Archive for January, 2011

>In honor of Fenway Pahk…

Posted by Jessica Jewett 2 Comments »


Since my New York plans are likely to be switched to Boston (I’m frankly happier about going there), I have collected some Boston jokes online. Consider this our guide since we’re foreigners in a really foreign land. Take notes, children.


You think of Philadelphia as the Midwest.

You think it’s your God-given right to cut someone off in traffic.

You think there are only 25 letters in the alphabet (no R’s).

You think three straight days of 90+ temperatures is a heatwave.

All your pets are named after Celtics or Bruins.

You refer to 6 inches of snow as a “dusting.”

Just hearing the words “New York” puts you in an angry mood.

You don’t think you have an attitude.

You always ‘bang a left’ as soon as the light turns green, and oncoming traffic always expects it.

Everything in town is “a five minute walk.”

When out of town, you think the natives of the area are all whacked.

You still can’t bear to watch highlights from game 6 of the 1986 World Series.

You have no idea what the word compromise means.

You believe using your turn signal is a sign of weakness.

You don’t realize that you walk and talk twice as fast as everyone else.

You’re anal, neurotic, pessimistic and stubborn.

You think if someone is nice to you, they must want something or are from out of town.

Your favorite adjective is “wicked.”

You think 63 degree ocean water is warm.

You think the Kennedy’s are misunderstood.


Bizah – odd
Flahwiz – roses, etc.
Hahpahst – minutes after the hour
Hahwahya? – how are you?
Khakis – what we staht the cah with
Pissah – superb
Retahded – silly
Shewah – of course
Wikkid – extremely
Yiz – you, plural
Popcahn – popular snack


You wear a Harvard sweatshirt.
You ask directions to “Cheers.”
You order a grinder and a soda.
You follow soccer.
You eat at Durgin Park.
You pronounce it “Worchester” or Glouchester.”
You call it “COPELY” square.


Frappes have ice cream; milk shakes don’t.

If it’s fizzy and flavored, it’s tonic. Soda is club soda. Pop is dad. When we mean tonic WATER, we say tonic WATER.

The smallest beer is a pint.

Scrod is whatever they tell you it is, usually fish.

If you paid more than $6 a pound, you got scrod.

It’s not a water fountain, it’s a bubblah.

It’s not a trash can, it’s a barrel.

It’s not a shopping cart, it’s a carriage.

It’s not a purse, it’s a pockabook.

Brown bread comes in a can. You open both ends, push it out, heat it and eat it with baked beans.

They’re not franks, they’re haht dahgs. Franks are money in France.


Don’t call it Beantown.

Don’t pahk your cah in Hahvid Yahd. They’ll tow it to Meffa (Medford) or Slumaville (Sommerville).

Don’t swim in the Charles, no matter what Bill Weld tells you.

Don’t sleep in the Common.

Don’t wear orange in Southie on St. Patrick’s Day.


There are two State Houses, two City Halls, two courthouses and two Hancock buildings (one old, one new).

Route 128 is also I-95. It is also I-93.

It’s the Sox, The Pats (or Patsies if they’re losing), the Seltz, the Broons.

The underground train is not the subway. It’s the T and it doesn’t run all night (fah chrysakes, this ain’t Noo Yawk).


Pay no attention to the street names. There’s no school on School Street, no court on Court Street, no dock on Dock Square, no water on Water Street. Back Bay streets are in alphabetical odda. Arlington, Berkeley, Clarendon, Dartmouth. So are South Boston streets: A, B, C, D.

If the streets are named after trees (Walnut, Chestnut, Cedar), you’re on Beacon Hill. If they’re named after poets you’re in Wellesley.

All avenues are properly referenced by their nicknames: Comm Ave, Mass Ave., Dot Ave.

Dot is Dorchester, Rozzie Roslindale, JP is Jamaica Plain. Readville doesn’t exist.


Southie is South Boston. The South End is the South End. Eastie is East Boston. The North End is east of the West End.

The West End and Scollay Square are no more-a guy named Rappaport got rid of them one night.

The geographical center of Boston is in Roxbury. Due north of the center we find the South End. This is not to be confused with South Boston, which lies directly east from the South End. North of the South End is East Boston and southwest of East Boston is the North End. Backbay was filled in years ago.

(subject to change at any time):

When on a one way street, stay to the right to allow oncoming traffic to pass.

Never, ever, stop for a pedestrian unless he flings himself under the wheels of your car.

The first parking space you see will be the last parking space you see. Grab it.

Double park in the North End of Boston, unless triple parking is available.

Learn to swerve abruptly. Boston is the home of slalom driving, thanks to the Registry of Motor Vehicles, which puts potholes in key locations to test drivers’ reflexes and keep them on their toes.

Never get in the way of a car that needs extensive bodywork.

Always look both ways when running a red light.

Honk your horn the instant the light changes.

Breakdown lanes are not for breaking down, but for speeding, especially during rush hour. Breakdown lanes may also end without warning causing traffic jams as people merge back in.

Never use directional signals when changing lanes. They only warn other drivers to speed up and not let you in.

Making eye contact revokes your right of way.

Never pass on the left when you can pass on the right.

Whenever possible, stop in the middle of a crosswalk to ensure inconveniencing as many pedestrians as possible. And if a pedestrian ahead of you steps in the road, speed up loudly and chase him back up on the curb. Peds have no rights.

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>My grandmother saw a ghost

Posted by Jessica Jewett 1 Comment »


My grandmother hasn’t had all of her crayons in her box for years, if you catch my drift. Usually I take things that she tells me with a grain of salt because she so easily gets things mixed up or interprets things wrong or even describes things that never happened. Just tonight she asked my uncle to buy her something at a grocery store that hasn’t been in business for about twenty years. Sometimes when she’s not lucid, she thinks I’m my mother or my cousin Allison who, incidentally, looks nothing like me. The last few days, however, my grandmother has been very lucid and we are able to have conversations fairly well. It reminds me of the grandmother I knew when I was a little girl who was fun, played Barbies with me, baked with me, took me to the zoo and the park and the great carousels in St. Louis, etc. I’m grateful that she has been lucid lately because my mother has been in Florida for a few days and it would be really hard to be alone with someone who may or may not know what day it is or who I am. And when she’s lucid, she’s okay with being a lifelong medium. Maybe the security of a solid grip on reality allows her to venture into more uncertain ideas. I don’t know.

This evening before dinner, she pulled up a chair and very seriously told me that she had something to tell me. I tend to clam up when she does that because it could be anything from cut your hair to go to church more often. You know how grandmothers are. Well, she started to describe seeing a full bodied apparition last night after I went to bed. She said she was at her bed and she turned around to leave the room and go to the bathroom but as she turned, there was a woman at the other end of the bed, about four or five feet away.

“A woman?” I asked skeptically.

She said yes, described it again, and then went on to tell me that the woman was turning to leave the room too, as if she was getting out of the way. I asked her to describe the woman and she said, “Well, like a pioneer, I guess.” My grandmother has absolutely no understanding of history, so I probed for more details. It might sound bad but I questioned her like I see cops questioning small children on television. I asked her what the woman looked like and she couldn’t exactly find the words. I asked her what color her hair was and she said she couldn’t see it because the woman wearing “a pioneer bonnet”, which basically means the woman looked like Dr. Quinn to her because that’s her point of reference. I asked if the bonnet was straw or cloth and she said cloth right away. Then I asked her if she was a small or big woman. She thought about it for a second and said she was a little bigger than my mother. I tried to get more details out of her but she said the woman was turning around, so she couldn’t get a look at her face. It was only a few seconds and she disappeared into the living room, which, incidentally, is on the way to where I sleep.

So there you have it. My grandmother has been lucid lately and her medium skills have returned. I’m used to her deterioration though and I’m aware that the lucidity could give way to events from twenty or thirty years ago at any moment. I believe her story because I tried to trip her up a few times with my questions but her facts never changed in the conversation. I explained to her that this area was probably farmland outside of the city of Atlanta in the nineteenth century and the people who lived here were basically dirt farmers like our ancestors were in central Missouri. I don’t know who this woman might be though. The only apparition I’ve seen here besides my usual tag-along-ghost-crew is the Confederate soldier who roams around my neighborhood. Maybe this lady was connected to him. Maybe she lived here. Maybe she’s wandered off from the Oakland Cemetery a couple of miles away (one of the oldest cemeteries in Atlanta). I’m not sure. I’m definitely curious to find out what this area looked like in the nineteenth century though!

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>Got any interesting postcards?

Posted by Jessica Jewett No Comments »


I had an interesting idea the other day when my friend Gretchen was helping me put my postcards from Maine out on display. I have very little space to call my own in this house and what I do have isn’t very attractive. I have been using postcards to decorate but I don’t have enough.

That leads me to this blog.

I have friends all over the world, so I’m putting out the request that if you have any interesting postcards, I would like one. I’m not picky about what kind. After I’m done with them as decoration, I’m going to put them in a scrapbook. Yes, I have become a scrapbooker. Soon I’m going to be wearing ugly sweaters, exchanging muffin recipes and racing home to feed my forty fluffy cats. Please stage an intervention when that happens!

If you are interested in sending me a postcard from your area, send me an email at and we’ll exchange information. Thanks!

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