Monday, March 30, 2009

Technical Difficulties

Not only did I miss what looked like a pretty good episode of House tonight, but I also wasted about two hours and a pretty creative premise for a post, thanks to Blogger's bullshit and some other effing crap that happened along the way.

I have no idea why everything went crazy and, at one point, changed the color of my freaking header, even, but the whole shebang is gone and what really frosts my cupcakes is that it's only the latest in a series of computer issues here at Dept. Central.


And tomorrow, I have...(insert Jaws music, or other suitable Anthem of Doom)...PARENT CONFERENCES.

From 3:30 till 7:00. That's P.M. After school and before dinner. (insert crescendoing violins and maudlin weeping.)

All of which is to say that it will now be at least a couple more days until I can get my act together and post something for you. Stay with me, won't you?

I'll try my darndest to make it worth your while.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Driving Miss Nance

(Scene opens on interior of car. Rick is driving; Nance is in passenger seat.)

Rick: (points out side window) Right there! Did you see? Two deer.
Nance: What? No, where?
Rick: We're past it now. They were over there, in that field. You missed them.
Nance: This is so typical. How is it that you always see deer when we're out driving? I never see deer. I see, like, Canada geese. They're everyplace. I mean, right now, over there, there are Canada geese. Look.
Rick: I don't know.
Nance: It's terrible. You know what I see? I see fake deer. I see those horrible concrete deer. That's what I see. I see them every morning on 6th Street when I go to park my car. There's one in a big side yard, just standing there. That's what I see, a bigass ugly fake deer.
Rick: It's a question of priorities.
Nance: What? How can you even say that? It's not that I want to see tchotchke yard art! I feel like I'm actually assaulted by it! No--I am victimized by tacky yard art!
Rick: Well, I don't--
Nance: Look! A hawk! Right there on that bank! Did you see it? It was standing there, ripping into something! It must have caught something!
Rick: No, I didn't see it. There, now see? I rarely see hawks. Once in a while on a fencepost or something, but not very often.
Nance: It's true. My hawk-spotting skills are unparalleled. I am unmatched in hawk-spotting. Remember the one I saw in the backyard above our pond, ripping into that sparrow?
Rick: Yep. There you go. You see hawks. I see deer.
Nance: But you also saw two wild turkeys on our way in. Still not fair.

(End scene.)

Sunday, March 15, 2009

It Was An Honor Just To Be Nominated, But Now That I've Won, You Have To Sit There And Listen To Me Ramble On And On And On And On And On And On And O

Holy crap. I am so stuck for a post this week. Don't even let me start to bore you with all the reasons why. I'm about to do something I never do, and that's compose a post on the fly--right here, right now.

I know. Uncharted territory. Live. It's what Jared would call "batshit ridiculous." Basically, I'm going to yank the random junk out of my head and shake it and write what falls out. Okay, so:

^*^J. gave me an award (which you can see at the bottom of my sidebar) and then promptly gave me a meme-esque task as part of the award. It's always nice when people recognize you for your work, and while I'd rather give a long, rambling speech like they do at the Oscars and wear something swanky and controversial, I like J., so I'll at least do part of the deal. I'm supposed to acknowledge 6 things that make me happy. I already did that, sort of, in my Pieces of Eight post awhile back, but here are a few more: 1. A good cheeseburger; 2. Lately, no snow; 3. When my husband thanks me each evening for making dinner. That's plenty for now. And I just have to mention that the spelling of the award (Kreativ) is totally killing me. Totally. I might have to get into the code and correct it. Seriously. How sad am I?

^*^Can I just say right now--and I am not judging anyone, really--that if I hear the words Facebook and Twitter one more time that I am going to stab myself in the face? Even our Cleveland news station has a brief segment on every damn night where they show some stupid photo and say, "Would you like to be our friend on Facebook? This is fill in the blank with some random name. If you'd like to be our Facebook Friend, go to yada yada yada dot com and yada yada yada JUST KILL ME NOW." Good heavens. Even the effing Congress of the United States of America was TWITTERING DURING THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES' ADDRESS TO THEM REGARDING SERIOUS MATTERS OF STATE. Has everyone, symbolically, returned to junior high? This is the equivalent of passing notes in study hall. There is NO ONE, and let me repeat that, NO ONE who I want to know my business all day long, day in and day out. There is nothing that cannot wait until I can make a discreet telephone call, emphasis on the word "discreet." What in the hell has happened to people? Are we so madly in love with ourselves to the point that we must overshare even the most infinitesimal minutiae of our lives? And to strangers? "Follow me on Twitter!" we urge those completely unknown to us. Privacy is a dying commodity, it would seem. I jealously guard mine.

^*^ How much do I love this article, which posits that in this time of economic and political stress, those of us who are spelling and grammar sticklers are really having a heyday as we struggle to seize control of something in our lives. (See my visceral reaction to my New Award, above!) I'm not sure that These Tough Times are really exacerbating my grammar and spelling fetish; it's always been there. I've always detested running across "I've got to loose ten pounds" rather than "I've got to LOSE ten pounds", and nothing sets my teeth on edge worse than the gratuitously used apostrophe: Fresh banana's rather than the correct Fresh bananas. And I absolutely want to shoot someone when he or she mispronounces or misspeaks an idiom such as For all intensive purposes rather than the correct For all intents and purposes. And students lead the league in this horror: would of , as in I wish I would of studied harder. Sigh. And I wish I would have changed majors and become an art teacher.
Naturally, the comments after the article are rife with snarking, sniping, and nitpicking as the smartypants people go after each other in a nastyfest of all-out grammar warfare. What fun!

Okay, J. Here are a few more: 4. Properly spoken and spelled English; 5. My Privacy; 6. My loyal readers, and I really mean that. It sounds contrived and convenient here, but it's true. No one wants to speak to an empty row of chairs. Thanks, all of you, for coming.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

...And Now You Know Why There Are No Ads At The Dept.

It's absolutely no secret that I'm getting old (50 in May!) and that I'm becoming something (more) of a curmudgeon. Every single day I catch myself acting a little bit pricklier, and yesterday, after guilting my son Sam into going grocery shopping with me, I uttered some statement or other in the car and actually said, "Wow. Did that sound elderly or what?", at which time he gave me a very sympathetic look and said, "Yep. You sounded exactly like Grammy."

And then he patted my knee.

Oh well.

So it comes as no surprise to anyone that I complain bitterly and constantly about commercials on television. That they are too loud. And that there are too damn many of them. And that the music in them is terrible. Or that some of them just are stupid and don't make any sense.

But you know it's true. And some of you are not as old as I am.

I thought the whole idea behind commercials was to make me want to buy something. Didn't you study advertising in school at one point? Because I did, and at one point, I even had to teach it. All those terms like bandwagon, testimonial, plain folks. But the whole focus of those propaganda techniques was to make me want to buy something. I can honestly say that the vast, overwhelming majority of ads on television right now do not make me want to buy a damn thing. I mean it.

Today, Rick and I were watching some Morning Show or other to postpone the inevitable Starting Of Our Day, and this commercial came on for a DVD series called The World at War. The spokesperson snarkily intoned, "If you care about the war, you'll want to order this amazing set." That statement provoked the following dialogue:

Me: Wow. That was bossy. And nasty.
Rick: What is he trying to say?
Me: If you have any patriotism in your disgusting, black, tar-covered soul...
Rick: If you give a damn about America and aren't a terrorist bent on destroying it...
Me: If you aren't some liberal commie pinko fag...
Rick: If you aren't running guns for some third world nation...
Me: If you aren't already left soulless by watching nonstop episodes of "Family Guy", "The Simpsons", and pay-per-view porn...
Rick: Then get out your credit card, your NRA card, and your flag and order this set. Hell, order two!

Honestly. By the time we were done eviscerating that ad, I didn't even remember what war it was about. Who did that guy think he was? Or was dealing with? Screw him.

(But this commercial is, for me, a bit of an exception. There's something sexy about this guy's mouth. Am I going to go buy this? No. But I watch the ad.)
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