Monthly Archives: January 2016

Super Bowl

In honor of the upcoming 50th Super Bowl, I’m going to write a post about everything I know about football.

THE END.

Shortest. Blogpost. Ever.

Seriously, I know even less about football than I thought I did, and that wasn’t much. Let me explain. I recently told my future son-in-law that the only thing I know about football is that the team with the ball is the defense. He said “Um… no, they’re not. That’s the offense.” What? I asked if they’re not defending the ball, what is the defense defending? If he answered me, I don’t remember what he said. I probably tuned out as I do any time anyone talks about football.

So, the one thing I thought I knew about football was wrong. Now I know nothing about football. BUT, I do love the Super Bowl. I’m not even sure if there’s a football game involved in the Super Bowl, but there is a fantastic show and a lot of great commercials. It’s the only time of the year that I voluntarily watch commercials. Not only do I watch them, I look forward to them.

I also love Super Bowl parties. Lots of great food and friends. Everyone mingles and talks during the game (or whatever goes on between commercials), then someone yells “COMMERCIALS!” and everyone rushes to the television. I once went to a Super Bowl party where the guests watched the game and talked during the commercials. It was miserable. I left before the halftime show.

In recent years, I have learned that Southern women are allegedly obsessed with football. This is news to me. How did I get through all these years as a Southern woman without knowing this? My mother, aunts and grandmothers weren’t into football. Actually, other than one uncle, I don’t think the men in my family ever watch it. Until Facebook came along, I had no idea that I knew any women who like football. If my newsfeed is any indication, female football fans outnumber males by at least 10 to 1. I have also learned that Facebook does not have the option to hide all football posts. Maybe someday, fingers crossed!

I’m not a complete ditz when it comes to football. I’m not one of those “Go Sports Team! Move the ball through that thingy!” types. I know there are no homeruns, half court shots, or goalies in football. I am aware of touchdowns, passes, and interceptions. However, I have said really dumb things like, “New York is playing the Giants this year.”

One of the benefits of not being a football fan is that you don’t care who wins. No blood pressure issues during the game. In this year’s Superbowl,  Peyton Manning is a fellow southerner who played for the University of Tennessee (where my daughter received two degrees).  Michael Oher, a tackle for the Panthers, is from right here in my hometown of Memphis. I can root for the local talent and it’ll be a win either way.

Go Commercials!!

If I Were Queen

The recent Powerball jackpot of over a billion dollars had everyone talking about what they would do if they won. I don’t like participating in this particular fantasy because it’s a big waste of time. When the chances are 1 in 292 million, I don’t really see the point in spending time figuring out how to spend all of that money, who to donate to, where to invest it, etc. Then it dawned on me. I’ve had fantasies about far less likely things and have wasted plenty of time thinking about it. My favorite is… “If I were Queen of the Universe.”

 

Yes, it’s true. I have actually spent time thinking about what I would outlaw if I ruled over everything and everybody. Rarely do I think about crime and punishment or peace and love. No, I think about things like outlawing that gesture people make when they’re describing a phone conversation they had. Or air typing while telling you about an email they sent. Those things are annoying and as Queen of the Universe, I would eradicate them.

 

While road rage isn’t one of my vices, I do have a pet peeve or two about bad drivers. I live in Memphis where we were once known for having the country’s worst drivers (somehow we’ve dropped way down the list). I have lots of experience with bad Memphis drivers as I drive 27 miles, each way, to work and back. My drive is almost entirely on the highway. Memphis loves to drive in the left lane, as slow as idle speed will allow. If I were queen, there would be a minimum speed and it would be strongly enforced. There would be steep fines for anyone driving 40 in a 55. Another pet peeve… see my Facebook post below.

 

I wrote that three years ago, but encountered someone on my drive yesterday who was obviously uninformed. Enjoy your ditch!

So I guess thinking about what to do with lottery winnings isn’t so crazy after all. Although, I prefer to think about banning Neil Young music from the radio, doing away with staff meetings, and outlawing medication names that aren’t real words. What would you do?

Noise

The older we get, the more I need quiet and my husband needs noise. He is losing his hearing and I’m gaining some sort of bizarre Bionic Woman ear. Background noises have become louder and more annoying than ever, not that I can hear them over his television volume.

I think I may have developed misophonia. Have you heard of this? I have only recently heard the term, but the symptoms have been around for a while. Misophonia literally means “hatred of sound.” But it’s actually a strong emotional reaction to specific sounds. It’s most often associated with hating the sound of chewing, which doesn’t bother me at all. For me it’s repetitive noises like clicking a pen, or unfortunately, the constant beeping of IV machines – not a good sound to hate when you’re a nurse.

I was recently in the grocery store and there was a man nearby sucking on his teeth. I cannot stand that sound and it stirs a fight or flight reaction in me. I had two choices, abandon my basket and leave the store or move to another area away from this man – although I needed some things in this particular part of the store. There was actually a third choice, but I would have ended up with assault charges and jail time, so I opted out of that one.

On work days, our morning routine is noisy. The first thing my husband does when he wakes up is turn on the television. He will choose one of two things to watch, and I can’t stand either of them. One is reruns of Married With Children. I hate this show. It’s not just the bad acting and raunchy subject matter. There’s something about the sound of this show, especially the laugh track, that bugs me. I haven’t researched it, but I’m willing to bet they use the same laugh track as Three’s Company… another show I cannot stand. My aversion to the sound of a show isn’t unheard of (no pun intended). Remember the lady who had seizures every time she heard Mary Hart’s voice on Entertainment Tonight?
My husband’s other viewing option is the local news. I don’t watch it for a number of reasons… It’s nothing but shootings and killings, and kids are almost always involved. That’s not how I want to start my day. I have never understood why sports and weather are considered news. The weather part, which is always wrong, promises an update every ten minutes. Why? Does the weather change every ten minutes? If we’re going to have people predicting the weather, why don’t we have psychics predicting the news. Now that would be worth watching!

On days off, the morning is much quieter. If we’re at the lake, I always wake up first. I sit in the quiet and read, or just look out at the scenery. When my husband wakes up, the first thing he does is turn on the radio. There’s a station out of Jackson, Tennessee that we really like. Well, I should say, we really like the music they play. However, the commercial breaks are too frequent, they play the same commercials on every break, and they are all homemade, if you know what I mean. No business in Jackson pays a professional to read their advertisements. We get the pleasure of untrained, non-professionals inviting you to come eat, get a loan, or receive medical treatment, in a way that only a small town Tennessee accent can. I cannot do it justice in writing.

Due to some hearing damage, my husband is unable to hear high pitched noises (like the sound of his wife’s voice!). He has a watch that dings every hour, which he cannot hear. Occasionally he “accidentally” sets the alarm on it. It goes off at 3:50 am and I poke him to get up and turn it off. He’ll have it in his hand and still can’t hear it. So of course, he thinks I’m nuts! Whether he can hear it or not, why is it set for 3:50 in the morning?!

 

There’s a copy machine down the hall from my work space that has a squeal. Luckily, it’s not used very often. Even though it’s nowhere near my desk, I can hear it over every other sound in the building. Again, it stirs that fight or flight in me. I can’t concentrate, and I can’t ignore it. If you’re ever watching the morning news, in between weather updates, you might hear of a woman who snapped and took a sledgehammer to the copy machine at work, Office Space style. That’ll be me.

Word of the Year

At the end of every year, a few websites put out a list of words that were most frequently used or overused. Some lists suggest that we retire these words altogether, either because of their overuse, or their nonsensicalness. I have read several of those articles this year and not one of them listed “offended” as the most overused word of the year. Sounds like someone needs to write a new list!

Very often, the word of the year is a word I’ve never heard. For instance, in 2010, “nom” was chosen. I had never heard this word. Apparently, it’s used the same way I would use “yum.” The closest thing I’d ever heard to “nom” is the sound Cookie Monster makes when eating cookies. Another winner was “bae” in 2014. This stands for “before anyone else” and refers to one’s romantic partner. I don’t know one single human being who uses this word. How did it become overused?

Many of this year’s list makers were quite lazy. Merriam-Webster chose “-ism” as the word of the year. That’s not even a word, it’s a suffix! As if that weren’t bad enough, the Oxford Dictionary didn’t even chose a word. They chose an emoji. The one with tears of joy. I don’t use emojis, and to be honest, I can’t see them when other people use them. They’re much too small. I had to get a huge phone just to be able to read on it, but I still can’t see those tiny emoticons. So, if it was overused last year, I didn’t see it.

The American Dialect Society selected the word “they” as the word of the year.  More specifically, the misuse of the word. As much as I love proper English, I am guilty of this error and have admitted as much in this blog. What they’re referring to is using “they” in reference to a singular person, rather than a group of people. Such as, “if someone tells you that you eat too much chocolate, they need to shut up!” Even though it’s incorrect, it flows better than saying “he or she needs to shut up.”

The Collins Dictionary noticed an increased usage of the words binge-watch, dadbod, manspread, and shaming.  Lake Superior State University doesn’t like us starting sentences with the word “So.”

In my opinion, none of these lists are complete. As I said, I’m certain that “offended” was the most overused word of 2015. We can’t eliminate the word, but maybe we can stop feeling it so often. I’d like it if we went back to calling people instead of “reaching out.” Another non-favorite, overused phrase from last year is “Love you to the moon and back.” Ugh! There was a time when we loved each other “this much” with our arms stretched out.

When my cousin’s daughter was little, she wanted to show her parents that she loved them “this much.” She stretched her arms so far that they met behind her. With her fingers stretched out behind her, looking like feathers, her parents said she looked like a chicken. Hence, “love ya like a chicken” was born.

Somehow we skipped from “this much” to the moon. That’s a lot of love. Not all of us are capable of that much love. Some of us need to take things a little slower. Maybe to the county line and back. Then later to another city and back. Someday we might shoot for the moon.

So if someone tries tv shaming you because you and your bae (with his dadbod) binge-watch too much Netflix, they can reach out to someone else. You don’t need that kind of negativity!