Category Archives: writing

Things that currently bug me, grammar edition

In an effort to prove that I have more things to talk about than running and derby, here are some grammar gripes.   All of them (with the exception of #2) were witnessed in ONE day of facebook postings.  I’d like to copy/paste the postings here, but there’s always a chance  I could embarrass someone and lose a reader.   And I can’t really afford that!

#1–  People who don’t know how to use an apostrophe.  And I’m not talking about whether it’s James or James’.   I’m talking about people putting apostrophes in normal words.  Like Friday’s.   Not the restaurant chain, either.   Like “I have Friday’s off this summer.”   Here’s a handy guide in case you need it:

#2– The number of times I used “like” in #1.

#3– Nouns as verbs. I get it… let’s Google someone.  Let’s facebook our relationship status.  Whatever.  But people do not verse one another in sporting events.  They PLAY one another.   Verse is a paragraph in poetry or a part of a song.  Not an action. 

#4– Pretending people are your family, when they’re not.  Or calling out one’s relationship when talking directly to them.   Examples:  calling someone a “sister” if they’re not, using the word “girlfriend” to describe a female friend, referring to a group of unrelated people (coworkers, teammates) as a family.  (I realize this isn’t technically a grammar issue, but roll with it).

#5– Extraneous letters, especially the letter ‘d.’    It’s congratulations or congrats, not congradulations or congrads.  Yes, even if the person who is being congratulated happens to be a graduate.  Also, just because we shorten it to “fridge,” doesn’t mean there’s a d in refrigerator.

Note 2:  I’m sure there are typos/grammatical errors in this post.  Feel free to point them out.  I deserve it.

Carich Likes/Dislikes

LIKES . . .


Modern Family, Better Off Ted, The Big Bang Theory American Idol, Jersey Shore, Grey’s Anatomy*
Being home to make dinner every night Working out at 5 a.m., cleaning up from dinner
My Real Friends Facebook-only “friends”
Working out at the gym—yes, even the treadmill! Being sore from working out 4 days in a row
Sleeping Work
Sporcle, Wheel of Fortune, Family Feud, Scramble Facebook “games,” Xbox 360 shoot-em-up games
Blog lurking Blog writing
My incredibly unfashionable snow boots, striped purple cardigan, oversized hoodies, and wooly red socks Just about every other item of clothing in my closet
Warmer weather, no snow Rain (and corresponding headaches)

*to be fair, I’ve only watched 1-2 episodes of each of these shows… but enough to know I don’t get what the fuss is about!

2009: A Year in Review

I had planned on breaking this into two separate posts, but time got away from me.  Here’s what I’ve been up to the last 12 months:


  • 30 days of 30
  • First ski/snowboard trip
  • Neil Clennon Reffett was born




  • Work trip to San Francisco (two posts… here and here)

yep, that's a CRUISE ship on the right


Clennon and I post-race


The girls of Hewett 6 (minus Jo)


  • Ohio for Reds/Cubs game
  • Ryan Joseph Lingas was born
  • Started the Great Paint Project

Self-portrait attempt #2. This pic is horrible, but I LOVE it 'cuz it's so real!


  • Infamous Rural King incident
  • Cubs/Cardinals game
  • Stephanie’s bachelorette party
  • Hayden Michael Bates was born



Highlight of the trip: Getting up on waterskiis for the first time!

the entire bridal party!


  • 4th 5K
  • Surprise birthday tailgate


The bigger the hair, the closer to God



  • Kim’s surprise birthday party
  • Christmas with my dad’s side
  • Oak Ridge Boys concert
  • First Christmas with my new niece

Birthday girl doing shots

My 92 year old Grannie and my newborn GREAT niece

In addition, there were countless nights out, NUMEROUS trips to Chicago and plenty of downtime.  All in all it was a pretty good year.  I can’t wait to see what 2010 has in store for me.

Resolutions 2009: How’d I do?

Let’s see how well I stacked up on my New Years Resolutions, shall we?   (if you’re really bored, you can find the  original post here… and “check up” post here.)

Resolutions 2009 were as follows:

Be 100% smoke free– SUCCESS!

I can say with 100% certainty that I do not smoke. I don’t even know the last time I wanted to smoke.  My lungs are happy.

Avoid fast food– FAIL

It seems that I succumb to fast food more than ever these days. In fact, on my last trip to Chicago, I ate it for lunch AND dinner.  Big fat FAIL (with emphasis on the “fat.”)

Finish more books– FAIL

One would think that being surrounded by books, being a member of a book club, and being a self-proclaimed “book nerd” would mean I would actually read every once in a while.  But I haven’t.  At least not enough.   The last book I finished was a 250 page YA novel. Go me!

Learn to write fiction– FAIL

They say the best way to learn to write is to write…. And even though I took a fiction writing class, I haven’t “practiced” much since then. And I haven’t really felt the desire to get back into it.  Maybe over the winter (?)

Watch more movies– FAIL

I gave up my Netflix subscription and can count on one hand the number of movies I saw in the theater this year.  It’s sad, really, when you can’t even accomplish your “fun” resolutions.

Be more honest– SUCCESS!

I marked this off the list months ago.  Kind of a lame resolution anyway.

Learn to appreciate poetry– FAIL

I’ve tried… really.  And I like to make up birthday poems for my friends.  But it’s really not the same.

Get back to a fighting weight– SUCCESS!

Although I’d still like to lose 20-25 lbs, I’m at *roughly* my “low” weight from a couple of years ago.  And I’ve recently started buying a smaller size (thanks to my friends who told me my “tight” jeans really weren’t that tight!);

Get control of debt– QUESTIONABLE

I’d say I’m in control of my debt… but I’m not out of debt, and I certainly am not where I want to be.  This will be a carry-over resolution next year.

Be more responsible– QUESTIONABLE

I think I’ve been a bit more responsible this year… but I still dont’ really feel like an adult, even though I’m 30.  I wonder when you start feeling grown-up– is it when you have kids?? 

So, there you have it:  my resolution recap for 2009.  Look for a 2010 resolution post sometime before February!!

Audience Participation: Help me choose my submission

I have lots of blogging to do, but for now: a Poll!  I need your help choosing my submission for the National Gallery of Writing.

I want something that is personal, but not too personal, that can stand alone, that is representative of the types of writing I do and that says something about me as a person.  I’ve narrowed it down to a few choices, but I’d like your help selecting the ONE favorite I should submit.

Here are the links in case you’re not intimately familiar with EVERY one of my blog posts.  :)

Of Rice and Men

30 Years Young

Operation Cutback

Foto Friday: Dear Me

A SoIL Christmas

My Best of C-U List

To All the Jobs I’ve Had Before

101 Weird Food Quirks

Mad about Mad Men

Tour de Philo

Fellow bloggers:  What are your favorite posts from your blog.  Consider posting them in the Gallery (and by “consider” I mean “DO IT!!”)

Let me Explain. No, there’s not time. Let me sum up.

I’ve been a bit busy lately.  Here’s what I’ve been up to the past 8 or 9 days.

Went to see an AWESOME high school production of Footloose.  My friend was playing in the “orchestra” (if that’s what you call it.)  Cheesy.  High School.  Great costumes.   Can’t beat it with a stick.

Baby shower for Kristi.  Aren’t they cute?

Kristi and Lindsey

Celebrated Kari’s 30th bday (a week early) with a surprise party at J2.  Check out these kids.   Cuteness abounds in my circle.

Beau and Macie mini-bowling
Beau and Macie mini-bowling

NKOTB, part deux.  This time, we did it up limo-style:

Limo girls in Larry's shed
Limo girls in Larry’s shed
shots at the pink house
shots at the pink house
We had 9th row seats
We had 9th row seats
The "Kids" Wore Illinois shirts for the encore
The “Kids” Wore Illinois shirts for the encore

Ran the FULL 5K for the first time.   Good thing, ‘cuz it’s Saturday. I’m READY TO RUN!

Wrote two stories for my class that I actually like.  They’re about Italian circus performers, naturally ;)

Met threebabies for the first time:  Clennon’s son Neil and Jacelyn’s twins Jacob and Dylan. I even held and fed Dylan, which is quite a feat for me because I’m not much of a baby person–and he was only 4 years old!

Took Roxie to get her shots.  And then to the Emergency Vet for the allergic reaction to her shots.   Her face swelled up like Will Smith in Hitch. It’s funny now, but I was too worked up at the time to snap a pic.  Damn!

Helped celebrate the birthdays of Scott and Kari

Caught about half of The Princess Bride, thus the title of this post.

And then everyday stuff like work and chores and running… I’m kinda worn out, but I cannot WAIT until Saturday.   Don’t worry–there will certainly be a 5K update very soon!!

2008: A Year in Review, Part 2

Welcome to the 2nd half of my year. I just realized that I probably should’ve done these in reverse chronological order, but whatever.

July–I took my blog public, making it a whole lot easier to remember what I did for the rest of the year.  I also started biking to work and we had Kristi’s Bachelorette Party Boat Trip:



August– I took two vacations this month, plus a Tour de Philo.  First up was my staycation and then a second trip to Nawlins for Kristi’s wedding:



September— I started running, became obsessed with Mad Men and reconnected with an old friend via Facebook.  We also had Bunco at Erin’s in conjunction with Philo Fest, but-unfortunately- I have no corresponding photos :-(


I do, however, have a photo of this thing that I found on my fence (I know you all needed to see it again)




October– was downright insane.   There was a crazy gas station incidentmy cat died, and I was involved in train accident on the way home from seeing Cross Canadian Ragweed in Carbondale.  To top off the craziness, this was the first year in a long time that I *didn’t* dress up for Halloween.  Odd.


And then there was the trip to Chicago to see the New Kids on the Block:




November– is always a busy month.  This year, I went to San Antonio for work. And had the usual Thanksgiving with the family.  Oh, and there was that whole historic election thing.

I also made a trip to Chicago for Nikki’s Big Ten Bar Crawl:



And attended my only (gasp!) U of I tailgate of the season




Family and friends of Ryann Smith held a benefit in Tuscola and raised a bunch of money. I realize that I haven’t blogged about Ryann at all.  She was born a couple days after Christmas with a rare birth defect called CDH.  She is a fighter.  Please keep her and the family in your thoughts and prayers. If you want to know more, visit her caring bridge page:


I also had Christmases with my Grannie Rich,  my brother, and the rest of my extended family.


(And, because I know you can’t get enough of me and firearms, here’s the infamous gun shot one more time…)



I spent my Christmas break lounging, watching movies (Marley and Me and Seven Pounds), reading (still making it through the Twilight saga… I’ll reserve judgment until I’m finished with all the books), and spending time with friends and family.


I rang in the New Year in Chicago, but failed to take a single photo.  Maybe I should resolve to be a better chronicler this year :)


Reflections on 2008

All in all, the year turned out pretty good.  In some ways, this is one of the hardest years I’ve ever had, but I’ve learned so much.   I’ve learned how to ask for help from those closest to me.  I’ve learned to say “no” on occasion and I’ve learned to enjoy myself in less-than-ideal circumstances. I’ve made some new friends, reconnected with others, and have spent more time with some of my family members than ever before.


This blog has really been a great outlet for me and I appreciate each and every reader, hit, and comment you all have given me.


Here’s to happiness and prosperity in 2009!

Searching… Searching… Searching…

I’m obsessed with my blog stats.  I like to see how many people are coming to my blog every day and how they get here (don’t worry… As much as I’d love to know exactly who is reading the blog, I don’t get that kind of information).  

One of my favorite blog stats is the Search Terms.  It tells you what words people put into Google (or yahoo or wherever) to find your blog.  Although some of them are pretty obvious, some are HILARIOUS!  Who would’ve thought, for example, that exercise is the #1 search term for my blog or that someone got here by looking for sonogram magazines or sex cyclists.

Here are the top search terms for my blog over the last month and the posts where I think they probably landed. (Note that the entries marked “image search” are likely just people looking for an image that I embedded in the post… almost always an image that I “borrowed” from someone else using the same “search and steal” method)


 Any number of posts about boot camp, running, etc.

the soup

 My Own Personal Soup


 Image search (?)  I think they probably ended up here:  Still Bored

office space

 Someone Has a Case of the Tuesdays!

carich blogs

  People searching for me by name!!


 And Again!

yearbook yourself

 Website Wednesday: Yearbook Yourself (one of my all-time fave posts)

bad morning

  Friday Freewrite (image search)

workout posters

  Fit/Fat Camp: Day 1  (image search)


 April is National Poetry Month: And I don’t care!

joel mchale

  My Own Personal Soup

nirvana smile

  Randomness, for sure (funny b/c the image is gone from this post now)

silver heels

 Website Wednesday:

pauly bleeker

 You Know…Juno

yearbook yourself similar site

 Website Wednesday: Yearbook Yourself


 Website Wednesday: Yearbook Yourself


  “I”ll take things that suck for $100, please”

the soup joel mchale

  My Own Personal Soup

yearbookyourself similar

 Website Wednesday: Yearbook Yourself

exercise pictures

 I’m not 100% sure, but probably Fit/Fat Camp: Day 1  (image search)

exercise images

Fit/Fat Camp: Day 1  (image search)

same of yearbook yourself

 Website Wednesday: Yearbook Yourself

chris tucker off friday

 It’s Friday, Craig

yearbook yourself similar

 Website Wednesday: Yearbook Yourself 

pretty girls suck

 NO CLUE.  Maybe Things that Suck?  But it doesn’t mention pretty girls (?)

be productive at work photo

 Friday Freewrite (image search)

mad men

 Mad about Mad Men or I Love Mad Men

ragweed leaving tennessee

 Musical Xanax

couch to 5k

 Couch to 5K

things that suck

 I’ll Take Things that Suck for $100, please

chris tucker movies

 It’s Friday, Craig

joel mchale the soup

 My Own Personal Soup

best weed movies

 It’s Friday, Craig

sonogram magazines

Weirdest.Search.Ever.  The only place the word “sonogram” appears in this blog is in the Juno post. 

fat people watching tv

 Not sure.  Best guess:  Weight Loss TV

gym posters

 I’m not 100% sure, but probably Fit/Fat Camp: Day 1  (image search)

sites similar to yearbook yourself

 Website Wednesday: Yearbook Yourself

foto happy birthday

 Ahh… this is why Foto Friday: Happy Birthday Granny/ie is popular!

so fuck you, and fuck nashville, i’m lea

 Musical Xanax

maxine funny rude images

 Freewriting Frenzy (image search)

old bike

 Not sure. Probably one of my biking posts (?)

maxine dieting cartoons

 Freewriting Frenzy (image search)

jennifer irwin sexy

 Election Day Poll: Which Celebrity do I Resemble?

i need a vacation really bad

 Not 100% sure, but maybe the Summer Staycation post?

foto granny

Foto Friday: Happy Birthday Granny/ie

old workout poster

 Fit/Fat Camp: Day 1  (image search)

halloween american foto 2008

 Foto Friday: Happy Halloween

sex cyclist

 No clue, but this is the funniest one to me.  Probably a cycling post!!

Wordy Wednesday, part 2

A second dose of some of my favorite words, this list features a “q” word, an “x” word and an Alka-Seltzer reference:

Autumnal– A serious, brooding word, it’s perfect for this time of year.  The m-n combination is also really fun to write.

Loquacious– When “talkative” or “wordy” just won’t do, use this word instead!

Effervescent– Someone once told me I had an effervescent personality.  I think it’s the best compliment I’ve ever received.  Unfortunately, this word also makes me think of Alka-Seltzer.

Flummoxed– I use this word in everyday conversation more than you’d think.  It’s just perfect, so much better than “confused” or “flustered.”

Nihilist–  I usually see this word as a descriptor for punk bands, mostly British.  Appropriately, you kinda have to scowl when saying it.

And I thought *I* was a meta-blogger

The guys over at Wired magazine are blogging about the creation of an upcoming article on screenwriter Charlie Kaufman (Being John Malkovich, Adaptation, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind), who is making his directorial debut with the movie Synecdoche, New York.

By “peeling back the curtain” on their own creative processes, the Wired guys are creating the ultimate meta-blog, culminating in the actual print story, scheduled to run in the November issue.  What a fascinating and mind-blowing concept and unique insight into the world of magazine production.

Or–at the very least– great promotion for both the issue and the movie.