Tag Archives: Amazon

Equations with the Stubbly Good Witch

“Think about what things mean.” This was my advice to my son as I drove him to his little slice of hell — school.  That particular day would be more hellish than usual as he had both his Geometry and Science final exams.   Like me, he would almost rather have a colonoscopy, including the dreaded prep, than be forced to learn math or science.  I felt for him, so I offered him the words of advice that got me through high school math.  Mr. Scott said them almost daily.  Whenever he would write a super long equation on the board and look out at sea of confused dog looks, he would simply say, “Think about what things mean.”  This simple philosophy has gotten me through a lot more than math.

 Mr. Scott was my favorite teacher even though he taught my most hated subject – math.  I had him for Algebra in ninth grade, and again for Integrated Math my senior year.  As a teacher, he was the perfect combination of firm, professional, and funny.  He knew his subject, but he didn’t just stand there and drone on and on about variables and the order of operations.  No.  He always kept our attention, even if he had to wear a dress.

 Yes, I said a dress.  No. Mr. Scott was not a drag queen, not that there’s anything wrong with that.  He was a Vietnam veteran with a permanent five o’clock shadow who usually dressed like a gas station attendant.  I’m serious.  He had a bunch of gas station attendant shirts with his name, Frank, on the front.  They were from all different stations.  I used to sit there and try to imagine where he got them.  He couldn’t have just ordered them on Amazon because it was 1987 and Amazon, or the Internet, or laptops, or iPhones, didn’t exist yet.  No.  He would have had to work at all of the gas stations to get a shirt. Either that or he toured the country finding gas station attendants named Frank who needed some extra cash.  No matter how he got them, I wasn’t sure why he wore them.  Maybe it was to remind himself that no matter how horrible high school students were, teaching was still better than pumping gas.  (Young people, gas station attendants used to pump people’s gas for them.) Whatever the reason, he wore them almost daily, except, as I mentioned, when he wore dresses.

 One particular Halloween (See, I told you he wasn’t a drag queen.), I remember walking into his class on the second floor of the old 600 hall at South Broward High School and almost walking right into his magic wand.  That’s right.  Mr. Scott, Frank from the Shell station, was dressed as Glinda the Good Witch from the Wizard of Oz.  I couldn’t help but laugh all the way to my seat.  He just stood there and looked at me like, “What?”  I took my seat expecting an easy day of not really doing math.  I was wrong. 

 Mr. Scott began class by walking carefully across the classroom in his sparkly shoes and shiny dress, and pointing to the board with his wand.  He called on me, of course, and said, “Lisa, what is the quadratic formula?”  I looked at him like he was nuts, but he insisted that I say the formula out loud while he grabbed a piece of chalk with his wandless hand.  I’m happy to say that I got it ALMOST right.  I forgot to say “the opposite of” before I said “B.”  I’m sure at age 41 I still know MOST of the quadratic formula because of this experience. 

I never grew to love math, but I sure remembered it better after watching a man with a five o’clock shadow in a dress teach it.  Over the years, Mr. Scott donned many costumes, some of them dresses and some of them more masculine, like when he was Vince Fontaine in the school’s production of Grease.  No matter how he was dressed, he always took the time to slow down and show us HOW to think about what things mean.

 I kept that in my head during the SAT and I actually scored higher in Math than in English.  (Note: I ended up becoming an English professor.) I kept thinking about what things meant through college, marriage, caring for a baby, a divorce, a new marriage, moving across the country, and a host of other experiences.  Basically, whenever I was getting frustrated or taking things too seriously, I would stop and think about what things really meant.   Usually, they weren’t as bad, or as serious as I thought, once I really THOUGHT about them.  Sometimes, all I needed to do was put on a sparkly dress and laugh.  That always helps.  Thank you, Mr. Scott, wherever you are.

 

Cathouse Breakdown

Sure – I live in a large house with my parents, the boy, and my canine and feline brother and sisters, but sometimes, I just want to move into my own place. I have found several small dwellings in my house. They seem to be delivered in a loud brown truck that pulls up on the car area outside. Even if I don’t see it the dog sisters alert me with their bark alarms. So, I jump and run to the small window near the door. A man with a brown suit carries a cat home or two to the door, and it sits outside the little window until Mother or Father or the Boy bring it in. You would think the big stupid dog would retrieve it, but she just stares at the truck and barks.  This is quite useless. If I had big jaws like that, I would carry the homes in myself.

Once a human carries the cathouse in, Mother opens it with a small sword of sorts. It pops in and out like claws. She then takes out a bunch of useless and stinky things, and leaves the home on the floor for me. I enter it immediately to claim it for myself. Usually, when I leave to use the facilities, or grab a bite to eat, one of my siblings tries to steal it.

Sometimes, I find Morris, the fat, orange useless male, or Boo Boo, my sister who poops on the floor in my home. I let them know in no uncertain terms that it is MY HOUSE. By let them know, I mean I kick their asses. I’m not afraid to let them know who is boss. I’m the alpha here. Even big and stupid knows it.

I wish I could say that my cathouses last forever, but they don’t. Mysteriously, something always happens to them. Sometimes, I find them flattened, and other times they just disappear entirely. I used to suspect that some sort of sorcery or weather issue was to blame for this. Then, I caught Mother cutting up my house with her claw sword. So, when I do have a house of my own, I enjoy it and have everyone take pictures of me in it. I want to share a few with you here.

One time, I had a convertible home.
One time, I had a convertible home.

 

The power company never turns the electricity on soon enough when you move.
The power company never turns the electricity on soon enough when you move.

 

Finally!
Finally!

 

I hate it when my brother just invites himself over.  I will need to disinfect the place.
I hate it when my brother just invites himself over. I will need to disinfect the place.

 

UGH! It still smells like Morris. I'd better let it air out.
UGH! It still smells like Morris. I’d better let it air out.

 

Here I am inspecting my roof and the adjoining terrace.
Here I am inspecting my roof and the adjoining terrace.

 

Once again, Mother has destroyed my home.  She just can't stand to have me living away from her.
Once again, Mother has destroyed my home. She just can’t stand to have me living away from her.

 

I will be comfy here on the couch until I have a home of my own again.
I will be comfy here on the couch until I have a home of my own again.

Amazon: Where Hermit Shopping is a Pleasure (Publix)

Shopping makes me feel like this.
Shopping makes me feel like this.

Sundays tend to be my domestic goddess days. I’m usually busy for hours with vacuuming, laundry, and even ironing. While I was ironing my son’s work pants, khaki Chinos, I thought that he could probably use a couple more pairs. Then, I thought about going to Kohl’s, where we got the pair he presently owns. I didn’t want to think about how they are going to insist I use my Kohl’s card so I can save whatever percent, and ask me if I have my Kohl’s cash or Kohl’s coupon from the circular that is mailed to my house every 25 seconds. As your friendly neighborhood work from home ENGLISH professor, shopping that requires all of these numbers and extra accessories makes my head hurt. Then, I remembered that I don’t have to go to Kohl’s, or anywhere, to get my son’s Chinos. There is that glowing safe haven for all of my shopping needs – Amazon.

  1. You don’t get pestered to join a rewards program every time you check out. If one more cashier asks me to add a plastic card to my key ring I may end up on the evening news for flying over the counter and stomping on the cash register while screaming, “I JUST WANT TO PAY AND LEAVE!!” On Amazon, you get asked to join the Prime program once a year, and it actually has real benefits like free shipping and cheap movie rentals.
  2. You can choose not to apply for the store credit card without some human in your face trying to reiterate how much money you will save because obviously your are not understanding this. I don’t want the damn store card and I’m not stupid.
  3. Two words—other people. You don’t have to walk through a maze of people who either enjoy shopping or don’t know what the hell they want to get to your item of choice. You just click and pay. It’s a slice of hermit heaven.
  4. Most things are actually in stock. I hate to name names here, but Best Buy, I’m talking to you. Most of the time that I go into actual stores, other than the grocery store, I am unable to locate the item I need. This happens ALL THE TIME in Best Buy. It almost NEVER happens on Amazon. They stock EVERYTHING.
  5. No parking lot.   Parking lots always seem full whenever I want to shop. Also, they’re usually not covered, so you need to walk in the snow, rain, wind or whatever unpleasant weather to get to the nice climate-controlled store. And, there’s usually that one idiot who leaves their dog in the car, which causes me to have to dig out the phone number to report them to the sheriff’s office. In addition to everything else, there are creepy people who stalk you so they can take your parking spot, and sometimes, according to a recent 20/20 episode, they get violent.

I’m not taking any chances. I will just stay right here at my cozy dining room table with a cat on my lap, and log in to Amazon. See you never, people-filled stores.

Note: “Where Shopping is a Pleasure” is Publix’s slogan.  Publix is the world’s best grocery store, and I miss it dearly now that I live in Yankee land.

Equations with the Stubbly Good Witch

“Think about what things mean.” This was my advice to my son as I drove him to his little slice of hell — school.  That particular day would be more hellish than usual as he had both his Geometry and Science final exams.   Like me, he would almost rather have a colonoscopy, including the dreaded prep, than be forced to learn math or science.  I felt for him, so I offered him the words of advice that got me through high school math.  Mr. Scott said them almost daily.  Whenever he would write a super long equation on the board and look out at sea of confused dog looks, he would simply say, “Think about what things mean.”  This simple philosophy has gotten me through a lot more than math.

 Mr. Scott was my favorite teacher even though he taught my most hated subject – math.  I had him for Algebra in ninth grade, and again for Integrated Math my senior year.  As a teacher, he was the perfect combination of firm, professional, and funny.  He knew his subject, but he didn’t just stand there and drone on and on about variables and the order of operations.  No.  He always kept our attention, even if he had to wear a dress.

 Yes, I said a dress.  No. Mr. Scott was not a drag queen, not that there’s anything wrong with that.  He was a Vietnam veteran with a permanent five o’clock shadow who usually dressed like a gas station attendant.  I’m serious.  He had a bunch of gas station attendant shirts with his name, Frank, on the front.  They were from all different stations.  I used to sit there and try to imagine where he got them.  He couldn’t have just ordered them on Amazon because it was 1987 and Amazon, or the Internet, or laptops, or iPhones, didn’t exist yet.  No.  He would have had to work at all of the gas stations to get a shirt. Either that, or he toured the country finding gas station attendants named Frank who needed some extra cash.  No matter how he got them, I wasn’t sure why he wore them.  Maybe it was to remind himself that no matter how horrible high school students were, teaching was still better than pumping gas.  (Young people, gas station attendants used to pump people’s gas for them.) Whatever the reason, he wore them almost daily, except, as I mentioned, when he wore dresses.

 One particular Halloween (See, I told you he wasn’t a drag queen.), I remember walking into his class on the second floor of the old 600 hall at South Broward High School, and almost walking right into his magic wand.  That’s right.  Mr. Scott, Frank from the Shell station, was dressed as Glinda the Good Witch from the Wizard of Oz.  I couldn’t help but laugh all the way to my seat.  He just stood there and looked at me like, “What?”  I took my seat expecting an easy day of not really doing math.  I was wrong. 

 Mr. Scott began class by walking carefully across the classroom in his sparkly shoes and shiny dress, and pointing to the board with his wand.  He called on me, of course, and said, “Lisa, what is the quadratic formula?”  I looked at him like he was nuts, but he insisted that I say the formula out loud while he grabbed a piece of chalk with his wandless hand.  I’m happy to say that I got it ALMOST right.  I forgot to say “the opposite of” before I said “B.”  I’m sure at age 41 I still know MOST of the quadratic formula because of this experience. 

I never grew to love math, but I sure remembered it better after watching a man with a five o’clock shadow in a dress teach it.  Over the years, Mr. Scott donned many costumes, some of them dresses and some of them more masculine, like when he was Vince Fontaine in the school’s production of Grease.  No matter how he was dressed, he always took the time to slow down and show us HOW to think about what things mean.

 I kept that in my head during the SAT and I actually scored higher in Math than in English.  (Note: I ended up becoming an English professor.) I kept thinking about what things meant through college, marriage, caring for a baby, a divorce, a new marriage, moving across the country, and a host of other experiences.  Basically, whenever I was getting frustrated or taking things too seriously, I would stop and think about what things really meant.   Usually, they weren’t as bad, or as serious as I thought, once I really THOUGHT about them.  Sometimes, all I needed to do was put on a sparkly dress and laugh.  That always helps.  Thank you, Mr. Scott, wherever you are.