Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Spell Gone Wrong

When I was little, my parents engaged in a practice only utilized with children and dogs: they spelled out phrases they didn't want me to recognize. Before I learned to spell, I was frequently frustrated by my mom and dad stringing together mystical arrangements of letters that I had no hope of decoding. For all I knew, they were saying things like, "Honey, I could really use a quiet morning today. Let's crush up S-L-E-E-P-I-N-G P-I-L-L-S in our daughter's C-H-E-E-R-I-O-S."

Things got even more annoying when my older sister, who was four years ahead of me in school, joined my parents fancy spelling club. I was surrounded by spellers. I wasn't yet able to extract meaning from letter combinations, but I was smart enough to know that if my parents and sister were speaking in code, they were undoubtedly discussing something really juicy. It was maddening.

One day I got it into my head that I should give my family a taste of their own medicine: I would spell something, something really interesting, and they would be left hanging their heads in shame, confusion and sadness. Tragically, I failed to take into account two basic problems - the very two problems that landed me in my vengeful situation to begin with:

1) I couldn't spell.
2) They could.

Thus, when I marched up to my sister, in full view of my parents, and said, "Hey Julie, let's S-N-O-P," I did not get the reaction I hoped for.

I am twenty-eight years old now, and my parents still ask me occasionally if I would like to snop.

Monday, November 22, 2010


I promised myself that I wouldn't go to bed until I'd posted a blog entry.

I'll spare you the long, boring details of the frustration and procrastination that has led up to this moment. Here's a taste, though:

At one point I found myself lying on my back, on the floor, craning my neck back and tapping my skull against the carpet, hoping to shake ideas loose. It didn't work. But I did take a picture.

Well, if i couldn't shake any inspiration loose, at least I was able to capture an image of myself looking startlingly like Leonard Nimoy as Spock.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Codeine Dreams

For the second year in a row, I came down with the flu about a month after getting a flu shot. Good job, flu shot.

I was out of work for three days and spent most of my time off sleeping, lost in bizarre fever- and codeine-fueled dreams. At some point I fell asleep in front of the TV and my brain picked up on some weird word that it wouldn't let go... I kept dreaming about the word, "fistula."


I didn't know what a fistula was, but my first instinct was that it was a medical problem. My second instinct was that it must be a fist that bursts, Alien style, out of the unsuspecting victim's chest.

When I looked it up on Wikipedia, I read that a fistula is, "an abnormal connection or passageway between two epithelium-lined organs or vessels that normally do not connect."

Based on this definition, I think we can all agree that my first instinct was correct: a fistula is a medical problem. And based on my inability to make any further sense of this definition, I suggest we also agree that my second instinct was correct as well.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Twisted Adages

Some months ago I developed a brief addiction to, an online quiz site. I would spend long hours delighting myself by proving that I could identify movie posters for popular films and a not-entirely-pathetic number of quotes from classic literature. After a while, though, I found that it wasn't enough to merely impress myself; I needed to impress someone else by challenging them to beat my scores. So, I sat Jason down at the computer and directed him to a number a quizzes.

He did better than me on some quizzes, not as well on others. Then came the Adages Quiz.

The Adages Quiz provided the first few words of popular adages and then prompted the quiz-taker to complete the sentence. For example, if the prompt was, "A penny saved..." you would complete the adage by typing in "is a penny earned."

Here are a few of my favorite selections from Jason's quiz:

(Please note: the responses you are about to witness were not attempts at humor. They were my husband's actual understandings of popular sayings.)

1. Those who live in glass houses... shouldn't throw bricks.

2. Don't throw the baby... out the window. 

To be fair, those first two stick pretty close to the meaning of the original adages. That didn't stop me from laughing, though. This next one takes on a rather biblical twist in Jason's hands:

3. Spare the rod... and thy staff.

And, finally, we have my personal favorite:

4. A rolling stone... has no home.

Feel free to chime in with the actual endings to the adages above. Better yet, come up with your own versions.