Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Pet Peeves

I have no idea why, but when people misuse the apostrophe it drives me crazy! When my third graders do it, that's one thing. But when grown adults insert an apostrophe in front of an s that doesn't need it, I just want to scream and then get some whiteout or hit the delete button immediately!

Allow me to take this opportunity to educate those of you who aren't sure when to use the apostrophe: Ask yourself, "Am I trying to show possession?" If the answer is yes, then by all means please invite the apostrophe to this punctuation party (can you hear my teacher voice?). For example: This pencil's eraser is pink. Who's eraser? The pencil's eraser. Acceptable apostrophe use. 

However, if you are just talking about more than one of something, then please do not put an apostrophe in front of the s. For example: The pencils have pink erasers. I am not trying to say that the pencils possess anything in this statement so they don't need an apostrophe! Nothing makes my blood pressure go up like seeing "The pencil's have no erasers left." The apostrophe is not needed here, people! The same is true for last names, too. Do not write, The Smith's are here. Instead write, The Smiths are here. The Smiths only get an apostrophe if we are writing about them owning something. Like, Mr. Smith's house is for sale.

Now, let's talk about what to do when you need to show possession and plurality. In this case, you add the apostrophe after the s. For example: The pencils' erasers are pink, or The Smiths' house is for sale.

Another time you might see an apostrophe s is when a word is being combined with is. For example: This pencil is yellow could also be, This pencil's yellow. Note: you do not need an apostrophe when saying I know my ABCs or I was born in the 80s. Just add the s. It's okay, I promise!
Are there any questions? Are you still awake?

While we're on the topic of pet peeves, let me just address the misuse of "your" and "there". I'd have to say that these are just as annoying to me as the apostrophe. Friends, Your amazing is not okay to write. What you mean to say is You're amazing.
Why thank you!
If you can substitute the word with you are then please use the contraction. Your is used for possession. For example: I love your blog.

I know that homophones can be tricky, but after reading this I hope you'll be clear. And that you won't ever write again There awesome or I wish I could be there friend. Look, as much as you might want it to, there does not mean the same thing as they're or their. If you can substitute the word with they are then you need to use the contraction. Again, if you are trying to show possession then please use their. They're awesome and I wish I could be their friend.
If you use proper grammar then I bet you can be!

I'm not trying to sound like I think I'm perfect 'cause Lord knows I'm not! But when I am unsure about how to write or spell something, you better believe I'm looking it up before I post it. I don't know when I became a grammar nazi, but I hope that my pet peeve has enlightened, or at the very least, entertained some of you. Let's not settle for mediocre conventions-let's shoot for grammar glory! My blood pressure would appreciate it.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Sibling Rivalry

It has always amused me how siblings, despite having the same parents and growing up in the same home, can turn out to be such different people. Take my little sister Jill and I, for example: we grew up under the same roof, sharing the same room for years, and yet we look and act nothing alike. This is most evident on the day when we cheer for opposing teams. 

My dad is a huge Louisville Cardinals fan. We grew up watching him scream at the television through every football and basketball season, traits my brother and I both inherited. But not Little Sis. Somewhere during our childhood things went awry and she became a Kentucky Wildcats fan.

Each year when our two teams play in the Governor's Cup football game, and I see her cheering for the other team I think, how did this happen? How did we turn out so differently?

Fortunately, the one thing we can agree on is that family is the most important thing. So at the end of the game, we can go back to being sisters and (surprisingly but luckily) friends. Love you, Jillers! And, oh yeah...Go Cards!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

May We Never Forget

10 years ago today, my friend Jenny and I, juniors in college, were walking into our 9:00 A.M. class. We were surprised to see the TV on, and I remember immediately feeling uneasy as I looked at my classmates' faces. Someone said that one of the World Trade Center towers had been hit by a plane. In that moment, we thought that it had been a terrible accident, a plane-landing gone wrong. But a few minutes later, we watched live as the second tower got hit...I was in shock as I tried to digest what I had just witnessed. It was clear that this was no accident. The class was frozen, no one knowing what to do or say. Soon after, we learned about the crash at the Pentagon, and I remember whispering, "What is happening?"
My professor dismissed us shortly after, and I immediately stepped outside to call my parents, the people I always turn to for comfort. I don't remember exactly what we said, other than "I love you." 
The rest of the day is kind of a blur; I know that Jenny and I spent the rest of the day in the dorms, glued to the TV. It was, and still is, so hard to believe that mankind is capable of such horrific acts. At the age of 20, it was a hard realization to make.

Two years ago, nearly 8 years after that tragic day, I made my first visit to New York City. My friend Deanna and I went on a ferry ride to Ellis Island. As we looked back at the skyline, I couldn't help but think about the two towers that were missing.
After our tour of Ellis Island was complete, we made our way to Ground Zero. I was shocked to see that even 8 years later, the site was still so desolate. 
Next to Ground Zero, we saw a powerful memorial on the wall of a firehouse:

My heart aches for the loved ones of those we lost on September 11, 2001. This is a day to remember how fortunate we are to have our friends and family with us, and to tell them how much we love them. This is a day to thank those men and women who live their lives to protect our freedom and keep us safe. This is a day that none of us should ever forget.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Bucket List, Part Two

Numbers 1-10 seemed to go over well, so here's the next installment of my "30 in Thirty" Bucket List...

11.     Ride a hot air balloon-Whenever I fly, I always hope for the window seat so that I can look over the landscape-I love it! I think that the view from a hot air balloon would be even more breathtaking! Who wants to go with me?

12.    See "Wicked" on Broadway in NYC-My brother makes fun of me for saying this but seriously, "Wicked" was life-changing! I've seen it three times, and each show moves me to tears. I grew up as a child adoring the "Wizard of Oz" and fearing the Wicked Witch of the West. But after reading the book and seeing "Wicked" I had a whole new appreciation for her; I even ended up liking her better than Dorothy. I love going to the theater, especially to see musicals, and "Wicked" is by far the best I've ever seen. I've always wanted to see a real production on Broadway, so what better show than the one I love the most?

13.    Run a 5K-To say that I've never been a runner is the understatement of the century. I have spent the last thirty years loathing running with a passion. However, I've always wanted to secretly be able to say that I RAN a race. I've walked a half marathon, a 10-miler, and plenty of 5K's. But I've never been able to run more than a mile. So this summer I started the Couch to 5K training program (it is wonderful), and have my sights set on running my first 5K at the end of October. Wish me luck!

14.    Meet Justin Timberlake-To say that Justin is my celebrity crush doesn't even begin to cover it. There really isn't anything or anyone that makes me happier than he does! Whether it's his music, his acting, or a random TV appearance, it doesn't matter-I love them all! When 'NSYNC first came on the scene, I honestly could care less. Yes, I belted out some "Tearin' Up My Heart" when it came on the radio. However, it wasn't until college that I took notice of JT. Yes, I went to Wal-Mart at midnight when "No Strings Attached" was first released my sophomore year...don't act like you didn't love "Bye Bye Bye" too! Of course I went to see them perform that summer when they came to the State Fair. But again, Justin was rocking the cornrows in his hair at that time, and I wasn't so much into those. However, when I was a junior in college and 'NSYNC released their third album "Celebrity", I was hooked. I saw them perform the song "Gone" on MTV and that was the moment I gave my heart away to Mr. Timberlake. Now, I don't want you to think that I'm some crazy stalker. I just think he's amazing. I own both of his solo albums, and any song that he lends his voice to is of course downloaded to my iTunes account. My friend Jenny and I took a road trip to Nashville to see his concert a few years ago, and naturally when he did the media blitz this summer for the movie "Friends With Benefits", I DVR'ed every talk show appearance he made. Ultimately I would just like to run into him by accident someday...I'd like to believe that I would be cool and introduce myself casually and we could just kick it like old friends. And, if during this conversation he perhaps, fell in love with me, that would be okay too. 

15.    See Late Night with Jimmy Fallon-One of the best decisions I've ever made was to DVR this show every night. I can't stay up late enough to watch it, but it's always waiting for me when I get home from work which is such a treat. The best thing about Jimmy Fallon is that he can never keep a straight face-his laughter is contagious! Two years ago, my friend Deanna and I went to NYC and got standby tickets for the show. However, after waiting in line for hours we were told we would not be able to be in the audience. I was heart-broken, and needless to say, it's been on my bucket list ever since. Maybe when I go to see "Wicked" on Broadway I'll swing by and see Late Night too!

16.    Vegas-I'm not a big gambler or drinker, it's just one of those places I feel compelled to see for myself. I wouldn't mind to see the Jabbawockeez live show while I was there 
      (and maybe Celine Dion-don't tell my sister-in-law)!

17.     Learn to ballroom dance-When I was 5 years old, I started taking jazz and tap dance lessons. Dance has always been one of the loves of my life, and I think that ballroom would be fun, challenging, and a great form of exercise.  

18.    Learn to cook-I can follow a recipe pretty well, but I wish I could learn to really cook and feel confident that I didn't even need the recipes! I told my mom that I wanted to attend her culinary school because as far as I'm concerned, she's the best cook around! We'll see what happens...

19.     See as many of the following concerts as possible: The Eagles, Stevie Wonder,   Mariah Carey, Paul McCartney, Beyonce, Jack Johnson, Jimmy Buffet, and Straight No Chaser-A random assortment, I know, but I have eclectic taste in music and love going to concerts. I've been fortunate to see many of my favorite performers already, but I have a feeling that I'm missing out by not having seen these acts yet!

20.  Make a t-shirt quilt-If there were a support group for t-shirt collectors, I would attend. I do not have enough storage space, nor do I have enough time to wear all of the t-shirts that I currently own. I have a hard time letting go of most t-shirts because they represent memories of special times in my life. Making a t-shirt quilt seems like the best remedy for my addiction. I'm pretty sure my mom and I could do it together, but we'll have to fit it in between cooking lessons!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Happy Anniversary!

Two years ago today, I had the privilege to witness the wedding of one of my favorite couples on the planet! I remember how proud I was of my little brother, and how ecstatic I was to be gaining not only a sister, but also a dear friend.
I pray that I can one day find the love and happiness that these two share. Love you, Micah & Kate! Happy 2nd Anniversary!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

A Sign of the Times?

I've been thirty for only a week, and I come home to find this in the mail:
Is this the universe's way of telling me what I have to look forward to in my next thirty years? Good one, Universe.