Thursday, April 30, 2015

Tell it to my heart

1. Have you noticed a spike in weepiness lately? I was talking with Katie last night and we both mentioned that emotions have been running high. I'm no gauge for such things because my constant state fluctuations somewhere between On the Verge and Openly Weeping. But there is something in the air. I've had kids in my office all week sitting on my couch trying to keep it together. Is it this heat? Is it the the drought? Is it Baltimore? Do we all need to take naps and eat restorative toast? Maybe we're due for a collective viewing of Shadowlands and just let it all out.

2. The song currently stuck in my head is "Tell It To My Heart" by Taylor Dayne. I don't know, ok. Who knows how these things happen. But it's been in my head all day. And that's fine because it reminds me of that great piece that Tig Notaro did on This American Life about meeting Taylor Dayne. (It's long. But it is so funny.)

3. Did you hear what Stephen Hawking had to say about Zayn from One Direction? If this doesn't turn our mood around nothing will.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Just Put Them In Your Pocket!

Did you know that approximately 44,000 cars were stolen last year because people left the keys in them. And it's assumed that the number could be higher because those are just the reported ones. Think of the people who were all, "I don't know officer, my car was just gone," knowing all along that they were the dummies who practically handed the criminals the keys. Who in the world leaves their keys in the car?! If you take the 44,000 reported, plus the number not reported, plus all the people who leave their keys in the car and nothing happens, that's a lot of people who are doing things out in the world like voting for elected officials. The same people who leave their keys in the car are going to be voting for the president next year. Even if we chalked up half of those reported as just sheer spaciness - who hasn't locked their keys in the car? I've done it two days in a row - that's still a minimum of 22,000 who choose to do it and think, "Well, I'll just get them later." I blame skinny jeans. They're so tight and people can't fit keys in the pockets so they just opt to leave them in the car.

While we're on the topic, let's talk about this rather aggressive campaign that's going on around here to educate people on what to do when they see a downed wire. Now, common sense would tell you to back up off of that thing, right? But clearly there have been so many people who have actually grabbed one that all over the Los Angeles area, and on her airwaves, there are messages warning people to stay away from it and call 911. First I'm wondering how often this happens. I don't know that I've ever seen a downed wire, and I'm as old as dirt. Second, do people just think that those wires are there merely to hold flocks of starlings? Like they don't have a gajillion volts of electricity running through them? How many people had to grab one before someone at the Downed Wire Association said, "Well, I guess we're going to have to put up signs on every other block because these dimwits keep touching them." Can we blame skinny jeans for this one too? A lack of oxygen to the brain, perhaps?

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Feel Good

Here's your feel-good story of the day:

A car got towed from the Institute parking lot this morning and then about an hour later the owner came in. He was in a panic and also deaf. Spenser, who knows sign language (and who was not supposed to be there at that time), was in my office and started translating for him. The panic wasn't just for his car. He had a job interview in 15 minutes and the clothes he was going to wear for it were in the car, now sitting in an impound lot 10 miles away. So no car and no clothes. Spenser and Meke offered to take him to his home to get some clothes, then to the interview, then back to the Institute. Meanwhile, I called the tow company and asked them to release his car, no charge, even though he was parked illegally, thanks to Jackie who said, "Let's do something nice today." Then the tow company called me and said they would just bring the car to us rather than make him come pick it up. So the kid came back to his car waiting for him. And he got the job.

I love that my kids at the Institute are such sweethearts. And I love that God's hand is in every detail. Even when you make a mistake and park illegally.

Monday, April 20, 2015

This Jonah Day

I was gone for most of the day on Saturday and when I came home I had only about five minutes to freshen up (read: put on stretchy pants) and pour out some sour watermelon candies because the Art Society was coming over for a Harry Potter 7 marathon. And in the midst of this rushing Katie said to me, "We haven't talked about Gil yet." To which I replied, "Gil? Like Gil, Gil?" (as if there is any other) and she said, "Yes. He died."

What I wanted to do was have a good cry, because 1.) how tragic, and 2.) wo to my lost youth! But instead I went and emptied the trash in my bathroom because what else are you supposed to do when you have guests coming over and you've just found out that your very first movie crush has died. There was no time for the depths of despair.

I was trying to explain to an Institute student why it's so sad. I was trying to come up with a touchstone of this generation to compare it to. Someone who embodied every thirteen year old girl's ideal of the perfect guy. And I just don't think one exists. Gilbert Blythe had everything a girl could want. He was supportive, attentive, flirty, smart, ambitious, and was cute and looked great in a suit.

I'm calling for a International Day of Mourning. And, as with all things in life, we will ask the question: What would Anne Shirley do? Anne would spend a lot of time crying up in her room. And then Marilla would come in and tell her to buck up. So she would wash her face and put on a simple dress that she would look bewitching in (puff sleeves are only for special occasions like Christmas concerts) and take to the woods to collect wild flowers that she would keep in a basket she fashioned out of reeds and ferns. This would be followed by a few verses of poetry recited into the breeze then a restorative cry while lying on a soft bed of moss. Naturally she would give that bed of moss a name like The Sacred Hollow of Remembrance and she would vow to return to it every year in his memory.

This all seems appropriate. So meet me at the Lake of Shining Waters for your black arm band and have your poem ready. And until then, watch this (like you haven't watched this scene a million times):

Thursday, April 16, 2015

The Choice of America

Today I woke up with a head ache, sliced my thumb while cutting tomatoes, smashed my finger in a door, and had cramps. Which is to say that by about 2 pm I was a wreck. So it should come as no surprise that I went home and crawled into bed and watched Enchanted April and wept a little over the sad fact that I didn't have ice cream in my home. I felt much better after that. Enchanted April and a light weeping does it for me every time.

You know what else does it for me? Ads from the 90s.  Camille tipped me off to this Sizzlers franchise pitch from 1991:

On which Casey commented:  "It's a restaurant in a restaurant in a tote filled with vegetarian chili", referencing the classic SNL Taco Town commercial:

That comment make me snort laugh for about five minutes. Thanks, Caswell.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Let's have a talk, Rory.

Let's talk about Rory Gilmore's boyfriends for a sec:

1. Dean - Colossal whiner and all-around wet rag. Also, he's a bit of a hunchback with floppy bangs. Why can't you just stand up straight Dean? I know you're a giant but posture is everything. And further more, cheaters are gross. (Rory.)
2. Jess - Mean, grumpy, sullen, moody, annoying, grunting bane of Stars Hollow. Didn't we all cheer when he skulked away on the bus? (I will give Jess half of a nod for coming back in later seasons with a lot fewer caveman qualities. But still the bitter taste lingers.)
3. Logan - Entitled, bossy, condescending, also a bit of a hunchback. The last season was a joke but it ended on a high note for me if only because she gives him the kind but firm heave-ho.

I've been a fan of Gilmore Girls since the beginning so watching it on Netflix is nothing new. But watching it in such rapid fire succession has only illustrated that Rory needs a serious boyfriend intervention. How does such a smart, capable gal end up with such bums? I'm relieved that Lorelai was never fully on board with any of them. Like, what's a mom to do but give them the old side-eye and hope for the best.

I bet we can all agree on one thing - she should have given Naked Guy Marty a chance.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Five is right out!

1. Merciful heavens! There is a blog entirely devoted to unnecessary quotation marks. You would not believe how many professionally made signs there are with misused quotes. Which just breaks my heart that some small business owner went down to Ye Olde Sign Shop and paid hard earned cash money for a sign that ultimately makes them look not so bright. Dear people who are about to have a sign made with unnecessary quotes: "learn a book."

2. Related: on the Facebook link I put up to the quote post a friend commented that she is guilty of over-using the ellipsis. And then my boss chimed in because I got on him the other day for sending me an email with no other punctuation but ellipses. And then other people commented with the same confession. I hate to be obvious about this but keystroke for keystroke, it is easier to just type the correct punctuation. Also, it makes it easier for me to still be your friend. Ellipses are not commas! Or periods, colons, semi colons, or dashes. They have a purpose. A purpose!

3. The parking situation at the Institute is like some fairyland unicorn parade complete with unlimited nachos and slushy beverages. Which is to say, it is magically unbelievable. I bet they've towed 40 cars from our lot in the 3 weeks they've been with us. I have to remind myself to be a little bit more charitable and not so giddy when it happens. I don't really enjoy ruining some one's day but the significant decrease in the number of empty beer cans and Jack in the Box bags strewn across our lawns makes up for it.

4. Did you know that Monty Python and the Holy Grail is 40 years old. Which is my entire life. the anniversary must be this week because I've seen articles all over the place about how it changed cinema. Which may be a stretch. But it certainly has made me laugh a lot.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Quoth She

It's been ages since I've ranted about punctuation so let's talk about quotation marks. Because the situation is completely out of hand!

Here's when you use them:

1.) When quoting some one (ex: Gladys said, "Your hair is on fire.") or something (ex: "I do desire we may be better strangers." As You Like It);

2.) Around a title of a small piece of work, such as an article, chapter, poem, or song title;

3.) When you're being ironic, although I find this to be redundant because irony should always be obvious or else it misses the mark.

I know you know this. I'm not pointing out something you do. Other people do it. You always get this right. What I'm trying to do is get a movement started where we stop people from misusing the quotation mark. Because I've seen it used wrong all over this great land of ours.  Some examples I have seen with my very own eyes:

On a menu: Savory herb-roasted "chicken" (Is this not chicken? What are you serving people?)

On those memorial decals that people put on the back of their cars in CA: In memory of "Joseph" (Is Joseph not his name? Is it a nickname? Who would nickname a guy Joseph?)

On a billboard: Best in the "Inland Empire" (I know that the IE is sometimes the butt of jokes but this is just hurtful. We're a legit place, people!)

I'm not sure how to explain this trend. Do people think it adds emphasis? Why would chicken need to be emphasized? We already know that it's chicken. I fear the quotation marks are becoming the "literally" of punctuation. (Another acceptable use of quotes: when using a word as a word, although it is more commonly italicized. And now I have just crossed the line into Insufferable Punctuation Nazi. Remember that we love each other and let me have this rant.)

Stop the madness!

Monday, April 6, 2015

The Gatekeeper

I'm just going to show you these tacos before we get started:

I consumed about a third of this plate. And then promptly fell into a meat coma. You should go get some

Also this weekend there was General Conference and Cinderella (you were all right, there be magic!) and Easter dinner with my family and a really good nap. It was a win.

And also, also this weekend was a trip to the used bookstore of my dreams. The Last Bookstore in downtown LA. Oh, you guys, YOU GUYS!!! Used bookstores are dying, plain and simple. But this one seems to be going strong. It's in an old bank, complete with imposing columns and a vault where they house the first additions. The main floor is pretty well organized -- set up like a regular bookstore but with $5 books everywhere you look. Upstairs is the Labyrinth, which is just a maze of nooks and bookshelves that will kill you in an earthquake. Just how a proper used bookstore should be. 

When we got up there I said to Lindsay, "I wonder what this building used to be." And then suddenly there was this wizened old man in a tank top and cowboy hat standing next to a pile of books. He said, "A bank," and I said, "Yes.  But how about in between?" And he said, "Well it's been empty for years but I did open Fashion Week with a show here once." And then he went back to sorting books. Who is this guy? Is he the Gatekeeper of the Labyrinth? Does he live up there? Was he the owner? Is he some kind of rich eccentric? He is for sure some one's crazy uncle. I wish he were mine.

I managed to make it out of there with only 3 books. I could have easily bought more, including a 32 volume set of Dickens' complete works. Restraint!