1. Yesterday while I was at work, I was browsing some stuff and came across a 110 page document about how to be a better writer. Granted, it was about business writing--which I am only about 8% interested in but sometimes on those rare days when there is absolutely nothing else to do except for that one thing that everyone hates, hates, hates to do (and so no one ever does it and so, in all actuality it probably really needs to be done), then you settle for 8% interest.
I'm always really self-consious about the emails that I send at work. They're, if you ask me, just not super professional. I don't know how to speak in a businessy way. Here's an example of how an ordinary work email would read:
To: Co-workerNaturally, you can see how I'd like to remedy that. I want people to think I'm smart and capable and not, you know, a raving lunatic. So I'm reading this document but it ticked me off after a few pages so I stopped reading. It's like, "don't use big words because there are always little words that will work instead and everyone understands the little words." And they gave you this little dinglewhatsie to remember to dumb down your speech: Don't utilize "utilize" when you can use "use". And... frankly, I'd rather ramble on about Stanley and Stella and make myself look like a moron than talk to any of my co-workers like they are one.
Cc: Everyone else
Hey everyone! So, I was like printing some stuff, you know? And then the printer was all "oh man, I'm so out of paper--feed me!" and then it just occured to me that I don't know where the paper is at! LOLZ I looked EVERYWHERE and I can't find it and I'm all Street Car Named Desire up in here like, "Hey, PAPER!" And I don't know where it's at. So that's why the printer's out of paper.
Subject: Re: Paper
When I worked at South Dakota State University, I was always talking to them about how they used jargon that other people can't relate to at all. You know how your office has a bunch of stuff that only you and your coworkers understand but if you took that kind of talk outside of your place of business, you'd kind of have to change the way you said stuff so that any layman could understand it? Yeah, well, they did that a lot. And I was in charge of the writing part of the department and at meetings I'd say, "We really need to work on using a more approachable vernacular if we're going to get anyone excited about what's going on here in our department." And finally one day, in front of all of my co-workers, my boss (who had a freakin' doctorate) said, "I know you're just out of college but you don't have to use such fancy words just to impress us. No one knows what that means." Aside from being totally ironic--that was mean and she made me feel very, very small just because she had to look up the word "vernacular". But, seriously, I guess there are other ways to say what I meant to say but those are the words that just popped out of my mouth. I guess I'm just a natural genius (relatively speaking).
That didn't really flow together very nicely but I'm done talking about workplace language.
2. It is freezing in my apartment. It's 59 degrees. Sure, all of the windows are open and I could close them. But I'd rather freeze and be happy with the pure, unadulterated spring time than go back to my stuffed up existence that I've been living in since, oh, October.
3. One day, when I was too young to be reading Seventeen Magazine, I was found that very publication in the Stafford Public Library and that was the day that I got a taste for advice columns. And in Seventeen Magazine there are a'plenty. At least there were, I haven't exactly picked up that publication in a while. Everyone's writing in saying stuff like, "My mom doesn't like my boyfriend and he wants us to run away as soon as I turn 18 but I think that maybe I want to go to college and become a marine biologist but he's so cute. Help!" or, "I'm 15 and I'm a virgin. Is that weird?!" or, "I'm confused, how to you kiss with a tongue?" (Some variation of that last question is an actual question that I remember reading. I. Was. Intrigued.)
From then on, I was hooked. I would find advice columns anywhere I could, this was back in the 90's when the interwebz wasn't so readily available. I started reading the paper. I loved Dear Abby and Miss Manners and I'd even read Heloise give hints to people who are asking questions like, "How do I get candle wax out of my great-great-great grandmother's lace table runner?" Mostly I would wonder how long those people were sitting there with waxy table runners, searching the paper every day looking for the answer to their question. And what if it never came? What if they chose someone else's question to answer? And everyone used a fake, not-even-a-name-name. It was the best.
Anyway, I wanted to be an advice columnist. I want a nice, tiny headshot of myself and three columns in which to answer the burning questions that people have. Questions that I'm absolutely not qualified to answer--but I'll give it a shot.
Seriously, leave advicey questions in the comments (they don't even have to be for reals) or if they are for reals and you're all like, super embarrassed to come out to the whole world, you can just come out to me. libbymparker (at) gmail (dot) com Dou like how I just got excited about the possibility of getting something really juicy even though we all know that's not really going to happen? That's so Libby.
I promise to take some head shots and we'll put those all together and put Dear Abby to shame. If I get enough, maybe I'll make a regular thing of it. We love regular things!!
Signed, Dreams Really Do Come True