Category Archives: Humor

Rocker Prof.

As you may know, I taught at a local college for many years. I actually still teach for them, but I do it online from my living room, so it’s different now. I teach from the comfort of my recliner. But in those days, the classroom I used was way across campus from my office, and I was always running late because students were continually stopping me as I made my way to class. Well, I say it’s because of that, but I’m sure my overall ditziness contributed to my tardiness too. But don’t tell anybody that. Anyway, I had to get to class within fifteen minutes of the start of the period, because students were allowed to leave if I didn’t show up within that time. If that happened, I was in big trouble with the Chair, so it was a stressful situation for me.

Picture, if you will, me running across campus, butt swaying dangerously atop my customary spikes, carrying messy stacks of papers and an old beat up leather satchel, students jogging alongside me, frantically asking me questions about their grades or trying to make small talk and be a teacher’s pet. I finally make it to the lecture hall with only seconds to spare, and running down the corridor, in order to prevent students from leaving, I start loudly singing “Here I am, rock you like a hurricane” to the accompaniment of the good-natured moans and groans of students that thought they were about to get a free pass from class that day. I did it every semester, multiple times. Countless times. It was kind of my theme song. Every semester, students would respond with stunned silence the first time it happened, then the next time they would smile a little, then the next time they would laugh, and by the end of the term, they considered me their rockinest BFF, I think. lol.

On my last day of on-campus teaching, as I walked down the corridor toward my classroom, I heard the familiar tune, growing louder and louder the closer I got.  Yes, someone had brought in a boom box, and they played my theme song as a going away gift for me. The sweeties. That rocked me like a hurricane. The memory of it rocks me still.

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Filed under Humor, Humour, Memoir, Music, Teaching

My Superpower Name is: “Chameleon Woman”

As you can see, I’ve made some changes to my blog. Any change at all is a really big deal because I don’t know how to do anything. Thus, any change that I make usually brews in my feeble mind for a couple months before I actually take any action. It all started this time with a mild displeasure with my profile picture or gravatar or whatever that tiny picture next to my name is called. I liked the picture I had for a really long time, because I thought I looked kind of spunky and sardonic. Then, one day, out of the blue, I looked at that picture and “spunky and sardonic” suddenly appeared “bitchy and snooty”.

Say goodbye to our old friend, “Bitchy Pic”!

bitchy pic

So I finally decided I would update my tiny picture, and I thought I would try to take one with my puppy, Penny. I’ve seen pictures that other women have taken with pets that looked really cute and sweet and feminine, and I tried to achieve the same effect, but as you can see, mine just came out weird and distorted. Penny wouldn’t cooperate and was squirming wildly and I had to tilt my head back, so the end result is that the entire world gets a fine shot of the underside of my nose. But I’m going with it anyway, because the puppy is so darn cute.

Say hello to our new friend, “Puppy Pic”!

Puppy pic

Since I didn’t think the puppy pic really looked like me, I did another picture, this time in black and white, trying to go for an artistic effect.  I didn’t even look like the same person at all.  I tried to have a completely blank expression so that it would be an accurate representation of my face, but I looked kinda like an alien. And I don’t think my eyes are that far apart. Or are they? I just don’t know. Anyway, if you want to know what I look like, I recommend piecing the various photos together in your head, creating sort of a composite pic, because apparently I am going to continue looking like a different woman in every photo ever taken of me.

It’s really bizarre how I look different in every picture. I’m not even sure how I look exactly. I’m a chameleon, I guess. A Karma Chameleon, perhaps? I mean, I am slightly worried that I have unresolved karma issues, after all.

Instant karma’s gonna get you. Gonna look you right in the face.

Who’s that lady? Another great one from the marvelous Isley Brothers and one of my faves. The extra yummy extended version…

“But seriously, lady, who are you?”

Bean Bag2

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Filed under Blogging, Humor, Humour, Music, Uncategorized

I’ve Been Everywhere, Man.

It’s that time of year when I start trying to plan my little feeble summer vacays. I use the terms “little” and “feeble” accurately here because adjunct faculty really don’t make a whole lotta moolah, as you are probably aware.  In fact, full-time faculty don’t bring in the big bucks either.  Unless that was just me and I was getting suckered all those years, which is certainly possible.  If you detect a note of bitterness here, I congratulate you on your powers of perception, because I guess I am a little bitter about not having the money to travel around the world like I really want to do.  But I try to suppress these feelings and soothe my wanderlust by planning a lot of short, inexpensive trips, often involving a concert that I want to see. By short and inexpensive I mean three or four nights max, usually at a Hampton Inn or Holiday Inn, and within a day’s drive from home.

What this means is that I’ve been everywhere remotely interesting that’s within about a 600 mile range of Jackson many, many times. In keeping with our featured song, I’ll list some of them, starting to the west and working to the east (generally speaking)…San Antonio, Austin, Dallas, Houston, Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Hot Springs, Little Rock, Branson, Gulfport, Biloxi, Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, Pensacola, Destin, Panama City, Tallahassee, Memphis, Nashville, Chattanooga, Gatlinburg, Asheville, Louisville, Atlanta, Savanna, Charleston, Jacksonville, and St. Augustine, Florida.

I’ve been everywhere, man.  Everywhere that I can afford, that is.

I can’t do this clip without a shout out to our brother from down under, Bruce. This is the original version of this song, by Lucky Starr. (Clip mistakenly has a picture of Rolf Harris – ignore that.)  And my apologies to the spinster cousins for the cheesecake shot, but at least she’s a real woman, not one of these fake-boobers.  All three of these fun videos have pictures of the places mentioned…

And now the U.K. version, which really is by Rolf Harris. This is for Jamie.  Hilarious!

Not gonna leave us North ‘Muricans out…and now, hailing from beautiful Nova Scotia, here’s that great singing ranger, Hank Snow.

Don’t feel too sorry for me, though.  I did a lot of traveling back when my Daddy was around – we went all over North America and almost every state, including Hawaii.  All over the Caribbean too. Plus you know about my shocking braless Grand Tour of Europe. And I have plans for major travel again one day.   Turns out that my kid’s one of them-there brainiacs and a big ole scholarship is coming down the pike. You know what that means for the college fund, right?  Y’all better scan the open skies, peer across the ocean waters, and listen for the unmistakable sound of my 1997 Buick, because I’ll be movin’ on…

And I like to imagine someone saying, “Gram Parsons introduced the Rolling Stones to country music” to me, and me smugly playing the video below for them.  But that ain’t ever gonna happen.  I never get to be right. (Yes, yes, of course I love Gram, you know I do. Can’t wait to visit his Nudie suit in Nashville again this summer. And by the way, I notice that you can buy a replica of Gram’s Nudie suit, and I swear by all that is country rock, I’m getting one of those suckers one day.  When my ship/unused college fund comes in.)  Okay, this sounds awful compared to good old Hank, but here it is…

Questions?  Comments?  You’ve been everywhere too, man?  Please share!

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Filed under Humor, Humour, Music, Travel, Uncategorized

You Say You Want A (Comfort Strap, Underwire) Revolution

Once upon a time, when the world was young, I spent several months studying in Europe, as one of a group of around fifty students from Mississippi, Arkansas, Colorado, and New York.  When we met for our first “mixer” in New York prior to our flight, each group fit their regional stereotype to a tee.  We southerners were almost aggressively friendly, like we were all in some kind of congeniality contest.  We sounded like this: “Hey, y’all!  Where’re y’all frum? I’m frum Missuhsippi/Arkansaw!”.  The two southern groups connected almost immediately, though our accents were slightly different, with the Arkansas contingent having more of a mountainy twang, and the Mississippi contingent having more of a “Gone With the Windish” sound.  But we looked alike – conservatively dressed, girls with perfect hair and make-up, etc., and we acted alike, with our non-stop attempts at humor and conviviality.

The New Yorkers were cool and a little intimidating, sort of worldly-wise and jaded.  But after a couple days of touring with us, they didn’t seem to notice anymore that they were hanging out with a bunch of obnoxious southerners and we were all best buds.

The biggest divide was between the southerners and the Coloradans.  The Colorado contingent was the only all female group, and they were all beautiful – tall, mostly blond, and healthy looking, but with unshaven legs and no bras. The unshavenness and bralessness was mind blowing to us southern girls of that pre-historic era. I had never seen a woman walk around in public with no bra and hairy legs.  And despite our strident friendliness, they just stayed in their own little group and stared at us.  Like in horror or something.

We made it to London, where we spent about a third of the term, and hooked up with our British professor, Matthew, who stayed with us as we continued on throughout Europe. Strangely, or not really I guess, customs in England largely reflected my own conservative middle-class southern culture, with the exception of not having to say “Hey” to everyone you passed on the sidewalk.  After a couple days of watching the entire southern contingent do this, Matthew told us to cut it out.  Thank goodness.  What a relief to not have to do that anymore.  But I had gone from one well-mannered, proper culture with clear social parameters to another, except that this one had a lot more general coolness.

So it was really in France that my internal switch flipped.  One day while touring in Paris, we happened upon a group of women, just regular, every day looking women, bathing topless in a fountain. The southern belles expressed their shock and disapproval, and I think I feigned shock and disapproval right along with them, but inwardly, something clicked in my brain.  Something that was vaguely about freedom and the lack of shame and repression.  So when we got back to the hotel, I threw all my bras in the trash bin. Not “buried them in my suitcase” – threw them in the trash.  When I went down for dinner, in all my newfound freedom and braless glory, the southern belles looked at me with shock and disapproval.  I walked straight to the Coloradans and stood beside them.

By the time we got to the restaurant, things were almost back to normal, and I sat with my own group as usual, but the Colorado girls kept looking at me.  I had thrown them a curve ball and they had to mull it over.  The next morning, when we all met in the lobby, most of the other southern girls, with the exception of a few of the future spinster cousin variety, were braless as well.  Things started to change. By the time we reached the final stop on our trip in Athens, we were all bonded.  On our final night, the leader of the Coloradans – the tallest, blondest, hairiest, and most gorgeous one – apologized with tears in her eyes for their behavior at the beginning of the term.  She said that they had wrongly assumed that we were all backwards, racist idiots since we were from the south, and that she was so ashamed for having been prejudiced against us, because she had been wrong, and we were all nice people.  The southern girls all cried and said they were sorry for having been judgmental about their hairiness and lack of brassieres.

Back in Jackson, my parents met me at the airport.  I strategically carried my purse over my chest, and resumed my normal wearing of foundation garments, for the most part, when I got home.  I lost most of my film somewhere in Austria, and the few pictures that I do have are hidden away – I can only show a couple of them publically because of the underwire revolution, but it was worth it.  ¡Viva La Revolución!

Better free your mind. You know it’s gonna be all right.

We live for just these twenty years; do we have to die for the fifty more?  We were all just young Americans.

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Tell Me A Story: Western Themes

I was going to post a long, sad tale about how my first “real” job after college was a soul-crushing bore in which whey-faced office workers shuffled through the halls in orthopedic shoes, queuing up in front of the restroom sinks to brush and floss their teeth after lunch every day, and how it barely paid me enough to keep me from eating off my Texaco credit card.

And then I was going to tell you how while desperately looking for a new job in the classified ads, I found a little old lady who was giving away a houseful of paperback books, and how I got all excited, planning my escape from the Langolierseque office by means of opening a used book shop, and how I tediously carried all the books in the trunk of my car, all by myself, one load at a time, and stacked them in my parents’ garden shed, which subsequently developed a leak in the roof, thus ruining all the books, and smashing all my hopes and dreams of being freed from the Langoliers nightmare in which I spent my days.  At that point, I had no choice but to go on to doctoral school and give this whole professorin’ gig a shot in order to get myself free.  After all, you gotta have a back up plan when the garden shed leaks and destroys your future.

But enough about that.  Let’s get on to the good stories. I really love a song that tells a story, don’t you?  I’m going to do a little series on what I call “story songs”, with a different theme each week.  We’ll start with a few songs about one of my favorite periods of history…westward expansion and cowboys and the gold rush and such. The brilliant lyricist, Bernie Taupin, shares this fascination.  In fact, that’s why he’s been called “The Brown Dirt Cowboy”.  His love for the western U.S. and its history definitely influenced his writing, and this can be seen most clearly in one of my favorite albums, Tumbleweed Connection.  Here’s a fine example, “Burn Down the Mission”…

Here’s another Bernie classic, “Roy Rogers”, from another favorite album, Yellow Brick RoadAnd Roy Rogers is riding tonight…

I could talk about Bernie and Elton all day, but let’s move on to another one of my favorite songs, and what I consider the ultimate prospectin’ song,  “Fire on the Mountain” by The Marshall Tucker Band.  They say heaven’s at the end, but so far it’s been hell..

And now, in tribute to the used book store that never was, and the young, book-besotted girl that worked so hard and so futilely to make it happen, here’s a cool poem I found about girls who read.  And if you are one of my spinster cousins that claim to be reading my blog, please excuse the slightly coarse language.  It’s worth it. From Roundhouse London, by Mark Grist.

Questions? Comments? Please Share!

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Filed under Art and Literature, Humor, Humour, Music, Poetry, Uncategorized

The After VD (By Which I Mean Valentine’s Day) Party Party

Like I’m assuming the rest of you have been doing, I’ve been going through my shoe box of old photos, looking for pictures of flowers or teddy bears that somebody gave me or anything else Valentine-related in an attempt to prove my lovability. What’s that you say?  You haven’t been doing that?  Oh.  Well, moving right along, I didn’t find any teddy bears or flowers, natch, but I did come across this photo that has “After VD party. I love my friends!” scribbled on the back.  And no, I was not referring to any kind of venereal disease.  I was (am) one of those immature people that thinks it’s funny to call Valentine’s Day “VD”.  I remember the occasion well…

cropped 2

It was in the loser dorm. Those of us that were dateless threw a little party in the common room with burnt cupcakes that we made in the dorm kitchen. I recall chain-smoking my dearly beloved and long departed Marlboro reds in order to avoid eating any of them, then going back down to my dorm room to cry in solitude over some cheesy dude that I’ve nearly forgotten now.  Lying there on my little bed, probably listening to Neil Young or maybe even something like Joni Mitchell, my dorm buddies burst into my room and took this picture.  That’s why I look like a surprised, possibly heroin-addicted raccoon, with my mascara smeared all under my eyes. We all took pictures of each other to document our solitary, unloved status on VD, which led to a lot of silliness and hilarity and fun.  By the way, that’s not my hair sticking way up like that; my hair ended with the weird blue knit hair band thing. The rest of that is either a shadow or the blackness of my soul seeping out and showing up eerily in the picture.  Anyway, if you are alone and sad on VD, I give you permission to stare at my hideous picture and know that you are not alone in your suffering.  Also, consider the sad tale of Walter Egan.

Like everyone else, Walter Egan was infatuated with Stevie Nicks, except that his love had some basis in reality since he actually knew her. In fact, you can hear her singing in the background on this song.  Of course, Walter being one of us – things didn’t work out. Just look at him, the poor lovesick sap, standing there so awkwardly between Stevie and Lindsey, trying to pretend like everything is fine.  And just look at Lindsey, standing there so confident and arrogant with his shirt unbuttoned way down low, trying to show off his chest hair.  Rips your heart out. Don’t worry, Walter, I pick you over Lindsey. Not that you care, especially if you’ve seen my after VD party picture.  But I feel your pain, Walter Egan, I really do.

I love this song and it’s my Valentine, in addition to the Thigh Master ad, to all of my readers and followers because…

With you I’m not shy to show the way I feel,
With you I might try my secrets to reveal,
For you are a magnet and I am steel.

Our friend Walter also wrote the beautiful “Hearts on Fire”, which was recorded by Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris on one of my favorite albums, Grievous Angel.  Perfect.

Questions?  Comments?  Please share!

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No Neutral Ground: Victim of Love

So it’s time for the hearts and the cards and the flowers and so forth. It seems that the world is divided into two Valentine camps: the bitter, sardonic, “I hate love” camp, and the nauseatingly romantic, “I love love” camp.  I like to think that I am in neither of these camps, and that I fall coolly somewhere in between.  On love’s neutral ground, so to speak.  But actually, I suspect that love has no neutral ground.  Well, maybe it does, but I think it only exists for people that have become so numb that they aren’t even in the game anymore.  And what fun is that?  It’s none at all.  Trust me, I’ve tried it before.  It was back in the “Love Me Like a Man” days of my lonely early thirties.

But…why was I regularly using that Thigh Master thing unless I was secretly still in the game? Believe me, that Thigh Master was no fun, and I wouldn’t have been doing it just to try to impress my fellow singleton buddies with some killer glutes and thighs as we sat around watching “Friends” and “Seinfeld”, eating air-popped popcorn and pretending we were completely happy and satisfied with our solitary lot in life.  Speaking of which, air-popped popcorn sucks severely and is like eating Styrofoam, in case you don’t know. It was the dietary equivalent of the Thigh Master.  And then, there was that hunky guy that lived upstairs in my apartment complex that I tried to meet by timing my departures with his, in a reverse procedure to what I did with the elephant man from the SRV wars.  Naturally, I never met the guy, whereas the elephant man became my lifelong friend. Oh, the irony.  The absurd, pathetic irony of my life.  But it doesn’t sound like I was really all that numb, even when I thought for sure I was.

So the bottom line, I think, is that there really is no neutral ground, and that we only pretend to ourselves that we are numb.  The numbness is an illusion. We are all victims of love in some way.  I can feel some of you desperately arguing with me on this, so let’s look at a scenario.  Let’s say you are my spinster cousin and you say, “But Marie, I’ve been living alone happily with my cats since 1983.  I have my gardening and I sing in the church choir.  I’m perfectly fine!  You’re full of baloney, Marie.”

And I’m going to respond by saying, “I’m glad you’re happy, really I am, but you’re still a victim of love like the rest of us.  Don’t you remember that time your prom date spent the whole night dancing with that slutty girl and you called Uncle Herbert to come pick you up early?  I distinctly recall that you quit wearing your contacts after that, and I’m pretty sure you quit using your Thigh Master at that point too.  But I’ve seen all those muffins and cookies you bake for that weird choir director guy.  Yep.  You’re a victim of love too, spinster cousin, so don’t go thinking you’re better than the rest of us feeble clay-footed mortals.”  Of course, I wouldn’t really say any of this to a spinster cousin, because she would cry, and I’m a softie, but the truth is still the truth.

This is my favorite Eagles song, although some of the lyrics are slightly disturbing to me personally.  But maybe it’s my favorite Eagles song because of that.  I could be wrong…but I’m not.  Tell me your secrets; I’ll tell you mine.  This ain’t no time to be cool…

And now, a little Valentine’s present for you…enjoy.  And never quit fighting those flabby thighs.

Happy Valentine’s Day, fellow victims!

Questions?  Comments?  Please Share!

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