Monday, June 24, 2013

Out with the Old, In with the More Logical

All right, folks. It’s question time.

Do you ever have one of those days where for some strange reason you can not get a rather inane query out of your head? Just to be clear, that’s not actually my question. Just one of those annoying rhetoricals that regardless of how you answer can not keep me from blabbering on.

The point is, I had one of those days today. And it was a question that has haunted me similarly on past such days. A question I do believe will continue to irk my brain until we do something about it.

Why, in the world, are we still calling the garment we place on our lower halves a “pair of pants?”


Not why we did originally. That makes sense to me. Pantaloons were made up of two unjoined legs. You wanted your whole lower half covered? You needed a pair of them. Great.

But why are we still doing it?

I’ve received varying answers over the years when I’ve railed at whoever would listen.

“It’s just what we’ve always called them.”

Hey, I love traditions as much as the next gal. Believe me. But it seems we didn’t care quite enough about it to keep calling them pantaloons. So if your argument is simply that we are slaves to custom, then you really shouldn’t be half-assing it. Tell me that you’re going out to pick up a new pair of denim pantaloons and I might put more stock in this statement.

“People are too used to it. It’ll never change.”

Really? Laziness?

Humans not only created the original leg coverings, but then later on decided, “You know what? This whole two separate things held together by a belt is annoying. Let’s just add a piece on top and make it one thing. Maybe then I’ll stop misplacing that damn right pantaloon,” and made it happen. And then they went further and made these mystical objects in a wonderful variety of materials. Corduroy! Denim! Linen! Velour! Let’s make them really flared on the bottom! Nope, sick of that. Let’s make them so tight on the bottom that it’s hard to wear even ankle socks! How about a few regularly cut ones for the rest of us? We can make those too? Perfect!  

Humans can do all that, along with a couple other things over the course of history, but we don’t have the get-up-and-go to alter the way we talk about something?

For shame.

Of course, even this excuse is better than the one that I receive the vast majority of the time:

“Well, you’ve got two legs, don’t you?”

Let’s, for the sake of expediency, put aside the bizarre implications of this statement if we extend it out to why in all of hell we refer to our lower undergarment as a “pair of underwear.” Well, expediency and the fact that I’m not actually comfortable asking if any of you have more than one ass.

So, yes, I do have two legs. I also have two arms, which are often covered by sleeves. However, the garment the sleeves are attached to is called a shirt. Singular. I don’t get up in the morning and pull on my shirts. Well, I mean….I do if I’m layering, I guess. But you get what I’m saying.

Now, for the ladies reading, let us consider our upper undergarment. Yes, there are two cups, but when sewn together, they become a bra. Again singular, despite also being able to boast that it covers something of which I have more than one.

And for today’s final example of why this argument is the height of ridiculousness,* I offer you a picture of me this past Christmas:

Yes, envy and awe are the correct emotions with 
which to view this photo.

This garment covers everything with the exception of my hands and head. Despite this, we refer to in the singular. Further, we are so enamored with the marvel of this singularity, we have built it right into the name.

The onesie.

And if we can do that for this article of clothing, taking into account all it covers, I do not ever again want to hear that they are called pants because I have two legs.

Now, I believe in us, as a people. Together, we can effect change. We can ensure that our great-grandchildren aren’t still having this conversation.

And we can start today.

Well, maybe tomorrow. It’s getting kind of late over here and I need to put on pajamas.


Procrastination is the enemy!

Forget pajamas. I’m going to put on a sweatpant!

That’s right, folks. I said it.

So, what are you doing to help the cause?

*Bold statement to make in light of this entire post, I know. But I’m sticking by it. 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Traveling Tunes: Ireland

Good morning, folks! Well, it's actually afternoon for me. And it's night in Australia....

So, maybe I should just stick with "Hey there!"

I am still knocking around the Emerald Isle, song in my heart as I go. Thought it only right to share some of them with you. And, so, my traveling soundtrack grows...

To begin with, I must include some musicians who I've actually seen in person:

I mean, the music is beautiful enough. But add in the balancing act? That's just impressive.

Try to listen to this next song without at least tapping your foot.

If you managed it, you've much more will power than I.

This trip is my first time hearing this next song.

Absolutely beautiful and also, nice to know that the love of Elvis spans oceans.

I would be remiss in this list if I didn't include at least one song in Irish.

If you're interested in a translation, check it out here!

To tie things up, here's another tune that, if you're anything like me, is going to get you clapping before you realize it.

And, now, I must go and learn to play a tin whistle or bodhran or fiddle or something.....

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Spider Vs. Slasher

So, I mentioned yesterday that there was a spider who horned in on my alone time.

Now, I don't want to say that I'm scared of spiders. Not that it's not true. I just feel like an idiot saying it. So, let's just go with, they make me uncomfortable. In a slightly maniacal fashion.

This guy was big. Like maybe half dollar sized. Weirdly enough, this made him a bit more tolerable because the big ones tend to be, in my experience, more lethargic, not possessing the creepy ass speed of their smaller brethren. So, I thought, maybe we could coexist peacefully. I proposed a deal to the arachnid: He didn't move and I would pretend like the fact that I was a million times bigger meant I wouldn't scream like a tiny baby child if he touched me.

To keep him from thinking I was too soft, I employed a Dread Pirate Roberts attitude as I scurried past the beast on my way to the bedroom.

"Good night, spider. I'll most likely kill you in the morning."

But the spider kept to his web and slowly I relaxed. And by relaxed, I mean that I only looked over to make sure that the spider was staying put every ten minutes rather than seconds. See? Easy breezy.

In those moments of calm, it occurred to me that my definitively embarrassing behavior as a result of the aforementioned arachnid was not far removed from that of characters in horror movies. I would run up the stairs quickly (I know, I know, NEVER go up!) and in the back of my mind I kept picturing the spider grabbing my ankles through the open staircase. I would hear the house settle and jump, thinking maybe it was from the weight of spider movement.

I imagined myself as that babysitter who calls the police about getting a bunch of weird calls and is told "The calls are coming from inside the house." The serial killer is coming up the stairs toward me.

And here's how the scene played out in my head - me, still on the phone with the dispatcher, having the following conversation:

Okay. Okay. I can hear him coming up the stairs. Please send the police quickly. I'm going to hide under the bed. Oh....Oh hell no. 
**bloodcurdling scream** 
What? No. No he's not up here. You think that was for him? Are you kidding me? There's a spider under my bed. This can't be happening. This can't be happening. You know what, sir? I'm going to take my chances with the slasher. Don't tell me to calm down! A SPIDER is under MY BED. A SPIDER. What are you not understanding here?? 
**Slasher busts through door** 
Fantastic. Just what I need right now. Yeah. It's him. He's in the room. You know what, man? It's all yours. Oh, and the sickle. Really subtle. And you look like an idiot in that clown mask. You wanna scare people? Dress like a spider. Yeah. Yes, sir, I'm still on the phone. Don't you swing that sickle at me. No, sir. Why in the world would I be saying that to you? Yeah, I get it. Police on their way. Great. Will you stop worrying about this clown? If you swing that sickle at me one more time, I am going to shove it so far up where the sun don't shine I can't even tell you. Do I look like I'm kidding? You wanna kill something? Great. How about starting with the monster scurrying under the bed? You know, make yourself useful for once. Sir, stop yelling about the police! You really want to help?? Just send over a good exterminator!

I am sorry to say that, in the end, the cottage spider could not keep to his side of the deal. Not only did he make his move, but he made it in the direction of my bedroom. And that is behavior for which a lady can just not stand.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Being a hermit has its upsides...

Hello again, folks!

Quick update on my first couple of weeks in Ireland.

Short story: They were pretty damn awesome.

Slightly longer story: I got to stay in a fantastic cottage.

With this view:

Complaints? There are none. Well, okay, there was one. You see, there was this spider.... But, you know what? That's a story for another day.

My parents joined me for the first week and we explored the lovely countryside. And it was seriously lovely.

And then for the second week, it was just me and I got to play the hermit. No internet access. Very little phone service. At best a handful of television channels. Just me, a pile of notebooks and an iPad full of stories to read. Got to revise my WIP and read twelve books. That's right TWELVE. In seven days. Hello, heaven.

Plus! It was cool enough to make use of the wood burning stove:

The week was perfection, but despite loving my short stint as a recluse, it turns out I like talking to people. Who knew, right? So, I'm quite happy too now that I've moved on to an apartment closer to Galway city. And I have the internet again! Which, let's face it, I did miss. This also means that I can start research for the next story I'm working on whilst my beta readers have at the ol' WIP.

My summer of travel has served me well, thus far. But I am missing all of you. So, what have you been up to?

Friday, June 7, 2013

Traveling Tunes: Australia

Back in April, I started off my traveling soundtrack. After my time spent down under, I'm ready to add some  more songs to this list.

Now, whereas the first grouping didn't need much explanation, I feel like these might warrant a sentence or two.

To begin with, who doesn't feel like this when they're on vacation?

Plus, all the times that she sings "I'm flying" is really reminiscent of the thirty odd hours I spent in a plane.

We saw Shakespeare's Henry IV at the Opera House. The play was quite cool and the Opera House itself was stunning. The problem was that there were posters for it all over the city. And every time we saw them, the Roomie just couldn't help but start singing about another Henry.

It's like The Song that Never Ends. At least when the Roomie sings it. Because it's not just the second verse that's the same as the first, but the third....seventh....twenty-sixth....

Also, I actually attended a sporting event - a rugby game between the Rabitohs and the Cowboys. Now, we were rooting for the Rabitohs because that's who my friends told us to root for, but let's face it, I would have rooted for them anyway. Much cooler name. Anyway, I have to include this song because I have been properly programmed by sports movies to believe that it is not a true athletic event if there isn't any Queen on in the background.

I managed to stop myself from yelling "Quack...quack...quack!" whenever people would start chanting. Instead I'd just yell "Rugby!" And occasionally "Scrum!" That's a rugby thing, right?

We were in the country for Mother's Day and there were lots of commercials for different gifts folks could be getting their moms. One of them was about music and the main song they played (including clips from the video) in the background was the following:

And the voice over would say, "Just like Michael Buble says, Mother's Day is a beautiful day!" Now, I could be wrong, but I don't think that's exactly what he was singing about. Maybe I missed some nuances?

This following song is by an Australian artist my friends introduced me to during my visit. There's some language in here that's not quite kid-appropriate, but I'd say the message it fairly universal. After all, aren't we all wondering where in all of hell are the hoverboards we were promised??

Science, you did let me down. But I'm here to tell you, I will totally forgive and forget if you would just give me a flying car. Preferably a hatchback.

All right, that wraps up this segment, but I'll be adding in songs from my time at location one in Ireland next week.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

And now I want a pet wombat....

Hey there, folks! Long time, no interface.

I'm still playing the happy vagabond. Actually managed to go almost an entire month without consistent Internet service, as well as a number of weeks sans cell phone (the mind reels). It was quite bizarre, but also kind of lovely. And if I was willing to walk a while, I was generally able to find some place with free WiFi when I really needed a fix.

The first stop on my travels was Australia. It was, to put it mildly, pretty damn awesome. I wouldn't hate it if it were a little bit more accessible, but I still think it was more than worth the estimated million hours I spent in the air. If for no other reason than I got to meet this guy:

He pretty much wrecked me for all future cuteness. I mean, come on, who pictures this when they hear "wombat"?? I was expecting a lady bat, or something. But, no, this little dude came a-wandering out and just stole my heart right away. 

Not that this guy was any slouch, either.

Sydney is a really beautiful city. As well as being full of inclines. Seriously, there was no place to walk where at least part of it wasn't uphill. Probably more exercise than I've gotten in the last decade or so. My legs were still pretty much every day. And it was awesome. (Also, probably a necessity considering how much gelato I put away.)

I even walked across that bridge to the right. Though I left the walking over the arch to other people. You know, the crazy ones. 'Cause that's a thing apparently - walking over the whole arch. No, thank you.

The views outside the city were seriously mind-boggling. 

They brought to mind fairy tale adventures. Which may be a large contributing factor as to why I'm currently re-reading Kristin Cashore's Graceling. Well, the views and the fact that the book is made of awesome. 

All in all, the first leg of my journey was fairly epic. But I've now left that lovely continent and landed in the Emerald Isle. 

More on that later. For now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go continue my search for leprechauns. You understand, I'm sure.