Thursday, July 31, 2008

Name the Movie

OK, this has been bothering me for, I guess, three years now.

When I was in Iceland, I spent one night sick in my hotel room, drinking tea, peeing my brains out, eating peanuts from the mini-fridge, and watching a movie on TV.

A movie I never found out the title of.

I've been trying to hunt it down since, but, given the dodginess of my memory here, and the fact that I only saw the end of the movie, I'm not getting very far.

Here's what I know:

1.  It is not Dark City.

I have to stress this point, because I really thought it was Dark City.  I bought Dark City.  That ain't it.

2.  The protagonist is a white dude.  Probably someone who looks vaguely like Kiefer Sutherland.

I couldn't identify the dude for certain at the time, but I was all, "Hey, is that Kiefer Sutherland?"  This is one of the things that pointed me in the Dark City direction earlier.

3.  It's a science-fiction movie. 

Possibly with action-y elements.

4.  There's a "buddy" of some sort. 

Can't remember anything at all about the buddy -- not even if he was a real buddy or just someone Not Kiefer Sutherland was thrown together with.

5.  There was a woman involved. 

Probably a wife.  Could've been a partner.  I know there's a betrayal here somewhere, but whether it was buddy or woman -- don't recall.

6.  There was a murder involved.

Could've been the woman; not at all sure.

7.  It was all leading up to some great big reveal at the end.  Where Not Kiefer and whomever he is with (and here I can't recall whether it's the buddy or the woman) finds what I only assume is a crashed spaceship.  In the woods someplace.  And for some reason, it's really important that Not Kiefer bash open the pod carrying the alien (again, this is my assumption) and look inside.  And he does.  And the dead thing in there is (shock!) Not Kiefer.

And I don't know if this means that Not Kiefer's a replicant or whatever; but he doesn't seem happy with this discovery.  And there's also a bit of shooty-shooty that happens around here -- like maybe the woman didn't want him to open the pod; or maybe he made with the shooting after he opened it.  Not sure.

I've just pawed through 17 pages on Netflix of "Sci-Fi/Action" movies and still can't find it. 

Someone?  Please?  What the hell was I watching?

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

What the ... ?

Yes, today was a much better day than yesterday.  And that includes the fact there was an earthquake today.

I don't want to be one of those annoying "power of positive thinking" people, but I did realize last night that I needed an attitude adjustment with respect to the annoying stuff at work.  I mean, bottom line, I really do love my job -- and I'm not doing anyone (least of all me) any favors by being pissed off about one particular assignment going off the rails.  In fact, I actually love this assignment -- I'll love it more when it's done, sure -- but I really just needed to approach this with rather more of a sense of humor than a sense of frustration.  I tried that this morning.  (I even mentioned it to my boss and asked, "How am I doing so far?" which made him laugh.)  Worked wonders.

And then the earth moved.  We're on the fourth floor so the building was rocking quite a bit.  Substantial shaking, but other than it toppling a single book on my desk, there was no damage.

(And, honestly -- my first thought was not "dive under my desk" or even "look after the student who happens to be in my office."  It was "hit 'save,' so that if we lose power, I don't lose the draft I'm working on.")

About ten minutes later, Building Security came over the loudspeaker to unnecessarily give us the "all clear," thank us for evacuating, and tell us it was safe to return to the building.  At which point, we all looked up and said, "we were supposed to evacuate?"

And, that was pretty much where the story ends. 

Until I got home.

Now, I don't want to sound like there was all this destruction in my condo or anything, because there wasn't.  But there was substantially more than I'd ever personally experienced in an earthquake.  (The Northridge quake knocked one vase off a shelf, and ... somewhat oddly ... knocked a valance out of my wall.)  Obviously, it all depends on your closeness to the quake.  Even more obviously, my home is apparently closer to today's quake than my office is.

Walked in and saw that a few realtor business cards had toppled from the stack on the table in my hallway.  I laughed at this.  Oooo -- knocked over business cards -- scary earthquake.  Continued into the living room.  Four chess pieces had fallen off the board -- two made it off the coffee table entirely.  A vase of fake flowers had fallen off the top of the piano (and delicately balanced itself on the keys).  I put these things back.  (I hugged my cat.)  All the books remained on the bookshelf, but the stacks were all leaning to the side.  I re-leaned them.

Came into my home office.  I have a lot of snowglobes -- they were all unmolested.  I also have a Lord of the Rings not-quite-snowglobe.  It has three parts to it:  a wooden stand; a metal (I guess?) base with three ringwraiths modelled on it; and a clear acrylic sphere sitting on the top, with the Ring in the center.  It's on a high shelf in the hutch above my file cabinets.

The acrylic sphere holding the One Ring was in the middle of my floor. 

Closer examination revealed that the ringwraiths fell of their base and were inches away from diving after the Ring.

And my file cabinets?  There's eight drawers worth in two rows of four.  Every other one was about an inch open -- in a checkerboard sort of pattern.

This latter fact actually weirded me out more than anything else.  Yes, the file drawers are on sliders -- but they're heavy.  They're filled to the brim.  Last time I had to take one off its sliders (stupid power outlet is behind them), I had a heck of a time getting it back on its sliders because I couldn't lift the damn thing more than a quarter inch.  And the earthquake battered my wall unit around enough that half the drawers were jerked from their usual resting place.

Yep.  That's a lot of force.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Crappy Day

Man, you know things aren't going to go well when, as you're walking from the parking lot to the office, your cell phone rings because one of your supervisors wants to know when you'll be in.

(Yes, this would be connected to the assignment for which I've already plucked a half-dozen grey hairs out of my head.  The one yesterday was, like, seven inches long.)

Found out a buyer who had seemed really interested in my unit:  (a)  thinks he can get the unit for way, way, way below market price; and (b)  is actually more interested in the other unit for sale in the building.

Came home to write a review that just didn't want to write.  (And if you write for a living, or even just write regularly, you know what I mean.)

And, the cherry on the ice cream:  I just got an email that a colleague passed away.

There were one or two bright spots which I am trying to cling to, but, really, today was just a pisser all around.

This morning, when I was getting ready for work, I put on a pair of earrings I don't think I've worn to work before, and I thought, "Hey, I wonder if these will bring me luck."

That's it.  They are out of the regular rotation.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Need More Anti-Perspirant

I'm running low on "Secret."  I need to buy another one soon, and it annoys me.

Not like it's a great financial burden or anything.  The "solid" jobs last for, what?, a year?  For all of $3.99 or whatever.  I think I can afford to take the hit.

What annoys is that it's yet another reminder that I haven't sold my damn condo yet.  Every time I run out of something that I don't generally replace on a weekly basis, it hits me that, somewhere in the back of my mind, I'd thought I wouldn't have to buy another one until I was in a new house.  I ran out of hair spray months ago and have been doing without.  It would seem like admitting defeat to order another (yes, I buy hairspray online) and have it sent here.

Hard to really do without anti-perspirant, though.  (Especially in summer.  In Southern California.)  I've been dragging out the dregs of this one, though, in some vague hope that -- even though I see the plastic bits peering through what's left of the Secret Solid -- I'll be gone by the time I've really and truly run out. 

At this point, though, even if I get an offer today, I'll still need to buy a new one, as I very much doubt the milimeter or so I have left would survive escrow.


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

(More) Humor at the Expense of My Cat

OK, from my kitchen, there is a large pass-through opening into my dining room.  My cat is not allowed on the kitchen counter.  She knows this -- or, at least, knows it enough not to climb on the kitchen counter when I'm there to see her.

So, the other day, I'm getting ready to feed her.  I get out a cat food bowl and reach into the magic drawer where we keep cans of Friskies. 

Jasmine hears the drawer.  She knows this means Friskies.  She comes tearing down the hallway.  Knowing that she can't jump on the kitchen counter, she jumps on the dining room table so she can watch me preparing her dinner through the pass-through. 

Cat on a tear + jumping on the table = a great deal of velocity.  Cat slides across the table, coming to a stop right in the center (amazingly, without toppling the centerpiece).

And the soundtrack in my mind immediately adds the opening notes of Bob Seger's "Old Time Rock and Roll."

(Cat has no idea why I'm bowled over laughing while spooning out the Friskies.)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

OK, back to Vegas

After a really annoying night when I tossed and turned and had this horrible nightmare about my cat having all four of her legs cut off (thank you so much, "How It's Made," for that lovely segment on hams), I woke up for what was, really, our One Day in Vegas.

Started the morning with a stroll out to Fremont Street.  Having investigated the situation the day before, I knew exactly where I could buy myself a thing of Yoplait, and therefore stick to my eating plan while on vacation.  Of course, it was hard to say my peach yogurt was actually breakfast, as it was about 11:30 by this time, but allowances have to be made.

Went up to the gym and did about 20 minutes on an Elliptical machine.  I haven't done cardio in a while so making it through 20 minutes was a bit of a challenge.  My brother-in-law (who runs distances -- like, marathons) is cheerfully running along on the treadmill next to me.  I've plodded elliptically for about four minutes, sweat is pouring off me, I'm breathing heavy, and I look at the "Calories burned" display to see I've managed to work off a small cookie.

It's a small cardio room, with maybe eight machines in it.  Two flat screen TVs on the wall.  The one on the left is running CNN; the one on the right, Fox News.  I find this amusing.

I actually had a lovely afternoon in the gym/spa facility.  For one of the Very First Times (on vacation), I had the foresight to pack everything I'd need for a gym/spa -- workout clothes, sports bra, mp3 player, swimsuit for the jacuzzi, book to read, sneakers, flip-flops, clean change of clothes ... my workout bag was pretty heavy, but damn, I had a good time. 

Got a massage too.  (I ended up with the same massage dude my sister got.  Probably the only dude on the planet who has seen both me and my sister in that state of undress.)

Spent most of the afternoon there just hanging out, snacking on fruit, and ... showering.  (Good Lord, you've got to shower a lot at one of these places.  Shower after workout and before massage.  Use Sauna.  Shower after Sauna and before using Jacuzzi.  Shower after jacuzzi before leaving ....) 

Got back to my room with about 20 minutes to spare before meeting the family for dinner.  Had spied an internet place on Fremont street when I'd picked up the morning yogurt, so took the opportunity to print out the boarding pass for my flight home and journal like a madman for 10 minutes.  Ran back to my room, put on my Nice Evening Clothes (purple tank top, black skirt), and headed off to meet the family for dinner.

OK, here's the thing about the black skirt.  Remember a few posts ago when I ran to the storage cage to get my suitcase?  When I was putting together my packing list, I thought I'd take my black linen skirt.  Except I couldn't find my black linen skirt.  When I ran to the storage cage to get the suitcase, there was a bag of clothes in the cage and the black linen skirt was right on top.  I grabbed the skirt (thinking it must have been fate), held it up to myself to see if it looked like it might fit (it did), and packed it.

So, I put it on for dinner, ran to my sister's room to meet the family, sat down, and discovered the three-inch rip in the seam at about hip-level.


My sister had no needle and thread and neither did I.  But when mom came to the door, she said she had one, so she ran back to her room to get the sewing kit.  She comes back and offers to sew it for me.  Since the rip was on a seam, it would be really easy to get from the inside.  Which required me to take off my skirt.

I stand behind the bar in the little sink area in the room (did I mention my sister got upgraded to a suite for pretty much no reason at all?) and my brother-in-law walks in the living room.  Because I am now, y'know, wearing no skirt, I purposely lean up against the half-wall that's the front of the bar.  Because he's obviously not going to see me standing in my underwear if  I'm all pressed against the wall. 

My mother is sewing away at the skirt on the bar; I'm standing behind.  Brother-in-law yells back into the bedroom, "Your sister's naked out here!"

It was then that I noticed the mirror behind me.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

What are the odds?

We interrupt the Vegas recap for a moment from Monday.

Driving to work on Monday, I realized I was still pretty tired from Vegas.  It dawned on me that I was rather more tired than I thought I was, if that makes any sense.  I mean, I was really tired.  Perhaps, I should not be operating heavy machinery.  Like, say, my car.

We don't have assigned parking spots -- we have an assigned floor in the parking structure.  So I drive up to our floor, circle round to an open spot, and pull in.

And hear a thud.  And notice the car to my right shaking.


I finish parking and get out to see if I did, in fact, hit the car next to me.

There's a scratch on the side of the car.  It is at about the same height as my bumper.  Which has a scratch on it.

Now, under normal circumstances, you might think that this would lead me to the conclusion that I did, in fact, hit the car next to me while pulling into the spot.

It does not.

Why does it not?

Because I hit this exact same car about a year ago, and I couldn't tell whether this was a new scratch or the same one.

I left a note.  This morning, I emailed saying, "Please tell me I didn't hit your car again."

I did.

(She's taking it remarkably well.)

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Vegas, Baby

(I got 9 minutes 52 seconds left on the internet cafe after printing my boarding pass home.  Let's see what I can write.)

My flight out was at 12:30 yesterday.  A friend was meeting me at 11:00 to drive me to the airport.

AT 10:00, I started packing.

At 10:03, I realized I didn't have a suitcase.  Perhaps it was downstairs in my storage locker.  I ran downstairs, opened the locker.  No suitcase. 

Damn.  It must be in real storage cage.  (The one I pay for.  A few blocks away.)  I have my keys (needed them to check the locker in the garage), so I might as well drive down there real fast and get my suitcase. 

On the way, I realize I don't have my driver's license.  I resolve to drive REALLY safely for the five blocks. 

I get there.  I type in my code for access to the facility.  It won't let me in.

Perhaps I've reversed a couple digits in the number of my cage.  I try various combinations.  None work. 

The office is open.  I will ask the nice lady at the office to give me the number of my unit.

It dawns on me that she might not do this, as I DO NOT HAVE ANY ID.

Turns out, she did it anyway.  Didn't even ask for proof I was me.  Volunteered the number of my unit on my name only.  She then asked me if I needed my security code, as though she was willing to go ahead and tell me that, too.  Was a bit concerned about the level of security at this place if they'd give me my unit number AND THE CODE based solely on me saying I was me.  Was more grateful that I got my suitcase and was able to get packed.

Made it to the airport fine.  Flew to Vegas.  Folks picked me up at the airport.  Whole family is here for a coupla days of Vegas Fun.

Last night, we had dinner at one of the zillions of buffets, and then my sister thought we should see Second City over at the Flamingo.  So we drive to the Flamingo, find the Second City stage, and ask where the box office is.

Apparently it's on the other side of the casino.  Apparently there's a shortcut through the bathrooms.

My dad and brother-in-law split off into the men's room, the rest of us to the women's room.  Sure enough, if you go out the other side, you are in front of the box office.  We found this very amusing.

Unfortunately, it was slightly more amusing than most of the Second City show.  But they told us some guy was told to go through the bathroom for the box office, and he just walked around the sign and wondered why he wasn't there yet.  Like there was some magic rip in the space-time continuum at the Flamingo bathrooms, and that circling around the pole opens it up.

We laughed at him all night.

Friday, July 11, 2008


I have a small quarter-inch cut on my forehead.

(How did you get that?)

I hit my head.

(With what?)

With my car.

I'm still trying to figure out exactly how tired I had to be to accomplish this one.  I had the tailgate of my SUV open in order to take some groceries out, and somehow, in the process of closing the door, I slammed it on my head.

(And not only on that little quarter-inch spot where the cut is.  On the way down, it also whacked my glasses off my face.  That would be my new, insanely expensive, rimless glasses, on which I declined the insurance on the basis that "I've never run my glasses over in the past.")

Forget not operating heavy machinery when you're tired.  I shouldn't even operate doors.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

No, you will not see the video

... and Jasmine will never speak of what she saw.

Today, I broke out two of my birthday presents:  my new Playstation and my Dance, Dance, Revolution game.

Lord Have Mercy.

Damn thing starts you on "Beginner" mode, and you have to pass three levels of that before you can go into "Standard."

I failed the first level.  At least twice.

And the game isn't entirely sympathetic.  I mean, sure, there's a voice that says, not too ironically, "Aw, you didn't make it."  But that's after the big red "FAILED" goes across the screen.

But with some perseverence, I got through the first level of Beginner, and then completed the next two levels in quick succession.  Yay me.

I then thought I'd try "Standard" and nearly killed myself.

I'm not sure what button I (apparently) accidentally stepped on, but somehow I had, unknowingly, changed the setting from "One-Player" mode to "Two-Player Challenge mode."  So after I'd just barely succeeded at "Beginner" mode where you have to step on one of four buttons (up, down, left, right) at any given moment, I was now looking at a screen that appeared to be asking me to step on two of eight of such buttons simultaneously.  And I'm thinking, "How the hell am I going to do this?"  (Left foot for the first four buttons?  Right foot for the other four?)  OK, sure, I gave it a game try, but lasted all of about 15 seconds before I FAILED that one.  And I'm thinking, "If this is Standard, what the hell does Difficult look like?  High-Speed Twister?"  Took me another few minutes to confirm with the booklet that this is not, in fact, what single player play looks like.  Reset the game, and tried single-player standard, which is much saner.

I failed it anyway.

And failed again.

And failed a third time.

And failed a fourth.

At which point, I'm breathing heavy, my hair is defying gravity in all sorts of directions, there's sweat pouring down my face, and my cat is hiding behind the nearest piece of furniture, cautiously looking at this strange being and wondering what I've done with the nice person who collapses on the couch and pets her.

Start warming the couch, Jas, I'm comin'!

Monday, July 7, 2008

And now, a cat moment

I'm starting to notice that, frequently, whenever I'm in the bathroom, responding to nature's call, my cat saunters in, uses her litter box, brushes litter over the deposit, and scampers off.

I think she's racing me.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Relaxing Afternoon at the Nail Spa ... Not

After that lovely morning, I went to the mall.  Figured I'd grab some eats and get my nails done.  This is not my usual nail place -- but a nail place is a nail place, right?

Made a "I'll be back in 20 minutes" appointment at the nail place, went to my favorite fast food place, ate, returned to the nail place.

They have a main room with various tables where manicurists do their thing, and then a side room with three pedicure chairs.  I am ensconced in a pedicure chair.  It's nice.  It's one of them massage chairs, but it really works -- not one of the ones that claims to be a massage chair but just half-heartedly vibrates. 

There's a wall behind the three chairs, blocking us from the mall, so that we can try to forget we're in the middle of a loud, busy, shopping zone, and make-believe we're in some distant place where we're being pampered.  They're piping in relaxing music.  There's a TV on the wall in front of us.  It's off, but I'm sure that if it was on, it would be showing pictures of tropical beaches or something.

Ten minutes into the pedicure routine, something invades the tranquility.  It's a woman.  Yelling. 

Her speech is heavily-accented and she's so angry she's talking too fast to be understood, but it's something about, "not how you treat a customer!" and "she said she was sorry, but she wasn't sorry!" and then back to "I'm the customer!" 

The tech doing my pedicure stops to glance over to the main room.  (There's a privacy wall preventing me from doing the same.)  She watches a bit, then returns to business.

The yelling abates, then restarts.  It changes language.  She is now yelling in Chinese.

This is not particular productive for her, as the manicurists are from Korea, but she keeps at it anyway -- clearly, she's way beyond actually wanting to communicate with the people in the shop.  (The customer next to me happens to speak Chinese, so she translates for our little corner of things.)  She keeps yelling, alternating between Chinese and English.

The tech working on the customer next to me gets up and walks out to the main room.  When she returns, she's got another tech with her.  She's very young, much younger than the tech who went to get her.  The older tech says something (in Korean) to theyounger tech, then slaps her. 


Younger Tech says something else, and Older Tech roughly pushes her.  Younger Tech moves into the bathroom and washes her hands -- for no apparent reason other than to avoid getting hit again by Older Tech.

Irritated Chinese Customer continues yelling.  She's now moved on to "Go ahead!  Call Security!"

(A sentence which, I imagine, will get Security called ten times out of ten.)

Customer next to me gets annoyed and yells, "Quiet!"

Irritated Chinese Customer yells back that you wouldn't be quiet if they treated you that way, and she's the customer and so on.  Another customer says, "Use your indoor voice!" which makes me crack up something wicked.

Woman next to me suggests that it's a "cultural" thing, and that in the West, we're used to asking to speak to a supervisor and resolving things politely, while in China, they just yell.  I ask her if yelling gets results in China.  She says no.

Irritated Chinese Customer keeps right on yelling, while the customer and I discuss the relative virtues of Anger Management classes.

Ultimately Mall Security comes, and things get quiet again.

Later, I'm sitting over at the "drying station," letting my nails dry under a bright blue lamp, watching mall traffic pass.  Another customer sits down next to me -- she was the "indoor voice" lady, who was in the main room and saw everything.

Apparently, Irritated Chinese Customer had come in for a pedicure and her daughter got a manicure.  Somewhere along the line, someone's nails were supposed to be "trimmed," and the tech in question (this would be Younger Tech) did not trim said nails sufficiently.  Irritated Customer said she wouldn't pay because her nails weren't trimmed; Younger Tech said she trimmed the nails; Irritated Customer went ballistic because she's the customer; Manager didn't placate Irritated Customer; and apparently the idea of just taking out a pair of nail clippers and trimming Customer's damn nails again was way too difficult for anyone to come up with.  Instead, Irritated Customer went on a tirade; Irritated Customer and her daughter both started yelling; Irritated Customer shoved Younger Tech.  Younger Tech apparently attempted to fight back, at which time Older Tech grabbed her, brought her to the back of the store, and slapped her herself.

I'm going back to my usual nail place.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

One of Those Days

I get up.  Have my morning yogurt.  Am about to go in the shower when the phone rings.  It's the real estate office.  They want to book a showing of my unit this afternoon.


I set the roomba to cleaning my bedroom and jump in the shower.

Upon exiting the shower, I discover my cat has (yet again) barfed up a hairball in the hallway.  The hallway carpet was cheaper than the bedroom carpet and has less stain protection.  The hallway is also the first thing prospective buyers see when they walk in my unit.  For these reasons, Jasmine barfs there more than anywhere else.

OK, fine, I'll have to clean that up.  Let me put some clothes on first.

I walk in the bedroom.  Where my carpet is being vacuumed by half a roomba.

Its dustbin is missing.  It doesn't seem to care, and is still spinning away, although now its brushes are just tossing the dirt in the air so it lands ... pretty much where it started, on the carpet.  I look for the dustbin.  It is, of course, under the bed.

I crawl under the bed, find the missing dustbin, attach it, aim the roomba back in a particularly dirty area, and get dressed.

I apply cat barf cleaner to the cat barf.  It has to sit for five minutes then you wipe it up with a cloth.

I take a cloth from the pile of cat barf cleaning cloths I keep under the sink.

I apply cloth to moistened stain, I fold cloth over.

Big honkin' spider runs out of the cloth.


I haven't even left the house yet!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Party Photos

I know.  I know.  I'm taking ever-so-long to journal about my birthday festivities.  But I had such an awesome time, I'm kinda dragging it out.

(Well, that and my computer has been very disagreeable today.  Couldn't get it to load music into my music player; finally discovered there was some sort of bizarre conflict between the Sony SonicStage music manager program and the MagicJack phone thingy.  Once I got that worked out, I tried to upload the photos from my memory card only to discover my computer stopped recognizing the card reader.  Troubleshooter didn't get it on the first two fixes, but found it on the third (which I was SURE wouldn't work).  Today is not a good technology day for me.)

ANYWAY, here are a ton of photos from my birthday party on the Curlew. 

But first... Can you fit 3 twelve-packs of soda; a twelve-pack and two six-packs of beer; 48 bottles of water; and 4 bottles of wine into an 18-cubic-foot fridge and still have a corner left for your food?

Yes.  Yes, you can.

So... when I got to the boat, I gave my mom the camera and set her to work.  First, I played Julie Your Cruise Director and checked everyone in.  Here's me checking in my sister and brother-in-law.  My sister didn't take too well to sailing -- so here's a happy picture of her before she has actually stepped on the boat.

Here's a bunch of us standing around as the Captain told us all the important things we needed to know about sailing.  (Like how to flush the toilet.)

Note how everyone is standing around.  This is because they haven't put the sails up yet.  Once we really got sailing, most folks sat, like so:

Note the height of the sails -- sitting is necessary so you don't whack your head on the sails.  Lounging is good, too.

At one point, the nice lady who was steering the boat let me take the wheel.  My mother took four pictures of me steering.  My eyes are shut in all of them.  I wasn't driving with my eyes closed!  Honest!

Here's some friends of mine.  The fellow on the left was the dude who got married last weekend.  (He's sitting with his sister and her husband.)  Please note how all three of them had the good sense to wear proper sun protection.

It all ended way too soon -- and they took the sails down as we got back to the dock.

Ha!  Take that Hornblower Cruises.  Curlew lets me have presents!

I really could not think of a cooler way to spend turning 40.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Look, there it is!

We interrupt the party recap for a brief complaint.

I'm not the sort to go all Grammar or Spelling Nazi on people.  Especially on the internet, where grammar and spelling are often a bit more flexible concepts than in other fora.

But I've seen this one get screwed up way too many times -- and, I'm sorry, folks, when you mess it up, it just makes you look really ignorant.

Sample of what I've seen on the internet:  So, you mix up the ingredients, pour 'em in a cake pan, plop in in the oven for 20 minutes, and wah-la!  Chocolate Cake!

Alternative bad spelling:  walluh.  Also:  walla.

The word in question is:  Voila.  Feel free to leave off the accent on the "a" (like I did).  That's an acceptable variant (and, besides, getting accents on the internet requires extra key-strokes).  It's a French word.  Roughly translates into "See there" or, rather more loosely (and, yet, accurately), "There it is."

If you sat through Beginning French in school -- the first day was probably a lot of this:

"Ou est mon stylo?"  (Where is my pen?)

"Voila mon stylo!"  (There's my pen!)

Used in this here American Language that we speak, it's used a bit more in the "wow!  It's complete!" context, as in the "chocolate cake" example above.  Or what a magician would say when he reveals that the lion has just turned into his pretty assistant.  Folks are actually using it correctly -- just spelling it atrociously.

And, unless this is some sort of intentional anti-French thing along the lines of Freedom Fries (about which I never got the memo), there's really no excuse for it.

Thank you.