Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Story Cubes 3: Up All Night

"Why can't I get to sleep?" Evan thought. He'd tried everything, even counting sheep. Ever since he'd broken his ankle, he'd mostly been confined to the house, and the restlessness this induced just wouldn't leave him. "Might as well get up," he thought, grabbing his cane from where it hung on the bedpost. He was vaguely hungry, so he hobbled downstairs to the refrigerator and found an apple to munch on while he built a pyramid of sugar cubes on the kitchen table. Then he went to the living room, settled on the couch and began to doodle an abstract figure on his sketch pad.

Just as he was beginning to nod off, there was a knock on the front door. "At this time of night?" he thought. He shuffled over to peer through the keyhole. It was his prodigal brother, no doubt needing a place to stay again. He'd have another tearful tale to tell him, and Evan would have to decide how much of it was true. There would probably be a dust-up. So, an exhausting night of turbulent emotion ahead. At least in the morning, with luck, he'd be able to sleep.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Word of the Day: tohubohu

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

tohubohu [TOE-hoo-BO-hoo] (noun) [TWITO, page 147]

Chaos, confusion

“....it is now easy to see that this bird is the Creator walking in chaos, brooding over the primitive mish-mash or tohu-bohu, and finally hatching the egg of the world.”
--Viktor Rydberg, Rasmus Björn Anderson, James William Buel, Teutonic Mythology (1907)

electric eyes
(photo by me)

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Quote of the Day: Shakespeaere on Gay Marriage

Sonnet 116

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no; it is an ever-fixed mark,
That looks on tempests, and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
   If this be error and upon me proved,
   I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

--William Shakespeare

paraphrase and analysis

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Link Mania: Insulting twerking liars? Hm!

8 of the best 'new' words to make the latest English dictionary
"'Twerk' is not a new word; that's where people from Yorkshire go in the morning."


9 ways to call someone a 'liar'
Annoyed by far-fetched accounts of unlikely veracity? This list is for you.


11 Early 20th Century Insults We Should Bring Back
Names will never hurt me.


22 Two-Letter Words To Boost Your Scrabble Score
I et za today....

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Random Sequence: asseveration explanation

"She gave Marie a full account of her father's unflattering portrait of Miss Dupont's supposed betrothed; the predictions of ruin in store for him and for her, if she married him, dwelling longest upon the asseveration that he would horsewhip Lorraine if he ever presumed to lift his eyes to one of his daughters."
--"Nobody to Blame" by Marion Harland, in Godey's Lady's Book and Magazine, April 1864

(I found a bound copy of several issues of Godey's in my basement and have been flipping through the dusty pages.)

asseveration (noun) = an earnest, solemn, or emphatic declaration
I guess whenever you're talking about "horsewhipping" someone, you're always making an asseveration.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Story Cubes 2: The Breeze

Owen felt like a turtle in a shell. He'd been staying in his apartment for far too long, but tonight he was still too paranoid to leave the building. What he could do, he decided, was to borrow a key from the maintenance man and climb the stairs to the roof. 

The key seemed to stick in the rusty padlock's keyhole at first -- a metaphor for the dead end he'd reached, Owen thought. But then the lock unclicked and Owen was breathing fresh air at last. He looked down over the roof's edge at the treetops below. He looked up at the stars and the sleepy-faced moon. The lighted windows of the buildings across the street formed random zigzag patterns, like a crazy, electrified abacus. 

Jump? he thought. Not tonight. Not while the breeze felt so tender against his skin.

story cubes 2

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Word of the Day: truttaceus

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

truttaceus [troo-TAY-shuss] (adjective) [TWITO, page 149]

Pertaining to or like a trout

"....crowded with the boats of paradise, we would fancy parades and serenades mid its roral gales, lepid glens and truttaceus charms...."
--Anonymous, in The New Rugbeian (1859)

A "chub" and a catfish -- those are the only types of fish I ever caught. And I threw them back. That's the kind of guy I am.

(photo by me)

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Link Mania: Are you a bibliophagist?

10 Words Every Book Lover Should Know
Like to chew on a good book now and then? You're a "bibliophagist". Use with caution.


10 Fantastic Fog Words
Send this article to anyone named "Larry" you know.


TV's 10 Best Fake Swear Words

"...a cloff-prunker is an 'illicit practice' in which 'one person frangilates another's slimp' and 'gratifies the other person by smuctating them avially.'" Such filth!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Random Sequence: effulgent countenance

"Who shall paint that effulgent countenance as it bent above the brief but exquisite assurance of his happiness?"
--"Adventures of a Bachelor" in Godey's Lady's Book and Magazine, March 1864

(I found a bound copy of several issues of Godey's in my basement and have been flipping through the dusty pages.)

effulgent (adjective) = shining, radiant
countenance (noun) = face or facial expression

Maybe he was happy, or maybe he needed to wash his shiny face.

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Photo of the Week (by me): High Above

high above the clouds
It's clouds' illusions I recall. You? Click it for a closer view, then listen to the song in your head all day.

Monday, June 08, 2015

Story Cubes 1: Airsick

"What book are you reading?" Evan asked.

"The one about the people playing chess on an airplane," said Ivan.

"What kind of book is that anyway?" marveled Evan. "Sounds boring."

"Nope," said Ivan. "There's more. They play dice, too."


"They guy who loses has to buy dinner. They make you pay for your food on airplanes now," Ivan explained. "And they have fish. Red Snapper. Something is wrong with it though. When the plane hits turbulence, the one guy gets sick. Later he falls asleep and dreams they've been swallowed by a flying dragon. It goes on and on."

"Sounds surreal," said Evan. "Like fantasy."

"Light bulb!" said Ivan.

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

2006: Consciousness Streaming

Ever driven Route I-78 in New Jersey during rush hour? I'm doing it twice a day this week, dodging tractor-trailers at 70 mph. Yesterday, someone in a silver Corvette drove across the raised median between the local and express lanes, right in front of me, and then sped off, weaving through the heavy traffic at about 100 miles an hour. Sometimes I wonder if these drivers think they're playing a video game... I thought I had left my favorite belt at the security checkpoint at the airport (I usually take it off before attempting to walk through the metal detector), but I just found it curled up in my suitcase. I guess I didn't wear it that day. Sometimes I'm amazed at my absent-mindedness about these little things... Image on a Tarot card: A man with a severed head floating in space with a couple of tree branches across his back (two of wands). The meaning is supposedly "be a good listener." Or else?... Why don't I... make eye contact with everyone I pass during the day? Is it illegal or something?

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Word of the Day: distichous

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

distichous [dis-ti-kuss] (adjective) [TWITO, page 42]

Divided into two parts or two rows

"His eyes? Nor pen nor camera can present them. Imagine a black pearl imprisoning a diamond; imagine a dewdrop trembling on polished jet; add to these beauties life, and you will have the dormouse eye. His tail? Distichous, say the books. Feathers are mostly distichous, hair-partings are distichous, the moustache is distichous. So is the dormouse tail; but the hairs along it do more than merely part. They curl, upwards from the root, downwards to the point, and form a plume."
--Douglas English, Wee Tim'rous Beasties (1903)

pot legs
(photo by me)

Monday, June 01, 2015

Link Mania: How to Spice Up Your Cussin'

A Father Designs Minimalist Vocabulary Posters to Teach His Daughter Complex Words
Pretty cool. Includes one I didn't know: "deasil".


10 Old-Fashioned Swears to Spice up Your Cussin'
Oh, land sakes! as Grandma used to say. This gosh darn list would impress Yosemite Sam.


16 Weird Forgotten English Words We Should Bring Back
Including "mumpsimus" (TWITO, page 92), "pettyfogger" (page 112), and "pilgarlic" (page 112). And if you think an epidural is bad, try "groaning-cheese" -- and crackers?


23 words that don’t exist in English but perfectly capture the experience of travel Including "kaapshljmurslis" (Latvian). This is what you are when you fly coach these days. We Americans are so "Scheißfreundlich" (German). Well, some of us are.