1. As most of you know, the family and I will be moving soon. But that’s not really what I wanted to talk about here. It’s about the aesthetic state of my home. With the exception of my atrocious garage and my messy back porch, my house hasn’t been this clean since I had kids. And I’m loving it. The clutter is pretty much gone, donated to Goodwill or sent to the dump, or resting in boxes ready to be transported to my next destination currently unknown, and I almost feel like I can breathe again. I absolutely cannot stand "stuff." You know, that sort of nebulous deluge of useless junk that accumulates over time and has no real place in one’s world other than to pollute it and/or destroy its tranquility? There is nothing more liberating for me than filling scores of garbage bags with this "stuff" and sending it off to have another cycle of existence in someone else’s home or at the bottom of a landfill. I develop sentimental attachments to very few inanimate things; the concept of hoarding sickens me. What would make the situation orgasmic (albeit not environmentally friendly) is if I were able to light the stuff on fire and dance around it Pentecostal Revival/National Geographic-Style.
2. I’m going to take this opportunity to correct a few of the grammatical errors I see floating around out there in cyberspace. Let me first say that I know I’m not a grammar expert. I find myself making errors on such a regular basis that it’s amazing that any of you think I have any sort of credibility as a writer. My mistakes are borne out of the same kind of misinformation/forgetfulness as everyone else, though, and I’ve had to accept the fact that I’m not perfect. That should be no reason, however, not to share valid advice when I have it to give. Here are four common errors I see in word usage that I would like to correct for the general population that continues to get it wrong, whether in the media or in casual writing. Remember these rules well, as they will make you look that much more intelligent.
a. To stimulate something is to "whet" it (as in "whetting one’s appetite"). Not "wet."
b. To be disturbed by something is to be "fazed" by it. Not "phased."
c. When you agree heartily with something, you say "Hear Hear!" Not "Here Here!" This saying is based off of English Parliamentary practice whereby when one has the floor, they shout "Hear Him! Hear Him!"
d. When your curiosity is aroused, it is "piqued," not "peaked" or "peeked." In fact, if you even deign to use the latter form of the word, you get deducted double points because you’ve completely bypassed the realm of near-correctness for one of sheer stupidity.
3. My daughter is in a multicultural dance festival/recital at her school tonight called "American’s All." Now, I’m not sure how to feel about this, as she attends Yelm schools, and anyone who knows Yelm knows that it is a little on the "cranial rectosis" side of conservative, unless you’re a follower of the whole Ramtha Enlightenment Cult thing. I mean shit, the town pharmacy has Bible verses on its reader board, which should tell you where they stand on the whole "Plan B" thing. So the fact that they are attempting to celebrate multiple cultures has me a little apprehensive. Fazed, if you will. Let’s just say that if I see kids with their faces painted like lawn jockeys dancing little jigs or other displays of "Look how we’re attempting to look diverse but we’re really mocking your culture!" I wouldn’t be terribly surprised. At the very least, my curiosity is piqued.