Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Well, Turn It Up, Man!

I got an interesting phone call today. It was from a local company that conducts surveys for radio stations that help them put together their playlists for that week. This was a pretty exciting thing for me; I complain often and loudly about how radio stations play the same crap over and over (but do I put my money where my mouth is and invest in satellite radio? Heck to the no.) (I gave up cursing for lent. After Easter I'll change that back to what I really meant to say.)

My surveyer asked me to rate 30+ clips of songs using the following terms: Not Familiar, Never Liked, Tired Of, No Opinion, Like, and Favorite. The songs were from all different genres and ranged from mid-90s to current stuff I haven't even heard before. I have a pretty broad taste in music; on any given day, I might listen to both the Dixie Chicks and Green Day with a little Norah Jones thrown in. So there wasn't too much in the "Never Liked" category. I gave favorable ratings to Kanye West, Beyonce, and Carrie Underwood. I had to throw down my "Tired Of" to quite a few selections, and reserved my "Never Liked" for some John Mayer clips (sorry; "Your Body is a Wonderland" makes me want to hurl.) To my surprise, there was an awful lot of stuff I had to say was "Not Familiar" to me. As I get older, it just takes a little longer for new music to trickle down the airwaves. I'm musically set in my ways, I suppose. There's only so much new music you're going to get exposed to by watching VH1's video countdowns at the gym.

This survey got me thinking. The questioner told me the "Never Liked" should be reserved for songs that would make me change the channel immediately if I heard them; the "Favorite" rating, she said, was for those songs that would make me turn up the radio and sing along. What songs do I hate so badly that I change the station (besides the aformentioned John Mayer song)? What gets me boogying along?

Holla back, readers. What makes you hit those buttons for good or for ill?

I'll start:
If ANYTHING by Nickelback comes on, I am hitting the next station in my presets with spider-like quickness. And if it's that Nickelback song featuring the classic line, "And what the hell is on Joey's head?", I'm probably breaking some kind of world record.

But on the other hand, if something by Beyonce (solo or Destiny's Child) comes on, I am cranking it up and unleashing my inner diva. (You know what they say about librarians when we let our hair out of the bun and take those glasses off.) But I'll be doing it kinda quiet-like 'cause deep-down, I'm a little embarrassed that Ms. Knowles can get me to sing along while she "checks up on it."

What say you? What's a "Favorite" and what's a "Never Liked"?

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Hannibal Rising...and Falling

Well, I did it. I finished Hannibal Rising. Last week my mother had to have an angiogram (she has some clogged arteries that she can thank years of smoking and a love of doughnuts and cheese coneys for) and I accompanied her to the hospital. If you ever have to take a family member for an angiogram, take a couple of books--it's a long day. The patient isn't allowed to move for a couple of hours after the procedure because of the risk of bleeding, so you're kinda stuck for a while.

Being stuck for a while provided the perfect opportunity to take my own medicine and knock out the beast that is Thomas Harris's Hannibal Rising. Check out my earliest posts for the scoop on my initial thoughts on this book.

And now for the final analysis: it's "a-ight. " There were some moments that were downright enjoyable; when the young med-student Lector cuts his teeth, so to speak, on his first victims, you see some of the gory magic of that character from Silence of the Lambs. He was his frightening-yet-charming-and-darkly-humorous self. But then Mr. Harris has this character behave in a way that is so wildly out-of-character and ridiculous that I almost threw the book across the hospital room. I can't tell you what bothered me so, in case you're actually going to be foolish enough to read it or see the movie, but I can say that he turned Dr. Hannibal Lector, the monster of three other books and a character thought by many to be the best villain in popular literature, into a wussy. In one scene that lasts barely more than a couple of pages, Thomas Harris tries so hard to make Hannibal a round and complex character that he makes him a joke. Dr. Lector is supposed to be an unknowable evil, a veritable monster whose motivations might be examined, but never completely understood, by the reader. I, like anyone else who has picked up Hannibal Rising, wanted some glimpse of how Hannibal got started down his path as a truly frightful fictional serial killer; I wanted to know what sort of monster he was. But now I feel like Dorothy in the throne room in the Emerald City; a voice cries out, "Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain," and yet the illusion is already over. The monster is really just a man. By giving the young Dr. Lector vulnerability, Thomas Harris made him...too human. I wanted to see what made the monster a monster, not see the man inside the monster. That makes him much less intriguing and far less scary.

Now when I watch The Silence of the Lambs, and hear Hannibal the Cannibal tell Starling how he ate the census taker's liver "with some fava beans and a nice Chianti", I will no longer get a horrified chill down my spine. I'll just feel a little sad.

Darn you, Thomas Harris. You should have left your wizard alone.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Blah, blah blah blah blah....BLAH.

Just scored portfolios. For 4 hours. Brain is mush. Need to clear head.

AHHHHHHHHHHH! Brbrbrbrbrbrrrrrr!

Ok, much better now. I feel capable of coherent thought again. For a few minutes there as I looked at this blank screen and thought I should take advantage of this down time waiting for everyone to finish, I could not even type a simple sentence. I had a moment of panic--what if bad writing is contagious? What if all the crap I just read infiltrated my brain and wiped out whatever part that is that controls logic and creativity? What if I, too, start writing papers about the influence our growing Hispanic population has had on our culture and list Taco Bell as one of their valuable contributions? Or, in a paper defending our country's post-9/11 military actions, describe how we went to "Taliban" and bombed though Taliban is a country?

But I feel purged now and am ready to officially begin my spring break. We got finished about an hour early, and I think a couple of us are going to a nearby watering hole before we have to go pick up our kids and be responsible adults.

Hopefully I will be blogging some throughout my break. I sure ain't going anywhere this week. But if you don't hear from me for a few days, know that I am letting off some steam and getting some much-needed naps. And maybe indulging in a few adult beverages.

In the meantime, think about how sad our world would be without Taco Bell.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Tubby No More

We knew it was going to happen, but I'm still shocked. Tubby Smith has resigned as head coach of my beloved UK Wildcats. I don't even know what to say. I'm...speechless.

I'm one of those fans who was wishing for this. But now I'm worried. Who are we gonna get? I keep hearing Travis Ford's name--he's allegedly on the "short list." To quote Frank Barrone, "Holy crap." That surely isn't what we want, is it?

I am also one of those sports fans who thinks every win or loss is all about me. As if, when we're down by 10, I can concentrate really hard and send some kind of karmic energy their way to make everybody get their heads out of their asses and win the game. I've spent more games than I like to admit in a praying position using my special UK-superfan-brainpower to the point of giving myself a migraine in what I know deep down is a useless attempt to influence a sporting event taking place hundreds of miles away. I visualize every lobbed ball and every free throw swishing in the basket and, if they miss, blame myself for not having a clear enough vision. I have even worked out where geographically a game is taking place in relation to my location and faced that way with a determined (and constipated) look on my face to better aim my brain waves. I know, kids. I am a sick and deluded individual. It's all about me!

But since I think I am so influential, and blame myself a little for wanting them to lose this March so that Tubby would leave, I need your help. Who should we use our collective consciousness to remotely manipulate into taking the coaching position?

Leave a comment about it. Then, let's all face Lexington and chant the name and make it happen!

80s Fashions That Were Better Off Dead

I smiled when I saw that leggings were back in style. I sighed the first time I saw a girl at my high school wearing a big, long shirt with a belt over it. I even contemplated buying a vest once I began seeing them again in trendier stores. But this, I tell you, I will not stand for.

Zip-legged jeans are back.

I should have known this was coming this winter when I saw a model in the J. Crew catalog wearing her otherwise-baggy jeans pegged. I guess I was in denial. This too, I thought, shall pass. It won't be long until everyone realizes that jeans that strangle your ankles don't even look good on size-2 models. But I was wrong.

At least according to the folks at Anthropogie. (Or, as it's known around my house, That Store You'll Never Be Able to Afford a Complete Outfit From.) (Yes, I just ended that sentence in a preposition. Deal.) I was browsing their spring catalog when I saw them. The cute little model with the pixie haircut is sitting in a cafe with one leg elegantly extended, showing her skinny little jeans with a zipper at the ankle. It's pretty smart of the Anthropologie people to show these pants on a seated model so we don't see the unavoidably saggy knees that result from actually being foolish enough to try to change positions in a pair of tightly tapered jeans.

I remember, as a child of the 80s, the Bell Bottom Rebellion. We were so disgusted by those polyester atrocities that our parents wore and that we saw on all the kids in our outdated health textbooks that we took pants to the opposite extreme. Woe to the person misguided enough to actually wear a pair of normal straight-leg jeans to school--you were ridiculed for wearing your "bells" all day. Our goal was to have our jeans fit as tightly around our ankles as possible. This meant pegging the legs if necessary. Heaven forbid your jeans actually cover the tops of your shoes. Oh, the horror!

I remember wearing the zip-legged jeans. In fact, I remember having a pair that was a teensy bit too long and that flaired out about a millimeter over the tops of my Converse high-tops so I pegged those, too. I probably still have the zipper lines permanently imbedded on the outsides of my ankles.

Even though I remember wearing them, I do not remember this fondly. I was a scrawny little thing in middle- and high-school, and had long, bony legs that embarrassed me at the time but that I would sell my soul to have back. But even at 5'5" and 110 pounds, I didn't look good in skinny jeans. This is probably because, no matter how thin my legs may get, I am still going to have the "cankle." It's a gift from some long-ago ancestor that has kept on giving to every female in my family. My calf and ankle are melted into one entity that goes straight down into my shoes. There's no elegant tapering there. I've tried to look on the bright side of this trait as it at least means my ankles are relatively strong and didn't get all wobbly during the rollerblading phase I went through. But it also means I can never find a big-enough souvenir shell ankle bracelet when I go to Florida.

So if your ankles don't taper, but your jeans do, it looks bad. I warmly welcomed bootcut and flared pants into my wardrobe and haven't looked back. My fashion past is ugly. Why would I want to go back there?

So if the skinny jean trend really is back, and every department store in America stocks this style and only this style, I guess I will have no choice but to...keep wearing my flares until they're so worn I have to keep 'em together with duct tape. I will become one of those teachers we saw in the 80s, who hung on to their polyester bell bottoms and wore them to school every day oblivious of how uncool they looked and how easy they were making it for the artistically-gifted to draw comic representations of them during World Civ.

I am optimistic, though, because Oprah is still doing makeover shows where she pulls people out of Target in their "mom jeans" and puts them into a flattering pair of low-rise, wide-leg trousers and changes their lives forever. Maybe I can sneak past this skinny-jean trend with my dignity intact.

Because the day you take away my bootleg Calvins is the day you pry them off my cold, dead cankles.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

To My Friends, In Low Places

I cried at the gym today.

Don't worry--I didn't hurt myself. I wasn't crying from the pain of an overzealous workout or a stressed Achilles tendon.

It was Garth Brooks's fault.

I hit the treadmill just as CMT was airing Garth's concert from Ireland from years back. It was both a celebration of St. Patrick's Day and a shameless (ha!) plug for GB's new set of concert DVDs now on sale at (where else?) Wal-Mart. I was rapt. I spent the next 40 minutes reliving some of the best years of my life.

The first years Jason and I were married marked a big country music phase for me. The soundtrack of my life was Garth Brooks. I know I'm going to catch hell for this from some of my country-hater friends, but I think Garth is one of the best entertainers EVER. Watching that concert reminded me of the admiration (bordering on obsession) I had for him. Seriously, who else puts on a show like that man? You can absolutely see the joy he feels for getting up on that stage. He loves performing as much as his fans love watching him, and I found myself smiling and even laughing out loud while running on that good ol' hamster wheel. At least, until "Friend in Low Places" came on.

One of the favorite memories of my entire life centers around "Friends in Low Places." Just as my wedding reception was winding down, and some of my friends were starting to gather their things and wish Jason and me well, our DJ finally remembered the one big musical request that I had--that all Centre graduates gather on the dance floor for one group dance with the bride and groom. As we heard Garth play that opening chord, we all cheered and ran up to the front of the room. My college buddies aren't big on dancing as a general rule, so we all stood together in a circle with our arms around each other, swaying to the rhythm and singing along as loudly as we could. In a day that becomes more and more a blur with each passing year, that's one memory that stays clear and true--a group of friends who came together on the foundation of simply being at the same place at the same fleeting moment in our lives.

I can still see all the faces in that circle. But my own circle of friends has changed in the decade since we gathered round each other. Some faces have faded some as those old friends have started families and as people have moved on. New faces have joined us. But one thing has not changed--anytime I think about my friends, about those of you who have laughed with me and cried with me over the breadth of my life, I hear that opening chord that reminds me of my friends in low places.

So in honor of Garth's concert, and in belated honor of St. Patrick's Day, I raise a glass to you, my circle. No matter how I met you, or whether the last time I talked to you was Friday night or two years ago, you are special to me.

A toast:
To the one who grew up across the street from me and, even though our lives took us separate ways, still remembered our childhood promise to be maids-of-honor at each other's weddings.

To the one who arrived in the world just one day before me and met me almost daily in the alley that separated our houses, and who cried with me at my dad's funeral as though the loss were her own.

To the ones I've been hanging out with since high school and who get together with me almost every weekend to discuss the deepest questions of life, such as whether or not hamburgers have crumbs.

To the ones I partied with in college, and who were among the first to come visit or send cards when I found out I had cancer.

To the ones I roomed with in college, who put up with my moodiness and drama, and still love me enough to drive long distances to see me through some of the darkest chapters of my life.

To the people I met through my husband's work, those people who filled our house with flowers when I lost my dad and who made sure we were well-fed when I was sick.

To the people I've become friends with through my own job, those people who I laugh with and gripe with and admire so much for their (almost) tireless dedication to our little family of students and teachers.

To the one I eat lunch with every day, my fellow cancer survivor who understands the worry and fear that grips my heart every time I feel ill.

To the couple who inspired Jason and me to take the huge step of quitting our teaching jobs to move to Lexington to get our second degrees, and who by living just across an apartment complex parking lot from us, made those years the two most fun years of my life.

To all of you, I wish you long life and many blessings.

And to you, Mr. Garth Brooks--thanks for the memories.

Friday, March 16, 2007

The Anti-Duke Chili Strikes Again

Back in March of 1998, the "Comeback Cats" pulled off a thing of beauty--they beat Duke in a come-from-behind grudge match for a Final Four spot that almost avenged UK's 1992 loss at the hands of Christian Laettner. Almost. And I'm pretty sure my chili had something to do with it.

We watched that 1998 game in our tiny little Falmouth apartment with one of our good friends from Centre. (Well, they watched it in the apartment; I paced nervously up and down the street while neighbors called out the score to me.) I had made my dad's burn-out-your-insides chili recipe that night and after the unbelievable had happened, I joked that it was the chili that did it. The next year, I saw that it was no joke.

The 1999 tournament bracket left the door open for a Duke-UK rematch. So I kept the ingredients for the chili stocked in my pantry so I could recreate the atmosphere should we meet again. Alas, it was not meant to be for the 'cats, but Duke would go on to the championship game, which they were expected to run away with. The night of that game, I made the chili even though our 'cats had bailed out early. Why not? I already had the stuff. And we all know what happened--Duke lost. UConn won the title. I realized I had an unusual power in that chili, and if I learned nothing else from watching Spiderman I learned that "with great power comes great responsibility."

So I have been judicious in the making of that chili during tournament season. I have been holding out for that one year when UK will once again meet Duke in the tournament in a high-stakes game that will determine a Final Four berth or even a championship. I made it for Selection Sunday this year with a heavy heart, knowing that UK would probably get a low seed and probably wouldn't make it out of the first round.

But lo and behold, Duke LOST last night in their first-round game. And guess what's still in my fridge?

The chili.

This is some magic I've got.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

A Sad State of (Basketball) Affairs

Darling hubby is heading to Lexington with our U-of-L-fan friends to watch the first round of NCAA tournament games being held at Rupp Arena. This isn't surprising seeing as how he lives and breathes college basketball every March. But here's the thing--this "born blue" UK fan is actually planning on cheering for Rick Pitinto's Lousiville Cardinals. At a game taking place in Rupp. (Hey, Satan, is it just me or is it kinda drafty down here today?)

I am not nearly as excited about basketball this March as I usually am. I guess I feel so glum because our Wildcats have been so not-fun to watch. My bracket has them going out in the first round. It killed me to do it, but I have to be honest with myself. The Cards will, in all likelihood, advance to at least the second round while we Wildcat fans watch from the sidelines. I don't want to be a fair weather fan, but my UK pride won't let me enjoy games where they're playing badly and don't even look like they're trying. I try to watch their games, but they often become too painful. I wish I knew how to quit them.

Maybe Jason is on to something by "adopting" U of L this year...

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Things That Go "Yak" In the Night

"Ainsley threw up in her bed."

Nothing will rouse you from a NyQuil-induced slumber like hearing your kid has thrown up. I went from comatose to high alert in .5 seconds and found myself cleaning up one of the worst messes I've ever seen.

Ains doesn't tell us when she throws up at night. We always just have it. From the looks of it, she had actually fallen back asleep in her own vomit last night. If Jason hadn't checked on her at midnight, she probably would have wallowed in it all night long. She looked rather Reagan-from-the-Exorcist-ish.

Even if Jason hadn't told me already that he took her to McDonald's for dinner while I went to three after-school meetings yesterday, I would have been able to guess. I won't be able to even smell McDonald's french fries for a while.

We popped her in the bathtub and rinsed french-fry chunks out of her covers and off of her favorite stuffed animal (poor Lumpy) and got her into our bed. Jason slept on the couch so that he could go to work today and I took up the "puke watch." She got up a few times and coughed and seemed like she was going to hurl again, but by dawn we had both settled in to sleep and the worst was over.

What really amazes me is that I didn't gag, not even once. I have a rather, shall we say, sensitive gag reflex (some would say a weak stomach, but since I rarely actually throw up, I take offense at that accusation) and once I get good and grossed out there's no stopping me. Show me some bodily fluids and watch me walk around randomly heaving for hours like a cat working up a fur ball. I'm well-known in my circle of friends for this trait, and once in middle school, just for kicks and giggles, a classmate passed me a "note" that was really a loogy folded up in a piece of notebook paper. I started gagging, and since I'm not really quiet about it, got the whole class's attention. Which is just what every insecure middle-school girl wants to do.

But I held it together even as I rinsed recognizable bits into the utlity sink and worked shampoo into vomit-tangles. I've used approximately 5 gallons of Lysol and an entire cannister of disinfecting wipes, as well as done 3 loads of laundry, but I think the worst of it is over and all of the nastiness is now just a memory. At least, until I catch the stomach virus and find myself prostrate before the procelain throne at 3am, praying for death.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007


Blech. I've got that cold that's going around. I can't (achoo!) seem to stay focused (honk) on anything (sniffle sniffle) for very long today (cough cough).

Monday, March 12, 2007

The Library Lady Recommends...

I finished my third Celia Rivenbark book this weekend, and if you've never heard of her, get thee to a bookstore and check her out. She's a southern humor columnist, and she's been compared to both Dave Barry and Jeff Foxworthy. Really, how can you go wrong with someone touted as a cross between those two?

She has three books that are collections of her columns: Bless Your Heart, Tramp; We're Just Like You, Only Prettier; and Stop Dressing Your Six-Year-Old Like a Skank. Like Dave Barry, she points out the absurdities of everday life; like Foxworthy, she both reveres and pokes good-natured fun at southern culture. You can get a taste of her writing by reading a few of the columns posted on her website, I've read all three books now, and I laughed out loud reading each of them.

I'm on kind of a nonfiction kick, so I picked up Lynne Truss's Eats, Shoots and Leaves. It's a book about punctuation. That made the NY Times bestseller list. Seriously. It's actually a very funny little book. A good friend from college loaned it to me; she and I used to go on long tirades about all the language errors we spotted on Lexington news channels when we both lived there. She was always tempted to call WKYT and tell them that they desperately needed a copy editor and that she was the right woman for the job; I still think that may be her true calling. See my earlier post about apostrophes; I get pretty uptight over the deteriorating state of our language, too. Which is probably why I am planning on knocking back a few cocktails later this month after I spend an entire work day scoring senior writing portfolios....

If all this nonfiction burns me out a little, I will try to finish the notorious Hannibal Rising. Yes, readers, I am still trying to finish that book, which I talked about in my very first posts. And yes, it's THAT BAD.

On the Disloyalty of Felines

Before Christmas, we gave our beloved cat, Scout, to my mom. It was a very hard decision. Ainsley was diagnosed with asthma this fall, and we discovered through allergy testing that she's allergic to cats and that Scout was probably a trigger for her nighttime coughing. And I had been having allergy problems myself; throughout the summer and fall, I had been battling an allergic reaction in my eyes and through my own allergy testing learned that I am allergic to cats. (This was a shock--I've had cats my entire life and had allergy testing before. Go figure.) So Scout had to go.

It's been a good arrangement. Scout, who ironically has allergy problems of her own, got a good home with someone who knows about her health needs and will stay on top of them. Mom, who has been living alone since my dad passed away, has a new companion to keep her company. The only downside is that mom travels quite a bit, so I have to visit and make sure the cat is fed and watered. And doing that this weekend, I've learned an ugly truth: my cat hates me.

This cat, who before Ainsley came along was our "furry baby", who slept on our bed every night for 6 years, who I mourned like a child when we thought she had died behind the refrigerator (long story), and who could not bear to be separated from me or Jason when we shared the same house, now will not even acknowledge my existence.

Scout was the most dependent cat I have ever seen; unless "strangers" were in the house, she had to be on top of or next to either Jason or me. She was my lap cat. She was my substitute dog; she greeted me at the top of the stairs every afternoon and even played fetch. We were tight, Scout and I. And now when I go to mom's to give her food and water, she gives me a look that says, "I think I might know you...but I know I don't care." I can't coax her out from under the bed. She sniffs my hand and lets me pet her head for approximately half a second, then she turns her kitty butt at me.

I was hurt at first, but now I'm just mad. We spent thousands of dollars on this animal in the 6 years we had her, what with vet bills, her special "low-allergen" prescription cat food, kitty litter, etc. I have taken sick days for her various medical crises (at last count, she's on her 5th life.) We tolerated her 3am go-up-and-down-the-hallway-meowing-loudly-for-no-good-reason spells when most people would have shown her the other side of the door. I cleaned up after her every time she thought the living room carpet would make for good toilet paper. I refrained from kitty abuse when she would leave a hairball right where I would be sure to step on it in barefeet on my way to the bathroom in the morning. We even applied those rubber "Soft Paws" claw caps on a regular basis to keep from having her declawed. We did this because we loved her. And thought she loved us. But it seems that as long as someone is providing the cat food, and a warm lap, Scout doesn't really care who that someone is. My mom is now the special human in Scout's life, and I am just this person that smells vaguely familiar and pokes my head into her hiding spot under the bed from time to time.

I suppose she could be harboring bad feelings toward me since I moved her from her accustomed surroundings to a new home that took her weeks to get used to. I wish she could understand that I had to put Ainsley's health first. I wish I could tell her, and have her understand, how hard it was, and how I don't know if I could have gotten rid of her if my mom hadn't volunteered to take her in. I wish I could be more of my husband's view that she's "just a cat", and not see her as a fluffy, meowing, dysfuntional member of the family.

I wish my cat was still my cat.

Friday, March 9, 2007

Out of the Mouth of Ains

Being constantly amazed by the wisdom my four-year-old spouts, I will occasionally be posting the cutest or most profound things the little darling has said that week. We've got two good ones today.

Last weekend I baked brownies. No biggie, just the ones from a box. We let Ainsley have one as an after-lunch treat Saturday.

"Are these from scratch?" she asked.

I was a little taken aback. With me as a mom (the Doughboy is my best friend), wherever has she learned what "from scratch" means?

"No, honey, they're not."

"Are they from rub?"

Think about it for a minute.

The second highlight is a little more heartbreaking. Jason was playing with her last night when she asked,

"If I'm good, will you be with me forever?"

Jason told her he would be with her for a long time, but that he couldn't be with her forever.

"Will you get old and go to heaven?"

"Yes," Jason told her, "just like your Papaw did."

"I'll miss you a lot when you go."


She must have picked up on the sadness in the room.

"OK," she said. "Let's go listen to ballerina music and be happy."

Unnecessary Apostrophe's

Argh. My daughter's preschool is the latest perpetrator of the crime I think is the most serious threat to America today: using apostrophes to pluralize nouns. It killed me to do it for cutesies in the title of this post. Ainsley's school currently has a sign up on the door that reads, "We still have some parent's who have not paid their tuition this week. " This is not their first transgression. But these are the people kicking off my daughter's formal education, darn it.

I have been seeing this same error EVERYWHERE--on marquees, on news tickers, and even in print publications on a few rare occasions. People, if you're reading this, please remember that apostrophes show possession. They are not used before the s in plurals. Not even if the word ends in a vowel (which is where the random apostrophe infestation seems to be at its worst.)

Is this still being taught in elementary school? Did the rule change and I just don't know about it? Will using apostrophes to show possession become accepted just because it's so widespread and no one cares except for me and the author of Eats, Shoots and Leaves?

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Save a Horse....

We librarians are generally opposed to censorship. We believe in the freedom of expression and the right to read others' ideas. However, I found myself desperately wishing I could censor a window sticker I was forced to read the entire length of Richardson Road last night.

I was behind a pickup truck with two window stickers. The one on the left said, "Save a Horse/Ride a Cowboy." Yes, yes, how clever. I see what you're doing there with that naughty innuendo. Subtle. (Around the time this song came out I decided I was over country music for a while.) Then there was the one on the right: "Be a Flirt/Raise Your Skirt." Say whaaaaa?

Since when is it appropriate for a grown man (or, a male over the age of 16, presumably) to basically say, "Show me your female parts"? In public? In front of young girls? My daugther is only 4 and can't read yet, but when she can read, I know a sticker like that is going to get some questions. And while I am far from being a prude, I don't think this is something I want her to be exposed to. I know she will be eventually; after all, we will want her to go away to college. But still. "Raise Your Skirt." Please.

I seethed the whole way home. I started picturing this individual whose freely expressed sentiment offended me so as one of those hypocrites who thinks the Harry Potter books should be banned from school libraries. Then I hated myself for being stereotypical. Then I laughed at my husband for asking me if I would be offended if the sticker said, "Show Me Your Cooter."

Of course not. We all know that the cooter is a small river animal that even has its own festival.