time to step it up, guys

Is this the next logical step for us?  I bet Toni Morrison would not have liked my comments about Beloved. Meh.

One issue I have with the article is in the first five sentences.  “…the trappings of a traditional book club. [ ] A dozen people, mostly women…”

I didn’t know book club was for girls.



After much fat chewing by Wendy, Danielle, and me about Lord of the Flies, we unanimously agreed that we should have read the book.  Now that that’s out of the way, on to our next read, The Woman in White, by Wilkie Collins.  

In other news, after the meeting at Shaw’s Tavern, we toured a condo that we happened upon in the neighborhood.  We are looking for a permanent place to house our meetings and this seemed like the most financially sound option.  Any objections? Didn’t thinks so……  Also, book club had no money so if anyone has a spare 450k, talk to me.  

And now for a game of Guess Who Said It?  The following quote about our book was said at tonight’s meeting.  A free beer to the first one to guess its speaker and comment accordingly below.
“I mean, like, I felt like the book could have been like really good, and seriously, they were totally mean to Piggy, right?”. There you have it folks, the official synopsis.  

I’m a few days behind but, I have a good excuse.  See, my other resolution was to take things less seriously.  I’ve been focusing on that one for the last two days.  Well, another shockingly warm day in DC.  It makes me want to fire up the grill, plant some annuals and sit in the park.  It was so warm today that the loamy, vernal, smell of spring came up through the piles of leaves that collected in the corners of our backyard during the fall.  That smell, more so than the temperature, made spring come to mind.  I really had to restrain myself at Ace Hardware from buying gardening supplies and stick to the trim pieces needed.  Walking back from Ace, with a little spring in my step, it occurred to me; Washington DC is alive and well.  Seriously, I walk down NY Avenue and the transformation that has occurred there in the last 12 months is nothing less than astounding.  Walk anywhere in DC and I challenge you not to notice the buzz of a handsaw, the ping of a hammer, or the rumble of a jack hammer.  All this exfoliation at the surface is punctuated by construction cranes dotting the skyline.  I know we’re climbing out of a recession, but DC seems to be climbing faster all the time.  Hopefully the pace doesn’t become unsustainable, but if history is any indicator, I fear the worst.

I found this poem and decided it needed sharing.

English Pronunciation by G. Nolst Trenité

Dearest creature in creation,
Study English pronunciation.
I will teach you in my verse
Sounds like corpse, corps, horse, and worse.
I will keep you, Suzy, busy,
Make your head with heat grow dizzy.
Tear in eye, your dress will tear.
So shall I! Oh hear my prayer.
Just compare heart, beard, and heard,
Dies and diet, lord and word,
Sword and sward, retain and Britain.
(Mind the latter, how it’s written.)
Now I surely will not plague you
With such words as plaque and ague.
But be careful how you speak:
Say break and steak, but bleak and streak;
Cloven, oven, how and low,
Script, receipt, show, poem, and toe.
Hear me say, devoid of trickery,
Daughter, laughter, and Terpsichore,
Typhoid, measles, topsails, aisles,
Exiles, similes, and reviles;
Scholar, vicar, and cigar,
Solar, mica, war and far;
One, anemone, Balmoral,
Kitchen, lichen, laundry, laurel;
Gertrude, German, wind and mind,
Scene, Melpomene, mankind.
Billet does not rhyme with ballet,
Bouquet, wallet, mallet, chalet.
Blood and flood are not like food,
Nor is mould like should and would.
Viscous, viscount, load and broad,
Toward, to forward, to reward.
And your pronunciation’s OK
When you correctly say croquet,
Rounded, wounded, grieve and sieve,
Friend and fiend, alive and live.
Ivy, privy, famous; clamour
And enamour rhyme with hammer.
River, rival, tomb, bomb, comb,
Doll and roll and some and home.
Stranger does not rhyme with anger,
Neither does devour with clangour.
Souls but foul, haunt but aunt,
Font, front, wont, want, grand, and grant,
Shoes, goes, does. Now first say finger,
And then singer, ginger, linger,
Real, zeal, mauve, gauze, gouge and gauge,
Marriage, foliage, mirage, and age.
Query does not rhyme with very,
Nor does fury sound like bury.
Dost, lost, post and doth, cloth, loth.
Job, nob, bosom, transom, oath.
Though the differences seem little,
We say actual but victual.
Refer does not rhyme with deafer.
Fe0ffer does, and zephyr, heifer.
Mint, pint, senate and sedate;
Dull, bull, and George ate late.
Scenic, Arabic, Pacific,
Science, conscience, scientific.
Liberty, library, heave and heaven,
Rachel, ache, moustache, eleven.
We say hallowed, but allowed,
People, leopard, towed, but vowed.
Mark the differences, moreover,
Between mover, cover, clover;
Leeches, breeches, wise, precise,
Chalice, but police and lice;
Camel, constable, unstable,
Principle, disciple, label.
Petal, panel, and canal,
Wait, surprise, plait, promise, pal.
Worm and storm, chaise, chaos, chair,
Senator, spectator, mayor.
Tour, but our and succour, four.
Gas, alas, and Arkansas.
Sea, idea, Korea, area,
Psalm, Maria, but malaria.
Youth, south, southern, cleanse and clean.
Doctrine, turpentine, marine.
Compare alien with Italian,
Dandelion and battalion.
Sally with ally, yea, ye,
Eye, I, ay, aye, whey, and key.
Say aver, but ever, fever,
Neither, leisure, skein, deceiver.
Heron, granary, canary.
Crevice and device and aerie.
Face, but preface, not efface.
Phlegm, phlegmatic, ass, glass, bass.
Large, but target, gin, give, verging,
Ought, out, joust and scour, scourging.
Ear, but earn and wear and tear
Do not rhyme with here but ere.
Seven is right, but so is even,
Hyphen, roughen, nephew Stephen,
Monkey, donkey, Turk and jerk,
Ask, grasp, wasp, and cork and work.
Pronunciation (think of Psyche!)
Is a paling stout and spikey?
Won’t it make you lose your wits,
Writing groats and saying grits?
It’s a dark abyss or tunnel:
Strewn with stones, stowed, solace, gunwale,
Islington and Isle of Wight,
Housewife, verdict and indict.
Finally, which rhymes with enough,
Though, through, plough, or dough, or cough?
Hiccough has the sound of cup.
My advice is to give up!!!

It was weird being back at work after the longer-than-normal Christmas break this year.  Work isn’t new; Christmas break isn’t new, but for some reason this year was different.  It seemed like everyone was especially refreshed and chipper.  Perhaps it was the unseasonably cold weather…….  I have to admit that I include myself in the especially refreshed and chipper camp.  For the first time in a long time I had an uninterrupted week off and got LOTS accomplished.  Ok, maybe not lots, but I successfully stayed away from work, work email, work blackberry and work voicemail.  Maybe that’s why me (and most others) seemed so refreshed; we stayed away.  But then I wondered why, when we’re at work, we long for a holiday or a long weekend, but when it really comes down to it, it is really, really difficult to disconnect from work.  Why is this?  Have we become such a work-oriented hive that when deprived of a reason to flock to the office we become uncomfortable?  When did we forget how to enjoy ourselves outside of our sterile cubicles and fluorescent lighting?  These thoughts reminded me of a story a colleague told me not too long ago.  He used to recall fellow employees coming into his self-described dismal office space every weekend.  At first he didn’t know why, then he realized it was because those who did hated being at home and the office was the most convenient escape.  I fear this “I have to work weekends, honey” excuse has become all too common.  Well, let it be known:  I’m taking a stand against this rob0-worker who never tires and clamours to the cubicles on Saturday mornings!  No more will I feel guilty for not sneaking some work in on a Christmas break!  Instead I’ll marvel at my seemingly limitless capacity to lounge on the couch and watch Law & Order SVU reruns drinking unhealthy amounts of coffee to counteracts of the unhealthy amounts of alcohol I will probably consume the night before.  Now that’s what I call a break.

I have never been one for New Years resolutions.  I don’t really believe you need to have a holiday like New Year’s in order to make some life-improving changes.  However, for several years now I have been planning, intending, hoping, whatever, on starting a daily chronicle of my life, thoughts and doings.  I didn’t want it to be anything elaborate or overly burdensome, but I did think it would be fun, ten or twenty years from now, to look back on my chronicle and reminisce.  I figured I would just do this on paper, buy a notebook or something, and just keep a page per day.  Then I figured I would do it on my computer, in case I got short on time and had to sneak in an entry or two at work.  Finally I decided on a blog, this blog to be exact.  So here goes nothing.  I’m going to start this, a day late already, but going to start this nonetheless.  A year from now I will hopefully look back on this first entry and see that I’ve accomplished my goal of writing every day, (or at least have an entry for each day) during the year of 2012. 

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