Friday, September 7, 2012

today i refuse to capitalize (though i will punctuate)

if you know me very well at all, you already know that two of my biggest pet peeves are poor spelling and bad grammar. then why, pray tell, would i decide to type my entire blog post today without capitalizing a single letter? because it's friday, and because i feel like it. those may not be good reasons, but they're reasons, and i'm comfortable with them.

for those of you who like that sort of thing – although why i don't know – yes, this is one of those rambling posts where i spout off whatever comes to mind, with or without (usually without) any unified theme. for those of you who don't like that sort of thing – well, let's face it – you've come too far to turn back now, so you may as well hang with it. (or not: suit yourself.)

several people have asked me lately how my wife is doing, and how the pregnancy is coming along. hopefully, i answered you if you asked, but my response may have been truncated. so here's the full version, for those who care.

we will be twenty-three weeks pregnant as of tomorrow. which, if you believe's baby size chart – and i do, mostly because i don't know any differently from personal experience – means that the baby is now roughly the size of a grapefruit. seeing as just a few weeks ago, when we first found out we were expecting, the size comparison was a blueberry, it hardly seems possible that this little life has multiplied in size that much, but apparently it's true.

mary is doing much better this week, both with the sciatic and back pain she was suffering from last week as well as with sleeping through the night. i mean, she still doesn't truly sleep through the night, but she hasn't been waking up in excruciating pain quite as often this week. hopefully, that will continue for awhile longer.

we went to the ob/gyn this past wednesday for a routine check-up. they checked her blood pressure, weight, drew blood, and all that jazz while i waited in the lobby. then, when we went back to see the midwife – who ended up being the only midwife at greenville ob/gyn that we hadn't previously met – she (the midwife) listened for the heartbeat, and found it. one-hundred-and-forty beats per minute, which i'm told is normal.

some of you have asked if we've picked out names yet. if you've asked me this personally, i may have been evasive in answering you. sorry, but that was by design. since we don't even know yet whether we're having a boy or a girl we don't want to get too attached to any names of either gender and go telling folks, in case: a) the name everyone ends up loving (or hating) ends up being for the opposite gender of what we're having, or b) we have a second child after this one (at some point), and still wish to use the name (or names) we didn't use for this baby.

for the curious (though i'm still not giving much away here), we do have three girls' names picked out that we like a lot, and one boy's name that we both agree on. the girls' names are easier for us to come up with, for some reason – maybe that means something, maybe it doesn't. we don't necessarily favor the trendy, most popular names you'll find in baby name books or on baby name websites. we don't particularly care for the hybridized, "made-up" names that some folks are using these days – not that there's anything wrong with those, they're just not for us. we tend to like more traditional names – and by traditional, i mean old-school. names that are easy to say, easy to spell, but that haven't been extraordinarily popular in quite some time.

though we're talking about them and thinking about them, we haven't actually shared the potential names with our family yet. we're not sure if we'll reveal his or her name to everyone prior to birth or not. i'm sure there are positives and negatives to that, but the positives may well outweigh the negatives. (opinions on this particular issue are welcomed, by the way.)

aside from baby stuff, i'm keeping quite busy organizing the fall drama production, as well as directing two of the four skits. in one of the two that i'm directing, i'm also acting – it's hard to do both, and i've had some outside help, but it's going pretty smoothly so far. i've been cultivating and practicing a british accent for my own amusement for well over twenty years now, and in this particular skit i will finally get to debut it before an audience (no pressure there, self!). i'm looking forward to this one, as it's quite humorous and lots of fun to rehearse as well.

the other skit i'm directing involves seven – count them, seven! – teenagers. for some folks (aside from middle-school and high-school teachers – this would be a nightmare to coordinate, but i'm a fairly patient person (so my wife says, at least) and i actually enjoy it. if the kiddos just goofed off and chattered the entire time, i'd be pulling my hair out, but they're actually doing great. i let them wind down from youth group for the first few minutes, get their chatter out, expend a little bit (but not too much) of their boundless energy, then get to work in earnest. and boy, do they work! can't wait to see this one come together!

i haven't talked much about my writing lately, because i haven't done much with my writing lately. i still plan to – at some point – release a collection of short stories and another collection of alpha poetry as e-books, but i haven't taken the time (free time? what free time?) to download the program to convert my writings into digital books yet. i'll get to it eventually – clearly, i have other stuff going on that's likely more important. like helping my wife bring a child into the world, for instance.

i'm still writing creatively, though – lately, my thing is drabbles, one-hundred-word short stories that very few people are reading (according to my blogger stats, at least) when i am posting them. maybe that means they're not that good. even so, once i've written enough of them to justify a short e-book (how many one-hundred-word stories justify a book? forty? fifty? a hundred?), i plan on collecting those as well. but that's several months down the road. and anyway, who will want to read it? probably very few people. but i digress...

i'm impressing myself with my formidable skills of self-suppression here. i have only had to backspace twice thus far because i accidentally capitalized something and i wasn't supposed to.

of course, if i have ever chatted with any of you on facebook, you probably already know that grammar (and sometimes punctuation and – dare i admit it? – spelling!) goes out the window when i'm chatting. chatting is fast-paced, and in order to keep up, you have to roll with the punches and dispense with the capital letters. that's just the way it goes. texting, on the other hand...

there are times when i have to respond quickly and succinctly on a text, and therefore capitalization and punctuation and even spelling out words in their entirety can and should be willfully ignored. but in most cases, i'm not really in a hurry to type a text, and so i generally will capitalize the first letter of each sentence, and will punctuate accordingly. i typically only abbreviate words like "u" and "b4" and "n2" if i'm running over on my hundred-and-sixty character limit.

i've been working on my "adapting to ever-changing conditions" skills at work this week. at least twice a day, my "priorities" have been shifted from what i was told was the most important copy to be written, to something else that is now the most important copy, which i then start on, but am forced to put aside again in lieu of the new most important copy. every time i get on a roll with something, i have to stop and start something else. i feel like i'm starting so many copy projects and finishing so few. i have finished some projects, but i couldn't tell you what copy i wrote exactly. i can only assure you that i finished the most important copy – whichever most important one it was.

today's my dad's birthday. i can't believe he's turning sixty-four today! he doesn't look it, salt-and-pepper-colored hair notwithstanding. he seems so young to me, though his health (he has diabetes) may sometimes belie that fact. i would like to end today's blog post by telling you how awesome my dad is. here goes. he's pretty stinkin' awesome! what more is there to say? that is all.

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