Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!!!

Goodbye, 2008 - Hello, 2009 (in approximately 12 hours!)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Letter - Revisited

December, 2008

 Dear family and friends,

After Jen hit “print” on that 90-page honors project in May, I thought life would be easier. Right. We moved back home, and three days later, it was business as usual.

Most days, Jen has three to ten web pages running simultaneously. We also spend excessive time fixing commas in documents and typing commentaries on topics in education.

Occasionally I get so overloaded that I don’t have the energy to load another email. I suppose Jen gets the hint; she stops typing and cracks open a dictionary-sized book with a British or Russian name on the spine. But then, even after the workday ends, she’s back to French or Latin language study websites or writing on her two personal “blogs.”

Don’t forget the grad school applications. Eight, to be exact. As if four years weren’t enough, Jen wants to go back to school for another five to seven so she can teach other young adults about books that are thicker than the old Pride and Prejudice on VHS. Thankfully, she put the apps in the mail last month, so I don’t have to look at another existential exploration of her life purpose. In the evenings—

How would you know? You start virus-scanning yourself at five and don’t have a spare byte of RAM for the next ten hours.

You’re one to talk! You’re just a shoe!

—Go defragment yourself. I’m telling this part.

You see, I’m a dancing shoe.  I spin.  I twirl.  I waltz, swing dance, contra dance, and even throw in an occasional tango or salsa step. In Jen’s case, I travel along to late-night IHOP visits, and I help Jen make friends while she’s living at home, even if it involves getting her very, very dizzy.

Umm, aren’t you forgetting something?

Are you talking to me?

Do you see another car with amazing gas mileage?

Who do you think gets Jen back and forth and everywhere else at three a.m.?  With so many people getting married this summer, it was all I could do to make it to the next oil change!

I don’t see your keys wearing off from—

If my steering wheel was as twitchy as your touchpad, I’d—

Why do you two think people go dancing—to get away from you!

WHY YOU—YOU—YOU—

……………………

** Massive smackdown ensues between computer, dance shoe, and car. Outcome unknown. Results TBA next year. Merry Christmas.**

Saturday, December 20, 2008

No explanation needed...

This really says it all...

funny pictures of cats with captions
more animals

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Would you like a "Sno-Cone"?

So, if you ever thought God didn't care about the little things...like your personal nutrition...think again.  I was making eggs for lunch yesterday, and after beating them, I was about to sprinkle a little salt on top. 

Apparently, either as a warning about the dangers of sodium intake or a hint that I'm not eating enough of it, my choice was deemed incorrect in quantity or quality by the kitchen gods, otherwise known as the sea salt container assembly machines.

Instead of a few choice grains of coarse salt, the little plastic lid fell out, and the ENTIRE bottle (2 inch diameter, 6 inch tall) fell with a muffled splash (more like a "ploosh") into my eggs. 

The resulting concoction looked somewhat akin to a particularly gelatinous banana-coconut sno-cone. I was severely tempted to offer it to a greedy child in the mall, but my better half got the better of me, and I refrained, lest I further anger the kitchen gods.

Such is life.

*Note: while somewhat irreverent, allusions to God's role in daily nutrition are not meant to be offensive or to be taken seriously... :-)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

What to Say and How to Say It

Real post coming soon, I promise.


Here's what the head of children's dictionaries at Oxford University Press has to say about the changes:

"When you look back at older versions of dictionaries, there were lots of examples of flowers for instance. That was because many children lived in semi-rural environments and saw the seasons. Nowadays, the environment has changed. We are also much more multicultural. People don't go to Church as often as before. Our understanding of religion is within multiculturalism, which is why some words such as "Pentecost" or "Whitsun" would have been in 20 years ago but not now."

Just goes to show how much language still shapes our culture; and that people KNOW language shapes culture.

On the other hand, the comments from a concerned individual are no more reassuring, in my mind. From the master of Wellington College, a private school: "I think as well as being descriptive, the Oxford Junior Dictionary, has to be prescriptive too, suggesting not just words that are used but words that should be used. It has a duty to keep these words within usage, not merely pander to an audience. We are looking at the loss of words of great beauty."

The funny thing is, being prescriptive is exactly what OUP has done. They simply have a different opinion about what words should be used and not used. Once dictionaries start being prescriptive, everything is subject to what the people in power want to describe.  And thus relativity encroaches on the English language as well.

Want to change culture? define words...

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Just for Fun

This one's for you, Natalie...

The instructions in the "tag" were to go to My Pictures, open the 5th folder, and post the 5th picture I found. Here's the result. :) I think I was singing something from The Sound of Music.