Thursday, June 27, 2013

My Penmanship Is Awesome.

So, when was the last time you wrote something in cursive?  I mean, besides signing your name on your grandma's birthday card.  When was the last time you actually wrote out entire sentences in cursive, real cursive, not some bastard form of cursive/printing?  Come to think of it - when was the last time you wrote an actual full sentence that didn't involve a computer? 

Ah, the age of computers.  The clicky little keyboard has completely destroyed our ability to write with a pen and paper.  Our penmanship has been denuded, deforested; our ability to communicate now precariously perched on a flimsy technological branch, which, while incredibly fast and convenient, requires only a slightly distracted driver smashing into a power box 2 miles away to send us crashing to the ground like an aged spotted owl. 

You can't remember how to actually write in cursive?  Shame on you.  But, alas, I was rapidly forgetting it, myself.  So I decided to conquer my fear of my horrific south-pawed scribbling and re-learn cursive writing.

I went to The Best Place on Earth and bought this book:

I tried not to be offended by the notion that its target audience is the average American 2nd grader.  When I was in the 2nd grade, I had like a 10th grade reading level.  So I figure, now I'm an adult - I'm entitled to regress.

As you know my fondness for the writer's greatest crutch, the Bullet List, I offer to you:

What Kat Learned While Practicing Her Cursive

1.  For all you purists out there who are freaking out about how they aren't teaching cursive in school anymore, and how it's certain to cause the downfall of Western civilization and a spike in teenage pregnancy - you need to know that they don't make the letters like they did when we were a kid, so that ideal you are so vehemently defending no longer exists anyway.  For example, check out the capital Z, and my complete inability to form it:


Everybody knows the capital Z has loopy loops in it.  According to the obviously ill-educated drafters of this workbook, there are no loopy loops.  In fact, you will be nauseated to learn that the loopy loops which used to precede the formation of almost every capital cursive letter have gone the way of the 8-track.  (Both losses equally tragic, in my humble opinion.)  Being rather, uh, inflexible - I stuck with loopy loops.

2.  The secret to effective cursive writing is...wait for it...letter spacing.  You can still form your letters like you just picked up a pen for the first time 15 seconds ago, if you spread your letters far enough apart.  Look at how nicely I wrote "see" and "sing".  I didn't remotely form the letters correctly, but they are spaced far enough apart so as to make them legible.
3.  What you use to write with makes a HUGE difference.  After trying pencils, ball-point pens, felt-tip pens, and fountain pens, I have to say - fountain pens win, followed closely by pencils.  Ball-points skip around, and felt-tips wear out too fast.  I personally write with disposable fountain pens and have for a few years.  I use them at work because a) they have a great ink flow; and b) people who come into my office and grab my fountain pen to make a "quick note" will drop it like it's Snoop, because they don't have a clue how they work - and I hate it when people touch my pens.  Win-win.
4.  When you sit in the break room at work with a cursive workbook and write capital S's during your lunch hour, your coworkers tend to shy away from you.  Permanently.
Here are the fruits of my labor.  I think my penmanship has, in fact, improved.  What do you think?

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Puh-KEW Puh-KEW Puh-KEW!!

Yes, I'm still alive.  In fact, I'm alive, well, and sitting in Thor's living room, typing away on his desktop pc.  (He still has one of those...isn't that CUTE!) 

What have I been doing, you ask?  Where have I been hiding?  What wacky adventures have filled my waking hours? 

You noticed I was gone, right?

So, here's the sitch.  My much-maligned laptop was freaking out on me, so my computer expert son and I decided to switch computers.  (He is an "expert" by virtue of the fact that he's 14, and I'm 43.)  He took my laptop, restored it, and happily went on his way with my enhanced graphics card.  In turn, I received HIS more basic, restored laptop, which should have had me happily blogging.


So, his laptop lasted, oh, 10 minutes before it completely died.  At this point, I don't even think it will boot up in safe mode.  I did have the option of taking my laptop back, at least long enough to pound out a blog post, but then I got sick.  Yes, you read that correctly.  I GOT SICK.  I NEVER, EVER, EVER GET SICK.  Well, hardly ever.  Maybe once a year, and only for maybe 48 hours.  But this time, dearest reader, I was sick for four days, and hacking like the Marlboro Man for 2 more after that.  THEN The Boy left for the summer, taking said functional laptop with him.

I love you all - more than you know - but drafting an 800-word blog post on a Kindle with one finger...not my idea of a good time.  So I took a little break, got my proverbial act together, and badda bing, badda boom, here we are.

I have a review pending for you - the Italian Kitchen Restaurant.  However, I personally think in the interest of fairness, that Thor and I should go back there and re-do the experience so that I can give you a fresh perspective.  That, and the restaurant was freakin' amazing.  So that gives me an excuse to get another smokin' yummy meal.  I brought this up to Thor last night, and he gave me the usual skeptical brow raise.  I climbed up on my blogger soapbox and proceeded to preach a fire-and-brimstone sermon about fairness, the integrity of the project, and my driving need for constant and never-ending improvement.  At that point, skeptical morphed into sardonic.

"That place wasn't cheap."

I reassured Thor that we don't have to go again anytime SOON, as we still have 115+ places to go.  So there you have it, dearest reader.  The Italian Kitchen goes back into the mix.

So back to what I wanted to talk to you about.  I wanted to tell you my theory about why I rarely get sick.  It's my brain.  I have a germ-repellent, disease-killing brain.

I was just trying to remember the last time I took a prescription.  In the last 10 years, I recall taking 1 prescription pill.  Not 1 PRESCRIPTION, just 1 single pill.  Then I felt better.  So I didn't take any more.  I take over the counter stuff, but I rarely go to the doctor.  I haven't taken a round of antibiotics since the last century.   Instead, I activate my germ-slaughtering brain laser.  Seriously.

When I feel a cold coming on, or any other state of germy nastiness, I follow this process and I get better.  I get comfortable, I close my eyes, and I picture in my mind the white blood cells in my body attacking whatever intruder has dared to invade Katland.  The whole thing looks like a game of Asteroids, with my germ fighters blasting off rockets at the virus cells - Puh-KEW Puh-KEW Puh-KEW.  I even imagine the sound.  I picture my cells defeating the sickness and strengthening my body until I am well.  I always figured, what's it going to hurt?

"So, Kat, you just said you were sick for 4 days!  Where were your magic lasers at THIS time??!!", you mockingly inquire?  Well, I am convinced that my sickness hung around for extra days this time because I've been eating like a 14-year old boy.  You see, at my new job, my boss gives me all the prepackaged food I can eat, all day long.  Massive amounts of processed crap.  I am attempting to learn my lesson, and have since been incorporating more fresh, raw stuff into my diet.  Guess what - my skin is clearing up, I feel better, I anticipate my pants will get a little looser again, and I'm in a better mood.  (Thor can chime in here to confirm if he likes.)   You can't expect your Porsche to purr when you feed it gas from Circle K. And just let me point out that everyone I gave my cold TO is pretty much still phlegmy and coughing. 

Laugh at my germ-slaughtering laser brain if you must, dearest reader.  Laughing will give you something to do to pass the time when you are in line at the drug store getting your Amoxicillin refill.  You won't see me there; I'll be having an awards ceremony for my triumphant immune system, a la the last scene in Star Wars.