Archive for February, 2010

Phrases I could do without

Since the dawn of texting and instant messaging, there has been a steady decline in the english language. Personally I find it difficult to text in short form, resulting in really long messages, requiring much scrolling down. However, I find the use of the following phrases to be a bigger crime against language. Here are some of my favourite phrases in popular use today.

What can I do YOU for? This is just bad grammar.

If it’s not one thing it’s another…ok thanks for the clarification. Just to be clear, if it’s not ONE thing, then it’s ANOTHER thing…oh ok.

I could care less…the goal in using this phrase is to prove that you don’t care. However on deeper examination, it becomes clear that if you could care LESS, then that means you care more now than you possibly could. So you actually do care. Maybe try a different phrase to articulate your lack of interest.

Talk AT you later…sorry but this phrase is just abrasive and rude. No one likes to hear this, I mean really, who likes to be talked AT??

From the Get-Go…where exactly is the get-go anyways?

Sorry but…this is usually followed by something that the speaker is actually not really sorry about. We throw the word “sorry” around so much, it barely has any meaning anymore.

Same difference…so is it the same? or different? These two words are by definition opposites so which is it?

Guesstimate…the words guess and estimate are close in meaning, so it’s a little redundant to combine them. On the other hand since the word guess implies that there was no proof, and estimate implies that the opinion was based on some evidence. I think someone decided to turn “guess” into ‘guesstimate’ in order to bolster their claim about something.

It’s always in the last place you look…of course it was in the LAST place I looked, once I find it, it’s just silly to keep checking in other places isn’t it?

Money is the root of all evil…This is probably the most often misquoted scripture. Paul’s first letter to Timothy actually reads, “For the love of money is the root of all evil” (1 Tim 6:10). Come on people, check your source.

I have half a mind to….half a mind? Really? I wonder how much you would accomplish if you set forth with your entire mind.

24/7…the Ricki Lake show is long gone, why are we still saying this?

No offense but…starting a comment with this does not immunize you from any guilt resulting from the words you are about to say. The fact that you have already determined that the listener may be offended means that perhaps you should rethink them entirely.

I’m not going to lie…why preface a comment with this. Shouldn’t telling the truth be standard?

I gave 110%…that’s just a mathematical impossibility…stop exaggerating.

Literally…this word means “actually; without exaggeration or inaccuracy” …so people who use it to say things like “I ate until I literally exploded!” kind of irritate me.

Let’s git ‘er done…unless you’re Larry the Cable Guy, please don’t say this. Ever.

Opposites Attract

Ok so my hubby is sitting in his chair looking at me with that bewildered look that tells me he’s trying to figure out what I am thinking, doing, planning or why I am laughing. It’s one of those looks that I am used to now, it has appeared often in our 11 years together. Translation: What is wrong with you?

Why is he giving me this look of disdain you ask? Because I am sitting on my sofa, up on my knees, giggling like an 8 year old girl about the cast of the newest season of Survivor (Heroes vs. Villains) What can I say? I have loved the show since the first season and this year the island is packed with both my favourite good guys and bad guys! My hubby is forever a realist and can’t imagine being so “into” a television show, reality or otherwise. It’s not really the kind of past-time that attracts him, I guess it’s one of the many things that we do NOT have in common.

This momentary exchange makes me ponder how on earth we could have fallen in love and stayed so strong for all these years despite all the things that we don’t have in common.

He is very organized, I mean really organized. I am not organized at all. I mean, really not organized.

He is the worst channel surfer I have ever met. I like to watch one show at a time, maybe switch to one other show on the commercial, but generally I stick with the program I am watching. Not him, it’s constant channel changing the entire time he has custody of the remote. Surprisingly irritating.

I love animals, I was raised with dogs and cats and have a special place in my heart for most things furry. My hubby, not so much. He doesn’t really come from a world where dogs have shoes and special treats, sleep on the bed and get their teeth brushed. However, I have to say, after being married all these years, I think that he is coming around. He claims to not love our dog, but that’s just not true. I have proof, just ask Bailey.

My husband was not blessed with the gift of gab, I however, have been abundantly blessed. So blessed in fact that my saucer is full because my cup of chatter runneth over!

He doesn’t like Pumpkin Pie or Turkey Stuffing, not even a little bit. How on earth could I have fallen in love with someone who doesn’t like Pumpkin Pie and Stuffing??? Can you even imagine what Thanksgiving is like in our house..?

My wonderful husband has lots of things he likes to do for fun…reading is not one of them. I mean, he CAN read, he just doesn’t enjoy it. I on the other hand, love to read (to which I am sure I have made reference on any number of occasions in this very blog) My idea of a perfect vacation is a suitcase full of books and hours and hours of quiet time to read them all. Hubby not so much.

I love sitcoms and dressing up in costumes, he loves the discovery channel and backpacking. I love cheesecake and social networking, he loves playing guitar and Wii Tennis. I love to entertain guests and talk on the phone, he prefers falling asleep on the couch and never returns phone messages.

Truly I think the things that we DON’T have in common out number the things that we DO have in common. And yet according to beautiful and mysterious divine design, we have found each other and will celebrate 11 years of marriage next week. I am so grateful that the Lord has given me someone so different from me; someone to open my eyes to different things and unique ways of looking at life. I can’t imagine growing old with anyone else, even if it means having to fight for the remote and keep my dog off the bed!

Through Their Eyes

I had to laugh last night as I watched my hubby teaching my son to play the electric guitar. Having played since he was a young boy, he decided that it was time to move past fiddling to actually start teaching him technique and notes. In a moment of father-son bonding, Daddy pulled up some old videos online to show him the music he used to listen to and imitate, mostly big haired heavy metal groups like Scorpion, characterized by their rapid-fire “shredding” guitar solos. I too remember how “cool” these bands were when I was young, but I had to chuckle when my 4 year old peeked at the screen and said, “But they’re so HAIRY Mommy!!”  How interesting to see my world and the things of my childhood through the eyes of my little ones.

Something very popular in our home right now is the Star Wars phenomenon. My 7 year old son is absolutely besotted with all things Star Wars; the movies, the books, the toy light saber, the Wii game. He dressed like Obi Wan Kenobi for halloween and we dressed the dog as his Padawan. It’s bordering on obsession to be perfectly honest. I find it intriguing to see my son enjoying something from my childhood to such an extent. I vividly remember sitting in the movie theatre at about 6 or 7 years old and watching Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back and The Return of the Jedi all in a row. Now my children are experiencing it as though it were new to their generation. (My daughter gets excited every time she sees the Storm Troopers marching across the screen, “Mommy, loooooook it’s the Darth Whites!!!”)

My kids seem are under a common misconception regarding some of today’s pop culture; they don’t realize that Indiana Jones, the Simpsons, neon rubber bracelets, punk eye makeup, Bugs Bunny and GI Joe have been around since their parents were little. Whenever we are watching Scooby Doo, their Mommy takes a perverse pleasure in identifying the villain before those “meddling kids” unmask the guilty party. “But Mommy, HOW do you know who the bad guy is???” I know it seems silly, but I get a kick out of their confused shock. 🙂

One of the things that brings me immense joy courtesy of the internet, is the ability to access clips from old cartoons that I watched on the television when I was their age. There is just nothing on the t.v these days that even rivals shows like the Smurfs, Jem and the Holograms, the Snorks, the Wuzzles, Shirt Tales etc. I do have to draw the line however, at one particular show that I have never enjoyed…regardless what anyone says…the Barbapapas are still super creepy!

And then there are the toys; Barbies, Cabbage Patch Kids, Transformers, Hot Wheels, Care Bears, the truth is that everything old is new again. Last summer we gave my daughter a beautiful pink and purple retro big wheel. I found it at the local department store and was beside myself at the prospect of watching her spend hours and hours enjoying it in the same way that I did at her age. I lived on mine, racing around the neighbourhood with my friends on their big wheels like a school yard motorcycle gang. I remember the day the plastic wheel wore all the way out and the big front wheel split, ending my posse days.

Imagine my dismay and disappointment when my little princess was not the slightest bit interested in the big wheel, it sat in the basement until it got accidentally broken and thrown out. Well I guess it’s too much to ask my offspring to be excited about every little thing that I ever did as a kid, right?

R&R in the City

I love visiting Downtown Toronto, I’m not saying I’d want to live there, but I love visiting for short amounts of time. This past weekend I went to stay over at the home of my BFF, a happy down-town city-dweller. As today was my mothers birthday and she is no longer with us to celebrate, I decided to take a break from the everyday for a much needed 24 hours of R&R with no R&R. (Reat & relaxation with no Responsibilities & Real life)

 Things to Do when you are in downtown Toronto.

1. Avoid the Perfume section at Eaton Centre Department store. Seriously, we were passing through the store and were subjected to a gauntlet of sales associates battling for the right to spritz us with their newest pungent juice! On the other hand the lower level store “Lush” is a great place to find hand made yummy soaps and fizzy bath balls.

2. Enjoy breakfast at a corner diner. There is something very city-slicker about eating out for breakfast, besides it’s interesting to see how city people get all decked out for a plate of pancakes and a cup of joe.

3. Bring your Ice Skates. I can’t believe how many people were walking down the street with their ice skates, apparently Nathan Phillips square is the place to be on a crisp sunny Saturday morning. I’ll have to remember mine next time.

4. Visit the a used bookstore. We stopped at a little second hand bookstore located right next to a big flashy store that sells new books. I just love spending time running my fingers over the eclectic collection of literature, comics, philosophy, romance and cookbooks. I couldn’t help remembering how much my mother loved books and thinking that she would appreciate that I spent her birthday looking through old books.

5. Walk diagonally through the Yonge/Dundas intersection. Seems a small thing, but this Times Square-esqe intersection has the option to cross anywhere within the square, right left, or diagonally. It feels slightly dangerous and more than a little liberating to cross this large intersection right through the middle. What can I say? I live in a small town.

6. Order In. I know you can probably order dinner straight to your door regardless of where you live. However with the lack of free parking (or ANY parking in some places) around restaurants; and the fact that traffic can suck every spare minute out of your day, it’s easier to just go online or phone in an order, sit back and await the magic of down town delivery.

7. Take your camera. There are so many beautiful buildings, churches and theatres downtown. Check out Massey Hall, the Canon theatre, Pantages, the Princess of Whales, Roy Thompson Hall etc…

8. People Watch. I have yet to find a more interesting selection of people to observe in all my travels. Toronto has a huge range of people; from the rich and famous celebrities who work in television and film, to those who struggle with the everyday tasks of finding a place to sleep and food to eat. Downtown Toronto has representatives from all walks of life; every race, every age, every demographic, every religion.

I imagine there about a million other things to do and see in the City, but I only had 24 hours this time. The most important part of my trip was spending it with a great friend! It’s so much fun to get away and walk in someone else’s shoes even for a little while. It’s only fair, she comes to our home regularly where she is subjected to the unglamourous suburban life of her housewife friend;  loud and rambunctious children, suck-up dog and endless dishes and laundry. But I guess we all make sacrifices in the name of friendship; so if that means I have to eat out, browse through books and take long “Lush-ious” baths in her soaker tub, I guess I’ll bite the bullet.

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