Archive for November, 2008

Change the Things You Can

One of the women in my life who has significantly helped me to grow up is known to remind people to “change the things you can.”  There are a lot of things I can’t change right now…the economy and the havoc it is/will continue to wreak on people’s financial lives, that some mornings are filled with the aroma of poo that has shot out all over an 18 month old’s crib to soil everything from his aardvark to his hair, that it is raining just enough to keep us inside, that the acid in my stomach has decided not to stay where it should but instead shoots up into my esophagus and sometimes even my mouth all night long, that I cannot for the life of me figure out how to sleep sitting up, that doing the laundry is a chore without end….  

I needn’t continue.  Your list is just as interesting and probably funnier than mine, but one thing is certain, these are things over which I possess zero power.  I cannot persuade them to go away.  I cannot argue my way to a different outcome.  I can choose to handle them with grace or grumbling, but ultimately they are things over which I must stiffen my upper lip and walk through.

The point of changing the things you can is to offer a wee bit of light into what may appear to be so dark. The adage has never sounded so loudly as in the area of hairstyle.  It’s time to git mah hairs cut (is twice a year not enough?  I suppose May and November are my months to cut, but perhaps that needs to be more frequent. Maybe I should change what I can more frequently so as not to let the pressure build up quite as much in between).  Anyway, I am intending to have a lovely hairstylist friend do a little chopping and snipping this Saturday.  But don’t worry Jud, I’m sure it will grow out by next May.

 

Notice the pillow on the bed that Gideon rammed his head into earlier in the day. There are always reminders that he has been somewhere.

Notice the pillow on the bed that Gideon rammed his head into earlier in the day. There are always reminders that he has been somewhere.

 

 

And from the side, just so you can see the protrusion.

And from the side, just so you can see the protrusion.

 

 

Completely dressed and attempting to wear a sweatshirt that was not built for expanding bellies.  Note the hair length.  It is very very long...for now.

Completely dressed and attempting to wear a sweatshirt that was not built for expanding bellies. Note the hair length. It is very very long...for now.

Advertisements

Annoying Things You Say

A top 10 of irritating expressions has been compiled by researchers at Oxford University.
By Charlotte Bailey  

Heading the list was the expression ‘at the end of the day’, which was followed in second place by the phrase ‘fairly unique’.

The tautological statement “I personally” made third place – an expression that BBC Radio 4 presenter John Humphreys has described as “the linguistic equivalent of having chips with rice.”

Also making the top 10 is the grammatically incorrect “shouldn’t of”, instead of “shouldn’t have”.

The phrases appear in a book called Damp Squid, named after the mistake of confusing a squid with a squib, a type of firework.

The researchers who compiled the list monitor the use of phrases in a database called the Oxford University Corpus, which comprises books, papers, magazines, broadcast, the internet and other sources.

The database alerts them to new words and phrases and can tell them which expressions are disappearing. It also shows how words are being misused.

As well as the above expressions, the book’s author Jeremy Butterfield says that many annoyingly over-used expressions actually began as office lingo, such as 24/7 and “synergy”.

Other phrases to irritate people are “literally” and “ironically”, when they are used out of context.

Mr Butterfield said: “We grow tired of anything that is repeated too often – an anecdote, a joke, a mannerism – and the same seems to happen with some language.”

The top ten most irritating phrases:

1 – At the end of the day

2 – Fairly unique

3 – I personally

4 – At this moment in time

5 – With all due respect

6 – Absolutely

7 – It’s a nightmare

8 – Shouldn’t of

9 – 24/7

10 – It’s not rocket science

The original article can be found here. 

And then there are my favorite things to hate:

1 – Basically

2 – Supposebly

3 – I could care less

4 – I don’t know

5 – Irregardless

6 – Frankly

7 – Any improper conjugation of state of being verbs

8 – Excuses or blame shifting of any kind

9 – Shades of truth

10 – Fer/Fur when you really mean for (I may be the worst offender)

Election Day 2008

This morning, after trying to convince Gideon to watch Sesame Street so that I could shower (no luck.  Instead of loving television the way every other child does, he wanders upstairs and into my bathroom where he alternately attempts to get in the shower with me or climb onto the countertop) and making lunch to take to Jud for our weekly family midday break, I packed up the kiddo and drove to the polling place.

It’s a church just down the street from us and I would probably have voted early except that I knew our little spot would be so much more convenient.  And, mercifully, I was right.  We followed two cars into the parking lot, one of which followed the normal traffic patterns, the other did the exact opposite of what you are supposed to do and then caused a slight jam up, right before she narrowly avoided ripping off someone’s side mirror.  The someone was me, but you know, I just chalked it up to her being a supporter of the other side.  I think that’s what we’re supposed to do today, right?  Make crazy wild accusations about the other half of the country?  At least, that seems to be what’s happening on the television.  I’m just following suit.

One stroller, a fake cell phone and a bag full of rice cakes (I’m no dummy.  I also had a fun sized bag of M&Ms on standby) strapped to the kid and off we went into the basement of the building.  There was no real line, but I waited outside for a second trying to decide if the fake cell phone should be put on vibrate for the experience instead of shouting “Let’s Call Grandma!” over and over again.  I decided to let it slide and walked right on in. 

The girl in front of me was someone I knew.  She doesn’t know me.  She was a wee child when our families attended the same church in Germany where our fathers were serving in the USAF and I was in high school.  But, I could have helped out the old ladies who were trying to spell her last name and failing miserably over and over again.  She just kept saying “Van…Van…Van..” and they were already confused and stopping her.  She finally just broke out her drivers license and handed it over.  Of course, I think we all need to do the same thing to oh you know, VERIFY WHO WE ARE.  I contemplated going over to the polling place for my parents’ neighborhood and trying to vote in my mother’s name just to freak her out, but realized I probably didn’t have enough rice cakes for all of that.

It’s my turn and I tell the octogenarian seated in front of me how to spell my last name.  I repeat it only a few times and then she spots it and says “Are you Judy?”.  I sigh and say “no, that’s Jud, my husband and he’s already voted.  I’m on the next page.”  I’m no ageist.  I just think you should still be able to see the little characters that spell out people’s names.  I tell her my address (which I could have easily read off the paper) and get my ballot. 

Seated at a table where Gideon can watch two children play with Thomas toys while munching on his snack, I fill in the little circles and remember, affectionately, the days of scan-tron tests.  I wonder why we are still using this technology and then check myself because at least this works properly.  I deliver my ballot, affix stickers proclaiming my vote to both Gideon and myself and go about the rest of my day.

I have yet to visit Starbucks. I’m kind of doubting I will (But I read on Facebook that Ben & Jerry are offering a free scoop if you go in there today.  I am near tears over the fact that we don’t have one here.  Everything But The.. I’ll never quit you!).

Holy Cow, It’s Almost Here

Starting tomorrow morning, you can finally make your voice heard about the next four years.  In case you were thinking about skipping the lines and heading out to do something more self-indulgent with your time, you might want to consider that there’s a free cup of Starbucks coffee in the deal.  Additionally, there’s that whole having the right to speak out about what’s happening politically, a right that I believe you forfeit if you can’t be bothered enough to go cast your vote.  So, get up early, pack up the kids and get er done.

 

 

FYI: For the state of NE – Tuesday 4 November 2008 polling hours 8:00a CST (1400 UTC) / 7:00a MST (1400 UTC) to 8:00p CST (0200 UTC) / 7:00p MST (0200 UTC). The polls open and close at the same GMT/UTC time, that is, polls open and close at a particular local time in the advanced time zone and open and close one hour earlier local time in the lagging time zone.

 

 

Totally unrelated:  I just learned that lady bugs bite.  That goes against everything ladies stand for.  C’mon lady bugs!  I vote for you to stop biting.  That is just lame, especially since I’m finding so many of you hanging out around here these days.

From the weekend. . .

Here you go, children.  Enjoy your treats.  No tricks were seen.  Wait.  Except for that one on Sunday night where Gideon attempted to put on his own diaper.  He was running around after his bath, found a diaper and did his best to smooth it out so that he could attach it to himself.  He eventually needed assistance, but it was hilarious to watch.  Technically, I think it was a treat too, so yeah.  No tricks.

Not officially from Halloween, but I love that he loves shoes this much.

Not officially from Halloween, but I love that he loves shoes this much.

Poppy was the best Halloween prop.

I'm pretty sure this is the only MAC Poppy ever wanted to hold.

Headed to the neighbors

Headed to the neighbors

More excited to see our neighborhood kids than get candy

More excited to see our neighborhood kids than get candy