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Archive for the ‘Frayed Connections’ Category

ORDER IN THE QUART!!

In Frayed Connections on August 20, 2013 at 6:19 pm

 

Spelling

Spelling

 With the advent of Facebook, Twitter, texting and e-mail comes a terrible plague that exposes a dark underbelly of our society. It’s not adultery, money scams, id theft or even foodie instagrams.

It’s about spelling. It’s about how few people can actually spell the basics, words used everyday.  I’m sure it connects somehow to the demise of books and bookstores, and the general dumbing down of our culture, but I’m no anthropologist.  I’m also no librarian, English major or former spelling bee champion.

In fact I’m an aspiring, unpublished writer who writes about teenagers smoking pot in the woods and the trouble they get into  (Lofty I’m not.)

I’m not a person who would ever publicly correct a person’s misspellings either. Not even (or maybe: especially) people I am close to. For years I misspelled the word ‘course’ with an ‘a’….and I use that word a LOT!

 Maybe that’s part of the problem- no one wants to call anyone out and humiliate them.  I am (for all intents and purposes) only marginally educated (public high school, some community college) so if I’m noticing theses errors, it’s bad.

    I don’t want to embarrass anyone, or start a fight. I’m simply stating that before we get on the front lines to argue about women’s rights or gay marriage -so as not to have to discuss the economy and politician’s salaries, we should take a good, hard look at the way we are exposing our ignorance every single day.

  Again,  I am talking the basics. Stuff you should know  fifth, sixth grade, tops. I can’t tell you how many times I see college educated people (good schools!) misspell the simplest things! It’s jarring. Correspondence from large companies, billboards, hand-written signs in public places- spelling has gone into the ditch.

   The incredibly obvious ‘Your’ and ‘You’re’ lead the pack. I have not experienced a single day (since the advent of the internet) where I don’t see this mistake. “Your coming over today, right?”-wrong! ‘You’re coming over- as in ‘You Are!’ Next in line: Their, they’re and there. ‘They’re sure that their students know how to spell, and so they now attend the middle school over there.’ And guess what? “We’re, where and were’ are not interchangeable! 

   Rather than bore you to tears with a lecture I’m going to write a few sentences, using actual spelling from Facebook posts in composite sentences.  I am avoiding any that may have been typos: 

   Last night, we grilled stake out on the deck. The whether was nice, and a gental breeze blue. I new it wood be good. I was afraid I’d loose the spatular, so I kept an eye on it. ( me: Vampires hate stakes!)

   I don’t know weather you know that I bread dogs? (me: Panko bread-crumbs are best on dogs!)

   Kids have no manors these days! (me: It’s the economy!)

   My friend, the genious that she is, left the door unlocked and someone stold the cell-phone! It cost more then mine! (me: Alrighty, than!)

   We have three cat’s. (Are they kitten’s?)

   Did you loose your mind, man? (I’m trying to tighten it, actually!)

   Are we aloud to go to the beach after sundown? (Only if we whisper)

   Now- we’re not even going to go into your post-worthy life, and ask why you think we care about the fact that you’re grilling and bragging about it like the cave-man  who first discovered fire,  but shouldn’t you’ NO’ how basic words are spelled?

Awww! Don't we all?

Awww! Don’t we all?

 

   On the other hand,who am I to talk?  I have no smarts when it comes to punctuation regardless of how many instructionals I read.  No one is perfect, but I think if we all read more books, it might help!

Reading doesn’t  always help me spell words correctly, but I often recognize when something’s not right, bringing attention where it’s needed. I’m not a spelling Nazi, but I do wince when I see intelligent people making horrendous spelling mistakes. Unless they’re bragging, or being bullies. Then I just laugh. Because I love my whore family, too!

  

Is Breast Cancer The Popular Girl in the Cancer Club??

In Frayed Connections on October 16, 2012 at 12:16 am

I’ve been wanting to say this for years…and I’m finally going to because I’ve had it. Is there no other kind of cancer than breast cancer? Does anyone give a sh** about people suffering from other forms of cancer- say Ovarian, Lung, Brain, Prostate…etc? Everywhere I look it’s pink-pink-pink…..and trust me, I have two beautiful breasts, and want to keep them healthy- but shouldn’t having cancer be the one place where you don’t have to win a god-damn popularity contest?? Is breast cancer the Kardashian of cancer? The blockbuster? The ratings booster? If you die from another form, should you just go quietly? 

I have my worries about the Susan G. Komen charity as well. Do we all remember how they tried to weasel out of their Planned Parenthood contributions last year? Planned Parenthood-which benefit women’s rights in the first place, and makes sure your daughters have somewhere to turn for the information and help they may be too embarrassed to ask for elsewhere? (And to all of you who vote against women’s rights- especially if you ARE a WOMAN!– you should be ashamed of yourselves! You don’t even have the brains to want to control your OWN body! Think about it! That’s like buying a car in NY and having to ask a stranger in the mid-west to let you use your own the keys- if it’s okay- and if THEY approve of your driving!) Oh- and Komen buckled,(because of the publicity, and fear of losing their cash cow) but you have to wonder: How much money are they making off of ‘pink’ products, and why would they choose to STOP SUPPORTING WOMEN’S RIGHTS?

Today I read that only .35 cents out of $10.00 worth of NFL pink products (5%) goes to breast cancer research. The NFL is making a mint off of their ‘awareness’ campaign. But- they are only concerned about breast cancer (if 35 cents can be called ‘concern’ and not a ‘scam’)

It’s sickening to think that there is an actual popularity contest in the world of sickness, disease and dying. I guess all I can say, is if you are cancer stricken- you’d better hope you get ‘lucky’ enough to get the only kind anyone seems to care about. Because the rest of them don’t even have a ‘color’. Or a rally cry. Or PR Firm. And life never stops being a popularity contest- even when it comes to what might kill you.

Click, Click -Doom!

In Frayed Connections on March 28, 2012 at 10:24 am

I hate to get bossed around. I know nobody likes it, but I have always been extra reluctant to be told what to think, feel or do- without turning it over in my own mind first. I’m not  talking about common sense rules: I obey traffic lights, pay my bills, act properly in public, and do all those ‘good citizen’ type things. I’m talking about popular opinions and personal taste.

For instance- I don’t care if fifty billion people watch a show- if I don’t like it, I’m out. I don’t care if a book gets a five star rating- if I read it and it sucks, I’m going to shout it from the rooftops. I don’t care what the neighbors drive, wear, eat, or think. I’m not saying I don’t respect them -it’s just that they aren’t going to change my opinion about anything, and I can’t imagine either a) competing with them if they buy a brand new SUV -all I can think about are the payments! or b) feeling better about myself if they rattle home in some piece of crap. In fact, I cannot see how their actions pertain to me at all! 

On a scale of one to ten, this show gets a ZERO!

That being said- I really hate getting pushed around online. Like when you post things in an attempt to strong arm me into making a move I hadn’t planned on. For instance: a long diatribe (usually peppered with specific political leanings) that ends with ‘Repost if you’re a TRUE AMERICAN!’ I hate to tell you- but you don’t have a monopoly on being a’true’ American. In fact- I completely disagree with every word of said diatribe and am still a ‘true’ American-because that’s the very essence of ‘freedom’.  

Your opinion of me does not define who I am, nor is it your place to spell out the ‘rules’ of what it means to be an American to anyone! I am thankful I am not as presumptuous as you are, and sooo grateful that I don’t hate any particular groups of people, including you. (I would never give my energy away so cheaply) I can’t imagine yelling ‘Get Out of My Country’ like you do when you are challenged. This country is not YOURS to begin with!! How do you not ‘get’ that?

I also hate being told to re-post anything in general. I  don’t appreciate about you threatening me ‘Facebook Tony Soprano’ style. Just because I don’t re-post your things I:  Don’t really love my mother/father/brother/sister/daughter/son or pet. I don’t want cheaper gas, lower prices or equal rights. I don’t like/hate my President, do like/hate my President, don’t want better schools, cleaner air, or freedom. That due to my non-repost I’m against butterflies, puppies, newborns and bald eagles. I’m also responsible for both the death of the ecosystem and gun sales at Wal-Mart. 

So?!

Which brings me to the really crazy stuff. Sometimes you post a Friend Litmus Test. It starts out by saying, I like you, and like having you on my  friend list BUT-surprise!!- I’m giving a pop quiz today to see how many people are paying attention to me. And be warned: if you don’t re-post this, you’re off the list!. (Oh, the horror!) News Flash:There are some questions I could ask, but never would– and this is one of them. Because the truth is: I don’t want to know! I don’t want to find out you hate me, or think my posts suck, or wish I wasn’t on your list.  I trust you to do the right thing and hide me, or block me or drop me. For the love of god: Have at it! (Methinks-somehow- I will survive!)

Are We Raising a Generation of Helpless Kids?

In Frayed Connections on March 4, 2012 at 2:09 pm

“Hold on, honey! Let me get your helmet!”

Mickey Goodman: Are We Raising a Generation of Helpless Kids?.

The above article got thinking about our generation as parents. There is so much complaining about schools, bullies, drugs, alcohol, social networks, busy schedules, etc- but very little is laid at the doorstep of us-the parents.

Meanwhile, there is a startling amount of ‘children- of- a- certain age’ who rely solely on their parents for everything – at ages far beyond the ages we were when we were expected to be on our own. I think the problem is a lot worse than we even admit to, out of embarrassment for how it has all turned out.

When I grew up in the 60s and 70s, there were parents and kids. The parents were the bosses, and the kids were bossed around. My mother did not shop at ‘Forever 21’ – and much more importantly, she didn’t want to! In fact, she would be mortified at the idea of a grown-ass woman wearing sweatpants with the word ‘Juicy’ across the butt- in sparkles! (I know my references are old-no one wears ‘Juicy’ anymore)

My father was strict, but not abusive. You DID NOT talk back, and if you did- there were repercussions! Our parents had their own world- cocktail parties where they listened to Frank Sinatra and talked about ‘adult’ things. The women dressed like women- not girls, and the males  dressed as men not boys. Our parents did not want to be decades younger than they were. There was a very definite line drawn between the kids world of colorforms and Kool-aid, and the parents world of credenzas, and hi-fi’s…it was a clear line, one we all respected and could see.

“Be Careful! Be Careful! Be Careful!”

A lot of us thought of this distance between the generations as cold. Many of us spoke of (especially during punishments, groundings and restrictions) how we ‘would never be like that!’when we had kids. And we weren’t like ‘that’. Instead, we became ‘friends’ with our kids, and set out to spare them the injustices of the world.

It always makes me laugh when I read those ‘Back when I was a kid, we didn’t sit on a computer all day- we went out and played!  When we did something wrong- we were punished! Sometimes by the neighbors!’ Well, knock knock mofo- but who stopped kids from going outside to play? Who dared the neighbors to say one negative thing about (let alone spank!) our precious children? GUESS WHAT?! It was US!! Nobody came along and ‘did this’ to us- we did it to ourselves! (And the only reason we didn’t stay in and use computers was because it wasn’t an option! We seem to be using them pretty good right now! duh!)

 

So we decide to be ‘cool’ parents.  We hang out with our kids, bring them to concerts (and is anything sadder than kids who are listening to their parents music- kids too unmotivated to make their own? Most likely because they have nothing to rally against as they get waited on hand and foot!)

By becoming ‘friends’ with our kids, we have deprived them of parents! We complain about teachers and coaches instead of getting down on our freakin’ hands and knees and thanking them for taking these jobs in the first place! (Too bad they can’t tell us to f***-off! Often they should!))

We think our offspring are SOOO SPECIAL- based on what? That they are OURS? That we are so special that we have golden eggs and magic sperm, and our children are narcissistic proof? Are you kidding me?  Perhaps we all should take a look in the spiritual (and literal) mirror first! We need to GET OVER OURSELVES! We are, in fact, so narcissistic that we don’t even accept that we are aging!- which is why we have women shopping at Teen Stores to begin with!

We complain about bullies when half of us ARE bullies! ‘Don’t like the flag? Get out!’ ‘Don’t agree with what I think? Get out!’ -plastered all over Facebook. What are you- ten? (Half the time these rants are misspelled as well- an overall embarrassment of stupidity and bullying!)

There are Mothers who sit down and watch ‘Fashion Police’ with their daughters, and laugh together as a deplorable Dragon with 167 plastic surgeries ridicules how other people look?! (Which has to be the ‘circle of irony’) And then these mothers cry when their daughters are outed for not wearing the right clothes by the witches of Mean Girls 101? 

“Not only should you be thanking me- you should be washing my feet and giving me a RAISE!!”

The only way this can get any better that I can see, is we’d better hope that our children rebel against us, and are extra strict with their own kids, swinging the pendulum back towards the middle. Which, admittedly, does not seem likely. I think we all meant well by trying to make life easier for our kids- but in the process, we deprived them of ways to build character, and praised them for doing nothing more than existing. We tried to over-compensate for our parents being ‘distant’ without realizing that their parenting skills – and distance- were a necessary component to our eventual independence.

Word Up!

In Frayed Connections on February 28, 2012 at 9:05 pm

Please!

 

There’s a current trend in decorating that drives me crazy. It involves ‘Word Art’. When I see these word signs, I immediately get defensive. First off, I’m not an idiot. I don’t need a sign in the kitchen that reads ‘eat’. I know why I’m here. Likewise, I don’t need a sign that reads ‘Breathe’…I’m pretty much a master now. There are picture frames that read ‘Baby’ (‘Is that what that is?) and  “Cat’ and ‘Dog’ on the food dishes, even though I don’t think pets can read.

OMG! The Wall is NAGGING me to death! 

‘Live, Laugh, Love’ sounds like a demand to me. Obviously, I’m living if I’m reading your wall, but ‘Laugh?’ You’re going to have to give me a little stand-up material, or slip on a banana while holding a bunch of plates. (And- what if I did just start laughing for no reason because your sign told me to? You’d have me committed) Telling me to ‘Love’ strikes me as the kind of thing that, had I not considered it before reading your sign, I would forever be indebted to your wall. As for ‘Be Who You Are?’ Oh my God! You mean I have a choice?

Sometimes the words and phrases get a little too bossy for me, as well. ‘Achieve!’ makes me feel like I should have brought my resume, and don’t even get me started on ‘Live Your Dreams!’ Are you kidding me? Last night I dreamed I was at the DMV with Charlie from ‘Always Sunny In Philadelphia’ and there was a pool in the middle of the floor. As fun as that sounds- I just don’t have the time and resources to make that dream come true.

Another favorite is ‘Do What You Love!’ Oh yeah? You mean painting, acting, singing, dancing-that kind of thing? The ‘Dream’ jobs? Then who is going to do all the crappy jobs? I don’t think the accountant friend in middle management (who has this sign) is exactly ‘Doing What He Loves’, but either are most people, and still they live good lives, despite what their wall art thinks.

‘Believe’ is another popular one. Believe what? That a Facebook acquaintance I haven’t spoken to since 2009, is stuck in Sudan with no wallet and needs me to wire her $2,000? Believe in the Easter Bunny? In Evolution?  Don’t leave me hangin’ Oh Wise Words, please be a little more specific!

‘Stop bossin’ me around!’

Then, there are the signs I actually want to argue with: ‘Happiness Is…A Long Hot Bath!’ Really? Coz I’m more of a shower person.’Stay Positive!’ Stay? You mean ‘Get?’ -and why? Maybe I thrive on sarcasm and cynicism. Maybe that’s the one thing I actually am positive about!

‘Keep Calm and Carry On….’ What are we, carrying bushels of sticks on our backs, like the cover-art on Led Zeppelin 4? We have Netflix and Smart Phones and food and shelter! Are we that put upon?

How about ‘Memories’ -exactly what are we talking here- the good ones or the bad ones, or the ones that strike the corners of my mind?  ‘The Best Things In Life Are Free’ Are they? Then why aren’t the homeless jumping for joy? And why didn’t Target just let you have that sign? By making you pay for it, they were basically admitting: This wooden sentence does not qualify as a ‘best’ thing….

‘Keep Calm and Carry on’

Which brings me to this point: If you actually  do, in fact, have a motto or a philosophy- should you let Michael’s or Target tell you what it is? Mottos are a pretty big deal, something I’d rather choose on my own. And not impose on others. And for that I have no words.

This goes out to ALL of the wall words, past, present and future!

TWITTER: PICK ME! PICK ME!

In Frayed Connections on February 15, 2012 at 2:15 pm

I first joined Twitter about a year ago. It was one of those reluctant ‘if you can’t beat ’em, join em’ type things. I didn’t need it- I feel over-connected already. But it was impossible to ignore it’s popularity. So I made up a username, secured a password, and went in, to see what the big deal was.

These can’t be real, right?

I hit the ground running, signing up for all of the comedians I liked, from Chris Rock to Louis C.K., the few celebs I could stand which include the staff at Chelsea Lately, Joel McHale, and stars of shows I like, including The League, 30 Rock, and Always Sunny In Philadelphia, plus lots of NFL players, and literally no one I actually know in real life. (I couldn’t find anyone!) Time to sit back and see what happens…I set my e-mail notifications  and let ‘er roll.

Leah Remini: Jets Fan!

The first thing I noticed was what the celebs were saying involved promoting their latest projects. There wasn’t a lot of talking back and forth- lots of celebs were talking ‘at’ the regular people. There’s no way that a system like that would have all of this success, I thought- there’s got to be more to it.

Eventually, I found myself volunteering answers to some of the open ended questions that the celebs might ask in a rare moment of selflessness: what did you think of the show last night? What’s your favorite song? (Especially if it’s one of mine!)  

Once I got the hang of it, I slowly began to interact with the comedians, tweeting out wise-ass answers and comments. Of course, I was virtually ignored. Then, one day, I got a personal message from Leah Remini talking about the New York Jets. I was thrilled – wow!- a tv star is talking to me! (Yeah- this  coming from someone who ‘can’t stand’ celebs- until they talk to me!) This flattering interaction inspired me to polish up my ‘act’ and go full throttle into responding to celebrities. Loni Love, from Chelsea Lately messaged me (twice!) including an ‘Oh Snap!’ in response to one of my observations. Heather McDonald wrote back to tell me my comment was ‘Funny!’ while I was reading her book! Kat Von D and I talked about the  music playing at the airport. Even the Honey Badger wrote me back to tell me he didn’t care! (Hi, Jen Kirkman) The Bronx Zoo Cobra, who was on the loose, sent me a ‘Sssssss’. Wow! I was getting swept up in a wave of intimacy with  famous people (and celebrity wildlife!) who would probably never speak to me in person! It was heady!

Kat hates airport music, too! Amazing!

Now I wanted to be re-tweeted, which was the next level in Twitter feedback. This is when a celeb actually holds up what you said in front of everyone as if to say: ‘Look at the genius comment I just found’ and it’s the gold star of Tweets. So I started tossing out my best material. I spent hours experimenting  with what I thought were excellent comebacks. It felt a lot like trying to get behind some imaginary red-velvet ropes at a premiere. Or the real ones at Studio 54.

I finally figured out (months later!) that in 99% of all cases, the sacred ‘Re-Tweets’ are compliments and kissing up to said star. For instance, if you say: ‘So-and-so is the best comedian in the world! Needed Oxygen, I laughed so hard!!!’ you would get re-tweeted. If you complimented (really, really sucked up) their latest movie or book-particularly if it was in stores or theaters, you’d get re-tweeted. In fact, it could be called ‘Ass-Kiss-Palooza!’  ‘Enough about me! What do you think about me?!’ And though I’ve done a lot of things for love- I won’t do that! I had to stop with this.

But just to be sure I wasn’t being too cynical, I purposely tweeted a very cute athlete, who made the play-offs this year, telling him how good-looking he was, and what a stellar athlete he was, complimenting a certain play. Purposely kissing up, as hard as I could. (I don’t want to say who it was, because he’s no more self-absorbed than any other athlete) Sure enough, I got my first re-tweet. And with that, I stopped responding to celebs on Twitter. I just can’t waste hours possibly giving comedians free material (it could happen!)- or kissing up to athletes in the hopes that they’ll acknowledge my existence by commenting on theirs! Not when I have a life to show up for.

“I can give you some tips”

If there’s one good thing about Twitter, it’s the pictures. Celebs and athletes post photos they take during their hectic lives, so you can see their pets, kids, travels and backstage antics. These aren’t the professional shots you see everywhere, so it’s cool. For that reason- and that reason alone, I keep my Twitter account open! But it sure is easy to see how people get sucked in. Being ‘knighted’ with a response or re-tweet sure feels special. And also a lot like being an unpaid Public Relations person!! Or an movie extra. No, wait- they usually get a sandwich.

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