Monday, December 30, 2013

Five Things I Hope Go Away in 2014

On any given Tuesday, I can come up with a list of items ranging from annoying to really grating. I've been meaning to post about them before the year was up, but something always gets in the way, namely, my memory. I just forget. Or procrastinate. Or whatever.

But this morning, I realized the New Year was nigh, and, like it or not, I'd be keeping my appointment with destiny, which, in this instance, is the first day of 2014, as opposed to my future interview with Charon, another event inviting procrastination. Today, though, I'll just pop off five things I hope go away, forever, in 2014.

1. Media announcers using the term "gay marriage."It's bad enough when lay people use the term, but for media professionals, it's inexcusable. Whatever else it is, marriage cannot be gay. It's like saying it's red, only worse. Look. What if a homosexual person and a heterosexual person get married? Is the blessed event gay marriage, straight marriage, or what? None of the above, mon cher, it's just marriage. If people of the same sex get married it's...drum roll, please...same sex marriage.

2. Media announcers who say "take a listen." I know it sounds like I'm picking on media professionals, and I am. I mean, come on. You can't take a listen. Aha, I hear my critics say. If you can say "take a look," why can't you say "take a listen?" Bad analogy. You can't say "take a listen" for the same reason that you can't say "take a see." Even NPR announcers use the term, no doubt thinking they can get away with it because so many of them have weird names. But, nyet, nyet, nyet.

3. People who refer to themselves as their dog's parent. Nearly every day when walking my dog, I encounter someone who calls me my dog's daddy. No, I'm not her daddy, and you are not your dog's mommy, and if you indeed are, god help you. You are your dog's owner, unless you live in Eugene, Marin County, most of Portland or all of Boulder, in which case you are you dog's caregiver. "Caregiver" also makes me cringe, but since there's a valid argument for your dog being your therapist, the term caregiver may be okay.

4. People compelled to give countless updates of their diet and/or exercise programs. Going Paleo? Turning vegan? Diving into cardio kickboxing, pilates, Crossfit or whatever? Great, I'm so pleased for you, and I hope it works. I'm doing some of it, too, and here's what I'll do if you will: Not say anything more until it's over. I don't need to know what's on your gluten-free shopping list. One discourse on probiotics and omega-3 fatty acids will do nicely, thank you. And maybe it's just me, but  while daily updates on the NYSE are mildly interesting, the same is not true for your number of laps, reps, or crunchers.

Enough said, right?
5. Rachel Ray. While bringing to mind either the Michelin Man or Pillsbury Doughboy on meth, this woman drives you toward words containing Oy!, as in cloying and annoying. She almost single-handedly ended my interest in the Food Channel, Emeril Lagasse providing the final coup d'gras. I'd assumed she had gone away, perhaps to wherever football ex-place kickers go, but no. She's b-a-a-a-c-k, mugging it up on the television screen facing the exercise machine I flail away on every morning. It's enough to make you quit exercising.

And whatever peeves and irritations you wish would vanish that probably won't notwithstanding, I wish each and everyone all the best for 2014. May you live long and prosper, although there're arguments both ways on the living long part.

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