Monday, April 30, 2007


Well, I'm not done with everything, not by a long shot. I still have research papers, vast numbers of them, taunting me on my way to the bathroom. They sit piled in the upstairs hallway of my house. Journals are stacked here and there in the dining room. They haven't made it upstairs yet.

I grade in bed. It's the only way I can stand it. That way I can reach for a book or a puzzle if I need one. By the way, is this a man's picture? Those hands look kind of big, don't they? Google doesn't always help me out.

I have every conceivable written assignment strewn here and there in my house. I will get to them all. The portfolios are done, yaaay!!! They were easy, since I have already read most of the material included. Tomorrow I give the final in that class. Then I will have finals sitting around taunting me.
But this much is true.

Oh, it's so satisfying. I feel positively festive. Zestful.

Not only that, but the Red Sox went 2/3 at Yankee Stadium this weekend. HAHAHAHA!! Now THAT is zestful.

Recently I have read TALK TALK by T.C. Boyle. It was good. One of the pov's was a deaf girl and it was interesting. The most fascinating character, though, was the bad guy. I couldn't wait to see things from his viewpoint. He was stealing people's identities and living large on credit cards. What a fantasy, to have everything you want--no no, I want extra EXTRA virgin olive oil. Very instructive.

I also read IN THE NAME OF FRIENDSHIP by Marilyn French, who wrote THE WOMEN'S ROOM quite a few years ago. She is very scholarly and adroit at analysis. Sometimes her books seem a bit lecturing if you know what I mean. Propaganda from the feminist side. NOT THAT I AM NOT A FEMINIST. I am. But you know, I think it's all a lot less complicated than we think or at least than I thought for many years. Maureen Dowd gets that, in my opinion. I'm reading Susan Isaacs right now and it says on her book jacket that every one of her books has been a NYT best seller. Wow.

What did Wayne and Garth (which one was it?) used to say? "Unworthy!"
But the buds are on the trees, dear reader, and soon I will be Living the Dream
Can't argue with that
A bientot

Friday, April 27, 2007

Pissing and Moaning

Okay, let's start with last week.

I had to park far from campus in a residential neighborhood. Don't ask. I pulled into a cross street and right up behind, I emphasize RIGHT up behind, another car. This was to keep my back end from sticking out onto the main thoroughfare. Got me? Remember, I pulled very close.

So I came back to my car about four hours later. It was by itself, the car in front was gone, and I got in. Then I saw the folded paper under my windshield. Oh shit, I thought, the owner of this house is going to lay me out about parking here. Wrong!!!
Those weren't the exact words, but close. As God is my witness, I DID NOT HIT THAT CAR!!! Pissed me off, though. Now I'm waiting every day for that person to locate MY car and do something to it. You never know.

Okay, that was last week. Today this happened.

I wore this brand new linen skirt, kind of long and swirly, I love how it looks and feels.

Oh, you know this can't end well, right?

I'm standing in front my class, specifically in front of this kid, awfully nice but a bit disorganized, who against the rules is hefting around a 16-oz strawberry Coolatta. Yep, he dropped it, it bounced and splattered all over my shoes, my legs, the skirt, myhands, everything. GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

But on the good side, dear reader, I realized something I have needed to know. You have to write the book in your heart. And the book in my heart right now is not the old lady book. That was a book full of plot, full of jokes, full of something I don't have right now.
The book in my heart is the nun book. And that is the one I am going to write. I may call it BUCK UP.
A bientot

Thursday, April 26, 2007

GCC: Lauren Barnholdt's latest!!!!!

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Launching the new Simon and Schuster MIX line for tweens comes THE SECRET IDENTITY OF DEVON DELANEY by Lauren Barnholdt….
Mom says karma always comes around to get you, and I guess it's true. Because last summer I was a total liar, and now, right in the middle of Mr. Pritchard's third-period math class, my whole world is about to come crashing down…..
That's because while Devon was living with her grandmother for the summer, she told her "summer friend," Lexi, that she was really popular back home and dating Jared Bentley, only the most popular guy at school. Harmless lies, right? Wrong. Not when Lexi is standing at the front of Devon's class, having just moved to Devon's town. Uh-oh.
Devon knows there's only one way to handle this -- she'll just have to become popular! But how is Devon supposed to accomplish that when she's never even talked to Jared, much less dated him?! And it seems the more Devon tries to keep up her "image," the more things go wrong. Her family thinks she's nuts, her best friend won't speak to her, and, as if it's not all complicated enough, Jared starts crushing on Lexi and Devon starts crushing on Jared's best friend, Luke. It all has Devon wondering -- who is the real Devon Delaney?
Bio: Lauren Barnholdt’s first book for teens, REALITY CHICK, was a Teen People Can’t-Miss Pick and a New York Public Library Best Book for the Teen Age 2007. In junior high, she was known to have a few “secret identities” of her own. She currently resides in Boston, Massachusetts, where she’s hard at work on her next book.



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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

English Patience

Say hello to the Big Guy. My main man!!! Willy the Shake!!
I put his picture nearby so I can reassure myself that there is such a thing as proper English.

I start to go crosseyed with the same errors over and over. I blame email for many of them, including most of the following:
I ate to much.
Was that you're idea?
Don't tell a women what she can do.
They left there coats on the table when they're taxi got their.
I defiantly think I am getting a good education.

Now say hi to Crazy Johnny Milton, the Paradise Lost dude. Lucifer is awesome in his poem, though it's godawful long.
I doubt he would have said:
It took me thirty minuets to get here.
The little puppy looked at me with eyes just begging to be held.
Most people don't have the lechery of sitting around all day and not working.

Billy Wordsworth almost certainly would never have said:
There are many people who think that and the reason why many people think that is because they have their reasons for feeling and thinking the best way they can and as with all the rest of life, there is another side to everything.
Although have you read "Intimations of Immortality"?

Virginia is my idol of course and has been for many years. I like to think she might have come to an erudite enjoyment of chick lit in her later years.

Like, To The Lighthouse
A Room So of One's Own
But I know she wouldn't have said things like:
Its a beautiful day when the dog chases it's tail and its fun to see when it's energy goes.
Now I do not want to give the impression that I think I am perfect. I am far from. But may I just say one thing?


My only fear is of looking in the mirror one morning and.......
A bientot

Sunday, April 22, 2007


My son and his wife are a lot of fun. We laugh most of the time and now that they have Maeve, we have even more to be happy about. Here we are taking off for a nice Sunday walk in their neighborhood. Those motorcycle dudes in the background are checking me out (Har). They have no shot.

Maeve is pleased. She doesn't know where we are going.

Her mom and dad do, though.

Oh yes, dear reader, we headed for the one and only.

The difference between the store in Hudson (where I shop) and Waltham is vast.
First of all, take a look at these cakes.
One is hateful, of course. THIS ONE.

The better one is HERE, naturally.
The Red Sox had a chance to sweep the hated Y-Y-Y-I can't quite say it, but you know which team I mean.

But meanwhile, inside the store, my mouth was hanging open at this display. Yikes. We don't have this in Hudson, folks.

Hey. I live in the sticks. At our Hannaford's, we only know olives. Not, like, "special" olives, okay? So maybe I should shut up. Maybe the new stuff is coming to our store.
I can only hope.

Let me just say this.

My buddy Elizabeth never had olives like this.

I think I feel humbled.

See you next time, Maeve.
A bientot

Friday, April 20, 2007

Cheerful for No Reason

How can I possibly be cheerful? Look at these papers I have to finish marking by the end of the weekend. And that's only one bagful.

Cheer can't be coming from that. Ugh.

Maybe I'm cheerful because of the odd dream fragment I woke up to. It concerned my parents and a big bag of onions.
This would make me cheerful?

It certainly can't be from this!!AAAAAAAAAAARGH--a Christmas floor mat, sitting bold as you please on my kitchen floor. I'm telling you, Christmas is like a cockroach-- you can't kill it!!

So it's not that.

I could be the weather. The sun is out, dear reader, and New Englanders are crawling out from under their rocks.

No, not Plymouth Rock, which is a very big disappointment if you've never been there.

I just mean rocks in general, not forgetting that I am from Little Rock, haha.

No, the cheer is clearly coming from my old friend,


A bientot


Thursday, April 19, 2007

GCC Pick: SO NOT THE DRAMA by Paula Chase

“I just realized, I’m the Seinfeld of YA lit,” author Paula Chase says. “Taking tiny teen crisis and turning them into an entire book is my ‘thing.’ In her debut, So Not The Drama, Chase takes her Seinfeldian-style and turns a high school sociology project into a catalyst for good old-fashioned, light-hearted teen angst.

So Not The Drama [Kensington Books/Dafina for Young Readers] introduces readers ages 11+ to bright-eyed, optimist Mina Mooney, a high school freshman with nothing more on her mind than climbing the popularity ladder, until a sociology experiment to rid the world – or at least Del Rio Bay High School – of prejudice backfires. The project causes a rift between Mina and her best friend, Lizzie and sends Mina on a journey of exploration that’s both funny and eye-opening.

So Not The Drama is about the transition from middle to high school and the impact it can have on friendship.

Set to burst on the scene with her self-proclaimed Hip Lit, Chase takes readers back to high school where cliques reign supreme and going to class…a place to be seen.

The Buzz on So Not The Drama…

“Contemporary friendship story, which revels in rich diversity of race, color and class.”

“Readers will like the genuine dialogue.”
—Publishers Weekly

“A multi-layered story…contemporary and thoughtful.”
—Little Willow of Bildungsroman

April Girls Life magazine Book Pick

April/May Crave selection, Right On! magazine

About the Author
Author, Paula Chase has written for Girls Life, Sweet 16 and Baltimore Magazine, among others. In addition to her background in corporate communications and public relations, she founded the Committed Black Women, a youth mentoring program for 14-17 year old girls. Her Del Rio Bay Clique series helped launch Kensington Books YA line and joins a burgeoning number of YA books targeted to multi-culti suburbanite teens. Chase calls her brand of teen literature, Hip Lit, a nod to the diversity spawned by the MTV-watching, 106 & Park-ing, pop culture hungry hip hop generation. The author lives in Maryland with her husband and two daughters. Learn more about the series and author at

Monday, April 16, 2007

What I did during the Boston Marathon

First of all, the young woman in this photo is not me. HAH! A few years ago I did run/jog two miles per day, far from twenty six, but I don't any more. I walk.

Note: My very good friend Lynn used to be a great runner in her day and wore fabulous spandex suits to do it in. I remember one psychedelic one in particular that dropped a few jaws in our little town. We used to run together at the local high school track (where I still walk) and she looked great. I kind of motored along in a pitiful way.

Our sons played sports there and were mortified by us. It would be hard to overestimate just how embarrassed they were. We used to start giggling about it as we ran and thought of calling out to them now and then, "Brendan!! Have you had your bowel movement today?" (I do apologize to my readers who thought I had higher standards)

Anyway, I did not even make it to the track today because of the weather, which was abominable. High winds, pounding rain and cold. There you have it. That's pretty much why New England is losing population, because that is what we get in April. I checked the weather in Arkansas and New Jersey and it was better in both places (speaking of New Jersey, poor Governor Corzine, wear that seat belt next time, dude).

Oh, sorry, I got my artwork wrong. This is meant for another subject.

So anyways, I went out to Target (Tar-Zhay) in the pouring elements and returned a few items. This will now flesh out my checking account which will be needed for the HUGE TAX PAYMENT that will be winging its way out of my account. Don't ask.
and now, dear reader, I long for this delightful sight.

Oh no, blech, not that one. Keep going.

A bientot
love and hope you did your best time,

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Saturday, April 14, 2007

New Hannaford's, New Blogger

See this sign? It asks a very good question: Where did it go? Too bad it's wedged behind a razor blade display (I daringly moved it so I could take the picture) Too bad it appears on the eighth aisle at Hannaford's. You get to wander through seven aisles totally lost, unguided, like a blind person, before you get to it.

THEN it will tell you that Jif peanut butter has been moved to Aisle Ten, frozen spinach is now on Aisle Twelve, and Old Spice deoderant, and I'd like to know who's looking for that, is right here, darling, just next to the sign. See it?

I can't take it. How much more will be asked of me? Gas is expensive. Students are exasperating (not the ones who read my blog). Squirrels are learning English in my attic. And now this--Hannaford's is remodeling.

See this Wall of Bounty? It separates shoppers from an empty aisle. I saw at least four poor souls try to peer around it to see what was being hidden. Employees being beaten senselessly? One might think so, but nay nay. It's just empty. The floors which have been covered for all these years by the tried and true counters and end units, are scratched and stained. Those will never come out.

What are we thinking?

What will happen to us?
The truly amazing part is that WE ARE STILL SHOPPING HERE. There is a perfectly good yuppified Stop 'n Shop just up the road.

And yet?
And yet?

Like rats we enter the maze and run through it one more time, even though we have no idea where we are or what we came for. Everyone is forgetting their entire list. I came out without garbage bags and that was the main reason I went in.


Blogger finally got me to switch over to Google and I regret it deeply. My entire template is screwed up. But never mind that.

I need a calming influence.

Oh, but this isn't quite it. It's Bobby and Liz, married on my birthday, but WAY BIGGER THAN I WANT THEM. I hate new blogger!!!! I'm lost in its maze, dear reader, and I can't get out!!!! Maybe by next time I'll have it deciphered.

Oh dear god, help me!!!!!
I'll take Hannaford's!!!
A bientot


Friday, April 13, 2007

GCC Book Pick: STAYING HOME IS A KILLER by Sara Rosett

This is the second book in the mom lit mystery series about a military spouse who runs a professional organizing business. Take a listen:

Diaper bag over her shoulder and adorable toddler wriggling in her arms, Ellie Avery strives to balance motherhood, marriage, and her professional organizing business, Everything in Its Place, but her ordered world is thrown into disarray when a fellow military spouse’s death looks more like murder than suicide. Toss in her husband’s deployment and her daughter’s separation anxiety, and Ellie has to keep the home fires burning as she sort clues from chaos and proves that home is not for killers.

And here's a bit about the author:

Born and raised in Amarillo, Texas, Sara Rosett has always loved to curl up with a good book. The wife of an Air Force pilot, she and her family moved ten times—giving her plenty of expertise to write the Mom Zone mystery series about a military spouse. Sara and her family currently live in southern California. Her work appeared in Chicken Soup for the Military Wife’s Soul, and she is working on the next Mom Zone mystery, Getting Away is Dangerous (Kensington, April 2008).

You can visit her website or her entertaining blog or simply

buy the book .

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

If only I Could Make Carrot Flowers

Don't let my daughter fool you. She can't make them either. Only restaurants can. Or people in the PTA we don't want to know.

Maybe I will write a book about a girl who makes carrot flowers and soap sculptures and Kleenex origami. A loving girl who falls for a mean guy and her friends tell her to beware but she feels that because she can make carrot flowers, everything else will work out. CARROT GIRL.


Maybe it'll be a book about a woman who sits and stares at a statue of Mark Twain and makes carrot flowers while she does it. CARROT GIRL AND THE STATUE.


I'll stick with the old ladies, who right now are running a prostitute ring. How did I get there? I'm not sure exactly.

I'm reading SECRET SOCIETY GIRL by Diana Peterfreund and it is fascinating. I have always longed to be in a secret club and never have been. Doesn't someone want to invite me?

And as if there weren't enough troubles in the world, Hannaford's is doing a complete remodel. AAAAAAAAAAARGH, I don't know where anything is. By the time I emerge from its aisles, I have the look of a losing Survivor contestant who has been voted off the show. OUT!!!

It's COLD in New England, dear reader. REALLY COLD. What's up with that?

Sacre Bleu!
A bientot


Monday, April 09, 2007

When Spider Webs Unite, They Can Tie Up a Lion

Huh? This was my fortune at the Chinese restaurant Saturday night. Very strange and obscure, especially considering my other friends got pretty ordinary ones, such as "What you will do matters. All you need to do is do it" and "You or a close friend will be married soon." But me, I get spider webs and lions. Not that I'm against spinning a few webs.

I pretty much spent the weekend eating. I was in Hartford for Easter and our hosts had spent significant time hiding foil Easter eggs. It was only polite to hunt for them and then eat them, wasn't it? Then after resolutely declining dessert so Maeve and I could lie on the floor and drool over each other, I ended up sitting at the kitchen table eating pie with a spooon right from the serving tray.

So today it's 3.5 pounds till High School Weight.

Think I could snare this guy? I'd better start spinning.

3 more weeks of teaching
Still 8 months until Christmas
Weather bound to get warmer
Can't think of any more

A bientot

Friday, April 06, 2007


But it so happens I was tagged by my very talented friend Chief Biscuit for WHAT HAPPENED ON YOUR BIRTHDAY?

My birthday is September 12. Did anything happen on that day?


I remember my seventeenth, or one tiny piece of it. I was a senior at Mt. St. Mary's High School in Little Rock and it was a Saturday. My best friend, Linda Hunkapiller, and I were walking up a steep hill--quite near her boyfriend's house, to whom she is married still. I do not remember why we were walking or where we were going, but I know I wore a blue and black plaid outfit, sewn by my mother.

I had met some boy on a bus the day before and Linda and I were whispering and strategizing over what I should do. He had asked me on a date for that night which I had accepted, and Linda was forced to tell me there was a surprise party planned for me. It was a deuced awkward quandary to be in but I guess it got solved because I can't remember what happened. Can't remember who the boy was, either. So much for that birthday.

John and Jacqueline Kennedy were married on Sept. 12 at Hammersmith Farm in Newport, RI, which I have driven by and felt a certain connection to. Pitiful, you say? I wouldn't dispute that.

Henry Hudson discovered the Hudson River on my birthday!!!! That's what it says on Wikipedia so how can that be wrong (if you are my student, you may not use Wikipedia).

But here's the BIg One!!!


I am so HONORED to have the birthday of passion, as it were.

I will end with that.

You didn't really want to know if hostages were released on my birthday, did you, dear reader? Aren't you happy that my birthday celebrated LOVE?

Maybe it was a curse, haha.

A bientot