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Posts Tagged ‘burned side down’

  1. Stuck in the Middle with You

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    March 15, 2012 by Alison Grisham

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    Nobody ever strives to be in the middle. We all want to be king of the hill, head of the class, or first in the race. It’s natural. That’s where all the breathing room is and where most people make their mark. No one celebrates mediocrity, so the middle has gotten a bad wrap for years. I blame the Middle Ages for setting the tone. I mean, really, besides Gutenberg there weren’t many intellects over an en- tire 400-year period. In fact, the most notable thinkers of the time only excelled in one area — torture. You couldn’t find a sage, scholar or savant who wanted to get mixed up in indoor plumbing. But a secret society of medieval sadists, well sign me up, and together they managed to come up with 11 different ways to torture someone. This brain trust ushered in burning at the stake, drawing and quartering, dislocation torture and an occasional branding just to shake things up. But as if that weren’t enough, the Middle Ages also brought us feudalism and the Black Plague. So I guess the fear of being in the middle is, at least, rooted in some kind of historical substance. Years later, …

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  2. Wake Me Up When January Ends

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    February 8, 2012 by Alison Grisham

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    January can be such drag. For the first six weeks of the year, people are buzzing around trying to better themselves. Everyone seems to be organizing, purging closets, redoing budgets and attempting to fulfill lofty resolutions that won’t be set aside until mid-February when reason kicks in. But the worst offenders are always the dieters. When I hear people talking about a post-holiday diet, all I can think about is choking them with a delicious Krispy Kreme. Here’s the thing — I know all about sacrifice. I grew up in the Northeast, where an entire corner of the country lives on Catholic guilt. Steak houses have to squirrel away money for months to get through the “no meat” Fridays of Lent. ​In the grueling weeks before Easter, kids stop eating candy and mom’s give up their 4:00 pm relationships with boxed wine. It’s a wonder there isn’t more domestic violence during that kind of sacrifice. But at least there’s an end in sight. Things balance out on Easter and everyone gets back to normal.January is so much worse, because people start making, what they call, “lifestyle changes,” and they never want to go it alone. Some clown gives up soda in, …

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  3. Senior Skip Day

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    January 20, 2012 by Alison Grisham

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    “She was just trying to help.” I’m sure that’s what most people will say. But if you had been the one on the other side of the counter, you may not have felt that way. It was a simple transaction. I was trying to buy a couple of pillow inserts at a local fabric store. No big deal. But I hate when I forget to print a coupon. It’s just maddening because fabric stores typically honor com- petitor coupons, which means you can pret- ty much get 50 percent off any one item, on any given day, even if the store you’re shop- ping in isn’t running that special. It takes so little effort, yet, it’s so gratifying to walk out knowing you saved a buck — or in this case a sawbuck, which is almost enough for a cup of coffee at Starbucks. So I started skimming through the store flyer hopefully. Notions. Fabric. Scissors. “Nope,” I said to no one in particular, “no pillows,” and I walked the last few steps to the register. The saleswoman, perhaps thinking I was speaking to her, offered her best jab “assistance.” “Are you old enough for the Senior Citizen discount?” she …

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  4. Good Tidings of Great Joy

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    December 19, 2011 by Alison Grisham

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    I’ve been back to work at the furniture store for about a month now. Nearly four months after being laid off, it was a welcome relief to get the call asking me to return. But even after putting a few paychecks in my pocket, I’m still feeling the pinch as Christmas approaches.

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  5. Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree

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    December 10, 2011 by Alison Grisham

    It all comes down to this — real or fake? Not everyone agrees, but everyone has a preference, and typically a strong one. If you think I’m talking about surgical enhancement, you probably haven’t flipped your calendar from November to December yet. I’m talking about Christmas trees, of course, and it’s time to decide where you fall in on the debate.

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  6. Over the Highway and Through the Mall…

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    December 2, 2011 by Alison Grisham

    I’d like to say that I didn’t participate in the craziness of Black Friday, that I wasn’t really trolling the aisles of Wal-Mart on Thanksgiving night, looking for a deal. I’d like to say that, but — with my luck — I was seen diving into a rack of hard-to-find PS3 games, and I’d be caught lying in print faster than Oprah could say James Frey. So I admit it. I went Black Friday shopping, right alongside the hordes of bargain hunters and raving lunatics you might have seen on tv, and the truth is, I liked it.

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  7. Thankful the Mayflower Sailed Without Me​

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    November 24, 2011 by Alison Grisham

    By Alison Grisham I’m not a history buff nor someone who sits around pondering the past on a regular basis. But I am from Massachusetts, just 30 minutes from Plymouth, which means I’ve been to Plymouth Plantation, where the Pilgrims first settled, about a dozen times. I’ve toured the little huts, seen the reenactments and thought about how miserable they must have been without indoor plumbing. So on Thanksgiving, I can’t help but wonder about the details we don’t get from the history books, like how they made it through that first meal.

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