Tuesday, November 16, 2010

If I ever ...

I'm sure this will be the first of many "If I ever [do xyz] then do an intervention" blog posts.

Just ran across a blogpost in which the blogger was chiding people and "strongly urging" her readers to get with the times and only use one space after each sentence (instead of 2).

If I ever write a blog post to make fun of people, assert my dominance, etc. in the realm of grammar PLEASE do an intervention. That is not the kind of person I want to be.

I know a couple things about grammar, but my grammar isn't perfect. I try my best not to fuss at other people about their practices. (Unless, it's a professional document and people are paid The Big Bucks to write it and it's sloppy -- THEN you're fair game.) We're all amateurs. (Most of us, anyway.) No one is going to be perfect. Language, style, and rhetoric will be argued over until the end of all time.

Put your [body part] measuring sticks away. No one needs to know how big your [body part] is.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Stage 2 Procrastination

I should be studying Chinese right now, but instead I'm making a blog post. Huzzah. I decided that I would begin posting some of my in-class writing here, since I don't have much other writing these days to speak of. (Aside from journal entries that read like, "Gee my life sucks, when will I graduate? I think I'll be fat forever ..." etc. But, we won't talk about those here. Ahem.) My previous blog post was an in-class assignment and I just thought I'd let you know there may be more in the future! I may actually post some of the more creative papers I've written this semester, if they're short enough. Cheers.

The Country (Hypotaxis)

After the sun rises, I lumber out of bed and sloppily throw on overalls. Although there's still sleep in my eyes, once I drink a tall glass of milk I'm ready to tackle my chores. If I finish my chores I can play in the pond with the frogs. Mid-morning turns into afternoon, afternoon turns into evening, and soon I realize I've spent the whole day romping around the fields with my dog. But the best part -- what I've been waiting for -- is when Gram and I sit on the porch with milk and cookies watching the sunset.


This was part of an in class writing assignment to write a short, Hypotaxis-style paragraph about a day in the country. I modified it slightly to make it a drabble. (As I understand it, Hypotaxis is about subordination of clauses. It's a particular style of writing that joins clauses to create a hierarchy, such that everything builds to the end of the paragraph where the "pay off," the most important piece is.)

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Temporary Insanity

It's been a while since I've posted and I still owe you the conclusion to "Onboard the Eden."

"Where have you been?" you ask.
"I lost my mind temporarily," I respond.

I've been deeply buried in the midst of what I like to call "Mandarin Mayhem." I signed up for 2 Chinese classes summer. They're 2 back-to-back 5 week sessions that each cover 1 semester of material. Can you imagine learning 4 months of Chinese in 5 weeks? Mandarin Mayhem frequently leads to Mandarin Meltdowns. It's not pretty. I often think I am totally out of my mind for doing this, but it shaves 1 year off my time in language study, so hooray for graduating faster.

Until then, I blame temporary insanity for the lack of blog posts.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Onboard the Eden, pt 1

Klaxons immediately blared in their ears.
"You had to do it," he growled, glaring at her with that “I could kill you” face. “1,000 buttons on that panel and you had to push the one that's off limits,” he said, pointing at the big red button labeled “DON'T!”
“You don't actually think it will depressurize the ship. Do you?”
“Cap'n said so. You heard him!”
As if on cue, the Captain's voice split the air. “All crew report to your stations.”
“Fudge,” she sputtered.
Ignoring orders, the two ducked behind some cargo containers.

* * *

This is another drabble, a 100 word piece of fiction. Now, if you caught the reference (did you?) this is actually a futuristic take on a well-known story. I intend to do at least a part 2, but after that, we'll see. Too much of a good thing isn't a good thing, right? Technically a drabble has to be a complete package, finished in 100 words, so I guess this isn't a "proper" drabble. (I may make some changes to this drabble later. I'm not quite done fiddling with it.)

After today I only have 4 more days of working at the magazine. I'm trying to figure out what I'm going to do next. I need a paying job. I could come back and keep working for free in order to gain relevant job experience. However, unpaid jobs don't exactly pay the bills!

I'm a praying person (just so you know), and I've been praying for a paying job, but it's been sort of half-butted when-I-think-of-it type prayers. This morning I was challenged to really get into it and ask God for a good job. Doesn't James say we don't have because we don't ask? So, we'll see what happens. Maybe God has something else for me, who knows?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

I Choked

I choked. While standing in front of 350 people I forgot the words to my own song. Some people looked at me expectantly. Others guffawed. But, I saw your familiar face out of the corner of my eye. You smiled and gave me that look that said “dude, you got this!” I grinned despite myself. You mouthed the words to my song and then I was off. After that, I didn't hear any more guffaws. Yeah, I know some butt scratcher in the third row is laughing and pointing right now, but he doesn't matter. I'm singing for you.

* * *

Above is another drabble (100 word fiction). Yes, it is fiction. I have had horrible, choking moments at piano recitals, but nothing quite like this.

Just got back my editor's revisions on my latest article for the magazine. As always, The Editor makes it beautiful. There is just something powerful about a second pair of eyes to look at your work. The Editor is able to machete through my baloney and get it down to the beauty that I know is there. I imagine that with time and experience there will be less for The Editor to cut through. Eventually I will get the hang of this. I'm not going to let my noob awkwardness win. ("The Editor" is any editor involved in reading one's work, not just my editor. Speaking of which, I am currently working with three different editors at the magazine...)

I have a crap ton of homework to take care of tonight. (Crap ton is a unit of mass. To convert, multiply a metric ton by 1.5 to calculate the measurement in crap tons.)

Monday, April 12, 2010

He wants my Bones

I can see him watching me. His dark, piercing eyes rolled in his head to watch me as I moved about. His head never moved, except to suddenly cock to the side occasionally to examine me from another angle. He wants to eat me. I know it. He's thinking about the taste of my flesh. He can't wait to tear into my skin. I should run. Maybe I can get inside before he comes after me. Maybe he'll find someone else who looks tastier. Really, I've consumed so much diet soda I probably taste like aspartame. God, I hate birds.

* * * * *

The above is my first attempt at a drabble, a fiction of exactly 100 words. Needs work I'm sure, but I wrote it during the sermon at church, so that's gotta say something. I hate birds. My husband's family has a bird. Birds are like cats: they sense the ones who don't want them around and camp out on their person. I'm scared of birds. Their skittering little feet remind me of roaches. Big roaches with talons and a mean beak. (His family has a cockatiel so my imaginings don't quite meet with reality.) Husband's cockatiel liked to land on my head, and then his feet would get caught in my hair. The bird would panic. I was already panicking. Panicking ensued on several sides. Yeah, I hate birds. Even outdoor ones scare me. But, at least outdoor birds generally want to stay away from you. Though, for some reason there are great big black birds that hang out near our home. They sit in the trees and watch me when I go to the mailbox or get in the car. Once, I was unpacking my trunk and the bird cawed at me. My first – instant – response was to call out, “I'm not dead yet!” Dirty, mangy scavenger birds.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

We Regret To Inform You

"We regret to inform you . . ."

That is one of the most alarming phrases in the English language. This phrase is often followed by such news as:
"the cancer in patient 187354 has spread." (You're reduced to a number? Oh, and you're doomed.)
"you have not been selected to fill the position of candy tester." (What?! I really wanted that job.)
"your position has been downsized. You have 30 days to find another position with the company." (Man, that came right on the heels of the candy store let down. )

But, honestly, do they truly regret to inform you? It doesn't mean that they are sorry it has happened to you. It just means they are sorry they had to be the one to tell you. So, you know. Good luck with that and all.

We regret to inform you that this has been a test. I repeat, this is a test. If this had been an actual blogpost I would have put a little more effort into being creative. Please remain calm.