Coulda, Shoulda, Woulda… gotten it right if you paid attention!

Of, preposition

1. (used to indicate distance or direction from, separation, deprivation, etc.): within a mile of the church; south of Omaha; to be robbed of one’s money.
2. (used to indicate derivation, origin, or source): a man of good family; the plays of Shakespeare; a piece of cake.
3. (used to indicate cause, motive, occasion, or reason): to die of hunger.

Have, auxiliary verb
1. (used with a past participle to form perfect tenses): She has gone. It would have been an enjoyable party if he hadn’t felt downcast.
Definitions courtesy of

These two words, “have” and “of” have different meanings. They are different parts of speech. This means they are used in different ways. And this explains why the following phrase drives me so crazy:

Could of / Should of / Would of

As in, “I could of gone to the store. I should of done my homework. I would of punched you in the face.” Also exhibited in the J. Geils Band song, “Must of Got Lost.” None of that makes any sense whatsoever.

Granted, there are multiple things wrong with the song title but let’s take a look at this: I could (origin) gone to the store. That doesn’t make sense. I could (cause) go to the store. Nope. I could (direction from) go to the store. Again, nope. But, if we use the right word (have), it makes sense: I could have gone, as in “in the past, there was a possibility of going.”

“Of” is not an auxiliary verb. It’s a preposition. A noun follows it. So “could of gone” MAKES NO SENSE.

Perhaps nitpicky, it drives me crazy that people don’t understand the difference between “Could have” and “Could of” (which makes no sense). When we talk fast we say “COULD’VE” not “could of.”

Could have / Should have / Would have


Could’ve / Should’ve / Would’ve

Consider this a public service announcement to GET IT RIGHT!

Southern Quirks

So, I’ve been in the great American southeast for the past ten days. On the threshold of returning to my lovely midwest, I would like to point out three weird things.

1. No one in Tennessee uses their blinker. No one. Indicators are your friends… especially when you’re trying to turn left over six lanes of traffic! Use them!


2. There is no cold water. Yeah. It’s so effing hot outside that cold water is a joke. You turn on the cold water faucet and think you messed up because all you get is water that feels like its been sitting in a small pool on blacktop for four hours. The only way I could get any real cold water was by melting ice.


3. Why isn’t your soda fizzy, great American South? I’ve had Diet Cokes from Tennessee to Louisiana and all of it sucks! It tastes weird and flat, like Caffeine Free Diet Pepsi after it sat for too many days in a hot car. What’s the deal?


I never thought I’d say it, but I think–weirdly enough–the midwest ain’t so bad after all.

Pro-Choice is NOT Anti-Life

I’m sick of this weird conversation.  Pro-Choice is neither Anti-Life or Pro-Abortion.

Pro-Choice means a person believes that each woman should have the right to choose, the right to options in the case of an unwanted, unplanned, forced or dangerous pregnancy.  Restrictions on that right assume too much, try to imagine things that laws cannot account for.  I’m pro-choice because I will never have the experiences of another person and I’ll never know what leads a person to a choice, so I don’t want to judge or decide for them – especially when it comes to something as huge as pregnancy.  Also, I don’t care what men say, they will NEVER be able to understand completely.  Sorry.  No.

Now, when I say I’m Pro-Choice, I mean that specifically.  I believe in choice.  It doesn’t mean I am excited about, happy about or encouraging abortions…  Usually, I’m sure abortions are sad, heartbreaking and downright hard.  There aren’t women out there delighted by the idea of an abortion; there just aren’t women doing that.  I don’t know what I would do faced with an unwanted pregnancy, I don’t.  I know that no matter what I did, it would be sad and hard.
I’m just trying to say that Pro-Choice people aren’t Anti-Life.  They aren’t rabid murderers out to destroy the next generation.  They are people who respect the right to choose what happens in life and to your body.
I’m just saying…

Bathroom Etiquette – Part 2

Alright, ladies. What’s the deal? We’ve talked about this before. You have to wash your hands! You have to.  I think it takes a lot of displaced self-righteousness and just general balls to not wash your hands, especially in the place where you work.  It definitely takes even more balls to not wash your hands when there are other people using the bathroom!  Finally, it takes an unprecedented, inhuman amount of not-caring to still not wash your hands when someone looks at you and says, “You’re not going to wash your hands?,” while looking incredibly disgusted and irked.  Seriously? 

That happened to me today, in my office.  I went to the restroom and came out from my stall at almost the same time as this other who just went for the door.  I was obviously very, very grossed out and said, “Aren’t you going to wash your hands?”  BUT SHE KEPT WALKING!  She didn’t care that I had seen her, that I knew who she was and that I knew her disgusting non-secret. 

She needs to go back to Bathroom Etiquette School. 

Does anyone else have a disgusting co-worker they would like to rant about?  Feel free!



Scientology is ridiculous. Here’s proof.

I’m generally not a big fan of religious pop music because it tends to be too intense, weird, cheesy, monolithic and altogether creepy.  Scientology clearly didn’t want to be left out.  There are songs I love that are all about Christmas, God, Hanuka, Jesus and all sorts of higher powers… BUT I can’t shake the feeling that scientology is probably made up.  Actually, I’m pretty positive it was made up in a bar when L. Ron Hubbard bet some other science fiction writers that he could start a religion (Ray Bradbury was there, and through some great connections, I’ve heard him give this account as evidence).  He won the bet.

Be amazed:



There is also this alarmingly racist video…



This guy has said so, so, so many racist things… He’s also a convicted criminal.  (Try a search engine, you’ll see.)  Yet, people follow his word like he’s some kind of messiah.  In reality, he was probably just a super-crazy, super-ego-maniacal criminal looking to make some money and have some power.  I can’t say he didn’t get what he wanted.

Ugh, just enjoy the cheesiness of the first video and try to swallow the rage, disgust and annoyance you’re feeling about the whole issue of scientology.  Oh, and let’s not capitalize the  first letter of such an improper noun.

We don’t talk anymore–We just text.

Cell phones are a double edged sword. They can be incredibly useful, especially if you have 3- or 4G capabilities, but they can also provide an easy avenue for normal people to slip into totally stupid and/or obnoxious behavior. Either that, or they bring out the asshole in all of us.

For anyone who has ever worked behind a counter, you know the feeling of dread that builds in your stomach when you see that mother of two approaching you, cell phone in hand, talk-yelling into the receiver. Your brain sighs, you slump, and think, “Not another one…” People on cell phones are the most obnoxious customers to serve (other than the certifiably insane). They order, and then proceed to ignore the employee if/when they are asked any questions about said order. If interrupted, they become increasingly preturbed. But wait, it gets better. Mr. or Ms. Cell Phone feel that their conversation is so important, so urgent, that not only must the employee trying to serve them wait for them to be done (or read their mind, I suppose), but the entire line of people behind them MUST wait. They are the center of the universe. My conversation about what time my daughter’s soccer game is next Wednesday is and who’s picking her up and how awful Mrs. So-and-So looked yesterday isn’t important, you say? WELL I NEVER!

Cell phone queen, be damned. You’re rude and obnoxious and everyone in the establishment hates you. I’m sure the guy in the back heard you and spit in your sandwich.

Another strange disease of modern life is the after dinner text session. We have become so attached to our cell phones/3G/email/BBM that we can hardly sit through a meal with a friend or lover. As soon as the plates are cleared, both parties drag out their cell phones and begin a mad flurry of texting and emailing. This tends to go on for 5-10 minutes. Are we that rude now? We’re more interested in texting and emailing other people than we are talking to the person we’re with. The “let’s do lunch” has disintegrated into an even lesser sign of so-called friendship than it once was, and let’s face facts: it was never that high on the scale to begin with. Not only do we not really want to spend time with or talk to our ‘friends’ over lunch, we can hardly keep up the charade until we’re done eating.

But we don’t really need friends. We have our cell phones, and after all, what more could we ask for?

Ever Get Mad at Your Mouth?

The next time your mouth does something regrettable, I recommend writing it a letter like the one below.  If that doesn’t work, then slap the smile right off it.  Silly mouth…  shhh!

Dear Mouth,
Please be quiet.  You’re always getting me into so much trouble and I really can’t stand it any longer.  Today, at work, you and heart got together without involving brain and started making big decisions – bad decision.  If they don’t fire me today, they might on Monday and it’s all because you opened yourself up to the world and said, “Hey everyone!  I’ve got an uninformed opinion!  Who wants to hear it?”  Then, sadly, someone listened.  A really big, important someone listened.

[Mouths often like to express opinions before they actually know things… For example: Mouth said, “Why is Karen telling everyone she’s going to Mexico for vacation?  We all know that her husband can’t afford that… At least for her, I mean we all know he took his mistress there 3 months ago.  She is so clueless.”  Mouth doesn’t know anything about Karen’s husband.] 

My co-workers, whose mouths are far more reasonable, supported you and continue to do so against their better judgment.  Now, mouth, don’t get me wrong, it’s good to have support.  However, it’s bad to get into trouble and it’s really bad to get others into trouble with you.  It is especially bad to get others into trouble with you when those people are nice, decent and very concerned people.  One co-worker’s heart even blamed herself for your actions, mouth.  Your actions, not hers.

[Mouths often get louder around other mouths as they wish to be heard, they wish to yell, they crave the attention.]

The worst of it, mouth, is not actually what you said, it’s who you said it to…  You looked at your organization, your workplace, and thought, “Hmm… Who’s the most important person in this place?  Oh, I know, I’ll approach her!”  You idiot!  You fool!  You suck!   Basically your bad judgment, your need for self-righteous campaigning has led to embarrassment of the whole body… not just you, mouth.

Oh, mouth, you’ve screwed us all again.



Apartment Searches are Hard on My Desire to Be Cynical

Okay, so another rough day of apartment hunting has left me with little energy to be critical, as I’ve been trying to be objectively critical all day. I feel like this cat; way too intense:

And so, in the spirit of this goofy photo of beret cat up there, I give you other people being cynical about ridiculous products on Amazon in a totally delightful way.

Eight Stupid Amazon Products with Impressively Sarcastic Reviews


I think my favorites are the first and last. But, dear reader, read, laugh, and enjoy.






Actually, We HAVE Met… 20 Times.

Ever meet someone, and then see them again, and they don’t remember you? It happens all the time. We’re all busy and have a lot on our minds; we can’t be expected to remember the name and details – or even the face – of every person we meet. Of course. I cannot claim some supreme memory that allows me to remember every single person to whom I’m introduced… That is perfectly normal. AND, normally, if this happens and one person approaches another who does not remember them, the non-remember-er usually apologizes and they move on – albeit a little awkwardly.


Here, let’s try a sample scenario:

Person 1: Walks up to Person 2, smiling, and says with polite hesitation. “Hi, Person 2?”

Person 2: A little confused, even inquisitive, but certainly not freaked out. “Uh, yes. Have we met?”

Person 1: “Oh… Uh, yes. I’m Person 1. We met at Party X… At Person 3 and 4’s house.”

Person 2: “Gosh, I’m sorry. You said your name is Person 1?

Person 1: Nods

Person 2: “Well, it’s nice to meet you again, Person 1.”

They shake hands and continue speaking.


Because they had only met once before, Person 1 approached Person 2 cautiously, considerate of the fact that Person 2 was not guaranteed to remember meeting previously. Even as Person 1 may have confused Person 2 a little, Person 2 stayed polite and was very willing to accept that a glitch of memory had taken place. Gosh, weren’t they both just so polite!?


In reality, this is not always the case. See, either of these people can do the wrong thing. Person 1 can get mad that Person 2 doesn’t remember them. OR Person 2 can be weirded out by Person 1’s impeccable memory. In both cases, it’s probably better just to be nice and polite. *I would like to caveat this by saying that sometimes there are creepy people, so if someone is being creepy, it’s okay to be creeped out.


Now that we have all of that out of the way, I would like to explain what it means to be “Chazed.” When I was a freshman in college, I was in an arts community that did all sorts of really cool things – the first week we were there, they took us to an art studio where we made masks and got to know people from the program. It was wonderful. On the bus ride there, I met a guy named Chaz. We spoke for about 20 minutes and it was very pleasant – not kismet, but nice. When I ran into him later that week, he knew my friend, but didn’t remember me. That was fine, I re-introduced myself and didn’t think much of it.


Apparently, he didn’t think much of it either.


Over the next few years, I ran into Chaz, leather-beret-wearing Chaz, every couple of weeks – usually with that same friend who was dating his friend – and he never once remembered me. Not my name. Not my face. Not anything even vaguely. It was, to say the least, amazing. It was always the same routine.


Chaz would say, “Hey, Ashley.” She would reply. Then, he would see me and reach out a hand while saying, “Hi. I’m Chaz.” Ashley and I would exchange glances and I would respond as politely as I could. “We’ve met. I’m Patty.” At first I was much nicer, much more forgiving, but after a while… Come on! Finally, after running into him about 10 times in a month, it was Halloween and there he was, introducing himself again. I was a little miffed and I didn’t even let him get to his name. I looked at his outstretched hand, and said, “Hi Chaz. We’ve met already… like 20 times.” He looked scared, taken aback and miffed himself. I really didn’t care what he thought of me at that point, you know, since he clearly hadn’t thought of me.


I tried hard not to let him introduce himself after that, though he managed to a few times. It just makes no sense. How could we meet so many times without him remembering me? Was I being “Trading Places-ed?” (Suddenly, I’m 30 Rock… actually that would be awesome.) Moral of the story, Chaz is either a d-bag or has the most amazing case of short-term memory loss I’ve ever run across.