Friday, August 31, 2007

55 Fiction Friday! August 31, 2007

It's time again for 55 Fiction Friday!
Quick explanation: 55 fiction is a very, very short story of exactly 55 words. It needs to have a character, conflict and resolution.

The Wikipedia article on 55 Fiction is here and some great examples are here..

If you'd like to play along, I tell you how at the end of this post.

Katia contributes a 55:
Crawling out from the darkness, she suddenly saw clearly. Her throat, raw from the intense smoke, her head ringing from the wail of the sirens. Finally, her senses were strong enough to reach for something to knock down the source of the wailing that rang unmercifully. Her toast ruined, she sought a slice of cheese.

MrWurdi writes:
Traveling Blues

My wife hates rodents. Well, really any small animal of questionable origin.

If it doesn't go woof, meow, or moo she gets all skeeved.

I feel horrible; every time we turn around her hands go up and she's screaming. They are everywhere - no way I can protect her here.

But the kids really love Disney!

Here's my 55 for this week:
“Keep digging! We have to dig deeper!”

The urgency and concern were evident in the voices of the workers. They’d been working hard but time was running out.

“Please, hurry! I know we can save them.”

No one was sure exactly what it would take but the team was determined. They must save the boobies*.

Come play! Add your story to the comments or put it on your blog and I'll link to it. It's fun. You'll like it.

*This year will be my third year participating in this race. In the next few days, I'm going to be blogging about the most wonderful group of people and what's being done to find a cure for breast cancer.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Gifts From the Internet

I really am sincere about posting every day this week. Today was more difficult and I apologize if you've come here and been greeted with stale content.

There are so many gifts we get from the internet, internets, interweb, whatever: Google searches, SPAM, new blog friends, odd news stories, cool sites, etc.

I'd like to share with you a few of the Gifts from the Internet that I've received lately. First, a standard among bloggers - Google searches that lead to my blog:

GMILF - Dude. That's kind of sick. While I am a grandmother and I'm not exactly chopped liver the whole idea of a GMILF is kind of skeevy. Ew. I know, I know, I shouldn't be judgmental. After all, MrWurdi is a granddad and I'm not skeeved about him (STOP READING NOW, MrsStevens). In fact, I think MrWurdi is pretty damned hot. Really hot. He's way sexy.(YOU CAN READ AGAIN NOW, MrsStevens)

May You Have An Interesting Life - I did a blog post on that in January. Mostly, I was whining but I thought it had a good ending. Apparently, many people read something that made them Google that phrase. Hi, Interesting Life Seekers! Shit happens! It's okay. Good stuff happens, too. Don't dwell on the bad stuff.

Snuggle and Pain in the Ass Bitch Yeah? What? I can't be snuggly and bitchy? This one cracked me up. Apparently, the Google searcher was a complete and total masochist.

SPAM - Who the fuck is James Foster and why are people trying to send him email at my accounts?

Finally, one of my favorite gifts from the internet is finding people who inspire me and entertain me. I want to share these people with you. Eventually, I'll get around to updating my blog roll but, for now, let me just tell you about them.

Lindystars aka Danielle the Hor Blogger - You've heard me bitch about typos, words spelled incorrectly and horrific grammar. Lindy/Danielle, I don't care. I love your blog.

SGTRedline - I love your eclectic posting style. I never know what I'm going to see on your site and I absolutely love that. You play along with my 55 Fiction Friday and always inspire me to impress you. However, I must admit. I am an attention whore. The fact that you blogrolled me and called me "Linguistically Gifted" has garnered my undying blog devotion.

Finally, SanityOptional - I don't remember how I found you. Heck, you're not even here in the U.S. but I love your blog and I love the way you think. I hate that you have webdrama that makes you moderate your comments and I hope you get that job. Please, please, keep writing. You rock.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Final Episode: Bitching Until I'm Red, White and Blue in the Face (at least for now)


A few months ago, I read a Washington Post article from 1998 on “The Myth of the Melting Pot.” The author of part one, “One Nation, Indivisible?” William Booth, wrote:

…a Jew from England named Israel Zangwill penned a play whose story line has long been forgotten, but whose central theme has not. His production was entitled "The Melting Pot" and its message still holds a tremendous power on the national imagination – the promise that all immigrants can be transformed into Americans, a new alloy forged in a crucible of democracy, freedom and civic responsibility.

Is it possible? Can we, the legal citizens of the United States of America embrace being Americans? Can we stop identifying ourselves by the countries and loyalties of our ancestors? I want for us all to say, proudly, “I am an American! Period.”

In William Booth’s six part article, one of the things he wrote really disturbed me. He said:

Many immigrant parents say that while they want their children to advance economically in their new country, they do not want them to become "too American."

Am I the only person who sees a problem with this?

Booth went on to write:
One study of the children of immigrants, conducted six years ago among young Haitians, Cubans, West Indians, Mexican and Vietnamese in South Florida and Southern California, suggests the parents are not alone in their concerns.

Asked by researchers Alejandro Portes and Ruben Rumbauthow how they identified themselves, most chose categories of hyphenated Americans. Few choose ‘American’ as their identity.
Then there was this – asked if they believe the United States in the best country in the world, most of the youngsters answered: no.

William Branigan, who wrote part three, “Immigrants Shunning Idea of Assimilation,” in the “The Myth of the Melting Pot” series interviewed Maria Jacinto, who lives in Omaha with her husband and their five children. She speaks only Spanish and says, "When my skin turns white and my hair turns blonde, then I'll be an American."

Mrs. Jacinto, hair and skin color don’t make an American. Why did you become a citizen if you don’t want to be American? Are you simply entitled to live here and benefit from what other Americans have fought and died for all these years?

I’ve been very curious but not had the opportunity to ask: How do legal immigrants feel about illegal immigrants? Is it wonderful to welcome people who enjoy the same ancestry, food and music as their forefathers? Or are they disconcerted? Do they worry that the influx of illegal immigrants causes people to look at them with the suspicion that they, too, are illegal? Are illegal immigrants encouraged to seek legal citizenship?

I don’t have the answer to the question, “What is an American?” I don’t think there is an easy answer; however, I think the answer starts with citizenship. If you’re going to apply for and are granted citizenship, then you are an American. If you’re not interested in becoming an American or in being here legally (married to an American or in possession of a green card or as a visitor), please allow me to show you the door.

Our national motto is still E Pluribus Unum meaning, “From Many, One.”

This is the United States of America. Let’s unite in our pride in being American. We may not like everything about this country. There may be political strife and discord. We may want a revolution to start now, muthaf*****! (love you, Mags) The thing is, we’re in a country where we can fix it. We can talk about it. We can, if we like, vote.

How about it? Shall we all jump into Zangwill’s melting pot and become “a new alloy forged in a crucible of democracy, freedom and civic responsibility?”

I’m in.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

More Bitching Until I'm Red, White, and Blue in the Face


In my last post, I suggested language as a way to maintain national identity in a society celebrating diversity. I’ve recently posted my disdain for SMS and other lazy language trends. Words and language matter. I love words, hence, my blog name. Until we learn to harness any potential psychic communication, language is the main way we interact with others.

The argument has been made that there’s not an official language of the United States. True. However, I think there should be an official language and it should be English.

Let me share a few random incidents with you.

I have a friend, an attorney, who went to work for the prosecutor’s office in Houston. She was “strongly encouraged” to learn Spanish so she could do her job. In Houston. Houston, Texas. Houston, TX, USA.

I read a story about how a group of people waiting to have their day in traffic court had waited almost all day for that moment. After lunch, the bailiff requested that all non-English speaking defendants come to the front to be processed first because the translator would be leaving early.

Both of my children have worked at AutoZone. They were told that if they learned to speak Spanish, they’d earn an extra $2.00 an hour.

Even South Park has weighed in on the language/immigrant debate with their episode titled, “Goobacks.” Episode 806 addresses how an influx of immigrants changes the town. I’ll link to a synopsis of the story later.

In the mood for cheesesteak? At Geno’s Steaks in Philadelphia, the owner has posted a sign stating, "This Is AMERICA: WHEN ORDERING `SPEAK ENGLISH."'

The Fox News version of the story (from summer 2006) is here.
The MSNBC version is here.

Lawsuits have been threatened. Vento, the owner, has been accused of being a racist who doesn’t want “brown” people frequenting his place of business. Please, keep in mind that Vento’s grandparents struggled to learn English after arriving from Sicily in the 1920s. He understands discrimination and claims that’s not what he’s doing. He further said no customer had ever been turned away because of the policy and his employees are instructed to help those who don’t speak English learn to order their sandwich.

As a final anecdote, let me tell you about Palmira. Palmira was born in Nicaragua. She was proud of her heritage and retained her Nicaraguan citizenship even after marrying a United States Marine and moving to the United States with him. She had children here, children who by right of birth were U.S. citizens yet Palmira remained Nicaraguan. For over twenty years, she reared her children to appreciate and live with American values while still appreciating the heritage that came from both of their parents. My friend, Katia (who blogs at My Nerdy Thoughts but not nearly enough), is Palmira’s daughter. Katia followed in her father’s footsteps and became a U.S. Marine much to the understandable pride of both her parents. Still, Palmira retained her Nicaraguan citizenship.

More than twenty years after Palmira came to the United States, the political climate in Nicaragua changed. Palmira was ready to embrace being an American and applied for citizenship. When the day came that Palmira would officially become an American and share citizenship with her neighbors and children and husband, her family accompanied her at the courthouse. Not allowed to witness the ceremony, they waited outside the door. Afterwards, Palmira exited to join her family. She was crying. Her family, knowing how important this was to her, at first assumed the tears were of joy at what she’d done. They were wrong. Palmira’s tears were not of joy. She was upset.

The officials had offered to let her give the oath in Spanish.

I don’t have a problem with people earning more money because they’re bi- or multi-lingual. That’s awesome and I would love to be fluent in more than one language. I don’t think it should ever be required that someone in the U.S. be required to learn another language just to do their job unless, of course, that job is as a translator.

The language thing really chaps my ass. When is it going to stop? Sure, language evolves and I love that it does. I like the fact that Spanish and Greek and Italian and Asian and words from so many other languages have become a part of the English language. I don’t want to see signs in the courthouse written in a variety of languages. I don’t want to drive down the road and not be able to tell by the street signs if I’m in Juarez or Kansas. I don’t want to press one to speak English. I don’t want tech support to get pissed if I ask them to repeat themselves (slowly, please) because I had trouble understanding they hadn’t quite mastered the accent or language. If someone is going to take the naturalization oath and become a U.S. citizen, they should do it in English.

Since the argument “there’s no official language” is still out there, here’s my rebuttal:

If you want to live in America and become a citizen and benefit from the rights and privileges granted by the United States Constitution and Bill of Rights, then learn to speak the language in which they were written.

If you can’t be bothered to learn to speak the language, perhaps you don’t wish to be an American after all. More on that tomorrow…

On a lighter note, I thought the following cartoon was funny.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Bitching Until I'm Red, White, and Blue in the Face

Back in January, I wrote a little piece called ¿Dónde está Miami? ~or~ Where is Miami?

I ranted about an American family who had to learn to speak Spanish to function in their new hometown of Miami. Since that time, I’ve realized a few things. I wasn’t clear enough about what I felt. By omitting some of my thoughts, I’ve potentially offended some people I didn’t mean to offend. Side note: Sometimes I do mean to offend. That wasn’t one of those times. Another possible problem with that incomplete blog post is that I may have given the impression that I condone racism. I don’t. I regret not making clear that I love people of all ethnic backgrounds. Over time, I regretted having not expounded upon my feelings about the whole situation. In the next few days, I’m going to attempt to remedy that.


When I was a kid, I remember hearing America described as a melting pot. At the time, that sounded like a really cool thing. New arguments make me question what I once thought made the most sense. The old phrases are being jettisoned and new ones becoming darlings of the media. Multiculturalism and assimilation are the new buzzwords. There’s been a call to rename what we’re doing here a tossed salad with everyone retaining their original culture. Those who favor assimilation are accused of promoting a completely homogenous society with a loss of individualism. Those in favor of immigrants retaining their original cultural identity are criticized by others who say failing to integrate leads to separatism.

The tossed salad description doesn’t work for me. The carrot retains its unique carroteristics. Yes, I made up that word. The carrot doesn’t become a salad. The same goes for the cucumbers, croutons, and all the rest of the ingredients in the salad bowl. They don’t become salad, they remain separate. The problem with the salad analogy and multiculturalism as they’re being promoted is that they doesn’t simply celebrate diversity, but rather, they encourage it to the point of abandoning what it means to be part of a greater something. I’m going to get completely lost in the salad analogy if I’m not careful so I’m abandoning it. Plus, there’s that whole Urban Dictionary definition of tossed salad and I’m not going there.

I digress.

Are you an American or not?

If you were born here or you chose to become a citizen, then you’re an American. It seems rather simple to me. Unless you have dual citizenship, then you’re not a Korean-American, Mexican-American, African-American, or Whatever-American. One exception I can live with is First-Generation-American. If a person isn’t born here but chooses to legally come here from another country, I’m completely fine with that person having “first generation” status and receiving government funding for help in getting started here.

Am I suggesting that family history and culture be abandoned in favor of a homogenized society? Not at all. We need to show not just a tolerance for other cultures and histories but an embracing of them. Our tolerance needs to not be such that we lose our Americanism in the face of being tolerant. Why can’t our tolerance be that we welcome the different accents of people whose families haven’t been here for generations? For that matter, why can’t we be more tolerant of those people whose accents identify them as being from a different part of the U.S.?

I mentioned earlier that I’d worried about the possibility that I’d offended with my earlier post. Let me tell you a little story.

I have a very dear friend who watched intolerance firsthand. Her father came here legally, attended school, and earned a Master’s Degree. Even though his vocabulary and understanding of grammar were so much better than many people he encountered, his Spanish accent remained quite prominent. He was frequently and rudely told that he “needed to learn to speak English.” That makes me angry. I say celebrate the accents! Celebrate the food, the dress, the music.

Sit down to the new All-American dinner of Egg Foo Carne with Hush Matzos on the side. How about a nice Haggis* Schnitzel and Kotopoulo Scallopine? Top it all off with a big slice of apple pie. Put your iPod on International Shuffle and enjoy the sounds of the music of the world.

Our diversity is part of what makes this country so amazing. Celebrate that diversity! However, don’t stop celebrating being an American. How do we do that? How about national pride? How about language?

More on that next…

*Confession: the thought of haggis makes me more than a little gaggy but I was trying to make a point.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Haiked Up Recipe - Pear Clafoutis

A dear friend of mine challenged me to post a recipe – written in haiku form. Obviously, the recipe would have to be done in several parts. This is a recipe I’ve made several times and I’ve used different fruits in it. The photo and the recipe come from Jennifer Hamilton at The Domestic Goddess and are based on a May 1994 Bon Appetit recipe. I love her latest suggestion to do a brulee top and will probably try that next.

Pear Clafoutis
Nine inch pie plate sprayed
Oven at three-twenty-five
This starts clafoutis.

Four eggs will be joined
By a half cup of sugar
Eighth-teaspoon of salt.

After they’re blended
Whisk in one-third cup of flour
Isn’t this great fun?

Whisk a cup of milk,
Quarter-cup melted butter
Then, add the spices

Starting with extracts –
One teaspoon of vanilla
Half-teaspoon maple.

Cinnamon is next
Measure half of a teaspoon
Whisk all until smooth.

Peel and core three pears
Use large ones and slice thinly
Arrange in the plate.

Pour in the custard
Bake for fifty-five minutes
Or until it’s set

Powdered sugar tops
Maple syrup on the side
Tasty warm or cold

I admit – I thought about cheating on this one.
Gourmet Dinner
Haiku recipe?
That’s hard. I pick up the phone.
“Take your order, please?”

Friday, August 24, 2007

55 Fiction Friday! August 24, 2007

It's time again for 55 Fiction Friday!
Quick explanation: 55 fiction is a very, very short story of exactly 55 words. It needs to have a character, conflict and resolution.

The Wikipedia article on 55 Fiction is here and some great examples are here..

If you'd like to play along, I tell you how at the end of this post.

Coming next week! A new post every day! No more stale content when you come visit. It might be crap but it will be fresh crap.

MrWurdi contributes his 55:

The day was not bad, but as the sun goes down, the shivering begins.

She remembers warmth and safety, but that was before him. So many signs, how could she not see!

Teeth chattering, what torture awaits? So many came before this...

Shh! Here he comes....

"Honey, like a blanket?"... Living together, so many adjustments.

Here's my 55 for this week:

Finally! Her financial difficulties were over. There would be no more worrying about mortgage payments and utility bills. Amelia couldn’t believe her good fortune. Those people who had laughed at her inability to finish college and her lack of common sense would be eating their words.

It was all thanks to that nice Nigerian lawyer.

Come play! Add your story to the comments or put it on your blog and I'll link to it. It's fun. You'll like it.

Friday, August 17, 2007

55 Fiction Friday! August 17, 2007

It's time again for 55 Fiction Friday!
Quick explanation: 55 fiction is a very, very short story of exactly 55 words. It needs to have a character, conflict and resolution.

The Wikipedia article on 55 Fiction is here.

Some great examples are here..

If you'd like to play along, I tell you how at the end of this post.

Normally, I'd do my regular attention-hooring and put mine up first. Today's not normal. First, I have a rare day off. The rare day off follows an absolutely insane week of work and play that left me no blogging time. Don't worry, I'm a retired/recovering Catholic; I'm doing penance my way. Since I seldom have the opportunity, I slept in and that means I'm getting the 55 Fiction Friday post up late.

So, what does that have to do with how I'd normally post the fiction? I've been scolded. I've been scolded in the most delightful way. A comment was left just this morning on last week's 55 Fiction Friday post. (Penance = public scolding.) I'm fairly certain penance isn't supposed to make you giggle but I didn't read that in the retired/recovering Catholic by-laws so I'm going to call it a loophole.

SGT writes:
Bored while waiting for a program to run this morning, I perused my favorite blogs. Sadly I could not find a link to Wurdy's blog.

I searched high and low. Finally I had found it via Lindy's post.

Sadly, she still had not updated with new content.

Shrugging, I posted appropriately to the stale content.

Here's my 55 for this week:

Untitled, please help
Red droplets fell from the knife. Marie’s hands, too, dripped crimson.
Memory flashed: firm flesh, blade slashing, again and again.

She’d started deliberately, each cut precisely placed.
By the time she finished, she’d become sloppy.
The knife work became reckless, hurried; hands aching from grasping the knife’s handle.

This would be the perfect cherry pie.

MrWurdi contributes his 55:

Morning Bliss
Pre-dawn, the morning after your brisk hike.
Now you’re snuggling in the soft grass of a mountain meadow.
Sunrise, quiet, every nerve’s alive.
Wind in the trees and a simple breeze on your body.
One finger lightly caressing that which sends her screaming into the day.

It has to be perfect.

One shot.

One kill.

Come play! Add your story to the comments or put it on your blog and I'll link to it. It's fun. You'll like it.

Friday, August 10, 2007

55 Fiction Friday! August 10, 2007

It's time! It's time for 55 Fiction Friday!

Last week, I mentioned the 55 Fiction Friday I'd seen out there on the interwebs. Recap: The quick explanation is that a work of 55 fiction is a very, very short story of exactly 55 words. It needs to have a character, conflict and resolution.

The Wikipedia article on 55 Fiction is here.

Some great examples are here..

If you'd like to play along, I tell you how at the end of this post.

Here's my 55 for this week:

Stranger and Stranger
Caitlin approached the register. The cashier rang up the items, completing the sale. Mistrusting her ears and thinking this place had odd customs, Caitlin repeated the cashier’s question.

“Do I wanna beg for these?”

Prepared to plead for her purchases, Caitlin didn’t realize the Wisconsin-born employee had actually asked, “Do you wanna bag for these?”

MrWurdi contributes his 55:

French Love
"Oui, run your hands across her back, eh? Feel ze delicate strength in... how
you say? Spine?"

"Caress ze curves and textures with ze finger tips. And ze... how you say? Mound? Eez puffy like silk, no?"

"Touch! Eez okay, no one sees."


"Come, eez for you, yes?"

I decided to buy the loveseat.

Come play! Add your story to the comments or put it on your blog and I'll link to it. It's fun. You'll like it.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

I Have a Confession To Make

I have a completely raging blog-on for a certain fellow. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I’m quite happy with MrWurdi and the object of my blog desire appears to be very happily married to a wonderful woman. It’s not like that. It’s just that my creative bone gets more than a little firm when I read his posts.

His name is Johnny Virgil and he posts at 15 Minute Lunch.

What does he post about, you ask? Why, everything! He posts about neighbors, coworkers, friends, random drivers, and his brothers, The Snitch and Houdini. He posts about travel and food and almost killing people. It’s okay, the almost killing people stuff happened before he could be charged as an adult. I feel a little awkward telling you this (since I’m such a delicate and innocent gal) but he posts a lot about testicles. Retraction and removal of them seem to be hot topics but he certainly doesn’t limit himself.

I’ve, with permission, brought a little bit of Johnny to my blog. The following are snippets of his posts over time:

JV on Fellow Airline Passengers:
The BO hits me in the face like a Stinky Iron Fist. This was not just ordinary BO. This was, I am pretty sure, an actual sentient creature, separate from him, but in some sort of symbiotic relationship with his armpits. I base my sentience theory on the speed and accuracy with which it moved. The second he took off his coat, it immediately jumped off him, quickly surrounded my olfactory senses, and beat them into submission with an efficiency and purpose I’ve never seen in lower animals.

JV on Random People in the Office Bathroom:
He was diligently checking out his bare ass in the mirror, of course. What else would someone be doing in a bathroom at 6:45 in the morning?

JV on Dogs:
Me: Yeah, this was a husky/shepherd mix. cute little puppy. We named him Veal because he was in the cage all the time.

JV on Guppies:

JV on Guppies + Electricity:
Every single one of my guppies instantly flipped over and floated to the top like cheerios in a bowl full of milk.

JV on Sky Diving:
Right at 5,000 feet, I grab the ripcord and yank it. About two seconds later, the chute pops, and my crotch goes from 120mph to 10mph in the space of a second. My shoulders get yanked backwards, and there’s something in my throat that I think I used to piss with.

JV on Fast Food:
"Yes, I would like the seizure with chicken fangers please. And a bottled water." Okay, I didn't ask specifically about lifting a picture from his blog but I wanted you to see how he provides visuals to enhance his stories.

See what I mean? The fellow is hysterical. Treat yourself to the archives. As the king in Alice in Wonderland said, `Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end: then stop.'
A few words of warning: Go pee before you start reading. Seriously. I’ll explain about the Peequation* later.

After you’ve read all there is to read (and maybe even before then) go vote for Johnny at Blog Interviewer. He might win something!

*Idea shamelessly stolen from Johnny Virgil and to be modified to fit me at a later date.

Sunday, August 05, 2007


The shorthand can’t be missed. It’s everywhere. Text messaging, instant messages, emails, and message boards are where the most frequent sightings occur. Even if you’re not into the whole texting thing, you see it in commercials and magazine ads. Recently, I read about a 13-year-old Scottish girl who turned in an essay written entirely in SMS shorthand. SMS has a few definitions but let’s go with Short Message Service for simplicity.

Not familiar with it? Keep in mind that I’m not a teenager or an expert in this method of communication. Still, I’ll attempt to provide an example - followed by a translation.

IMHO, SMS does not make me LOL or ROTF. PPL use TLAs & think they’re GR8. 2 me, they’re a PITA. I M sure fans would like 2 tell me, “STFU, MYOB, QYB, and GOYHH.” Grammar is FUBAR, 2. OMG, & WTF s^ w/EWI & PWI? Apparently, I need 2 RTFM, bcuz I dont get it. I may B SOL. FFS, SSEWBA. YMMV. THX 4 listening. CUL8R & TTFN.

In my humble opinion, short message service does not make me laugh out loud or roll on the floor (laughing). People use three letter acronyms and think they’re great. To me, they’re a pain in the ass. I am sure fans would like to tell me, “Shut the fuck up, mind your own business, quit your bitching and get off your high horse.” Grammar is fucked up beyond all recognition, too. Oh, my, God, and what the fuck is up with emailing while intoxicated and posting while intoxicated. Apparently, I need to read the fucking manual because I don’t get it. I may be shit out of luck. For fuck’s sake, someday soon everything will be an acronym. Your mileage may vary. Thanks for listening. See you later and tah-tah for now.

I admit, it’s a poorly written paragraph but it’s just an example.

I’m not an acronym hater. I work in a field where acronyms are everywhere. I don’t have a problem with using a little bit of the shorthand for casual writing. The same thing goes for lazy grammar and punctuation - in some cases.

Here’s where I have a problem. I don’t want to have to decrypt my text messages. I’m an adult, FFS. I don’t think it’s cool. I mean, really, does it take that much longer to type/tap out a few extra letters and use a little bit of punctuation?

When it comes to message boards, blogs and the like, you’re conversing with other people through the written word. Your typed words are the only impression of you that the other people get. It doesn’t have to be formal, MLA-approved writing but when you use incorrect grammar, misspelled words, and inappropriate punctuation, you’re giving the impression that you’re uneducated or that you just don’t care. Of course, if that’s the impression you want to give, fine. Do that. Have fun.

The informal use of the SMS and lousy writing bothers me more than it should but that is my problem. I’m working on keeping my eyes from rolling as much as I can. What really, really bugs the shit out of me is when people take this casual approach to written communication and bring it into the workplace. I have a customer who can’t spell to save his life and who uses the teenage-like shorthand in official business. Um, dude? Spell check is your friend and, while you’re at it, is it really that much harder to type out message than msg? Cancelled, instead of canx?

I’m turning into a curmudgeon.

I’d like to go to a nice restaurant and not see people wearing shorts or hear them shouting. I’d like to fly somewhere and not see people decked out in their most worn-out sweatpants. I’d like to see people be polite and ask to be excused when they bump into you. I’d like for those damned kids to stay off my lawn.

I’d like for people to know the difference between your and you’re. I’d like for them to know the difference between to, too, and two. Is subject/verb agreement that hard?

Am I perfect? Nope. I don’t expect to be, either. I just see us all sliding down that slippery slope. It’s the accepted dumbing down of America where the intellectual folks are ridiculed and not caring is considered cool. It makes me sad.


Friday, August 03, 2007

55 Fiction Friday!

In my travels over the internet, I read about nanofiction or 55 Fiction. There are several places to read about it but I'd recommend starting at The Wikipedia article on 55 Fiction. After that, check out some good (i.e., much better than mine) examples at 55 Fiction. There, Michael Lawrie has posted a bunch of his tiny pieces of fiction. The quick explanation is that a work of 55 fiction is a very, very short story of exactly 55 words. It needs to have a character, conflict and resolution.

Some bloggers have started doing 55 Fiction Friday and it seemed like a cool, little exercise in controlled fiction writing. If you'd like to play along, feel free to leave your fiction in the comments section - or, if you have a blog and want to put your story there, let me know and I'll edit this post to link to you. This is my first attempt and while I don't think it's horrible, I do hope to get much better. Here's my 55:

That Girl Has Balls!
Meredith didn’t think she had the balls for it, this ambitious undertaking; fame on the line.
She bent over again and again, looking.
Her balls just weren’t there.
She’d heard it was easier for men.
Maybe they had more ball experience but Meredith was determined, bending over one more time.
Success! A break and run!

Get your mind out of the gutter, okay?


MrWurdi has given the 55 Fiction a try and I love the result. Here's MrWurdi's 55:

Afternoon Delight
So many sensations; she's perplexed. Staring deeply into the abyss, her head wobbling back and forth. All the noises of the others fade away, her mind screaming at her. She wants it all, has to have it all; but, there is always a price to pay.

Looking deeply into her companion's eyes, she declares, "I'll have the fish."

Wednesday, August 01, 2007


I'm here today to report some Breaking News to you.

Here it is.

You're not going to believe it.


People Have Sex Because It Feels Good.




Please forgive my labeling frenzy. I couldn't help myself.