All these Rolex people with the good suits are standing around in the bowling alley area with the peasants.

It's a nice feeling.

A bientot

Tuesday, November 29, 2005


Well, of course I would say humbug. Christmas is like three times the pressure of other holidays and five times the money and six times the manual labor.

But I'm going to be positive this time.

I'm going to enjoy polishing the silver. Vacuuming. Scrubbing. Driving around the mall parking lot.

Speaking of malls, I only go to Solomon Pond. If they don't have it there, I don't need it.

I bought 50 Sunday NYT crossword puzzles, so goodnight everybody.

A bientot

Saturday, November 26, 2005

back from vacay

When we stepped out of the airport last Wednesday in Arkansas, it was almost 80 degrees. We whipped off our parkas and tundra wear and soaked in the sun. My daughter read a book outside in my parents' back yard. I noted every night how much longer it stayed light than what we were used to.


Back to the dismal northeast. Not that I don't love the history and the stone walls and the beautiful landscape--STARK landscape--but even so.

Sigh again.

My daughter and I laughed at the WBZ forecast which said nothing about snow as we drove home today in a snowstorm. We decided WBZ was in denial. The Accu-weather Denial Forecast. It's NOT snowing and it's NOT hailing and it's NOT bad weather. Okay? If you want bad weather, tune to another channel.

I can dig it.

J'ai envie d'essayer mes skis neufs.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


Tomorrow I jet off for Arkansas, leaving classroom concerns behind. Classroom concerns such as:

"Since my writing skills are considered to be superior, could I get this requirement waved?"

I have one week to write acknowledgements and dedication to my book. Hmmmmm. Maybe I'll dedicate it to Hannaford's.

These pages are dedicated to the young men and women of Hannaford's Market, who never say thank you.

My friend Chris always comes up with good book titles and had another one the other day, OUR LESS DOLEFUL SELVES. I like it. An old one of ours was NO MATTER WHAT WE DO, SOMEONE'S GOING TO BE WICKED PISSED.

That you could needlepoint.

A bientot

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Approaching Turkey

Women bring you Thanksgiving, ladies and gentlemen, just like we bring every other holiday to the world. We are the ones who chop, dice, grate, slice, peel, devein, boil, parboil, sautee, fry, simmer, sear, flour, grease, sift, puree, mash, crush, and pound the freaking meal into submission. We are the ones who polish, mop, vacuum, Windex, scrub, wipe down, and dust. We rake. We move furniture. Sometimes we even paint and wallpaper if special guests are coming.

We are entitled to gin.

A friend of mine (male) often says how much he likes Thanksgiving. Well, yeah. Who wouldn't? All he has to do is sit down and eat a huge meal, then belch his way (or worse) through two football games. Meanwhile, who's doing the work?

Christmas is worse. What does Christmas mean to me? Two weeks of hard manual labor, kids, that's what it means to me. Okay, so there's some joy in it too, at the end.

I'm not a complete grinch.


Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Semester Breakdown

No, I don't mean a nervous breakdown. I mean how the semester breaks down organizationally. The first day is so cranked up, everyone smiling, excited, taking things seriously, they are all going to buckle down and do well, no PROBLEM. Then the first few weeks gradually slide downward until the first paper gets turned in and returned.

Sad faces, mad faces, pissed off won't-meet-your-eye faces. Try again, try harder, it can still be fun! Yeah, right, okay.

"My adviser says I really need this class, can I get extra credit and work really hard and still pass the course?"
"No, I'm afraid not." WHAT, ARE YOU ON DRUGS?

"I had some trouble with my computer so I got a little behind. Can I make up the work?"
"No, I'm afraid not." WHEN PIGS FLY, YOU LOSER!!!!!!!!!!!!

"I know I've missed a few classes, but I've done all the work. It's at home."

Sorry to vent, but this is the week in the semester that the Undead reappear from the darkness.

I've already had three this week.

I'm counting.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Private Shopping

I am a very private shopper. I don't like to be helped. I don't like to be asked questions and I especially don't like to have my selections commented on.

"So you like cereal," says the checkout girl. I stare sullenly straight ahead. Better that than "I was planning to mix the cereal with rat poison to kill somebody. How is your day going?"
I particularly have to grit my teeth when they try to read my name from my credit card and pronounce it. LIKE IT'S ANY OF THEIR BUSINESS WHAT MY NAME IS.

"Yes thank you, Mrs., uh, is it Moe-tow?"
"Smith. It's a Welsh spelling."

I hardly ever rent movies, but those people constantly comment. "Oh, I've seen this. It's pretty good."
"Thanks. Did I ask for your opinion? More to the point,DO I LOOK LIKE I WANT IT?"

Picture me when they ask for my phone number. I've solved that problem, though. I give them a fake one.

"Here, why don't you take my social security number and my blood type and college transcript and prescription records? Oh go on. You know you want to."

I guess I'm a grouch.

Soon I'll be posting about the Christmas season. Then you'll really see the Grinch.

a bientot

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Hannaford's epilogue

I feel this will be my last Hannaford's post (everyone yells THANK GOD) because this is the second time the young woman, a different one this time, has said thank you. It was very exciting yesterday when I ran in to H's for one item, to be waited on by the f----ing CUSTOMER SERVICE MANAGER. Power!!!! I of course told her my story and she was horrified. So maybe that's why I got a thank you today. So.

Enough said.

I'm still very excited about my cover. It's one of those moments of pure happiness, unadulterated by worries over marketing, web sites, public relations, and various other crap matters. I love the way the English use that word, crap. It was a crap joke. I watched Eddy Izzard on DVD last night and howled. He says crap so well.

I've had four days off and enjoyed them all. Back to the grind tomorrow.

Met with my webmaster today and feel excited about that project as well. My web site is going to have an mp3 on it of me!!!! Maybe I'll just say crap on it all the way through.

au revoir

Friday, November 11, 2005

ze cover vill try again


Thursday, November 10, 2005

Ze Cover

Yes, I have my cover!! To my book!!! My actual real book!!! Here it is.

Okay well, that didn't work.

I'm stymied. You will have to go to my web site to see it, except of course it isn't up there yet.

Stay tuned.

Oh, I'm so happy. It's very Thelma and Louise, well, without Louise.
It's very Thelma, I guess you could say.
I like the happiness of it.

Not to mention the Dumbo quality of my own brain.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Rear-Ended on Rte 2

Yes, boys and girls, I who often console myself at night after a bad day by saying, "well, at least I wasn't in a car accident," was. Totally not my fault but I still feel a bit cross-eyed and dizzy. I'm okay, though. I initially feared the girl who hit me was my student, but thankfully she wasn't.

She got the ticket. Nyah nyah. Someone also rear-ended her and I don't know how far the ripples went. Another one after that, I think.

Don't ever think your day can't get worse.

Monday, November 07, 2005

antidotal evidence

This was written by a student. Probably most of my students wouldn't see anything wrong with it. Anecdotal, antidotal, WTF. Sigh.

I've gotten to where I ask if they know the smallest thing before I go on--"do you guys know what axe-grinding means?" "Have you guys heard of the Cold War?" No to both, by the way.

Soon I'll be telling them how I walked barefoot to school. With a book in my hand. I guess I shouldn't forget that I used to say Nay-Zigh (rhymes with Day By ) for the bad guys in World War II.

In other news, I gave in at Hannaford's yesterday. I wasn't even going to go there. I was prepared to march into Stop 'n Shop (a friend used to call it Stop 'n Shit), but my car turned into H's by itself. Then I wasn't able to buy Yoplait chocolate mousse Whips again--extremely worrisome. Then, yes, I totally capitulated at the checkout. The young woman handed me my receipt and my coupons and what did I do? I said "Thank you." I just wasn't thinking. And what did she say? "You're welcome." That stung.

These checkout people are really quiet and intense. Stepford Cashiers.

I guess I got what I deserved. I hope a bad day at Hannaford's doesn't signal a bad week in the classroom. Stay tuned.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Sunday Blues

Sunday Blues are the opposite of Friday Zest. Yang to the Ying, feng to the shui.

It's when nothing seems possible and everything feels out of reach. All this book stuff is daunting. Not writing it, that part was actually fun. It's the marketing and positioning and bullshit that comes afterwards.

"Hi, this is Becky. I hope you remember me from eight years ago when you bought a coupon from me. You don't? Well, do you think you could have a book signing event for me in your tire shop anyway? Could you lift me up on one of your bays? Could I and a guest of my choice go up and down on the bay for an hour? Thank you so much."

Will be going to Hannaford's later today, so stay tuned.

In other events, the big orchard near me is selling up. All their earthly belongings are spread out on the field. I should go down there and put in a bid on a porta-johnnie.


Friday, November 04, 2005

Friday Zest

Yes, boys and girls, the unmistakable pull of Zest. Toward fun and good times and away from considered decisions and hateful responsibility.

I'm almost on the verge of taking Filene's by storm. I can feel it coming. I could combine this feeling with Friday Zest and do some severe damage to my bank account.

Or I could stay home and grade papers. My good side, my bad side, and all my sides agree on this one: NO WAY! BEAUJOLAIS!

I could end up at a drinking establishment. The sides are placing bets on this one.

My students were fun and enjoyable today, at least the ones who showed up with their rough drafts. This is the part of the semester that is warm and fuzzy. I know them, they know me, I like them, I FEEL that they like me, oh shut up Becky.

It's Sally Field, ladies and gentlemen!!! You LIKE me--you really LIKE me!! Not really, babe.

So. There you have it. I will soon jump into the Zestmobile for some fun.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Even though Halloween...

This was the front end of a sentence I had my students complete today. Theory: with this beginning, they are forced to write a complex sentence, an accomplishment for some.

"Even though Halloween was last night, I'm still eating candy today."
Yeah, buddy!!!

"Even though Halloween is over, my car didn't start today."
Sorry? Relevance?

"Even though Halloween is for kids, I still like to dress up in a costume."
Cool, dude. Just watch it with the Karl Rove drag. Haha, like my students would have a CLUE who Karl Rove is. And if any of you are reading, prove me wrong.

Okay, okay, I changed my title. My book is named COUPON GIRL--the one that will make me have to leave town and quit my teaching job, boys and girls--and I felt my title had to hook more into it

Here's a little code for those of you who have been reading: on Sunday? Big H was Big K.

Maybe someone will think it's sexual in content. That WOULD be from the edge. Not mine, though.