Dense Blog Advisory

Lots of words, people. Lots of words.

I am so not “Manhattan guy” January 2, 2010

Filed under: Arkansuck,Life, Whatnot — indiakonstanze @ 11:03 pm
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I am home.

I am home.

I am home.

Here I am, three years after leaving, back in California. We left Little Rock on December 9, and are now settled in Folsom. I have no job, no prospects, and nothing more than a vague plan to go to school in the fall (Masters in English…yeah, that’s useful), but it feels wonderful. I moved in on December 17 and haven’t plugged in my alarm clock yet.

The heartache of being a freelance writer will set in, once I realize how little I’ll have to live on. But for the moment, I am deleriously, deliciously happy to be able to do things like go to the beach, buy a bottle of wine on a Sunday, and eat at Panda Express on a regular basis (Sweet Jesus, the Panda map tells me I have FIVE locations to choose from).

I don’t regret my decision to leave California for a moment. It had to happen this way. Remember that episode of Sex and the City where Miranda ended up dating Manhattan guy? The guy who had never been outside of Manhattan because he just didn’t see the point? I hate people like that, and unless I lived outside of California, I’d be a female version of that guy. So naive and obnoxious, self-centered in the extreme.

California is majestic and beautiful and amazing, but if you’ve never lived anywhere else, how do you prove it? Every trial has a prosecution and a defense, and if you can’t staff both sides of the bench, you have a mistrial.

The things we learned in Arkansas can’t be learned anywhere else, and I had a duty to myself to experience life somewhere else. I did it, I learned what I was meant to learn, and I’m back! Arkansas is a beautiful place, but everything there feels like it’s on a smaller, gentler scale after growing up in California. I met some wonderful people there, and I’ll miss them, but even proximity to New Orleans can’t keep me in a place where church and state aren’t quite separated yet, and racial integration is still a daily battle.

What I left behind

So long, Arkansas.

I’ll write about something funnier next time, I promise, but this post is for California, my empress, my muse, my home.


Things You Won’t Find in Arkansas: Jimmy Hoffa, Basic Literacy, Thai Food February 26, 2009

Filed under: Arkansuck,Grammar Police — indiakonstanze @ 4:05 am
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Spotted in Little Rock: a sign telling drivers about an ongoing road improvement project, with the following tag line: “Little Rock…Making Improvements for It’s Citizens.”

You’d think a city government responsible for the health and welfare of 183, 133 citizens could manage to spell one of the most basic words in the English language. Then again, this *is* Arkansas. These people marry their cousins even though it’s illegal, microwave babies, and think cell phone holsters are the height of sophistication.

Most of us learned the difference between “its” and “it’s” somewhere in grade school. This is a contraction, in which two words have been jammed together in a noble effort to eradicate writer’s cramp. I realize most people think grammar is lame and don’t understand why anyone would care, but it isn’t lame. It does matter, and everyone should care.

After all, someone who works for this city wrote that slogan. Someone proofed it. Someone produced the sign. Someone probably proofed a draft of the sign. Is it really okay that none of these people can read, spell, or operate a computer well enough to use spell check? And these are the people in charge of an entire city? The people I trust with my general welfare on a daily basis? It is not okay that they can’t spell, because if they can’t do that…what else can’t they do?

There are things that separate us from the animals, and these are things we should always hold dear: showers, soap, Mongolian BBQ, and punctuation. Just think…if language became a free for all, your boss could write you an email that said, “Bold for the good word and fix it’s tree,” and you’d have to figure out what the hell he/she meant.