Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Punctuation Lesson

A few days ago, my friend Sara was over, and she and I were bemoaning the fact that people don't know how to properly use an apostrophe.  And by bemoaning, I mean making fun of people.  Sara runs a wicked-spectacular Etsy card shop (you can find it here - you're welcome) wherein she designs cards that people can purchase to suit their own special occasions.  Anyway, people will send her what they want their card to read.  And, oh the stories she has.  Our conversation was limited to improper usage of apostrophes, so this post will be limited specifically to that.  Now, friends this is a huge pet peeve of mine.  Almost as big as when people say 'I seen it."  What?!  WHAT?!  Or when people say 'acrossTTTT".  What?!  Please show me where the 't' is in across.  It's not there, people. 

(Breathe in...breathe out)

I digress.

So, I'm going to give you a few examples of incorrect apostrophe usage followed by the correct way.  Does this seem pedantic?  You bet it does.  And you're welcome.

Merry Christmas! Love, The Parker's

There are two reasons this is wrong: 1.) There's probably more than one Parker, which means you should put the apostrophe after the s and 2.) You are not showing ownership.  Perhaps if you were to write Love, The Parkers' dog, you would be correct

Merry Christmas! Love, The Parkers


Merry Christmas!  Love, The Parker Family

I love the 80's.

Nope. You love the 80s.


You love the eighties.

I just bought a 92 Chrysler LeBaron.  It was Jon Voights' car.

I just bought a '92 Chrysler LeBaron.  It was Jon Voight's car.  

(Bonus points if you can name the tv show I got this from ... or from which I got this.)

I received all A's on my report card.

Except in English...

I received all As on my report cards.  Does it look like a bad word...yes.  But plural nouns do not need an apostrophe (like houses, boxes).

**The only, ONLY time you would need an apostrophe between a letter or number and s is if the meaning is unclear...use SPARINGLY.

I have three 5's in my cell number.

I have three 5s in my cell number.

(**See note above)

I just gave my two week's notice.

I just gave my two weeks' notice.

 Okay, just a small lesson, but a needed one.  Now go out there and punctuate correctly. 

Friday, November 26, 2010

Black (Like Your Soul) Friday

I woke up at 4:30 a.m. today.

I drove to Target.

I put items in my cart that seemed like a great deal, but will (let's be honest) still be there at 10:00 a.m.

I got in an argument with a lady in line at Target (that's when I really think I showed people Christ).

I went out in public with my sleepy/4 hours of sleep face (it's the exact same as my "I just got punched in the face with poison ivy" face).

I had a completely insanely fun time with my sister.  I've never laughed that much at 6:30 in the morning.


And to top it all off, I came home, gave Eli a bath and he pooped in the tub.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Sorry Mr. Chapin, No Cat's in the Cradle in This House: Eli 21 Months

I'd like to begin this post by saying you're my favorite person and showing the following picture:

What is it, you ask? It's your breakfast.  And although it looks like vomit, it is actually oatmeal.  The telling thing(s) in this picture are (is) the four spoons and one fork.  This picture so perfectly captures  you over the past month.  You insisted that you have four spoons (or spoooooo -- spoon in Eli) and a fork to eat this meal.  You like things done your way, and if they are not done your way in 5 seconds you will cause the earth to collapse in on itself with a single bloodcurdling scream.

You are strong willed, kid.  When I was in labor with you, you turned at the last minute.  The doctor kept trying to turn you the right way, but you were insistent on staying sideways.  I remember hearing the doctor say, "we got a stubborn one here."  And as I was cursing Eve, I thought "awesome."  When you don't get your way, you throw the nearest thing you can grab and look me in the eye and scream.  Not a long scream.  A short, Mariah-Carey-circa-Emotions-album scream.  It's your equivalent to stomping your foot.  This past week you were sick with a cold as well as suffering from two-year molar pain.  My friend, it was like living with Aretha Franklin after a particularly infuriating VH1's Divas special.  You were angry with life.
 (yes, yes you are eating marshmallows straight from the bag...after crying for 20 minutes straight...I went with it.)

I don't want you to think life with you this past month has reduced me to an unhappy, Xanax dependent mom.  I love every minute with you.  You're just catching me at the end of a week where, at one point, we were both crying because we didn't know what you wanted.  Actually, you're quite the little charmer.  I was talking with a friend the other day telling her how more people on campus know you than me.  You love to play out in the lounge area of our building and greet people as they walk in.  You're like the host at a restaurant.  Guys will walk in and give you high fives and fist bumps; it's completely melt-your-heart adorable.  I feel like a majority of the guys in our building would step in front of a bus for you.

In other awesome news, you have started asking to go potty.  Now, I'm the kind of person who puts off challenging tasks until the last minute.  So, honestly I was expecting to give you a crash course in potty training prior to your first date.  But, one day you pointed to the toilet and said "tinka" (Eli for tinkle").  I put you on it, and you went "tinka." I.was.amazed. And then you did it again and another time.  It's not a consistent thing and you haven't dropped a deuce yet, but yowza, kid, you are incredible.  You amaze me every day with things you do or say.

Also, you're the funniest kid I know...funnier than Rudy Huxtable (the early years...don't get me started on Rudy during the desperate Olivia episodes).  In about ten years, what I'm about to write will have you requesting change of name forms and a PPO against me, but you, my friend, have inherited your mother's gastrointestinal tendencies.  Which is a fancy way of saying you fart and burp a lot.  Now before any of my readers start suggesting vegan, non-dairy diet plans, relax.  The Ricks and the Parkers are gassy people, so it only makes sense that my child would also be a gassy person.  The great thing about it, is that you think it's hilarious when you fart or burp.  I've even caught you lifting a butt cheek to get full push.  You will say 'xcuse you' (which is what we say to you when you do it) and give the nearest person a high five.  It.is.AWEsome.  If you're gonna survive in this family, you have to think gas is funny.

Speaking of funny people, you have become the president of your father's fan club this past month.  Now, I'm going to admit something that will earn me top billing as the most horrible person on this planet next to Rosie O'Donnell, but this was hard for me.  Up until a couple months ago, you were the president of my fan club.  I was your go-to-gal.  Now, though, it's your papa.  I was walking behind you and your dad (walking hand in hand) at Target the other night and thought, "Wow, what am I being a dork for?  I am so blessed to be married to a man who is an amazing father."  Your father loves you more than anything, more than the Detroit Tigers or Oreos.  You're his little man, and I am brought to tears when I think about how blessed you are to have such an amazing role model.  I worry about you and the world you're growing up in (a world where dangling prepositions run rampant).  But I feel a peace knowing that you have a Godly father who will help you become an equally amazing man of God.  I love that my favorites are each other's favorites.

Despite our differences these past couple months, you're still one of my favorite people to be around.  I hope you never doubt my unconditional love for you.  There is nothing you could do that would make me love you any less.  Not even if you voted democrat.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Fifteen Authors

I was tagged in a note on Facebook by my brother in which I was challenged to name fifteen authors (poets included)  who've influenced me and that will always stick with me.  I'm supposed to identify fifteen authors in fifteen minutes. 

Challenge extended....challenge accepted.

The Holy Spirit

C.S. Lewis
Dorothy Sayers
Harper Lee
Jane Austen
John Donne
J.R.R. Tolkien
Mark Twain (that's right, Julia)
Beverly Cleary
John Steinbeck
Charles Dickens
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
William Shakespeare
Frank McCourt
Jim Fay

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Laughter is the Best Medicine

Eli is just starting to laugh at things he sees on t.v. In this video he's laughing at Murray from Sesame Street demonstrating "half" by ripping a chair in half. He's laughing so hard he gets the hiccups. I would compare his laugh...ummm...to an angels' chorus.

Eli and Sesame Street from Jeanette Parker on Vimeo.

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Parkers

Ben: Go like this...you have something on your chin.

Me: Did I get it?

Ben: No, it looks like spaghetti sauce or something.

Me: It's a zit.

Ben: Oh.

(I must post script this by saying that I have been emphatic with Ben about telling me when I have something on my face or chin.  This, however, was not easily removed...even the lapse of puberty has not worked).

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Guest Starring Matt Lauer

Last night played host to the weirdest dreams I can recall in a while.  I can't think of anything weird I ate or any illicit drugs I consumed to beget such random, Inception style dreams.  I wrote down the weirdest one out of the bunch just because it was so funny at star-studded.  That's right, I wrote it down.  To share with you.  So here is my warped dream:

I was interning at News 10 (you know, home of Darrin ROCK-c.o.l.e.), and I was working with the production team.  During a newscast, I was standing next to the cameraman when he suddenly fainted.  David Andrews told me to get my act in gear and run the camera.  Not wanting to disappoint such an acclaimed newscaster, I quickly got behind the camera...except it was too heavy and so it kept dropping down or going off to the side.  All of the sudden Matt Lauer was reporting alongside David Andrews, as was Rachel McAdams.  They were all yelling at me to follow them with the camera because A.C. Slater was saving someone from the ocean outside the studio (not Mario Lopez, A.C. Slater).  I was running, but I couldn't keep up because the camera was too heavy.  We got outside (at the beach) just as A.C. and Kelly Kapowski were running into the waves.  But then we were all talking outside of the studio (no more Saved By the Bell cameos).  Matt Lauer was trying to give me a pep talk about working with the camera and that tomorrow would be better.  Then, Sue Sylvester (the producer of News 10) came out to yell at me for screwing up the news.

The end. 

Saturday, November 6, 2010

First Master's Class: Done

I am currently enrolled in Spring Arbor's MAE program.  Did you know that, Mom?  One of my three goals this year was to start my master's.  Check. (What are my other two goals?  I guess you'll have to come back and see...that's called a hook.)  Anyway, why did I choose Spring Arbor to get my master's?  Well, the reasons are two-fold:

1. I feel Spring Arbor has grown into a well-reputed school for degrees in education.  I did research on MAE programs at various state schools, and decided SAU could hold a candle to other schools.  (Eastern also has a great graduate program, as does Michigan State.)

2. I get a significant discount on master's classes at SAU since my husband has been an employee here for so long.

The later had significantly more pull than the former. 

So, my first class was actually a workshop that met every other weekend for the last two months.  The class covered a program based on Howard Gardner's multiple intelligences theory.

Now, I admit I'm a bit of a school geek.  I likes me some education.  So, I was pretty pumped to start classes again.  There were thirteen people in my class which made it so much more accessible and comfortable.  And the group I was placed in was made up of three other secondary teachers.  A huge bonus. (Don't get me wrong, elementary teachers, but we know there is something to be said for homogeneous teacher groups...secondary teachers are a different breed from elementary teachers.  We find words like 'duty' funny.) So, yeah the group I was in...was...AWESOME.

We all clicked phenomenally well.  I was able to glean a lot of useful tips and suggestions from these three amazing women and laugh my buttocks off every class meeting. These women have such generous spirits and a genuine love for their jobs.  Additionally, we all shared very similar beliefs about our classrooms and our role as teachers. 

My instructor was equally awesome (third awesome in this post, must buy a thesaurus).  She was very knowledgeable about the content, engaging, open to different ideas, and fun.  Also, she indulged us when we would giggle at the word 'duty'.

It was a great class, and it has set the bar pretty high as far as my expectations are concerned for future classes.  So, come on Spring Arbor, wow the socks off of me.  Challenge extended.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Jeanette: 411

Lately I've been...

Excited About: Going to bed.  I only got 5 hours of sleep last night which equals no sleep to those of you who only need 5 hours of sleep, weirdos you interesting people.

Not Looking Forward To: Doing the dishes before I go to bed.

Procrastinating: Doing the laundry...which is slowly building itself into a living-entity

Thinking: I might not do the dishes tonight.

Reading: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Nov. 19, suckas).  In related news, I just finished Pillars of the Earth -- when I finished, I wanted to start over and read again

Cooking Eating: Cottage Inn Personal Pizza...sweet bliss

Watching: TiVoed Modern Family

TiVoing: How I Met Your Mother - I'm currently obsessed.  Oh, Doogie.

Listening To: Jonsi

Missing: my sister (Carol T. Rick)

Laughing With: Modern Family - "I found a place online that would buy my organ.  Can you drive me to the black market?"

Wishing:  I could go to Hawaii with my in-laws in two weeks...so jealous.

Dreading: Sitting through seven hours of class tomorrow (thank goodness for fun people in class)
Will Start: Running again...starting Monday.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Intervention Needed

The signs of a serious problem:

When one just isn't giving you the fix you need.

"What?  I do not have a problem."

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Verbal Confusion

I'm trying to do that thing wherein I post daily on my blog...at least for the month of November.  I gotta tell you...the pressure is exhilarating.  So here's my post for today.  You're welcome, Internet.

Stuff I'm Bad At (this list definitely exceeds 2 items, but for the sake of time and Internet space, I will highlight 2 of them...actually, just one):

1. Not ending phrases with dangling prepositions

2. (And definitely, the broader subject of this post) Small Talk

I am irreparably awkward.  I have been all my life.  I have little to zero kinesthetic ability.  One of my worst fears is that I will be with a group of people and an impromptu volleyball game will break out.  My awkwardness is not limited to my lack of athleticism.  From ages 5 - pregnant, I bore a striking resemblance to Olive Oil.  I was this awkward skinny girl who looked like she suffered from Marfan syndrome (look it up...Abe Lincoln was most likely suffering from it, too).  It wasn't cute skinny...it was dear-God-her-knee-caps-stick-out-farther-than-her-well...they just are really pronounced. 

But the area in which my awkwardness is ironically evident is my verbal skills.  The irony being, I am an English teacher.  To quote Jocie-grossy, words are my life. But, when I first meet people or have to engage in small talk, I am reduced to a babbling weirdo with a speech impediment.  For example, the other day a guy in Ben's dorm asked how Eli was doing.  I was caught of guard, and quickly spit out a hodge podge of words that only the most gifted interpreters could have deciphered.  It sounded something like, "Fine...he's good...I mean well...he's f...flabaalkd;fha dvlkamn." (and yes, the semi-colon belongs).  The guy looked at me like, "Are you having a seizure?" and then quickly walked away. I don't know why.

Most times, my awkward small talk results in a confused blend of phonemes.  However, there are times when I try to throw funny in with my awkwardness and it results in something completely inappropriate being said.  This usually happens around pastors or employers.  It's what the mean girls refer to as "word vomit."  Usually something about farts, menstrual stuff or boobs comes out (ask me about my first time visiting Ben's parents--yikes).   These completely inappropriate words are coming out of my mouth while my brain is screaming at me to STOP TALKING, FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY!!! 

Sometimes I realize my social faux pas immediately -- other times I realize it as I'm leaving the person or while falling asleep at night.  I don't think I'm a dumb person.  I mean there was that time I cut my hair to resemble a man.  Oh, and I dabbled in missionary dating in high school.  But, other than those isolated incidences, I am a fully functioning member of society.  Why can I not have an intelligent small talk interaction with someone? 

So, if you are ever the victim of my word vomit or phonemic firework show, please know I am aware of my awkwardness and am working to correct it...at least the verbal part.  Volleyball is forever beyond my reach.

Monday, November 1, 2010

This is Halloween

This was our first Halloween trick or treating.  Now before you report us to the American Dental Council and Diabetes Association...we don't give him all the candy.  Just a couple of little things...with no dye...which are organic...made by angels.  We took him to Concord (where my parents live) and went to a few houses on main street.  It was really a lesson in saying thank you and good bye.  He passed with flying colors.

Anyway, Eli dressed up as a hamburger (sorry, PETA) and I dressed up as Wendy from Wendy's...get it Wendy and her hamburger.  Ben dressed up as a guy who doesn't want to dress up or an avid Detroit fan...take your pick.  All in all, we had a great night.  And I'm topping it off by eating m & m's and watching Harry Potter (19 days, friends...19 days).