The Death of the Editor

It’s probably fortunate that Jackie O isn’t still around to edit, I expect she would be horrified at some of the things found online today. Please don’t feel compelled to point out anything you find wrong on this blog, as I am neither a paid editor nor an English/Journalism major, I’m sure there will be MANY things. Don’t get me wrong…I love the fact that we have the information we do at our fingertips, and at a moments notice no matter where you are (assuming you have a smart phone with a data plan). But with the all of this rapidly available information, it appears we have killed off nearly all of the online editors. Cases in point:

From Kare11.com, a local TV station located in Golden Valley, MN:

Fire at Ripley’s Aquarium note the last line…and just in case it’s corrected, a screen shot for you

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I was unaware we now here with our eres.

A comma makes all the difference. In a headline from The Huffington Post 11/29/16

Mike Pence Supporter Angry Over ‘Hamilton’ Protest Charged In Racist Attack On Asian Diner Patrons. Um, So the protest was charged in the attack? How exactly does THAT work?

Spell check, spell check anyone? From Foxnews.com 12/31/16

Obama response to Russian hacking does not go far enough, say experts

In just 4 paragraphs, I found3 mistakes. There may have been more, I quit at those. If anyone had bothered to run their spell and grammar checker, two of the three that I found would have been picked up, and a fourth that I initially didn’t would have as well. How do I know? I copied and pasted the text into a Word document for giggles and ran spell and grammar check, just to see what would happen. Can you find the errors? (Answers are at the end of this post)

screen-shot-2016-12-31-at-6-53-29-am

And Now More From the Files of …Part 3

What will this girl be like when she doesn’t get a promotion? Or is fired? In Tallahassee, a girl was threatening to sue because she didn’t make the cheerleading squad. Say what? Some pampered princess is going to  tie up court time and money, because mommy and daddy never told her no, never tapped her dimpled butt as a two year old and let her throw tantrums all over the house. (Don’t jump on my case about abuse and beating kids, sheesh.We’re talking about someone who needs to learn she can’t get everything she wants, when she wants it, because she wants it.) I found a great photo that depicts how I expects she parks her car too.

R0d1A92

Photo Credit ROd1A92

Answers to the errors above:

  1. McCain, who is chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, has schedule a hearing – this should be “scheduled“. Past tense
  2. but added that “Congressional sanctions still needed.” – this should be ‘sanctions “are” still needed’. Missing a verb
  3. would nt stoop to the level. TYPO! Seriously? 
  4. but added that “Congressional sanctions still needed.” MS Word suggested removal of the word “that”, changing this to ‘but added “Congressional sanctions still needed.”’ See #2 above, however. 

I hope that you all have a safe and happy New Year’s celebration today, tonight, or if I’m lucky enough to have a reader somewhere that is over the International Date Line and it’s already 2017, I hope you wake up feeling hopeful and refreshed.

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It Ain’t Over Til It’s Over

And so the saga of the bathroom remodel continues…

So after 6 weeks,  you’d think it would be finished, right? Oh no…it’s never quite that easy. 3 of the 4 walls had gotten done, except I still had to touch them up because I reused an old roller, which I am vowing to never do again. It’s not worth it, unless someone can tell me they’ve found a roller that really truly doesn’t shed after it’s been washed. But one thing I can’t abide is the residual gunk that sticks to the walls from the rollers, and now you’re left with the ‘gift’ of texture you didn’t plan on. So going back to get rid of it, means that when you lightly (and I truly do mean lightly) sand it off, you mar your semi-gloss finish. Yep, a spot for a little touch up. Many of them.

Or perhaps there was that spot on the side of the shower where I peeled off the painters tape and waited a smidge too long…and some paint came up with it. Got to sand and spackle THAT spot over, then touch that up too.  (At least I used painter’s tape!)

The last wall to be painted was the one behind the sink. It took forever to chisel out the old caulk on that last bit of wall space. The sink is set into an alcove, so it was caulked in on 3 sides, and the back wall was like concrete. I had to rotate between using a razor blade and a paint scraper to get it out. We were also a little challenged in coordinating schedules with the electrician to get the wiring done so that the sconces could be mounted.

Then of course there was the “paint the ceiling” adventure. Did you know that when ceilings have only the popcorn texture, unless they are painted, they can be a mess? Yep, get them wet and the popcorn falls right off. So when you actually paint them for the first time, the first coat of paint becomes like glue but initially ACTS like water. Let me explain.

Most people don’t own paint sprayers, nor do they hire someone to spray paint their ceilings (although if they were smart, they would do one of those two things.) They roller paint them. If your ceiling has never been painted, the first time it’s done you need to be very careful, as the paint will merely moisten the texture, and if you roller back and forth like you do on a wall, popcorn will just fall right off the ceiling…on your face…your shoulders…the floor…you get the idea. It’s a mess. (Handy tip #1: Use Glidden’s pink ceiling paint. It dries white but it makes it SO easy to see where you paint. The stuff is AMAZING.)  I did know that I needed to be careful but I expect because I was doing a bathroom ceiling, perhaps the popcorn was maybe a little extra touchy in a humid room I ended up with several places where it came down in spite of my cautiousness. Off we went to find a tube of popcorn touch up. (Handy tip #2: Get the stuff in the tube for a small area, not the spray can. Way easier to use, according to hubby who has done both.) That added a couple of days to the whole adventure, by the time he patched it up, we let it dry for 24 hours, and I was able to get the spots touched up.

Then got the electrician in to do the wiring and add the mounting boxes. No problems there. We got all the rest of the work done, painting completed, mounted the medicine cabinet so truly all that was left was to put in the lights. It was a Sunday evening, around 7 PM and I’m thinking “why not, let’s do this. We’ve installed light fixtures before. White to white, black to black, ground to ground”. Meanwhile Karma was laughing herself silly at me, it’s just too bad I couldn’t hear her.

We got the first light fixture out, wired it up and prepared to mount it, only to discover that it could’t be mounted to the box because the box was oriented straight up and down, and in the “12” and “6” positions are 2 solid plastic pieces that were exactly where the backs of my mounting screws needed to be. Without getting into detail, I’ll just say I have a clever husband who was able to solve it, but we sacrificed a bit of sheet rock in the process…on BOTH sides of the medicine cabinet. So…3 more days for patching and sanding sheet rock to make it sufficiently smooth, then tape off the cabinet, paint, wait for that to dry and then mount the new lights.

You’re thinking I was done, aren’t you?

Nope. In an effort to be eco-conscious, we ordered LED bulbs. I wanted to make sure they were bright enough as this would be where I put on makeup, and I’ve not used LED bulbs before so we went with fairly high lumens of output. They were bright alright so we said “hey, let’s get a dimmer switch for it!” So we headed off to the store, picked up a dimmer and installed that. Tested the dimmer by starting to dim the lights and they went from on to instant off. Huh? Looked at the lights I’d bought….I bought non-dimmable LED’s. Sigh. Back to the store. Got the dimmable LED’s this time, and they work beautifully. All that remained was adding a small cabinet for towels and a few decorative items on the walls, and some new valances. Doesn’t sound too bad, right?

And…3 months later, I can’t find the cabinet I want for the towels, let alone the towels I wanted in the right color. I’ve searched every combination of key words online for the cabinet, and everything looks too cheap, is too big, or to expensive. You know how it is when you have a particular look that you want? You don’t want to settle for “good enough” or “make do”. So we’re at the point of probably having hubby make me a cabinet in the spring. The towels are an entirely other story. Since I couldn’t find the color I wanted, I decided to dye them the color I wanted. Surprisingly, they are almost exactly the right color, although they didn’t dye as evenly as I would have liked. Fortunately I plan to use them as decorative, folded up accent towels to add color more than anything, and since this is our master bath, hubby and I are probably the only ones that will ever see them. Note to self: Use the washing machine, remember that the thread on the towels doesn’t dye.

Only 2 bathrooms, a bedroom, 2 hallways, and great room with 12 foot ceilings left to go.

Ho-Ho-Ho, Merry What?

….”aaaaand we’re off!!” To to the non-stop insanity that is the pre-Christmas season (and I’m using Christmas here more in the calendar sense, rather than religious right now, so am intending it to be viewed as inclusive.) The goofy commercials have started with the Hershey’s kisses bell ringers, the obligatory ones telling us it’s a “Lexus to remember December” so that every woman can imagine that day when she wakes up to a new snowfall and a shiny new Lexus with a huge red bow in the driveway of her picture book two story home, or the one that always tugs on my heartstrings – when Tommy comes home unexpectedly and brews Folger’s coffee to wake up his family. Our trees are going up, decorations are coming out, lights are on outside. It’s always fun too, for new neighbors in the neighborhood as they get to see who decorates their home and yard like it’s a Charlie Brown tree, and who’s competing with the Griswold’s. It can be a pretty bad culture shock for the unprepared…unless of course they ARE they Griswold’s. Then of course there are the ones I REALLY hate. Engineers. You can tell when an engineer has decorated the outside of his home, the lights wrapped around the trees look so evenly spaced it’s as if they were put on with a ruler (which they were, trust me, my old neighbor did it.)

It’s also the season of ridiculous gift buying. I don’t know why we don’t just buy ourselves a gift card and be done with it. Isn’t that what it amounts to? It isn’t even fun anymore. I love Christmas as a kid. My parents found us the best stuff. I look back at the pictures, and I remember playing with our gifts all year long. One year I got an umbrella that was clear plastic  and had flags  from around the world all over it. christmas-69-a-1I’m not too sure why I didn’t look very happy, probably was the horn rimmed glasses. But trust me, I LOVED that umbrella, and I don’t think my parents mortgaged the house to buy it or anything else that year (or others.) We got a game called “Tip-It” that you can see, “Game of States” which is behind my sister’s legs on the floor and our big gift that year to share (yes kids, you can share gifts, you don’t all need your own) was something called a “Show ‘N Tell” which had a record player, film player and AM radio all in one. We had some books on a small filmstrip that went into the machine, with an accompanying 45 rpm record, and you’d start it up. It would automatically advance the film strip as the story narrated on the record. I remember listening over and over to “The Count of Monte Cristo” on that. One of the most fun things were our Christmas stockings. Mom hung them on the mantle until Santa came and then he took them down. Because of course they would simply be too heavy to stay tacked up on the mantle with the thumbtack she used to put them there. And boy, were they ever filled…with a roll of lifesavers, a pack of gum, an orange, some socks, maybe some pencils or pens with your name on them. Little things that cost almost nothing. It’s a tradition that I’ve continued with my husband. I like having lots of stuff to open. It doesn’t have to cost a lot, and it’s better that it doesn’t, so the little funny stocking stuffers are a great way to do that.

This morning I was surfing CNN and saw a story that caught my eye…”Holiday Gift Guide: Stocking Stuffers” and I thought hmm, wonder what they come up with. Not one thing was cheaper than $29, and most were $49 and up. WHAT? I don’t consider things that cost 50-60 and even $70 stocking stuffers. How the hell much are people spending on Christmas gifts anyhow? We don’t have kids, if you read this blog regularly you know that, and we don’t go over the top on gifts at Christmas. (Well, there was that one time. Last year  in the fall we bought a hot tub, so we did decide that was an early Christmas gift, and that was that.) But otherwise we generally keep it under the national debt. We don’t put anything on credit cards for Christmas. If we can’t pay for it in December – other than the aforementioned hot tub – it ain’t getting bought. No one needs anything that badly that you need to put something on a credit card you’ll still be paying off 6 years from now at 22% interest. Seriously? You really gotta do the math on that. It should scare the crap out of you what that will actually cost you in interest and probably a late fee or 6. You think I’m kidding? Here are some sobering statistics:

One quarter of the parents surveyed have taken drastic measures to fund their purchases: 11% have dipped into their retirement account, 14% used funds from their emergency savings and 11% have taken out a payday loan. 

from Here’s How Far Parents Will Go to Pay for Christmas Gifts CNN.com 12/10/16

Get back to the things that mean something and don’t cost your soul. My grandmother gave me a jewelry box in 1969. I can still remember sitting on the floor at their house and opening her gift, and finding that, and how excited I was to have my very own jewelry box.

christmas-at-farm-1969-c

 

img_0825That same jewelry box is 47 years old, and I still use it, and think of her every time I open it. It doesn’t look as pretty, the female ballerina dancer is long lost (although I still have the boy) as is the cover to the small inside box with the red tassel  and the key to the outside. The metal piece over the keyhole fell off but I have it, and the musical mechanism works.
For the eagle eyed of you, yes, same horn rimmed glasses and dress as the first photo. I should say this isn’t me, but my sister. (I’m pretty sure she doesn’t read my blog, so it’s a good test!) Hey that’s not me, that’s my youngest sister. I’m cuter.

Seriously though, I hope that your holiday season is special, however you celebrate.

What’s in a Song?

Ah, the classics. Whether it be a book, or a song, we all have our favorites. When we read or listen to them again (and again) they never feel old or tired, but more like a comfortable blanket, cozy and warm. Winter is chock full of songs like that, especially around Christmas time, although I have to admit sometimes for me it’s as much about the style of how the song is being sung as it is about the song itself. I can rediscover a new twist on an old song and find it’s become a brand new favorite.

A few years ago a couple of movies came out that got a bit of buzz. I didn’t see them right away, but when I did I found a whole new genre of music I didn’t realize I would appreciate, a cappella choirs. Pitch Perfect and Pitch Perfect 2 were fun, peppy and silly, and if you’ve not seen them, they’re a good time, especially if you think you might like to sing along to something. Since then I found out my nephew joined a mens a cappella choir in college, and I’ve been able to see him sing, and I’ve also discoved a wonderful group called Pentatonix. If you’ve never heard of them, I’d encourage you to check out this video of “Hallelujah”, along with some of their other ones. I thought when I’d heard the version of Hallelujah sung by Espen Lind, Askil Holm, Alejandro Fuentes and Kurt Nilsen, that it was one of the most beautiful versions I’d ever heard and promptly downloaded it. Pentatonix brings an entirely new vision to it, and it’s amazing. I hope that Leonard Cohen would be proud.

Another song that I’ve always liked, and it seems we get a new iteration of this one every few years as well, is “Baby It’s Cold Outside”. Searching for it in iTunes brings up at least 100 different iterations, with a message at the bottom saying “less relevant items are not displayed”. We’ve all heard it hundreds of times…haven’t we? But what do you know about it?

The song was written by Frank Loesser in 1944, near the end of WWII, as a duet with his wife for their Navarro Hotel housewarming party as a way to signify to guests it was time to leave. According to  Wikipedia’s page about the song:

Frank would introduce himself as the “Evil of Two Loessers”, a play on the theme of the song, trying to keep the girl from leaving, and on the phrase “lesser of two evils“. Lynn Garland (his wife) considered it their song and was furious when Loesser told her he was selling the song. Garland wrote, “I felt as betrayed as if I’d caught him in bed with another woman.” He sold it to MGM.

Now, I’ve listened to the song, and heard the words, and never was very much bothered by them. Perhaps I should have been, or perhaps I’m not a deep enough thinker, because I ran across an article this morning where a couple from Minnesota has imagined the lyrics and changed this from a song of creepy coercion to one emphasizing the need for consent and my first thought was “huh?” I actually had to go and read the original lyrics (which you can do here) to fully understand everything they were talking about. I’d never learned all the words, and honestly, my impression of it was more one of gentle teasing between two people, probably because of how it’s always been sung. After reading the new lyrics they’ve come up with, I can see how – viewed through the lens of the world in which we live – the original lyrics are more disturbing than I’d realized.

Having said that, while I’ll use that to educate myself and become more aware, I’m also not going to stop enjoying the song when I hear it, and will probably continue to sing along. The mental movie that I play will be a cheery scene where the woman isn’t pushed or coerced, but is strong and confident and can leave any time she wants to, and the man is confident enough in himself as well to not stop her, as it all should be.