Saturday, July 23, 2005

Awwww, feeling fusty?

fus·ty (fŭs'tē)
1. Smelling of mildew or decay; musty.
2. Old-fashioned; antique.

Synonyms: 1 : frowzy, moldy, musty. 2 : antiquated, archaic, bygone, dated, dowdy, old-fashioned, old-time, outdated, outmoded, passé, vintage

(As always, enchanting synonyms bolded.)

Fusty, in the second sense, is a perfect word to describe the songs taught to us when I was in grammar school. I remember only three.
  1. A song about the correct approach to take with a sailor still drunk come morning
  2. A song about a woman who spent eleven years becoming fat and so was unceremoniously dumped by her soldier
  3. A song about a Lothario feline who loses one life in a most graphic manner

I cannot imagine these songs being taught in school today. Accordingly, I'll teach them here at home.

Friday, July 22, 2005

"I'll have the baloney and applesauce."

Many people prefer not the truth but bunkum.

bun·kum, also bun·combe (bŭng'kəm)
Empty or insincere talk; claptrap.

[After Buncombe, a county of western North Carolina, from a remark made around 1820 by its congressman, who felt obligated to give a dull speech “for Buncombe”.]

Synonyms: balderdash, blather, claptrap, drivel, flubdub, garbage, idiocy, nonsense, piffle, poppycock, rigmarole, rubbish, tomfoolery, trash, twaddle. Informal tommyrot. Slang applesauce, baloney, bilge, bull, bunk, crap, hooey, malarkey.



The fuzz, the heat, the pig, the static.... Do you call cops "the cops" or do you call them something else? Because, well... I call the police "the fuzz". Why? Because I want to, that's why. Why be normal and call them the police? I'm going to do you one better and call them the fuzz. Lint in my pocket? Absolutely not. THE POLICE, MAN! Get with the program!

Let's use one of those phrases in a sentence shall we (and this is where you say "We shall indeed...")? Okay, just so I don't confuse you, I'm going to hop into my 70's persona (*ahem*):

"Yo, Blood! The pig was tryin' to hem me up. They ain't nothin' but some jive turkey suckas!"

Now, wait... I don't think negatively of the police. I think that 32.7% of them are alright. I just love other names for people or things. I cannot and will not conform to normalcy!

Stay tuned for my fun-filled and zany-laced take on the word "skeedaddle". You don't want to miss it.

Some words are perfect.

Here are two:

Awkward and Monotonous

It's in the spelling. Awkward just looks, well, awkward. All those Ws. And Monotonous... spell it out loud. You'll understand.

Can you hear me, Grampo?

Grampo is a term I created.

Grampos are unintentional, written errors in grammar when the writer full well knows better. They often occur when one edits one portion of a sentence and then fails to proofread the edited sentence in full.

1. I write "I like the blue bird who is in my window."
2. I then edit to encompass all blue birds in my window.
3. I may end up with " I like all the blue birds who is in my window."

This subject-verb disagreement is a grampo.

Grampo is also the Portuguese translation of Griphook (the Gringotts' goblin) in the Brazilian edition of the Harry Potter series.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

strip mall renaissance

dogel: n. Dry and heavily preserved cuisine offered at any of the pervasive and mediocre Bagel-Donut shops in the Bay Area.

dogal: adj. Having to do with the elected chief magistrate of the former republics of Venice and Genoa. ex. Dogal Palace in Venice

(the former, my husband made up, and together we later learned the latter)


This classified ad, that is, which details that job applicants Must Speak, Read & Write English Very Good.

Situation Irony: 1. Incongruity between what might be expected and what actually occurs: “Hyde noted the irony of Ireland's copying the nation she most hated” (Richard Kain).

2. An occurrence, result, or circumstance notable for such incongruity.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

¡Ay, Mami! ¡Mira, mi telenovela preferida!

From an AP article : SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Retired grocery clerk Bill Capell has a good reason to plan his first trip to England: He's one step away from being an earl. A relative who died last month was the 10th Earl of Essex, and the 11th, another cousin, is 61 years old and doesn't have children to inherit the title.

Capell, a 52-year-old, born-and-bred Californian, was largely unimpressed by the news that he might become a nobleman...

...As the Right Honorable Lord William Capell, Capell would be entitled to put his name forward as a candidate, should one of the 95 hereditary members of the House of Lords die. He says Queen Elizabeth II would formally address him as "Our right trusty and entirely beloved cousin."...
It's much like a telenovela.
. Telenovelas have a different type of stories than english-language soap operas. A popular plot is about a poor beautiful woman who meets a rich an handsome guy. They fall in love and he breaks with his rich, evil and frivolous girlfriend to be with her, but the girlfriend (usually accompanied by the rich guy's mother or other close relative) stands in their way to happiness. Sometimes the struggle is ethnic (such as in Gitanas and Yesenia with gypsies or in Maria Isabel with natives). A popular pivotal point is also used when it is discovered who the real father/mother of one of the main characters is.
However, there are stories in telenovelas that would never be shown on soap operas such as people with supernatural powers ("El extraño retorno de Diana Salazar") or who have been cloned ("O Clone") as well as women who have raised over poverty and slavery through prostitution ("Xica da Silva").

Butt me, Bimbo!

Ahhhh, 1920's slang. My parents weren't even born then, but hell... the slang before their slang was the funk! Okay, so you have the title for example. You look at it and think "Whaaa?". It means "I'll take a cigarette, tough guy!" Whoa... that's like another language. I mean, who says that?! Me, that's who. You can do it, too. Let's say we're having a conversation about... a person. This person we're speaking of is unnattractive.

Me: So, Bimbo... who's that bug-eyed Betty leaning on the breezer?
(Translation: So, tough guy... who's that ugly chick leaning on that convertible?)

Other person: I don't know baby, but she sure has some big bubs...
(Translation: I don't know, sweetheart, but she sure has some big breasts...)

See, how that looks? I'd be lost in the dark if someone said that to me. I'd think they had gone and lost what was left of their mind (because everyone is a little nuts... sometimes.)

I love the 1920's! I'm going to start talking like this. I'm sure people think I'm nuts anyway, but this will definitely give them more reason. My life's joy is confusing and stunning people. I do good work.

(Translation: Kiss me later.)


de·lec·ta·tion. (delek-tA'shun) [Middle English delectacioun, from Old French, from Latin dlectti, dlecttin-, from dlectus, past participle of dlectre, to please.]

1. n. Cuddling with your 11 year old daughter under a warm acrylic blanket on a chilly morning sharing Twisty Cheetos (TM) and watching "The Cat From Space (or somesuch name)."

2. n. Car-dancing with your 11 year old daughter to a (surprisingly good) PowerPuff Girls hip-hop song.


Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Lookin' mighty puffy

More on puffy and its multitude of meanings.

1. being puffed out; used of hair style or clothing Synonym: bouffant

2. abnormally distended especially by fluids or gas Synonyms: bloated, distended, swollen, tumescent, tumid, turgid

3. breathing heavily Synonym: huffing

4. Characterized by an exaggerated show of dignity or self-importance Synonyms: grandiose, hoity-toity, pompous, pretentious, self-important. (Informal) highfalutin.

Thank goodness nobody's ever called me puffy. I'd have no idea how to take it.

(I've bolded some more good synonyms.)


A man I will be meeting this Friday has been described to me as someone "with a wealth of lived experience and a cornucopia of stories". I love that.

May someone describe me similarly one day.

On a rough day

It can be the smallest things that cheer you up on a day when you feel down and low.

A perfect head of curls can brighten up your day and make you pause to think 'how did I make these? Where did they come from?'

God's mysteries are the best.

Speak American?

adjective, informal

Characterized by an exaggerated show of dignity or self-importance: grandiose, hoity-toity, pompous, pretentious, puffed-up, puffy, self-important.

(I bolded my favorite synonym.) notes: REGIONAL NOTE H.L. Mencken, in his famous book The American Language, mentions highfalutin as an example of the many native U.S. words coined during the 19th-century period of vigorous growth. Although highfalutin is characteristic of American folk speech, it is not a true regionalism because it has always occurred in all regions of the country, with its use and popularity spurred by its appearance in print. The origin of highfalutin, like that of many folk expressions, is obscure. It has been suggested that the second element, –falutin, comes from the verb flute—hence high-fluting, a comical indictment of people who think too highly of themselves.


ob·ses·sive ( P ) Pronunciation Key (b-ssv, b-)

Of, relating to, characteristic of, or causing an obsession: obsessive gambling.

Excessive in degree or nature: an obsessive need to win.

In the last twelve months, I have come across obsessive behaviour twice. Once was with an employee that we 'inherited' from our business' previous owners. His obsessive desire to gamble resulted in his repeated thefts from us. As ex-bankers, we were quick to realise what the previous owners had not; someone was stealing on a regular basis. Two court cases later, we have been reimbursed the thousands that he stole. However, it has taken a year to regain the trust in and the trust of the remaining staff. In our efforts to catch a thief we had to shut previously well-regarded staff out of the office and monitor their work on CCTV. That sucked.

Today, my sons had a playdate with a group of boys from their school. It culminated in a mammoth Playstation session at our house. One of the little boys visited the bathroom many, many times. He missed his slot on the playstation over and over again. The other boys seemed to take it for granted that this little chap would not be able to play as he would be too busy washing his hands.

When his mother came to collect him, she looked so very sad.

Obsessive behaviour hurts so many more people than the one who is obsessed.

Monday, July 18, 2005


When I was a girl, a bookmark was a thin leather strip given by a Maiden Aunt at Christmas or some other festival. Oftentimes, the bookmark would have a gold-embossed message or picture; a biblical verse or a picture of St Francis with his animal friends. If I were lucky, it might be a cartoon one. Sometimes the bookmark would come with it's own holder which was always promptly lost.

These days, my bookmarks are very different.

The Perfect World
Threeway Action
Pointless Waste of Time
Stumble Upon

These are the ones that I have bookmarked currently. I visit these sites often and contribute to most.

Lately however, I realised that I should only bookmark sites where I gain a real positive benefit whether that be some new knowledge or a deep belly-laugh. I've cut the dross and lightened the load. I thought that the process of cutting links would be a sad one but it hasn't been at all.

Which is nice.

My kids have been sick... I have been wondering about the difference between substances that are "antiseptic" and those that are "antibacterial" and those that "disinfect". I have learned that...

Substances that are antiseptic destroy or inhibit the growth of microorganisms. My tea tree oil soap is antiseptic.

Substances that are antibacterial destroy or inhibit the growth of bacteria. My hand gel is antibacterial.

Substances that disinfect destroy, neutralize, or inhibit the growth of disease-carrying microorganisms. My Clorox wipes disinfect.

I have been hedging my bets and washing with the tea tree oil soap, drying my hands, wiping surfaces down with a disinfectant, and then using the hand gel to finish.

What do you mean, paranoid?


Addendum 1:
For those with further questions... a bacterium is a variety of microorganism.

bac·te·ri·um (bk-tîr-m)
n. pl. bac·te·ri·a (-tîr-) Any of the unicellular prokaryotic microorganisms of the class Schizomycetes, which vary in terms of morphology, oxygen and nutritional requirements, and motility, and may be free-living, saprophytic, or pathogenic in plants or animals.

Addendum 2:
I have been asked to provide "microbial" as well...

microbial adj : of or involving or caused by or being microbes; "microbial warfare" [syn: microbic]

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Create a lasting memory...

hype (hīp)

1. Excessive publicity and the ensuing commotion: the hype surrounding the murder trial.
2. Exaggerated or extravagant claims made especially in advertising or promotional material: “It is pure hype, a gigantic PR job” (Saturday Review).
3. An advertising or promotional ploy: “Some restaurant owners in town are cooking up a $75,000 hype to promote New York as ‘Restaurant City, U.S.A.’” (New York).
4. Something deliberately misleading; a deception: “[He] says that there isn't any energy crisis at all, that it's all a hype, to maintain outrageous profits for the oil companies” (Joel Oppenheimer).

When the baby was a few months old, and his brother a smidge over four, I decided what we needed to do more than anything was Create a Lasting Memory. I got this fine idea from the My Little Hand in Yours Keepsake Kit, which promised we would create a lifelike replica and capture a memory we would cherish for a lifetime. The specific memory I decided to capture was my sons holding hands.

What the kit failed to mention is that the actual memory would be of the baby's shrieks of terror reverberating in the suddenly claustrophobia-inducing bathroom, the baby's hand, per the directions, kept firmly in ice cold water mixed with Precious Gel Powder, his wrist held absolute prisoner by his brother, who yelled nervously and repeatedly, "I can't hold him much longer, Mommy!" while Mommy answered through clenched teeth, "Don't let his fingers touch the edge of the Memory Bucket! Oh, God, why isn't the damn Precious Gel setting already?"

When we finally poured the Precious Stone into the Precious Gel Mold, what emerged was lifelike alright. Fingernails distinct, skin texture vivid, the poor baby's fingers splayed in horror while his brother's were holding on so forcefully, the tendons on the back of the child's hand were easily discernible.

Precious, indeed.