Wednesday, May 24, 2017

WGW Style Guide

What separates the men from the boys? Wallets that don't include Velcro. And grammar.

I feel very strongly about the importance of grammar. I have a journalism degree and two comical t-shirts to prove it. One day my children will have to pass a grammar test of my making if they want to have social media accounts. This week I've compiled a list of the grammatical errors that most make me want to literally die. And that's not a misuse of the word literally. I promise.

Aisle/Isle
Brides and grooms are really excited to be walking down the isle, and not just at destination weddings in the Caribbean. If you're shopping or uniting in holy matrimony, it's aisle. If you're taking a trip to Hawaii or Indonesia it's isle. And I'll/aisle/isle be expecting you to do better in the future.

A Part/Apart
Speaking of weddings...I can't tell you how many bridesmaids I've seen on social media thanking the bride and groom for "letting me be apart of your big day!" When you spell it wrong, it means the literal opposite of what you are trying to say. Either you're a part of something or you're apart from it. I'm tempted to give AP Style Guides as my wedding favors but alas, always an editor, never a bride.

Defiance
Every time a high school senior posts about how they are "defiantly excited to attend (insert educational institution)" an alumnus dies. True story bro. If I worked in the admissions office I would DEFINITELY rescind your acceptance. Spell check yourselves before you wreck yourselves.

Nevermind
It's literally always never mind. Not your fault. Nirvana's fault. Smells like teen ignorance. If you ever happen upon a grammatical instance where you need to use nevermind I will resurrect Kurt Cobain for you.

The Oxford Comma
I hate being political on this blog, but the Oxford Comma is too controversial a subject to neglect. For years, young grammarians have been looking for me to weigh in on this debate that is tearing America in half (if halves weren't even and instead were like 90/10). I'm not ashamed to say that I HATE THE OXFORD COMMA. If you want to use it in the privacy of your own home, that's your business. But I don't use it because I want my writing to read conversational, I want it to sound like I'm saying it and I hope you all read these blog posts in my voice. I'm often met with the argument of "well leaving it out could change the meaning of the sentence" and to that I say, don't stick an appositive phrase at the end of a sentence you psychopath. I assume a modicum of intelligence among my readers and know that they are bright enough to discern that if I say I love books, raccoons and bread, I don't think that raccoons and bread are types of books. Although, would I read an entire book about raccoons and/or bread? Sure.

Possessives
If I see another person tweeting "I love Sunday's." I might delete my Twitter and that would be a real shame because I'm hilarious (@redwhiteandrae). What is Sunday in possession of that you love? I love Sunday's church services? I love Sunday's newspaper? I love Sunday's football? Sure. If you love the actual day it's Sundays. Punctuate the Lord's day correctly please.

Your/You're
Watch Friends. Learn it. Live it.
"Y-O-U-apostrophe-R-E means you are. Y-O-U-R means your." If Rachel Green had read my blog, maybe she would be Rachel Geller by now.

I will leave you with these words of wisdom.
Every comma needs a sentence but not every sentence needs a comma.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Drug Problems

My parents (and by parents, I mean dad) used to say (and by say, I mean shout so that everyone within a 2-mile radius could hear) that my brothers and I had drug problems growing up because we got drug to church every time the doors were open. And when your parents have keys to the church...the doors are always open. I essentially grew up in church. Or at least had I decided to grow up, church is where it would have happened.

Before I share these holy misadventures, I just want everyone to note that when my cousins and I were really young, we were essentially left to our own devices for Sunday service. Our grandfather was preaching, our parents were in the choir and we were front and center. Adorable but mischievous. I mean, look at this motley crew.


And we were supposed to just behave ourselves? Yeah right. Look at my eyes. Full of...I wanna say early schizophrenia? Look at Brittany's smile. Up to no good. Look at Josh's hair. Just for LOLs.

Church Softball
So much mischief happened at Harpers Crossroads during the church league softball games and practices. At Harpers, or HCX as the locals call it, I mainly wreaked havoc with my friend Cori. We would try to hot-wire golf carts, beg our parents for money to buy red hotdogs from the concession stand and at one point we cracked a toilet open. Sometimes we would be social and play with the kids from other churches. Tennis, baseball, riding scooters. Let me rephrase. If you HAD a scooter you could ride it. Did I have a scooter? Nope. All I had was a stupid Skip It (that I actually loved, thanks Mom and Dad). So I always asked Hannah to borrow her scooter. Those are her very first memories of me, the poor kid with no scooter of her own.

Communion
I got a lot of spankings in church. Like a lot. Pretty sure I did lots of praying for Jesus to deliver me from the literal hand of my enemy to no avail. It's a wonder I'm still a believer. I think the worst beating I ever received in the house of God was after I ruined communion. I was too young to understand communion, all I remember is that a tray was being passed around and there was bread in it. Bread at church? Finally! God had answered my prayers! I reached my little hand in there and grabbed a hearty fistful of unleavened squares. I wasn't trying to desecrate the body of Christ I was just hungry. That of course made no difference to Missy as she grabbed my wrist with...my memory is a little hazy but I'm pretty sure it was a vise grip...and waited for every single square to plunk back into the plate as my tiny little fingers unfurled.

Hide and Seek
Once upon a time my grandfather went to preach somewhere else and we had a different preacher for about a year. At some point during that awful period, the church members all had Sunday dinner at the new guy's house. (FYI: Dinner = supper every day except for Sunday when dinner becomes lunch.) After we ate, the kids decided to play hide and seek. A game that always gave me a tremendous amount of anxiety because it involved being alone, which I hate and the possibility of losing, which I also hate. Like really hate. So much that I peed in my pants that day to avoid leaving my hiding spot for a bathroom. Oops.

Trunk or Treat

Ahhhh Halloween. The candy is not as good as Easter but the outfits are much cooler. One year my grandfather decided we all needed to dress as animals for a Noah's ark Halloween. I ended up being a turtle somehow. And not a ninja turtle but a turtle with no martial arts abilities whatsoever, though I did share their penchant for pizza.The costume itself wasn't memorable, what I remember from that Halloween is that I found myself in a fire ant hill approximately 1 minute after arriving at church. All I wanted to do was visit some trunks, get some treats and do a little cake walking. But as soon as those red devils started biting I was trying to rip off my green leggings and jerk the cotton-stuffed shell off my back. It was the worst Halloween ever. Even worse than when I dressed up as Kim Kardashian in college and left little North West in a frat house. #proudmom

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

(S)Mother's Day

Mothers. The only people who can constantly criticize you, yet still leave you yearning for their approval other than men, dentists and highway patrol officers. This weekend we celebrate them and that means eating sub-par food prepared by men and giving them a crappy handmade card because they're not allowed to dislike anything made by their offspring. To be fair, that's better than what my family does for Father's Day which is have the women make all the food and then clean up afterwards. It is in no way distinguishable from any other Sunday. Or weekday for that matter.

Mothers are special. Our mothers:
  • Fix our hair. (My mother cuts my hair in my sleep because I refuse to let her when I'm conscious.)
  • Teach us the importance of moisturization. (Missy once found me covered in Crisco and I said, rather proudly, "Look Mommy, lotion.")
  • Discipline us. (I always got in trouble for reading past bedtime. Boy was I a handful.)
  • Show us how to use makeup. ("You're naturally pretty Rachel, you don't need makeup." The boys I went to high school with determined that was a lie.)
  • Throw their arms across our chests when they slam on brakes while driving. (My dad's hand immediately goes to the lid of his coffee.)
  • Pack our lunches. ("Here's some lunch money, I expect change back.") 
  •  Do our laundry. (While throwing out the clothes they don't approve of.)
  • Watch movies with you. ("Rachel stop asking me questions I've seen as much of the movie as you have." while watching Renaissance Man. Never in my life have I seen someone so invested in a Danny DeVito movie.)
  • Shop with you. (In my case that means let me follow you around a store. It drives my mother crazy but I hate alone time.)

Say what you will about Missy (like I intend to in the remainder of this post), but I always knows she loves me and bless her heart, she really does think I'm beautiful. She stares at me. A lot. She's kind of obsessed with me. But I'm obsessed with her right back. She is (unintentionally) one of the funniest people I know. I spin that straw into gold and give you this blog and #TheMissyChronicles tweets.

So allow me to take you on a photo journey. Me and my mother throughout the years. We laughed, we cried, we spent hours in Aeropostale looking for something we could afford.

As you can see here, my mother taught me how to be a gangsta almost immediately after my birth. 
Also, I promise I was born female I just didn't have hair until I was 3.

 My mother also gave me bangs. 
And she wonders why I still only let her cut my hair for her birthday and Christmas.

But I still love her because even though she was really committed to those bangs for most of my elementary school career, she also got me and my brother matching Christmas pajamas. 
While I don't actually remember these pajamas, it looks like I was thrilled.

Since I'm the firstborn, almost everything in my life is documented in a photo album.
Here we have my very first black eye.
Please note how my mother took the time to get film developed (I'm old) and then cut this photo into an oval for the scrapbook.
As if it were a portrait or official school picture and not me, my black eye and my scrunchie chilling at my grandma's house.

This is one of our more recent pictures.
I am trying to finish a cookie and my mother is putting her hand in front of my face in a gesture that says both "I want you to stop talking" and "I will smack you."

That pretty much sums it up.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Teacher Appreciation Week

It's Teacher Appreciation Week! Actually, I think the official week is next week but we're celebrating a week early for reasons I'm not important enough to know. Teacher Appreciation Week is one of my favorite weeks because although my students completely ignore it I do get free Chick-fil-A from participating locations. To celebrate, I want to reflect on some of my favorite teachers from high school. This is by no means an exhaustive list, just some of the wonderful educators that have survived me and are therefore deserving of recognition.

CB
My first real Spanish teacher. You were handed a group of kids allegedly in Spanish II who didn't know tener from beber. I think we spent the first 2 weeks just learning how to pronounce your name. Y ahora hablo en espanol con mis estudiantes y mis amigos. And you didn't even laugh at our southern accents trying to speak Spanish like my current students laugh at me cada dia. 

DR
Papa Labamba. You taught me everything I thought I already knew about writing. Your class is why my initial SAT scores were so statistically difficult to improve upon. So thanks a lot, I wasted like fifty bucks to take that thing an unnecessary second time.

ED 

I'm not sure how you survived an entire year of me because I'm pretty sure I was at my most dramatic in your class - and that's saying a lot. I think you're the reason I started to actually consider UNC because if someone as wonderful as you could come from Chapel Hill, how bad could those Tar Heels really be?

ER 
Thanks to you I'm on the AP Statistics Wall of Fame, which prompted one of my students to say "Miss, I didn't know you were smart!" You saved me from having to take a real math in college so I owe you one. Actually, I owe you about 400 based on my calculations and textbook size observations, margin of error = square root, p or z something, it's been 6 years I don't remember.

HM
You taught me for an entire year, not many people are unlucky enough to say that. Your class was downk even though we were a splurry at times. I'm so thankful slash petrified that our performance of Midsummer is still on YouTube.

JP
You taught me everything. From how to be a student of history to how to be a good human being to how to grow a sweet 'stache. You even trusted me to watch your children and stood by helplessly as I backed out through your front yard. Sorry I have a driver's license but never sorry that I had you as a teacher. Even on the days you pretend I'm not the hardest-working student you ever had.

JS
You never actually taught me in the traditional sense but you did confirm my suspicion that all of my teachers in high school not-so-secretly hated me. My favorite memory is when you asked what I was doing to find a husband and I said "my eyebrows" because that's pretty much the extent of my dating efforts.

JT
The only science teacher I had in high school that I actually liked! Sorry that I once burned a hole through another student's paper with a crucible lid. And I still remember you staring at my group asking us how to purify water. We had no idea. Apparently...boiling it? Who knew? 

LM
Your classroom is still one of my favorite places to be, I could listen to you talk for hours and not even realize how much I was learning. My favorite memory of you is when you found out my brother was a middle child and asked, in exhaust and disbelief, "there's another one of y'all?"

LN
No matter how much you hated me as a student, you had the egregious error in judgment to recommend me as a teacher and now you have to work with me every day. Told you I would get the last laugh. When this blog goes viral and I'm making more than $22 per year, I will buy you a Mustang. By my calculations that will be in about 8,843 years.

MB 
Back when math was still divided based on discipline and not this Math I, II & III crap that makes no sense, you taught me precal and I loved all of it except for vectors. Vectors are evil. In Despicable Me and in math.

PL
Dude. Your tests were so hard that eventually I started guessing whichever choice I thought WASN'T the answer. You taught me so much about barbarians, battlefields and of course, basketball. And you still park next to me sometimes. A bold move for a man who's seen me turn left on red and back my car into a pole.

SM
I will never forget you staying in your classroom for hours the day before our exam while we asked you every geometry question we could think of, terrified before our first high school exam. We all made 99s and felt kind of stupid for forcing you to help us study all day.


I couldn't end this post without a tribute to my favorite teacher of all time, White Girl Wednesday's very own Missy Misdemeanor. My mother actually did teach me 5th grade science. And I cannot stress enough that I did NOT like her as a teacher (she gave me a B once and gave my little brother detention for breaking her fish tank) but she's one of my favorite humans so...love you, mean it.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

MBTI'm in Anaheim

Greetings from the West Coast! I'm in California for work this week and I'll be visiting Universal Studios Hollywood and Disneyland. It's a tough job, but somebody's gotta do it. Since I'm bouncing between The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and California Adventure, I decided to create MBTI profiles for both fandoms. So whether you prefer Universal, like me, or Disney, like everyone else I know, keep reading to find out which characters you're most like.

If you have never taken the Myers-Briggs personality test because you only take Buzzfeed quizzes, I completely understand. I have simplified the process below. Choose E or I, S or N, T or F and J or P to get your 4 letter Myers-Briggs type. You can also search MBTI and take an online version of the test like this one, but there are several others choose from.

E/I - Energy
Extroversion/introversion is a measure of how you get energy. If you enjoy being around others and get recharged from spending time with people, you're probably an extrovert like me! If you need your alone time to get energized you're an introvert like Brendan!

S/N - Information
Sensing/intuition measures how you prefer to take in information. Sensing people like facts, numbers, the concrete here and now. Sensers generally prefer math and history. Intuitive people prefer thinking of the future, abstract ideas and possibilities like language. Intuitives are more likely to enjoy reading and daydreaming.

T/F - Decision-making
Thinking/feeling refers to how you make decisions. Thinkers tend to be more focused on justice and practicality whereas feelers make decisions based on how others will feel. Thinkers are the tough love kind and feelers are the fun parents.

J/P - Schedule
Judging/perceiving measures how you like to arrange your time. Judging people like to have a routine and a set schedule, they need plans and order like civilized human beings. Perceiving people like to leave their time open to take whatever opportunities might come up, they don't need a plan or a routine and they're monsters.

_____________________________

ISTJ - The Examiner
Disney -  Belle (Beauty and the Beast)
HP - Severus Snape
ISTJs are responsible and proud, they enjoy critical thinking and problem solving. Like finding a way out of imprisonment whether you're being held captive by a monster or your unrequited love for a dead woman. Although...I suppose neither Belle nor Snape really ever got out of those respective predicaments.

ISFJ - The Defender

Disney - Mulan (Mulan)
HP - Neville Longbottom
Obviously Mulan is going to be the defender of the Disney realm, and all of China. And Neville achieved defender status when he samuraied Nagini. Oh...spoiler alert. ISFJs are reserved, analytical and fiercely protective over loved ones and dragons that sound like Eddie Murphy.

INFJ - The Counselor

Disney - Genie (Aladdin)
HP - Remus Lupin
You ain't never had a friend like an INFJ. Counselors are idealists who will do anything they can to help their friends, except turn them into a prince. The most they're willing to do in that department is give you some princely props.

INTJ - The Strategist

Disney - Yzma (The Emperor's New Groove)
HP - Dobby 
INTJs are the ultimate planners. They plot and scheme to meet their goals of killing llamas or maiming wizards. Strategists are curious, decisive and ambitious. I would recommend making an INTJ your maid of honor, party planner or cat.

ISTP - The Craftsman
Disney - Fairy Godmother (Cinderella)
HP - Harry Potter
Craftsmen (and women) are virtuosos who hone their skills and work their magic. Known to get their hands dirty and explore, the ISTPs of the world are confident in their ability to effect change for people and pumpkins alike.

ISFP - The Artist
Disney - Alice (Alice in Wonderland)
HP - Nymphadora Tonks
Artists like Alice and Tonks see the world differently. They like to be adventurous with their tea parties and hair colors. ISFPs get curiouser and curiouser every day.

INFP - The Dreamer

Disney - Rapunzel (Tangled)
HP - Luna Lovegood
INFPs have very active imaginations, see the good in everything and value harmony. They keep their head in the clouds and their blonde hair all over the place. Dreamers have been known to clean, cook, read, read, paint and have really weird glasses.

INTP - The Architect

Disney - Elsa (Frozen)
HP - Lucius Malfoy
The exact opposite of me, INTPs are builders who understand the importance of a solid foundation of ice, evil and hair bleach. Architects are known for their understanding of logistics, innovation and luscious white hair.

ESTP - The Promoter
Disney - Moana (Moana)
HP - Fred & George Weasley
ESTPs have big ideas and they'll risk anything to get them out there, especially if that means a chance to be the center of attention. Whether you're in charge of a joke shop or an island, there's no telling how far you'll go. Steady as The Rock. You'll find success no matter where you are. Okay, I'm done now.

ESFP - The Performer

Disney - Megara (Hercules)
HP - Bellatrix Lestrange
My personal favorites (I'm ONE letter away), performers are spontaneous, excitable and energetic. I won't say I'm in love with ESFPs, but lestranger things have happened.


ENFP - The Champion
Disney - Merida (Brave)
HP - Ron Weasley
Merida and Ron are true ENFPs, free spirits who can fit in anywhere from the chessboard to the archery...range? Field? Court? The fiery red hair isn't a requirement, but a fiery attitude is.

ENTP - The Inventor
Disney - Flik (A Bug's Life)
HP - Hermione Granger
Full of ingenuity, quick wit and fabulous ideas, inventors love to work smarter, not harder even if that means turning into a bird or cat. Smart enough to take on evil grasshoppers and stupid Jack Russell terriers, kind enough to use their powers for good. And grains.

ESTJ - The Supervisor

Disney - Zazu (The Lion King)
HP - Dolores Umbridge
I hate comparing Zazu to the most evil character in the entire Harry Potter franchise, but here we are. ESTJs value order, and I'm not talking about the Order of the Phoenix. Supervisors are known to stand up for tradition, rules and pink.

ESFJ - The Provider

Disney - Simba (The Lion King) 
HP - Narcissa Malfoy
ESFJs are caregivers, they just want to keep everyone happy like yours truly. Say what you will about Cissy, she has her character flaws, but her only goal was to protect Draco and in the end her love for him made Harry's victory possible. And Simba's mad decent too.

ENFJ - The Teacher

Disney - Mr. Ray (Finding Nemo)
HP - Albus Dumbledore
Ahhh, the teachers. ENFJs are real people persons (I think people people sounds better) who are excellent at guiding others, imparting wisdom and growing sick beards. Show the ENFJs in your life a little love May 1st - 5th for Teacher Appreciation Week.

ENTJ - The Maverick

Disney - Ariel (The Little Mermaid)
HP - Sirius Black
Mavericks have big dreams, charisma and can easily adapt to new situations so they're never a fish out of water (good one Rachel). ENTJs are curious, flexible and misunderstood, like you were in middle school.