Bird in a Cage on a Box across the Road

Bird in a Cage on a Box across the Road

While on an evening grocery run walk I spotted this fine specimen of street art across the road.

I say specimen because I seem to have some trouble spelling “graffiti” and it just proved easier until I could get going.

This reminded me I haven’t talked about graffiti in so long I might not remember what it is exactly anymore. So before I could get going on my quest to highlight said specimen I had to Google “graffiti” to remind myself.

Definition hasn’t changed. It’s still drawings scribbled, scratched, or sprayed illicitly in a public place.

Then I looked up illicitly just to make sure it meant what I thought it meant. Yup, forbidden by law.

So I suppose I can’t exactly claim this bird in a cage spray painting on the electrical box (?) was in fact graffiti since I don’t know if it was illicitly painted or not, but I would say it’s a safe bet.

Right.

Anyway, I guess there’s nothing more to say. I don’t think a bird in a cage can have too many deeper meanings. Well, unless it’s a statement against all the condos surrounding the piece. Then we’re getting crazy-deep and I just don’t have the time to go there.

Cause I still have to get groceries.

Dingy Bingo and Me

My earliest memory playing Bingo was in second or third grade (it was a split class, so I’m not exactly sure what year I was in). It was something we did on a Friday afternoon for nothing else than the honour of being the one to stand up first and smugly announce “BINGO!” to the classroom.

We had old, tired Bingo cards and colourful plastic chips. They were a highlight of my pre-teen years.

And then of course there was the time I won a phone-in radio contest on the local AM station. My prize was a night of free computerized Bingo at another local hall. And a free “Friends-style” coffee mug and saucer. So you can guess how many years ago that was. Unfortunately I couldn’t bring a friend. I had to Bingo-it solo.

And then another time I went with a group to play in an even more local hall and ended up winning dinner with a local country singer. Except I was too embarrassed to actually show up and couldn’t find anyone to take my place so I simply didn’t go.

I still feel like a jerk about that. It’s awful when people don’t show up to stuff.

And then there’s the climax of my Bingo career. The time I got to stand up in front of a smokey room in a dingy hotel in Las Vegas and announce “BINGO!” to an entire room of strangers. I got $100 for my trouble.

Another highlight. And yet, I haven’t played since that afternoon. Maybe I didn’t want to ruin my win streak (for it was my only legitimate win, truth be told). Or maybe it’s because after a while the real Bingo ladies (with their amazing Bingo dabber bags) get intimidating and you don’t want to go back anymore.

Such a sad tale, isn’t it.

Imagine my happiness when I see there is not only Bingo you can play from the safety (and dinginess if you so desire) of your own home but…it’s free.

Crazy, I know.

The name “Cheeky Bingo” threw me off a bit cause it sounds, well, cheeky. And I didn’t know if that was slang for something dirty but I looked it up and it just means “irreverent in an amusing way,” so I suppose I’m OK with that.

In fact, this inspired me to look up the term “dingy” and turns out it’s as nasty as you’d suspect: “gloomy and drab.” So here I am judging “cheeky” for being dirty and all the while I’m reveling in the actual dirty “dingy.” Yikes.

I think I’m going to change my opinion of dingy halls in favour of cheeky ones. Despite the one drawback of not getting to play with actual dabbers I think me ‘n cheeky will get along just fine.

And if I get too desperate my husband said I can dab the computer screen so long as I wash it off afterward. And use my computer.

So there’s that.

Interrobang!?

I always knew it wasn’t proper punctuation to use both a question mark and an exclamation mark when writing out a shocked question.

However, I use it frequently. Because I love to. I don’t know why, it’s just one of those things.

Why this has anything to do with anything is because I learned there is actually a punctuational (?) equivalent to the old “!?” or “?!” expression (actually not old, pretty new). It’s called “interrobang.”

And yes, Grammar Girl did teach me this.

I enjoy listening to podcasts when I drive alone and right now I’m back on a Grammar Girl kick. Before this was Stuff You Should Know (does that kick ever really go away?) and before that I was listening to Under the Influence and Internet Marketing for Smart People.

Anyway, so the podcast was from about a year ago and was about punctuating questions. I didn’t really care for the podcast but I listened anyway and boy am I glad I did. At the very end she added the whole interrobang thing as an aside as she was wrapping up. I was so intrigued I looked up the episode when I got home so I could learn the html codes and use them ALWAYS on the blog‽

Neat, hey‽

Here they are for your coding pleasure.

Interrobang Codes

  • ‽  Unicode decimal value
  • ‽  Unicode hexidecimal value

Wikipedia says this word can also be spelled (and I guess pronounced) “interabang.” Both of which are not in my computer dictionary.

Of course this is a nonstandard punctuation mark, which also means it’s not to be used outside informal writing.

Also in my surfing (just kidding…no one surfs anymore) I also stumbled upon another interesting and extremely awesome nonstandard punctuation mark—the irony mark. No joke.

Apparently in the 19th century this was proposed as the next level of communication so people would understand when someone was being ironic or sarcastic. Now wouldn’t that have been useful to learn in an email etiquette course‽

Unfortunately I can’t get it to work but it’s a backwards question mark. Now, isn’t that ironic? (except backwards)

My Beef With Bullet Points

Top Five

Don’t get me wrong, if you know anything about this blog, you know I love a good list.

However, I’ve noticed a trend in the blogging world. Bloggers are straying from ye olde paragraph (or even complete sentence) in favour of…bullet points.

I complained about this on Twitter once, to which I received an immediate response from a blogger simply saying (I don’t know the tone but I’m going to go with a bit defensive) it’s because no one reads blogs anymore. They scan.

Fair enough. I scan most blogs, it’s true. However. If it’s excellent writing, I stick around and read. So please for the love of God write complete sentences. And paragraphs.

Actually, though, lists are an excellent tool and knowing how to use them properly is a great skill. But this little blogging trend to use bullets instead of paragraphs is not actually utilizing the list function of said bullet points. It’s merely demonstrating laziness.

For, what I’m noticing is rambling points, which could have easily been turned into paragraphs but weren’t cause, you know, “I’m busy.”

We’re all busy.

Unless you’re writing a list, write your paragraphs and don’t shortchange your readers.

And if you want a quick rundown on how to format a list properly, go to Grammar Girl. She’s the best.

Shut the Front Door!

I don’t know if I should admit this (because then you’ll know I’m old) but up until I looked it up just now, I had no CLUE what the phrase “Shut the front door” meant. No clue.

And it riddled me. In a way that I would think of it periodically and wonder whatever could this weird phrase mean?

It’s a thing now. I don’t know who brought it here or why, but it’s a catch phrase. But don’t use it near me cause I’ll stare at you blankly. I won’t laugh. Cause I won’t get it.

To learn what this weird phrase meant I went to the only logical place I could think of: Urban Dictionary.

Eeek! It takes the place of a swear! I should have known.

And yet, I’m still confused. Because the first time I heard this phrase it wasn’t used in this way. Actually, that’s probably 100 per cent of the reason why I don’t understand this phrase at all. I’ll show you the video clip of where I first heard “Shut the front door.”

So…what’s she saying?

This video reminded me of how much I like Kristin Chenoweth and miss Pushing Daisies and how much I’m enjoying the new TV show GCB, mostly because of her.

Conclusion: I now know what the phrase means and I do not think I’ll be incorporating it into my vocabulary.