Too Err is Human….like Gramar Missteaks & Mispellings

21 01 2012

The other day I received a text from my brother. I was still in bed and had barely opened my eyes.

“I’m mad at so & so. She’s being a douche bag.”

Instead of typing out “Why?” I quickly texted a lower case “y?” My head still rested on the  pillow.

My brother texted back in complete sentences ,including punctuation and capitalization.  “Can’t you spell?”

Now I was awake. Of course, I could spell.

I responded with “Yeah, I can spell asshole.”

I found it somewhat amusing, because my brother  had hated school.  Now he was lecturing me on my spelling .

I have a  BS degree in Nursing (which does not guarantee good spelling.” And an MFA  in Writing–which doesn’t necessarily  mean I can spell either. It means that I should know enough to have someone else proof my work and not rely solely on spell or grammar checks.

I was the kid who read books during recess and the dictionary for leisure activity at home. That’s how I know words like mantilla (a silk or lace head scarf) and vandyke (a short, pointed beard).  I used to be proud of my spelling abilities. During the entire 7th grade, I never missed a spelling word–even the bonus word, pneumoconiosis or black lung. Mr. Von Ins would hand out Jolly Ranchers for 100% spelling quizzes. And every quarter, he rewarded 100% averages with a candy bar.  He ended up buying me 4 Caramellos  that year.

So  my brother and I text argued. Apparently, abbreviations in texting are his pet peeve. I told him it was 2012. Get  with the times. I abbreviate to save time. It’s short hand communication.  The medical community uses text-type abbreviations all the time.  Instead of writing out right or left, it’s abbreviated as  L or R.  Nothing to eat or drink=NPO . CHF=Congestive Heart Failure MAP=Mean Arterial Pressure OOB=Up out of bed.  I could go on forever. There’s a time and place for texting or abbreviating. And a time and place for spelling everything out.

When someone is trying to convey important information—that’s  probably not the time to correct grammar, spelling or diction.

My brother actually apologized. He didn’t realize it was a sore spot. What he didn’t realize was that it wasn’t the first time that week that my use of the English language had been corrected.

 

So I work for Mr. Acorn. I write for his PR campaign–touting the wholesome goodness of the catnip business. Obviously, he works mostly with the cat population, but he’s trying to expand his market to humans, dogs and even squirrels.

We had a meeting with a potential client, an elderly St. Bernard named Whiskey.  He was hoping that a catnip and lamb treat could help cure his arthritis. Mr. Acorn was just finishing up with his 1pm massage, so I asked Whiskey  if he would like to lay down on one our nice  doggy cushions.

Before I could offer him a doggy biscuit, he said “Hens lay eggs. Brick layers lay bricks. And dogs lie down.”

Lay. Lie. Laid. I’ve struggled with this word for years. My face flushed.

“Mr. Acorn will be with you shortly,” I said.

I forgot about the biscuit.

One thing is for sure, Whiskey put it in a way that I will probably never forget. The easy to memorize saying accompanied by embarrassment will insure that it sticks.

 

I’m not the most eloquent speaker. I stutter, sputter and sometimes say shit that doesn’t make sense.  But I can write. And I’m most certainly not an idiot.

A few days after my grammatical blunder, Hector, a pharmaceutical rep danced into the office.  He wore  a gaudy orange tie and recently had his hair cut into a mullet. Clearly, he had entered into his mid-life crisis. Hector wanted to present his  new research to Mr. Acorn. The research  proved  that catnip was an effective weight loss product for obese squirrels. Unfortunately, Mr. Acorn had accidently eaten some tree nuts, and gone home early that day.

“I’m sorry, Hector. Mr. Acorn went home for the day. He was feeling nauseous.”

It’s like I had turned on a switch.  He wiggled his finger at me.

“Now that’s a pet peeve of mine,” he said.

I wondered if I had a spinach leaf between my front teeth. Or maybe he had caught a glimpse of my tongue piercing.

Hector continued. “Mr. Acorn was nauseated. Not nauseous. If he was nauseous, he would  make other people feel ill.”

I didn’t know what to say.  I took the words nauseous and nauseated and put them in sentences in my head. They had always seemed interchangeable.

“Well, give Mr. Acorn my regards and give him these.” Hector set a box of pecans on the desk.

“But he’s allergic tree nuts. They make him nauseated,” I said.

“That’s not an allergy,” he said.

“That may be true, but it’s an unpleasant side effect.”

“Well, then give him these.”

In place of the box of pecans, was a box  of walnuts. Hector was already out the door. I rolled my eyes. I entered nauseous and nauseated into dictionary.com  They are interchangeable.  I’m not an idiot.

nau·se·ate

[naw-zee-eyt, -zhee-, -see-, -shee-] Show IPA verb, -at·ed, -at·ing.

verb (used with object)

1. to affect with nausea;  sicken.

2.  to cause to feel extreme disgust:  His vicious behavior towardthe dogs nauseates me.

verb (used without object)

3. to become affected with nausea.

 

nau·seous

[naw-shuhs, -zee-uhs]  Show IPA

adjective

1. affected with nauseanauseatedto feel nauseous.

2. causing nausea;  sickening; nauseating.

3. disgusting; loathsome: a nauseous display of greed.

 





Government Killed the YouTube Star

19 01 2012

Well, I better  blog before it’s too late. Free Speech doesn’t truly exist now, but what we call Free Speech may be non-existent if it’s up to our Federal government.  Thanks Big Brother. I didn’t want to expand my knowledge base anyway.  Let’s go live in caves, beat each other with sticks and pull women around by their hair.  That way we can continue be the dumb Americans that all the other countries say that we are.

The internet is a our worldwide library–constantly changing and expanding with new information. It’s amazing! Our government wants to keep it from us.

Do you ever wake up with a song in your head, but you can’t remember the name of the song or the artist?  Or you can only remember part of the lyrics and they keep  going around in your head on a repetitive loop.  So you Google the lyrics that you do know and click video search. And there it is!  Or maybe you want to hear The Gummi  Bears theme song http://youtu.be/BRTSZZgCUik or some obscure show that you watched as child like The Charmings http://youtu.be/sRLYJHUeoFE  . Even my conservative Republican father has searched for songs on the internet. There was an older song on an Axe commercial.  He recognized it from the past, but couldn’t remember the name or the artist. He found it on YouTube.  I bought it for him, so he could listen to it on his Mp3 player.  The song was “Can’t Seem to Make you Mine” by the Seeds. http://youtu.be/MwaS1EyZgWc

I buy songs based on what I listen to on YouTube or Pandora. I legally download my songs from Amazon.  However, Amazon only allows customers to sample a snippet of a song.  I can’t judge whether I like a song or not based on a 30 second instrumental intro.  PIPA & SOPA http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stop_Online_Piracy_Act will eliminate my window shopping.  It’s not like MTV plays music videos anymore.

Apparently, these new laws will eliminate Wikipedia too. How many of us have searched  Wiki for a general overview of some random subject?  Arguing with a friend over the age of an actress. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stana_Katic   Different types of avocadoeshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avocados.  The Price of saffron. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saffron    Jewish beliefs verses Muslim beliefs. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparative_religions The population of Wales. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wales

I search. I watch. I browse. But I also buy things.  Electronics. Kindle Books. Real books. Used Cds. Woot shirts.  Indian spices. Shoes.  Clothes.   I’m more likely to buy things if I’m a satisfied, informed consumer. I don’t need the government to mark things out with their gigantic black sharpie.  I have  even bought used items from strangers on Craigslist http://grandrapids.craigslist.org/  like the Sleepy Hallow leather chair that sits in my living room.  Jacks & I sold her rusty Chevy S-10  with the help of craigslist, so we could put a down payment on a new car. Craigslist is like one of those classified boards in the store or in the paper only better. You can reach more people of interest. But the government wants to shut that down too.  It’s not my fault people are selling sex.

I don’t know what the government is so angry about. Occupy Wallstreet isn’t my fault.  It’s not my fault they gave hand outs to corporate conglomerations either.  People still don’t have jobs. Or health insurance.  The government continues to dig our country deeper into debt—borrowing from China and Social Security.  And they want to punish us?  No system is free of corruption whether it’s the internet or the government. Maybe they’re the ones who need to be shut down.

Not only is Big Brother trying to destroy our means to obtain information, they are trying to eliminate our  ability to communicate with  each other.  They aren’t shortening and eliminating our language like George Orwell’s 1984, but they are trying to close in our social circles. Angry blogs, boycotts and protests aren’t as effective without the global audience that the internet provides.  They know we are dependent on technology.  They are trying to control us—control what we say thus controlling what we might think.

There are many websites out  there with which I don’t agree, but that doesn’t mean I think we should shut them down. If it’s  Free Speech, then we have to accept the good, the bad and the neutral whether that might be websites from  Pflag http://community.pflag.org/Page.aspx?pid=194&srcid=-2  to  Westboro Church http://www.godhatesfags.com/ to Switzerland  http://www.myswitzerland.com/en/home.html  It’s about choice. I should be able to choose what I do and don’t read.  Or what I do and don’t say, write or purchase.   But obviously, The Constitution is only a piece of paper in a museum. It has been for a while.  It’s just the next step to our Dystopian future.

Now might be a good time to exercise the right to buy a gun before they make that illegal too. You can’t fight back without weapons.  That’s what Big Brother is counting on.





Dangerous Hobbies

9 01 2012

I’m held up in my house right now. Waiting for 2012 to end because of some freak virus that turns us all into flesh eating zombies.  I’ve got gas masks and non-perishable food and a kerosene heater. Okay, not really. I’m just fucking with you. Actually, I’m lounging on the couch in my jammies. Waiting for the fridge fairies to make me dinner.  And if the fridge fairies don’t show up, maybe I can con the dog into making me some dinner. But she says she’s on strike. She says it’s not part of her job description as Guard Dog. Goddamn unions.  Who’s gonna make me dinner?

I posted a blog for the first time in months. One of my New Year’s resolutions. You know get a hobby and actually practice the one’s I already know how to do. The wife got me a screen printing kit for t-shirts and a glass bead making kit. I’m warming up to those. I might actually have to put something together. Gifts should already be preassembled. It would cut down on gift returns.

Anyway the whole blog thing didn’t go very well. I can’t write about work due to HIPAA. That’s like 50% of my life. So I wrote about my friends who have been struggling to pay their heat bill this winter. Naturally I bitched about the corporate conglomeration that turned off their heat. Bitched some more about how they were a monopoly. Fuck them. Fuck them hard. Two days later that corporate conglomeration was following me on Twitter. Hmmmm. Creepy.  I don’t have any money. Can’t afford  to get sued. And I would like to continue to heat my house this winter.  At first I changed the company’s name and all the tags.  You know, writer’s integrity. Have to support the truth. Then I started thinking about the snow and freezing pipes. I’m a pussy.  I deleted the  blog.

Bead making is looking really good right now.





Heather’s Stud (the Angry Blog Commenter)

21 03 2010

Dear Angry Blog Commenter,

I received your message.

“Lucy Diamond is a stupid bitch and has no idea what she is talking about.  How uneducated is she to not know who Gary Dop is?”

Unfortunately I was unable to e-mail you back at heathers_stud01@gmail.com It went directly to the mail demons and was returned as undeliverable. This made me sad. I wanted to talk about your feelings of hostility and unrecognized rage.

Honestly, I found your message a little weird—junior high, serial killer-ish. Because you weren’t even commenting on the blog itself. You made a comment about another commenter—evaluating their intelligence and ability to leave a comment. It only made your own ignorance more apparent.

Please do not leave derogatory comments on my blog site. The purpose of my site is to entertain, incite laughter and to provoke intelligent thought. Your comment does none of these things. I wanted to delete your comment and send you a personal e-mail. However, because you left an invalid address, I am forced to blog about it instead. Maybe even psycho-analyze and poke fun.

Most people probably do not know Gary Dop. Do you know who Gary Dop is?  I hardly know him myself. After all, how can you really know god?

It’s obvious that you know Lucy Diamond on a personal level—not just as a random comment on a blog site. And you have been harboring negative feelings toward her for some time.  Really you want to tell her that she’s a stupid bitch, but you’re too afraid. She probably hurt you in some way and vice versa. Instead of leaving angry, pseudo-anonymous comments on my site, it would be better if you talked directly with Lucy using “I feel” statements. Or perhaps you might want to consider therapy to help you work through your feelings.

A couple months ago the top search on my blog site was “Lucy Diamond was a prostitute.”  Was that you Heather’s Stud?  Typically, I don’t use my blog  to attack people that I know in a public forum. And if I do, I most certainly won’t use their real name.  I prefer to verbally accost systems, complete strangers and powerful officials. You fall into the complete stranger category.  I would like to remind you that this is a narcissistic blog. So mostly I like to talk about myself and include self-deprecating humor.

Heather’s Stud, you sound like an angry lesbian with Short Man Syndrome. You want to be big burly dyke so badly, but you need to grow some balls first.  

I should thank you for giving me something to write about, but I don’t think I will.

Julie Ann





Voyeurism

27 10 2009

Ah, the voyeurism of Facebook. It allows you to befriend acquaintances from high school, friends from former lives and relatives that you haven’t seen in at least 10 years. Maybe it’s about getting the friend numbers up there in order not to look like a loser. Because it’s not like you really talk after the befriending. They’re static pictures with profiles.  Once in a while they’ll send an update. After 15 years, you find out that they’re enjoying coffee or their kid is home sick with the swine flu.

But what do you really say after so much time?  Hey, I fuck women now. I hate kids. And I don’t believe in the same bullshit that you do. Instead I put a disclaimer on my page, warning of controversial topics. And some of these friends and acquaintances from my former life disappear quietly–perhaps wishing that they hadn’t learned quite so much and desperately trying to remember the way I used to be.

I’ve clicked on these distant friends, looking at their pictures, asking myself if I look that old. I’m obviously in denial. Then I click on their friends and their friend’s friends. And I start to find people that I used to know. People that I left behind for another life. And I realize exactly how much time has passed. Time enough for children to grow into adults, unrecognizable giants compared to their former selves. Time for hairlines to recede beyond denial. Worry lines turn to crinkles and to wrinkles. Salt & pepper hair turns white. People that were old then, ancient now. Some thinner, some fatter and a few unchanged.

The last time I saw you  . . . . . .

You were at the garage sale that Jessie threw. She insisted on getting rid of all our junk. You recognized the white dress that I let you borrow for some big event. You had a ring on your finger. Before that, we were raking someone else’s lawn and you told me you were going to date him. I think you might have felt bad about it, but you didn’t know then, that I didn’t really care. He was the least of my worries.

 

We were in church. And you made sure you looked the other way. Before that we sat together on a park bench in Zeeland by the fountain where I gave you the “let’s be friends” letter. You cried.

 

I saw you in Ange’s back yard. At least 10 years ago– maybe more. And the time before that was at Vonnie’s when Robbie was like 2. Then again in 1989 on our Spring Vacation. We drove all the way to Dunn. You played the Cocktail Soundtrack. You were into Hippy Hippy Shake. The first time, you were a baby in my house. Gram Fran was there. I got a doll that year for Christmas and I named it after you.

 

We saw you at Family Video store in Holland. You were driving an antique car.

 

You were working at Wal-Mart.

 

 I tried to avoid you as I walked out the church door. Moments before that you had been behind the pulpit giving your sermon.

 

You were in the front row at church. You were grade school age. Your nose was always stuffy because of allergies. I think you had a stack of pogs.

 

Your hair was permed and you were probably playing your trumpet on stage.

 

We were both shopping at Target. You were visiting from D.C.

 

You were up from some other state, visiting. We ate at TGI Fridays.

 

In our 1 bedroom apartment. You told us to try an open relationship.

 

In a smoke-filled apartment in Okalahoma City, the day after New Years. Someone had made Mexican chicken tortilla soup.

 

I have a vague recollection of seeing you last at a nursing home. You must have just started working there or something.

 

You were bringing your son to the Emergency Room. I was on my way into work.

 

We were passengers in a friend’s car. Your boyfriend wouldn’t stop calling.

 

I saw you at Wheatland with your husband, but you didn’t hear me when I called your name. I let it go. You disappeared into the crowd.

 

 





Eating Pie

7 09 2009

One of my poet friends shuns social networking sites. Says he doesn’t want to be connected to the world. He’s happy with his peaceful life. I get that. Why does everyone need to know everyone else’s business? Aren’t these sites only devices to hypnotize us with advertising? Don’t they cause social networking addictions—where we aren’t addicted to connecting with people as much as we are addicted to the meaningless applications and time wasters under the façade of “games.” And is it really necessary to have messages sent from Facebook and Twitter to your phone? My once best friend in 3rd grade who I haven’t talked to in 15 years just drank a cup of coffee 30 miles away. Or my ex-girlfriend’s sister’s kid woke up with a hang over. These aren’t urgent messages. We could have gone on living without them.

 But aren’t these messages from friends on Facebook or Myspace just a faster more immediate mail service? Isn’t Twitter an updated version off the telegraph? Some people are worried that nobody talks anymore. Why can’t they just pick up the phone? I have set up dinner dates with friends without ever picking up a phone. Isn’t this how people used to get together before the phone? Send letters and notes? I suppose if you have a problem with social networking sites, the internet or cell phones, then maybe you should get rid of your landline and join the Amish.

The other day I updated my Facebook to: Made peach pie. Real peach pie–not from a can. The peaches still had green leaves attached. I received a slew of comments. Even my mom wanted to know where her piece was.  My friend JW left multiple comments about this peach pie. We see him once a year at the Wheatland Music Festival. Jacks & I know him through his girlfriend, and we see her just as much as we see him. So I don’t know where he lives, and I don’t have his phone number. But he’s a seriously nice guy. I told him he could have a slice of pie if he drove an hour and 30 minutes to our house. He asked me for our phone number, which I gladly sent to him—not thinking that we would actually hear from him. At 9:30pm, my cell phone did its little song & dance. It was JW. He was on his way and wanted to know how to get to the house. At first, I thought it was a little strange, because I hadn’t seen him in a year, and he was driving all that way for pie. It had been a half-serious invitation. But if he was willing make the drive, I was willing to give him the whole damn pie.  And then I was worried that maybe he was interested in another kind of pie. Not that he’s the type of guy who likes to eat everyone’s pies.   

 I’m not so sure he came all that way just for peach pie, but he wasn’t looking for any other kind of pie, and the visit wasn’t so strange either. I think he was just looking that human connection. So we ate pie, drank coffee and bullshitted until 2am. Had it not been for Facebook, JW would have sat home alone without peach pie, and we would have slept, missing out on a good time.

I still don’t deliver, but I think I’ll make pie more often. Maybe branch out and make cookies and cakes.





Naked Moms & Notes on being even more pathetic

28 08 2009

Goddamn it. Mom wants to be my Facebook friend. WTF? She’s not the most computer literate person. But I’m sure one thing will lead to another, and she’ll find my irreverent blog. Fucking A. So much for getting myself out there.

Any suggestions? I can’t not friend my own mother. I’m sorry you gave birth to me, but you can’t be my Facebook friend. Letting Mom read my stuff is like being naked. It’s not cool to be naked in front of your mom. Not cool at all.

Speaking of nakedness and mothers–not to be confused with naked mothers. Mom’s been wearing this rather thin, worn night gown. She needs a new one. It’s so thin she wears a robe over it. She says they don’t have nightgowns anymore only pjs. I find this hard to believe. Anyway . . .I ask her what’s wrong with pjs. She says that she wears a nightgown because Dad likes easy access. I can’t believe my mother is saying shit like this. My mother who doesn’t like to discuss sex, religion or politics.

On another note –the bitching about work note–I applied for the ICU/TU position again. Never got an interview the last time. That’s pathetic. Not being able to even get an interview with the organization I currently work for. Please hire me. I’m pathetic and poor. I can be cute too if you just give me a chance. Smart? We’ll have to work on smart.

Changed my cover letter. Cited specific examples of how awesome I was the last time I worked on their floor. If this doesn’t work, I may have to resort to a fictional resume or maybe a creative non-fiction with a disclaimer. *Certain facts were embellished. *Certain events were manufactured. *References may be manufactured for aesthetic reasons.