BeeKay's Blog

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Ode to a Most Excellent Teacher

12 October 2010

Dear Ms. [last name redacted]:

First, I’d like to apologize for not hand-writing this letter. Something this heartfelt should be hand-written (to my mind, anyway), but my handwriting has been atrocious lately, so I’ll spare you some squinting.

For the past several years, I had hoped to get in touch with you to tell you about the extremely positive influence you had on my life. Thanks to A[redacted], I am now finally able to do so.

You, along with my dad helped me to develop my understanding and appreciation of the written word, and its importance. I remember your teaching us that popular/ contemporary songs could be considered a form of poetry – that “Kiss the Dirt (Falling Down the Mountain” (INXS – me) and “Be My Girl (Sally)” (The Police – [redacted]) were poetic, owing to measure and rhyme. It encouraged an open-mindedness to what could be considered “poetry” and therefore “art.”

I always admired and hoped to emulate your zero-tolerance attitude to bullcrap. I like to think I’ve been successful in following your lead, for the most part.

Most importantly, I remember your confrontation of a very angry, troubled and lost young woman who was thinking of dropping out (no, going to drop out) of high school. You asked me to help you get something from the supply closet – once we were there you proceeded to give me one of the most brutal verbal beat-downs I’ve ever received, even now as a thirty-something adult. And you really didn’t say much – your disapproval was writ large across your face (I love the phrase “writ large”).

You told me you heard what I was considering doing (no, doing).

You told me it was the dumbest thing I could do.

You concluded by saying you would be extremely disappointed in me if I went through with it.

And then you walked out.

(You may have also ignored my presence for a day or two.)

That stung. And I’ll admit I was very angry with you for a while, but time gives us perspective, and eventually we understand.

Because you told me off, I stayed in school. Hated every moment of it, but received my diploma. I am sure I would have hated every second of working at Burger King but there you are.

Because you nurtured the seed my dad planted, I graduated with honors from West Chester with a degree in English (minor in creative writing).

Because you were my teacher, and taught me well, one professor said of a paper I wrote:

“This is one of the best undergraduate papers I have ever read; I consider it master’s level actually … excellent job! Be proud of it – it’s special.”

And another informed me that the quality of my paper on Arc d’X far exceeded the others in our class (and his other two classes on the subject), therefore my grade was being upped to an A+.

And mine was the only A in my class.

But most importantly, because you cared I was able to choose a path that allowed me to use my love of the written word to its fullest and have a career that, while sometimes frustrating, is extremely fulfilling. God only knows where I’d be if you hadn’t stepped in and given me what for.

I know this letter is 22 years too late, but I wanted you to know that you were one of my favorite teachers at [school name redacted], if not the favorite. That I appreciate the way you taught us, opening our minds to the beauty of the written word (because of this, I admit I can appreciate the skillful writing in The Story of O and cringe at the same time while reading it). That because of the foundation you helped lay, my love of English and my kung-fu writing skills have served me well in a rewarding professional career, from cellular telecommunications to venture capital to medical education/medical communications.

But most importantly, I want to thank you for caring about a girl who thought no one gave a crap. That means more to me than words can ever express (yes, even for someone who writes).

If you are ever in [redacted], you can find me most days (except Sundays and Mondays) at 602 [redacted] – perhaps my boss will allow me to play hooky so we can go to lunch; there are several lovely restaurants in my block.

Ha ha, my boss is me, so it’s do-able.

All best,

The BeeKay

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Vanity, Thy Name Is BeeKay, Part Two

Years ago, the spousal-unit, his brother and I went to Washington DC to see the sights and go to a Caps/Sabres game at the recently opened MCI Center.  My brother-in-law is a Caps fan, I will always be a Pat LaFontaine fan (he is the reason I started watching hockey – more on that later).  I had a sweet red-and-black marled yarn mock-turtleneck sweater, which I teamed up with a pair of nicely-fitting jeans and fabulous brand-new boots.  I wanted to look cute in case I had the chance to meet Pat.

The phrase-that-pays there is “brand new boots.”

We did a lot of walking that day – visited the Korean War and Vietnam War memorials and the Reflecting Pool, hit a few bars, you get my drift.

I was wearing brand new boots.

By the end of the night, I was LIMPING.  If I weren’t such a proud broad I’d have probably asked the spousal-unit and his brother to carry me to the car.  Upon getting home and removing said fabulous brand new boots found that both my feet were COVERED in blisters.  Each toe, my heels, even the sole of my right foot (who knew blisters could form there?) sported at least one frigging blister.

The next morning, the only pair of footwear I could tolerate wearing was my beat-up pair of Reeboks, untied.  At the time I worked in venture capital so had to dress up every day; and there I was, clad in a smart business suit and SNEAKERS.

Went into my boss’s office to report in for the day and he gave me a quizzical look.  “What the hell is it with the sneakers?” Bawf** wanted to know, as he surveyed me from head to toe (he was always interested in what women wore, probably still is).

“Bawf,” I said in reply, “I am a very vain and stupid woman.”  I explained the sneakers (and the limping) to which he shook his head and said, “You dumb @$$” (yes, we had that sort of close and personal working relationship, which I miss to this very day, but if you tell him I’ll deny it).

From them on out, I always made sure my footwear was fully broken-in before deciding to tromp around a major city in them.

**”Bawf” is a term on the Howard Stern Show and the way Gary Dell’Abate referred to Howard back in the day.  Bawf and I were both Stern fans (I still am) and I used to call him that as a joke (he HATED it).  But further testament to our working relationship … shortly after we started working together, I went into his office to find him cursing at his new computer.  He glanced at me and said, “I hate f—–g computers.”
I said, “Then don’t f— them,” left his mail and left his office.
At our annual holiday party one year, he recounted this story and said, “In that moment, I just knew that she and I would work perfectly together.”
And we did.
I miss you, Bawf.**
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BK Happy!

I would have preferred to hear it straight from the horse’s mouth but …


If not for the spousal-unit sleeping down the hall, I’d do the happy ferret dance.


(this is not my ferret, BTW)

Alas, I’ll have to wait until November 2019 for Bond 25. I guess I will have to binge watch Casino Royale, Skyfall, and Spectre (I’m not a fan of Quantum of Solace but I may have to suck it up) till then.


When I grow up, I want to be as fierce as Dame Judi Dench

And have a desk tidy enough to keep Jack 🙂 on it.

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You Know What Else?

Today sucks.

I am so motivated to get my crafts out into the world but have encountered barriers to entry, namely:

  • housework
  • yardwork
  • lack of shipping boxes
  • fear of rejection

I love my house—don’t get me wrong, it’s amazing and I wish we did more with it (ie, decorating and entertaining but that’s an entirely different subject and I will blog about it later)—but man oh man oh Manischewitz keeping it up is no fun (I will say Christmas 2005 was pretty sweet though).

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I know people who say they love cleaning. I wish that trait were contagious: I could really use it now. Ditto yardwork but quite frankly the spousal-unit does the lion’s share of it. I do all the weed whacking, which takes all of half an hour (45 minutes if the steps get to me) but I prefer to do it later in the day when there’s more shade. We had Motta’s Country Gardens and Landscaping clean out our beds (we could not decide on plants but as long as everything was cleaned up, it was all good).

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I also have to clean the front porch off as it is Aragog Central and I just can’t have that. Too many spiders just creep me out. Ick, even thinking about it is giving me the creepy crawlies.

Shipping boxes, I want only a few rather than a bundle of 25 just in case the ones I have my eye on won’t work as well as I’d like them to. But we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.

Fear of rejection, though, is the biggest barrier to anything and everything I undertake. It is a normal natural fear but it really seems to get out of hand for me at times. I suffer from mild anxiety and depression (on meds and in therapy for it) but jeez Louise, it can get utterly ridiculous. For instance, I have a baby girl gift that’s WAY overdue but “OMG what if I mess up the slip stitching?” Way to get it to her before she graduates college, right? If you get it done soon, the dress will still fit, remember you sized it large just to be safe? And handmade is always charming.


Ditto on a get well gift but “OMG you should have sent it earlier!” Guess what? The things that are in it aren’t perishable and will come in handy at some point in time so shut it, right?


People are going to get these bowls for free, just to provide their opinion on the overall quality—and they’re all going to say “these bowls suck.”


(he was only saying it to be nice, he probably threw it out)

This is what I deal with on an almost daily basis. I wasn’t always like this, but I firmly believe what caused this (and the catalyst for it) but you will have to wait for my memoirs to come out to learn the real deal.

You’d think I would want to make things easier on myself but clearly I do not, therefore anxiety and depression diagnosis, therefore therapy.




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What Fresh Hell Is This?

So Melania Trump has become Jackie Kennedy 2.0 and some people (me) are not having it.

  1. Have you ever seen Jacqueline Kennedy with creases in her clothes?  Mrs. Trump is a very attractive woman with a nice figure but that suit she wore to the Inauguration was awkward, to say the least (look at her stomach: the cut of the cloth is not flattering and makes her look like she’s got a gut). The shoes and the gloves did not look like they were well matched to her suit (could have been poor photography/lighting). That shade did look lovely on her, I will say. (Added bonus: her younger stepdaughter’s choice of footwear was unfortunate. Chunky calves + ankle boots = nothing good.)
  2. Mrs. Kennedy’s Inaugural suit was greige (gray + beige), not baby blue.
    To the “author” of this piece (of fluff): Get your eyes checked.
  3. That belt looks like a Chevy emblem at her waist. Chevy’s American-made right? So #maga. Not when your husband’s and older stepdaughter’s wares are mostly Made In China. So #mcga, I guess.
  4. Mrs. Kennedy’s belt here was a gift from King Hassan II of Morocco. It looks nothing like an automotive manufacturer’s logo.
  5. Mrs. Trump resembles a widowed handmaiden in this getup. A peplum? On your hips? And those frayed and ratty cuffs? This outfit did you no favors, hon. Who is your stylist? Why does s/he hate you so? And what is that square bit of lace on your head? So much for modesty but considering your background in modeling … And smile more. Why do you always look so dour? Wait … never mind.
  6. Mrs. Kennedy’s Papal audience gown was designed by Oleg Cassini, and her black lace mantilla (veil) was finger-length. THAT is how you do it when you meet the HBIC of the Catholic Church.

Melania’s husband has stated that the White House, the American people’s house (never doubt that for a second), is “a dump.” Did he not say that if he were elected president, he’d never leave the White House as there was a lot of work to be done? Is he not about to embark on a 17 day vacation? How much golf can one man play? For real?

But Hillary.

But birth certificates.

But emails.

But Benghazi.

But let’s get to brass tacks—some people were sold a bill of goods and simply refuse to accept the fact that they may have been wrong.

Bless their hearts.

I leave you with this.

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TCB (Takin’ Care of Business)

As promised, here is the recipe for the crab and andouille jambalaya I made on Friday. It turned out perfectly the first time I made it, but this time the rice was a little bit softer than I normally like it. It still tasted great, and the SU and I gorged ourselves on it.


Chesapeake Bay meets the Big Easy

I managed to avoid slicing any body parts doing prep work this time.

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(yes, I know it’s a SANTOKU knife, for some reason my brain wants me to say SUDOKU)

Today I am going to make Greek pasta salad, although it will not be gluten-free and I will not be making enough to feed an army.

Also today, I need to make a list of priorities for the week; there are a few things that I Absolutely Must Get Done TODAY as they are woefully overdue. Once the little grey cells start hitting on all eight after two Hugh Jass cups of hazelnut coffee, it’ll be off to the races!

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I’ll Take It … I Guess

One night I was bored off my gourd; the spousal-unit was working late, and I had pretty much wrapped up crafting and cleaning for the night. So I logged onto Facebook (or Book of Face as the Homes likes to call it) to kill time and stumbled upon a test called “Who Are You in the Hollywood History?” which sounds like an awkward title to me but whatever.

Using my profile photo, this is the first result I received. Not bad!

vivien leigh

Since I had time on my hands, I decided to try out a few other photos to see what I could see. On the second try, I got this classic beauty (again, not bad, and I highly recommend How to Be Lovely)


Now here is where it gets weird. I do not see how this result came about:


Or this:


And I have no idea where these came from:

This essentially was my response to the latter four:

But I’ll take Vivien or Audrey any day.

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Crazy Random Things

On Tuesday, I had intended to sleep in a bit, as I had nothing of importance to do till two in the afternoon; but we all know the final destination of the road which good intentions pave, right?

So I brewed a strong cup of hazelnut coffee, texted Baby Bro, checked FB and email, and cleaned off the kitchen island (a weekly chore for me). Had to laugh when I found these:


There are more out there … I can feel it

You see, in a past life as a client service manager, these were indispensable necessities – they carried backed- up files for on-site meetings, and files that were revised on site to save to our company server upon return to the office. Invariably, I would misplace one nearly every time I traveled for work. Luckily, I would back files up to a spare thumb drive, my laptop, desktop, and a CD or two “just to be safe”; I avoided catastrophes, but the constant loss of thumb drives became a running joke whenever I had to ask our office manager for a replacement.

Which was (pretty much) every time I returned from a business trip, sometimes even before departing on one.

Most of these are promotional giveaways, two or three are personal use, but there are quite a few I unearthed while cleaning out old business travel bags. Doubtless I will find more as I keep cleaning out my house.

You have socks go missing. I have thumb drives go astray. Perhaps they are together in some parallel universe having a laugh at our expense.

And maybe someday, I will meet up with my former supervisor and humbly return all the unintentionally pilfered office supplies.

There is a story (perhaps apocryphal) that Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis had a drawer full of her signature, ever-present, Hugh Jass sunglasses at home and/or her office. That may be me someday, although instead of sunglasses I’ll have about a thousand thumb drives (probably sunglasses too).

We shall see, I guess. If you have thumb drives that are free to a good home, I’m your girl.

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Proust Questionnaire from Vanity Fair

I was drawing a blank pretty much all week, so co-opted the questionnaire that appears at the end of Vanity Fair every month.

What is your idea of perfect happiness? Spending time down the shore with friends; sun, surf, sea air … what more could you ask for?

What is your greatest fear? Being completely and utterly alone, with absolutely no one to reach out to.

Which historical figure do you most identify with? Queen Victoria.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? I can be lazy and tend to overcomplicate things by overthinking.

What is the trait you most deplore in others? Closed-mindedness.

What is your greatest extravagance? Giving gifts – I think I enjoy finding the perfect gift for someone more than I enjoy giving it!

What is your favorite journey? Going down the shore.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue? Chastity!

On what occasion do you lie? To keep myself out of trouble, which more often than not leads to more trouble; or not to hurt others’ feelings.

What do you dislike most about your appearance? The bump on the bridge of my nose.

Which living person do you most deplore? Any tyrant.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse? “Actually.”

What is your greatest regret? Causing pain to someone I love.

What or who is the greatest love of your life? Not saying!

When and where were you happiest? Can’t think of specifics, but I am always happiest laughing and being with dear friends.

Which talent would you most like to have? To be able to play the piano and the guitar.

What is your current state of mind? Murderous! I would gladly murder for a cup of coffee; Cuisinart coffee-maker, don’t fail me now!

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? Stupid chin hairs, they are causing me agita. I would also like a bit more patience.

If you could change one thing about your family, what would it be? That we would be more in contact with each other/be able to spend more time together.

What do you consider your greatest achievement? Graduating college, and buying my amazing house, which I adore.

If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be? A cat, living in a feline paradise such as the one my two spoiled cats currently inhabit.

What is your most treasured possession? My wedding band set; my Elsa Peretti Crucifixion necklace; my Serenity Prayer necklace.

What do you regard as the lowest depths of misery? To witness brutality and be unable to do anything about it.

Where would you like to live? Down the Maryland shore.

What is your favorite occupation? Writing. I need to do more of it, hence this blog.

What is your most marked characteristic? Compassion and tolerance, I’d like to think.

What is the quality you most like in a man? A sense of humor.

What is the quality you most like in a woman? A sense of humor.

What do you most value in your friends? Their never-ending love and support … and their joyous laughter.

Who is your favorite hero of fiction? Scarlett O’Hara Hamilton Kennedy Butler.

Who are your heroes in real life? Those (especially women) who speak out against brutality.

What is it that you most dislike? Not seeing friends as much as I’d like.

How would you like to die? On my own terms, and preferably in my sleep.

What is your motto? “It is what it is.”

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