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Photo Post

So, as some of you noticed, I spruced things up around here. My old theme didn’t really provide much interesting styling for non-standard formatted blog posts. And even though 99% of my blog posts are standard, I had thought I could use my blog a little more often for other types of postings that WordPress allows for. However, I’m not really familiar with how it handles them so this is basically a test post to see if the 90+ people who subscribe for email updates will still get emails even if I do a non-standard post. I really don’t want that to happen because then you poor people might be bombarded with stupid emails notifying you of every pretty picture I post to my blog.

Sorry if you get the email about this one! It’s just a boring photo of my bullet journals on their shelf!

(Dear Bullet Journals: YOU ARE NOT BORING, I love you! I shouldn’t have called you boring.)

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Grammar Shame

The other day I realized I accidentally used “their” instead of “they’re” in something online and I could NOT DELETE IT FAST ENOUGH. And then I sat there, falling down a shame spiral, wondering: Who saw what I did? Did they make fun of me? Do they think I’m dumb? Am I now on they’re – no, THEIR (DAMMIT!) – list of idiost who they have to periodically mock? Will they think if me every time someone makes fun of people who don’t know the difference? I KNOW THE DIFFERENCE! IT WAS A MISTAKE!

I mean, that’s not verbatim, BUT IT IS DAMN CLOSE to the thoughts that followed the error.

You know what else I sometimes do? I sometimes double-space after a period. YES. YES, I DO. And YES. I understand it’s not necessary thanks to modern typefaces. I’ve read that article you posted about it 100 million times now. But I learned typing ON A TYPEWRITER in 10th grade and sometimes the old habits come out and when I catch myself I’m mortified.

Why do I fall down a pit of shame at the smallest error in language? Because every day there are 14 million memes making fun of people who make mistakes in language. Or there are 12 thousand articles proclaiming in exasperation to PLEASE STOP MAKING THAT ERROR that you keep making. Now, full disclosure: Major publications or signs or advertisements with grammatical errors because some copy editor didn’t get enough sleep the night before? Yeah. I laugh at those too. But the general, “Stop Making This Mistake!” articles that clutter my feed or the, “Every time someone uses ‘it’s’ instead of ‘its’, a puppy dies!” type of humorous memes, make me feel Bust-My-As-In-Front-Of-My-10th-Grade-Boyfriend levels of embarrassment whenever I make a mistake.

Let me give you some back history.

I’ve always been a reader. And I always enjoyed writing, but I didn’t know it. What I did know was that most of my writing/grammar type classes growing up were the ones I struggled with the most. Now, in college? I was better, but K-12 I tended to be the math/science girl and not the english/reading girl. Even though I was an avid reader, math and science came easy. Grammar did not.

When I started blogging in 2004 I always kept descriptions on my sidebar that said something like, “I know my grammar sucks! I’m not a writer!” But then I saw/heard this Stephen Fry talk and it changed my opinion on writing and language and grammar COMPLETELY.

I am a writer. I convey ideas with words and my stories and my ideas MAKE SENSE. Just because I sometimes (often) put commas in the wrong place or end a sentence in prepositions, doesn’t mean you can’t understand what I mean when I’m talking about boob sweat. My stories and thoughts are conveyed clearly, even if I used a colon instead of a semi-colon.

So I quit adding the disclaimer and I owned the title: WRITER.

When I need to now, I often say that my writing style is casual. I write how I speak. Filled with grammar errors and hopefully…joy.

Here’s what I don’t get.

Of the dozens/hundreds/thousands/millions of people that see the snarky meme about grammar errors (depending on where it’s posted and who the audience is) people post online, what percentage of the people who see the mocking meme or article actually DON’T KNOW the rule it’s teaching? I’d say it’s a very low percentage. Most of us active online know the differences between they’re/their/there. And those that still don’t? Probably need a bit more than a snarky meme to teach them. And they’re probably not going to read that annoying article because the tone is just RUDE. Instead, it makes those of us who just accidentally get it wrong sometimes feel complete and total embarrassment when we do. THANKS FOR THAT.

I left a comment on a YouTube video a few weeks ago. I never do that. Why? Because I can never be 100% certain my thoughts/comments are grammatically perfect. I’m the same way commenting on blogs. If it’s MY Facebook page or MY blog I don’t freak out because it’s my turf, but someone else’s turf and I’m totally paranoid about saying what I want to say incorrectly and WHAT IF PEOPLE THINK I’M STUPID?

And that is so sad.

How many other people are paranoid about their own grammar/language skills and terrified to leave their words somewhere on the off chance they end up making an embarrassing mistake. Does anyone else worry, What if they think I’m stupid?

Well. I’m sick of it. I’m done with worrying about if people think I’m stupid. My words aren’t for them. I have a hard time with some fake southern accents so I don’t watch movies or TV shows with actors delivering bad ones. (Michael Rappaport on Justified last season almost KILLED ME.) If someone gets twitches reading my writing and my grammar errors and misspellings, then they’ll go somewhere else for their stories about boob sweat. And if someone decides to direct their mocking at me on someone else’s forum (blog/video/article) then that’s ON THEM, not on me. I need to not be scared of sharing my ideas because of the fear of the shame of bad grammar or spelling.

I am a writer. I like sharing my words. My ideas are usually coherent, even if they are insane. That’s all that should matter to me – that I’m sharing my thoughts and stories in a way that makes sense. And if someone rolls their eyes because I end my sentence in a preposition? Then that’s okay. I rolled my eyes during 7 seasons of The Closer because I loved the show but HATED Kyra Sedgwick’s accent. Sometimes we suck up our annoyances for the greater experience, and hopefully my writing about my cats and bullet journals is just SO RIVETING, people will overlook my overuse of sentence fragments.

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Bullet Points Of Miscellany.

This is one of those mornings where I want to write about 14 different things but none of them are really worth of an entire entry, soooo….BULLET POINTS! A blogger crutch since 2004.

(Possibly earlier, but that’s when I started blogging so I’m only qualified to discuss things at that point.)

  • I binged watched Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt on Netflix this weekend and LURVED it. It definitely has a some issues with a few things, but it made me do a lot of smiling from beginning to end. It’s a Tina Fey creation and definitely could be RIDICULOUS and not at ALL funny if the wrong actress had been cast in the lead, but I find her charming and not at all annoying. I’m very open about my preference for TV that makes me happy…and Kimmy Schmidt did that.
  • I have been re-listening to Harry Potter and I’m on book 7 and they’re walking down the tunnel back to Hogwarts from the Hogs Head and it occurred to me that almost all of my truly FAVORITE moments in the series involve Neville Longbottom. I adore when he gets the final 10 points in book 1, I love when he starts to kick ass in the DA in book 5, my heart wrenched when he joined the fight in book 6 (and Harry’s heart swelled too, noticing that he and Luna were the only ones who answered the call of the DA because they were the only ones who missed it) and when he shows up in that portrait of Ariana? And the way JK Rowling writes the reveal that it’s him? Is probably my “incidental favorite” of the whole series. In terms of moments that aren’t HUGE? It’s my favorite. I just love the way she almost teases it but it feels like you’re experiencing the shock of realizing who it is along with Harry. LOVE IT.
  • Wesley has entered a new phase of behavior where, as soon as he does something he knows he shouldn’t do, he goes into Floundering/Urgent Apology mode. It bothers me because sometimes it feels like it happens so fast that he’s allowing himself the behavior because it’s being followed by an apology. But it also bothers me because he focuses on THAT instead of righting the wrong. For example, if I tell him to do something and he yells at me, “No!” or throws something or kicks a wall, he IMMEDIATELY apologizes and demands a hug and forgiveness. But, lately I feel like he’s stalling. Last night it was like a yell/apology cycle and after 10 minutes he still hadn’t gotten any closer to brushing his teeth which was the ORIGINAL request. I finally told him, “Obey me FIRST, then apologize. Do what I’m telling you to do FIRST, then come apologize for the initial behavior. That makes it a much better apology.” But it’s SO FRUSTRATING because on one hand? Yay! He recognizes his actions are bad! But BOO! Still not actually doing what I’m telling him to do.
  • When I was visiting E we discussed how he never fills up his gas tank because you just don’t to “waste” that money and it gave me SUCH HUGE FLASHBACKS. I remember NEVER getting a full tank of gas and I had forgotten about that. I’m not sure if that forget makes me happy (because I’m financially stable now!) or sad (because I’ve lost touch with my past) but oh, man. I vividly remember the few times my Dad would come visit and fill up my tank and I’d feel SO EUPHORIC.
  • Y’all know I watch Glee even though it has SO MANY flaws. I love the music and the dancing even when the stories and the characters are ridiculous. But y’all? This last season? They have introduced new members and I kinda love them all and now I’m depressed it’s ending. I didn’t mind before, was actually irritated they didn’t keep it in New York this season, but I love the new Glee members and now I’m going to be sad it’s gone. BOO!
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Absence of Time

I had to wake up at 3:30am Saturday morning in order to get to my 12-hour run in a neighboring town by 6am. I tried to go to bed by 8pm Friday night, but I don’t think I fell asleep until closer to 9:30. Remember, for a sleeper like me, 6 hours is NOT an ideal night’s sleep…especially before a long race. We had a shindig after the run on Saturday so I basically ran 44 miles, (My race report is almost done but I thought this gripping entry about last night’s sleep would be a better entry for this morning. BECAUSE SOMEONE ELSE’S SLEEP IS SO FUN TO READ ABOUT! Right?) showered, and went to a party at a local brewery. Thank GOD the party was ending at 9pm because I was having so much fun I probably would have stayed later. We picked up the kids and I was asleep by 10:30. THEN WE LOST A DAMN HOUR, and I have a Sunday trail run I “lead” with a friend (who did the same race I did on Saturday) so I got up at 4am, but with the lost hour it was like 5’ish hours sleep. I WAS EXHAUSTED. I tried to take a nap on Sunday but only got about an hour and it was restless because I was still sore.

SO! All of that is to tell you: I was REALLY tired when I went to bed last night. REALLY TIRED.

Also? I don’t want to spoil anything for my upcoming race report but I was also kind sunburned, which is also weirdly draining. WHY IS IT EXHAUSTING TO BE RED? I don’t know. But I felt like my sunburn made me more tired and maybe I was just delusional but either way…TIRED and RED.

I decided to do something I never/rarely do on purpose last night. I slept without a clock accessible. See? I typically wake up naturally before 4am, often as early as 3am, I look at the clock and see, “Oh? 3:15? Better get up for the day!” because I always feel like I have SO MUCH TO DO, that I have to be up that early. I decided I’d removed that stimulus and see if I could get a little more sleep. I know that I would “feel” how late it was if it got to the point where the kids would be late for school, so I wasn’t worried about that, but I was hoping I’d get to sleep past 4am this way.

I SLEPT UNTIL 5:15AM!!! HOLY CRAP THAT IS SO LATE!!!!

I was so proud when I came downstairs and looked at the clock. I was like, “Ooooohhhh…this is what NORMAL people feel like!”

Although, 5:15am might even be a little early for normal, but still! Later than 3:15am!

I know I couldn’t do that every night, I did wake up once (probably about 3am) and toss and turn a bit worried about what time it was. But I told myself Kim, it’s ONE DAY. If you sleep later than usual it’s okay and it will make everything else BETTER. If you get up too early today your emotions will be shot and you’ll spend the day crying over cute puppy vines. So I went back to sleep. That pep talk only works if this is a rare thing and I’m extraordinarily exhausted.

I do feel a LITTLE frazzled not having my solid 2 hours of “ME” time in the morning before the rest of the world wakes up, but I think the trade off will be better in the long run. Exhausted Zoot makes bad food decisions so I’m trying to keep her rested so she can get back to being as fit as she was several months ago.

Bring on Monday!

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Pros and Cons to be Stranded with your Adult Child

I’m still stuck in Montevallo until this afternoon when the roads will hopefully be clear as I travel North. This has been a rejuvenating trip as I’ve not spent this much quality time with my kid in a very long time. It was much needed and I am so glad I opted to come early and get stuck here instead of canceling the trip all together.

BUT. There are pros AND cons…and here they are:

PRO

You get to hear stories from the ins and outs of their daily life as you go about general daily activities. When they come in to town to visit YOU, the environment triggers for those stories are not there.

CON

You then tell your OWN stories of the ins and outs of YOUR daily life and you realize your daily life is boring and uneventful.

PRO

They can take you to some of their favorite places. This makes you feel really good when it’s something like a hike to a waterfall which is EXACTLY the kind of place you love too.

CON

Then you slip and fall and your kid mentally cancels any planned future outings of the same vein because NO CHILD wants to carry his mother out from the woods when she falls off of a cliff.

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PRO

You get to learn about their domestic habits, what foods they eat and cook as an adults. This is an interesting facet of having an adult child because they are in charge of their own grocery shopping so you find out what they actually like (or probably: CAN AFFORD) to eat when they’re making the choices and not you.

CON

You find out THEY DO NOT DRINK COFFEE. HOW ARE YOU GOING TO SURVIVE WITHOUT COFFEE????

PRO

You can be cool and bring your locally brewed beer because college kids can’t afford such extravagances so you are way classier in his environment than in your own.

CON

You discover that since college kids drink cheap beer, THEY HAVE NO NEED FOR A BOTTLE OPENER. So! You have to google how to open a beer with a pair of scissors and pray you don’t lose a finger or a hand in a craft-beer related incident.

PRO

You get to feel the euphoria of buying your kid their first bottle opener. Also? A garbage can. ONLY ANIMALS LIVE WITHOUT GARBAGE CANS, CHILD.

CON

You feel sad you can’t afford to buy him other things it would be nice for him to have. LIKE A COFFEE MAKER.

PRO

You get to end every day watching Friends with him and laughing about episodes you’ve both seen 50 times.

CON

You then have to sleep on his loveseat and you are old your body may never be the same.

All in all? A perfect trip. When’s the next ice storm coming?