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Sunday, November 20, 2016

In Which The Dept. Cleans House And Debates Fear And Love In The Martial Arts

Act I, scene i. Rick and Nance are in the living room. Nance is on the couch, center, knitting; Rick is in his easy chair, left, folding his laundry. The TV is on. The local news is riffing on the pop news story about Earworms, the songs that get stuck in your head.


Rick: That happened to me yesterday at work. It drove Chad crazy. I kept singing "Kung Fu Fighting."
Nance: (not looking up) That would drive me crazy.
Rick: (making karate chops with a pair of tube socks) But Nance! Come on! It's like the song says--Everybody loves kung fu fighting!
Nance: (raises her eyes only, looks over at Rick) Rick. The lyric is "Everybody WAS kung fu fighting."
Rick: Well...why would everybody do it if they didn't love it?

Act II, scene i. Kitchen. A few days later. Rick and Nance are doing weekend cleaning, mostly Cat Hair Removal, and mostly in preparation for guests. Nance has already dusted four rooms and is gathering cleaning supplies for the bathroom. Rick is on his back on the floor, puzzling over a piece of packing material left under the (years-old) refrigerator.  (Reminiscent of this episode.) His phone is clipped to his belt, and it is playing his extensive and...eclectic music library.

Rick: (singing loudly) You don't own me/I'm not just one of--
Nance: I figured you'd download that.
Rick: Hey, at least I didn't download "Kung Fu Fighting." Did you know everybody loves kung fu fighting?
Nance: (using lyrics) Yeah, and those kicks were fast as lightning.
Rick: (starts singing) Everybody was--
Nance: (more lyrics) In fact, it was a little bit frightening. And there is the flaw in your theory, by the way. How can everybody love kung fu fighting if they are afraid of it?
Rick: Nance. Come on. For the same reason some people love horror movies, haunted houses, surprise packages, gambling, all that stuff. Lots of people love to be scared. They go for the thrill.
Nance: That's true. And valid. I hate all that stuff and I hate that song.

End.

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Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Thursday, November 03, 2016

It's A Crabfest, But No Bibs Or Melted Butter Needed (Although Who Says No To Melted Butter, Ever?)

Well, it's been another ten days or so and no post here at the Dept. Heavy sigh. I have absolutely No Legitimate Excuse other than Generalized Malaise and Slothfulness Overmuch. And Intermittent Crabbiness.

This Crabbiness thing is both perplexing and annoying. (Is that redundant? Is it sort of dumb to say that being Crabby is making me...Crabby?) I find that I'm irritated by being so irritated. It's a Vicious Circle. (And for those of you who are nitpickily wondering if that last term should be "Vicious Cycle", I was too, so I checked--of course--and I'm correct.)

Anyway.

While other writers are using November to be Grateful or write a Novel In Thirty Days, here I sit, bitching and grumping. Maybe I need to get it all Out Of My System, once and for all, so I can Move On. You know, the whole Catharsis thing. So, here's a (partial, I'm sure) list of

What's Making Me Crabby

1. Seeing 'S Used For Plurals
2. Cervical Myofasciitis
3. Ohio Being Exactly Like Texas Anymore
4. My Grocery Store Remodel
5. Closer by The Chainsmokers
6. the republican nominee, ugh
7. Nothing Sounds Good To Eat
8. Cat Hair
9. My Left Contact
10. Not Sleeping

Let's chat about a few of these, shall we?

1. NO WORDS USE AN APOSTROPHE TO MAKE A PLURAL. Just let that be your rule, period. There is a sign on a bar near my house that says TACO TUESDAY--TACO'S $1. Every time I see it, which is every single day I drive, I have a small fit of rage/frustration. The same sign says GO BROWNS! Why no apostrophe there? Apostrophes on nouns show ownership. If something is not being owned, DO NOT USE AN APOSTROPHE. Are there odd exceptions? Yes, but for average daily writing, just remember APOSTROPHES DO NOT MAKE PLURALS. Just stop it, everyone. (Look at all those words that ended in S. Not a single apostrophe needed. PLEASE HELP ME.)

2. Now I know why my headaches have increased in frequency and my neck and shoulders are killing me. And why my sleep is almost nonexistent (see #10). **Breakthrough! This could explain my Crabbiness.** This also means Physical Therapy, which I find embarrassing and goofy. But I know its value. (See that "its"? NO APOSTROPHE.)

3. Ohio is pretty much a red state, except for NEO and Columbus. Ugh.

4. It now takes me twice as long to get shopping done. Why can they not remodel and reconfigure and restock at night and in ONE DAY? ONE WEEKEND?

5.  I cannot escape this song and don't like it. It has made the radio almost an impossibility.

8. I really feel like some knitter person who is looking to spin his/her own yarn would want the surplus hair that my cats belligerently produce on an hourly basis. Really, it is lovely. And abundant. And, judging by the price of this scarf, could be quite valuable, since it is a Natural Fibre.

9. I cannot see out of my left contact about an hour after I put it in. Is there anything more soul-crushing than sitting in a doctor's waiting room? This is why I cannot even contemplate making the appointment, though I know I must. (BONUS--SEE THE APOSTROPHE + S AFTER 'DOCTOR'? THAT IS BECAUSE IT SHOWS OWNERSHIP. NOT MORE THAN ONE DOCTOR.)

Sometimes, after I give vent to a particular bout of Crabbiness, Rick will say, "But you still look good."  Even though this is terribly shallow and petty and even smacks of being sexist and sounds like he is trivializing my frustrations, I was the one who sanctioned this remark.  Let me tell you why.

Firstly, I am incredibly vain, as most of you know.  Secondly, when I go off on a Major Round Of Crabbing, it's usually about something trivial and timely, not Deep and Profoundly Personal.  Finally, if I am not Effectively Derailed by something Pleasant or Light, my Crabbiness will take root and ruin the rest of my day/evening.  The line has now become sort of a punchline to my bitching and gives me a chance to breathe and smile.

And I'm smiling now.  That must mean it's your turn! (IT + IS = APOSTROPHE!)  How about letting some of your Crabbies loose, and we'll have our own little Crabfest in Comments?

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