Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Words on Wednesday

Lesson 2 TEST - I keep telling you there are tests! Here goes... Based on the underlined word(s), choose the correct sentence/phrase:
#1A. Some people might think I'm a looser for stalking Colin Farrell the way I do.
B. And that I'm also a loser for stalking Jake Gyllenhaal the way I do.
#2A. I'm afraid if I stop stalking Jake, I'll lose him to Reese.
B. I'm also afraid I might loose Colin to any bimbo in Hollywood.
#3A. Colin's idea of commitment is kinda loose, rumor has it.
B. Of course in Hollywood, everyone's idea of commitment is kinda lose.

If you chose B for #1, A for #2, and A for #3, congratulations! If you did not select the correct answers, click here to review.

Week 3, Lesson 3, makes reference to some of my favorite teaching moments. At the end of the year I would always get these cards that said, "Your a great teacher." Apparently not. Because if I was, then they would know that the sentiment should read, "You're a great teacher." I guess it's the thought that counts.

So here's the lesson:

  • Your is possessive. It means you own something. For example, your diamond rings, your mansion in Malibu, or your Rolls Royce.
  • You're is a contraction of you and are. For example, "You're (you are) living in a dream world."
  • ur is obnoxious textspeak for your, you're, or you are and it drives me crazy when used anywhere other than text messages (actually it drives me crazy there, too). Stop already with the ruination of the written English language!

Easy, right? Now you're never going to make this mistake again, right? Until next week.....Love, The Grammar Police

Monday, April 27, 2009

Detour to the Huntington (or "A Tour of SoCal" as I like to call it)

A few weeks ago we got an invitation to attend a luncheon at "The Huntington Gardens". Since I'm still new to CA (of course I will still be using that excuse in another 20 years) and I have no sense of direction, I did the usual look-it-up-on-Mapquest thing to have as a backup to my GPS. I'm pretty paranoid about being lost since, as previously stated, I have no sense of direction and because of that I never drive anywhere. Everything I need is within walking/biking distance for me - beach, grocery store, bank, bars, restaurants, etc. - and I'll take a train or bus whenever available. I pretend like I'm "green", but I really just hate to drive. Therefore, when The Husband said "You drive - I'm tired", not only was I shocked (because he loves to drive), but I was less than thrilled.

So off we go. To Huntington Gardens in Huntington Beach...supposedly. Except when we got to the address and...uh...surprise...? We had arrived at Huntington Gardens APARTMENTS. Gee thanks, Mapquest. And my usually trusty GPS (whose name is actually "Mr. Cars-Guard" - get it?) was no help at all. So after driving around for a while, we decided to go old-school and call 411. They connected us right away to "Huntington Gardens" and we got new "Huntington Gardens RETIREMENT HOME". Are you kidding me?!?!!! So then we do the Blackberry search thing and realize that "The Huntington Gardens" is really called "The Huntington: Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens". In Pasadena. Easily an hour north of Huntington Beach. On the 405. Duh-ork alert.

Needless to say, we missed the luncheon. However, we had a great time once we finally arrived. The Blue Boy (no, not the band or the magazine - the Gainsborough painting) resides there, plus they were having a Lincoln exhibit, which was pretty cool.

(Click to enlarge pictures.) Here's one of the many library sitting rooms. Wouldn't you love to curl up with a good book in front of this fireplace?

Or gaze out these beautiful stained glass windows?

Check out Blue Boy and his gal pal, Pinkie.

Storyboards for Cinderella: Of The Fortune of the Maid Who Was Called Cindermaid and Was Afterwards a Queen (You really need to click to enlarge this one.)

The Gutenberg Bible - one of the three vellum copies in the United States. And no, it's not Steve Gutenburg's bible.

I also have millions of pictures of flowers - don't worry, I won't bore you with them. The gardens were so beautiful that I'm hoping they cured my black thumb by osmosis. If not, I'll just post the pictures all around my balcony and have a pretend garden. Despite the brain-dead beginning to the day, we had a fabulous time. If you ever get a chance to go to the Huntington, definitely go. Just don't call me for directions.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Words on Wednesday

Lesson 1 TEST - I told you there'd be a test! What, you thought I was kidding? Oh ye of little faith! Here goes... Based on the underlined word(s), choose the correct sentence/phrase:
#1A. I love Jake Gyllenhaal alot.
B. I also love Colin Farrell allott.
C. I spend a lot of time stalking Jake and Colin.
D. I also spend allot of time in the fantasyland that is my mind.
#2A. I should of met Jake or Colin by now.
B. If only I would of stalked them a little more.
C. I could of been Jake's girlfriend instead of Reese.
D. Or maybe I could have made a home movie with Colin.
If you chose C for #1 and D for #2, congratulations! You are the next contestant on "The Answer is Right" - c'mon down. If you did not select the correct answers, click here to review.

Week 2, Lesson 2 was hard to pick. I've been overwhelmed with requests, which makes my heart sing. This means I am not the only member of the GP squad. Yay for all of us who sweat the small stuff.

I'm going to go with the Lose vs. Loose mystery this week:

  • Lose (verb) rhymes with ooze and means to misplace something; Loser (noun) rhymes with boozer and sometimes if you're a boozer, you're also a loser. Not always, though.
  • Loose (adjective) rhymes with goose and means, well, let's just say "not tight"; Looser (adjective) rhymes with gooser. Yeah, I know it's not a word, but I couldn't find a real word that rhymed.

Although it all seems simple enough on the surface, when writing it out it gets confusing because they both have an "ooooo" sound so we tend to throw in an extra "o". I guess the easiest way to remember this one is to think of the signs in Vegas that say "loose slots". Now why would they advertise slot machines that you would lose (misplace) money in? They wouldn't. They're advertising slot machines that are not tight, in other words, machines that will give it up rather easily. Your money, that is. I think I saw this casino ad once and it's the perfect example: Only a loser would look anywhere else for looser slots.

Yup - it'll be on the test. Until next week.....Love, The Grammar Police

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Out of the Mouths of Babes

I've been spending time with my Godson, Spawn o' King, this week, which reminds me of one of my favorite SOK stories. One day we were hanging out at the riding stables watching some riders and petting/feeding carrots to the horses. As we came upon each stall, SOK asked me if it was a boy or girl horse. I would look and then answer. A few minutes later, SOK asks me how I know if it's a boy or girl. Hmmmm..... Well, although he's only 7, I figure it's never too early to learn the correct terms. Forget the "peanut", "hoo-hoo", and "va-jay-jay" code words - I'll just jump right in. So I said, "A boy horse has a penis and a girl doesn't." He contemplates this for a minute, looks, and then proclaims, "Wow, theirs are really big, like twice as big as mine." Twice. Not 3-4-5 times as big, just twice. And then I realized this is how it starts.....the lifelong exaggeration of penis size. They just can't help themselves.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Words on Wednesday

Words on Wednesday is my latest creation where I will impart a little English teacher goodness to the masses. I figure with all the teacher layoffs, budget cuts, and school closings, I should do my part to prevent the dumbing down of society. Of course I realize that boat might've already sailed. Actually, I really just need a forum in which to bitch about my grammar pet peeves. (Grammar on Wednesday didn't have the alliteration thing going for it.) Plus, I miss teaching. Not to be confused with babysitting. So anyway, here we go - week 1, lesson 1. And yes, it's on the test.
  • Pet peeve numero uno (ask any of my 2000 former students).....A lot is 2 words. A (space) lot, not alot. It's that simple. Not a lot of brain power required to remember that one. (Learn more about the alot.)
  • Of is not a verb...have is...they are not interchangeable. For example: He should have listened to his English teacher. Not: He should of listened to his English teacher.
Please feel free to contribute any of your own peeves and I will gladly post them. Until next week.....Love, The Grammar Police

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Trick or Treat?

I know, I know - it's Easter, not Halloween, but check this out - in Sweden they have Easter Witches! And...they go trick-or-treating on Easter Eve! And...since Halloween is my all time favorite holiday, I'm wondering if I can book an immediate flight to Sweden. This way I can partake in two Halloweens in one year - a dream come true. Apparently, Easter week is the time of year associated with witches and the devil, which is kinda weird considering we associate it with pretty much the exact opposite.

"People believed that witches were especially active and their black magic especially powerful during this week...On Maundy Thursday they were thought to fly off on brooms to consort with the devil at some place called blåkulla, returning the following Saturday. On their way back, Swedes would light fires to scare them away, a practice honored today by the bonfires and fireworks across the land in the days leading up to Sunday."

The kids dress up as påskkäringar (witches) or påsktroll (trolls) and go door to door with a copper kettle looking for treats. Trick-or-treating in April - awesome! Kinda like a spring scrimmage game before the fall sport takes place.

Here are some other worldly Easter holiday traditions I discovered. Can you believe the entire world doesn't do the exact same thing we do? Shocking, I know.

  • Hot cross buns are traditionally eaten on Good Friday in Great Britain. Get it - hot "cross" buns?
  • Wearing new clothes at Easter time supposedly means good luck for the remainder of the year, which is why shopping should always be a priority in my opinion. Back in the day, New Yorkers would parade around in their fancy new duds after church and that's how the Fifth Avenue Easter Parade got its start. It's not a holiday until there's a parade and you know how I love parades.
  • Several Latin American countries and some parts of Greece have the "Burning of Judas", which involves stringing up and burning/exploding an effigy representing that dude who sold out Jesus. In recent years, crowds have used the effigies to represent politicians, etc., who have wronged the people. (Insert self-control...must not comment on deserving candidates...)
  • In Bermuda they fly kites on Good Friday. Supposedly, way back when, a teacher needed a way to demonstrate the ascension of Christ into heaven so he used a kite decorated with a picture of Jesus to get the point across. Pretty good, huh? Now, everyone flies multicolored kites on Good Friday.

Gotta go - must pack! I wish the Concorde was still running.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Thanks For Playing, But Nooooo

I've been de-nied! I know, I know, that doesn't narrow it down much - men, schools, jobs, credit, you name it, I've been rejected by it at some point in my life. However, this time I've been rejected in Blogland. How is that possible, you say? Well, I tried to join a network of fellow bloggers and for a chance at hanging with the in-crowd they evaluated my blahblahblahblahg. And they rejected me. Why, you ask? For - get this - not writing often enough!!!!! What?!?!?! You mean I can't just skate by, doing as little as possible, and expect to get what I want? How un-American! Welllll, I'll show them! I'll start writing more. Wait a sec.....have I been reverse psychologied here?

Okay, so basically, I got nothin'. Pretty soon I'll become the Seinfeld show of blogs: the blog about nothing. However, I do read a lot of interesting stuff throughout the day (while I'm procrastinating) so allow me to share some interesting blog-bits.

The Room: You know you have one; ours is called "The Panic Room" and has nothing to do with Jodi Foster's movie. When I read this, I realized that my husband is a bigamist because obviously he is married to this author also. What with the hoarding and the "don't throw anything away unless you show it to me first" mentality, isn't it obvious? Oh, and if my ex-husband is reading this and says something about my stash of majorette uniforms and batons from 1978, he is lying. Really. Because I got rid of those things 4 whole years ago.

Bacon Explosion: Bacon is one of my favorite foods, but this creation transcends all bacon love. Be sure to keep 911 on speed dial because you will most likely have chest pains by just looking at the recipe.

I Like Square Butts and I Cannot Lie: If you don't click on any other link in this post, you must check this one out. Sir Mix-A-Lot and Sponge Bob - what's not to love?

So, in my quest to meet the minimum writing requirement of twice a week, stay tuned for more. And please refrain from the I-told-you-so's.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

There's a Party in Heaven Today

I just walked outside and it's raining. In California. In April. Normally this would irritate me, because I HATE RAIN, but today I like to think it's champagne raining down from heaven. My Aunt June must've finally gotten checked into her room and those who've been waiting for her have popped the bubbly. Let the party begin!

Because I so often live in the pretend life in my head, it's really no wonder that I've made up a heavenly pretend life to get me through the sadness of death. It goes something like this.....First of all you meet up with all of my friends, family, and pets, even if you didn't actually know them, and they immediately offer you your favorite vice - usually a martini and a cigarette - and then you become fast friends. Then, you NEVER have to exercise, unless you want to, and you NEVER get fat, and you NEVER get wrinkles, and you get to do anything you want. Anything. Like if you always wanted to be a ballerina, done. If you get bored with that and then want to be a professional tennis player, done, plus you get to hit with Arthur Ashe. And all dogs/cats get to chase things, eat non-stop, and bark/scratch without getting yelled at.

So when June entered today, she had tons of fun people waiting for her and now they're having...what is it those kids say...a "rager"? Oh yeah, in heaven you're young enough to use words that no one over 30 here on earth should ever utter. Anyway, this rager has an impressive guest list. First of all, she met some people she didn't actually know, but since they're my friends, they became her friends (everyone gets a "friend suggestion request" in heaven). There's BFF King's sister, Shannon, and father, Tony the King, and BFF Carrie-ITC's daughter, Jessica, and doggie, Rosie, and BFF Jilly G's friend Eric, and my ex-step-father-in-law, Hank. Then there's people she knows, like my sister, Jenny, her sister/my Aunt Diane, Grandma and Grandpa, her aunts/my great-aunts Eileen and Flossie, my doggie, Lucy, my kitty, Samantha. I'm sure there are so many more and I'm sure they're having the time of their lives celebrating their lives. I am so sad that Aunt Junie is gone from this world, but I guess I have to settle for knowing that she'll throw me a good party when I get to her world. Hopefully my invitation is in the mail.....snail mail, not FedEx.

Aunt Diane, Aunt June, Grandma, Grandpa, Jenny, Aunt Eileen, Aunt Flossie, Hank, Lucy, Rosie, Shannon, Tony the King, Eric