Found

I’m stumped. I’ve been up since 5 – first time in a long time for that – and I’ve been trying to figure out what to write. If I posted more than once a week, consistently, I might consider a theme for each post, like my friend at An Earful of Cider, but as yet, I’ve not really been able to stick with one. I’m going to blame that on my INTP-ness. Stop giggling, now, that’s not my fault. Okay, fine, I suppose I could have gone with INTPersonality, but what fun would that be?

I’ve had to resort to looking for prompts from the WordPress and The Daily Post Twitter feeds. I suppose there are worse things. Not having a computer at all, for one, having a computer and no internet for another. Been there, done that, really don’t want to do it again. I went into severe withdrawal. Thankfully, the libraries have computers, and one nearby is usually available. The one in my neighborhood is generally occupied, since having a computer and internet access are low on the priority scale, where the decision between paying the entire utility bill or part of it and groceries isn’t that uncommon. Not everyone, there are some *very* nice areas in my tiny neighborhood. We seem to run the gamut, actually. Go figure. I spent so much time at the library, until a friend gave me an old laptop. It finally crashed for the last time, so again I was traumatized. Another friend gave me an old tablet he didn’t need anymore. That still works perfectly well, which means should the time come to replace it, I will likely buy the same, only larger.

Well that one derailed quickly.

Newport on the Levee
Night, check, home, check!

The prompts didn’t really help. The photo a day one is pretty good, though, from The Daily Post, it’s night, and from WordPress, it’s home. I think I can manage that.

Funny coincidence, I’m on a photo scavenger hunt board. Yesterday’s search was for home as well. We don’t have to use our own photos, but a lot of us do. I just ask people to credit photos that aren’t theirs if at all possible. Not much to ask, is it? The photos I used for that were, well, actually, one was from earlier in the evening from the one here, and the other was just an evening at my father’s house, full of my brothers and sisters, nieces, nephews, and their kids. That part’s a bit surreal to me. Common problem, I suppose, I look at them and I still see their fat little legs propelling them through the house, careening off the forest of adults, furniture, walls, stopping to pick up an interesting bit of string, trying to taste it, someone catching them before they do. And now they have their own little ones, most of whom are also ambulatory. One is even in school! I suppose I just wasn’t ready for that. We had a short period of time where it was mostly adults and older kids, when we would gather and talk and play games. Now we’re back to chasing little people. Really not complaining. At all. I miss the adult times, but I do so love to see the next generation. I’ve probably said that before. Bears repeating. Again.

Finally Home
Downtown from I-75 just after the Cut in the Hill. We know what that means. Great American tower under construction.

Another view of home, this one with the Great American tower still in progress. Nothing more beautiful to a homesick Cincinnatian.
Oh, the title, almost forgot. Stumped, as I mentioned, so I went with the first thing that popped in my head – I was looking through my DVDs while still trying to decide if I was going to get up, and I found Flash Gordon! I replaced it after all. Relief!

I wound up not going to Oktoberfest OR the comic expo last weekend, just sitting at home relaxing. I needed that, apparently. I’ll need it again, too. I’ve managed to book myself almost every weekend between now and November 2nd. Not very good at this introvert thing, am I? I’ll work on that.

Here we are near the end of where I like to be, and I still haven’t found a topic. Perhaps next week will be better. I have a few things on my mind. Gotta go get bloodwork done this morning for my appointment on the 6th, a little more than a week away. Best chance to do it. That’s making me a little anxious. This could mean the difference between putting down a deposit for the choir’s trip to Vienna, or missing it once again. Yeah, kind of at about that point.

Wasn’t that cheerful. One more shot of home. For the road.

Easter Eve_0269a
This, more than any building or point on a map, this is home.

Arr!

Okay, it’s a day off, but yesterday was Talk Like a Pirate day, a high holy day of the Pastafarian religion. They didn’t create it, but pirates are sacred, so it only made sense. I mean really, a season of rebirth and new life and Easter? Natural connection there. I had a little fun with it, but not all that much, because I’d forgotten – as I often do – until the middle of the afternoon. I did get in a couple of nice piratical comments, and I even changed the language on my Facebook page to English (Pirate) for a few hours. That’s really about it, though. For the most part, my day was consumed with work, taking a break from work, discussing work, doing more work, then leaving work and debating whether I would attempt to do laundry that evening or wait until next week some time, since this weekend was out of the question.

Oktoberfest Zinzinnati 2012
The Nikes totally make the outfit. 2012

Oktoberfest weekend; can’t miss that. Oh, and the Cincinnati Comic Expo is this weekend, too, as it has been for at least the last few years. Except last year; last year we had the George Takei Chicken Dance, which resulted in a GIGANTIC crowd, particularly of people who’ve never before graced the streets of Zinzinnati. Billed as the second-largest Oktoberfest in the world – if you want authentic, well, we have those too, but they’re not this one. This one’s just a big party; a really big party with a lot of beer and food – we once hosted the world’s largest Chicken Dance, with an estimated 40-50 thousand participants, if memory serves. That record’s long since been shattered, but that doesn’t matter; the Chicken Dance is a required element of the Oktoberfest – it was originally started in honor of our strong Bavarian heritage, from the surge of immigrants in the 1800s. I’ve seen photos of the area – I can see why they settled here. A little short on majestic, snow-capped peaks, but big on bazillions of river valleys. A bit more to it than that, I’m sure, but the photos I’ve seen look a lot like home to me. Although, we do seem to have more neighborhoods perched on the side of a steep hill that’s not quite a mountain, but just as nasty to drive (I lived in Colorado for ten years – I know what I’m talking about).

Anyway, Bavarian pride, Oktoberfest second largest in world – not in visitors, which tends to be at the 400-500,000 level, but the celebration itself – lots of beer, lots of bratwurst, lots of potato pancakes, mettwurst (similar to smoked sausage or kielbasa), and lots of live music. At least four stages; I can’t remember if there’s more. Some are bigger than others. There, at least, there is a bit of tradition. Want an Oompa band? Got it. And they’re good. We might not be NYC, but we have an awful lot of artistic talent. The Naked Cowboy is from here. And NYC, Boston, DC, London, they keep poaching our conductors!

Couldn’t do laundry on Sunday either because football. Duh!

Eden View_0033a
Canada Goose eyeing me warily

I did finally get out with my camera a couple weeks ago. I may have mentioned that. Then again, I may have been otherwise distracted. I’d taken a half day the day after the book signing I attended. Figured I’d be useless by noon, but I did want to try and accomplish something at work, and going in late, well, no. I wasn’t too far off, either; I left work and I could barely keep my eyes open. But it was a beautiful day. Sunny, not too warm, not too cold, still plenty of green, not even very humid. I hadn’t been out with my camera for fun since July 29th. I’m not counting the few shots I took from my porch, since I didn’t even have to put on a bra for that. Yes, that’s a bigger deal than shoes, fellas.

It took me a while to figure out where I would go. I didn’t want to go too far because, well, I was quite tired – I didn’t get home the night before until almost 1 am – and I’m still having trouble with my feet and knees, although the feet are a bit better. The knee has been trying to go out on me for the last couple of weeks. I’m ready for it! Fine, I’m not, but I figure the whole positive thinking thing might work, right? No? Okay.

I knew I didn’t want to go to Ault Park. There, for me, it’s about the early spring flowers and the people watching. Alms park sounded nice, but it’s small. Mt Echo park also seemed like a good idea, but that was 20 – 25 minutes across town, and it was nearly rush hour when I finally left the house. No. So, I went to Eden Park.

Wasn’t that exciting?

I’m working on getting back into the habit, trying not to let this slide. It’s something I want to do, whether anyone reads or not. It’s for me. Pretty selfish, huh?

Defiantly

Grammar YroueGrammer spelling syntax word choice, these for things can mean the difference between sounding foolish, and getting your point across, it’s important, irregardless of weather your writing to a friend or a president of a company. I’m sure you seen the various punctuation memes like “The Panda eats shoots and leaves” or “I like cooking my family and pets”, or the memes explaining the difference between your and you’re or there, their, and they’re. Some believe it’s the advent of texting or social media that have made grammer worse, sense thats when people really started noticing. Personally, I think wether we started texting regularly or just continued posting online, it would of come to light. It’s a skill our society has been loosing for some time now. There were more then a few interoffice memo’s from people who should have known better, that made my skin crawl, cents long before the internet was a common thing, before even MySpace or Friendster*. There are learning disabilities, of course, and opportunities not provided, but for the overwhelming majority, an understanding of how to use basic grammar is definately something within there capabilities. There is, of course, a difference between abusing the language because you could care less, and abusing it for affect, and typos, well, those happen. I’ve had no choice but to occasionally rant on my social media page. Okay, I have, but in the interest of my own sanity, I went with the rant. I think my friend’s would rather I rant on my page then rampage in the streets. Probably be better for my job prospects, to.‡

I’m not perfect by any means – I’ve had my share of syntax, grammar, and spelling errors, but I do believe it is necessary to have a basic understanding of language. There are probably tons of errors in this post (maybe even ones I missed). It’s not just a matter of how well you present yourself to your friends. Choosing the correct word or using the correct grammar DOES change the meaning of a sentence. Look, you don’t have to know how to spell obsequious (unless you’re a toady in training, of course), or the proper use of a semicolon over a comma, but knowing when to use a period or nothing, when to say loose and when to say lose, or the difference between then and than, well, that’s a matter of someone else being able to understand you.

Last week, I came across a school board’s website where there was a particularly common error, confusing affect and effect. As luck would have it, I had business with the superintendent. I let her know; the page was fixed in a matter of hours. Would I have done that with any page? No, I wouldn’t. This, however, was a school district’s page; it kinda mattered.

In other news, there were stories out of the NFL. There’s the Ray Rice story, about a suspension and eventual banning that happened not because there was a change of heart, but because there was a leaked video (cynical much?), and then there’s Devon Still, who had been cut from the only team he’d every played for, the Cincinnati Bengals, because he wasn’t playing up to snuff.

Except he wasn’t.

See, he had been distracted. His little girl has been dealing with cancer. I think that would distract any parent. So what happened? The Bengals kept him on the practice squad so he wouldn’t lose his insurance. A huge pay cut, but insurance. They began selling his jersey, which, if purchased from the pro shop, will benefit the Cincinnati Children’s and pediatric cancer research. Sales have been brisk. Even Sean Payton, head coach of the New Orleans Saints, bought a couple. Well, 100, anyway. Who Dat!

Oh, and Devon was added to the 53-man roster; bit of a better tax bracket with that one.

I ordered mine on Tuesday. Who Dey!

Who Dey!

_________________________

*Once a social media site, now a gaming site

Grammar, spelling, syntax, word choice, these four things can mean the difference between sounding foolish, and getting your point across. It’s important, regardless† of whether you’re writing to a friend or a president of a company. I’m sure you’ve seen the various punctuation memes like “The Panda eats shoots and leaves” or “I like cooking my family and pets”, or the memes explaining the difference between your and you’re or there, their, and they’re. Some believe it’s the advent of texting or social media that have made grammar worse, since that’s when people really started noticing. Personally, I think whether we started texting regularly or just continued posting online, it would have come to light. It’s a skill our society has been losing for some time now. There were more than a few interoffice memo’s, from people who should have known better,§ that made my skin crawl, since long before the internet was a common thing, before even MySpace or Friendster*. There are learning disabilities, of course, and opportunities not provided, but for the overwhelming majority, an understanding of how to use basic grammar is definitely something within their capabilities. There is, of course, a difference between abusing the language because you couldn’t care less, and abusing it for effect, and typos, well, those happen. I’ve had no choice but to occasionally rant on my social media page. Okay, I have, but in the interest of my own sanity, I went with the rant. I think my friends would rather I rant on my page than rampage in the streets. Probably be better for my job prospects, too.‡

†That one’s a hanging offense

§Alternately: There were more than a few interoffice memos from people who should have known better that made my skin crawl.

Another One

It seems the legends are dropping like flies. They’re not – three weeks isn’t exactly the same day, but it’s awfully close. Joan Rivers passed away after complications from throat surgery. Not plastic surgery; a routine surgery on her throat, something that people consider not to be a big deal. But, surgery is surgery, no matter how routine it is. So, cardiac arrest, medically-induced coma, and finally, her daughter made the heart-wrenching decision to turn off life support.

Much like Robin Williams, I knew of her since I was a kid. Granted, there wasn’t much that she did that was appropriate for kids – not even Spaceballs – but still; being allowed to stay up when she guest-hosted The Tonight Show was a treat. Even when her world crashed around her – late-night show cancelled, Vegas contract ended, widowed by suicide – she didn’t quit. Well, she had a daughter to take care of, she couldn’t. Moms do that. I had no idea what my mom had done to keep a roof over our heads and food in our bellies, keeping our lives as normal as possible, until years later. I didn’t find out from her – she never told me anything. No bad news. Considering the other positions she put me in, it seems a bit contradictory. I don’t know if she thought she was protecting me, or herself. Probably a bit of both. She did try; she really did.

Smokestacks celebrate a run or a K.
Smokestacks celebrate a run or a strikeout (K).

This isn’t about her, though, this is, well, I don’t know what it’s about. I suppose I’m really doing a stream-of-consciousness thing today. The football season started this past Thursday with a Seahawks home win over the Packers. Today, though, it *really* starts, and I am very excited about it. Mom gave me that one, actually; she’s the one who taught me about baseball and football. We never got to go to a football game together – more than we could really afford – but we’d been to a couple baseball games. Including September 12, 1985, the day after Pete Rose had his 4,192nd hit. He wasn’t in the lineup that night, but he did come out to acknowledge the fans, which was very cool. We stood for fifteen minutes for him; I counted. Classy, he’s not, but he’s ours, and we love him. Yes, he belongs in the Hall of Fame. All those asterisks and men who did things far worse than gamble, and they’re still in there. There are some who affected the outcome of games by altering their physiology. They’re not in there; Sosa, McGuire, Palmiero probably won’t make it, but they weren’t banned. Every time the discussion comes up, the overwhelming majority of Cincinnatians say yes, he belongs in there.

We have a few subtle tributes to him at Great American. Those steamboat smokestacks are ringed with bats – seven on each stack, total of 14, Pete’s number. It’s not the only one; the place where 4,192 hit is also marked with a rose garden, a sea of red surrounding  a white rose bush, where that ball hit the ground in the old Riverfront Stadium. We were very happy he was able to do it here instead of Chicago; it was a close thing, but he had to play, he couldn’t not be Charlie Hustle.

Today, though, it’s about football, and I am excited! Choir started this past Thursday too, although I manged to lose an entire week somewhere, so I completely missed our first rehearsal. Our retreat is next Saturday, though, and we have our 2nd rehearsal this Thursday. I do have a few concerns about that lost week – I’ve never missed the first rehearsal or first service of the season, and I didn’t even pay attention to when our retreat actually was. September sort of snuck up on me. There are a few other things that concern me, that may be related. I’d rather not think about that.

All that stress from work is apparently getting to me. Oh well, not much I can do about that. Not if I want to keep paying my bills, and doing things like buying a book – or rather, a voucher for a book – and a place in line for a signature, and a t-shirt. Monday night I will be at Joseph Beth Booksellers in Rookwood, getting the final book in a series signed by the author. It will be my second signed book by her. I only feel a little badly because I haven’t read the last two yet. I suppose that means that, unlike when I got The Deathly Hallows (yes, I was in Barnes & Noble for the midnight release), I can’t get home and make myself comfortable and start reading. I mean, I could, it just wouldn’t make much sense since I hadn’t read the previous book or two. There’s also the fact that I have to go to work on Tuesday. I did take a half day; Get in there in the morning, get something done, then leave before the lack of sleep catches up to me. Much better than going in late when everyone’s been up and raring to go.

Bit scattered, sorry. Having trouble gathering the thoughts all in one place. I haven’t even been out with my camera for fun since the end of July. I need to do something about that. Last time I went that long, I wasn’t in the best place. Things are looking up, though. Oktoberfest and the Comic Expo are coming up, the Renaissance Festival has begun, and I’m going twice – once with my sister, which I’m pretty excited about – and of course, the leaves are changing; perfect time to get back out with my camera. Perfect time to make myself go out.

I hope to have my thoughts better-arranged for you next time. These peeks into my brain are a little scary.

Joan Rivers Visit's "Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo" - March 29, 2011
The world just got a little less funny. Robin Williams from “Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo.”