Monthly Archives: June 2012

Well that was interesting.

What Was Supposed to Happen Yesterday

  • Leisurely morning of fun errands
  • Leisurely afternoon of boat riding on a gorgeous day
  • The Js for a sleepover

What Happened Instead

  • Another plumbing disaster (tree roots in our main water line)
  • No boat ride
  • No Js

Now, you just might call that a fail, but as it turned out, all is well. While the boat ride has been postponed until post-Odyssey, the Js are coming tonight for a sleepover, and the plumbing problem has been fixed (again). In the meantime, I am spending the day doing pre-flight prep work, and embarking on a redesign of the Thriller’s website. As much as I heart him, he is already driving me bat crazy. And of course, he derives unlimited delight from doing so. :P

Those of you not in the Ohio area (or the US) might have missed Cleveland meteorologist Mark Johnson’s mini-rant on the news the other night. He was crackin’ up — he even made the national news (although Diane Sawyer called him “Mark Jackson”).

Sports…funny thing, that.

PS – Many thanks to Mavis for her water facilities and for the great visit!

Yes, yes, let’s get through it.

Let’s process it, let the brouhaha die down, and try to forget it.

Yes, Bron-Bron won his championship. The self-proclaimed king finally got his crown. Good for him. Good for Miami, yay I’m a good sport, congratulations, well done, nice job, drop dead, thank you.

There, see? I’m not a perpetually bitter Cavaliers fan. *ugh* OK, getting past that now and looking forward to today! A (slow, 6 MPH, smooth) boat ride, the Js for a sleepover, and puppy-sitting the famous Drago!


Now on with the morning…late start, gotta git. And it’s Finkday, wahoo! Have a good one, fiends.

One week to go

Happy Rat, hee!

Well…a week and a day, but I wanted to yammer about it this morning.  :cool: I am a happy rat.

It’s almost time for the New England Odyssey. Pre-flight preparations are already underway in the dining room. That might explain, incidentally, why Rousseau is glued to our legs all danged day long. Pup hates suitcases, and there are two of them sitting beside the dining room table. He has learned to equate luggage with leaving, and it totally shakes up his juju to see us messing with bags.

He doesn’t know it yet, but he will be happy when we leave, because he gets to go to BFF Kay and Bob’s farm for his vacation while we’re on ours. He loves it out there, so he’ll be content. Doesn’t help him much during the packing stage, however, so he gets extra hugs and biscuits lately.

Speaking of packing…after two major road trips in as many years, and a dozen small jaunts in between, we’ve arrived at a pretty solid take-along list. There are two things we don’t leave home without:

  1. Small fan. Like this one. Nothing can rob you of sleep faster than weird or annoying sounds in hotels, or worse — no noise at all. Silence can kill. So we always pack the little black noisemaker, and it is a life saver. (We have to have the white noise on every night at home, too.)
  2. Power strip. Hotels are slowly “getting it,” in that they’re beginning to wire more outlets in their rooms. Still, most leave us wanting, so we bring our own volts. By the time you schlep in a laptop, Nook, iPad, two cell phones and a GPS, you’ve got most hotel rooms loaded past the maximum.

Of course, we try to pack light. In my mind, I go through all the outfits I want to take, then take away half of them. Seriously. We’re going to be either walking or sitting; I don’t need six pairs of shoes and four sweaters.

We also take a cooler of snacks, lunch stuff and drinks, to avoid extortion from convenience stores and travel plazas. I have made many a ham-and-cheese sandwich at 70 MPH. Saves time and bones.

So, fellow road warriors: do you have any cool packing ideas, or rituals you go through before and during your trips? I’m up for hearing them and using them!

On about it again

It’s not their fault. It’s their parents’ fault. Our completely, irretrievably broken public education system is at fault, because teachers have to teach to this ridiculous battery of useless tests. It’s because of texting and Facebook and Twitter. It’s because no one cares.

Then there’s the make-me-want-to-run-somebody-through-with-an-awl statement, “It’s just words — what’s the big deal? Language evolves, and this isn’t your grandmother’s America, so get on with it.”

I know other English speaking cultures (Great Britain, Australia, Canada) misspell words. Just saw it this morning on an anti-American, Canadian-run site. (More on that another day.) Still, the US takes the cake on mangling its language, and it’s approaching — as I predicted two decades ago when I started teaching and witnessed it firsthand — the point of no return.

I agree.

Now I’m not talking about Americans mangling British English. I offer no apologies for my American accent, the sound of which honks off many Brits. And it’s not about picayune issues of retaining British English’s original sound and meaning, as Prince Charles would have it if he were king (which, given his mum’s robust health, isn’t bloody likely). And I’m not fool enough to think that languages don’t evolve. If they didn’t, we’d still be talking like Chaucer.

Rather, it’s the mangling of the most basic tenets of syntax; the rules I learned in fifth and sixth grade. As predicted, said disfigurement is now showing up in the professional workplace — where stuff like this matters. On Facebook last night, RtB fiend Stoney referenced an article in the WSJ that addressed this very issue, and I must tell you it makes me want to launch kittens.

To reiterate: I’m not saying that everyone should go around talking and writing like some Oxford English professor. I’m saying that proper usage and grammar have a place — and the future likelihood of our youth sounding like complete unintelligent donkeys depends heavily upon what’s done about it now. Unfortunately, it’s not looking too good for the home team.

I like to do the “Word of the Week” game in my choir rehearsals. (I’ve been basically terrible at it with regard to weekly consistency, but hey, I try.) Each time, I attempt to correct a common misconception about grammar or spelling, and invariably, someone mentions it in later conversations, which delights me to no end. For instance, a student has said to me, “I told someone in government class today that there’s no E in marshmallow, and she didn’t believe me. We had to get out the dictionary so I could prove it.”

And a good deed shines in a weary world.

So, fiends, please: it does matter that you know the difference between “your” and “you’re.” It does matter that you choose not to say, “Saturday is Brandon and I’s anniversary!” It does matter that you do not abuse apostrophes in your writing. Because we don’t want to look like unintelligent donkeys.

Again, as I have said in the past: I direct this rant at myself as well, for there are holes in my usage armor sometimes, too. Not often, but sometimes.  :mrgreen:


PS – Take the quiz at the Journal site. I loved it — well done!