The Progression of Doughnuts

In my youth, you couldn’t convince me to go anywhere near a plain doughnut. It was Boston Cream or Lemon filled Powdered doughnuts 100%. Munchkins from Dunkin’s were mostly disappointing because, with the exception of the Jelly which as a tenuous descendant of fruit always seemed too healthy to me, none of the selections had fillings, frostings, or sprinkles.

At some point in high school I swore off the filled doughnuts in some sort of doughnut coming of age – swearing my allegiance to glazed doughnuts for the next 10 years. Chocolate glazed opened the door to honey glazed which earned its respect as I began to drink coffee. But now even a subtle glaze is often too sweet.

I firmly reside in the plain doughnut era of my life.

What’s past the plain doughnut stage? Maybe the doughnut will remain the same but I’ll find myself eating them in rocking chairs. Perhaps on front porches accompanied by purposely bitter brews. Maybe I’ll find myself complaining more about kids as I eat my old fashioned doughnut.

Maybe those kids should turn down their music.

Maybe they should get the heck off my lawn.

Strange

You know what’s a strange word?

Grown-ups

It’s almost exclusively used around kids. You never hear adults referring to each other as grown-ups.

According to Grammar-girl (one of my favorite resources for strange grammar questions), ‘Grow up’ is a phrasal verb and ‘Grown up’ is the past participle* When it’s used as a noun, it needs a hyphen.

*fun fact: present and past participles confused the heck out of me when I learned about them in Spanish class because I didn’t remember ever learning about them in English class first.

JAtlas Update: Daylight Savings

Daylight savings with an infant is completely different. Instead of basking in the luxury of an extra hour of sleep during fall-back, we endure a stressful experiment of trying to determine how we can massage JAtlas’ schedule into sync with the rest of humanity. Then again… that’s kind of the challenge 100% of the time with an infant.

Overall though, the little man is doing exceptionally well. I give him four stars (out of four).

jatlashat

McMansions

I stumbled across a fascinating website about McMansions. I always thought McMansions were simply out of place huge houses built in affordable areas – like a rando 4000+ square foot house nestled in a neighborhood of ranches – but, oh my, they are so far beyond this. Take a stroll through McMansionhell.com. It’s a hilarious in-depth analysis of the design flaws of McMansions. It’s also wildly educational.

Over the past week I’ve read the entire site. As I understand it, these audacious houses built without cohesive design that suffer from cancerous extensions/additions are examples of unbridled hubris. There are fitting parallels everywhere

  1. The dude who goes to the gym and never works his legs
  2. Most people who ‘play’ guitar in college
  3. Five minute wikipedia experts

But it is even more than a prideful affront (turrets, columns, fake facades) with nothing behind it.

The website comments on how many of these houses are designed from the inside out; that the smallest of room details end up dictating the external appearance of the home. Designing with a focus on the interior is great – but this website’s author suggests that to do so at the expense of the external visage of the house is a massive error. It’s like the architect (or owner?) has a really short attention span. The house is done! WAIT! I want to squeeze in an office next to the master bedroom. OH! but I like big windows! Let’s make this one 30 feet tall! CATHEDRAL CEILINGS EVERYWHERE!

Check out the site, it’s amazing. Try this post to start.

Newscasters

Isn’t it strange how newscasters seem to talk in acutely exaggerated tones? A normal phrase turns into a bizarre collection of accents, stresses, and pauses:

“a section of main street IS ::with eyebrows:: back open for the first time since this morning’s accident but investigators still have A LOT ::dramatic pause:: to figure out.”

This research article on speech suggests “listeners interpret higher peaks associated with a mentioned item as conveying greater informational prominence.”

So it’s a trick to insinuate urgency and distinction even when the statements are actually boring and uninteresting? I can believe that.

Unfortunately, now that I hear it – I can’t stop hearing it.

Off the beaten path

Prior to moving to Clinton, CT, I had never lived outside of a city. As such, I’ve never had experiences with nature creep – that is, the slow but inevitable incoming tide of nature as it slithers, wriggles, and scrabbles into, around, and through a home. Prior to 2013, I only knew a pest as a mouse or a fly. Oh how unexposed I was! Since purchasing this home, every year we’ve fought off a different invader.

Year 1: Drain flies

Drain flies live in drains! Imagine that! Thankfully we caught the issue before it became a problem. We bought BIO DRAIN by Invade and it worked pretty well. It also smelled pleasantly citrusy and was easy to use.

Year 2: Carpet moths

If weird little cocoons show up on your carpet, be forewarned your carpet is being slowly consumed by this bug that matures to a moth. Thankfully, the treatment is easy: Vacuum like you’ve never vacuumed before! Also? Ceder and lemongrass spray around the perimeter of a room. It took us a solid 30 days to rid ourselves of these pesky bust mostly benign bugs.

Year 3: Artillery Fungus

What the heck is artillery fungus? It’s a spore that lives in mulch and launches tiny black modules all over your property. So far, this is the most annoying pest I’ve encountered. These spores can fire 20 feet in the air! AND, you can’t even pressure wash the spores off of siding you have to individually scrape off each one AND THEN you have to go around with a toothbrush and scrub off the residue.

How does one prevent artillery fungus from attacking your home or car? You can’t. It just happens with Mulch.

Occasionally (rarely) I miss the nature-less city.