Seven days of my books and me

Reggie Jackson was my first favorite baseball player and I always read way above my grade level as a kid …

… which is how I wound up reading a book published when I was 9 that had the expression “uppity (you know the word, starts with ‘n’)” in the third paragraph and “If bull—- was religion, he’d be the Pope” on Page 9.

Continue reading “Seven days of my books and me”

Empty buildings full of stories

On our Christmas travels through the Berkshire Mountains, to my parents’ house in upstate New York and back home to a Boston suburb, we passed several vacant, abandoned businesses.

They were in various states of disrepair. Some had signs as a reminder of what they had been. Others had signs that they were for sale or lease, the past or present hope that a future was still possible.

Some had neither, and some had both.

And all of them were a good idea, at some time, to somebody.

Continue reading “Empty buildings full of stories”

One dollar … hopefully the first of many

When I was growing up in upstate New York, going out to eat meant one of the local diners in Schoharie, the town where I went to school 15 minutes from my parents’ house.

The fast-food places were a few towns over, and for whatever reason, pizza places didn’t really stick. (I’m actually kind of surprised there’s a taco restaurant there now.)

For years, my Friday night dinner was hot turkey sandwiches, mashed potatoes (instant) and chocolate milk. Continue reading “One dollar … hopefully the first of many”

A grumpy customer and a Grumpy Cat

My boy Poopsie sent me this from Phil Kadner of the Chicago Sun-Times this morning.

“A hamburger does not have cheese. A hamburger with cheese is called a ‘cheeseburger.’ …

… “People who want cheese on their hamburgers should be forced to say, ‘I want a cheeseburger.’ I should not be required to say, ‘I want a hamburger, no cheese,’ or even answer a question such as, ‘Do you want cheese on your hamburger?’”

Poopsie knows me well, having heard, among other things, me exasperatedly explain that, no, a plain turkey sub does not mean I want lettuce, tomato, mayo or anything else to befoul the meat and bun I ask for. Continue reading “A grumpy customer and a Grumpy Cat”

When you know the end is coming

So the day I got laid off was, in a way, the last day in a whole long, uneasy season of getting laid off. It dawned on me that I was one of the casualties the afternoon I sent a rare third follow-up email asking for my boss’s blessing on my Thanksgiving vacation dates. I wanted to get my flights booked. Again, he didn’t respond.

— Ashley Fetters, “The Anxiety of Waiting to Be Laid Off”

Ashley Fetters’ clue was not getting an email returned.

Mine should have been the Army-Navy Game. Continue reading “When you know the end is coming”