Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Call Me On the Texting Machine

Although typing doesn't make me fall asleep at my desk, I sometimes will type words in my head to help me fall asleep. It's kind of like typing with your eyes, but they have to be closed.
After all this time I have just noticed that the left hand has most of the letters on the keyboard; and they are the quality letters, you've got your a, e, r, s, and t. Most of those are "freebies" in the bonus round on Wheel of Fortune. Unless you use a lot of punctuation, I think the right hand is getting off easy. How often are brackets really used? Maybe an apostrophe, here and there. Quotations, sometimes. If you're not asking a lot of questions for those question marks, should you use two just for the fun of it??
"Back in the day" email used to be grammatically correct. As it has become the more common form of communication during a day, punctuation has fallen by the wayside. I really believe some young people don't even know what how to use a comma or period. The shift key is practically useless since capitalization has lost its appeal, even for names.

It seems just about everyone is using their cellphone to text. I guess as a parent I shouldn't complain, at least kids are reading and writing again. I have always considered a phone a device to use to talk to people recently I have stumbled over my own words and referred to it as a texting machine.

I personally don't text, but I do receive texts. Some of the lingo I know or can pretty much figure out: brb "be right back" , lol "laugh out loud", omg "oh my god", but it took me a minute to compute np "no problem". I was stumped when I saw nvm "never mind", ttyl, "talk to you later" should not be confused with ttly "totally", ik and jk "I know" and "just kidding" had me stumped.

I wanted to be in the loop so I went to an expert, the daughter. She gave me a tutorial in texting and here's what I learned?

hey 'sup nm...u? hw... super boring o tht sux ik... i h8 it

Now in English:
Hey, what's up? Not much, You? Homework, it's super boring Oh that's sucks I know I hate it

I am getting used to these shortcuts; so much so I've caught myself in text-talk. My coworkers look at me in confusion when I've thrown in an "Omg!" or "idk" "I don't know"

I suppose in the future the need for vowels, capital letters, and punctuation will all be a thing of the past, but then again so will I. Until then, adbb :) That would be "all done, bye bye" :) or (smile)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Here We Go Satellite Radio

When I bought my new car it came with free satellite radio for three months. Fine, I'll use it but there is no way I was going to buy it. I was not going to fall into that trap. It was nice to have though. I don't drive all that far to work but, quickly became used to it. There were so many channels. With a push of a button or command to the "lady" in the Navigation system, I could listen to any kind of music to suit my fancy. The reception is so good, I could drive from coast to coast and never change the station.

There are channels dedicated to any specific genre of music. It is possible to listen to The Big Band Hits of the 40's, or punch in the 50's and the First Decade of Rock 'n Roll or fast forward through the Awesome 80's to current Pop tunes. There are even what I like to think of as "sub" categories; Adult Hits of the Past, Easy Listening and, Classic Hits actually have the same "sound" to me. If I'm feeling rather funky I might switch to the Blues or Contemporary Jazz; if I'm looking for inspiration the Catholic Channel might fill the bill.

I can listen to the news or talk shows on free radio; I'm a subscriber! I pay to listen to music, and I darn well plan on getting my money's worth. I can tell you the latest on Brittany or Justin. But if you ask me about Obama's health care plans or what relief efforts are being sent to the victims of the latest natural disaster or what that disaster even is, I'm lost. I am useless at the water cooler. When everyone is wasting time at work talking about current events, I just fill my cup and go back to my desk. I guess it has kept me pretty isolated.

Driving with a teenager usually will find the Top 20 blasting from the speakers. I don't mind Hip-Hop but when she sneaks the Uncut/Uncensored Hip-Hop (because she doesn't have satellite in her car) I have to draw the line. I give her the look of shock, only to be told "that's the real world, Mom!"

Being in the car is a great place to talk to a teenager. I think it has something to do with the fact you don't have to look each other in the eye and the conversation is not as intimidating so I take this opportunity to have a discussion about raunchy language. Again, I'm told how this is real life and everyone talks that way. Fine, let's listen to what this fella (I'm corrected; that would be "gangsta" or the least "dude") has to say. Every time the F-word is sung, and I use the term "sung" loosely, very loosely, I shoot an eyebrow-raised glance, only to see a slight smile on her forward-staring face, as I try my best not to smile back. I go on to explain that the constant barrage of cuss words will only lead the listener to use them just as casually, too. That brought on a knee-slapping belly laugh.

She was no longer laughing when we arrived at the coffee shop and I ordered a f!@#in' latte without any g-d whipped cream. I thanked the be-otch as we drove away to the sounds of Traditional Country Radio.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Labor Days

During these difficult economic times I decided it would be a good move to update my resume in the event I would need to find another job. I hadn’t realized the countless number of jobs I have had; but there always seemed a good reason to move on.

My very first job was in was in a soda factory but my pop made me quit.

Then there was the string assembly line; my stomach was always in a knot.

I tried the Kite store but couldn’t get up in the morning and being an elevator operator was bringing me down.

Selling shoes wasn’t the answer, I put my heart and sole in to that, although I did leave very well-heeled.

At the office supply place I didn’t see the point to selling pencils and I was constantly tripping over stationary objects.

With so much to do at the yacht company I couldn’t seem to keep afloat.

My job at the bakery was a piece of cake even though there were too many crumby customers.

I volunteered at the local animal shelter but found the people there too catty.

I took a job at the dry cleaners; the wrinkle there was that the work was too pressing.

I even considered being a farm hand but that would be a tough row to hoe.

The mirror factory made me take a good look at myself. It wasn’t until I was at the cosmetics firm that I decided to make up my mind.

I will be self –employed! Now I work at nothing all day.

The Reason there is SA: Shoppers Anonymous

There was a football game my daughter and her friend wanted to go and since it was pretty far they asked me to drive; first we had to get some food.

We stopped in the Pick 'n Save for a sandwich and a drink. That sounds simple enough and for most people it might be, but for someone who rarely shops, it's a challenge. We made our way to the deli and choose a sub sandwich. It was huge! There was enough to feed all of us and the homeless guy we befriended on the way in.

I didn't need a cart; all we came in for was a sandwich and drinks. But those cookies with the frosting on were too much to pass by. Each of us needed something to drink and after picking out the chips (how can you have a sandwich without chips?) I picked out a second drink (how can you have chips with bottled water?).

Since I wouldn't be able to brush after eating, I knew gum would be the next best thing. The problem was I didn't go for that "just brushed feeling" and passed over the Dentyne and picked up watermelon Bubble Tape and some Big League Chew. These smaller items were making it hard to hold the sandwich. I excused my way through the check-out aisle (can you see where I'm going with this?) and got a cart.

Once I put my stuff in the cart I couldn't get back in the check-out so I had to make my way through the store. The fresh produce was calling me and I picked out raspberries, a watermelon and some kiwi (haven't had those in ages). Working my way through dairy I had a craving for peach yogurt and chocolate milk. Turning a corner I found some brown shoe polish and I always wanted a Swiffer. The dog collars were so clean that I couldn't resist; the bright red one would look great on my black and white dog.

By this time my daughter and her friend are getting impatient because now we will be late for the game. I headed for the check-out, unloaded the cart, threw a People magazine and TV Guide onto the pile. The Three Musketeers, a Milky Way, magnifying glass with flashlight and a road map ("mom, you have a GPS!") had to be it; the checker had the total, my bill came to $62.83.

I thought I should probably get gas but there was no way I was going near the mini mart this evening.

Every Kitchen Has One or Two or More

My coffee is hot as I sit down to make out my things-to-do list and realize I need a pen . The mug with the pens didn't have the one I prefer to write with so I went to the junk drawer to get one. Every kitchen has, or should have, a junk drawer; we have four. I should probably qualify that: we have four that we use for junk; I'm not sure if that was the description of the drawers in the kitchen when we were buying this place; probably some fancy name like utility drawers or extra- space- in- the-kitchen drawers, but in this house it's definitely junk drawers.

When I opened the first drawer I found fourteen new pencils that I knew would never be sharpened. They had various advertising and slogans from events and places visited; these were souvenirs never to be used for writing. There were six highlighters ; who highlights anymore? Five markers and some cutesy notepads. I pricked my finger on something appropriately named "thumbtack" . The rest of the package was stuck in the back of the drawer. These weren't even thumbtacks but upholstery nails! Where did those come from? I found a dog brush, paper clips, and tape; athletic, duct and scotch. There were six different kinds of scissors for cutting nails, (people and animal), hair (again, people and animal), fabric (pinking shears) and get this, even paper! And if you know a kindergartner, I have a pair with rounded tips.

The counter top is really getting cluttered with all these piles of things. I've been tossing stuff into the garbage can and realize I have to bring it closer or I will have a lot of sweeping to do afterward. I have found gum wrappers, broken rubber bands and several stick pens that had chewed tops (got to keep the orthodontist in his BMW), nail files that have passed their usefulness and glue sticks that don't have any glue left. I was beginning to think this drawer had a name after all: Garbage Drawer. There was hope though and I renamed it the "Stationery-Craft Drawer".

Naming the next drawer was easy. The three screwdrivers, a hammer, pliers and electrical tape made this the "Tool Drawer". I found a thirteen piece Allen wrench set. It made me think: why not twelve or fourteen pieces? Couldn't "they" come up with another size of Allen screws? Actually, this doesn't really matter since this set had three missing wrenches so I have a ten-piece Allen wrench set. I found the coolest pointer thing. It was like an extendable car antenna but in its own case, the paperclips stuck to it suggest it also has a magnetic tip. I wonder where that came from, who's it was and what's it for. The neat little piles on the counter have become a mess. It's on to drawer three.

This one could be a combination of the Stationery-Craft Drawer and the Tool Drawer; the extension cords, nails, paper clips, broken crayons and pens were the dead giveaway. I decided this was unacceptable and moved the stuff to their respective drawers, garbage can and two of the extension cords were going to the work shop. In the back of this drawer were four plastic, scribbled-on pencil boxes from each child when they no longer needed them for school. Let me explain why I still have them. The boxes may look messy but they are still good enough to hold things and hold things they do. Can you say "pack rat"? The first was filled with, you guessed it, pens and pencils. I'm sure some of the ink is still good but don't have the time to test each one. I did throw out the chewed pencils and stubs. The next box had batteries and birthday candles, the third had scissors and more pens. The last- but- not- least box had games pieces, an egg timer, Christmas light replacement bulbs, a pair of left-handed scissors (we are all right handed) and more pens. I closed the last box...... and the drawer.

The fourth drawer was hard to open. Something was caught. After struggling a few moments I freed the drawer with all my strength and nearly fell on the floor. A crumpled folder with past school assignments was the culprit. I should mention that these assignments were from my now eleventh grade daughter's first quarter of eighth grade! You see I found early on it was important to keep the work for at least a semester; nine times out of ten the paper I threw out was the one we needed for some reference or another. It looks like in the second semester of eighth grade it was no longer all that important to save assignments. I did find a drawing from fourth grade that should have been tossed years ago but since I've had it this long I didn't have the heart to throw it out now; it's on the keep pile. The schedule for the last band concert did find a place in the garbage can along with a broken Pez dispenser. What was an ice pick doing in here? Who even has or uses an ice pick nowadays without an intruder lurking in the bushes outside?

I'm scratching my head as to why there were three pairs of shoelaces in there. Who buys shoes laces anyway? By the time the laces wear out the shoes are probably ready to be replaced. Clean laces on old shoes scream: GOODWILL!!! I found a ziploc bag with pumpkins on it that was too cute to throw away so I filled it with a bunch of wine corks. Yes, wine corks. I once saw a cool serving tray in craft shop that I think I can duplicate. It may take a while since I'm the only one drinking the wine around here and in the meantime a wine cork can come in handy for making a Hobo beard at Halloween. You just never know; a neighbor might call looking for help with their kid's Halloween costume this year.... or maybe next. I'm still in drawer four where I found those things that go around hot coffee cups. Trying to be on the "green" side of life I want to reuse them the next time I go to the coffee shop, the problem as I see it is that I have about eight of them in a rubber band sitting in a drawer. At this rate I could have about a dozen more by the end of the month and it looks like I may flunk out of "green" school. I will put them in the car.

I've been at this drawer clean up for nearly two hours! The counter is full of stuff so I pull in the daughter to go through her things and make some decisions; keep it (in your own drawer, in your room) or I toss it. She sees the old band concert schedule in the garbage can and I hear an "awww". Something in that long ago performance brought back a fond memory. Now, if she would just stay out of the garbage garbage and go through the stuff on the counter! I have been told that the geometry report has to be kept and "the Pez dispenser is cute". (stay out of the garbage can!!!) Why she won't take her Chapstick and hair bands to her room is beyond me. She is proving to be of no help whatsoever. I send her on her way and shove everything from the counter back into drawer four!

As I look around the kitchen I count eight more drawers that need going through but the energy is gone. I know it has to be done but I don't want to throw out the ratty dish towels right now or get the crumbs out of the silverware drawer today. These drawers will have to wait for another time.

I'm bushed and my back hurts; I've got to sit down. Back at the table, feet up on a chair, with cold coffee, I'm ready to get started on my list......... but I need a pen!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Can't Escape the Spoken Word

I was emailing a friend about what to wear to a special event. Several times we have been in situations when we've worn the same color or similar outfit. Wanting to avoid looking like twins, I went on to mention a blue sweater I was planning to wear.
When I first typed "blue", it looked weird. I guess I don't write many things about blue, so I looked at it some more. I backspaced and typed it again.... and again. I'm sitting here thinking "why isn't Spell Check picking up on this word?" Maybe it's the font or the lighting in the room or just me. I guess it's probably because it was spelled correctly! Has that ever happened to you? Not with blue, but with any word? That made me think of something else that happens; sometimes I'll say a word too many times that it starts to sound goofy, like it's not really a word? Try it yourself with "lamp" or "bulb" or "couch" or "dog" or anything; it usually has to be a one syllable word, sometimes two syllable words work.
Something similar happens with songs or names. You get one stuck in your head and it stays there. It actually, stays there for a full day! It's never a familiar song like "Happy Birthday" or "The Star Spangled Banner" or "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star". It's usually just a phrase from some silly song you happened to hear while changing radio stations on the way to work; recently "p-p-p-poker face" was with me all day; no matter how many other songs I heard or sang to, "p-p-p-poker face" was the refrain to all of them.
Then there's the thing with a name. I once had Millard Fillmore rattling around my brain for the whole day. That really freaked me out and nearly drove me crazy. How does Millard Fillmore even come up to get stuck in your head? Who's having conversations about this guy? I don't think he's been the subject of talk radio... ever! But his name happened to get stuck in my head. And there was nothing I could do about it; believe me, I tried. I purposely thought of other odd names; Itshak Perlman, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Andrew Swanfeldt (he wrote a crossword puzzle dictionary; sometimes I need a reference book). Nothing worked. Millard Fillmore was my constant companion until I fell asleep that night.
I mentioned this to my friend in the next email and she said it happens to her occasionally, too. We laughed (LOL LOL) to each other. Our conclusion: we're just a pair of good friends that think alike. Rats! There I go again; now "pair" looks weird.

Monday, September 21, 2009

A Rose By Any Other Name Could be a Green Daisy

My lipstick broke! I needed a change and took the opportunity to find a new summery color. As I thumbed through the cosmetics catalog I began to regret throwing away the broken one (it still could have been used for quite awhile with a lipstick brush). Picking out a new shade of lipstick isn't as easy as you might think. There was Pink Lemonade, Around Town Pink and Forever on My Lips Fuchsia and of course, Forever Pink! Oh man! Provocative, Juicy Berry and Golden Rose were beginning to confuse me and The Passion of Pink seemed to have a peachy look to it. I guess I crossed into the peaches without realizing it. Sure enough there was Cantaloupe Slice and Terracotta and I was but one shade away and found myself looking at Mauve Madness!

I put the lipstick on hold and moved on to nail polish. What was I thinking!!! What the heck color is Rave or Totally Springtime or In the Night?

This is not a new thing. Do you remember your first box of Crayolas? You start Kindergarten with a box of six colors; the basics, red, orange, blue, yellow, green and black. By the time you were in second grade you moved on to the 24 pack (the one recommended on the supply list). But there was always that kid that had the box of 64. In about fourth grade the supply list allowed 48 colors. If I was lucky, my begging and pleading was able to sway my mom, and I walked into school on that first day with a box of 64 colors. I couldn’t wait to use that built-in sharpener.

I think this is when color confusion really kicked in; Aquamarine, Teal Blue and Robin’s Egg all look pretty much the same. There is a difference between Red Violet and Violet Red even though they look pretty much like Plum and Blush. Whoever named Fuzzy Wuzzy may be responsible for those nail polish colors.

In crossword puzzles the answer to “tan” is “ecru”. It looks something like dark off-white. Even though there are 202 choices of white paint none of them are called WHITE!!! You can get Extra White, Pure White, Dove White, Summer or Winter White but no WHITE White !!! Is Royal Ebony on a Bentley really more impressive than Black on a Ford? I’m not even getting into hair colors; too many shades, tones and temperatures (cools or warms).

The lists go on and on and on. Good luck if you’re looking to color your world.