Friday, February 15, 2008

The Edinator

Alright children, it's time for some quick and dirty tips for using more correct grammar, usage, and spelling. Pick up even one of these good habits, and what you write/say will become more polished!

Rule #1: "punctuation," in other words, punctuation ALWAYS belongs inside the quotation marks with the exception of the use of parentheses (case in point).

Rule #2: the word "OK" is only acceptable in three forms, including "OK," "O.K.," and "okay".

Rule #3: don't capitalize the first letter after a colon, this is an archaic and incorrect habit.

Rule #4: watch out for tricky words.
I work in the capitol building, and the money I make can be called capital.
The principle actor in the play was the principal of the school.
I have a compliment for you, your shoes complement your dress.
The nauseous sight of blood made me feel nauseated.
I have to drive farther to work, but I feel it will further my career.
*physical versus metaphorical
A lot of people think "a lot" is one word a lot of the time.

Rule #5: it's = a conjunction for "it is"
its = indicates possession
Its problem is that it's wrong.

Rule #6: "anyways" is NOT a word! ALWAYS use "anyway."

Rule #7: ever have trouble remembering whether the superlative of a word is simply adding an "-er" or an "-est?" Or if you should use "more" or "most?" General rule, if the word only has one syllable, you can usually simply add "-er" or "-est" as a suffix (note: there are a lot of exceptions to this but overall, this has served me well).

Please always feel free to correct any editing mistakes I might make.

Anyway, I just thought I'd share my personal quick and dirty tips, but if you want to hear some from a true grammar queen, visit

Thursday, February 14, 2008

What's in a name?

I had a wonderful Valentine's Day. I received a package from my parents at work containing a GPS navigation system, a Garmin, and I was overwhelmed by their generosity. If I wasn't the happiest girl in San Diego, I was certainly the most spoiled! The sick feeling I've repeatedly fought back down as I've ventured into six-lane traffic while simultaneously trying to read a map quest print out and keep the sun out of my eyes resulted in less-than-safe driving and I am so grateful for this gift.
I visited "World Market" after a good day at work, bought a bottle of Riesling called "Polka Dot" (I'd been eyeing it for a while, today it happened to be on sale!), went home and wriggled out of my work clothes and put on a French film, "Avenue Montaigne." Actually, I don't recommend it, but it served its purpose. I enjoyed tearing open some mail from friends and family, Heather and Alison, thank you so much for thinking of me. Your cards were wonderfully encouraging!
I'm concluding my day now by listening to my favorite mix CD from Heather and writing this note.
Despite a really blessed day, I'm beginning to feel some of the symptoms of heart sickness loved ones gently warned me about as I prepared to leave home; gently enough that I wouldn't be too scared to go or sleep, numerous enough that I was mentally prepared.
I have everything one would need to be content and I can literally list the things I "want" on one hand: patio furniture, a piano, an ankle that doesn't hurt anymore, and a friend. Four, not bad. Despite this, I can feel satan working so hard to draw out the joy in my life leaving a hollow space in my head where thoughts of greed, self-pity, bitterness, and malcontent echo off its walls. For some reason I'm finding it difficult to keep that space filled for very long, people far away are working overtime to do their part, God walks beside me constantly comforting me with his blessings -- quick fixes, no matter how worthy, are not the remedy. What I need is not something I can work hard for, not something I can strive to be good enough for, it is something that requires me to do the thing I'm very worst at; trust God. I must metaphorically unclench the fists I so bravely made and go before God palms up. I have to show Him, more for my sake than His (He already knows), that I have nothing to offer and I come broken and sad to be a daughter so unworthy. I can't tell you what the immediate benefits of this are because healing, at least for me, doesn't work like a shot in the arm, but more like a balm that is soothed on and goes to work with time.
Today, I went to the pharmacy to pick up a prescription (face meds) and the woman behind the counter asked for my insurance card and said "I thought you might've stopped by yesterday, Mary." Initially annoyed by the subtle reprimand, I paused, hand hanging in midair as I extended the card toward her, and looked at her. "What did you say?", I asked. She repeated herself and I heard her say my name again without having glanced at my card or white Rx sack yet. I said "okay" and finished the transaction and wished her a happy Valentine's day. I felt better as I walked away, she is the first person to remember who I am outside of the office. It sounds ridiculous, but what had been "sweet anonymity" had begun to make me feel quite invisible in this place whenever I wasn't at work. I'm anonymous no longer, one person down, an entire city full of people left to go, a season of growing stretches before me. I feel more and more ready.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

How am I? How I am.

After a dreary weekend of rain, disappointing company and poorly prepared calamari (tasted like fried rubberbands), I am resolved to be better. I had said before that loneliness is a state of mind and not a state of being. This weekend it seems I had a lapse in memory. However, my old boss from Lincoln, NE came into the office a couple of days ago (the San Diego office, that is) and left today after a grueling 48 hours of meetings. On his way out, he asked me how I was doing in my new position in life. I thought it was an odd sort of way to put it, but I did a split second analysis and responded "I'm doing great. I love it here.", and I was a little shocked to hear myself saying it. But as he smiled, gave me my first hug in weeks, and walked away, rolling suitcase following behind, I realized that only a small part of me wanted to follow him back to Lincoln. I wasn't ready to leave. I'm not ready to leave. I won't be ready to leave here for quite some time. And guess what? I don't have to.
Between finishing my first book since October, letting my nails grow long, watching movies I didn't have time or money to see in the theaters and feeling the exhilaration of being somewhere new every single morning as I drive to work -- I knew that this place is good for me. I wouldn't go so far as to say it's good for my soul, but I'd go farther than saying it is good for my spirit. This place is good for my spirit.

P.S. So no one sues the pants off me, this photo is courtesy of Getty images