Friday, October 19, 2007

Well, in the immortal words of my sixth grade woodshop teacher, shootdang!

It's been a week. I was so determined at the outset to not complain this week, after last week's demoralizing interlude, but alas, look at me. Normally I post my blog on the evening before the actual posted date, but here I am posting Friday's blog just moments before Friday ends altogether. Aieee. That's all I really have to say about that.

Today I got my a$$ handed to me, too. When Mrs. Ditchman came home I admitted it forthwith, and gave her full license to mock me, just before I nearly burst into tears. This mommy business is hard!

She handles the sales and marketing end of the family construction enterprise, and we would be nowhere without her, and this weekend being a Home Show weekend, I AM THE MOMMY -which I've actually been looking forward to all week, as I have been missing the shorter one of the tribe. But I was still sore and tired from the week, and when the cutie pie awoke at 5:30 this morning. I may have jumped the gun on my weekend duties. It didn't help that I attempted to regrout the kitchen counters today.

Let me say that it's a simple task, though mildly time-consuming. You just scrape out all the old grout and then apply new grout. Simple. But there's the moving of all of the stuff, the vacuuming of all the grout lines, and then the dry time and the wiping down -it takes a while. Throw a toddler into the mix and it's a mind-bender. And she hates vacuums.

There's nothing about toddlers in the California State Licensing Board exams, which is unfortunate, but then again there is also nothing about using pre-mixed grout. I will never use it again. Let this be a lesson for us all. I was in the Lowes, I saw it there on the shelf, it looked like a good idea... No. Regular grout has worked for thousands of years and, Lord knows, the grout lines in Ancient Greece are still good -no need to go with that pre-mixed gluey stuff, as it just ain't the same. So I did a sub-standard job on my own home. Serves me right after this week.

It's a funny thing being a General Contractor. You are professionally a jack of all trades and a master of none. They'll test you on how much paint will cover a 1700 square foot home, but they won't bother with the necessary thickness of the roller nap, and that's the kind of thing that makes all the difference in the world, if you do it for a living. Anyway, I guess we should all be grateful because it's really a matter of the State making sure the houses don't fall down -they couldn't care less what they look like.

Speaking of "anyway" and "couldn't care less", this fine young man has something to say about it. I happen to agree with him, though I admit I use the word "anyways" from time to time. I suppose I should be embarrassed. The truth is, I like the word "anyways" because it’s really more like a phrase, and as well it has a spoken, child-like connotation to it that I appreciate. I know it's wrong, and I use it all the same (I use both “anyway” and “anyways” actually, depending on the context.) When I write, I hear someone telling me the story in my head. It's not a particularly literary style, but I'm not in college anymore and I gave up trying to get published years ago. I mean, sheez, I'm almost forty -I don't care anymore! If my kids read this years from now and get a laugh, well, that's really all the audience I'm interested in impressing -and that's the first lesson of writing: KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE (oh, brother.) I doubt I'll ever get points for grammar again. But you just know that I'll be on the kids like lice on summer camp when they dangle their participles and end their sentences with prepositions. And beginning a sentence with a conjunction is another matter entirely. Or, I should say, 'an entirely different matter'. Whatever.

And here's to the One Word Sentence! Why even bother with subject/predicate when one word says it all? As for "could care less"... this one always cracked me up. I know it's supposed to be "couldn't care less" but I remember having a long, drawn-out discussion about it years ago, back in the days when I lived at Dantean Point. I argued that it should be "could care less" as in I could care less, but I choose not to, and that rather sarcastically. I thought it brought a sincerely excellent depth and character to the phrase, but it was debated that I was reaching, if not over-thinking it entirely, and that the concept would be lost on most everyone. This, of course, made me like the phrase even more, and so from then on it was, "Well, I could care less, but... I choose not to." Anyways, no one ever gets it to this day.

What really gets me is the improper use of the word "literally". I hear newscasters use it all the time . They'll say, "I literally lost my head over that one!" and there I am on the couch, waiting for their head to spin off and fly away like a top, arms feeling about the neck-stump... As for "irregardless"... well, we always just laughed that one off. Also, from now on, it's spelled X-mes.

My wife and I are having an ongoing discussion about phonetic spellings of the Little Ditchman's vocabulary. For example, she says it's spelled "awwwshum" when I say it's spelled "aysiemm", and so forth. There's no right answer. It's just what feels right. The truth is, after a day like today, a week like this week, I could care less.

But I choose not to.