Beware The “ible/ables”

I have been plagued by the dichotomy of the “ible/able” words my entire life.  These are the words that, as little kids, we’re told  are the GPS to success.  However, by the time we become teenagers, we discover that these words are really a double-edged sword.  And then, as adults we realize that, at times, they’re just out and out lies.  Here are a few things I’ve learned along the way.

able

Sensible

What it’s supposed to mean Doing the proper thing.
What it actually means Staying home and studying for your algebra exam while all your friends are at a party so-o-o epic that they’re still talking about it 20 years later!  The one where some guy took your girlfriend, Monica Peters, home — and a week later she dumped you.

Reasonable

What it’s supposed to mean Looking at all facets of a problem or situation.
What it actually means You’re going to get your ass kicked trying to explain to the wannabe biker on the Harley that the horn on your fuel- efficient Ford Fiesta just gets stuck sometimes.

Capable

What it’s supposed to mean The ability to perform a number of different tasks or duties.
What it actually means You’re always given the crap jobs ’cause you’re the only one who knows how to do them.

Dependable

What it’s supposed to mean A consistency that people can rely on
What it actually means Guess who’s going to be the designated driver — again?

And finally

Responsible

What it’s supposed to mean Personally taking care of the things required of you.
What it actually means The night before the big meeting, you meticulously lay out your wardrobe, review your presentation, gather your notes, your charts, pens, paper, a pointer and another pen — just in case.  You arrive 15 minutes early.  Brenda arrives 10 minutes late, looking like she slept in her clothes.  She borrows your extra pen and some paper and scribbles a few lines while Dexter is rambling on about the “Mission Statement.”  Then, when you hesitate because you don’t want to look too pushy, she lays out the most brilliant proposal anybody in the company (including you) has ever heard — the bitch!

The “ible/able” words let you sleep at night, but they’re not very much fun.

I Wish I’d Said That!

ideaAs I get older, I realize a ton of people are a lot smarter than I am.  When I look at the world (even wearing my rose-coloured glasses) mostly all I see is benign chaos.  However, some people can look through all that and see where the little bits of truth are hiding.  These are the folks who instantly grasp an idea, distill it down to a single sentence, flip it onto their tongues and then effortlessly blend it into the conversation.  I know envy is one of the 7 Deadly Sins, but, for all the world, I envy these people ’cause on the rare occasions when I do that, I spend the rest of the day walking just a little taller.  Here are some examples and each one, when read carefully, demonstrates some serious understanding of the world we live in.

Journalism largely consists of saying “Lord Jones is dead,” to people who didn’t know he was alive.
G.K. Chesterton

The perfect lover is one who turns into a pizza at 4:00 am.
Charles Pierce

Television has proved that people will look at anything rather than each other.
Ann Landers

It’s dangerous to be right when the government is wrong.
Voltaire

A cynic is a man who, when he smells flowers, looks for a funeral.
H.L. Mencken

The trouble with her is she lacks the power of conversation but not the power of speech.
George Bernard Shaw

A critic is a man who knows the way but can’t drive the car.
Kenneth Tynan

The trouble with some women is that they get all excited about nothing — and then marry him.
Cher

An alcoholic is someone you don’t like who drinks as much as you do.
Dylan Thomas

It was as stupid as taking a cauldron and a broom to a witch hunt.
Najira Olsen

Nothing is impossible for the man who doesn’t have to do it himself.
A.H. Miller

Do you realize that, if it weren’t for Edison, we’d be watching television by candlelight?
Al Boliska

It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.
Jean Rostand

Love thy neighbour as thyself, but choose your neighbourhood.
Louise Beal

The average person thinks he isn’t.
L. Lorenzoni

What this country needs is more free speech worth listening to.
Hansell Duckett

We’re all in this alone.
Lily Tomlin

Where did I find the time to not read so many books?
Karl Krause

A fair fight is the one you win.
French Foreign Legion

And that greatest philosopher of them all — Anonymous

Show me a good loser and I’ll show you a loser.

If it wasn’t for the last minute, nobody would get anything done.

Whoever said “money can’t buy happiness,” didn’t know where to shop.

No one ever bets enough money on a winning horse.

If you talk to God, you’re praying.  If God talks to you, you’re nuts.

10 Side Effects Of Being A Writer (Plus 1)

writer4I have spent half my life writing for money.  I truly believe I’ve got the best gig in the universe.  However, there are some serious drawbacks.  So, for all those people who think that touching pen to paper is a worthy way to spend their time, here are some of the evil side effects of being a writer.

1 — You must take an involuntary vow of poverty.  Unless your name is J R Rowling, Stephanie Meyer or that soulless word whore, E.L. James, you’re going to be poor.  The reality is 99% of all writers make less money than Bulgarian shepherds.  If you’re content with that, great: if not, buy some sheep.

2 — You spend a lot of time (A-LOT-OF-TIME) alone.  Political prisoners in China have more human interaction than writers do.

3 — You never actually get a vacation.  You just go to work in a different city.

4 — You learn to like all kinda weird crap like cold coffee, warm Pepsi, celery, carrot sticks and the gooey bits in the middle of Oreos.

5 — Every person you meet has a “fantastic” idea for a novel that would “really sell.”  All they need is someone to “help” them write it.

6 — Over the years, you become a fountain of useless information.  Unfortunately, by the time you’ve amassed this trivia encyclopedia, you’re too damn old to go on Jeopardy.

7 — You pray for rain.

8 — You discover everybody’s a critic.  Your family, your friends, acquaintances, the woman who recognized you at the gas station, the guy whose email isn’t even close to coherent, people you’ve just met, people you’ve never met, people you’re never going to meet. In fact, put words on paper and it’s open season on your ego — get used to it.

9 — You become an absolute expert at avoidance behaviour.  My personal favourite is still Spider Solitaire.

10 — You spend more time worrying about things like the difference between “only had” and “had only” than you do about buying a car.

And the worst (or best) evil side effect of being a writer:

11 — If you’re not very, very careful, you’ll start having more fun with fictional people than you do with real ones.