Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Summertime makes me lazy

Some people are energized by the sun.  I am not one of them.  Unlike John Denver, sunshine on my shoulders doesn't make me happy, it makes me sleepy. It's a good thing I live in Montana and not Arizona, because if I was bombarded by that much sunshine, I would probably take a day long nap. With that in mind, it should come as no surprise that this week's blog is a recycled one from last year, albeit edited a little so that you won't fall asleep in the middle of it.  Enjoy!

When I was much, much younger, and completely na├»ve with regards to the whole getting older thing and how it works, I remember thinking that when the millennium came I would probably be wearing a cotton housedress, rocking away my golden years at a nursing home.  Since I would be batty by then, the turning of the calendar to 2000 would go mostly unnoticed.  Yes, I really was that young and dumb.  In reality, the year we said goodbye '99, hello '00, I was 47, not a house dress in sight and no golden years in the foreseeable future...at least not the ones I had imagined.  Now, 13 years after that New Year's celebration, I am 60.  SIXTY!!! Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined what 60 would look like and I didn't have the tiniest clue what it would feel like.

60 looks a lot like 50, which in turn resembled 40, but with about 15 more lbs.  My wardrobe of choice is still jeans, a T-shirt and a hoodie.  My daughter encouraged (forced) me several years ago to widen my choices by adding cute sweaters and great shoes.  I believe her exact words were "Mother, when you can no longer tell your clothes from your 20-something son's, it's time to get new clothes". Don't tell my daughter this, but when I am not going out into the world (and sometimes when I am) jeans and T's are what I reach for. My favorite hoodie is a gray sweatshirt with many and varied holes. It stopped zipping long ago and one cuff is valiantly holding on by sheer determination.  I bought it in the 80's and have 3 driver's license photos of me wearing it with love. I still wear my hair parted on the side with a few bangs, still like a lot of eye makeup and I have to confess that Bonne Bell's Dr Pepper is still my go to lipgloss.

60 doesn't feel like 50 or anything approaching 40...sometimes it feels like 100.  I have been healthy pretty much all my life, so it was with some alarm that, as I reached toward 60, I began to fall apart.  First came high cholesterol.  I am a vegetarian so you'd think that wouldn't be an issue.  And it wouldn't be if it weren't for the deliciousness of Tillamook Sharp Cheddar.  If you are making mac and cheese or grilled cheese sandwiches with anything else, STOP immediately and switch!  After high cholesterol came an inherited tendency for my blood to clot like crazy.  I had always thought it was cool that I would get a cut and before I could open a bandaid, I would already be healing. Turns out that is not a good thing and one day in June of '09 I was admitted to the hospital for multiple pulmonary emboli. Then appeared what felt like acid reflux but was actually a hiatal hernia, followed by a pain in my foot that revealed itself as plantar fasciitis.  Sheesh. 

So here I am at 60, limping along in my Levi's with insoles in my tennis shoes, popping Prilosec and Coumadin.  I hope my sweatshirt lasts long enough for me to get a walker, 'cause that would be awesome.  And that would also mean that 70 will look a lot like 60.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Dogberryisms, eggcorns and random grammatical gaffes

I love to read.  Scratch that...I am compelled to read.  Put a newspaper in front of me and I will read it front to back.  Unless it is the LA Times...I defy anyone to read that all the way thru! Give me a magazine and I will start at the beginning and read thru to the ads.  None of that looking up something in the index and going right to the article.  Nope.  If I want to read an article highlighted on the cover, I read each page until I happen upon the article, read that, then keep going to the end.  Whether it be a cereal box or a catalog on an airplane, I read everything.  My mom is fond of telling a story about one Christmas when one of my gifts was a stack 10 high of Nancy Drew books.  That will keep her busy all vacation, she thought.  I finished them Christmas Day. During my junior year of high school I was delighted to learn in English class that we would be reading The Great Gatsby.  I took the book home and read it the first night, only to have to suffer thru weeks and weeks of class where we took turns reading pages from it until finally the torture was blessedly over.  I fell asleep more than once that semester.

Loving to read, it should be no surprise that I also love to write.  I adore searching for the right word, just the right phrase to describe something.  Do I always find it?  Of course not, but not for lack of trying.  So it should also come as no surprise that the misuse of words in print or by broadcast drives me crazy. I believe the outright making up of words should be a crime! Before you ask, no, I do not go around correcting people's grammar. How my friends and relatives speak is completely up to them. However, I firmly believe that anyone who is a newscaster, pundit, broadcaster or professional writer should be held to a higher standard than the rest of us. They should, at a minimum, be aware of what they are saying.  I am a virtual office manager in a real estate company and as such, receive hundreds of e-flyers and other marketing pieces each week.  I am stunned by how unprofessional some of them are.
 
Here are a few of my favorites, both spoken and written, in no particular order.

Conversate.  I heard this during the televised broadcast of a football game when the color commentator mentioned he had met with this or that player and "sat down to conversate with him".  I had to rewind the dvr 5 times just to convince myself that I had, indeed, heard correctly.
Irregardless.  This apparently makes other people cringe as well.
New leash on life. I have both heard and read this and it makes me chuckle every single time.
Perscription, nucular and other mispronunciations.  Spell check typically keeps these out of the written word, but I have heard more than one tv talking head utter these.
Its vs it's and their vs there vs they're.  I am always amazed by the misuse of these words. I imagine English teachers everywhere would like to add lay vs lie and sit vs set. I have to admit those don't bother me as much, although I am not sure why.
A close 2nd to the it's vs its issue is the improper use in print of an apostrophe before an 's' when it is meant to be plural not possessive.  I see this a lot in real estate advertising.  Just yesterday I received an e-flyer showcasing a home that had "plenty of room for boat's".
Thru vs threw vs through. I admit to using thru almost exclusively when I write, but I never confuse it with threw.
Signal out vs single out. When I hear 'signal out', I always think of the Navy...and I have no idea why.
Amazability.  Nope, not a word.  Neither is ginormous, although I secretly like that one.
Drank vs drunk and sneaked vs snuck. Rather than irritate me, these always make me laugh, particularly when I hear a newscaster use them.
Expecially.  There are a lot of people who apparently confuse X and S.
I vs Me. As in "the house belongs to Mike and I" rather than the correct "the house belongs to Mike and me". For some reason this one really irritates me.
Set and done. I haven't a clue why anyone would confuse this with 'said and done' but when I see it, I always wonder if the same person says 'said in stone'.
 
So there you have it, a short list of words that drives me crazy.  As my daughter oft times tells me...it's a short drive.