Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Here are a couple of phrases that I hate

I probably come across as an authoritarian agressor when it comes to proper speech usage, commercial likes, and decision making. That's not that true. I respect your preference to like stupid stuff, so long as you respect my right to criticize it. You can, of course, defend yourself (as you should), but chances are you are wrong anyway and will not win.

This is especially the case if you make a habit of using a particular set of words or phrases. My mom has a huge list, while most of hers are common errors made with actual words, notably the inexplicable "supposably" pronunciation for supposedly, which, in her mind, is grounds for sterilization. I have issues with that sometimes too, but I also have issues with words that are used that probably should not be nearly as often as they are. Let's take a look, shall we?

  • Myself - This is one of the former complaints. This is misused all the time. It is the reflexive pronoun used for emphasis or reflection, like when the subject and object of a verb are the same: for instance, "I laughed so hard at their grammar mistakes that I peed myself." It is not a replacement for the standard nominative (I) or objective (me) pronouns like, "John and myself will empty the tiger's cage" or "Please send the shoes filled with champagne to either Hector or myself." No dice.
  • Utilize - This is a longer word that means the same thing as use without bringing anything extra to the soup. This word should be used never.
I used an unnumered list, the inferior form of list, because I could only think of two at the time of writing this and a numbered list of 2 looks tacky, and quite frankly, we're all better that that. If you feel the need to demonstrate, please add your distasteful phrases in the comment section.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Is Little Debbie a good Hostess?

A discovery I made recently has the potential to ruin whatever health gains I may have been making in my unfortunately not regular enough visits to the local olympic swiming pool: the vending machine in my building at work has cinnamon streusel cake. You may not have known this about me, but I have strong and far reaching food tastes and opinions, and one of the is that Hostess makes super excellent breakfast baked goods. Another is that cinnamon is a flavor not to be trifled with; it does get jealous of chocolate and peanut butter. Hell hath no fury like a spice scorned.

My dad has been involved in the grocery business in some fashion for basically my whole life, and most of his -- he is the leprechaun from Lucky Charms. I'm joking of course, as that would be absurd. My mom's side of the family is my Irish side. As a result, though, he would periodically bring home retail products -- almost always "day old," which is groceryspeak for "old" -- some of which were sometimes strange and obscure, like weird cookies shaped like windmills or clogs, or lemon turnovers that come in that weird wrapper that can't quite decide if it's paper or plastic. It's the same stuff that breakfast burritos, the you know the kind that everyone seems to own but nobody really ever eats. Sometimes, though, my siblings and I would hit the individually packaged jackpot when he'd score something like Teddy Grahams, Koala Yummies or some other bear shaped cookie. Or, those glorious, glorious Hostess cakes.

Honey buns and the aforementioned delicate sweetness that is cinnamon streusel cake were the top choices in my mind. Like preservative laden versions of Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, they were unmatched by their peers. Sure, Ho-Hos and Ding Dongs are vaguely inappropriately named delights and the confections that made my lunches the envy of the middle school (and it's a wonder I didn't weigh like 300 pounds) but they weren't an excuse to let you eat cakes that taste like candy for breakfast.

The hitch, though, is that for some reason the vending machine versions of these products tend to taste more decadent than the ones in stores. Maybe they benefit from aging, like a fine cheese, or maybe they have gone away from trans fats and the vending machine versions don't turn over fast enough for the inventory to have caught up. Or maybe the stores I shop at are just too high brow for such simple pleasures. All I know is that I have looked forward to coming into work everyday this week for y reakfast that will probably take 5 years off my otherwise impressive life expectancy.