Stop calling things “Artisan”

On a recent trip through the McDonald’s drive-thru, I was in the mood for a cheeseburger, but convinced myself to go with a slightly less guilt-inducing “Artisan Grilled Chicken Sandwich.”

On my way through Window One, the polite girl at the register confirmed my order, made change for the ten, and waved me forward to Window Two. The boy there handed me my Diet Coke and then said, “I’ll go get your Artesian.”

Artisan vs artesian
Stop calling things “artisan!”

Seriously?

This prompted a couple of thoughts for me:
1. Stop calling things “artisan.”
2. “Artesian” and “artisan” are NOT the same.

Dictionary.com provides this definition of “artisan.”
Artisan: Adjective. Pertaining to an artisan or the product of an artisan; artisanal: artisan beer.

I enjoyed my chicken sandwich. It was pretty good! But I doubt anything about it was “artisan.” The bun didn’t appear handmade. I doubt the chicken was an artisan. The people who assembled it in the kitchen? The kid who handed it through Window Two? Nope.

And while we’re talking about that kid, he’s not the first person I’ve heard say “artesian” when he meant “artisan.” In case you’re wondering, here’s what that means.

Artesian: Adjective. Noting, pertaining to, or characteristic of an artesian well.

And if you don’t remember what an artesian well is?

Artesian well: Noun. A well in which water rises under pressure from a permeable stratum overlaid by impermeable rock.

My sandwich was tasty, but it was neither artisan nor artesian.

Stop calling things “artisan!” And if you call anything “artesian” that is not well-related, you sound stupid.

Don’t Minecraft While Sedated

The cartoon xkcd is one of my favorite nerdy comics. For your Friday fun, here is a strip about Minecraft. The moral of the story: don’t let your noob friends into your Minecraft world while they’re recovering from wisdom teeth extraction.

Happy Friday!

Don't Minecraft on Drugs - comic
Don’t Minecraft on Drugs
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In case of zombie invasion, shoot the lawyers?

Sorry, honey (my husband is an attorney). I’ve taken a couple of those “Would you survive a zombie invasion” quizzes, and it doesn’t look good for me. I’m not a runner, don’t have any guns, and would have my kids slowing down my escape. Yep, I’m pretty much zombie food.

One of the brains over at PrawfsBlawg has written about the legal implications of executing your zombie escape and survival plan. Author Geoffrey Rapp explains the importance of being…

… conscious of potential legal ramifications of shooting zombies in the head, breaking and entering stores to gather canned goods, and otherwise engaging in all manner of batteries, trespasses and conversions.

Of course, it won’t matter to me… But if you’re in good shape, know how to score a headshot, and can hole up safely until the invasion is over, you might have to think about what will happen post-zombie-apocalypse. Good luck!

Top Eleven essential items for Mother, in the RPG of life

Warcraft dwarf warriorFile this post under “whimsical,” folks. I’ve been a mother for a little over nine years now. My youngest child has just turned three, and I’m still in that “Mommy, carry me” phase, at times. My purse is bursting at the seams (but not with money), my memory is fuzzy, my feet are tired, and my body is jiggly, but I’m pretty happy with life. 🙂

Over the years, I have spent more hours than I care to admit playing role-playing games (RPG), such as Neverwinter Nights, Baldur’s Gate, and some others I can’t remember right now. One of the things I enjoy about those games is the magical items a character can equip, to modify her natural abilities.

So, I got to thinking, what if I could create a new class of character? In addition to Mage, Ranger, Rogue, Warrior, etc., there should be a Mother class! A Mother would have a special combination of powerful abilities, including some borrowed from the other classes.

Given the qualities and attributes that I now possess (brain fog, stretch marks, etc.), I would be very interested in obtaining certain pieces of special equipment. These would magically boost my strengths and minimize my weaknesses.

Here are the mythical, magical items that would be on my Top Eleven list, if I were a Mother in the RPG of life:

  1. Handbag of Infinite Holding. No more overstuffed purse or diaper bag. Everything fits inside, without the wearer becoming over-encumbered by the weight.
  2. Gloves of Dexterity. Maintains softness of touch, but gives the wearer manual dexterity equal to having a third hand.
  3. Boots of Lightness. Reduces weight upon the feet of the wearer, especially when standing on a scale.
  4. Girdle of Constitution. Provides the wearer ample strength to bear any physical burden, and causes stretch marks and cellulite to disappear.
  5. Helm of Mental Acuity. Dispels brain fog, improves wisdom with age, and prevents wearer from being deceived.
  6. Bow of Justice + Arrows of Mercy. Enables precise, appropriate defensive attacks or punishments, as needed.
  7. Cloak of Patience. Casts a spell of calm and inner peace upon the wearer, in even the most chaotic environment.
  8. Breastplate of Love. Warms the hearts of the wearer and those in her midst.
  9. Amulet of Healing. Empowers the wearer with magical hugs and kisses, which can be used to heal others.
  10. Ring of Rest. When activated, allows the wearer to continue adventuring without sleep.
  11. Shovel of Clearing. Essential equipment for any Mother, this shovel digs through any pile of literal or figurative crap, leaving a clean, clear path to tread.

He knew she was The One when she agreed to this…

Vinnk over at 4 color rebellion has posted a scan of his actual, formal wedding invitation. Here is what he says about it:

… as it turns out even geeky gamers can find love. Of course that doesn’t stop me from continuing to be that geeky gamer. My wedding invitation proves this. Be warned that it is more than a bit silly and lame, but it’s also, I hope, kind of cute.

And here is a little preview of the photo. You can click on it to see the full scan. It’s very cute, and it features Wii likenesses of the couple.
wii wedding invitation
He goes on to note that his future wife is not a geeky gamer, but that she does like the invitation, and is still going to marry him. So sweet! The only thing that would make it better would be to have the Miis dressed in wedding attire. Congratulations, Kevin and Misako! I don’t know you, but I wish you the best!

“Kawaii Not”: cute on the outside, twisted on the inside

Here are a few samples of what you can find over at the web comic called Kawaii Not, the comic for cute gone bad. (In case you’re wondering, “kawaii” is the Japanese word for “cute.”) Kawaii Not is a clever and sometimes strange combination of cute, innocent-looking characters (such as food, flowers, and office supplies), with a twisted sense of humor and a strong dose of irony. The strip is in a novel vertical format, and many of the featured comics have been converted into animated icons for posting on your own page. Watch out — they blink.
cassette vs ipod peanut legume wonton plunger
Note: Despite the pastel colors and smiling clouds and rainbows, this is not a comic for children. I have chosen some of the cute, tame ones to share here. But if you enjoy irony, or have been told you’re “weird,” “warped,” or have a “unique” sense of humor (join the club), you might like Kawaii Not. What do you think?

GeekMom on life: What’s in your intellectual junk drawer?

Since I finished graduate school and became a full-time mother (nine years ago), my life has become extremely cluttered. There are school papers, coupons, tiny Lego blocks, snack wrappers, odd socks, unlabeled CDs, and mountains of laundry… I could go on, but I won’t. Everything from the important things, like my kids, to the dirty, dusty detritus of life, it all takes up space in my home and in my head.

The point is, with a wonderful husband and three dear children to take care of, and so many truly important codes, passwords, dates, and numbers to remember, why do I still have old, useless bits of trivial information taking up space in my brain? I don’t have room for extra stuff! It makes it really difficult to find what I’m looking for!

For instance, say I’m looking for that very small screwdriver. You know the one I mean? It’s very thin, and it has a standard shaped end, which makes it perfect for unlocking the bathroom door when there’s nobody in there. Oh, yes. This happens sometimes! It’s quite mysterious.

So the first place I look is the kitchen junk drawer. I’m looking for the special little screwdriver, but what do I find? Everything else we’ve stashed in there since we moved into this house! Rubber bands, vegetable seeds, lip balm, marbles, tape, pens and pencils, an old checkbook, super ball, assorted coins, little rocks, and various things with sharp edges that find their way under the fingernails. Ouch! No screwdriver.

Sometimes, that’s how I feel when I’m trying to think of something important, like… my own phone number. Yes, I forgot my phone number. Picture me on the phone, leaving a message for an acquaintance. “So if you could call me back, that would be great. My number is… Four… I’m so sorry, but I’ll have to call you back with my phone number.” I couldn’t believe it. After that, I wrote my number on a sticker and kept it inside the kitchen cupboard, so I would never have to sound so stupid again! (At least not while leaving a phone message.)

I might not feel so bad about having forgotten my phone number, if the data taking its place were actually important, but they’re not. It’s just a bunch of stuff that I’ve stashed in there for the last 35 years. I’ll show you. Let’s give the old noggin a shake and see what falls out

  • High school locker combination (35-9-35)
  • Names and colors of all four Wiggles
  • First telephone number, from 30 years ago
  • Memorized lines from Monty Python and the Holy Grail
  • Ex-boyfriend’s birthdate
  • Mnemonic phrase for the 12 cranial nerves (On Old Olympus’ Towering Top A Family Very German Viewed Armadillos Hop), but not the actual names of the nerves
  • and more…

I’d say my brain is in need of a good sorting out, but I guess that’s life. Maybe I’ll need this stuff someday, like if I’m in a coma, and my family will be sitting around the hospital bed, talking quietly. Some young doctor will say, “Oh, by the way, do you know a good mnemonic for the 12 cranial nerves? I’m having trouble remembering them.” And one of my brilliant relatives will say, “Of course! On Old Olympus’ Towering Top…” And then, I’ll wake up! It could happen.

So, what’s in your intellectual junk drawer? Care to share your most useless bits of trivia with us? 🙂