Thursday, January 6, 2011



When the two words crash into each other, there is a plume of smoke (the apostrophe), and a letter (or sometimes more) gets dropped.

Example 1:
It is

It ----><-----is



Example 2:

They are

they -----><----are

they --->'<---re


Contractions are not to be mistaken for the possessive form of the homophones that, as the term suggests, sound identical, but are spelled differently.

Its = possessive. Example: My dog wags its tail.
It's = the contraction "it is," or "it has." Example: It's unclear what will happen next. Example: It's been a slow month.

Their = possessive plural. Example: Their house is very warm and inviting.
They're = the contraction "they are." Example: They're going to be late.
There = a noun describing a location. Period. Example: The bag is right there on the table.

Monday, September 15, 2008

The clearly as they could be stated

If you weren't already clear on the differences between our former presidential candidate and one of the current VP candidates, here are a couple of key sources of information:

There is the poignant Op-Ed piece by Gloria Steinem in the LA Times:,0,1290251.story

The fumble as Charles Gibson attempts to inquire about Palin's thoughts on the Bush Doctrine:

And in case you still had any questions about how being a woman does NOT make Palin the same as Clinton, here's the brilliant Tina Fey performance:

Friday, July 18, 2008

Are you retarded? No I'm rhyming! (...poems I like...)

by Lisel Mueller

What happened is, we grew lonely
living among the things,
so we gave the clock a face,
the chair a back,
the table four stout legs
which will never suffer fatigue.

We fitted our shoes with tongues
as smooth as our own
and hung tongues inside bells
so we could listen
to their emotional language,

and because we loved graceful profiles
the pitcher received a lip,
the bottle a long, slender neck.

Even what was beyond us
was recast in our image;
we gave the country a heart,
the storm an eye,
the cave a mouth
so we could pass into safety.

The Benefits of Ignorance
by Hal Sirowitz

If ignorance is bliss, Father said,
shouldn't you be looking blissful?
You should check to see if you have
the right kind of ignorance. If you're
not getting the benefits that most people
get from acting stupid, then you should
go back to what you always were—
being too smart for your own good.

Ode to American English
by Barbara Hamby

I was missing English one day, American, really,
with its pill-popping Hungarian goulash of everything
from Anglo-Saxon to Zulu, because British English
is not the same, if the paperback dictionary
I bought at Brentano's on the Avenue de l'Opera
is any indication, too cultured by half. Oh, the English
know their dahlias, but what about doowop, donuts,
Dick Tracy, Tricky Dick? With their elegant Oxfordian
accents, how could they understand my yearning for the hotrod,
hotdog, hot flash vocabulary of the U. S. of A.,
the fragmented fandango of Dagwood's everyday flattening
of Mr. Beasley on the sidewalk, fetuses floating
on billboards, drive-by monster hip-hop stereos shaking
the windows of my dining room like a 7.5 earthquake,
Ebonics, Spanglish, "you know" used as comma and period,
the inability of 90% of the population to get the past perfect:
I have went, I have saw, I have tooken Jesus into my heart,
the battle cry of the Bible Belt, but no one uses
the King James anymore, only plain-speak versions,
in which Jesus, raising Lazarus from the dead, says,
"Dude, wake up," and the L-man bolts up like a B-movie
mummy, "Whoa, I was toasted." Yes, ma'am,
I miss the mongrel plentitude of American English, its fall-guy,
rat-terrier, dog-pound neologisms, the bomb of it all,
the rushing River Jordan backwoods mutability of it, the low-rider,
boom-box cruise of it, from New Joisey to Ha-wah-ya
with its sly dog, malasada-scarfing beach blanket lingo
to the ubiquitous Valley Girl's like-like stuttering,
shopaholic rant. I miss its quotidian beauty, its querulous
back-biting righteous indignation, its preening rotgut
flag-waving cowardice. Suffering Succotash, sputters
Sylvester the Cat; sine die, say the pork-bellied legislators
of the swamps and plains. I miss all those guys, their Tweety-bird
resilience, their Doris Day optimism, the candid unguent
of utter unhappiness on every channel, the midnight televangelist
euphoric stew, the junk mail, voice mail vernacular.
On every boulevard and rue I miss the Tarzan cry of Johnny
Weismueller, Johnny Cash, Johnny B. Goode,
and all the smart-talking, gum-snapping hard-girl dialogue,
finger-popping x-rated street talk, sports babble,
Cheetoes, Cheerios, chili dog diatribes. Yeah, I miss them all,
sitting here on my sidewalk throne sipping champagne
verses lined up like hearses, metaphors juking, nouns zipping
in my head like Corvettes on Dexadrine, French verbs
slitting my throat, yearning for James Dean to jump my curb.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Reality Bites (ouch!)

In the past three months, I have submitted at least 30 job applications, for positions ranging from the mundane to the exciting. I have revised my resume over and over again to fit the qualifications of each position, and I have written what seems like countless cover letters. To date, I've received no response from a single position.

I am a highly intelligent, successfully performing college graduate. I recently finished a prestigious and challenging teaching program. And I am unemployed. At no point in my undergraduate career did anyone say "hey -- you should really get yourself some IT skills." At no point did a degree in the liberal arts seem like an employment death-wish. Neither did the organization I spent two years in the classroom through caution me that I would have no relevant experience to transfer into a different job sector.

Blame the economy, blame the administration, blame your life-choices. Any way you cut it, unemployment sucks. Especially in light of the fact that I am over-qualified in potential, but lack relevant experience. To summarize a scene in Reality Bites (a brilliant and humorous look at post-college life a' la 1994), I'm not going to work at Burgerama like the retarded boy from the news is, because I'm not retarded (see previous paragraph for evidence to this nature).

So throw me a friggin' bone here people! Or, in the meantime (and it is mean, that time thing is...), enjoy a clip from the video that currently sums up my life.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Why I miss my 1994 Saturn SL1 (Cadet blue with once-pink fuzzy dice)

Ode to My 1977 Toyota
by Barbara Hamby

Engine like a Singer sewing machine, where have you
not carried me-to dance class, grocery shopping,
into the heart of darkness and back again? O the fruit
you've transported-cherries, peaches, blueberries,
watermelons, thousands of Fuji apples-books,
and all my dark thoughts, the giddy ones, too,
like bottles of champagne popped at the wedding of two people
who will pass each other on the street as strangers
in twenty years. Ronald Reagan was president when I walked
into Big Chief Motors and saw you glimmering
on the lot like a slice of broiled mahi mahi or sushi
without its topknot of tuna. Remember the months
I drove you to work singing "Some Enchanted Evening"?
Those were scary times. All I thought about
was getting on I-10 with you and not stopping. Would you
have made it to New Orleans? What would our life
have been like there? I'd forgotten about poetry. Thank God,
I remembered her. She saved us both. We were young
together. Now we're not. College boys stop us at traffic lights
and tell me how cool you are. Like an ice cube, I say,
though you've never had air conditioning. Who needed it?
I would have missed so many smells without you—
confederate jasmine, magnolia blossoms, the briny sigh
of the Gulf of Mexico, rotting 'possums scattered
along 319 between Sopchoppy and Panacea. How many holes
are there in the ballet shoes in your back seat?
How did that pair of men's white loafers end up in your trunk?
Why do I have so many questions, and why
are the answers like the animals that dart in front of your headlights
as we drive home from the coast, the Milky Way
strung across the black velvet bowl of the sky like the tiara
of some impossibly fat empress who rules the universe
but doesn't know if tomorrow is December or Tuesday or June first.