Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Sheesh. Or Is It Shitch?

This one time I was reading a book about vampires - it could have been Dracula, but hey, I've read a lot of books about vampires, so I'm not 100% sure.

Let's face it, it probably was Dracula,
 because I've read it soooo many times.
In any event, I was reading the book, and suddenly the word "blood" went all funny on me.

Has this ever happened to you? You're reading something, and there's a certain word that recurs throughout, and you read it and repeat it in your head over and over until it stops existing as a word and just collapses into a pile of meaningless letters that no longer make sense to your brain.

...that is the question.
That happened to me with the word "blood." My brain refused to acknowledge its actual pronunciation and meaning and decided that it was simply a string of letters that rhymed with "food." I lost my entire ability to comprehend what I was reading because my eyes focused in every instance of that one word and made my brain go "blooooooood." I finally had to put the book down, because you know, if you can't make your brain understand the word "blood," there's not much point in reading a book about vampires.

Watching this over and over has almost the same effect.
Go on, try it.
That doesn't really have much to do with what I'm going to talk about next. I just thought it was interesting.

So. You know the word niche?

Look at it until it loses all meaning, mwahahaha.
Without thinking, say it out loud.

How did you pronounce it?

Did you say "nitch"?

Or did you say "neesh"?

If you said "Nietzsche," you go way back and sit down.
I'm only asking because I recently realized that I've started to say "neesh" instead of "nitch." I'm pretty sure I used to say "nitch." I'm a girl from the south side of Milwaukee, and that sounds like a very Southsider pronunciation, like saying "root" so that it rhymes with "foot." 

By the way, I've assiduously trained myself over the years to say "roooot" instead of "rut," as well as "bag" instead of "baig."

And I almost never say this.

Those were all conscious decisions I made when I moved to a part of the country where such pronunciations weren't the norm. And they happened a long time ago. I'm not sure when my brain decided to say "neesh" instead of "nitch," but I know it was only in the last few years. I don't know exactly when, and I have no idea why. 

It's entirely possible that I've become pretentious and simply decided that the more French-sounding pronunciation made me sound smarter. I have no problem admitting such a thing; I'm somewhat self-obsessed and sometimes pedantic and I want people to think I'm smart DO YOU HAVE A PROBLEM WITH THAT?

What.
The thing is, both Google and Dictionary.com give the pronunciation of the word niche as "nitch." Merriam Webster offers "neesh" or "nish" only as a secondary pronunciation. Clearly, whether I think "neesh" is the preferred way to say it means bupkus. Yet here I am, with all of my neuro-linguistic pathways convinced that the Frenchified version is the correct one.

This non-stereotypical Frenchman agrees.
I guess I just want to know if I'm crazy, if I'm the only one who says "neesh" instead of "nitch." And if so, do I need to knock it off? Clearly I've proven that I can train myself to say things differently if I think it's in my best interest to do so. I just need a reason.

So what do you think?

Nitch?

Or Neesh?

Or Get a life and worry about something even slightly important, you moron?

Let me know.

Monday, February 23, 2015

In a Mood. Not in THE Mood. That Would Be a Good Thing.

I'm in a mood today.

Today was a snow day here in North Texas. Actually, it was a "millions of tiny pellets of ice descending from the sky to bond with the concrete" day, which is what typically happens during a Texas winter.

Winter in Texas is a real dick.
Anyway, the schools were closed, and I wasn't about to get on the freeway with a bunch of clueless drivers. Since we had advance notice of the bad weather, I had my work computer at home so I could remotely connect to my company network and pretty much work normally.

That's the theory, anyway. In reality, connecting remotely is a painful, frustrating, inefficient process hamstrung by a network infrastructure that has remained static while demand for connectivity has grown threefold.

In layman's terms, this.
So I made a game effort to get some work done, but there were lots of things I simply couldn't accomplish, and the things I absolutely had to do left me feeling tired and drained.

Which brings me to the fact that I spent today feeling tired and drained, and I don't think it's entirely because of the limitations of my computin' machine. I didn't feel particularly well today - it's possible that if today hadn't been a snow day, I might have called in sick anyway.

Sick-sick, not Ferris-sick.
I feel run down and lethargic. I took two naps today, and not the awww-yeah-lazy-time kind of naps - the I-think-I'm-gonna-need-to-be-unconscious-for-a-while kind. The not so fun kind.

I'm pretty sure I'm not sick, but I did get my period this morning. And by "this morning," I mean I've been having raging PMS for at least two weeks now - including anxiety, irritability, sleeping problems, and boobs that feel as if they've been replaced by twin water balloons full of pain - and the actual menses finally decided to make an appearance today.

This is my cycle now. I hardly ever get a period any more, but when I do, it's a complete fucking diva. It's like the worst houseguest ever, disrupting my schedule, getting on my nerves, and expecting me to be at its beck and call, all so that it can make its grand entrance when it decides the time is right.

It's like "Real Housewives of Perimenopause"
in my ovaries.
So I don't feel great, and I'm not in a great mood. And last night's Oscar telecast didn't help.

I'm supposed to be writing a recap of the show, because I said I would. But the fact is, it was boring. It bored me.

It had its moments.

This. It had this.
But everybody on the internetz has already weighed in on Gorm Gizonga and Neil Patrick Harris in his underwear and the stupid, stupid bit with the predictions in the briefcase. I have nothing to add.

I'm just so grumpy about the whole thing.

How I felt by the end of the night.
So that's left me feeling bitchy, because I wanted to post a fun, witty wrap-up of the Oscars, but I can't. Maybe it's because the show itself was neither funny nor witty, or maybe because I'm not. Either way, I'm irritated.

Sensing a theme here?

With my go-to topic taken from me, I needed something else to write about. My friend Bill the Butcher recently sent me a new guest post, which tickles me to death, but I simply lack the energy to edit it for publication (not that it will need much editing, but I want to format and illustrate Bill's wonderful writing to do it justice, and I can't do that right now). That's also irritating.

I don't know what's wrong with me. I mean, other than the laundry list of things I've just written about. Maybe that's enough.

Oh, and they've already canceled school for tomorrow because more bad weather is coming. Joy.

I'm thinking this would be a very bad time to watch The Shining.

Tomorrow there will be an amazing post in this space.

Most likely it will be Bill the Butcher's and not mine, but I'll take it.

All of you...get off my lawn.