Lost in Translation – What in the World is a Peduncle???

peduncle1

If I had a dollar for the number of times I wanted to know how to make a peduncle… (I would have zero dollars.)***

I was once fluent in conversational Spanish, but it’s been years since I needed to speak it regularly.  Consequently I pop over to Google and use their translator every now and then.  I was reminded today why that was comically dangerous to do after reading an instructional booklet from a box of modelling clay that I purchased for my daughter.  In case you were seeking best practices for modelling clay usage, look elsewhere.  If you were wondering where to find proof that computers don’t have it all figured out yet, here you go.  I wanted to list my favorites, but I found myself laughing at all of them.  Maybe # 6.  Or # 1.  Or # 8.  Honestly I don’t know.  They are each epic in their own way.

clay1

clay2

Side note on # 8 above – I was disappointed to read that my child could not make an actual ashtray but was relieved to confirm that she could make something that had the appearance of an ashtray.  I guess her dreams won’t be entirely shattered.

chicken1

I have to give them full credit on the example above.  This really is the cutest little cock I’ve ever seen.

Stop.  It.  Now.

At this point I am considering looking up the specific manufacturer online just so I can find out what else they sell that might come with an instruction manual.  We could cancel our cable and sit around reading these for entertainment instead.  This pack of clay may be the best $10 I ever spent in my life – 14 pages of pure global economy gold.

***Per Google – pe·dun·cle (noun) – the stalk bearing a flower or fruit, or the main stalk of an inflorescence******

******I don’t even understand that in actual English.

Hasta luego.  Joanna

This post is dedicated to my soul sister Kirsten – my favorite grammar nerd.  You are the first person I wanted to send this post to.  I also enjoyed ending that last sentence with the word “to” just for the sake of messing with you.  😉

The Earworm and the Ripple Effect (Day 14)

earworm 2 - mickey***Earworm (noun):  a song that gets stuck in your head and makes you go frickin’ bananas to the point that you have to blog about it or you brain will explode

earworm 1 - petrified

This is not the earworm I am battling, but it was too funny not to share.

I’ve got one of those maddening earworm situations happening at the moment.  Although I only saw the rock musical play Rent one time on TV many years ago, I still remember all of the lyrics to the song “Seasons of Love” with absolute precision.  This is what keeps replaying again and again in my mind:

“Five thousand twenty-four hundred thirty-six second miiiinutes…
Five thousand twenty-four hundred thirty-six minutes are there…
Five thousand twenty-four hundred thirty-six second miiiinutes…
Five thousand twenty-four hundred thirty-six minutes somewhere…”

I’ll spare the fact checkers and list the purported lyrics per the vast majority of the rest of the internet (and possibly the Screen Writers Guild as well):

“Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes…
Five hundred twenty-five thousand moments so dear…
Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes…
How do you measure…measure a year?”

The internet just couldn’t stop there, so it felt compelled to add even more lines (below).  As with all good music, I can assure you that there are only four lines in this song and that they are meant to be sung ten thousand times in a row exactly as I originally wrote them above.

“In daylights…  In sunsets…
In midnights…  In cups of coffee…
In inches…  In miles…
In laughter…  In strife…
In five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes…
How do you measure a year in the life…
How about love?
How about love?
How about love?
Measure in love.”

Well clearly my version is the right one, so pay no attention to any naysayers who might attempt to throw out frivolous comments like “But Joanna, your words aren’t actual numbers…” or “That isn’t how telling time works…” or even “No seriously.  I’ve seen the play and your version is in no way representative of the lyrics.”  Pshaw!  I won’t fall for your tomfoolery!

However I am a kind person and would never want to dismiss others even when they are clearly out of touch with reality.  So just for the sake of giving the little guy (the entire internet) a chance, let’s pretend that their version of the lyrics was an actual indicator of the way one could break out the number of minutes in a year.

Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes.  That’s a monster boatload of minutes.

counter

And in contemplating that daunting number, I started thinking about the hit counter on my own little blog.  It isn’t a drop in the ocean compared to the stats of innumerable sites out there, but the number still amazes me nonetheless.

As of this moment, the counter has almost reached forty thousand hits.  In Internet-landia, it’s almost approaching amoebic status!  Perhaps I will achieve paramecium-ic status by year end!  Smallest of the small potatoes.  I know.  But that still represents forty thousand interactions of some kind.  Forty thousand opportunities to share something with another person.

In the last few days in particular, I have read several incredible people’s blogs and comments that mention how they often see no value in their words.  The self criticisms have ranged from “I just gripe and whine” to “I’m spinning my wheels.”  I have heard “What I say isn’t important” or “I just ramble.  My posts don’t matter.”

The wild part to me is that they absolutely matter.  I know because they matter to me.  I can’t begin to articulate how much I receive from their words.  I need their emotions, their realities, and their perspectives on their journeys (even if they don’t call them that).  I see the amazing wonderful everythings that they add to this world.

Personally (and this is just me) (but I’m thinking that leading the sentence with the word “Personally” should have cleared that up already), I don’t buy into the idea that you should only write or say something that you know is helpful, happy, thoughtful or uplifting.  I love me some good inspiration, and I want to feel bliss and joy for at least twenty-five of the available twenty-four hours in a day.

But I still get my feelings hurt by people I love.  I frequently handle situations in ways that are so beyond terribly poor.  Sometimes I feel lonely and sad and angry and frustrated.  I hurt physically and emotionally.  My thoughts become cloudy and my path unclear.  I become disappointed in myself for making sad choices so often that the number could be used as part of the lyrics of a song in a rock musical play on TV.  Thankfully the person who heard it would probably hose up the number in those lyrics beyond recognition anyway.

Every day isn’t like that.  Yes I do make mistakes aaaaaaall the time, and I definitely make them on a daily basis.  But I am always hoping for better.  I am always wanting more for myself and, more importantly, from myself.  I will have the life I dream of because I am tenacious as hell and refuse to go quietly.

It helps me to feel like I’m not the only person meandering the expansive “Human Under Construction” zone.  Pardon our dust, but the lady of the house was busy blogging and also she hates dusting more than pantyhose.  But she hates sporks even more…that freaky mutant plasticware…  Bleh!

Our words and interactions sing to countless people around us.  Although those people may not get every detail right, some part of what we say and who we really are sticks with them.  Those parts then ripple out to others as well.

If you know without question that you approach the world from a treacherous place of cruelty,  pure meanness, or blatant dishonesty, take these words as a serious call to reevaluate what you are doing.  We all stand at crossroads at different times in our life, and when that happens, you have a chance to pick another path.  Choose a better way.  This is your moment to change everything.

But if you are human and raw and just doing the best you can, I speak your language.  If you stumble and want to get up but simply can’t figure out how, I am a frequent traveler on that road, too.  If you don’t know if you will be able to hold on another day, I call to you from my heart and plead with you now – just wait it out a little longer.  The dark clouds will clear.  The importance of your place in this world is beyond measure.  You matter to more people than you fathom and you affect innumerable lives throughout the five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes of each year.

Sing your song – whatever the lyrics may be – and I will gladly sing along.  I have a decent voice.  Just ask my shower.  But not my kids.  Their reviews of my shower singing are not to be trusted.  (With that said, you should anticipate that I will probably eff up the words so apologies in advance.)

Love and light always dear ones!  Joanna

And just like me –>>earworm 6 - rick astley

earworm - rick astley

Rick-rolling will never cease to be hysterical to me.  It is utterly stupid and truly one of my most favorite things ever ever ever.  So boo-yah!

Nature, Nurture, and Not Sure

 

Garden

I love pallets.  They are heavy but free and have endless possibilities.

In my youth, I dreamed of being a stunt woman or / (ideally) and a rap video dancer.  As fate would have it, Run D.M.C. must have lost my number because that call never came.  The next most obvious option was for me to go into finance, so that’s where I headed.  I’m very good at it, I help many people, and I am valued at my company.  That’s what I do to pay the bills, and there is something oddly soothing about the black and white nature of calculations – either your numbers are right or they are wrong.  No gray areas.  However what I love to do is anything but black and white.  It pays no bills – actually it adds to them.  I adore creating things – gardens, murals for the kids’ rooms, random wood items, written pieces, etc.  I find it to be tremendously fulfilling to give life to something originally housed in your imagination even if it’s something simple.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

My murals tend to be light and make an appearance when I want to spruce up spaces like this toy closet.  This was inspired by the adorable children’s book “The Pout Pout Fish.”

I take a tremulous walk across the right-brained left-brained tightrope every single day.  My older kids, however, seem to be firmly planted at opposite ends of the spectrum.  They are both fantastically creative and wildly clever in their own ways, but their directions seem so clear.

Fighters

Good vs Bad – this is his way (and his drawing)

My son is my eldest, and as is the way of many first born children, is all angles and clean lines.  School is easy.  There is right and there is wrong.  No middle ground.  Thankfully he is incredibly kind-hearted and dreams of helping people when he gets older.  I celebrate his natural tenacity and pray that it remains coupled with a conviction to change the world for the better.  He’s the kind of person that could do it, too.  He is misunderstood so often by kids his own age, and while that hurts my heart beyond words today, I know that this is a necessary part of his journey and that my boy is destined to shine.

Dragon Nursery

This is her drawing of a dragon nursery.  She has created enough dragon drawings to fill the internet.

My older daughter, on the other hand, is a fairy trapped in a human body.  She lives for all things magical, and art is her natural language.  School is much more challenging.  Most of her grades are good, but she has to work hard for them, and it definitely isn’t a labor of love.  Her tests come home laced with doodles and scribbles.  Her notes have dragons zooming between the words.  She doesn’t just enjoy creating things.  It’s who she is.  Last night we finally opened up a pack of modelling clay we have had for months.  She instantly constructed these wonderful funky critters and many more.

Jellyfish

So adorable, right?  So sweet, yes?  NO.  It’s a trick.  This kid will turn on you in an instant.  We have already been suckered in past the point of return.  Save yourselves and don’t fall for it!

And then there’s the tidbit.  It’s too early to tell exactly which way she will lean, but everyone in the family agrees that she will be prominent in the field of world domination.  DON’T TRUST THIS KID.  Her cuteness is the sneakiest facade you will ever see.

They are all so different yet so wonderfully awesome in their own ways.  I am in awe of their authenticity.  I envy the way they are who they are – no apologies, no excuses, no doubts.  I am proud of myself for encouraging them to embrace their natural gifts, but I wish that I could borrow a hint of the certainty they convey.

Even when you are born on the tightrope, finding your footing remains a delicate and tiresome balancing act.  I dream of picking a side and being able to trust that a net will be there to catch me when I do.

***MoJo***

 

Unwanted T-Shirt Advice

tshirt advice

Am I the only person who feels this way?  I’m sure that someone out there is wearing a t-shirt, carrying a cup, and sporting an automobile sticker that will tell me all about it if so.

And ladies, if you are past the point of comfortably wearing mini-skirts, maybe consider returning fabric to those little cutouts on the shoulders.  This isn’t about ageism.  I don’t wear mini-skirts now either.  This is about reality.  Shoulder cutouts are basically 80’s shoulder pads’ dark nemesis, and you and your kids will laugh at those photos soon.  It’s inevitable.  We went from too much shoulder material to no shoulder material at all.  There must be a better way.  (There is!  Just keep the fabric going all the way through the sleeve.)

Also isn’t dabbing over yet?  I thought it was so last year, but our kids are still bugging us with this.  There is a strong possibility that they continue to do it strictly because they sense how much it annoys us.  I also suspect that they are nerds.  Alas they are genetically predisposed to the latter.

Nevertheless if you are into any of the items detailed above, please don’t be sad.  I’m not intending to be unkind.  I believe that I have made it abundantly clear that I am a major proponent of laughing at myself, but I will point that laughter in your direction if you say, wear, or do any of these things in my proximity.  Just a friendly heads up.

With all that said, I’ll love you just as much and possibly even more if you do happen to fall into one or more of these categories.  I live for giggles, and I absolutely adore people who don’t care what someone else thinks and do whatever they want to do.  So own it baby!  That’s all that really matters anyway.   😉

***MoJo***

 

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