Thursday, August 30, 2007

Punctuation Overdose

I am not in a funny mood. I’ve been to a funeral today and my first grade Yahoo has anxiety about school. So I thought to myself, what could I write about that would renew my funny outlook on life? And you know the first thing that came to mind? Punctuation. That’s correct, periods, commas, quotations marks, parenthesis, exclamation points. See! It’s working! I’m already laughing out loud.

Here’s why: I’ve done a fair amount of reading lately. I’ve read a couple of books, some documentation, other blogs (my favorite), Arizona tax form instructions (my other favorite), newspapers and magazines. Through the course of my month long read-a-thon, I have discovered that one can definitely overdose on punctuation. Punctuation overdose has frightful side effects which might include: Dizziness, headache, insomnia, tingling, memory loss, damage to nerves causing weakness and/or loss of sensation and/or abnormal sensations, anxiety, depression, tremor, loss of balance, and psychic disturbances. Oh yeah, and maybe a slight rash or death. Would you care for more information? Please read on.

Comma Overdose
The misuse or abuse of commas can result in hyperventilation (hence the dizziness, headache, loss of balance and abnormal sensations). Commas are used grammatically to induce a pause. Pauses cause breathing. Breathing too frequently causes hyperventilation. Read the following (not out loud I don’t want any of you to expire before your time): I went, to the store, and, on arrival, I, with my child, Yahoo #2, in tow, saw, a clown, complete, with funny, fire, engine. See aren’t you dizzy? Too many commas.

Overdose of the Exclamation Point
Too many !’s make everything just plain ordinary. Exclamation points are used in the English Language to show excitement or enthusiasm. If used too often, everything is exciting and nothing stands out so everything becomes average. I am rabidrunner! I like to run! It is so fun! Today I wore my pink and black top! It has big pockets! The pockets are so big you could hold a small kangaroo! Hurray.

O.D. of the Parenthesis’
Sounds like a Greek Mythological god doesn’t it? The exploitation of parenthesis can cause the reader to become lost and forget where you are going with the current topic. You all know what I’m talking about because you’ve read my blog. (There’s no need to give an example). This one causes anxiety (or depression or maybe the rash) and loss of balance (Yoga’s supposed to help find your inner balance).

The wasteful use of periods can frankly. Make one. Become. An Insomniac. This reminds me of those days in heavy traffic when you hit all of the lights when they are 18 seconds past yellow. Start. Stop. Start again. Stop abruptly. Hurry quick. Oh bummer. Not again.

I feel better now. What funeral? What first grade anxiety? The memory loss side effect has many advantages.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

More Than Meets The Eye

The house has been invaded by Transformers. For those of you not in the know (probably all of you but the Winder who knows all the names of each and who the good and bad guys are), Transformers are alien robots who could shape-change or transform into various vehicles. The idea was first introduced through Marvel Comics, then a TV series and some movies.

Because of my “in between generations” status, I had missed the Transformer Mania the first time around. The TV series was first introduced in 1984. By this time, I was so over cartoons and into “Days of our Lives” that I rolled my giant eyeballs whenever the characters/toys were mentioned and went back to Echo & the Bunnymen on my super slick yellow cassette walkman. I have completely forgotten about Transformers until recently.

The Yahoos are currently bundled up in a Transformer Frenzy. And no thanks to the Winder. She has visited often only to forget about me and give the Yahoos a “quiz” on who the bad guys are, what their names are, and what they transform into. Bless her heart.

Yahoo #1 has the “Bumblebee.” He’s a Transformer or Autobot that transforms into a yellow Camaro with racing stripes. He expects everyone to call him “Bumblebee.”

Yahoo #2 has the “Jazz” Transformer. It’s a silver Pontiac something or other wannabe sports car. Yahoo #2 prefers that he be called “Jazz.”

And me? Who do I get to be? Mikaela. So I keep asking, what kind of car is Mikaela? Is she a 911 Carerra 4S? Or a Cayman S? Is she a Corvette? What type of car is she? To which the Yahoos keep telling me that she isn’t a car. Then I say no fair, how come I don’t get to be a car. So the way I get to play Transformers with the Yahoos – excuse me – Bumblebee and Jazz happens like this: “Mikaela - Can you change my transformer back to car mode? Mikaela - can I have more chocolate milk? Mikaela – can we have friends? Look Mikaela, I figured out how to get my head out! Mikaela, Jazz just kicked me! Mikaela, will you fix the playstation?” etc, etc.

Last weekend, due to inclement better-not-go-boating weather, the Yahoos, Spouse and I ventured to see the movie (Transformers).

This is Mikaela.

I’m flattered. Almost as much as that time Vera said I look like Johnny Depp.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The Adventures of Stu and Vera

Stu and Vera are touring the western part of the country. If the two of you would care to share your adventures, please feel free to do so here.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Roller Coasters and Cheer Leaders

I am a roller coaster junkie. Until yesterday, I hadn't been on a coaster in seven long years. It was Lagoon day for Spouse's work.

It's no secret that I have never been a fan of cheer leading. If you have spent a fair amount of time with me, there's a good chance you've heard me rant (on and on) about cheer leading being a waste of money and time. When and where are you going to use your cheer leading skills after you have graduated from high school? Some may have the luck or legs to “cheer” in college and a few more may make it to the Dallas Cowboys, but let's face it, you have a better shot at owning a giraffe (see post Giraffe Money).

There are many other extra curricular activities that produce skills for use later in life. For example, if you spend your time as president of the chess club, you can always land a date with your mesmerizing tactics and finger pushing. If you're a 40 year old cheer leader, you will need a team of some type to exemplify your skills. Which brings me to wonder why chess tournaments don't have cheer leaders. Maybe it's because the short skirts are too distracting.

Now don't go off and get offended over this. As I've mentioned before, this is just my dumb opinion (see post Politicians and Beauty Queens). Until yesterday that's how I felt about cheer leading. What a momentous day that turned out to be - riding my first roller coaster in seven years and a change of heart for cheer leading!

Lagoon turned out to be a disaster. There were 18,000 people too many and between the two yahoos and Spouse, someone was snot nosed and blubbering over something. “There's sunscreen in my eyes,” “We've raised Pansies” “That ride is too scary” “I don't want to do this” “I'm thirsty” “We are NEVER coming here again” “I don't want lemonade, I want chocolate milk” “Disneyland is completely out of the question” “I want to do the cars.” Wah, wah, WAH!

After my 18th idle threat of “let's just go home,” I realized that had I been a cheer leader, I could cheer my family into euphoria long enough for me to endure the 18 hour line to ride Wicked.

It's all right!
It's okay!
I'm gonna ride it anyway!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Midweek Trip

For a few months, the Spouse and I have been looking forward to a trip to the southern Utah destination of Zion’s National Park. It’s a delightful place and I’ve been many times. This time was supposed to be special. We were invited to hike the Narrows with some folks who knew how to hike the Narrows. The Narrows is a slotish (not to be confused with sluttish) canyon with very steep narrow canyon walls. If you are within the walls of this phenomenal place and it begins to rain… well you can kiss your toosh goodbye.

So that was the plan. We drive down 8/1, hike the 16 mile canyon on 8/2, drive home on 8/3. There were several people going so the Dad decided we better get a suite (with a lofty price of $350/night plus taxes and fees. In Utah?)

As usual, the day of departure was met with the winds of rabidrunner anxiety. Several people canceled - do we want to spend that much money? Is it supposed to rain? Will we make it out alive? Why can’t I bring more than 5 pairs of shoes?

The drive to our destination consisted of a full motor trend-esque review of my dad’s new Subaru Outback and a momentous stop in Scipio (pronounced Skip-ee-oh). We spent a couple of quarters getting our current weight and fortune (both in English and Spanish). I will not allow a human weight revealing scale in our house (mean huh!?) so this was a particular highlight for Spouse.

To make a long story short, a rain storm rolled into southern Utah with a vengeance. The road going into the park was washed out and houses along the river had four feet of mud run through them. Hiking the Narrows was definitely out of the question.

We checked into the hotel and the fellow taking our cash proudly informed us that the room was 1100 square feet. That’s almost as big as my first house! There were five of us total. Another couple - we’ll call them Babe and Dude – met us down there. Since we couldn’t hike the Narrows, the Babe and Dude ran 12 miles with me and later the five of us hiked Angel’s Landing (there’s some decent exposure on this one. If you like heights, I suggest you give it a try). During the hike, the Dude proceeded to justify our decision not to hike the Narrows with each passing cloud. It appears the Dude suffers from decision apprehension disorder.

As shown in photo, the trail goes along the ridge to the very top. It's 1000+ feet down on both sides. Going up and down this mountain requires one to act gingerly or with ginger. The Babe decided at the top of this nunatak that she would turn over a new leaf and become punctual. (Evidently, she had a family reuinion to get to and is known for being late.)

We made it out alive, had a time worthy of the cash spent, and gained 3 pounds each (according to the fortune telling scale in Scipio). By the way… after several weighings and about a buck, I have discovered that my full bladder weighs 17 ounces.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Writer's Block

Help me. I'm stumped. I cannot think of a single thing to write about. Any ideas?