Special Sauce

A mish-mash of twisted thoughts from a fevered ego. Updated when the spirit moves me, contents vary and may have settled during shipping. Do not open towards eyes. Caution: Ingestion of Special Sauce may cause hair loss, halitosis, and a burning sensation while urinating.


Holy happiness, Batman!

First off, Hee! Hi Carolyn! I think ponchos are quite possibly the most hideous and unflattering trend to ever hit the knitting and fashion world. Yes! Let me wear something that is not only bulky, but looks like it's made of muppet fur, Yes! That won't make me look like I'm wearing a car cover, no-sirree! (Yes, commercially made ponchos are occasionally made of fingering weight style yarns. They're still uglier than Tammy Faye on a bad-makeup day.)

And for the record, I have found true happiness. For the past two nights I have actually slept the ENTIRE NIGHT THROUGH.

No, I don't have a child, I merely can't stay asleep. (I even took 2 benadryl Saturday night, because I was at the breaking point, and STILL woke up at 3, and 5 AM) 2 full nights of sleep in a row? Sweet Fancy Elvis, I feel like... Singing. Or being nice to FBD, or making cookies for the 'necks next door.


And, as promised, here is the thing I was working on when I wrote the "slang dictionary". It's either really interesting, or really awful, either way it amuses me. (Background- my boss writes a pretty rough version of this, and I expand it, correct the syntax, screw up a few things, and generally make it good to go for the population at hand. Boss was all atwitter about this "people first language compliance" email that a partnering group had sent us (We're going to be giving them a shitload of money, in exchange for not a lot of effort on their part, so part of me wants to tell them that I've not found one objectionable thing in our literature so far, so whydontchya bite me? Heh) People First language basically dictates that you refer to people as individuals first, then their respective disability after that. I.e. Person who is short, individual with intellectual disabilities, woman who has low-vision. Etc. Now, Bosslady and I would never purposefully call someone by an incorrect name, it would be like calling me a drunken mick, and I'd probably beat the crap out of you. So... I GET it. But sometimes the terminology changes SO quickly that you can inadvertently call someone the wrong name, and look like an ass. (i.e. It's apparently NOT Mental Retardation anymore, it's intellectual disabilities.) There. That ends your little lesson on the current state of affairs over politically correct terminology regarding individuals with intellectual and physical disabilities.

Behold! I bring you...

Words Mean Things

It has been a sobering and serious transition into 2005, with a new word on everyone’s lips, and a rediscovered awareness of the devastation it can yield. I mean, of course, tsunami. January is the time of year when we get serious. We review past performance, and set new goals for the coming year. I’ve been reading report after report challenging the Bush administration to improve and expand the opportunities for Americans with physical and intellectual disabilities. I am impassioned to the point of implosion! I’ve got to relieve this pressure with a dose of common sense and levity, before I start freakin’ out!

Today what’s making me laugh is how seriously we take ourselves and the words that comprise the issues that we are passionate about. For instance, my 13 year old daughter frequently begs me not to speak in front of her friends, on the chance that I might use words she thinks only she and her friends can say. “Mo-om! You can’t just 'ghetto-out', and start telling my friends ‘fo’ shizzle my nizzle’ instead of a simple ‘yes’! You’re an ‘old-head’, and for the last time, you shouldn’t be ‘shakin’ it like a Polaroid picture’ in the living room with dad! I mean, ew!” It’s embarrassing for her to hear words like “bling”, “so fetch” and “jiggy” cross the lips of her mother—they just don’t belong there!

Similarly, during many business meetings, the use of acronyms by my peers denotes status and superiority, all dependent on how many acronyms can be crammed into a single sentence. “Thanks to IDEA we’re going to start that IEP ASAP with an MDE and get our GC in here PDQ before our RFP is turned down and we are all SOL!” I hear that and I’m either stupefied or impressed, how ‘bout you?

My struggle to stay politically correct and current has not only affected my interactions with my teenage daughters but, on occasion, the community I am committed to support. For instance, when did we change over to “individuals with intellectual disabilities” instead of “individuals with mental retardation”? I didn’t get a memo, it just happened! I don’t want to offend anyone with what I say, because I understand how important it is to address people in the manner they want to be addressed, but sometimes the lingo gets to be confusing! I have some pretty nifty reading glasses, but that doesn’t make me an “American with Presbyopia”, it makes me farsighted. And my daughter’s not an “individual who is vertically challenged”. She is short!

The ways in which we present ourselves, speak and write are valuable tools. Being “politically correct” can make us more effective, but we need to remember that whether you’re a “blue hair” or (like me) an “old head” or even a “Gen-Xer”, our frame of reference remains static, while the world around us is constantly flippin’. We can’t get too hung up in the nomenclature and miss the underlying intent. For example, can you figure these sentences out?

“Yo dog, ‘sup? Me and my peeps are gonna cruise by the hizzle and pick up my shorty, ‘cuz he’s wicked geeked ‘bout the Nelly gig. You got your ducats?” “Fo’ shizzle, my nizzle!”

What if I take it back a few years?

“Hey bud, what’s shakin’? The dudes and I are gonna roll by the ol’ ‘casa’ and snag the ruggie because he’s totally stoked about the Ramones show. You got your paper?” “Right on, man!”

How about if I put it in politically correct terms?

“Hello my compatriot. What events are occurring in your sphere of existence? My acquaintances of varying degrees of intimacy and I will take my gas-fueled internal combustion engine powered vehicle to my domicile to retrieve my youngest male-gendered sibling for he is in a happily agitated state about this evening’s musical event featuring a currently popular artist. Are your passes for entry in your possession at this time?” “Most assuredly, my confederate.”

Here it is in terms familiar to me….

“Hey, how are you? I have to drive by my house and pick up my little brother, because he’s as excited as we are to go to this concert. Do you have your tickets?” “I do!”

Each method is valid, but we have to work to get at the meaning behind it, especially if we’re not used to the language being used. We have to make sure that the medium is not obscuring the message, because none of us benefit in that case. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to drop this like it’s hot, and get it up onto my blog, because my admin is seriously buggin’ about how late this is.

Catch you on the flip-flop,


Mad Props to Special Sauce for the leg-up!


Blogger Memphis Word Nerd said...

Very nice! This *so* belongs on my blog. Mind if I link?

BTW - All of the Elvis references are great. You know today is his birthday, right? I mean, the world has stopped and declared a worldwide holiday, right? Ack.

10:10 AM  
Blogger Special Sauce said...

MWN, of course you can link it!

If you want, you can totally have the doc itself, email me and I'll get it to you. We had our meeting with the folks who sent the People First wording to our attention in the first place, and she was actually really cool, so bonus.

Hee! No, I didn't remember today was Elvis's birth anniversary! D'oh! I used to say Koresh instead of Elvis, but nobody "got" it, so... Elvis it is. Heh.

Bonus happy fact: I had an unbelievably tasty sushi lunch today. Sweet, sweet Philadelphia roll and delightful spicy California, how I love thee. I haven't had sushi since I left the good ol' conch republic. mmmm.

1:51 PM  
Blogger parcequilfaut said...

Hee. I knew about the mental retardation axe (I got the memo!!!!), and I agree with the People First-style wording because I don't like, for instance, being defined as "mentally ill." Which, if you take it into slang terms, means I'm so crazy I'm cool, or something, but I still don't like it. Good job, though.

Elvis died on the same day I was born, so I always get to hear about him on the radio for my birthday. Me, and Madonna. I bet that pisses her off.

4:24 PM  
Blogger luz de la luna said...

YAY! Glad you could sleep. I have problems sleeping. I blame the voices in my head. They won't shut up and tell me to burn stuff! :-O

Best Wishes
La Luna

6:52 PM  

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