Write right

When I was in college, studying Journalism, I had a professor who demanded perfect grammar (AP style, if I remember correctly) in any correspondence you had with him. If you had a misspelled word or improper verb tense use, he’d simply email it back to you without a response and leave you to find the error before he’d answer your question. This could go on for multiple emails until you figured out your mistake!

I remember grumbling about that. What was the big deal, anyway?

Almost 10 years out of college, and I find myself becoming more and more like my professor every day.

Now, backtrack even further in life. I was perhaps 10 or 12 when a co-worker of my Mom’s presented me with this:


MR Not Ducks



YIB! MR Ducks!

I was frustrated and annoyed by the puzzle in front of me. Oh, haha. See the itty bitty ducks. I get it.  Through the years, I’d get a kick out of word puzzles. I like to challenge my brain, and work at deciphering what is being “said.”

I do NOT like doing that kind of work to read a text or a tweet, and therein lies where I am more like my professor every day.

Last week, I received notification of a new Twitter follower. A reporter here in Nashville had started to follow my Twitter feed. I clicked to look at their feed, and I promptly broke out in hives. Figuratively speaking at least. I did weep some.

Every tweet was filled with things like, “Thank U.” or, “U R why we do our job.” “Going 2 B on at 6. Will U watch?”  (OKay, I am making up these tweets, but you get the idea.)  Needless to say, I did NOT follow back. I was tempted to direct message and tell this person they were an idiot. But I didn’t.

I have, though, been known to just flat out not respond to text messages filled with “R U” and “C U” or “U 2″ stuff. If it takes me five minutes to decipher a text, you’ve officially annoyed me and I’m going to ignore you.

Perhaps I should just start sending texts back to the sender until they figure out that taking the time to add a couple extra letters (or use predictive text!) will actually get me to respond to their question. Hmmm…

I happen to love the written word. The fact that I have a degree in a field that requires writing skills is something I am proud of having. I am protective of that written word. Today, though, respect for the written word is low. Our new ways of writing have bastardized it so badly that I am amazed by the lack of communication skills I see on social media sites. (And, yes, I am guilty of judging a person’s intelligence based on how they write. I admit it.)

someecards.com - Thanks to the teachers who instilled in me such a love of English that I'm perpetually mortified when reading the Internet.
So what can I do about it? Just keep refusing to fall into the trap, I guess, and hope that others who are determined to keep up the proper way of writing will outshine those who don’t.

Disclaimer: I understand Twitter has a character limit that forces such short hand in some cases. It’s when there are plenty of characters left and the “shorthand” is used that I get ticked.

Oregon vacation

My husband and I were on vacation all of last week.  Our first trip to Oregon to visit his side of the family in three years. Much too long between visits!!

I had always said I wanted to go up in the summer, and it all worked out beautifully. My husband had a show in Oregon and then the whole following week off. So I took off work, and I met him up there for the show and some fun.

I had forgotten how stunning Oregon truly is… I’m not going to talk any more. I’m just going to let the pictures tell the story.

 Oregon - July 2012

248: Silver Falls; South Falls

Oregon - July 2012

Oregon - July 2012

Oregon - July 2012

Oregon - July 2012

Oregon - July 2012

250: Pacific Ocean

Oregon - July 2012

Oregon - July 2012

251: Fishing

Oregon - July 2012

Oregon - July 2012

252: Multnomah Falls

Oregon - July 2012


More Photos from Oregon!

Life Well Lived: Dealing with disappointment

Its time for another Life Well Lived Getting Happy panel!

This week’s question is: How do you deal with disappointment, and what lessons do you have to share from those experiences?

Any time I think of the phrase, “Life’s not fair,” I hear the voice of Scar from Disney’s The Lion King in my head. “Life’s not fair, is it? You see, I… well, I shall never be king. And you… shall never see the light of another day.”

I also, though, think of my first, really big lesson in disappointment I had to deal with in my life.

Ever since I was in Kindergarten, I wanted to be “a flag girl.” I spent years itching to be in high school where I would twirl the flags in the band. I joined band in the first place primarily because of my dream to be a flag girl.

Finally, the end of freshman year came and it was my chance to try out for the squad. Turns out, I was a natural at it! I could do the routine in my sleep. I spent hours practicing, perfecting. My whole world revolved around this!

Tryouts came and I crashed and burned… hard. I mean, not just a little, “Oops.” But a whole huge, “Can I do that again, because I really, really stunk.”

Needless to say, I did NOT make the squad. I was crushed. Absolutely crushed. There was no life outside of not making flags! I literally had spent hours lamenting to my Mom, “I don’t know what I’d do if I don’t make it!” And there I was, standing there with my head hung low, facing my fear of going another year not in the flag corp.

Y’know what? Life did not end that day. I cried my tears. I faced another year playing flute instead of twirling a flag. And I came in the next year with knowledge that life didn’t end if I didn’t make the squad. (And as a result, I not only made the squad, I was one of the highest ranked girls — and I tried out with a 101º fever!!)

Today, I deal with disappointment with a knowledge that the sun will rise tomorrow with  more opportunities ahead. I might shed a few tears. I might be quite grumpy to those closest to me. But I also know I’ll “get over it” and I’ll do so with another life lesson learned. I strive not to let the good get lost in the bad. Every disappointment. Every mistake. Every moment of sadness. It all has a silver lining of a lesson to be learned; a new strength to be found.

I firmly believe that everything happens for a reason, and sometimes what is perceived as “no” is really just “not right now.” (Or in some cases, it means, “Stop and notice this other path you could be taking.”) Don’t let disappointment make you miss an opportunity down the line.

What are your thoughts? Join me here and over on the main post at BlogHer.com… and don’t forget to enter the current Life Well Lived Sweepstakes!

The wife of a touring musician tells it like she sees it…

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