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Archive for August, 2010

Apparently, when my friends, family and students see errors in the wild, they think of me. That makes my heart swell. Maybe someday I’ll get a book deal out of my passion for correcting other people. (Or maybe I’ll just get a punch in the eye …)

Anyway, it has been a good week for adding to my collection. My friend Chad sent this bit of loveliness:

It was in the Savannah Morning News, of course, but what is worse than that is that it is an AP story. So it made it through the AP editors AND the ones at the SMN.

But writing student Elizabeth sent me one that topped that by a long shot! Pan down to the bottom to enjoy this little slice of heaven:

According to Elizabeth, her mom ripped this page out of the menu. It is probably a good thing for the restaurant. You wouldn’t want to advertise that you have a victimized rabbit.

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(I hope my artist/designer friends will forgive me for the visual atrocity I am foisting on the world, but I this is important information.)

My Puff daddy failed me. I went back to get my fix, and all I heard were crickets chirping when I asked where my bags were.

There were none at Store No. 9 either, and the chunky, pimply, lunch-eating clerk rudely informed me they didn’t sell well and they would not be getting any more.

What’s an addict to do?

Well, put out an APB to her friends, for one.

If you see Flamin’ Hot Cheetos Puffs, please notify this authority immediately. Do not try to detain the suspect yourself. The suspect is considered flamed and delicious.

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For reasons that should be obvious from some of my earlier posts, my anthem for this summer is Bowling For Soup’s 1999 song “1985.”


These lyrics in particular really resonate with me lately:

She’s seen all the classics, she knows every line
Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink, even St. Elmo’s Fire
She rocked out to Wham!, not a big Limp Bizkit fan
Thought she’d get a hand on a member of Duran Duran

Where’s the mini-skirt made of snake skin?
And who’s the other guy that’s singing in Van Halen?
When did reality become TV?
Whatever happened to sitcoms, game shows, on the radio was

Springsteen, Madonna, way before Nirvana
There was U2 and Blondie and music still on MTV
Her two kids in high school they tell her that she’s uncool
‘Cause she’s still preoccupied with 19-19-1985
(Woo hoo hoo)

She hates time, make it stop
When did Motley Crue become classic rock?
And when did Ozzy become an actor?
Please make this stop, stop, stop!

I can’t stop time, and I can’t go back to my 20s, so I must find joy in the present. And in the present, I find joy in little things.

Here’s a non-comprehensive list in no particular order of 50 things of things that make me happy.

  1. Doing impressions with Eddie of Tim Gunn.
  2. When Gideon yells “I love you, Mama” in crowded places.
  3. A hot, hilarious, handy husband
  4. Deciding to give up hoping that certain people will stop saying mean, untrue things about Eddie and me.
  5. Realizing that my best will never be good enough for some people, and coming to terms with that (a corollary to the above).
  6. Greek yogurt
  7. Greek yogurt with pomegranate
  8. Montessori school
  9. An iTunes playlist on which artists such as Lady Gaga, Will Smith, Amy Winehouse, OK Go and the Dixie Chicks live together harmoniously.
  10. Kenny Chesney’s “She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy
  11. When my mother-in-law isn’t speaking to us
  12. “Everything” bagels
  13. That my father found a woman who makes him happy in his post-Mom life.
  14. Shopping for groceries
  15. Trying new recipes
  16. Having friends over
  17. Close female friends I’ve had for years who “get” me (Trish, Linda, Julia, Tina, Khaki, Heidi, Sophia and Terri come to mind)
  18. Funny male friends (Royce, Billy, Edgar, Alex, James, Ed, Michael — I’m talking about you)
  19. Facebook and Twitter
  20. Certain past and present students
  21. My Beer of the Month Club membership
  22. Grammar, punctuation and spelling errors in the wild because it means fodder for this blog
  23. Hearing the kids sing along to Owl City’s “Fireflies
  24. Primary colors, especially blue
  25. Coffee, specifically in a Starbucks frappuccino
  26. That I killed a venomous snake by myself
  27. Entertainment Weekly and People magazines
  28. AP Style
  29. “Amazing Race,” “Survivor,” “Project Runway,” “Top Chef”
  30. Knowing how to make certain meals, such as empanadas with Spanish rice, without a recipe
  31. Dominic’s interest in science
  32. That Eddie and I know what each other is thinking with one look (a code look)
  33. Cheese
  34. Cranium
  35. Flamin’ Hot Cheetos Puffs (of course)
  36. Chickens
  37. That I can figure out a way to get to New York roughly twice a year
  38. Week 10 of the quarter
  39. Apple products
  40. Leaves changing in the fall
  41. Christmas Eve
  42. A quiet house
  43. Candles
  44. Living near lakes, the ocean, and people with pools
  45. Petra’s strawberry cake
  46. Ida’s Iranian cutlets
  47. Dragonflies
  48. Zunzi’s
  49. Walter the Farting Dog
  50. Bedtime

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Frito Lay is a Puff tease. Just like they did years ago, they got me hooked on the Flamin’ Hot Puffs, then took them away.

You may remember my addiction. If not, here’s my confessional.

I was down to my last bag, so I checked the “Where to Buy” section of the Frito Lay site. I was near two of the stores, so I went in. Both of them. Nothing.

Then I checked a couple more that were not as close.

Then it became an obsession. Dominic asked if we were going to keep “exploring.”

Yes, yes we were.

I finally scored two bags at Store No. 9. Crazed, I checked at two more stores on the way home. Again, nothing.

Store No. 12, the Ridhi Food Mart in Pooler, had one bag and a hookup: A manager said he would get more for me from one of their other stores.

Great. Now I have a dealer. I really do have an addiction.

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I must confess that I am jealous of Jeff Deck and Benjamin Herson. “Who are they?” you might ask. If you did, then you are not one of the dozen or so people who have sent me the link to all the coverage of their amazing book, “The Great Typo Hunt.”

I used to read their blog, but now the blog seems more focused on their amazing book tour. A book tour. For writing a book about noticing and fixing typos. SIGH.

Maybe someday “Eats, Shoots and Lays” will be a book. But until then, I must be satisfied with noting errors on a small scale.

Lucky me, there is no shortage of errors.

In today’s mail, there was a doozy:

AFLAC is a fairly big company, no? So they must have some senior folks in charge of their unsolicited mailings. Well, whoever these folks are, they need to revisit the rules for apostrophes.

I’ll go a little easier on the produce manager at Piggly Wiggly because the mistake is not quite as public. (It didn’t go through the U.S. mail on the cover of an envelope.)

Hmm … “Beefstake” tomatoes. Like really chunky, flavorful tomatoes grown on a piece of wood stuck in the ground? Or like “beefcake” — muscular, handsome tomatoes? Oh it’s a darn heterograph tripping up our friend in produce. “Beefsteak” is the word he/she needs.

Speaking of public, this is about as public as it gets:

Stay classy, North Carolina!

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Dominic and Gideon wake up before Eddie and I do. We’ve been strongly encouraging them to stay in their rooms and play quietly.

This morning, Eddie left very early to open the gym. Usually, the kids are up when he leaves at 6:30. Not this morning. I was pleased, thinking they were playing quietly or still sleeping.

I should have been worried.

About an hour later, I woke up again — this time to Dominic yelling, “Mama! I made Gideon look like Aang!”

Aang is the main character in “Avatar: The Last Airbender.”

And here is Gideon as Aang.

Yes, that is Sharpie permanent marker all over him (it was in Gideon’s room to mark his height chart). Here is the back view for your enjoyment:

(I promise we feed him. He’s going through a massive growth spurt.)

So cute. So awful.

The "artiste," "Aang" and Mona (who doesn't care what kind of crap anyone has on his face)

Dominic realized he had made a mistake when he saw the look on my face. He started saying he was sorry, but what could I do? I laughed. I laughed to keep from crying.

I guess I should be happy he has artistic talent.

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Sing the following to the tune of John Cougar Mellencamp’s “Jack and Diane.”

Little ditty about Beth and Sophia
Two American chicks livin’ it up for just a week.
Beth is gonna be a new media star.
Sophia had plenty of fun without a car.

Right. So I’m not a songwriter. What I am, apparently, is an academic who finds enjoyment in conferences where people present research that might be boring to 95 percent of the population.

I was in Denver this week for the annual Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communications conference. I was just here in April for the AWP conference. This time, though, I didn’t have access to a car, so I walked or took the fantastic Denver public transportation, which allowed me to really get to know the city. It is, for the most part, clean and beautiful, with street performers on every corner. (Although, Eddie would point out that there is plenty of “bummery.”)

"Mile-high City" as seen from Room 2122 of the Sheraton.

What made this trip even better was the presence of my friend Sophia. While I was enjoying an endless parade of panel discussions and presentations about new media, old media, social media, technology and pedagogy, Sophia was taking bike rides around the city, visiting museums, and browsing boutiques in Boulder.

One thing we decided to do together was the Denver Microbrew Tour. We were running late and were starving, so we grabbed sandwiches to go from The Lobby, the restaurant across the street from the tour’s first stop, Great Divide. At strategic pauses during the tour portion at the Great Divide, Sophia and I took gobble breaks. Not pretty, but we didn’t want to get hammered on the tour.

Sophia is holding the bag of to-go containers in her right hand.

We finally finished our meal at the next stop on the tour: Breckenridge Brewery, across, ironically, from Coors Field (home of the Colorado Rockies).

Up next: Wynkoop Brewing Company, home of a beer brewed with Anaheim chiles and smoked Ancho peppers. The beer is called Patty’s Chile Beer.

Or is it?

They should change that sign. The beer is made with “chile” peppers.

The last stop on the tour was Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery, which put us back on 16th Street where we caught the free MallRide back to base camp.

After a short nap, we headed out again. This time, our destination was Mizuna, the restaurant that Anthony Bourdain said was the only reason to go to Colorado. I practically had to take out a second mortgage, but it was worth it: Best. Meal. Ever. Fat and happy, we headed “home” in a cab.

The next day, Sophia headed home and I headed downstairs for another day of conferencing.

Oh yeah, life goes on
Long after the thrill of Mizuna is gone.
Oh yeah, life goes on
Long after the thrill of the conference is gone. Now rock on.

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