Your Kidding.

I love this.  This title.  I love it because Grammar Nazis begin foaming at the mouth at the sight of it, not realizing that I’ve deliberately poked them on their collective schonzolas.  And also because that title is grammatically correct…within a certain context.

Example:  Someone overhears me talking about the cruel joking and kidding I was subjected to at work. (No, really!  Happens all the time!)  They ask me whose kidding was the meanest and harshest.  With a cold, steely glint in my eye, I turn and through gritted teeth spit “YOUR kidding.  It was DARN NASTY! Everyone else’s was good-natured.  Your kidding, however…  Just too much.”

And scene. So.  We’ve established what sort of blog this is to be, haven’t we?  The kind where I actually defend the semi-illiterati that spam your Facebook wall with an insane amount of poor grammar, spelling, and punctuation.  This will also be the sort of blog where I take someone to task (going to try and do more of that sort of thing in the coming months) and folks, this week it’s the notorious Grammar Nazi.  See, I know the beast well.  I happen to be married to one, my family is rife with them, and I almost slipped off the ledge of self-righteousness myself and joined their ranks.

Can we call them something else, please? My grandad killed real Nazis. The guy that corrects your apostrophe placement seems a bit less scary than Hitler. That’s all I’m sayin’.

To be fair, the Grammar Nazi in most cases actually thinks they are providing a service to society.  They see themselves holding back the flood linguistic contamination and perversion.  They like their language the way it is and hate to see it evolve.  I once felt that way.  About words like “duck tape.”  People, it’s “duct tape.”  Adhesive tape designed for metal duct work, like your central air conditioning system.  However, at some point people either got lazy or (I like this explanation better) the tape got reaaaalllly popular outside of the duct and metalworking communities.  Most of the laymen and housewives using this miracle tape did not know how to spell or pronounce “duct”  and likely didn’t even know where in their house to find one.  They heard the repairmen yelling “Say, Frank…toss me a roll of that d*** tape!”  It sort of sounded like he said “duck.”  So, “duck tape” it became.  And now there’s a company that actually calls itself “DUCK TAPE” and has, ironically, moved beyond simple “duct tape” to sell a complete line of weatherproofing and adhesive-natured products.

I get it, though.  Everything in the world changes, and some people don’t fancy that at all.  Fair enough.  After all, I’m the idiot in slicked-up hair and a fedora.  I understand.  But there are also people who become Grammar Nazis just to feel better about themselves by thinking less of other people.  Or just to give themselves the feeling of literacy, class, and social standing.  But the problem is that language is constantly changing.  If you get a chance to go to the library or a used bookstore,  find a textbook from, say, 1948.  Swear to God, some of it will be hard to follow.  Perhaps they use the old English (but not Old English) spelling of “plow.”  That is to say, “plough.”  The textbook might use two words to say “toward.”  Seriously, some people back in the day would say “to-wards” or even “to-morrow.”  Guess what?  It got shortened to one word.  And that’s a big factor in the evolution of language: convenience.  Contractions, for example.  When’s the last time you used the word “cannot” in regular conversation? Be honest.  Seriously, the only time most of us use “cannot” instead of “can’t”  is when quoting that made-up George Washington line about telling lies.  “Can’t” is where it’s at.  Quicker to spell, easier to say.  Like “Won’t.”  If Tim Burton had used the original phrasing of that contraction, one of my favorite lines in Beetlejuice would have sounded like this:  “That is why I will not do two shows a night any more.  I will not.  I will not do it.”  Huh!  Dr. Suess wrote Beetlejuice?!?  Mind=blown.

No, no! The OTHER Beetlejuice!

It’s evolution, baby.  Outside of the Bible and Shakespeare, no one uses “thee” and “thou” anymore.  Words like “faggot” have changed meaning so much over the years that they are now considered very offensive.  Think about it: our children’s children will probably start using a then-outdated word like “laptop” to replace some of the other horrible hate-filled connotations of today.  “Bro, stop being a laptop and do the shot!”  And that brings me to my next point.  The Pandora’s Box of our modern times.  The Internet.

Well, make that “The Internet and Texting.”  Shorthand rules everything these days, from Twitter limiting the number of characters you can use to people texting one-handed whilst driving down Coldwater Road.  Acronyms have been around for ages.  “POSH” meant “Port Out, Starboard Home” for people taking pleasure cruises that wanted the best possible view from their staterooms.  “AWOL” means “Away WithOut Leave.”  See how in the old days “With-Out” was two words?  Evolution.  And that whole sentence got shortened to “AWOL.”  LOL, amirite?  ROTFLMAO!!

Seriously, nobody cares.

But the message is still being delivered!  Can you understand parts of the Bible, even though it uses archaic words and phrases?  Of course you can.  Can you figure out when the birthday party is even if “Your invited!  Be their at noon!”  Yes.  Yes, you can. You get the message because of the context.  But the Grammar Nazis go CaTCUB when they see this sort of thing on Facebook.  Yes, we get it.  There’s a difference between “their, there, and they’re.”   Also, “your and you’re.”  We get it.  We know there’s a difference.  And you know what else?  We. Just. Don’t. CARE.  Get over yourselves.  It’s entirely possible that in the next century, all three spellings of “there” will blend into one.  Likewise, “to and too” will be interchanged.  Think about it: we use the word “you” to address one person or a crowd of people.  Nobody seems confused by this.  It just happens.  Hell, English is one of the few languages on this wonderful Earth (or as Will Smith would say, “Erf”) that doesn’t have separate male and female articles!  We use “The.”  The Man.  The Woman.  The chainsaw.  It’s simpler that way, right?  Right.  Simplicity.  It’s the nature of language, and it happens all the time. Constantly.  Maybe it’s happening faster nowadays, due to the speed of information and the pace of life.  Maybe advertising has changed “cheese” into “cheez” and “light” into “lite.”  Okay.  So what?  So things sound less fancy.  Big deal.  Maybe it’s because I’m a believer in the little guy, but that shit doesn’t bother me.  Can you infer my meaning from my status update?  Good.  That’s all I care about.  Put some flowers around it, make it sparkle.  Good for you.  And thanks, Grammar Nazi for keeping the scary outside world at bay.  Your the best!

Please, Grammar…don’t hurt ’em.

Dig it!

This blog sure has been willy-nilly of late, ain’t it?  Sorry about that.  New schedule…summertime business.  Them’s the breaks.  While I’ve got you for a minute, I just wanted to slap together some stuff that might keep you busy until the next “real” blog entry.  Just some stuff I like.  Maybe it’ll help you wrap your head around me a little.  For example…

The Novels of James Ellroy

Gott DAMN that guy can write.  I’d never read any of his stuff before the movie adaptation of L.A. Confidential hit theaters.  But that flick blew my skirt up, so to speak, and my dear ol’ mom got me a copy of the screenplay.  It was as good or even better than the movie!  Sounds weird, I know…but the script had so many great notes and asides that nicely filled in the gaps between book and movie.  Here’s what you do: next time you’re at the library or bookstore, check out/purchase/read/steal the screenplay for one of your favorite movies.  Terminator 2 is AMAZING in screenplay form.  (Pretty goddam good movie, too.)

Kim Basinger’s cleavage in no way influenced my decision.

Anyway, recently I started picking up some of the other Ellroy books, to fill in the rest of his “L.A. Quartet.”  I read ’em out of order, because I wanted to read “The Big Nowhere” first.  See, the main character is a scummy bagman/former cop named Turner Meeks.  In the movie version of “L.A. Confidential” they change his name to Leland Meeks.  WHAAAAAA?!?!  Why would you change that awesome name?  Doesn’t matter, because in the movie he’s just an old guy and then a corpse under a house.  Meh.  Maybe it’s better that way.  Fuck you, Leland!!  (Oh.  Maybe I should’ve said “spoiler alert.”  My bad.)

But then I read “The Black Dahlia.”  Holy shit, what an amazing read.  The movie version kinda sucked.  I will say, however, that the casting director got some things right.  As I started reading, I thought “This Lee Blanchard character sounds a lot like Aaron Eckhart.”  I went to IMDB to refresh my memory of the film and DAMN!!  Aaron Eckhart played Harvey Dent!  Or Lee Blanchard!  I’m all confused.  But in closing, read Ellroy’s stuff this summer, then play some L.A. Noire and sip a good Scotch, neat.  You owe it to yourself to lose yourself in late-40’s/early-50’s Los Angeles.

Sharks, motherfucker.

As I write this, there are 75 days until Shark Week on Discovery.  As I write this, there still hasn’t been a better shark-related movie than Jaws.  Did you know that Spielberg’s big gamble which also became the first “summer blockbuster” is 37 years old?  Did you know that “Deep Blue Sea” was a steaming pile of HORSE SHIT?!?  Okay, maybe that thought had occurred to you.  The point is, if you are a shark junkie like me, there just isn’t enough quality shark-related programming out there.  Discovery treats sharks like the goddam McRib, only dangling them in front of us for a LIMITED TIME!!  GET ‘EM WHILE THEY’RE HOT!!! Or, you know…while they’re cold.  Because, you know…cold-blooded.  Fish and all that.

Never. Gets. Old.

Did you know that there are over 350 different kinds of sharks?  Did you also know that there will be substantially less if stupid motherfucking shark-finners, sport fishermen, and the Japanese don’t stop fucking things up?  Yeah, I’m swearing, because that shit gets me mad!  Jesus, people…these things have been around for 64 million years!  If there were still dinosaurs walking around, you bet your ass they would be off-limits as far as soup-making materials and touristy necklaces go.  So why do people think it’s okay to mess with the sharks?  Maybe I should start the rumor that Mahi-Mahi are one of the deadliest killers in the depths of the briny sea!  Did you know that the deadly Mahi (otherwise known as “Dolphin Fish even though they are nothing like dolphins) can devour an entire water buffalo in a matter of seconds?  Fact.  They’ll strip your dog down to bones in the blink of an eye, which is much more terrifying than the scene in Jaws when you see the kid on the raft go under and then we zoom-in dolly-out on Chief Brody’s reaction on the beach.  You know all those dog skeletons you see washing up on the beach when you hit Ft. Lauderdale?  Thank the evil Mahi-Mahi for that.  Another fact:  “Mahi-Mahi” is actually an old Polynesian word for “red-fanged evil smile fish which is a killer of children and dogs”  I know, the Polynesian language is fucked-up, but that’s what it means.

Okay, I’m going to quit now, because I’m getting mad.  If you’re curious/want to help, by the way, check these folks out…http://www.stopsharkfinning.net/

I’ll be back with a heapin’ helpin’ of good old-fashioned entertainment soon.  In the meantime, read James Ellroy and wait for Shark Week.  I love you!  Carry on.

Rock Girl III…the REVENGE.

So tonight we crown a new Rock Girl.  Tonight one of these amazing ladies is granted the awesome gift and awesome responsibility of not only representing the greatest rock station in North America, but the city of Ft. Wayne itself.  There are accolades and rewards that go with this title.  The young lady in question won’t quite be a kept woman, but she’ll have a furnished apartment, a new car, and tickets to every major event in the city for a year.  But there will also be responsibilities.  This person will be a role model.  Not just to young girls who aspire to become models and actresses, but to the rest of us.  A great number of gals that entered the contest this year did so because they saw how much fun the first two Rock Girls had.  We certainly hope that trend continues. 

 

I have no idea who’s going to win.  Last year, I figured it was going to be between three of the final ten entrants.  I was right, and Megan did such a great job that there aren’t two big shoes to fill (although she literally does have kinda big feet…she’s almost as tall as me flat-footed.  Taller in heels!) there’s going to be a crater.  A massive void that one spunky, gorgeous young woman has to try and fill.  And I think they will.  I think that of the remaining Rock Girl hopefuls, any number of them can pick up the torch and run with it.  And that’s exciting to me.

 

So thanks to ALL of the ladies in this year’s contest.  It’s been a blast just getting to know you all.  And I know that win or lose, you’ve had fun, too.  Keep at it.  You’re all wonderfully sexy and smart, and I think the city of Ft. Wayne should be proud at the quantity and quality of young women we have here.

 

Peace,

T.

Everlasting Blog Whopper

I wanted to post my full review of The Avengers, but since you prolly just saw it, I won’t bore you.  You know it was awesome, and you know that without the assembled cast (see what I did there?) and Joss Whedon at the helm, it wouldn’t have worked.  Oh, it’s also great to see that SOMEONE finally got the Hulk right.  Not just Dr. Banner, though Mark Ruffalo was pitch-perfect…no, I mean the CGI incarnation of the Hulk was completely awesome.  So much s that I really hope Hollywood rolls the dice again, because I would pay to see an entire Hulk movie if it was done as well as the characterization in The Avengers.

Number One is the winner, but Number Four is a close second.

Moving on…

A couple of random thoughts, one of which I may have mentioned before, but which really struck me when I saw the preview for Battleship.  The US Navy has unlocked a spiffy new digital blue camo pattern for their deckside troops and sailors, corpsmen, etc.  The obvious drawback to this cool new color scheme is that once someone falls overboard they are impossible to find.  “ALL I SEE IS BLUE, CAPTAIN!! WHERE IS ENSIGN JOHNSON?!?!  JOOOHHHHHNSSSOOOOOON!!!!”  Maybe they should be made of a material that turns blaze orange when it gets wet. “Captain, there!  Just off the port bow!  It’s Johnson, sir!  Stupid bastard fell in again, but thanks to that neon orange uniform, we’ll have him back aboard in no time, captain!”

“We’ll wear these green ones in the swamps, people. We want to DISAPPEAR.”

Remember Compact Disc Players?  Those were awesome.  I don’t wanna brag or nothin’, but my vehicle has a six-disc changer right in the dashboard.  Yep.  Well, apparently, if you don’t use your disc changer/player for five months or so, it kinda gets…lazy.  As in, doesn’t work too well.  Keep in mind that my Escape is about ten years old, so the under-used electronics might be showing their age.  Anyway, I wanted to play some Volbeat tunes that I don’t have loaded on my iPod (NO, YOU SHUT UP!!  I’VE BEEN BUSY IS ALL!)  Before loading a new CD, I had to eject one of the discs already in there.  That’s where the problems began.  For those of you that have never spent time with this sort of archaic technology have never experience the numbing fear one experiences when the words “ERROR – – UNABLE TO EJECT DISC–” or similar words of digital madness scrawl painfully, quickly in evil green bits of mocking hate across the primitive LED faceplate.  So you try it again.  And again you are denied.  Panic starts setting in.  You try to change disc slots.  “Let’s try disc five, and then I’ll go back to disc one.  Probably just a little dusty.”  No dice.  Again.  Now the droplets of sweat begin racing one another down either side of your nose and your are suddenly aware of how hot it is in the car.  Then, cruelty: on the thirteenth try you hear it…a sickening subsonic whirring noise.  Somewhere deep inside the analog wiring and Chinese-assembled plastic gears and tiny metal springs and levers, something is trying to work.  SOME part of the mechanical beast is trying to wake up and deliver your cherished CD back to you, back to the surface world and sunlight and hope…so you mash the “EJECT” button with one thumb on top of the other, pushing until the meat of your flesh turns pink, then white…and you hear it…the small “click” and you SEE it…the very tip of the disc, a sliver of silver and greenish plastic…a giant’s pinkie nail barely, almost imperceptibly showing itself like the final silvery sliver of the last crescent before a New Moon.  You hold your thumb on the button and manage to sort of get a tiny little purchase on the disc with the other hand.  “C’mon…please…” you mutter through teeth ground fast together.  You wiggle the disc, pulling, coaxing a nanometer at a time…your sweaty fingers slip off, and you grab it again…a centimeter more is showing…the gears of the monster are grinding and whirring…this black plastic-and-graphite bitch isn’t giving up her prize so easily, but you can feel the beast’s willpower waning…the spell breaking…clearly now you see the sharpie-scrawled label “Summer Mix #3” as the disc is halfway out…now three-quarters…and finally it leaps out of the dashboard and you hold it aloft like Excalibur itself, gleaming in the midday light, motes of dust swirling and dancing and singing your praises, exalting you and this victory of man over machine.  Momentum is on your side, and tide of battle has turned.  Rohan has come at last, and the enemy is routed, fleeing…Disc Slot Two yields the Wiggles Hot Potatoes LIVE!…Slot Three produces Concrete Blonde “Bloodletting” (THAT’S where that thing was!)…Number Four is surprisingly empty…Five angrily spits out Fatboy Slim, and finally Bing Crosby’s “Merry Christmas” (or “White Christmas” depending on the year/label) strolls out of the final Disc Slot and lights a pipe, humming to itself and smiling.  And it occurs to you then how fickle and wonderful are the odds that made this possible, and how you could have been consigned to a fate of hearing “Christmas in Killarney” over and over again in the middle of April.  And then you realize that perhaps that wouldn’t be so bad a fate at all.

My three-year-old thinks Bing looks like me. Probably because I drink too much and hit him. KIDDING! It’s the hat.