Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Christians and the Pagans

"But now when Christians sit with Pagans only pumpkin pies are burning." — Dar Williams, The Christians and the Pagans

Don't know the song? Click here!

It's a silly line from a cutsey folk song, but think about it. The line is describing one of the rare times in human history where people with different opinions can sit down and talk with each other without calling for blood. It's unfortunate that some areas of the world like Israel and the Gaza Strip can't do this right now, that tensions are too high. But the simple fact is that we're in a more tolerant age than we ever have been before.

The message of the song focuses on tolerance. Essentially, that family, friendshp, and connecting is more important than any strongly held religious belief. Yes, many of us disagree about religion, sometimes very vehemently, but what it comes down to is everybody wants to be able to live a good life and provide for their families.

And, in fact, I believe it's essential to expose yourself to different views and beliefs. It allows you to see different perspectives and really examine why you think the way you do. You You may even change your beliefs, just a little bit, but it also strengthens the beliefs you have and choose to keep. You get to the core of what you believe and why.

How many of us really critically examine the beliefs we grew up with? How many of us are just taking what we learned for granted?

That's why, when I'm on Twitter (and also in real life), I follow athiest skeptics and religious traditionalists, although I fall somewhat closer to the skeptic end of that scale (I'm a theistic agnostic. Confused? Click here). I made a decision very early not to exclude people as friends based on religious belief. People are more alike than different, IMHO. If people are interesting, have interesting things to say and if we have something in common, then they're someone worth knowing, even if they are a Christian and I am a Pagan.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

What were the ten best films of 2008?

Jason over at Mahalo Answers has posted another $100 Question of the day. Today, it's:

What were the ten best films of 2008?

If you've not tried Mahalo Answers yet, this is an easy, entry-level question that anyone can participate in by answering. It's not like you have to have any specialized knowledge to give a good answer. You just have to think of your 10 favorite films this year, and give a short blurb on why you liked them. If you do that, you have a real chance to win $100 dollars! How cool is that?

As I've mentioned before, I'm not in this for the money. Nevertheless, I'll be throwing my hat into the ring on this question to see what I can come up with. I do so hope you'll join me.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

I <3 Mahalo Answers

According to Mahalo CEO Jason Calacanis, the thing that you do where somebody asks you a question on a the web, and then you answer them, is called a "knowledge exchange." I always just called it "fun."

As an online friend once said about me, "If you happen to ask an open-ended question around her, you will find your question answered." I enjoy working with information, and there's nothing more satisfying than finding the answer to a tough question through research.

I've been the go-to person for questions at my office and in my circle of friends for years, especially for questions about language, science and cooking.

So it's no surprise that I am in love with Mahalo Answers.

Mahalo Answers is a lot like Yahoo Answers, which has been around a while. Essentially, peoople ask and answer questions in a Web-based format. The askers look at all the responses, and choose the best answer. But there are a few key differences.

First, there is a real emphasis on quality of the answers. Citations, and refutations are encouraged. I dabbled in Yahoo Answers for a while, but found there were a lot of stupid questions and snarky answers. It really turned me off.

Second, there is a monetary system that can allow you to earn money when using Mahalo Answers. You buy Mahalo Dollars, and then can offer them as tips as part of the questions you ask. The person you select with the best answer gets the tip. Then you can eventually cash out your tips and actually make money. Not only is the making money angle cool, in theory, this also helps to increase the quality of an answer, or at least the number of responses.

Third, the Mahalo Answers is incorporated into Mahalo's Search Engine Results pages. So people who surf over to Mahalo's page on, say, Bob Dylan, can see the questions that people have asked about him. If they have a question that is not answered on the Search results page or in those Mahalo Answers questions, they can hop over to Mahalo Answers and ask it themselves.

Fourth, there's already a community of people built up around Mahalo that is working with Mahalo Answers. This includes guides who work for Mahalo, like me, and others who simply enjoy the site.

And the types of questions that are asked and answered are quite varied. I've seen very few questions so far that didn't have at least two answers, even the very technical or obscure ones.

So, to sum it up in Reading Rainbow style:

"Do you like helpingn people find answers to their questions? Or do you have some questions you haven't been able to answer but want to? Then heck out Mahalo Answers. You'll be glad you did...but you don't have to take my word for it."

Friday, December 12, 2008

RIP Bettie Page

Although not unexpected, as she had been ill for several weeks, and had fallen gravely ill in early December, it's still sad news that Bettie Page has died.

Read More Here.

She was such a beauty. Great hair, great smile, girl-next door features, and such a playful and adventurous spirit that shows through in all her photos.

Even though she herself really never knew of her fame until later in life-she gave up the modeling and pinup career in 1957 to become a born-again Christian-her legacy is simply amazing.

In our modern times where things can be much more, er, graphic, she is an example of a classier form of sexy that has, to a certain extent, gone out of vogue.

Page pushed boundaries, appearing in photoshoots with sadomasochistic themes which, for their day, were scandalous, but now seem tame. We owe her a great debt.

So, if you're already a fan of Bettie Page, take today to celebrate her. If you don't really know what she's all about, then check out some of her images and her official Web site. But don't do it at work, because although her poses are tamer than those of today, there's still a fair amount of topless photos.

Bettie Page

The Notorious Bettie Page (movie)

More pinup girls

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Mumbai attacks

A bunch of terrorist are in the midst of a co-ordinated attack on Mumbai, India. The reports first started trickling in on Twitter, of all places, as I follow a few people who live in Mumbai. They have actually heard the explosions.

The terrorists have hit at least 7 locations with grenades and automatic weapons. At least 25 are dead. A hospital, a hotel and a restaurant have been hit.

This is bad news all around. The situation is pretty chaotic. This is still going on. It's scary as hell. Mahalo's working on updates, which can be found at:


Friday, November 21, 2008

Quantum of Solace parody earworm

I've stumbled across a parody of the newest James Bond Film "Quantum of Solace." I can't get enough of this video.
The vid is by comedian Joe Cornish. He had a comedy show with Adam Buxton on the BBC called "Adam and Joe" and is apparently friends with the "Shaun of the Dead" guys.

This is addictively funny. You have been warned.

The Video is here

This is just a stellar video, for several reasons. First, the production values on this are top-notch. The song is fun to listen to and musically interesting. The vocals, though sung by a guy who is obviously not the strongest singer in the world, are solid and in tune. And the somewhat dorky delivery adds to the song's charm. The music video that goes with the song is also high quality, splicing several clips from Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace, and a few other sources together to enhance the song and make it even funnier.

And the lyrics are some of the funniest I've heard in a while. They capture the essence of the new Bond films perfectly. My absolute favorite part of the song is where the singer slides into a diatribe about how he misses Roger Moore and the wry humor of the earlier bond films, without missing a beat.

I'd never heard of Joe Cornish before but I'll be seeking out more of his stuff. Largely because I hope it will help wean me off the video. I mean, I've watched it about 50 times already. I sing it at home and on the bus.

Sometimes I wish Roger Moore would come back
With his underwater car and some kind of jetpack...


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day Drinking

(cross-posted on Garlic is Love.)
Whether you're a Republican or Democrat, a teetotaler or a lush, there's a libation for you on Election Day.

I did an informal Twitter poll, and most people are drinking hard liquor, of all things. Gin, scotch, Tequila (if "their man" loses), Goldschlager and bitters (aka "Conservative's Tears."

I'm having a small party, two political junkie friends are coming over later, but mostly I'm helping Mahalo make sure that the election returns are updated as fast and accurately as possible.

If you want to avoid the Internet traffic disaster that CNN, ABC, CBS and NBC will be, check out these fun and fast sites over at Mahalo:

Electoral Map
Exit Polls

But I digress. I wanted to offer some drinks of my own for this election cycle. Although I've tested these drinks, or versions close to them (ask me about the "flaming kitten" sometime), Imbibe at your own risk, don't drink and drive.

The Obama
1 to 2 oz peaty scotch, like LaPhroaig
1/2 oz Kahlua or other coffee liqueur
1/2 oz banana liqueur
splash of heavy cream
Combine, stir. Serve on the Barocks.

The McCain
2 oz whiskey
Juice of 1/2 lemon, fresh squeezed
1 Tablespoon of sugar
Shot of Tobasco sauce or other hot sauce (for that Maverick-y edge)
Shake, strain, serve.

The Palin
Essentially a Cosmo, but make sure you make it with Russian vodka.
2 oz Russian vodka
1 oz Cointreau, Triple Sec, or other citrus liqueur
1 lime, fresh squeezed (or 1 oz lime juice)
1 oz Cranberry juice

The Biden (called the Hrab in some circles)
Diet coke in a highball glass over ice.
Biden is a teetotaler, you see.

Other options

*Are you a Joe (or Jane) Six-pack? Celebrate being a demographic with a six pack of your favorite beer.

*Make a red-white and blue layered drink called a pousse-cafe. The trick is to use a narrow glass and pour each layer over the back of a spoon. You can use any liqueurs for this, but you'll want to experiment to make sure they have different enough densities to separate.

*Drink wine. There's a company doing "red" and "blue" wines, but any red, white, or blue wine will do.

And a few drink ideas for those who don't (or won't, or can't) drink. AAA is big on mocktails, to encourage people not to drink and drive. Check your local state AAA group, and/or the links below.

AAA Oklahoma "mocktail" contest winners

20 Mocktails from AAA Wisconsin

Red, white and blue layered drink (nonalcoholic)

One final note on non-alcoholics: Infusing herbs like mint, basil, or any herb you like is a great way to impart flavor, and a touch of bitterness, into a drink without adding the booze.

Remember, drink early, drink often!

I think that's how the saying goes...

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Wardrobegate revisited


After a few days to simmer down, some interesting discussions on Twitter, and a great Slate article detailing how easy it actually is to spend 150 G's on couture, I've revised my position on Sarah Palin's wardrobe upgrade.

1. It's not taxpayer money. It's money donated to the GOP by numerous individuals.
2. A sharp, snappy wardrobe is necessary to Palin's appearance as the vice presidential candidate.
3. Whether a house-priced wardrobe or a $1.5 million house (aka the Obama's new digs), conspicuous consumption is conspicuous consumption.

I'm still not happy about the decision, but I'm no longer angry about the decision. The Republicans are right: there are more important issues in this election.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Candidate's New Clothes

I have this fantasy, when I win the lottery, that I'll go on a shopping spree with my style savvy little sister and get myself a whole new wardrobe.

I've seen the prices in the fashion magazines, but I figure, with a bit of thrift, I can probably get all the clothes I'd ever need for $10,000. That'd get me 50 outfits at $200 per outfit, or 20 outfits at $500 per outfit.

So how the hell does Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin spend $150,000 on clothes!

This is literally as much as my mortgage.

Hell, even Warren Buffet's daughter spent only $50,000 on her wardrobe upgrade after making a deal with her dad and losing a lot of weight.

It's irresponsible, it's unconsionable and its hypocritical.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Way to normal: The Music

"Ben Folds new album "Way to Normal" is out. I just got my copy yesterday. Two words. Old school.

It came in a big, pinkish-burgundy fabric-covered box embossed with gold lettering. It had 60's "high quality boxed set" feel to it. The box held the CD, the DVD, a CD of extra improv tracks, and the album. I'm not being redundant here. An actual double vynyl album was included in the bundle.

Not only is the presentation of the album old-school, but many of the songs are a real throwback to the irreverent, fuzzy-bass, f-bomb laced rocking out sound of Ben Folds Five. Ben's last two albums, solo efforts, have been pretty mellow. Beautiful, yes, but it seemed that marriage and children and toned him down somewhat.

Well, Ben's gotten divorced, which you can read between the lines in many of the songs, and it's apparently been liberating for his music. While the feel of the album is old-school, He's certainly matured as a songwriter, and has taken the route where his lyrics aren't nearly as tight or as structured as they used to be. At times, he doesn't even attempt to rhyme. His arrangements are also much more elaborate and complex, and many of the songs wouldn't work for radio play.

Everyone will be focusing on the single "You Don't Know Me," which features the considerable vocal talents of Regina Spektor. It's a great song, don't get me wrong, and Spektor's amazing on the track.

But my vote for best pop song on the album is "Brainwascht" (pronounced brainwashed). It's a response to someone who wrote a song talking trash about Ben. It's brilliant, and shows that yes, Ben still knows how to write a pop song. Personally, I'm impressed that he's turned "online rhyming dictionary" into an insult.

Even without all the extra bits, the album is worth listening to, especially if you are a fan of old school Ben Folds.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Power trip

I've seen others use social networking to get jobs. I've also gotten a job that way. But, not until this week have I actually influenced other people using the new media.

First, some context. If you ask an open-ended question in front of me, about something you want to know and don't, I'll probably try to find out for you. Usually this is just a quick google search. But, still, there's something very deep in my personality that wants to please AND wants to research that makes this happen. More than 80 percent of the time.

But lately, I've been more agressive about promoting cool things that I've found rather than helping others find things.

Nothing earth-shattering, mind you. I only turned someone on to a CD which she later bought, and helped someone expand his job search whish may or may not help him get a much-needed job.

But I am getting a bit of a power trip from this.

I was doing a quick survey on twitter, and about 30% of my tweets have links to stuff: either stuff I found that's cool, or re-tweets.

Now that I know that I have this power, I must use it wisely.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Extreme Home Makeover in my hometown

The Mister: Hey, did you hear that Extreme Home..."
Me: Makeover's in town? Yes, I did.
The Mister: (pouts)
Me: What's wrong?
The Mister: Your spies are better than mine

I heard through the gossip grapevine that Extreme Makeover: Home Edition was in my hometown of Holt, MI this week. Apparently they've got the entire block closed off for camera and construction crews.

The family story is thus: Dad, a nurse, died from Hepatitis C after a needle stick and a long struggle. Mom and kids are off to Disney World while the crew fixes up the house. It's a sad story, as are all the Extreme Makeover stories, and it will hopefully turn out for the best.

I don't know when this one is going to air, but the new season just kicked off Sunday, September 28th.

Michigan's been hit pretty hard by the economic storm that everybody's facing right now. Our economy and housing market has been slumped for longer than most. So it's nice to see a Midwest family getting some spotlight here.

However, Extreme Makeover isn't a free pass. The sad thing is some Extreme Home Makeover houses have gone into foreclosure recently. Usually because of not being able to pay taxes, change in family situation and that sort of thing. It's something to keep in mind that as much as the show can help people, it's entertainment first, and charity second. If the producers were really serious about helping people, they'd donate some seed money for taxes and would offer financial counseling and advice.

I mean, It's nice that the family gets to go on vacation while other people redo their house, but perhaps they should instead go to counseling boot camp. Or stay in town and help work on the house. To contrast, "Habitat for Humanity requires homeowners to put in "sweat equity," to work on the house with the other people who are volunteering their time. That gets them more emotionally invested in the house, I think. Also, Habitat's houses aren't so Extreme. They are modest, comfortable houses for families with mortgage payments and property taxes that the families can actually afford.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

You can't have Manga (or, maybe, you can)

Sometimes, I shall do reviews of things. This post is one of them.

Mahalo Page Review: How To Draw Manga

Context: I’m a writer, not an artist. I have read a couple books and drawn a few pencil sketches but had never gotten much further than that. I can draw a pretty decent Dalek, though.

Pros: Very comprehensive. Good info on the basic supplies that one will need to get started. Page is divided into 10 sections: 2 intro sections, 6 how-to sections and a conclusion. Lots of links to several different sites with good visual examples. Straightforward and well-organized.

Cons: A little too comprehensive. The “what is manga” info is unnecessary and could be shortened. Doesn’t work as a stand-alone, that is, without clicking on the links. Needs a section on using 3-dimensional models for people (like me) who have trouble visualizing. Maybe a troubleshooting section. I can draw a cube by looking at it, but not from memory.

Bottom line: Mahalo’s a content clearinghouse, not a content creator. If you use the how-to page as a starting place and a jumping off point, it’s a great resource that’s not limited to a specific web site. But you’re not going to go from stick figures to busty anime babes just by reading the guide.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

New gig

I've been working for the search engine Mahalo for the better party of three months. It's been keeping me very busy.

Mahalo is a people-powered search engine that is half Google and half Wikipedia. Paid guides write pages on news, sports, celebrities and general interest topics.

I love the job, because I get to write factual blurbs about tons of different topics. I've written notes about the FDIC, presidential polls and Lindsay Lohan's ex-girlfriend's new girlfriend.

It's grunt work, not glamorous, but it's the type of work I like to do. And the people at Mahalo are pretty amazing. It's a fast-paced environment with high standards, but it's also very friendly and open.

And it pays. Now if I can just balance Mahalo with the day job with keeping my household running smoothly with spending time with friends, I'll be all set.

Look for a time management post coming sometime soon.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

A literary hangover

I've got this annoying habit. I'm like the Cthulhu of books. Most of the time, I'm dead but dreaming. I don't read much. But when I wake up, I devour every book in my path.

This is a problem because I'll pick up a book around 8 or 9 at night, and I'll still be up reading 'till 1, or later. The last two books I read--The Amber Spyglass and Scott Sigler's Infected--went this way.

I used to be an avid reader, when I had fewer things that demanded my attention. But now, I can't find much time to read, and when I do, it throws my schedule completely out of whack.

I've taken to reading short-attention-span work, like short stories, magazines, cookbooks, and non-fiction, to try to counteract this problem. But then I'm not getting enough fiction.

I don't know what to do, except for suffer through a literary hangover every month or so to make sure that I'm still getting in some long-fiction.

I'm just lucky that Infected hasn't given me nightmares. Yet.

Friday, March 21, 2008

What's up with all the white space?

This has been bugging me for a while. I go to a blog site, like PZ Myer's blog Pharyngula, and I have to scroll down literally a foot of white space to get to the actual blog posting.

The blog is great, but I really do consider this a design flaw. And it's not just PZ's blog. Several other blogs I frequent also have this issue.

Is this so people are forced to look at the links in the left or right side of the Web site? Is it a flaw in the blog software being used? Or is it because my Version 6.0.2 of Internet Explorer is just too old to render new-fangled blog technology properly?

Can anyone help me out?

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Resume

I just sent off a resume that, if I'm lucky, will change my life.

I'm now celebrating with a Grand Marnier and lemon on the rocks, and a brownie, but that's more my other blog.

The freelance gig I'm trying to get is very competetive, but would be a great opportuinty for me. Very prestigious, I could fit it into my schedule with my day job, and it's doing work I would enjoy doing.

It took about four days to take the resume I had, which was in good shape, and make it even better. I took my cover letter-writing skills to a whole other level. I solicited some advice from family and friends.

Worst-case scenario, nothing will come of it, but I'll have a much stronger resume to send out for freelance writing jobs. And, my skin will toughen at rejection.

But pessimism's my old style. My new style is much more optimistic. I'm already thinking of ways I can use new media to help drive traffic to my future employer. I'm taking advantage of technology like RSS feeds to keep my finger on the pulse of news and current events. And I'm already planning what to do with the added income I'll be getting.

If it turns out well, I may post some of what I've learned about cover letter writing in a later post. Of course, if it turns out well, I'll be doing much less blogging. But I promise I won't go away completely.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Coming out: My spiritual orientation

I've decided that I'm a theistic agnostic.

Let me 'splain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up. I believe that there is a God, but I don't believe that I or anyone can ever *prove* that.

I know that the deck is stacked against there being a God. When I was a kid, about 7 years old, I was scared to death of dying. Now, if I were a good Catholic, like I was raised to be, I shouldn't have been scared.

Clown: Good madonna, why mournest thou?
OLIVIA: Good fool, for my brother's death.
Clown: I think his soul is in hell, madonna.
OLIVIA: I know his soul is in heaven, fool.
Clown: The more fool, madonna, to mourn for your brother's
soul being in heaven.
--William Shakespeare, "Twelfth Night"

In plain English:

Skinner: Ah yes, Renata. How is she?
Linguini: She's good…well, not g…she's been better. I-I mean, uh…
Horst: She died.
Skinner: [awkwardly] Oh. I'm…sorry.
Linguini: Oh, no, don't be. She believed in heaven, so she's covered…you know, afterlife-wise.

But I'm not sure about that. The whole possibility of non-existence after death has scared the shit out of me for years. And the only way I can deal with that is to believe that there is an afterlife, and, by extension, that there is a God. I can't not believe. (I'm not believing in God because of Pascal's wager, either. Hell is much less scary than non-existence to me.)

It's irrational, but faith is irrational. You can't prove faith, and those who try are seriously misguided. That's one of the main reasons that I think Intelligent Design and Creationism are so silly. Additionally, the debates over the Shroud of Turin or the James Ossuary should be meaningless for people who really have faith. Faith is believing something that can't be proven and doesn't make a whole lot of sense. It's very counter-intuitive. But we all do it to a certain extent. For some, religion is their faith, for others, it's secular things, like democracy.

The argument runs something like this. "I refuse to prove that I exist", says God, "for proof denies faith and without faith I am nothing." "But", says Man, "the Babel Fish is a dead giveaway isn't it? It proves you exist, and so therefore you don't. QED." "Oh dear", says God, "I hadn't thought of that", and promptly vanishes in a puff of logic.
--Douglas Adams "The Hitchikker's Guide to the Galaxy"

I'll live my life on this world doing my best to improve myself, be nice to others, and leave things in better shape than when I got here. Maybe leave an heir if I'm lucky. And I will do it for the benefit of that heir, and everyone who comes after. And, because it's the right thing to do. Not for some fear of divine punishment.

I'm also still going to pray sometimes, go to church sporadically, and search through religious texts to find meaning. I'm not going to consider those texts inerrant and infallible, and I won't just keep to religious texts, or texts older than 500 years old. There's wisdom everywhere. Even in Oprah magazine. Sometimes.

I'm coming out as a theistic agnostic for several reasons: For one, writing it down helps clarify my thoughts, to figure out exactly what I believe. Second, it's a confession of sorts. There's my Catholic roots showing again. Many times, I present myself as far more religious in the company of my devout friends and acquaintances, but I present myself as more atheistic in the company of skeptics and rationalists. I do this mostly so as not to get into huge debates, and not to hurt feelings. But that practice is intellectually dishonest.

That doesn't mean I'm going to randomly blurt out to my mother "I'm not a Christian," or post “I believe in God” in the comments of the Geologic Podcast, but I need to say the words out loud, write them down, get them in order, so I can learn to be true to what I believe, and not change how I present myself because I'm worried about what other people will think or how they will feel.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Dude! There's my lexicon!

I was thinking the other day about all the odd words and turns of phrases that I use, and why I use them. Here’s a list of some of my favorite words, and where I first remember picking them up. Most of these are from movies and TV shows.

In no particular order, let’s start with:

Plethora. Got this from an old Rocky and Bullwinkle episode. Something about the Ruby Yacht of Omar Kayyam, which was set on a cruise ship. (the Yacht was an artifact, not a ship). One of the guys used the phrase “plethora of rain,” and all of a sudden, the cartoon went into a quick vocab lesson. An early attempt at getting smarts into cartoons? I’d say so. Every term paper ever written should have at least one use of “plethora.”

Cool. I grew up in the 80’s. I never remember a time that I didn’t use this word. ‘Nuff said.

Dude! Although I never actually saw Dude, Where’s My Car? I picked up the use of this word after the trailers for the movie came out. I use this like I use cool, but it’s more multipurpose. More like that Superbowl Ad.

Clandestine. An old college joke. For many years, my husband’s e-mail sig file was a quote of mine: “Clandestine is a cool word.”

F*cktard. Picked this up recently from an episode of the Wingin’It Podcast. Thanks, Debbie!

Behemoth. A conversation between a co-worker and me many years ago. A word that’s not used nearly enough.

Metric Crap-ton. My preferred word for something very large. I don't like the word Ginormous, so I use this instead.

Pronoun Trouble. Apparently, I picked this up from Daffy Duck in an old Looney Toons episode. If you have to pick one phrase to adopt from this list, this is it. Terribly useful in the workplace. The whole concept of pronoun trouble can save your sanity, especially when your co-workers talk to you like you can read their minds.

Wonky. Used in The Norm comic strip, a strip that I used to love. Still do, but it’s no longer free or in the local papers.

Wiggy. Picked this up from Joss Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV show. I use it like wonky, but less frequently.

Shiny, gorram, techy, tussle, palaver, and others: Pretty much any word, phrase or quote from Firefly I can and have incorporated into my vocabulary. What can I say, I’m an obsessed Browncoat.

Crap on a Crap cracker. Uttered by podcaster Mur Lafferty. Less of a swear word than an F-bomb, so good in situations where swearing is frowned upon.

Made of Awesome. Also used by Mur and assimilated by me.

Brilliant/Fantastic. I was saying this before I started watching Dr. Who. I have some British friends who use the term, so I picked it up from them.

W00t! Well who isn’t using w00t! these days in their written communications? More people should say it aloud--it's fun! Try it!

I can has? Oh Noes! WANT! and others: This is LOL Cats speech: LOL cats are funnier than the have a right to be. I sometimes use the ungrammatical I can haz and other phrases from the LOL Cats.

Groovy: From Army of Darkness. I don’t say it as much anymore, because I find it silly. Like any of these other words and phrases are any less silly. Just color me logically inconsistent.

What does that have to do with the price of tea in China? I don’t know where I picked this up, but I’ve been using it over the past year.

Oh my Stars. Again, not sure where I picked this up, but fairly recent. During a time I was trying to swear less. For the record, that time has passed.

I'd love to hear from others about what wierd words they use and where they picked it up. Acronyms, abbreviations, it's all good.

Friday, February 29, 2008

The thing is, is that...

Has anyone else noticed the "double is" construction in everyday conversations?

For example, one might say "The thing is is that she's allergic to shellfish." Or, "The thing was, was that I had pneumonia." Note that the verb "is" shows up twice. I've heard several people use this type of phrase and I use it often in conversation.

Why do we do this? Isn't it technically ungrammatical? Anyone? Bueller?