Wednesday, August 5, 2009

in which we discuss the sunsphere and puh-cons.

Currently Listening To: We're Going to Be Friends by The White Stripes
You Must Read: Clouds by Sandra Cisneros. It is maybe a page long. You won't be able to stop thinking about it :)

I just got home from Knoxville. Sarah had entire shelves of her pantry devoted to the coffee and chocolate left over from a par-tay this past weekend. Because I am such a sweet friend, I went to her house to help her eat it. How nice am I? Way. Someone gave her chocolate covered bacon. I will give you a full report once she tries it.

On my drive home, I thought of so many things I could blog about. I'm going to try to start focusing on one
bloggy topic at at a time. But I'll start working toward that goal next week.* So here goes with the usual drivel:
The weather in Knoxville was amazing. How cliche is it to start a conversation with the weather? But the weather was sublime yesterday. Unseasonably cool and breezy. It is never cool where I live (which is only like two hours south. What up, Jet Stream?!). This is what it looked like yesterday when I drove into town:

Seriously thought Death Eaters might shoot through the clouds and smash the Sunsphere.

I finished reading a novel. I thought it was good. Some passages are positively gorgeous; so very poetic and pretty. Then I kinda slowed down in the middle. And then I hit the part that I want to talk to you about. There is a scene where the guy and girl are getting all snuggly on the couch. They're just laying there talking at first, then ... still with me? ... she puts her face in his armpit (?). And she says she loves it there because it smells like him.

Is that romantic? Is it because my heart is made of ice that this scene didn't do much for me? I like the way guys smell. Typically. And it would make sense to me if she put her face against his neck or something like that. But in his arm pit? Maybe it is really sweet and I just, uh, pictured it wrong. Or something?

I tried on a Vera Wang dress I saw at Kohls that looked really pretty on the hanger. When I put it on, I totally looked like I was wearing camo. I looked like a very posh hunter. Like Field & Stream meets J. Crew. Which could work in the right environment I guess. Sadly, Camo-Lass is not the look I'm going for at the event for which I need a dress. And it didn't have a pocket for my turkey call. But if you like to hunt in style, I can point you in the right direction.

And finally, a question: How do you pronounce the world "pecan"?

I say it like: puh-con. My brother says it like: pee-can. I believe both pronunciations are correct. He disagrees. I am confident he disagrees just because he likes to have an opinion opposite of mine. Today I heard Ina Garten pronounce it "pee-can" so Chase might be right. It will wound me if he is right.

The irony of the situation is that I think "pee-can" sounds more southern and my accent is far more southern than my brother's. We were raised in the same house, by the same parents. We both attended schools and colleges in Tennessee. And yet, Chase's accent is mostly undetectable. And mine is there just a little bit even when it's not there completely.

I don't intentionally try to squelch the twang. But it seems like it is heavier sometimes. I like my accent. I might be biased or just wrong :) but I think East Tennessee accents are pretty. Southern is cool, and maybe it all sounds the same and I'm just hearing things. But East Tennessee accents occasionally have an extra lilt. I like how "running" turns into runnin'. And how the letter "i" makes a breezy summer sound. I think they sound gentle, a little bit lyrical. Stacy London, star of What Not to Wear, spoke at an event here a few weeks ago. She said a southern accent is the sexiest thing in the world.

So Bam!

Where was I? Pecans!

As I am more likely to embrace southernisms than my brother, you would think I would be the one to say: pee-can. But I don't. In my mind, puh-con sounds better. Chase says pee-can is the correct.

Your thoughts?

If you were on the blog of olde, you might remember the story about how my brother and I also disagree on the pronunciation of the word "poop". We were walking to a bonfire one night when I, being the sweet sister I am, said: "Watch it. You're about to step in dog poop."

My brother turned around, his signature smirk playing at the corners of his mouth. "I'm about to step in ... what?"

"Poop," I said again.

"What's pew-puh?"

"I said poop!"

"You said Pew-PUH."

"How do you say it?"

He said: "Pope."

"That's how I say it poop!"**

And we went back and forth and the argument is pretty much still in tact.

And now, particularly when we are in public, he will randomly look at me and yell, "PEW-PUH." And when he isn't yelling "pew-puh" in my face, we usually just talk to each other in movie quotes. In fact, here is a transcript of a conversation my brother and I had this weekend when I convinced him to go to TJ Maxx with me:

Chase: They have man stuff right?
Natalie: Lots of man stuff! Aisles of meat, guns, and cigars. Knives and such.
Chase: I do not believe your lies.
Natalie: They have men's clothes.
Chase: Clothes that are work appropriate?*** I need some new shirts for work. Maybe a tie.
Natalie: They have shirts. Ties. You're probably looking at some very nice jewelry. (This is a quote from Home Alone, when Harry and Marv are casing out the neighborhood the McCallisters live in. Chase and I watch Home Alone at least twice a year. Often more than that).
Chase: That's the one Marv! That's the silver tuna!

I'm not a multi-talented person, but I can probably find a Goonies or Home Alone quote to fit any situation. I should write greeting cards.

Happy weekending :)

*This sounds like the resolution I make every time I watch Regis & Kelly. Which is: I'm going to start lifting weights so I can have Kelly Rippa arms. And then I think, meh. I'll do that tomorrow.
**I realize it is not a two syllable word but Melanie and I looked in the dictionary and it says "oo" makes the "ew" sound. Melanie says I say it right!
*** Last year, Chase and I went to a "thrift store" I thought might be cool. Not so much. Lots of rabbit fur coats. Also lots of framed posters of Nelson Mandela, Muppet Babies, Disney characters, and Menudo. Not much man stuff unless you're a man who likes Menudo. I am not judging.

If you got this via GoogleReader, you will have noted I made a funny grammar mistake when I was talking about southern accents. Grammar mistakes are pretty common on here. It's a blog, so I don't put a ton of effort into editing. But funny that it happened in tandem with the southern spill, no? :) They sounds real pretty, them accents.


  1. If you got Kelly Rippa armes, you'd be Ripp'd! Heh. Get it? I like to make really lame jokes and then go ahead and laugh at them because I already know that I'm the only one who thinks they're funny. I like to think that my comfortability in my lameness makes me cool.

    I read something recently where sticking one's head in a guy's armpit was supposed to be romantic. All I wantd to do after reading it was scrub my face forever. It sounded totally gross to me! Stick to smelling his shoulder. Or even just use the word "underarm" or something. Nothing remotely romantic involves the word "armpit." Period.

    I pronounce pecan the same way you do, but I do believe both are correct. "But that's debatable. There are basically two schools of thought."

    This comic was once on a t-shirt. I think Chase would really like this website if he hasn't already discovered it.

    Whenever I see people rubbing their fingers together referencing money, I have to resist the urge to hand them some gum.

  2. I must speak my own dialect--maybe it's the Eastern Shore one--but I don't pronounce "pecan" either of those ways! I say, "pee-con." Someone I knew from Virgina pronounced it like Chase, but slightly faster so it was more like "peekin'."

  3. I live in Virginia, and most people around here say it like Jessica does..."pee-con." I think my aunt, who lives in northern Virginia, says "pee-can," though, so who knows? =)

  4. Ashley, I liked "Ripp'd". Hey yo! :) I'll send the site along to Chase because it does look like something he would like. Now that we watch "How I Met Your Mother" we've added those quotes to the mix :) It's nice to know you're with me on the armpit thing. I just can't picture it as sweet.

    Jessica, pee-con is a cool compromise! Peekin is cute :) Pee-can sounds like a bird, don't you think? Like the bird that was on Fruit Loops?

    Kristin, your vote is noted. I guess pee-con isn't as southern as I thought:)

    Are you reading this Chase? Becuase the consensus is that there are many ways to pronounce pecan! Which means I am not wrong (even though I'm still not technically right...) :)

  5. According to Merriam Webster, there are three correct pronunciations of "pecan" puh-kahn, puh-can, and pee-can. I'm partial to puh-kahn myself. There was only one pronunciation for poop. If you go to the website, you can click on a link to hear the words spoken, and because I'm like, twelve, I think it's hilarious. Also, I'm working on getting a picture of the "panda" garden logo for you!

  6. I love that you and your brother talk in quotes. Home Alone was THE movie of my childhood. It's why I'm still scared to live alone!
    I say pecan like pee-can, but it wouldn't be the first time I've been wrong.
    Also, face in armpit? Not cute!

  7. It's puh-cons all the way. So strange that you and your brother, presumably raised in the same home, say it differently.

  8. mc, thrilled about the panda garden logo! I missed a photo op today you would have loved. There's this little grocery store near my house (it says "grocery" but they mostly just have chips and cigarettes). They have a limo too. I don't know why. Today the limo was parked in front of the mailbox, which has a sign by it that reads: Do Not Park Near Mailbox. Not as funny as the "panda" but still. The absurdity of it all made me happy.

    Sarah, glad you know your Home Alone quotage! :) The movie should inspire you to live alone! If Harry and Marv come knocking, all you have to do is scatter about your micro machines, branding irons, etc. :)

    JBJ, my brother and I are opposites in many ways. I am often surprised we were raised in the same home ... fortunately, we both have the same weird sense of humor.

    That's four for puh-con!

  9. this is a little slow on the uptake, but I love the white stripes song you were listening to! :) maybe it's the inner teacher geek in me...