Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Random Sequence: Quiddities and Quillets

"There's another; why may not that be the skull of a lawyer? Where be his quiddities now, his quillets, his cases, his tenures, and his tricks?"
--William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act V, Scene 1

quiddities (noun,plural of quiddity) = quibbles, objections
quillets (noun, plural of quillet) = subtle distinctions

Lawyers -- always mincing words. Unlike me, of course....

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Story Cubes 18: Vertigo (fiction)


"I don't have a magic wand," I said when we reached the top of the tower.

She gave me a sour look. "You don't need one," she said. If you weren't slow as a turtle and such a straight arrow, you could leave footprints around the world."

"You are just full of clichés, aren't you?" I retorted.

Angry, she turned and stared out at the landscape, her mouth slowly opening and closing, like a fish. Apparently, she was trying to think of something pithy to say, but nothing would come out.

I started to whistle a meandering tune and leaned out of the window. I could just make out our footprints below. It was getting dark, and I saw a star fall to earth. Then I felt her hand on my back. For an insane second, I thought she was going to push me.

I turned around, and we both started to laugh. Vertigo? I said. "Don't worry. This isn't the end," she said.

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(The bold-faced words are interpreted from the images on Rory's Story Cubes)

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Quote of the Day: Unusual Usage

"A usage dictionary is one of the great bathroom books of all time. Because it has the appeal of trivia, the entries are for the most part brief, and you end up within 48 hours — due to that weird psychological effect — actually drawing on exactly what you learned in some weird, coincidental way."
—David Foster Wallace

Monday, June 06, 2016

Sunday, June 05, 2016

Random Sequence: Fustian

"Drunk? And speak parrot? And squabble? Swagger? Swear? And discourse fustian with one’s own shadow? O thou invisible spirit of wine, if thou hast no name to be known by, let us call thee devil!"
--William Shakespeare, Othello, Act 2. Scene 3

fustian (adjective) = bombastic, absurdly pompous

Do you know any political figures today who could be described as fustian? Think hard, now....

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Story Cubes 17: Keys (fiction)



I walked to the middle of the bridge, slow as a turtle. Then I dropped my keys into the water, perhaps startling the fish down there. They were my the keys to the old house, the one we lost in the fire. I guess I was saying goodbye, in a way, to that life. I looked up at the sky. No rainbow there. Then my phone rang. "It's six o'clock", she said. "Where are you?" "It's only early morning on the other side of the globe", I said. And I wished I was there.

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(The bold-faced words are interpreted from the images on Rory's Story Cubes)

Monday, May 16, 2016



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The Word I'm Thinking Of
The Iron Box

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Saturday, April 30, 2016

Strange Days Indeed

So I'm at the "Celebrate Mother Earth Festival" at the Historic Jersey City and Harsimus Cemetery today. I'm sitting among the headstones, listening to a live rock band play a song called "Zombie Jesus". The lead singer is dressed in a goat costume. I turn around and a chicken is about to peck me. I shoo away the chicken, and then a strange woman sits down next to me and says "Haven't we met before?" Strange days indeed.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Story Cubes 16: No Place Like (fiction)

"Help me understand," I said. "What's the story?"

"Let me give you some pointers, mister journalist. Think about snoozing in a wigwam every night. It ain't rainbows and rose buds. Once you cross a bridge into my kind of life it's masks and demons. And a cold moon at night. I just want to get on a jet and fly to Costa Rica. Where it's toasty this time of year. Put your pity under a magnifying glass. It's not compassion. If it was, you'd be on the street too. You call me 'homeless'? The world is my home."

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(The bold-faced words are interpreted from the images on Rory's Story Cubes)

Monday, April 11, 2016

Random Sequence: rampallian

"Away, you scullion! you rampallion! You fustilarian! I'll tickle your catastrophe."
--William Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part 2, Act 2. Scene I

rampallian (noun) = a scoundrel, a wretch

These days, you could call someone a rampallian and they would think you're complimenting them.

Fustilarian? That's a fat lady.