I timidly stepped onto the bathroom scale this morning, fearing what I'd see. What I saw was 2.2 pounds less than on the 23rd, which means that I've not only lost my holidays weight but another two pounds as well. Given that Robek's is having a half-price sale through tomorrow, I think I'll get myself another smoothie today to celebrate.
Last night I was sitting in my chair in my living room with my bride, brain inactive, staring around. (I do this sometimes between activities, projects and media.) I happened to glance at the doorbell. How many of you remember that doorbells used to come (perhaps still do) with terminals for a front door button and a side or back door button? Nowadays one might ask, "Why would you need a doorbell on the side or back door? Who's coming in that way?"
Back in the old days and into the Sixties, one's groceries, milk, laundry and whatever were brought to the home by tradesmen, who used the side or back door rather than the front door. Seems odd now in our do-it-yourself age, but that's the way it was.
When I mentioned this to my wife, she said that this was noted in a book she had once read, "More Work for Mother," written by a cranky feminist (I know I'm being redundant) who postulated that the laborsaving devices and procedures developed since the 19th century only really saved work for men - the dreadful patriarchy. Wah, wah, wah.
While we're on the subject of feminism I think I'll relate my pet grammatical peeve. In all the years my kids were going to school in the public education system, I can't say how many times I've seen variations of this case of tortured grammar, from teachers with college degrees, yet: "Your student should bring their whatever to class or on the bus..." etc. This is wrong. "Student" is singular, "their" is plural - they have to match in a sentence. Why this bizarre formulation? Because the writers want to avoid writing "his" (which is traditional) in order to not rile feminists.
Sorry, but there is no gender-neutral possessive form in English, and when "his" is written it's assumed that it's really "his or her," just as the term "mankind" includes females. Back in the 1980's journalists were considering the adoption of "he/she," but that didn't catch on. (Perhaps it sounds too much like a sneeze.) Anyway, feminists understand that if you can influence the language you can influence the agenda - and this tortured grammar is a part of that.
Rant over. Perhaps tomorrow I'll write about the misuse of apostrophes.
My wife and I then drove to the Tyson's Corner mall to knock out a few errands. We stopped into Lenkersdorfers, the jewelry store where I got my Breitling, and noted a display case full of expensive Swiss watches at 25% off. Wow. I never saw that before! I guess this recession is real.
Also saw this at a kiosk: "Give blood, Play soccer." Haw! Yeah, right. Has anyone ever really been injured playing soccer? Those injuries look like lousy acting, to me. By the way, don't bother answering - it isn't going to change my opinion of that sorry game.
I finished "The Warriors" last night - what a disappointing book. The characters weren't fully fleshed out, the plot was unrealistic (see yesterday's blog), some matters were unresolved and the conclusion was unsatisfying. My wife agreed with me that it wasn't a very good novel. I think I'll write up a review for it on amazon.com, give it a poor score and be taken to task by the crowd who gave it five stars. A literary rumble of sorts.
Finally, my son gave me the two DVD limited edition set for "Memento" for Christmas as we're both admirers of the film. Great! So I pop it into the drive and find the most needlessly frustrating and obscure menu structure I have ever encountered in a DVD. Nothing is spelled out directly, such as "Play film," "Features," "Setup," etc. You have to take a bogus psychiatric test in order to proceed to a menu window which, again, looks like a mental test. In other words, you have to play a video game in order to access the material. Whoever thought this up ought to be shot. But don't take my word for it - read the numerous amazon.com one star reviews.
I truly hate being a poor gift recipient, but I mentioned this to my son on the phone and he found it hilarious, and suggested that I return it to a Best Buy. (He works at one while being a student.) I tried that last night - no receipt, no wrapping, no dice. But the clerk at the returns desk was familiar with the DVD and had heard complaints from others about it - which I found somewhat gratifying.
So I think I'm going to mail it to Ethan so he can experience the joyous menu structure... Also, we have a running argument for which is better, DVD or VHS. I claim another point won for VHS in this one. With VHS, there is simply no way a media producer can prevent you from fast forwarding through needless menus, music, animation, ads and other crap to access the actual content. Who has time to dork around with that stuff?
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