Words

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Ideas I like

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

“If you don’t have doubts you’re either kidding yourself or asleep. Doubts are the ants-in-the-pants of faith. They keep it alive and moving.” –Frederick Buechner, Wishful Thinking

“The folk singer’s job is to comfort the disturbed, and disturb the comfortable.” –Woody Guthrie

“No matter what your job, you’ll always find yourself in one of four stages: unconsciously incompetent, consciously incompetent, consciously competent, or unconsciously competent.” –Dave Fisher, my boss man

“If you find yourself asking yourself (and your friends), ‘Am I really a writer? Am I really an artist?’ chances are you are. The counterfeit innovator is wildly self-confident. The real one is scared to death.” –Steven Pressfield, The War of Art

F. Scott Fitzgerald

Tuesday, December 18th, 2012

I’m not an expert on F. Scott Fitzgerald. I’ve only read one of his books (The Great Gatsby, obviously), and from what little I do know about his personal life, he kind of seemed like an cad.

But I keep running across quotes of his, and there’s no denying that I like the way he strung words together. I like the way his brain worked, the way he spun thoughts. And because this blog is where I collect things that I love, if for no other reason than so I can revisit them while sipping cocktails like Daisy Buchanan, here are some of my favorite F. Scott Fitzgerald quotes.

“A great social success is a pretty girl who plays her cards as carefully as if she were plain.”

“Cut out all these exclamation points. An exclamation point is like laughing at your own joke.”

“First you take a drink, then the drink takes a drink, then the drink takes you.”

“Family quarrels are bitter things. They don’t go according to any rules. They’re not like aches or wounds, they’re more like splits in the skin that won’t heal because there’s not enough material.”

“Writers aren’t people exactly. Or, if they’re any good, they’re a whole lot of people trying so hard to be one person.”

“In the real dark night of the soul it is always three o’ clock in the morning, day after day.”

“Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat.”

My [perhaps not justified] opinions

Thursday, October 20th, 2011

There are certain words and phrases that I do not – and will never – allow in my vocabulary.

The first thing is using “boo” as a term of endearment.  I have plenty of sweet, intelligent, fabulous friends who call their friends and/or significant others “boo,” and while I still love them, every time they do, I die a little inside.  You might argue that this is because I don’t have a significant other (thank you for the reminder), but trust me – the minute I’m no longer between boyfriends, I will feel just as strongly as I do today.

The next thing is calling a girl friend “lady.”  I think that my least favorite way to be greeted is “Heeeyyyyy, lady!”  This happens all the time.  ALL THE TIME.  If you’re a girl (or, as a friend reminded me the other day, a gay man), start listening for it – and just try to not cringe.

When Americans fly to Europe – specifically the UK – and they say they’re going to “hop the pond,” I’m torn between a strong desire to roll my eyes or to punch them in the face.  It’s not a pond, it’s the Atlantic Ocean.  I can’t think of a really good reason for me to get so worked up about this one, but it just bugs me, okay?  It reminds me of that oft-used Australian phrase, “Let’s put another shrimp on the bar-b!” that probably no one in Australia has ever actually said.

I will never shorten “totally” to “totes.”
Or “adorable” to “adorbs.”
Therefore, “totes adorbs” shall never pass my lips.

I probably have a ton of other words and phrases that I could find something wrong with or annoying about, because as my family can well attest to, one of my most natural states is “opinionated irritation.”  And maybe I’m getting all hot and bothered for no good reason, since, hello – they’re just words.

But so far this morning, I’ve had to clean up dog poop from the carpet and then kill a spider that I found CRAWLING UP MY SWEATSHIRT, so I think I should be allowed to simply mention some words that annoy me.  I don’t know how one justifies the other, but it’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to.

Things that have made me laugh as of late

Monday, August 29th, 2011

A few nights ago, I dreamed that I had a bangin’ strapless red dress, and I was so excited to wear it.  I pulled it on, looked in the mirror, and… was reminded that I had recently been tattooed.  Emblazoned across my chest were the words, “Where the stars and stripes and the eagle fly.”

Fail.

– – – – – – – –

One of my favorite parts of my job is when I am called upon to check people’s emails for “references to porn.”  The emails are never actually pornographic, but certain words can flag them as such in our system.  All we have to do is start thinking like a 15-year old boy, and usually, the problematic words and phrases jump off the screen.

Like a dirty treasure hunt!

So on Friday, a bike shop created an email, and then asked me why their email was being flagged.

The very most awesomely awkward conversation is to break the what-should-be-obvious news to someone that their email contains the following words:
purring
rubber
damp
ride
mount
stretch

The kicker?  When making mention of cystic fibrosis, the writer said that the disease is “ravishing children and young adults”

I do believe they meant “ravaging.”

– – – – – – – –

Me: “Take the word folks.  Do you pronounce it FOLKS or FOKES?”
Her: “I say FOLKS.  It has an L in it, after all.”
Me: “But that makes no sense.  There are other words with Ls that no one pronounces.  Like on a bike – no one says SPOLKS.”
Her: “That’s because the word is spokes.”

And my inflated vocabul-ego was flattened like a pancake.

Metaphors I just made up

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

I’m like a can of Sprite – shake me up, and right away, you’ll get an abundant overflow of sparkly bubbles.  But pretty soon, I’ll go flat.

Conversation is like a game of tennis – best if equally matched, and only as good as the person serving back to you.

Dating should be treated like a woman treats a pregnancy: don’t announce it until you’re out of the first trimester.

A short post consisting entirely of baseball-related idioms

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

I’m far from a major leaguer, but I don’t think I’m off base in saying that today I’m throwing you a curveball.

This may come out of left field, but today, I’m in a bit of a pickle. It seems that the Natural me is taking a rain check, so screwball me is pinch hitting.  The Natural me is on deck for tomorrow, but until then, it’s a whole new ball game. I’m hardly batting a thousand, but I hope I’m at least in the ballpark.

This whole thing is probably hit or miss, and now I’m down to the last out. But it ain’t over til it’s over, and there’s still a chance I’ve knocked it out of the park. Be sure to touch base and let me know.

ProNUNciation, not proNOUNciation

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

“Whatever you do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius and power and magic in it.”

This, one of my favorite quotes, is by a man whose name I did not know how to pronounce – that is, until yesterday.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

Now, I don’t sprechen no Deutsch.  So the fact that I’ve spent the last 10 years referring to this man as “Geth” is, on the one hand, understandable – and on the other hand, totally mortifying.

Sort of like yesterday at lunch, when I ordered the “tuna niçoise” salad – and right then and there, the waiter CORRECTED me.  “Not ‘ni-swahhhhh.’ ‘Nee-SWAHZZZZZ.'”

Well, es-CUUUUUZE.

Galloping ostrich brain

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

I am alone in the office this week.  But don’t worry – being alone has never been reason for my brain to get bored.  Au contraire – being alone usually results in my brain galloping full-speed ahead, albeit awkwardly, kind of like that ostrich in “Swiss Family Robinson.”

So let me go ahead and tell you some of what has been on my mind today.

Mix up “congenial” and “jovial” and you get “convivial.”  Fantastic!

I may or may not (or may) have recently spent $800 on a variety of bridesmaid dresses from J.Crew.  Don’t worry – the losers will be returned post-haste – that is, unless I decide that I WANT a variety of taffeta gowns in Aluminum.

Waffles are just pancakes with topography.

There are few places on earth more soul-sucking than the Verizon Wireless store.

Please, Honda.  Please please please last forever.  I have no Plan B.

Too good to keep to myself

Saturday, September 11th, 2010

I bring you this special weekend blog scrap just to announce that my brother used to think the phrase was “throw kosh into the wind.”

Tremendous!

Something to talk about

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

I was in Nashville last week, where, as a friend of mine said, it was “hotter than a three-balled tomcat.”  The heat in the South is truly, truly oppressive.  You don’t know what you have until it’s gone – and yes, I am referring to AIR.

I am also referring to my car every time it gets stolen.  But I digress.

And I change the subject.

Who has World Cup fever?  Not me!  I wish I did, because it would give me something to talk about with other humans (I have enough trouble with that as it is).  It’s sort of like living in Denver and not being a snow-sporter – I am automatically an outsider.

I can’t help it.  I would rather talk about my feelings.  My feelings, or how long my hair is getting (almost to bra-strap length, which is the goal, by the way).  Or how much I am loving Jakob Dylan’s “Women and Country.”  Or the fact that I recently referred to what could have been an awkward run-in with someone as being, in fact, “super natural” – and the other person translating it as “supernatural,” and how that confusion delighted me to the very marrow in my bones.

Mostly, I think that I just love words the very most of everything.