Friday, May 19, 2006

Last updated by: Tracy Lightfoot / 5:57 AM
Yesterday a colleague informed me I could not start a sentence with the word "and." This has been nagging me ever since -- that is just some arbitrary rule that Strunk or somebody made up. It is only applicable to those styles of writing that depend more on the form than the words themselves. The adherence to form is the style, I suppose.

But don't people consider writing a form of art? You can be a "writer" or an "artist" or a "musician," which sets you free of all those silly rules that the other people follow. Good heavens, I'm not even sure the last time I wrote a piece that didn't have a sentence starting with "and." And they were published! (See, there's one!) People have paid me to start sentences with "and"!

Why did they make up that rule, anyway? I don't even know. All I recall is that I was told not to do it when I started writing in elementary school. But sometime in high school, as my own style developed and I began writing professionally (with a heavy dose of crappy poetry on the side inspired by ee cummings), all those rules went out the window. I write one-sentence paragraphs all the time, abuse em-dashes, hate parentheses, etc.

In fact, I probably drive my teachers crazy, because I can't follow the rules but my papers read damn good nonetheless. Sometimes, I think, you have to start a sentence with "and." It adds emphasis. In the second paragraph from the top, I could have made that one sentence, but I would have lost the "pop!" effect I got from splitting the sentence. I could have used an "em-dash," but that's emphasis different that what I wanted. The previous sentence was a complete thought on its own; the next sentence was an addendum, an afterthought, that stands on its own.

Comments? Anyone else think these writing "rules" are bunk? Or do you think I have it all wrong and can't write? It could be true, you know, but I've managed to trick a lot of people into thinking I'm pretty good. Ha.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Last updated by: Tracy Lightfoot / 6:09 AM
So ... I got this new-fangled fancy iPod thing for mother's day, and I've become completely obsessed with looking at (although not buying) accessories for it. I know at least a few of you have an iPod, so if you have any recommendations, feel free to leave them.

Things I know I will need:
- Case (I like the Griffin SiliSkins, to start - may eventually get a nice leather case, too, and I want a case with a clip attached)
- FM transmitter (my car has a CD player, not a tape deck, and no audio-in)
- Some kind of car dock/charger (this bad boy will definitely be the main radio source en route to Michigan this summer; Griffin has a cool one called TuneFlex)
- Headphone cord holder
- Maybe new headphones (I have little ears!)

And, now that I have plenty of time to listen to them, recommendations on podcasts are also appreciated. I really wanted an iPod so I could listen to all the npr stuff that I really like. Which reminds me .. All you media/communication people (DAN) should listen to WNYC's (Dan, that's your home npr station anyway!) "On the Media" show each week.

Other than that, I am taking my first ever summer class. It's three weeks long, five days a week, three hours a day. On jazz music. We're in week two right now; our first test was Monday (day six of class) and we have a paper due today. Then we have a test next Monday and next Friday (last day of class) and a paper due Friday, too. Then it's done. It's like a credit hour a week. It's making me feel very exhausted, though. Then on May 30, I start Chem 101, which should be easy. It's conceptual chemistry for a girl who took two chemistry courses in high school (not to mention all the other science classes), which is way easier for me than jazz, since I'm kinda tone-deaf and know nothing about music. But, I suppose I am learning something. I may not even be tone-deaf -- just ignorant. Who knew?

Alright, enough for now. Gotta wake up my stepdaughter and get her moving. I'll post pix of me w/ iPod on facebook soon.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Last updated by: Tracy Lightfoot / 6:23 AM
I love FileMaker Pro. I keep trying to invent new ways to use it in my daily life, which I think says a great deal about the levels of my OCD and it's ability to hide under the guise of "efficiency" or "usefulness." That's alright though. It's a wonderful program.

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*Haha, suckers! Sadly, everything except for the transfer part is true, tho'.