Wednesday, November 29, 2006

i'm bringing sassy back

for too long i've held my peace! as an english major, i can't help but notice the common and blatant disregard for the proper use of some words. if i had the time, i wouldn't mind studying these linguistic shortcuts that people feel free to take from the english language superhighway. too many times i hear the misuse of some fairly common word and it's like nails on a chalkboard to me. i have to grit my teeth, bite back a smile, and exercise utmost control to avoid blurting out a correction. actually, it's strange i even notice since i was raised in utah and my parents and grandparents all spoke in the vernacular. even as a kid i knew it sounded wrong when they said, for example, "he come up to the ranch completely unperpared for all the snow this mornin'." parents, if that’s not a reason to let your kids have unlimited access to cable t.v., i don’t know what is.

now, i am the first to admit that i have been a language offender many a time. i used to declare "i could care less!" with reckless abandon before i found out i really "couldn't care less." so, as penance for such crimes, it is my duty to post a usage guide in an effort to spread the word, as it were. read on about some of the common mistakes many of us make everyday (guilty). feel free to make personal corrections as needed. you will be kept anonymous, so please, don't get all mad at me if you are one of the language offenders (EYE didn't make up the rules, but i thought i’d go ahead and pass some of them on).

the commonly misused/misunderstood
– this is a top offender. i hear this one on practically a daily basis.
irregardless – this one i just don’t get. to put an –ir in front of regardless creates a double negative.
irony – i haven’t had to look this one up in my dictionary since watching reality bites. ethan hawke and all his greasy, long-haired glory is forever seared into my memory.
satire – ah satire! how i love it! satire is not irony and not sarcasm but in fact a combination of the two in order to ridicule or attack human folly and socially acceptable mores.
continually/continuously – commonly and casually inverted at any given time although one means “repeating intermittently” and the other “unceasingly”, respectively.
effect/affect – i can't tell you the effect this affect has had on me.
testimony – often mistaken for an opportunity to give an editorial speech on everything from metal band lyrics to personal illness updates.
vegetarian/vegan – these are people who don't eat any meat except poultry (see below) or use any animal products except leather (especially when it’s vasque hiking boots we’re talking about here).
poultry – sometimes mistaken for fish; usually part of a vegetarian diet.

oft mispronunciated
(i am guilty of this one myself. this one is just pure laziness. there are two arrr's in library.)
messeege (orig. "mes-ij")
colleege (orig. "kahl-ij")
eem (orig. "himm-ah")
book of mormons (since there is only one book and multiple copies, it's actually books of mormon)
expecially (orig. "i-spesh-uh-lee")
ensin (orig. "en-sine") if you pronounce it en-sin, you are actually talking about any commissioned rank in the u.s. navy below lieutenant .

what’s worse? star trek dorks or english dorks? it’s a toss up . . . i would include further discussion on that subject but i’m late for a larping session at the rotary park – on wednesdays we do medieval scottish warriors and english ladies in waiting!

Monday, November 27, 2006

mexico comio me cerebro

hola mis amigos! mexico was espectacular! phenomenal! esensationals! why do they pluralize everything in mexico? all week long i was eating at the “salads bar” or ordering “quacamoles dips” or “black beans soup.”

so i’m now back from the caribbean coast and i’m not sure how i feel about that. i had a great time there – i sat on the beach for 7 days. i went to the ruins at tulum and chichen itza. i didn’t miss home or work at all. in fact, i completely forgot that i had left anything behind. i was vacation kelly – and it was great. when the plane landed in SLC after the trip i had the strangest feeling of being a foreigner in my own country. it didn’t take long for reality to come rushing back full force, but it was a strange feeling nevertheless. not that i think i belong on vacation. i just think i could belong in the caribbean. in fact, i’ve thought about packing up and moving to san pedro in belize a number of times. but when i lived in hawaii, i started to get island fever after about 5 months and i really missed the desert and the mountains of home. plus, i’m not a fan of humidity. but i highly recommend visiting the caribbean if you have the chance. next time i go, i think i'll visit puerto rico or turks and caicos.

the only story i really have has to do with a very large fish with hunormous teeth. on my trip we went snorkeling at a place called Xel Ha (mayan for “where the water is born”). it’s this really beautiful ocean inlet that meets a freshwater river coming out of the jungle. you can see a line in the water where the salt water and fresh water mixes. the water is crystal clear turquoise blue with visibility up to 30 feet, but where the fresh and salt water mix, it is as blurry as if you were looking through a window smeared with vaseline. well, apparently fish go nuts for this area where the water mixes so the snorkeling is really good. there are a lot of tropical fish, but there are also whole herds of these huge common jack’s and groupers. some of these fish are well over three feet long. the common jacks pretty much leave you alone. if you try to get too close, they swim away in a big hurry and stay just out of reach. even though some of them were almost as long as me, i wasn't afraid of them at all because they kept their distance. the groupers on the other hand looked a little surly and we gave them a wide berth. one look in their huge mouth at all those gnarly canine teeth and you’d understand why.

i’ve heard groupers described as “. . . huge fish and just a delight for divers. They are absolutely the most docile creatures in the world.” well, i beg to differ. i found out why they are sometimes referred to as “gropers.” one particular 2.5 foot "groper" took a particular fancy to my backside. i mean, who could blame it? but still. this picture of a grouper is nothing compared to the teeth on the one we saw, but i couldn’t find any photos of the groupers at Xel Ha. the teeth on the fish i saw were at least half an inch long and it's mouth was full of them!

so there i was, floating down a river through the jungle on an inner tube, enjoying the tropical scenery when i see this huge fish coming straight at me. the water was about 12 feet deep and perfectly clear so i could see it swim right up under my inner tube. i didn't think anything of it really until i felt something bump up against my backside. i looked down right into the face of this grouper with all these gnarly teeth and it was looking back at me. i start shrieking at the top of my lungs and trying to paddle my tube faster down the river, but it kept following me around and trying to swim underneath me. my mom tried to splash it away and we even accidentally hit and kicked it a couple of times, but it would NOT leave me alone. i was laughing and screaming my head off at the same time and i was sure it was going to bite me bum. i have no idea what it was up to – it did not act like a normal fish. they usually scare away at the swish of a hand in the water, but this thing was stalking me! i’m not usually such a wimp; i’ve been snorkeling with sharks and stingrays swarming all over me, close enough to touch. but this thing completely weirded me out (here is an example of how big groupers can get - from google images).

it was a great trip - i already miss the caribbean sea, all the fresh fruit and the people. i took four rolls of film so i'll be posting some pictures as soon as i get them scanned (i only had my nikon slr instead of a digital camera). *check out my photo gallery (under links) for more pictures.*

hasta luego

Tuesday, November 7, 2006

i can't fight this feeling anymore . . .

(while you read this, feel free to sing REO Speedwagon's "I can't fight this feeling anymore" to yourself)

tonight i went to the provo city library to borrow some books (i love going to the library). when i got home, i was flipping through one of the jr. fiction books when a piece of paper fell out. it was a love note. clearly written in scribbly juvenile male script. it said:

I love you!
Don't show Cassidy

sorry cassidy. jr. high is cruel.

the final countdown

6 days until i go to playa del carmen! viva la mexico! i'll be sure to post pictures like the one in my banner (the beach at tulum is one of the top 10 beaches in the world). i love mexico. while i'm there, i'll be going to the ruins at chichen-itza and tulum and possibly isla mujeras, xcaret and xpu-ha. but basically i'm all about the beach. the beaches in the caribbean are amazing - better than anywhere in the states or hawaii (i lived in oahu for 6 months and went to the beach almost every day. my favorite was waimea).

the last few times i've been to mexico i drove there and camped on the beach in a small fishing town on the sea of cortez called puerto penasco. it is such a great place - it's small and the people are incredibly nice. it's right on the beach and the food is amazing. i've only been to cancun once, and it was only for a day (it was the last stop on a caribbean cruise). it was such a tourist trap, but we walked about half a mile from the dock and found a nice quiet spot on the beach. it was okay, but the beaches were not nearly as cool as belize or roatan (an island off honduras).

i booked this trip to playa del carmen in august. this summer was a hard one for my family. my grandmother passed away of breast cancer in july and my mom had taken care of her for over a year. she sacrificed a lot so that my grandmother could stay in her home. it was a really hard time for our family but we also had some really amazing experiences with my grandma before she passed away. it was especially hard on my mom since she had been living with my grandma for a few years before she died. i decided that my mom deserved a long vacation so i booked a week's stay at an all-inclusive resort in playa del carmen. i've never been to an all-inclusive resort before, but i've heard really good things about them. it's going to be one of the most touristy vacations i've ever taken (normally i dislike doing anything touristy - i cringe every time i see loud, obnoxious tourists when i'm on vacation) but i also think that the all-inclusive route is the most relaxing way to spend a week in a foreign country. it feels like years ago that i booked the vacation and now it's finally here! i'll be posting pictures here as soon as i get back.

here are some pics of the place we're staying: