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  They are interchangeable.  I’m not an idiot.


[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.



[naw-shuhs, -zee-uhs]  Show IPA


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 or some obscure show that you watched as child like The Charmings  . 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.

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 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.   Different types of avocadoes  The Price of saffron.    Jewish beliefs verses Muslim beliefs. The population of 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  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  to  Westboro Church to Switzerland  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.

The Chef’s Wife

22 06 2010

Subscribe to The Dirty Napkin and read my story “The Chef’s Wife.” You can also listen to it!

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 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

The Key Collector

2 03 2010

Check out my story “The Key Collector” in The Battered Suitcase March 2010 Vol 2 Issue 4

Dead Wives

2 03 2010

Check out my short story “Dead Wives” now published in Sex & Murder Magazine