Friday, December 23, 2011

Minnesota jargon, dontcha know.

I've lived in Minnesota for almost my whole life. We moved to Minnesota from Wisconsin (which is the same as Minnesota except there are less lakes and more cheese, and as you may or may not know, I have no problems with that) when I was three years old, so I'd say that 21 years out of 24 would be a suitable justification for saying "I've lived there my whole life". Living in the same place forever has its advantages. I didn't have the traumatizing experience of moving the summer before my senior year of high school, I was never the new kid at school and I have somewhere that I will always be able to call home. But I would say that living in the same place your whole life also has its disadvantages. There are habits and phrases that are very state specific and when you do go somewhere else and learn that people might not know what you're talking about, you start to wonder if you've been lied to your whole life.

So when I started going to school in Idaho and started making friends from all over the country, I was shocked to learn that not only did they not know what cheese curds were, Minnesotans have quite the variety of different names for things that we're all familiar with on some level.

As if Minnesotans don't already take enough heat for their accents (my mom actually trained me and my sister to not have MN accents. When people find out I'm from MN they usually say "Wow, you don't even have the accent!"), here are some other things that you might find strange about our way of speech.

I know some of these are definitely specific to MN, but some I'm not so sure. You'll have to tell me if your homeland says it too.

1. Duck, duck.......
Did you say goose in your head? Well in Minnesota you'd be the source of confusion. Because in Minnesota it's "Duck, duck, gray duck". That's right. Duck, duck, gray duck. I'm not really sure why the color gray was chosen or what a gray duck is (besides a duck that is gray...) or what sets it apart from other ducks and makes it so special that it gets to be the action signal for a game, but that's what you'll hear MN kids saying when they play this childhood game.

2. Flick someone off.
This one I'm not sure if it's MN specific or not. But when you give someone the middle finger, we'd say you flicked them off. I'm pretty sure my dad says it (he also grew up in MN. Born and raised. Even the same town.) but my mom who grew up mostly in Virginia and North Carolina says we're crazy and its flip them off.

3. Budge in line.
Remember the days in Elementary school when you'd patiently be waiting in line and some punk would sneak in in front of you as if you wouldn't notice? In MN we'd brand them as a budger. And say "Hey! No budging! Go to the end of the line". Apparently every where else you cut in line, you don't budge. I mean, cut makes more sense.

4. Ding dong ditch.
I only recently learned that not everyone calls it this. Some other states call it "ring and run". But you know, the classic "We're bored, let go have some fun" where you ring an unsuspecting persons house and run away before they answer the door.

5. Common phrases such as "dontcha know" "ya, you betcha" and "ohhh ya. ohhh sure".

My adventures in Idaho have allowed me to learn some other state jargon. These are the ones that I'm aware of so far, but please add to the list. Especially ones that come from your own state.

In Idaho/Utah they call the glove compartment of a car the jockey box.
In the South any type of soda is a Coke.
I can't remember which state (Washington, maybe?) they call a drinking fountain a bubbler.
In Canada a couch is a chesterfield, a hat is a took and they say "zed" for the letter Z.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

thank you for traveling with us today.

My mom and I flew home from Utah today. Who doesn't love a good plane trip every now and then? I'm just waiting for the day that teleporting is real.

Today's flight wasn't bad at all. At all. Besides having to high tail it to the very opposite end of the terminal in Dallas to make my connecting flight and the beyond giant security line in SLC that wrapped through every aisle that's roped off and trailed all the way down past the luggage carousel and ALMOST out the door, it really wasn't bad.

I've started to just expect traveling to be horrendous, so having incredibly low standards helps the overall experience not seem so bad. And since I went to school far from home, I've had plenty of travel time that has allowed be to become a seasoned traveler. Not that my travels have been that exciting, it's mostly limited to the Western states on my journey back to Idaho.

Even though today's flight wasn't bad, I've sure had my fair share of travel horror stories.

Like the time my sister and I were on our way to San Francisco with our cousin to visit her dad/our uncle and our flight got canceled and in order to make it up to us we got FOOD VOUCHERS? Oh here. Here's a ticket for $1o that will buy you a water bottle and a stale sandwich. You can imagine the fight my mom put up and we were eventually on a flight that night. That was Northwest, by the way.

Or the time we had a layover in San Francisco (I'm only now realizing a slight trend...) and we were starving and trying to find something to eat, which by the way, is slim pickings in that airport. We were walking and before I realized it I had walked into the danger zone and my family was still behind me in the safe zone. My family tried to warn me and once I realized I turned around practically in the same step but the dragon security lady made me go through SECURITY again. Who designed an airport that has the already limited eating options outside of security? Pfft.

Or the time I ran out of room in my suitcases when coming home from school so I stuffed my backpack to the seams, and shockingly, it was too big to fit in the overhead compartment so they told me I had to gate check it and apparently I didn't put it in the right place (even though I set it down where everyone who has ever traveled sets gate checked luggage--to the right where the door is where they are loading the luggage down on the plane) and the snooty stewardess got on the loud speaker and said "would the owner of a polka dot backpack PUH-LEASE report to the front of the plane? IMMEDIATELY!" and they asked me if it was mine and why I put it there. I put it there because you told me to, Sherlock.

Remember the days when you got to check TWO bags for free dollars AND they gave you a meal? Now you're lucky if you get to your seat and someone else hasn't already shoved their clearly too big of carry on bag into your rightful overhead space.

What have been your traveling adventures? Or perhaps misadventures?

Thursday, December 15, 2011

elf on the shelf, say what?

I came across this blog the other day and I was almost in tears by the time I was done reading it. If swear words offend you, then I wouldn't read it. I should probably be more selective in the things I read, but we're all working on something, right?

So I don't know about you but I have never heard of this elf on the shelf business. I did some googling and, and apparently, it's some Christmas tradition. According to my google searches and this blog post, it sounds like you hide the little elf and your kids try to find him. Or something. And somehow it's a game. I'm still making sense of it.

But can I just say, have you ever heard of a more creepy tradition? I mean besides some of the famous Christmas songs like "Santa Clause is coming to town" you know... "He sees you when you're sleeping, he knows when you're awake". And you're telling me that this creep is going to slither down my chimney and deliver gifts? AND I'm supposed to leave treats for him? No thank you. (For more creepy and obnoxious holiday songs check out

To me it sounds like elf on the shelf could be used as a form of punishment. You break a rule? Better watch out for elf on the shelf. You never know where your mom or dad is going to hide him. Perhaps in your bed. Perhaps in the cereal box so when you unsuspectingly pour your morning breakfast he appears in your bowl.

Did anybody do this growing up? Or has anyone at least heard of it?

Merry Christmas and beware of lurking elves.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

change is coming my way

I think that the end of the semester (or the end of any phase in life) is a lot like pregnancy. Not that you become with child, but that there seems to be a never ending stream of emotions that change at the drop of a hat.

The other day I went to grad night. Some little meeting/ceremony where President Clark and Vice President Eyring spoke to the graduating students that were in attendance. Up until last night I couldn't wait to get out of this place. And be done with school. But as they were speaking. It hit me.

I'm going to be done with this phase of my life. D-O-N-E. Kind of weird, huh? No more classes, no more text books, no more testing center, etc. What will I do with my life? What will consume my time and worries? Something will, that's for sure. Work? Bills? Life? Yes, yes, yes.

Change is always hard. But it's kind of exciting at the same time. It's like we get a fresh start. We get to meet new people and have a blank slate. But when we've been in one part of life for a while (ahem...since 2005) you get comfortable. But comfort is where we get in trouble. When we're comfortable we don't see a need for growth and improvement.

As weird as this little town is, I'm going to miss it.

Here's to whatever is next.
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