Saturday, December 8, 2012

Lesson 198: Enlightened

Hello, Readers!  
You've Got Mail!

No, I'm not talking about holiday cards just yet.  That's coming.   This weekend Eloise is discussing e-mail.  I'm the Queen of it.  I deemed myself royalty based on the sheer number of e-mails I receive and send each day.  I have a kingdom's worth of them saved in my inbox, dating as far back as 2010. The tech department keeps yelling at me to clean them out.  I will......when I get around to it.....because right now I have to send you this message, via blog.  Allow Queen Eloise to enlighten you.

My job forces me to travel around my school district.  At times my only means of regular communication with my co-workers is electronic mail.  It sure is a handy thing.  No stamp.  No envelope.  Just send a message with a click and ding.  I realized this week that my e-mails must be something my colleagues seem to enjoy.  I've been told once or twice that I have a way with words.  One person said to me in passing the other day, "I saved your email to read last because I had a bad day and needed a lift."  A lift?  About a schedule change?  I suspect she was sadly disappointed when she opened it.

I have my jam packed school email account to check each day, as well as my home address which has become "coupon central."  I get more invitations for on line courses and free trial offers than anyone I know.  Store receipts are now jamming that inbox, too, forcing my friends and family out onto facebook.  That is my primary means of communication now, and if you aren't active on it, I'm sorry, but we've lost touch.  Eloise estimates that I spend at least an hour a day just checking email accounts, voice mail, blog responses, text messages, and facebook.  Sound familiar?

With all that ease of communicatiION, you think as a population we'd get better at communicatING.  Not really. Putting thoughts in writing is very hard.  To clearly and concisely write what you mean, void of facial expression and body language, can lead to all kinds of trouble.

Take for example, my niece Rose. 

She sent me a text today that read:
aunt eloise this is rose i am going to an ugly sweater party tonight can i wear one of yours?   When I texted back that I was going to wring her neck, she sent me back a series of question marks.  It definitely wasn't an intended slam that it seemed to be, but comical just the same.

Next, I had to get past the text messaging format--all lower case, no punctuation.  I'm getting used to it, but because I am a teacher by trade, I still  feel the need to bust out my red correcting pen and fix those capital letters.  Truthfully, I got stuck at Ugly Sweater Party.  Has that phenomenon become a proper noun?

Slovenians, in case you are wondering, Ugly Sweater Parties have become the coveted invite of the season.  Attendees spread holiday cheer by wearing the ugliest and gaudiest Christmas sweater they can find.  Usually they are sought out in thrift stores and second hand shops, but as in Rose's case, also her aunt's closet.  An ugly sweater looks like this:

Now don't go getting all upset if you have one like this in your closet.  Eloise must break it to you that attire of this sort is no longer in style.  But this is America!  Capitalize on it!  Put that ugly sucker on e-bay and make yourself a little extra spending cash this season.  Call me if you have one, so I can tell Rose.

If you do not heed my advice, you may end up looking like one of these people:

This is Clark W. Griswold and his family from the 1989 movie National Lampoons Christmas Vacation. If you are unfamiliar with the movie Slovenians, actor Chevy Chase portrays a family man who is desperately waiting for his Christmas bonus.

Clark chops down his own Christmas tree, 

that the cat gets stuck in,

all while Cousin Eddie comes to visit.

Eloise was fortunate enough to get invited to not one but two holiday parties on the same night.  The first one was for my team (story coming on that later in the month).   It was held at Erie's Brewerie.  Never one to pass up at beer at a party, I ordered the one on tap that had Cousin Eddie on the label of the tap handle.  After a sip of a woody, dark beer that tasted more like in needed chewed first before swallowing, I inquired what the name of the beer was.  "The Shitter's Full," replied the bartender.  No lie.  Above is a picture from that famous scene from the movie.

You just gotta love Clark.  This was his home that he decorated with outdoor lights.  The Light Scene is posted at the very bottom of this blog.  It is my very favorite scene of the movie.  If you need a laugh to relieve some acquired holiday stress, watch it.  Clark punching Santa and karate chopping the reindeer makes me laugh.  Every.  Single.  Time.

These are Clark's neighbors.  They get extremely miffed about his lights shining through their bedroom window.

On pinterest this week, I found something that reminded me exactly of my favorite Christmas movie.  If you are a pinner like me, you may have even skipped it, as it was VERY long to read, and pins are meant to be quick.  However, if you are reading this blog, then you must like to read somewhat, so I urge you to read the following.  It is an email exchange between two neighbors, David and Justin.  Justin has placed a floodlight in his yard that apparently shines through David's window.  

I don't know either person, but I do believe I am related to David.  His writing style is very similar to mine.  David has mastered the craft at politely pissing someone off.  He works poor Justin like a ball of dough.  Not that I ever intend to tick someone off with this blog. Oh, no!  Santa wouldn't bring me any presents.  I have been told though, that my words have a way of getting under one's skin.  Hopefully you think of Eloise more like "collagen" rather than a "bad rash."  

Getting under one's skin is a good thing, regardless if it's healing collagen or a burning shingle.  It forces you to think.  And that, My Friends,  is the whole point of Lessons From the Lamp Post.  I want to make you THINK.

If you have it in you, read this email exchange.  I love David.  Caution to readers, there is a bad word at the end of it, written by Justin.  You will see that when the simple minded are backed against the wall and can think of nothing else intelligent to say, they swear.  David wins this round, but I don't think their fight is over.
haha this guy rules

Also, as you can see, the unintelligent confuse things like Austria and Australia (two different places).  They often get plurals and apostrophes wrong, too.  That annoys Eloise about as much as texting with no punctuation.  Although Justin is the owner of the bright light, David baits Justin into revealing himself as the dimwit that he is.  Beautiful.

If you can stand one more laugh, click on my favorite scene from the movie.

Happy Holidays from The Lamp Post!
I hope you were enlightened.

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