May 31, 2010

punctuation saves lives

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There is a big difference between, "Let’s eat, Grandma!" or "Let’s eat Grandma!" Punctuation helps us to understand the exact connotation on one's words, and also to make us sound rather intelligent. I for one am very particular about using the correct punctuation. I know that their, there, they're are very different, I think that commas are exponentially important and I understand when to use your and you're. I don't like the look of capital letters and would prefer not to use them, (hence why I don't capitalise my blog post headings), but force myself to. But others are not quite as finicky. 

For my birthday a few weeks ago my brother gave me a book titled 'I Judge You When You Use Poor Grammar' (see above) which is a collection of photographs with some of the most amusing and ridiculous grammar slip-ups to ever exist. Author Sharon Eliza Nichols created a Facebook group of the same name, and the photos in the book are from the many fan photos uploaded to the page. Shocking punctuation mistakes are evident on signs, t-shirts, pavements, menus and billboards and some are rather entertaining.

There are apostrophe catastrophes:
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Sentences that just don't make sense:
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Spelling mistakes:
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Some that are just plain unfortunate:
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And others that are hilarious.
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It just goes to show that if you don't know where your apostrophes go, what a homophone is or how to spell - you’re never going to be able to communicate correctly and will probably be photographed and published in a book for the whole world to laugh at.

May 30, 2010

book or movie?

How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Written by Dr. Seuss/Directed by Ron Howard


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Before I begin, just let me say one thing. Dr. Seuss is brilliant. Entertainingly, amazingly and wittingly brilliant. His books have the ability to bring joy to anyone and everyone through his mind boggling creativity. So I believe that any film adaption of a Dr. Seuss picture book cannot quite bring the full amount of awesomeness to the screen. I am always excited by the idea of a Dr. Seuss film, but I never really seem to like them. It's as if the weirdness and oddity that suits the books so well just comes out in the films like the director was on crack during the whole film making progress.

To be honest, I found it difficult to even sit through the whole of How the Grinch Stole Christmas but forced myself, mainly so I could write this post. I even turned it off at one stage due to boredom but then tried to have a positive attitude and continued my viewing. It's unusual as to why I love the books but loathe the movies - but I think it may have something to do with the fact that it is such a short book trying to be stretched into a movie. The film covered all instances depicted in the book - some even word for word - and these I enjoyed, but all the fluff that the screenwriters created themselves ruined it completely. I didn't need to see Cindy-Lou Who meeting the Grinch before Christmas and nominating him for the Christmas Spirit award - or the Grinch's troubled green childhood.

I perfectly understand that to make How the Grinch Stole Christmas into a 1.5 hour film would need to involve some adding in to the plot - but come on! Isn't that a tad disrespectful to the great Dr. Seuss? I tell you what, a Dr. Seuss television series would be ace. A new book for every episode - Green Eggs and Ham one week and One fish, Two fish, Red fish, Blue fish the next. I seem to find any Dr. Seuss movie just plain weird. I know the books are, and I love them, but the movies just have never tickled my fancy - maybe due to my dislike of Jim Carrey who stars in all of them. I am yet to see Horton Hears a Who but can tell you I will probably not like it. Sorry.

Dr. Seuss is one of the greatest children's authors of all time, so it comes as no surprise that his books will always be superior to any film adaption Hollywood comes up with. That's just the way it is.

May 28, 2010

my first big mac


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A few weeks ago in maths a friend told me about a dream she had in which she ate her first ever Big Mac. A few of us then discovered that we all had never had one either. Like, NEVER. So we decided that we should all try our first Big Mac together when the opportunity arose. And arise it did, because yesterday after our fashion parade rehearsal we walked to the nearest Maccas and ordered our meals. Only two of us decided to test the Big Mac - and we got a free cup!

After a quick walk to a nearby friend's house, while being shouted at by idiots in green station wagons, me and my friend took our first ever Big Mac bites together. It was quite a momentous occasion, as we scoffed the three bun tier in a few minutes. It was enjoyable - I especially liked the special sauce (mustard and mayonnaise mixed together I think) but reckon that a smaller version would be much more preferable. Only two bits of the bread and one meat pattie but with the yummy sauce - a Small Mac maybe?

I was so excited about having eaten one I went around saying, "I had my first Big Mac today!" No one really cared but I enjoyed it nevertheless. I will probably eat more Big Macs in the future - but for now - that was plenty enough. And really, let’s face it, it's just because I love Maccas.

May 18, 2010

dream big

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Dreams are so important. To be able to dream for your future and what you want to achieve is an admirable and amazing thing. There are many great role models around the world that show us that our dreams are achievable. The most recent of these is sixteen year old solo sailor Jessica Watson. After spending seven months alone at sea on a voyage around the world, Jessica returned home on Saturday.

I am not particularly interested in the sailing, but rather that Jessica had a dream that she pursued and achieved. I think that it is absolutely wonderful that someone as young as 16 made her mind up for something she wanted to do and believed enough in herself to do it. Jessica faced people who disagreed with her decision, but all that mattered was that she had enough grit to go for it no matter what the consequences.

What's even better: once Jessica had achieved her great feat she had enough humility to say to a whole nation, "I don't consider myself a hero. I'm an ordinary girl who believed in her dream. You don't have to be someone special or anything special to achieve something amazing. You've just got to have a dream, believe in it and work hard."

It is great to have such an amazing role model in the current news. I believe that every person, no matter what wealth, race, religion, background or age should be able to achieve their dreams. Whether it is just something that may seem small or you want to save the world, go for it because you can. Jessica Watson has shown Australia and quite possibly the world, that if you have a dream, all you have to do is try your hardest and you can achieve it.

May 14, 2010

foot in mouth

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Just warning you; I will most likely put my foot in my mouth during this post, so apologies extended in advance. Foot in mouth syndrome is basically what is defined as the very skilled ability to say exactly the wrong thing at the wrong time. Or as the picture above states, incomprehensible bullshit. Some are absolute masters at this, and manage to fit it into every conversation as they ramble on and offend and like to think that everyone is listening when really they're not. Foot in mouth syndrome comes in three different categories which can be found EVERYWHERE.

Category number one is labelled as "those who pretend they have foot in mouth but are actually just mean". They're the type of person who will throw 'accidental' insults your way and then pretend it didn't happen. One girl called me ugly in three separate ways one day but did it in a beating around the bush kind of way. This didn't even bother me one bit because I couldn't really care less of her opinion if she didn't have the guts to say it to my face.

Next is category two; "those who are so dumb they do not even realise what they are saying". This section I believe to have lost the thing that exists in your brain to filter your thoughts before they become words. An absolute master of this is Elliott Reed from Scrubs. If you are unfamiliar with this character all you need to do is pick any random episode from the eight seasons of Scrubs, watch it and witness the boulderdash that comes out of her mouth. My favourite is when she insults Jewish people in front of Turk who has a Jewish mother, and then picks up a photo frame, and says, "Oh, when did you meet Morgan Freeman?" The photo was of his mother.

Finally we come to category three who "just sometimes forget what they are saying". This is me. Once we had dinner guests over and I said something about it being good we weren't Dutch, and of course our dinner guests happened to be Dutch. I do these kind of things quite often when I don't bother to take time to actually process my thoughts and I am very much sorry for this.

Foot in mouth is everywhere. When have you come across it?

May 11, 2010

you call that customer service?


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Last week I went to apply for my learners licence. After waiting in line for approximately ten or so minutes Lady #1 snatched my identification out of my hand, grunted at me and nodded to where I should go. No "Hello, how are you today?" or warm smile, just a glassy stare and a droopy mouth. In my return after (successfully!) completing my computer test Lady #2 snarkily told me to fill out the form and then line up again. Another ten minute wait, Lady #1 again snatched what I had to give to her and asked me how old I was without actually bothering to look at my ID. Lazy. Then when she had taken a long five minutes to do her apparently necessary computer clicks she asked me to read the top line of the eye reading chart.

"Eye Test Chart," I replied as this was the very top line of the eye chart. Lady #1 and 2 purposely looked at each other and laughed their chubby bellies senseless. I was then told to read the 'first line of the letters' and did so without fail. Continuing the trend of waiting in lines, Lady #3 yelled at me to look on the screen which showed the different clerks' availability. Yeah, the screen behind me. That's REALLY helpful. I walked up to Lady #4, handed over the necessary forms and then stood in the appropriate spot for my licence photo to be taken. She then laughed at me and told me I looked like I was in pain. Well thanks, Lady #4, sorry that I couldn't be tolerant to you and your extremely annoying middle-aged co-workers.

Those who work in customer service should perhaps try and be more serviceable to their customers. Because, you know, that's their JOB. It makes a huge difference to have a polite and nice person on the other side of the counter. I do understand that sometimes the last thing you feel like doing is acting like everything is hunky dory when you're tired and want to go home, but you should really just try better. Because as soon as you're behind that counter it's not about you, your cup of coffee and your problems - it's about the customer.

What are your stories of bad service?

May 9, 2010

happy mothers day

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Thanks to mums all around the world for scrubbing dishes, giving copious amounts of hugs and kisses, cleaning messy bedrooms, making lunches, comforting your sick kids, washing clothes, listening, vacuuming, offering advice, being a personal taxi service, being caring, cooking dinner and buying presents. But most of all thankyou for putting others first and being there every single day.

Mums are the ones who love us no matter what we say or do. We can turn to them with anything and we know they will listen to every detail even if it is the most unclimatic story in the history of unclimatic stories. They care and nurture and love and there is nothing better than a cuddle with Mummy. Mums are absolutely great and nothing can ever break the bond between mother and child.

So really, I just wanted to say thank you to every single lady out there who is a mother to a child and thanks for all you do. Especially to my mum who is frankly the best mum EVER and I love to her absolute bits. She is one of my best friends and I know I can trust her with absolutely anything and I hope one day I will be as an awesome mother as her. Life really wouldn't be the same without you Mum.