blockbuster, shakespeare, and oxford english [musings on the cerebral atrophy of america]

it all started at blockbuster.  [yes, the dying movie rental establishment]

hubby and i usually redbox-it for our movie rental needs but we have struck-out the last few times that we went hunting for coriolanus.  so, we took a trip to what i can only assume is the last blockbuster still standing in the greater phoenix area.

we perused the merchandise in search of coriolanus and sense and sensibility.  [no luck on the latter]  and took our modern shakespearean gem to the counter.

we were greeted by a pleasant lady who proceeded to take our selection and scan it into the seemingly obsolete computer in front of her.  but, she paused.  she flipped the dvd over.  she paused again.  then, she looked up at us…and this happened:

“i just want you to know that i took this movie home last week to see what all the fuss was about.”


“yeah.  and i gotta say…i just couldn’t get through it.  i mean, i couldn’t understand a darn word.  it was like they were speaking in another language or something.”

“well, that’s too bad.”

“i just couldn’t follow it. no idea what they were saying.  it must have been in a really old language.”

i paused to absorb.  then, i pondered what to say next.  clearly, this lady was trying to be nice and warn us so we wouldn’t waste our time on a ridiculous movie with indiscernible dialogue.  i hoped that she would just move on and scan our movie, but she just stood there.  movie in hand.  staring me down.  awaiting my response.

“sure.  i mean…the play was written by shakespeare.  i suppose the intricate language is to be expected…”

“oh.  shakespeare.  right.  okay.  well…i guess there was that.  but, the people were also tough to understand.  with those accents.  it just took too much work to get it, ya know?  i turned it off.”

“well…hopefully we will make it through.”

“good luck.”

with that, she finally scanned the movie and sent us on our way.

ben and i got into the car and just stared at each other for a second.  we were both thinking the same thing.  what has happened?  where is the appreciation for the classics?  for the ancient?  and yes, for the shakespearean?  when did people start just “giving up” on doing something because it was too complex and they had to [gasp] think?  are we truly becoming so mindless that we can only digest the most basic of “entertainment”?  do we really prefer to NOT engage our brains?  can we really not understand or are we too lazy to put in the effort?  when did we become so ADD?  when did we become a gag-reel, YouTube, sitcom nation?  why does everything have to be in catchy jingles or sound-bytes?  when did we become so Twitter-pated?  everything stated in a few hundred characters or less.  hashtag this and hashtag that.  what happened to thee, thy, thou and the oxford english?  speaking of oxford…yes, i did purposefully include the oxford comma in my post title.  do NOT let the charming little oxford comma die, people!  i beg of you.

i mourn the loss of the old english.  so reverent.  so regal.  so formal.  so robust.  our langauge has been relegated to a series of abbreviations.  quick and dirty so we can throw something out there to the masses and move on.  little thought.  little care.  just a lot of LOLs and BTWs and OMGs and TTYLs.  sad, i say.

and who am i to talk [type]?  my blogging is quite informal.  i don’t even capitalize!  fragments and run-on sentences.  you bet.  i am ashamed.  what would king james think?  [hey!  there’s an abbreviation for ya!  WWKJT.  maybe i should have bracelets made and cash in on the abbreviation, acrostic, acronym phenomenon.]

my own blogging style notwithstanding, i am still saddened by this deadening of our senses.  this mental slipping.  this atrocious atrophy.  and that is exactly what it is – atrophy.  i think we are wasting away.  we aren’t exercising our brains enough.  we are feeding on tidbits that are spooned to us via social media.  we like snippets of info.  we prefer images to words.  we don’t want to sit down and read a book – we want to watch the movie version.  we don’t want to read the wall street journal.  we get our vital information from a friend’s Facebook status update.  we have thousands of friends and connections and followers but few meaningful relationships.  we “retweet” and “like” but do we ever actually communicate and comprehend?  we are LinkedIn but completely checked out.  we have chosen the convenience of a Kindle over the charm of a paperback.  where have all the bookstores gone?  emails are the new letters.  text messages are the new phone calls.  we get our reality from reality TV.  iTunes tuesday is the new vinyl.  the microwave has replaced the roasting pan.  i don’t like it.

well, i refuse to go down without a fight.  bring back the old books and dusty libraries!  and perhaps i will pepper my daily dialogues with a few more oxford english words.  strategically slip in a heretofore, bequeath, betwixt, doth, nary, hither and thither, naught, prithee, wence, or wrought.  let us cherish the old.  let us stimulate and challenge our brains.  let us deliberately engage with others.  let us live lives of depth and vigor.  let us be people of passion.  let us be interesting and interested instead of dull.  let us be enraptured by the complexities and beauty of the created world.  let us be infused with wisdom and knowledge.

when i make curtsy, bid me farewell.


[shakespeare’s as you like it]


snaps & snippets & blurbs

i’m sorry…is it really monday already?  what happened people?  this weekend went by much too quickly.  probably because we had back-to-back stuff planned.  and, the nesting is in full swing so i have been making lists and planning weekend projects pretty hard-core.  [sorry ben]  but, in spite of the lack of relaxation and downtime, it was a great couple of days.  and, i am starting the week feeling fairly accomplished.

happy weekend faces + a vintage copy of chitty chitty bang bang for baby girl’s library + i went for a quick trip to world market to grab some items for the nursery and left with all of these naughty goodies.  but i came home to a very happy hubby.  all of his favorites! + the new fiona apple was this weekend’s soundtrack + random bits for baby girl…finials for the drape rods, a bird pillow cover, and a bright sketchbook + a stop for 32 ounces of decaf iced coffee goodness.  my beverage of choice for running errands in the hot az sun + a little lunch date at shogun + crazy faced chopstick man + spicy tuna sushi + a platter of fried goodness with dipping sauces + more happy faces + grabbing dinner at jersey mike’s after catching a matinée of the dark knight + my man’s cheesy, melty reuben + limited batch, key lime pie ice cream care of my boys ben & jerry + my man and his “super stoked to drive to florence” face + the ominous clouds lingering over the mountains + our florence desitnaion…the windmill winery.  site of my sister’s upcoming nuptials.  so worth the drive through creepyville, az to get to this cool location + ben trying to hide from the rain AND from all the wedding planning jargon.

26 weeks

cravings & such:  nope.  still boring.  i am going to have to start faking cravings just so i can give hubby a thrill.  we have started a new weekly cheese plate dinner, though.  i think that should count for something…

the bump:  getting bigger and itching like crazy as my skin works to accommodate the growing baby.  the bellybutton hasn’t popped out but i am sure it could happen any day.

cool & cute things:  baby girl continues to put on fat.  come on…cute little leg chubs!  she now weighs 1 2/3 pounds and measures 14 inches from head to heel.  knowing our combined family genes, i would be shocked if she were to grow much taller than that in the next few months. 

new things:  baby is inhaling and exhaling small amounts of amniotic fluid.  these breathing movements help to develop the lungs and are good practice for her first gulp of air.  the network of nerves in baby’s ears is better developed and more sensitive.  she may now be able to hear both my voice AND ben’s voice as we chat with each other.

meaningful moments:  painting her room.  buying her outfits.  NESTING.  NESTING.  NESTING.  her kicking show for papa that he was able to watch as my belly moved.

the countdown:  98 days to go!  we are into the double digits, people.  we are also nearing the three month mark.  [cut to rachel doing the happy dance]

current size: length of an english hothouse cucumber

my kind of cabin

i’m gonna be real with you, folks.  i am not exactly a “roughing it” sorta gal.  sure, i enjoy the outdoors, but i generally prefer nature in bite-sized morsels.

as you probably guessed, i  don’t really do the whole camping thing.  in fact, my one and only camping experience was with my friend and her family about 15 years ago.  these people didn’t mess around.  they busted out professional camper tents.  they brought along a private potty tent with a mini toilet [thank you, thank you!].  and her dad is a chef so…let’s just say we weren’t eating baked beans from a can.  as i recall…burgers with gruyère, caramelized onions, and buttery chanterelle mushrooms were the camping cuisine.   i had it pretty good.  and even then…not my favorite.

in fact, my idea of enjoyable outdoorsy-time is either sitting on the beach while gazing out at the tropical surroundings OR sitting by a fire pit breathing in the cool air while admiring the glistening snow [a stone’s throw from the warmth of the indoors, of course].  yes, i enjoyed my time in sedona.  i loved hiking.  i loved the refreshing air.  i felt invigorated.  but, at the end of the day, i always like to come back to a comfy chair, a roaring fire, a big blanket, and hot chocolate.  then i can just sit and relax while i soak in the view outside the window.  ya know?

all of that to say…

this girl may have found her perfect cabin.  and yup, it is in the alps.  this place makes me want to put on a furry hat and hit the slopes. and then retire to my alpine spa for a nice bubble bath before curling up my the fire and calling it a day.  [nothing wrong with that, people]  pretty perfect if you ask me.

check this place out!

lovely?  amazing?  i know.

i suppose i could manage “roughing it” in a chalet like this…

no ordinary marriage

one of the greatest social tragedies of our day is the underperformance of marriage—not only marriages that end in divorce, but also those which, while remaining “intact”, become painfully strained and emotionally scarred. surely there must be hope for something better, for something more.

together for God’s glory

the tagline for this book is unpacked on the pages of this fantastic work by dr. tim savage.  ben and i are blessed to get to hear him proclaim God’s truth every sunday at our church and we are thrilled about this new book.  God has blessed this man with a desire for Christ, a brilliant mind, an extreme love for people, a passion for holiness, a keen intellect, a gift for discerning and proclaiming the truth of God’s Word, and a humble servant’s heart.  God has used him mightily to pen an exquisite and profound work on the gift and meaning of marriage.

this book is rich and replete.  filled with vibrant observations andand significant pertinence.  it isn’t a quick and practical “how to” guide for married couples.  this isn’t a step-by-step guide or self-help feel-goodery mumbo-jumbo.  it delves into the depths of the sacred union and expresses God’s lofty purpose for marriage.  savage also discusses cruciform love and how God desires for our marriages to bring glory to Him so that His glory can infuse our relationships, increase our joy, and make us bright lights in a troubled world.

for married couples, engaged couples, dating couples, and soon-to-be-dating individuals, this is a powerful book.  pick it up and prayerfully pore over the pages.  let it seep into you, convict your heart, encourage your soul, inspire your actions, and shape your relationships – for His glory and your good.

dear peanut

it’s official.  the nursery decorating is in full swing.  all of the wall decor has arrived.  the paint is on the walls.  the furniture has been selected.  the drapes will be hung in a couple of weeks. wow.  this is so much fun!  i guess you can say that you mama is officially on the nest and nesting away.  all i want to do is buy tiny baby clothes and look at cribs and collect stuffed animals and other soft things.  in fact, i am worried that i am becoming one of those pregnant ladies who can ONLY talk about baby stuff.  i am trying to keep it to a reasonable level as to not annoy people.  but…what can i say?  you are kind of a big deal, little one.

you seem to be growing and getting stronger by the day.  my tummy skin is trying to keep up… and i am doing my best to get plenty of sleep because i know that nighttime is when you seem to do your best developing.   as evidenced by my bigger and bigger bump each morning.  however, sleep has become a bit tricky. the growing bump makes finding a comfy sleeping position more of a task.  plus, whenever i do switch positions, you get all riled up and want to bounce around in there.  it reminds me of that part in aladdin [don’t worry, we will watch disney movies together once you are here] when they are trying to enter the cave of wonders and the cave-guardian-lion-sand-creature-thing growls WHO DISTURBS MY SLUMMMBBEEERRRR?!  whenever i wake up and flip to the other side, i imagine your sweet little self waking up, stretching out, and growling at me…followed by kicks of protest.  i can’t blame you.  i don’t like my slumber to be disturbed either.  we’ll get through it, baby girl.

stay healthy and keep growing.  we are so excited to meet you soon…to dress you in tiny clothes, to swaddle you in cute cloths, and to rock you in your lovingly decorated room.

all our love to you, little peanut.

love, your mama + your papa