For the Love of Language!

I know your head aches; I know you’re tired; I know your nerves are as raw as meat in a butcher’s window. But think what you’re trying to accomplish. Think what you’re dealing with.

The majesty and grandeur of the English language, it’s the greatest possession we have. The noblest thoughts that ever flowed through the hearts of men are contained in its extraordinary, imaginative, and musical mixtures of sounds.

And that’s what you’ve set yourself out to conquer, Eliza.

And conquer it you will.

~Professor Henry Higgins, to Miss Eliza Doolittle, My Fair Lady (1964)

Advent is Coming! Advent is Coming! (That’s Redundant Redundancy!)

“Advent” comes from Latin, and it basically means arrival or coming.

It is a time to pause and recognize the arriving HOPE in the form of Jesus Christ, God incarnate!

I love pausing in the mayhem of Christmas preparations to recognize and appreciate that Jesus coming was heralded throughout the ages; foretold throughout history as the coming hope of the world! The beginning of Advent is like the first rays of light streaking across the sky before sunrise; you know that it is only going to become increasingly beautiful.

Isaiah 9:2 proclaims: “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone.” This week just reminds me that Jesus’ birth was more than just one more precious baby . . . it was a message. What was promised had arrived.

Sorry if this seems sappy, but it is one of those beautiful moments to hearken back to the “first Christmas”. . . think about why this was so earth-shattering and monumental and exciting – it was a long-awaited arrival; a miracle.

Facebook Status SHUT-Up[!]dates.

Warning: This could possibly be deemed “a rant”.

I know Mark Twain wasn’t talking about facebook per se, but he probably would vehemently apply this philosophy to social networking sites as much as other forms of communication . . . I find it highly frustrating when people air their complaints to the Facebook world via complaints in their status updates.

Of all the things to post, it is incredible to me that people take the time and the effort to post some of the crap that they share. . . .

Perhaps this comes as  no great surprise, but I also find the world of passive aggressive roommate non-dialogue highly frustrating. As a rule, I love direct communication, even when it’s awkward and uncomfortable and angsty.  I’d rather have a fight than  snide comments, cold shoulders, or a guilt trip.

Imagine my  disappointment upon encountering the combination of these two non-preferred types of communication. That’s right, folks. Unfortunately, it seems that social networking has opened up a new realm to the terminally passive aggressive and whiney, and indirect complaints about me can now be sent out into the world to garner the reactions of the general public.

Situation: I went home for two days, leaving my cat well provided for, with a friend who would be checking in on her.

Status Update in reaction to circumstances indirectly caused by myself :

This, coupled with the three text messages which (using impressively veiled and passive terminology) very-indirectly alluded to what a pain-in-the-butt my cat had been yesterday, has officially frustrated me. I’m sure it was annoying to come home to a cat that was whiney last night, but , frankly, so what?  Annoying things happen. It does not mean that you need to spit it onto Facebook to garner pity and inspire guilt-trips  over a situation that is not  in anyone’s power to change. So it was inconvenient? Welcome to communal living and shared space. There are many things we could all complain about; the daily inconveniences caused by the minutia of our idiosyncrasies. Maybe I find it annoying that cigarettes are smoked on the front porch and the smell wafts back in through the doorway so much that my eyes get all itchy and red. But I don’t post about it on Facebook, because it’s not other peoples’ business. Instead, we had a face-to-face conversation.

Lots of things are tricky in the navigationof rooming situations, and I thing the key to actually maintaining sanity and not devolving into some kind of Mean-Girls-back-stabbing-regressed-middle-school-summer-camp-crew  is to focus on the positive and try to reverse our initial frustrations.

This leads me to the most important piece of advice for the successful living of all roommates the world over: (which I might be breaking currently)

I’m trying to practice this, not just preach it. I have now purchased 8 new scented candles for the house, and am the proud owner of eye-allergy drops which help me deal with any secondhand smokiness. I’m working on it. Still not perfect, and perhaps Mark Twain (or you, dear reader who has read this far) would chastise me for the inherent hypocrisy exhibited by the very writing of this rant. My only excuse (and I’ll own that it may seem flimsy) is that , while I am venting frustration in this moment via blog, the situation would ultimately benefit very little from confrontation.

Which brings us tothe second cardinal rule of roommate-living :

This is one of  those “battles” that I need to just let pass me by.

That said, please accept my apologies for the rant. Thank you for letting me get the angst off my chest.

If you can possibly help it, do everyone (including yourself!) a favor and remember not to complain with no hope of productivity to the world of Facebook about situations that are outside of everyone’s control.

Perhaps you can benefit from this experience in some way.

Perhaps I will, too.

Le Vocabulaire Extraordinaire!

A few weeks ago, I shared a stellar student vocabulary doodle, if you’ll recall. . .

Well, time has passed and my lovely student has continued to make me chuckle daily with her creative interpretation of le vocabulaire !

Check out her humorous illustrations of:

un/une colocataire

(aka: a roommate)!

un sbire

(aka: a henchman)

un sans domicile fixe (un SDF)

(aka: a homeless individual)

un double/un sosie

(aka: a lookalike or doppelganger)

un enquiquineur

(aka: an extremely boring person)

How great are these?! This student is AWESOME!