Saturday, September 25, 2010

Godzilla Skin: Sentimental or Just Plain Ugly?

Once there was a green Godzilla handbag - oh, wait, maybe you need more background than that. When I was younger, we had a Godzilla...toy. He was too big for a figurine, yet too macho for a doll, so I guess toy fits the best. Anyway, this Godzilla toy was the spitting image of the infamous lizard. He had spikes going down his back and tail, menacing claws, and green scaly skin. Pretty awesome, right? Sadly, I haven't seen this toy for a good long while. I'm not sure that we even still have it. Anyway, I once saw this handbag at the JCP that, I swear, looked like it was made of Godzilla skin! I know this sounds rather odd, especially considering that Godzilla skin would be incredibly hard to come by, but there it was. Over the next few weeks, I studied that handbag again and again. I touched it, marveling at how much it felt like the Godzilla toy. I wanted that purse, and decided to buy it when it went on clearance.

One day, a couple of dear friends visited me at my place of employment. I ushered them over to the Godzilla purse, eagerly seeking their approval. To my dismay, they were far from impressed, sharing such thoughts as "That purse is ugly" and "We will not let you buy that purse". At first, I was a bit disappointed, but as I turned to look at the purse in defiance, I realized something: that purse WAS hideous! I don't know what happened, but it seems that my excitement over Godzilla skin clouded my usually trusty fashion sense.

I got to thinking about this today, and how this sort of thing happens a lot in life. Don't be concerned, I'm not thinking of anything in particular. Consider this an application of my English degree. It seems that sometimes we really only want something because of what it represents, or what it reminds us of. When we get it (or if it's something we already have), we hang to it, even if we realize that we have no use for it. The Godzilla purse was ugly; I realized this after my friends opened my eyes, but it reminded me of my childhood. I wanted to buy the purse as a reminder of what had been, but buying a dumb purse doesn't bring back the Godzilla toy or a simpler time of life. All it would have done would have left me with a dumb ugly purse.

So there you have it, one English graduate waxing philosophical about weird things. And who says you don't learn applicable skills in Literary Studies?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Fuzzy Grey Area of Vigilante Punctuation Correction

Some of you may remember a picture I posted last year upon my return from my family reunion. It looked a little like this:

Actually, it looked exactly like that. Now, put aside the fact that this sign appeared inside a pit toilet; that point is irrelevant. Take a looksy at the punctuation choices made on this friendly and oh-so persuasive sign. What's that, you say? You don't see anything wrong with the punctuation? This is because you are a normal person. I, however, have been blessed/cursed with a little something called being an obsessive English major (graduate now- yay!). As such, my eyes instantly zeroed in on the comma splice. This is when a comma is inappropriately used, since the two clauses joined could stand on their own as sentences. This sign was in desperate need of a semi-colon.

To be honest, this sign wasn't the first thing I thought of when I heard that the reunion would be taking place at the same location this year (as in the beginning of August). I arrived at the reunion and, fittingly, was reunited with the offending sign. Since I was obliged to return to town for the middle of the week, it occurred to me that one could simply place a bottle of correction fluid in one's purse and, by strategically placing a dot above the comma, one could create the necessary semi-colon!

Now, I don't generally approve of such illegal-ery, but the facts of the case are these: a mysterious young woman arrived at the campground on Friday afternoon. Quietly, she sneaked up the road to the campground facilities. Looking around her for signs of the camp host (and joined by her mother to collect photographic evidence) she entered the small building. A short time later, both girl and mother emerged and disappeared into the night (okay, the later afternoon. The trees provided a lot of shade though). Close examination of the sign within proved that a change had been made:

Notice the difference? No? Perhaps a close-up shot, you ask? Here you go:
Ah-ha! The mysterious girl did, indeed, apply a dot of correction fluid! Brilliant! This produces a bit of a moral dilemma. On the one hand, this is vandalism. On the other hand, who is to judge vigilante action in the pursuit of correct punctuation? I'm sure this mysterious (and no doubt, lovely) young woman was only thinking about educating the public at large. Upon further reflection, I have made a decision. I applaud this girl, and I think you should, too.

The end.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Terror in the Night! Or not...

The tale I am about to relate took place in the wee small hours of the morning. As such, I am reluctant to definitively say whether it actually happened or if it was simply a dream. Either way, the story is still worth telling, so here it is:

I woke up in the middle of the night. As is my usual habit, I lifted my head from my pillow to check the time on my alarm clock and, having ascertained the time, laid my head back on the pillow. My return to slumber was interrupted, however, by a fluttering sound in my ear. I repositioned my head, but the fluttering sound continued. I sat up and looked at my pillow and noticed a small dark object, moving slowly across my pillow. I looked at the pillow, thought "Oh, that must be that moth that was downstairs earlier", and went back to sleep. I honestly don't remember what I did to get the moth off my pillow.

Fast forward to a couple of hours ago (whirrrrr). While preparing myself an after-work snack in the kitchen, I looked up and noticed a moth on the wall. Suddenly, the forgotten events of the early morning came back, crisp and clear. It was just like on television, when an amnesiac suddenly remembers what happened right before they got hit by that car, or whatever. Anyway, it occurred to me that I should have had a stronger reaction to a moth being on my pillow in the middle of the night. Some of you know of my intense fear of moths. It mainly stems from having one fly into my mouth when I was a child. Anyone who's had their mouth coated in moth dust knows what I mean. Ever since then, I've cowered in fear when a moth starts fluttering around the room. In the middle of the night, however, that did not occur. It seems that, in an incoherent state of sleepiness, I didn't fully comprehend the gravity of the situation. This is probably for the best, since I would have freaked out and might not have been able to get back to sleep.

Thank goodness for groggy incoherence, eh?