• Blog
  • Bad Bad Beef

    This phrase was the wifi password at a friend’s house. A nerdy friend. Why is this nerdy, and not, say, vegetarian? Bad bad beef uses only the first six letters of the alphabet. In hexadecimal, badbadbeef is 802549513967. Fascinating. The last few days, the phrase is on repeat in my head. Tuesday night I cooked […]

  • Blog
  • MLK Jr. Day Greetings

    It’s MLK Jr. Day. What’s the appropriate greeting, “Happy MLK Day”? That doesn’t seem right to me. I was raised in a family that observed the major Jewish holidays. I was taught the majors were the “high holidays” (Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur) and Passover. I have a vague and possibly incorrect memory of being […]

  • Blog
  • Dear, Dear

    I love advice columns. My favorite part of reading Dear Abby is laughing about whether someone I know is the correspondent. For example: Dear Abby: My calico cat, Rosie, seems to be fixated on my next-door neighbor Ron. Every morning Rosie grooms herself for an hour, then jumps in the window to watch for Ron…. […]

  • Books
  • Hurricane Laura?

    It’s a special week to be a Laura, as we might be getting our hurricane this week. As of this writing, it is still just Tropical Storm Laura, but with a Laura, you never know. And thus, it was a good week to read Laura Lippman’s recent book of personal essays, My Life as a […]

  • Blog
  • Chartreuse Dining Room Chairs

    Richard Russo writes in his memoir, Elsewhere: One of the sadder truths of childhood is that children, lacking the necessary experience by which to gauge, are unlikely to know if something is abnormal or unnatural unless an adult tells them. In the 1970s, my family had chartreuse vinyl upholstered dining room chairs. Chartreuse vinyl? Not […]

  • Blog
  • A Friend’s Blessing

    Overheard, from a friend: May miracles come your way often, and especially today. This is a perfect, all-purpose blessing, and I wanted to offer it to my blog readers. A few of you are nodding in agreement. The other few are saying, “miracle, schmiracle.” You know who you are. One the first five posts on […]

  • Blog
  • Fueled by Indignation

    Shortly after I started as division chair in 2017, Exemplary Girlfriend checked in with me: How are you? How is life as division chair? Are you mired in bureaucracy? Or pleasantly surprised? My response: I am good. A little manic, actually. Mired doesn’t quite capture it. More like frenetic. Every day there is some new […]

  • Blog
  • What I Should Have Said

    In my previous post, I told the story of an exchange I had with a churlish telemarketer. I wonder if I was an unknowing character in a scene of retribution: “Next time, I [churlish telemarketer] am going to tell the person s/he is an asshole!” That thought makes me reflect on answers not given. Monday […]

  • Blog
  • 720 513 8184

    I’m working at home. You are, too, right? Get any telemarketer calls? The other day, 720 513 8184 called me. It showed as a Denver number. I didn’t recognize it. But, because DH was out and about, I answered it. There was that pause with the hum of background activity on the line. The telltale […]