: happy punctuation day :

September 24, 2014 § 10 Comments

Yippee and yahoo, boys and girls, it’s time to celebrate.

fred astaire

National Punctuation Day is here.

You sticklers and buffs will no doubt question not only my credentials, but also my enthusiasm for this very festive holiday because I haven’t used any exclamation points. Well, go ahead. I’ve never hidden my disdain for the frivolous and hysterical exclamation point. I don’t like it and I never have. But now? It’s taking over the damn world. It’s everywhere you look.

Lately, it’s been showing up as twins!! and triplets!!! and quadruplets!!!! The practice isn’t limited to exclamations, either. Question marks, too, are popping up in multiples??????? Do we all have a character count to meet or something? Things are getting way out of hand. There are rules, you know? I don’t follow them, myself, but someone should. Otherwise, it’s just lawlessness and chaos. That’s no fun.

You know about the interrobang, of course. The !? or is it ?! Either way, it’s a mutant. An alien. It scares me and I want it to get back in its spaceship and fly away. We don’t need another punctuation mark. We have plenty, what with emoticons :o) and the hash mark (# a.k.a. the octothorpe) and pilcrow (¶) and diple (>). More will just confuse things, don’t you think? I don’t know how to use the ones we already have. And diple? What the heck is that for?

Well, happy National Punctuation Day, kids,but don’t go overboard. If you absolutely have to use an exclamation point, remember, one is plenty. Ditto for question marks. Please, punctuate responsibly!? :o)

> Copyright © 2014 Publikworks

: this one’s got our name on it :

September 18, 2014 § 12 Comments

Yours and mine.

We may as well kiss our sorry butts goodbye, because for the next six months or so we’re marked men and women. ulp. If we had any brains at all we’d run like we’re on fire. Starting now.

bulletOpen your eyes and look around, the writing’s on the wall, big as life. Darkness falls earlier and earlier. A fine mist hangs in the air; water drips from the trees and eaves and gurgles in the downspouts. The sky is cheerless gray, the shade of despair. And, most revealing of all, long pants and sweatshirts were pulled out of storage this morning.

What does that tell you?

Bingo. Fall is here. I hate fall. Oh, the season itself isn’t so bad. I like bonfires and hayrack rides and bobbing for apples as much as the next guy. I like the brilliant colors of autumn leaves and crisp apple cider, hearty stews, all that stuff. But it’s too little, too late. Fall is a precursor, my friend, a slippery slope to the nightmarish ordeal lying dead ahead.

It’s only September, for chrissakes, but feels like November. If the weather continues this course, trick or treaters will need a dogsled and an ice axe to make their rounds. Costumes will be buried under parkas and mufflers and wool caps — shoot, save time, dress them as Eskimos.

By Thanksgiving, I’ll envy the turkey happily roasting in the oven. The coming winter is widely predicted to be worse than last year. Remember last year? I do. I still have flashbacks of the polar vortexes. Lately, small talk and idle chatter has revolved around the coming season. Without fail someone gleefully relates how horrible, grim, bleak, and endless this wint — sorry. I can’t go on.

crosshair

The thought of what lies ahead depresses me to the point of tears. You don’t want to see that. Really, you don’t. I’m an ugly crier; hideous, actually. My face crumples, my nose runs, my hair gets involved — sproing. I’m not one of those beautiful, tragic women who cries quietly and elegantly. I’m Lucy Ricardo’s twin, I wail like a siren. Then can’t stop.

You know, tell you what; call me when spring gets here. But not a moment before.

Copyright © 2014 Publikworks

: this isn’t a life, it’s an arcade game :

September 11, 2014 § 4 Comments

Whack-a-mole, that’s what it is.

photo

The second I get one catastrophe taken care of, boing, up pops another. Bigger. Meaner. And more destructive. This is monotonous, ladies and gentlemen. My arms are tired from the whacking and pounding. I need a break.

Remember that second part-time job I got? The one that means I can eat twice a day now? Well, guess what. Rumor has it they’re going to close the office. Gah! Why do I even get out of bed in the morning, right? There’s one very  simple, very compelling reason: to escape the screeching and snapping and splintering from my upstairs neighbor and her long-suffering recliner.

Oy. Shoot me now. I’m begging you.

Copyright © 2014 Publikworks

: seriously, clean up your filthy language :

September 3, 2014 § 22 Comments

imageSwearing offends me, goddamn it, but not for the reasons you expect. Swearing offends me because it’s tiresome and banal ¹ , not because my knickers get in a knot over bad language.

There are tens of thousands of words in American English; vivid, compelling, eloquent words just sitting there waiting to be used. Dictionaries are bursting with them, thesauri, too. But what do we do? We turn up our noses and ignore them. We choose, instead, to use the same few words the same way to say the same things as everyone else. It’s effing this and effing that and effing the other.

Snap out of it, you lazy bums.

That isn’t communication; it’s a failure of imagination. Our vocabularies are shrinking, just wasting away from lack of use and disinterest. And shame on us. We need to put a little effort into our thoughts, be original for a change. We aren’t sheep, for crying out loud, we’re unique, distinct individuals. It’s time to start talking like it.

We can begin by having thoughtful, illuminating conversations instead of rants — and that is my biggest gripe against profanity. It makes everything being said sound angry. Not saucy or irreverent ² or funny, but belligerent. Unhinged.

So stop with the effing gutter talk already and use your mother-effing brains, you effing effers. The art of communication is dying before our f*#@ing ears and we’re the effers beating it to death. That’s effed up, man, knock it off. (See what I mean about angry?)

The only interesting thing about swearing is how some people do it better than others. Take Julia Louis-Dreyfus. She’s terrific, but –yeow — lay off the f-word, lady, I mean it. It sounds forced and self-conscious. Elaine Stritch, may she rest in peace, used smutty language like an artist. It was positively lyrical coming from her. That’s very, very rare.

Now, let’s all step back, take a deep, cleansing breath and quit being such vulgarians ³ . Let’s work on our vocabularies, make them big and strong. We can do it; we can learn to express ourselves. Come on, let’s dare to be different and use lovely, expressive words like articulate, instead of those puny four-letter things.

What do you say?

scrub brush

Copyright © 2014 Publikworks

 ¹ Banal — [ [buh-nal, -nahl, beyn-l ] adjective so lacking in originality as to be obvious and boring.

² Irreverent — [ ih-rev-er-uh nt ] adjective showing a lack of respect for people or things that are generally taken seriously.

³ Vulgarians — [ vuhl-gair-ee-uh n ] noun an unrefined person, esp. one with newly acquired power or wealth.

 

: sorry for the holdup :

August 26, 2014 § 8 Comments

Come on, times are tough. I have to do something to make ends meet.

image-4

So I found a second part-time job — cleaning offices in the evening. The extra money will be nice; still not enough, but nice, just the same. Unfortunately, this new gig has thrown a big, fat wrench in my carefully arranged schedule and I’m way behind at publikworks — the one job I love doing and I’ve no time to do it.

No, that’s wrong, let me re-phrase. I had time. I even had a fairly good idea. What came up short was the execution. Please bear with me. I’ll be back later this week with a new, dazzling post or a better excuse. One of the two.

Thank you for your patience. You can put your hands down now.

Copyright © 2014 Publikworks

: hot coffee in August? :

August 11, 2014 § 14 Comments

gaze

Yep, there it is. That’s the look. The one I get when I order coffee: the dreaded raised eyebrow look.

Why? What is so queer about having hot coffee in the summer? Can someone explain it to me, please? Is it like wearing white after Labor Day? Is there a coffee season? Does it go against etiquette and decency and all that’s holy to enjoy a hot beverage after, say, June? Is that it?

Well, excuse me for living.

I don’t like cold coffee. It tastes stale, like leftovers or carelessness. What cold coffee needs is a gum-popping waitress to come along and say, ‘Want me to warm that up for you?’ It sure doesn’t deserve to be on a menu board under the heading Iced Drinks, it just doesn’t. There’s nothing refreshing about it.

And those la-di-da, foofy things — the frappés and mocchaccinos and iced coffee concoctions? They’re more Dairy Queen than Starbucks if you ask me, all sugar and syrup and calories. Where’s the coffee? Hello, caffeine? Yoo-hoo? There’s no jolt, no buzz, but you’re definitely flirting with brain freeze. From coffee. That, ladies and gentlemen, is the definition of crazy.

Heck, just holding a frappuccino chills your poor hand to the bone. You could be sweating like a beer bottle, but that one hand will have frostbite unless it’s mittened. Plus, you’ll need a straw, qualifying your frosty coffee treat as an umbrella drink — minus the liquor, of course. Who wants an umbrella drink without the alcohol? Ditto for unheated coffee confections.

Okay, ready for the clincher? Hot beverages have cooling powers. I’m serious, why do you think tea drinking is so popular in hot spots like India? It has something to do with thermosensors located in the stomach triggering the hypothalamus in the brain, very scientific stuff I can’t begin to understand. What it boils down to is: our bodies overreact to the hot drink and we wind up cooler in the process. Tada.

So see? I’m not batty. I’m simply making the practical choice. Surprise, eh?

Now, stop giving me the fish eye when I have my coffee. And I won’t point and laugh when you have a cold beer during the Super Bowl. Deal? Deal.

coffee

Copyright © 2014 Publikworks

: the scourge of summer :

July 30, 2014 § 12 Comments

Frequent readers are aware of my deep and abiding love for summer. I don’t knock it. Not under any circumstances. I don’t complain of the heat. Or the humidity. Or the bugs. Or sticking fast to furniture. In my eyes, it’s all wonderful. To criticize would be tantamount to blasphemy.

There is, however, one teeny tiny little fly in the ointment: Feet. They’re everywhere these warm sunny days, except tied up tight in a pair of shoes.

feet

And they’re very unsightly. People, women especially, go to great lengths to make their feet more presentable and attractive for the summer months. ‘Tis the season for strappy sandals and flip-flops and open-toed heels, after all. So they polish and pumice and moisturize, they put on ankle bracelets and toe rings and tattoos; they get pedicures, for Pete’s sake.

Come on, surrender, Dorothy. No amount of nail polish will hide the fact those things down there are feet. With toes. Shoot, if you look close enough, something I strongly advise against, you’ll find a variety of unsightly bumps and knobs and scaly crud, such as bunions, corns, calluses, blisters, assorted fungi, rashes, and hammer toes. Please, put some shoes on. No one wants to see that stuff.

The most disturbing aspect of feet is their unnatural, pasty color. They’re a ghastly, bloodless white, almost neon with a glow like a mood ring. I guess you have to feel kind of sorry for them. I mean, they rarely see the light of day or feel the wind in their toe hair; they just go where they’re told. Think about it, when’s the last time you let your feet run free?

Maybe we should take them out more. Let them have a little fun. In the privacy of our own homes, of course.

happy feet

 

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