December 27, 2009

Seven Years in One Sunday

Last night I wrote a blog entry for work, reminiscing about the last six years. Since 2003, I have spent every Dec. 28-Jan. 1st at a conference with about 400 other people.

This year, I am in charge - a reality that has only partially sunk in.

That's all I've got for now. More to come.
Time permitting.

December 25, 2009

A Christmas Poem & Prayer

This poem by Luci Shaw is overwhelmingly beautiful. Especially as set to music and performed at the Elektra Christmas Concert.

Star Song

We have been having
epiphanies, like suns,
all this year long.
And now, at its close
when the planets
are shining through frost,
radiance runs
like music in the bones,
and the heart keeps rising
at the sound of any song.

Old magic flowing
the calling of bells,
round high and clear,
flying and falling,
re-sounding the death knell
of our old year,
the new appearing
of Christ, our Morning Star.

Now burst!
all our bell throats.
every clapper tongue.
Stun the still night!
Jesus himself gleams through
our high heart notes
(it is no fable).
It is he whose light glistens in each song sung
and in all of us
in the true coming
together again
at the stable: shepherds,
sages, his women and men,
common and faithful,
wealthy and wise,
with carillon hearts
and, suddenly,
stars in our eyes.

My Christmas prayer is that you and I both have stars in our eyes today, that radiance runs like music in the bones, and that our bell throats burst with joy.

Merry Christmas!

December 23, 2009

List: The Interweb

Things I love about the internet:
  1. it lets me stay in touch with far-away friends
  2. it has the answers to (almost) all my questions
  3. it connects me with the arts
  4. it makes me smarter & it entertains me
  5. it's helpful when there is time to be wasted

Things I hate about the internet:
  1. it is one more way that I can be insecure in relationships ("she unfriended me!?" "but his status says he's single..." "does she really care how my life is going or is she just nosy about those photos?" "maybe he chats with ten girls like this every day - how would I know?")
  2. it lies
  3. it is full of pornography and other terrible things
  4. it makes me greedy
  5. it distracts me from other, more important things

Wednesday's Word: Inventing a New One

I have been looking for a word recently and realized that it doesn't exist. Or if it does, it's not in the easy-recall cortex of my brain. (Is something like that located in a cortex? Cortex seems like the right word to use when discussing the brain.)

Anyway. I am looking for help. Help in either uncovering the word I want, or creating a word that means what I'm trying to express. Because I think it would be a useful word.

It could describe marriage. Motherhood. Work. A period of your life. Learning a new skill. A relationship. So many things!

Aren't you curious?

The concept I want to express in one word is this:
difficult but good
challenging but rewarding.

Do you know one? (other languages welcome - especially French, Spanish, German, Russian or Arabic)

Can you suggest one? (if you're creating a new word, it has to have a ring of joy to it, but also the depth of the struggle)

December 22, 2009

Two'sday: Exciting Things Happen After Midnight

Normally, I go to bed earlier than this. But I'm on my holidays, so I'm sitting in bed catching up on the articles quickly backing up my Google reader. Tonight, two very different things happen.

1. I discover this article from Esquire (yes, I subscribe to their site). Last month, I listened to an audio version of True Story by Michael Finkel. The book outlines his "friendship" with Christian Longo, a man eventually convicted of killing his wife and three children, and tells the story of Longo's arrest & trial. It is a fascinating and complex story. My roommate Lynsey and I were so fully absorbed in listening to it while driving across Vancouver Island that we let ourselves drive right into near-blizzard conditions. (Actually a funny story, knowing we survived.) But this was too intense and disturbing for pitch-black driving on a wintry night, so we turned it off and waited until we were safely out of the mountains before finding out the jury's sentence.

Finding this article has sucked me right back in. It's disturbing, but if you're able to handle it, it is a fascinating read. The voice I hear while reading it is Michael Finkel's, the voice I listened to for hours as he narrated the CD version of his book. And I'm left with a question; if it saves your life, why wouldn't someone take an organ donated by an inmate?

2. The phone rings. When the phone rings at 12:15am, you answer it. And you expect bad news. So when I hear my brother-in-law Lalo ask for his wife, my sister who is asleep upstairs, I can't help but panic. I ask if he is okay. He says, "Something happened," and I can hear him crying.

I stumble up the stairs in the dark. I haven't lived in this house really, so I don't know where to feel for the light switches. I say to him, "I'm getting Sarah - hold on," and stretch out my hand to find the way to her room.

No one else is up.

I open the door and wake her, passing the phone off by moonlight, I turn the light on as I leave. I wait in the hall and pray while she speaks Spanish softly. My heart is pounding, wondering what else could happen. It's been fifteen months that they've been living in separate countries, waiting to be reunited for longer than a week or two. In June, when she was able to visit the States for a month, Lalo's 25 year-old cousin was found dead of a heart attack when his mom went to wake him up for dinner. Another death? I wonder.

Then she comes outside. She is smiling, and still on the phone.

"He's been approved! He's coming!"

I hug her tightly, smile and return to my room. She comes down in a few minutes, still shaking. Lalo is to send his passport in within 2 months to receive his visa, and his passport needs to be good for at least one year. They are going on a holiday in early January, and his visa expires at the end of January 2011. He has until the end of April to move to Canada. Sarah's birthday is on April 28th, and their second anniversary the end of May.

Perfect timing.

December 21, 2009

Mondays Mean More: Christmas

There are two types of grammar: prescriptive grammar and descriptive grammar. Prescriptive grammar examines and defines how things should be, while a Descriptive grammar looks at the reality of what is.

An example:

Prescriptive grammar looks at the sentence "Who dat?" and says that the correct and appropriate way to communicate this question is to ask "Who is that?" Descriptive grammar looks at the same sentence and then tells you who is likely to use that phrase, how it evolved and the significance it holds. There is great tension between the two schools of grammar (in my mind, I am picturing near-brawls breaking out at grammar conventions) because of the implications of this very major difference. Prescriptivists look at maintaining language, restoring the purity of language* and stopping the "destruction" of language. Descriptivists are more interested in following how language continues to evolve, because evolution is inevitable, and studying the significance of these changes.

(Wait! you say, I thought this post was supposed to be about Christmas?)

It is. Because in this week leading up to Christmas, I am torn between two schools of Christmas. Christmas the way it should be, and Christmas the way it is. Every time I talk about Christmas, or think about Christmas, I struggle with the guilt of a good grammarian - saying things like "whatevs" and "true dat" when I know they're not correct.

Confession: when I think of Christmas, I think mostly of family, good food, gift-giving, and snow.

Christmas is supposed to be about Jesus. I love Jesus a lot, and I like the idea of celebrating His birth. As recent TV shows have reminded me (Bones & Community & maybe 30 Rock?), Jesus was actually born in early spring. But early Christendom decided to place their holiday around the same time as a pre-existing pagan holiday celebrating the winter solstice. (Which is today. Hooray for lengthening days!!!)

Fast-forward almost two millenia and jump over to North America. Christmas is a frenzy of Santa-loving extravagance and indulgence, celebrating the always-loved values of Family and Deserving Good Things. It's a fact.

I feel like there isn't much middle ground. On one hand we have the people crying for a return to the way it should be (by which they mean high religious content and focus) and people who are rallying for a move beyond the old and embracing the new.

If I see Christmas largely as family fun and grand goodies, does it mean I love Jesus less? If I greet my friends with, 'Sup?, does it mean I don't respect the beauty of language?

Is there some place in between? Can I break the rules and yet respect them? Can I let Jesus' birth be only one part of why I love the holiday season?

I really hope so, for everyone's sake.

*in the same way that Christmas was originally tacked over a pagan holiday, many of the grammar rules we've all come to love were falsely imposed on English in an attempt to Latinize us - people used to think that English was derived from Latin, which it is not. So if we want to be really technical and proper about it, we should move Christmas to March and throw out a lot of grammar textbooks.

December 20, 2009

Bonus Round: Hello Kelly

I have never been a groupie before, but it is fun. (and I'm talking about the platonic version of groupie-dom, because "easy" has never been a word used to describe me.)

For our annual Christmas adventure (can we make adventure an annual thing, Nadine?), my "life-twin" and I went on a roadtrip to Orangeville for a concert.

This is what I have to say about the concert in general:
  • I haven't been to a church-concert since John Reuben in 2002, I think. (I now feel an urge to dig that CD up and burn it onto my laptop. He was so fun). Being at a church concert brought back memories of high school, and waves of relief that I am ten years past the height of horribleness.
  • I'm too old for concerts. Or my ears are too sensitive. They are still mildly ringing, and I may be speaking in a slightly raised voice today.
  • I don't like being alone at public events/venues unless I am on a mission and in motion. Standing around between bands, I just didn't know what to do with myself (I felt it would have been more awkward to make an unnecessary bathroom trip like I did at junior high dances). I wanted one of the "cool kids" to come over and say, "Hey, you look new. Nice to meet you." Apparently this part of high-school-me is still the same.
  • Nadine's friend Francy can really rock out.

More on Francy*:

Francy is (in) a band called Hello Kelly. He's been kicking around the music scene in southern Ontario for awhile, and is on the brink of taking it bigger. Have you ever met someone and thought, I just really want them to succeed! He's that sort of guy. So when he asked us if we were going to join them for post-tear-down food, I shrugged and said, "Sure!" I'm not good at mingling with lots of people I don't know, but Nadine is a good partner in adventures, and Francy is a good includer, so it wasn't hard to have fun. So much fun we closed out the food & drink joint.

Back to the music. I remember and recommend these songs:

a) Simple Love Song

I don't get the puzzle pieces, but it's so sweet.

b) Paper Bag Princess - official music video coming soon!

How can you not like this song when it is based on the best children's book ever, and is about someone who shares your name?

c) Cavalry - at least I think it's not "Calvary" as this video has titled it.

I found this one lyrically lovely.

I also really liked the story behind a new song. My old housemate Manuela is also a fantastic musician, and we've talked a couple times about the ins-and-outs of the Christian music scene. It's not always pretty. So when someone suggested to Francy that his songs would sell more if he put Jesus' name in them, he had to process & respond to this. The result is called "Your Name in Vain." It's on their Myspace page if you want to listen.

I like making new friends, especially once you pass over the awkward introduction threshold, and especially when they have artistic skills. I may have said this before, but I love the arts.

And if you liked any of those songs, you should go see him on his Intensity in Ten Cities Tour. Support musicians.

*Francy, if you read this and are creeped out at my praise of you, I will call in this favour; I taught you how to get rid of the hiccups, which left you indebted to me. Then I blogged about you. Now we're even.

Sundays are Fun-days: Still True

The start of this Sunday is about to get a separate post. Let's just say the start of Sunday was actually a late wrap-up of Saturday, which is really the best way to start.

  • good sermon at church - new Christmas insight, just when you think you've heard it all...turns out Herod actually was a great ruler, and did a lot of good for his people...the small flaw in it all? His ego. He was insanely afraid of losing his power, and had a wife & three sons killed at the threat of usurption.
  • World's Cutest Nephew was a donkey in the Sunday School nativity. He was best at hiding at the back of the stage and trying to tip over the manger...
  • lunch with my two best church friends, pastor & wife. Second trip to Swiss Chalet since landing. It's essentially the Whitespot of Ontario. Good to be reminded that pastors are just regular people, but still fantastic.
  • watching Home Alone 2 with a few more girls. Laughter and near-sleep.
  • discussion on awkward slips of the tongue including the pastor who combined "Playstation" and "Gameboy" to state that "every little boy wants a Playboy for Christmas," the church powerpoint typo that resulted in a hymn in which we declare that "angels prostate fall," and a brother who inadvertently wished a Jewish girl "Happy Holocaust" last year. Oops.
  • home and in my pj's before 7 o'clock. Going to peruse my online reading list and eat leftovers from dinner at Carden St. Cafe last night. Lemon Ginger Saffron Chicken, to be precise.
  • Extreme Makeover: Home Edition & bed at 9pm. That's the plan.

December 17, 2009

Thoughtful Thursday: I Do Think

I just realized that I haven't written a "Thoughtful Thursday" post since October. It's not because I haven't been thinking, that's for sure.

I think I've weighted this blog too heavily on the serious end. Or maybe it's just too much to blog every day at this point.

I think I'm growing. But then sometimes I think I'm regressing a little.

I think that winter is an unfortunate reality. Will there be winter in heaven? We discussed this briefly in the car tonight. I vote nay.

I think that life is never simple.

I think that families are incredibly lovely.

I think that church is so much more than a Sunday morning thing.

I think that art and music and beautiful words make life better.

I think I'm blessed to have people in my life to trust and love.

I think I probably panic over things I shouldn't.

I think this Christmas has the potential to be a memory-making occasion.

December 15, 2009

Two'sday: Last Day

The last day before a trip is always full.

My priorities for today are:

  1. Pack - parameters: ten days with the family, five day conference, snow instead of rain, must include pillow
  2. Work - parameters: time-sensitive emails first, long list of things to do by the end of the week second

These are the things I'm most looking forward to:
  1. Hanging out with D, L, and my little (bigger) brother. Coffee with D, L comes by sometime, and Jonathan is sleeping over before our flight.
  2. Massage therapy. Mmmmmm. My shoulders are ready to be relaxed.

December 13, 2009

Between Roommates: The Good Ones Are Never A Viable Option

(discussing a book I am reading)

Roommate A: Now there's a man I would marry.

Roommate B: Henri Nouwen?

A: Yeah! Except, well, you know...

B: (playing innocent) What? The fact that he's gay?
A priest?
Ohhhhhhh, it's that he's dead!

A: Yeah...

Sundays are Fundays: All the Right Ingredients

These are the things that make Sundays the best days. Especially today.

  1. Starting Sunday with a late-night party that involves good people, homemade egg nog, and wild games of Mafia.
  2. Coming home to a still house and crawling into bed. Looking out the window as I lie in bed and seeing the stars.
  3. Waking up 5 minutes before my alarm (I hate waking up to an alarm).
  4. Not showering (shh, don't tell).
  5. Church. I actually haven't been in a few weeks, and it was good to stand with people and sing with hearts of love.
  6. Brunch. Mmm, food. Mmm, friends.
  7. Cookies on the counter when I get home.
  8. Watching The Office and talking with roommates.
  9. A quiet house while I do my weekend cleaning and start my laundry.
  10. Time to read.
  11. All the necessary ingredients for snickerdoodles are in the house.
  12. No guilt over blasting my music while baking.
  13. Looking forward to a Christmas party tonight.
  14. Snow. It's been gently snowing all day.

December 12, 2009

Saturday Sing Along: Terrible Holiday Tunes

There are a lot of lovely Christmas songs out there. And then there are the ones that shouldn't have been written. Now, I enjoy some of these as much as the next person. But let's not pretend they're actually any good.

Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer -
I wasn't allowed to listen to this song as a child. We did anyway. (Sorry, Mom.) In the original video, it seems she didn't die afterall. Grandpa seems a bit disappointed...

I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas -
Not only is this a preposterous request, but she has a ridiculously nasal voice. Why do we love this song so much?

The Chipmunk Song -
ALVIN! (need I say more?)

Please Daddy (Don't Get Drunk This Christmas) -
Okay, this is actually a serious song. But heartbreaking. A little out of sync with the majority of Christmas tunes. You can't hate it, because that's like denying the Holocaust. But who wants to listen to it on their regular rotation of Christmas cheer?

It's Christmas Time -
White Christian rapper with chipmunk-esque back-up. WOW. Thanks to Rhianna, who cut my hair and introduced me to this song. I used to love KJ-52...

Do They Know It's Christmas -
I am AMAZED at how much radio time this song gets. Is it not incredibly egotistical and colonial?

These are the ones that come easily to mind; I'm sure I've missed many. Any you want to suggest for inclusion next time?

December 11, 2009

Friday Vari-e-tay: Things I Liked This Week

Here are my top picks of internet-amazingness for the week. Some of these showed up in Twitter, but deserve a second shout out. Some of these are new.

7. Ryan Seacrest: Taking Over the World & Yet Invisible... I thought this was an interesting article. And I noticed how much older he looks in this photograph.

6. This pointless wrestling music video made me smile.

5. This photo made me love California and photography just a little bit more.

4. Looking at the "Ultra Deep Field" through the Hubble Telescope. Guaranteed to make you feel small.

3. A new band! Club 8 out of Sweden. Don't let their name make you think of S Club 7, because that will scare you away. But they are too good for that. Download one of their songs here.

2. The Unbelievable World of Snowflakes. Looking at these images and facts gives me shivers - not of cold, but of awe.

1. Fuel/Friends Christmas Mix for 2009. As a bonus, you can also get 2008's mix. And 2007's. Don't delay. Download now! Then subscribe to this great music blog.

December 10, 2009

Wednesday's Word: Libraries

Originally uploaded by bethaf.
I love the library.

It sucks me in. (like Glee - every Wednesday night I say that to the television. "You suck me in, and I hate it!")

I worked at the public library during my last year of high school. I loved the work because I got so distracted. Books. All around me. Books, passing through my fingers on their way out the door, and then back to the shelves. Kids' books. Fiction. Teeny-bopper books. Non-fiction.

There are too many books out there. I can't read them all. But I did find that I could read a lot of kids' books while "shelving" them.

I have great memories of the library from when I was little, too. The Bookmobile came around to our neighbourhood on a regular basis (I'd like to say twice a week, but I am not sure if that's accurate). A little, mini-library on wheels right at the corner store. Can you get any better than this?

In an alternate life, I would work at the library again. I like being surrounded by books.

At the branch near my house, I have noticed a few things.

I have noticed that the employees wear little white gloves, which seems brilliant because a library is both dirty and dry. I have noticed there are no chairs for lounging. This is unfortunate.

I have noticed that the children's section has no toys. This is a good thing - the branch I once worked at had a basket of toys that were never washed and exceedingly filthy. I once heard a little boy cough up phlegm in the midst of the stuffed animals, but when I put them away that evening, I couldn't see it...

I will never let my children play with toys at the library. They will go to the library for the books and the books alone.

Well, perhaps also the CDs. I know I'm not the only person who loves getting good music free from the library. And the occasional movie. Although the same thing is true of both movies and books at the library - there are a lot more bad ones than there are good ones.

I need a personal librarian to help me sift through to the good ones. And then a job that pays me to read.

December 8, 2009

Two'sday: Freddie Mercury

I've been singing these two songs since Friday night's drive o' fun. Freddie was a musical genius.

Under Pressure

Somebody to Love (original video here)

December 7, 2009

Mondays Mean More: Over-thinking

I am, by nature, a thinker. A details person, through-and-through. Combine the two, and I might go so far as to say that it is in my blood to over-think most things in life. It is a rare occasion when I act too quickly or make a decision without extended time to consider all potential angles.

(The exception is speaking too soon. I do that regularly. Then my over-thinker kicks in and I spend the next six weeks wondering what sort of damage I've done. Usually, the other person hasn't noticed, or lets it go far before I do.)

As you might guess, this often gets me into trouble - I stress out over unnecessary things. Decisions that should be simple and obvious. Group activities that require the consideration of more than six peoples' feelings. The consequences of the off-handed comment I made to a friend two weeks ago. This blog entry, that I've been thinking about for 2 weeks and writing for 2 days.

It is now Tuesday morning, and my life-twin Nadine has just said to me, "Man, brains need a pause button." She didn't know that I am in the middle of writing these thoughts down. And that's why she's my life-twin.

It's my own fault that I'm here. In this particular situation, it started with an increased curiousity about who exactly is reading my blog. So I searched out a little info from my stats counter, which was mildly helpful. Someone in Portland reads my blog. But I don't know anyone there. Then a friend texted me that she'd just spent 2 hours catching up on my blog. Then more people came out of the woodwork. It was encouraging. Exciting. And frightening.

If I don't know who's reading my random thoughts, I can't control their perception of me. They know me better than I know them. I've given the world access into my head and my heart. For someone who considers herself fairly private, I'm not sure what I was thinking.

Where am I going with all these thoughts? This entry is already a day late.

It's been hard to write when I've become absorbed with who is reading. And I'm not gonna lie, I've been a bit nervous about the things I've realized regarding readership (which is why complete access to information via the internet is a dangerous thing). But at the end of the day, I don't want to change my blogging behaviour out of fear. So I won't.

Go to sleep, over-thinker. It's time to put your mind on pause.

December 6, 2009

Sundays are Fundays: Weekends Too

I like weekends. Especially ones that start early. Things I liked about this weekend include:

  • A solution for my slight piercing infection. I was freaking out on Thursday night that I might need a nose amputation. Fear, be gone!
  • Haircut. Straightened for the day. See image below.
  • Wrapping up photo editing of the O.'s wedding with Becca. Stay tuned for the release of my favourites.
  • Live jazz at The Cellar with some of the greatest girls in Langley. If I had $500 to spare, or if anyone is thinking of spending that much on me for Christmas/my birthday, I would seriously consider becoming a member. It was also the second time in a week that I'd heard Jodi Proznick play. The first was at the Elektra concert last Saturday.
  • Sleeping in on Saturday morning.
  • Doing nothing for most of Saturday. Laughing with L. and A. on Saturday. Going for a walk in the sunshine on Saturday.
  • Helping a friend devise a plan to make a work party bearable. "Make a list in your head of all the alternative things you could have done in the same amount of time. So fifteen minutes in, you could have had a shower. An hour in, you could have driven to the border. Two hours in, you could have watched a movie..."
  • Dressing up for a Christmas party, looking at myself in the mirror and thinking, "I wish I could have told myself ten years ago that this is where I'm headed. There would have been a lot less stress..."
  • Waking up to sunshine again!
  • Picking up a near-friend at the ferry for a visit. Spending the day together and realizing that we're not just near-friends. We are friends.

December 4, 2009

Friday Vari-e-tay: 3x3 (Gifts that Give)

Three sets of three today:

3 Gifts that Give - how $40 can change a life

1. Child of Mine (my church is sending gifts to the two orphanages in India we support)
2. Impact Nations Water Filters (providing drinkable water in the Philippines)
3. mycharity:water (a friend is raising money to provide fresh water in lieu of Christmas gifts)

3 Songs I'm Singing

1. Passion Play - William Fitzsimmons

2. Ok - MuteMath (no video)

3. You've Got the Love - Florence + the Machine

3 Half-Read Articles

1. An excerpt from the "first great novel of the new century" - a timely work on the economy.

2. Why we're all sucked in to Glee.

3. Vanishing in the Techonological Age - is it possible? One Wired writer tries to find out.

December 2, 2009

Bonus Round: Dreams

There's something fascinating about dreams, and how the things that we think about during the day come out in strange ways at night, and the tiny details that are inexplicable and yet memorable. I can recall three dreams from the last two nights. It's been awhile since I've really remembered my dreams, and I've been thinking about these ones all day.

Dream #1:

I am in the forest somewhere in the Lower Mainland. Possibly Stanley Park. I have my camera with me, and I notice two major additions to my kit: a unipod and a telephoto lens. As I take photos, it seems that my lens does all the work for me. Looking at my shots on screen, I have an Aha! moment - This is why their photos are so good, I think of some images I've been perusing online, This is the secret! I continue taking photos, giddy at how fantastic they are, and excited to talk photography with my artistic friends.

Dream #2:

I drive up for dinner at the home of some long-distance coworkers (actually a conglomerate of these coworkers & a couple from my church). They live on the coast in a large, spacious house. As I get out of my car, I notice there are two other people arriving. A boy that I like (a conglomerate of two boys I have liked) and his girlfriend. She is young, and I am surprised to see them.

Inside, I'm told by my hosts that this house used to be a barn, but with a lot of renovations, they've coz-i-fied their home. I also find out that their original plan was to have me over for dinner on a different night than The Boy and his girlfriend, but she is heading out of town next week, and it worked out best to have us at the same time. I smile and play it casual. None of them know of my dislike for her or my liking of him.

At the table, I talk with the husband and notice there are mini crossword puzzles on the table - like place cards. The clues all have to do with food and the meal we're going to eat. I think it's a genius and adorable idea. I am trying not to pay attention to The Boy and his girlfriend as they help in the kitchen.

Dream #3:

I am on some sort of trip, and I meet a boy at the beach. We start dating. We are walking along the beach with our arms around each other, and I think to myself, "HA. I am capable of having a normal relationship." Then there is a train wreck, and someone winds up in the hospital. Before long, we are back to "real life" - where it turns out that my boyfriend is my teacher (a Will Schuester sort of teacher). This doesn't end our relationship - there's an exception to the no-student-teacher-dating rule, for some reason.

I have two comments to make on my subconscious mind.

a) I forgot I'd saved this Postsecret image on my desktop - it seems close to the fears of Dream #3 Beth:

b) The dream-related conversation at dinner tonight ended like this:
Roommate - "I bet you're going to get your period this month."
Me - "Yeah, I probably am... I've been dreaming about boys and have uncontrollable urges to bake!"

Wednesday's Word: Plurals & Grammars

There are rules for pluralizing words. With every rule, comes exceptions. Two exceptions I've run up against recently had me googling the answers.

I'd rather research than make a mistake. Some people might think that makes me a grammar nazi. I prefer the term Grammar Champion. I am a champion for the cause of good grammar. I am encouraging and positive in my pursuit of better speaking and writing skills, for myself and for my friends. And I uphold the value of both Prescriptive and Descriptive grammars.

I could go on. Even writing these two paragraphs is making me wonder where all my notes are from my History of the English Langauge class. Best course I ever took. (Read about the prof's work on Chaucer here.) Topics ranged from Middle English to the Great Vowel Shift (it's a real thing, folks!) to the Norman Invasion and the Evolution of Taboo Words.

(happy sigh)

Now I have to wrap this up. Somehow. How about a challenge - the same challenge that started my thoughts on grammar: what are the correct pluralizations for criteria and millenium? (no googling allowed!)

December 1, 2009

Two'sday: Shoop

(some video content is inappropriate. but don't you love the early 90's swimsuits?)

1. Salt-n-Pepa

2. Ellen
(starts at 8:53)

(for a full-length version & performance with dancers, click here)