Thursday, April 10, 2008

Mania meme

Radical Cross-Stitch tagged me for a meme. Does it sound like I'm speaking a foreign language? If you don't know, memes are kinda like chain letters. I always hated chain letters, but memes can be fun. You learn something new about people whose blogs you read, and you get to direct people to other bloggers they may not have discovered.

In this one, you're supposed to tell 6 things about your life which look like manias or tics, and then pass it to 6 other persons. So here are mine.

#1. Bike helmets--I've written before about the people I've known who've been seriously hurt or killed while cycling. While there is some controversy within the cycling community about the promotion of helmets (some argue that helmets don't protect you from the many different kinds of injuries that can happen and/or that they give cyclists a false sense of protection), I'm all for protecting brains. When I see a cyclist without a helmet, it's all I can do to refrain from yelling at them, "PUT A HELMET ON!!" Generally I do refrain from yelling it, but should anyone have the misfortune of being in the next seat/on the next bike to me, they will hear me rant and rave for several minutes about stupid cyclists who don't wear helmets.

My favorite comment about helmets is from The Art of Urban Cycling. Wear a helmet, but bike like you're not wearing one.

#2. Hummers--Actually, any SUVs. Hummers do not belong on streets. SUVs are not necessary for urban driving. (My mom calls them UAVs...Urban Assault Vehicles.) They waste gas and their owners too often drive as though their mere size gives them the right to hog roads and parking spaces. We should have more regulations which discourage driving these gas-guzzlers and encourage saner forms of transportation.

#3. The serial comma--You don't know what that is? Obviously you didn't have me for your high school English teacher. Here's the Wikipedia definition.

The serial comma (also known as the Oxford comma or Harvard comma) is the comma used immediately before a grammatical conjunction (nearly always and or or; sometimes nor) that precedes the last item in a list of three or more items. The phrase "Portugal, Spain, and France", for example, is written with the serial comma, while "Portugal, Spain and France", identical in meaning, is written without it.

I believe in the serial comma. I admit that there is no logical reason for this other than the fact that that's how I was taught by MY high school English teacher. I just think it nicely separates each item in the series, according them each their own space all to themselves, without the conjunction running right up against them. Is that too much to ask?

#4. Proper pronunciation--If you are related to me, I will most definitely correct your pronunciation any time necessary. I may or may not refrain if your boss, dad, or best friend from high school is in the room. I am not trying to humiliate you; I just can't bear mispronunciation. In my mind, I am doing you and everyone else a favor by enlightening you as to the correct pronunciation of societal, paradigm, and epitome. (And you did notice my serial comma in that last sentence, didn't you?)

If you are not related to me, I may refrain from correcting you. Or I may not.

#5. Effective meetings--Have you noticed that these are getting more obnoxious as I go? In my mind, meetings (whether I'm at work, volunteering, or doing a group project for school) should be to-the-point and efficient. If they're meant for team-building and getting to know one another better, fine, but let me know in advance. Otherwise I expect meetings to have agendas, to move those agendas along in a timely manner, and to actually get things accomplished. I like to socialize, but I'll do it after the meeting, thank you very much. Get in, do what you need to do, and get out...that's my philosophy about meetings.

So, yeah, not everyone shares that philosophy. When I'm the boss, that's how meetings go...but I'm not always the boss. Then I get cranky at ineffective meetings. It's not always pretty. I'm trying to be more flexible.

#6. I am woman, hear me roar--I tend to take on too much in life. Yes, I do. I admit it. It's related to my eternal optimism. But god, there's so much good and fun stuff to do, it's hard to resist at times. I could have worse traits, right? (such as the belief that only I know how to correctly pronounce every word in the English language and how to run good meetings, perhaps?)

So there's my list. The one thing I feel a bit uncomfortable about with memes is any perceived pressure on the people I tag. So I'm going to tag these 6--but you know, it's your blog, do the meme or don't do it. I won't be mad. Here you go--Tracy at RahChaChow, Ann at Purls off a string, Michelle at Crafting Sanctuary, Melissa at Elemental Stitches,Patti at Patti's Purling Place, and because I think his list would be really funny, Jason at


Tracy said...

I am SO with you on the bike helmets! In my 30s, I was biking along the canal, and I hit some loose stone/gravel. I was thrown head-first to the ground. There was no way to stop the fall with my hands. I was wearing a helmet and was ABSOLUTELY FINE except for a few scrapes. I am certain that I would have been in the hospital if it weren't for the helmet. People seem to think that helmets are only for kids, but anyone can take a spill on a bike.

And to continue this rant, how about the mommies and/or daddies who bike with babies on the back of the bike, with helmets on the babies and no helmets on themselves? I saw a friend do this, and asked her what would happen if they had a spill and she was hurt but the kid wasn't? She didn't really have an answer.

This is a cool meme but one I have to mull over. I'll get to it someday...

Julie said...

Yes! I always think about how traumatized the poor kid would be if mommy or daddy ended up on the pavement bleeding. I know it sounds gruesome, but I've been there.

And I've actually heard people say, "When I ride on the canal path, I don't wear a helmet. It's not necessary." In addition to the hazards of loose stone that you faced, there are any number of critters that could run in front of you at any moment, not to mention the cyclists, runners, walkers, etc. who do not always move in the most predictable ways and could also cause an accident.

good luck in Dallas!