Tag Archives: school days

Jackie O.T.

Dear Diary,

I have been put in charge of filing the orders of a very important customer. So I ask myself: what goes better with a glittery silver top- glittery silver polish or just the plain silver???

Life is six-cups-of-coffee-by-day,-on-the-rocks-yes-please-salt-the-glass-by-night, kind of good. Now that I am a Drudge like the rest of you, I can see it has some merits. The free flavored coffees, the bad moods, the charmingly misspelled articles in the Metro. I can stand around the copier, plucking at my highlights and talking about the South Beach diet in a South Shore Redux. (the South Beach diet is the one where you eat clam rolls and waffle cones, right?)

Since Helen and I opened the Pandora’s Box of Lambchop and Licketysplit memorabilia, I also sifted through my own box of Stuff That Used to Matter. Among the myriad of fascinating items were (1) a Brownie Smock, (2) a collection of orange Honor Roll buttons (they say “Honor Roll” on them in chunky black letters. This way all non-Honor Roll types can make them out and know they are in the presence of Achievement. I wear these to work.), and (3) a report card that says my long division Needs Improvement (NI) but my Spelling is E for Excellent!

I am going to start issuing Needs Improvement cards to my friends and associates. There really ought to be a system of checks and balances for the faux pas’ of our acquaintance, to address horrible sweaters, placing knees on the table, and interrupting ME when I am saying something fascinating.

The last thing I want to rant about, before I go back to punching holes in things, is a startling new development in Boston culture (didn’t know we had any, did you?). Musical amplification devices and Wind Instruments are strictly VERBOTEN! from subway platforms and trains. No more can that batty old geezer plonk out “Alleycat” on his Casio. And the tortured yearnings of the acoustic guitar player will also go unheard as he whispers, ampless. This is all Licketysplit’s doing, for it is she who went around paying these chaps to STOP playing. The frightening result of all this is that it has opened the floodgates to ACAPELLA. My betteylunchbucket morning commute is now punctuated by the few brave soloists who try their hands at Crooning. The resulting bellows and caterwaul make me feel like Day Room at the madhouse again.


The river is too deep to ford

In the midst of some spectacular life upheaval and alternating bouts of work-related wrath and ennui, I’ve decided to regress. Well, first I tried making a chicken pot pie with a dill buttermilk biscuit crust. It turned out to be utterly sublime, and we ate it for 3 days. But now it’s gone, and I am cold and alone, and my pants don’t fit quite right.

Anyhoo, to the time machine. In 7th grade, I had a sorry excuse for a computer class where we were all forced to type for five or ten minutes. Once we all mastered the cut n’ paste commands, there was nothing else to learn in the computing universe of 1989, so we’d play Oregon Trail.

One day there was a mass suicide on the trail, so copies of Where in the World/Where in Time Is Carmen Sandiego were trotted out. The person who solved the most cases in the period won a soda. Sometimes it was a Coke, sometimes it was a Dr. Pepper. I won every single time by virtue of having a basic grasp on history and geography and realizing when I’d already played a case. It was fun the first few times, and then I started giving away the soda to the dumber kids because I felt bad. I’d even screw up on purpose and drag things out intentionally, but what could I do, they were a bunch of baboons.

Oh, and that Chicken Pot Pie recipe is from the Bon Appetit Best Recipes of 2001 cookbook. And I’ll let you in on a secret, I don’t boil a whole chicken, just 4 boneless, skinless breasts. Much easier. Also: when they say “flour your work surface” for biscuit time, they so aren’t kidding. I also served it with a riesling, your mileage may vary.


Ooh, it’s shakin’ (It’s electric)

This morning I was thinking of a friend from high school who won’t be able to travel from LA for the wedding. I will miss my plucky Tibor* dearly, but then again we do get into trouble when we are together.

We used to sit next to each other in an English class. We had to take an essay test on A Passage to India, a tedious endeavor at best. By page 3, my energy was flagging. Right in the middle of a paragraph on the Marabar Caves hoo-dee-doo, I wrote “I know who you are, you’re my toothbrush.”

I kicked Tibor and pointed to my page. At the top of his third page, right in the same spot, he wrote “No I’m not, I’m electric.”

We forgot about our lark until the following week when we got the tests back. Teach came by our desks and asked “What IS this about? I even went back to re-read that chapter to see what you were referencing!”

“Well, you’re one up on me,” I said. “I rented the movie.” I still got an A-. Everyone loves a weasel.


*name sort of changed, but I’m sure you can figure it out, you are ever so smart!