Saturday, April 28, 2012

A Stitch In Time

This dress makes me feel like Cinderella.

The last stitches are getting sewn as you read this... Tonight I get to go to the ball!

I wonder if Prince Charming is an opera fan?

Friday, April 27, 2012

The Runaway Bunny

Running away was always a romantic prospect when I was nine.

There my mom would be, chasing me around the house to make sure I'd brushed my teeth and washed my face at bedtime. At nine-years-old, this is torture akin to waterboarding at Abu Ghraib, only with a tube of Crest toothpaste and an Oral-B brush snagged at Dr. Golub's office.

To use one of my mother's favorite words, that woman was relentless.

And somewhere between the bristles and my bicuspids, I'd hackney a starry-eyed plan to escape. Somewhere. Anywhere. I just needed to get away from the woman who was obsessed with my dental care.

My little girl self lingered on thoughts of hitching rides with drivers headed toward my grandparents' house, Disney World, and a slew of other sparkling havens that welcome children with open arms.

The act of running away would draw me closer to the surreal, take me farther away from my tortured reality, and allow me to escape something I loathed doing.

But the thing is, I never did it.

Because running away from life isn't a panacea, it's a pretty band-aid that allows us to temporarily avoid something.

25 years later, I'm aware of how easy it is to run away from reality as an adult.

We can avoid phone calls, disengage, build up walls, and even physically remove ourselves from scenarios and environments that force us to confront the big, white elephant in our emotional and psychological space.

We can put our head in the sands (or mountains, or cities, or surf, for that matter) and ignore the crises of our lives, and pretend that everything's just wonderful.

Or, we can confront our challenges head on, work through them, and cross them off the list of conquered issues.

I suppose that's the benchmark of being an adult - knowing we can run away, but choosing to stay in the thick of it to fight it out.

How very Invictus. I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul.

Creative Commons License
Kate's Random Musings by Kate the Great is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Fire Escape Family

Two beautiful mourning doves have taken up residency in my potted garden.

The mama is usually hunkered down in a navy blue pot flourishing with a wild weed. She tends to two, tiny eggs that glow with the most gorgeous color of ecru when sunshine hits their shells.

Dad flies back and forth from the nest to the wild "woods" of Over-the-Rhine that surround the back of my building.

Mama is timid and wary of me every time I raise the screen to water my basil and chives, but I think we've come to an agreement: I'll keep paying the rent if you keep taking care of the eggs.

In this case, I don't mind being the sugar mama.

Special thanks to @CincyNomerati who clued me in to the fact these birds are mourning doves and not pigeons. Yay for birding!

Creative Commons License
Kate's Random Musings by Kate the Great is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012


Stop what you're doing.

Seriously. Put the Google Machine down a minute, and let's talk apostrophes. You know. That thing that's sandwiched between the "let" and the S that follows.

The English language is under a bloody siege, and apostrophes are the Third Reich of grammatical warfare.

Every day I see an incorrectly used apostrophe and it makes me want to simultaneously poke out my eyes with a dull Number 2 pencil, as well as reach for a bottle of White Out.

I am not alone in my disdain for the errant apostrophe.

These guys wrote a book about their cross-country quest to correct poor punctuation. This guy has a blog dedicated to poorly used apostrophes. Even Arianna hates apostrophe errors.

Here's the hard and fast rule for apostrophes. They connote possession, not plurality. 

Adding an S connotes plurality.

We also pull the trigger on apostrophes for contractions, but that's (as in, that is) an entirely different topic for another day.

Back to possession vs. plurality. Let's talk about teachers. The word "teacher's" with an apostrophe implies possession. The teacher's desk. The teacher's chair. We're talking about one teacher who possesses one desk and one chair.

Now, if we're talking about a bunch of teachers who collectively possess a desk, that word would be "teachers'". As in teacher + s + apostrophe. That means a bunch of teachers own a desk together.

If we're talking about a bunch of teachers, we DO NOT use an apostrophe.

Because an apostrophe only connotes possession. Or a contraction.

Only. No ifs, ands or buts.

You might think I'm being anal, but I'm not. I'm just critically underscoring a grammar error that is eroding the accurate expressiveness of our language.

Like petty crime, if we let the little mistakes squeak by, we open ourselves up to even bigger grievances.

If you're struggling with the mechanics of writing, there are lots of sources to turn to for help. For almost 20 years, the AP Stylebook has been my trusted resource. In most instances, if it's fit to print, it's fit to write.

If you don't consider yourself a journalist, the Chicago Manual of Style is an excellent source for proper writing guidelines and editorial style.

And if you don't have time to dive into a credible style guide, I'll leave you with this niggling nugget:

Apostrophes offer ownership. 

Repeat it to yourself 20 times, and use that little squiggle a little bit more judiciously.

Creative Commons License
Kate's Random Musings by Kate the Great is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.