Saturday, June 27, 2009

Mike Mulligan

The Cape Ann Historical Association is hosting a celebration for the 100th birthday of the author of Mike Mulligan!

Virginia Lee Burton Birthday Party!Saturday, August 29 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Join us in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the birth of Virginia Lee Burton, children's author/illustrator and Folly Cove Designer.
10:00 a.m. to 12 noon - Storytelling and art activities
Noon to 1:00 p.m. Birthday Cake 1:00 p.m.
Film Screening: Virginia Lee Burton, A Sense of Place A film by Christine Lundberg & Rawn Fulton
Reservations required. This program is free and open to the public.

When I think of Cape Ann, I remember the historical novels of Ruth Langland Holberg, which I used to read but only one of which I think I still own, At the Sign of the Golden Anchor (I remember the heroine had snapping dark eyes). The Historical Society is, in fact, in Gloucester. I have not been to Gloucester for many years but maybe the NewBetsys would like to join me!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Miss Manners

I find myself in similar situation all the time and one yearns to correct these people:

Dear Miss Manners:
As the communications director for a government agency, I respond to written constituent inquiries. In an effort to personalize my responses, I often excerpt from the original missive. For example, "You're agency stnks!"
Should I correct spelling and grammatical errors from the original correspondence or leave them as is? I hate to fudge a quote, but if I don't correct errors, I am concerned the constituent will think the mistakes are mine, putting my agency in a bad light.
Also, it seems rude to point out someone's errors when they have taken the time to share their concerns. My agency does not yet have a policy regarding this point of professional etiquette.

But if you correct the quotation, won't the letter writer think, "Stupid bureaucrats -- can't even quote accurately"?
Besides, surely it is a comfort to note that your critics are not, shall we say, discerning.
Miss Manners would consider it polite enough if you preceded the letter writer's words with "as you so colorfully put it . . ."

Monday, June 15, 2009


Not long ago, in the back of my closet, I found a favorite pair of black pants. If I remember correctly, they were originally a gift from my former roommate Jeanmarie LeMense's older sister Kathleen, who at the time worked for Anne Klein in merchandising. Delighted, I spared hardly a thought as to why they had been pushed to the back of the closet, instead admiring how becoming they were - if not as appealing as the The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, then close to it.

However, I should have known (and you have already guessed) that there was a reason they were banished to the back of the closet. As attractive as these trousers are, they could be also be known as the Traveling Pants in that they unzip themselves constantly all day long (but not immediately, which would give one time to change before leaving for work - no, they wait for about two hours), threatening to drive me insane. Not that anyone noticed: I would have to do something very disruptive for anyone to give my pants a second look (although now that I think about it, my co-worker Colleen also has a troublesome pair of pants, a fairly new pair she is sure are about to come apart at the back center seam, and keeps asking us what we think). This time, I think I will really need to donate them to someone who finds that behavior amusing rather than annoying . . .

Friday, June 12, 2009

Why won't Sarah Palin go away?

I do think it was disgusting of David Letterman to make a joke about A-Rod and one of the Palin girls but as this NPR commentator says, "Don't pick a fight with someone who buys ink by the barrel!"

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Random Amazon Recommendation

You know the "if you liked x, you'll enjoy y" recommendations that Amazon likes to make. Occasionally, it is spot on but tonight I received a suggestion of

Recommended because you purchased Boston Red Sox 101 (101 My First Team-Board-Books) for nephew Xavy!

Is that a not truly random combination? While it is true that I like the Red Sox and I like crocheting, it is probably 20 years since I picked up a crochet hook - before Amazon even existed! Does this mean they have a webcam trained on my sewing basket (which does indeed contain a crochet hook or two)? Do they know me better than I know myself? Should I be crocheting while I watch the Sox beat up on the Yankees? (I hesitate to type that sentence lest I jinx the rest of the series!)