Paper Wake


We are on the last page of the year. I was disappointed in my Word Origins Calendar (too many computer terms!) and I won’t be getting another. I’m switching to a Far Side or Golf Tips desk calendar.

The last word of 2010 was “brandy” (the drink – not the girls name popular in the late 70s).  It means burned wine only palatable to old ladies and the English ripped the term off from the Dutch brandewijn. Creative.

I hope you all set your drinks (or towns) on fire on this night of celebration.  Happy New Year!

How Many…

…over-heard conversations have you ever wished you were a part of?

I can’t think of many. Right now I can’t think of one conversation I’ve heard other people having that made me think, “If only I were friends with them!”

Most of the convos that have been shoved in my ears by cell-phone-liberated-strangers-in-close-proximity covered small topics like food or somebody coming over or somebody that has just been over. Business guys always talk about a previous meeting or their next meeting and it’s sooooooo boring. I heard one suit say to another whip-smart business guy “Ya ever hear of the telephone game? We played it as a kid. A story gets told a few times and come out all jarbled at the end.” Pause. “Well anyway that is what I feel like is going on between those two. Bad communication…. what’s that? Sorry – the signal here is bad…”

The time when you are most likely to hear the absolute, undisputable most boring kind of conversation to exit human lips is right after a plane has landed and passengers can use their cell phones while the craft is taxing in. For example: “Hi.” Pause “We’re in.” Pause. “Oh it was fine, we had to wait three minutes to board but what do ya expect from Delta, they should be called Dumtla.” Or (and these kind are always in an unnatural low/private voice), “Hi.” Pause. “Just wanted to let you know we made it.” Pause. “Oh really? How did it turn out?” Pause “No, it was the lobster bisque he was worried about.” Pause. “yeah.” Pause. “No.” Pause. “Just waiting to deplane.” Pause. “No. No one is moving yet.” Pause. “I think someone is moving.” Pause. “Yep someone is moving. I am going to grab my bag.” Pause. “Hold on. I am going to grab my bag.” Pause. “Yep. I got my bag.” Pause. “What did you and dad do for lunch?”

In 2011 there should be a new feature that automatically turns a cell phone off unless there are worthwhile gossip, lifesaving information, sports betting, puns or adventure plans being exchanged.



I've been buried in Christmas. I'm at the Detroit airport suffering from ticketing stress and from being in the security line behind the one person in the entire facility that is flying for the first time in her seventy-three years. When I recover I will post pictures of Christmas wonder.

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Pulse Points of the Season

I love the holidays for many reasons but in particular because my favorite short film genre pops up around this time of year. I’m talking about the perfume commercial – the arty attempt at smell-o-vision!  Look at these pouty people!

What do you think this smells like?
What are they saying? How much does that giant bottle cost?


Hey Middle School:


Chanel No 5:

I loved the 80s

Shalimar has a special place in my heart because my coworker would always ask me if I was wearing “Shalimar” – looks like people that wear Shalimar don’t need to wear anything else.

So classy


That’s The Spirit!

My rockin’ good time with the grannies in Clarksdale yesterday resulted in what feels like some kind of head cold or allergic reaction to cigarette smoke (I can’t tolerate cigarette smoke unless I am smoking) and BBQ.

Of course when you start to feel something come on and you make the mistake of telling people about it, you are going to hear from the echinacea and emergen-C and probiotic advocates and also the smart asses that tell you to avoid dairy. I’ve made it clear several times on this very blog that I have no tolerance for judgmental flimflam disguised as hippy goodwill. Give it up people, we have no control over the common cold OR those two dudes smoking next to my holiday party at the Ground Zero Blues Club.

Tonight I am using MY favorite remedy – the Hot Toddy and napping –the napping is performed intermittently between ESPN 30 for 30s and AMC’s back to back White Christmas’s and texting my one friend unsolicited support for her woes and my other friend unsolicited name suggestions for her unborn child. I cannot stop my important work just because I don’t feel 100%.

This entry says the Hot Toddy is NOT recommended for the common cold because it causes dehydration:

Hot toddy is a name given to a mixed drink, usually including alcohol, that is served hot. Hot toddies are traditionally drunk before going to bed, or in wet and/or cold weather. They were believed to help cure the cold and flu, but the American Lung Association now recommends avoiding treating the common cold with alcoholic beverages as they cause dehydration.[1]

Now tell me why you would eliminate a perfectly good cold remedy just because it causes supposed dehydration when a majority of the over the counter cold medicines do just that? 

     (FYI:January 11th is National Hot Toddy Day)


Good Night


Corrective Measures

B told me that there is no MC in a circus, only a Ringmaster. I think maybe he’s been secretly reading a little too much Tolkien.

The average person has over 1,460 dreams a year. Last night I dreamt that someone stole my car. It was a burgundy version of my car but I was still very upset about it and it set a suspicious tone to my entire day. Dreams can do that to you.

Normally I would be lecturing on Tuesday nights. But now that classes are over I have to adjust to home time. So I read an article about AA in Harpers, removed my nail polish, and ate a pork chop. Now I am going through photos of our drive through Starry Nights (see below).

In day job news, my higher up informed me that the even higher ups have the opinion that people should not trouble them for a raise because we should just be happy to have a job in these hard times. Considering the company I work for has higher ups from the Kennedy family I think they should just be happy they were born and not pass judgment or withhold funds from the rest of us. My point is I didn’t say I wasn’t happy, I just have expensive habits.

Tomorrow I am going to happily take 36 senior citizen volunteers out to a fine holiday lunch in Clarksdale, MS.   Maybe when I get home I will put some polish back on these bare nails.




The MC Wears Jeans : I Went to the Circus


IMG_1613 IMG_1630


The circus now is exactly like a pimped out MySpace profile: a bunch of beasts and glitter and animated GIFs trying to decorate a half-dead institution.

Now, here are the things I loved: the peeps I went with, the snow-cone cups in the shape of tigers and elephants, the magic parts (oh no! the girl disappeared! oh look a parrot!), the girls that hung from hoops braided into their hair, the poodles that jumped through hoops, the house cats that walked the tight-ropes, and the acrobat troop that used those see-saw things to propel each other to form human towers two-stories high.

Here are some things I’d like to talk to the Ringling Bros about: the Black-Eyed-Peas soundtrack, the clown, the overweight and wobbly wire walker, the use of iPods in one of the acts, the Master of Ceremonies’ bedazzled, untied Doc Martins and sequined jeans, the elephant and the lions (they all looked like they needed a nap – although seeing an elephant up close is always kind of cool), and the lack of having someone being shot out of a cannon.

Before the show, we noticed a particularly dazzling man-in-cannon toy amongst all of the circus merch but when we went out to admire the toy at intermission – it was gone! It made me wonder if it was due to the last minute cancellation/chickening-out of a new cannon guy.

If I learned anything at the circus it is that, contrary to my numerous threats to B, I will not be joining the circus – at least not any time soon. At least not until they re-instate the cannon act or the MC takes those pants off!  (hell-o)


Sadness, and A Threat

One of my best friends in the world suffered a serious loss last week and there is nothing I or anyone can do to help and it kills me, BUT I have found at least a little way – I’ve offered my services to personally slap, strangle, punch, kick, or send a threatening letter to, or plant Milk Chicken Bomb on anyone that says, “Everything happens for a reason” to her.

So be warned. If you forget your manners and feel the need to spew some second-rate new age drivel (that not only insults a person  because you can’t recognize their pain, but serves no purpose other than making yourself feel more comfortable – which is the opposite of good manners) you will be severely punished and it will be something that happens for a reason indeed.

What happened to empathy?


It Does Not Escape Me

“…irony does not escape him: that the one who comes to teach learns the keenest of lessons, while those who come to learn learn nothing.”  (Disgrace, J.M. Coetzee)

“He” is a (fictional) professor - the passage goes on to say, “It is a feature of his profession which he does not remark to Soraya. He doubts there is an irony to match it in hers.”

Coetzee was referring to a hooker, but the passage made me think of my last week of classes. Possibly because I can’t help but think how much we never remember from classes. Possibly because I feel so keen, so insightful from all of my lessons learned this semester. And (most) possibly because some of the students in my class are really familiar with hookers. Some so familiar they are doing time for spending too much time with them. I doubt there is anything other than literary irony to match prison life.

Some of them tried to sneak US Weekly’s inside of their textbooks and I’d say “Put that crap away – I am spitting knowledge over here.”

An older, wiser inmate would say, “they have all these pictures of movie stars getting arrested for drugs – like the Paris and Melinda (he was old, he didn’t know) Hiltons – and all their partying gets glamorized but nobody ever thinks about people doing serious time for getting them drugs…look at us… someone was buying…”

And I’d be like, “wait – are you Paris Hilton’s drug dealer? Sweet!”  Kidding. I wouldn’t say a thing (other than – that would make a good essay topic). It’s not my time to organize a radical uprising, not to mention one inspired by an US Weekly.

It is my time to announce that as of this evening, I just got more time. Free time until mid-January. I’ll miss lecturing and I’ll miss handwriting comments that I have to cross out because my spelling skills fall in the bottom third of the class I am teaching, but for now I am ok that I’m down to one job – well two, if you count being a human.


For My Collection

More postcard maps (these are from the mitten in case you didn’t notice the distinguished shape of the greatest state in the nation):



Out The Window




Lots to do. I’ve had to make all of my observationals on the go. Nothing has changed really. Though, things are greener, it is the holidays, and I’m almost free from this semester.