Thursday, June 28, 2007

Maybe it ~is~ because of that song!!

When I was in 10th grade, I failed my “Honors English” class and had to attend Summer School. I was going through a “rebellious phase” […that never quite ended ;-) ] and my poor attendance outweighed my high test scores. I was mortified at the time but now I realize that this was the best thing that ever happened to me.

On that first day of Summer School, my teacher Mr. Starr, who was not very pleased with the path I had taken, presented us with a book that was roughly the size and shape of a paperback edition of an unabridged Dictionary. It was a complete overview of practically every English lesson I’d ever had from 1st to 9th grade. He informed us that he was appalled that we had managed to fail a subject based on our native language and that his mission that summer was to ensure that this would never happen again to any of us.

Gone were the hopes of spending my summer days lost in literature and creative writing. Why I was so sure that summer school would resemble Honors English, I do not know. I soon found out how wrong I was when we started with the basics… and I mean basics. On that first day, we covered nouns, verbs and adjectives. The whole thing seemed like a waste of my time at first but I had fun with it and sang quite a few “Schoolhouse Rock” songs to my teacher’s chagrin.

To make a long story longer, I had an epiphany the day Mr. Starr walked into the classroom and wrote the following on the blackboard:

“A woman without her man is an animal.”

This was met by hoots from the boys and a protest from the girls (I’m sure I was one of the loudest) but Mr. Starr was about to change my life…

See, I had always loved to write, but I also hated it (I still do to some extent). My disdain stems from the fact that I have the ~worst~ handwriting in the world (I’m a lefty) and I don’t know how to type… properly. I graduated High School in the late 80’s and our curriculum slipped through the early cracks of the computer age. At the time, I didn’t see a need for me to take a typing class because I had no intention of becoming a secretary and typing was seen as a “vocational” class. As an “honors” student, I wanted to spend my elective credits on Drama classes, not typing… Quite the ironic twist, eh Mr. Starr? ;-) From a very early age, I felt inclined to make attempts at descriptive writing (I smell another blog post for this one) but my hands (and my grasp on language at the time) were nothing but endless sources of frustration…

But I digress…

After Mr. Starr calmed the class down, he explained to us that punctuation is so much more than following rules. Punctuation exists to create comprehension.

You may be thinking, “Well, duh.” But his next action, to me, was profound.

He said, “I am going to make three little movements with this piece of chalk that will change this statement completely.” …Dot…Dot…swish…

When Mr. Starr stepped away from the board, the statement now read:

“A woman: without her, man is an animal.”

I know now that this is an old device and there are many variations of it… but to me, in that moment, it was as if someone had unlocked a door….

I have a tendency to get lost in “existential thought” and that day, my entire brain floated right out the window in contemplation of symbols. The letters of the alphabet are nothing but symbols. Punctuation? Symbols! If taken from an existential point of view, this entire blog is meaningless (and that can betaken in more than one way, judging by my lack of readership) hee hee! ;D

What I mean to say is that the only meaning letters and punctuation have is the meaning that we assign to it. Comedian Steven Wright was pretty popular around the same time this story took place and he summed it up best by saying “Why is the Alphabet in that order? Is it because of that song?”

Taht’s why we can cplmetoley jbulme the ltertes of a wrod and sltil udnrtsenad it as lnog as we keep the frsit and lsat lrtetes the smae.

The fact that this (A) sounds like “ay” or “ah” or ways that I cannot spell out to make you comprehend with out more symbols is truly an amazing thing! Seriously, try to spell out how the letter “A” sounds when used in a word like “flat.” If you didn’t know that, how could you pronounce “ă”?

I find the symbolism of communication utterly fascinating. Thanks Mr. Starr! While I may not recall everything you taught us that summer, I never stopped exploring, I’m constantly rediscovering and I’m learning something new all the time.

More l8ter… ;D

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Update - Would this make me a Flip-flopping Turd Polisher? ;)

As you can see, I’ve had more time to Twitter than blog… Hee hee, (note to self: add “Twitter” and “Blog” to list of made up words that started as nouns and have morphed into verbs).

Many things have changed since my first-ever post on this blog… In a nutshell, I’m thinking of changing my initial intention for this infinitely bright and shining dot in the Internet universe. Recent events have led me to think that maybe the purpose of this blog is to offer a sounding off point for creatives everywhere who occasionally feel like Turd Polishers (God knows I do… often).

Maybe this can be a place where we all can come to vent, just to shake off that icky, turdy feeling; remind ourselves that we are more than just turd polishers and let our creative freak flags fly!

Then again, maybe not… Who reads this thing anyway?

Well, in the spirit of venting… here’s a vent from a dear friend of mine who is NOT a Turd Polisher, but really felt like one yesterday…

“First, thanks for your patience with me. I have been totally swamped being the ((insert project name here)) “bitch” for the past several days. I think I could honestly have an awesome career as a Personal Assistant to some immature, asshole movie star. Maybe even Paris Hilton. I am getting good at being the whipping boy. I had to laugh when someone said to me, “Yeah you remind me of Ann Hathaway in The Devil Wears Prada”. “Gee um thanks, do you take one sugar or two?” (bent over pouring their coffee)…”

To my friend, I say, “I hear you, buddy” and “You are not the only person I know who feels this way today” and “Wouldn’t it be great if you walked up to TPTB (the powers that be) and told them that you will not save their million-dollar asses any more unless they come to you with a flippin’ PLAN first?!?!”

Then again, you wouldn’t be in the spot you are in if they had actually made a plan before launching into production and dissemination. No, instead you would be doing what you are so amazing at doing… and rolling in the big fat bonus check that would be bestowed upon your amazing self for being so amazing.

Well, for what it’s worth; though you may never read this, I think you are amazing. :)

Ahhh… better altruistic living through venting. Yeah… this will last for maybe another 30 minutes when ~my~ PTB get out of their meeting and say, “Gee Lola, those are some pretty wild ideas you gave us but why should we bother moving towards that direction when we are doing so well the way we do things now.”

Summation on multiple levels: Nothing lasts forever.


Friday, June 1, 2007


Heh heh... I've been so busy lately, there's no time to blog. I think I may need to add a Twitter account to my repitoire to get the lil' nagging bits out.
Until then, here's today's "twits" ;)

My house was invaded by gnomes last week...

I wrote a letter to a writer for Wired Magazine today in the hopes that he might be interested in penning an article on the movement to save the TV Show Jericho. He probably thinks I'm "Nuts." ;)

In light of that last statement, my house ~really~ was invaded by gnomes last week!

My dentist just told me that I grind my teeth. Now I have to wear a totally sexy mouthpiece to bed every night. REOWR! >;)

Why would anyone be interested in reading this crap?

Do Twitter subscribers eventually get pissed off at the influx of daily text messages that say things like, "My cat's breath smells like catfood."

Those Gnomes scared the crap outta me...