June 12 09

The husband and I play this little game. It’s called “let’s see how long we can drive the car on fumes without putting gas into it” Oh sure, it was a fun game while we were all newlywed-like and all I had to do was bat an eyelash and boom goes the dynamite, my car would be filled. 11 years later…well, not so much. Now, it’s up there as one of my least favorite games – right up there with “let’s see how little sympathy we can give the sick spouse” – mostly because I usually end up having to fill both the van and the car, and somehow it’s always when I’m running late and I need to be somewhere (like Emily’s dress rehearsal or at the airport) and the van? that beast takes an ungodly amount of gas…about $85 dollars worth. and as the numbers climb, I stand there all, I could have bought a happy meal and a necklace and a pair of flip flops and a belt…dammit.

The funny thing is that in high school, I used to LOVE to fill up my car. My father had given me a shell gas card and while I never pulled a Lelaina Pierce per say…


it really would amaze you to learn about ALL the things you can purchase with a gas card…magazines, gum, food, drinks, magazines. I mean, hell, you could even buy birthday gifts for loves ones!


even though I *am* actually an editor by trade (even though I didn’t attend my publishing school graduation because I was still at that postpartum stage where I didn’t go out in public so as not to scare small children with my porn-star boobs and jelly belly and vomit-encrusted unwashed clothing) (but yay me for planning Emily’s arrival perfectly!), sometimes I come across editorial questions. Now, normally I would just pop up and peer over  Lucia’s cubicle in front of me and ask her my stupid questions like, “Hey, Luc…how do you spell wiener? Is is wiener or weiner?” but Lucia went off to have a wee baby this week, so I am bringing my editorial question to you. and, lo! I come bearing props!


okay…so here’s my question. When you use the term “wail” as in “to wail on someone” which I had heard for the first time while watching The Breakfast Club when Andrew talks about taping Larry Lester’s buns together. It certainly wasn’t my most favorite quote** of one of the most quotable movies of all time, but he does say this…

“So I’m sitting in the locker room and I’m taping up my knee, and Larry’s undressing a couple locker’s down from me. And he’s kinda, he’s kinda skinny. Weak. And I started thinkin’ about my father, and his attitude about, about weakness. And the next thing I knew, I jumped on top of him and started wailing on him. And my friends, they just laughed and cheered me on…”

Now, Miss Jodi Picoult, she takes a different road here. She says “I’d get pissed off and WHALE on him” WHALE? really? is that right?

**favorite is probably…

“Well, Brian, this is a very nutritious lunch. All the food groups are represented. Did your mom marry Mr. Rogers?”

“Uh, no. Mr. Johnson”



I have a post up at Canada Moms Blog today…the second part of my series…The Nanny Diaries, wherein I was NANNY POACHED!


also, apparently, I should have taken a minute to actually, you know, look up the definition of wail and whale. Thanks to my lovely friend Tamara (who is both a work friend and a real life friend…imagine!), Jodi Picoult is RIGHT and I am wrong. to be fair to me, Tamara is also an editor and was just as surprised as I was. and also to be fair to me….I can write a way better ending than Ms. Picoult. just saying.



and now, since this is the most ridiculous post in the history of posts, I will direct your attention over to Sir Avitable’s site…where I have a guest post up, where I do none other than embarass myself, once again.

  1. I totally thought it was wail, and that whale was just the marine mammal.

    Also? I’m like the anti-you. I get all twitchy when my gauge goes below 1/4 tank.

    Comment by SciFi Dad on June 12, 2009
  2. I fill my car up when it’s at the 1/2 way mark so as not to totally lose it when I see how much it would actually cost to fill it all the way up. NORMAL. And editorial lessons from Jodi Picoult, who knew (I could go on about her books, but won’t). My editorial question is one I can still never figure out – is it ‘racking my brain’ or ‘wracking my brain’? I think the first is correct but it’s Friday and I can’t be bothered to figure it out…

    Comment by Jen on June 12, 2009
  3. Despite what the internet says, I agree that it should be “wail,” because otherwise I’m going to have to imagine the person being beaten with a whale. Besides, why are we now naming acts of violence after such gentle creatures?

    Comment by MonsteRawr on June 12, 2009
  4. I had no idea that whale is not only an animal but the act of violence as well. I feel educated. I can go back to bed now…

    Comment by WickedStepMom on June 12, 2009
  5. I was so with you on the whale/wail thing. And my sister used to get some crazy things at the Shell station with her gas card.

    Comment by DE Heather on June 12, 2009
  6. Man, you ruined my chance to vote by posting the answer before the comments! And I totally would have got it right, and looked all smart and stuff. @jen, pretty sure it’s wracking. Also, just for good measure, even though nobody asked, to show off my leet editorial skillz, let me just say that orientate is not a word. And also: to my stepdaughters: BRANG IS NOT A WORD. It’s BROUGHT. GAH!

    Dellas last blog post..Pictures

    Comment by Della on June 12, 2009
  7. I found the worst errors in the Twilight series. Every book had some editing mistakes that just irked me because I paid full price for the books.

    kiridas last blog post..from the 670

    Comment by kirida on June 12, 2009
  8. I sometimes forget I’m reading advance copies and get all high and mighty with the editing mistakes because well, I thinkin’ of tryin’ out for a scholarship when it comes to editing.

    Oh, wait. I already did that. Hello, my sweet degree languishing in a storage container in my basement. That’s exactly why I’m not heavy into activities. Or editing. Stop me now….


    fadkogs last blog post..toot, toot, hey, beep, beep

    Comment by fadkog on June 12, 2009
  9. Yeah, I would’ve had the whale/wail thing wrong, too. The only other whale that came to mind other than the marine mammal was the type of whale that visits Vegas casinos and drops big bills at the tables. Yeah.

    Comment by Darcey on June 12, 2009
  10. I think Jodi and the dictionary are wrong. So there.

    Comment by ClassyFabSarah on June 12, 2009
  11. Whale??? That makes no sense. I’ve always thought it was wail.

    And I was just complaining to my hubby last night that he USED to take my car to get the oil changed, but now I have to do it myself. He replied that I used to do a lot of stuff for him too, nudge nudge, wink wink.

    Suzys last blog post..Godspeed, Little One

    Comment by Suzy on June 12, 2009
  12. Both whale and wail look weird to me. That’s why I’m not an editor 🙂

    Comment by Angella on June 12, 2009
  13. I hate getting gas. HATE.

    Comment by Kaleigha on June 12, 2009
  14. Oh, Brian. And your nutritious lunch. The first time I saw that movie I had never even heard of sushi. Yes, I was perplexed by Molly Ringwald.

    Mooses last blog post..On the Other Hand, They Could’ve Played a Lot of Harry Potter Conventions

    Comment by Moose on June 12, 2009
  15. I wail as I whale on my whale.

    Comment by Avitable on June 12, 2009
  16. I TOTALLY thought it was wail, too. Huh. You learn something new every day!

    Comment by mamatulip on June 12, 2009
  17. I bet Jodi Picoult was wrong, too. Her editor, on the other hand…

    Comment by Tamara on June 12, 2009
  18. Jodi Picoult frustrates me on a strange level. There’s something about all of these kids she fictionally murders that really gets up in my grill. She’s right up there with Lurlene McDaniel on my list of, “Holy shit! I am only reading this to see how they torture people and make people pay to read about it.”

    Comment by Amanda on June 13, 2009
  19. I think it’s funny that your post about editing has 3 mistakes in it. (I hope that doesn’t seem mean? Not trying to be – it just makes me laugh because that’s something I would totally do!)

    Comment by Anna on June 13, 2009
  20. Anna – yes, but I don’t have an editor to, you know, edit my blog work. It’s supposed to be sloppy. I get paid all the livelong day to edit books and documents and manuscripts…my blog is my place to be messy.

    It does sound a bit mean…as in, why is that something you need to point out….I mean, I don’t try to pass my work off as being grammatically correct, yanno?

    Comment by ali on June 13, 2009
  21. I hate filling up with gas and wait till my car says i have 1 mile till empty… one time i actually was too far from the gas station and filled up with 0 miles till empty… so proud!

    Comment by rayli on June 14, 2009
  22. Another “I thought it was wail” here. 🙂

    Yeah, my husband does the “oh, btw, the car needs gas” thing just before I head out the door too. When I’m already late. It is also during those times that he pulls the “can you drive me to Sev for a slurpee before you go?” thing also. Geez, dude, would it kill you to tell me in advance, eh?!

    Comment by Nenette on June 14, 2009
  23. I have the word Editor in my actual professional title and I really, really feel like it should be wail. That is all.

    Comment by Rhi on June 14, 2009
  24. I could have swore it was whale.

    But I do love that dictionary.com lists ads for Whale Wars on Animal Planet, which is a fine program.

    And Jodi Picoult’s books are ALL THE SAME. It’s like always the same plot, with different names and different scenery.

    Comment by Kristabella on June 15, 2009
  25. Our cars tell us how many miles we have left to empty and Jason gets twitchy when it gets to 15 miles, while I get all excited. Maybe if I turn off the air con I can stretch it to 20!

    Comment by regan on June 15, 2009
  26. freaking LOVE lelaina. and reality bites. could watch it over and over again. oh wait. i have.

    Comment by kristinblakely on June 16, 2009
  27. Hello. Excellent work. would not anticipate this. This is the great story. Many thanks!

    Comment by College Football DVD on May 25, 2010

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