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Recent Thoughts, April 2020

3 Apr

April 3, 2020

Updates to this site are few and far between lately. The easy answer is that I have less time and opportunity to post. Far less than I used to have. But the better answer is that I don’t feel the need. Don’t feel the urge to write. Is it because my job, in which on some days I do nothing but write, satisfies whatever craving I have? I don’t know. I really don’t feel the writing bug much, if at all. But I can tell you that what I want to do with and get out of this blog is very different than it was when I began 10 years ago. That’s a different story for a different time. Long story short, updates to this blog are likely to remain few and far between. You know what? I’m ok with that,

And judging from my stats and comments, you are too.

With the current situation, many people would think that this is a good time to write, to read, to catch up on TV, etc, etc, etc. Unfortunately, for many people it is. It’s really sad that so many people I know are out of work and have no money coming in. I am not showing off or humble-bragging when I say that I am working from home, getting as much work done, if not more, than before this virus hit. Yes, I am grateful for the money coming in, but the stress level is high. There is the general level of stress many of us feel these days due to the virus situation. I’m in New York City, so I assume you’ve seen how bad things are on the news. Add to that the stress of my job, which I will not go into here. Plus there is my wife to consider, and my Job One is making sure she’s happy and OK. (I don’t mean to imply she’s unhealthy. She’s perfectly fine.) She is uppermost in my mind these days, right alongside the rest of my family that it kills me not to see.

I’m not the only one going through these things. Things are bad (and badder and baddest) all over. I’m no martyr, but this is my sandbox so forgive me if this comes off as all about me. It is. This is my blog, after all. If thousands of self-obsessed YouTube and Instagram influencers can have channels dedicated to the minutiae of their ridiculous lives, forgive me this one post on this obscure website.

One thing I am doing to cut down my general stress levels is avoiding Facebook. A timewaster at the best of times, it has become nothing short of aggravating. Luckily, my feed is not full of idiots licking fruit or jerks throwing virus parties and crowding 50 people into their apartments. My friends and the people I follow are smarter than that.

But Facebook is full of funny memes about toilet paper shortages and social distancing, and joke after funny picture after silly cartoon about the coronavirus. And that’s fine. But it doesn’t do a thing for me. Some of these jokes are funny, some of them make me laugh. I begrudge no one for posting these things. No problem at all. I’m not some weird moralist who finds no humor in this. Go ahead, post your jokes, post your memes, no problem. I don’t care, and you certainly don’t care what I think anyway. But I don’t want to see them. I don’t want to know from them.

For me, it is a little too close to picnicking in a graveyard.

It isn’t just Facebook. I make a point of checking the news only one or two times a day, and I completely avoid any news conference by New York City’s buffoonish part-time Mayor. The Governor is controlling him like a puppet anyway.

Before you think I am all stress – work – stress nowadays, I have to tell you that I made time to watch Tiger King.

Wow. Just wow. That is exactly the type of thing I’d love to blog about.

If only I felt the urge.

 

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Return Of The Grammar Fool

5 Jan

January 5, 2018

Longtime readers of this blog may recall that when this blog began, I was an English teacher. Since then I moved on, first to the Company I Am not allowed to name and now to a position as a freelance investigator. What do these jobs have in common? They were all silly enough to pay me.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: The phrase “longtime readers of this blog” may now be an anachronism. The longest-time reader, Mr. Al Bickley, has been a proud subscriber since day one, when this blog first appeared on MySpace. However, he has been in a medically induced coma since 2012 and while technically still a subscriber, he is definitely no longer a reader. The second-longest tenured reader is my Aunt Edwina, whose constant requests to be unsubscribed from my blog have been cheerfully ignored for years, since I know them to be nothing more than playful jests. Though that does not explain why she doesn’t invite me for Thanksgiving anymore.)

But sometimes, the old English-teaching days still haunt me. If you have the stomach for it, go back and check out the many blogs where I complain about bad grammar. (Here’s one making fun of Michael Bloomberg.)  HA HA HA, boy was that annoying. What was I thinking?

I’ll tell you what I was thinking. Read this, which is an actual status I posted on Facebook today.

Let someone else deal with OBJ.

Get it? It works on two levels. It’s funny because A- it’s a bad snowstorm and B- the Giants stink. I’ll take my West Coast Wildcat offense somewhere else, thank you very much.

But here’s where the grammar stuff kicks in. It’s that word “today.” That pesky “today.” There were three ways to write that post.
1- The snow is so bad that I’m skipping my interview today for Giants head coach.
2- The snow is so bad that I’m skipping my interview for Giants head coach today.
3- The snow is so bad today that I’m skipping my interview for Giants head coach.

Speaking now as a former paid English expert, the word “today,” in this context, acts as some sort of adjective modifier thingy, emphasizing that the interview was today (option 1), rather than emphasizing that the position was to be the Giants head coach today (option 2), which would be inaccurate. (But as I read this back, I think option 3, emphasizing that the snow was so bad today, was the way to go. Oh well.) 

See? It makes sense. I realize that most of you don’t care (so why are you still reading? This is the internet, go find some wrestling rumors or tweet or something) but hey, I actually put thought into that stupid status update.

The moral of the story? It is a snowy day, I’m stuck indoors, and this is what happens.

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