Can I Get an Exclamation?

Today I made a disastrous error, one that will indefinitely shape the rest of my life. In high school, I had an English teacher that shaped much of what I know about writing and even grammar.  In fact, I would say my style of writing was almost entirely shaped by his discussion on “prepositional phrases,” phrases that is a phrase consisting of a preposition, its object, which is usually a noun or a pronoun, and any modifiers of the object. As well as my disgust for the semi colon… ::insert disgust here::  In one of his many discussions he made an exclamation about exclamation marks.

He had begun his lesson simply enough. A period is the punctuation put at the end of a statement.  In fact, almost every sentence you will right in your life will end in a period. Got it. The period is the 99%. Too soon for a political joke?

A question mark does what? Why it marks a question. Well, now that is just a handy thing to know too. And then came the exclamation mark.

Teacher: “The exclamation mark is the most dramatic punctuation mark you can use. It should only be used in extremely limited circumstances when a simple period cannot express the amount of excitement the statement conveys. In fact, the exclamation mark should be used so rarely you should only use three of them your entire life.”

Today I made a disastrous error, one that will indefinitely shape the rest of my life.  Today I used two of my exclamation marks…

I know right! You are probably perplexed and shocked right now but when the initial denial wears off the only question left is how did I use both in just one short day.  It was not in a worthy statement such as Paul Revere’s “the British are coming [exclamation]”  Although I am fairly certain he said that more than thrice that night and hope he chose the exclamations more wisely than I. I used 2 of my 3 exclamations in a simple email.  “Thanks for your help [exclamation] [exclamation] Have a happy Thanksgiving.” Before I could stop myself the sent button was hit and I had lost 2 of my 3 exclamation marks.  To make matters worse, I used them both on the same irrelevant sentence.  I had not even used them on Thanksgiving but the much lesser sentence before.

Just as Batman knew his cause, I vowed then to only use my last exclamation mark for a worthy sentence.  I decided that I should figure out the phrases that I would be satisfied in using my final exclamation mark with and have narrowed them down to the following is the list I have narrowed it down to:

It’s a boy!

It’s a girl!

It’s a non-gender specific child and we still love you!

I’d like to buy a vowel!

Stop!

I am going to Disney World!

I object!

AHHH (while in a tunnel)!

Someone save that cat (cat can be replaced with any other adorable animal except for monkeys. Except for monkeys)!

Zombies!

Taxi!

Hallellujah!

Amen!

I don’t want your money!

The sky is falling!

Look in the sky!

This song is my jam!

I just want to dance!

There is a snake in my boots!

How about dem Bears!

Adult swim!

Move that bus!

No wire hangers!

Leggo my Eggo!

I said no ketchup on my hotdog!

Dibs!

For freedom!

Open the gate!

Is that a fanny pack!

Justin Bieber!

That PB and J sandwich was awesome!

Those are my thoughts but what about you.  If you only had one exclamation mark left, what would statement would you come up with to use it on?

A Manly Debate: Grease vs Grease 2

Disclaimer:  Despite the title of this post, I have never watched Grease 1 or 2 or even shows like Glee, I actually spend all my time doing manly things like wilderness hunting, building 4 bed/2.5 bathroom houses for under privileged kids, and bench pressing or curling.

Musicals are the quintessential combination of theater, music, and the American dream.  Shows like Smash and Glee on TV are constantly seeking to recapture the allure of the bright lights on the screen with varied success.  These shows idolization of the musical arts is not anything new.  TV Shows like the Partridge Family and even Saved by the Bell have always had musical elements.  Not to mention the number of performances that have been forever etched (and later digitally redesigned once etching was out of style) on the silver screen.

While many people have never heard of incredible shows such as In the Heights that have not yet made their way to a theater near you, one of the most highly recognized and commonly replicated of these music filled stories turned movie turned Broadway and local high school sensation again is the world-wide known Grease.  Whether you have seen the movie, bought tickets to a show, put product in your hair, or made fun of your all too wholesome friend at a sleepover, there is one debate that a simple rendition of “You’re the One that I Want” simply cannot sing away…. Oo- oo- oo.

Grease 1 vs Grease 2.  Just like Pepsi vs Coke everyone has a preference even if they will choke down a couple sips of the lesser version.  If you have never seen one or both movies and have made the wrong choice as to the best previously, here is your quick guide.  Aside from the glaringly obvious differences like Grease 2 having a better story and dreamier actors (Sorry John… not much love from me especially since Max Caldwell defended our nation by winning the battle of Little Round Top in Gettysburg), here are four less obvious reasons why Grease 2 is far superior than its older sibling, the original.

1.  A better soundtrack

Sure, Grease has “Grease Lightning” and “Summer Loving,” and if I needed music to listen to while taking a nap in the library instead of studying, you know exactly which videos I would cue up as I closed my eyes.  Grease 2 has unforgettable hits like “Who’s That Guy” and reminds us of a time when gas was less than a dollar a gallon with “Prowlin’.”   With a song like “Rock-A-Hula-Luau“, how have you not added this soundtrack to your Christmas list yet?

2.  Everything is better when made in the 80s.

Grease was released in 1978 and Grease 2 was released in 1982.  The 80s created the rise of John Cusack, Don’t Stop Believing, and even its own tribute TV show “I love the 80s.”  From the Brat Pack to the birth of Urkel, the 80s knew what it meant to be inspiring, creative, and everlasting well beyond its decade.  While Grease was a fine show, it was made in the 70s. Even though the 70s had ABBA, Grease was born with a predisposition to not be tall enough to play basketball and that is hard to overcome.  Anything born in the 80s is clearly destined to be a hit.  You can quote me on that. –The Messy Chef (1987-present)

3.  Equality

“Oh no he didn’t.”  Yes, yes, I did.  In Grease, Sandra Dee gets the guy by wearing leather pants and dancing with her hips.  Gross.  This movie takes the equality movement right back to the 60s!  Grease 2 despite being set just a few years later is infinitely more progressive.  In Grease 2, Michael gets close to Stephanie not only by riding motorcycles but by tutoring her.  Helping her to educate herself and better herself as a person to achieve her personal dreams.  KudosGrease 2, kudos.

4.  “Cool Rider” vs “Grease Lightning”

Yes, I know that soundtrack already counted as number one, but the song Cool Rider is on another level, a song that when heard just once will forever change the way that you view motorcycles and taking the initiative to go get what you want.  While Grease was a fun story about two kids (NSFW) that fell for each other one summer, broke up, and then decided at the start of the next summer that they should go out again.  Grease 2 is the story of a guy that is good at who he is but realizes that in order to achieve his dreams he must work hard to push himself further.  His motivation is a girl but in wooing that girl, he teaches himself to not only ride a motorcycle but also to rebuild one all while rocking a smooth leather jacket.  Score.  While Grease has that great old American love story, Grease 2 does not lose any aspects of the love story but seeks to capture the entire and real American Dream, perseverance and rebirth.  Besides, motorcycle races are so much more exciting than car races.

Now that I have clearly proven while Grease 2 is better for that next time a stranger challenges you on this topic in an elevator, I am off to eat some raw meat and whittle myself a rocking chair out of a tree I cut down myself.  Do not worry though.  I planted two trees in its place while taking care of the rest of this year’s crop.  Nothing more manly than caring about Mother Nature.   Feel free to continue the debate in comments below; come on “Do It For Our Country!”

Dear Messy Chef… (An Election Recap)

With the election nearly a week past, I think it is important that we as a nation contemplate on where we were on that most fateful night where the most important candidate was selected to take care of a difficult task (Stephanie Kapsis, school board elections.  Thrilling race.  Remember if you did not vote you cannot complain.)  Fortunately for everyone, I live blogged my election night evening.  It is very detailed.  Please enjoy:

7:35 PM Order a pizza
8:05 PM Eat said pizza
8:15 PM Romney wins a state
8: 16 PM Romney wins a state
8:17 PM Romney wins a state
8:50 PM Obama wins a state
9:06 PM Obama wins a state
9:45 PM Mass confusion on math.  Addition is complicated.  1+1= inconclusive so far
10:01 PM Obama wins election
10:02 PM Florida once again pulls a Marcia Brady
Five days later: Obama still wins election

Through the election season, many of the candidates spoke of personal stories.  “I spoke with a hardware store owner in Mississippi…” “After speaking with a single mother of 8, I learned…” “After telling my 26 year old cashier that I would like the paper bags…”  I think in honoring this vein I would like to relay one simple story of a letter that I received in the mail concerning the election.

“Dear Messy Chef…” the letter began. Dated October 31, 2012.  Simple enough.  Friendly, polite, and written in an enjoyable font.  I am betting it was Calibri, size 12.  If the Cowboys are America’s team, Calibri may be America’s font.  In fact, Calibri overtook Times New Roman as the standard font in Microsoft Word in 2007.

Who you vote for is secret.”  A common sentence but the words were on bold.  It was an important statement that they were trying to make.  “But whether you vote is public record.  The records show that you did not vote in 2008!”

Hold up a minute.  I definitely voted in 2008.  Submitted an absentee ballot and mailed it away with pride.  However, I had moved states so maybe they were looking at a different Messy Chef.  I know from walking through people’s kitchens that there are plenty of Messy Chefs.  In any event, I knew that I had planned to vote for this year and continued to read the letter.

“This election is important, and who shows up to vote will decide who represents us in Washington.”  I should have stopped reading at this point.  The word “us” clung to me and I reread the sentence.  Reread it with me now, “This election is important, and who shows up to vote will decide who represents US in Washington.”  What on earth did that mean?

“Below is a chart that shows Asian Americans’ voter turnout in 2008.”

Um…

Only 47% voted in the 2008 Election.  Please remember to vote on November 6, 2012 so that we can improve that percentage of the vote.”

Startling numbers
Startling numbers

While this is an important message and I do hope that WE improved our percentage of Asian voters, I am not sure my vote on Election Tuesday helped change those percentages in any way seeing as I am not Asian, although I do enjoy mochi as much as the next person.  Who can argue with that kind of deliciousness in such the perfect amount of porton?!

Check out the Bling
Rock the Vote bling

“We will be calling some of you after this election so we can thank you for voting.” My phone is fully charged waiting for that conversation. “Let’s hope the public record shows that you were a voter in 2012!”  It should.  I hope it also shows that I am not Asian otherwise my parents have a lot of explaining to do.

Hope you all voted in the election.  No matter whether your candidate won or did not win, we still got a game to go out and play and winning has never been more important. U- S- A! U- S- A! U- S- A! Hmmm… that chant always seemed more momentous when shouted by a stadium full of people than it does typed at the end of an obscure blog… U- S- A!

The notorious letter
The actual letter received!

Knock, Knock

Knock, knock! 

(This is the part where you say who is there)

Who’s there? (Well done)

Boo

Boo who?

Don’t cry, it’s only a joke!

 

Knock, knock!

Who’s there?

Howl

Howl who?

Howl you know unless you open the door?

 

Knock, knock!

Who’s there?

The Messy Chef

The Messy Chef who you may ask?  And then because most people like to ramble on, at least I do, you may go on to say that you had heard your parents speak of a Messy Chef once that dared to celebrate only our nation’s greatest holidays for one month inspiring uncounted millions  (literally no one counted, I just assume that the Messy Chef inspired at least that many people) but then suddenly, without warning, stopped writing to not be heard from for months.  Some claimed he died.  Others claimed he had fallen deeply in love with someone who had graphophobia (the fear of writing) and in order to be with his true love he had vowed to never write another word ever.  There were others still that believed he was not gone at all but just waiting for the right moment to begin to do again the one thing he is probably best at including lighting snow men on fire, learning random phrases in sign language, and rambling about non sense in the hopes that someone out there may laugh on a metro ride in to work one morning all while getting looked at strangely by the people around them because well that random person laughing on the metro.  Yes, I am talking about you.  The Messy Chef who you may ask?

Aren’t you glad I didn’t say banana!… wait, that is not how that one is supposed to end…

 

Anyways, new posts next week!