Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year

"Drop the last year into the silent limbo of the past. Let it go, for it was imperfect, and thank God that it can go."
--Brooks Atkinson

"Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true."
--Lord Tennyson

Day of existence: this initiates time and other drama. It's a new year they've given us, man and woman, and as for the part that occupies the quietude with it, well, you've lived now in other realms, a strategy which enjoys success, but with nasty qualms. Time was visited by them -- mystery solved after two years of periodic collisions, all divided, like a child who uses the persona of whatever cactus flower Mommy married. Thus far, because this part of the house could have been predicted, everything seems complete after years in the monkey life. The pencil remains by your feet, though, the temporary death of scribbling, and by these lights, calculation lengthens. This demands an attempt to make it father to the persona built around the people you think you are, in this or another place, in any order preferred. It remains to be seen how well all this fits in a very small compartment. But I'm over that uncertainty now! All that's required is an indication of the map of the labyrinth, a composition yet to come, though here.

Monday, December 30, 2013

The Word I'm Thinking of Is 'e-book'

Fire up your Kindles, logophiles! At long last, my book, The Word I'm Thinking Of, is available as a Kindle e-book.

What, you don't have a Kindle? You don't need the device; you can download the FREE Kindle reading app to your computer, tablet, or phone here.

And don't forget that there are also print and audiobook editions available.

It's all so, so...selcouth. And cromulent.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Word of the Day: galactophagist

What's "the word I'm thinking of"? Today, it's...

galactophagist [ga-lact-o-FAY-jist] (noun)

A milk drinker

"Edwina was determined to raise a brilliant child. 'Here you are, my little galactophagist,' she said as she gave the baby his bottle."


TWITO, page 59!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Link Mania: Whiz-Bang!

Dickensian Soup: 11 Words from Charles Dickens (via Wordnik)

Some of these lummy words may flummox you, but they won't give you the creeps, as long as you adopt a devil-may-care attitude.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Much Ado about NOTHING

My Xmas Story

A small-town, teen-aged girl -- a religious fanatic -- becomes pregnant. (Possibly after being raped by a passing soldier -- that was the rumor, anyway.)

The townspeople are scandalized, and the traumatized girl and her boyfriend are advised to leave town.

They travel to another small town, and, short of money, are given shelter in a barn, where the baby is born.

The girl thinks, "There has to be a reason for all this!" and decides that God must have big plans for this kid.

And the rest is history, or anyway, His story.


Which story is more believable, this one or the jazzed-up one in the bible?

Monday, December 23, 2013

The T&T List

Iñaki Osa Goikoetxea
Coffee Intelligence
chlorogenic acid
Seymour Stein
St Vincent
Grown Backwards
Andrei Tolstov
"A Closer Winter Tunnel, February-March"
the Oe

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Word of the Day: alible

What's "the word I'm thinking of"? Today, it's....

alible [AL-uh-bull] (adjective)

Having nutrients; nourishing

"'I care not how alible it is,' Humphrey hissed as he tossed his Christmas gift, a colorful fruitcake, out of the window."

There. A perfectly alible use of an obscure word, that. I feel more intelligent just knowing what it means.


TWITO, page 12!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Link Mania: 'Tis the Season

'Tis and 10 Other Fun Proclitic Words (via Mental Floss)

Yes, 'tis he season, as it 'twere. 'Twould behove you (behove?) to click the link. 'Twill enlighten you about, uh, procliticization. 'Taint nothing to be afraid of.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Brain Dump

Go for the gold coin operated vending machine part two by two three blind mice eat cheese sandwich shop till you drop dead in the water park the car in the lot of money is the root canal boat dock your pay the piper. Face the music hall monitor your blood pressure point your gun barrel of monkeys around the world class clown suit yourself. Pass the salt water fish fry the egg cup of coffee pot calling the kettle black tie event horizon. Fasten your seat belt one out of your mind your own business meeting someone new age before beauty.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Photo of the Week

red thing

My cousin Herb, who works at the Comanche Ridge nuclear power plant, gave me a tour of his work site recently. This is the storage module where radioactive fuel rods are kept. When I put my hand on the door, it was warm to the touch. "Don't do that," Herb said.

Actually, I just made that up. This is the back end of a fuel-oil truck I saw in a parking lot and decided to photograph. What can I say? I like bright red shiny objects, especially ones that look as dangerous as this does. Click the pic for a close-up view. It won't burn you.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Word of the Day: gaberlunzie

What's "the word I'm thinking of"? Today, it's...

gaberlunzie [gab-er-LUN-zee] (noun)

A wandering beggar (originally Scottish)

"The gaberlunzie offered to sing for a copper, or to refrain from singing for two coppers.


TWITO, page 59!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Brain Dump

Annual Persecutional Rate (APR) for Purchases on Your DisasterCard

How long will the penalty APR apply?

If an APR is quadrupled for any usurious reason or at our capricious discretion, the Penalty APR may apply in perpetuity to future generations. If we do not receive a Minimum Prostration and statement of utter humility, submission, and adoration within 60 minutes of the date and time due, the Penalty APR will at minimum apply to all first-born children and future descendants unto the seventh generation; but if we receive 600 consecutive Maximum Payments before the due date, beginning at least one decade before the increase, the Penalty APR may stop being applied, at our sole erratic discretion, to transactions that occurred within 14 seconds after we provided you notice about the APR increase via third-class carrier pigeon.

Monday, December 09, 2013

Random Sequence

[Scene: a French restaurant]

....I decided to order a fruit crepe. "What's a 'crap'?" my son asked in a loud voice.

"It's sort of like a big Pop Tart," I hissed. "Now keep your voice down."

He decided to order the only thing on the menu he recognized -- a glass of lemonade.

When it arrived, he was surprised to find that it actually was what it purported to be: a drink made from the juice of freshly squeezed real lemons, not the frozen, sugar-sweetened facsimile he was used to.

"This tastes awful," he said.

My wife suggested that he add some sugar to it and try again. After dumping in half the sugar bowl and maniacally stirring the drink, with the ice cubes clinking loudly, he decided it was drinkable enough to take a few sips.

"I want to go home," he announced just as our crepes arrived.

"Just be patient," my wife advised. "Want a bite?"

He made a face and repeated that he wanted to leave.

"Look at that," I said, desperately pointing to a mechanical fish on the wall over our table. "What do you think of that?"
--from "C'est la vie" (by me), originally published in Hudson Current

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Link Mania: Funny Words

12 Words and Phrases That Originated in the Funny Pages

"Once upon a time, newspaper comic strips were as influential in molding American pop culture (and the way we spoke) as television and social media are today."
--Mental Floss


Double whammies give worryworts and wimpy milquetoasts the heebie-jeebies. Right?

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Word of the Day: barmecidal

What's "the word I'm thinking of"? Today, it's...

barmecidal [bar-muh-SIGH-dul] (adjective)

Presenting only the illusion of abundance

Zenobia had a vast collection of wax and plastic fruit, which she called her barmecidal feast.


TWITO, page 19!

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Photo of the Week


Riding in a helicopter sure is exciting! My friend is a pilot for News Chopper 7, and he took me for an aerial spin last Tuesday over the site of the future Newark, NJ, botanical gardens, currently under construction.

Actually, I just made that up. I took this picture of a nearby construction site (for I know not what) from my perch on the 15th floor of the building I work in. Click the pic for a closer (and dizzying) view of those trucks and cranes, and all that soggy dirt. You know you want to.

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Link Mania: Eggcorns

The Eggcorn Database is a collection of interesting, sometimes almost poetic, lexical mistakes in English compositions. Examples:

"I got a call on my self-phone early this morning, waking me up."

"But it could give the neocons a new leash on life, a way to invigorate their exhausted ideological engines."

"Why can't we, as a society, treat each other with a bit of respect and give Madonna and her elk the 1st class treatment she deserves!"

No problem! If I ever encounter Madonna's elk, I'll give it plenty of first-class respect.

Monday, December 02, 2013

Random Sequence

The cats and squirrels still come and go as they please, but that isn't a problem -- except that they keep tripping our backyard motion sensors after dark.

The sensors were installed by the previous owners, who were a bit paranoid. At odd times, the floodlights will click on, and the yard will suddenly light up like a miniature nighttime soccer field. I still haven't figured out where the motion sensors are or how to turn them off -- or whether I should. Who knows how many burglars scuttle away like scared roaches every time those lights snap on?
--from "My Backyard" (by me), originally published by Hudson Current

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Word of the Day: pinchbeck

What's "the word I'm thinking of"? Today, it's...

pinchbeck [PINCH-bek] (noun or adjective)

Something cheap or counterfeit; an alloy of zinc and copper used to imitate gold

Magdalen was counting on the sale of Aunt Philomena's wedding band to finance her trip to the Azores. It was Mr. Dash's sad duty to inform her that it was nothing but a pinchbeck curtain ring.


TWITO, page 113!