Tuesday, October 30, 2007


As I sit here putting down these words, the Red Sox parade is taking place in Boston. The weather is perfect and I wish I was there. Instead, I went to my job. That's what you call being an old coot.

BUT I'M THERE IN SPIRIT. And here to recap some of the more unnoticed moments from the last two days. Let's not forget all the chewing and spitting done in the Series. I loathe spitting and saliva in general, as my closest dearest readers know. (THANKS FOR SHARING THAT WITH THE NEWBIES, BECK!!!) You're very welcome. Seeing someone brush their teeth makes me grimace. I had an old roommate who used to chase me around the apartment with a mouth full of toothpaste. Ick.

In terms of sports spitting, the kind I really hate is done by David Ortiz (who is otherwise without flaws). It's the one that comes out from the bottom teeth and heads in a more straight trajectory, a line drive if you will. Ick. Terry Francona lets his spits go with real contempt. Right down on the ground. GET RID OF THIS. His are easier to watch for me.

Sorry I don't have a picture of it.
Jacoby Ellsbury (center) celebrates in the Red Sox' clubhouse.

Jacoby Ellsbury, or cute Jacoby Ellsbury if you prefer, gets his mouth into a perfect rectangle, for what reason we don't know. He continues to sport the Dollar Store goggles when others have concluded that they are too peculiar to wear. That's okay. After the catch he made in the ninth inning, he can wear them all night if he wants. The guys all need swimmies, those things that go on babies' arms to keep them afloat. Then they'd look perfect.
Red Sox players sprayed champagne during celebrations in the clubhouse.

Two grown men. That's all you can say.
Mike Lowell and David Ortiz hugged during celebrations.

Oh babe, I was the one that kept calling you at 2am. Did you know?
Japanese pitchers Hideki Okajima (left) and Daisuke Matsuzaka (right) held the World Series trophy during celebrations.

I'm only going to say this once. Japanese men do not look good in that weird dot-beard configuration. Neither do Danish men or Greenlandian men or American men. Ick.
Coco Crisp (left) and Jacoby Ellsbury (right) celebrated in the clubhouse.

Coco channels Richard Simmons while cute Jacoby clings to peculiar goggles.

Curt Schilling celebrated on the field.

K E G G E R!!!!!!!!!!!
Red Sox fans celebrated at Coors Field after the win.

Red Sox Nation, some still hung over from 2004 (better not be any of my students in there)
John Henry held up the World Series trophy on the field.

I'm supposed to be with the Shriners. Shut up about Monica Lewinsky.
Jonathan Papelbon reacted to the Red Sox winning the World Series.
This says it all. Paps may not dance at the parade, dear reader, but he's dancing in our hearts.
Thanks to the Boston Globe for all the pix.
A bientot

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Entering Heaven

Today's Earth Science Picture of the Day.

That's St. Peter over there, I think. Hey Pete!! Yeah, great game, huh? Look at all those angels. Geez, in 2004 they were wearing those little white robes with the wing deal on the back. What's with the new look? Sort of astronautish.

You know what? WHATEVER.



We're here, Red Sox Nation. I don't know about you, but I'm ordering nachos. Jason Varitek just about made me cry with his interview on Fox. What a stud.

Wonder how many absences there will be tomorrow in my class. I must go to bed. I must.

Except I can't. I have to do the Weird Spastic Dance all around my house.

A bientot


Saturday, October 27, 2007


Foliage is just past peak here in central Mass. Apples are at the apex of exquisiteness and I have two bags of Empires in the fridge. [note: with all my dental work, I cut my apples now. Not quite the same pleasure as biting in, but we make compromises, don't we, dear reader?]
As the Red Sox travel, we get a chance to catch up on ordinary life.
What is that anyway? Oh yes, my regular job. I'm entering the Wicked Witch segment of the semester, which is entirely appropriate around Halloween, I suppose. I seem constantly to be bitching and harping about one thing or another, primarily spelling other people's names right. Here are some common wrong spellings.
EM Foster
Steven King
Edgar Allen Poe
I always ask my students, how do you like it when someone gets YOUR name wrong? Sometimes if I'm very quiet, I can hear their answer from inside their brains: I DON'T GIVE A FK.
All right then. Here are a few thoughts.
Josh Beckett got some tips on bunting during practice at Coors Field in Denver on Friday.
What's with these big thick ropey necklaces some of the players are wearing? We've gone from 50-karat blinding gold to hemp. Is it some kind of pot-smoking message? Marijuana solidarity between the boys? I have no clue.
I hardly ever watch TV, so I'm seeing all these commercials for the first time. I'm already sick to death of watching that girl run into the car. I'm not quite sick to death of the guy with the lap dog, but I'm close.
All this talk about the high altitude having an effect on the game strikes me as not unlike the alarmist talk around the Y2K thing, if anybody remembers that.
But the big question is:
What will we do when the Series is over?
Be here now, reader, because it's all good.
A bientot

Thursday, October 25, 2007


Get your dictionaries out, folks, and look up "stud." Here is the picture you will see.

Josh Beckett hopes to improve on his 4 1/3 inning, seven earned run performance on July 14 against Oakland. On the road this season, Beckett is 6-4 with a 6.33 ERA and has surrendered 22 home runs. Opponents are hitting .270 at home against Beckett. Beckett’s 27 home runs are three more than Manny Ramirez has hit for the team this season.Josh Beckett is money in the bank and a smile on the face of Red Sox Nation. He's got these chipmunk cheeks with the little dot/goatee on the chin. What I like about him is how casual he is. Give me the ball. Okay, I'm going to start chewing now. I'm pounding this gum. It's going to be sorry. All the nerves you don't see in my demeanor? They're going onto the gum.
Beckett sometimes looks like he's trying to accomplish something with the gum. Then when he gets a strikeout, he just kind of stretches his mouth and mandibles ready for more chewing and wanders around for a minute. Okay give me the ball again. He is thrilling to watch. You have to look closely at this picture and it's a little disturbing, but whatever. Beckett can kill Bambi if he wants. I don't really care.

Here's the old man, the grand master. I'll bet he gives advice to all the young players about weird stuff. Eat plenty of donuts. Ask for gravy. Stand up for your rights if they say they don't have it. They're lying. Curt Schilling seems like a great family man.

Maybe he helped pick out the pattern that everyone is wearing here. Maybe it's like Sound of Music at his house and the kids are wearing clothes made from the curtains. The hills are alive, baby, and Curt will make them sing tonight.

Daisuke Matsuzaka, Dice K (has he been on the Special K box yet?) as he is known, is mysterious. He has a total baby face, innocent and naive, but they say he is a fierce competitor. I'll bet when he leaves Fenway, he is like a big clown. Pulling his pants down and mooning T drivers. Throwing flaming arrows into cemeteries. Hey. I saw that red streak in his hair. It wasn't quite covered up by his hat. Every time journalists have to write about him they give into their worst punning instincts. NO DICE. ROLL THE DICE. DICE SQUAD. It's pretty frightening. Let's hope we can get one more decent game out of him.

Cutie pie Tim Wakefield (here he is, Penny!!) throws the knuckleball and has had a great career with the Red Sox and before. Back in the day, batters used to corkscrew themselves into the ground trying to swing at his pitches. Nowadays he's a little scary. Does he really know where that thing is going? I believe he has said he does not.
Iwonder if gripping the ball like that carries over to his table manners. I bet he holds his pinkie up when he eats and maybe all his knuckles.
Yes, dahling, could you pass the ketchup, Wakie-Wakie? Thanks.
Wake seems very humble to me and as though he's holding a lot back. I hope he doesn't hold a grudge. He and J.D. Drew could get together for some serious revenge-plotting whiskey-drinking.
'Old Reliable' himself has been exactly the opposite since the break. He has a 4.63 ERA, much higher than his pre-break ERA of 2.59.

What's not to like about Mike Timlin? He's Curt Schilling without the calories. He looks like an aw-shucks type of guy and probably plays a losing game of golf really well. He's another big gum-achiever. What are these guys trying to accomplish with the gum? Hmmm.

This is Hedeki Okajima and he's the "set up man." That means he pitches right before the closer if the team is winning. The whole system is weird. Back in the day, one pitcher threw the whole game. If he burned out his arm, gosh, maybe he could have an operation to fix it. Nowadays there's the setup man and then the guy who sets HIM up, but I can't be bothered about that. There are other pitchers too, and they are :

Manny Del Carmen
Eric Gagne (object of hate but not from me)
Jon Lester
Javier Lopez
Kyle Snyder

But I want to end with the closer. The Guy With Real Spirit, Jonathan Papelbon.

Who wouldn't want to party with this guy?

Papelbon hoisted a cooler over his head in the locker room.

Well okay, maybe not everybody. Maybe not my maiden aunt. In truth, I don't have a maiden aunt. And also in truth, a maiden aunt would probably kill to party with Paps. Let's hope we get to see him tonight.

Hope I remembered everybody.

Go Sox

A bientot

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


Batting leadoff is Dustin Pedroia, a goony-geeky-looking kid. This is his college picture. BUT WE LOVE DUSTIN!!!! Wonder if he was named for Dustin Hoffman. If I were a fan of an opposing team, I would hate him. He looks like a gum-snapping obnoxious little twerp that keeps getting hits. OH YEAH, BABY!!!!
Batting second is Kevin YOOOOOOOOOOoooooukilis. This was taken before he went for the Van Dyck beard affectation. He has attitude.
Here's a better picture of him.
Batting third is God.
Watching Big Papi round the bases from a walkoff home run in the ninth inning (when else would it be a walkoff? duh) is one of life's joys. It always sounds so funny when Francona refers to him as "David," although he is David Ortiz and maybe it shouldn't sound funny, but it does. People go into catatonic chanting vein-splitting frenzies when he comes to bat. BIG PAPI!!! COME ON PAPI!!! PAPI!!!
It's a little scary sometimes.
What can I say about Manny Being Manny?
If I were an opposing fan, I would hate him too. He plays with no pressure. Hey man, we win or we lose, no big. Now some criticize him for this, but in truth it enables him to perform WHEN WE NEED HIM TO. Any time he saunters up to the plate is the potential end of a pitcher's career. Manny oozes with talent. In addition, he has found new ways to push the Hair Envelope
Below is Mike Lowell, as Kevin Millar introduced him on Fox the other night, the man with the biggest eyebrows in baseball. He could rival Mike Dukakis.
Red Sox infielder and testicular cancer survivor Mike Lowell speaks with broadcasters during the 2006 WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon.He's a canny, cagey hitter and must love it when they walk Manny to get to him. He makes them PAY. Love this guy and he looks so sincere, doesn't he? I think he could sell cars.
Here's J.D. Drew. This was taken before the season. Look how happy he is. By the time he hit that grand slam the other night, he looked lower than a snake's belly. It must be tough listening to all the remarks about how terrible he is. That grand slam must have made his season and I'm glad for him.
Jason Varitek runs the whole show from behind the plate. He inspires confidence. He's manly. I think he would change my tire if he saw me on the highway. He does have a low hairline, but I'd still let him.

Julio LugoJulio Lugo is very earnest. He doesn't act silly or crazy. I think he takes his work seriously. That's probably why he is struggling in the lineup. I am putting him out of correct order because I want to end with.....

the New Babe, Jacoby Ellsbury. That's such an unusual first name.
This kid is serious eye candy. Of Navajo descent, he is the studliest looking young fellow to come along in a while. Also a skilled player and a lucky one. I think I'm feeling faint.
Let's look at the pitchers another time. I need to fan myself.
A bientot

Monday, October 22, 2007


I'm in love with Jacoby Ellsbury. Also Jonathan Papelbon who may have the loudest voice I've ever heard. Not to mention Papi and Manny Being Manny and Mike Lowell and everyone except the dippy Fox interview guys. They look ridiculous.
I'm the only person in America who likes Tim McCarver, who has a truly odd hair color.
I'm basking, dear reader.
Basking and reveling.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Tell me, Dr. Freud

What does it mean that I buy clothes and never wear them? Can you explain that to me?

Here is one side of my regular closet. It's full of things I bought and have never worn. I intend to, don't get me wrong.

Are we on the clock right now? Am I allowed to have this Kleenex? Is your secretary going to keep humming like that?
Okay, so anyway, see that red sweater there? I bought it last year. I love it. It looks good on me. How many times have I worn it?
Right. None.
No, I'm not talking about nuns, Doctor. I'm talking about zero. Zip. Ze big doughnut. Have I tried it on? Oh, repeatedly. Whenever I go anywhere, I have a tremendous fashion show. Clothes are strewn all across the bedroom and the hallway. It's a terrible job picking them up. But in the end I have always rejected the red sweater.
Oh gosh no, it's not the only one. There's a gray turtleneck there; I don't know if you can see it.
Yes, I know it could all use a good organizing. But what I'm trying to say is, I bought that gray turtleneck and have never worn it.
Dr. Freud? Do you want to trade? You sit on the couch and I'll sit on the potty seat?
I sometimes think the more I pay for something, the less likely I am to wear it. It's an odd theory, I know. This summer I had an event to attend and I wanted to look swish.
Pardon me? Oh yes, swish means good. Chic. Better than good. A certain little edge that a woman likes to have. Anyway, I bought a dress and two tops.
I nearly went insane trying them all on and ended up in a white blouse with black pants, just like every other time. What is wrong with me?
I guess I like the security of having several things to choose from. It's the choice that makes me crazy, though.
What do I choose to wear? Pretty much the same things over and over, black top with black pants or white top with black pants.
Nunlike? That could be, I guess. I was thinking more like caterer.
Yes, I do have another closet. Here it is.
I keep my luggage in here too, so it's kind of tough to get all the way to the back. I don't really know what's back there. Could be an old boyfriend, haha.
Sorry, doctor, it was only a joke. Shall I get you a drink of water? Oh, is this sherry? Sure, I wouldn't mind having a glass. Let's. It's not that weird Mogen David stuff, is it? Is that sherry?
Oh, never mind that clothes quandary thing. I'm happy in black (book title?)
Be here now, dear reader. It's all good.
A bientot
(who is going to an event today and has a new dress, which is under review right now.)

Thursday, October 18, 2007

GCC Pick: Renee Rosen

Today's selection is the well-praised debut novel by Renee Rosen. with the delightful title Every Crooked Pot .
crookedpot.jpgIn a starred review, BOOKLIST says, “In a debut novel that could easily have been published as an adult memoir, Rosen looks back at the life of Nina Goldman, whose growing up is tied to two pillars: a port-wine stain around her eye and her inimitable father, Artie. The birthmark, she hates; her father, she loves. Both shape her in ways that merit Rosen’s minute investigation, which begins with an incident both funny and shocking."
So what's it about?
Nina Goldman is the youngest of three growing up in Akron, Ohio in the 1970s. She and her siblings must cope with their eccentric, larger-than-life father Artie, a dreamer and schemer who commands constant attention with his outrageous antics and mortifying behavior.

As if growing up with Artie as a father isn’t difficult enough, Nina also faces another issue. Born with a hemangioma, a disfiguring birthmark covering her right eye, Nina constantly tries to look “normal,” and spends hours experimenting with makeup and Veronica Lake hairstyles designed to hide her bad eye. When none of those things do the trick, Nina finds herself riding in laundry dryers, appearing on TV, and navigating a host of other hilarious escapades, all in the name of fitting in.

Nina’s spirit never falters in this endearing story about a captivating misfit, her peculiar family, and the lengths to which a girl will go to feel loved by her family, friends, and ultimately herself. In this autobiographical novel, Rosen conveys a message of hope and belonging to all people who feel “different” in a world where everyone else belongs. With a profound message and a cast of irresistible characters, EVERY CROOKED POT is sure to become a classic in the hearts and minds of readers everywhere.

About the Author

Renée Rosen worked in Chicago as an advertising copywriter and freelance writer and consultant. She has studied with Susan Minot, Carol Anshaw, and the Pulitzer Prize winning novelist, Michael Cunningham. She has contributed to many magazines and newspapers, including the Chicago Tribune, Complete Woman, DAME Magazine, Publishers Weekly, and Chicago Magazine. Renee grew up in Akron, Ohio and now lives in Chicago where she is hard at work on a new novel.

More Praise for Every Crooked Pot

“Quirky and heartfelt, Renee Rosen's Every Crooked Pot tells a familiar story of self-acceptance and familial love.” --Chicago Tribune
Every Crooked Pot by Renee Rosen is one of the top books I've read this year…A perfect balance of scenes that make you laugh and ones that make you cry.” --The Chicago Contingent
“Told with wit, wisdom, and characters so realistically drawn that they breathe, this poignant story of angst and redemption will touch the heart of anyone who ever longed to be “normal” enough to be loved.” --Sandra Kring, author of Carry Me Home and The Book of Bright Ideas
"Realistic, sharp and funny, Renee Rosen perfectly captures what it's like to be stuck on the outside longing to get in. A beautiful, poignant, and impressive debut -- I didn't want it to end." -- Alyson Noel, author of Fly Me to the Moon and Kiss & Blog

“Written in the form of a memoir, this absorbing first novel traces the struggles of a disfigured girl growing up in Akron, Ohio… ….Rosen evokes her setting with a wealth of details…[readers] will empathize with the narrator’s unique situation as a concentrated form of universal worries about finding acceptance, dealing with loss and leaving home.” --Publishers Weekly

“Renee Rosen has created a wonderful character and family in Every Crooked Pot…The Goldman family is an example of the spirit of the American Family, our struggles, our
heartaches and the love that keeps us going.” --NOVA News
“Rosen's smart debut novel…Every Crooked Pot demonstrat[es] Akron native Rosen's skilled observation, wit and character development...” —The Akron Beacon Journal

“Every Crooked Pot is a work of courage, with a dose of sassy audacity thrown in for good measure...Renee Rosen is a rare find in today’s jungle of women’s fiction!” --Carrie Kabak, author of Cover the Butter

"It's so tempting to compare Renee Rosen's debut to similar auspicious literary starts - Anna Quindlen's Object Lessons comes to mind…this bittersweet novel will lift hearts while at the same time making readers wonder, Where has Renee Rosen been hiding all these years?" --Lauren Baratz-Logsted, author of Vertigo
“… a funny, heartfelt and beautifully perceptive novel… Rosen illuminates great unspoken truths about young women, about daughters, and about all families." --Adrienne Miller, author of The Coast of Akron
Sounds like a great read, I'd say. Meanwhile, I'm on the ledge for tonight's game.
With fingers crossed and hopes high.
A bientot

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


Okay, not a biggie. We're down two games to one. It means nothing, well, not that much. We're doing fine.
And we really don't want to talk about it.
We're leading our normal lives. We're not going out of our way to do stupid superstitious stuff.
If we had ridiculous routines that we have gone through in the past that seemed to work, we know them for the silly wives' tales they are. Pointless.
hand holding a 
rabbit's foot 
key chain. fotosearch 
- search stock 
photos, pictures, 
images, and photo 
Only morons would try things like, I don't know, rabbits' feet or lucky socks or...
gosh, what would be left after that? You might as well fire up a witches' brew. Geesh. We're WAY too sophisticated here in New England for that.
Although, you know, I'm pretty sure they have eye of newt at Hannaford's.

Witch with Cauldron and Fog

Have to go.
Rah rah and all that. We'll do it on our own merits.
Or Josh Beckett's merits.
A bientot

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Making the Most of Sunday

These thoughts came to me while I labored intensively at the track.

Most people work, right?

[ed. note: Author knows not everybody works. Lots of her friends don't have to and she still likes them, even though they cannot -- and wouldn't want to -- enter her inner sanctum. Also they should stop reading now because there are offensive and lower class behavior suggestions coming up below.]

And we're freaking exhausted most nights when we come home, right? It's about all we can do to prepare dinner and clean it up.

Chef Boyardee

Or shove it in the microsave and let the good times roll. This means laissez les dirty dishes pile to the sky, baby. How many times can I rinse off this fork? Good grief, who put all these here? I don't have to do them tonight, do I? Can't it wait till Sunday?

Making a bed? Making it what?
[ed. note: this photograph is entirely self-serving and bears no resemblance to author's bed. Sheets shown here are far too not dingy. Author sleeps in sheets from 1970s, many in faded psychedelic swirly patterns that probably contribute to her neuroses]
Laundry should be done on Sunday too, dear reader. No excuses.

dirtylaundrymnim.jpg[ed. note: Author lives alone. She is fooling you with Google again. She couldn't possibly have this much laundry in a year. I mean she must do it before a year goes by. You would think. Although I'm not there every minute......]
Sorry, readers, but this pushy editor is getting in my face. I'm going to have to use whatever energy I have on this lovely Sunday to kick her ass out of here.
Maybe I'll have a drink. And do some incantations for the Red Sox.
A bientot

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Friday, October 12, 2007

Rainy Zest

Rainy Day CardinalReading student journals this weekend, which are always remarkable in some way. I tell them to please remember I'M READING THIS STUFF, YA KNOW, so they won't get carried away with too many details of illegal enjoyment, family secrets, etc.

But they still tell me.

Usually, it's a heartrending saga of some kind, sometimes about being gay and how difficult it is. Sometimes about how a close relative has died and they don't feel like going on.

They are missing zest and my heart aches for them.

Then again some are about the laundromat and whatever happens there on a Saturday afternoon.

My pace will be 20 journals per day, so when you're enjoying that latte at Starbucks, dear reader, know that I am mired in tales of automotive problems and Texas Hold 'Em strategy. One student posed the always-pertinent question: "I have a pretty fat paycheck coming. I don't know whether I should use it for bills and my girlfriend's birthday gift, or take it all and try to win big on the online poker site." All in handwriting that sends me into the sunset blind (book title?)
I'd best be getting with it.
Go Sox!!
A bientot