grammar, the new style

ok. the title of my blog was meant to be a joke. I am not a detail girl. Meaning I don't notice things like spelling or punctuation. I especially don't proofread. I do a brain dump onto the page and hit publish. I am through and it felt good to get it all down. I like lower case and typos and especially all those little dots............. ( recently i learned they were called elipses. I used to only think that word meant more than one oval path).

Then I joined a writer's group and thought if I was going to be a little more serious about my writing I would actually start capitalizing words and cut down on those dots. I still struggle with the proofreading part, but I have most surely improved.

I tried to read Eats, Shoots and Leaves and couldn't finish. I made it about 60 pages in ( keep in mind that it is a pretty short book to begin with). I thought I would like it. I like to read about writing, I like puns, I like smart clever little books. I loved the children's version. I kept thinking it would cute and interesting any second. I kept thinking that if was a real writer I would like it, but it was boring me to tears. I honestly don't give a rip about the history of the apostrophe or care all that much about the correct usage. I finally gave up and put the book aside. I am a classic case of the kind of person/writer he was making fun of. Then I tried to read through the Elements of Style. It was also a beating. How could books about writing well be so dry? However, I assure you they were both well edited and gramatically correct.

About this same time I began the editing process for the first time since the whole "peer-editing" pass-your-paper-to-your-neighbor thing in highschool. I love reading everyone's and the discussion. I didn't think I had anything to bring to the table ( and when it comes to grammar - I don't), but I do see a few things. Sometimes I can offer a better word or say cut that sentence. I know a good word when I see one. I have also learned some "new" grammar rules. Things have changed since high school English. Such as:
1. You are supposed to add a serial comma. Example apples, oranges, and bananas. That comma before the and used to not be necessary.
2. You are only supposed to leave one space between sentences. (It used to be 2).
3. He, Him and His no longer needed to be capitalized when speaking of Christ.
I am sure there are more changes......and I am having a hard time "untraining" myself. I keep leaving out commas, and inserting spaces. They can't change the rules in the middle of the game. Who knew grammar was so fickle. Suddenly keeping up with the current rules is like the ever changing tax laws or the fashion industry. I suggest giving up. Grammar is completely over rated.

guess how much i love you

Most things in the scientific world have magnitude ( the #value) and an appropriate unit. Science teachers everywhere make a big deal about including units and I take off at least 2 points whenever a kid leaves it off. It’s not just science……I order a tall coffe, large fries, wear a size 9 shoe, buy milk by the half gallon, we are supposed to drink 96 oz of water a day, and I fill my car up with 16 gallons of gas, etc. Things come in units and or amounts.
The other night I was laying in bed thinking about how much I missed an old friend. And I started wondering why love doesn’t have a unit. We occasionally try to apply one and say things like “I love you tons”, but it sounds corny and doesn’t really make sense…..or does it? Sometimes I feel like my love has weight. It is thick and heavy and anchored down somewhere inside me. I love my son like this. I love my husband like that. A few other people come close, but to be honest I don’t love them the same way. I love coffee and chips and salsa and the new tegan and sara album. No I don’t think I am using the word love too lightly in those contexts. I love them. I like brownies and the new shoes I just bought and last nights episode of Heros, but some things I like more. Isn’t that enough to say I love them? We need levels or degrees of this. The word for how I feel about salt and vinegar chips should not be the same one I use when I tuck my son in at night. Some purists might say love doesn’t come in levels or degrees. If we were using the word properly we wouldn’t use it so casually. I checked out and was shocked to find 21 definitions and even more verb phrases. Some were easy (to have a strong liking for) and others were going to take a lot more work (profoundly tender passionate affection) and I won’t even go into the whole 1 corinthians 13 take on it. Ancient Greeks had 3 distinct words for love which helped ease up on some of the confusion ( eros, philia, agape). Sanskrit has ninety-six words for love; ancient Persian has eighty; Greek three; and English only one. If we are only going to use one word we might as well tack a measurement and unit onto it. Can’t you just picture it –opening up a card from your husband and it saying I love you 78 degrees, or I love you 34 grams worth. It isn’t very romantic but sure practical. So for now let’s just say I love guacamole and my TiVo and the smell when someone else just cleaned my house in normal equal amounts. I love Owen and Shaun right up to the moon and back (hey, if science isn’t helping you out go with children’s books.)

my daily report

Most days when I pick up Owen from preschool there are 2 worksheets in his cubby. ( he has his own cubby, how cute is that). One is the “art activity” of the day (aka a coloring sheet), and Owen’s is usually mostly blank. The other is his daily report. It lists what they learned, what books they read and anything else they did that day. The bottom is my favorite. It has 3 categories: Today at lunch I….. Today at rest time….and finally My character today. It then gives options like “ I ate everything”, “I wasn’t hungry” , “I slept”, “ I was quiet” and then for the character list …Today I was “ attentive”, “mischevious”, “followed directions”, “lively” and many others. I look forward to reading it and sometimes question if they are really talking about my kid ( his always says he slept, ate everything and followed directions………3 things he never does at home). I have started wondering what people would circle about me at the end of the day, particularly in the character department. Was I patient and loving? Did I notice a need around me……..or was I grumpy, tired and stressed. I wonder how much we would alter these 3 basic things: what we eat, the amount of rest we get and our character if we knew we were getting a grade?

my not so weekly update

I started this whole blogging my weight thing to keep me accountable and it was another thing I put to rest for the last 3 weeks. I didn't give up on my weight loss though. I am 149ish....and when I say ish I don't mean really 150, I mean sometimes my scale is fickle. I can weigh myself ( naked, first thing in the morning just after peeing of course) 3 times in a row and get 3 different weights....148.5, 151, and 147 were the ones this morning. I figure 149 is a safe conservative estimate. Lesson, don't buy the cheapest digital scale you can find at Target. There is something great about being under 150. It means they don't have to move it up a notch when you go to the dr's office ( well as long as they let me take my pants off first!). There has been only a recent resurgence in working out ( which was canceled out by the ice cream I insited on afterwards), but very little snacking. No friends at school has kept me from going to Starbucks all the time. I can also attribute some of the weight loss to those icky frozen dinners I keep trying to eat for lunch. I have 4 more lbs to go in 3 weeks to meet my goal. My new goal is to fit into Rhonda's fat pants ( that she is now too skinny to wear and donated them to me).

back in the saddle

Once school started I kind of disappeared for a while. I started saying no. This has been liberating. I have never really seen myself as much of a pleaser......but have always been super overcommitted. I don't do anything well, so I just do lots of everything. I am also super extroverted and hate to miss out. A new school year, a new job and some new added stress ( all work related) gave me an excuse to NOT go to 4 parties, 2 soccer practices, 1 writers group ( sorry girls) and 1 wedding over the last 2 weeks. No I haven't been holed up in my house....I have just been exceptionally choosy. I have been home more weeknights than I haven't for the first time since I got my driver's liscence. My small group has been put on hold. I quit my coed team ( still on a women's) and one of my mom's groups has been weeded out. It has been contagious. I haven't blogged, I haven't cooked, I haven't cleaned and I haven't worked out.

Well, I decided last week was the week for my slow return. I cooked twice and am learning to actually eat leftovers. I worked out twice and slept soooo much better. I went to the Tech game ( wreck em'). I went out with friends. I went to book club. I just got home from a birthday party. But........I plan on keeping no in my vocabulary. Ordering pizza tonight and taking an afternoon nap. I am hoping to only make a partial return.