Can You Spell That, Please?

Before I get into the heart of today’s rant, I’d like to share a video with you.  Most of you have probably seen this, but it’s still funny every time.  Warning, there is some language in this video.

This brings me around to my thoughts for the day.  Why do some parents feel it is hip to name their children bizarre names?  Never mind that the kids themselves won’t know how to spell them and their teachers can’t pronounce them, the worst part is that they will never find a Coke can with their chosen names on it.

My friend worked as a Paramedic for many years.  She told me the story of a mom who had called 911 for her son, who had a minor cold.  My friend was filling out the paperwork, and asked the child’s name.  When the mother told her the name, she hesitated and asked, very politely, “I’m sorry, could you spell that for me?”  The mother got very flustered and said, “I don’t know how to spell it.  It just sounded good.”  My friend took her best stab at spelling the complicated name, and life went on.  I couldn’t help but wonder what the child’s name was on his birth certificate, and why the mother would choose a name that she didn’t even know how to spell herself.

Celebrities try to outdo themselves with bizarre names for their children every day.  Directions, vehicle models, street names, trees, and celestial bodies are frequently used sources for the monikers they eventually bestow upon their offspring.  At what point does being hip and unique come full circle to the point where it is considered hip and unique to name your child “Mark” or “Sally” again?  Will celebrities run out of hip name sources and start using medications, like “Tylenol” or “Motrin” as baby names?  “And now, hitting the stage, it’s Nyquil and the Insomniacs!”

Names roll in and out of fashion like ever-changing tides.  Some names are forever linked with decades, like “Brittany” or “Madison,” while other stand the test of time, like “David” and “Matthew.”  Other names should just be avoided out of common decency, like the New Jersey parents who named their child Adolf Hitler.

What I find even funnier is the put-upon parent who names their child an old-fashioned name or something that isn’t on the most popular list but still isn’t all that crazy … yet they think they’re being unique. Which isn’t a bad thing, except the “I’m-way-hipper-than-you” parent complains to everyone who will listen how difficult their lives are because no-one pronounces Blaise correctly and little Augustine’s teacher has no idea how to spell his name.

Parents are free to do whatever they want, but if you choose a strange name for your child, you shouldn’t be angry when it is mispronounced or misspelled.  You knew there were risks when you named your child something like “Shabquellitaze” or “Nbtyxkz.”  Whether you were being cute or think you’re being edgy, you have doomed your child to life as a set of initials in class – and as that poor kid who constantly repeats and then spells their name a gazillion times a day. More important, you’ve kept them from the joy of finding their name on a novelty souvenir plastic license plate.

Moving and Grooving … Not So Much

When I heard that moving and changing jobs were two of the items in the Most Stressful Life Events, I decided hey…I’ll do both at once.

To those of you who pull up roots and move across the country, kudos to you.  That seems like a lot of fun (said no one, ever).  Your accomplishment almost makes me feel badly for complaining about my semi-local move.

Almost.

Now, I decided in all of my wisdom to take the new job first, and commute back and forth while arranging my physical move.  Why not?  How can it possibly be bad to slide into my new position, over an hour away, while trying to arrange moving companies, downsize my belongings, and pack for the move?

First, let me say that I am moving from an area with high tourism this time of year.  Second, let me say, I hate tourists.  Thank you, young family in the mini-van, for playing something on your car DVD player that I could watch while stuck in the bumper to bumper traffic during my commute.  Thank you, as well, Mr.  Older Gentleman in the baseball cap for keeping me safe by refusing to drive at the speed limit.  And a special thanks to all those who somehow manage to crash their cars so perfectly that all travel lanes are blocked in all directions, at rush hour.

And did I mention that I live over a bridge? Not in the troll variety, but definitely in a pain-in-the-ass variety. As in a bridge that is the only way in and the only way out of my little piece of hell. Picture this, if you will, 10 to 12 toll lanes spread across an expansive highway, chock-full of vehicles as far as the eye can see, who, once through the toll lanes, ALL must merge down into two – count them, people, two! — tiny bridge lanes. It goes about as well as you would think. Fun and games, people, fun and games.

And let’s not forget the truckers … all of whom seem to travel at the same time (I mean, really!?) and all of whom, instead of coordinating their driving so that they all make their way through one end of the toll entrance or the other (I don’t care which, just pick one!) would rather spread out into numerous lanes across the vast sea of traffic and then, using their sheer size and apparent disregard for simple etiquette, squish whole lanes of vehicles into an untraversable funnel that keeps everyone involved from moving forward.  What did I say above? Fun and games. I honestly think that if people truly knew how to take turns AND if trucks could please, for the love of God, just follow each other through the toll lanes, that traffic could be eradicated on the Bridge I hate so much. As it is, it’s like trying to pour mud through a pinhole.

When I finally complete my hour long, now turned three hours long, trip to the House of Forgotten Boxes, I need to organize, scrutinize and itemize my belongings before stuffing them all in bags with sticky notes that say, “Dining room,” “Bedroom,” and “Who cares?  I should have tossed this out years ago.”  I believe my belongings multiply in direct proportion to how many hours I have spent driving. Seriously, it’s true.

It’s amazing the things you convince yourself to keep when you are moving. What should be a purge instead becomes a stroll down memory lane.  “Awww, the receipt from that one store I went to that one time somewhere I don’t quite remember, three years ago.  Better keep that, I may need to return whatever the hell this was.” “Look, it’s my Halloween costume from sixteen years ago.  I can use this again someday.”  “It’s my favorite Crocs!  Ummm…okay, never mind, I can throw these away.”

My new job is great, and the people are fantastic.  I feel a little lost when they discuss local adventures; I feel that I almost understand, but then they throw some twist in there that makes me do a Google Search later.   “Let’s get crabs at Dave’s after work, his lawn mower opened that chicken egg last Christmas.”  I nod and smile.  I may even try to act like I know.  “Ah, yes, Dave certainly did pick that oyster out of the chimney.” Blank stares follow, and they all talk about me over the water cooler at lunch.

I haven’t learned the shortcuts of my commute yet, either, and when people ask how I get to work they offer all sorts of useless advice.  “Oh, you should have turned at that snowball stand on the west corner of the dirt road.”  One day I’ll get it, but for now, I am lost in every way.  And that’s just the commute.

At work, in my new building, I am convinced that people randomly switch floor stickers in the elevator.  I find myself wandering around the rooftop looking for the printer, or down in the basement with the janitor, who, as it turns out, is a lovely person despite his overall serial killer-like vibe. He gave me a wonderful recipe for salmon fritters.

At home, I am surrounded by boxes that clog once familiar doorways, causing me to get lost in my own house, which is saying something considering the size of this house (have you seen my house? It’s small … as in tiny, like Jerry’s mouse-hole tiny).  I haven’t seen the kitchen in a week, but my daughter tells me it is still there.

Image result for jerry's mouse hole house

I have been on the phone for about three weeks trying to schedule my new cable in my new house, and I have been assured a cable worker will be at my new home sometime between now and December 23, 2022.  Somehow, my mail has been getting lost.  At least, that’s what I’ve been telling the bill collectors, but I’m not sure how much longer they will keep buying it.

As stressful as all this is, I know it will be worth it in the end to be settled in my new home and job.  But for now, I believe I may have crossed through the third gate of Hell.

And obviously, I can’t find my way back.

The Evolution of the Water Bottle

I may have mentioned a few days ago that my life was crazy right now. I’ll be sharing the gossip on that soon. I promise.  In the meantime, I thought you’d be interested in the latest derailment fiery crash of the mental machinery that is my train of useless thought.

So, I was browsing the shelves at my local Hallmark (they’re not just for movies!) when I ran in to this little gem:

 

red arrow emphasis is mine

Now I have nothing against the bottle, it is a very pretty bottle (with a strong, positive quote, might I add) designed to hold…well, hydrating items.  Call me old-fashioned or low-class, but to me, this is a simply a high-falutin’ Water Bottle.  Let’s take a look at the evolution from water bottle to hydration bottle, shall we?

First, other liquids realized they were getting the short end of the stick in the capitalism game that retailers everywhere know – and play – so well.  Gatorade led the battle for change, crying “Gatorade is liquid, too!”  Kool-Aid quickly joined in, followed by fruit juices.  There were protests in grocery stores across the nation and even a riot or two in Aisle 5 which leaked over into Aisle 4 and part of Aisle 6.  Sadly, these protests were ineffective because the liquids had no containers and the protesters were quickly mopped up.

Now, things got a little sticky, in every sense of the word.  Soup demanded to be included, which sparked even more debate and controversy.  But is soup truly a liquid?  Where does this leave chicken noodle soups, or stew?  Gatorade and Kool-Aid fought back viciously.  The gutters flowed with noodles during the Chicken Noodle War of 2018, now thought to be the worst soup war in history.  Many valiant chicken chunks were lost to the cause.

The bottle itself, striving for peace and equality, struggled to make its voice heard.  In many poignant interviews, the bottle pled to be called a liquid container.  This, in turn, caused the soups to become agitated yet again as they tried to find their place in the world.

Finally, Congress, in all of their infinite wisdom, passed a law to exclude soup from being contained in the bottle, stating that only hydrating products qualified.  The point was made that soup has its own exclusive container called a “thermos.”  Soup is taking this decision to the Supreme Court citing that coffee, while a liquid, also gets to be contained in thermoses. I must say, they do have a point.

While awaiting a Supreme Court decision, the bottle has been relabeled a Hydration Bottle.  The products allowed to be contained in this bottle are not clearly defined; therefore, it’s anyone’s game. Or container, if you will.

Gatorade is calling this a clear victory in liquid rights for juices, vitamin water, and electrolytes everywhere.  Soup cannot be reached for comment, although more protests are scheduled in the future. We’re not sure where alcohol stands, because well, alcohol isn’t usually standing for anything for any length of time.

When you are drinking your hydration product from your Hydration Bottle, let us never forget the electrolytes and fruit juices who spilled…well, themselves…to secure the right to be contained in them.

Misunderstandings – My Life in a Nutshell

So. I got an email from Etsy today. You might not think this about me, but I love Etsy. However, this latest email had me questioning…myself, not them. Specifically, I had issues with the subject line. In this particular case, issues = confusion.

The subject line was: Start Double Tapping.

Now, as it turns out, what they meant was “double clicking” on the photo links, or in other words, buying stuff.

What yours truly took away from that subject line: Get ready for the zombie apocalypse.  I’m not sure what that says about me.

 

Driver’s Ed

Okay, so, when navigating a parking lot, for how long must one be actually in a moving car, before the onus of accountability falls on those who suddenly zip into the previously clear aisle? Or, for that matter, how long does one’s car need to be in motion before it becomes acceptable to squash the pedestrian who clearly sees you from across the way, but in what can only be described as a desire to play chicken sullenly reinforce their right of way as a pedestrian, decides to significantly speed up their gait so as to walk in front of your car?

Just asking for a friend.