Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Brain Dump

The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog eat dog days of summer or winter of our discontent over new signs of a stroke of luck of the Irish potato famine or feast of fools rush in where angels can dance on the head of a pin cushion the blow your horn of plenty of time after time to go for it takes a village idiot proof of purchase power to the people right on the good ship lollypop stick to your guns in the wrong hands across the water, hands across the sky writing a book worm your way into the air travel guide to grammar and style of speaking nonsense.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Random Sequence

Scenario 3 (excerpt 7)

....and for a moment, the protagonist imagines his esophagus is a rubber tube, as he glances at the garden hose curving around the side of the patio, even as he chokes a bit on the ceviche while blathering wittily. His dabbling in sarcastic repartee is designed to unmask her vituperative, but hidden, attitudes. She gesticulates like a graceful dowager as she describes the absent host's hospitalization after his slapdash encounter with the antique replica. "Hallelujah!" cries an unnamed, obese guest, as he belly-flops into the pool -- a joyous leviathan. The protagonist becomes bored with her anecdote and finds himself staring at the empty birdcage inside the house through the open window -- and at a mysterious object on the table beyond it. A checkbook? A blood-stained checkbook? More guests arrive: a paraprofessional and a seminarian. Cheery suburban greetings all around. Then, quite suddenly, a black cumulonimbus obscures the sun....

Monday, February 24, 2014

Word of the Day: haptic

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

haptic [HAP-tik](adjective)

1. relating to or based on the sense of touch
2. characterized by or favoring the sense of touch

"You will please keep your hands to yourself," Clara murmured to the haptic Mr. Weems.


TWITO, page 65!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Link Mania

Go ahead, huck it and twizzle, but don't flutz, or you'll be doing a Wagner face at the kiss-and-cry: Sochi Slang

Does your "book club" meet at a pub? The Secret Vocabulary of New York's Finest Drinking Establishments

I can't wait to see the first turdus migratorius of spring! 11 Naughty-Sounding Scientific Names (and What They Really Mean)

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Random Sequence

One of the workers behind the counter, a disheveled young woman, perhaps in her late teens or early twenties, has become accustomed to seeing us there. And since we always order the same thing...she can ring up our order without my having to say a word.... "Right" is all I have to say. There's one odd thing about this relationship, though. I sometimes see this woman walking down the main street of our Jersey City neighborhood, out of uniform.

She will not make eye contact or acknowledge me in any way.

It's as if we are perfect strangers outside of the rigidly assigned roles of restaurant customer and cashier.
--from "Perfect Strangers" (by me), originally published in Hudson Current

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Word of the Day: onolatry

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

onolatry [oh-NOL-uh-tree](noun)

Worship of asses (donkeys!)

"Nietzsche has depicted the leaders of the nineteenth century as engaged in a veritable onolatry."
--Irving Babbitt, Rousseau and Romanticism (1919)

My parents live in the country, in upstate New York, and from their backyard, you can see two donkeys behind a fence in a neighbor's yard. ("Nice ass!" we've been known to say.) Sometimes we feed them cookies when we visit. They seem to prefer ginger snaps.


TWITO, page 102!

Monday, February 17, 2014

The T&T List

Club Juventus
Chad Kellogg
Senator Kefauver
Timber Kings
Alain de Botton
Mulberry Bags
Kim Yu-na
Keurig Vue V700

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Brain Dump


Force a joking frog into launching fake gold ingots toward your girlfriend during menstruation. Under a robustly painted ceiling, seek a cache of silver filings as you misinterpret luggage tags and magical, body-built populations. In the future, watch for a goody-good contemplating the gutter with an ugly skin burst. Consider synthesizers as you invade the privacy of prosthesis recipients while pouring gin on a horde of TV-listing editors. Remember: coastal astringency suffocates figurative microsurgery sessions, so improvise a movie featuring thunderstruck tenants in their sweaty pajamas. At home, screen tranquilizing images of socializing extraterrestrials engaged in filleting. Consider undergarment prank efforts, but only with bittersweet benevolence. Then burrow into the backyard of the crankiest, most constipated chiropractor you can find. Slurp honey mustard while lounging in your nap chair and contemplating the budding intelligence of house plants and the savage greediness of persistent houseflies.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Quote of the Day: Snow

Backyard Blizzard 2010a

"Change is one of the great things about snow. It has the same effect as Mardi Gras or Carnival. It is time-out from the ordinary. Like dressing up and dancing in the street, the snowed-on world is not simply the regular world with a covering over it, it is somewhere newly made and unknown, all familiarity erased into whiteness. And none of the every day rules apply. There are special dispensations -- you may not be able to go to school or work; if you do, there's nothing regular about it, everything is late, teachers don't arrive, appointments aren't kept, the ineluctable timetable of the day is suddenly eluctable."
--Jenny Diski

Monday, February 10, 2014

Word of the Day: popinjay

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

popinjay [POP-in-jay] (noun)

A vain or conceited person

"When Victoria discovered that Friedrich had a whole album of photographic self portraits, she began to think of him as a bit of a popinjay."


TWITO, page 115!

Sunday, February 09, 2014

Link Mania

Stuck in Sochi without an interpreter? Here are 10 Russian words to help you enjoy the Winter Olympics. Idiot li sneg? (идет ли снег?) or "is the snow going?"

I wish. If, like me, you're stateside and this long, cold, lonely winter has you down, maybe you could use some help ordering a drink. Try learning the language of the distillery.

Or maybe you just want to stay in and play Scrabble. If so, check out the 13 words that knocked out Scripps National Spelling Bee finalists. Three of them are included in my book!

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Random Sequence

One hot summer Saturday, Ivan noticed that Mr. Crazy had left his window open and didn't appear to be at home. The gold watch was still on the table, glittering and calling to him, but out of reach.

Ivan had an idea.

He took a mop out of the closet and wrapped some duct tape around the end of the handle, making sure to leave some of the sticky side exposed. He reached out of his own window and poked the handle through the window of the apartment across the alley. He managed to get the watch to stick to the tape, and began to pull the mop handle back.

Just before he was able to grab the watch, though, it fell, disappearing into the shadows four stories below. There was a sickening, splintering sound, and the rumble of pigeons fluttering.
--from "The Man and the Watch" (by me), originally published in Hudson Current

Monday, February 03, 2014

Photo of the Week / Quote of the Day

No lie. For my birthday I received a bag of beans. Coffee beans -- David Lynch signature coffee beans.

"Coffee became tied to what I called 'The Art Life.' I loved to go to diners and drink coffee and try to catch ideas for the work. Coffee has always seemed to facilitate thinking and catching ideas. Not only that, but the flavor of coffee is beyond the beyond good. Even bad coffee is better than no coffee at all."
--David Lynch

This isn't bad coffee by any means. And it says "Ideas in Every Bag" right on the back of the package.

Here's an idea: click the pic for a close-up view.

Saturday, February 01, 2014

Word of the Day: hooroosh

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

hooroosh [who-ROOSH] (noun)

An uproar, a great fuss

"What a hooroosh aloft there! I would e'en take it for sublime, did I not know that the colic is a noisy malady."
--Herman Melville, Moby-Dick

Near where I work in Newark, there's quite a hooroosh on Wednesday afternoons: a huge outdoor karaoke party, complete with a stage and concert amplification. The Otis Redding manqué (look that up!) I saw one week hit most of the notes.

Expect lots of hooroosh tomorrow about the Big Game.


TWITO, page 68!