Monday, March 30, 2009
All this eating has gotten me to wondering about food and why we associate certain foods with home? Would family still be family if they didn't come bearing doughy sugar cookies? Today, Steve, Grammy, and I drove to Gettyburg, PA, to visit the Boyd's Bears Bear Country flagship store. (Pictures forthcoming in a future blog.) On the way there, we drove past Mountain Gate Family Restaurant, one of my favorite Maryland indulgences. Yet this time, I felt no inclination to exit the highway for its yummy, homecooked goodness. Maybe, it's because I always went to Mountain Gate with Granddaddy. Going without him seems a bit like sacriledge. I may go back one day, but for right now, the restaurant has lost its charm for me.
So tonight after Bear Country, we hit Outback instead. Not one of my favorite places to eat, but it made my grandmother happy, so that made it worthwhile. I thought that Steve and I would probably wear her out, but instead, we're the ones dragging tonight, and she's powering away the miles on her treadmill. Shame on our saggy, baggy, out-of-shape selves!
Back to the dining digression...last night was all about food and family. We had dinner at Nanny and Pap's with my uncle and aunt and my cousin, her husband, and her two little girls. We had the requisite amounts of chaos and catching up with a little turkey, gravy, and macaroni and cheese thrown in. After all, would it really be a Lantz family gathering without Nanny's culinary stylings? I think not.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Monday, March 16, 2009
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Unfortunately, life is not a creative writing project. A few rare exceptions aside, we don't get a lot of mulligans. Words that sounded okay in my head exit my mouth in a jumbled mess of embarrassment. I can't think and re-think every word before I say it. At the rate I edit, it would take days to say anything. Consequently, I spend a lot of time with my foot wedged firmly in my mouth.
Words are arguably the most powerful thing on earth, yet we throw them around with careless abandon. We don't take care about words' connotations, their etymology. A misplaced comma or pause can completely alter the meaning of a sentence. As Americans, we abuse our language to such a degree that it can become unrecognizable. I read a short story this week that actually said that a character came in out of the cold to "dethaw." So, they came in out of the cold to do the opposite of thaw? Freeze? HUH? Don't even get me started on the whole I-could-care-less/I-couldn't-care-less debate.
There are still those who care about words, however. (Some might say they care too much.) I had creative non-fiction workshop tonight, and I must say that those people care about word choice. Where else could you spend ten minutes discussing someone's use of the word counterintuitively? (I didn't make that up. It really happened.) Sure I wanted to induce vomitting in order to get out of the room, but you do have to admire their committment to the written word.
Outside the realm of creative writing nerds (yes, I'm including myself in that grouping), though, I have almost given up hope. The other night I watched the beginning of the film Idiocracy. In it, two people awake from cryogenic stasis to find themselves in a future world where the English language has been reduced to a muddled mix of slang, grunts, and grammatical abominations. Didn't seem too far off to me.
The upside to taking time to consider your words is that you are forced to take time to consider your words. As I said before, words are powerful. Even a well-meaning joke or comment can cut deeply if the hearer misunderstands. Slang can be misinterpreted. Look to the always clever and ever elegant Jane Austen as your conversational paragon. The ladies and gentlemen in her stories take such care with their words; even their jibes are wrapped in silk scarves of slippery language. How long must it have taken Austen to create and edit those exchanges? What a polite and urbane world she created.
So tomorrow when the goofy starts working its way up my throat toward my mouth, I'm going to stop, take a deep breath, and channel my inner Elizabeth Bennet. (Does that make Steve Mr. Darcy? Hmm.) With my verbal skills, I'll probably be something closer to Mr. Collins. Maybe I could just write everyone a nice letter.
Monday, March 9, 2009
Thursday, March 5, 2009
If only school were the only thing keeping me busy. There's the everyday, daily stuff like cleaning the house, cooking meals, laundry, grocery shopping, and trying to see Steve occasionally. Then there's my church commitments. Starting next Sunday, we'll be hosting Life Group for a while. I'm actually looking forward to this, but it is another thing on thelist. On Thursday nights, I attend a women's Bible study. This means more homework, but it is so worth it. Once a week, I get to go spend a couple of hours with some truly amazing women. We not only study God's word, but we also get to love and support one another in a deeper way than simply seeing each other on Sunday mornings would allow. Sure, I'm usually exhausted from a full week by the time Thursdays roll around, but I wouldn't want to miss it for any extra rest time. It's such a wonderful time to recharge and pray for one another. Plus, the lady who leads has the most adorable little boy ever, and he is always entertaining.
This weekend will be a bit more challenging than usual (and that's saying something) since I am going to a women's retreat tomorrow (Friday). Our church is having a special women's weekend on Friday and Saturday in Flat Rock, NC. I'm really looking forward to the drive up with the girls and sharing hotel rooms (translation: one big slumber party). It does, however, mean less time to work on school stuff, but I'm just going to have to trust that God will help me get through my work despite my condensed schedule. I'm definitely going to take my camera, so I hope to have some pictures to post when I get back.
My exciting life doesn't end there, though. Steve, too, is having an eventful week, and by that I mean that the Stevie Ray Vaughn songs finally came out for Rock Band. I really wish I liked SRV since I know I'm going to be listening to Steve play his songs on the game over and over for quite some time. (He's playing them as type, in fact.) Ah, Rock Band...It really is a wonderful time to be alive, isn't it?
So that's my life right now. I've probably left something out (like my 1:30 am brownine baking or 2 am history assignment), but you get the general idea. No need to belabor the point. I think the name of my blog pretty much sums everything up right now.
On a completely unrelated note, if I don't graduate soon, I'm going to weigh six hundred pounds and be in desperate need of bypass surgery. I love Zaxby's as much as the next girl, but really, if I eat any more chicken and french fries, I'm going to rupture an artery! Why does fast food have to equal fried? I'm going to start having dreams where angry vegetables are chasing me down and beating me senseless with a cold, hard french fry.
Monday, March 2, 2009
On the upside of all this winter wonderland business, it does slow everything down. Today, I was dreading having to drive to Spartanburg to continue my transcript drama (related to scholarship drama.) Of course, I live in South Carolina where everything shuts down if a flurry of snow is spotted within a 30 mile radius. With our current two-inch dusting, all the schools are shut down, so I'm at home doing what I wanted to do in the first place - reading JMP entries.
Poor Steve had to go to work today. (At least he got to sleep in.) I, on the other hand, am bundled up in the warm comfort of my living room. Alas, I have no pictures of me in the snow because that would require me going out in the cold, cold snow. Some of the pictures I even took through a window. A bit later, I may make myself some hot tea and soup (or at least get dressed.) I take it back. I LOVE this surprise snow and cold weather.