Sunday, July 08, 2007

Rambling, for Mother

I always say of my mother that she is the most huggable person in the world. Certainly she is for me. I tease her that she should be spending a lot more time reading my blog than she evidently does. But instead of such idle pursuits, she spends her 18 hour days caring for my Dad whose is five plus years out from a stroke. I told her tonight that I should never let myself complain of being tired after a long day considering the great labors she performs so selflessly.

I also promised her a post here on my first dog, our dog, Laddie, who was with us from when I was six until I was 18. Instead of writing such a post, I spent the last two hours combing piles of unsorted photos looking for the one good photo I have of my sainted old Laddie, and I did not come up with it. Of course, the pack rat rarely despairs of finding the lost treasure since there is an infinity of nooks and crannies not yet mined where the little beastie might lay awaiting. And I credit my sainted Mother with imbuing in me the relentless instincts of a pack rat ... or, as I prefer to be known, a collector.

So, dear mother, this is not a post about our great Laddie who was my old friend for 12 long years of my raising up. No, it is another ramble of a tired mind that has spent a long day editing turgid copy so as to reduce its turbity ... yes, Ma, I went into work today and processed the long section of University rules on getting any of the numerous degrees that MRU offers. It is a work which requires acknowledging those various individuals and committees that keep a nervous eye on every word I torment with my little red, metaphorical pencil. By way of example, I loathe the future tense in formal writing as in "The University will" do this and that. Call it a fetish, but I think it sounds stilted, and I think it passes off to the future that which is a policy now. So vastly better to say, "The University suspends students who fail to do what they oughtta do" than "The University will suspend your sorry rear end if you mess up." Of course, in the end product there are no "oughta's" or "rear ends", but one can always fantasize. But what if the legal folks think the future is just the sort of softener of intent that the phrase requires. The editor sits nervously and wonders who might notice.

As I ploughed phrase by phrase, and word by word, through this dense thicket of rules, my now dog, Loki, chewed a stick beside me. Going into work on Sunday is almost worth it for the slender pleasure of having the old beast beside me. Well, there is also the well-known pleasure of haunting the entire office all by your lonely. LP dropped by to return a little of the copy that she professionally proofreads ... if anyone was a born proofreader, it is LP who views each discovered typo with a burst of adrenalin ... no way, you can't do that ... outta here. Rather like an umpire who sees the sneaky late-movement fastball catch the tiniest corner of the plate and rings 'em up. Yes, I grok the satisfaction of nailing the typo ... and then again, I grok the agony of printing the typo, but we will not go there right now.

The dog was awfully patient as I muttered my way through the dense thicket of text. Of course, he was resting off a 90-minute walk around campus where I doddered a lot as I professionally snapped a hundred photos for possible inclusion in my life-work-course-catalog. So he was not exactly suffering. Nor was I, notwithstanding the jibes, because there is, in point of fact, nothing I enjoy so much as editing copy.

Now with that, my roommate and cook RL informs me that the salmon is ready. Sometime tomorrow I will try to mount a photo to illustrate this ramble, and later tonight I will clean up the typos. But, that promised, that is a wrap and this is a post.

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