Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year, Whoever the Hell You Are

Last night I received a text.

This was in no way unusual as I'm kind of a sixteen year old girl when it comes to texting - although I am physically incapable of using 'cute ' texting abbreviations and feel compelled to completely type out things like 'See You', 'Too, To or Two', 'Be Right Back' and 'Yes, You Are Contributing to the Escalating Collapse of the English Language Simply for the Sake of Saving Half a Second To Completely Type out that You Will Be Right Back'*

*Other notable accomplishments of the sixteen year old girl of which I am not capable - Brushing my hair, legally attending a slumber party of other sixteen year old girls, and menstruating.  

No, what was notable about this text was that it came from a completely unfamiliar number and said simply-

'You still up for a question?'

I took a moment to try to figure out if this was a number I should be familiar with and failed to do so.  But they had bothered to spell out 'You' properly, so I figured What the Hell and sent back -

'Sure.  What's up?'

After a minute or two of sitting quietly and being mildly curious about what the question was and if it would give me any pointers as to whom I talking with, I received back -

'Sorry i dialed a wrong number.  I am a realtor was trying to reach client and pressed 1 wrong number.  Sorry.'

On my first read of this I missed the word 'realtor' and spent a few minutes wondering what sort of 'client' this mysterious texter had.  Were they a Lawyer?  A Prostitute? A Drug Dealer of some kind?  Then I read the word 'Realtor' and realized that my second guess had been the correct one.*

*Cheap shot at Realtors there.

Now, obviously they lost a little bit of ground with comma usage there (not to mention the uncapitalized 'i'...) BUT - they did have the courtesy to send a reply that both explained and apologize, and I'm a huge fan of both of those activities.  So I happily plunged forward and sent back -

'No worries.  That would explain why I have no idea who the Heck I'm talking to :)'

Note both the dangling participle and the old school hand crafted emoticon.  I am not myself above criticism.

Clearly the realtor was an amiable sort, because a moment later I got back -

'Ha ha yea that's true.  Have a good night'

Now, commas aside I confess I was growing fond of the realtor by this stage based entirely on their manners.  Which is a little sad when you think about it.  What does it say about our society when that little amount of common courtesy and good manners is so unexpected and striking.  Nothing good, that's what.  This is what comes of allowing people to just stop using vowels.

And so I sent back -

'And to you.  For the record, depending on what the question was my answer was going to be either four or Sacramento'

Yes, I see the missing comma now.  It was late.  I was tired.

A minute or so passed and I got back -

'ha ha thats funny'

To which I responded -

'They're both solid answers'

I never got a reply to that one, so either the Realtor had finally realized that I was never going to stop responding unless they did or they got a hold of their client and were having a more relevant conversation at that moment.

I like to think that my mysterious realtor found the answer that he or possibly she was looking for.  Who can say.  All I can add is this -

'Happy New Year, mysterious Realtor out there somewhere in the night.  I hope you found the answer you sought.  And if the question was either What's the Capitol of California or the Square Root of Sixteen, I like to think I might have even been the guiding star that set you on the course.

Happy New Year

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Vizsla Flashback - Notable Joans

It goes without saying (except that I'm going to go ahead and say it.  Which, really, everybody does immediately after saying 'it goes without saying', which makes you wonder why we bother with the phrase in the first place.  But I digress...)

It goes without saying that Joan Jett and the Blackhearts' greatest hits album is just about the best guilty pleasure record out there.  In point of fact, I really tried to use The Blackhearts in The great Vizsla Theoretical backup band knife fight discussion of last month.  Except that I couldn't think of anybody who stood a chance against them.  Not even the Robert Palmer girls, and they're cannibal robots.*

*Which may mean that they eat other robots... 

Allow me to take this opportunity to refer you to just one of the many reasons this album kicks ass - 

So clearly, Joan Jett is supercool.  But when you think about it, 'Joan' isn't a name that particularly lends itself to 'cool'

My name is Joan, and I'm cool anyway.
(Although I may have had a little work done...)

 The only other notable Joan's that I'd even consider in the catagory-

Clearly the coolest Joan of all time
It's not her fault that her brother is apparently kind of a jerk in real life.

I know, I know.  I didn't used to think so either.
But I saw her make a really gracious acceptance speech once that made me think, '
Hey Joan Osborne.  You're pretty cool.

 Of Arc
Come on.
She was pretty awesome.

I'm glad that we've settled this issue.

Friday, December 12, 2014


A little while ago our little town was embroiled in a frankly ridiculous bit of scandal that actually made it so far as getting a segment on The Daily Show.

I speak of course... of #pointergate

The quick backstory (as that scandal itself isn't really what I'm here to talk about today)-

Once upon a time
There was a good and beautiful (probably) new Mayor of The City

For reasons that aren't particularly important here
she ran afoul of Mean Mr. Police Union Steward*

One day, while the Mayor was skipping through a meadow
looking for photo ops at get out the vote events 
prior to the midterm elections
She came across Mr. African-American-Vote-Turnout-Volunteer
(Who admittedly has a bit of a checkered past, 
but seems to be trying to turn his life around)

This was the photo op our good and beautiful 
(probably) mayor was looking for!
And so they had their picture taken, 
pointing at each other in that cheesy 
'Hey, we're having a picture taken together!' way

Mean Mr. Police Steward saw this 
and knew that this was his opportunity
So he used his magic mirror and called his best friend
Mr. Local News Station So Pathetically Stupid 
That It Defies Belief
and said to him, 'Look!'
Our new Mayor makes the dreaded 'Gang Sign' 
to a man clearly guilty of being outdoors while not white. 

"Spread the news of the vile 'Gang Sign' so that all can see
that New Mayor supports Gangs 
and not The Good and Beautiful (occasionally) Mr. Police Department

And so Mr. Local News Station spread the word far and wide, 
showing all the dreaded 'Gang Sign'
And all who saw the photo looked at it for a moment an said,
"Um... they're just pointing at each other.
I have pictures of me doing that with my grandmother..." 

And Mr. News Station took to the air and said,
"Nu-uh.  Totes Gang Sign.
Plus, we never said it was 'gang sign', 
we only said Mr. Police Department said that 
and besides it's totes not racist 
because we're just reporting and look - 
totes Gang Sign!"

The Mr. News Station took to the air and said that 8 more times, 
because Mr. News Station is a Fucking Idiot. 

And the whole thing became known as 'Pointergate' because we as a society are also kind of stupid and think that just adding the suffix 'Gate' on the end of anything makes it mean 'scandal'

It doesn't.

'Watergate' was called 'Watergate' because that's the name of the Freaking Hotel, not because it was a scandal about 'Water' in some way.  If you give a quick glance to the wikipedia page dedicated to the subject it's readily apparent how completely out of control the whole thing has gotten.** 

Come up with your own name for new scandals people.  It's about standards

*Now, normally I am 100% pro-Cop.  Make no mistake about that.  But in this circumstance it seems pretty clear that the Union Steward was attempting to use a deliberately misleading smear campaign for political points and that is not OK.  Cops are held to higher standard because they are supposed to be better than that.

**And don't even get me started on the little sub-human trash perpetuating Gamergate.  Mostly because I'm afraid of what they might do to my online information.  There is, thankfully, very little they could do to my Credit Score that I haven't already done myself.  Which in this case I'm going to call a win.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Low Maintenance Verification Test

Yesterday at work I was chatting with a coworker, as one does, about a different co-worker, as one also does.*

*In a super friendly positive way, not in a bitchy behind their back kind of way.**

**Because that totally never happens***

*** That sentence is going to get super ironic in couple paragraphs

At one point I said something along the line of 'Oh, she's great.  She's super low maintenance.'  Then I remembered that we're now in an open plan office space and she could very well have heard me say that. 

So I felt awkward about it for a minute. 

And then it occurred to me that 'low maintenance' is not actually an insulting thing to be called

So I felt OK for a minute.

Then it occurred to me that I'm not really offended by anything at any time and so I might not be the best judge on that sort of thing, and then I was completely confused about the entire issue.

And so I took an informal workplace poll.

Helpful friend Sarah at work (she of the Ducks and Bunnies) thought about the question for a moment and said, 'You know- if you ARE offended by being called Low Maintenance that kind of proves you aren't.' 

And thus was witnessed the birth of a beautiful thing -

A sentence that fact checks itself.

Think how amazing the world would be if all sentences in English contained that feature.  Michele Bachmann would never be able to speak again, and that alone makes it worth doing.

All we need is a complete reconstruction of idiomatic grammar, so anyone out there with a time machine and a passing interest in linguistics, this is your call.