Free Frosty Fail

I went through my bookshelves last week and cleared out a lot of clutter. One book had this coupon stuck in it as a bookmark. I found it and was excited to get a free frosty. But I guess I had forgotten about this book and hadn’t picked it up in a while. As you can see from the dates at the bottom, the coupon expired eleven years ago :(

thumb_IMG_20170728_070711310_1024

Advertisements

Cute Coincidence On Today’s Puzzle Page

The syndicated New York Times crossword today is from July 4 (hence the theme, if you see it), but what really struck me was this odd bit of synchronicity: what are the odds that the crossword and one of the cartoons next to it would both use the word “sauté?”

saute

My mistake at 37 across is because the clue “Country singer Tillis” initially made me think of 90s star Pam, she of “Maybe It Was Memphis.” But this made the answers going through it wrong, so I had to look it up. Turns out her father, Mel, was also a country singer. So I learned something today!

Selling Kia-stine

Only at the very end, when I was selling my dumpy old Kia after 12 years of use and abuse, did I come up with that pun–that I should have called that car Kia-stine. Old school Stephen King fans will get the joke.

Speaking of jokes, when I was selling it, I put up the following ad on Craigslist–I just messed around with it because I didn’t think anyone would really want it. The ad got a lot of positive feedback: one person texted and said, “I don’t want to buy the car, but great ad!” After some yahoos jerked us around about it, though, so I just ended up giving the car to the Make a Wish Foundation.

Anyway, preserved now for all eternity, is the Craigslist ad:

**********

“2004 Kia Optima LX In Truly Awful Condition”

Listen, folks, I’m not gonna lie here. This car is falling apart. It actually used to be a great car, and was for many years, but I ran it into the ground with minimal maintenance. I’m asking for only half of the “fair” listing in KBB.

PROS: It always starts and runs. Never a problem there.

Battery and tires are strong with plenty of life left in them.

V6 engine.

Has never exploded, caught on fire, divided by zero, committed a felony, or watched an Adam Sandler movie.

Radio gets some good stations to help distract you from all the cons.

Continue reading

Strategies For Reading and Relationships

In relationships, never give up on people. Stick it out, make it work.

In reading…just the opposite. A book should always be a perfect ten. If your connection to a book ever cools off, feel free to kick it to the curb and find another one. Plenty of fish in the sea, plenty of books in the library. Life is short and you deserve the best.

Just don’t get these two ideas confused. Your life will be fun for others to watch, but frustrating for you.

Huston’s Guide to Teenage Slang: “Extra”

EXTRA (adjective): describes any act as having been done with any degree of quality or style at all, as opposed to rock bottom apathy.

Example:

*student does a project to the bare minimum expectations, with a minor flicker of creative investment*

Other student: What?! Why do you have to be so extra?

download

Combining Shakespeare and Tolkien

In Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, a character calls a short young woman he doesn’t like a “dwarf.” One enterprising summer school student, doing a creative writing review of the play, took this quite literally.

IMG_20170720_063919983

“Well, duh!”

My local newspaper, the Las Vegas Review-Journal, had a couple of droll headlines of the “No kidding!” variety this morning:

RJ

I should hope the police have some questions when they find a dead body!

Actually, if you live here, you know that this is hardly news at all; it’s “dog bites man” stuff. A more interesting headline would be the opposite: “No dead bodies found in desert yesterday.”

The humor in the other headline is even darker.

Cabin in the Walden Woods

Meta mash-up idea: Henry David Thoreau’s 19th century classic of transcendentalist philosophy, Walden, BUT one random day while he’s meditating in his peaceful forest cabin, he finds an elevator that goes past a bunch of monster cages, and sees a control room with a red button…

thoreau

“AAAAA Aardvark Drywall Repair”

One of the benefits of phone books becoming obsolete is that businesses no longer need to give themselves ridiculous names like “AAAAA Aardvark Drywall Repair.” Kids, back in the day, people actually tried to get more customers by being alphabetically first in the phone book. The results rarely made sense, especially since everyone and their dog started putting random long strings of A’s before their business name. Looking for something in the yellow pages was like scanning a preschooler’s book on phonics.

“Naughty Baggage”

I’m currently teaching The Scarlet Letter, which uses the insult “naughty baggage” in chapter 2. I told the students that I’d never seen the term before, but that it clearly meant “bad woman” (as a weirdly high number of English words do).

But then I remembered–I own a copy of the Oxford English Dictionary! A nearby library was selling it used last September for $20. I talked them down to 15. A 99% savings on the cover price.

Anyway, here’s part of the relevant entry for “baggage.” Note the definitions: “a worthless good-for nothing woman; a woman of disreputable or immoral life,” “trashy, worthless, beggary, trumpery, despicable,” among others. Also note that all of them are marked “obsolete!”

All uses of the #naughtybaggage hashtag are clearly people also reading this book. I encouraged my students to get it trending, but alas, no dice so far. Maybe you could help?

#NAUGHTYBAGGAGE

img_20170209_143931279