Weekly Winners (Sept. 12 -18)

September 19th, 2010 24 comments

Weekly Winners is a fun little thing bloggers do to showcase some of their favorite photos from the previous week. It is brought to you, me and everyone by the lovely Lotus, aka Sarcastic Mom. Visit her site and find all the participants. See some amazing photos brought to you by bloggers around the world. Leave a little love when you do — its like food for the soul!

Weekly Winners

Sunning cat

Getting a little sun

AT&T Building

The most recognizable building in the Nashville skyline

Retro Camera :: Opry

Grand Ole Opry @ The Ryman Auditorium


Hamming it up for the camera. I got a series of four photos, but this was my favorite of them all.


Adult beverages.

Stage at night

Concert under the stars... The Tennessee River Run!


Boats on the water, enjoying the music.


A friend of mine and my husband caught me taking a picture of him... This photo cracked us both up and I just had to include it here. Plus, I just love how it came out in general.


Star lights

♥ ♥ ♥

Photos taken using a Nikon Coolpix L20 or my Droid Incredible. I had a REALLY hard time narrowing down this week’s photos. View all of my photos available on my Flickr stream.

The dumbing down of the English language

September 18th, 2010 6 comments

I was maybe around 10 years old when I was first presented with the following “riddle:”

C D E D B D ducks?
M R not ducks!
O S A R!
C D E D B D wings?
Y I B! M R ducks!

For anyone as confused as I was, the conversation above says:  “See the itty-bitty ducks?” “Them are not ducks!” “Oh yes they are! See the itty-bitty wings?”  “Why, I be! Them are ducks!”

In this day and age, more and more I feel like I did when I was first presented with that riddle. I get text messages or I see Facebook status updates that will take me ten minutes to decipher, because they are filled with short hand.  When I was younger, this type of spelling appeared only in the comic pages or perhaps as a bonus question on a test.

4ward. gr8. u2. 2morrow. 2day.

I have actually reached a point of frustration in which I will ignore some text messages that use too much shorthand. Text me when you remember how to spell correctly.

I know that part of the problem is lack of space to say all you want to say. Twitter limits you to 140 characters. Text messages (generally) limit you to 160 characters. When your message is too long, I recognize the need to fudge words here and there. But when I get a message that says, “R U there?” I get filled with a deep annoyance. Spell out the words. Don’t make me say it out loud to understand what you are trying to say. In the time it takes me to translate the text, I could have responded twice.

I found a wonderful blog post entitled “The decline and corruption of the English language” on Helium.com.

Today, the world’s literacy seems to be taking reverse leaps. Where children were once trained to appreciate language and the diversity of syntax, grammar, consistency and clarity, today’s youth see the push toward speed and stylized text.

Not only have we moved away from standing true to the language and grammatical rules we were taught growing up, many of our youth no longer learn to neatly and clearly write their own names. Where I learned “keyboarding” as a freshman in high school (though I did have some classes in it as early as fifth grade), most children learn typing techniques as early as kindergarten and first grade.

I have at times said that computers and the internet are the most wonderful and the most horrible things to ever happen to our world. Everything we do, we do at lightening speed. It’s resulted in our doing more work in less time, and its also resulted in our no longer having the need to retain anything we learn. We can find what we want in a moments notice, all with a few clicks of a mouse.

We are all tethered to our computers in one way or another. Unfortunately, instead of it elevating our English language, that fact has dumbed it down. I am sure we are a long way from newspapers and books going to full short hand text (though I have seen greeting cards written in it!). And professors still demand research papers be written properly and edited. But every day, I see our short hand of letters joined with numbers showing up in a new location. Often times, its coming from people I would have never expected to use it. Perhaps its simply become habit. Perhaps its an attempt to “fit in.” Whatever the reason, though, it bothers me.  A lot.

Language is obviously one of the first cultures to suffer, art and music are following in kind, and eventually we’ll return to stick figure cave paintings left for the generations to uncover and scratch their heads over, attempting to discern what happened to the renaissance and the so-called intelligent lives we once led. (From The decline and corruption of the English language)

Categories: rants Tags: , , ,

Friday Five — Sept. 17, 2010

September 17th, 2010 2 comments

For a period of time, while I was keeping my LiveJournal up daily, I would participate in The Friday Five. I decided this week to see if it still existed and to my delight it does! So today I bring to this blog my answers to this week’s Friday Five questions.

1) What is your favorite mode of travel? (Car, train, plane, etc).

I very much enjoy flying! I occasionally will reach a point when I just have the urge to fly somewhere. Anywhere. It’s just fun to look down from the skies on the Earth and marvel over how small we truly are. However, with the cost of flying, the security fears, and all those ridiculous fees… give me a road trip any day! Plus, I prefer to have more control over when I go, where I go, and how fast I get there.

2) Where is the northernmost place you’ve traveled? The southernmost?

Northernmost:  Astoria, OR
Southernmost: Honolulu, HI

3) What is the last place you visited for the first time?

Clarksville, TN… I know, so very exotic.

4) Of all the places you’ve traveled, which is your favorite?

Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg, TN — So relaxing and beautiful!

5) Where would you most like to travel to next?

I have so many places I want to travel to see! Right now? I am trying to plan a trip down to Texas again. Hopefully for a special day coming up next month. Everyone cross your fingers!!

Categories: friday five Tags: ,

A cell phone trick…

September 16th, 2010 No comments

Bailey waits for a phone call

In continuation from yesterday’s post, its 5 pm and I have only been up for MY Thursday for two hours. That’s because I went to bed around 10 AM…

My husband was back in town and ready for me to come pick him up from the bus around 6 AM. Since I’m a night owl, I found it easier to just wait up for him than to go to bed and sleep a couple of hours before going to pick him up.

As you can imagine, this meant getting caught in morning traffic through downtown Nashville… twice. Making a usual hour-trip closer to two hours in stop-and-go traffic. And, of course, we got home and both were too wired from driving in traffic to go straight to sleep.

When we went to bed, I silently prayed that the phone would not ring and wake us up early.

It did ring around 2:30 pm with a telemarketer. I suppose I should be grateful, because had they NOT randomly pulled our number out of a hat, I’d have probably slept until more like… well… I’d still be sleeping. But instead, of course, I grumbled and cursed under my breath for my sleep being interrupted.

Then I remembered an old cell phone trick I used to do when I’d work much more regularly in a bar downtown. I’d get home around 4 AM, and by the time I went to bed I knew my phone could easily be ringing by 9 AM while I was trying to sleep. The easy answer: turn the phone OFF. My rebuttal: I don’t ever want to be unable to be reached should anyone in my family have an emergency.

I have special ring tones for my family and closest friends.  For example, my husband’s ring is the song we danced to at our wedding. (Awwww… right?) Other ring tones include  “Small Town Kid” by Eli Young Band and Pat Green’s “I Like Texas.” There are others, but I’ll leave you with that to marvel in my phone geekiness style.

I figured out that if I set my “default ring” to silent (or the case of my current phone, the quietest notification sound), my specialty ringtones would still ring loudly. So instead of silencing my phone or turning it off to avoid being bothered while I sleep, I can rest easy knowing that in an emergency my family can still reach me but other random calls would not bother me.

Now a key thing is that upon getting up, you can’t forget to change your default ringtone back to your normal setting!  But that little trick came in handy countless times in the past, and any time my husband and I have one of these wackier-than-usual sleep days, I’ll be putting that trick back into service.

Categories: tips Tags: ,

Show Stories — Change of plans

September 15th, 2010 4 comments

When I got up yesterday morning, my day was fairly clear cut. Work, then head to the Grand Ole Opry where my husband would be playing that night, then off to a writer’s night to support friends. A good day for sure, and my anticipation of going to the Opry was high.

However, upon getting up, my anticipation plummeted. A message came through that no guests would be allowed at the Opry after all. That’s not that unusual when the Opry is being held at The Ryman, but there was no problem with my attending the last time they played on a Tuesday night. My expectations were high, and they crashed down pretty hard and fast.

I was then left wondering what I would do while my husband played the Opry. I figured I’d either wait in the truck, or I’d stroll around Broadway for awhile. Maybe I would just grab a bench outside of the Ryman and people/tourist watch.

Poking around on Twitter and Facebook, I stumbled upon a headline stating that Merle Haggard had canceled all his September dates due to illness. I admit, I briefly wondered who would be filling in for him on all those shows or if they were just completely canceled.

As such, I was and wasn’t surprised when my husband’s phone rang and it was their manager asking if he could drive the bus (since he is also a bus driver) that night to a last-minute show the next day (today). Suddenly, our whole evening got turned upside down, and our plans went from a fun night out to logistics of the Opry, dinner and then getting him to the bus to pick up the rest of the band. (We are a one-vehicle family, so its not like he could just head out without me.)

Thankfully, we had no plans for the next day and we weren’t out of town.

People invite me to things and ask me to commit to events weeks in advance. This precise phenomenon is why I rarely will make ANY commitments. You never know when plans have to change due to a last minute show!

We quickly figured out our timeline for the evening, and we could feel ourselves shifting it into high gear. We both grabbed showers, he packed an over night back, and we headed downtown in time for the Opry. I walked him to the backdoor of the Ryman and wished him good luck. While he went in, I strolled off on my own for the next hour…

…I got maybe 100 yards away and my phone rang. My husband noticed my name was indeed on the list to get in! He said to come back right away. I did a 180 and headed back, and much to my delight I got to go in and see my husband perform!

I have probably 10,000,000,000,000,000  photos of my husband on stage, and yet I can never stop myself from taking even more. I’m his biggest fan! :)

After the Opry, we finally got to sit down and eat. However, we found ourselves scarfing down our food, still in hurry-hurry-hurry mode. We’d been in fast forward for the last several hours, and we found it almost impossible to slow down. We agreed that we would just head over to the bus early. That way we could both chill out and relax.

So, we went and got him loaded up on the bus. He did all his pre-trip checks, and we said good-bye. I followed him out of the lot. I went home; he headed to where the band would meet him to head to their new show.

Here I am, sitting at home, marveling at how much everything changed in the span of a few hours. It’s not the first time its happened, and it most certainly won’t be the last! I can’t complain about it at all. Its just one of those things about the life that you have to take in stride. Its one of those things that keeps it all interesting.

School dress codes

September 14th, 2010 8 comments

I just saw a news article that had me fired up. My husband just stared at me, perhaps with a little fear over how mad it made me.

The article was about a young boy who has hair that does not conform to his school’s dress code, and as such has been placed in detention until he gets a hair cut. His mother is threatening a lawsuit because they are causing him mental harm my keeping him apart from his classmates. [article]

My response: GET A HAIR CUT!

I got just as fired up at the beginning of the school year, when a group of students decided they would all wear flip-flops to school on the first day of school to protest the fact that their dress code said flip flops were not allowed. [article on the dress code]

Dress codes exist for a reason: for the well being of the students. There is a concern for their safety, but also for their ability to focus on their school work. As an adult, I know how I dress not only affects my ability to focus on my job, but it also affects how others react to me. But that is something school-age kids have rarely figured out.

When I was in high school, we had a stringent dress code. The length of shorts, skirts and tops were watched closely. No males had facial hair, nor did their hair get long enough to be below their shirt collars. There were no open toed shoes, nor any shoes without backs.

We might have grumbled about it… I know I did, because my height made finding shorts and skirts long enough impossible and, as such, I lived in jeans every day… but in the end, we all followed the rules. Oh sure, we had those who tried to buck the system, but there was never any big drama within that that I can recall.

We knew that high school was more than just book studies; it was getting us ready for “the real world” where jobs have dress codes and you’re expected to confirm to those rules. You “found yourself” or “expressed your individuality” in ways within those rules. You also knew you would be awarded the freedom to dress as you wished when/if you attended college.

Our dress code was less strict than it was for our older siblings and our parents. I know many dress codes today aren’t as strict as ours was. Some schools have since gone on to impose a school uniform to avoid the dress code issue completely.

You don’t have to agree with a dress code, but you do have to follow it. As I already said, it does get you ready for the rules you’ll follow in the workforce. Plus, you’ll get to have your way when you get out of school. When you look at the span of an average life, your junior high and high school years are just a small portion of that life.

It can be argued that by fighting a dress code, you’re learning to stand up for yourself. You are learning to be an individual. But it can also be argued that sometimes you need the lesson that its not so bad to follow the rules.

I wonder sometimes if we haven’t bent the rules so much that they no longer are respected; if that’s not why many of our youth have a lack of respect in general. Have we not promoted individuality and “bucking the system” to the point that many believe rules don’t apply to them?

No matter where you are in your life, there are rules/laws to follow. Isn’t it easier to learn that when the consequence is detention and not life in prison?

(Note: I know this can open a whole can of worms, which makes me hesitant to post this. But let it be known that in general, I prefer a hands-off approach. Guide through respect and solid examples, less by hard-rules. But I also believe there are rules in place for a reason, and those rules should be followed.)

Categories: rants Tags: , ,