Tuesday, October 29, 2013

All the Powerful Ladies--Put Your Hands Up!

            Ladies—it’s time! The world is ours (to be in, but not of), the future a stretch of endless possibilities (literally), the barriers of low-self-confidence stripped away. Wait, that last one wasn’t quite as congruent, huh? That’s because that’s my plug today.

                You are beautiful. You are strong. And you are women.

                What is woman? It’s not petticoats—but it’s not business suits either. It’s not aprons, and it’s not name-tags. It’s not heels versus boots, or long locks against pixie-cuts. Woman is you at your finest. Woman is power in the most subtle, discreet, and impacting way.

                That’s not to say women are generally discreet, or should be, for that matter. I’m not, that’s for sure. Except for my chronic-lurking.  Being discreet or not is left up the individual lady, but womanhood is a power that is so subtly in and of itself, we as women don’t seem to appreciate it. And if we don’t, you know the men aren’t. Girls—value yourselves! Understand what you are and how much effect that will leave on the world.

                 Sometimes we women get goofy and demand to wear pants to church, to not wear bras in the 60’s, etc., and forget that we don’t need to be men to be powerful. In fact, I get affronted when people suggest radical feminism to me. What, being a woman isn’t good enough anymore? I have to deny my beauty, deny my curves, deny even my rights to wear skirts (they’re comfy, guys), because that means I am suddenly less powerful?

                 I have to be a man now? No thank you.

They smell. And I enjoy smelling nice, thank you very mas.

                The point is, girls, being a woman is powerful. Being a homemaker is powerful, wearing aprons is powerful, baking is powerful. So is going out to work, wearing suits (I’m a sucker for a nice pencil skirt, myself), and buying TV dinners—okay, maybe not the last one. I’m not sure I’ve known anyone who actually enjoys those. I think everyone craves a home-cooked meal, whether or not it was made by mom.

                Ladies, young adults, girls! Wake up! You don’t need to put yourself in a box. That’s what true, original feminism was supposed to be about. You don’t need to be the homemaker if that’s not what you want to do. But you can be a homemaker if that is what you want to do, and don’t let anyone disrespect it. Some women like being the bread winner, others don’t. I’d venture to say most don’t, generally, since that usually means your man is a wuss, but maybe that’s just me.

                I like aprons! With frills and patterns and everything!

                I like being maternal, thinking about how I’ll decorate my home one day, and letting men open doors for me. Yet, if you asked, my friends would definitely say I was more on the feminism side of the female spectrum. Why? Because true womanhood is self-respect. A woman who respects herself understands that she is a woman, not a man, and can still go about doing things men might do. Or not, as she chooses. I want to get married. I want to cherish my husband and bake cookies for him. I also expect him to cherish me, and fix my computer or car for me. I want to stay at home with my kids. And before that, I want to be a teacher—during, I want to be a writer. He can be what he wants, as long as he takes care of us. We is we, I am me, and He will be him.

                My favorite, and admittedly fictional, example of this is Captain Janewey from Star Trek Voyager. She is the commander of a starship, an irrefutable source of authority, and one of the most fantastic leaders on television. Yet, she can be extremely soft, and, no matter what, she is always feminine. She’s a woman, guys. She didn’t turn herself into a man to be a Captain! She didn’t forsake her nightdresses or long, beautiful hair. Janeway is a woman with self-respect.

                Self-respect is today’s mantra, guys. You thought it was feminism? Nope. Self-respect, and an equal respect for others, is what makes the world go round.

                Okay, actually, the world goes ‘round because of some laws of space and gravity and the sun or something, but you know what I mean.

Okay, never mind. Just repeat after me:


Thursday, October 24, 2013

Agent 00Comma: “If I don’t tell you, then I might have to kill you . . . for irritating me.”


Below is a list of grammatical un-pleasantries which, upon hearing, can send even the most resilient Grammar Agent into a rabid editing streak. This list should not be read by small children, people with heart problems, or the Super Dialect Intolerant. If your hand begins to itch for a red pen while reading the list below, please separate yourself from this blog immediately and contact a physician or your local poison control. 

                ***I am Agent 00Comma, and my pencil-stache approves this message.

To begin:
               1) “I don’t care to,” means you do not care for, or desire to do, whatever it is I just suggested to you. It doesn’t mean you don’t mind. You’re not saying you want to help me, you’re telling me you don’t want to help me. Jerk.

                2) Yu’uns. This is not a word. You is both multiple and singular. I am not a yu’un, I am a “you.” What species is a yu’un?

A wild Yu'un with a pencil-stache appeared! Do you fight? Or run away? 

                3) Tortilla is not pronounced TOR-TILL-A. It’s pronounced TORR-TI-YAH. Respect the Spanish, bro.

                4) Quesadilla is not pronounced QWUES-EH-DILL-A. It’s CE-SE-DIY-A. Respect the Spanish, bro.

                5) “Totes,” are bags. Not adverbs. Ever.

                6) “Amaze-balls” is a contraction between amazing and balls. Two words that should not be contracted together for any reason. Except in playpens at Chuckie Cheeses. Those are some amazing balls.

              7) “Do you mind if I play with you guys?”
                 “Yeah, sure.”
                 Never say yes to a “do you mind” question because you are telling them yes, you do mind

                  And that’s mean, bro.

What are some of your grammar pet-peeves? Or just pets, if that's how you roll. 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Junior Mints and Bigger Hips

                I like to eat my feelings. I admit it. On the other hand, I like to eat in general, so maybe I just like the excuse to eat some more.

                Ugh, I shouldn’t eat so much! I’ve already accepted the fact that I’m never going to be slim, tall, or any socially appropriate form of beauty. I’m a 4’ 10” half-Mexican, half-British combo meal of a small and curvy composition. Surprisingly enough, I’ve come to like it. Everything from my strong, British nose to my short, wide (or luscious, as I like to call them) thighs. I even like my boobs. I’ve considered naming them, like my best friends has to her own (Bonnie and Clyde—great gals, really), but I never remember names so I just gave up on that.

                My problem isn’t hating my curves or my wide build. Not even my stumpy height. It’s that I want to be fit.

                I want to eat well. Not just “not eating pure death.” I don’t survive on reheated pizzas through college like some, but I want to become a master of taking care of my body. It’s probably no secret by now that I have a thing for progression, and perfecting myself. I’m not very good at it, but I plan on changing that about myself too—EVENTUALLY!

                I have a guy friend named Bra—uh, we’ll call him B here. B is always screaming “Eventually!” I’m pretty sure it’s a reference to something, since everything that comes out of his mouth is. I thought I was a monsto-nerd until I met him. Then I realized I only knew half of the underbelly of the internet. He knows 150% of it. Does anyone get that reference? It’s involves striking a dramatic pose and screaming “Eventually” in a rather heroic voice. Someone. Help me.

                Anyway. I want some Oreos, and a Hershey’s chocolate bar, and a box of Junior Mints. Actually, I might even settle for the Junior Mints. In fact, yes, I would. I’m pretty sure I’d marry Junior Mints if it was legal to do so...

...and also legal to eat your spouse. 

If anyone wanted to kidnap me and sell me on the black market in Amsterdam, basically all they’d need would be a big box of Junior Mints and a net. I might not even struggle.

             Guys, what do I do? Poor people used to eat healthy because healthy food was all they could afford. I’m a college student in the U.S.’s Days of Obesity—which means that cheap food equals trash food. I don’t like spending money. I don’t like surviving on Kraft Macaroni (hate that stuff—if you’re planning on kidnapping me, don’t use that as your lure. I’ll run the other way). So what do I do? How do I save money and nourish my poor, 4’ 10” halfie body?

                I don’t like the answer, but I can practically hear my mother whispering it in my ear. “Victory Garden.”    

              Unfortunately, the closest thing I have to a victory garden is this:

Anyone else have an idea? Any super-special eating well advice out there for a lonely college girl?

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Agent 00Comma


  It occurs to me that English is possibly the devil of all languages. Yet, I am deeply, horribly, wonderfully in love with it. Does that make me a demon?

                I work as a writing tutor at my college. If you ignore the sounds of wailing and gnashing of teeth in the background, it’s a really fun place. There are nerds galore and people who actually know who Steinbeck and Khaled Hosseini are. One girl, who will remain nameless (Ester), even hosts Lord of the Ring parties. Needless to say, I’m among my people.

                In this place full of literature, MLA formatting, and wonder, I enjoy my life and my job and helping people improve their writing. Most people come out of our sessions happier than they came in, with that I’m-going-to-die expression wiped cleanly off their little college faces. Most of the time, people are grateful for my help. Most of the time, people are glad to hear my words of wisdom, for teaching them how to fix their writing issues.

                Sometimes, they aren't.

                Sometimes, they think I’m an editor, or a machine, because I’m an English Major. Sure, I have Super Comma Mistake Vision, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to go through and mark up every mistake you make. And no, before you try to point it out, that’s not my job. I’m not an Editing Tutor. I’m a Writing Tutor. I help you write better. As in, I’m not going to do the work for you.

                What’s that? You don’t want to revise your thesis because the paper is due in two hours?

                Then you should have come in earlier.

                You think your writing is perfect and you don’t see the need for an organization revision?

                Then why did your professor send you here?

                I’ll tell you why. Your content has problems. It’s not the commas—though they’re not flawless, to be sure (no one’s are)—it’s that you don’t give a crap about what you’re writing, and I can tell. I’m a Word Choice master. I’m picking up on the “screw you Professor What’s-your-name” context clues.

                Now, let’s try imbuing those context clues in the paper with a more positive message.  
                This is a call to respect Tutors, Teachers, and Professors everywhere! If I told you all the annoying stories I’ve collected in working with/teaching other students, I’d have you crying, laughing, and feeling guilty.

Hmm. Now there’s a thought.

                Agent 00Comma—Tales from the Grammar Front lines—on Thursdays, anyone? 


Wednesday, October 16, 2013



 People used to joke that I was born forty-five, but now that I’m actually attempting to get into the “social media” my little sister is already fluent in, I’m pretty sure I’m actually sixty-five.

                I am not internet-retarded, I promise. I’m pretty sure my computer is permanently fused with my body, actually, because I don’t remember being without it. Really, I can’t remember now. Crap—are we fused at the memory part of the brain? What is that part, the hypothalamus? That’s actually the only part of the brain I can think of offhand because it sounds like “hippo,” so probably not.

                I digress. Like a sixty-five-year-old grandma.

                So what’s the first thing I did when I set out to make myself a social media platform (platform? Stage? Performing monkey show? Idk, guys)? Make a lot of stupid, desperate blogs that did everything but type out “love me, like me, read about me” in all caps. Now, after some supercaligrajulisticexpialidocious research, I’m attempting the same thing, only this time with a lot more theoretical knowledge, and a lot less desperation. Kind of.

                Why did I originally resist the wave of social media that should have instantly adopted me as one of its own? Well, besides being born sixty-five, I suffer from what I like to call chronic-lurking. Even in high school, I was a lurker, except with a less creepy connotation. Probably. Though there was that one time, with the peanut butter and someone’s foot…

                Anyway, I like to sit on the sidelines, observing, considering, biding my time, before I pounce on what I want (to all future boyfriends, you have been warned). I did it in high school, I did it in college, and now I’m doing it on the internet.

                Or, if I want to blatantly honest like everyone is on the internet (snerk), it could be more accurately chalked up to this: if my pride was a Pokémon, my HP would be in the red every time I tried to convince people to read my stuff.

                Blogging is dangerous. Almost as dangerous as those guys who keep spinning like psychos on the path to the next Pokémon gym. They always make me break out in a cold sweat.

                Anyway, I’m ready to take this internet-world by storm—or by accident, whichever way it works. I’ve just decided not to care too much. If you guys decide to stick around for my quirks, stories, life-blurbs, and terrible Nintendo and fandom references, feel free. If not, eh, hasta la vista. See you later. Have a good life; especially if you actually are sixty-five! You’ve earned it, pal.

                 But you know, now that I think about it, when I’m actually in my “Sixties,” I’m going to make people say I’m in my “Sexies.” Future children, prepare yourselves.