Saturday, December 21, 2013


Hung out with this cool kid today. She's a lot of fun.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Feeling like a bad kid...

"I feel like a bad kid!" That's what I told the check-out girl at Sheetz this morning as I purchased a half-carton of cigarettes. (I didn't even know there were half-cartons...) The cigarettes aren't for me--my parents sent me some money to pick them up for my brother. Apparently they are two times the price in New York. Side note: in the note my mother sent with the money, she wrote, "We know you don't like to do this..." Ha! But seriously, I must have really internalized those "don't smoke!" messages from childhood.

Complicating matters even more, my next stop was the local liquor store. I needed to pick up some rum for a party tonight.

So...I bought cigarettes and liquor, all before 10:00 a.m. Total badass. Too bad I didn't also need to pick up some bullets or something.

(Somewhat negating my bad kid cred: when I was in the liquor store, I thought, "Wow. It seems a lot bigger in here." So I asked the woman behind the counter if they had expanded. Her reply, "Yes. A year ago." So I am not what you would call a frequent customer...)

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Writin' letters of rec...

I've spent part of the afternoon writing letters of recommendation for students (some former, some current). Truth be told, I usually hate this task, but it sure is a lot more pleasant (fun, even!) when you really like the students and feel they are so very awesome. Fingers crossed for these folks!

It's been a day of rather eclectic tasks: grocery shopping, house cleaning, Moby Dick re-reading, Hidden America reading (a possible nomination for next year's Common Read), letter-writing, and, right now, Parks & Rec* watching. These post-final-grades/pre-Christmas days are always weird for someone who loves a regular schedule as much as I do.

Okay--back to work I go. Getting these letters done is a high-priority item on my to-do list for the day.

*This is the episode that's on right now. Classic!

Saturday, December 14, 2013


Just submitted my last two sets of final grades!

Since I am at home and about to start cooking dinner, it won't be chair dancing this time, but actual dancing. Here we go...

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Something e-books will never be able to do...

Just killed a huge and obnoxious fly in my office (trust me, he had it coming) using my Step by Step: Microsoft Access 2012 book. Trust me when I tell you that is the most satisfaction (and use) I've gotten out of that book yet.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Good people...

Someone up there must like me. On Sunday, my neighbor shoveled my driveway before I could stop him. (My neighbors are awesome.) And today, as I was about a third of the way done shoveling on my own, a man with a plow drove by, stopped, backed-up, and offered to "give it a scrape" for free. He wouldn't take any money from me. I don't mind shoveling my own driveway (it's flat and not very long and the work isn't bad exercise), but it is nice to have help. I need to pay it forward and do something nice for some other folks.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

My nephew...

Truly, this picture touches the heart of the little man's English-professing-godmother.

Little things that excite me (and probably only me)...

I made myself a rather ambitious "Thanksgiving Break To-Do List." Usually these lists embody a bit of Robert Browning's maxim "...a man's reach should exceed his grasp, / Or what's a heaven for?" That is, I put more on there than I can do (and consequently don't give myself a hard time for not getting it all done). However, at 7:00 p.m. today, when I finished re-reading the first 100 pages of Moby-Dick, I could mark off the last task. (I want to re-read the novel before teaching it next semester.)