Casual Sundays with Mr Curry
|Okay, not lost but definitely misplaced.
First of all, we had Josie's open house party since she graduated from high school this spring. It's been a weight around my neck for weeks. Clean the house, buy the brats, bake the bars...throwing parties is a lot of work and it's not the kind of work I enjoy or am any good at. Fortunately for all involved, Jay is great at it.
Left up to me, there would be no mustard or napkins.
There was plenty of both.
It rained every day for seven weeks but the morning of Josie's party there wasn't a cloud in the sky. Party time was 4:00 and the daily, obligatory thunderstorm didn't show up until around 6:00, at which time the partiers simply darted into the house, watched the end of the US Open and then returned out to the deck when the skies cleared again at 6:20. Spring; whatya gonna do?
I was not surprised that some folks didn't attend, after all in addition to being the last day of the US Open, it was also Father's Day. Not every father in our social circle wanted to spend their day with someone else's kid. That's fine; we had more than enough folks here.
We served nearly 100 brats and half as many burgers. The place was packed from 4:10 till around 8 and the last stragglers' didn't leave until 10.
Those few were actually Zack's friends who came late and brought cigars to share with Zack's dad. These guys know how to win friends and influence people! Our people, anyway.
Jay and I cleaned up a bit and were out cold by 10:30, exhausted not so much by the party as the emotional toll of realizing that our baby, our fail safe, our last best hope of having a houseful of kids had finished school and in the very near future will be spreading her wings and flying off.
But I'm going backwards, here. The party was Sunday evening, the last part of our strange weekend.
Saturday morning, bright and early, Jay, Zack and I found ourselves somewhere we never thought we'd be and no one who knows us ever thought we'd be, in fact the safest bet in Vegas used to be "MLP will never, ever not in a million trillion years, ever be found campaigning at the DFL convention."
Well, not any more.
How did this bizarroworld occurrence come about?
Simple; a kid we know and love is running for parkboard.
This is a one party town. If Martin Luther King Jr. himself came back and ran for mayor here, he could only win if he ran as a Democrat.
We think Josh would be perfect for the parkboard, so when he asked for help, we didn't hesitate, even though it meant getting up early on a Saturday morning and going deep behind enemy lines.
I stood in front of the auditorium waving my sign and watching delegates and campaigners all morning.
I really wished I had a sketch pad and pencil; I've never seen so many people who looked like cartoon characters in one place before and I've been to the state fair.
Zack said "Politics is like sports but there's no game and the fans on both sides are the losers."
Our man didn't get the endorsement he was hoping for but he's going to win the seat away from the incumbent anyway.
Word is that the convention went on for twelve hours but no one was endorsed for Mayor. Don't tell me Hell isn't real.
I'm glad that's how the weekend began, I would've hated to finish it on that note. But our party erased all the strangeness and replaced the bizarre taste in my head.
Now that all that is behind us, I have two Adirondack chairs to finish painting, two tables to varnish, two paintings to finish and a whole slew of orders. Yay!
I finally got around to seeing this. Everyone I know who saw it loved it and I was excited to see it. The only reason it took so long is that Andy has it and I wanted to borrow it from him but he let Billy take it first and Bill never brought it back so...
Zack got it from redbox the other day. He doesn't interfere with my netflix queue which is all gummed up with season 5 of Burn Notice.
We watched it together.
And it was good!
The dialogue was snappy, the performances excellent and the plot was free from gratuitous crap.
I understand why it was a hit; it was an old fashioned romance in which the main characters were allowed to fall in love by spending time together and getting to know each other rather than just banging each other silly from the moment they met, like so many abominations masquerading as romances do these days.
But being head and shoulders above the 'romances' Hollywood has seen fit to make for us the last few years doesn't automatically make it better than run of the mill.
In short, it was no Roxanne, The Princess Bride, or anything starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan but it hangs right in there with The Cutting Edge (known around our house as 'Slicing Ice' because my Mom can't remember the name of the movie.) In fact, the dance scene reminded me of slicing ice, if the Pamchenko hadn't quite worked.
It was certainly better than the last movie I saw which was so awful I wanted to erase my brain and then punch my sister who recommended it.
Really Katie? THe Paperboy? What did I ever do to you?
Zack and I watched it fairly early in the evening and I had finished the discs of Burn Notice that I had, so I watched the other movie that netflix sent; the Princess and the Frog.
It's the last Disney cartoon featuring hand drawn animation. Since my kids are grown up, I've stopped going to Disney movies (unless they're Pixar. Duh.) so I've never seen this one. But now I have a grand daughter and I felt I should be more up to date on Disney Princesses.
It was delightful!
The music, which was written by Randy Newman, of whom I am not a fan, was completely forgettable but the story was sweet and funny and romantic and the movie was gorgeous to look at. Tiana was a terrific heroine, who believed that hard work was the way to success (What?? In Obama's America??) but she needed to open her life and realize that love is what makes things worth while. In short, Tiana learned in 89 minutes what it took Carry Bradshaw and her friends six years to figure out. (Sans all the mindless shagging that resulted in net happiness of zero for the NYC gals.)
Then I watched a little bit of House Hunters and I wanted to punch the couple shopping for a house. They complained about light fixtures. That's like dumping a guy because you don't care for his brand of dishwasher soap.
Which reminds me; the Silver Linings Playbook pretended that it was about mental illness. It's not. The main characters are all 'crazy' and do 'crazy' things but not compared to the idiots featured on House Hunters.
Besides, I don't know anyone who isn't a little bit OCD. Or paranoid. Or WHATEVER. We used to call them personality quirks but now everyone is diagnosed with some dumb ass syndrome. It doesn't make us any more interesting, just a lot more pathetic. People are crazy; so what?
In fact, when we saw the flashback to Bradley Cooper walking in on his wife and her lover in the shower, I couldn't' believe that's what he was sent to the nut house over. If becoming violent over finding your wife cheating on you in your own shower is a sign of mental illness then I submit it's the world that has gone nuts, not the cuckolded husband. I know, I know; it was simply the final straw, he was already paranoid (wait. Is it still paranoia when your wife is in fact cheating on you?) and acting out violently (Who's crazier; the husband who gets pissed when his wife is cheating on him or the wife who brings her lover into her violent husband's bed? COME ON!)
The title was great. The point of the movie is Everyone is nuts, but life is still full of great stuff, you just have to go find it.
It was a bit jarring that B Cooper's character just sort of went sane all of a sudden when he realized who he really loved. But I don't' care.
Both Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence were excellent; I totally bought them as the characters they played. I can't help but compare JL's performance with the Awfulness of Natalie Portman, who peaked as an actress at the age of 13. I still can't believe she won an Oscar for her constipated performance in The Black Swan. Seriously, if that was great acting, then just don't let actors use the bathroom for two days before rolling; you'll get the same range of emotions. And facial expressions.
But these two (and DeNiro as the OCD dad) were all very good.
Oh! The best romantic comedy of the past couple of years was Tangled! It was hilarious, romantic and wonderful to look at.
|So here we are, a week into June and it's still cold and damp. I've been spending my time constructively, painting and filling orders. Since I can't get outside to paint the back door frame or stain the chair I'm working on, I'm just working.
Thursday, my niece Sophie spent most of the day with us. We had planned it a week earlier but Jay and I both forgot she was coming. Good thing her mom has a good, strong knock.
It was cold and rainy so we colored, she wanted to watch me paint so I whipped off a few little things quickly. Then MJ came over with her girls and we all went up to Frankies, our favorite pizza place for lunch.
After Sophie's grandma picked her up, Punkin wanted to watch "Pinnochidoh" so we did.
Last weekend, Jay and I ordered new windows for the TV room. I've hated the windows in there since the day we bought this house and in nearly 21 years they haven't gotten any better. But they're huge and so we've always found other things to do to the house instead. Well, their turn to go has finally come. Some time in mid July, we'll replace these '70s era 'energy efficient' monstrosities with windows that actually are energy efficient, look good and can be opened to let in the breeze. I can hardly wait!
Jay has been working hard on the lawn, as he does every year. He hasn't let the rain and cold deter him from his appointed rounds.
I used the only nice day of the month (last Sunday) to get a couple of coats of stain on the deck. It looks good.
Our street has been torn up for two months now. We love it. Sure, we have to park around the corner and haul groceries down the block but it's worth it for the quiet. No cars. No sirens. No motorcycles roaring between the lights. No construction vehicles after 6 or 7 at night. Nothing at all on weekends.
They can take forever as far as I'm concerned.
Last night, Katie and I went to the New Century theater on Hennepin to see their production of Sunset Blvd. It was really fun. We ate on a rooftop deck over Hennepin Ave before hand. I arrived downtown wearing the midweather jacket I rocked all over Paris last November. As I walked the few blocks to meet Katie, the sun came out and by the time we got up to the roof, it was too warm for jackets.
The show was really fun. Neither of us were familiar with the musical and Katie had never seen the movie. Afterward, we both kind of want to see the movie again to compare and contrast.
The actress who played Norma Desmond was good but she was too young and pretty. Isn't that a strange critique? We loved her wardrobe the most. Why can't I wear sparkly capes and fur lined robes and a feathered turban? Oh, and I definitely want an ermine stole that I can toss casually over one shoulder as I sweep out of the room!
Yeah, Norma Desmond is my new role model.
I wonder if I can talk Jay into becoming my chauffeur?
Josie graduated from Southwest High School this evening.
My forth child, my last child, my surprise child, my mostly best child and frequently favorite child is now a high school graduate.
It happened in a heartbeat, just like I knew it would.
I remember bringing her home from the hospital that hot July day and looking at her older brother, who was about to turn 13 and I thought "He was this big last week. She'll be that big by next week."
That was yesterday.
And two hours ago, she tossed her mortar board in the air, an exuberant, enthusiastic, ambitious, eager and brave new graduate.
|Today is a RED LETTER DAY in my life. It's the first day of summer vacation for the rest of my life.
Yesterday was Josie's last day of school.
I haven't freaked out yet, which is sort of surprising. Maybe I'm saving it for Saturday, when graduation occurs. OR maybe I've just internalized it, which would explain my zombie eye.
Yeah, I've got a zombie eye.
I went to bed Sunday night (after a really delightful dinner party with Steve, Pam and Patty; Thanks, guys!) and woke up Monday morning with a dark red splotch on the inside corner of my right eyeball. Jay looked up eye hemorrhage and apparently you can injure your eye while sleeping. Say, you're laying there, minding your own bidness, all asleep and stuff, when suddenly, you grab a pencil off the nightstand and try to give yourself an ocular lobotomy. It's not a good plan.
But my vision is unimpaired and it doesn't hurt at all, so I thought nothing of it.
Tuesday, the red had leaked half way across my eye. Now I'm bright, bloody red on the inside of my iris. It adds a lot to the white trashy look I'm cultivating this spring. Along with my bruised and scabby shins, I should have no trouble getting a job at Walmart.
I was at Walmart the other day. I was returning from the airport, I don't remember why, and needed a few things, so I stopped at the one on the way home. Among other purchases, I bought a giant box of Cap'n Crunch for $3. You gotta love Walmart!
Oh, the new Menards in my neighborhood opened up after an extensive remodel a few months ago. I hadn't had time to go in because I knew it demanded a full afternoon. So, Jay and I spent our Memorial day Monday perusing the new, spiffy, two floor Menards.
It was so worth it!
I found round wooden table tops, which I'd been wanting for years but the Home D across the highway didn't carry them any more. I bought several little round end tables dirt cheap several years ago. I repainted the tops to suit myself. THey were fun and funky and colorful but no matter how I finished them, they were not weather proof. So I needed new tops and now I have two.
We bought some solar lights for the backyard, to replace the ones we got at the dollar store last year. We bought a pair of jeans for $12.95. We replaced my wool duster, which mysteriously disappeared this winter. I'm afraid the cat may have taken it and I don't want to know what sad, kinky things she's done with it.
We looked at new windows, sliding doors and faux stone finishes and dreamed about the things we could do with our house if we had any money...ah, the days when we could refinance at the drop of a hat...How I miss them!
Oh, what? It's my fault that our latest refi is in limbo? Just because I missed one line on my 2011 tax returns?? Sure, it was my income but I've fixed it! I'm all square with the IRS! I haven't even applied for tax exempt status as a right wing political action committee!
So yes, Menards is a great place for day dreaming about 'what ifs' and 'if onlys'.
And it was raining all day, anyway. Just like April was March, May has been April. Rain, rain, rain, hail (I thought it was snow for a second. Oh, you should have heard the cursing. I almost washed my mouth out with soap but then I didn't. Ha!) rain and more rain. I don't mind the rain so much but it's been so cold that we've had the furnace on a few nights and we haven't taken the thermal blanket off our bed. On the other hand, everything is nice and green and the creek is getting filled up so that's all good. It's put a crimp in my plan to start running again. Too cold, too wet. I don't want to add a limp to my white trash look. Even Walmart has no use for a bloody eyed, scabby shinned gimp.
No, I don't really need a job at Walmart; orders are good and the new boss is really good at staying on top of inventory. In fact, it's because I'm so busy that I haven't been posting much. Too much to write about, too much to think about; I just want to lay on the floor and watch Dexter.
But last night was the Senior Awards Ceremony at Josie's school. We were there, with all the other proud parents, enthusiastically applauding the kids who earned awards in the arts, academics, athletics and community service. It was all very nice even if it lasted a bit long.
The night before, I was delighted to attend Banana's preschool Spring Sing. Two dozen four year olds singing Christian songs for twenty seven minutes. Now, that's the pattern all such events should hold to.
And it helps when the performers are all so cute they look like they were drawn by Mabel Attwell.
But the high school event was great, too. Josie got her applause, having earned high honors at the #1 public high school in the state. She'll graduate with a GPA of +3.75, even after letting her grades tank this spring. Worst case of senioritis I've ever seen! She had straight A's going into this semester, then just decided to coast her way to graduation. Two Bs and almost a C in another class. It's really hard to care when you've been accepted at your dream college.
The high point of the awards ceremony last night was when a classmate of Josie's, who had already won the AL Halley award for sports and several academic accolades, received an appointment to the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs.
The appointment wasn't the high point; it was the spontaneous standing ovation he received from his classmates.
|That which doesn't kill us, makes us stronger.
Sounds good but it just might be the stupidest saying ever repeated.
If it were true, then eating spinach and surviving a heroin overdose would both make us stronger and while one does just that, the other causes massive brain damage.
The act of surviving does not equal strengthening.
Oh, it can, depending on circumstances, of course! Training, both physical and mental, can be unpleasant to the point of painful, yet the body and mind do become strengthened by it. It's the blanket statement that renders the above quote stupid.
Having visited hospitals and geriatric homes, I know that it takes a bit more than merely surviving to become strong. Physical hardships can make you mentally and spiritually stronger even as they sap your strength and leave your body useless.
Have you ever seen footage of concentration camp survivors? Having been brought to death's door, they should be the strongest folks on earth. I'm sure very few of them appreciated the experience. Others who survived similar ordeals became physically impaired while gaining not an ounce of wisdom. According to Nietzsche, the former POW should have beaten the pampered Choom gang punk to a pulp. didn't work out that way and now we're all 'getting stronger'.
Look at any ninety year old. Having survived nine decades of whatever life throws at you, they should all be Hercules and they aren't. They aren't strong. Most of them aren't particularly tough and few of them are wise.
Clearly, it takes more than simply surviving to gain strength.
I have a dear friend whose illness has left him utterly immobile; a gifted musician, he has allowed his disease to bring him closer to God and while his body wastes away, his mind and his soul are so powerful that he's dragging his friends closer to God too, whether they know it or not.
Not everyone so afflicted reaps that benefit.
For plenty of unfortunate souls, illness and infirmity simply make them bitter, angry and weak. The world is stuffed with fools, incapable of learning anything from experience. In fact, it's stuffed with fools who only learn the wrong thing.
"Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect."
Vince Lombardi; now there was a guy who knew his stuff.
Taking the obvious truth in Lombardi's statement and overlaying Nietzsche's glib squib, you get "That which doesn't kill us can be of philosophical benefit if we have the wisdom to make it so but that which is good for us makes us stronger."
Stupid is easy; wisdom is hard.
Surviving is easy; growing stronger is hard.
Physical strength is easy; spiritual strength is hard.
Practice is easy; perfect practice is hard.
But in the words of Jimmy Dugan "If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it great."
The problems in the world are not because it's too hard for so many people but from the sad fact that so few even try.
The road to Hell is paved with Good Intentions and the escalator to Hell is packed with folks who just wanted the trip to be easy.
Just think of how easy it would be if you really could go to Heaven just by killing your enemies!
If that were true, then Heaven and Hell would be the same place and no matter what Stephen Hawking thinks, I'm sure that's not the case.
Now I'm out of time and I have to go paint Christmas ornaments. Making people happy, one ornament at a time. That's my calling.
|I just finished watching The Wire.
The show ran on HBO for five seasons, from '02 to '08.
We had HBO at our house way back in the early '90s but got rid of it around the time the kids got old enough to turn the channels. I've depended on DVDs to see things like Sex and the City, The Sopranos and Curb Your Enthusiasm, all great shows that I liked enough to buy.
I've been aware of The Wire for years, having been told that if I liked The Shield (I loved The Shield), I'd like The Wire.
If I liked The Sopranos, I'd like The Wire.
If I liked Justified, I'd like the Wire.
Everyone who ever said that to me was right.
The Wire is better than all those shows put together and you can throw in Rescue Me and Dexter, too.
The writing, acting, character development and story arcs are deeper, rounder, more realistic and less glamorized than anything I've ever seen before, which made the show more heart breaking than any of those others.
It starts out very slowly. It's not like any other cop show, where cases get solved constantly and every episode features chases, gun play and lives hanging in the balance. Set in Baltimore, the first season is about one case; the cops are trying to bring down a drug kingpin. What makes the show so compelling is that in place of chase scenes and tense situations, it chooses to build slowly, layer upon layer, the story of all the characters involved, from the cops to the drug dealers, both bosses and soldiers, letting the situation evolve to the point where something has to break. The tension and suspense build over the course of the entire season and it ends like so much of real life ends; you may not get what you want but you get feels unmistakably true.
Each season of the show adds another layer of life in the inner city. Season one is cops and drug dealers and it's not easy to choose which organization is more corrupt. Season two looks at unions, season three gets into politics, season four deals with schools and season five adds the media to the mix. Everything is connected, everything builds on everything else and as one of the characters says to his former partner about a seemingly small misake he made a year earlier, "It mattered. Everything matters."
My favorite aspect of the show is that every single character, from the Mayor to the state senator to the drug lords and kids who act as lookouts is a three dimensional, fully fleshed out human being. Every one of them has flaws, weaknesses and virtues. Nobility and venality are found everywhere. Jay only saw about four episodes with me but he was sucked in to each one. He kept asking me "Good guy or bad guy?" and he didn't like my answers.
"Well, he's a good cop but a dreadful human being"
"He's a total bad ass killer but the only one on the show with an unshakeable moral code."
"He was an awful cop but a pretty good teacher."
There was really only one character I can think of who didn't seem to have any human decency in him at all. Everyone else behaved out of a sense of self preservation, rationalizing the righteousness of what ever they needed at a given moment in time. Rather like you and I do, every day.
One of the show's producers says in the bonus footage that 'the system is broken and no one knows how to fix it'. It seems to me that the 'system' is fine; it's people who are broken. We've always been broken. What The Wire really shows is not a broken system but what happens to a society that discards the only code of behavior that has every fixed people; Judeo-Christian religion.
The Wire shows a society in which corruption is everywhere, might makes right and betrayal is around every corner. Assassination is sudden, mundane and usually anti-climatic. There are no Tarantino-esque gobs of blood fountaining through the air; just a small pop and a body crumples to the pavement. Life in the city; ugly, brutish and short.
You mourn every one of them because you get to know them, you root for them to escape, to get out but very few of them do.
It's not all bad; there are a few who get out. I noticed in the last episode that a common thread runs through the lives of the survivors; family.
The heroin addict who gets clean is finally accepted back into his family, the corner boy who knows he doesn't have what it takes to make it in the game is adopted by a former police and the cop who's addiction to police work is as destructive as heroin gives it all up and returns to the woman and kids who make him feel human.
If there is a lesson in all of this, it's that nothing will get better until individuals take it upon themselves to be better. The streets can't do it, schools can't do it; the cops can't do it and the politicians are even less equipped to do it than anyone else.
Everyone was right; If you ever liked a cop show, a drama or any other character driven work, The Wire is as good as it gets.
|For my legions of fans out there, waiting with bated breath to read my opinion on all things large and small so as to know what they should think about the issues of the day, I apologize for not posting much lately.
Seriously, there's so much going on right now, about which I could write entire volumes, I've just been snapping into sensory overload and ignoring all of it. Like a kid in a candy shop who develops diabetes just standing there, I've run away to live my life instead of ranting and raving at the lunacy masquerading as modern life.
The attack on our consulate in Benghazi last September 11, which took the lives of four Americans, including our Libyan Ambassador, Chris Stevens, is finally getting some attention. Now that it's too late to rescue those men or (far more importantly,) to effect the re-election of our most incompetent Commander in Chief since Jimmy Carter, the press is getting curious about what really happened that night.
I recently watched Argo; at the end of the movie is a voice over by former president Carter in which he seems to take pride in the way history unfolded over the 444 days in which American citizens were held hostage by Iranian 'students'. I was old enough to pay attention when it happened and let me tell you; Carter has nothing to be proud of. He claims that no lives were lost. What about these guys, Mr. President??
Carter spent his years in office trying to dismantle the CIA that hatched and executed the plot that the movie Argo depicts.
It's thanks to Jimmy Carter that the CIA was the toothless entity that couldn't see 9/11 coming nearly three decades after he wreaked the havoc that eviscerated our intelligent services. And Mr. Carter doesn't bother to mention the occurrence that actually freed the American hostages; the election of Ronald Reagan, of whom no one doubted he would wreak a completely different kind of havoc on any nation that dared to treat Americans that way. If the press had covered the Iranian embassy invasion the way they treated the Libyan embassy attack, we wouldn't have heard about it until it had been going on for 450 days. The country wouldn't have been full of trees bedecked in yellow ribbons and no one would have ever heard of Ted Koppel.
But we would have had four more years of Jimma so Ted was a fair trade.
Lately the press also tried mightily to ignore the trial of 'Dr.' Kermit Gosnell who was only accused of eight counts of murder. You'd think serial killing would get some media attention but you'd be wrong. Gosnell killed babies and no one cares about babies around here anymore.
We call them 'fetuses' so we don't have to care. These were 'fetuses' that were lying on tables crying their little lungs out but 'fetuses' nonetheless. There's a frightening part of our society that considers those babies nothing more than acceptable collateral damage in their crusade for the right to have lots of sex with people they don't like. The biological fact that sex causes babies is just an inconvenient truth we've decided to ignore.
The IRS just apologized for targeting conservative organizations that disagree with the current administration.
Oh big deal; it's only about money. It's not like the IRS was denying anyone a liver transplant.
Yeah, that'll never happen. No one is that callous.
OH FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!!
You can't make this stuff up.
The media is finally getting it's undies in a bunch over the fact that the DOJ apparently demanded phone records from the AP (associated press). Yes, they get upset when they're the ones in the crosshairs of power. They don't give a rats anus when it's you.
Do you think it's okay to make a mess and poison the air and water?
Of course not.
An old Indian saying was "We don't inherit the earth from our parents, we hold it in trust for our children."
That's a good saying and I believe it's true.
But don't we also owe future generations a culture and a society that's as sustainable as the environment? I think we do.
Is a culture that disregards the well being of children sustainable?
I don't see how it can be.
We call babies 'fetuses' and pretend there's a difference so we can deny them their personhood.
You don't have to be religious to recognize that abortion dehumanizes all of us. Anyone who thinks this is okay has lost their humanity.
We think so little of raising children that we dismiss women who dedicate their lives to it. All you stay at home moms know exactly what I'm talking about. How many times have you seen eyes glaze over when you told someone new what you do? As though the care and raising of human beings is somehow less worthy than the breeding of cats, horses or orchids. We think so little of child rearing that we've convinced ourselves it's no big deal if women do it all alone, even if they're still teenagers. Hey, if it takes a village to raise a child, what difference does it make who they live with?
We think Mother's Day is a good time to celebrate birth control.
Next earth day, I'm going to celebrate by burning down a forest.
Here in Minnesota, we've decided that marriage has nothing to do with the creation or raising of children. It's only about the love between the adults. We're going to ignore the fact that some couples can make people and some couples can't. Because that biological fact no longer interests us. Procreation is not important.
The only way two men or two women can be as "married" as a man and a woman is if babies no longer matter.
It's not religion but logic that tells me a society that doesn't have or care for children isn't going to last very long.
I hate it when people use language to obfuscate what they're saying. I don't mind big words; I love big words. I like lots of words that mean the same thing because when used properly, language can be musical, interesting, variable and fun. I endorse a large vocabulary!
But I still don't like the new fashion of using 'explicate' when 'explain' will do. And 'replicate' instead of 'repeat'. And 'indicate' when the speaker means 'said'. I can see using those words if one is trying to avoid the overuse of a single word in a paragraph, ie "I tried to explain the mechanism to her but was unable to explicate it's uses until I drew her a picture." Or "We repeated his experiment six times but were unable to replicate his findings". Word repetition is boring so knowing an alternative that means the same thing is helpful. But that's not what I'm noticing.
I'm hearing (and reading) folks using the same schmancy words over and over. As in "I indicated that we should meet at six and he indicated to me that seven thirty was better so I indicated that I would be there at seven thirty..."
Doesn't that make it sound like the entire conversation took place with hand signals?
The editor in me just thinks that if you're going to repeat the same word over and over, you should keep it simple.
But there is an oversimplification going on too.
It's gotten to the point where if someone says "Amazing" all I hear is "Bwaaaaaaaah!"
'Amazing' is the new awesome. It's over used to the point of becoming meaningless and it's annoying the heck out of me because 'amazing' is a perfectly good word with an actual definition that it's current users don't seem to understand.
Webster's Unabridged Dictionary defines 'amaze' as to be astounded or bewildered and 'amazing' as causing amazement; wonderful; astonishing, almost unbelievable. It lists as synonyms wonderful, astonishing, surprising and incredible.
I wish people would use some of those words once in a while. Last night on TV, a girl used the word 'Amazing' three times in twenty seconds. What she meant was wonderful, incredible and marvelous.
'Amazing' is not synonymous with 'good'.
The video footage of the tsunami hitting Japan is amazing. It's also horrifying.
So when the girl who just finished singing on the Voice says the experience was "Amazing!" we don't really know how it was, do we?
But at least we can imagine that singing on the Voice is an amazing experience. Far more annoying is the over use of the word everywhere else. Everyone describes people they like as "Amazing".
"I met the most amazing guy!"
Oh? Is he a magician or are you just impressed by anyone who can walk and chew gum at the same time? Or do you mean you're amazed that he noticed you? Your description of him tells me nothing.
She's not. (this should be said in Ron Howard's voice.)
Lebron James is amazing on the basketball court but at dinner? I doubt it. It would be amazing if he showed up at my dinner table but I think I'd find a different way to describe him as a person.
But people can and do amaze. That little girl on the voice who had no other word with which to describe her experience amazed me with her remarkable singing voice and stage presence. She was marvelous!
I heard a designer say "We bought them this amazing dining room table..."
No, you didn't.
Unless the table can be folded up and stashed in your wallet or it makes and serves dinner itself, I'm not amazed.
It may be unique, beautiful and meticulously designed and put together but it's still just a table, which case I think 'amazing' is a stretch.
This bothers me because it contributes to the flattening of the language. If a table can be amazing, what word will you use when something truly marvelous, incredible and wonderful occurs? If the guy you met at the gym is amazing, how will you describe singing on the Voice? Any your overuse of the word robbed the girl who actually did sing on the voice of her ability to describe the experience. Although using the same word three times in twenty seconds makes anyone sound like a moron.
It's usually people under thirty. Come on, kids; don't you know any other words? WHY NOT?
Wonderful, beautiful, marvelous, incredible, astounding, awe inspiring, stupendous, mind boggling, super, great, grand and excellent are all praise worthy ways to describe things you really like. You don't need to use them all but please make yourselves free to use some of them once in awhile.
That would be awesome.
|Today was gorgeous! blue skies, sunshine, 70 degrees. It's only May 6th.
Last night I dreamt I was in the Veronica Mars movie. I'm not; I couldn't afford the speaking role. Then, suddenly it was the new Star Trek movie. That's not all that strange; I first became a fan of Kristen Bell watching her in Heroes. Where this happened. So you see, the V.Mars/Star Trek link makes perfect sense. In my head.
Plus, I'm very excited about both movies.
I loved Iron Man 3, as I said in my last post. Later this week, the Great Gatsby comes out. I've been looking forward to it ever since I first heard that Baz Lurman was doing his take on the American classic. Plus, Leonardo DiCaprio! What could possibly go wrong?
Then, next week, the second installment of J.J.Abrams Star Trek comes out. I loved the first one more than words can say; it was the perfect new take on the classic show; all the characters were themselves without being charicatures or impressions of the original cast. Lovely.
Later in the summer, I'm looking for ward to Will Smith's new movie, After Earth and Joss Wedon's take on Much Ado About Nothing.
I also just finished Vince Flynn's latest book, The Last Man. It was exactly what I hoped it would be. I'm now reading some old Michael Crichton, which I gave Josie for Christmas. She loved Jurassic Park, so I see no reason she wouldn't enjoy more of his stuff. I ordered a couple of books online yesterday. They came highly recommended.
I also ordered season 7 of Dexter. As soon as I have a few more bucks in the bank, I'll order season 4 of Justified. Love me some Raylan Givens!
Plus, I ordered two sizes of canvas last week so I'm extra broke. I hate it when I run out of two sizes at once, the stuff is soooo expensive. But without it, I can't make any money so there it is.
Now that it's May, hopefully the snowbird stitchers will all be back in town and ready to buy new canvases. Otherwise, I'm going to have to look for a real job for the first time in my life.
No one wants that to happen.
I just finished washing all the windows in the back of my house. Later, I have to run up to the hardware store to get nails and wall anchors. Also, if I don't get to the store, it'll be peanut butter for dinner again. My life is nonstop excitement, I tell ya.