Grammar Gripe: I’m Literally Going to Kill You

No I’m not, but, one would only realize this if they understood what literally actually meant. Turns out, most people use it to LITERALLY mean the opposite of what it does. Let’s review, shall we?

Dictionary.com

lit·er·al·ly –  actually; without exaggeration or inaccuracy

fig·ur·a·tive – of the nature of or involving a figure of speech,  especially a metaphor

In plain language, by saying something literally happened you are saying this is EXACTLY what happened. So, I am going to make a few assumptions. By virtue of the fact that you’re reading this, you have never literally died from anything, including embarrassment, fright, or sadness; your head has never literally exploded due to anger; your heart has never literally been broken (With the exception of someone who is reading this and has had some sort of heart surgery, I will give you that one); and you have probably never even wanted to literally murder anyone. Now, shamefully think about all the times you have said those things.

Literally saved by the bell.

See what I’m going for here people? These things happen figuratively, but people think that by saying “literally” (often pronounced liiiiiiiiiterally) that they’re stressing how extreme the situation is. Doesn’t work that way. I read one today on a LinkedIn profile: “I literally fell into public relations.” Really? You fell into a big bucket of PR, did you? Honestly, as someone who works in PR, I can’t imagine using this on my casual Facebook page, let alone my professional LinkedIn profile.

Yes, I know what you are trying to do, but think about the fact that you sound like a blowhard illiterate. There, I said it! Knowing the definitions of words is part of being educated, if you don’t know the definition of a word, don’t use it. This is something I have to regularly tell the college students whose papers I grade. It’s embarrassing.

Next time you want to throw out the L-word, take a step back and imagine the scenario in your head as if it’s actually happening. If someone’s pants aren’t literally on fire because they lied to you, just leave the word literally out of the equation. It’s tired of being misused and figuratively is annoyed at the lack of credit we give him.

The Bucket List…How Cliche!

Since all of my friends have started to get knocked up, a strange thing has started happening to me, I am starting to think about death! Weird, right? I mean, here I am surrounded by new life  and I think about how many years I have left until I die. My great grandma, who just happens to be one of the feistiest people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing, told my mom that 75 is a good age to die. She lived far past that, she would know. So, I figure I have about 45 years left on the ole ticker. Time for a good, old fashioned bucket list!

  1. Punch someone in the face. Yes, it’s first on my list. Maybe it’s my rage that boils whenever community college students cyber-bully me, but I have been thinking of this a lot lately. Ideally, I would like to get into a fight to accomplish this goal, but if arrangements have to be made via Craigslist, so be it. I just want to feel someone’s cheekbone on my man-knuckles. I know, I am sick.
  2. Get punched in the face. I’m fair.
  3. Go to rehab. It sounds awesome. Think of the people-watching for goodness sake! Plus, I don’t have to make any of my own decisions, which is ideal, I get to enjoy a lot of quiet time alone, and I can blame all my problems on my parents when I am  venting to my therapist. My whole goal in life is to blame things on my parents.
  4. Throw a glass of red wine in someone’s face…in public. I wish people who pissed me off would be more considerate and do it when I have a big glass of Cabernet in my hand. I have always gotten dumped in private, too, so there was never a reason to waste good wine or stain the carpet. Ideally, this would be a stranger who just pissed me off at a bar.  This might also lead to accomplishing goals one and two.
  5. Apologize to Andrew Martin. Poor Andrew was the first and only guy I ever kicked in the wiener. It happened in junior high and I still feel awful about it. The reality is, I just had a massive crush on him and didn’t know how to flirt (some things never change). So, Andrew, if you’re out there, I hope you can forgive me.
  6. Have eye sex with a guy in a band. Oh, wait, that already happened.  Thanks, Sam Endicott.
  7. Travel to every continent. Yes, even Antarctica, I can’t wait to club a baby seal and harpoon a whale. Maybe the Whale Wars guy will shoot at me. Ohhhhhhhhh maaaaaaan.
  8. Get shot at by the Whale Wars guy. I’m a multi-tasker.
  9. Experience my kid telling me that they hate me. I’ve never seriously said that to my mom. In fact, we weren’t allowed to say hate, shut up, or stupid. Now my mom and I tell each other to “Shut up I hate you, you stupid loser,” pretty much every time we talk to each other. But, I digress. I always wonder how I would react to my kid telling me they hate me. Heck, if momma has a glass of Two Buck Chuck in her hand, the kiddo may get a face full of grape!
  10. Work at a vintage shop buying clothes. I think this is my plan on how to spend my retirement. Odds are I won’t want to spend every waking moment with my significant other. I am already planning my escape.

Ta-Da!!!!!

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Sewing Patterns Offer a Peek into History

I got a sewing machine from my mom a few years ago and I had dreams of finding vintage frocks and altering them to fit me. This is all well and good except that I have kind of fallen in love with creating my own pieces from scratch. Sure, I have altered a couple things, most notably my mumu turned super cute top, but even more alteration projects sit in my closet waiting until I finish sewing my next garment. Still, there is no reason I can’t combine the two. Enter the vintage pattern. I’m not talking vintage reproduction, no, it is the true original, vintage pattern that has captured my heart. Feast your eyes on the newest beauts to grace my sweatshop.

That’s right, baby. A pattern for every decade between 1940 & 1980. I love them.Don’t they look like Halloween costumes? I mean, that’s how people REALLY dressed. I showed them to my mother and she said that she’s pretty sure my Grandma Jackie had a dress exactly like the one on the 1960s pattern cover. A-freaking-dorable! Look how all of them are ladylike and compliment a curvy girl’s body. They just don’t make them like that any more. Everything now is a mini something-or-other and one must decide if they would rather their boobs or butt (or both!) to be on display when trying to find a dress. So, screw it all, I’m going back to the days when women were ladies.

To me, these aren’t just patterns, they’re pieces of history. Each one tells a little story about its respective decade. Look at the price increases, see how the diversity of the models changes, the hairstyles, the colors. For me, this is better than any museum and I cannot wait to recreate just a little portion of that.

The best of all are the mail order patterns from the 1940s and 50s. Not only is it cool to think about ladies sending away for the patterns, but the envelope are just full of stories and history. Below is a closeup of the envelope from the 1940s. This thing is 70 years old and it’s sitting in my apartment. That’s something that is tough to wrap my head around. Check out the stamp price of one penny! Notice the lack of zip code.

The address label is a piece of lined notebook paper glued onto the envelope. And, notice the name – Mrs. Robert V. Nelson. To me, this brings to mind the ugly side of those times, Women did not have their own identity. They were their husband’s property. I couldn’t not know whose patterns I had. So, the bf and I did some investigation, 2011 style and I would like to introduce you all to Florence. She is Mrs. Florence M. Nelson, the original owner of both of the mail order patters. She was born on Christmas Eve in 1919. She married Robert when she was 19 years old, was a homemaker and had a son, a daughter, five grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren. Her husband was a Mason and she was a member of both the Loyal Workers Club and the Abingdon Order of Eastern Star.

Florence Nelson died on July 1, 2006 at the age of 86. And, now I have two patterns that she cut out, and (presumably) sewed. She probably wore those dresses on dates with her husband or to take the kids on play-dates. No matter how many museums I visit, how many famous dresses I am able to look through bulletproof glass, nothing will be as cool to me as being able to use a pattern that someone used decades before I was born. It’s humbling and exciting and I cannot wait to get started.

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Amy’s Grammar Gripe of the Week!

I need to get back on the blogging train and what better way than to launch a series about my favorite topic in the world – grammar!!! (Pause to let the applause die down.) I’m not sure if other languages are deteriorating like English is, but it’s dreadful. I have started freelancing as a writing tutor for an online tutoring company and I grade college papers that are barely comprehensible. These are college papers written by high school graduates! Come on, ‘MERIKAH! Now that the BF has grown tired of me bitching about people’s grammar eff ups, I will vent weekly on the blog. Lucky you.

This Week’s Gripe: Back to Back

This saying makes zero sense. Saying back-to-back episodes, back-to-back championships, etc. is really the exact opposite of what you’re trying to say. If you’re watching two episodes in a row of the same TV show, aren’t you ending the first one (back) right before the start (front) of the second one. If the episodes were truly back to back, you would be watching the second episode starting from the end and going in reverse! Same with championships. If a team wins two championships in a row, do they really have back-to-back seasons? Nope.com.

Now, even more offensive than B2B is the atrocious back to back to back! WHAT?! Let me illustrate to you what B2B looks like and you tell me where you’re going to make that third back fit.

Unless Bill or Bobby grows a second back, there is no way to fit another back in there. Three episodes in a row is back to front squared.

So, just stop it.

This has been the first edition of Amy’s Grammar Gripe!

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Attention Women: Stop Crying!

I was inspired to write this blog by the above video. And, yes, I am well aware of the fact that it is probably fake. The authenticity of the video makes no difference to me because there are actually women like this in the world. Women who cry about everything.

Recently I found myself screaming at the TV “STOP CRYING” while watching MasterChef auditions. Now, some of the things the judges say can be hurtful (and the meanest things aren’t even coming from Gordon Ramsay, I could dedicate an entire blog to what a pompous asshole Joe Bastianich is, but we’ll save that for another day), but these particular tears were not even the result of insults. A woman, who was a very articulate attorney, started crying and begging them to let her move into the next round. The food got lukewarm reviews – not turrible, but not MasterChef-worthy either. Her cooking was not up to snuff. Instead of walking away gracefully, this woman actually put her hands into prayer position and was crying and pleading like a three-year-old girl. It was disgusting. But, the most vile part was that the judges put her through to the next round because “They saw something in her.” Really?! What I saw in her was a spoiled little brat who has been able to manipulate men her whole life because she is an attractive woman who can turn on the waterworks.

Way to set back the women’s movement, brat. Whether it’s a correct view or not, crying is seen as a sign of weakness in this country and I am of the belief that it should be avoided at all costs when you’re in the workplace/professional situation. I know, I’m a cold, heartless bitch, but you know this already. I think I have cried twice in front of co-workers and I am completely ashamed of myself. Once was over a boy (of course) and once was over being threatened by a co-worker. Both times I ran into the bathroom and pretended like the water never came out. You know why, Hilary doesn’t cry.

I know, you’re thinking I just jumped the shark, but hear me out. I look up to Hilary, not for her marriage (although I would nail Billy-boy in a second!) but for her balls. I love how she can walk into a room filled with military men and they shut the fuck up and show her respect. I like that she has worked her way to the top and has only minimally used her husband’s past post (I know, that’s debatable)  to get what she wants. She’s no one’s fool, not even Bill’s (come on, she knew about Monica the whole time) and I like that. Even if you’re not into that extreme coldness, I believe that in the workplace women need to demand respect. They need to be seen as being on-par with men if there is any way that we have a chance to break through the glass ceiling.

Here’s the thing, men don’t cry at work. Men don’t stress about someone gossiping about them, they confront it. They don’t get all teary if someone criticizes their work in a meeting, they either take the feedback or try to rationally plead their case. They don’t beg people to like them or their work. And they’re more likely to be in charge than women.

Hilary never had a shot at being president because there are still those who believe “a woman would make irrational decisions while she’s on her period” or “women are too sensitive and soft to be tough with our enemies.” Whose fault is that? Yes, it’s partly people just thinking archaically about women, but it’s also the fault of everyone with a vagina. Until we start holding women to the same emotional standard (in the workplace) that we hold men to, we will be seen as the weaker sex. The more irrational sex.

Did this blog make you sad? Please, wait until you get home to start crying and feeling sorry for yourself.

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The Desire to Move is Always There

Ever since I was in high school I couldn’t wait to get out of Orange County and, one day, out of California. I always knew that I was just a little bit different. While my classmates were getting BMWs (and complaining that they weren’t brand new), I was in love with my 1988 Volkswagen Jetta. I was never into materialistic things, I don’t like the beach, and my skin burns the second I step outside. Long story short, I just wasn’t made for California.

The farthest I have ever gotten away from Orange County is San Francisco and boy did it rock my world. I spent three years there for college and I came back a completely changed person. After living and loving a diverse and socially accepting city like SF, it was tough to come back to Orange County. It’s not that I didn’t have friends or that I was completely unhappy, I just have always felt like a square peg in a round hole.

So, the plotting began. My first target location: Seattle. I spent one weekend there and I fell in love. The walkability (yeah, I know it’s not a real world, but you get the idea!) of the city, the diversity, the green, and the weather, I LOVED it all. So I looked and looked for a job. I figured out where I would wanted to live… and nothing ever came about it. You see, as much as I would love to be spontaneous, I am a huge over-thinker and the thought of moving somewhere before I have a job gives me palpitations.

So, I worked a few years at a job that I realized was going nowhere, I got out of a doomed relationship, and I started plotting my move, this time to Austin. Everything I read gave the city rave reviews about employment rates, food, and entertainment. After a long weekend (are you seeing a trend? It doesn’t take me long to love a city more than I love Southern California) I was hooked. Again, I could walk everywhere, I could eat myself silly with all the BBQ and the job prospects were pretty awesome. The job I was working at was offering a buyout and it was enough money to support me for a few months while I moved to Austin and looked for a job. I was going to do it! I was going to make a bold move and take a chance.

THEN, the unthinkable happened, I fell in love. Hard. And, the thing is, I’m not one to fall in love often. I spent most of my life NOT in a serious relationship, so of course I would find the love of my life when I had one foot on the plane. Oh, and of course this guy would be in LOVE with South Orange County and, here’s the kicker, his profession would only allow him to work in Orange County/LA or Detroit. I can’t say that Detroit ever made my long list of relocation prospects.

So, slowly but surely I have come to accept my fate and have started looking for the interesting offerings of Orange County. Since moving to San Clemente, I find myself liking it a little more and the constant inner screams of  “MOVE” have faded into a whimper. But, then I spent a weekend in Noblesville, Indiana and I think I would enjoy living in a small town on a few acres of land. I’ve also been looking into Deerborn, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit, where we could actually afford to buy a house. I hear it’s lovely in the winter…

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Meeting the Family

After almost a year and a half of meeting only an uncle, I am finally meeting the family. Full scale! Sister, cousins, grandparents, babies, dad! Yikes! Is there a protocol for this? Am I suppose to come armed with presents or something? It’s been years since I have done this. I’m having a mini freakout.

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In Case of Emergency

At what point is your mother supposed to stop being your emergency contact list? THAT is the question of the day.

Here’s the deal, I’m not married or engaged but I am living with my boyfriend and we have a fantastic relationship. I don’t see it ending anytime soon. I don’t see it ending ever. I trust him completely and I know he would drop everything to be there for me. So why did I list my mom as my emergency contact when I signed up for the gym? Oh, did I mention that our apartment is about five minutes away from my gym and my mom is about an hour away? Yup, still listed my mother! Oh and my mom is also listed in my phone as ICE Mom.

I can’t help it, I freak out. I am a worst-case-scenario type of girl. I mean, WHAT IF we did break up and then I had a slip and fall at the gym and the trainers needed to call someone? Can you imagine that phone call. “Hey, this is Adam from BT Fitness, Amy just knocked herself the eff out and we need to know where we should take her.” The former bf, “I don’t give a rat’s ass, let her die!” Or something like that. I mean, even if we did break up (I HATE typing that) the former bf would probably be super sweet, but then I would be worried that he might get sad to get a call about me! Years ago I got an email from the apartment complex where I used to live with my ex, except it was addressed to his new girlfriend who had moved in the second I moved out. That was fun. No one should ever have to go through that!

I did take a big step a few weeks ago, though, and I think I might have evened out my karma. I had to renew my license and I used the address of the apartment my bf and I live! “Well, it is where you live,” was the smart response I got when I told bf what I was doing. Yes, but it’s a commitment. That license does not expire until 2016. 2016!! I will be 34. Ho.Ly. Crap. That is a long time. I think I am having palpitations. I have to go now, I need to call the DMV!

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First Timer

One of my favorite things about being in a (long-term [in parenthesis here because I am still not sure if 16 months constitutes long-term status, but for me it does!]) relationship is being there for the first time someone experiences/does something. And, I’m not talking about sexy-time firsts, I mean everyday things that one person has always done.

For example, Shaggy had never tried gnocchi before meeting me. I’ll let that sink in for a minute… I know, right?! Lucky for me he likes it because it’s my go-to cooking staple when I don’t feel like putting too much effort into dinner. He also had never tried red velvet, but he’s not a fan so I pretend he has still never tried it. I mean, who can be with a man who doesn’t like red velvet. I know I can’t, so blinders are definitely in order!

Before Shaggy. I had no idea there was a difference between Indy and NASCAR, now it’s something I correct people on all the time. Truth be told, I actually enjoy watching racing and I have had fun at almost all the races I have been “dragged” to. I’m all about statistics and strategy and racing satisfies that side of my brain…plus, some of the drivers are little pint-sized hotties!

One thing does make me a little sad though. I don’t regret anything in my life because it all led me to where I am now (blah blah blah), but it would have been pretty great if Shaggy would have been the first guy I lived with. I’m his first and sometimes I wish I hadn’t had the other experience since this one is so great. But, the flip side of the coin is that my past epic fail has taught me to really appreciate what a great roommate the current BF is. Oh and I got my sweet doggy out of my past relationship. Plus, does it REALLY count if it only last three months (yeah, that’s how dysfunctional it was!)?? Still, it’s something that occasionally crosses my mind…

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Boys

Is this how all boys store leftovers, or am I just lucky? I probably don’t have to tell you that we have about 200 plastic containers. You know how I know I am in trouble? Even things like this make me like the guy a little bit more.

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