In the Swim
An amusing entry on page 160 of The Associated Press Stylebook (2004):
Not milk toast when referring to a shrinking, apologetic person. Derived from Caspar Milquetoast, a character in a comic strip by Harold T. Webster.
This morning I was running a bit late for my spinning class at the gym, and therefore had no time to get a locker for all my shit before the class began and had to lug my massive gym bag, purse, work clothes, etc into the room with me. My tardiness required me to take one of the bikes on the front row, which I generally avoid because I prefer to spare the folks on the back row a 60-minute showing of my misshapen, padded bike short-clad ass.
I make my grand entrance, heaping all my crap into a large mound by my bike. In a rush, I open my gym bag to pull out my cycling shoes when what would appear? Why, my white cotton thong underwear, firmly velcroed to the side of one of my shoes.
I notice the underwear hanging from my shoe as I go to put it on, and reach down to discretely remove the item from the velcro strap. Well, a slight problem arises due to the fact that I sliced a significant portion of my right thumb off this weekend with my mandolin slicer while hurriedly preparing zucchini au gratin for a last-minute dinner party. With my thumb wrapped in gauze and bandaids it's twice its normal size, hampering my capacity for dexterity. I manage to pull the undies off the shoe, only to see them majestically take flight, coming to rest precisely two feet in front of the spinning instructor's bike (the one with the spotlight shining down on it from the ceiling in an otherwise dimly lit room).
With one bike shoe on and one socked foot, I hobble my way to the front of the class to retrieve my unmentionables. The instructor does a mediocre job of stifling his laugh and the rest of the class looks on with bated breath - presumably waiting to see what act of complete and utter humiliation I might perform next.
How's that for getting up on the wrong side of the bed?
Back from bean land.
5 days in San Antonio is 3 days too many.
90% of people on any given airplane are either drunk or teething.
85 degree days + rooftop pool = shirking of conference-going responsibilities.
5,000 calories are easily ingested daily when one consumes tex-mex cuisine and mojitos for every meal.
Ok. Remember how I said I had a running list of words and phrases so foul that, in my mind, they should never be uttered?
On NPR just a bit ago, one of the commentators described Carl Sagan's voice as "creamy." My friends, please spare the world this ignominious adjective - it degrades us all. Another word, of a similar breed, that should be avoided at all costs - "milky." Just don't do it. I beg you.
On that note, I'm off to TexASS this afternoon for a relaxing weekend with the H, followed by a 3-day conference with all those crazy listserv members. Never been to ol' San Antone, but I hear it's pretty rockin' - for Texas anyway.
Remember the Alamo!
An open letter to ignorant listserv members everywhere:
Dear ignorant listserv members everywhere:
What the fuck is the deal with presumably intelligent folks like you not grasping the concept of a listserv or the associated rules of etiquette? I swear to sweet baby Jebus I'm about to flip my shit if another one of you posts something resembling this eternally perplexing question that was posted earlier today:
"Hello all, I've run into a problem which has my entire staff going nuts! One of our designers sent us a pdf of a small brochure. When I print it out on our laser printer one at a time, it prints fine. However, if I print our more than one copy the text will sporadically turn into gobbely-gook! And what's worse, it does it in different places!"...blah...blah...blah..."looks like cartoon swear words"...blah...blah...blah..."jagged lines everywhere"....blah...blah...."can someone help!".
Ok, let's think about this. Is this printing problem really so dire that a) it tosses every single employee at your place of business into an hysterical frenzy, or b) it necessitates a mass post to a totally unrelated listserv, or c) it requires 300 words of explanation riddled with excessive exclamation points, or d) it poses such a labyrinthine challenge to you that you actually feel compelled to type the word "gobbely-gook"?
Now let's think about how we might respond to your query in an appropriate manner. We could ignore the post entirely in the hopes that sheer perseverance would yield success for you and your army of fools. Or we could reply to you OFF THE LIST and try to lend a helping hand. Or we could all decide to weigh in on this grave situation by blasting helpful nuggets of wisdom such as this one that was posted to the entire list today: "You might try restarting the computer, or, better yet, shut the machine down for about a minute and start from there."
Somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 of you felt it necessary to reply similarly to this post today, broadcasting your inventive answers to life's burning questions to all of us innocent bystanders. In an effort to help quell the tumultuous shitstorm of manic, nonsensical posts raining down on all of us, I decided to inject a little sentiment of my own into the mix.
As politely and calmly as I could, I suggested to you that we all consider posting off the list and responding directly to the particular individual with the question, when topics such as this (and by "topics such as this" I mean, TOTALLY FUCKING RIDICULOUS AND SELF-EXPLANATORY ONES) arise.
What came back was a barrage of your hyper little replies, posted to the whole list, denigrating me for my lack of team spirit, my apparent unwillingness to learn from others, my insensitivity to the issues my colleagues deal with on a daily basis, etc. To add insult to injury, most of you who replied chose to add little smiley or winkey faces to your posts. I'm guessing your use of cutesy *emoticons* was intended to more fully convey the friendliness of your comments and to ensure that they were taken constructively.
Several of you even imparted this little gem of wisdom - "If you don't care to read them, you can just hit delete". Really? Can I just? Are you sure? Thanks for sharing that with me, well with all of us really, because now we all know what that mysterious little key on our keyboards actually does! :) ;) :) ;)
And please, take five minutes right now and learn how NOT to send your "on vacation" notice to the rest of us each and every day that you are out of the office. Then take five more and learn the difference between "reply" and "reply all." And from now on, every time you feel the urge to plaster one of your little "issues" all over the listserv, stop and take a couple deep breaths. Think really hard about whether the paper jam in your office Xerox machine is cause for posting a frenetic plea for help for all to see.
Thank you :)
We've decided that little Willy needs a playmate. Yesterday, over many many adult beverages, the H and I came up with a list of potential names: Lorenzo (aka Loz), Horatio, Glenn, Waylon, Sugarlump, Chunkernoodle, plain ol' Noodle, Flannigan, Young Flannigan, Cornelius, Bandit, Henry, Brisket, & Coe.
Personally, I think it's gotta be Waylon (even though our Willy isn't truly named for THE Willie). I'm so excited to add one more outlaw to the mix, and I know Willy will appreciate some company of the feline variety. We'll be looking for Waylon round about Thanksgiving time, so if anyone knows of a sweet short-haired kitten (younger than 7 months old and male) in need of some lovin', let me know.
Wherefore art thou Ponzi?
One of an extremely lengthy (totally subjective and
Someone on NPR this morning described a shady investment deal by using this offensive phrase and it has since taken a seat for a spell in my brain, constantly whispering its unpalatable little name in my ear - Ponzi.
Get out Ponzi! Get out.
*Am I crazy for hating "The Ponze"? Does anyone out there share my aversion to this filthy phrase? Or perhaps have a strong distaste (or undying love) for any particular word or phrase? If so, please share.