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Thursday, April 29, 2004

Perspective? Isn't That an Art Term?

I am always tickled pink to know that there are stalwart neurotics out there who are fighting to keep English alive.

Join the Word Police.

And now I'm a licensed Grammar Cop, so you'd better have bribes. (I accept sonnets, sestinas, and rhyming couplets. Attempt haiku at your peril.)
The only Jerry Springer show I'll ever watch:

'Springer' to Arrive on Broadway in 2005

Monday, April 26, 2004

Skeletons in the Closet

Yes, Dear Readers, this is where I grew up, where my parents currently live, where --despite the best gestures of my zealous father-- I shall never, ever return.

Friday, April 23, 2004

The Fine Art of Circumlocution

(via Yes, Minister)

Sir Humphrey: "Minister, I think there is something you perhaps ought to know."
Jim Hacker: "Yes Humphrey?"
Sir Humphrey: "The identity of the Official whose alleged responsibility for this hypothetical oversight has been the subject of recent discussion, is NOT shrouded in quite such impenetrable obscurity as certain previous disclosures may have led you to assume, but not to put too fine a point on it, the individual in question is, it may surprise you to learn, one whom you present interlocutor is in the habit of defining by means of the perpendicular pronoun."
Jim Hacker: "I beg your pardon?"
Sir Humphrey: "It was...I."

I can only aspire...

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Of Commas and Corgis

So what happened to the comma in this process? Well, between the 16th century and the present day, it became a kind of scary grammatical sheepdog. As we shall shortly see, the comma has so many jobs as a “separator” that it tears about on the hillside of language, endlessly organizing words into sensible groups and making them stay put: sorting and dividing; circling and herding; and of course darting off with a peremptory “woof” to round up any wayward subordinate clause that makes a futile bolt for semantic freedom. Commas, if you don’t whistle at them to calm down, are unstoppably enthusiastic at this job.

from Eats, Shoots and Leaves by Lynne Truss

Now I know why I like commas so much-- they're just like Dante!

Also this book should be required reading for every English major (spiritual or otherwise).

Monday, April 19, 2004

Open Letter to the Prophet of Doom Outside Union Station This Morning.

While I admire your sense of the melodramatic, "the blood of evil is in the air" lacks a certain logical consistency necessary for a truly gripping apocalyptic metaphor. Is this blood a miasma? Or is it more colloidal in form, suspended impossibly in the air like glistening drops of Dali clocks?

Evil is entirely too abstract. Satan at least conjures up horns, a tail, and massive red pectorals. To strike true terror into the heart of the jaded unbeliever, you need a concrete image. A great burning eye is one possiblity. An ignorant manachaeistic cowboy from Texas at the helm of a country chivvied and cowed into submission by the great engine of fear might be another possibility. Really, your horizons are endless.

I suppose what I am ultimately trying to say is that your portents left me flat. Your delivery was good, sufficiently hoarse and needlingly repetitive, but form without substance is like Earl Grey tea without milk (and two and three-fourths spoons of sugar).

For future reference (and one hopes inspiration), allow me to direct your attention to Cassandra's "Beware of greeks bearing gifts" or Shakespeare's "Beware the ides of March" or even the more garden variety "Beware of Dog" which have, at the very least, elicited no reaction at all in style.

Thursday, April 15, 2004

Call me a hopeless caricature if you will, but I LOVE the opera. And tonight I'm going to see La Cenerentola at the Kennedy Center. What bliss!

If you've never been to one, you don't know what you're missing. There's something for everyone! (Just ask Justin and Kevin. At Lucia di Lammermoor they were fascinated by the midget in the chorus. Sigh.)

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

The Changing of the Guard

There comes a time in a girl's life when she must opt for arms against her sea of troubles, against the gloomy onslaught of an April that will never end, against even her better judgement which reminds her that last May for her graduation the adorable navy blue silk suit from Ann Taylor had to be scrapped at the last minute due to rain, mud, and a forty degree travesty of an outdoor ceremony.
Out with the heavy wool slacks I meant to get tailored but never did and could therefore only wear with those 3 1/2 inch heeled BCBG pumps! In with the linen skirts and crisp poplins and pastel colored cropped pants!

But most of all, in with the hats.

Ah yes, the hats. After all, what is Spring (and dare I think of Summer?) without that ridiculously large-brimmed straw hat with just the right bit of swoop and swish. Certainly my peripheral vision is a smidge impaired, but what mundane cares are these? I am above the quotidian. I am soaring above the soggy world, because it is SPRING dammit. Spring!

Also, I think it is time to start parasol searching in earnest.

(Take THAT you good-for-nothing groundhog!)

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Yet another reason why P.G. Wodehouse and I were meant for each other.

(Thank you, Blake, for the link. You are now my favorite.)

Monday, April 12, 2004

Putting Things in Perspective

What a drear day.

Dante doesn't like the rain at all. He's very nice about his pristine white paws and takes great pains to keep them dapper and gleaming. These are the days when he pouts about not going for a walk but refuses to go farther than his little plot of potty spot.

My raincoat lost a button.

I slept through my alarm.

But at least I have pink rain boots. And a lovely yellow tablecloth for spring. And my sanity. I'm especially grateful today for my sanity.

I apologize for the scattered and highly unsatisfactory nature of today's entry. I'm hoping that the sun will come out tomorrow, but I'm not betting on it.

Friday, April 09, 2004

Thirty Minutes to Nirvana

It's 2:45. The sun is shining. And I am walking out of this building at 3:15.

Thursday, April 08, 2004

The Way I Walk and Other Daily Minutiae

Today, a passing stranger remarked to me, "You walk like you're floating. You have a great walk." Admittedly, I've never actually seen video footage of myself, but apparently, there's something very different about the way I progress from Points A to Points B, C, and even D because just about everyone mentions it. Hopefully someday this will translate into a lucrative career as an arbiter of fashion and taste or Queen of the World. Alas, like so many of my other idiosyncracies, it was probably only useful sometime in the mid-eighteenth century.


(Seriously, you have been warned.)

Springtime is a glorious time. A time of pansies and daffodils and acceptance letters. Oh yes, that sweet heady nectar of acceptance. I think back to that dark time when I wallowed in doubt and and dark winter, and I want to pat that poor little former self and say, Chin up my cheerless child! The time will come when these ominous clouds will pass and you will be trilling your c's with all the glee of years gone by.

To wit, out of the nine schools I've applied to, I've been accepted to five (although I'm still waiting to hear back from the other four), been given scholarships to two, and one of the admissions deans wrote a flattering little note on my form letter to tell me that my personal statement was one of the best she'd seen that year.

Ah me. Happiness, my little bird, welcome back.

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Five Solid Minutes of Laughter

I spoke to my mother today about the Puppy Magellan's progress. Apparently, my family has a little board they call Pooh Corner wherein they detail, minute by minute, his daily bowel movements and micturitions.

8:34 am Pee
10:20 am Pee and Poo
12:47 pm Poo twice

and so on and so forth.

I mean, I suppose it makes sense in the context of a busy, ever revolving set of caretakers, but I just couldn't stop laughing...

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

Around the World in Eight Minutes

With the advent of the highly unsatisfactory weather purporting to be Spring (but really fooling no one), my thoughts have naturally begun to wend their dreamy way to more temperate climes. Yes, Dear Reader, the time has come to start thinking about a Vacation.

The orchids on my desk are arguing for Thailand (for more than a day this time), but I think I might have to give it a decade or so for the deleterious effects of 24-hour flights to fade slowly from my corporeal memory.

Istanbul is more palatable (funny, that choice of word—makes me think of jaws), but I’d like at least two weeks to give it proper due. The first time felt a little compacted, but that might just have been a result of a Kevin-driven timetable, which allocates seven hours per seven day time period for “rest” (read sitting, standing, or sleeping).

Actually, now that I think about it, this Vacation will need underwriters before anything else. Because while I think the idea of traveling with nothing but a backpack and your limitless hopes and spacious dreams is very cute, it’s just not for me.

Monday, April 05, 2004

There's one born every minute.

I have no one to blame but myself, really. was a click away, but noooo...

Clearly, I am a googly-eyed sucker for sunshine and daffodils outside my window because today I am wearing strappy little D'Orsay pumps and bare legs in 40 degree weather with gusting winds of 30 miles per hour.

Saturday, April 03, 2004

Mommy, Wow!

I just filed my taxes for the first time ever. Ever.
I feel so grown up.

Also, I think this entitles me to a cookie.


Friday, April 02, 2004

Ho Hum Fridays

The office is empty. There's a light patter of steady, drizzly rain outside. I have lots of work to catch up on, but the vibe is not moving me. The magic is gone.

I feel that this a waste of a Friday, named as it is for the Norse Goddess of love and frolicking. I'm thinking of suing Freya in cosmic court for gross negligence. Anyone else in?

Thursday, April 01, 2004

Thank You DC Tourists and Pouring Rain

Through your combined synergies and your outstanding commitment to making me late for work, world peace was more likely than my finding a cab this morning. In addition, drivers who cannot aurally distinguish between 20th and Massachusetts and 20 Massachusetts should not be allowed to have a license.

On a happier note, I am apparently much given to gadzookery.


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