Archive for March, 2009

It was a dark and stormy night

Posted in Daily Bread on March 30, 2009 by dunnthat

I love bad writing – when it’s written intentionally.  “It was a dark and stormy night” has become the quintessential bad writing icon of all time.  I’ve always wondered what was so awful about that phrase, until I read the rest of the sentence online tonight.  Here is the sentence in its entirety:  “It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents, except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness.”  Written by Edward Bulewer-Lytton from his novel Paul Clifford, the sentence fails on so many levels, (run-on anyone?), and is hysterical in its self-importance.  AWESOME.

I believe intentional bad writing is easily as difficult as good writing.  I’m certainly no expert at either, but I do like my fun.  To that end, I want to have my own mini bad writing seminar.  This won’t be at all interesting unless you contribute as well.  So help a girl out.

Here are my rules:  First, misspelling is only allowed if it is a commonly misspelled word, such as “receive” or “grateful.”  Otherwise, the structure would be a tangled mess.  Second, real words must be used.  No making up Vulcan phrases.  Third, punctuation is a free-for-all.  I see no problem with throwing in random punctuation for humor’s sake.

The actual national bad writing contest requires one sentence only.  There have been some great entries.  Ann Cannon does a bad writing contest every year in the Deseret News.  I LOVE this issue of her column.  Here is a favorite:

“Somehow Earl knew she’d come back, even as he watched her lumber up the hill and away from his lovesick arms, for he knew women like he knew seedless watermelons, and he knew that in both cases, the best ones always rolled downhill; actually, he knew that all watermelons rolled downhill, even the ones with seeds, and women only rolled downhill if you pushed them, but other than that, Earl knew women and watermelons very well indeed.” — John Nichols

Oh my goodness.  I love that.  LOVE.  For my exercise, I’m going to allow multiple sentences, because I think they can be just as funny.  And I’m all about the funny.   

Here is my entry:

It was a dark and stormy night.  Most nights are dark.  But not all nights are stormy.  Because in terms of weather, storms come and storms go.    Which is what made this particular night different from other just regular nights.  Though some nights seem darker than others.  But this night was just a normal “dark” night.  Yet the storm interrupted a normally dark night.  On this night.  Making this night far more menacing than the normal “dark” night.  So, as you can see, this is a significant factor in our story.  Because the night was dark.  And stormy.


If a tree falls in the forest…

Posted in Daily Bread on March 25, 2009 by dunnthat

I was wondering…if I had a grandbaby with a super annoying cry, (like the kind of “man voice” some babies emit), or shrill scream, (just off pitch enough to make you want to put a gun in your mouth), would it be annoying to me?  Or would I just think he/she was adorable?

“Twilight” part deux

Posted in Daily Bread on March 22, 2009 by dunnthat

Public viewing of Twilight nearly ruined the whole “Twilight” experience for me.  Of course I went to the midnight showing the day the movie came out.  And then I went 20 hours later for a second time with the “Twilight Moms.”   The experience was bordering on miserable.   Cheering with the appearance of every new character onscreen…giggling teenage girls and their equally, yet surprisingly, annoying mothers…laughing at the most inappropriate places in the movie and story line.  Laughing when they see Edward’s pain at the scent of Bella, laughing when they see Edward looking at Bella in the parking lot, laughing when Edward KISSES Bella!  What in the world?  By the way, that kiss gets better every. single. time I watch it.  Every single time. Yowzah.

You need to understand the reason I love Twilight.  It’s not Edward.  It’s not Bella.  It’s not vampires.  I love Twilight because of Stephenie Meyer, a simple housewife who, despite all her fame, is still the same person.  A young stay-at-home mom who never considered herself an author, living the dream.  I read Twilight in 2006, just as New Moon was released, back when I couldn’t get any of you to read it.  Remember that?  And I loved the book because the story moved fast and the characters compelled me.  Is it classic literature or high art?  No.  Is the movie Citizen Kane?  No.  Does it need to be?  No.  It’s a fast-paced, plot-driven fun fun ride.  But here’s the thing…  Meyer sets the stage for all budding authors who think they might have a story in them and are brave enough to tell it.  I am a fan of Twilight because I am a fan of Stephenie Meyer.

So tonight I watched the Twilight DVD all by myself in the privacy of my bedroom.  No annoying people to interrupt and/or ruin the experience.  The private viewing did not helped the cheesy special effects – especially the lame running and jumping scenes.  But the nuances of Edward’s pain are so much more powerful without the distractions.  Kristen Stewart’s portrayal of Bella’s discomfort in public situations is subtle and magical.

Kristen Stewart is nothing short of a brilliant actress.  I’ve seen her other work.  She is a perfect Bella.  Rob does a good job, but he is not the perfect match that Kristen Stewart is.  And I’m getting used to his skinny Edward, but I have two words for him:  chest wax.  Love Billy, Jessica, (seriously girl, nice rack), Alice, Emmett, Victoria, James, Laurent.  The jury’s still out on Jacob, Carlisle and Jasper.  I love Nikki Reed.  She was brilliant in Thirteen, which she co-wrote at fourteen years of age.  It was also directed by Catherine Hardiwicke.  So I do love her.  But not as Rosalee.

I worry for New Moon.  But for now, I’m grateful for my home viewing of Stephenie Meyer’s vision for her story.

Utah names

Posted in Daily Bread on March 20, 2009 by dunnthat

I just know that once I start this I will remember a zillion other names…which is why I’ve been hesitant to start.  But you have to start somewhere, right? 

I thought about making a rule that you have to actually KNOW the person with the Utah name or at least know someone who knows the person.  Let’s start with that, but if there’s a name you’ve heard that you just can’t resist, go ahead and post it with a disclaimer.

I’m not really sure if these are all “Utah” names, but the names I’m listing all have Utah ties.  Some of the names I actually really like.  I have put how I know them in parentheses.  Just to prove it.

A lot of the names I’m going to list are actually relatives.  Sorry relatives, but if you have a weird Utah name, I still love you immensely, but I’ve got to post it.  Just…have…to…

Kickin’ it old school:

DuWayne (relative)
DeLance (relative)
VerLynn (relative)
ArvaDean (relative)
Gerald (relative)
Lorna (relative)
Vernon (relative)
Lorene (relative)
Bertha (relative)
Silas Leslie (relative)
Velda (relative)
ElRay (relative)
Fulvia (primary general board)
Noreen (relative)
Aleta (a girl from middle school who had an unfortunate skin condition)
Tekla (a girl from elementary school who unfortunately was also very large)
Joell (good friend)
Raylene (good friend)
Rolane (does my hair)
LaMar (neighbor growing up)
LaVell (we all know)
LeGrand (I loved)
Gar (acquaintance)
LaVee (neighbor growing up)
Jillaire (husband’s acquaintance…a name I love which I really considered if I ever had a girl)
Dow Jones (Jillaire’s brother)
Bucket (my dad’s friend…I’m serious)
Brigham (friend’s son)
Nephi (contractor’s son)
Mitt (duh)
Thaylene (good friend)
Therald (mechanic)
Shanelle (friend’s daughter)
Danelle (one of my first bosses)
Laneece (neighbor growing up)
Janelle (good friend)
Jeralyn (neighbor growing up)
Kalisa (dated one of my sons)
Xanna (dated another one of my sons)
Karalee (friend from high school)
Berle (relative)
Ione (relative)
Latecia (good friend, white female)
Monette (very good friend)
Brandilyn (Monette’s daughter)
Chandy (with a “sh”…good friend)
Chelise (relative)
Amberlee (relative)
Valene (my mother’s decorator)

Newer trends:
MacKay (son’s friend)
Maverick (nephew’s son)
Bronco (Maverick’s brother)
Nixon (the watch not the president…this is my future grandson)

Names I read but still can’t believe:  Placentia, VulvaMae
A name I personally loved:  Shlori

If you can’t get enough, here is a site of weird Utah names:

Now it’s your turn …

Grammar Nazi

Posted in Daily Bread on March 15, 2009 by dunnthat

I don’t profess to be the best at grammar or the use of the English language.  I am not.  People think that I should be because I have a degree in English.  I also have a degree in Speech Communication, and let me tell you, I learned more grammar in my mass communication classes than I did in English.  English majors study literature and the history of literature.  But there are some mistakes that JUST BUG ME.  I will probably add to this list as time goes on – as I remember stuff and as I see or hear stuff, but here are a few mistakes on my list in varying degrees of annoyance:

1 – I could care less.   Now how is this a monumental statement?  If I say “I could care less,” that implies that it is possible for me to care less than I do, which means I actually could care a great deal.  The proper phrase is:  I couldn’t care less.  Now THAT’S something.

2 – While I’m at it, the difference between “imply” and “infer” always messes me up.  I hope I used it right.

3 – Possessive pronouns, specifically “its.”  Okay, this is really easy my friends.  
      “Its” is a possessive pronoun indicating ownership to something:  “Its petals were beautiful.”
      “It’s” is a contraction of IT IS.  Period.  Why is this so hard?  If in your mind you can say the words “it is” in your sentence, the there is an apostrophe:  “It’s getting hot in here.”  (Please don’t take off all your clothes.)
      “Your” is a possessive pronoun.  “Your hair is pretty.”
      “You’re” is a contraction of “you are.”  “You’re hot.”
      “Their” is a possessive pronoun.  “Their house is cute.”
      “They’re” is a contraction of “they are.”  “They’re going home.”

4 – This is a really weird one to me.  I live in Zion.  I know Zion.  Zion is a friend of mine (sorry, couldn’t help it).  So far as I know, there is only one Zion.  So why is it “Zions Bank”?  Shouldn’t it be “Zion’s Bank”?  Just wondering.

5 – “A lot” is ALWAYS two words.  Always.  UNLESS you change the meaning of “allot” to mean “to give out.”  “The band was alloted uniforms on Tuesday.”  Correct usage:  “I like you a lot.  You’re hot.”

6 – Why do people say “real-a-tor”?  Lots of intelligent people say it with three syllables.  Isn’t it just “realtor”?  Just wondering.

7 – Supposubly.  I’m just sayin’.

8 – I admit I’m very bad at past subjunctive.  I don’t really get it.  I know that if I spoke another language, like Spanish, I would understand it better.  I don’t.  But the past subjunctive is like the unknown or a wish.  “If I Were Invisible” Mr. Clay Aiken.  “Oh that I were an angel.”  “Were” not “was.”  There you go.  YOU figure it out.

9 – How are you?  You are WELL.  Superman does “good.”  You *could* be good, but that implies that you are doing good things.  So how are you?

10 – “Me” and ANYONE.  My mother-in-law used to correct my husband when he said “Me and Justin are going to the park.”  She would say, “Is Justin MEAN?”  Justin and I are going to the park.  However, Paul is coming with Justin and ME to the park.  Because Paul is coming with “me.”  I used to diagram sentences all the time, but I don’t remember all the object/direct object stuff, but I usually know what sounds right.

11 – I do NOT get lay and lie.  I’m just letting you know that.

12 –  I just learned this recently…something is not “different THAN” something else.  It’s “different FROM” something else.  “I am different from most people you’ll meet.”

I’m sure I’ll add to this.  This is what I can remember on a sunny Sunday afternoon. Now I need a nap.

13 – KATE!! How could I forget “irregardless”??  Exactly – also a pet peeve.  It’s not a word, and if it were, it would be redundant.  The obvious correct word is “regardless,” though perhaps some people are thinking of the word “irrespective.”  Either way, drop “irregardless” my friends.

Please add to my list.  I’m sure you all have your “chewing on tin foil” language issues as well.


Posted in Daily Bread on March 12, 2009 by dunnthat

A friend on facebook posted this short film on his wall.  I loved it on so many levels!  It made me laugh in the beginning – a great concept.  Then it took this really interesting turn and created a true story arc that had me completely engrossed.  The short film won many awards – and it won my heart.  Enjoy.