Wednesday, October 28, 2009

AI Update: From the Sublime to the Ridiculous

Re: Cover artwork revealed for upcoming debut albums from American Idol 8's top 2 (The first on 17 November, the second a week later). A study in contrast.

Dear Kris Allen,

Well done. Simply self-titled, this is artistic, classy and dramatic with just the right amount of edge, and even displays the fact that you're a married man.

Dear Adam Lambert,

What is wrong with you?? I said months ago that you're a drag show waiting to happen, and here is the fulfillment of that prophecy. I don't care if it's "deliberately campy," there is a line as far as taste is concerned and you have crossed it.

It's times like this I'm so glad America sometimes votes right.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Snow falls from the 'bove.

Welcome, winter. I've missed you.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Visit this Blog

I guess I've never really promoted this formally, so it's about time.

The Standard of Liberty foundation now has a blog up and running. There are ever-current and up-to-date posts about the pervading social issues and subtle (and not so subtle) dangers posed against our families and children. I invite and encourage you to visit often, leave comments, and educate yourselves against the agendas threatening your freedoms and morals.
Find the blog here (

Friday, October 16, 2009

Recent Hankering Unsatisfied

For the last few weeks I have had this insane and profound desire to go back to Disneyland (which Julie shares). I don't know if it's because we honeymooned there two months ago or if it's just been "too long" since we were there or if it was crowded last time we went or whatever, I've just had a crazy hankering that's sometimes only made worse by listening to Disneyland music or podcasts (but I still listen to them anyway). In the last two weeks there have been two radio contests giving away passes, and though Julie and I tried faithfully both on KOSY and The End, we were utterly unsuccessful. No one wanted those passes more than we did, and I'm pretty sure no one tried as hard as we did, and with three tries a day for two weeks, I was sure we would get some of the 101.9 ones, but it wasn't meant to be. (The contest was that they would play a clip from a Disney villain and the caller identifying the character would win four two-day park hoppers. The results were at times shoddy, giving the prizes to people who guessed incorrectly or partly correctly--I'm pretty sure it's not Jafar who sings "Hellfire" from The Hunchback of Notre Dame, LaFleur is not the same as LeFou, some villains were repeated, some were ignored, and sidekicks and live-action villains are cheap shots. Get it together, man.) We're now quite certain that it's entirely a matter of luck as to whose call gets through, though we came close once or twice, after getting our system down. (Online streaming has a delay of over a minute, by the way. Not knowing this cost us dearly.) If I disliked the radio at all before, I have a definite beef with it now.

Anyway, I guess the hankering will just have to subside if I want to maintain my sanity. On the plus side, I guess that I don't have to sit by the radio at 9:00, 12 noon and 4:00 every weekday and redial fifty-plus times in futile attempt to get through. Very small plus side, but still. Elise drew this at work to illustrate my excitement as the Disneyland contests began.

I mean, doesn't it seem unfair to anyone else that I've still never seen the Haunted Mansion Holiday? Or the new overlay of Space Mountain? Or the new fireworks show hosted by Jack Skellington and featuring Zero flying over Sleeping Beauty Castle?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A Tale of Rings and a Healing Finger: An Anniversary Blogpost

I don't even know if this is blogworthy story, but I'm due for an update, so here goes.

Two months ago today I was married to my lovely wife. We had previously carefully picked out our wedding bands and even had them engraved , and the very nice salesman at the shop insisted that we get mine a half-size smaller than we had decided, since my finger would surely shrink in the winter months. I learned quickly, however, that we should have gone with the half-size bigger (you wouldn't really think a half a size makes that much difference, but oh how it does). My finger was rapidly swelling and at times the ring wouldn't even fit on or off of it without much pain and extreme difficulty. I was pretty sure your wedding band shouldn't put your finger in a state of perpetual throbbing and pain, but I thought it might just be the California humidity or getting used to a new ring or something. After a while I just quit trying to remove it altogether, which very quickly started to cause a band of raw, white, pinched skin at the base of my ring finger. The ring store and online research suggested I give it a couple months, since winter was coming, but I decided in the end that I would rather have it be a little loose for half the year than unbearably tight for the opposite half. Luckily the ring shop provides care for the life of the ring, and while Tungsten, evidently the hardest of all metals, cannot be resized (which is a shame, because Julie and I are both a little sentimental about these sorts of things and I wanted to keep hold of my original wedding band), they were willing to replace it (and they had better, since it was their idea to get a ring that was too small for my finger), and I quite insisted they foot any bill for the engraving too (even though we didn't originally have it engraved at that location...). They were nice enough to provide this little loaner in the interim so I looked like a married man still:

I'll spare you all the details of the following two days weeks that it took to provide my replacement, and suffice it to say that I called once, sometimes twice every day as suggested, only to find that it had been engraved crooked at least three times, and then the $100,000 machine was broken and needed to be fixed, and then when it finally arrived, believe it or not, they had misspelled the engraving. I mean... isn't that something you double- and triple-check the spelling for? Several days later, a ten-minute job was finally finished and I am now wearing the wedding band we picked out, but in the size that was meant for my finger. I'm a happy man, and my finger is healing nicely.

Happy anniversary, baby! Kuv hlub koj!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

A Message to the Technology Generation

This post has been a long time coming. The idea started last fall when I used to run every day past a certain Mexican fast food restaurant that proudly displayed window decals detailing their latest marketing campaign: "WHY PAY MORE!" Isn't this a question?... Can't you get the point of urgency and excitement across with color, style and font, and still manage to punctuate properly?...

Also, not long ago, a friend told me to stop using big words (like "intuitive"?...) because, as he said, "it makes u sound dumb"... Seriously? I'm the one who sounds dumb?...

So, maybe it's because we as a generation communicate much more online than we used to, but I have noticed a worrying trend in overall literacy. As many of you know, I'm the worst kind of grammar snob, and have at times appointed myself the local (and/or facebook) grammar police. I'm positive this is rather maddening to almost everyone (except those like me who are anal about this and appreciate being informed that they made an embarrassing mistake before many more notice), but sometimes I just can't help myself. (Some may cite this as inconsistency of style, considering my appreciation for abbreviations or, as I like to call them, abbreves, some favorites of which are "OMG," "WTH," and "tradish," etc., but there is a time and place for these, and I think their use is appropriate as long as they are used knowingly and purposely.) I'm not exactly sure when or how this trait developed, but I think it gets more pronounced as time goes by.* My constant notice of this is especially frustrating as my grammar senses have become heightened working in a publishing company. When I design and proof-read ads, I am mortified when I see sloppy errors finding their way to print. Do you know how many people these things have to get past before they're approved?? Are we just that uneducated about punctuation, grammar, capitalization and basic sentence structure? My high school English teacher would have their heads, that's for sure. It's especially infuriating when it comes from an otherwise professional establishment. Here are a few of the more vexing trends I've noticed lately.
  • Missing or misplaced apostrophes: Okay, everyone, listen up. Contractions are words that are mashed together, such as "can't" (cannot), "don't" (do not), "shouldn't" (should not), "it's" (it is), "I'm" (I am), "you're" (you are) and "we're" (we are) and in these, an apostrophe is necessary, and indicates omission of letters. This is especially important when omitting letters makes the word mean something entirely different (such as the difference between "we're" and "were"). Apostrophes also indicate possession, such as "Drew's blog" or "the internet generation's illiteracy." (Exceptions include "hers," "his" or "its.") For the record, pluralizing a word NEVER EVER EVER requires an apostrophe. Ever.
  • Substituting numbers or letters for a full word: The worst thing about this juvenile practice is that you're usually saving yourself the trouble of typing one or two whole additional letters. Are we really that lazy? Can we really not bother to type "your" instead of "ur"? Or "to" instead of "2"? Or "you" instead of "u"? Or "for" instead of "4"? Or "why" instead of "y"?? It just makes you look like a ten-year-old. Then again, I wonder if I would prefer to see "Ur awesome" rather than "Your awesome"... You can see the dilemma. Maybe this kind of practice was acceptable in days of telegrams and such, when brevity was key. Now it's just careless.
  • Writing excessively in all caps: I admit there is a time and place for going all caps lock on everyone (see two points above), but those times are few and far between.
  • Mixing up homonyms: This doesn't happen quite as often as some others, but includes writing "too" instead of "to" (or vice versa), or "then" instead of "than," "loose" instead of "lose" or any mixture of "they're," "there" and "their," etc.
  • Misspelling words: Enough said. This one is more common, though, and probably more understandable. Some words are harder to spell, and don't come intuitively.
  • Misused punctuation: Commas, question marks and exclamation points are all very handy, and each has a very specific purpose.
  • I instead of me: "My girlfriend and me went to this new restaurant," or "Email Julie or I for more information." This is irritating to no end. I think a lot of times people think using "I" is always correct, and they think they sound intelligent, but it's not always the case. There's a very simple way to determine when which term should be used. Just remove the other party and see how you would say the sentence. Take the above examples. Would anyone say "Me went to this new restaurant" or "Email I for more information?" No way! The opposite, however, is entirely correct.
  • The spilling of all of the above into real life situations: I read a sign at the gym that informed us all that the Pilates class had been changed, and now takes place "Friday's at 8:00." I see some grapes at the store that were .99¢/lb. (That's less than one cent! What a bargain!) I spy a marquee for a store that stated their product was "4 SALE!" I receive a note from a friend that said, "Your so funny!" (My what is so funny?) I proofread a paper that said, "This is definitely a better option then the other one." I receive an order at work that read, "This is her photo, plz use our's." Someone writes me an email and says, "I was so glad to receive you're email, I just knew I had to respond to your's right away!" Look around, you'll see infractions, major and minor, all over.
And yes, I believe this applies even to casual internet conversation, online chat and text messages. I know people are often writing quickly or casually, but it takes just as long (if not shorter) to try to write things properly most of the time. It might require a tad more brainwork, but who couldn't stand to fire a few more neurons than usual? If anyone notices a typo in anything I write, I guarantee it is unintentional, and by all means, feel free to point it out to me. Am I being unreasonable? Do I expect too much? Some might think so, but I disagree. There's just no excuse for an adult in these days of mass produced literature and continuous communication to lack in these very basic skills. I do admit a tiny bit more ignorance in this department would make my life a little more relaxing, but it would also make it a lot less interesting.

This passion could go all the way back to when I used to participate in grade school spelling bees. But now, what have we become?? Curse you, Spell Check and Grammatik! And curse you further, MySpace, Twitter and facebook! You have made us lazy and ambivalent!

P.S. It also bugs me when people write with alternating upper case and lower case letters ("OmG, tHiS bLoG iS sOoOoO cUtE!"). But that's not really a grammar thing. Just sayin'.

* Looking back, my dad was always correcting our grammar growing up, and my mom was a very thorough proofreader of school papers, and also I, like most of us, possess a certain inclination to at least some OCD tendencies. So probably all three of these factors contributed to this part of my person.