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)

Warm Beach in December

At the enthusiastic suggestion of Kinneyland, I made a point to head south of the border to check out Warm Beach.

Last winter, they went on a bit of a camping trip at said beach but this year I only went for the evening. Planning a last minute adventure (without my emergency packing list I should add) by quickly looking up directions and scant information online, I decided this would be a bit of an odd-ball and fun way to spend my Saturday night.

And it was. However, I also assumed it was no big deal. I mean, who names a place Warm Beach and then opens up a million-Christmas-lights-big display in December?

What I learned (and quickly at that), is Warm Beach is a big deal, and is also basically supported/advertised on every radio station in the Pacific Northwest.

Two hours of driving straight south in five o’clock traffic led me off of the I-5 and into farm land. Not to be confused with Farm Ville. I don’t play that.

The landscape was completely confusing, but I had my dad’s trusty GPS so I Did Not Panic.

After some twists and turns on very dark and narrow roads, the county Sheriff appeared. True story.

He was directing traffic.

It was a bit strange because there weren’t many signs leading to the lights, and no hint of lights either. It was easy to believe I was lost but…GPS. So I Did Not Panic. Ish.

The flashing lights of the police cruiser appeared suddenly, so my cruising speed of 35mph came to an abrupt 10 as I queued to turn into the camp. From there, things got crazy.

There were parking attendants running all around, instructing vehicles where to park down to the very stall. My car was assigned a personal attendant, who ran in front of me for at least five minutes passing maybe 100 empty parking stalls.

Looking back, he may not have been wanting me to chase him in my car. Perhaps he was attempting to run for his life.

Regardless, the roadway eventually ended and I was left with front row parking at Entrance 1.

Since the camp didn’t open until dark, and it was only 5:30 pm, the crowds weren’t droves. Yet. By 7 pm, things got crazy.

However, before the crazy, I had amazingly awesome hot chocolate, real true-blue kettle corn, and even learned where Victorian carolers buy their hats. It was quite an evening.

Once the crowds (and their children) came, things like personal space and indoor seating became a thing of the past. Which was OK, since there were 1,000,000 outdoor lights arranged in fanciful patterns to browse whilst waiting for the couches to become vacant.

There was everything from the traditional Nativity to a talking Christmas tree to the Canadian version of Christmas (hint: it has a lot to do with bears, lumberjacks, and lollipops). All displayed in overwhelming numbers of lights, healthy doses of glitter and the odd mechanical statue.

Anyway, what I thought would be an hour-long browse at pretty lights turned into a four hour endeavour. And that doesn’t count driving time or borders. The beach really held my interest for that long.

In the end I wish I had told more people about my idea so everyone could have the chance to enjoy the display. Probably that’s my only regret except I also wish I wore long johns. Luckily, my EPL wasn’t needed. This time.

Despite it being -56 C in Alberta, I think -7 is still really cold. Call me what you will, it still took me two days to warm up after Warm Beach.

Now, isn’t that ironic.

No jokes today. I got a job!

I’ve been sitting on this post for a good 10 days now.

Thing is, I can’t think of a funny way to say it.

I was so concerned about being just another unemployed journalist (I’ve been reading my journalism list serv, I know everyone is working in PR) I forgot about the impromptu job interview I’d had the Friday before.

But let’s rewind further.

cue flashback music (I think it’s Bohemian Rhapsody)

do-de-le-do do-de-le-do

One afternoon I was flipping through the local newspaper (as you do) and came across an article about an over-worked CEO who didn’t even have time to hire staff.

And I thought…I guess I should check out the web site!

So I did. Posted on the site was a position for an executive administrative assistant and without hesitation I wrote up a cover letter, printed off my resume and headed to the office.

My impromptu spontaneity suprised and delighted me, for my trend was to email in applications for jobs in The Big Canadian Cities ONLY.

So, I was driving and patting myself on the back (Feeling more and more like a yummy mummy!) and figuring out what to say on short notice.

Unfortunately, all my travail gained me was a resume drop-off. The CEO wasn’t in.

“Come back tomorrow,” said the snippy employee as she looked over my outfit (a funky little number I found in England…maybe too little a number now that I think about it) with an expression I couldn’t read.

Two days later I stopped by again, with a new resume (just in case).

The same woman was manning the shop and once again I felt her judge my outfit (an overall dress. A more appropriate length this time).

And the CEO wasn’t in. Again.

I don’t know why I was so set on seeing this person, who was too busy to hire staff, but I was.

“Come back tomorrow,” said Snippy.

So I did. The literal tomorrow.

I saw Snippy first, and my heart sank. But she remembered me and ushered me towards the CEO’s office. I wore trousers this time. Smart ones. With little white heels and a lacy (yet modest) top.

And I had an interview, which lasted 1.5 hours.

Then I heard nothing for a few days, but I got a call the next Friday (four days after my whiny blog) for a second interview and was offered the job as I sat down.

Don’t worry, I’m still super nanny part time.

I got a job!