: slender yellow fruit syndrome :

March 26, 2015 § Leave a comment

Last week it was pickles. This week, bananas. Which begs the question, is this a rut or is a theme developing?

bananaProbably neither. Unless two is a rut. Such a small number is surely more of a coincidence, right? And I’m too lazy to establish a theme. Those take work or a deep and abiding love for a particular subject. Weighty issues, as you can see, aren’t my strong suit. Socks, nose whistling, road salt, doorknobs, that’s where I shine. As a maker of mountains out of molehills.

But I do one post and, giddy-up, I’m ready to move on. Pondering and examination don’t appeal to me. Plus, I like diversity, I like change; repetition is nothing short of punishment. Although I tend to dwell on winter and its various horrors as a top– See? This is why I don’t do themes. I wander off into left field and wonder what I’m doing there.

Okay, reel me in, back to the Slender Yellow Fruit Syndrome.

Isn’t that a great name? Editors sometimes use it to describe our peculiar addiction to word variation. It’s a peccadillo writers have. We don’t like repeating words and go to great lengths to avoid it. Often at the expense of our writing. We need to stop that.

According to the experts, it’s better to repeat a word than to use an awkward, ill-fitting substitute. Here’s the example I found: “Freddie was offered an apple and a banana, and he chose the slender yellow fruit.” Banana would have been the better choice, smoother. Slender yellow fruit is a clinker, a clumsy, highfalutin clinker.

The moral of the story: spit it out. Call a spade a spade, not a long-handled digging tool.

Class dismissed.student

Copyright © 2015 Publikworks

: I feel bullied :

March 22, 2015 § 15 Comments

By predictive text. I mean it, composing a simple email is nothing short of a wresting match thanks to that know-it-all twit.

fistAs soon as I start typing, suggestions and corrections pop up, completely derailing my train of thought. If I ignore them, I’m doomed. It interprets inaction as approval and changes everything. Typical and wrong. Try to cancel the suggestion and it gets downright insistent, refusing to let it go and move on. Next thing I know I’m in a loud argument with input technology — complete with name calling and aggressive body language.

It’s not a proud moment.

Am I wrong or wasn’t predictive text supposed to make typing easier on mobile devices? I don’t find that to be the case. It makes more work, if you ask me. I have to go back and correct what technology decided to change. I don’t need such high-handed tactics, especially from a mobile phone. I want to send a text and my phone wants to pick a fight.

It’s stubborn, uncooperative, and a bully. Speaking of uncooperative, did you know the early Apple version of predictive text insisted on changing the word ‘cooperative’ to Cupertino? As you may know, Cupertino is the home of Apple’s headquarters. Forever after, mistaken predictive text input was called the Cupertino effect.

I call it annoying and frustrating and a miserable piece of crap. To its face. Then I drop the phone and run.

Copyright © 2015 Publikworks

: in a pickle?

March 18, 2015 § 14 Comments


Have you ever noticed how predicaments are usually described in food-related terms?

Well, they are. When you’ve screwed up, you’re said to be in a pickle or a stew, in a jam or a very sticky situation. Maybe because they sound non-threatening. Maybe because they’re considered messy. Except pickle, a pickle isn’t messy. A pickle is perfectly designed for its purpose — eating and enjoying. It’s not greasy or gooey. It doesn’t fall apart when you pick it up. It doesn’t end up on your tie. All right, it drips a little juice, big deal. Pickles are still a delight and shouldn’t be lumped in with ne’er do-wells like jams and stews.

So let’s stop using pickle in the pejorative sense.  They’ve done nothing to deserve the label of ‘mess.’ Steaming pile, I propose we use that instead. Thank you —  on behalf of the Pickle Defense League and gherkins everywhere.

running pickleCopyright © 2015 Publikworks

: please, I can explain :

March 15, 2015 § Leave a comment

oh no

Okay, here’s the thing: AT&T keeps adding GBs of data to my account and charging me $10 or $20 or $30. Like clockwork. They start with a text message announcing 75% of my 3 GBs has been used. Next thing you know, my phone bill’s bloated beyond recognition.

Now, I don’t use mountains of data. I’m not a big downloader and I don’t spend tons of time on the Internet. When I complain, they say I have an older iPhone (a 4s) — they’re the problem. I should just add more GBs to my plan, that’s all. Uh? No. I turned off cellular data, instead. And you know what? It’s liberating. I recommend it.

The big surprise? Those constant, unrelenting prompts for my iTunes password have stopped. That alone is worth being untethered from the Internet and email and twitter and everything else. Maybe you can explain: why should I sign in to iTunes? I don’t use iTunes. I don’t buy on iTunes. I don’t browse iTunes. Pestering me won’t change that.

Anyway, I’m getting by very nicely with wi-fi, thank you. I can check email and do everything else with minor inconvenience. AT&T should’ve recommended the cellular data strategy months ago, but more data and a higher bill was the best they could offer. I like my idea better; it’s free and saves money. Win-win.

The downside? No internet finds this week. D’oh!

Forgive me.


Copyright © 2015 Publikworks

: don’t rush me, I’m thinking :

March 10, 2015 § 18 Comments

Let’s see, time on the rack? Ducking stool? Flogging? Or look for a job? Tough call.


The rack seems the more humane choice. Shoot myself in the head would be first, but I don’t have a gun. I’d even go the flogging route if it meant I didn’t have to apply for jobs. Send me to prison or a hospital or an asylum, a bomb factory, just no more job applications.

Could they be more pointless? I applied for another menial, minimum wage gig about a week ago. Eleven freaking pages. Online. It took more than an hour. They wanted everything, including my driver’s license number — even though the job involves no driving whatsoever. I’m desperate, not stoopid. Why not just send out invitations to identity thieves, same thing.

asylumI didn’t give it to them.

And I haven’t heard a word in response. You would think if someone took the time to complete an eleven page application (mostly) for a crappy job with a third-rate company, the employer could summon the energy to respond with a one line email? No. What happened to initiative?

floggerCopyright © 2015 Publikworks

: careful what you google :

March 8, 2015 § 16 Comments

I warned you. Now look. This is what happens when you google a perfectly innocent term like “human emoji.” You get these icky specimens — in your nightmares.

kissy emoji

It’s kind of a good thing, actually. The images are part of an advertising campaign from French agency Rosapark for the child advocacy group Innocence en Danger. They’re meant to act as a warning to children and parents about the dangers that can lurk behind online conversations. The headline on each asks ‘Who’s really talking with your child on the Internet?’ The grotesque image suggests an all too possible answer. Horrifying? You bet. Effective? They stopped me cold.

A seed’s been planted in my imagination, folks — fertile ground for paranoia. For the next few days, anyway, the Internet will be teeming with creeps and weirdos and pervs where none exist: commenting on amazon, skulking around google, chiming in on grammar sites and Apple forums, searching wikipedia in dirty underwear. Everything dark and shadowy and vaguely menacing.

panting emoji

I don’t want this stuff in my head.

I want meadows and puppies and buttercups, wispy clouds and bright yellow sunshine, butterflies and birdsong and picnic baskets. Is that asking too much? Spring is right around the corner, daylight saving time is already here, so let’s focus on the glorious season lying ahead. We’ve waited years for winter to end, we should be out dancing in the streets. Alas, they’re still snow-packed and slippery, but not for long — sixties are forecast by mid-week. Hallelujah!

Now, run along outside where it’s safe and, please, whatever you do, don’t talk to strangers.


Copyright © 2015 Publikworks

: to do list :

March 4, 2015 § 8 Comments

calendar_contrasttext separator_flourishWell, can you blame me? It’s a bad hair day; a terrible, horrible, awful bad hair day. I’ve reached the last of the clean underwear, too, the pair with no elastic in the legs. So, double whammy.

You know what it reminds me of, my hair? A toilet brush. Tell me the oven wouldn’t be your first thought, too. I didn’t plan to turn on the gas or anything, I just wanted to make the grand gesture, you know? Be a drama queen. Not so much Sylvia Plath as Dorothy Parker, totally campy. With Parker’s poem, Resumé, running through my head:

Razors pain you;
Rivers are damp;
Acids stain you;
And drugs cause cramp.
Guns aren’t lawful;
Nooses give;
Gas smells awful;
You might as well live.

Gazing at the oven racks and heating element, though, I found myself pining for oven cleaner. My bristly ‘do would’ve had that thing gleaming in no ti–

Hey, the sun’s out! Please disregard this notice. Have a good day!

toilet brush

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