Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Disturbing behavior I have witnessed on the subway

1. Nail clipping.
I have seen this more times than I care to remember. The perp is invariably a male who has no qualms about flinging his shards around the car. Just thinking about the sound makes me shudder: click... click... click...

2. A guy throwing up. Oddly, this happened the day before St. Patrick's Day.

3. A woman using an eyelash curler. Lipstick, fine. Even mascara can be forgiven. But lady, you really ought to draw the line at using metal implements on your eyes on the N train. The word "gouge" comes to mind, and that's never a good thing.

4. People leaning against the center pole with one butt cheek on either side. (Hey, I warned you this list would be disturbing.) Not only is it repulsive, hogging the pole is just plain rude.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Special Guest Blog: Words I Don’t Care For

Ed. note: this is the first in a series of guest blogs. Got an idea for one of your own? Send it to me and I'll make you famous. You probably know my e-mail address.

A Special Guest Blog by... Alyson!

1. Tender. This is the all-time #1 in my Words I Don’t Care for Hall of Fame. I have never liked this word. I even have a visceral reaction to it. If you’re ever around me when the word “tender” is uttered, you’ll notice my shoulders go back, as if I’m wincing. I can’t stand to hear Elvis’ “Love Me Tender.” I don’t like referring to money as “legal tender.” If you sprain your ankle and it’s swollen, don’t tell me it’s “tender.” I especially hate when people say the meat they’re eating is “tender.” Blech. Just say no to tender. Except bartenders. They’re OK in my book.

2. Juice. Don’t get me wrong – I like juice (although I’m not really a fan of prune), I just don’t like the word. I don’t know if it’s the combination of the “juh” and the “ooh” sounds or the fact that I mostly associate drinking juice with not feeling well. I’ll say “juice” but I won’t like to.

3.Travel-Related Nouns Made into Verbs, Specifically, Vacationed, Honeymooned and Cruised. Although I am a native English speaker and in fact, attended and graduated from an Ivy League ™ University, I never learned English grammar. There’s probably some grammar term that describes what I’m referring to, but I was never taught it. Anyway, this phenomenon drives me kuh-razy. I love to TAKE VACATIONS, although I have never BEEN ON A HONEYMOON or TAKEN A CRUISE*. I want to slap anyone I hear saying “Oh, we honeymooned in Bora Bora! We loved it!” (And not just because I am jealous they went to Bora Bora.) On the episode of “Golden Girls” when Blanche is contemplating getting engaged to a rich widower, he suggests some honeymoon options – Paris, visiting the Orient (hey guy, it’s called “Asia” now) or, he wonders, maybe she’d prefer to “cruise” the islands. Every time I see it, I want to throw my shoe at the TV. (For the record, Blanche turns him down. Not because he said “cruise the islands” but because she thought his young kids needed him more than she did.)

4. Tummy. Call it what it is – a belly. Ha! No, call it a stomach. Tummy and Belly just sound embarrassing. This is baby talk and it should be banned.

Honorable Mention:
Word I Used to Not Care For, But Have Made My Peace With:

Hoagie. Ah, the hoagie. The delicious hoagie. Where I grew up, this oversized delight of a sandwich was called a “wedge.” In other places, it’s commonly known as a “sub.” But in my dear Philadelphia, it’s a hoagie. For the first couple of years I lived in Philadelphia, I refused to utter the word “hoagie.” If I wanted one, I would refer to it as an “H” when I was with friends or somehow get my point across to the person taking my order without having to say “hoagie.” But eventually I was worn down. I lived across the street from the best hoagie place on campus (in my opinion) and since a really delicious Italian hoagie only cost $2.75 (1989 dollars), I went there a lot. Out of convenience, I started to say “hoagie” occasionally and I guess I just got used to it.

* This is a lie. I have been on a cruise, but I was 7 months old and don’t remember it.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

The best songs with names in the title

Ed. note: Hey, gang. Sorry for the long pause, but my life got pretty busy for a bit. Stay tuned for a special (and hilarious) guest posting in the next couple of days.

1. "Eleanor Put Your Boots On," Franz Ferdinand

Wow, this is a great tune: a paean to the Cyclone, the Statue of Liberty (known here as "the statue with the dictionary") and Greenpoint. People should start naming their kids (or at least pets) Eleanor because of this one.

2. "William, It Was Really Nothing," The Smiths

What exactly was William all worked up about? We may never know.

3. "Do You Remember Walter?," The Kinks

Gotta love a bittersweet look back at the friendships of youth. Plus, Walter is a funny name.

4. "Stephanie Says," The Velvet Underground

The Velvets were big ol' namedroppers, and I love them for it. "Candy Says" and "Lisa Says" are OK, too, but "Stephanie" wins 'cause it's alliterative.