Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Random Sequence

The cat sprang forward and bit Ivan on the hand. He screamed and instinctively flinched, banging his head, hard, on one of the metal slats that held the bed springs.

He pulled his head out from under the bed, feeling dazed. Cleo was nowhere to be seen again, and Ivan felt dizzy. He decided to lie down on the bed for a minute and consider his strategy.

As he lay back, could hear the cat mewing off in the distance, somewhere in the apartment. "Probably scared to death," Ivan thought, closing his eyes. The mewing was getting louder, and it seemed to be changing in pitch and frequency. It was even beginning to sound a little like a voice. "Crazy," Ivan thought. But it did sound like a tiny, high-pitched voice, mixed with meows, like a feline Munchkin talking. He could even make out words....
--from "Catching the Cat" (by me)

Monday, January 27, 2014

Word of the Day: klangfarbe

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

klangfarbe [KLANG-far-buh] (noun)

Instrumental timbre or tone

Chloe lived to play the flugelhorn. "Nice klangfarbe you have there," Charles said after she played a trill. "No!" Chloe exclaimed. "I keep telling everyone -- it's a flugelhorn!"


TWITO, page 80!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Brain Dump

I'm thinking about different ways to describe the Big Bang....

Horrendous Space Kablooie?
Amazin' Cosmic Combust?
Flabbergasting Universal Whamo?
Dynamite Monster Blastathon?
Awesome Celestial Outburst?
Wondrous Transcendental Burp?

There must be others.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Random Acts of Poetry

January A.M.

The sticks are broken, the coals have faded.
Smoke offers speculation. Your mirror shivers,

and the moon squanders its silver.
A tilted house is sleeping.

You rehearse the passions of Thursday.
The sharp lines of glass--

instants, appetites, lessons
revolve in the cobalt. Everything

fragments to jazz, futile words,
a pack of dogs chasing their tails.

An onion unpeeling its burdens.
You remember

blurred photos, three siblings, the old Chevrolet.
Lost books, days of inertia.

Now pencil light sketches an horizon.
Pigeons complain

on the frosted sill. The stale roar of traffic
builds its illusion of normalcy,

the radiators tick and exhale
a warm assertion of morning.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Quote of the Day: Rod Serling


"We know that a dream can be real, but who ever thought that reality could be a dream? We exist, of course, but how, in what way? As we believe, as flesh-and-blood human beings, or are we simply parts of someone's feverish, complicated nightmare? Think about it, and then ask yourself, do you live here, in this country, in this world, or do you live the Twilight Zone."
–-Rod Serling

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Word of the Day: ugsome

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

ugsome [UG-sum] (adjective)

Horrible, loathsome

"Since she has lain into your arms,
She shall not lye in mine;
Since she has kiss’d your ugsome mouth,
She never shall kiss mine."
--Sir Walter Scott, "Sir Hugh Le Blond" (1802)


TWITO, page 152!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Link Mania

"Our favorite hacker slang": Are you "yak shaving" right now?

The language of jazz: Can you be a "hepcat" if you play in a "jug band"?

59 Slang Phrases From The 1920s We Should Start Using Again: including "ishkabibble" (TWITO, page 74!).

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Random Sequence

I stepped outside one morning and saw it immediately: a huge, black mushroom cloud rising above he jagged rooftops across the street. A second later, I head a loud thunderclap, combined with a strange whooshing sound. I felt that acidic, twisting, 9/11 sensation in my stomach: fear....a faint cloud of fear followed me for the next hour or so -- a 21st century feeling, I decided.
--from "Boom!" (by me), originally published in Hudson Current

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Meditation on the Letter 'S'


Shhhh! Sometimes swans seek serenity, sailing slowly seaword so silently. See? Subtle sorcery still smothers slugging sentiments. Sadly, sundown sinks solar safaris, sending suckers southward. Sin surrounds sex, so simpletons say. Sick! Such santimoniuous seasons seem senseless, sequestered sans syrup. Since September, seven Samurai shiver simultaneously, shaking swords supurbly. Snakes sound silly, swishing sangria; some swill Singapore Slings! Symbolic smooching? Simulated sympathy? Sucks!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Word of the Day: whigmaleerie

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

whigmaleerie [wig-muh-LEER-ee] (noun)

A notion or whim; also something contrived, a gimmick

"But, of course, if you'd be better suited with some French whigmaleerie, why, say so, and ha' done with it."
--Curtis Yorke, The Other Sara (1908)


TWITO, page 161!

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Brain Dump

Of the lessons that dreams teach, among the most important is that you must sleep with your ethereal eyes open. This is so that chimerical wisdom can find its path to your intrinsic psyche. Dreams are constructed from the artifacts of hidden meanings, their aspects fixed within the psychogenic fusion of the subliminal archetypes. The often volcanic outpourings of visionary dream images experienced during the trance-like torpidity of somnolence is the epitome of salubrious intoxication, the desirable mental respite from circadian quandaries and torment. This is a necessary psychic transition from spiraling diurnal vexation toward the untroubled consonance of a requited heart. The road to serenity is found in habitual cultivation of a habit of surprising the slumbering mind during its extended nocturnal exile from quotidian disharmony by creating a "whirligig" of phantasmagorical imagery to soothe the apprehensive intellect via the ministrations of the proverbial catnap -- that is, forty winks.

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Photo of the Week

Think I need a new car? No, my 1968 "T Bird" looks as good as the day it was made. I raised this Phoenix from the ashes (after rescuing it from my late aunt's garage) with just a little oil and elbow grease.

Actually, I just made that up. This is a vehicle I photographed on the streets of our fair city a few weeks ago. Somebody has given it tender care. Click the pic for a time trip.

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Word of the Day: frigorific

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

frigorific [frig-uh-RIF-ik] (adjective)

Causing cold, chilling

"The reading public did not approve of it -- the thermometer of popular opinion was down at 32, under its frigorific influence, so that we were abundantly justified in stuffing no more of Mr. Twitch's sonnets down the regurgitating throats of the literary multitude."
--Anonymous, "Treason," in Blackwood's Magazine, Volume 10 (1821)


TWITO, page 57!

Monday, January 06, 2014

Link Mania: whoopensocker!

This is kind of a whoopensocker....

9 Regional Words All Americans Should Adopt Immediately

Take a look, maybe while you're having a mug-up. Ever had a wapatuli?

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Word of the Day: skyey

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

skyey [SKY-ee] (adjective)

Of or from the skies; resembling the skies; lofty

"She built skyey castles in her mind, even as her sneakers trod the linoleum."


TWITO, page 137!

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Random Sequence

I began to notice something peculiar about the other drivers. Some were getting out of their cars and talking to each other as if they were friends. And most of them didn't look like rural upstaters but instead like hippies -- long-haired, tie-dyed, multi-generational hippies -- a class of people I thought had pretty much vanished decades ago. This was beginning to feel like a bizarre dream.

"What the hell is going on?" I thought. I rolled down the window, intending to ask one of the passing "freaks," a guy in sandals wearing a yellow T-shirt that said "Play Dead," if he knew what the holdup was. Before I could say anything, he flashed a grin and asked, "You going to the Dead concert?"

"Uhh, no," I said, feeling confused. The Dead? The Grateful Dead? Weren't they...dead?
--from "A Long, Strange Trip" (by me), originally published in Hudson Current