Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Oversharing/jonesing for pity

Everyone I've made eye contact with today knows that I took an exercise class yesterday and now I'm so sore I can hardly move. Also everyone who's connected with me via Facebook and now everyone who reads my blog: I want you all to know!  I exercised!  Even though there were signs on the wall that said "It's OK to suffer!"  and "You're not gonna die!"  Despite these warnings, I ran around and around and did many deep knee bends and horrible push ups.  I sweated.  I never do that unless there is mulch to be spread or a hole to be dug.  

Tonight I whined and was pathetic and The Man Who Lives In My House was compelled to point out that I was complaining a lot.  "I'm going to send you to that class next,"  I told him, "And then we'll see if you don't do some complaining. "

"I'm sure I will complain," he replied.  "But no one in the world can complain as much as you."

He may have a point.  And just to underscore his point, I'll add that I'm avoiding going to bed because I'm dreading how difficult it will be to stand up in the morning.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Some of us need incentives.

Mom, when is it eating time?  Because I am hungry.

Well,  I really need a little helper, because I am emptying this dishwasher, then re-loading it with this sink full of dirty dishes, and there are books and toys and art supplies all over the counter and the table.  Also, could you please put away the laundry that I always fold and leave on the staircase for you to put in your dresser?  It seems to have spread itself all over the floor.  Oh, and take out this compost and this recycling.  Has anyone fed the dog?  Or the fish?

Never mind, I'm not that hungry.

Friday, September 24, 2010

lingua wacka

The Smaller Hooligan is inventing a new language.  I am eavesdropping while he was explaining the lexicon to his friend Wingnut:
"I am inventing a language.It's all that stuff we like to say only I am making the noises mean something, like gooshen hoggen is  hello, tee goo is thank you, bang choff  is blast off....."

There was a great deal more, but this is the essence.  Basically, imagine swedish aliens and you get an idea of the sound.  I wonder if there will be complicated verb tenses and gender allocations for all the nouns--probably not.  Girls probably won't exist on their planet.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Friction keeps us alive, or at least entertained.

I was perusing the blogosphere recently, and some nice blogger was rhapsodizing about how she and her spouse liked to do all the same things.  Huh.  How very sweet.  Excuse my while I go throw up a little bit in my mouth.  The thought made me twitchy and claustrophobic.  I am just not that nice.

The Man Who Lives In My House and I like some of the same things.  We like to eat and cook and hike and travel.  We like to throw the occasional party.  We can work in the garden simultaneously for hours.  But even in the earliest days of our relationship, I used to dispatch my friend Jeanine (Thank you, Jeanine!) to go with him to see action/special effects movies in my stead.  And I try to avoid taking him to Merchant/Ivory Costume dramas unless I feel he needs to be punished.

The Miss Marple topic I addressed in my last post inspired me to make this list:

Things we will do for fun some other time, like when he is dead:
Go rummage around at Goodwill, just to see if we find anything cool.
Watch Miss Marple.
Buy season tickets for the Opera.
Shop for shoes we don't really need.
Watch 'what not to wear' and 'oprah'.

Things we will do for fun some other time, like when I am dead:
Bicycle across the country.
Buy season tickets for a sports team.
Watch The Lord of the Rings Movies one after another, again.
Have a book club devoted to science fiction.
Watch 'band of brothers.'

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Difference of Opinion re: TV

The Man Who Live in My House:  What are we watching?
Kate:  Miss Marple!
The Man:  No F'ing Way.
Kate:  But I like Miss Marple.  Come on!  Humor me.
The Man:  Why don't you watch that some other time.  Like when I am dead.

Vets need money, too.

I think the Prodigal Tortoise's goal in running away may have been to go someplace quiet to die in a dignified manner.  Since her return she has not been herself.  The Man Who Lives In My House cares deeply for all beings' well being.  This is a wonderful characteristic, within REASON!! He has been looking at her anxiously, and muttering.  "I think she has an infection," he informed me several days ago.  "Or maybe a tumor.  See that?  it's inflamed.  And those are maggots."

'That' was the part of the body that on a human would be a trapezius.  It looked gross:  red and slimy where it should have been grayish and scaly.  I can't even talk about the maggots.  You would hurl.  No wonder she wanted to just go bury herself under the woodpile.  I would, too.

"You'll have to take her to the vet."  The vet?  I called our vet.  They only treat mammals.  I ended up driving the turtle across town and writing a check for $58 dollars.  That's the new patient exam fee.  Treatment will be additional.

Since I know you'll be unable to sleep for wondering, I will keep you apprised of her prognosis.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

grammatical zeitgeist

From Facebook:  The Smaller Hooligan's Godmother posted:


Okay all you people who think you're so smart for knowing your vs. you're and their vs. they're: Click "Like" if you know what an appositive is and when it requires a comma.

Saturday at 1:06pm ·  · 

    • S Wow. The silence is deafening!
      Saturday at 8:41pm · 

    • The Man Who Lives In My House:   Google, the world's largest search engine, is an excellent site in which to find answers to esoterica.

      Sunday at 12:16pm ·  · 

    • The Godmother:   Correct comma usage is not esoterica! But Google is an excellent grammar resource. You don't even need to know terms like "appositive." If only people would do a search for "commas around names" or "that vs. which" whenever they were...
      Sunday at 3:02pm · 

    • ______________________________________
After reading this, punctuation was on my mind, so I wrote the Godmother this email:
Subject: Punctuation consultation

My brainy and creative amiga, whom I am appositively honored to count among my friends,

I am very fond  (one might say over-fond) of parenthesis. When a parenthetical aside is used in the middle of a sentence, but is complete (sentence-wise), does one employ a period within the parenthetical parameters? Or should it be left as a fragment?  I find this particularly troubling when I parenthetize at the end of the sentence (as I did in the final paragraph of my last post).  (and right here!) Should there have been a period just now, at the end of that last one?  and then another after the final curve-thingy?
ps I may have to blog some of this, but I will get your approval before anything hits the infernal net.
She wrote back right away.  She is prompt, or perhaps I should say punctual (English Major joke).

Just today I was writing a sentence like you describe. I left the parenthetical remark unpunctuated, although it was technically a complete sentence and occurred in the middle of another sentence. Punctuation is just annoying in the middle of a sentence (even when the parenthetical is a complete sentence), and annoyance should be avoided at all costs. The only exception I can think of would be if the parenthetical was a question (And who doesn't love questions?) because they require the question mark to indicate tone. Then I'd capitalize it and include a question mark.

When it's at the end of a sentence, it's much easier to deal with. You can simply punctuate the parenthetical like a complete sentence, like this:

I find this particularly troubling when I parenthetize at the end of the sentence. (I did this in the final paragraph of my last post, quite frankly.)

Of course the actual parenthetical you used:

(as I did in the final paragraph of my last post)
is not in fact a complete sentence and therefore would not require punctuation.

I hope this makes sense! Rules of punctation vary from style guide to style guide (AP Style is often different from Chicago Manual of Style) and are, frankly, a matter of taste. I go for maximum clarity whenever discrepancies arise.

Parenthetically yours,

(The Godmother)

This is a woman who knows about style, literary and otherwise. 

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Band names

I'm in a lot of imaginary bands.  Usually I sing.  And I look cool.  I have an active fantasy life.  I never drum.  I can't imagine a sense of rhythm, no matter how hard I try.  Plus the drummer is way in the back. No one can see how cool she looks.  My bands have awesome names. Some examples:

Prodigal Tortoise--Acoustic Folk
Seven League Boots:  Indie Alt Folk Girl Band with feminist punk twist.
Yolanda Avocadeaux: Latin/Creole/Salsa/Lounge.
and my latest:
Bluebird Baboon:  Kid music that adults can stand, like Dan Zanes, who has the best hair in the world.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Vocabulary, applied randomly.

The smaller hooligan's assessment of the first day:

"It was great.  We didn't do any work.  I have two teachers who are awesome. but I forget their names, and I made a new friend.  But he hasn't fully evolved into being totally my friend yet, because I just met him."

If you knew the smaller Hooligan's two or three closest friends, you would know that his definition of "evolved" is unconventional.  A major qualification to be part of his posse:  you must be able to touch your nose with your tongue.  It's even better if you can pick your nose with your tongue.  That puts you in line to be supreme leader.  I will leave you with this image:

Friday, September 3, 2010

Prodigal Tortoise

This would be a good name for a band.  A nice man found our missing turtle in the alley behind our back yard.  I wish I had made video of the smaller hooligan joyfully cavorting when he heard the good news.