Friday, January 25, 2008

Word of the Day

In an attempt to create the next great email forward I sent this preponderance out at some point last summer. I’m holding on to the hope that it is still in circulation somewhere and perhaps it will get sent back to me at some point. In the mean time I wanted to share this thought for those who did not receive this perplexing conundrum of the English language in my email. I have done some research and expounded on my previous thoughts concerning this topic, so if you did get my email then it’s worth another read.

I know this can be a sensitive topic of conversation for some, but you have to separate the people group defined by this word from the actual word itself. Okay now follow me on this…retarded.

If the prefix “re” means, “to do again”, and the suffix “ed” indicates a verb; past tense, then what does the word “tard” mean? In an attempt to answer this I visited the dictionary. Just as I suspected, “tard” is not a word. The closest I came was “tart”, which is either a “pastry shell with shallow sides, no top crust, and any of various fillings” or “a prostitute”. Profound I thought; the similarities between the two “tarts”…I digress.

Moving on, since I was unable to find any such definition of the word I have taken it solely upon myself to define the word “tard” for all mankind.

So based on the prefix and suffix of the word we know that it is a reoccurring or repetitive action word. Thus meaning that “tarding” happens more than once.

So now we know that in order for a person to become “retarded”, they would have had to have previously “tarded”. Which poses the question as to why anyone would want to “tard” again? And then I thought how do we know if we have previously “tarded”, or more alarming, what if we are already in a current state of “tard”? Can one pinpoint a moment in time when they have “tarded”, so they can identify it and make sure not to “tard” again. I say no. With all of the advances in medical science wouldn’t it stand to reason that doctors would be able to determine a single “tard” in brain activity? Meaning that if a person had “tarded” once there should be some physical evidence of such an occurrence.

Thus I have concluded that we are all born into “tard” or we are born “tarded” so we are born having one “tard” already under our belt thus, if a person “tards” again; they “retard”. Perhaps it takes an extraordinary person who can have multiple “tards”, or “tard” repeatedly. Therefore, it stands to reason that this is why we call them special people, because ordinary people can only “tard” once.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Look Mommy I Blogged

It's my first gentle.

Okay, as a child/adolescent/teenager/non-adult there is nothing more irritating than watching a parent/adult/senior adult/non-young person try to figure out something technical, IE: your parent's first VCR that always blinked 12:00.

There is a standard facial expression that any person over 50 has to make when contemplating something beyond their immediate capabilities. My wife (Janelle) and I have come to term this simply "The Old People Face". This face can show up in a myriad of situations stemming from technically advanced gadgetry to being overwhelmed in traffic or seemingly lost in a busy super market.

Allow me to describe it as best I can. You should try to recreate the face for your own understanding as you follow along.

First is the head tilt; this is key. You must tilt your head depending on your glasses prescription and whether or not you are wearing them. If donning spectacles one's head will tilt down, thus raising the eyes to see over the lenses. If sporting specs with bifocals the head will tilt up, thus lowering the eyes in order to see through the higher-powered lens. If no glasses are worn this is usually an indication of far-sightedness and thus one must push their head back and slightly to one side, in order to create the necessary extended range of vision and more notably for the observer a horribly scary looking double to triple chin.

Head tilt; check. Next comes the slight to extreme nose crinkle. The crinkling of the nose also varies based on eyesight and the need to possibly squint the eyes, and perhaps equally to the complexity of the item of consternation. For example setting the timer on a microwave may only merit a slight nose crinkle, while a Blackberry or an Ipod might very well open the nasal passages into airplane hangers given the item's small size and overall complexity.

Nose crinkle; check. The last feature in "The Old People Face" is the most distinguishable, and by far the most humorous for the savvy observer of the geriatric facial contortion...The gaping mouth. Yes, the parted lips, gums slightly exposed, coffee breath spilling out into the air. Right now you can see Aunt Edna trying to microwave leftover Thanksgiving goodies, or Uncle Gus peering a hole into the remote control he's holding with both hands. Or perhaps it's the aged couple at the stop light with a seemingly panicked look on their face as they've just realized they are in the wrong lane to turn into Luby' God the worst has happened.

These three facial elements culminate beautifully into a symphony of an old person's outward expression of inward bewilderment.

Now put it altogether and give it a try. I bet you can't wait until the next time you are with your parents or grandparents you are going to be watching, waiting for them to try and figure something out.

Even as an adult, though I may have slightly better patience than my adolescent self, watching my mom operate her cell phone raises my blood pressure to unhealthy levels. I have to fight the urge at times to not yell at her...It's not a bomb!! If you press the number 3 instead of the "end call" button, it's not going to explode, furthermore if you just flip it closed the call will end just the same than if you blankly stared at the phone for two minutes, pressed the wrong button, and then closed it! Uahhh, there I said it.

So here I am a man in my late twenties who hates pop-culture. I don't own an Ipod, or a Blackberry, I hate texting...I don't get it just call and have a two second conversation instead of a ping-pong match of made up abbreviations. Now don't get me wrong, I can text and do on occasion, but I don't abbreviate. I guess that's kind of like smoking marijuana without inhaling...I digress. I do own a laptop, and a Razor phone, and I can proudly install all of my own home-theatre equipment.

Recently however, a very real and scary thought occurred to me; I'm slipping. I'm not keeping up with the times. What if Ella (my soon to be 2 year old) hands me one of her toys in a few months? What if it is complicated and small and hard to read and my big-fat-old-fingers can't push the tiny little buttons. I find myself methodically turning the gadget this way and that only to notice my head is slightly cocked to one side, and I feel tension in my nose, and all the while my lips are gaping open as I am breathing through my mouth.

"This can't be happening to me, I'm becoming my technologically challenged ancestors." So while blogging may not be the most technically advanced pastime, I have decided to join the ranks in an effort to ward off the aging process and dip just slightly into this pop-culture phenomenon of letting strangers read your diary.

Look at me I blogged all by myself!