concert stage for one

Singing in the car is so natural and so much fun that I usually don’t worry about the reactions of other motorists. Other than the occasional pedestrians who think that I’m yelling at them, most people (if they look at me at all), just smile and turn away as I wave and keep on singing. I have to admit that I did feel a little sheepish this morning when a policeman pulled alongside me just as Robert Palmer and I were Sneaking Sally through the Alley in our funkiest duet. (I even sing the percolating bass line to that song. I love it.) The officer has obviously seen plenty of middle-aged madwomen singing the songs of their youth because he just drove away. Continue reading “concert stage for one”


defending my indulgences

Justifying my penchant for taking food pictures and my use of the Sportstracker App has become my new preoccupation. It started when my husband told me about an interview he had seen with a man who has created some sort of Sports Watch that tracks everything: miles, calories, heart-rate, respiration, hydration, frustration and so on. The watch will even offer verbal encouragement. (Personally, I would pee my pants if some disembodied voice said “Good Job!”–especially since I like to pretend that I’m invisible when I jog.) Among the interviewer’s questions was one that went something like this: “Isn’t that self-indulgent? Like posting a picture of your lunch on Facebook?” Of course, when my spouse remarked that he thought of me when he heard that question, I started babbling my defense. I rushed to explain that the App lets me bargain with myself about running just a little farther if the time is between minutes, or for a just a little longer if the distance is some weird fraction. Then I stammered my rationale for taking pictures of food that we make or that is beautiful. The photos are a record of accomplishment! Tom smiled and backed away mumbling something about hitting a nerve. Come back, you chicken! I have my arguments!
Continue reading “defending my indulgences”

some kudos for stumblers!

New York Times columnist David Brooks is everywhere right now. He’s appeared on the Sunday Morning News shows, Charlie Rose, and (of course) the PBS News Hour. He will even be in Oakland on Saturday as part of Notes and Words where he will read from his new book, The Road to Character. He recently adapted an essay from that book and published it in the Times as an Op-Ed piece entitled “The Moral Bucket List”.

I was interested in the article because I had  Continue reading “some kudos for stumblers!”

a restful weekend?

A few years ago, I asked a neighbor who had just returned from a cruise if she had a good time.  She responded that she had, but it “was really just some expensive sleep”.  I thought about that comment as I recently compared Spring Break with fellow teachers.  A few lucky ones did get away for the week or a few days;  the majority of us, however, mentioned getting tires rotated,  gardens started, a root canal, or caught up with grading.  My personal Spring Break included taking rugs to be cleaned, dealing with hot-water heater repair,  and visiting the Hazardous Waste Disposal Facility (I know you’re jealous) among other chores.  Continue reading “a restful weekend?”

and just a little more…

Cookbooks have become one of my favorite Christmas gifts to receive.  My family too loves seeing a specific book request on my list because my husband and I are notoriously difficult to buy for.  Usually I’ve read something about the book and researched a little bit, but this year my smart and beautiful friend Rochelle surprised me with a little volume entitled Grilled Cheese: Traditional and inspired recipes for the ultimate toasted sandwich by Laura Washburn with photos by Steve Painter.  Being the girl-about-town that she is, Rochelle was shopping at Sur La Table when one of their Chef Trainers raved about this cookbook, and Rochelle–who knows my love of cheese–bought it for me. Continue reading “and just a little more…”

take a book, leave a book

Our neighborhood has one of these.  I have  walked or jogged past it many, many times but had never taken advantage of it until yesterday.  I took a first step and dropped off three books.  The books were mysteries that my mother purchased and read while she was visiting.  She left them here, thinking that I might enjoy them and trying to minimize the weight of her suitcase.  I confess that I liked to read best-seller type mysteries when I was younger, but my taste in literature and my choices of how I spend my time have changed. So the mysteries had been in the house taking up shelf space since last summer.  Now they’re taking up shelf space in the little free library.  I hope that someone will pick them up and enjoy them.  I’ve never seen anyone take or leave a book.  I’ve never seen anyone even stop and consider the contents.   Since I was dropping off the books as part of my warm-up for my run, I didn’t spend time perusing the selection either.    I like having charming little oddities in the neighborhood, so I’ll try to encourage the library’s survival by participating.   I’ll let you know.

Pleased to meet you, hope you…

I used to be more adamant about incorporating Creative Writing exercises into my English classes.  The past few years, unfortunately, I’ve had to spend a great deal time reviewing the basics of syntax, grammar, and paragraph structure; therefore, essay writing instruction has taken up more and more of our fun time.  One recent Friday when the students had just turned in their final copies of essays, I didn’t have the stamina to dive into a new unit right away.  I suspected that the students didn’t either.  Remembering a goofy post that I saw on Facebook,  I challenged the students to write the story of how we met, but make it a lie.  I gave them a few quick examples such as meeting Peter (the quietest kid in the class) when he was working as the bouncer at a bar where my band was playing.  As I said, these stories were supposed to be lies. Continue reading “Pleased to meet you, hope you…”